Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kitty Hank

Hank has such a tough life.

Curled up like a kitty cat

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies

I mentioned in my last post that I spent my entire Saturday watching Sex and the City. What I did not mention was that in between most episodes, I ate at least one of these cookies. If you do the math - OK, I don't want to do the math. All I'm saying is that serious damage was done. Even though I'm embarrassed by the quantity of cookies I consumed, I had to share this recipe because these are the best cookies you will ever bake! Seriously, I know you aren't supposed to brag about your own cooking, but I just wanted to give myself a big hug after I made these. If you love the chocolate and peanut butter combination, you need to make these now. Like right now.

I'm not sure if I should thank Jenny at Picky Palate for inventing THE perfect cookie, or ask her to buy me a new pair of pants. Seriously, they are a bit snug this week. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Do That. Don't Mock the Clothes.

This weekend my friend Amanda came to visit. Saturday, we pretended to be in college and spent the entire day laying on the couch, recovering from the night before, and watching Sex and the City. It was fabulous.

I didn't really get into Sex and the City until college. We had 'country cable' growing up, so of course, there was no HBO. Oh, and I was twelve when the show started. I was too busy day dreaming about Lance Bass from NSYNC to worry about Carrie Bradshaw's Manolos. (I hadn't developed a gay-dar at 12, OK!?) Anyway, one of my freshman roommates, Tara, owned ALL the seasons. Needless to say, there were many, many Sex and the City Marathons on the fourth floor of Wright Hall. This continued to be a trend throughout the next four years. During my sophomore year, every time I got a pay check, I would go buy a season until I had the complete series.  Even now, after watching every episode at least 20 times, I still laugh and/or cry each time I watch them.

On Saturday, we watched an episode from Season 4, the absolute best season, and this fight between Carrie and Aidan had us cracking up. I had to share it because it's a problem most of us can relate to....

Not enough freaking closet space + Combing two people's junk = At least one blow-out fight. Carrie and Aidan's fight just happens to be hysterical.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Peach and Raspberry Delight

Last time we were in Arkansas, Brian's grandma gave us a ton of veggies along with a few, small peaches. I've never made anything with fresh peaches, but I knew I wanted to use one of my Grandma Diebold's recipes. Not only was my grandma an incredible person, she was also an amazing cook. So many of the memories I have of her involve being in the kitchen. I grew up watching her bring my family so much joy through her cooking, and I really think that is one of the reasons why I love to cook.

I chose this recipe because it's the perfect hot weather dessert. I like to pretend that the fresh peaches cancel out the pounds of butter and sugar I used to make this. There are many ways you can make this recipe lighter, but I am not about to alter an already perfect, grandma approved, family recipe.

Fresh, ripe peaches - yum!
I was having some trouble peeling the skin off of the peaches so I did a little research and learned a great trick. I followed this tutorial, and it made my life so much easier!
I only had about 2 cups of fresh peaches so I used one can of sliced peaches to fill in the gaps.

Raspberry Jello topping =  the perfect compliment to the peaches

You can use whatever jello/fruit combination you can dream up for this recipe.

You have to make this!
 Grandma Diebold's Peach (and Raspberry)* Delight

1st Layer
2 c. flour
2T. sugar (This doesn't seem like much, but the other two layers provide plenty of sweetness.)
2 stick butter - softened
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts.)

Mix all ingredients, spread in 9 x 13 pan, bake @ 350 for 20 min.  Cool.

2nd Layer
1 c. sugar
1 (8 oz) cream cheese softened
1 carton (9 oz) whipped topping
3 cups fresh peaches sliced

Cream sugar and cream cheese. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture over crust. Top cream cheese mixture with peach slices.

3rd Layer
1 c. sugar
4 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. water
1 pkg. (3 oz) peach gelatin*

*I could not find peach gelatin anywhere!  Raspberry and peach is a delicious combination, and I think my grandma would totally approve!

Combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in water. Cook until thick. Stir in gelatin until thoroughly blended. Cool. Spread the glaze over peaches. Keep refrigerated.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Show Me Your Teeth

I know it's Monday, and I know Mondays are terrible. However, this is not something a little SHARK WEEK promo can't cure. Everyone loves Shark Week. I mean who doesn't love watching a Great White Shark swallow a Killer Whale whole? (Kidding..kidding...) To make this particular video even more perfect, they used one of my favorite Lady GaGa songs - TEETH! Oh, AND Andy Samberg is going to be the Chief Shark Officer. Wow. Today is going to be a great day.

Set your DVRs, people. July 31, 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cajun Chex Mix & Patriotic Cookies

As I said in my last post, we spent most of our weekend on the water. I wanted to bring some snack food for my family, but I didn't want to make anything that would take up precious cooler space or melt in the sun. Last week, I was still on vacation in my mind so I was not about to make anything from scratch. Really, all I did was pump up store bought ingredients. Quick, easy, and delicious - my kind of snacks!

Cajun Chex Mix

I used this recipe as a guide. But instead of buying the individual ingredients, I bought two bags of the packaged traditional chex mix and added a can of mixed nuts. Due to the quantity of mix, I used about 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 T. of Tabasco, and 2 T. of Tony's Creole Seasoning. This salty and spicy snack was a huge hit. I kind of wish I had some right now...

 Don't forget the butter! (I left it out in this picture for some reason.)

Patriotic Sugar Cookies

This fantastic post provided the inspiration. Maybe next time I will go the homemade route, but I did make them at home so technically they are homemade! :) I had so much fun making these cookies. It was like I was back in Kindergarten at the Play dough station.

Hank is a very serious chef.

So messy, but so worth it!
I'm pretty sure that I ate a tube of the dough before I could get them in the oven!

Let me warn you - if you are using store bought rolls of cookie dough, they spread! Check out the first batch. They might not be the prettiest things, but they still tasted great.

Patriotic cookies cookie cake

The next time around I made sure to make them smaller and leave plenty of growing room. These actually look like cookies..and I didn't have to cut them with a pizza cutter. Ha!

Much better...
Packed and ready to go!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July Festivities

Over the Fourth, we spent our holiday weekend on the lake in Heber Springs, AR with family and friends. We had such a great time! Looking through these pictures, makes me homesick. I guess the only benefit of living away from so many people we love is that when we do get together - we make it count!

Me, Ashton, Laura, Erin

Stephen, Caleb, my Brian, Brian, Jared (I would just like to point out his sweet tank top.)

I don't know what this look is, but it cracks me up.

My sister Gracey loves America!

Hank loves America, too!

Mom, Dad, Aunt Carol, Ellen, Laura, Brian and I spent the day on the lake Saturday. I'm sad that I didn't get any family pictures! I would like you to envision everyone sporting classy, stick-on patriotic tattoos, Donna Laura rocking an American flag bikini, and Ellen with her blinking, flag necklace proudly guarding her throne - a red, white, and blue 'USA' fold-out chair. Now, at least you have a mental image. Ha!

One person who we all missed a ton is my cousin Rachael. She is stationed in Italy with the US Air Force. I'd like to thank her, and everyone else who is serving or has served this great country.