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Category Archives: Entertaining

I’m a TV Star!

I’m a TV Star!
two women cooking

Bridgett (left) and me (right) just cooking on TV, like we do…

Ok – maybe not a star, but I was asked to demonstrate my Mac & Cheese with Pears recipe on our local PBS station as a part of their KCTSCooks program. Twice a year our station asks for recipe submissions for a category of recipe – this show was about Pasta, Rice & Grains. They generally get 300+ submissions from all over and ask a small portion of folks to share their recipe on the air – I was one of 12. I had practiced at home a few weeks prior, showing my pal Jacquie how I prepared the dish and having her help me. I had to bring a finished dish, my demo pasta precooked, the rest of the ingredients,and a pre-made pot of the cheese sauce so it would all fit into the 10 minute segment. The day before heading to Seattle, I did all my prep and practiced in my head as I made two full recipes of the pasta and cheese sauce, packaged up my other ingredients and finished the full recipe so that, by the magic of television, a finished casserole could be removed from the oven for the unveiling. (Please note that the measurements aren’t exact on the video and that you are welcome to purchase the book from KCTS to get all the other recipes.) As I was preparing to go on – and it was shown LIVE, people! – I decided to pre-chop my onions to avoid crying and getting snotty on camera. (it was a good call). I was scheduled about halfway through, so I had plenty of time to be nervous and watch some of the people ahead of me. I was right after a low-fat, Vegan, gluten-free recipe – pretty much the opposite of my recipe which was fatty, gluten-filled and had meat, milk and cheese!Variety is the spice of life -am I right, people?

I’ve posted my Mac & Cheese recipe before, but I’ve jazzed it up some since – a recipe isn’t any good unless you can deviate from the printed text to make it your own! This version uses extra sharp cheddar (white) cheese as well as bleu cheese for the sauce.

It was a very fun day of being nervous, cooking, and eating! Recipe HERE. Watch video of segment HERE.

macaroni, cheese, sausage, pears

“Beauty shot” of my prepared dish.

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Posted by on November 14, 2014 in Entertaining, Information, Recipe

 

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‘Tis the Season: Christmas Cookie Sweatshop

When my kids were young, we decided it would fun to make and decorate cookies to give to neighbors and friends for Christmas. We like to eat Christmas cookies, too, (who doesn’t???) so I made a huge batch so we would be sure to have plenty. I rolled, cut and baked for hours as the kids decorated until they were exhausted – and that’s when we coined the phrase, “Christmas Cookie Sweatshop!” It is also how we answer the phone on Sweatshop day – “Christmas Cookie Sweatshop – How may I help you?”

Another tray-full, heading to the oven!

Another tray-full, heading to the oven!

With just a few of us decorating, the creativity slumped as the sweatshop rolled on, leaving lots of cookies with just a glob of frosting and a sprinkle of colored sugar. We needed more help in the sweatshop – what to do?

Make it a party! Now everyone comes over to our house and decorates and takes home cookies – they make them as pretty as they want – or not! I add food dye – the gel type gives the most intense colors – to canned frosting (cream cheese flavor). I usually have 6-7 different colors -plus white. Handfuls of plastic knives are tucked into each frosting bowl – no waiting! And I have copious sprinkles and sugars for adding detail or just pizazz to the cookie. A plastic table cloth is laid on the table and wax paper for the still-warm cookies to cool upon.

Some vie to see who can decorate the most bizarre cookie. Frontrunners in the past have included a snowman cookie re-purposed as Jabba the Hut and penguins changed to Santa Clauses (below- Note that one is “Santa Noir”). We serve eggnog punch and other beverages along with “savory” treats to counteract all the sweets as Christmas music plays in the background.

Penguin cookie shapes "re-purposed" as Santa Cookies!

Penguin cookie shapes “re-purposed” as Santa Cookies!

Here is a link to a video of some of the creations from a previous year. I think one of the Jabba the Hut cookies is in that one…

Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 c flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream together in a large bowl the butter and sugar – add the eggs and mix well. In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Gradually add the dry to the creamed mixture – mixing well after each addition. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. Roll out 1/4″ think on floured surface (have purchased a sil-pat yet? – ask Santa for one – so worth it!) and use cutters that have been dipped in flour to avoid sticking. Place evenly on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone liner (ask Santa for some of those, too!) – see photo. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes (watch closely!) Cool slightly before frosting. For best results, keep the dough you aren’t using in the fridge.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Entertaining, Information, Recipe

 

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