Savory Sweet Potato Pie Worth Killing Over

I am so mad at myself for never having reviewed a Tara Sivec book on R/E! Ok, so I’ve only read three at this point, but I’ve loved all three. I am a loser. But I’m a loser who makes you a savory sweet potato tart, so you can berate me after you eat and … Read more…

An Excitable Box

Oh this post.

If you are related to me–DO NOT READ THIS POST!!

If you do, please, don’t ever talk to me about it, and certainly never look me in the eyes ever again, because I’LL KNOW.

So, a little bit before my vacation in Ohio, my friend Thien-Kim Lam of I’m Not The Nanny, From Left to Write Book Club and, most recently, The Bawdy Bookworms, asked me to review her latest venture, The Bawdy Book Box.

The description from the site:

“Each Bawdy Book Box will contain one smokin’ hot romance or erotica book, a sexy adult toy, and an additional 2-3 surprises to feed your mind and body. (Don’t worry, if you’ll need batteries, we’ve that covered too.)

As a bonus, all Bawdy Bookworms (that’s you!) will have access to our discussion forums aka our virtual book club. No more worrying that your grandma or colleague will see your status update about Mr. Sexy’s escapades. Come over and join other smart, sexy women talk about our books and vibrators.”

I mean, how could I say no?

Basically, the only thing to say was “yes, yes, YES.”

Here’s my box. (TWSS) I immediately instagrammed it. Because, of course I did.

It came in a very nondescript package. It contained the book: Biscuits: Tea: English Breakfast, because, theme.   And then…something I can only assume was designed as a tea stirrer. A battery-powdered tea stirrer. A very powerful and very small tea stirrer. A “bedazzled” tea frother. Because gems like you deserve to have their tea stirred by only the fanciest and smoothest tea frothers. And trust me, it will really stir your tea. Like, bubbling over. Best for hot, creamy tea.   Alongside some cherry flavored lubricant. (because when you’re greasing your wheels, it’s best to know what the engine tastes like.)   What did I think about this box?   I loved it. Truly. But one tiny thing.   The book was the fourth in a series. YES!! Each CAN be read as a standalone, but I have book neuroses, and can only read series in order. It’s a thing.   Turns out it’s #4 in a SPIN-OFF series, so I have many books to read, now. I loved the Beautiful Bastard series, and now there’s MORE.   The book was good, and it, um, really warmed my tea. In fact, I’ve loved the series so far. A series I was sure I would HATE.   I was wrong.   Would I buy the box? Yes. If my family asks: no. But that’s the joy of the nondescript box.   NO ONE KNOWS WHAT’S INSIDE!! (twhs)   Now, a hot recipe for a hot box. (that wording is weird, but go with it.)   It’s seasonal–like the box.   Indian Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro Pesto   Indian Pumpkin Soup with cilantro pesto    

Indian Pumpkin Soup and Cilantro Pesto by Cat Bowen Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Keywords: appetizer entree side soup/stew dairy-free gluten-free kosher paleo soy-free vegan vegetarian


for the soup

  • 2, 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
  • 1, 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (plus more if it needs thinning)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (cut off the top, wrap in foil. bake at 350 for about 45 minutes)
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • 2 tbsp EVOO or coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp hot curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

for the pesto

  • 8 oz toasted pecans
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • juice of one lemon


in a large stockpot on medium, heat oil

thinly slice garlic clove

toss garlic in oil and fry until golden brown

remove from oil

add spices and toast until mix becomes extremely fragrant

stir in remaining ingredients, leaving the salt for last.

mash the potato in the soup until mostly smooth

simmer one hour

serve with pesto


combine all ingredients in food processor and process until nearly smooth.

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the box was free, but how it was used, and my opinions are my own.

Really? Reptiles?

I read a lot of motivational blogs. I can’t possibly begin to explain all the whys of it. I don’t often feel a real lack of motivation, save for when it comes to folding the laundry, or cleaning up crumbs…again. I’m also pretty cynical. I do my best to temper my “really? REALLY?” face, but more often than not, I just don’t get it.

My best guess is that the desire to read these blogs is the same desire that has me picking up romance novels over and over again. I don’t want to be cynical. I don’t want my name to become the charactonym referring to “cynical white girl who smiles a lot and makes dirty jokes.” I’d rather just be “wild woman who smiles a lot and loves the phrase ‘turtle-fucker’,” or something.  (This is because of the book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. That book definitely features a turtle-fucker.)

Anyways, quite the ambagious route to my point. However, if you read this blog with any sort of regularity, you’ll know already that’s how I do. Lately, I’ve been following some blogs that are more my style. They’re what I’d call “honesty blogs.” They’re not all tea and roses and One Direction music. You don’t get the feeling they’re super squeaky motivational with say, a secret meth habit or addiction to vegetable porn. They’re real. They’re more “cold-coffee-reheated-in-a-microwave-and-David-Ramirez-on-iTunes-played-on-their-iphone-in-a-bowl-because they-forgot-their-speaker-at-home-in-the-bathroom.”

I like that. Breakfast to Bed is in no way 100% honest. I hide a LOT of my shit from you scamps. However, I like to think I don’t gussy up my words or ever pretend like I have it all together. Because I don’t. It is very cathartic for me to come on here and write about my struggle with depression or my addiction to sugar and eye-rolling romance novels.  There are days I come on here, and I feel like I could be the banner carrier for poor life decisions–not entirely related to the fact that I’m on a first-name basis with more than six local bakery owners.

I struggle daily with my self-image, some days more than others. Most days I still feel like a fat girl who is just posing as someone who does ridiculous things like lifting heavy shit or voluntarily drinking water as a beverage not served with scotch.

But my blog? You scamps don’t judge me based on my appearance or my mad freestyle rap skills. You judge me on the content of my posts. That’s AWESOME.  However, if you feel like judging me on anything other than my posts, please don’t let it be my freestyle rap skills. I may have exaggerated my prowess just a touch.

Though, I’m sure, if I practiced, I could be like, a non-racist Eminem or Macklemore…with boobs.

While I go work on my street cred, (for a Brooklyn mom, this means I’m going to go to the park and hand out non-organic treats, or wear a shirt that reads “Gluten is my homeboy!”) please, make this INSANE cheesecake.

I know, I know, I said on Instagram, “down with pumpkin! up with skirts!” and I’m still keeping 50% of this sentiment alive and well. But I couldn’t resist making a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving. I also couldn’t leave well enough alone. Why make a boring old pumpkin cheesecake, when I could make THE MOST INSANE CHEESECAKE KNOWN TO HUMANKIND?!!?? Why, indeed.

I give you, the insaneomgpleasejumpinmymouth

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberry-Citrus Compote

more simply,

Cranberry Pumpkin Cheesecake

cranberry pumpkin cheesecake

cranberry pumpkin cheesecake cranberry pumpkin cheesecake

Cranberry Pumpkin Cheesecake

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour cook 2 hours cool

Keywords: bake dessert cake

Ingredients (1 cheesecake)

    for the crust

    • 1 1/2 cups crushed salted pecans or other nuts
    • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
    • 1 stick melted butter

    for the compote

    • 1, 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
    • the juice of 3 mandarin oranges or clementines
    • the zest from 3 mandarin oranges or clementines
    • 1/3 cup sugar

    for the cheesecake

    • 3, 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
    • 3 large eggs plus 2 yolks
    • 1, 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
    • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp mace or allspice
    • 4 tbsp flour or g-free flour blend
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp bourbon extract (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350

    prepare the crust

    crush nuts to a powder in a food processor,

    add melted butter

    mash into the bottom of buttered 9″ springform pan

    bake for 5 minutes or until you really start smelling the nuts

    prepare the compote

    add all compote ingredients into a saucepan and cook on medium low until berries start to pop. Remove from heat and set aside

    prepare the cheesecake

    in a mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar on high

    whip until air starts to lighten the mixture

    add eggs and vanilla

    whip another minute

    slowly sift in dry ingredients

    pour into prepared crust

    bake for 1 hour in a bain marie. (wrap bottom of pan heavily with foil and set inside a larger pan filled with water.)

    remove from oven and waterbath and chill 2 or more hours

    top with compote

    powdered sugar optional

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    Pepper Spray is the Newest Turkey Flavor

    It’s over! It’s all over! Oh wait…Christmas. The feast of the fat pants is behind us and the gluttony of gifts is before us. I am going to try not to be crabby about the whole situation, but the whole thing has become so ridiculously commercial. Everyone trying to “out-gift” each other and shopping ON … Read more…

    Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

    The countdown begins. I am now 24 hours from my trip to the asylum masterpiece. I can check one more item off of my “must make” list.  Cranberry Sauce. I like it cold, (just like my attitude) so I have to make it the day before. It’s so easy. It’s easier than oatmeal. I wouldn’t … Read more…