Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Slow Cooked

One of my favorite meals is one that can in turn be made into many meals. It just seems to make life easier. There are some delicious Pampered Chef recipes using chicken and ground beef that you divide, place in freezer bags, add a few ingredients and freeze. I like to make 3-5 of these for friends who just had a loved on pass away. I also like to make dinner for friends who had babies. It is kind of the only thing I feel like I can offer, I have kids of my own. Going to see someone who just had a baby with little germ covered preschoolers isn't always a great option. But dropping off dinner seems to be appriciated.
I have a good freind who is due next week and had placed a request for a 'trifecta' cornbread I made at the last BBQ she attended. At the time of the request I had a 10 pound pork butt in the slow cooker that had just come out of  a salt water/ molasses brine. So I offered pulled pork sandwiches and cornbread, and she got excited!
I fed the family this delicious pulled pork last night. Big Girl J enjoyed it so much, she asked me if she could have more of the slimey chicken. As much as I was enjoying the pulled pork, I instantly became full. I just couldn't do it any more. I know it seems ridiculous, but to be fair, my plate was almost empty. I was not going to get seconds.
After dinner, I stood in the kitchen for a little bit, with two forks, shredding the left overs. I finished with about five, one pound baggies of pulled pork. Two of them got a health dose of BBQ sauce poured over top and three stayed plain. This makes a quick weekend meal of pulled pork sandwiches for us and the other bag for my friend. I will also be able to make pulled pork enchilladas, and other favorites! But I will not be cruel with all this food talk and not leave you with the trifecta corn bread recipe:
1 box of corn bread mix
1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernal corn
16 oz sour cream
1 small can green chilies
2 eggs
Mix, cook, enjoy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Cake that Went Bad

My followers, all two of you, probably remember the cake competition I attempted last year. I thought my cake was ok, not awesome, but I wasn't unhappy with how it turned out. I didn't win, but the main thing for me to remember is that what I saw in my head came out, and close resembled what I thought it should. Exclude the people on top opening presents.
Last night I turned in a cake to the same competition. I thought I should just use this opportunity to practice the idea I have for Big Girl J's 5th birthday (yeah, I know 5 year old!) Her theme is Superhero Training Camp, and the title of the my cake is 'the Superheros Save the Cake.' It think it may look more like the mud people working out to the oldies are dancing around the cake. Before I get to that....
I am glad I tried this cake now, before I am 8 months pregnant and getting flustered that it isn't going the way I want it to. And well, guess what, at 6 month pregnant, it didn't go the way I wanted it to! I just need to give up on trying to make people. It is something I am not good at, I am not an artist. I can cover a cake and decorate it with fondant cut outs, but to free hand?! No, not me.
I tried to start with rice crispy treats molded into human form. That didn't work out. I got some wire from the garage and bent it into human form, and those, I felt, were a great base. I made three in action superheros and one bad guy (who should be getting tossed into the cake.) Then I went back to the crispy treats, that still didn't work. Next, I tried to wrap the wire with fondant, it wouldn't stay and I started to get flustered, so I gave up on that idea. Last resort, I made modeling chocolate, my first time playing with the stuff, and dipped the wire people into the still liquidity chocolate.
Right about now, I started thinking I should change the idea of my cake to 'attack of the mud people.' But no, I kept on trying my original idea. I molded the people, added some more chocolate in places. Then I thought, "With a cape, they will look cute." Or I tried to talk myself into believing that. 
That is when they started looking like people working out to the oldies. By the way, that is NOT a headband, it is an eye mask, there are holes!
So, it is time to turn in the cake, and I obviously don't give half a rat's anything at this point. My cake has not gone the way I wanted it to. I took it to Denver and started to assemble the pieces, that is when I realized I left the birthday candle at home that one of the superheros were supposed to be saving from falling off the cake. So now the guy on top, just looks like he is trying to do the worm or break dance on the cake. I wonder if I changed the title to 'mud people dancing on the cake' if there would be a chance of winning. But, there is not, the cakes I go up against, definitely are a step ahead. Is it sad, that I wish I could turn my cake into the high school age division so I would have a chance?
Yes, this picture is horrible. But trust me, it makes the cake look good. Maybe when we go down tomorrow for the award ceremony, I will try to snap a better picture. But I am about certain this is the best I can make this cake look.
Since my goal here was to practice my idea for Big Girl J's birthday, I must find what I learned from this. I learned, not to do this cake again. Find something else, something that doesn't require me to prove that I can't make people for cakes!