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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ina Gartin's Ice Box Cake for a birthday for a coworker

It was my turn (January) to bring a dessert or treat to work for a coworker's birthday Monday.  She requested something chocolate, and to be honest I don't mind chocolate, but it's not my favorite..too rich sometimes for me.  I am a fruity dessert girl.  Soooo, after wracking my brain for a while I found this recipe for an icebox mocha chocolate dessert from Ina Gartin's site.  fluffy, pillowy mousse layered with chocolate chip cookies..what more could you want?  I make chocolate curls from Ree Drummonds site and it was a big hit.  You can find both recipes online.  I only changed the cookies to a Walmart brand because her brand wasn't readily available.  This recipe would be so easy to change up to any flavor and use different cookies, like the thin chocolate wafery ones, or shortbread cookies etc.  It is super simple to fact I think easier than making a real cake!  It was a show stopper and big hit!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Shellie's Christmas Quilt is a success!

After months of pondering on getting started on a quilt for my daughter, Shellie's, king sized bed she requested last spring and picked out the pattern for, I finally got started a few months back and finished it for Christmas!  She sent me a picture of it today, although the colors are a little off, so I will post the fabric picture also.  I think it looks great and so does she!  Major undertaking making one this large, but it's worth it in the end.  It was a Thimbleberries pattern that I enlarged. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Granola recipe from Laurie

I am on a healthy roll director at work, Laurie, treated us all to a breakfast yesterday at work. She had lots of treats for us and one of them was this granola to put on yogurt that she made. I got the recipe from her and just had to make a batch tonight because it was so good! This was my dessert tonight after my bran muffin supper..vanilla yogurt with some of the yummy granola..


3-1/2 cups old fashioned or steel ground oats
3 cups of a variety of nuts, for sure add some sunflower seeds, and then she used cashews, pecans, and you can add walnuts, sliced almonds etc.  I don't think peanuts would be good though, but that's my opinion.  

1/2 cup honey
6 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons?  vanilla (the recipe is written kind of weird, so it might be Tablespoons, but I used teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter and mix with cinnamon, vanilla and salt.

Mix oats, nuts and raisins if you desire (I think they would get kind of burnt, but?)  I didn't use them)

Mix all together.

spread over a cookie sheet pan with sides and bake 75 minutes at 250 degrees.

Bran Muffins

My mother-in-law used to make bran muffins a lot..Joe loved them and so did she.  I don't remember if she ever put raisins in them..thinking not when Joe was around because I don't think my kids ever liked raisins much, at least whole ones.  I remember she would grind them up to distribute them more in cookies and things, so she may have done that.  Joe reminded me of them the other month..I am slow at responding some times..and I finally bought a box of Bran Flakes today and made a batch.  Yummy actually.  I put some butter and a drizzle of honey on mine, but jam would be good too. 

Here is the recipe I followed because there wasn't one of the box I bought-it was generic.  I original Bran Flakes used to have it on the box, but I found it online..


1-1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
14/ tsp salt
1 egg
1-1/2 cups skim milk (I used whole milk because that's what I had)
2 Tablespoons oil
3 cups Bran flakes
1/3 cups raisins or craisins if desired

1) Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Beat egg in a small bowl; stir in milk and oil.  Add to flour mixture; sir just until moistened.  (batter will be lumpy).  Stir in cereal and raisins.  spoon batter into muffin pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  fill each cup 2/3 full, making 12 muffins. 

2) Bake at 400 degrees for 2025 minutes or until lightly browned.  serve warm.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Soup in a Bag for Gifts for Coworkers

I was thinking of what to give as gifts to my coworkers this year and since we always have tons of candy and sweets at the office, I decided to go with something different.  I did a search for soup kits and found this one for Friendship Soup online that definitely had the right name linked to it.  There were several positive reviews and some tips that I liked, so I went for it.  I did a test run a week ago or so, and did a few of my own changes.  I tasted the broth, but the actual soup I sent to my daughter's house for them to all have to dinner and give their opinion's on.  It was a thumb's up, so went about gathering all the ingredients to make the 15 packets and am adding a can of Rotel cilantro and lime tomatoes and a box of Jiffy cornbread mix so they have a complete meal in the busy season coming up if they choose.  I designed a combination greetings card and instruction sheet on how to assemble it for in the bag too.  It's kind of a southwestern flavored soup and here is how I made it..for the packets I layered in each one (I put the clear cone bags in tall glasses with the top folded down a little to keep it open)

3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp powdered beef base
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried kidney (red) beans
1/3 cup great northern beans

Layer all of the above in a cone bag or 2 cup jar.

To turn mix into a pot of soup:  In a large crockpot add:
either: 1 lb hamburger or ground turkey browned with salt and pepper, or a ring of smoked sausage cut up in bite size pieces (I used turkey smoked sausage), spicy chicken sausage-a lot of reviews said this was really good, or leftover roast beef etc.

THINGS YOU NEED TO ADD: a can of Rotel cilantro and lime tomatoes, 4 cups water, a quart (4 cups) of beef stock, 1/4 cup catsup, a small onion diced, 1 stalk celery diced, and 1 carrot, cleaned and diced. 

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.  Mine was cooked on low and actually took about 9 hours for the beans to soften correctly so allow enough time..I baked the Jiffy cornbread so it was still warm when it was eaten. 

You can cook this on the stove also..they said it would take about 9 cups of water for about 2-1/2 hours.

You can add more water if it looks too thick, a little at a time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

King sized quilt for my Daughter Shellie's log bed

Shellie asked me in the spring of this year if I would make her a new quilt for her bed.  I had made one for her about 17 years ago, but although it's still intact, it's starting to fade and show that it's been well used and loved.  I vowed I'd never make another King sized quilt, but I caved, plus I have tons of fabric in my stash that I've barely made a dent in, so I said I would make it for her birthday and Christmas gift..well, now Christmas is around the corner and I finally got the top done to take to a machine quilter tomorrow.  I still have to piece the flannel backing tonight, per her request..she loves the cuddliness of flannel, especially here in Minnesota.  It's a Thimbleberries pattern by Lynette Jensen in one of her books.  I generally find her patterns easy, but for some reason this one kind of was a struggle.  Maybe because I haven't made a full quilt for a long time now.  I've been more into crocheting.  Anyway, here is a photo before the quilting and I will post one of it quilted also.  Makes such a difference! Thinking she will like it, especially since she picked out the pattern!  LOL

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pineapple Prezel Salad

I am doing some "night before Thanksgiving" prep, and decided on making this salad.  A coworker, Paul, made it for a Christmas brunch we had and I really liked it.  I've made it a few times since, and decided to make half a batch for tomorrow.  I am the main person who likes "fluffs" as I call them.  I also am having a small batch of cranberry/pineapple/marshmallow fluff, so I am hoping most of them will be gone that way so I don't take a spoon on Friday and eat them all myself!  This salad is so good.  the pretzels taste like pralines in it.  Another item I could just eat with a spoon-in fact I know a person who did do that!  Here goes:

Pineapple Pretzel Salad (full batch)

1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup crushed pretzels

Mix ingredients and back on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. cool and crumble them up again.

Mix 8 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar

Then Add a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple that has been drained well and 12 ounces of Cool Whip. 

Add pretzels before serving.