Mind = blown.

Marnie scoffs at this blog post, but I must share it with the world.

Oreos.
Egg.
Whipped cream.
Vanilla.

Soak oreos in wet mixture. Cook in a saute pan with some butter. Dip in some sugar to make a sugary crust.

EAT.

I give you… french toast oreos. No pictures because they are ALLLL GOOOONE.

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Best Pizza Ever. (No, seriously.)

Last night, Marnie made possibly the best pizza either of us had ever eaten.  It was unbelievably good, and I will share the recipe with you folks because I like you.

Prep:

  • Grate a bunch of Romano and Grana Padano (or other Parmesan) cheese.  I dunno how much, she doesn’t measure.
  • Crumble & brown some hot italian sausage (we used about 2.5-3 links) in a saute pan.  When you turn off the heat, add some chopped garlic so it warms but doesn’t cook too much.
  • Parboil some green kale in salted water for 2-3 minutes, then drain and pat dry as much as possible.  When it’s dry, toss with oil, some of the grated cheeses, salt & pepper, and lemon zest.

Construction:

  • Prepare your pizza crust (we didn’t have time to make or thaw, so we used a pre-made crust, and it was still delicious).
  • Spread crust with a thin layer of tomato paste, then sprinkle that with some of the grated cheeses
  • Layer the sausage & garlic mixture on top of the paste, and sprinkle with more of the grated cheeses
  • Crack 3-4 large eggs, spread out over the pizza.  Sprinkle the yolks with salt & pepper and a little romano
  • Layer the kale evenly over the sausage & eggs, and sprinkle with a little more grana padano

Finishing:

  • Bake until it’s done as per your crust.  We did 450 ºF for about 10-12 minutes, but YMMV.
  • Right when the pizza comes out of the oven, sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice over the top.
  • Let sit for ~5 minutes, then eat it.  All of it.  Immediately.

 

There you go!  Enjoy… 🙂

–gray

New Year’s Eve Cupcakes

Cooking escapade 1: accomplished.  

I had wanted to make a dessert for New Year’s Eve tomorrow anyway, so tonight was the perfect time to try out our little toddler baking experiment.  I decided to make cupcakes:  White chocolate, coconut, lime cupcakes.  We will frost them tomorrow with an orange cream cheese frosting and top with toasted coconut.

I decided not to go crazy and let Gabey do too much, since this was our first attempt.  Mostly I measured out ingredients and he dumped them in the bowl.  He also stirred (which he did quite well, with only minor hiccup explosion with the dry ingredients), banged the measuring cups together, and chewed on the whisk.  All in all, I would say it was a success.

The recipe was adapted from here.

White Chocolate Cupcakes

Servings: 16-18cupcakes

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

4 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped and melted (or seized into a thick paste, like ours.  cough, Gray, cough.)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 tsp lime zest

1-2 tablespoons lime juice

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cream or milk

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Line a cupcake pan (or two) with the cupcake liners of your choice. (Turns out we didn’t have any…so we just sprayed the cupcake pan with nonstick spray.  What can you do, right?)

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

4. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

6. Add the “melted” white chocolate and vanilla, mixing well.

7. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the milk in 2-3 portions, mixing well after each addition.

8. Add lime zest and juice, and shredded coconut, and mixed until incorporated.

8. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake pan.

9. Bake the cupcakes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes or so.  Let cool completely before frosting.

We have leftover orange cream cheese frosting from Christmas, so that’s what I’m using to ice these babies.  I’ll top with toasted coconut and voila!  Cupcakes made with the help of a wonderful budding little chef.

 

 

A successful night of baking, indeed.  (Quite a bit less successful when it comes to toddler finding a blue sharpie and subsequently drawing on daddy’s laptop.  FYI, hand sanitizer works pretty damn well for taking that sharpie out of plastic.)

And on that note, I’m off!

–Marn

A new spin on an old blog (just in time for 2012)

So this blog sort of fell of the planet after Gabey was born…and then subequently got sucked into the black hole at the center of the galaxy once I started my first year at medical school…but get ready for some action, folks, because we are dusting off this ratty, moth-eaten blog, and giving it a whole new view.

We over here are super busy:  I’m in med school, my husband is getting his PhD in astrophysics, and we have a 2 year old son who keeps us on our toes at all times and then some.  That being said, I have decided that I want to try cooking and baking with Gabe.  I think it will be a great learning experience, lots of fun, and (hopefully) super delicious.  Also, maybe this toddler will become a man that can impress all his lady friends with his incredible culinary skills…as opposed to burning popcorn so badly that we need to leave the house to let the acrid smell fade…cough, Gray, cough.

Anyway, that’s my goal.  I know that most of my post’s here pre-renovation tended to be recipes anyway, but now its official.  And it comes with an adorable kid in the mix.

This might turn out to be a total disaster…trying to bake with a not-quite 2-year-old sounds like chaos in the kitchen, but what can I say?  I’m adventurous.

Suffice it to say, this should be quite a ride. 😉

–Marn

the things my baby has learned to do…

Gabey is almost one.  Can you believe it?  I certainly can’t.  It’s so crazy to think about.  So, at a little over eleven months, I decided to compile a list of things that Gabriel has learned to do over his first year of life (in roughly the order they happened…more or less.)

smile

laugh

roll over

sit up

crawl

walk

dance

drink from a straw/sippy cup

turn pages in a book

throw a ball

feed himself with fingers (pincer grip) and spoon (badly)

sing/scream

babble up a storm

climb up the stairs

give kisses

high five

play peekaboo

chase and be chased

stick his tongue out at me when I stick mine out at him

clap (literally just happened today – so adorable).

and then, there is a sillier list of things gabey learned to do:

shove 16 cheerios into his mouth at once

poop while standing up

throw all the toys out of his crib

eat his books

dump milk onto the ottoman and play with it

get food in his hair, eyes, nose…the list goes on

open drawers, and cabinets, and all the other things he is not supposed to open

whine when he wants mommy’s food

escape from the baby gate

chase the cat

pick up teeny tiny particles of whatever off the carpet and subsequently eat them.

This is my baby and i love him.

-marn

Mad Scientist Chocolate Muffins

So I decided today to make something with chocolate in it…mostly because I wanted to give Gabey some…is that weird?  I have been planning stuff for his 1st birthday, and there was a lot of talk about the kind of cupcakes I am going to make (because I don’t want to do a cake.  I think it will be nicer to let Gabriel have his very own cupcake.)  So yeah, I decided to bake.  But I didn’t know what I wanted to make.  I looked at some recipes.  I thought about it.  I looked some more.  Then I said “screw it,” and threw a bunch of crap into a bowl.  ***note:  This is really dumb.  You should never just make something up when baking.  Baking is a science.  Leave the experimenting for Organic Chemistry.  Or..you know…dinner.

That being said…I am a genius.  (Or just really lucky. ;))  First things first…this recipe made THE TASTIEST BATTER EVER.  Seriously.  I mean, like, you could trade out for those fake eggs, or, hell, omit the egg and just eat the batter.  It’s that good.  Anyway, I threw a bunch of stuff together, took a look at the batter and said, “hmm…it’s too thick for cake, and too thin for cookies…I think it seems like muffin batter.”  So I threw some paper liners into my muffin pan and scooped the batter into the cups using an ice cream scoop.  (This made 9 muffins.  I know it’s a weird amount…but like I said…I made this up.  Sue me.)  Put it in the oven and voila!  Really really good chocolate muffins.  Here is the recipe:

Choco Muffins

Ingredients:

1/8 cup (or slightly more) dark chocolate chips (melted)
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp butter
1 capful vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon black cocoa
pinch salt

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Mix together wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Don’t over mix.  Scoop into muffin cups.  Bake for 17-20 min or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 mins then remove and let cool on a rack.  Eat.

(easiest recipe EVER.)  They were so yummy – the tops came out almost marzipan-y…which is weird because there is no almond paste in this.  But it was this nice chewy top.  If you really like chocolate, you could add some chocolate chips to the batter at the end for chocolate chocolate muffins.  You could theoretically sub regular cocoa for black cocoa but it won’t be the same.  Black cocoa is super rich and strong and MUST be used sparingly.  Also it is unsweetened.  I kind of love it.

So that’s it.  Gabey and I just shared one, and we enjoyed it so much I decided I needed to post the recipe.  Enjoy!

–Marn

P.S.  This is totally random, but does anyone find the ‘lessons’ in Ni Hao, Kai-Lan a little ridiculous?  For example, if you are doing better than your friends at something, you should patronize them?  I mean, they don’t actually say that, but in this one episode, the little Tiger guy was better at sports than the rest of the little friends, and made them all feel bad, so he decided to be nice to them instead of bragging.  Now I don’t have a problem with that, but they were doing this sport where they had to roll an egg in a line and whoever got to the finish line first won.  So when the Tiger won, he was “nice” by saying things like, “you’re going so fast” to the guy in 3rd place, and “you’re rolling in a really straight line” to the little guy in last place.  I mean, really?  Way to make me feel good, Tiger.  (What’s his name anyway?  ahh, Rintoo!)  Thanks, Rintoo, really…i don’t mind losing a bit now!  Ridiculous.  (Sorry, total tangent.)  I really like Wonder Pets though.  Ming Ming rules.  And with that… 😉

Mon Petit Chou

So it’s official.  We are weaning.  Reasons?

1.  I would be weaning in less than 2 months anyway.

2.  I am a hormonal mess.  (Apparently this is normal when weaning?  Any mention of nursing makes me break down into tears.  Ugh, so annoying.)

3.  I get to go back on birth control.

4.  I have the freedom of leaving Gabriel for longer periods of time without worrying about when I will nurse him.

5.  I get to wear normal shirts/bras.

6.  And most of all…Gabey is so done.  He wants his big boy cup – so who am I to argue?

There are probably more reasons really…but that’s enough I think.  And there are no reasons that are compelling enough to try to continue breastfeeding.  Yes, it’s better than formula, undoubtedly.  But it’s not like we are talking about a 10 week old, or even a 4 month old.  Gabe is almost 10 1/2 months old.  He eats lots of solids.  He will be fine.  And I will be fine too. (Just give me a few days, and I will be right as rain.)

So…quitting cold turkey.  Not what I had in mind.  At all.  But that decision was essentially taken out of my hands.  So here we are, doing what we can to prevent major engorgement.  (Language lesson of the day:  “Mon petit chou” means “My little cabbage” in French.  Which is way awesome, in my opinion.  Why call your lover “Pookie” when you can make goo goo eyes at a cabbage?  Ah yeah.)

Which bring me to…that’s right.  Cold cabbage leaves.

Totally sexy.  You know that Gray is so digging the salad on my boobs.  Its like, the best coleslaw ever.  (Boobslaw, mmm.)  It helps to prevent engorgement, makes the soreness tolerable and also makes a tasty snack.  …Right.  So yeah, I’m putting cabbage on my breasts.  how do you do it, you ask?  Buy a green cabbage, pull off the leaves, wash them, refrigerate them, then put them in your bra.  A tight bra like a sports bra.  (something nice and snug, but not superbinding.)  Also, I’m hand-expressing the bare minimum amount of milk to keep the searing pain at bay (OK, that was dramatic.  It’s not that bad).  All those things in conjunction with ice packs, ibuprofen, and time, should make the whole weaning process a little less horrific for me.  (Cross your fingers!)

The cabbage-wearing is quite funny, though.  You can see it poking out of my bra – there is no denying it’s green, leafy presence.  I told Gray, “It’s a fashion statement.  You know, like a high fashion model.  Cabbage as art.”  I’m not sure Gray was convinced, though he did say that if he squinted, he could just pretend that I was wearing a shirt with frilly green shit around the neckline.  Thanks, hubs.  You know, I bet he wouldn’t complain if I was wearing this:

cabbage lingerie...sexy AND delicious.

So the transition to formula has been…interesting.  Not too bad, but not super easy.  Harder for us than Gabey.  The pediatrician said he should be drinking around 24 oz of formula a day…this is so not happening right now.  He knows when he is thirsty and when he isn’t.  And I am not about to force him to drink more than he wants.  We will get there.  But he doesn’t seem to be having a problem with the transition in general.  No stomach problems or anything.  We bought Enfamil, the powdered stuff.  We give him 6-8 oz when he wakes up, another 4-6 oz in the early afternoon, possibly another 4-6 oz in the late afternoon, and then another 6 or oz before bed.  I think he just needs to get used to it.  He ended up having like 15ish oz. in total yesterday.  Today he has already had around 12 oz.  So we are getting there.  He will definitely have a good amount before bed, I just don’t know how much he will want when he wakes up from his second nap.  (Especially because I used to give him a little water at that point…not sure if I should do formula instead of the water, or what…it’s a learning process, I guess.)

So that is where we are.  I think I’m okay with it.  I have to be, right?  Dealing with the unexpected, overcoming adversity, and putting your child’s wants and needs first…that is what being a parent is all about.

–Marn

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