Saturday, December 29, 2007
I cooked for New Year's today - Fantasy Fudge and Sausage Cheese Dip. The cheese dip is a new recipe that I got from a lady at Ray's work. It is REALLY yummy, I think.
One more recipe I tried this week was Potato-Leek Soup, which we really enjoyed. Ray doesn't like cream soups, so has never liked Cream of Potato (which I love), but this variation he doesn't mind. It is a nice change and I offer a suggestion to liven it up (the book has like 4, but most I don't think sound good).
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Olga got a new catnip mouse...and oh, was she STONED! I had wrapped it, so she could try to figure it out, but I forgot and left out an old catnip mouse...she was confused between the two of them! So Ray opened it and got it out for her and then she batty for it.
Monday, December 24, 2007
My Best Oatmeal Cake
from Cooking for 2 (I wanted a smaller recipe since it is just Ray and me for dinner)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
confectioner's sugar (optional...I didn't use it because my cake was too sad)
Put oats in boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes.
Cream shortening and sugars. Add oat mixture and egg and mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat until combined.
Pour into 8 inch fluted tube pan (I used a bundt pan), coated with cooking spray (and hope this works...didn't for me!). Bake at 350 for 22-27 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes (and I DID this) before putting on a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with sugar if you want.
Makes 6 servings.
Me also...I helped! (Held what Ray said to hold and screwed in things as told)
Crib all pretty with Winnie-the-Pooh sheets
Our mobile...oh, yes, I found AIRPLANES for Ray.
Crib with mobile and that end of the room all set up (my rocking chair for middle of the night feedings adn there is a little set of drawers by it with a low lamp).
Final approval - Olga checking it out. We are getting a crib tent, which is just mesh and will keep Olga out so we don't have to worry about her trying to sleep with Adam (she probably wouldn't, but this way we don't have to worry about it at all).
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Now my cat....Ray was out of town last night and I had to set the alarm to meet with a student. The alarm is on Ray's side of the bed, so I just got in there last night - seemed easy enough. Enter my cat. So Olga stares at me for awhile...kind of staring around, wondering where Ray is, too....then finally she settles in to stare at me. Now this doesn't work and I'm about to fall asleep and she starts batting at me...in other words, telling me I was on the wrong side of the bed and I needed to move NOW since staring hadn't gotten her message across. As soon as I moved, she curled up and went to sleep. What a creature of habit! I didn't know she cared which side of the bed I slept on, but I guess I was wrong!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Writing cards last night (between cookie batches)
FINISHED and PO READY!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The biggest problem was that this meant we were out with all the Christmas shopping crazies. We did get a few good deals, though, including a jigsaw for Ray on clearance at Wal-Mart. Now when we first started, it was just busy, but then it started snowing. Why do people get so STUPID when it snows? This is Ohio and we are dead in the snowbelt from Lake Erie. This is NOTHING NEW!!! But, oh my dear, people were IDIOTS, especially around the mall. The main issue to is go slow and steady, but people can't seem to do that! People get scared and stop when they don't need to and then the crazies go through lights they shouldn't and speed up. Ugh! Add in people who go through red lights because the person before them does...it is just a nightmare.
We ended up back out today as well - mainly because one thing I wanted was only at the Target in Streetsboro so we had to go get that (I'd called them last night to hold it). The roads today were worse because it is getting colder and all the slush is starting to freeze.
I still have one more thing to buy for the kitchen - a lazy susan for my spices, but I managed to find the lid pull out I wanted yesterday at Lowes.
Well, I'm off to make more cookies. I want to finish my Christmas cards and get them in the mail by tomorrow with the last of my packages, so I'd better get cracking!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
My Christmas decorations are now up and I'm trying to get my cards down. I'm writing baby shower thank yous first. But last night I had to make cookies for Ray's dispatchers. I always do around this time, but I was way behind and since the semester ends on Friday, I figured I'd better get that done so Ray had time to take them in.
Off to grade final exams (three more in today, just waiting on one more, then this semester is OVER for me!).
From back of marshmallow creme jar
1 1/2 cups margarine
6 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
2 pkg (12 oz) chocolate chips
1 jar (13 oz) marshmallow creme
2 cups nuts (optional)
2 tsp vanilla
Mix margarine, sugar and milk in saucepan. Bring to full boil and then boil for 5 minutes on medium heat. You need your candy thermometer to read 234. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chips until melted. Add rest and mix. Put in pans, cool and then cut.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Sweet Cream Sugar Cookies
From Merry Cookie
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Combine dry ingredients and add alternatively with cream. Mix until smooth. Chill for 2 hours. Roll to desired thickness, and cut with Christmas cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350, 10-12 minutes or until done but not brown. Cool, ice, and decorate.
Wish me luck in getting these done! But I have a beautiful new kitchen and dishwasher to help out!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
This year, I gave Chicken Soup in a Jar. (Last year, I did Potato Soup in a Jar). In a time of rampant commercialism, homemade gifts add thought and care back into holiday gifts and often help our bottom line (that checkbook!).
We also need more recipes as the number of parties we have to bring food to increase and we are looking for something new to impress our friends (or co-workers or bosses) with. Making your party offerings yourself often make the choices better and cheaper!
Enjoy all these holiday gift and recipe ideas from your blogging friends!Packaged Gifts to Give Away
Like my own jar gifts, these are perfect gifts to make and give away!
- Straight from the Farm shares her homemade tea packages (so cute!)
- Unclaimed Money shares ideas on making your own hot drink mixes
- Chief Family Officer gives a recipe for hot chocolate mix (this didn’t say you could give it away, but it would be easy to attach a label and do so – or you can just make it yourself, like I do with my chai tea mix.)
- Pancake Recipes offers up Cinnamon Pancakes in a Jar
- Try Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies in A Jar from World Famous Recipes
- Chicken Recipes shares her version of Chicken Soup in a Jar (for you to compare with mine!)
Cookie and Treat Giveaways
We all know that everyone loves to give and receive cookies this time of year and it is always fun to add some new ones to your repertoire as you often have to bring things to the same parties and people and we can use a little variety!
- Double Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints from Men in Aprons (Adam reports that despite calorie complaints, these quickly disappeared!)
- Dark and White Chocolate Chips with Cranberries from The Expatriate’s Kitchen are a way to bring a light offering
- Christmas Sugar Cookies from The Ringpop Bride
- Stop the Ride shares ideas on what and how to dip various foods in chocolate (a little chocolate always makes it better right?)
Recipes to Share with Friends
Looking for a new recipe to share at that office party or to take to a friend’s house for Christmas? Sick of bringing the same thing – try some of these interesting recipes!
Add some ethnic diversity to your offering:
- Eggplant Moussaka from Join Them
- Mushroom Dumplings from Sugar Laws (Katy has been working to recreate her dumpling experience in China so definitely check these out)
- Beef and Guinness Soup from Busy Bee Lifestyle
- English Christmas Trifle from Christmas Recipes
For some more traditional fare:
- Crockpot Chunky Apple Butter from Slow Cooker Recipes
- Organic One Egg Cake from the Organic Test Kitchen
- Tennessee Christmas Cake from the Recipe Bank
- Homemade Cheese Balls from The Common Room (who tells us this is a great way to save some money)
You can check out all the upcoming editions of the carnival of recipes at Everything and Nothing. Next week will at http://everythingandnothing.typepad.com/ and is themed "A Christmas Tea." The deadline is next Saturday night (December 15th) and you can submit your entries straight to email@example.com or you can use the blog carnival submission button.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
My blood pressure was up a little bit last check up so my doctors have me doing a billion tests, all of which are really annoying! It is just stress - kitchen remodel, duh! Now that it is mostly over, I'm sure my blood pressure is back to normal, but I still have to go through all their rigamoral. I obviously scheduled my check up for the wrong time! I have to go back tomorrow and if everything is normal, hopefully they will be done pestering me. I sometimes think they just like to run tests! I don't show any of the other signs they listed, so I think there is nothing to worry about, but I guess that's their job.
Oh, did I tell you UPS missed my house and left packages a few houses down a few weeks ago? A little old lady came by to tell me where they were and guess what - happened again today! So I called UPS...it is just that they have so many temp drivers right now, but I figured reporting it would solve it and they actually sounded happy I did (also the fact that I wasn't yelling or being annoying probably also helped!).
Ray is just trying to get through the last few weeks of school. He has a bunch of papers to write for his Ph.D classes, plus all his normal work, so he is really stressed and messed up. He just wants next week over with and vacation to start. He needs a break, poor guy.
Well, off to do some internet Christmas shopping - just one present left to go!
Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
Modified from Gifts In A Jar
4 cups wide egg noodles
2 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp celery flakes
1 tsp pepper
Layer ingredients in the order given into a wide mouth 1 quart canning jar [The recipe does the noodles last, but we like the look of the spices running through the noodles]. Pack each layer in place before adding the next.
Attach gift tag with cooking directions.
1 jar Chicken Noodle Soup Mix
2 (5 oz) cans chicken
Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the Chicken Noodle Soup Mix. Add chicken, breaking it up well with a fork. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.