Friday, June 29, 2012

Learning to Cook all over again

This will just be a short post.  I will write more tomorrow.  But I am very excited about out new purchase.  We decided to get a new oven and a new microwave.  They are both Vikings and the oven is also a convection oven. It is so shiny and new I almost hate to get it dirty (almost).

But, like the title reads "It is like learning to cook all over again".  I have never used a convection oven before and in addition to bake - the other settings are:  low broil, medium broil, high broil; then convection bake, tru convection, convection roast, and convection broil.  Right now I have to look in the handbook so that I know which one to use.  I am not complaining - it is fun to try out all the new settings.

So far I have baked a cake (which turned out so much lighter than in my former over) and made balsamic marinated pork chops.  With the chops I used the convection broil setting - they were 1 1/2 inches thick and it only took 15 minutes.  I just have to say - they were perfect.

Well, I will keep you posted.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saints, Mother's Day, and Chocolate

As you read this post you will immediately realize that I am 'a day late and a dollar short'.  I should have posted this on Mother's Day but, alas, it did not happen.  The good part is that it is never to late to pay tribute your Mother.  That is exactly what I am about to do - pay tribute to my Mother and my Mother-In-Law:  
                 
Margaret McClain and Marian Stephens


My sister and I
Margaret and Paul McClain




Marian and Bill Stephens with son Bill



                              


Let me start with the 'Saint' part of my title.  I have always wondered how a person becomes a Saint; so I looked up the definition and a Saint is not what I thought.  And as you would expect there are as many definitions as there are religions.  So I thought I would give you my definition or a list of what I think a Saint is:
Someone who loves God
Someone who is in constant prayer
Someone who puts others first 
Someone who loves unconditionally
Someone who is patient and kind
(and someone who loves chocolate)

I threw that last one in because I am sure you know where I am going with this. 

There are two people, I believe, that fit this description - Margaret McClain and Marian Stephens.  They represent Saints to me - Margaret and Marian  fit each one of the above descriptions (and they both love chocolate).   Margaret (my mother) is constantly doing and praying for others.  And Marian (my Mother-In-Law, who is in heaven) lived her life for God, family, and friends.  They are both examples of what I can only hope to be as a mother, wife, and friend. So, Happy (Late) Mother's Day!

Now for the chocolate part of  the title.  Because Margaret and Marian both looooove chocolate I would like to share a recipe that Marian shared with me.  She made this whenever we went to Pennsylvania for a visit. 





Peanut Butter Tandy Cake
Ingredients:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
1 cup milk
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
small jar of peanut butter
(grease and flour a jelly roll pan)

1. beat together 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 
   1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2.  Mix together in a separate bowl:  2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, dash of salt:  add the dry ingredients to the above mixture, along with the 1 cup of milk
3.  Place the batter in the jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for only 20 minutes.  
4. Remove from the oven.  While the cake is still warm spread the top with the peanut butter.  (note: if you take the peanut butter and soften slightly in the microwave it will spread easily)
5. Place this in the refrigerator to chill. 
6. After the cake has chilled, melt the 12 oz bag of chocolate chips (you may want more chocolate).  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread the melted chocolate on top.  Place back in the refrigerator to chill.  
7.  When chocolate has hardened it is ready to serve.
 (Hope you enjoy this recipe.  I know I always love making it because of the memories.)

Happy Mother's Day