This happens pretty often. I hope when they have kids they have to eat ugly food sometimes too. ????
This happens pretty often. I hope when they have kids they have to eat ugly food sometimes too. ????
Posted on November 9, 2013
Filed Under Tidbits
Wow, my backspace key is smoking. It’s like I don’t know how to write anymore. It all sounds weird, so I keep starting over. So, I’m just going to write, even if it sounds rusty. I missed this site. And my mom and my sister Jan say they’re tired of looking at the kid lunches now. Time to dust it off and start posting again.
My afternoon was spent cooking yesterday. And thinking. And not thinking about taking pictures of what I was cooking! I need to get into the habit again! What I was thinking about is how working in the kitchen is what I want to do with my life in the future. I think I could probably find people who’d take a meal or birthday cake or bucket of cookies now and then. ???? Problem is, the ladies who are the age that I picture being when that happens in the future are still so crazy busy. They’re not exactly sitting around knitting. If that’s me at that age, I guess I’ll just have to hire a maid.
I was going thro’ some pictures a bit ago to find a recipe to feature or at least pictures of some sort. What I found was miscellaneous pictures.
First, we have an unidentified cheesecake. I have no idea where this recipe comes from, which is sad because it looks so sinfully good. It’s layered and swirled and chocolate chippy. And it’s in my kitchen and I vaguely remember making it. Oh, if I’d only know where I got the recipe! Any ideas?
Here is a slice so you can see the layers.
Next, is another mysterious recipeless dish. This might be a bit easier to identify, so let me know if you know what it is!
Here is a progress picture. The light layers are crackers. The other layers look carmelly and then chocolate on top. Mmmmm!!! You can bet I’ll make these again if I figure out what recipe it is!
Here is just a way to change up peanut butter pie. Like, for example, if you don’t like to make pie crusts. The directions are very complicated, so pay attention: crumbs, pudding, crumbs, pudding, crumbs, pudding, crumbs.
I’m not saying the OSU fans in this Kroger grocery store are crazy about their football team or anything, they’re just selling pop.
This next picture says more than just cookie baking going on.
One thing it says is that we moved to a different house. My kitchen quadrupled in size. So did the cupboard space and the countertop space. I’m fine with that.
Another thing it says is that there is someone in the picture who hasn’t been in my blog before. That is Bonnie. Bonnie and Tommy are special and live in an attached apartment here. They are a part of our life. It hadn’t really crossed our minds before that someday we’d become houseparents to mentally handicapped adults, but an opportunity came up and here we are. They are pretty independent and like to do a lot of things for themselves like cleaning and simple cooking and laundry. Then, they do other things on the farm like chores (raising calves, chickens, rabbits), cleaning a rental cabin, and mowing. Their mode of transportation is a golf cart and do they ever put on the miles in the summer! Transportation around the farm, that is. Their mode of transportation off the farm is us. They also work a couple afternoons a week at a local thrift store. They love it… it helps them feel useful and needed.
Fall is in the air. I love this time of year.
And I leave you with a reminder to always add lots of whipped cream to your hot chocolate…
I’m not sure who has more fun with this… me or the kids. The thing about kids is that they’re so forgiving. For example, if your lion lunch looks more like a sun with whiskers, they’ll love it anyway. And they’ll even call it a lion, and they’ll grrrr while they’re eating it. Those of you reading this will probably fall into one of 3 categories:
1. Think “That’s a waste of time.”
2. Think “That would take too long, but I’d like a few easy ideas to do someday… maybe one day when I have nothing else to do *hahaha, laughing at your own joke of nothing to do*, or for a birthday party for one of the kids or something.”
3. Think ”I need to make lunch anyway, so instead of cutting a sandwich in half corner-to-corner and throwing it and chips on a plate, I might as well take a couple extra minutes and cut a roofline at the top of the sandwich and place some Doritos here and there to make it a house-on-fire lunch. Not saying I do it all the time… just hit n miss for fun. Because psssssst *whisper* Sometimes I fix lunch in 30 seconds flat and my kids’ lunches look like this:”
If you are person #1, I don’t care, I won’t try to change your mind… I’ll just feel privileged that you’re still putting up with me on here. 🙂
If you are person #2, do it, find that ’someday’, seriously, I can’t tell you how much the kids will love it.
If you are person #3, ahhh, let’s just remember that strengths and weaknesses lie side by side… because I’m pretty sure that spending time playing with food instead of folding laundry would be considered a weakness.
You may notice that this is almost all grilled cheese sandwiches. Nothing fancy. No special recipes or anything.
I’m just going to put up 10 or so pictures here of ones I’ve remembered to take pictures of. Most of them were quickly snapped with my cell phone… without necessarily planning to post them, just more for my own interest. I thought of redoing them all and getting decent pictures, but you know what? I don’t specialize in the photography line like a few of my talented friends do. (My talented friends’ first piece of advice would probably be “use a camera, never a cell phone!”)
I think the pictures are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll try to explain sorta what I did under each picture. I just used whatever I had on hand… nothing was planned ahead, so sometimes I had to improvise, like using melted chocolate on a ham and cheese sandwich… it wasn’t very much though, I just needed something dark for eyebrows. I think you’ll notice the improvising as you look at the pictures.
1. Let’s Go Fishing
Apple boat, fish-shaped grilled cheese sandwich, carrot fisherman, gummy worm, pretzel fishing pole, brown crayon fishing line, blue crayon water, edible marker face (well, just the ink is edible, not the whole marker ), chocolate chip eye.
2. House on Fire
Sandwich cut into a house shape, windows doors and roof line out of crust, chimney cut from scraps, marshmallow smoke, Doritos fire.
3. Pig with Mudhole and Feeding Trough
Grilled cheese pig with ears from scraps and snout from one side of another sandwich, carrot eyes and nostrils, Pringles trough with snack mix pig food, chocolate pudding mud.
Trail bologna caterpillar with shredded cheese mouth and antennas, cheese eyes, cheese leaves, cookie & pretzel sun. I let them eat crackers with it, but I should’ve incorporated the crackers into the caterpillar to make it more interesting and varigated!
Snacking on cheese and pretzels on evening, Tiffany (5) suddenly came over to me and said “Look Mom! I made a butterfly with my cheese and pretzels!”
Grilled cheese boats, licorice masts, strawberry sails (it was this lunch that I realized ”hey! It would be very easy to make hearts out of strawberry halves!”), Marshmallow clouds, cracker fish (swimming in invisible water, ha).
7. Semi and Car
Bake ham n cheese sandwiches with hot dog bun instead of hamburger buns. Get them out of the oven and add unmelted cheese details: wheels, smoke stacks, driver with face drawn on. For the cabs, I added one layer from another sandwich. The kids drove these around a bit before eating them. The wheels are held on by toothpicks. A toothpick is the perfect length to span the width of a hot dog bun and have a bit left over on each side to press the cheese onto. The faces stayed on because I put them against the hot melted cheese and they stuck.
Yeah, you can laugh at these lunches, I don’t care. Grilled cheese head, shredded cheese and cheese chunk face, Doritos mane.
9. Spiral and a Scissors
Cut-your-own-piece pizza. The girls cut small pieces so they could use the scissors more often.
10. Dog and Bone
Grilled cheese dog, Pringles ear, piped chocolate pudding eye, nose, bone, and words.
Grilled cheese puzzle pieces… very simple, but Tiffany had fun playing with it anyway.
12. Are You Ready for some Football?
Grilled cheese footballs with shredded cheese laces, carrot goal posts (not fastened, just arranged there, and they roll while transporting the plate, then you have to fix them again 🙂 ), cookie jersey (you can’t see it very well, but I used red edible ink to draw a 5 on it (because the tot eating it was 5) and drew lines at the end of the sleeves).
13. Angry Birds
Head is round bread, round cheese, and crescent ham with ‘tufts’, cheese eyes and nose (I didn’t have yellow cheese, so I colored white cheese with an edible ink marker), melted chocolate eyebrows and ‘pupils’.
Ok, this ended up being 13… an unlucky number! I’m not superstitious, but maybe I should add another one that I just thought of that I made this week to go with a lunch, but didn’t take a picture:
14. A carrot man. Think stick man with 5 baby carrots: 1 carrot was the torso, 2 were legs, 2 were arms. The head was a round piece of cheese with a smile drawn on with an edible ink marker. Then, I put a raspberry upside down on his head for a cap. One carrot man was sitting and one was standing (or laying, rather). Everything was held together with little pieces of toothpicks. Could even dress them up with fruit roll-ups or cheese/ham slices or something… didn’t think of that till right now.
Have fun! We are! 🙂
Posted on April 4, 2011
Filed Under Tidbits
This is just going to be a miscellaneous post of 12 pictures that have to do with kitchen/cooking/eating that happened in the last few months. It’s called catch-up. These incidents fall into one of 2 categories:
1. Not important enough to merit their own post.
2. Happened too long ago that a whole post on them now would be like digging up old bones.
I didn’t know I was going to do this post, or I would’ve just thrown my Before/After picture in this list because that whole deal was a bit embarrassing in the previous post. I’m not going to keep talking about my diet in future posts, but I do know that getting it out in the open now definitely makes me feel more accountable, which is a good thing.
First up is a birthday cake by Lexi and Tiffany. Lexi is 8 and Tiffany is 4. This was this past January and since then, Tiffany had a birthday and turned 5… her ladybug cake will be featured sometime soon. But here, it was Shannon’s birthday. The cake was Lexi’s idea, so I let them have at it. It’s a chocolate sheet cake with peanut butter icing… because a sheet cake would give them more room to scribb—oops, I mean, decorate, than a 9×13 would. I helped with the baking and spreading the frosting, but they did ALL the decorating. Lexi made the smiley face and the heart and did all the writing… meanwhile, Tiffany did the picture down in the corner (yeah, not exactly sure what it’s supposed to be, but I think I can make out a person on the left of it). Lexi was surprised how hard it is to write with frosting. ????
The other day, Tiffany purposefully went to her room, got her apron on, then came to me and said, “Mom, the ONLY thing I ever eat is cupcakes. So… *pause* can I have one?”. Could YOU have said no? Me neither.
Tiffany was playing with her little doll named Paige while drinking chocolate milk. She thought it was so cool that Paige would stay hanging when she’d let go of her. (And no, she doesn’t have her eyes closed like it looks.)
A random kid snack, all happy and yummy…
This is a window in my mom’s kitchen/dining room. At Christmastime, she took all her grandchildren over to it and sprayed some spray-on “snow” over their one hand (and then washed their hands right away). Long after they were gone back to Pennsylvania/Missouri/Ohio/the other side of town, she still had this little souvenir on her window.
Here is some monkey bread that I made one lazy Saturday morning earlier this year that I never featured. And now, I’m not even sure what recipe I used! It got rave reviews, but really, you can’t go wrong with biscuits, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, can you?!
This is a pie from one time a few months ago when I NEEDED a chocolate peanut butter fix NOW. I pulled a baked pie crust out of the freezer, spread a layer of peanut butter on it, filled it with some instant pudding, put chocolate and Cool Whip on top, sprinkled it with Nestles powder, and TA-DA! I had a ready-to-eat-pie in 10 minutes flat!
Here are some sour cream cookies that I made last week that didn’t make the cut, according to my food critics who live here. Here’s what I wrote beside this recipe in the cookbook: “Kinda dry. Don’t make again. Good, but with a million other cookie recipes out there, don’t bother with this one.”
Here are some of my scrapbooking buddies of yesteryear… Ruthie, Linda, and Liz. We moved to Ohio a couple years ago and went back for a visit to WI this past year for Christmas, so of course we girls had to work a good-ole-days catch-up evening in. Well, ok, we got together the next day, too. This particular evening involved restaurant-hopping. Shannon and I went on a double date with Ruthie and her husband. Then, when we were done there, our men dropped us off at this restaurant, where Liz and Linda were waiting for us at a cozy table by the fireplace. We got dessert here. Then, this restaurant closed at 10:00, so we went over to McDonalds, which closed at midnight. Welcome to Small Town, where 24-hr businesses are hard to come by and Main St rolls up its sidewalks at 5:00, but aw, is it ever cozy and friendly! Even the policemen are friendly, we found out. Heehee. Ok, I won’t go into that or say which one of my friends was driving, but it turned out well because no speeding tickets were involved… the I-was-just-talking-to-my-friends-and-not-watching-my-speed explanation worked.
Here was our SuperBowl party cake. The cake was sweeter because we had cake and ice cream after the game was over… the sweet taste of victory.
I saw Pioneer Woman several weeks ago! She was in Columbus on Feb 19. I didn’t take my camera, so these are with my phone. It was a bit surreal, I’ll have to say! On the talking picture, I was probably saying, “I CAN’T believe I actually get to SEE you!” I forget what all I said, but I do remember saying that.
And last, but not least, here’s Megan. She’s 10 months old. She doesn’t get enough to eat, so she has to supplement her diet with Princess tiaras.
You know how when you have a problem, you try to find a solution? And then sometimes the solution doesn’t work because it hinges on another problem? And then you have to back up and fix that problem before you can fix the initial problem?
Is anyone still with me? If you didn’t follow, I’ll explain it using a few more words… I know I was kind of concise in that first paragraph. Ok, just kidding.
Well, here’s my problem: I miss this cooking site. And having fun in the kitchen. And trying new stuff, making tried-and-true stuff, playing with food, etc.
Solution: Ok, duh, so start cooking, making, playing, and updating!
Problem hinging on that solution: I’m on a South Beach diet, and I couldn’t eat 90% of the stuff I’d make. And if I can’t taste it, how would I rate it? Plus, it would take ALOT of the fun of cooking away. I started posting alot around Christmas time and was planning to keep it up, then one day in January, I looked in the mirror, and decided to go on a diet, and well, you know the rest of the story (see above).
So, I found a solution: Make a diet exception. So, I did that. I decided that I can have 1 serving of anything I put on here. It’ll just be, you know, a cross I have to bear, you know, because I really DO actually want to stay on my diet, you know.
I hope you won’t get tired of me posting cheesecakes ALL. THE. TIME! ????
When I was thinking out loud, rambling to Shannon about my problem/solution/problem/solution and told him how I’m solving it all, his comment was (as if he was saying this one day after my blog was up and going regularly again), “37 posts on Kitchen Scrapbook today?! and 24 yesterday?!!!”
Here’s where the out-of-my-comfort-zone tidbit comes in… I’m putting on a Before/After picture of myself. WAY out of my comfort zone…even if I keep the pictures small …and even if the pictures are in poor lighting. But by posting this, it’ll give me some accountability to keep on and get to the Final picture. So, here you go, this is what the halfway mark looks like, I just passed it a few days ago…
Now, onto the mints. Not sure if you can trust my judgement on these… of course they were good! Hello… it’s CARBS!!
Ahhh, carbs. How I love thee.
Maybe if I was eating normally, they’d get a good/average rating instead of a ‘they were absolutely awesome’ rating. I don’t know. So, just make them yourself… they’re easy enough!
This recipe was not taken from a cookbook. It was taken from the book The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. The book title doesn’t even have to finish that sentence …we all already know that we rule the world. If you’re a mom and don’t have that book, you should. It’s great. Every 2-page spread is loaded with inspiration, Bible verses, real life experiences, and here’s my favorite: little sayings/quick quips/advice. A few pages have some fun little recipes on them, like page 145 with Mint Patties.
1 lb. powdered sugar (I’ll save you some research… that’s 3 3/4 cups)
2 tsp. cream
1 Tbsp. soft butter
1 egg white (unbeaten)
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and shape into patties. Dip in chocolate.
And there you have it, simple as that. I got done putting all the ingredients in and then thought “Uhhhh, MINT patties? It must mean mint patties in looks only, because there’s no mint in the recipe.” So, I added about 1/2 tsp. of peppermint extract.
I just threw everything into a bowl and mixed it, but it made little pea-sized balls, so I added a bit more cream and then it all blended together like a dough.
Instead of shaping the patties (which I thought would be too time-consuming), I rolled the ‘dough’ out and used cookie cutters. Got a variety of shapes that way too, which inspired me to make a mental note that these could go with any theme or holiday… just make it in whatever shape is right for the occasion!
I chilled the patties in the fridge for about a 1/2 hour before dipping them. I dipped some, half-dipped some, and ‘scribbled’ on some. You could even leave some plain, or add a tint of green food coloring.
This recipe made about 6 dozen mint patties.
So, I can only have 1 serving… how many patties is 1 serving? Just wondering, because the recipe doesn’t say. Oh well, I’ll just assume the whole batch is 1 serving. ????
Her name is:
She’s not sugar-free… she’s full and overflowing with sweetness.
Here she is…
She’s a bundle of pudge and coos and smiles and wiggles… well, ok, and some crying and blowouts too.
Lexi & Tiffany adore her. Here they are when she was brand new…
And here they are just recently…
Megan’s middle name is Lydia. Megan Lydia. One reason we wanted to use it is for a namesake of a dear grandmother… Shannon’s grandma’s name was Lydia. Another reason we wanted to use it is because on the day we found out that we were expecting Megan, we also got the news of Grandma passing away. It was a life and a death notice all in one day. Bittersweet.
Speaking of Grandma Lydia, the ABC blanket under these cupcakes was hand-quilted by her for Lexi (who is now 7). Someday, I’ll probably have trouble deciding whether to pass it on to Lexi who it was made for or Megan who is her namesake.
Sleeping… she goes 5-hour stretches at night and a few times has slept ALL night! Not bad for 2 1/2 months! I’m quite proud of her!
I wish somehow I could put a cyber-squish on here so you could hold her for a minute, especially for my mom who lives miles away and hasn’t gotten to cuddle her for awhile. ????
She weighed 7 lbs 12 oz at birth and tipped the scales to 13 1/2 lbs at her 2-month check-up… no wonder she grew out of some of those adorable little clothes before I got to wear them on her enough!
And that’s our Little Cupcake. A Little Cupcake that is to blame for my blog suffering over the last year. A Little Cupcake that’s pretty much the boss around here, but we’re fine with that because we think she’s the darlingest thing around.
Speaking of cupcakes, here are the real ones up close… decorated with fondant and frosting. My little Cooks in Training helped make the stuff on top. We sat down and had what Lexi called a “girl’s meeting” to discuss what to put on top of the 12 cupcakes and the name and these 7 things is what we came up with. As we were making the things, Tiffany (4) kept calling the fondant Play-doh. And when she wasn’t calling the fondant Play-doh, she was asking if she could eat some more frosting.
Hopefully, you can tell what they all are, but just in case you can’t, they are: a bib, a blanket, a bottle, baby feet, baby face with a pacifier, rattle, and baby blocks.
Posted on November 30, 2009
Filed Under Tidbits
I’m just sayin’. ????
1. Eat whatever you’re craving. It’ll usually make you feel better. Even tacos at 12:30 a.m.? Yup. I know from experience.
2. Graze all day. Isn’t that GREAT advice?
3. Stay hydrated. Water can be so nauseating, so it helps to squirt a bit of lemon juice in it. Also helps to drink it ice cold. Or drink iced tea, juice, or milk.
4. Noodles. In small quantities though, or it starts making you sicker.
5. Stay out of the kitchen as much as possible and don’t be browsing cookbooks and cooking magazines… even if it means not updating your cooking blog for quite awhile. ????
These are all, of course, my own opinions and what worked/is working for me. I have friends who eat crackers like crazy, but I’m never in the mood for plain crackers. If you have your own tips, please leave them in a comment below! We need all the help we can get during this phase, don’t we? And if you’re not pregnant right now, maybe you’ll want some of this info for in the future.
On another note, thanks alot for the emails from you readers, wondering if everything is ok and saying you’re missing the updates. I’m hoping to keep this site up a bit better now and hopefully slip in some holiday recipes yet this year. One that I’m planning to do is my mom’s cranberry salad. Hopefully I can make it like she does… it’s one of those I-don’t-really-have-a-recipe-for-it Mom specials. It is oh so good!
Posted on January 6, 2009
Filed Under Tidbits
December = cookie baking, candy making, chocolate eating, a big Christmas dinner, using butter in obscene amounts, never actually getting hungry…
Then BAM! January hits!
January = calorie limits, dusting off the treadmill (*ahem* and using it), having chocolate only in your dreams, drinking water water water, finding yourself frequently wandering out to the kitchen to look around for something ‘legal’ to eat…
Sigh! Anyone else suffering from ‘whiplash’?
Posted on October 16, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
Here I am, equipped with my feather-duster, ready to dust off this site again. Ah, how I missed it! I had a list a mile long that I had to get done before I was going to allow myself to start posting again. But, I’m pretty gracious, especially with myself (sigh!), and I let that little rule slide. Not totally slide though, I did get about 3/4 of the things done that I wanted to.
So, have any of you ever moved? Do you know how much WORK it is?! You have to still do the laundry, make meals, take care of the kids, go scrapbooking, clean the house, PLUS decorate the house, unpack boxes, and fit everything into cupboards and closets. And it doesn’t all fit quite as good as it did… you know how when you go grocery shopping and you’ve got a full cart, then you put it all on the checkout counter and when you load it back into the cart bagged up, the cart is overflowing and you’ve still got 5 more bags to put in it. So, I have quite a few things that don’t have homes yet. Like the Kleenex box. It is on top of the fridge, but how many guests will manage to spy it up there? And the spices, I need to figure out a better system for them. They have a home, but not a very organized one. …Not like I’m stuck on being organized or anything.
I think for the next while, my house will be like a Rubikscube (I have no idea how to spell that, so just sound it out and you’ll know what I mean). Once everything is in place, I’ll still be changing this and changing that till it feels right.
Anyway, I’m not posting a recipe right now, just checking in to say Hi and that you’ll be seeing more action on this site again now.
And if you ever get bored, make a duck bill with Pringles chips…
Posted on August 18, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
*Digging myself out from under a mountain of boxes* All I’ve been thinking of lately is bananas and an occassional apple… maybe it has to do with the fact that I’ve been spending alot of time with banana boxes and an apple box now and then.
We are moving.
So, this website will be put on the back burner for the next month or so. Ah, how fitting to use the term ‘back burner’ in a kitchen-related post. You know, it is true that when I make a meal, I very seldom need more than 2 burners and always use the front ones. The back ones aren’t used near as often. I wonder if they keep that it mind when they’re making stovetops. Not sure exactly what they’d do to make the front ones better and last longer, I guess that was just a weird random thought.
Anyway, for tonight, I’m making, er, WE’RE making Grilled Chicken Breast Salad. It’s ‘we’ because the grill is not my territory, and I’m quite happy to keep it that way.
Posted on July 26, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
No, the kitchen didn’t fall off of my house. I’ve taken to eating out instead of cooking… we’re on a trip, left on Wed. We’re in Ohio, going to a wedding later today, and then catching up with some friends tomorrow and Monday. We should be getting home Tues or Wed, so I’ll be updating again then, after getting the salad of duffel bags and all down to the laundry room.
The motel room that we’re in actually has a little kitchen and in the Guest Services Directory book, there is a section of recipes. I copied a few down to try at home. Here are 2 of them:
2 slices bread
2 tsp. butter, softened
1 strip bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cut a 2″ round circle out of the center of each bread slice. Spread both sides of bread with the butter. In a skillet, toast bread on 1 side over moderate heat till golden. Reduce heat to moderately low. Turn the bread over. Break an egg into the hole in each slice. Sprinkle the bacon over the eggs. Cook, covered, for 5-6 min until the eggs are firm. Serves:2. I can picture having some fun trying different shapes for that middle part.
4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.45 oz) w almonds
1/2 cup milk
1 8-oz carton Cool Whip
1 9″ graham cracker crust
Heat and stir marshmallows, chocolate, and milk till melted. Remove from heat; stir in Cool Whip. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until firm. Serves 8. This just plain sounds GOOD!
After we get home, I’ll feature these with pictures.
Have a good day!
Posted on July 17, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
I bought peanut butter chips for something and had half the bag left over. A few days later, I got a (another) baking urge and got the bag out of the cupboard and looked on the back for some ideas. On the back, was a recipe for chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips in them. So, I made them, with the intent of featuring them. After I was done, I was cleaning up, and never thought to save the empty bag with the recipe on it. So, into the trash it went. And I didn’t even think about it till a day or so later when I went to feature them. By then the trash was already taken out. And it would be rather anti-climatical to feature them without a recipe. So, if you ever are in the baking aisle at the store, these cookies would be worth your time. All you’d need to do is get a bag of Recees peanut butter chips and check the recipe on the back to make sure you’ve got all the ingredients. I don’t even remember the name of the recipe, but here is what the cookies looked like…
They’re easy to make, soft, fudgy, and taste great!
Tiffany was having quite a time keeping everything on her lap here. I offered to take her doll, but no, she wanted to multi-task…
She also finishes my coffee alot of mornings… she asks “Wome o’ hot?” If I say ‘warm’, she reaches for it and says, “Cn’I have it?” Goodbye coffee… which actually is using the term ‘coffee’ very loosely… my cup is full, but only about half of it is coffee, the other half is chocolate milk and some sugar.
And then we have a fork…
It just suddenly got like that and we don’t know when or how it happened. It seems like the whole tine would’ve bent instead of just the top part. It’s not bent down or up, just over. Weird!
Tomato soup: Once in awhile, we have a quick meal of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I usually keep Campbell’s tomato soup on hand, but the last time I went to make it, I didn’t have any. So, I found a recipe and made some from scratch. It took considerably longer, but it was WAY better than the stuff from the can! So, now I guess I’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of time vs. taste every time I make that quick and easy meal. Do you always make tomato soup from scratch? I remember Mom making it from scratch when I was younger.
Recipe index: I don’t know if you noticed the Recipe Index link up at the top of the header. Slowly, but surely, I am getting all the recipes under their respective categories on that page. I just started it, so only a fraction of it is done, but I think when it’s done, it’ll make the site more user-friendly. You can use it awhile for the recipes that are there so far.
Have a good day!
Posted on June 6, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
Now I want to open a bakery again. This happens every year. I bake a bunch of stuff for a bake sale and love it so much that I dream of opening a bakery. I could bake to my heart’s content. And people would come and pay me for doing it. But I don’t want to be that tied down and another major thing is I’m not sure exactly how bakeries make money! Must be the mass production and the wholesale ingredients.
I figured up my time and ingredient costs and if everything would sell that I baked, I would’ve made less than $4/hr. Yeah, my bakery would be a place of voluntary service and a non-profit organization. When I figured that up, it wasn’t figuring in heating, air conditioning, electricity, rent for the building, advertizing, appliances, or anything besides the labor and ingredients. Another thing that would help at a bakery is that it’s done every day… for example, I made 10 pie crusts (5 double crust pies) and by the 6th crust, it was going much faster than the first crust did!
So, yeah, I contribute to the bake sale because I love to, not to make a bunch of money. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of everything all sitting on the counter ready to go. Maybe I didn’t think of it because it wasn’t all sitting on the same counter ready to go all at the same time. But, I did the same 4 things as I did last year (monster cookies, apple pies, rice crispy roll, and fudge), so the picture would’ve looked about the same as last year’s picture. Here’s last year’s post.
I did get a couple pictures of the pie operation…
This first one was taken sometime between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. this morning. I was going to do a self-timer picture and be dutifully peeling apples, but then I thought about it that I was in my pjs, so I just stayed behind the camera instead.
Here are the pies in the oven, almost ready to come out.
See ya later. If you need me, you’ll find me in the kitchen eating monster cookies…
1. I usually put fat free half & half or skim milk in my coffee. But once in awhile, I put chocolate milk in it. It gives it a mocha flavor. Try it sometime!
2. I made finger jello for the school picnic this past weekend. To make the plate more colorful, I made 2 pans of jello and made sure that the colors on the bottom and top of the pans were all different. Then, when I went to put them on a plate, I flipped some one way and some the other way and it looked more colorful with red, yellow, purple, and green on top. Do you have no clue what I mean? Here’s a picture:
As opposed to less colorful, like this:
3. I just found out that if you want an egg at room temperature because it beats nicer and fluffier, you can put it in the microwave for 10 seconds, shell and all, instead of letting it sit out till it’s room temp. I tried it and it does feel room temp when I comes out. I didn’t check if it’s that temp the whole way thro’ though.
4. And because this is a cooking site, I’ll post a couple pictures of the tables laden with food at the school picnic. The food was inside, but we ate outside. At the other end of the table in this first picture is the hot stuff… chicken breasts and shish-ka-bobs both off the grill, baked beans, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese.
Then the salads.
Then the desserts.
What would you fill your plate with?
5. And even though this has NOTHING to do with cooking, I’m putting it on anyway. We church ladies made and quilted this friendship quilt for our school teacher this year. The school teacher is on the right. Her talented mom, who is on the left, handpainted those beautiful roses around the edge and the ones at the top. She used fabric paints and it is just so beautiful!
Ok, we’ll stick to cooking now, just couldn’t resist that one. I do see an apple on that one quilt block, though…
…to my mom and all you other moms, too!
Mom, I made you a mocha this morning…
Wish you were here to drink it with me. But that’s not really possible with you at home 180 miles away. We could talk and laugh till our sides hurt about the adventure it is to be a mom, even though we’re at different stages. Since I became a mom, sometimes I think back to when I was growing up and am awed at the patience you had! Always calm and taking things in stride. For example, remember that goat we had? I could go on and on about memories, like the creative way you gave me a life-sized doll for my 6th birthday, the fun we had having our own little garden plots out of your big garden, jumping in the car to go see the ‘billowing smoke’ that turned out to be a cloud, how I openly told my teenage girlfriends that you are my best friend, etc., but since this is a cooking blog, I’ll stick with stuff in the kitchen.
Thanks for teaching me how to cook and bake. Not every 12-year old can make pie crusts, but you taught me young. And I’m sure that in my young days, you thought about how it would’ve been easier to just make things yourself instead of dealing with stuff like batter splattered on the ceiling or having to throw the whole batch away because I got ‘teaspoons’ and ‘cups’ mixed around when I was putting the salt in. But the thing I remember the most is: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That was said when I’d start peeling eggs or potatoes or making some other mess right on the counter instead of putting down a paper towel or plate first. After awhile, it got to the place where you’d only have to say, “An ounce of prevention…”. Not sure why that was so hard for me to learn, but I did learn… I don’t do that anymore.
Here is a picture of my mom and my mother-in-law… another mom who’s had an impact on my life. She’s done alot of babysitting since we live in the same area and she’s like a walking medical book when one of us has a problem. Very handy and helpful! Each of the moms had 6 children… I’m second to the oldest of 3 boys and 3 girls, Shannon is the oldest of 6 boys. On the picture, they are with my youngest daughter Tiffany, who was 5 days old. She’s surrounded by grandma love.
My mom is the one in the purple holding the baby and my mom-in-law is in the black. I can’t tell you both how much you mean to me and how much I love you and how thankful I am that you love your granchildren so much! I know how blessed I am to still have my moms, and I especially think of it every Mother’s Day. Other things I especially think about on Mother’s Day are the 3 babies I lost via miscarriage, those of you who don’t have your moms anymore, and those of you who are a mom only in your dreams. I’ll breathe prayers especially for you throughout the day.
And now, here’s the mocha recipe that I’m still sipping. Shannon is sipping black coffee because it goes better with the raspberry cream cheese cinnamon rolls that were eating. HE thinks it goes better with it anyway. I can’t handle black coffee. He usually uses cream and sugar, but not when he’s eating something sweet. How do you drink your coffee? I’d LOVE to know! And do you like it black too when you’re eating a sweet roll with it?
Mocha, but don’t think Starbucks!
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 cups hot brewed coffee
1/4 cup half-and half cream
2 to 4 Tbsp. sugar
Melt the chocolate chips and put in a plastic bag. Snip of a tiny piece of the corner and pipe “MOM” onto plastic wrap.
Put in the freezer until hard (at least 10 minutes). Stir the coffee and rest of the chocolate together.
Add the half-and-half and sugar.
Serve in mugs with whipped cream and “MOM” garnishes. Yield: 4 sevings.
Posted on April 23, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
Actually a long ‘coffee break’. I went on a business trip with Shannon this week. We’re in Lancaster, PA right now with the truck and trailer loading up playhouses and some other stuff.
Here’s our load:
Heading back to WI tomorrow. I should be back in my kitchen on Saturday. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying eating other people’s cooking! Have a good week!
Posted on April 18, 2008
…start it with raspberry cream cheese rolls and coffee!
Sometimes I wonder if I should try a post that’s in poem format. This would be a good one to do that on because the title rhymes… and that just happened, didn’t even try it. The best poems are ones that flow, that you can’t tell the poet was working hard to get it to rhyme. An example of working too hard to rhyme would be like this:
My friend and I met
this morning at eight.
Our coffee we drank
and our donuts we ate.
You just don’t say “our coffee we drank” and “our donuts we ate” in regular conversation, you say “we drank our coffee” and “we ate our donuts”. That is one of my pet peeves in poetry. I know it’s ‘legal’, but it just makes it sound so much more formal. It would be much better to say,
Coffee and donuts
and a friendly chat,
Breakfasts don’t get
much better than that.
I used to get a kick out of writing poems in my adolescent years. My favorite has always been a 6-line style where lines 1& 2 rhyme, 3&6 rhyme, and 4&5 rhyme. I don’t know what it’s called, kind of like a limerick, but not quite. Around 16, I wrote a whole poem consisting of about 10 stanzas in that style. The first stanza was:
In August we moved
To what actually proved
To be home at Valley View Orchard.
At first, work was fun,
But before all was done,
We thought we were seriously tortured.
…and so on it went, about life on our orchard.
My dad was/is great with poems. I still remember when I we were growing up, Dad would start making up a poem about this or that and just kept going and going for quite awhile, not having to pause to think of a rhyming word. It was amazing to me even at a young age how he could do that. Of course, the bar was pretty low because we were just kids and were thrilled with anything that rhymed.
Anyway, when I started this post, I had no clue I’d get into poems! So, instead of erasing the poem parts, I went up and added “(and other rhymes)” into the title. I was just posting to tell you that I made raspberry cream cheese rolls this morning AND that I finally have a new FAVORITE coffee mug once again! Here are both:
My friend, Shannon, from OH, sent me that coffee mug. It’s perfect. The ‘walls’ are thick, just how I like them. It’s heavy and solid. And the design is great. And she said that they’re hard to break… which is good! Did you know that I break more dishes than my 2 children do?! Sometimes I wonder if I’m clumsy. Anyway, it’s a Longaberger mug, if you’re interested in getting one. She tells me Longaberger mugs are the best. And I think I’m convinced.
And those raspberry cream cheese rolls (here is the link to the recipe), they are just the best! Seriously, try them! I just thought of it now, I got the recipe for these rolls from Shannon, too (same one that just gave me the mug). These rolls are easier than they look and the dough is SO nice to work with because it doesn’t stick to anything… not to the rolling pin, not to the counter, not to your hands. The raspberry filling is just regular pie filling from the grocery store (I put it into a plastic storage bag, cut a corner off, and pipe it on). It doesn’t have to be raspberry, in fact, this time I used strawberry. I put it in the food processor so there wouldn’t be big chunks. The cream cheese filling is from a bulk foods store in plastic bag tubes. BUT, Barb, if you’re reading this, you had asked a question about the cr. ch. filling if you don’t have a bulk foods store around. I made it from scratch this time just to experiment and it turned out great! I edited the post that the rolls are featured on and added that filling recipe.
So, now everyone, tell me what you had for breakfast in a comment! You can make it in poem form if you want to.
Here I’ll start:
My roll was first-rate
My coffee was great
And Shannon confirmed that when he ate his.
You may have guessed
These are the best
And I don’t care who your grandmother is!
Posted on March 19, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
This is my foot, and that would be my ankle under those peas. I sprained it.
Posted on March 3, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits
Have any of you ever been in charge of the kitchen at a wedding? We were for the first time last Friday evening. My cousin Lisl got married. It was actually an easy meal for amateurs like us to start out on… hot ham and cheese sandwiches were the only menu item that needed to be hot. The other things on the menu were: veggies and dip, chips, fruit and chocolate fountain, and of course cake and ice cream.
I’ll start with Thurs. That’s the day that the veggies and fruit got cut up and the sandwiches made…
We put the cut up veggies in either buckets with water or a sealed plastic bag. The apples were dipped in pineapple juice, put in sealed plastic bags and still looked great at serving time the next evening. We washed and separated the grapes in clusters. We didn’t do anything to the bananas on Thurs. They had to be done last minute (as in during the wedding).
For the sandwiches, we buttered the buns, put 2 1/2 oz of shaved ham on and a piece of cheese, then wrapped them in pre-cut foil squares, and put them in the fridge. On Friday, we got them out of the fridge a couple hours ahead of time, then put some in roasters at 250 for 45 min. and some in the oven at 225 for 1/2 hour. We actually turned the heat up a bit part-way thro’ because it sounded like the preacher was winding down early, so they actually got done before the time we were planning.
The way the wedding was set up, the guests dismissed from their seats at the ceremony, went thro’ the receiving line, then thro’ the food line, then sat down with their food where they had been for the ceremony. So, the food had to be ready at Amen! We actually didn’t see the couple get married, but I’m assuming they did. Here’s how the wedding was set up:
The chairs on one side of the table were turned around so all chairs were facing the front. Then when the guests came back with food, the servers had turned their chairs around to face the table to eat.
The kitchen staff was my husband and I and my brother and his wife. I was the one with all the info from the bride and the mother-of-the-bride, and what a wild couple of hours it was! It actually went good, but man, talk about intense! And I’m not an intense person! Anyway, needless to say, my camera was the least thing on my mind (didn’t even get a picture of the bride and groom!). BUT, there was about a 30-second lull between the time when we were totally ready till we expected the first guests to come thro’ the door, so I snapped a couple pictures of the buffet table (they’re the ones close to the top of this post).
I know they say a picture is worth 1000 words, but I’m seriously lacking pictures, so I’ll have to do snapshots with words…
*Click* In this picture:
Directed at me: “We’re running out of cups for the punch table. Where are some more?”
Me, scanning the countertops in the kitchen: “I lost track of them. I don’t see them in here anymore. Go check around or under the punch table.”
He goes out of the kitchen as I’m still frantically looking for cups, then sigh as I hear, “We found them.”
“Hey, the dip is getting low in the veggie tray.”
“There’s no more left.”
“Are you sure?! Did you look behind everything in the fridge?”
“There. is. no. dip. left! How long is the line yet?”
“It goes back to the arch and that’s it then.”
“Good. I think what’s on the table should reach then.”
One of the servers: “We have guests at our table who want to leave and they want their cake and ice cream now.”
Me: “Not all the guests even got thro’ the line for the main course, we’re not serving cake and ice cream yet.”
Him: “Well, shall I tell them they have to wait?”
Me: “Nah, go ahead and give them some.”
“Oh no! Look at the chocolate fountain! It’s overflowing and not augering up anymore.”
“Get some paper towel!”
“What do you think is wrong? Do we need to add some more oil?”
“No, I think it looks thin enough.”
A young boy was kinda hanging around it and he said, “Well, I know a banana fell in there.”
“Ah, thanks, kiddo. That may be the info we need!”
After digging around in the base with a spoon, my SIL said, “I dug a banana AND an apple slice out of there!”
Once again, the chocolate fountain is flowing smoothly.
Things are wild. 3 people talking to me at once and I hear someone calling “Kaaaay” behind me. Meanwhile, the photographer is milling around in the kitchen snapping photos and video clips. I was spooning dip and felt like throwing the whole spoonful at his camera! I know he was just doing his job, but there are sometimes when, job or not, you just are NOT in the mood for some things!!!!
The lady in charge of the facilities asked, “Who is the mother of the bride? Has she been back here in the kitchen?”
Me, in a daze, plus trying to think how to describe Arla, “Um, I don’t know. She has a blue dress on.”
Her: “Honey, 75% of the women around here have a blue dress on!” (Blue was the wedding color.)
Outburst of laughter from everyone in the kitchen.
It actually went good, I guess at any wedding over serving time, the kitchen is probably hectic with getting all the food ready at once and keeping 9 sets of servers going.
3 tips that I have from this whole deal is:
1. Plan for the food to get done earlier than you think it should be done by.
2. If you’re in the kitchen, bring other shoes along to change into at cleanup time. Being on your feet that much, the change would’ve felt wonderful!
3. If you’re planning your wedding, assign the cooks (if it’s not catered), and also assign several more people to come in with fresh energy at cleanup time. When everyone was served and there were a couple extra plates of cake and melting ice cream, I felt this big sigh of relief. But yet I felt like crying… I’d been on my feet for 5 hours and everything was sore and I was drained! And it was cleanup time. Two and a half hours later, we had the kitchen shining, the dishes washed, and the floor mopped. God bless those servers who stuck around to wash dishes and that guest who breezed in with the picture of energy and said, “I’d love to help here. Just put me to work!” There were definitely some people who were wearing halos till everything was over. I won’t mention names, but some of them were the helpful people I just mentioned.
Have you ever been at a restaurant where everything just flowed perfectly? The drinks and waitress came as soon as you were seated, the perfectly grilled steak came just as you were sitting back after eating the appetizer, refills came when there was still 2″ left of your Diet Coke, the staff was relaxed and everything seemed to work like a well-oiled machine. One day though, that restaurant had its opening night… the staff wasn’t very comfortable, some food was dropped in the kitchen, the appetizer came with the meal, and things seemed a little choppy.
I think every wedding is like opening night at a restaurant… the cooks aren’t familiar with the kitchen, the servers don’t even know each other, the cooks have never had to have 400 sandwiches ready to go at one time before, the servers look tentative, and some kid drops a banana and an apple in the chocolate fountain.
You flat-top stove owners, have you ever done this? Works like a charm! I’ve been doing this for years and my stove top still shines up as good as new. Turn the heat pretty low… you can actually see where I have it.
I am still using a kettle for the tomato soup though. Ha. …although, I’ve had boil-overs of unwatched tomato soup that would look like I was trying it without.
This is the only thing I do right on the burner though. What about you?
I love this site. I dream of entertaining someday to the extent of specially folding cloth dinner napkins (hmmm, wonder if you can be that elegant without owning a teacup, still serving hot beverages in mugs). Featured on that site is anything from
simple… to deluxe…
#15 ‘takes the cake’!
The congratulations go to Jan from MO. You will not be disappointed in how she made it! And the neat thing is that she asked someone to take progress pictures of the project… ah, progress pictures, a lady after my own heart! Another neat thing is that she is my sister. Her site is jan_n_dan.
The real set is decor in her coffee-themed kitchen. It’s smaller than normal size… the tea set, I mean. (Someone else with a coffee-themed kitchen was wondering where you got that little set, Jan, and wants one like it for decor in her own kitchen.)
To make the cake, Jan wrapped plenty of tin foil around each piece, then gently pulled each piece out of the tin foil form, filled the forms with cake batter (not just ordinary cake batter, she used a mocha cake recipe so it would be more fitting when they eat it ) , then baked them. When she took them out of the oven, let them cool, and peeled the tin foil off, what she had was this…
So, she set to work, carving…
Then came the frosting…
The lettering and drawing was tedious, esp on the little cups…
The ‘coffee’ in the cups is chocolate syrup. Everything else is cake and frosting except the lettering and decals were done with melted chocolate and the handle on the teapot was made with chocolate, then covered with frosting. Definitely a work of art!!!! Made just for the contest… and for fun and because she’s adventurous and likes to take on challenges. Nobody helped her. Completely edible. Very creative. Good job, Jan!
One day last week, I decided to add a runner-up prize …
A $10 Starbucks gift certificate.
This prize was won by #7 , the ‘grilled cheese sandwiches’ made from pound cake and frosting…
They really do look real! Great job, Evangeline !
And now, the top 4 honorable mentions…
#9, the teapot cake (for those of you who wondered, she shaped the handle and spout with rolled fondant that was tinted pink to match the frosting).
#2, the frosting and apricot ‘eggs’
#12, the kitty litter cake with appropriate props
#19, the barn cake
Thanks so much to all of you who took the time and effort to enter something! You’re the ones who made it a success! I’m anxious to try some of your foods, esp ones that look like main course, but are actually a dessert.
And thanks to all the voters! Contagious enthusiasm and a surge of votes the first 2 days was exciting and fun!
And thanks to the 13 new subscribers who subscribed to seasoned_to_taste last week!
Next up on seasoned_to_taste:
A series of fun stuff to do for adding a bit of flair to entertaining and food presentation… tomato roses, lemon roses, chocolate leaves, napkin folding, place setting ideas, etc.
~ Make Real Food Look Like Something Else ~
1. Dessert pizza
2. Eggs (frosting and apricots)
3. Dirt pudding (Oreo)
4. Kitty litter cake
5. Dessert pizza
6. Hero sandwich cake
7. Grilled cheese sandwiches (pound cake and frosting)
8. Ritz cracker spiders
9. Teapot cake
10. ‘ Hot-dog-in-a-bun and fries’ cake
11. Checkerboard sandwiches
12. Kitty litter cake
13. Grilled cheese sandwiches (cake and frosting)
14. Veggie flowers
15. Tea set cake (in front)
16. Hamburger dessert
17. Fairy castle cake
18. Meatloaf topped w colored mashed potatoes cupcakes
19. Barn and silo cake
Ok, it’s all yours! Go ahead and vote, whether you entered anything or not! Please vote for only ONE entry. If one of them is yours, you are allowed to vote for it if you want to.
You can vote one of 3 ways:
a. leave a comment
b. send me a message
c. email ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oh yeah, in person would be fine too!
When you vote, say the number above the picture and the description of the item… less chance of confusion since there are a couple duplicates. Edit: I forgot to put in here that the voting will be open through October 1. Then the winner will be announced next Tues, Oct. 2.
A BIG thank-you to those of you who entered and made it fun for the rest of us!!!! …hmmm, how do we give them a cyber round of applause?
Note to Kitchen Scrapbook readers: These posts were copied over to this Kitchen Scrapbook site from my old site and the comments didn’t come along. The votes came in for the contest in 89 comments, some emails, and some private messages.
Today is the deadline for the contest, so if you still want to submit something, today would be a good time. I’m really looking forward to posting the entries tomorrow morning!!!!! Glad I’m not judging because it would be hard to choose which to vote for!
I actually made something, but am not going to put it in the contest after all. Seems weird to enter my own contest.
So, until tomorrow, I leave you with this…
The roses are red and yellow tomatoes. There is some shredded celery and Italian parsley in there, but the main foliage is non-edible from one of my mom’s miniature rose bushes.
Posted on September 17, 2007
Filed Under Tidbits
Contest deadline comin’ up!
(Contest details in the post before this.)
Thanks to those of you who have submitted pictures already! And for those of you who are still planning to, the deadline is next Monday, the 24th . It’s so fun getting the pictures and I’m looking forward to showing them to you!!!!
Also, photos of things you’ve made previously are eligible! So, check your photo albums for parties, birthday cakes, deformed veggies, April Fools food, etc!
Let’s have FUN! Take a break from the hum-drum of canning and cleaning and casseroles! I have a few ideas I’d love to try and I think I might enter one… the rules didn’t say that I can’t.
I’ll just leave you with a picture my aunt emailed to me awhile ago (she didn’t make it and it’s not for the contest). Isn’t it amazing? Now THAT’S talent!!!!!