January 31

Dear Time,

You seem to be flying by so quickly.

Have you ever met the word linger?

Just yesterday it was Christmas.

What is up with that?

Since we found out this past week that Superman is dealing with high cholesterol, I have been looking for bread recipes that will be healthier for him, but taste like actual bread and not a slice of cardboard.

The first place I always look for bread recipes is King Arthur Flour.  If ever I was to move to Vermont, I’d work there.    They have the best bread recipes I have ever tasted.  Bread, cookies, baked goods.

Yep.   I’m there!

So, over the www dot  river and through the Internet woods to King Arthur’s house I went, and  found all kinds of recipes.

All kinds of ones that I wanted to try but none of them had exactly what Superman  needed except one.

Honey Wheat Rolls.

Knowing that any roll recipe can be made into bread, I plopped all the ingredients into my bread machine and let it work its magic.

I like plopping.

When it beeped, I plopped it into my greased pan, let it rise, baked it for 15 minutes @ 350º, tented it because it was already a gorgeous color, and baked it for another 15-20 minutes.

Et voila.   Honey Wheat bread.

I love this bread, but more importantly, Superman loves this bread.

Whoo Hooo for King Arthur.


Honey Wheat Rolls

* 1 packet “highly active” active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
* 1 cup lukewarm water
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 1 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 1 ½ cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
* 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk

If you’re using active dry or “highly active” yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

Combine the dissolved yeast with the remainder of the water and the rest of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a smooth dough.  If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 5 to 7 minutes at second speed. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, till it’s quite puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy. While the dough is rising, lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ round cake pans.  Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a rough ball by pulling the dough into a very small knot at the bottom (think of a balloon with its opening knotted), then rolling it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball.  Place the rolls in the 9″ x 13″ pan, or put eight rolls in each of the round cake pans, spacing them evenly; they won’t touch one another.  Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They’ll become very puffy, and will reach out and touch one another. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, and tent them loosely with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until they’re mahogany-brown on top, but lighter colored on the sides, an additional 10 to 13 minutes.  Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. They’ll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

January 30

It’s Friday, Internet, and I am  nosy.

The Superbowl is fast approaching, and since Superman is a die hard Steelers fan, we  will be watching.

Do you watch the Superbowl?

Who are you rooting for?

Do you make all sorts of munchies?

What do you make, because Internet, I am struggling in this department.

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January 29

So, we have been having some weather here in Pothole, Ohio.

Icy weather.

I went outside twice yesterday.

Once to grab these shots, and the second time to push Superman out of his parking spot.

In other news, Chocolatechic is thinking about joining Twitter.

Do you think she should?

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January 28

For the last 6 months or so, Superman has been dealing with some pretty awful headaches.

The real ones, not me.

After about 3 months of it, I sweetly encouraged him to go see the Doc.

After about a month of sweetness, moving into polite suggestions, moving into plain out and out demanding he see the doc, I just made an appointment, and forced him to go.

Apparently all men hate going to the doctor, including Superman.

Doc prescribed him some meds.

Didn’t work.

A month later, he went back for a ‘lets see how that medicine worked for you, now fork over your checkbook’ visit.

Doc prescribed something else.

Didn’t work.

A month later, he went back for a ‘lets see how that medicine worked for you, your checkbook is empty, now hand over a kidney’ visit.

Only this time, I was fed up with the poor man being in pain,  tired of being sweet and polite, I went straight to demanding.

I said, “Tell Doc to do blood work.”

So, Superman being the sweetheart that he is, politely asked for blood work.

I was afraid that he had diabetes.

Nope.

He has high cholesterol.

My fried chicken, meat and potatoes lovin’ Superman has met his Kryptonite.

I will fight this Kryptonite tooth and nail for him.

I will fight it with steamed fish, boneless skinless chicken breast, and fresh veggies.

blech!

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January 27

I have always always thought that I was a wimp when it came to eating spicy foods.

I eat mild salsa, and green chilies are about as high a heat as I can stand.

Other foods like curry, ginger, clove and chai are just to strong for me.

Chefboy was reading something interesting to me from his college text book the other day.

It says, “some people detect a greater degree of taste in foods than others.   Called “supertasters” these people may have more taste buds than average.   In additon to detecting strongly bitter flavors where many people do not (for example in coffee, broccoli, grapefruit juice, artifical sweeteners).  Similarly, supertasters find the spicy heat generated by capsaicin to be more pronounced, sometimes unbearably so, than does the average person.”

That’s me.

Told you I was a princess!

So I am not a wimp, I’m just sensitive.

My delicate sensitivities caused me to lesson the amount of ginger and clove in the Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread  recipe that Sherry of Sherry Trifle picked for today’s TWD.

I  didn’t think that all that ginger mixed with my beloved chocolate would taste good, but Internet, I was oh. so. wrong.

This cake bread is fabulous.    I  thickened the icing a bit more than called for.   If I’m gonna have icing, I’m gonna have icing not a glaze, and I didn’t use coffee in the icing either.   I’m not a coffee person, so  I used heavy cream instead.

Sherry has the recipe on her blog.   Go check it out, and make some for yourself.

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January 26

My dad comes from a long line of frugal farmers.

Daddy has always had a garden of some sort, and planting  is just part of my DNA.

So when the seed catalogs begin to arrive, and they already have… yippee!!!, I begin to be very excited.

I sit and peruse them till the pages are worn.

I make list after list, refining it as I go, making sure that I have just the right plants for the upcoming year.

I revel in the smell of spring when the sun begins to warm the earth, and I can always be found sitting outside just breathing in the delicious smell of wet warm dirt.

I don’t know much about the long line of my mother’s people, but I suspect that they were some sort of royalty.

I like my jewelry, and I only wear the real thing.

I like to be waited on. hand. and. foot.

I’d much prefer others to cook for me.

Imported chocolate is the best.

I don’t like to get dirty, I wear pink all the time, and I do not like to sweat.

I am a princess!

These things totally conflict with the extremely frugal farmer in me.

So, sometime around the first of May, you will find me outside trying to plant things, without touching the dirt, because ewwwwwww  dirt is dirty, and I don’t want it under my fingernails.

Along with a cook, and a maid, I think I need to hire a gardener.

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January 25

While I have been waiting for Global Warming to make an appearance, I finished the boys sock, and started the second one.

I also began a new project.   A pair of hot pink  socks for myself.

Helllooooooo Global Warming!   The socks…they are wool, because it is still cold!

Please do something about this.

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January 24

Growing up, my mother tried desperately to instill the love of music to us girls.

She sang for us at every opportunity.

She encouraged us to sing in choirs.

She and dad even paid for piano lessons for 4 years for Sister and me, and while I know how to read music, can do scales in my sleep, and even play the piano, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Fortunately for the parents, it was Sister’s cup of tea and it paid off in spades.

Not only can Sister play the piano, she plays the violin.

And the guitar.

All that practicing….way to much work for me.

Not only did Sister get the music gene, she passed it to her kiddos.

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Sister your my hero.

If you have  about 10 more children and you can be the Von Trapp family players.

I’ll be your manager.

You can pay me in chocolate, Nikon lenses and hot pink yarn.

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February 23

It’s Friday, Interent, and I am nosy.

I was informed this morning that today is ‘measure your feet day’.

Who knew?

So….

Do you know how long your feet are?

10 inches

What size shoe do you wear?

10W ~~thanks  Chefboy

What is your favorite shoe to wear?

I don’t like to wear shoes.   They make my feet all claustrophobic, but if I have to wear shoes, I’d choose my pink well broken in New Balance tennis shoes.

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January 22

To say that I have a sweet tooth would be like saying Texas kinda likes it’s Barbeque.

Growing up, we rarely got cake, cookies or the like.

Mom was kinda a health nut.

She tried so hard to make us healthy.

And since I moved out over 20 years ago, I have more than made up for it.

I try to be good and healthy, but something in me just fights me tooth and nail.

Something like these Easy Sticky Buns that Melissa of Made by Melissa picked out for us BB’s to make, that I just. don’t. have the energy to fight against.

Just try to say no to these sweet little things.

I double dog dare ya!

If you can, you are a bigger person than I, because I ate 4 of them.

Four.

Want to say yes!  Yes! YES!!! to your sweet tooth, and bury that health nut in the back yard?

Then get out your shovel and make these sticky buns.

You’ll have them in no time at all, with minimal effort.

You don’t even have to get out the mixer if you don’t want to.

Easy Sticky Buns

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins yucky raisins/chocolate chips/cinnamon chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (if your butter is softened, then you can  just used a wooden spoon.   I used my hand mixer) combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins I used cinnamon chips. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.

Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.

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January 20

You know that saying “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”?

That is really just a polite way of saying…

“Dude!  Quit your whining.   Slap a smile on your face, suck it up and deal with it”.

I had such high hopes for this cake Berry Surprise Cake that Mary Ann of Meet me in the Kitchen chose for today’s TWD.

And they fell flat.

A little less than an inch flat.

So I slapped a smile on my face.

Cut the cake into cubes.

Doused them in syrup.

Dumped some toffee bits into the filling, because Internet, no amount of smile slapping, sucking it up, or  dealing with it is going to induce me to pay almost $4 a pound for out of season berries.

And made a Berry Toffee Surprise Cake Parfait.

This is delicious.   It is light and not sweet like most desserts, and this would be fabulous with strawberries on a hot summer day.

I think I will retry then.

I think lemons are in season then too.

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January 19

One of the first couple dates that Superman and I had, he took me air quotes dancing.

And when he said dancing, what he meant by that was sitting at the table listening to the music, staring at me, telling me how beautiful he thought I was.

Me?

I wanted to dance.

I even asked him to dance with me, it was then that he told me that he couldn’t.

Alrightythen.

I was remembering this a couple of months ago, when Superman came home from work and proceeded to tell me that he had signed up to be a ‘Bee Boy’ for the company  he works for.

What is a Bee Boy?

A Bee Boy is a man who dresses in a bee costume, and dances on stage holding the companies products.

Dances, Internet.

Dances and shakes his little stinger.

I laughed hysterically.

If  Superman can get up and dance in front of thousands of women,  then he is taking me dancing again, and this time there will be no sitting at the table staring at me.

He will be out on the floor, shaking his stinger.

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January 18

Even though the – 15º weather outside is frightful, inside has been delightful.

I have kept myself busy knitting mittens for the girl.

Mittens for myself.

And have started a sock for the boy.

Sister, I have your socks taken apart, and will begin them again….sometime….soonish…

Remember, I’m a slacker.

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January 17

Because I am absolutely sick of the cold.

Yes, dad, I’m whining.

It is -15º here today.

Yes,  still whining.

Because I haven’t  been out of the house in days.

whining…

Because all I have been doing is laundry, school and knitting.

more whining

And because I miss my sister,

blah…blah…blah…

I thought I’d show you some pictures I took when Sister, her hubs, Superman and I when out for some ‘couple’ time.

Please note that the only time we were ‘coupled’ was when we were in the vehicle.

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January 16

Internet, I haven’t left the house in days.

Days… Internet, and I think I am coming down with Cabin Fever.

Hellloooooo!   Global Warming!  You could make an appearance any time.

It is -10º here this morning.

Global Warming…are you listening???

I thought not.

It’s Friday, Internet and I am nosy.

I have been craving pizza, but all I have in the house is a .89 cardboard frozen thing from Aldi.

I want delivery pizza.  Specifically a pizza with the works from Papa Johns and some bread sticks.

What kind of delivery pizza is your favorite? aaaannnnnd  what kind of toppings do you like on your pizza?

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January 14

Tuesdays are my favorite day of the week.

I know, Sunday should be, but it isn’t.

On Tuesdays, my friend comes over for supper and then we play games.

It is so great to have fun and fellowship.

Last night she tested our friendship.

About 20 minutes after she left she called me.

Friend:  Hi hon.   It’s me.

CC:  Hi Sweetie, watcha’ need.

Friend:  AJ needs help with his math.

CC:   Sure.

Friend:   His problem is huge line, parenthesis ‘a’ squared plus ‘b’, another parenthesis plus…blah, blah, blah, blah

CC:   *ears hurting* Stop!  Don’t say another word…your confusing me.

Friend:  I have chocolate cake over here.

CC:  I’m on my way.

So I left around 8:15.

Around 10:30 I made it home.

I helped the poor boy, but for the record…

I can be bought with chocolate and Algebra is the devils handiwork.

Amen.

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January 13

Growing up, ma always set a pretty table.

There was always a centerpiece, and many times  a table cloth and candles burning.

Food was always put into pretty dishes, not pots and pans, and she would  always made sure that our meals were healthful.

There was always something on the supper table from every food group.

Meat.

Vegetables.~~the healthy ones like salad, broccoli and cauliflower,  or green beans, and every so often the corn and potatoes I craved.

Fruit.

And sometimes cottage cheese.

She would sprinkle the cottage cheese with paprika to make it look pretty, and I would always take some.

I took it not because I wanted it but because I felt badly that she worked so hard to make it pretty and no one else took any.

I didn’t want her to think that no one cared that she worked so hard for us.

Me?

I didn’t seem to inherit that gene.

I’m a slacker.

I tend toward one dish meals.

Dump it all into one pot and call it good.

That’s what I did with today’s TWD recipe.

I made a ‘throw together’ cheesy chili mac and topped it with the  Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins that Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake picked.

This recipe is fabulous.

Absolutely fabulous.

Go check out Rebecca’s blog and grab the recipe.

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