Oh Oh Something Shiny!!!

No Theme Required – Just Whatever comes up in my Brain

Three Bachelors left = Tres Leches — July 14, 2015

Three Bachelors left = Tres Leches

Every Monday, my daughter and her friends hang out at the house and watch The Bachelorette. I have never watched any sort of these shows nor do I like them. But, when your child is 19 and the only night she is at home you take what you can get. So, every week, I make something for us all to pig out on while watching Kaitlyn slobber over all the guys.

First off, I do not like to advertise for this show but it isn’t like my four visitors in history of this blog is going to make a difference!!! Here is my opinion about the show.

1. Do they have a microphone in her nose or inside her mouth? I mean, she either kisses really loud or they turn her microphone up to 100 or something.

2. Do these guys have vaginas? They whine as much as women.

3. How did Shawn not know her and Nick did it like what…………… on the second episode or something? Wow!

4. Shawn is just different … I don’t know what and God knows I am not in the place to judge on appearances but he is just odd.

5. What happened with the guys and the bromance?

Now that I have that off my chest, I feel a little better.

I didn’t want to come home and cook a five course meal as usual last night. Jordan is going to Virginia for two weeks so I didn’t want to spend all night in the kitchen yelling, “Who is she kissing now?” while everyone else got to enjoy the show. So, I ordered pizza. And let me just say this……………… I had one piece only because ever since I started making my own pizza crust, the Chain kind is just nasty!!!! I swear I can taste the preservatives!!!! But, the girls enjoyed it so thats’ what matters…………….. that, and the fact that I didn’t have to stand in the kitchen and cook while everyone else got to hang out.

While waiting on the girls to get there, I remembered the croissants on the kitchen counter. I had bought them last week and nobody ate them. Ugh!!! I decided to look up bread pudding recipes and attempt that. I had never made one and I had about 30 minutes of boredom.

Of course on Pinterest, there are hundreds but I saw the word Tres Leches and was intrigued. I mean, hello…………. I love that cake!!! I also thought about Greg at this moment because I remember his mom making him a bread pudding years ago saying it was one of his favorites. Now, that I know her and their relationship, I don’t know if he just said that to her or if she just said that in general because most things are all about her. I promise, that isn’t meant in a bad way…….. I have never seen her make something because someone else likes it. Just Sayen!!!

I do know that Tres Leches is one of Greg’s favorite desserts and he has been in the funk lately so I figured I would be nice. Plus, Tres means three and there are three bachelors left on the show. I also happened to have everything (or so I thought) and I won’t have to throw away the croissants. Winning!!!

Here is a link to the recipe:

Tres Leches Bread Pudding

After tearing up the croissants, I realized I did not have any whole milk so I had to substitute Half and Half. I don’t know the difference between the two really anyways so what the heck.

I also used Bourbon instead of rum just because I like bourbon.

I also put some in the liquid portion at the end.

All in all, I think it was pretty good……… I have only tasted Bread Pudding once but I think it had the correct texture from what I remember. As far as tasting like Tres Leches…………. I am not too sure. Personally, I think it needed more bourbon or possibly some Kahlua.

I do have to say, it was very easy though and for some reason, I was always under the impression that Bread pudding was difficult. I am sure my MIL made it out to be when she made it but really don’t remember. Of course, nobody else ate any of it which was really annoying!!! I am sure the girls didn’t even know what Bread pudding was. They left to get ice cream as soon as Kaitlyn’s make out sessions were over. And of course, Greg didn’t get a piece.

Ugh!!! See if I am nice and thoughtful again.

Advertisements
Crown Royal Truffles — February 23, 2015

Crown Royal Truffles

I love Chocolate period. It is the reason I cannot see my crotch at the moment.   I have always had thunder thighs and can live with having blisters between my legs from just a five minute walk.  Heck, I have done that since I was three.  However, the gut is really bothering me.  This has not been my year… I have turned into a lazy procastibaker.   I know I can’t blame anyone else but myself for my new waistline.  I just have no motivation. Therefore, I handle my new weight gain the only way I know how………..  eat more chocolate and drink more wine.

I will get over this slump and become the old Collette one day I promise!  But, until then, I will use the excuse “I just didn’t have time to work out cause I had to cook for my family”.  I am sure anyone would agree my entire family NEEDS truffles.  Doesn’t everyone?

One Saturday am., I was watching my Idol, the Pioneer woman.  She was making her Sea Salt Truffles.  I was totally jealous how hers was perfectly found and smooth.  I have tried cake balls before and mine turn out looking like massive hair balls that my cat has spent the past four hours choking up.  I decided I would try them and send them in care packages to my family who is in the navy along with sugar cookies, and macarons.

Last Sunday, I stayed in the kitchen the entire day making my treats.  Unfortunately, the truffles only got started.  They never got past the point of putting in the fridge the first time.  Lets face it….  sugar cookies are way more time consuming than I ever presumed before and I feel very bad for not appreciating every bite I ingested when my grandma and mother would make them.

But, back to the truffles….  As the recipe says, I put in the fridge after making the chocolate mixture.  It said to put in the fridge for 24 hours then before you were ready to make, take them out and let them get to room temperature before forming into balls.  So, since I actually worked out this week there was no time to let them have time to come to room temp AND to make the balls.  So, I left them in their bowl with a lid for the week.  Sunday am, I woke up and let them sit on the counter while I watched a lifetime movie and drank my coffee.  They were still not room temperature so I had to get another cup of coffee and watch a few episodes of Chicago PD while they “warmed up”.

Whew!!!!  These things are a lot of work!!!

Finally, they’re room temperature and I could get to work.  I formed them into balls and heated just regular chocolate bark in the microwave.  Then, I dipped the balls in the chocolate and put on a cookie sheet.  No, mine were not near as pretty as the PW but by this time it is 7 pm and I am worn out from my extensive day of making truffles.  I put some hickory salt like she did on a few of the tops but for the most part, I left them plain.  At the end, I tried to squeeze some left over pink glaze over the top but it wasn’t the effect I was going for.  Oh well.  They still taste yummy!

Here is my version

8 oz – bittersweet chocolate

8 oz – semi sweet chocolate

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 Tbsp. Crown royal

Mix all ingredients in a double broiler. Or, you can get really fancy like me and put a pyrex mixing bowl on top of a quart saucepan and stir.

Once melted, cover bowl and let set in fridge for 24 hours

Take truffle filling out and let set to room temperature.  Form into little balls.  Put back in fridge for at least an hour

Dip the balls of chocolate into your melted chocolate bark or almond bark.  Do not get too hot.  Just melted is enough.

Dip, roll, and set on waxed paper.

While wet, you can dip into sprinkles, chocolate crumbles, nuts, whatever you fancy.  You have to act quick though.  This would be great for kids.

After I finished all the balls, I still had chocolate so I dipped some strawberries in also.  You can never have too much chocolate!

My very first chocolate pie — January 5, 2015

My very first chocolate pie

 

Growing up, traditions were not something me or my brother were a customed to when it came to holidays.  Well, maybe there were traditions……

New step-parent every year

Weeks of arguing where we would be for Christmas Day

Traveling to at least five places all day long

I am not griping at all.  At the time, we thought that was normal. We didn’t know.  And we have had lots of laughter talking about the memories. I like to say my family put the Fun in Dysfunctional.  There were a few things that were always present no matter what.  One was my grandma’s chocolate pie and my grandma’s sugar cookies. They were a staple no matter what.  I grew up extremely close with my Grandma Lindemann. I still say today if it had not been for her, there is no telling how I would have turned out.  She was my rock.  She is the one thing I knew would always be there. She lived in the same house, went to the same grocery store on Thursdays, woke up at the same time every morning and watched the same shows everyday. I grew up in Winnie with my mom but during the summer I would go stay quite a while with my dad and he would take me to stay with my grandma Lindemann or Grandma Harbes every day while him and my step mom were at work.  I loved going both places.  They were my favorite people in the world.

As my grandma Lindemann got older, she started taking short cuts with her baking and cooking. I never said a word and ate with a smile and listened to her latest “change” and acted as though it was just the same.  Heck, she was 70 years old.  Good Lord.  Her specialty was desserts.  Her meringue was always perfect. It was at least 3 inches high. Of course, I didn’t appreciate this “talent” at all.  I feel bad admitting it but I took the meringue off every pie she put it on.  Of course, seeing it all the time did give me a “standard” . When I would visit other’s holidays and I would see their “attempt” at a meringue I would think in the back of my mind how they so desperately had no clue obviously.

When my grandma died, my mom pretty much took over the roll of reproducing my grandma’s sugar cookies and her chocolate pies.  She would arrive and be so proud and want us all to gawk over her beautiful dessert and then tell a story about grandma.  I will admit, it was quite annoying at times.  I was thinking what is the big deal???  Grandma did it every year and never asked for a trophy.  I think some of it was also jealousy.  Mom would make a point to say how the chocolate pie was specifically for my brother.  So, I assume the cookies were just for me???  Okay, I know they weren’t but can I pretend please?  I would get a little jealous since every holiday grandma would make me a special dessert.  She always made me a cottage cheese pie every Christmas and every Birthday.  But, I also understand that cottage cheese is not everyone’s “thing”.  That was between my grandma and I.

When my mom passed away, the only thing my brother mentioned he would like is one of grandma’s old pie plates.  Well, unfortunately, none of my grandma’s stuff much less my mom’s stuff has become available to me or him.  I am just crossing my fingers hoping my step dad has not given everything away.

Okay, I will shut up before I get on that rage.  Happy Thoughts!!!!

A couple of months ago, I came across an old pie plate Tracy was talking about.  At that moment, I decided I was going to ATTEMPT a chocolate pie for him for Christmas.  I mean, we didn’t have 20141224_222848

many traditions coming up but if there was something I could do about keeping one thing somewhat normal, I was going try.

 

I asked my aunt if she had grandma’s pie crust recipe and she said no.  Of course, my mom probably has it since she kind of took the pie thing over but it isn’t like my step dad wants me going through any of her stuff.  So, I had to improvise.  I have a copy of the “Walkins Cook Book ” from the 1930s.  I figure that would be the best place to start.

 

Here is the pie crust recipe:

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp Watkins baking powder (don’t think this exists anymore.LOL)

1/2 c. shortening

1/4 c. butter (no cheap stuff)

1/4 c. or less ice water

Sift dry ingredients together and work in chilled shortening lightly.  Add ice water slowly and roll on lightly floured board.  Line pie tin,  have dough well over edge of pan.  Roll dough outwards from center, keep in circular form.

Hints from the Hint section in the Watkins cook book :

You can use lard

Use only enough water to hold dough together.  Chill for several hours or overnight

Do not grease pie tin.  Just dust with flour

Make circle 2″ bigger than pie pan upside down and cut so you will have hangover for the edges

Brush the edges with egg whites to brown and give a nice color

The border should stand up over the edge so nothing will fall out over edges

To bake with filling inside put in 350 deg. oven and bake 40 to 50 min.

To bake shell only, poke holes in shell with fork and bake for 12 to 15 min. at 400 deg.

My hint: I doubled the recipe just in case so I knew I would have enough for my shell to hang over like Grandma’s did.

 

20141224_22284120141224_23025320141225_010747

As you can tell, I don’t do a very good “circle”. After four attempts and a few tears I finally got it. It still wasn’t big enough to make the beautiful waves I was so going for so I added extra dough onto the sides and tried to mimic the way that Carla Hall did it on the Chew one morning.  She made it look so easy.  Also, my crust was uneven so I got a wine cork and rubbed it vertically up the sides to try and smooth it out which would make lots more come over the top and it was an ongoing issue.  My husband tried to come help but me being stubborn as I am told him to go upstairs and I would figure it out on my own.

Yep, ADHD moment………..  frustration and anxiety cause it isn’t perfect.  Ugh!!! I will get this dangit!

So, yes it ended up with full fledged fingers instead of the pretty “waves” but I had to tell myself it would all be okay.  I placed it in the oven to brown and one of the fingers fell off when I took it out.  Trying not to break down in tears and start bauling, I told myself one finger gone would be okay.

While that was cooking I had started on the filling.  I was really stressed about this since I am very picky about my pies.  Ever go somewhere and you are so excited to see the chocolate pie but of course you wait til the first slice is gone.  An hour later you go back and it is cut into but the filling is all spread through the entire plate, looking more like a melting pudding pop then a cake?  Yea, totally ruins my appetite.  I was very worried this would happen.  So, I told myself since my crust wasn’t beautiful the filling had to make up for it.

For the filling, I turned to my favorite Texas Food blogger, The Homesick Texan.e only thing I did differently was use Hershey’s DARK cocoa.  I just love it more. It gives everything more richness.  And, I like to say I am fighting cancer while eating my dark chocolate. And, it is less calories so of course it is healthy right?

http://www.homesicktexan.com/2008/09/grandmas-chocolate-pie.html?m=1
Homesick Texans Chocolate Pie

20141224_233809IMG_20141224_235034     20141225_010905      20141225_01091020141225_01115020141225_01155220141225_01245320141225_102542

Now don’t quote me but I am almost positive I doubled the filling.  I knew this was a deeper than normal pie plate and I wanted it to be full.

Another one of my pet peeves……….  more crust than filling

I know I stood there stirring for about half an hour. I wanted it so thick my wisk wouldn’t move anymore.  When reviewing her recipe, she had said that you have to get it as thick as you want before putting it in the fridge cause it does not thicken up once it gets cold.  Awesome that she put that note!!!  I would not have thought that at all.  I think that is why I love her so much.  She does give little details like that that some people probably take for granted.

So, Christmas morning, I am so excited about my “gift” for my brother. It wasn’t really the pie. It was more about the pie plate.  I wasn’t going to say anything and just decided to wait and see if he noticed.  Of course, him being a man, he didn’t. He brought his piece and I said, “Did you notice what it was baked in? I found it so you get to keep it since that is all you asked about when mom died?”. His answer???  “I asked for that?”.  Typical man…….

Ten minutes later, my step mom goes to the pie and says, “Thats’ where my pie plate was. I have been looking for that. I must’ve left it there at your house last Christmas”.  I told her how I thought it was grandma Lindemanns and she said it was hers.  I told her the story and she laughed and told my brother he could still keep it anyway.  I felt bad. I was so disappointed It isn’t like I feel her plate wasn’t important. It is just we haven’t been able to get anything really from my mom’s.  When I have gone through things, none of my grandma’s stuff that I know my mom had is there.  I don’t know if other women have came and taken it or its’ been thrown away since it was “old”.  All I know is I was so excited thinking we got at least one of my grandma’s memories and it ended up not being hers.  Yes, I am bitter and angry. I admit it.  Ha!  If Gaylyn’s “church friends” are the ones who took the stuff, it is just stuff to them.  They obviously have no respect for me nor care about what may be important.

Okay, on a rant again… I will shut up!

Over all, I was very proud of my first pie. I wasn’t impressed about my “finger” reaching over the top but I am sure that will get better with practice.  I liked the dark chocolate flavor better than the regular chocolate flavor. The pie crust was awesome.  It was flaky as heck.  My brother asked how I got my grandma’s crust recipe and I told him I got it from a really old cook book. He said it was dead on.  (patting my own shoulder).

Until next year……..

 

as far as chocolate pies go