The Monday Blues

Well.. the weekend was good, okay so Saturday was good, Sunday… not so much.  We had a day full of emotionally charged pre-teen having a continual meltdown, plus we had to spend a fortune at the grocery store because we hadn’t been able to buy any groceries for a month.  So I had hoped that my Monday would go a little smoother.. even though I knew work was going to be a bitch.  Well true to form Monday showed just how ugly it can be.  Bah Humbug.. I hate Mondays

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Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Frosting

 

 

 

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Apple and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Frosting
Makes one bundt cake

Cream Cheese Filling:

Apple Cake Batter:

  •     1 cup finely chopped pecans
  •     3 cups all-purpose flour
  •     1 cup granulated sugar
  •     1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  •     2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 teaspoon baking soda
  •     1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  •     1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  •     3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  •     3/4 cup canola oil
  •     3/4 cup applesauce
  •     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •     3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

Caramel Pecan Frosting:

  •     1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  •     1/4 cup butter
  •     3 tablespoons milk
  •     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •     1 cup powdered sugar
  •     1 cup pecan halves (garnish)

1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake. Garnish with pecans.

Recipe from Jenny Bakes

http://www.jamhands.net/2012/09/apple-and-cream-cheese-bundt-cake-with.html

 

I couldn’t find the original post for this recipe, but I did come across her page from a post on Facebook.  Her name is Ali and her page is Jamhands.net.  She has a lot of fantastic recipes posted.

What can’t you give up?

There’s a new article out that list the top 5 things that people refuse to give up despite their money situations.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/share-of-us-workers-living-paycheck-to-paycheck-continues-decline-from-recession-era-peak-finds-annual-careerbuilder-survey-225146322.html

 

Here’s the top 7 things people surveyed said they would not give up and would always find the money for.

Most Valued Expenses
Nearly half of workers (49 percent) have cut back on leisure activities and more than a third stopped eating out (36 percent) or drove less (34 percent) to help balance budgets in the last year. But despite attempts to save more and spend less, there are several expenses that some workers say they will not give up regardless of financial concerns:

  • Internet connection: 55 percent
  • Driving: 40 percent
  • Pet: 36 percent
  • Smart phone: 29 percent
  • Cable: 24 percent
  • Travel: 10 percent
  • Going out to eat: 9 percent

So this got me to thinking, what is it that I will not give up regardless of how freaking broke we are.

1) My cell phone.  Now this is because I have a special needs child and I have to be able to be gotten a hold of by the school should anything go wrong PLUS when he gets home from school I need to know he can call me if he needs me.  Plus I’m addicted to texting.. SHOUT OUT TO MY TEXTING BUDDIES!

Foreign companies' cell phones, such as Motoro...

Foreign companies’ cell phones, such as Motorola RAZR and its various models (GSM), are popular in China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2) I’ll go along with driving.. I can’t do public transportation!  No, I don’t think I’m too good for it.  I’m claustrophobic AND a germ-a-phobe.  Those trains and buses are cesspools of filth and germs and really disgusting stuff!  I shiver just thinking about some of the things I’ve seen on the Metro.

3) Coffee.  Ummm no.. I will not go without it!  I must have my coffee and my creamers!  This is not for me, it is for your safety!  Trust me on this.

4) Getting my hair colored!  I refuse to go grey.  I’m going to fight it every step of the way, and if that means I can’t afford to get it done I will buy the cheap at home box of it and go around with purple red hair if I have too.

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5) Chick Fil A‘s lemonade.  Nuff said

6) Internet.  I have no life, can’t afford one.. so this is the only way I get to mingle with friends and keep in touch with family.

7) Make up.. again this goes with the not aging gracefully thing!

make up

 

 

So what would you not live without!

For the Marriage

On the radio this morning they were talking about some new study that has come out about marriages.  I looked for it but couldn’t find it even though 2 different stations were discussing it.  Anyways, they said that the 3rd year of marriage is the happiest, that by then you’ve become comfortable with each other.  Year 5 is the hardest and unhappiest and if you make to year 7 and your still happy then your probably going to make it for the long haul.

Well hell!  This is not good news for my husband and I.  Now don’t get me wrong, we are totally in love with each other, but our 4 years of marriage have been EXTREMELY hard.  We’ve been hit in every direction possible by outside sources determined to ruin us.  The hardest thing for us has been his financial obligations to his ex wife.  I’m all for someone paying their child support, and I encourage my husband to do so, which he does faithfully.  The only time he hasn’t is when he retired from serving our country in the Air Force for 20 years and could not find employment anywhere.  He was literally out of work for 9 months, which is asinine, NO vet in our country should ever be unemployed, EVER!  Anyways, his ex and her eye’s for only money didn’t sit back and think, oh hey.. it’s not his fault and I’m still getting half his retirement so I’ll just be understanding and wait (even though she’d gotten well over $100K over the 4 years before this happened), nope.. she threw it all in the courts causing us severe strain and stress.  It’s very very hard for a woman to marry a man who has a hateful ex in the first place.. but then to tolerate and try to remain grateful in the situation when her own children are going hungry, eating molded food from food banks all because of the outside situations, well I will tell you it kills the soul.  It ruins anything happy in your life.  It makes it hard to continue to smile and hold your head up because you constantly see what you cant’ do for your own children and you walk around feeling like a failure.  This all happened in our first 2 years of marriage and we are still struggling horribly financially right now.  Fridge is almost empty, gas tank running low..and no $$$.

Year 2– 3 saw us at our worst!  It really was hell.  Between the financial woe’s, living in ghetto hell and never seeing each other (he finally got a job and was working nights) it wore us down.  He felt tired all the time because of the hours he worked, I felt lonely and angry that I was married but feeling like a single parent again left to do it all, get the kids up and dressed, out the door, off to work, come home, pick up the kids, make dinner, clean the apartment, make sure homework was done and get them both in bed just so I could collapse and do it all over again.  Not to mention the 3 surgeries I had in a years time! I will be honest here, we have remained faithful to each other but there have been temptations on both parts.  People we each thought were just friends to the other turned out to be devils circling.  All of this strained us horribly, but we still managed to find our way back to each other each time.

Now this is where it gets worrisome. Year 5 is supposed to be the hardest… CRAP!!!  Haven’t we already had hard enough?  Our financial woe’s are not going to be any easier over the next year, this is fact.  I live in fear of being fired for my medical issues and having to miss work (and before you go there, this is a) small business that employs less then 30 people so most laws don’t count and b) it’s a right to hire right to fire state) and he has taken a steady job (no more contract jobs) but pays $10 K less a year.  The fact we still have to pay his ex and ungodly amount for another 4 years doesn’t help.

It says if you make it to year 7 and are still happy you’ll end up making it.  What if you make it to year 7 and that’s when you finally get to be happy, of course if you can get passed the anger that builds over years of outside sources trying to destroy you?  I guess we will have to wait and see how it all plays out.

I hope no one see’s this as a post where I am by any means bashing my husband.  I love him dearly and while I have blamed him for some of our problems I do not blame him for all of them.  In fact, it’s quite opposite.  I blame myself.  My family is cursed, especially in love.  We always have been.  I have even told him he should run from me as fast as he can to save himself.  I only hope that one day I can learn to live in the moment and stop worrying about all the other things, and to stop letting Satan take away from my life.  The ex will one day be gone and I will NEVER ever have to think of her or hear her name or anything again, and that day cannot come fast enough.  I will never forgive her for what she has put my family through.  I only hope that I can forgive myself for failing on so many levels.

I’m sorry this isn’t funny and witty.. just feeling kinda down lately.

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Spooky Spider Eggs

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So I love all things Halloween, so much so I’m saving up to one day get my next tattoo which is going to be something Fallish or Halloweenish..so can’t wait.. anyways, this is a different subject.  So it’s no surprise that I subscribe to several Facebook pages that cater to these things I love so much.. and I found this on one… here’s the link to them, check them out.. Amazing ideas

http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/good-halloween-candy-recipes-00400000047868/page2.html

 

Spooky spider eggs

If deviling your eggs isn’t enough this Halloween, spider them too. Joanie Pimentel in Sunset’sinformation technology department came up with this styling idea for a staff party last Halloween. She cuts pitted black olives in half lengthwise and nestles one half on top of an egg for the body, and then cuts the other half crosswise into thin slices to form the creepy legs.

Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup from Panera’s

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Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

A blend of butternut squash and pumpkin, simmered in vegetable broth with honey, apple juice, cinnamon and a hint of curry, then finished with sweet cream and topped with roasted and salted pumpkin seeds.

 One day last week I went to Panera‘s for the first time in a very long time and I had hoped that they had brought back their Chicken Tortilla soup as I have been waiting for over a year for it’s return.  To my dismay it was not there, so I decided to try this one.. and OH MY DEAR GOD.  It was simply amazing!!!!!  I am looking forward to eating it on the cold days coming.  It’s rich and thick and hot warming the tummy, which on those bitter cold days that we are supposed to be getting will be a good thing.  Seriously.. you should try it!

Puffed Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

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Puffed Pastry Chicken Pot Pie

4 lbs of skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch
chunks
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 large onion peeled and quartered.
2 ribs of celery, cut in slices on the diagonal
2 tbs parsley, minced
1 bay leaf
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
12 small shallots
1/2 cup all purpose
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup of milk
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup of frozen green peas
salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium sauce pan simmer chicken breast until tender. About 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. In a large sauce pan, melt butter and stir in flour until a roux is formed. Once roux is a light golden color stir in slowly the 1/2 cup of milk and chicken stock.

Add the chicken, garlic, celery, onions, bay leaf, carrots and shallots and let simmer for 15 minutes. As sauce thickens add a little more chicken stock as needed. Add the frozen peas. Let mixture continue for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile on a lightly floured surface,roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Use a fork to make holes all over the rolled our sheet. In round oven proof pie pan, pour in the chicken mixture. Place the rolled out puff pastry sheet over the mixture making sure the edges overlap the pie dish. Seal the puff pastry about the edges of the pie plate by squeezing. Cut several slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake 25 to 25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until pastry crust is golden. Serve at once.