Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

My New Best Friend

big bowl This was one of my Christmas gifts, isn’t it great? It’s huge, and I mean huge. The diameter is 12 inches and it’s about 6 1/2 inches deep. I have been using it constantly since I got it. It is perfect for mixing up a cake and because it’s so big, even the most exuberant of mixing by the kiddos doesn’t splash outside of it. Yesterday I used it to serve up mashed potatoes and they were dwarfed by the size of the bowl. I love it, it has become my new best friend. It has so much more character than a plain glass bowl, don’t you think? What are your favourite kitchen items?

food, gifts, home • Monday, January 4th, 2010 • 16 Comments »

Homemade Pita Bread

pitasEvery once in a while I like to make sandwiches using pita breads, but I almost choke at having to pay $3 or $4 dollars for a package of six. Let’s face it, they are hard, taste of nothing, and are filled with a bunch of nasty preservatives. Yesterday we decided to make some, and I was absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. I searched for a recipe online and ended up using this Pita recipe. It was really easy, but just a little time consuming, though I had two kiddos perfectly willing to help out. After tuckering out from the kneading, my six year old went off to play and I finished up. I had forgotten how sore my arms were after holding a 22lb. baby for five hours the other night, but it was a good workout and I made it through. They were a huge success and the first four out of the oven were eaten immediately. I followed the recipe exactly and used my cast iron pizza pan to bake them on. These will definitely be made again, they were so good. I knew they would be better than the store bought ones, but the difference is unbelievable. Try them out, you won’t regret it.

family, food • Friday, November 6th, 2009 • 16 Comments »

Meeting Ree, The Pioneer Woman

PWbookI’ve been enjoying Ree Drummond’s blog, The Pioneer Woman, for quite some time. Last night she was doing a book signing for her cookbook in Denver. As that’s only an hour and a half away, hubby, baby, and I took off for an evening of fun. We got there just a few minutes after 7:30pm when the signing was scheduled to start. The book store was packed, and I mean jam packed. Hubby went off to do some browsing and the babe and I got in line. I was next to some great gals and the chatter flowed, it was a good thing because we were all in line together for the next five hours. It was a long time, but it was actually pretty fun. We got to know each other a bit and for several of those hours we were sitting on the stairs, so at least we weren’t standing, which is handy as the babe is 22 pounds. We finally got downstairs and at 12:40am I finally met Ree. She was so sweet, and gorgeous, and she spent a few minutes chatting and signing my cookbook. The babe had been awake the entire time, amazing I know, and had fallen asleep literally less than a minute before meeting Ree. She signed my cookbook and took some pictures and after saying goodbye to my new friends we were off. We pulled in the driveway at 2:45am. It was a long, tiring night, and I would do it all over. I was really pleased that Ree was everything I expected and more, what a sweet gal. This of course is why I haven’t been able to function today, at all. I don’t drink anything with caffeine in it as the babe already doesn’t sleep well. She doesn’t need help staying up, so I have been craving several pots of coffee today. Alas, no caffeine for me, but I definitely see an early bedtime.

books, food • Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 • 13 Comments »

My Great Grandmother’s Recipes

great grandma's recipesMy mother recently gave me my great grandmother’s recipe box. I have been having lots of fun looking through it. There are quite a few recipes I want to try, including her butterscotch pie. I am equally confused and enthralled with the fact that there are no directions, just a short list of ingredients. How on earth do I begin to make this? I’m not sure whether it was just a recipe that she knew so well there was no need to write down how to make it, or if in her generation it was just silly to assume that someone wouldn’t know how to make this pie. Either way, one of these days I’m going to try it. These are the kinds of things that I am excited to pass down to my children, memories and traditions of the women before me. Thanks mom!

family, food • Thursday, October 15th, 2009 • 12 Comments »

Apple Butter and Oatmeal Bread

apple butterLast week I had a request for my oatmeal bread recipe, and I thought that some homemade apple butter would round it out perfectly. Unfortunately, yesterday I pinched a nerve in my back and then today the electricity went out for most of the afternoon, due to an outage clear to Nebraska. Needless to say, I have not been doing much other than sitting very still. I didn’t get any bread made. though I did manage to do the apple butter after the electricity came back on. I wanted to share both recipes with you as with the weather cooling down, there is almost nothing better than a slice of fresh, warm bread and the delicious taste of apple butter. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, I cheat when I make bread. I dump all of the ingredients into my bread machine pan and let it do all the kneading and rising work for me. Then I pull it out and shape it the way I want it, and bake it in the oven. This method works really well for me, so while one day I would like to do all the kneading with my own hands, this works for me now. Hope you enjoy!

Apple Butter

  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • pinch of ginger
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch of nutmeg
  1. Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for approx. 1 hour until desired thickness.

Oatmeal Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  1. Place ingredients in bread machine pan in order specified by manufacturer (mine is wet ingredients first, so just put them in in order I have listed)
  2. Put on the dough cycle, and when it is done, take the dough out and shape it however you want your loaf to look.
  3. Cover and let rise until about doubled.
  4. Bake at 350° for approx. 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  5. Enjoy!

food • Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 • 14 Comments »

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches

peach jam I love to buy fruit and veg from the farmer’s market if I can, but sometimes such a good deal comes along at the grocery store, I just can’t pass it up. This week at one of our local grocery stores, they had organic peaches for $1 a pound. I just couldn’t beat that price anywhere else, so my hubby and eldest son went and snagged 25 pounds. I had big plans for putting them up for the winter. Yesterday morning I got a bunch of peach jam made and the afternoon and evening were spent blanching, peeling, slicing and freezing peaches. I absolutely love a good bargain especially when it comes to organic fruit and veg. Now that summer is winding down, it’s nice to see the pantry and freezer being filled with yummy things for the winter. I’m hoping I can get a good deal on corn this coming weekend at the farmer’s market. Then I’ll put my kids to work, good thing they like shucking corn.

food • Thursday, September 17th, 2009 • 9 Comments »

The Home Creamery and Landscaping with Fruit

The Home Creamery These are two books that I am really excited about. I’ve already been making my own yogurt for about a year and a half, and we made butter once, but I have been interested in making different kinds of dairy products for a while now. The Home Creamery is fantastic and has all the info I need to try sour cream, creme fraiche, mozerella, kefir, cottage cheese and many more. I think it’s a good beginner’s look into making your own dairy products. The second half of the book is full of recipes that use all of the different kinds of cheeses and milks. I’m really excited about getting my kids involved and trying these out. I can only imagine how good a pizza would be with made from scratch dough, homemade sauce, tomatoes right off the vine, basil from out of the pot, and homemade mozzarella. Landscaping with Fruit Landscaping With Fruit is another book I’m loving. This year I took the plunge and got four fruit bushes, three currants and a raspberry bush. Granted, they are teeny and the currants aren’t even producing fruit yet, but I happily dream about the day when we can walk out into the garden and collect baskets of berries, or pick pears, or apples, or peaches off of trees. This book is beautiful to look at and has given me quite a few ideas to use when planting more fruit.

books, food, gardening • Monday, September 14th, 2009 • 2 Comments »

Homemade Yogurt

homemade yogurt My family loves yogurt. We eat it in smoothies, mixed with fruit, drizzled with honey, and even in our potato salad. It is so versatile and healthy and it keeps tummies filled with good bacteria. It has gotten me through some rough pregnancies, and times when my jaw hurt so much I could not chew properly. It has fed my babies that are just starting on solid food, and generally been a much loved staple in our diet. My gift for Mother’s Day last year was a yogurt maker. I had requested this and was thrilled to get it. We like to go through so much yogurt that sometimes it was cost prohibitive to buy organic yogurt, not to mention there is still a lot of sugar in the flavoured kinds. When I realized that I could make my own for half the cost, I jumped at the chance. I know that a lot of people don’t use an actual yogurt maker and do just fine, but sometimes I am so busy and trying to do quite a few things at once, so I really liked the idea of being able to put the yogurt in the maker and just forget about it for several hours. It paid for itself very quickly and I am thrilled that I can take one gallon of milk and turn it into approx. four litres of yogurt with very little effort. This way I can also regulate how much sugar goes in, if any at all. I like to use honey or cook up some fruit and mix it in. Nuts are also a favourite topping. The possibilities are endless. Homemade yogurt is one of those things that I take great pleasure in doing myself.

food • Friday, September 11th, 2009 • 4 Comments »