up on the rooftop, click click click

We got the tree up. And by we I don't mean my husband and myself. He carried it from the car to the house, and he was the one to drive us to go get it in the snow, but he didn't help put it up. My friends and I put it up, and adjusted it, and strung lights on it. We would have hung ornaments but I have to get some of those hook things first. I hung old antique ornaments from the mantle, and put up some things for decoration. We won't be here Christmas day, but at least we can enjoy the decorations the rest of the month.

I admit, I've felt resentful this week as Scott's been overly busy with his end of the semester school load. He has papers, presentations, and exams. So he's been holed away studying and stressing out all week. I have been the one cleaning, cooking, tending to the baby, and decorating. Women's work, eh? Well, I love doing all these things, I just don't love feeling like no one else gives a damn about my hard work. Misunderstood houswife, eh? Not exactly. I know he appreciates me, and I know he sees my hard work, and he loves me, etc. He's just trying not to drown right now. The least I can do is take care of things on the homefront so that he doesn't have to worry about them. I keep telling myself - just get through this year - then he'll be done with school, and his time will free up, and we'll have more time together, more family time, more couple time, more relaxation time, more hobby time, more vacation time. I just pray that "just one more year" does not turn into my life-long mantra. Please God, just let things get easier in a year.
In food news, I made Whoopie Pies for the boys. That means my husband and the two bachelors upstairs. Sean especially, because Whoopie Pies are the thing I've baked and shared that he just went on and on about. I bake a lot - at least once or twice a week, so for anyone in this house to get especially excited about something I've baked means that they really, really like it. Whoopie Pies (I know the name is dumb, but I didn't make it) are like Oreos, but bigger, and softer, and creamier in the middle. They are what Oreos aspire to be.

Whoopie Pies
Makes 12 pies
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease/line two or three cookie sheets.

2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c unsweet cocoa powder
1 c sugar
Sift all of the above together and set aside.

1 egg
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c milk
1 oz melted bittersweet chocolate

In a large bowl mix the egg, oil, vanilla, milk, and melted chocolate together. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients.
Drop by the tablespoon onto cookie sheets. If you're aiming for 12 pies, make 24 cookies.
Bake the cookies 10-12 minutes or until firm, then remove from the oven and set the cookie sheets on cooling racks. Once they have cooled for 10 minutes or so, slide the cookies off the sheets and onto the racks to cool further.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, make the filling:
1/2 c milk
2 1/2 Tbs flour
Whisk these two ingredients together in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium high heat. Cook until the mixture thickens significantly, then remove from heat and let it cool.

1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
1/2 c shortening (I use Crisco all-vegetable shortening)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the above ingredients into submission, I mean, until well combined. Add the milk/flour mixture (also called a roux) and continue to beat for about 10 minutes. I know this sounds like a long time, and it is - especially if you're working with a hand mixer like I am, but it makes for a really fluffy filling. And fluffy is what we want here.
Once the filling is fluffy and the cookies are cool, sandwich them together and dig in! They're also very good cold, so try them refrigerated or frozen.


Danyell said...

"Beat the above ingredients into submission, I mean, until well combined." You're funny. I might try these, although I don't own a mixer. My dream is to have a KitchenAid Artisan Mixer *drools*

You're turning into a regular Martha Stewart!

Yes, just one more year. Will you be going back to school? I am under the impression you had only one year left. Wouldn't it be funny if after this next year, Scott had to do all the cooking/cleaning/baby-caring while you went to school and worked? I mean, it would suck on the one hand, but on the other, man would you guys totally understand each other on a deeper level.

Jamie Lee Condon said...

Okay... "fluffy pies"?! What a great freaking name... that makes me giggle.

Your decorations on the mantle look beautiful, doll. I also put some x-mas decorations up on my mantle today! Not nearly as cool as yours... but it's getting there.

I love you and I can't wait to see you guys again soon...


Jamie Lee Condon said...

ooppps... was that a slip of the tongue?! I meant whoopie pies... which is also an awesome freaking name... part of the selling point, I tell ya!

Jess said...

danyell - i only have a damn hand mixer, but with any luck i'll get a stand mixer for christmas. glory.
yes, i'll be going back to school in the fall - you're right, i have a year left. so scott will be doing more of the house/baby stuff, but i'm sure i'll still be doing a lot of it, too.

jamie - thanks! it's nice to have a few decorations up, isn't it?