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Saturday, May 30, 2015

A day to try a new Pioneer Woman recipe

I was watching one of my favorite Food Network shows "The Pioneer Woman" a week or so ago and she was making a meal for her husband's birthday.  She made this recipe that I just had to try, so did today.  It's called Parmesan Peppercorn Ranch Dressing.  The recipe makes about a quart, so I picked up the ingredients I didn't have at home (except the tri-colored peppercorns-I just used plain peppercorns because I had some of those and couldn't see buying them) and made the dressing this morning so it could "work together" all day and I could serve it for supper tonight.  It was easy to make..everything goes into a blender to mix together.  My husband and I both liked it a lot..He asked for more of it on his salad then I had put on even.  Anyway, it's a good ranch dressing, so give it a try if you like ranch.  Tastes very fresh.  we added more ground peppercorn and a little salt on ours when I served it.  If you are watching your calories, you could definitely substitute the light versions of most the ingredients and I think it would still be good.!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Leslie's Special K Bars-Yummy

I am not sure how or where my friend, Leslie, got the recipe for these bars, but they are the best Special K Bars that I have ever had.  She brought them over one time when we were having a sewing weekend together and I was hooked on them.  It was hard to not eat the whole lot of them!  I immediately asked her for the recipe and now these are the only ones I make, and I thought the other recipe (original one) was good.  They are super creamy and sinful.  Two of the grandkids are coming over for supper/sleepover tonight, and being I had all the ingredients, I decided this was a good time to throw a batch together.  I am hoping they love them too so I don't devour the whole thing myself!  Try the recipe, it's 100% guaranteed you will love them too!

In a medium saucepan put:
1-1/3 cups white sugar
1-1/3 cups white syrup (Karo)
bring this mixture just to a rolling boil..remove from heat and add:
1-1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
and stir together until smooth..then add:
6 cups Special K cereal and mix until completely incorporated and coated.  Put the mixture into a 9 x 13 lightly sprayed cake pan, patting it down until flattened evenly. 
Melt together 1 pkg chocolate chips and 1/2 pkg butterscotch chips via double boiler method or microwave method (I use the microwave method, heating 1 minute, then stir, heat another minute and stir and adding 30 seconds as needed until completely smooth (usually one 30 second timing works for me, so 2-1/2 minutes total.  Frost this onto the bars and let cool.  The hardening is faster if you put it in the fridge, but after hardened leave bars on the counter so they stay chewy.  (cut fairly small as they are very rich).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

M&Ms left on my counter?

Last night my son, Joe, must have been craving his favorite M&M cookies, because when I went into the kitchen to clean up after supper, there was a large bag of plain M&Ms.  Since today is my day off, I decided to use up some lemons I had in the fridge from another cooking adventure a few weeks ago and make lemon bars to give away..some to bring to Kyle's spring concert tomorrow night for him and Sami and my daughter Shellie, some to Alana because she loves them, and some to a girl at work who is going on a road trip to Florida with her husband who loves my lemon bars big time..a little care package for the road.  While I was at it I made Joe's M&M cookies, just from the recipe on the back of the M&M's.  They turned out really tasty.  I must admit I did sneak a one or two or three of them this afternoon..had to make sure they were just right after all.. I am posting the recipe just in case they don't put it on the back down the is a good one after all!  (The lemon bar recipe has already been posted previously on this blog)


1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-3/4 cups M&M (not peanut)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until well blended.  Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
2) Add flour, baking soda and salt (that has been whisked together) to the butter mixture until well combined. 
3) Fold in the M&Ms.
4) Drop dough onto cookie sheet (I used a small cookie scoop) by rounded Tablespoon about 2 inches apart.  It says to lightly grease the pan, but I didn't and they were fine. 
5) Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from pan onto cooling rake.  enjoy.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The row of roses..

I wasn't going to post anymore pictures of my Sophie's Universe CAL afghan until it was done, but I just had to post this row because it's my favorite!  It's cute little, ANOTHER post of it is coming your way!  (I still have 58 rows to go..this is number 60..whew! It's going to be BIG.) The CAL is actually done now and some people have actually made 3 or 4 of these things in the time it's taken me to do 1/2 of one, so guess that shows my speed, but that's okay..I can plug along and feel just fine about it and see all their postings of the finished ones!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Coffee Cozies Day

My daughter, Kim, asked me to make her a copy cat coffee cozy like her daughter's friend bought at Caribou Coffee.  She found a pattern online and forwarded it to me a month ago and today, due to the fact that it's cold, rainy and I was in the mood, I made one.  I am thinking it's cute, but not sure if it's supposed to have a bottom in it or not.  This pattern does have it closed at the bottom, so waiting to see what she says and then will see if I have to rework the pattern a little to have an open bottom, which won't be that hard.  They are super fast and soft.  The little hand warmer on the side is the main reason she wanted this style.  Anyway, here's the test run..we'll see if there is a second one posted later on depending on her response..
They seemed to want the both ends open style, so made another yellow one and a requested gray one for Alana..tonight I will probably make some more up since they are fast for quick gifts for coffee can even add a gift card in the hand slot area..


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hat #2 for great great niece Leah

I worked today on finishing another hat for my great, great niece, Leah..Got it done so that I'd post a picture quick before I run it to my mom's for pickup from them, maybe tomorrow or next weekend.  Leah is sick right now, so might not be in shape yet to go there for Mother's Day like they had planned.  Hoping she posts a picture of her in it so I can put that on here at some point too..
Leah in her hat!

Karen's Bolognaise sauce recipe

Okay, I know this is another "Florida" post, but they ARE coming to an end, I promise..

One of the meals Karen made for use was a newer recipe of hers .Hearty Fettuccini Bolognaise took her literally hours to make, but both Joe and I liked it a lot, so I bugged her and she finally gave me the recipe just before I left.  I have been wanting it a second time and today decided it was a good day to do it because I was going to be home all day and I had the energy to make it..a win-win situation.  I will be giving it out to my daughter, Kim, for their supper tonight too because it makes a big batch.  Here's the recipe and how I changed it (some of which Karen did too)


1/4 cup olive oil
2 small, or 1 large, onion chopped (finely)
2 cups (4 stalks) celery chopped small
1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 large or 3 smaller)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (I used a heaping tsp of jarred chopped garlic)
1/2 lb ground veal (we used lean hamburger)
1/2 lb ground pork
3/4 lb (12 ounces package) mild Italian sausage
6 ounces pancetta bacon diced (we used bacon)
2-14.5 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with liquid (I squished them as I put each one in)
1 (14.5 ounce can chicken broth)  I used chicken base and 14.5 ounces of water
1/2 cup whole milk
5 tsp chopped Italian flat leaf parsley (I used 1 tsp dried parsley)
5 Tbsp chopped basil (I used 3 teaspoons dried basil)
5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (I used a scant tsp dried thyme)
pepper to taste and small amount of salt if desired (be careful with the salt)
1 pound fettuccini prepared according to directions (we used linguine because it's smaller)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1) Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat.  Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes.  increase heat to high and add meats, cook until meat is evenly brown.

2) Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, milk, parsley, basil, and thyme.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered for 2-1/2 hours, stir occasionally, breaking up tomatoes with a spoon as you stir.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente stage.  drain.

Serve tettuccini topped with sauce and Parmesan cheese. 

Meat sauce after simmering for 1/2 hour..most of the liquid disappears by the end of the cooking time so it's thick and meaty.
The finished product, ready to deliver some to my mom, my kid Kim and one for me!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Remoulade Sauce recipe from Grills

When I was on the Florida trip (this is Florida trip posting month obviously!) Karen and Vern took us out to Cocoa Beach on the East side of state to a favorite restaurant of theirs and mine when I've been down there called Grills.  They have the best fresh catch lunches there and they especially love their fish sandwich, but I especially love their bacon wrapped scallops with a sauce that is wonderful.  We've been trying to duplicate it forever, and I have made one for our fondues that is pretty darn good, but on this last trip I asked the waitress if they would give out the recipe and she said yes!!  We had asked for it before and the answer was always no, so I was thrilled!  Of course, the recipe made 8 qts of it, which even at our household is a little too much, so today, since I am making the shrimp and scallop kabobs from Vern's recipe, I thought I'd try cutting it down to a more realistic size in case people wanted to have some with them.  I think it tastes right!  It's really good, so I am posting it as such and we'll see what the family says tonight..

1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup cocktail sauce (I used Heinz)
1/8 cup mustard (I used yellow, but a lot of sites I looked at said they use spicy creole, the recipe didn't say what kind)
large dash of Tabasco (some sites used siracha chili sauce)
1/2 of a lemon squeezed (I didn't aggressively squeeze because it was a juicy lemon)
generous dash of Cayenne pepper
1/2 Tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning
Mix together (or do all of it in a blender for smoothness, especially if you use the siracha) and refrigerate until ready to use. 
UPDATE: It was really good with the kabobs tonight.  My granddaughter, Alana, rated the meal a 10..Dave grilled the kabobs and they were perfect.  If anyone wants the recipe please ask. Yum.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mango Key Lime Pie

On my recent trip to Florida I, of course, was craving key lime pie, my favorite, but it seemed I was doomed not to have any until my niece and her husband suggested the pie at Publix, one of their local grocery chains, where they have both key lime and mango key lime.  My nice son, Joe, picked up half a pie there for us one night (so nice) and we both think they mislabeled it because it tasted a little like mango in the key lime.  No problem though as it tasted really really good.  Tomorrow night, after my granddaughter, Alana's, piano recital I am having some of the family over for a recap of a meal I had in Florida, so I made a copycat on my invention on the mango key lime pie.  I hope they like it because I think the filling tastes DELICIOUS!  I added some toasted coconut to the graham cracker crust too to make it even more tropical tasting.  I just bought a can of Redi-whip to add to it when serving.  I added 1/2 cup pureed mango (frozen and thawed chunks) to the filling.  Can't wait to eat it, but I have to wait until then..I have to wait until then...I have to wait until then.,.


Heat oven to 350 degrees:

Toast about 1/2 cup coconut in a pan in the 350 degree oven until slightly browned..this happens fast to watch it pretty close..remove.

Crush 18 whole sheets of graham crackers in a food processor or in a zip lock bag smashed until fine crumbs.  (I use my rolling pin)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Pour graham cracker crumbs, removing 1/2 cup to make up for the coconut you are adding, into a medium sized bowl.  (If you don't want to use the coconut in this, just use the whole amount of graham crackers).  Add the sugar and melted butter and mix thoroughly with a fork.  Press the mixture up the sides and bottom firmly of a pie pan.  Bake for 5 minutes in the 350 degree oven.  Remove and let cool slightly.

1 heaping Tablespoon lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice
3 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup pureed mango. (I used frozen chunks and let them thaw)

Mix the lime zest, lime juice, egg yolks and mango in a mixing bowl.  Add the condensed milk and mix on high until smooth and thick.  pour mixture into crust and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven.  allow to cool and then refrigerate for at least an hour.  Top with sweetened whipped cream and more grated lime zest if desired.
UPDATE: We all loved the pie.  Alana kept eating every crumb of the crust with the toasted coconut in it and took a piece home for tomorrow after school.  I definitely will make it again.