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Friday, November 28, 2014

Lacie Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes I just get tired of chocolate..I know that sounds unbelievable, but it's true.  This time of year from October until after the first of the year, it's nothing but Chocolate in some shape, size or form, to the point that I just need a change of pace from it..that's when I make these cookies..they are definitely free of chocolate yet definitely good cookies!  They are in a 4H cookbook from the early 70's and I have been making these for 40 years now.  I also like that they have all my favorite things in them, oatmeal, butterscotch, pecans and coconut.  They are just the thing with a cup of flavored coffee for me.  They are also a good way to use up some small bags of leftover ingredients in your cupboards from your previous baking.  I just pulled them out of the oven and already ate two and they passed the "remembrance" test for hitting just the right spot..


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soft shortening-Crisco
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat above ingredients with a mixer, then add:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat with a mixer and stir in by hand:
1 cup coconut
1 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 small bag butterscotch chips

form into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough.  press down with a glass bottom dipped in sugar.  (12 per cookie sheet-they spread out).  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with Barley

Since last Sunday was our kick off for Thanksgiving and I stuffed myself that day and every day since with heavy meals, plus it's really cold today, I decided today was a good soup day to lighten it up a little around here and to get some needed vegetables and broth in our bodies.  Therefore, I made a big kettle of my hamburger vegetable soup with barley.  This also works great for leftover roast beef shredded and cut up if you have that.  We didn't go anywhere today since we celebrated already, so it had a chance to simmer for a while and made the whole house smell good.  I usually try to make some homemade bread to go with it, but since it was a day off from work and a "slug" day for me, there is no warm bread to go with it, unless they want to make toast from store bought bread!  It tasted soooo good to me for dinner!  My tummy still feels warm inside and I am full, but not stuffed and bloated which feels really great!  Here's how I make it..

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with Barley:

1 lb lean hamburger-the high fat hamburger just makes it really greasy, even with draining to me.
1/2 large onion diced finely
2 -3 stalk celery cute finely
3 carrots, cleaned and diced finely
1 large can whole tomatoes..I remove any "hard" pieces and squash them with my hand when I put them in the kettle..I also add the juice from the can.
1 small can whole kernel corn
1 regular can pantry cut green beans cut in half
a handful of frozen peas
Beef base (I use Better than Bouillion beef base in the jar) 4 Tablespoons.  You can substitute beef bouillon cubes-4-6
1 quart of water
1/2 cup catsup

In a large stock pot, brown hamburger that is seasoned with salt and pepper, onion and celery until cooked through.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.  Then add 1/4 of a medium head of cabbage that has been finely chopped and 1/2 cup of quick cooking barley.  Simmer another 1/2 hour until done.  Taste for seasoning..add salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of sugar if needed and can also add more beef base if needed. 

Hamburger Milk Gravy

I am not sure if this is something served mainly in Minnesota or not, but I do know that I never see it on menus anywhere.  I've been eating since I was a kid and all the people of my age group pretty much know what it is, but it must have died out for the next generations because a lot of them never heard of it.  That's such a shame because I think it is really good and versatile besides, quick and low cost besides.  Serve it up with some mashed potatoes and a salad or green beans, peas etc and you have a satisfying hearty meal.  I made it tonight with some green beans and some raspberry jello with raspberries and cool whip for a side/dessert and the guys really liked the meal.  It's kind of a throw stuff in the fry pan from memory dish, but here goes..

Hamburger gravy, my version:

in a large fry pan add:
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 of a small onion diced finely
1 large stalk celery diced finely
a little salt and pepper

brown hamburger, onion and celery, covering and turning to low until all the veggies are tender.  uncover and shove mixture to one side, tipping fry pan so any drippings drain to one side..add 1 Tablespoon butter.  once melted add 1/4 cup flour mixing it into the drippings and butter until a thick paste.  Add whole milk (about 2 cups) slowly into the paste whisking until incorporated.  lower fry pan and mix in the hamburger mixture.  Add 1 Tablespoon beef base, or 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1 Tablespoon Western Dressing,  1/2 tsp celery salt, black pepper to taste and a dash of salt.  Keep on lower heat until thickened and warmed through.  Serve over mashed potatoes or even buttered toast.

NOTE:  You can change this up using leftover chicken or turkey and substitute chicken base or bouillon also. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Scalloped Corn

This is one dish that I only make on Thanksgiving..mainly because it makes a lot and it is all gone at the end of the meal.  I can't say it's my favorite thing to eat as a leftover, and if I wanted to make it for a regular meal I guess I'd have to figure out how to make it smaller which is too much work.  Thus, it's the Thanksgiving Scalloped Corn recipe..I made it today per the family request and it was empty once again, so I am posting it because it's a family favorite of ours.  It came out of a cookbook from my one of my coworkers and her golf league.  It's a small cookbook, but every recipe I've tried is a good one!

Scalloped Corn: 
1 (16 oz) can creamed corn
1 (16 oz) can kernel corn (drained)
1/2 cup butter or margarine melted (I use butter)
1 pkg Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients reserving 1/4 cup of the Jiffy corn muffin mix.  Combine well and put in a baking dish.. Mine is a 12" round size.  sprinkle with the 1/4 cup reserving mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until it's slightly browned and springs back a little when touched in the middle.  Mine took 45 minutes..depends on the size pan you used for time..

Early Thanksgiving

We are having our family Thanksgiving today early since one family had other plans for Thanksgiving on the actual day.  It will be at my daughter Kim's house, and she will be making the turkey over there, so I am making a more "travelable" meat..the ham.  Since I made this ham my kids, especially grandson, Kyle, insist that this is the only ham we serve..I tore the recipe out of a Country Living magazine, so am posting this for you as well as myself in case it gets too damaged or destroyed to read in the future.  The glaze is the best!  I didn't think Cola (I use Coke) would make any kind of decent glaze, but it really does.  Can't wait to have some today!  I am going to try scanning the page so you can see the picture of it done..I have never been able to capture it because they start carving it immediately once it's done and there is never time!  Here goes.  Oh, and just in case you are wondering, because I did, you leave it uncovered the whole time until you let it rest at the end, then cover it with foil (after taking it out of the oven).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Boot Cuffs for Alana

Alana, my granddaughter, asked me to make her some crocheted boot cuffs some weeks ago because I gave her some Bear Paw boots for her birthday, plus she likes to wear dress boots the last few years.  She went as far as to search pinterest for a free crochet pattern for them and sent it to my Pinterest account.  Anyway, I did print it, but pretty much ignored it because things have been so busy lately.  Today, since there is snow on the ground and snow in the air, I decided it was a good day to try making them.  I actually didn't like the pattern she gave was really written poorly and after barely starting it I did a search online and found one that is easy, cute to me anyway, and written pretty well.  I got one done and hope to finish the second one yet tonight.  I used some leftover yarn I had from the shawl I just made..I like it, it's a dark gray with a tweedy texture, but soft.  If anyone is interested in the pattern, let me know and I will post the link..

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deb's yummy Serbian Soup

My neighbor in the cube next to me has brought this soup in for potlucks a couple of times.  It is so great when the weather is cold like it is right now.  I just crave it and made a batch tonight so I could freeze some for my lunches at work.  It really warms up your whole insides and it's filling besides.  A meal in one kettle!

Deb's Serbian Cabbage and Smoked Sausage Soup:

In a large kettle:
melt 2 Tablespoons butter
add 1/2 small onion finely chopped and 2 minced garlic cloves..
cook until tender.

1 can drained kidney beans
6 cups water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon or comparable
1 smoked sausage circle (I used beef smoked sausage) diced in small pieces
2 cups diced potatoes
(I added one diced carrot for color)

simmer for 15 minutes

then add:
1/4 cup catsup
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cups diced cabbage-(she uses the cole slaw mix in the bag)

simmer an addition 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender enough. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

The 3 grandkids are here this weekend-actually 2 last night and Alana will be here this afternoon, so when I woke up this morning the thought of something from the oven for breakfast would taste mighty good with a glass of milk for the kids (and me and Dave!), so I looked through my set of Pine to Praire (love those cookbooks!) for a recipe for blueberry muffins since I had some in the freezer.  I chose this recipe because it 1) actually called for frozen blueberries and 2) it had cinnamon in it and cinnamon sugar topping it off-and we all LOVE cinnamon, especially warm out of the oven.  It made a small batch of muffins-I made 9 smaller ones, but would make 6 large ones with a little more baking time. 

Here's the recipe:
Combine 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup milk until well blended.

add: 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt just until incorporated. 

Stir in 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (I would try to use the wild blueberries which are tinier, although I used the regular sized and they were fine if that's what you find at your store only.  I just like the little berries spread throughout better.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes in a sprayed with Pam or greased muffin pan.  remove when still warm and dip tops in melted butter (the other 1/2 stick) and then in cinnamon sugar. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jodi's Mac and Cheese

I just got this recipe from my friend, Jodi, and tried it tonight for supper..let me tell you, I have made zillions of recipes for mac and cheese and didn't like any of them as much as Kraft Mac and Cheese from the box, but this one is GOOD.  It's so simple that I was wondering about it, but glad I took the leap of faith and went for it. 

All she does is cook enough macaroni to feed you family..I cooked a few cups of elbow macaroni..about halfway or so..mine said cook 11 minutes and I cooked it about 6-7 minutes.  drain.  in a buttered casserole dish start making layers with the macaroni, shredded real Kraft American cheese (I used slices because I had them) -do not use velvetta- and dots of butter.  I made three layers ending with the cheese and butter on the top.  pour a can of evaporated milk-must be evaporated milk-over the mixture.  LIGHTLY salt and pepper the top.  the cheese has salt in it remember.  Bake at 325 for one hour.  YUM.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reading pillow for Sam

As I've stated previously, my granddaughter is working on a new quilt for her bed..I decided to make her a big reading bed pillow because she likes to read before she falls asleep or play with her kindle in the mornings while she wakes up, thus needs something big to "prop" herself up if she's anything like her grandma.  I used some cuddle fleece so it would be nice and snuggly for the main body (pain in the tush to work with) and used some of her fabric she had left for the back and letter on the front with chocolate pom-poms for a little cuteness.  The color is pretty off on these pictures..the letter is actually a darker brown and has aqua swirls in it and it's much deeper and bluer than it looks for the fluff..but anyway I like the end results and I am sure she will too.  The second picture is truer to color..  I am bringing it up to her later today with a pot of her favorite wild rice soup recipe from Byerly's..her real birthday was yesterday, so today will be more laid back and a little extension of her special day for her from me..