Saturday, March 29, 2014

Once Upon A Time...

ONCE UPON A TIME, a much younger twenty-something girl named Deb used to write two blogs. One, a great, fun crafty blog named Pink Petunia Designs which was Deb's first experiment with her blogging career along with selling her crafty creations. Then one day she and one of her bestest and oldest of friends, Kim, had this uncanny and fleeting idea to begin a recipe sharing blog called Cowgirls and Cupcakes. It was great and fun for awhile, but as all interests go that are not your absolute true passion, these blogs slowly fell to the side and became obsolete. Deb and Kim got busy. Kids needed tending to and so did their husbands as well as their huge laundry piles and messy houses. Work came and went, family and school obligations... life got in the way of their blogging project. Deb sought refuge and started another blog called Mama Needs A Latte (because Deb always needs a latte - more on that later) in order to record all of those mommy moments that she so wanted to capture, and again, this sat vacant month-after-month. Frustrated, Deb had to take a break and decide where she wanted to place her time and effort. She was a woman on a mission with tried-and-true grit and a little bit of stubborn resolve. She really loved blogging and photography and social media and kids and women's success and business and books and....(as you can see, Deb has some major A.D.D., but she also had great intentions and a whole lot of passion for life) She started really trying to follow her true passions and forget the rest of the unnecessary fluff that she really didn't care about.

One day on a whim, with possibly too much caffeine and a little bit of true cowgirl moxie, Deb started a Facebook group called One Tough Cupcake. This group was about fitness for women who weren't athletes or pros, just regular gals trying to get fit and go at their own pace figuring out their place in this crazy life as women and moms and wives and girlfriends. This group quickly grew to sixty women and became a place for Deb to post and video-blog her little heart out. People said she was good at this and really needed to get back to writing and video-blogging again and so...Deb came back full circle to one of her original blogs, Cowgirls and Cupcakes, and dumped all the other useless junk and started blogging again about being Deb, being creative, being a mom, being a wife, being a school librarian, a PTA president, a small business owner, being an awesome-modern-day-kick-ass woman, coffee, art, books, food, family, friends, kids, style, photography, vintaging, fitness, wellness, accomplishing, coaching, enjoying...basically all the stuff that Deb really IS passionate about, you know, LIFE!!!! And no, she didn't care that she had run-on sentences that her old English teacher would totally scoff at. She started her sentences with prepositions and put commas in the wrong places, and guess what, it was natural and fluid and the posts were real and noteworthy and sometimes they even made it to the Sacramento Moms Blog where Deb is now a regular contributor.  And so, as happy Debs go, she smiled, kicked up her cowgirl boots and petticoat, sipped her latte and smiled that she had moved on to a new audacious adventure once again. And as all great stories and adventures go, there will be ups-and-downs, happiness and heartaches along the way.

So welcome back to the new and improved Cowgirls and Cupcakes blog where Deb covers well... EVERYTHING that she finds fascinating about living life as a modern-day cowgirl who still embraces the frosting and the sprinkles along the way.

Oh sorry, I guess I better finish the story...

As for Deb, she of course lives happily ever after and is still embracing her tough, cowgirl-moxie while wearing her vintage apron and decorating her cupcakes with pink frosting and glittered sprinkles. And you will be happy to know that she has many great adventures still to come...


Monday, April 12, 2010

Annabelle's Italian Delight

This is one of my favorites that my Grandma Margie fixes whenever we come for a visit. This recipe came from my Grandma's best friend (who we consider family) and neighbor Annabelle. My Grandma and Annabelle were quite a pair. They always kind of reminded me of Lucy and Ethel. Lots of laughing and giggling and funny business. Annabelle was a great cook and baker. She and her husband were also the owners of the original Napa City Bakery in Napa, CA. I always loved going over to their house because my Grandma would sit and drink coffee at their 50's style kitchen table and they would give me "coffee" (or a rather doctored up version) in an actual coffee cup, and I would get to indulge in all of their yummy treats and listen to the incessant laughter. Sadly, Annabelle passed away years ago and we all miss her very much, especially my Grandma. I feel very lucky to have some of her recipes and all the great memories we have had together as family.

Annabelle's Italian Delight

1lb. of ground beef

1 large green pepper (cut into small pieces)

1 large clove garlic (minced)

1/2 cup oil (it calls for vegetable oil, but I am a fan of the olive oil, so that is what I use)

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 can tomato soup

1 can corn (cream style)

1 small can of mushrooms + liquid

1 large onion

1 dash Tabasco

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 lb. of spaghetti or vermicelli

Brown the hamburger and drain. Cook spaghetti or vermicelli per package directions and drain. In a 9 X 13-inch baking pan combine all ingredients including hamburger and noodles. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes - 1 hour. My Grandma always uncovers hers for about 10 - 15 minutes at the end. It makes some of the top noodles a little crunchy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Double Chocolate Pudding

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter! I have been busy scouring my old family recipes for a good chocolate pudding recipe to post and have come up empty-handed. I love chocolate pudding, who doesn't? I just hate making it from the little preservative and artificial color filled box that starts with a "J-E-L." So I was mentioning this to our fellow cowgirl writer Kim today, and as usual, she is the "knower of all things that taste good" and she recommended Barefoot Contessa's Double Chocolate Pudding recipe. Yes, this is exactly what I had in mind! No little box, a little more time in the kitchen, and pure chocolatey goodness on your spoon. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Pudding

6 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons very good cocoa powder (I am big fan of Hershey's, just sayin')
Pinch salt
2 cups milk (Whole makes it super-duper rich, if you like it that way...I do)
1-ounce very good semisweet chocolate, chopped (I likeTollhouse)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light yellow and thick in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed. On low speed, add the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the chocolate mixture. Combine well, then pour the mixture back into the pan.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until thickened. If the mixture begins to curdle, remove it from the heat and beat it vigorously with a wire whisk. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, and mix until the chocolate and butter are melted.
Pour into serving bowls. Place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding, and chill thoroughly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans

Hope y'all had a nice three day weekend. As many of you know, I recently acquired my great-grandmother's recipe box. It has been so much fun going through all the cool recipes for "pickled this-and-that" and "ice box cookies." I have been trying to scan each recipe into my computer so that I can put together a cookbook for our next family reunion. This baby is loaded with recipes, so I know it's going to take me awhile.
Found this little gem this morning as I was perusing the box. It's in my great-grandmother's handwriting, and as you can see on the top of the recipe card she has marked it as "good." So it must have been one that she liked. Always a good sign.
So try it out and let me know what you think.

Pennsylvania Dutch Green Beans

3 Strips of bacon (fried and crumbled)
1 small onion sliced (use whatever type you have: white, yellow or red)
2 teaspoons of corn starch
1/4teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 lb. can of green beans (fresh is always better, but you need to substitute the bean liquid for water when it gets to that point)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 hard cooked egg sliced (hard-boiled)
Fry up the bacon.
Take one tablespoon of drippings from bacon. Add onion and fry to light brown.
Stir in cornstarch, salt and dry mustard.
Drain beans and reserve 1/2 cup of liquid. Stir (liquid) into mixture in frying pan. Cook and stir until it boils.
Blend in brown sugar and vinegar.
Add beans and heat thoroughly.
Put into serving dish and garnish with egg and crumbled bacon

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Suddenly Sangria Time

I thought I had already posted this recipe but realized it was saved as a draft instead.
My good friend Tracy sent me this recipe, and it is a winner! We need a little sunshine right now with all these dreary days that we have been having in Sacramento. Sangria reminds me of sunshine, summertime and having fun. So make yourselves a pitcher and enjoy the feeling!

Suddenly Sangria Time

1 bottle of red wine (whatever you have sitting around in the kitchen or buy a special bottle of your fav)

1 lemon cut into wedges

1 orange cut into wedges

2 tbsp. sugar

1 shot brandy

2 cups of ginger ale or club soda

Pour wine into pitcher and squeeze juice from lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges. Add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale just before serving. Yum!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Southwest Sweet Potatoes

O.k., I had to make up for the last sinfully delicious post. Got this great little recipe off of Shine on Yahoo. Sweet potatoes are a great "superfood" mixed in with olive oil and tomatoes and black beans. Dr. Oz would be a proud man! Try this and tell me what you think. I think it needs more sour cream.

Southwest Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes

1-15 oz. can of black beans, drained

1 medium tomato, diced

2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of sour cream (you could even use vegan or soy sour cream)

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro (a constant staple at our house)

Prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on high until tender all the way to center, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425 degrees until tender all the way to the center, about 1 hour) They come out better when you bake them. Trust me on this.

Meanwhile, combine beans, tomato, oil, cumin, coriander and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high until just heated through, 2 to three minutes. (Alternatively, heat in a small saucepan over medium heat.)

When just cool enough to handle, slash each sweet potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro

Sunday, January 3, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

This is just wrong on so many levels! I really wish my mom wouldn't have emailed this recipe to me, especially after New Years when I am supposed to be watching what I'm eating. But it's here, and now I must...make...cake! Wouldn't you if it only took five minutes? Who can resist anything that comes in a cool looking mug, you can use your microwave to make it, and is chocolate to boot. Hope you and your cow rustlers had a great holiday! Gotta go pop mine in the microwave!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

4 tablespoons of flour

4 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of cocoa

1 egg

3 tablespoons of milk (I think that soy milk would be totally acceptable)

3 tablespoons of oil

3 tablespoons chocolate chips

A small splash of vanilla extract

1 large coffee mug (microwave safe)

Add ingredients to mug and mix well

Add the egg and mix thoroughly

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well

Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for three minutes on high. (I put a plate underneath mine just in case.)

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little and tip out onto plate if desired. (I think it would be way more fun to eat out of the mug with a hug dollop of vanilla ice cream, but that's just me)