Today’s kitchen tip deals with organizing recipes. I have a confession to make: I am a hoarder of food magazines. With my subscription to Light & Tasty, in addition to other miscellaneous publications I have collected over the years, I have so many recipes that I was forever trying (and liking) a new one, only to be unable to find it among all the magazines when I wanted to make it again. I finally hit upon a solution: now, when I try a new recipe, I put a blank address label on the front of the magazine and write the title of the recipe and the page number on the label. Perhaps a simpler solution would be to clip out the recipes I like, but I want to keep my magazines intact because I often find myself rereading old issues and trying new recipes from them. I hope this saves someone a little bit of the frustration that I suffered! For more of Kitchen Tip Tuesday, head on over to Tammy’s blog!
I’m a little late with my menu plan today. We had a hectic weekend. Steady Eddie and I sponsor our church’s Bible quiz team, so we took about ten children to a competition 2 1/2 hours away from home on Saturday. On Friday, a very beloved member of our congregation had died after having a heart attack the previous week, so Sunday was full of funeral-related activities and the emotional after-effects. This morning found me rather out-of-sorts, so I’m just now trying to get things in order for the week. You’ll forgive me, won’t you?
This week’s menu is rather short and simple since Thursday is Thanksgiving. Major food-related holidays always cause me to be a little disconcerted in my planning. I always do fine up until the big day, but it’s afterwards that I’m always unsure about. For example, Steady Eddie and I have joined the hordes on the Friday after Thanksgiving and gone shopping for the past few years, so I am planning nothing for Friday. Saturday is up in the air for me as well because–well, it just is. I don’t know why. Anyway, enough for that blathering. Here’s my short menu for the week:
Monday–Curried Chicken Chowder (recipe later), crackers, tea, and fruit
Tuesday–leftover Curried Chicken Chowder, etc.
Thursday–feast with the family! my contributions: Spanish green beans , crock pot macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pudding, and carrot cake
Friday–every man for himself
How’s that for menu planning? Head on over to I’m an Organizing Junkie for more great menus!
If you do, head on over to Jen’s blog, Here We Go Again, to read all about it!
Today’s Works for Me Wednesday takes me back to last week when I was planning Louise’s second birthday party. As I have already mentioned, I made the
mistake decision when Lulu was a year old to both bake and decorate her first birthday cake myself, thereby throwing down the proverbial gauntlet. When we asked the almost-two-year-old Louise what type of cake she would like, she initially said Cinderella. Because we prefer to delay our foray into the world of mass marketed fairytales until at least, say, the ripe old age of three, we quickly made other suggestions. Thankfully for us, two year olds are easily distracted. She suggested a “turdle” as her choice of birthday cakes, and this one we encouraged (after a delusional period when I thought I could actually make a Mother Goose cake and throw a themed party). When researching (read: surfing the internet for) ideas about how to go about constructing this cake, it occurred to me that I might be able to use a clever little tip I had tucked back in the dusty recesses of overworked mommy-brain: use an oven-safe bowl to bake a dome-shaped cake. Perfect! Also, I found this lovely specimen of a turtle cake to use as my model. After consulting with the nice guy at our local cake decorating shop, I learned that yes, indeed, this can be done, but I might want to consider using a pound cake in order to have the proper consistency for my cake. I hadn’t a pound cake mix at home, but I did have a regular boxed cake mix to which I added more flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Times for baking a cake in a bowl are approximate, and I ended up baking mine for about 65 minutes at 325 degrees. It actually could’ve baked for another 5-10 minutes, but it was getting a little too brown on top by then, so I took it out. This cake was actually one of the easier ones I’ve ever decorated, and while it’s not professional quality, I think Louise was pleased. That works for me!
For more hints and tips to make your life easier, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.
How many of you like baking on baking stones? I do! I confess, I had owned a Pampered chef round stone for several years and had not used it much until recently when I began making homemade pizza regularly. I earned one of each of the bar pans at a Pampered Chef home show I recently had, so when I decided to make M & M cookies last week, I knew I would bake them on my large bar pan. However, as I often do, I miscalculated the time it would take me to bake several pans of cookies, so I was rather impatient to take them up once they came out of the oven. I did wait approximatley ten or so minutes, but because the bar pan retained a good bit of heat, the cookies were still too warm for my rather thick spatula to slide underneath them without tearing them to pieces and mushing them up. Then I had a brainstorm! Pampered Chef stones come with a nylon scraper which is used to scrape food off the stone since the stones are not supposed to be washed with dish soap. I took out my handy little nylon scraper (which is very thin) and used it as a little spatula for the cookies! I was rather proud of myself for thinking of this! I know this tip is rather obscure, but maybe some of my dear readers will find it useful.