Tuesday, February 24, 2009

crunchy and flavorful fried chicken

I don't make fried chicken very often for several reasons: The meal takes a fair bit of time and makes a large mess. The results are rather underwhelming with a less than crispy skin and a lot of chew in the bite. And after eating the fried chicken, mashed potatoes with cream gravy and fluffy buttermilk biscuits, I almost feel like a brick! However, I tried a new recipe last night that knocked the socks off of any fried chicken I've ever had before. The recipe is from Thomas Keller, (American chef and restaurateur, owner of The French Laundry and Per Se.) I found the recipe on epicurious. I, unfortunately, skipped the brining process which would have surely made my chicken even better. I also used canola oil rather than peanut oil as I am trying to fix meals on somewhat of a budget and peanut oil is quite expensive. And lastly, of course I didn't make a full batch for Stephen, Pear and myself. The results were exquisite! Crispy buttermilk battered chicken skin with a little kick on the tail end of the bite and moist meat inside. On top of the great flavor, I found this to make little mess and decided to forgo the biscuits and replace them with a delectable salad. I left the meal feeling satisfied after only 1 chicken leg. So, I will be making this again. It will not be on my weekly meal plan as it is still FRIED chicken but it will be a treat every now and then!
Note: I didn't have time to take pictures, between juggling the girls and cooking! Stephen, however, managed to snap a couple before the chicken was devoured.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Pear!

Pear turned 2 years old on the 13th of February. It is amazing how fast time flies by! We decided to celebrate on Sunday the 15th so that Stephen could be home to participate in the celebration and so that we could have a party. Pear's morning begun by walking through a doorway of streamers and into a fully decorated kitchen. Her cake was adorned with Toy Story 2 figurines. (Toy Story 2 is her favorite!) We got her a Little Tikes kitchen set off of Craigslist for her birthday gift and she loved it from the moment she saw it and has been playing with it constantly since. We also got her a princess night gown or "jammie dress" which she put on right away and wanted to wear all day long. She cried when we told her she had to get dressed to go to Wind Up Here, (a wonderful toy store in town.) She was happy when we got there though and we played for a good while before heading to Red Robin for lunch where Pear had clam chowder and a chocolate milkshake. That was quite a treat! We had a small family party; only our immediate families were invited and that produced about 20 people, most of those being kids! That about sums up Pear's birthday celebration. She had great fun and we instilled some fun memories. She talks about her birthday daily and I believe she already anticipates her next!

My Little Doll

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Horse

As a girl, I always wanted a horse. A palomino was preferred. I worked a paper route every day for over three years to save up for my dream. I horse-sat, took lessons, I even went to a couple of 4-H meetings as my parents wanted to make sure that I really wanted this horse. By the time I saved the thousands of dollars required for the investment in a horse, I decided that I enjoyed riding a horse but it wasn't worth the time and money to me. So, my dream faded.

About a year ago, my parents purchased Mac. My horse, (that's what they tease.) He is a beautiful palomino. Since I was pregnant with Jovie when they purchased him and I haven't ridden a horse in years, I didn't want to risk getting bucked or pushed around. I just rode him for the first time this week! Piper rode Ringo and I rode Mac. It was great fun. Mac knew I hadn't ridden a horse in a while and he tried to push me around a little but hopefully he'll figure out real soon that I am the boss.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Brian Reagan

Having a dad that is a UPS driver and an owner of a shipping company, (United Package Express,) I found this clip humorous.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not just a girlhood dream...

There is nothing in the world that compares to being a mommy and having a little bundle to carry around! And to hear the pitter-patter of little feet coming down the hallway in the morning with a "good morning mommy, I'm awake!" To get to dress up, play with, read to, make laugh, love and nurture- there's nothing like it. It brings me so much joy. You can dream and imagine, and think you know what it's going to be like but the love and joy felt by a mother is so much more than any girlhood dream. I am a proud and thankful mommy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

How to be fashionable with children...

It's not easy to be as fashionable as I am with children. Not just anyone can walk around in pointed toe heels with a chicken nugget pierced through the heel! Yup. That's what I did on Saturday. Stephen let me get out for a little while and on my outing without the children, I managed to step on a chicken nugget that was on our car floor. I went to Capital Mall, Target and Joann's all the while with the nugget stuck on my shoe. I didn't realize it until I arrived home, kicked off my shoes and Stephen started laughing.

These are the joys of motherhood!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wasn't Me!

While shaping out my pizza dough the other day, Pear decided to do something different with her dough. I turned my back for a moment and this is what I found!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A happy girl...

Lately we have been on the go a lot. Pear had enough of it. Normally, she loves to go. She always has. But over the last few days, when I ask if she wants to go, she replies "tays home." Well, yesterday we stayed home all day (except for one small errand) and boy was she a happy camper!

If you didn't know, Pear hates to get her picture taken. As a baby she loved it. Now when I point the camera at her she gives me a grumpy look and an abrupt "hey!" Last night, we put her warm pajamas on and she REQUESTED that I take her picture! This might be the only happy picture I get for a while so I thought I'd post it!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Samoas® Cupcake

Through a friend of mine, (thanks Kamille,) I came across a wonderful blog full of recipes, descriptions and pictures of cupcakes. The blog is titled Cupcake Bake Shop by chockylit. While browsing this said blog, I found a recipe for a cupcake that I simply had to try. This recipe is for a cupcake mimicking the idea of the Girls Scout Samoas® cookie. (Ever tried that one? It's my favorite.)

The cupcake consists of a brown sugar buttery cake, a homemade luxurious caramel filling, a rich bittersweet chocolate ganache topped with delicious caramelized toasted coconut. This desert is divine! I will warn you, I would not eat it without a large glass of milk. It is rich. It is equally good paired with vanilla ice cream.

As far as changes that I might make to the recipe: I don't think I would bother making the caramel filling. I think I would prefer having a little more cake and I don't know that I notice it enough for the time and effort it takes to make it.

I will definitely be making these again. If you are interested in making these for yourself, here is a link to the recipe.