Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Have I mentioned lately that I love The Pioneer Woman?
This might sound silly, but before I met her I had no idea that just about everything can be boiled down to a few simple, yummy, fresh, delicious ingredients. The thought of packaged and boxed foods chalked full of nasty preservatives is less and less appealing by the day. I'm becoming a food snot.
The funniest part is that I'm preparing much yummier foods at fractions of the cost of my former dinner selections. Now I'm starting to wonder how to pair all sorts of things that I use often down to their more basic (i.e. cheaper) ingredients.
For those of you who weren't raised by a pack of wolves, this might not be as stunning to you as it is to me. But, since I was raised by a pack of wolves, I confess that I had no idea until just recently that you could make pancakes out of something other than a Krusteaz "just add water" mix. And, I recently learned how to make my own frosting. No $2 Betty Crocker can necessary.
Sunday night I made crepes. I've always looked forward to having them at my mom's house, but I've never had the right pan. Lucky me, she had a spare! So, I came home and made crepes out of stuff I have on hand all the time. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and vanilla. That's it! So, we enjoyed boat-loads of yummy crepes. Simple, yet profound.
I have no idea why I'm writing right now. I'm not quite sure what makes me think anyone wants to hear about my newfound cooking excitement. Yet, I write anyway. What does that say about me? I feel like I'm having a good ole conversation with myself when I write. Hmmm...
73 cinnimon rolls and a whole lot of other yummy food that my mom cooked and I consumed later... I'm only down 3.5ish pounds from my starting weight. Bummer! I knew this was going to happen. Oh, they were so good though!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
That's okay though because there was lots to do inside the house. Like play dress up in this wonderful old-fashioned dress that my mom made for Leeann!
Grampy played some baseball with Titus just after we got there. One of the few times it was actually decent weather.
Leeann thoroughly enjoyed spreading the cinnamon on the cinnamon rolls. She enjoyed licking the cinnamon off her hands even more though!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
My step-dad took the really big hint I left on my last post and printed out the recipes for these cinnamon rolls. Leeann and my mom got to work and I immensly enjoyed the fruit of their labor. Seriously enjoyed it. In fact, I think I'm going to go enjoy another one. And my weight loss was going so well...
Monday, March 22, 2010
I got ambushed!
And the kids did have to clean up the mess.
Then the boys decided to try to get the penny out of Leeann's forehead. It's a game they play... don't ask me!
I love this woman. My husband loves her too. Well, at least he loves what she's done to my cooking skills!
She is The Pioneer Woman. And man alive, can she cook! She gives you step-by-step instructions (hilarious banter included) and even posts pictures along with very basic steps for us knuckle-heads. Each dish has 10-20 pictures of the process attached to it. This is huge for me since I grew up with a pack of wolves whose idea of cooking included a pound of hamburger and a box of hamburger helper!
I looked for her cookbook at the local library, but they didn't have it, so they ordered one and I get to be the first to check it out! I'm going to have an extremely hard time giving this book back. I feel like she's one of my best friends. Laugh now, but spend a few minutes on her blog and you'll understand...
The other day I decided to try my hand at some home-made Macaroni and Cheese. It was quite good! The kids ate it, though they were asking for 'regular' mac-n-cheese instead. I followed her recipe, but included some caramelized onions, paprika and I topped it with french fried onions. Decadent!
I also made her simple, pan-fried pork chops. The first time I've ever made pork chops by the way. The only meat I ever make is chicken, so this was a real treat for my husband!
Every dish I've made has taken me a ridiculous amount of time. I'm a slow learner! Her dishes are all from very basic ingredients, so it takes a lot of prep work, but every dish I've tried has been an absolute delight! My kitchen always ends up looking like a war zone, but it's oh-so worth it!
*I had to go babysit for the evening just after we ate... so Rob cleaned up for me. What a good man!*
I've also enjoyed her
Baked Acorn Squash
Basic Breakfast Potatoes
Crispy Yogurt Chicken
Farfalle With Zucchini
Fresh Corn Casserole
All of the above dishes are some of the best eats that have ever come out of my kitchen! Seriously, you must check out her recipes. You must!
I'm thinking about cooking through all of her recipes Julie and Julia style. I'm also thinking about moving to her ranch and becoming her understudy. I'm not sure how she'd feel about that though. She's an unlikely city girl turned ranchers wife. I'm an unlikely pastor's wife, I think we'd have a lot in common! Have I mentioned she's hilarious, and an amazing cook?
I'm heading to my mom's house this week for a little family vacation. She's a fantastic cook too and always treats us to really yummy food. I'm really hoping for some of these world famous cinnamon rolls or one of these variations orange marmalade rolls or caramel apple sticky-buns.
(No pressure, Keith, but if you want to print out any of these recipes and drop a really big hint toward mom, you'll be SO GLAD you did. I promise! Just tell her that Leeann would have so much fun learning how to make cinnamon rolls with Grammy.)
p.s. If any of you end up with ridiculous amounts of zucchini (or any other freshly grown produce that you don't know what to do with) I'd love to take it off your hands this summer! If you have any berries or anything else growing on your property I'd be happy to come harvest some if you'd like to share. The end.
I even had to take my stove top apart to clean it because I decided to mix the frosting on the stove (I don't have a lot of counter space!). That was a bad idea... it was coated in powdered sugar!
But the mess making was fun, and it resulted in another fun cake, and a night of fun with some great ladies. They retired much earlier than I did, but I got some great t.v. watching time in via Hulu. Good times had by all. Ka Chow-Ka Pow!
Friday, March 19, 2010
It's amazing my children's stay properly clothed. Laundry is my kryptonite. Okay, it's only one of many down falls, but perhaps the most notable. Don't judge, I'm making an attempt at keeping it real here! (Okay, judge, I know you're going to anyway, and I don't blame you. It is rather pathetic!)
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Then I laid them all out together and pondered whether or not I made good selections. The jury's still out on that one.
A series of randomly pieced together fabrics.
Then I began piecing them together in crazy quilt fasion. I started with a piece of batting that was the same width as the other fabric pieces (but as long as the quilt is going to be). Then I sewed on one piece at a time, right side down. After I made the seem I flipped it back over, ironed it in place and started on the next piece as shown above. I put the new fabric right side together with the piece sewn on (overlapping 1/4 inch) and repeated the process until I had this:
Or I could stare at it for the next several days contemplating what to do next. It's a likely option.
My friend, Brenna mentioned the other day that she had done rag curls in her daughter's hair. It inspired me to give it a try myself. Leeann's hair doesn't curl with a curling iron, but rag curls did the trick. I thought it was adorable! Or course, I think she's adorable. It's a mom thing!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I gave him the option to play with me, but he can't play until his rooms are clean, and he'd "rather just watch" for some odd reason!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Yet, all I want to do is... hmmmm, what have I been doing for almost an entire week now? I mean, besides blogging? Let's see, I've been snuggling, resting, researching (Can you call playing on facebook researching facts about the lives of people I love? And some people I don't love but I feel obligated to have as friends because they sent a request), cleaning, snuggling, playing the Wii, watching movies, cleaning up yuck, comforting patients. Yeah, see, I've done at least a few things while they've been sick!
We're down to our last day of quarantine now. So today, I will dutifully continue to avoid all the things I should be doing. Why mess with status quo?
In other news, I have a cute kid quote for you.
Titus was on the Wii and Leeann was trying to tell him to do something specific. "Leeann, you're not the boss of me. No one's the boss of me!"
Excuse me, I said, tilting my head and giving him the stink eye.
"Well, except you and daddy, you guys are the boss of me. But no kids are!"
At least he knows his place!
My sister-in-law makes trendy hair accessories. Like, super, super cute ones! You should visit her etsy shop http://www.theribboncafe.etsy.com/.
More imporantly, you should buy some. No pressure, but really. Buy something cute for a cute little girl in your life! Perfect for baby showers and birthday parties. Or just because!