Tag Archives: cooking

Thanksgiving 2013

This year’s Thanksgiving is like most Thanksgivings we’ve had the past several years – Spent with friends who have taken us in to be a part of their celebrations. A good friend who has been a rock in my life has invited us over for a fun two-family Thanksgiving celebration. We sat down and poured over several Rachel Ray magazines, which made me miss reading that magazine in the comfort of my own home, this past week. We looked over different ideas, and came down to some good choices for all of us to enjoy and experience. (Note to self: get a subscription this year!)

I love cooking, and working full time has made it harder to do so. I did make a great acorn squash roast with tri colored pasta for dinner tonight, but what I really like cooking is things like risotto, fish, ethnic dishes, and a good mean chicken curry with chickpeas and rice. 

Okay, I’m getting off point here. 

We split up the menu courses between us, and it was decided that I was in charge of deserts and the appetizers for the day. I also plan to bring the traditional apple cider to heat in the crockpot for everyone to drink as we wait for the turkey to be done. We found an orange cranberry style turkey with a gravy using the cranberries and oranges. We’re very excited about trying that! There’s going to be the common favorites : Green bean casserole and possibly mashed potatoes. 

The kids will be together watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I know I won’t want to miss seeing Santa’s debut at the end. I am still a kid at heart, and that’s never going to change. The guys will have their beers for the afternoon, so their morning will be all about talking and whatever they please. I know there will be a cup (or two) of coffee for me. My dear friend will have one, I’m sure, but she’s not one to drink more than that. Chex mix and some other finger foods is what I’m planning on bringing for us to munch on as we wait for the grand meal of all. I haven’t quite decided if I want to make some of the appetizers or just stick with the commercialized favorites – Chex mix and crackers. I will be browsing Pinterest and the Food Network recipes for ideas in the next couple of days. 

But what I’m really excited about making is my favorite creation I have made my own : Pumpkin Cheesecake! This year I am thinking of going completely from scratch! Tomorrow night I plan on roasting a sugar pumpkin to puree for it. It’s not a big one, but it will be enough for what I need for one cheesecake.  I use a very simple Allrecipe.com recipe with my own twist. Instead of the traditional graham cracker crust, I use ginger cookies very finely ground up. This year, I am going to add in a new desert that caught my eye on Facebook. A friend posted this delicious looking Paleo Pumpkin Carrot cake I just knew I needed to make. I know… One desert is completely wicked and the other is so angelic to our health. I just think this way, there can be a choice option available for those who might want to gorge themselves on a healthier version of a sweet tooth appeaser. Okay.. “Gorge” is a bit too much, but you know what I mean, right?  I will make all of this on Wednesday night, of course, as the cheesecake has to chill. The cake will be just fine as well as I will add the paleo frosting to it in the morning at my friend’s house.

There will be football games to watch… Well, as I’ve seen who is playing, I’m not sure who I will root for. I love my Chicago Bears, even though I am sad at their miserable loss to the Rams this past Sunday. I am hoping they get better and make us Bear fans proud soon!  Green Bay vs. Lions, Raiders vs. Cowboys, and Steelers vs. Ravens are playing on Thanksgiving day. As for me, I won’t root for Green Bay or the Cowboys!  As for the Steelers or the Ravens, I’m not quite sure, even though my boss is an avid Ravens fan and I hope she gets to see a win for her team. I might just spend my time talking to my friend, calling my folks, and having some good fellowship in the spirit of Thanksgiving. 

I am thankful I do have friends who can count us in to be a part of their lives. It makes being so far away from family easier. I hope my readers have an awesome Thanksgiving as well! 



Domestication, a Dying Art

I’ve been a stay at home mom for almost six years, and now I’m finding myself in the place where I may have to move on to becoming a Working mom. It’s been hard keeping up with how expensive everything is, and my poor husband is stressed with trying to make it work with overtime and the fact he has not gotten a raise in four years. He so badly wants to get a different job since his job is becoming more and more difficult as he is losing his sight. Doctors are giving him five to ten years until he is completely blind. I pray it will be longer.

This morning I saw an article online that made me a little sad.

(copied, courtesy of aol.com)

Women Under 30 Losing ‘Lady Skills’ Like Cooking and Cleaning

Posted Feb 4th 2011 at 3:00PM by Emily Tan

Study: Women losing Flickr, toniwbusch

While today’s women are advancing in the workplace and making more money, a new study found that few of them know how to do the same domestic chores their mothers and grandmothers did every day.

Researchers found that only 51 percent of women under 30 knew how to cook a roast while 82 percent of baby boomer females thought it was a cinch. “Women of today tend to be busier, juggling more roles, and are quite prepared to compromise a bit of the homemade just to save some time,” social researcher Mark McCrindle told Australia’s Courier-Mail.

McCrindle also noted that because these women have bigger paychecks, they don’t feel the need to have to bake a cake from scratch or iron their own clothing when instant mixes and dry cleaners are readily available.

“We live in a throw-away culture where, rather than repair something, we will buy a new one, even if it is just a matter of darning holes or sewing on buttons,” he said. “As such, many women have lost these skills. If we do want something repaired, women today are more likely to take it to their local drycleaner because they are busy and can afford it.”

While older generations may find it disheartening to know that their daughters and granddaughters are without these “lady skills,” there are some jobs that research has found women today do more readily than in the past. Over 70 percent of women under 30 admit to taking out the trash, mowing the lawn and washing their own cars.

Which leads us to ask: Why is sewing a button back on still a “lady skill” if we’ve taken over in all of these departments?

Meanwhile, our lady friends over at TheFrisky have compiled a list of the oh-so-2011 things they are good at.

Maybe I’m one of the rare ones who does know how to bake a cake from scratch? I’ve watched enough food network to know and have learned some of the baking skills from my grandmother. I am thankful to my mother and my grandmother for having taught me the domestication skills that it seems more women have not learned how to do (or just refuse to do since they can pay someone else or something else to do). To make it worse, I saw a friend post on facebook that there was an invention of a contraption that can stir for you.

OH, come on! I just wanted to scream… No wonder we’re so unhealthy in this country. It doesn’t take too much work to stir something. If anything, your arm muscles will thank you for using them!!!

Okay… Thank you for enduring my little vent.

Now, my domestic life of being a stay at home mom/housewife is soon to change. It has come to be that I am needing to find a job to help us get out of the financial rut we’re in. I do want a house soon, and the only way for us to do it is if I have a job. I’m not happy about it, but with the way this world has become, the stay at home mom is becoming a dying breed.  Despite the fact that my “career” as one is soon to be over, my domestication skills won’t ever stop. I love to bake, cook, sew, and fix… Though I will say I don’t care for cleaning, but it needs to be done.

It’s going to be hard, but with God’s strength, I’ll be able to do it…. Hopefully.

Holiday Food – Good bye!

>Okay, I admit… I have very little discipline over my diet when the Holidays hit. I LOVE baking during this time of year and it has become my downfall. Fortunately, I’m not too crazy in my eating and gave most of my vices away. Despite that, I still gained back about 7 lbs.
I hate that!
I have this picture in my mind of what I want for myself, and right now I feel like I need someone to kick my butt into gear. It doesn’t help when my husband doesn’t really care about the diet as I do. I get so tired after a full day of cleaning and taking care of two kids that cooking is the last thing on my mind. What happens is we resort to the bad stuff… processed food or take out. Whats really bad is that his body can’t take that stuff anymore! He’s got blood pressure issues and not enough good cholesterol in his diet.
I’m at the point where I need to find a cookbook with a lot of easy, 20 minute or so, vegetarian meals for me to work from. Or even a lovely crockpot cookbook! I used to have a good collection of them, and out of desperation last year, I sold them to get some muchly needed cash. I’m kicking myself in the butt for it. But, at the time, we needed to do it, no thanks to this stinking economy. Hopefully I can buy them back via used book stores and such.
For now, I’m hoping the creativity inspired dishes I see on the Food Network will help me get through this time. I’ve been playing with a lot of ideas with squash, beans, and other veggies. Sweet potatoes are my favorite with caramelized sweet onions. I don’t follow any cookbooks right now, but I play with the food with the techniques I already know to do. Sauted onions are my favorite. I’ll cook them with a can of diced Italian styled tomatoes and I’m in heaven. My kids think I’m nuts that I love onions as much as I do.
And, no, I won’t eat them raw. Ew.
The only issue with cooking like this is knowing how many calories they are. I really don’t know since I’m not a whiz when it comes to the average calorie count in each ingredient to be able to figure out a rough number in a dish. Perhaps I can get a book on that while I’m searching for my cookbooks.
At least I’m somewhat pushing myself in my exercise. Just this past Monday I did 7.2 miles on the elliptical and pushed some weights. I need a trainer, I swear.. I don’t think I’m pushing myself hard enough. I go and go… the next morning, i’m not sore. I really know I did a good exercise when I can feel my muscles worked out. But, unfortunately, trainers cost money… So the only thing I can do is keep going and experiment until I find a way to push myself. Perhaps I should try getting back into rock climbing? Trust me, I’d be so thrilled if I could! The only thing stopping me is the fact I have two very young kids and a husband who is going blind… Finding time to get out there for at least 3 hours to tackle some climbing is difficult. Hopefully when my kids get older, things will get easier.
With one day left of the year tomorrow, I am hoping to toss out all the naughty foods out of this place so I can start the new year fresh. It’s going to be rough… Both my husband and I love food, and I am going to need to help my husband find the excitement I find in eating vegetarian dishes. I’ve thought about trying to cook tofu, but that makes me way too nervous. Yet, I keep reminding myself that I’ll never know if I don’t try. Perhaps next week I’ll bring that onto the menu! 😉