The Counter-top Dilemma


A kitchen remodel. Now that I am living in the midst of a remodel, I totally get why someone always cries or becomes otherwise, insane. Not having a sink will do that to a person. As will wildly different prices and function between items.

1st place I look. Has beautiful quartz. Super nice dude too. Happy to help me and understands that I am the type of person that needs at least three different quotes before I commit as I cannot sleep if I don’t do my due diligence.

What causes the biggest fight in my house. I ask my husband to put down plywood so I can have a counter-top.. He sees it as a waste of money. I see it as needing to not want to kill everyone.  I get half of my wish. I get half of a plywood counter and I only want to kill them all, a little.

“That beautiful marble counter top, oh it will be fine in your kitchen. Yeah its only $400 per slab, you will need two.” When they say it that way it feels like a steal compared to the $600 quartz I picked out. And it is Marble. If that doesn’t say “Classy” then what will.

Installer. “Oh you do not want marble in a kitchen. Maybe a bathroom but it is too delicate for a kitchen. You will be so disappointed when it is ruined immediately. Best to go with granite.”

Me. ” Well I did originally have a quartz in mind.”

Installer: ” It will get ruined too. It will bubble if you ever think about putting your coffee pot on it. Buy granite.”

Me: ” um.. ok.”  Note: this was 3 days ago. I still haven’t gotten a quote from this guy. I don’t want granite.

I went back to the 1st place. Dragging my tail between my legs. “I hear I can’t have quartz. I will ruin it.”

1st place: ” not true. get what you like… Just stay away from marble.”

So.. they will be here Monday. I’ve kept 4 chickens, 2 dogs (debatable) and 2 kids alive this long. Let’s see if I can manage not to destroy a big flat rock.


Wish me luck… Check back Monday to see what happened.



DING! I am full of ideas. I always have been. I always begin something and then get board with it rather quickly. I used to love to trail run. For like, 8 times then for no good reason, I stopped. I used to know how to knit. But, I will always love dessert.

Today we make: Roasted Peaches and Cream Popsicles! Paletas are one of my very favorite summertime treats and Joe will never turn down anything peaches and cream.

My oven is still not connected but, I am resourceful and my cuisanart toaster oven will have to do the heavy lifing of roasting my peaches for me today. (Thank you Cohens for the wedding gift that has made a year without an oven tolerable.)

For the last few weeks I have been making paletas like crazy. I’m a little obsessed.

The recipes are so easy.0819171753.jpg

First make a simple syrup with sugar and water on the stove and let cool.

Then blend 80% of your fruit until smooth. (I use a vitamix because it is the blender I have.) Once you have a smooth consistency then add in the other 20% and blend until you have some small chunks throughout.  And here is the secret: taste it. The amount of simple sugar you will need will vary from batch to batch. I know, not really rocket science. But really, taste it and make it sweeter with your cooled simple syrup.

Some things that I have learned. Things are not as sweet after they are frozen. You want your base to be crazy sweet.

Peel your peaches by boiling for a minute or two and plunging in ice-water. The skins are a little unsettling.

To get beautiful creamy swirls: Sweeten some half and half, or don’t, I prefered it sweet whereas Joe thought that unsweetened was a nice change. Fill your mold 2/3 full and then add the cream. Using a clean popsicle stick swirl that cream in and make sure you get the sides. Freeze overnight.

The cream doesn’t set as hard as a non-creamy like ginger-basil-lemonade. (Yeah, that is flavor I am working on perfecting too).  So setting overnight prevents stick slippage.

Go out and buy a big popsicle freezer bike because all of the sudden you are making the best popsicle that you have ever tasted.




Coconut pudding, on accident 

So. I’m behind on my goal. Like really behind but, I will forge on. 

Today I’m making coconut pudding with my little one who has asked to “juice oranges”.

The recipe is from

1/3 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 can each Trader Joe’s coconut cream and coconut milk (you only use 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream)

2 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Pinch of salt 

1 tsp vanilla extract

And some shredded coconut for topping.

So there is mixing the yolk and sugar

I also have to avoid a tricycle.

 Next open the can of cream. Huh, weird. It’s firm.. I’ll poke it with a rubber spatula.


Wipe quarter cup of coconut cream off my shirt. It’s chunky. Not at all the cosistancy I expected. When you taste it, it’s like coconut oil in sweet liquid. So far, looking horrible. 

Next is 2 tablespoons of coconut cream. It is either a can opener or one of the can pokey openers that I’m going to have to use..

I’m going can opener. Hmm. It’s also very firm. Since the spill I’m no longer precisely measuring. I’m going to guess with a kitchen spoon.

 It tastes and feels like a sunscreen that would have a monkey on it. I rub it in my hand and now I smell like Spring break.

I scald the coconut and then add the flour and cornstarch to 5 the mixer.

The kid tries to to add the leftover egg white to the mixer. Caught in the nick of time.

Temper the eggs is next. That goes fine. Transfer back. All is well.

Damn! That sunscreen says “Shake well before using”, so I poke it.

Yup. There is a thin liqid down there. The kid starts poking it vigorously.

It says to “wisk for 5 to 10 minutes”. That isn’t happening with my family. So, I cranked up the heat and worked vigorously for 3 minutes. It thickened fine.

I forgot the vanilla. I spashed it in and called it good.

Early tasters, me and Bea, were split. She thought it was great. I think it tastes like sweet coconut oil. 

Maybe it will be better when cooled.

It fit into 4 small ramekins. 

And I toasted some coconut in the toaster oven to top it off. 

Verdict. It’s alright. The toasty coconut on top was the best part. Everyone ate all of their dessert without complaining. It was much better after 4 hours of refrigeration and digging a sprinkler system.

Now, what to do with the canned coconut. I think it will probably make an appearance in the oatmeal tomorrow. 

11 down. 39 desserts to go.

A sweet year. Week 14

My new years resolutions have always been pretty simple and really more like fun personal challenges. The year I met Joe I had resolved to wear false eyelashes more often. One year I ate all of the unique flavors of chips I could find. (that one stuck). This year I started with “make dessert more.” It sounded lazy and not really interesting. So after many iterations it is this. Make 50 unique desserts, that I have never made from scratch, in one year.

Oh. And we are in March and I have had no oven this whole time. And I have little kids. 7 months and 3 and three-quarters.(her self-described age). And I have 2 jobs.

But. I love dessert and I feel like if I want dessert and I made it from scratch it seems worth it.

My step mom said, you should make a book. This is it Glenis, this is as good as it gets.

So it’s week 14.. At this point I should have 13 done to be on pace. I don’t. I have 10. some serious doubling up will have to happen. I’m not worried. I’ve always been good on a deadline.

0403171347aWhat have you learned so far, Autumn?

A lot!

I can get away with the same-ish items if I make different flavors.

Banana bread in the pressure cooker is like eating banana play-dough. (some people love it.)

Tapioca takes a whole day to make and is more of a mousse texture.

In really bad at folding in  egg whites but I’m getting better.

Let me know. What should I make?

0403171351And here is this week’s tapioca. I used the recipe on the back of the bag of tapioca. I figured that they probably have this on lock.

And they do. Success! It’s delicious and oh so fluffy.