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Baked Goods = Love

Written for Just Baking on the Well Fed Network There used to be a time when I did not see the point of making homemade cookies. Why bother with all the trouble when you can get refrigerated cookie dough? What could be easier than snipping open the package, slicing some dough and then baking them? Why would I want to go through the hassle of dirtying up a bunch of dishes just to make cookies? Typically, back then, a container of sugar or flour would last me more than 6 months. I moved the same container of table salt and the same box of baking powder to two different apartments after my annual leases were up. Cookies were all about the dough to me anyway. If I was craving some cookie dough, I would just go pick up a tube of Toll house and call it good.Back then can also be known as pre-marital bliss. Something happened to me when I got married. Not right away, but shortly after. I began to observe what would happen when my mother-in-law would visit. She never came to our house without a bucket of homemade baked goods...cookies, bread, bars, etc. She would hand over the goods to my hubby as soon as she walked in the door and a smile would cross his face as he searched through it to see what treats were in store for him. I'd watch in wonder as he would light up...pulling out this and that. After observing this ritual time after time it finally hit me. To my husband, baked goods equaled love. That seems very simple. He equates the bucket of goodies from his mom with the … [Continue reading]

A Clown Proposal

 Kelly got proposed to by this clown a couple of weeks ago when we were at the rodeo. A couple of days ago at dinner time she was really sad and quiet. I asked her what was wrong and she said "Mommy...do I really have to marry that clown?" :) It was such a cute moment...to think she had been worrying about that for so long! … [Continue reading]


Crave: to want greatly : to yearn for: to have a strong or inward desire Oh, I know all about cravings. Cravings are getting up in the middle of the night to make scones because you cannot get them out your mind.  Cravings are my 13 year old nephew walking one and a half miles to the grocery store to get butter just so his mom would make him these cookies. Cravings are my friend taking a flight out to California simply to curb her desire for an In-N-Out burger. Cravings are driving to 5 different grocery stores when gas is $3.25 a gallon to find the chocolate wafers called for in the Magnolia Bakery Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake recipe. Yes, I know all about cravings and the strong pull they have over some of us. My craving for the Magnolia Bakery Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake started a few years ago when I saw a photo and the recipe featured in O Magazine. The craving later intensified when Deb over at Smitten Kitchen wrote a post about this cake. Her featured photos had me drooling on my computer keyboard. Somehow, I have managed to keep pushing this craving aside. I really, really wanted to try it, but the craving was not so strong that I had to give in. It was not so strong until this past week when I was browsing through the blog of fellow Just Baking writer, Jennifer McHenry of Bake or Break. I was clicking and scrolling around when a big, beautiful picture of the Chocolate Wafer Icebox Cake popped up on my screen. It was at that moment that I hit my … [Continue reading]

This Calls for Something Strong

 Whew - it has been a long week! I spent this past week teaching preschool crafts to 100 3 and 4 your olds for our church Vacation Bible School program. Yes...100 three and four year old children came through our classroom each day to learn a message and do a craft each day. I am used to being around my own kids, but these three hours of other peoples children every day wore me out. I came home in the afternoon and could not wait to get a nap in. It did not help that my husband was in New York all week on business either. I had to be in full-time Mommy mode 24/7.By Friday night I was ready to pull my hair out and knew I needed something strong to help me relax into weekend mode. I needed an adult beverage. Something as far away from kid friendly as possible. I had a bottle of Grand Mariner and remember seeing an ad in Gourmet magazine awhile back for a Grand Mariner margarita. It was a simple recipe.. one part Grand Mariner and lime juice and two parts tequila. You shake it all up in an ice filled cocktail shaker and then strain it into a salt rimmed margarita glass. Soon after Nick was home, I made my Grand Mariner margarita. When I took my first sip I was completely disappointed. It just was not what I was looking for. I finished it (of course!) and then set out to find another recipe. I hopped onto Recipezaar and did a search by ingredients...Grand Mariner and Tequila. I found this recipe for a Top Shelf Margarita. We had the ingredients necessary to make this yummy … [Continue reading]

June 2007 Issue of Gourmet Magazine

Written for Paper Palate on the Well Fed NetworkI ran into a slight dilemma when I sat down to write my article about the June 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine. I opened up the magazine to find page after page after page torn out. No, my kids did not get a hold of the issue. My husband, who loves to grill, took the liberty of browsing through the magazine and tearing out recipes he wanted to try. He must have removed half the magazine because the copy in my hands was very sparse. Once I was able to acquire a complete issue from the library, I could see why my husband was so eager to rip and tear this issue to pieces. The June 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine is full of very appealing recipes. Mouth watering photos and simple summertime ingredients will tempt all of us into giving some of their current recipes a try. From Crisp Chipotle Shrimp with Corn and Scallions to Cheesecake Marbled Brownies, this issue has something for everyone. The recipe that tempted us the most was for Pasta with Green Vegetables and Herbs. My herb garden is growing well, and this beautiful and delicious dish was a perfect accompaniment to the warm summer weather we have been having. You can find the recipe at the end of this article. As far as articles go, this issue had at least one well written piece that brought me to tears. Daniel Zwerdling wrote A View To A Kill... an eye opening article about chicken megafarms and giant processing plants and the inhumane treatment of broiler chickens (as they … [Continue reading]