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Easy Oatmeal ChocoCoNut Cookies

20 Nov

A friend of Handy Mike’s always saves me the leftover cookies from work functions.  My last treat was from a local company, Hot Box Cookies, started by Mizzou graduates. Their cookies are thick baked, soft and chewy-my favorite the chocolate chip cookies! This recent treat was from a meeting at the Hampton Inn, a trio of oatmeal chocolate chip coconut macadamia nut cookies.  A mouthful to say and to eat but truly a delicious combination.  My craving had new embers and I realized I had all those ingredients in my pantry (except macadamias) and set out the following week to make some.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  I mixed 3/4 C self rising flour with 1/2 tsp. baking soda in one bowl.  In another I cream 1/4 C brown sugar, 3/4 C caster sugar, and 1/2 C (1 stick) of softened butter together.  To this I mix in 1egg, then 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.

Now it’s time to stir in 1 1/2 C oats and a cup or ones preference of add ins-today its shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and crushed walnuts! Place and press spooned scoops of dough on a greased baking sheet and bake: 10 minutes for soft cookies, 11 minutes soft and chewy, 12 minutes crispy cookies!

Oatmeal ChoCocoNut cookies

The boys like soft baked and I prefer crispy and chewy.  We went through the first batch in three days so I had to make more (and will need to make another replacement batch for the sitcom treat video as well)!  Of course we did-this cookie is a sweet, filling, satisfying biscuit with a cinnamony aroma! Totally addictive<3 Full recipe video on YouTube Gypsy Bouche!

second cookie batch

Second batch disappearing…

Mock Media Pie #mikeandmolly

2 Aug
kraft recipe pie

Boil 2 c granule sugar with 1-3/4 c of water.  When thickened add 2 tsp. of cream of tartar and zest of lemon+ 2 tsp. juice; remove from heat. Place ready made/homemade bottom crust in pan and layer 35-40 crackers inside crust.  Once cooled pour sugar syrup over 36 crackers (about 1-3/4 c), sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and place bits of 2 tbsp. of butter over top and place top crust, sealing and cutting steam slits.  Bake 30-35 min. on  425 degrees F;  cool and enjoy!

While watching Mike & Molly, the episode in season five after Carl and Victoria break up he brags that he is an excellent mock apple pie maker. After about the eighth time through a random marathon I had to refresh my memory on what exactly a mock apple pie was. I could recall hearing of this dessert and possibly eating but never questioned what the mock part actually meant. Surprisingly Google notified me that the dessert is a Great Depression era pie and, currently, the recipe is on the Ritz cracker box because the ersatz filling is actually crackers or soda crackers! I was shocked that I had eaten something made with crackers disguised as fruit and I was never the wiser. I also began to wonder how exactly crackers transformed into fruit filling.

It’s the cream of tartar added to the sugar mixture that stops the sweet liquid from bubbling into a grainy finish and instead becoming a sugar syrup, plumping the buttery crisps into faux fruit flesh, while the lemon adds enough punch to make you believe your eating moist tart apple slices! One young cousin enjoyed the insides (he’s not a fan of crust), while my fiancé, stepson, other cousin, and I enjoyed the entire finished product. I was also personally delighted with the sweet sticky crust (my favorite part of most pies and cobblers- especially peach which I was able to enjoy before pinpointing my allergy and why my lips became a swollen bumpy mass after eating the stone fruit).

The Mike & Molly DVD set is my go to when streaming is touch and go or I’ve tired of scrolling through YouTube subscriptions.  If you missed the hilarity train that was unfortunately canceled, it was a series about a couple who met in Overeaters Anonymous and was rife with food subplot material as they diet, over indulge, enjoy and sneak various food items.  With a sitcom setting in Chicago, IL the fast food reference of one of my Midwest regional childhood obsession completes the picture–#whitecastle #craveclub! Even though many shots were filmed on green screen and at a Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, CA (stage 24 to be exact where Friends and Full House have been filmed), the interspersed segue shots of the Chicago skyline at night feeds my night owl nature and gives me all the feels I need in a comfort show.   My favorite character Victoria, played by the lovely Katy Mixon, and her munchie cravings are an added bonus, not to mention the main hangout for the two beat officers Biggs and McMillan is Abe’s Hot Beef diner where talk and showcase of many indulgent foods takes place served up by Nyambi Nyambi as Samuel the Senegalese waiter.

I am all for faux foods. Sitcom and cartoon food has always fascinated me, if you’ve read past blogs of mine you already know (in my Big Freedia voice)! Years ago I learned about the tricks food stylists use to produce semi-real, edible and prop delicacies was interesting and brings more wonder to a scene as I see the cast preparing a meal or eating one.  This is a real life food dupe that can be enjoyed whether your taping a scene or sitting at home!  I was so impressed I left a five star review on the site.  Watch me cook this nostalgic pie on the Gypsy Bouche YouTube channel to watch the recipe in action and my first bite reaction!


Mike & Molly

“Near Death Do Us Part”
Joel Murray
Story by: Al Higgins & Crystal Jenkins
Teleplay by: Aaron Vaccaro, Marla DuMont & Julie Bean
May 11, 2015

After Carl and Mike have a near-death experience while on duty, Carl tells Mike he’s going to propose to Victoria. Mike can’t keep the secret and tells Molly, who in turn blabs to Victoria and Joyce. This becomes an issue when Carl later tells Mike he’s changed his mind and doesn’t want to propose to Victoria yet, one that ultimately leads to a fight and a bitter breakup.

Heart Concerns<3 and Farmer's Crab Dip!

8 Oct

The heart can be the strongest and weakest muscle physically and emotionally, and this week one has been as unpredictable as love itself.  Since Handy Mike is already on medication for heart issues, when his levels and numbers are “normal” often he doesn’t feel okay due to living with the elevated condition for a long time!  However this also means we have to be on special guard that we don’t mistake the medicine working for an actual issue: one side effect being that his pressure readings were up and down while his heart rate remained very low for a couple of days straight and he felt faint (like when his readings come back with good numbers but he feels a shift in his energy and light headed)!  After a relatively quick visit to what seems to be a great hospital* where staff practices good bed side manner, listening, and communication we checked out with a good bill of health and our questioned answered. The medicine is simply doing its job and we could potentially split the pill that is responsible for this good effect in half while keeping track that his other rhythm responses aren’t as drastic and worrying. Phew!!!

He already hadn’t wanted to cook a proper meal for dinner and we had planned for him to try a new appetizer for his evening nosh that morning:-P Since we got back home before nine p.m I was still able to make his Saturday treat, Dressed Up Crab Rangoon Dip, a third place winning treat from The Farmer’s Almanac (2106) by Debbie Reid from Clearwater, Florida.  HM loves Crab Rangoons from take out and the dine in Chinese buffet so I was happy to find something easy I could replicate in our toaster oven!

Chop crabmeat (imitation liked here) and roasted red peppers then mix softened cream cheese, sprinkle chives, garlic powder and salt & pepper, Swiss & Parmesan cheeses, Worcestershire, and a splash of milk in a bowl.  Scoop into an oven proof (sprayed/nonstick) baker and pop in for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.  She placed slivered almonds and more chives on top then baked again for 5 minutes, but I had already eaten the almonds and he doesn’t go wild for nuts anyway!  Mike enjoyed half with vegetable crackers for a light (heavy? lol) dinner and said if he wasn’t lactose intolerant he’d eat the whole thing.  I’ve added pictures of the leftovers; we had to get eating no time for photo shoots heeheeϖ♥



*Boone Hospital; I think my dad also used to travel here and do tech work and praised the hospital too!?


Double Dutch

6 Jul



When the heavy cream needs using and limited ingredients is an obstacle, try the simplest no churn ice cream ever!!!   This began as a frozen cookie desert and ended with leftover ice cream.  Of course I found the cookie dessert in Lee Bailey’s Country Desserts cookbook, as I have ma’s collection now.  Of course I would refer to it first in a dessert emergency!  She has tons but in terms of pictures and recipes for EVERY treat in the book that puts this book at the top! Why would you even include a recipe without a pic?!

Start by taking a hand mixer to 2 cups heavy cream over 3 full tbsps of cocoa powder and 2 tsps of vanilla and super fine sugar till its cafe au lait colored, puffed and stiff.  The chocolate powder mixes better and the taste is amplified when you blend the powder with the extract and sugar first.  This dessert is finished as you layer and stack cookies (on top of +-crossed plastic wrap)in a loaf cake form.  14993676822341019654869

I used Walker shortbreads cos that’s the cookie the house had on hand, but wafer cookies are best and your favorite biscuit is even better!  My alteration was I used that chocolate whip only for the inner layer and, to the left over cream in bowl, *folded in a small can ~ 14 oz.~ of condensed milk. Frost the outside of the stacked cookie mousse loaf and wrap to hold shape while it freezes.  The rest pour in a sealable bowl and freeze for delicious quick homemade icecream!💞🍧🍦





For the graduates…

21 Apr
Bake Sale Granola

Bake Sale Granola: honey, PB, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon toasted rolled oats

Random remiNoshing

2 Nov

Meats and fruits and veg

I promise I’m not obsessed with Dr. Oz, I just recall an episode with an actress, whose name I can’t recall (UGH driving me crazy too!) about how the body better digests and processes certain food combinations, specifically how we should be eating each meal, certain high antioxidant combo proteins and fruits/vegetables (like beans and fruit), wet foods to combine with proteins~ I had notes, I threw them away, you get the idea.   This encouraged my change in the way I ate versus what I eat.  I don’t plan or eat by meals, usually my food intake is a combination of random things I want to eat and what is available to me when I finally get around to feeding my ailing head and stomach, therefore I have to make sure I combine my foods or I’ll miss a week or so of veg or fruit.  Bad I know!  I do stay pretty active and since I don’t indulge in fast foods or microwave foods the weight has stayed off longer than I ever thought but ya gotta be healthy too!!!  Of course one has to maintain any bulge or bloat but I do this easily with a reduce in starch and soda intake(and get in a neighborhood walk or some semi yoga-robics!).  Those two are my weaknesses I have yet to kick completely so far just reducing how often I have them.  So far I have stopped drinking milk for a few months now.  YES!!! I miss cereal but I feel better and less gluggy (whatever you can interpret that as lol) which I usually do when I drink milk or soy.  Cereal… 😦

So these are my habits with the busyness of work and Tasmanian devil morning routine with 3-5 year olds I had to get a handle on my insides again!  Fruit I can grab on the go, grapefruit and chocolate-hazelnut spoonfuls, a bowl of left overs like pork n’ beans and scrambled beef (granny :D)-maybe that’s not the food combining the actress meant but it still works for me, and water which I have been trying to get way more of in my gullet and using as a morning meal to get to lunch when I can take a breather! I started hearing my mom’s voice in my head whenever I used to go around saying I was hungry or still hungry to “drink some water you’ll feel better”.  So ma, I am and I do!  Main entrees have consisted of cucumber and kale with either marinated flank steaks  with pineapple, or grapefruit, boneless pork shoulder steaks with mixed veg and baked apples, scrambled eggs and whole apples.  Then we had a no lunch break day I forgot about and I had to eat the ordered in Subway (yes had to or I would have collapsed).  Really no worries though since I added extra peppers and cucumbers to the sandwich and we had an extra long morning trick or treat route the next day (shout out to Hailey and Allie girls!!! and the kind gentleman at the gas station who bought the green Laffy Taffy for us<3)

Fiesta salad

But today with my thought turning to home in the lone star state I had to make today all about the Fiesta salad!  Known to most of us that went to Hutch Junior High Fiesta salad Friday in the lunchroom was the only day we might eat.  Fritos, taco seasoned scrambled beef, salsa, beans, rice, lettuce and cheese for me, and whatever else you want (olives, jalapenos, sour cream, avocado, spicy corn…) YumNom

[ || ]Cupboards

21 Mar
Roast chicken before

Roast chicken and veg before…

¤Still yummily cleaning out the cupboards and fridge; only a few trips to the store for scant replacement items such as butter, bread, and ranch!Lol!¤  Yes I give in to the process of industrial ranch.  I didn’t have more buttermilk or parmesan and it was cheaper to grap a bottle on sale than all the ingredients to make for the quick salad bag I needed the ranch for!

*Tender roast chicken and potatoes after*

*Tender roast chicken and potatoes after*


The Lord’s Kitchen is also cleaning out the cupboard with a huge supply of canned goods in the cabinets to get creative with.  Last weekend was a seasoned turkey breast roasted and rough chopped,  fresh cut potatoes, carrots, and celery with peas and corn.  Seasoned this with a large can of cream of mushroom soup, celery flake, sage, and garlic powder.  The turkey was seasoned just enough and we left salting to the visitors, but it tasted perfect to the cooks without extra salt-like a spoonful of Thanksgiving in May!  We topped the mix with biscuits and baked them up till brown.  It was a colder day from the previous 24 hours of warm no jacket weather!  The salad was even a competetor in aroma.  Simply dressed with red onion, tomato, and shredded mozzerella.  Then there was the half lemon and white cake, and mixed fruit salad, which sadly I couldn’t have because of my peach allergy 😦

There was a bit of leftover casserole, mostly the veg and turkey part, and we each had an idea what to do with a portion.  I mixed mine with a cup of boiled egg noodles.  I haven’t had many heavy breakfasts, mostly fruit or oatmeal when I do eat in the morning, and the dog and I walk a lot more in the park so I had no hesitations adding a bit of butter and evaporated milk for a creamier texture.  I am pro butter in many scenarios, especially at the hospital as I try to steer folks away from an arsenal diet of artificial “foods” of most kind.  I see that as a root cause of many ongoing weight and health problems.  But the subject of butter always remind me of a show I used to obsessively watch and re-watch with my family, The Two Fat Ladies on the Food network when there were REALLY good shows on the network, and they were very much fans of the yellow stuff and its health merits.  We must watch and read what they claim is better for us-by whose terms, exactly?  Moderation&movement…but I digress:)

Red beans and rice Indain herbed

Indian herbed red beans, sausage and turmeric rice

In my own cabinets I am using spices I’ve neglected by pulling out the red beans, rice and unthawed keilbasa sausage. The sausage was heated with chopped green onion, celery, sweet yellow onion, and garlic sprinkled with red curry and garam masala.  The mix was sweet and paired well with the pork sausage.  I seasoned the rice with turmeric and s&p.  I was very glad I changed my original mind to just side dish it to some baked chicken or even an almost-jambalaya!  My aunt made some barbeque chicken wings for Granny’s big party and I really don’t need to go get wings if I already have chicken so I’ll probably just expense the barbeque sauce and bake the chicken breast slathered in the burgundy stuff~still nommish!

Salmon and saffron-ish rice lol!

I had a pack of reduced salmon, an impulse while restocking the essentials but *reduced mind you*, fresh but looking ever so bright and pink and happy in the fridge.  Happily a preview of slighty Spring weather necessitated an intake of lighter fare and so baked salmon paired with a seventy-nine cents bag of saffrom rice was plated.  I know, I know  for seventy-nine cents it’s ‘saffron powder and a blend of turmeric’, but ya know, the flavor is what I miss from ma’s house.  Until I was in the kitchen with her I couldn’t fathom how my mother made this delicious golden rice!?!  And I never had as much as I truly wanted (until now!!!) It’s cool~walk an extra block…=Dhaha


Spiced banana rice pudding

Spiced banana rice pudding

I am now able to have mornings free and dedicate the evenings to work so I made a lazy banana rice pudding for breakfast since the nanas were getting a bit soft and brown but definately sweeter!  I still have leftover evaporated milk from making Jiffy biscuits to warm with the leftover rice (I only turmeric’ed my portion not the pot) with spoonfuls of sugar, ground cloves, and cinnamon.  OMG so darn good and a welcome a.m. addition to the oatmeal and buttered toast I’ve been grubbing.


Otherwise, I ate the salad a few meals in a row so it wouldn’t go bad on me, and  used the canned salmon for another home~membrance treat of salmon patties!   I was also able to have three good tuna melts with the bit of leftover tuna salad I made for the party.  We ate scoops there on Ritz crackers which I never do and don’t know why cos it’s so delicious.  Usually when I get tuna I tend to go to the tuna melt, out of habit, and I usually don’t buy crackers other than saltine for chilli and salads.  Often when I have bought crackers it was for sliced cheese snacking and I happened not to be buying tuna then.  Oh well, one day the two shall connect on the grocery list and in the cart…

mise en place

mise en place


Salmon patty mix with sauteed celery, onions, green onions, dill, s&p and paprika.

Salmon patty mix with sauteed celery, onions, green onions, dill, s&p and paprika.


Butter noodles and sausage

Butter noodles and sausage


Last of it leftover lunch! Salmon patties and ramen.

Last of it leftover lunch! Salmon patties and ramen.


*Snowed Inn*

2 Mar

Snowed InWell my few snow days turned into random mini~vacays and I can’t complain about that!I finally got the opportunity to stop and get more ‘out of the mind box’ and onto paper. I like to feel productive lol. I also had the chance to do some brisk hiking;), staple stretch cooking, and experiment with turkey meat. My heavenLee friend eats nothing but on a regular basis and so any chili I’ve eaten of hers most likely had turkey if meat, but other than that not too much use in my own kitchen so I thought I’d give it a rotation.

I did prepare for the coming snow storm but once most of the upper city was cleared I got a little cabin fever and took to the streets a pied. Oranges and apples were my fresh sweets, oatmeal, cereal, and pancakes my hot sweets or breakfasts. Taking a look at the photo menu you might think I’ve overloaded on the bland and the carbs but it wasn’t a sedentary time in the least with all the walking in the snow I’m doing, so I didn’t get the “itis”. Also the fragrance and flavors were far from bland, I didn’t care that there was little color! So, during the back and forth to work and passing time I nommed out on:

*with or without celery is delish!

*with or without celery is delish!

Broccoli cube steak stroganoff

Baked potatoes

Turkey sausage alfredo

Turkey sausage alfredo

Broccoli onion Ramen boil with sour cream sauce.  I use only a sprinkle of the seasoning packet if I have none of my own.  Way less sodium!!!

Broccoli onion Ramen boil with sour cream sauce. I use only a sprinkle of the seasoning packet if I have none of my own. Way less sodium!!!

*Prete A Manger*

17 Feb

I'ma make it do what it do, baby!

I’ma make it do what it do, baby!

Well it’s a little like Grandmas Boy in the new place. I gave my cousin my microwave when hers went kaput, so cooking and groceries have been on adjustment to accomodate no quick re/heat! So far so good though. There’s not much in the way of processed microwaved food I eat. Most of them taste horrible and are the same for your body. I do have my weaknesses but I am whittling the list down even more as I ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ in my environment and nutrition. On the menu has been cube steaks, marinated and baked or done skillet side as a make-shift steak burger. These patties were the only meat I had during the transition from work, old roommie, and new place! But I made it work as I was ravenous by the evening after shuttling daily. The applewood smoked bacon and toast was a gift-yes I accept food in lieu of payment [maybe I shouldn’t in this economy, but hey it is nearly an even trade-off 😉 ]
Then, for a revisited challenge, the meatloaf. This should not be a difficult dish but my previous attempts have been on the dry and tough side. Shame. So I consulted my mom, whose meatloaf I prefer and what I have been aiming for in texture and taste.
I mixed 1/2 lb each ground chuck and round, mixed in sauteed onions, splash of buttermilk, 2 slices wheat bread crumbs and dill, minced garlic, turmeric, sage, ground fennel seed, s&p… SauceThe same went into the sauce of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce simmered until the loaf had cooked and started that nice crust to the top and edges ¤nomnom¤
My mother said not to over mix too and that keeps it from getting tough. I had probably almost gotten to the limit as I tried not to obsess over the uneven pattern of the onion-breadcrumb mix! However, the loaf was perfect, just like dinnertime at home.
Tasty Meatloaf
I have moved back to chicken and have some buttermilk dill marinated breasts baking in the oven as I type. I will definately be talking about them later…the plan is to slice for deli. Mmmmm


30 Nov

Before my favorite month ends~

Thankgiving again with the laid back tradition I am fond of.  The hosts said to bring nothing so of course we only brought dessert!  My cuZo’s famous chocolate brownie cupcakes (so chewy and cakey and chocfudgey), my quick change to blueberry biscuits with powdered sugar glaze frosting!  I began with a pasta dish that changed itself in the middle of cooking.  But I am easy, breazy so back up I shall!

Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit mix, fresh blueberries=Instant nosh

Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit mix, fresh blueberries=Instant nosh

The chocolate fragrance distracted my driving the entire way but all was worth the wait on our drive to the outskirts.  The nature view was well matched to the earthiness I attribute to Thanksgiving:D  As soon as I revealed the biscuits as before, during, or after dinner treats, my aunt squealed “I’m getting one now!” and my host cousin ate one immediately and gave the thumbs up with a “these are good”!  Satisfied:)  My pickiest little second cousin actually got one…He didn’t finish but he gave constructive critique for his own tastes “the blueberries are too sour”.  They were sour and as a person not fond of fresh fruits and veg but willing to bite the bullet for the nutrients, he gets a pass for at lesst trying 😉  I also paid tribute to my immediate family that couldn’t be there: my mom I got an early cooking start, with less success, but at least a tasty baked result; for dad I wore my dolphin necklace, and for my bro I watched sports (granted it was XBox, but still sports no less).

I got hit in the head with a dresser drawer Three Stooges style LoL, almost peed on myself trying to play football cos I was way to full to participate-or lift my arms, we got rained out {lovely}, and spent the rest of our time in the basement laughing, playing dual systems, and sneaking back to the kitchen to finish off most of the things sitting out.  My biscuits were low but not gone so I took 2 for breakfast the next morning.  Was a good idea cos I was starving when I woke up.

End of night

End of night

The weekend did not end without some sadness♥GMW♥, but my family, their advice, understanding and their strength is comforting and we shall continue on with memories and love~