Saturday, January 26, 2013

Random Saturday Thoughts

Random Thoughts for a Saturday....

I should be baking something or taking pictures of something so you don't think of me as just Suzy Social Worker... and Forget the Betty Crocker part....

I should be cleaning my house but I really don't feel like it.

I have adorable valentine cookies waiting to be iced, but I am cozy right now on my sofa.  

Reasons why I love Saturdays: sleeping in, hot bubble baths, not doing my hair, reading my kindle uninterrupted for long periods of time, catching up on TV shows (Downton Abbey!!), and staying in my flannel pants for most of the day.  

Things most people do on Saturday that I avoid- grocery shopping (heck no!!), cleaning, laundry (ok-I do this every once in a while on a Saturday), clean their cars, shovel their sidewalks (ahem....), clean their bathrooms (double ahem.....) etc.  

Things that make me laugh...  This cat poster below.

More random thoughts for a Saturday.  I have been wanting to get a blender.... I don't really have the type of money right now for a blender except for the Hamilton Beach $14.99 variety from Walmart.  I have already tried that variety and it broke right in the middle of margarita time.  Not Cool.

So, when I win the lottery and buy myself a blender what kind should I get?   I understand there is a bit of a blender war going on out there... The war of the Blendtec vs. Vita-mix.   I take no sides in this war.  I am Switzerland.   Minus the chocolate part.  Cause I already ate all the chocolate.  


So what side are you on?  Do you prefer one over the other?  Both are expensive- so don't worry yourself too much. I won't be rushing out to make any rash decisions just yet.   And to be completely honest- I want to jump on the I-am-putting-kale-and-bananas-together-for-breakfast-bandwagon but I am not sure if I am ready to drink green drinks yet.

And my last random thought for this Saturday.  Is everyone as obsessed with twine as much as I am?  And don't even get my started on my love for Washi tape.....

I promise to share some baked goodies soon.   I have been thinking of recreating my Blueberry French Toast blog post.   It has had quite a few hits on Pinterest, but I cringe every time I see the picture.   It was pre-nice-camera.   I still don't know how to use my nice camera, but I still may recreate it just for my poor ego's sake.  

I also hope to someday try adding on some better buttons to my blog page.   I follow Simply Sweets By Honeybee and she has a post with some helpful hints.  Thanks Melissa!  

Everyone have a safe and happy weekend filled with cooking, cleaning or just relaxing!!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

My growing tool basket....

I recently had some fun shopping at my version of Lowe's.   All you bakers and cooks out there know what I mean.   You know... that tingle you get when you walk by a Williams-Sonoma.   Or the joy you feel when you get a new baking tool that you have been coveting for a long period of time.   How about the smile you get on your face when you find a gadget that fulfills all your cooking dreams.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I still love shoes... and purses... scarves... and makeup.   I still do love those things and they still make my heart pitter patter.  But, I also am a baker.  And bakers have a whole slew of gadgets and gizmos to get the blood boiling.   

Here are a few of the fun items that I have bought recently thanks to some lovely gift cards.   

From left to right: flat wisk, purple Better Batter Wisk, Kuhn Rikon Corn Zipper, Kuhn Rikon double Peeler and wooden dowel.  All tools except for the Corn Zipper were bought at Sur La Table.   The Corn Zipper was bought at Williams-Sonoma.

Look at that flat wisk.   I know that it will be able to wisk every nook and cranny of my cast iron skillet.  I also intend to perfect my own gravy with it.   And that purple Better Beater.   It really is fun!!  I made waffles recently and wisked my batter to perfection.  

Now, onto that corn zipper.   I haven't had the chance to test this one out yet.  I cannot wait for summer- Ohio Corn is the best.   Remember my post on the Corn Festival?  Well, that is Ohio in the summer.   Sweet fresh corn, hot donuts and fair rides.    Summers in Ohio are the best and filled with festivals and events.   Winter in Ohio.... uhhh I am not quite sure as I am hibernating right now.

See that zippy little red peeler.  I am going to test it out this weekend. I have a butternut squash that is waiting to be roasted.   Last time I peeled a squash I almost  lost a few fingers so I am very grateful to find it.   I actually looked at my peelers in the drawer and I have quite a few.   Five now to be exact including these two.   I also have a tomato peeler.   It's teeth are very zesty....  And my new red peeler is a dual one- I can switch blades easily.  

And my new dowel.   I tested it out already on some cookie dough.   Sigh.  It was lovely.   I still love my marble rolling pin, but I may cheat a little with this new beauty.

These are not necessarily my all time favorite baking & cooking tools, but I am excited to add them to my tool collection.  Do you have any favorite cooking or baking tools?

Longing for Summer Corn,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Browned Butter Snickerdoodles

Okay- Let's just be honest.  I have been missing from the blog-esphere for a bit.  And where have I been?  I have been stuck down a rabbit hole called Downton Abbey.   And I did not want to surface from this hole at all.  It has been lovely.   I have been walking around since then talking to people in a strange Asian version of a British accent.   And I keep catching myself saying "Milady" and "My Lord".  I have been getting a few weird looks.  But- I don't care.  The only thing I care about is Mary and Matthew.   And what witty thing Maggie Smith is going to say next.   

So, I have neglected this post for a long time.  I have been meaning to tell you all about this amazing thing called BROWN BUTTER!!  But, then Downton Abbey went and stole all the thunder.   I think we all should write Laura Linney at once!!

I followed the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.  Check out her post here.  

These cookies were deliciously amazing!!  To be completely honest, I did not think Snickerdoodle when I ate one at first, but the flavors are so layered I guarantee even a non-snickerdoodle person (is there even such a thing??) will love them.

I followed the recipe closely until it came to the rolling the dough in the cinnamon sugar mix.   I did not think that there was enough cinnamon in the mix- so I added some more.   A lot more.   And I am glad I did.

I also recommend you refrigerate the dough as called for in the recipe.   I made a couple the night I made the dough because I could not resist and it did produce a flatter cookie.  A tasty cookie.   But a flatter one.  I have no evidence of this experiment as I ate them.  Very Quickly.   And possibly burned my tongue some in the process.   I soothed it with another cookie.

So the lesson of today's blog is- eat cookies and watch Downton Abbey.   I have been saving my season 3 episodes for a friend.  So, we will catch up together.  Is anyone else as obsessed as I am with this show?  Does anyone else feel an incredible urge to go out and buy a hat with bows, feathers and tulle?  If not- just look the other way when I show up in mine.  


Saturday, January 5, 2013

December 2012

Another year has come and gone.  Another Christmas has come and gone as well.   I think that I have cleaned up the last of the wrapping paper, bows and ribbons.   I think that I have boxed up all of the decorations.   I hope that I have vacuumed up the last pine needle, but every year I find a surprise lurking.    Whether it be a stray gift bag that was tucked by the sofa, or a Winter candle that I could not bear to part with yet- Christmas lingers on.   

I was able to spend Christmas this year with my sister and my two adorable twin nephews.  It was such an amazing experience to wake up with them on Christmas Day and see their faces when Santa came.  

I played a lot of trains this past December.   Trains are big with my nephews right now- all of them.  

I was glad to see that Dad was there with us in spirit and in our hearts.   I don't think we could ever lose the parts of Dad that are with us still.

The twins are such good helpers.  They received some new "tools" for Christmas and could not wait to try them out.  

This is sweet little Romance Pie.   He was sick when this photo was taken.    What could possibly make a sick child feel better than watching train videos on the Ipad? Nothing.... except maybe popsicles.   And cookies.

My Doodle bug may have gotten the sweetest little surprise ever this Christmas.  Meet Panda. I think that her name was originally Blacky, whitey, whitey, blacky or something like that.   It was shortened to Panda. She is quite possibly the sweetest and gentlest guinea pig ever.   And she loves loves loves cilantro.   Which also makes her the smartest guinea pig ever!!

I had some friends over before Christmas and we decorated some cookies.   This is Sophie trying her hand at marbling.    We had so much fun.   We may not have had perfect cookies, but we had a perfect time decorating them.  

Here are a few of the cookies we made.    It was late by the time we were done and I did not get a chance to take any "nice" photos of the finished cookies.  

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.   I know that 2013 will be a fabulous year and I am looking forward to sharing all of my adventures with you.