Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Domestic Bliss and Apple-Sass

I did not have to work today... woohoo! Like many people I took a look around my messy house and said screw it I am gonna do something other than clean on my day off.

So, instead of cleaning I decided to earn another patch for my domestic diva status and learn how to can food. Now canning food is a process that I have watched my parents do since I was a small child, so naturally I went to my mother, the queen of all things domestic. She could give the circa 1990 Martha a run for her money in the cooking department.

Anyway, I had gone apple picking about a month ago with some friends and had a ton of apples just taking up space in my fridge, so apple sauce was the obvious choice for canning. I decided that I did not want to stand over a pot for an hour waiting for all these apples to cook, so I selected the lazy (or creative) way out. The Crockpot!

I cut and cored and peeled all 30 apples by hand, quartered them and dumped them into the Crockpot on low over night. Magically in the morning I had apple soup and schlepped it to mom's house. I added some cinnamon, put in over the wood stove at the rents house and then let it thicken. About 30 minutes later, after prepping the jars, was ready to fill and steam can my sass.

It turned out beautiful. I should have taken a picture! So for those of you interested in having homemade apple sauce for over the winter check out the Ball Blue Book, basically the bible of home canning.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year

My apologies out there to those of you who are Christmas freaks (A), but Halloween is by far the best holiday out there. Forget that it is every normal girls excuse to dress slutty, but rather that there is a significant amount of creativity and expertise that goes into creating an amazing costume. Also there is candy corn.

But really, when else can you find skeleton salad tongs? Clearly I purchased a set.

My true pride and joy this Halloween has to be my costume. I generally spend an inordinate amount of time creating, building, or making my costume, but this year takes the cake. I have recreated a very accurate Wonder Woman costume. Yes, my childhood dream has been realized. All those years that I ran around in my Wonder Woman underwear, rain boots and the big wheels (yeah I know you remember those!) has finally paid off. I have a killer Wonder Woman costume.

I do have to give credit to the awesome website for homemade costumes that provided the inspiration, but now I am ready to relive my childhood as an adult, traipsing around in my underwear (literally, because the shorts are "boy short" undies from Old Navy) with my lariat of truth to save the day. Can you do that for me Christmas?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love it, but hate it

I love flying. I think really it is that I enjoy being in the airport with all the different people, going different places. It seems like a great place to start a story or a movie because there are so many options. (Maybe thats part of why I am obsessed with the movie Love Actually, also possibly because I am obsessed with all things English, but that is for another post).

Unfortunately my brain does NOT like flying. So while I am enjoying the surroundings, my brain decides to rebel against my body and give me what I can only imagine morning sickness feels like. No, I am not preggers, nor would I make a very happy prego lady if this is really what morning sickness is like.


I get horribly motion sick. Boo and sad face. I was with my family on a trip back from Florida this past Sunday and they were able to experience first hand what it is like when I start to feel sick before flying.

Did I take Dramamine you might ask? Of course I did, I think I would be an idiot if I did not, however I guess I did not take it early enough before getting into the car. Because, at the airport I started to feel nauseous. Yes, I was not even on the plane yet. Needless to say, I spend the next 45 minutes pacing around the airport to try and get it to go away. Even preparing myself for the inevitable by getting a plastic bag from one of those little stores.

It was finally time to board and I was not feeling better. My poor mother felt horrible for me and wanted to help, but I just wanted to be left alone in my misery. I mean who really wants people around when they feel like they are about to hurl? Not this girl.

By the time the plane started to taxi, I think the pills started to kick in, because I was feeling better and even managed to stay awake and look out the window for the second flight. Note to self: Take meds prior to getting into car with E as the driver. Being squeezed into the back seat with three other adults didn't help either.

Otherwise, had an awesome time visiting my amazingly talented sister in Florida, bonding with the fam and swimming with the alligators and manatees.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What to do with a Whole Head of Cabbage?

Part of the reason that I wanted to start blogging is because I have a wide range of interests, well really more like an interest in cooking bloggers. So I am going to share my first recipe!

I ended up with a rather large head of cabbage from my local CSA and thought to myself, what the heck do you do with an entire large head of cabbage, besides make a ton of coleslaw? I for one, am not a huge cabbage fan, but refuse to just throw it away, or even give it away for that matter. It was time to get creative.

After poking around online I decided that I was going to make stuffed cabbage. Sounded like something I would eat. I wanted it to be savory and hearty without being too cabbagey. The biggest thing is once it was made, would I bother to make it again after tasting it and my conclusion is yes. It was hearty (one stuffed leaf filled me up) flavorful and easy to make.

So here is what I ended up with:

Savory Stuffed Cabbage

Makes 10 Rolls
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

1 head of cabbage
1 roll of sausage (16 oz I think)
3-5 medium sized potatoes cooked until soft and cut into chunks (think bite sized)
1 egg
1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. chopped green peppers
1 1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground rosemary or 1 tsp. chopped
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/2-1 c. chicken broth or liquid of choice

1. Cut core out of cabbage and place in pot of boiling water for 7-10 minutes. Remove from water and place on a plate to cool some before handling.
This will allow you to peel the cabbage layers and roll them much easier. Just a heads up, it will make your house smell like cabbage for a bit.

2. Take potatoes, sausage, egg, onion, pepper and seasonings and mix together in a bowl. Much easier to use your hands, kind of like making a meatloaf.

3. Spray bottom of 13x9 glass baking dish with Pam (just-in-case)

4. Gently peel first leaf off of cabbage place open on a plate and plop two heaping spoonfuls of the sausage mix into the center of the leaves (about 2/3-1c. of mix).

5. Starting with the sides, fold in, then roll from thin side toward the stem (thick part). Kind of like rolling a burrito.

6. Place stem/seam side down in baking dish and continue rolling until all the mix is used. I ended up with extra cabbage, still not sure what to do with that, suggestions will be appreciated!

7. Pour broth over cabbage rolls and then bake at 350 for 30 min covered and 30 min un-covered. Be sure to cover them or the leaves will dry out and not steam all the way.

*I made them earlier in the day and placed them in the fridge until I was ready to cook. I also plan on freezing the leftovers. You could probably make them the night before if you wanted, but I wouldn't make them any earlier than that because of the raw meat.

*You could probably replace the potatoes with stuffing mix (2 c. prepared) and go lighter on the seasonings if you don't want to use potatoes. You could even used left over mashed potatoes.

Enjoy :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Not Alone

One of my colleagues shared a most wonderful blog with me the other day. I am a huge fan of young adult literature and have found a group of others who are like me! The blog, Forever Young Adult is totally devoted to those adults, like myself that prefer to read YA over that impossibly boring adult stuff. Because many people do not take the time to recognize the merits of YA lit, the ladies of Forever YA are the perfect voice for the genre. I love the snarky, sarcastic and alcohol related postings that come from these women. I mean really, what could be better than a Sweet Valley High Drinking game?!?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Its time.

I have been contemplating this blogging business since I had to start one for class and now after reading some really great blogs, have decided to try my hand at it. I don't know how successful I will be, or even if anyone will care, but I am gonna give it a try.

So while I may not be the most entertaining or interesting person out there, I hope to share stuff that is. I like to cook and bake, craft, as well as read, garden, and most importantly hang with friends generally in a setting that involves alcohol.

I like to use my co-workers as guinea pigs for my baking and tonight as a way to avoid doing my grad work (something that this also helps with as well) I decided to make some most delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins that I found on an excellent baking blog. The original recipe was for a cake, but you just cut the time down to 20 minutes for the muffins. They turned out great and I will be taking them into work tomorrow, I am sure to the pleasure of my work friends.