Tuesday, May 10, 2011

From my kitchen

Just some random thoughts and ideas from my kitchen to yours . . .

*I bought one of these fabric potato baking bags at a craft fair, and I really like it. So nice to not have to poke potatoes for microwave cooking, and I think they turn out less wrinkly, too. Have any of you tried one?

*I decided to use our oven's self-cleaning feature recently, and though I've done it before without incident, this time the clock area displayed an error code hours after the cleaning was completed. I read in the manual that if the oven continues to beep, it needs to have some maintenance done. Since that is what happened, Eric called his friend who owns the local appliance store. (Yes, I said "the," as in singular!) His friend said he recommends people not use their oven's cleaning feature because the high temps can often melt wires and sensors, which is what occurred in our case. Yikes! We had to replace a $50 part to restore the oven's functionality. Makes me wonder why ovens have a self-cleaning mode if it can cause damage to the oven's parts! Though I'm sure it's out there somewhere, I couldn't find any information on-line about this. Anyone else care to weigh in?

*I have tried frozen grapes in the past, and haven't really cared for them, but I decided to make another attempt by fixing this smoothie. It has a refreshing taste, and I'll probably make them fairly often, given that grapes are now down to 99 cents a pound on sale around here.

*You may remember this post where I shared some recipes that did not become favorites. Recently, I made a meal that both Eric and I thought was terrible. I can't tell you what it was, because I actually got the recipe off of one of your blogs! (Now you'll all be wondering . . . Ha!) This was the third time in our marriage that I've made a meal that Eric couldn't stand. And though I felt badly about the failed dinner that night, I guess that's not too bad a ratio!

*I saw on a blog (can't recall where) a few weeks ago that you could make microwave popcorn without buying the pre-packaged kind, and I was excited to try it. I made it successfully in a paper lunch sack and then read all the warnings here about that a week or two later. So lately, I've been experimenting with a glass bowl covered by a plate. I like not buying chemical-laden bags, and it's a quick alternative when we don't feel like getting out our popper.

*Eric and Nathan assembled parfaits for my Mother's Day breakfast using granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Pretty, delicious, and such a fun idea! I hadn't had one in ages, but I was reminded what a great combo they are of some of my favorite foods. Plus, this was Nathan's first time to make me something for breakfast. Gotta love that!

*It's definitely been challenging decreasing the amount of sugar I consume! The hardest moment was making cookies last week. I wanted so badly to eat a spoonful of dough, but I made myself wait so that I could have a fresh-baked treat instead. I'm one-third of the way there! =)


Katie said...

Neat miscellaneous notes, Carrie. =) I imagine the love served up with that Mother's Day parfait was very memorable!

Sorry to hear about the oven! 2 weeks ago, I just actually saw a *green* tip for cleaning the oven, using a pumice stone and a damp rag only ~ no chemicals or self-clean mode required! I can send you the link if you're interested.

I'm very impressed at your successful cooking meal ratio ~ my ratio is not so favorable!! (Live, laugh, and learn!) =)

thehomespunheart said...

I've used my oven cleaning cycle successfully for several years - hmmm...

Oh, to be able to get grapes for 99 cents a pound! I'm happy with double that.

So, are you feeling any better for showing this sugar will power?

Love you,

Jthemilker said...

Someone recently told me that poking potatoes for microwave cooking is wrong. It's what causes the wrinkling and drying out. I didn't know that until recently.

My MIL gave me a microwave popcorn bowl she picked up at a kitchen store. It has a vented lid. You just pour in regular popcorn and microwave until it's done. Works perfectly! And... the bowl isn't hot to the touch either.

Hayley said...

Just catching up with your blog posts! I didn't know that about the self cleaning ovens....glad I opted out of that option when we purchased ours. :) Love LOVE yogurt and fruit parfaits....what a great treat for you! Have a great day, friend!

Susan said...

Yummy parfait, sounds great! I need to cut my sugar, of course since I am 7 months pregnant need to really watch it:-) I don't think my over has a self cleaning feature...I don't know if that is a European thing or just mine. But will keep in mind if I ever get a self cleaning oven.

Mom said...

How sweet that Nathan helped make your breakfast for Mother's Day! :)

I've used self-cleaning ovens for years and had never heard of this before it happened to you -- live and learn!

I've enjoyed the potato baking bag you gave me -- thanks again!

Love you, Mom

Milissa said...

Not only does the self-cleaning feature get too hot (and once we had the same problem you had)...it also puts off an awful smell that is fatal to birds...I imagine if it's fatal to birds it can't be good to any other living creatures either. I learned this after researching why my dog always went crazy during the self-clean cycle.

Why don't you just make stove top popcorn? You don't need any special equipment...oil, popcorn, pot and lid. It's the only way we make popcorn in our home. Seriously, only takes a couple minutes. I can send you directions if you need them.

Liz said...

You can get a microwave popcorn bowl (I recently saw it at Target). We've had one for the last 6 years and love it. You put the kernels in the bottom of the bowl, microwave for 3 minutes, and you have popcorn. So easy. Then you can add your own butter and salt.

JG and CK said...

I've been impressed with Easy Off's fume free oven cleaner. It doesn't require any heat, and if you use a non-abrasive scrubber it won't scratch the surface.

Anonymous said...

I check your blog once in a while but have never commented. Have you heard of Norwex? They have a chemical-free oven cleaner spray. the self-cleaning feature is not safe, there is a reason you are supposed to leave your house when using it :( If you have time, you could check into the Norwex - I have used it, it's amazing!