Tag Archives: comfort food

Looking For Spring?


So this was the scene outside my office window after midnight last week. I looked out at 11:44 p.m. and nothing on the ground. At 12:30 a.m. this is what I saw.  Sneak attack snow storm! The third or fourth of the week.

by Kimberly A. Cook

That makes two of us. We had rolling snow storms last week, the arctic equivalent of the movie “Ground Hog Day.” The daffodils were not prepared and tried to go back in the ground. Didn’t work.

I ended up doing combat grocery shopping last Tuesday during the morning snow storm to avoid going out in the afternoon snow storm. When the snow shows up in Oregon, we go to the store and stock up, on donuts. Those shelves were stripped bare. Not a Ho Ho in sight.

And now I am two days into Olympics withdrawal. I suddenly have all this time on my hands. Except I do have a bunch of Hallmark movies on my DVR again after the Olympics. Spring better come soon or I won’t be able to get out of the LaZBoy.

But I have been able to do a ton of reading and writing. How fun. Nothing like being trapped by a snow storm to give you the excuse to read. And munch donuts. I did not buy donuts. I bought Marion berry pie. The cookies were a gift, so I’m not responsible.

Did slog out in one of the snow storms to buy more Fairy Rock Garden accessories. It was a fifty percent off sale and I had an additional twenty percent off coupon. Almost free! I drive a Subaru because I have to get to fairy garden equipment sales in snow storms. Makes complete sense to me. Fewer pesky shoppers in my way too.

Fairy Rock Garden bling makes me happy. Planning for warm weather activities makes me happy. Spring will come again!

Got Spring goals?


Filed under home

Comfort Food Here I Come!

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@  WarriorTales)

Between the time change, sick cat, election day, my job and Veterans Day last week, by the time Saturday arrived I could have used a cattle prod and a six-pack of energy drinks to get out of bed. Luckily a new purchase arrived and I was feeling dangerous.


Little Red bravely doing the water test. Such a trooper.


My mini pressure cooker. Two quart size. Nickname – Little Red. Since I’m trying to increase my cooking skills, I never would’ve attempted this piece of equipment but it’s small. Figured I might be able to handle it. Maybe.

First I had to go through the precautions and initiate a water safety test. Felt like I was back on drown-proofing duty in the Army. Thirty minutes later I hadn’t blown anything up or had leaking machine parts. Fabo!

Next on to real food. One of the many things that hooked me while watching this little gem on Home Shopping Network, HSN to us loyal fans, was being able to cook things quickly and keep the nutrients in without firing up the big oven.


Even I can cut up potatoes. Love the skins for fiber and taste. How festive. 


Decided to go for mashed potatoes on my maiden voyage. Cut up my favorite red potatoes, skins and all. Put in water. Locked down the lid. Pushed the potato button. How easy is that? Waited. About ten minutes later it beeped at me. Perfect potatoes!

I smashed them with the egg salad maker since I didn’t have a potato masher; then added milk and butter. Next was pepper and done. Wonderful. Ate the leftovers most of the rainy week. Emboldened by my success, I promptly purchased a potato masher. Every girl should have one.


After the mash and before the ingredients. Can you smell the starch?


Think next I’m going big time, moving up to frozen pork chops. Little Red will cook frozen foods, just have to add time from the list in the book. Think I can handle the math.

Figure the worst that happens is I have to wipe pork chops off the kitchen ceiling; but since I haven’t fixed the ceiling yet from the peeing furnace that got torn out, who cares?


Mix up the pepper and done! Actually, I could carry the entire mini pan and eat out of it, but I chose to go with a plate. Bring on winter!  


Supposedly one can bake cakes, pasta and chicken wings in Little Red too. Seems I’ve hired a cook in the kitchen while I watch Football. Perfect.

Viva la Pressure Cooker! Viva la Comfort Food!

Got steam?




Filed under Food

In The Mood For Chicken And Dumplings?

by Kimberly A. Cook                     (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

We are in the full court press run up to the holidays and things are getting wacky. From crazed drivers to potluck parties and trying to get two minutes to think, taking a break is a great idea. A comfort food timeout is even better.

Dumplings cooking away on the stove, right before the lid went on. Can you smell the magic?

Dumplings cooking away on the stove, right before the lid went on. Can you smell the magic?

I’ve been trying to make chicken and dumplings for two months and I finally accomplished it Sunday.

My co-worker gave me her quick and easy recipe which included using meat from four leftover baked chicken thighs, 6 cups low sodium chicken broth, 1 bag frozen peas and 1 bag frozen corn, 1 drained jar sliced mushrooms, 3 stalks cut up celery, 1 bag cut up baby carrots, minced garlic, 1 small white onion and 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil to sauté the onions and then veggies.

The fun part was making the dumplings. All it required was 2/3 cup of Heart Smart Bisquick mix and 3 tablespoons of milk. Mix together and drop on top of the simmering soup, leave for 10 minutes uncovered and then put the lid on for another 10 minutes and dumplings! Too easy.

When I got home from the day job on Monday night, heating up the chicken and dumpling leftovers in the microwave was super easy and left me to watch Monday Night Football. Sometimes we just need to slow down and smell the dumplings.

You could even put these dumplings on top of canned soup. The possibilities are endless. Try the Crock Pot too. The next best thing to Bisquick strawberry shortcakes is dumplings. So take some time in this busy holiday season to treat yourself. Dumplings for all!

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Filed under Food