Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Spicy Mustard Sauce.........

I've got just a quick spicy mustard sauce for you today. It goes together very quickly as it only has 5 ingredients. It is good with salami cubes or cheese cubes or just smeared on a sandwich.

Spicy Mustard Sauce
2/3 c Dijon Mustard
1/3 c cider vinegar
1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp hot sauce (optional or to taste)
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Let stand for a few hours to let the flavors blend together.
Till next time.....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lake.....

There's just something so relaxing about going to the lake, watching the fishermen/boaters and just being by the water. It is so soothing. It's fall and the leaves are starting to change color; which makes it even more beautiful.

This day there was a pontoon boat with a fisherman. I didn't see him catch anything, but I know he was enjoying himself just being on the water. His view of the leaves was spectacular. Notice that beautiful golden tree right in front of him. The beauty of nature reigns supreme.


It was so pretty at the lake; I really hated to come home. But sooner or later, I had to leave. There aren't a lot of red trees this year, but a few are scattered among the rest. In another week, they should be at their peak and I will be back.
Till next time......

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Apple Season..........

It's the season for wonderfully ripe apples. That wonderful time of year when your kitchen smells like apple pie and apple butter cooking. The best thing about fall is not Halloween, it's apples. Imagine all the goodies, caramel apples, taffy apples, apple pie, apple crisp, apple pudding and homemade apple butter that you've made and canned for the winter. YUM!

One of my favorites is apple crumb pie. Then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it's the perfect dessert. A friend gave me a lot of apples so I have several bags of apples in my freezer for this winter. I definitely want to make some apple butter before the apple season is over. Nothing in this world smells as good as apples and spices cooking on your stove.
Till next time......

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Tomato Preserves........

Every summer, I make tomato preserves. Every summer, I hold my breath to make sure it sets up properly. Well, I've waited several months to try it and tonight I had some on toast. It set up!!! So I am a very happy camper. I've also learned a new trick this summer about making it. So next summer it should not be a guessing and hope game. It seems it is best to drain the tomatoes first. My recipe is from an old cookbook and it never said anything about draining the juice. Perhaps that is just something I was supposed to know. I've been making it for almost 55years, the same way. So an old  gal can always learn a new trick. 
Till next time......

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last of summer........

One of the last blooms of summer. It's hard to admit summer is over and fall is upon us. Where did the summer go?
 Dried seed pods, you know summer is over when you see these many seed pods all over.
A lonely little bloom among the dried grasses. It just doesn't want to give up and admit, summer is over.
Till next time......

Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer Blooms.......

 A lovely sunflower and just part of the beauty of summer.
 One of the many cone flowers that were in the garden.
A pink/cream lily pad bloom.What more can be said about these beautiful blooms? It's just nice to be able to enjoy them.
Till next time......

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Husker Cookie........

I had one of these Husker cookies at card club and thought they were absolutely adorable.
This is the top of the cookie with a big N on it. Wouldn't you just love to have a few dozen for your next Husker game?
Till next time......

Taking A Walk.......

On my morning walk, I decided to take my camera, "just in case" I saw something magical. As I stepped out the door, I saw this beautiful Primrose. What could be prettier than this dainty little rose?
Then I ventured back behind some things and what to my wondering eyes did appear; this nest of hornets. It appeared to be empty or they were sleeping. In any case, I didn't spend a lot of time by it.

Then I spotted this dragon fly caught in a spider web! I felt I had found some treasures to be sure on my walk. Besides a beautiful morning to walk, I got some really nice photos.
Till next time.....

Friday, September 26, 2014

Morning Gold.........

Sometimes, it's not the sunrise in the morning that is spectacular, sometimes it's the pre-sunrise. I was sitting on my patio waiting for the sunrise and then I saw it, the dark clouds approaching. Not always, but sometimes, that means a golden opportunity for a great photo.
As I waited, the "morning gold" started to appear. This dark cloud began to be tinged with gold and the darkness was starting to disappear.


Here it is! The "morning gold". The sun was shining on the back of the cloud, creating what I call, "morning gold". It's the beauty of the day for me, waiting for the sunrise as I watch the news on TV. When you see the sun starting to rise and see the beauty of it, your day just has to be better.
Till next time......

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yesterday's Sunrise.......

Yesterday morning, this was the view from my patio. A gorgeous red sunrise to equal none, at 7:12am. Imagine my surprise when I opened my blinds and saw this amazing sight!

As the sun was rising, the color was lessening. By 7:14am; the gray skies took over and this amazing sunrise was gone. For all of you who sleep late; this is what you miss by not getting up. That's why mornings are my favorite time of day. Well, that and sunsets.
Till next time......

Friday, September 19, 2014

Savings......Do You Save?

I wonder sometimes if the younger generations are learning to save for a "rainy day." I started saving when I was just a very young teenager. When I babysat and received money for it, I had to save half of it. Then when I was a little older and had a job in a store, I had to save half of what I received. At the time, I didn't understand the importance of what I was being taught. As most teenagers I would have rather spent it all. But that was not an option. As I grew into adulthood, I started to understand what saving  and "rainy days" were all about. You just never knew when an extra bill or a car repair was going to happen. Or maybe your child needed an unexpected dental appt. In life, things happen and you have to be prepared for it. So,  to the younger generations I say, start saving now, it really is an important life lesson for you to learn.
Till next time........

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunset in the Central Plains........


Nothing is prettier than a sunset in my area. I never get enough of them. The colors always amaze me and I am mesmerized by them.


Till next time.......

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Facts.........

Today, here are just a few interesting facts about Fall. Enjoy this beautiful season. 
September 22 is the autumnal (fall) equinox. There are two equinoxes each year and the other is in March at the start of spring. On this date the day and night are each about the same length. The term equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night”. One of the visible signs of fall is the changing color of the leaves. This happens because photosynthesis stops during this period so leaves do not stay green. Favorite fall fruit and vegetables include apples, spinach, squash, bell peppers and, of course, pumpkin.The custom of bobbing for apples originates from Roman times. 
Evergreen trees remain green through the winter because they have waxy leaves which do not freeze.
Till next time......

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peach Salsa.......

Peach season is upon us and football season will soon be upon us. Why not treat your football pals to some nice peach salsa. Grab a bag of tortilla corn scoops and mix up some salsa and you have a party. It's as easy as that! Go Team!!





 Peach Salsa
2 medium peaches or nectarines OR 1 1/3 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices, thawed
1/2 cup chopped red OR green sweet pepper
1/2 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
Meanwhile, for salsa, peel and pit the fresh peaches or pit the nectarines. Finely chop peaches or nectarines. In a bowl combine peaches or nectarines, chopped red or green sweet pepper, avocado, green onions, lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro. Cover and chill until serving time. Makes 6 servings.
Till next time......

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spicy Garlic Chicken......

I read about this marinade, and I had to give it a try. It gave the chicken that little extra something without being overpowering. As with any recipe, I changed it according to my own taste. It really added a depth of flavor and was so good. This is definitely a "keeper" in my house!
Spicy Garlic Chicken Marinade
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice/Orange juice or Lime (I used lemon)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
3 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
Put the chicken in a Ziploc freezer bag and put the marinade in on top of it. Massage it good to get all the flavors blending together and then get as much air out of the bag as possible, so the marinade is covering the chicken, seal and refrigerate for 4 hours. Put the Ziploc bag on a plate or in a bowl to prevent any spillage. Then grill or roast the chicken. I roasted mine and basted it with the glaze 3 times during the cooking time.
Glaze

1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 tsp rice vinegar or citrus juice
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp water
Put all ingredients in a microwave safe mug and warm to blend flavors, DO NOT BOIL! 
Till next time......

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blood Pudding/Sausage......

With a "nod" to my Irish ancestry, I offer this recipe. Is it something I would eat; I'm really not sure at this time. But since it is such a part of the Irish culture, I wanted to share it with you. You might turn your nose up at this, but is it any worse than Scrapple from the Pennsylvania Dutch country? David Bowers' book is full of Irish recipes, 150 of them. These are classic recipes from the Old Country. Check out this book for other unusual Irish recipes.
Blood Pudding/Sausage
4 cups fresh pig's blood

2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oatmeal
2 cups finely diced pork fat (or beef suet), finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease 2 glass loaf pans. (If you don't have glass loaf pans, line metal loaf pans with parchment to keep the blood sausage from reacting with the metal and creating an off-flavor.) Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the blood. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and stir in the oats. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until just tender, not mushy. Pour the blood through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in the fat, onion, milk, pepper, allspice and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the oatmeal and mix to combine. Divide the mixture between the loaf pans, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour, until firm. Cool completely. Seal in plastic wrap and winter freeze for extended use or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve, cut a slice about 1/2-inch thick off the loaf. Fry in butter or oil until the edges are slightly crisped and browned. This can also be put into sausage casing for links.
Here are just a few of the recipes you will find in this book:
Homemade Irish Sausages

Potted Shrimp and Potted Salmon
Finglas Irish Stew with Dumplings
Whiskey Chicken and Roast Goose with Applesauce
Boxty, Cally, Champ, and Colcannon
Apple Snow, Almond Buns, and Summer Pudding
Elderflower Lemonade, Black Velvet, and Ginger Beer
Cherry Cake, Custard Tart, and Brandy Butter 
This cookbook is available for about $12.00 on Amazon.com in paperback or about $21.00 in hardcover.
Till next time......
 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rosy Peach Jam........Pickled Beets.....

Peaches are in full season now and so ready for making cobblers, jam, freezing or just eating sliced in a bowl. It's been a busy morning for me; as I have been making jam. Nothing is better after working hard; than hearing that familiar "ping" of your jars sealing. Then standing back and looking at the beautiful jars of rosy peach jam. As you can see, I got 8 jars of variable sizes and.....they all sealed! (and of course, a tad bit just to taste and for morning toast!)
Rosy Peach Jam
5 cups peaches, chopped
2 cups crushed pineapple
7 cups sugar
1 pkg peach jello
1 pkg strawberry jello
I use my food processor to chop the peaches, so quick and easy. Just pulse them till they are the coarseness you want. Then cook the peaches, pineapple and sugar for 20 minutes. Add a small pkg of peach jello and strawberry jello. Stir till the jello is dissolved. Take off the heat and pour into sterilized jars and seal. I water bath my peach jams for 10-12 minutes.   Enjoy!
NOTE: For a more peachy flavor use 2 pkg of peach jello and no strawberry jello.
I also made a pint of pickled beets today. They turned out yummy as well.

Till next time......

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blueberry Sauce.........

What could go better on Lemon Custard ice cream than a nice blueberry sauce?
Blueberry Sauce
1 1/2 pints frozen blueberries
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 water
Combine the blueberries and vanilla sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and the lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thick.Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. (Instead of straining it, I run it though a small food processor)
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lemon Custard Ice Cream......

After all the freezing and canning a person deserves a reward, right? I've been hungry for Lemon Custard ice cream for a long time. You can't find it in the stores or shops so I decided to make some. 
Lemon Custard Ice Cream
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
Combine the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan and simmer to dissolve the sugar. While the cream mixture is simmering, beat egg yolks until creamy in a medium bowl. Temper the eggs, adding a little cream mixture a little at a time. Add back into the cream mixture and stir until it thickens up and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Cool for 10 minutes, add vanilla and lemon extracts. Place in refrigerator to cool until mixture is cold. Pour custard into ice cream machine and follow manufacturers direction. Mine takes about 20-30 minutes. After that spoon it into a bowl with a lid and place in the freezer for about 2 hours and enjoy.
This is a rich ice cream and freezes very smooth. No ice crystals in this one.
Till next time.....
 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Bounty......

Here are the fruits of my labor from yesterday. I only had 6 cucumbers, but look at the wonderful pickles I have for my freezer. I so enjoy this time of year when I can fill my freezer with the summer bounties. As they say, "I'm in hog heaven." Ha-ha. Everyone has their own thing to make them happy. Canning, Preserving and Freezing are three things I enjoy to the fullest. Then I can stand back and admire my work and all the good eating.
Till next time......

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Freezer Bread and Butter Pickles......

When gifted with cucumbers, I make pickles. These are Freezer Bread & Butter Pickles. I used my trusty food processor to cut them. It saves so much time and work. Certainly not like the old days, of cutting them with a knife. I did the same thing with some onion. Soaked them for 2 hours in an icy salt brine, rinsed them off and now they are in the pickling syrup in the fridge for 24 hours. So tomorrow, I will package them for the freezer. This winter they will be so yummy. It seems everyone has their own favorite pickling syrup recipe. I have several that I trade off on. I just use whatever strikes me on that day. When my family was young, I used to make pickles by the gallon jars. We had a second fridge that I used; just to put Refrigerator Pickles in. I used a meat slicer then to cut the cucumbers. In case I was in a hurry and forgot to say thanks for the cucumbers, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
Till next time..... 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Phosphoric Acid.......

What's this a recipe for? Do you have any idea at all? Well, if you do, you were probably a teenager in 1950's. For a nickel, you got a small one, for a dime, you got a large coke glass of this delicious beverage. You could get, lime, lemon, cherry and even chocolate phosphates. At least you could at my drug store fountain. The “phosphate drink” was the most popular drink at soda fountains for over 70 years, but once Phosphoric Acid disappeared the real phosphate soda disappeared too. Happily, Phosphoric Acid is once again available and now you can taste the ingredient that launched some of the most popular beverages in the world.
Lime Phosphate
In a 10 ounce glass
1 1/2 oz.of lime syrup
1 tsp of Phosphoric Acid
Fill glass with soda water 
The phosphoric acid adds a tartness to the drink to counter balance the sweet lime syrup.
Boy, doesn't that take you right back to the 50's!!
Till next time......

Friday, August 1, 2014

Drains & Alka Seltzer.....


Remember the old ad; "plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is" . Well, it does more than relieve indigestion. It can clean and unclog your drain, if it isn't a serious blockage. Occasionally, you and everyone else has a slow running drain. Here's a quick fix for it and it makes your drain smell fresh, too. What more could you ask for?
Alka-Seltzer
First, drop four tablets down the drain. Then, pour one cup of vinegar down there, too. Wait about 10 minutes, and then rinse with boiling water.  This won't work for serious blockage. It's a low cost solution for a moderately clogged kitchen sink. Now I ask you, how easy is that!
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marie Callender Meals.....

If you are like me, sometimes you need a quick but nourishing meal. Marie Callender has always been thought of as a great brand. However, and this is only my humble opinion, I was disappointed in her frozen meals. I found the chicken to be delightful, the mashed potatoes, average and the corn was way over cooked. I followed the microwave directions to a tea.

Next, I tried the Creamy Chicken and Shrimp in a Parmesan Alfredo Sauce. This time, I used the conventional oven method. The chicken and shrimp were cooked nicely. The summer squash and broccoli were over cooked and the pasta was way over cooked. The sauce was very sparse. So again, I was disappointed. I have one more to try.
The last of the three I bought, is the Beef and Broccoli with rice. This time, I am going to thaw the dinner out, and then heat it in a conventional oven. Hopefully, that will keep it from overcooking the veggie and rice.
All in all, I have been disappointed in the frozen meals. If anyone has had a nice experience, I would love to hear from you. I won't be buying anymore of them. Sorry, Marie, I was disappointed. P.S. I cooked them for the least amount of time. I can't imagine what they would have tasted like if I cooked them for the longer time.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apple Crisp......

Every so often I get a sweet tooth. Nothing satisfies it like a nice warm apple crisp. You know, the type with an oatmeal crumble on top, warm and bubbly. Today it is cool enough to have the oven on; so an apple crisp is going into the oven for supper tonight.

Apple Crisp
6 apples - peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.
Till next time.......

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday - Cleaning Day......

Yes, today is the day to get the job done. I got out the steam mop and mopped the kitchen and bathroom. I've washed the rugs for both rooms and have started to vacuum the carpet. Next is dusting and wiping down the mirrors, sinks and commode. Whew! But it is Saturday and it must get done. Wiping down the cabinets can wait till next week. After that...A Strawberry Margarita!!
Till next time......

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicken Loaf.......

This recipe was given to me by a neighbor in 1961, so I guess that classifies it as vintage. She had fixed it for their dinner and the aroma from her apartment was so yummy; I had to ask what she had made. She offered the recipe and who was I to say no!! The best part of this recipe is that it is good hot or cold the next day. Just fix a nice salad and slice off some of the chicken loaf. Even my husband liked it cold; which meant I could make it again. This is not a gelatin loaf.

Chicken Loaf
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 chicken, roasted
1 cup mushroom soup
2 cups soft bread crumbs
3 eggs
parsley
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup green pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
Roast chicken till tender and take off of the bones. Then combine chicken and other ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan in a pan of water for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. 
Till next time.......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing......


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.
Adjust the sugar to your own taste.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Almond Maple Granola........

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.......




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies.........

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 egg
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.
Till next time.....