Thursday, December 15, 2011

What would I do without Butter!

I was watching the news the other day and heard that there was a butter shortage. 

I sat at attention and turned the story up.  I was wondering if all the baking I had been doing the past two months (and maybe Paula Dean) had single handedly rid the country of butter. 

For the past couple of months I have transformed into a pastry chef.  I have been making and baking cookies, cakes, pies and cupcakes until my fingers hurt.  I have used more butter in the past two months than I have in my lifetime. 

Most of my recipes call for at least 2 sticks of butter.  I know.  It sounds fattening, but it is so delicious.

But still I am not done.

I could not help but to think that I have more cookies to bake and red velvet cupcakes to make for my sister. I knew I should have stocked up the last time I was at the store. 

They were selling it for 59 cents. 

I knew I should have bought more.

I thought about the kids who were preparing to make gingerbread houses and now they have no butter.  All the pies and cookies that will go unmade.  All the rolls and biscuits that will go unbuttered. 

I had a moment of panic for a second. 

Then I listened to the story further and realized they were talking about a butter shortage in Norway.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cookies! Cookies! Cookies!

I love to bake cookies.
Cookies have always had the power to make me feel better.
There is nothing like a warm chocolate chip cookie and a cold glass of milk.
Everyone loves cakes and pies.  I can bake a fabulous cake. It can be the most delicious cake that I have ever made…there will be some left over at the end. 
When I make cookies, there are barely any cookies left. I always have to try one before I set them out for everyone else or I know I will never get one. 
I always make lots of cookies for the holidays. You can always catch me in the kitchen baking whenever the holidays come around.  I love to make cakes, cupcakes, pies and cobbler. 
Cookies are the dessert that everyone remembers. 
My kids love it when I bake and I love it when they watch me make cookies.  They tend to be my guinea pigs when it comes to new recipes.  It reminds me when I was little and tasting my mother’s new recipes.  Eventually she left all the baking to us and we loved it. 
I prefer to give cookies as gifts for Christmas.  I always buy up a lot of those cookie tins and spend a whole day baking and making cookies for my co-workers, my husband’s co-workers, family and friends. They always seemed to appreciate those gifts more than store bought ones.
My aunt gave me the idea.  She used to send us tins of cookies in the mail.  We could not wait to get them.  I was thinking maybe this year I would send some cookies back to her.  Let her know that I have continued the tradition of delicious cookie making. 
I know that it takes me forever to do all this baking, but I love to do it.  When my family eats my food it makes me happy.  When I can make them things that they love it makes me happy. 
I understand why my mother cooked so much.  We never had very much, but she has always been able to make us delicious food from whatever she found in the kitchen.
I want to be able to do that with my kids. 
I do it by making them cookies.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Now That's What I Call Comfort!

Comfort food is food prepared traditionally that may have a nostalgic or sentimental appeal.”

My mother Patricia L. Padgett passed away almost 2 years ago.  It was a hard time for me, my dad and my siblings. 

We all sought something of hers to hold onto whether it is her jewelry, her clothes, her pictures or her knick knacks.


 I chose food. 

My mother would not be surprised.

My mother’s food was always something that could comfort me.  I believe that is why I love food so much.

 On holidays my sisters and I would stand in the Kitchen with my mother and prepare her food for the whole family to enjoy. 

When she passed away the first thought after some of the grief had subsided was “I need to find her recipes.” I knew that was something she cherished and I knew that we had the love of food in common.  I didn’t need anything else of hers. 

I knew she wanted to share her recipe with the world and that is what I intend to do. 

Food has always been a comfort to me.  My mother’s dishes and recipes had the ability to make everything right in the world.  Even when I had a bad day.

My favorite thing that my mother cooked was her meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it!

I try to give that to my children.  I cook my mother’s food for them.  They know all about her recipes even if they will never meet her.

Comfort food is the food that has something familiar and special for you.  It makes you feel at home and it makes you feel loved.

Food can have that affect.

When it came to my mother I felt her love from the inside out.

That is what I call comfort…

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Cooking With Pat Launches!

Family was very important to my mother Patricia L. Padgett and to show her love she cooked us some of the best meals I have had in my life.  Cooking became a passion for my mother.

When cooking for nine kids with nine different personalities it was sometimes difficult to find meals and recipes that would appeal to us all.  Somehow night after night we were served meals with colorful flavors, rich and hearty and managed to calm her rambunctious brood.

My mother’s dream was to share her recipes and her cooking with the world. When she died an untimely death I saw it as my duty and my responsibility to bring her dream to life.

Cooking With Pat is a series that I have started that does just that. It features her fantastic meals and meals that she and I have collaborated on. 

The first book of the series, Holi-Craze, features simple recipes that my mother and I created that will calm the crazy holiday times and make Holiday cooking seem like a piece of cake.

Sample some of my mother’s recipes by visiting Cooking With Pat on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @Cookingwithpat