Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grandma's Homemade French Dressing

This is my ABSOLUTE favorite salad dressing. Thank you Grandma! And thank you mom for sticking it in the cookbook you made me. I go crazy for this stuf!!

Grandma's Homemade French Dressing
1 c. veg. oil
1 c. ketchup
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar

1/4 tsp each of:
garlic powder
celery seed
minced onion

I put all these ingredients in a quart jar and shake it. Then it's ready to enjoy! So super yummy.

Helpful Kitchen Tip

Here's a quick kitchen tip I found online that has really helped speed things along while I'm baking.

Take the recipe you use the most, for me it's pizza dough because every Friday night is pizza night at our house, and tape it to the inside of your cupboard closest to where you do the most of your baking. When it's time to whip up that favorite recipe all you have to do is open your cupboard.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wrist Warmers

It's always cold at work, which means I'm always decked out in a sweater and sporting a pair of fingerless gloves. The last time I visited my family in Iowa my Aunt Terri came up with a great idea - why not knit a pair of wrist warmers? I'm always looking for a knitting project and a chance to learn a new pattern/new technique. This project gave me both. I've never used double pointed needles before and I've never made something circular like this. Needless to say, I was uber scared. But with Aunt Terri's expert help and tips from my mom via the phone when I returned to Alabama, I can safely say I'm no longer afraid and am eager for the next project that requires double pointed needles.

Wrist Warmers

Size 6 Needles (4 double pointed needles)
Cast on 48 stitches, move 16 stitches onto each needle
K3 P1 throughout entire pattern
Knit until it measures 7 inches (or desired length)
Bound off 5 - 8 stitches for thumb slot, finish that row
Cast on 5 - 8 stiches in the next row to pick back up again

*for 8" around the arm (you can make them thinner if you'd like)

Helpful Knitting Tip:
Go to Walmart or Staples and buy a cheap pack of squishy gel pencil/pen grips. Cut them up into little rings. You can twist them around the ends of your needle. Perfect stitch holders! (Thanks mom for the tip - it saved my projects countless times)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Apple Sauce Sweet Bread

This is a recipe from The Machine Shed Restaurant. I bought the recipe on a postcard they sell in the "Gift Shop" portion of their store. You can also find it on their website.

With 3 sticks of margarine and 5 eggs, it isn't the healthiest thing to eat. Another downside is that it takes forever to bake (1 1/2 hours). So if you're feeling like Suzy Homemaker and you have a hankering for some moist sweet bread, whip this up and give it a try!

Apple Sauce Sweet Bread

3 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. + 1 Tbsp. margarine
1/3 C. + 2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
5 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda
3 1/2 C. applesauce
5 1/3 C. flour

1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

-With mixer, cream sugar and margarine 3 minutes on medium speed. (FYI you're going to need a BIG bowl for all the ingredients)
-Add evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla.
-Add salt & baking soda. Mix for 3 additional minutes.
-Add applesauce and mix for additional 2 minutes.
-Add flour until fully blended (do not overmix)
-Place batter into greased 9x13 pan. Top with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 300° until toothpick inserted into center comes out dry. (Approx. 1 1/2 hours)

Unfortunately my oven doesn't really bake evenly, so mine came out a bit doughy in the middle and overcooked on the edges. The whole experiment ended with me tossing the thing out and cursing at my oven. A helpful tip for an oven that bakes funky: buy an oven thermometer - if you're oven is running hotter or colder you can adjust the temp accordingly ($2 or $3 at Walmart). Another tip: Tinfoil - fold a sheet of Tinfoil into the shape of an A-tent and place it over your pan (shiny side up). I've done this most every time I've baked bread and it works great. A friend gave me another suggestion - a pizza stone. Placing the pizza stone in your oven keeps the temperature steady and constant. I haven't tried this yet but I think that will be my next venture. (Thanks Brian!)