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Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Busy, Busy Sunday

Well, today was a very busy day.  My sister, Karen, has been up since Thursday night, going home tomorrow morning.  The main reason she came was to celebrate with my other siblings, my mom's 89th birthday.  The party was at noon today.  It was a big potluck.  I made BBQ's ribs and chicken and others brought potato salad, coleslaw, calico beans, buns, and strawberry shortcake.  It was delicious, but of course I got too full.  I think my mom really liked it as we had it at her house and she didn't have to get dragged out for once, plus having all her kids together is her favorite thing anyway. 

THEN, tonight I had another meal for some of my kids who could make it, and to celebrate a belated birthday, but this time my son, Joe, grilled marinated pork chops, I made red baby potatoes on the grill in a packet, corn on the cob, fresh fruit and homemade cheesecake with the toppings bar.  I could only eat one corn on the cob, half a pork chop, a bun and a small piece of cheesecake..but they ate pretty good so not tons of leftovers at I am ready for the tomorrow and have to take my sister to the airport!  Good Night!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Rueben's with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

My sister, Karen, saw this recipe on the plane in the free magazines they have onboard and we are making the Rueben's tonight for dinner to test out the recipe.  I made the Thousand Island just now so it could be ready for tonight and it is super, super good and so easy. I had all the ingredients in my fridge or cupboard for it even.  It would be good on salad, besides the Rueben's, so am passing on the recipe. 

1/2 cup real mayonnaise (such as Hellman's)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup finely chopped kosher dill pickes
1 Tablespoon of the pickle juice
2 Tablespoons minced onion or shallot
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (ground)

Put it all in a small bowl and mix together well.  refrigerate.

Picture of the finished Reuben's later!


My sister Karen is up from Florida this weekend, plus there is another birthday to celebrate, so tomorrow night I am having the family over for a dinner of grilled pork chops, roasted on the grill baby potatoes, corn on the cob, buns and fruit (his favorite meal) and then for dessert cheesecake, also his favorite, with different toppings.  This cheesecake is the best!  Its definitely time consuming and 2 out of the 3 times I've made it it has cracked on hoo..but it still tastes awesome either way.  I got the recipe about 20 years ago, but seldom make it because you need a large group to eat it because it's a big cheesecake and we just can't eat big slices of it for days.  I generally, which I am doing tomorrow, just put the cheesecake on a pedestal platter and then people cut the size they want and I have toppings to add what they want.  Tomorrow I am having sliced fresh strawberries, cherry pie filling and caramel, fudge topping and pecans if they want a turtle one also. I am thinking I might get some blueberry topping too, but haven't decided for sure if that is overload.. 

The best cheesecake:

10" spring form pan.

Mix together well with a mixer on low

1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 of a grated lemon rind (zest)

form into a ball and refrigerate 1 hour in a baggie.

While dough is cooling heat oven to 400 degrees.

When time is up, take about 1/3 of the dough and press it into the bottom of the pan..this will be thin, but needs to cover the whole bottom.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. 

Turn oven up to 475 degrees.

5 (8 oz) packages of regular cream cheese (room temperature)
1-1/4 cup of sugar

3 Tablespoons flour

5 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 2 lemons

In a large bowl at medium speed beat 5  packages of room temperature cream cheese until smooth, slowly add 1-1/4 cups sugar.  Turn mixer to low and beat in 3 Tbsp flour.  add remaining ingredients scraping bowl occasionally.  Then beat for 5 minutes.  set aside

Press remaining dough about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the springform pan.  Pour the filling into the pan.  Bake 12 minutes. Turn oven down to 300 degrees and bake for 35 minutes longer.  TURN OFF OVEN and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 in minutes.  Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.  Then refrigerate overnight.  The next day use a thin metal spatula to run around the outside of the cheesecake.  Release the springform pan and use the spatula to loosen the bottom and remove the plate to slide onto  your serving platter.  Either add you toppings when ready to serve or do as I am doing when serving. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I have been craving chicken enchiladas for a few days with oooey-gooey cheese melting all over them, so I did a search online, found this recipe that had great reviews so I thought I'd try it.  It looked so simple and I had most of the ingredients on hand already, so made it tonight..My son Joe and daughter Kim both really liked it and so did I, so I'm posting it.  The prep is really fast and from start to finish it only took me about 35-40 minutes.  If  you had leftover chicken to use up it would probably be even faster.  I don't believe I've ever had enchiladas with a sour cream sauce like this before, but it's good.  Next time I make them I am going to serve some shredded lettuce and tomatoes on the side to scoop up with a bite.  I did have some salsa, so used some of that on the side..these are just the leftovers..everyone was hungry I guess and I never had a chance to take a picture before then!  I made some corn on the cob with it and watermelon.

Here is the link if you want the recipe..

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making Kyle's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (and a few others too)

I was bound and determined to make some strawberry rhubarb jam this year since Kyle, and a lot of us actually, love it, so today I just put a hold on everything else that needed to be done and got at it.  I know that none of the strawberry fields around my house have berry picking yet..too I picked up some nice berries at Aldi that were sweet and tons easier anyway, went to my daughter, Kim's house, and raided her rhubarb patch that is farther along than mine, has beautiful rhubarb she wasn't using this year anyway, and collected all the rest of my canning paraphernalia and got to work.  Each batch had to done individually because it just doesn't turn out right if you double up on it, so it took most of the day.  I actually had enough berries and cut up rhubarb to make another batch, but I was burned out and stopped, so the 3 batches I made will have to be enough..Here's the recipe!

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB JAM: (Makes 6-7  1/2 pint jars)
2 cups rhubarb-diced
2 cups crushed strawberries-(washed, leaves removed and crushed with a potato masher coarsely)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin (sure jel etc)

5-1/2 cups sugar

wash, peel, and dice your rhubarb

Combine rhubarb, strawberries, pectin, and lemon juice in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 

Add sugar and bring back up to a boil again stirring constantly.

Boil hard for 1 minute.

Skim foam if necessary.

Fill hot jars (I washed my jars in the dishwasher and timed it so they would just about be done and hot when the jam was done) leaving 1/4 inch head room.  wipe rim well, so it's clean, apply a fresh canning lid and ring sealing tightly and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.  I used my canner with the rack, starting with lukewarm water that just barely covered the tops, covered the canner, let it come to a boil and then time it for 10 minutes..remove to a surfaced covered with a towel to cool and seal.  any jars that don't seal need to be refrigerated and used soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

An icky job-redoing the basement bedroom

I havent' been on here much because I forced myself to start a project I have been trying my best to gather steam and do for some time now..years actually.  There is a "cave" room downstairs that has always been the sought after room to sleep in for some unknown reason to me.  I keep hearing it is dark, quiet and private and they love the OLD spring bed down there and they sleep like babies on it.  Anyway, since now it's basically overflow sleeping and it has never been updated since the 80's when I must have been brain dead and put up gaudy, ugly wallpaper thinking it was cool, I am finally bringing it up to the 21st century for those overflowers who want to be down there.  It's probably going to be a while before the final picture..but so far I've gotten this far..Still have to scrape off the undercoat of the wallpaper, which actually isn't that hard, just get it wet and get it scrapped off "gently" so I don't wreck the wall underneath, fill about 8,234 holes from kids hanging stuff on them for almost 40 years, sand it, scrub it, and paint the ceiling, walls, and get a new floor in there, paint the old bed and makeshift freestanding "closet" Dave made and trim white..and on and on, but someday it will get done!  Just too many dang work days in my life..

weeks later, but I finally scrubbed down the remaining remnants of glue etc and ready to spackle tomorrow and maybe paint the ceiling..hopefully this project will be done in the next week! 

Pretty much done!  Just want to make a welcome banner for over the hooks on that wall with leftover fabric from the quilt..

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Crazy Banana Cake

I usually stay clear of most Facebook recipes because the ones I've tried looked great in the picture, but were not great when I made them, but I have a ton of frozen bananas in my freezer right now and saw this recipe for the Crazy Banana Cake on there and someone had said they made it and it was good, so I tried it out today.  It's really good; one of the best banana cakes I've's light, yet moist and banana flavored and the frosting is not overly sweet and cream cheesy and light.  it's not that "Crazy"..the only crazy part is that you put it directly in the freezer after baking it for 45 minutes so it cools down to put on the frosting?  so don't let that discourage you from trying it.  It makes a really big cake..fills up basically the whole 9 x 13 pan, so I am going to try making it into a 3 layer cake sometime for a special meal and maybe sprinkle some crushed nuts on top to dress it up.  Here is my picture when finished and I will post the link for you also for the recipe..OH, and I should mention it didn't say to beat it with a mixer, but I did at the end just to make sure everything was mixed well and not clumps of lumpiness of flour etc..eek.