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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

My son, Joe, posted a like on this recipe on Facebook, since he ate up his rhubarb cream pie and wanted more rhubarb stuff I guess.  It's actually one of Andrew Zimmer's recipes, but since I messed up a little on it I am printing it like I made it because, although I haven't tasted it, it smells super delicious!  I need to go get some more ice cream because Dave has been on a root beer float kick and used it all up anyway.  Can't wait to try it though so need to get going to the store quickly!
1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 pound rhubarb peeled and sliced in thin slices
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Mix all together and let sit for 1/2 hour stirring occasionally.
Put 1/4 cup sliced almonds in a food processor (I have a mini one that I used for this) and pulse until a fine consistency. set aside.
In a medium bowl combine well (I used a fork)
1 stick butter, soft
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
add the almond powder
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
and mix until combined. 
put the berry/rhubarb mix into a pie pan-I used a taller sided one, but if you use a more shallow one make sure you put it on a tin foil lined baking sheet because I am pretty sure it will bubble over..
add the crumble all over the top. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 on a rack.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Porcupine Meatballs per Kim's Recommendation!

I can't remember when I've last had porcupine meatballs..I know it's been a long, long time.  When my daughter, Kim, was in high school I remember she learned how to make them and used to cook them for us once in a while for supper, but now she is in her 40s and I don't think I've had them in between that time.  The other night she sent me a picture of the dinner she made, and guess what? was a new porcupine meatball recipe with a sauce.  She said it was really good, so I tried it tonight.  I really liked them too.  They were flavorful and easy and I had most of the ingredients except for the fresh parsley, on hand, so I just substituted dried parsley and they were fine.  It makes quite a few meatballs though, so I will be eating them for more meals or freeze them for my work lunches, so I made extra mashed potatoes.  I have a feeling I won't mind that at all though.
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 egg
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped (I used about 1 tsp of dried parsley)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10-3/4 oz) can tomato soup, divided (I used Campbells)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
In a medium sized bowl combine meat, rice, egg, parsley, onion, garlic pwd, paprika, pepper, salt and 1/4 cup of the tomato soup.  Mix thoroughly and shape into about 20 balls and place in a skillet (don't brown).
Mix remaining soup, water and Worcestershire sauce.  pour over the meatballs.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer slowly for 35-40 minutes stirring often. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Can you tell it's rhubarb season?  About 15 years ago my daughter made these bars and I have thought about them every year about this time since.  They are a layered bar with the shortbread type crust and a yummy, custardy type second layer with the rhubarb in it and a dusting of powdered sugar to top it off.  I had cut too much rhubarb for the pie I made the other day and so decided to use it up on these bars to bring to work tomorrow for the rhubarb fans that don't have any growing near them.  I have a feeling they will like them!  Here is the recipe..

RHUBARB DREAM BARS: (from a 1981 church cookbook, so you know the recipe is much older than that!)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely diced rhubarb

For the crust: mix together the flour, powdered sugar and butter (I used a pastry blender until it was totally incorporated well).  Press into a 9 x 13 pan and bake 15 min. in a 350 degree oven. 

Beat the eggs with a mixer, add sugar and beat well.  Add the flour and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in diced rhubarb.  Spread over the crust and return to the oven for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.  When cool sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, cut into squares.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fajita? Burrito Feed

My nephew, Brandon, came up for a week from Florida to go opening fishing with Joe (they had a good time and caught lots of walleyes!) and so I decided to have them over last night for a farewell feed since he was flying out super early this morning.  They wanted steak fajita/burritos so I made that and Joe's favorite annual rhubarb cream pie (recipe already in the blog).  We all loved it, so I am posting the recipes for the buffet items below..I had warmed burrito tortillas, cilantro lime rice, grilled strip steak, grilled yellow, red and orange peppers and red onion, guacamole, corn and black bean salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce and cheese, and roasted green salsa, plus the pie and ice cream for dessert..Here are the recipes and a picture of the buffet..

For the cilantro lime rice I just made 3 cups of cooked rice, added the juice of one lime and a few Tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro once it was cooked..stirred it up well.

For the Guacamole:
3 ripe medium hass avocados, halved and mashed in a bowl, add the juice of one lime, about 1/3 cup finely minced red onion, 1 garlic clove mashed, 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, all mixed together.  this browns easily, so before putting in the fridge lay a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the guac to prevent air from getting into it.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa:
combine in a bowl:
1 can whole kernel corn, drained-or two cobs of corn roasted/grilled
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
1 larger tomato diced
1 can rotel diced tomatoes
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 cup lime juice-fresh squeezed
1 (4 oz) can diced chilies
salt to taste-about 1/4 tsp.

Deseeded yellow, red and orange bell peppers, sliced along with the rest of the red onion sliced.  tossed them in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and put them in a grill basket on the grill to slowly cook while the meat cooked, tossing occasionally.

Grilled Flank/Strip Steak:  (I used a strip steak)
1-1/2 lbs approximately steak

In a small bowl combine:
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
ground pepper
1-1/4 tsp salt
a little Accent seasoning

Mix the seasoning mix together well. Score the meat on both sides with cross hatch shallow cuts.   apply a little oil (I used peanut oil, but you can use whatever) to each side of the meat.  Sprinkle the seasoning mix on both sides.  Grill on a hot grill for about 5 minutes on each side until caramelized and medium rare to medium.  I placed mine on a cutting board and tented it with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes to help tenderize it and retain the juices.  Slice on the grain in thin slices for serving.

I really liked the meat..tasty and pretty tender!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


I seem to make chili a little different every time I make it and every time it tastes a little different.  This week I made a batch of it so Dave and I could have some of it for supper that night (it's been chilly up here again this week) and there would be enough for the guys to take fishing with them besides.  For some reason it turned out really good, at least to us, this time, so I am writing it down.  I didn't measure things exactly, but hopefully it will be close.  You can always go up or down on ingredients to suit your taste, but remember the flavors intensify with simmering it for a while. 


1 lb or ground beef-I tend to like the leaner beef because I think it tastes more beefy and I don't like a ton of grease in my food.
2 cans of chili beans-I use the mild ones- (the ones with the chili sauce in them-this time I used the brand from Aldi) I don't like kidney beans-too big and they have a tough skin to me).
2 stalks of celery chopped in thin, kind of small slices.
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped finely.
1 large can of whole tomatoes..I like these because I squeeze them with my hand to break them up into the pot andthen I can remove the hard core from them and toss those..cores are yucky in food.
1 medium sized can of tomato sauce
about 1/2 tsp cumin
about 1 tsp garlic powder
about 1 to 1-1/2 tsp granulated sugar-this helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes
a pinch or two of cayenne pepper according to your taste
salt and pepper to taste

there was enough chili powder in the beans so I didn't add any, but again use your judgement-chili powder can ruin the chili if it's overpowering. 

Brown the hamburger until it's thoroughly cooked and a little caramelized with the onions and celery, salt and pepper.  Dump in everything else, stir and let simmer..adding more salt and pepper and adjusting the seasonings..start out low on the seasonings as above, and add if you think it needs anything later on once it's cooked a little while.  I usually simmer on lower heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, but you can cook as long as you want, or add to a crockpot and cook all day on low if that's easier for you.  Here's what Joe did with his batch..I love chili dogs! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Aunt Clara's Dessert

This is a dessert from my childhood.  It was the absolute best dessert I remember as a kid.  My mom got the recipe from a neighbor lady, "Mrs Carlson" (we NEVER called anyone older than us by their first name back then, it was disrespectful to them and they let it be known that they were to be called "Mrs or Mr or Miss) if any kid thought it was okay to call them by their first name.  To this day, when I am on the phone at work talking with an older person I feel totally uncomfortable calling them by their first name and wonder if it bothers them, even though I am in that age group myself now.)  Anyway, we didn't have this real often because it is some work and expense to make, but on special occasions my mom would make it for us and we dreamt about it until the next time we had it.  A few years ago, 2 to be exact, my sister, Yvonne, was talking about how she loved that dessert, so I made it for her birthday.  I hadn't started the blog yet, so today I decided I should document it, for the family if nothing else..I am thinking I am the only one with a copy at this point and mine is pretty yellowed and messy! it goes..the jewel of desserts recipe!

AUNT CLARA'S DESSERT: (9 inch square pan size)  The picture is doubled for a 9 x 13 inch

1 (3 ounce) pkg of raspberry jello
1 cup boiling water
1 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs- separated

1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
16 squares (1/2 of the big graham crackers, so 8 full crackers)  (don't know why it's written that way?!) crushed well (I put it in a ziplock and beat them with my rolling pin and roll them, but you can use a food processor too)

1 cup drained, crushed pineapple.

Dissolve gelatin in the boiling water.  Add the pineapple juice.  Chill until slightly thickened..I toss it in the freezer to move it along quicker-watch it so it doesn't get too set.

Cream 1/4 cup butter and the
powdered sugar.  Blend in well beaten egg yolks.  Beat whites until stiff, but not dry.  Fold them gently into the creamed mixture. set aside.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar with graham cracker crumbs.  Put half of the crumb mixture in the bottom of the 9 inch square pan, press.  Spread evenly with the egg mixture.  I drop spoonfuls over the crust so I can basically smooth it easier over the crust.  Spread drained pineapple over the filling.  Sprinkle on the remaining crumbs.  Pour gelatin over the top.  Chill until well set.  Cut in squares.  Top each serving with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry or a raspberry and serve.  Makes 9 servings in a normal household.  makes a lot less in this family..LOL.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lots of eggs to use.

I stopped at Aldi last week to stock up on fruits and veggies (I love their prices on produce!) and noticed they had dozens of large eggs for only 69 cents each, limit of 6.  Well, I couldn't pass up on that, so I bought 6 thinking my son or daughters maybe could use some eggs too.  Guess what, all of them had just bought eggs, and one of them had gotten them also at, I have 6 dozen to use up.  We will be eating lots of hard boiled eggs and egg salad, potato salad, baking and just eating them..LOL.  I started my official use of them today as I had some to use up from another carton at home besides!  I just read how eggs are so good for you and your hair and body so I guess it's a good thing.  I am going to post the things I make with them just for something to do!  It shouldn't be a big problem as when my kids were really young I used to buy a case of farm fresh eggs all the time from a local chicken farmer and that is 12 dozen, of course there were 5 of us eating them at that time.  Here is what I put together for breakfast this morning..high protein and tasted really good to me!  It's cubed ham fried in a little Pam spray with a little diced onion (green onion would be good too), about 4-5 cherry tomatoes, a handful of baby spinach chopped and some mushrooms until browned a little and cooked, then topped it with two eggs and added a little water and covered so the eggs could basically steam cooked on medium low. 

1 dozen hard boiled eggs (some already used for egg salad sandwiches and just plain old eating!
a quick "brunch" of a leftover baked potato, onions, diced ham and eggs on my Saturday to myself!

An egg salad sandwich for my lunch with BBQ chips..