Martini Monday: The Dirty Girl Scout

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A month ago, my friend, Ellen, had a birthday. And we I celebrated it pretty hard. After weeks of being bombarded by Girl Scouts on the city streets, in front of grocery stores, and at work, and being gifted a box of thin mints, I went for it. In drink form.

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After googling some recipes and doing some taste testing, we came up with the following recipe:

2 ounces vanilla vodka
1 ounce dark chocolate liqueur
1/2 ounce Crème de Menthe

You know the drill. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake that bad boy up and pour yourself a Dirty Girl Scout. Garnish with a thin mint.

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Note on the garnish – our cookies were frozen and shattered when we tried to cut out a sliver. I also think it would be bomb to crumble them up and rim the glass. Next time, friends. Because there will be a next time even though 3 of these suckers (and a couple vodka cran’s) gave me the worst hangover in years).

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

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Alternate title: “This is how much I love my husband.”

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Alternate title: “I’ll take any excuse to challenge my baking skills – especially when beer, whiskey and Bailey’s in involved.”

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Alternate title: “It’s all Brie’s fault.”

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Whichever excuse I want to use (and apparently, there are many), I made these cupcakes. And it really was fun! And a test of my baking skillz which generally suck.

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I made the cupcake batter.

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It’s hard to go wrong with that much beer and butter, really.

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I baked them.

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And I let them cool all day (Sunday).

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(Did I mention I made a double batch?)

I made ganache for the first time ever.

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It’s hard to go wrong with that much cream and chocolate, really.

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Then I let it cool all afternoon until it got deliciously thick.

I cored all the cupcakes with this fancy dancy cupcake corer we bought at Target for $6.99. Worth. It.

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And since I’m not a baker and don’t own frosting bags or tips, I just shoved all the ganache in to a huge ziploc, cut the tip, and went to town.

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Question for the bakers – what do you do with the cupcake innards? I ended up dividing them in to little cups and topping them with ganache for little sweet treats for the husband this week!

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The whole process was actually sort of fun and didn’t take nearly as much time as I expected.

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But boy did it generate a lot of dishes! Good thing I have a husband for that!

I wrapped up the cupcakes and stuck them in the freezer until last night.

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Frosting ensued.

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It’s hard to screw up just butter and sugar, right?

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It was hit or miss for awhile there. But I think I got it.

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Topped with Emerald City Green sprinkles, these were just the right amount of festive!

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Husband was my taste tester and he thoroughly enjoyed them. “Best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life!” (I’m pretty sure he’s obligated to say that, ya know.)

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We’ll see how everyone likes them at the potluck today!

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PS  – Don’t forget to wear your green tomorrow!

V-Day Pancakes

Deliriously delicious, I promise.

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Pancakes. Just your basic pancakes. That’s how it all started anyway.

For a special Valentine’s Day breakfast, I wanted to make pink pancakes. But I couldn’t find my red food dye. So I just stirred in red sprinkles. It sort of did the trick. They turned out more peach than pink but the white chocolate chips I added to the batter on a whim made up for my less than pink pancakes.

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And while I was mixing up my batter, I just happened to be whipping up my first ever batch of homemade nut butter – a blend of walnuts, blanched almonds, and dark chocolate chips.

Yep, that’s right.

And really, I was only planning on drizzling the warm nut butter on top of the stack but I couldn’t help myself.

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I mean, really. How could anyone resist?

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You would think this would be ridiculously sweet but really, it wasn’t. The walnuts and almonds in the nut butter (made with a few pinches of sea salt, naturally) cut it nicely.

And the sprinkles? They are just for fun.

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Record Heat Wave – 102*

Morning Snack

Breakfast didn’t really seem to hold me over too well. By 9am, my belly was a-rumblin’.

I had fruit salad, from a few nights ago, topped with Yami Yogurt (again).

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That was the last of the fruit salad! May need to make another batch. It was delicious! I have plenty of fruit to do it, too!

(There may have been a piece of chocolate following this…)

Lunch

Leftover Shrimp Gumbo from Sunday night.

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No rice hiding in there today. Just the gumbo.

(There may have been a piece of chocolate following this too…)

Afternoon Snack

I didn’t really eat one at work like usual. It was actually off for me. But when I got home, I was hungry so I ate a string cheese.

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So lately, Angela and Tina have been talking about being in an exercise funk. I feel their pain. I haven’t exercised since Saturday. I think it has to do with the heat un-motivating me even though it shouldn’t be an excuse because the gym has plenty of fans and I think it is air conditioned. I haven’t even been doing yoga in the morning! Could be that it’s that time of the month too… I’m just very unmotivated. But today, I made it happen. I forced myself to do some kind of activity today.

The boy actually got home early so he was there when I got there and we decided to go for a jog. Outside. Recording breaking temperatures for Seattle and we are running outside. Possibly insane. I almost died. I really don’t know how all you Floridians do  it.  We went really slow. We took lots of walking/water breaks. We actually probably walked more than jogged but my feet were hurting (per usual) and it was hot and hilly.

The stats:

3.11 miles

48 minutes (I told you we went slow)

453 cal burned

40% from fat

Max HR 182

Ave HR 157

I felt really good that we accomplished it. As soon as I got home, I noticed I was rashy and getting an emerging breakout already. This made me think of Caitlin and her post yesterday about bacne. I’m pretty sure it’s heat related. I’ve been breaking out recently on my neck and chest which is odd. I’m going to blame the heat. And try and stay out of it.

Dinner

Tonight, I made up some Ground Turkey Taco/Fajita Salads.

These salads were MONDO!

I sautéed some onion and garlic in a skillet, added ground turkey to cook up.

Mixed in a pack of Simply Organic Taco Fajita Seasoning.

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The salad had a little bit of artisan lettuce and spinach.

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Slathered with Chalula Hot Sauce…

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Toppings include:

  • grape tomatoes
  • corn
  • black beans
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • crunched up Jalapeno FSTG chips
  • avocado slices
  • shredded cheese

And a small side of leftover guacamole and Jalapeno chips.

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Some parting words…

You may or may not (*ahem* Google Reader users) have seen my new layout and header. I want to give a huge thanks to Claudia, my dear friend for helping me with the header design. Any of you bloggers out there want to freshen up your header, give her a shout!

Also, I had a small (very small) breakdown today. A few months ago, my dear friend, Lis, introduced me to the world of the Julie/Julia Project. Today, I finally finished reading the blog. Every. Single. Entry. And. Comment. So bittersweet. I feel as though I have an immense void in my life. I immediately attempted to fill the void by purchasing the book on Amazon in  hopes that it would get here with enough time for me to power through it without coming up for air before the movie premiere next Friday. I’m sure I have pissed off someone by “running out” and buying it a mere week and a half before my birthday but I’m sorry. As I said, I needed to fill the void. My heart is heavy. Maybe more chocolate will do the trick until the book arrives? Hm. Maybe I should try to finish Under the Banner of Heaven this weekend then…

Off to watch another episode of The Wire!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“New” Chocolate and Larabars

Morning Snack

I had fruit salad, from a couple nights ago, topped with Yami Yogurt.

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I might be getting tired of the yogurt morning snack soon… maybe.

Lunch

Leftover Salmon and couscous from last night.

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I feel like I’m lacking on the veggies today. 😦

On my actual lunch break, I ran a couple errands and ended up at Whole Foods. I had some coupons in the car and $7 that was burning a whole in my pocket so I decided to stock a little for my goody drawer at work. I ended up with 2 new (to me) Larabar flavors to try and a new (to me) chocolate bar.

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As soon as I got back to work, I tried a tiny bit of the chocolate.

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Normally, I stick to Endangered Species 88% cacao chocolate bar but I felt the need to have chocolate at work and had a Green & Black coupon for $1 off. I checked out the varieties of dark chocolate and this appealed the most to me. I LOVE orange chocolate. You know those chocolates that are actually in the shape of an orange? Uh huh. My fav. They always remind me of my Opa. This bar was very similar. I might like it better. It had a little more spice to it but the orange and creamy chocolateness still came through nicely. It melted in my mouth! (The 93* weather probably isn’t helping!) From Green & Black’s website: "…blending rich, dark chocolate with a refreshing twist of orange that is perfectly balanced by the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of vanilla." Also known as: heaven.

Afternoon Snack

More boy-chopped mushroom, bell pepper, and carrots dipped in Sabra hummus.

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Except the bell pepper tasted funky and I wasn’t feeling the carrots so I just ate the mushrooms and licked the rest of the hummus off of a carrot.

And then I had another piece of Maya Gold.

Before leaving work, I tried the pistachio larabar.

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I wasn’t insanely impressed but it wasn’t bad either. I ate half of this bar.

I thought about hitting the gym, but was really hot and unmotivated. Probably hormone related. 😦 I took a cold shower when I got home and then started dinner. I was hungry!

Dinner

Made up for my lack of veggies earlier in the day! I made vegetable spaghetti. I used a zucchini, squash, some asparagus, mushrooms, onion, garlic and bell pepper. LOTS of veggies! 😀

I chopped all the veggies and seasoned them with EVOO, salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven. I boiled some whole wheat spaghetti noodles and heated up some Classico Spaghetti Sauce in a small saucepan.

I intentionally did lots of veggies so we’d have some leftovers!

I topped the noodles with some sauce (that I spiced up by adding a can of diced tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano, and a dash of cayenne), added the roasted veggies, and sprinkled with shredded parmesan.

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We had a small amount of Black Box Cab Sauv.

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This is the best boxed wine I have ever had! Very economical and great for just wanting a small pour here and there! I recommend! I think we paid ~$20-25 for the box and I think it is 3-4 bottles worth of wine? How great is that?!

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Dinner was superbly easy and tasty! Yum!

Off to watch an episode of The Wire!

Brown Breakfast

No yoga this morning; I had to drop off the boy at his vanpool because we only have the one car today. And boy does this only having one car thing really make me want to sell my Mazda so we don’t have a car payment plus insurance to pay on a vehicle that just sits parked all day long! We’ll see what happens.

I knew I wanted to make a Green Monster for breakfast this morning… but it turned into a Brown Monster instead!

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In the mix:

  • 1 massive piece of kale
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey
  • 1 Tbls cocoa powder
  • 5 frozen strawberries

Makes 2!

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Along side was a half of a whole grain english muffin.

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The boy’s breakfast was even browner because he had an iced coffee with his!

Where’s mine?

Meh… I really need to stop talking about cutting back and just do it.

So I’m doing it.

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A Complete Bum

Yeah, that’s me. I’m a bum. After sleeping and eating, I probably felt good enough to go into work for the rest of the day. But I didn’t. Can I use the excuse that my boss has a compromised immune system and I didn’t want to endanger his life? Yeah, I’ll go with that.

So what did I do all day? I watched Weeds, Season 2, pretty much all of it. I rock.

Lunch

The classic “I’m sick” lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

 

Ya’ll know how to make a grilled cheese. I use Milton’s Multigrain Bread, Smart Balance Light Butter, a slice of Tillamook Pepperjack, and a slice of plastic (aka 2% american, generic brand even).

And a whole can of tomato soup, made with water, and a splash of fat free half and half.

 

Delicious, warm, filling goodness.

A little later, I had a cup of Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce Black Tea and a small piece of Endangered Species 88% Cacao Dark Chocolate.

 

I don’t think I have mentioned it before but my dad makes pottery and this mug is one of his creations. I’ll try and make an effort to point out his stuff when I use it. He’s a total hobby guy. He makes wine, blow glass, makes candles, pottery, etc. I wish I could afford to/have the time to have hobbies. For now, I’ll stick with cooking and eating. Oh, and cross-stitching.

What are some of your hobbies?

My afternoon snack plate was also one of dad’s creations.

 

I love how massive these plates are! Easier to pile hile with goodness!

 

Today’s snack plate features:

  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 serving Mary’s Gone Crackers
  • 1.5 servings Tribe Classic Hummus
  • Some tabouli
  • a bunch of grape tomatoes

I munched on this plate while I got some reading done. Damn Netflix for not having Weeds Season 3 on Instant! Grr!

Dinner

Leftover Spaghetti, by myself. The boy had a Happy Hour get together after work at a pizza joint so I was left to my own devices. It was either spaghetti or some black beans… I think I chose wisely.

 

Topped with some shredded parmesan, I never get tired of spaghetti!

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Annabel is giving away a $40 gift certificate to Whole Foods! Enter here!

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I have spent a rather large portion of the evening researching Las Vegas. Namely, hotels (that are reasonably priced) and shows to see. We are tentatively going in October over Columbus Day weekend. I have never been and want to go badly! Do you have any input on your experience with Vegas? I want to stay on the Strip and I really want to see a Cirque du Soleil production (I think the boy would enjoy Zumanity the most. 😉

Those are pretty much my only requirements. We aren’t big on gambling or shopping or spa treatment or anything like that. It would be a plus if the hotel we stayed in had a gym and pool but for a good deal, I can over look those things. I have been using www.vegas.com as my primary source but would love to get some personal input!!