Friday, December 26, 2008

Fun with Craft Lace

Last week, we saw an episode of “Hands on Crafts for Kids” on PBS, and it had a activity to make lanyards with craft lace that could then be made into keychains or whatever. My oldest son was watching it with me and said that it looked like fun. So I got the craft lace and the findings at my local Wal-Mart earlier this week.

I got everything out on Tuesday, thinking it would be a fun activity. My middle son had a friend over and my son is not the most patient kid ever, so I figured it would not be up his alley anyway.

But the oldest started it and quickly got frustrated and quit. (It was not without a significant amount of complaining first!) He thought I should have gotten the cool tool from the show and I wanted him to learn to do it without the tool, like we had to! The second son gave up even quicker than the first, which I anticipated, so I was not terribly surprised. What did surprise me is that the friend got into it and really wanted to make something. He was distracted by the video game my kids got out, but before that, he was really into it. He did forget his partially-finished item, so I think I am going to finish it this week for him and give it to him this weekend!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Last Minute Knit Gifts

So I decided Friday (12/19) that I wanted to make a few knitted gifts for Christmas this year. Nevermind that it was 5 days before the holiday, a weekend was approaching, I have 3 kids under 12 years old, they are on Christmas break, and NOTHING is yet wrapped. As if I need more stress, right? Since this was a gift for a man, I thought I would make slippers. So I found a pattern that said it took one hour to make 1 slipper. I know that I am not the fastest knitter, so I figured two hours. After 6 hours,, the first ONE was done and it was not all that cute. I frogged it (knitting term for ripping it out) and was again at a loss.

Saturday I decided I would do a hat. I thought I could do a hat easily, so I spent most of the day making a hat, only to find out that it was NOT as easy as I thought and there was a hole about halfway up. It was frustrating, but again, I frogged it and started over.

This time, I looked online for a free knitting pattern for a hat and could not find just a basic hat. I took a little bit from here and there and made one up. I started the hat Sunday morning and finished it Sunday night, but I knit a LOT during that day. After the hat was done, I decided that, for my father-in-law, I wanted to also do a matching scarf. I wanted it to be reversible, so I went with a 2 x 2 rib pattern throughout. I am not quite done yet. (lucky for me, we are not going there until 1/2/09, so I have a few days, although I would like to be done before Christmas just so that I can relax)

But the hat turned out great, and since I could not find anything quite this basic anywhere, I am putting the pattern out there for all to see and use.

Seriously Last-Minute Gift Hat

Size 8 16” circular needle and a set of size 8 DPN
Any worsted weight yarn (I used a very large skein of Lion Brand acrylic that I had)

CO 92 stitches. (I made this a multiple of 4 because I wanted the first few inches to be a 2 x 2 rib and so I wanted it to be even all the way around.) Place marker. Join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Knit is a K2, P2 pattern throughout until the hat measures 2” from the CO edge. At that point, knit stockinette (using circular needles, that is knit every row) until the piece measures 8” from the cast-on edge.

Begin to decrease: (switch to DPN when it gets hard to keep stitches on the circular needle. I think I was at row 10 below.)
Row 1: *K9,K2tog* repeat between stars for entire row
Row 2: Knit entire row
Row 3: *K8, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 4: Knit entire row
Row 5: *K7, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 6: Knit entire row
Row 7: *K6, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 9: Knit entire row
Row 10: *K5, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 11: Knit entire row
Row 12: *K4, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 13: Knit entire row
Row 14: *K3, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 15: Knit entire row
Row 16: *K2, K2tog” repeat between stars for entire row
Row 17: Knit entire row
Row 18: K2tog throughout.

Cut yarn, leaving a decent-sized tail and draw it through remaining stitches with a tapestry needle. I think I had 10 stitches left when I did this. If you have more than 10 stitches left, repeat rows 17 and 18 until you have less than 10. Bring the yarn to the underside of the hat and tie it in a knot there.

As for the scarf, everyone has a favorite pattern, I think. Here is the one I used:

Seriously Last-Minute Gift Scarf

I used size 8 needles so it would match the hat. I did the whole scarf in a 2 x 2 rib to match the brim of the hat, so I cast-on 32 stitches, wanting it to be a multiple of 4 so I could start each row with 2 knits (less to have to remember that way!)

I started it on large metal needles, but that turned out to be too slippery, so I switches to the circular I used for the hat, which was bamboo. That totally would have worked. I did think that there was not enough “extra” space for my own personal benefit in that needles, though, and I had a larger circular in the right size (which was a fluke and almost NEVER happens) so I switched to a 29” circular needle in bamboo. Again, this was just my own preference, but it works quite well and gives me lots of space to put the stitches when I need to put it down (which is a lot with three young kids…)

New Blog Format

I wanted to blog about stuff within a theme but so many times I have wanted to write about something that does not fit within my theme that I do not think it is going to work for me. I did not want to be “just another mommy blogger” but I am afraid that is what I am going to end up being.

I will leave all my previous posts and I hope that I do not lose a lot of readers with this, but I am going to just blog about general stuff that I like and hopefully that will work better for me. I will leave the older posts there, so that they can be referenced or whatever, but I am going to lose my other blog (Kristen is Organized!) and roll it into this and another site that I contribute to frequently because I did not want to post in more than one place, so if I lose that one, those posts are fair game again! I will likely revise and update them, but the subject-matter will be the same. Computers are a wonderful thing for recycling text, aren’t they?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cut-out Sugar Cookies

I made the batter yesterday. It was supposed to sit in the fridge at least 30 minutes, so I let it go overnight.

I made a double batch because I knew they were good. I ended up wrapping 4 batches in plastic wrap for the fridge. Took the first one out today and it was still too sticky, so I ended up adding about a cup more of flour in small painfully small) batches. he kids and I cut out a few holiday shapes from that batch. The good news is that they cook for a very short time!

I took out the second batch, by which time the kids had lost interest, so it was all me. I did the same with the third batch, but by the end, I just wanted it to be over with, so that last dozen are round with little green sprinkles on them. It looks surprisingly festive! The last batch is still in the fridge. I might OD on cookie dough this weekend.

I still have not decorated them, but that seems like a good activity for tomorrow. Even if the kids lose interest, with some Christmas music playing, it might be fun!

Peppermint Bark

On Saturday night, for my weekly dessert, I made Peppermint Bark. It was DEE-LISH!

Let me start by saying that my middle son invited a friend over for dinner, so he was there for dinner and dessert. I also made dinner, but it was homemade pizza with a homemade crust, which I have done a hundred times, so that was no biggie.

The peppermint bark was amazing and SO easy!

Almond Bark (fake white chocolate)
Peppermint candies (I usually use the candy canes from the tree, but that is just me…)

Melt the almond bark in the microwave. The time necessary will depend on how much you want to make. I think I had a 2 pound package and it took like 2 minutes. Crush up the candy into tiny pieces. This is where a kid, and rolling pin, and some anger come in handy. I put the candy into a quart zip-top bag and went to town with a meat tenderizer, but anything heavy would work: a frying pan, a rolling pin, whatever. Then you add the candy to the bark. If I had peppermint extract, I would also have added that here, but I did not, so it is not necessary. After they are well-mixed, I poured it out onto a wax-paper-lined rimmed baking dish (although the wax paper was my own laziness not wanting to clean up…) spread it out, and put the whole thing in the fridge to harden. It could not be easier! When it hardened, I broke it up, like peanut brittle, and it was ready to eat. The kids thought it was so fun to pulverize the candy and break up the bark when it was done. And when it is ready to eat, you cannot eat a very big piece, because it is SO RICH!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Banana Bread - part deux

I made this again today and it was SO yummy. And then I went back to older posts, thinking it had only been a few weeks since I had made it before and the last post was October 19! Who knew?? Anyway, here is is! Same recipe and same DELICIOUS results! (I should have had more for lunch than just banana bread though...)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Part 2

So this was week 2 of the three week cookie-baking endeavor. This was peanut butter week and it went very well!

On Tuesday night, I made buckeyes. This is a very traditional Ohio thing, but many places have something similar or even the same called something different. They are basically peanut butter balls dipped in melted chocolate. I went out Tuesday to get the ingredients, but the recipe I had called for paraffin wax and I could not find it at the store. First of all, I have always thought that eating wax was kinda weird. And secondly, I did find it a few days late, but the recipe I ended up using was so good, I don't think I will ever go back.

So, I went to to get this recipe, of course, and it was amazing. In the comments, a few people recommended adding paraffin wax, which I though was hilarious! Anyway, the balls were great, but try not to make them too big. My first attempt was with balls that were too big. I also used a double batch of the chocolate to dip them, and I still ended up with about 10 balls without chocolate.

So then I made it again a few days later because they were amazing and I ended up giving a dozen to the kids' instrument teacher, packaged in a hot pink old-fashioned lunch box.

In the second batch, I made the balls a little smaller and melted triple shortening and four times the chocolate. I had plenty and I covered the ones that were left from before and drizzled it over small pretzel sticks and still had a little left over. So I think that maybe a triple batch would be perfect. But what is in the recipe is not nearly enough.

I also recommend one thing with the dipping. When I put it on the wax paper and then get it off, even very gently, I get a flat chocolate rim around the bottom. If I drop it onto the wax paper just a tiny space above the baking sheet and it worked out great. I would not drop it from a huge distance, but a short distance is perfect.

Then on Thursday, I made my favorite peanut butter cookies. Let me just say that peanut butter cookies are by far my favorite cookies EVER! I am not a freak about peanut butter, like some people, but I just love these cookies. Maybe it is because my mom was locally famous for her chocolate chip cookies and I wanted something to be my own.

Anyway, since I knew they were amazing, I made a double batch of cookies and got just over 2 dozen out of it. I used the stand mixer for the dough and it worked amazing. They were a little soft still after they came out of the oven, so I added one minute to the baking time and then added a minute to the "cool on baking rack" time after they came out of the oven. This turned out amazing.

So last week, the gingerbread cookies were so good that I am going to make them again this weekend. I want a few more cookies and my middle son has been begging for a gingerbread house, so I may make the dough before I pick them up at school so it can chill while I am gone...

I highly recommend breaking the baking into a few weeks. At the end, I will not have a huge amount of cookies left, I will have made all the stuff I really like, and I am making memories with the kids. (As if they don't lose interest after about 10 minutes!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Boston Cream Pie

I made the cheater version of Boston Cream Pie this weekend and it tasted great!

I made a yellow box cake mix in two 8” pie pans just like it says on the box. They cooled a little too long in the pans, which I almost never do, but got sucked into Twitter! When I did take them out of the pans, I had to manhandle them a little, but they came out and did not break. Love that!

In the middle, I put vanilla pudding. I bought a large box (as opposed to two small boxes) and it was too much. I had extras (that were great for lunches and stuff) but I also thought I could put more in and it just squeezed out the side. It tasted amazing, but did not look as pretty as it could have.

On top of the two layers, with the pudding in between I put chocolate frosting from a can. It was also too much, so please, if you do this, start with ½ can. It slid around a lot while I tried to frost it. I am sure part of the reason was that there was too much pudding between the cake layers, but I was also trying to spread too much frosting.

All in all, it tasted amazing and was about $3 and I am sure it would have been a little less if I had gotten the smaller pudding and used a lot less frosting. That is not bad considering that our family of 5 ate only half of the dessert this weekend and will have the other half for another meal.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Cookies - Part 1

I am planning to make Christmas goodies every Tuesday and Thursday until Christmas this year and I started this past week.

So on Tuesday, I made peanut brittle with the kids. I tried a new recipe and it was OK, but not great. I have a great recipe that I usually use, but it requires stirring constantly for almost an hour. So when I saw this one, which did not require stirring constantly, I thought I would give it a try. Since it was easier, but not as yummy. I am either going to keep looking for a good recipe or go back to the one I love that is a LOT of work.

But I also made gingerbread men last night and they turned out amazing! I did not plan to decorate them since it was a new recipe. I also did not make a double batch, which I wanted to do, because I wanted to make sure they were good first. So I think I am going to make them again before the holidays and also use the recipe for gingerbread houses, which my middle son is dying for.

I used the recipe from Taste of Home’s special little booklet on Christmas cookies and candy. I looked all over on their website and could not find the recipe. But it was on page 7 of the little booklet, or also found here on the web and it turned out great! I like my cookies on the soft side, so when it said “cook for 8-10 minutes” I cooked it for 8 minutes, then let it cool on the pan for 2 (during which time it kept cooking a little bit) and then moved them to a rack to cool the rest of the way. In fact, I think I am going to go eat one right now!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Consumable (and EASY) holiday gifts

First off, if I may give you a holiday gift, STOP READING as this will spoil the surprise.

I like to give consumable gifts to friends for a myriad of reasons, some of which are green and other of which are not. Mostly, homemade gifts are what I would like to get, they are easy to make in bulk, and they might be something the recipient would not make for themselves.

So this year, everyone is getting Beer Bread mix. It is surprisingly easy and so yummy! I have been making it for a few years now and my kids always jump for joy (figuratively, of course, they are too cool for actual jumping) when I make it.

It started with me getting the beer bread mix from Tastefully Simple. For those of you wondering what that is, Tastefully Simple is a home party-based business, like Tupperware, whose products are convenience food products.

Anyway, I thought, I should be able to make it myself. So I did some digging and found a great recipe that I LOVE.

Last chance - if you know me and might get this (kids' teachers, etc) STOP READING NOW.

The mix could not be easier. It is 3C self-rising flour and 3T sugar. That's it! I did not have self-rising flour, so the conversion for all-purpose flour is 1C AP flour + 1.5 t baking powder + .5t salt. Easy-peasy, as the Naked Chef would say. I put the mix in a quart jar with a nice label with directions, fancied it up a little, and called it a day!

When you want to bake it, you add 1 can beer (or a bottle or whatever - 12 oz) and stir it up. It is lumpy and that is OK as long as it is moist all over. Then bake it for an hour at 350F. You can add up to a stick of butter, melted, to the top during the last 15 minutes. The recipe I have says 1 stick, but I never use that much!

Pies, pies, everywhere

Yes, I made homemade pies for T-Day. And not just the homemade insides with the store-bought crust, but the whole thing, soup to nuts (as they say) from scratch. It rocked. And they tasted amazing!!

I made a pumpkin pie (of course), and apple pie, and a cherry crumble. I only meant to make the pumpkin pie, but there was leftover crust, so I made the apple with that. And I also had the last of the fresh/frozen cherries thawed from last weekends cherry pie, so I wanted to use those up, thus the cherry crumble.

On to the kitchen extravaganza...

I made a pie crust from that did not require rolling. (yay!)

The crust was a little wet and sticky, so I added almost a cup more flour. And it made a lot of crust, so I used a little less than half for the pumpkin pie and then, because I already had the insides of an apple, noticed that there was probably enough left for a top and bottom crust of an apple pie.

The pumpkin pie was the recipe on the back of the can of pumpkin pie mix. It was that big can of pumpkin pie mix plus a very small can of evaporated milk plus 1 egg. It was so fast and easy, I am definitely going to make it again. I baked it in the raw crust (not pre-baked) and served it with some whipped cream (NOT from scratch, although I have and it is so easy!) and it was heavenly!

As for the apple pie, I used the leftover crust, pre-baked the bottom about 10 minutes while the pumpkin pie was baking, then added the filling and carefully did roll out the top crust. While it was pre-baking, I did put the crust in the fridge so it would firm up a little bit. Worked like a charm! I did not crimp the crust all pretty-like because I had made the bottom on the small side and there was not enough left to do that, but I did fold the top under the bottom all the way around and made two vent holes on the top crust and baked it for about 40 minutes and it was perfect!

Then the cherry crumble. I had thawed out fresh/frozen cherries in the fridge that I wanted to use, so I just put them in the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan and then added a box of cake mix to the top, based on this recipe for cherry crumble and it tasted very good.

I did not top it with the butter and that was NOT a good thing. I was trying to be good, after baking all those pies, but the top did not get firm. Like I said, it tastes great, but the top is very powdery still, so DO NOT leave out the melted butter. Maybe next time I will just cut back a little bit....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cherry Pie

Yes, I made cherry pie this past weekend. I had some leftover cherries in the freezer and a frozen pie crust as well. The pie crust was broken, so I had to smoosh (the technical term) it together and roll it out again. It ended up working out OK, but using store-bought crust when it is broken is SO not worth it. If I want it to look like that (not good!) I can just make the crust from scratch. So I plan to learn to make pie crust.

I took a few recipes for cherry pie and made up my own recipe for the pie. It was a little dangerous, but hay, I am just that way! I took a chunk off the cherries (the bag had 6C and I used a little more than 1/2, so it was slightly more than 2C, I think). I added 1.5C sugar and 2T corn starch to that. When it was all mixed it, I poured it into the pre-baked crust (10 min at 350F). I baked it at 400F for 20 minutes. I took it out at 10 minutes and it was not quite done yet. So I put it back in for the remaining 10 minutes. At that point, it looked like it was done and the crust was getting a little dark, and I know you can cover the crust with foil, but I did not want to do that. When it came out, like I said, it looked done, so I went with it. The pie was a little runny when I cut it, it filled in a little bit with the liquid. It tasted amazing!! (Despite that fact that it did not look perfect, it tasted perfect!) After the pie sat for a while, it did not run at all either, so the key here was to let it set, I think.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That good feeling

I have been thinking a lot about why I like to mess around in the kitchen so much and I think I have finally figured it out. When I make something for the family, especially something sweet, I feel like I am taking good care of them and doing something that makes them happy.

I also want to teach them how to cook, so starting this week, they are each cooking one night a week. I gave them each a list of what that includes (recipe, ingredients, doing it) and it starts tonight, so we will see how that goes. Since we plan meals for the week on the weekend or at least by Monday, they have to decide what it will be by Sunday each week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

pumpkin cake

So this is the first week we have moved my weekly dessert night from Sunday to Saturday so I am not so rushed to get out the door. Tonight was my first night and it was after a birthday party for my youngest at McDonalds (of course!). I decided to make a pumpkin cake in the microwave. It was so good and so easy!

It has only two ingredients. I bought a box of spice cake mix (Yes, a box! And to make it better, they were on sale this week at the grocery store.) I added a large can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just the pumpkin.) I think it was about 28 ounces. I just mixed those two ingredients really well. I suppose you can use an electric mixer, but I did it by hand, so I know it is possible. I used a spatula and it took some stirring, but it eventually got very well mixed.

Then I cooked it in the microwave for about 20 minutes (and the time depends on your microwave) and I used a microwave cooker. I used to sell tupperware (a fact I am not proud of, but I do have a lot of containers!) and they have "heat 'n serve" containers that are so amazing to cook inside. I am sure there are others, but the tupperware ones are easy and you can store stuff in them too. In fact, DH had frozen something in it that I had to thaw out because I wanted to use it tonight.

Again, no picture, but it was so amazing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple Crisp -yum!

So Sunday night was my night to make dessert. I did NOT want to go back to the store so I looked around at what I had and went for it. Believe it or not, this recipe did NOT come from my favorite site - This is an old family favorite from my friend and old roommate, Jen.

I had some apples from someone's tree that were about a week old. They did not look great, but they tasted divine and in Apple Crisp, who cares how they look, right?

The recipe is SO simple and so good. I think of apple crisp like apple pie without the crust, and who does not love apple pie? And even in a pie, the crust is OK, but the insides are what it is all about. So this is the perfect dessert for me. Someday maybe I will be good at making pie crust and even love it, but that day has not yet come...

6 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter

The last three ingredients are the "crumb topping, so I mixed those up and set them aside until the rest was done. I think I am going to try to cut down on the butter next time because I want to at least try to make it a little healthier (although, with that much sugar, there is only so much you can do...).

I peeled the apples and diced them pretty big instead of slicing them. I don't think it matters much. I wanted them to be more in bite-sized chunks. Then I added a little bit of the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I did not really measure them, but the spices were like 1/2 t and the sugar was about 1/4 C, I guess. Then I added a little water to the dish, maybe 1/2 C or so. Again, I did not measure this, so it is a guess and depends on how you like it. You do not drain anything when you are done, so I would not add too much...

I put the apples in a baking dish as I was peeling and dicing them to cut down on the dishes that would end up dirty. Why is it that men never think about how many dishes they use? I am sure some do, but MY husband never does...

Usually I use an 8" x 8" pan but that was in use for something else for dinner, so I used a slightly smaller round Corningware pan like this.

I put the first 5 ingredients in the dish, then added the topping, which was a little more than fit, but I just piled it up and didn't stress out too much if some spilled over the edge. Then, I baked the whole thing at 325 for 1 hour and it was amazing! I wish I had taken pictures of it, but I did not. And it was gone so fast!

We all had some that night after dinner, then I took the oldest to scouts, then I had some when I got home with whipped cream that was leftover and it was incredible! The next day, there was a tiny bit left for lunch and I had the rest of it and the rest of the leftover whipped cream, which meant I could wash or throw away two containers!

Since I am always in a hurry to eat dinner, let alone dessert, on Sunday night because of the Boy Scout meeting, I am switching dessert night to Saturday so it can be more relaxed. We will see how that goes! It might sneak up on me even more than Sunday did!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Banan Cream Pie - store bought!!

Last night was my night to make dessert again and with the extra hour, the theory is I would have used it for good, but theory and reality are often quite different and this was no exception...

And honestly, I forgot until about 2:30PM.

So I took a frozen banana cream pie out to thaw in the fridge for several hours. It was not enough time. At a little after 6PM, it was still frozen. (Although, it was amazing for lunch today!) I was even at the store yesterday getting stuff for dinner, so ingredients for dessert would have been so simple, had I REMEMBERED!

Either way, the pie was great and there is still some left over, so we will have dessert tonight for dinner and we almost never have dessert during the week, so it will be like a little treat! And now, there is no security blanket left in the freezer, so I will have to make dessert each weekend, but given my brain capacity, I think I am going to get a pie or two to have on hand in the freezer "just in case".

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween - candy, yum!

So the kids got a TON of candy yesterday and they are "sharing" it with me even now. In fact, the older two kids said they got a few of our favorite things just for us (DH and I). I am not sure how much of that is true, but I will take it!

I did get DH some candy corn last week, even though I do not like it. Of course, it is still here and it seems sorta anti-climatic to eat it now.

When I was a kid, the big coup was getting a full-s-zed candy bar? What did you love when you were a kid?

Also, one of the things the youngest brought home from pre-K last week was a tootsie roll pop. Of course, he unwrapped it and took like 3 licks and then gave it to me to finish. Thanks, kiddo! But then I looked at the wrapper for that Indian shooting the start. I remember there being something cool about getting that when I was younger. Am I the only one who remembers that or did it not happen elsewhere?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Easy doughnuts post

It was published today by Mom Spark.

Go check it out and while you are there, read all the other good stuff there!

Microwave potato chips

Yesterday was another banner day for baking at my house. I made potato chips in the microwave and they were “da bomb”! They were so good, the kids loved them, the adults loved them, and I made them more than once - on the same night even!
When I originally made them,I did not take pictures, but when I made them again, I did take some pictures, so lucky you!

I used a recipe from – surprise, surprise – It was this potato chip recipe. It was so easy and had only three ingredients!! Even non-cooks can do this (although why you would be reading this blog is beyond me!)

You might think by all the baking I do that I am quite the chef. Nothing could be further from the truth! I just love to bake, and even like to do it with the kids for the first five minutes or so until they lose interest. I am so NOT the chef in the house that DH has banned me from making dinner. I could, but the fact that he WANTS to is fine by me!!

Back to the potato chips.

The first time I made them, I peeled the potatoes, which was probably the most time-consuming part. When I made them again, I did it without peeling the potatoes and they were amazing, so while the recipe says peeling is optional, you can do it if you love to peel potatoes, but it is really not necessary.

After the potatoes were ready (peeled or washed – you pick!) then I cut them super thin with a mandoline. The mandoline is not required, but if you have one, they make quick work of this and you get nice uniformly skinny pieces. If you can slice thinly, then by all means, use a knife. I had a hard time getting my potatoes to stand up in the mandoline holder, even with a flat surface and a good start, and I know that the blade is SHARP, so I put on the trusty OVE-GLOVE and went to town slicing the potatoes. DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT PROTECTING YOUR FINGERS! With the mandoline, this can be dangerous, so please use something for protection.
Then you just shake them in oil and put them on a microwave-safe plate sprayed with cooking spray. When I cooked them in the microwave, I did notice that the ones with peels on took a lot longer in the microwave than those without peels. YMMV on this. (Standard internet terminology, Your Mileage May Vary = YMMV)

After they were done cooking, I tossed them with some salt, although what is called for in the recipe is A LOT OF SALT, so if you want them less salty, cut down on the salt a lot. My oldest, who LOVES salt, even said these were too salty the first time, so I know they were salty. They were a little salty to me, but they are potato chips!

The one downside is that one potato does not make a lot of chips, so if you just want a few, these are great. They are also a good way to have portion control because we all know we can eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting, but the effort of making them means there are less and you will not eat as much! But, if you are going to go to the trouble of making them, a single potato (which is what is in the recipe) is hardly worth it. I made three potatoes at a time, two times last night. I think two would be the minimum. Even with three, it was 3-5 times in the microwave, so it took almost 30 minutes just to cook them. If you can find a way to do more chips at a time, by all means, DO IT!

Monday, October 27, 2008


After dinner and dessert Sunday night, we had all the junk for meatballs. I made up a bunch. It is on the menu for tonight and I wanted there to be a bunch in the freezer.

I made up a huge batch of these meatballs from my favorite site, I had a little more meat than was required for a double batch, so I made a double batch and just used all the meat. It also wanted me to fry them up in a skillet, but I have always cooked meatballs in the oven, so I did that. It made a LOT. I have 6 dozen little meatballs in the freezer and 16 for tonight. They will be perfect for spaghetti and meatballs.

Coconut Cream Pie

Last night was my night to make dessert, but we were gone all day. I didn't even have time to make dinner. So I went to Wal-Mart and got frozen food for dinner. Then I took out a few pieces of frozen pie and let the kids and DH go nuts on the pie.

I had frozen pie from the "backup pie" last weekend that I did not use. There were two pies in the freezer - one banana cream that required thawing overnight and one coconut cream that you can slice off a piece and just let it sit out for 15 minutes. So I went with the shorter time frame one and that was that. I am not a huge fan of coconut, so I did not have pie, but the kids and DH thought it was awesome!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chocolate Pie

I made a French Silk Pie at the request of my DH for dessert tonight. Again, I went to and got a recipe for it and it turned out really good. The whipped topping for the top was not part of the recipe, so I had to go back for that, but as soon as I made it, I knew it was missing something and needed that, so when my youngest woke up from his nap, I took him BACK to Wal-Mart (yes, on a weekend!) to get it.

As you know by now, we do not have dessert that often, but on Sunday night, it is sorta our tradition.

I did get a frozen pie as a backup pie, in case this did not turn out for some reason. Sadly, since I like to experiment, some of my experiments have not turned out great so the backup pie was a precaution. Since it is a frozen pie, it will last for weeks because we did not need to use it, so it was not a bad thing at all. I will just use it as a dessert some Sunday when I forget or am not in the mood to bake something…

The pie inside was pretty easy, but you do need an electric mixer. DH STILL has not fixed my stand mixer, even though the part has been here for over 2 weeks, so I am using the super-cheap backup mixer I bought at Wal-Mart for $7. It is not half-bad! If you do not have an electric mixer, this is a great one so far. I use it at least weekly and have for a month now. It has worked very well! It makes me wonder why I paid so much for the other one…

Again, no pictures, but it was your standard chocolate pie. It was so good. There are 2 pieces left but I am thinking they will be gone at lunch!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Banana Bread

I made delicious banana bread last night. I do not make it that often, but I should! I wait until there are a couple old bananas and use those. Well for a couple of days, I had been saving these three old bananas on my countertop. I made this recipe from You have seen this link before. I use this site A LOT for anything I need the recipe for.

It turned out pretty good. I had three small-ish bananas and assumed that would mash to the right amount. It was a little less, but I made it anyway. I think if I had the full amount it would have tasted even better.

I have no pictures because by the time I remembered to take them, the loaf was half gone and looked just like your standard banana bread, which you have all seen.
The first step was creaming together the butter and brown sugar and although the recipe did not say room temperature, IT NEEDS TO BE. I did it with butter straight out of the fridge and it did not combine well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that in any recipe that does not specifically say COLD butter, but calls for creaming, the butter needs to be at room temperature. I thought about using shortening but did not, and in retrospect, it might have been better because I would have been able to cream the ingredients much easier! As it was, I just waited about a half hour and tried it again. It was still not great, but better.

The final verdict is that it was a little dry, but I think that is because I was a little light on the mashed banana. I will definitely try this again, as it tastes great, even as it is. I know it would be 100 times better if I did it right!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Favorite food blogs

There are so many good food blogs that it is hard to pick just a few, but there are some I read every once in a while and some I read EVERY DAY, without fail. YMMV and you may like some more than others, but these are the blogs that I love to read:

A Year of CrockPotting
She is using her crock pot every day in 2008. Most days it is for dinner, but some days are crafts (that shrinky dink idea is great!) and some days are dips in her Little Dipper.

This is one of my favorite podcasts and when I finish listening to it, I am sad that I have to WAIT for the next one...

Al Dente
I heard about this on the aforementioned munchcast and have been addicted to it ever since. Not the healthiest fare, but I like to think of it as food porn.

The rest are much more hit or miss, and I will tell you all about those soon!

Beignets - A French Doughnut

Since I already had the oil out on Sunday and I had Beignet mix from I got from someone 4 years ago and had never made, I decided to try it out on Sunday night.

No picture, because they did not look great.

So I followed the directions on the box, which were 2 cups mix from the box with 7 ounces water all mixed up. I did that and they were a little sticky, but it said roll it out on a board with a lot of flour, so I thought the sticky would go away. I did that and they rolled out great. I cut them with a pizza cutter, because they are square, but they were still too sticky to pick up. So most of them were scraped up off the counter and then rolled into a ball because they were so mangled. Some were square because my oldest son used a spatula to get a few up off the counter. Some were flat circles because my middle son picked them up and when they were all mangled, he flattened them with his hands. Once they were fried, they all tasted the same. (And what isn't good fried!)

I drained them on paper towels and when they were all done (it made a LOT) we sprinkled powdered sugar on top of them. They tasted good and the kids loved them. One of them even thought it tasted like a funnel cake. I tried them and thought they were OK. They were not as good as the biscuit doughnuts I had made that morning, and they were not nearly as easy and were much messier to make. I will use up the rest of the mix, but I am not sure I will make them again. Like I said, tasted great, but if I am going to waste calories on doughnuts, they are going to ROCK MY WORLD!

Kristen also write for Kristen is Organized! and is a frequent contributor on Mom Spark.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Easy doughnuts at home

This is not quite as easy as picking up a few at a bakery, but close! And if you, like me, live out in the boonies and nowhere near a bakery, then it is even easier than picking up a few doughnuts at a bakery!

I first heard about this on an old podcast of Munchcast, which I love (you can subscribe on itunes, which I did!) This is called something like Boy Scout doughnuts because I guess they can make them while they are camping, and since I have 3 boys and 2 of them are in scouts and they are camping this next weekend, I thought that the time was perfect for trying these out. And I am so glad I did! I am sure that the pictures do not do it justice, but they tasted PERFECT!

They were made by deep frying refrigerated biscuit dough and then shaking finished doughnuts in a lunch bag with cinnamon and sugar in it.

Fortunately, I do have a deep fryer. If you don't, I am sure that any heavy pan would be fine. I ended up buying generic biscuits, because they were going to be fried anyway! I mean, everything is good fried, so why spend more for name-brand biscuits! And I had a choice between the regular and the jumbo biscuits. I ended up getting the regular ones, because there were more in the package and I did not want to get more until I knew they were good. The good thing about the regular sized ones is that they were easier to shake in the bag, I think. And they were more single-serving size!

I did document the process, but EVERYONE should try this, because they were amazing!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Peanut Butter!!

We made homemade peanut butter last night! With all the cooking and baking I have done, I cannot believe I have never done this before! It turned out great and it is so much better for you than that processed stuff

I was glad I had a recipe this time too, because without it, I might have given up on the mixture before it was done.

My youngest got a book as a gift called “C is for Cooking” based on the Sesame Street characters and this one was in there. If you want simple recipes, a gift for a child, or have a child, I HIGHLY recommend this book. My youngest, who does not really know it is a cookbook, has read it a few times each day. Now he is all about finding the little flying bugs on each recipe page.

The recipe says it will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. In what universe would PB ever last that long in my house? Maybe pre-kids (PK) it did, but now, never!

Since there was some left after PB&J sandwiches at lunch and I wanted to make sure I used as much as I wanted before the older two kids got home from school, because they would eat the rest, I also made PB cookies. A recipe (EASY!) came across my desk this morning and I decided to give it a try. If you want to make something super-simple, try these!

Here is my take on the cookies. I will not get rid of my existing recipe yet, but I do want to try it again with a few modifications. When I made them, they ended up being a little dry for my taste, but good, so I will try it again and add more PB to see if that helps with the moisture level.

Did I mention PB cookies are my absolute favorite cookies of all time???

Chocolate-covered bananas

I made dessert again Sunday night and it was SO good! I made chocolate-covered frozen bananas, but did not use a recipe, which was probably not the best idea. In retrospect, I wish I had used one because I could blame someone else if they did not turn out great. Do not get me wrong, they tasted amazing, but they did not look like what I had hoped.

I saw an episode of Healthy Cooking with Ellie Kreiger on the food network on Saturday. I know by the contents of this blog, you would never know it but most of the time, we do eat pretty healthy, so this is one of our favorite shows. Even DH and the kids watched the show! Anyway, she made these and they looked good, healthy, and easy. I should have gone out to the website to get the recipe. But I thought I knew better and could just do it.

I went to the store to get bananas and chocolate. I wanted to melt dark chocolate to make it as healthy as possible. My store did not have anything in dark chocolate besides the baking squares in the baking aisle. I looked. For a long time. So I ended up back in the candy aisle and got a chocolate bar there.
I cut each banana in half, stuck in a stick (I had sewers at home, so I chopped them in half and used the pointy side of those. The episode I saw called for popsickle sticks). I froze the cut bananas with a stick in them. Those would have probably been pretty good as is!

After they were frozen, I melted to chocolate bar in a bowl over a small pot of boiling water. I do have a real double boiler, but I think I can get by without it and this worked great. I added a little, very little, corn syrup. This is the point at which I was wishing I had a real recipe. It was way too thick. I am assuming I should have had more corn syrup or something, but the melted chocolate looked and tasted great.

I put the chocolate in a cup to make it easier to dip the bananas. I got the frozen bananas out of the freezer and dipped them in the chocolate. It was WAY too thick! The first banana had full coverage, but the chocolate was maybe twice as much as I wanted to use. The second banana had most of it covered, but it was very splotchy (the technical term!). After only two bananas, the chocolate in the cup was getting hard again, so I put the whole cup in the microwave to melt it again. It melted, but did not stick well to the remaining banana halves. FYI: There were 6 banana halves to feed my family of five.

I will do these again, because they tasted amazing, but next time, I want the chocolate more “runny” and will follow a recipe to get that.

Kristen also writes for Kristen is Organized! and loves to organize her own kitchen, herself and others.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lego Brick Cake icing

See the last post about the cake itself.

But the icing was SO blue that when anyone eats it, including me, the lips, tongue, and teeth all turn blue. And I gave some to the youngest, who is still learning to use the potty and needs some help with wiping and his poop is BLIGHT BLUE. That is so not natural! If ever there was a good reason to have different color icing, that is it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lego brick cake

I had just enough batter left over from the cupcakes to make a cake in a loaf tin. So I did that and thought I would make the Lego brick cake, which I have seen pictures of on the internet.

This whole cake episode has been a comedy of errors. I made the cake in the loaf tin, but then the kids ate the corner, so I could not frost it like I wanted to. So I went back to the store and got another box of cake mix. That worked out fine, but after it cooled completely in the pan, one side stuck to the pan, despite it being greased and floured, as per the box. So frustrating! When it was going to be a whole 9” x 13” cake, I was going to use the leftover cupcakes from the cookie monster thing to make the bumps. So I decided to cut that piece off that stuck and I was back to thinking the cupcakes were too big, so I made it with a big marshmallow cut in half for each of the bumps. The cake was great and it looked perfect before I frosted it!

Then I needed to frost it, so I just bought a frosting can (white) at the store, but a tube of blue gel coloring to make a blue Lego brick. I put the whole can of frosting and the whole tube of blue gel food coloring in a bowl and mixed with an electric mixer. After the whole tube of blue from the store, it was just barely blue. Luckily, I had 3 tubes of the gel food coloring at home, so I got those out. I had maybe used them, but not too much, because they were mostly full and I was out of other colors so I figured I had just bought the multi-pack to get the other colors and had probably not used the blue too much, if at all.

I added the next tube, yes all of it. The gel was darker coming out, but it was still not a dark blue. I added the next tube, still not blue enough. And the last tube, still not blue enough. So if I had to do it again, maybe I would do something easier, like green or even white. I still did not some out as blue as I wanted. I thought gel was darker and "better" than the other drops of food coloring, but I think I will try them next time because this did not work out to well and it used WAY too much - if I had to buy all of those, it would have cost me a fortune!!
I frosted the cake, and it looks OK, but not great.

But when I was done, I had some frosting left over, so I frosted the leftover cupcakes from cookie monster, that I was going to use as the bumps if the whole cake would have come out of the oven well. And there was still some left.

So I put that in a container and put it in the fridge. If it would have been less, I would have just eaten it, but there was enough left that I knew eating it would make me ill.

DH said “Please stop with all the baking. What is that even for?” And I said I thought it would make a good birthday cake but I did not want to make it for the FIRST time for a special event! How can you learn if you only do stuff once?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

As I have mentioned before, I am only allowed to bake about once a week so we don’t get HUGE and today was the day. I saw some Cookie Monster Cupcakes on the web and decided to give it a try with items I could get at my local grocery store, AKA Wal-Mart Supercenter.

They turned out OK (and they taste great!) but there are a few changes I will make next time.

First of all, I baked the cupcakes. Since this was an experiment, I used the boxed white cake mix, but the Wal-Mart brand, because I did not want to put a lot of effort into that part.

I love the idea of cupcakes, but every time I have made them the frosting has been really time-consuming, so I do not make them nearly as much as I want to!
So after the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I put on vanilla frosting, blue sprinkles or jimmys (depending upon your part of the country) and the frosting gives them something to stick to. They were completely covered in blue sprinkles. (No picture because they are not what I would like them to be, but if you do a google image search on cookie monster and cupcake, you will see what it should look like!). Then I did medium dots of white frosting for the eyeballs and put the black frosting both up and down, so it looked like googly eyes.

This was the part I was not that pleased with and the reason I would do it differently again. The eyes did not turn out great. One of the images said that they used the white decorator disks from Wilton that you are supposed to melt and then put chocolate chips as the eyeballs. I will do that next time because I tried to do it with frosting and it did not work out. Also, it was really hard to find black frosting, but they did have black cookie frosting for Halloween. It was runnier than I wanted.

After they eyes, I did half a Chips Ahoy cookie where the mouth should be. It does look pretty good, but again, I wanted the eyes to be better.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pizza Dough

I have been playing with different pizza dough recipes for ages now! I have always made pizza at home whenever I can and it has worked out to about once a week and it is pretty tasty. However, with the stand mixer not working, I am limited to things I can make by hand. With that in mind, I was thrilled to find a recipe for pizza dough yesterday that can all be made by hand! I did have to knead it for 10 minutes by hand, but since it was either that or strangle somebody, kneading dough seemed like a good alternative.

The recipe, like most, was found on and was Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust. It turned out great! I did pre—bake the crust, because I usually do that and it makes it much easier to move around and cook it. Since I only have one pizza stone and usually make two pizzas, the pre-bake is key for me. I have a pizza stone from pampered chef, which I LOVE, but it says not to pre-heat it, which is standard for most pizza stones. So I did not, but since I only have one stone, I prebake one crust, take it out of the oven, slide it onto a pizza peel (which I also LOVE), put the other crust on the stone, prebake that crust, and take that one out and leave it on the stone. When the crusts are both out of the oven, but only pre-baked, I add the sauce, cheese, and toppings to each. One stays on the peel while the last one stays on the stone.

Then, bake them both at the same time in the oven. With the pre-baked crust, the one on the peel usually slides off onto one of the racks, although it is not easy, so it takes some shimmying. Since it is pre-baked a little, I usually set the timer on the low side of what is needed and then check it a few times before it is done just to make sure it doesn’t get overdone. This works quite well and although it takes a little time and effort, it is SO MUCH better than delivery and you can make it exactly how you want it. I do get Take ‘n Bake from Papa Murphy’s (with a coupon!) when I am too lazy to make the crust. With the price of cheese now, it can be a better deal to buy pizza sometimes!

Kristen is also the author is Kristen is Organized! and loves to organize herself and others as well as experiment in the kitchen!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Corn Dogs

I made homemade corn dogs yesterday. They tasted OK, and when they went into the fryer, the batter was on them, but when they came out, most of the batter was gone. I don’t get it! I dried them off really well, which is what all the reviews for the recipe had said, but it was a failed experiment!

Kristen is also the author of Kristen is Organized! She loves to organize both herself and others, when she isn’t experimenting in the kitchen.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


In the past three days I have tried two new things that I just love! Well, one is not totally new. I had the pink M&Ms that they are selling now for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Now I like giving money to breast cancer research as much as the next person, BUT I love pink even more, so October is my favorite month because I can get all the cool stuff I like in pink!

The other thing that I tried, which I really did try for the first time, was the Caramel Apple Hershey Kisses. They were OK. I would not search them out or pick them over a lot of other things, but I would not turn them away. They have a caramel inside and taste faintly of apple, although they are still, obviously, chocolate, and I just don’t think that gels quite as well with caramel apple as it does with other flavors.

Kristen’s other blog is Kristen is Organized!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I love my ipod. I have typically been a huge user of audible and listen to a lot of books on it (almost no music, although it has a lot on it!) and in an effort to be more frugal, I have canceled my subscription to audible (although I would highly recommend it to everyone!) and have recently really gotten into podcasts. I do use iTunes, which if you are hard-core on the computer is, I guess, a no-no, but oh well. It is easy and syncs with my ipod effortlessly. The great thing is that you can subscribe to all the podcasts I like on iTunes and when there is a new episode it automatically downloads to the computer. Next time, I plug in my ipod, it automatically syncs to that too, so I have to do nothing, which is great for me because I am uber-lazy about these sorts of things.

Anyway, in my search for the perfect food podcasts, there are a few that I like immensely. There are also some I do not like, but other people must like them, so I will not list them here. Also, there are a ton I have never heard or seen, so if yours is not listed here, tell me about it and I will subscribe to it!

• Munchcast – this is super funny and all about junk food. What’s not to love?
• CashTestKitchen – this is done by a couple of Brits (so there are a few things I don’t always get) but I like that it is casual and in their home kitchen. Also, they do not try to be too fancy and I like that a lot
• Start Cooking Video – This is a video podcast, so some of you may not be able to view it, but I like it a lot. It is a little elementary for me, but I like that it goes back to the basics and breaks everything down into its component parts. The fact that it is done like a stop-action video is only the icing on the cake, so to speak!
• PRI: Zorba Paster On Your Health – I am a huge fan of public radio anyway, so this name was not new to me, so if you are a fan of the show already or just want some heart-healthy recipes, check this one out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fresh Cherry Crisp - YUM!

I had fresh (relatively) cherries in the freezer and I wanted to make something yummy with them. I found a great recipe on (again – this site is going to be a common thread here) so I made it. As I was searching for a good recipe I learned two things:
1. Everything is either made with canned cherry pie filling or maraschino cherries
2. Fresh cherries are not easy to pit or cook with, apparently

So I made cherry crisp with the fresh cherries with this recipe. It called for four cups of fresh berries and that is what the ziptop bag in the freezer said, so I went with it. I was a little concerned because they had been in the freezer a long time (too long?) and were juicy, so I was worried that the finished product would be too runny. NOT TO FEAR! It turned out great. It did make a huge amount, like a 9x13” pan, which for a dessert even with kids, is too much for us, so I think next time I would cut it in half and bake it in an 8x8” pan, but the taste was amazing, it was not too juicy and not only did I love it, but the kids did too! I wish I had taken a picture of it when it was still pretty. I have been eating off of it for 3 days now and it is almost gone and not eve close to pretty anymore...

A special thanks to DH who pitted the cherries as soon as they were picked which made making this dessert a whole lot easier. If you had to pit the cherries, I might go for a can as well!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soft Pretzels at home?

The pretzels turned out sooooo good. I saw an episode of something on TV - maybe it was Throwdown with Bobby Flay - about soft Philly-style pretzels and it got me wanting a soft pretzel for a snack something fierce!

So I made mall pretzels from (a site which I LOVE and use a lot for just about everything). They were OK and tasted good, but they made 12, so I had to use 2 rimmed baking sheets and the ones on the bottom had darker bottoms on them and the recipe said not to put the salt on until after they baked and it did not stick very well, even with the “butter wash” I gave them.

Then, 2 days later, I decided to try it again, so I did the Buttery Soft Pretzels (which, incidentally, have NO butter in them) from that same site. Those were great! They were a little more bread-like than I would have liked, but the salt stuck, the outside tasted like pretzel, and the bottoms were not burned. I think I will use that recipe as a base and keep making improvements to it…

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I have been playing with it for just a little while now and I id finally get the new counter software to work! I am so thrilled that it finally works now! I will play with it later to get the look and feel I want, but for now I am just so thrilled it works, that I will leave it alone for a few days.

Broken stand mixer

I have a KitchenAid stand mixer, which I love. If I had known how much I would use one, I would have bought one myself years before I got one as a gift. But, alas, I did not know, so I waited and yearned for one. For years. And then, like an angel, my MIL bought me one for Christmas about 12 years ago. Almost since the day I got it, I use it almost weekly, if not more often (you know – some weeks are better than others…). I even upgraded, about a year ago, to a more heavy-duty machine, because I was baking pizza dough in it and since I switched to whole wheat, the mixer had to work pretty hard. As a side note: I used to have an Artisan, which was amazing. I upgraded to a Professional 600 series, because I loved it so much. I also had 6 accessories and they fit both the old one and the new one, so I was quite pleased with that!

I am kicking myself now for selling it to my SIL for $50, but hindsight is always 20/20, as they say. I should have kept it as a back-up, but it is a pretty price-y backup to keep around.

The last month or so, the one I have has been broken. The motor had to work too hard, I guess, and it started to make a funny noise. So DH, because he is very handy and we are both very cheap, takes it apart to fix it. Sure enough, it needs a part. He orders the part and we wait for 2 weeks for that part to come to our house. It works, but we find out we need yet another part. So we are still waiting for that part and it has been 2 more weeks. I am dying here without a mixer for a month. I like to bake and I am running out of things I can or want to make without a mixer! Last night I did a second batch of soft pretzels, which I kneaded BY HAND for 8 minutes on the counter. If I had my mixer working, I am sure the mixer would have done the work for me. So maybe it has been good for me, in that I am getting back to basics and doing more by hand. It is really affecting the way I work in the kitchen though because even as I look for a recipe now, I look at how it is mixed and if it requires a mixer, I skip it. Not everything is available to me, which is very frustrating.

So when that part comes, I will never again be without my mixer. If it ever goes on the fritz again, I will get a loaner or something from a friend the same day. I will even make goodies for said friend, if I can just use a mixer!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soft Pretzels at home?

I have been trying to write a post about making soft pretzels at home for 3 days now! For some reason I just can't get it right yet, but I will by tomorrow - I swear!

So, since I bake a lot at home and like to experiment and once I decide to master something, I make it several times over just as many days, I think that will be the theme of the new blog.

I will throw in the occasional mom post or whatnot to keep it interesting, but I am sure that I can do a lot with that as a topic. I have already decided what the next 3 things I am going to bake will be, so that could be a week or so worth of posts!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Still working on it...

I got the Twitter thing figured out, but the counter is still not working. I will try it again later. But until then, I am not going to worry about it too much!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The trials and tribulations of setting up a new blog...

I have been working on it for almost 2 hours and for some reason cannot get the HTML code on the counter to be inserted just right yet. So, until that happens, no counter for me!

I did play with the widgets for a while, but still cannot find the twitter thing, so since that was not so easy, maybe I should just add all my social media anyway. I have been meaning to spend more time on Facebook anyway.

Tomorrow is going to be quite a challenge!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More family drama...

I realize that the last post was rather cryptic and I am so sorry! I do not want to go into all the gory details, but I have a "situation" with my extended family that is not going well and the contents of the other blog was part of the issue. I wish I could say that by getting rid of it, all of the issues would be gone too, but alas, life is not that easy. However, I did make part of the issue go away, however small that part is. I guess I am just a control freak and that seems to be the only thing I can control right now...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First post of the new blog

I have done this blogging thing before, but in an effort to reduce the drama around here, I deleted it and started over. So, there is no history or archives or anything and I am going to have to add all the widgets and what-not. But this is a good opportunity to clean house, so it is all good!