This year my kitchen got a much needed, much wanted, much dreamed about, much anticipated makeover! (Can ya tell I was excited?) I honestly don't know which part I was more excited about...its a toss up on several areas. First was the NEW, large, convection oven with flat cooking surface on the top. My original oven was tiny and cooked unevenly on the one rack we could use in the middle. If you cooked on the top rack, the tops of everything burned ~ cooking on the bottom rack resulted in burned bottoms of everything. And sometimes, even the middle was unpredictable. We love to cook and bake so this presented many problems. Also, Greg had to mutilate some of my cookie sheets, so that they would even fit. Enter, Donna's new toy! Now some folks just may not get this excited about a new appliance but I did.....hence the picture!
This oven is great! I can cook of 3 different racks at the same time! I can cook 2 pans of cookies together on the same rack. Its a miracle! And now, you may be wondering about the fate of my former, tiny wall oven. Its still in the kitchen. Its the storage "cabinet" for my Pyrex & Corning Ware dishes. Works well for me!
My next favorite renovation was the kitchen floor. The kitchen, dining room, & entry hall were all covered with a faux brick tile. I can honestly say...I hated it. It was uneven and uncomfortable. Standing on it for too long a time, made my feet, legs, & back ache. So my wonderful family took great pleasure in busting up the tile. (Its a great tension reliever) Thats was a mess quite like nothing I had ever experienced. Then Greg bought me these gorgeous, flat, easy on the feet tiles and they were installed on the kitchen floor. Before these were purchased, I tested them in the store. Many tiles look flat but aren't really, these passed the test. The grout is done and its the color of mud. Thats the best way to describe it. We've got 7 kids & 2 dogs. Mud colored grout worked well for me. And if you look closely at the counter tops, you can see that they were resurfaced with a beautiful granite looking formica.
Today my new beautiful kitchen will get another workout. The girls & I are cooking Christmas goodies. On the list is Haystacks, Brownies (both of those the girls bribed Rob with for him rearranging their furniture), chocolate chip muffins & cookies, fudge, and Christmas Crunch.
Here is the recipe for Christmas Crunch
16~2oz. squares vanilla candy coating
6 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Cheerios (original)
2 cups pretzel sticks (we usually break into thirds)
1 3/4 cup mini m & m's
Microwave the candy coating at high for 3 minutes or until melted, stir after 2 minutes.
Combine cereals & pretzels in a bowl and stir. Pour melted candy coating over cereals and mix well (a wooden spoon is great for this step). Then add the m & m's and mix again.
Spoon mixture onto 2 wax paper lined cookie sheets (with sides) and let cool in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Break into bite sized pieces and store in an airtight container.
*You can also add 2 cups cashews, but my family just prefers the cereal and pretzels. I add the m & m's last because they tend to melt and bleed into the chocolate if you add sooner.
My kids and husband love this treat and it usually doesn't last too long!
Or as Julia Childs would have said "Bon Appetite"