Tuesday, March 18, 2008

a pretty niece

Waxahachie, Texas
and HAPPY BDAY AFTON! her bday was yesterday....a little shamrock babe!
Well....mom & I had a meeting last week and came across this delicious salad with strawberries, grapes, almonds, tomatoes, spinach leaves, poppy seed dressing we recreated it today - it's BEEEEUTIFUL & it's delicious!
I haven't had any mishaps lately when Aunt Joyce & U. Dwayne were here I scraped my finger with the potatoe peeler and well that hasn't healed yet....nothing like a little shaved skin to get the "mmmhhmmm's" going around the table....I tried to trick Rena Grace by adding cottage cheese TO HER MASHED POTATOES and she threw them on the floor. Yes, it's a good thing she is pretty because I am at my wits end at times like that....I really understand what they mean when you hear that you can lose the weight after a baby because you are always chasing them around...uh. YEAH. but I thinkt hat is for stay at home mom's....are all the babysitters thin? because if not you should try Rena out for your diet. ONE BUSY GIRL.
Today we went through all the seed and garden ordering catalouges mom has around the house and she was in heaven she spread them all over the back hallway - you couldn't walk through the hallway. guess who had to clean up that mess? yep me.

Well no desserts, no pretty or floppy ones to share....I am making a smothered cube steak, salad and attempting fried okra for Dad tonight. We SHALL see....now I have to go to Office Depot and buy a printer....toodles poodles.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

a little short rib?!

Waxahachie, Texas

:) Hello friends....I am so sorry that it has been a month since I've blogged!!! I had a lot happen in the past month and my time at the computer has been very little. Well I'm here today and hopefully will be even more so!

Let's see I've been home for about 3 weeks and I've made it my mission to really become "one with the kitchen" and it's working....the first thing I did was rearrange the entire kitchen, I am sure my mother loves me.....but if I'm cooking & cleaning I'll have to have things in an order that makes sense to me! I re-did the pantry, fridge, and cabinents.....it's been fun.....

I try to cook Sun-Wed and have something "easy" to do Thurs/Fri/Sat and one day I'll make it to a Mexican food restaurant....why I've been home this long and haven't done so is beyond me!

Well if you want something sweet and you are trying not to eat too much sugar do this: get some greek yogurt - try to find one with the LEAST amount of sugar as possible, you can do it.....then put in a blender enough yogurt for you or more if you are making more for others then add a pear a banana and a little milk...it is delicious....if you use a yogurt with TOO much sugar - it's really too sweet, trust me.

I had no idea what a short rib was until last Wednesday night when I made them for my family, it's pretty scary when you are making a recipe and you don't think it sounds right or good but you do it anyway the first time nad hold your breath as your family eats what you've made....and then you sigh when you hear the "mmmhhhmmm" my Uncle Dwayne and Aunt Joyce have been here all week and Joyce andI are taking turns int he kitchen cooking, she really like sto do the cleaning so I just say, okay. I hlep out as much as I can but I know what it's like to have someone in there trying to help and you just want to do it yourself.

I've madea mexican casserole that was so mild that Tex-Mex would not claim it as their kind, but my dad started sweating and kept saying "woo" i chuckled but it wasn't fun for him so I made him a chicken fried steak instead. Not the healthiest but with men, sometimes it's just to make them happy and to be quiet.

Look for an email this week...I'm nearly settled and ready to get back into the swing of things...I have recipes from Mom & Happy!

Love, Nelle

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Oh Happy Day...

Sarajevo. Bosnia



Today is my fav. day of the week, because it is the

halfway point :) I like halves. Ok this pix is the girl scout cookie that I made....THIS IS A HARD HARD COOKIE TO MAKE. IT TOOK FOREVER....and I'm sure back home with the correct ingredients you can make it easier than I had too, but it was fun and they were tasty...and you could almost taste the Samora.....it was a fine copycat if I do say so myself. :)

I made chili and cornbread. OMGOSH it was yummie. I made myself sick from eating too much chili though and it was a little spicy. As my grandpa has a heavy foot when he drives I have a heavy "dasher" when it comes to a dash of this or that...I think is this too much or not enough? Oh just shake it it in there baby! and boy does it make a difference!

I uploaded some recipes that I've been meaning to do for a while so I'll share those as they come along....I bought some parsely, the only fresh herb I can locate here in 'Jevo.....and I want to fry it.....yum. I really like fried parsely as a garnish.

My Aunt Dianne sent in a recipe today and I"m so excited to start collecting her recipes...makes me smile....

Did I have any mishaps this week? Not really, I fished out a few eggshells in the morning scrambled eggs and I dropped a few things. OH YES> HOW CAN I FORGET, if you got my email this week you know about my UGLY DUCKLING DESSERT. IT was a strawberry tapioca double crusted pie. Well Martha Stewart is still safe, because Susie it wasn't pretty. It looked as though Lucy Ricardo invaded my kitchen :) I also used frozen strawberries instead of fresh. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

well off to sleep I go....


Saturday, February 2, 2008

An Apron...

Sarajevo, Bosnia
well it's nice and cool out...looks like rain as well :) I made chili the other night...and homemade girl scout cookies, the Samoras? They are pretty close...even with the substituted ingredients I must force myself to use here in Sarajevo. Tie gave me a huge hug and told me that he was really impressed with my cooking abilities and that I make really good food....I smiled and let that happiness bless my soul. I love how supportive he is....and I know he isn't being nice. Now I just am working hard on the tennis courts so I can impress him with my athletic skills when he comes to a practice....(uh. this I must really work on.).
Check your emails! TOday is Satira's -bday so happy birthday to you!
Doris, or Happy as I love to call her shared a story about the apron with me and thought I would pass it along to you....I have to say I think aprons are going to be my one item I will collect.....
This is heart-warming and nostalgic. I don't think our kids know what an apron is.The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinnerIt will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that "old-time apron" that served so many purposes.Send this to those who would know, and love the story about Grandma's aprons.

Have a great day!
Love, Nelle

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Sarajevo, Bosnia

Well friends. I cooked my own chicken yesterday. I put Rosemary spices in it...and plan to use it for sandwiches and soup....YUMMIE! It smelled so great too while it was cooking...thx Gina & MOM!

I went to the store and they had asaragus....so exciting....and strawberries are beginning to appear....ooooh! I am attempting Beer Chili today.....we'll see how it goes...I do not like the taste of beer but maybe it needs it in this recipe for some reason, we'll see.

The milk I'm using in my cereal tastes really different.......well I have made some new friends here in Sarajevo and that is exciting......most of them enjoy cooking and I signed up for a Thai cooking class that is next Saturday..... I don't know if I'll ever find the ingredients here in Bosnia to cook this way, but it will be fun to attend and learn more......

I am toying with the idea of growing some of my own cilantro and rosemary but I still am not sure how to do this and I've killed the ivy somehow....plants fear me I think.....they know I am the worst plant parent ever and yet my own mother has gorgeous gardens and makes a living being out in the dirt and loving on nature's best. I just don't get it.

I did at one point think I was a hopeless disaster in the kitchen and that has done a complete 180.....but I will tell you that the support and encouragment that the mister has given me is most of it. My level of confidence was very low and he is very kind and supportive of my efforts whether what I make is delicious or "interesting" he always finds a way to tell me to keep going....which is one of the first things that I loved about him. He inspires me to be more than I am.....and I think that is a beautiful trait to have.....and a gift as well.....

Well we had another join in this week.....Christina.......she is my cousin on my mom's side.....she is in college so welcome Christina!!

Well ta - ta for now.....going to go walk to the Zetra and let my pilates instructor torture me.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chili...on a sunny day?

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Good Morning.....so it's nice outside and I'm getting ready to stick my toes in the sunlight....going to walk to Mercatur and see what I can find. I say that because one day you go and you might get cottage cheese and the next trip - you might not. It's truly amazing....and makes your so thankful and truly happy that at home we have so many regulations....and ways to do things.

I joined three online swaps with a group I'm involved with through Taste of Home. Two of them are VDAY card swaps. One we are supposed to send out a vday card, something red, and a Vday recipe....and well that one I emailed the card and my recipes and something red to my mom and she stuffed all the envelopes and mailed them for me :) so awesome of her...so I will get 19 cards back from the swap:) woohoo.

The second Vday card swap I hosted through the online tea room and 10 of us are participating....we are sending out a Vday card and a bag of tea. I am sending out an English Breakfast Tea that I found in London.....I'm sending those from here...we'll see how long they take.....

The other swap is part of the ongoing alphabet swap and you get one partner and you shop for the letter of the swap. This swap is "N" so I've found things like napkin rings, nylon spatula, nutmeg, a picture I took of Nerverta River, navy blue napkins, things like that....and she is ok that her package might take a while to get to her....i dunno how long we'll see.

That sort of relates to cooking becasue all of these people I am swapping with we share recipes, ideas, and just parts of our lives....it's really fun and I've really enjoyed getting to know people from all over the US.

Well I'm planning to make meatballs or chili, depends on which ingredients I can find today and I'm going to fry some parsely just to try it...Austrian Air has it as a garnish on their meals and I LOVE IT......LOVE IT it's so dainty and delicate.....we'll see how my frying experience goes.....we had omlettes last night....the mister made those I just get them all prepared......and dig out the shells because every time I crack eggs...at least one of them falls apart....it's what takes the longest......

Well....I'm going to skeedaddle and get myself walking to the store....you walk so much here....i think if we walked this much at home it wouldn't be so bad to eat Micky D's three or four times a week :)


Monday, January 28, 2008

Forehand and Backhand....

Sarajevo, Bosnia
Today is my friend Jazmyn's bday (Jasmine Mulliken from Yukon HS) so happy bday to you. I made pasta for lunch, woohoo. I had my first tennis lesson in my life today, I have "small hope for improvement" :) ah, kind words......
Just thought I'd post a few tips I've received from some groups I'm in online....so here they are:

to make brown sugar -
in a food processor pulse
light brown sugar - 1 cup sugar 2 tbsp molasses,
dark brown sugar - 1 cup sugar, 3 tbsp molasses
this was on martha stewart show last week
(from taste of home bb pipsgrann in Cooking Techniques)

Question: If you don't have cream of tartar is there a substitute? I am baking Snickerdoodle cookies. - Christine Elgin (7/17/01)
The answer is, there is not a good substitution. If cream of tartar is used along with baking soda in a cake or cookie recipe, omit both and use baking powder instead. If it calls for baking soda and cream of tarter, I would just use baking powder.Normally, when cream of tartar is used in a cookie, it is used together with baking soda. The two of them combined work like double-acting baking powder. When substituting for cream of tartar, you must also substitute for the baking soda. If your recipe calls for baking soda and cream of tarter, I would just use baking powder.One teaspoon baking powder is equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. If there is additional baking soda that does not fit into the equation, simply add it to the batter.Remember - When making substitutions in baking, you may end up with a somewhat different product. The taste, moisture content, texture and weight of a product can be affected by changing ingredients.
( posted by Taste of home bb: sstetzel in Cooking Techniques)

if anyone ever has a question or needs some advice don't hesitate to email our group....I'm sure between most of us we can find the answers!

Happy COoking Monday............ ps thanks Taundra for your kind words!!

N E L L E (that's Aunt Nelle to you miss Rena Grace!)