Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Comfort Food Makes a Comeback

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: I love fall!!! Don't get me wrong, I am sad to see summer and the warm weather go. But there's something about cute sweaters, football and comfort food that makes me so happy. Food in general makes me happy. I love to eat probably more than anyone should. I look forward to my meals. As soon as I'm done eating one meal, I am already thinking about what to have for the next one!!! I am not ashamed to say it. I love food.

Comfort food is high on the list, although it's not something we have as often as I would like for obvious reasons. It tastes good, but it's not always good for you! My family's all time favorite meal is a simple one of creamed chicken served over biscuits. It is the definition of comfort food - warm and filling, inexpensive and uncomplicated, and easy to prepare. My mom used to make it for us when we were little and it never disappointed. It was one of the first things I made for Kevin when we were first married! I happened upon a cute little blog called The Big Red Kitchen one day and was so happy to find a good recipe for the beloved creamed chicken. It is probably the best blog about food EVER. She takes the most beautiful pictures of the food!!! Of course you can't just look at the pictures. You have to make the food. And eat it!!!

What did I tell you about the pictures??? Thanks to 'Big Red Kitchen' blog for allowing me to use your delicious photo!!!!

Anyways, here is her amazing recipe for Creamed Chicken which my family and I enjoy on a very regular basis during cold months. Hopefully it will make its way to your table for you and yours to enjoy!!!

Creamed Chicken

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken- about 3-4 chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium high heat, melt butter. To melted butter, whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk. Turn heat down to medium and cook until thickened. Add chicken then salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot buttermilk biscuits with steamed peas and enjoy!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Mermaid

We had a fun family birthday party yesterday for Olivia. My parents, grandparents, brother, Kevin's mom, his brother & twins were all on hand to help us celebrate. Olivia decided on a mermaid theme since she loves them right now. I was able to find this adorable costume on ebay used for a really great price!!

Doctor Lulu in the house.... she loves her new doctor kit!

Olivia was so excited for her party!!! Here are a few pictures!!!

Happy Birthday to you, Lulu!

She loved it!

Blue frosting = blue tongue!


I really took the whole mermaid/under the sea theme and ran with it, which was super fun. We had fish tacos, lime cilantro shrimp skewers, chips & salsa, shell pasta salad, pineapple dessert salad and "seaweed" spinach with tropical fruit salad. The kids had "sushi" (I took white bread without the crust and spread cream cheese on it with celery and lunch meat and rolled it up like sushi!), goldfish crackers and blue fish jello jigglers. It was an amazing spread!!! I was also really brave and made the cupcakes from scratch this time!! We had coconut cupcakes with buttercream frosting and key lime cupcakes.

Blue frosted coconut cupcake and key lime cupcake

Here are the recipes in case you'd like to try them!!!

Key Lime Cupcakes with Lime Frosting


Recipe by Buttersweet Bakery

September 2008
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon neon-green food coloring
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Whisk both flours in medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar; beat to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then next 3 ingredients (batter may look curdled). Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions. Spoon scant 1/3 cup batter into each liner.
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp Lime zest
1 tsp vanilla ext
1/8 tsp salt
16 oz powdered sugar
3 Tbsp lime juice
1 to 2 Tbsp milk

Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, lime juice and milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth.

Coconut Cupcakes


3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:

1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Lulu!!!

Wow! I am in utter shock that my youngest baby will be turning three this coming Monday. It seems to hard to believe! My pregnancy with Olivia was far from normal. Well, far from normal for anyone else but pretty typical for me I guess. Lots of worry from the beginning with bleeding and placenta previa. I gained a ton of weight too. Everywhere. Oh well.

I was scheduled for an induction early the morning of the 27th and it couldn't come soon enough for me! But of course that wouldn't be the way it went and we ended up waiting around all day to get a room so they could start the induction. By the time the hospital called me to come in around 7 pm that evening, I would have given birth in a broom closet if they'd have let me. They started the liquid evil (otherwise known as pitocin) around 9 pm. The contractions weren't super awful, but I wasn't trying to be a hero so I told them to bring me the good stuff aka epidural. And in walks the hottest doctor I've ever seen. Seriously, he put McDreamy to shame. I felt so bad for this poor guy for having to look at my huge ass while he gave me the epidural!

With that taken care of, I thought we were all good. Not so much. Control freak + panic disorder doesn't mesh well with epidurals. The minute I couldn't feel my legs I started to freak out. I made Kevin go get Dr. McDreamy so I could tell him I was going to die. He tried not to laugh when I told him I couldn't feel my face and proceeded to pinch my own neck to the point of drawing blood. Then in true Molly fashion, my heart rate skyrocketed. People started looking worried and I swore I could see Jesus. It was bad stuff. Finally, I started to feel a little better and it was time to push.

In walks my doctor wearing a hazmat suit??? Seriously, she had on hip waders and what looked like a welding mask. Was she planning on welding something??? Whatver, she could have been Krusty the effing clown for all I cared, I just wanted this baby OUT! After a few good pushes Olivia Margaret came into the world quite beautifully. She was gorgeous and instantly won the hearts of everyone in our family and still has them!! Olivia is by far the most fiesty of my three kids, but I wouldn't have her any other way. She had a rough start in life with some underlying health issues, but she has overcome every one of them. She is my fighter and we feel so blessed and lucky she's turning three. She loves wearing dresses, dancing and anything girly. Her hair gets more curly every day. She is Lulu and we love her!!!

The song playing is by KT Tunstall and I used to sing it to her when she was tiny, if you can picture that. She used to like my singing, but now she says, "mommy, don't sing." :) Happy 3rd Birthday, Lulu!!! We love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Music - No Boys Allowed

How much am I completely loving chick rocker bands these days??? So much!!! In honor of the angsty, of pms, lip gloss, high heels and of all things girly - this music post is girl bands only!! No boys allowed!


There have been some amazing chick bands in my time I have to say - The Bangles, The Go-gos, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (and of course THE original Joan Jett rocker band The Runaways), Hole, The Breeders and sooooo many more. But I don't feel like there's been a really solid selection up until recently. I made a new playlist to go with this post rather than trying to embed a bunch of youtube vids and taking up a ton of space. Waste not, want not. Here are some of my faves - I tried to pick my top three of each group. There are all girl bands and there are just girl lead singers so I guess you could say some boys are allowed. But whatever we're not getting THAT technical here!! A few of these you will know already, but hopefully you'll hear something new that you like. Some are straight up rock, there's some indie rock and then I have some trip hop (my latest obsession is trip hop) going on as well to break it up a little. It's a well rounded playlist and it's all about the ladies!!!!

Metric, a Canadian indie rock band, has been in heavy rotation on my playlist these days. Emily Haines (also performs with Broken Social Scene) leads the group with her edgy, melodic vocals.... 'Live It Out' and the latest album 'Fantasies' are both well worth buying! Top three faves of mine include:

'Soft Rock Star'
'Gimme Sympathy' I love the lyrics of this one
'Help! I'm Alive' as someone who suffers from anxiety, I can totally indentify with the entire sentiment of this song tho I'm not sure if that's what it's *really* about

I stumbled across this next little gem about a month ago and am so glad I did. Nina Kinert wouldn't exactly fall into the "rocker" genre, but she earned a spot on my blog anyways. She's from Sweden and it's hard to place her in a genre because her style differs greatly from one song to the next. These songs are from her 2008 release 'Pets & Friends.'

'Combat Lover'
'Beast' - this is a HUGE play on Gary Jules 'Mad World'!! Good stuff
'Pets and Friends' :)

Next, we move onto Ivy. 'In the Clear' is the only album I own, but I hope to change that soon. Dominique Durand's (born in Paris) voice has this whisper like quality to it that works so well with the atmospheric, meloncholy, trippyness of the whole record. Good stuff.

'Corners of Your Mind'
'Tess Don't Tell'
'Thinking About You'

Hello, stranger. Hello Stranger. Catchy name for a girl lead band with catchy songs to boot! Mark my words that this LA based band will be doing very well, very very soon.

'Take It To the Maxx'
'Her In These Lights'
'Here We Go Again'

The Action Design is another Cali band on my hit list. It's rock, it's punk, it's dance, it's HOT. Their album 'Never Say' is good all the way through, but here are the stand outs for me.

'Pale Horizon'
'Ten Feet of Snow'
'All That Night'

Esthero is the next lady on the list and she is unlike any other! Canadian born, her music features mellow bass lines, jazzy trumpets and Spanish guitar. Think Sade meets Bjork meets Dido. Super friggin cool!!

'Better Life' fun, upbeat tune!
'Wicked Lil Grrrls' featured on Sex in the City!
'Heaven Sent'

CSS (also known as Cansei de Ser Sexy) are from Brazil. Their band name was taken from a quote from Beyonce who said she was "tired of being sexy." Ha ha!!! Love their sense of humor AND their sound.

'Left Behind'
'Move' this is the album version, but there are several other good mixes as well
'Off the Hook'

Minipop is a Cali band and a quite young one as they've only been around for about five years. They're considered indie electronic or "dream pop." Whatever, they're good.

'Someone To Love'

Let's hear it for the California girls!!! I was hesitant to put Silversun Pickups on the list because they're becoming pretty popular. They're pretty great though and really remind me of the Smashing Pumpkins in female form - lots of distorted guitars.

'Lazy Eye'
'Panic Switch' played quite frequently on the radio now!!

Santogold, now known as Santigold will close out this edition of New Music - No Boys Allowed. How confusing though! Way to be like Prince and Puff Daddy and change your name like a million times so no one knows what to really call you. Anyways, she's really weird but most creative people are.

'You'll Find A Way'
'Shove It' ummm, love it!
'Lights Out' now featured on a beer commercial, I thought it was the perfect song to end the list :)

Well, that's all for now! If you weren't into chick bands before you will be now!!

About Blogging Molly

My photo
I am a mom to three great kids - Ethan is 12, Abby is 9 and Lulu (Olivia) is 5. I've been married to my highschool sweetheart for almost fourteen years. I love to paint, renovate and live for anything DIY. I love music and I love to bake. I also teach dance at a local studio. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!

What I'm listening to.....

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

My People