Monday, December 29, 2008

Adventures with my New Kitchen Aid Mixer

I have wanted a Kitchen Aid Mixer for a long long time. The first Mixer I ever witnessed was at my good friend, Jill’s, house when we were kids. Her mother, Amy, used to throw a holiday party every year with an amazing assortment of homemade goodies. She owned her own pastry business for a time and still to this day makes the most delicious cream puffs ever created. (I dream of those cream puffs.) I remember her making chocolate chip cookies in her red Kitchen Aid mixer and thinking to myself, “this must be why her cookies are so good.”

This Christmas, Evan gave me a brand new Kitchen Aid Mixer of my very own. He always gets me the best gifts. I was so excited to try out a new recipe. I looked for one that required a lot of mixing on all different speeds. The Mixer came with a book with a few recipes and I picked the Double Chocolate Pound Cake. I haven’t done very many cakes from scratch and have never made a pound cake. This recipe was definitely an adventure.

The recipe required 5 different speeds be used during the mixing process. The most hysterical step was mixing in the eggs. The directions read, “Turn to Speed 2 and add eggs, one at a time, mixing about 15 seconds after each addition.” I cracked the first egg and when I went to drop it in the mixing bowl, the Flat Beater hit my hand and my egg went flying onto the counter. You really have to time it just right when dropping eggs in while the beater is going. It was a high stress egg drop, but I got all the eggs in with only one casualty.

After my batter was all mixed up, I underestimated the size pan that I needed. I poured ¾ of the batter into my loaf pan and it was way too much. I put it in the oven for 5 minutes and it over flowed and leaked all over the bottom of the oven. Evan helped me transfer the batter to a bigger loaf pan, but I was worried that it had already partially cooked. We went with it anyway. Next time I will read the last line of the recipe so that I know what size pan I need before I start.

The cake was probably the worst cake I’ve ever had. It was so dry, it was almost inedible. I don’t care though. It was so fun using the mixer that it didn’t bother me that the recipe didn’t turn out. I can’t wait to mix up something else.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday (or Anytime) Casserole

I have never been too thrilled with the traditional holiday meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am a pretty picky eater, so I don’t do stuffing or green bean casserole. I won’t usually touch the cranberry sauce (unless it is from a can) and I didn’t realize that I like pumpkin pie until two years ago. For me, at a holiday meal, my plate would be filled with turkey, mashed potatoes with butter and canned corn. You can see why I don't get too excited for the big feast. I’d much rather order a pizza. That is, until we shared Thanksgiving with our friends in Arkansas last year. My good friend, Nicole, made one of her Mother’s classic Thanksgiving recipes, Corn and Macaroni Casserole. This has since changed my outlook on a holiday meal, forever. When we moved to back to Maryland, Nicole gave me her Mom’s recipe and I’ve made it at Thanksgiving, Christmas and when Evan’s parents were in town. It was a major sensation every time! It is so easy and can work with any meal. I don’t recommend trying to count how many calories are included in a serving size, but do recommend having more than one serving.

1 Cup uncooked pasta (this seems like not enough pasta, but it is)
1-1 1/2 lb Velveeta, cubed
1 can whole kernel corn (do not drain)
1 can cream corn
2 tablespoons butter/margarine

1. Mix uncooked pasta, cubed Velveeta, whole kernel corn and cream corn in a medium sized baking dish.
2. Drop 2 tablespoons of butter/margarine on top in small pieces.
3. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
4. Serve and accept the praises.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Topper the Puppy

My brother and Brad adopted an adorable puppy and named him Topper. He came to my Mom’s for Christmas and we got to spend some quality snuggling time together. He is a mix between a Chihuhua and a Dachshund. They call him a ChiWeenie. I am more of a cat person, so dogs usually bother me, but Topper is very well behaved. He gets pretty excited, but doesn’t bark or yip. He goes potty on his pad and takes lots of naps. I love him.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

So much has happened in the past few weeks, let alone the past few months. There is no way I can recap all events since my last blog post, so I figure I will start fresh with what has happened this holiday. Evan’s parents came to visit us in Maryland, we entered a balcony decorating contest in our new apartment complex, my brother adopted a puppy and we had an absolutely wonderful Christmas at my mother’s house in Annapolis. I hope the holidays have been as good to you as they have been to me. Have a wonderful wintery weekend.