Down Around the Ears

The girl was looking a bit down around the ears today…. you know what I mean?  Just not her perky-self…. kind of dragging….

We tried everything to lift her spirits… M did a bit of a dance on the table.. weaving in and around the vase of paper flowers… M is an excellent dancer.  Nothing.  Not even a giggle!

We tried to get her to play with Mouse or our new feather that we got for Christmas…. M hid Mouse in the girl’s desk (the girl loves surprises!) while I demonstrated how much fun feathers can be when combined with a freshly polished desk.  Still nothing.

M suggested putting a bit of catnip in her tea….  but then I remembered this great drink the  girl had been talking about a few weeks ago!  She’d had lunch at the Blue Owl in Kimmswick….. we’re not allowed to leave the office, so going to Kimmswick is out of the question, but the Blue Owl has a little shop here in town called the Blue Owl Sweet Shoppe…. and they deliver!.. so sometimes we get samples…. love the Chicken Salad Croissant!  Anyway… apparently the girl had ordered this pawesome drink with her pie and she just kept raving about it…. she said it made her sleepy and happy…. Well!  That is exactly what she needed now!

We surfed around on Pinterest for a while…. then googled… and we just couldn’t quite find a recipe that sounded like what the girl had been talking about.  Finally we took three recipes that sounded kinda close and we tinkered around with them until we came up with something that seemed right.  We might have done a bit to much sampling, because we needed a nap in the worst way… but we had the girl to think of so we pushed on…..  We slid the cup across her desk and pulled the mouse (not a real mouse… a computer mouse….. don’t feel bad, it confused us too at first) away from the girl….. then we sat and stared at her until she drank it.  The girl sighed….. and then she smiled.

M and I got some really pawesome ear scratches and the girl was really happy then.  We danced around the desk until she polished off the rest of her drink (we might have sampled a bit more of the whipped cream…. it is really pawesome!).  Then we suggested a short nap…. The girl said she didn’t need a nap, but we sat on her lap and held her down until she dozed off for a bit.

We’re a team here…. gotta look after our co-workers!

Here is what we finally came up with… mega yum!

Pumpkin Pie Apple Cider Toddy 

Pumpkin Pie Apple Cider Toddy

Ingredients

  • 3 c Apple Cider
  • ½ c Butter, softened
  • ¼ c Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 2 tsp Rum
  • 2 c Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tbs Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ c Honey Whiskey

 Directions

Heat the apple cider and whiskey in a small saucepan until warm.

Combine softened butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Whip until butter becomes creamy and the ingredients are fully incorporated.  Chill.

In a separate bowl combine rum and whipping cream, whisk until fluffy; add powdered sugar.

In a pretty footed coffee glass, place a spoonful of spiced butter.  Ladle the hot cider to fill the glass. Garnish with a dollop of rum-whipped topping. Serve warm.

Drink responsibly!

– M&M

Teddy Bear Tea

Our girl is sooo good to us!  She got us a Teddy Bear!  Not the stuffed kind…. the slurp-able kind…YUM.

The girl knows how much M & I like our coffee… helps us get going in the morning.  While the girl is just stumbling around the office, we get a couple slurps of her coffee and then we run up the stairs and check out the other offices… then we run down the stairs and get a couple more slurps of coffee.  And then we run into the back office and make sure she is cleaning our litter box and changing our water…. then we run up the stairs to make sure we didn’t forget anything…. then we run down the stairs…. then we run up the Christmas Tree to check that all the lights are working… then while she goes out to check the gas machine we jump up in the window and wave at her and check the glass for smudges… we leave paw prints on the glass so she knows where the smudges were….. When she comes back in we drink more coffee together and M & I help her check our emails…. Our typing is getting much better!  The girl should drink more coffee… then she could be as productive as M & me!

Well… this morning we took a slurp of her coffee…. OMP!  It wasn’t coffee!!!

While the girl wiped up the ‘tea’ that M had spit everywhere the girl explained that she had visited a new coffee shop over the weekend and discovered Teddy Bear Chai.  Well, M & I were reeling from this new information…. Who knew there were whole SHOPS of coffee?!  OMP!  Whole shops!!  We thought all coffee came from K-Cups!

After sampling the Teddy Bear Tea again, M & I decided it was pretty pawesome… and we didn’t need to worry about a drop in our caffeine since it was made with black tea… whew!

The girl said she is still experimenting with the exact amounts, but this is pretty close to what she’d had at the coffee shop.  The coffee shop used concentrated Oregon Chai, but the girl already had regular Chai tea bags at home, so she just made her own.

Now that we know they exist we are encouraging the girl to visit more coffee shops!  We wish Starbucks would deliver.  * sigh *

Teddy Bear Chai

Teddy Bear Chai Tea

  • 8oz Chai Tea, brewed STRONG
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (the good Mexican stuff… no imitation, yuck)
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • 1/4 c Vanilla Cream (You could just use milk, or cream, but the Coffee Mate – Natural Bliss already has some sugar in it too…)

Warm the Vanilla Cream before adding it to the tea to take the chill off…. add the other ingredients to your own personal taste.  As it cools the honey flavor comes out more, so don’t go wild with the honey at first.  Mix and serve!

– M&M

Looking Good


Mirror

Our girl is so funny sometimes.  The other day M and I were playing with an empty bath tissue roll… batting it around the office and stuff… the girl grabs it right out of our paws and starts babbling about how it would be perfect for some silly thing or the other.  Normally, we’d have been pretty annoyed, but it was about time for our afternoon naps anyway, so we figured we’d let her play with it for a while.

When we woke up she was clicking around on Pinterest ….and hacking our toy to pieces!  Apparently she’d decided to make a new mirror for the ladies litter-box-room.  We have our own private litter-box, but the girl tries to keep the public litter-box room all pretty and stuff….  We’re not allowed in there after the incident with the sink…. Who knew the girl would have such a hissy fit about a little water on the floor!?  M & I had a “tiny” water fight… geeze!

Anyway, M & I climbed up on the desk to see what the girl had done to our toy…. apparently she’d been busy while we were napping!

  • First, she squashed the roll in half.
  • Next she took the bath-tissue roll and cut it into four 1 inch pieces (she’d collected a few other rolls and a paper towel roll or two as well)
  • Then she glued five of the pieces together near their points….

OMP it was a flower!

The next day the girl came to the office with a can of spray paint, a mirror and a hot glue gun….

  • She spray painted all the “flowers” blue (we made her do this outside, because our noses are sensitive and that stuff stinks)

After our nap the “flowers” had dried and the girl brought them inside.

  • She arranged them into a circle around the mirror and then started hot gluing them together.
  • Once they were glued into a circle she placed the mirror face down on the flowers and started gluing the mirror to the flowers.
  • Two Command Strips later the “Flower Mirror” was attached to the litter-box room wall!

Mirror

Pawesome!

While we did not approve of the destruction of our super fun toy… we do have to agree that the mirror looked pretty good…. and it made the girl awfully happy… and when she is happy she shares her coffee with us (with extra cream!) so it was a win-win after all.

– M &M

A Kitten at Heart

Happy Birthday to the man!!

The girl told us that the man’s birthday was coming up and we wanted her to make him something really yummy for his party.  M said that she’d heard him say that red velvet was his favorite cake, so we started searching Pinterest for a good recipe.  We finally found THIS recipe and asked the girl to make it.  We also asked that she bring us a piece (since we wern’t invited back to her house for the man’s party!  So rude!)

Megga-Yum!  One warning…. don’t eat red velvet cake and then try to clean your paws…. red paws!

– M&M

Red Velvet Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 c sour cream
1/3 c heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 c granulated white sugar
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 c vegetable or canola oil
1 c buttermilk
1/4 c (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Cheesecake layer:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place a large roasting pan on the lower rack of the oven.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan).

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese until it is and smooth and creamy. Mix sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Blend until smooth.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. (several hours or overnight)

Cake layers:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans.  Wrap Wilton – Bake Even Strips around pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely.

Frosting:

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

Assemble the cake:

Stack the cake layers: Red Velvet, Cheesecake, Red Velvet… no need to put icing in between the layers.

Frost:

Frost the cake with the icing and decorate, as desired.

Mutant Mice Invade FBO!

The girl gave us quite the scare this morning!  M & I were in our office, waiting patiently for the girl to let us out so we could get to work….. when a GIANT MUTANT MOUSE threw open the office door!!! M & I were in a state of panic (that’s how all the man’s stuff got knocked off the deck…).  Well, M head-butted it (she slammed her head into the mutant mouse’s ankle) and as it was reeling back we escaped into the main office.

Well, just imagine our surprise when we discovered….. the girl had sprouted mouse ears!  M was just beside herself… meowing and carrying on about radiation and pollution…. I was trying to call our friends who fly the medical helicopters…. They could rescue us!

AND then….. the creepiest thing happened….. the girl yanked her ears right off her head!!  I think M may have fainted.  They were FAKE mouse ears!

The girl opened up her laptop and told us to Google “Halloween”.  Whew!  (We also Googled “mutant mice” when she wasn’t looking and quickly sent an email to the ARMY, just in case…..).

Halloween seems like a pretty cool holiday…. it’s all about candy!  Now that we know the girl isn’t really turning into a mutant mouse we’re pretty excited about the whole thing.  M & I have been running round the office and jumping out at anyone who comes in…. so far we haven’t gotten any candy, but it’s not even noon yet, so we’ll keep our paws crossed and just keep trying.

Trick or Treat – Smell our Paws – Give us Candy – Or Feel Our CLAWS!

The girl made some special cookies for anyone who came in Trick or Treating today…. another pumpkin recipe! (Originally found HERE)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling
Makes 12-14 (24 – 28 smaller ones)
3 c. Flour
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
1 c. Brown Sugar
1 c. White Sugar
1 c. Vegetable Oil (or 1 cup applesauce)
15 oz. can of Pumpkin
2 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat brown sugar, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
Using a cookie scoop (like a mini ice cream scoop) drop batter onto a greased pan.  Squish it a little to flatten it out.  Bake for 11 minutes and cool on a rack.
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
16 oz. package of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Frost flat side of half the pies and top with second cookie.
Enjoy right away or chill overnight.
– M & M

Teacher’s Pets

Good news, bad news time…. Our instructor says we didn’t do well enough in our Private Pilot Ground School classes to take the FAA’s written exam.  Totally not our fault!  The man kept locking us in the office during class!  He says it’s because we were too much of a distraction to the other students….. we say it’s because we were showing up the other students with how smart we are!

So, that’s the bad news… The good news is… we finally convinced the girl to take the Private Pilot class!  Now we can study together and if we happen to fall asleep in class …. we can borrow her notes!

M told her that she should make cookies for class… it is a proven fact that sugar and chocolate help you learn (we saw that on a candy bar commercial).  We found this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles…. YUM!

As usual, she didn’t follow all the directions (that’s gonna bite her in the tail in class!)  and she keeps calling them Mayan Chocolate Snickerdoodles… something about her all time favorite ice cream….

Mayan Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Dough

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (the girl used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons  milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sugar Coating

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ancho chile pepper and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients, combine.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Shape dough into 1″ balls. Roll dough in the cinnamon/sugar mix.  Place dough 2″ apart on a greased baking sheet.

Bake until the cookies have spread and are crackly on top, about 9 to 12 minutes.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Note: the original recipe called for cayenne pepper, but the girl replaced it with ancho chile powder…. Too much cayenne will make your whiskers tingle…. like that Crawfish Etoufee she made… meow-za!  The girl says that the  ancho has a “smoother heat”.  She has promised to make us the Mayan Chocolate Pecan Pie where she first learned about ancho chile for Thanksgiving… we can’t wait!

Wish us luck in our Private Pilot class!

– M&M

Balloonacy

Sweet catnip!  Thank heavens that is over!  We are SO worn out!

The Balloon Festival was a huge hit.  The girl is still upset that it was so cold, but from what we have heard, everything went off without a hitch and everyone had a good time.  We’ve been looking at the photos on Facebook and all the balloons were super pretty.

We wish we could have been here to see the balloons, but we were so worn out from all the planning and preparations that we had the girl’s mom, the Queen of Treats, take us to the spa for the weekend.  It was one of those medical spas… we got our shots there when we were kittens… Meow-Out to Dr M and the nice Vet-Ladies at DeSoto Vet Hospital!  You guys were totally pawesome!  Thanks for the great care and pampering!!!

Good thing we were well rested, ’cause when we got back there was still a lot of work to do…. we helped the girl clean the office back up and the man needed help sorting all his paperwork back out.

The girl surprised us with some special presents from the Balloon Festival… they were in her desk drawer… all the way in the back… under her coat… but we knew they were for us!  We found the kettle korn first…. the twistie-tie gave us some trouble, but we finally just ripped the bag open… mega yum… and fun to play with too! The beef jerky gave us a bit more trouble, but we finally managed to gnaw through the wrapper…. we didn’t want to bother the girl, she was busy cleaning…. we’ve never had beef jerky before… yum!

Now the last present is the one that had us scratching our ears.  What the heck’s a Scentsy?  Apparently, its a smellie that we won’t burn our whiskers on.  Woo hoo!  The girl won’t bring her candles into the office anymore…. we might have sniffed a bit too close to the last  candle… then thrown it in the floor when our whiskers started to curl.  Oops.  The new Scentsy wax warmer is pretty cool… or warm… but safe for smelling… and it has pretty lights!  We’re smelling Blueberry Cheesecake today.

In the days since, we just can’t get the taste of that kettle korn out of our minds!  We wanted the girl to call the kettle korn man and have him bring us more… but she said we’d just have to wait until next year!!!

We turned to our trusty source of all information.. Pinterest… and found this recipe: Home Made Amish Caramel and we suggested she make the caramel and pour it over popcorn!!  We nagged the girl until she promised to make a batch and bring it in to the office.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Amish Caramel
2 c. white sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 3/4 c. corn syrup
1 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring sugar, syrup, butter, and a little bit of the cream to a boil. Once boiling, slowly add rest of cream. Boil until it forms a soft ball (236-240 degrees). Add vanilla. Pour into a buttered pan. Cool.  Store in a sealed container.
To make the caramel popcorn, re-melt a cup (more or less to taste) of the caramel…. pour over popcorn (make sure you’ve removed the un-popped kernels first), toss popcorn to evenly distribute the caramel.  (The girl used a bag of plain microwave popcorn.) Store in a sealed container.
Mega yum! Enjoy!
– M&M