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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sewing up some Korn Kernel bags for Kim's coworkers Christmas gifts

Daughter, Kim, started a new job this fall in a pediatric dental office.  She really likes it there and they do a lot of gathering together for birthday's and any other reason they can think of to get together and make the day go good.  They are doing a little gift exchange for Christmas and she asked me for ideas because there is a lower monetary limit and although the group is smaller it still added up.  I suggested these corn bags because a woman at my work makes them and sells them like hotcakes..people love them.  They use them for stiff shoulders, wrists, knees, backs and sometimes just to warm up because it's cold in the office in the winter.  You just heat them up in the microwave for a couple minutes and they stay warm a long time.  We decided to make them longer than hers though for a nicer neck drape and stability.  Hers are about 7 x 20 and we made ours 7 x 30.  I just cut some fabric 14" x 30, folded it in half lengthwise and used a tight zig-zag stitch so they'd be strong with the corn inside.  I left one short side open, Kim filled them about 1/3 full of dried whole corn (she got a 50 lb bag at Fleet Farm for like $8) and then I sewed the end shut with a straight stitch after folding in the end.  It went fast once we picked out fabric from my stash and figured out how much corn etc to put in them.  We made 11 of them in about 2 hours and she had enough corn to make probably 14 of them from that bag with our enlarged size.  I told her it would be fun to make different sizes for different body areas.  These can also be frozen for ice packs by the way.  Good way to use up fabric.  They can be made with either cotton or flannel fabric, both breath well. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sunny Vegetable Salad

This is another recipe I used to make and then for some reason it faded out of my life.  Something new must have come along and I quit making it, but it's worth renewing!  It's another dish I am making for tomorrow.  My mom used to be the one who made this to start with and the rest of us just caught on to the fire from her making it.  It makes a big batch, so if you are having just a few people over I'd recommend a half a batch.  It takes a while to put together..lots of cutting things into small pieces, but it's worth it in the end.  I made 1-1/2 batches to fill a big tub.

5 cups broccoli florets (tiny ones)
5 cups cauliflowerets
2 cups finely shredded cedar cheese (I used the sharp cheddar)
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 -1 cup craisins or raisins (I used craisins)

1 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar (I used cidar)

6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
14/ cup sunflower seeds

MIX the vegetables with the dressing that has been whipped together.  Top with sunflower seeds and bacon after it's been refrigerated 1 hour.  Serve.

White Texas Sheet Cake

Unfortunately my ex-son-in-law died unexpectantly last week.  He was only 42 but had a massive seizure and left this world.  Even though my daughter and Ryan were divorced, I still had a soft spot in my heart for him.  He was a great guy when they first were married and because of their marriage I have my beautiful granddaughter, Alana, but over the years he suffered from anxiety and depression issues and turned to alcohol and things worsened in his life.  I still remember him as he was though and miss that guy a lot.  Tomorrow is the funeral service for him, so I made this sheet cake for the fellowship afterwards to bring. It's a recipe that I bring to a lot of events because it's both very good and it makes a big cake.  It can be made in either a jelly roll pan, that I make, or a 15 x 10 inch sheet cake pan.  It's got a nice almond flavor that a lot of people enjoy, including me!  Here's how I make it..the smaller cake measures are in red if you prefer that size.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees:  Pam spray a Jelly roll pan (13 x 17-1/2) or sheet cake pan (10 x 15)

In a large kettle combine:
1-1/2   (1)    cup butter
1-1/2   (1)    cups water
3         (2)    cups flour
3         (2)    cups sugar
3         (2)    eggs, beaten
3/4     (1/2)  cup sour cream
1-1/2   (1)    teaspoons almond extract
1-1/2   (1)    teaspoons salt
1-1/2   (1)    teaspoons baking soda

Bring butter and water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add remaining ingredients; stir until smooth.  Pour into a greased jelly-roll pan or sheet cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes depending on which size, or until cake is golden and tests done.  Cool for 20 minutes; spread with frosting over warm cake. 

FROSTING:  I make the same batch size for either cake.
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
4-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds or walnuts (I use almonds)

Combine butter and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Remove from heat; add pwd sugar and almond extract.  Mix well and spread on warm cake, sprinkling with almonds. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cheesy Broccoli, Cheese, Potato, Ham and Carrot Soup (Whew. that's a mouthful!)

My daughter, Kim, made this a few nights ago and passed the recipe on to me, telling me they loved it for their dinner that night.  I decided to make it tonight since I had all the ingredients in my fridge/pantry to do so.  It came together pretty quickly and it was really a nice meal.  The original recipe didn't call for ham like we used, instead it called for crumbled bacon and cheese on top, which would be delicious too. 

Here's how to put it together. 

In a large kettle/stock pot add:

(2) 14 oz can's of chicken stock or however you do your chicken broth..
4 medium potatoes diced in cubes (leftover baked potatoes diced would be really good too, but I'd add them later on so they don't smush up.
2 cleaned and diced/sliced carrots
1 tsp onion powder

bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Then add 1 medium bunch of broccoli-just the florets- in smaller bite sized chunks and about 1 cup of diced lean ham and cook another 10 minutes.

While this is simmering:
in another good sized kettle:
Melt 3 Tbsps butter and add 1/3 cup flour.  stir until well mixed.  Add 3-1/2 cups milk.  Cook about 5 minutes until thickened.  Add 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese and stir until totally melted.  Add 1/2 tsp pepper and a little granulated garlic. 

Pour this cheese sauce into the big kettle with the vegetables and ham and stir.  Add more milk if too thick for your taste and salt and pepper to your taste.  (The recipe calls for 1 tsp)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Roasted cauliflower chowder

I had made this chowder last week but never wrote about it on this blog.  It's so good I had to share the link with you and therefore keep it for myself. .I brought some to work for two ladies to try and they loved it too.  It doesn't have a lot of fattening ingredients and tastes great with a fattening ingredient-cheese stuffed bread sticks..perfect for dipping in the delicious broth.  Here is the link to the recipe.  I didn't change anything and wouldn't in the future!  The roasted cauliflower would be a great snack on it's own..I could barely stop myself from eating the whole pan when it was done! Here you go..  You might have to copy and paste the link into your browser as I see it didn't highlight.