Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cooking for Dummies....

I like to consider myself a fairly decent cook.  I can easily prepare more than chicken quesadillas, easy mac n cheese, pancakes, french toast, and ramen noodles.

Which was my ENTIRE cooking repertoire when I was a new bride. 
Thankfully, My Love wasn't after my skills in the kitchen. 

I have slowly but surely added various kitchen-y skills to my resume - things like how to read a recipe,  learning how to prep ahead, cooking juicy chicken. :) I like to think my cooking has slightly improved over these past 8.5 years of being a wife. At least in the breakfast/lunch/appetizer/entree departments.

My baking skills?

They are still pretty much at zero.

Don't get me wrong - I am a baking master with the help of Betty and the Dough Boy.  But that baking from scratch business? That is the stuff that makes me break out in a nervous sweat.

Sometimes, I forget that little tidbit of non-baking-ability, and volunteer myself to bake something.

Like tonight.

I volunteered to make a gluten-free dessert for our ladies book club which can't be that hard, right?

Did I mention that one of the other ladies making desserts could fill in on that "Cake Mob Boss" show? No pressure on Whitney. Yeah, right.

So, yesterday I pulled up "gluten free desserts" on google, and sat down to figure out what delicious something I could create. Realsimple.com - you pulled me in with your beautiful picture

I mean, how good does THAT look????  Yes, delicious and amazing.

Then I found an even better one on Martha's website:

I made my list of ingredients, and off I went to the store. So far, so good.

Then I read the directions:
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 275 degrees with the rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
I'm gonna be honest here, at first I wondered if it meant you could only use it in Spring.  That admission alone is pretty hard for me to make - but it's true. Don't laugh at me. I didn't know?! 

Back to google I went. 

I would not be able to do anything, ever, if  I did not have google.

Apparently, the "springform" part is NOT referencing a season. It is describing the fact that the sides and bottom can separate from one another, and the side has a spring that pops it off your concoction without needing to flip the pan. And yes, I did do the wikipedia/google images search. 
Even more apparent, I didn't have one. One of my wonderful neighbors did, and he was kind enough to show me how it works and everything!

Crisis averted.

Back to the directions:
Step 2? It actually made sense. Hallelujah! 
Step 3? Notsomuch.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar, and continue beating until glossy stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then gently fold in remaining egg whites.

Soft peaks? Glossy Stiff Peaks?? Folding?! 
Thankfully, my 15 year old babysitter (Bridget) was here and she actually bakes. So as I was beating the egg whites I kept asking,
 "Is this right? 
Are these soft? 
Whattheheck does a peak look like?
Is this too much? 
Is this glossy?
It looks slightly matte to me, did I ruin it??"  

I guess today she's babysitting the 30 year old mother-of-4-boss-of-the-house. 

My cake is currently in the oven - making the house smell amazing. Will it taste good? Will it look good? I honestly have no idea. 

If it doesn't? I'm totally blaming it on Bridget.

 Copyright 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Flight Suit Diaper Bag...

So, my poor Boy Bean has been getting picked on because his diaper bag is too girly.

(I mean, it totally IS girly...but it doubles as my purse! )

I had meant to make him a little messenger bag from handed down camo a LONG Time ago - but somehow never got to it. 

However, I have never been so glad that I am a lazy procrastinator, because if I had made that camo bag....I wouldn't have needed to do what I did this week!

Courtesy of My Love - I had 2 old flight suits in my fabric stash. I had mainly kept them for scraps...there are a lot of zippers-pockets-velcro-hardware on those things!...but last week I was struck with the extremely exciting idea of converting THEM into Boy Bean's diaper bag!

Garnering inspiration (and ballpark measurements and theoretical directions) from Delia, I embarked on my second sewing project of the summer. Hoping against hope to not have an epic fail.  (My first project was a tent I made for Bitty Bean's 3rd birthday - WILD Success!!)

Also courtesy of My Love, the bag became exponentially cooler....and exponentially more difficult. :)  He suggested the use of all his old patches to liven up the all green bag - pure genius!

I'm excited about a bag so full of Daddy hand-me-downs. 
Mainly for sentimental reasons, and partly because every last item was free

Please don't look closely at the stitching. I'm not very good. I'm definitely getting better with all this practice - but that puts me solidly at the "okay" level. 

The finished product! 

The best part is - I had made this bag so Boy Bean would have one manly thing in this house full of pink...but while I was taking pictures...he was off on a hot wheel.


I guess I could worry about him and wonder if he will be able to find his way surrounded by all of us women.

But I'm pretty sure this little man, the one with the crazy hair, and laughing eyes, I think he'll do alright.

Even surrounded by our sea of pink My Little Ponies - he still knows how to roar.

 Copyright 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Post!

So, even though I haven't really been posting HERE....I've somehow managed to write a guest post! (go figure)

Anyway, please go check out my thoughts on being a new mama over at Many Waters.....

Have a wonderful day!

(I've got some good stuff coming tomorrow!!)

 Copyright 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Time to clean up!

People - my husband is ah-maz-ng.


We live at the beach - we are rarely inside in the summer - so sand gets EVERYWHERE in my house.

The best way to fix that mess would be to wash the sand off outside...which we have been doing in a fairly redneck way for the past 2 years.

No longer.

Nope - we have moved up in the world!

Courtesy of My Love - we have an outdoor shower.


(Please don't tell housing - not so sure what they would think about that)

 Copyright 2012