Coffee Buttercream Icing and a lazy Saturday.

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

20131221-150422.jpg
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.

20131221-150724.jpg
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…

20131221-152108.jpg
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!

20131221-152634.jpg
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

20131221-154703.jpg
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…

20131221-155540.jpg
Pour instant coffee syrup into the butter/sugar mix and blend again with your hand mixer.

20131221-155812.jpg
This is your wonderful frosting! Yum!
Enjoy your holiday cooking and your lazy Saturday!

20131221-162325.jpg

Advertisements

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….

20131218-142008.jpg
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!

20131218-152912.jpg

Ride that sleigh Jesus!

I’ve decided today I don’t love being pregnant. I mean if you can get past the long stranger stares at your rhino belly and the multiple pregnancy symptoms such as constant cleavage sweat, leaky bladder, weird veins, and lastly my favorite…super sore pubic bone, then I guess it’s not bad. I think if I dropped a hundred dollar bill I would gladly watch it float away just so I wouldn’t have to bend over one more time to pick it up. (If you’ve ever been large and pregnant you know what I’m talking about.) Some women are great at this “growing babies” business. I don’t prefer it.

On another note, feeling the baby move is the coolest! And I love the flatulence. Some women don’t like all the extra gas pregnancy can bring. But, I could win any toot contest! And if you don’t love to “rip it” ….well, you are just lying! It is inconvenient around other people. However, I don’t mind trailing it through Wal-Mart. (Yes, that’s me.)

This holiday I keep thinking about all the things I would do if I wasn’t preggo. Next year, I will ice skate under the influence of some serious spiked nog. I imagine the blades of my skates aflame because I’m so light and fast! After, I will attend a Christmas vigil blitzed. And I will wear tight fitting tartans!! Beautiful holiday tartans! But for now I will enjoy the flatulence and my skin tag farm. In true Mama June style, (Honey Boo Boo’s mom), I will celebrate my pregnancy tonight with a tall glass of dairy and a can of pintos.

I made this advent calendar. I’m super stoked about it so I’m sharing with you this small tutorial. It’s modeled after a pottery barn one I saw but is no longer available for purchase.

20131207-221115.jpg

20131207-221222.jpg
You need:
Burlap 2yards
Burlap string
Wooden dowel 2ft
25 burlap drawstring bags
(Found in wedding section)
Iron on numbers (enough for 1-25)
All this is found at my favorite store,
Hobby Lobby.

20131207-221716.jpg
Iron on dates 1-25 on the bags.

20131207-221901.jpg
Measure your burlap next to the wooden dowel. You want to make a perfect square with the burlap. Cut two pieces. Lay print side to print side. Sew just like you are sewing a pillow case, but sew three sides together…leave one side open. Turn right side out.

20131207-222403.jpg
Iron. Fold unsewn side down and sew across making the place for the wooden dowel rod to slide through.

20131207-222906.jpg
Before placing rod, work string through the top with a large safety pin.

20131207-223220.jpg
Now slide rod through top. Take loose ends of burlap string and tie bow. This is where you will hang it to wall. Make it pretty. 🙂

20131207-223510.jpg
Place bags equally spaced. If you are a rockstar, pin the bags and sew on the burlap. If you are lazy and hate sewing burlap…hot glue bags to burlap. Make sure your gun is not a mini gun. You will be using lots of glue. Mini guns are too slow shooting out the amount of glue needed.

20131207-224313.jpg
Hang. Put toys in! Add sprigs of garland optional. Enjoy!!