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Sunday, April 24, 2016

John's Toasted Coconut and Banana Cream Pie

Our friend, John Burrington, is an awesome baker.  He makes better than bakery quality cookies for sure, but he also makes some delicious pies.  He posted to me that he was making this pie, plus an Amish lemon custard type pie to bring to his Easter celebration and I begged him for the recipes which he generously shared with me.  I have yet to test out the lemon one, but will in the near future, I can promise!  He told me tonight that he created it out of two recipes.  I made it for the celebration dinner tonight hoping they would eat it all because otherwise I would!  Well, there is still half because the crowd wasn't too big, so I guess I will have to FORCE myself to eat it as the days go by here and before the bananas go bad..what a shame..He gave me permission to share the recipe..try it you will like it. 


One baked 9 inch pie crust..mine was larger and still worked out fine though.  I have my recipe in a previous post..I just used have the recipe.  There is a search bar on top of the page and you can just type "pie crust" and it should show you the choices for pie crust in my blog, or just use your favorite recipe or a store bought one you bake.  Please do a search if you haven't baked a single crust before on how to do it..they tend to shrink and buckle if you don't bake it correctly.


1 cup sweetened flaked coconut toasted (Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Watch carefully as once it starts to brown it burns quickly)

3 cups Half and Half (fat free actually works in this also.  I bought it accidentally in a rush and it was fine)
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla (added later when done cooking)

2-3 bananas sliced thin

In a medium saucepan, combine the half and half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  (the bottom scorches easily so this is very important)
As soon as it starts to boil and thicken remove from heat and stir in 3/4 of a cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla.


Spread enough of the cooked mixture in the baked pie shell to cover the bottom.  Spread a single layer of the sliced bananas on this layer.  Spread another layer of the cooked mixture and another layer of bananas.  Add the rest of the mixture and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.  I let the pie sit on the counter for about an hour to cool and then put it in a Tupperware and into the fridge.  Chill in fridge for several hours or overnight. 

Keep leftovers chilled.  (I also served it a dollop of cool whip..fresh whipped cream would have taken it over the top though..

Chicken Parmesan-A dinner for my daughter, Kim

My daughter, Kim, just finished all her boards and schooling to be a dental assistant this last week, with honors..a 4.0 avergage!, so I made her her favorite meal she picked, of chicken parmesan, Italian salad and garlic bread.  I also made a toasted coconut/banana cream pie for dessert..a new recipe I had gotten from a family friend, John Burrington.  Her family and Joe came over to eat.  Shellie, my other daughter was at school for the firearms classes she teaches so couldn't come.  I don't make this often so haven't posted the recipe yet, per Kim, so here goes..

CHICKEN PARMESAN:  (This recipe is for 4 servings, but you can easily up it by doubling the breading or by using small chicken breasts to serve more people.  I like the thinner breasts..I buy the Purdue brand from Costco in the big bag and they are nice and thin for this recipe.  If you have thick breasts I would advice cutting them lengthwise and making two servings.

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated (fresh) Parmesan cheese-divided
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano-divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg
1 Tablespoon water

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

2 Tablespoons butter or margarine for frying

one small jar Prego traditional sauce
one small jar

 marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Hot cooked fettuccine or pasta of your choice

In a round cake pan or other shallow pan, combine the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  In another pan, combine the egg and water and mix until blended well.  Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with crumb mixture.  Add butter to skillet and when melted and pan is hot enough (medium heat) place chicken in pan and brown well on both sides and cook until juices run clear.  (I actually brown each side well and then put chicken on a sheet pan and place in 325 degree oven to finish cooking while I prepare the rest of the food.  Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients, plus the remaining oregano and warm thoroughly in a saucepan.  Once the pasta, chicken and sauce are ready, lay down a serving of the pasta on a plate, the breaded chicken, some hot sauce, a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and a little fresh parmesan . 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Old Fashion Peanut Butter Cookies

Dave, my husband, wrote on the grocery list on the fridge yesterday that he wanted homemade peanut butter cookies (and as a side note he stated they should have crushed peanuts in them like his mom put in-LOL), so this morning while he is still sleeping in, I baked a batch and put his peanuts in about 3/4 of them..I kind of am a purist and like the smooth peanut butter cookie.  I had never used this recipe before -it's from King Arthur Flour (they have a lot of good old fashioned recipes on their site), but it looked like the kind I used to make so I went for it.  The only thing I did differently was add about 2 Tablespoons of the crushed peanuts to part of the dough.  Instead of the 1/3 cup shortening I put in 1/2 cup of butter because I know I had butter in mine and I wanted that richness. 

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup softened butter (or 1/3 cup shortening if you like a more crisp cookie)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup peanut butter (not natural or homemade peanut butter, something like Jiff or Skippy)
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray 2 cookie sheets with Pam or use parchment paper to cover

Cream the sugars and butter until well incorporated.  Add the egg and vanilla to combine.  beat in peanut butter until smooth. 

Add 1 cup of flour, the baking soda and salt until well combined..then add the other 1/2 flour until combined (believe me this is tons easier then adding all the's hard to mix it all in and takes more time).

Take about 1 Tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball and set it on the sheet..using a fork make criss-cross marks on the cookie.  Makes about 24 cookies.  ( I made all the balls first so I was sure it was divided between 24 cookies and then criss-crossed them.   Baked for 12-16 minutes or until just the edges are slightly browned..mine were close to 13 minutes, but it varies in ovens.  Get out the milk and get dipping!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mini Meatball Subs

I have been craving a meatball sub for a few weeks, so tonight I decided I'd make some since I had part of a loaf of Italian bread to use up.  I now have my craving satisfied for a few months again!  Here's how I made them. 


1 lb of hamburger (I used the 85% lean one)
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs-you can use whole wheat ones, but I used regular)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup finely minced onion (it can be caramelized before adding too if you don't like raw onion in meatballs)
1 minced clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together well.  Using a small ice cream scoop, about 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch, make mini meatballs.  browning on medium heat in a pan sprayed with Pam, on all sides well.  Cover with a small jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce-I used Prego- and let them simmer on low heat so meatballs are completely cooked inside. 

In the meantime slice a loaf of Italian bread in half.  Scoop out some of the insides making a "bowl" inside each half. Smear with butter that has some garlic added lightly and broil until it's somewhat browned and toasty. Watch it carefully so you don't burn doesn't take long. Remove from broiler and add some of the meatball and sauce mixture into the "well" you made in the bread on each half.  Cover with mozzarella cheese and also a little cheddar cheese if desired and return to the broiler and melt and lightly brown the cheese..add a sprinkling of grated parmesan before serving. 

Frida's Flowers CAL (crochet-a-long)

I am getting hooked on beautiful crocheted afghan's as my latest obsession.  I have printed off so many crochet patterns the last few years that I will never be able to make all of them in my lifetime, but couldn't pass up on making this CAL that originated in the UK.  Patterns for different parts come out every 2 weeks and I have finished part 1, just in time for part 2 to come out on Tuesday.  I am really going to try to keep  up with it this time!  I believe the final clue comes out on something like July 2 on finishing it off.  It's called Frida's flowers and I chose the cotton yarn kit for it.  I love the colors of this yarn.  (My photography isn't great so the color is richer than the photo) but the colors are vibrant and the yarn is soft and a great tight weave so you can really see the stitch definition.  It's a cotton from Stylecraft yarns from the UK, but there are a few places to buy it in the USA..a shop in Texas is one of them.  Here are my week one pieces finished!  I am posting a picture of the finished afghan (they call them blankets) so you can see where the piece fits in..I will be adding the weeks to this posting..

Step Two!

Step 3, before weaving ends in-will do that tonight when watching TV..have to get some work done now..rats.

Step 4
One completed of 4 for Set 5-rest are almost done, so still on schedule!
set 6 done-ring of roses
Set 7
The afghan laid out and ready to sew together

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Crocheted Baskets

There are a lot of people out there making crocheted baskets..all shapes and sizes for all kinds of uses.  I've seen little ones for bathrooms, giant ones for toys and laundry and crafting supplies and so finally I decided I would try making one.  One of the drawbacks to my starting was that the cording isn't so use a pretty good sized one and quite a few feet, but one day a lightening bolt hit and I remembered that I have a box of macramé cord bundles (unopened even) in my storage room from the olden days when I used to actually use macramé cord for plant hangers and rewebbing lawn chairs etc, and tried it out.  It works great, so somewhere down the line I am going to make more of these in jumbo sizes and little sizes.  They are kind of hard on your hands to crochet, especially your thumbs because you are handling the cording and double strands of yarn (I used two strands of Peaches and Cream brand cotton for mine), but pretty easy to do once you get going and figuring out how to keep everything tight enough to stand up nice.  The pattern is from "Little Bee" and is called rainbow ropey basket if you want to try making one/some.  she has a tutorial on there also that helps.  I wanted this to be "stripey" so I bought a variegated cotton, but forgot that I had to use two strands, so that messed up the stripes.  Next time I will use a thicker yarn and correct that mistake and use one strand instead.  anyway, here's my FIRST TEST basket..