Posts filed under ‘Food’

What I probably won’t be making for Valentine’s Day.

In my delusions of homemaking grandeur, in which I am perfectly organized and endlessly motivated and nothing ever happens to derail me from my perfectly-laid plans, I imagine myself doing all kinds of things.

I have dreams of being a crafty woman. Everything I touch would turn beautiful.

Something about Valentine’s Day is pretty to me. I like the colors, I guess. Soft pinks, shades of red, all offset with some white… so pretty. Yeah, I know it’s a Hallmark holiday, but I like love. Love is good.

I’ve come across some Valentine’s Day projects in the past couple days that have me dreaming… that’s probably where it’ll end, though.

These are the ones that’ve caught my eye particularly:

Skill level: Easy

I think these heart doilies made out of napkins are adorable (via Martha Stewart, the one who inspires many of my delusions):


Skill level: Intermediate

If I were a scrapbooker, another one of my grand delusions, I’d be all over these 3D paper decorations.


Skill level: Are-you-freakin’-kidding-me

All of this is made of cake. All of it. Not much more to say about that, except not gonna happen. Major props to Bakerella on this one.


What are your favorite Valentine’s Day crafts? Nothing’s too remedial to share (trust me, I’m the world’s worst artist). But if you have mad skills you’ve been wanting to show the world, I promise I’ll still like you.

Happy crafting, whatever shape it takes this week!


February 10, 2009 at 8:54 am 31 comments

What makes it a special Thanksgiving meal for you?

When we have Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family, it’s truly a group effort. I love that! No one is attempting to do it all alone, thus creating for herself a crazy, stressful Thanksgiving morning.

Most of the plan revolves around “What things make it a special Thanksgiving meal for you?” And whatever the answer is, that’s what you make!

Abraham’s family (or at least his mother) would live without mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving meal. Not me. They are a must-eat! So that’s what I’m contributing. My Kitchen Aid mixer will be whirring tomorrow morning while I whip up the creamy goodness.

The Piper boys grew up loving canned cranberry jelly, so that’s always on the table, though Noel always makes some delicious homemade cranberry relish for herself and others who prefer something non-gelatinous. There is always a request for hearty amounts of sweet potatoes with marshmallows, too.

So, I ask you, what makes it a special Thanksgiving meal for you? What are your must-eats?

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe for your chance to win my Thanks-GIVE-ing giveaway! I’ll choose a winner on Friday.

November 26, 2008 at 8:56 am 45 comments

Dinner on Friday night is covered.

We love Chipotle. It’s seriously my favorite fast food (I don’t even like calling it that because it’s so not in the same category as McDonalds or Arbys).

For those of you who share the love and have one in your city, you should know that on Halloween night, they offer FREE burritos! All you have to do is don some tin foil, and the burrito is free!

We did this for the first time last year with friends from our small group. They’re a family of seven, so this was a major deal for them.

In our fair city, the festivities begin at 6pm. Call your location for details.

October 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm 32 comments

The Meat Sauce…

Some of you have asked for the meat sauce I made a couple weeks ago. So here it is, compliments of Rachael Ray.

I’ve used this recipe many times now. I’ve done it with the mushrooms, without the mushrooms, with more spices (garlic, allspice, salt, pepper), and sometimes with tomato paste to thicken a little.

When I read through the reviews of this sauce, most people liked it, but the main complaint was that it was watery. I have to agree. I would probably add tomato paste each time. And the recipe calls for allspice, which is definitely unique for a spaghetti sauce. Personally, I like it. I think it’s interesting.

Abraham really likes this sauce and requests it a lot—spaghetti is definitely his favorite food. It makes me feel good to make a sauce from scratch that will roll his eyes into the back of his head.

October 26, 2008 at 7:57 pm 14 comments

Team Cooking

I’ve been doing some research into the concept of team cooking. I got to thinking about it because there’s a group of gals from my church that get together and do this every month or so.

Here’s how I think it works:

  • Create a group of people you want to cook with.
  • Set a date and time to do it (maybe a Saturday morning when husbands can watch the kids?).
  • Find a few recipes that freeze/preserve well and plan to make a few.
  • Buy supplies and ingredients and do some prep work (especially if you’re hosting).
  • Cook a bunch of stuff together and everybody gets to take some home to freeze!

Here’s why I think it would be cool to try:

  • Getting to hang out with my friends on a Saturday morning.
  • Having a couple freezer meals always on hand (maybe even one per week?) would be awesome!
  • Sharing the cost probably makes it cheaper (I’m just guessing).

If any of you have ever done anything like this, let me know! I’m really interested in the practical (“How would I actually set this up?”) aspects of such an undertaking.

October 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm 28 comments

Cake Wrecks

These days, I really appreciate the laughable moments in life. They’ve been fewer and farther between in the past few weeks, but there is one blog that makes me laugh every time I go there.

The Cake Wrecks blog is absolutely hysterical. All the cakes she features are “professionally” made. But the best part is the way she writes about these wrecks. I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried.

In the past I’ve harbored the guilty pleasure of reading a couple blogs that make fun of celebrities’ fashion choices, but felt like that might not be the best way to spend my day, laughing at other people. But when it’s a cake, you can just laugh!

I totally didn’t know this was happening when I originally wrote this post, but Cake Wrecks is in the running for “Best Humor Blog” in the 2008 Blogger’s Choice Awards. You have to set up an account to be able to vote, which annoyed me, but I had to vote for her. After you read a few of her posts you’ll know why.

October 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm 25 comments

I’m no economic expert, but…

With all the talk of the economic crisis/downturn/recession/slump (insert your adjective of preference here), many people are talking about wanting to save money.

Now many of you might already know this secret four-letter word, but for the rest of you, consider this a favor from me to you:


Say it with me now: “ALDI!”

Good job.

Yesterday I found that I had not a single can of beef broth in my cupboards, which was the only thing I lacked to make Abraham’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. We have an ALDI within walking distance of our house (another way to save money!), so I thought I’d hike it over there and pick up a couple cans.

Now, one thing that I consider an inconvenience about my ALDI is that they don’t take my debit card; I always have to pay with cash. And considering I never carry cash, I began the process of spare-change scrounging.

I was able to collect about two dollars off my dresser, so I stuffed that into my pocket thinking, “That should be enough for 2 cans, right? Then I’ll have one for next time.”

I get over to the store, find the broth, and check the price to make sure I have enough money. And much to my delight/shock… 39 cents. I think I did a triple take. Thirty-nine cents?! I was able to leave the store with $1.22 in my pocket!

This is good economics, people. At my regular grocery store, I would have paid at least twice that amount. I can’t say I’d buy all my groceries there, but for pantry stuffs, they can’t be beat.

To those of you without an ALDI in your neck of the woods during this time in our economy… God be with you.

October 9, 2008 at 9:07 am 41 comments

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