Monday, April 17, 2017

Love at First Bite

Sunset from inside my church
 Easter was sort of weird this year....I think because my lovely and far too independent daughter moved to Massachusetts last August, and took my grandson hostage so he wasn't here to do the whole Easter Bunny thing.  Not that he was falling for it anyway....altho the beard at 14 may LOOK mature, he's probably only a few years past getting suckered by his crafty granny to believe a giant and scary rabbit was sneaking into the house and pooping a bunch of candy in a basket.  And I totally missed his A personality when it comes to such tasks, and how he lined up all the completed eggs in a perfect rainbow for all to admire.  Gramma just threw eggs into the cups, then wandered off and watched a movie or something, completely forgetting until the dye had gone through the shell so our Polish Dish looked like it had confetti in it. And also missed getting up and finding Ethan watching netflix with a nearly empty basket because he'd been up since 6 and had his pre-breakfast snack of 4.5 lbs of candy stuffed into his basket.  And he STILL ate breakfast.....

I wasn't going to make baskets for the "kids" July they will ALL be over 30, so maybe that should be my guilt free cut-off age to stop doing that??  Ended up putting it all in a "platter basket", and for all my good intentions of NOT overdoing it, I thought I was going to need Walt's engine lift to get it into the kitchen. And even at that, it was mostly gone this morning....nothing but a few Twix, a couple snack bags of Almond M&M's, and a bag of pistachios that someone has yet to claim.  If the boys are still in bed when I get home, I should probably sneak into their rooms and give them each a shot of insulin.  I had a FEW.....still haven't learned to not buy candy I love, so those stupid sour watermelon gummies kept calling my name.  Which is apparently "Hey, you....yeah, the one with your pants unbuttoned"....

Breakfast was the Easter Absolute....cannot celebrate the Risen Lord without Polish Dish (another post, look it up), and some lovely asiago roasted garlic bread toast dripping with butter.  We went to bed late (Saturday Vigil Mass takes FOREVER), got up  late, but apparently the kids were hibernating so we finally stood between their bedroom doors and said LOUDLY "We are eating breakfast in 5 minutes, with or without you", so 10 minutes later they got up.  Which was good, because I decided that we had to have some kind of sweet bread after all, did a speed scan of Pinterest, then whipped up my version of the offering "Best Ever Cinnamon Roll Bites".  Everyone LOVED them....they are sweet, and petite, and tender, and super-duper yummy ESPECIALLY if you smear some butter on them, and SO much faster than cinnamon rolls.  I also tweaked the recipe because biscuits need buttermilk, and buttermilk makes things more tender and with a pleasant could probably use Bisquick for this, but you know how I feel about that so don't tell me if you do.  Enjoy.....your first bite will not be your last!

Better Cinnamon Bites

I will admit I cranked up the recipe a bit, and perhaps the pan could have been less full, but what the could probably pile some on top, or use a small oven proof dish or put them in cupcake tins or whatever....just make them and I think you'll discover no one cares, and it's hard to complain when your mouth is full.

2.1/3 Cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 Cup cold butter (1 cube)
1 C. buttermilk

1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup white sugar
2 T. cinnamon

2 T. melted butter

1 T. butter, melted
1 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350, grease or spray a large pie plate or tin, or an 8x8 square glass pan, or maybe a 8 or 10 inch spring form pan and set aside.

Mix topping ingredients in medium sized bowl and set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and soda in large bowl, cut in cold butter with pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until small pea sized chunks.  Stir in buttermilk with a fork, adding more if needed to get a rough shaggy ball, and don't over work or they'll be tough.  Once you have the sides scraped, grab a cookie scoop or two teaspoons and start making rough balls about an inch diameter, and drop each into the cinnamon sugar.  roll around and put in baking dish, continuing until you've used all the dough.  Squeeze them in, or put some in another container if you feel like there's too many - I ate a fair amount of dough so that helped me, lol.

Melt butter and drizzle over top, then bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until you can stick a knife tip in between two center balls and check to ensure they are no longer doughy.  Put on trivet and let cool for maybe 10 minutes.  While waiting to cool, melt icing butter, add powdered sugar and whisk, adding enough milk to get a creamy but thing icing.  Drizzle on top of balls and serve warm.  With butter on the side.....I will add a picture of the recipe next time I make them, but never thought about it yesterday because I was too busy stuffing my face, so you get one of my church I thought was beautiful and more Easter appropriate.  But come to think of it, I wonder how I get ANY food pictures on here since I'm forever stuffing my face....

Friday, March 31, 2017

He's the Apple of my Eye

*taptaptap* this thing on??  Heheheh....yes, I'm still alive, I am just without a home computer and writing full-fledged posts on a smart phone belies it's name.  I have posted several new offerings on my facebook page (bitchinvittles of course), so you can look there since I haven't figured our if I can link the two of the accounts together and don't feel like it right now.  And that's how I roll....except at my real job, THAT I take super seriously and I'm not saying that just because this is out there in cyber "everyone can read it* land.  REALLY.

I really am a bit of a mess....wicked bad arthritis in one knee, plantar fasciitis in one foot, Achilles tendinitis in the other, and bone spurs aplenty in all of them.  No matter what I wear I am sporting New Balance walking shoes, white for casual and gray for more formal attire....they cost dang near as much as Manolo's, so if you see me in a cocktail dress cut down/up to there, remember that my walking shoes look far better with it than me belly crawling across the floor.  I graduated to a pair of "engineered" sandals, and they're pretty cute....but the jury's still out, I wore them today to Ikea so whether I sleep tonight without lightning bolts in my heel or not will determine if they're good enough support until my healing is complete.  I hope so...spending the summer in walking shoes is not my idea of toes need their freedom!!

Last fall Handsome Stranger and I drove alllllll the way to Hood River, Oregon to pick our favorite apples right off beautifully manicured and well taken care of trees at Kiyokawa Family Farms, and got a little carried away....I think we had in the realm of 70 POUNDS of apples just for us, but it was SO MUCH FUN picking it was hard to stop.  My favorite is the Pink Lady (or Cripp's Pink), and they were not u-picking them, but as they were in season, we were able to get them out of the stand, but my honey's pick is always Cameo's, and they were thick and heavy on those trees, just screaming to be picked!  It didn't take long to load up our wagon, and it is truly amazing how good an apple is you just picked off the tree yourself....they are my second favorite, and we bought so many it brought the price down so it was fine by me.

We eat a LOT of apples on's free, they are filling, conquer the sweet cravings, and have tons of fiber and bulk - but maybe not 70 lbs. worth.  After a couple months, HS decided that they were starting to soften just a tad, so he would cull out the ones that were aging and whip out a batch of applesauce, no sugar added.  I have to tell you, that is the best damn applesauce I have EVER was velvety smooth, sweet and tart, and be darned if a thick layer of it on top of demon oatmeal made me think I was eating apple not-so-crisp.  I already miss it, but next year we may have to up the tally to 150 lbs and he can make half into sauce!

I can also find other uses for these beauties....they made great pie, fantastic apple sour cream coffee cake (recipe is in here somewhere), and one my new favorites, Apple German Cake from the good folks at Bob's Red Mill.  They have a store in Milwaukie, and I visited there today....I walked over to the goody case they sell their baked goods from, and didn't see it there, but there was an empty shelf with a blank tag.  I turned the tag around and sure enough "Apple German Cake" was written on it, and a lady who was hovering said "Apple cake, huh?"  I said "HOW can they be OUT??", and she says "Yeah, I know...." and we both walked away with tears in our eyes...oh BOB, how COULD you??

Neither one of us trusts ourselves enough to make it because we know it's kryptonite, but maybe for Easter??  Here it is....I'm not putting it in there, but the recipe does call for some of Bob's products, feel free to use those or whatever you have on hand :-)

Bob's Red Mill Apple German Cake

This cake is not fancy; it's very dark when baked, and has no topping at NOT let that fool you.  It packs and apple punch like you won't believe, and it's sweet, dense, and moist as all get-out....the most I think I would attempt to fancy it up is put a pretty stencil on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar, but trust me when I say no one will care while they are stuffing it in their face.  And it's RIDICULOUSLY easy...

2 C. Unbleached white flour
2 C. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
4 cups peeled apple, chopped in 1/2-3/4" cubes
1 C. walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350, grease 9x13 pan.

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in large mixing bowl, set aside.  In medium mixing bowl combine eggs, apple, walnuts, oil, and vanilla; stir together until well mixed, then pour into dry mix and stir until combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 40-45 minutes; cool and serve plain, with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Enjoy the apple-y and spicy goodness, and think of green orchards against a backdrop of a beautiful snow-capped mountain rising into the bluest of was a pretty awesome experience, you should do it at least once before your knees and feet give out completely!