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Sugar Dish Me

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

Posts Tagged ‘boyfriend

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

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

7 Things to Do When You’re Stressed

with 19 comments

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Or lemon cake. Or lemony blueberry muffins.


The last week has yielded, for me, a metaphorical 5-gallon bucket of lemons. In order to maintain a level of relative calm in this sour hurricane of a storm, I have adapted a few practices that have made it bearable; things I do when I’m stressed that I really thought I should share.

#1 Find an ink pen and doodle all over a pad of paper while you spill all your guts to your mom (or your sister, or your best friend, or all of the above) on the phone. Acceptable doodles include all manner of hearts and swirlies, the names of all your loved ones, including your cats and dogs, and polka dots.

#2 Clean something. I know that this does not sound nearly as fun as drawing swirlies with a hot pink pen, but mindlessly scrubbing things lets you focus on a simple task while exerting an unreasonable amount of force on inanimate objects like bath tubs or ceiling fans. Plus the results are totally satisfying. Tip: avoid cleaning products that boast “Scrub Free!!!” or “Works like Magic!!!” labels. These are not going to help you.

#3 Bake bread. I find baking to be waaaay theraputic anyway, but baking bread is simple and it can go on for awhile. Slapping dough down on your floured table and kneading your little heart out is a super duper stress reliever. And when the baking is done you have big thick slices of warm bread to slather with blueberry butter. THAT is comfort.

homemade honey wheat loaf with blueberry butter

#4 Find the Kenpo X video from the P-90X work out series, put on your sweats, get a big bottle of water, and then pretend to punch the daylights out of the source of your stress. It’s like pillow punching, except you can work on your fitness. And you’ll feel like a badass. Oh! And if you keep it up you’ll look like a badass, too. Perks.

#5 Give yourself a pedicure. Soak your feet in warm water, epsom salts, and a little milk. Make a scrub with some kosker salt and a few glugs of olive oil. Pick the happiest nail polish… your favorite summery pink or red, a girly soft pinky white, a juicy melon color, or go crazy with stripes of green and blue. Whatever you do, stay away from navy or brown or deep dark purple. Save those for November. Right now you need pretty colors and peep toe shoes. Yes yes yes.

olive oil scrub

#6 Go to your favorite coffee shop. Order your favorite drink. The full fat version. Indulge in baked goods. Curl up in one of those huge fluffy arm chairs with your beverage, tuck your feet under you, and just BE.

#7 Hug the ones you love the most. Hug them tight. Don’t let go.

me & my babies; Andrew's been eating blue candy. Can you tell?

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Sweet Tart Cheesecake

with 31 comments

sweet and sour cheesecake
This cake is full of Sweet Tarts for my sweetheart.

Yesterday was his birthday.

In my brain full of thoughtful things, some slight delusions of grandeur, and a Black Visa card, I imagined throwing this man the party of all parties. Streamers, balloons, an open bar. I envisioned a party catered by someone other than myself. Music. A mud bog.

Dr. Pepper to his heart’s content.

A buffet of sour candies.           With a side table full of Reese’s cups.

He deserves it, you know.

Not only does he tolerate my slightly moody overtures and quick tempers, but he does things for me. All the time. Like on my birthday when he built me a garden and made me a pie. That pie was sooooo worth a party.

Sadly, though, I don’t have an unlimited Visa card. And if I raided our bank account for party funds I’d really only be spending Chad’s hard-earned wages. If I’m being completely honest here, I don’t think he much cares that there was no throwdown in his honor. His birthday requests were quite simple:

  1. hot wings
  2. potato skins
  3. cheesecake

And so I obliged.

sweet tarts candies

Sweet Tarts are Chad’s grab-n-go gas station candy. Anything sour, really. But you can be sure that if he stops somewhere for a bottle of water or runs in to pay for gas, he will return with a roll of Sweet Tart candies in his shirt pocket.

Sweet Tarts are the perfect blend of sugary sour. They make Chad smile more than a party. So I put Sweet Tarts in the cheesecake.

I am in this photo... can you find me?

press the crust into a spring form pan
When I met Chad, candy was his excuse to stop and talk to me. I worked in a little store near his job. He bought A LOT of candy.

lemon bar cheesecake
I started with a lemon bar cheesecake poured into a Nilla wafer crust. Then I doused the baked, cooled cheesecake in raspberry sauce. Lemons and raspberries are sweet and tart. But not as sweet and tart as Sweet Tarts.

Which I put in the food processor.

Sweet Tarts candies coat strawberries
Then I tossed the powdered candies with a pint of chopped fresh strawberries.

I highly recommend doing this with any and all fruit.       Highly.

sweet and sour strawberry topping
I covered the cheesecake in in the sweet-tarted berries, and then served it up birthday style, complete with candles and a song.

cheesecake birthday
Sweet Tart Cheesecake (adapted from Fine Cooking)

For the Crust:

  • 1 (12 ounce) box of Nilla wafers
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the Cake:

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (roughly the zest of 2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Topping:

  • 1 recipe Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 roll of Sweet Tarts candies (10-15 pieces)

To Make

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Pulse the Nilla wafers in a food processor until they are crushed into fine crumbs. In a medium bowl combine the Nilla wafer crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottow of a 9-inch springform pan, and halfway up the sides.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 225.

In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and salt on medium speed, about 4-5 minutes. Beat in the sugar and when the batter is smooth add in the lemon zest and vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating in between each one until they are just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake for 3 hours. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool INSIDE THE OVEN. When the oven is cold, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 2 hours,

Spoon the raspberry sauce over the top of the chilled cake, reserving at least half for serving.

Crush the Sweet Tarts in a food processor or cut them into a powder using a very sharp knife. I left some larger chunks of candy in tact for color.

Toss the chopped strawberries with the crushed Sweet Tarts and spread them evenly over the top of the entire cake.

Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Happy Birthday!!!

 

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Comfort Foods

with 11 comments


Typically my children provide me with an endless resource of things to write about. Evan goes to school wearing mismatched shoes or tells me a story about squirrels. Andrew tries to explain the trials and tribulations of Minecraft or completely confounds me with his math homework (math is NOT my department). My two boys are inspiration plain and simple, even when I’m just writing about their latest ridiculous arguement.

But the little boys are soaking up the sun and the love with Grammy for a few days, and undoubtedly playing insane amounts of video games with my little brother. Also they baked cookies this morning (I know that because whenever my high-school-age little brother experiments with Sugar Dish Me recipes he calls me over and over with crazy questions like, “What do I do if the cookies sort of start to melt together… like now I have just one big cookie?” P.S. In case you weren’t aware, the answer to that is EAT IT).

They’ve left me here with no muse.

And then… this afternoon… this happened:

Now listen, I love a good thunderstorm. I love to watch the rain beat against the windows, I love to see the tree branches sway, I love it when the sky rumbles and lightning streaks across the sky. But let’s be real, ya’ll. I live in a trailer. So storms can go from awesome to worrisome pretty quickly.

We had a few storms the other night that COMPLETELY freaked me out. The first was early in the evening. As soon as massive tree limbs began flying past my kitchen window like a stick you throw for the dog we were OUT. The next one happened at about 2:30 am. The wind was screaming so loud outside that I swear I thought a train was going to drive through our bedroom. I seriously lost my voice for a minute and resorted to grabbing Chad’s arm and pinching super hard to wake him up.

I’m sure he appreciated it.

This afternoon’s storm started like any other. Darkening sky, strengthening wind, low growly thunder. When the rain started I got a text message from Chad (surely he was remembering my immobilizing fear from the other night) asking if I was okay? “Of course I’m okay!,” was my reply. I was busy in my kitchen with a re-run of Bones keeping me company. Totally content.

But all hell broke loose and then I wasn’t really okay anymore. I’m sort of a chicken when there are no babies to play it cool for. The gust of wind that knocked our tree over into the road sounded to ME like it was gonna take the house with it. My next text message went like this: “I am scared.”

Then I explained how the tree is blocking the whole road AND there is no access to our driveway. I stood at the kitchen window clutching my cell phone, and frrrEEEaking out on the inside until Chad got home from work. I watched him march around in the rain and lighting with our neighbor, tie this big ‘ol tree to a truck, and help haul it out of the road.

After that I was so so SO glad for things like sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, oatmeal bread, and avacadoes. Comfort foods at their best.


I used THIS RECIPE for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Sandwich Bread. I am in love with this bread. I’ve been making it at least twice a week for little boy sandwiches. This bread is best friends with peanut butter, but it was very happy to be buttered with melty cheddar cheese, too. It’s easy like that.


I smeared avacado all over one half of the bread and then layered thick slices of bacon and perfectly ripe tomatoes over it. Reduced fat extra sharp cheddar cheese covered the other slice of bread. Butter on the griddle and this was an excellent plan in action.



MMMMMmmm, Mmmmmmm, melty cheese and bacon good.

The avacado and tomatoes weren’t too shabby either.

Loaded Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients

slices of your favorite grainy sandwich bread (we used THIS from How Sweet It Is)

sharp cheddar cheese (I went with reduced fat… did you know that Cabot makes a 75% reduced fat cheddar with 1% milk? It is completely delicious)

smashed avacado

thick cut slices of bacon

fresh sliced tomatoes

To Make

One one slice of bread smear the avacado. Top it with bacon slices and then tomatoes. Layer another slice of bread with cheese. Heat a skillet or griddle or flat cook-top (medium to medium high is good). Melt butter across the cooking surface. Put the two prepared slices in the hot butter, bread side down. When the cheese gets sort of warm and is tacky enough to stick to the bread, press the two sides of the sandwich together. Continue cooking until your bread is a nice golden color with a bit of buttery crunch.

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Summer Holiday Parfait

with 14 comments




Bite-size cubes of THIS CREAM CHEESE POUNDCAKE, a recipe so simple that Evan read the instructions and made it almost all by himself (point of reference: Evan is 9), layered with Jell-O instant vanilla pudding and fresh sliced strawberries, topped with blue-tinged whipped cream.

Party in a glass.

Happy 4th Everyone!!


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

July 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

How It’s S’posed to Be

with 29 comments


Sometimes on Sundays we go out for breakfast.

Around these parts we have three choices for breakfast dining:

  • Waffle House
  • Denny’s
  • a cute little local diner full of kitschy artwork; they have a whole wall covered in Dale Earnhardt memorobilia. That’s serious ya’ll.

Waffle House is a grease bomb. I like a good grease bomb every now and again, but I can’t handle Waffle House eggs… they are wrong. I paid my dues at Denny’s. Did you know I used to wait tables there? No? Well now you do. And I did. I waited tables at Denny’s in the middle of the night when the menu switches to very large pictures of three or four meal choices because sloppy drunks do not read. They point at things. I think my friend Summer still works there. God bless you, Summer.

So anyyyyway, we don’t go to Denny’s because a)I have had my fill, and b)the last time we went for breakfast there our server forgot EVERYTHING since she was really busy hanging out and laughing loudly at the table next to ours… she was on my nerves.

That leaves us with kitschy local diner. It is affordable and the food is pretty good. The service is excellent. But here’s the problem: unless you want a FOUR EGG OMELETTE stuffed with everything they have in the kitchen plus hash browns or grits and biscuits or toast, there is nothing to eat.

That omelette makes Chad very happy. Sometimes I order it and eat two eggs worth and then donate the rest to Chad’s bottomless-pit-of-a-stomach. He appreciates it. The last time we went there I decided to branch out and explore my options a little bit. This is how it went down:

Me: “Do you have any fruit?”
Waitress: “No. Not yet.”
—->this is where I’m wondering how a local restaurant in a farming community 10 miles from the Peach Capital of America in peak season does not have fruit???
Me: “Okay well do you have this omelette with two eggs instead of four?”
Waitress: “No.”
Me: “Ummmmm… okay well I guess I’ll have the apple pancakes.”—->if there is no fruit where do they get the apples for the pancakes???
Waitress: “Three or Four?”
—->what I really want is a reasonable portion of something. or a well balanced meal. I have to wear a bathing suit, gah. it’s summer.
Me: “Three?”
Waitress: “You want butter and whipped cream on those?”
—->oh my gosh this woman is killing me!
Me: “Ummm… no… well butter I guess. Do those pancakes come with anything?”
—->normally I would be a good customer and i would already know the answer from READING my menu, but this menu is hopelessly uninformative
Waitress: “No.”

When my pancakes arrived, they were just pancakes. Regular pancakes with a few baked apples on top. But not the good baked apples that taste like you stole the filling from a pie. No. These were the overcooked extra mush-factor baked apples.

Wamp wamp.

And now I know why she wanted to cover it in butter and whipped cream.

The following Sunday I put on the coffee and decided to make the breakfast I wanted to find on that restaurant menu…


So my question to YOU, Mister Local Restaurant, is this: If I can pull this off in my teensy trailer kitchen what are you doing over there?

Oat Nutty Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes are easy. They go like this:







That is how it’s s’posed to be.

Oat Nutty Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes (based on THIS RECIPE from Dark Red Crema)

Ingredients

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

3 tablespoons natural almonds

3 tablespoons pecans

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I like fat free buttermilk)

4 ounces fresh blueberries

**butter for the skillet

**fresh whipped cream

**fresh strawberries or other fruit to garnish

To Make

Put the old fashioned oats, almonds and pecans into a blender or food processor and pulse or grind until coarse crumbs are formed. In a large bowl whisk together the oat/nut mixture, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, and sugar. In a smaller bowl beat the eggand then whisk in the oil. Stir it into the dry mixture and then slowly pour in the buttermilk, stirring until just combined. Set the batter aside for about 10 minutes so the baking powder can do its thing. While the batter rests, heat the pancake griddle or skillet. Smash the blueberries a little bit (I don’t like lumpy pancakes, but I DO like to play with my food, so I just smush the blueberries with my hands) and then gently fold them into the batter. Butter the cooking surface and measure the batter out by the 1/4 cup. Cook until bubbly and then flip. Serve the hot pancakes with fresh whipped cream and fruit.

**I use a pancake griddle/flat cook top for these. I heat it to about 350 which is just right for pancakes. On the stove I fluctuate between medium and medium-high heat. Do what works best for you!!**

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

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