Monday, January 31

Day #31 and Winter Continues...

Winter Storm Warning, (three words I am not very fond of). They are forcasting anywhere from 4-10 inches of snow with a light glazing of ice!  As I was coming home from taking the kiddies to school with freezing drizzle actually freezing to the windshield, my windshield wiper decides it doesn't want to be on the windshield any longer.   Luckily my good friend hadn't left for work and was able to fix it!  YEAH!  Hubby stocked us up on milk, eggs, and firewood.  What a combo, huh?   Think I have has just about enough of this winter weather.  Wonder if I could find Hubby a job somewhere warmer? 

Still trying to come up with something to make in the electric skillet tonight with chicken.  Why chicken?  Because it was the first thing I grabbed out of the freezer.  I'll get back with you when I find something...found it!

NEW RECIPE #12 Chicken Hash:
(Food Network, Guy Fieri 2007)
(Average Family Rating)

4 oz.Olive Oil, divided
2 Red Onions, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
1 Green Bell Pepper, julienned
2 Jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 lbs. Chicken Thighs, bone-in and skin on
6 oz. Beer
4 oz. Water
1 Lime, juiced
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Black Pepper
2 lbs. Red Potatoes, very thinly sliced
1/2 C. Roma Tomatoes, diced, for garnish
1/2 C. Queso Fresco

In medium saute pan, add 2 ounces olive oil, onions, garlic, and peppers and saute until translucent. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Remove half of the onion and pepper mixture.
Continue to cook chicken and deglaze with beer and water.  Add lime juice, salt and pepper, let simmer for 45 minutes until chicken begins to fall off the bone. Remove chicken, let cool. Remove bone and remaining skin, and shred with forks.
In same saute pan, reduce mixture until thick. Remove mixture from the pan, add the remaining 2 ounces oil and potatoes and fry potatoes until crispy. Add onion and pepper mixture and shredded chicken. Press mixture together as it cooks and form into 1/2-inch cake. Flip over to brown both sides.
Top with diced tomatoes and queso fresco.

Sunday, January 30

Day #30 and Withdrawl

So I am having withdrawl, from cooking, baking, etc.  It's something I do everyday, something I like doing everyday.  Cooking with the electric skillet just isn't the same.  Today I asked the best neighbor in the world to borrow her oven.  I missed using the mixer, playing with my measuring cups, and the smell of baking!   Kinda sad...

But I made this awesome banana bread...yes I have made banana bread before, but not this recipe.  It's really easy and smells so yummy.  I won't be able to eat it, allergic to bananas, but I had fun making it!

NEW RECIPE  #11 Flour's Famous Banana Bread:
(Food Network)
(Average Family Rating 5)

1 2/3 C. Flour
1 ts. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. plus 2 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 C. Oil
3 1/2 Bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2/3 C. Walnuts or Pecans, chopped

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts. Pour into a lined loaf and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Friday, January 28

Day #28 and Kansas Day

Tomorrow is Kansas' 150th birthday!  My youngest had to make something about the state bird, the Western Meadowlark.  We searched the Internet for pictures and did a collage on a canvas.  It turned out better than I hoped.  My daughter is taking Kansas History this semester and keeps saying how boring Kansas is, but I think she is missing the point.  Kansas is a state of nature, animals, and fields.  We also have hills and sand dunes.  I use to think that there is nothing to do here, but after all the papers my son has brought home about this wonderful state, I have changed my mind.  For spring break, two of the four are going to Nana's and the other two are staying here and we are going to go on a road trip of Kansas.  

No real luck in finding any microwave recipes.  I don't think I can get past the thought first of something being "cooked" in the microwave.  We had sloppy joes in the electric skillet one night and ordered pizza last night.  The new range's arrival has been pushed back another week and our van overheated yesterday.  I keep thinking it will get better, but when?   I did do something just for me last night, I got my hair done.  Although my oldest thought I should color it white, exactly what I was trying to avoid!

Wednesday, January 26

Day #26 and Seriously?

Do you ever have the feeling someone or something is against you?  I am beginning to think that way about my kitchen.  Yesterday I moved the crappy range from one side of the cabinet to paint the other side of the cabinet and then...BANG, a spark, and a puff of smoke emerge from the back of it!  Great, now I don't have a working range at all!  Apparently the connection is fried!  The new range will not be hard-wire as is this one, but I am having trouble finding out when the new one is going to arrive.  I ordered it online, which I have never ordered an appliance of this magnitude online before.  I have called only to be put on hold for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.  When I finally got through last Thursday, the salesman told me it was due to arrive from GE on January 24.  Where?  There.  There is in Michigan!  Then he proceeds to tell me it will be another 7-10 business days before it will get to me because I wanted "White Glove" shipping.  UGH!  Now what?  The best neighbor in the whole wide world is going to let me borrow her electric skillet so we can at least have edible food.  I am going to search the web today for microwave recipes...

Please pray for me and the speedy delivery of my new range in non-damaged, working order!  Thanks!

Monday, January 24

Day#24 and a New Look

If you had visited my blog prior to yesterday you might have noticed that I changed it a bit.  New background, colors...just something a bit fresher.  That is kinda my vision for my kitchen.  Yesterday was another day of delays, new problems, and naps.  After removing the bottom cabinet doors, we discovered how gross the space between the cabinet and the dishwasher had become.  So in order to clean the floor,  Hubby pulled out the non-working dishwasher.  The drain hose was melted to the back of the dishwasher along with the flex line.  Nice, huh?  This brand of dishwasher was recalled about a year ago for this very problem, overheating.  Hubby called to find out if ours was on the listed, no not our model.  Think they might need to add it to the list now!  After three hours of what I thought would have taken ten minutes, I laid down on the couch to watch a movie.  Yes and I fell asleep.  So, no cooking yesterday. 

Today I think my family deserves a warm home cooked meal.  They haven't complained about frozen burritos, leftover take-out, or sandwiches all last week.  They were in heaven when our good friends invited us over Saturday night for spaghetti dinner and a night of Rockband 3. Thank you Fraizer's!

I have a friend who also recently started a blog about food, Feeding the Heart without Breaking the Bank.  She has some awesome recipes, check it out! I am going to make one of her recipes tonight.

NEW RECIPE # 10 Easy Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes:
(F.H.B.B Jan. 2011)
(Average Family Rating)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
4 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts (frozen)
1 can Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/3 C. Milk
2 C. Fresh Broccoli Flowerets, chopped or frozen broccoli
4 C. Hot Mashed Potatoes

1. Place chicken breasts in large skillet with 4 cups water.  Cook on high until no longer pink.  Drain water and chop chicken into large chunks.
2. Heat oil in skillet over Medium heat.  Add chunked chicken back to skillet and cook until browned.
3. Add soup, milk and broccoli.  Stir to coat.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes or until done.
4. While simmering, cook mashed potatoes.  I whipped up a batch of instant potatoes in 2 minutes.
5. Serve Cheesy Chicken over Mashed Potatoes.

Saturday, January 22

Day #22 and back on track!

Yeah we have electricity!  Hubby only blew a breaker, a light switch, and wired 4 receptacles backwards!  We just chalk it up to another job Hubby can't have due to his colorblindness! ;)

So where was I before all this mayhem began....Oh yeah I was trying to make one new recipe a day,  guess that was a little too ambitious!  Let's try again shall we? 

I've never made a tart.  Right before Christmas I purchased a tart pan on clearance at Target.  I have always wanted to make one, but for some reason never have attempted it.  So why not today?

NEW RECIPE# 9  Elegant Citrus Tart:
(Southern Living Jan 2011)
(Average Family Rating)

1/2 C. Sweetened Flaked Coconut
2 C.  Flour
2/3 C. Powdered Sugar
3/4 C. Cold Butter, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp. Coconut Extract
Buttery Orange Curd (recipe follows)
9 Assorted Citrus Fruits, peeled and sectioned

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake coconut in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through; cool completely (about 15 minutes).

2. Pulse coconut, flour, and powdered sugar in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until combined. Add butter and coconut extract, and pulse 5 to 6 times or until crumbly. With processor running, gradually add 3 Tbsp. water, and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl.

3. Roll dough into a 12 1/2- x 8-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface; press on bottom and up sides of a 12- x 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Trim excess dough, and discard.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 40 minutes).

5. Spread Buttery Orange Curd over crust. Top with citrus sections.

NEW RECIPE #9  Buttery Orange Curd:

2/3 C. Sugar
2 1/2  Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 1/3  C. Orange Juice
1  Egg, lightly beaten
3  Tbsp. Butter
2  tsp. Orange Zest
Pinch of Salt

1. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 3-qt. saucepan; gradually whisk in orange juice. Whisk in egg. Bring to a boil; boil, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, zest, and salt. Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on curd (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 8 hours. Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Friday, January 21

Day #21 and no electricity...

It just keeps getting better.  Once Hubby realized the faucet was on backwards and added a longer flex line, the faucet problem was resolved.   While I had no running water yesterday I decided to remove the remaining bead board from the back splash.  The sheet rock behind the back splash needed to be replaced and I had also purchased new receptacles and switches to be installed.  One of the receptacles is a GFI.  While Hubby was installing this new GFI something happened....the back side of my house has no electricity.  An electrician will be coming by this afternoon to hopefully, fingers crossed, fix it! 

On a happier note, my countertops will be free of dirty dishes!  Baby steps...

Thursday, January 20

Day #20 and no running water...

I do not have a functioning kitchen.  The range is in the middle of the room and now the faucet is in the trash.  Hubby tried his best to fix it only to replace it.  He was up til midnight trying to get the new one assembled. Once everything was together he realized the flex line to the cold water wasn't long enough to reach the faucet. My countertops are covered in dirty dishes, all the cleaning supplies kept under the sink, and random food items.  Yes I miscounted the number of canisters I needed, short 6!  AHHHH! 

I am hibernating in my office, waiting for my fairy godmother to swoop in and make everything better!  Hope she comes soon! 

Wednesday, January 19

Day #19 and Delays

Waiting...something I don't do well.  I have no problem admitting that and it seems as if my impatience has grown these past few years.  You may ask, "What are you waiting for?" 

It started Monday when Hubby was off work and I had two sick kids at home.  We were going to work on the back splash. 

Delay #1:  Hubby putting in new electrical boxes. It took forever!
Delay #2:  Hubby had to get patches for the holes in the wall where the wires were originally just hanging.
Delay #3:  Apparently you have to wait for the drywall mud to dry around the patch to mud over them.
Delay #4:  Impeding snow storm.  Had to go grocery shopping yesterday.
Delay #5:  My containers didn't arrive until 7pm yesterday from Fed Ex.  By then I was too tired to unpack, wash, and transfer stuff into them.
Delay #6:  The dog....the lovely dog vomited on the carpet sometime last night.  So I will be cleaning carpets today instead of working on the back splash.

Sorry to vent, but sometimes a girl just needs to vent!  Cooking will not start again until Friday at this point.  Although last night I made this awesome spaghetti sauce and used ground turkey instead of ground beef.  It was so good!  Less grease and way more healthy, plus the kids loved it! 

Have a good day and pray mine will be as well!

Monday, January 17

Day #17 and Kitchen Remodel

We started remodeling the kitchen once again and today we are working on the backsplash.  The first time we remodeled we put up stained beadboard and painted the cabinets this awesome red color.  That was when my style was old world and now it is modern, clean lines, and simple.  So we scraped the ceiling free of gross popcorn, moved cabinets up to almost the ceiling, and painted them a rich chocolate brown.  Originally the walls had this lovely baby blue and pink wall paper, but I covered that with drywall mud to give a texture to the walls then did a glaze over white paint.   It looked good, but again doesn't fit with my style.  So we just painted the walls a beige.  Now we are to the backsplash which needs to be completed soon before this baby arrives.

GE PB978SPSS Profile 30" Free-Standing Double Oven Range in Stainless

We have decided to do the same wall treatment on the backsplash and add the granite piece to the back.  I think it will look better and will definitely be easier to clean! 

In the meantime all cooking has stopped.  I will hope to resume on Wednesday!  And update with pictures as I am going to buy a camera!

Sunday, January 16

Day #16 and getting organized

Being organized in the kitchen has many benefits.  Knowing what ingredients you have and where to find them is always a plus!  While we were visiting my parents at Thanksgiving, I found two new stores that I LOVE!  First was Ikea. I could have taken home everything in that store!  The second was The Container Store.  I was searching for canisters for my new pantry.  I wanted clear, air-tight, and plastic (for kid safety).  I found these awesome containers!  They fit the bill!  I purchased two of the largest ones and one for spaghetti first.  I am always leery of new products and wanted to see how they would work for me.  Needless to say,  I ordered 24 more online.  The first of three boxes arrived yesterday!  I also ordered packet containers for tea bags and instant oatmeal.  I can't wait for the remaining boxes to arrive!

In the meantime, I am on the prowl for new side dishes.  It seems like we always have a veggie and salad, but you get tired of the same veggie.  So I'm gonna give this one a try tonight:

NEW RECIPE #8  Parmesan Corn Pudding:
(Southern Living December 2010)
(Average Family Rating)

Friday, January 14

Day #14 and making soda

On our way to see my parents over Thanksgiving break we stopped halfway to hang out with my sister and her family.  Let's just say it was an adventure....anyway she had this cool machine that makes soda!  I was intrigued.  She made root beer and the kids loved it!  So I bought one today.  It's called a SodaStream Soda Maker.

SodaStream 1017512014 Genesis Home Soda Maker Starter Kit

My oldest son is home sick today so he was excited to help me put it together.  First of all the instructions come in a million different languages.  There is picture instructions on the inside cover of the manual, but the written English instructions were on page 22.  Slightly frustrating.  We finally got the bottle screwed on and pushed the button TOO many times, OOPS!   Live and learn.  It came with a sampler of 12 different soda flavors.  We made diet cola.  Not too bad, but needed to be cold!

Be warned this was not cheap, but I used my 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  And you can get a new CO container for 14.99 when you bring in an empty one.

Thursday, January 13

Day #13 and Home ALONE!

YEAH!  Everyone is going to school today!  AMEN!  I was going to post a new recipe yesterday, but we were gone all day shopping.  Yes, I braved the cold with my driver and two little guys!  Target was our first stop.  Tons of stuff on clearance and I saved $20 with my coupons!  Then we were off to Lowe's in search of a new dishwasher for Hubby.  No luck.  I might order it online from the same place I ordered the range.  I would have ordered it with the range, but Hubby wanted to see it, touch it, etc. first.

So today I will be catching up on laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and making this:

NEW RECIPE #7  Slim Tex-Mex Taco Dip:
(Midwest Living Feb. 2011)
(Average Family Rating 5.0)

Here is the link to the recipe:

IT'S OFFICIAL!  The first perfect score of this adventure goes to this awesome dip!

Wednesday, January 12

Day #12 and the bitter cold!

Still freezing here!  Even moved my electric stove closer to my computer desk just to keep warm!  They didn't cancel school today, but I didn't send my little guys.  They aren't sick and I would like to keep it that way!  The older two did go only because of the basketball tournament and my hubby was off to take them.  There is no way I am getting out in the frigid weather!   

Last night I made this soup, which I have made before, but I tweaked it a little.  It was so yummy and the first thing I could really taste in a week!  I will add a new recipe later on today, but thought this was worth sharing!

V8 Soup:
(from J.F.)

46 oz. V8 Juice
2 Beef or Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 Cabbage, shredded
1 C. Beef Broth
1 Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Smoked Sausage and Chorizo

Brown Chorizo, I used beef, in dutch oven. Add onion and cook til soft. Add smoked sausage, garlic, and cabbage. Let cook down for 2-3 minutes. Add beef broth, salt, sugar, lemon juice. Combine. Then add V8. Bring to boil, simmer 30 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 11

Day #11 and in search of a warm breakfast...

It's so cold here they have cancelled school!  As I stand here in my kitchen enjoying my new coffee pot, ours went to coffee pot heaven a few days ago (tear), I am freezing and hungry.  I have searched some of my resources for something warm and without bread, nothing.  Does all breakfast food include some form of bread?  When I was sick back in 2004, tells you how often I really get sick, I could not eat any type of bread for almost a year!  Well it seems that it has happened again!  I made the mistake of having half a grilled cheese sandwich! UGH!

So I am going to create my own recipe for a breakfast casserole:

NEW RECIPE #6  Breakfast Casserole:
(Average Family Rating 4.8)

1 Can of Crescent Rolls, unseparated
1lb. Pork and Bacon Bulk Sausage
1/2 C. Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
1/2 C. Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
10 Eggs, room temperature
1/3 C. Sour Cream
12 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook sausage in skillet until browned, transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate with slotted spoon as not to remove any of the drippings.  Add onions to skillet, saute until soft, then add red peppers and garlic, heat til warm.  Add sausage back to skillet to combine.  Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes.

Crack eggs into bowl adding salt, black pepper, sour cream, and whisk.  Spray an 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Open crescent rolls and unroll.  Place the entire sheet in the pan and make a crust.  Combine sausage mixture with egg mixture.  Pour into 9x13 pan, top with cheddar cheese. Bake until set.

  1. YES I do realize crescent rolls are a type of bread, but it is much lighter and I had a can in the refrigerator! :)
  2. After browning the sausage, I realized I had a bit too much grease in the pan so I removed half.
  3. I grate my own cheese. So before I grate cheese, I put it in the freezer for 5 minutes.  It really helps the cheese stay together as you grate it!
  4. I don't give specific cooking times or temperatures because I have a really crappy oven (not for long) and I do not want someone to burn anything! (took about 30 minutes)

Monday, January 10

Day #10 and going shopping...

Before I get back on track and start cooking again, it's off to the grocery store.  I try to go once a week to keep up with the ads, coupons, and my own sanity.  Meal planning around here only works for a week at a time otherwise I don't have enough room to keep fresh food!  Plus we go through about 2 gallons of milk a week and my fridge can't hold more than that! 

Tonight is my daughter's basketball tournament so I probably won't get much cooking done today.  Plus I am going to order our new range and dishwasher today!  YEAH! Our dishwasher broke about 6 months ago and as a gift to my hubby's hands, I will be buying him a dishwasher.  I have been waiting for six years to have this baby, just for me:

GE PB978SPSS Profile 30" Free-Standing Double Oven Range in Stainless

Isn't she a beauty!  Double oven, 5 burners with a griddle feature, and no knobs to clean around!  I'm in love!

Saturday, January 8

Day #8 and on the road to recovery!

I feel sooo much better today, but not great.  Still can't taste food, can definitely smell it, but can't taste it.  My kids and hubby have been very kind this entire time, but my house is starting to fall apart.  It is driving me nuts!  So today I will probably do too much and feel worse tomorrow, but I can't handle the mess any longer!  Hopefully by Monday I will be cooking once again and feeling back to normal.  All I can say is thank you Lord for Tamiflu!

Thursday, January 6

Day #6 and Influenza

Yes I have influenza.  It is not been fun these past few days.  I rarely get sick and so when I woke up at midnight night before last and couldn't breathe, I knew something was wrong.  After a trip to the ER and some serious pain meds, I am feeling better, but not back to normal.  So I won't be cooking for a couple more days or much of anything else....

Tuesday, January 4

Day #4 and the chaos has begun...again!

The kids went back to school today which meant I got to go to the grocery store alone!  I don't really enjoy grocery shopping and I definitely do not enjoy going with anyone!  Five stores and four hours later, I was finally home.  It's so nice and peaceful in my house with no one but me.  Oh and the dog... Our three year old Boxer is a mess, she does not like being left home alone or being shooed out of the kitchen as I put away groceries.  She is a bit needy and apparently now lonely.  As I type this, she is asleep in the sun behind the couch! 

We have something going on every night this week....
Tonight the little guys, my two nine year olds, have basketball practice. And no they are not twins and I don't know why I call them little because they are anything but!  My oldest nine year old will be 10 tomorrow.  He informed me this morning he did not want to be 10.  What do you say to that?  Okay, well it's going to happen regardless?  He didn't like that answer, but I didn't have anything witty to say at 6:45 this morning while I was trying to comb his wild hair!

Back to the grocery I was leaving the last store I grabbed a couple of my usual monthly magazines,  Martha Stewart Living and Midwest Living.  Yes I should have purchased them at Sam's while I was there this morning, I had only one thing on my mind...meat!  Anyway, after all the groceries have been put away I sat down to read (aka flip through) these magazines and came up with today's new recipe...

New Recipe #5  Anytime Oatmeal Cookies:
(Average Family Rating 3.8)
(Martha Stewart Living Jan. 2011)

1 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2/3 C. Brown Sugar, packed
1/3 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 C. Old-fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 C. Raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla, then flour mixture. Mix in oats, then raisins.

Using a 1 1/4-inch ice cream scoop (or 1 tablespoon), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each scoop about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 14 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack.

Monday, January 3

Day #3 and some much needed chocolate!

Start of a new week and the kids will be going back to school tomorrow!  YEAH!   It has been a loooong two weeks!  All four have become restless and the fighting began two or three days ago.  Too much togetherness, for everybody!  Hubby gets a break a day early, he got to go back to work!  Needless to say, I am a little jealous! 

My family has been very supportive in this venture, they have tried the new recipes and not been shy about their feelings!  At dinner last night, my 13 year old son said that he might want to become a food critic! 

My middle son is turning 10 on Wednesday and he asked for chocolate chip cookies to take to share with his class.  So I am making them with a twist....

NEW RECIPE #4 My Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Average Family Rating 4.3) 
(By Tyler Florence)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) Andes Mint Chocolate Bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer together on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs. Slowly add dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate bits.  Using a medium size scoop, scoop onto sheet pan and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Update:  These cookies are so yummy!  The first batch didn't last long here! 

Sunday, January 2

Day #2 and a little info...

Day #2 of this adventure has brought me a little insight of how I am going to come up with new recipes to try. 
Here is a list of resources I plan to use in this quest:
1.  My collection of cookbooks
    I have quite a few cookbooks, mostly little ones you pick up at the grocery isle.  I have one from my mother which I can say I have only made items she has written in the back!  But my favorite cookbook is the very first one I ever owned, 32 Fabulous Cookies by Marie Bianco.   I bought it at my first grade book fair.  It's even stamped on the inside cover by the librarian!  I've made countless recipes out of this lovely book, but my favorite would have to be recipe 21 Genemary's Chocolate Crack-ups.  This page is covered in residue of sticky fingers and memories of baking these delicous cookies with my Granny.

2.  Food
    I have used this so many time when I am stumped or need something quick.  It is a great resource for questions, especially for ingredients I have never heard of such as Golden Syrup! 

3.  You
   Please send me any recipes you think I should try.  I am willing to try almost anything within reason.  Please no liver and onions or brussel sprouts! 

NEW RECIPE #3  Sour Cream Coffee Cake:
(Average Family Rating:  3.6)

Since this is a loooong recipe I decided just to give you the link...(yes I can be a little lazy...)

The cake is currently baking in the oven, but I can tell you this, the batter is very thick!  I don't know if it is because of something I did or it's suppose to be thick!  But we shall see in t-minus 10 minutes!

Update:  It came out perfect!  I baked mine in a Bundt pan since I don't own a tube pan.  I also made the glaze with Golden Syrup rather than maple.  Yum!

Saturday, January 1

My New Year's resolution...

I seem to have the same resolutions every year...this year is going to be different!  I am going to attempt to make (aka bake, cook, grill, etc.) something new everyday!  I like trying new food and discovering that there can more to my weekly menu other than the same ol' thing! 

Today I am starting with two new recipes:
1. Salt Caramels
2. Chicken Ranch Wraps

I will try to document my cooking with pictures while I am cooking as well as the finished product.  Since this idea came upon me while my daughter and I were making the caramels there will not be any pics of the during of this recipe. (Update:  Need new camera!  No pics today!)

I hope you have as much fun reading this as I hope to have making this resolution one I won't break!

NEW RECIPE #1:  Chicken Ranch Wraps:
(Average Family Rating:  4.8)
(This recipe originated from the Pilsbury Simply Delicious Brunches April 2006)

I am doing a little tweaking to this recipe to suit my family's tastes...

2 to 2 1/2 pounds of shredded or chopped chicken
1 C. of shredded cheese (Cheddar, Mozerella, or Colby Jack)
8 slices of cooked bacon, coarsly chopped
1 C. of ranch dressing
Chopped Lettuce
Chopped Onion

The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, I just roasted 5 chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  I coated them with olive oil, salt, and pepper on both sides.  Add ranch dressing to chopped chicken and combine.  Then it's just like making a taco, add whatever condiments you like, roll up, and enjoy!

NEW RECIPE #2 Salted Caramels:
(Average Family Rating: 3.8)
(This recipe originated from Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?)

First and foremost I must say that Ina Garten is my FAVORITE cook!  This recipe is no different from others I have tried, easy and wonderful!

Vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. water
1 C. heavy cream
5 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 tsp. fine kosher salt (she added fancy salt I didn't have)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Line a 9"x13" pan with parchment paper and spray with veg. oil.  In a stockpot, add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Combine and let come to a boil over medium high heat.  In a sauce pan add butter, salt, and cream.  Let come to a simmer and remove from heat.  Once the sugar mixture has come to a boil, turn off heat and slowly add the cream mixture.  Very hot!  Let the mixture come to a boil and cook until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees.  Pour into lined pan and refrigerate until set.  Once set, remove from pan and cut into 3 sections shortways.  Then cut each section in half.  Then into bite size pieces!  Enjoy!
(Update:  Let come to room temp. before trying to cut!)