Saturday, November 30, 2013

Surviving the Christmas Season

I assume you survived Brown Thursday aka Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and are prepared for today, Small Business Saturday. So we are going to talk surviving the Christmas Shopping, opps, I mean Christmas cooking, baking, eating season.

Of all the holidays to navigate for folks who are on diets, have allergies or are gluten sensitive, Christmas seems the most designed to break hearts and resolve.

That would be me on my fire engine and the special elf from my childhood before elves were used to prompt good behavior. 

I loved Christmas growing up. Such a season of anticipation of goodies. A huge box of Christmas cookies and candy came every year from my Nanny. It was stored in the cold garage until my mother's HUGE open house around mid-December. So, so, so hard to keep from sneaking out and sampling. There was peanut butter roll, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge,  coconut kisses, fruit cake cookies, date nut cookies and a huge fruit cake. I know I am forgetting something but those were my favorites.

I will be sharing some of my adaptive recipes in the coming weeks but wanted to share, as baking and making season starts some tricks I've learned to make some of the old recipes a little healthier or non-allergenic!

For pulled candy recipes: Instead of corn syrup use cane syrup or Lyles Golden Syrup. It can be found on Amazon and at speciality grocery stores.  Note: I don't use brown rice syrups any more due to the reports about high levels of arsenic in the processing.

For fudge and other recipes that use confectioners sugar: I have gone corn-free. Even if you don't have allergies, reducing the corn in your diet is a good thing. Most organic confectioners' sugars use tapioca. You can also pulverize granulated sugar and starch in your processor.  Add two tablespoons of tapioca or arrowroot starch per cup of sugar and grind to a fine powder.

For breads like pumpkin or banana: Substitute Pamela's baking mix for flour and leavening. 

Search the web for adapted recipes. No, it's not your favorite Aunt's strudel but you may find something that evokes the memories, if not the actual cookie, candy or other holiday favorite.  

More and more traditions are going organic. Trujoy candy canes are the only organic candy canes out there.

Focus on the scents of Christmas, not the calories: Can't eat Hershey's candy cane or chocolate mint kisses? Find a mint chocolate coffee or tea.

Reward yourself for staying on your diet or within your restrictions.  As I navigate through meals and parties, I am going to reward myself for staying away from things that aren't good for me by getting a kindle novella or book I really want. Ruthyand Virginia have books I am allowing myself to read because I made it through Thanksgiving. Click on their names to reward yourself.

So, what special treat do you make during the holidays? Any you have had to adapt?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Leftovers?

Missy, here. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Today, I'm re-sharing a post from 2 years ago. This is still a leftover favorite of mine!

Last year [this was now 3 years ago!], I chaperoned a trip with my son's AP U.S. History class. We visited Boston and surrounding areas. At one stop in Concord, we let the kids go do lunch on their own. Several of the teachers and I hit a fantastic restaurant called Main Streets Market and Cafe. I had what I think may have been the best sandwich of my life. The Turkey Cranberry Wrap. I was in heaven. Recently, I decided to recreate this sandwich on my own. (I can't believe I didn't think to do it sooner.)

So, here we go! Pull out those leftovers and get to wrapping!

Get some of those low carb wraps I mentioned a few weeks ago. Spread on cranberry sauce. Your choice of type. My daughter chose jellied, "the kind that's shaped like a can."  :) Layer with baby spinach.

Add dressing. I heated mine.

Then layer on the turkey. Again, I heated mine.

Wrap up and serve with a side of sweet potato fries just for fun. :)

How easy is that?! And it's an amazing sandwich. I ate it leftover on three days last week! And didn't even get sick of it.

What's your favorite thing to make with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Thursday, November 28, 2013


No recipes today, we're all busy traveling.... visiting.... eating!!!!

From all of us at Yankee Belle Cafe, we want to wish you and yours a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

May God bless  you with health, warmth and happiness as you enjoy a beautiful time of sharing and gratitude!

I was inspired by Julie Hilton Steele's "remembrance" table on Facebook... and so I copied her!!! What a wonderful idea for November, the month of All Saints and All Souls and Veterans Day. Perfect time to think back... mull... be grateful.

I don't have all the great-grandparents yet, but I'll dig them out of the office for next year, God willing! There are pics of my parents, "Bud" and Mary Herne... and Dave's parents "Sonny" and Theresa Blodgett.  In the tiny frame are Dad and Mom Blodgett cutting the anniversary cake I made for them. And the bell was my mother's, it's the bell I take bell-ringing for the Salvation army.

This is the perfect time to think about the good of someone's life, to shovel off the bad, push it aside, and focus on the strengths God has given us. Good, bad or ugly, life goes on, a precious gift.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Resurrecting corn, allelujah! Taste a bit of summer in your Thanksgiving.

Helllooooo, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have something that will do you no good at all this Thanksgiving. (You're welcome.) But this coming summer, if you harken back to this post, you can follow the directions to make sure you have fresh corn for Thanksgiving 2015! You can't say I'm not a forward thinker.

So, my friend Stacey (of the secret recipe fame) recently sent me this e-mail about what they're having for Thanksgiving. Because I can't be there and good friends always want to know what the other one is eating, right?? Right.

(This is a random picture if sugar cookies I made last year. It's me, handing my sombrero-wearing hubby my heart. Awwwwwww..... He looks like a pirate! So dashing.)

(This is our good things jar. Around New Year's Day, we'll open it and read all the good things that have happened this year. It's STUFFED and it's only November!!!)
(Another random photo, this time of the birdcage this sits above my desk. It helps me think. I believe in the power of twinkle lights...)

Now that we've gotten the pretty pictures out of the way, I'm just going to cut and paste from her e-mail because I'm lazy and I don't think she'll sue me for plagiarism. I mean, I'm pretty sure she won't. I am but a poor author! 

     "First ,way back in September, we gleaned come corn from a farmer friend. We processed some for the freezer to enjoy at Thanksgiving.  
Need: 3-4 TBS of sugar, 6 ears if corn, ice, LOTS of ice, water, large bowl and big pot, also gallon size zip lock type freezer bags.


  1. Have all the cobs of corn shucked and silks removed before starting this.
  2. Pour ice into a big bowl, then fill a third of the way with very cold water; set aside on the counter near your stove.
  3. Now, over to the stove, fill the large pot less then half way with water and add in the sugar; bring to a full boil.
  4. Add in as many cobs of corn that will fit into the pot without over crowding
  5. Bring the water up to a FULL boil again; cook the corn JUST until the cobs turn a darker yellow which will not take long (about 3 minutes) turning the cobs over in the water, if necessary, using long tongs to guarantee  even cooking.
  6. Just when the corn takes on a darker shade of yellow, use long tongs to grab out one ear and immediately plunge it into the bowl of ice water and allow to sit until completely cooled. Keep adding corn and ice as needed.
  7. Place the cobs onto a clean tea towel to drain slightly.
  8. Gather around 6 cobs in a large bag, then freeze
TaDa.. Now it is November: 
  1. WHEN READY TO USE; remove as many cobs as you wish from the freezer place on the counter to thaw slightly (the corn does not have to be completely thawed)

 To heat the corn; place 1 cob into a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 3-4 minutes or until completely heated through, turning the cob halfway through cooking time-Very important
 or for a more even heating place 1 cob of corn into a Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steaming bag, seal and microwave for 3 minutes.
(Your hostess here. I think Stacey staged this shot in her local big box store. I mean, nobody has a microwave THAT CLEAN.)
There will be hot liquid on the plate so be careful! Get rid of it before you serve.
The corn is now ready to eat and enjoy!
It can be done in the oven in larger quantities with more rotating. It is a bit chewy yet it is wonderful to bring out a plate during gatherings in the winter!

(Me, again!) So, thank you for sharing your tips and tricks for bringing corn back from the freezer, Stacey! And I must say, I do love your red butter dish. And your corn holders. And your absolutely gorgeous counters. I'm still planning on taking a writing retreat to your house some day. I'll be no trouble at all. I'll be very quiet... except for when I ring my little bell to let you know when to bring me sandwiches and warm up my coffee.
Oh, and here's Stacey's e-mail signature. HILARIOUS!
Surviving Savage, Montana with the help of lots of coffee.

 Until next time, everyone and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey Leftovers? Make Turkey Tetrazzini

Yes, turkey day is almost here. That most amazing day filled with all of our Thanksgiving favorites--cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, stuffing and, lest we forget, THE TURKEY!

I don't know about you, but I always seem to have tons of leftover turkey. I make turkey soup, turkey salad and more turkey sandwiches than I can count, so I'm always looking for more ways to use the leftover turkey that won't have my family complaining, "Turkey again."

Well, this casserole is one of those dishes. Throw in the fact that it's easy and that makes it even better.

For this little venture, you are going to need:
  • 1 - 8 oz. package of egg noodles, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 - 6 oz. can sliced mushrooms
  • Salt (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped turkey (I used a mix of both white and dark meat)
  • 1 - 10.75 oz. can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese (I recommend grating your own cheese for this so it melts better)
Cook the egg noodles per package instructions until al dente.

While the noodles are cooking, melt butter in a large heavy skillet. Sauté onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for an additional minute.

Stir in the turkey, soup, and sour cream. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.
I didn't add any salt, but did add the 1/8 tsp. of pepper.
Place your cooked noodles into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.
It will be a thin layer, so don't panic.
Now pour your sauce mixture over the top, spreading as needed to cover.
Top with Parmesan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
(I wish you could smell this.)
Serve alone or with a salad.
Okay, I have to tell you, this dish earned my boys' stamp of approval. And we know how picky they can be. Matter of fact, the little bit that was leftover was gone before bedtime because someone got hungry. Which reminds me, if you're making this for more than 4 people, I recommend doubling the recipe.
There you go. Quick, easy, frugal, and oh, so tasty. :)
This Thanksgiving, as every one before, I have so much to be thankful for. And I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a blessed and safe Thanksgiving. May God pour out His bounty.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thanksgiving Story and Cranberry Tea

Jan here to begin the celebration of Thanksgiving Week with you!

Wynter and Thatcher are waiting for a story, so are you ready for one, too?

Okay, we all know the dogs are waiting for a treat, but you'd like a story anyway, wouldn't you?

This little tale stars the characters from my next book, and they really should stay quiet until I've actually written their story, don't you think? But they've been clambering for the spotlight for weeks, so just this once - since it's almost Thanksgiving - I'll let them have their way.

So grab a cup of coffee or tea, put your feet up, and let your imagination transport you back in time to Deadwood, Dakota Territory, November 1876.....

The Angel of Deadwood

     Bunk Jones paused at the edge of the clearing to get his bearings. Ahead of him, one line of tracks marred the pristine snow of the mountain meadow. His tracks from this morning, when he was fresh with the hope of finding game for the children’s Thanksgiving dinner, were straight and sure. Tonight? He glanced behind him. At least the approaching dusk hid the telltale signs of his exhaustion.
    He shifted the Sharps rifle to his left hand and started across the meadow. They wouldn’t starve. A fifty pound bag of beans ensured that. And if he had to….
     Bunk shifted the Sharps back again.
     If he had to, he could butcher one of the heifers.
     But no man ate his breeding stock unless he had nothing else.
     The deep snow, soft from the winter sun, clung to his snowshoes like spring gumbo. He veered right at the far end of the meadow, avoiding the nightmarish Deadwood Gulch. Even in the best weather, a man could break a leg trying to navigate between the digs along the creek, and with snow covering the scattered mines, you never knew when you might sink in past your hips.
     Trudging along the ridge, Bunk searched through the possibilities of making tomorrow’s dinner special. Something to celebrate their first autumn in the Black Hills. Something to help the children forget the anniversary of the fire that killed their parents.
     Would any of the stores in town have sweets? Not likely. Not with the gold the miners had to spend on anything and everything that caught their fancy.
     Some beef from Slaughterhouse Gulch on the north side of the valley? Too dear. He had spent all his cash on the cattle for his ranch.
     No, they would just have to make do with what they had.
     Rounding Lexington Hill, Bunk stopped, drinking in the sight of the cabin nestled under the shadow of the rimrock. His claim had been scoured by the miners in ’75, and then ignored. But the acres of grass in the high mountain meadows rising up behind the cabin had been exactly what he was looking for. His gold was in the fifty bred heifers he had bought in Montana last summer.  A future for his nieces and nephew.
     His pace quickened at the sight of a sleigh in the yard. The MacFarlands had come. Did they know how important this day was for the children? Sarah might. Olivia would have told her teacher all about the fire.
     The thought of her put new energy in his steps. He tore off the cumbersome snowshoes as soon as he reached the front porch and reached for the doorknob.
     He swung the door open. James and Margaret, Sarah’s aunt and uncle, sat in the two chairs on either side of the fireplace, while Sarah leaned over a pot. Olivia and Charlie stood on either side of her, Olivia stirring something in the kettle that filled the cabin with a fruity, spicy scent.
     “Uncle Bunk!” Five-year-old Lucy slid off of Margaret’s lap and ran to him, grabbing his leg. “Sarah is making tea. Berry tea!”
     “Cranberry tea.” Olivia grinned at Bunk over her shoulder, the image of her mother in a nine-year-old body. She missed Jenny more than anyone, but the sadness haunting her eyes was gone today, her cheeks pink from stirring the tea.
     Charlie, with all the energy an eight-year-old boy could muster, ran to Bunk and started pulling off his coat. “Wait until you smell it! And they brought turkey, too!”
     Bunk glanced at James. The preacher smiled broadly. “Our folks back home remembered us with a missionary barrel. The cranberries are straight from Maine.” He shook his head as if still unable to believe the blessing, his eyes wet. “The Lord takes such good care of us.”
     One arm around Lucy’s shoulders, Bunk caught Sarah’s eye, returning her smile. Cranberry tea and turkey to make this Thanksgiving special? Only one of the miracles that had happened since he first met Sarah MacFarland.

I hope you enjoyed the little glimpse into Bunk and Sarah's lives!
This Cranberry Tea is wonderful for Thanksgiving morning while you're waiting for the turkey to cook, or otherwise trying not to spoil your dinner!

And here's the recipe:

Sarah MacFarland's Cranberry Tea

1 pound fresh cranberries
2-3 sticks cinnamon
1 cup honey
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cook the cranberries in a dutch oven or stock pot in two quarts water until they pop. Literally. When they get hot enough, you'll hear them popping in your pot!

Let them cook for a few minutes, and then strain out the cranberries - either with a strainer, or pour the tea through a colander, reserving the juice. and then put the juice back into the pot.

Save the cranberries, though! You'll want to use them for cranberry relish on Thursday!

Put the cinnamon sticks in the juice, and let simmer for about ten minutes. 

Add the honey, lemon juice, and an additional two quarts water. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a simmer.

You can remove the cinnamon sticks at any time, but Sarah likes to leave them in to get all the good flavor out!

Serve the tea hot, or refrigerate the leftovers and drink it cold. This is a great drink when you have a cold or the flu!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving: Messing with Tradition or Not

I am trying to keep the Christmas decorations in the closet until after Thanksgiving. But it has been tough. I've been weakening since Labor Day. Not. Well, maybe I've been humming Christmas carols just a little.

Looks like someone tried to turn a Christmas nativity into a Thanksgiving scene. The seasons are blurring.

Still, Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. Something about the food coma, family, football, the endless variations of pumpkin pie.  I used to add the start of Christmas movies to my list but those have been going on for a while now too. Yes, I've indulged.

Yep, this is upside down for a reason. Reading a new biography of Rockwell kind of turned me upside down when it came to what I knew about the famous artist and his time.

With all the talk about stores opening on Thanksgiving (ugh, I prefer the after meal walk outside, not walk around the mall) and reading a new biography about Norman Rockwell, I've been thinking about what a "traditional" Thanksgiving really means. Many folks are familiar with his "Freedom from Want" poster featuring a family around a table eagerly awaiting the turkey Grandma is about to set down. Folks take as the representation of a traditional Thanksgiving. When you read the background on Rockwell, you realize how nontraditional he was in real life. 

I know people eat strange things at Thanksgiving and have weird superstitions when it comes to football. Come on, confess.
I grew up going to Grandma's house or visiting my parents' and in laws after we were married. Then my son started having kids. We have rotated between his in laws, his house and ours the past years. Over the years, we've added new must-have dishes to our Thanksgiving feast like my daughter in law's stellar apple pie. It sits beside the green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, little sweet pickles and olives my mom always had, my mother in law's rolls, ManO's carrots and the turkey.

But sadly, my grandson refuses to eat his mom's apple pie. He is a pumpkin traditionalist and he's only five years old. And his sister follows his lead. So their mommy made a pumpkin pie from a real pumpkin and now they look at her in awe. Another new tradition was born for this holiday season.

What are must haves for Thanksgiving dinner? I checked with friends.  What a list!

  • Two kinds of stuffing (bread or cornbread) was mentioned several times. That one made me chuckle because my mom used both in her recipe.
  • Don't ask people about cranberry relish because everyone's mama has a different recipe. Virginia has cranberry-orange relish like my mom made.  Some folks just hide the Ocean Spray cranberry can or call it "turkey jello" like my friend Kelly's family does.
  • Pie! It's not just pumpkin.  It's sweet potato pecan, peanut butter, lemon meringue. Missy's pecan pie was featured yesterday in Yankee Belle.
  • Pasta shows up at quite a few homes with Italian roots. Lasagna at one. Homemade ravioli at another. And then there was Mary Connealy's family who has spaghetti instead of turkey sandwiches on Thanksgiving night. I wouldn't expect anything less from her brood.
  • Pintos and cornbread, creamed corn, and other veggies are served as much to honor a departed loved one as anything.

Some even spare the turkey. Gasp! And go with ham!

My dad and his wife have a flock of wild turkeys who visit daily to be fed. How do they look them in the eye?
So, what is your Thanksgiving Traditional Dish That MUST be served? Have you ever had an nontraditional Thanksgiving meal or dish and have it flop? Or did a new tradition start?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mom's Pecan Pie!

Missy Tippens, here, with my Mom's famous (to our family) pecan pie recipe!

Here are most of the ingredients...

This recipe is one of the first I put in a recipe book that was a wedding gift. Dictated straight from my mom by phone (she in Kentucky, I in Georgia).

1 cup pecans, chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1/2 stick melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Other than gathering ingredients and chopping the pecans, this recipe literally takes about 5 minutes.

Here are some beautiful pecans from Camilla Georgia! The Lion's club sells them every year, and I always have some in the freezer. Chop about 1 cup of pecans.

Okay, take your roll up crust (or your homemade one if you choose to make it). Since it's a high sugar pie, they tell you to put a little flour on both sides of the crust.

 My edges are NOT beautiful! I got the crust a little too warm and had a hard time rolling it out. Now, with your beautiful crust, cover the bottom of the crust with the chopped pecans.

Mix all other ingredients together and pour over the pecans. This is my mom's trick for making the pecans yummy, sweet and crispy. It coats them with the pie filling, and they float to the top. Like this...

Bake at 350 degrees about 45-50 minutes. Shake a little, and it should be mostly jelled

Remove and let cool a while before eating! Although I do love mine warm.

And now, I can't share the photo of this pie, because it's still in the oven! But I'll show the photo from last year. I hope you'll give my mom's pie a try!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Butternut Squash, Oh How I Love Thee!!!

I have a serious love affair going with orange vegetables.

Not orange clothes. They're so October.

But veggies????

Oh mylanta, Oh my stars!!!

Sweet potatoes.


Butternut Squash.

Acorn Squash.

Did I mention sweet potatoes??/ Oh, yes, I see that I did. Every year when the stores put them on sale for Thanksgiving, I buy 30 lbs...


30 lbs.

Most of which I eat. They are my friend-in-the-cupboard. My deliciousness without being candy or chocolate!  I love 'em!!!

But today, we're doing a quick butternut squash glimpse because Dave's father always liked my butternut squash. Mind you, Mom wouldn't make it with brown sugar and cinnamon, so mine was a CLEAR WINNER, but a girl will take whatever victories life hands out, right????

So first, you wash the squash.... Then split it. Remove the seeds from the "bell" end with a spoon, and scrape out the seed threads, just like you do with a pumpkin only way easier with a squash.

I simmer/bake mine and you don't have to do it this way, but it's easy and tenderizes the squash thoroughly.

Lay squash pieces (cut side down) in baking pans with about 1/2" of water in pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for as long as it takes (45 minutes to an hour) in a 350 degree oven.... you want a fork inserted into the thick parts of the squash to penetrate easily.

Remove from oven... drain.... cool.....

Easy-peasy, right?

Now I scrape the soft squashy-goodness from the shell, into a bowl. And once I'm all done, I let it sit a little to drain the squash. It gets watery and I don't want watery. I drain it and blot with paper towels... then I do that again.

Suddenly this isn't sounding all that easy, but I'm sure it is.

Bear with me.

Once you've properly drained the squash, heat it back up in microwave, but not in your metal Kitchen Aid bowl.

(You'll only make that mistake once, I assure you.)

Add in a stick of butter.... at least a stick, more if you've made a huge batch. I just read a report that said butter is fine for you, it's the ten rolls you eat WITH the butter that settle on our laps, so just use the butter and not some weird spread that's going to get icky.....

Add 1 cup of brown sugar....

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

First I mash it all together with a masher.... or a big spoon, but I found the masher and it wasn't too dusty.

Next I beat it with the KitchenAid mixer blades and I'll show you why... No, it's not overkill, work with me, people!!!

Squash threads... those long stringy things that make people wince.... The beater CATCHES THEM!!!! And then I can throw them away and no one cringes. Well, they do, but that's from family drama more than anything else most times!  :)

And I freeze what we don't eat right away. With a bowl in the fridge for me, of course!  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Edna's retirement party and another kitchen fail!

Helloooo, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and we wanted to share some very exciting news! Last week, we had Edna's retirement party. Here she is, the center of attention, surrounded by all her old friends.
Hats were made by my ten year old because... well, Edna has no thumbs. She's good, but she's not 'party hat and hot glue gun' good.
Walter the alarm clock, Goldy the tea cup, Minty the Fireking mug, Pierre the French Press, and Master Chen, the Ninja cooker all came and partied hardy.
My sweet blue Pyrex and the ice blue Fireking dessert plate carried the cupcake to Edna. (Imagine humming and whirring. It sounded like the wedding march crossed with 'happy birthday'.)
Polly the vintage mixing bowl, Sassy the hobnail milk glass teacup, Rudolf the vintage cookie press and Francine the Fireking flowered teacup crowded around. Folgers coffee had to come because they share counter space and I hear them giggling long into the night. That Folgers... he never sleeps. Tom the vintage toaster and Perky the percolater coffee maker were there.
Vintage blue glass Ball jars made an appearance but one refused to wear the party hat. It didn't fit right. She's used to those fancy zinc lids.
Everyone had a wonderful time and many cupcakes were consumed. After a few hours, it was time to tuck everyone back into their spots. We needed to get ready. We were expecting someone....
While I waited, I took some old tea containers someone gave me and started painting.

Ooooh, pretty! With my red kitchen, I'm thinking this will be very cheery! I found a site that had some great downloads for decals. I'm thinking red will be fun. Decals from 'Just Something I Made'. I really love that site, she is SOOOOO crafty! I love repurposing materials and we get given a LOT of materials because people know we homeschool.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door! Our package had arrived!
AHHHHH! This one is occupied! Wrong box!
Seriously, this is the box.
Hey, my painted thumb sort of matches this sticker...
Oooh, first peek! And I'm thinking I might have ordered the wrong size.
Oh... WOW. Umm.... This mixer is a monster! (Ignore the legos. It's a constant state in this house.)
It's a Captain Hook mixer!
So, we got him out of the box and set him up on the counter. Edna was there to inspect. She looked him up and down and all around. *low whistle* "My goodness. He's definitely got the brawn, but does he have the brains?"
There was no response. I was wondering if he really was 'just a mixer'. I mean, not everything can have a sparkling personality.
 I tried to set him under the cabinet. No go. He was far too large.
Then I heard a light sniff. I think he was noticing the fresh garlic. And avocados.

Hm. It was time to test him out. He still wasn't really talking. I found this awesome Norwegian Krumkake press at a thrift shop. COOL!!! I want to make some of those yummy crisp cookies that are shaped like cones and smell like Christmas!
 So, we started.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup flour
6 TBS cold water

I asked Mr. Strong and Silent what his name was but he seemed far too intent on his work. And boy, did he go fast!
 In seconds, everything was mixed. We hardly got to know each other.

 I got out my potato masher, ready to roll the cookies on the handle as soon as they came off the press.
Directions say to grease the press, add a dollop of batter, squeeze together, and cook 30 seconds on each side. Ummmmm.... That is hubby's tortilla warmer. I set it on there because I was afraid of getting hot sugar batter on the ceramic top stove. He walked by and rolled his eyes toward heaven. I told him, "Just you wait! They're going to be delicious!"
Hm. I tried. I really did. Over and over and over until all the batter was gone. I never did figure out how to get the crispy cookies. I'm wondering if the recipe called for too many eggs? I thinned the batter and tried again. Nope. The scraps were incredibly tasty, but this is all we every got: scraps.

Anyway, Mr. Tough and Reticent and I got to spend a bit of time together. It was just a mere introduction. I think he enjoyed himself. At least, I'm pretty sure. Maybe we need to try something else. Cinnamon rolls? He can use that pirate hook. Edna thought that was quite intriguing. And maybe after that, he'll tell us his name. The kids have already decided they're married, but I don't know if Edna is the marrying type.

Only time will tell!
Until next time!