Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Bit of Today's Homecooking Post

Today's Homecooking Post is a bit of a departure. Because of the Easter Holiday I went in search of something really special to bake to take to my mother's for our Easter celebration.

Here's a bit of what I wrote on the Homecooking Blog...

I'm not much of a cook. Most of my sisters are. At holidays, we do a smorgasboard. Everybody brings a dish or two. I typically take a salad and a dessert. But imagine...Here I am, sort of unable to cook and my food competes with women who are pros! My mother makes homemade rolls that melt in your mouth and bakes a ham (and sometimes a turkey) for sandwiches. My brother Brian typically makes a huge roast beef (that also melts in your mouth) to be served on my mother's rolls, with delicious gravy.

My sister Helen makes a pasta salad that would make you weep and thank your maker. Tammy is a cake and cookie baker who always comes up with something to die for. My sister Laura is the potato casserol expert. Now, add another six or eight women who all come with an extraordinary dish or two and you understand my dilemma.

Believe me, it's not easy. I've tried bringing Kentucky Fried Chicken and Dunkin Donuts (two of my personal favorite foods) and even they can't compete.

So, I'm always scouring for a recipe that will be good enough to serve alongside my sisters (and brothers!). When I found these cookie bars, I knew I had to try them. And they were a HUGE success. My niece Amy even thought sister Tammy had made them. That's about as good as a compliment gets when it comes to cookies at one of our holidays.

The cookie bars were easy to make and tasted wonderful. So I thank Gretchen Wanek for being so smart and for sharing her recipe and encourage you to go to Pillsbury.com. I've found several wonderful recipes there!


It's not easy being the only uncook in a family of really great cooks. But it keeps me on my toes. I not only search for great recipes; but also I'm not afraid to experiment for you. So for those of you who love new/simple recipes, don't miss the homecooking blog. I only started it a few weeks ago, so at this point we only have 3 recipes up. But imagine what this thing will be like in a few months!

Easter was great. Except that the bottoms of my dinner rolls were a tad doughy and so was my cherry pie. Sigh. I typically make holiday dinner for my husband and children and my husband's parents, all of whom are too polite to say, "Wow, what the heck happened to these soggy rolls!"

I also bought too much candy. I like to have enough on hand for company and for my kids who don't normally eat a lot of candy. We get them a solid chocolate bunny from Gardeners Candies (fabulous candy! This is also the factory I toured as research for my November release...THE MAGIC OF A FAMILY CHRISTMAS...which takes place at a candy factory). But I also have lots of other candy "on hand". Now it's Tuesday and all that candy is beginning to tempt me beyond reason. Is there a law that says you cannot toss perfectly good candy in the trash? If I freeze it, will it sabotage my diet?

I don't know. But I do know that I went mother-of-the-bride dress hunting with my sister yesterday and I got my eyes opened about how hard it is to find one of these dresses. Diana is lucky! She has a great figure and looked wonderful in everything she tried on. As it stands now, with my extra twenty pounds (er...thirty) I'd have about two choices and both of those wouldn't be pretty!

So maybe it was no coincidence that I went mother-of-the-bride dress shopping the same week I'd have a basket full of candy...Hum.


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