Tag Archives: Family

I Digress

20 Jan


Someone save me. My domesticity is lapsing. Is it possible to revert so far back to my previous state of un-domestic misfortune, that I forget how far I’ve come? This, I believe, could be possible.


I’ve always wanted to be the working mom on the run who was able to balance every aspect of her life/career, her husbands needs/wants, her kids activities/schooling, etc. {heck, even the dog} … I’ve been attempting domesticity and a career for about 2 weeks now and haven’t cooked or cleaned a damn thing! {and I don’t even have kids!} My little space is starting to cave in on top of  me. Laundry is calling my name. The strange things I cooked three weeks ago are growing mold in the fridge. The dog is looking at me like he has never been outside in his life. Paperwork is staking up on my desk like I’ve been out of town for years. And my poor pedicure is cracking, peeling, and going to hell in a handbasket. Save me from this insanity. Someone tell me how in the world the average woman manages? Call it beginners exhaustion or maybe even being out of practice, but the bed {and inevitable nap that follows} is calling my name before I even set foot out of the car!


Do domestic, hard-working, career women really exist? If they do… I’m way behind the mark!


I’ve decided to write myself a post-it note. Actually, {I take that back} I’m going to make myself a beautiful sign to hang on my bathroom mirror …. inscribed: “STEP IT UP” … Reminding me of my call to action every day. “You can be both a domestic and career goddess!” {giggle} I’ll let you know how much that sign inspires me at 6am tomorrow! {ha}


On a little side note… we had beer and pizza for dinner. An amazing pizza actually: Spinach, Artichoke, Feta, and Garlic/Oil base, with no red sauce. And then we topped that off with a few Blue Moons {complete with the essential orange slice} Sometimes there is nothing better than digressing to college days and chowing down on a greasy pizza followed by a nice cold beer… {gosh, I sound like a man} … Headed to bed ya’ll. Hope you had a great night. Tomorrow, I fully intend on cooking Salisbury Steak, so if you’re interested – come back to see that fiasco! Night, Ya’ll!

Sweet Potato Souffle {Picture Tutorial}

11 Jan


I remember when I was a child, my aunt would bring sweet potato souffle to Thanksgiving dinner each year. It scared me. It was orange. And, a sweet potato. Who eats sweet potatoes? So, it never went near my plate. It wasn’t until last year at Thanksgiving {after what 20 years?} that I actually tasted the sweet potato dish. Holy dessert! I had no idea it was sweet and tasty … like cheating and eating dessert while eating dinner! Ever since, it has been a staple on my holiday menu {ok. one Thanksgiving and one Christmas} but it will be a staple from now on! I made it for my family on Sunday for our “Second Christmas Dinner” and, in the mad dash to wrap up the meal, only got a few pictures … but I think you will get the idea! So, here we go:


Sweet Potato Souffle {Simple, Easy, Delicious}

{Serves Approx 6}

{Adapted from: Cooks.com}


You will need:

Two 16 oz cans of Sweet Potatoes (I only had one large can, and it worked just fine)

1 cup brown sugar

Approx 2/3 TBSP salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup butter

1 pkg of small marshmallows


And, here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease casserole dish with butter. Mix all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Place half of mixture in dish. Place a layer of marshmallows on top. Top with the other half of the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Top with layer of marshmallows. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until marshmallow topping is lightly browned. Serve.

{Top of plate} Of course, I didn’t get a picture before it left the dish.


This truly is an easy, delicious, classic dish. I hope you enjoy & as always, if you make it – I’d love to hear all about it! Night Ya’ll. {for real this time}

Cookbooks, Thrift Stores, and Jalapenos

11 Jan


My little sister and I took a trip to the thrift store today. I want to grow my cookbook collection {which is seriously lacking} and found a great cookbook on Eastern European Cooking. With a little research online, I found out it is from a PBS type television station in Pittsburgh. Some of the recipes {most of the recipes} have ingredients that I can’t even pronounce yet alone know where to buy … but it could be fun to try to make some of these dishes. Especially because the “foodie” boyfriend loves to eat random, different, unique, ethnic food… this should be right up his alley!



You know, I love finding treasures at the thrift store that tell a story. A note in the back tells me a story about Mary who enjoyed a Tea Time at the Masters cookbook given to her by Barb. Mary always thought of Barb when she watched the Ethnic Cooking show and thought she would get the cookbook and send it to her as a gift. Apparently, Barb didn’t enjoy the cookbook quite as much as Mary … It did end up at the thrift store! {ha} Her loss is my gain! {Note to self: get all personal items out of or off of anything I donate to charity}


I also made some Pho for my family tonight … Consensus: They don’t love cilantro as much as I do. And, it was great to see my moms face when I told here there was a jalapeno in the mix! {shhh… there was two} But, overall it was a big success! Tomorrow, I’m going to be ‘easy’ on them and make some good ol’ comfort food: Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole. De’lish!


Well, that’s all for tonight ya’ll. I’m going to go submerge myself in some really stinky reality tv: The Bachelor.

Duck, Duck, Dinner

10 Jan


Time management may not be my best skill.  While visiting my family, I thought one of the best ‘presents’ I could give them would be to make a few meals while I’m here. The premise: I enjoy it and they will love {hopefully} eating it. However, undertaking a meal of Holiday proportion and timing everything exactly right may take a little more practice on my part. I started this morning around 11 am and made a tray of my Bacon, Egg and Toast Pods. They turned out really well, and got rave reviews. I’ve said it once before… but I’ll say it again… ah’mazing, easy, and a big hit!


After a quick shower and trip to Target, it was back to cooking. Washing and boiling spinach, cleaning a duck, mixing a sweet potato souffle, and chilling a cream cheese chocolate ball. …{backtrack, I said cleaning a duck! Just picture that for a second}… I did pretty well getting everything prepared and got about an hour break before it was time to get the duck in the oven. Two hours of gracefully dancing around the kitchen, followed by an hour-long mad dash at the end… we have dinner:

Crispy Duck, Creamed Spinach, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Souffle. Click the names if you’d like to read my blogs about these dishes. I’ll be adding the sweet potato and cheese ball in the next few days!


The meal turned out fantastic. And, my family {who had not previously tired duck, or had it in the last few years} gobbled up a whole 6 pound duck. Go me! I’d say it was well worth a day of cooking and preparing. Drop in tomorrow for a picture tutorial on the Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Ball! De’lish …. Night Ya’ll!

Apple Queen Cake {Picture Tutorial}

10 Jan


I know I tell you all that I’m in love a lot. I really mean it this time. I’m in love with my new mixer. And, I’m in love with having a new cookbook {a collection of my grandmothers recipes} to tackle. Even though I’m visiting my family and I’m not in my own kitchen, I could not wait to jump into some baking! I flipped through the book a few times .. and decided upon the Apple Queen Cake. It called my name. And, of course, I had camera in hand the whole time. So, here we go!


Apple Queen Cake

{Serves Approx 8}


You will need:

3 TBSP Melted Butter

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

Sliced Apples {3-4 apples}


1/4 cup Shortening

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup White Sugar

1 Egg

1 cup Milk

2 cups Flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt


And, here’s what you do:

Grease a 8×8 dish, well. {Apparently the only pans that exist in my mothers house are odd shaped 8×11 dishes, but it seemed to do the trick} You’ll make the topping first. Peel and slice the apples. Lay them in the bottom of the greased dish. Add a few cherries. Combine the melted butter and brown sugar and drop it over the apples in the pan.

To make the cake batter: Combine shortening, vanilla, white sugar, egg, milk, four, baking powder, and salt. Mix well {with your brand new mixer that Santa bought you – or any mixer will do} After mixing, pour over the apple/cherry/sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Let cook and FLIP! {the fun part}

I really, really, REALLY  wish that I would have had some vanilla bean ice cream to serve with this cake. My mom and I decided that we would not touch this cake until tomorrow nights family dinner …. clearly, we couldn’t wait … perhaps that means we can just bake some more goodies tomorrow! ahhhh… yumm.

Incredible. Fluffy. Moist. Apple’y. Hope you enjoy … and, as always, if you make it – I’d love to hear!

Night Ya’ll!

I Need Baking Powder: Stat!

9 Jan


I love to travel. However, interstate and country roads are not my idea of fun. Not being able to drive over 60 mph is grueling punishment for a lead foot like me. Today, I went home. I haven’t seen my family since October – so, two holidays later, there was a lot of catching up to do.


Santa came and brought me a new mixer. I literally opened the box, put it together, made a grocery list, and was at the grocery store within about an hour! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to buy vanilla, flour, and baking powder! Oh… and the best part… my mom also gave me a copy of my grandmothers collection of recipes. Back when my parents got married, my grandmother gave my mom a collection of all her recipes. {maybe she was trying to say something} It’s been in our house ever since. I can remember as a little kid, going through the ‘blue binder’ looking for cookie recipes, etc. And, now I have my own copy!


Tonight we decided to bake a Apple Queen Cake out of the recipe book. {who cares if it is 11:30, I need to use my mixer}From the sounds of it, its kinda like a pineapple upside-down cake – only with apples and cherries instead of pineapple. We’ve got it in the oven right now {and took plenty of pictures to blog about it later} … although these are all hand written/photo copied recipes…. and we are thinking that “4 tsp” of baking powder may actually be “1/4 tsp of baking powder” … but we’ll see! Can’t taste that  different can it?! I’ll update you soon! Night Ya’ll!


Merry Christmas!

25 Dec


Merry Christmas! I hope you all {whomever you are out there} had a wonderful day and took some time to celebrate and enjoy your family. Our house was nice a quiet for most of the day. We all slept in, then mid-afternoon sat down to watch Julie & Julia. What a great movie! It really was inspiring. I loved the idea of cooking and blogging your way through a whole cookbook. {Mind you, I’m not sure Julia Child would be the first thing I attempted to tackle} In a way, it reminded me of my own blogging, and how good it feels to share recipes and things I enjoy with others. Even though I don’t know all the people who read me, I feel like they’re out there. Even if it is just a figment of my imagination, {and there is really no one reading me} how good it feels to be able to ‘share.’


Christmas dinner was wonderful. Not the traditional Turkey like I am use to though, tonight it was Prime Rib Roast. It turned out quite well paired with some garlic mashed potatoes {I’ll share a secret for these one day} and some corn shaved from the cob with butter and salt. And don’t forget the vino and bread! I was so consumed with cooking and eating that I didn’t even take any pictures of the meal like I had been meaning to do. So {readers} there is no visual stimulation for you tonight. A shame I know.


Brownies are in the oven. Vanilla Bean ice cream in the freezer. Blueberry streusel muffins for breakfast tomorrow.


Night ya’ll!

Christmas, can you wait a week?!

23 Dec


Don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward Christmas. I’ve said it a hundred times, I can’t wait to get home to see my family… but I have so much to do between now and then. I’m starting to feel like that lady at the circus who balances plates on her head. I’ve always said that when I get stressed out like this, I can’t seem to pick one plate to take down and tackle for fear that the whole lot of them will come crashing down on my head. Thats how I feel right now. Too much to do, and not enough time to do it. Unfortunately, this may mean Christmas will come a week late for me. But … if I remind myself, Christmas isn’t about the actual DAY (religiously, yes – but in terms of celebration with family, no) it’s about celebrating the holiday with loved ones. So, if mine is a week late – it’s a week late.


On a brighter note, it’s amazing how much I enjoyed a simple sandwich today. You know, like a brown-bag sandwich. White sandwich bread, mayo, turkey, cheese and lettuce. So simple, yet so good when you haven’t had one in a long time. Paired with the Oatmeal Raisin cookies I baked the other day… and I was a happy camper.

And, no … I did not eat ALL these cookies {tempting though}


Well, nothing else highly entertaining to talk about. While all of you are out picking up last-minute presents, wrapping, baking, and singing Christmas songs by the fire … I’ll be sitting here, staring at the computer, expanding my brain and hoping it all comes to an end in time to spend some quality time with my family.

Blizzard, Brains, and Organic Cows

19 Dec


Since I don’t get to take part in the “Great Blizzard of 2009,” I spent the day stretching my brain to its capacity and doing laundry. Joy. Why don’t I get any snow? Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I saw snow. {I take that back, I think it was a trip to Boston circa 2005 ‘ish} … How nice would it be to have a white Christmas? I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon for this Southern girl. Ugh. But, I am very anxious to travel home and see my mom’s house beautifully decorated and full of love and cheer. She does such a good job making the house feel so inviting and full of Christmas spirit without a single cheesy Christmas embellishment. I guess you could call her style: Classic Christmas Cottage. And, I’m looking forward to it.


Well, nothing else too interesting to tell you. Dinner was french bread pizza and big glasses of milk. Speaking of which – I used to HATE {loathe} milk, until I found Stonyfield Milk. I don’t know what it is about it … to me, it tastes less milky try explaining THAT! Also, it lasts forever! I picked some up the other day, and it doesn’t expire until mid to late January! I found this great article that explains why this is: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=experts-organic-milk-lasts-longer. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that it is organic! Ah’mazing Anyhow, perhaps you have a milk-hater who would like to try this kind out… let me know if you do, and how it goes!