Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Typhoon Roke...Sept. 21, 2011

Dad, this post is for you.  Because I know you called to see how we are doing, but by the time I got the message, you would have been sound asleep. 
This Japan/US time zone thing makes me crazy!
So we are in a typhoon…..again.  Typhoon Roke is the name, and wind and rain is his game.  I let the girls go outside for just a few minutes.  Again Dad, this especially for you!

It is dark now, so I can’t really see the damage yet, but as you saw in the video the screen came off of my dryer exhaust, so now giant roaches can easily get into my house.  Yay.
Oh yeah, and there is a little tiny tree blocking our street.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip

It has been such a busy couple of weeks I have hardly had time to sleep, let alone blog.  So, after cleaning today with the girlies, we decided to take it easy…before I blogged. 
I took easy to a whole new level.
I made Spinach Artichoke dip for lunch.  For myself.  No sharing.

Nom.  Nom.  Nom.
I did take a few pics for you though, so you can see my laziness shine through.  The dip. In a bowl. On the couch. In front of the TV.  With my Twilight plastic cup filled with Diet Cherry Coke (my fav).

Want some?  Make your own.
Spinach Artichoke Dip

·        8 oz of cream cheese
·        ¼ cup mayo
·        ¼ cup sour cream
·        ¾ cup chopped drained spinach (I used frozen)
·        1 can artichoke hearts diced up
·        1 Tablespoon (at least) chili powder
·        Tortilla chips, veggies, or crackers for dipping
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it stirs smooth (1 minute).  Mix in mayo, sour cream, spinach, artichokes, & chili powder.  I take the stems out of the artichokes because yuck….I hate them.  I probably add more chili powder because I like a little spice and the ingredients really cool down the spice.  Be brave….add a lot! Dump the mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 until cheese is beginning to brown.  (I think it is about 20 minutes but remember, I was being lazy and forgot to time it.

It’s so good even Edward wanted some.

He didn’t get any.  I ate it all.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Bites

I’ve been seeing these little pizza dippers around Pinterest and other blogs.  YUM.
But, I haven’t been so keen on making my own dough lately.  Just think of it as me doing my part to conserve energy in Japan.  If I made dough, I would have to knead it.  If I were kneading dough, I would get hot.  If I got hot, I would have to turn on the air conditioning.  See what a good person I am?
Okay, I am lazy.  My kids were hungry and I didn’t want to knead and wait for dough to rise… I improvised.
These little bites are easy to make and fun to eat.  I did pepperoni bites, but I have visions of filling them with some veggies and sausage too.  Serve with some marinara sauce and you will have an empty platter as soon as they hit the table.
Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

·        One pizza worth of pizza dough…buy it or make it…your choice
·        8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
·        1/3 cup diced pepperoni
·        2 Tbls butter
·        1 tsp crushed garlic
·        1 tsp parsley flakes
·        Parmesan Cheese (I actually forgot this, but they were still good.)
·        Marinara sauce for dipping
Step 1:  Make your dough.
Step 2:  Mix your shredded cheese and pepperoni
Step 3:  Flatten tablespoon sized pieces of dough on your hand or flat surface.  Use flour if dough gets sticky.  Place a bit of the cheese & pepperoni on top, like this…..
Step 4:  Wrap the filling inside the dough, creating a little goody filled dough ball.  Place into a pie plate.
Step 5: Melt the butter and mix with the garlic and parsley.  Brush mixture onto dough balls.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Step 6:  Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until tops begin to brown.  Let cool for a couple minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Keeping It Simple
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baked Sugar Donut Muffins

Just a lazy long labor day weekend here at our house.  The girlies wanted me to slave over some cinnamon rolls. I had to think about that one for exactly a nano-second…….NO.

So as not to make the poor starving babies think that I don’t love them, I whipped up some of these little sugared cuties. 

Much much easier than sweating over cinnamon rolls and much much healthier than fried Homemade Donuts, they were a hit!  The ones pictured here are covered with plain white sugar, but cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar are good too.

Sugar Donut Muffins

(recipe adapted from Baking Bites)


3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
2 tsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla                                                                                                     
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.  In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.   In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.  Divide batter evenly into a mini-muffin pan. (Recipe will also fill about 10 regular muffin cups ¾ full.) Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.  When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from pan, and roll around in remaining sugar.  
Makes 24 mini-muffins.

Looks good, no?  Okay then, how about dipped in vanilla icing?

Keeping It Simple
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Friday, September 2, 2011

Owl Cupcakes...They Are A Hoot!

If you take these to a school bake sale everyone will say to you, “Nice hooters!”

Cute huh?
I made these for the daughter of a VERY good friend.  I say VERY, because I don’t normally take a lot of time to decorate things I bake or cook.  I tend to make big messes and get frosting all over everything. 
So, wearing a pair of white shorts no less, I got all down and dirty and chocolaty for my friend.  Turns out, it was worth it.
Owl Cupcakes
What you need:
·        12 cupcakes (I used Chocolate & Vanilla)
·        1-2 cans chocolate frosting
·        24 Oreo sandwich cookies twisted apart
·        Junior Mints
·        Candy Corn
Step 1: Frost all of your cupcakes with the chocolate frosting and be sure to drop a glob on your white shorts.
Step 2:  Twist your Oreos apart.  Mine came apart easily, but the cupcake book I used said to zap some in the microwave for about 3 seconds if you are having trouble.
Step 3: Press the Oreo halves, frosted side up, into the upper half of the frosted cupcakes.  (It is at this time you somehow get chocolate in your hair.)
Step 4: Score 12 of the unfrosted Oreos into 3 parts with a serrated knife.  This way they can easily snap apart.  It should look like this.

Step 5: Stick the round edge Oreo pieces into the top of each cupcake above the Oreo halves.  These will be the owl’s ears.

Step 6:  Next, you will pipe more chocolate frosting on the ears and in between the eyes to create the look of feathers.  I have no pictures of this because I had too much chocolate frosting on my hands and shorts.
Step 7: Pipe a dot of frosting on top of each Oreo half and stick a Junior Mint on it for the owl’s eye.  Make sure to drop a Junior Mint on the chair you are sitting on and get the back of your white shorts all chocolaty too.
Step 8: Press a candy corn in the center of each set of eyes for the nose.
Step 9: Put on an apron to cover up the chocolate you got all over yourself.....or maybe you should have done that first....before you started with the chocolate?
You’re done!!  Whoo hoo!  (Or should I say Hoot! Hoot!!??)
Happy Birthday Kaylie…..hoped you liked them!!!
Keeping It Simple
Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Yay! The First Day of School...2011!!!

The Three Girlies had their first day of school on Monday.  They were all so excited they about peed their new jeggings.

I on the other hand, had the mixed emotions of every mother.  These kids need to get out of the house mixed with…..why do my babies have to grow up so fast?
Abbey is almost 13.  She tried on about 15 different outfits before settling on the perfect one for the first day of school.
She is a mini me.  She sounds like me, looks like me (except I don’t have dimples), and she even acts like me.  She’s 7th grade cool and ready to show her sister the middle school ropes.
Allison is 11 and has moved out of elementary school. 

Normally outgoing and relaxed, I am seeing hints of anxiety and pre-teen self consciousness.  She also, for the first time ever, had to have the perfect outfit.  But despite the pressures of having to play the “look cool for middle school” game, she stopped at the shoes.  That’s my Allie girl.

Amber is 8 and started 3rd grade.

She is sassy and silly, and a little bit disappointed that she has a boy for a teacher.  (Boys are a bit gross these days.)  I’m thinking it’s going to be the year of many friends for my social girl.
If we can buy more shoes and clothes for Abbey, help Allie remember her locker combination, and get Amber to quit talking and eat her lunch at school, I think we will be off to a pretty good year.   
But geez…..I am sure gonna miss my girlies.