My New Stove

So, yeah. I got a new stove. And it is magical. Wonderful. Amazing. Well, not really. It’s just a regular stove. But I’ve been cooking on a nearly-dead appliance for about 5 years. So this new one is like magic.

I really wanted an electric one. But the way my house is set up…. I settled for this gas stove and I absolutely love it. Admittedly, I’m a bit obsessed with keeping it clean. I scrub it two, sometimes three times a day. It must stay clean! It must stay clean! It must!

My current cleaner of choice.

My new appliance has given me a better appreciation for my time in the kitchen. I’m enjoying myself a lot more now that I don’t have a big grease monster fire trap stove taking up space. (I would show you a picture of the old one but it’s too embarrassing.)

I’ve dived head first in cooking books and online recipes. Pretty soon I’ll have my own cooking show!

When Your George Foreman is Sick….

George Foreman Grill

This is tragic. I don’t know what to do. Somehow, the oil tray to my George Foreman Grill got stuck in my dish washer and ended up melting from the heat.

If I had known better, I’d have ensured that the drip tray was placed on the top rack of the dish washer instead of the bottom rack…but hindsight is always 20/20.

I’ve searched the internet and found replacement trays for a cost of between 5 and 29 dollars. Of course, I’ll eventually purchase a new one, but I’m stuck mourning the loss of my beloved tray. *sniff sniff*

Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thankfully, my children have low expectations when it comes to my cooking. It is clear to them that I’m not a gourmet chef. So when my son asked me to bake him a batch of chocolate chip cookies, I felt little to no pressure to start from scratch.

pillsbury chocolate chip dough

Pillsbury to the rescue! These 24 pre-cut cookie dough chunks came in handy for my inexperience in the kitchen. I didn’t have to do anything but place them in neat little rows and turn the oven on the set temperature.

pillsbury chocolate chip cookies

Easy peasy! We thoroughly enjoyed our treat and left nothing on the baking sheet! They were delicious!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

red velvet cupcakesWhoever invented red velvet cupcakes gets a round of applause from me. I’m consumed by the thought of them. They are delicious. Absolutely divine. Too often than not, I give into the temptation of my sweet tooth and bake a few dozen of these goodies.

Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cupcakes

My ingredients are simple. And since I’m not a professional chef, or even a good cook, I just buy a box of mix from the grocery store and follow the directions (no made-from-scratch for me!).

This go round, I decided to add a little confectioners sugar to the cupcakes to give them a little added punch at the end….and to make them even more beautiful. My kids didn’t care too much for the sugar, but I gobbled the cupcakes down without a second thought!

Homemade Cajun Chicken Pasta

homemade cajun chicken pasta

One of my local restaurants serves this amazing dish called Cajun Chicken Pasta. It is heavenly. Admittedly, I find myself at the take out counter far too often ordering it.

I made an attempt to recreate the pasta at home. My ingredients were gathered; I put on my proverbial apron and chef’s hat, then started cooking.

homemade cajun chicken pasta

The pasta was easy enough to prepare; just put it in water, add salt and pepper then boil for about ten minutes. Next, I heated some prepackaged grilled chicken strips and drained the pasta.

On my plate I placed the pasta and chicken strips. Next, I added a small amount of diced tomatoes and poured alfredo sauce over the  food.

While it certainly wasn’t as appetizing as the restaurant’s dish I enjoyed my creation. I will certainly try this again.

My Mom’s Banana Pudding

banana pudding ingredients

Quite often, my mother would make banana pudding. It must have been her favorite dessert. I vividly remember cutting the bananas in a bowl for her and watching as she stacked Nilla Wafers on top of them.

I made an attempt to recreate my mom’s banana pudding. After gathering all the supplies and assembling the ingredients in a container I mixed my pudding and poured it onto the dish.

banana pudding

After a few hours of refrigeration I checked on my dessert o see if the pudding had stiffened. Much to my chagrin, the banana pudding I had mixed so carefully was like water and had soaked my Nilla Wafers into a disgusting mess. I was sad.

I realized I had added 1 cup too many of milk to the mixture. So, I discarded the wet chaos and started again the next day. Upon my second attempt I was careful to add the exact amount of milk the directions called for. The pudding thickened immediately. The dish was refrigerated and a few hours later I had a delicious banana pudding dessert to share with my family!

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Krusteaz Belgian waffle mix

Saturday mornings are wonderful times for my family. We all sleep extra late (with the exception of my two youngest children) and we take the time to unwind from our incredibly busy week.

Kenmore Waffle Iron

I enjoy Saturdays because that is the only day of the week we get to  have breakfast together. I break out the waffle iron, scramble a few eggs and we all enjoy our meals with syrup smeared across our faces.

breakfast

Lately I’ve been using Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix. I like my waffles extra fluffy and Krusteaz is THE FLUFFIEST! My Kenmore waffle iron is incredibly easy to use and cooks the waffles in minutes. It’s really easy to clean as well. A waffle breakfast with my family is a great way to start our weekend.

Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce

meatballs and sweet baby rays barbecue sauce

Any meal that cuts down my time in the kitchen is a winner! I am always in search of something quick and easy. So imagine my excitement when I passed these meatball in the frozen foods section of Sam’s!

meatballs and sweet baby rays barbecue sauce

It took no time to heat these pre-cooked meatballs. They were ready in less that 30 minutes. And to give them a punch of flavor, I added Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce! They were delicious!

 

Baking Cornbread

jiffy cornbread mix

It doesn’t take much to thrill me. A simple, well-made dinner gives me all kinds of chills. So you can imagine the joy I felt when my corn bread turned out nicely.

Throughout this blog, I will consistently mention that I’m not the greatest cook. So please don’t laugh at my store-bought cornbread batter. Even though I only had to add the ingredients to a bowl and stir, I felt like a chef on the Food Network while preparing this dish.

cornbread

To my surprise, everything turned out excellently (you never know what could happen with my temperamental oven). After about 25 minutes of baking, my corn bread was all golden brown and beautiful. It was so fluffy and light! (That’s due to the extra bit of milk I added to it.)

We gobbled it up swiftly and left none to be stored! This was a quick and easy baking project that turned out well. Kudos to me!