Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cooking with oil in an iron skillet, a blast from the past…

unnamedI remember back in the day when fried food was the norm in our house.  When the boys were young, I bought oil in gallon containers, and dumped several inches in a skillet to cook with.  Fried chicken, pork chops, potatoes, you name it, I fried it.  But today, I’m more enlightened, and would never do that.  We’ve all learned tricks to compensate for frying, my favorite being to pat dry chicken breasts or pork chops, then Pam a skillet, I use one with grill marks, brown it on top of the stove, flip it over, and immediately put it in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, uncovered.  When you take it out of the oven it looks and tastes like fried, but without the grease.

But back to my story.  In all those years of frying food, I always had a mess when I finished, my cooktop was greasy, and that was before smooth cooktops so it was a pain in the patootie to clean.  On the occasion that I do fry something these days, an egg,  bacon, etc., I’ve learned to never use a small skillet.  Even if I have just one egg, I fry it in a 14” skillet, that way it never spatters on the cooktop.  It’s a great tip, and no, I don’t put oil in the skillet, of course I fry that egg with Pam.  This morning I’m making corn chowder, and I needed bacon drippings, so I pulled out the big skillet, fried the bacon, with no mess.  It’s a beautiful thing, frying in an oversized skillet, took me years to figure it out, but better late than never.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I’m seriously losing it ladies…

Earlier today I posted about tweaking that 3-2-1 cake, and something wasn’t quite right with the picture of the cake.  I kept looking at it, and finally tonight, several hours later, I had a (bankrupt) Kodak moment and realized that I had posted the picture upside down.

Oh law-dee, what a bimbo I am.  I had taken the picture with my iPhone, and emailed it to my computer.  I’ve had pictures that came sideways in an email, but never upside down, well, not until today anyway. 

Boy, is my face red.  Why didn’t I catch this?  So, if some of you looked at that post earlier and thought it looked strange, that’s why.  I flipped it right side up as soon as I realized what I had done and reposted.  Geezy Pete, I am totally hopeless!

Tweaking that 3-2-1 cake


Yesterday when I made the cake and gave hubby a bite, he wasn’t a fan, but I haven’t been married to the man for forty years not to know a thing or two about his food preferences.  He’ll eat pretty  much anything that has a sauce on it, so I decided to try making him a mini pineaple upside down cake, his favorite.  BUT, I didn’t have pineapple, so I tried it with peaches.

I put some peaches in the bottom of my mug, added some brown sugar, a dab of butter, a few sliced almonds and a dash of almond flavoring.  And whlie I was making a double batch of the cake, substituting peach juice for the water, I nuked the peach concoction for one minute.  I took it out, gave it a stir, put in the cake mixture that I had whisked on top of it and nuked it for an additional 1:35 minutes.

This time he loved it.  He said it was a 7-8.  I don’t know if I would give it that high of marks, but it’s fast, easy and a no brainer.  Just thought you would all like to know…

And no, the cake isn’t molded, those are blue sprinkles in the picture.  That white confetti cake mix was the only one I had in the pantry.  Sometimes you just gotta roll with what you’ve got.  Know what I mean, Vern?

My favorite things today…


Hubby bought me a primrose, and it’s sitting on my desk, making me smile. 

I found this iPhone cover on Amazon yesterday. 419z2qME9gL._SL500_AA300_

My iPod cover is the same mint green color, and I love it, it reminds me of an Easter egg.  So it’s on my wish list, hey a girl’s gotta have a dream, especially in January.

I do believe I have a touch of spring fever, but I need to curb my enthusiasm for another six weeks.  So here I sit, listening to a Splendid Table Podcast, looking at the birds on the feeder, just wasting away an afternoon.  But that’s okay, what else is there to do in January.  I’m counting my blessings, at least I’m not staring out the window at snow!

Update:  I just looked at my iPod cover, it’s not mint green, it’s robins egg blue.  Oh dear,  I think I’m having a senior moment…

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

3-2-1 Cake

Two ingredients, angel food cake mix and any kind of cake mix.  Put them in a bag together, shake well, scoop out 3 tablespoons of the mix, add 2 tablespoons of water, then put it in a ramekin and nuke it for 1 minute.  The recipe didn’t say whether or not to spray with Pam, but I did because I didn’t want a mess. 

Ha, you can see how well that worked for me.  But, if I wasn’t Miz Piggy it would have been fine.  I made it, nuked it, and it was just this itty bitty amount of cake in the bottom of the ramekin.  So I doubled the recipe, at least I think I did, I was talking to my friend, Nisha on the phone while I was making this and since yours truly can’t chew bubble gum and walk at the same time, who knows what I did.  All I know is that it started to run over in the microwave so I quickly put a saucer under it and finished cooking it.  It took about a minute and a half for the larger batch, but remember, I have the microwave from hell, so my timing is never accurate.

photo (1)And how did it taste, curious minds want to know?  Well, all I had was a confetti cake mix to mix with my angel food cake mix, so it’s kinda vanilla tasting.  But it’s not bad, but I’m also desperate.  I don’t have anything in the house that isn’t healthy, and this is the only thing I could come up with fast that didn’t involve actual work.

Would I do it again.  Sure, I would.  If this was topped with a sliced banana, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or some fresh fruit, or my dilly’s favorite, lemon sauce, it would be pretty good for a quickie.  A bit of almond flavoring would be nice, too.

But I think I would like it better using a chocolate cake mix.  Or I could just stir some chocolate chips or cocoa into this.  It’s not knock-your-socks off people, but it’s not too bad considering that it only takes 1-2 minutes start to finish.  Except for the mess…. Ughhh!!

Tweaks: I made this again, doubled the recipe, put it in a mug, did NOT Pam it, nuked it for 1:30 and it came out perfect.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan visits the Insurance Agent

We just got our condo insurance bill, they raised it $100 this year, with no claims, so hubby and I decided we needed to visit our insurance agent and have a talk with him.

Well, the guy that we always did business with has retired and turned our account over to a twelve year old girl with a squeaky Minnie Mouse voice.  Now, in all honesty, I have to admit that I was defensive before I even walked in the front door, but when we laid everything in front of her and started asking questions she wasn’t exactly forthcoming with her information.  She actually sounded like a politician, never answering a direct question with a direct answer.

It only took me a few minutes before I had enough of that crap, and I told her she was really tricky, but that I was really old so that stuff didn’t work with  me.  She looked at me and said “oh, it’s not your first rodeo, huh.”  And then she proceeded to calm down and work with us.  But the damage had been done, I don’t trust her, maybe after she goes through puberty she will have more creedence, but  to be perfectly honest, I just don’t enjoy children telling me what I do and do not need with my insurance coverage.  And I won’t even get into the bad information she gave hubby, a misquote of over $200, but he caught it, and she wasn’t able to explain her mistake.

Our appointment was at 10am, she was going to get right back to us, email me with updated information, and it’s now 5pm and I haven’t heard a peep from her.  Jeesh, enough already!  We’ve had State Farm Insurance for almost forty years now, and never had a problem, but me thinks it’s time for a new agent.  A grown up person.

So, if any townies know of a good State Farm agent on the West Side of Heavensville, let me know.  And in the meantime, if I don’t hear from her, I’ll check with her tomorrow after she’s home from school and maybe she’ll have some prices for me.  I know, I know I sound really old, well I am really old!!!!!

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