Tuesday’s Topic: Must Have Kitchen Tools

Sharing today three go-to gadgets for the kitchen, with one being the oldey, but goody, for the baker. First, this herb stripper.  Sounds like the name of a male exotic dancer, but rest assured you will love the naughty way it removes all the leaves from herbs without you having to remove one. tiny. leaf. at. a. time. It’s $7.95 from Williams-Sonoma. Next, while we are on the topic of herbs, I love this set of herb saver pods from Sur La Table.  They are like terrariums for herbs.  You fill the bottom of the pod and place your herbs, root tip down into the water, close the door and your herbs stay fresh and hydrated.  Did you know asparagus should be stored upright in water in the fridge till you are ready to prepare it?  Well, you can store it in the pod.  Mint from the garden for your iced tea, now handy on the … Continue reading “Tuesday’s Topic: Must Have Kitchen Tools”

Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes

If you are looking to add a new cookbook to your library or give a gift for Christmas, consider Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach.  Mr. Bee gifted me this book for Christmas ’12.  Read her story here.  In summary, Jenny recorded her 14-year journey of preparing a family dinner every night for her husband and two children while working full time.  The book is organized into phases:  Phase 1 -just married, learning to cook; Phase 2 – New Parenthood where your house looks like the epicenter of an explosion; and Phase 3 — Family dinner.   Her casual recipes serve 4 people, are easy to follow and beautifully written as if Jenny is providing the narrative to each recipe herself in your kitchen. Jenny has a new book and I can’t wait for my copy to come this week — How to Celebrate Everything. So, back to the Chicken Pot … Continue reading “Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potatoes”

Wednesday’s Weave: That 70’s Cookbook

I was going through some old things in the attic recently and came across this gem of a cookbook. It’s one of those school cookbooks where all the teachers, staff and I guess anyone else that wanted to see their name in print, could submit their fave recipes. First up, the kitchen photo on the cover.  Since I never saw Carol Brady do any cooking other than to help Alice chop carrots or snap beans, I prefer to call this Alice’s kitchen. They must be making something fancy because they got all their gear out — double boiler, industrial sack-o-flour, wooden salt and pepper shakers, an electric can opener, a coffee press, lemons, onions, a juicer and I’m not sure what the white thing is. Is that a spatula hanging from the pot rack?  Why can’t it go in the wooden bowl on the counter with the 76 other rubber spatulas? Does … Continue reading “Wednesday’s Weave: That 70’s Cookbook”

Percolator Punch Recipes

Nothing says “Party!” like yummy sips from a percolator. It’s the quintessential drink for any awesome gathering.  Mother always had a coffee urn in her entertaining arsenal ready for all the parties she hosted. I’m on a personal journey to keep punch recipes alive and well.  It’s not just for baby showers and wedding receptions.  In honor of National Punch Day, I am sharing two of my very favorite hot punch recipes; one for fall and one perfect for Christmastime. First, every hostess needs an electric coffee urn.  I have one of these in my party pantry.  They are perfect for making coffee, hot cocoa or iced tea for a crowd.  I throw the ingredients into the basket and in 20 minutes your hot punch is ready for your guests.  Places like Target and Walmart sell them for about $40-$50. Hot Golden Fall Punch (from my 1987 copy of the … Continue reading “Percolator Punch Recipes”

The Health Benefits of Epsom Salt

Growing up, I always remember a box of epsom salt in our bathroom cabinet.  When my parents came to live with us, along came their trusty epsom salt.  I just thought this was an “old people” remedy and didn’t give it much thought.  After Mother died and I was going through her belongings, I put her boxes of epsom salt in the garage never giving them another thought.  I thought since Mr. Bee is 10 years older than me, he could find the salts helpful. After a long week of work recently, I read that epsom salt — which is Magnesium Sulfate — was a great remedy for tired, achy feet.  Knowing I had a stock of it, I made myself a foot bath with a nice tub of hot water, essential oil and the salts.  I soaked my feet while I read the back of the salts box.  I have … Continue reading “The Health Benefits of Epsom Salt”

Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist — How to Keep Cakes from Sticking in the Pan

I have been wanting to start an “advice column” for a while.  My friend and follower Amy posted a question on my Face Book page today so it was just what I needed to launch Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist.  I may not know the answers to all your questions, but I can certainly do some research and give you my best assistance possible.  You might want to steer clear of math, geography or world history, although I am sure Mr. Bee would love to weigh-in on these topics. Here is Amy’s question…  Q.  Love reading your blog!  My Bundt cakes almost always stick.  I’ve tried spray flour and butter, but they stick.  Do you have any tricks or tips that you might share?  #bundtchallenged Amy First, Amy that cake looks amazing and while I am sure it’s disappointing for your baked good not be a 10 in appearance, it probably tasted like … Continue reading “Let’s Ask Mrs. Twist — How to Keep Cakes from Sticking in the Pan”

Two Ideas for Fall Themed Wreaths

Almost two years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Chip and Joanna Gaines when they hosted a fall workshop in Waco.  This was pre-Silos days.  They were just on the cusp of how popular they are now.  I purchased a pair of tickets and asked one of my besties, Mary, to meet me in Waco for her birthday.  She told her co-worker “I’m going to some fall thing with some people named Chip and Jo.”  Now, Chip and Jo are household names.  If you want to read about the lovely time we had read it here (p.s. Chip and Joanna are just like they are on TV.  Lovely, genuine, and real). I purchased this cotton wreath in their “little” pop up market and it sat unadorned until this past weekend. I was cleaning out my ribbon stash and found a roll of “chalkboard” ribbon from The Container Store I purchased last Christmas. … Continue reading “Two Ideas for Fall Themed Wreaths”

Wednesday’s Weave: 30 Days of Lists Progress Report

September 1st I started a 30-day journaling challenge.  I have really been enjoying my daily prompt in my inbox for the list of the day.  The questions have been easy, yet thought provoking.  It’s given me a chance to pause, reflect and ponder.  So far, the questions have been: September is for.. Don’t Judge me, but… Reasons to Celebrate… Recent Impulse Purchases… Today, you will find me… My favorite time of the day is… If I was running for President… What’s on my camera roll… This weekend’s plans… When Things Don’t Go my Way… On my calendar this year… Up to #12, things that didn’t seem like a good idea at the time… Adopting Hazel.  She’s a blessing.  Such a sweet, loving, smart dog.  She loves our family and we love her! Gauchos — still NOT a good idea. Asparagus jello — never will be a good idea.  Sister Bee and … Continue reading “Wednesday’s Weave: 30 Days of Lists Progress Report”

Man Overboard: Another Newlywed Game

Time for another installment of Man Overboard:  A fresh perspective from the Man of the House.  We play an occasional round of the Newlywed Game with Miss Bee where she asks her parents personal questions to see if we really know each other.  It’s a fun way for her to learn about our marriage and life before her.  You can see the launch of this series here. Q:  What would your spouse want for a last meal? Mr. Bee:  Momma would want Thanksgiving dinner — roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, dressing, pie and coffee with cream and sugar. Me:  Daddy would want Sushi, flourless chocolate cake and an icy cold mug of Lager. We were both correct.  I would have also accepted Mexican Food and margaritas. Q.  What is your favorite TV show? Mr. Bee:  Momma would watch Frasier or Golden Girls. Me:  Daddy would watch anything … Continue reading “Man Overboard: Another Newlywed Game”

Thank your Baker for Croissants

We have a brand new Sur la Table that just opened near my house.  I jumped for glee because they have a kitchen in their store dedicated to a cooking school.  Every day of the week they offer classes on a variety of topics from mastering basic kitchen skills, to date night cooking, to baking.  I love a good, buttery croissant and I thought learning how to make these pillows of heaven might be fun, so my friend Pam signed up with me.  We were not disappointed. Their pastry Chef David Wiley led the class.  Mr. Bee and I took a pizza making class from David so I knew it would be fun.  David is knowledgeable, engaging and really good at what he does — teach.  These classes are hands-on meaning you get to practice what you learn, but don’t have to stick around to clean up the mess. You work … Continue reading “Thank your Baker for Croissants”