Friday, April 23, 2010

Five new squares and a big apology.

OK, first things first...the unveiling of squares 30-34:

Square 30:
This, clearly, is a cupcake, because I love to bake.  Or, I love to eat treats.  Take your pick.

Square 31:
A pile of brightly colored leaves (which we don't really have where I live), for my favorite season, which is autumn.  I know you got that, but just for clarity....

Square 32:
Ask my kids what my favorite weather is, and all 6 of them will tell you RAIN.  Give me a rainy day, a blanket, and a cup of cocoa, and all is right with the world.  (They'll also tell you that if I'm lucky enough to get thunder and lightening, I will open the windows.)

Square 33:

My favorite flowers are tulips, and I don't have a favorite color.  But I do love to arrange them in my blue vase.

Square 34:

A coffee cup.  I'm not a javaholic...sure I have a cup or 2 a day, but I really can do without it.  This is for the "date mornings" that Don and I have.  Sundays, after church and while the girls are in Sunday School, he and I go to the coffee shop to wait for them.  Some weeks, it's the only 45 minutes we get alone together.

Stay tuned....only 6 squares left to do!  I was going to do a progress shot, but don't want to take the picture out of the hoop.  I will show you the whole thing before I start the border, though.

And now, for the apology.  Ms. Pioneer Woman, I underestimated you.  When I first saw your cookbook, I was NOT going to get it.  I've bought dozens of cookbooks that have, if not exactly disappointed me, not lived up to the hopes I had for them.  I was certain that your cookbook would fall into this category.  The only reason I got your book was to fulfill a requirement for a book club order.  I was so very, very wrong, and am so very, very sorry.

Wednesday night, I made your lasagna.  While I've followed the other recipes I've tried faithfully, fate (and rain) would not allow that this time.  You called for hot breakfast sausage to be cooked with the ground beef.  I don't have hot anything here, as I have tender mouths to cook for, so I substituted bulk beef breakfast sausage.

You also called for fresh basil, which I don't have in my garden yet, and I forgot to put it on the list.  You asked for fresh parsley, but it was raining out, and I didn't want to get wet.  I defrosted a cup of pesto sauce, made from last year's harvest.  Half went into the meat sauce, and half went into the cheese mixture.

The rest of the recipe was followed exactly.  I'm sure yours is very, very good, and I intend to make it your way too.  But mine was a big hit.  Possibly the best lasagna I've ever made.  I'm willing to share the credit if you are.

Last night, I made your fried chicken and biscuits, plus we had some of your mashed potatoes left over from Monday night. (I've made them twice so wonderful!)  Since I don't have to feed people who've been roping cattle all day, your recipes go a little farther for us.  So, of the 12 pieces of fried chicken I made last night, 6 are going into the freezer, partially cooked, for another night.  It was oh so good...and I don't have fried chicken often!

I put four of my kids to work making your biscuits.  Also wonderful, especially with home made butter and honey butter.  Here they are at work:

The biscuits, ready for the oven.

The baby, wishing she was old enough to help:

As we put food out for serving, I said, "Oh, Pioneer Woman, how I love you."  As I filled my plate, I said, "Oh Pioneer Woman, how I love you."  As I sat down and began eating, I said, "Oh Pioneer Woman, how I LOVE you."  I'm so sorry I doubted you.  I'll never do it again.  And, I will probably wear out my cookbook.  The kids gave the chicken a two-thumbs up.  The baby loved her biscuit.  My non-foodie husband likes your food.  And my teenagers sat down to eat with us.  Any food that can accomplish that must be good!

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