I hope this finds everyone blessed and enjoying their day. I will be taking a break from this blog. I will return with fresh ideas and a renewed energy for it. Call it a holiday hiatus. I pray everyone's Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays go well. I hope that whatever tidbits I've shared thus far can help you prepare for a better cooking experience in the near future. Be blessed, Da Kween
I am not big on the seasons. I have grown to appreciate the seasons for what they are...ways to bring the family together. Everyone is so spread out and are doing there own thing year round, so the holidays give us a reason to come together and spend time.
In my family, we've always done potluck Thanksgivings. Everyone brings a dish and we come together and break bread at the spot designated for dinner. For the last few years, the dishes went as such. My auntie: potato salad and lasagna. My grandmother: turkey, stuffing and collard greens. My mom: sweet potato pies/pudding, pot roast and ham. My sister: macaroni & cheese and banana pudding. Me: yams and whatever dessert I choose to add. Other family members bring things they want to share and we all try to make sure that there is enough for the 20-25 expected.
Now, lately...my culinary repertoire has increased. I've perfected the mac and cheese, the yams, the collard greens, the pot roast, the lasagna, the potato salad and the stuffing. LOL! I need to throw Thanksgiving all on my own! Yet, its about tradition...and that is what its about for me. I can step back and do my one dish because the gist of this season for ME (don't make me get militant on the cooking blog) is that again...if for no other reason and no significance of the national holiday itself...its the time of year I relish in being around my family. For that, I can pretend I don't wanna overthrow Thanksgiving and cook every damn thing. HA!
I've been cooking for a long time now. For over 20 years actually. I instinctively wanted to cook when I was younger...it was a desire. I used to practice doing stuff when my mother or grandmother wasn't home. I remember the "cheeseburger pie" I thought was a GREAT idea. Yep. I made the dough (just damned water and flour) and fried up some ground beef, sliced up some cheese, threw it all in a pie plate and WATCHED the oven for what felt like infinity. I checked it when I started to smell it...and the shit looked GOOD! Brown crust and all. The taste? Not so much. I wasted good meat, cheese and flour on what amounted to a ball of paste, meat and cheese. I experimented many times after that...but what I remember is having everything I needed.
When I moved out of my mother's house, I pursued every gadget I thought I'd need. For savory cooking (you know...the 3 squares) and sweet (esp. baking). There was once this store called Lechter's and had EVERYTHING. THEN I got hooked on QVC, where they're basically just cooking pimps. They sell everything and make it look 100% necessary to own it. Something like those damn midnight infomercials that make you think you can't live without the "Taco Rack" and the sandwich press that converts into a waffle iron, a panini, a burger maker and a DVD converter. (ok, maybe not that last one, but get it. lol)
I decided to share with you a list of MY favorite gadgets that I just can't do without. *looking at you hard* YEA...you NEED them! (To be less anal, I WONT include cookware)
~ cooking utensils, including: a spoon, a slotted spoon, a spatula, a slotted spatula, pasta spoon, a ladle and a fork
~ measuring cups (1/4 to a 1c) and spoons
~ Pyrex or tempered glass liquid measuring cups (2-3c and for plain insanity the 8c big enough to mix in)
~ silicone spatulas (they can withstand extreme heat nowadays)
~ whisks (from small for gravies, to HUGE for whisking egg whites, whipped cream, etc)
~ Microplane graters and zesters...It will make you always want to use fresh nutmeg, citrus zest and cheese
~ an EXCELLENT knife set, including kitchen shears
~ a small electrical chopper or a manual one
~ coffee grinder (don't have it but am getting one SOON...it's cool for grinding spices)
~ cake spatulas
~ mesh strainers
~ mixing bowls
~ prep bowls (yea...I love these. I even use these for setting out misc. ingredients on taco or build a burger night)
~ apple corer/slicer
~ dough scraper
~ melon ballers (not just for melons...they make great cookie measurers for dropping dough onto a cookie sheet)
~ ice cream scoops (different sizes that you can use for the cookies, too...or molding meatballs...whatever)
~ cutting boards...I have a tempered glass one, a regular wood and 2 bamboos
~ rolling pins (wood, marble or both)
~ pizza wheel and pasta cutter
~ imagination...because you can turn the simplest utensils into creative answers to everyday problems. Hope I helped you get stocked. You KNOW Thanksgiving is almost here. You're gonna need this stuff! Let me know if I forgot anything. What do YOU need in the kitchen?
I've been trying get my hands on this magic book that my Grandmother has kept near to her for as long as I can remember. In this book of magic are recipes that she personally changed and/or concocted. The book is 100% handwritten and I promise that everything in it would make you slap somebody.
Now in the past, I wanted to merely look in the damn thing. Legends, fables and tales provided by my own Mother has piqued my interest lately, and with this site KWEEN CAN BURN up and running, I really want to get my hands on this book.
Well my recent actions has proved the theory that guys do stupid shit for women. (can I say shit over here? I really hope so because it's a part of my delivery, and if you've read my blogs and articles, you'd know what I mean.) Not only have I seen the book, I HAVE THE BOOK.
I have NO idea how I'm gonna get this book back to its spot next to the holy grail, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. I know my Granny's a good witch and all, but I fear she may already know this book is missing. With that being said, I'm gonna pull a recipe for you, and post a different one from the book of magic every day this week...unless I turn into a frog.
Okay, here's one that caught my attention and is probably unhealthy, but I know it tastes delicious.
2 cups sugar 1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup shortening 3 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs 1 cup chopped nuts
1-1/2 cups flour 1pkg miniature marshmallows
Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat. Add sifted flour, cocoa, vanilla and nuts. Pour into greased and floured oblong pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with layer of marshmallows. Place back into oven for 5 minutes. Frost.
2 sticks margarine 1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup cocoa 1/2 cup canned milk
1 box powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla
Stir sugar and cocoa together. Mix with melted margarine. Add milk, vanilla and nuts. Spread on cake and let stand 2 hours before cutting.
I hope you enjoy the cake if you decide to try it... hell, I'll be a friggin' frog by the time I hear about it...
Chap's Corner - The Magazine
Ok, this is a brief blog. Check it!
I made mashed potatoes Friday Night. I did everything I normally do...except one thing...I used 2% milk. *slapping self on forehead* DAYUM!!! Now...I bypassed the half & half because I was cutting corners in the grocery...but NO MORE!! What a difference a little butter fat makes. Without that darned half & half, my po' taters were missing that smoothness that I like. They were TOO light and fluffy. More like if I had baked a potato and just smashed it up.
So no more skimping on the fat content for the potatoes. Matter of fact, my coffee is missing it too...and my pancakes...and my oatmeal...and...oh well, you get it. LOL
MILK FAT RULES!!