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Adventures of Mrs Pen

Musings from a Very Lucky Penny

Month

December 2012

Addicting Whoopie Pies with 3 Ingredients

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This whole thing was an accident. This morning after we finished our breakfast tamales, my hubs was thinking something sweet would be good, then he realized he was out of Twinkies. Then I decided to make chocolate cupcakes, and poured the cake mix in the mixing bowl then realized I had no eggs. Then I threw together the ingredients we did have and hoped for the best. And it was accidentally so good that is now officially one of my “recipes”. These puppies literally melt in your mouth. I ate too many. Here’s the recipe.

Ingredients-
-1 Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix
-1 Cup of Butter
-A jar of marshmallow fluff

1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees

2. Cream the cake mix and butter together until well blended and fluffy.

3. Roll the batter into a one inch ball, and roll it through sugar, and place on a cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.

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4. Pop the tray in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies crack.

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5. Let the cookies cool, and then plop a spoonful of marshmallow fluff on em.

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6. Mash another cookie on top to make an amazing cookie sandwich.

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I took a few bites of one and then told my hubs he could have the second half. But then I ate it.

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This is How I Learned to Cook.

I’m writing this for my little brother, David. This is actually part of his Christmas gift. Merry Christmas little brother!

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And this has nothing to do with this post, but David is about to begin a prestigious nursing program and I’m so proud of him I could burst. To make a short story long, another hopeful future nurse recently asked him how many times he applied to this nursing program before he got accepted and what his backup plan was if he couldn’t get in. He was like, “Oh is it difficult to get in?” My little brother is so freakin smart. He’s also really low-key, and he’s going to kill me when he sees this.

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Anyways, David just moved out on his own and has mentioned that his steady diet of pb&js and canned soup is getting old. Then my brain said, “Light Bulb!”

So for Christmas I’m giving him a few of my favorite spices and cooking tools, and this list of easy tips to get comfortable in the the kitchen. Don’t worry Dave, if you stick to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner every night, my feelings won’t be hurt! But for the nights that you want real food, hopefully this will get you started-

1. You don’t have to get all fancy! If you have some kind of meat, a few spices, and a side (veggie, rice, pasta or potatoes are easy), you have a good, filling meal in 30 minutes or less.

2. Check out the Manager’s Specials on meat whenever you stop by the store. As long as you freeze it or cook it right away, its just as good as expensive meat, but for a fraction of the cost.

3. You can thaw meat out easily by putting it in a ziplock bag in a bowl of water.

4. I like to buy a variety of meat (usually Manager’s Specials) and then put them in individual ziplocks before freezing them, then I am just pull them out of the freezer and defrost one or two servings at a time easily.

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5. Easy Steak- put a little olive oil in a pan and warm it up on medium heat. Add some butter (the oil can get hot without smoking, and the butter will seal the moisture and flavor in the steak). Once it’s hot, place the steak in the pan with a garlic, pepper and rosemary. The pan should be hot enough that it sizzles when the steak touches it. Spoon the butter over the steak. Let it cook for about one minute on each side, until nice and brown. I usually put it on the George Foreman for another few minutes to get the inside a bit brown too, but that’s optional. And that’s how you make a dang good steak in just a few minutes.

6. Garlic and Paprika make everything tastier.

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7. Sometimes turkey makes a good dinner. Sometimes it makes a good fashion statement.

8. Quick and Easy Chicken- Season your chicken however you fancy (any kind of spice works for chicken). Pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom of you pan, and warm it on medium heat. Put your chicken in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Cut the chicken open to make sure it’s cooked in the middle. Voila.

9. Poke some holes in a potato, rub a little oil on it, and microwave for about 5 minutes. If it still feels firm, turn it over and pop it back in the mic for 3 minutes or so. And now you have baked potato to complete any meal.

10. Figure out how to make something and then invite your loving sister, brother-in-law, and nephew over for dinner!

My Country Life, Week 11

What a weeks it’s been!

1. We had a really big storm this week and our roads turned into the Great Lakes.

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2. The first night of the storm my baby and I got stranded in town and couldn’t go home until morning and we didn’t even have our pajammies. Fortunately my baby had his spare Pooh Bear costume.

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3. Thankfully we have a bunch of big ol trucks (sorry environment) so we can get through knee-deep muddles (thats supposed to say mud puddles, it was a typo but it just worked.) Our truck is now the fashionable ombré color. The next truck we get will be mud colored to begin with.

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4. Also this week I’m so grateful I’m married to a mechanic.

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6. And my baby likes to work on his little car.

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7. Totally unrelated to the storm and our trucks… Two of my four tomato buds have gone to be with The Lord this week. It’s ok, I only wanted two tomatoes anyways.

8. I also added strawberries to my garden, and I have half a sweet potato in a jar of water on my window sill. So you can call me farmer Jane now.

9. One of our neighborhood cows had a calf this week! Also we saw a few goats but I’ve featured one too many goats on this blog, so here’s a picture of my baby meeting his first tortoise.

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10. This morning we watched our church’s Christmas play and every character wore hunting camouflage. Afterwards our pastor gave a brief lesson on different kinds of camo. Nothing reminds me of the magic of Christmastime like camouflage!

I hope your Christmas has been as magical as ours!

Love,
MrsPen

How to Make a Fancy Magnetic Dry Erase Organization Board

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I have been meaning to put this together for a whole long time, but my little gentleman likes to demand my undivided attention at any moment that I’m not already giving him my undivided attention. Anyways its 2:00AM and at this moment he’s sleeping and I’m making Twinkies for my sweet suga dumpin and I’m waiting for them to cool before I fill them with magic so I have a moment to write. This magnetic dry erase board thing was fun to make and is slowly turning into my brain. It helps me keep track of documents I need to retain, checks to deposit, to-do lists, shopping lists, upcoming events, and most importantly, lots of pictures of my baby. It was pretty easy and I wanted to share:

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It all started with this cool frame I found at a thrift store for $3 a few years ago. It was used as a prop for photos in two of my girlfriend’s weddings and then it sat in my mom’s garage for a while.

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Then I stumbled upon this .28 gauge steel at Home Depot and remembered from my goin-ta-skool days that steel is magnetic. And then, as the guy from Despicable Me would say, the little voice in my head said, “LIGHT BULB!” And I went and dug the frame out of my mom’s garage.

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My bright idea included using my handy staple gun from my reupholstery days to staple the steel to the back, however that did not work out so well. The worst part of this is my hubs told me before I ever started that the staple gun wasn’t going to work and I was sure I was going to prove him wrong. So then I had to giggle and look cute and adorable so he wouldn’t bust out with the Told Ya Sos. No one like a gloater, honey.

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So this was when I left the whole project in the hands of my handsome handyman. I cannot tell you what he used to attach them because I was too busy thinking about how adorable he is to pay any attention. But I do know he got the screws for it at our local Ace Hardware/post office.

So in summary, here is the math equation-

Thrift Store Frame+Steel Sheets+Screws+one heck of a handsome husband= this awesome magnetic board

And in conclusion, here are the Twinkies I made tonight. I’ll let you know how they turned out once the resident Twinkie expert gives em a try.

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Also, I almost published this post with every reference to “steel” spelt “steal”. Oh how embarrassing!

Love,
MrsP

My Country Life, Week 10

Here’s what we have to report for this week:

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1. My tomato plant has FOUR buds now!!! I’m going to make salsa and spaghetti sauce and tomatoes and ketchup and all the things with my homegrown tomatoes!

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2. I found this picture this week. It’s of my hubs as a child.

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3. He hasn’t changed much over the last 25 years.

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4. My baby went to his first Ugly Sweater Party last night! He won the most festive sweater award.

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5. His Uncle Davey won the ugliest sweater award. Uncle Davey is wearing a sweater from his everyday sweater collection. What can I say, we have a talent for ugly sweaters in our family.

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6. Here’s another awkward family photo.

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7. Here’s another awkward family photo taken this week. Our kid is so lucky.

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8. In other Christmas news, we have a special room in our house for Santa’s Workshop. Except instead of cute little elfs, my hubs works in it. And instead of making toys, he makes rifles. Otherwise it’s almost identical to the North Pole.

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9. In more other Christmas news, this is what we’re leaving out for Santa on Christmas eve this year. Hostess will always be alive in our home.

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10. In more other Christmas news, my baby just wrote his letter to Santa. Yes I am THAT mom. Well to be honest, he dictated it to me and I wrote it. But the chew marks on the corner are straight from him.

So that’s what we have for you this week. Happy Hanukah to those of you celebrating this week!

Love,
MrsPen, my baby and my big ol’ Elf

The Give Away Results!

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Ok so our little giveaway game closed last night, and I would like to thank every single person who took the time to comment. This has been so very very fun.

I know you all are waiting for the results in eager anticipation. I’m sure the question everyone is dying to get answer to is “Well what is the best Christmas movie????” I know thats what you’re dying to know. To answer this question, I took the data you ladies contributed and created spreadsheets. Lots of spreadsheets. Some would call me nerdy, but I call myself Peniel. Here are the results:

The Top 5 most Popular Christmas Movies:
1. White Christmas
2. Love Actually
3. Elf
4. A Christmas Story
5. Christmas Shoes
6. The Grinch
7. It’s a Wonderful Life

(The last six are tied for 2nd place, that’s why there are more than 5)

I know you guys would prefer to see a pie chart about this. I know that about you guys.

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With 16% of the votes, the most popular Christmas movie is White Christmas. And much to my own embarrassment, I’ve never seen that movie. I’ll be fixing that problem tonight though. Don’t worry about me.

Now for the giveaway results!! About these mystery gift cards. This is what they are for:

1. Starbucks
2. Forever 21
3. Starbucks
4. Cold Stone Creamery
5. Bath and Body Works
6. Starbucks
7. Cold Stone Creamery

I’m realizing my counting to 5 skillz are rusty. By the way, one of the Starbucks cards only has .36 on it, but I’m not sure which.

To figure who the winner is, I assigned each entry a number, and then let Random.Org choose a number.

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Ol’ Randy chose number 10. Number 10 is assigned to…..

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Emily!!! Emily said:

I love ALL Christmas movies, although I’ve never seen White Christmas so it seems like that’s something I need to do

Thank you Emily for making me feel better about my lack of watching White Christmas skillz. I’ll arrange to send you your bounty shortly!

Also, I would like to recognize Kara for her creativity in contributing that Cinnamon Rolls are her favorite movie. Good one Kara. And my mom, because her favorite Christmas movie is pictures of me. You crazy gals! Oh and my baby would like to recognize his cousin Chico who donated that freakin cute Santa costume to him. He’s going to be wearing that every day for the rest of them month.

Thanks so much for participating!! We’ll have to do this again soon! I’ll let you know what I find next time I clean my house.

My Country Life, Week 9

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1. It’s Christmas! I just love Christmas and I just love going overboard on things! Its the 2nd of December and my baby has already met Santa twice and had 3 Christmas photo shoots!

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2. Santa came early this year! We’ve had more Twinkies in the last two weeks than I’ve had my whole life.

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3. As I previously mentioned, our mail is delivered to a row of random mailboxes nailed in no particular order near the paved road a few miles from us. Well we were having trouble receiving mail due to the previous owner’s name painted across the side of our mailbox.

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4. Well now our row of mailboxes isn’t gonna know what hit it.

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5. Plus it matches the fabric I just got for my baby’s Christmas pajammies!

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6. My baby took his first stab at driving the truck this week. His feet were just a tiny bit too short. Also, he’s not embarrassed by his socks.

7. Unfortunately I recently learned that if you get a speeding ticket for going 22 miles over the limit in our town, it is very expensive. But the good news is, a violation against our Town Code does not count on your record.

8. When I was paying the traffic ticket, my dad was paying his traffic ticket. At least I get it honestly.

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9. Due to our lack of television, we like to watch TV shows on DVD sometimes. That’s how I realized my baby makes a convincing Sheldon Cooper.

10. The biggest and most important news from this week is as follows:

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My tomato plant has a tiny little yellow flower! It’s a Christmas miracle! It’s going to grow up to be 100 tomatoes. I know it.

11. In conclusion, I hope the rest of y’all are having an awesome holiday season, overflowing with John Deeres and Twinkies and Blooming Tomato plants too!

Love,
MrsPen

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