Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Cookie Love

For all the years my kids were growing up, I rarely made cookies.  They are a lot of work, and don't last long with 6 (or even 4) sons clamoring for cookies.  I did teach the girls to bake, however, and to read a recipe, and they took up making cookies on Sunday mornings before I got up, starting when they were in middle school.  Their go-to repertoire was chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies: admirable choices.

So, recently I got the opportunity to review this cookbook, which seems very appropriate for Cookbook Wednesday:

by Mindy Segal

This is a beautiful hardcovered book.  The author explains that she is dyslexic, and has trouble reading recipes correctly, and so developed a love of baking cookies, often creating her own recipes.  She explains the basics - various ingredients, their use, and even where to get hard to find items.
 She includes recipes for 8 categories of cookies, including drop cookies, shortbread, sandwich cookies, egg white cookies, spritz and thumbprints, twice baked cookies, Rugelach and bar cookies.
 And every page has pretty pictures for inspiration.
 Sandwich cookies include Ice Cream Sandwich cookies, of course.  She also includes recipes for any special sauces or fillers you need to make for your cookies.
 We've all had thumbprint cookies, but how about Pecan Praline Thumbprints?  I want them.  Now.
 Rugelach look very complex in the bakery, but she makes it look almost easy.  Again, she includes recipes for the fillings.
 Her instructions are very long and detailed.  It does make it seem a little daunting to make most of these cookies.  Still, I think that (if you're me) you should be able to scan the ingredients and procedure, then do your own thing, so you're not scared off by the 2 pages of instruction for each cookie.
 The one thing I didn't like about this cookbook is that the typeface is on the small side.  That makes it hard for not-so-young eyes to read the recipes very well.

Overall, however, this is a very well organized book.  I enjoyed reading it, and look forward to making small batches of cookies for my dearly beloved and my youngest son.  4/5

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books.  All opinions are my own.

This is my entry for Cookbook Wednesday, usually hosted by the lovely Louise, who is on hiatus.  Leave me a note to be linked up!

Edited to add:

Nellie's Junior Cookbook! Classic Red Plaid Cookbook for kids!

Poppy's Brain Oysters and Frozen Whale!  Trust me, you have to read her words.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garden Tuesday: Drive By

It's Tax Week, and....nevermind.

My daughter bought me flowers for Easter, and put them in a coffee pot.  I thought they looked pretty.

And my forsythia is finally showing signs of life.  Spring might finally arrive here after all!

Happy Garden Tuesday, everyone!  See you tomorrow for Cookbook Wednesday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Honey Rolls

I found this recipe somewhere; it must have been online, because the sheet I used for the recipe was cut and pasted into a document that I could cleanly print out.  I made a double batch of these for Easter (the night of the two legs of lamb), and I had exactly 2 left over.  They were gone early the next morning.


1 cup very warm water
2 tsp yeast*
3 cups flour
1 egg, warmed to room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp butter melted with 1 tbsp honey

Pour the water into your mixing bowl or bread machine bucket; sprinkle the yeast over it, and add the flour, egg, salt and 1/4 cup honey in the order given.  Mix according to your usual procedure or following my directions over there ---------->; add more flour if it's needed.  After the dough has risen, remove it from the bread machine or mixing bowl, place it on a piece of floured wax paper, and divide into 12 pieces.  Form each piece into a ball and place in a well greased 10" pie plate.  Melt the butter with 1 tbsp honey, and brush over the tops of the rolls.  Let them rise until doubled in bulk, then bake at 375F for 15 to 18 minutes, until nicely browned.

Lest there be any doubt about how delicious these rolls are, Mark specifically asked me on Monday night to make more.  Mark asked; you know Mark: he's my youngest, fussiest child.  He doesn't like food.  He swears you're going to love these.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thorsday Easter Dogs!

I mentioned that both Natasha and Tank were here for Easter; of course, they brought their people.

Natasha isn't that fond of Tank.  Let's face it, she's almost 6, and for a big dog, that's pretty old.  Plus, Natasha is cranky.  Very cranky.  So while the two of them romped outside and (sort of) played together, or at least played near each other happily, she growled every time Tank tried to play with her indoors.  "Go away, kid!  You're way too bouncy for me."  In this picture, she had been enjoying one of her beef ribs, and saw Tank about 10 feet away.

 Note the bone under her right front paw.

Tank was his ever-jolly self.  Remember how he found the little pink rug in the corner when he was last here? (Here's a picture to help you remember.)

Well, I left it rolled up and under the table you see in the background, and he found it and tried to pull it out of its hole.  Of course, I helped him get his rug back, and he brought his toys to his perch.

And what happens when a puppy romps in the mud?  His person washes his feet, of course.  He was not amused.  Thereafter, he let Jeffrey wipe his paws every time he came in.

Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Made With Butter?

When my mother died, she had bookshelves full of cooking magazines, along with quite a few paperback cookbooks, and a very few hardcovered cookbooks.  Since she didn't like to cook, and therefore wasn't a good cook, I have no idea why she had accumulated all of these books, but there they were.  I gave most of them to Goodwill, but kept about 4.  This is one of them.


Land O' Lakes equals butter, right?  Butter equals buttery goodness, decadent flavor, and all of that, right?  This had to be a keeper.  It's a ring bound book, which is nice; in theory, you can take out the page you need, and keep the rest of the book away from the perils of cooking, wherein liquids and food grub might fly about and attack your book at any moment. Or at least wet hands might handle said cookbook.

 (Note to self: Always use the flash.  Not just sometimes.)  Some of the recipes used butter or margarine or cheese, but some didn't.  I don't believe these appetizers did.
 But look at that creamy soup goodness!  You know butter and cream are both involved in this baby.  One thing that irritated me a little is that the picture is on one side of the page, and the recipe is on the other side.  So in the photo above, the picture does not correspond with the recipes beside it.
 These chicken recipes had nothing to do with butter, but they do look pretty good.  The biggest sections in this book were Poultry and Sandwiches/Salads.  I'd have thought breads and desserts would be really big in Land O' Lakes world, but that shows just what I know.
 So I'm glad I snagged this cookbook.  I'm even going to try a chicken recipe out of it tonight.  And maybe some of these salads will make it into rotation this summer.
 This is my Cookbook Wednesday post, for Louise, who's on hiatus until after she visits her daughter!
Anyone who wants a link provided here, just let me know!

Nellie's Children's Cookbook!

Poppie's Cooking Electrically!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


It's a tradition in our house to hold Easter dinner on Saturday night; I started that when the big kids started going off to college, and needed Sunday to travel back to school.  Now that most everyone is an adult, it still works, giving them time to visit spouses' families on Easter, or just travel home early and relax before Monday takes over their worlds once again.

This year, I cooked a standing rib roast on Good Friday.  It wasn't planned that way, it's just that I had an extra left over from Christmas.  Don't try to puzzle out how I could just happen to have an extra 18 pound chunk of meat and bone in the freezer; it's one of life's great mysteries.  Suffice to say that it was very much enjoyed.

Easter Dinner (on Saturday) was the traditional leg of lamb (actually, two legs of lamb, totaling 14 pounds), carved by Ryan, along with rolls and other lovely sides.

 (In case anyone noticed, yes, that is a new tablecloth; I ordered the fabric in January and it finally arrived the week before Easter.)

Tank hoped he found a sucker to feed him.  Sitting right next to the fierce midget?  Nope.  Ryan's not that dumb.

Of course, Tank and Natasha each had a beef rib bone on Saturday afternoon, and another on Sunday.  Then Tank took home the remaining 4 rib bones, and Natasha took home the 2 lamb bones.  Fair is fair.

I'd intended to post these pictures yesterday, but my wireless router died Sunday night, and it took me all of Monday to get it diagnosed and a new one ordered.  Hooray for Amazon and their overnight delivery!  Everything works again!

I hope you're all having a nice Tuesday; see you tomorrow for Cookbook Wednesday.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy Easter!

I found a picture of me!  This was Easter, when I was 6 months old.  Obviously, I'm the runt looking at the floor.

My mother was holding me, and my grandmother's excellent creation, Hebsibah, was presiding over her living room.  (Would that I had such talent.)

Happy Easter, everyone; see you next week!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: Bread, Again

Ever since I got my new bread machine, I've been rereading my bread cookbooks.  This was the second bread machine cookbook I ever got; my mother bought it for me for Christmas right after I got my first bread machine.  It was simultaneously the most useful and nicest present I ever received from her, which rather makes me sad.

Anyway, Bread Machine Bounty!
 The categories of bread are pretty basic.
 You can see that this is a very early cookbook, before the advent of 2 pound machines.  A little math is in order to make larger loaves.
 Some of the recipes are based on classics, like the Anadama Bread above.  Others are not, like these two.  And I don't know about you, but there's no way eggplant is ever going into a loaf of bread I make.
 There are a number of sourdough breads, including the recipe for starter.
 Some of their sweet breads are lovely, perfect for Easter, in fact.
 And, of course, they have some recipes for yeast raised products which aren't finished in the bread machine, like rolls...
 ..and coffee cake.
 It's always nice to have a myriad of choices when making breads and yeast raised sweets.

This is my Cookbook Wednesday, usually hosted by Louise, who has taken a leave of absence.  In her absence, I'll be hosting again for a while.  Leave a comment if you want to be linked up!
Other Wednesday Cookbooks:

Grannie Pantries: Serious Cookbookage!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Almost Diet Peanut Butter Cookies!

This is Tuesday.  And I should have sunshine and maybe a little green popping up here and there.  But there's white crap falling out of the sky.  So I'm skipping Garden Tuesday, and going to something more cheerful: Cookies!

When I was posting about my falling-apart cookbook, I also thumbed through it.  This recipe caught my eye, because it seemed to have less sugar than other recipes.  Bonus!  I altered it a little bit, and made these Peanut Butter Cookies that are "almost" healthy, diet cookies!

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 egg whites + 1 tsp water
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Cream the butter with the brown sugar; beat in the vanilla and peanut butter until smooth.  Whisk the egg whites with the water, beat it into the creamed mixture.  Stir together all of the dry ingredients, and beat into the creamed mixture.  Drop onto greased cookie sheets and press a fork into the cookie tops twice, to create the crossed lines pattern; bake at 375F for 8 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned.

These cookies used half the sugar of other recipes, and by using egg whites instead of whole eggs, the cholesterol is reduced greatly.  No one even noticed the white whole wheat flour, either.  For more texture, try using chunky peanut butter.  Trust me, these were good!  Better yet, trust Mark and his father, cookie lovers both!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cookbook Wednesday: For Bread Machines

From time to time, Louise's Cookbook Wednesday posts have been about cookbooklets.  And last week, Poppy posted about a recipe book that came with knives.  That got me to thinking about my new bread machine and its predecessors.  The first ones came with some half decent cookbooklets.

The first bread machine I bought was in the late 1990s.  It made a 1.5 pound loaf in about 4-1/2 hours.  It came with this spiffy little book, which has a fairly sturdy cover - standard paperback book cover material.

 It included the basics about the ingredients used in bread,
 and some recipes.

It wasn't long, but it was functional, and its recipes were good.

The second bread machine made a 2 pound loaf in 3 hours.  Oh, happy day!

Its recipe book was 3 times the size of the book that came with the original machine.  Its cover wasn't as good, as you can see from the water damage to it.

But it included color pictures!

I'm not sure where someone came up with the idea for chocolate yeast raised bread.  Sounds suspicious to me.  Plus, they clearly didn't include proper instructions, since the source of the chocolate is chocolate chips, and they don't specify melting them.

Dough setting recipes are included, too.

I don't have many appliance recipe booklets, but I've kept every one I ever got.  Maybe it's time to look through them again.

Happy Cookbook Wednesday, everyone!  Pop on over to see Louise and check out what she and others have to offer.