I'm back! Were you wondering what had happened to me? Did I give up on blogging? So soon? Was I wallowing under the covers, depressed, wondering what it was all for? Washed up? Uninspired? Aimless? The kitchen had become my dark despair?
Or, did you just see my post and it dawned on you that you hadn't seen anything new from me in a while? Probably the latter (I love saying "the latter" or "the former"; it's fancy-talk). Well, no need to fret any longer. I am back, hopefully, consistently at this point.
The truth is that I have been busy. And, the word "busy" is an understatement. We have moved into our new house and after two months are finally returning to a somewhat normal life. My last post was all the way back in November. Can you believe it's been that long? We didn't move in until the week before Christmas, something only a self-loathing masochist would do to herself. In my case, I'll just blame my other half for that timing decision.
First breakfast in the new house
Can you say the word stress? So many times I've wanted to reach out to the blogosphere to share my crazy stories. Most would begin as vents but are actually quite humorous in retrospect. Let's just say moving day began with a full-tatooed man named Gator and his band of Lost Boys. Apparently, Gator wanted to make sure no one forgot the name. Lucky for him, there are exactly five knuckles on each hand to spell out G-A-T-O-R. If that weren't enough, there was a bit of room left on his neck to spell it a second time.
After spending three days with the Gator crew, followed by driving to Atlanta for Christmas, endless meetings with workers and handymen, putting the other house on the market, snow days, snow delays, failing grades, and odd things that are bound to crop up, I am finally crawling to the surface. I'm ready to peak my head out and see what the air is like, to see if you'll still have me as your voice across the internet, and if you'll still have me.
Just a sample of things I've been baking, cranberry muffins
I'm so excited to share with you some new recipes. Just because I've been too busy to blog it doesn't mean I've been too busy to cook. I've got so many new recipes to share and am ready to get back to work. My latest venture is a review of cookbooks with some tested and loved recipes. I've been collecting many over the past few months and my plan is to share with you my reviews and some of the fabulous recipes we've been trying. I'll also get back on track with "Wednesdays with Logan". Although I have to say that between school delays (which mean no school for Logan) and school closings (which means a house full of kids), my one day with Logan has turned more into only one day a week without Logan. I love that little man, but Mommy needs some down time! I also need a major thawing period.
Just one of the MANY snow days (AKA Home from School Days for Logan)
Logan and I have had many adventures, too many to share all at once. As long as there are no more delays, I hope to have a Wednesday with Logan on the books this week. We have been quite the duo, making memories to last a lifetime.
Simple Cheese Sauce
For my first post in a long while, I am actually going to start with something simple: Cheese Sauce. When I was a young cook in the kitchen, one of my first jobs to help my mother was to make the cheese sauce for our veggies. We poured it on broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. I was first given the task of cheese grater. This was before the packaged grated cheese that is so convenient for all cooks. There is danger in that there cheese grater. If you're not careful, a slip of the hand can easily shred that thumb of yours along with the cheese. I have the thumb scars to prove it! I still prefer freshly grated cheese. It tastes richer, by far, than the packaged kind. However, when you're short on time, anything prepped ahead of time makes life much easier. Time trumps all decisions, even in the kitchen.
Steamed Veggies with Simple Cheese Sauce
This simple sauce is easy and versatile. The best part is that it makes vegetables palatable to even your most finicky vegetable eater. It's my go-to when the kids are low on their veggies. Even the ones who detest broccoli and asparagus will somehow manage to scarf it down when there is cheese sauce on top. I made it this past week with baked potatoes. I stuffed them with the vegetables and covered it all in the sauce. It made my little (or big depending on if she's standing next to me) vegetarian very happy.
For a print-friendly version of the recipe click:
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk until a smooth paste forms.
Pour in the milk and whisk until the ingredients are combined. Turn the heat up to medium-low. Continue stirring with the whisk until the milk mixture thickens. It will take a while, but it is important to continue stirring at the medium-low heat. If it's not stirred and cooks too fast, the butter-flour will separate from the milk and burn.
Once the milk mixture has thickened, add the cheese and stir until it melts.