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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Key Lime Poke Cake

We are celebrating Kim's 43rd birthday today.  It's actually tomorrow, but Monday is not the best day when we all work and have school/activities etc, so doing it today.  She got to pick out the menu which will be swiss steak, baked potatoes, salad, garlic bread and hot vegetable.  She sent me this link for Key Lime Poke cake for dessert.  I love key lime anything, so looking forward to trying it out tonight.  It looks good, but the key lime filling was hard to find.  I actually ended up ordering it online from Walmart, so ordered two cans in case we like it, or for a dessert to bring somewhere later on with the other can.  It must not be a popular item up in Minnesota because they had the lemon which probably would be good in this too.

KEY LIME POKE CAKE DESSERT:

1 (16.25 oz) box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) box lime jello.
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 (22 oz) can Key lime creme pie filling and topping
1 (8 oz) container cool whip
fresh lime zest for decorating

INSTRUCTIONS:
preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan with cooking spray.

Mix cake according to package directions and bake.  cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile: in a small bowl, mix lime jello with 1 cup boiling water, stirring until dissolved.  Add 1/2 cup cold water and set aside.  Poke multiple holes in the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Pour the jello slowly over cake so it seeps into the holes.  Let the cake completely cool.  Refrigerate 2 hours.

Spread the key lime creme pie topping over the cake and then completely cover with the cool whip.  return to fridge and cool one hour before serving.  Decorate with fresh lime zest and lime slices if desired.  (I just used the zest).

White Chocolate Fruit Tart/Pizza

Kim got this delicious fruit tart recipe from her mother-in-law, Barb some years back.  She had made it for a birthday party at their house so Kim asked for the recipe and passed it on to me.  I have only made it a handful of times since then, because it's something you definitely want to share..it's so good, but very rich and too yummy to have laying around tempting me.  Tomorrow is bosses day at work, so I am making it for a treat there, along with some other surprises people are doing for the day.  Once you make this you will be making it again and again.  It's the best fruit "pizza" I have ever had.

WHITE CHOCOLATE FRUIT TART/PIZZA:

CRUST:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour

FILLING:
1 pkg. (10 ounces) vanilla (white chocolate) baking chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 pkg cream cheese softened

TOPPINGS:
1 can pineapple chunks or tidbits, drained-but save the juice)
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced, or fresh raspberries
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
2 kiwi fruit peeled and sliced in half

GLAZE:
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Gradually add flour; mix well.  Press into an ungreased 11-1/2 in tart or 12 inch pizza pan.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chips until melted.  do in short bursts so they don't scorch.  Beat in whipping cream.  Add softened cream cheese and beat until smooth.  Spread over the crust.  Chill 30 minutes.  Add fruit on top in circles around the center.

Bring glaze ingredients to a boil over medium heat for 2 minutes or until thick.  Brush glaze over fruit.  Chill for one hour.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Making a Jughead Jones hat for Sam

Granddaughter Samantha Rae wanted a Jughead Jones hat because she is in to the show Riverdale and also decided to dress up like him for a "character day" at school this week, so I made her one! It was a free crochet pattern and the yarn was almost nothing, so she got a good deal..they are like $25 and up online. Most of them are knitted, but I think this looks pretty close for crocheted work..I think she'll like it! I worked on it this weekend and tuned in to the show on Netflix while I did so.  It's actually a good series!  Kind of a mystery.  I will have to let her know to keep me updated when the next episodes come out.  Here is her hat, all finished.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crocheted Beach Bag for my Director at work who is retiring

I try to make a handmade gift for people when they are retiring from our department at work.  I started out wanting to make this super cool crocheted Tree of Life pillow in a hot pink but messed up the pattern toward the bottom and decided it was something to make when I felt no pressure and time restraints and that was definitely not the time!  Then I happened to come across a blog post for this beach bag and immediately fell in love with it.  I liked the design and colors a lot and felt it would fit her perfectly since it's her taste I am sure, and she will be spending time in Florida in the winters going forward.  I started it a month ago, right before we took a 2 week vacation with our camper out west, so it's been worked on in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana along with Minnesota.  It took a lot more hours than I thought, but I like the result.  I also got her a white monogrammed beach towel in Navy writing to match and a bottle of her favorite wine to tuck in..hoping she'll like it, I do!  The pattern was on the Little Monkey's Crochet blog and there is also a child sized one that she used aqua and white and gray in..it's adorable. 




Sunday, September 24, 2017

Taco filled Pasta Shells

Today I was thinking about what to make for dinner with some hamburger I had thawed out and needed to use.  Somewhere in the mental list of things I could make, I remembered these taco shells.  I thought at some point I had made them and posted them, so I looked for the recipe, and lo and behold it appears I never posted it, so must have been a while since I made them.  They are great for a meal with a salad, or even just a side veggie of Mexican style corn, or both!  It was in an old Taste of Home Magazine as a make one, freeze one style dish, but when I used to make it I'd make the whole thing up because some of the family really liked it and wanted it.  Now it's basically just a few of us, so I make the recipe in half.  it makes about 12-14 shells, so plenty to even have for leftovers around here.

Here's the process:

TACO FILLED PASTA SHELLS: can easily double for a crowd.

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese cubed
12-14 jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package, drained and a little butter mixed in to prevent sticking.
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I substitute nacho doritos a lot)
1 cup sour cream
3 green onions, chopped.

In a skillet, cook hamburger until no longer pink (season a little with salt and pepper).  Drain is needed.  Add taco seasoning and prepare as directed on package.  Add cream cheese and stir until incorporated into hamburger mix.  Set aside to cool a little to handle easily.  Stuff each cooked shell with about a Tablespoon of meat mixture and put in a baking dish that has the salsa added to the bottom.  When finished stuffing all the shells, sprinkle the taco sauce over the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then uncover and sprinkle with the crushed chips and cheeses and return to oven for about 15 more minutes or until melted and heated through.  Serve with chopped onions and sour cream.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apple Dumplings

When I was in a meeting at work yesterday for some reason we started talking about apple dumplings.  It is the season after all, but I was amazed at how many people (the majority) had never heard or tasted them!  It really goes to show how old I am compared to them I guess!  Anyway, when I was young, later teens and 20's, I used to make these quite often because my dad and husband really liked them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly melting over the warm dumplings.  Me too, of course.  Anyway, the recipe was from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from that 70's era..I think it was my first official cookbook, that I still have, but is in sad shape after 45 or so years of use.  I has a lot of good recipes in it that I still use actually.  Anyway, the page for the dumplings was ripped out from wear, and I knew that I had rescued it and put it in a "safe" place, and after searching in all the most logical places I finally found it and am going to post it on here along with a picture of the finished product once I make it to bring in to work to educate these kids on good apple desserts!  Next time I won't have to dig forever either!

APPLE DUMPLINGS:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (the recipe calls for 1/4, but I am not a big nutmeg fan)
8 drops red food coloring
3 Tablespoons butter

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups Crisco
1/2 cup milk

6 medium, whole apples, pared and cored:  I like Haralson apples the best, but any pie apples work.  (I actually slice the apples because I don't care for whole apples baked- in this case you need 1/2 apple sliced for each dumpling..I like the sugar more distributed throughout and I like apples fully baked and not hard at all, but it's up to you and your taste which you do)

extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling the apples before wrapping (just an fyi-the sauce is sweet on this, so I sprinkle them, but don't overdo it so it's sickeningly sweet)

FOR SYRUP: mix first 5 ingredients; bring to boiling to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat; add butter and stir. Set aside.

CRUST: (just an fyi, if you are scared to make this, just make your own pie crust version or buy some premade crusts.  it all works out fine).  I use my crust that is posted on my blog, but at first I used this and it's good.
Sift together dry ingredients; cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add milk all at once; stir just till flour is moistened.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 18 x 12 inch rectangle.  Cut in six 6-inch squares.  Place apple (or piled up apple slices) on each.  sprinkle apples with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg if you like it.  dot with butter.  Moisten edges of pastry, bring corners up and pinch together to close around apple.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2 inch baking pan.  Pour syrup over the dumplings; sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve with vanilla ice cream while warm or whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Elbow Macaroni Hotdish (from Grandma Finger)

Joe has been talking about this hotdish lately.  My mother-in-law Margaret used to make it often and he'd literally shovel it in.  (she used to make EVERYTHING he liked on a regular basis though..she loved her grandkids so much!).  Between her homemade cinnamon rolls and some of her dishes like this, she had plenty of company with those hungry grandkids of hers!  Anyway, I make it occasionally, probably not quite the same as hers, but close and decided to make it tonight for supper for me and Dave.  We enjoyed it, good old comfort food, hotdish, corn on the cob fresh from the roadside stand, and fresh Colorado peaches..good meal!  There really is no recipe, but this is close to how I make it..

ELBOW MACARONI HOTDISH:

Cook a few cups about 2- 3? of elbow macaroni per the package directions to a dente.  (the oven will additionally cook it and you don't want mushy blown up macaroni..not good.

in a medium kettle, brown 1 lb of hamburger that is salt and peppered to your taste, about 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery that is finely diced, 1 whole carrot that is cleaned and finely diced and 1-1/2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or the cream of mushroom/chicken blend soup-that's what I like to use), and 2-3 Tablespoons of Western dressing (I know it sounds weird, but it gives it a great flavor)  and a heaping tsp of the liquid beef base in the jar or a beef bouillon cube.  when the noodles are done, mix it all together, put in a casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until top looks a little bit brownish.  eat.

CARROT, ZUCCHINI, PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE

A coworker of mine brought in a GIANT zucchini she had found growing in her compost pile this last week.  No one wanted it so she brought it to me to see if I'd make something with it.  I kind of looked at it begrudgingly, but, because I hate wasting things so much, I took it and made this bundt cake for work on Monday.  I actually was going to make two recipes, but got too busy finishing up my Frida crochet project finally-picture will be on another post, and didn't have time to make two, but I will be making the second one and posting about that soon.  Everyone absolutely loved this cake..I put it in the breakroom and it was gone within an hour and people were coming in complaining it was gone because they wanted more!  It's definitely one to make if you want to use some zucchini.  very moist, dense and flavorful.  Here's the recipe with my  changes.

CARROT, ZUCCHINI, PINEAPPLE BUNDT CAKE:

3 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in it's own juice (drained, but reserving syrup)
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cleaned and shredded carrots
1 cup peeled and shredded zucchini

For glaze: 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or make cream cheese frosting instead of glaze)  I made a glaze and put toasted coconut chips on mine (this recipe would be good with some coconut inside it too!)

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  whisk together drained pineapple, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla in a large bowl  until smooth. 
3.  Add flour, white sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ginger, kind of tossing together with a whisk and then combining to the #1 ingredients until combined well.  don't over mix.
4.  Pour batter into a well greased and floured bundt cake pan..(I use the baking spray with the flour right in it and spray well).
5.  Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. 
6.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a rack.  remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cool, about 30+ minutes.

For the glaze put powdered sugar in a bowl and slowly add the reserved pineapple juice until a spreadable glaze forms.  drizzle over the cooled cake and add toasted coconut if desired.  I only used a partial amount of the glaze because I didn't want it making the cake soggy on the bottom when it dripped down, but you could use some waxed paper pieces under the cake and pull them out once the glaze stays put. 



Sunday, August 13, 2017

Giant Blueberry Muffins

I had some blueberries in the fridge to use up, either by snacking on them, or making something with the small amount I had left..not enough for a pie or cobbler, so I thought of blueberry muffins.  I found this recipe on allrecipes called To die for Blueberry Muffins..a great choice for me because I love streusel on muffins and it had a 5 star rating.  I can see why it did.  These are really yummy.  just do a search for the recipe.  I won't post it because I did exactly what she recommended.  It makes 6 large muffins..I didn't see where she stated how many, so will let you know so you use the right size pan and don't dirty a bigger one..LOL.  I didn't use a cupcake liner, but probably would next time because they are so big that it's kind of a job to get them out easily, I managed but was scared I would crumble it all up.  Here's a picture.  Would be great for a brunch!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dill pickles with garlic and Jalapeno

My husband really likes kosher dills.  I haven't canned any for him for a long time, but had been thinking about them lately, so decided to make him a few quarts for a treat and to bring deer hunting this year..it's kind of a tradition that he has had to buy them to bring the last few years!  I only made 7 jars because I favor my bread and butter pickles with hot dishes to eat and just for a snack sometimes.  I will be making much more of them because some of the kids/grandkids love them too! (tomorrow!).  I also am out of pickle relish so will be making some of that tomorrow too. 

Here is how I made the dills. 
Makes 7 quarts (I used wide mouth jars-easier to pack)

2-3 inch fresh pickling cucumbers, scrubbed and rinsed and set on a clean towel to dry (about 1/4 bushel?)

2 larger jalapenos, quartered.  you can add more if you really like spicy pickles.

1 large bunch of fresh dill with green heads

1-2 whole cleaned garlic cloves per jar, or 1 tsp minced garlic-that's what I used this time, per jar.

Run the 7 quart jars through the dishwasher cycle.  leave them in the dishwasher to stay hot once they are done.

In the meantime clean the cucumbers well with a vegetable scrub brush, rinse and lay on a clean towel.

rinse the dill and cut off the heads-I put 2 large or 3-4 smaller heads in each jar. 

In a larger kettle put in 8-1/2 cups of water, 2-1/4 cups of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of canning salt..canning salt is different than regular salt, be sure to use the canning salt...bring to a low boil so the salt dissolves.  leave on warm.  I actually had to make 1/2 batch more as I had larger pickles so they didn't fill all the space like smaller ones should.

take out a clean jar, put the dill in the bottom, garlic and 1/4 of the jalapeno with the seeds in the jar.  pack it with the cleaned pickles, just to wear the neck starts.  pour in the brine until there is about 1 inch of jar left, bottom of the neck, and covering the pickles.  wipe the rim of the jar well with a clean, dampened paper towel.  apply a new lid and screw on the ring tightly.  put in a canner that has been half filled with hot water (heated on the burner).  fill remaining jars and then drop down the jar holder and fill the canner with more hot water from the facet until it's just over the jars.  cover and bring just to a boil.  shut off immediately, set jars on a towel and let seal.  do not disturb.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sour Cherry and Chocolate scones

My daughter Kim presented me with an ice cream bucket of more cherries from her tree, and so decided to freeze enough for two pies over the winter for Dave and still had enough to make a few more things with.  I found this recipe online for sour cherry and chocolate scones, so made a batch this morning too and will probably freeze the remaining cherries for another day.  Kind of sick of making things with them right now..LOL.  Here is the recipe.  (they are good, would be really really good with a cup of good flavored or plain coffee)


It's from Adrianna Adarme, Fresh Tastes Blog:
3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 pound sour cherries or regular cherries, pitted and halved
  • 6 ounces chocolate chunks or chips or morsels
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, as topping
  • Directions

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
    3. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and mix quickly, breaking up the butter so it resembles the size of small peas.
    4. Add the cherries and toss so they’re evenly distributed throughout the flour. Next, do the same with the chocolate chunks or chips.
    5. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and in one batch, add the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix it together until it forms a shaggy ball. Drop the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, being sure to not over handle it, which will result in tough scones. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch thick disk. Using a knife, cut the scones into 8 equal triangles. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet and put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. At this time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    6. Brush the tops with the buttermilk and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Transfer the scones to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean and the scones are golden brown.
    Yield: 8 scones






    Sunday, July 9, 2017

    TART/SOUR FRESH CHERRY PIE

    I had some cherries, that I didn't use yesterday on the jam, left, so I made Dave a cherry pie.  He loves them.  It was raining out this morning too, so good excuse to not get outside and do the work I was supposed to be doing yesterday, but didn't.  I have made this recipe before with canned sour cherries, but never the fresh off the tree, but thinking/hoping it will be the same and not too sour.  Those are supposed to be unsweetened, so..it's baking while I write this, and it smells great so far!

    The recipe I made for this is in the "Betty's Pies" favorite recipes cookbook from up on the North Shore,  with a few additions of my own.  It's a favorite of ours for pie and they have some good meals too. 

    Here's the recipe!

    TART/FRESH CHERRY PIE:

    2 pie crusts (I made my recipe that is on this blog-just put "pie" in the search bar on top and it should come up for you)

    Filling:
    3-4 cups tart red cherries, washed and pitted or 2 cans tart red cherries drained.
    1/4 tsp red food coloring (optional, but makes it pretty)
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    1-1/2 cups sugar
    2-1/2 Tablespoons flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    butter (about 1 Tablespoon)

    put one pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan.

    COMBINE cherries, food coloring, almond extract, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl; mix well.  Spoon cherry mixture into pasty lined pie pan.  Dot with butter.

    Roll out the other half of the pastry dough and either cover the cherry mixture or cut in strips and do a lattice crust.  seal the edges all around. if using the whole crust make slits in the top to vent. sprinkle with sugar. 

    Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  cool on rack and get out the ice cream. 


    Saturday, July 8, 2017

    Sour Cherry Jam

    My daughter, Kim, has a sour cherry tree in her yard that is loaded with cherries this year.  She told me I was welcome to have some, so I went there today and picked enough for a batch of jam and hopefully for a cherry pie for my husband, Dave, tomorrow.  If I don't have enough I guess I know where I can find more because I barely tapped the amount on there.  Soon the birds and squirrels will be stealing them all, so decided I better work on that today before they are long gone this year. 

    Here is the recipe I used for the jam.  I like the taste a lot and I definitely recommend using all of the sugar it calls for as the cherries themselves are still a little tart.  They might soak up more of the juice though and sweeten up as they cool.  I had to try some on a piece of toast and butter and the sauce is perfect for me. 

    The only thing I did differently was add about 1/2 tsp (1 capful) of almond extract because I like that combination, but you don't have to do that if you don't want to.  I added it when I added the last 3 cups of sugar..

    I made 6 half pint jelly jars so once we open a jar it gets used quicker, but the recipe says it makes 3 pint jars, so you can decide which works better for you.

    BEST CHERRY PRESERVES:
    2 lbs sour cherries, pitted (about 6 cups)
    1 (3-1/2 ounce) box pectin
    1/2 teaspoon butter
    3 cups, plus 1/4 cup sugar

    DIRECTIONS:
    1.  Sterilize your jars and screw on lids and keep them hot while you're cooking the preserves.  I just wash them in my dishwasher shortly before starting the process and leave them in there so they are hot.  Place your lids in a small kettle with enough water to cover them and heat water to soften them.
    2.  Place pitted, washed, cherries in a large heavy duty dutch oven
    3.  Combine pectin and 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir in to cherries.  Add butter.
    4.  Bring to a full boil, stirring over high heat.
    5.  Add the 3 more cups of sugar and return to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for one minute.
    6.  Remove from heat and skim off foam.
    7.  Immediately spoon preserves into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
    8.  Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a dampened paper towel to remove any preserves etc from it.
    9.  Place lids and screw bands on tightly.
    10. Process in a canner/boiling water bath on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and place on a bath towel to cool and seal.  they should all pop and indent on their own..don't disturb them.  if they don't seal place in fridge and eat.  I use a jar lifter-don't burn yourself!!


    Saturday, June 17, 2017

    Calico Beans

    This is a staple for pretty much every party we have.  We only make it for large events when they get eaten up though, but the dish would be great for a family for supper even with bread and butter because it has hamburger in it, bacon and the beans, so filling and tasty.  I am not a bean person normally, but I love the sauce on these and like them as a side dish with ham or picnics especially.  Today is my daughter's boyfriend, Kevin's, 50th birthday at their place and they are having a big crowd with outdoor games and tons of food.  So far the day is beautiful, so it's going to be a lot of fun.  I offered to make the giant potato salad and these beans for the luncheon.  I hope both come back to  me empty!  I doubled the recipe, but this is the single version..

    CALICO BEANS:

    Brown 1 lb hamburger with 1/2 of a chopped onion, salt and pepper.  Drain.

    Cook 1/2 lb bacon (I cut it up with kitchen shears in smaller squares so I don't have to later), until most of the fat is gone, but not too crispy)..drain.

    In a regular crockpot (or large one if you double) Add:
    the hamburger and bacon
    1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans drained
    1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained.
    1 (16 ounce) can of baked beans with pork (I used Bushs)
    1 (4 ounce?) can lima beans
    1/2 cup ketchup
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 Tablespoon dry mustard
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    salt and pepper to taste if needed.

    Stir well and cook on Low for at least 2 hours.  Can keep on low for a long time. 

    You can also bake these in the oven in a 9 x 13 pan, covered, for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. 



    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    Beer and BBQ Country Style Pork Ribs

    They had country pork ribs at our little local grocery store on sale this past weekend, so I bought a pack.  I hadn't even cooked them for quite a while and thought we needed a change from the standby stuff every day.  Today I decided to look up a recipe that was a little different than the norm, and found this one that I changed a little bit with adding my husband, Dave's, moms homemade BBQ sauce that we like to much.  I just added a tsp of minced garlic to it per the recipe's suggestion..  I really liked the end result.  I made some mashed potatoes, corn and tossed salad to go along with it and some cut up watermelon. 

    Here is the recipe: The original was from the "Meat Lovers cookbook" and had a 5 star rating and lots of reviews.

    BEER AND BBQ COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS:]

    3 lbs country style boneless pork ribs (I had bones in some of mine and it worked out fine-just took the meat off them before serving)
    2 medium onions, sliced (mine were sweet yellow onions)
    1 (12 oz) can of beer (I used Michalob light because there was a can in the fridge)
    2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (a lot of people used sweet baby rays, but I made Netties-the recipe is on this blog under Nettie's BBQ sauce)

    DIRECTIONS:
    1)  Brown the pork on all sides
    2) Place the ribs in an oven proof pan and scatter the onions all around them.
    3) Pour in the beef and cover with a lid or tin foil tightly.
    4) Bake at 300 degrees for 3-4 hours until very tender
    5) Pour out the beer, leaving the onions.
    6) Slather the pork with the BBQ sauce and add 3 minced garlic cloves if desired to the sauce. Bake uncovered for another hour until the sauce is brown and thick.


    Saturday, May 13, 2017

    Rhubarb Meringue Torte

    This is another old recipe..it's from my 1971 4H cookbook and who knows how long it was around before that. I used to make it a lot in the spring when the rhubarb was perfect and abundant, in fact I doubled it for a 9 x 13 pan because it would get gobbled up quickly..you just can't help eating it..it kind of melts in your mouth.  I love the shortbread type buttery crust and the pudding center.  so good.  Tomorrow I am having my mom over with a couple of my siblings for a potluck luncheon for her and decided to make it.  I just made the original size because I know for a fact I'd be endlessly eating it into oblivion if I made the large size.  If you have rhubarb or can get a hold of some this is a great recipe.  Looks special, but really isn't that hard, I am not the best at meringue, but most of the time it's good enough. 

    RHUBARB MERINGUE TORTE:

    CRUST:
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

    Mix together like a pie crust (I use a pastry blender so it's well combined) and press into the bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned.  set aside to cool.

    PUDDING CENTER:
    in a medium sized kettle combine:
    3 cups of rhubarb, peeled and cut up finely. 
    pinch of salt
    2 Tablespoons flour
    1/2 cup half and half
    3 egg yolks from large eggs  (save the whites for the meringue in a mixing bowl)
    1-1/2 cups sugar

    Cook on medium heat, stirring all the while so the bottom doesn't scorch, until thick and creamy. 
    Let cool slightly and then pour it evenly over the cooled crust. 

    MERINGUE:
    Beat the 3 egg whites until soft peaks form.  add a pinch of cream of tarter and 3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar, one at a time, until stiff peaks form.  spoon on to pudding layer evenly and bake at 300 degrees until light brown.  KEEP your eyes on it..it can turn quickly and burn once it starts browning.  I think mine took about 20 minutes, but that's different on every oven. 

    Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate when completely cooled.

    Saturday, April 15, 2017

    Lemon Supreme Pudding Dessert

    It's Easter tomorrow, so I am making a couple desserts.  The first one is a pudding dessert, nothing new really, but I altered it a little so it mimicked lemon supreme pie, which is my favorite pie.  Here's how I put it together:

    LEMON SUPREME PUDDING DESSERT:

    OVEN: 325.

    CRUST:
    Mix together,
    1 cup white flour
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/8 cup powdered sugar
    until well mixed.  spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 cake pan (I used glass just so you could see the layers for presentation), and press the mixture evenly into the bottom.  Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges..may be sooner if your oven is hotter than mine.

    Remove and cool.

    WHEN COOLED COMPLETELY: 
    Layer two:
    Beat together with a mixer on low speed:
    1 softened package of 8 ounce cream cheese.  I used the light one.
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 of a small cool whip and pour/spoon over the crust.

    THIRD LAYER:
    Mix together 2 pkgs (3 oz) of lemon instant pudding and
    2-1/2 cups milk until thickened.  carefully spoon over 2nd layer and smooth out. 

    FOURTH LAYER:
    Cover with a layer of cool whip.  I use a whole small container for mine because I like the yellow covered well. 

    refrigerate.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    One Pot Cheesy Kielbasa Pasta

    Kim shared this recipe with me after she made it last night for supper and it looked really good.  She made some changes to the original recipe, so I will let you know what was the original.  I made it tonight and I thought it was good, quick and easy..

    Here is her version:

    ONE POT KIELBASA CHEESY PASTA:
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 ring of smoked kielbasa or smoked sausage cut into bite sized cubes
    1/2 of a large onion finely diced
    2 cloves garlic minced
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 (10 oz) can tomatoes (she used Rotel blended)
    8 oz dry small pasta (I used small bow ties, she used small shells)
    1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
    1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions for garnish

    INSTRUCTIONS
    1.  Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat
    2.  Fry the smoked kielbasa and onions
    3.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
    4.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, heavy cream, pasta and seasonings
    5.  Simmer for 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
    6.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.
    7.  Top with remaining cheese and cover until it's melted.
    8.  sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.

    (I added some petite frozen peas when I added the pasta etc)

    Sunday, February 12, 2017

    Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Marshmallow Frosting

    We are celebrating my grandson, Kyle's, 12th birthday today.  When I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted he thought a bit and then said, chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting.  Where he thought that up is beyond me, but I came through today and made him a Hershey's chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate ganache and marshmallow frosting from a recipe I found on the internet.  It tastes just like marshmallows too, so I am hoping for a thumbs up!  The candles and decorations will be put on at the party... This cake would be a great Valentines dessert too..especially in cupcake form with a sugared raspberry or cute heart shaped marshmallow on top and served with ice cream even.  Here is how I made it.

    Bake a chocolate cake or cupcakes.  I made a scratch one..the Hershey's chocolate cake (recipe is posted on my blog if you just do a "cake" search it will come up.  Let it completely cool.

    Chocolate Ganache:
    In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of heavy cream to a simmer on medium high heat, remove from heat and add one 12 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips.  Let sit 5 minutes and then whisk until smooth.  Pour over cake, or dip cupcakes if you made those into it.  Let set/cool. 

    Marshmallow Frosting:
    Place a heat resistant glass bowl on top of a kettle with boiling water (not in the water-has to placed like a double boiler would) Add 8 egg whites, 2 cups of sugar, 3/4 tsp cream of tarter all at once into the bowl and whisk it continuously until the sugar has dissolved (1-5 minutes).  Remove from heat and beat with a mixer until stiff peaks form-about 5-7 minutes.  ADD 1 tsp vanilla, stirring it in to incorporate.  Frost or pipe onto cake or cupcakes.


    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    A new banner for my cube at work

    I have a "Hanging on a Star" hanger at work outside my cube that I have made different banners for throughout the year..I didn't have a February/Valentine's Day one, so Sunday afternoon and today in the afternoon, I made one up finally.  I will be anxious to hang it tomorrow and take down my snowman one for January..I am anxious for warmer weather and spring to come and this might help seeing it's fresh colors and hope for just that!  I think it turned out pretty..

    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    Chocolate Fondue

    At work we celebrate all the birthdays in one given month, and this month was my assignment to do the "treats".  I have been thinking about chocolate covered strawberries and suddenly remembered the chocolate fondue from my "hay days" and went for it for the party.  I found a recipe online and it was easy, chocolately and creamy, so am passing it on.  You can have whatever you like for "dippers".  I had pretzels, almond biscotti, marshmallows, fresh pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, clementine sections, and bananas, but angel food wedges, pound cake, and whatever else you like is an option. I also added some sliced almonds, coconut and sprinkles for adding onto the chocolate.  It seemed like everyone liked it and it was a good conversation dessert.  We were so busy eating that we forgot the birthday song! 

    Here is the fondue recipe:

    in a heavy saucepan-medium sized, combine the following ingredients:
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    2 Tablespoons butter
    1 (14 ounce sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
    2 Tablespoons water

    Over medium heat melt the above, then add 1 tsp vanilla

    Serve warm..store leftovers in the fridge.  can be used over ice cream or cake also.

    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Mongolian Beef Noodle Bowl

    One of my coworkers has a daughter who enjoys cooking a lot and sent this recipe to her to try because she liked it so much.  I finally tried it tonight and agree that it's as good as any takeout from a restaurant...very flavorful and pretty fast to bring together.  I makes a family sized portion, or lots of leftovers for lunches and you could substitute the beef for thin sliced chicken or pork and it would be just as good. 

    Here is how I made it:

    8 ounces of either rice noodles, pad thai noodles or bean thread noodles (I used the bean thread noodles because I had them).  Prepare per package directions. set aside

    In a small bowl mix:
    1/2 cup low sodium Tamari or soy sauce..I used half and half because I had both.
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
    and set aside.


    Heat a wok or a large skillet with 1/2 Tablespoon of vegetable oil.  add fairly small portions of
    1 lb of stir fry meat, or a flank steak sliced very thin against the grain, lightly salt and pepper and brown and remove from skillet. Then add 1/2 Tbsp more of oil and do more batches, until all is browned and a little underdone.  set aside.

    Add 1/2 Tablespoon  of oil again and 5 green onions that have the green parts chopped into 2 inch pieces and the white parts into 1/2 inch pieces.  Then add 3 cups of coleslaw mix and stir until cabbage is starting to wilt.  Add 3 minced garlic cloves and about 1/4 tsp powdered ginger or 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger.  Stir fry another 30 seconds. 

    Add the prepared sauce, meat and prepared noodles.  I cut mine a little for easier eating, but not too small.  sprinkle a little more chopped green onion on top for a garnish or even crushed peanuts would be good.



    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Porcupine Meatballs

    Joe requested I make porcupine meatballs for supper tonight and I was glad for the suggestion.  I had a pound of hamburger thawed and sort of in a dead zone in my mind what to make with it.  I found this recipe a lot of people liked and just changed it by adding an egg as some people said they kind of fell apart for them.  Don't overcook them..the sauce will all disappear and that is good with the potatoes..(I made mashed potatoes and peas and carrots and some segmented grapefruit to go with them)  Here is the recipe: I will definitely made them again.

    PORCUPINE MEATBALLS:
    1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice (I used white)
    1/2 cup water
    1/3 cup chopped onion
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon celery salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 lb ground beef (I used lean)
    1 egg

    Mix these ingredients together.  In a large fry pan, heat 2 Tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil up on medium high.  Form the meat mix into 1-1/2 inch meatballs (I used a small cookie scoop).  The mixture will be wet, but the meatballs will be fine)..brown on one side and then flip them over with a Tablespoon carefully to the other side and brown lowering heat if too hot. 

    In a medium sized bowl mix together the following ingredients:
    1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
    1 cup water
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

    Pour over the meatballs and slowly simmer for 1 hour. 


    Sunday, January 8, 2017

    Homemade Bird Treat

    Dave cut out an article on making a homemade bird treat because he knows how I like to watch the birds outside my kitchen window and other critters that come to the feeder.  It was in the Minneapolis newspaper.  I decided to make it today, but only half a batch to see if they actually like it and it doesn't go to waste.  It's got a lot of kind of non-cheap ingredients.  It's in the freezer right now.  I froze my half batch in 3 takeout style coffee cups that filled them about half full and I'm going to cut slots down the sides once they freeze and punch holes in the top with a string to hang them on the feeder with.  I will post a picture once I've got one of them up.  Here's the recipe:

    HOMEMADE BIRD TREAT:
    (full recipe as written by the Star Tribune)

    1 cup butter or lard-I used butter because I didn't have lard in the house
    1 cup peanut butter
    1-1/2 cups sunflower seeds-whole
    1-1/2 cups chopped nuts-I used peanuts and broke them up
    1-1/2 cups cornmeal
    1-1/2 cups quick oats
    1/2 cup sugar

    Mix dry ingredients and set aside.  Melt shortening/butter and peanut butter together, stirring until combined.  Pour melted mix into dry mix and stir until combined.  Press into containers and freeze for 2 hours before filling feeders, then refreeze the rest.  (This is a deluxe mix, so you might want to portion it out slowly)