Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day 2017 - Guinness Chocolate Pudding With Bailey's Whipped Cream

Ohhhhhhhhh gee. 2016. There is so much to say, yet hard to find the words. And then came 2017. Where someone arrived uninvited to my party. For four years, supposedly. But, we are going to swallow all of that for now (this blog has never been about the real, serious issues in life) in order to talk about a wee little holiday - St. Patrick's Day. My mom, who has been quite the family genealogist for the past decade, informed me that our Irish roots stem from the: Rafferty, McCartney, Fitzgerald, Farrell, Ryan, Barry, Budd and Taylor clans. (Did you just find out you are related to me?) A few of those lads and lassies made a new life for themselves in the expansive Midwest of the United States. You know, immigrants. Oof, there we go with the current complicated life problems that I'm trying to avoid...back to silly, fun, observations and frippery. Like alcohol! And chocolate! Everything is OK! 
Mmmmm

Is there any dessert more comforting than pudding? I'm not sure if it is the texture or the name or the fact that you eat it with a spoon, but I don't know one person who doesn't release a little bit of stress when they hear pudding is in their future. In case there is still some tension hanging on, let's add some adult beverages to the mix. Ahh...now we are feeling all is good, right?
Friends

I had seen some version of this recipe floating around every year and finally had the resolve (and the ingredients) to make it.

The stout brings out the depths of chocolate and will cook off enough not to make any under-aged partakers loopy. You can substitute plain whipped or chantilly cream for those young folk, but for the elders, you are in for a treat with this addition! I will give you fair warning: the Bailey's-laced whipped cream is so addictive. You will want to dollop it on anything you ever put into your pie hole from this day forth.

You can serve this dessert via any vessel, but my favorite for the occasion were these mini pint glasses - shout out to North River Hops & Brewing! The pudding is so decadent and rich, that the small portion tends to be just the right amount for a special lucky treat. You can find similar tasting glasses on Amazon.

I used THIS simple recipe for the pudding and THIS (with the addition of vanilla) for the whipped cream "foam". Finished them off with some chocolate shavings, but I imagine green sprinkles or decorative sugar would be even more festive. Cheers, my friends!




Sunday, February 14, 2016

You Make Me Smile With My Heart

Whether you are in a relationship, a single pringle, or on the dating scene, it can be difficult to find the fun and flirtation of Valentine's Day anymore. So much pressure, so little originality. No one wants to prove their love on a specific day of the year, along with the rest of the nation. And how much red and pink can one stomach?

Despite the above, I do have a special place in my heart for this overproduced holiday. I think it harkens back to the days of exchanging cheap little Valentine's Day cards that could be purchased at the local drugstore.
I was always very selective of the valentines I chose - they couldn't be too sappy, but they also couldn't be childish. It was important to incorporate the latest trend in cartoon characters or pop culture.
Some of my selections could probably be found among this list:

I have fond memories of those 80s-themed cards, but have you ever looked at even older vintage valentines? Warning: awkward and confusing images to follow.
Anyone else find these strange and slightly disturbing?
What's even more puzzling is how many of these cards involve food, most noticeably hot dogs.

Truly, there were many cards so very far up on the creepy scale, that I didn't even feel comfortable posting them! Ah, love...

Remember creating homemade boxes that you would tote to school and set on your desk eagerly awaiting to see which admirers would strike?

One February 14th, my teacher held a contest for the best Valentine's Day box. I can't remember what the prize was, but I was determined to be the winner. This would be a box beyond what any other 8 year old had imagined. You have to understand, I'm the girl that made a to-scale replica of King Tut's tomb out of gingerbread complete with brown sugar sand - I didn't mess around when it came to projects and first place. It had to be unique and it had to be show-stopping. My mom helped me devise a box that would play music when you lifted the flap and inserted the card. Then I went crazy with doilies and glitter and cut-outs and color and hearts. Happily, my creation received all of the attention I had hoped for when it was time for the official reveal. I was confident I'd be crowned the winner and practically glowed in anticipation of a champion title. That was until a buzz of giggles and exclamations began on the other side of the classroom. Seconds later, I could make out a "zoom-zoom" sound. That zooming noise belonged to a remote control car which my classmate had topped with a Kleenex box. My ornate musical box was quickly forgotten and my peers squealed with delight as the boy maneuvered the mobile box from desk to desk in order to collect his valentines (and praise).
To be fair, the kid deserved the win and somehow my excitement for Valentine's Day did not sour. 

Other Valentine's Days that did not garner 1st place include:

The year I spent the entire rainy day gift wrapping boxes of chocolates in a theater's lobby as a bonus promotion for patrons that purchased tickets to a certain Broadway show. Super romantic.

Another Valentine's Day, I babysat until late in the evening, only to come home to discover I apparently didn't show up to a singing gig and devastated an entire theater community. Trouble was, I had never been told about this event. Not even a mention. Obviously a longer story. Obviously, super, super romantic.

Last year's Valentine's Day was the most exciting because I viewed the new home my parents were considering buying and ended up helping them to put an offer in on the spot. OK, so, still not at all romantic.

Actually, I don't think I've ever had a romantic Valentine's Day. Hmph! Well, I'm not giving up on the promise of one day being hit by Cupid's arrow, especially now that I know I am in a conveniently opportunistic location:

Thanks, doc - Sounds like my odds are good! Perhaps one year after meeting my love amongst the flora and fauna of Fort Tryon, we will celebrating Valentine's Day as an old married couple, waxing poetic such as this:

xoxoxo







Monday, February 8, 2016

Yoo-Hoo!

Oh, hello there! Remember me? Brown hair, sturdy scandinavian build, often have a baked good in my purse...?


No...?

Well, understandable. It's been a while.
When the calendar turned from 2015 to 2016, I thought about explaining why so much time has passed and delving deep into the emotional toll of those events. But that's not really what this blog has ever been about. I certainly over share, but the topics tend to be about gummy legos and picnic spots and dachshunds wearing hats.  

So, I'm going to stick to the "likes", if that's OK with you. Since I missed posting at the New Year, I figured the Chinese New Year would be even better. In fact, it's the Year of the Monkey and what's not to like about monkeys?

I will say that 2016 has so much promise and I'm really jazzed to start living it. My attitude toward a chance at another year in this crazy miracle of a world is pretty much this:


See ya soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Stars and Stripes Forever

There were a lot of events in the past month that make me even more proud to be an American.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A!

Have a safe and celebratory 4th of July.

Oh, and Little Edie wanted to say something, too:


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Play With Your Food

Sometimes I heart the internet so very much.

This crafty recipe has been circling Facebook feeds for the past week and I can't wait to try and create the mash-up of my favorite sweet and my ultimate childhood toy.


Bonus: Stepping on one of these versions will be far less painful than the old school stray LEGO.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Cadbury Mini Egg Krispies Treats

I'm not sure what chocolate, eggs, pastels, and bunnies have to do with the Easter holiday, but I'm not asking questions. I'm just eating these:
Cadbury Easter Candy Coated Mini Eggs, 10 Ounce Bag

Probably one too many eggs. Luckily they are mini.

I had some fixings for rice krispies treats in the cupboard and decided to mix some of my favorite things all together. Really, what could go wrong with this trio?

It's one of those ridiculously simple desserts. 
Begin by making the Original Rice Krispies Treats Recipe up until combining the krispies into the marshmallow.
Take about 4-5 servings (I used 160g) of the mini eggs and break them into small pieces. This part got a little messy for me. I put them in a ziploc bag and then mashed them, but I ended up with a lot of crumbs and powder. I guess I don't know my own strength! If you have a good way to create little bits without obliterating the candy, please comment below.

Once the cereal-marshmallow mixture has cooled slightly, mix in the crushed eggs.

Press into a pan, depending on your desired shape and thickness. I dotted each serving with one whole mini egg.

Cute, right?

 So there is a sweet treat for the holiday (or anytime, really).

And speaking of a year-round sweetie:



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Left Shark Forever

When I remember, I like to have the 1st of the month be dedicated to some cute animal video or meme or story or picture. 

Well, there is only one animal that is worthy of such an honor this past month:
Left Shark, February 2015


I just couldn't get enough.

Apparel:

Valentines:

Cookies:

BuzzFeed Articles:



The Man Behind the Fin:

Tweets and Tributes:

Diary:
(above illustration by Victor Kerlow)

Inside Scoop:

Even Controversy!:

I love it all. I love you the most, Left Shark.



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