Kid’s Cookbook

My daughter loves to cook and is just beginning to learn kitchen skills. One thing that helps her is having her own personalized cookbook. I cook a new recipe with her from start to finish, and then she copies the recipe on a notecard. I purchased a cute 4×6 photo album and she stores the recipe in the album. We also take photos of her as she cooks each recipe, and a picture of the final product, and store these alongside each recipe in her cookbook.

She enjoys looking through the album to see what she’s accomplished and uses it the next time she wants to make the same recipe. She adds her own notes to each recipe and can use the photos as a reference to make sure her recipes look right.

Little by little, she’s creating great memories and acquiring practical skills!



A Great Garlic Fix

Parsley neutralizes the strong taste of garlic. If you’ve added too much garlic to the dish you are making, do this to tone it down: Add one tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley and simmer for about 10 minutes.



Muffin Cupcake Hack

Instead of muffin pans, use Mason (canning) jar rings when baking muffins or cupcakes. I use wide-mouth rings for jumbo size muffin liners and regular-size jar rings for standard-size liners.



muffin tins

Set the jar rings right-side-up on a cookie sheet. Set the liners in the rings then fill with batter as you would with a muffin pan. The muffins or cupcakes are sure to stay in place.

The bonus with this hack is that you can make way more muffins or cupcakes at once on a cookie sheet than with a muffin pan.


Measuring Messy Solids

I learned a tip from a friend’s grandmother years ago for clean and easy measuring of messy solids like peanut butter or shortening.

Fill a liquid measuring cup part way with water first, then add the solid ingredient to it.  Spill out the water and add the ingredient to your recipe.

Let’s say you need 1/2 cup peanut butter for a recipe.  Fill a liquid measuring cup to the 1/2-cup level with cool water.  Add peanut butter until the water reaches the 1-cup level.  Pour out the water, then pour the peanut butter into the recipe.

Cleanup is soooo easy!


Will it Waffle?

It seems like everybody’s grandmother created their own signature cornbread recipe. But what if you could make more than just the ingredients unique?

Here’s a fun way to spice up your cornbread cooking:

  1. Mix up your cornbread batter. Whether it’s from a Krusteaz box-mix or a homemade recipe, it will work.
  2. When your waffle maker is ready, pour in the cornbread mix. 
  3. Cook for as long as you would normally cook a waffle, then remove and place it on your plate or platter.  Enjoy!

Not only will you have the best tasting cornbread (because you used grandma’s secret recipe)  but you’ll also have the best-looking cornbread!  

So the answer to “Will it waffle?” is a definite YES. Delora


Grocery Checklist

After years of haphazard lists—often writing the same items week after week—it finally occurred to me that I could create my own Master List, based on the stores I frequented, and further, based on the items I usually purchased, and leaving room on each line to put a checkmark next to if I need the item that week.

The list has evolved over the past few years and will continue to evolve, no doubt. It’s a Word doc, so it’s easy to alter as needed.

The upper lefthand corner has the spaces for the menu items, including side dishes and desserts. Finally, I organized it by order of the stores I go to.

A close up of a piece of paper

I usually do my grocery shopping as early as possible on Saturday mornings, so beat both the crowds and the heat (in the summer). By organizing the list in store order, if something isn’t available at the price I want at the first store, I transfer that item to one of the other stores I’ll be stopping at that my be likely to carry the item.

If I’m really organized that day, I keep a copy of the recipes I plan to make that week just under the list on my clipboard. Each store has a number of blank spaces after the ‘usual’ items for sale items or unusual ingredients.

I’ve had many store personnel ask me if they can see my list, and they always express admiration for it, exclaiming how organized I must be! Truth is, without a tool like this, I’m anything BUT organized! It’s my sanity saver.

I always keep blank forms beneath the current week’s list and as I use up ingredients, I add it to the next week’s list so I’m not scrambling trying to remember what it was I ran out of or was low on.

Not a perfect system, but works better than anything else I’ve tried over the years, and it’s completely customizable!


Grocery List and Menu Planning

I streamlined my menu-planning and grocery list into one easy process.

I take all the regular meals I already make and type the name of each meal on the front of a small card.

On the back, I list all the ingredients needed to cook the meal (you could even include the whole recipe if you want to go the extra mile!).

I color-code my cards by meal type (chicken dishes, beef dishes, meatless meals, etc).

When it’s time to plan the menu for the week, I choose a card for each night, and try to choose 1 or 2 of each color. Then I flip them over and make a grocery list, being sure to check the pantry to see what I already have.

My list comes together quickly and I never get halfway through cooking, only to realize that I’m missing an ingredient!


Burnt Food Removal Tip

There are so many different ways to remove burnt food from pots and pans, but to add the noise, here’s yet another simple and quick tip on how to remove that burnt food.

  1. Add around 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot or pan.
  2. Place it on the stove and let it boil for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Take off the stove and scrub the burnt food lightly. It should come off just like that.

So, if the rest of the tips on removing burnt food fail you, here’s another that you can put to the test! Gabby