Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You win some you lose some

I have been so excited every since The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook was first publicized. Her recipes always are so mouth watering. I cherish my signed copy of her book. She makes each dish look scrumptious.

I have tried a few of her recipes from the cookbook – with great success. The homemade biscuits are so light and fluffy. I did make one change – I truly believe a good biscuit is made with Whole Buttermilk, not the low fat that you commonly see, nor with the soured milk you make by adding vinegar to what we southerners call ‘sweet milk’. I have made her version of twice baked potatoes. The family fell instantly in love with those.

Meatloaf – oh how we love meatloaf in our house. The family has never been displeased with the one I make, a recipe handed down from my mother. But, have you seen the PW’s? It is wrapped in bacon! BACON, the wonder food. Can’t say as if I have ever had bacon added to anything that I didn’t like. So, I followed the recipe, wrapped my meatloaf in wonderfully thick country style bacon and set my meatloaf to baking.

The aroma was unlike anything else. It was like knowing the best thing you would ever eat was just an hour away. The entire house smelled wonderful from the meatloaf and the bacon. Oh, we could hardly wait. After the first bite, we knew – two out of three ain’t bad. Not wanting to be unkind, they said things like: it’s okay, yours is really good, something is defiantly different. I knew right then, it is back to MY meatloaf. Maybe this weekend we will have one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Searching for THE dress

Our daughter became engaged just before Christmas. We were thrilled. So, now the planning has begun. We have always laughed that we are both OCD, but now know we actually have CDO. It is like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order they way they should be. ;)

From the minute she put the ring on her finger - well probably since she met the guy - it has been planning time. At this rate, all should be planned by this June. Someone please remind me of that during the fall.

She has decided the following:

Flower girls
Ring Bearers
Food for reception
Flower girl baskets
Person to make the cake - and has a design she likes

The best news I have is we are pretty sure she has found THE dress. She has tried it on at two locations now. Both times I had to make her take the dress off. She invited her father to see her in it the second time.

She will always be dad's 'little bit' and she felt she couldn't make such an important choice without his blessing. Her fairytale continues.....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rewards of cleaning

As a 'thank you' to my husband, I decided to clean out our filing cabinet. With tax time just around the corner, I knew the dreaded task was due. I am usually a procrastinator about this, preparing for taxes the week or day before we meet with the accountant.

My darling husband had given me a gift certificate for a massage and it was amazing, so I thought I would make his day and get organized. He was very pleased, but I too got a treat.

Many years ago in the Ms. Cheap section of the paper, I clipped a recipe for Homemade Brownie Mix. It was so good & easy. I made it a few times, then lost the recipe. While cleaning I found it in the bottom of the filing cabinet. I plan to mix some up sometime soon.

I thought you might like it too!

Homemade Brownie Mix

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups cocoa
8 cups sugar
2 cups shortening

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together the cocoa and sugar. Place mixture in a large pan and mix thoroughly. Cut in shortening. Measure 2 cups at a time into airtight plastic zipper bags. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes about 9 batches of brownie mix.

Making Brownies

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups brownie Mix

Beat eggs, blend in vanilla and brownie mixture, about 50 strokes by hand. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who knew?

Who knew hitting family members could be so much fun? No, I am not really hitting my family members! Our family got a Wii Game system the week before Christmas. We have begun to play Wii Boxing. I think our daughter & I just might be addicted to the Wii Boxing game.

She is really good at it. For those who aren't familiar with it, you have a game controller in one hand and a second piece is connect to it for the other hand. You 'box' against each other on the screen. You are actually just jabbing at thin air, so you aren't actually hitting each other.

But it feels so good to knock the other person out! Is that bad, to feel good about knocking out your kid? Or hitting your spouse so much, they can't get back up? What about when it is the future son-in-law, that one should be okay, right?

I am wondering why we waited so long to get this game system.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Outside my box

I love to cook, my family loves to eat - great combination. The only problem is like so many people I get in a rut of cooking the same things over and over. I decided to work outside my box this past week. First making Twice Baked Potatoes - out the the wonderfully addictive The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Those were a instant hit with the family.

Being the adventurous person I am, I thought I would try a second new adventure. We were invited to an annual New Year's Eve party with friends. I wanted to take something different this year. I remember my hubby loves stuffed mushrooms. I had never made stuffed mushrooms, nor did I know of anyone who had. So, off the the computer I went. I made two types - because I could not decide which sounded better. I made Stuffed Mushrooms #1 and Stuffed Mushrooms #2.

Mushrooms #1 were my favorite, with hot sausage and cream cheese. But the much easier Mushrooms #2 with sharp cheddar and bacon we my hubby's favorite. Almost all were eaten on New Year's Eve. All I can say is I hope no one else went to our local Wal-Mart on New Year's Eve wanting mushrooms, I bought 5 of the 6 pounds they had in stock.

Since the potatoes and mushrooms were successful, I think I might try the bacon wrapped meatloaf next.....