Cinnamon rolls have been a Saturday morning tradition with Pookie and I for quite a while. Until yesterday, they came exclusively from a cardboard canister. I've been making lots of homemade breadstuffs lately so when I came across this recipe I knew it had to be attempted.

Things went ok until I turned the dough out to knead it. Holy crap was it ever sticky! Apparently I'm not a moron since I followed the directions correctly, it just needed more flour. Wish I would've gotten a picture of my doughboy hands. But had I touched it, I probably would've ruined my camera. (What a way to go; death by cinnamon roll. Just go ahead and put that on my tombstone.) Spreading the filling wasn't a picnic either because the consistency didn't lend itself to spreading but was really good at tearing my dough. Argh! I did finally succeed in rolling the darn thing up...

cinnamon roll dough

After slicing the roll, I cooked them in a muffin tin. I'm surprised that the rolls didn't stick! They made this fun "fwoop" sound when I popped them out.

mmm cinnamon rolls

I cannot have a cinnamon roll without icing; it's criminal! I tried out two different ones. The first was a simple icing from powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. It tasted horribly cornstarch-y to me. So, I tried some sweetened condensed milk thinned with milk. It was better but still not the right consistency. This made me sad. These rolls were delicious, no doubt about it. But next time, I'm going back to the cardboard canister. I can have yumminess within ten minutes and the icing is perfect. Maybe for Christmas morning these will make a comeback.

Sometimes I fixate on a specific ingredient and attempt to make something yummy. My last experiment with artichokes went horribly wrong and I was hesitant to try anything else. That is until I developed a hankerin' for some coconut shrimp. Mmm Joe's Crab Shack....

Ok, snap back to reality. Wipe drool from chin.

I absolutely hate peeling and de-veining shrimp, so I decided to make coconut chicken instead. So I took my boneless skinless chicken tenders and soaked them in a marinade of coconut milk and curry powder. (I let them relax in the fridge for about 6 hours) Then I rolled the strips around in a flour, coconut flake, and cajun seasoning dry batter and pan fried them. *gasp* I know! Fried! What was I thinking?? I was thinking YUM that's what I was thinking. ;) I decided they needed a dipping sauce so I whisked together a bit of orange marmalade, lemon juice, honey and red pepper flakes.

coconut chicken

Plate appearance is not an area in which I excel. Also, I opened a can of corn and heated it up on the stove with some butter, sugar and hickory salt. My side dishes are seriously lacking in imagination. Maybe I should work on that...

root beer float

And no day is complete without dessert! Root Beer Float: classic, simple, delicious. If it's not Blue Bell then it's not real ice cream.

In honor of my last day of final exams (at least for this semester) I want to take a moment and thank Pookie for making this full-time college student thing a reality. Here’s a photo reminder of his adorableness, in case you’ve forgotten:


Yes, I know, I use too much photoshop, but I get carried away. See the laugh lines at his eyes? Some of those are my fault; I love to make him laugh. Those little crinkles get me all weak in the knees.

Um, what was I saying? Oh yeah, thankfulness and stuff. Pookie has given up many of his accustomed luxuries to save money so that I could quit my job and go back to school full-time. We’re not able to buy the newest video games and gadgets like he would like but he hasn’t complained…and that amazes me. I wish that I could find the money to buy him a Kindle. Perhaps I’ll snag a summer job and surprise him with one! But if he’s a good husband and actually reads his wife’s blog, then it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. So maybe I'll just cook a lovely dinner for him :)

For this special day, I think it's wonderful if you can give your Mom all of her favorites. Mom loves yellow roses.

mom's mother's day roses courtesy CFP

Her favorite food is shish kabobs. She's very particular about the seasoning and in what order the ingredients should be on the skewers. Do NOT deviate from: meat, bell pepper (green only for her), bacon, onion.

shish kabobs

See? I promised there would be bacon! Notice that these kabobs are of the extra-crispy variety. If you're going to let your sister cook, then make sure you take her phone away so she doesn't get distracted. Of course, she'll point out that I didn't let the burned parts stop me from eating my fair share. I decided to try out another new dessert recipe today. From PioneerWoman I came across the Apple Dumplings of Doom! Or rather the Apple Dumplings of jiggly thighs and love handles.

apple dumpling

Mom was leary at first, especially seeing Mountain Dew on the list of ingredients, but she's a trooper and I promised her that if Pioneer Woman said it was great, then it most certainly would be. Mom described it as delicious and sinful and I think it's now her new favorite dessert! I accidentally used maple flavoring instead of vanilla extract but I think it made it better.

I believe there was a guarantee of redneck happenings. For your consideration, I present exhibit A:

redneck cookout

I love that there are two propane grills and the fact that CFP's tailgate is borked. We also played horseshoes, which I consider to be a bit redneck but by that time I forgot I was supposed to be taking pictures.

Today we celebrated Mother's Day with my in-laws. I decided to try out a new dessert recipe I saw on Paula Deen's show. Banoffee Recipe Here


(You'll just have to imagine the whipped cream on top. I plopped down a can of "Real Dairy Topping" and let them spray away to their heart's content.)

This really turned out delicious! And incidentally artery-clogging, but it was a special occasion and the bananas totally make it healthy, right? FYI I had to bake the condensed milk for about three hours to get it to darken/caramelize and it still wasn't the same color Paula Deen achieved in ninety minutes. Also, it was way too goopy to be served like a pie even after I chilled it overnight.

To show more thoughtfulness (and to save some $) I channelled my elementary school self and made some mother's day cards. I even made the envelopes!

Grade School Style Cards

I didn't take pictures of the inside, but I assure you the written greeting was beautiful. (C'mon, say it with me: "awww")

You know you're from Texas when for mother's day your Grandma gets this kind of present:

Grandma's New Mower

And you know that you have a hard headed Grandma(in-law) when she won't use a riding mower because it doesn't provide her enough exercise. Grandma would probably be ticked to know that she's on the "world wide web" but since I'm 95% sure she doesn't navigate the interwebs, I feel safe. But please don't tell her!

No family gathering is complete without torturing our nieces and/or nephews. Doesn't she look happy to be today's lucky winner of annoying attention? (that's Pookie doing duty as Captain Annoys-A-Lot)

mother's day 2009

and one more for good measure:

mother's day 2009

Tune in tomorrow for Mother's Day with my side of the family. It's guaranteed to be way more redneck and will probably involve bacon!

When it comes to documenting my culinary creations I'm actually quite terrible. I don't write things down and they're eaten before I can get a proper photo. With this blog I'm trying to change that!

Last night I was once again caught with my pants down when Pookie asked about dinner. (Yes, actually quite literally, I was getting into my comfiest/ugliest lounge pants when he asked) So, being the loving wife I am, I grabbed some random food items, tossed them all around in a Ziploc Glad bag and tossed 'em on a plate.

honey mustard pork chops

Ok, so it really wasn't that simple but definitely doable on short notice. (If you have no problem using your microwave's special defrosting ability)

All I did was combine the following ingredients in a baggie

1 teaspoon dijon mustard (e.g. Grey Poupon)
1 teaspoon regular yellow mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
splash of vinegar
Adobo seasoning (you could use something else but I happen to LOVE this stuff)

Then I added my two quickly defrosted pork chops, squished them around (yes, you must "squish" them, absolutely nothing else will do!) and let them sit in the fridge while I prepared my ooey-gooey yummy broccoli with cheese. It came from a bag because: (1) I'm lazy, (2) I was in a hurry, and (3) I'm really lazy.

I then got my skillet sizzling hot with some butter and olive oil and tossed in my chops, thus achieving that deliciously golden layer of yum you can see in that picture. In my household, no meal is complete without a dash (or a half dozen dashes) of cajun seasoning, so of course I shook some of that on the, as of yet, uncooked side. Let it cook for about 4 minutes then turned and cooked for about the same on the other side.

Let me tell you...this was an amazing dinner!