A Little Humor

I’m a little light on the knitting this week. So I decided to drop a little humor this Wednesday from my favorite local winery….

Prairie Fire winery has started bottling wine margaritas…they know my weakness. Happy Wednesday!!

More Gratuitous Baking Content

Jellybean looked at me this week and said “we should make cookies”. And I said why not! So here is more gratuitous quarantine baking content.

We made pretty standard cookies except for Jellybean insisted on adding the whole bag of chocolate chips. He then put fork marks in them like peanut butter cookies because why not? He also squished the completely flat. So we have very nice and crisp cookies.

They lasted all of 3 days. But to be fair I only baked 1/2 the dough and froze the other half or another baking day. I hope future Rachelle enjoys the work of past Rachelle, lol.

Happy Baking!!

Self Care Cocktails

In these times of change and only the necessities I’ve been challenged to make due with what I have around the house. Last work week was brutal in ways I cannot even explain. I’ve been working from home for a month and I think I think I’ve almost doubled the number of hours I put in a week and i’m farther behind than I’ve ever been. But I digress.

On Friday evening, I realized we had run out out of wine. I’ll pause for the gasps of horror. But I was nonetheless deterred. I googled recipes that would use up the odds and end of our very dusty liquor cabinet (leftover from the pre-Jellybean and PB days where we would have actual proper parties with stout beverages).

I had some standard vodka and some creme de cacao so my first lesson was a chocolate martini. I dusted off my cocktail shaker and drizzled some hershey’s in a frosted class….a promptly poured a double after the kids went to bed. It was delicious and just the trick to take the edge off a long week.

On Saturday night the hubby got in on the action. He told me he was going to surprise me and came downstairs with this lovely concoction! It was a pour man’s White Russian or as he called it a “salted caramel white russian”. Please excuse the lack of proper glasswear…we have two kids and there is a global pandemic, any glass will do in my book!

This was one was ice cubes with one part vodka and two parts salted caramel Kahlua all topped off with vanilla almond milk. (We save the cows milk for the kids since we aren’t always sure the store will be stocked). And you guys….this was AMAZING! It was like a cold salted caramel coffee. I will TOTALLY do this one again.

And the best part was we didn’t have to leave our house and we are using up bits and bobs that hopefully aren’t expired and will kill us. Either way, salud!!

Pizza for Breakfast

Caution….food porn ahead!! I had a particularly heinous and stressful day ahead of me while simultaneously having leftover homemade pizza dough in the fridge…

You guys, I made Parmesan garlic and egg breakfast pizzas. And ooooohh my did they taste amazing and everyone of the 600 calories!

I didn’t follow any recipe and just scrounged ingredient from my fridge. I made four mini pizza crusts and seasoned them with butter and garlic salt. I then slathered on some Parmesan garlic pasta sauce and topped that with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. And to top it all off I cracked a large egg on each pizza and put in a 400 degree oven. They took about 12-13 in to get the eggs cooked but yet still soft.

Two of the eggs slid because my pan was not level. So lessons for next time! I think I might make the crust have ridges or perhaps use my better stainless steel pizza pan to keep things tidy. Never mind how they look….they looked delicious and we devoured them! this one is for sure will do again!!

Happy baking!!

Dinner Rolls Take Two

Happy Carbohydrate Friday! (I’m pretending its a thing during this crazy time)

I decided to take another run at dinner rolls in my bread machine. My last attempt was okay but I knew I could do better. I did some internet searches and landed on the Bread Machine Dinner Rolls on the Betty Crocker website.

The dough came together nicely. I managed to make more reasonably sized dinner rolls that were almost all the same size. The batch made 15 rolls and they raised nicely. I think I need to space them a little better during their second proofing.

The rolls taste and texture were a VAST improvement form my first try. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I printed it and put it inside my bread machine cookbook. My family quickly gobbled these with a bit of butter and peach jam.

Happy Baking!

Stress Baking

I’m my father’s daughter and when I feel uncertain or stressed….I like to work me feelings out by making carbohydrates. Today’s self care is brought to you by my bread machine and my first go at making dinner rolls.

The batch went swimmingly well in my machine. However, I definitely need more practice at sizing my rolls. I kind of overshot the “roll” size and landed more in a “hamburger bun” size range.

My family pronounced them delicious no matter the size. They browned beautifully and rose nicely. I used a basic white dinner roll recipe from my Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. The texture was light but this recipe used eggs and it had different texture than I an anticipated. I’m new to hardcore baking but my mother told me this is normal for egg based breads. I think I am going to make the pizza dough recipe for the next round and shape them as rolls instead of crust. It is just flour, salt, olive oil, water and yeast in that recipe.

Based on the current social distancing, I think I’m going to get a lot of baking practice. And I might end up needing bigger pants…

Happy Baking!!

Should Have Done This Sooner

I have continued my carbohydrate craze this week and tried something new….pizza dough in my bread machine. And y’all…I should have done this sooner!

My mom got me this great book on bread machine bread. Its really comprehensive and has helped me make really successful bread. But that is all I have ever made.

Jellybean and I needed a project this week so we decided to make homemade pizza. I pulled out the book and used the machine to make one batch of regular crust and on batch of whole wheat crust. It was SOOO EASY. The machine does all the hard work and when it’s done you can cook it right away, store in the fridge for 24 hours or store in the freezer for 3 months.

As a working mom who handles most of the cooking I feel like this has opened up a whole new world for dinner options. My family gets home between 5 and 5:30 and everyone is hungry, especially the kids. I can’t take an hour to cook dinner or there will be meltdowns. It’s just how it is with our littles right now and I know it will change when they get older. But as it stand now, during the week I have to plan meals that can come together quickly.

So holy cow, I can make up dough the night before and put fresh rolls, homemade pizza or whatever else I can think of in the oven for a few minutes when I get home. This has kind of fired up my cooking mojo and maybe I can shake up our recipe rut a little this spring.

What is your favorite (and quick) thing to do with basic dough?

Planning Makes My Brain Happy

I have my planner and my go to crock pot cookbook….I’m ready to take on this busy week. I am really liking the meal planner insert and I’m using the pages to keep of what I accomplish instead of what I have to get done. It’s been empowering in a time of high stress. I am really enjoying my planner and color coding so far in 2020.

Tonight’s recipe is meatloaf and mashed potatoes magically all cooked in my instant pot and waiting for me when the family gets home tonight. It takes some prep time the night before but really the Instant Pot does all the heavy lifting. And bonus, if I call it “Meatloaf Cake” then my kids gobble it up.

Now I need to plan out the rest of the week! Happy Cooking!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. May your pants be stretchy, your wine glass full and your family be well behaved. I’m helping my dad cook this year while my mom chases the tiny humans. I feel like we both scored a win with this deal. No knitting content today as I’m off to start peeling potatoes and mixing up stuffing ingredients.

chicken close up dish food

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

I’ll see you guys on the flip side tomorrow….probably with actual knitting content. I have some really cool stuff started!!

Let’s Make Pear Jelly

My neighbor has a pear tree that was LOADED this year. I managed to be the recipient of two grocery sacks of pears this fall. I managed to get the bulk of them ripe at the same time and decided to make pear jelly.

The hubby did his best to keep the tiny humans away from the boiling hot liquids. I managed to get all the pear juice I needed and then sieved the pulp into pear-sauce for the kids.

In the end I got six pints of jelly. It is a very loose set though. I can tip my jars and see the contents move around and I see some juice on top. I need to consult my grandmother, the expert jelly maker, to see if this is a problem or not. I’m pretty sure you can attempt to re-set jelly but I’ll need to use the inter-webs.

But for now I’m feeling proud of this amber colored goodness!