Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Days in the Kitchen

I have been spending time in the kitchen the past few days. I so enjoy altering recipes and doing my own thing with them. I have learned a few fun things while I've been hanging out and I thought I'd share. Be patient with me - some of these are pretty silly!
  • We (meaning just me) don't like tofu. We (meaning both of us) were picking up a few groceries and the tofu curiosity got the best of me. I picked up a package, and I've been thinking on it for a week or so. So I tried making some at lunch today as a test run. Oh, I really don't like it. Now I have to tell you that I've always kept my mouth closed when it comes to food. I wanted Shane to grow up with "fair and balanced" taste buds. You know, if a Mom says "yuck" chances are the kids will think it before he/she even tastes it. Thus Shane grew up with lots of different great ideas about food, and I didn't have to make a lot of mac & cheese and hot dogs or a separate meal every day! But I deter from the....tofu...gelatin-like-wiggly-really-yucky tofu. I guess you know by now that I've saved Jerry from having to try this!! ( I truly apologize to anyone that likes this bean-curdy wet food. No - I admire you!)
  • I was making Karen P's wonderful Cherry Bars (again). I didn't have the extra margarine/butter for the recipe, so at that moment I was very thankful for lessons I learned as a little girl. "Substitute because the store is far away (and probably closed), so you'd better learn what can work." Both my Grandma Matvey and my Mom lived with this theory. And we did live out in the country. There was a small store with short hours, but otherwise groceries were 30-45 minutes away. So to make a long story short, I needed to find a substitute . I pulled out my yummy homemade applesauce, and added that instead of the butter/margarine. Perfect! Jerry feels very spoiled. Thanks for the recipe, Karen! It's become one of our favorites!
  • One sauce will work for many recipes. Do you know creamed tuna and peas on toast? Well, that white sauce works for country fried steak, bicuits and gravy, and I used it this evening to make a cauliflower casserole. I topped the casserole with a little bit of asiago cheese and fried onion. Again, Jerry feels very spoiled.

Cooking and baking is just something that is in my blood - much like it's in my mother's and four sisters. I called my mother to say hello this morning, and she told me the house smelled good because there was a pot roast in the oven. I learned to make a good pot roast from her. My oldest sister Linda is really good at making things healthy. I've learned how to alter recipes from her - not because I've asked much, but because I've listened. Patti, one of my younger sisters is adventerous in the kitchen, and I love watching all the things she tries. She loves Rachel Ray - isn't that fun that Rachel Ray has taught all of us so much? The first time I tried Snickers Salad is because my youngest sister Julie made it. Ooh, my family is hooked on that salad! And you should have seen the Italian spread my sister Shelley made at Christmas last year. It was a ton of work I am sure, and boy was it good!!

I know that a part of the way to my hubsy's heart is through his tummy. After all, the very first thing I ever made for him was caramel brownies. And he hasn't left me since! ;)


Kim said...

I love the new look. I'm glad that you are feeling well enough to be in the kitchen baking! Enjoy..
Kim xXx

Laurel said...

Too funny about the Tofu! I too, ate things in front of my kids so that they would eat them - for me though it is cantaloupe and watermelon - yuck! But I would eat a few pieces in front of my girls when they were little, and they both love them so I guess it was worth it!

Michelle H. said...

You know, I like tofu, but I have yet to figure out how to prepare it myself so it tastes like something other than wet paper towels. I know that it's necessary to press the water out of it, but beyond that, I'm clueless.

Patti said...

Oh, I am so jealous Brenda! I love the idea of spending the day in the kitchen trying new things! When I have a day, I'm too busy catching up on laundry. etc. to go out of my normal meat, potatoes, veggies meal! I'm glad to hear you are back in the kitchen cuz you are an awesome cook and baker (I still tell the kids how we couldn't eat any cookies till you counted them!) and always try so many new things! I've gotten tons of recipes and ideas from you! It feels so great to have a good homemade meal for your family at the end of the day! Can't wait for cookie bake day!