Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How do you make your cookie jar smile?

My husband and I don't always agree on things but what we do agree on is that cookies are a thing of beauty. His favorite happen to be the classic Chocolate Chip and although I can appreciate a CCC my favorite would have to be Snickerdoodles.  So on this beautiful fall day I decided to fill my sad and empty cookie jar with happiness and love......enjoy :)

I made the chocolate chip cookies from the original Nestle Toll House recipe. I feel that this is by far the best you can make I have tried others and always come back to this one.

For my favorite the snickerdoodle I go all out and break out my cookie book bible....................


1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups AP flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 TB sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

* Heat your oven to 400
* Mix shortening, sugar and eggs
* Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in another bowel
* Shape dough in 1" balls
* In a seperate bowel mix together the 2 TB sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon
* Place ball into and roll around in sugar/cinnamon mix to cover
* Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes

*** These cookies will puff up and then flatten out as they sit out

Cookies are a good thing they can make you happy when in a bad mood, make you feel like a kid again even when there is gray in your hair.

So what is your favorite cookie to fill your empty jar???

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where's The Beef?!?!?!?!?

Chuck Tender Steaks 
w/ Homemade Brown Gravy

Homemade Brown Gravy
one can of beef broth
1/4 cup of ketchup
a few dashes of worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
garlic powder to taste

 * In a medium pot over medium heat whisk together flour and butter, add broth whisk until well combined

* Add in all other ingredients and cook for at least 30 minutes (should be brown and bubbly)

Chuck Tender Steaks in the slow cooker


Brown Gravy
Packet of Dry Onion Soup
Beef Chuck Tender Steaks

***Quick note about tender steaks. They are in no way shape or form tender if cooked like a regular steak. These are cut from the shoulder area and if not cooked properly can tend to taste not so good. Although if cooked low and slow they come out juicy and melt in your mouth tender. They are a relatively cheap cut of meat for families that are trying to keep the grocery budget down.

* Turn Crock Pot on low
* Place Steaks in the bottom of pot
* Sprinkle dry onion soup over the steaks and cover in gravy

* Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

**** I cooked mine for 10 hours and received a two thumbs up rating from Ryan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Allie.....our lovely lab mix

She is rambunctious, funny, loyal to her core, and a little dingy.....

She knows all kinds of tricks she can....



Lay down

She gives great hug........

 Never questions when you talk to yourself.........

Always keeps her eye on you.........

she is a squirrel watcher extraordinaire......
.......but mostly she loves unconditionally.

Strawberry Ice Cream......but I don't even own an ice cream machine.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pint of fresh strawberries ( you could use frozen instead, I just happened to use fresh)

2 Tb sugar 
2 cups very cold heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tsp vanilla

*  Hull and halve your strawberries

* Put sugar over strawberries and let macerate ( do not let sit more than 30 minutes or strawberries will get mushy you just want them to release their juices)

* Once the strawberries are ready put them into a blender or chopper and pulse away until you have reached the desired consistency. ( I blended mine until they were a smoothie consistency I didn't want any big chunks just the flavor throughout)

* Take the cold whipping cream and but it into your mixer or use a hand mixer to get it to soft peaks.

* In the meantime while that is whipping up place the condensed milk in a seperate bowl and add the vanilla

* Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until completely mixed then fold in the strawberry slush

* Place in a freezer safe container and allow to freeze at least for 6 hours but better if left overnight ( I usually wait to cover it until it has pretty much set up)

WARNING....................... it can be very addictive :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow Roasted lemon, garlic, and herb chicken

My husband's sister is getting married this coming Friday. As we are having to get dressed up I thought that this week I would try my best to make food that helped us not to gain any extra weight. An unfortunate problem with having such a passion for cooking and baking is my pants feeling a bit tight every once in awhile. We have recently started going to a gym again thank goodness for a 24 hour fitness center in our little town here. Limitless use + elliptical + jeans becoming looser = Good feelings and happy faces.

Not only will this meal taste fantastic it will make your whole house smell fresh and amazing.What will become very apparent on this blog is that I have a healthy obsession with my slow cooker. Especially when it comes to the Fall/Winter months. It is a way to create a very healthy meal without having to use a lot of unneeded fats and/or oils. Now I will say that even though the chicken and broccoli are healthy you might be thinking what is she doing making macaroni and cheese which has butter, cheese, and carby noodles. Well I am not the type of person that will give up all the things I love just to lose weight. You should be able to have your cake and EAT it too, just use smart sense in your portion control.

Dinner Tonight:

Slow Roasted Lemon, Garlic, & Herb Chicken
Macaroni & Cheese
Steamed Broccoli

Slow Roasted Chicken

1 whole Skinned Chicken
1 whole Garlic Bulb
2 Lemons, one halved & one sliced
Rosemary, Thyme

* Skin your chicken so that the herbs, garlic, and lemon can get into the meat and not just sit on top of the skin.

* Cut up lemons, clean cloves and halve to make all equal pieces

* Place chicken into slow cooker, place some garlic cloves inside chicken cavity along with two halves of lemon and some herbs.

*** I used fresh thyme and dried rosemary. For the dried I used about 3 TB and used a bunch of fresh thyme.

* Cover the chicken with the remaining cloves of garlic, sliced lemons, and the rest of the herbs.

* Set cooker on low for between 8-10 hours.

*Remove and cut up serve alongside your favorite side dishes and enjoy.
**** I cooked this chicken until the 9 hour mark and when I went to pull it out of the crockpot the only thing that came out was the breasts with the carcass. You can simply pull the bones right out. Very tender and juicy. 

Macaroni & Cheese

1 TB butter
1 TB flour
1 cup milk, I use anywhere between 3/4cup to one cup depending upon how thick I want the cheese
8 oz shredded cheese, I used Kraft 4 cheese classic melts
Cooked, drained, al dente pasta of your choice
Salt and Pepper to taste

* Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat

* Whisk flour into melted butter, then whisk in milk keep whisking continuously until thickened

* Add cheese and stir until blended

* Pour over pasta and fold together, add salt and pepper to your taste liking

**** Cooking the pasta al dente allows the cheese and pasta to mix together without completely falling apart.

This macaroni and cheese recipe happens to be our favorite in this household. Very simple Bechamel sauce allows you to add whatever cheeses, and seasonings to make it personalized to your taste.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My First Post........

So after years of looking over other blogs and wanting desperately to start my own I finally got up the nerve to do it. I really don't know why I was so hesitant like my husband said the worst thing that could happen is that no one reads it. This is my attempt at a sort of journal so to speak. I love making crafts and baking and cooking are without a doubt what I was put on this earth to do. So I would like to add some pics of things I have done in the past to give everyone an idea of what's to come.

An upcycled old cabinet into my very own beautiful jewelry cabinet.

Our bedroom is yellow and gray/silver. I painted this bird on a branch silhouette to hang up for a little extra color pop.

I saw these up-cycled vintage aluminum canisters and had to make my own to match my pink kitchen-aid mixer.

 Thank you for stopping by and joining me in my adventures in cookin and craftin.