Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bunco Dessert Fix

Is anyone else in a Bunco club? I started about a year ago, meeting with a group of girls once a month. It's so easy and really fun.We just roll dice, drink and eat!

With our monthly game tomorrow, I had to whip something up in a hurry. I've had a hankering for peanut butter and chocolate, so I got on my favorite recipe website, http://www.bettycrocker.com/ and searched under desserts. I love the way this website breaks recipe ideas down in so many ways. If you are in need of a dessert or appetizer, for instance, they have it broke down by category  or if you have certain ingredients at home and need ideas, they have that too. The best; however, are the pictures. I'm definitely a visual learner. I'm one of those people at restaurants who order whatever dish is pictured on the menu.

So, I had to share this Peanut Butter Cup recipe because it's a no-brainer to make and very delicious!

One in the muffin, one for me...

Peanut Butter Cups
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking poweder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs 
Miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candis, unwrapped

Mix all ingredients together and fill a muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers, 3/4 full. Put a peanut putter cup candy in each of the fillings. Bake for 18 minutes on 350 degrees and wholla!
The only problem I ran into is that mine didn't turn out that pretty. My batter wrapped on top of the candy, so you don't see it when it's done baking, but watch out... when you open the yummy goodness, the peanut butter cup is there waiting for you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pleasure Horse For Sale- Pass Along to Your Friends!

If you know of anyone looking for a nice pleasure horse for sale- let me know. She's needs to go!

Just a disclaimer... this was the first ride of the year on her! She'll make her head more level and slow her gait down with another ride or two.

Please pass it on!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Wish It Was Fair Time All Year Long

Ahhh... the Iowa State Fair.. I LOVE it! I wish that it was the fair all year long. If you've never experienced the Iowa State Fair, you honestly have not lived. Don't you know that it was on the New York Times list of "1,000 Places to See Before You Die"? So, it's not just me saying this...

One of the best things to do at the fair is eat. At this years' fair, besides the livestock shows and Stockman's, Jake and I experienced a few "firsts".

1st- Jake tried his first fried Snickers and fell deeply in love.

1st- At the 2011 fair, one of the newest additions to the artery clogging yummy goodness was fried butter. Yes, they literally took a stick of butter, cut it length ways, put it on a stick, dipped it in a batter and deep fried it. Then, they poured a glaze to add to the madness.
Although it makes you want to vomit just looking at it, it was seriously pretty good. It tasted like a donut. I only had a bite, just to say I tried it, because I heard if you ate an entire stick, you would have to run 11 miles to burn it off and that would never happen.

This was the booth dipping the butter in batter before deep fat frying it.
Ryan was the brave sole that took the first bite. He was savoring the flavors on his pallet before giving us the verdict.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Really Mr. Vegan.. Really?

When I say this, I'm reminded of the weekly Saturday Night Live Weekend Update's with Seth Meyer and Amy Poehler when they make fun of something so ridiculous... really...I mean, really...

If you've been following the news, a few days ago, there was a story about one of my favorite places on earth... the Iowa State Fair. The unfortunate part was that the story was about a vegan protest with the butter cow (again, I would say, "really?"). This story made world news for gosh sakes! You can check the story out here. Long story short, a vegan attached a small sign with tape on the glass of the butter cow display at the Iowa State Fair that read "Go vegan".

Before I go off the deep end on how inappropriate and lack luster this statement is in so many ways... I had to show you this article in an opinion section of a local newspaper in Vinton, Iowa. I scraped sections to give you a feel of how awesome this article is. It is in response to the sign posted at the fair. Although proper use of punctuation was not noted, the writer makes some great points that makes me laugh.

"Congratulations! Your feat was pretty impressive...." "However, I think you should know that by putting a piece of paper with tape on it on the cow carved in butter, you were putting a product from a dead cow on a product from a living cow."

"Butter only uses stuff from living cows. Paper, however, is made in part from meat by-products from dead animals in it. Many adhesives, as well. So the industry that you targeted with your protest actually provided you with the technology to express yourself."

"But that's not the only way you used meat by-products during your protest about the use of meat."

"If you drove your car -- or even if you are an environmentalist who rode your bike to the State Fair -- meat by-products made that possible, as well. The ball bearings that make your wheels move are made with inedible meat by-products. The rubber in your tires, too, has ingredients from dead animals. Face it, Dude: Some cow had to die so you could put your buy some paper and some tape, and go to the State Fair to put that protest on the Butter Cow."

"You like to say that as a vegan, you don't use meat in any way. Oh yes, you do. Every day. Lots of ways. You may not "eat" meat, and there's nothing wrong with that, although the thought of using soy products to replace ice cream seems rather nasty, at least to me. I don't think that "iced dessert made from soybeans, not ice cream" is a very appealing marketing tool. But according to both the meat producers, and Vegan web sites, just about everything you use every day has some sort of meat by-product in it. Here are just a few: marshmallows, gelatin, plaster, asphalt, insulation, lubricants, lipstick, hand cream, fireworks, buttons, piano keys, glue, fertilizer (for all of those vegetables you grow to replace meat in your diet), paper, wallpaper, sandpaper, combs, toothbrushes, and even violin strings. And I haven't even mentioned medical uses, especially insulin. It takes the insulin from the pancreases of 26 cattle to keep one diabetic alive for one year. So if you have any close friends or relatives who are diabetic, you may want to keep that whole "go vegan" thing to yourself."

If you think about it, this sign says a lot. It says how uneducated some (I said some) vegans are and to be honest, it's a little scary. I completely understand those who don't like the taste of meat or choose to not eat meat for understandable reasons. What I do have a problem with is the people who are ill informed about livestock, farming and meat production in general. Those people tend to be the louder individuals who puke information out with no backing and push this type of lifestyle on people.

What people really need to know is what these types of people and statements do for the backbone of our country, the farmers. With more and more people going vegan, it puts a strain on farming, livestock prices, the cost to produce other food and really, everyone's bottom dollar. There is always a trickle effect and pushing agriculture out of the United States will have life-threatening effects on our country and the way that everyone lives. Has anyone heard of the circle of life? Do you know why we're all living and breathing today? It's not because our ancestors sat a computer all day for a living and ate lettuce. It's because our ancestors made a living doing what they had to do to make our lives easier.

Whewww- that feels good to get that out. Do I hear an AMEN!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dressing in Style

Does anyone order through catalogs? What I usually do is if I get a catalog and see something I like, I'll usually then go online and see if it's cheaper. Most of the time it's easier for me to order online anyway- it may be a generational thing. Anyway, I'm a fan of  National Roper Supply. They don't send out a catalog unless you ask for one and they usually just send the one. They have unique items that you won't find in a Drysdales, Rod's or definitely Sheplers. Since I've been in a "dress" mood lately, I got on NRS' ladies apparel tab online and found some really cute dresses that I had to show you. They are a little pricey ($55-$75) for what they are, but they are unique. I love the crosses! I'm sure I'll be seeing more of these at the National Finals Rodeo this December.
I also had to show you my latest purchase below from Von Maur. I love the colors, especially since I nearly always wear black, so it's a nice change. I again can where this with heals (which I have already) or with a pair of cute cowboy boots. Usually at Von Maur I only look at the sale racks, but this dress caught my eye and I had to have it. 
Bailey Blue Juniors   Paisley Dress
There is also a ton of options for jewelry with this dress and even the ones above to dress it up western-style. These are a few from Krazy Cowgirl. I love turquoise and red together!

The funny thing about it is that I bought it for myself for a late Mother's Day gift. Don't get any ideas!... We don't have kids nor a pet for that matter, but Jake and I buy ourselves little gifts for Mothers/Fathers Day, just as an excuse to buy something. It makes us feel good that we just don't blow money to be spending it, there's at least some substance behind it, right? :) 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

So Much Kraziness, So Little Time

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of experiences and I apologize for not giving my readers a little more content to my posts. It started with a trip to New Orleans (notice the blur to the right). I was selected as one of the top 30 professionals under 30 in the country in my industry. I received a trip to Destination Marketing Association International's Annual Convention in New Orleans. I ate some great food and had a great time. I tried taking numerous pictures of Bourbon Street, like the one on the left, and they all turned out like this. I swear I wasn't intoxicated at the time...

I then went to Chicago for one of my best friends' bachelorette party. We all had a good time. I put in a few of my favorite, most appropriate pics below.
The crazy bride-to-be and me.
Gino's East is where we ate pizza on the first night. This joint has been slated as one of the best places to eat pizza in Chicago and has been on Man vs. Food. I must agree.. it was absolutely heaven. The place itself was pretty sweet as the ceilings, booths, etc., had graffiti everywhere. It's definitely no Pizza Ranch.

 This is not at the pizza joint (in case you were wondering, lol). However, it is self explanatory.

In between these two places, I was on the road judging more horse shows. This is the scene I've seen a lot of this summer... my hand on the wheel- which is great! I love judging, especially when everyone is nice and appreciative. The black, bling ring was a one-time Krazy Cowgirl accessory, but I still have a few rings in stock. Check them out here.

But very lastly, I have to show this hilarious picture of my oldest sister, Tammy. Unfortunately, she had a bit of an accident on RAGBRAI. If you're not familiar, RAGBRAI is the famous bike ride across Iowa that takes place during the hottest time of year. The entire ride is a little under 500 miles and around 30,000 people participate. It's nuts. Anyway, Tammy and her husband were riding one day of the ride and Tammy's bike got out of control after a pothole jumped out at her.

All kidding aside, she got pretty boogered up and she's lucky she didn't get more hurt. The light side of the story was what her colleagues did today when she got back to work. I loved the sign in orange that says, "Tear this down before we get here and we'll blacken your other eye!". Hilarious.

Until next time! - Katie

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