Sunday, January 25, 2009

I love to cook!

I have decided that when I don't think I have anything to post about, I will post one of my recipes. I would not consider myself someone who takes risks and makes elaborate creations, but I put my own twist on pretty traditional recipes. My recipes are also either low fat or nonfat. I have never used real cream or real butter in a recipe, and I use very low fat ground turkey in recipes instead of ground beef. We also use ground bison for our hamburgers instead of ground beef. We are definitely not health nuts by any means, but since we like to indulge and sometimes overeat, we like to know that we are at least eating a healthier version than if we were to go out to eat and order the same thing!

So for my first cooking post, I am going to start with some of my favorite tools I have in our kitchen. Now, our kitchen is very small, so I'm sure once we have a house with a larger kitchen, I will have many more favorite tools! I think these are some basics that make cooking and baking easier and more fun.

First, my Grape KitchenAid stand mixer.
My wonderful college roommate, Mandy, got all of our friends to go in together and purchase this wonderful appliance. And, I must say, I probably would not be likely to bake as often as I do if I didn't have this! You just put all your ingredients in, turn it on, and it does all the work for you!

Second, my Pampered Chef stoneware.
My mother-in-law gave me my first piece of stoneware, which was a casserole dish and it is great! This Christmas my sister-in-law got me two more pieces. What is so great about this stoneware is you cannot burn the bottom anything! Just try! You can bake cookies 15 minutes longer, and the bottom will not be burnt. I love anything that is foolproof. When you bake cookies on the stoneware, when you take them out of the oven, only let them sit on the stoneware for about a minute, then loosen them up and remove them. The longer they sit on the stoneware, the harder they will be. That really goes with anything you bake on the flat stoneware.

My next favorite is another Pampered Chef item. It is the medium scoop.
This scoop allows you to have the perfect round cookies that are all the same size. It's wonderful for a mildly OCD person, like myself!

Now, on to my favorite ingredient to use: Land O'Lakes Light Stick Butter.

I like to use this for several reasons. First, it has less than half the fat of regular butter and the taste is the same, if not better (in our opinion). Second, by have less fat in the butter, your cookies and biscuits are going to be chewy. Not just chewy when they are right out of the oven, but chewy the next day and the next day. I personally do not like crunchy cookies, and I have learned that cookies made with real butter tend to be crunchy after they have cooled and been stored.

If you haven't figured this out by now, I am no expert on cooking or baking, I just love to do it! I never cooked or baked much growing up, I have only found my true love for baking since I have been married. My mother was not a big cook. We would always tease her that she could burn water! Probably, I should attribute my appreciation and love for cooking to my great-grandmother, Grandma Pug.
The first time I ever cooked anything, was in her kitchen. She passed away in December 2007, and I miss her very much. I wish I was able to share recipes with her and learn more from her years of experience in the kitchen.

Hopefully, I have not bored you to death! My next post will be an actual recipe, with my tips and tricks I have learned all the way. I love to bake more than I love to cook, but I will try to post an even amount of posts on each of them! If you have any specific dish that you are interested in but are scared to try, let me know. There's a good possibility that I have made it and have a recipe that I have tweaked a little! The only thing I don't make is fish, only because Tim isn't a fan of it. So, I have zero experience in cooking fish, except for the fish sticks I used to make in high school, but I don't think those count!
Now, everyone sit on the edge of your seats until my next post! ;-)


Silvy said...

How did I not know you had a blog? I love your cooking post! Hope everything is going well for you and Tim in Texas!!

Amanda said...

I think this is a great idea! I can't wait for some new recipes. *Keep some of them simple for poor pitiful me! I actually learned from this blog already! I hate crunchy cookies and have always wondered how to keep your cookies yeah! Now I know! Keep on teaching!

Kelly said...

I was just thinking about writing a post about my Kitchenaide mixer! I just love mine. I need to use my treadmill just as much though!