I surely am enjoying the time off that I have but I also admit to being slightly stir crazy due to all of it. But when one gets this way, one cooks and starts to make plans to cook! I think my mother and I spent more then an hour yesterday on the phone deciding what and how to make dinners for both my up coming birthday as well as 2 days of cooking come Christmas time. We;re gonna do Christmas dinner 100% from scratch so this will be an interesting adventure. We're booting the 'boys' out (our husbands) for Christmas eve (my DH has to work anyhow) and going to go about making everything from our own condensed mushroom soup to fried onions (can you see where that is going??) to making home-made cornbread sage sausage stuffing to put into a big ol' turkey that we're gonna bake all Christmas day. Man oh man I can't wait! It's been so long since I had any family time much less doing something I loved to do when I was younger, cook with my mother.
I have realized with the time not working now, just exactly how much of my life I put on hold while I was working. I have a new pasta machine that is now 2yrs old, I have a French Macaroon kit that is over a year old and a number of molds/kits that have sat here since I had been working, opened but unused! On top of that, I haven't had a decent time at holiday time, or any other time to be honest, with my own family. The 2yrs that I did work over the holidays, I put everything aside to make sure my bosses had time with their family (they also have kids) instead. I just didn't do anything but work. I realize that so much now that it's almost enough to make me cry.
Sooooo today, it's again getting windy and cold and a perfect time to go about putting in a nice huge pot of American style beef stew! It's not a dish you can just throw together in an hour though! It needs a long slow stew in the oven (or a crock pot I would think) for at least 6hrs or longer if you have time for it. That is for another post though.
Sweet... must have something sweet and one of my biggest weaknesses, it always has been, is peanut butter + chocolate in any form. A while ago I started experimenting with the 'microwave cake' recipes that were running a muck on the web. I came up with my own peanut butter butter microwave cake with chocolate chips and it even includes an equally easy icing to go with. I've added this recipe to the 'first attempts' section because although it was good, the way I did it with my photos is the way the note mentions and not step by step. Next time, I will get photos while doing it properly step by step and show the difference.
♥ 2 Tbs GF flour
♥ 2 Tbs peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)
♥ 1/2 tsp baking powder
♥ 1 Tbs brown sugar
♥ 1 Tbs dark/semi sweet chocolate chips
♥ 1 egg, lightly beaten
♥ 1 tsp milk
♥ 1 Tbs powdered sugar
In a small mixing bowl lightly mix the flour, baking powder, brown sugar together with a fork. Add chocolate chips and give a toss too coat them (it will help keep them mixed throughout instead of sinking to the bottom or floating to the top of the batter before it bakes enough to hold them).
Add peanut butter and egg and mix well. Pour mixture into greased ramekins or other suitable glass/ceramic container suitable for this amount of mixture plus a bit of rising room.
Microwave in 30 second bursts on high power. The same applies here as if you bake it, insert tooth pick in the middle and if it comes out clean it's baked.
While cake is microwaving, in a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar and milk. Add more powdered sugar if you want a thicker icing.
Remove cake from ramekin if you wish to and pour over the icing and eat! Enjoy!
Note ~ You
can choose to mix everything together at once, except the milk and
powdered sugar but if you want it to come out evenly with the chocolate chips throughout, follow the
directions. My photos this time show what happens if you don't take the steps above, all the chocolate falls to the bottom.