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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Apr 29, 2011

By Request - Potato Candy

Recently, a friend was looking at a post and said OOOO, potato candy.  Then informed me that the recipe I have here is not what she grew up with.  She was looking for the rolled potato candy that is filled with peanut butter.  I told her that I had grown up with that candy and my mother's instructions were to, and I quote, 'take whatever leftover mashed potato you have, mix in powdered sugar until you can roll it out, spread it with peanut butter.  Roll it up carefully and cut into pieces'

Have you ever done this?  I used to start with WAY too much potato and would need really obnoxious amounts of sugar to get anything near being able to roll.  So, to keep in simple, I experimented and found the following works well.  Keep in mind, sugar may need to be added, depending on humidity.

1/2 cup mashed potatoes (no added milk, butter, sour cream, etc.  Just potatoes)
2 to 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
peanut butter

Mix together the potatoes and 2 lbs of the sugar.  If it is no longer sticky and can be rolled out, proceed.  If not, add sugar until the desired consistency is reached.

Roll flat.  Spread with peanut butter (smooth or chunky).  Roll up, jelly roll style.  Cut into pieces and wrap in parchment, wax paper or cellophane.

Apr 28, 2011

Au Gratin Potatos

Au Gratin refers to preparing food with a cheese sauce that is then baked, with or without breadcrumbs, until the top is golden brown.  The recipe below is for potatoes, but feel free to substitute pasta.  If you like crumb topped gratin,  feel free to mix 3 tablespoons of butter with 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs and spread over the top before putting in the oven.

  3 Tbl butter                                         2 Lb Red Potatoes, cooked and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  2 Tbl cake flour                                  4 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
  2 Cups 1% Milk                                 4 Ounce Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  Salt, To Taste                                                                          
  White Pepper, To Taste                                                           

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 2 quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. In saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly.  As the liquid thickens, add more milk, until all is incorporated and thickened to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese until melted and remove from the heat. In a mixing bowl, pour the sauce over the sliced new potatoes and fold together.  Pour into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown and  bubbly, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Apr 27, 2011

The Mummy

Everyone is familiar with Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, thanks to the movie.  Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas - very few passed up the chance to feast their eyes on that flick.  It was a good story, too, I am sure.  Never one to follow hype, I never had an inkling to read Anne Rice novels, until now.  The Mummy, Or Ramses the Damned, is a captivating story of 20th Century England combined with Egypt, Ramses the Great and Cleopatra.  It is a rollicking story that keeps your attention to the very end.  If you have not read Anne Rice novels, or if you have only read the Vampire Chronicles, it is time to expand your horizons.

Apr 26, 2011

Venison (or Beef) and Squash Casserole.

This casserole, cooked in a slow cooker, is very healthy due to the squash and venison.  No venison on hand?  Get a lean ground beef.

  2 1/4 Tsp dried thyme                               3/4 Lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
  2 Tsp kosher salt                                      14.5 Ounce Diced Tomatoes, Undrained                  
  3/4 Tsp ground black pepper                     14.5 Ounce Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  5 Tbl cornstarch                                       1 Small small butternut squash,               
  1 1/2 Lb Venison, Ground                          1 Tsp olive oil               
  1 Stalk Celery, Sliced                                                               
  1/2 Tsp Anise Seed                                                                  

Combine thyme, salt, and pepper.  Set aside 1 teaspoon of the mixture and stir cornstarch into the remainder. Toss the Venison, celery, anise and potato in the cornstarch mixture and place in a 6-quart slow cooker, pressing down.  Top with tomatoes.  Peel, seed and slice the squash into 1/8 inch pieces.  Toss squash with oil and remaining thyme mixture. Arrange the squash on top of the tomatoes, making two layers.  Cover and cook 4  hours on high or 8 hours on low

Apr 25, 2011

Cherry Infused Wine Sauce

This is a yummy sauce.  Made with a sweet red wine and dried cherries, it marries the sweetness of these with the savory chicken stock.  Serve it hot with Ham, as listed below, or chicken. 

  1.5 Tsp cornstarch                                                1/2 Cup Sweet Red Wine
  1 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock                                       2.5 Ounce Dried Cherries
  1/8 Tsp ground allspice                                          2 Tbl packed brown sugar

Stir the cornstarch and stock in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth, set aside.  In a 2 or 3 quart pot over medium-high heat, stir together the allspice, wine, cherries and brown sugar and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Stir the cornstarch mixture in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and  thickens and reduces about 1/3.  Serve with sliced ham.

Apr 24, 2011

To Dip or Not To Dip

I Love Caramel.  Unfortunately, now that I make it at home, I only like it homemade.  Maybe not so unfortunately, calorie wise, but I digress.  The caramel below has two options - dipping or no dipping.  If you dip them in chocolate, they taste very much like Turtle Candy.  They are excellent naked, too.  You decide - let me know what you think is better.

  1 Cup Butter, No Substitutes                                          14 Ounce Sweetened Condensed Milk
  2 1/4 Cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed                           1 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
  Dash salt                                                                      3/4 Cup Pecans, Coarsely Chopped
  1 Cup Light Corn Syrup                                                 3/4 Cups Sweetened Coconut

Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper.  Melt butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat; stir in brown sugar and salt. Stir in corn syrup. Slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly until combined. Using a candy thermometer, cook to 248 degrees F (about 25 minutes), swirling occasionally (the mixture will be very bubbly). Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla,  nuts and coconut. Immediately pour into prepared pan.

Let candy cool completely before cutting into 1-inch squares.  You now have a choice:

1.  Refrigerate the candy overnight and dip in chocolate. allow the chocolate can harden.  Wrap as in option two.


2.  Wrap each square in waxed paper or cellophane candy sheets and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Apr 23, 2011

Coconut Cake - a new Easter Tradition

I made this coconut cake for Easter this year and I think this will become my annual holiday tradition.  If you like coconut, this is the cake for you.

  Cake:                                                                       1 Cup Sour Cream
  2 Sticks butter, Room Temp                                        4 Tbl Coconut Milk
  2 Cups sugar                                                              1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut
  4 Large eggs                                                             Frosting:
  3 Cups All Purpose Flour                                            1 1/2 Cup sugar
  3 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder                                            1/4 Tsp Cream Of Tartar
  3/8 Tsp Salt                                                                1/8 Tsp salt
  1 Cup Coconut Milk                                                    1/3 Cup water
  3/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract                                                2 egg whites
  1/4 Tsp Coconut Extract                                              1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  Filling:                                                                      1/2 Tsp Coconut Extract
  3/4 Cup Sugar                                                             3 Cup flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 9x3 inch cake pans.  Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and coconut milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and continue to beat until just mixed.  Divide batter equally among prepared pans.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.

Filling:Stir together sugar, sour cream, coconut milk, and coconut in a bowl until well blended. Place the first cake layer onto pedestal.  Spread half of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer and remaining filling.  Top with last cake.

Frosting:Place sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla and coconut extracts. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle  top and sides of cake with coconut.

Apr 22, 2011

Dog kennel, but no outdoor dog?

Recently, my husband realized the benefit of home grown and home preserved food.  I wanted to garden, but the last garden I had did nothing but give us the healthiest garden in three counties.  This time, I said I would be happy to, but I wanted a fence.  Off to Lowe's we went, where I was promptly told that garden fencing was out of the question.  He suggested that, if we had to see this fence all the time, it should be better quality than standard garden fencing.  Although not immediately, he ultimately suggested that we should get a dog kennel.  GENIUS.  High walls, door, difficult for critters to get in - it worked BEAUTIFULLY.  So, if you want to garden but garden fencing isn't your thing, just get a dog kennel.  I did, and I love it.

Apr 21, 2011

Don't Tell Me

Periodically, while listening to a podcast, I burst out in laughter.  Not so bad when I am out for a walk.  When I am in the office or sitting next to my husband, it generates some stares.  Then it causes me to just rewind and play the podcast for them.  What is it, you ask?  Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.  No, really, that is the name. It is an NPR program that, as they say, is an oddly informative news show.  Go to the Wait Wait Don't Tell Me website, check it out.  Then go to iTunes and subscribe.  You will not only get healthy doses of laughter, you will also learn a few things.

Apr 20, 2011

Mediterranean Pot Roast

The recipe below calls for venison, but is just as good with beef if you don't have any venison on hand.

  1 Lb Yukon Gold Potatoes                                   1 Tsp Salt
  1/2 Lb Baby Carrots                                            1/2 Tsp Pepper
  3 Lb Venison Loin                                               1/4 Cup Water
  1 Tsp Dried Rosemary                                         1/4 Cup Dry Red Wine
  1 Tsp Garlic Powder                                                               

Combine rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and crush with a mortar and pestle or under a heavy glass.  Rub venison with spices and place in slow cooker.  Top with vegetables. Add water and wine. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours or until Venison and vegetables are tender.

Apr 19, 2011

Coffee Cake - you choose the flavor

I make this coffee cake with whatever Jam I have on hand.  This time, I made it with blueberry lime jam (see recipe from July 3).  For the topping, you can toast coconut or chop whatever nut you like.  Mix it up - it can be different every time you make it.

  COFFEE CAKE                                                                      
  1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour                                                   
  3/4 Cup Sugar                                                    TOPPING
  2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder                                    6 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                        1/3 Cup Chopped Nuts OR
  1/4 Tsp Cinnamon                                               1/3 Cup Toasted
  1/8 Tsp Ginger                                                    3 Tbl Flour
  1/8 Tsp Nutmeg                                                  1/2 Tbl Butter, Melted
  1/3 Cup Butter, Melted                                                           
  1 Large Eggs
  2/3 Cup Milk
  8 Ounce Jam                                                                           

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray and flour a 9 inch square baking pan.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in medium bowl. Add butter, egg and milk. Mix vigorously until well blended.  Pour half of batter into prepared pan; spread preserves evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter.  Combine topping ingredients; mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of coffee cake. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Apr 18, 2011

Orange Beef Stir Fry

This is a nice stir fry recipe.  The citrus isn't too strong.  Just don't skimp on the ginger.  Go to your local store, find the ginger root and buy it.   If it is too large, break of what you need if sold by weight. 

16 Ounce Steak                                                   1 Tsp cornstarch
8 Ounce Green Beans, halved                               1 Tbl Orange Peel, Grated
1/2 Cup orange juice                                             1 Tbl Fresh Ginger, Grated
2 Tbl Ponzu sauce                                                2 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tbl sesame oil                                                   1 Tsp canola oil

Trim fat from meat. Thinly slice meat across the grain into bite-size strips. Set aside. In a covered medium saucepan, cook green beans in a small amount of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.

For sauce: In a small bowl, combine orange juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and orange peel. Set aside.
Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to hot skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the green beans; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet.

Carefully add canola oil to the hot skillet. Add meat; cook and stir until done. Remove from skillet.
Stir sauce; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Return meat and vegetables to skillet. Heat through, stirring to coat with sauce. Serve meat mixture with hot cooked brown rice.

Apr 16, 2011


Hop is a very cute movie.  We saw it with teenagers, but the audience was a variety of ages.  From yahoo movies, the summary:

E.B. is the teenage son of the Easter Bunny, and on the eve of taking over the family business, he leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred, an unemployed slacker with his own lofty goals. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in, and Fred finds himself living with the world's worst houseguest. Back on Easter Island, a power-hungry chick who has lived in the shadows for far too long has been plotting a coup to take over one of the biggest jobs in the world. Now that E.B.'s gone, he's got his chance. As E.B. discovers who he really wants to be and who he's meant to become, everything will lead him and Fred in an epic showdown to try and save Easter.

Apr 15, 2011

Brooks Running Gear

My favorite attire for transitioning season as well as to cushion my feet is made by Brooks.  Check out their offerings at

I put 300 plus miles on my first pair of shoes during training and events.  They are now my 'beater' shoes and still going strong.  For the 40 to 70 degree range, I use a lightweight Brooks running 3/4 zip over a tech shirt.  I also use vented brooks hats to keep the sun/weather off my face - especially during those early start events.

Apr 14, 2011


This is a great multi-use flat bread.  Enjoy it by itself, with soup, with hummus or use your imagination.  Can be made plain, as below, or add a clove of minced garlic in to the flour before adding wet ingredients.

  1 Tsp Yeast                                                                              1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  1/2 Tsp Sugar                                                                           1/2 Tsp Salt
  1/2 Cup Water, Warm                                                              1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a small cup.  Set aside to proof, about 5 minutes.  In another bowl, sift together salt and flour.  Add the yeast mixture and oil and mix together by hand until a soft dough forms.  Add additional flour as necessary.  Knead for 3 minutes.  Oil a small bowl with additional olive oil, place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover and let rest until double in size.

Divide dough into 6 pieces and gently roll into flat circles on a lightly floured surface and set aside until cooking surface is ready.

To Cook:
Oven Method:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake on baking stone or lightly greased baking sheet about 12 minutes.

Grill Method:  Heat grill to high heat.  Lightly oil grill and place dough on grill.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, brush raw side with  melted butter or more oil, turn and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes until browned.

Indoor Grill Method:  Place grill (Wolfgang Puck, Cuisinart, etc) in flat configuration.  Heat to 400 degrees.  Cook per Grill instructions.

Apr 13, 2011

Broccoli and Pea Soup

This soup makes 8 servings with about 250 calories per serving.  Goes great with a side of Naan.

  1 Tbl Onion, Minced                                                3 Tbl Pesto
  2 Tbl Unsalted Butter                                               1 1/2 Cup Fontina, Shredded
  4 Cup Broccoli, Chopped                                          1/2 Tsp Salt
  2 Cup Potato, peeled and diced                                 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  2 Cup Chicken Broth                                                1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  9 Ounce Frozen Peas                                                              

Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat, add onions and cook about 3 minutes, stirring until soft.  Add broccoli, potato, broth and 4 cups water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, with cover ajar, for 20 minutes. Stir in peas and pesto;
continue cooking until broccoli is very soft, about 4 more minutes.

Pulse soup with a hand blender OR remove 1/2 of the soup in batches to a blender and blend until very smooth. Return to pot; stir in Fontina cheese, salt, pepper and cream. Can be cooled and refrigerated, covered.

Apr 12, 2011

How to Separate Eggs

Do you have a recipe that calls for egg yolks or whites only?  How do you separate your eggs?  I have tried many methods, shown below, but one thing is certain.  You must keep them separate if you want them to whip properly.  One speck of yellow will prevent your whites from peaking.

When separating eggs, I use three containers:  One to keep the whites in, one for the yolks and one to separate over (sometimes that becomes a fourth, if I break a yolk).

Some options:

Ceramic egg separator:  Crack the egg into the vessel and "pour" the yolk out.  These work okay, depending on the size of the hole.  Too large, the yolk comes out.  Too small, not all of the white separates.

Spoon-Like egg separators:  I have had all manner of these egg separators - metal, plastic, ceramic - some worked okay, but they have the same issues as the ceramic egg separator.

Wire Funnel type:  Looks like a beehive at the end of a spoon.  

Shell to shell:  This can work well, but it takes practice to avoid breaking the yolk on the rough of the shell.  This was my preferred method, until recently.

My preferred method is messy and requires one of three things.  You need help, the ability to crack an egg one handed or you need to crack the eggs ahead of time and put them in a cup.  The third option isn't bad, if you only need one or two.  If you are making an angel food cake, you need 12, do your really want to wash all of the extra dishes?

So, my preferred method is a hand.  Yes, you read that correctly, your very own hand.  You can use your fingers to manipulate the yolk and you get the most possible white separated.  Just remember - if you are wearing rings, to take them off if they are sharp.

This may not be the method for you, but it is definitely the most egg efficient in my book.

Apr 11, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

  Sponge Cake:                                                                           2 Cup half and half
  7 eggs, separated                                                                      1/2 Cup sugar
  8 Ounce Sugar                                                                         3 1/2 Tbl cornstarch
  1 Cup flour                                                                              6 eggs
  1 Tsp vanilla                                                                            1 Tsp vanilla rum
  1 Ounce Butter, Melted                                                            Ganache:
  Pastry Cream:                                                                          6 Ounce Semisweet Chocolate
  1 Tbl butter                                                                              1/4 Cup heavy cream
  2 Cup milk                                                                              

For Sponge Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In two bowls, separate egg yolks, and whites. Add 1/2 of the sugar to each bowl. Beat both until peaked. When stiff, fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Gradually add flour, mixing with a wooden spatula. Mix in the vanilla and butter. Pour this mixture into a 10 x 3 inch greased cake pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until spongy and golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For Pastry Cream: In a 4 quart saucepan bring the butter, milk, and light cream to a boil. While this mixture is cooking, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs in a bowl and whip until ribbons form.  When the cream, milk, butter mixture reaches the boiling point, temper into the egg mixture.  Return to the pan and cook to boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and cover the  surface with plastic wrap. Chill overnight if possible. When chilled, whisk to smooth out and flavor with 1 teaspoon rum.

For Ganache:  Combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a 1 quart pot until melted.
To Finish: Cut the cake into 2 layers. Spread the pastry cream over 1 layer. Top with the second cake layer. Top cake with Ganache.

Apr 10, 2011

Potato Candy

This is a very sweet candy, small pieces are better.  Dark chocolate is a must.  When dipping, break off some pieces to dip and return the remainder to the freezer.  Some coconut will break off into your chocolate - that is okay.  

5 Cup confectioners' sugar                                                      1 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  14 Oz flaked coconut                                                              1/2 Tsp almond extract
  1 Cup cold mashed potatoes, No                                             1/2 Tsp salt
  -Milk Or Butter Added                                                             1 Lb dark candy coating

In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut, potatoes, vanilla and salt; mix well.  Line a 9-in. square pan with non stick foil. Spread coconut mixture into pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into pieces.   Cover and freeze.

In a double boiler, melt candy coating. Dip bars in coating; place on waxed paper to harden. Store in an airtight container.

Apr 9, 2011

Accent Home Repair

Recently, after thirteen years, we had the means and motivation to finish projects that have been in process for 13 years.  Hanging a door, devising a cover for a large access hole in the wall, rehanging a door that left a lot to be desired and replacing a ceiling fan that stopped working was one estimate we needed to have.  Two other times, we had received estimates and commitments, both times the contractor backed out.  This time, when I talked to Brian at Accent Home Repair, I specified that we wanted one estimate for that work and a second estimate for a kitchenette, but the second one may take awhile.  Brian was willing to stop out, give us the estimates, and fit us in - knowing that we may only be doing the small project.   He made great suggestions for the projects and was willing to work with us.  The estimates were returned, and they were more than reasonable.  Ultimately, we did both Projects - complete with last minute add ons of under cabinet lights and another canister light.

Brian and Randy did fantastic work, were very flexible and the care they took in their work was much appreciated.  So, if you are in the Camp Hill, PA area and need home improvement work, call Brian at Accent Home Repair.  From small interior projects, to large exterior projects, he is the person for you.

Apr 8, 2011


Are you making the German Chicken Thighs?  Want some other German food to go with them?  Make some Spaetzle.  I like the recipe by Tyler Florence on the food network site.

Apr 7, 2011

German Chicken Thighs

Tired of Pork and Sauerkraut?  Try chicken and sauerkraut.

  27 Oz Sauerkraut, rinsed and drained                                      1 1/2 Tsp Thyme, crushed
  2 10.75 Oz Condensed Cream Of Potato Soup                        1/4 Tsp salt
  1/2 Cup water                                                                          1/4 Tsp ground black pepper
  2.5 Tbl Worcestershire sauce                                                   2 Lb bone-in chicken thighs, skinned

In a large bowl, stir together Sauerkraut, Soup, Water, Worcestershire, Thyme, Salt and Pepper.   Place 1/2 in the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.  Layer chicken on top and cover with reaming Sauerkraut mixture.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours.  Remove chicken from slow cooker. Remove meat from bones and shred. Return shredded chicken to cooker and stir to combine.  Serve chicken and sauce over hot spaetzle, noodles or mashed  potatoes.

Apr 6, 2011

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

This frosting goes great on yesterday's cinnamon cake or on whoopie pies.

  1/2 Cup Butter, Softened                                                         1 Tsp Vanilla
  1 Lb Confectioners Sugar                                                        1 Tsp Cinnamon
  2 Tablespoon Milk                                                                  

Put butter in a bowl and beat on low.  Slowly add sugar until fully incorporated.  Add milk, vanilla and cinnamon.  Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute on medium.  Up to an additional 2 Tablespoons additional milk can be mixed in if it is too thick.

Apr 5, 2011

Cinnamon Cake

This cake is a surprisingly simple recipe that is just up your alley if you love cinnamon.  Plain or topped with Cinnamon Buttercream frosting, it can't be beat.

  2 Cup sugar                                                            1 Tsp ground cinnamon
  1 Cup butter, softened                                             1/2 Tsp salt
  2 Cup All Purpose flour                                           12 Ounces Beer
  2 Tsp baking soda                                                    4 Ounces Dr Pepper
  2 eggs                                                                     1 1/4 Cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each.  Drop in the baking soda, salt and cinnamon, mix on low.  Slowly add the beer and soda, a little at a time, it will foam and look odd but don't worry. Add the flour and mix on medium speed. Toss in the nuts and quickly stir to distribute. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13" baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Use a cake tester or toothpick to test for doneness. Let cool  completely before frosting.

Apr 4, 2011

Beer Marinated Pork

I had some Yuengling that I needed to do something with, so I marinated pork.  This is a complete meal, done in a slow cooker.  The pork just falls apart when it is done.

  3 To 3.5 Lb Boneless Pork Ribs                            1/4 Tsp freshly ground pepper
  12 Oz Beer, (I Used Yuengling)                            8 Ounce Red Potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  3 Clove garlic, minced                                           12 Oz baby carrots               
  1 Tbl lemon juice                                                  For Gravy:                  
  1 Tbl dried rosemary, crushed                                1/4 Cup cold water
  1/4 Tsp salt                                                           2 Tbl flour

Mix beer, garlic, lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zip top bag.  Add ribs and seal bag. Turn to coat. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Place potatoes and carrots in bottom of 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Transfer pork ribs to bed of carrots and potatoes. Pour ale mixture over all. Cover and cook on low-heat setting 9 hours or on high-heat setting 4-1/2 hours.  Remove pork and vegetables from cooker. Cover; keep warm. Pour cooking juices through fine mesh sieve set over a heat-proof bowl to strain. Measure 2 cups of cooking juices, adding water to make 2 cups, if necessary. Stir together water and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add 2 cups strained juices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Serve sauce with meat and vegetables.

Apr 3, 2011

Painted Feathers

I recently had the opportunity to purchase a painted feather from Gail Savage Painted Feathers and I jumped on the opportunity.  Ms. Savage does beautifully detailed work on various turkey feathers, as well as other mediums.  She is a skilled artist whose work is not only enjoyable, it is also reasonably priced.  Go, visit her website, you will understand.

Apr 2, 2011

Like to Crochet but the hooks make your hands hurt?

Me, too, until I found Susan Bates Bamboo Handle/Aluminum Head Crochet Hooks.  These hooks are great because the bamboo handle give them a little more length and makes them larger in circumference.  Thought you had to give up crocheting?  Try them.  Available at AC Moore, Michael's and Jo Ann Fabrics.

Apr 1, 2011

Mom's canned hot peppers

  1/4 Bushel Sweet Peppers                            1 Tbl Sugar 
   2 - 5 Any variety hot pepper                       1 Tbl Salt
  1 Cup Vinegar                                               1/2 Cups Cooking Oil

Top, core and slice peppers.  When handling hot peppers, use disposable latex or vinyl gloves.  Combine all other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Add peppers and cook until tender.  Jar and seal.