Showing posts with label In My Kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In My Kitchen. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2018

Twenty-Seven Dishes


Let's just say you have five special dishes from Aunt Susie, five from Great Aunt Betty, and five from Aunt Helen. You have four from Great-Grandma Judith, and two from your next door neighbor. Your mom gave you three, and your sister gave you three more.

Now you very seldom use any of those dishes but you can't get rid of them because they are all special, (and what if your sister came to visit and didn't see the dishes she gave you?), so you have them stacked all together, with all the other dishes in the China hutch - that you seldom use.

 But, you are now holding onto 5 + 5 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 3 = 27 dishes. Maybe each of the dishes are unique in its own way - it might be a special color, or a special pattern, or maybe it has a special memory of Aunt Suzie serving mashed potatoes in that dish..... but here's the thing -  do you really use, and love, and have special memories of all 27 dishes?

 You see, when you have 27 special dishes it's really like saying that none of them are special; to be special means 'to single out' - you my friend can't have 27 special dishes.

So, what to do. Guess what? I'm gonna help you...

You get out all 27 dishes and look and touch each one. Pick out your most favorite dish. Decide how many dishes could actually fit nice and neatly in that China hutch and how many dishes that you will actually use. (I think a good rule to use is to keep one third of what you had previously, (as long as it will fit neatly into the home you have for it) so 27 ÷ 3 = 9, now you know how many to keep.) You can always get rid of more later.

So pick out your nine most favorite dishes. If none of Aunt Helen's dishes made it into your favorites that's okay. Aunt Helen wouldn't have wanted you holding on to a dish that you didn't like, and adding clutter to your home, especially when someone else could have used, and even loved, that particular dish.

 Put the others that didn't make the favorite nine into a box and donate them. Don't second-guess your decision; just do it.

I guarantee those nine dishes that you picked out will become even more special and will make you smile each time that you use them. You see, having one special dish from Great Aunt Betty is much more meaningful than having five kinda special dishes from Great Aunt Betty.

Keep the one that you love - make it special. Your life will be less cluttered and your mind, free. Don't underestimate the power of one.

Congratulations.

 Apply this to each area in your home and you will be living a clutter free life in no time!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

How To Make A Cat Cake

I'm not super big into birthdays, but every year, I let my kids pick the birthday supper menu -complete with homemade ice cream, and the cake flavor and design of their choice. I then try my hardest to make the cake exactly what they want.

This year my youngest daughter wanted a "cat" cake, so here's what I came up with....


How To Make A Cat Cake.

Start with 1, cooled, 9x13 cake. (I only use and love USA pans for my cakes, no spraying, no flour, no sticking..... USA pans are the best!)


Cut the cake in half and use a knife to level off both halves. Then stack the halves with icing in the middle to keep them together. Do not icing to the edge. Put the cake into the freezer for 20 min. Then, remove from freezer and start shaping the cake....

Cut the back so that it's rounded, and cut a small half circle out of the front. Save all your pieces of cake. Also, cut a dip out for the cats shoulders, and used the extra pieces to put together the head, paws, ears, legs, tail and hip. Then, take a knife and angle all the edges.


Next, crumb coat the whole cake with butter cream frosting and put in the fridge for another 30 min to help the icing set.

Now you're ready to decorate!

My daughter requested a calico cat cake so I mixed up bowls of Wilson colors - ivory, grey, brown, black, white, and pink.

I started out using the hair tip #223, but it kept getting clogged, so I then used a star tip and mixed the colors on the cat, leaving the face, paws, and tip of the tail white. I wasn't pleased with the look, so I took my icing knife and swiped the colors together. I used black for the eyes and pink for the ears and nose....


Overall, I think it turned out good for the first time and our eight year old daughter was happy to have a cat cake for her birthday!

Note: I didn't get the angle on the head correct... the eyes and nose should have putruded out more, and the chin shorter and less noticeable. The ears should've been larger, and a good tip would have made all the difference.

You can see more of my cakes here... 
My Daughters Graduation Cake, Camouflage cake
Cake Anyone - Graduation Cake, Cakes for guys and more.
Cake Anyone Continued - lots of birthday cakes for little girls.
Even More Cake - Anniversary, Wedding, Baby Shower, Campfire, Candy, and more cakes. 

Show me a pic in the comments if you make a 3D cat cake!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Favorite Kitchen Products

A few months ago, I shared some of my favorite house hold hacks, and it got me thinking about some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and products....
USA Pans - cupcake, loaf pans, cake pans, 1/2 sheet pan, etc. USA Pan is a professional grade bake ware. It has perfected the nonstick coating process so that food won't stick to the pan. It is warp resistant, heavy-duty, reliable, and very easy to clean.


Pampered Chef Products I love are the Pampered Chef Round Stone,
Executive Nonstick Cookware pan set (I have both the 7 piece and the 5 piece set), mix & chop - meat chopper, glass batter bowls, spice rack, tool turn about, mini serving spatula, pan scraper. coated Knife set, Chefs silicone basting brush
Tupperware thatsa bowl set, store and lock containers, snack cups and mini cups, cookie containers 8x8 and 9x13


Kitchen Aid Mixer - I use mine multiple times a week... mixing bread dough, cookie dough, icing, puddings, etc.


Ninja Professional Blender - This is well worth the money! I use it to make my Shaklee Protein drink with crushed ice!
Dish Drying Mat - I haven't had a bulky dish drainer for over 10 years! These work great!

 

Speaking of dishes, the best dish soap ever, both automatic dish washer and hand dish soap.


Scour off- caning pots and pans with burnt on food, cleaning the glass stove top or oven, getting rust off of dishes, etc.


Corelle Dishes - I love my chutney correlle dish set. I have canisters, colander, baking dishes etc to match. Most people save their good dishes for company, but at our house the most important people in my life is my family, so we use the good dishes at every meal!



Ikea cups, plates, and bowls.... great alternative to paper products. Perfect for kids or for controlling adult serving sizes.


Glass Darhma Straws - Glass straws are the BEST!
All American pressure cooker. Best pressure canner for canning produce, meat, fruits, etc.
Basic H (all natural)- use it to wash fruits and veggies and use it as all purpose cleaner.
Vitamin holder/ turn table. - high quality vitamins are very important in our home. They have literally changed our life! 


               

Other kitchen items I wouldn't be with out are : Waffle maker, crock pot, electric skillet, and toaster.


What are some of your favorite kitchen products? leave a comment and let me know!


Friday, June 9, 2017

Best Fresh Fruit Salad for Any Occasion



2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool. (Note - don't simmer too long on too high heat or it will be to thick - I kept it a thin liquid to pour over the fruit.)

1 cubed fresh pineapple 
3 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 
6-8 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced 
1 bunch of 4-5 bananas, sliced 
oranges, (I used a bag of Cuties) peeled and sectioned 
1 lb. each of  green and red seedless grapes 

Layer the fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, and grapes. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. - I mixed the fruit altogether right before serving.
-Enjoy!


*we served this for our daughters graduation party and received many compliments!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5 Best Household Hacks

There are some 'household hacks' that I think just about every body has heard of by now, like heating a bowl of lemon water in the microwave before cleaning it and it will wipe off effortlessly. But then, sometimes as I'm using a household hack, I think to myself, I wonder if people know to do this, because I love it so much!

So, today I'm sharing 5 of my favorite household hacks....


1. Upside Down Laundry Room Towel Rack
How many times do you have a wet rag with no where to put it, so it ends up on the washer, counter, floor, or flung over the hamper to dry until laundry day? Well, I don't know about you, but at our house we go through a lot of wet rags.... I had hubby screw in a towel rod upside down under the laundry room cabinet. It is the best thing ever! Now we hang the wet rags up, and when they're dry, I toss them into the hamper. Having this in my laundry room has made me a happier person!



2. Spinning Spice Rack Pampered Chef
I used to have the little spice rack shelf where every single time you reached for a spice bottle, about 3 or 4 other ones would fall over, creating a domino effect and they would all come falling out. Every. Single. Time.
Now, if I had a huge kitchen with lots of drawer space, I'd love to have the ikea spice rack drawers to lay my spices in. But since I have a modestly small, (just right for me size kitchen), I absolutely love my pampered chef spice rack spinner! (PS. If you need a great Pampered Chef lady.... Rose is awesome! And, no, I don't get any perks for saying that) but please let her know that I sent you her way!
     


3. Plastic Shoe Boxes For Medicine Cupboard
Our bathroom closet used to look like a tornado hit it on a regular basis.... it was chaos to find anything, bottles would fall over, I would end up buying 10 tubes of toothpaste, because you couldn't find the other 6 I had already bought that was hiding out in the huge mess! I took everything out of the closet and bought 6 plastic shoe boxes. Then I sorted everything into piles: slaves and creams, first aid, colds and flu, eyes and razors, teeth stuff, and allergy...... I got rid of anything out dated or no longer used and put each pile into the perspective box, put a label in the front and walla! -Now you can find everything your looking for and the closet always stays clean!


4. DVD Albums
At our house we have 3 kids and 2 adults with vastly different movie preferences. We don't pay for TV, and we don't own any Wii or Ps games or anything like that and do not have a library close by, so for our entertainment - we enjoy watching DVDs. Over the last 10+ years, we have acquire quite a few movies! (Let me insert here that I try to spend no more than $3 per DVD with the exception of season sets). As, you can imagine, I had a whole closet full of movies (both VHS and DVD's). Well, I decided something had to be done, so when our VHS player quit, we got rid of all the VHS tapes, then went through our DVD stash and gave over 70 away.....

Anyway, we were left with still a whole lot of movies, but also ones we like to watch, so I ordered Cd pages, bought albums, and organized the albums by kind. 

Right now our album titles along with the kind of movies are as follows:
Dads (Fast and Furious, Ocean 13, Duck Dynasty, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)
Moms (Love Comes Softly Season Set, Lipstick Jungle, Fireproof, God's Not Dead, Mom's Night Out, etc.)
Kids (The Fox and The Hound, Secret Garden, Robots, Finding Nemo, American Girl Movies, Horse land, etc.)
Family (Ice Age, Madagascar, RV, Princess Diary's, Flubber, Disney Cars, etc.)
Little House On The Prairie - Complete Seasons Set
Heartland - Complete Seasons Set
CSI - Seasons Sets (we will sell this set after we finish watching it)
Everwood - Complete Seasons Set
Parenthood - Complete Seasons Set
7th Heaven - Complete Seasons Set
Sex in the City - Complete Seasons Set and Movies 1 & 2 (don't judge - its my own personal secret indulgence.)
Gilmore Girls - Complete Seasons Set (another favorite of mine)
Christy - Complete Season Set

This system has made things so easy and the best part is, it has given me back my closet. I can now keep all our movies in the bottom of an end table!


5.  Cutting Curtains
If you like redecorating your home.... I'm sure you know that it can get somewhat costly. I shop second hand stores, antique shops, craigslist, etc. and try to keep my costs down but the one thing that always surprises me with the cost is curtains! Even a cheap curtain panel will usually cost around $18 - $25..... and that is for just one panel. Well for two windows, you'll easily have $80 just in curtains.... While $80 for curtains might not be much for some, for me, that is a whole lot of $$$!

So, in stead of buying 4 panels for the 2 windows, I only buy 2 panels. I measure and cut the panels in half. Then I hem them up where I cut, restitching the rod pocket and guess what? I now have 4 panels!! A word of caution: I only do this for windows that I am using either a blind, shade, or sheers in, as I am just using the panels for decoration. Here is the girls room, that I just made last week.

So, there you have it.... I'd love to hear some of your favorite household hacks in the comments!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Asparagus


This early-spring treat is one of a few perennial vegetable crops, so once you get a patch established, it will give you many years of delicious harvests for little work. Here's my little patch from last year:



Asparagus are fresh, crisp, nutritious, and adaptable to use in many different ways. Asparagus are a good source of the following minerals & vitamins:
Iodine, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Folate, and Vitamins A, C and E. 

My favorite ways to eat it are - 

Steamed with Eggs...
Steam Asparagus on stove top... top with shredded or chopped hard boiled eggs and salt and pepper.

 Oven Roasted...
This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook asparagus. Just trim the ends, lay out on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and then bake until done. 


In a sandwich...

We like to use a toasted and buttered bread or bagel. Add bacon, steamed asparagus and a fried egg! *Note: some people put guacamole on this sandwich - I prefer not to, but it's your choice!


Here are some other recipes that I want to make with asparagus this spring...








For more info on all things Asparagus - from different ways to cooking, cleaning, seasoning and much, much more - please visit Quick Easy Cook!

For more great recipe's - Follow our Recipe's/Kitchen board on Pinterest!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chewy Rhubarb Crisp


 Crust Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter

Filling Ingredients
3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4 cups cold water
1 cups sugar
2 tbsp. strawberry jello granuels
-
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press 3 cups into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; set aside.

 In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and rhubarb and jello. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Combine 2 tbsp of flour and 1/2 c. sugar in seperate bowl and add to rhubarb mixture, stiring for 1 min. or until thickened. Add vanilla.  Spoon over crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. 

Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Serve with ice cream if desired. 



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Breakfast Burritos


I like to keep these breakfast burritos on hand for a quick meal, snack, or when hubby needs to pack his lunch for work and I'm out of everything! 

I make two different kinds -
#1: Eggs, Ham and Cheese
#2: Eggs, Sausage, Hash browns and Cheese

I also change them up, sometimes I add garlic, or onions, or use different kinds of cheese (cheddar, monterrey jack, mozzarella, etc) .... You could add peppers, mushrooms, different meats, or just about anything that you like..

The simplest way to make them is to make a large skillet full of scrambled eggs (I make 1 dozen eggs at a time), add your ham and cheese, (don't forget the salt and pepper), and your ready to put them in your tortilla shell.

To make the sausage and hash brown burritos - I recommend browning the sausage first and drain on a paper towel. Cook hash browns in the same pan. While the hash browns are cooking -

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add browned sausage back to the pan with the cooked hash browns. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture and cook until the eggs are done, stirring gently and add cheese.


After eggs are done - Place egg mixture on tortilla and roll into a burrito.


Depending on how many eggs you use and how large you make each burrito, will determine how many burritos you will end up with.

Wrap each burrito individually in a paper towel then wrap in plastic wrap.


Place the wrapped burritos in freezer zip-lock bags.
(I use a magic marker and white what kind they are on the large zip-lock bag.)

Place in freezer. 


When you are ready to eat - take the burrito out of the freezer - unwrap (if you wrapped the burritos in plastic wrap you MUST unwrap them!) - keep in the paper towel, (as it will help to absorb some moisture from freezing) and warm burrito for 1 minute and 20 sec. (Time will vary based on individual microwaves.)

Serve with salsa, sour cream, or plain. -Enjoy

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Camouflage Cake

We don't do big extravagant birthday parties at our house.... but, I do let each kid pick what kind of cake they want and their birthday supper meal. I also get them a birthday balloon (Dollar Tree has them for $1), and we either get them a small gift or go somewhere as a family. I think the whole point is to make it a special day for them to remember!

I enjoy making and decorating cakes. You can see some of them here, here, and here

Wyatt turned 10 this week and requested a camouflage cake with a Polaris 500 ATV on top.... I think it turned out pretty good!


I've had a few people ask how I make the camouflage cakes. It really is easy....

First, mix a white cake mix and a chocolate cake mix separately. Put half of each batter into separate bowls and add green food coloring to one bowl of white and one bowl of chocolate cake mix. 

Prepare your pans and spoon a little of each batter in random spots until you have the proper amount of batter in each pan. Do not swirl the batters. 

Bake and cool the cakes as usual. 

This is how it looked on top.....


Decorate the cake.

Happy 10th Birthday WYATT!

Here is a photo of the inside of the cake after cutting...


You can use this for many different occasions - a shower, school colors, holidays, etc. I plan to do a purple, pink, white and blue cake for my 7 yr old's barbie birthday cake in a couple weeks. I think any boy or girl would love to get a camouflage cake!

See my other cakes here:
Cake Anyone - Graduation Cake, Cakes for guys and more.
Cake Anyone Continued - lots of birthday cakes for little girls.
Even More Cake - Anniversary, Wedding, Baby Shower, Campfire, Candy, and more cakes. 

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