February 4th: Make Something

I have been on the hunt for a spice rack for a while now. Since I have been cooking and baking more spices have been piling up in my cabinets. Often it is hard to find what I am looking for because there is no organization.

It is quite ridiculous that I have not been able to find just a simple rack. Almost all of them already have the spices included and I don’t need them. I just need somewhere to put them.

Today, I was at a store looking through arts and crafts section and came across magnetic adhesive strips.

And I thought. It would be so simple to just adhere a strip to the back of spice bottles and then organize them in the side of my fridge.

So I did it!

So I did it. So simple. So cheap. And I feel a little more organized!

February 2nd: Make Someone a Cake for Their Birthday

I have been wanting to do this forever. A lot of adults, or at least adults I know or hang out with don’t do birthday cakes on their birthday anymore. So I just love the idea of doing that for someone.

Of course, I asked my friend Nathan, whose birthday just passed, what his favorite cake was so I could make him his favorite! He responds… “I don’t like cake”. What a bummer. But he did proceed with, “but I do love banana cream pie.

Say no more.

Birthday Banana Cream Pie it is!

I have never made this before or even eaten it for that matter. I think it came out pretty great. I had never blind baked a pie crust before, so that was a new experience, and I wasted the first one.

But I supposed all that matters is Nathan enjoyed it!

January 31st: Make Keeter Banana Peanut Butter Coffee Cake

Man, I’m knocking out a lot of my cooking deeds early.

Over the holidays I was cooking quite often. Sometimes for money, sometimes for people that were going through hard times and I felt could use some treats.

Jason Keeter, is a regular of mine at my job, and kept asking for a Banana Peanut Butter Coffee Cake. I spent a good amount of time looking forward a recipe, and low and behold I came across this one- Recipe.

Pretty basic. I mixed up the ingredients. (Added chocolates chips because what goes better with banana and peanut butter than chocolate!)

Then added crumb topping.

Then baked.

I can’t wait to share it with my friend and see how it tastes!

January 29th: Discover a New App

For Christmas I got an Instant Pot! I have used it multiple times since then on Crock Pot settings but have yet to dive into the depths of the Pressure Cooking.

So I found a new app today with Instant Pot recipes. Hopefully it can inspire me make some food!

If you too are looking for recipes or tips and tricks, when you go to the App Store there is a TON of options for apps. I downloaded most of the free ones and went through them until I found one I liked the most. Which happened to be-

January 24th: Make Pancakes

As a single woman I don’t often do some of the traditional things that families might do on a regular basis- like make pancakes. Maybe that is a stereotype but it’s just not something I think about regularly.

I remember when I was growing up my mom and dad made pancakes on the weekends. It was different from the normal weekday craziness when everyone was rushing around to get to school or work. We would all gather around the breakfast table and eat together rather than grabbing a cereal bar or scarfing down a bowl of something.

As an adult, of course, I’ve eaten pancakes but it’s not something I think of as a ritual or something I would do for myself at home. So I thought I would take the morning to make some for myself and have a nice little breakfast.

I have much respect for my parents and my siblings with kids- pancakes are not easy to make! But delicious all the same.

January 19th: Discover a New Bakery

This is actually on my list every year and just get added back every year because who doesn’t like discovering a new bakery.

So, I just typed bakery near me into google and found this little spot – Rheinlander Bakery in Olde Town Arvada – which is such a cute little neighborhood.

Right now, because of Covid there are so many different restrictions and lots of cafes have outdoor seating, which makes the neighborhood even cuter.

When I went inside I was even more in love. They are very prepared for Mardi Gras right now with lots and lots of decorations and French Quarter treats, including coffee grounds and beignet mix from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans (which I love!)

I also really loved that you could see them baking right out in the open.

But what I loved most of all were the treats. I just got a few tortes but will definitely be back to try other things, maybe even a king cake for Mardi Gras in a few weeks!

If you are in the Denver/Arvada area I highly recommend this place. Aside from it being so cute and delicious the staff was very friendly and quick!

January 15th: Make Homemade Soup

The end of last year and coming into this year has been a time of cooking, baking and creating all kinds of new food for me! I think I even talked about it in an earlier post about how I have been cooking casserole or dishes for a regular customer of mine weekly. It has been pretty great because it has provided some extra income while the bar (and all restaurants) have not been as profitable.

So I made some homemade soup!

Found this recipe and wanted to try it. Cooking Classy – Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.

It turned out great! And pretty easy to put together.

January 9th: Start a Recipe Box

Anyone that personally knows me, knows that throughout covid I have been cooking and baking like a crazy person. Over the holidays when business was slow at the bar I even made a little business out of it, cooking cakes, cookies and pies for people. I even have one regular customer now who orders casserole dinners from me once a week. I take pride that I actually feed this person meals on a regular basis.

With all of that said, I have been making new dishes and baked goods on a regular basis. I often have to search my phone over and over again foe recipes. I have some regulars at the bar, who very sweetly bought me a recipe box with cards to keep track of everything.

So now, I need to fill it with all the recipes I have been accumulating so I don’t have to search for them online every time. I am very excited about this. Let me know if anyone out there has recipes to share!

January 5th: Make French Toast

I will leave this one behind as something I get when I go out to brunch. It wasn’t horrible but I have definitely had better.

I got a simple recipe online: Add a Pinch – Perfect French Toast.

The recipe was easy and delicious but the cooking time was what I had a problem with. It said to cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. I did that and the toast had a nice golden/brown color, but the inside was mushy.

Maybe I will try again another day but for now, I’ll continue letting brunch professionals make me French toast (which, I cannot even remember the last time I actually ate French toast and I really don’t have it often, but it is a splurge kind of thing so when I have it I want it to be spectacular…)

January 8th: Bake Homemade Bread

Anyone that knows me personally knows I have been on a major baking kick.

I got a BEAUTIFUL Kitchenaid Standing Mixer on Black Friday this year and have been obsessed with baking. For Christmas I made over 10 dozen cookies, a cheesecake and doggie treats for all my doggie parent friends.

Today I made some bread. I did not make it from scratch but got a premix for pumpkin bread. I decided to batch it as muffins instead of bread so it is more easily shareable with friends.

So I’m headed out to work for the day. Ate some pumpkin bread for breakfast to check off my breakfast for the day, walked Bella (who is getting even better at sitting) and even took some time to clean up the yard a bit this morning which will soon be a big task on my list to check off.

This year is moving quickly, just trying to keep up with something everyday!

January 11th: Make Hot Chocolate from Scratch

I have gotten a little backed up on posting but it does not mean I have not been actively checking things off my list. I suppose one task I should add to the list is keep my blog up to date. So I suppose today I will aim to make that happen and back date my postings.

So Friday, January 11th seemed like the perfect day to make some homemade hot chocolate! We had six inches of snow in Denver! Although much of it did not stick because it was so warm out, it still felt like a great day for some cocoa!

I found this super simple recipe online: Best Hot Chocolate from Scratch and went for it!

Gathered ingredients:

Started by heating whole milk and sugar:

Melted down the chocolate in the microwave:

Mixed it in once the milk started to slightly simmer:

Added a touch of vanilla. And boom- Hot chocolate!

It was decadent. And so easy! Definitely a great thing to do on a cold, winter day!

February 19th: Make Dinner at Home Every Night for a Week

This month I have really started to get into some more of the weekly/monthly tasks. Currently, I am working on spending only cash and not eating any pizza. Both are going well so far.

So today I am throwing in another one, and this one should help coincide with the other two. I plan to make dinner at home every night this week. Sometimes dinner will be from scratch but other times just making something at home, rather than eating out or eating from work (usually mostly pizza) will be beneficial.

My hardest nights will be the weekend because I work late but I just need to make sure I plan and make sure if I have to be at work at dinner time, I make dinner at home and bring it in for myself at work.

Tonight I just made some Mac & Cheese and chicken. Easy enough. Hoping to keep going all week!

What are you doing today? This week? This month?