Archive | August, 2010

Need a Quickie?

18 Aug

Every once in awhile, life gets in the way. Oh heck, let’s just say it. Most of the time life gets in the way. We work cake in around car repairs, packing the kids off to various places, weather so hot you wilt before you get out of bed, and that elusive thing we now have to call a career instead of a job.  We’re shoving aside dinner dishes and bills trying to eke out a mere foot of space to get the crumb coat on the cake for tomorrow’s church supper. It doesn’t help that the materials and ingredients you gathered so carefully hide beneath rolling mats and cutters or you’re so addled you don’t remember you bought the perfect tool for the job months ago and end up hunting for something in the cabinets that will almost work for what you need.

 On the rare occasion that you had time to clean the kitchen that day, the last thing you want to do is mess it up again. The fam will take care of that for you, anyway. Enter “the event.” Bake sale, class snack, or office potluck is on the calendar, but who’s had time to look at that? This is when we all need a quickie. You need something decent, cheap, and quick. A small cake? Uh, no. One hour to bake, two hours to settle, hour upon hour to decorate- that’s more time than you’ll have in the next three months. Royal iced cookies? Even a simple design with two colors takes too long. Cake truffles? No room in the freezer and the chocolate magically disappeared during last week’s PMS/car broke down/kid is on your last nerve episode. Rice Krispie treats? Too simple? Eh, they can be. However, they require few ingredients, they are inexpensive to make, they cook up fast, and they require minimal counter space. It’s the simplicity that gets to you, isn’t it? Everyone loves to eat them, but no one is impressed that you made them. Anyone can turn on the stove, melt, stir, and press, right? What if we add a little something to the process? Give them a little wow factor, kick it up a notch, or whatever the latest cooking lingo is. Make the kid who forgot to tell you he needs a snack for 30 tomorrow dig out the cookie cutters and let’s get to work.

For those who have never made them… is there anyone who’s never made them? I think my kids made their first batch around 10 years old so I can’t imagine there’s a soul on this earth who hasn’t stuck a spoon in gloopy marshmallows just once. Anyway, just in case, here’s the recipe:

3 T. butter or margarine

10 oz. regular marshmallows or 4 c. mini marshmallows

6 c. Rice Krispies

That’s the official version from here: http://ricekrispies.com/recipes/the-original-treats.aspx#/recipes/the-original-treats

 

For this particular foray into the sweet world of no time, you will also need:

Cooking spray (not the olive oil stuff) or additional butter or margarine

Sprinkles- whatever you have on hand will do. If you have none on hand, don’t worry about it. Lord knows the last thing I want to make you do is make a trip to the store right now.

Get out a decent sized pot, a spoon (I prefer wood), cookie sheets, cookie cutters, waxed paper, and a plastic baggie.

A word about cutters: look at them before you start. Will you be able to see what the shape is easily? Are they tiny, fussy things? Are there parts that are too small making the treats fragile? If so, toss them back in the cabinet and choose different ones. This is supposed to easy and a little impressive. Don’t make it harder than it is. 🙂

Spray the cookie sheets with cooking spray. Put the butter in the pan, turn the burn on low, and start melting the butter. Add the marshmallows and stir until it’s all melted. Stir in the cereal and once that’s mixed decently, stir in the sprinkles.

Pour the mixture out onto the cookie sheets. Slip the baggie on your hand and press it out until it’s reasonably flat and even. Lightly spray the cookie cutters with the cooking spray and press them into the treats like you are cutting out cookies.

Once the treats are cut, remove the shapes from the pan and place them on the waxed paper to cool completely. Depending on the cutter, your time availability, your persnicketyness, etc… you may need to shape them a little or smooth them a bit more using your hands. You can reshape the leftovers and cut out more until the mixture is too hard to shape anymore. At that point, whatever happens to what’s left are wages for all you put up with in this life.

Stand back and admire your resourcefulness for a moment. Put away the guilt. No man is an island and no woman should make a Charm City equivalent creation when she has a task list that looks like your 5 year old’s Santa wish list. Trust me, it’s enough. I gave these to college students in my accounting class. The age range was barely shaving to gave up finding time to shave 10 years ago. They were impressed simply because they’re a different twist on the usual. Shoot, I’m not working right now and I only found time to write this because I can’t sleep. Therefore, if it sucks, blame typing at 3 a.m. and not the author, k?

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This Just In

2 Aug

This week is gonna be bussssyyy. Groceries, periodontist, the Chicklet’s birthday, last week of class, and possibly Primitive Boy moving out of the manse. Y’all are lucky I’m here at all. LOL I’d like to find the highly degreed person who decides students should have one less day to complete the work plus an extra assignment that includes a long paper for the last week of class and have a “chat” with that person. Do they really think we worked on that paper all quarter as suggested? Yeah, right. Also, I would like that person to know that some of us notice things like the abstract is due before the final paper and the link you gave the students that explains an abstract says clearly that the abstract is written last. Cart before the horse or forcing students to turn in work before it’s officially due so the professor can knock off work a couple of days early? You decide. I’ll keep my opinion to myself until they slap that degree in my hand while I’m shaking hands with someone Important that I’ve never met while trying to smile and face a photographer who apparently is getting a shot up my gown from the looks of his position below. But I digress. Once again. I’m good at that, at least.

I blew off some things I didn’t want to do anyway and updated our PowerPoint portfolio. (Yes, it really is spelled that way.) We would LOVE it if you’d look at it and leave comments with your opinions. How is the layout? Colors? Organization? The fonts? (I kept them all in the Lucida family because Primitive Boy’s explanation about fonts and foots and all that stuff made my eyes cross. Never ask the opinion of someone who wears a t-shirt that says, “All I care about is ink, fonts, and crap like that.” Just shut up and kern for me, k?) I took out the character cakes and such even though they were all made as gifts. No sense in angering the mouse, eh? I think we’re far enough along in this adventure and therefore have enough cakes in the portfolio without them, anyway. We want to know it all- the good, the bad, the ugly, the few, the proud, the chosen…oops! Wrong blog for that.

Let us know what you think while I’m off pretending to be a grown up. Or working on my tan at the beach. Whichever.

 2Chicks Cake PowerPoint

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