Sunday, April 29, 2012

Home is where the heart is...


I know I have been MIA for the past little bit, Mr. Love From Scratch and I went on a cruise vacation!  Needless to say it was amazing!  Pictures will be coming soon, the water and beaches were beautiful and the sun was shining the whole time.  We were really lucky to see some amazing things and to experience new parts of the world, but we are grateful for our good old home sweet home as well.  It was nice to be able to lie back and relax, but at the same time is was odd to not be cooking every meal and doing my housework.  We had some amazing food and I will have some great recipes to be sharing with you in the upcoming posts.


To me home is the best place on earth, it is the place you share with the people you love most.  As all of you know I have a love of poetry, this poem describes how I feel about home.  Simply and sweetly said, there is no place like home.

Home, Sweet Home
Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek through the world, is ne'er met with elsewhere.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gayly, that come at my call --
Give me them -- and the peace of mind, dearer than all!
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

I gaze on the moon as I tread the drear wild,
And feel that my mother now thinks of her child,
As she looks on that moon from our own cottage door
Thro' the woodbine, whose fragrance shall cheer me no more.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

How sweet 'tis to sit 'neath a fond father's smile,
And the caress of a mother to soothe and beguile!
Let others delight mid new pleasures to roam,
But give me, oh, give me, the pleasures of home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!

To thee I'll return, overburdened with care;
The heart's dearest solace will smile on me there;
No more from that cottage again will I roam;
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Home, home, sweet, sweet, home!
There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home!
John Howard Payne

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Recipe Cards & Mistakes in the Kitchen

     Recipe cards have become one of my newest obsessions, and I am definitely on the hunt for the "perfect" card, right now this is one of the ones I found on www.etsy.com that caught my eye, you can find it and so many more on Etsy.  Take a look at all of the beautiful cards that you can find on that website.  Some of them are so expensive though, I might have to figure our how to make recipe cards on my own.  Those beautiful cards make me dream of one day having all of my go to recipes all organized and neatly printed on beautiful matching recipe cards.  Maybe I am being a bit neurotic, but that really would make me happy.  My mother has a recipe binder that I can not actually remember how old it is, I strongly suspect that it is older than me.  As a surprise for my mother I am putting some of the best family recipes onto matching cards and into a new binder for her, the beat-up broken binder of hers has definitely seen better days.  I hope she likes it.

     At times its funny to think how cyclical life can be, just a few years ago most women didn't have aprons, or focus on cooking like their mother have before them.  Now there is a resurgence of young women setting out to conquer the kitchen.  How does one really conquer the kitchen?  When do you know if you have won the battle?  I fear that the battle that I will have is the battle for kitchen space, it seems as though there is never enough counter space to go around.  I guess no matter how much space a cook has they will always manage so use all of the space available.

     I look at my bookcases of cookbooks, the recipes that are in my recipe binders and boxes, and all of the various cooking tools of the trade that fill the drawers of my kitchen.  I look around and realize that none of that is what caused me to become comfortable in the kitchen (although of course they did help), it was the life lessons and failures in the kitchen that taught me to press forward in the kitchen.  I have had so many failures in the kitchen, the stories that my mother could tell you from my younger years would definitely cause a mixture of laughter and major embarrassment on my part.

     What I learned from my failures is that it is okay, you don't have to be perfect, learn from your mistakes.  Sometimes learning from your mistakes is making sure that you are paying attention to what you are doing in the kitchen.  Like the time I was running behind schedule and had to make some frosting and was not paying attention to what I was doing, and instead of grabbing the powdered sugar canister, I grabbed the flour.  Just so you know, it most definitely would have been the worst frosting ever.  Luckily I was able to discover my mistake and actually was able to add some yeast and some sugar and hot water and turned it into dough for sweet rolls that turned out quite nicely.

     One of the challenges that I made for myself about two years ago was to never throw out a mistake, but to try to salvage it.  I think I will be a person that will always have occasional mistakes in the kitchen.  Sometimes the sauces just won't thicken right or the food cooks unevenly, but as Julia Child always encouraged, we have to smile through it and be fearless in the kitchen.  It is sometimes through the greatest failures in the kitchen that we discover our best new recipes.  So lesson to be learned, get some recipe cards handy and start discovering what YOU can create in the kitchen.

Easter, Springtime & The real meaning of Easter



Here it is almost Easter, can you believe how 2012 is flying by? The sun is shining and the daffodils and tulips and irises are out and the birds are chirping. It really is a beautiful day here. The kids in the neighborhood are all excited for their Easter Egg Hunt. Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays, and it is also one of the holidays that I think the real meaning of the day is sometimes forgotten in the commercialization of Easter. It is not about the Easter Bunny, the Peeps or Cadbury Eggs (although I do like those eggs), it is about the greatest miracle that has ever happened in the history of Humankind, and the greatest sacrifice ever made. I will never fully be able to comprehend the greatness of this singular event, but I can say I am eternally grateful for this sacrifice and for the impact it has on my own life and the hope it offers me.

An Easter tradition that I have is to read the Easter Story in the Bible and then have one of my Easter Tomb Rolls, or "Resurrection Rolls" Now I know many people make resurrection rolls with the pre-made crescent rolls, but I use from scratch dough, that is the way I learned to make them, and I actually just recently learned about the crescent rolls idea. Anyway, besides these rolls being delicious, it is a great way to have a learning experience with your kids. When the rolls are done, the inside is hollow and empty just like the tomb was. Enjoy these rolls, and enjoy Easter with your family.

He is not here: for he is arisen~Matthew 28:6

Easter Tomb Rolls "Resurrection Rolls"

Ingredients:

3/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons dry milk
1-1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup butter 1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
24 marshmallows

Directions:

Combine first 8 ingredients.   Let rise till double. Divide into 24 balls and flatten. Mix sugar and cinnamon together. Dip marshmallows in melted margarine, then into sugar mixture. This represents the oils and spices that the body was prepared with after the Savior's death. Wrap roll around a marshmallow, covering completely this represents being covered in the tomb. Dip once more into butter, and again into sugar. Place rolls in a large greased pan and allow to rise till double. (approx. 35 min)   Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until done.