Perfect post-beach dinner

I just made this crockpot recipe tonight – and it WAS AMAZING!!!  Most of my crockpot excursions turn into “learning experiences” via “let’s order pizza.”

I got this off the internet.  It’s so good!  I can’t boil water without it catching fire, so this is a no fail recipe!

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I put in slightly less)
1/3 cup soy sauce (I put in 1/4 cup)
2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins

Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours (mine was done in 3.5 hours).  It falls apart when you take it out.  Nom!

Advertisements

Do this for desert

Too Amazing to Be Named Brownie Cupcakes

* Box of brownie mix
* Box of oreos
* Peanut butter
* Your favorite muffin pan + muffin papers

Make the brownie batter.  Frost the top of an oreo with peanut butter.  Stick another oreo on top of it.  Place it in the muffin pan.  Add brownie batter and cover the oreo sandwich.  Bake at the temp the brownie mix says.  It will go much faster than the time on the box, so keep your eye on it.

Nom.

Cheerio, Dahling!

Tonight is the night I’ve been waiting for….the American premier of Downton Abbey!!!!!!!!!!!!!  To celebrate the occasion, my friend Samantha is coming over and watching the show with The General and I.  Of course, tea will be served!

I wasn’t sure what to make for tonight – I found a bunch of English cake recipes that while they would be quite tasty, had weird ingredients and seemed too intense for my quiet Sunday afternoon (I feel like I’ve been on vacation this weekend!).

One thing I really loved in England were the scones.  The ones you could buy in the train station were the best.  I was reminded of how much I love English scones while in Ireland this past year.  

I found this recipe at this amazing blog.  I’m going to make buttermilk scones with blueberries in them.  I’m using a variation recipe – there’s a link on the blog – but here’s the quick rundown:

Ultimate Classic Scones

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. frozen grated butter
  • ½ cup cold milk

Makes 8 x 2” scones

Preheat oven to 475° F

Sift the dry ingredients 3 times into a large bowl. Rub the frozen grated butter into the dry ingredients until it feels like sand.  Add enough milk just until you get a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top. Knead very gently once, then fold and turn the kneaded dough 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. Pat the dough into a rectangle about 6” x 12”, then fold into thirds.

Using a well-floured 2” biscuit cutter, make 6 x 2” rounds.  You can get 2 more scones from the scraps but they won’t be as tender. Alternatively, use a well-floured sharp knife to form wedges.

You can either brush the top of the scones with milk or lightly flour.

Bake on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until the scones are lightly coloured on the tops.  Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process.

Traditionally served with clotted cream and preserves,  try a healthier option of non fat plain greek yoghurt with your favorite preserves.

Die Essen (The Food)

OMG.  The food was amazing, I learned about so many different dishes!  I even bought a German cookbook (downside: it’s all in German and metric). Here are my favorites (and I have recipes!!!!):

– Currywurst

It’s pronounced “curry-verst” in German.  It’s a street food that is beyond amazing.  It is pork sausage with a tomato based sauce with spices and topped with curry powder.  Best part is the sausage is already sliced in pieces for you, so you can dig in right away with an itty bitty fork.  It’s usually served with french fries.  Nom.  Now I’m not much a sausage person, but this stuff really knocks it out of the park.  I ate it every chance I had.  It got to the point where The General was currywursted out.  “The wurst is yet to come,” I said with a smile.  As soon as I “dry out” from my meat bender and find a butcher in this beach town, I’m going to make this.

– Berliner Weisse

If it’s one thing the Germans get right, it’s beer.  I’m not much of a beer drinker, but our tour guide did recommend one beer that he said “was too sweet for him” – the Berliner Weisse.  I knew then I had to try it.  (I have a sweet tooth….in every tooth).  It’s a brand of beer I’m going to attempt to find here, Berliner Kindl (A slang southern German that translates as “Berlin Child.”)  It’s akin to Budweisser here, light and clear.  It’s then mixed with a sweet syrup that’s either grün (green) or rot (red).  Red was raspberry, green was apple — my favorite.  I’m about to order it online.  Because of America’s absolutely fantastic alcohol import laws, I am unable to find Berliner Kindl here; but it should be easy enough to find a replacement.

Noms.

Now that I am going to be home to do this thing called “dinner” (did I spell it right?), I’ve been racking my brain for ideas on what to make.  Seeing as how I just learned how to boil water within the past couple of years, I’m no where near the mad skillz my husband has in the kitchen.

I randomly googled “what should I make for dinner?” and this website popped up.  AMAZING!  It’s all healthy, cheap, and no weird ingredients.   I hate finding awesome recipes only to see it needs something that doesn’t exist in this hemisphere.  Or a food I’ve never heard of in my life.  Or one that costs $30/pound.

Tonight I made this.  And it rocked.  OMG.  I impressed myself.

I made this a few weeks ago.  It didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked; the pineapple seemed a bit mushy, but I’m hoping to try it again with pineapple chunks instead.  Taste was spot on, though.

I signed up with the website which allows me to save my favorite recipes AND it has a feature on it where it will tell me what’s on sale at my local grocery store.  Score!

I will continue to shop like a German: I only buy what I need for the day.

 

Nom

It turned out amazing!  I impressed myself!  It tastes like Sweden, it reminds of the food in Stockholm.  I know it’s not the most healthy of recipes, but it’s all made from scratch and life is too short to count calories.

And no fire fighters were invited to dinner — bonus!  Even as The General was walking out the door to work, he paused to ask, “You know where the fire extinguisher is, right?”  “Yes, under the kitchen sink.”

I think even he will be impressed with tonight’s creation.

The best part?  Drinking the rest of the wine.  The recipe only called for 1/2 cup.  Oh yeah.  I win.

“You can’t and you won’t and you don’t stop”

Shhhh.  I’m being a bad girl today.  It feels kinda good.  I totally called into work simply because it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. The General and I are heading out on a roadtrip tonight and wanted to leave mid-shift for me.  For fear of being stuck at work due to work load, I figured why not just take the day off?  I screwed my co-workers a bit……and I do feel bad about that…….but I’ve been there every day (plus extra time out of the kindness of my heart) for the last 4 months……so I rationalized it that way.  And I dreamt all night of patients who have a bad pancreas and all the fun that comes with that.

The winds from Irene only made it up to gusts of 70mph here…..so my hurricane virginity remains intact.  ::sigh::  For my 1st major storm, it was a learning experience.  I didn’t realize how strong “the bands” were of the storm that come through bringing gray stripped skies and a crazy amount of wind and rain.  The winds were the worst the day after the storm, I had never experienced wind/gusts quite like that yet.  The worse damage done to our house from Irene was a branch down in the yard with leaves and sticks all over the place.  State Farm kept calling me and leaving messages on my phone of who to call about making a claim…..made me laugh.

Hurricane Katia is churning out in the Atlantic now.  I was excited for some waves…..but it looks like Katia wants to wrap up her summer in Myrtle Beach.  She could turn, dissipate, or slam into our coast — as the computer models are currently predicting.  I’ve decided that I like hurricanes, I love a good storm – it’s the midwesterner in me.  However, now that I am living in my dream house I’m a little more worried about the damaging effects of these monster storms.  I decided when we bought this joint that it was going to be just that: a house.  It will not run my life, it will not be my life, and if the Lord takes it away via foreclosure, storm, or circumstance – then so be it.  We’ll just be on our next adventure  My faith is in Him.

Speaking of waves, the other weekend my nieces Mary (12) and Martha (9) came down with my sister-in-law and we had a blast down at Kure Beach.  I took the girls out surfing — Martha was content to be on the boogie board, but I did manage to talk her into riding some waves I pushed her into on my 7’6.  Mary, on the other hand, was a natural.  It took her a couple of hours what took me the better part of 2 summers!  She caught a couple of waves and kinda stood up, but nonetheless she was stoked and had some great rides.  Mary is also my height and the same bra size as me.  That was humbling.  They said they were coming back down in the fall sometime and I am excited!!!!  It was awesome to share the gift of surfing with my nieces…..and they were eager to wax the boards too!!  I called Mary my “wahine” (wah-hee-nee) which is Hawaiian for “girl surfer.”  Super awesome.  We also played a rousing game of spoons that had us erupting into fits of silent laugh mode.

I am so psyched for our roadtrip to the state gamelands of Pennsylvania!  It’s The General’s family reunion – about 100 people with similar alleles all gather together for fun, beer, great food, more beer, and 2nds or 3rds through the food buffet.  Last time we went we were dating — several weeks before he proposed.  Much has changed, much has not.  I’m looking forward to seeing my in-laws, nieces, and aunt-in-law.  I plan to surprise The General with 375mL of Jim Beam and airplane bottles of Bailey’s for his morning coffee :-).  I have a feeling I’ll be driving home if the dark rum I’m bringing doesn’t get to me 1st! We’re camping out in a tent again and it’s suppose to be warmer than the 10C outside it was last time!  For the 11 hour car ride I also made a huge batch of puppy chow.  Heehee.  I really need to take a nap before we hit the road.

For lunch today, I stopped at Tidal Creek, the local co-op for everything organic.  I grazed off their salad bar (I’m trying to be vegetarian, but with moments of meat here and there) and had the most amazing concoction: chocolate zucchini cake.  OMG.  Nom.  I need to find a good recipe for it — I could taste the zucchini just a tad over the chocolate and there wasn’t bits of zucchini — it was amazing.  I might go back just for the cake.  I’ve been eating terrible the past couple of days and this reunion isn’t going to help, but all bets are off when surrounded by all that wonderful food.  I’m going to try out this “portion control” bit that I’ve been working on.

The title of this post in a line from “Sure Shot” by the Beastie Boys I heard on the radio today while driving around.  The DJ mentioned this clip and I had to share it.  As a former fan of Sesame Street, this is quite amusing.  Enjoy.

Run, don’t walk

….to Britt’s Donuts!  I’ve lived in the Cape Fear region for 5 years now and I have never been to Britt’s Donuts in Carolina Beach at the Boardwalk.  That all changed this morning.

The General and I headed down to Kure Beach this morning to hang out.  The waves were nice, but I didn’t bring my board because he said there weren’t any waves on the beach cam.  We took the boogie boards out, but my board rash from yesterday’s awesome session on my 6’2 short board (that I can stand up on if I squat down – it’s really pathetic surfing wise, but I had a blast!) kept me from boogie boarding properly.  So we sat on the beach awhile, as I was still half awake.

We decided to get breakfast and get some espresso in me.  Our 1st stop was Majik Beanz, a hippy-dippy coffee shop off the main drag in CB.  I got a latte with some chocolate vanilla in it and I am in heaven.  We then walked to the boardwalk for donuts.  Now, I’m not a big donut fan.  It’s the one sweet treat I can say no to.  I don’t crave them.  I usually am very picky (chocolate) about what kind (chocolate) I like; no glaze (chocolate), no cream-filled stuff (chocolate).  I was skeptical, but everyone I know raves about this place so I had to try it.

Oh. My. God.  Amazing.  They melt in your mouth.  My mouth wasn’t watering, it was crying for more Britt’s Donuts.  I told the General we had to leave before I bought another one.  And other one.  I could have finished off an entire dozen myself (if only it all went to my boobs…..).  It’s a good thing that they are only open during the tourist season and only take cash – I rarely carry cash.  I will be back!  And they’re 85 cents a piece.

Another fun spot introduced to me by Samantha was The Fuzzy Naval   The Peach Belly Button  The Fuzzy Peach.  They have one up off Racine, downtown, and soon to be Monkey Junction.  It’s heaven.  All sorts of flavors of frozen yogurt with EVERY TOPPING YOU CAN IMAGINE!  From fruit to crushed up graham cracker to anything with chocolate, holy cow, it’s an amazing experience.  You pay based on weight, you get to fill yours up!  I joked they have one in heaven, but when you get to the cash register, Jesus shows up and says, “No, it’s okay.  I got this, it’s paid for.”  Samantha, Charlotte and I sat around eating these amazing creations and catching up since it had been forever since we chatted.  We just need our Miranda and we’d be all set.

I live in paradise.

Linx

I also made it to Sugar on Front Street – finally!  OMG, their frappuccino is to die for!  I think I will dream about it tonight.

And if you happen to be in Carolina Beach, check out this place on the south end of the Boardwalk.  It’s a great place to balance out all the saltiness of spending the afternoon on the beach.

I also picked up some of these for my flower bed at the farmer’s market.  My goal this week it get them planted and finish the last battle against greenbriers and stubborn shrubs along the driveway.

RBF: my new obsession

While I’m slowly coming out of my slush haze, I rediscovered a new drink: one that still isn’t very healthy, but I can drink it before work!

A rootbeer float.

My Dad used to make these fine drinks back in the day for us and I got a craving for them the other night out of the blue.  I’ve had like 2 per day for the past few days.  It’s so good and refreshing with all this humidity here.  I know this disobeys my rule of  “no drinking pop unless it contains alcohol,” but I’m thinking of changing the rule to include “or ice cream.”

I used chocolate ice cream instead — wow, it’s good.  Next time I’m going to try vanilla with Cheerwine.

It’s pouring outside right now – no surfing for me this AM, which is probably a good thing since my body needs to rest.  And do we ever need the rain.

Next on the menu: sitting on the porch with green tea reading the Bible and journaling.

 

Slush

Another hot Carolina summer has arrived!  I love it!

The General and I were discussing different drink ideas to try and he brought up something that has never come up in our 5 years together: slush.  It was a frozen cocktail his mom used to put together with fruity ingredients and rum.  Rum?!  Within a few minutes, I had his mom on the phone to get this recipe.  Surprisingly simple, all you had to do was combine the ingredients and freeze ’em.  Because of the alcohol content, it won’t freeze, but turn to…..well, slush.

Slush

You need:
1 12oz can of orange juice concentrate
1 12oz can of  lemonade concentrate
About 12 oz of pineapple juice to taste (the canned stuff)
1/2 to full bottle of the cheapest clear rum you can find (depends on how strong you want to make it, I went all in)
Clear pop (Sierra Mist, Sprite, lemon-lime, etc)

Stir orange juice, lemonade, pineapple, and rum together and freeze.  When serving, fill your glass with half slush, half pop.  Next time I try this, I am going to use tonic water or club soda to save on calories!

It’s okay to drink after a couple of hours, it will be ice cold, but no slush will form.  Overnight seemed to be the trick: it was perfect slush.  Just be careful: it’s really concentrated with the rum, hence the pop.  And it’s a great way to cool off in a Carolina summer!