Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pheasants and Squirrels..........

When I can take photos of animals I am always a happy camper. You really understand the beauty of nature when you see these amazing creatures. 


Here is a handsome red squirrel, just sitting there waiting for a photo to be taken. I'll beat he is looking for something to eat. What do you think?
Till next time......



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Another Day At The Lake........

Just another day at the lake taking photos and enjoying the sun and breeze. Mother Nature at her finest. Actually, the wind was blowing at a pretty good gale. It was actually blowing me forward when I would brace for it. But a great day anyway for photography. 
All of my photos turned out awesome.  So even though the wind was really blowing, I had a great day at the lake.
Till next time........

Friday, April 22, 2016

Morning Coffee...........

There is nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning. Unless, it is on the patio in the quiet morning air; listening to the birds sing and watching the sun come up. My kind of morning, for sure.
Till next time..........

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Uneven Numbers in Floral Arrangements..............

When I was younger, if my Mom got flowers, she always took one out and put it in a brandy snifter. She said it was for luck. What I found out later on was; an even number of flowers in an arrangement is for funerals and is considered unlucky in a vase. So if you take one out of your bouquet, it remains good luck for you.
This is said to have originated in Russia, and apparently the custom was brought to the New World by immigrants. I received this lovely bouquet for my birthday last year and it had 11 flowers. So apparently the florist believed in the custom. Who knew?
Till next time........

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Baking Soda..........

When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, you feel a burning pain. Large meals as well as certain foods can lead to heartburn. Baking soda is alkaline, so it neutralizes stomach acid. Mix a half-teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of lemon juice in a half-cup of warm water. Don’t drink the baking soda by itself. You need the lemon juice to dispel some of the gas baking soda creates in the stomach when it comes in contact with stomach acid. Saliva helps neutralize stomach acid. So chew a piece of sugarless gum, suck on a candy or daydream about juicy steak. So if you have the occasional heartburn or gas, try this quick acting natural remedy. 
Till next time........

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tide - My Choice........

Growing up, Tide was the laundry detergent of choice in our home. My Mom never veered away from this brand. So when I got married, yes, Tide was my detergent of choice. I figured, "Mom knew best."
It wasn't until I had children (4 of the little dirt makers) that I realized Tide really was as great as I always thought it was. It took out chocolate, spaghetti & pizza sauce, blueberry, strawberry, grass stains and let's not forget the muddy water stains. That was many years ago. But today, as I do my laundry, I thank the makers of Tide. My clothes are still stain free and it is still my laundry detergent of choice. Why not, if it still takes out all the stains my children could make, it must be the best. And yes, all the stains the adults made as well. Ha-ha. 
Till next time........

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Southern Supper ..........

Sweet Chili Shrimp and Southern Greens w/Bacon; that's what's  for supper tonight. I've gone to the South for supper today.  My house smells so good and the taste is pretty darn good, too. I had shrimp in the freezer that needed to be used up and I wanted something different than just shrimp cocktail. Can't wait for suppertime!! 
Till next time.......

Friday, April 15, 2016

Pretzels and Salt Air Mist..........

Do you ever miss the smell of pretzels cooking or the salt air mist? I do, it's called going to the beach. You can smell salt water taffy, pretzels, hot dogs cooking and so many other good smells. I can't duplicate all those smells, but I can duplicate the pretzels.

These pretzels can be found in the frozen food section of your grocery and are so easy to salt and bake. They are truly as good as those you get at the beach. Sorry, the salt air mist is beyond my control. But have a pretzel and reminisce.
Till next time......

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cheese Dip - Southern Style........

I'm always looking for a new dip or spread to take to have at a party or to take to tailgate parties. This one caught my eye very quickly, as I love all the ingredients! I mean really folks, what is not to love in this dip. 

Cheese Dip - Southern Style
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 dash cayenne pepper
8 butter crackers, crushed, such as Ritz
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie pan. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon. Serve immediately with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.
Till next time..........

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Caramel Sauce..........

Is it Caramel or Carmel? Well, according to what I've read, it is Caramel. Some shorten it to Carmel, but that's not right. As they taught us in spelling class; if you pronounce it right, you will spell it right.
Caramel Sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, while whisking gently, until thicker, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Pour the sauce into a jar and refrigerate until cold. 
This will keep about 2 weeks in the fridge, IF it lasts that long. It will quickly disappear on a cake, pie or ice cream.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms..........

If you are trying to eat a little healthier or just want something new for your daily menu, try Portobello mushrooms. You can stuff them with most anything. Here it is stuffed with a little onion, green pepper, tomato and celery topped off with a bit of balsamic syrup. (reduced Balsamic vinegar) I don't have a recipe to share with you as I just throw this together with whatever I have in my fridge and bake it for 15 to 18 minutes till the mushroom is tender. You can stuff them with a sausage stuffing or put a poached egg on top. 
You can grill them a little first to get a nice grill flavor before stuffing them.
You can do just about anything you want. It makes a great substitute for meat.
Till next time.......

Monday, April 11, 2016

Candied Citrus Peel.........

I've always been a fan of candied orange peel or any citrus for that matter. Once you make them, you can dip the orange peel in chocolate. Mmmm, so good. 
Candied Citrus Peel
1 pink grapefruit
2 oranges
2 lemons
3 1/2 cups sugar, divided
Score grapefruit, oranges, and lemons through peel from top to bottom in 6 sections for grapefruit and 4 for oranges and lemons (don't cut into fruit). Pull off strips of peel with your fingers. Slide a small, sharp knife along inside of peels to remove excess membrane so peels are about 1/4 in. thick. Cut peels lengthwise into strips about 1/2 in. wide in center and tapered on ends.Put peels in a 3 to 4 qt. saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat twice more.Refill pan with 2 1/2 cups water and 2 1/2 cups sugar; bring to a boil, making sure that sugar dissolves. Add peels and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until peels turn translucent and syrup begins to form bigger bubbles, about 1 1/2 hours.Drain peels, saving syrup for other uses (such as topping pancakes) if you like. Spread peels on a nonreactive cooling rack set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow peels to dry completely, about 2-3 hours.Toss peels in remaining 1 cup sugar, shaking off excess. Store airtight at room temperature. Serve peels plain or dipped in chocolate.*Melt 10 oz. chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in a small pan over barely simmering water. Dip peels halfway into chocolate; set on baking sheets lined with waxed paper. Chill until set, about 30 minutes.
Till next time........

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ice Tea Punch - Southern Style......


Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to get this recipe from a dear neighbor. It was her favorite "go to" punch for parties. My family fell in-love with this and it soon became our favorite summer drink. I am having a early summer picnic soon and I am seriously  thinking of making this for our beverage. The tea just adds a depth of flavor to all the juice flavors. I hope you will enjoy it as well.






Ice Tea Punch - Southern Style
1 quart water
10 tea bags (regular size)
Bring to a boil and remove from heat to cool.
Add 3-4 cups sugar to the hot tea and dissolve in tea
Add to cooled tea:
1 large can of frozen orange juice
2 small cans of frozen lemonade
1 small can of frozen limeade
1 large can of grapefruit/pineapple juice combined in one can.
Stir and refrigerate. To serve add 1 quart of Ginger Ale.
Till next time.......


Friday, April 1, 2016

Avocado Dressing...........


Avocados are something I never paid much attention to. They were mushy and bland in my book. But.......I have since learned they make a delicious addition to a sandwich or wrap. They also make a great dressing. So that's what I am making today. I want to use it for a shrimp salad I am making later on.




Avocado Dressing
1 avocado, ripe
1 clove garlic
1/2 Tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
water 
Put all ingredients in small food processor, blend and scrape down sides a few times. Thin dressing with water 1/4 to 1/2 cup, to right consistency. Keep in airtight container, will keep for about a week. Makes one cup of dressing.

That's the basic recipe, you can also add some onion or red pepper flakes or hot sauce to it. Depends on how much you want to "jazz" it up. If you are serving it for guests, you can dice a little tomato to serve on top.
I have the perfect bowl for my Avocado Dressing. It's an avocado bowl. How perfect is that!!
Till next time.......

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kale........

I always like to try new things. I know Kale has been around for a long time, but I just have never had it. Our deli had a salad of Kale, cranberries, sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese with a sweet vinaigrette. So I decided this was my chance to try a bit of it. I liked the flavor of the salad, but Kale is a bit chewy for my liking. It also needs to be in a salad or cooked with olive oil, onion and garlic. It didn't have much flavor on it's own.
Till next time........

Monday, March 28, 2016

Thank You...........

I would like to thank everyone for viewing my blog. I see I have some new viewers from "across the pond". Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you have found something of interest in it and that you will return to read it again.
Till next time.......

Homemade Bread.........

My project for this morning was homemade white bread. I am looking forward to a sandwich with homemade bread, turkey and avocado for lunch. Yum!!
The hard part is always waiting for it to cool so I can slice it and put it way. I've had a bread machine for many years and unlike a lot of folks, I actually use mine frequently.
So why don't you dust off your old bread machine and give it a go! Nothing tastes better than homemade bread.
Till next time.......

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cheeseburger with Avocado...........

I have never been one to eat avocados sliced on my plate or in a salad. But......I have recently found, that I love them on a sandwich; especially a cheeseburger or a grilled sandwich. Wow, what have I been missing all my life. On a sandwich, they are divine, still don't like them on my plate, just sliced. They need other flavors with them for me to enjoy them. By the way, this is what's for supper tonight, a bacon, avocado, cheeseburger with tomato and lettuce salad.
Till next time........

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Grilled Steak........

Looking forward to warmer weather so I can fix a dinner that looks like this one. Steak, asparagus and a nice sweet yam with cinnamon butter. What could be better? Warmer weather can't be too far away. After all, the first day of spring was last Sunday.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Miller & Paine Cinnamon Rolls.........

In my area of the world, Miller & Paine cinnamon rolls have been famous for as long as I can remember. It was such a treat to go to the Tea Room at Miller and Paine and eat these delectable rolls.
They have since gone out of business. But the Runza franchise has obtained the recipe from them and is making them in the winter to go with their chili bowl.
So before they stopped making them for the spring and summer, I bought two dozen of these delicious treats. One dozen to eat over time and one dozen to put in the freezer. They are so good this season, not a lot of extra sugar like they were last year. So good!!
Till next time......

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Egg & I..........

Sunday brunch took me to The Egg & I for lunch. It is only open for breakfast and lunchtime, ending at 2:30pm on the weekends and 2:00pm during the week. It was not crowded when we got there but soon began to fill up.
I ordered their Arizona Turkey sandwich on grilled sourdough bread. It was amazing and definitely something I would order again. I ate half of it with a dill pickle, side order of fruit cup and I took the other half home for supper. So much more than I could eat at one setting. It had smoked turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and sliced avocado on it. I mean, what is not to like!!!
Till next time.......

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Thumbelina Zinnias...........

I am looking forward to a mosquito free summer on my patio. I planted marigolds a few days ago and I am getting ready to plant  Thumbelina zinnias in a few days. They only grow to 6 inches and that's perfect for the  second tier of my planter. Besides being great at keeping pests away: they will be very colorful. I can hardly wait for all the flowers to start to sprout.
Till next time........

Flavored Butters.........

DON'T SPEND MONEY ON FLAVORED BUTTERS!! They are so easy to make and you can make them any flavor you can imagine. Not to mention the money you will save!! This is one of my favorites and believe me, I have a whole repertoire of flavored butters. I also like garlic, roasted red pepper and basil butter. But that's another recipe for another time.  I also like parsley and asiago cheese butter. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different flavors.



Lemon Basil Garlic Butter

1/2 cup softened butter, salted
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
Mix well, put in plastic wrap and form into a roll. Refrigerate till firm and serve with baked potato, steamed veggies or grilled steak. This is a finishing butter and it just adds that extra bit of flavor to your food. It will keep up to a week in the fridge.
Give this a try and you will never eat a steak without it.
Till next time.........

Friday, March 18, 2016

Grilling Time........

Sunday is the first day of spring. It's time to get out the grill and check it over. Make sure the grate is clean, the burners don't have cob webs, the auto starter is working and all the things that need to be done. Does it need a new coat of high heat paint this year? What ever it needs, get at it!! Summer will come very soon and you want to be ready. Also, update your memory on what the doneness of a great steak looks like. I like mine medium rare. There was a time I liked mine medium well. I know......what WAS I thinking?! But I have been educated and medium rare is the way to go. Happy Grilling.
Till next time........



Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day..........

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! Tis' the luck of the Irish I wish upon you. May God's blessings be many and your troubles be few. Enjoy a pint with Clancy down the street at the local pub, he'll love you for it.
I am guessing that by now, you have all gotten your corned beef and cabbage ready.  What's that? You don't! Well, get up off the couch and go to the store before they run out of brisket. It's time to get it in the oven!!
Doesn't this platter of food look great? I can hardly wait to dig in. That and a nice pint of Guiness to round out the meal.
Have a great St. Patrick's Day!
Till next time.......

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Down Wisconsin Avenue...........

Have you ever been to Milwaukee's Miller Park and heard the expression, "Down Wisconsin Avenue"? A Brewer radio announcer (Bob Uecker) coined the phrase for a pitch that went right over the middle of home plate.  A grilled 18 inch brat, covered in cheese curds, fried sauerkraut, JalapeƱos, cheese sauce, sour cream, chives and shoestring potatoes was made and called "Down Wisconsin Avenue". It was developed by Delaware North who had their food service contract. It is sold in a special Baguette roll and sells for $20. So if you go to Miller Park baseball field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; you will see people chowing down on this 18 inch fully stuffed brat sandwich. If you order one, you might want to it share with friends.
Till next time......

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Marigolds...........

It's March here and time to sow some seeds in my planter boxes. I got some seeds last fall from my daughter, so I planted them a few days ago. Her's are the shorter ones, that I had wanted last year. But unfortunately, I grabbed the wrong packet of seeds and my marigolds got between 12-18 inches tall!!
So I am looking forward to the shorter ones this year in my two-tier planter boxes. It is said they keep away mosquitoes. So anything that will help in that department is welcome.
Till next time......

Monday, March 14, 2016

Miller & Paine Cinnamon Rolls......

 If you live in my area, you know what a Miller & Paine Cinnamon roll is. They are the best EVER! Now that Miller and Paine is out of business, the Runza franchise has the secret recipe and are selling them with their chili. So today I am taking a run to the Runza to get a dozen for my freezer. I know I shouldn't, but who can resist this deliciousness??
Till next time........

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sub Sandwiches............

Sometimes you get hungry for an Italian    sub. Nothing else will fill the bill, so you go to the local sub shop. The taste is good, but the roll crust is so tough you can't chew it. So the next time you try another shop. The meat is almost paper thin and you wonder what you bought.
Ta-dah! Then you go to Subway and get their Italian BMT sub. The meat is so good, plenty of it and you get your choice of veggies and sauces to put on it!


As you can see from the photo. It is full of meat and veggies. My desire for a sub has been full filled. That will last me now for several months before I will want another one. But Subway, at least here, has the best subs around and a huge variety of them. Plus you can get a cup of soup on the side for a bit extra. Now that's a lunch!!
Till next time........

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Blueberry Pie.........

Blueberry pie is probably my favorite summer pie. It's right up there with fresh strawberry pie. This is a "make ahead" pie. Don't we all love something that is "make ahead"? The original recipe did not call for lemon zest, but I found the pie to be a little sweet so I added the lemon zest to balance the flavors. I always taste the blueberry filling before pouring it into the pie shell; as the berries vary in their sweetness and it may need a little more sugar.



Blueberry Pie 
1 quart blueberries
Take:
1 cup blueberries 
2/3 cup water
Simmer for 3 minutes. 
Blend the following ingredients and then add to the boiling blueberry mixture:
1 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1 tsp lemon zest
Boil 1 minute stirring constantly. Cook till thick. Place fresh, washed and drained blueberries in baked 9 inch pie shell. Reserve about a half cup of blueberries for the top. Pour the cooked mixture over the fresh blueberries in the pie shell. Garnish with the half cup of blueberries and chill for 2 hours or until firm. Can serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 
Till next time.......

Friday, March 11, 2016

Brats N' Beer............

Is there anything better than a grilled brat in beer? I also like my brats in sauerkraut; but that's a recipe for another day.
Brats N. Beer
1/4 cup butter
2 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)
3 to 4 (12-ounce) cans beer of choice
8 bratwurst links
8 small, crusty hoagie rolls
Whole-grain mustard
Dill pickle spears
Prepare the grill for a medium-hot fire.
Place butter in a medium-sized disposable foil roasting pan. Place pan on grill rack and cook until the butter melts. Add onions and garlic; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beer and bring to a simmer. Place pan on low heat zone and keep mixture warm. Place bratwurst on grill rack. Grill, turning occasionally, until evenly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer bratwurst to onion/beer mixture and let stand until ready to serve in toasted hoagie rolls.
Till next time........

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Zucchini Freezer Jam........

The freezer jam dates back to when the homemakers did not waste a single thing. When the harvest was in, canning and freezing began. Much like it is in my home today.
Recipe cards are almost a thing of the past. If we want a recipe, we go to the internet. If we want to share a recipe, we go to the email. So the lovely handwritten recipes are one of the many things that almost don't exist anymore. Unless you are my age. 
Zucchini Freezer Jam
6 cups seeded, peeled & grated zucchini
3/4 cup water
6 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 package (6 ounces) strawberry gelatin
Boil zucchini & water 8 minutes. Add 1/2 c lemon juice, sugar, pineapple–Bring to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil 15 min–Remove from heat and add jello–Stir until dissolved. Put in freezer containers.Keep in freezer.Yield 7 pints
(Better to make half of recipe as it sticks while boiling & must be stirred almost constantly).

Salmon Cakes.......

Here is another vintage recipe for Salmon Cakes. Homemakers of the 40's and 50's kept things simple in the kitchen. You will also notice this served 8 people. Today, it would only serve 4 people. After the depression, life was simple as were the dinners. People today would expect two salmon cakes for a supper, not one. I would serve it with a dill butter sauce and skip the grilled pineapple.
Till next time......

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Apricot Mustard Mayo.........

You've probably all had a grilled chicken sandwich. Whether you eat it plain, with lettuce and tomato, or with bacon and avocado, it is always delicious. But if you've never had it with an Apricot Mustard Mayo, you don't know what you are missing. Really!! It is so good.

Apricot Mustard Mayo
Equal parts of:
Apricot Preserves
Dijon Mustard
Mayonnaise
DO NOT SUBSTITUE Miracle Whip!!!
It is not the same thing as Mayo.Mix the ingredients and if you like a little heat, 
add some hot sauce or diced JalapeƱo to it.Slather it on one side of the bun and add your
other ingredients to the sandwich. I like it with lettuce, tomato and bacon. Enjoy!
Till next time.......



Monday, March 7, 2016

Pecan Coconut Torte..........

This is a coconut torte. It's a dessert I had years ago and I always thought it was special. It was something my Mom would whip up in a hurry for dessert.
Pecan  Coconut Torte
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded coconut
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
Combine graham cracker crumbs, pecans, and coconut in a medium mixing bowl; mix well, and set aside.
Combine egg whites (at room temperature), vanilla, and salt in a large mixing bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Fold in reserved graham cracker mixture.
Spoon mixture into a well greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until top of torte falls and becomes crusty. Cool completely. Cut into wedges. Serve on individual dessert dishes. Top with a scoop of ice cream or whip cream.
Till next time............

Getting Into My Blog.............@#%#$*

I don't know if the rest of you are having trouble getting into your Blogspot blogs, but sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. It's like if the computer is in a good mood, I get in, if it's in a bad mood, I can't get into my blog for anything. It makes it hard to have a blog when some days you can't get into it!!

This is so frustrating. If Google thinks this is fun, it isn't. You really need to fix this!!
Till next time.......

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cannoli............

If you are like me......you don't have time to make the cannoli dough. So I use won-ton wrappers, wrap it around the metal forms, glue it together with a little egg wash or water and fry them in oil. Done! 
Then fill with your favorite cannoli filling. I like a sweetened Mascarpone, nutmeg and mini chocolate chips. But that's me. Then dust with confectioner's sugar or dip the ends in chocolate ganache and enjoy.
Till next time........

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Inane Curiosity..........

It's been said I have a childlike curiosity. But haven't you ever wondered: if a frog jumps 12 inches in one hop, how far does he hop in his lifetime? Or when you see a feather blowing in the wind, how far does it float before hitting the ground, or how far has it already flown? Does a bird sing the same song over and over again? Or does he have several songs and just picks one?
Come on now, I can't be the only person that wonders these things. How can a horse sleep standing without falling down? If you call an orange,   an orange, why don't you call a lemon, a yellow or a lime, a green. It makes perfect sense, right? Why do you call an orange, an orange, do you know? Which came first the orange fruit or the orange color? And you wonder why I can't sleep at night. I have so many questions!!
You really need to question nature, there are so many unanswered questions. It truly makes a person go Hmmmmm.......
Till next time.......

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fish Fry............


When Lent arrives each year, one of the things I look forward to, are the different fish fry suppers at the area churches. That crispy fish, salad and macaroni and cheese is so good. I mean what is not to like!!



This year I found out the American Legion had shrimp and fish dinners. So I had to go check out the Legion. I got 10 pieces of fried shrimp, tons of seasoned french fries, cole slaw and bread and butter. I brought half of my dinner home for the next day; it was that big. I could not eat it all and it was only $8.00!!
Hope to see you at the fish fry!
Till next time.........