Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beer & Cupcakes...

Who says that beer and cupcakes don't go together?  Not me, definitely not me! 

I got a call from my brother-in-law, Shawn, last week.  One of his biggest customers, Old Germany, out in Choctaw, OK is hosting Beer Sprocket 2011.  What the heck is that, do you ask?  Well, the Old Germany website describes it like this:

"Meet us at the home of the famous Choctaw Oktoberfest (Choctaw Creek Park Pavilion) this spring for an outstanding selection of 80+ Beers from around the World and the delectable foods of Oklahoma’s own Old Germany Restaurant. Designated Drivers welcome! No entry fee but you will have to buy your food and N/A beverages on your own."

Anyway, how it relates to me and to cupcakes.  They have about eight restaurants lined up to do food, but were looking for someone to do desserts.  They considered this cupcake place that is insanely close to my day job, and in my opinion does not have the best cupcakes I have ever tasted, but my BIL recommended me for dessert duty.

Rumor has it there could be as many as 1,000 tickets sold for the event, which means I'll have to make a crap load of cupcakes.  I have decided to go with mini as the size, and will pick about 4 or 5 different flavors to work with.  I considered doing cookies as well as cupcakes, but then decided that I would stick to one dessert for the event.

I have a friend working on a logo for my cupcake company, because I intend to get every ounce of free advertising out of this charity event.  Here's hoping it all pays off, and I don't fall flat on my face!

Tickets to the event are available here.

Monday, January 17, 2011


We Morris girls never seem to have any trouble getting pregnant, but once we get pregnant we can be quite a mess.  I suffered from morning sickness and/or nausea my entire pregnancy and was hospitalized at 27 weeks with a fever and contractions, and got to make a visit to the ER for dehydration at about 14 weeks.  My older sister was in the hospital for a week before our doctor let her go ahead and have my nephew.  She also had a broken toe at the same time which was pretty funny.  Hospital beds are not designed for six feet tall pregnant women, that's for sure.

My twin sister is pregnant with what will surely be my last niece or nephew.  The little guy isn't officially due until February 23rd, and she started having contractions last Thursday, which progressed on Friday and were five minutes apart when they got to the hospital late Friday night.  I went to see her on my lunch today, and took her some of the iced sugar cookies I made for her baby shower that was supposed to happen on Saturday. 

They still have her on meds to stop the contractions, but she is still having them.  They did take her off the IV today so she can get up to go to the bathroom alot easier now, and she'll get to take her first shower since before they admitted her.  Her doctor is planning to keep her until she is 35 weeks, which would be on Wednesday.  After that it's home and bed rest until my little nephew is ready to come into the world.

Oh how I envy women that are good at being pregnant.  Women that are never sick, that work up until the day they go into labor, and don't have to spend time in the hospital, or emergency room before they give birth.  I tell my girls that the most horrible eight months of my life gave me them.  I am very lucky.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


So we have resolved that 2011 is the year that we will become debt free.  It has started off on a high note, we sold Josh's Mazda 3 and bought a 98 BMW from a friend.  Josh has spent the last two weekends working on the new car, and is very excited about it's potential.

Our perfect storm of insanity began yesterday morning, and I am hoping there is an end in site.  I am sitting here with my cup of zen green tea, I am not going to let this get to me, because it's beyond our control.

When he tried to get in the car yesterday the driver's door wouldn't open.  We tend to leave our keys in our cars in our garage, I am sure that laziness plays into this, so we'll go with that.  The door was unlocked, it just wouldn't open, and there is only the one key.  So a call to the locksmith and $85 later, we'll call that a stupid tax, Josh was in his car driving to work.

He hadn't gotten out of the neighborhood when he noticed that it was pulling hard to the left.  They had replaced the shocks and struts before they got the new tires over the weekend, so he drove back to the house to check it out.  Well a flat tire will create the problem he was experiencing. 

I am going to take a short break here to express my hatred for all things Walmart and Sam's Club.  This will be backed up further along in our story.

So, Josh was going to put the spare on the car and he'd get the tire replaced.  Only now, whether it had something to do with the locksmith we don't know, but we are having some electrical issues with the car and the trunk, which is where the spare tire is, won't open.  Our theory is that the only key we have is the valet key and we have somehow been locked out of the trunk.    I guess on the bright side, the only jack and tire changing supplies we own are in my car. 

Josh got the tire off last night and took it to Sam's this morning to replace.  Apparently, the tires he bought aren't ones that they keep in stock, but they can have a replacement tire for us in a week.  ***Please see above comment about Sam's.***

So now the task for the day is to figure out how we get a new key for the car, and more importantly how we get the back seat out of the car so we can put the spare tire on the car.  I do use the term "we" very loosely here, as I am at work, sitting in my office and will have no part in all of that.  Lucky me.

A funny side note, Josh worked from home yesterday, and he walked to the Rec Center to pick the girls up from the after school program.  We wanted Carson to get her homework done before Kumon last night.  Josh said that after a short question and answer session, he and the girls walked home in the cold.  I am hoping we can avoid that today since it's only going to be in the 20s today.

I believe our resolve to being debt free is being tested, but I am still determined.  2011 is going to be a great year.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who Needs Meat...

The Curvy Carrot is a blog that I follow.  A while back there was a post for Vegetarian Pot Pies, and since I am a self proclaimed online recipe junkie, I printed it out and stuck it in my binder with my other recpies that I use or don't use depending on my mood.

I pulled it out a few weeks ago and whipped it up and it was awesome.  I had so much filling left that I put some of it in the freezer to use later.  Yesterday after icing sugar cookies and not thinking I would want to cook later I pulled out the extra filling and a pie crust and made it for dinner last night.  It is so good.  I have never cooked with lentils before and wasn't sure what to expect, but they are really good and they add that little something extra almost meatiness to the pie.

The original recipe called for a topping, but I am a firm believer that a pot pie should look like a pie, so I opted for the pre-made pie crust for the top and the bottom.  I aspire to make my own pie crusts, it's on my ever growing list of things to conquer in the kitchen, I just haven't gotten around to conquering it yet.

I especially love how soaking the dried mushrooms creates such a dark liquid to be added to the filling.  Really, it looks like it has meat in it.  Not that I want it to have meat in it.

Vegetarian Pot Pies
For the filling:

1/2 cup lentils
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 refridgerated pie crust (top and bottom)

Instructions for the filling:
  1. Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, pour 3 cups boiling water over the porcini in a medium bowl; soak 25 minutes.

  4. Remove the porcini from the soaking liquid, squeeze dry, and chop coarsely. Make sure you save the soaking liquid.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add fresh mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sauté for 4 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  10. Mix the flour into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
  11. Add the porcini soaking liquid.
  12. Mix in porcini, potatoes, soy sauce, and tomato paste.
  13. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes.
  14. Add the lentils; season with salt and pepper.
  15. Place in pie crust and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
So a new recipe for a brand new year.  I would highly recommend it for a Meatless Monday, or any other day of the week.