Monday, October 25, 2010

NOT the fairest one of all...

Do you ever have one of those mornings that seem to move in fast forward?  You know, you planned to go grocery shopping for the big meal later that night, but somehow you slept in, so then you’re all in a rush to get everyone ready, but you can’t find any clean underwear for the two year old and then the baby poops all over the carpet and you have to throw everyone in the bathtub at the same time AND clean the carpet and by the time everyone is fed, watered, cleaned, clothed and strapped in the car and you’ve actually made it to the store without life-altering incident you realize that you haven’t even looked in a mirror ALL MORNING???  And for just a moment you contemplate it.  Perhaps I SHOULD look in the visor mirror... but then you must weigh your options.  What would looking in the mirror actually accomplish?  After you scare the pants off yourself because of the unsightly stranger glaring back at you, will you throw the baby’s blanket over your head and run for the makeup department, dragging the kids behind and loading up on all essentials - which will cost more than the food budget for the week - and rush through the check-out, keeping your head down and your face hidden until you can make it to the bathroom where the kids will unroll the toilet paper from each and every dispenser while you try to get your mascara right?  You see, it’s probably better you don’t see the truth.  
Which is why I ended up at the grocery store with a rats nest on my head and stray blue sharpie mark on my cheek this morning - ever grateful I didn’t run into anyone I know.  At least my children looked decent.  

Oh, that's just me?  Hm.

I chose to ignore myself and focus on dinner.  
And what’s for dinner tonight?  Well, I’ll tell you!  (Do I sound too much like Rachel Ray?  Because that would be a crime.  I’m not that good cookin’).  Tonight’s last minute decision making led me to food.com (obviously) where I found “Awesome Baked Pork Chops” and “Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf.”  I considered my options for sides - what goes well with pork chops?  Apples!  On cooks.com I found this really interesting idea for an apple dish.  More on that later.  And we can’t forget dessert, the best part of the meal.  I decided on Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake which was originally found on parents.com.  
Thankfully, after the half-crazed morning I had, cooking was a breeze!  All of the items I made tonight were relatively easy to put together.  The pork chops took a long time to cook, but there weren’t many ingredients and the process was easy enough.  The apple dish was made a little at a time in between making other things - it was only a matter of mixing the dough up and putting it over the apples.  Cake walk.  The cake was also just thrown together and baked.  The only difficult part in my opinion was trying to get the frosting to look good.  It was kind of a thin frosting and as it ran down the sides of the cake, I wondered the best way to spread it all along the circumference... Any tips on frosting cakes?  I could really use them with my kid’s birthday’s coming up!  I also steamed some green beans to round out the meal.
The pork chops are definitely worth a try.  For the effort that went into them, they were very tasty, and they were super moist as well.  My dad said, and I quote, “Tell you blog they were outta sight.”  So, I am telling my blog... er, YOU... they were yummy.  The Brown Rice Mushroom Pilaf was really good too.  The recipe didn’t specify, so I used brown minute rice, and cooked it according to the recipe.  It was nice and fluffy, with more taste than usual as it’s made with broth and not water.  I think it went really well with the pork chops - especially since they had a common taste with the mushrooms in both.

Now, as for the interesting apple dish.  Just a little background in local legal history.  Did you know it’s illegal to eat apple pie WITHOUT cheese here in Wisco?  Nope, not kidding.  I know, a lot of people like it that way anyway, but I’m just letting you all know in the event that you visit and are faced with a pie decision at a local restaurant.  I’d hate for you to end up in the slammer over some pie.  To be honest, I’ve never tried cheese with my pie (please do not report me to the authorities) so I thought I’d try this yummy dish I found, Apple and Cheese Casserole.  Now, I have to be honest, after eating this I realize it’s much more like a dessert than a side dish.  The title of casserole is either used much more loosely than I realized OR it was an attempt to be misleading.  I actually think it would be yummiest in a pie crust.  But I was pretty shocked with how good it turned out.  The cheese was totally mild and only contributed to the other flavors - the only one of us who didn’t really like it was mr.  But he’s from Utah.  I don’t think they harbor the same appreciation of dairy there.  The rest of us thought it was delicious!  And you can bet I’m going to incorporate some of this recipe into a pie of some sort for the holidays.
You'll find the recipe HERE.

On to dessert.  It’s made with a cake mix, which totally helps on the whipping it up fast factor.  And it’s chocolate and peanut butter, with real peanut butter cups not only crumbled up on top but MIXED INTO THE BATTER.  Do I really need to even offer a review here??  It was awesome.  Moist, chocolatey, not overly peanut buttery,  creamy and yummy.  A must try.  But it may be reserved for birthday’s from now on.  I can’t keep eating like this unless I want to gain, like, three more of ME.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cake (not "Cupcake")

1 devil’s food cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2+ cups chopped peanut butter cups 
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Line with wax paper and coat paper.  In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.  Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool cakes completely.  Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and then pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.  Invert one layer on a plate and pour 1 cup frosting on top. Spread evenly with a spatula. Add second layer and pour remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Smooth out with spatula.  Allow frosting to set for a minute and gently press remaining chopped peanut butter cup pieces all over top and sides of cake. Place in refrigerator for about an hour to set. Remove and serve. 


Also:
tonight my mom realized just how much bug takes after me.
He may look like his father, but he has his mother's taste.
Unfortunately.



Now, the truth about today?  I still have not looked in the mirror.  Not once.  I’m kind of afraid of what I’ll find.  


















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11 comments:

Ashley said...

Looks incredible! After a rough morning, you're a champ for having the motivation to cook such a nice meal. You have a lucky family!

Emma's Lunch said...

wow the food looks delicious! i'm your newest follower, i love the last pic, lol he buried his face in the plate....

Stop by Emma's Lunch when you get a chance :)

Kelli @ RTSM said...

YUMMO! Your dinner looks amazing, and that cake....I think I need to make one now! Except I haven't looked at myself today either and I don't plan on doing that until late this afternoon:)

Cozy Home Scenes said...

I love chocolate and peanut butter together, so that cake looks really yummy!

alicia said...

OMG!! I MUST try this cake. I'm salivating over here. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!!

Brianna! said...

I LOVE your header
It's sooooooo ADORABLE

Erin said...

Your cake looks amazing! I think I would have eaten it exactly the same! =o) So cute!

Katie said...

mmmm looks delish!Please try to stop by and link up this recipe and other's at KatiesCucina.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Thank you for participating in Whats Cookin in the Kitchen. I featured this recipe today! Please make sure you grab your featured button and make sure you come back next Friday to link up some more projects!

Oh, My Darling said...

Oh my gosh, that cake! Looks perfect!

malia said...

That last photo is precious.. that's what I'd want to do too if this yummy cake was in front of me. Thanks for sharing at A Crafty Soiree and I hope you'll join us again tomorrow!

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