Monday, July 11, 2011

Too Hot to Handle (baking)

We have recently had some bouts of positively stifling heat combined with humidity, which make for sticky air, frizzy hair, and not a whole lot of motivation to fire up the oven.

Unfortunately baking has become something of a stress/boredom relief tactic for yours truly, and since work has become busier and Dr. D has been away, I find myself in no short supply of either stress or boredom.  So I found myself faced with the following conundrum: do I suffer more sweltering temperatures by turning on the oven, or do I get off my lazy duff and learn a new recipe that doesn't require baking?

The latter won out, my friends.  And I am so very glad it did.

I modified a version of this recipe which I found on Pinterest, and I must warn you that 30+ bite-sized balls of heavenly peanut buttery chocolate goodness is dangerous to have just hanging around, so make plans to give some away or freeze half of the batch for later.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Bites

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Dipping chocolate (make your own or buy at the store---I prefer dark chocolate varieties)

Combine powdered sugar, butter, and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. {I eventually broke down and used my hands---worked like a charm!} Chill the mixture for 30 minutes.  Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on wax paper-lined baking sheets.  Chill the balls again for another 20 minutes or so.  Create and/or melt the dipping chocolate and drop the balls one at a time into it.  Using a fork, remove the ball from the dipping chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip off briefly, and place on the wax paper to dry.  Makes approxiamately 35.  Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Perfect Date

We all have our own ideas about romance---some like it simple and low-key, others like it outlandishly extravagant with all the bells and whistles.

I'd like to think that I'm somewhere in the middle.  I do so enjoy the occasional fancy French restaurant outing, bottle of red wine, and an accompanying long-stemmed red rose.  On the other hand, my ideal romantic evening tends to be one in which I can dress in cute and comfortable clothes (there is no true comfort in a French restaurant, as far as I've witnessed), laugh loudly, obnoxiously, and uninhibitedly at my husband's jokes, and not have to worry about embarrassing myself by using the dessert fork for my salad.

How horribly gauche...

Dr. D and I have found many local establishments over these past few years that fit the bill for a perfect date night.  For me, a perfect date night is a night in which we can share lots of unique and delicious food without breaking the bank (tapas fit the bill nicely), indulge in adult beverages at an environment that is conducive to conversation (no loud club music or belligerent undergrads!), and have the option of doing something fun or competitive to pass the moments in between our brilliantly witty banter.  (Yes, we do think rather highly of each others' hilarity... it's one of the most healthy aspects of our marriage.)

Before Dr. D set out for his most recent away rotation, we made it a point to have one of our "ideal" date nights, and I'm happy to say it was exactly that.  Good food, plenty of laughs, and some playful competition at the dart board.

I'm also happy to report that the evening went so well that we didn't have to call Elvis for a good time.

What are some of your favorite ways to spend date night?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thoughts from the weekend

I'm pleased to say that Dr. D was given the weekend off from his away rotation so he could spend the holiday with his two biggest fans (J-dog is doing his utmost to oust me from the #1 position, but until he learns to better control his crotch-kicking during wrestling matches with Dr. D, I think I'm sitting pretty).

Instead of providing the play-by-play of our weekend, I thought I'd just record some of my thoughts and observations over the past few days:
  • I hope I never ever lose that butterflies feeling I get when my husband tells me I'm beautiful.
  • Bacon tastes better after 1am, particularly when consumed al fresco.
  • Although I did enjoy the movie we went to see, nothing beats the goosebumps I inevitably get whenever the Harry Potter trailer starts. 
  • In a cruel twist of plastic surgery and coincidence, Kevin Bacon now has a piggy nose.  In related news, an android could probably emote better than January Jones (the movie we saw was X-Men: First Class, if you haven't gathered).
  • I am incredibly regretful that it took us three whole years to get around to trying the breakfast burritos at our local diner.  On the other hand, my thighs are decidedly the benefactors of this oversight.
  • When it comes to most restaurants that have gone out of business since we moved here, we (1) never stepped foot in them while they were open, and (2) predicted their demise.  We're thinking of offering up our services as restaurant consultants.
  • Fireflies---no matter how much I beg them---will not glow upon command for photographic purposes.
  • Chocolate and peanut butter continue to reign supreme in the contest of best flavor combination ever in the history of everdom (recipe coming soon).
  • Parades are kind of boring.  And a little too loud.
I hope you all have had a lovely holiday weekend!  Cheers to a shorter work week.