This is a Blog about a bit of everything. I will review books, share my life, my photography and my other hobbies. I will share fun food, a few recipes and things I have done in my spare time.
Life is fun! Don't waste a single moment of it.
Till next time......
I like Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and especially the vintage recipes. This is a recipe my Gram made in the summer time for wilted lettuce. It was always a favorite of my Gramp and me. It's a very simple sweet and sour dressing. A pile of wilted lettuce with hard boiled egg slices was a popular summer salad from my childhood. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing
Fry several (2-3) strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled. Add to the bacon grease:
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
dash of salt Bring to a boil, pour over fresh garden lettuce.
I love to have something crunchy with my morning yogurt. Many of the recipes call for honey. I personally don't care for that taste in my granola. This recipe calls for Maple Syrup and will add that something special to your yogurt. I didn't know until recently that; you could interchange sweeteners in granola. I learn something new everyday!!
Almond Maple Granola
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (can use honey or light corn syrup)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in the vegetable oil to combine. Add the oats and almonds and fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and almonds are thoroughly coated.Turn the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer. Using a stiff metal spatula, compress the oat mixture until very compact.Bake until the top is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break the cooled granola into pieces as large or as small as you like. Stir in the dried cranberries and dried apricots. The granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.......
I like simple cookies and nothing is easier than these Brown Sugar Cookies. You make the dough, pat it into a log and cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is chilled and you can slice it in 1/4" slices. That's it, how simple is that? You can use either light or dark brown sugar and your choice of nuts. I like the Slivered Almonds and English Walnuts best. But that is totally a personal choice. Have fun and enjoy. You can also bake a dozen and keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator for another day.
Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Cream butter, add brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and nut meats, mix well. Mix and sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and add to butter, sugar and egg mixture. Pat dough into a roll and wrap in plastic wrap and chill until stiff enough to slice into 1/4" slices and bake at 350F degrees for about 10-11 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies if dough is sliced 1/4 inch in thickness.
With all the good apples, peaches and other fruits coming in season, I thought I would share one of my favorites with you. This recipe dates back to 1957 and is still a winner!
French Apple Pie
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
6-7 cups sliced apples
1 1/2 tsp butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
Heat oven to 425F. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Mix lightly through the sliced apples. Heap high in 9" pie pan lined with pastry. Dot with butter. Mix crumb topping ingredients and sprinkle on apples. Bake 50-60 minutes till apples are done. If topping is getting too brown, cover with foil for remaining baking time.
Do you remember eating this cheese spread at Tony and Luigi's in Lincoln, NE.? If you're like me, it was one of the favorite things about eating there. Tony and
Luigi's served Italian bread with each meal with a broiled cheese topping. Yum, so-ooo good. Try this
cheese spread. Tony and
Luigi's closed in 1993 after over 50 years serving the people of the Lincoln
area with some of the finest Italian cuisine and mouthwatering steaks. It was truly a Lincoln icon.
Tony and Luigi's Spread
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese 3/4 large carton small curd cottage cheese 1
envelope Lipton onion soup mix 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Blend
ingredients well with mixer.Refrigerate 6 hours before serving
with toasted Italian bread, crackers, veggies or chips.
Sometimes we forget that the old recipes are sometimes the best recipes. This one is simple takes very few ingredients and really tastes good with cauliflower and other veggies. I got this at one of the rare times I substituted at a Bridge Party.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp onion, grated
1/2 cup chili sauce (Heinz)
1 small pkg cream cheese, softened
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients and allow to chill for 2 hours.
This is not a hot dip at all. It's just a very tasty one and one you will want to keep in your repertoire.
Since this is my blog, I have the right to my opinion. First of all, let me say, I have nothing against Rachael Ray and I wish her the very best in all her business ventures. That said, I have to comment on the idiocy of buying a bowl specifically for garbage! Any bowl in your cupboard can hold scraps, paper, etc that you want to throw out to keep your working space clean. She sells this one size for $19.99 and it is nothing more than a Melamine bowl. They are probably making millions for Rachael Ray and I applaud the marketing tactic. But ladies, wake up...do you really have to buy a melamine bowl specifically for garbage when you probably have a bowl in your cupboard that would do the same thing? Is it worth $19.99, "to be just like Rachael Ray"? I never stop being amazed at what people will buy.
This dip is perfect for veggies of any kind. I like it with cauliflower. With all the lovely veggies this summer, fix a tray of mixed veggies and surprise your guests or family with this delicious dip. Garnish with chili sauce and strips of green scallions.
Creamy Chili Dip
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp grated onion
1/2 cup chili sauce (Heinz is what I use)
1 pkg cream cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Soften the cream cheese and mix all ingredients together. Make early in the day so the flavors have a chance to blend.
This is a dip recipe from a summer picnic I went to. All I remember is it was so-ooo good and I had to leave the picnic early due to being overcome by the heat. I sure won't forget that day. I was sitting in the shade, but it was so HOT that day, no breeze and I got so dizzy.
Lemon Fruit Dip
2 cups sour cream
1 pkg (1 oz) vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup milk
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Whisk sour cream, pudding mix, milk, lemon juice and rind.
Serve with fresh fruit. This will yield approx. 2 cups of dip.
Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish. The lime and lemon juices "cooks", alters the structure, color and texture of the fish. It is essential to use only very fresh fish for this dish. Ceviche is usually made with sea bass or flounder, but just about any fish or shellfish will work. I was first introduced to this dish at Pine Haven Campground in 1983. At first, I wrinkled up my nose at it, but after tasting it, I am a firm believer that this is a delicious dish. Served in a martini glass, it makes a beautiful appetizer.
Ceviche 1 lb. fresh fish, 1/4 inch dice 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup lime juice, (approx. 3 limes) 1/4 of a cucumber, 1/4 inch dice Marinate 24 hours in the refrigerator. Add: 2 med tomatoes, diced 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 tsp salt 1 Tbsp oregano 1 or 2 Jalapenos, minced 1/2 cup Zesty Italian dressing
Optional: Parsley or Cilantro, as to taste Mix with fish mixture and will keep several weeks in the refrigerator. Mine never lasts more than a few days. This is a great dish to take to a picnic. It can be served with crackers or toasted baguettes slices. Till next time......
The word Mustard, comes from the Latin words mustum (much) and ardens (burning); so that alone says it is hot.
Recipes come to us from all over. This one came from a beach party in Delaware. We all brought a dish and sat around enjoying the evening and the ocean breezes. One lady brought a tray of salami and cheese cubes and this great mustard dipping sauce. Along with a cold beer or margarita, this was amazing. Hence, I asked for the recipe. This is hot like a Chinese Mustard, but taken in moderation is so good . I think it is better than Chinese Mustard!!
Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce
1 large can of Coleman's Mustard powder
1 cup of vinegar
Mix these ingredients in a pint jar overnight.
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of sugar
Place all ingredients in a double boiler and cook until thick, approximately 25-35 minutes. Keeps in refrigerator a long time. Mine always disappeared fast so I never worried about how long it would keep.
4th of July is a day to celebrate our Independence and freedoms with friends. Nothing like an indoor picnic to escape the ants, gnats and bees. With all the goodies at this picnic, I'm sure all the little "uninvited guests" would find them. What could be better at a picnic; than BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon, calico beans, lemon meringue pie, chocolate mini cupcakes and ice tea?
A cheerful basket to hold all the tableware and napkins add to the festivities.
Of course, every table has to have a centerpiece. So these floating stars are just the ticket to brighten up any table.
A delicious little bite of sweetness after any picnic is a mini chocolate cupcake. Just enough, but not too much.
After letting lunch settle and thinking about running around; it was time
for dessert; a delicious lemon meringue pie. So yummy! And now it's
time for the fireworks.Happy 4th of July Everyone!
With the 4th of July coming soon, I wanted to take today to give thanks to our Military, present and deceased, and the many Civilians working with the Military, for all they have done to preserve our freedoms. We can never thank them enough for the price they have paid and are paying for the freedom we enjoy. But today, I say a heartfelt thank you, to all of you. May we always enjoy a free America.
And what to my wondering eyes did I see? This little doe just waiting for me to snap her photo. She stood there for some time letting me enjoy her beauty. She knew she was safe from harm in the park so was just enjoying her day.
She even let me get a close up of her. But when I went to get out of the car, she decided it was time to go to the woods. But such a little beauty. I felt privileged to view her even for a little while.The photos are not as sharp as they might be as I was taking them through a very dirty side window. Lesson learned, make sure my windows are very clean before the next trip to the park. Or....roll the windows down!
I love going to the lake to take photos. You just never know what you will find. I was over at the boat dock and all these goodies under the water caught my eye. I wasn't sure how the photos would turn out but gave it my best shot. Once I got home, I was thrilled with the results. Just a few green leaves were above the water to add some color to the rest of the photo.
There was just one little sprig of green sticking up through the water to make the perfect photo. The fun thing about the lake is; you can always find something new to take a photo of. The park and lake seem to change all the time. If I went again today, I would still find something new.
It's summer and time to get the grills fired up. At first, I thought Beer Butt Chicken was just a "Macho" type thing. You know, something the guys like to make. But once I made it, I fully understood the fascination with it. It is by far, the MOST moist chicken I have ever had!! Once you try this, you will understand all the hype. Soooo good!! You can use a light beer if you chose, Bud Light works great. Some people put a potato in the neck to help keep the steam in. I usually just pull the skin over the neck cavity and that works fine. Also, if you put aluminum foil in your pan, it makes clean up a lot easier, if you are doing it in the oven. They also make a beer can/chicken holder as seen in the photo, but certainly not necessary. Make sure you "tuck" the wings so they don't burn.
Beer Butt Chicken (or Chicken on the Throne) 1 (4-pound) whole chicken 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 3 tablespoons of your favorite dry spice rub 1 can beer (or soda) Remove neck and giblets from chicken and freeze for making broth. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and the apply your dry rub. Set aside. Open beer can and take several gulps. Place the half full beer can on a solid surface. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod. Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165F degrees in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. NOTE: Beer Butt Chicken can be done in the oven. Set chicken on the can and place on a pan with sides to collect the fat. Bake at 350F for 1 ½ - 2 hours. Check for doneness with thermometer. It should read the same as the temperatures given above.
Trying to stick to the healthier side of eating; I made myself some Asian BBQ Chicken for supper. It is not as sweet as my normal BBQ but was quite tasty and certainly healthier than MY sugar laden BBQ sauce.I plan to make chicken stir fry with the leftover chicken for supper tonight with no rice.(maybe a small piece of garlic roll) If only I had some snow peas, sigh. Oh well, I can make stir fry without them I guess or make a quick run to the grocery store. This was a ketchup/soy/rice vinegar BBQ sauce and yes it was tangy to say the least, but good.
A few days ago, I decided to start living a little healthier. No, I am not going on an apple diet. But I am making changes in my diet. Since I don't eat a lot of sweets; I can't cut them out. But I am limiting my carbs; as they are a definite downfall for me. I love warm rolls and butter. So when a meal comes with rolls and butter, my will power went away with the server. The apples are just a sign of a healthier change.
I have started walking EVERY morning now. Not just when I feel like it, but especially when I don't feel motivated. I don't expect to lose any weight and that is not my goal. I just decided I was not getting enough exercise at my age and that I needed to do something about it. Since it is summer and I don't like the heat, I walk in the early morning when the birds are just starting to sing and the dew is still on the lawns. As soon as the pool warms up, I will be swimming laps at the pool. That's a lot easier for me than walking and it is a LOT cooler. So how about it everyone, it is time for you to get up off the couch and walk with me. Fifteen minutes twice a day equals a healthier you (and me).
These are Popeye's Chicken Waffle Tenders. It sounds good right? Save your money, if you are hungry for chicken tenders, this is not a good choice; in my humble opinion. I tossed the Honey Maple sauce that comes with it, because it was a thick goo. I instead, substituted my own maple syrup. A definite improvement. I would never buy these again. They may be a hit in Louisiana, but they need to take them off the menu here. Such a disappointment! I even wrote the corporate office; that's how disappointed I was in this product.
Brown sugar bacon or Pig candy is so delicious! If you have never tried it, you are missing such a pork treasure. Once you taste it: you will want to make it for your next brunch get together for sure. It's easy, sweet, peppery and so full of bacon flavor. After all, it is real bacon and you do it in the oven. How simple is that!! Put it on that next Brunch Buffet and watch how fast it disappears! Brown Sugar Bacon 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional) 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, 8 slices Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper together in a medium bowl. Add bacon and toss to cover with brown sugar mixture. Line a baking sheet with side, with foil, for ease of cleaning, then put a wire rack on the baking sheet and lay bacon on the rack. Pat any remanding spice mixture on the bacon. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake until crisp, about 15 - 20 minutes. The time may vary with different ovens, so watch the bacon. Remove from the oven to a serving dish and let cool slightly before serving. Cook's Note: If using thick cut peppered bacon, omit the pepper in this recipe.
I often buy a 5lb. bag of potatoes, because it is cheaper than buying 3-4 potatoes. But the down side to that; is that I often have several potatoes that need to be used up quickly. Such was the case today. So I decided to peel, cut, cook and mash the potatoes for the freezer.
This is what I add to my mashed potatoes. Very simple ingredients, butter, cream cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and of course, some milk.
Then I portion the potatoes into individual serving sizes and freeze them. The potatoes are now, not being wasted and will be there when I want some mashed potatoes. A win-win for me. How do you use your abundance of potatoes?
Okay, I lied yesterday when I said I would not make anymore jam till peach season. I got to thinking about the beautiful blueberries you see in the store and decided it was time to make jam again. But....the price was a deterrent. $4. a box!! The frozen were half the price, so got me a 4 lb bag and headed for the checkout. Peak season for blueberries in the U.S.A. is from Mid June to Late August. Although blueberries are available almost year round in the markets.
I started prepping the lids, jars, rings and measuring out the sugar,
lemon juice and blueberries. I used my food processor to chop up the
blueberries. So much easier than mashing the fruit. I finished cooking the jam and started filling the jars for the canning pot. Boiled them for 10 minutes and took them out to cool. They sealed almost immediately.
I got 8 nice jars of jam. Yes, I know, there are only 7 in the photo. But one of the jars is in the fridge. I had to leave one to eat, right?
This was breakfast when I got done making jam and cleaning up the kitchen. Then I sat down with a cup of coffee and some blueberry toast. Yum! That's what I did this morning.
My summer has officially started. I made my first batch of strawberry
jam for the season. The berries were so fresh, red and plump that I
could not resist buying some. Of course, the fact that they were on sale
certainly coerced me into buying a few quarts. How could I resist berries that looked like this!! Next came preparing the jars, lids and getting the canning pot ready.
Finally, after a bit of washing, hulling, cutting, mashing and cooking, the end result was eight jars of beautiful red, delicious, strawberry jam. I use the recipe in the Certo box. It is quick, easy and very good. It is listed under the "cooked jam and jelly".
Now I ask you, isn't it worth the work, when the end result is jam that looks as pretty as this! Before the good strawberries are gone, get off the couch, turn off the TV and make some jam! I won't make jam again till peach season comes and I like the white peaches for jam. Well that's what I say now, but if I see some more nice strawberries on sale,
who knows what will happen.
With summer coming on and the fresh spring peas arriving soon, here is an idea for lunch or supper. It is so easy and so good. The recipe for the slick dumplings is nothing more than flour, salt, shortening and warm water. I am sharing my recipe with you, but I have made it so many times, I don't use the recipe anymore. Mix it all together and let the dough rest for 30 minutes before rolling
out. It makes it so much easier to roll out. The dough will be moist,
so use a lot of flour rolling the dough out; so it doesn't stick to your
board or counter. Then you want to roll it about 1/8 of an inch thick as it will almost double in thickness when it is cooked.
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
Optional: 1 Tbsp of Crisco (I like the texture it give the dumplings.) But they are good without the shortening as well. This recipe will serve 4-6 but that depends on how much dumplings you want. After you have it rolled out, drop the dumplings in boiling broth, I use
chicken broth. When the dumplings are done after about 10-15 minutes, I
drop in my frozen peas and let it cooked for a few more minutes. Done!
Now enjoy a bowl of delicious pea and dumpling soup.
This makes a great lunch or supper. This recipe
originally came from the Governor of Delaware; in a folder
giving his favorite recipes. It's been a favorite of my family as well. I
use the same recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. Till next time......
We will be having picnics and other celebrations this weekend. But let's not forget the real reason for the weekend. It's Memorial Day Weekend, a time to remember those who have died in service and those who have died in our own families. Celebrate their lives and enjoy your weekend with family and friends. Just remember what this weekend is really about.
Have you ever bought frozen bread (Rhodes) and forgot to pull it out of the freezer? Of course it takes all day to raise! Put your bread in a greased loaf pan, placing the loaf pan in your 6 quart oval slow cooker, turning the crock to WARM. Place the lid on top, and within a couple hours your bread is ready to bake. What a fabulous idea. This was taken from Get Crocked Blog by Jenn Bare. http://www.getcrocked.com She has some amazing slow cooker recipes. This one I could not help but share with my readers. Do visit her blog for other ideas and recipes. Photography by Jenn
Bare Till next time.....
Is there anything more scrumptious than a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie, right from the oven? I think not! Today is Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, so bake up a batch and enjoy the day. I have a recipe for one cookie and will give it a try today. If it is good, will share it with you.
Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo means the fifth of May and is a day of festivities, party food and margaritas. So why not make the perfect Guacamole for your friends? It is said that true Mexican Guacamole is chunky. I am not Latino, so I really don't know. I like it chunky but it you like it more like a puree, help yourself. I do think it is a matter of personal taste.
2 ripe Hass avocados
11/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 dashes hot sauce
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
1/2 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 medium tomato, seeded, and diced
Optional: Cilantro or Parsley
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper. If the avocados need more mashing, do it before you add the tomatoes.
I vacationed with my daughter for 4 days this past week and
this was the sight one morning. The sun was doing it's best to shine
through the clouds. It was almost an eerie look to the morning. I could
not resist taking this photo.
Are you looking for an easy but good roll for breakfast? I know I am always looking for something new. This recipe is from Pillsbury and could not be any easier! Sometimes the simplest things are the best tasting. You don't need a lot of ingredients to "wow" your friends and family. Give it a try. Orange Crescent Swirls
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 T butter or margarine
1 T grated orange peel
3 T orange juice
2 8oz cans Pillsbury refrigerated
crescent dinner rolls
Preheat oven to 375. Spray 12 x 1/2 inch pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray. In small saucepan, combine brown sugar, margarine, orange peel and juice; mix well. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Set aside. Remove dough from each can in one long roll. DO NOT UNROLL. Cut each roll into 12 slices. Arrange slices evenly, cut side down, in sprayed pan. Spoon brown sugar mixture evenly over slices. Bake at 375 for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls from pan with pancake turner. Serve warm. Makes 24 rolls.
Till next time.......