Saturday, July 31, 2010

There is nothing that sucks more than feeling useless.

Especially when you're a parent who feels useless.

You kittens might be wondering what I'm feeling useless about...

After the last few nights (and a few nights a week during the past month) of Erflet waking up screaming, shaking, and inconsolable - I did what any parent would do. I Bing'd it.

Night terrors, that is.

Like the good mother of a newborn I was, I read the What To Expect books. The pregnancy one, the first year one, and the toddler years one. Back when I had time to read a book and it wasn't a few pages here and there while I was on the commode.

By the way, Erflet thinks it's hilarious to come into the bathroom while I'm laying a deuce and mock me by saying, "Can't I poop in peace?" He's his mother's son.

Anywho, there was a mention of night terrors - to which I paid ZERO attention, obviously. Mommy fail. Some part of my post-partum frazzled baby spitup coated brain must have stored it, though, because I remembered what they were called long enough to type it into the browser. describes night terrors thus:

"Night terrors typically occur about 2 or 3 hours after a child falls asleep, when sleep transitions from the deepest stage of non-REM sleep to lighter REM sleep, a stage where dreams occur. Usually this transition is a smooth one. But rarely, a child becomes agitated and frightened - and that fear reaction is a night terror.

During a night terror, a child might suddenly sit upright in bed and shout out or scream in distress. The child's breathing and heartbeat may be faster, he or she might sweat, thrash around, and act upset and scared. After a few minutes, or sometimes longer, a child simply calms down and returns to sleep."

Holy balls, have these bastards been watching in my windows? This has been happening for the last month (also, yay for mommy guilt, because these began occurring around the same time we moved and so now I feel responsible)(fuck. me.) at least a few times a week and has happened the last three nights in a row.

And there's nothing I can do - he has to 'outgrow' them. My little sister apparently got to the point of running out of the house and punching and kicking people during her night terrors. Great. And, a child has an 80% higher chance of experiencing night terrors if a family member has had them!

On a brighter note, Erf, Erflet and I are going to go hiking again tomorrow. Between working on my feet, not eating as much as I used to, and hiking/walking/swimming, I'm beginning to lose some weight. I say that as I sit here eating half a pint of Ben and Jerry's Mud Pie ice cream.

You know what would be awesome? If I were a size 14 again. I was at my ideal weight when I was a size 14, because I'M SIX FUCKING FEET TALL. Yes, I am tall enough to enter America's Top Model, but I will never do that because I would be so tempted to bring in baked goods and get the skinny stick figures with poufy lips all fat and then I'd get kicked out of ATM and I'd laugh and tell my grandchildren the epic story someday.

Also, then I could wear those adorable jeans I've been holding onto for the last 6 years because my big lard ass can't fit into them anymore but I don't want to get rid of them in the hopes that I'll fit into them again someday.

You have those jeans too, don't lie.

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's cheese, it's cake, it's orgasm in a springform.

Let me begin by saying that I never, ever used to like cheesecake.

I know, get your gasps of shock out now.

I think it's because the only cheesecakes I had eaten were either dry as hell (NOT what you want from a cheesecake) or from a box. As a child, the majority of the food I ate came from a box - contributing to my utterly disgusting picky-ness when it comes to food, I'm sure - or it was burned to a crisp. I still can't stand eating chicken that is juicy, because I grew up with dry and overdone chicken. I finally just began eating my steak medium to medium-well, but I'll be fucked by a spork if I can force myself to choke down properly cooked chicken.

Ohai, tangent.

Then I learned to make cheesecake. I'm still mastering the small stuff, but I've been told (by multiple people) that my cheesecakes rival desserts you find in high-end restaurants. By that I mean restaurants rated by stars, not Applebee's or TGIFriday's. Well, I've been told that a lot of my desserts are better than the *cough*pre-cooked/frozen*cough* desserts you find in fine restaurants.

I now consider my own horn tooted.

Here's photographic evidence. :)

I took a photo of the crust/ladyfingers of my tiramisu cheesecake that I made for a local charity auction, but forgot to take a photo of the finished product. Derp.

A.) Ladyfingers are incredibly delicious, and I heart them. B.) Doesn't it look pretty!?

Speaking of pretty, what could be more beautiful than a marriage of chocolate and Irish Cream whiskey? Especially when it's drizzled with bittersweet chocolate... I give you Chocolate Irish Cream cheesecake:

Well, I can't actually give one to you, kittens. If I could, I would! I swear, if any of you come visit me, I'll make you a fabulous dessert! (If that isn't incentive to buy a plane ticket/take a road trip, I don't know what is!)

One of my personal favorites is Cafe Au Lait Cheesecake. Chocolate crust, a layer of mocha filling, and a layer of vanilla filling. Who could ask for more?

This last one isn't a cheesecake, and I fucked up the crust (I converted a pie crust, lmao), but it's my first attempt at a fruit tart...

Blueberry/Strawberry tart with lemon cream cheese filling:

Don't those berries look mouth-wateringly delicious brushed with melted grape jelly? Oooh, shiny!

So, I work in a lab. A lot of our machines produce a fuck-ton of heat. As a result, we worship at the altar of Air Conditioning. The A/C decided to punk out on us sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Bitch. Anywho, the lab has been running around 90-100 degrees and the fucking part we need has to be shipped from fucking JAPAN. So we're stuck in the crazy nasty heat for the next week or two. Blech.

I am also getting excited as I have a fun baking project coming up! My BFF's bridal shower is coming up near the end of August, and she asked me to do her shower cake! It's going to be a coconut cake with vanilla filling (possibly vanilla/coconut filling) and vanilla buttercream frosting. I get carte blanche on how it's decorated, what shape, etc. Except she said no lovey-dovey crap. Which is cool, I've been wanting to do a simplistic, modern cake anyhow. It'll be my first attempt at a tiered cake, as well.

Erflet enjoys listening to the radio at night, and likes listening to the local Top 40 station. I just put him to bed, and 'What's Your Fantasy?' by Ludacris was playing when I turned it on.

I am so Mother Of The Year. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Food porn and a new template!

So many exciting things to see and salivate over!

I needed a change, kittens, so here it is! A fresh, new and sassy template for you to feast your eyes on.

And speaking of things to feast your eyes on, have I got some food porn to catch up on. Holy schneikes. Chocolate ruffle cake, brownies, and other assorted delicious confections that will make you wish you lived in my kitchen. :)

For now, we'll start with the most beautiful (not to mention challenging) dessert I've made to date. Chocolate Ruffle Cake!

It was sent to me by a gentleman who won a contest at my mom's workplace for a free cake. He wanted to try it, but didn't want to make it himself. So he asked me to make it. It's a chocolate genoise cake filled with chocolate and vanilla creme fraiche and raspberries, brushed with framboise syrup, topped with chocolate ruffles and wrapped in chocolate.

I'll pause for a moment while you go get yourself a towel.

It all starts with the chocolate genoise, of course. It's an easy cake to make, requiring only butter, vanilla extract, flour, cocoa powder, eggs and sugar. The recipe tells you to combine the eggs and sugar in a large, heat safe glass bowl and heat over DIRECT HEAT. Being the dipshit blonde I can be sometimes, I put the glass bowl directly on the burner. Did you know that Pyrex sounds like a gunshot when it explodes? Not to mention how much fun it is to clean sugar/egg mixture from underneath your stovetop. Off to WalMart to buy a new bowl. Aaaaand, take two. This time I put the bowl over a pot of boiling water, and heated the mix to the instructed temperature. Much better. After following the rest of the instructions for the genoise, I pull this pretty, dense and beautifully crumbed cake from the oven:

The most interesting part, in my opinion, was the creme fraiche. It's apparently some sort of delicacy, because you can't find it in a normal grocery store. And rumor has it that if you CAN find it, it's hella expensive. So I searched the intarwebz for a recipe and made my own creme fraiche. (Note to you all; creme fraiche needs to sit at room temperature for about three days before it's ready.) It was a delightful new experience to the tastebuds; thick, creamy, with a sour nutty flavor. Add some sugar and vanilla extract, and it's absolutely delicious once it's whipped:

Once you're ready to fill the cake (seriously, this cake took me four days from start to finish), you torte the genoise into three layers. Then you make the framboise syrup, which consists of water, sugar, and white rum. I KNOW, RIGHT?!

You take an 8" springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and gently put in the bottom layer. Brush it with framboise syrup, then fill it with chocolate creme fraiche. Brush the bottom of the next layer with syrup, and ease it on top of the filling. Then, brush the top and layer with fresh raspberries. Cover the raspberries with vanilla creme fraiche, then brush the bottom of the top layer with syrup. Ease it over the filling, then brush the top with syrup. Refrigerate overnight, loosen the sides of the pan, and this is what you get:

Doesn't look like much yet, but it's gonna be gorgeous! Next, you make the wrap. All you do is spread melted chocolate over parchment paper and carefully press it into the sides. Refrigerate for a few hours until the paper peels away easily. Then top with the remaining creme fraiche and prepared chocolate ruffles, with a single pretty raspberry:

No, I wasn't naked, just in short shorts. :)

Here's what the finished project looks like:

Have you drooled all over your keyboards? I know it was tough for me not to keep a slice for myself. Unfortunately, I didn't get to try any... But they said it was amazing. :) I'm waiting for a special enough occasion to try making this for myself. Or at least to make it for someone who will save me a piece to try. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who would've thought tequila and puff paint would go together?

I've discovered a new talent.

Puff-painting t-shirts. No, really.

Okay, stop laughing. Yes, they still sell puff paint. No, I'm not tragically re-living my youth.

Erf got a work study job at a youth organization at a local rec center, and came home one day with a blank t-shirt that he said he wanted my help decorating. Cause I'm all autistic artistic like that.

He wanted something with 'flames' that looked 'really cool'. So off to the local WalMart to purchase some puff paints and tweezers (because Erflet, for the second time, absconded with my tweezers and had moved them to god knows where).

We put Erflet to bed, and I got to work. Enter some Jeff Dunham's Spark Of Insanity, because I love Peanut.

3/4 of the way through the shirt, my dad knocks at the door. He asks if I want to go and do some shots with him. Um, yeah! But... Can I finish the shirt please?

So he sat down and watched Peanut and Jose JalapeƱo with us. ('A condiment?' 'I do not use them.') This is what Erf's shirt looks like:

Pretty cool, huh? I thought I did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. So off to a local sports bar we went. Which, hi? Sweet and sour mix is not the same thing as margarita mix. But tequila is tequila... Then I made my big mistake. I told my dad I wanted to do a shot of tequila. I've never shot tequila before, unless you count the shooter of Patron - and let's face it, Patron is in a whole different class from Cuervo. My dad orders two doubles, and orders mine with 'training wheels'. I scoffed. I did a double shot of Jack Daniel's with him WITHOUT A CHASER, didn't I? I could handle tequila. He smiled, and looked at the bartender.

"Serve hers with training wheels."

So after some instruction on how to shoot tequila (apparently, there's such a thing as too much salt), I lick my hand. I apply salt. I shake off the 'too much' salt. I lick my salt-covered hand. I raise the plastic cup (yes, they served the shot in a PLASTIC FUCKING CUP. Ghetto, yo) and shoot the tequila. Midway through, I realize that tequila? Tastes like fucking vomit. Tasting anything remotely vomit-flavored usually triggers my harf-reflex.

I sucked hard on that teeny, tiny lime wedge let me tell ya.

And realized there's still a half a shot in the cup. Shit. My mouth is watering uncontrollably, and I have no clue how I'm gonna taste that again and not vomit. However, the second half-shot wasn't nearly as bad as the first. Perhaps it was the salt. Anywho, I headed home - slightly buzzed, very happy - and did some buzzed intarwebz surfing.

Erf goes to work and comes home with a handful of t-shirts and a box of various colored puff paints.

Guess who got volunteered to decorate shirts without being asked? Yeah, it wasn't Bob Ross. So I thought I'd share photos of my pretty shirts with you, kittens.

I heart this one the most, I think it's wicked.

Yes, I do heart glitter.


I am now going to find a plain t-shirt in my closet and make a shirt that has my blog's tagline across the chest:

"Giving Jesus his money's worth since 1985"

Should I put my blog name and URL on the back, or would that be tacky? What do you think, kittens?

Also, there will be food porn coming soon. I have lots to catch up on, so get ready for some porn-picture heavy posts!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Holy fracking sassafrass. Did I spell sassafrass correctly?

So much shit has been happening, kittens. I scarcely know where to begin.

I had to chide myself this evening when I was IMing with everyone's one and only Aunt Becky, and she had no idea that I had moved.

I fucking suck as a blogger lately. I blame it on a.) an insane work schedule, b.) lack of constant and steady streaming Intarwebz and c.) me just being a lazy bitch.

So, a few weeks ago, Erf, Erflet and I packed up our shit and moved out of our three bedroom apartment in Souptown and moved into a three bedroom house in Dull-uth. The reason sucked. Because of Erf and I losing our jobs last November and my obstinately pig-headed insistence to make my old job work (when obvs, I'm NOT a high-pressure salesperson), we had gone into arrears on our rent. We did get things paid up, but alas started to fall behind again. Not by much, we were paying what we could and would usually end up current within a month. My job only pays me $8.50 an hour, and my ex-coworker - who didn't give a shit if he broke lenses, thereby affecting our breakage 'bonus' pay - really screwed Sam (the lab manager) and I out of money.

Our lease was up at the end of June, and our landlady chose not to renew it. Which, dudes? I totally understand. I would've done the same damn thing. But moving? It sucked. I especially felt terrible moving Erflet AGAIN, when we had just moved into that apartment a year prior. Luckily, he's a hardy little fella, and he loves the new house. We're house sitting for my mom's friend; her mother passed away in May and this was her house. Mom's friend has her own house, and owns this one free and clear. So she needed someone to occupy it. :)

So here we are, and our new place is literally right across the street from McDonald's. And smelling frenchiddy fries from your front yard? IS OF DE DEBBIL. I've managed to abstain thus far, but my tenuous hold on self control can only be greased by spontaneous french fries for so long.

Seriously, do they put crack in the McNuggets and fries? Am I the only one who feels that way?

We also are going to be adopting two adorable dogs; we're fostering them until the shelter's vet has an opening to get them fixed. Then the adoption will become permanent. Kittens, meet Mr. Bill:

And Miss Mya:
Bill is a huge 71 lb ball of lovable kisses and energy, and is a black lab mix... We think he might be mixed with American Staffordshire or something similar, as his ears are docked and his tail is not, as well as the shape of his head and legs. He is Erf's dog, through and through.

Mya is a 9.8 lb ball of snuggles and kisses, and is a Chihuahua mix. I always said I'd never have a fucking chihuahua, because they're all Paris Hilton-y purse dogs. But Mya must be mixed with a terrier of some sort, because she is lap-size and very healthy. And seriously, dudes? I fell in love with her immediately, and she with me. She loves snuggling with me, and sleeps behind my knees every night, and adores car rides where she's on my lap with her head resting in the crook of my elbow. She's got a beautiful brindle coat, too - except for the three white toes on her back left paw. She's quirky, like me.

So that's really about everything up til now, I'd update a little more frequently but I'm leeching Intarwebz from McD's (retribution for the french fry stench) and I don't always have connection to the internet. I'm hoping to get a USB network adapter to boost my signal reception, but the one I want is like $55... Bleh. I need to check Craigslist, note to self....

*off like a prom dress to search Craigslist*