Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Tag: Cooking



Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you My KitchenAid Stand Mixer: (The folks at KitchenAid have no idea I exist, and I’m not getting paid or perked in any way. I’m just seriously in love with my mixer, and my amazing husband who gave […]

When the holidays are over

When the holidays are over

You put away the decorations. Take down the lights. Pack up the tree shaped cookie cutters, and tuck away the red sprinkles. It’s kind of sad. More than kind of. Just taking down all the Christmas lights leaves me feeling a bit dim. It’s important […]



I have a recipe to share with you, I promise!!

But it needs just a little more tweaking. Which involves re-making it and taking new photos.

Trust me, this is a good thing. For me. Because I’ll get to eat it.

Eventually it will be a good thing for you, because you’ll get to eat it. Assuming, of course, that you make it. (You should!)

Anyway, until Saturday when I can re-cook and re-shoot, here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

Soaking up absolutely every last bit of sunshine. Fortunately, until this week we’ve actually had really amazing weather.

Secret Agent Machine
Marveling at how fast my son is growing up. He’s writing sentences! (It says “Secret Agent Machine,” in case you don’t read 1st grade)

Apple Canning
Canning! For the first time ever! It’s so fun, and I love love love eating homemade applesauce, apple butter and plum butter. I don’t know enough about canning yet to share with you, but I have lovely friends who are helping me learn.

Pinterest. If I need to tell you more, you are seriously missing out. I can pin like it’s my job, people.

I’ve also gotten us back on a weekly menu plan. I can’t believe how much time, energy, money and sanity this saves! It only takes us about 10 minutes to figure out what we want to eat that week, and then we just figure out what ingredients we need to buy and head to the store. And then I know that we won’t be eating the same things over and over, and we use up leftovers much more efficiently because it’s planned into the menu. Oh the little things that make me happy 🙂

What have you been up to?

Hump Day

Hump Day

It’s no secret that I read a lot of blogs. Like, a lot. Like, opening Google Reader after a vacation is pretty scary. I just like to learn! And I’m fascinated with other peoples’ lives. And people take extraordinary pictures. One of my favorite blogs […]

I’m Still Here!

I’m Still Here!

I have lots of lovely recipes planned out in my head for the next few weeks.  I even have some pictures lined up and ready to go from things I’ve already done. The problem is that it’s Nutcracker week.  Starting tomorrow night and going until Sunday, I’ll […]

New Ingredients!

New Ingredients!

New things!
I love testing out new ingredients.  It’s like getting a new toy as a kid, except way better because you get to eat it!

I’ve never been a fan of cardamom, but I’m a firm believer that certain things taste better when they’re prepared certain ways. For instance, I absolutely adore raw carrots, but I cannot stand them cooked. Weird, no? I wanted to see if cardamom could be used in a way that I would enjoy.

I’ve also been wanting to try Anne’s Pumpkin Muffins of Deliciousness for a long time, but I’ve never had whole wheat pastry flour on hand.  (You should check Anne out.  She’s fANNEtastic!  😉 )

Anyway, I found a way to taste test the cardamom, try the Pumpkin Muffins of Deliciousness AND continue on my fall pumpkin kick.  (See pumpkin mac & cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds)

In this corner, the dry ingredients!

And in this corner, the wet ingredients!

Sift the dry, mix the wet, and then add wet to dry. At this point I sprayed the muffin tins, and then dropped half the batter into six muffin cups.

Pumpkin Batter

To the remaining dough, I added a 1/2  teaspoon of cardamom, mixed gently, and then filled the rest of the muffin cups. The oven was already preheated to 350F, so I popped them in the oven for 25 minutes.


The muffins weren’t quite done after 25 minutes, so I gently removed them from the tin and set them onto a stoneware pan. I put them back in the oven for 10 minutes, and then let them cool.  The stoneware let the muffins finish baking on the inside without burning the bottoms.

Anne does not lie, these muffins are delicious!  Soft on the inside, and not too sweet.  Lovely.  The whole wheat pastry flour kept these muffins from being too dense.  It will be fun to see how it transforms some of my current recipes.  (I’ll post results)

If I had used raisins instead of chocolate chips, they’d be the perfect breakfast muffin to enjoy with coffee.  I used chocolate chips because I felt like they’d pair better with the cardamom in the rest of the batch.  (Even though they have chocolate, I’ve been eating them for breakfast.  So have my husband and son.)

My thoughts on the cardamom–I’m still not a fan.  A half teaspoon was waaay too much for a half batch.  (The only reason I didn’t do two batches–one with cardamom and the other without–is because I didn’t have enough eggs at the time.)  If I were to do this recipe with cardamom again, I think that 1/4 teaspoon would go a long way.

The other problem with the cardamom is that it’s really expensive.  Really!  It was $11.39 ON SALE for a 2 oz jar.  If you’re not sure you are going to like it, I’d recommend finding someone who’s willing to share before you buy your own.  The only reason I was willing to go all in is that my husband is a huge fan of cardamom, and I’m sure that we’ll find some way to use it up.  Maybe I’ll even find a recipe that I’ll like!

How do you feel about cardamom?  If you live in Missoula, have you ever tried the cardamom ice cream from Big Dipper?  I’m told it’s wonderful.

See ya real soon!

Chips–A 14 Step Plan

Chips–A 14 Step Plan

What to do if you run out of tortilla chips (with pictures): 1.  Wonder how you can end up with salsa, but no chips. 2.  Remain calm, and remind yourself that the store is not that far away. 3.  Remind yourself that you’re lazy and […]

Grown Ups

Grown Ups

Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would have to force/bribe you to eat your vegetables?  Or practically spoon feed you your meatloaf?  I always remember thinking, “I’ll never eat this stuff when I’m a grownup!  Cake and cookies for me everyday.” Now […]

Apple Pressing Party!

Apple Pressing Party!

Apple pressing is a fall activity that has sneakily become a tradition.  I say sneakily, because it wasn’t something we planned to do every fall, but it’s so much fun that we’ve done it for the last three years.

Mashing the Apples
Picking the apples, running them through the presser, and then making the juice into cider makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time.  Especially when you’re doing it with a big group of people.  It doesn’t at all feel like work, especially when this is just a few feet away:

The Spread

BlueberriesSo gorgeous!


Pear Wine


CookiesChocolate chip cherry pecan cookies.  I know, right!

The best part is watching this–

Apple Mash

Turn into this–

Apple Cider

And then eventually turning that into hard cider.  Our stock of hard apple cider almost lasted the year before we ran out.  This year, I plan to try to use our cider for cooking.  I think it will be a great replacement for dry sherry.  (Has anyone ever tried it?)

The beginning of cider making is a pretty involved process, but once you get everything in, out and mixed around, all you have to do is let it age.  We found that the last bottles of cider we opened were far better than those first bottles.

And because I like ya, (and because he asked) my husband is going to write a guest post about cider making!   Enjoy, folks.  I hope you try it out for yourself.  You won’t regret it!