Friday, May 25, 2012

Going Green

I love playing outside and the many activities that I can do right in my backyard (so to speak).

You can definitely say that I've gotten on the going green bandwagon, so when I hear about companies that are making sustainability a priority, I get excited.

Now, wines are going green, too? Excellent!

Personally, I'm not a big wine drinker, but here's a cool graphic demonstrating just how wineries can be green.

It looks like they're making some progress.

If you're a wine drinker, why not try a greener wine next time you shop.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, it takes me FOREVER to put a post together. Here's a recipe for some cookies I made for my last day student teaching. Yes, I made muffins for the morning classes and cookies for the afternoon. :D The kids were all pretty modest about eating my treats (only taking one each!), so there were lots leftover. Jeff and I both really enjoyed these cookies. Hope you do, too!
Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2T cornstarch + 6T water (or 2 eggs)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. In large bowl, beat shortening, sugar, cornstarch+water, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
3. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Saturday, May 12, 2012

3 Kinds of Muffins

Because of the way the schedule was at my host school for student teaching, I really had two last days. I wanted to bring in some treats to each of the classes that I taught. Since I taught an 8:30am class both of my final days, I thought muffins would be perfect!

Since we're working on clearing out our cupboards in preparation for our big move, I wanted to use some of the flour that's been around for nigh on to too long.

Here are the three different kinds of muffins I made: Rye Raisin, Fruit, Chocolate Chip, and Rye Raisin/Craisin. They were all so good!!
Chocolate Chip Muffins, Fruit Muffins, and Rye Raisin/Craisin Muffins
Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T cornstarch + 3 T water (or 1 egg)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Raisin Rye Muffins
  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup raisins (or 1/2 cup raisins + 1/2 cup dried cranberries)

Fruit Muffins
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1 T cornstarch + 3 T water (or 1 egg)
  • 3/4 c almond milk
  • 1 (15-oz) can lite fruit cocktail, well drained

Directions (for all 3 varieties):
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or shortening.
2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, mixing well.
3. Whisk wet ingredients together. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips, raisins, or fruit cocktail - depending on the desired muffin variety.
4. Fill greased muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake at 400°F according to chart below.

Muffin VarietyBaking Time
Chocolate Chip
18-20 min
Raisin Rye
15-20 min
about 25 min

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Moving Sale

**I know this post isn't related at all to cooking or the kitchen, but we're really trying to get the word out about our moving sale.**

Visit Our 20 Day Apartment Sale!

To explain, we are selling everything we own,
so we can travel around in our van.
We will be posting items on Craigslist,
but you can see everything at once on
our yard sale blog, and on May 24th and 26th
we will be having actual yard sales at:
2057 Laurel Ave, St Paul MN 55104

Everything is being sold at cheap prices,
and every price is negotiable (obo).
What doesn't sell will be donated to charity.

Here is a small sampling:

Decoration = Prices vary

4 Shelf pantry cabinet = $10

Abstract painting on stretched canvas 48" x 24" = $40

Locking hasp = $3

Running belt with water bottle = $10

Life jacket = $10

Work lights = $10

Shop broom = $15

Captain's chairs and back bench seat from Dodge van = 
Best offer

See Post

Ergonomic highly adjustable office chair = $250

Office chair = $10

Bookcase = $40

Telescope = $150

There's plenty more to see, and more posts are coming.
Come take a look:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The holy grail of carrot least that is how I remember.....

Here I am, the "silent" partner to this blog. The "road is paved in good intentions" sister. Good thing Clarinda is a faithful blogger. I have been neglectful, not only to her, but to the blog and my craft blog. Life seems to get so crazy that all of a sudden a year has passed! I will try to be more diligent and post more!

So I was cleaning out my linen closet. I think it is funny that I even have a linen closet! Only grown ups like Martha Stewart have linen closets right? So my closet has exactly ONE shelf for linens....well maybe a shelf and a half. It is crammed with other things that I just didn't know where to put at the moment I had them in my hands, so why not put them in that most convenient out of sight place that I could find. Martha would have a stroke if she ever saw it! I decided this week that I want to have a nicely organized closet where I can fit all my actual linens such as towels and extra blankets. It would be a so nice wouldn't it? Now you are asking what does this have to do with cooking or baking? WAIT FOR IT!!!! Patience is a virtue my friends! Ok on the floor of my "linen" closet sat 2 banana boxes from when I moved to the house 2 years ago. They have sat in the exact same spot as that first day, sitting waiting for me to go through them and sift through what I wanted and what I didn't. They were boxes of..................…


My grandma's cookbooks. There was a plethora of various types. Most were very outdated and the pictures were.....umm....lets say that we have come a LONG way in printing and the publishing of photos of food. This would be the spot where it would be nice to take a picture of them so you all could see what I sifted through. It would wouldn't it?

My camera is broken. So we will just have to imagine ok!

I found some neat vintage books that I just couldn't get rid of, they just looked so........soooo COOL! Anyways, on the side of one of the boxes sat an old velveeta cheese box stuffed with odd and end recipe cards and magazine clippings. In this box I found many neat handwritten cards that are very well used! I love the look of old recipe cards that are spattered with oil and flour and all the corners are worn. It gives me such a comforting feeling, like your old teddy or blanket. It just gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling seeing grandmas handwriting, like she was still alive. On the last recipe card I picked up it read Carrot Cake and I read the name.

Helen Graber

Helen Graber was a neat old woman who went to our church while I was just a little girl. I always think of marigolds and zinnias when I hear her name. She gave Ziploc bags of the seeds for mom to plant. She also gave us huge zucchini squashes and mom would cook up this yummy soup that I have NO IDEA how to make! (laments quietly)...but she also made THE BEST CARROT CAKE EVER!

Bold statement I know....but THE TOTAL TRUTH...hence the capital letters. EUREKA I said....ok I really didn't say that....but we all should use that word more sure beats new made up words like ginormous. I hate that word. HATE IT.

So where was I ....ahhh yes, EUREKA I found the holy grail of carrot cake recipes! It is a worn handwritten card that has such a vintage appeal to it, I am in LOVE with the look of it!! So from there I ran to the computer to type to Clarinda the awesome discovery. (running might be a SLIGHT exaggeration.....more like walked purposefully....) Then I thinks to meself....why should I type it over and over to everyone when we have a blog. A FOOD blog nonetheless. So long story is THE BEST CARROT CAKE EVER. I haven't made it yet, as I have been busy blogging this most momentous and important of discoveries to the world, but rest assured I WILL!

Here it is everyone! Hope you enjoy it as much I remember enjoying it.
sorry about no pictures again!

Helen Graber's Carrot Cake
Makes 2 cakes.

Sift the following together:
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbsps. Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Stir the following together:
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups oil
  • 6 medium eggs (or 5 large eggs)

  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ground nuts (I think she used pecans)

Stir all together and pour evenly in 2 9x13 greased and floured cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until "done" on 350.

  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Alright now that I am really hungry for carrot cake I had better get back to my linen closet....although it is getting to be a little late in the afternoon....perhaps I will finish another day. It kind of took the wind out of my organizational sails finding this recipe. Now I am all nostalgic and in the baking mood! It will keep for another day, it has for the last 2 years. Good thing closets have doors!



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