Monday, August 31, 2009

How does your family "do" breakfast?



I would love to hear from y'all about how your family does breakfast each morning. Do you always eat together? Do you have a menu for breakfast or does everyone just grab something? Do you set an elaborate table or do you eat off paper towels? Seriously, I'd LOVE to hear how breakfast is around your home!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Watkins Vanilla...



I LOVE Watkins Vanilla!! Seriously, this is WAY better than the vanilla my mother used to use (Sorry Mom!!!!). It always smelled so medicine like to me. Watkins vanilla smells like, well, vanilla.

Today was grocery shopping day and I happily strolled down my favorite Walmart isle- the baking isle. (How many of y'all LOVE the baking isle, too?). I reached up to get my beloved Double Strength Vanilla and it was not there!!!!



I just made chocolate chip cookies tonight and there are 2 tsp less vanilla in my cute little bottle. OOOOOH!! I hope they restock their shelves soon!! How can I bake without it???

So tell me, what brand of vanilla do YOU prefer???

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today in my home.....





Yes, today is window washing day here in my home. I used to mind it terribly, but now that I do it on a monthly basis, it's not so hard to tackle!!

Also, today is the day I move furniture to vacuum underneath. Tiring work moving some of this heavy furniture, but worth it in the end to get up all the hidden dust.

It surely makes me happy to take care of our home!!!

What are you working on in your home today??

(Photo credit)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fall is slowly coming....



The past two mornings we have awoken to cooler temperatures. Granted, the coolness doesn't last but a few hours, but it is a VERY nice reminder that Fall is on it's way!!!

Anyone else excited about Fall?

(photo from here)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weekend cleaning... do you?



I normally do not post on the weekends, but as I was getting ready to clean, I wondered how many of y'all do any cleaning on the weekends? Until recently, I made sure all the cleaning was done Monday through Friday so that I would be free on the weekends. However, I've noticed that our home on Sundays has always been in such disarray!! I decided that I needed to at least give the bathrooms a quick clean and vacuum our living room on Saturday afternoon. You never know when guests will come over after church and I don't want them to see our home all a mess!!!

So do any of you clean on the weekends? Or do you accomplish it all during the week? I'd love to hear!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Muffins...



These were perfectly wonderful!! The texture, the taste, everything. Well, everything except I only made 12 of them. Next time, I'm doubling the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!!)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease or line 12 muffins cups.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. (I use an ice cream scoop for this! Super easy!!) Sprinkle the top of each filled muffin tin with a smidge of sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until they are slightly golden on top.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Future blogger...




This is what I see each time I grabbed my camera to take a picture of something for the blog. HA! Elizabeth grabs her play camera and heads in the same direction I'm going. I definitely see a blogger in the making.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What are you reading?


(Image found here.)

What have you been reading lately? What's on your list of "to read in the not-too-distant-future"?

Me? Remember me asking about Grace Livingston Hill a few months ago? Well, I finished The Honor Girl not too long ago (my sister is reading it now!!) and am in the middle of A Daily Rate. LOVE THEM!!!!! All of you that said you loved her books, well, I completely agree with you!!!!

Along with A Daily Rate, I'm also reading Blueberries for Sal, The Big Green Pocketbook, and other fun books with Elizabeth. :)

Oh, and let me add, I have found a lot of Grace Livingston Hill's books on Paperback Swap. Let me tell you, if you haven't joined yet, DO SO NOW!!! TONS of great books on there!!!

Okay, so what are YOU reading now?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cornbread Salad...



Cornbread salad? Sounds a little strange, right? Think what you like, but WOW is this delicious!!

I discovered this yummy recipe from Harrington House who directed me to Cherry Hill Cottage. A huge THANK YOU to both of these ladies for the recipe!!!

Cornbread Salad

2 pans cooked cornbread, crumbled
1 pound bacon cooked crisp, broken up
1 purple onion, chopped
1 cup green onion, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups mayonnaise
Pecans

Mix this all together and enjoy!! But, if you mix it all together, cover, and wait about 24 hours, the taste gets even BETTER!!!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Storing Parmigiano Reggiano...



I LOOOOOVE Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!! I love the incredible smell that hits your nose when you first unwrap it from the plastic wrap it comes in. But, I do NOT love the plastic wrap!! There's no way that thin piece of plastic can keep your cheese from drying out!! What to do??

According to Whole Food's website this is how you store it properly...


Storing Parmigiano Reggiano

Wedges: Buy pieces that will last you just a week or two. Exposure to air causes the cheese to dry out and lose flavor, so keep it tightly wrapped in parchment paper or aluminum foil. Store in the cheese or veggie drawer of your refrigerator (40°F); freezing destroys its subtle nuances.

Grated: For maximum flavor and aroma, grate your own Parmigiano Reggiano directly onto food or buy it already grated as close as possible to when you plan to use it. Store pre-grated cheese in the refrigerator in a zip bag with all air squeezed out.



How do YOU store your Parmigiano Reggiano? With such yummy cheese, you most certainly don't want it to go bad!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

In honor of Julia Child...



I've seen a lot of "talk" on blogs lately about Julia Child. I suppose it is because there is a new movie out about her life. She was an amazing chef and I still enjoy watching her TV shows on PBS.

For years, I've heard about pate a choux dough and have definitely eaten my share of eclairs and profiteroles in my life. I've also heard how easy they are to make. "Sure", I thought. "This is the kind of stuff that Julia Child makes, not me!!" And so, I put it off. Until Friday.

Friday afternoon, I had nothing going on. Nothing planned. All my housekeeping duties were completed for the day. It was a quiet, rainy afternoon and nothing stood between me and gougeres except fear!!!!! And fear I did, until I started cooking.

Once I started, I discovered that this "fancy" recipe wasn't quite so hard at all! In fact, it is, by far, the EASIEST bread type of recipe I have ever made!!! So, if any of y'all have ever wondered about the pate a choux process, press on!!!

I used Amy Finley's recipe from Gourmet Next Door. I used half the dough and made gougeres (with Swiss instead of Gruyere) and the other half for, what will be, profiteroles. I froze the profiteroles and will make them into the real deal this week (complete with yummy cream filling) for dessert.

What recipe have you feared making and then, once you started cooking, you didn't fear it so much after all??

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Next Food Network Star...







Melissa
vs
Jeffrey












I admit it. I watched The Next Food Network Star and enjoyed it! I love to cook and love to learn about food and cooking.

Did anyone else watch it? Were you happy with the winner that was chosen?

Me? I was cheering for Jeffrey from day 1 and liked his approach to food slightly more than Melissa's. I'll watch her first episode, though, to see how it goes. I just really appreciate watching cooking shows that use new ingredients or methods of cooking so that I can learn and, in the end, cook good food for my family.

So if you watched the show, tell me what you think!!!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

YOU can help us with our next ADOPTION!!!!


Hi y'all!! I'm having an ONLINE Pampered Chef party and YOU are invited!!!

I "met" (online) a Pampered Chef consultant who is helping us raise funds for our next adoption!!! If any of you have ever used Pampered Chef, you know what WONDERFUL products they have! I've been using their line for almost 10 years and have ZERO complaints- LOVE THEM!!!

Anyway, if any of you would be interested in helping with my fundraiser AND interested in purchasing Pampered Chef, please leave a comment with a way that I can get in touch with you. I will then send you an email with all that you need to do to order.

His,
Mrs. U

THANK YOU to everyone who ordered!!! The Pampered Chef "party" was over August 2, and I truly am thankful for everyone who helped us raise money for our adoption!!!!!

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