As we get older so many couples decide to “Downsize” their homes. I was thinking that another area we seem to “Downsize” in is our cooking and baking.
So many life changing events cause this to happen. Our children grow up and leave home, we lose a spouse, there could be health issues that cause physical or dietary limitations, or there may even be financial changes that mean the food budget is reduced. These are reasons that lead to the need for downsized cooking/baking.
The first ten years of our marriage, my husband and I were raising 7 children so I always cooked big meals and baked a lot. Over the years, as we became the empty nesters it has been hard for me to downsize our meals. I am making progress on this and having a lot less food to throw out each day. I still love when I can cook big for our family get-togethers.
I am going to be adding a weekly feature to my blog on “Downsized Cooking/Baking”. Each Thursday I am going to do a blog post with shopping tips, meal planning, ideas, and recipes dedicated to cooking for 1 or 2. Hopefully, this will help me to make the adjustment also. I am looking forward to getting ideas from others who have been in this situation and have it mastered.
In 2006 I started entering recipe contests and one that was always a challenge to me was “Taste of Home’s Cooking For 2”. It was so hard for me to create recipes on such a small scale. In 2007, I won the Grand Prize of $500 in one of their Mini Cake Contests. I remember that every day for one week after I got home from work, I baked a cake testing the recipe I had created. After making 7 cakes that did not seem perfect, I just entered my best recipe. I thought it tasted good but I just could not get the size scaled down. I was quite shocked that my entry won. The cake recipe was Coconut Cream Dream Cake.
This is a picture from the Cooking for 2 magazine.
There was a lot of fun and activities at our house last week. My 3 year old grand-daughter got to spend the day with me on Friday. I had baked some Halloween cookies, so she helped me make cookie trays and candy bags to give to people.
She carefully arranged them and re-arranged them many times. She also named each person that was suppose to eat that particular cookie. It seemed that her personal cookie tray was getting larger than the others, so I moved some cookies around when she was not watching.
The past year I have been making this breakfast souffle and wanted to share the recipe. My husband wants to cut back on carbs, so a crustless breakfast dish is just perfect.
My recipe is a basic one but you can individualize your soufflé by adding any ingredients you have available. My grand-children enjoy making their own. I just set up little bowls with ingredients that I know they like, and they fill their dishes with what they want. This is a good recipe for the children to make because you do not have to be exact with the measurements and they will eat it because they made it themselves.
The other half (better half) that lives at Grandma Honey’s house is Grandpa Bob. He is also known as Papaw Bob but he will answer to about anything. I am very honored and happy to be sharing my life and the grandparent journey with him. He may seem to be in the background but he is the foundation of our family.
Our journey in life started a little over 29 years ago when we met on a blind date. I admired him from the first day as he was a single parent raising 3 of his 4 children, working a full time job and was a member of the National Guard. We met in July and got married in September. How could you date with 7 children, school and sports activities and we both worked full time? We knew it was the right thing to do and the gamble paid off.
I am always so excited and feel so honored when one of my recipes is published in a magazine. This week I received 2 magazines from Taste of Home with one of my cookie recipes in each.
I use my recipe for decorated sugar cookies, and decorated these very simple. Some of the grandchildren helped with these.
The second magazine is a cookie swap edition and is full of great looking recipes. I will be trying several of them out this year. The cookie recipe of mine they published was actually one I created a few years ago as an after school snack for some of my grandchildren.
This recipe only has 4 ingredients. If you like chocolate and peanut butter together, this will hit the spot.
- 1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella or Jif)
- 1 1/2 cups trail mix
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 24 cups of mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
- Shape the dough into (24) even size balls, about 1 1/4 inch each. Press each into the bottom and up sides of a muffin cup.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and make an indentation in the center of each cup, using a wooden tart maker or the end of a wooden spoon handle. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove each cookie cup and place on a wire cooling rack.
- Spoon 1 teaspoon of the chocolate spread and then 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into each cup. Top with a tablespoon of the trail mix. Transfer to serving platter and enjoy.
A few weeks ago one of my friends asked me to do some cookies for her daughter’s “Sweet 16” Birthday Party. The theme was a Victoria Secret Theme.
They turned out cute, co-ordinated with her other sweet 16 decorations and cake, and the guests really liked them.
I bought the dog cookie cutter at a kitchen store in our mall and for the other cookies I just used heart shaped and a round cookie cutter. I did not take great pictures as I did not really plan to post them but they are a cute idea so I wanted to share them.
I used my recipe for decorated sugar cookies.
A few weeks ago one of my daughters and I were talking about The Andy Griffith show and Mayberry. She said to me “Mom after your generation no one will even know what Mayberry was about”. I started thinking about it and am hoping that is not true. But do most of the younger generations know who Lucille Ball, Vivian Leigh or John Wayne are??
Everyone around my age (62) grew up watching a show on television that transported us to a magical town called Mayberry.
It was a quaint, little old fashioned town, made up of kind, hardworking people with good morals. There was no serious crime and families were close. People were kind to their neighbors. Children showed respect to their parents and romance was not the sex scenes we now have on television. I know that for myself, I wanted to live my adult life in a place like this.
These Raspberry Lime Cookie cups are not only pretty to look at, they taste delicious.