Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gettin Dirty in the Kitchen

  One Sunday afternoon, my sister (Rachel) decided to take some fun, silly photo's of herself in her kitchen.  Here's her pics from that:  Cute huh! From there, she decided to make a contest out of it.  As soon as I saw her post, I was dying over how creative and adorable she was.  I immediately knew that I wanted to take her challenge, and be a participant in her contest.  I started to come up with ideas as I was trying to fall asleep that night.  I spent an entire sleepless night thinking of funny things that I could do.  Every time I thought of something new, I would just lay awake laughing to myself.  In the end, I decided that I wanted my photo shoot to be entitled, Gettin Dirty in the Kitchen, and that is exactly what I did. You won't believe some of the crazy and silly things that I did.  It was all in the name of love!  Rachel had several participants, and she posted each of their pictures.  Don't forget to read the captions, they are pretty funny.   Here's the link to her blog post contest of the kitchen self portraits: 

It's a really cute blog that has lots of fun things from crafting to cooking to photography and more.   

I also posted some of my kitchen pictures.  After 140 photos, a whole afternoon, and a lot of laughing, I present to you my kitchen photo shoot.

Gettin Dirty in the Kitchen
Told you I was gettin dirty!
Egg vs. me...who will win?
Here we go!

I'm thinking the egg won.

 Notice the shirt change?  Yeah, my husband told me that my armpits were really embarrassing!!! I actually had to crack FOUR eggs on my head to get the right shot!  It was really funny in the moment.

The next segment is me against the flour.  I've always wanted to do this... I'm glad I finally got the opportunity.

What a mess!  It took me forever to clean the egg and flour out of my hair!  That wraps up the Gettin Dirty in the Kitchen photo shoot.  I knew that I wanted to include my 3 month old son (Woodson) in some of the pictures, so here's a few more kitchen shots:

Slow roasted in the oven for 9 months!

Levi and I were laughing hysterically while taking these pictures in the oven.  The look on Woodson's face was priceless.  No worries, the oven was obviously OFF.

Two of my favorite things combined in one picture...My son, and my cookbooks!  

Enjoy, and feel free to laugh at me.  It won't hurt my feelings.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Diaries of a COOKIEholic

Today I realized that my blog should be called Diaries of a Cookieholic.  I make cookies almost every week!  I guess you could say that I'm a cookie connoisseur.

On Sunday I made a cookie that is a childhood favorite.  I call them Russian Tea Cakes, but they are also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies.  The recipe is straight out of the Betty Crocker Cookbook (a must-have).  This is also an egg-less recipe, for those of you who may have an egg allergy.  I could eat a million of these little babies.  Here's the recipe:

Russian Tea Cakes

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I like Walnuts)
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl.  Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes (I do 10) or until set but not brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool 5 minutes.  Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar; cool on wire rack 5 minutes.  Roll in powdered sugar again.  Makes about 40 cookies.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

These cookies are a surprise in your mouth.  Why, because they are lime flavored!  I made these cookies for ward prayer.  It was amusing to watch each person eat the cookie.  They would take a bite, give the cookie a double take (surprised by the lime flavor), shrug, and then finish it.  It's a uniquely delicious green cookie.  It's an original recipe from my Mom.  Here it is!

Mom’s Own St. Patrick Day Cookies


2 cups of butter (I like salted)
2 6oz packages of lime flavored jello (save out ½ of one box for glaze)
2 cups powdered sugar , plus 3 cups for glaze
4 cups flour
2 eggs
Green Glaze (below)
Green sprinkles


Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Reserve ½ of a package of dry gelatin for the glaze.
Mix remaining gelatin, butter, powdered sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
Stir in flour until mixed.
Using cookie scoop, arrange cookies approximately 2 inches apart on
ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookie dough with the back of a flat spatula,
periodically coating the spatula with flour to prevent the dough from sticking
to the spatula.
6. Bake until set but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from
cookie sheet. Cool completely.
7. Prepare Green Glaze. Put waxed paper strips on counter. Dip tops of cookies
into glaze and set out on waxed paper to dry. Add sprinkles while the tops
are slightly wet. (If the tops are too wet the sprinkles melt into the cookies, if
the tops are too dry, the sprinkles won’t stick).

Green Glaze:

1. Mix reserves gelatin and ½ cup boiling water.
2. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Stir in 3 cups of powdered sugar until smooth and of desired consistency.

Option: Use different flavored jello for a non-St Patrick’s experience.

My cookies did turn out a little flatter than usual.  My Mom thinks that maybe the butter should be slightly decreased.  I have not tried the recipe with less butter, but you may want to try that.




Thursday, March 3, 2011

Revisions on recipes from The Pioneer Woman

Mom gave me the cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks this year for Christmas.  I had been wanting it for a very long time, and I was thrilled to finally receive it.  It was also torture to own the book, because I couldn't actually cook anything out of it until about a month ago (I couldn't eat any fat because of my gallstones). As soon as I was feeling better from my gallstone surgery, I started cooking everything I could out of this book.  So far I've made 11 of the recipes.  While I have enjoyed most of them, I do have some useful thoughts and changes that I'd like to share with you.  Each title has the link of the actual recipe (from The Pioneer Woman blog) attached to it.

Iny's Prune Cake - This cake definitely had potential, but I accidentally overcooked the icing and it turned out to be rock hard.  Revisions:  Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of salt (the recipe didn't call for any).  Be sure to mash the Prunes really well.  Prune chunks are sick.  DON'T OVER COOK THE ICING!  She says that it will turn the color of caramel, and I was waiting for that.  It never happened for me, so I kept cooking and cooking.  That was a bad Idea.
Egg-in-the-Hole - This concept doesn't need a recipe, but I used it anyways.  It calls for way too much butter.  I like a normal egg and toast better.
French Breakfast Puffs - These are like a mixture of muffins and cinnamon/sugar doughnuts.  They are very tasty!  Unfortunately, my muffins did not come out of the pan.  She says to "lightly grease", but trust me on this...HEAVILY GREASE THE MUFFIN TIN!  I ended up having "muffin tops".  Also, the cinnamon/ sugar mixture could be cut in half.
Sherried Tomato Soup - This soup is good, not amazing.  Revisions:  Use half and half, instead of cream.  I omitted the Sherry (it was optional anyways).  Serve with Grilled Cheese.
Chicken Spaghetti - This recipe looked totally weird, but I decided to give it a try anyways.  It was surprisingly good!  It reminded me of a pasta version of chicken enchiladas.  I used a Rotisserie Chicken, instead of the fryer chicken.  It was much quicker.  Just use Chicken broth, instead of the chicken water that the fryer chicken cooked in.
Chicken Fried Steak - This is a good, standard version of Chicken Fried Steak.  Nothing too special, but still good.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes - Very good, although it doesn't need 12 Tbsp. of butter!
Chocolate Sheet Cake - I love this cake!  I've already made it twice.  I added pecans to the second cake that I made, and I didn't like it quite as much.  The pecans are optional, but they didn't work with the cake for my taste.  This cake is super quick and easy!!!

These recipes are not listed on her blog.  If you want the recipe, leave me a comment, and I will be happy to email it to you.

Hot Artichoke Dip - This dip is AWESOME!  Don't change a thing.
Edna Mae's Sour Cream Pancakes - Add more flour.
Simple, Perfect Chili - SO GOOD!  

My sister, Rachel, has made a number of recipes from The Pioneer Woman.  Here's what she made, and her adaptations to each recipe:

I hope someone will find these revisions useful!