I could do without them if you took them away from me, but I wouldn't be happy. Here they are, my can't won't give up. Ever. Unless there is no power, then I'm kind of screwed. haha
1. Electric Can Opener. It took me a while to come on board with this as I never saw cranking a can open with a hand can opener was a big deal. Hubby bought this when I came home from the hospital after my spine was fused. I'm not sure why I didn't want one before! I never have any problems opening any can and it sure saves my hands.
2. Keurig Coffee Maker. I know this isn't the cheapest way to make coffee, but I love having a selection of coffee in the morning. There is nothing that tastes as good as that first fresh cup of coffee in the morning. I love being able to have that experience with each cup.
3. Nespresso Aeroccino Plus. This is a recent addition to my small kitchen appliance arsenal. It came as part of a set when I bought my Nespresso C100 on Amazon. I love that I can add skim milk foam to all my coffee drinks. I just drop a few stevia flavor drops into the milk before I turn it on to froth and I have a nice sweet skim foam on top. Another great feature of this frother is that it will either heat your milk up when it foams, or you can hold the button for 2 seconds and you will get a nice thick cold foam for those cappuccino fredo's I love.
4. Nespresso C100 Espresso Maker I ordered this after being spoiled rotten in Europe on good espresso, real espresso. I love the bright gem colored capsules all lined up in my Discovery Box (sold separately when you join the Nespresso Club).
And now, drumroll please, my Favorite New Appliance:
5. Broan Trash Compactor. I don't know how we lived with out this. Michael and I make a lot of trash, mainly due to my shopping addiction. (I swear I'm not a hoarder). Anyway, one afternoon hubby suggested we go to the casino, and I retorted with "let's buy a trash compactor instead" and he said "sure!". I ordered it on Overstock and it was delivered to my door for 1.95 shipping! We had an electrical outlet installed at the end of our breakfast bar and Viola, I have more flat surfaces to put things on. Not really, I'm just kidding.
This trash compactor is amazing. All of our trash, from all the rooms in our house, for an entire seven day week, fit into just one trash compactor bag. It has a deodorizer disk inside of it that does a wonderful job of controlling odors. Although I haven't been throwing stinky stuff other than banana peels into it. In one week, we fill one small garbage bag. It's amazing. I feel like I am reducing my carbon footprint. Now if only we had one for the Amazon boxes that arrive just about daily (my bad).
So there you have it. My five don't want to ever live without appliances. What are yours?
Microwave Potato Chips. When Nikki told us that you could do this simple thing and have real potato chip taste from the microwave I just couldn't believe it. So she cut one up and nuked it for us. Yummm.
If you have a really sharp knife and a steady hand you don't need the mandolin, but I was going for uniform thickness and my pampered chef mandolin did the trick. I'm just saying it made it easy for me, but certainly not necessary to have a mandolin.
First you tear off a piece of parchment paper the size of your microwave floor. Just go ahead and slice onto the paper if you are using a mandolin. If you are using a knife, use a cutting board.
Second, you lay the potato slices onto the parchment paper.
Three: you cover the potato slices with another piece of parchment paper.
4th... insert into the microwave for 7-9 minutes. Keep an eye on them, when they turn brown they are done.
As a side note, I put kosher salt on my slices after they had been cooking for 4 minutes, recovered and cooked for another three minutes and they were done.
Our thanksgiving lunch is always antipasta that we make in the morning, along with turkey pastina soup that I made in advance with the practice turkey. This year, we ate lunch during the halftime Packers/Lions game. Dinner was served at 5:00, which just barely gave the turkey enough time to cook even though I started it at 9am.
This is my beautiful mom snuggling with Gavin. Nikki gave her quite a bit of baby holding time to make up for the last 7 weeks Mom wasn't feeling so good this trip. Right before she left the house to fly here from Baltimore, she twisted her back. I didn't let her do any of the work in the kitchen, she was on baby holding duty.
We had an impromptu photo shoot with the babies. This is my Nikki doing her thing.
Grandpa and Quinn eating lunch.
This is Nick, my daughters hubby. He is such a sweet man, and a great father and husband to my daughter.
This is Ed. We found him a few years ago, and made him part of our family.
This is my dad, he had no choice, he married my mom with a ready-made family. I love him very much
And here is one of the stars of our photoshoot. Aww
And then of course there is this guy. My little man.
Marcelo's masterpiece. He is our official turkey cutter now that he's in the family. He does great!
My handsome son Jeremy. He.actually.allowed.me.to.take.photos.of.him.!!
Teaching my mom how to take a self portrait. haha!
Just push the button momma!
Jeremy photobombing. I've never heard this term before, you?
It was such a great Thanksgiving. We were all here, everyone got along, the food was fantastic, the babies were perfect.
Yesterday my daughter @onemomtwoboys asked if anyone else finds the holidays tough to juggle. I totally understand where she is coming from. When I was a young mother, we had 4 familys to visit in two days since both my parents and my hubbys parents were divorced.
We spent Christmas Eve lunch at my fathers house, Christmas Eve evening party was at his Mom's. His mom's side was good about rotating who did Christmas Eve though, so sometimes we did actually get stay home -once in a while. Not that staying home and having the party was much of a help, because we still had to do last minute things, assembly of toys, stuffing stockings, putting the presents out from Santa, you know the drill if you are a mom with a young family.
Christmas Day was another rush around day. We'd have to be to my parents house by lunch time, we'd gorge on delishious yummys and after a few hours head to his Dad's house for Christmas dinner.
The only time we really had, our nuclear family-hubs, kids, me- was Christmas morning. So we made our Christmas morning tradition. Some of our own family traditions really crack me up...like waiting for daddy to finish in the bathroom to open gifts! Waiting again for daddy to finish in the bathroom so we could open a few more gifts. etc... (nikki will laugh at this)
So I made Christmas mornings as special as I could for our little family. I made our breakfast in advance. Sticky buns mmmmm. I haven't made this recipe since I was married to the ex 12 years ago because new hubby and I have our own Christmas morning tradition: Sleeping in! And the kids come to us! (and now they try to figure out how they will visit everyone in two days-glad to pass that tradition on).
Here's the recipe. I give my old friend Brenda credit for this, she gave me the recipe when I was a young bride. Thanks Brenda! Btw, Brenda is not old!
frozen bread dough (i used the 3 pack and made extra to give as gifts, if you do this, triple everything) and crisco
Spread crisco all over the frozen bread dogh, cover with wax paper or a damp towel and let rise for 4-5 hours.
Punch it down, and roll it out. (oblong) (pictures would help right?)
Spread butter (use the real stuff) on the rolled out dough, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Use as much as you want, but the dough should be covered completely without so much sugar that it falls out when you roll it, so a thin layer of sugar and cinnamon. Or more, if you like, who cares if it falls out?
Roll into a jelly roll and slice. about a little less than an inch thickness.
Over low heat, melt 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp dark karo syrup in a 1 quart pan. Spread sticky gooey goodness onto the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Now is the time to add nuts if you like them. Lay sliced dough circles in baking dish on top.
Let rise for one hour.
Preheat your oven to 350
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. When you pull out of the oven, flip it onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Let cool. Freeze or serve or give away.
I used to put it in the fridge the day I made it, and then turn the oven on the "warm" setting Christmas morning when I woke up and just pop the foil pack onto a cookie sheet and let them get warm while we were opening gifts.
This year at my daughter's suggestion, I joined a farm co-op for delivery of bi weekly shares of veggies and fruit. I stopped shopping for food at Walmart after buying beautiful 14.99 strip steaks and cooking them to finding them the consistency of lunch meat. Hubby and I read the label and what we had bought was "enhanced" meat. That sure woke me up about trying to figure out a diet for us that gives us food that we know where it came from. So when Nikki said she was going to give a
local CSA a try this year, I was in.
We get beautiful veggies from them, and the experience has made me look for new recipes for things I've not only never prepared before, but had never tasted either. However, that being said, I did throw away some of each share this summer. Have you ever eaten rutabaga? And do you eagerly await kohlrabi to come into season? Me either. My hubby had some awesome beets, radishes, root veggies that he loves. But turnips? are you kidding me?
Theoretically, I totally support community farms. And I want to only buy local produce. Last year I found out that the little farmers stand up the street? They import from other states- Florida and Michigan. I can buy that kind of fresh produce at the grocery store.
Although we had a lovely time at dinner on the farm one day in early June, and we like the people who own the farm pretty much, CSA is just not for us. I wanted it to be so badly, and I tried new recipes, and it sure has been nice getting fresh from the farm things we do like, we just get way too much we don't like. This weeks share is closer to what I would pick up in the grocery store, but it's the first week like that.
So next year, no, we aren't going to do it. I'm going to miss it on weeks like this one, but for the most part, I think I'll do better at farmers markets next year.