Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meal Planning 101: Week 17 & 18

Is anyone else as excited as I am that stores FINALLY have seasonal creamer?! It just makes everything better. Mornings, coffee, days, motivation. It's all better because my coffee tastes warm and cozy. 

The weather, and maybe the presence of seasonal coffee beverages, definately influence my cooking and meal planning too. It's been happening already with my baking, but it's now taking over my cooking! My meals this week are full of stew, crockpot meals, fall salad condiments, and even savory pumpkin. Since I neglected you last week, I'm giving you last week's meal plan and this week's! I've also been going baking crazy and making things left and right. Expect recipes soon.

My fav bread in the banana bread extravaganza was the pumpkin one. A pumpkin chocolate pizookie also happened. 


Leftover Corndog Muffins and Balsamic Crash Potatoes


Baked Chicken Fajitas and Mexican Salad


Leftover Fajitas


Chicken Fajita Salad


Dinner at the Mississippi State Fair


Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and Fancy Grilled Cheese


Green Chili Beef Stew (this recipe but with beef instead of pork) and Perfect Brown Rice


Leftover Stew


Pumpkin Ravioli with Thyme Rosemary Brown Butter and Fall Chopped Salad


Leftover Ravioli

Thursday (today):

Crock Pot Ranch Roasted Chicken and Potatoes with Butter Beans


Frozen Pizza and Cheesy Shells*


Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Bake and Corn*

Sunday (OCTOBER 14TH!):

Chicken Tamale Bake, Homemade Guacamole, Homemade White Queso, Homemade Pico Salsa, Smashed Beans, Jenny's Grandma's Apple Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Homemade Caramel Sauce**

*My friend Jessica is coming to town and staying with me for a few days! Normally I'd never have two back to back pastas and especially not two back to back macaroni and cheese dishes. However, Jess was my roommate when I first started cooking! One of my first cooking accomplishments was getting her to like macaroni and cheese which she had never liked before. It's embarrassing to admit it's just shells and cheese (not Velveeta even, the powder cheese kind) from a box that I doctor up! A. She loves pizza. B. She requested my box mac and cheese. C. She loved buffalo chicken stuff. Thus the Friday and Saturday meals.

**If Sunday looks over the top and fancy, it is! Two things happen on this Sunday, October 14th. 1. It's my favorite day! It's been my celebrated favorite day for 10 years now. Wow, just realized it's our (mine and October 14th's) 10th Anniversary! Makes the fancy meal even more worthy. And 2. It's Lat-Webb Family Fun Night with the Lat-Webb Staff! We have FFN twice a semester and it's just a time for us to set aside time to be intentional and have staff (family) bonding time and have fun. We cook, we eat, we play games, we laugh, we love.

I also make a Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal dish for make ahead breakfast for the week that I think I'll share soon.

Finally found the perfect no chill, no spread sugar cookie recipe! I went a bit crazy with my mini fall cookie cutters. 

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

100th Post (AND Blog News)

Remember that time I promised via social media that I was posting the 100th post the next day? That was September 28th. Unless you're worse at math than me, you've probably figured out that October 9th is not the day after September 28th. I'm going to go on record and say that if I ever say I'm posting something the next day, inevitably something will happen and there is a 98% chance that I won't follow through. I don't mean to make myself a liar! I promise I'll try not to say that tomorrow word again. Would it make it better if I told you that on the day that would have been the real "tomorrow," I made 6 loaves of banana bread?

Now that I got another batch of those familiar apologetic words out there, we'll move on. This is my 100th post! I'm not bringing you a recipe today, but I am bringing you news. As of today, this very day, Kasia's Kitchen has over 16,000 views! That's a really big deal to me. I never thought I'd make it to even 100 views and now I average about 50 views a day. Who knew?! I also never imagined I'd actually write 100 posts. I did! And I have so many more to write.

As I started getting more serious about my blog you may have noticed a few things. I got a professional design! Love it. Owls, argyle, pink and cooking utensils. If you can wrap me up in a blog this lady did it. My friend Jonathan also made a logo and header for me! Why do I need a logo and header you ask? Because I made a Kasia's Kitchen Facebook page! Right after I post this post, I'll be inviting you all to "like" my page. Right now this really is just a silly blog where I get out my needs to cook, ramble, and blog all at once, but who knows what God can do. Lots of known food bloggers have Facebook pages for their blogs, so I thought it was a good practical easy step. Like me! or you can click the Facebook button on the blog under my social media section over to the right.

Another cool thing you may have noticed is the Recipe Index. This is totally my favorite part of my blog redesign! It was one of the main requests I had for the design. It lists all the recipes on the blog in categorical order for easy access! Even I use it when I'm looking for recipes to recook. I also added a little About Me section as well. Another thing, if you read often but don't follow through the Google friends follow bar, please do! It helps me have a chance at being considered as a "real" food blogger in the likes of all the greats out there in the food blogging community. :) You can also leave comments! I love comments. I'd love to answer your comments. Mostly, I just love you! Whomever you are reading these words, I love you.

Again, just a silly blog, but I do have so dreams that could somehow one day be connected to this blog and maybe God will use it! I dream of getting catering jobs. I'd love it! I dream of one day having a cook book with some learned life lessons mixed in. I very distantly dream of having a bakery that caters, serves lunch, coffee, sweet tea, jarred things like pickles and jams, and serves seasonal goodies along with the norms we'd serve. I did say distant dream, distant meaning I'm aware it's an unlikely dream, but what is life without the ability to dream?! Blogging for you, your likes, your follows, your comments, it makes me feel like my dreams can happen and I take this 100th post to thank you with words. Words are powerful, but still just words. If I could bake each and every one of you something yummy to eat as a thank you, please know I would!

I close this 100th mile marker post with three things.

1. A quick how to - How to Use Frozen Bananas to Make Banana Bread

Did you know this?! I heard it from many sources, but I froze one once, defrosted it, it got all squishy and I FREAKED! I threw it away thinking it was a ruined, rotten, gross, slimy mess. I goggled "how to use frozen bananas to make banana bread" and didn't come up with any good results. I finally asked the friends who said they did it and it worked! I had 12 frozen bananas and made one big loaf and 5 mini loaves of banana bread with them. Here's what I learned:

  1. Collect browning/spotting bananas in the freezer, peeling in tact and on.
  2. When you're in a bakey mood, take the bananas out and let them thaw for a bit in bowls. You could just thaw them on the counter, but they will get a little juicy and I didn't want to clean that up. I put the three needed per each recipe in a bowl. 
  3. Once you can press on the banana and it feels squishy (and maybe a little gross) they are ready to be squeezed out. Use kitchen scissors to cut the end of the banana off, just enough of an opening to squeeze out the banana goo. 
  4. SQUEEZE. You're basically just going to milk all the gooey banana goodness out into the bowl, mash, and then use in any banana bread recipe like you would any bananas. 

2. A short list - Culinary Firsts Accomplished Recently

Apparently knowing I had made it to 100 posts inspired me and made me brave. I tried a few culinary firsts in the week or so.
  • Homemade Chocolate Sauce (Never buying bottled again! Probably a lie, but still, it's easy!)
  • Homemade Pasta (Pumpkin Ravioli, tonight! Pasta isn't nearly as hard as I thought it was.)
  • Pecan Pie (Not sure why this has always scared me. It's just one of those things that only grandmothers make!)

3. A Dedication - For My Dad

I dedicate this 100th post to my daddy. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you know that he's going through some significant health issues. I pray, hope, and believe every day on his behalf. I have full confidence that God will bring healing, whether it's to my dad and his health, or to the family members who love him as we heal from the grief that comes. Even though my dad doesn't understand computers or blogs, he's always believed in me in everything, even this blogging thing. He calls it my cookbook and always asks me about it. He compliments my cooking like no other and supports me in everything I do. I'd like to believe his calling my blog my cookbook is a glimpse into the future of the cookbook I have that will also be dedicated to him. I just hope he's still here to see it. I cherish every moment and memory. I remember knowing I loved cooking for people and wanted to continue to explore this love when I made one of my first cakes with pretty accents for his birthday. It was 4 or 5 years ago and it was a chocolate covered German Chocolate cake, his favorite. He still talks about it to this day!

In closing, I love him. I love cooking. I love baking. I love blogging. And I love you. Thanks for being a faithful follower and reader. 

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