Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to make Overnight French Toast

There are times in my life where I want to make a new recipe. I’ll find it on pintrest or someone will give it to me and I’ll want to make it, or even maybe I’ll have a recipe in a cookbook or in an email that looks cool. Here is the thing with recipes sometimes they need tweaking. For example my orange chicken recipe, when I first made it the taste was too sweet for me. Since then I have tweaked it to give it a little kick. This happens more often than not. I have made most of my recipes on the blog several times before I show them to you, if I have not, like the chocolate sugar cookie recipe, they normally come out okay but I usually improve upon them each time I make them. I am sure that just because you do something the first time and it’s not amazing does not mean you quit. I know for a fact that this is true. I mean I sucked at tennis when I first started – I ended up pretty good. Didn’t mean I quit. But here is the thing – I don’t show you my failures. Today I will. Normally if I have made something for the first time and it did not come out right I’ll tell you all things like it was okay but this is what I would do next time, stuff like that, however, this time I will tell you the whole failure, why I think it went wrong and what I will do to improve upon it if I ever make it again.

First I got this recipe of Pintrest. You’ve probably seen it, the baked overnight French toast. Looks great. So I made it. It did not turn out the best for me. But here is the recipe.

1 stick of melted butter

1 c. brown sugar

1 loaf of Texas toast (I’ll explain this one in a minute)

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. Milk

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Cinnamon and Sugar

Okay now I went to the store and they did not have Texas toast, you may have a better chance at finding some places but since I did not I bought the thickets bread I could, this was my first mistake. I should have bought a whole loaf of day old bread from the bakery in the store. See here is the thing about French toast it cooks better if the bread is stale. Don’t believe me it’s okay I just know better. So I bought fresh bread that was not thick enough. Okay so here is how you make the rest. Melt butter and brown sugar together and spread on bottom of pan evenly. I think after you spread you should allow for it to cool. I did not. Then place a layer of bread down. Make sure it is evenly covered . Meanwhile mix together milk, eggs, and Vanilla. Pour half over the bread on the bottom. Next time I will measure I did not this time. Now sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar overtop. Layer some more bread the same way and pour the rest of the mixture over top. Sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar and then cover with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight in the fridge. The next morning you pop it straight into an oven at 350 for 30 minutes covered with foil then 15 without foil. I forgot the foil. So combined with the lack of foil and the thinner bread the bottom of mine came out soggy. The flavor was great and the bottom where the sugar was tasted fantastic, but like I said soggy. So here is how I will fix that. Next time use thicker bread, I will remember the foil, and I will use stale bread. The point of this post is everyone makes mistakes, especially in cooking the trick is to learn from them. So what did I learn? No use in crying over some messed up bread, enjoy cereal, General Mills gets it right every time. Well I encourage you to try a new recipe and not worry if it does not taste great, no use in just eating the same old thing all the time!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to make Spaghetti and Meatballs

This past week I was getting ready to make spaghetti for dinner – Peter always likes meat in his spaghetti so I decided instead of meat sauce about meatballs. I much prefer them over meat sauce. So I found a recipe on pintrest and then modified it, this is how you make my version.
1 lb of hamburger
1/2 lb of sausage
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 c. bread crumbs
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper – dash of each
Beat eggs and milk together. Put meat and everything else in a large bowl and then pour the milk and egg mixture in and mix with your hands until combined. Do not over mix. Once completed roll out some golf ball size balls of meat and bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes or until cooked. After I cooked mine I put them in my spaghetti sauce and then topped it on the pasta. It was amazing Peter loved it and so did I.  
Oh and I guess this is how you make Pasta. Boil a large pot of water add some salt put your pasta in and cook until done. Drain add some olive oil so it wont stick - do not rinse unless you are making a pasta salad and you need to stop the cooking!! Enjoy! 

Here is a printable version - Here

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to make easy Belgian Waffles

This week my grandmother came up from Tennessee – here oldest sister just passed away – my aunt Geddy – great woman, loved food, loved her family, and loved just about everything. We will greatly miss her. Anyway my grandma came up and stayed with Peter and me.  Of course me being me, I made my Grandma breakfast every morning – except the morning she had cookies – I did make those but not for breakfast she’s 83 she gets to eat what she wants it.  Anyway one morning I made her homemade Belgian Waffles because she loves Waffles and I thought she may need a pick me up. So these are not my normal waffles because as you know my other ones are overnight ones these are ready in ten minutes or less. So here is what we will need:
2 c Flour
3/4 c Sugar
3 1/2 tsp of Baking powder
2 Eggs – separated
1 1/2 c Milk
1 c Butter – melted
1 tsp Vanilla extract
In a bowl combine flour sugar and baking powder. In another bowl beat egg yolks. Now in a small pot on the stove melt the butter and warm the milk together – trust me please. Then add the milk, butter, and vanilla to the egg yolks.  Then mix those into the flour mixture until just combined. Now pull out an electric mixer or a whisk if you have a lot of arm strength and then beat those egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Once those are formed fold – you know what folding means – into the other mixture and then put some in your waffle maker and cook until golden brown. Put syrup over top and enjoy. SO test subject grandma loved them, even test subject husband liked them. Click here for a printable version!!

Don't lie you want one..

She loved hers! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to make Tater Tot Casserole

I am currently compiling a cookbook full of recipes that my family has had for years while also including a few of my own. But last week an old test subject – Brittany - sent me a text telling me that GFS was having a sale on ground beef. It was a ten-pound log of meat. Yes log. I knew I had to purchase this log but the problem being where the heck am I going to store that I have like no room in my little freezer! Okay so my freezer is not too little but I pack it full of things once every month and I do things like oh let’s make Peter muffins and freeze them. So my freezer typically gets full. But I figured let’s buy the log and then cut them into one pound disks and freeze. Except I decided this could go even further. I did a little under a pound I did 3/4 of a pound disks so I have extra meat and Peter won’t care. So I did this and got 10 pounds for 20 bucks great deal huh! Yeah I am still on the save a buck kit. But I told you this story to explain where I got this recipe. So while still at GFS I saw a humongous bag of tater tots – not kidding this thing was a good 3-gallon size bag of tater tots at least- and it was only 3.99 uh sold. It is huge it alone took up half of my freezer – and had I had an extra freezer I would have bought the 15 pound pork butt I saw. But I digress, I bought the tater tots – you would think with the random snacks I buy we would have children but hey who does not like tater tots? A commie that’s who, so don’t be a commie love the tot’s. So then I set out to locate a good recipe that used tots and ground beef. I found one. It had two names. White trash casserole and Tater tot casserole. There is a difference between the two. If you use Velveeta it’s white trash if you use cheddar it is not. Okay so I did use cheddar so I have no clue how the other tastes but this one I thought was okay – Peter loved it. I…well we’ll discuss that later.
Here is what you will need:
1 lb of ground beef or turkey (I did 3/4 of a pound J)
1 small onion – finely chopped
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. sour cream
1 “can” or cup of milk (I just re filled the can of soup)
Tater tots for the top
2 c. cheddar cheese
Okay so brown the beef – salt and pepper it too. Then once brown add onions and sauté them till tender. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that’s a 13x9 size or something similar could be deeper and smaller like mine. Then mix together the soup, sour cream, and milk (I did add a dash of soy sauce for some extra flavor) and mix that really well and pour it over top the meat mixture – make sure it’s even and then place the tots in a nice neat row over the top and then sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  Make sure tot’s are fully cooked and enjoy. I feel like it could have had some corn in it or something. So why didn’t I like it? Too much dairy – I can’t have all that much and a fourth of a cup of this stuff started to hurt my stomach – now peter had like 4 servings and he took the rest for lunch. He really liked it, and I am glad because I would have been mad to waste all that food. So in the long run it’s an okay recipe just not for me- great flavor though! Make it for your kids or something! Click here for a printable recipe. So happy shopping next time hope you can find a good deal like I did – did I mention the muffin mix I got too? Makes 120 regular size muffins for 7 bucks and all I have to do to it is add my own flavors or fruit – blackberry has been pretty good.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This year updated

No how to this week – more of a review.

Things I have done this year, things that have happened, and things I am looking forward to.

1. My Grandfather passed this year – we all still miss him everyday

2. Victoria and Elijah started school (Niece and Nephew)

3. We got a new nephew – Jacob

4. We moved into an apt.

5. Peter and I each had good birthdays

6. My friend had a baby – she also lost that baby before new years – she is still in need of a lot of prayers

7. My other friend Had a Baby and named Peter and I the godparents

8. last pregnancy update – my other friend is due soon and she is crazy fat right now J

9. Peter and I were in a wedding party

10. I was a best man – be jealous

11. I made a lot of delicious meals

12. I have learned budgeting very well

13. I had lymph nodes removed from my breast area and tested for cancer – it came back negative but it was very scary for about a month – if you wonder why I was worried I will tell you now that everyone but my mom has had breast cancer in my family – all the blood related women – except her sisters too but both of my grandma’s their sisters and nieces did – now you see the caution

14. I made a headboard for my bed – it’s great

15. I started sewing more

16. I attempted to do couponing

17. I meal plan a week in advance now – not that Peter always allows me to adhere to that

18. I have decided I am going to compile a recipe book for my family – it will have their recipes in it from the Thacker’s, Sauter’s, and Gepharts – Maybe even a few Grahams (Maternal Grandmothers Maiden name) Including some of my recipes from this blog – I may even sell it to people – I still am undecided on that one.

19. Peter passed the first part of his CDL test – he is going to eventually become a truck driver to “take care of his family”

20. Our “Family” is me the Hedgehog, and the Cat….

21. Cat’s name is Spooky – she’s not fat yet but she eats like a fatty

22. His hedgehogs name is Checkov – note it is HIS not mine – I do not want to clean it

23. I sewed through my finger – it’s fine now

24. Peter Sr (Peter’s Grandpa) had a stroke on July 3rd – he is doing much better than he was! He even walks without a walker or cane – looking good

25. I still have my job as a technical writer for Avery Dennison – not that I get paid like one but hey I’ll take the experience and Title – I am a contractor for them though so that’s irritating!

26. I was hospitalized this year for some scar tissue that became blocked inside me but I was fine two days later

27. My living grandfather (everyone always asks which one…) was hospitalized at the end of the year – he is feeling much better

28. I have read like 500 books this year – okay well at least 50 someone got yelled at for reading too much

29. I have not been writing other than this blog, but I have been doing technical writing for work – which has been fun and my “big boss” has taken notice and likes them.

30. This next year I am looking forward to the paid holidays I get for being with my company for a year – yay!

31. I look forward to reading more books even if I am just rereading them

32. I look forward to seeing some family members more often

33. I am hoping I can travel to Tennessee this year

34. I am hoping that Peter and I can have a real vacation this year
35. I love my job
36. My allergies are still killing me!
37. I am looking forward to all the blogs I will be writing this year!