Tag Archives: Cooking

A day in the kitchen….

So, after spending all day yesterday in my p.j’s, and doing absolutely nothing all day, I had to get busy today.

Friday, I borrowed the Farmer’s Kitchen Aide Mixer, with all the attachments.  I had plans to make some cookies, and some home-made bread.   Seeing as how I did not get around to it yesterday, I got busy today. I got up and drank some coffee and chatted with the Electrician, then disappeared into my kitchen.

First thing on the agenda was to make some chocolate/butterscotch cookies.  I got all my ingredients out and had to do a face palm to the forehead.  So, I went back downstairs and asked the Electrician if he would do me a really big favor.  After getting “the look”, he asked me what the favor was.  “Uhm…could you run to the store for me?”   The Electrician said he would go after he had taken his shower. “Whew” is what I was thinking.  After he had his shower, he asked me what I needed.  Apparently this is where the mix-up came into play.  He thought I meant run up the street to our local IGA, when in fact, I meant run into Town, to our local Aldi‘s.  I told him I needed eggs, flour, and butter, oh yea some Diet coke too.    I’m not sure if he ended up going, simply because he loves me or my cookies more, but he went for me.

Now I could get busy.  Seriously though, who plans to make 6 loaves of bread and a couple batches of cookies, and does not realize they have no butter, not enough eggs, and definitely not enough flour?  Yea, you guessed it, me.

With the cookies all made and sitting on the cookie sheets,( I am lucky I have about 8 of the Industrial size cookie sheets), waiting to take their turn in the oven, I washed all the dishes, and then shredded the Zucchini, and the apples for the flavored breads I was making.

First up was the zucchini/apple bread.  It might sound like a crazy combination, but it is actually really good.   After getting it all made and sticking it in line with the last of the cookies, I washed dishes again, and got busy with the pumpkin bread.  I almost had a disaster with that one, because I forgot to mix the oil into the dough, and then looked in my lazy Susan (where all my canned stuff is, along with my cooking oils), I only found a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil.  Uhm, nope that was not going to work, then I opened up the cabinet under my sink and remembered I had bought 2 great big bottles of canola oil, so I could change the oil in my fryer (uhm, yes, I am a procrastinater and have not done that either).  Problem solved.  Mixed it all together and then put it into the loaf pans.

With all the cookies being done, I stuck the bread in the oven.  Then realized something.  ANOTHER face palm to the forehead……I had planned to make Beer butt chicken, with roasted broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms, and roasted potato’s, uhm…in my oven.  It was going on about 12:00 when I stuck the bread in the oven, and that would take about an hour.  Now on Sunday’s around here, we usually have dinner about 1:30 or 2.  Not going to happen today.

So, I warmed up the Electrician a leftover green chili cheeseburger from last night, and brought it down to him.  I don’t think he minded, as he was in pretty good humor, something about THE BEARS blowing up the Tennessee Titans.

Meanwhile, I got everything ready to stick in the oven when the bread was done.    I still had 2 more loaves of bread that I wanted to make, and these were the one’s that were going to take some time.  It’s called Amish Country Bread, and it uses yeast.

I have only just started working with yeast, because I used to be scared of it.    But the recipe I found is easy.  The mixer does most of the work, and I like that. There is the punching down of the dough, and letting it rise, but there is not much kneading, and no rolling.  I really like that.  The loaves are rustic looking, and I did something different this time.  Last time I made it, I topped the loaf with sea salt, fresh rosemary(from my plant) and Parmesan cheese.   One batch makes 2 loaves, this time, I did the rosemary one, but the second one I did with fresh Thyme (from my plant), kosher salt, and pecorino romano cheese.

Well….it is now about 5:30pm, dinner has been eaten, my kitchen is back to being squeaky clean.  I do have confess, the Electrician asked how come I made such a mess.  My kitchen kind of looked like a “flour zone”.  That’s when I told him, the Best cooks, make the biggest mess, and the food is yummy.

My breads have all been cooled, wrapped, and placed in the freezer, although I did send 1/2 a loaf of pumpkin bread to my neighbor.  I did have a bunch of fun cooking most of the day, and folks, my house smells amazing.

I did call the Farmer though and we did some negotiations over the phone, I still have 2-4 more breads I want to make, so I asked if I could keep his mixer one more day.  The price we negotiated was a small bag of cookies, and the mixer could inhabit my kitchen one more day.

So, tomorrow afternoon when I return from the Farmer’s house, I will finish up my bread making, and also some pie crusts.  Now some of you are probably asking yourself, why am I making so much bread and other stuff.  Hey call me Mrs. Ready, holidays are coming up and I am NOT waiting till the last-minute.

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Cookies….dunk or not….

When I was a kid, my favorite thing that I remember was going to Grandma’s house and fresh-baked cookies.    Chocolate chip were my favorite.

As I have grown older, I’ve made cookies.  I made cookies for my kids, and I actually have never bought cookies at the store. To me, it was always cheaper to buy the sugar and flour and other ingredients, and put my time and love into them.

When the Electrician was on the road, I made a double batch of cookies every Sunday afternoon, and he took them to his crew on Mondays.    They all loved the cookies, because it was like a little piece of home for guys that did not get to go home on the weekends.

Since he’s been home, I still make the cookies, whenever we run out, I make more.  It’s funny because the Electrician is kinda hordish with his cookies.  If the kids are coming over, he hides them.  But, unfortunately for him, they know where he hides them and they find them and eat their share.

I know this simply for the fact, the other day I got a call at the Farmer’s and the kids had been by the house, and the Electrician  told me, Cam-man had 2 cookies, the Nursing Student had 3 and the Fisher dude had 5.

It’s a heartwarming feeling to me to know that my cookies, make my family happy.  The Farmer has me make him cookies usually at the first of the month, that’s when he goes to get his hair trimmed, and his Barber Kenny (BFF of the Farmer’s) get’s the 1/2 batch of the Oatmeal raisin cookies that I make.

Seeing as how we are now in the fall season though, cookies will still be made, but now I am being pestered to make my Grandma’s Apple pie.  The Farmer and I can attest to how good in the tummy this pie makes you feel.

It’s funny isn’t it?  Some of the best feelings in the world are associated with the foods that your parents/grandparents made that make you feel oh so special and a warm feeling inside?  I am so blessed that my Grandma spent time in the kitchen with me, and taught me how to make a decent pie crust, and how to put that little bit of love into everything I make.

So, I guess my question is do you dunk your cookies in milk?  The Electrician likes to crumble them up into his ice cream, the Farmer just eats them, the kids will sometimes dunk them.

Forgive me for being silly tonite…K?

Playing with Chili’s and the “look”

Today dawned nice and sunny and with the promise the Electrician and I could sleep in.  Unfortunately, Ms. Baby didn’t get the memo on that one and jumped onto the bed at 7 a.m. demanding for both of us to get up.  So, I guess we both got to sleep in per se, the Electrician usually gets up at 4 am and me at 6am.

After drinking some coffee, and chatting for a bit, the Electrician went outside to “play” in the yard.  Okay, maybe not play, he ran the lawn mower to knock down the weeds in our yard and the neighbors.

After starting some laundry, then stripping the bed, I looked on the Internet for some ideas for dinner involving Chicken.  I recently took stock of my 2 1/2 freezers and found out, I must like chicken because that is what I have the most of in the freezers.  When the Electrician asked me what was for dinner, and I replied chicken, he kind of groaned.  After looking for a bit, I fell back on one of the Electrician’s favorites.

I decided I would make Green Chili Chicken Enchilada’s, with the last remaining bag of green chili from last year in my freezer.  However, with August just around the corner, and my new shipment arriving about the second week of August, I can handle using up the last bag.

I went up into the kitchen and set up my pot to boil my chicken, I threw in some herbs, and the chicken, and uhm…a habanero pepper(AKA scotch bonnet), that I pricked with a knife.  I let that boil away on the stove and got busy making Chocolate Chip cookies for the Electrician’s lunch this week.

The Electrician came in and scooped up some cookie dough, and then we took all of my “plants” (of the plastic variety) outside for a hosing off.  It’s a known fact I can kill a cactus at 20 paces, thus the need for the plastic variety.  Although, I do have 4 plants that I have managed to keep alive for going on 3 years now, but I’m not sure so much if it’s me that’s keeping them alive or the fact that the Electrician  also takes care of them.

By now, my house is smelling yummy with the spices and chicken, so I turned the pot off and let it sit for 30 minutes, then took the chicken out to de-bone it.    I strained out the chicken broth, and thought to myself, “hmmm, maybe I should taste it.”  So, I sucked down a spoonful and coughed.  Who knew a little pepper could make it THAT hot.

I chopped up my last bag of green chili after peeling it and seeding it, added a little garlic to hit and then tasted it.  WOW, either letting it sit in my freezer since last September,made it hotter, or it was a really hot batch of New Mexico Hatch green chili.

So now, I’m thinking that while I enjoy the spicy  HOT food, I really don’t want to kill the Electrician.  So, I made this batch of enchilada’s a little different. Normally, I do not use Sour cream OR philadelphia cream cheese, but in this case I did.  (It mellows out the spiciness.)  After mixing my filling, I started rolling, and rolling, and rolling.  2 BIG casserole pans later, it dawned on me, why I don’t make enchilada’s for just me and the Electrician.  I’m used to making them for the “family” (uhm, that would be 7 who has now turned into 10 + 2 lil one’s)  So then I decided I would freeze one batch, problem solved.

I baked one pan, and told the Electrician it was time to eat, and asked him if he wanted any salad with the enchilada’s, to which he replied “nah, this is good.”  Two bites into it and I started to sweat, and looked at the Electrician underneath my eyelids, he had turned a strange shade of red, coughed, and then stated “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, JOANNE, THESE ARE HOT”.  To which I replied  “Uhm, they just came out of the oven about 10 minutes ago”.  And that is when folks, I got the “look”.

Well, I finished mine (although I did slather some Ranch dressing and lettuce on mine), and he ate half of his and said he would get the rest later.    Fast forward (because that was about 3 hours ago), he has just finished the remainder of his plate, and stated that they tasted good the “spice” had settled down, and it was actually quite tasty.  PHEW, that made me feel better, but folks I’ll share with you the facts about green chili,   after cooking it, the longer it sits, and the more you reheat it, the hotter it gets.

I’m gonna have to figure out a way to re-invent this dinner into leftovers.  Suggestions are welcomed.

Pizza Night!

Well, here it is Saturday night, and I will state for the record, I really have not done that much today.  The Electrician and I did the Grocery shopping, and then we came home, ate lunch and both took naps.

We had Cam-man yesterday till about 8:00pm, and he was  happy to be here.  The minute I brought him in the front door, he was already screaming at the top of his lungs “PAWPA”.

At first we thought we would keep him occupied with just watching a little bit of “Curious George” on the computer but then Cam-Man wanted us to bring some of his toys downstairs.    Of course, his favorite toy (the tent) had to come downstairs and Pawpa put a pillow and Cam’s blankey in it, and then Cam and Pawpa laid down in it for about 2 seconds before the giggling and belly laughing began.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, Cam-Man worn down but would not go to sleep, so his Pawpa held him in his arms, and Cam-Man fell asleep with the blanket and all.    He woke up and we all had dinner, and played some more when the Nursing Student and Fisher dude showed up.  (That was last night).

After eating left overs for a couple of days, I asked the Electrician if he wanted to cook dinner tonite.  He said sure.  He thought a stuffed pizza from Papa Murphy’s, would fit the bill for tonite.  Folks this thing is stuffed with chicken, mushrooms, black olives, mixed onions on a garlic cheese base.  and tomatoes and bacon.

Uhm, please put a fork in me (burp) and tell me I’m done.  I had 1 1/2 slices of this sucker and I’ve  gone into a serious food coma .  Heck, if truth be told, I have so missed my carbs and bread.  If I have to work out 2 x tomorrow then so be it, but the crust on this pizza, sent me into overdrive.  I even stole the Electrician’s crust.  I told him, if I had spread butter on that crust, I would have  seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Dinner clean up was a snap.  wrap up the leftover pizza, throw away the paper plates, and wash 2 forks.  I like when the Electrician cooks!

The rest of the evening is going to be spent watching the Nascar race, and just doing kinda of nothing.  I really like these kind of days where I don’t really do anything at all except just “Gel”.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, Can you Cook?

I have just spent the past hour, seriously laughing my butt off.  The Electrician and I sat here and watched “Worst Cooks in Americaon the FoodNetwork Channel.

While I can say that I can cook, and am not afraid to try new recipes, it absolutely floors me that some people cannot cook.  This lead to a discussion between the Electrician and I.  We both started wondering when we learned to cook. 

I had a wonderful Grandmother that would teach me how to cook different things.  Grandmother Burwash was always pulling me into the kitchen in those summer’s I used to spend with her and she taught me the basics. 

I have been trying to make the “perfect Lemon meringue Pie” for the Farmer for better than 35 years now.  I think I’ve achieved it, but he keeps telling me to try again (I think he just likes the tasting part, by that I mean the WHOLE pie).

But, I digress.  I did take Home Economics in High School, and I’ve been cooking since I was about 13.  My Aunt also taught me a few things although I have never perfected the Crepe‘s she taught me.  My mother-in-law, also taught me a few things (the favorites of the Electrician).

I guess what I find hard to understand is that A LOT of people in America cannot cook.  Some people have never canned vegetables, or made jams or jellies, or any of the “old school” things.  If it doesn’t come in the form or fast food, food in a box,  or food you microwave they can’t cook.

That makes me sad.  I’ve tried to teach all of my kids a little bit, the boys more, because I never wanted them to starve or have to always eat out.  One of my Son’s taught his wife to cook.

The Electrician and I eat out maybe once a month, we have a routine, I cook dinner just about every night and he does dishes, because I HATE to do dishes.  There are times when I get lucky and he cooks dinner, and when he does then I do the dishes.

We just got back from a 12 day vacation where I did not cook a thing.  While I enjoyed it, I have to say I missed my kitchen.   I enjoy playing around in there. 

Don’t get me wrong because I’ve had some successes and some messes too.  I used to cook for the Farmer and Momma, and then freeze some things for them, I enjoyed doing it.  I still have the Farmer’s freezer full at the moment, he’s been doing his own thing since Momma has been in the Nursing Home

BUT, I am going to go cook him breakfast in the morning and it’s been awhile since I’ve done that, so I’m kinda looking forward to Daddy, daughter time.  Plus, I’ll do his laundry and clean his house while he goes to visit Momma.  Then I’ll go visit Momma, who is doing really good.

Today was a GOOD day.  The Electrician and I went to see her this morning and she was in rare form.  Talking up a storm and really happy to see the Electrician.  We cruised the hallways and laughed a lot.

Today…was a good day…..Night ya’ll……………