Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gadget of the Week: Paula Deen 3-Piece Chef Set

Life has been so busy lately! I just took another exam Thursday night for my Economics course and boy, am I GLAD it’s over. I’ve fallen asleep with my book and notes open on my lap every night this past week! My husband was also out of town for 3 days, so it’s been really chaotic in my house! The house is a complete wreck and I spent all day today trying to catch up on laundry! I was hoping to spend this weekend cleaning, but Chase had a derby car race yesterday morning for cub scouts and I baked cakes all day after that!

I haven’t featured a Gadget of the Week in a few weeks, and I’ve been debating on what I wanted to feature next. I wanted to choose something smaller since I’ve been featuring larger electronic gadgets. I also wanted to feature something that I used often.
So, here it is….my 3-piece chef set from the Paula Deen Collection. I am so in love with these knives! They are non-stick and feature a non-slip handle. The set comes with an 8” Chef knife, 6” utility knife, and 3.5” paring knife. I love that they come in the red color because it matches my kitchen – even the blade is red! They also come with a protective sheath, which is very nice when storing the knives. From now on, I will not purchase a knife unless it does have a protective sheath. In fact, I’m loving these knives so much that I probably won’t be purchasing another knife any time soon! The blades are made from high-carbon Japanese steel. So far, I haven’t had to sharpen the knives and I’ve had them for 7 months. Cutting a pineapple is still as easy as cutting butter, and I’ve cut quite a few pineapples!

These knives are available at for $24.97. I think this exact set may be exclusive to Wal-Mart because I haven’t seen it anywhere else. There are similar Paul Deen knife sets at other locations, but the prices were a little higher.

I can’t say anything bad about these knives, and if you happen to be in the market for a new set of chef knives, I think you’d be happy if you purchased these!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oatmeal Bars

These oatmeal bars are soft and chewy and full of deliciousness! The first time I baked these, the kids wouldn't even taste them because they had oatmeal in them. I finally convinced the kids to give them a try and they loved them. They even asked for another batch about a week later! If you are a chocolate lover, I recommend adding the chocolate chips, but they are fabulous both ways!

My stepmom gave me this recipe when I was looking for something different to bake at Christmastime. Thanks for sharing, Renee!

Oatmeal Bars

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups oatmeal
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Optional: 2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large mixer bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and sugar.
3. Add eggs, oatmeal, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla and mix well.
4. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
5. Spread evenly into greased 13x9 inch pan. (I spray Baker’s Joy into pan).
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven off and leave in for 3 more minutes. (It is done when edges begin to turn a little brown. Middle will be very soft until completely cooled).
7.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Happy 101 Blog Award!!

A couple of days ago, I received my very first blog award!! I was so excited and am so honored to have received this award!! It was given to me by JDaniel4’s Mom. Take a minute to visit her blog and check out her latest giveaways!

The rules for accepting this award are to list 10 things that make me happy and to pass this award onto 10 other bloggers. So, here it goes:

Ten things that make me happy (In no particular order):

1. Comments totally make my DAY!
2. I never knew how it felt before, but I now know that blog awards make me very happy!!
3. My readers, whether you comment or not, I ♥ U!
5. My husband, especially for trying all my recipes and being patient as I blog!
6. My children, for being my little guinea pigs!
7. When my husband sends me a sweet text message during the day saying how much he loves me (he just sent one and I started smiling immediately – I ♥ him)
8. The rest of my family! Love them all!
9. My loyal cake customers!
10. Food (of course!!)

Wow, I had a very hard time choosing just 10 blogs, but the following 10 are really awesome, so you should check them out!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Spiderman Cake

You can probably guess what I've been doing lately.  I promise to post more recipes soon, but meanwhile, I'll keep sharing my cakes with you.  I got the order for this cake on Wednesday and had to make it Thursday.  Since time was limited, I used a cake kit for this one.  I usually buy cake kits from Wal-mart.  Yesterday, they charged me $6.50 for the kit, but they JUST went up.  They used to charge $5!  But, that's still cheaper than ordering one online and paying shipping.  When I buy kits, I simply add the price of the kit to the normal price of the cake. 

For this cake, I used the Spiderman Cake Kit, which included the Spiderman figure on the top left and the web ornament on the bottom right.  The rest was buttercream. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Carolina Panthers Cake


I hope you all have had a great day!  Jason surprised me with a sweet card and a gift certificate for a 60 minute massage!  I REALLY need that!  I don't know when I'll have time to get it, but I can't wait!  I cooked him dinner last night before he went to work...salmon and baked veggies.  He said it was very good, so I'll be posting the recipe soon!  By the way, I have such a wonderful husband!  I really think I love him 100 times more today than I did when I married him!! 

Ok, now I'll share a cake I made last weekend for a Carolina Panthers fan.  I drew the logo onto the cake with buttercream.


Black Lab and Flowers Cake

I had an order last weekend for a chocolate buttercream cake with a lab and flowers on it.  It's always challenging to get orders like that.  How can a dog and flowers go together?  And how can I make it look nice on chocolate buttercream?  So, I put my brain and my keyboard to work!  I found a cake that was made by LetThereBeCake07, a member of that had a couple of labs on it.  I copied her black lab because I liked it so much and because I couldn't really remember how a lab looked.  I added the rest of the details, and this is what I ended up with!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mama Dip's Peach Cobbler

I’ve often been asked what my favorite dessert is, and I've never been able to decide. How in the world can you choose just one when there are thousands of delicious desserts?? Well, after all these years, I think I have finally made a decision! One dessert that I could eat and eat and NEVER get tired of is PEACH COBBLER!

I’ve made peach cobblers before, but just haven’t found the “perfect” recipe. I was determined to find that recipe the other day and I think I found it! It’s actually been in a cookbook right in my own kitchen for years. It’s perfect to me, but it really depends on how you like your peach cobbler. Some people like them sweeter, some like them spicier, and some like them cakeier! This recipe is an excellent recipe to start out with and then adapt it to your liking! Personally, I could have eaten the entire pan of cobbler as it was. But, my husband said it needed to be sweeter and my mom said it needed to be spicier. So, like I said, it REALLY depends on how YOU like it!

This recipe comes from the cookbook, Mama Dip’s Kitchen. Mildred Council, or “Mama Dip,” is the wonderful lady behind these recipes. She’s from Chatham County, North Carolina and now has a restaurant in Chapel Hill. Twenty-seven pages of this cookbook are dedicated to the story of her life of cooking. It’s definitely interesting to read. And the recipes…oh, the recipes!! If you love southern cooking, I recommend this cookbook!

Cobbler Crust (Makes top and bottom crust)

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup shortening
¼ cup cold water (I ended up needing more water here – probably more like 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In large bowl, sift flour, salt, and sugar.
3. Add shortening and mix together well until crumbly.
4. Add water and mix to form a moist ball of dough.
5. On a floured surface, roll out half of the dough so that it will fit in the bottom of the pan. (I used 9X13 casserole dish). Press into bottom of pan and prick with a fork several times. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until done.  It should look done but not brown. Cool for 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Add fruit mixture (SEE BELOW).
7. Roll out the rest of the dough and place on top of fruit. Prick with a fork several times. Or roll it out, cut into strips, and make a lattice design over the fruit.
8. Brush the top crust with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
9. Bake cobbler for 35 to 40 minutes.

Fresh Peach Cobbler (This is her exact recipe, but I doubled it for one cobbler, keeping the crust recipe the same).
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup sugar
6 cups sliced fresh ripe peaches (OR substitute canned peaches, drained)
¾ stick butter

1. Mix flour, ginger, and sugar together. Add peaches and mix well.
2. Spread onto bottom cobbler crust (See #6 above).
3. Cut butter into small pieces and dot on top fruit mixture.
4. Place top crust over the peaches and continue with #7 above.


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