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We’re Cooking with WHAT????

April 13, 2011

In cooking class yesterday we cooked wth WEEDS.  Not that the illegal weed but cudzu, dandelions and lavender.  We even made a dish using rose petals.  Talk about channeling my inner Euell Gibbons.

Lavendar

Throughout this cooking class experience I’ve worn my big girl panties and tried everything we’ve made, yes even a few weeks ago when we used whole squid in our dish.  Talk about the yuck factor running amuck through the entire class that day.

Well, when we were told we were cooking with the stuff you find growing on the side of the roads I had my doubts but it really wasn’t that bad and yes the entire menu had at least one odd ingredient. Read more…

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Our Mouthwatering, Romantic Anniversary Dinner

March 31, 2011

Don's HOmemade Macaroni & Cheese
Tuesday marked 8 years I’ve been married to my best friend. Don wanted to do something special for me so he made my favorite dinner, homemade macaroni and cheese. He also had 5 cheese garlic bread and sparkling red grape juice. Wanting to make it more festive I pulled down the wine glasses that we’ve never used and decided to make his second favorite pie,lemon meringue.

Not feeling comfortable making pie crust from scratch and not wanting to roll it out I decided on the ready made crusts. Something in my gut said to get frozen crust in the pie tin but no, I needed to put a little work in it and went for the one you roll out and put in the pie pan yourself. I didn’t do too bad. I mean it looked like a pie crust BEFORE it went into the oven. I even used the fork and pricked the bottom and sides as the instructions said. What came out of the oven was misshapen, pulled, pulled down in various places and had some thick bulges in others. Knowing I was going to cover it with meringue I felt confident I could cover up any crust imperfections. I mean nobody was going to be looking at the crust anyway, they’d be admiring my beautiful meringue.

Next step, lemon filling. I’ve never made a lemon meringue pie before but knew my mom use to make them all the time so it couldn’t be that hard. Or could it? I first looked through numerous cookbooks and found several variations on the filling but most said you could also use lemon pudding. I went for that option because how can you mess up Jello Pudding? I was soon to find out. Read more…

My First Attempt at Homemade – Made From Scratch Pancakes

February 7, 2011

I’m on a pancake kick right now. Pancakes every morning with sugar free syrup. The best sugar free syrup I’ve found is Mrs. Butterworth Extra Thick. I also like the Mrs. Butterworth Complete Pancake Mix. You know the one, just add water. When I make the pancakes I usually make enough for a couple of mornings so I don’t have to go through the hassle of mixing the batter each day. Yeah, adding water and stirring can be hard work.

Well, I ran out of pancake mix a couple of weeks ago and didn’t buy anymore so I resorted to Bisquick. That’s still rather simple, add milk, egg and mix. Well, this morning I decided to be a bit more adventurous and flex those Domestic Goddess muscles and make my pancakes from scratch. Yes, you read that right.

My first step was finding the right recipe. It had to be perfect and fool proof  for my first attempt at real homemade pancakes and I must say this one intrigued me because it had VINEGAR in it. Once I read the recipe fully I realized I was making my own buttermilk for the pancakes. Read more…

The Domestic Goddess Strikes Again –

December 29, 2010

Messly OfficeI finally cleaned my desk and the area around it.  I know that probably doesn’t seem like such a big deal but to me it really is.  I have this bad habit of writing things on scraps of paper and then I have to hold onto them in case I need them.

Today I spent a couple of hours going through everything and tossing out what wasn’t needed.   I filed EOB’s for 2010, I filed medical test results that the doc’s office mailed me, I threw out a LOT of paper with scribbles and notes all over them. Yes I did read them first to make sure I wasn’t throwing out anything important.  I even washed the top of my desk, printer, keyboard and monitor.  I took paperback books to the bookcase in the guest room and I packed away the unused Christmas Cards.

I had 1/2 a garbage bag full of, well, garbage and I can honestly say my desk is spotless.  I promise I won’t let it get messy again.  Well, I promise I won’t let it get messy again for a couple of days.  OK, I promise I won’t let it get messy again until tomorrow morning. Read more…

Merry Christmas Everyone

December 25, 2010

First I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  I hope the day is full of fun, family and making memories and not full of stress.

We’re going to Don’s sister’s today and we decided on Thanksgiving that we were going to be doing it a lot different then in years past.  Yes, I thought the year I made BBQ ribs for Christmas dinner was different but this year we’re going stress free for the meal.  Sandwiches and snacks or as my friends and I use to call this menu LSS (Light Snacky Sh*t).

Mona (sister-in-law) has a variety of lunch meats, cheeses, breads and then there’s the desserts.  I’m making or should I say I made Pepperoni Bread.  I made 2 loaves yesterday and it’s all packed up and ready to go.  Don’s making a pasta salad that has no recipe.  He made it a few months when Chef Michael and his wife, Jeanne came for dinner and they raved about it so he tried to remember all he used and is going to attempt to recreate it.  The nice thing about a salad, there is no right or wrong, just add what sounds good and you know you’ve got a winner.

So, you want to know what he’s putting into the salad this time. Read more…

Happy Thanksgiving with Pecan Pie

November 24, 2010

I just wanted to tell my readers Happy Thanksgiving and if you’re traveling stay safe.

We’re going to my sister-in-law’s for dinner this year as we do most years.  Dinner is usually a group effort with her husband cooking the turkey in the fryer outside and Don and I bring some side dishes.   Last year I was to provide the mashed potatoes, pie and snicker salad.   I forgot the potatoes and snicker salad so we had to rush to cook a huge pot of potatoes in a hurry.  The Snicker Salad I’d made didn’t go to waste though as my stepdaughter and her family were visiting from Sweden and we ate it for a few days after the holiday.

This year I made Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, 7 Layer Salad and a Cheese Ball.  We’re also providing the cranberry sauce but that’s in a can.    I have a list on the refrigerator of everything we have to take so hopefully there won’t be anything left out this time.

I’ve made the Pumpkin Pie before and I’d love to share the recipe but I’ve been sworn to secrecy under penalty of death.  It’s a family recipe of a friend of mine.  The Pecan Pie I’ve never made and a friend told me to do a Google search for Ann Landers Pecan Pie.  It was so simple I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t like pecans but I may sneak a bite of Don’s just to see how it tastes.   If nothing else I’ve got 2 cans of whipped cream to cover it up.

Ann Landers’ Pecan Pie

1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Cup Pecans (heaping Cup)
3 Eggs, Beaten
Dash of Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Mix ingredients well.
Pour into unbaked 9″ pastry shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

 

The Great Meat Debate

September 25, 2010

According to an article on Netscape eating meat, and that includes chicken, makes you gain weight.  The article goes on to say the biggest meat eaters, min, ate around 300 calories a day and women around 200 calories of meat a day.  After five years they both gained an average of 1 lb a year.

My question, is this a realistic study? You might ask why I question the validity of the study, because this was a large European study of men and women from 10 countries.  I’m not positive but in going to fancy European themed restaurants and seeing recipes most of their meat is covered with sauces, high calorie, high cholesterol, high fat sauces. Think French; Béarnaise, Hollandaise, Rémoulade.  German cuisine has a lot of stews which are in rich broths and casseroles which have noodles or potatoes as well as a binding agent such as cheese. In Italy you think of the red sauces while not heavy laden in calories they do have the white sauces such as Alfredo which I’ve heard some refer to as “heart attack”.

Now I realize not all ethnic foods are heavy in calories but I’m just saying when they do this study they need to look at the American diet which consists of red meat by itself with nothing but a potato on the side.  That meat dish is pure protein (well, you do have to take the potato away for that but you got the idea).  It’s when they try making them fancier that we get the weight inducing properties of the meat they were studying.  I’m sure of that.

Now you may wonder why the American Diet is so fattening.  It’s because we’re not happy with one serving of meat.  Do you know a single serving is 4 ounces.  Go to any restaurant and you’ll NEVER see a 4 ounce steak on the menu.  You see 8 ounce (though I don’t know many that order that size) then they go 12 ounce, 16 ounce and 20 ounce.  The 16 ounce is 4 servings.  Then we have a baked potato that’s loaded with butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream.  We go for a fast food burger and we order a 1/4 pound or double 1/4 pound.  Then we have the bun or in the case of the double maybe a 3 part bun and along with that is the large or jumbo order of fries.  Think you’ll go healthier and get the chicken sandwich but even that has high calorie sauces and sometimes breading.  The only thing on the menu that’s close to a single serving meal is the kids menu but how many adults will order from that. 

I’m not saying everyone eats this way but our diet isn’t that healthy and I’m putting myself in that category.  While I may not go for the jumbo size burger and fries I do feel cream cheese makes any dish better.  One of my favorite sandwiches is Peanut Butter & Sugar (thanks for turning me on to that one dad) and a serving of pizza is one slice but how many of us can stop at one, I know I can’t.  American’s might not have the sauces that other countries do but we tend to super-size everything so I guess our diet isn’t that great either.  maybe it’s not the fact that meat makes you gain weight, it’s the amount we eat of it.