Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two words for ya: Worm. Poop.

Last summer I bought on clearance some straggly, mostly dead mums and in my ever optimistic heart planted them in hopes that I wouldn't kill them.  I am not known for my growing prowess nor my ability to keep perfectly healthy plants alive.

The year before I had seen a documentary or a television show where they showcased:  

Last year I was able to buy the fertilizer at my local Target store.  Not so this year. I am going to look into ordering it directly from the website - but I didn't need it this year as evidenced below.

Holy Mums Batman!
They got so gigantic they fell over

And this is just one of the three Mums that I bought.  They've gone bat poop crazy and taken over the front flower bed.  It's okay though. They're pretty.

There are quite a few different companies that sell the worm poop fertilizer out there. 
Or you can have your own worm composting bin. 
This is another thing Mr. Wonderful says no to.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Apples In My Eyesight

The Offenders - JonaMac's

Mr. Wonderful eats two apples everyday.  He buys the Michigan grown ones by the bag, doesn't matter what kind, he just picks a bag and throws it in the cart.  However, I am more particular.  I pick Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious - my two favorites.

When Mr. Wonderful mentioned that he was not enjoying his bag of JonaMac's I told him to stop eating them and I would come up with something to do with 'em...

And wooo doggy did I!

I had approximately 6 JonaMac's,
1 Honeycrisp that somehow escaped my hungry gaze in the crisper, and a single, 
lonely MacIntosh hidden in the depths of the fridge...

So I got out the Great Cookbook and looked for things to do with apples.  Then decided I was just going to make miniature apple pies.  Of course there are no directions for making mini apple pies so I kind of winged it.  Results and lots of pics below.

Apple peels destined for the compost bucket.
Allow me to expound on my paring knife - I have had it for 20 years.
I will use no other, I can find no other like it and I will cry if I ever lose it. Period.
Look at all the different colors of the apple flesh.  I find it interesting. 
I'm weird like that.
Don't laugh but I had to use my knitting swatch gage to measure
the diameter of Mr. Wonderful's biscuit cutters. 
I am still not quite sure why he has them.
So the biggest biscuit cutter wasn't big enough for my plans.
But the John McCann Steel Cut Oatmeal can which sits on the counter was!

Here was my plan, put the piecrusts in the cups of a muffin tin and treat them as their own individual pies - genius, right?
I put the muffin tin on a cookie sheet to catch spills.  I hate cleaning.
Filled with apples awaiting their tops.
I cubed the apples instead of slicing them - I figured slices wouldn't fit well.
I'm so smart.
With their lids.  They are not very pretty at all.
I must figure out a way to make them look nicer.
The weird, sicko perfectionist in me insists on it.
I ran out of enough dough to cover the pies - I used the standard Two 9" recipe.
Maybe next time I'll make 1 1/2x the recipe.
Anyway, so three of them got the Lattice Treatment.

Sick of pictures yet? Too bad! Here comes some more...

Fresh out of the oven
My cups definitely runneth over!
Which made for soggy bottoms while they were hot.

And in my impatience I didn't wait for them to cool down before I started to pry them out ...

And lucky for me I had a plate sitting right there
because this one fell apart and I caught it with said plate.
The fork is incidental.  Pay it no mind.

Next time I will need to figure out a way to better seal them and make them prettier.  Otherwise, they're awesome!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's The Great Cookbook Poppy K!

The beginning is not for the weak of heart.

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
There was a me.

This me was young, dumb and in love.

This other me got married.

And as a gift to the bride my mother, MommaBean, gave to me this cook book. (She gives a copy to all new brides!)

As you can see the cookbook fared as well as my marriage!

However, this, I still love, cherish and adore with all my heart.  It has some of the greatest recipes ever!

For instance the apple pie recipe.  I have made this recipe a million times, sometimes adding things like caramel bits to make Caramel Apple Pie, and every single time anyone who eats my apple pie loves it.

Way back at the beginning of the month Mr. Wonderful and I went to the apple orchard down the street.  We bought all the goodies there were to buy and when we got home from our outing I cooked up a big pot of chili and baked my first pie of the year!

6 Cups of apples thinly sliced
This bowl we inherited from Mr. Wonderful's Grandma. I love it.
3/4 c. Sugar, 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
(I skip the flour & lemon juice... because I usually forget)
Plop it in the pie crust with some butter on top
I usually make it from scratch but I cheated & bought this one, which was not as good.
Stick the top crust on and seal the two with a fork
We don't have milk in the house so I used some half & half to brush on the top
And instead of cutting slits in it, I used a cookie cutter and cut out stars... aww, how cute!
Then you pop it in the oven!
The yummiest appe pie ever!

Later I'll post what whacky-ness I came up with today for this apple pie recipe...
I've been slaving away in the kitchen all morning but now it's sit back and watch a movie while Mr. Wonderful slumbers!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skeleton Army

My niece, Princess Pretty Face, has a birthday in October.  So every year for her birthday party I make some sort of Halloween type treat. 

Two years ago it was 'Eyeball Cupcakes', last year it was a 'Cat Litter Cake' - both super yummy! I will have to look and see if I can come up with pictures...

Anyway, this year I made Skeleton Cupcakes. 

She had seen a picture of them on the cover of a magazine (I cannot remember which) and this prompted her to beg in her best, most pleading Princess voice to pretty please Thea Poppy make skeleton cupcakes. 

Of course being the World's Greatest Thea Poppy Ever.  I did it.

All of the ingredients are gathered...
And Ta-Da! Here is the first of twenty - I called him The General
And here is the Skeleton Army!

They are missing their arms because I didn't think the arms would make the half hour trek...

And then I left the house without their arms.

They were a Leper Skeleton Army.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To Have or Have Not

I have been making a conscious effort as of late to only buy things that I need.

It is a very thin line between needing and wanting for me.  A few weeks ago I decided that for an entire week that I wasn't going to spend any money.  I know, crazy right? Crazy enough to work...

And I did it! 

I was only tempted 999 times per day.  Piece of cake!

At work, at home - temptation was everywhere! There was the evil vending machine, the dastardly offers to "go grab some lunch", all of the odious, but great, crafting ideas popping into my brilliant little head. 

Gloriously I dreamt up knitting projects and of big mugs of warm and creamy, I mean vile, Cappuccinos. 

That grubby little devil named Temptation sat on my shoulder egging me on.  But resist I did! 

And in order to congratulate myself on my witholding prowess I promptly went out and purchased The World's Greatest Halloween Salt & Pepper Shakers.  Ever.

And I must confess, October is not an easy month for me to be frugal.  My beautiful niece, Princess Pretty Face has a birthday in October and the Greatest Holiday, Halloween, is this month.  Costumes and presents and, and, and ... I have been horrid for the whole month. 

But I'm making a promise to myself that November will be the most frugal month for me yet.  I'll keep you posted.

*This post is only 20 and some odd days old... which means you'll probably hear about "Frugal November" some time in January!