November 30, 2008

Catching up

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I haven't done much cooking or baking lately but I have done some while I have actually been able to be home. The day before Thanksgiving I was "home" - meaning I didn't go with Grumpy for the 2 hour drive to the hospital. I went to Grumpy's mom's home and took care of things around there, fed and watered the pets and then went home and prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. What cooking and baking I did do, I did all in a group!

For the last Taste & Create I made that yummy "salted fudge" from Hanne's blog. She had a recipe for Vij's Chicken Curry that I was dying to make - and mainly because it was stated in her blog "This one got so much attention coming out of the work microwave that I messaged Hanne at home and told her to quick take a picture before she finished her leftovers." By the way, the quote is from Hanne's SO. That quote drew me in. My thoughts, I gotta take this to work and tempt everyone with that wonderful smell. So many people from the workplace eat this kind of food, someone's gotta come in drooling there too. ;) he he.

I followed the recipe (click here) except for my sweet and spicy tooth - I had to add some sugar (probably 2 tablespoons - yeah, I know, I can't help it). YUMMY! I had some frozen naan so I warmed it up on the griddle and dug in. This was one delicious meal. Thanks to Supper in Stereo for giving me a super flavorful dinner and leftovers to tempt all the students and co-workers with on Monday!

November 29, 2008

Dinner Rolls

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Are you looking for a light, super easy, delicious roll? Well, look no further. The November 2008 issue of Cooking Light has just such a roll. What is Thanksgiving without a dinner roll? What is leftovers without the dinner roll to put some turkey between for a roll sandwich? How about slicing your roll and toasting it then putting some turkey between with a little salt and pepper? That is how I enjoy my turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving day is over.

November 28, 2008


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You see those kids? Yup. They are what I am thankful for. I love them SO MUCH. Especially when they are silly.

These boys are the biggest joy in my life and I am the luckiest mom in the world to have them love me as much as I love them!

I'm thankful for my son's wife! Let her be assured her pumpkin pie was awesome ;)

I'm thankful for my mom (who was so happy to be host for dinner this year in her new kitchen!)

I'm thankful for my dad (who jumped right up and got busy when mom said someone needed to carve the turkey)

AND I'm thankful for my husband. I love him with all my heart and soul.

I am thankful

for the food on our table

that I still have my parents together.

My brothers weren't home. One had to be at work and the other lives in Indiana. I'll be fortunate to fly out to visit my brother the day after Christmas this year and visit his family for a few days. It will be my first time out there around the Christmas holidays and I am excited and can't wait to spend some time with them.

I must say that the one thing I am most thankful for this year is that my Grumpy still has his mommy here. She is improving and hopefully we can bring her home soon. She is sitting up and actually was allowed to have liquids/soft foods yesterday.

I hope you all had a nice thanksgiving with the ones you love!

November 26, 2008

Taste & Create XV

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When I was little our Saturday night ritual would be making popcorn and mom making chocolate fudge to go with it. We then would sit down to watch Green Acres and wait for Dad to get home from work. Or sometimes, if Dad was already home, we would sit down with our popcorn and fudge and watch The Lawrence Welk show. This month's Taste and Create brought this memory to the forefront.

For Taste & Create in November I was paired up with Hanne of Supper in Stereo. I looked her whole blog over (went all the way to the beginning of her posts!) and she has some great reading and recipes, so please make sure you visit her! I also knew immediately when I saw her fudge recipe I was going to make it.

I personally don't care for fudge recipes that call for chocolate chips and marshmallows. That is not the kind of fudge I grew up with. I grew up with a boiled fudge. So this recipe really appealed to me. It also appealed to me because it called for grey sea salt as an ingredient! :)

Then my MIL's stroke happened and T&C went right out the window. I totally forgot about it. I planned to do it Sunday and after I left the house Sunday morning everything dealing with cooking went to the back recesses of my mind. Tuesday morning I checked emails from the hotel and had an email from Hanne apologizing for being late. Well, I was late myself! I emailed her right back, explained my situation and told her I would do it as soon as I could when I arrived home. First thing this morning I was in m kitchen trying out Hanne's fudge. The verdict? We love it. Its a great recipe. If you haven't made boiled fudge before, make sure you use a candy thermometer. I've had many failures with fudge in my past (as my ex husband would gladly let everyone know how I "fudged" the fudge and hid it in the closet only for him to find almost a whole year later - am I blushing yet?). Be patient and watch carefully. You won't be sorry. To get the recipe, click on the link here. Thanks Hanne for bringing me back to good old fashioned fudge making!


Things with my MIL are improving. She was sitting up today and actually was allowed to have liquids. They started physical therapy and things look like they are on the road to more improvement. Thanks to everyone who expressed their concern and the well wishes. They are greatly appreciated.

Why I am MIA

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Just a quick post to let my blogging friends know I have not forgotten anyone. I haven not had opportunity to check out blogs as usual because my mother in law has been in the hospital. On Sunday morning I went to my MIL's home and by Sunday afternoon we had her in the ER. They sent her to another hospital (that is 2 hours from home) as she had had 2 strokes. One stroke we do not know when it happened, the other happend on Thursday morning early (this we gather from what she has told us). So, Grumpy and I have been with his mom. Things are looking better after yesterday's test results. The bleeding in her brain is slowing down and we are told will stop on it's own. She also does not need surgery. So, now we will just have to work with dealing with her healing process and how we are going to be there for her when she is so far away from us.

November 23, 2008

White Hot Spiced Chocolate

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Sometimes there is nothing more comforting and warming on a bitter cold evening than hot chocolate. Last evening, after being pampered all morning, then at the movies with the kids, I wanted to warm up and be cozy on my couch for a little while. Yes, to answer Cathy's question on my last post, I was alone for dinner because Grumpy is off hunting this weekend. So, he didn't get any of the steak, but he had the steak burgers earlier in the week. ;)

I have the recent Cooking Light issue and in this issue they have a LOT of great sounding recipes. I'll be making more than a few of them over the next few weeks.

White Hot Spiced Chocolate
Cooking Light, November 200

3 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 cup premium white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Grated whole nutmeg (optional)

Combine milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add white chocolate chips, stirring until chips melt. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Discard cinnamon stick. Serve with whipped topping. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg, if desired.

Makes 8 servings, Calories: 117 (38% from fat), Fat: 5g (sat 4.1g,mono 0.3g,poly 0.0g), Protein: 3g, Fiber: 0.0g

November 22, 2008

Making "Cense"

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Today was a full day. I started the day out with a workout, moved on to a massage, then a haircut. Some lunch and shopping with my friend Amanda and then I barely got home and I went right back out and went to see Bolt with Kristina & Justin. The movie by the way was a really nice movie and a great one for kids to see. This is an animated movie about a dog who believes he is a super hero but along the way finds out he is not ~ but the love of his "person" is what he desires and what drives him to do what he does in the movie. Enough said, you should watch it - even if it is an animated show - its great! Thanks Kristina and Justin for inviting me to join you!

Not to long ago I was the lucky winner of La Cense grass fed beef from Mike of Mel's Diner. Tonight was my first chance to try the beef and I must say, it is a winner.

I went to La Cense recipes on their website and found one for Ribeye steak with mushrooms and red wine sauce. I had the petite sirloin but decided the recipe would work for this too. I halved the recipe but I will put the full recipe here. It was an awesome dinner and I am so lucky to have had the chance to try this product! Thanks Mike & La Cense!

2 La Cense Ribeye Steaks
2 tsp black peppercorns
Coarse salt
Splash of cooking oil
1 shallot
1/2 lb mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp flat parsley, plus garnish
1 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp butter

Salt and pepper meat.

Mince shallots, cut mushrooms into 1/4" slices, chop parsley and thyme.

Make a heavy-duty pan very hot. Pour in a splash of oil and add steaks. Sear for 6-7 minutes on each side for a medium-rare steak.
Remove and deglaze the pan with red wine. Scrape the meat bits off the pan and cook wine down to 2 tbsp. Pour out and put aside.

Using the same pan, add 1 tbsp butter and sauté shallots on medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms. After they have given up a bit of moisture, add the herbs. If the mushrooms haven't given up much liquid, you can add 1/4 cup of water. Cook for a few minutes.
Pour on a plate and lay slices of steak on top. Sprinkle coarsely chopped parsley for garnish.

November 21, 2008

Candied Dates

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Every year at the holidays one of many things I would look forward to were all the different goodies on the goodie tray that we would have. I'll be making some of these goodies over the next few weeks to share with you! One treat in particular is one from my Great Aunt Helga. The foods that spark my memories of my aunt are turnips and dates. ha ha. Funny combination eh? :)

My aunt liked turnips, boiled and mashed. But that is not what this post is about. It is about her candied date recipe that I am going to tell you about today. This is such a simple recipe - quick, easy, and it really does taste like candy! My great aunt and I had a rocky relationship at times but I did love her and I am sure she knew this before she passed on. So, Aunt Helga, you may have thought I'd forgotten all about you after you left us, but I haven't. You were special in your way and I will always have a special spot in my heart that holds you forever. Your date recipe is going to continue on with me and will always be remembered as yours. I can see you this morning sitting at Nanny's table with a smile on your face. That is the way I want to remember and how I do remember you. Oh, yeah, we all do joke about how you still remind us of Maxine. ;)

Aunt Helga's Candied Date Recipe

1 lb. dates, chopped and pitted
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
3-1/2 to 4 cups rice krispies
walnuts, chopped fine

Simmer butter, dates and sugar on medium heat 3-4 minutes or until soft and incorporated. Add 3-1/2 to 4 cups rice krispies. Cool slightly. Shape into balls. Roll in chopped walnuts or coconut.

**********************************************************************************I have received yet another award. This time the award was given to me by Megan of Megan's Munchies. I will be passing this award onto

Cathy of The Noble Pig for her GREAT blog writing! She shares such interesting thoughts and asks us some thought provoking questions, bits of her family life, along with giving us fabulous photos and recipes!

Jessie of The Hungry Mouse for her terrific and frequent posts! Jessie gives us detailed directions with photos on how to make her dishes and quite honestly, if Grumpy saw the things she made he might be tempted to move to her town!

Pam of For the Love of Cooking. It is no secret that I love her blog as I have raved about her recipes that I have made. Pam makes great looking food and when I read her blog I think to myself "why can't I be that organized and make everything look so great?!" I'm jealous! lol

Cristine of Cooking with Cristine. I also love Cristine's blog. There is something about this little girl (and yes, to me she is a little girl at heart) that just makes me love her. I could wrap my arms around her and make her my own, I just know it. She has a sweet character and she sounds like the most wonderful mom to her children. She really impresses me!

Jenny of Picky Palate. I have been reading Jenny's blog about as long as I have been blogging myself. Jenny posts often, shares bits of her life along with her great recipes and photos. She lives such an exciting life as a foodie and I love reading about her recipes and the food events she is involved in!

If you want to pass this on, the rules are listed below:

1. Post the award on your blog
2. Link those who gave it to you
3. Link the original posts
4. Pass it on to five deserving people
5. Post these rules for your recipients

November 19, 2008

Rum-Glazed Banana Bundt Cake and an award.

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Yup. That's my Grumpy up there in his best pose. Tounge sticking out and walking away. ha ha. He was taking off to enjoy some supper before he dug into the dessert I made tonight. The main comment I hear from him? Are you making this so we can have it or are you taking it all to work? Yeah, right. He makes it sound like I don't give him any of the food I cook.

Before I bring you my Bundt cake tonight I have an award that was passed on to me from Val of More than Burnt Toast. I am not sure how I found Val's blog, but it is one of the very first blogs I found and started reading a little more than a year ago. Val was sweet enough to include me in sharing the love and gave me the Inspiration award and I feel so honored to have received this from her. Thanks Val! There are so many bloggers that I thoroughly enjoy and it is not easy to pick just a few. I have decided to mention the few that have really been an inspiration to me recently. I will go ahead and pass this award onto:

Mari of Once Upon a Plate. Her photos are absolutely gorgeous and they inspire me to make her recipes!

Stephanie of Fun Foods on a Budget. In todays tight financial times it is nice to have someone like Stephanie out there inspiring us all to be more thrifty and showing us how to make tasty, beautiful dishes without spending too much money!

Megan of Megan's Munchies. Megan posts so often! She has great ideas and she is a pumpkin girl just like me. She inspired me to make so many pumpkin desserts earier this fall (now you know!) :)

Fit Chick of Lady Craddock's Bakery. WOW. Have you seen this lady? She is one fit woman! She actually inspired me to go join the gym when I joined 3 weeks ago. I'm actually doing weight lifting along with my cardio. I knew I needed to hit the gym after making so much food and having so much of it around here. She was my inspiration to join!

and last, but not least, one of my very special friends whom I met on a cooking forum prior to blogging...

Carrie of Vegan Deliciousness. Carrie inspires me to eat healthier and to eat meat free more often. Every time I see a tofu dish in particular, I really, really want to make it. Hmm. Come to think of it Grumpy won't be around for dinner on the weekend since he will be hunting with his daddy. I think I'm going to buy some tofu tomorrow! :-p


Now, what do you do when your bananas look like this?

Well, tonight I took out my new Nordicware Bunt pan and did this!

This quick and easy recipe is originally a cooking light recipe. I made some changes tonight because I didn't have margarine (I just plain don't cook with it) and I didn't have egg substitue. Honestly, I very rarely have egg substitue in my frigde. Also, because I didn't have margarine and used unsalted butter, I did add a 1/2 teaspoon salt to my recipe. To view the original recipe in Cooking Light form, you can click here. The way I made it is below.

Rum Glazed Banana Bundt Cake
adapted from

1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
3 eggs
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum or 1/4 teaspoon imitation rum extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Beat brown sugar and 2/3 cup margarine at medium speed of a mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until well-blended.
Combine banana, yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Pour batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine powdered sugar, rum, and melted margarine; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake.
Note: When using rum extract add 2 tablespoons skim milk to glaze.

November 18, 2008

Peanut Blossoms

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I do not have a post for TWD today for the first time since I joined the group. We are not rice pudding eaters in our home so I skipped over on this one. I won't be making next week's choice either as we are not pumpkin and pecan pie mixer uppers. Well, I probably would be, but I have to feed more than just myself. :) I expect to be back on the ball with TWD once Thanksgiving is over with.

In the meantime, I decided I would share this cookie with you. As usual, I made these to please the Grumpy man in my life. Which is why they are made with hugs instead of kisses. He is more of a white chocolate person and the white part on the outside of the kiss is good enough to fool him. ;) The photo is one I used as my header last year when I first started my blog. It sure has come a long way since then! Thank you to all of you you visit and comment and to those who visit and don't comment! I'll leave you with the recipe - a great addition to your Christmas cookie platter list!

Peanut Blossoms

48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

November 17, 2008

The birthday pamper

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Today is a non food post. However, as I think about it, food was involved....just not my own food! Yesterday was my cousin's daughter's birthday. We went to Syracuse for her special day. We went to Libby Liu.

She had her makeover and became a Rocker Diva.

Waiting in line at Build a BearBuilding her holiday moose

Getting his bath!

My aunt and cousin

Kenz & HoneyB

After relaxing manicures and pedicures, we all took off for the Christmas Tree Shoppe. The choice of Kenzie for dinner? Texas Roadhouse. Yummy rolls with cinnamon butter :)

I am positive Kenzie's mom made her day super special and I am happy I got to be a part of it.

November 16, 2008

White Chocolate Cranberry Filled Soft Cookies

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Not too long ago I received an email from Sam of Oh! Nuts. He wanted to send me some of their product to try out. I promptly responded in just a few days later I had had this box with a generous sample of their products. I received a full pound each of Jumbo Raw Georgia Pecans, California Medjool Dates, and Dried Cranberries. I started thinking about what recipes I could use these in, or better yet, what could I create on my own with these ingredients. Today I am going to share with you what I did come up with for the Dried Cranberries. The dates and pecans can wait their turn. ;)

November 15, 2008

Time for Tofu

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Grumpy isn't around for dinner tonight so I made something I've been wanting to try for a while now. I'm sure there are some of you out there who will understand what I am about to say. Sometimes I really get a craving for tofu. I'm not sure what it is about it, but I really love tofu - when it is prepared right! My friend Carrie of Vegan Deliciousness makes a lot of tofu dishes. Everytime I see the dish I crave her meal!

Then one day, while browsing on Tastepostting I came across a tofu dish by Veggie Belly for Sticky Orange Tofu Thins (Click for recipe) that made me want it and want it now! So, I bought the tofu and my first opportunity (which was today) I had, I made it. I'm a pig. I ate the whole thing. Not all in one sitting, but throughout the whole afternoon. It was that good. I also ate a couple of cookies I made. Yes, I have been feeling blue today. So I have been comforting myself. Thanks Veggie Belly!

November 13, 2008

Pork Chops Braised in Country Gravy

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I was trying to decide what to fix for dinner before I got home tonight. I was thinking something quick and easy. Maybe seafood. I spoke to Grumpy on the cell to see how long he would be and lo and behold, he was going to beat me home! He asked what was for dinner. I told him I was thinking about the Velvet Shrimp recipe. That didn't fly. He wanted something that would fill him up. Yeah, those were his words. I think Velvet Shrimp does the job, but of course, my Grumpy, nothing fills him up better than meat and potatoes. So, when I got home, I pulled some boneless pork chops out of the fridge, defrosted them and grabbed my Cooking Light Complete cookbook.

I found a recipe for Pork Chops Braised in Country Gravy and figured that should satisfy Grumpy. I scrubbed some red potatoes and quartered them and got them ready to cook so we could have them with the pork chops.

Now, I gotta laugh at Grumpy. I didn't let on that I was going to fix anything other than the shrimp dish. I figured, let him suffer a bit. See, I do get my revenge for his grumpiness in my own way. he he. He finally made it into the kitchen and was nosing around the stove. I knew he wanted to know what I was up to. I finally said "You aren't curious are you?" he he. I wouldn't tell him what I was making. I just told him that he needed to get out of my way if he wanted to eat anytime tonight. hehe. I'm getting such pleasure just remembering. lol

I hadn't made this recipe before, but it really turned out great. The pork was tender and flavorful and I will definitely be keeping it around because its also light!

Pork Chops Braised in Country Gravy
Cooking Light Complete

4 (4 ounce) boned loin pork chops (about 1" thick)
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1-1/2 cup 2% (I used skim) milk, divided
1 teaspoon margarine or butter (I always use butter, margarine only makes it in my house by soft tub)

Trim fat from pork. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork; seal bag and shake to coat pork with flour mixture. Remove pork from bag, reserving remaining flour mixture. Place reserved flour mixture in a small bowl. Gradually add 3/4 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Add milk mixture; cover, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn pork. Stir in 3/4 milk, cover and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover skillet, and cook pork 15 minutes or until gravy is reduced to 2/3 cup. Spoon gravy over pork. Yield: 4 servings (1 chop and 2-1/2 Tablespoons gravy).

Calories: 248, Fat 10.9 grams, Protien 28.4, Carb 7.2, Fiber o.1, Chol 79mg, Iron 1.2 mg, Sodium 425 mg.

Weight Watcher points: 6

My friend Barbara of Barbara Bakes did this MEME and since I was one of the last 10 people who left a comment on her blog I will carry on and do it also. This one is a little different though so I think it will be fun!

This Meme shows commenters that you care about the people who visit your blog and take the time to leave comments!!

The rules:
1. List the last ten people who have commented on your blog
2. If you’re on my list then you should do the meme on your blog too

10 Blogs, 15 Questions.

1. Kristen of Dine and Dish
2. Barbara of Barbara Bakes
3. Cami of Creating Myself
4. Sabrina of Superfluous
5. Bobby of Blog Chef
6. Shelly of Musings from a Fishbowl
7. Sophie of Recipes2Share
8. Michele of Life, Lightly Salted
9. Cookie Pie
10. Cristine of Cooking with Christine

1: What is your favorite post from number 3’s blog?
Any post that Cami has involving her grands is an awesome post, but my favorite one so far is the one where we got to see the kids dressed up for Halloween - including her new grandson who is just as adorable as the rest! You can see the post here.

2. Has number 10 taken any pictures that have moved you?
Cristine recently did a post about lunch for the kids. Her daughter had a playmate over for lunch and I am always happy to see when moms include their kids in the meal making. She made them an awesome lunch and you can see that here.

3. Does number 6 reply to comments on their blog?
I'm not sure, but she comments on my blog!

4. Which part of blogland is number 2 from?
Barbara is on the opposite side of the country from me. We have a bit in common (particularly my former last name), both had a child get married over the summer and both like Cooking Light!

5. If you could give one piece of advice to number 7 what would it be?
I can't give advice to someone who know so much more than me! Sophie has a great website where you can actually register and submit pics that she graciously posts on her photo gallery. She also has a blog view which is very cool!

6. Have you ever tried something from number 9’s blog?
Not yet, but her Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes look pretty tempting. I may be trying those for a Sunday morning soon!

7. Has number 1 blogged something that inspired you?
I'm pretty new to reading Kristen's blog, but I look forward to keeping up with her - she has a great looking one with some seafood recipes I came across on Tastespotting that belong to her (in my attempt to figure out what seafood dish to fix for dinner some night soon!) Just click here for the seafood search.

8. How often do you comment on number 4’s blog?
I just met Sabrina and saw her blog for the first time this week and started to follow her.

9. Do you wait for number 8 to post excitedly?
Sure do. I like reading about her inspirations from other posts!

10. How did number 5’s blog change your life?
Bobby has an awesome blog and his is one of the first ones I go to on a search for recipes. Every photo he takes looks so appetizing! He has a Black Pepper Chicken recipe that I have to try sometime for Grumpy. Well, he has a LOT of recipes I have to try and that is going to make my life easier!!

11. Do you know any of the 10 bloggers in person?
No. However, I have "known" of Cami for a while. I met her through and ended up joining a cooking friend forum which she belongs to. Cami is a terrific mom and grandmother that I am proud to call my "online friend".

12. Do any of your 10 bloggers know each other in person?
Not that I know of.

13. Out of the 10, which updates more frequently?
Cristine does and I look forward to seeing her posts everyday!

14. Which of the 10 keep you laughing?
Cristine says some really cute things on her blog and she makes me smile often.

15. Which of the 10 has made you cry (good or bad tears)?
Cami has, both happy and sad ones.

November 12, 2008

Mini Butternut Bundt Cakes with Brown Sugar Icing

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I recently decided I need to do something about my inactivity. Since my Son's wedding in July I had basically stopped exercising. Attempts to exercise from home just were not faithful. I decided I had to force myself to be held accountable. So I joined a gym. Mind you, we have a gym at the University. But I work with students all day long. Did I really want to go to the gym and workout around them also? Not to mention all the young boys and girls with 20 year old bodies around me - well, that is not much inspiration to me. Just makes me want to go hide in a corner. The gym I joined is great and the workouts have been awesome. I even am doing strength training. So, my time is limited. 3 days a week I actually leave my house by 5:30 AM just so I can get there for a morning workout. 2 nights a week I am arriving home late. This is cutting into my baking time considerably. lol Not that I need it. I actually brought home McDonalds for dinner last night so I didn't have to make dinner. Don't worry, I brought home a salad for me. Anyway, I ended up making these mini bundt cakes (since of course, take home actually gave me a little bit of time.) These bundt cakes are quick and easy to make though. So even if you are short on time - your ok!

This is my 2nd recipe I have made from Once Upon a Plate. If you haven't been to her site, you really should go! Her photos are absolutely awesome! I especially love the caramel and brown sugar ones. Which is exactly what I have made! For my birthday I made the Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Toasted Walnuts and last evening I made the Pumpkin & Spice Cakelettes with Brown Sugar Icing - HoneyB style - with Butternut Squash. Oh me. Oh MY. YUM. Perfect moist cake. Yummy brown sugar icing.

Need I say more? Oh, yeah. I only ate one. This morning. Just finished it. I might break down and eat another one later. Maybe. I am taking these to work but I am sending a couple with Grumpy for his lunch today also. For the recipe, I really urge you to go to the link here. You can see her photos - that dragged me into this. :-) Also, I followed her recipe exactly except I used mashed butternut squash (plain, no salt, no butter) in place of the pumpkin. I had some leftover from those rolls.....and I got 20 little cakelettes. I didn't double them up because I was taking them to work - but for an occasion - I would probably double them up. Ok, if you haven't gone yet....go on, get over there!


November 11, 2008

HoneyB flopped the Kugelhopf

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I just want to start quickly with an off topic comment to two special people! My Mother in Law, Sharon has a birthday today and one of my blogging friends, Jenny of Picky Palate has a birthday today also! Happy Birthday Sharon & Jenny!

One evening Grumpy and I got into a "little" disagreement. I was not happy he was on the cell phone while checking out at Lowes. I had no idea what the items were he purchased and the clerk asked him a question that only he could answer. Of course, I looked at her and and rolled my eyes. I was really disgusted with him. So, when we got outside and he couldn't find something he bought I told him. "You should have told "person who called" that you would call them back. Don't you know how rude it is to talk on the cell phone when going thru checkout?" I really think a lot of people have developed major rudeness to the public by the use of cell phones. Don't worry, I'll "learn" Grumpy eventually. Anyway, his response to me after a few exchanges was "Oh yeah, I forgot, your perfect." ha ha. My response? "Oh yeah, I forgot I was too." Of course, I said that quite sarcastically.

Well, if I really thought I was perfect, my TWD task for the week would have knocked me down a few notches. I know I'm not perfect so I wasn't too upset that it failed. I usually have good results with yeast. Usually. Fortunately I didn't waste too many ingredients this week. The thing most precious to me that I did lose was the stick of butter. I was doubting I will make this one again but after reading of some of the success, I really think I will give it a try again. When I have time. Its a time consuming recipe.

To see how this should have turned out check out Yolanda of The All-Purpose Girl. She selected the Kugelhopf recipe on pages 61-63 of Baking From My Home to Yours By Dorie Greenspan. I'm sure there are many other successes out there from my fellow TWD Bakers (as I have already read about a few) so please check out the blogroll and see what's happening!

November 10, 2008

Cookies for Lt. Hopper

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Have you heard of Operation Baking Gals? We are a group of bakers who bake goodies and send them to soldiers who are serving our country. If you are interested in joining us, click here for more info!

What could be more special than Nutella? Maybe Nutella Biscotti made especially for a soldier?

Or how about peanut butter cookies?

I joined up with Mare of Meet me in the Kitchen to send to 1st Lieutenant Hopper who is stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska and deployed at present to Iraq. He serves in the United States Military because he loves freedom and knows that it comes at a cost on this earth. He upholds and defends the Constitution and "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Some of Carl's favorite things are: working out, fishing, playing basketball, watching the Andy Griffith Show, and eating sweets. He has 5 lovely children and a beautiful wife. His birthday is coming up in November, so So I am joining in in wishing him a happy one!

To view the recipe for the Nutella Biscotti visit the Baking Bites blog.

The peanut butter cookie recipe comes from "Feeder's Digest" which is a cookbook that was put together by locals in the Dekalb-Hermon Senior Citizens club back in 1974. I know my grandmother had a hand in how I ended up with one of these books, but I don't quite remember how. I mean, 1974 I was only 11 years old! I recognize a few of the names in the book, but not many. I mostly recognize the "family name." This peanut butter cookie recipe was compliments of Juanita Price in Ogdensburg and I will give you the recipe exactly as it was in the book:

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. crisco
1 c. peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 c. flour

Mix together well. Roll in balls. Flatten with fork and bake at 375.

That is it. No time was mention as to how long to bake them so I had to watch. It took about 8-10 minutes. Now, for the really interesting part. I was quite busy yesterday. Not only was I going to make these cookies, but I had the TWD treat in progress AND I had a party to go to. I don't know how I did this, but when I made these cookies I totally did NOT add the granualted sugar!! How could I have missed this? AND I didn't realize that I forgot the granualted sugar until this morning writing the post!! They don't look or taste any worse for the wear, but I thought I should let you know that I messed up! In any case, they taste fine (like I said I didn't know this this morning and I did try a cookie last evening!) and I'm sure the soldiers will enjoy them1

Tune in tomorrow for another goof up by HoneyB.

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