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Saturday, October 16

Say CHEESE...Cake!!

I love cheesecake.  The creamy texture...the silky taste...cheesecake is probably the most DECADENT desert there is.  It's also very versatile, since simple alterations can drastically change the flavor.  All in all, it's a wonderful ending for pretty much any meal I can think of.

For all that, I've never quite had the nerve to actually MAKE one at home.  Oh sure...I've done that "no-bake" box kind...BLEH.  But an old fashioned, baked cheesecake?  Nope.  I'll admit it...it actually scared me.  Cheesecake just seems like such an intimidating, time consuming process.  Well, folks...not anymore.

I finally found a cheesecake recipe that tastes like the real deal AND is fairly easy to make!!  Scary thought, eh?  So, if you've ever wanted to give it a try, then today is your day!!  Cheesecake...here we come!! 

Friday, October 15

Hash It Out

If you're like me, there are certain "staples", or must-haves, that will always be on the menu fairly often.  Whether they are family recipes, or just simple fare, they are the turn-to item when you just don't really know what you are in the mood to eat.  For us, that would be potatoes, in some form or another.

One of my favorite things to make is hashbrown casserole.  It's simple, it's filling, and it's another of those comfort foods...just makes you feel happy.  I still remember where I first got hooked on it, too...my local Cracker Barrel.  It was years ago, and what they served then has changed with time, but that's probably the first recipe I actually learned to copy at home, and mine is like their's USED to be.  Filling, balanced...it's just a great meal. 

Thursday, October 14

Ciabatta, Baby!!

Ok, so I freely admit it...I am DEFINITELY an experimenter in the kitchen!!  I love new gadgets, new recipes, and new flavors.  It's fun...and with my roomies so willing to eat whatever I toss at them, my creative moods happen more often than not.

Well, today, I was going through a new baking cookbook that I got, and ran across a recipe for Ciabatta bread.  Ciabatta has a dense, chewy crust, but is very light and airy inside, having lots of nooks and crannies.  Among the many uses for it would be Muffalettas, a type of sandwich that will feed an army, because it's made with the WHOLE loaf!!  While this post will be mostly about making Ciabatta, I promise to include a recipe for a classic Muffaletta, too...it's SOOO worth the effort to make!!  One CAVEAT - the Ciabatta recipe won't be given in the typical fashion...this bread takes steps, so the ingredients will be given as each step is reached. 

Wednesday, October 13

Viva' CHILE!!!

Today's post isn't going to be about food...it's going to be about finding and knowing what's important in life.

At 12:11am local time, the first of the 33 trapped miners in Chile arrived at the surface of the earth, after having spent 69 days almost 1/2 mile underground.  I watched the feed on my computer, as I'm sure countless others did.  It was monumental...it was historical...it was humbling.  These men have surmounted nearly impossible odds.  From the day it happened (August 5th), they have proven that the human spirit can and will overcome anything it's presented with.  That ANYTHING is possible!!

Let's just talk about one of their accomplishments for a moment.  When the cave-in initially occured, they spent their first 17 days trapped in a small room in a shaft, not knowing what was happening on the outside.  These 33 men survived all that time on 48 hours worth of rations...2 days worth of food, divided between 33 grown men over 17 days.  Which of you would have remained calm?  Which of you would have been able to sustain any hope? 

Tuesday, October 12

When Life Hands You Lemons...

I woke up this morning with a notion of getting creative in the kitchen.  I waltzed in the kitchen, planning on grabbing some coffee and one of my cookbooks, thinking that I'd finish waking up while choosing what to make...when I heard a strange noise.  I searched around, and finally, under the sink, I found the problem...the cold water line to the sink faucet sprung a leak!!

We had to turn the water off to the whole house.  Off to Lowe's we ran, thinking it would be an easy fix, but no...we didn't know what size the fittings were, or where exactly the leak was coming from.  We ended up calling a plumber, and after $85 changed hands, we now have no leak (it was the saddle tap for the ice maker line...we thought it was something else completely, so good thing we got him).  Kind of a damper to the whole day, you know? 

Monday, October 11

Devil Eggs

I know I've mentioned that we own chickens.  We own 15, all dual purpose breeds, which means we can use them for eggs or meat.  Of course, since we are ALL huge animal lovers, it's doubtful we'll ever use them for meat...surprisingly, chickens have rather interesting personalities!!  The eggs, however, are another story.

So far, 4 of the "gals" are laying, but eventually, they all will.  For those who don't know, chickens lay, on average, one egg every 25 hours.  Do the math...when they are ALL laying, we'll average about 13-15 eggs per DAY!!  Yes, we have flyers up to sell some, but we still end up with alot of eggs, so of course we are always looking for great ways to use them. 

Sunday, October 10

No Muss, No Fuss Cookies

The other evening, I was sitting here piddling on my computer.  One of my roomies came out to the living room, and asked if I was willing to make something (which I'm pretty much ALWAYS up for doing).  She wanted some of those no bake chocolate peanut butter cookies.  Do you remember those?  Man, I hadn't made those in YEARS!! 

I used to make them alot when my kids were really little, but honestly, I had forgotten all about them.  Not sure why, either...they're quick, easy, and yummy as can be.  Well, to make a long story short...off to the kitchen I hustled, and within 30 minutes, had a full batch made.  I think they lasted us 3 days?  Like I said.....YUMMY!!