Monday, March 23, 2009
So, here I am, squeezing what I can from my day off, playing some Lily Allen and baking chocolate-chip cookies. The fictional character of Kitty Forman (That 70's Show) is alive and well in my kitchen at the moment..threatening my stove to not burn my "Martha Stewart Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies" with sadistic smile singing to "Everything's Just Wonderful", the only thing missing is a pile of jello molds and coffee cake (oh, that's an idea..haha!).
Living in the gap seems to be the most challenging part in this whole deal, catching myself thinking the inevitable "When we move it will be better...", "When this is all over, we will...", or "just wait till we get to the new place...". The act of seizing the day has become a voided contract and a weight all of its own on our spirits....or at least mine. I know there is a lesson in this somewhere. Maybe the lesson IS to stop and smell the burning cookies, OR take care in the process of making them to insure they will NOT burn before I am granted the brand new stove....and be grateful for it. Hmmm... Or the lesson could be to just smile and enjoy the insanity just for today, if there is a lesson at all ;)
...well, as Lily would say, "I guess I mus'n't grumble, I suppose that's the way the cookie crumbles..."
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
We FINALLY found our house, and got a bid accepted! Right now we need to get through the house inspections and closing variables, but hopefully within the next 2 months we will be in our house! I can't wait! Visions of gardening and blogging about herbs & vegetables, and a few DIY projects we already have in mind are already flowing through my brain!
Reality is that we are running around here trying to keep out I's dotted and our T's crossed....and working through February Vacation....making sure the kids are getting to where they need to be... Yeah, it's a little crazy around here!
So, in the midst of all of this, what do I choose to do on my only day off within a two week time span? Fill up the freezer! :) I decided to do this after the past weekend of everyone coming home from work, everyone famished and no one wanting to cook, and not having the budget to order out. Yes, we had a couple of "blue box" mac & cheese nights, I'm not proud of it except for using cream cheese instead of butter....lol!
Right now, I have in the crock pot one find that I stumbled on during the Super Bowl Hype a couple weeks ago: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken . As I do with many an inspiration, I tweaked this a little. I also have another crock going with a BBQ pulled pork (this is just a boneless pork with a bottle of sauce thrown in), and will shortly throw together some homemade pizza dough together, my Beef Stew recipe, Spaghetti/Pizza Sauce, and brown 5 pounds of ground beef to divide and have ready in the freezer. Yeah, this is allot....and I will report latter on how I did, but I am determined to not go through another week like we just went through :)
Before leaving to continue this insanity here are the tweaks I did for the Buffalo Chicken recipe. I know this is certainly not for the weak of heart, but our family LOVES BWC, so this will be split in half: one meal as sandwiches, the other as BWC pizza:
Slow-Cooker Pulled Buffalo Chicken
8 boneless-skinless chicken thighs
1 12-oz. bottle Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 envelope Ranch Dressing/Dip Mix
1/4 c. butter *
Add all ingredients to a 5 qt. crock pot, cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours. Pull chicken apart with fork. Either serve as sandwiches on hoagie rolls and cheese, or use as topping for Buffalo Chicken Pizza (which is what I am planning for half of the recipe).
*this was an accident on my part; the original recipe called for 2 Tbl. butter, however, I threw in 1/4 c. without thinking, since this is usually the measurement for my Buffalo wing sauce when using a whole bottle of Frank's. What can I say: second nature
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix, butter recipe; baked in 8" round layers
Cherry Pie filling
2 pints whipping cream and 2 (4 serving) packages vanilla instant pudding mix; whip for only 2 to 3 min. max (I was shocked how quick this whipped up). Be careful not to over whip, as you want a frosting consistency, not butter.
And that was it! Everyone absolutely loved the light, yet flavorful combination that the frosting brought to the whole cake, a definite keeper!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
They even cooked the same amount of time that regular sized whoopie pies do, only 15 minutes....nice! I thought for sure there must be some special trick to doing this, because they came together just too perfectly for an experimental recipe; seriously, there is a bakery in Freeport, Maine that sells these large cakes for $49 dollars each!! Not catch, and I am certainly going to do this again when called for something cool for the next bake sale, or holiday that comes our way.....Easter egg whoopie pie cake? Hmmm....
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Ever since her final meal of crab rangoons I have thought about attempting a vegetarian version, but never quite got around to it. In honor of the Chinese New Year, I desided to give it a try...and I am so glad I did! As far as everyone trying them are concerned they were a grand success (even the hubby agreed, however his trying them was a mistake as he thought he was eating the crab variety. You have to be sneaky with those picky carnivors ;).
Of course I used the veggie standard: tofu, for the crab replacement, but I knew it may need a little tweeking to get it past the "just cream cheese in a won-ton wrap" taste. So with my own recipe for crab rangoons, I used the seasoning as a marinade prior to adding the cream cheese. This was the trick, because it flavored the tofu perfectly. Well, here is the recipe...of course, if you would rather have the Crab in your rangoon...just follow the recipe, skipping the marinading, and using only 1 tsp. soy sauce, instead of the 1 tbl.
A Vegetarian's Rangoon
8 oz. soft tofu, drained and dried as much as possible
1 tbl. soy sauce
3 tbl. chopped fresh chives, or 1 tbl. green onion (i prefer the milder taste of the chives)
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch fresh black pepper
8 oz. cream cheese
1 small bowl water
1 pkg. wonton wraps
oil, for deep frying
Crumble tofu into a medium-size bowl, add soy sauce, chives, pepper and garlic powder and mix. Allow tofu mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. With a potato masher or electric mixer, mash or blend cream cheese into tofu until blended.
Seperate wonton wrappers and spread across a flat work surface. Use your finger, and dip into water and moisten edges of wonton wrappers. Add 1 teaspoon filling into center of each, fold into triangles, and press the edges together to seal, making sure that all air is squeezed out (any air that is trapped will blow these into balloons when fried...not good).
Heat oil to 360 to 375 degrees farenheit (oil is ready when a wooden spoon stuck into the oil creates air bubbles). Slip each rangoon into oil, making sure they all have enough room...my Dutch-oven allowed for 6 to be fried at a time comfortably. Flip them over after 2-3 minutes, and cook the other side until golden brown. Drain on paper towelings. Serve with sweet n' sour sauce, duck sauce, or hot mustard.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Found this on a banner ad over at CD Kitchen and grabbed one, it's an offer for a free sample packet of Cream of Wheat Instant Hot Cereal. Head on over to Cream of Wheat's Web site and follow the link and just fill in the usual information to have it sent to you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Oh, and discovering that at least my youngest has been working on her own creativity...through borrowing mummie's camera...lolol