Sunday, June 28, 2009

Handcrafted Bumpit

Yea, so here is the thing. Bumpits are stupid looking. I have no clue why anyone would spend $19.99 on a hard plastic thing that is going to stab you in your head just so that you can have hair that looks like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
That being said, people get really really goofy acting at about 4am with the soothing sounds of 20 screaming babies behind you and we have a whole lot of little baby hats sitting around where I I handmade a bumpit out of a couple stray hats and hired me a real cute pregnant model to show of my handiwork. I will be charging $ time only, so get yours now!!

Oh, yea....and if you click on the picture, Courtney's head gets's awesome!!

Guide to Mommy Porn

May i just say that my husband proudly sent me this--and even recognized the Outlander reference having never read the book..... Considering that this is 2009 and not 1709, that is damn near as good as him giving me some bad guy's head in a sack!!! Then they have....well you know how it ends....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Low Carb(ish) Coconut Cream Pie

My fine friend Ellen from work gave me THIS COOKBOOK at work last night (gracias) so I had to make something from it right off the bat. I found several options that intrigued me, but since a Walmart is my closest grocery store and it is the lamest store ever and I hate it--if not just for my own loathing, but in honor of Ellen and her overwhelming hatred of it-- I chose this recipe that sounded delish and that I had all the ingredients on hand. Walmart SUCKS!!
Anywhoooo, I didnt make the crust that was suggested in the book, though I think it would be probably very tasty. The shortbread cookie crust they suggested required actual shortbread cookies and guess what store decided to quit carrying all their sugar free cookie products today just to annoy me. So, I made the "traditional pie crust" from the book. It was pretty tasty, though I will say a bit of a wheat-y flavor since it was made with whole wheat pastry flour. A perfect pie crust texture though and held together well so you could actually pick up your piece of pie. I will definitely use the recipe again.
The filling was really really good. It would be good as just a pudding with whipped cream on top....that may happen sooner than later and would make this much less time consuming without the crust making and baking.
I say this is low carb(ish) because it is definitely not an everyday dish. A piece of this pie made with the shortbread crust would have 16 carbs. A piece of store bought coconut cream pie has 40+ carbs, more than half of which is pure sugar.
So, here is the recipe and both crust options.

Coconut Cream Pie
for the coconut layer:
1 1-ounce package sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup low carb milk (or 1/2 cup heavy cream mixed with 1/2 cup water)
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted, divided
3/4 cup whipping cream

for the whipped cream layer:
1 cup whipping cream
3 packets splenda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

also, make one of the crusts below, bake and cool.

1. For coconut layer: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, coconut extract, and all but 1 tablespoon of the toasted coconut (reserve the rest for garnish at the end). Set pudding mixture aside. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on med-high speed, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add reserved pudding mixture to the bowl with cream and whisk until well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. For whipped cream layer: Whip cream, splenda and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
3. Assemble the pie by spreading the pudding mixture over the crust using a rubber spatula, then spooning the whipped cream mixture over the center of the pudding, spreading it to the edges. Sprinkle reserved coconut over the top.

Carbs are 11 per serving assuming you cut it into 8 pieces.

Traditional Pie Crust
1/2 cup wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tbsp granular splenda
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 tbsp cold butter
3-4 tbsp very cold water

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixing bowl stir together the gluten flour, pastry flour, almonds and splenda. Stir in egg yolk with a fork and then the butter mashing it into coarse crumbs. Add the water a tbsp at a time until you can get the mixture to form into a ball. Let it rest for a few minutes while you spray your pie pan with some cooking spray.
Roll it out and put it in the pan--I am paraphrasing, obviously.
Bake for 15-20 it so it doesnt burn at the end, but good and brown is better than under done.

Carbs are 9 per serving assuming you cut it into 8 pieces.

Coconut-Shortbread Cookie Crust
24 Murray sugar free ring shaped shortbread cookies, crushed
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
5 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together. Spray pie plate (9 inch) with cooking spray, then pat crust mixture into bottom of pan.
Bake for 8 minutes, until nicely browned. Let cool before filling.

Carbs are 5 per serving assuming you cut it into 8 pieces.

This is the crust I made before I baked it.
Filling and topping--pardon these awful pics, my regular camera battery was dead so these are phone pics!

And, finally, the finished product. It was yummy!
Let it be know that all of these recipes come from Everyday Low-Carb Desserts: Over 120 Delicious Low-Carb Treats Perfect for Any Occasion (Paperback)
by M.S. Kitty Broihier M.S. R.D. (Author)
Shout out to her!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tudor Houses are Awesome

Anyone who knows me knows my love of all things English-y. I have a particular adoration of wonky Tudor houses. They are also called half-timbered houses or timber frame, but to me they are just Tudor ala King Henry.
We in America have a version of these....they have it in England too....that is called Tudor revival. Drive through some fancy neighborhoods-and even some not so fancy ones-and you will see the decorative trim that is on gables that is a throwback to the real thing. These houses are not authentically timbered but have trim styled like they are--there is no relation from inside to outside of the house. I am not hating on these...they are cute and I like them fine, but that is not what I am talking about here.

In true, ancient half timbered houses, the entire house was made with a timber frame. There are no studs inside the walls like modern construction. The builder made a giant frame for the house out of big heavy timbers and pegged them together. In between the beams the space was filled with rocks, bricks, rubble, sticks or anything they could come up with to fill in the space and then they "stuccoed" over the filler. The walls were as thick as the beams they made them out of and the beams were exposed on the inside and outside of the house. This is what an authentic wall was filled with....minus the glass frame, obviously....

There is modern timber framing....I live in a modern timber framed house. Kinda the same as the authentic, but not really. The whole "filling the walls with junk and stuccoing over it" thing is not very modernly energy efficient. This is what a modern timber frame looks like while being built....this is mine....
Our timber frame
All smallest upright in that frame is 6X6 inches....some are bigger than that. But now, instead of filling in between them, we attached SIPs to the outside of the frame. This means you can see the beams on the inside of our house, but not the we faked it on the outside.
Inside....drying in - 10

Enough of all that construction talk....THIS is why I love them. We took these on our awesome trip to London that we just got back on any of these to go to the photo-set and see all of the ones we took.

And finally, here is a funny story. We were walking through Hampstead Heath and happened upon the most picturesque, perfect little cottage in the woods. It looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel and before we even got up to it we had discussed how lucky the resident was and wondered how they lucked up and got the gig that got them living in the cutest house ever in the middle of this awesome park, etc, etc.... This is the house....

Okay, now wait for it.....

It was the park bathroom....i would still live there forever....