Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Days You Just Have To Go Easy

I didn't even take a picture because, frankly, I'm a little embarassed.  Tonight we had *hangs head in shame* a Banquet Homestyle Bake from a box. :-/ I had planned to do a roasted chicken with some delicious broasted potatoes and veggies but the chicken was still frozen so I had to come up with something quick and easy so yeah, we ate a processed boxed meal and I'm not proud of it.

Look for pics of my roasted chicken tomorrow...if it ever thaws. ;)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Big Big Breakfast and My First Ribs

Sorry this took an extra day.  It was a long (but good) weekend.

Anyway, yesterday we slept in and then I made what we refer to as "Big Big Breakfast".  Basically I make a little bit of everyone's favorites.  Yesterday was scrambled eggs (some plain, some "fancy" with green peppers, onions and some shredded tomato & basil cheddar left from our trip to the Cheese Haus in Frankenmuth, last weekend), pancakes, turkey bacon, maple flavored sausage patties, sausage links and leftover biscuits from dinner Friday night.  We had some bluberry jam also from Frankenmuth, plum preserves, syrup and butter, too.

I didn't take a lot of photos as I prepared dinner because we had some family and friends over and I was trying to be a good hostess.  At any rate, I made these huge boneless country-style ribs.  I used some rub and a LOT of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and put them in the crock pot for a few hours.  James then tossed them on the grill for about half an hour just to give them a little crisp.  Oh. My. Stars.  They turned out so much better than I had hoped.  I thought for sure they'd be tough but they were actually really juicy and sweet.  I even had a leftover for lunch today. ;)

Today's dinner was Jambalaya made by James.  I don't like shrimp so I had a wrap but everyone who ate it (my father-in-law, brother and his girlfriend and James) all loved it. Unfortunately, I don't remember what's on the menu for tomorrow and I'm too lazy to walk over to the fridge and check'll just have to wait and see! ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Kabobs & Foil Veggies

Tonight's menu was pretty simple: Chicken kabobs and veggies cooked in foil.
I started by chopping up some green peppers, onions and tomatoes.
For the veggies I just sliced a zucchini, cubed a few potatoes, onions and green peppers, a few pats of butter (probably too many but we do splurge on butter) and put it all in some foil and let it sit on the grill which was heated to about 350 degrees for about half an hour.

 The two guys here were my seasonings for the evening.  Both were used on the kabobs and just the Lawry's was used on the potatoes.  Salt & peppered to taste at the table.

Layered the kabobs and got them ready for the grill.  Side note: I picked up this sweet kabob set at a garage sale for $3 a few years back, still new in the box. I love it!  It even folds up so it takes less space in the cabinet!

Sometimes this fella here likes to help out, especially when it involves "his" grill.  To be fair, I've actually only used it once.  Isn't he handsome?  Sorry ladies, he's taken.

Here's the food on the grill.  It smelled so good our neighbors' grandma even commented!  She asked if we were cooking onions and I said "Yes, mixed with potatoes and zucchini on the grill."  She said, "I think I'll stop and get some sliders on the way home cuz those onions smell gooo-ooood!"

Presentation is everything, folks.  Only the best paper plates and plasticware for my family!
Another aside: this Kroger brand spreadable butter (Land O'Lakes knock off) is SO GOOD!!!!

Finished veggies.

Finished kabobs.

I also tossed some Pillsbury Grands biscuits in the oven and served those with dinner, too.  It was absolutely delicious!  For dessert: leftover apple pie and vanilla bean ice cream.

My Very First Made-from-Scratch Apple Pie

Well here it is!  I used the recipe out of the Better Homes cookbook and it turned out great.  I served it with vanilla bean ice cream and Ewan asked for more...he didn't get more, though. ;)

You see?  I even weaved the crust!  It was actually not as hard as I thought.  I will definitely use this recipe again but maybe with a little more cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top.

My Tools

I don't own anything fancy or super high quality in the kitchen (or at all really), but I'm grateful for what I do have and make the best of it.  The following are the tools that I use on a day-to-day basis.

Probably the most used appliance in our house (next to the tv) is this baby right here.  A lovely glass top electric stove.  I have cooked on a gas range for most of my life so it took some adjusting when we moved in here and only had electric hook ups.  We're not planning on rewiring our home any time soon, so this is what I work with.

I am pleased to introduce Betty White, my favorite kitchen tool.  A Kitchen-Aid Classic mixer.  Love this! 

When my mom moved in with us she brought with her this nice set of Rachel Ray pots & pans.  I really really like them and though someday I'd like to get something a little more durable, these are great for what I make.

I use recipes from several different sources.  I use the Better Homes cookbook the most.  I use other fun cookbooks, too, though especially when preparing food for Ewan (and eventually Feenie).  I have a ton of handed down recipes that I've recieved from friends and family.  The bulk of those, though, I received from strangers.  See, there's a website called and I placed a wish on there for recipes and got over 100 favorite recipes from folks on there.  It was great!  I also rip recipes out of magazines and print them off from internet sites.  If you have a recipe you'd like me to try, please feel free to email it to  I'll try anything once!

And finally, a very disorganized drawer full of random utensils. (This drawer makes me crazy, by the way, and I hesitate to even post a picture but I felt it needed to be included.)

I also use the microwave once in a while but I really try to make things using "old fashioned" methods.  But there you have it, my plain old awesome kitchen.  

I'll Give It A Whirl!

Well hello there, beautiful!  I've decided to start a kitchen blog as I spend much of my time in there trying new recipes and preparing old ones.  Here is a bit of background: I absolutely love cooking and baking and hosting, though I am still relatively new to it.  I was raised pretty much on fast food and when we did eat at home, it was usually something like Hamburger Helper.  I'm not bitter about it but that's not at all what I want to feed my family.  My family includes a husband, a rockstar of a son who will be 5 in December, a beautiful little butterball of a daughter who is 4 months and a mom who lives with us...and stays out of the kitchen for the most part, these days. ;)  I am lucky enough to be able to stay home with our children and do a little photography on the side.  We enjoy spending time with our family, watching movies, playing games, bike rides, camping, doing projects around our home and working on our 1966 Valiant.  The bulk of my cooking and baking is homestyle stuff.  I'm not too daring yet to do the fancy stuff but maybe someday.  For now I'll stick to mostly Betty Crocker or handed down recipes. So that's a little about me and my family.  I'll start with my first recipe here later today.  I made my first apple pie from scratch last night.  I think I'll start with that.