Monday, September 29, 2008

Cheese and Potato Soup

This recipe was from Epicurious and a group of us tried it out. It was easy and fabulous. I didn't have ham but I had thick sliced bacon so I fried up about 5-6 pieces and tore it in pieces. Then instead of vegetable oil, I used the bacon grease to fry the veggies in. (Yea, I know, not very healthy.) It gave the soup a wonderful flavor though. Instead of cheddar cheese I used a mixture of parmesan and mozzerella. The soup was a big hit with everyone in my family and our company. Next time I will remember to buy ham and try following the directions just to mix things up a bit.

Here's a link to the original recipe.

Library Project
The library project is coming along. We have most of the shelves up but need to attach a few to the walls yet. The book organizing will take us a couple of weeks unless we can move it into high gear. We are trying to catalog the books, group them in piles by subject according to the Dewey Decimal System and then we will actually start shelving them. We want to group them first in order to determine how much space each subject will take. We've even found a few to get rid of (about 7 so far).

Monday, September 22, 2008

BILLY X 6 + 1 ALVE =

A Library! We purchase 6 Billy bookcases and 1 Alve corner unit from IKEA on Friday and spent the weekend putting them together. We also got 6 of the height extension units but will need more (we got the last 6). It took most of Saturday to put together the corner unit. By comparison, the shelves just flew together. We will finish them tonight. Then we must figure out the configuration we want and how many more extensions we might need, attach them to the wall and add books.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Goal for the weekend-upload pictures! And a long list of other things too...

Yes, this blog is looking pretty bland about now. I can't get our pictures to upload to our computer so I need to mess with it and I haven't had time. I'm hoping to get to it this weekend.

In the meantime, we are getting nearer to completing an item on my to do list - build a home library. We have the books, just not any place to put them. Looking at my house you wouldn't even know I liked to read right now. Hardly a book in sight. That is soon to change! We are heading to IKEA today to pick up shelving units. YEAH!

I also need to package up my jam for the JAMMIN' JELLY EXCHANGE and ship it off. I hope she likes it as much as I do.

And of course there's other fun stuff like the applefest, mow the lawn (yea, right up there with the applefest-NOT), visit friends and clean the house. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mission Accomplished...and very delicious!

Success. I finally got all the ingredients together and just did it! On a week night. After work. After running errands. I even cleaned the kitchen afterwards. Wow is this stuff good. I did warm up exercises by making crabapple last weekend and raspberry pear last night. This is my favorite and I’m glad I decided to just go buy peaches and do it. Yes, I made PEACH PRESERVES! Cross it off the TO-DO List!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Recipe Request - Pannukakko (Finnish Oven Pancake)


1 stick butter (1/2 cup - 1/4 lb)
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Set oven at 375 F. Recipe requires jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with high sides. You can also use a lasagne pan but the pancake will turn out a little more "custardy" and may require a bit more time in the oven. Even a 9X13 cake pan will work but will require more time in the oven. Basically, I use the largest pan I have with sides.

Melt 1 stick of butter on your pan in the oven. While butter is melting, mix the rest of the ingredients in a blender or with a mixer. Pour about half of the melted butter into the batter mixture and blend. Leave the rest in the pan and return the pan to the oven rack. Pour the mixture into the pan with the melted butter.

Bake for 30 minutes until light brown on top.

4-6 servings (unless you have a 12 year old boy - then make 2 batches)

Our Weekend in the Kitchen

It started early Saturday morning with my son asking if we could make donuts. What a good idea! And of course we had to put several different kinds of toppings on them too. They were wonderful and we made enough for Sunday's breakfast for us (and the dog while we were at church) too.

Then we were off to the neighbor's yard to pick crabapples. We weren't exactly in the kitchen but this leads us to Sunday's kitchen time. We picked about 12 lbs of crabapples, enough for me and the neighbor to make a large batch of crabapple jelly.

Back home again and to the kitchen. The kids and I made a batch of "Better Than Those Fancy-Schmancy Department Store Cookies..." from Noble Pig blog (see below in blog links) to take to my sister. We also whipped up a dream whip pie - haven't made one of those in ages, some fresh salsa from all those tomatoes I have sitting around and baked a loaf of bread in the bread machine. Then we took the whole lot to my sister and her family's for dinner.

Sunday found us back in the kitchen, cleaning up after the dog ate the rest of our donuts off the counter. We really do know better but we were just running late for church and left them on the counter and not in the cupboard. At least there weren't any chocolate ones. My husband helped get the crabapples ready to cook and I got the lemon jelly started.

In one of the lulls of waiting for something to cook, I threw together Salsa Lime Pork Loin from my Southwest Slowcooker cookbook and tossed another mix into the bread machine.

I finished the jelly on my own while my family headed outside to play. Both kids had friends over. I managed to get everything cleaned up and sit down to dinner with a nice clean kitchen.

And just beause I hadn't had enough of the kitchen, I threw together some chocolate chip banana bread to use up a couple of overripe bananas before bed. Boy did I sleep well Sunday night!

My kids really have been enjoying cooking lately and that's fine with me. We usually have fun in the kitchen as long as we aren't arguing over who gets to crack open the eggs.

Jammin' Jelly Exchange

I spent the weekend making a couple different kinds of jellies that have been on my to-do list for a while. I tried a new recipe for lemon jelly that is NOT a keeper. I will be disposing of this small batch and finding a better use for the cute jars. I did however, make a very successful batch of crabapple jelly. Not only is this stuff very tasty, it is absolutely beautiful.

I am hoping to try a different lemon jelly recipe next weekend and hope for better results. Or I just may try something completely different. There's a whole bushel of pears sitting here that need something done with them. I've never made pear preserves or jelly but I haven't settled on anything yet. We'll see...

Anyway, I must pick something for the Jammin' Jelly Exchange I'm participating in.