Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring assignment: Whiter and Lighter

I am  participating  in Ms Misantropias Whiter and lighter assignment.  This comes at a perfect time for me.  I always like to lose some weight before my birthday.  I can't do anything about getting older but maybe I can do something about my weight.  My husband was the one that kept saying we are going on diets and he had this crazy diet in mind that I am not a fan of.  I have been on all kinds of diets.  Cabbage soup for 7 days, potatoes covered with this dry stuff you add water too, popcorn bars, grapefruit diet, stripping down to bra and panties and being weighed in front of someone (which works) but you have to pay them and they want good money for that etc..

So I cannot zip my jeans without laying down.  In  pure desperation I am doing his diet.  He is not.  He kept giving me one excuse after another.  Its my birthday, I just made a batch of sausage, you just bought 2 cases of beer.  Enough I am doing it.  It is way cheaper then buying new clothes.  I have lost 7 pounds so far!  I am no longer laying down to zip my pants.  I even cheat a little on the weekends and I am still losing weight.

The hardest part for me is the beer.  People that read my blog know how much I love Wisconsin.  Fortunately I work in Wisconsin.  One of the best everyday beers in the world can be bought there.  That beer is Spotted Cow.  I guess it really is a Cask conditioned ale.  Not sure what that means I just seen it on their website.  I love it so much I might write a poem to it.  Ode to Spotted Cow.  That's all I have so far.  Spotted Cow is made in the fair town of New Glarus.  America's Little Switzerland.  The town is adorable.  Life is to short to quit beer altogether.  I have been only drinking one or two a weekend.  This is much better then what I was doing which was one or two a night.  No wonder I had to lay down to get dressed.
I just found this and had to share  You just put in your town and find beer.  They rate the beer too. 

I had to add this photo when I seen it

Friday, March 22, 2013

The 10th Kingdom

I was updating my profile and there was a section about your favorite movie and I remembered this one.  I loaned my copy of this wonderful mini series and not exactly sure to who.  I miss it.  We use to watch it over spring break because its really long.  I think I am going to look for it on eBay.  If you ever get a chance to watch it, do it.  I won't say to much about it because I don't want to spoil it for anyone.  Its a fairytale that is a little twisted.  That's all I will say.  I don't want to spoil it for you.
The trolls are great

  of course there is true love

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Spring!

I love spring.  The only thing I love more is full blown summer but that is another blog.  I love pastels.  There I’ve said it.  I love pastels and I am not ashamed.  I love Easter because of the pastel colors.  As a young girl I thought the most beautiful thing was the color baby blue paired with baby pink,  I pinned a brave woman’s hair in those exact colors on my pinterest and that has gotten the most repins of anything I have ever put on it?  I don’t even know what all this means.  I guess it is not the coolest thing in the world that you love the smell of the Easter candy isle at Wal-Mart which is huge and pastel colors of the Easter baskets.  Everything is a baby at Easter.  Bunnies, chick’s cute human babies dressed as bunnies and chicks.  I use coco butter for my daily body lotion and have been told I smell like Easter candy.  Which I take as a compliment.     

I Think spring is the perfect time for carrot cake.  I make a carrot cake that is my specialty.  This has not always been the case.  When my children were young I use to have family birthday parties for them.  On one such occasion I made a carrot cake from a box mix.  My mother takes one bite of it and immediately spits it out which results into a domino effect of everyone else refusing to eat the cake and discussing how it does not remotely resemble carrot cake.  I suppose another mother and another family would have politely thrown the cake away and kept completely silent about how awful it was.  This would not have resulted into carrot cake being my specialty. 
I like to think of myself ahead of the times and a real trendsetter.  The reality of it is I am a day late and a dollar short of the trends and times.  That being said I have decided to make my carrot cake into cupcakes.  I think I read somewhere cupcakes are out.  Macaroons in.  Stay tuned.  I will probably have macaroons on this blog two years from now.  I don’t really get the whole cupcake craze?   I am old enough to thinking of cupcakes of the thing that I did as a room mom (which I am sure that now days they call it something way more deep and meaningful then that like maybe Angle mom who knows?) so the whole cupcake trend that has come and gone is really wasted on me.  But lucky for you bloggers here is goes.  My attempt at turning my favorite cake into cupcakes.

I think every woman has her go to cookbook.  Mine is Better Homes and Gardens.  In my opinion everyone else is pretty much the same with some slight tweaking.  Kind of like build a better mousetrap thing.  My carrot cake is theirs with some tweaking.  You can almost take any favorite cake recipe and convert it to
cupcakes.  Cook at the same temperature but for 1/3 to ½ the amount of time.  I cooked my cupcakes at 350 for 22 minutes but do a toothpick check at 19 to be safe.  Also for cupcakes switch places in the oven with the two muffin tins and turn them at 14 minutes, a mistake I made was not to use muffin liners.  I had every holiday but Easter.  After the fact my husband said why didn’t you just use the other holiday and pull them off?  Don’t you hate the logical male mind sometimes?  My plan was to use some cupcake wraps.  I did find some really cute ones on line to print but my computer went down and I was done and just wanted to clean up.  I did have a few pastel color muffin liners for my photo shoot.  It is really hard for me to say photo shoot with a straight face. 

Best-Ever Carrot Cake: directions for layer cake
Prep time: 30 minutes Bake:  350 Cool 2 hours makes 12 servings (or almost 24 cupcakes I made 22)

4 beaten eggs 2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional) I use it
½ tsp baking soda
3 cups finely shredded carrots (lightly packed) *
¾ cups cooking oil* 
2 tsp vanilla (secret ingredients)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese
½ cup butter or margarine (real leery of margarine in frosting)
2 tsp vanilla
5 ¼ to 6 ¼ sifted powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar beating well.  Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.  Makes enough for a layer cake or way more then enough for a sheet cake which is all I make because I need it for a crowd.  If you are doing a sheet cake, you can half the frosting recipe.  Not sure how much for cupcakes since it went terribly wrong.  For my photo shoot (still funny) not sure since the 3 cupcakes in the photo I used a pastry bag, the frosting went quick.  If you use a knife to frost them, it goes really far I think you can half the recipe if just frosting the cupcakes with a knife.  There is nothing wrong with having extra cream cheese frosting (thinking Cinnabon cinnamon rolls in the morning.)  Tons of copy cat recipes using your bread machine for the dough recipes out there.  I have one if you need itOnce again dating myself.  My new much younger friends know nothing about the whole bread machine craze.
I use to always use store bought frosting.  I have noticed a change in some of my old favorites of everything. (Don’t get my started on chocolate bars and gram crackers. S’mores is forever ruined for me) something is going on.  I will admit it really could just be me and my aged taste buds but I don’t think so.  So for the first time ever I am making my own.  If you think store bought in the cute tub works I say go for it.  Making homemade frosting is a pain.  It is messy.  Is it good?  Yes but if you think store bought is good and like it then go for it.