Honey-Dew List

7:12 pm by

My honey likes lists (“If you don’t write it down, I won’t remember!”), so I was pleased to find this adorable and free printable Honey Dew list from To Be Charmed. Elizabeth, a graphic designer & mom of two, has a bunch of other cute printables there, too!

I printed three sheets (3 Honey Dew weeks to a sheet), so I have a total of nine lists all stapled together – this should last ’til the end of summer. I haven’t given them to Mr Lici yet, as I got a few phone calls & reminders that involve his truly.  Here’s a (badly scanned) sample of my HoneyDew:

Check it out at http://www.to-be-charmed.com/freegoodies/HoneyDo_3up.pdf and be sure to visit Elizabeth’s To Be Charmed site!

(Are you amused that I put “kiss your bday wife” for next Friday? Guys always forget bdays. :)

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Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

5:54 pm by

Happy Saturday!

We returned last night from our family reunion in Yosemite with sore bums from so much driving and amazed eyes from so much looking. Yosemite National Park, if you’ve never been there, is one of the most spectacular sights in these humble United States. Getting to hang out with my family-in-love (Mike’s huge family of aunts, uncles & cousins) was like icing on the cake!

One of the best things about vacations – besides just getting away from it all – is returning home. I love crawling into my huge, comfy bed, taking a hot bath with my favorite bath salt, petting my sweet kitty. And cooking – I so missed cooking! I did one dish at the campground – a chili verde recipe for my mom-in-love – so my cooking mojo was starving for attention. Wading through 296 emails last night, I came across this lovely dish & decided to surprise my family (& get back into the groove) with Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. I’m still in my sweet Nick & Nora PJs as I type this… ah, home. Sorry for the lack of pictures – I was a bit busy!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

an Angelicious breakfast treat – with inspiration from The Big Red Kitchen

This is truly a one-bowl recipe, but it has several steps. Follow the steps the first time, and see what works for you.

Before you begin….

If you have pastry bags, now’s the time to get them out. If you don’t, you can use plastic sandwich bags (the kind that seal) – you will need  two. Open the bags and spread the top part around a drinking glass, making a kind of “bowl” out of the bag. You will be pouring your filling & icing into these bags.

Make the filling and icing first – you’ll need them almost immediately after you make the pancake batter (and that’s how you get one bowl!)

The original recipe called for a pancake mix; I’m enclosing my family’s favorite pancake recipe because I rarely use mixes. If, however, you use mixes, I heartily recommend Trader Joe’s multigrain baking mix – so good and so good for you!

I used my regular griddle for this, but since the cinnamon filling caramelizes so easily, I might use a cast-iron skillet next time.

Ingredients

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 stick (1/2 c.) very soft butter
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash kosher salt

In large bowl, use mixer to whip butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, and beat until very smooth. Watch for lumps here – brown sugar tends to get little “sugar rocks,”  break them up with a fork if you see any. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the filling into one of the bags (scrape the sides as clean as possible). Your bowl should look pretty clean, with maybe a streak or two of mix on the sides – don’t worry about it. :) You do, however, want to rinse the beaters and spatula before the next step.

Icing

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 T milk

In same bowl, use mixer to combine all ingredients until smooth. Use spatula to scrape icing into the other bag; again, clean the sides as best you can with the spatula.

Angelicious Pancakes

  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour (I use Trader Joe’s white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 T butter, melted or 6 T canola oil
  • 1 T vanilla

Preheat your griddle or skillet, spraying lightly with cooking spray. (If using a skillet, a pat of butter works better than spray.)

In the same bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and pour in milk, eggs (I like to beat the eggs first, makes it easier to blend), and melted butter or canola oil. Beat with mixer until batter is smooth and not lumpy.

We were out of milk (because who leaves milk in the fridge for a week while on vacation? Except I did forget to dump the bowl of tuna salad before we left, and uh, GROSS) so I made up a quart of powdered milk. Always keep powdered milk on hand – you never when you might need it, and no one can taste the difference when cooking.

Get your filling and icing ready by snipping a scant 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the corner of your bags (or screw in a round tip if using a pastry bag).

Scoop batter using a 1/4 c dry measuring cup and pour onto griddle – I do about 3 at a time on the griddle, but would do at a time in a skillet. Let cook for about 15 seconds, then grab the cinnamon filling bag. Beginning at the outside of the pancake, make a swirl of cinnamon filling around to the inside of the pancake – like a cinnamon roll! Do this to the other pancake(s) and let cook for 15-30 more seconds, or until edges of the pancakes are dry. Flip over and let cook for 15-30 more seconds.

tip: while you’re waiting for the pancakes to cook, start filling your sink with hot, soapy water. Trust me on this one.

When pancakes are ready, carefully scoop up using a spatula and plate them – don’t stack! You’ll need a large serving platter or several plates. To me, this one of those “eat as you cook” type of dishes, unless you’re planning to serve a bunch – if so, plate them on a large baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200 degree oven.

While the pancakes are still warm, grab your icing bag and perform another snip on the corner. Swirl icing over each pancake – I used a straight up-and-down, a nice contrast to the swirl of the cinnamon filling, but you can do swirls, a cross-hatch pattern – whatever suits your fancy. Remember that the larger your bag opening, the more icing you’ll use and, since these are very sweet already, you don’t want too much icing.

Repeat the process with all pancakes. If you’re doing the oven plating, you can wait until all the pancakes are finished before applying the icing – as long as the pancakes are still warm.

I served with turkey bacon; next time, I’ll add some fruit (sliced strawberries or melon chunks would work great for this dish). Sit back and watch your diners marvel at your genius.

Cleanup:

Cleanup for this recipe is a little messy, due to the caramelizing. Caramelized sugar hardens quite quickly, so be sure to scrape your griddle/pan clean while it’s still warm, then rinse the spatula. As soon as they’ve finished raving about your cooking, have your diners put their dishes immediately into the hot, soapy water so the sugar doesn’t get hard and stick to the plates and silverware.

PS: Did I mention Yosemite is amazing? My photog husband took this picture of J & me in front of Half Dome. Check out his Flickr site for even more amazing pictures (and please be sure to comment – I know his pictures are awesome, and he loves to hear from others!)

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Pork Medallions in Cream Sauce

1:41 am by

This picture does not do the dish justice – it was awesome, and even the kids loved it!

I picked up some pork sirloin roasts at Costco today (such an awesome price, & Costco meat is always premium), along with a few beef roasts. Which to make for dinner? I opted for sirloin – but not roast, oh no. Let’s shake it up a little!

Pork Medallions in Cream Sauce

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Book Review: Creative Cooking for Colitis

4:25 pm by

This week’s book review is “Creative Cooking for Colitis,” written by Angela Breidenbach (yay for Angelas!). I’m pleased to know Angela as a fellow writer and member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group, and she offered a preview of the book, available on CD or as a PDF download.

First, a little bit about colitis. Our good buddies over at Wikipedia define colitis as “an inflammation  of the colon and is often used to describe an inflammation of the large intestine,” with symptoms that include abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea, cramping and bloating. Angela herself suffered from six months of constant illness caused by microscopic colitis. “Everything I ate hurt and caused embarrassing results,” and Angela developed depression on top of the painful problems.

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Phoning it in

7:10 pm by

Day three of getting back into a regular running schedule with Megs, and I am sore-sore-sore. She is also sore-sore-sore. Our usual walk a bit/run a lot/chat the whole time turned in walk/moan/chat/run briefly/moan/walk/chat. Plus my foot (from the injury LAST YEAR) was screaming with pain.

So we parted – she for a mammogram appointment and I for a weights workout. I was feeling really bad for her, having to get the girls squished while I was just gonna push some iron around. Now, I think I got the rougher end of the deal.

I decided to forgo my usual weights routine (a modification of the Body-for-Life superset pyramid) and try out Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones. A 50-minute routine of pure weights. Oh, and with a side of torture.

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Birthday Boys

4:16 am by

Who’s bad? We’re bad! (But we still had to go to bed by 9PM…)

Happy bday sleepover, J!

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Speaking Engagements

8:20 pm by

Guess what -I can talk! :)

Speaking engagements are available on the following topics:

  • Internet
    • Blogging
    • Social Media
    • Web Design
    • Writer Web Sites
  • Writing
    • Writer Web Sites
    • Ruthless Self-Editing
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What a Crock! – The Whole Bird

7:49 pm by

So far, I’ve made about 10,000 versions of Sunday Roast Chicken, including the Barefoot Contessa’s version (a family favorite). Each time, Mr Lici says I’ve outdone myself. Until the next time, when I apparently outdo  myself again. Last night’s whole crockpot chicken was another feast of “mmm… yummm… holy cow, just one more piece… this is really good!” Even the boys devoured their drumsticks.

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Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

2:06 am by

My BFF, Megs, and I try to make a lunch date at least once a month – we call it “lunch therapy.” Our favorite couch? P.F. Changs, where we share a bowl of spicy chicken noodle soup with brown rice, sauteed mushrooms and a nice (i.e. least expensive) bottle of white wine. Changs is awesome – the bowl of soup is usually more than enough for both of us, and we take turns bringing home the leftovers.

One thing I love about Chang Soup is that it clears my sinuses and peps me right up. So when Mr Lici had a nasty cold, I knew that chicken soup just wouldn’t be enough. He needed garlic & lemongrass goodness, spices to clear the sinuses, and something that would actually be edible to his poor, ailing tastebuds. I decided to try & replicate the fabulous soup of Changs for Mr Lici. Judging from how much he ate, the results were not too shabby. I made it a little too spicy, but that was easily rectified by adding another container of chicken broth to the leftovers.

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Happy Birthday, M!

7:45 am by

Birthdays are a big deal at Casa Angelicious. We usually have several celebrations:

  1. Bdays seem to almost always fall on a weekday. A school day, to boot. So birthday day is celebrated.
  2. So is “King for a Day” (the first Saturday after the birthday, where the Bday Boy gets to choose all meals, movies, activities, etc.).
  3. Then comes the birthday party, a month or so later.
  4. Let’s not forget the Grandparents’ Visit, where bday boy is taken out for dinner.
  5. Sometimes we celebrate their bday at church with Refreshment Time. And cake. Lots o’ cake.
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