Saturday

A Cooking Quote for a Rainy Saturday Afternoon

Cooking "is a form of flattery....a mischievous, deceitful, mean and ignoble activity, which cheats us by shapes and colors, by smoothing and draping...."
Plato

It's not like cooking at all!!

Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker, WhiteI'm in the mood to try my hand at making home-made ice cream. The store brands are just not quite cutting it these days. I want to give it a try myself! There is just nothing quite like the taste of ice cream that you have actually taken a part in the making!

And making ice cream isn't really cooking lol!!

Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 1-1/2-Quart Ice-Cream Maker, White

Tuesday

Putting Together a Baking Gift Basket

 Lets look at the steps that you will need to take to put together an amazing gift basket to give to someone on your gift list or to sell.

So what could go into this basket? Oh you would be amazed at the interesting little items that would fit this theme. Just be sure that you give yourself enough time to really find unique items. And you just never know where you are going to find them, so be ready.

But to help you get started, I'm going to give you a list. Read it over and see if anything would appeal to "your friend" and then copy the items onto a sheet of paper and tuck it into your handbag. Every time you go shopping, read over the list to refresh your mind. But don't be surprised if you find items that aren't on the list. That's half the fun of putting together a gift basket! And you will have fun!



Today's Baking Gift Basket

1. Pot Holders

2. Oven mitts

3. Cookie Tin

4. gift certificates to their favorite tea shop and there are lots of them out there!

5. Invitation to your house for cookies

6. Cookbook

7. Your favorite recipes written out on file cards

8. A book about the history of baking

9. Cookie sprinkles (colored sugar etc)

10 Cooling rack

11. Kitchen Timer... make it a novelty timer to match her kitchen

If you can think of any other items to go into the basket... just add away!

Your obvious choice for your "basket" would to be a nice..... but the choice is yours. I have even written an article on the different types of baskets you could use. They can be found here. They range anywhere from a garbage can to a frying pan!  http://www.bukisa.com/articles/315979_getting-serious-with-gift-baskets-lets-start-with-the-basics


Be sure to tie off the top with a ribbon and then make a funny card to go along with your Gift Basket. Or you could wrap the entire "basket" in cellophane so that your basket follows a more traditional style.

Super Easy French Dressing Recipe

It's time to fire up the barbecue or grill and invite all of your friends over for an amazing afternoon. I'm sharing my favorite recipe as well as some things you don't want to do!!

Summers are all about picnics and get-togethers, but it is so easy to make simple little mistakes that can cause your guests to get sick and you really don't want people to remember your summer barbecue as the time they left and spent the night feeling ill. So, I'm going to give you my favorite recipe with a few little reminders so that your guests remember their time spent with you... with fond memories.

Recipe:  Super Easy French Dressing Recipe

Ingredients:
!/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of vinegar
5 T ketchup
3 T finely chopped onion
dash of paprika
3/4 cup of salad oil




Instructions: I love this recipe for when I have just realized that we are all out.

1. Put all of the above ingredients into a blender and hit the blend button. That's pretty much it. Take it out of the blender, put into a serving bottle and refrigerate or simply pass around.


Things Not To Do

1. Be sure that you are aware of any allergies that your friends might have.

2. Keep food inside until the very last minute so that you don't have to fight with insects or the heat.

3. Be sure you know exactly how many people will be attending and how many chairs you will need.

4. Have sun block just in case someone forgot to apply theirs... Men do this all the time. You won't have to say a word, just leave it sitting in the bathroom where they can see it.

5. Keep your own hands clean. While preparing the food, you will probably touch about a zillion different surfaces. Be sure to wash your hands often!

6. If you are offering fresh fruit and veggies, be sure to also wash them thoroughly. You have no idea how many people at the supermarket have handled the same item before you purchased it.

7. It might be a good idea to serve the food inside... buffet style and then let your friends take their plates outside to the picnic area!

Friday

A Gift Basket for your Favorite Aunt

You have decided to put together a basket for your very favorite aunt!!

So what could go into this basket? Oh you would be amazed at the interesting little items that would fit this theme. Just be sure that you give yourself enough time to really find unique items. And you just never know where you are going to find them, so be ready.

But to help you get started, I'm going to give you a list. Read it over and see if anything would appeal to "your friend" and then copy the items onto a sheet of paper and tuck it into your handbag. Every time you go shopping, read over the list to refresh your mind. But don't be surprised if you find items that aren't on the list. That's half the fun of putting together a gift basket! And you will have fun!


A Gift Basket for your Favorite Aunt 

1. picture frame and no, don't put your photo in it.

2. a canister of tea

3. a tea cup and saucer

4. a box of sugar cubes

5. sugar tongs

6. a tea pot just for two

7. A photo album to begin filling up.

8. a canister of cookies to go with the tea

9. a crossword puzzle book to work on while enjoying a cup of tea. If you think that she would prefer a word search, choose that instead.

10. tea cozy

If you can think of any other items to go into the basket... just add away!

Your obvious choice for your "basket" would to be a nice..... but the choice is yours. I have even written an article on the different types of baskets you could use. They can be found here. They range anywhere from a garbage can to a frying pan!  http://www.bukisa.com/articles/315979_getting-serious-with-gift-baskets-lets-start-with-the-basics


Be sure to tie off the top with a ribbon and then make a funny card to go along with your Gift Basket. Or you could wrap the entire "basket" in cellophane so that your basket follows a more traditional style.

Wednesday

I Hate My Kitchen!!

 Are you tired of the way your house looks?? Maybe you want to sell and you don’t know where to start?  I have definitely been there and done that and it took a long time to know what the problem was. Whatever the reason, making my house appeal to others just wasn’t working.

So, here’s the story.

We were trying to sell our house and nothing seemed to work. And then a real estate agent sent us a proposal. She would list our house, but she was also going to come in and stage it... and it would only cost us one dollar, if we didn’t pull out of the agreement before the allocated time and yes, we had to agree to any asking price that was over 90% of the price we had agreed on!  I have an entire series on this topic... moving from one room to another and I will list all of the changes that she made to each room. Lets move into the  kitchen... here's what she did!

1. Clean everything off the counters and make sure that they shine.

2. Fresh flowers on the table

3. No dirty dishes ANYWHERE and that includes the dishwasher.

4. Kitchen should smell like a bakery. No salmon should be cooked... ever and especially if you are attempting to make a good impression

5. Fresh towels can be hanging from the stove, but make sure that they are brand new. If the kitchen looks as if it is being used, you have missed the mark.

Needless to say, after having our house on the market for a couple of years... yes, a couple of years, our agent managed to sell our house for 95% of the asking price. We are now living in a brand new home that is pretty close to perfect and it's all thanks to an agent, who knew her stuff!!

Tags: staging a kitchen, decorating a kitchen, selling your house, kitchen updating, old kitchen in need of updating

Tuesday

Southern Lemonade

My Favorite Summer Drink and the Most Common Mistakes

Summary: It's time to fire up the barbecue or grill and invite all of your friends over for an amazing afternoon. I'm sharing my favorite recipe as well as some things you don't want to do!!

Summers are all about picnics and get-togethers, but it is so easy to make simple little mistakes that can cause your guests to get sick and you really don't want people to remember your summer barbecue as the time they left and spent the night feeling ill. So, I'm going to give you my favorite recipe with a few little reminders so that your guests remember their time spent with you... with fond memories.


    *   1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
    * 1 fresh lemon
    * 1 1/4 cups white sugar
    * 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

Directions

1. Spoon out the lemonade concentrate  and transfer to a large pitcher.
2. Add enough water to make a gallon.
3. Wash lemon thoroughly and then grate the zest. Add to lemonade in the pitcher.
4. Roll the lemon on the countertop to make squeezing easier and then cut in half and squeeze as much of  the juice into the pitcher as you can.
5. In a small bowl, crush the mint leaves into the sugar using a wooden spoon. Stir into the lemonade and then cover and chill for several hours to allow the flavors to meld.
6. Spoon out as many of the leaves as possible and then serve over ice. You can garnish with a sprig of mint if you want to get fancy ;)





Things Not To Do

1. Be sure that you are aware of any allergies that your friends might have.

2. Keep food inside until the very last minute so that you don't have to fight with insects or the heat. THIS ALSO GOES FOR DRINKS. FLIES LOVE TO SAMPLE!!

3. Be sure you know exactly how many people will be attending and how many chairs you will need. AND DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH GLASSES TO GO AROUND??

4. Have sun block just in case someone forgot to apply theirs... Men do this all the time. You won't have to say a word, just leave it sitting in the bathroom where they can see it.

5. Keep your own hands clean. While preparing the food, you will probably touch about a zillion different surfaces. Be sure to wash your hands often!

6. If you are offering fresh fruit twists in your drinks, be sure to also wash them thoroughly. You have no idea how many people at the supermarket have handled the same item before you purchased it.

7. It might be a good idea to serve the food inside... buffet style and then let your friends take their drinks outside to the picnic area!

Sunday

Traverse Bay Confections Hand Decorated Blue Flip Flop Cookie, 3-Ounce Individually Wrapped Cookies (Pack of 4) I'm thinking summer beach parties with cookies that look this cute!

Traverse Bay Confections Hand Decorated Blue Flip Flop Cookie, 3-Ounce Individually Wrapped Cookies (Pack of 4)


*Before you leave, why not sign up to follow me. Something new every day! :) It's in the far column to the right!

Wednesday

Monday

Stale Spices

I might not be the best cook... but I do know that you need to keep an eye on your spices. If you are going to use them, they had better be fresh! And when I make my grilled cheese sandwiches, I do like to add herbs to enhance the flavor of the cheese!

Thursday

Just Keep Breathing!

Keep Breathing
Sophie Tucker

I'm not sure what she is referring to, but the first thing that I thought of was how I feel in a kitchen. Dinner will be on the table as promised, but that's all. If it doesn't meet your expectations, we can always go out. ;)

Bacon Salad

Norpro Pig Bacon PressI pretty much grew up with bacon in the house and I'm sure that we enjoyed it at least once a week. Times have changed and we seldom eat it any more, but then I saw this recipe... too good not to at least share!

And this little press is for my sister. She collected everything and anything that was  pig oriented. 

Bacon Salad




How To Cut An Onion...

I don't know who taught me to chop onions, but whoever it was, didn't know any more than I did. Apparently you aren't supposed ...