Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ravioli Lasagna

Fall is here! The cool nights and mornings are just wonderful--I love fall. I love cooking in the fall as well because it means casseroles and soups, and chili! Ravioli Lasagna is one of those great fall night meals that will warm you up and make you kiss the closest person to you, well maybe not kiss, but you'll at least be warm and full on the inside.

I found the inspiration for this recipe from a Woman's Day magazine recipe using Italian sausage and ravioli. While it sounded good, I thought I could twist it to my personal taste and make it better. After all it's all about inspiration, right? I hope you do the same. I'm very much a pantry cook, I don't keep much fresh stuff on hand which explains the ingredients, you could use fresh onion and garlic if you wanted to, but I usually don't have it on hand.

Ravioli Lasagna
1 t. Olive Oil
1 pound ground beef ( I use at least 90% lean)
1 pound ground Italian sausage ( I use Jimmy Dean Italian)
1 T. Onion Powder (1 Cup, diced if using fresh)
1 T. Garlic Powder (3 cloves crushed if using fresh)
1 T. Italian Seasoning
3 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (you could use 1 lb. of fresh)
16 oz. jar Prego Ricotta Parmesan spaghetti sauce (I happened to have that on hand, any spaghetti sauce will suffice)
10 oz jar Ragu Alfredo sauce
1 pound of Sargento, grated Provolone Mozzarella cheese
Family size bag frozen Ravioli with cheese and spinach or plain.
Fill a large stock pot with water and put stove to boil. If you cover the pot the water will boil faster. For the lasagna sauce: In a medium size skillet, add olive oil to pan and bring up to medium high heat, add meats and cook until just brown, about five or six minutes. If you are using dried herbs, add them at about 3 minutes, if using fresh see note at bottom. Season with Salt and Pepper, adjust to taste. Add the jars of sauce and reduce heat to medium low and simmer to reduce the liquid. Your water should be boiling by now. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the ravioli and boil 15 minutes. For my 9x13 pan I need 30 ravioli, 15 for each layer. While the ravioli is boiling, check the sauce it will be thickening and may need a good stir. This is a good time to get your salad made and set the table. When the ravioli floats, cook for about two minutes more then drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get your 9x13 pan ready. Add 1/3 of your meat mixture to the pan, spread evenly. Place fifteen ravioli evenly on top of the sauce, then 1/3 more of the sauce. cover that with half of the cheese. Add 15 more of the ravioli, remaining sauce and remaining cheese. I sprinkled Parmesan over the whole thing and lightly sprinkled the dried Italian seasoning over just for color. Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. If time is not your friend kick up the oven to 400. I like my cheese very brown and crisp. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. so it can set up.
NOTE: If you are using the fresh onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add the oil to the medium skillet, heat to medium high heat and add onion, cook two to three minutes until they begin to turn clear, add mushrooms and continue to cook on medium heat until mushrooms have released their water about 5 minutes, add garlic, cook another two minutes or until water is evaporated. Remove this to a paper plate or bowl and cook the meat.
Serve with a salad and garlic toast.

Just super. I have bought some sun-dried tomato basil bread from Panera Bread company and made garlic cheese bread with it. Simple. Melt about four tablespoons of butter and brush each slice with butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and lightly sprinkle about a 1/4 cup cheese over all the slices ( buttered nine slices).
This picture is from the Woman's day article which inspired me.
Do try it's so good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Frosting

My sweet wife is celebrating her birthday today and as is our custom in the Spoon house, you get to pick your birthday cake. The boys wanted her to swing toward a sheet cake covered in some comic hero from Target, but Mom--while loving store bought birthday cakes and all opted for a more mature decision. "I think I want Daddy to make me his strawberry cake." The boys dropped the sheet cake idea like a hot potato! They love Strawberries and the thought of those beautiful berries nestled in cake then frosted...priceless. I've always made this cake in two 9" pans and frost it with the accompanying Strawberry Cream frosting which I could eat with a spoon...it's so delicious.

This strawberry cake couldn't be easier once you decide to make a cake for someone you love. The hardest thing to do it chop strawberries and even that can be streamlined into buying frozen whole berries and mashing them. We love this cake in our house and I think you will too. This can be made in a 9x13 just so you have permission to do that ahead of time.

Here are the cast of characters:
  • 1 Box White Cake Mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
  • 1 3 oz. box of Strawberry Jell-O
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 T. flour
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract (the REAL deal)
  • 1/8 t. Almond Extract (just use a cap full, that's what I do)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans (or one 9x13) set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer add cake mix, jello, flour,milk, and oil. Turn on low until mostly incorporated then increase to medium (5 or 6 on my Kitchen Aid) and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla and strawberries. Mix just to incorporate (you can mix the berries more if you want them to be less chunky, I went with chunky.) [Is it me or is chunky kind of a gross word?]

Evenly distribute the batter into your two prepared pans. I rarely ever get them exactly even, I suppose you could measure and pour but I just eyeball it and act like it was supposed to be that way. Bake in your preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. The cake will pull away from the sides and a cake tester will come out clean. I have a metal cake tester from Pampered Chef I love, buy one the next chance you get. Cool cakes on wire racks. Frost and refrigerate until ready to serve. I like this cake cold. After you serve the first slices you don't need to worry about keeping it in the fridge any more, there is just something about this cake cold first thing. Try it and see what I'm saying.

The aroma of this cake as it bakes will drive you crazy. Levi was going crazy because he LOVES cake! He was ready to eat that cake right on the spot! He will bring us boxes of cake and say, "Make dis for me, okay DA-DA" Of course you are not able to deny this beautiful brown eyes beauty of anything when those sweet words come out of his mouth. I think Levi has caught the cooking bug because he loves to cook and is very careful to watch exactly what I do. Maybe, just maybe he'll take all of his ingredients and put them into prep bowls like I do...one can only dream.

When I read recipes that say to let a cake cool in the pan, it makes me nervous. I usually get that cake out of it's pan as soon as I can because I'm afraid the thing will stick and I'll have to go outside and scream unpleasantries in my backyard under my breath. There are two stainless steel cake pans I've had since before I was married I picked up at a garage sale that are my favorite cake pans in the world. These babies are heavy and wonderful giving me perfect results every time. I always hand Crisco and flour when cake baking. Bundt baking I use the flour spray, but these pans and I work better together when I give them a massage before they endure the fires of my oven. One other trick I always always follow is to NEVER dish wash my pans. I always hand wash my pans, even the non-stick pans. If you put your non-stick pans in the dishwasher the agents used to make the detergent work will make your non-stick...stick. I just don't want to have any foreign things corrupting my baking so I hand wash, it doesn't take that much time and the dishwater is good to wipe down the counters. And your wife's felt Halloween runner that can't be washed only dry cleaned and we aren't dry cleaning a felt runner so I had to get it clean because Levi was helping me.

Have we talked Frosting yet? No, ok let's do that. Here are the very simple cast of characters, with three no-shows for the picture:
  • One stick of room temperature butter. Take your butter out of the fridge when you first start getting your duke together and it will be perfect by the time is frosting making time.
  • One 8 oz. package of Cream Cheese
  • 2 lb. package of Powdered Sugar. This is roughly 4 cups
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t. Almond Extract (cap full)
  • 2 teaspoons of Milk (may need up to 1T)
This is best done in a stand mixer, but since I put the bowl in the dishwasher because I had a three year-old about to decimate my strawberries with a plastic knife and was distracted. I used a large bowl with my hand mixer.

Add the butter and cream cheese along with the extracts to the bowl and mix on low until incorporated. I add the milk here because these two fats (butter and cream cheese) don't really like to come together until their cousin milk comes to play then everyone is happy and we all get along. Milk is the magic elixir, it can be done without it but will take a little longer. The cream cheese and butter will look like this when it's done.

At this point you will want to begin adding the powdered sugar. There will be no less than five times that you feel like this is too much powdered sugar, but stay the course and don't loose heart because it is not, in fact too much. Go slow, powdered sugar is very excitable and like to BURST into emotional outbreaks all over the place. You will need to be patient. In a stand mixer the work is MUCH much less. Slowly add all the powdered sugar. It will be very thick and very much like peanut butter. Add your very finely chopped strawberries and stir or mix. The moisture from the strawberries will give a little more help to the frosting making it smoother and easier to spread. If you want it more red, you could add a few drops of red dye, but I don't want it to look fake. I think the natural attributes that the strawberries give are great and do their job. Just fine. I tried to get as close as I could to the chopped berries, to give you an idea. They are finely chopped.

This is so delicious. I really love to eat this cake. I was talking to a long time friend, and the benefactor of this recipe, Mildred and we decided to try this method using Lemon with a lemon curd filling. I'm a sucker for a good lemon cake so I may just have to try it out. You'll be along for the ride. Plus I love using a microplane grater, I really do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Probably the best mashed potatoes that I have ever eaten in my life, and trust me on this--I've had A LOT of mashed potatoes in my life, were made by Swannie Stanczyk (pronounced stanzick) at Mayfair church in Oklahoma City. I don't know what she did to those babies, but let me tell you...they were delicious! She always brought them in the same pot, wrapped in gold towels to keep them warm. I could sit down with this pot of mashed potatoes and eat the whole thing.

Loaded mashed potatoes are a close second to Swannie's, I love these potatoes. The picture to the right is courtesy of the McCormick website and very close to what my casserole looks like, only I put a lot more cheese on top and chives, other than that you have the casserole I make.

For the football banquet I used a great trick my Mom taught me in using instant potatoes, before you hit the ground and run out of the house screaming, calm down and hear me out. I didn't feel like peeling, chopping, boiling, and mashing 60 pounds of potatoes for this casserole. I only had one day to do everything and it would have taken...well forever to get this task done. Here's the trick: use instant potatoes made according to package directions using chicken stock/broth instead of water. I ONLY do this for this casserole, if I were making just mashed potatoes as a side...I would have peeled. Assuming you would not need 60 pounds of loaded mashed potatoes, this recipe reflects the home version, using peeled and mashed potatoes.

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

4 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, diced, boiled, and mashed
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon cracked pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 cup crumbled bacon (that's about 12 slices cooked and crumbled)
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons parsley

In a medium bowl, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup bacon, mix and set aside. Add potatoes to a large mixing bowl, or use the pot in which you boiled the potatoes, mash or use a mixer to mix potatoes. Add butter and sour cream, mixing to incorporate. Add salt, pepper, and cheese, stir to combine. Add green onions and bacon, stir again. Taste adjust seasoning to liking. Place in a lightly sprayed 9x13 casserole. Smooth evenly. Top with reserved bacon and cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with parsley before serving.

You can make the potato mixture a day ahead, or two, and keep in the fridge until the day of. You would place the casserole in your cold oven so the pan can come to temp with your oven, then top with the cheese mixture and bake.

If you use the instant potato route, use one whole box of potatoes (maybe two, you need to yield 12 servings) and make according to package directions using chicken broth/stock instead of water.

These are so good and so easy. The football players really, really liked them incidentally.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Holiday Alternatives: Roast Pork Loin

Last Thursday I had the privilege and opportunity to cook for the Jenks football team. The head coach attends the church where I work, and our Youth Ministry has a tradition of hosting the area football teams for a dinner. Our Youth Minister asked me to cook for Jenks and I was more than happy to jump in. As usual, I was wrapped up with what to cook. Aaron, our Youth Minister, said meat and potatoes were never a bad idea, but beef is so expensive. I went back and forth, back and forth and finally decided on Pork loin. Oh yeah, I was cooking for 150 (most of that football players, so it was like 200--big appetites don'cha know).

Pork Loin is a great cut of meat to serve a large crowd. It is a classier cut of meat, as pork goes, roasts well, and stays juicy and tender while at the same time giving you a nice slice of meat. It won't come apart and be all shredded. I like pork over turkey because I find turkey to be very dry and not very flavorful, but that's just me. So, pork was the choice. Here's the menu for my Football Banquet.
Roast Pork Loin
Loaded Potatoes
Asian-Style Green Beans
Scalloped Apples
Hot Rolls
For this banquet of 150 I needed the following quantities of food:
  • 90 pounds of Pork Loin
  • 10 pounds of Green Beans
  • 20 pounds of apples
  • 40 pounds of potatoes
  • 300 hot rolls
  • 30 gallons of tea
Usually you plan for a quarter pound of meat per person, counting two children under 12 as one adult. For the football team I planned on a little more just to make sure I could reach the bottoms of their bellies. Having a filling side, like mashed potatoes was also a good call because it's a filler. I found the recipe for this pork loin from myrecipes.com which is Southern Living magazine's website. This is one of my go to websites when researching what to do. I altered the recipe by adding a seasoning rub and adjusting the amounts of liquids I used, which made it my own.

Roast Pork Loin

  • 1 4 1/2- to 5-pound boneless pork loin roast (the loins i used were 8-9 pounds each)
  • McCormick Key West Blend Seasoning (If you can't find this seasoning it's equal parts lemon pepper, dried basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and sage.)
  • Kosher Salt & Cracked Pepper
  • 1 10-ounce jar apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (or Bourbon, which I didn't use, but will when I do this at home)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or teriyaki
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Heat oven to 325ยบ F. Place the pork in a roasting pan and rub with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the preserves with the orange juice, soy sauce, and garlic and pour over the meat. Cover and roast 30-35 minutes. Uncover and baste with the sauce and the juices that have collected in the roasting pan. Cover and continue cooking, basting every 20 minutes, for about 1 hour longer or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes to finish cooking before carving. I made double the sauce called for and set half of the sauce on the stove brought it to a rolling boil, then reduced the heat and let it reduce while the roast was cooking.

Don't miss tricks:
  • Let the roast come to room temperature. This will give the meat time to absorb the seasonings and not just sit on top. It will also help the meat relax and cook more evenly which will make for a more juicy roast. This is really true with any meat, bring it to room temperature, then roast.
  • You really do need a meat thermometer. When cooking meats it's really critical to get the right temperature. With pork, you don't want it to be under done, with roast beef you don't want it to be over done. It's a great investment, and really important.
  • Remember carryover cooking. Your meat will continue to cook out of the oven as much as 7 degrees, or more. You will want to bring this roast out at 150'ish and by the time it rests it will be up to temperature because of the carryover cooking. I played it safe here and took the roast out at 155 which brought it up to 160. You can do the same as well and not compromise any of the juiciness.
  • NEVER POKE. When you have a roasted meat, it is absolutely critical that you not pierce the meat because you will loose valuable juice and have a dry roast as the end result. Give your roast a chance to get over the trauma of roasting, relax, collect it's self and have all the juices bet back where they need to be, which is not on your platter.
We sliced the meat about a 1/4 inch thick, giving two slices for a serving. to present we ladled the pan sauce over the meat. I highly recommend this roast for a holiday get together if you just can't bring yourself to look at another turkey.

Want anymore recipes from this menu? Let me know and I'll post the whole shebang! Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How the cookie crumbles

With one lonely cookie resting on the bottom of our cookie jar, I thought I would make a batch of chocolate chip cookies for a little change. We usually make the Oatmeal cookies with Craisin and white chocolate chips, but for some reason chocolate chip sounded good. Chocolate chip cookies are something that appeal to everyone, but only appeal to them if they are "the way" they like them. I can't tell you how many chocolate chip cookies I've eaten in my life, and almost everyone is a little different in some way. People know what they like in a chocolate chip cookie though.

For this recipe I tried an experiment. I'm no scientist, but I do like to find out what works for a recipe. If I'm using Crisco butter sticks for chocolate chips cookies I do not use the following recipe, I use this one. This is my standard go to recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies using real butter. The experiment was to see how flour affected the end result. I like cookies on the thick side with some chew, not thin and crisp. I always add more flour to the mix, more baking soda, and more vanilla, and some almond extract a secret NEVER before revealed, until now.Which make it my "own" recipe, I guess.

As with most of my recipes I have they are not original to me, just tweaked and changed with things added here and there to make a different recipe. For the experiment I decided to go with the original recommended amount of flour (2 1/4 cups) and add my tweaks. The result were thin, crisp cookies that were crunchy. If you are a crunchy, crisp, thin cookie kind of person--this this is your cookie recipe at 2 1/4 cups of flour. If you like the thicker, chewier cookie then go with my recommended amount below.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 cup(s) Milk Chocolate Chips, basically one bag of chips
  • 1 cup(s) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (Pure vanilla extract please)
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, basically a cupful
  • 3 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda (I just use a heaping teaspoon and call it good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fit stand mixer with paddle attachment. Add butter and sugars to bowl and beat on medium speed 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add extracts and one egg, mixing to incorporate. Add remaining egg, mix to incorporate. Add flour, salt and soda to bowl. Mix until flour is just incorporated (no white showing) add chips and mix to incorporate. Using a medium sized spring-loaded scoop place scoops of dough on cookie sheet about 1 1/2- 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes. Remove to cooling rack.

And now, for the tips that I've learned along the way:
  1. Room temperature butter DOES make a difference. I knew I was going to be baking, so I put the butter and eggs on the counter about 30 minutes before I started cooking and it was great. You can always nuke the butter for 15 seconds to get it soft. Here's why it's important: The fat (butter) and sugar need to become one with each other. The softer the butter the more open it is to welcoming strangers into it's life--like sugar. Sugar is a crystal which means it takes a bit for it to break down.
  2. Mixing butter and sugar together DOES make a difference. I usually mix my butter and sugars together for at least 5 minutes, usually 7-10 minutes. This give the butter time to whip up and the sugar to break down. It still feels grainy, but not coarse as if you were mixing by hand. The dough should be off-white in color and fluffy. Think mashed potatoes here.
  3. The picture to the left shows the cookies with 2 1/4 cups flour and the full 3 cups of flour. The cookie on the left, the darker one, is the 2 1/4 cup cookie. This was same pan, same scoop, same temp, just the deleted flour. See how the cookie spread out more? It's also much darker. I'm guessing because there is more sugar than flour and that changed how it worked. So, flour matters. The 2 1/4 cup dough was wet and sticky while the 3 cup dough was dry and tacky. The 3 cup dough was firm, kind of like play dough--held it's shape. I think the extra flour helped the cookie dough not break down and spread out as much.
  4. The picture to the right was taken to show what the 3 cup dough looked like baked. See how cakey it is? There are some air pockets along the edge, but the center is chewy and delicious. The 2 1/4 cup dough had air pockets all through the cookie. The picture I took was horrible. I'm working with my camera phone here, folks give me some slack. This is how I like my cookies so I use the 3 cup dough.
  5. Baking time matters. My oven takes 9 minutes to bake a cookie to perfection. At the point I take out the cookies, they are just starting to brown on the edges but still look somewhat moist on the top. There is a term in cooking circles called, "carry over cooking." Basically, carry over cooking means your food will continue to cook out of the oven. It's especially important when cooking meat. With cookies I know that the cookies will firm up and be perfect at 9 minutes because I let the 2 minutes it takes for these babies to cool down to cook some more.
I didn't try to make this rocket science or some secret formula I'll take to my grave. It's just what makes my cookies the kind of cookie I like. As my boys grow up and learn to cook more and more, I'll share these tips with them and help them understand why I do what I do--it works for me. There are textures, which affect taste, that I look for in foods and learning the tricks to get that texture every times is important to me.

Maybe this is the recipe you are looking for in a chocolate chip cookie, maybe not. Hopefully it will help you determine what you like in a cookie and go for that. Crispy and crunchy cookies will have more sugar than flour, cakey and chewy will have more flour than sugar.

I'm going to go eat one of these now, can't take it anymore.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


When it comes to cooking I have a set number of "go to" items that I always use first and will even run a sink of dish water to wash that item if it's dirty. My Cutco french chef's knife, or these wonderful wooden spoons I found at a great gourmet store in Joplin. They are readily available in most cooking stores, made of beechwood I think. I have three different sizes of these spoons and just love them to death. These are the things that put me at ease in the kitchen and give me the comfort and confidence to tackle a recipe or project. I know my tools, I know how they will work and what I can do with them and we just work well together. Do you have that relationship with your kitchen tools? My Granny had a knife she called fingers. Fingers was a pairing knife, but she used that knife for every single cutting project in her kitchen. De bone a turkey--fingers. Peeling a tomato--fingers. It was her knife and she used it for everything. You have to trust your tools.

There are few things in my kitchen that I will run out and re-purchase immediately upon the destruction of the original item. Take my turkey baster for instance, it has long been dead and yet I don't have a desire nor even an inkling to go out and replace this huge syringe. The baster met an untimely death when I needed to lift some watery greasy liquid off a skillet of slowly simmering meat, only to realize the one of my two boys had used it in the tub as a toy and not completely emptied out the watery sudsy mess which left a nice hunk of moldy goo in the bulb. This moldy goo decided to take it's leave into my pan!!! Meat ruined, blood vessels at maximum pressure I frantically tried to clean the thing, leaving it up to my dishwasher to kill any other rouge germs that might have been lurking about. I guess my dishwasher had a thing against it too, because the poor thing was evicted from its utensil basket onto the heating coil and cremated.

When it comes to measuring liquids my go to measuring cups are made by the OXO company. This company has an extensive line of grip friendly tools gadgets, trash cans and anything else you would think of at your disposal. I'm a big fan of OXO products and would highly recommend the purchase of any OXO product. Don't get me started on the OXO peeler please--love that thing [resisting tyraid on OXO peeler]. The measuring cups are just wonderful. I have quite a few OXO products, even my dustpan and whisk broom are OXO.

I love these measuring cups because they have a great no slip grip handle that is far enough away from the bowl of the measuring device that my fat man-sized fingers can grip it. I also love the angle measure marks. You do not have to have a degree in contortion to see how much liquid you are pouring in, or squat down to eyeball the precise measurement of liquid. When baking, precise measurement is critical to your recipe. A lot of bakers will tell you that weighing the dry ingredients is better than using a measuring cup, while I believe that to be true I'm not running out and buying a scale nor am I converting all of my recipes over to weight ACK!. With the angle design you can see the amounts as you look down upon the cup then pour to get the precise measurement you need.

There are four sizes of measuring cup that they carry. A 4-cup measure, 2-cup measure, 1-cup measure, and mini-measure. I did see a 2-cup stainless steel measuring cup on their website that just got me all a twitter, I think that would be cool to have. The mini-measure, which the website sells them in a 3-pack I was super jealous that I didn't get three!, is great for measuring vanilla, milk, or other items you need a Tablespoon of. It goes up to 4 tablespoons which is a 1/4 cup, right? 16 Tablespoons in a cup so 4 tablespoons would be a 1/4 cup, right? Let's just run with that and call each other smart!

I do have the traditional glass measuring cups, and use them on occasion, but I really like using the OXO. The only draw back is if you are whisking up a salad dressing or mixing something. The way in which the cup is designed does not lend it's self well to mixing. It can be done, but it's not fun and a little awkward. Much like I was from 1982-84 while in full puberty. I'd trip over my shadow!

I pulled out my 4-cup OXO measure cup the last week to measure buttermilk for a recipe I was making and when i picked up the cup there was milk on the counter. Curious I didn't think I had spilled the milk, usually pretty careful when pouring. I'm pretty practiced at it. So I walked over to the sink to get a rag to wipe the counter and sat the measure down to get the rag wet. When I picked it up...more milk! Could. There. Be. A. Crack. In. My. Cup? Sure enough a huge crack all along the bottom of my cup. Blast! "BOYS!"Titus didn't admit to causing the crack, Levi just smiled. Obviously my cup was used for a purpose not in it's original design and "cracked" under the pressure. That night we bought another one, I just had to have one.

Target has a nifty little boxed set of measuring liquid and dry cups, spoons, and something else. It's a great idea for a wedding gift. I looked on their website and could not find it, but I know they have them in the store.

What gadgets do you love and can't live without? Hopefully when you buy these you will add them to your list.