Friday, January 27, 2012

What's in a Creed?


     As you already all know I adore books, and I have been enjoying my local library immensely, there is something so enjoyable about curling up with a good book. One of the latest books that I have been reading is the a book on the history of Betty Crocker, I will be further reviewing this book for the upcoming "What I have been reading Wednesday." I can tell you that so far I have been loving this book.

     One thing that really struck me and impressed me was the Betty Crocker Homemaker's Creed. Read this creed, and tell me that it doesn't declare the nobility of homemaking. It is interesting how many people no longer see being a homemaker as a lofty pursuit, actually a lot seem to be seeing it almost as drudgery and a menial task.

     As a college educated woman I have heard this issue debated on both sides, every which way untill all parties are blue in the face. As I have mentioned before, my mother was/is a college educated woman who chose to stay home with us kids, yes we were very blessed that we had that option and I realize that many don't have that choice. However not even getting into that issue, I was impressed but the pride and dedication and commitment there was to creating a home.

     My mother could have climbed the corporate ladder, I am sure of it. She would have been tremendously successful in business, however she was even more successful as a homemaker and a mother, and she took great pleasure in doing just that. I appreciate so much that she taught me to make a house a home, and to make the family the top prority. I love this creed, I think I want to print it out and put it in my kitchen, but also it has reminded me that I need to create my own creed to live by, and the creed for my own home, so that is what I am going to be focusing on. Because I like Betty Crocker believe that, "the home must be an influence for good in the neighborhood, the community, the country." Thanks Betty for reminding me, and thanks Mom for living it

Friday, January 20, 2012

Favorite Things Friday!


  Its a fabulous Friday!  I love the weekend!  The only downside of this weekend is that Mr. Love From Scratch is out of town, hopefully he is having fun, but the house isn't the same without him. I know we are still in the newlywed phase, but I sure love having him around.  With him gone though I have been cooking some of my favorites that he isn't as fond of, you guessed it LOTS of mushrooms are being cooked!

     So many people ask me what my favorite kitchen staples are and what my favorite items are to cook with, so I made a compilation of some of the items I love the most.  Some of the things I have given up recently (that means you Dr. Pepper), I still have the occasional Dr. Pepper, but I am really trying to cut back on my caffeine intake.  Nutella, Gelato and Goldfish crackers are the occasional indulgences that I may partake in, but for the most past I love to eat healthy fresh foods, and try to stay away from processed foods as much as possible. 

     As I have said numerous times, there really is something so satisfying about taking raw ingredients and creating a delicious end result.  I love to try new combinations and I love to create quality, healthy meals for the people I love.   As I have mentioned I have started watching the TV show The Chew, it really is a great show, highly recommend it, anyway on one of the episodes each of the hosts shared what their last meal would be, Michael Symon (one of the hosts)  shared a recipe for Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli, which I decided I just had to try, I love beets and I love goat cheese so marrying the two in ravioli sounded good to me.  Its always nice when you get to use your favorite things in a recipe.  I wish I had been the genius to come up with this recipe, but sadly I can not take credit for it.  I made the recipe and it turned out amazing!   I also love that this is a truly affordable gourmet recipe, since as you know my car repair was a definite hit to the monthly budget. Also he does this ravioli with wonton wrappers, you can use pasta dough as well of course, but if you are short on time the wonton wrappers are a great way to go!

Michael Symon's Beet Ravioli
Ingredients
  • 1 large red beet (6 to 8 ounces) scrubbed
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1 small egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound Wonton Wrappers or fresh pasta (you choose)
Instructions

For the ravioli: Lay a wonton wrapper on work service. Brush edge of wonton wrapper with water, then top with 1 tablespoon beet filling. Place another wonton wrapper on top of filling, then press the edges together with a fork. Set aside. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers. NOTE: Michael likes to use a spray bottle to apply the water.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the ravioli, quickly return to a boil, and cook until tender yet firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving the pasta water.


Just before the pasta is done, ladle 1 cup pasta water into a large sauté pan. Add the chopped tarragon and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding the next piece. Continue until the butter is incorporated and the sauce is creamy. Slide the drained ravioli into the warm sauce. Toss gently until the sauce is creamy, adding more pasta water as needed.

Divide among warm pasta bowls and garnish with Parmesan and tarragon. Add a few grindings of black pepper if you like.     

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maybe there is something to this whole 2012 fear....


Here we are only 16 days into 2012 and I have already had my first disaster!  Last week my car had issues, now a small issue wouldn't be a huge deal, oil change, flat tire etc, most of that I can deal with flying colors.  When it gets more complicated then things start to go sour, my cute little car had a lemon week, it ended up needing a whole new engine. (GRRRR!)  Luckily for me Mr. Love From Scratch can deal with the mechanics and ask all the important questions regarding the car that make me just have blank expression.  So with my car in the shop and an expensive repair bill coming up I have been looking at more inexpensive recipes to stretch the budget.  One of my favorite recipes will always be soup recipes, especially on cold days.  There is something so satisfying about soup.  I love how it makes the world just seem like a better place. 

So this recipe is a super budget Meatless Monday recipe, I love this recipe though because you can add whatever to it to use up leftovers etc.  Its a great foundation recipe to have on hand.  You can add leftover veggies or leftover chicken, shrimp etc, all great add ins to this recipe.  Its extremely easy and cost efficient, so if an unexpected expense comes up maybe give this a whirl, its delicious!

Cabbage Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound cabbage, chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cups vegetable broth
dash salt and pepper to taste
dash Tabasco or hot sauce, to taste
fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a large saucepan. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and add additional salt, pepper and hot sauce, to taste.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Things...a glimpse into who I am


Julie Andrews made popular the song, "A few of my favorite things" in The Sound of Music.  With the help of polyvore.com and pinterest.com I immortalized a few of my favorite things and products of 2011.  As you can see I have a wide assortment of things, and all of the products featured I actually do own and use routinely.

I don't want to bore you with the details on everything featured, so I will focus on some of the highlights that make me who I am.  While this is for 2011, it really does give you a clear insight into who I am every other year as well.

So as you can see I love shoes, featured are some of the new additions to my shoe collection of 2011.  I love shoes, they make an outfit pop, and they express my personality and they always fit, a woman can never have too many shoes.  I especially love high heels, but my Skechers Shape-Ups I love as well, best shoes to wear when your back is hurting and have a long day, I can't explain it, but the pain is always gone.

One of the kitchen essentials that I discovered this year is the OXO stainless steel can opener, now normally I would never rave over a can opener, but I LOVE this, I mean I really LOVE this product.  I discovered it actually at the end of 2011.  Mr Love From Scratch and I went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving.  When I was helping Mom in the kitchen, she had this and I knew I had to have it.  It is the easiest can opener to use, my mom says she is starting to get arthritis, I guess I am just weak, whatever the reason, opening can after can while making dinner can hurt, this is the smoothest can opener I have ever used, and didn't take hardly any effort.  I am now the proud owner of it and I love it.

Those who know me well are familiar with my penchant for cardigan sweaters.  I love cardigan sweaters and scarves and often have both on.  They always make me feel warm and cozy, and since I am often on the go I need to have layers for when temperatures change.  I also love pearls and wear my pearl strand all of the time, even in the kitchen with my aprons.

I also love my Clarisonic, yes I know its expensive, but really worth every penny.  I have extremely dry flaky skin and I can't even begin to express how much this helps my skin.  It works with whatever cleansers you choose to use it with, I personally like Elemis because it works for my  skin, but you certainly do whatever you want.

You can see my two favorite shows proudly displayed, I did discover a few more shows this year that I really like "The Chew" and "Worst Cooks in America", but these two are my never miss standbys.  You can see the kitchen items that I use all of the time, I love these items, I would be so lost without my pots and pans and KitchenAid Mixer, and I will admit, I love that it is pink.  You see my favorite lipstick and mascara which I adore, and my go to Jo Malone perfumes, I have the entire fragrance arc and I love the possibilities that I can create for individualized scents.  There really is a scent combo for every mood and occasion.

Two items on this picture are by far the most important to me, that would be The Book Of Mormon, and my wedding ring.  As you all know, this year I got married, and I love being married (tomorrow is my 2 month anniversary)  Mr. Love from Scratch is amazing, and I am so blessed to have him in my life.  I tend to keep a lot of my personal life private, but a huge part of who I am is in these two items, my family and my faith are everything to me.  Every year I read The Book of Mormon cover to cover, I love it, and it has a very special role in my life, if you want to know more www.lds.org  it is a book that has changed my life.  My faith and my family mean everything to me, so no collection of my favorite things would be complete with out these items represented.

What are some of your favorite things of 2011?  I would love to hear what you discovered last year.  I am also going to be making a collection of some of the things that I hope to discover and try in 2012.  Here is to a great new year!