Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Whip It Good

Okay so here's the thing. I love to eat. LOVE. I have a beautiful relationship with my meals. That first taste, especially when it's something special or if I'm really hungry, is pure bliss.

Unfortunately, I suck at cooking. I have cooking anxiety. I'm always afraid that I'm going to under cook the meat, so I end up drying it out. I have no vision for it. I must have a recipe and I MUST follow it exactly. Lucky for me, I have a husband who, if allowed, would spend all day, every day in the kitchen making up new dishes. In other words, I never have to make a meal. Unless, like this week, he is gone on a business trip and then I eat nothing but cereal and sandwiches.

But I can bake. I can bake like the wind. For some reason, the fear that plagues me with dinner planning disappears when it comes to desserts. I am not an elaborate baker. I prefer to use a mix as a base for brownies and cakes. My cookies are from simple recipes. But it's always good. Probably because I've always had a powerful sweet tooth. One of my most vivid memories from my early years is visiting my Grandma and figuring out that if I called anything sweet my "medicine" she would think it was adorable and give it to me. And that's how my love affair with COOL WHIP Whipped Topping started. Every visit to my Grandma resulted in 4-5 spoonfuls of my medicine.  

*sigh* I still love that stuff. I figured out early on when raising my kiddos that a little COOL WHIP on top of their fruit at meals made the whining go away and quick. OMG, the whining. I wasn't prepared for it. They're all "I hate strawberriesssssssss!" and I'm all "You told me you loved them last week" and they're all "They make me barfffffff!" and I'm all "Just eat them" and they're all *choke gag* and I'm all "Oh for Pete's sake, here" and then the COOL WHIP comes out and everyone is happy and smiling and suddenly we're in a Disney movie. And then they finish their strawberries and I tell them to take out the trash and then we're in that horror movie with the little kid who crawls out of the well and then I don't sleep for a week.

My kiddos are all grown up now (if you call being 20 years old in college and still not remembering to brush your teeth every day) but that's totally fine with me because it means when I make stuff like this I get to eat all of it myself.

This? Is a whoopie pie.

And the angels sang in the heavens.

So I have a friend who mentioned I should try making my own whoopie pies out of cake mix. So I started googling and found so many recipes that looked amazing. But I'm not really a heavy frosting fan, so I thought maybe exchanging the more traditional filling with COOL WHIP would be fun to try. These are the only ingredients I used.

A devil's food cake mix, 2 eggs and two tubs of COOL WHIP. Instead of the oil called out on the mix box, I used a tub of COOL WHIP instead. Sounds weird? I thought so too.

You guys.

They are AH-MAZE-ING. They are light and sweet and oh did I forget to mention that I mixed a tiny bit of the dry cake mix with another tub of COOL WHIP and spread it in between two of the pies and then I passed out from how good they taste?

This took me all of 45 minutes total, not counting the 30 minutes I let the dough chill in the refrigerator before I baked the pies. 45 minutes. Everyone has 45 minutes in their day to make something this super yum and super easy (I'm looking at you, lady in my office who brags about how she bakes all weekend for her kid's girl scout troop meetings while staring at me and my Twinkie all judge-y faced).

I figure this post is like my community service to the internet for all the swearing and inappropriate talk I do here.  Hey everyone, make this and you'll experience one minute of pure bliss followed by 10 minutes of pure amazement over how kind and generous Miss Yvonne was to share her COOL WHIP whoopie pie recipe with you. You're welcome.

Now I'm off for my last dose of medicine.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Dad, A Snake & A Burning Bush

My parents are here for a week long visit. I am beyond thrilled. We live in different states and so I usually only see them once or twice a year. Plus my dad is super handy and hates to sit still, which means I'm totally getting a bunch of little projects done for me while they are here.

My approach when my dad visits goes something like this:

You know, I've always wanted to have a screen door on the back of the house. How much do you think that would cost, dad? Is it hard to install? I suppose we could try it sometime this summer. Thinking about that makes me remember how badly I need to sand and paint the front door. It looks terrible. *sigh* I guess I'll just add it to the list of things we need to get done.

I know I should feel ashamed of myself on account of my dad being 75 years old and all, but I totally don't. My mom says he likes to feel needed, so I'm helping HIM out. Or something.

So this visit, I casually mentioned that the four pampas grass plants we have in the backyard are super overgrown and need to be chopped down but holy cow, it is hard work. The very next day, my dad got at it.

I came home from work that day and was all "What did you guys do today?" and my mom was all "Tell her, Donald" to my dad. And so my dad proceeds to tell me this story...

I went outside to look at your fence that is falling down (I forgot to mention the fence I told him really needed fixing) and when I lifted up one of the panels, there was a huge snake under it. I mean, that sucker was about 8 feet long (!!!!). So I went inside and Captain Carl grabbed his shot gun (WTF with the guns, Texas????) and we went looking for it but couldn't find it. So a few hours later I decided to chop down that pampas grass and when I started, that damn snake was slithering around in it. So I grabbed the matches out of my pocket and threw a match into the grass and that sucker went up in a huge fireball.

This was the point in the story where I questioned my dad why he had matches in his pocket. He never did give me a straight answer, but I suspect he intended to burn the grass from the beginning and didn't want to tell me ON ACCOUNT OF THE BURN BAN WE ARE UNDER.

For reference, this is a fully grown pampas grass.

That is what my dad set on fire. Apparently it threw a fireball high enough into the sky that a passing motorist saw it and called 911.

Fast forward 5 minutes. My dad, who has put out the fire quickly (it only burned for a minute apparently), has now retreated upstairs to work on a different project. He neglected to inform my mom and the Captain about what happened. So imagine their surprise when eight firemen storm into the backyard while the ARSON INVESTIGATOR knocked on the front door and asked them if they knew about a fire.

My mom, knowing my dad so well, had her suspicions about who was to blame and yelled upstairs to my dad "Get your ass down here, the fire dept. is here!" to which my dad replied "Oh shit."

Luckily, the arson investigator did not give him a citation. They found a shedded snake skin (OMG I hate this state sometimes) and figured he was telling the truth about the snake and asked him to maybe not light anything else on fire. My mom is still pissed though. As for me, it gave me a good story to tell and the only thing left of the plant is a about a foot of blackened grass. The snake is nowhere to be seen. I call that a successful project.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Jesus Fail

I really do believe in God. I do. Believe it or not, I was raised by extremely spiritual and religious parents. I went to church every. single. sunday. I played the Virgin Mary in the Christmas play (stop snickering, asshole). I taught Bible School, Sunday School, and accompanied the children's choir on the piano.

Fast forward 20 years and there I was...not going to church on Easter, the most important Christian holiday ever. Sleeping in on Easter. HAVING SEX ON EASTER. I'm pretty sure that's some kind of sin somewhere in the bible. So Jesus is all "Dudes, I'm rising. Check out my tomb. What? It's empty? Holla!" and I'm all *snore*.

Of course, I totally lied to my parents and told them we went to church. Because I totally was going to and intention is like, almost as good as actually doing something. So Saturday night I was all "I don't want to go to church" and Captain Carl was all "Fine by me" because Captain Carl is a heathen who doesn't believe in Jesus. Oh, he does believe in a higher power of some kind but he can't wrap his brain around the Jesus thing, I guess. Whatever. I'll wave at him down there in hell when I go to heaven. *pious face* My point is that I had no one to talk me out of talking myself out of going to church. So basically it was totally not my fault that I didn't go.

And then my parents called and were all "Happy Easter!" and I was all "Yeah, happy Easblah..." and then I was all "What did you do today?" and they were all "Oh we went to church with your older, better sister and she sang in the choir for THREE services so she got saved like, 3x more than you did probably. What did you do?" and I was all "Oh you know, stuff and eating and easter stuff mumble mumble."

Oh well. The Easter Bunny still managed to find our house, despite our being fresh out of moral compasses.

No, he did not wear the ears in bed.

Yes, I kind of wish he had.