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Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Envy

Quite a few of my friends got new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers for Christmas this past year. I’ve always wanted one myself and i have some serious Kitchen Aid mixer envy. I love to cook and love the idea of getting one of these miracle mixers as a gift. I’ll have to be sure to tell every person I know that I would really like to have one.

Maybe I can convince them all to pool their money for my birthday and get me one. I would probably be the happiest girl on the Earth. I can’t decide though if I want a red one or a sharp looking stainless steel one. I love red and have other red kitchen gadgets and appliances. Red would fit in nicely with everything else, but so would the stainless steel. I think the stainless steel makes the gorgeous mixer look like a big statement piece in anyone’s kitchen.

If I had one of the beautiful mixers it would always stay out on my counter top. I would never put it away. I would want to use it too much. But, then again if I had my dream kitchen I would see if I could get one of those nifty mixer lifts installed so that it hides in it’s own cabinet. Then you can pull it out up to the counter level and still have my counter space for other things like cookie sheets and such.  I guess it’s something to look forward to.

Must Haves for the Kitchen

Cooking is one of my all time favorite things to do.  That being said there are a few things that really are must haves when it comes to the kitchen.  Here is a list of my top 10 things that everyone needs to have in their kitchen

1. A good set of knives: 3 1/2-inch paring knife, 8-inch heavy chef’s knife, and an 8-inch bread knife

2. Pots and Pans; a stockpot, a sauce pan,  a nonstick frying pan, a cast iron skillet, and a medium Ducth oven

3. Bakeware: a shallow stainless steel roasting pan, 2-quart baking dish, and a cookie sheet or two

4. Food Processor

5. Blender

6. Stand mixer

7. Microwave

8. Multiple cutting boards: these help keep surfaces sanitary

9. Crockpot

10. Utensils: silicone spatulas, vegetable peeler, basting brush, wire whisk, potato masher, microplane zester, kitchen sheers, slotted spoons, ladle, and tongs

 

DIY Gingerbread House

Gingerbread house

photocredit: John-Morgan

Ladybug has been begging to make a gingerbread house for the past week. I thought it might be fun to do a DIY gingerbread house instead of buying a kit this year.  We decided to use graham crackers for the buildings. We wanted to get started right away and didn’t have time to wait for cookies to bake.  The graham crackers worked great because they come in rectangles and you can break them easily into square panels or smaller rectangles.

I did make our own frosting glue also known as royal icing.  I made white of course for snow and glue, but I also made a little bit of green and red to use for decorations. Ladybug had a great time squeezing the icing out and gluing the crackers together. I used a cardboard base that I cut from an empty cereal box and covered with aluminum foil.  I ran a bead of glue or icing down for each piece of the house base to stick to so it wouldn’t shift around.  It ended up working great and the finished product was really stable.

For decorations we had sprinkles or all colors, gum drops, little M & M candies, Skittles, peppermint sticks and rounds, and Necco Wafers.  I always remember using Necco Wafers for the roof tiles and have passed that tradition on to my daughter. Ladybug made bushes out of gum drops and used the peppermint rounds for windows.  She made acute path with the Skittles and M & M’s too.  We had a great time making this adorable DIY Gingerbread house and we didn’t even have a kit.

Making the Switch to Organic Online

I’ve been hearing a lot about genetically modified food and how it can be harmful to our health. Depending on where you are you may or may not see labels on your food about it containing GMOs. I’m moving more towards an organic diet for my family and this issue is becoming more and more important to me. I’ve decided to look into finding out how to buy organic food online. I do a lot of my shopping online now and if I can get safe food for my daughter and myself without having to leave the comfort of my own home that would be great.

I’m sure there are quite a few organic grocery stores online to chose from. Where I live the closest organic market is more than 50 miles away. I know I can purchase groceries from most popular chain grocery stores now days but I like to support individual family farmers when I can. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find a store online that is independently run by a family and doesn’t have any huge corporation ties.

I do like to buy from local people when I can but having the convenience of an online organic store just can’t be beat. I know I’ll have to spend money on the shipping and handling fees, but that is probably trivial compared to the amount I would have to spend in gas to go to the big popular organic market that is almost an hour away from where I live.

Organic food does tend to be a little more expensive than the non-organic versions. However, the value in organic food is that it is safe for your family and you don’t have to worry about what may or may not be lurking in your food.  I’m more than willing to invest in my family’s health by purchasing healthy food instead of paying large doctor bills because we chose to eat food that is not safe and contains GMOs.

Thanksgiving Crafts For Kids

Photo Credit: Craftily Ever After

This weekend Ladybug and I are going to do some Thanksgiving crafts for kids.  I have a few ideas planned that I thought we would both enjoy.  The first craft I have planned is a paper turkey with thankful hand print feathers.  I’m going to have Ladybug trace her hands on colored construction paper and then on each hand print feather write one thing for which she is thankful. I got some googly eyes from the craft store to glue on the turkey.  I’m sure she is going to love them.

Another craft I have planned is more of a treat really.  We are going to make edible cornucopias.  I’m thinking about getting some sugar cones that you normally serve with ice cream and using them as the base.  The we can fill them will little cookies, or dried fruit, pretzels, or maybe I can pick up some of those adorable little fruit shapes candies. I also thought about trying to make our edible cornucopia out of fresh waffles and then we can roll them up and stuff them with berries and yummy cream cheese.  We could have them for breakfast and enjoy ourselves.

The last craft I have planned is a turkey hand print pot holder.  I going to paint her hand brown and then her fingers different colors for the feathers.  Then, I’ll  have her put her hand print on the pot holder.  We can embellish them with eyes, feet, a beak and gobble.  I’ll add her name and the year so we can remember it every year. In addition to making these wonderful creations I’ll be sure to talk about what we are thankful for and all of the blessings we have.