Three Decades Down

Archoo was very upset that he wasn’t going to be with me today, for my birthday. He loves spending his weekends with his Daddy, don’t get me wrong, but he’s absolutely convinced that there’s some big birthday party going on without him. He wanted me to promise to save him a piece of cake. . .

Well, kid, the most exciting thing happening today is laundry. There’s a pan of lemon pie bars cooling on the stovetop as your mother impatiently waits the opportunity to dig in. Later today, I’ll shave my legs and paint my toenails so that I’ll look lovely on the boardwalk at Atlantic City tomorrow. When your daddy drops you off at my house, your Grami will be here, and you won’t care where I’m at, I’m sure. You’ll be too busy playing with your sister (share your toys!) and having fun with your grandma to notice that Mister Murse and I aren’t home. Grami even mentioned something about taking you outside to play in a sprinkler! How fun is that? Continue reading

Simple & Crisp: Part Two / Chococlate Cherry Snow Cookies

After yesterday’s delicious orange-gingerbread adventure, I really couldn’t wait to open another packet of Simple & Crisp products. Today, I selected the apple slices. A few of them were broken, so I ate a piece by itself. The flavor was so delicious, and I knew that I had made the right choices at the supermarket yesterday. Let me just tell you ahead of time that I completely forgot to take a closeup of this recipe — because I was too busy eating it to remember. The Murse didn’t quite like this one as much as yesterday’s, but it meant more for me, and I was totally fine with that.

I thinly sliced a red onion and sautéed it in butter over medium heat until it was nice and caramelized.  As this cooled slightly, I took the apple crisps and added a little schmear of neufchâtel cheese on top of each one. I didn’t bother trying to make the cheese look nice because the beautiful onion was going to be piled on top. I added a tiny basil leaf to each one to finish it. Continue reading

Rice Flour (Gluten-Free) Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

Put these in your mouth!

Put these in your mouth!

My girlfriend Merry from …and Baby Makes Five… sent me a request last night to attempt a conversion of my favorite cupcake recipe. It’s a cayenne-pepper-spiced chocolate cake smoothed over with cinnamon buttercream. Though I am the polar opposite of vegan, I fell in love with this Mexican Chocolate Cupcake recipe from Strawberry Pepper, whose blog caters to the no-animal-products crowd. I just use regular butter and milk in the frosting and call it good. They’re seriously out of this world, and I routinely look for excuses to bake them! Thanks, Merry!

Why did she ask me to do this? Well, Merry has developed a sensitivity to gluten, and she can no longer eat the cupcakes from the above recipe. Being, as I am, on a budget, Merry asked politely that I only use rice flour in my recipe. This was perfectly acceptable to me as I had some rice flour laying around waiting for a purpose. I found a recipe for Rice Flour Cupcakes on Baketivities, a now woefully defunct blog. I instantly decided that it was the recipe that I needed for this project. I was drawn to it for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, there are lots of things used in GF cooking that I don’t have laying around the house. I have several friends with Celiac Disease, and I always want to cook dessert for them when I see them. However, xanthan gum, potato starch, and other powders that are often found in GF recipes are tremendously expensive — especially for someone who doesn’t actually need to eat them. This recipe had none of that stuff in it. . . just rice flour and eggs: I’ve got those. I figured that I could somehow mash the two recipes into one.

I pretty much nailed it on the first go!

Continue reading