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Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Archive for the ‘Sugar’ Category

Sugar Dish Me Moved!!

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So… by some default of my own (because i am the complete opposite of techno-savvy), some of – actually A GOOD CHUNK of – my traffic keeps landing here at WordPress.com.

And I’ve made SOOOOOOOO many new things since those Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins.

I moved Sugar Dish Me and it would make me so so happy if you’d make the jump with me (if you haven’t already).

To see allllll the new goodies CLICK THIS LINK!!!!

And when you get there you can subscribe at the right-hand side of the page.

Here is a quick look at a few of the things you’ve been missing (you can click the photos for the recipes)…






If you’re already following at the new site THANK YOU!!! I appreciate you so much! I really truly do.

And if you’re new here, I look forward to hearing from you!!

Until then…

~Heather

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

November 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Strawberry Muffins

with 13 comments

chopped strawberries for muffins

I do realize that it isn’t strawberry season anymore. So let me explain.

Evan LOVES strawberries. And when I spied them on sale at the end of the season I got just a little overzealous with my purchase. He happily raided the strawberry container in the refrigerator for about 4 days, and then some of the berries lost their luster. Bruises appeared here and there and my little guy lost all interest.

I felt sort of guilty about buying too much because I reeeeeeally hate waste.

And so… muffins.

fresh or frozen strawberries

But before I break down the superb nature of these crazy awesome complex carbohydrates… a few changes!

SugarDishMe.com is moving! Okay but not really. It will still be sugardishme.com. I’m just moving my web hosting around (I posted a little note on Facebook last week, so those of you that follow there already had a heads up) which is basically like one gigantic brain-melting headache. The new site is built and I honestly thought everything would be done about a week ago but it takes 7-10 days for the domain to move and then another few days for the name servers to propagate.

Hey! Look at that! That sounds like I know what I’m talking about! (I don’t.)

What I DO know is that I haven’t posted here thinking that I would just publish this post there, except the recipes are piling up and I haven’t talked to you all since SATURDAY. And I missed you.

Oh! Before I forget…Trailer Trashtastic is still alive and well and I actually found time to update it last week, so there’s that. Especially if you’re interested in mobile home living/decorating/solutions, or maybe you’d just like to laugh at my wallpaper? Anyway… I’ve got a few cool projects set to go up in the next week or so.

leftover fruit muffins

Okay, so strawberry muffins. This is what happens when I buy too much fruit. Or when I buy fruit that just totally disappoints me (yeah. I’m talking about you, GRAPEFRUIT.) . Blackberries I think would be pretty amazing here. Chopped apples would, too. If you were clever enough to freeze your summer bounty (or if you are in the habit of stocking up on frozen berries, you know, just in case) then use some of it here! Seriously.

whole wheat strawberry muffins
These babies were my breakfast for three days straight. And my snack. And Evan’s snack.

It got down to paper, rock, scissors for the last muffin. I was paper. PAPER COVERS ROCK!!!

Buuuut I shared. Because Evan is really cute. And I thought that hoarding all the muffins from my nine year old might set a bad example.

strawberry muffins

Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

zest of 1 lemon

1 cup buttermilk (I used reduced fat)

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen strawberries

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until its light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Mix in the lemon zest and buttermilk. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chopped strawberries and coat them with the eggy buttermilk mixture.

In another bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet and divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full (I got 18 muffins out of this recipe). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a pick inserted into the center of the muffin crown comes out clean.

wholesome morning muffins

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

October 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Two-Bite Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

with 18 comments

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Sometimes I think that Chad might be from another planet.

And I’m not talking about that Men are from Mars crap.

I’m talking about normal cultural references… stuff I thought most people our age (most ages) knew. This all started a few weeks ago when we began toying with the idea of furniture shopping for a few things we need around the house. I’m a sucker for Rooms-To-Go and Ikea marketing; everything in one place at a discount!!! Plus I am really not good at decorate-ey fashiony sort of girl stuff, so wandering through places like that gives me some idea about what in the world I’m supposed to do. A Rooms-To-Go ad appeared in our mailbox and I flipped through it, commenting on things I may want to go see. I said something about liking these chairs but that they were probably sort of pricey because they have Cindy Crawford’s name on them. And then he said this:

“Who’s Cindy Crawford?”

making homemade Hostess cupcakes

So I’m like, “You know. CINDY CRAWFORD. Supermodel. Pepsi commercial. Very distinctive mole. Cindy Crawford!” And he still had no clue.

I busted out some Youtube and pulled up the Pepsi Commercial thinking he’d go, “Ohhhhhh. Cindy Crawford.” But no. Chad has no idea who Cindy Crawford is.

I guess maybe I should be thankful for that?

ready to fill cupcakes

Saturday afternoon gave him some lazy time on the couch while I worked out some elaborate kitchen project (but for the life of me I have no idea what we ate on Saturday…?). He was scrolling through the Netflix library looking for something suitable to half watch/half sleep through, and then IT HAPPENED AGAIN.

Chad asked me, “What’s ‘Heathers‘?” Ummmmmm, are you kidding me?

First of all… my name is Heather. And though I bear absolutely ZERO resemblance to anyone in the movie, I’ve spent my whole life having people draw references to it when I say my name. PLUS I thought ‘Heathers’ was one of those movies that you everyone HAS to see. It’s like saying you’ve never seen The Breakfast Club.

cream filled cupcakes

So I told him that. AND THEN he said that he’d never seen The Breakfast Club.

I almost fell over from shock.

I’m pretty sure both of the kids have seen The Breakfast Club. Where has Chad been? Under a rock? And how do you find your way into adulthood in the year 2012 knowing who Conway Twitty is but not Molly Ringwald?

To be fair, he sort of saved himself a little bit when he said, “Oh, you mean the one with all the kids in detention and that one weird girl eats Cap’n Crunch on her sandwich?”

frosting on cooled chocolate ganache

So I made these little two-bite homemade versions of Hostess cupcakes. Chad DID know what a Hostess cupcake is… I was worried there for a minute. These taste exactly like the real deal, except better because the filling doesn’t have that odd sugar-flavored-but-flavorless-vegetable-oily thing going on. AND I topped them with a chocolate ganache. AND this recipe makes about 48 little squishy two-bite chocolate dreams, which is waaaay more than you’ll get out of a box of those cupcakes. AND since they’re so small you can have two without the guilty compulsion to run 16 miles. Even Cindy Crawford might indulge.

cream-filled bite size cupcakes

homemade hostess cupcakes

Two-Bite Homemade Hostess Cupcakes (adapted from THIS recipe at Can You Stay for Dinner)

Cupcakes

1/2 cup hot brewed coffee

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup granulated sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Line a mini-muffin pan with paper liners and then lightly spray over the whole lined pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate, let it stand for about a minute, and then stir with a fork until smooth. Mine had lumps at the bottom and wasn’t so pretty at first; don’t worry. Set the chocolate aside and in a large bowl beat the egg until it’s frothy- about 30 seconds. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and oil. Then beat in the chocolate.

In another large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides. Use a tablespoon to portion the batter into the prepared mini-muffin cups.

Bake for 10-12 minutes; a pick inserted into the center will come out clean, or with just a few sticky crumbs, The tops will be a little bit springy to the touch. Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Cream Filling

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the butter for just a minute to smooth it out. Then beat in the confectioner’s sugar a cup at a time, mixing until smooth in between each addition. Follow the same procedure with the heavy cream, adding it a tablespoon at a time and beating until smooth in between each addition until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Then beat in the vanilla.

Start Assembly

Using a tiny paring knife cut the middles out of your tiny cupcakes. The cupcakes will be really soft and this part won’t look perfect. It’s fine. Just use clean fingers to gently press and shape the opening in the top of the cupcake, but not too much. The frosting will fill it and there will be glaze to cover all this up.

Fit a pastry bag with a good tip for filling (I used a Wilton star tip 22 and put all the filling in one bag instead of dividing it because the star tip 22 worked for piping the curly-cues across the finished cupcakes, although it wasn’t totally “Hostess authentic”) and put about 3/4 of the filling in the bag. You can also use a ziploc bag with one corner lobbed off. Fill the tiny cakes with the vanilla buttercream just to the top (try not to go over the lip of the opening).

Chocolate Glaze (Chocolate Ganache)

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy cream

Put the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the heavy cream until it simmers. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let it stand for about a minute. Using a small whisk or a fork, whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth. If the mixture is too liquidy for you just let it stand for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cools.

Complete Assembly

Spoon the chocolate glaze onto each cupcake, using the back of the spoon to smooth it out. Work as quickly as you can because the ganache doesn’t smooth as easily (or look as pretty) as it starts to cool.

After I spooned the chocolate glaze over my cupcakes I refrigerated them for a few minutes, to let the ganache set up. Then I used my pastry bag to pipe the little swirl across the top of each cake using the last 1/4 of the buttercream.

 

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies

with 14 comments

carrot cake whoopie pies

Growing up, my sisters and I had a favorite book. I’m not sure my brothers ever cared much about it, though I KNOW it lived in the giant book basket that was perched next to the hearth, and I’m sure my mom must have read it to them. My mom read us lots of books.

Anyway, our favorite book was called Fanny and May, by Jon Buller (and NO, this has nothing at all to do with the giant loan conglomerate Fannie Mae, though they should probably read it and learn a few life lessons). Pleeeeeease tell me you’ve read this book.

If you haven’t read this book, you need to find it and commit it to your everlasting mind… stat. Download it to your kindle, search it on your nook, read it on your iPhone. I don’t care if you have no small children in your life. It’s THAT crucial. I promise.

In this book, a sugar obsessed elephant named Fanny lives with her mom and her little sister, May, in a house made of CAKE.

That’s right. I said cake.

So in the story, published in 1984 because that year helps this next part make sense, Fanny and May’s mom (also an elephant… a very fit elephant) marches through the cake house in leg warmers, a leotard, and a fuzzy headband and says she is heading out to aerobics class. If I lived in a cake house I guess I’d probably have to take like 17 aerobics classes a day, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in a leotard. My mom used to rock the leotard/leg warmer/fuzzy headband look in aerobics class at the Y when I was little. That’s because she is infinitely cooler than me.

carrots for cookies

Okay, so the elephant mom is heading out to aerobics class, and the last thing she says to the girls is, “And don’t eat the house!!!!”

Ummmmm… I don’t know about you, but if I told my kids not to eat the house made of cake while I left for an unspecified amount of time, I’m pretty sure they would do exactly the opposite.

set up to bake carrot cake cream pies

When mom is away, elephant girls will play! It wasn’t long before cakey cravings got the best of Fanny and she just had to lick the house frosting.

flours and oats

May tries to tell Fanny that licking the frosting is a sliiiiiiiipery slope. Very slippery. Because only a teensy percentage of us possess the willpower to have just one tiny taste of some kick ass frosting (though I’m wondering… does house cake stay fresh? Does the frosting melt in the sun? Does it freeze like wedding cake? What kind of foundation do you build it on? So many questions…).

Of course, Fanny does not listen to May. If she did this would be a really boring story.

beat the butter and sugars

Fanny tempts fate, licks the frosting, licks some more frosting, has a bite of cake, and then CAN’T STOP EATING THE CAKE.

Before she knows what has happened, Fanny eats the whole house.

And then May is all like, “What’d you do that for, Fanny? Why can’t you be more like me and exhibit some freaking self-control? Mom is going to kill you.”

beat in the eggs

Fanny starts to worry, though thinking back, I’m not sure how she wasn’t in a sugar coma. Maybe elephants metabolize cake better than I do?

So here’s the best part of the whole story: Fanny’s like, “Whatever, May. You’re such a goody two-shoes. What kind of elephant girl doesn’t WANT to eat a house made of cake? Gah.”  And then! She jumps on her skateboard and heads to the wishing well. In case you couldn’t tell, that’s my favorite part.

dry to wet ingredients

When Fanny gets to the wishing well she waits in line for a while, hoping she can fix the problem before her mom gets done working out. There’s this creepy man in line right in front of her and when it’s his turn, he throws his coin in the wishing well and does the WORST THING EVER.

He says, “I wish for there to be no more wishing well!” Then he cracks up laughing in Fanny’s face.

I mean, who does that?! I suppose, in the real world, someone would probably commandeer a wishing well and ruin the fun for the rest of us. There is no way a wishing well could ever exist peacefully in the center of a small town. But I still think it’s a pretty crummy thing to do to a little girl on a skateboard, for crying out loud.

stir in carrots

Poor ‘ol Fanny makes her way back home, dreading the conversation she’s going to have to have with her mother.

bake.

P.S. Before I finish with storytime here, I’d like to note that the above photo is a very clear picture of What Not To Do when making these cakey little cream pies. DO NOT shape, smush, or flatten out the dough. Just let it be weird and rounded and ugly. You’ll be glad I warned you when you make these.

carrot cake oatmeal cream pies

When Fanny arrives home, her mother and sister are busy baking new bricks of cake to rebuild the house. The mom was pretty nice about it. Probably nicer than I’d be if my kids destroyed our home. Maybe she had really good insurance? At any rate, I always felt sort of bad for Fanny. We all know what it feels like to totally lose control and eat the whole house.

Moral of the story? You can’t have your house and eat it, too.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cream Pies (adapted from THIS recipe at Cookin Cowgirl)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, divided

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cloves

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

Pre heat the oven to 350. Butter a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Beat the butter and sugars together until they are fluffy and smooth- this takes about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, continuing to mix until they are just combined. Blend in the vanilla.

Using 3/4 cup of the oats, make oat flour. Just pulse the oats in the food processor or blender until coarse crumbs are formed.

In a large bowl whisk together the oat flour, remaining oats,  all purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Using a sturdy wooden spoon stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Then fold in the shredded carrots.

Drop the dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet. Do not try to flatten or shape the sticky cookie dough – you want the cream pie sandwiches to be fluffy and this dough has a tendency to spread in a tasty but not-so-pretty way.

Bake for 10 minutes and then let the cookies cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream Pie Filling

The Pioneer Woman says that marshmallow fluff tastes EXACTLY like the filling in a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie. That would be a great shortcut if you have it on hand. I used vanilla buttercream because I was out of cream cheese (a sin, I know). The original recipe calls for a cream cheese filling, which I bet would be amazing, considering cream cheese and carrot cake are practically best friends. So the cream cheese option is what I’m including for you here:

8 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar **Note: Again, I haven’t tried the frosting part of this recipe, but if it were me, I’d cut the sugar and the cream cheese in half.  Annnnd I’d sift the powdered sugar. If your frosting seems too thick, add heavy cream a teaspoon at a time until the consistency is where you want it. Okay. I’m done.**

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the vanilla. Then beat in the powdered sugar. Beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Spread a bit onto the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich the frosting between another cookie.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Sugar

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

“Cake” Party

with 11 comments

icebox cake with sprinkles
Sooooo… this cake feels like an end of summer party.

I think it’s because of the sprinkles. And the freezing.

I actually made it way way way back in August for my brother-in-law’s birthday. My family is slightly obsessed with funfetti.

I was going to save this post for the weekend. Because this weekend we are aiming for a day filled with rollercoasters, parking lot peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and $9 frozen lemonade. THAT feels like a reason to share this cake party more than any plain old Thursday I can think of (except Thanksgiving… which might be the best Thursday ever).

Today was supposed to be all about basil walnut pesto. But I was going through things today, making some changes on my page (P.S. you can follow on Instagram and Pinterest now… I managed to get the buttons to the right over there to work! I am admittedly the last blogger on earth to figure out how to make all that happen, and when I finally did it was because Chad knew which buttons to push. Techno-loser alert.) and I noticed that this past month, really this past week has been overrun by basil. It’s because I have too much! The basil is out of control!! But my basil is not your problem.

graham cracker cake

My executive decision was to share NOT more basil, but an obscene amount of sprinkles.

This week has been reeeeeeeeally long. Did it feel like it went on forever for you? Despite the amazing weather we’ve been having, I mean crazy gorgeous let’s-have-a-picnic-all-day-everyday weather, this week feels like it’s been one great big forever task. It was all full of trips to tax offices and lines at the DMV. This week was busy lunchtime errands, mailing packages at the post office, and annoying phone calls (though I may have made those calls from the sunshiney front porch with my feet up on the rail). All of this felt like more reasons for sprinkles to me.

sprinkles on whipped cream

All these sprinkles that are all over everything are part of something called an icebox cake. You know about those, right? Layers of pudding and graham crackers and sweet whippy cream are stacked together and frozen. The pudding softens the graham crackers and they take on a cakey kind of persona. It’s freezer science. I should mention that “icebox” is a totally retro romantic way to refer to your refrigerator.

Let’s make this a trend.

making icebox cake

The last icebox cake I made was chocolate, reminiscent of a chocolate eclair.

It was suuuper fancy and fantastic. I’ll share that with you one day.

But on this day, as I gear up for a weekend full of extreme amusement and maybe even another demolition derby, it is definitely all about the sprinkles. And pudding made out of cake batter.

frozen funfetti

Friday’s mission: put sprinkles on something.

Because there are no holidays on the horizon. Because this week went on for an eternity. Because even if you don’t feel like cooking pudding from scratch or making a Funfetti Icebox Cake, you deserve some kind of cake party. A colorful one at that.

final frosting

 

Cake Batter Pudding (from THIS recipe at How Sweet It Is)

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup box yellow cake mix

a pinch of salt

3 cups cold WHOLE milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

**Note: I made this with 2% milk and the pudding layers in the finished icebox cake were too “freezy”. I wanted an ice-creamy texture and what I got was ice, which was kind of disappointing because this pudding straight out of the fridge was AWESOME. I wanted the frozen pudding to be needed a creamier, so I called for whole milk here. That is my preference for texture. BUT! The original recipe actually called for vanilla almond milk, so go with whatever strikes your pudding fancy. Just thought you should know.**

Make a large-ish double boiler. I used two medium-sized saucepans, the bottom pan filled 1/4 of the way up with water. Bring the water to a rolling simmer. In the top pan or heat-safe bowl whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cake mix, salt, and milk. Mix until it’s combined and place it over the simmering water. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the pudding is thickened, stirring occasionally. Check to make sure your water doesn’t simmer away. When the pudding is ready it will coat the back of a spoon and drizzle ribbons (thanks for the tip, Jessica!). Let the pudding cool completely.

Refrigerate until you’re ready to use. **You can make this stuff ahead of time**

Funfetti Icebox Cake (also from How Sweet It Is, recipe linked above)

1 quart heavy cream, cold!

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla ** let’s pretend you don’t feel like making whipped cream from scratch… use Cool Whip in place of the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla listed here**

1 (14 ounce) box of graham crackers (I bought 2 boxes “just in case”; I needed a few extra grahams because I actually had enough pudding & whipped cream to make Two loaf-pan cakes)

3/4 cup sprinkles!!!!!

1 recipe cake batter pudding (above) OR 1 batch of prepared instant vanilla pudding (saves time! still awesome!)

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap running in both directions and up over the sides. This will help you get your finished frozen cake on outta there.

Make whipped cream. Pour the heavy cream in a large bowl an beat on low using whisk attachments until stiff peaks form. Be patient. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until they are just combined. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream and put it in a smaller bowl. This will be for “frosting” your finished cake. Refrigerate both bowls until you’re ready to use them.

Using the large bowl of whipped cream, “frost” the bottom and sides of the prepared loaf pan. This layer should be about 1/2 an inch thick. Place graham crackers across the bottom of the pan; I had good luck breaking the grahams at the “seams” to fit. Spread more whipped cream over the top of the graham crackers. Cover with sprinkles. Then another layer of graham crackers. Then a layer of cake batter pudding. Keep layering all the way up to the top of the pan, making sure to spread and push the pudding and whipped cream down the open sides. End at the top with a layer of whipped cream. Pull the plastic wrap that’s hanging over the sides loosely across the top of the cake and freeze for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Two hours before serving turn the cake out of the pan and onto a serving platter. Using the small bowl of whipped cream you set aside, “frost” the top and sides of the cake so you have a pretty finished product. COVER IT with sprinkles. Freeze for at least two hours, slice, and serve.

easy icebox cake

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 13, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Posted in Sugar

Tagged with , , , , , ,

My Son Hates 7th Grade

with 36 comments

no-bake oatmeal cookies
My oldest son is in the 7th grade. That sounds really strange to me when I say it out loud. Because I can remember the 7th grade, and it doesn’t seem far enough away for me to have a kid that’s 12. But anyway.

Andrew, my biggest little boy, is right smack in the center of what I totally remember as being the most awkward, emotional, and unfriendly years of life… Middle School. Errgh. He’s lucky because he’s super-dee-duper cute. I had snaggleteeth. He wears pretty cool clothes (which I think must be easier for boys except for those unfortunate few that are shoved into too-tight Wranglers and velcro sneakers). I’m pretty sure I dressed like a loser… my sisters were too little back then to tell me what on earth to wear. He’s got a sense of humor, and a handful of friends, so in comparison to MY middle school world Andrew is doing pretty doggone good.

But he still hates 7th grade.

Everyday he comes home and tells me so.

It started with our open house/school supply disaster.

making no-bake chocoate peanut butter cookies

We went to the open house. The teachers actually gave us the time of day (which is more than I can say for any of them last year). We were feeling pretty good. I asked each teacher the same question: “Is there anything specific he will need for your class?” The overwhelming response was, “Nah. Not really. Just a binder. Some dividers. Pencils and paper– standard stuff.” We were super prepared for allll a that thanks to my sister, aunt AND elementary school teacher extraordinaire, who went crazy on school supplies and bought every single thing on every single list the schools had provided on their websites.

So Andrew headed off for his first day of 7th grade armed with an awesome 3-inch 3-ring binder, enough dividers for each of his 8 classes, pencils, paper, and a brand new book bag. He returned home with a list of demands from nearly every single teacher, all wanting their OWN binder, 42,000 dividers, pencil pouches, etc. I was so completely overjoyed to have to traipse around Wal-Mart on the first day of school with every other parent in our town trying to find supplies that sold out weeks before. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be?

Let’s not forget the part about the currently unavailable and previously unrequested school supplies being a test grade.

I wrote a very nice email letting the teachers know that we know they wouldn’t make these requests lightly and that we were trying to accomodate, but that I can’t be the only parent running up against this wall, blah, blah, blah. It was super carefully crafted; eggshell-worded. Because Lord knows I do not want my kid to get off on the wrong foot with his teachers. Buuuut my plan backfired. Because the only two teachers that responded were snarky beotches. Also Andrew overheard these same two ladies gossiping about us. Rude.

The principal was nice. She gets a gold star.

making no bake oatmeal cookies

Of course I drove in circles until I found every last school supply listed. Because I want my cutie boy to do well. It took me 3 whole days.

In the meantime Andrew discovered that none of his friends from last year are in any of his classes. He has the worst (and latest) lunch. He isn’t allowed to take his book bag to class and since we now have like 79 small binders instead of just one big one he has to try to go to his locker in between each block (there is no such thing as “1st period” or “5th period” anymore; now they are called “blocks”. lame.).

He has the bottom locker.
The bottom locker sucks.

This whole process has made him tardy 3 times in a week. Three tardies = Silent lunch.

chocolatey no bake cookies

In 6th grade there wasn’t much homework. My little one, who was in 3rd grade last year, always had more homework than Andrew did. I warned him that a light workload wasn’t doing him any favors… not that he could have done anything about it. And now he is paying the price. It’s sort of stressing him out.

So every day Andrew comes home from school and tells me that 7th grade sucks. I hate that. But I just keep reminding him that we are gonna get through it. HE is gonna get through it.

When your kids start to get big there’s really only so much you can do without making it worse. I’m trying so hard to help. And even though it’s sort of considered the un-cool thing to do, my help involves trying to pack Andrew’s lunch.

Late, friendless, silent lunch needs cookies. And if you smash all the good kinds of cookies into one, single, bake-free bar, you get these.

Today when Andrew came home he told me he still hates 7th grade. BUT! He got 104 on his spelling test last week. And he’s got a good grip on his math and science classes. And he made a few friends on the school bus.

So maybe it’s not all bad. And as long as there are cookies something is good.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip No-Bake Cookie Bars (from THIS recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

To Make

Line a 9 X 13 pan baking dish with parchment paper or foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the old fashioned oats, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stirring peanut butter into oats is a good workout. Set the oat mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot sugary butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until the oats are moistened completely. The chocolate will melt. Dump the whole sticky wonderful mess into the prepared baking dish and press it out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Press in the remaining chocolate chips.

Let it cool completely. It needs to set up for at least an hour before slicing.

I cut these into 1 X 2 bars and wrapped them individually. We stored them in the fridge and had them in lunches and for snack all week!

chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

White Nectarine Cobbler

with 23 comments

white nectarine and apple cobblerIt’s Labor Day!

Let’s not work.

My little boys are still sleeping and I’m curled up on my sofa, bare feet tucked beneath me, coffee in one hand, typing with the other. Chad tried to work this morning. He got out of bed, donned that familiar uniform, laced up his work boots, and headed out the door. Thirty minutes later he returned, his efforts foiled by all the coworkers that decided NOT to work on Labor Day. He’s currently underneath his old truck, bolting, or un-bolting, or whatever happens when he goes out there to be elbow-deep in all things greasy and mechanical. That is Chad’s version of not working.

Mine includes this couch for at least another half hour, another cup of coffee (or two), and a blanket across my knees. I might load a book onto my nook. I could use a good new read. Any suggestions?

I even plotted my workout schedule to yield a break today. There are no sports bras or running sneakers in this Monday’s future.

how to make easy fruit cobblerBut if you NEED to expend a little energy… if, perhaps, you have some obligatory Labor Day cookout to attend, or if you’re just feeling a little bit like nurturing your sweet tooth … you should make this White Nectarine Cobbler happen. Maximum results, minimum effort. Just exactly the way a lazy day should be.

butter and batterLazy days should also include ice cream. Especially lazy Labor Days, since this particular holiday marks the end of summer and all. This cobbler is a perfect vehicle for ice cream. Not that ice cream actually needs a vehicle to be worthy of consumption, but every little excuse helps.

add your fruitI used white nectarines in my cobbler. And a few slices of granny smith apples. Cobbler feels like a fall-ish thing to me. So do apples. I’m waaaaaaay ready for fall. But nectarines, especially white nectarines, with all their sweet reminders of nectar and honey, are decidedly a summer thing. This super simple cobbler was my way of marrying the seasons … a segway of sorts. This dish was the dessert version of pulling up the petunias and bedding down the pansies. It was a dessert meant to invite jacket/boot weather in and usher bathing suits out.

But I’m still gonna wear my flip flops.

sliced apples and nectarinesToday is Labor Day. Take advantage if you’re lucky enough to be off. Stay in bed just a little too long. Indulge in that third cup of kitchen table coffee. Read a gossip magazine. Have a beer with lunch. Pour it in a frosty mug and enjoy it on your patio.

Do not go to Wal-Mart.

making easy fruit cobblerGet excited about the seasons changing, even though in my great state of North Carolina it will probably still feel like summer long after daylight savings gives us back that extra hour of sleep. Add cinnamon to things.

fruit cobbler with cinnamon and nutmegEat fruit cobbler. Have seconds.
easy fruit cobbler

White Nectarine Cobbler

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup milk

2 cups sliced white nectarines, 1/2 cup peeled, sliced granny smith apples (or 2 1/2 cups of your favorite sliced fruit and/or berries)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

To Make

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Pour the melted butter into a 9-inch pie plate. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in the milk  to make a thick batter. Pour the batter over the melted butter. Spread the fruit evenly across the top of the batter. Don’t press the fruit in, just let it float across the top of the batter. The batter will rise around it as it bakes. Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg across the top of the cobbler and then bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Depending on the accuracy of your oven, you may need to bake this for up to an hour (mine runs a bit hot). Let it cool slightly. Serve warm.

custard like fruit cobbler

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

Posted in Sugar

Tagged with , , , , ,

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