Tag Archives: cooking

How to keep a pot from boiling over

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I make pasta at least once a week and I always run into that pesky problem of the pot boiling over. Don’t you hate that? When I saw this nifty little trick on pinterest I figured it was worth a shot. Well guess what? It totally works! Just lay a wooden spoon across the top of the pot and your water will stay in the pot where it belongs. Pretty cool huh? Here’s to another ingenious Pinterest win! Hope it helps you!

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Savory Cupcakes, Cake Pops and More!

The past week or two have been a bit overwhelming for me. I have so much going on between school and family that I’ve barely even cooked, and I definitely haven’t crafted at all. I did manage to make some bread that I will be sharing with you soon, but in the mean time I figured a great way to get myself back into the blogging groove would be to post some pinterest inspiration ideas that I’m hoping to try in the coming weeks. Here are some things I hope to get to soon!

SAVORY CUPCAKES

These days it seems like people are making everything into a cup. Here are some clever ways to incorporate favourite savory dinner recipes into that oh so beloved cupcake shape.

Meatloaf Cupcake with Mashed Potato “frosting”

Lasagna Cupcakes

Mac and Cheese Muffins

SAVORY CAKE POPS

 

Cake pops are definitely every bit of the rage lately. I’ve seen every flavor combination under the sun available in cake form and on a stick. But, savory cake pops are the new kid in town. Here are some awesome ideas I can’t wait to try!

 

Crab Cake Pops

 

This recipe comes from the babycakes cake pop maker recipe book. Pop these babies on a stick and you’re golden!

 

 

Bacon Cheese Pops

 

OMG. Bacon and Cheese- on a stick! These look divine. I have a feeling these pops will definitely be making an appearance at my annual wine and cheese party!

 

Guntapongalalu (Indian Uttapam Veggie Pops)

 

These look awesome! Uttapams are a tasty indian pancake with veggies and a curry flavor to them. This recipe is definitely one to try.

 

 

CREATIVE CAKES

 

My mom’s birthday is coming up next month and she is a lover of chocolate and malt balls. When I saw this cake I knew I just had to file it away to make a birthday cake for my dear mother. She’s going to love it!

 

My sister in law is having a baby in November and her shower is coming up. I thought this would be such a cute idea for a baby shower cake! It looks pretty easy too. You would just need one large metal bowl, and two small ones. Bake the cake right in the bowls and then trim to shape and lay the fondant right over them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Iced Tea

Being Southern I grew up drinking a lot of sweet iced tea. While I’ve skipped the sweet these days I’m still a huge fan of cold iced tea on a summer’s day. I love iced green tea, it is so yummy, refreshing, and it is chock full of antioxidants and other amazing health benefits. I’ve been making tea since I was a kid and together my mom and I came up with a clever way to make brewing iced tea a little simpler. We’ve been using this nifty little trick for years.

Start by pulling off the paper tags and staples from the strings. 

The gather the strings together and tie them around the handle of a wooden spoon. I find that a slip knot works nicely, but a regular knot is fine too.

Then just rest the spoon across the edge of your tea container and fill with enough water so that the tea bags are fully submerged. Let the tea steep then just pull the tea bags out by lifting the wooden spoon. No more fishing around trying to get the tea bags out. And you don’t have soggy tea tags floating around in the tea! Add a little honey or splenda. I just like a little sweetener in my green tea. This keeps it low calorie. Of course if you’re wanting true southern tea, like the kind my momma makes, you can add about a pound of sugar.

Homemaker: A Woman Worthy of Praise

Well first things first, did you all totally love Jennie’s guest post? I cannot WAIT to make that amazing recipe! She’s such a doll. Be sure you follow her on twitter and subscribe to her blog. She is always cooking up yummy treats.

One big thing I want to advocate with my blog is family. I was talking to Adam last night about Martha Stewart (who I LOVE, so don’t hate). I learned so much of what I know about homemaking from her. She is the world’s most famous homemaker but she is unfortunately also known for being harsh, snobby, and rude. She has no husband, and a single daughter who she does not appear to be particularly close with. Though she often had family members like her mom, siblings and nephews, on the show there was always a certain warmth missing.

For me, the reason homemaking is so important is because it brings families together. The homemaking woman is always thinking about how she can better serve those around her, and she is loved because of it. She should be charming and kind and thoughtful. She should never be so worried about all the duties of running a home that she forget to love and nurture those around her.

I never want this blog to just be about the content. When I’m not writing I’m lovingly creating meals for my husband, planning parties for my family, cleaning and decorating my home, studying and learning so I can one day educate my children, dreaming of the day when I will have a bunch of babies to teach and care for. I want this blog to encourage women everywhere to not just cook, sew, craft, bake, clean, decorate, and plan. I want you ladies to be sweet and lovely, and worthy of praise.

People often use the words “housewife” and “homemaker” interchangeably. I don’t care for the term housewife because it gives the connotation that she is sitting around the house doing nothing.

A homemaker is very busy!!

Consider this passage from the bible. It talks about a woman who sounds a whole lot like a homemaker to me. She sews, cooks, runs a business (AND makes profit!), she is fashionable, wise and takes care of everyone in her household. If this were written today I’m pretty certain there would be an added verse that said, “She diligently searches Pinterest and reads blog for new ideas for the home.”

I hope this describes me, that is what I strive for. Does it describe you?

Proverbs 31:10-31 (New Living Translation)

10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns. (<- She is homemaker CHIC!)
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

How to Make Cocktail Sauce

Many years ago when I was a waitress I had to learn how to make cocktail sauce. I worked at a restaurant where we made cocktail sauce to order. At the time it was a nuisance having to stop during a busy shift between running food and refilling drinks to hand-make condiments, but I perfected the skill and learned to make it quickly with just the right ratio of ingredients. I have since become the token cocktail sauce maker in my family and now I will share the tricks of the trade with you fine folks. It is ridiculously easy to make and way cheaper than ready made. Here is the recipe:

You will need ketchup, a lemon, worcestershire sauce and horseradish.

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Start by squeezing about half of a fresh lemon into a bowl.

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Add about half a cup of ketchup, about 5-6 shakes of worcestershire, several tablespoons of horseradish (more or less depending on how spicy you like it.) Stir well and serve. Its so easy right? Now you never have an excuse to buy store-bought cocktail sauce again!

It tastes way better, and you will feel accomplished knowing there are no preservatives.

Whipped Coconut Milk Chocolate Mousse (or Pudding)

This is the story of how I mucked up yet another marvel Pinterest recipe. I am now in recovery.

Adam has a wee problem with ice cream. He eats ice cream or frozen yogurt at least five times a week. Pinterest strikes again! I’ve been trying to get him on a healthier alternative with less dairy and sugar, so when I found this Coconut Milk Chocolate Mousse recipe I thought it would be a great solution, plus I’ve been way into coconut milk lately.

I suppose it derives from the famous Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery who offers “frosting shots” made from this magical coconut mousse. The blog made it look super easy.

The main gist is that you open the can of coconut milk, let it chill in the fridge overnight so the milk part solidifies, then you whip it with a bit of sweetener and cocoa powder. Easy enough right?

Well the first attempt bombed big time. I wanted to make it for dinner guests, but I only let the cans chill for about 2 hours so it didn’t solidify enough. Also the original blog implied that you could include the coconut water that settles on the bottom, but I found this is not the case. When I tried to whip it up I ended up with a chocolate coconut soup. It ended up down the drain and our guests had frozen yogurt for dinner.

So I decided to give it another attempt. I read a few other recipes which all said do NOT use the water that separates on the bottom.


This time I did a clever little thing. I opened the can upside down so I could pour the coconut water off off, which worked perfectly.

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I then let the cans cool overnight and I ended up with nice thick white coconut solids.

I poured them into a bowl, add a little powdered sugar and began to whip.

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I wanted to make just plain coconut first before I added the cocoa. I whipped. I whipped and I whipped. For a good 20 minutes I whipped. It did thicken a bit, but looked more like a vanilla milkshake than anything.

So I started adding cocoa. It did thicken more, and finally after more whipping I got it to the thickness of a thin pudding. This was supposed to be a frosting alternative so I’m thinking it should have been MUCH thicker. Plus in the photos it was this glorious piped mouse.

This was nothing that I could pipe, no peaks at all. I figured this was another one of those Pinterest hoaxes that doesn’t really work. It did look like a great pudding and it tasted amazing, so I served it to Adam with chocolate chips and he devoured it! If I was trying to make a healthy coconut milk chocolate pudding this would have been a major success. So let’s just pretend that’s what I was doing. Tada! I give you healthy chocolate pudding!

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I still wanted to figure out this mousse business though. I kept thinking, I must be doing something wrong!

Okay so I admit, I may or may not have an aversion to actually reading directions. I normally just look at a picture, glance at the ingredients and decide I can make it better.

Well when I looked at the ingredients I realized that she used more than 1/4 cup of cocoa per can, and I used two cans! So where I used about 3-4 tablespoons, I was supposed to use more than a half a cup. Doh!

So I added a lot more cocoa and what do you know, that stuff thickened right the heck up! Now, I will say it did not taste as good as its puddingly cousin. It was very rich and much too chocolatey for me (I’m not a huge chocolate fan anyway. Don’t hate.) Definitely add more sugar if you go this route because it gets more bitter with more cocoa.

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I preferred the taste of the first batch, but esthetically this version was much more pleasing, and the texture was nice and moussey. I can see why they serve it as little shots, a little goes a long way.

So the moral of the story is read the directions.

(unless you wanted pudding in the first place.)

The end.

Rustic Chicken Linguine with White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce

Thursday night we invited our dear friends Erick and Kelly over for dinner. They are charming and fun, and we always have a blast when we get together. Last time they were over I made my brother’s recipe for Ginger Crusted Chicken. It was a hit, so I needed to outdo myself this time.

I hit the produce mother-lode at my mom’s house. She, for some, reason stocked up on fresh vegetables before leaving for vacation, so she loaded me up with a ton of goodies on Wednesday night before she left town.

I had a great selection of ingredients to work with! Oh how I love fresh vegetables! I ended up with several pickling cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 3 roma tomatoes, a whole carton of baby bella mushrooms, 3 leeks, some spinach, romaine lettuce, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The nice thing about having a professional chef for a brother is that anytime I need to impress friends I can call him up and he’s always game for a recipe challenge. (Not that the perfectly stocked pantry I possessed was much of a challenge!) Together we decided on a Chicken saute’ with Mushrooms, leeks, and red pepper in a white wine, lemon, butter sauce over linguine. I also served a fresh summer salad of peppers, cucumber and tomato on the side.

No one was home so I invited Billie Holiday over, poured a glass of wine, and started chopping my vegetables. This is one of the best most cathartic parts of my day. Nothing but me and my food. It is a glorious moment to be kinetic with everything I’m about to devour! It is so very human.

“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” -Julia Child

For the salad I chopped the pickling cucumbers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and tomatoes into uniform pieces. I added about 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, a little olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper, and a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the vinegar. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour and this will sort of pickle the salad. It is really delicious!

For the main dish I cubed 4 chicken breasts and sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 4 breasts are really too much for 4 people so I set a little bit aside and stored in the fridge to use in a chicken salad for lunch another day.

Once your chicken is cooked through add one diced red bell pepper, LOTS of sliced mushrooms, and 2 sliced leeks.

Also add about a cup of white wine, salt & pepper, garlic, lots of lemon juice, and about 3 Tbsp of butter. Let this cook down for a good 30min-1 hour. After it has cooked down add about 2/3 cup of milk and let is reduce a little. You want it to be all stewy and amazing.

 

 

 

 

When it is ready it will like like this… —->

Prepare your linguine, drain, and then pour all this stewy goodness right over the pasta and stir.

Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Since all the big kids had wine and lime-a-ritas… as a special little treat I made Kelly a Pregnancy Cocktail. She is having a little girl in September 🙂 The cocktail consisted of strawberries and blueberries dropped into a champagne flute. A little cranberry juice, peach sparkling cider, and lime juice. She loved it!