Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hot Cider & Cookie Soup

Hello all!

Long time no see, per usual. My work hours have decreased a tad, so perhaps you will begin hearing from me more. Or not - we'll see. On my days off, I have been busy cleaning house. We live in an apartment the size of a walk-in closet, and yet after two straight weekends of unpacking, decorating, and rearranging, we are still not done. But the good news is we now have an entertainment center! It was our first furniture purchase together, and it was a very exciting one. :) It looks awesome, too! IKEA is my new favorite store; I'm obsessed. This is the one we ended up purchasing. We are using all the cubbies to hold wedding paraphernalia, books, barware, our Wii, and miscellaneous media items in little baskets. It looks so legit! I'm very proud.

After setting up the entertainment center (to which I contributed very little), we decided to celebrate by making cookies from scratch along with hot apple cider. We thought we had all the ingredients already for the cookie dough, but as it turns out, we only had half the amount of flour we needed. We went ahead and made the dough anyway, which Mr. G likes to eat uncooked, and I decided to try and bake them just to see how they would turn out. They turned out to be a big hot mess. I smelled something burning, which I thought was the cider, but it was actually the mass of gooey cookie dough oozing off the cookie sheet in the oven. The smoke alarm went off, of course, and we had to open the door just to get all the smoke out... Oops. When I pulled out the cookie sheet, it was entirely covered in cookie dough; it looked like one large cookie cake that had the consistency of cookie soup. It looked delicious, but tasted like grease and chocolate chips. Definitely a baking fail. I can't believe I messed up chocolate chip cookies! I have achieved the impossible. I think the oven and I should take some time apart, and next time, I think I'll just suck it up and buy some flour.

The cider, on the other hand, turned out great. It was delicious! I got the recipe from my Betty Crocker app again. Betty always knows best. Here are the ingredients:
  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
The directions are easy - mix ingredients together and heat on the stove! I brought it to a medium boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Then I strained it into a pitcher to get all the spices out. Here are pics of the cider and cookie soup:

In other news, Mr. G and I went to Harry Potter 7.1 last night along with our couple friends and the entire tween population of CT. I was disappointed with how few people dressed up for the premiere (not that I did - I'm just amused by those who do), but the movie didn't disappoint in the least. It was amazing! I read all the books at least once, so yes I am an avid fan. But I found it to be a good film in its own right as well as a fair representation of the book (the first half at least). Very much looking forward to 7.2 next summer! If you have yet to see it, here is a really good review of the movie I found online. Perhaps my next cooking project should be butterbeer and chocolate frogs. ;)

As for this week, my parents are coming into town on Tuesday, and I can't wait for them to get here! I'm excited for them to see our apartment all set up (hence the cleaning frenzy), and I'm very excited for Thanksgiving. We're going to the Macy's Parade in New York! We will literally have to get up at 3 am, but it's so worth it. We'll definitely be cooking the day before, though. Here is what we decided for our Thanksgiving menu:
  • Turkey (duh)
  • Dressing (mom's recipe)
  • Broccoli casserole (mom's recipe)
  • Sweet potato casserole (mom's recipe)
  • Mashed potatoes (Mr. G's recipe)
  • Deviled eggs (mom's recipe)
  • Biscuits (probably store-bought)
  • Apple crisp (family friend's recipe)
  • Pumpkin pie (no idea... open to suggestions!)
Also, I still haven't heard back yet about that interview in the city. Tastes a bit like rejection, but maybe something will come up. I've got to keep hoping!

Happy cooking! And Happy Thanksgiving planning!

- Mrs. G

Friday, November 12, 2010

Spinach Dip

Hey everyone!

Here's what has been going on in the life of Mr. and Mrs. G:

I got a job interview! Well, sort-of... I found a recruiter for Scholastic on LinkedIn and decided to take a risk and message her. Turns out, it worked. I sent her my resume, and she agreed to meet with me! This would be an ideal job for me, and it's in the city! It's exactly what I've been looking for. The only problem is that the interview was supposed to be today. We never set a time, which I hope is just because she has been very busy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll hear from her soon about rescheduling. I would contact her myself, but I've done enough of that already; in fact, I've started to feel stalker-ish. What do you bet she makes her LinkedIn profile private after all this? I'll keep you posted on how everything turns out...

In other news, I have still been working non-stop, and I still don't like my job. I almost caught a thief the other day, though, which is pretty cool. All the dramatic stuff tends to happen while I'm running the store... I'm beginning to think I'm a bad luck magnet. Good news is I have the next four days off due to some unknown miracle, and Mr. G and I are going to have a long overdue date night tonight. :) It's amazing to me that after being with him for almost two years, I still get excited to see him, and I still get butterflies about going out with him. I get lonely sometimes because I miss my friends and family back in Nashville, but Mr. G makes it all worthwhile. I love him so much!

In honor of my wonderful husband (and for myself), I decided to attempt to make spinach dip this week. It turned out, of course, that I ate most of it, but I think it was fairly successful. It ended up being a little sweeter than I would have liked (and much sweeter than Mr. G would have liked), plus the consistency wasn't as thick as I felt it should have been, but overall it was good for a first attempt!

I got the recipe from a Betty Crocker Cookbook app on my iPhone. It's called "Creamy Spinach Dip," and here's how it goes:

  • 1 box (9 oz) Green Giant frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 container (8 oz) sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or fat-free Miracle Whip!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (not sure if I used the right ones or not, but oh well)
  • 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped (didn't do these... not a fan of water chestnuts. Also, I couldn't find them in the store)
  • 1 jar (2 oz) diced pimientos, drained (didn't do these either. Couldn't find them as well...)
  • Cook spinach as directed on package. Cool slightly; squeeze to drain well.
  • Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, celery salt, dill weed and onion salt. Stir in cooked spinach, onions, water chestnuts, and pimientos. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors.
  • Makes 28 servings.
  • Enjoy!
I didn't take any photos of this one, but it pretty much looks the same as all other spinach dip. I'm sure you can come up with your own image.

This weekend we're deciding the menu for Thanksgiving, and mom is sending us an electric carving knife for the turkey! Haha. My parents are coming up to visit for Thanksgiving, and somehow we're going to cook everything in our cramped little kitchen. We're also going to go to the Macy's Parade, so it should be lots of fun! I can't wait. :)

Happy cooking!

- Mrs. G