Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Car Bombs...the good kind

No, I'm not talking about anything Army related right now, I'm taking about the alcohol version of a car bomb...CUPCAKE STYLE! I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on one of my favorite blogs. If you know me, you know that 1, I don't drink beer, and 2, I don't like chocolate very much, but these just looked really yummy (like everything else on her website)! Then I found out the guys in Jason's class right now have a thing for Irish car bombs (a shot of Bailey's & Whiskey dropped into a glass of Guinness) so I had someone to help me eat them (or eat them all if I didn't like them). So today I made THE BEST CUPCAKES EVER! I could not believe how delicious they were! I've already eaten 2 of them and I'm trying to keep my fingers off the rest so Jason can take some to class tomorrow!

Here's how I did it....

Yield: 24 cupcakes
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:
1 cup stout (Guinness)
16 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds). Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.) Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this). Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Here are a few pictures along the way!

When they come out of the oven, they smelled so good (and like I said, I don't really like chocolate!)

And after I cut the holes for the ganache

Filled with the ganache (ps, this was my 1st time making a ganache and it was SO EASY!)

The final product...SO YUMMY!!!


So I decided to participate in Kate's scarf swap a few weeks ago and ever since, I've been checking the mail every day waiting for my package to arrive. Well, today, I came home from our friends promotion ceremony to find this in my mailbox!!!

I love all the rich colors

Thank you so much to my partner Marisa, I absolutely love it! I never would have picked it out myself, but I absolutely love it (that was what I was hoping for out of this swap, and you exceeded my expectations!) I am so glad I participated and found your blog in the process!

Back to that promotion I mentioned, Jason's BFF took over Company Command today and I'm so grateful that Jason and I were able to attend (mostly so I know what to expect when it's Jason's turn!)

We're super proud of you Chris!

Congratulations to Chris and his wife Jessica!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ok, now for tonight's dinner! I didn't feel like putting much effort into dinner tonight so when I check my email and saw this recipe for Easy Salsa Chicken Burritos, I got inspired to make fajitas! Then I realized I didn't have "fajita" seasoning and didn't know how well taco seasoning would substitute so I did a little more research and found a recipe to substitute for fajita seasoning, SCORE! So here's how I did it....

1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1 green bell pepper (thinly sliced)
1 onion (thinly sliced)
3 small chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
1 package fajita seasoning
cheese & lettuce for toppings (I don't like sour cream or hot sauce or any of that stuff, but if you do, by all means add it!)

In a large sauce pan or wok, heat about 1TBSP EVOO and add veggies and about 1/4 of the seasoning. Cook until slightly tender.

Remove the veggies from the pan. Season the chicken strips with the rest of the seasoning then add to the same pan (you may need a little more EVOO) and cook until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Combine chicken with the veggies and serve on a tortilla with the toppings of your choice!

Roll up and enjoy!

I will definitely be making these again!

For the fajita seasoning substitute, I used:
* 1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin ground
* 1/2 teaspoon Oregano dried, crushed
* 1/4 teaspoon Salt
* 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper ground
* 1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
* 1/8 teaspoon Onion powder
* 1/8 teaspoon Red pepper ground (I actually used a little less b/c I don't like food spicy hot!)

Oh, and as I was setting this yummy dinner on the table, I looked out our back window and saw this

It was just through our backyard and across the street. Way too close for comfort! Thank God, I don't think it touched anybody or any houses!

Weekend update

We had the most beautiful weather this weekend, I wish it could be 70-80 and sunny EVERYDAY! We made the best of it by spending ALL DAY Saturday at a rugby tournament on post.

There was a bit of drama with this lady

who thought she was the field police. She seemed to think that we were not allowed to have our cute little puppy at the field.

So she called the MWR (Moral, Welfare and Recreation) on us, who came and told us "you can come to my boss's office on Monday and he'll show you the regulation", to which Jason told him he would not leave until he saw something in writing. The MWR guy told us if we didn't leave he was going to call the MP's (Military Police) to have us escorted off the field. The MP showed up and basically told us that there is no sign posted so they can't enforce the "rule" and told the lady to stop bossing people around...Jason was thrilled to have "won" the battle! (at one point, she was trying to get people to agree with her and we were standing there with about 5-8 of our friends and I really thought a West Side Story type turf war was going to break out. Luckily for them, it didn't!)

Oh, and back to rugby, OUR TEAM WON the tournament!

Unfortunately, we had other obligations that evening and we weren't able to attend the after party (if you've never attended a rugby party after one of their matches, GO DO IT! They are total mayhem but so much fun!).

We went to dinner with our awesome friends Mike & Kristi, then went to see the Harlem Globetrotter Legends at the gym on post.

Today we were on our way to watch the Bengals beat the Ravens when we found this guy in my tire:

This makes the 2nd screw I've had in my tires in as many months =( and this one isn't repairable so we have to buy a new tire =( =(

At least the Bengals won, which made me feel a little better about the afternoon.

I'll be back in a bit to post the awesome fajita recipe I made for dinner tonight!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a day late

I meant to do this yesterday and totally forgot...


We love and miss the Boyles' here at FLW!!!


The events that took place at Fort Hood today hit close to home. That could have been our base. My husband, friends and acquaintances could have been among the dead or wounded. As a spouse, you are "trained" to worry and be nervous about what happens when they are deployed. At home, you are supposed to be SAFE, comfortable, worry-free, calm, relaxed. No one was prepared for today. I'm not saying their lives are more or less valuable than those who are wounded or KIA, this is just so stunning. It shook me to my core. I'm happy my husband came home safe to me today and I was able to hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him. I try not to take anything for granted and today's tragedy just refocused me on my journey to live every day like there is no tomorrow.

Thank you Jesus for another day on this planet!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dinner: Creamy Orzo and chicken

This was too yummy and too easy not to share! I didn't take any pictures, but here is the one from Annie's Eats, which is where I adapted the recipe from!

4 small chicken breasts
8oz Orzo, uncooked
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
herbes de Provence (I couldn't find this at the commissary, so I used McCormick's Roasting Rub/French Herb)

Cook orzo according to package. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt, pepper and the French herbs on both sides(I used about 2 TBSP of the herbs for all the chicken). In a large skillet cook chicken in EVOO, about 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove Chicken from skillet. Add the shallot and green pepper to the skillet (you may need more EVOO), cook about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with the juice and the broccoli. Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. Add the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and cook to combine and melt the cheese. Serve with the chicken on top....YUM!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

heading home =)

So we're heading back to the Nasti Nati for the weekend. Jason is more excited than I am, it's a really long drive to just be there for 36 hours. I do get to see my mom (and hopefully my sister) and all my friends from church, so it won't be a total waste. Before we leave tomorrow, I want to use up some of the fresh produce I have in the fridge so I'm making veggie risotto for dinner tonight and I can't wait!

We had to take Buster to the vet today and they're going to keep him for a while. They are taking an x-ray and a urine sample because his belly is tender and we don't know why. I hope they call soon with good news! I'll keep everyone posted!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trying new things

So tonight I went to my 1st aerobics class EVER and I learned the following:
1. I'm not as out of shape as I thought, I made it through the whole class w/o passing out!
2. I could never be a dancer! Those steps were so confusing!
3. I shouldn't have waited this long to go to my 1st class. I didn't feel judged like I expected to.
4. I can't wait to go again! (this one may change when I can't get out of bed in the morning!)

Thank you so much to Ashley for inviting me to come along, I'm so glad I did! I can't wait for the "aerobathon" on Saturday! I get to try all the other classes for 15 minutes to see if I like them and want to take the whole hour long class (plus we get food and a t-shirt!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I decided to dive into this blog thing head first and participate in a SCARF SWAP with some fellow bloggers! I feel bad for whoever gets my name b/c they have very few post to use to "get to know me"...maybe I'll make it easier on them and post a question/answer post later this week. Then again, maybe I'll just leave it up to the scarf Gods and see what I get! It's not too late to participate, just click on the link above before Wednesday!

Since Jason won't hand over the remote and I'll go ahead with that Q/A post..

A–age: 27

B–bed size: queen

C–chore you hate: DISHES!!! I'll let them pile up until I have enough to run the dishwasher

D–dog’s name: Buster

E–essential start-your-day item: OJ

F–favorite color: right now, it's purple

G–gold or silver or platinum: platinum but I'm starting to like gold more and more

H–height: 5′8″

I–instruments you play: none :-/ I'd like to learn guitar at some point...

J–job title: army wife? I wish there were somewhere to work out here...hopefully at the next duty station I'll be able to work again

K–kid(s): not yet...

L–living arrangements: just bought our 1st house

M–mom’s name: Theresa

N–nickname(s): Gumby, Jes

O–overnight hospital stay other than birth: nope

P–pet peeve: ha...do I have to pick one? people who drive under the speed limit in the left lane might be number 1

Q–quote from a movie: "champagne, perfume going in, sewage coming out" Cocktails

R–righty or lefty: righty

S–siblings: 2 brothers, 1 sister, all younger

T–time you wake up: 9:30

U–underwear: Victoria’s Secret. nothing else

V–vegetable you dislike: brussel sprouts

W–ways you run late: I don't. Unless I'm waiting on the husband

X–x-rays you’ve had: knee and teeth

Y–yummy food you make: right now, it's homemade soft pretzels

Z–zoo favorite: monkeys

Hope this helps!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yummy muffins

So part of my motivation behind starting a blog is all the awesome bloggers that I read. I tried a recipe today for banana cinnamon chip muffins that I saw on a food blogger's site. I've been thinking about them for a few weeks now, but I had to wait for my mom to send me the cinnamon chips because they apparently don't sell them around here(THANKS MOM). They were definitely worth the wait! They were so easy to make and taste better than I had anticipated!

Here goes nothing...

I'm not a good writer. Never have been and probably never will be, but I'm going to try really hard to improve as time goes on. For now, bare with me and don't judge...I warned you! I'll do my best to keep those of you who are reading informed on what Jason and I are up to and probably do a little ranting and raving in between. I'll share some of the delicious recipes I try as I develop my inner Suzi Homemaker. I'll probably post a picture or two...or hundreds and maybe every now and then I'll even get Jason to post, but don't hold your breath for that one!

For now, I'm off to make these =)