My Christmas Surprise (And Suggestions Wanted!) - The Ramblings Of A Fledgling Cook Blog at - 293157

The Ramblings Of A Fledgling Cook

My Christmas Surprise (And Suggestions Wanted!) 
Dec. 27, 2012 10:50 am 
Updated: Jan. 3, 2013 7:02 pm
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! The Nettles household most certainly did. The food was great as was the company; the boys got everything they wanted and then some. For me, besides spending time with everyone I love, the next greatest thing was the gift my husband and his boss surprised me with. 

Around here, the adults don't exchange gifts. We especially decided to stick to that this year with me losing my job. It's fine, we've never been one for presents and when we did get them, the other knew what it was (and probably picked it out) beforehand. Well, this year Michael's boss asked him what he was getting me (apparently he'd never asked before and had no idea we didn't do gifts.) Michael explained to him we weren't and he said that just wasn't going to do. So he gave him an undisclosed amount of money and told him to take me out (which he did to my favorite restaurant that night <3) and get me something. At this time, I had no idea how he afforded the dinner but I didn't question it too much.

Now, why the gift meant so much to me. For the past 2 years since I started baking more, I've had to use my little hand mixer (tons of cookies, cakes, etc.) I probably wished death on it 100 times or so, most of the time I figure Michael was out of earshot. Then last week, after all that happened with my husband and his boss (unknowingly to me) - my best friend came over and we were going on and on about her Kitchenaid she got a few years back. I told her I didn't need a name brand mixer, I just wished I had something that was easier on my wrists and time spent cooking! I even bookmarked a few mixers (you know we all have that list of stuff we figure we may never get but we still look at all the time!)

Come Christmas morning (12:01AM to be exact), Michael forced me to open my gift. Low and behold, he'd gotten me what I'd bookmarked for myself. To know he bought it BEFORE I ever did that just blew my mind. He's a simple man, one reason I love him so much. But with the lack of expressing my need for one to him (and underestimating how much he pays attention to my actions) - it was a shock.

Again, I'm not one to go nuts of materialistic stuff but that made my entire month. I guess knowing his boss won't take that money back (although I already told him to offer it) & knowing it didn't cut us short on any bills makes it even easier to love ;)

So my question to y'all - to break in 'Bertha', what should I make? I'm open to any suggestions, I just want to make something special for him for New Year's and figured what better way than to use that. He loves sweets but doesn't like an over abundance of nuts or fruit involved. I know y'all are the masters of recipes so any suggestions are wanted and appreciated! 
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Dec. 27, 2012 11:33 am
I'm going to share a recipe with you that I haven't published yet. It came from my grandmother, and I've had to do a bit of work on it. That generation didn't write recipes the way we are used to! I am still trying to work out the correct amount of flour. I think it needs a bit more than I have indicated.
Dec. 27, 2012 1:44 pm
A nice story and happy you got something really useful. I think you would get a ton of ideas if posted in The Buzz asking for recipe ideas since it's harder to post them here. Hopefully, you'll make some treats for the boss as he seems to like your family. Happy New Year.
Dec. 27, 2012 2:25 pm
Doc Simonson, thank you so much for the suggestion! I'll check that out now. The recipes my mom gave me that came from my grandma (who would be 94 this year, RIP) all had 'scant', 'heaping', 'handful', etc. as measurements. I'm still tweaking some myself!
Dec. 27, 2012 2:27 pm
Thanks ConkyJoe. I have been trying to get into the habit of blogging more on here, so I threw in the suggestions question just in case. I haven't had much luck on The Buzz in the past (apparently I don't ask the right way, lol) but I may try that if I don't get many responses here. I have actually made some treats for his boss in the past but he is a very, very picky person (he's turned down everything we've given him so far due to his diet, which isn't so much a set of guidelines but is a lot of raw items.) He's very good to us all so maybe I can get him some goodies from my parent's garden this coming summer instead. Thanks for the idea and Happy New Year to you as well!
Dec. 27, 2012 3:25 pm
What a great story and a great gift. Try making a loaf of whole grain (healthy) bread for the boss and something decadent for the hubby. FYI, I used my mother's Mix Master until about 3 years ago. It was easily 50 years old when it finally stopped working - and trust me - it was used a great deal.
Dec. 27, 2012 3:26 pm
What a wonderful story and surprise for you. You have a thoughtful husband and he has a good boss. What's your hubbies favorite smell - - cinnamon? baked apples? cookies? Whatever that favorite "thing" is - I would then search out a recipe that has that special spice or ingredient and make that. You've got a wonderful new mixer - and a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime. I look forward to reading your next blog of the special treats you've made with your new mixer. But don't throw out "ole faithful" - - it sounds like that hand mixer is a keeper!!!
Dec. 27, 2012 3:33 pm
Beautiful story Faith N.I'm sure you will put that mixmaster to good use.Your husband sounds like a wonderful man.I like using mine for bread,like BigShotMom says,make a loaf and give it to the boss,and cookies for your husband,but most of all have fun with it.
Dec. 28, 2012 7:35 am
Enjoyed reading your blog-what a thoughtful husband. I had a hand mixer that I loved. It was so old and needed new beaters. (rusted) I couldn't use it anymore. I was mixing by hand. I got a new hand mixer for Christmas and love it. What about chocolate chip cookies or biscotti if you are coffee drinkers. I agree with Manella-send some to your husband's boss.
Dec. 28, 2012 9:55 am
A homemade cheesecake, in a 13 x 9 pan. You don't need a springform pan. When you turn the oven on to warm up place a pan of cold water on the lowest rack, just before you put in the cheesecake add ice to the pan on the bottom to create steam. Works like a champ. I use the Philly cheese recipe with a few personal adjustments, I lower the sugar by a quarter of a cup and add extra vanilla. My husband LOVES it!!!
Dec. 28, 2012 10:39 am
BigShotsMom, that's a great idea! I'm so glad to hear they are just as durable as other brands, I hope to use mine a long time.
Dec. 28, 2012 10:39 am
Luv2cook, he loves cinnamon! He doesn't touch apples but I bet I can find some kind of cupcake with cinnamon that he'd enjoy. He's a red velvet cake lover too but I still don't have the right pans to make a traditional layered one. I definitely won't toss the hand mixer. It was $10 and has lasted me a very long time so far for that price!
Dec. 28, 2012 10:40 am
Manella, ty! He is a great guy, I am so glad we found one another. I will definitely have fun.
Dec. 28, 2012 10:40 am
Lela, I have a few hand beaters too that I use, those are a true workout. I love coffee, he doesn't touch it. But I'll definitely check out those!
Dec. 28, 2012 10:40 am
Emily, hehe, I just made one for Christmas (that's one of the things I was cursing out!) I did it in a 13x9 pan as well. Mine cracked due to moving it too soon and was too mushy, everyone told me a water bath would help next time. I'm assuming you just told me how to do that so I may have to make another (he didn't really care for the one I made - still have some of it left.)
Dec. 28, 2012 11:42 am
My wife used that mixer for many, many years. If our daughter had not given us a Kitchen Aid she would still be congratulations for having a wonderful Christmas and I expect some cookies when I get over that=a-way.
Dec. 28, 2012 11:43 am
still be... using it. And,
Dec. 29, 2012 4:53 am
Wow! Clearly you are in the hearts and minds of your husband and boss!! I have non nut and fruit lovers, as well. You can't beat a rich dense pound cake and you can gussy it up with fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, etc. for those who care to indulge (that would be me! :-))
Dec. 29, 2012 8:30 am
What a wonderful husband! So happy for you!
Dec. 29, 2012 8:33 am
@ Mike, that is wonderful to hear. Congrats on the Kitchen Aid, glad to hear the mixmaster lasted yours a long time! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well, next time you're over SC way, just drop me a line and I'll whip something up ;)
Dec. 29, 2012 8:34 am
Anninlondon, that's how I felt as well, it was a very kind gesture of them both. A pound cake is a wonderful idea, he LOVES my mom's. Maybe I can find one on here (he even eats some nuts if it's in a pound cake, as well as a lemon drizzle on top - I completely forgot about those but he loves them!)
Dec. 29, 2012 8:37 am
And ty Paula, he definitely scored some brownie points :D
Jan. 1, 2013 10:38 am
Hi Faith! Happy Baking to you and yours! God bless your loving husband and his considerate boss! (Please notify AR offices about the above intruder. So rude! I don't know how this happens but it's totally in bad taste.) Love to you and yours!
Jan. 1, 2013 4:43 pm
Sunbeam Mixmaster - my mom used hers for 50+ years - what a great gift!!
Jan. 2, 2013 12:55 pm
@ Cathy, ty, same to you! (And I did send it to spam, that's the 5-6th one this week!)
Jan. 2, 2013 12:55 pm
@ hrbabe, that is awesome, I had no idea they were around for that long! I hope mine lasts equally as long :) (Or even half that and I'll be good :D)
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Faith N

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About Me
Hello! I'm Faith, a 26 year old work from home mom to two sons (7 & 4.) I'm married to my best friend, Michael. We've been together for 9½ years now. I'm not sure how he's dealt with me this long! I mainly cook for my family and a few close friends. I love them all for being my willing guinea pigs. I'm not the best by any means but I love to try anything new.
My favorite things to cook
Most of the stuff I cook could be considered comfort food. Not the healthiest method of cooking but if I can substitute something with a healthier alternative I'll do so. Growing up my family's weekly menu was pretty small. Venison, chicken, hamburger, veggies - anything my parents could hunt, grow or make. Growing up on a farm definitely had its ups & downs. A variety of food was not in the "ups" category. We never went outside the box although I always wanted to try something new but their income said otherwise. We couldn't afford to try something we didn't like and didn't finish. Now that I can enjoy both homegrown and purchased ingredients - I jump on the idea of anything new that sounds good to my family and I.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Two sweet potato pies and a turkey are mandatory at Thanksgiving while white chocolate fudge and a ham is a must during Christmastime.
My cooking triumphs
My sweet potato pie & homemade biscuits.
My cooking tragedies
I will never forget the absolute worst thing I have ever cooked, a Manicotti dish. It was right after we got our own place back in 2005 and I was going to be brave and try something that wasn't Hamburger Helper or Ramen. It had too much seasoning, the noodles didn't finish all the way and the sauce blackened at the end. We tried to choke it down but ended up getting takeout. Since then, I think my skills have vastly improved!
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