In the Kitchen With Peajewel

peajewel and daughter

Peajewel and her daughter eating homemade soup

What's cookin' in your kitchen? I want to know! That's why I'm going to talk to a CafeMom each week to see what kinds of yummy food you are cooking up for your families.

First up in in the hot seat is Peajewel, mother of two and grandmother to one.


CM: What is your kids' favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 

Both my children love to eat just toast and tea for breakfast. Of course they love dipping their toast in the tea—that is the secret to making it yummy. My hubby makes fun of us because we all put milk in our tea, but I love it. The only way I can get either of them to eat eggs is to make a "bird's nest." I know it has many other names, but it is where you butter both sides of the bread and then cut a hole in the center and crack the egg so it goes into the hole in the bread.

CM: What is your kids' favorite thing to eat for lunch? 

My daughter would pick mac-n-cheese and not mine; she loves the one from our local grocery store's deli. Or she would pick grilled cheese. My son would probably pick my chicken pot pie.

Peajewel's daughter eating soup

Peajewel's daughter eating soup

CM: What is your kids' favorite thing to eat for dinner? 

My daughter loves city chicken and mashed potatoes. My son would pick grilled steak and baked potato followed by any yummy treat for dessert—I think his favorite would be buckeyes, though.

CM: If you could eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

I would pick toast and tea hands down. Second would be jo jo's, which (for those of you who don't know) are potato wedges with some kind of breading and then they are deep-fried. Oh so bad for you but very yummy!

CM: What is the last birthday party you had for one of your kids and what was the theme? 

I JUST had my daughter's second b-day on January 3, and her theme was "Backyardigans." She loves them. Not a lot of kids showed up so there weren't really any games, just a bubble machine and they chased bubbles around my living room. I cheated on the food because I was worn out from Christmas dinner and our New Year's Eve party so we ordered pizza, fried chicken, and jo jo's. 

CM: How did you learn how to cook? 

I am self-taught.  My mom (please don't tell her I am saying this) has never been much of a cook. She offers things cooked one way and that is burnt! So we ate out a lot when I was growing up. One day I had a recipe that looked yummy, so I tried it out. I had so much fun making it, I just started trying everything I could get my hands on.

Peajewel's husband

Peajewel's hubby

CM: What is your favorite cookbook? 

I have many recipe books, and if I had to choose one of them I would pick my Favorite Brand Names Recipe Book. But what I go to most is my three-ring binder that has recipes I have collected over the years. From ones I rip out of magazines to ones given to me from my neighbor or my friends. Then I add notes to them that I reference every time I make whatever it is. For baking, I have one that is called the Cake Mix Doctor and I love that one. You can make any boxed cake with a twist!

CM: If you could meet one celebrity chef who would it be? 

Chef Gordon Ramsay. I love him. I think he is the "Dr. House" of chefs. He would probably make me cry but I know I would learn so much from him, it would be worth it.

CM: What is one thing you can make better than everyone else? 

Everyone loves my chili. My hubby, who is the world's pickiest eater, would say my grilled cheese sandwich. The whole thing involves the way you turn the bread on the griddle and how you cut the two pieces of cheese that go onto the bread and the fact that the bread must be frozen for it to grill correctly. It took me many years to perfect his grilled cheese sandwich, but I have finally done it. 

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