Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I'm "borrowing" an idea from my fellow blogger, Katie, from The Perks.  She usually blogs once a week about the good, the bad and the ugly.  I thought that it may be fitting for me today. 

The Good:  I haven't had to open the snail mail for over a week now due to excessive slackerdom.
The Bad:  I just opened the one foot stack of mail and it was quite daunting especially with all those political ads.
The Ugly:  My paper shredder got jammed with so much stuff that needed to be shredded. 

The Good:  I had more time over the weekend to "relax" due to our computer crashing at the end of last week. (Why didn't I open the snail mail then???)
The Bad:  Instead of relaxing I fretted over said crashed computer and what valuable info might possibly be lost.
The Ugly:  Food Stylist had to reformat the computer and everything was lost:  web bookmarks, email address book, saved emails, Quicken etc. *cry*

The Good:  Since the computer crashed, Food Stylist moved it (a desktop) to our coffee table in the living room.  This made for a more conducive repair area since the TV is in the living room.  Fun to surf the net while watching TV since he repaired it now.  :)  Geez, I need a laptop!!
The Bad:  A desktop is not a laptop, hence cords running everywhere that the evil cat can get to.
The Ugly:  My homeschool room is a wreck since we've been doing school on the floor in the living room.  I've just been dumping junk all over the homeschool table.

The Good:  I think I've volunteered to dissect some small animals for the homeschool science co-op I help teach.  The kids will be excited about this hands on science experience!
The Bad:  Did I mention that I don't like dead animals?
The Ugly:  Did I also mention that I still have nightmares about that rat I had to dissect in anatomy and physiology in 12th grade?

The Good:  Brick announced that he no longer wants to trick-or-treat.  Yay!  No more costumes to buy! EVER!
The Bad:  He wants to hand out candy.
The Ugly:  I guess the money we usually spend on a costume will be spent on candy for other children.  At least this will give me the chance to purchase the candy I like rather than rummaging through his treat bag for chocolate like I usually do every year.

The Good:  Both the new Richard Paul Evans and Nicholas Sparks' books became available for me at the library yesterday.
The Bad:  That's a lot of books!
The Ugly:  They're both only one week loans.  :(  I'm sure I'll incur library fees. 

The Good:  We're having Chinese food tonight for dinner.

The Bad:  We're having Chinese food for dinner.

The Ugly:  Did I mention we're having Chinese food tonight?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cranberry White Chocolate Scone Recipe

It's the time of year when cranberries will soon be in full swing at the grocery store.  There are other things to make other than just plain ol' cranberry relish (which, by the way, I have a delish recipe for courtesy of my mother-in-law). 

A few years ago I was looking for another use for cranberries and I ran across this recipe.  It's originally from the Inn at Barnum Point in Camano Island, Washington.  There are a few changes I've made measure-wise.  When I make these for company they usually go fast.

Cranberry White Chocolate Scones  

3 1/2 c. flour plus extra for shaping
1/2 c. sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
10 TBS. chilled butter, cut into pieces
3/4 c. half and half (you can use regular milk but it won't be as rich)
2 eggs
1 c. fresh cranberries
1 c. white chocolate chips

Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter.  Add 1/2 and 1/2 and eggs and blend.  Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. 

Here is where it can get a little tricky:  separate the dough into three equal parts.  It will be VERY sticky at this point.  Sprinkle some flour on the counter and put one of the three pieces of dough onto the flour.  Knead the flour into the dough with your hands and add more flour as necessary till the dough is easily handled.  Shape the ball into a circle about 1/2 inch to a 3/4 inch thick.  Use a sharp non-serrated knife and cut it into eight equal portions.  Place each portion on a greased cookie sheet (you will need two greased cookie sheets).  Repeat the steps to the other two pieces of dough.  Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or lightly browned.

Make 24 scones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Blogworthy Day in the Kitchen

I just joined a produce co-op recently so my kitchen overfloweth with veggies and fruits. What's a girl to do? Cook healthier I guess.

Produce co-ops are AWESOME!  If you can get in on one I highly suggest it.  Of course you have to have open-minded taste buds.  This is difficult for my family.  Angry Beaver ran for the hills last night when he found out we were having stuffed green peppers for dinner and O-lamita gagged on said peppers like she had reverted to a 4 year old version of her 16 year old self.  At least Brick enjoyed them though he complained about the side of fried cabbage. After Food Stylist asked if I had stocked up on Rolaids he inhaled the peppers quickly and quietly without even tasting them.   I'm "training" my family to eat more veggies and fruits.  We've always had them around but unfortunately most of my family is of the meat and potatoes kind.  I, personally, could be a vegetarian though I do enjoy a good steak every now and then slathered in A1 sauce. 

So this brings me to yesterday's kitchen catastrophe.  The stuffed peppers called for 1/3 cup of rice.  Evidently I should have used a shorter cooking time in my Pampered Chef micro rice cooker that usually churns out rice perfectly every time.  I had a burnt rice pancake when I opened it up as well as a melted rice cooker!  boo hoo!!  But what the worst thing is is that I tried cooking it again  on the stove and almost burnt it again. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Onion Soup Bread Recipe

I love it when my house smells like food.  And no food smell is better than onion or garlic.  Since we are having leftovers tonight (AGAIN), I wanted to spruce up things a bit with some yummy bread.

A while back I kidnapped and am holding hostage my bff's bread machine.  While perusing the recipe book that came with it I found a recipe for Onion Soup Bread.  It's so easy--well any bread is easy with a bread maker but this literally took me less than 5 minutes to put together.

Onion Soup Bread
1 c. and 2 TBS. hot water (115 - 125 degrees F)
2 TBS. oil
2 TBS. sugar
3 c. bread flour
2 TBS. dry onion soup mix (upon measuring this out . .you may as well use the whole package)
4 1/2 tsp. yeast (this is 2 packages worth--I just figured that out today)

Measure and add the liquid ingredients to the bread pan.

Measure and add dry ingredients except the yeast to the bread pan.

Use your finger to form a well in the flour where you will pour the yeast.  Carefully pour the yeast into the well making sure it doesn't make contact with the liquid.

Close the lid and select the "expressbake" (58 minutes) setting.

Press "start".

How easy is that????!!  It smells heavenly in here.  Since I was so eager to taste it I burnt my tongue on the flamin' hot stuff.  Nice. 

Bread Machine on FoodistaBread Machine

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Is An MRE?

What is an MRE exactly?  If you are military . . you know.  Maybe you're an avid hunter--then you may know as well (I don't think many hunters are reading my blog though).  MRE stands for Meal Ready to Eat.  The military uses them when they are in position of combat or when there are no chow halls available.  My first experience with one follows:

Our best friends are military.  So when they came to visit us last month he showed me how it's done.  They brought me a Chicken and Dumpling and a Spaghetti and Meatball MRE.  I chose the Spaghetti one.  Somehow spaghetti that may have been sitting on a shelf for 5 years sounded so much better than chicken dumplings that may have been sitting on the shelf for 5 years. 

 I opened up the bag and this is what was inside: 
A whole bunch of stuff!!  These meals are packed full of calories!  There were all kinds of goodies--even candy!  I'm told that the spoons and the Tabasco sauce are the most prized items in MRE's when out on the field. 
Isn't this the cutest!!!
 The way you cook an MRE is by taking this plastic bag and filling it with just a tad bit of water.  Some kind of magical chemical reaction starts occurring immediately at which point you have to jam the main course in the bag as soon as possible so you don't either burn yourself or have the bag blow up.  It's a lot easier to just put these babies on the engine of a humvee and heat them that way.  However, I don't have one of those. 
 Here I am struggling.  I had to call in the pro to git er done. 
Me trying to prepare the MRE and not burn myself or blow something up.

The finished spaghetti
The cooked spaghetti tasted a lot like Chef Boy R Dee.  Decent enough but def not homemade. 

Here is the spicy cornbread cake that came in the package as well.  I just about literally blew fire out of my mouth when I ate this.  It was really good though.  Especially when you put the special Cheese Whiz sauce that came with it all over the top of it. 
Spicy Cornbread Cake
Candy!!  Too bad it's not chocolate . . but I can understand why it's not.  Too melty.
 Cheese crackers that were a lot like Cheezits or Cheese Nips.
Cheese Crackers
This is the cherry berry cobbler.  We added this to the "cooking bag" after we pulled the spaghetti out since it was still creating quite a bit of heat.  It was okay.  I'm not a huge cherry fan but Food Stylist gobbled it down fast enough.

Cherry Dessert
There was coffee and all the fixin's for that, a drink mix, and even toilet paper for use "later".   I wouldn't say I'd like to eat this on a regular basis but it was decent enough.  It was a lot of food to fill you up. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cooking Confessions

Most people have it all together in the kitchen.  I must confess that some days I do and some days I'm just a mess--literally.  If you're friends with me on Facebook you'll recall my recent microwave mishaps and papercut from a Jif peanut butter lid (yes, quite embarrassing).   I'd like to provide some photographic evidence of these mishaps for you, however, when I think about doing picking up my camera I'm more worried about putting out the fire, cleaning up the mess before the animals get to it, and/or trying to get rid of the evidence so my family doesn't rub it in the my face for the rest of my life. 

I like to create recipes, modify others and dabble in the kitchen.  There are A LOT of things I still need to learn--that's what Food Network and Cooking Channel are for, right?

I thought it would be a little fun to share what I'm really like in the kitchen--my philosophy, quirks etc.  So here goes . . 

-I hardly ever measure unless I'm baking and sometimes even then I like to take matters into my own hands     thus I am a horrible baker.  

-There is a two second rule . . right????

-I love food and everything about it--look at it, taste it, touch it, smell it . . .ahhhhhhhh

-Organs are not meant to be eaten.  In fact, sometime I wonder if flesh should be either.

-I could easily be a vegetarian.

-Even though I'm in the kitchen a lot . . I don't own an apron.

-I didn't feel like a real cook until I got my KitchenAid mixer.

-If I could only make one recipe to eat the rest of the my life it would be Spanish rice--my version.

-If I ever run into Bobby Flay, I'd faint right on the spot.

-My favorite go-to ingredient is garlic.  

-Currently I'm obsessed with food trucks.  Just ask my friend, Janna.  

-It would be nice to have my own private chef.  Sometimes a break would be nice.

What are your cooking confessions?  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wholly Wholesome Giveaway Winner

Well, since there was only one person who "entered" the Wholly Wholesome giveaway I guess that means she won!  Blondie from Blondie's Bits wins a coupon for a free Wholly Wholesome product.  Congrats!  :)

I've been out of commission the past week.  Will try and get up and running this week again.  Some Allens boiled peanuts came in the mail the other day.  If you're into boiled peanuts standby because I'm having another giveaway real soon.
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