Why is it,

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that children go on a fruit kick, actually a single fruit kick, as in they will eat only one fruit but tons of it, like 6 bananas a day. And then when you give in and buy enough to last several days so that you’re not going to the store every day, they quit eating them, won’t touch them if their lives depend on it. I had 3 hands of almost black bananas from just such an event. when I discovered that he wasn’t going to eat them I knew that the bananas were going to turn before they got eaten. (I don’t eat bananas.. ewww.) So today I made banana bread. I have 3 loaves in the oven now. I will send one to work with Hubster, give the second away (debating between Father in Law and my Step-Mom at the moment) and keep the third here for the family. I love putting things to use when ever I can.

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I have decided

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that I am tired of wearing everything I cook. I make cookies, flour poofs up and I wear it all down my front. I make dinner and something splashes out of the pan, and all down my front.. I wash dishes and I splash dishwater out of the sink and all down my front (sensing a theme here?) I can’t begin to count how many shirts I have lost, to becoming hopelessly stained from being splashed by what I am cooking. The worst culprets are spaghetti sauce and oil. EVERY time I fry some thing, even if it is in a single tablespoon of oil, it pops up and leaves oil spots on my clothes.

I am sick of it. I need an apron. One like my grandmother used to wear. Thankfully she used to make her own, and it was a pretty simple pattern. I  think I can wing it, and make my own.. now to raid my fabric stash and dig out my sewing machine… I’ll let you know how things go.

Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

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We ended up going out to my step-mother in law’s mom’s house  on Thursday evening, we spent the evening there, had a good time.

On Friday I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls and several other items. We ended up having a total of 12 people for Thanksgiving Dinner we had a blast. The kids played kickball outside, the adults found a movie to watch, much to my relief, and I didn’t have to listen to football at maximum volume.

Saturday I got up early and put a prime rib on the smoker, and then I went back to bed. I got up at a more normal time, and started my second big meal, scalloped potatoes, more sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus, more rolls. We ended up with 10 for that meal, and  I have to admit, it turned out even better than the Turkey.

The last of the guests left this morning and I have spent most of the day resting, after standing on my cement floors for the last 3 days, my feet, legs and lower back are hurting. Tomorrow the kids go back to school, and I will be thankful for the peace and quiet again.

Steel-cut Oatmeal cookies, take two

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ok, this time, it is a win.. and oh so simple…

I did a bit more research into cookies made with steel cut oats. this time, not just searching for the names steel cut oats, but also irish oatmeal, scottish oatmeal and pinhead oats. I found one message board entry, somewhere, I don’t remember where, in which the author said they had simply substituted steel-cut oats for rolled oats in their favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and the results were really good, but slightly crunchier than their usually chewy cookie. So, bolstered by this discovery, I ventured forth and attempted my oatmeal cookies yet again

This time I changed little. I used entirely brown sugar instead of my usual 2/1 brown to white ratio, I did this because I just like the flavor of brown sugar better. The only other change I made in my recipe was instead of the usual 4 C. of rolled oats that I usually use, I used 3 C. of pinhead oats. I decreased the amount for two reasons…

  1. the original recipe that I adapted years ago called for 3 cups, but I added a cup  because I liked the tooth of it, better, with the harder oats, I thought that the smaller amount might be better.
  2. I only had 3 C of steel-cut oats left. (note to self, time for another trip to the health food store)

I will admit that I did use mini M&M’s in place of chocolate chips, but I don’t think of this as a change, this is something I do regularly, depending on which is cheaper when I am buying chocolate.

I baked them as usual, they did take a little longer to bake, and were still very soft when they came out of the oven but quickly firmed up when they cooled, to make a nice, chewy cookie. I let them cool for a few minutes on the pan, then moved them to the counter top to finish cooling, before sealing them in a zip top bag.

After the first batch cooled, I let the kids each sample one. The ones old enough to do more than just demand more cookies swear that these are better than my usual oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. And I will admit, that *gasp* yes, I even ate one of the baked cookies, they were good. I may have another some day, not today, but someday (*disclaimer, my someday comment is not because the cookies are not good, they are, but personally, I prefer to eat my cookies before they are baked) I think I may continue to make them this way.  We shall see what the Hubster has to say about them, but I don’t foresee any negative comments.

I think my mixer

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is dying *sob* It has started making strange sounds, kind of a grinding/bogging down/cyclical noise… I think the motor is about to bite the dust. I have considered having it worked on, but having a Kitchenaid mixer repaired is not cheap, and if the motor needs replacing, I might as well just buy a new one to begin with.

My mixer is 12 yrs old. It was a wedding present. My grandmother-in-law asked me, when we first got married, what I needed for my kitchen. Since my great-grandmother, who had passed away when I was 16, had had two of everything in her kitchen (Yes, two sets of dishes, two sets of cookware, etc.)  and my sister and I were the only members of her descendants who had not yet set up our own households, we each ended up with a fully stocked kitchen. I thought about it a little bit and, being the basically honest soul I am, I told my grandmother-in-law that the only thing I could think of that I needed for my kitchen was a mixer. She handed me her JCPenney catalog and told me to pick one out.

I flipped through the catalog, and I searched and the only mixer in the catalog was a Kitchenaid, I really didn’t want to pick a Kitchenaid, not because I didn’t want one, I did, I had been wanting a  Kitchenaid mixer since I was about 14. (yes, I was that oh so rare teenager lusting after premium kitchen appliances.) But because I knew how expensive they were (reference previously mentioned lust) and I knew that my in-laws were on a fixed income I really didn’t want to choose something expensive. I asked if she had any other catalogs, because I really didn’t need anything that expensive, and she told me to order it anyway, gave me her credit card to make the call (even then her eyesight was failing and she had a hard time reading things like credit cards and catalogs.) So I ordered it.. I have loved that mixer for the last 12 years. It has not seen light use. I use it at least once a week, but more often daily. Made Breads, pie crusts, pies, cakes, muffins, potatoes, frostings, all kinds of things. There is no way I could do all the cooking I do without a mixer.

I have started doing research into replacing it. I am well aware that it won’t be cheap, Kitchenaid never is. But I am considering the options. I can get a 4.5 qt mixer, similar to the one I have, but with a slightly less powerful motor, for around $200. Or I can spend just a little bit more, and get a 5 qt professional model, with a much larger motor, for around $270.  We are still debating which exactly to get, but we have a little bit, I hope, as we won’t actually replace this one until it actually dies. Hopefully by then I can prepare myself to let this one go.

I haz Stove!!!!

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The stove is fixed, the stove is fixed, the stove is fixed!!!! After only 3 weeks with no cook top, I can again use my stove. Parts got delivered Monday, I and I called and scheduled the repair man to come out, he got here about 4:40pm yesterday and by 5:20 he was done.

I immediately set water on to boil for spaghetti, because the spoiled munchkins which have invaded my household had been begging for spaghetti for a week, and the sauce had been in the crockpot since morning.

This morning, I had scrambled eggs for breakfast…. you never realize how much you rely on those 4 burners, until you can’t use them.

fall means real food…

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You can always tell when the weather has cooled off to a livable level around here.. I actually start cooking real food again, and not just the “what can I make fast so I can get out of the hot kitchen” fare we have during the summer… I enjoy cooking, I like finding meals that my family likes, or loves, and I really don’t mind elaborate meals. In fact, cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners are some of my favorite parts of the winter.

Pumpkins are being cooked and frozen for the winter meals, bread baked, pies and cookies have started making appearances… as well as longer cooking meals in the oven… Lasagna, enchiladas, etc. Things that just don’t turn out as well in the Crockpot.

I think I may have to pull out one of my turkeys soon, that sounds about perfect…