Thursday, March 31

Day #90 and Cookie Dough

These cookies are dangerously good and addictive! 

I am feeling much better today, went grocery shopping and even stopped at a couple of garage sales.  My best find of the day happened to be at Goodwill, a Longaberger Cookie Jar.  I have the matching teapot and pitcher, also a bargain find at a garage sale last year. 

In perfect condition for $4.99!
So what does one do when you have an empty cookie jar? When I found this recipe, I was in heaven.  I could have cookie dough in the freezer ready to go at a moment's notice. 

NEW RECIPE #25  CCC's on the QT:
(The Frugal Foodie Cookbook: Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook)
(Average Family Rating 5)

2 C. Flour
1 C. Oatmeal
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Sticks Butter, unsalted and softened
3/4 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Brown Sugar, packed
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Chocolate Chips

Combine flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, set aside.  Cream butter and sugars with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Add vanilla, then flour mixture, combine.  Add chocolate chips. 

Form dough into 2 Tbsp. balls and place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.  Freeze for 30 minutes.  Transfer dough balls to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

To Bake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake for 8 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 8 minutes.  Let cookies cool on pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to baking rack.  

Tuesday, March 29

Day #88 and Spring Cold

Yes that's right folks, I have a cold.  Runny nose, sneezing, and a headache.  Did I mention I'm a tiny bit crabby?  Though you might get a different answer if you ask Hubby or the kiddies.   Why is it when I have a MILLION things to do, I get a cold?  Me and my tissues spent most of the day on the couch watching Army Wives on Netflix.  I watched the latest episode last night online, so sad. 

And to add to my misery, my wireless mouse battery is dead.

Should have just stayed in bed.

But I wanted to share another recipe from my new cookbook:

NEW RECIPE # 24  Homemade Instant Oatmeal:
(The Frugal Foodie Cookbook:  Waste-Not Recipes for the Wise Cook)
(Average Family Rating)

2 1/2 C. Instant Oats
5 tsp. Brown Sugar
1 C. Raisins or Any Dried Fruit
3 Tbsp. Dry Milk Powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and portion into 5 Ziploc bags. 

To serve
3/4 C. Water, hot

Mix 1 serving with water and let stand for 3-4 minutes.   

Monday, March 28

Day #87 and a New Cookbook

 One day last week Mom and I along with my daughter went shopping.  The only reason my daughter went with us was so she could get a book at Barnes and Noble.  She is an avid reader and loves her Nook she got for Christmas.  While she was off searching through the teen section, I wondered through the cookbook section.  There isn't much to choose from, two rows, but I did manage to find this little cookbook.

The Frugal Foodie Cookbook:  Waste-Not Recipes For The Wise Cook
by Lara Stark with Lynette Shirk

It has so many interesting recipes!  I will be trying out several this week. The first of which is a simple Bisquick recipe.  My kids love pancakes and biscuits, but I dread making them from scratch and I always forget to buy Bisquick at the store!  Here's a simple solution! 

NEW RECIPE #23  3-IN-1 Eye-Opener Mix
(The Frugal Foodie Cookbook:  Waste-Not Recipes For The Wise Cook)
(Average Family Rating: Biscuits and Pancakes, 5)

8 C. Flour
1/3 C. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
3 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Sticks Butter, unsalted and cold

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut the butter into small chunks and add to dry mixture.  Toss butter to coat, then cut butter into mixture with a pastry cutter, I just used my hands, until the mixture is sandy in consistancy.  Store in freezer bags for up to three months.

2 C. Eye-Opener Mix
1 C. Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and grease muffin tin.
Combine milk and mix with a wooden spoon until combined, then beat briskly with wooden spoon for 30 seconds.  Using two spoons, drop 1/4 C. dough into each muffin tin.  Bake for 12 minutes.

2 C. Eye-Opener Mix
1 1/2 C. Milk

I would hope you all know how to make pancakes??

1.  I packaged the mix in 2 1/2 C. food saver bags.  
2.  Cut the butter into small pieces then put in the freezer while you mix the dry ingredient. 
3.  I also use the cultured buttermilk powder. It keeps longer and you can mix only what you need at a time.
4.  Cool biscuits for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin before they get soggy!

Monday, March 21

Thursday, March 17

Day #76 and My Lucky Day!

I'm a winner!  I've never won anything in blogland before until today!

 And the winner is Allisha from Cooking My Way,2011. Congrats.

Now you are probably wondering where and what did I win....
First I want to thank Pine Tree Home for offering this fabulous giveaway.  I love this blog!  Great ideas, helpful hints, and so inspiring.  I won a design board for a room of my choice from Second Street East, another really cool blog.   I can't wait to see what Michelle comes up with for our family room!

So I didn't get around to baking my cookies from yesterday.  I put them in the refrigerator to chill and simply forgot about them.  I am trying to get my house all snazzy for my Mom who is coming to stay for spring break.  Plus I had two sick boys at home.  Needless to say I didn't get much done.  The oven is preheating now and I hope to have these cookies done within the hour since I can bake four cookie sheets at a time!  Woo hoo! 

 I haven't said much about my AWESOME new range since it has arrived, but I must admit I am still in love.  It's both easier and harder to keep the stove top clean than I expected.  I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to use my Le Creuset tea kettle on the stove top until I read the manual.  It is enamel on steel, a little bummed.  I had searched for a new tea kettle for almost a month and finally just bought an electric one.  I'm also confused why GE put two lights in the smaller upper oven and only one in the bigger lower oven.  Sure a man designed it who has never baked anything!  One other thing, if you have a bad back or knees I would not recommend this range.  The bottom oven is a lot lower that I remembered when looking in the store.  Good thing I am low to the ground in the first place!

      Spring break officially start tomorrow here and we will be on the road to pick up my Mom at my sister's.  Can't wait to see my little nieces and the cutest nephew! 

Wednesday, March 16

Day #75 and My Favorite Cookies

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 was an angel when I was little!

 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 delicious cookies with my Granny.

So today, stuck at home again with TWO sick boys, I decided to make these cookies once again.  Although it's not a new recipe, it's one I wanted to share with all of you! ENJOY!

RECIPE #21 Genemary's Chocolate Crack-ups
(32 Fabulous Cookies, Marie Bianco)
(Average Family Rating 5)

1/2 C. Butter
6 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 2/3 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 C. Walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Powdered Sugar

Melt butter and stir in cocoa; blend well, then cool.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla, beat until smooth.

In separate bowl sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add to cocoa mixture and add walnuts, mix until combined.   Chill for at least 3 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Shape one tsp. of dough into a ball, repeat with remaining dough.  Roll balls in powdered sugar, then place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, March 15

Day #74 and the Winner is....

Drum roll please....


Real shocker huh?  Oh well, it was worth a shot.  Don't know if I will do anymore giveaways, just have to think about it.  

I did get a full night's sleep last night, but I don't feel refreshed like I had hoped.  My youngest son isn't feeling well today, congested and can barely keep his little eyes open.  Hello Allergy Season.  I was going to go grocery shopping today...the best laid plans never seem to work out.   

Monday, March 14

Day #73 and I'm Awake

LAST CHANCE to enter the GIVEAWAY ends today at Noon CST.

Some would say that's a good be awake.  Just not at 3am!  Why is it I can't sleep?  This is the second night in three days I have been awake before 5am.  Friday night was the worst, I fell asleep before 8pm...BIG MISTAKE!  I was woke up by Hubby coming to bed at 11:30pm.  I tried to go back to sleep, not happening.  So by 1am I just got up, watched a few episodes of Army Wives Season 1 on Netflix, and finally fell back asleep on the couch around 6:30am.   Second mistake was sleeping on the couch!  Between loud children and the whiny dog I was awake again at 8:30am.  This morning I woke up at 2am.  Again I tried to go back to sleep to no avail.  I've been searching the web, reading mindless gossip, and watching the clock...what has my life come to?  (SIGH) 

This is what I have come up with regards to life and sleep.  Each  stage of your life has a different sleep cycle.  When you are a kid you need a lot of sleep because your body is growing.  When you become a teenager the goal is to see how little sleep you can get and still function.  When you become a parent, sleep is no longer an option.  First they don't sleep through the night, then someone has a bad dream and wants to sleep with you, or you're cleaning vomit because someone didn't quite make it to the bathroom.  One would think it gets better as your children get older, but for some reason it doesn't.  Then the worry sets in.  They are out with friends, on a date, or driving home from work.  I never really understood why my Mom made us (older sister, younger brother) call when we got to where we were going until I became a parent.  I guess the saying is true, "Guess I'll sleep when I'm dead!"

Sunday, March 13

Day #72 and Another Project

My daughter has a social studies project,  an encyclopedia of The Dominican Republic.  For her presentation this week she wanted to make a local bread.  Today is our trial run for Pan de Agua, water bread.  We found a recipe at Aunt Clara's Kitchen.   According to Aunt Clara this is bread is served at breakfast. The hardest part of this recipe for us was calculating how many teaspoons are in one packet of yeast.  I buy yeast at Sam's, not in individual packets.  I also used a Sil-pat instead of oil on my baking sheet.   I have never understood the greasing of cookie sheets or baking sheets.  The grease always seems to burn in between the cookies or whatever you are baking.  I don't know about you, but I do not enjoy scrubbing my baking sheets or really anything for that matter.

Only ONE day left in the GIVEAWAY!  Be sure to enter by clicking on the picture in the sidebar!

NEW RECIPE #22  Pan de Agua:
(Aunt Clara's Kitchen)
(Average Family Rating)

3 C. Flour
2 1/2 (.25 ounce) Packages Active Dry Yeast OR  5 5/8 tsp.
1 tsp. Salt
1 C. Warm Water

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix in flour, salt. Add the yeast and mix in with a spatula until it is well blended. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (same texture as children modeling clay).

Wrap in a plastic film and let rise in a warm place until it doubles. Put the dough on a floured surface and punch down to get rid of the excess bubbles. Divide the dough in 8 portions. Work them into rolls, then slash them lengthwise with a knife. Allow to double again before baking. Pre-heat the oven to 425° F.

Oil a baking sheet. Bake bread for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Saturday, March 12

Day #71 and Backyard Gardening

Having a garden is therapy for me.  Something about it is just relaxing.   I love being able to walk into the backyard and pick the freshest ingredients.  Last year we downsized the garden and added a rain barrel.  I've tried starting seed indoors, but failed miserably!  So I thought I might try it one last time.  I planted scallions, radishes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, lemon-lime basil, and jalapeno peppers.  So far, so good.  The only thing that hasn't sprouted is the bell peppers.  Now hopefully I will remember to water them! 

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!  Only two days left!  Just click on the picture in the sidebar!

Thursday, March 10

Day #69 and Do Overs

I made the Granola again and it turned out fabulous!  I love it!  Think I will add more coconut and maybe pecans next time, which will be today as I am almost out!  The Dijon Chicken was liked by all but my daughter.  Go figure!  We have reached the defiant stage of being a teen...Lord HELP me! 


As I walked out of my bedroom this morning, my middle son was sitting on the floor pouting.  All because he thought it was Friday and we forgot to make the Lemon Bars for his class.  His face lit up and mood instantly changed when he realized today is Thursday!  So "we" will be making Lemon Bars tonight! 

NEW RECIPE #21  Lemon Bars:
(Taste of Home, 2008)

2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour and sugar in bowl.  Cut butter in with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Press lightly into an ungreased 9"x13" baking pan.   Bake for 20 minutes.

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Eggs
2/3 C. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 Drops Yellow Food Coloring, optional
1 Tbsp. Grated Lemon Peel
Powdered Sugar

Beat milk and eggs until fluffy.  Beat in lemon juice, flour, baking powder, salt, and food coloring until blended.  Fold in lemon peel.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, March 9

Day #68 and Seeing Double

Double yolk!
This was the first double yolk I have ever seen.  Pretty cool.  It made an awesome omelet!  Although I learned it's not best to make an omelet on the griddle, oops. 

The cookies I made yesterday, Chewy Chocolate-Chunk Cherry Cookiesdid make be feel better.  The kids loved them too.  My middle son brought home a "recipe" book from the library.  He is so cute.  He wants to make Lemon Bars for his class.  I did find a few recipes to try also.

NEW RECIPE #20 Chicken Dijon with Noodles:
(Taste of Home, 2008)
(Average Family Rating 4.0)

2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 C.  Apple Juice or Milk
1 Tbsp. Parsley
Cooked Wide Egg Noodles

Melt butter in a saute pan.  Add chicken and cook until golden brown.  Remove from skillet, add soup, apple juice, dijon mustard, and parsley.  Heat until bubbly.  Add chicken back to saute pan.  Cover for 15 minutes.  Serve over cooked noodles.

1.  I used Cream of Chicken soup instead of Cream of Mushroom.
2.  Be sure to dry raw chicken before adding to pan to help sear.

Tuesday, March 8

Day #67 and Time Flies

This year has been full of realizations for me.  One being my son is going to be a freshman in high school in the fall.  Last night was freshman orientation.  Hubby took him, as I was not feeling well, and he came home with a packet full of stuff.  I want him to realize how important these next few years will be in his life.  The decisions he makes will determine the path his life will take.  There are so many more classes he could take and several more he needs to graduate than I ever had.  Next year we will be doing this all over again with my daughter.  I will probably have the same worries, concerns, and doubts with her.  I just want my son to know whatever happens in the next four years, Hubby and I will love and support him.  So to make me feel better, I made cookies...

This recipe makes so many!

NEW RECIPE #19  Chewy Chocolate-Chunk Cherry Cookies
(Martha Stewart Living Feb. 2011)
(Average Family Rating)

3 1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter, room temperature
2 C. Light-Brown Sugar, packed
1 C. Sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 C. Semisweet Chocolate Chunks
1 1/2 C. Dried Cherries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well.  Beat in vanilla, then flour mixture.  Add chocolate and cherries, mix well.  Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
Roll into balls (about 3 tsp.), place on a lined baking sheet, about 3 inches apart.  Bake until edges are golden, 12-14 minutes.  Cool on baking rack.  Can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

1.  This dough is super sticky, hence the refrigeration.
2.  I used a Sil-Pat lined baking sheet.
3.  I also used a cookie scoop instead of rolling the dough into ball.
4.  Place the uncooked dough in the refrigerator while you bake the other cookies.

Monday, March 7

Day #66 and a Giveaway!!!

For my very first giveaway I thought it should be something I use in the kitchen...


Natural Home Bamboo Spoon
RE Nylon Spatula
all you Magazine March 25 issue

Now for the Rules:
1.  You must be a follower of this blog.
2.  Leave a comment telling me about your favorite tool in the kitchen.
3.  You may only leave ONE comment.
4.  Winner will be chosen by
5.  You may enter until March 14, 2011 at 12:00pm. CST.
6.  Winner will be announce March 15, 2011.

NEW RECIPE #18 Easy Pasta Salad:
(CMW 2011)
(Average Family Rating 4.3)

1 lb. Rotini Pasta
1 bottle Kraft Light House Italian Dressing
1/2 C. Good Olive Oil
2 Carrots, small dice
1 Cucumber, small dice
1/2 C. Red Onion, small dice

Bring 6 qts. water to a boil, add salt to water.  Cook pasta and drain.  While still warm add pasta to a bowl with Italian Dressing, mix well.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Add olive oil, mix well.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  Add vegetables when ready to serve. 

Sunday, March 6

Day #65 and a Busy Bee

Chaos.  That is what it has been like around here for the past several days.  I spent five days catching up laundry, cooking, cleaning, shuffling kids here and there, going to music competition, and celebrating my sweet baby girl's 13th birthday.  This is the first time I have sat down and not fallen asleep!  This week won't be much different with track practice starting Monday and freshman orientation for my oldest.  I can't believe he is going to be in high school!  Where has the time gone?

Anyway, I promised a giveaway at the beginning of the month.  Ooops!  It might have helped if I would have realized it was the first of the month six days ago!  So check back tomorrow for the giveaway along with an awesome new recipe I tried out this weekend!