Do I have a story for you!! We had a lovely little weekend, ALL the way down in Colorado Springs. The hotel was great, the boys spend hours in the pool, the Geologist bought a ridiculously hot leather jacket (I still can't believe he let me talk him into it!), we saw The Lego Movie, and finished our trip with a visit to this neat little area of Downtown Colorado Springs, where my family used to visit a kite shop (I think) and I used to go to a candy store with my best friend. The candy store is closed, but the square is still full of fun little shops surrounding a park. We had some awesome burgers (cream cheese, bacon, perfectly gooey fried egg. Life-changing!!) and hung out at the park for a little while, before rounding up the boys and heading home. Idyllic.
On the drive home, right as we hit Denver, I realized I left my purse at the park!!! Now, that in itself is scary enough, but for those of you not familiar with the area, Colorado Springs is over an hour's drive away from Denver. I called the burger place and they were nice enough to run out and check for me... but my purse was gone. We drove around in circles while the Geologist called the police department and I frantically got all of my credit and debit cards blocked, then resigned ourselves to my purse's fate. But less than five minutes after we got off the phone, we got a call... from the police officer who found my purse!! And everything was still in it!! Of all the people who could have found it, a cop?? Seriously?? Call it luck, call it blessings, my prayers were certainly answered. So we drove back down to get it. And took the scenic route back, because we were completely sick of the highway at that point. Life is good!! Besides, I had just bought a new purse that day, and I really really like it. :)
As you read this, we will be on our way to Colorado Springs for our Spring stay-cation! We looked into a dozen places to camp, but it's just too cold. So we got a great Groupon deal on a family hotel and are going to spend the weekend an hour away, showing the boys all my favorite places from growing up at the Air Force Academy. Garden of the Gods, an old toy store and candy store, and lots and lots of pool time! It'll be fun to get away. So I've set up this post and tomorrow's to publish while I'm gone.
Buffalo Chicken kinda goes in the same category as bacon, don't you think? Love it or hate it? I still remember the first time I was introduced to this tangy, spicy sauced chicken. I was eighteen, and thought it would be disgusting, but my date swore it was the most awesome thing around, so I had to try it. And was hooked!! I think it was partly appealing to my love of all things spicy. My Dad and I used to have salsa-eating contests... though I still don't remember exactly what winning entailed... I love things spicy. Mexican food is just not right unless it has some heat, and plain Cheetos have nothing on the flaming ones! (Yes, I know, those things are disgusting. I can't help myself) Now when it comes to buffalo sauce, I still want to taste the stuff. It can't be so hot that all you taste is heat! This is the best sauce I've found, with the easiest prep. Perfect for a football snack (or March Madness, for that matter!!)
Ah, bacon. Is there anything like it in the whole world? It makes everything better. Even brussels sprouts! (Especially brussels sprouts!) The smell of frying bacon makes any morning feel like a holiday. I have had a serious aversion to anything meat-related while the boys were sick (all better now!!) and the only protein I could eat was bacon. LOTS of bacon. It's just one of those things. People either adore it or hate it. Have you every met anyone who could just "take or leave" bacon?? I sure haven't!! Kind of like these cookies. I will be honest, not everyone who tried them liked them. But those who did, RAVED. If you're a salty-sweet fan, if you're a bacon-and-chocolate fan, you've got to try these cookies.
Well, Joe caught the flu, my bracket is destroyed, and Spring Break starts tomorrow. Which is normally a fun thing, but not with another sick kid and those nasty little germs just waiting to take down the rest of us!! Fingers crossed!! And at least when it comes to basketball, I can't possibly be the only one out there with a bracket in tatters. This year is NUTS!!
In honor of yet another bright and warm sunday following a cold snowy saturday, I present to you, homemade no less, the most classic summery cake ever. I hope you try it out, because I think there are few cakes that have made me so proud. And it's not as hard as you might think!!
It's snooooowwwwweeeen. (Translation: Snowing) It's crazy how even though I am SO ready for Spring, and I wish it was 60 degrees and sunny outside... while the snow is actually falling, it's impossible not to enjoy it. Snow is magical like that.
Anyone else out there caught up in the Madness? Basketball? Anyone?? We are!! The Geologist's brother has been the ringleader of a family-wide college basketball tournament since before we were married. Everyone fills out a bracket, including the kids, there is an award for the winner AND for the loser. It's a big deal. And the only time of the year I actually pay attention to sports. Of course, I don't pay any attention leading up to the bracket, so I just wing it. There are a few teams I am emotionally attached to, for "old times" sake, and I almost always pick the Kentucky teams to win. Because they have horses there. Which has nothing to do with basketball, but I love horses, so there's my reasoning. Joe goes with whichever team has the funnest name... or BYU. So compared to him, my reasoning makes all kinds of sense. :) If you HAVE been paying any attention, how CRAZY are things this year?! It's like Duke being dethroned last year made all the smaller teams think, "Wait a second... you mean we can BEAT them?!" because it's happening ALL over!! They just got beat again, by the way, and I was totally cheering the upset... But I had to be quiet about it, because we were in a restaurant surrounded by Duke fans who probably would have beaten me up... There's a reason it's called Madness, people!!
Well, I thought our family had escaped the stomach flu this season... But it finally caught up to us!! Poor little Stephen called me from school with a headache and feeling "shakey", and while the nurse assured me he didn't have a fever, I forgot that that doesn't mean much in my family. See, I have this really strange trait of having fevers that don't register on thermometers. Burning up, but totally "normal", according to the tool that means anything to professionals. And it looks like my kids inherited it from me! I made him stay there and by the time I picked him up it was clear he was sick. I felt so terrible for him!! He ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor because he was so scared he wouldn't make it there in time. Luckily it seems to be a 48-hour virus, and so far none of the rest of us have caught it... Lets just hope it stays that way!
On the plus side, the boys have been so sweet while staying home (which is not the usual state of things!), the weather is gorgeous today, and I had these awesome pancakes for lunch. Hooray for leftovers!
Just one of the many delicious uses for that gorgeous Brioche dough! I may not have ended up using her recipe for Brioche dough, but I love this recipe from Simply So Good! It's one of my favorite food blogs; Janet has the best step-by-step pictures, and I love her style. It's exactly how I wish my pictures looked... sigh. Go take a look!!
Goodness gracious, where on earth has my week gone?! Ack! Sorry for letting the week slip by, and my delayed posting of this life-changing recipe; between my first workout in over a month (owwww!!!) baking six dozen muffins and looking for window replacement contractors, it's been a busy few days!
When I say life-changing, I mean it. I've tried four different Brioche recipes before this one, and none of them worked for me. They all tasted just fine, but after the initial rise in the pan, that was all she wrote. No rise in the oven. That is not Brioche, folks!! This version was my very last hope, and it really is fool-proof!! If you trust the recipe and don't freak out about how soft the dough is, you're good to go! In fact, for my second batch, I accidentally doubled it without checking my yeast... It needs a tablespoon, and after my first tablespoon there was barely a teaspoon left. So I tossed that in and crossed my fingers... and it rose just as much as the first batch! That's what I call fool-proof, when a recipe can handle a few hiccups!
Sigh. Sometimes my family doesn't share my adoration of all things lemon. What's a girl to do? The boys liked this soup but said, "Less lemon next time Mom." The Geologist agreed. So I toned down the lemon a little for the official recipe, with a little wiggle room for the crazy lemon-lovers among you!
In other news, this might be one of the worst snow-storms we've had this winter! And I have to drive in it again to take Stephen to gymnastics... Ack. We've had more snow before, but the last time it was blowing around this much was at night! Maybe we'll get school canceled. I feel kinda ripped off, we live in the skiing state, and are supposed to get aesome snow, but we never get snow days!! I want to steal a couple from Washington D.C. and Missouri! So jealous!! Well, if you're stuck inside for yet another snow day, and need a little taste of summer, this soup is just the ticket. :)
I've noticed a frustrating trend in the media lately. Well, there are a LOT of frustrating trends in the media lately, but let's not open THAT can of worms. There's just one that has been getting under my skin, personally. I watched a lot of chick flicks this week, they are my time-killer of choice while the Geologist is away. Frivolous and silly and light-hearted, they are a great distraction. But I noticed that there is a new recurring character in romantic comedies these days, and I'm not a fan. Have you noticed that lately the beautiful, single, young, successful heroine ALWAYS has to have the "married friend"? The one who is constantly complaining about the obnoxious things she has to do for her kids, her obnoxious balding overweight husband, is crass, rude, and borderline alcoholic? Do ANY of you know Moms like that? I sure as heck don't! I may not drink, but I totally understand that some people like to have a glass of wine or a beer to unwind. I get that. I don't get this fictional mother who hides vodka in sippy cups and cannot deal with her family unless she's had a bottle of wine with breakfast. Sure, we married women can appreciate an attractive man. You all know my crush on a certain ridiculously named British actor! But I certainly don't drool over every shirtless hunk like I'm already bored with my husband. Who is this person?!
Where did this character come from?! I don't know anyone like that! There are already such wars occurring about motherhood: stay-at-home mothers battling working mothers (and vice versa), single women battling mothers (and vice versa), natural birth battling hospital birth (and vice versa)...etc. I think it is fair to say that the role of mothers, and their choices, are being attacked on all sides. These battles make me so sad. If the media is going to portray us as half-drunk harpies, the least we can do is stick together! Moms are awesome. ALL of us. This is a tough job. There are days I fail miserably at it. But every Mom I know, no matter how they feed their kids, what kind of diapers they use, or how clean their house is, is AWESOME. Lets try to appreciate each other. We're all on the same side!!
By the way, does that "character" bug anyone else? Or am I crazy?
This is amazing, this week is going much better than I expected! The boys are being pretty darn good, we've actually had a lot of fun together. Tuesday was full of running around and classes and errands, so yesterday we did absolutely nothing, were total couch potatoes, and ate pizza on the floor in front of the TV. It Was AWESOME. Today was a mix of lazy and productive... Tomorrow should be much more productive, as long as I go to sleep on time. Tonight was the first night I actually cooked food for dinner, and honestly I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't planned on taking most of it to a friend. What can I say, I get lazy when there's no Geologist to take care of! Lucky for me, the boys love "roughing it". Yet again, tonight we take the dive from 60 degrees to snow. The brioche dough is in the fridge, fingers crossed that it works out and I have a gorgeous golden loaf to share with you next week!!
One of the things that was starting to overwhelm me, and led to my blogging break last month, was the pressure to write something clever and interesting in every post. Sure, this is mainly a food blog, it's mostly about the food, but lets be honest. My recipes are great, my pictures are average. In the world of super-food-blogs, I'm just not on that level. But I have a blogging voice, that is at least interesting enough for those of you who have happened upon this little spot click the "follow" button. So how do I keep up?? How can I possibly be clever and interesting every time I write? Well, I can't. I envy those blogs I read that are just zippy and hilarious and fascinating every single day. I am a Mom and a Wife. That is my job, my life, and most of my identity. I hang out with little boys for the majority of my days, and while I wouldn't have it ANY other way, some days I barely hang on till bedtime, let alone have a deep thought or sparkly little story to share. So this is me, giving myself permission to be boring from time to time. To just let the recipe speak for itself once in a while. And in between, well, the joys and trials of my normal little life will just have to suffice! After all, I'm clearly not in this for the money. :)
Now, I have by far the biggest sweet tooth in my family. In fact, my boys have been known to turn down a dessert or treat more often than the average child! They're pretty particular about sweet things, as is the Geologist, so most of the time I don't bother trying to please them, and just bake what I want. (I still don't eat everything myself though!) Every once in a while, they'll ask for something, or I'll stumble on a recipe just for them. These cookies are one of those recipes! Sprinkles are one thing my boys can't resist. Who can?? They're so much fun!