The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Twelve – Our Final Month of Our Challenge

Well…we have come to the final month of our cook-through challenge.

So to end it I really want to have another

*Wildcard month*

That means only one thing: you can make any recipes from the cookbook which you haven’t made so far during this challenge

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

Thank you for following along on this adventure!!

I hope you were able to try out some new recipes in the past year and have lots of fun and creativity in your cooking/baking.  I made several from my cookbook even though I didn’t write up complete posts here on my blog and I have added them to my rotation of recipes.

Here are a few images of those goodies –

Homemade chocolate cake with homemade peanut butter icing – better than any boxed cake mix and tub of icing!!

Crumb-Topped Apple Pie – so good!!

Homemade Caramel Corn – once you start eating this you won’t be able to stop!!

I substituted Venison for Beef in this yummy Fajita mixture

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

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The Days of Long Light

You,

the days of long light.

You always arrive so quickly,

and stay with me for what seems like forever.

You are not welcome here as you take away the beloved long dark nights.

I know it is because you bring to me so many requirements which I dislike.

Long light leads to much to be done of which I do not have the strength nor the desire to complete.

Take your light away and shine it elsewhere so that I may enjoy the solitude of my darkness.

 

I’ve been dreaming about Pi

I’ve been knitting and crocheting shawls for a couple of years now and I really love them.  Not only are they a fun project to knit/crochet but I do use mine regularly throughout the year.

I’ve been admiring Pi Shawls for quite sometime now and I really want to make at least one during my life.  Since I’ve been knitting and crocheting I do enjoy creating my own patterns and often I will tweak someone else’s pattern in some way when I create the item that I’m working on and I feel the same way about knitting a Pi Shawl.  I’ve been dreaming about creating my own pattern for my Pi Shawl and have been looking through various resources for ideas.

As I did some internet research about the Pi Shawl I discovered that the original design was created by Elizabeth Zimmermann (EZ).  It is quite difficult to find the pattern instructions on the internet but many people will direct you to her various books and publications which include the pattern.  The one mentioned often is the book titled Knitter’s Almanac and I have been fortunate to find a digital edition to read through my library.  I found the pattern quickly and made that the first chapter I read and I quickly realized how simple this pattern truly is for creating a circle shawl which has been named Pi Shawl.  If you are a knitter or crocheter you most likely are a member of Ravelry.com and may have seen them on there.  The pattern isn’t listed but you will see all of the projects completed by fellow Ravelers and the various designs other have created based on the very simple formula for expansion of the circle.

I decided that I needed to practice creation of the circle which would be the foundation of my Pi Shawl and so I began.  I ended up casting on 9 stitches (the amount needed at the beginning of the pattern) via the cable cast on method to a double-pointed needle and then spread them out over 3 needles and knit with the fourth.  It took one evening of several tries to get it going but I finally succeeded!

Here are the first several rounds on my double pointed knitting needles.

Once I got this going I became more comfortable with those needles.  I’ve used them for finishing hats before but never to begin a knitted item.

I continued to knit until I had enough stitches to transfer to my 16″ circular needles in the same size as the double pointed ones and then it didn’t take long for me to complete the circle.  I initially thought I would make this into a dream-catcher and get a hoop to attach it to but I believe that I will keep it as a doily.  I also decided to do the method which EZ suggests in her book for binding off all of the stitches.  I added a sideways garter edge to my circle, with random yarn-overs and knit 2 together throughout, to match them in the body of the circle, and it was much easier then I anticipated it to be.

Here it is in all its glory!!

I’m not sure about blocking this because it is in worsted weight yarn and I think it has a nice vintage appearance to itself which I really like.  It looks just like a vintage doily that would have been found in an older rural homestead farm many years ago (or at least that’s how I envision it!).

Have you knit a Pi Shawl?  If so, please share your thoughts on that adventure.

 

It is going to be okay. I will embrace you.

Of late, you have consumed my every thought.

You have filled my heart with fear, anxiety, and restlessness.

Today I have been filled with a peaceful spirit which comforts and holds me.

I will not worry about material possessions and things which I can not control.

I now embrace you with the wonder and excitement

which I once held when I was a child.

I desire the peacefulness, calmness, and happiness which you will lead me into.

I long to see my loved ones,

to run freely through the sunny, big, beautiful, daisy-filled pasture,

and to finally be at home with my Father.

My homesickness will be no more,

once you take me there.

I will be released from the chains which I have held onto since my Earthly creation.

There is peace in knowing that my death will only be the beginning of the life which I was created to live.

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Eleven

Spring is around the corner and we often think of lighter food fare for our menus at this time of year.  We’ve been eating ‘heavier’ comfort foods for several months now and want to change up our menus a bit.

For this month lets grab those Eggs

We are fortunate to have Amish neighbors who sell free-range chicken eggs.  They are so much better than the ones you buy in the store.  There is a quality difference in them.  We will buy several dozen at a time because we eat eggs everyday for breakfast and I love to have breakfast food for supper at times as well.  And since I enjoy baking homemade items I certainly need them for my recipes too.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Ten

When I think of February I often think of a local community spaghetti supper which is a fund-raising event.

So for this month let us all make some

Pasta recipes

You may even want to challenge yourself to make homemade pasta noodles and/or garlic bread recipes

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

The Long Dark Night

You,

the long dark night.

You have arrived once more,

quickly greeting me with your familiar sights and fears and anticipations.

I eagerly embrace you as I stand at your threshold,

filled with the overwhelming dread which you cast over me.

I recall memories of uneasiness which I have beheld while in your arms.

You bring anxiety when you envelop me and yet I long for you to never go away.

I know you will drift into the days of long light and only then will I anticipate your return.

 

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Nine

Happy New Year!!!

Welcome to 2018 and month nine of our challenge.  Wow!  We’re almost completely through a year in our cookbook challenge.

For this month I’ve decided to go with

quick bread recipes

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

*Last post of 2017* {recipe included!}

As we wind down here in Two Thousand Seventeen I want to Thank all of you for following along and reading my posts throughout the past several years.  I am happy when I find that my posts touch others or help you in some small way (even if it is only a photo or recipe).

I want to share another recipe of mine, which I’ve recently perfected for us to enjoy, and hope that you may have an opportunity this upcoming weekend to try it for yourself.  Whether you are celebrating the beginning of a new year in the comfort of your own home or out in the bitter cold with loved ones as you share a tradition of watching something fall from the sky or rise up a pole I wish you good health, happiness, and much peace in the year to come.

Mary’s Chex Mix

Preheat oven to 265 degrees

Ingredients

4 cups rice chex & 4 cups corn chex (or use your favorite flavor combinations)

1 1/2 cups salted peanuts

1 1/2 cups pretzels (wheels or sticks)

1 stick unsalted butter (use a good quality butter if you are able to)

2 tsp lemon juice

7 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp season salt

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Directions

Place cereal, peanuts, and pretzels in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Melt the stick of butter in a medium saucepan/pot on your stove on low heat; add your other ingredients and whisk all together.  When it is warmed a bit you may wish to dip in a piece or two of cereal to taste the mixture and adjust the ingredients as you wish.

When heated through (not boiling) pour over your cereal mixture and mix well.

Bake for a total of 45 minutes (approx.) and stir every 15 minutes.  I baked at 265 degrees for the first 30 minutes and then lowered the temperature to 255 degrees for the last 15 minutes and all seemed to be absorbed well into the cereal.

WARNING!!!!

This is very addictive!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

 

So. Much. Yarn. = One-of-a-kind Magic Balls

So. much. yarn.

I have a huge yarn stash.  It is wonderful to have so much at the ready for a project but there always seems to be a particular yarn which I’m needing/wanting so I buy more which leads to so. much. more. yarn.

The best thing about having so much yarn is that I can create the best skeins of all.

One-of-a-kind magic balls.

The exciting thing about these is that there will be so much color intertwined together and no one else will have the exact same skeins as I.

I recently took a bin full of yarn remnants, much of which had been remains of my Mother’s skeins, and put together some huge magic balls of yarn.

This isn’t even all of the skeins but it gives you an idea of some of the colors and sizes of yarn skeins which became my one-of-a-kind magic balls.

This is what I have created thus far.  It is hard to determine from the photo but the skeins are rather large.

One thing I know for sure: they will become a warm, fuzzy and quite colorful blanket which will be like no other to be found, either by crochet or knitting.  I haven’t determined which method or even the pattern.  I’m entertaining some ideas of patterns to use, including the simple pattern for the knit blanket which I made last year which used quite a bit of yarn (although not as much yarn as I expected/wanted to use).  I’m anxious to see what the finished project will look like.  It will be an amazing array of colors including many of the yarns which were my Mother’s and there certainly won’t be another blanket like it.

Have you made magic balls?  If so, what one-of-a-kind projects did you create with them?

I’m looking for various stash-busting knit and crochet patterns and have been looking through Ravelry.com for more ideas.

Stay tuned to see what my final project will look like…

 

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Eight

Yeah – December has arrived!  That means we are at month eight of our Cooking-Through Cookbook Challenge and you probably know already which category I’ve chosen; don’t you?!

December only means one food for devouring by children of all ages:

COOKIES!!!

When I dream of Christmas I always dream of cookies and I’m sure you do too.  We all have our holiday favorites which we’ve been enjoying for generations in our families but you may want to go outside of that box for this month and enjoy some other new cookie recipes which are in your chosen cookbook for this challenge you are participating in.  I have recently acquired a couple of vintage cookie cookbooks and have been drooling over them for months so I’m hoping to also include a few of those recipes for us this holiday season.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking!!

🙂

Even Charlie Brown loves snack mix

When I found this among my Grandmother’s clipped recipes I was excited because I love Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang for their holiday specials. Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away (ABC will have the Gang on Wednesday evening) and Christmas is right around the corner I thought it would be great to share this. I have looked on Amazon for the seasoning packets and they do still exist.  But I certainly prefer making food with fresh ingredients without the added preservatives.

I have been searching online to find the first version of this which was actually called ‘Party Mix’ and have found various versions of the recipe which has differences in the amounts of the ingredients (and bagel chips weren’t part of the first recipe which began in the early 1950’s).  I plan to try one of those this weekend.  There are so many versions on the internet from so many people; the possibilities are truly endless for this  ‘Party Mix.’ A search for ‘vintage cereal box 1950’s images’ is so interesting too.  I recall some of those cereal boxes from my childhood.  Do you have any memories to share regarding your family’s much loved version of this snack mix?

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chipper Goodness

I just had to make these cookies.  For some reason which I am associating with a friend, I kept saying Chocolate Chipper all week at various times and had those two words stuck in my brain.

 

I substituted unsalted butter for shortening, baked them at 350 degrees for 12 minutes and allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes.  I found that chilling the dough between baking batches was a good thing and I added both milk chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Yummy!!

So addicted to cookies lately!

What are you baking these days?

The Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge: Month Seven

My most favorite time of the year has arrived.  When November 1st rolls around I know that the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas has come.  I enjoy the food and ambiance of this season better than any other time of year.

For November there couldn’t be any other category for our challenge than:

Pies and Pie Crusts

When you think of Thanksgiving you most certainly think of homemade-from-scratch pies alongside that yummy Turkey or Ham (or at least I do :0) ).  This month’s category gives you an opportunity to bake and share some pies when you celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  Pumpkin is always on the top of my list but there are many other pies out there that are just as scrumptious.  And nothing beats a homemade pie crust.  It is so simple to get together that you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve been buying those pre-made ones from the grocery store (the secret is ice cold water and other cold ingredients to get it just perfect when blended together).  Last Autumn I had shared a Pumpkin Pie recipe and story which can be found at this link, if you’re interested.

I encourage you to have fun, take photos, share your food with others and link your blog posts back to this post on my site so that we all can see what you are making and enjoying.  It is not a requirement to have a blog to join-in on this.   I’d love to see your comments though if you are participating.

I know that you will find satisfaction in various ways by choosing your own ingredients and creating healthy dishes in your own kitchen.  A good home-cooked meal is always a great centerpiece at any gathering and shows your feelings towards others. 🙂

(To read more detailed information concerning the cook-through challenge please go to this link: Chaotic Cooking-Through Challenge)

Happy Cooking and Baking!!

🙂

Crankin’ out the cookies!

I’ve been crazy for baking cookies lately and I’m very proud that I’ve been ambitious enough to try all new recipes!

This past weekend I pulled out my Grandmother’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and made two from there with my own twists added in.

I first baked the Peanut Butter Cookies which I’ve named Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies because I added milk chocolate chips to them for a bit of chocolate and they are very good.

Here is the recipe which I used for the Peanut Butter cookies:

Before I make anything I always sift/whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  I creamed the wet ingredients together with my stand mixer, added the flour mixture by hand and then 1 cup of Nestle Milk Chocolate Chips (my fave!).

I used a cookie scoop to measure them all the same and put some chips on the top of the cookies (like you would do with a Hershey Kiss for the Peanut Blossom cookies) and then pushed them down a bit.

I baked them at 350 degrees (not the 375 as listed in the recipe) for 12 minutes and then allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling racks.

As you can see the bottoms are nice and brown and they are great to eat!

My second recipe was the Drop Sugar Cookies.

First, I want to say that as I tasted one of these I had this overwhelming feeling stir through me of familiarity in taste.  I’m 99.9% positive that this was the same recipe which my Grandmother used for her annual Christmas Cut-Out Sugar Cookies which I loved so much.  It was an amazing feeling!

After mixing the batter I chilled it in the fridge for approximately 20 minutes before I scooped them and tossed them around in sprinkles.

I baked them at 350 degrees too for 15 minutes instead of the recipe’s noted temperature of 375.  I allowed them to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes like I did with the other cookies.  Also it is very good to chill the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you make the first batch of drop sugar cookies and also to chill it between the batches as they are baking.

By rolling them around in the sprinkles before baking you can see how the cookies really have color throughout.  If I make them and roll in the sprinkles as I did today I will cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup versus the 3/4 cup in the recipe or I may keep the sugar the same and just add the sprinkles to the top of the scooped cookies.

I certainly have more great cookie recipes to add to my rotation and with Christmas right around the corner I can’t wait to bake them for friends!

 

Craving cookies

For some unknown reason I’ve been infatuated lately with making and eating cookies.  In the past month I’ve baked several dozen cookies of various types and have frozen some for future nibbling.  I don’t know why the sudden allure to bake them so much but they do make me happy!!

Because of inspiration I received after my Molasses Cookie post I plan to look through the ones which my Grandmother had and bake more of those to help bring back some long lost memories (just in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons which are quickly approaching!).  Maybe that is the reason my soul is craving cookies!  They are small yet tasty pieces of our past which bring comfort through our recalled memories.  And the happiness they are bringing me is helpful to my craving soul right now.  Maybe my Grandmother is trying to help me through the simple yet satisfying process of baking 🍪   As I recall from my childhood I don’t have many memories of actually baking with her.  It seemed that cookies and pies always magically appeared in her kitchen and she always had something to share and send home with us.

 

I hope to bake and share some more ‘From My Grandmother’s Recipe Box.’

😌