kayla kakes

This food blog is a way to share recipes, opinions, and stories about cooking/baking.

Let’s talk food

This is my very first post, to my first blog ever.  I’m not really sure where to begin.  I am a home cook who enjoys cooking for my one year old, who loves food.  I like to make a wide variety of things for her so she gets used to different foods at a young age.  She is by no means a picky eater.  She absolutely loves food.  She acquired her love for food the moment I first fed her a jar of baby food.  She got extremely excited, and her love affair with food began.  I enjoy watching how excited food makes her, and it inspires me to not only cook more, but try out new recipes…healthy and not so healthy.

I am a mom to my daughter, Kayla, and my three dogs. I am a wife of 2 1/2 years. And my mom lives with us. So we have a full house. Things are never dull around here. I also watch my 2 year old nephew a few times a week. I live in Illinois. I was born and raised here in the midwest. I have a degree in journalism, that I don’t use. I worked in downtown Chicago for 5 years in insurance. Then I worked in the suburbs for a year still working in insurance and medical billing, until I had Kayla. Now I either work from home or focus on studying (I’m going back to school), while I stay home and raise my daughter. Raising her is the best job I could ask for and I love every minute of it. I love to cook and bake. If I had the money and time, I would start my own cupcake business. But I don’t have the money or the time, so I will continue to bake (and cook) for my family and friends.

My blog is named Kayla Kakes, which is a nickname one of my friends gave my daughter. Since a lot of my cooking and baking is now done with my daughter in mind, I thought it was a fitting name for my blog.

Now let’s get down to business. This blog is primarily to talk about food and cooking. I may sometimes blog about my family and friends, current events, or other random stuff that catches my interest…but my reason for creating this blog is to talk about food. I am not stuck up when it comes to food. I like good old fashion home cooking. I like southern good and comfort food. I don’t believe you have to spend a ton of money to make a good meal. I think you can enjoy unhealthy food in moderation and that it is an individual’s own responsibility to make sure they know their limit. I am not here to inspire anyone to eat healthier. I am not here to tell you to forget your diet and eat something bad for you. I am just here to talk about food, recipes, and what I like to eat. You don’t have to agree with me…and if you don’t, just move on to someone else’s blog. That’s fine with me. But if you love good food, please feel free to share your comments, share your recipes, and share your stories with me.

We currently have snow in Illinois, so it’s cold and nasty out. I thoroughly enjoy a bowl of soup, chili, or stew in the winter. There’s something about it that makes you feel warm and cozy on a cold winter’s day. Yesterday, I made chili in my crockpot. I like to let my chili cook for hours in my crockpot so all the flavors can come together. I made my chili a little different this time. Instead of just having ground beef, I added some pulled pork to add a different flavor. My chili is fairly simple. I do about a pound of ground beef seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, an undrained can of fire roasted tomatoes, an undrained can of diced tomatoes with onions and garlic, half a drained can of light kidney beans, half a drained can of dark kidney beans, fresh chopped bell peppers (green, red, and yellow), fresh chopped onion, minced garlic, garlic salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, a little bit of taco seasoning, and a generous amount of hot sauce. I basically season to taste.

My husband and I like it kind of spicy, but my mom (who lives with us) doesn’t like her food too spicy. So you can make it spicy or mild, depending on your taste.  My chili is one of my husband’s favorite dishes. I usually serve it with tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Another way I like to serve it is with macaroni and cheese. I get a bowl and put macaroni around the inside of the bowl in a donut shape. I fill in the inside of the donut shape with chili. So basically you have chili in the center with macaroni and cheese going around it. It’s a nice presentation, especially if you have guests over for dinner. If you’re someone who loves potatoes, you can do a mashed potatoes and chili bowl. I put a few spoon fulls of mashed potatoes in a bowl and pour my chili over top of it. My daughter loves this. My mom prefers to just make a big baked potato and put the chili on top…making a chili baked potato. I guess it’s all a matter of preference.

The other day, I made rum balls. I usually make rum balls around the holidays, but I didn’t get a chance to this past year. My favorite rum ball recipe is by Emeril Lagasse. I tweak it a little so that it’s more of the way I like it, but his recipe is my base recipe. I tried other recipes in the past and they just weren’t as good, in my opinion. I get lots of compliments about my rum balls, so I figure I must be doing something right. One of the things I prefer to do is leave out the part about rolling the rum balls in confectioners’ sugar or in cocoa powder. I don’t like getting messy when eating my rum balls so I prefer to leave them uncovered, or to dip them in melted chocolate as a finishing touch. Even better, dip them into melted chocolate, then roll them in some finely chopped nuts. This is great if you’re having a party. They look like ones you would buy from a candy store.

I haven’t decided yet what I plan to make for dinner tonight. I was debating about making a pizza, or maybe a panini sandwich. Decisions, decisions.

(This blog was previously posted on blogger.com and moved over to wordpress.)

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