Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baking Away!

Tomorrow afternoon/evening is our Halloween party!!!! Superman, Batman and I will be going down to Ramstein to see Kristin, Elphaba, and their boys and having a spooky old time! :D It's going to be so much fun! I can't wait!

I'm taking some goodies with me, so today I spent much of my time baking. (And when I wasn't baking, I was cleaning...my house needs it!!!) I had originally wanted to make these Pumpkin Pillows, but there isn't a snowball's chance in H-E-double hockey sticks I'd be able to find wonton wrappers at the Commissary. Granted, I could have done some variation of a pie crust, but I honestly didn't feel like going to the trouble. LOL So instead, I resorted to these 2 ingredient pumpkin muffins!

Unfortunately, I didn't look closely enough at the recipe posted before starting (oops!), and ended up opening the wrong can of pumpkin! So now I have to find something to make with the pie mix/filling. (Which, if you know me, is so heartbreaking, giving how much I love pumpkin...LOL)

The RIGHT pumpkin (puree) on the left and the wrong pumpkin (pie mix/filling) on the right

As I could only find the 30 ounce cans of pumpkin at the Commissary, I split the can in half and made one batch with French Vanilla cake mix and the second with Spice Cake mix. (I can already tell from the smell that the latter is going to be my favorite!) And I know the recipe says you only need the two ingredients, but it wasn't mixing the greatest, in my opinion, and still a bit dry, so I added one egg to the spice mix batch.

While I was waiting for the last set of muffins to come out of the oven, I started in on preparing for the Oreo cookie spiders.

Unfortunately, we don't have the black licorice pull and peel here, so the legs will be red, and I cannot buy black jelly beans if it's not Easter season, so I substituted with M&Ms. I cut the pull & peel whips into the 1.5" segments (I used 4 pre-peeled whips and had about an inch leftover on each whip, ending up with 215 leg pieces). When I sat down to put the legs into the cookies, they wouldn't fit. :( So on my way to the gym tonight, I stopped by the Commissary to pick up Double Stuf Oreos. Wouldn't you know it....they don't even carry them. So instead, I will try shaving off some of the end that is to fit inside the cookie and try that route. And if that fails, then I'll just use Ritz crackers, peanut butter and pretzels to make the spiders! LOL

While I waited on the appropriate time to replace the cookies, I worked on the Mini Witch Brooms.

Each Fruit Roll-Up gave me 15 pieces of the 2" requirement (and I cut the 2" strips and the fringe before removing it from the paper to avoid unnecessary sticking to everything!), and I had leftover the ends that are folded in on themselves.  I had some issues at first, but it turns out I had cut the fringe the wrong direction, which gave it a completely different (and completely unsatisfactory) look.

The one on the left is done properly and how it is SUPPOSED to look

I used a teacup to hold the water and a syringe that the pharmacy gives out to give infants medicine (Don't worry, this one was unused! lol) to dab a drop of water on the Roll-Up. (A cheap, new paint brush would also have worked just as easily.) It was actually a little bit tricky, and while wrapping them the wrong way, I actually contemplated going for the fatter pretzels, but it all worked out in the end.

And let me tell you, between peeling all those Twizzlers and rolling all those little Roll-Ups on the end of pretzels, my fingers got a bit sticky (as did my kitchen scissors)! LOL

I waited on making the sugar cookies until the boys were home to help me cut out the shapes, but that ended up backfiring because of how long everything else took, so I haven't even begun to make those! They will have to wait until tomorrow while the boys are at school.

For those of you that know me well enough to know my baking preferences, you know that it's a pretty big deal that I'm resorting to "cheating" and using pre-made mixes to bake cookies. (I'm of the "bake from scratch or it's not truly baking" camp.) But with all the other goodies I'm making, I just don't really have the time to take to make it the right way. :( So tomorrow, more kitchen time and cookie cutters are in my future!!!

Great Weekend Quotes

I must say that the following was the funniest I've heard in a while...

The Instigator (while walking to Her Majesty's Theater in London to see Phantom of the Opera and dressed accordingly in nice clothes): "I look like a n00b in this gear with these white socks."

(To those that don't understand the significance of this, it is a World of Warcraft reference, in which he is pretty much obsessed with constantly upgrading his gear, which is what he referred to his [dark colored] clothes and black shoes as. Yes, I think this is indicative of a needed break from gaming, though it's not likely to happen...)

Matt (sitting around the table at Elphaba's house after dinner): "Do you want a washing machine to try dyeing in?"


Me: "Actually, I think I'd like to live a few years more...."

(That one is probably more of a "you had to be there" moments, but it was still pretty funny!)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jet lag!

I would call this most recent 4+ week silence uncharacteristic, but that's not entirely true. (I do tend to not blog for longer stretches of time...) This time, however, I have had PLENTY to blog about that should have kept me from being anything but silent! Paris, the boys starting school....So why haven't I? One simple reason: I'VE BEEN IN THE STATES!!!!!!! I spent three weeks split between Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Oklahoma. My BFF got married and I was her Matron of Awesome (read: Matron of Honor, lol), so I had to be there. I spent my first week in the Springs, seeing friends and family (I got to spend a lot of time with my mommy, which makes me VERY happy!), the second week in Fort Collins being Torie's personal gopher (which I was ecstatic about and completely relished in!), and spent the last week in Oklahoma, going all over to see my amazing in-laws (yes, my in-laws are that awesome that I don't have to have my husband with me to see them...I LOVE my in-laws!). I've actually been back home to Germany for a week, now, but I have spent most of that time either unpacking, knitting, or sleeping. (I've not even been cleaning! So bad of me!) But I have much to post about (I still haven't finished about Paris, after all!), so I will get there. It may just take me some time...