Friday, February 21, 2020

SILICONE IS MY FRIEND

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Do any of you love to bake?  Or should I say, do any of you bake often?  Having the proper equipment is always a plus for those of us who bake or cook.  Having tools that are multi purpose is even better.  

In the past I have tried and discarded many pieces of bakeware.  There has been trial and error with measuring tools also.  As I am now past middle age, it is time to finally get items that make me happy to cook and bake with.

About 6 month ago I finally bought a silicone pastry mat.  I had wanted one for years but never remembered it until I would be rolling out tortillas or pie crust.  Early, on a Sunday morning I was going to make an Apple pie.  There were a couple of items I needed to make said pie (like apples) and so I went to the grocery store to pick them up.  As I walked down the first aisle I immediately saw silicone pastry mats.  SWISH, into my cart it went without even looking at the price.  (It was REALLY early that morning)  I love it!  It is so much easier to clean that up instead cleaning my counter tops.  

On one of hubby's trips to Las Vegas, he was at our friends home and the lady there was making tortillas.  He was watching her and saw her use a measuring cup that totally got his attention.  It was a silicone cup.  He asked her why she used it and she gave him about 5 reasons.  I got a phone call immediately and was told to go on Amazon and order a set for us.


Oh my, how I love them.  The fact you can squish them and pour your liquids into your bowls is such a big plus for me.  Notice how easily I am squishing the 4 cup one.  Just to let you know, I have a jammed thumb on that hand and it is not causing me any pain to squish the cup.  The cups have metric, ounces, cup and the little one has teaspoon and tablespoon measurements on them.  They have been used at least once a week and washed in the dishwasher and still look like brand new.

While looking for the measuring cups I ran across a silicone bowl set.


Once again the squish factor is good. (I am squiching the biggest one) These are wonderful.  I have used my hand mixer in them without any marring of the inside of the bowls.  They do not slide around on the counter tops while stirring in them.  These also are used weekly and washed in the dishwasher.  LOVE THEM!

Now, I will say, I have tried silicone bakeware and was not a fan.  That being said, it was about 15 years ago that I tried it.  Maybe they have improved it by now.  I don't know.  I do know I love all the bakeware I am using in my kitchen now.  Most of it is USA bakeware.

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The pans with the ridges are my favorites and they are all nonstick without Teflon type coating on them.  However, they are hand wash only.  Clean up with them is a breeze.  I have loaf pans, cookie sheets, jelly roll pans, round pans etc.  I wait until I see them on sale and then grab what I don't have.  They are not cheap but they are fantastic.

What favorite kitchen stuff do you have that you could not live without?

Until next time...............happy crafting!

PS: NO, I am not getting paid to endorse any of these products.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Running Down

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This is kind of what I feel like today.  Not much get up and go left in this old gal's tank.

We got home at a decent time last night and I even managed to get to bed before 11.  The book I am reading at bedtime got so good last night, my light stayed on until almost midnight.  I am reading "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green.
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My grand daughter gave it to me to read.  It is a young adult book and deals with children with cancer.  I know that sounds super depressing and yet the book is not a total downer.  Hopefully, I will finish it tonight.

Prayer Shawl group was this morning.  Today, we had 25 shawls donated to us from another parish.  This means we needed to sew our medals and tags on them, bag them up and get them ready to be blessed and sent out to recipients.  Needless to say, that is all we got done today before it was time to leave.

After Prayer Shawl, I drove over to our lawyers office and delivered the Easter basket to her.  She was thrilled with it.  Phew, I am glad of that.  

Oh, I managed to get something out of my house for good.  I took my hot water pot to the Prayer Shawl Group so the ladies could make tea.  I have a hot water tap on my water cooler and no longer needed the electric pot.

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They were so happy to get it.  They had been borrowing one from another ministry.  

We have finished lunch, the dishwasher is running, hubby is doing research and I am getting ready to do a bit of knitting and listen to my audio book.  Dinner tonight will be left over meat and I will make some cooked veggies to go with it.  

How is your day going?  Are you running out of steam yet?

Until next time..............happy crafting!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Answers

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Once again it is time to answer a few questions which have appeared in the comment section of my blog.  Not to mention, I promised updates on the food I made yesterday and tasted today.

First question was asked if when preparing my horseradish if it 'got to me'.  I had read on the internet to be careful when opening the blender lid and to stand back as the 'gasses' from the root can attack your olfactories.  I did not want to test whether this was true or not.  Once I had ground up the horseradish root I stood arms length away when I opened the lid and waited about half a minute before I got close enough to add the vinegar and salt.  Therefore, I did not suffer any ill effects when making my own horseradish.

The next item was kind of a question and kind of a observation.  I mentioned how my back starts to hurt when doing my walks.  Sam also said her's hurts then and also when she is doing housework.  Surprise!  Mine, too, hurts when doing housework or after standing for a length of time.  From what I have been told, this very well may be related to my RA.  It does settle down if I take a small break of about 10-15 minutes.  I just keep ignoring it and hoping it will get better with more exercise.

Now, on to my food tasting.  

This morning, I had my overnight oats.  Oh My!  They were so good.  I will use a little less milk next time as they were just a bit runnier than I cared for.  Yup, these will be made more and more. 

Next is the Banana Bread.  Goodness!  It was super moist and so very good.  Not overly sweet either.  I am glad I added the cinnamon to the batter.  It gave it just the perfect pop to the flavors.  Another keeper of a recipe.  In fact, I have 2 more bananas ready to be made into bread.

And lastly, the baptism blanket.


I was half way done with the last row of border when this happened.  Darn it!  I hopped into my car and headed to JoAnn's where I picked up another skein of yarn.  Just maybe, there might have been a few other skeins of yarn picked up since they were all, buy one get one for 50% off.  Oh, and I picked up the ribbon to thread through the holes on the edge of the blanket.  It should be 100% done for the YOP update on Sunday.

I have another shawl pattern picked out for a prayer shawl.  Lucky for me it will relieve my stash of another 800 yards of yarn. (Which is just about the same yardage I added to the stash today)

Tonight is Trivia night again.  My cousin is going with us tonight.  Hopefully it will help us win one of the top three spots this time.

Anything new with you?

Until next time...............happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Kitchen Day Two

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Oh my goodness.  Today saw me doing quite a bit in the kitchen again.  Actually, I enjoy baking and cooking.  Cleaning up my mess, not so much.  Don't worry, my kitchen gets cleaned each time I am finished cooking. (Usually)

Before I started my kitchen fun, I headed out to get my haircut.  It grew quite a bit in the last 4 weeks. My beautician said it must be from all the rain we have had.  (She was kidding......I think) There is something I am noticing each time I get it cut.  It is getting grayer and grayer.  My normal hair color is brunette with red undertones.  Not so much anymore.



I stopped dying my hair about 7 years ago.  It was just barely turning gray at that point.  My mom did not turn totally gray/white until she was about 75-80.  I have 10 more years, maybe.  I wish it would all turn and be over with it.  My mother in law always asks me where I go to get the highlights in my hair.  I keep telling her God does it free of charge.  

Once I returned home I decided to make some banana bread from a, new to me, recipe I saw on facebook.  Here is the recipe:

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack

I pulled it out of the oven about 15 minutes ago.  Here is what it looks like. (My house smells super yummy)


The only thing different I did was add some cinnamon to the batter.  We love cinnamon in our sweet breads.  We will probably have a slice of this tonight for dessert.  Tomorrow, I will let you know if it was yummy or not.

The other thing that happened in the kitchen was the making of overnight breakfast oats.  Sam talked about making them on her blog this past Sunday.  Here is the recipe I used for mine.


I like to up the game on mine a bit so here is what I also put into mine.


I have one with blueberries and one with blackberries.  Also, I use 2% milk instead of almond milk as 2% is not as thick as almond milk and with the chia seeds I wanted it a bit thinner.  Those chia seeds thicken things up pretty good.  The other thing I use is pure maple syrup (1Tblsp).  I find it not as sweet as honey.  Once again, tune in tomorrow to find out if it is a keeper of a recipe or not.  This is the first time I have used greek yogurt in my oats.  But what a great source of extra nutrients.

The kitchen is all cleaned up now.  It is time for me to put on my audio book and go and do some cardio.  After that, it will be time to work on the baby blanket again.  It is over half done now.  I am 99% certain I will need one more skein of the yarn.  Panic has not set in quite yet.  That is scheduled to happen once the last skein of yarn is being used on the blanket.

We have plenty of Carne Asada left over from last night so there will be no need to cook tonight.  That is nice since hubby teaches a class tonight.  That gives me a couple of hours of uninterrupted crafting time.  

What have you been up to today?

Until next time..............happy crafting!