Cheesecake Factory mac and cheese. Kinda.

After consuming 80 ounces of Gatorade and 6 pieces of toast, watching too much on-demand Netflix, and sleeping for hours, I am…mostly better. Not to be confused with all better. There’s a big difference between mostly better and all better :) But anyway, I was feeling non-sick enough to make and eat my first actual meal since Sunday night.

My sister likes to be super cultured and order mac and cheese at every restaurant she goes to. Which actually is kind of smart. You really can’t go horribly wrong with cheese and noodles. And her favorite mac and cheese is from The Cheesecake Factory. For those of you who have been deprived of it, Cheesecake Factory mac and cheese is the most AMAZING mac and cheese ever in the history of…umm..mac and cheese. So, naturally I wanted to re-create it. Was I successful? Err, no. Did it taste good? Sure. Is it something I’d make again? *crickets*

Ok maybe I take that back. I’ve never had baked mac and cheese before, so maybe it tasted like it should. But I wasn’t impressed. I googled Cheesecake Factory mac and cheese recipe and clicked on the website that claimed it had the recipe. Um, I don’t remember tasting  tabasco sauce and mustard in the one from Cheesecake Factory. That probably should have been clue number one that it wasn’t going to turn out. I won’t bore you with the details but basically I melted some butter, added flour, blah blah blah, cheese, mix everything together, pour over noodles, stick in pan, add breadcrumbs, bake, the end. The least impressive meal I’ve made in a while. But oh well. Mistakes are opportunities to learn, huh? Mistake-believing the dumb website actually had the recipe I was looking for. What I learned-when you’re recovering from being sick and your brain isn’t quite up to speed, have someone else make dinner.

It’s been one of those days…

Being sick is the pits. Although I’m not sure I feel as bad as my dog Gemma does… so sparing the details, I’ve been in bed the last two days and I’m kinda loopy from not eating.

I wish to start off this post by saying I’m so sad this is the 15th year in a row that I haven’t gotten any secret admirer valentines. Moving on…

Who wants to see a food failure?! WOOHOO!!!!!

One of my mom’s friends has a blog and every week she has her readers make a recipe from a cookbook called The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook. The cookbook has a lot of 20th century recipes that may or may not taste good here in the 21st century. And of course, I picked the recipe that didn’t taste good.I think I should have known it was gonna be disgusting by the fact that the ingredients were unsweetened cocoa, eggs and powdered sugar. That’s it. Little known fact, those happen to also be the ingredients for cardboard.And it looked even grosser spread out.

BUT I got to make whipped cream, which I’ve never made before. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.

After you take really cool pictures of yourself while you’re pouring the cream into a bowl, all you have to do is add vanilla and powdered sugar, beat it for a while, and you’re done!

Um, yum. That was the best part of the whole fiasco. Well, that and the chocolate sauce but how can chocolate not be amazing?

So technically this was supposed to be a chocolate roll. Kind of like a cinnamon roll, I guess? And as you can tell from the picture above, it’s far from it. I tried to roll it, got mad, threatened to throw it in the trash, realized I was yelling at food, and then finally just gave up and cut it in half. So it’s more of a chocolate sandwich now… I had my sister be the official taste-tester and I wish I had gotten a picture of her face as she ate it :) When you first bite into it, all you can taste is whipped cream and chocolate and then the bitterness hits you. It tasted like I was eating baking chocolate straight, which I’ve done by the way. I don’t recommend it.  It was disgusting. Revolting. Nasty. I’m running out of adjectives. But you get the jist. If a copy of The Farmer’s Wife Cookbook ever appears in your hands, unless you’re planning on making enemies, do NOT make the Chocolate Roll.

And now it’s time for me to eat my toast and gatorade. Funny how when you’re sick toast seems like God’s gift to this planet. You’re like OH TOAST, why have I neglected you so?! (is anyone else like that? or is that just me…?) I’m pretty sure I profusely thanked my mom when she brought it to me a few minutes ago. At least, I think I did…did I imagine that?  Once again, I hate being sick.

Sunday morning donuts

Tomorrow’s Monday. Oh joy. But to help ease the pain: DONUTS! There’s a donut shop that we usually stop by on our way back from church that has the most amazing donuts ever. While you order, you can see the guy in the back making more donuts. And the ones you get are usually still warm. Heaven on earth. But I always feel weirdly rushed and overwhelmed when I go there…so this Brian Regan skit is spot on.

My attempt at homemade valentines

For those of you who don’t know how to read a calendar, last night was a Friday night. And, as usual, I had absolutely nothing to do. I didn’t have any of the ingredients for anything in The Silver Spoon (Buffalo milk, anyone?) so I decided to make it up as I went along. Daring, I know, but it turned out ok.

I threw together a bunch of veggies and made a soup which actually was really good. See? Pretty :)

I wish that while you were eating healthy food that you instantly felt better. Because not only were there onions in this, but spinach too. And I didn’t get any magic powers or rippling muscles after eating it. Which is why I don’t eat healthily very often. And yes, healthily is a real word.

I also found a recipe for oatmeal bread on that I thought would go well with the soup. It was…good..a little floury and dense, but I still ate it.

So back to Valentine’s day stuff. When I started thinking about it, I realized that I’ve never gotten a valentine that wasn’t “mandatory”. Not that I’m complaining. So in angst of never getting any real valentines, I decided to only give 3 of my friends Valentine’s Day cards this year. But I wanted them to be the most awesome valentines ever to grace this planet! Then I realized I have no artistic ability.

So totally ignoring the scary heart in the center, LOOK AT THE EDGES! Oh yeah, I burned them. I was out at 10 at night on our front porch burning paper, and getting a few weird looks. I made 1 like this and then the lighter broke and I started to almost singe my fingers…. so Emarshily and Claire got boring ones and CK got the cool one. Sorry ladies :(

How to give your puppy a bath (and stay sane in the process)

Have you ever gotten a whiff of your puppy and thought “My gosh, does she roll around in garbage?!” If that ever happens, then chances are, your young doggie needs a bath. If you’ve ever given a dog a bath (especially to one under 1 year of age), then you know how tedious and stressful it is. But it doesn’t have to be! Follow this simple step-by-step guide I’ve provided (that is based on true events that happened about 5 minutes ago), and your puppy will be clean and you will be happy!*

*While chances are your dog will get clean, your happiness isn’t guaranteed. At all. Not even kinda. Sorry.

Step 1: Prepare the bathroom or place where you intend to bathe dog BEFORE bringing the dog in there. Preparation might include fruity-smelling shampoo, conditioner (if needed), a towel or 5 and, if you’re feeling daring, a blow dryer. I’d also suggest a potty break at this time for obvious reasons.

Step 2: Be discreet about bring dog to place of bath. Act like a total goober while excitingly shouting “come here! let’s go *insert dog name*! yay! WOOHOO!!” as you’re leading dog to the bath. On the way there, steer clear of little sisters yelling “you’re giving her a bath?” because, chances are, the word “bath” will knock the dog back into reality, she’ll flip out, and run back into her crate.

Step 3: Is the dog in or at least near the bath? Congratulations on making it this far! Unfortunately it only goes downhill from here… First off, CLOSE THE DOOR. Next, once you get the dog in the bath, quickly hose her down while she flails her limbs and barks, desperately trying to get the heck out of there. Douse her in shampoo and rub into coat. Once again, being speedy fast, rinse her to the best of your ability. If you are feeling so inclined (and dumb), put conditioner onto dog. Don’t expect to let it sit on her fur for more than 3.7 seconds. Rinse off quickly, for dog is surely past her prime at this point and your rationality is fleeting too.

Step 4: Get dog out of bath, which shouldn’t be too hard since out is where she wanted to be in the first place. Quickly throw towel on dog as she shakes fur on you as a sort of puppy-revenge. Towel might impair water from getting ALL over the room. But probably not. Dry dog to best of your ability, then glance around the room to see which is more sopping-the floor and walls or your clothes. When you open the door, expect her to be a total spaz and run around your house like a madman…err…puppy. Only downside at this point:she’s gonna smell like wet dog. Blech. And of course, once the bath’s over, she’s going to want to run around outside. She is going to find the magical pile of grossness and play in it, coming back inside worse off than she was before the bath.

If the thought of all your hard work going to waste in a matter of seconds makes you depressed, don’t fret. You shall feel a sense of accomplishment in the fact that you, single handedly, gave your dog a bath. And if it doesn’t make you proud, then join the club.

Tonight we made pork roast and onions & potatoes. And by we I mean my mom made it all and I only put salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic powder on the roast before I stuck it in the oven. I wasn’t sure how I’d react to potatoes since this is the first time I’d had them since the gnocchi incident, but they actually weren’t too bad. I even had seconds (with ketchup, of course)! And now I need to go change out of my still damp clothes before I catch pneumonia.