Thursday, September 20, 2007

I don't use much cheese anymore ... so this tip is perfect. I used to buy a block of cheese, but even a small one would get pretty green speckles before I could use it. Especially now, since I have cut back drastically from the good old mac and cheese days, this is a great trick.

Now, I buy the biggest block I can find... one of cheddar and one of mozza.

Spend some time grating the whole thing. Yep... either with the food processor or by hand... but, I actually prefer to do it by hand as I don't like the gratings I get from the processor. Put it into little sandwich baggies in amounts that I know will be perfect to sprinkle on a dish ... usually about 1/2 cup or so.... and close with a twist tie. Then...put all the little baggies into another large double baggie and close it tightly... and into the freezer with it. It freezes perfectly.... When you need some cheese for a dish... take out a baggie. You can defrost it if you like but it is not even necessary.... just take it out in a handful and gently break it apart as you sprinkle it over the top of whatever you are baking.

Chicken veggie Enchilada for supper.... with a slight bit of cheddar and a sprinkle of mozza too....I try not to eat much cheese at all as I seem to have inherited high cholesterol. Apparently it is difficult to control even by eating none at all ... but so far... by eating no egg yolks... little or no cheese ... little or no meat....etc... I am able to keep it just below the level where my doctor says she is "bound by law to tell me that I must be on medication". Who knew they were bound by any law?.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ready your weapons!

Today we are waging war .... alright it's a small war, but at least it will rake back several hours of a day for you. Still interested?

Some people waste a lot of time and energy doing things the hard way... I like to pass on my tips about "easy" ... we can all use more time for the fun things in life.

Defrosting your freezer the quick and easy way. Today this took 45 minutes.

Assemble your "gear" .... a kettle, a few pots, some dry towels and dishcloths, a plastic or wooden spatula (Don't use metal in case you scratch the sides of the freezer - scratches can rust) Also if there is no sink nearby, a large container of some kind for the big chunks of frosty ice ... I only do my freezer once a year or so and it gets that way... of course, it is older and probably that is the reason. I don't even know if that happens with new freezers. still keeps things at the correct temperature.... and so I am not getting rid of it 'til it conks out.

Either turn it off or pull electrical plug, and empty the contents into double plastic bags. If you have room in the freezer portion of your 'fridge, put them in there... if you have to put some into the fridge part it will also probably stay totally frozen. Remember, this should not take more than 45 minutes to an no big deal for most things to stay frozen. The hardest part of this whole job is being too short to easily reach the bottom of my freezer... lol .....

Boil water; pour into pots and carefully place them in bottom of each corner of freezer.

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and by the time you are back...the first of the bits of ice near the bottom will already be moving on its own, sliding down... or you can pull it off by hand. It just slides off in big chunks and I like to take it out right away so that it does not melt and make a puddle on the bottom of the is just more work to mop that up. Change the water when it feels like it is not hot enough to create some melting of the ice. I only get a chance to boil one more kettle full and by that time I have all the ice off. If it is slightly stubborn, and is only half moveable ... use a spatula to coax it off the sidewalls.

I keep wiping up bits of moisture and ice as I go along and as soon as the ice is off the sidewalls, take out the pots of water and continue with dry cloths to remove any moisture from sides and bottom of the freezer. As soon as it is bone dry... shut lid and turn it on. Wait an hour or so til it is cold enough to begin to replace frozen items from your fridge.

This time I did well.... only one little baggie of a few frozen cobs of corn to toss. Sometimes there is more waste than that ... but not often, as I do tend to rotate purchases, and try to use first what has been there the longest amount of time. If I find a few things I don't know what to do with...... soup is always a good answer.

Well, there you go..... now it is time for a second cup of tea and a little sit down with your feet up and a good book...or stab a bit on a needle felted bear or something fun .... you have extra hours to burn~!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A perfect day.

The unmistakable aroma of chocolate; perhaps the nostril tease of some indefinable fruit ... maybe something ultra sweet or even pungent and spicy..... .. oh, the joy of baking. Well, at the very least...the joy of smelling and tasting that baking! I just love how the kitchen smells. I love that it is warm and inviting....

After weeks of working non-stop on my latest doll, I have severely neglected my kitchen and all the wonderful "stuff" in there. But, when there are deadlines..or when there is less time than I need to accomplish decent meals and have some fun with food, I really do miss it. I'm just one of those nuts who still likes to bake and cook.

Finally, today... at least some muffins and then, some biscotti to fill empty cookie jars and freezer containers. A perfect day.... spectacular sunshine, blue sky and a slight breeze coming in the open windows..... lovely. What could be better?

Don't ignore your sweet.. !!

..... your sweet potato that is. Look what happens if you do!

Yes indeed....this baby was sitting there just being ignored and decided to put out feelers to see if it could get some attention...any attention at all. But..nope...not a soul noticed. Well, til today that is..... lol...... I could not resist a pic of it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Spiced Apple Cobbler

Peel, core and chop enough apples to fill a 2 quart casserole (about 6 or 7 apples) I like McIntosh apples best.
Put them in a big bowl, add a few squirts of lemon juice, some sugar, (about 2 tbsps. or to taste), and some sprinkles of ginger, All spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon... (all to your own taste). Mix well... taste a chunk of apple to see if it is enough spices for you ..... add a bit more if necessary...and mix well again.
Butter the casserole dish; fill with the some little dabs of butter here and there on top of some of the apples...put on spoonfuls of the sweet biscuit mix which follows.
Sweet Biscuit Dough Recipe
1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
Granulated sugar for sprinkle
In a bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter finely. Add milk all at once, stirring just until mixture forms a soft, sticky dough. Using large spoon, drop dough in heaping spoonfuls, evenly spaced, on top of fruit. Once you have it on ..spread it out a bit.. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place dish on baking sheet in case of bubbling over. Bake in 375F (190C) oven for about 40 mintes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm. A dollop of vanilla ice cream goes well with this.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Spiced Apple Cobbler

Last night I peeled apples ...

mixed them with spices, little dabs of butter ..

measured dry ingredients into a bowl ... cut in the butter til it was "fine crumbs"

topped my apples with a rustic biscuit crust and baked it til it was a lovely shade of golden brown ....

.... this is the part I love....... now I get to eat!

I will post the recipe soon ......

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Michael has it......

Can't wait to see this movie...

but...we hate will have to wait til the DVD is released.....