Grasshopper Story

First, let me say how much I love to bake.  It is therapeutic for me.  I love it.  I turn up the tunes, sing and bake.  Second, let me say how much I will JACK SOMETHING UP when I am baking.  I want to share with you the project from tonight.  My friend Allie introduced me to this website:  Your Cup of Cake.  Check her out – girlfriend can bake, y’all.  Her cupcakes and other concoctions are just down right puuuurteeeee.  Her latest creation is the Grasshopper Cupcake¹.  Please make these cupcakes (except, unlike me, follow the directions like a normal person).  But, even though I didn’t follow the directions, they were delicious (I can only dream how good they’d be if I HAD!)  In fact, look how pretty they are (I bet mine would’ve looked like this):

Grasshopper Cupcakes
 Yield: 24 Cupcakes
Chocolate Cake:
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Mint Ganache:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Grasshopper Buttercream:
1 sleeve Grasshopper Cookies (or Thin Mints)
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. In a small bowl, sift cake mix to remove lumps.
3. In a separate bowl, gently whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla extract.
4. Combine liquid ingredients with cake mix and stir until well combined.
5. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
6. Ganache: Place chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Heat heavy cream until small bubbles form around the edges. Pour cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract.
7. Buttercream: Using a food processor or plastic bag and rolling pin, finely crush Grasshopper cookies. Sift the crushed cookies. You will need 3/4 cup of the sifted powder. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix again. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Slowly add about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Then add you 3/4 cup of sifted Grasshopper cookies. Continue to slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
8. To assemble, dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the ganache. (If the ganache runs down the sides, you may need to let it cool a little longer.) Let the ganache set an then pipe buttercream over it and top it with a Grasshopper cookie.



Oh, I copied her recipe and stuff above in pretty letters because she deserves it.  I’m not sure what THIS deserves:

Oh WAIT, yes I do know what this deserves!  It’s called follow the directions.  New concept, huh?  Here’s what happened:  I thought, “You know….I could just get fat free cream cheese, low fat buttermilk, fat free sour cream, light buddah and use skim milk for the ganache.”  And you know what – for the most part, I was right.  Tastewise, these things are delicious.   I would like to add the disclaimer that maybe the presentation fail is the baker’s fault.  BUT, in order to save face, I might go so far as to say that if I’d used some full on I-love-you-because-you-taste-so-much-better-but-I-was-trying-to-be-good-so-I-didn’t-even-though-that’s-what-the-recipe-called-for fat cream cheese, heavy cream, buddah, sour cream and buttermilk, I think my presentation would sort of resemble the picture above.   It MIGHT!  I have those icing tip thingees that make pretty icing, so nah.

Moral of the story – never try to make ganache with skim milk.  It ain’t pretty.

Oh and please, come by my office tomorrow!  I would love to have you sample one of my jacked up cupcakes!  Promise they taste better than they look and from now on – FULL ON FAT CREAM CHEESE, BABY!!

¹Thank you, oh thank you (as I’m secretly sad) that no one hit me up for Girl Scout cookies this year.  There is no reason for me to have Thin Mints staring me down every time I open the freezer.  They always say, “Dang, girl – take us out of here!  We’re cold and want to be sandwiched up with some peanut butter!”


No name for this post – sorry!

If you are my friend on Facebook, you know that yesterday (Sunday) morning, while I was all cozy in my house and the rain was all catting and dogging….I was not able to enjoy a nice cup (okay, pot) of coffee.  I didn’t even have the crap coffee that sits in the back of the cabinet that you use when you’re in a bind. So, I decided that I would go to Kroger at lunch today and get the coffee I so desperately need.

Observations during my trip to Kroger at lunch today:
1.  I am still afraid that the cigarette flicked out the window in front of me is somehow going to hit underneath my car in some exact way that will blow my car up.  Has this every happened?  Probably not.  Would it happen to ME?  Probably so.  I’m lucky like that.

2.  If inanimate objects could have puppy dog eyes, it would be those dang Double Stufft Oreos.  I feel like the things were practically begging to be taken home. As I passed them by, I felt sorry for them.  I knew they wanted to go with me.  Then, on the second pass by, they became agitated – almost yelling at me to take them home with me.  I didn’t take them home with me, and sort of feel bad about it.  You know, because it’s their birthday and all.

3.  Going in without a written list is not for me.  Went in with one thing on the mental list – coffee.  Came out with grapes, granola bars and face soap.  No coffee.

4.  If I owned a place that sold fingernail polish, I would pay someone to go by and shake up all the skanky looking polish on a regular basis.  You know which ones I’m talking about – the ones that have separated and look like the oil and water science experiment from Mr. Wizard.

Crazy or Conscientious?

Yeah, yeah.  I know, I said I wasn’t going to talk about my dogchild too much on my blog.  I’m sorry, but how can I deny this face some attention on the internets?  Poor Sophie, there’s a possibility that her mama’s slightly insane.  I’m either very conscientious of her safety or this dog has made me crazy.  I prefer the first.  However, you are free to make your own decision based on the following examples.

Point in Case #1:  Sophie stays in the kitchen during the day while I’m at work.  I won’t use my crockpot during the week because I’m scared that it will burn my house down while Sophie’s in the kitchen.  So, if I’m crocking something….I load it up and take it to work and plug it up there.  Now, not once in my life have I ever heard of a crockpot burning someone’s house down.  But, I’m not taking any chances since Dogchild is inside.  Before I had her, I would set it and forget it without ever thinking that it might burn the joint down.

Point in Case #2:  Say I’ve got Sophie in the car with me and I stop to pick up some takeout or run in the gas station for a losing scratch off.  Normal people crack the window.  Well, I remove my clicker from the key ring so I can keep the car running, and lock the door while I go inside.  Want to know why?  Because all I can think is that if I have the windows cracked, somebody could just use a coat hanger and unlock the door and steal my dog.  You know, because people do that.

Lord help me when I have a real child….

Super Bowl Belly Fuel

Here we are again, it’s Super Bowl time with a match up between the two best teams in the NFL:  “Um, You Know” and “Yeah Them.”    Clearly, I want my team to win.  What I really want  is hang out with good friends, maybe have a beverage or two, and pretend that my extra DeuceW points are going to be enough for the damage I’m going to do on some Super Bowl grub.    These are a few recipes I may tackle (hahaha) for Super Bowl Sunday.

Everything Soft Pretzels from Foodie with Family.  I have never made pretzels before.  Sure I could just get a box of frozens and sprinkle on some love and pretend, but I’m really interested in seeing if I can do this.  Will be requiring a dough hook though for the Kitchen Aid (one of my favorite presents of all time – thanks, Brother who says he never reads this but probably secretly does and loves it and Sister-in-Law that does!)….because I am not interested in rolling and kneading and whatnot by hand.  Thank you, Bed Bath & Beyond, for sending me countless 20% off coupons.  And for never letting them truly expire.  You’re a gem.

Bacon Appetizers from The Pioneer Woman.  I love these.  I like to make bacon stuff, and this is one of my faves.  Except, I have a variation.  Instead of parm cheese, I use brown sugar.  Salty Sweet, babe-ayy.

Homemade Oreos from Your Cup of Cake.  I have no words for this.  Okay, maybe a few.  I love a double stuffed oreo. This has got to be even better, right?

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes  from Giada on Food Network.  Because what is a football game without wings.  Except when I made this, I used tenders so they were boneless wings instead.  I never feel like I eat wings properly – I always feel like I’m being wasteful.  So, this is my way of helping save the planet of unwanted waste.  I bet if you dip these bad boys in some raynch, they’d be extree tasty.  And, I’m not talking Hidden Valley or bottle ranch.  I’m talking about the kind you get at a pizza joint.  House dressing, if you will.

There you have it.  My possible contributions to Super Bowl Sunday.

“(All The Single Ladies) x (6) + put your hands up”

Now that song is in your head, can a Single Lady just get a half a loaf of bread??  For the love of everything that gets moldy and ruint, I just want a half a load of bread.¹  Eggs get special treatment, you just half those babies right on up and cut the carton in the middle (literally).  Come on, do it for the bread – don’t discriminate!  There’s just no way that Jennifer Hudson is gonna let me eat that much bread before it goes bad.

Also, can a Single Lady just get a couple of biscuits…maybe one cinnamon roll?  Because let’s be honest, if I pop open a tube of flaky style biscuits or orange cinnamon rolls, they ain’t goin’ bad like the loaf of bread….those babies get added to the collection of junk you will find in my trunk.²  Once upon a time, Pillsbury made some Perfect Portion biscuits.  Two per pack, in the refrigerated section.  Reduced fat, even.  Discontinued. Rude.

¹ I’m certainly not trying to exclude all the single men, I know guys feel the pain also.  Probably not in said loaf of bread, though…because those people can take down the entire loaf with a jar of peanut butter and a Sam’s size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos in one sitting and not gain an ounce.  And that’s just rude.

² You might also find remnants of Butterzinger ice cream, Cool Ranch Doritos, pizza and vanilla milkshakes.  You know, you can eat that stuff and have an empty bowl, plate or bag in front of you.  But, it is so not gone.  Just look in your trunk….you’ll see it.  And did you know that it takes a lot longer to rid your trunk of all that good stuff than it took to put it there?  Crazy, huh?  Who knew?!?  Probably Richard Simmons.

Weekend Observations

#1.  I miss the Hallmark Channel.  Today would have been the ultimate Hallmark Channel Movie marathon day….what with the Harry Potter gloom outside and all.  (Big sigh)….I made the switch from Comcast to AT&T last month.  My one and only negative thing to say about AT&T is that they don’t have the Hallmark Channel.  Other than that, it’s changed my life.  You know, because I have DVR now.  No more planning my week around a tv show (yes, yes I did do that with LOST).  No running for a potty break at commercial.  For that matter, no more commercials if I plan it that way.  It’s definitely changed my life.  And, while I realize Comcast has DVR, I was ready for a change.  It was the right thing to do.

#2.  There’s a possibility that I might be jealous of my dog.  We went for a walk across the Two Rivers Bridge yesterday and everyone we passed told Sophie what a sweet or pretty girl she was.  I mean, I guess it’d be weird for a stranger to tell me  I  was sweet or pretty… that I think about it.  I’m sure they were all thinking, “Look at those two.  Both sweet and pretty.”  They just couldn’t tell me that without looking like a stalker.  Yeah, that’s totally it.

#3.  I was driving behind a Soccer Mom with this license plate:  GR8WYF.  I can’t quit wondering if she bought that for herself or if her husband bought it for her.

#4.  I have some sort of complex about books.  I really wanted to buy the last Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book yesterday, but I have some  aesthetic issues with it.  First, I have the first two in paperback.  If I get this last one in hardback, they’re not going to match.  Point in case:  When the 4th Twilight book came out, I wouldn’t buy it until the paperback came out because I had the first three in paperback and wanted all the books to look the same…..on a shelf in a room where no one ever goes. Psycho.  Second, the pages don’t line up on the outside edge.  I can’t buy it.  Those pages have got to be smooth and line up on the outside or I’ll never get over it and enjoy the book.  In fact, I bought The Count of Monte Cristo a few years ago and didn’t realize it had jacked pages until I got home.  I want to read it so badly but I can’t.  Because I have some sort of book binding disorder.

Quantum Gibbs

Dr. Sam Beckett and Leroy Jethro Gibbs = Old.  Man.  Fine.  I realize it would appear that I have a thing for old dudes, but I don’t (I don’t think…).

You  might be asking yourself, “Self?  Why do I love Quantum Leap and NCIS so much?”  Well, today is your lucky day  because I have the answer to that.  So they were all created by the same man, Donald Bellisario!  Who knew?!  Well, obviously some people.  Anyway, I got sucked into a mini marathon of the Leap the other day and when they played the series finale, I cried like I cried during the last episode of The Wonder Years¹ (if you didn’t cry on that one – you have no soul).  Sad stuff.  Oh, PS  – I love time travel.

Just a couple of nuggets of information…the guy that plays McGee on NCIS is Bellisario’s stepson.  Bellisario was in the military with Lee Harvey Oswold.  Mark Harmon is married to Pam Dawber – who played Mindy from Mork and Mindy and the older sister in My Sister Sam.  And, now, the best nugget…..

Remember the band Nelson, you know – Matthew and Gunnar?  After the Rain? And their flowing hair?  Of course you do.  Well, Mark Harmon is their uncle.  He’s their mom’s brother.  Also, the lady who used to be the Tic Tac girl is his other sister.  So, Mark and Ricky Nelson used to be bros-in-law.  Speaking of Ricky Nelson, “Garden Party” has to be one of the best songs ever.  I’m feeling an in depth internet research project coming up about them.  They haven’t even shown up on a reality drug rehab or wife swap show yet!  Strange.

I really want Mark Harmon to be my parents’ friend.  I mean, clearly, he’s too old for me to be hanging out with.  But, if he’s a family friend, then it’s not weird.

¹  Remember when Ross Geller played Karen’s boyfriend-turned-husband Michael?

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