Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Before, During, And After' ~ A Little Of What We've Been Up To Lately

Beef Barley Soup ~



Wait, I forgot to take pictures of the beef barley soup 'after', this picture is actually of a 'left over' meal taken a few nights later. Left over beef barley soup mixed in with left over pulled pork. It made a very nice pot luck stew!

Along with garlic bread made from left over hotdog rolls.

Oh, wait ~ MORE after! ~ The clean-up!

There's always that, isn't there? Ray says that I am the messiest cook/baker that he's ever seen! He's right, I can't deny it. This 'leftover' meal wasn't too bad to clean up though. Just a few pots and pans. I always wash my pots and pans by hand, I never put them in the dishwasher, there never seems to be room once all the dishes are in there anyway.

Christmas Cookies ~

(These cookies were actually baked over a few days, and I think the pictures are all out of order.)


My grandmother's recipes, her cookie press, and her broken kitchen spoon:


Pepparkakor dough needs to set in the refrigerator overnight...

...before it can be rolled out...

... and cut into shapes.

And then this little man amuses his Umma while he waits for cookies to bake and cool:

My grandmother's recipe for her chocolate chip cookies (this batch made with white chocolate chips for my husband and my son Erik), and her broken spoon, she gave it to me and said it scoops enough dough to make a perfect sized cookie. She was right!


Ready and waiting for family and friends with a sweet tooth!

More clean-up!

I actually have a lot of counter space, but every inch of it is usually filled! So I took an idea from my sister-in-law, Barbara, and instead of using a drying rack on the counter top, I open my dishwasher door and use it as a drying rack:

Gingerbread Houses ~

Before Jayden & Mia's Handiwork:



Happy, proud faces!


  1. Well done!!! You have been having such fun!!! The gingerbread houses are soooo cute!! Have a grand evening!! Cathy

  2. Gads, it doesn't look like you make much of a mess when you work in the kitchen.

  3. these pictures are amazing - everything looks so delicious and ya, messy too! :-) and so the traditions and memories and chapters continue to be lovingly created. Hallelujah!

    Love to you
    peace and hope....

  4. Couldn't we accomplish 4xs more than we do if we didn't have to stop and clean up so often! I'm a messy cook too. I try to clean up as I go but it never quite works for me.

    Looking at all these great kitchen photos makes me want to just stop over for a visit. Too bad I live on the other side of the map!

  5. Got any of thata soup left?! My fav!! What a busy & fun day, the kid-lings are having a ball!

    Have a lovely winter's day ~
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  6. Well ya know that I admire you for being in the kitchen, a place that I hate to be, so much lately! Beef Barley soup is one of our favorites over here too but I prefer to make it with ox tails! Honestly Eileen I feel as though I gained a few pounds looking at all of your photos, ya thats it, I'll just blame you!!! It all looks so delicious! Oh and by the way, our kitchens seem very similar in that we have lots of stuff all over it!! I think it is very comfy that way! Love Di ♥

  7. I forgot to say how awesome the Gingerbread houses came out! You've got some talent in that house!! Love Di ♥

  8. Thanks for stopping by, girls!

    It has been fun these past few weeks, and I'm not at all the 'Martha Stewart' type, I don't normally enjoy cooking and baking at all (maybe that's because I don't do it well!), but shockingly I have been having fun with recipes! And it's always fun to watch the kids having fun and getting excited over every little thing!

    I think if I ever clear my counters of all the 'junk' I have I might be able to organize myself while cooking, but as far as that goes, I'm hopeless!

    I'll have to remember to take some pictures over Christmas of what my kitchen REALLY looks like when I'm cooking and post them, then you'll believe me (and Ray) about what a messy chef I am!

    Love you all, Eileen

  9. I love photos like the ones you posted, Eileen..."before"..."during"...."after" photos are much fun. Thank YOU for sharing!!!
    I can't get over how much Jayden and Mia have grown. They are beautiful grandchildren....and have a wonderful family. Merry Christmas to you and yours....

  10. those are the cutest pictures! I know, I am too a very messy cook, it seems like I use up all my pots and bowls and if i don't wash and dry as i am going along i have a PILE to clean up! I wish i had more counter space...but then it would just get more "stuff" piled on it while cooking! The ginger bread houses are sooo dang cute it looks like a wonderful tradition that I use to do but now we are moved away....don't get to partake of! Looks like you are well off to a grand start for the holiday visits from friends and family! Talk to you next week before Christmas! hugs and smiles...PS I make garlic bread out of hot dog buns all the time! I LOVED seeing that! :)

  11. LOL... I'm laughing because my hubby says I'm a messy cook. The worst, so you couldn't possibly top me. Your creations all looks so delicious and those gingerbread houses are so cute. Mia and Jayden did such a good job! I pray your little Jayden is feeling better soon. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Merry Christmas ♥