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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'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


    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,'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!


    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)

    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.

    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

    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..


    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.


    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)

    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'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 just can't help eating 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. 


    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.

    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. 

    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 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:


    OVEN: 325.

    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.

    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.

    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. 

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


    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:

    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

    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 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.

    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:

    (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)