Forgotten Favorite

March 12, 2011

Boy, what a last couple of days!!!  Thursday was my bday and although my Honey had to work…I was visited by BIL and his girl.  We also had a thunder-storm blow through.  We had a wind gust of 62 out at the airport…about 6 miles as the crow flies.  We had one big clap of thunder and that was enough for me…shut off computer and the TV and hope for the best.  We must have been on the northern edge.  It wasn’t nearly bad as expected.  My friend in Heyburn…east of here on the way to Twin Falls, said it had sounded like the end of the world.  The weather has been unseasonable…temps above 50 for the last few days.  I keep waiting for mother nature to give us a swift kick.

All my thoughts and prayers go out to those in Japan and all over the Pacific who have been affected by the earthquake and tsumani.  Wow…I can’t even imagine.  I grew up in California and never went thru anything like that.  Our friends in Humboldt County are fine.  Damage both North and South of them, but nothing in Humboldt Bay.  Our friends in Guam must be OK.  Everybody there was evacuated to high ground….high ground on Guam????  There were a couple of subs that slipped their moorings, but they have since been retrieved.

Well on to forgotten favorites.  MIL had made some Key Lime Bars, which tasted pretty good and that jogged my memory and I dug out a recipe for Lemon Bars.  Everybody had a recipe stuck away for this one, but here is mine…….

LEMON BARS

1/3 cup soft butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1 good sized lemon…juice and peal zested

1/4 tsp baking powder

Beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar and combine.  Beat in flour until you get a crumbly mixture.  Press mixture into a sprayed 8X8 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Combine eggs, remaining sugar, lemon zest and juice, and baking powder and beat until throughly combined.  Pour over hot crust and bake for another 20 minutes or until set in the middle.  Dust with powdered sugar and YUM.

Bet you forgot about these numbly little morsels too…….

Ititarod 39

Martin Buser is back into 9th place after a low of 14th. He has been fighting the open mouth, jello-necked, head bob most of the night.   Most of the mushers are in Eagle Island halfway up the Yukon River.  On to Nome Mushers……

This pic was shot by Bob Hallinen for the Anchorage Daily News.  Thanks.  It was taken in Takotna while the mushers were in and out.  Thought I would include it because it is a beautiful shot.  Ahhhhhh…the Northern Lights

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Welcome March

March 9, 2011

OK…OK..so March is almost half over.  But I am soooooo very glad that February is over!!!  Between internet meltdowns, computer meltdowns…then having to learn a new one with a new operating system…remembering passwords and trying to remember favorite sites, family meltdowns, sickness or just generally not feeling good, and the gray skys leading to the infamous “winter funk”.  One good did thing happen in February….WyoNella came for a visit.  We did have a good time.  We had plans of going to Twin Falls to a Stained Glass/Ceramic Shop, but the weather stopped us.  So we stayed home and colored her hair.  I left her eyebrows and trim to someone alot more talented in that field than I am.  I didn’t even make anything ahead for Christmas.  But I am so thankful that the whole damn month is done!!!!!

So whats been so much better about March??  Lets see….

These came in the mail.  Ought to be fun to try to make these.  They came from the Extension Office in Fairbanks.

Pocatello Old Town had their first annual Beerfest this Saturday.  My Honey and I had a great time.  A dozen or so microbreweries brought their wares for all to sample at some of the pubs in town.  It was a walking tour, but one needed a DD to get home.  One of the brews was 7.8…WOW.  We have a little brewery here in town…Portnef Valley Brewery.  I must admit that I enjoyed their brew the most.

On Sunday we finally bottled our own beer.  A batch of Gopher Pale Ale…which is WyoNella’s favorite and a batch of Dunkelweisen.  Both of them were both yummy.  It will be about 2 more weeks now before the carbonation does it’s thing and they are ready to drink.  Can’t wait….but will have to.

DeeJaye finally got my hair done.  I am back to being a redhead and I feel so much better.  She also got my brows done and I can now hold my eyes open, now that I don’t have double eyebrows to hold up.

We did have 3.6 inches of snow the other night.  Made for some nasty driving for a few hours, but the sun came out and things melted off the next day.

Plans for the garden are now under way.  Ordered my heirloom tomato plants from a local grower.  I ordered Amish Paste and San Marzano..both romas, Matt’s Wild Cherry, a tiny cherry that is sweeter than candy, Omars Lebanese and Siberian Russian…early varieties and new to our garden, and Wonder Light…a yellow variety.  Cutting down on the garden this year…or so we say.  Onion sets on sale, so will pick some up tomorrow.

This came in the mail today.  I saw it in Mother Earth News.  Wyonella gave me her bread machine…alas…no directions.  I will muddle through with the help of my new cookbook.  Like I need another one.  If al else fails, I will use the recipes by changing them to old fashion kneaded bread.  Whatever works.

And the Iditarod started. 

Thanks to the Anchorage Daily News for the pics.  Most of the mushers and teams are in Takotna just about ready to leave from their 24 hour layover. 

Good luck Martin Buser!!!!!!  Speed and safety be with you and your dogs.

Oreo Muffins

February 17, 2011

Ok…so is there really a better way to eat oreos????  Probably not.  And I don’t know why I think I am going to build a better mouse trap, but here goes.

Found this recipe by accident on Kraft Foods.   I don’t normally read the reviews, but I did this time.   The recipe met with very mixed reviews.  Some said good just as is…others, too dry….still others, not sweet enough.  I took the advice of one lady, so this is the recipe as I made it.

OREO MUFFINS

1-3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup  sugar plus 1 Tbsp
1 Tbsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 tsp.  salt
1/3 cup cold margarine or butter
1/4 cup sour cream
1   egg
1 cup milk
16   OREO Cookies, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Mix together dry ingredients…all but oreos.  Mix together wet ingredients.  Combine, but don’t over mix.  Let set a few minutes to soak up the moisture and then stir in oreos.  Bake in sprayed muffin tin or use liners in your tin at 350 for 30 minutes.  Cool and try them out.
Before I go on, I have a little side note….
MIL got me and the girls a bunch of these last year.   They are the bomb!!!!  They are thin and don’t hang on to the muffin/cupcake and just need a quick swish in the dishwater.  Unlike the colored ones, which are cute and have their place, but  hang on to half your muffin only to dump out in your lap and you have to scrub the ridges, even after soaking.  I love ’em.  She just got me some more from one of her catalogs and that was a good thing.  They do tend to disappear every once in awhile….unseen in an empty sandwich bag or in a pile on the counter that you dump in the trash.  I use them all the time…unless, that is,  the goodies are going to school.
These are ok…they are moist enough..could use a tablespoon more sugar.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but………I guess this wasn’t it.  I might make them again, but I think I would rather dunk the 16 oreos.
…..NEWSFLASH…..
They appeared on the scene just before a nasty spring snow storm blew through.  They weren’t unexpected.  We were just unprepared.  A little girl and a little boy….Espresso and Cappuccino.

What a Wonderful Surprise!!!

February 16, 2011

What a day this has been. Woke up to the wind blowing a gale…not only do I have a headache from it, but the hay stack blew down.   Didn’t get the garbage to the road in time.  I tried, but couldn’t get traction on the ice and the driver didn’t see me in time or he would have stopped.  Then I had to go to work.  Change Valentines Day to Easter for Hallmark.  Thought it would only take a couple of hours, but no…it took twice that long.  I stopped in the middle to come home and make a hot meal for my Honey and build his lunch…then back to town and finish up.  I was in a hurry to get home, so forgot to stop and get gas….hope I have enough to get back.  Well, when I got home there was a wonderful surprise on the table.  A package from BrazenBite……made me very happy.  And what was inside??????

Lots of fun stuff………Along knit scarf…denim blue…fades from light to dark and is soft as butter.  A woven shawl, so light and airy…perfect for cool summer evenings.

Trader Joe’s French Roast Coffee….dark and rich….just the best ever.

Tom Yum Paste…hot and sour….never used it before, but says to cook shrimp and mushrooms in it…can’t be bad then…I will let ya know.

A cute red heart shaped candle…I have red scattered throughout my house, so it will easily find a special home.

More Trader Joe’s…candy this time…Dark chocolate covered caramels…my favorite and milk chocolate English toffee…my Honey’s favorite.

Rice Candy…must admit that I don’t think I have ever tried this….it says it has a childrens sticker inside….so I may share with the gkids…or not

Trader Joe’s PeanutButter Filled Pretzels…they are simply the best…no box or grocery store variety can compare.  If you live near a Trader Joe’s…you don’t know how lucky you are.

What can I say but, THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU.  I am getting a box together for you and was going to bring it when we come in May, but I may just hurry things along.

Summer Sausage

February 15, 2011

Sounds like an odd time of the year to be making Summer Sausage, but I found an old recipe of mine and thought I would try it.  The recipe calls for it to be cooked in the oven and this is a good time of year to use the oven.

SUMMER SAUSAGE

5 lbs hamburger

3 tsp garlic powder

5 Tbsp sea salt

3 tsp mustard seed

3 Tbsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp liquid smoke

I threw it all in Layla again with the dough hook.  Don’t get me wrong, you have to use a rubber spatula to get it all mixed, but it sure is easier than by hand.

I divided the mixture into four parts…..1.25 lbs each, huh….and formed it into sort of square logs, removing any air pockets.

Roll it in heavy duty foil and poke on all sides.  I used a meat fork for the poking.  A dinner fork just didn’t cut it.  Bake on a rack on a cookie sheet at 350 for 2 hours and then reduce the heat to 200 and bake for 4 more hours.

When you take it out of the oven, depending on the quality of hamburger you use, you will find alot of shrinkage.  I used one of those 5lb chubs you can get at the grocery store.  I was not going to use burger from the beef we raised last year.  Maybe next Fall, if we have any left.

The foil will look really icky, so rewrap it and put it in the freezer….that is what you don’t slice and enjoy now.

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!!!!!

February 14, 2011

BrazenBites sent me this recipe a while back and I haven been saving it for Valentines Day Brunch.  With my Honey working swings, I usually cook a meal about noonish and then send a lunch.  Anyway…….this recipe is from Two Peas and their Pod by Josh and Maria.  OMG….these are wonderful. Not the most slimming recipe, but enjoyable and worth the “sin” …whatever that is.   I am going to just copy and paste the recipe because it is perfect just how it is and I wouldn’t change a thing.

CINNAMON STREUSEL PANCAKES

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Streusel:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1. First, make the cinnamon streusel. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Mix together with your hands or a fork, until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not over mix, batter will be slightly lumpy.

3. Heat a griddle or pan to medium low. Coat with cooking spray. Drop 1 cup of batter onto heated skillet.  Add 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon streusel. Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip pancake over and cover very generously with cinnamon streusel.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Continue this process to make the rest of the pancakes.

4. Serve warm with maple syrup and butter.

Makes 6 very large pancakes

 

Okay…….so I didn’t follow it exactly.  No syrup.  These really don’t need it.

Hope you and your Sweetie have a wonderful day!!!

Spring Is Right Around the Corner

February 13, 2011

Sorry for the short break.  I’ve been enjoying the nice weather and NASCAR started their season on Friday.  But I haven’t stopped cooking.  Made a strawberry pie for my Honey.  Ya can’t get much more Springy than that.

Strawberry Pie

4 cups fresh, hulled and halved strawberries

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 3oz box of strawberry flavored gelatin

1 baked and cooled pie crust

Get your pie crust baked and our of the oven to cool.  Combine water, sugar and cornstarch in and pan and bring to a boil.  Boil until clear and watch it closely so it doesn’t scorch.  I didn’t and I am still trying to get the pan clean.  Remove from heat and add gelatin.  Arraign the strawberries in the cooled pie shell and then pour gelatin mixture over and chill for several hours.

I’m not real sure where this recipe came from.  I think it was one of those freebies that come with magazine ads in the mail. This sure beats that unknown goo from the grocery store that passes as pie filling.   The filling has a great flavor, but next time I will make a graham cracker crust.  The bottom of the crust seemed to disappear under the filling.

Now I have a question for you.  How do you pre-bake your pie crusts??  I have tried the prick it with a fork thing, but always get filling leakage underneath.  Lately I have been filling the crust with some old bean I have in a jar.  But some of those pesky beans always stick to the crust and I always manage to knock a chunk of the crust off.

Strawberry Pie, NASCAR and mid 40 degree weather in February.  I sure hope Mother Nature isn’t playing a cruel joke on us.

When Men Bake Cookies

February 10, 2011

Got and email with this picture from a friend of my Honey.  The same one who gave me his Mother’s Buttermilk Pie recipe.  Just cracked me up…….

Have a great day!!!!!!

Birthday Leftovers

February 8, 2011

Not much left of the requested big ole chocolate cake…..especially after that humungus dinner.  This is a great chocolate cake recipe…soft, moist and crumbly and best of all chocolatey.  And the frosting…a fudgey delight.

OIL CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

2 tsp espresso powder

3 Tbsp cocoa

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup boiling water

Cream together sugar and eggs, then add eggs.  Dissolve espresso powder and cocoa in 1/2 cup water.  Add that and vanilla and thoroughly combine.  Add dry ingredients alternately with boiling water.  Bake in greased 10X13 pan for 30-45 minutes.

MAGIC CHOCOLATE FROSTING

Combine in the top of a double boiler over boiling water:

1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1 Tbsp water

1/8 tsp salt

2 1oz squares of unsweetened chocolate

Cook over boilng water until thick, stirring frequently.

 

And guess what Girlie got for her birthday???????

I believe she has a matching picture of me in her camera.

 

Potato-Oatmeal Bread

February 6, 2011

This definitely is NOT your run of the mill dreaded (by my Honey) mamby pamby white bread.

Potato-Oatmeal Bread

1 cup mashed spuds (room temp at least)

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup warm water

1 Tbsp yeast

2 Tbsp sugar plus a little

1 1/2 cup warm milk

1 Tbsp salt

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

5 cups flour  (2 whole wheat, 3 All purpose)

Proof the yeast in warm water with a little sugar.  When bubbly, add to the rest of the ingredients…minus 3 cups of flour… in the mixing bowl and knead till combined.  Add the remaining flour one cup at a time and knead until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover and let rise until double.  Punch down and form into two loaves.  Let rise again and then bake for 10 minutes at 425, then knock down the oven temp to 350 and bake till the loaves make that hollow sound when you thump the….about 35-40 minutes.  remove from pans and cool on a wire rack and enjoy!!!!!

About the spuds…..It is a rare occurrence around here when we have left over mashed taters.  We are in Idaho ya know.  And yesterday was no exception.  I made some instant and added the butter to them.  Seemed to work fine.   I will be interested to see if real vs instant makes any difference, because this is a keeper recipe.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLIE!!!!!!

Requested menu:   home grown fried chicken

mashed taters (from our farmer friends)and gravy

home grown corn (frozen of course)

homemade bread (good thing recipe made 2 loaves)

and a big ole chocolate cake

Guess I had better get busy!!!!!