Egg McMuffin

5 Jan

I’m probably not supposed to use that phrase – since it’s TMed or copyrighted or something.  Meh.  The point being you and I are both looking for a quick and easy, and preferably somewhat nutritional entree and this sure beats the ‘real’ one in all regards.  Maybe you think I’m out of my gourd for even acting like a recipe is required?  W/e – I really like the Mickey D one okay!?    And these guys consider it a ‘top secret recipe’ so I’m not that looney alright?

So here’s what ya do:

 

Easy Egg McMuffin

Recipe yoinked from Top Secret Recipes

Ingredients:

1 English Muffin

2 Slices fake bacon (or veggie meat of your choice)

1 egg

1 slice American Cheese

*small empty can about the circumference of the muffin (tuna, soup or even mini pie dish all work!)

Directions:

1. Heat a pan to medium heat. Split the English muffin and brown each face in pan while cooking bacon (I usually just nuke them).

2. Grease the inside of the can with shortening/nonstick spray.

3. Place the greased can on the hot pan (still on med. heat) and crack egg into it.  Break the yolk and lightly salt.

4.  When the egg surface begins to firm cut around the inside of the can gently to free the edges. Remove egg from can and cook other side for 1 additional minute.

5. Built your sammie!  I recommend bottom of muffin, cheese, egg, fake-on, top of muffin.  Nuke for 20 sec. to achieve uniform heating.

 

Serve with a greek yogurt, toasted walnut, cinnamon and honey parfait if you really wanna kill it:)

S’more Pie

5 Jan

Let’s be real here.  You’re not interested in New Years Resolutions, counting calories, losing weight, self-control, all that nonsense  - that was so 4 days ago.  You’re interested in warm, gooey comfort foods that make your mind and belly happy.  Which, of course, makes 2 of us.  So let’s get on with it! (PS – Yes, I already published a lengthier version of this post (with pics) – I’ve got sugar brain.  Just take it as a hint to make it already if you haven’t yet!)

S’more Pie

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

For crust
5 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz, pulsed in a food processor until finely ground)
2 tablespoons sugar

For chocolate cream filling
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes

For marshmallow topping
1 bag marshmallows  - I used the big puffy ones but I’m sure the little guys would do :)

*Got a wicked sweet tooth?  Go crazy and incorporate a light and fluffy peanut butter frosting.  NOM.

Directions

Make graham cracker crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.  PS) Feel free to use a premade crust – I won’t tell:)

Make chocolate cream filling: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).

Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.

Optional Step: Love peanut butter?  Add a layer of peanut butter frosting.

Top with marshmallows.

Brown topping: Preheat broiler. Transfer pie to a baking sheet protect crust with foil/pie shield. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, until marshmallows are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.

Please note, this is a messy one, messily delightful – not the prettiest but worth every sticky bite.

Note: Pie (before browning topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

Well Hello 2012!

4 Jan

Congrats!  If you’re reading this it means you’ve survived 2011 and you’re ready to take 2012 by the horns:)  And because I’m not terribly creative – let’s start give one last ‘adieu’ to 2011 by remembering some of it’s finer moments…

We rescued another homeless pup.  He was tiny and precious and silly and now he is GIANT and precious and silly.  Going from this (Jan. 2011 – 9 lb.)

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to this (November, 2011 ~79 lb.)

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…in mere months.  Impressive, no? We named him after another big event… Our college friends out in CA had a beautiful baby boy!  We found out they were pregnant the same day we decide to rescue this great dane mix, and since they’re such dear friends we thought the name Wally would be just perfect.  So while they welcomed Weston Wallace to the world, we watched our own Wally explode into the gentle (although at times wild) giant he is today.

I student taught – and fell in love with 30 children.  Then they ripped my heart out when I had to leave them.  I think they still have it – wonder if they’re even aware?

Yet another darling friend moved away.  Because obv. that’s the cool thing to do (ahem – Traci & Wendy).  So what was a girl to do than pack up with another BFF and help the sweet thing assemble her IKEA furniture.  Also – IKEA!  And Kmitch – don’t get the idea that this is my accepting your leaving – I haven’t, and I never will.  Same goes for the rest of you!

We played in Lake Placid and skiid Whiteface.  The one part of winter worth loving, beautiful blankets of fluffy pristine snow to be played in, a snuggly fireplace, all surrounded by family.  You cannot beat that.

I survived my graduate portfolio and exhibition (think thesis and defense).  And I thought my undergrad senior paper was rough – aye!  On the bright side, it really helped me articulate who I am as an educator and gain confidence in my calling.

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I gradumacated!  I know right?!  Here’s the sign to prove it;)  Made some amazing lifelong friends during my time at Nazareth (3 of whom are pregnant and cute beyond possible articulation), and even got to walk on the same day as my cousin and childhood friend – congrats Em!!

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We saw Joshie in concert (again – I saw the crooner live for the first time back in high school – thanks Amanda!).   He was both hilarious and ethereal and oh, that voice!  Bravo, Mr. Groban, bravo!  We also saw Wicked, the Lion King, and the Blue Man Group.  All fabulous!  SO good.

We went to the Dominican Republic.  We ate and drank our faces off and spent way too much time in the sun.  We danced, and laughed and were just the two of us. And it was rockin’.  Who wants to pay for us to go back again this year;)?

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We said goodbye to Jared’s childhood dog.  Zoey the springer spaniel, the sweet whiner who will always have a special place in our hearts.  We miss you pretty girl!

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Our house became home.  Yeah, it took a while.  But we’ve finally settled in and done lots of the projects we were itching to do.  From the totally redone kitchen, to the super duper improved sofas, to the new mason jar chandelier and delightful teal window boxes (and piano!) – I’m afraid this little cape cod now SCREAMS our names:)

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We visited DC and met up with two college loves.  We frolicked around the city and the suburbs and had an overall splendid time.  Again with the awesome tour guides and snuggle buddies:)

I finally started to conquer my anxieties.  And it has made all the difference.  I see the whole world in a new way and am beginning to appreciate all that God has so lavishly blessed me with.  Yes, it took some deep introspect, some painful realizations, and even (gasp) some ‘crazy pills’ but to say it was worth it would be a vast understatement.  And along those lines…

I read two INCREDIBLE new books that I simply can’t keep to myself!  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and Life’s Missing Instruction Manual : The Guidebook You Should Have Been Given at Birth by Joe Vitale.  If you only get around to reading 2 books this year – it should probably be these:)

We were spoiled by many more Oyin visits.  And it was glorious.  SO the way life should be lived – with incredible pals popping in and living up the summer with you a couple of times a month.  Downright dreamy.

Lots of dear friends got married.  Their weddings were heartbreakingly beautiful and there was some serious getting down on the dance floors during their receptions.  Cheers and happily ever after to you Ken and Meg, Chris and Steph, and Briant and Joanna.


We spent a week at the lake.   Sunshine, tubing and waterskiing (conquering the slolam!) til we literally killed the boat, family and innumerable games of every fashion.  Glow stick motion artwork, campfires, henna tattoos, and heart to hearts with my bro into the wee wee hours of the night (or morning?)

Gram and Grandpa kept us on our toes.  So many hospital trips and confused doctors.  Still no real answers but they’re home now – and that is good:)

We adventured in Saratoga Springs.  There was wonky water to be drank, adorable shops to pop into and delightful food.  A cop scare, a picnic and oh the sunshine!  Carolyn and Tyler – let’s meet up more often!

My cousin had beautiful twin boys.  And they stole everyone’s heart. Now all I ever want to make are perfect tiny onesies because everything is adorable when it’s on a onesie. Babies are too much for me – cuteness just takes over and I stop making sense.  The end.

We opened an Etsy shoppe and I attended my first craft show!  And get this, stuff has actually SOLD! Cray cray.  There hasn’t been much time as of late to keep up with stocking the shoppe but it doesn’t mean I don’t still get silly amounts of joy from the endeavor.

A darling friend got my butt in gear.  And now she’s moving far, far away – leaving me workoutbuddyless.  So unfair right?  I’m miserable to work out with too, always complaining and evading, how am I ever going to get someone to hold me accountable again?  Seriously Traci, don’t you think my health is reason enough to forego a killer job opportunity in sunny Florida?

We rocked NYC – twice.  What a place!  What people!  What good times and wonderful food.  Best of all?  A bro to escort through all the chaos and help us get an insider’s take.

 

The couple that met (read: were set up) at our wedding 3 1/2 years ago (my dashing cousin and our lovely ORU friend – who happened to be Jer’s sister wing RA way back during Freshman year) GOT ENGAGED – in Spain, because they’re cool like that. They’re gonna get married you guys!!  You know what that means?  Friends for life.  Double dates FOREVER.  Best plan EVER!

I got a job!  I feel as though I’ve broken through the glass ceiling by snagging one of the rare long term substitute positions in upstate NY (as opposed to plentiful per diem positions).  I’m over the moon about settling in to make a difference in my kiddos lives and the glorious constancy of my own classroom.  (Yes, I’m fully aware of the messes, the pulled out hair, the tears and the incomprehensible swarms of germies that go along with this new endeavor – and yes, I’m oddly over the moon about those aspects too.)  I finally feel like all my hard work (turns out masters’ degrees are incredibly difficult to obtain and cost a fortune) is coming to fruition and I just can’t wait to pour my heart into my new class.

Wally got hit by a car.  Putting that in bold seems unfair so let me just say and he is miraculously a-ok.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that God even cares for our doofy clumsy dogs.  Good thing too!  Because the dent in the car tells another story!

We attended lots of fabulous parties.  Getting together with friends and family – whether its 2 of you or 20 – is the best.  And we’re wildy blessed to get to do both quite frequently.  Love you all!

There was so many more day to day details that, despite there minuteness shaped our year and lives. We’re who we are today because of the love and support of our friends and family and God’s ever-abundant grace.  And as we head into the long string of tomorrows before us in 2012 – I pray I’ll keep this in mind and keep an attitude of optimistic gratitude through all the ups and downs.  I’m so, so, so very blessed.

Thankful

14 Nov

Lately it’s really been occurring to me –  I have SO much to be grateful for, its honestly incomprehensible.  Admitedly, my life is terribly far from perfect, but in many ways, it’s pretty much perfect for me.  Oxymoronic?  Perhaps, but truthful nonetheless.

So to kick off this season of thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you all some of the things I’m incredibly joyful to have in my life:

  • a safe and comfortable home, which is the outcropping of unending support from both of our parents and the ability to enjoy such the result of the protection of our selfless troops around the world.
  • incredible, creative, and thoughtful friends, who point out things like my birthday falling on the same day as “Chocolate Covered Anything” day, (coincidence?  I think not).
  • greek yogurt.  again, I know it’s a little thing, and I probably shouldn’t love it so.  but I do.  it’s flippin’ delicious and protein packed so it’s rightfully gained a staple-stance in my diet repertoire.  Try it as a substitute for sour cream on your next taco and you’ll see what I’m getting at!  See number 7 on this odd (#81 add pureed carrots to health-ify your peanut butter… huh), but interesting article from Men’s Fitness (don’t judge.)
  • loving families.  Where on Earth would we be without them!?
  • old friends, who’ve seen you through the good, bad and ugly, and are still around for the obscene teal piano moving in a tiny cape cod with tight corners and couples dinner parties full of love, crazy delicious food and laughter
  • new friends, with shared callings and passion for becoming a great educator (who coincidentally shares my chocolate-covered birthday, year and all – crazy right!?)
  • lovely, ornate inherited china from my late and Great Aunt Lillian, perfect for hosting aforementioned dinner parties..
  • etsy.com, because there is something inherently glorious about a community of crafters and DIYers sharing their creativity with the world.
  • cranberry pills. popping one a day has kept my urinary tract on track (sorry – couldn’t resist).  also, sorry if thats TMI, but freedom from UTIs (without tons of antibiotics) is freakin’ spectacular!
  • snuggles from ma dawgs.  As part of my new Happiness Resolutions (ala previous bullet re. The Happiness Project) I try to never miss an obvious opportunity for puppy cuddles.  That means I start, and end, each day with a warm heart, with lots of chances for pick-me-ups throughout the day.
  • Glee and Skype.  Those two combined help me stay in touch with two of my sweethearts, and that’s downright excellent.

 

*Please note, this list is just the TIP of the iceberg in the abundance of blessings that is my life.

What are you all extra super duper full of gratuity for in this season of your life?

Goodwill Treasures

11 Nov

Happy Friday, 11/11/11 and Veteran’s Day kittens!

First, and by far most importantly, HUGE thank you to the incredible men and women who bravely protect the safety and liberties of those us of here at home, past and present.  There are no words that do justice to our gratitude.  This thank you also extends to their supportive and loving families who suffer heartache unimaginable day in and day out.  Know you’re in our prayers too!

And on a lighter note…  I think I’ve mentioned it before on here, and I get the feeling it’s a common blogger tendency…  I positively LOVE goodwill.  Every time I pass one I have a near uncontrollable urge to just ‘pop in’ and see what they’ve got and more often than not, when I give in to that impulse, I leave with a treasure, ready and willing to be upcycled into something lovely.  This kind of treasure hunt has been the inspiration for several of my Etsy projects.  It’s also been a key contributor to our first home’s ‘hominess.’  I always have aspirations of sharing my finds and upcycling adventures, but all too often my laziness ends with Twitter posts instead of proper blogging.

Today, I’m here to promptly rectify this.  Sure, it might be with low-quality cell phone pictures taken outside in a terribly-in-need-of-a-rake backyard… but nonetheless, to rectify…

My latest project:  

 

A $7 shelf, with peeling poo-brown paint….

Gone grey.

I love, love, love, goodwill hunting.  To me, it’s like finding diamonds in the rough, breathing new life to someone’s old, forgotten treasures, and letting them become treasures in a new right, instead of heading to the landfill.  Perhaps I’m being overly-romantic about material goods, but it’s something I really enjoy, can you tell?  What do you think guys, likey?

 

Fall Fest – Recipe #2 – Stupid Easy Donuts

27 Oct

I always thought that making donuts at home would be an messy, time-consuming, disappointing endeavor.  

Turns out, my waist-size was in a much better place because of this false belief.

This past weekend (henceforth known as Fall Fest weekend) I made donuts at home using a recipe I’d stumbled onto on good ol’ Pinterest.  My personal donut belief system came crumbling down around me in a pile of hot fluffy frycakes.

As far as that recipe…

Guess how many ingredients?  3.  

Guess how many steps? 3.

Guess how delicious?  CRAZY.   Continue reading

Fall Fest – Recipe #1 – Brussels Sprouts and Smoky Onions on Cheddar Toast

25 Oct

So this past weekend hubs and I had some wonderful friends come up from NYC to visit.  And let me tell you kids, we squeezed AS MUCH autumn joy as humanly possible into those 36 hours.

And before we get to the goodies, here’s a little snapshot of our delicious weekend:

Yeah, so we took some goofy pics.  Don’t judge;)

Poppa bear the great tractor man!! Continue reading

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