Wednesday, July 20, 2011

In (and out) of the kitchen

Too hot to cook, dinner out tonight!

Our house has been preparing for company that could be arriving any time on Friday. A very good friend of mine (and former co-worker) along with his girlfriend, and their dog will be coming up from North Carolina to spend a long weekend with us.

I have to admit, I am a bit nervous about having company again after our last experience with house guests and how long it took us to recover. I've been mentally weighing the pros and cons about this visit compared to our guests from May. I know it isn't fair, but I am so afraid that our visitors wouldn't be happy here. I know that the previous situation and the upcoming one are completely different, but I still worry. And I still feel bad that I am critical of my friends who visited in May (but really, there are so many things that went wrong that visit, I just am not over it yet -- sorry).

This visit with our friends should be interesting for many reasons: 1) This heat wave that has a firm grip on the nation is putting us Michiganders through our paces (tomorrow is going to be the worst day, but relief is on the way), 2) My friend's girlfriend is vegetarian and I don't have many vegetarian recipes (but I am ready to go with new things to try), and 3) They're bringing their dog and I am not sure how she will get along with our dog (I bet swimmingly -- they're just too alike in many ways).

So yes, what was supposed to be simple tidying this week has turned into full blown scrubbing. For example: I decided to clean the coffee maker this morning. It's not filthy, I cleaned it two weeks ago, but I just had to clean it today. Oh and there is the complete emptying of the fridge, scrubbing it down and re-stocking I did yesterday. And lets not forget the re-organizing of the cabinets and drawers. Because, of course, my friends are going to worry just how sparkling my coffee maker is, or if there are food crumbs in one of the drawers in the fridge, or if my drawer with parchment paper, foil, and wax paper is organized (from smallest box to largest, mind you!). I really don't know why all of this was so important to me!

Chase has been a trooper all week and has been asking constantly if there was anything else he could do to help me. Today, despite the rising temps outdoors, we decided to make cookies for a nice treat in the evenings. So, looking for a change, Chase and I made BBQ cookies.

No really, before you cringe and make faces,  trust me these cookies are fantastic. Four years ago my stepsister, Molly, entered a KC Masterpiece cooking contest being held at the NC State Fair (she's been entering every year and comes up with the most amazing goodies). So she entered a cookie recipe she came up with that uses BBQ sauce and won first prize! I'll share the recipe with you all, and really, you should try them before doubting ;)

Barbeque Spice Cookies, 1st Place
Molly Jarman

1½ cups butter (3 sticks)
½ cup KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 cups of flour
4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup turbinado or granulated sugar

Melt butter in a large bowl. Add BBQ sauce, sugar and eggs to melted butter and beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda and spices. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until flour is incorporated. Refrigerate several hours until the dough is firm. Make dough into small balls (3/4- inch diameter) and roll in turbinado or granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until firm. Refrigerated dough can also be shaped into a 1-inch thick roll and sliced. Dip the slices in sugar before baking.

To reward us for all of efforts this past week, Steve took us out to dinner. I'm extremely thankful for the break from stuff at home, especially since this afternoon I started to develop another migraine that isn't wanting to be shaken just yet. Sushi was such a nice treat!

On that note, I am going to put myself to bed early. Goodnight, all!


  1. Have fun with your company and good luck with the two dogs becoming best of friends!

  2. @Swanski

    Thanks! I really hope they get along. *crosses fingers*

  3. We have been having many hot days too! Your cookies look very interesting..I would try them but our family had to give up sugar:(

    Blessings to you,


  4. @Anonymous I think everyone is definitely ready for a break in this heat!

    Hmm, do you use any sugar substitute like agave nectar, Renee?

    I was thinking the next batch I would try with a sugar substitute.

  5. I have got to make the cookies for my barbeque loving family! I have one son who puts the sauce on everything!
    You sound like me when preparing for company and I do hope you don't tire yourself out so you can have a great visit! xx

  6. @Tracey Let me know how your family likes the cookies when you do make them. They are really quite tasty.

    Thankfully the last of the cleaning finished last night so Chase and I will reward ourselves today with a nice break. I think I use the excuse of company coming to put my house through a deep clean!

  7. Hope the visit goes well. You would be horrified if you ever visited my house...I am a terrible housekeeper. :)

  8. @cpcable

    Haha, oh trust me Courtney, my house is never in order (I think it was the day before we moved in, lol). I try to make it more presentable when I know people are coming, but day to day? Nope, it's a madhouse ;)