Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The recipe box

Now, when I talk about my recipe box, or recipe file, you're probably thinking about something cutesy like this, aren't you?



Nope, not so much. Try this on for size:



Those boxes on the floor, they're also full of recipes and cookbooks. And that doesn't count all the ones on the computer!! Yeah, I may have a few too many, lol!! So, I'm trying to be better and pick at least one new recipe to cook each week. I'm trying to add to the "tried and true" favorites. I admit, I should probably go through the boxes and get rid of the stuff that I'm truly never going to use, because I'm sure there's some of that in there. But I get emotionally attached to stuff, I admit it! I'm a full-fledged packrat. However, I'm trying to let go and de-clutter. A little.

Anyway, the real point of this post is that I pulled out a new recipe to try today. I also need to admit that I don't always save the source of a recipe. So, when I post a recipe on here, I will give credit to the source when I know it, but like I said, I don't always know where they came from!! This is one of those recipes. I found it somewhere on the internet, probably a couple of years ago. :)

BBQ Ribs in Crock Pot

5 lbs boneless pork ribs
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce

Brown ribs in a skillet or in a 400'F oven. Mix together all other ingredients in a small bowl. Place ribs in crock pot. Pour sauce over ribs and toss to coat. Cook on low 6-8 hours until ribs are tender.

**Okay, first I halved the recipe because I bought a smaller package of ribs on sale at the grocery store. I didn't brown the ribs. I just didn't feel like it today, lol. This is cooking and smells really, really good! I'll come back later to post a review.

***Update: it was really good! D wants me to leave the vinegar out next time to see if it makes a difference, but even Sean asked for more, so it's a keeper! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Excited!

I'm excited -- I've joined two online baking groups, sometimes called baking events. One, Tuesdays with Dorie, is a weekly event. The other, The Cake Slice, is monthly. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, but I'm excited about it. They are both going to force me to step out of my baking "comfort zone" so to speak. I won't actually start posting about them until January, and I can't mention what the recipes are yet, but my tastebuds are ready, lol!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! We have two days of celebrating around here, and I've already gotten three new cookbooks, lol, as well as more cooking supplies and gadgets. :)

I also made this sinfully delicious new goodie -- Loaded Triple Chocolate Bark from Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake. Oh. My. Goodness. Chocolate. More chocolate. Even more chocolate. Coated pecans. And coconut. Yeah. It's that good.



I didn't make it exactly as written. I had chocolate and white almond bark on hand, which melts wonderfully in the microwave. I also didn't melt a third chocolate, but sprinkled mini semi-sweet chocolate chips on top instead. And then of course the pecans and coconut. Did I mention it was sinfully delicious??

Later!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A few of my favorite (kitchen) things

I should be sleeping. Mostly because I'm already exhausted, but also because Kade has been running a fever tonight, and you know that babies and fevers often mean rough nights. But...here I am, blogging instead. I felt the need to share a few of my favorite things in the kitchen. No pictures to go along with the list, though. You don't get to see the clutter that has taken over my kitchen right now!

*my Kitchen Aid mixer. I love that thing! D was amazed last year when I loaned my baby out to Christi, lol!! I've had it for over 5 years. It's the 4.5 qt style. If I ever have to replace it, I'll probably get a 5 qt, but otherwise, it's been great!!

*aprons. I have quite a collection of aprons. Yes, I actually use them!! I'm a bit messy you see... Sean even has his own. I think he's up to three of them now!!

*my coffee pot. Oh how I love thee. I think that technically I have three. My fave is my Senseo one cup machine. I heart it (although I will admit I order my coffee pods from this website). I also have a Brew Station, because sometimes you just need to make a whole pot, although I don't use it much lately, since I'm nursing and not as caffeinated as I would often like to be! It works okay...but not wonderfully. One day, I will own a Bunn!! And I also have a small 4-cup maker that my grandmother gave me about 10 years ago when I had my own apartment. I just can't seem to part with it. Hi, my name is Katy, and I'm a packrat!!

*my recipe files and cookbooks. I mean really, need I say more? I have a ton. I do need to post a picture of them someday.

*my sous chef and future sous chef. C'mon, I had to mention the kids, right??

*my dishwasher. The Kenmore one, and the one I'm married to. And most definitely my mother. I admit it, when we have our cooking days, it's mostly me cooking and her cleaning. I love her!! :)

There's more, I'm sure, but I'm not going to list every gadget and gizmo I have. And I think the oven goes without saying. ;)

Later!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's try again, shall we?

Alas, my previous post wasn't saved in drafts. Or at least I don't know how to find it if it is... Oh well!! Basically, I was going to say that yes, I have been cooking, and even trying new things, but the holidays are, well, crazy times and I just haven't had time to post! I was also going to say that I'm going to have to start posting about cooking in general, and life in general, because just posting about trying to get Sean to eat healthy new things just isn't going to cut it! :)

I love the holidays, even with the craziness, mostly because it gives me an excuse to bake all kinds of things that wouldn't be in the "healthy" recipe category, lol. I have some evil new cookie recipes to share. I enjoy cooking, but I love baking. Now, I wouldn't want to become a pastry chef, because that's not what, or how, I cook. Oven roasted asparagus is about as fancy as we get around here, lol. By the way, that's become a regular side dish for us!!

Anyway, back to the point, if I even had one. I have tons of cookie recipes that are my "favorite". And I'm adding to the list this year. However, I haven't had quite as much time to bake as usual. Kade takes a lot of my baking time...but he's definitely worth it. ;) Next year, he can be my little sous chef...right now, he sits in the high chair or the exersaucer and observes. Maybe he's the kitchen manager, lol!!

Here's a new recipe for you. These are quite good...if you like coconut!! :) They turn out cake-like in texture.

Coconut Clouds

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

FROSTING:
1/3 cup butter, cubed
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flaked coconut, toasted

Directions:In a small bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Stir in sour cream.

Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in coconut.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small heavy saucepan, cook butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Pour into a small bowl; beat in the confectioners' sugar, milk and extracts. Frost cookies; dip in coconut. Let stand until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: about 5-1/2 dozen. (I must have made them bigger, because I only got a little over 4 dozen)

Sorry!

ack! it ate my post...but I'll try again soon...baby calls right now

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Broccoli was a no

But I think that was partially in the preparation method. At least he tried it, so that's definitely good news! I just steamed it and added a little olive oil and some garlic salt. Not the tastiest broccoli I've ever had, plus I overcooked it a tad. Oh well. He did agree to try it again if I fix it differently!! I'm thinking he needs broccoli with cheese sauce...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Success!!

So I finally found some good looking fresh asparagus at the store this weekend, and roasted it in the oven tonight (yes, we skipped Cub Scouts, hee hee). Anyway, I fixed it much like this recipe. Sean tried it, and actually liked it!! What's more, is that the hubby, who can be quoted as saying "I hate asparagus" really liked it as well!! Woohoo!!!

I also cooked pinto beans in the crockpot. Sean tried them, but didn't really like the seasonings. However, he loved the cornbread; even asked for more!! So, it was a wonderful night!!

For the pinto beans, I use this recipe as sort of a "base" except that I used pinto beans, because that's what I had, and I served it with cornbread instead of rice. I usually make it with a ham hock, but I couldn't find one yesterday, so I bought a ham steak and cut that up to go in the beans instead.

I'm still floored over the asparagus. And it was really cute how much he loved the cornbread. Now, cornbread is one of those things that he liked once upon a time, and then somewhere along the way decided he didn't like it anymore. However, until today I haven't been able to get him to try it again!

Monday, Monday

Well, it's almost 10 am and I just ate breakfast (don't worry, I'll be starving by lunchtime!). I have butternut squash cooking in the oven, and my beans are cooking in the crockpot. I'm also cooking some peaches for the baby, who is paging me, so I guess this really is going to be a quick post!! I'll come back later and edit with recipes. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I've been tagged...

and apparently I didn't realize it, LOL!! Need more computer time... Here goes!

Eight T.V. Shows I Watch:
*CSI
*CSI New York
*Top Chef
*So You Think You Can Dance
*Good Eats
*Bones
*Without a Trace
*Ace of Cakes

Eight Favorite Restaurants:
*Durango's
*Tech Cafe
*McAlister's
*Orlando's
*Taco Villa
*Starbuck's (it counts, right?)
*Olive Garden
*Carino's


Eight Fun Things That Happened This Weekend:
*I got to play games with Sean at 50th St. Caboose, lol
*Took a really cute pic of the boys this morning
*Went to the Holiday Happening
*Shopping at the fabric store
*Friday was Sean's Thanksgiving lunch at school, got to surprise him when my dad showed up too!
...apparently I need to get out more...I'm sure there's more!!

Eight Things I Look Forward To:
*having a clean kitchen
*having a clean house
...what, this isn't the wish list post?? okay, okay
*getting out Christmas decorations
*getting my Christmas cards in! I'm so excited!!
*I'm really looking forward to the holidays with Kade this year, watching Sean and Kade interact, all the holiday goodness!!
*looking forward to Thanksgiving too...lots of cooking!!
*smiles and laughs from Kade
*spontaneous hugs and "I love you"s from Sean
...

Eight Things On My Wish List:
*new blender
*for my family and friends to be happy and healthy
*getting to sleep in!!
*reading a book for fun!
*a do-over for the Red Raiders' game yesterday :(
*a way cool laptop
*getting to sleep in (yes, I realize I already mentioned that)
*not only a clean kitchen, but a self-cleaning kitchen (Hey, you never said this had to be based in reality!!)

Now, I have to figure out who *I* can tag!! :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just for the record...

I am not creating or posting a new recipe for the challenge everyday, lol. I'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 in each week. Who knew life with kids would be so busy? I have officially thanked my mom for being my taxi service when I was a kid, driving me back and forth everywhere! Around here, Mondays are Tae Kwon Do and Cub Scout nights, Wednesdays are more Tae Kwon Do, and Thursdays are soon to be piano. I know lots of families are busier than we are, but that's plenty busy for me right now!

Also, I've re-discovered that there is one kitchen gadget I still need...the self-cleaning kitchen!! :) Or maybe I just need a housekeeper that is willing to work for free. Oh wait...I guess that would be me!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A is for Acorn Squash

Go read this recipe. Check out the pictures. Wipe the drool off your chin. :) We made this tonight. It was a new recipe for me. First, let me say, it's not that easy to cut an acorn squash in half. Or maybe I need a different knife. Scratch that. I have a good knife. It's just not big enough. So, I need a bigger knife. I just caused all local ER doctors to shudder. Now, now, I've never cut myself bad enough to get stitches...but it does cause my husband to shudder every time I wield a knife. Apparently I scare him with my knife skills.

Back to the point of this post -- the squash. I thought it was good. Very good. Sean didn't like it. But hey, it's all about exposure to new things, right? I did keep some of the squash plain so I could puree it up for the baby. He'll have to wait until tomorrow to try it...he got hungry before it was ready. :)

I would also like to say that Sean has always loved to help out in the kitchen. I have some cute pictures of him rolling out sugar cookie dough before he was 2. And he was quite good at it I might add. Now, I make him help me read the recipe. And cooking is also good for developing math skills. But beyond that, it's something fun that we can do together, and I hope he wants to be my sous chef for a long time!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A is for Alphabet Soup and Albondigas

What initially started as an attempt to get Sean to try new vegetables, has morphed into a challenge to get him to try new things! The broader problem really seems to be that he has become very reluctant to try new things, and I can tell you he is very resistant to change. So, I've decided to use this challenge as a way to introduce him to new tastes, textures, just get him to try something new! We started last night by making Alphabet Soup with Albondigas (which is Spanish for meatball, in case you were wondering!). Now, he does indeed like meatballs, loves them actually, but these were 1) in soup (which he won't eat) and 2) surrounded by vegetables (gasp! the horror). It took a little work, but he did finally try one of the meatballs and to his surprise, they were quite tasty! We got him to try a sip of the broth, which he also discovered he liked! And of course the alphabet pasta was deemed acceptable as well. Did he actually take a bite of a vegetable? No. But you don't understand. He tried something new. Without throwing a fit. Without a fight. And to top it off, he liked what he tried!! I deem that a success.


Here's a picture of my helper (before Kung Fu Panda lured him away!)




For the Alphabet Soup, I used a recipe of Emeril's that I found on the Food Network's website. I made a few changes, though. I used 1 quart of beef broth, and 6 cups of water. I also added the meatballs, which weren't in the original recipe. Here's what I did for the meatballs...um, albondigas. :)


1 pound lean ground beef
3 slices bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk (approx)
1 egg
1 tsp Baby Bam (from Emeril's recipe above)
2-3 Tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese


In a mixing bowl, tear the bread into small pieces and pour the milk on top. Let soak for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Shape into small meatballs, and once the soup is boiling, drop the meatballs into the soup one at a time. Return to boiling and cook 20-30 minutes until done. (once the meatballs were cooked through, I added the alphabet pasta and cooked about 15 more minutes until the pasta was done)


Enjoy!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

So, yes, I've decided to join in the blogging revolution (a bit late, I'll admit) but here I am! For those of you that know me, well I need no introduction. LOL! For those of you that don't know me, I am a 30-something year with two kids...three if you count my husband. :) Whoa, wait, did I say 30-something? When did that happen? Anyway...my oldest, Sean, is 6 and is not the biggest fan of fruits and vegetables. While searching the internet for solutions to that issue, I found http://greatbigvegchallenge.blogspot.com/ which is a really cool blog about this woman and her 7-year old veggie-phobic kid. They cooked their way through the alphabet. I ran this by Sean and he thought it would be fun. I told him we could make a scrapbook of our adventure, taking pictures of the veggies and our finished dishes, and putting the recipes in there. He thought that sounded good, but he also wants to make a TV show!! Have I mentioned that one of his favorite channels is The Food Network? Well, it is. When I said "challenge" he immediately thought of Iron Chef, and wanted to know who would be going up against us and who the judges would be!! I love that kid!!!

I figured why not put our adventure out there on a blog. It might be fun! I'll admit, I have a tendency to start these types of things and then tire of them (some of you may remember my brief try at MySpace...) but maybe since I have a 6-year-old helping me, I'll actually stick with it this time! And I thought "Alphabet Soup" sounded like a fun title for the blog. I think instead of just veggies, we'll do fruits too. Have I mentioned that I think my 7-month-old eats more fruits and veggies than his big brother? I have my work cut out for me...I hope you'll enjoy our journey!!