Thursday, August 20, 2009


Anyone who knows me, should know that I have certain...weaknesses.

Fried potatoes in any form...good coffee...chewy brownies...certain libations.

But the one thing that always takes the cake is...Cotton Candy. I will eat myself sick with boatloads of cotton candy. I voted the Planet Hollywood Hotel (formerly The Aladdin Hotel) in Vegas, the BEST buffet EVER because they offer all-you-can-eat cotton candy with your Huevos Rancheros or Prime Rib. Whatever floats your boat, I don't judge. But, I digress.

Can there be a more simpler food (and of course, food is defined VERY liberally here) that can deliver sugar straight into your blood stream? Hello...the blog is named Sugar Mule for a reason.

I'm usually a purist--pink cotton candy is THE supreme queen of all cotton candy--sure, blue and purple cotton candy is all fun and games but nothing can knock the pink lady off her thrown... except, just maybe, this one:

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce you to Pennsylvania MAPLE SYRUP Cotton Candy. Be still, my beating heart. All will be well. Cotton candy that tastes like maple syrup. Need I say more?


Thursday, August 13, 2009

RECIPE: Blueberry bars

Finally...Sugar. Here's a pretty old-fashioned recipe that's pretty hard to mess up. Trust me on this point.

You can even substitute the blueberries with other fruits that are in season like: cherries, peaches, apples, raspberries, blackberries, apricots,etc. I wouldn't suggest things like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries (although strawberries might work well mixed with other berries or with rubarb...mmmm....must try that next!) I'll even tell you below, other things you can substitute to make this recipe to your liking.

Blueberry Bar Recipe
1 C. White Sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
3 C. All-purpose flour
2 C. cold butter (2 sticks or 8 oz.)
1 egg
1/4 tsp. Salt

juice of 1 lime or lemon
4 C. blueberries
1/2 C. White Sugar
4 tsp. Cornstarch


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease your 9 x 13 inch pan. I usually skip this step because I use a glass dish and it never seems to stick. And I'm lazy.

In a medium bowl, wisk together 1 C. Sugar, 3 C. flour, salt, and baking powder. You may substitute up to 1 C. flour with whole wheat flour, ground up oatmeal (or half cup of old-fashioned oatmeal), or other flour of your choosing. I had some left over hazelnut flour and ground up oatmeal so I tossed that in there, hence the brown flour in the picture.

You can even substitute up to half cup with brown sugar which makes the crust really soft and chewy but the crust will also get soggy in this recipe much faster. It just means you have to eat it faster.

Cut the butter into small pieces. The butter should be nice and cold. Ignore the fact that my butter is melting.

Cut it into the flour mixture. You can use a pastry cutter, a fork or butter knives, but I use my hands (because I'm lazy, remember?). If you use your hands, move quickly. You don't want the butter to melt. Just rub the butter into the flour until it looks like sand.

Then add the egg. You really should wisk the egg first then add it to the buttered flour (again, I'm lazy. See, you really can't mess this up).

Mix it up and put it in the fridge to rest and get cold again while you mix the fruit.

Put the fruit into another bowl. It says 4 cups of blueberries. I really have no idea how many cups I put in here but it's a lot of blueberries. If you substitute stone fruit like apples or peaches it comes out to about 1 cup= 1 apple/peach or so. I like a lot of fruit so I add more. See, simple. Add the juice of a lime or lemon. If the fruit you are using is kinda juicy, you can skip this step.

Add 1/2 c. white sugar and cornstarch. If you know the fruit is not sweet, then feel free to add more sugar. I made vanilla sugar so that's the brown specs in the picture. I'll show you how to make that later. Mix it up and grab your crust back out of the fridge.

Put half of the flour/crust mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and firmly press it down.

Add the blueberry mixture on top of that crust.

Then sprinkle the rest of the crust over the top of the blueberries and set in the oven.

Bake for 1 hour or until the top is slightly brown.
IMPORTANT: Let it cool completely before cutting into it. The juices need to firm up and this could take at least 2 hours.

Once cooled, cut and enjoy!

Berry delicious!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 does your body good.

Here's our local dairy!

We get our eggs, milk, cheese, and ice cream here. I'm telling you, milk from a glass bottle just tastes better than a plastic jug or paper carton. The cows and chickens are behind the facility. Secret Agent Man went to find them but they must have been in the barn.

We go here on friday nights for our "dates". We get a darn good burger and shake for cheap. I know the Vanilla shake won Secret Agent Man's heart.....before this dairy, friday night dates consisted of Home Depot trips.

Though the ice cream is good here, I'm thinking The Creamery ultimately wins.

Helloooo, Death by Chocolate.



Maybe I should take pictures of all the things I can get for under $2. I've already posted how ridiculous Cilantro prices are.

Here's something I totally thought I COULD live without, at least until Secret Agent Man showed up with the rest of our belongings.

Can you believe that Cilantro costs more than this??? Worse, there was one for $.96 but decided against it because it cut into my hand.

It's pretty difficult to make chili without a can opener. I cheat with canned beans, k?

And it's coming people, as promised...sugar.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


As soon as people hear that I'm an island girl, they all tell me about this "beach" they have here in CENTRAL Pennsylvania. It's a dam they built with a recreation area. I thought, how bad could it be?? Waikiki is a man-made beach (how many of y'all knew THAT??).

So I dragged Secret Agent Man out to check out this "beach." This is what we saw:

You have GOT to be kidding me. Granted this is the closest beach within a 300 mile radius but please don't tease a girl with the word "Beach." It makes me sad.

Yes, people, the water is green....and they have water snakes.



I know this is really hard to see but at least you get a shot of my backyard. In the middle of the picture you'll see a streak of light.

At dusk, it's just amazing! All the fireflies light up and it looks like magic pixie dust glittering everywhere.

I think Secret Agent Man had the same reaction I did. They don't stay lit! The fireflies actually look like sparks off a wood fire. I know I totally sound like a city slicker there but since most of you reading this probably haven't seen fireflies in real life, I thought I would tell you that it's nothing like the cartoons show.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Let me introduce you to our new home...

And then these innocent looking boxes arrived. By-the-way, if you ever have to move with a tight budget, ABF u-pack is awesome. It was pretty hard to find good cross-country moving companies but ABF had the best customer service from the reps on the phone, to the dispatchers, to the drivers. And moving cars--Golden Key Express. Same thing. Fantastic companies.

Three hours later with the help of a couple guys--AFTER:

I won't show you the kitchen because it is really really small and sad...although I do love the house and think it's so cute! I didn't really show you the outside but that's because Secret Agent Man thinks we'll attract a stalker.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

On a jet plane

Thought you would enjoy some pics of the flight across the country. It was quite disconcerting how low we flew the whole way but at least you got some pretty decent pictures.

Starts here in the brown deserts of southern california...

My first trip to the Grand Canyon!

Then, I slacked off. There wasn't all that much to see in the middle of the flight (sorry Kansas).

But here's central Pennsylvania! Look how GREEN it is.

But then it's back to brown. Suburban Philly.

Next up....home.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Word....