Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Adventures In MommyLand-Cooking

The past couple of weeks I have been becoming more and more adventurous in the kitchen. I really like to cook and although I thought I liked baking goodies best, other food ideas seem appealing as well. I've always thought it was great that I could stay home with the girls and I had this vision in my mind that while I was home, I'd cook all day. Now that I have a fully functioning kitchen (after 3 years)I find myself immersed in cook books. So, most days I do make something new and if not, baking goodies is always peaceful and relaxing.

I have also taken my grocery shopping to a new level and with that comes more opportunities for me to make something from scratch. I have 2 very picky eaters in the house, Izabel and Daddy. Neither eat things that are good for them. So for the last couple of weeks I have found a few recipes that cut my grocery list down and also entice everyone to try something new.

First off, I have perfected the art of making cookies from scratch; right down to the second in the oven. My oatmeal/raisin cookies are by far my favorite. They are excellent and last only two days or so. And when I say scratch, I mean it. All the ingredients fresh from the start working my way up. I usually make them about once a week and I make about 3 dozen or so at a time. They are so much better than buying them already made! The only bad part about this recipe is it calls for a lot of butter. Butter and I are very good friends. Who thought butter would make such a difference!

Secondly, I have been making homemade bread (WITHOUT A MACHINE) instead of buying bread from the store. Again, bread from scratch. So far I am pleased with the outcome of the bread. I'm trying to become more creative as far as taste and adding additional ingredients, but one step at a time right? Two home-made loaves usually last us the week. I really hope to try making some pumpkin rolls next week.

Finally, today I spent the morning in the kitchen making my first ever batch of Lentil and Sausage Soup. For one, I have never even tasted Lentils and two, I cannot say that Daddy or Izabel will even like it. It has made the house smell really good though. It was fairly simple, a lot of vegetables, sausage out of the casing, and of course the lintels. I even made the stock myself. Daddy has been sick for two days now so I took advantage of the situation and made soup for him, although I am sure he would prefer to have chicken and stars.

I am trying my best to keep up with this plan. Making things from scratch is invigorating and I find it very rewarding in the end. In addition to the therapy it gives me, it also gives Izabel a chance to help me in the kitchen and be a part of the food I can only hope she will try. She likes to cook too!

After all the time I spent in the kitchen this morning I still have every intention on making Valentine Cupcakes for Daddy to take to work tmrw, should he be well enough. Strawberry cupcakes, with whipped frosting and candied hearts atop them. Delicious!

I have incorporated some pictures of Emily into this post. She really loves her mobile in her swing and the other night was just as cute as a bean watching it go 'round and 'round!

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