Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is two days away.  This year we are having our dinner at my mom's house.  Normally I host but this year we decided to change it up a bit.  We also decided to do more of a potluck which makes my life ALOT easier.  I am still cooking but a lot less and in a different kitchen.


I am responsible for mashed potatoes, squash, boiled onions, cheesecake and gingerbread.  I think there are couple other things but right now I cannot remember.  Oh wait, the ham.  We always have to have a ham in addition to the turkey.  My husband, Mr. Lucky, isn't a huge fan of turkey so he gets ham. 

I am really looking forward to this Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is the only holiday where our entire family is together.  It makes me happy and we all have a lot to be thankful for.

I hope that you all have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for this year?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Craziness!

So I started this blog and then life went a little bit sideways!  I apologize!  Since the cooler weather is here for good now I am cooking quite a bit more so there will definitely be lots more posts.  Hopefully I will remember to take pictures too!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Already thinking about Christmas

Every year I make gift baskets for our friends and family for Christmas gifts.  I also make a few to sell for friends to give as gifts.  I am just starting to organize all my ideas for this year, I have a lot!

It takes me a long time to narrow down what I am going to make.  I have folders and folders of ideas and recipes and I add to them almost daily.  There are a few things that I make every year, no matter what, they are expected at this point.  My must have treats are: chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, almond butter cookies, raspberry jam thumbprint cookies, peppermint bark, chocolate covered pretzels and truffles. 

This year I am thinking about making vanilla extract for a few people.  It is fairly easy and I think my friends and family that cook will love it.  I am also considering some different bar cookie recipes and some ginger bread.  I'll keep you posted as I make my decisions. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

I actually cooked!

I made dinner last night and tonight.  It had been so long I wasn't sure I even remembered how to cook.  I was praying that I didn't poison us.

According to Mr. Lucky, last night's dinner was his best meal of 2010.  I made garlic thyme pork chops with pan roasted onions and apples with a side dish of maple roasted acorn squash.  It was good, it was real good!

I didn't have a recipe I just kinda winged it.  I knew that I wanted to use the apples and some maple syrup.  The apples because we bought a huge bag and the maple syrup because it is yummy.

This meal came together surprisingly fast.  I got home from work a little late yesterday and I really didn't want to cook but Mr. Lucky wasn't going to do it.  I am glad he didn't, I rocked it!  (If I do say so myself.)

For the pork chops, I seasoned some flour with garlic powder and dried thyme.  I crushed the thyme in my hand to bring out the flavor some more.  I dredged the pork chops in the flour and pan fried them in a little olive oil until they were mostly done.  I then sliced the onions and apples and sauteed them until they were softened then added some grade B maple syrup and the pork chops and cooked the whole thing until the chops were done.  Because I was rushed I didn't peel the apples, next time I will.

Acorn squash is one of Mr. Lucky's favorites.  He doesn't eat many veggies other than squash so when it is squash season I take advantage of it.  These acorns are super easy to cook.  All I did was cut it in half, scooped out all the seeds and roasted it in the oven on 425 for about 45 minutes.  Once the flesh was soft I scored it with a knife put a few pats of butter in each side and poured in some maple syrup.  I turned the temperature down to 300 and let them cook for about 15 minutes more just until the butter and syrup were soaked into the squash.  You could also use brown sugar in place of the syrup but you may need to "baste" the squash with they cook.

Tonight's dinner was a little simpler but still tasted very good.  I made roasted garlic and herb flavored chicken sausage with onions and potatoes.  This was also easy and came together very quickly. 

I had boiled the potatoes last night so they were already cooked.  I sliced up the onions and the sausage and sauteed them up with a little bit of olive oil.  You have to use the olive oil with the chicken sausage because they don't have much if any fat in them.  I let the sausage and onions cook for a few minutes before I added the diced up potatoes because they were already cooked.   All together this meal probably cooked for about 15 minutes.  

So, I think my cooking drought is over!  I may not be cooking every night but I am cooking again!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Searching and searching........

Last spring I entered a cake competition in Virginia.  I did not enter in the decorating divisions, I am not yet that brave.  I entered in four categories in the Tasting division.  My cheesecake won first place!  I can't even tell you how excited I got, I was like a 5 year old.

I am considering doing it again except this time I won't be able to be there in person.  I would have to send the cakes to Pennsylvania under the care of my friend Chelle.  Do I want to go through all the craziness and not even be there to reap any possible rewards?  Yes, I do! 

So now I search for the recipe that will bring me another first place ribbon.  I am going to try to enter in four categories.  As soon as I decide on the recipes I'll let you know.  I will be baking and baking and baking for the next month and a half testing recipes.  Mr. Lucky will be my taste tester, I am sure he won't mind. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No cooking tonight!

My husband, Mr. Lucky, took care of dinner tonight.  He did have today off so I am not feeling to guilty about him taking care of it.  Although, I will say that he has been stepping up a lot more since I am not always home at the same time every day.

Our dinner tonight was ham and cheese sandwiches.  I never said he made me a gourmet feast and I am definitely not complaining!  I actually love having simple quick dinners once in awhile and I know Mr. Lucky does as well.  He, by no means, is a cook and would be the first to admit that. So, I'd say that sandwiches are as simple as it gets. 

Besides the fixin's for sandwiches I was surprised with some Pumpkin Spice cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.  They are awesome!   I am going to make some of my own very very soon!  I might make a maple frosting for them though.  Thoughts? 

That's all I got for you tonight.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting reaccquainted with my stove

The cooler weather seems to be here to stay.  I am so happy!  I really don't like the summer weather all that much.

I don't think I used my stove more than a dozen times all summer.  I do not have the luxury of central air conditioning in my house so there was no way I was going to heat up the house more than it was.

Now that has all changed.  We've reached my favorite time of year again, Fall.  How can you not love Fall?  Football, foliage, cooler weather and really great food!

I have been compiling recipes all summer so I will have plenty to share in the coming weeks.  Then we'll be closing in on the holiday season so there will be lots and lots of treats to show you.

I may not be able to write, or cook, every day but check back often to see what I've got for you!

JEM