Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Kitchen Gagets

I absolutely love Christmas morning. This year was especially fun because I got to share my Christmas traditions with my husband. He came home with me for the holidays and participated in our Christmas morning present opening marathon. With ten adults and three children all opening presents, in order, from oldest to youngest, the opening went on for quite a while. We don't usually get too early of a start, but with my brother-in-laws kids with us this year, we managed to get going around 9:30 am.

As I began to open my presents, one on each turn, I was very excited to see that my love for all things kitchen related had spilled over into my wish list this year. And many of those things were wrapped up beautifully for me under the tree. Below are some pictures and links to the new additions to my kitchen that I received from my loving family this Christmas.

William Somoma All-Clad Stainless Steel tool set
I received a few of these pieces from Brian. They are fantastic, they feel good, nice and heavy, and on the serving spoons and ladles are marked with ounces.

Cuisinart Food Processor
I received this from my mom. She was so excited to give this to me, and I was thrilled to get it! I feel like I'm getting closer to having all the major appliances. And although you can buy these a lot of places, I'll give the credit to Macy's. Me and my mom shop their sales like crazy. And in true Macy's sale fashion, my mom held out until their last One Day Sale before Christmas as managed to get this for $99! Talk about a deal. Thanks mom!

Crate and Barrel Laurie Plate, Footed Bowl and Cake Stand

Funny story about this gift. Apparently Brittany ordered this cake plate up for me online last Christmas, two day shipping to my parents house, and it never came. Then apparently it did come some time after Christmas and my mom misplaced it for about the next 10 months. I had wanted it last year, and was so excited to see it come back this year. Mom found the cake plate, and wrapped it up for me this year. Brittany got me six of those adorable dessert cups, so cute, thanks Britt! The day after Christmas I got online to order up six of the plates, but they were sold out online. So I called the Beverly Hills store and spoke with the most helpful, friendly sales associate, Jennie. The day after Christams I'm sure the store was super busy, but she checked the stock, shipping costs, and the balance of two gift cards for me. I got my order placed and they're on they're way to my house as we speak. Now I just need to whip up some amazing dessert worthy to serve up on theses dishes.

I also got some small stocking suffers like a new bread knife, a paring knife, a mini whisk that will be great for making gravy, a 2 cup measuring cup that will definitely make for fast measuring, and a OXO cookie scoop, I've been wanting one of those! Needless to say I had a wonderful Christmas and am so grateful for my family and my wonderful gifts. Now lets get back to the kitchen.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Packaging Goodies

You would think with two weeks off for Christmas vacation I would have a lot of time to write some good blogs. But that hasn't exactly been the case. Busy, busy holiday season. But I have been baking while being home with my mom, and all the recipes and pictures will be posted shortly. But I do have a few pictures of the home made goodies I gave away to the teachers I work with. Super easy, found the boxes, used red tissue paper to separate the cookies, and finished it off with cute labels. I put the chocolate dipped coconut and orange cookies in the boxes and mini loaves of bread (harvest loaf and banana bread) in red cellophane with green ribbon and star gift tags. Simple, easy and looks oh so cute!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trader Joe's: Joe- Joe's

Based on the content of my blog, I’m sure you’ve all figured out that I love home baked goodies. I’m not much of a candy person, store bought cookie or salty chip kind of girl. But boy oh boy am I sucker for all homemade treats. There is one exception. I am on box number two of Trader Joe’s peppermint Joe Joes. Have you had those? Oh my goodness! They are similar in concept to a mint Oreo, but those don’t even compare. These have the best frosting inside with bits of candy cane. I’ve eaten almost two boxes all by myself. My husband keeps making fun of me. But they’re only sold this time of year, so I have to get them in while I can. Do yourself a favor and go out a buy a box!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Packaging

It's the Christmas season, which is so perfect for baking! I can give away all my goodies and not eat them all myself. My husband went to the gym tonight, but I passed. Probably shouldn't have, but I'd rather bake and package up my goodies in cute, festive wrappings. I came up with this packaging to individually wrap my cinnamon rolls because I already had 200 of these boxes lying around. Last June when I was doing my wedding favors I accidentally ordered up the wrong size box for my favors. I didn't want to pay a restocking fee to return them, so I just keep them thinking I'd find something to do with them. I dare say they're coming in handy now! I'm so excited to give these away to neighbors and friends.

Pecan Pumpkin Crunch: Pie Alternative

I started off my blog talking about how pumpkin obsessed we were, and then barely posted any pumpkin recipes. We were cooking, I just wasn’t posting. In our quest to find more pumpkin recipes I came across this recipe before Thanksgiving, tried it out, and made it twice in one week. It was on an episode of Ask Aida and she was using it as an alternative to pumpkin pie. I loved it for that very reason, you don’t have to mess with the crust and the pecan topping still gives it some texture. It’s creamy, and had all the flavors a good pumpkin pie should have. Husbands, boyfriends, sisters and friends all liked this one. The first one went so fast that I had to make a second one to make sure everyone got the seconds they wanted. I’d definitely try it out. I know Thanksgiving is more of the pumpkin pie holiday, but I’d say it’s still in season! Pecan Pumpkin Crunch Recipe

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Ham

I decided today I was going to make a big Christmas dinner. Brittany and Paul came over and Brian's friend Peter. I'm not going to be making the real Christmas dinner and I've been promising Brian I'm make him a Christmas ham. He is in love with his Aunt Darrelyn's Ham glaze, so I decided to give it a try. It was super easy to do, and I got some rave reviews. Darrelyn uses a canned ham, but I'm sure you could use any kind of ham and just glaze it following these instructions:

1/3 Cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
1 Teaspoon dry mustard
whole clove

If using a canned ham, put ham, juice and all in a pan. Score the top of the ham and put dry mixture or brown sugar, flour and dry mustard on top of it. Insert whole cloves on top also. (Just space them out) Pour gingerale slowly over ham so that the mixture stays on top of the ham. gingerale should be an inch deep i pan. Baste ham as it cooks. Cook at 325 for about an hour and a half.

Like I said, super delish, and super easy.

Cinnamon Rolls

A long time staple in our home has always been homemade rolls and cinnamon rolls. It started with my Grandma Payne, and then my mom took over. They were always asked to bake their rolls for special occasions and family get togethers. Walking into the house when the rolls were baking is definitely my ultimate comfort food smell. I decided that I should probably learn how to make them so that I can keep the tradition alive!

This summer I tried my very first batch of cinnamon rolls, and they turned out so, so good! And then Friday night Brian and I made two batches for him to take to his Saturday morning class. They were a big hit, and felt so proud.

My mom was telling me that anyone can follow the recipe, but unless you know what the dough should feel like, they wouldn’t turn out as good as they could. It’s an art form, bread making, and it just takes practice, trial and error. The two batches I made on Friday, and one more today, gave me the opportunity to try a few different tweaks and figure out what works a little better.

When you’re done mixing the dough, my mom says that it should be sticky, but not a wet sticky. It shouldn’t look like wallpaper paste, but should stick to your hands when you touch it. After it rises it won’t be as sticky. Remember that you can always add more flour, but too much will make your dough tough. A stand mixer works best for this, as the dough gets hard to mix with a hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use your hand mixer until it starts to get hard to mix, and then finish mixing with your hands. (My mom, and I have both blown up our hand mixers mixing the dough!)

This is such a good recipe and I have yet to find a soul who could say no to one of these cinnamon rolls.

Grandma Payne’s Roll Recipe:
Sprinkle 2 Tbs of yeast into 1/2 C. warm water (Test water on wrist and don’t set bowl directly on counter, put on a towel underneath it.)

Heat in microwave for 3 minutes (stir half way in between):
1 cube of butter
2 Cups of Milk
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

Pour the warm mixture into mixing bowl, add 3 Cups of flour and mix until pasty.
Add 2 eggs, mix again
Add yeast, mix again
Slowly add 3 1/3 cups of sifted flour (you may need a little more or less)

Cover and let rise for 1 and 1/2 hours. When dough has risen to double it’s original size, punch down with fist and then you have two options:

1) Make into delicious dinner rolls: make dough balls, place on greased cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart, let rise again for another 45 minutes or so, or until dough is touching on sheet.

2) Make into cinnamon rolls: Roll out dough on floured counter until it makes a nice, big, even rectangle. Spread a cube of room temperature butter on the dough. Cover with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Cover again with a second layer of brown sugar. Adding raising, nuts and anything else you’d like will taste amazing too! Roll up the dough and cut into one and a half inch slices. Place 1/2 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Let rise again until touching. These will also rise more in the over.

Cooke either of these for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. (We’ve been known to do half and half with a batch. One batch will make about 20 or so cinnamon rolls) One thing my mom and I have noticed is that the tops usually get done before the bottom of the rolls. I have found that non-stick pans help the bottoms to cook better.

Edit: I had a request for the icing. Here is the one I've been using lately, but any icing will work. And we love a cream cheese icing on these too! So good!

1 pound box of powdered sugar
6 TBS of butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or any type of milk)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix together-add more milk or powdered sugar to thin or thicken

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Cookie Exchange

For the first time ever I participated in a cookie exchange. I made eight dozen cookies and went to exchange them with eight other girls who did the same thing. A little shout out to Jennifer for hosting a lovely evening with the ladies. At the end of the night I came home with eight dozen different cookies that I could package up and give to friends to spread a little Christmas cheer.

When deciding which cookies to bake I took into consideration the fact that I had to make eight dozen. I had made a recipe from Food Networks “Ask Aida” for Orange Coconut cookies about a month before and remembered that they made a lot of cookies! I only had to double the recipe to get my eight dozen. And you have to put them in the refrigerator before you cook them, so it’s a great make ahead cookie. Besides tasting amazing, these cookies are very impressive to look at. I dipped half of them in chocolate, like the recipe says, and they just look so festive! I still have a hard time using chocolate chips to dip things with. It never works right, so this time, because I needed it to work, I bought Wilton chocolate baking chips from Michael’s. It worked like a champ! Perfect on every cookie, dried hard and smooth.

A few tips on the cookies, if you like a crisper cookies, just cut them thinner, which makes sense. But I like them a bit softer so I cut the cookies a little on the thicker side. Also, I toasted my coconut by putting it in the oven on a cookie sheet and watching it until it was barely brown. But like I said, this is a great make ahead recipe or one to use when you need a lot of cookies. Happy Baking!
Toasted Coconut and Orange Cookies Recipe

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pasta Fagioli

Even though I live in Orange County and the weather outside isn’t exactly fall yet, I was still in the mood for some warm soup tonight. I called up my mom, who has been raving about all her amazing soups she’s been making this week, and decided to try one of them out myself. I chose a pasta fagioli recipe that she got from a friend and of course doctored up to make it way better than it originally was. I think mine measured up, it was so tasty, and everyone had seconds. It’s super easy to make and I’m not sure you can mess it up. Full of flavor, and warms you right up!

Pasta Fagioli
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots
2 stocks of celery
1 zucchini
1 15 oz great northern beans
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans of beef broth
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/3 tsp. McCormick’s Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Simmer for about an hour. Add 1/2 Cup Macaroni (if desired) about 15 minutes before ready to serve.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a birthday this past week, and just for fun thought I'd post up a picture of the cake my husband baked, all by himself, for me! He used a dark chocolate cake mix with cream cheese frosting from the can. Boy was it tasty. Congrats babe on your first baking effort! You can practice up every year!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Most Sunday nights Brian and I head over to his parent’s house for a nice family dinner. Since we’ve been married I now feel that I need to contribute to these dinners, bring a salad, or dessert or something. His mom hasn’t really taken me up on this offer, but last week we invited them over to our house for Sunday night dinner. They hadn’t seen our apartment since we got all moved in, and I’m obsessed with my kitchen table and love to be able to set it for a lot of people. Brian even decided to get out the leaf for the table to make it bigger to accommodate everyone. Brittany and Paul (sister and boyfriend) were coming too.

I wanted to make something good, obviously, but not a bunch of new recipes. I didn’t want to stress over if it would turn out or not. So I decided on my red pasta sauce, but I thought that I should add a little something to it. As I was cruising around the Food Network recipes I decided that I would add a little chicken parmesan to my marinara. I had never made chicken parm before, but I watched a couple videos and read through some recipes and decided it wouldn’t be too bad.

I absolutely love my red sauce recipe. Of course it’s my mom’s recipe. It’s been around for quite some time, and is pretty much fool proof. This time I decided to puree it a little bit more than usual with my emersion blender, and I paired it with thin spaghetti instead of our usual penne. For the chicken I pounded the chicken breasts with a rolling pin to about 1/4 of an inch thick. I dipped it in flour, then egg, and then into a mix of bread crumbs, fresh chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. I had a pan with oil heated and could cook about two at a time. I still have a hard time knowing how long it is going to take to cook chicken all the way through. And I’m super paranoid about under cooking my chicken. So when it says about four to fie minutes each side, I still cut one open to see if they are done. Mine took a bit longer because my chicken breasts were really big. I served it all up with some salad and French bread toasted with butter, garlic powder and parsley.

All in all the meal turned out quite tasty. And if you’re not up for the chicken, just try out the sauce, so easy and so tasty.

8 cloves of garlic
2 onions
3 Tbs of Olive Oil

1/8 Cup Parsley
1/8 Cup Basil
2 Tbs honey (if you want it sweeter)
2 can original stewed tomatoes
2 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with peppers & onions

Makes enough to go with a one pound box of pasta.

Pound chicken breasts with rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick
Dip in flour, then beaten egg, then dip in mixture of break crumbs, parsley and parmesan cheese
Cook in pan with heated oil until browned and cooked through

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nothing Says Happy Birthday Like Coconut Cake

Happy Birthday Little Sister!

My younger sister, Brittany, had a birthday this past Tuesday and I wasn’t sure if her boyfriend was going to tackle the task of baking the birthday cake or not. When I asked her if I could make it she said that I was her first choice, and boyfriend was the backup plan! Yay! I asked her what flavor she wanted she said something coconut. I was so excited. I had a coconut cake recipe I wanted to try out. It’s always a little dangerous trying out a new recipe on a special occasion, but I figure, hey, she’s family.

The recipe I wanted to try I actually got from my mother-in-law. It was supposed to be from a restaurant, Cedar Creek Inn, that has amazing coconut cake, but you know those recipes are never the same. As I looked up the recipe last night I noticed that it used a cake mix and vanilla pudding as a base. I don’t know if that counts as “from scratch” but it was going to be a busy day so it was good to save time. As always, I also checked out the food network for recipes. There were some that looked interesting, but like I said, I wasn’t going to time to take on a huge project that afternoon. Bobby Flay’s looked good, but it was quite a project. I came across Ina’s recipe (I love her) but her cake was just a basic white cake with coconut frosting. As I read some of the reviews I found that some of the readers had replaced the water with coconut milk. I thought that sounded like a plan. So in the end I changed my first recipe to incorporate the coconut milk and used Ina’s frosting recipe. Readers raved about her frosting!

The cake was a huge hit. Everyone loved it and it looked so cute on my new cake stand. I think Britt had a great birthday and she said the cake was just what she was hoping for!

Coconut Cake:
*Changes I made: replaced half of the water with coconut milk, and I used a white cake mix because it’s what I had and I didn’t use the walnuts because I didn’t have any.

2 cups shredded coconut
Butter, for preparing pans
Flour, for preparing pans
1 package cake mix, yellow
4 eggs
2 packages instant vanilla pudding, 3.4-ounce boxes of instant
1 1/3 cups water
1/2-cup oil
1 cup walnut halves, chopped

To toast coconut:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and lightly toast, stirring often, 10 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping the cake.

Butter and flour 2 (9inch) round cake pans.

Mix the cake mix, eggs, pudding mix, water and oil in a mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until the batter is thick and smooth. (4 minutes) Fold in the walnuts and 1 1/2 cups of the coconut. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.

Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pans, then turn the cakes onto a wire rack.

Ina's Coconut Frosting

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Just a quick post on my one attempt at Halloween baking. I am usually totally into the cookie decorating parties, but this year it was just me and I wanted to try out some new Martha Stewart cookie stencils I bought. I was so excited; I found them on sale at Michael’s at the beginning of October and couldn’t wait to use them. Instead of using cookie cutters to cut the cookies out in Halloween shapes, I used my biscuit cutter to make nice, round circles. I then frosted them and attempted to use the stencils to put cute witches, bats and spider webs on the cookies. But what happened was that the stencil would stick to the frosting and when I tried to pull it off the cookie and sprinkles would get messed up. If I didn’t put the stencil directly on the frosting then the picture wouldn’t come out. And if I waited for the frosting to dry, well, the sprinkles wouldn’t stick. It was quite the dilemma. In the end, I managed to get a few to turn out. But that didn’t really matter because the cookies still tasted great! I actually like them the best once the frosting has had time to dry. I have the best sugar cookie recipe. It’s my moms, of course, and I made the dough in less than 10 minutes. Let the dough sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then roll it out, cut and bake at 350, for about 8-10 minutes until the edges are just barely brown. I like these cookies soft, and when they get brown they turn crunchy.

It turns out that the pictures on the stencil package showed them being used on unfrosted cupcakes using powdered sugar or coco powder. Oh well, like I said, they still tasted great!

Sugar Cookies:
Mix- beat until light and fluffy:
2 sticks of Butter (2 cups)
3/4 Cup sugar

Beat in:
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Gradually add in:
2 1/2 C flour

Pumpkin Soup & Harvest Moon Macaroni

I was fortunate this past week to have some house guests! My older sister, Mikken, her husband Jeff, and my dad came to stay for a few nights. What better excuse to cook a harvest meal! I’ve been dying to try out some of the fall recipes I’ve seen cooked up on Food Network lately, but they make so much that I needed someone more than just me and Brian to cook for. We actually had a few cold days this week, so I was thinking some pumpkin soup, and a comfort food side.

Last year I tried out a pumpkin soup recipe from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. It was a Mexican spicy one. I remember liking it, but wanted to try a new recipe this year. I decided to search the Food Network database and found a recipe of Rachel Rays that had about 221 great reviews. And since I was doing a recipe from Rachel, I decided to make a Harvest Macaroni and Cheese I saw her cook up on an adult Halloween meal episode last week. It was actually nice because these two recipes called for a lot of the same ingredients, thyme, and hot sauce, onions, so I thought they would compliment each other nicely.

Trying out two new recipes in one night, and cooking for seven people can be kind of hectic, but luckily Mikken and Dad helped me out, and it was so fun cooking with them! I love my family. Mikk is an excellent vegetable chopper, and Dad worked wonders on the Mac and Cheese sauce. I think I wore them out with all my running around. Mikk had to go take a little nap before dinner was served. All in all the meal turned out great. I thought the Mac and Cheese could have used a little more something, maybe I skimped on the hot sauce, or not enough cheese, but it was good. I’ll try making it again; just try to add more seasoning. The pumpkin soup was amazing. I’ve been eating it for lunch the past two days. I didn’t make the apple relish, due to time constraint, but the reviews said it was a good compliment. I did add a little honey to the soup to take the bitter edge off and we all agreed it was a great touch. I also used an emersion blender to puree the soup. Brittany said, “this meal tastes like fall.” That was the best compliment, totally what I was going for. We used some soft bread to get every last bit of soup out of the bowl.

The recipes can be found at these links to foodnetwork.com

Harvest Moon Macaroni

Pumpkin soup

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Harvest Loaf

Halloween is just two days away, and I can hardly believe that I have only made one pumpkin dessert. I professed my love for all things pumpkin in that last post, so you would think I’d be baking everyday. (I was a little late on posting that up; I made those bars like the second week of October.) Well, I ran into a little problem. Make that a big problem, a pumpkin shortage problem. I couldn’t find canned pumpkin anywhere. Talk about annoying. I even went to the little stores, and the ones in the not so nice neighborhoods and there was no pumpkin to be found. I mention this to Brian and he immediately gets on the Internet to see if we can order it online. Of course you can, you can find anything online. But we didn’t have to resort to that. This past Monday I had had it. I posted up on my facebook how annoyed I was and I got quite the response from friends telling me where to find it. I ended up calling a few places before I went and my neighborhood Vons had some in stock. Brenda, at Vons, told me to come fast, as it was going quickly. (Side note, as I asked around and researched, apparently there was a bad crop of pumpkins this year, so not as much to can. I was also told grocers were holding off most of the pumpkin until right before Thanksgiving.) I head to Vons, and pay an outrageous $2.50 a can. Total rip off! My mom died when I told her, her discount grocery store, Winco, had it for $1.00! I bought eight cans, and Brian told me he didn’t care what I had to pay!

The recipe I made with my newly obtained canned pumpkin was mini harvest loaves, per Brittany’s request. It’s an oh so tasty pumpkin bread with chocolate chips and a cinnamon nutmeg glaze. It was a “secret recipe” of a family my mom knows, and last year she managed to get the recipe. (So now I’ll post it on the Internet, they’ll love that!) One thing I did differently this year is I used mini chocolate chips instead of the regular ones. I was thinking of my dad who likes the taste of chocolate but doesn’t like how the chips are hard in the soft bread. The beauty of the mini chips is that they melt into the bread and don’t really stay in chip form. He loved it!

Tips for making the loaves: I usually double the recipe because it uses a whole 15 oz. can of pumpkin that way. The doubled recipe will make about six to seven mini loaves. You’re welcome to use a regular loaf pan, but for some reason I have a hard time getting that size to bake right. Also, when I made it I didn’t have any cloves, so I just went with out, I couldn’t tell the difference.

Harvest Loaf Recipe:

Just mix it up!
1 3/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
3/4 C pumpkin
6 oz chocolate chips (or mini cho. chips)

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes for a small loaf pan. (Makes about 4 mini loaves.)

Spice Glaze:
1/2 C powdered Sugar
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
1-2 Tbs milk

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

So fall baking is upon us. And baking is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. It was in August that my husband, Brian, asked me if we could make pumpkin waffles for breakfast. I had to tell him that pumpkin season didn’t start until fall was here. And it was definitely too hot in August to be feeling like pumpkin pancakes. Well, fall has been here for about a month and I’m happy to announce that we finally had our first pumpkin dessert. Brian and I had my sister, Brittany, and her boyfriend, Paul, over for dinner and dessert on Sunday. I mad my moms famous pumpkin bars. It’s actually a recipe that we originally used with bananas for banana bars, but she adapted it for pumpkin. We’re pretty sure it works with just about anything. It’s pretty fool proof. The recipe is very easy to make. We always use a cream cheese frosting with the bars, we’ve found that tastes best. I don’t have a favorite cream cheese frosting recipe, but have definitely graduated from using the stuff from the can! We loved the pumpkin bars so much, or were just so pumpkin deprived, that the four of us finished off at 9 x 13 pan of them in one night!

2 cubes of butter
2/3 Cups sugar
2/3 Cups brown sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla
2 eggs

Add dry:
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Cups flour

Preheat 350, 9x 13 pan (or a little larger) cook 25 minutes.

First Blog Post

My first blog post ever. I’ve wanted to start a blog since the end of the summer, but I teach school, so September is a bit of a crazy month for me. But now it’s October, things have calmed down, and baking season is upon us. I’m starting a blog for a few reasons. First, I got married this summer, and finally have my very own kitchen. Not to hate on the previous apartments with the numerous roommates I’ve lived with, but this is my very own. Well, I do share with my wonderful husband, but he realizes that it’s my domain. Along with my own kitchen, I finally have all the kitchenwares to go in it. I never wanted to spend money on items for the kitchen before because there was never enough cupboard space for it, or roommates would break it, loan it out, or sometimes it would just mysteriously disappear. So thanks to our generous friends and family and their wedding gifts, I’m living out my wildest kitchen fantasies! It really is everything I dreamed of. (I waned to call my blog “my first kitchen” but it was taken, along with about a thousand other names I tried.) But back on track, so now that I have my kitchen I’m so excited about, I have this overwhelming desire to share with everyone what exactly I’m doing in there, what is working for me, what recipes I’m trying, how they are working out, and what I’ve learned as a result. Most importantly, I want to share all of this with my mom, who is reason number two that I’m starting my blog. She lives about six hours away from me, and visits as often as she can. But when we talk it’s about what we’re cooking and how it went, what food network show we caught last night, and when, of course, we’re going to get together again. She is an amazing cook herself, is always whipping up something new and delicious. I owe my love of cooking to her. My sisters say I’m just like her, but I’m not, not yet anyway. I still have quite a few recipes to master before that happens.
Related Posts with Thumbnails