Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guacamole Dip

Football season has started and so have the  tailgating parties. Dig out your favorite party recipes and let's have a great season of football. I'll be cheering on my team, that's for sure! I had never made Guacamole dip before. Then I found out how easy it is to make. Guaranteed, I will continue to make it.
Guacamole Dip
2 ripe avocados
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 ripe tomato, chopped
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, tomato, and half the lime juice. Taste and add the rest of the lime juice or more salt and pepper if necessary. Chill for half an hour to blend flavors. Makes 2-3 cups of dip.
Put it in a colorful dish and serve with your favorite crackers or chips.
*Tip: Put a piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole after it's put in the container, then put the lid of the container on. This will keep the dip green for days.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meatloaf..........

Have you ever thought about meatloaf? No, I mean, really thought about it. What ingredients do you use, do you follow a recipe? For me, meatloaf is one of those things that I don't use a recipe for and it is different each time. It is always good, just different. Sometimes I grate up some zucchini, celery or carrot to put into it. Especially, if I happen to be using ground turkey. Sometimes I use sage or poultry seasoning and garlic, sometimes I go sweeter and use grated carrots, red pepper and onion. So you can see......it is never the same. What generally denotes what I use, is what I have on hand. I usually put a BBQ sauce on top the last 20 minutes of baking time as a finishing touch. Do you have something like that? Something that is different each time you make it, but still  good?
Till next time......

Monday, August 29, 2011

Potato Soup

Fall is just around the corner and the potato harvest is in. Why not make a big pot of potato soup for the cool Fall evenings?

Potato Soup
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, cut into chunks
Combine broth, potatoes, onion and spices. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender. Mash a few of them to release the starch for thickening. Reduce to low heat. Add the cream cheese. Heat, stirring frequently until cheese melts. Garnish with sliced scallions, bacon bits and or cheddar cheese.
Till next time.......

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Still At The Park.....


As I said before, summer is coming to a close. This fluffy group of seeds was hidden in the wild flowers and grasses.
Till next time......

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Walk In The Park


It's getting close to the end of summer and walking in the park is one of my favorite things to do.The end of summer is evident when you look at all that surrounds you. The grasses are starting to turn brown and many of the plants are producing their seeds.

Flowers are starting to die and change color. All of nature is getting ready for the fall season. Although it is still quite warm here, Fall is just around the corner.

It is easy to forget how far you have walked when you are having such a wonderful time at the park. Thanks goodness, someone had the good sense to put park benches here and there. They are also quite comfortable. The paths wind around so you can enjoy the many areas and it is also a bit hilly. So the benches are more than welcome!

While I was walking along the pathway, this grasshopper seemed to want to walk with me. Well, at least for about 100 feet or so. The grasshopper was so accommodating when I went to take a photo. Funny, too, after the photo it hopped away. Such a ham!
Till next time.......

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pimento Cheese Spread

Sometimes going back to the simple recipes from the 1950's is a fun journey. Life was simple, cooking was simple and the recipes were simple. Just your basic delicious food. Here is a simple recipe for your basic Pimento Cheese Spread. Over the years I have used different cheeses, added  some spices  here and there and substituted a scallion. But this is the basic spread. From here,  you can experiment and do your own thing.

Pimento Cheese Spread
1/2 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small onion, grated
1 small jar of pimentos, drained and diced
1 cup of mayonnaise
Salt and Accent to taste
Mix cheese, onion and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Fold in pimentos and mix well. Great as a sandwich spread or on crackers. Makes a great filler for celery.

Here is a link to another Pimento Cheese spread. It is a more elaborate recipe  with more ingredients but is very good. She Wears Many Hats 

But don't forget...........simply is still very good!
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Strawberry Butter

Sometimes in life, you just want to feel special and you are looking for that extra something to pamper yourself with. Nothing elaborate, just that little extra something to make your day special. This recipe is just what you need. Years ago, I stayed at a B&B in the Pocono Mts. This was served with the morning popovers. I asked if I might have the recipe and the host just chuckled. He said it was no secret,  just half butter, half jam and a teaspoon of lemon juice. You can use it on popovers, bagels, raisin toast, muffins, waffles or anything that suits your fancy. If you want to change the taste, change the jam. Orange marmalade is especially good. This makes a lovely birthday gift to a close friend or a housewarming gift.

Strawberry Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp lemon juice, will brighten the flavors and cut the sweetness.
Whip all ingredients till well blended and put in a small 8oz dish. Store in refrigerator. Serves 2-4 people.
Till next time.......

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Bacon

Sweet & Spicy Bacon
Brown sugar
Cayenne
Black pepper
Thick bacon
Stir the above first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cover a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and put a baking rack in the pan. Arrange 12 strips of thick bacon on the rack and sprinkle with the mixture. Bake them 20 minutes in a 350° oven. Pour off the drippings in a bowl. Turn the bacon over and sprinkle with more of the mixture. Bake another 20-30 minutes till desired crispness is reached. Makes 6 servings of 2 strips each.
Till next time.......

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wax Begonia

I got three wax begonia bulbs this spring and only one has graced me with a beautiful yellow bloom. We've had some rain recently and nothing is prettier than a bloom with rain or dew drops on it. In this case, it is the rain that made this lovely photo.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orange Cinnamon Glazed Nuts

Orange Cinnamon Glazed Nuts
1/3 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 cup of sugar 
1/2 tsp orange rind
4 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites
3 cups nuts (walnuts/almonds)
Preheat oven 325°. Put butter in 9x13 pan and put in oven to melt butter. 5-7 minutes should do it. Beat the egg whites with salt and orange rind, till foamy and slowly add the sugar; whipping till stiff peaks. Gently fold in the nuts and cinnamon. Pour the nut mixture into the 9x13 pan, toss with butter. Bake 40 min. and toss every 10 min. until nuts are crisp. These are good warm or cold. Will keep 2 weeks in air tight jar. (if there are any left after serving them. LOL)
Till next time.......

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Black Eyed Susans

A Black Eyed Susan is just one of the bright colored flowers that grace a garden. You can see many of them growing wild along the roadside. Just looking at them makes a person feel good.
Till next time......

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Busy Bees......

I was at my daughter's last evening and she has so many photo opportunities in her different gardens. The bees were busy collecting nectar and catching them sitting still was not easy. But I did manage to capture this one. Hope you enjoy.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chocolate..............! !

Okay, I will admit it. I have had the strongest cravings for chocolate today; but there is nothing chocolate in the house. Believe me, .......I have looked everywhere. Nothing is better than a piece of homemade fudge! Absolutely, nothing in this world! But if I make it, I will have the rest of the pan to eat by myself. That is not a good thing. So tomorrow, I will go to the grocery store and buy a couple packages of chocolate pudding. That will have to satisfy my chocolate cravings. Why can't I be skinny and then I could eat the whole pan of fudge?
Till next time.......

Monday, August 8, 2011

Balsamic Tomatoes

All the veggies are coming into season now. The ears of corn are plentiful and the tomatoes are overflowing. If you are looking for a quick and easy salad on these hot summer days. Here's a quickie and one that is simple to do. Using cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes work the best, I think. All you have to do is cut the grape tomatoes in half or the cherry tomatoes into 4-6 pieces. Drizzle them with Balsamic vinegar glaze and let sit for 30 minutes before serving. If you don't have Balsamic vinegar glaze, just take some Balsamic vinegar and let it reduce down till it gets syrupy. Let it cool and then drizzle it over the tomatoes. It's that easy.
Till next time......

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

National Blueberry Popsicle Month

I'll bet you didn't know there was a National Blueberry Popsicle Month. Well, there is and it is September! Who knew, right? So I figured you might as well celebrate it with some homemade blueberry popsicles. They are easy to make and after September, you can use a different fruit and still enjoy healthy popsicles. This month you could use peach or strawberry or maybe a refreshing kiwi popsicle.






Blueberry Popsicles
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
sugar, honey or maple syrup to taste
Blend blueberries, yogurt, milk and sugar until smooth. Pour mixture into eight 5 oz paper cups. Place foil over the top of each cup and insert a wooden stick as the handle. Freeze up to 6 hours. Before serving, dip cups in warm water for a few seconds and they will come out easier. Or you can peel off the paper and foil.
Till next time.......