Shamleless Plug

I'm embarking on a new part of my life that is happier and going in a direction! It's really refreshing.

I was married May 19th, 2012 to a great guy I met at the C.I.A and we're go excited to embark on a life together. He has as culinary degree to match my baking and pastry degree. It's going to be a Good life.

I hope you enjoy my thoughts on food and cooking. I am but a humble baker, who happens to love cooking and embraces the joy of food.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pop Tarts

The first (and only) rebellious thing I ever did as a college student was buy S'mores pop tarts.

We never were really allowed pop-tarts growing up. The non-frosted fruit ones were barely allowed for breakfast as it was, so chocolate or frosted anything was certainly out of the question. We were strictly a strawberry or blueberry kinda family.

For some illogical reason, in my mother's eyes, the Toaster strudels were a better option, perhaps because there was marginally more fruit filling and they were warm/flaky with a cream cheese icing. But they are essentially the same thing.

I jealously coveted the other flavors, like chocolate, S'mores and the weird berry flavors of the time. Even raspberry frosted with sprinkles was off limits.

I sometimes dreamed of all the food I wasn't allowed to have growing up. All the food I could buy when I was on my own (candy, sugary cereal and possibly Kid tv dinners). I clearly remember when I was very young being in a car with my mother, driving in Rowayton, and saying how I was going to buy bags of candy when I was on my own. "Oh yeah?" She said, "You'll look like this." And puffed her cheeks, which made me laugh.

So, the first week I settled into college, I went shopping with my roommate, or perhaps a new friend. We were wandering down the cereal isle, and packages caught my eye. Pop Tarts! No, wait! S'mores pop tarts!!! I snatched a box, and tried to justify the purchase to whomever I was with, because I felt silly buying food intended for children.

When I got back to the dorm, I opened the box and peeled open the sliver package eagerly. I inhaled the graham crackery scent, the crackly chocolate frosting, and signed contently. It smelled so good. Finally, I took a bite.
It was sweet and different. Vertical stripes of chocolate and what appears to be marshmallows. It was slightly gooey.

It was an affordable luxury, 2/$3. But I didn't buy them again. Being a college student, I worried about money and saving it for school supplies and substantial food.

But now that I am a college graduate with a job, I've found other affordable luxuries. But I still like Pop Tarts.

Recently, I've found Pop-Tarts with whole grains. Shockingly, they come in Chocolate Fudge. Which is a chocolate pastry, with fudge, with chocolate frosting. With whole grains. And Fiber. Surely this counts as a breakfast item when paired with a fruit smoothie. I like these better than the S'mores one, unfortunately, to write this post, I went out and bought a 12 pack of S'mores pop tarts (Always a deal finder, I bought them on sale, they were $1.74!) So, I'm stuck with a lot of Pop-tarts. Which I'm either going to try to be okay with, or maybe unload some on my boyfriend.

Friday, February 13, 2009

$6 Budget

I've decided to allot myself between 6-$7 a month for whatever I feel like eating. It could be anything from Mcdonalds, Duchess, diner, Wendys or Chinese. Even those marshmallows at Tj Maxx. Whatever little treat I'd like.

I decided to do this because, I thoroughly enjoy fast food and other takeout, but never really wanted to put forth the effort of procuring it. Also, I thought whatever I spent on it would eventually add up to other, more useful things, like fuel, clothes, and groceries.

But I think a little splurge now and then probably wouldn't hurt. And, if I let myself have a little something now and then would probably keep me focused on being healthier. If I let myself have that little budgetary splurge, I am probably less likely to use it.

I'm allowing myself to spend this money in any amount I like, whether I do it about 5 times at 1.12, or twice a month at about $3.

Or maybe that should be spent on something more splurge worthy. Like candy or all natural shampoo from Trader Joes (I am quite fond of "Christopher's Jellies")

So, we shall see how this works out. I already spent $4 and some change at Wendy's the other week, so I'll have to wait till March to invest a little cash in a little splurge that makes stuff like 4 mile walks, fruit smoothies, and Emergen-C more bearable.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Butterscotch pudding

I had a sudden craving for butterscotch pudding sometime earlier last week. I had seen a top comfort food list on AOL, and butterscotch pudding topped it.

I was a fan of all things pudding growing up, but butterscotch was my favorite. I have vauge memories of sitting on my very old and handed down Whinnie the pooh blanket, Swiss Miss Butterscotch pudding in hand and watching Raffie on Nick Jr, as a very wee one. So when I saw a recipe for it, I was excited.

I remembered the deep butterscotch flavor (which is hard to describe), the brownish orangish color. The smooth consistency. I was craving it enough to go make it that night.

But, I set my expectations too high, I am sorry to say. The recipe was simple, consisting of heavy cream, whole milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, butter and vanilla. It came together well and I like the consistency of the pudding, but the flavor was absolutely lacking.

I'm disappointed. I should have added more vanilla and brown sugar, because, now that I look at the recipe, called for dark brown sugar,and we've been a light brown sugar kinda family. Maybe that was the case. My mother makes her own vanilla, and it's only been sitting for a few months, so maybe I should have added more.

I personally, did not like the pudding. I'd make it again, but modify the recipe for more sugar and vanilla. So let this be a lesson. When something calls for a particular crucial ingredient, you should really use it. Light brown sugar isn't a substitute for dark brown sugar, and next time I'll have to remember that.