Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu.....

OK, this year we are not, going to do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age, but I just didn't want to work so hard this year, just want to send more time in the living room with the family and less time in the kitchen.  So here's the menu....keeping my fingers crossed for good weather, so we don't have to grill in the garage....LOL.
Cranberry Salsa with Tostada Chips
(recipe below)
Tossed Green Salad
Choice of dressings: Ranch, Thousand Island, Blue Cheese
horseradish sauce/sauteed portabela mushrooms and onions
Baked Potato
(and I do mean baked not microwaved)
Butter, Sour Cream, Cheese, Chives, Bacon
Green Bean Casserole Au Gratin 
(recipe below)
Legendary Lion House Rolls
For Dessert choice of:
My Apple Pie, Key Lime Pie, and French Silk Chocolate Pie
French Silk Chocolate Pie, My Apple Pie and Key Lime Pie
Recipes: Chocolate, Apple, Lime below
(I may make some chocolate cupcakes for the grandgirls they're not much on pie)

Cranberry Salsa
 1 bag Cranberries chopped
1/2 small onion chopped
1 jalapeno chopped
1/3-1/2 Serrano pepper optional
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
1 C sugar          1/2 C Splenda works well too
Dash of salt
Juice of 1 lime
Process first 5 ingredients, stir in remaining ingredients.  Chill several hour or over night.  Serve with chips
Would taste great thinly spread on a turkey Panini .

I rediscovered how good a real baked potato tasted maybe a year ago.  I was trying to duplicate the baked potatoes at OutBack Steak House and came up with this, technique:
Wash/scrub your potatoes well
dry them off
Stab each in several places 
Drizzle with olive oil, and rub each to coat
sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt
Bake at 400 deg for about a hour (depending on their size) or until fork tender
And of course serve piping hot, and top with you favorite toppings.

And I'll just bet you won't believe where I found this recipe...Tasty Kitchen, of course.   It really sounds good.
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • ⅛ teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ¾ cups Milk
  • ⅓ cups Shredded Colby Or Jack Cheese
  • 2 cups Frozen Or Fresh Green Beans, Cooked And Drained
  • ¼ cups Butter Flavored Croutons, Crushed
  • 2 slices Bacon, Cooked Crisp, Crumbled
  • ½ teaspoons Paprika
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Melt butter in pan; add flour, mustard, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until it has a creamy bubbly consistency. Pour in milk and cook, stirring constantly until you have a nice thick white sauce. Add cheese, blend well and remove from heat.
Put green beans in a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the cheese mixture over the green beans and stir to coat the green beans well. Sprinkle the crushed croutons over the green beans. Spread the crumbled bacon over the top and sprinkle the paprika evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.

Now for the Key Lime Pie recipe, I found (don't remember where, but I'm pretty sure it was on the internet somewhere) and made recipe #1 for the first time a few weeks ago and it was so good, but I have another recipe I want to try, so I'm not sure right now which I am going to do.  I let you know...

Key Lime Pie  (2)
#1.   Ingredients  (5 stars, yes it was that good)
          For the crust:
  • 1-¼ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • cups Butter
  For the filling: 
  • 1 Tablespoon To 2 Tablespoons Of Grated Lime Zest (optional)
  • 2 cans Sweetened, Condensed Milk, 14 Ounce Cans
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • ¾ cups Key Lime Juice
  • Optional Garnishes: Whipped Cream And Lime Rounds
Preparation Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Then melt the butter in the microwave and mix it together with the crumbs.
3. Press the grainy crust mixture against the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
4. Grate the skin of a lime until you have 1 – 2 tablespoons of zest (depending on how “limey” you like it!). I didn't use any and didn't miss it at all.
5. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest.
6. Mix well and pour into the graham cracker crust.
7. Bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Do not overcook or get even close to brown! If you don’t get these pinhole bubbles, that’s OK just make sure to still pull out the pie in under 10 minutes or it will burn!
8. Chill pie thoroughly before serving.
9. Garnish with whipped cream and lime rounds, or however desired!
#2.  Ingredients
     For the Crust:
  • 1-¼ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • cups Sweetened Coconut
  • 2-½ Tablespoons Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
      For the filling:
  • 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 whole Large Egg Yolks, At Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Fresh Key Lime Juice (or Bottled, If You Prefer)
             For the topping:
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Plain Gelatin
  • 1 Tablespoon Cold Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Confectioner's Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
Preparation Instructions
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar and butter with a fork in a medium sized bowl. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch glass pie pan (not deep dish). Make sure the mixture covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). Remove to a wire rack and cool.
Mix together sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks with a whisk until combined. Add in lime juice and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Pour filling mixture into cooled crust. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie on a wire rack and then chill for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
About an hour before serving the pie, put heavy cream in a large bowl. Place gelatin and water in a small dish in the microwave. Heat 5-10 seconds or just until gelatin is melted. Add this mixture to the heavy cream and whip just until combined. Refrigerate this mixture for about an hour.
When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream mixture with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until stiff. Place into a pastry bag and pipe onto pie as desired.

Pictures and reviews to follow on Black Friday...Mari Ann and Shawn have to work Thanksgiving....

Wishing all of you

 a wonderful and prayerful 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

More recipes from my kitchen...

I was on a cooking binge last Sunday made some stew which was OK, but nothing to brag about, but these two recipes are worth bragging about and passing on to all my friends and family.  They are both recipes  I got from my favorite web site Tasty Kitchen, that I merged with other recipes, tweaked to my own taste and ended up tasting great even though I forgot one ingredient in one recipe.                  

   Banana Nut Muffins                                                                
3/4     C  Butter -- room temp                                                                       
8         Oz  Cream Cheese -- room temp                                                  
2         C  sugar                                                                                               
2         eggs                                                                                                               
3         C  flour                                                                                              
1/2     t  baking powder                                                                                       
1/2     t  baking soda                                                                                               
1 1/2  C  bananas (apx 4 medium) -- mashed  (if very soft just break into pieces and toss into mixing bowl beating till incorporated)
1         C  nuts                                                                                                     
1/2     t  vanilla     (optional if us use coconut)
1         C Coconut
  • Cream butter and cream cheese until creamy, slowly add sugar, beating till very light and fluffy about 3-5 minutes
  • Add eggs 1 at a time beating until just blended after each
  • Combine dry ingredients, and slowly add to mixture beating on low spread until just blended
  • Stir in mashed bananas nuts and vanilla if you are not using the coconut, I forgot the vanilla when I made this with the coconut and it still tastesd great.
  • Spoon into 24 paper cup lined muffin tin.  I made 6 large muffins, 12 regular size and the small  loaf pictured above.  Sorry about that picture I'll try to take a better one soon.
  • Bake at 325 for 25 minutes remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Or have one while it's warm from the oven with a little butter on it...
  • If you like you can frost them with your favorite Cream Cheese very good.

 My Apple Pie

Peel core and slice about 8 C Apples (I used Granny Smith and Figi)
2     T lemon juice                                                     
1      double pie crust
4      T flour                                          
1       t cinnamon
3/4 C lightly packed brown sugar
Sprinkle of nutmeg
2      T Maple Syrup  opt.
1      T heavy cream
4      T butter
  • Place the peeled, cored and sliced apples in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and toss apples to coat.  Mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg in a bowl then sprinkle over the apples tossing to coat well, them add syrup and cream to the apples, stir to mix.  Set aside. 
  •  Place bottom crust in a deep dish pie plate, pour in apple mixture, dot the top of the apples with the butter, then place the top crust on top of the butter and apples.  
  • Seal/crimp the edges of the pie, cut several slits or holes in the top crust, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  
  • Place in a 400* oven for 20 minutes, them lower heat to 375* and continue to bake about 50 minutes more, watching the crust for the perfect golden brown, lay a sheet of foil over the pie to prevent over browning.  
  • Allow to cool at least 1 hour before serving.  Top with Blue Bell.  Yummmm!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finally, fall is here...

Opened as many windows as I could to let that wonderful crisp fall air in the house.  I've been craving those wonderful comfort foods like chili, soup, stew or even just a cup of tomato soup and a grill cheese for weeks.  Today the high is suppose to be only in the 60' cozy, just perfect for some Chicken'n Dumplin's (2nd recipe down), but this time I'm trying to cut the recipe in half (never done that before) , always make chicken'n dumplin's for an army.  Also, I'm taking a few short cuts, like buying canned chicken.  Also making some Carmel Apple Cupcakes  I found the recipe on, where else, on the Tasty Kitchen web site, but I just made a 1/2 recipe (see my 1/2 a cake mix recipe).  Got to have something sweet for the grandgirls lunch boxes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Just sampled the cupcakes.  They are really really moist, but I'm not real crazy about the caramel icing/frosting.  Think I would prefer a softer/fluffier caramel frosting, if there is such a thing, may have to do a little experimenting on this,  I'm thinking even a peanut butter cream cheese frosting would be good, but with just a hint of peanut butter.  PS;  the grand girls didn't like the cupcakes, one wouldn't even try them the other ate about 1/2 of one.  Guess it has to be chocolate or nothing for them...
The chicen'n dumplin's were very tasty but I made to many dumplin's and not enough broth.
Next time I'm making chili,  but I'm going to use stew meat instead of hamburger....We'll see how that turns out.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Voting today in a run-off...

I hope every one in my area, (and any other area) where a run-off election is being held today, will go out and vote.  Here I think we have 3 different offices in the run-off.  I don't have a problem deciding who to vote for in two of the races, but there's one, where I'd rather not vote for either.  I wish I could show my distaste for both men in some way, but I don't know how I do it so they will know how I feel.  They have both been really nasty mud slieedngers.  Is there a way, we as a civil, honest, Christian society can let the politicians know that we do not appreciate this type of politicking.  The only way I can think of is not to vote for either of them.  Do you have any suggestions?
PS Just as I posted this and ad for one of the men I do not want to vote for apeared on my there a way I can remove it???

Sunday, July 29, 2012

it's been a while....

But I have returned today.  For the first time I made a Chicken Lasagna.  I don't think I have ever eaten it before either, but I had some spaghetti sauce in the fridge I needed to use, so that's what I cooked.  I have used the Virginia's Easy Lasagna recipe for years.  I got it off a box of Skinner Lasagna noodles and you can find it on the box today.  I had to adapt the recipe a little but it really turned out great and it really s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d  the one whole chicken to feed about 12 people.  You could use canned chicken if you want but I had a chicken in the freezer I needed to use.

 For Chicken Lasagna
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1/4 C diced Bell pepper
1 small onion diced
1 C sliced mushrooms
1/8 t crushed red pepper of more if you like it spicier
1-3 cloves of Garlic diced
1 t Italian seasoning
1/4 C sliced black olives
3 C diced cooked chicken
3 C   Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 C  Water
1 3/4 C  Ricotta Cheese
2 C  Mozzarella Cheese -- grated
1/2 C  Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs
1/4 C Fresh Parsley -- chopped
1/2 t  Salt
1/4 t  Black Pepper
1- 8 Oz Package  Lasagna Noodles Uncooked

For For Beef Lasagna
1 lb  Ground Beef
Heat oven to 350*
For the Chicken Lasagna
  • In a large skillet melt oil and butter
  • Add bell, pepper, onion, mushroom saute till tender stir in red pepper, black olives, garlic and Italian seasoning then add chicken, spaghetti sauce and water.   Simmer
  • In  bowl mix together the ricotta, 1/2 of mozzarella,  Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper
For Beef Lasagna
  • In 3 qt. sauce pan brown hamburger, drain fat.  At this point you may add bell pepper, olives, pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic and Italian seasoning if you wish
  • Stir in the spaghetti  sauce and water cook 10 minutes
  • In bowl stir together ricotta, 1/2 of mozzarella,  Parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper
To assemble:
  • Pour about 1 cup sauce on bottom of 9 X 13 pan, start with a layer of pasta, then more sauce,  1/2 ricotta mix repeat. finishing with sauce over noodles.  Top with remaining mozzarella
  • Cover and Bake 45 min  Remove foil bake an additional 15 min
  • Let stand 10 min before cutting

Note:  if you prefer you may cook the noodles before hand, if you do, omit the 1-1/2 cups of water

Later today I am going to take my Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies (6th recipe down) and try to turn them into Smore's cookies...Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July...

Spending this week with 4 of my grands:  Allison, Sara, Hannah and Josh.  Just got Josh and Hannah yesterday, Allison and Sara are here while thier mom and dad are working.  They are having a grand time, so far there have been no squabbles, but they know they will have to get out of the pool, all of them if any squabbling goes on, it doesn't matter who started it or who's fault it is everyone will have to get out of the pool and get ready for bed.
It's almost 8pm, they have been in the pool since about 5, hope they don't get too water logged. They did get out for a while to wolf down some supper.
Knew when I got up this morning I would be making the kids some special treats, one of which would be pancakes for supper.  They love having breakfast for supper, it doesn't matter if it's eggs, pancakes or their favorite "When French Toast met Pancakes and fell in Love".  But as I said tonight was pancakes.  I just about always use Bisquick when I make pancakes, but I have my own recipe for mixing it up.
Pat's Bisquick Pancake Recipe
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 C milk 
1/2 t maple extract
for each cup of Bisquick.  
Mix well until combined. Cook immediatley.  Batter thickens as it sits you may need to add more milk if it sits a while as you cook.
Tonight is the first time I added the maple extract.  When I first put the maple extract in I thought perhaps the kids would not eat them because it turned the batter a brownish color, but once cook it was barely noticeable.  The kids said they were" the bomb", they all had several helpings.
Today I also made a half a recipe of the Superbowl Peanutbutter Cake (10th recipe down or June 12, 2012 Blog), I wanted to make 12 cupcakes, which worked out perfect.  But when I made the frosting I added 3 T cocoa (probably could have done 4 T for a deeper Chocolate flavor) and several tablespoons of milk 1 at a time (sorry I lost count) till the frosting was the correct consistancey.  3 out of 4 gandkids loved them ... husband liked them too, and so did I.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Sara!!!

June 21 is a day full of  birthdays.  It is Sara's  birthday, Nora my beautiful German child's (and oh by the way she just gave me a new grandchild a few months ago) and my sweet Joanna's birthday!   Made Sara a Chocolate-Chocolate cake, She made it a point or rather her mother did that she wanted a regular Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  I kind'a cheated a little  and used a mix, but as usual I couldn't leave well enough alone.  Used 4 eggs intead of 3,  used Mocha Frappacino (4th recipe down with picture)  intead of water, made 3 layers instead of 2.  We had a wonderful day, I just regret that I didn't get any pictures of the family birthday party.  Sara and everyone loved the cake in fact it was gone by the end of the day.  I'll try to get a few pictures of Sara the next time she is over here.  They all just grow up way to fast to suit me.