Archive | Dungeons & Dragons & Diabetes RSS feed for this section

Nerd Night: Amish Sour Cream Raspberry Bars

In a world which no longer makes sense, at least we always have Nerd Night. Except… we DON’T always have Nerd Night, because as our nerds get older and life intervenes, Nerd Night is often canceled or moved, and while there has MOSTLY been Nerd Night, I’ve often baked the same treats a second time and also completely forgotten to share recipes when I didn’t. It’s been on-again, off-again, and I’m disorganized. But! New year! New Nerd Nights! New recipes!! (Pay no attention to our crumbling world! Look, I have sugar and butter!)

I pretty much drowned my family and anyone else who came near in a variety of cookies for the holidays and beyond. Then I wrapped it up with a decadent birthday cake AND our favorite imitation-Cinnabon-but-from-scratch cinnamon rolls. By the time yesterday rolled around, it felt like we’d all been bathing in sugar and chocolate and cinnamon for three weeks straight. I couldn’t just give up and send carrot sticks—nerds need some quick carbs to fight the barbarians, after all—but I knew I wanted something with some fruit in it so that we could at least PRETEND it wasn’t another glob of fat and sugar. After searching around online I came across this recipe, and I knew I had a can of raspberry pie filling in the pantry that could work, plus with a few other tweaks this would feel like a break from those other treats, even though (let’s be honest) it’s still, essentially, a glob of fat and sugar. But with raspberries! And OATS, which are totally healthy!


(more…)

Comments { 1 }

Nerd Night: Mexican Chocolate Bomb Cookies

After a long, harsh (not really) summer, Nerd Night has returned! Even that is a lie, sort of—there were sporadic Nerd Nights this summer, they just couldn’t do it every week. And actually, the current campaign started last week, but I was too busy trying to get my child to pack for college and clean her room to share that recipe. (But: soft cherry chocolate chip cookies, in case someone feels they cannot live without that recipe. Happy to share it, if so.) Last night, though, that felt like the first “normal” Nerd Night in a while.

But… Chickie wasn’t here. Clearly this leaves behind a void, yes? A void which can only be filled with chocolate and sugar.

I went searching for something with chocolate and buttermilk, because I happen to know that buttermilk makes all things chocolate even chocolate-y-er (totally a word), and also soft and silky. When I came upon Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen’s recipe I knew it would be delicious as-is, but I was feeling feisty. My version has a spicy Mexican kick. This cookie is soft and super-chocolatey, with a lingering hint of cayenne. The plate came back empty. I’m thinking it worked.

mex-choc-cookies (more…)

Comments { 7 }

Nerd Night: Spicy Gingered Carrot Cake

This weekend I Planted All The Things and Baked All The Things and also managed to burn a spectacular burn across my arm in an impossible location while I was rotating the pans in the oven for this cake. I am talented! Now on my left arm, my tattoo is busy scaling/flaking (“SOON I SHALL REVEAL MY TRUE FORM!” I keep screeching at the children, who have long suspected I am actually Cthulhu underneath all the gray hair and under-eye bags), and on my right arm, I have a 2″ long blister. I’m a mess.

I’m such a disaster, I never even told you to go read my latest advice column over at Alpha Mom, which you should really read if you have a high school senior in your house you are thinking about drowning like an unwanted kitten. (Not that I’ve ever had such thoughts. More than once every few minutes.)

ANYWAY. Recently I scored a deal on a metric butt-ton of ginger chips (I think I paid, like, $7ish for 6 bags) and when it arrived I was all, “Whoa. That’s kind of a lot of ginger chips.” Personally, I love all things ginger and will happily eat crystallized ginger like this straight from the bag, but I knew it would be a harder sell to get the kids to eat it. So: Carrot cake! Surely that would work. Yes? Yes!

ginger-carrot-cake (more…)

Comments { 15 }

Nerd Night: Buttered Popcorn Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’m not gonna lie; I’m a little verklempt today. (Spellcheck insists that verklempt is not a word. Spellcheck is now dead to me.) In just a few short weeks, my blog turns 12, which isn’t all that remarkable, I suppose. But it means that when I started here, Chickadee was just 6. And today, Chickadee is 18.

I once gave birth to a baby and now that baby is a full-grown adult human (theoretically) and I HAVE MANY FEELINGS TODAY. I will give you just a glimpse of some of that, in a minute, but of course we all know the important thing here is THE GOODIES. (Of course.) This morning the kids had traditional birthday cinnamon rolls, as is dictated by family law (prepared yesterday, refrigerated, and pulled out and baked wayyyyyy too early this morning), but yesterday for Nerd Night I made buttered popcorn chocolate chunk cookies.

popcorn-cookies (more…)

Comments { 29 }

Nerd Night: Banana Pudding Bars (and bonus mom-ery)

Nerd Night was on hiatus for a few weeks (Easter and other scheduling issues), and lo, there was much sadness across the land. “Why aren’t you baking us delicious sugary things?” lamented my spawn. It was tragic, truly.

Sometimes I get a wild hair about a certain kind of recipe, and other times a recipe just sort… suggests itself to me. Like, two weeks ago, Nilla Wafers were the Penny Item the day I went grocery shopping, so I ended up with a box of those. And then a week ago, Jello Pudding mixes were B1G1. So I figured I’d make a good ol’ southern banana pudding, but of course both of my children actually don’t like banana pudding because “the texture is weird with pudding and chunks all together,” so I found this recipe for banana pudding bars, instead. If you look at their photo, and then look at mine, you’ll see that mine don’t look anything like theirs, for some reason.

banana-pudding-bars

Why? I have no idea. I made the recipe as directed save for three minor changes: 1) I used the entire box of Nilla Wafers (and a little extra butter) for the crust, because what was I going to do with extra Nilla Wafers?, 2) instead of two eggs, I used one egg and one banana (more banana flavor = more betterer), and 3) I added extra white chocolate chips because yum. Also, the recipe says to bake the whole thing for 10-12 minutes (after the crust pre-bake) and that is a DIRTY LYING LIE, because I ended up baking it for… at least 30 minutes. Maybe 35. I think that was just a typo, honestly.

The children report these were “dense and banana-y and delicious.” (They should be, as one pan contains 3+ sticks of butter.) Monkey also added his highest praise of “The texture is very pleasing.”

Now here’s something that has nothing at all to do with baking: (more…)

Comments { 7 }

Nerd Night: Easter Whoopie Pies

For two weeks in a row, now, there hasn’t been Nerd Night. This would be a Major Crisis, but fortunately yesterday (for Easter) we found ourselves at a gathering that included most of the Nerd Night crew. So: no official game, but at least the kids got to hang out together. Also, I baked, because it seemed like the thing to do.

Specifically, I made two kinds of whoopie pies, because whoopie pies are a pain in the butt, but hey, it was Easter, after all.

whoopie-pies

In case you want to make your own, the lower image is the traditional chocolate version with no changes, and then the top ones are these lime-filled ones, though I added some ground ginger to the batter, too. (I added two teaspoons and it wasn’t enough to be noticeable in the final product. I’d go at least a tablespoon, next time.)

We ate, drank, and were merry. I brought two dozen pies to the party and they all got eaten. It was a good day.

(Did I hide 2 chocolate ones in the back of the fridge and put them in the kids’ lunches today? Maaaaaaaaaybe.)

Comments { 3 }

Nerd Night: Ginger-Lime Banana Cake

Go ahead. ASK ME IF THE BATHROOM IS DONE. Or don’t, if you don’t want to see me weep. (Long story short: The tile guy has been working SO HARD, and he is so nice and so earnest and he WORKED ON SATURDAY and I hate that we had to point out that the floor is uneven and the lines in the shower are not plumb. He is now upstairs grinding out the tile and presumably fantasizing about my untimely death.)

Anyway. The bathroom is a special kind of sadness, right now. So I baked cookies one day and then this cake the next day, because sugar and flour fixes everything, right? I hope so. I had a bunch of over-ripe bananas and then I had a vision of a slightly spicy, tangy, banana-y cake. I ended up with this:

banana-lime-cake-full

My hopes were not entirely realized, which I’ll get to in a minute, but it was cake and people ate it, plus the helpful feedback I received informed the recipe tweaks that hopefully will make it into something closer to what I’d wanted in the first place. And either way, it’s still better than uneven tile in your bathroom, so there’s that. (more…)

Comments { 6 }

Nerd Night: Bishop’s Cake with Raspberry/Lime Glaze

Spring Break is upon us, and on Saturday, Monkey jetted off to see his dad, Otto took Chickadee to an event at her soon-to-be college, and my lovely friend Ruth who lives too far away came to spend the weekend. Instead of spending quality time with my offspring the night before they left me, I spent quality time in Atlanta traffic gabbing endlessly with Ruth, and then we went out washed down our weight in sushi with a couple of martinis as if we were party animals. (All was forgiven because Ruth makes her own AH-MAZE-ING chocolates and she brought us a box of goodies. The kids might’ve missed me, but hey, CHOCOLATE!)

Saturday we did some random walking around, more stuffing of our faces (gourmet tacos, this time), and then flopped on the couch and watched baking shows. When Otto and Chickadee returned, we played Cards Against Humanity (“Oh I’ve never played this before,” quoth Ruth… GUESS WHO WON?) and went to bed entirely too late.

Before we turned in, though, I starting combing through recipes. “I think they’re having Nerd Night without Monkey,” I said. “Chickie will go. I need to make something tomorrow morning.” Ruth not only makes candy, she’s a master baker (and also sweet and pretty and hilarious and it’s okay, you can hate her a little), and she suggested I find a Bishop’s Cake recipe.

When I asked what it is, she said, “It has a crumb like nothing else you’ve ever tasted. It gets crispy on the outside but it’s buttery on the inside. It’s simple, but it’s amazing.” Bishop’s Cake it would be, then.

bishops-cake-whole (more…)

Comments { 11 }

Nerd Night: Better-Than-Cinnabon Birthday Rolls

I can’t remember when I first made these cinnamon rolls, or how they became the Holy Grail of baked goods in our house, but what I CAN tell you is that Monkey asks for these for his birthday instead of cake. (Chickie usually asks for both cinnamon rolls AND cake. And right there… you have a pretty good summary of my children.) That should give you some idea of how awesome these are. So: I make these almost exclusively for birthdays, because they’re kind of a pain in the ass. But when I asked Chickadee what she wanted for Nerd Night, she immediately said “cinnamon rolls!” and I remembered that I had a batch in the freezer (I always double the recipe and freeze half, because if I’m going to spend all that time, I may as well) from Monkey’s birthday last month, so I agreed. She may have then done a victory fist pump and squealed, “SWEEEET! Fresh ones for my birthday!”

The base recipe is this one, which I’m sure is delightful as written. In fact, the first time I made them, I probably just followed the recipe (save for modifying it for non-breadmaker preparation). Over the years I’ve modified it, though, and now it’s even better, I promise. I double the pudding (and make it butterscotch rather than vanilla, which heightens the caramel-y flavoring), skip the nuts, and load it up with cinnamon chips. Plus I double the frosting, because FROSTING. I mean:

cinn-roll-plate-2

Ooey, gooey, AH-MAZE-ING. If you love someone, make them these cinnamon rolls. (more…)

Comments { 7 }

Nerd Night: Snickerdoodle Bars

It was a long week, last week, and even kind of a long weekend, as Monkey ended up at an Academic Team competition that we knew would be “all day” but hadn’t entirely grokked would be an 8:30 – 6:30 kind of all day. (That is a long day even if you enjoy extended nerdery. I mean.)

Honestly I doubt either child would’ve bothered getting dressed at all on Sunday if not for the siren call of Nerd Night, complete with zombie-fighting hijinks and—of course—sugar.

For my part, I wasn’t up for anything complicated. I wanted something I could bake in very short order on Sunday morning so that I could go about my day and get some other things done (say, all the things I didn’t get done during the week while I was dealing with fun little distractions like having food poisoning). So: it had to be simple, it had to be fast, and it had to be GOOD.

It had to be… a snickerdoodle bar cookie.

snickerdoodle-bar-plate
(If you don’t like snickerdoodles, you probably kick puppies for fun, right?) (more…)

Comments { 3 }
Design by LEAP