Coffee Buttercream Icing and a lazy Saturday.

Hello! It’s me…Haili! This is my Avatar!

Has anyone else noticed the avatar people create for themselves doesn’t look quite accurate? Mine should at least be 50 more pounds! But, since my sister created it and I don’t see a pregnant avatar for a choice I’m not changing a thing! My avatar wears more black than Johnny Cash…which actually is just like me.

I have a house full of chores I’m ignoring today. My roommates, (my daughter and husband), are nestled in for a long winter nap. So I’m blogging quietly on this winter solstice and trying not to crunch my Tums too loud!

Thumbing through Pinterest, (I’m super productive), I wish just once someone would pin something ugly. Or a craft that was a total flop. It would be refreshing to see a sewing project gone terribly wrong. For all those millions of perfectly iced cakes there has to be twice as many bad outcomes. This is what the truth looks like…

It seems like every great cooking or craft idea I’ve had there are many more mediocre outcomes. Some are brilliant successes. But, the cake I made last night wasn’t impressive. There was a crater in the center where the cake had fallen. I filled it with frosting which seemed to exaggerate my mistake further. I still took a pic for you!

On top of everything, I iced it too soon.
The cake was warm and the butter in the frosting melted. Boo!! 😦

On another note, my icing was and is outstanding! It’s a coffee buttercream icing and it is the product of many failed attempts. I had tried many coffee icing recipes before I came up with my own, including Paula Deen’s. All recipes left me with a gloppy weird mess. You just can’t add a bunch of coffee to the butter sugar mix. Fluid and fat aren’t friends…and they will only separate not blend perfectly together! So don’t go trying it thinking you are more amazing than I am! Lol
However, here’s my recipe…

Buttercream Coffee Frosting:
1 1/2 sticks butter softened (not melted!)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp instant coffee
1tsp vanilla

Not fancy ingredients, but you will have the most fantastic frosting.

-Blend your sugar and butter until it looks like frosting.
-In a cup, put tsp of vanilla, then dissolve the instant coffee in the vanilla.

Looks like a dark gooey syrup like this…

Pour instant coffee syrup into the butter/sugar mix and blend again with your hand mixer.

This is your wonderful frosting! Yum!
Enjoy your holiday cooking and your lazy Saturday!



Holiday Strata

Happy holidays! Hope you are having a great week. As promised, here is the Holiday Strata recipe. That sweet guy I’m married to wants bacon waffles topped with strawberries. It sounds easy, but since we don’t have a waffle iron his Christmas dreams may not come true. Besides, I love the idea of throwing this in the fridge the night before Christmas. This is the strata I’ve been dreaming about this holiday. It’s appropriately named “Holiday Strata.” I’m sure that wasn’t an accident, but due to its simple rich flavor full of buttery and cheesy goodness. It’s from this amazing book that has everything breakfast you could possibly imagine!

Holiday Strata:

1 1/2 Tbs butter
6 oz. mushrooms sliced
8 slices sourdough bread (crusts trimmed, bread buttered and cubed)
1 1/4 pounds link sausage (cooked and cut into bite sized pieces)
2 cups shredded cheddar
4 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard

(Addendum: I made this Christmas morning…it was awesome, but on the moist side. I will only use 1.5 cups milk next time. I used regular JC potter sausage, but next time, I will use the spicy JC Potter sausage.)

-Over medium heat melt butter, sauté mushrooms until tender
-Place half the bread in sprayed pan, add sausage, mushrooms, half of the cheese and remaining bread.
-Whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and mustard.
-Pour egg mixture over bread mixture.
-Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
-Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Christmas morning heating:
*Bring strata to room temp*
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bake uncovered 45-50 min.
Let stand for ten minutes.
Cut in squares.


(Instead of sausage links I think I’m going to just use spicy sausage. It will be amazing either way!)

Merry Christmas!!

Suck it!

If tonight you are checking back in for the “Holiday Strata” recipe you can suck it! (I will give it to you tomorrow…just in time to get your ingredients last minute. I hope you get stuck in Walmart holiday traffic! Just kidding. But hey, buy the darn book if you want it sooner! Gee whiz!)

This is for all the pregnant mommas, the fitness guru’s, the “wanna be” slender, and the holiday fatties. One of the benefits of my pregnancy has been I’m creative in the kitchen. Although, I really don’t cook a ton. (My hubs is probably nodding with agreement and laughing right now.) But every once in a while, I will concoct something really great that deserves an award. And since I can’t see my private parts to shave them anymore, tonight I’m making a protein shake!


Aww! Don’t be sad! It’s a really great protein shake! My two year old and I like to share a protein shake and watch cartoons. She doesn’t know it’s not ice cream! And it’s hard to get kids to eat sometimes. She even loved it!

This is my “Banana nut bread protein shake” with no bread, no nuts, and no bananas. Okay it has bananas. I’m not that amazing!

In a blender:
1cup ice
1 frozen banana (make it a half if you are really trying to cut calories.)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 1/2 cup milk ( or sub almond milk)
1/4 tsp All spice (pumpkin pie spice)
3 shakes cinnamon
-Blend. Drink.

That’s all you need! It’s so easy. You already have those things in your kitchen. A friend of mine, a triathlete, taught me to peel and freeze my bananas before they get too ripe. I hate throwing away bananas! Sometimes you just can’t get to them fast enough, so this is a good solution. And they are always waiting on you when you feel like a protein shake.

Your welcome holiday fatty! 😉


Hump day, fun day!!

Good afternoon loyal fans and happy Hump day! As one of my Christmas gifts to you I’m giving you this much coveted strata recipe. I rediscovered this cook book in my collection as I was deliberating over what to serve for Christmas breakfast. As you know I’m pregnant and lazy and I do not care about impressing anyone. That’s why a strata is perfect…you can make the night before and pop it in the oven for an effortless meal Christmas morning. This is by far the tastiest strata I’ve made, but if you don’t like crab there are many other strata recipes in this book….

I must tell you, I HATE cookbooks without photos of the food. And if the lady at Williams Sonoma hadn’t raved about it I wouldn’t have given this book a second glance. But, it is loaded with splendid breakfast and brunch recipes made with simple ingredients. Frittatas to French toast bakes, you will not be disappointed. Now that I’m thinking about it, this book itself would be a great Christmas gift.

Okay, let’s get to it. This is the Crab Strata supreme. If you don’t like crab then you can suck it! (Just kidding…I will also give you the “Holiday Strata” recipe from this book…probably tomorrow.)

1/2 French baguette cut in 1/2 in cubes
2 Tbs butter
4 oz. mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup diced red pepper
6 green onion chopped
3/4 cup diced celery
2 cups Swiss (I use shredded)
8 oz crab (Don’t get imitation. Yuck. Gosh, you are a cheap ass!)
8 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 dry white wine
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

-Spray a 9×13 pan and spread cubed bread in pan.
-In the butter, Sauté mushrooms, pepper, onion, and celery until tender.
-spoon this mixture over bread evenly
-Layer Swiss and crab over sautéed mixture.
*whisk eggs, wine, milk, and seasoning. Fold in sour cream. Pour over entire bread mixture. Refrigerate over night.
-Christmas morn bake at 350F covered with foil for 35min…uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes. Let stand for ten minutes. Serve.

A guy I hung out with WAY too long had an Aunt that served some sort of egg casserole gloppy goo for Christmas. Her version had ham. I’m taking you on a little trip to a slice of my life a few years ago….I’m laughing so hard reminiscing! There were other holiday food “experiments” I pretended to eat as well! One was a frozen turkey, cooked on the outside but frozen on the inside with the giblet bag still inside the cavity! (Oh yum! Can I have more please? It’s the gift of diarrhea for Christmas!) Another relative of the same guy made mashed potatoes with mayonnaise…every blasted year. It was a “family tradition.” If there is anything that could absolutely make me hurl on demand it would be mashed potatoes with mayonnaise! But, this family swarmed like hungry vultures over this pile of holiday horse shit. Cranberry sauce was poured from a can, green beans were from a can, etc. let’s just say, this family was full of brilliant cooks! Lol! Maybe if you’ve had to tolerate another family around the holidays you can relate? However, my hope for you is to be blessed and enjoy the food! It’s one of the joys of Christmas!

I love the holiday colors in this dish! It’s full of texture and rich flavors. It’s perfect for a Christmas morning brunch. And if you make it I will personally come over and congratulate you on being an awesome person and I will drink three mimosas with you! Oh darn it! I can’t right now. Maybe next year!


Please Santa! Bring me a doll without a penis!

I feel the need to write again bubbling up inside me like a hot holiday fruit crisp. And a coat spinning in the dryer is keeping me awake anyway…

Yesterday, I made the trek out to Target. On the way, I prepared myself for battle. So thankful I found a parking space…I kept saying to myself, “If you are a smart lady you will turn back now!” But for the sake of my daughter’s toy filled Christmas, I kept pressing. Fearful of what I might find inside I continued to grab a cart. I imagined people fighting over the last Thomas the Train toy engine. “A grandma of four roundhouses an expectant mom for the last Little People princess castle!” Will that mom be me? Seal team six Christmas toy mission begins!

Hundreds of people scurry through Target to find toys and other useless CRAP for their loved ones. (I especially love all the dollar stuff right by the door. It’s stuff no one needs. No one is going to squeal with glee they got frosted animal crackers or a pen with five colors of ink! But, I still must dig!)

I think, “what does my two year old really want this year?” I have no idea! Getting inside the mind of a two year old for me is like trying to build a jet engine with toothpicks. I have a sudden flash back to my childhood holidays. I think of toys I loved and toys I HATED. One toy I hated the most!

I must have been ten or so when grandma gifted me one of those QVC “life like” newborn baby dolls. Some little girls love baby dolls! Maybe most little girls love dolls and dream about being little mommies. Not me. I guess I’ve always been a weirdo in the baby doll department. But, this particular baby doll didn’t help my lack luster for dolls! It was a male infant doll with an anatomically correct pissing penis. How is a ten year old girl supposed to relate or feel comfortable with a penis? I had no idea what those parts even looked like before that moment! “And it really wets! Just like a real baby!” Oh goody, I’m ten and I suddenly have a newborn to care for, and it really pees. Oh yum! Baby pee. My anxiety for babies went through the roof! It’s no wonder I’m just now having kids into my thirties!

Dodging the holiday crowd through the store, I finally reach the toy section. Thinking of my unlucky Christmas past and out of desperation I wonder, “Okay, what toy isn’t going to fuck up my kid into her thirties?” And then I see it! It was like a soft glow of pink light. Barbie!

Every little girl loves Barbie! Or is she symbolic for future body dysmorphic disorder, lipo, and breast implants? Barbie is also very young to be going on dates with Ken! And I don’t approve! But If I don’t break my daughter of Thomas the Train will she become a lesbian train conductor? Holiday shopping is so stressful!

I decided on a couple of Barbies. I did say no to Ken. I’m not ready to introduce my daughter to Ken. When it’s the right time she can have a Ken doll. At least Ken doesn’t have defined male “junk” that I will somehow have to explain to my daughter at an age WAY too early. Thanks Ken for being a gentleman and keeping your privates in an vague flesh colored bulge unlike weird urinating baby!

Maybe I’m just more comfortable with a world of pink, fast cars, mansions, and endless accessories. After all, Barbie isn’t the “bubble headed” blonde she was in the 1980’s. She is now a doctor, a veterinarian, and even an astronaut! I still had to rummage through a pile of “skank” night club Barbies to find the educated ones. I landed on Barbie “the artist.” She has a neatly groomed pompadour ponytail and comes with a cute apron and a palate of color. Surely she’s a university art major! She’s very cute. But, please Ava no smoking in late night coffee shops sipping lattes with bearded and tattooed boys. Mommy’s heart can’t take it! Lol


Best Christmas gifts list of all time ever.

Happy Holidays! I hope all of your Christmas dreams come true and you get one of these this year…

That’s right folks it’s a Twinkie maker! And you thought there was nothing more useless than the waffle iron you got last year! In case there is ever a shit storm and Hostess goes out of business you can make your own Twinkies! Oh wait….that happened.

(This is where I’m breaking one of my rules. I vowed to never blog about my family! But when Hostess met its recent doom and gloom my sister as a special treat to her one year old niece, bought a box of the newly expired company’s Twinkies. She thought since these Twinkies were the last on planet earth and never to return they were the ultimate gift! After all, how can you grow up in a world without Twinkies? They never expire anyway! Which leads me to tell you that upon finding the gifted Twinkie in its special place a year later I noticed it HAD been expired by eleven years! Still perfectly preserved in the package, I examined it. No mold…no signs of decay. I immediately called my sister.

Yes! She had eaten one! Mourning the last Twinkies on the globe my sister and her husband, not noticing the date, toasted Twinkies and gobbled every hydrogenated speck! Ha!!!!! You don’t believe me? Curious what an eleven year old Twinkie looks like? Here it is…

Intact and totally mummified there is the Twinkie.

It is pretty awesome how our whole country freaked when hostess took a tumble. All the fatties…(Oh sorry! I mean disabled people), rushed their motorized wheelchairs in packs like Harley’s riders through Wal-mart to get the last of the goods. Isn’t it interesting that the same group can’t make it to work or walk from a parking space a little further, but ice, snow, and apocalyptic hellfire aren’t going to keep them from getting a Hostess Ding dong? Well, I feel the same way!)

Wow! What a side story!

Other gifts on my crap list include but are not limited to…socks, underwear, and key chains. Also, if you are giving away anything with your company’s logo you are a cheap ass…unless you own Apple. Your loved ones will enjoy any thing with a clown on it. Also, here are a few more Christmas gift treasures…

Popular when I was a kid, somehow these “chia guys” are STILL around. And if you get me one of these I will take it back for the five bucks of CVS store credit.

This may be the best gift of all time. “Hey it’s Antarctica out here, but I still need my damn cigarette!” (I’m picking on everyone today.)

Every toddler needs one of these! “Start em off right!” The only thing better would be a “Little Tikes carnival worker kit.” It would include a rusted marijuana pipe and some prophylactic penicillin.

This year lets just do what we did last year. Let’s talk of going on that winter wonderland trip to Aspen. But, let’s just trade Starbucks gift cards instead!