Follow on Facebook!

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.

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.

Jan 6, 2015

Shalom Cardigan

Up until December 2014, I had knit exactly one project - a sweater.  If you have looked at previous programs, you know that I crochet.  Large things.  Often.  A crocheting friend is expanding her knitting skills and invited me to join her in a knitting class at our local knit shop.   It's Easy she said.  SOOOOO...

On December 13, I found myself at Little Owls Knit Shop in Lemoyne knitting this cardigan (Pattern from Revelry:

I LOVED it - after the first class, I found myself looking at the class schedule looking for another project.  That is when I learned that the sweater was intermediate.  What does this tell me (and you)?

1.  Don't be intimidated by a project.
2.  Don't even LOOK at the difficulty level.
3.  Find a local group of fellow knitters that can support you when you run into a hiccup.
4.  Find sites that offer videos for those late knitting nights that mean you really shouldn't bother your                         support group.
5.  Don't be afraid to rip out and start again.
6.  Once you finish a project, if you post it, you will start receiving requests.
7.  Ravelry is addicting.
8.  Check out Little Owls Knit Shop - in person or online.

Jan 5, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake

I received a request for a Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake along with a copy of a recipe from Food Network Magazine.  I made a test cake and then made a second one to fulfill the request - using what I had on hand.  This is the result.

7 Ounces Gingersnaps
6 Tbl Butter, melted

Heat oven to 325.  Pulse the cookies in a food processor until finely ground.  Add melted butter and pulse to combine.  Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.  Transfer to rack and cool completely.

15 Ounce Ricotta, well drained
1 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puress
3 Large Eggs
8 Ounces Cream Cheese
1 Tbl Vanilla
1 Tsp Cinnamon 
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.  Pour the filling into the cooled crust.  Bake until set around the edge but still has a jiggle in the center - 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and cool then refrigerate until set - at least 8 hours.

1 3/4 Cups Fresh Cranberries
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbl Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Water

Chop 1 cup cranberries and put into a small saucepan with sugar, lemon juice, salt and water.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Stir in remaining 3/4 cup whole cranberries and cook 2 more minutes.  Let cool.

When cool, pour over the cheesecake and return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Jan 4, 2015

Baked Beans

Hubby asked for baked beans - and of course didn't want one kind of bean, so here is the result:

3/4 Cups Dried Pinto Beans
3/4 Cups Dried Navy Beans
3/4 Cups Dried Lima Beans
3/4 Cups Dried Northern Beans
3 Cups Apple Cider
8 Ounces Thick Bacon
1 Small Onion
6 Tbl Molasses
1/4 Cup Prepared Mustard
2 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Bean Water

Pick through beans and put into a pot with 5 Quarts of water.  Bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and let stand for an hour.  Drain, save 2 cups of the bean water.

Return beans to the pot, add apple cider.  Slowly bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes.

Pour into a 6 quart slow cooker.

Dice the bacon, add to the beans.  Peel the onion.  Stir in the Molasses, Mustard, Salt and Bean Water.  Stir well.  Peel the onion, keep it whole and bury it in the beans.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.

When beans are tender, remove the onion, stir and serve.