Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So that's what's up

It's been a rather weird day today...kinda matches my mood. I'm feeling fuuuuuuunky. Can't put my finger on it. Sat down and put together a Candy Corn garland for the shop - been telling myself to get one done for the past two weeks. Yeah, still dealing with that whole motivation thang. At any rate there should be some more Candy Corn available in the next couple of days. I'll post a note to let everyone know when...ya know, just in case :)

We had a pretty heavy storm that blew through this afternoon. I ran outside to drag the trash cans in before it hit and as I was traipsing through our overgrown lawn in my floppy, fuzzy pink slippers that are a full size too big, dragging the trash can along behind me - a gigantic spider crawled out of the grass and ran across the tip of my slipper - the slipper that I promptly vacated and left to the spider's devices. 

Actually, I vacated the slipper, made a mental note of where the little SOB went, and then ran inside to grab my camera. You know, cause it makes so much sense that I'm scared to death of them but want to stick a camera in the face of each one I come across. I actually located it again and it turns out that it was a female spider. 

Here she is:

That's right. Not only did I manage to not have a heart attack, find her, and photograph her.... I managed to successfully capture her without any harm coming to her or myself....or her gigantic egg sac she is carrying. Hence the whole 'female' thing. I'm just assuming.

This is one of the two large types of spiders that occasionally find thier way into the house - we have tons outside, these are the only ones that I've seen indoors though. We get Wolf Spiders and these - which are Fishing Spiders. Would you believe me if I told you this was a small one? Body was about 3/4" long...and it had a leg span of about 2". I've had bigger in my living room.

This third shot is blurry, but it's the only one I have that really shows the size of her egg sac compared to her. My camera's battery died right after this one.

Mister Man and I took her to the creek on the other side of our neighbors house and let her go. Hopefully she won't find her way back.

I mentioned the storm earlier. It hit us hard for about an hour, but no damage. Right before the storm hit though, there was an insanely still moment, and then this strange wind that blasted all the leaves from the trees straight up into the air. I caught the tail end of it here...

So. Stuff like that happens here.

Those seem to be mostly leaves from our trees. Our neighbors hate our trees - you can probably guess why. I'm not too sure what they are...we've heard Sycamore and Birch. At any rate, they drop leaves and branches (like huge honkin' branches) all the time. It's already time for us to start raking them up. Blech. I had blisters on my hands at one point last year from yard work - all because the stupid leaves. We tried just running over them with the mower, but then that just created a mulch that covered the grass and killed it off, resulting in a very muddy Winter and Spring. Muddy is no bueno with three dogs. So we've settled on raking. We figure it's a healthy way to get out and exercise. I hate exercise, and I need to start to doing more of it. Blech.

Anyway. That's me for now. Just whole whole buncha excitement.

I am off to harass my husband into watching Bad Girls Club with me. Yep. I frickin love that show. Can't even find any part of my that feels guilty about it anymore.

Have a very, very nice one...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rainy Day Weekend

What a rainy and sleepy weekend! Hurricane Issac paid us a brief visit. We were told to expect anywhere up to 4" of rain before the holiday was through, so we rented some movies, did our grocery shopping early Friday morning (making sure we bought some candles this time), and prepared for a cozy four day weekend at home. We didn't get anywhere close to 4" of rain. We got more like 1" over the entire weekend. Nothing to write home about. But we were still content to have a relaxing weekend at home. We baked plenty of noms, watched some funny movies and a reeeeeeaaally crappy one (Silent House), played plenty of PS3 and gave out tons of tummy scratches (I didn't even get out of my pjs all day was perfect).  All in all, a pretty fantastic weekend.

While we didn't get much rain, we had lots of humidity and plenty of clouds. Lots and lots of fluffy clouds. That got me thinking about them. Clouds on the brain and all... Started perusing some cloud crafts on the web and came across some really cute projects. I was in the crafting mood yesterday so I decided to start on a little something something for our bedroom...

Here's a little peek of the WIP...

It's going to be tough to release Mister back into the work world tomorrow. I'd much rather keep him home snuggling on the couch and kicking the crap out of some poor fool online in Borderlands... At least it'll be a short week - only three days and then it's his normal three day weekend! Not too shabby, and nothing I can complain about.

Other than that, things are pretty slow around here. We've just been trying to get some things taken care of around the house. Since we've decided to sign another year lease at the place we're currently renting, we're breaking down and fixing up some of the things we'd stubbornly refused to before now. Renting blows. 

On a brighter note - it's almost Fall!

Last year I tried to not bring out the holidays too early - tried not to overkill it. But this year....screw it! I can't tell you how miserable the Summers are here for me. I'm always covered in mosquito bites (which I'm rather uncomfortably allergic to) and the heat/humidity is just friggin gross. I look forward to Fall and Winter all...year...long. This is serious business and I am so happy it's just around the corner! Hot cider, pumpkins, scarves and fireplaces... Bring 'em on!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

'til next time...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Yummy Bacon Waffles

Yep. I'm on a bacon kick this week. Turns out yesterday was Kraft's National Bacon Day, and I didn't even know it. Complete coincidence that I posted the Banana Bacon Cookie recipe yesterday. Come to also find out that this week is National Waffle week (I honestly don't know why I know this...but I do), so what do you think the logical conclusion was?

That's right.

Bacon Waffles.

Figured it was an awesome excuse to have Bacon Waffles for dinner last night.

So we did.

Want the recipe? You know, just in case? They're pretty damn good. Mister Man swears.

Bacon Waffles
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes: An insane amount of waffles - consider only making half if you're feeding 2-4 people


10-12 slices Peppered Brown Sugar Bacon - recipe follows
3-4 tblspns plus 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
3 cups flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tblspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cup Canola oil
1 tspn pure vanilla extract

To make the noms:

Peppered Brown Sugar Bacon

Preheat your oven to 375°. Arrange the bacon on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil.** I actually cook my bacon on a cooling rack that has been sprayed with cooking oil placed over a 9x13 metal pan that has been covered in foil. It allows for the grease to drain away from the bacon and helps with clean up**. Combine pepper with 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar, then sprinkle mixture generously over bacon, coating well. Bake 10-15 minutes or until bacon is crispy and the brown sugar is caramelized. Remove bacon from oven, place on a cutting board. Cut into small pieces and set aside.

I could seriously stick my face in that plate of bacon. 

Preheat waffle iron. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla extract in another bowl. Fold the two mixtures together, make sure to not over mix - the batter should be slightly lumpy. Fold in the bacon pieces.

Pour your batter into hot waffle iron coated with cooking spray and cook until lightly browned. 

Serve with butter and warm syrup. If your so inclined, reserve some bacon pieces for garnish. :)

I have to mention again that this recipe yields a ridiculous amount of waffles. Cooking for just the two of us, I would have halved the recipe had I known we'd end up with so many. Not to worry though. You can just pop those puppies in the freezer and heat them in the toaster the same way you would an Eggo Waffle!

1) Cool waffles completely  2) Place cooled gigantic mountain of waffles in a single layer on a baking sheet and flash freeze - or place in the freezer for roughly 30 minutes to an hour. 3) Once frozen remove from the baking sheet and store in a freezer bag or air tight storage container. 4) When ready to eat, just pop in the toaster like you would any store bought frozen waffle and enjoy! I'd recommend not allowing your waffles to defrost before placing in the toaster oven. They tend to get mushy if that happens.

Seriously, nothing beats homemade waffles in the morning. Mister Man likes to toss them in the toaster while he's mixing up his protein drink and making his coffee. My lazy butt is usually still in bed when he leaves (before sunrise), but it makes me feel better knowing that he's at least gone off to work with something warm in his belly. A homemade something warm in his belly. :)

There might be another batch of waffles in our future this week. Might as well replenish our stock of frozen ones, and National Waffle Week is as good an excuse as you get to mess around with fun recipes!

Hope you are all having a fantastic and safe holiday weekend my friends!

'til next time....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Banana Bacon Cookies

Man, bacon tastes good with anything. Freaking anything. Banana Bacon? Who'd have thunk it?

Well Libbie Summers did! I actually found a few recipes for Banana Bacon Cookies online, but most of them seemed to be derived from the recipe from her The Whole Hog Cookbook, so I'm crediting her with the idea!

Of course, I have to tweak my cookies ever so slightly, and I like to make smaller batches of items since it's just Mister Man and myself currently. So the recipe below is slightly different than her original (yield 30 cookies), which you can find at the Spoon Fork Bacon blog.

These cookies are very soft and more reminiscent of banana bread than a cookie. So don't be surprised at the texture of the final product. The batter is on the thinner side, but I found that using parchment paper and keeping to a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie kept it from spreading out too much while baking. I strongly urge you to use the parchment paper! It makes a big difference in this cookie. Also, the amount of bacon in this recipe almost doesn't seem like enough. Increase it if you're a true bacon lover and want to indulge (we did).

Banana Bacon Cookies
15 cookies


1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, mashed (approx. 2/3 cup)
8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped  - set aside small amount to use as topping

To make the noms:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the egg until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, then mix in the mashed bananas. Mix ingredients well. Fold in the bacon.
4. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet approx. 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with bacon pieces.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until slightly browned. Completely cool cookies before storing them in an airtight container. Cookies will keep in the fridge up to 1 week - in pantry up to 2 days.

They are delicious and I think that the light banana flavor compliments the saltiness of the bacon perfectly!

I hope you get a chance to try the recipe and like it as much as we do.

'til next time, my friends...