NEW WEBSITE: WWW.DISHINWITHEDNA.COM

May 17, 2010

WWW.DISHINWITHEDNA.COM

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Welcome Motherload Fans!

May 15, 2010

Okay, maybe 2 people from The Motherload have followed me over here, and maybe my Dad if he hasn’t given up all faith that I’m still doing this blog. (Yup, still here, just figuring out my place in the world blogosphere)

For those of you that do know of and or read The Motherload, you know that I made it private a few months back. I didn’t want to, and still don’t, and some day when I write a book (I’m serious. Sort of.) I’ll explain the whole situation. Until then though, I’ve decided to focus my energies exclusively on {Dishin’ With Edna}

You are so totally pumped right?

Get very excited.

P.S. – I’m bringing the P.S. with me over here. I love it too much to leave it behind!

Happy Birthday!

March 29, 2010

Today we get to wish a very Happy Birthday to Grammie {Edna} and Evan!

Today would be Grammie’s 82nd Birthday, and Evan Dane turns 10 today!

We still miss you Gram! How fun it would be to celebrate these two birthdays together! I know that Grammie would be so proud of the many things our family has done and accomplished, and looks down on us frequently with smiles. (Or smirks, you know, depending on the situation)

In honor of her birthday, I’m going to share a story from when I was lucky enough to have Grammie taking care of my brother {Nicholas} and I.

I must have been in the 3rd or 4th grade, and at the time Lucky (Aunt Mary Jo’s dog) was living with use while she was living overseas. Lucky was very fond of all sorts of fruit, and we admittedly spoiled him endlessly and gave him fruit like it was our job. Grammie would always cut up watermelon for us and then cut very close to the rind and get the leftover fruit to give to Lucky. One afternoon I decided I was going to cut up some watermelon for myself and Lucky. At the ripe old age of 8 though, you can imagine that I wasn’t very experienced with using a large butchers knife. I started cutting with no problems until I decided to cut more closely to the rind (for Lucky) as a sliced the watermelon the tip of the knife cut my pointer finger on my left hand. It was very, very ugly. I didn’t want Grammie to be mad at me (since I did not have permission to be using the knife) and I also didn’t want to need stitches again (since not long before I had split my chin while ice skating and needed stitches) so I grabbed a kitchen towel, covered my finger and ducked for cover in the bathroom. I managed to stay hidden for about half an hour or so when the darn dog blew my cover. He was barking at the door and Grammie grew suspicious of my silence and came to investigate. When I finally relented and opened the door, Grammie came in and discovered the injury. Although I didn’t know it at the time, Grammie wasn’t one to elbow her way to the doctor for minor injuries. She agreed with me that I didn’t need stitches, and we could just run it under cold water and put a band aid on the cut. I probably did need stitches, but I lived. Still have a scar on my finger, and every time I look at it I smile and think of Gram.

Lesson learned: When you really are hurt (even if it’s your own darn fault) don’t be afraid to tell someone who can help you. Even if they’re mad, they’ll take care of you first and lecture you second.

Happy Birthday Grammie and Evan!

Spring Cleaning

March 20, 2010

I have spent considerable amount of time outdoors these past few days, as the weather here has been exceptional. It’s such a nice little treat to throw open the windows, let the sun shine in, and enjoy the beauty of the day. I have also spent a considerable amount of time doing some spring cleaning. The above picture are a few of the items I purged from my closet. Sometimes, you just have to say goodbye. The rest of the weekend I will focus on my living area, and then will do a final dusting/vacuum/mopping. This way, I will truly be ready to embrace the Spring and won’t feel all stuffy in my apartment! Plus, it will give me so much more energy for cooking- because when things are neat everything is easier.

Oh I love spring!! It makes everything seem possible, as the earth comes to life again. I am really looking forward to growing a vegetable garden, just waiting for the threat of frost to pass so I can get started!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend enjoying this weather as well. (Unless you’re my one friend who lives in Oklahoma, in which case, you got snow. Sorry about that)


Yes God, it’s me Lexi and I can hear you

March 16, 2010

If you read my other blog, The Motherload, you know that I self describe myself as currently living out my quarter life crisis.

I thought I was being clever when I penned that description. Turns out that this terminology is not something I created, but is a seriously studied matter! I realized this while at the book store looking for “The Happiness Project” a book my book club is reading. Two books about the “Quarter Life Crisis” phenomenon. I felt like the books were talking to me:

  • How do I weigh doing what I love versus making money?
  • How do I know if I’m dating “The One”?
  • Why is it so hard to find friends?
  • How do I stop comparing myself to other people?

(If you are one of my twenty-something friends, we’ve talked about all these things. More than once. I’m sure.) The book spoke to me, so I bought it. I’m hoping to gain something from it, if only to feel like I’m more normal than I give myself credit for.

Then I get home and open “The Happiness Project” and read the authors realization that she always felt she would outgrow her limitations (twirling her hair (I do it too) wearing running shoes everyday (or flip flops/uggs, but me too), remember friends birthdays (Facebook helps with this a lot), and learn photoshop (I’m still eeking my way through “Photoshop for Dummies” but I don’t know how to open a picture in the program…go figure) She then takes hold of my heart when she says, “I realized I was in danger of wasting away my life…..I didn’t want to wake up one day and think, man I’ve had a good life. I wish I had known then how good it was”

HOLY COW.

Dear Lord, I know you are speaking to me. And you are trying to help me to be a better person, and that part of being a better person is to be more accepting of my own shortcomings. I also know that this season in my life is a learning period, and that I will be eternally thankful for the lessons I’ve learned (read: how to deal with water in the basement and what constitutes a ‘real’ emergency) But please, dear Lord, if I could have a more clear understanding of what my path is going to be I could sleep easier at night. Because I feel like I’m drifting, and maybe drifting is what we all need every once in awhile to figure things out, but it’s not very socially popular so if we could turn my drifting into something seemingly more productive, I’d really love that. (Like that Copywriter Job at Stonewall Kitchen, that would totally make my drifting seem intentional- and be worth it, and I just know I would totally rock at that job and be happy to boot) And just so you know, I’m trying to help myself- since I do totally believe in the whole “God helps those who help themselves” thing…. But you know, divine intervention would be fantastic too. Also, if you could check in with Grammie and get her thoughts, I’m sure she has an opinion (as does every other person in the family) She’s probably sipping her Manhattan thinking “quarter life crisis what a crock of bologna.” And she might be right, but I sure don’t feel that way…..

A Giveaway!

March 11, 2010

Okay, so {Dishin’ With Edna} is not quite popular enough yet to have earned a giveaway yet. (I know this is shocking to many of you, but I’m sure Grammie is just smirking up there in heaven, still trying to figure out what a blog is!)

But a blog (and real life, too) friend of mine is hosting a giveaway on her blog for the most awesome stationary ever. I wish I could justify buying a pack of her uber cute notecards for every season and holiday! (On a side note, Ashley Brooke designs if you happen to read this, I would love to win a free blog header design….)

So hop on over to Britain’s blog Simply Southern, to check out this giveaway!

Family,Devil Dogs, and Beauty

March 8, 2010

When {Aunt} Laurene sent me a message that she had Grammie’s “Devil Dogs” recipe and would mail it to me, I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t know that I have any recollection of ever having had one of these made for me. I also don’t think I ever had {Aunt} Margie’s Whoopi Pies. (Which are the classic referred to Swinimer recipes) I do remember chocolate dipped graham crackers with sprinkles….and I link that to {Aunt} Loretta’s wedding reception. I’m just not certain I went to her wedding reception?

Why are memories fleeting moments of clarity that leave a long trail of unanswered questions?

Did you know that baked goods can sense beauty? You didn’t? Oh, well apparently they can according to one of the women in the chapter I advise. That’s what she told her friend while we were making these and she had mastered the “squishing” of the cookies, apparently it had nothing to do with experience and everything to do with beauty.

Luckily, I had the perfect excuse to make these Devil Dogs when the chapter had a retreat and were asked to bring the desserts! We made so many delightful desserts but the Devil Dogs were certainly a highlight.

An extra special treat (for me!) was that I had someone else to help me take photo’s throughout the recipe. Here’s Ali, my photog for the night.

Now, Grammie’s recipe offers two alternatives for the shaping of these. The first is to do like we did and make them in rounds and “squish” the cookie dough so that it’s flat. The second is to use a cookie press. Now because I believe in full disclosure on this blog, I’m going to admit that it was out of complete laziness that I didn’t use the cookie press. Not only is my cookie press in my storage unit (the perils of living in less than 500 square feet) but the thought of getting said cookie press, cleaning it before and after cookie making, and returning it to storage, made my already burdened brain cringe. So I opted for the circle version which looks more like whoopi pies. They tasted no different, but the cookie press would make a BIG difference in production time, as you would be able to avoid processing through this:

Unless of course you have beauty on your side. In which case you will quickly master squishing the cookies.


In case you can’t tell from the above picture, the dough is very, very sticky. I mixed the dough exactly according to the instructions, and used my hands to mix the dough prior to adding the buttermilk. (And please note, the recipe says to use a glass cup dipped in flour, but it resulted in the same mess and we found sprinkling a bit of flour on top of the cookie and using your fingers left less of a mess. Again, Cookie Press = Easier)

After mixing this stiff dough with my hands, I put the dough back into the mixer and added the buttermilk to whip it all together. The end result of the cookie dough was a very moist, but thick dough. (And the fact that Grammie managed this recipe sans a Kitchen Aid mixer has left me in awe of her abilities!)

The frosting on the inside, is admittedly a bit tricky. It took two attempts to get it right, which was partially because I didn’t realize what was involved and left my friend (the beautiful one) in charge. A word of caution: It goes from soupy to toothpaste consistency in the blink of an eye. Make sure you are monitoring the pan very carefully in the first step. You will want to remove it from heat just when you think it is almost thick enough. Because of this misstep, which I thought could be fixed with some whisking, the first batch of frosting was absolutely disgusting. Because I didn’t want to have to make the frosting a third time, I substituted butter for the shortening because the first batch tasted like straight shortening. The butter worked fine, but it doesn’t whip up the same way that shortening would. For this reason, I plan on making them again with the shortening, but the butter worked just fine and resulted in very delicious Devil Dogs, none the less.

Devil Dogs

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Cookies:

1/2 C Shortening

1 1/2 C Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

1 tsp Vanilla

2 3/4 C Flour, sifted

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 C Cocoa

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, use hands if necessary. Add buttermilk and mix well. You may either drop from tablespoon and flatten with a glass dipped in flour (or fingers), or force through a cookie press using the lady finger tip. Bake in a 350* oven about 10 minutes. Put together, sandwich fashion with the following fillings:

Frosting:

1 1/2 Tbsp Flour

1 Tbsp Cornstarch

1/2 C Milk

Cook to thick paste (but not too thick!) then cool until very thick.

Then add:

1/4 C Shortening

1/2 C Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

Beat with electric mixer until very light and fluffy.


My Apologies

February 15, 2010

I have been so delinquent in my postings. The good news is I HAVE been cooking. I just haven’t had the time to then sit down and blog about it. My “real world” life has been getting in the way. Although I know the quickest way to kill a blog is to stop posting frequently….so don’t worry I’ll be getting some posts together over the next few days.

I hope my friends in the Southeast have been enjoying their weeklong snow holiday and that my friends in the Northeast are excited for Presidents Day and February vacation! I will be having my own February vacation as the family I babysit for will be gone for the next 10 days. Wowser!

Next up is Red Sauce V2!

And I lived without this how?

February 8, 2010

I follow a lot of blogs, and how I sometimes find them is a mystery to me. A click here, a click there, and boom a new blog that I can’t live without. Such was the case with 2 Sisters Blog. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I went to Elon with one of the sisters? What a small world, right? When Karen posted about this, I basically ran right out and copied her. And this handy little tool has come to my rescue countless times since.

If you are looking for an all encompassing tool, this is your go to gadget. With options to grate soft and hard cheese, vegetables, and even a zester the options are endless. I have made potato chips, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, zested a lemon, made hash browns and even put cute little chocolate shavings on top of hot chocolate. Additionally, this is one of the easiest box graters I have ever used with a comfortable handle and complete sturdiness to help you make short work of the 2 pound of cheddar cheese that needs to be grated for tonight’s chicken bake recipe.

A deeper appreciation..

January 30, 2010

You can understand now why I felt the immediate need to type up this recipe. And why I had to do some “figuring”?