The post otherwise known as “I am still here”

Wow!  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.  I honestly have been very busy!  The boys and I went back to my hometown to visit my parents for five weeks over Christmas.  Chief was able to meet us there for about five days in between his flights and snow storms.  My Mom and Dad had a fabulous time with the boys and of course we had lots of fun with them too.  It was a lot of work to get everything ready to go for our trip and then it’s been a busy week getting back into the groove of things here at home.  So to sum up:  I have been busy, as has everyone else, and now I am back!!  🙂

Engineer enjoying his yogurt in style at Grammie's house

Today, for Everything Kitchen I would like to share a couple of recipe links with you of things I have made recently.  The ladies, from the blogs that I am about to link to, all have pretty pictures of their food and lots of great recipes on their sites.  I have made quite a few recipes from both Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures and Tammy’s Recipes and they have all turned out wonderful.  If I recommend a recipe on my blog you can be assured that my entire family likes it.  Chief loves to experiment with new foods, but has quite set ideas of how certain things should taste.  Like pudding is always to be vanilla and maybe chocolate but nothing else.  However, today I made a peanut butter pudding from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, which I have made a few times before, but Chief has not tried it until today.  After trying it he pronounced it good!!  I know that peanut butter pudding is probably not going to eclipse vanilla in his world, but as long as he enjoys it with me, I am happy!!  Now this pudding is very rich, so I would suggest serving it in 1/2 cup servings or less.  To dress it up for serving, it would look nice with a few mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  (Also, be sure that you use a good quality peanut butter for this, as the peanut butter flavor is understandably dominant).

Peanut Butter Pudding from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Momma's angel boys all dressed up and ready for church with their "Bi-Books" (Bibles in Captain's language!)

The next recipe I would like to share is for Mediterranean Herb Chicken Pizza from Tammy’s Recipes.  This pizza is the perfect pizza if you wish to wow your special someone or maybe show off to friends!!  🙂  It is very simple to make and delicious as well.  The only thing that I have changed in this recipe is to increase the sauce ingredients slightly.  The pizza pan that I use for this is quite large and I find that there isn’t enough sauce for the whole pizza.  Other than that, I make it exactly like Tammy’s.

Mediterranean Herb Chicken Pizza from Tammy’s Recipes

Sharing snacks at Grammie's house and trying to smile for Momma with their mouths full!

Tonight for supper I made Pulled Beef Sandwiches with my Mom’s recipe for Roasted Parmesan Potato Slices.  Here are those recipes:

Pulled Beef – Slow Cooker

I have combined ideas from a few recipes to make this pulled beef recipe.  Feel free to change it to suit your tastes.

In a slow cooker, combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 4 tsp. beef bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp. EACH onion powder, oregano, basil and dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed dried chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/8 tsp. EACH salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water

Once the above is mixed together, put a 3-5 pound roast on top of everything.  Turn your slow cooker to high and enjoy smelling the roast cook for at least 6-8 hours.  Once the roast is well cooked, take it out and shred the meat.  Then place the shredded meat back into the liquid mixture.  Stir beef and liquid well to combine and turn slow cooker to low.  Leave the shredded meat for another 30 min – 1 hour.  You can serve this with a slice of buttered bread (if it’s me) or on top of a thick slice of whole wheat bread (if you are Chief).  It is excellent warmed up.  Enjoy!!

The grocery store that my Mom shops at had this really neat shopping cart - and you can tell that the boys loved it!!

Roasted Parmesan Potato Slices

  1. Sliced desired number of scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes crosswise into 1/4″ slices.
  2. Lay potato slices on an ungreased cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Overlapping a bit is fine.
  3. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.
  4. Broil the sheet of potatoes in your oven about 4″ from the broiler for about 8-10 minutes, turning once.
  5. Sprinkle the potato slices with parmesan cheese and broil for another 3-4 minutes until cheese melts and potatoes are brown.  Make sure you don’t burn the cheese!  Enjoy!!

Captain was invited up to the cockpit on our flight back home, you can't tell he was the least bit excited, can you?? 🙂

In closing, here’s a great quote, from a fabulous cook, that can apply to all areas of our lives:

Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

– Julia Child

The maker of cakes, prefers cookies!

I have always made cakes for those that I love (one of my favorite cooking memories is that of my cousin and I making a cake for my Mom’s birthday when we were about 9 and 12 respectively.  My Mom still has the note that my cousin wrote with her mother’s instructions “Do not get your hands caught in the beaters”.  It was a wonderful cake and we heeded my aunt’s advice well 🙂 ).  For Engineer’s first birthday, this year, I decided that I was going to make him a cake that would be a lasting memory.  Why pay all that money when I could make it myself??  Here are a few photos of Engineer and his cake …

Master Engineer's Puppy Cake

 

Ohhh!! I want to touch that ...

 

Here we go!

 

This made all the hours of making his cake worth it. He loved it!! And what an adorable little mess, eh??

So now a Pilot family tradition has begun.  Captain asked for a “Bob the Builder” cake for his 3rd birthday.  Here are a couple of pictures of him and his cake …

I obviously learned a lot from Cake #1 ... notice the lack of cake glaring through the icing in Bob compared to Puppy??

Such a happy little boy!

So, when it was coming up to my birthday, Captain was determined that I needed to make myself a Tigger cake.  I was not so convinced.  So I decided to make myself a cookie pizza for my birthday.  M’mm … it was so good!!  Here is my “cake” …

Awww ... now you know how old I am 🙂

 

Isn't the most darling glass ever??

My Mom was always very considerate of the fact that I really am not fond of cake and came up with some creative alternatives for my birthday parties.  One year she made me a massive cookie, similar to the one I made, and I have always wanted another.  This year I had it!!  Here’s the recipe …

Peanut Butter Cookie Pizza

  • 3/4 c. peanut butter (I used smooth)
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. chocolate chips
  • 2/3 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 c. M&M’s or Smarties

Make sure your oven is turned on to 350.  Lightly grease a 16″ pizza pan with shortening (if you are using a smaller pizza pan, decrease the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips to 1/2 c. each).  Cream peanut butter and butter together.  Beat in both sugars.  Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is beat in well.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir flour mixture into peanut butter mixture, just until combined.  Press into pizza pan, using your hands.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, until the cookie is lightly browned.  Once out of the oven, sprinkle hot cookie pizza with chocolate and butterscotch chips.  Let stand to soften.  Using a knife, spread melted chips over cookie to create frosting.  Scatter candies over chocolate mixture and lightly press into melted chips.  Let cool before serving, and make sure there is some cold milk on the table for the having.  🙂  Enjoy!