Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Ran My Kitchen!

There are times when I have edited so much in such a short number of days that I have to just walk away or my eyes start to cross and I get a bad headache. Today, for example. So I ran my kitchen.

My brother was visiting this morning, spending some time playing with Ewan as he (my brother, not Ewan) prepares to become a father (I can't believe I just typed that sentence). Anyway, and as I was opening a few bags of Legos for E, I said to Cale, "I can't believe we're still opening some of Ewan's Christmas gifts. It's AUGUST!"  So what do I do this afternoon? I pull out my Bundt pan, take off the wrapper and dump the pine needles out of it. *sigh*

At any rate, I made some Funfetti cupcakes and the best stinking chocolate cake I've ever made...and maybe tasted. Neither of these was done from scratch but that's not what I'm about, really. I'm not creative enough to start anything from scratch or make up my own recipe.  But what I CAN do is expand on someone else's recipe and that's what happened with this chocolate cake.  It was just a Pillsbury Devil's Food Cake mix but I have this thing about always having chocolate chips in the house. I love Sam's Club for this reason because I get those giant bags of Nestle's like twice a year and I'm set. So I tossed a couple handfuls of chocolate chips in the mix and I'll tell you what, I don't know if it was the pan or the chocolate chips but it was seriously the most *cringe as I HATE this word* moist *shudder* cake I've ever eaten.

I haven't tried the cupcakes yet because I had to leave the main floor of our home to stop myself from eating another slice of cake.

I didn't take any "real" photos but let's see if I can't get my trusty Instagram photo on here:

Tonight is date night so no more kitchen time for me today. I'm planning on that ham & scalloped potato dinner for tomorrow, though. Until then!

Monday, August 13, 2012's it going?

Okay okay. Sometimes I am busy. This summer I've taught at a music conservatory, music camp, character building camp and vacation Bible school. We've been camping a few times and James was in Vegas for nearly a week.  I've gone on a couple of cleaning & organizing sprees which lead to one garage sale and a subsequent trip to the thrift store. To say it's been crazy would be a bit of an understatement. However, it is SO NICE to be back with little on the calendar for the next few weeks.

To kick off our return to "normal", I spent some time in the kitchen today.  I made some puppy chow, used my new Pampered Chef brownie pan to make chocolate chip cookie brownie bars and for dinner I made chipotle lime salmon, brussels sprouts, angel hair pasta in creamy Italian herb sauce and cheesy garlic biscuits.

Let me tell you about Lawry's marinades. You all know I'm probably their biggest seasoning salt fan but today was the first time I tried one of their marinades. Listen closely (okay, read closely, whatever) IT IS VERY VERY SPICY!!!! At least this particular chipotle lime one is. Seriously, you guys. My nose is still running and my lips are burning. That said, it was really good! I'd use it again but maybe a little more gingerly.

At any rate, here are some photos and it's good to be back. This week I'm leaning toward ham & scalloped potatoes, maybe a pressure cooker chicken and some chicken soup with the leftovers and...well, stay tuned and I'll try to keep you updated.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Catching up!

Oh goodness.  I know you already know this about me, but I am a slacker.  I will try to get some recent pictures and recipes uploaded.  However, I've been asked to prepare apple shaped cake pops for the teachers at a local montessori for teacher appreciation week so I'll have my hands full with that.  Soon, though.  Soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter eggs, pulled pork and cookies!

Hi all!  Sorry it's been a while, I think I have a few entries in my files that I never did post but in the mean time, here are a few pictures from the kitchen this week. 

We dyed Easter eggs the old fashioned way; boiled eggs, let them cool, used a cheap egg coloring kit and had fun!

I also made pulled pork for the first time in the pressure cooker.  It turned out amazing and I'll definitely use Montel's recipe again!

I served the pulled pork with sweet potato fries (a new family favorite) and garlic bread.

 Ewan and I made some fun Easter cookies, too.  They look pretty cute if I do say so myself!

And finally, a note to those who like to make themselves feel better by judging what I prepare by a few sporadic posts on a kitchen blog: Just because I make something, doesn't mean I eat it.  And even if I do eat it, I don't eat a lot of it. Often times we have extended family or friends over.  We ALWAYS have leftovers, sometimes days worth of them. There's actually some effort and self control involved in maintaining my weight loss so please stop assuming I haven't learned anything from this process.  And that's the last I'll defend myself in this capacity.  That's not what this blog is about. Sorry for the soap boxiness. ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chicken Pot Pies, Chocolate Covered Berries and Cake Pops

So I picked up one of those rotisserie chickens at Meijer this evening but didn't want just plain old chicken.  So I took it home and took out my aggression on it...okay, really I just ripped the meat off it.  While I was doing that I prepared a bag each of frozen corn, peas and carrots.  I mixed the veggies and chicken in with two cans of chicken gravy then poured it into the ramekins.  I covered each with a crescent roll.  Yup, lazy.  Well, if I had a crescent sheet instead of the rolls I would've done it a little fancier but this was all I had so I slapped it on there.  I stuck them in the oven for 10 minutes at 375.  They probably could've used another minute or two for a little crispier crust but they were delicious!

I also tried to make chocolate fruit clusters.  They were a cluster alright!  The chocolate just came right off when I went to pick it up. :-/  They looked pretty, though!

And again, I made some cake pops...a day late but they're cute and Ewan's church group will enjoy them! Here's how I make them:
Step 1: Bake a cake.  I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow, this time.
Step 2: Combine cooled cake and half a can of frosting.
Step 3: Melt a few of the melts just to dip the sticks in.
Step 4: Roll cake & frosting mixture into balls and insert one dipped stick into each ball.
Step 5: Cool in freezer for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Melt chocolates (I do this in the microwave for about 90 seconds and stir it in 30 second intervals).
Step 7: Dip cake pops in chocolate and place in foam. I got some florists foam at the dollar store and have used them several times.  I should get new blocks soon.
Step 8: Add sprinkles or other toppings as desired.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast

Hey y'all!  So tonight I attempted my first pot roast in the pressure cooker.  I need to admit that I actually still prefer it the old fashioned way, in the oven for hours.  But it was ok.  The veggies were nicely done and I can't complain about a 45 minute pot roast.  So here are a few photos of the attempt:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Holiday Post!

I'm so sorry I have taken so long to post these photos.  At any rate, here are a few of the holiday treats and goodies we made:
LOTS of Puppy Chow!
 Many flavors of rice crispy treats:
 Delicious fresh puppy chow...I think I'm going to make some
 Cornflake wreaths made with peppermint marshmallows.  So delicious and chewy!
 Chocolate cherry drop cookies.  They were just okay. ;)
 Chocolate covered peanut butter balls. Yum!
 Simple fudge!  Got the recipe out of the Better Homes cookbook.  Good stuff!
 Mixing the chocolate cake for my chocolate banana trifle which I forgot to take a picture of.
 Sugar cookies!

 Homemade whipped cream is so much better than store bought, in my opinion.

 James even got into the kitchen and helped with a few things.  Devilled eggs.
 Amazing stuffed mushrooms with breadcrumbs, mozzerella and sausage.