Category Archives: family

A Monkeybread Mishap & Jack Daniel’s Chocolate Cupcakes

I didn’t get a chance to bake last Sunday, as we spent Labor Day Weekend with some of my family in MD. Yay. I haven’t seen my Nana or my Aunt R in years, and it was so glorious to spend some much needed time with my fabulous family. Not to mention I got to see my mom (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and my Aunt J! Went to the Civil War Medicine Museum and learned a lot. AND I did some outlet shopping… HELLO 50% off Nike running jacket, and 40% off Yankee Candles! Ee gads, if I had my way I also would have bought half of the place that sold kitchen gadgets, several pairs of new shoes, and…
 
Shit, I went a bit off topic there, huh? Back to it…
 
On the way back to PA on Monday, Hubs jokingly reminded me that he needed goodies to take into work on Tuesday! I do love a challenge, and any excuse to make some junk food sounds good to me. I’ve been dying to try making a Monkey Bread (pull apart cinnamon/ sugar “bread”) recipe that I found on AllRecipes.com… so I went with that and some Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddy, Moose Knuckles… you know, Chex, chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar). The Puppy Chow went off with out a hitch, maybe ’cause I’ve made it a million times. The same could NOT be said for the Monkey Bread. The recipe was originally for an 8-9 inch bundt pan (another kitchen thing I don’t own) so while I was out I got a set of those really cheap aluminum ones, but they were only 5 inchs. NBD, right? I figured I’d just use both of them… Long story short, I followed the prep directions, made the sticky sauce and poured it over the top. As the “bread” expanded the sugary sauce dripped over the edge of the pan, and proceeded to burn on the bottom of my oven. And that’s just the beginning…
After (what I thought was) the right amount of time, and opening half the windows in the apartment I took the bundt pans out of the oven, and allowed them to cool for about 15 minutes. After that I flipped them out of the cheap bundt pan, and realized that they were still RAW on the inside! Eeeeeff meeeeee. Well, since the oven was off I figured I’d get some of that sauce off the bottom of my oven, apparently 15 minutes isn’t enough time for the coils (I’ve got an electric oven) to cool off and I managed to burn my hand 2x while I tried to scrub the oven… Then I preheated it (again), and dumped the Monkey Bread chunks onto a cookie sheet, and ended up baking them for another 20 minutes. I think.
Needless to say… There’s no recipe page (or pictures) for the Monkey Bread. Not yet. It needs some work, and a boozy icing.
 
Now that September is over, I decided to get back to the Cupcakery. So… I’ve seen these ridiculously yummy looking commercials for some restaurant that serves Jack Daniel’s Cake, maybe TGI Fridays, and have had JD on the brain for a while. I browsed some recipes online. It seemed like all the JD cakes online are loaf cakes, dense, or bready. Not what I was looking for. Eventually I stumbled on a few JD chocolate cupcake recipes. Why didn’t I think of that!? I mixed and matched pieces from other recipes. AKA the same chocolate cake I always use (thanks to Restless Chipotle), the ONLY chocolate ganache recipe I’ve ever used (S’more cupcakes, Irish CarBomb cupcakes… ), and the boozy chocolate buttercream from the PB cookie cups!
Nothing exciting or interesting happened while I was making the cake batter, except I realized I didn’t have enough vanilla or JD for either of the other components. Luckly, Hubs is AWESOME (yes, I’m totes bragging), and went out to get me more of both! Glad the liquor store’s open on Sunday here. 😉
The ganache was a different story… It was waaaaay too thin, and I have NO IDEA why. I literally have no idea what I did wrong. Seriously. I ended up adding about 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips that I had in the fridge to the ganache. Then I let it sit while I smoked a ciggy, walked the dog, washed the dishes, and made the buttercream. It thickened nicely after the addition of the chocolate chips and some time to “set”. The only place I went off recipe was melting the butter into the cream (while it simmered) instead of adding it at the same time as the JD… That’s the way I wrote it originally, but not the way my posted recipe says (which is how I actually made it)… hmph. I also had a lot left over, so I drizzled it over the top of the buttercream frosting.
As for the buttercream… I actually added the liquid ingredients and salt after about 3/4 of the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. It was getting to clumpy, and my poor hand mixer pretty much gave its last breath today. (Insert Moment Of Silence here in memory of my first kitchen gadget, the only mixer I’ve ever owned, and the one tool that’s been with me since my first cupcake) This recipe makes a lot of frosting… it’s possible that you might only need to make half of the recipe. But I love frosting, so I over frost my cupcake like an addict searching for a sugar high.
Don’t judge, just enjoy.
 
Happy Sunday Cupcakery,
-Hey Waitress!!
 
Click here for the RECIPE!!
 
(update 9/10/12) Umm… I’m not a huge fan of these. More specifically, If you don’t LOVE JD, you won’t like these. The cupcakes actually made my face hot. Like when you take a shot, you can feel it spread. You know what I mean? At any rate, this is def not a “subtle” flavor, and I don’t particularly like JD. I’m thinking less JD in the ganache will make it better… Just figured a warning would be right. 😉
-Hey Waitress!!
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Thank You…

For  all the people who made me who I am today… THANK YOU.
 
To Mom- 
For keeping a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly (even when I was a bratty teenager). Thank you for working 2 jobs while raising us and going to school, you taught me determination. Thank you for NOT taking advantage of the system, and teaching me how to work for what I want. From rescuing squirrels and pigeons, stray cats, a dumpster dog,  and a worm infested Pitty mix you taught me responsibility and instilled a love of animals that will last me til the day I die.
 
To Dad- 
Where do you think I got it from, Father? And by it, I mean  sarcasm. You changed the way I thought about music. Without your hundreds of CD’s I’d still be listening to Billy Ray. ugh. You showed me The Beastie Boys (Ill Communication- Sabotage), The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, and soooo many more amazing bands. You bought me my first “Parental Advisory” CD’s (Limp Bizkit, and Blink 182), which I hid from Mom, and only listened to in headphones. For introducing me to the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genres. Through Robert Jordan, Tolkien and the rest of them,you gave me a place that I felt safe, worlds to explore, and heroes to love.
 
To my grandparents- 
For showing me what 50+ years of marriage looks like. For fighting for our country. For sacrificing your dreams to raise a family. For your compassion and love. For your strength. Thank you for pancakes, fishing, summers at the lake, vegetable gardens, apple jelly, and live trapping chipmunks (which we released a few miles down the road). For
 
To my first “real” boyfriend-
For my first heartbreak. It was horrible, I cried, and I thought my life was over. Because of you, I learned how to put myself back together.
 
To my Phi Sigma Sigma sisters, and the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi-
 For “the college experience”. Beer Pong, house parties, parliamentary procedure, gossip, all night cramming, and Sheetz food. Thank you  PSS sisters for taking me in me despite the fact that I wasn’t a typical sorority girl. I truly love you girls. Thank you to some brothers for “protecting” me, and some for helping me go wild.
 
To my best friends in college- 
For keeping me sane,  welcoming a silly Yankee into your lives, and for late night talks while chain-smoking . “This might sound bad, but…”
 
To my Department Head @ AU- 
You where right, I never amounted to anything in that field. But that’s because it is full of people like you. People who didn’t give me a chance, and that’s OK. If I had stayed, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I probably wouldn’t have gone to work at the restaurant, met my husband, or gone to CO to finish school. Thank you, for helping me become who I am.
 
To the first guy I lived with-
You taught me that I need to love & care about myself, before I could do it for someone else. You broke my trust and opened my eyes to how relationships should work.
 
To a very good friend, & former roommate-
for AppleTini nights. Need I say more? She talked me out of moving back to MA for good, and into a cop costume for Halloween. Even though we’ve grown very far apart, you’ll always be in my heart.
 
To my restaurant family- 
Y’all took a huge chance on me… You gave me a job, some of the best friends a girl could have, and a reason to call D-Vegas “Home”. You had faith that I would get better, broke me out of my shell, scolded me when I fucked up, and praised me when I did “right”. You truly are my family…
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books, running away, & family (written 3/15/09)

Books
Let start there… more specifically the last time I actually had time to read was… well… at least 3 months ago.  And I don’t even remember what it was. Due to recent circumstances- I have 2 whole weeks to catch up on my lack of reading. It’s not going so hot. In general… I’ll read anything. Within reason of course. I don’t do romance novels. The really gross raunchy ones I mean. I’m not a big fan of biographies or history books… kind of boring. Too real.  I’ll try n read anything, but generally I stick to fantasy adventure, science fiction, any place I can escape to. Which in my opinion is the best part of reading. It’s way easier to get lost in a book then to deal with real life.
Back to the point… I read Marley & Me first. It was so terribly real. He could have been any person… any dog. It tore me up, I related. I’m pretty sure Jared thought I was going crazy. If I coulda cried anymore I probably would have. Not exactly the best choice of reading material for my mood (which is just a smidge dejected? or maybe upset? thoughtful is probably the most accurate word).
Second was the Twilight series.  All four of them…  no biggies. I was hoping for more. I like to read series because if the 1st book is just OK (or totally sucks)… the author has the rest of the series to make up for it! It’s kinda an OCD thing I guess. I have to finish a series. Even if it disappoints me. Twilight did just that. Disappointed me. By far my favorite character was Jake. I know I’m supposed to like Edward and Bella. But I don’t. I thought they were both stupid and immature. I’m not even sure why I don’t like them! It’s a classic love story. And that was ok. I guess it was just too built up to really meet my expectations. The final book was the best by far… and it was only OK. All 5 books kept me safely out of my head for approx 4 days. Dammit. Now what to do with the next 2 weeks?


Running Away…
Naturally. What else is there to do? There are lots of ways to run away. I used to be proficient in many of them. Drinking (heavily). Smoking (a lot). Pills (a lot). Maybe some work. Actually running away. Physical management. Books. Art.
Anytime I got scared, upset, confused… whatever. I don’t know what to do. I know that the Lord wouldn’t give us more then we can deal with. But when am I going to get to stop “dealing”? Why am I always dealing? I want it to be ok for me to start planning my life! I want to know what’s going to happen when I graduate. I want to be able to plan… to be able to get settled & stable. I want to stop feeling like it’s time to run away again, like it’s time to get out, time to flee before things get harder.
All the same. I don’t REALLY want to run. I love all the amazing things/ people in my life. Jared, the rest of my family, my friends, Tipper, even the devil cat Jelly! Without the people I have… I would be in a much much different place then I am now, and (I’m sure) it wouldn’t be a good place. And while I don’t REALLY want to run I want to get outta my head. I wirte it out and I feel so whiney. I read it and it still can’t explain how I feel. Frustrated. Mad at myself for feeling so weak. I feel fake and stupid. There are people who have it worse then I do. Way worse. Grrr…

Family…
Ok. So we’ve established I love my family. Despite what issues I may have… glad I’ve got that outta the way. I wish they could understand how hard it is for me to be so far away.  Mom thinks that kidney stones and knee surgery warrant only the most casual of mentions… and my sister can’t call to say she’s moved out… no “procedure” is “minor” when I’m halfway across the country and mom as casual as always mentions it… I’m too far away. I can’t be there. All I hear is what seems like my family falling apart. Dirty details not really needed… I’m sure it’s all in my head. I know if it was serious someone would call… but it’s to the point I can’t even answer my phone without worrying what has happened to whom. As a little side note- I think dad might be done running. Finally.
There was this old guy crossing the parking lot yesterday at Safeway… I made some silly joke about him being slow. And then I realized he walked just like Gampie. He could have been Grampie. And it got worse. The feeling like I should run away… maybe run home… to make sure everyone was still there. And OK. Hmmm… mostly I mean alive. That includes my “HAMILY” in Danville too.


Rant and rage and what does it get me?
It starts with a feeling, a simple thought that sends me into a panic. I usually don’t even know what the thought was. All I know is… my chest gets tight, my breath gets stuck, my head spins, spots in my vision, heart rate skyrockets, & BAM! Welcome to a full on panic attack. I’m sure I’m crazy, but that’s usually where this all leads.

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