Archives for category: Adventures in the Kitchen

Here’s a new one for us:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Splenda granulated
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla(real)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
8+ oz. Dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat soften butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl until well mixed and smooth. Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla and beat into mix. Add Splenda and blend well. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and add to the creamy mixture gradually until well blended, may be crumbly. Mix in the dark chocolate chips and roll into balls of 1″ diameter. (Larger balls will make fewer cookies but larger ones.) Drop onto lightly oiled cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 7-11 minutes or until light brown around the edges and bottom. Cool.


Does anyone remember the song that has the phrase “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”? Someone called me to ask how do you roast chestnuts. . . . yes, they know at least some of my adventures in the kitchen! And they also know that even though I may create havoc in my own kitchen, I do know the proper procedure is what is best to follow. Yeah, do what the published recipe says. (That is why any recipes I publish are only the safe tested ones! No disasters, thank you.)
So after establishing what a chestnut was via the internet. The caller goes to the grocery store and buys a bag of several “chestnuts”. Next thing I hear from the person is: “it says in the recipe to pierce shell with a forked utensil.” When they did this the whole nut went flying off the counter. So having my curiosity activated, I go over and look at these pierce-defying “chestnuts”. “Well, I see what the problem is: these are not chestnuts, they are hazelnuts!” (This is not the end of this adventure) The person decided to roast them in the oven anyway —- AND against my advice not to do so! The saying is right — the Lord watches over children and fools. These air-tight-in-the-shell hazelnuts did not pop, or explode in the oven; they burnt black as coal. They were promptly dumped into the trash without further exploration to see what the nut meat inside looked like or tasted. Such a waste of a disaster!

Cooking on a new oven-stove is always a calculated risk.  Probably why one should not try an unfamiliar recipe on a new one.  There are too many variables that can and possibly do go wrong.  So how does one break-in a cooking appliance?  First of all, a confession: some of us do not follow rules and guidelines well.  In fact, one might say “When all else fails, read the instructions.”  This leads to an adventure all of its own.  Especially if the appliance is on fire at the time.

Okay, another confession: it did not get that bad . . . this time.  What could have happened was heating up the entire house and not cooking what was in the oven.  This oven, while only fairly new was foreign to the user.  The gages and gadgets manufactures put on electrical equipment today places all of us over the age of 50 years in a state of confusion.  What was wrong with bonding with the appliance by getting to know it’s special quirks?

The appliance’s quirks were not the problem this time.  It was the questionable intelligence of the user.  Well, maybe not so much that as the ability to place a rectangular peg into a rectangular hole.  Rectangular shapes are similar in appearance; but while a square is easier to place either direction, a rectangle is not so compliant.  So when one tries to place a rectangular cookie sheet into a oven, it makes a difference which direction the long ends go.  By placing the long ends of the cookie sheet front and back instead of sideways the door will not shut.  After several attempts to shut the oven door (after all the cookie sheet WAS made to go into a oven!), it was discovered the blocking problem was not the latch on the oven door but the protruding cookie sheet.

Still does not explain why the potatoes didn’t bake in a round pan that allowed the oven door to close.

Reminded the writer of a story about handing down cooking hints to children and grandchildren:

A young newly wed woman had “inherited” a recipe to bake a leg of ham.  While trying to follow the recipe, she came to the part after placing the ham in the pan, it stated “cut off two inches of the leg of ham and place into the oven.”  Puzzled and not wanting to waste food, she called her mother and asked why cut off two inches of the ham.  Her mother thought and replied “I don’t know.  I always did because that was what the recipe said.  I’ll call your grandmother (the original owner of the recipe) and ask her.”  So the mother did, and the grandmother said, ” Because the pan was two inches shorter than the leg of ham.”