Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blueberry Cream Scones (or Let Them Eat Blueberries)

As previously discussed; blueberries, it's time to eat them.

I happen to be located near enough to Leduc Blueberries to get fresh blueberries every summer.  I mean, everyone can probably get blueberries from the grocery store, but they are so much better when you can get them right from the source.  I usually end up with a 5 pound box, and  I eat them fresh for as long as I can, but I always have to freeze some, because my husband, of course, doesn't really care for them.  Not even in pancakes.  Muffins only, but how many muffins is one girl expected to make?  So today's project, in an effort to use up last summer's blueberries, is blueberry scones.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Summertime (and the living's easy)

It's summertime.

I live in Michigan.

It's time to eat some blueberries, cherries and strawberries.

It's time to go find a roadside stand and get your hands on some peaches and sweet corn.

It's time to play outside.

Fire up the grill (this is how you get the man in your life to make dinner),

Plant some flowers (and then worry about them every time it storms),

Spend time in the hammock (I mean to read, but I always fall asleep),

Go swimming (in a Great Lake, if you can manage it).

Enjoy the days when the humidity is low and the temperature is ideal.  Get outside and feel the sun on your face.  Dig in the dirt and watch things grow because of your hard work.  Go barefoot.  Go geocaching.  Take pictures, make memories.  Make sun tea.  Ride a bicycle.

On the high humidity days, put on your skimpiest outfit, lay in front of a fan and mist yourself with a spray bottle.  Put ice cubes in your coffee.  Play in the sprinkler.  Eat ice cream. Learn to make ice cream.
Make friends with the neighbor's dog, because if he's anything like my neighbor's dog Frank, he's coming over, and he'll be staying as long as he likes, thank you very much.

Michigan is happier in the summer and so am I.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Monkey Bread

Have you ever had monkey bread?

It's usually made with canned biscuit dough, butter, and cinnamon sugar.

And it is delicious.
Bonus points if you make your own biscuit dough.  I did not.  I did change things up a little bit and started with prepared sweet roll dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon sugar, and I ended with something amazing.  And when you have a sweet, ooey, gooey, cream cheesy breakfast-ish pastry, what do you do next? 
Top it with more cream cheese in the form of a glaze.  Yup, I went there. And you'll be happy I did.

I have to be honest with you - this recipe is an absurd amount of work.  Delicious? Yes.  But very tedious and labor intensive.  They will be amazing, and everyone you share them with will be really impressed by your level of dedication and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

It's my husband's birthday and I want to make him something special.  He's a sucker for a peanut butter cup.  Or a peanut butter sandwich.  Or a peanut butter based ice cream concoction.  The man is passionate about peanut butter, okay?

A birthday takeoff on a peanut butter cup...

Chocolate cupcake? 
Peanut butter buttercream? 
Excellent idea. 
Peanut butter cup centers? 
Well, now I feel like some sort of genius.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Maggie's Best Ever Brownies (so far)

Brownies.  Ooey, gooey, decadent and delicious, who doesn't love a good brownie?  A brownie is a little bit of chocolate heaven.   

It's too bad that the definition of what makes a "good" brownie varies depending on who you ask.  For me, it's dense, chewy, rich and chocolaty.  If you resemble that remark, please make these.

I began with a recipe from my mom for Erva's Best Ever Brownies, and I'll be honest, I don't remember who Erva is, and her Best Ever Brownies (while delicious) are too cakey for my taste.  Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society are Maggie's Best Ever Brownies.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I have a summer birthday so I never got to have a good party at school

Last weekend was my birthday, and the celebrations totally threw me off my new blog habit of baking on Saturdays. 

When I was in elementary school, my birthday was the last day of school (or the beginning of summer break), so it wasn't often that I got to bring in a birthday treat for the class.  AND, this was back in the good old '90s, when you still could bring in treats, could eat peanut butter for lunch, and still had a few years before you had to start learning Geometry. Truly a simpler time.

Now I work at a bank.

There are no summer vacations in banking.

And I still have to bring in my own birthday treats.  But now everyone is responsible enough to know if they're allergic to one of the ingredients and polite enough to only take one.  Most of the time.

For this birthday, the big 2-7, not a landmark by any stretch of the imagination, I took Friday AND Monday off work.  A use it or lose it vacation policy can be a huge motivator.

On Friday,  I went shopping with my mom.  She didn't know what to get me, so she just let me pick out some things for myself.  We went to a kitchen outlet (what?!), and, after much deliberation, chose several new kitchen utensils.

Two pairs of tongs with silicone grabbies.  (Is there a technical term for that?)

A set of green silicone spatulas.

A sifter.

I had an excellent night out on Friday with my husband and friends, and the next day, he showered me in even more gadgetry with... A GARLIC PRESS!
Also, Good Eats:  The Early Years, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls and It Looked Different on the Model.  Nerd girls get books, what can I say?

We also went to the zoo, which was excellent.  For your information, there were lots of couples sans children there to enjoy a day of exotic animals, so there's no need to feel awkward.

We paid $1 for a leaf of lettuce, and I waited patiently among the 5 year old kids to feed a giraffe. 
 We also saw this ostrich,
this intense tortoise,
this haughty llama, who would neither look at nor stand anywhere near us,
these zebras,
and this (fake) owl, among many other animals.
All in all, I had a very enjoyable birthday weekend.  Friends, family, and a trip to the zoo, what more could a girl ask for?

The bad news?  I still haven't taken a birthday treat to work, and people are starting to get upset.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

Ah, the weekend. 

Saturday morning is a time for rest, relaxation, and of course, delicious breakfast.  Of course it's nice to go out and have someone else cook breakfast for me; restaurants always have more choices than home, and the cooks are usually better at making pancakes than I am. 

But some Saturday mornings, I just don't have the gumption to make myself presentable and venture out in to the world.  Some Saturday mornings, I stay in my pajamas until afternoon, drink coffee until I get the shakes and can barely stay awake for more than a few hours at a time. 

For those (or any) Saturday mornings, I present chorizo and black bean breakfast burritos, inspired by my husband's constant requests for what he calls "Mexican Eggs", and my inability to eat scrambled eggs turned pink by all the chorizo's seasonings. 

They're delicious, but I can't get past the visual.  What's the solution?  Just wrap it in a tortilla.  And after all, what looks less appetizing that the insides of a burrito anyway?

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