Put me in Bubble Wrap, Please

Just put me in bubble wrap, please. Seriously… My middle name should be Grace because I’m as “graceful” as they come. My dad likes to tease me that I took all those years of ballet lessons and am as clumsy as they come. I guess if the shoe fits, lace that puppy up and wear it.

My aunt and uncle have a hot tub and Abug was begging to get in it since she couldn’t get in their swimming pool. Way to cold for the pool. So Saturday evening we all got in the hot tub with her. At about 20 minutes, we sent the girls in to shower/get dressed in jammies. Hubby and I decided I’d give Tbug about 10 minutes and then I’d go in. He’d give me about 5 and he’d shortly follow.

At about 10 minutes I went to get out of the hot tub. That was my first mistake. AC has a 2 step stool to get in and out of the hot tub with. I stepped on the first step, stepped on the second step, put my foot on the concrete and that was my second mistake. I felt the puddle of water on the concrete and thought dang, it’s a little slick. Then I proceeded to put my weight on my left leg… the third mistake. It went all downhill after that… literally. (more…)

The Rolls Debacle

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to cook. I’m pretty calm, cool, and collected when I’m in the kitchen, even under semi stressful situations. So let me paint this picture. Do you see the rolls above? They look pretty good, right? Well, they didn’t always look that way. Oh no…

We celebrated Easter this year with my aunt and uncle down at their house in Oklahoma. By the way, I LOVE my aunt’s kitchen. If someone wants to grant me a wish, I want her kitchen please! Anyway… I was going to make the rolls on Thursday before we went down on Friday, but AC told me to use her kitchen. Probably best, because trying to travel with bread wouldn’t have been all that easy.

So I woke up Saturday morning (we did Easter on Saturday since we had to travel home on Sunday) and started in on the rolls. I chose Pioneer Woman’s Clover Leaf Rolls from her Thanksgiving episode. It’s basically the same dough she uses for her cinnamon rolls. And I absolutely LOVE that dough recipe.

Everything was going according to schedule. Milk, Sugar, and oil on the stove to heat up just below boiling point. Cool off. Add Yeast. Dump mixture into flour, let rise for about an hour. Pull off in walnut sized chunks. Place three to a muffin cup. Let rise second time. Bake. Eat. Enjoy. Yum!

Or so I thought. AC ran out of flour in her jar so I yanked a bag out of the freezer. Mistake potential number 1. Then I spent a little time measuring it while my milk mixture was cooling. When I tested the mixture, it seemed a little cooler than normal. Mistake potential number 2. When I added the milk/yeast mixture to the cold flour, placed a teatowel over it, and went on about my business. I’m sure I allowed them to rise way over an hour because I forgot to set a timer for myself or make note of when I set them aside. (more…)

Fearless Fourteen

Janet Evanovich Fearless Fourteen Book Cover

Guys, I’m back at it. This time let’s discuss one of the Stephanie Plum Novels, Fearless Fourteen. Now here is where I should say that I started reading this prior to grad school and then BAM! Grad School hit and I had no time for personal books. I know I’ve been out of Grad School since May 2016, that’s almost 2 years, but I finally got around to reading this… again.

Fearless Fourteen

Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.
The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.
The Cousin: Joe Morelli
Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.

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Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night

Just One Trilogy Book Cover

Just before Christmas, I was wandering through Sam’s with my mom, aunt, and Abug. Now if there is one thing I can tell you, Abug LOVES Books. I love that about her. By the way, Tbug loves books too! Score!

Anyway… we were wandering around Sam’s Club and Abug took us over by the books. Since Grad School, I haven’t read a whole lot of books, to be honest. And truthfully I felt like something was missing in my life. At the same time, I read such intense, thinker type books in grad school I wasn’t sure what to read now.

When I was in Grad school one of the classes I had made us think about how we read literature. So you could read a book in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s and have a different opinion on it every time. I wish I could remember which professor told us that. It was either Dr. Carlson or Dr. McCallum and I can’t remember. Either way, they taught us that your life experiences help mold your impression on things. So a book you read in high school that you absolutely adored could have a different impression on you once you got into your 40’s. I had a lot of thought-provoking classes like that.

So back to Christmas time. I keep picking up books not knowing if I really want to read them or not. But there was a book that caught my attention. It was a 3 part trilogy all in one book. Score! (more…)

French Macarons

I attempted French Macarons… again. The first time I did them, like how many years ago, they were okay. At that time I wasn’t sure what they were supposed to taste like. The recipe turned out okay I would say. I didn’t feel like filling them because I didn’t want to make a filling so we used some strawberry jam I had in the fridge. Other than that… meh. These are kind of time-consuming cookies really.

So a couple months ago I decided to try again, but this time I planned on making them Coffee French Macarons. Holy cow, they didn’t work. They didn’t bake. They were awful. I threw them all away. It was sad. Also, I didn’t have any heavy whipping cream so I tried to thicken half and half to make the ganache. My Friend Google told me I could. He lied. It was just a nightmare.

At that point, I thought I had given up… But then I ran across a blog called Bigger Bolder Baking. Gemma is Irish. She does/has a YouTube channel and listening to her accent is fun. So I decided to see if she’d made French Macarons. By golly, she had. I watched both videos she made and then I got the urge again.

Now, I was ahead of the game a little. One thing you need to do is have egg whites at room temperature and aged 24-48 hours. Over the weekend I made Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie. After we went to the Merchantile, everyone was raving about it. I had a bite but really don’t remember it. We had a family game night over the weekend and I made dessert. You guessed it… Chocolate Pie. It uses egg yolks so I had egg whites sitting in a bowl. I guess you could say I was already preparing to try French Macarons again before I came across Gemma’s recipe. Guilty.

French Macarons

Gemma said that these are temperamental cookies. She’s not lying. And truthfully it is not difficult, you just have to be precise. This is where the scale I got for Christmas comes in handy. Especially because she said you had to measure in metric measurements. Hello Grams. Thank goodness my scale measures in those…. whew! Saved by the scale.

She also recommended using a hand mixer, so I dug it out and did. So you want to whisk your egg whites, 55grams to be exact, until soft peaks form. Then you add sugar, turn the mixer to high and let it form stiff peaks. (more…)

Meet Thumper and Ginger

Yup, we’re going to try our hand at rabbits. Wish us luck!

Backstory

Last week (yeah, this hasn’t been going on for very long) was Tbug’s Spring Break. She got to spend most of it with us. On Thursday, for whatever reason, Abug started in on wanting a bunny. So Friday afternoon we went and got a few things to start working on rabbit cages. I used to have bunnies when I was younger and thought I still had the cage, but couldn’t find it. Must have been hauled off as scrap a while back, I don’t know. (more…)

Wednesday

Pan of Carrot Cake Cookies

Guys, I think I lost a day of my life. I’m not sure how it happened, but I can’t really account for yesterday much.

I know I made cookies (Trust me, run to the store and make them too! I’ll talk about them in a minute!!). From there… um…

I’m confused how I went from Tuesday to Thursday. A friend of mine a few years ago had to be kept under sedation for a day. She really did lose a day and couldn’t account for it. I can sort of account for my yesterday, but all day yesterday I was having trouble with what day is it. I guess my routine was off a little bit so it made it a little more difficult to remember it was Wednesday.

Spring Break

Tbug is on Spring Break and spending time with us. Yesterday she was back with her mom for the day. Abug knew she was coming back last night. Every time the dogs barked she’d run to the door asking if Tbug was back yet. I started feeling bad for her really. A Threenager doesn’t quite have the concept of time. Poor kid. (more…)

Nicole & Julia Project

Haha… that title doesn’t really have the same meaning as Julie and Julia. Oh well… it sounds good, right? Please tell me it sounds good. Don’t worry though, I’ll never be able to cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Why? Because that book totally intimidates me!

They say that you should do things that scare you every once in a while. Well, I can tell you, this book scares the ever-loving crap out of me. I wish that I was a chef. I want to be one so bad. In fact, I want to write a cookbook. Although recently someone told me that cookbooks are becoming a thing of the past. I guess I would agree with that, but at the same time, look at all the cookbooks on the market. If you walk through a bookstore (which also seem to be becoming extinct) there is usually at least one row if not 2 or 3 filled with cookbooks. Every shape, size, cuisine, and more.

I own more cookbooks than I can recall right now. Some are still packed up from our move over a year ago. That makes me sad. Someday that will change but for now, that move was still a good thing for us…. even though it has been faced with its own challenges. Truthfully I should go through my cookbooks and scale back a little maybe. Maybe not. I haven’t fully decided on that thought either.

But that cookbook.

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The Original PW Cookbook

Yesterday’s post got really long, really fast… so I thought I’d discuss the cookbook incident today. You know, in a separate post.

When the initial cookbook came out, it was back in 2010 (technically late 2009, but I went to the signing in 2010). I remember because I drove to Stillwater, Oklahoma to get it signed and meet her. My husband and I were due to get married that year. Oddly enough I had to tell her all about that. Like she cared. haha. But this, this is how I remember 2010. (more…)

The Mercantile – Pawhuska, OK

There’s a long-running joke at my house that I have an arranged marriage for Tbug. I’m going to marry her to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman’s oldest son Bryce.

This joke started sometime last summer. Truthfully, he’s a cute boy. He’s a farmer/rancher. I always say farm boys are the best. Tbug wanted to own a horse ranch someday, or so she said when she was younger. If he sticks with the family business, they run Mustangs plus all the horses they use for everyday ranch work. Win-win…

Then for my own reasons… they go snow skiing in Colorado and I always wanted to go. They can just take me too (and my husband… of course). Hello, his mom is The Pioneer Woman. I mean come on. And finally, if Abug would have been a boy, she’d have been named Bryce. I’d finally get my Bryce. There are more reasons for the joke and it keeps getting added to, but those are some of the big ones.

The Mercantile

Ever since the Merc has opened I have wanted to go. Pawhuska is only about 2 1/2 hours from here so not to bad. But it seems like every plan I had made to go, didn’t happen. They all fell through. I was starting to think it would NEVER happen. FINALLY, it did. I guess patience is key and sometimes I don’t have that.

A couple weeks ago I was talking to my sister in law about wanting to go. She said we should make plans to go. I kind of scoffed in her face and said I refuse to make any more plans like that because they keep falling through. Then a couple weeks later I mentioned to my husband and said she would go. One thing led to another and they made plans for us to go. (more…)