Nobody Puts Straw-Baby in the Corner!

In this crazy world filled with havoc and bedlam, there are not always many consistencies in one’s life.  The span of one short day can turn any situation on its head, but in this “misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms” there are a few things that I’ve learned to depend on:

1.  Put your tattoos in places you don’t see everyday, that way you won’t get sick of them.

2.  Honesty and kindness might seem like the greatest traits you can possess but if you’re creative and charming you can weasel yourself out of any situation.

3.  It doesn’t matter how down and out she seems, Madonna will come out with a new album and it will be amazing.

4.  McDonald’s drive-through will fuck you over at any chance they can– See The Bitchionary for The Bottomless Burger.

5.   Learn to master a piping bag and you can take over the world.

Don’t know what a piping bag is?  It’s this majigger.   Basically it’s a beauty-izer.  Because, realistically, you can spend all day make a scrumptious meal, dessert, or pastry but no one will want to eat it if it looks like a steaming mound of crap. 

I usually like to take a cue from Ms. Cardigan’s father (still don’t know who Ms. Cardigan is?  Check out the Bitchionary) who taught us to drop a piping bag bomb on our twice-baked potatoes but I was recently invited to a baby shower so I thought I would take one of my grown-up tasties and tweak it enough to make more of a “family-fun-for-everyone” type deal.  So here goes:

We’re all familiar with the infamous chocolate covered strawberry.  A staple at valentine’s day, it’s a delectable little treat that has become so entwined with ideas of rolling in the hay that it sadly hasn’t gotten a chance to break into the world of G-rated snacks. 

What you’ll need:
– White Chocolate Chips (or yogurt chips if you can find them.  In fact if you can find them, can you let me know?  For some reason I could only discover websites that would let me buy them in 20 pound quanitities… also the pet store sells them as rat treats but that is clearly not an option).
– Milk chocolate chips
– Strawberries (Cleaned, with stems left on)
– Blue or pink food colouring
-Piping bag (if you don’t feel like buying a fancy-dancy one, just snip off a small corner of a zip lock baggie)
-Waxed paper
-Toothpicks

Melt yo’ white chocolate chips in a bowl over a steaming pot of water.  You can melt directly in the bowl but if you’re anything like myself you get distracted by shiny objects and have a tendency to let things burn. 

Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate.  I like to use a toothpick as a sort of support beam as I’ve found that using the stem as a dipping apparatus usually means having to dive face and eyes into a scalding pot of chocolate in order to fish out one sad, stemless piece of fruit.  (P.S. Sorry there are no actual pictures, I was covered in sticky chocolate at crunch-time and didn’t have my camera on me.)

Photo Source: dippedfruit.com

Set strawberry down on waxed paper.  Repeat this for the remainder of your berries and pop into the fridge to chill out and get stiff (was that meant to be dirty?  We’ll never know, will we?)  Again, I have no pics of my strawbabies hanging out in the fridge, but here are some tuxedo ones I made a few weeks before:

Just for the record, that is not my Coors Light in the background-- Ick.

Once your strawberries are good and hard take some excess melted chocolate and add a couple drops of blue or pink food colouring (or yellow or green, whatevs, I’m not trying to stuff your kid into a societally designated gender role, pft).  Fill up your piping bag with your chocolate and drop tiny beads in a circlular shape on the front of your strawberry, giving it a tiny hat-thingy that youngsters are forced into.  Then add a little bow. 

Melt a small amount of milk chocolate (seeing as it’s a couple spoonfuls, you can just nuke it rather than wash another pot) and add little sleepy eyes and noses.

Voila, you’ve got strawbabies!  Quick and dirty– just the way your mom likes it.  Whomp, whomp.

Song of the Day:

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Naughty and Spice Hot Chocolate

My most favouritest day in the whole wide world is coming up.  The craftiness of it all is mind boggling!  From creative costumes to deadly décor, it’s the kind of stuff that can make a Crafty Bitch’s knees go all wobbly.  I really wanted to make some Halloweenish treats leading up to the big day, so I do what every good Crafty Bitch does: head to the nearest drug store, stack up on crafty magazines, pop open a bottle of cheap champagne (the cheapness is imperative to the process) and get to work.  So I’m diving into twenty billion magazines and I’m seeing all these amazing looking foods and all I can think is, “Wow, this stuff looks awesome”.  But scanning through a lot of ingredients made me think twice.  I mean, if you dip a hot dog in cream cheese and wrap cold fettuccini around it, it sure looks like a mummy.  But here’s the rub, my little poppets: who the frig wants to eat cold pasta wrapped around a hot dog.  I understand the creativity is there, but, well, yuck.  So, I’m going to do my darnedest to come up with some Crafty Kitch originals.

As I seem to do with most of my posts, I’ll give you a little insight into my life:
When I was 14, I saw the movie Chocolat and decided I was going to open my own chocolaterie (I know, I’m impressionable, I spent one summer trying to learn sign language because of an episode of “Little house on the Prairie”).  Then when I hit about 18 I got too big for my britches and thought that becoming a lawyer would be a much more sensible, stable, and overall impressive career.  Then I went away to university and all of the essays, exams and what not made me realize what I really want to be when I grew up:  a professional alcohol sampler.  Until that career takes off, however, I’ve found myself reverting back to my childhood and dreaming of making sumptuous confections for the whole world.  One thing I can’t resist is a nice cup off hot chocolate.  Powdered shit makes me wanna ralph though so I’m going to send out my recipe with a slight, autumn-y alteration.

Ingredients:
1 cup half and half cream (use whole milk if you want to be less of a fatty)
1 cup of water (you may need a little more depending on taste)
1 ½ -2 table spoons of pumpkin puree (buy a big can, it’ll give you an excuse to make and eat a pie later)
2 tbsps of vanilla extract (I used a vanilla bean cause I had one around the house)
7-10 tbsps of milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp of pumpkin spice
Your preference of whipped cream.

Step Uno:
If you have whipped cream that has to be whipped up, do it.  You’re going to want it to be set so you can spoon beautiful little pillow-y clouds upon your little mug of happiness.  I like to use Dream Whip because it reminds me of my mom’s angel food cakes and you have to make a whole pack so the rest can be eaten while crying and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Step Dos:
On a fairly low head set your cream, water and vanilla bean or extract in a sauce pan and stir until it just barely starts to boil.  If you’re using da bean, make sure you slice it in half and let all it’s beany goodness out into your mixture. Let your milk mixture barely boil until it’s good and heated, then use a fork to extract your vanilla bean.
Or fish the sucker out with your fingers if you’re lazy.

Step Tres:
Add pumpkin puree and stir until it’s all melded together to be at least somewhat of a uniform substance.  Then add your chocolate chips one spoonful at a time.  Wait until each spoonful melts before adding the next, and it’s best to give a good taste after each one, starting when you hit number 7.  It might not look like a lot of chocolate at first but you don’t want to give yourself the diabetes.
Step Cuatro:
Add pumpkin spice.  I usually stick to a tablespoon but again, you may want to taste and add more.  Pumpkin spice, like craftiness, makes me go weak in the old knee-knobs.

Step Cinco:
Pour into mugs (this recipe makes about four servings).  Adorn your tiny liquid creation with a generous dollop of whipped cream and enjoy while basking in the genius of your culinary skills.
I like to read comic books while drinking my hot treat because I’m super cool.