Monday, May 31, 2010

Cooking Show Dreams

I often have ideas floating around my head. They usually involve more effort and financial outlay than I am willing to input. I had this brilliant idea for an online market for crafters and a year later Etsy boomed. My husband always says that a really good idea is usually already taken. Perhaps he is right.

I should come up with a show to exploit my children but then I guess that has been done over and over. One of my current ideas is to host a cooking show. Not a chef in white coat, ingredients you never heard of cooking show. Rather a mom making dinner every night and how she gets a meal on the table every night amidst all the goings on in a traditional family. Not only does this mom make great dinners, she manages to find foods that everyone loves while avoiding all her food allergies. Maybe nobody would watch it. But then everyone seems to be watching all these other shows that I cannot imagine watching...The Real Housewives of where ever, just about everything on MTV, and all those simulated "reality" shows out of California.

They could film it in my real kitchen complete with my cooktop that only has 3 working burners, tile counters with severely stained grout, and a microwave that is so low as to not allow a stock pot. Add to the mix two rowdy pugs that are always under foot, the piano music constantly playing in the background, and so little counter space things are balancing precariously throughout, and I think it would be a great show. It would at least be real "reality". Well, my reality anyway.

Here are two recipes for all those non-dairy folks:
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
2/3 cup oil
1/2 C almond milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Mix sugar, cocoa, oil, and almond butter in saucepan. Heat to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Add oatmeal and stir. Drop by rounded spoonfulls onto wax paper. Refrigerate until set.

Parsley Potatoes
2 lbs. small red potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic
1 tbsp. dried parsley or fresh
salt & pepper to taste

Clean and quarter potatoes. Steam until tender. In non-stick frying pan heat olive oil. Add garlic and saute 1 min. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Add parsley, salt and pepper and stir.

What's for dinner tonight? Chicken kebabs and whatever our friends are cooking! It is after all Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homemaking 101

It was time to make myself an apron. I always look at pictures of the 50's housewife with her beautiful clothes and well worn apron and think how I would have fit into that time period better than I fit into the current. I love to cook and sew. True I grumble about laundry and cleaning toilets but I do enjoy the satisfaction of clean clothes and that just scrubbed bathroom scent. I just love being at home.

Why hadn't I made myself an apron years ago? Same reason the plumbers pipes are always broken...time. It had never gotten to the top of the list like all the other things. As cute as the apron is, let's face reality when I say it is true utilitarian sewing like making pajamas and underwear. It's not something I would wear out of the house. Nobody might ever see it but family and friends invited for dinner. Most will not question whether I made it because it will probably sneak by with just a passing glance. It is in fact, just an apron. Much like a good old pick up truck that was once shiny and new. It will succumb to utility.

I did some more utility sewing this weekend. I made new oven mitts for my kitchen. The old ones were past their useful lives and filled with holes. I also made a new pool bag. I had the brilliant idea of making the bag out of microfiber. Microfiber is the same fabric used for making men's swim trunks. It's bright and cheery and I made it big enough to carry 4 towels. OK, so it is rather enormous but the fabric itself is very lightweight. I even included a zippered pouch on one side for my keys, money, and cell phone. Now if only it would stop thundering...

What's for dinner tonight? Grilled Tuna marinated in lemon and mint served with barley and some oven roasted carrots. If I get motivated there might also be a salad.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mmmm, mmmm, Good

My latest love affair is with my new Pressure Cooker. I was afraid of them back when a friend of mine started raving about hers. She rattled off recipe after recipe that she had made in her pressure cooker. I was not convinced and asked the age old question "but don't they blow up?". She laughed and said she was afraid of it too but then she took a class and now she loves it.

My hubby got me a fabulous pressure cooker for my birthday. All you wives out in the work force that are horrified that my hubby bought me cookware for my birthday, calm down. I actually love to cook so any cookware for any holiday is more welcome in my house than jewelry. In fact you working women would benefit immensely if your husbands got you a pressure cooker for your birthday as well. They are the ultimate fast food machine. Food is cooked so incredibly fast, I've begun to sound like an infomercial. I can whip out a pot roast worthy of company in just 30 minutes. Soups and stews are so quick that I now have a freezer full of soups perfect for lunch in a hurry or surprise visits from friends. Soup's perfect for lazy dinners when I'm tired and don't feel like cooking. Yes, even those of us that love to cook sometimes get tired.

While my super, duper, fast food machine is wonderful, there are things it cannot do. Sourdough bread is one of them. I have a starter that we've named Bob. I have fed and cared for Bob for over a week now, feeding and encouraging him to grow and bubble. Bob has risen to the challenge and is producing a loaf of bread as I type. Go Bob, Go!

In other homemaking type news, I made my mom some pj's for Mother's Day. The pattern is from Ottobre Designs. The fabric for the bottoms is vintage cotton Yukata, typically used for summer Kimono. I hope they fit. If they don't, I suppose I will have some great new pj's!

What's for dinner tonight? Pressure Cooker sloppy joes, sauteed green beans, and shoe string fries.