Monthly Archives: May 2012

April & May Reads

 
 
Sookie Stackhouse Novels- Charlaine Harris… 2-3 out of 5 stars.
I did a re-read of these books in April… mostly due to boredom, and a lack of interest in anything in particular. I also read the newest book…
Deadlocked…2 out of 5 stars. This book was par with the rest of the series. I’m not sure why I continue to read them, I’m always unimpressed. They’re not bad, just not good. I find Sookie to be a bit annoying. Claiming to be independent but always running to one of the “men”, commenting about being a good christian. I also find Harris’ need to repeat stupid details annoying (example- how great Sookie’s tan is). Overall it was (just) fine. A quick and simple read.
 
Zomblog, Zomblog II, Zomblog: The Final Entry- T.W. Brown… 4 out of 5 stars.
I loved this Trilogy! TW writes fantastic Zombie Apocalypse fiction. I seriously felt like this COULD happen! I like that he’s not afraid to deal with the darker sides of people (and there is ALOT of dark, scary, bad people). I loved Sam, and Meredith is an awesome character. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the ending of “The Final Entry”, I was really, really hoping for a happy ending. Or, at least as much of a happy ending as possible.
 
The Makers Fire Books I & II (Hemlock and the Wizard Tower, Hemlock and the Dead God’s Legacy)- B. Throwsnaill
book I gets 3 stars, book II gets 4. Overall I really enjoyed these 2 books. BUT, both books “tell” a lot, and don’t “show” much, it’s distracting. The quality improves in book II, and I enjoyed the little details. I had some trouble working out how the magic system works… I’m kind of a simple girl. I usually LOVE a female lead. In this case I found Hemlock a bit, ummm, annoying? I don’t think that’s the right word… I just don’t particularly care for her. That being said, I enjoy her back story. My favorite character is most definitely Merit.
 
Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand… 5 out of 5 stars.
Wow. This story really struck a chord with me. It’s totally relevant to today’s world. I know, I know… you’re ging to call me an idealist. But, really the story (to me) is about how capitalism works, and that the socialist ideals will only break the people. I dig putting an end to social collectivism (public school, property taxes, fed funded health care).  I didn’t particularly like how the “good guys” (Galt & his crew) could just give up, run away, and basically tell everyone to go eff themselves… I guess I’m not an Objectivist. Is there a dislike of God/ Faith in there too? I felt it.
The chapter of Galt’s speech was a bit tough for me. I wish She could have broken it up throughout a few chapters, maybe as the opening paragraph to each? I don’t like to be lectured, and THAT chapter felt like a lecture. Not so sure about the philosophy behind it, but it’s a good story. 
Now that I’ve finished my “review”… I noticed how contrary the reviews are. It’s either Loved or Hated…  
 
Happy Reading.
-Hey Waitress!!
 
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Maple Bacon Whiskey Cupcakes

Did you know Mark Twain and Clark Gable where both whiskey drinkers? I found that out while I was trying to find a name for these little guys. Maple Bacon Whiskey cupcakes get kind of annoying to say (and type). Anyways…
 
A tweet (Real men eat cupcakes: Butch Bakery revs up the classic confection with bacon and liquor inspired treats http://fxn.ws/wqsUzO) from FoxNews inspired this weeks Sunday Cupcakery. No joke… these ar definitely “manly”, and probably a bit seasonal too. I think they’d be good in the Fall. was that random? Side note- I’m addicted to social media, and I’m ok with it.
I searched the net, and found a few recipes. Most of the used shortening (gross) or bacon fat (grosser). A lot of them also just used plain vanilla or white cake… which wouldn’t have enough booze flavor for me. About to give up, I stumbled on MyDysfunctionalKitchen‘s bacon beer cupcake! TAH-DAAAAH! just what I wanted, except I changed the Guinness to Jameson’s and made my own buttercream. 
 As usual, I ended up with extra cupcakes (32, instead of 24)… so fill your tins up 3/4 and bake slightly longer if you only want 24. I’m not sure why but the middle of these “caved-in”.  I’m wondering if I should have whipped the egg whites before mixing them in?So, for some cupcake camo I  filled the divot in with extra frosting.
 
I used a basic buttercream frosting recipe. I ended up using about 3.5 cups of powdered sugar, and it came out nice and fluffy. There wasn’t much whiskey taste… but just the hint was enough for me. Don’t forget to save a few slices of bacon to garnish them with!
 
Happy baking.
-Hey Waitress!!
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Chocolate Chip Cookies & Dog Treats

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies (for people)
I totes forgot to update a few weeks ago when I made these cookies. Then, last weekend my husband and I went to a wedding in VA Beach. Now, I’m finally getting a moment (and the motivation) to post the blog entry for the Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Now, if you’ve noticed, I prefer to bake things that contain alcohol. Sadly, I got a special request for “plain chocolate chip cookies”. I was sort of offended. Why doesn’t everyone like alcoholic baking as much as I do!? Hmph. After some searching I settled on this version, with a small twist.
Random notes follow.
  • I used light brown sugar, instead of regular brown sugar (that’s what I had on hand).
  • It was too “doughy” to beat after I added the eggs and vanilla, but it was super hard to stir in the flour. Try a combination of both. Or, get a stand mixer with a paddle attachment instead of a cheap hand mixer like I own.
  • Because I have a deep seeded need to not be “plain”, I used a combination of regular sized & mini sized chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, and white chocolate chips.
  • I flattened the dough slightly after the 1st batch because the bottoms browned a bit too much.
  • Even after about a week (kept in the fridge) these are still tasty. I thought they’d get stale and crumbly, but it didn’t happen. Yay!
enjoy.
 
 
Dog Treats
While I remained motivated, I added a few recipes for homemade dog treats.  One of the great things about making dog treats is that a dog will (most likely) eat them even if they’re not perfect! I bake them randomly to supplement my pup’s regular Milkbones. Up until yesterday I’ve cut the “cookies” with a small (people food) biscuit cutter… fortunately an awesome friend found me bone, fire hydrant, and dog house shaped cookie cutters. Yay!
Have fun!
 
 
Happy Baking.
-Hey Waitress!!
 
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Vodka S’mores Brownies

Pinnacle Whipped Vodka Brownies on a cinnamon graham cracker crust which is topped with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and cinnamon Teddy Grahams. (recipe)
 
Random thoughts on these:
  • The graham cracker “crust” was the same recipe as the one on the S’mores cupcakes, only halved. I didn’t exactly (or at all) measure the graham crumbs… I just used 9 cracker “sheets” (one whole paper pack), because that’s what I had left in the box. I used the cinnamon flavor, but that’s just because I like how sweet they are. You can replace them with regular graham crackers. The husband begged me to use chocolate grahams but I don’t really like chocolate all that much. I know, I use it ALOT for someone who isn’t a fan.
  • The brownie recipe I used was the same as the Grand Marnier Brownies, I just subbed the vodka. Be gentle when pouring the batter, or you’ll displace your crust.
  • I baked these for closer to 40 minutes.
  • I wanted to use more than the 3 cups of mini marshmallows, but that’s all I had left over from the S’more Cupcakes last week. If I make these again I plan on using more marshmallows. There wasn’t enough for me. It’s all personal preference though. I also had the chocolate chips left over, so I threw those on top as well. I used Teddy Grahams instead of making extra “crust” to use as a topping because I wanted to have a little fun. It didn’t hurt that they were on sale at the grocery store.
  • watch them closely while you’re broiling. it literally takes a second to go from toasted to burned marshmallow.
  • Don’t forget to grease the sides of the pan that aren’t covered by foil… I did. and it was a huge pain in the rump to get these brownies off the edge. Trust me, and let them cool almost completely in the pan. Then pull up the edges of the foil and lift the sheet of brownies onto a wire cooling rack to finish. If you (like I did) try to pull them out of the pan too early it’s much harder and they fall apart.
  • After they’ve cooled all the way… gently peel the foil off and cut into 20 pieces. I only got 16, and you can probably tell from the pictures that they’re not the same size. I’m rationalizing the awkward sizes by saying  I cut the small ones for me, and the big ones for Hubbs. But really, I just suck at cutting.
  • Helpful hint- wet the knife a little between each cut. It (kind of) helped me.
  • These are pretty chewy and close to being undone (not cooked all the way, you know what I mean?), but that’s how I like my brownies.
 
Happy Sunday Baking.
-Hey Waitress!!
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