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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.

Dec 10, 2015

Peach Ice Cream

Is this best made with fresh peaches?  Yes.  Is it a slice of heaven on a cold winter day when made with home canned peaches?  Absolutely.  With projected temperatures in the low sixties this weekend, I might be inspired to make ice cream for the December heat wave.

4 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
4 Cups Whole Milk
28 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Cups Diced Peaches
If using fresh peaches an additional 1/4 cup sugar will be needed.

In a large saucepan, whisk together eggs, sugar and salt until well blended.  Stir in milk.  Put over low heat and cook until mixture is just thick enough to coat a spoon and thermometer reads at least 160 degrees, stirring constantly.  DO NOT BOIL.  Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a bowl that is sitting in an ice bath.  Stir gently for 2 minutes, add sweetened condensed milk and stir to combined.  Cover with plastic wrap - pushing wrap into the top of the custard.  Refrigerate overnight.

30 minutes before freezing, prepare peaches by mashing (add sugar if fresh peaches, no sugar if canned). Combine custard and peaches.  Fill ice cream cylinder 2/3 full of custard mixture and freeze according to manufacturers' directions, refrigerating remaining mixture until ready to freeze.  Transfer frozen ice cream to a container that allows about an inch of headspace for expansion.  Press plastic wrap into top of ice cream and put into freezer for 2 to 3 hours to firm.

Repeat with remaining custard.

Dec 9, 2015

Cherry Spice Cake

Spicy Cake, Sour Cherries - all topped with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Yummy.  If you don't have buttermilk, get buttermilk powder.  If you use buttermilk powder, put it in with the dry ingredient mixture and use the water you would mix it in as the alternate when combining with the creamed sugar.

1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Cake Flour
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk
14.5 Ounces Pitted Tart Cherries, drained and lightly chopped
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
3 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
2 Tsp Half and Half
1 Tsp Vanilla
Diced Walnuts

Grease and flour two 9 x 3 inch cake pans, set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.  Fold in cherries and walnuts.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a rack and cool completely.

For frosting, put cream cheese in a large bowl and whip.  Add sugar and combine thoroughly.  Add vanilla and half and half.  Spread between lawyers and over cake.  Top with additional walnuts.

Dec 8, 2015

Spicy Southwest Chicken Soup

Smoky Hot taste - not a recipe for those who don't like spicy food.

3 Tbl Minced Onion
1 Tbl Canola Oil
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
32 Ounce Chicken Broth
2 - 15 Ounce Cans Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 14.5 Ounce Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic
3 Cups Frozen Corn
2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, Minced
4 Tsp Adobo Sauce
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp Pepper
2 Cups Chicken Breast, Cubed and Cooked

In a large pot, heat oil.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer.  Add all remaining ingredients except chicken.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add chicken and heat through.

Dec 1, 2015

Pineapple Slaw

A fresh slaw to go on any jerk sandwich or with an jerk meal.

3 Tbl Plain Greek Yogurt
3 Tbl Mayonnaise
1 Tbl Fresh Orange Juice
1 Tsp Orange Zest
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
2 Cups Shredded Cabbage
1/2 Cups Julienned Carrots
1/2 Cup Sliced Red Pepper
3/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Pineapple
2 Tbl Fresh Cilantro

Whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, orange juice, orange zest, garlic and cilantro in a large bowl.  Add cabbage and pineapple, mix well.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nov 30, 2015

Jerk Turkey

Topped with tomorrow's Pineapple slaw and a side of rice, this turkey makes a wonderful, fresh meal.

1 Package turkey breast cutlets
2 Tbl Jerk Seasoning (or more to taste)
Canola Oil

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large, nonstick skillet.  Sprinkle each cutlet with Jerk seasoning.  Add cutlets to skillet, cook 2 minutes per side or until brined and the cutlets are 165 degrees.

Top with slaw and enjoy.

Nov 29, 2015

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

We had a butter pecan cake for our wedding reception (except for the one carrot cake layer mistakenly inserted), so I thought making on for Thanksgiving with the family would be perfect.  If you do not have 9 x 3 cake pans, use 3 9 x 2 cake pans.

Pecan Prep:
2 2/3 Cup Pecans, Chopped
1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Milk

1 Cup Butter, softened
8 1/2 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
5 Ounces Evaporated Milk
2 Tsp Vanilla

Heat 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet.  Add pecans and stir until toasted.  Remove from pan to cool.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream sugar and 1 cup butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Add 1 1/3 cups toasted pecans to the cake batter.  Divide between two 9 x 3 inch pans.  Bake at 350 minutes for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add milk and vanilla, beat until smooth.  Stir in remaining pecans.  Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Nov 28, 2015

Apple Strudel

My mother-in-law asked for an apple pie, but I was out of pie pans.  I offered an apple strudel recipe and I believe she was even happier with the results.

5 Cups Granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 Cup Apple Cider
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Ginger
1 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheet, thawed
1 Egg
1 Tbl Water
1 Tbl Sugar

In a large saucepan, combine the apples, cider, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are tender.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  When the oven is hot, place pastry sheet on parchment and roll to a rectangle no larger than 16 x 12 (mine was only 14 x 11). Use a slotted spoon, arrange apples on lower half of pastry to within 1 inch of edge.  Starting with the narrow edge closest to the apples, roll up jelly roll style.  Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and water.  Brush over pastry and sprinkle with additional sugar.  Score top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Nov 27, 2015

Turkey Brine

After trying several stuffing recipes, my family decided on cornbread stuffing with sausage, cranberries and pecans.  Then we started smoking turkeys and I needed a brine.  I think this year's brine will be our go to option for both the roasted and smoked birds.

1 Quart Water
1 Cup Salt
4 Tsp Herbs de Provence
12 Cloves Garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
2 Quarts Cranberry Juice
1/2 Cup Apple Cider
1/2 Cup Orange Juice

Boil water.  Stir in salt, herbs and garlic.  Set aside to cool.  Once cool, combine all ingredients and put over your bird.

Nov 26, 2015

Fig and Pepper Bread

Have you ever read a book that referenced a recipe that sounded wonderful - and mentioned it A LOT?  I had that recently when i read First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen.  Luckily, at the end of the book, there was a recipe.  The recipe pictured a fresh fig, but did not specify fresh or dried in the list.  I used dried - it still turned out well, but I will try again with fresh, when they are in season.  When using dried figs, add at the same time you add the flour to allow them to be mixed in more consistently.  Also, I did not have unbleached flour, so I used regular.

2 Cups Wholegrain Spelt Flour
2 1/2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cup Coarsely Chopped Figs
2 Tsp Course Black Pepper
2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 1/4 Tsp (1 Packet) Dry Yeast
1 1/2 Cups Warm Water

Whisk flour, salt, pepper and yeast until blended.  Add olive oil and warm water.  Knead for 10 minutes (or use mixer dough hook) for 5 minutes until dough is smooth and springy.

Oil a large bowl, place dough inside and cover bowl with a damp hand towel.  Let sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Softly knead in the chopped figs, shape into an oval and place on a baking sheet.

Snip three shallow lines into the top of the dough with scissors then lightly dust the bread with flour.

Set aside to allow to rise a bit more, turning the oven to 350 degrees.  Once the oven is hot, place tray in oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is slightly brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the underside.

Nov 25, 2015

Blueberry Cream Pie

This pie can be made with frozen blueberries (thawed and drained well) - so it is a nice option for a taste of summer in the dead of winter.

3 Cups Blueberries
9 Inch Deep Dish Pie Crust

1 Cup White Sugar
1/3 Cup Flour
1/8 Tsp Salt
2 Large Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place blueberries in pie crust and set aside.

Custard:  In a small bowl, combine the custard ingredients and mix well.  Our over the blueberries.

Streusel:  In another bowl, combine streusel ingredients.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or pastry fork until mixture resembles course meal.  Sprinkle over the sour cream mixture.

Bake pie for 50 to 55 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire rack.

Nov 24, 2015

Tortellini with Asparagus and Bacon

Can be made in one pan, what could be an easier dinner for two?

4 Slices Bacon
1 Container Fresh Tortellini - 2 servings, if you can find it.
1 Cup Asparagus Slices - 1 Inch
1 1/2 Cup Marinara Sauce
Parmesan Cheese

In a large pot, cook bacon until very crisp.  Put on paper towels and set aside.  Wipe out pan, fill with water and put the pot on to boil.  The Asparagus will need to cook for four minutes, find the cook time for your pasta.  Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta/asparagus at times that it is done at the same time.  For example, the fresh pasta I used needed to cook two minutes.  I added the Asparagus first then added the pasta when two minutes remained.

Drain the pasta/asparagus and return to the pan.  Add sauce and head through.  Divide between two bowls, top with crumbled bacon and parmesan cheese.

Nov 23, 2015

Coconut Cream Pie

Toast your own coconut, stir it into thickened creamy goodness, refrigerate and enjoy!

1 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
3 Cups Half and Half
2 Large Eggs, beaten
3/4 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tsp Coconut Extract (If you don't have coconut, used more vanilla)
1 (9 Inch) Pie Shell (baked)
Whipped Cream

Heat a large skillet over medium low heat.  Add half the coconut to the pan, stir until toasted.  Remove to a bowl, repeat with remaining coconut.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the half and half, eggs, sugar, flour, salt and mix well.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until very thick.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut as well as the extracts.  Pour filling into a pie shell and chill until firm.  Top pie with reserved coconut.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Nov 22, 2015

Apple Butter English Muffins

Making English Muffins at home is quite easy.  Top these with more apple butter, jam or nothing at all.

1 3/4 Cup Warm Milk (110 to 115 degrees)
3 Tbl Butter, Softened
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbl Sugar
1 1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Yeast
2 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup Apple Butter
Cornmeal for dusting

Combine all ingredients except cornmeal in a large mixing bowl.  

Using a stand mixer, beat the dough using a flat beater paddle until it starts coming away from the sides of the bowl and it is smooth and shiny - about 5 minutes (NOTE:  This dough is very soft).

Scrape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with a towel and let raise until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.  

Line a cookie sheet with cornmeal, set aside.  Divide dough in half.  Divide one half into 8 pieces, shape each piece into a bowl and gently flatten until the are 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Place muffins on sheet, sprinkle with additional corn meal.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Put skillet or large griddle over medium low heat.  Heat oven to 400 egress.  Repeat dough process, above, with other half of dough.  When first 20 minutes are up, increase pan to medium.  Line pan with corn meal.  Place muffins in pan, cook for 4 minutes and turn.  Temp a muffin - if not 200 degrees, put in oven for another 5 minutes.

Repeat with second batch of dough.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Nov 21, 2015

Rogelach - LHJ

Again, hubby gets home and asks what the yumminess on the counter was - it was Rogelach.  He then asked - okay, what is this yumminess on the counter...he had never heard of it.  This is a traditional Jewish cookie, sometimes made with poppy seeds, but this recipe uses raisins and walnuts.

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
6 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 3/4 Cups Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Seedless Raisins
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbl Butter, melted

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup butter, cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt, continue to mix until well combined.  Wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a food processor, combine raisins and walnuts, pulse until chopped.  Add sugar and pulse a couple more times to combine.  Cut dough into 9 equal pieces.  Put on one a flat surface and refrigerate remaining dough.  Roll dough into an eight inch circle, sprinkle with some sugar mixture.  Cut into 8 pie shaped wedges and roll to the point.  Place point side down on an uncreased cookie sheet.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Nov 20, 2015

Lemon Cherry Cookies - LHJ

These cookies are similar to a thumbprint but topped with a candied cherry instead of jam.  The faint lemon flavor would allow transition to a thumbprint with your favorite jam.

1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, separated
1 Tsp Grated Lemon Peel
1 Tbl Lemon Juice
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Pecans, Finely Chopped
24 Candied Red Cherries

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg yolk, lemon peel and juice - beat until well blended.  Gradually add flour and beat until well mixed.  Wrap and chill for at least three hours.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Divide dough into quarters.  Divide each quarter into 6 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball, dip into slightly beaten egg whites and then into nuts.  Place onto a cookie sheet.  Insert a cherry into the center of each.  Bake 15 minutes or until lightly brown on bottom.  Cool on wire racks.

Nov 19, 2015

Pfeffernuesse - LHJ

This is a German cookie that has to 'ripen' for several weeks to allow for the cookies to soften.  Translation?  Pepper Nut.  Need Candied Lemon Peel?  I found mine at

3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp White Pepper
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Cloves
1/2 Candied Lemon Peel, Chopped
1/4 Cup Whole Blanched Almonds, Ground.
1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 Apple Slice

In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar.  Add Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves and beat until will mixed (scrape bowl occasionally).  Beat in lemon peel and almonds until well combined.  Wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with silicone mats OR non stick foil.  Roll dough out onto lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out circles with a 1 inch cookie cutter and place on cookie sheets - repeat as necessary until all dough is used.  Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.  Place confectioners sugar in a large, air tight container.  Add cooled cooked and shake until well coated.  Add an apple slice.  Allow to sit for 2 to 3 weeks.

These cookies should to be frozen.

Nov 17, 2015

LHJ - Filbertines

I have been away - time to return to the Christmas cookies from Ladies Home Journal of Yesteryear.  This time, it is filbertines.  As indicated in the name, they are made with filberts (aka, hazelnuts).  Can't find them?  Try - I found them and candied cherries there.  Why candied cherries?  You'll See...

1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/8 Tsp Cardamom
1/2 Cup Filberts, finely chopped.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat until well blended.  Beat in flour, baking soda and cardamom.  Chill for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with silicone mats OR non stick foil.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in chopped nuts.  Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.

May 8, 2015

Italian Sausage Soup

Our local grocery store has bulk deals on meat that sometimes have lower prices with a certain size grocery order.  Recently, it was Italian sausage.  I like pasta, but I didn't want pasta all week.  Enter this soup.  There is no need to thaw or drain the spinach.

1 Lb Ground Italian Sausage - I like hot
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tsp Basil
1 Tsp Oregano
10 Ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach 
15 Ounces Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
15 Ounces Black Beans, drained and rinsed
15 Ounces Petite Diced Tomatoes 
4 Cups Beef Broth

Cook sausage until brown, chop well.   Drain, return to pan and add garlic and basil.  Cook until fragrant.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer until hot.

Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy with Texas Toast.

May 7, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

How about fresh bread for Mother's Day brunch or breakfast in bed?

2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 Cup Chopped Nuts - you choose
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/3 Cup Water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (including cranberries and walnuts).

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, mix well.  Stir in dry ingredients until well combined, pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Cool completely and slice.

May 6, 2015

Marshmallow Banana Cupcakes

Overripe Bananas and marshmallows that are a bit dry...what to do?  Make cupcakes.

3/4 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Mashed Bananas
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Sour Milk
Miniature Marshmallows - at least 72
Whipped Cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 18 muffin cups with liners.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in bananas and vanilla.

Whisk together flour, soda and salt.  Add half to the banana mixture, mix well.  Add Milk, mix well.  Add remaining flour mixture and mix well.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 18 cups.  Push at least 4 marshmallows into each cupcake - NOT ALL ON TOP OF EACH OTHER.

Bake about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely - removing from pan at about 5 minutes.  When cool, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream when ready to serve.

May 5, 2015

Slow Cooker Ragu

Here is a VERY chunky topping for your favorite thick pasta - Rigatoni is my favorite to use.  I have also been known to enjoy this with rice.

1/2 Cup Celery, Sliced
1/2 Cup Carrot, Sliced
1/4 Cup Onion, Sliced
5 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 Tbl Olive Oil
2 to 3 Lb Chuck Roast
2/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
6 Ounces Tomato Paste
14 Ounces Petit Diced Tomatoes
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1/2 Tbl Italian Seasoning

Line a 6 quart slow cooker with a liner, set aside.

Pulse celery, carrot, onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot.  While heating, trim beef, sprinkle all sides with 1/2 Tsp each salt and pepper.    Add beef to hot skillet and cook until browned on all sides.  Transfer beef to slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add vegetable mixture and remaining salt.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add Tomato paste and stir for a minute before adding diced tomatoes, wine and seasoning.  Cook for two to three minutes, scraping up browned bits of beef while cooking.

Pour over beef.  Cover and cook on low for 10 hours or high for 5 hours.

When very tender, shred beef and return to the cooking liquid.  Top cooked pasta and enjoy.

May 4, 2015

EASY Corn Soup

Time to use up the last of the frozen sweet corn in time for this year's batch of fresh corn...

4 Cups Sweet Corn, thawed
1 1/2 Cup Half and Half
3/4 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese
Pinch of Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Combine all ingredients and heat through, being careful not to boil.  Pulse with a stick blender - the longer you pulse, the smoother your soup.

Apr 30, 2015

Brown Sugar Cookies

Like molasses cookies but have no molasses?  Try'll never know the difference.

1 1/2 Stick Salted Butter, Softened
1 1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Mix well.  Add to the butter mixture until well incorporated, scraping bowl well.

Use a 1 Tbl scoop to drop onto a cookie sheet lined with silicone mats OR non stick foil.  Place about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  If you like crispy cookies, cool on the cookie sheet.

Apr 29, 2015

Macaroon Bars

You don't get any easier than this bar recipe.  Make it as is or added chocolate and caramel drizzle after baking to make a Samoa like cookie bar.

3 1/2 Cups Sweetened Flake Coconut
1/2 Cup Finely Diced Almonds
14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tsp Almond Extract
8 Ounces Refrigerated Crescent Rolls

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking oil.  Line with parchment paper and spray again.

Sprinkle 1 cup coconut and diced almonds in the bottom of the pan.  Mix together condensed milk and almond extract, pour half over bottom of pan.

Unroll crescent roll and press into the pan, gently pinching the seams.  Top with remaining condensed milk then sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Bake until golden, about 35 minutes.  Cool completely, cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

Apr 28, 2015

Peppery Chicken Rub

This has become one of my favorite ways to cook chicken wings, thighs, legs or quarters.  Excellent flavor with a bit of afterburn.  This coats about 3 lbs of chicken.

2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbl Hot Hungarian Paprika
1 Tsp Allspice
1 Tsp Cayenne
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Mccormick 5 Pepper Blend

Mix all of the above spices in a bowl.   Put chicken in a large bag, add spices, shake to coat.  Add 3 Tbl Olive Oil to the bag, shake again.  Let sit for at least an hour and up to 24.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Place line a rimmed man with foil.  Place a rack in the pan and place chicken on rack in a single layer.

Bake until nicely browned and crisp and at least 165 degrees - 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Can also be cooked on the grill.

Apr 27, 2015

Pork and Potato Meatballs

I had some leftover scalloped potatoes and some ground pork.  Don't ask me why I thought of meatballs, but I am glad I did.  Goes well with peas.  Would work well with Au Gratin Potatoes, as well.

2 Tbl Dry Breadcrumbs
3/4 Cup Diced Scalloped Potatoes
1 Tsp Prepared Mustard of your Choice (I used Horseradish)
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
3/4 Lb Ground Pork
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl Flour
1 C Beef Stock
1 Cup Water

Mix breadcrumbs, potatoes, mustard, pepper and pork very well - form into balls.  Heat butter in a heavy skillet, add the meatballs and brown.  Remove meatballs from the pan.

Add beef stock and 2/3 cup water to the pan.  Return the meatballs to the pan, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.  Remove meatballs to a platter.  Whisk together remaining water and flour, whisk into pan until thickened, pour over the meatballs and serve.

Apr 25, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Spring isn't very warm, and April Showers do bring May Flowers, so soup may still be in order.  This is made in a slow cooker and is wonderful.

1 Lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
1/4 Tsp Basil
1 Jar Marinara
14.25 Ounces Petite Diced Tomatoes
32 Ounces Chicken Stock
3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Line a large slow cooker with a slow cooker liner.

Remove fat from chicken and place in slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients EXCEPT cheese.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.

Remove chicken and shred it, then stir it back into the soup along with the Parmesan Cheese.

Serve over your favorite pasta, quinoa, rice or just enjoy as is.

Apr 24, 2015

Pick Your Own Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate with Coconut?  Triple Chocolate Orange?  Double Chocolate Marshmallow?  The options are only limited by your imagination - and your extracts.

3/4 Cup Butter, Cubed
4 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
3 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Extract (Vanilla, Orange, Coconut - you choose)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Topping (Heath Bars, Semisweet Chocolate Chips, Coconut - you choose)

In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan with the butter wrappers, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugars.  Stir in chocolate mixture and extract.  Gradually add flour to chocolate mixture and pour into the baking dish.  Sprinkle with your topping.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Apr 23, 2015

Balsamic Chicken

This chicken goes great with broccoli.

1 Lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Cutlets
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Cup White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Stock
6 Ounces Sliced Mushrooms
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbl Butter
2 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar

Heat a lidded skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and heat until it shimmers.

Salt and pepper chicken.  Dredge through the flour, shaking off excess, and put into hot oil.  Sear 3 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minutes.  Add the wine and stock, reduce slightly.  Reduce heat to low, add mushrooms to the pan and place chicken on top.  Cover and cook about 10 minutes.  Stir in butter, lemon and vinegar.  Continue cooking until the butter melts.

Apr 22, 2015

Hawaiian Chicken

Fresh Peppers and Pineapple in a sauce with chicken and rice.  Yum.

1 Lb Boneless Chicken Breast
2 Cups Chopped Bell Pepper
2 Cups Cubed Pineapple
18 Ounces Pineapple Juice
1/3 Tsp Ginger
1 Tbl Frank's Red Hot
1 Tbl Garlic Powder
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Garlic Rice Vinegar
1/2 Cup Cold Water
2 Tbl Corn Starch
4 Cups Cooked Rice

In a small sauce pan, combine Juice, Ginger, Red Hot, Garlic, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Ketchup and Vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Whisk together water and corn starch, add to sauce and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat.

Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Salt and pepper chicken.  Spray pan with oil, add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through.  Add red peppers and cook another two minutes.  Add pineapple and sauce to pan, stir to coat well.

Serve over pineapple.

Apr 21, 2015

Southwest Salad

Spring is here!  Fresh Vegetables Abound!  Time for salads

1 LB Flank Steak OR 1 Lb Chicken
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tbl Garlic Powder
2 Cups Corn
15 Ounce Black Beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 Ounce Can Petit Diced Tomatoes
2 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 Cup Salsa
Leaf Lettuce or Romaine

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  While heating, season steak or chicken with salt and garlic powder.  Spray pan with oil.  Add meat to pan and cook to desired doneness.  Remove from pan to rest.

While resting, stir together Corn, Beans, Tomatoes, Cumin and Oregano.

In another bowl, combine dressing and salsa.

Cut meat across the grain.

Fill bowls with spinach and lettuce.  Top with corn mixture, meat and dress with salsa mixture.  Enjoy!

Mar 11, 2015

Corn and Pepper Chowder

Winter may be over, but April Showers sometimes call for soups, stews and chowders, too.

2 Tbl Butter
3 Tbl Minced Onion
2 Cups Bell Pepper, chopped (you choose the colors)
1 Cup Carrot, Chopped
4 Cups Frozen Corn thawed
2 Cups Potatoes, diced
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Cups Water
2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Cream OR Half and Half

Melt butter in a large pot.  Cook onion, peppers and carrots until tender.  Stir in corn, potatoes, salt peppers and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).  Stir in the milk and half and half, cook over low until warmed through.

Mar 10, 2015

Bacon and Tomato Haddock

Tasty tomato and bacon topped haddock - baked.  I know it is spring, that means rainy days.  Make this on one of those days.

4 Bacon Strips, chopped
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Cup Panko
2 Plum Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbl Fresh Parsley, minced
1 Tbl Olive Oil
1 Lb Haddock
1 Lemon
1/4 Tsp Each Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spread oil into a 9 x 13 pan.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, remove from pan.  In bacon drippings, col garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, return bacon to pan and add bread crumbs, tomato and parsley.  Set aside.

Drizzle fish with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in prepared pan and cover with bread crumb mixture.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is flaky.

Mar 8, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings

I hope we are done with the cold snaps for this winter, but just in case, this casserole is very warming.  I cooked the chicken breast in a slow cooker so it was ready to chop for the casserole.

3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
32 Ounces Chicken Stock
16 Ounce Frozen Peas and Carrots mixture
4 Cups Chicken, Cooked and Chopped
2 Cups Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
2/3 Cup Milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pan.  Add garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and flour.  Slowly add stock, a little at a time, whisking constantly to keep smooth.  Add frozen vegetables, cook for 5 minutes.  Add chopped chicken.  Pour into pan.

Mix together biscuit mix and milk.  Drop by spoonfuls onto casserole making 12 dumplings.  Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Mar 7, 2015

Garlic and Sapphires

Yesterday, I referenced a book titled Garlic and Sapphires.  The book is written by Ruth Reichl.  The author was the Food Critic for the New York Times - and she discovered before she started just how hard (read:  Impossible) it would be to remain anonymous while eating at a restaurant.  Disguises are a must.  This book is a wonderful tale of those times, interspersed with recipes and reviews.  I have made several of the recipes and will be making more.

Mar 6, 2015

Scalloped Potatoes - Who says you need onion?

I usually only make Au Gratin Potatoes - who doesn't like cheese?  That, and all of the scalloped potatoes recipes I have found had onion.  Then I read a book titled Garlic and Sapphires - it included recipes.  The scalloped potatoes there did not have onions, so I tried to make an onion free version myself.  You know what?  It worked.

1 Clove garlic
1 Tbl Butter
2 Cups Half and Half
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Lbs Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Rub garlic all over the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish, mince any remaining garlic.  Coat thickly with butter.  Set aside.

Combine the half and half and milk in a saucepan.  Heat until just about to boil.  Season with salt, pepper and minced garlic.

Arrange the sliced potatoes in layers in the pan.  Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes.  Bake uncovered for approximately 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Mar 5, 2015

Swirl Hat by SheepyTime knits

I recently made the Flying Geese Cowl (pattern on Ravelry) and found myself with yarn left over.  I decided a matching hat would be wonderful, but I didn't just want a straight color stack.  I found this pattern on ravelry and that led me to eh SheepyTime blog.  Check them out, you will love it.

Jan 23, 2015

Balsamic Chicken and Pasta

Quick and easy chicken.

1 Tbl Olive Oil
2.5 Cups Sliced Red pepper
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Large Chicken Breasts, cut in half sideways (butterflied in half)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
15 Ounce Petite Diced Tomatoes

Put oil in a large sauce pan with oil.  Add peppers, garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté for about 5 minutes.  Move to the outer edge of the pan.  Coat both sides of the chicken with salt and peppers, cook two minutes per side.

Add vinegar and tomatoes to the pan, bring liquids to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve over pasta.

Jan 22, 2015

Owl Headband

Recently, I made a cardigan.  I ordered an extra ball of yarn because I would rather have extra than run out.  Of course, I would not have needed it.  The result?  I decided to make a headband/ear warmer with an owl pattern.  I took the class at Little Owl Knit shop, so why not.  The Result?

I chose not to add the french knot eyes.

Find the pattern at Pilgrim Purse and Poetry - Owl Headband Pattern

Jan 21, 2015

Oreo Cupcakes

Sometimes using a mix and store bought cookies can make a lot of goodness.  This is one of those times.

1 White Cake Mix
1 Container Oreo Cookies
2 Containers Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Heat oven as indicated on cake box.  Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers - 24 total.  Set aside.

Mix cake mix to package directions.  Put 1 large spoonful of cake batter in each cup.  Place one cookie in each cup.  Top with 1 large spoonful of cake batter.  Bake to package directions.  Remove and cool completely.

Crush remaining cookies.  Add frosting and beat together.  Top cupcakes when cool.

Jan 20, 2015

LHJ Peanut Blossoms

Continuing through the LHJ recipes - Peanut Blossoms.  The recipe calls for chocolate kisses, I used dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

1 3/4 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (Jif)
1 Large Egg
2 Tbl Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
48 Chocolate Kisses, Unwrapped

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl, stir flour, soda and Salt.  Add remaining ingredients except candy and beat at low speed of mixer until well combined, scraping bowl occasionally.  Chill dough for 30 minutes (I did not).

Roll small amounts of dough into 1 inch balls.  Place on an engrossed cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss in each cookie and remove to a cooling rack.

Jan 19, 2015

Chorizo and Wild Rice

This was so good Hubby and I ALMOST had a disagreement over leftovers.  I guess I'll just have to make it again soon.

2 Tbl Butter
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
4 Ounces Mushroom pieces, Drained and Chopped
13.5 Ounces Johnsonville Smoked Chorizo Sausage, thinly sliced.
1 Box Uncle Bens Long Grain and Wild Rice

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add onions and mushrooms, sautéing until translucent.  Add sausage and cook 10 to 15 minutes.  Cook rice to package directions and stir into sausage mixture.

Jan 11, 2015

Spinach Stuffed Shells

This was a great meal to make and then have leftovers for lunch.

1/2 Box Jumbo Pasta Shells (24)
18 Ounces Frozen Creamed Spinach
1/2 Pound Lean Ground Beef
2 Large Handfuls Fresh Spinach
15 Ounces Ricotta
2 Cups Mozzarella
1 Jar Pasta Sauce

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain, spray with cold water.

Cook Creamed spinach to package directions, set aside to cool a bit.

Brown ground beef.  When cooked, add fresh spinach and wilt.

Pour into a large bowl.  Add creamed spinach and cheeses, mix well.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Stuff shells, place in pan.  Cover all with remaining sauce.  Bake about 30 minutes.

Jan 9, 2015

Peppery Pizza Bread

I wanted a side that would go with stuffed shells, or soup, or anything you want something crusty to mop up sauce with.  This is what came of that.

1 Flat Bread Pizza Crust
1 4 Ounce Can Chopped Chilies
4 Tbl Butter, melted
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 to 2 Tsp McCormick Fiery 5 Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar Blend

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Place crust on foil.

Mix melted butter and chilies, spread over pizza crust.

Sprinkle chilies with garlic powder, 5 pepper blend and cheese.  Bake for about 25 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is heated through.

Jan 8, 2015

Rose's Crescents

It is time to continue through our journey of December 1980 Ladies' Home Journal Favorite Christmas Cookies.  Titled Rose's Crescents, they could also be called Almond Crescents.  They are very close to shortbread but have chopped almonds in the dough and are topped with cinnamon and sugar.

2/3 Cup Blanched Almonds
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Butter Flavored Crisco
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 2/3 Cup Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt

Topping:  1/4 Cup Sugar + 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon.

Pulse almonds in a blender or food processor until finely chopped.  Add to mixing bowl along with butter, crisco and sugar.  Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add flour and salt, beat until well mixed.  Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  

Cut dough into 8 pieces, work one at a time with remaining dough placed back in the refrigerator.  

On a floured surface with floured hands, roll dough into a rope that is 1/2 inch in diameter.  Cut into 2 1/2 inch cookies.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet formed into crescent shapes.  Bake 12 to 14 minutes until set but not brown.  Cool on pan for 10 minutes, sprinkle with topping and move to a cooling rack.

Jan 7, 2015

Individual Tropical Pudding

More egg yolks from cooking for a sick dog....more pudding.

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Cup Sweetened Cream of Coconut
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Salt
8 Egg Yolks
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbl Vanilla
1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut
1 Banana, peeled and mashed.

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat Cream, Cream of Coconut, Nutmeg and Salt in a saucepan until small bubbled appear around the edge of the pan.

While heating, place egg yolks, eggs, vanilla and coconut in the bowl of a mixer.  SLOWLY add cream mixture to the eggs when heated.  Divide into 6 creme brûlée dishes.

Place dishes in a baking pan, pour enough hot water around dishes to come half way up the outside.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until set.

Refrigerate at least an hour.