You won’t believe your taste buds with this Bourbon Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast. Roasted bananas, creamy cheese, and cinnamon make a great way to start your weekend!
I’m really curious, but when did songs from the 90′s become OLDIES?! No. That’s not right. It’s just not right. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers start making their way onto the oldies station, something is very wrong in the universe. Any time any one references, “10 years ago”, I always think it’s still the early 2000′s and I am thinking back to the 90′s. Seriously, where is my head?
Whenever you ask me about the OLDIES, it should be stuff from the 50′s, not from the 90′s!! DJ Tanner, and scrunchies, with neon patterned sweaters and sayings like “What if?”, are not oldies!!
Huey Lewis and the News? Still, not the oldies – but getting older.
The Supremes? Classics – but that’s the oldies.
Elvis? Again, the OLDIES!
Red Hot Chili Peppers? Not Oldies.
Sublime? Definitely not oldies.
Chumbawumba? I listened to Tubthumping on repeat in 6th grade!! I’m not even 30 yet. Doesn’t something become Oldies once you pass the 30′s threshold? Even 35? Dang it modern radio – don’t make me feel older than is ever humanly necessary!
But this is still the same girl who jokes about not being old – but can’t make it past 9 pm on a Friday night and zonks out on the couch watching Gold Rush with her husband.
The same girl, who craves Cream of Wheat covered in cinnamon and raisins on frosty days.
And the same girl who yells and shakes her fist at youths blasting their car radios that reverberate the windows in my car…
And the same girl who eats on three hour schedule, and does dinner by five.
So…maybe I am older than I think.
But I still maintain that the Red Hot Chili Peppers – ARE NOT OLDIES!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!! If you’re not interested in the heart shaped box of chocolates this year – even your hunny could make these in a cinch!! And these are the best means of portion control I can think of. Two bite ice cream sandwiches – balancing the best of both worlds – decadence and self-control. It’s like a Valentine’s public service. You’re welcome? I’m trying to help. But it’s not really, is it?
With a week full of coconut, caramel and chocolate – I went right for the obvious choice of ice cream filling – coconut ice cream. But after yesterday’s marathon 8 hour safety training course at work, I doubled down on the coffee and started thinking that coffee ice cream would be ah-maze balls in these two bite ice cream sandwiches.
And considering there are four more hours ahead of me today – on a Friday no less – I’m thinking that these would be the best way to cap off a Friday at work. Don’t you agree? Especially when one mini scoop of ice cream between two cookies takes a whopping 30 seconds to put together, you can have these in your face hole right after you drop your keys on the counter and head straight for the freezer.
Or, since it’s Friday – that means it’s time to crack a beer.
*GASP* Beer ice cream between Samoas.
New mission, should you choose to accept it – obtain all the ice creams and a box of Samoas and chow down, son. Chow. Down.
When it comes to me and ooey, gooey, chocolately, carby delicious treats, I will find any justification I can for wolfing it down. (She says as picks away at a Zucchini Cranberry muffin…) This morning, case in point, I woke up extra early and took Huck on a nice walk before work. So, in my head a 25 minute walk justifies a 400 calorie muffin. Like I said, the champ of justifications. Then there are the times that treats need no justification.
But really, I just use anything to justify doing something else. And I’m not talking anything bad – really, I’m too boring to be bad. I work full time, blog full time, and then have a house to attempt to keep. So I will gladly use that as a justification for wearing yoga pants all weekend long, and not washing my hair.
Ben is a really lucky man, can’t you tell?
Let’s use Target for instance – by now I should really know that even though I only have one thing on my Target list, ONE, I should really just plan on spending no less than $50 in there. The dollar bins at the front of the store are my downfall, along with anything in their travel size toilettre section. I can’t tell you how many half used packs of eye makeup remover wipes cloths, or different mini bottles of dry shampoo I have from there. They’re taking up half the space under the sink in our bathroom. It’s a sicknes.
My justification for Girl Scout cookies, particularly Samoa – well, that one is where the wheels really fall off the wagon. I have absolutely no self control and will either use every justification under the sun to buy those cute little Girl Scouts out of their stock of Samoas, and donate a box or two to Operation Cookie Drop (of course), and then immediately crap open a box in my car to hold myself over for that long five minute slog from the store to home. Like I said, justification.
But my love of the Girl Scouts, goes beyond their cookies. I grew up participating in Girl Scouts all the way through middle school and loved the adventures, skills and time to being a kid. So many valuable lessons were learned and memories were made that I treasure to this day.
To help promote this cause and organization I believe in, I’m participating again this year in the Girl Scout Cookie Contest and this year’s recipe are these Samoas No Bake Cheesecakes. Last year I came in Second with my Samoas Brownie Parfaits – but this year – I’m aiming to bring it home!! From February 28-March voting will open and I hope that you will give these Samoas No-Bake Cheesecakes some love. Of course – winning means I’ll get to whip these up special, live on TV!
These Samoas Cookies and Cream Coconut Milkshakes are simple to make, full of your favorite Girl Scout Cookie flavors and perfect for spring and Girl Scout Cookie season. Even try it with a shot of Malibu Rum for a boozy milkshake, too!
Is it weird to crave ice cream in the middle of winter? I’m asking for a friend. Because whenever it’s cold enough to be bundled up like Randy from a Christmas Story, so layered that she can’t put her arms down, she inevitably also wants ice cream. In the spirit of dropping the last veil, that friend is really me. Shocker, right?
This ice-cream-when-it’s-frigid problem started young and it never let up, and continues to be apart of my winter ritual to this day. And it’s not just ice cream that I crave, but anything cold. Like milkshakes. And ice cream sandwiches *hint*.
Seattle just went through its first winter storm of the season, I know – where the heck have WE been?! We got a couple of inches of snow and it finally felt like a real winter. I love the snow. I keep staring at the news, envious of my Polar Vortex friends that they have snow and we don’t. But then I remember that Seattle has a tendancy to collapse down around itself when it does snow.
There is a local insurance commercial that loves poking fun at us PNW’ers and illustrated it perfectly with it’s Northwest Profile – First Snow Fall Freak Out Lady., which basically sums up all of Seattle when we even hear that snow is in the forecast. Somehow the magnitudes of rain we get in Seattle doesn’t phase us – but the snow – LOOK OUT!!
We are a town of enigmas. And enigmas with all wheel drive cars and Starbucks in our hands. Duh.
So while everyone is out trying to scrounge up the last supplies for this Polar Vortex, or in our case here in Seattle, three inches of snow that melted the next day and is now three days of straight train, I’m going to sit back, leave my all wheel drive car in the car port, sit by my fire with my mutt and in my yoga pants and drink a milkshake. Because that’s what rational people do in the middle of winter.
Learn to make your own perfect salted caramel sauce for topping on ice cream, covering cakes or just eating with a spoon. And enter to be apart of this month’s #HowToYOUsDay for $50 to Williams Sonoma!
Things that are made for each other.
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie marathons and Yoga Pants.
Huck and Peanut Butter.
And spoons dipped in caramel.
Are we seeing a trend here?
After last months raving success of #HowToYOUsDay, we’re playing with sugar, simmered into submission and boiled until it’s golden brown and well, carameled. Have you ever tried to make your own caramel before? You will never buy the jarred stuff again! It’s a total ice cream topping game changer, a sneak-into-the-fridge-at-midnight sin maker. And you can do this all yourself!
Like last month’s inaugural #HowToYOUsDay, here is the how to make your own Salted Caramel Sauce. All you have to do is follow these steps, make it your self, snap a photo and tag me in it via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtag #HowToYOUsDay to enter to win. If you want more details on #HowToYOUsDay find them all HERE!
This month, enter to win a $50 gift card toWilliams Sonoma to outfit yourself with a new whisk, some baking mixes, or pitch in towards that new mini-food processor you’ve had your eye on but didn’t want to splurge on until the time was right.
Start – Gather 1 cup Sugar, ½ cup water, ¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 tsp Vanilla and ⅛-¼ teaspoon of salt. Have all the ingredients pre-measured and within arms reach while making caramel.
Step 1 – In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, whisk together 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water.
Step 2 – Cover and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil for about 5-8 minutes until the mixture starts to turn a golden brown. The mix will be about 300 degrees, so please BE CAREFUL! Once it starts to turn amber, the next steps will happen quickly…
Step 3 – Have a whisk ready, and slowly stream in the heavy whipping cream. The mixture will foam very rapidly, so begin whisking immediately and continually as you pour the cream in.
Step 4 – Remove the caramel from the heat and continue to stir.
Step 5 – Add in the salt and whisk in to combine.
Step 6 – Allow the caramel to cool completely before serving.
Once it cools, you will have perfectly delicious salted caramel for all of your spoon dipping and devouring needs.
Need a few more ideas for your new salted caramel – besides eating it with a spoon? Try some of these below!
These Samoas Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream will make Girl Scout Cookie time your favorite time of year! The BEST chocolate cupcakes under the sun with the BEST Coconut butter cream known to man!
I fall into a very specific category of TV and movie watcher. Somewhere on the interwebs “they”, whom ever “they” are, described people who binge watch entire seasons of TV shows within days, or repeatedly. And I am one of them. The binge watchers, not the judgers.
But being the uber fantastic, multi-talented person I am currently binging on Three TV shows. Breaking Bad – because Ben said I had to. The Tudors – I adore Natalie Dormer and I’ve been in heart with Henry Cavill since like, before anyone else ever knew him. And Rookie Blue – the summer season rookie cop TV show that I have yet to meet another soul who watches it, too – but I can’t get enough of it.
It’s my life if I were a single 20-something rookie cop from Toronto in a love triangle with her older former training officer and now detective, and her new partner, a 20something war vet who came back to his home town to protect it. *Swoon*. I know if this show were my life I’d pick the war vet. He really is the sweetest. And any guy that says he’ll wait for you no matter how long it takes, is always the one you pick in the end. Dammit McNally, pick Nick – Swarek had his chances. Yes, multiples!! Sorry, I got a little a head of myself.
The binging one things doesn’t limit itself to tv shows either. Who isn’t a sucker for the coconut, caramel, chocolate combo? There really isn’t anything better. So this week is a week full our favorite combo – capped off with Samoa cookies! We wait all year for those bright eyed little Girl Scouts to park outside our local grocery stores and ask us with giant smiles if we would “like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies today”. Then I throw all my money at them, walk off with more boxes than any one person needs and shame eats them right out of the box before I have even left the grocery store parking lot. Because that’s what champions do.
This year I actually managed to do things with them! Yay, me! This is like self control or something. It’s such a foreign feeling.
You will fall head over heels for these cupcakes. I used my absolute most favorite chocolate cupcake recipe from ManicMother, and the Coconut Buttercream recipe from my local cupcake institution Trophy Cupcakes for this, all drizzled with homemade Caramel sauce. This is indeed sin in a paper wrapper.
And be sure to keep up to date on ALL week’s festivities, especially tomorrow’s because it’s our second #HowToYOUsDay! This month you can make your own homemade caramel sauce and win $50 to Williams Sonoma!
These Thai Beef Nachos have all the spiciness you love of Thai food and drizzled with peanut sauce and lime juice for extra flair.
Periodically I go through phases of “nesting”, that inevitably lead me to either A) cleaning the entire apartment. B) House hunting on Zillow (The Zillow app is the worst thing ever – it facilitates to much of this!) C) dreaming up floor plans and building my own house with Ben the Builder. Lately my pie in the sky “build my own house” idea has been hanging on Tiny Houses.
I got so far into this tiny house idea, I even made a PinterestBoard on it. That’s how I know I’ve gone ’round the bend.
Then I think, Really? Two people, one labradork in a 200 square foot TINY HOUSE? We have a one bedroom apartment that is 600 square feet and most days I consider this place too small. Where is my head at?
It only gets made worse when I realize that I also extra hormonal right now, and nesty. When the images in my head started revolving around time lines, moving back to Eastern Washington, moving back to Ben’s family farm and plopping a 200 square foot tiny house out onto the middle of the property surrounded by some trees, I thought, “yeah, maybe you should stop thinking about this… it’s gonna suck when you realize it’s not gonna happen”.
But then I went on step further and started thinking about babies. Could we raise a baby in a tiny house? For the first year at least? They don’t take up much space. But where would the baby sleep? In the loft with us? How would I get a baby up a ladder?
I’m sure there is totally some way I could rig up a pulley system and put the baby in a carseat, attach it to the pulley and hoist the baby to the loft!! Brilliant! No, wait. That’d probably get CPS called on me. Crap.
And all of that was in the span of 30-seconds. This is how my mind works people. Be afraid.
Then I put the idea to rest, kept it to myself, told myself to “Never mention babies and pulley systems to anyone. Ever”, and let it rest for a few days.
Proscuitto and Pear Pizza with honey dijon sauce, caramelized onion and a rosemary olive oil pizza dough that is crispy and packed with flavor.
So, remember that day that I told you about the near throw down in the Cleaver household over the buying of two pizzas? How one of us, *cough* Ben, has to have a pizza with ALLL the varieties of things that had a mother on it, and how the other of us, moi, goes for greenery and fruits on hers…. Well, I did it again and laid down the pizza LAW. Booyah.
Well, I didn’t exactly lay down the law (because I’m a wuss) but I gave it my best shot combining something that had a mother, and that was aged to perfection and wonderfully salty, fried and crispy, alongside something that was seasonal, light and that grew on a tree. Match made in pizza crusted heaven!!
Did I mention that it was also topped with caramelized onions, honey dijon sauce and gorgonzola cheese? Cause there’s that, too.
Are you feeling like a rebel yet? Come to the dark side – it’s so delicious.
Join the rest of these pizza week shenanigans with some truly amazing carb crusted creations from my favorite gals.
These 20-minute cinnamon sugar twists with cream cheese dipping sauce are crispy, crunchy and perfect for entertaining or a quick breakfast.
What a game! I’m still recovering – mostly from the shock of it all. And the food hangover. Having to be up for work at 4:15 am means you don’t get to party like the good old days. But after last night, I really wish I’d had a chance to celebrate a little more. Seattle is absolutely going crazy over this Super Bowl win. The 12th Man, the official fan base of the Seahawks, is losing their minds.
But it kinda got me thinking, I love the game, I love the crowd, and the fan base. With the absolutely astronomical number of new jerseys, baseball hats, car-window flags, sweatshirts and all of that stuff being bought to be part of the 12th Man, that money could have been so much better spent in the community. I know, it’s my bleeding heart coming out, but seriously people.
Every Tuesday Russell Wilson and his wife volunteer at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. And he’s not the only Hawk doing some good, Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch do, too! If every 12th Man would have directed one of their T-shirt sales to one of the player’s charities – that money could have truly done some good.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the Seahawks pride absolutely flowing through every vein of Seattle, and the blue and green painting the Space Needle and The Empire State Building – but I’m hoping that everyone soon remembers that so much good can come from this publicity and I hope that we can do some real good.
Consider donating to them instead. You can still show team spirit – and have a lasting impact for years to come.
To show your true team spirit – Below are links to several players and organizations that the teams and player’s support in their community. Donate $30 – or the cost of ONE officially licensed team shirt – and you can make EPIC change and still support your team! Go Hawks! And Go Broncs!
I’ve been on a serious food binge right now. It’s on Thai food. One Wednesday I was telling you about Roasted Southwest Veggie Dip and the routine date nights Ben and I have that usually ends up at one of three venues, home, with pizza or at a burger joint. On one of the rare occasions that we dinned somewhere other than those three, we got Thai and came home to binge on the last season of The Office that Ben still hadn’t seen! As the guy who forced me to watch The Office against my will when we started dating, I was the one who watched it through ‘til the end – crying blubbery ridiculous tears at the finale, no less. I mean Jim and Pam, c’mon – truest of the true love.
But as much crap as I give Ben about the three places we end up on date nights – I’m equally as guilty of ordering the same thing at every restaurant I go to.
Red Robin? Bonzai Burger, with a cup of Buzz sauce, a cup of ranch, and an empty cup to mix them on the side.
Any Pizza Joint Ever? Probably a Hawaiian or something else with fruit on it. I’m a sweet and savory girl, what can I say.
Thai Food – Red Chicken Curry, 3 stars, with Pad Thai on the side and completely saturated with lime juice.
I’m a perfect model of predictability even though I try not to be.
But I’m switching it up slighty – ever so slightly. All in the name of being healthier in the new year, I’m trying to add even more veggies to my daily routine and finding ways to cook them all quickly is key. These spaghetti squashes also help quell the carb-cravings that I have for pasta. Oh Em Gee, how much I love pasta.
So this is the best of both worlds, spicy Thai red curry with chicken and extra veggies. And this lasts for DAYS, really! I took it to lunch for three straight days. Best of all, it tastes better as leftovers. I swear half the things you eat are always better as leftovers. This is one of them!
Give it a try – you will love it. I guarantee it!!
Welcome to Country Cleaver, where country comfort and convenient cooking come together. Follow my adventures of self-reliant country cooking and baking from scratch with a little life mixed in for kicks! ...more