Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘simple’

In the meantime, I’ll munch on macaroons.

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A few mornings ago, I opened my eyes, accepted the sunlight coming through the window, and began my lazy morning ritual of scrolling through Facebook, double-tapping pictures of my friends’ lunches on Instagram, and pinning outfits I can’t afford on Pinterest. Suddenly, I received a text from my roommate, who I can only assume had just woken up as well.

Yes, we text each other from just a few feet away. Don’t judge.

The text went as follows:

Bri: Hey boo do you have any plans for today?
Kate: Nope, I need to work out and go to the bank but that’s it.
Bri: Just curious, I have so many things that I want to do today but the day doesn’t have enough hours, plus I love laying in bed!
Kate: What do you have to do?
Bri: Nothing I have to do, just things I want to do. 🙂 I have an eye appointment at 3:30, I’d like to get adjusted, I want to get a massage and a facial, I want to go to the street fair, I want to lay out, I want to do my laundry, I want to go see a psychic. 😉

Okay, so she’s a bit of an overachiever, but I was on board.

It was too cold for the pool or beach, the massage place was booked up until late-afternoon, and who really wants to do laundry? Answer: NO ONE.

Ultimately we decided to a.)Definitely make it to the Huntington Beach street fair. It’s every Tuesday, and I had never been, despite the fact that I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life. b.) We were totally into this psychic idea.

I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch in life, and I’m currently in search of ANY input. This is includes a psychic reading, apparently. I mean, why not, right?

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So we set out for the day. I won’t bore you with the details of how long we searched for a psychic that wasn’t going to charge each of us $100, homemade Panini for life, and the rights to our first-born children. Eventually, we ended up going to a lady located very close to our apartment.

Now I don’t know if this psychic thing is real or a bunch of applesauce, but it was pretty interesting nonetheless.

I won’t share what she said to me, but if she’s right, I have a lot of changes headed my way, in almost all aspects of life. Some sounded pretty darn exciting, others…quite scary.

Regardless, it opened my mind up to possibilities. Who knows where I’ll be a year from now, whether or not I’ll be single, what career path I’ll have chosen, or which people will still be in my life.

I can hope, though, that my roommate is one of them. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have ever thought to seek input from a complete stranger. My roomie is da bomb.

Therefore, I made her some cookies. While we were at the street fair later that day, we passed a booth that was selling cookies. Macaroons, to be exact. And she just happened to mention that she loves them.

Uhh..okay. Easiest cookie ever. Next to snickerdoodles, her other favorite. She’s easy to please.

Poor thing had a rough day, so after I cleaned out our fridge and cupboards, I whipped some up. Just for her.

For you too, of course, but shhh…don’t tell her that. 😉

While I wait to see if the psychic’s predictions are true (one thing already happened, by the way), I’ll be here, munching on these delicious macaroons.

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Easy Peasy Coconut Macaroons

14oz (1 pkg) shredded coconut
14oz sweetened condensed milk
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. Combine coconut, vanilla, and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat egg whites and salt on high until medium-firm peaks form.

4. Fold egg whites into coconut mixture until thoroughly combined.

5. Place 1 3/4 inch balls onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.

If you decide to dip them in chocolate, allow them to cool completely, melt the chocolate in the microwave for one increment of 30 seconds, stir, another increment for 45 seconds, and stir until everything is melted. Dip the macaroon in the chocolate and set on foil. Don’t touch until it’s completely set, Cookie Monster!!!

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Bon Appétit! 

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Practicing patience with a payoff of pie.

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Patience.

I don’t have it. Not really, anyway.

I have the patience for things like…

um…

…yeah, no patience.

It’s become very clear to me, more than ever, that life is full of trial and error. And because of this realization, it has also become very clear to me, more than ever, that I have a hard time being patient with that.

Today, I attempted making churros. I forgot the water. I was forced to add it after I already had the sugar and oil on the heat, to the point that it was smoking. Turns out it didn’t really matter, because once I added the flour everything seemed a-ok.

But then, when attempting to push the dough through a bag/star tip, it wouldn’t budge. I wasn’t strong enough, and I seriously did not want the dough exploding out of the bag and end up all over my hands, or worse, the floor.
I wonder if there’s some baker’s workout on Pinterest?

“Okay, no problem, I’ll just roll the dough into balls,” I thought to myself. Cool. I heated up the oil and began to fry. Everything seemed fine. Rolled them in the cinnamon-sugar mix, and took a sigh of relief. They looked great!

So I took a bite…and spit it right back out.

They had not cooked through. Ugh. I’ll have to do this again, another day. Keep an eye out for that post.

Behold, an unbaked churro. I don't recommend taking a bite of this...yuck.

Behold, an unbaked churro ball. I don’t recommend taking a bite of this. *shudder*

Everything is trial and error.

Waking up in the morning is a pretty good example.
Will my alarm clock be effective? No? Hmm…maybe I’ll set three for tomorrow.

Styling my hair is trial and error.
Okay, the fancy new volumizing shampoo I bought makes me look like Mufasa. Big fat error.

Dating. Dating is definitely trial and error. No italicized examples necessary.

Cleaning the fish bowl. Another example.
I’m pretty sure my roommate didn’t MEAN for the fish to fall down the sink drain…

All of this trying and error-ing becomes overwhelming, but you have two options:

1.) Try, try again.

2.) Surrender and abandon ship.

There are times when you just want to throw your hands in the air, throw in the towel, and throw other things around because apparently that’s the theme when giving up. But don’t! Learn to adapt. As Eric from Boy Meets World once said, “Life’s tough. Get a helmet.”

Option #2 is for quitters. We’re not quitters, we’re winners, dagnabbit! And I’ll be damned if I let some churro travesty kill my baking mojo, a crazy shampoo continue to make me look like a native to the Amazon, or let a few slightly more meaningful setbacks crush my spirit. On to bigger and better things, I say!

Things like…Key Lime Pie.

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I love Key Lime Pie. It’s such a refreshing change from chocolate, and gives my texturebuds (it’s a thing) a run for their money when I’m not putting cake or cookies in my mouth.

Initially when I made this, it didn’t set. I decided to have some patience, and let it chill. Boom. Key Lime Pie.

Lesson of the day? Patience gets you pie.

I think we could all practice patience for a result such as this, dontcha think?

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Key Lime Pie

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted
—-
1/2 cup lime juice
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp lime zest
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Crust:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine sugar and graham cracker crumbs in a small mixing bowl.

3. Add melted butter, and press into mixture with a fork until thoroughly combined.

4. Press into a pie pan and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Filling:

1. Beat egg yolks, lime juice, vanilla and heavy cream until combined. Add zest and combine.

2. Add sweetened condensed milk until completely combined, and then on high for 5 minutes. The filling will begin the thicken.

3. Pour filling into prepared crust.

4. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

5. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Top with whipped cream when cool. Visit the Fruit Tart Cupcakes for that recipe here.

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Bon appétit!

Ho Ho Hoooly moly it’s already Christmas?!

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Where has the year gone? Seriously. Are you hiding it? Or did I blink and it just completely disappeared into the universe?

Probably the later. If it’s the first one, you’re probably waaay too good at hide-and-seek.

The holiday season is upon us, people. It’s not just upon us, it’s straight up in our faces. And I am toootally not prepared. Well, sort of.

I mean, I still have shopping to do, I haven’t listened to my all-time favorite Christmas music (Bing Crosby, in case you were wondering), and the fact that I WANT to work on Christmas day is probably a sign that I have not embraced the holiday spirit.

BUT! There are a few things that have brought me out of this funk.

1. I’ve been spending time with a lot of excellent, grade-A, top-notch people lately. I didn’t even realize how much I was running around until my roommate pointed it out to me. Which brings me to my second point…

2. My roommate. She’s been there for me every step of the way through a rough time. If I say “I don’t want to talk about it” she’ll totally respect it, even though she’s dying inside to know what’s going on, but she knows any second I’ll open my big mouth, like I always do, and spill everything. She’s wonderful. Love you Bri.

3. I didn’t have ONE Christmas decoration up…including a tree. I ALWAYS have a tree. 😦 How sad is that? Well after opening my big mouth, like I always do, I received a small tree as a gift the very next day. If that doesn’t take you from a Scroogasaurs to freakin’ Rudolph, I don’t know what will.

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My perfect Kate-sized tree. 🙂

4. I’m spending Christmas at my grandma’s house. I love her. She’s cool. It’s a plain, obvious fact. That alone will put me in a good mood. But there’s one more thing….

5. I made Tiger Butter!

In a world of jam-packed department stores, bumper-to-bumper freeways, and the complications of trying to get the stripes on the wrapping paper to match up perfectly, (…no? Just me?) what we all need is something simple. And this my friends, is just the trick.

Tiger Butter: Three ingredients. 1 hour. Lifetime of happiness.

Kind of like that “teach a man to fish” saying…

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Tiger Butter

1 1/2 cups white chocolate

1 (heaping) cup creamy peanut butter

1 1/2 cups milk chocolate

You can do this two ways. You can either melt the chocolate in the microwave, or use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. If you choose the double-boiler, be sure to stir the entire time so you don’t burn it. I do it the microwave method, because I’m lazy and I want to eat this before I even begin to make it.

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in 45-second increments until smooth, being sure to stir thoroughly between increments.

3. Repeat with milk chocolate.

4. While the milk chocolate is melting and the white chocolate is still hot, stir the peanut butter into the white chocolate until completely smooth.

5. Pour the melted milk chocolate onto the prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly.

6. Drizzle the white chocolate/peanut butter mixture on top of the milk chocolate, being sure to reach the corners and edges.

7. Run a butter knife through the chocolate to create the swirl pattern. There’s no “right” way to do this, but if you go horizontally and then vertically you’ll probably get the results you’re looking for.

8. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Once the chocolate is set, you may cut it, or just break it into jagged pieces. It all tastes the same – delicious!

9. Eat it all and don’t tell anyone. (No? Just me again? I should really learn not to open my big mouth…)

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Bon Appétit! (and Happy Holidays!)

I have a big mouth…ful of PB&J cookies.

Want to play a game? It’s the silent game. Whoever talks first, loses. Ready…go!

……..

Okay, I lose. I’m terrible at the silent game. Always have been, always will be. I’m an over-sharer.

Don’t want to hear my story about my windshield wipers? Most wouldn’t. And although I don’t really blame you, I’ll probably end up shoving that C+ story in your ears anyway.

The thing about me, though, is if you listen to my nonsense stories…like how a child in my neighborhood saw me, screamed, and ran away (for no reason…it was broad daylight!)…I’ll listen to your stories about the brand of mustard you used on the turkey sandwich you made for lunch yesterday. And if I love you…then I will actually care about it. Weird, I’m so, so weird.

But when I stop hearing about your turkey sandwiches, I’ll go into nonsense overload. I’ll ramble. I’ll end up telling someone else about the hilarious thing Kitten did a week and a half ago (she stared at a giant Hello Kitty balloon as if it was an impostor). They won’t care. They won’t acknowledge, tolerate, or humor the obsession I have with my cat. Why? Because they’re not you. And if I may be blunt here, their nonsense is nowhere as interesting as your nonsense.

“Kate…you’re rambling.” <– What you’re probably thinking.

And you’re right. I can’t even try to deny that. But my rambling is the infrastructure of the blog that is Sugar Therapy.

Well that, and these Brown Butter PB&J cookies.

Remember when you were in first grade, and your mom packed your lunch? The contents were typically of the following:
– a good ol’ PB&J
– pudding cup
– veggie sticks
– Capri Sun
– a note, that for some reason, all the girls at the lunch table wanted to hear every day. No? Just me?
Perhaps that’s where my need to share things came from…

These cookies taste like Mom’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m not exaggerating. They’re childhood, in the shape of two-and-a-half inch circles.

I had a “take 2” moment while making these. First batch…meh. While they came out the way I imagined: small, bite-sized, and delicious, I decided to add 2 tablespoons of water to moisten the cookies so they would spread a little.

Twas a good decision indeed. I’m sure you’ll agree when you make them and taste for yourself.

Relive your first grade lunch. Tell someone a meaningless story. Eat these cookies. Then tell someone about them, because, you know, that’s what we do.

Brown Butter Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1 1/3 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp water
Jam of your choice. (Strawberry is always my choice.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high until it begins to turn golden in color. Once simmering, allow to continue for about 30 seconds, stirring consistently so the butter doesn’t burn.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until combined.

5. Beat in egg, vanilla and peanut butter until combined.

6. In two portions, add flour mixture and beat on medium high until combined.

7. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time to moisten.

8. Form 1 1/2 inch balls of dough, and create an indentation with your thumb.

9. Bake for 11-12 minutes and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes to set. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

10. Once cooled, dollop jam in the middle of each cookie.

11. EAT!

Bon appetit! 

Busy busy as a bee? Cake scraps are your remedy!

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Change is good. But at the same time, change is bad.

Okay, maybe not bad, but difficult…no, challenging. (I’m sometimes indecisive.)

I haven’t updated my blog for awhile, if you haven’t noticed. Life has been nothing short of crazy. I had a birthday, then I got sick. Then…

…I made margarita cupcakes, which were incredible. I’d share the recipe with you, but oh wait, that’s right, I lost my recipe. It disappeared into the universe. Sad.

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I made a wedding cake. I got PAID. Someone paid little ol’ me to make their wedding cake! That was huge step in the right direction. 🙂

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I moved into a cute little two-bedroom apartment in Huntington Beach. Another huge step in the right direction.

I baked 120 cupcakes for a 100th birthday party. Again, I got paid! Surreal. Yet another step in the right direction.

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My life’s GPS is seriously on point lately.

I did mention that change is difficult, though. That wedding cake? Yeah, for three days I barely slept, had a few breakdowns, and was covered head-to-toe in flour.

The apartment: Our move-in date was changed 3 times, we had a constant battle with the leasing office, and we still don’t have a couch or internet…almost a month later.

The cupcakes. 120 really wasn’t that much, but in a kitchen that is an appropriate size for a Keebler elf, it felt like I was being buried alive in red velvet.

I needed something simple. Something that I could make with the simplest ingredients (because let’s face it…I’m broke and didn’t have any fancy ingredients.) Cake scraps. But that seems so…barbaric. So I made cookies! Cake scrap cookies.

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They aren’t pretty. They aren’t fancy. They’re simple. And you can totally get away with eating a few without feeling like a free-loading, bottom-feeding, sweet-toothed creep. It works out.

Well with all of those challenges, what is a little baketress to do?! Well, I took a shower and washed off the flour. I moved into the apartment with an awesome roommate. I settle with watching Friends on the living room floor (for now), and I’m writing this blog directly from my iPhone (thank goodness for 3G!) And then I utilized every square inch of space to make the cupcakes work. I powered through. I conquered!

Mwahaha, watch out world, I’m taking over! And it only gets better from here.

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Cake Scrap Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 sugar
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp onyx cocoa powder (serious stuff)
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and both cocoas in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.

4. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time until blended.

5. Beat in cream cheese until smooth.

6. Add flour mixture in three parts, beating on medium high until just blended each time. Once the final portion is added, beat for 30 seconds.

7. Place 1-1 1/2 tbsp globs of dough on a prepared cookie sheet.

8. Bake for 11 minutes. Let the cookies set for 1-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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Bon appetit!

P.S. As I mentioned, this is coming straight from my iPhone…so if the pictures don’t look quite right, or something else is funky, just…ignore it. Well don’t ignore it. Read it, make some cookies, and take some pictures of your own! 😉