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Monday, January 30, 2012

A little Monday comedic relief

For your comedic enjoyment, this came home in my son’s weekly work folder from school last week:


My husband said that it would have only been better if there had been some fire coming out of the back of the snowman.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Apparently it’s chocolate cake day.

As I’ve been noticing from friends tweets and Facebook posts, it is apparently chocolate cake day.  So if you want a quick and simple chocolate cake for a day like today, this Simple Chocolate Cake recipe that I posted a while back on the Recipes blog might just do the trick for you.  In fact, I’m headed to the kitchen to whip one up myself.

Have a fabulously chocolate cakey weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A tale of two Chocolate Pies

I grew up eating my Nana’s chocolate meringue pie at nearly every family gathering.  You know the one.  That creamy chocolate filling and that mile high meringue that was perfectly browned on top? 

My oldest sister has perfected making it.  I, on the other hand, having just started trying, am merely getting by.  I mean, it tastes good… but I still have some work to do on my meringue technique.  The one I made the week before Christmas came out to be a fairly nice and tall meringue and looked like this:

Chocolate Meringue Pie


It was really quite pretty.  But in the course of the day, my meringue deflated a bit.   Not like flat or anything, just a bit.  It tasted pretty good, but I was not thrilled with the end result of the meringue.  (My man says I’m too nit-picky where my cooking is concerned.  I say that it’s just how I get better.)

Therefore, I am not posting the recipe until I get it down.  I can’t tell you what to do until I’ve figured it out myself. 

However, I did try a pie recipe that I had wanted to try for a few months now.  So many people blogged about it a few months ago that I can’t even really give credit to a particular blog. 

Minny’s Chocolate Pie.  You know the one.  From “The Help.” The one that made “Two Slice Hilly” famous.  Except without that special ingredient that Minny added in the course of “the terrible awful.” 

If you don’t know what any of that means, rent the movie.  I haven’t read the book, but the movie is incredible.  It may end up on my top 10 all time favorites list.  You can also see a video clip here. (Be aware of a little bad language.)

But back to the pie.

Because, really, not many things are more important than pie.

Apparently this recipe is the one that was used to make the pies in the movie and was published in some form of the August issue of Food and Wine.  Or at least that’s what every blog that I read credited.

And I’ll tell you what.  It’s super easy and absolutely delicious. 

Minny’s Chocolate Pie


Single pie crust
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream for serving

You will also need:

9” pie plate (I used the shallow glass kind, not a deep dish)
Parchment paper (or foil)
Pie weights or dried beans


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Place pie crust in pie plate and crimp edges decoratively as desired.  Prick bottom of crust several times with a fork, line with parchment paper (or foil) and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Par-bake the crust for 15 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment paper with weights and set aside.  Return to the oven and continue to bake for 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.  Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on at 350°F.

While the crust is baking those last 5 minutes, in a bowl, whisk sugar and cocoa powder together.  Add the melted butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt and whisk until smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Bake 40-45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but jiggles just a little in the center.  If you feel the crust is getting too brown in the process of baking, you may cover it with strips of foil or pie guards about half way through. 

Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

It can be made ahead of time, cooled completely, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated over night.

Minny's Chocolate Pie


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh Sully, Sully, Sully...


Whaaat? I didn't do it. Not with this face...

Oh suuuuuure you didn't.

Just like you didn't put holes in every other pair of socks that I own.

Maybe I just need to start a series of posts entitled "What Sully Tore Up Today." Blog fodder for years to come, I'm sure.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sully Says…

“Happy New Year!”

IMG_1216[1] And he also says that we are very excited that the Aggies finally won a bowl game!


I know!

And you know what? We were there. 

At the last minute on Thursday, I texted Mike that I had found some fairly inexpensive tickets online and did he want to go since the kids were already at his mom’s house.  Then he called some friends who then said they would love to go with us and were going to take their kids…. so it ended up being a whole family affair.  Which was an absolute blast. 

We purchased really cheap seats that had nosebleed inducing potential that were part of a Papa John’s Pizza deal and included pizza and drinks.  This was our view:


But then Mike came across some stadium employees who were swapping out upper level tickets to fill up the lower levels.  He did that and then this was our view:


Nice, huh? And it was a totally different game experience with the fans much more dialed in and complete with my son covering his ears most of the time because of the noise.

We had a great time for it being our kids’ first Aggie football game experience.  There was face painting, bounce houses and other activities before the game.  I even partook of the face painting experience. 

Donna & Kids face paint I had to do something to make up for the horrible Houston hair weather we were having that morning. 

One of the most moving scenes of the whole day came at the end.  Number 67 belonged to Joey V, one of our players that was killed in a car wreck a few days before Christmas.  Another player wore his number for the game and Joey V was honored several times before, during and during this scene after the game.


We still need to take these kids to Kyle Field for a game, but that will come in time.  It’s hard to spend that kind of money when they aren’t really into it.  This was actually a much less expensive option, oddly enough. 

I haven’t said much about Aggie stuff for a while here on the ol’ blog, and I felt like our first bowl win in 10 years was a fine time to do it.  It’s been an interesting year in Aggie life as our days of Big XII football are now officially over.  We are headed to the SEC with a new football coach.  Sure, we’ll take our lumps the first year or so.  And even though I’ll miss playing against some of these Texas teams, I’m believing that it will be a good move. 

Out with the old and in with the new.

Kind of like the new year.

Sully also said for you to have a “ruffulous” 2012.