Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rainy day project: Homemade bird suet cakes!

Remember this morning when I said I would tell all about the runny peanut butter in my next post? Well, here goes. A while back Jp bought some peanut butter at the grocery story becuase it was on the list, and strangely enough he's better at sticking to the list than I am...

"Oooh those look yummy.... honey why don't we try those this time? You know we need snack-y food, if we don't by it here than we are just going to spend more to buy it next time... Ah man, you suck." 

So, he got the peanut butter on the list and brought it home and put it in the cupboard. The next day when I came home from work he had this look on his face of complete disappointment like his mother had just then called and told him Santa Claus is in fact the Easter Bunny's not so nice Uncle Fred, it's been a ruse all along... I asked him what was wrong and he told me there was something wrong with his new peanut butter.

Hmmm... that's strange I don't remember our tub of peanut butter looking like soup in the past?
Um, that's because it didn't.
What is that thick, clear, watery film on the top?
Looks like peanut oil. 
Yuck is right. 

So we were planning on throwing it away... eventually... once we got around to cleaning out the fridge...  Then, when I mentioned it to my mother, she gave me this wonderful idea about using it for making home made bird suet. So I went over to her house this morning and we went to work, after a couple of tries we came up with this:

Home made bird seed suet cakes!

What you'll need for this recipe:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup crisco
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1 1/2 cups bird seed
1 cup instant oats
saran wrap
4 small fun shaped cups (I found these at the dollar general for three for a buck!!) or a suet cage sized container. 
Makes four small suet cakes or two suet caged size cakes

Okay, so pretend that's saran wrap instead of tin foil and add corn meal to the picture.
First heat the peanut butter and crisco over medium heat until smooth
Add the corn meal and mix well
Now, the fun part! Add a total of 1 1/2 cups of what ever bird seed you'd like, or get really creative and make your own using raisins, nuts, bread crumbs, and seeds. 

Looks good enough to eat!
Now that can sit for a minute to cool. 
While it's cooling go ahead and line your little bowls with Saran wrap. Make sure you use enough to wrap them in later so it should hang a couple of inches over the edge of the bowls. 
Now take your string and cut three pieces for each bowl. You will want to knot and braid them together up to half way, then knot the braid off, and add double knots to the edges of the three tails (those will help to anchor the string so it doesn't slip out). 

The first set is just the strings, the second set is tied at the bottom end, the third set is braided halfway down and then tied off and the fourth set has the end tails each double knotted as well. Get it?

Now you want to fill each saran lined cup half way with the bird seed mixture, then press the string into the cups like so...

Then fill up to the top with the mixture and set the cups in the freezer to solidify for about 45 minutes to an hour.
They should be nice and solid by the time you pull them out. The suet cakes should pop right out of our handy molds. 
Then you can wrap them up in the left over saran over the edges and store them in your freezer until they are ready to be hung up!
If you get some red or green saran wrap secured with a festive sticker on the bottom these will be perfect for Christmas! 

These will keep in the freezer for up to 6 weeks, but I promise they wont last that long! Not only do the birds love them, but I already have mine set aside for friends and family!


Long Night.

It's 3:00 in the morning. WTF?

Oh yeah, I took an Excedrin and that shit has caffeine in it. Damn.

Jp's not home, he's at a party for one of his friends 21st birthday. It's super weird when he's not home. I always feel like every time I let the dogs out someone is going sneak in the house and like eat all my food or something equally inconvenient. Usually when Jp's not home I lock the basement door because I'm too scared to go down there and check to see if any one is hiding in the smells-like-dead-things fruit cellar. You see, only people who are up to no good would hide in a smells-like-dead-things fruit cellar. BUT now we have a room mate who lives in the basement (not the smells-like-dead-things fruit cellar part) and it would just be cruel and unusual if I locked him down there. I think people go to jail for that kind of thing...

I was really looking forward to a night by myself to watch girly movies and binge on junk food with out his accusatory stare. Instead I'm lying in bed with this amazing fricken migraine that just wont go away. Jp goes out by himself like once every three months at the most. FML. I mean I love the guy, don't get me wrong! But  a girl needs her movie and binge nights every once in a while.

So, I started getting this headache at my parents house this afternoon when I went over there to drop off some really gross oily peanut butter (long story, next time). It started small, like a nail being hammered into my right eyeball. Then, it spread back to my right ear. I didn't really think too much about it, I took two Excedrin (this was at about 5:30pm) and continued on with our visit. Well, by the time we were back home at 8:00 my nail/hammered headache had turned into more of a hatchet/cleaving scenario. Now, let me take a moment to clarify something. Excedrin NEVER doesn't work for me. EVER. Even when I have the worst migraines it at least takes the edge off so I can function like a human. Not today, no such luck. So, little did I know you can only take Excedrin once every SIX HOURS. Needless to say, I proceeded to bury myself in my comforter in bed and whimper like a small child for the next three hours with no one to keep me company but my two basset hounds and one crazy cat. At 11:30pm I finally crawled out of bed and, keeping all the lights off, stumbled in to the bathroom to find the bottle of Excedrin. Ahh, sweet relief... finally. Now that it's too late to start my girly movie/binge night...

One wasted opportunity to watch girly movies and binge on junk food?
Totally freaking lame.
One bogus dud dose of Excedrin?
6 hours of complete suck.
One warm, snuggly slumber party with two adorable sympathetic hound dogs?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Way to much weekend...

So, I'm not complaining or anything but I have a three day weekend. Which means I have tomorrow off. And I totally love not having to work because my job is so far pretty terrible however, that simply gives me far too much time to look at my messy house. I mean seriously who is going to spend their time cleaning when there is a 'I didn't know I was pregnant' marathon on TLC?!

I know, totally no one.

How scary(addicting) is that show!? Every time I watch it I drive my fiancĂ© nuts for the next three days.

'Oh my god, honey I have this really bad craving for taco bell! Maybe I'm pregnant, like on that show...  What if I've been pregnant this whole time and we didn't know. Oh my god, what are we going to do? I CAN NOT afford to have a baby right now!! This baby is going to have to sleep in a dresser drawer and only have smelly dog toys to play with... '


So, I made skittle flavored vodka instead... for, you know, mental health purposes.

This stuff is totally amazing, if you mix half a glass with sparkling water it literally tastes like liquid rainbow.
I love it.  We made a double batch by doubling the instructions below.

You'll need:
one large bag of skittles
one liter of vodka (it doesn't need to be super expensive, but not super cheap either we used UV)
five 8.5oz flasks (we got these 17oz flasks at world market but they were kind of pricey so you might want to shop around a little)
six large canning jars
paper towels
one funnel

-First sort out your candy in separate containers. 60 pieces of skittle to 6oz of vodka will do the trick!
-Then put your Skittles in the canning jars and add your vodka, we did 120 skittles and 12 oz vodka.
-Seal them up tightly and give them a good shake.
-Let them dissolve for at least three days, I like to shake them up intermittently but I hear that's not necessary.
-After three days of dissolving you will notice a think white film on the top of your jars. This is when you strain.
-Using your paper towels layer three on top of one another and strain the mixture through them in to the extra jar, changing paper towel when it becomes too clogged.
-After you have finished straining you can use the funnel to transfer your vodka to the flasks.
-Remember to rinse your straining jar and your funnel between flavors.


 This mixture is sweet enough to sip straight out of cocktail glasses over ice but remember it is almost 100% alcohol so drinker beware!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Me: I think I'm going to start blogging.

Jp: okay.

Me: That's it? Okay?!

Jp: yeah, why?

Me: No, like, words of encouragement?

Jp: *silence*