Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fun in the kitchen and misc. stuff

Yesterday I spent some time in the kitchen and had a lot of fun. I went to a Pampered Chef party about 2 weeks ago and got motivated to cook and bake more. I have always enjoyed baking, but cooking isn't something I have done much of. I am always in a hurry when it's time to eat dinner, so I put something together quickly. I also lost the motivation to cook ever since we put our house on the market. Keeping the house in order and taking care of a toddler has taken most of my time. I know I could cook some during his nap, but I am normally ready for a break by then. I am hoping to change my bad attitude towards cooking. I checked out cookbooks from the library and am also using other blogs and the internet as sources for recipes. I wanted to share some of my finds with you. Yesterday I baked and cooked. I started off with blueberry muffins from Cooking Light. I changed the recipe slightly because I found a cranberry muffin recipe but only had fresh blueberries in the fridge. I also omitted the orange rind. Check it out: Fresh Cranberry Muffins. I have been receiving the Cooking Light magazine in the mail for two years, but I had never accessed their recipes online. I wish I had thought of this years ago. You don't have to subscribe to use their database and print recipes. Enjoy!!!

Next, I baked some chocolate chip cookies. Until a few years ago, I always made chocolate chip cookies. For some reason I was no longer able to get them to rise or turn out the way I wanted them to, so I started making cookie bars instead. I still love cookie bars, but this chocolate chip cookie recipe was great and probably one of the best I've made in my life.
These cookies are to die for: Schoolhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love the blog where I found this recipe. This lady is a Christian, and she homeschools her 5 children (Do I ever admire her!!!). I don't remember how I came across this blog, but I am excited to follow it. Read her profile to see a cool fact about their house, and check out her posts. She has tons of good recipes and creative ideas. Go to: Pleasant View Schoolhouse.

My last task was to cook dinner. While at Fripp, I was looking through my mom's Good Housekeeping magazine and found a Baked Spaghetti Pie recipe. I have made a Paula Deen Spaghetti Bake in the past, but it was very time consuming, so I decided to try this easy recipe. I'm glad I did because Jeremy and I both enjoyed it. Samuel didn't, but that's ok. I have searched for it on the Good Housekeeping website. Since I can't find it, I'll type the recipe below. You won't be disappointed! The one thing I am going to do differently next time is that I'm going to add another layer of spaghetti sauce. That is I'm going to divide the spaghetti mixture in half. I'll put the first half in, add a cup of spaghetti sauce, put the second half in, and then add another cup of spaghetti sauce. I think it will be even better with that extra cup of spaghetti sauce.

baked spaghetti pie

Prep 30 minutes
Bake 25 minutes
Makes 6 main-dish servings

1/2 lb. spaghetti (1/2 box)
2 large eggs
1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 in. glass pie plate. In large bowl, with fork, beat eggs. Stir in ricotta and 3/4 cup Parmesan until blended.
3. Add spaghetti to ricotta mixture and stir until well coated. Transfer spaghetti mixture to prepared pie plate; top with marinara sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan.
4. Bake pie 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes for easier serving. Cut into wedges to serve.

After I put Samuel to bed last night, I watched a movie, which is something I rarely do. Jeremy was busy with business stuff, so I watched it alone. I don't know if you've seen World Trade Center. I don't keep up with movies, but I found it at the library and thought I would give it a shot. I was ready to turn it off if I didn't like it, which is one of the nice things about watching a movie at home. I have to admit that it's a tear jerker. I spent a lot of the movie with tears in my eyes, but I am happy that I saw it. It taught me to treasure every moment with my family and pray for my family. I won't say more because I don't want to give the movie away if you haven't seen it.

Lastly, Samuel started climbing down the stairs in the last few days. At Fripp they had a slide that Samuel went down a bunch of times, but the last time we visited the pool, he didn't want to go down the slide and climbed back down the stairs. I think that was all it took. Now he is climbing down our stairs. I will be nervous around stairs for several years, so I am always right by him while he climbs. I read in Parenting magazine that until 4 or 5 yrs. old children need to be watched around stairs. I don't think I would have thought it took that long for them to be sure-footed, but apparently it does. Our stairs are hardwood, and all I have to do is picture him hitting his head on the hardwood to get me to watch very closely.

That's all for now. Today has been uneventful since it rained most of the morning. No morning stroll for us. Now that it's cool I am taking him outside more after his nap. Hopefully the weather will hold up today for time outside. Samuel should be up from his nap very shortly since he's been asleep for 3 hours.

Have a good night! I don't have kitchen duty tonight because my aunt Faye and uncle Jack are visiting from Atlanta, and we're going to a Greek restaurant for dinner. More recipes to come though.

1 comment:

  1. Marianna-
    Try this recipe. It is ABSOLUTELY delicious. Probably not terribly healthy, but VERY good. It's from Mrs. Whitlark and is VERY easy and quick.

    Chicken Cheese spaghetti

    3 or 4 chicken breasts, skinned & boned (I use a whole rotisserie chicken)
    3/4 lb. velveeta cheese
    1 (10 3/4 oz.) crm of mushroom soup (can use cream of chicken)
    1 (8 oz.) pkg. spaghetti noodles
    1 (10 oz.) can Ro-tel tomatoes-mild
    1/4 - 1/2 can chicken broth

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bone chicken into pieces; cook noodles, then drain well. Mix together chicken breast pieces, cheese (that has been cubed); drained spaghetti noodles, ro-tel tomatoes and chicken broth. Pour into a light greased 13 x 9 baking dish and bake for 30 min. Serves 6-8.