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.

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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

Et Tu Fluffie?

The girl was leaving us!  What were we going to do!?  The Balloon Festival was right around the corner!!!

We took some deep calming breaths….

She’s wasn’t leaving for good.   She’s wasn’t actually taking any extra time off, really…. but… well… she didn’t even ask us if we were okay with it!

She’s was leaving the whole state!  We’re not even allowed outside!  Oh, the unfairness of it all.

I guess it’s kind of a compliment… she knew that she could go away for a long weekend and that she was leaving the Balloon Festival in our capable paws.  M & I had it all under control.  We had the Sponsors all lined up (really great friends and businesses) and the Arts & Crafts Vendors were all ready to go (can’t wait to do a bit of shopping ourselves!) and don’t even get us started about the Food Vendors (mega yum!).  The Festival is going to be a huge hit!  The girl could enjoy her weekend and we’d keep everything in line….. but who would look after the girl?

We discussed it…. and we decided to send Emilee with her.  We knew the girl wouldn’t go for it…. she said she just needed some peace and quiet…. but we couldn’t let her go without someone! (her pet human, B doesn’t count….)

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While she was gone, Emilee kept in contact us with us by text and email…. good thing the girl has an iPhone as we still have not gotten the board to approve giving us our OWN phones.

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Emilee had a great time… We’re kinda jealous, but we DID have our paws full with the Balloon Festival and all…  And the girl arrived home safe and sound.  Whew!  We were happy to hand the Balloon Festival back over to her.  We needed a nap!

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Emilee came back raving about Crawfish Etouffee…. on and ON!  We googled “crawfish”  apparently they are some kind of river bug…. that’s what they look like, anyway.  Em was all wound about the etouffee and wouldn’t let us do anymore googling until we found a recipe.  Here is the original recipe we found…… Crawfish Etouffee, from NOLA Cuisine.

We convinced the girl to make us a batch…. we started out just leaving the recipe up on her screen… then we sent it to her printer 14 times…. then mostly we just danced around on her desk and threw things in the floor until she agreed to bring in a pot the next day.  Yay!  She agreed!  Subtle hints worked again!

As usual, she didn’t follow the directions…. here is what she did:

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 lbs Crawfish Tail meat
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Cup Clam Juice + 3/4 cup water
1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp dried Parsley
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
Rice

Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and 1 Tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning, saute until translucent. Add the Crawfish tail meat and saute for 3-5 minutes more. Add the flour, stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes.

Add the water, stir well to form a paste, add the clam juice gradually, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. You may need a little more water, you are looking for a gravy consistency.
Add the garlic, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, a little salt, black pepper, green onions and parsley, simmer for 5-10 minutes more.

Stir in the 3 Tbsp butter, lemon juice.

Transfer to a crock-pot. (The crock-pot part isn’t a big deal, but I made it earlier in the day and wanted to keep it warm for dinner…. also, soups and things usually taste better after they’ve had time to simmer for a long while.  If you’re not going to put it in the crock pot, you’d better go back and read the original recipe… they let it simmer on the stove a lot longer.)  

Serve over rice.

Yum!

– M&M and Em

Devil in D’tails

We admit it, sometimes we just don’t get our humans and the cute little phrases they like to use.  Some of our humans were talking about our upcoming Balloon Festival and one said “the Devil’s in the tails.”  Well that just freaked us out!  We missed the whole last part of the meeting… running from our bedeviled tails….. or so we thought.  M & I spent the rest of the evening closely examining our tails…. we found no devils.  At first we thought we had our flea and tick medicine to thank for that…. but, with a bit of Googling we discovered that we’d misunderstood what our human had said.

“The Devil’s in the details”.  Details…. not the tails.   Whew!

Well, that made total sense!  We are always telling the girl that she has to pay closer attention when she does things.  It’s all well and good to READ the directions…. but she needs to actually FOLLOW them!

Take these muffins for instance! The girl likes to follow this cooking blog called Culinary Concoctions by Peabody….. we like it too, but the girl won’t let us read it with her…. she says we drool on the keyboard too much!

Well, the other day the girl found this recipe for Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Muffins and decide that she just had to have them…. too bad she didn’t have all the ingredients!  Duh… but she says that directions are just “guidelines” more like “suggestions.” We’re not so sure about that….. but the muffins did turn out pretty good…..

Here is the original recipe for Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Muffins and here’s what the girl did:

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins

1/4 cup of pecans, chopped
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
6 oz cinnamon chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In another bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and unsalted butter. Add in the cinnamon chips.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
5. Scoop batter into greased or paper cup lined muffin cups.  Sprinkle tops of muffins with chopped pecans.  Bake for about 20-22 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

The girl told us that she freezes leftover pumpkin puree (don’t get her started about how none of the recipes that call for pumpkin ever call for a whole can and how it’s evil to let the extra go to waste… just don’t… she’s kind crazy about pumpkin).

Well, she’d already thawed this pumpkin out and didn’t want to refreeze the remaining half cup… and ya know she couldn’t just throw it away!

Of course, she didn’t have all the ingredients for the pumpkin butter, but she messed around with it until she got it to work with what she had available…. We admit, that it did taste pretty darn good… aside from the fact that it had enough cloves to make our whiskers tingle!  This is the adjusted recipe….

Pumpkin Butter

  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 c. and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine pumpkin, apple sauce, spices, and sugar in a small saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
Transfer to container and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

– M&M

Emilee the Emissary

We were so psyched!  At the last CAEE meeting our humans were talking about Twin City Days.  We’re gonna have a booth at the Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday so we can tell people about Our Balloon Festival and our Ground School.  Of course, M & I were gonna go, right?  I mean, who better to spread the word about the airport than the heads of Hospitality!

Well, apparently NOT!  *harrump*

We’re not allowed outside!

After pouting for a bit, M & I came up with a plan… see, M & I have a new friend at the airport…. Emilee….. Em, for short…. and we’re going to send her as our emissary!

Don’t get us wrong, we’re totally heartbroken that we won’t get to go to to Twin City Days with the girl & the man and all our other friends….. but Em needs the experience… she’s awfully shy.  So it’s probably all for the best….

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Stop by our booth at Twin City Days and say hi to our humans.  Take a photo with Em and post it on our facebook or twitter page!

Oh! And if you want to see M & me… come by the airport… our humans will be offering Discovery Flights all day!

– M & M… and Em

Pawesome Pastabilities!

The other day the girl brought her lunch to work and she wanted M & I to sample it.  She didn’t out-and-out say she wanted us to try it, but we know that is what she wanted because when the phone rang she just left her lunch sitting on the table….. she is very shy… she doesn’t like to ask for things…. we’re working with her on this.  Anyway, she’d brought some leftover spaghetti and meatballs that she’d made for dinner the night before…. It smelled pretty good, so M & I didn’t mind giving it a try.  OMP!  It was totally pawesome!  There were three meatballs, so we figured that she wanted us each to have one….  We could tell that she was really excited that we’d tried them… she was jumping up and down and waving her arms while she was still on the phone.  As soon as she hung up she came running over to see what we’d thought.

Oh, my paws!  It was totally Pawesome!

Later she told us that the meatballs came from an idea she had after making a Parmesan Meatloaf that she’d found on Pinterest.  With the Balloon Festival fast approaching the girl has been all in a tizzy.  We don’t know what she is complaining about!  We’re the ones who have to greet all the people popping in the office!  Geeze, she just plays on the computer and talks on the phone all day….. like that’s work?!  But, she says that she is very busy and is so tired when she gets home that she doesn’t feel like cooking.  She told us that she took the meatloaf recipe and made THREE different meals with it!  We were totally impressed ’cause usually we just eat kibbles for every meal…. Three DIFFERENT meal!  Wow!

The girl just has one pet human, B, and herself to cook for, and she says that the Parmesan Meatloaf recipe made too much for the two of them.  So she made the full recipe but only made a third the mix into a meatloaf.  The remainder she made into meatballs.  And then she used the meatballs to make Spaghetti & Meatballs AND Shepherd’s Pie!  Wow!  We were worn out just thinking about all that, but the girl insisted that it was pretty easy.

Day one: Make the meatloaf mix.  One third of the mix gets shaped into a loaf and stuck in the fridge for tomorrow (or frozen).  The other half gets made into meatballs.  Spaghetti & Meatballs for dinner!  Pour some of the extra spaghetti sauce over the meatloaf.

Day two (or whenever, if you froze your meatloaf): Meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner!

Day three (or the day after you ate the meatloaf & mashed potatoes…): Shepherd’s Pie for dinner!

You see how there’s an order here?  We didn’t get it at first, but the girl had taken photos…. (we don’t know why she does that, but it did come in handy)…

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Parmesan Meatloaf 
slightly adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mariana pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix:
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey and beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Meatballs:                                                                                                                        Shape mix into 1-2″ balls and cook in a skillet until lightly browned.  Finish cooking the meatballs in an oven heated to 350 degrees. (25-30 minutes)

Meatloaf:                                                                                                                          Place 1/3 of the mixture in the loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.  Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Make mashed potatoes to serve with the meatloaf.  You will need about four cups of leftover potatoes for the Shepherd’s Pie…. so make about 2-2.5lbs total (if you are making REAL mashed potatoes)

Shepherd’s Pie: Most Shepherd’s Pie recipes call for “ground” meat… so you could make 1/3 of your mix “smashed”, but meatballs are fun and easier to have cooked and frozen earlier…

Place two cups of mashed potatoes in a pie pan.  Sqhoosh it around to make a “crust”.  Fill the crust with the meatballs, and whatever veggies you like: corn, carrots, peas…. then top the whole thing with two more cups of mashed potatoes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes…. crust will start to brown.  Top with a handful (or two) of shredded cheese and bake until the cheese starts to bubble.

Enjoy!

Meow-Out to the girl’s pet human, B!  Thanks for saving some for us, pal!

-M&M

Whatever the Weather

I gotta tell you, we’re not laughing anymore.  It wasn’t funny the first time, but it did kind of make us scratch our ears.

“Hot enough to fry a cat on the sidewalk.”

Yeah, its hot.  Not THAT hot!  And we’re not allowed outside anyway, so we don’t know why every third human who walks through the door tells us that!  Aaarrrggg!  One little record-breaking heat wave and our humans go all goofy.

We’ve been learning about weather in our Private Pilot Ground School Class.  One of our human friends, Terrible (don’t ask me, I didn’t name him), teaches the weather chapter of our class.  We learned that even airplanes don’t like these temperatures.  When it is hot the air is less dense and doesn’t allow an aircraft to generate enough “lift.”  M and I totally get that… when it is hot it is hard to generate enough lift to drag our tails off the chair.

Since it’s been so nasty out we decided we should make something nice for our class mates, but we didn’t want to make anything that took a lot of effort.  And we certainly didn’t want to make anything that required turning on the oven, so cookies were out…..

So we checked out our Pinterest board of ‘Crafty Ideas‘ and found these super cute notebooks that we’d pinned a while back.  We are always writing notes in class (since the Board turned us down for our own iPads) and we thought these would be fun to share!

Since it’s ‘back to school’ time the girl was able to find these little bitty note books… perfect sized for us and perfect for the humans to tuck into their pockets!

We liked THIS idea, but pretty soon we had strips of paper all over the office (it was kind of distracting…. M kept running off and chasing them!) and the girl was mad that we’d dumped the Mod Podge in one of her desk drawers….  oops!

So we decided to scale it back a bit….

You will need:

  • Mod Podge (or you could use glue)
  • Paint Brush
  • Sectional Chart (or other pretty paper, but really… charts are awfully pretty)
  • Notebook
  • Paper Cutter

Get your supplies together

We cut our so that it fit exactaly at the top and bottom edges, but overlapped into the front and back covers…. like a book jacket.  ‘Paint’ the front cover with the ModPodge. Go slow with the ModPodge.. make sure you have everything lined up before you glue down the back cover.

Glue down the front and back inside flaps last.

Ta-dah!

Meow-out to our Instructor Terrible! I read the chapter…. M didn’t… she took a nap!  I’m ready for the next class, ask me anything!

M&M