It’s been a fun filled week around here. Busy and crazy as usual, but hey, that’s how I roll…
First, for those of you who followed the “mouse saga” either here or on Facebook, I have an update. We ended up catching 4 mice.
Or rather, the same mouse 4 times.
I kid you not, this little guy found his way back into our house 4 times.
Now, the Hubs seems to think I’m crazy for thinking it was the same mouse. I submit to you the facts:
- There was not much mouse “evidence” (read: poop) anywhere. If there were multiple mice, I think I would have found waaay more.
- When we caught Remi (yeah, I nicknamed him after the mouse in the animated film, “Ratatouille”) and put him in a “holding cell” (aka the aquarium that used to house Hades, my late preying mantis) oddly enough, the trap stayed empty. Coincidence?…I think not.
- I set the trap for 3 days after Remi was caught and…you guessed it. Nothing.
So, after feeding and housing the cute little guy for a few days (he loved the roasted pumpkin seeds and bits of apple I gave him), we were able to release him this evening. In a nice field that backed up to the woods.
About a mile from the house.
Gary says if he finds his way back to the house, we are going to keep him, because, well, after what would be like a 1,000 mile journey in mouse-dom, he pretty much would deserve to live out the rest of his tiny life in luxury. So we get to the edge of the woods, place the aquarium on it’s side and wait for Remi to make a b-line for the hills.
That is not what happened. He kind of tucked himself up in the shredded paper and looked up at us, as if to say, “What the hell? I was nice and warm and about to take a nap! Now go fetch me more pumpkin seeds!” I had to actually give him a little gentle prod to get him to move. Now you would think that a wild mouse, when faced with a toilet paper tube prodding his little mouse ass, would take off like a tiny furry rocket. Nope, not this guy. He kind of meandered out, slowly. I swear I heard him mutter under his breath as he left his temporary home, “You guys suck.” He looked around and sniffed a bit and then he gave two big leaps and disappeared into the woods. Gary quietly picked up the aquarium and we looked into the woods for a second before we went back to the truck, feeling pretty darn good about helping one of God’s creatures. Of course, he may have already been swallowed whole by a snake or picked up by the neighborhood hawk for a light dinner, but hey, at least we can sleep comfortably knowing we gave the little dude a fighting chance.
On Sunday, we shot another episode of the web series. Yes, we finally got to do “The Hunger Games” episode-the Lamb Stew with Dried Plums. It was a blast! There were costumes, weapons, special effects and red stilettos! I ran around the backyard, in braids, camouflage pants, a fitted t-shirt that proclaimed “Slightly Dramatic”, Doc Martens and (wait for it…)
A bow and arrow!
No, not a real one, (much to my disappointment) but a six-buck plastic toy from Walmart. Now a real one would have been ultra cool, but of course, there was the liability issue (my aim is really bad) and besides, the toy set up actually made the bit funnier. Yep, I was channeling my inner “Katniss”, shooting at imaginary deer, birds and wild dogs (not too much of a stretch for that one considering the neighbors have, like, twelve residing in their house) with Gary in tow, filming every step. Later that evening, we shot the “Effie” scenes (yep, makeup, wig and all) and collapsed into bed, where we discussed the day’s events. The big topic was both of us wondering what the hell our neighbors were thinking. I mean, they must really wonder about us…If I lived next door to us, I’d wonder too…Not that we care what anyone thinks, but it sure would be fun to be a fly on the wall: “Oh, those kids are up something again. I bet they’re filming dirty movies over there.” Oh well. To each his own.
So I’ve actually started reformatting all of my recipes for the cookbook! Let me tell you, this is no small task. It requires translating my chicken scratch shorthand notes I make as I’m creating a new dish, and formatting it into a recipe that even a non-badass can follow. I’m making progress, although not as fast as I’d like. The plan is to have the book available by the end of the year, so stay tuned. Of course, even though I have created dozens of recipes, I have to keep creating more and pushing myself to figure out great things to do with food and make it easy and fun for you guys to follow along. So in that spirit, I present to you, my latest dessert! I call ’em Blackberry “Cobblettes” (yup, made that word up myself). They are mini cobblers and sooo yummy and sooo easy to make. Check out the recipe, in the new format, and let me know what you think!
Blackberry “Cobblettes” with Tangy Lemon Glaze
The Badass says: “When all you need is a little bit of a sweet ending for two, try these mini cobblers. No leftovers to tempt you and making them in small oven safe baking dishes leaves you room for ice cream on top.”
Making dessert for a crowd? No worries! Just multiply the recipe to fit the number of folks you’re feeding, keeping in mind that this recipe makes two.”
Here’s what you need for the base for the crust and crumb topping:
2/3 cup of flour
2 ½ Tbs sugar
pinch of Kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbs plus 1 tsp butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes and softened
You’ll also need:
1 ½ Tbs half & half (for the crust)
An additional ½ Tbs sugar (for the crumb topping)
An additional ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (for the crumb topping)
Here’s what you need for the filling:
1 ¾-2 cups fresh blackberries
½ tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbs sugar
½ Tbs Red Wine (I used Shiraz)
¼ tsp Balsamic vinegar
And let’s not forget the lemon drizzle:
2 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp lemon rind-about half of a small lemon
And since you’ve used the rind off of that half of that lemon, you might as well use the juice, too. (about ½ tablespoon or so)
You’ll also need two 5-inch round glass baking dishes, a cookie sheet and an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Oh yeah, and vanilla bean ice cream.
And here’s what you do:
In a small bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients for the crust and crumb topping. Whisk together until combined. Add the softened butter and, using a fork, work the butter into the dry ingredients until small “pebbles” start to form. Transfer 2/3 of the mixture into another bowl (this will be used for the crust) Set the remaining 1/3 of the mixture aside for now (this will become the crumb topping). We’ll need that fork again in a sec, so keep it handy…
To the crust mixture, add the half and half and gently work into a dough. Divide the dough in half and press each half into a baking dish.
To the crumb mixture, add ½ Tbs sugar and ¼ tsp of cinnamon. Now it’s time to grab that fork again and use it to work the mixture into fine crumbs. Set aside.
Now on to that filling…
In a small, non-metal bowl, mix the sugar, wine, vinegar and lemon rind (aka “Zest”) together. Add the blackberries and mix gently to coat. Set aside for 3-5 minutes.
And lest we forget that lemony goodness from earlier:
Time to make the drizzle! Ok, this is hard…Here it goes…
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and rind and mix until sugar is melted and ingredients are combined. Set aside.
You’ve just earned the right to dessert after that…
Spoon an equal portion of the berry mixture on each of the prepared crusts. Top with an equal portion of the crumb mixture.
Turn up the heat:
Hopefully you read the beginning of the recipe and preheated your oven to 350 degrees F. If not, now’s a good time to do it…
Place the baking dishes on a cookie sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes on the middle rack. The crumb topping should be slightly golden and the berries bubbling juice up through the topping.
Carefully (read: use oven mitts!!) remove the cobblettes from the cookie sheet and place in a safe spot (read: where your dogs, kids or sweet-toothed spouses can’t get to ‘em) and let cool until just warm (about 15-20 minutes)
The finishing touches:
Top each cobblette with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and some of the lemon drizzle. Hell, if you’re feeling fancy, top each with a small sprig of mint.
The Badass says: “Vegans need yummy desserts, too! Substitute your favorite non-dairy spread or margarine for the butter and water for the half and half. Since these spreads have a higher water level, you may use less liquid to form the crust. Start with 1 Tbs of cold water and add a little more if the dough is too dry. To top ‘em off use soy or coconut milk ice cream and the lemon drizzle on top.”
In other news, my friend and fellow blogger, Camille Dewing-Vallejo (author of the WordPress Blog, “What’s Camille Dewing?”) is writing a special guest blog in honor of Cinco de Mayo and will be sharing the recipe for her famous Guacamole! I know you guys will enjoy Camille’s witty take on life and food-her writing style just kicks ass! And speaking of Cinco de Mayo, it’s almost time for the second annual “Cinco de Mama”, a celebration I invented last year to get to see both of our Mom’s for Mother’s Day wrapped in an excuse to eat Mexican food. Everyone wins. And no guilt. (if you don’t count the margaritas…)
Until next time…
Have fun-and be Fearless!