Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog Consolidation

To anyone who might actually read this:

I'll be consolidating my blogs over the next week. If you'd like to keep reading, you can head over to where there will be all sorts of different reviews, recipes, ramblings on life in general, knitting chat, TV show recaps...basically anything I do on a regular basis.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tweaking the Cookies

A couple weeks ago, I was involved in a discussion about how many bakers and cooks fall into two different categories. There are those that eye their measurements and just toss them in and somehow everything manages to come out great. Then there are those that measure religiously and don't vary from the recipe hardly at all.

Because I didn't grow up with any love for baking and have only recently become a fan, I'm of the latter group. In fact, I get nervous when I have to make substitutions or if I can't find a half tablespoon measure because I'm afraid I just won't get it right by eyeballing the same amount in a full tablespoon measure.

Recently I made these cookies and were really happy with how they turned out. In fact, they seemed to be well received when I took them for hot pot night. This is one of the few recipes that lends itself to substitutions that seem fairly easy. For instance, I baked these again today and used regular sugar instead of confectioners sugar. The texture is slightly different but I almost prefer the texture of this new batch. Also, instead of the vanilla pudding, I added pistachio. The taste is wonderful if you're a fan of pistachio (which I am). Now my thoughts are turning to add ins for this cookie: cherries, peanut butter, and toffee are a few I've come up with in conjunction with the pudding variations there are.

My next experiment? Butterscotch.

Bento and Lunch Boxes

My future brother-in-law is spending the summer in San Francisco and recently surprised me and Jon with some gifts. No more do I have to take lunch in boring rubbermaid and plastic grocery sacks.

This little lunch set has been used everyday since I got it, and I absolutely love it. That little box there in the back between the bag and thermos is two stackable containers, perfect for cereal and hardboiled eggs. The only thing I'm not yet sure about is if that container in the front there is microwaveable. Even if it's not, it's the perfect fit for a sandwich.

Thanks R!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Baking Double Time

This past week I've done a little bit of baking, not just because I enjoy it but because it was kind of therapeutic during my grieving for my grandma period. (

Tonight I realized I had to go shopping soon and was low on a few baking essentials. I also had a few things that needed to go, like the ripe ripe bananas that were sitting in my kitchen and the strawberries that needed to be used before they went bad. First recipe was Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread.

The first time I made this earlier in the week, I forgot to grease the pan (doh!), so it kind of mutilated on the bottom a little bit. This time, I remembered and it came out beautifully. We had a slice tonight, and the rest will be good for breakfasts this weekend.

Second was Soft Buttermilk Sugar Cookies. These are a little weird. They're not dense like sugar cookies you get from the store. Instead, it's like eating a cloud...or a fluffy piece of cake. Definitely tasty, but very crumbly if you're careful.

No picture of the after, just be careful when removing these bad boys. Also, I used buttermilk but was informed this week that you can actually make recipes calling for buttermilk with slightly soured milk. It sounds weird, but maybe worth a try in the future.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sausage Potato Bake

We’re breaking out the crockpot again. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt at making crockpot monkey bread this past weekend, we are down one since the burnt concoction is impossible to get out of the crock. Believe it or not…I burnt something in the slow cooker.

I left last night’s dinner to Jon, who managed to not fail miserably at slow cooking. Unfortunately, we both failed at picture taking and so have no tasty images to dish up to everyone. But I do have a recipe to share:

Sausage Potato Bake

Jon didn’t seem too thrilled with it at first, at least not with the theory of it. But I thought it tasted great and he ended up liking it too. I even ended up buying the vegetable soup with the letter noodles, so that made if fun too. We used smoked sausage and canned potatoes we had in the cabinet which were surprisingly good. I ended up bringing some to work with me for lunch, though it’s now been designated to tomorrow’s lunch due to an unplanned pizza delivery bought by one of my co-workers.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Frugal Girls Giveaway: Home Free Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies

While working to be healthier, the fiance and I aren't about giving up anything completely. We are, however, open to trying new things. One of my favorite snacks is a chocolate chip cookie, and Frugal Girls is currently hosting a giveaway for Home Free Organic Chocolate Chip Cookies. While we want to try them for the good/organic value, these cookies would be great for anyone with food allergies or a palate refined to natural ingredients.

Visit the Frugal Girls Cookie Giveaway Post for your chance to win two boxes of these cookies. Everyone can earn up to six chances to win, so head on over and hook it up. Who can say no to cookies??!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kitchen, Cookies, and the Farmer's Market

As promised, I managed to get a few pics of our kitchen, but let's face it...there's not much to it.

Friday night was my first trip to one of our local farmer's markets. In truth, it was my first trip to a farmer's market anywhere. Believe it or not, I've always just done grocery store produce. I may have continued to do so too, but the peaches I bought at the store a few weeks ago were really bad, and I've been craving a good peach.
The bananas are actually from Aldi because that's the cheapest place to get them in town. At the Farmers Market (Eastside Market if anyone in the area reads this), I also picked up a garlic clove and an onion for a recipe I'm doing this week and a jar of honey. I've been wanting honey for awhile now, but I prefer it fresh and local than processed in a bear. Not that the bear isn't cute, but this honey jar was perfect.

On Friday night, I also got the baking bug and decided to make some cookies. I found this recipe and made some tweaks, substituting applesauce for the butter and shortening and ignoring the orange peel. They game out pretty good...a little over chewy and maybe a little too sweet (my bad for using regular applesauce instead of unsweetened), but I'll probably make them again.

I have everything I need to make banana muffins except a few ripe bananas. I also have a recipe for crockpot monkey bread that I was going to make this morning. I still might make it this afternoon for an evening snack. It'll go perfect with the chocolate milk I picked up this morning.