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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We have a bone to pick with our mom. Do you know what day today is? Well if you keep up with the Blogville birthdays you will know that today is Walter’s birthday.

I’m 4 years old today!

That’s not all that is special about today. Do you know what else happened 4 years ago today besides Walter being born? Maybe this will jog your memories (for those that knew us then).

This was taken my first days in my forever home.

This was taken my first days in my forever home.

Look at me now!

Look at me now!

If you guessed that it’s Millie’s Gotcha Day you would be right. Once on this day mom baked us a cake to celebrate.

Mmmm...that smells great! Are we done with the pictures now?

This was a tasty blast from the past.

This time our mom says she can’t bake anything for us and she is claiming that it’s because her oven is broken! We’ll let her explain.

Hi everyone. It’s Cindy here. Back in the beginning of August our oven went dark.

Notice no clock showing on the oven.

Notice no clock showing on the oven.

We tried to get it repaired but there are no parts available for a 21 year old oven. When we went to buy one the sales person suggested we have an installer come first to make sure we were ordering the right size oven. Well since we have our cook top installed just above our oven it would have been next to impossible to find an oven that would fit under a 21 year old cook top. The only solution was to replace both of them. I won’t go into the boring details but there were delays in securing the cook top and as of now we have the new oven in our garage…

New oven...still in the box.

New oven…still in the box.

…and it will finally get installed this coming Thursday (along with the new cook top)! Mom Cindy out!

Millie Walter - Birthday Party Hats

Let’s celebrate!

Well we guess we will just have to find some other way to celebrate today but we hope our mom makes us a cake for her first time baking with the new oven.

We think since there isn’t going to be a cake today we should at least get extra treats.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here to tell you about the fantastic cake our mom made for us for our big celebration.

Millie Walter - celebration cake

Okay it might not be a fancy as the one we pictured on our celebration day post, but we think our mom did a pretty good job. She said the squirty green icing was not very easy to control, but you can still read it just fine. She found the recipe online at allrecipes.com and added some canned cream cheese frosting. Since she put frosting on it mom and dad decided it would be best if we had out pieces outside so we didn’t make too much mess.

Mmmm...that smells great! Are we done with the pictures now?

Mmmm…that smells great! Are we done with the pictures now?

We each got our own plate with a small piece on it (stingy pawrents!).

Millie Walter - eating cake

I, Walter, had my piece gobbled up in no time.

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

Whereas I, Millie, was more cautious about eating it and needed a little help.

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

While Millie was taking her time eating her piece of cake I had to just watch. It is torture watching Millie eat…she is sooooo slow!

Thanks for holding the plate dad.

Thanks for holding the plate dad.

Dad helped me out a bit too and held the plate so I could be sure to get every molecule of frosting.

Gobble, gobble...this is good.

Gobble, gobble…this is good.

After being so dainty with my cake at first I decided it was good enough to just snarf it down in one gulp. We are very happy that mom made us this great cake and we even got more for the next few days until it was gone. We are joining Sugar’s Tasty Tuesday blog hop today.

By the way all the ingredients in the cake are human edible too and our dad even tried a piece. His only complaint was that it was a bit dry. If it weren’t for the frosting he said he couldn’t have gotten it down.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The first thing I have to do is to credit my husband, Charlie, with the picture from the Black & White Sunday post since many of you asked. He really likes doing artsy pictures and converting them to black and white.

Now on to our day today. While I was prepping the big bird Charlie took Millie out for some play time.

The weather was very mild for us this time of year reaching 60 deg. F. and very sunny all day.  Millie always likes to start her time outdoors with a good stick. This stick is from our cherry tree and has been in the yard for a while. She is an expert retriever but likes to take a rest to nibble on it for a while too.

Does this rock make my butt look big?

In addition to all the shrubs and trees in our yard we also “planted” a lot of rocks in the yard. All the rocks were dug up on our property and most of them were moved using our tractor. Millie has recently discovered the rocks and likes to climb on them.

I’m Queen of the Hill!

Millie just started jumping on the rock on her own so we have been using a command (“hup”) to tell her to get on it and stay. She loves to find the rocks in the yard and climb on.

After Millie and Charlie were done playing outside they came in and Mille helped me clean up after whipping up my twice baked sweet potatoes. I was real happy that while the mixer was whirling around she was curious, but not scared of the new noise at all.

She really enjoyed diving into the bowl too.

What are you looking at Mom?

We had a nice dinner with all the fixin’s (sorry no pictures…too busy eating). When we first filled up our plates and took them to the dining room Millie stayed in the kitchen and after a minute we heard a whimper. It seemed that she was miffed that we didn’t fix a plate for her too.  She did enjoy cleaning all the plates after we were done eating. All in all I think Millie enjoyed her first Thanksgiving even if she didn’t get a plate full for herself.

This year has been a bit tough with Nina’s passing but we have a lot to be thankful for too. We are thankful that Nina gave us over 14 wonderful years. I’m thankful for all the love and support from my friends and family near and far. We are also thankful that this adorable, loving, bundle of fur has come into our lives. Thanks for being you Millie! We love you!

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Baking in July?

Yes, that is what I did this weekend.  Usually you would expect it to be too hot to do any baking during the month of July, but this year has proved otherwise.  The weather this summer has been unusually below average in temperature and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to change any time soon.  We have been saving money on our electricity bill this summer by not having to run the air conditioning very much.  I have also taken advantage of the cool weather by baking and cooking like crazy the past couple of weeks.  Over the July 4th holiday long weekend, I cooked 4 dinners with plenty of left overs so for the next few weeks dinner is as simple as picking out what to have and heating it up.

Muffin Top Pan

Muffin Top Pan

As part of my weight maintenance program I like to have healthy snacks with  me at work so I don’t indulge in something I shouldn’t.  For my birthday recently, I ask for and received some baking mixes and muffin top pans from Vitalicious (Thanks Colleen!).  I had also re-arranged some things in the kitchen cupboards and discovered some muffin mixes I had for a long time and never used.  Normally these mixes call for whole milk, oil and eggs.  By substituting skim milk, apple sauce for the oil, and Egg Beaters egg substitute for the eggs I cut out all of the added fat the instructions normally call for.  To add a bit of fiber to the mixes without adding a lot of calories I added oatmeal to one of the mixes and crushed Fiber One cereal (original flavor) to another.  This didn’t effect the consistency of the mix or baking time at all.

In addition to the muffin tops I also tried a new brand of fat free brownie mix called Krusteaz I found at Wegmans. Charlie prefers “real brownies” over the chocolate Vitalicious Muffin Tops, but I refuse to make a full-fat variety.  The Krusteaz brownies are a big hit.  These brownies came out very fudgy with a great consistency.  I tried the No Pudge Fat Free brownie mix previously.  While very tasty, they are so gooey that they are almost impossible to cut into squares.

Brownies and Muffin Tops

Brownies and Muffin Tops

Baking is usually thought of as a winter activity, but I enjoyed being able to do some in the middle of July!  Now I have a good stock of muffin tops and brownies to last for quite a few weeks.  That way if Summer does come back I won’t have to worry about heating up the house when we are trying to cool it down with the air conditioning.

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taco-pizza-no-bkgndI love finding new recipes that are simple and delicious and make my husband, Charlie, rave every time he has it.  Not that I cook just to satisfy him, but it sure gives the ego a boost when something so simple can make anyone so happy!

Recently we purchased a frozen pizza with a Mexican flavor from Kashi and loved the combination of ingredients.  The crust was so thin it was as if it was made on a large tortilla.  Having recently scoured the Hungry Girl Recipe book, I remembered a recipe from the book that used a tortilla as the base for a pizza.  With a bit of creativity, both mine and Charlies, and a little help from Hungry Girl, we came up with this Personal Taco Pizza recipe.  It doesn’t take much time to whip this up and with a large cookie sheet we can bake 2 at a time.  Perfect for a quick dinner after a day at work.  Using the high fiber tortilla and beans keeps you feeling satisfied all evening so no desire for late night snacking!

Try it for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed.  It is also vegetarian!

Download a copy of the recipe for your own recipe collection.

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Manhattan Clam-less Chowder

Manhattan Clam-less Chowder

Cooking for two can be a challange unless you don’t mind having the same meal more than once.  A new, full standing, freezer allows me to make more meals to save for the future.  Today I modified a recipe I found in a Weight Watchers cookbook.  Basically it is Manhattan Clam Chowder, but my husband, Charlie didn’t want any clams in it.  It turned out to be another great slow-cooker recipe.  I love dumping a bunch of ingredients into a pot and letting it cook all day.  The house smells great and it is the perfect activity for these ultra cold days we have been having around here.  If you would like to try the recipe I have saved it as a pdf for you to download.

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