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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Key Lime Poke Cake

We are celebrating Kim's 43rd birthday today.  It's actually tomorrow, but Monday is not the best day when we all work and have school/activities etc, so doing it today.  She got to pick out the menu which will be swiss steak, baked potatoes, salad, garlic bread and hot vegetable.  She sent me this link for Key Lime Poke cake for dessert.  I love key lime anything, so looking forward to trying it out tonight.  It looks good, but the key lime filling was hard to find.  I actually ended up ordering it online from Walmart, so ordered two cans in case we like it, or for a dessert to bring somewhere later on with the other can.  It must not be a popular item up in Minnesota because they had the lemon which probably would be good in this too.

KEY LIME POKE CAKE DESSERT:

1 (16.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) box lime jello.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 (22 oz) can Key lime creme pie filling and topping
1 (8 oz) container cool whip
fresh lime zest for decorating

INSTRUCTIONS:
preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan with cooking spray.

Mix cake according to package directions and bake.  cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile: in a small bowl, mix lime jello with 1 cup boiling water, stirring until dissolved.  Add 1/2 cup cold water and set aside.  Poke multiple holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Pour the jello slowly over cake so it seeps into the holes.  Let the cake completely cool.  Refrigerate 2 hours.

Spread the key lime creme pie topping over the cake and then completely cover with the cool whip.  return to fridge and cool one hour before serving.  Decorate with fresh lime zest and lime slices if desired.  (I just used the zest).

White Chocolate Fruit Tart/Pizza

Kim got this delicious fruit tart recipe from her mother-in-law, Barb some years back.  She had made it for a birthday party at their house so Kim asked for the recipe and passed it on to me.  I have only made it a handful of times since then, because it's something you definitely want to share..it's so good, but very rich and too yummy to have laying around tempting me.  Tomorrow is bosses day at work, so I am making it for a treat there, along with some other surprises people are doing for the day.  Once you make this you will be making it again and again.  It's the best fruit "pizza" I have ever had.

WHITE CHOCOLATE FRUIT TART/PIZZA:

CRUST:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

FILLING:
1 pkg. (10 ounces) vanilla (white chocolate) baking chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 pkg cream cheese softened

TOPPINGS:
1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained-but save the juice)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced, or fresh raspberries
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwi fruit peeled and sliced in half

GLAZE:
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Gradually add flour; mix well.  Press into an ungreased 11-1/2 in tart or 12 inch pizza pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chips until melted.  do in short bursts so they don't scorch.  Beat in whipping cream.  Add softened cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Spread over the crust.  Chill 30 minutes.  Add fruit on top in circles around the center.

Bring glaze ingredients to a boil over medium heat for 2 minutes or until thick.  Brush glaze over fruit.  Chill for one hour.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Making a Jughead Jones hat for Sam

Granddaughter Samantha Rae wanted a Jughead Jones hat because she is in to the show Riverdale and also decided to dress up like him for a "character day" at school this week, so I made her one! It was a free crochet pattern and the yarn was almost nothing, so she got a good deal..they are like $25 and up online. Most of them are knitted, but I think this looks pretty close for crocheted work..I think she'll like it! I worked on it this weekend and tuned in to the show on Netflix while I did so.  It's actually a good series!  Kind of a mystery.  I will have to let her know to keep me updated when the next episodes come out.  Here is her hat, all finished.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crocheted Beach Bag for my Director at work who is retiring

I try to make a handmade gift for people when they are retiring from our department at work.  I started out wanting to make this super cool crocheted Tree of Life pillow in a hot pink but messed up the pattern toward the bottom and decided it was something to make when I felt no pressure and time restraints and that was definitely not the time!  Then I happened to come across a blog post for this beach bag and immediately fell in love with it.  I liked the design and colors a lot and felt it would fit her perfectly since it's her taste I am sure, and she will be spending time in Florida in the winters going forward.  I started it a month ago, right before we took a 2 week vacation with our camper out west, so it's been worked on in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana along with Minnesota.  It took a lot more hours than I thought, but I like the result.  I also got her a white monogrammed beach towel in Navy writing to match and a bottle of her favorite wine to tuck in..hoping she'll like it, I do!  The pattern was on the Little Monkey's Crochet blog and there is also a child sized one that she used aqua and white and gray in..it's adorable. 




Sunday, September 24, 2017

Taco filled Pasta Shells

Today I was thinking about what to make for dinner with some hamburger I had thawed out and needed to use.  Somewhere in the mental list of things I could make, I remembered these taco shells.  I thought at some point I had made them and posted them, so I looked for the recipe, and lo and behold it appears I never posted it, so must have been a while since I made them.  They are great for a meal with a salad, or even just a side veggie of Mexican style corn, or both!  It was in an old Taste of Home Magazine as a make one, freeze one style dish, but when I used to make it I'd make the whole thing up because some of the family really liked it and wanted it.  Now it's basically just a few of us, so I make the recipe in half.  it makes about 12-14 shells, so plenty to even have for leftovers around here.

Here's the process:

TACO FILLED PASTA SHELLS: can easily double for a crowd.

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese cubed
12-14 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package, drained and a little butter mixed in to prevent sticking.
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I substitute nacho doritos a lot)
1 cup sour cream
3 green onions, chopped.

In a skillet, cook hamburger until no longer pink (season a little with salt and pepper).  Drain is needed.  Add taco seasoning and prepare as directed on package.  Add cream cheese and stir until incorporated into hamburger mix.  Set aside to cool a little to handle easily.  Stuff each cooked shell with about a Tablespoon of meat mixture and put in a baking dish that has the salsa added to the bottom.  When finished stuffing all the shells, sprinkle the taco sauce over the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then uncover and sprinkle with the crushed chips and cheeses and return to oven for about 15 more minutes or until melted and heated through.  Serve with chopped onions and sour cream.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apple Dumplings

When I was in a meeting at work yesterday for some reason we started talking about apple dumplings.  It is the season after all, but I was amazed at how many people (the majority) had never heard or tasted them!  It really goes to show how old I am compared to them I guess!  Anyway, when I was young, later teens and 20's, I used to make these quite often because my dad and husband really liked them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly melting over the warm dumplings.  Me too, of course.  Anyway, the recipe was from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from that 70's era..I think it was my first official cookbook, that I still have, but is in sad shape after 45 or so years of use.  I has a lot of good recipes in it that I still use actually.  Anyway, the page for the dumplings was ripped out from wear, and I knew that I had rescued it and put it in a "safe" place, and after searching in all the most logical places I finally found it and am going to post it on here along with a picture of the finished product once I make it to bring in to work to educate these kids on good apple desserts!  Next time I won't have to dig forever either!

APPLE DUMPLINGS:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (the recipe calls for 1/4, but I am not a big nutmeg fan)
8 drops red food coloring
3 Tablespoons butter

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups Crisco
1/2 cup milk

6 medium, whole apples, pared and cored:  I like Haralson apples the best, but any pie apples work.  (I actually slice the apples because I don't care for whole apples baked- in this case you need 1/2 apple sliced for each dumpling..I like the sugar more distributed throughout and I like apples fully baked and not hard at all, but it's up to you and your taste which you do)

extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling the apples before wrapping (just an fyi-the sauce is sweet on this, so I sprinkle them, but don't overdo it so it's sickeningly sweet)

FOR SYRUP: mix first 5 ingredients; bring to boiling to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat; add butter and stir. Set aside.

CRUST: (just an fyi, if you are scared to make this, just make your own pie crust version or buy some premade crusts.  it all works out fine).  I use my crust that is posted on my blog, but at first I used this and it's good.
Sift together dry ingredients; cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add milk all at once; stir just till flour is moistened.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 18 x 12 inch rectangle.  Cut in six 6-inch squares.  Place apple (or piled up apple slices) on each.  sprinkle apples with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg if you like it.  dot with butter.  Moisten edges of pastry, bring corners up and pinch together to close around apple.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2 inch baking pan.  Pour syrup over the dumplings; sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve with vanilla ice cream while warm or whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Elbow Macaroni Hotdish (from Grandma Finger)

Joe has been talking about this hotdish lately.  My mother-in-law Margaret used to make it often and he'd literally shovel it in.  (she used to make EVERYTHING he liked on a regular basis though..she loved her grandkids so much!).  Between her homemade cinnamon rolls and some of her dishes like this, she had plenty of company with those hungry grandkids of hers!  Anyway, I make it occasionally, probably not quite the same as hers, but close and decided to make it tonight for supper for me and Dave.  We enjoyed it, good old comfort food, hotdish, corn on the cob fresh from the roadside stand, and fresh Colorado peaches..good meal!  There really is no recipe, but this is close to how I make it..

ELBOW MACARONI HOTDISH:

Cook a few cups about 2- 3? of elbow macaroni per the package directions to a dente.  (the oven will additionally cook it and you don't want mushy blown up macaroni..not good.

in a medium kettle, brown 1 lb of hamburger that is salt and peppered to your taste, about 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery that is finely diced, 1 whole carrot that is cleaned and finely diced and 1-1/2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or the cream of mushroom/chicken blend soup-that's what I like to use), and 2-3 Tablespoons of Western dressing (I know it sounds weird, but it gives it a great flavor)  and a heaping tsp of the liquid beef base in the jar or a beef bouillon cube.  when the noodles are done, mix it all together, put in a casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until top looks a little bit brownish.  eat.