- Keep the doors locked unless I’m using them. Just in case a burglar knows I’m alone and tries to walk in.
- Stick extra pillows on his side of the bed. The pillows are basically insulation because our bedroom is chilly at night.
Tag Archives: food
Science Mom’s Hot Chocolate Mix(This recipe too big for my largest mixing bowl, so I make half at a time)Enough powdered milk to make 8 qt.
30 oz Nestlé’s Quik
16 oz. powdered sugar
18 oz. extra rich powdered coffee creamer
8 oz. French vanilla powdered creamer3/4 cup cocoaMix the all ingredients and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Use 1/3 cup mix in a cup of hot water. Use more for a larger cup. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Enjoy!
- Brown several pounds of ground beef in a skillet and freeze it in one-pound or half-pound portions to speed up meal preparation later.
- Rotisserie chicken from your local deli can be a healthy, fast way to add protein to several meals (especially if you do not eat the skin). Meal #1: Have the legs and wings with vegetables and a roll or biscuit on the side. Meals #2-3: Use chopped breast and back meat in a Quesadilla or Chef Salad or on Baked Potatoes.
What is your advice on cooking for one?
I like my coffee strong, dark, and sweet, so I like coffee-flavoring syrups. Did you know it is easy to make your own, customized syrups that taste better than store-bought? I start with the most basic simple syrup recipe and add whatever suits my taste. Both microwave and stove top work well for me, so I have included directions for both.
What is your favorite coffee flavor?
Basic Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Cinnamon Stick Syrup
Add 1 cinnamon stick (3-4 inches long), broken into pieces
Vanilla Rum Syrup
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla (Mexican or some other really good kind), and
1 teaspoon rum or rum flavoring
Stir all ingredients together in a clear, microwave-safe container that holds at least four cups. (I use my four-cup Pyrex measuring cup.) Cook on high for two minutes, stir, and then heat until bubbling but not to a rolling boil. Stir about every minute and keep a close watch so it does not boil over. Cook at a “bubble, not boil” for about five minutes in total.
Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan that holds at least four cups. Heat to a low simmer, but not a rolling boil. Stir occasionally. Simmer for about five minutes in total.
Taste Test & Finishing
When the sugar is completely dissolved and the solution is thicker than plain water, you can check the flavor: Scoop up about a half-teaspoon of HOT syrup and let it cool before you taste it. If you prefer a more intense flavor, you can simmer for a little longer and consider adding a little more of the flavor add-ins. When you like the flavor, let the syrup cool.
If your add-ins are not dissolved (like the cinnamon stick), strain out the pieces with a strainer and cheesecloth. Pour the syrup into your preferred containers. I prefer easy-to-pour bottles. Use right away or store in refrigerator.*
*I always store mine in the refrigerator and have no idea how long it lasts because I use the syrup quickly!
Have you ever planned a wedding? Boy, can it be a lot of work!
I have attended, helped plan, and bridesmaid-ed lots of weddings, so I’ve seen how much work wedding planning can be. Now that we are planning our own wedding, Brian and I have a philosophy that the important thing is the two of us committing to each other before God and the rest is just a party with people who care about us.
We want to enjoy our brief season of being engaged and to spend the majority of our time preparing for a lifetime of marriage instead of for a one-day wedding.
Early in planning, I told him, “I think we need to communicate clearly about what’s important to each of us. If neither one of us has a strong opinion about something, we should pick the simplest, least expensive option or eliminate it altogether. Like, if neither of us care what kind of mints we have at the reception, maybe we shouldn’t have mints.”
“I agree and I don’t really care about mints.”
“Okay, bad example. I care and we’re having cream cheese mints.”
For some reason, he laughed really hard.
We still laugh about that conversation, but it greatly simplified the planning. For example:
- Our theme (wedding themes are trendy, right?) is simple, summery, and fun.
- Decorations will be cute but minimal and I will probably delegate them to friends who are better at it than I am.
- We are having an afternoon wedding because more people will be able to make it a day trip.
- Plus, a cake reception lets us include more people on our budget than a dinner. (We are going to have a light lunch of party subs and chips and fruit with our family and wedding party between photos and the ceremony, though.)
- We made our guest list in a spreadsheet so we (read: my mom) could do a mail merge to print address labels with minimal effort. The invitations do not require any folding or assembling, so we will just stick them in envelopes.
- We chose music we like but that is not particularly traditional for weddings.
- We will have our favorite cake flavors (lemon and red velvet) and some of our favorite drinks (iced tea and peach Italian soda).
Do you have any ideas for simplified wedding planning?
If you need a fun, talented photographer in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, check out Keri (she didn’t ask me to say that). She is our engagement/wedding photographer and I really like her!
I really thought I had today’s post all written and scheduled to post at 6:00 a.m… It has been a busy weekend with meeting my nephew for the first time, partying at a wedding (where I saw no bouquet throwing!), taking a four-hour road trip, and catching up with two different friends. I have had a marvelous time! Bonus question: How was your weekend?
Actual question I intended for Day 28: What is one smell that brings back a childhood memory?
The smell of coconut reminds me of sunscreen and summer and swimming at the lake or pool. As far as I remember, all sunscreen smelled like coconut in the 80’s and early 90’s. To this day, that olfactory trigger is why I avoid coconut-flavored drinks. They taste the way sunscreen smelled.
If you could not have cake of any kind for your birthday, what dessert would you choose instead?
I would pick my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls with pecans inside and cream cheese filling on top. I love pastries, cinnamon, and cream cheese, so cinnamon rolls would be perfect if I couldn’t have my usual cinnamon swirl cheesecake.
What do you like on your pizza?
My favorite toppings are Canadian bacon and pineapple. When we make pizza for a crowd at my parents’ house, we usually make 4-6 pizzas. Since the oven only holds three, we cook them in shifts. My mom and I both like the Canadian bacon and pineapple, so we save that one to cook at the end so that all the hungry people who don’t appreciate it like we do will fill up on the first pizzas and leave more of our favorite for us. Opportunistic? Sure, but we do announce which pizzas are still coming, so those who choose can save room.