Archive for July, 2009

The Rest of the Holiday Weekend

July 6, 2009

What a wonderful weekend.  Not much accomplished, but oh well…that’s what holidays and family are all about.  Decided to drag out the dutch ovens and cook a meal….its been forever.  So long that I had to drag out my dutch oven cookbook and refresh the mind.  Must be like riding a bike….you never really forget.

DUTCH OVEN HAM AND POTATOES

ham…what ever you think

2-3 rough chopped onions

5 lbs of potatoes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup

shredded cheddar cheese…sharp and enough to cover

Warm the dutch oven and add a bit of oil.  Warm up ham and slightly brown.  Add onion and cook till slightly brown.  Throw in potatoes and stir.  Cover and cook till potatoes are done.  Add mushrooms and cover and cook 5 more minutes.  Add soup and stir then heat till warmed.  Spread cheese over the top and heat till melted.  I used my 12″ dutch oven.

IMG_1556Also decided to make dessert in the dutch ovens as well.  The only problem was that it rained…and when hasn’t it, so had to finish up in the oven.  Forgot how heavy those things are to lug around.

CHERRY CHOCOLATE COBBLER

2 cans cherry pie filling

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 can cherry coke

Dump pie filling, cake mix and cover with coke.  Cover and bake.  I have doubled this recipe many times before.  I used a 10″ oven.

IMG_1559Sinful, but oh so good.  In-laws and outlaws brought salads and we had a real feast.

Brother in law came over with girlfriend, nieces and nephew in tow and all the kids set off a few sparklers, some small fireworks and those silly black stain the sidewalk snakes.  No worries My Honey, the rain has washed them away.  We watched the fireworks display from the driveway.  Hooray…no crowds.

Sunday was a very lazy day.  The best thing I did was hold down one of the chairs on the back deck.  Did manage to fix dinner.  The nieces were in the pool most of the day with the gkids and those two are burnt.

Had left over ham and potatoes…I had fixed two dutch ovens full.  We wrapped them in foil and heated them up in the traeger.  Rex contributed elk back strap.  We cut it up and made shisk a bobs.  Meat was marinated in a ziplock bag with good old Italian dressing.  Very tender and so much flavor.

IMG_1558Then we made one of my Honey’s favorites.  Split jalepenos and or aneheim peppers, remove the seeds, stuff with cream cheese and wrap with bacon.  Throw them on the traeger and cook till the bacon is done and the peppers soft.

IMG_1557Well, back to the real world today.  Gotta clean out the freezer.  YUCK

 

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The 4th of July Weekend Begins

July 4, 2009

Its smiles……

IMG_1537and swimming

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and snowcones in the fort…..IMG_1540

and splashes…..

IMG_1547and salads…….

IMG_1543and blueberry crisp for dessert…..

IMG_1545And thats just the fun stuff from yesterday.

MINI CAPRESE SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 cup basil leaves, about 20 leaves, plus a few for garnish
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, multi colored if available, halved
  • 1 cup bocconcini (bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls), drained, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine lemon juice, garlic, basil in food processor or blender, process and stream in extra-virgin olive oil to form a smooth dressing. Combine tomatoes, cheese and dressing in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with a few torn basil leaves.

This is the original recipe from Rachael Ray.  I used mozzerella pearls and added a bit of lemon zest to the dressing.  Of course way to early here for colored heirlooms cherry tomatoes, so regular ones worked.  Yummy salad with great fresh basil.  Easy to eat for kids and adults alike.

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BLUEBERRY CRISP

Ingredients

  • 6 cups blueberries, rinsed and lightly dried
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt

Topping Mixture:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter, cubed
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Ice cream, for topping

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Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a bowl.

Combine flour, oats, brown and white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans in a bowl. Add butter and pinch into chunks. Mix until it looks crumbly.

Add the blueberries into a 2-quart baking dish. Top evenly with the crumb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream and whipped cream.

This is from the Neeleys and I made no changes at all….no need.  It sure was yummy, but the kids aren’t so sure about cooked fruit.

IMG_1544Happy 4th of July to all.  This was my Mom’s birthday and it always kind of a bittersweet day for me.  But next year My Honey will be home to share it with.

And the Deluge Continues

July 3, 2009

What a beautiful day yesterday was.  I let the two younger gkids stay home from daycare and the three of them sure did have fun.  They started out with eggs in a hole for breakfast, played in the pool (not so much white skin now), played on the swingset/playset, rode bikes, hot dogs for lunch, dug in the dirt, played with cars and babies….just did kids stuff.  A few weeks back, Girlie had seen Paula Deen make a summer drink with watermelon.  She had been after me to make it so yesterday was the day.

PAULA’S WATERMELON COOLER

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
  • 1 cup lemon sorbet
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • Watermelon wedges and mint, for garnish

Directions

In a food processor, blend watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold water; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.

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This is a wonderful refreshing drink.  Kids loved it and I think it would also be good with a touch of vodka.  The only problem I had was finding lemon sorbet in Pocatello Idaho.  Got it though.

No sooner had Rex and Daughter #2 left with the kids than the neighbors called and invited me over for a hamburger.  What did I have to do??  Just put the family room back together after “Spring” cleaning.  Hey…better late than never and besides My Honey should be home in 25 days and I work best under pressure….I think that’s called procrastination.  Anyway….sitting across the road after a nice meal and WAM….the wind starts….the skies get dark…the wind picks up…..a few drops of rain….is it gonna go over????  Think I will run home just in case and boy was I glad I did.  According to the Weather Service at the airport, we got .40 inches of rain in 30 minutes and we are about 5 miles as the crow flies from the airport.  Total was .94 inches.   What is going on here????  This is just not right.  Well, glad I came home when I did.

Oh My…Has it been that long???

July 2, 2009

Once again apologies to all.  My Honey will be home in less than a month…HOORAY…and I seem to be busy all the time, but not sure what I am getting accomplished…if anything.

First business…..Happy Belated Birthday BrazenBites.  I baked a cake the day after and it got devoured around here.  Well, better that than never.  It’s a Paula Deen ooey gooey cake. 

PAULA’S VOLCANO CAKE

Ingredients

Cream mixture:

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups 4X or 10X sugar

Cake:

  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box German chocolate cake mix, prepare by following directions on box
  • 10 bite-sized almond and chocolate covered candy or candy of choice

Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

For the cream mixture:

Beat ingredients together with an electric mixer. Set aside until ready to use.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch cake pan.

Line bottom of greased pan with coconut flakes. Sprinkle pecans on top of coconut. Set aside.

Follow directions on back of box to prepare cake. Beat for approximately 2 minutes, using an electric mixer. Fold in bite-sized candy. Pour into cake pan. Evenly space dollops of cream mixture on top of the cake. When the cake cooks, the cream will sink down to the bottom. This will be your “volcano” of flavor. Place in oven for 40 to 45 minutes. While cake is still hot spread the glaze evenly over the cake.

For the glaze:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in cocoa powder and add milk until you get a thin consistency. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. While bringing the butter and milk mixture to a boil, whisk in confectioners’ sugar and almond extract. Glaze should be thin. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before using.IMG_1524

Sorry for the lousy picture and I didn’t take time to change plates.  This piece was MINE.  This is just a over endulgant kick ass, fun cake.  Kids and adults…and I use that term loosely…enjoyed it.  I had bite sized candy bars on my grocery list and we went to COSTCO first.  Instead of coming home with a small bag of candy, I found a 5 lb bag.  BAD…BAD VERY .

Thought I would share a few pics of our new crop of babies.  We live in the middle of a potato/wheat field surrounded by pasture and other farm fields.  We have to have some outside cats around…..just ask my Honey.  He learned the hard way.  I don’t see mice around except for the occasional present left at the back door.

IMG_1521We usually get thinned down to about half a dozen.  I feed them well because a well fed cat with kill for sport….I read that somewhere….and one that hunts to eat only kills to eat.  We have two females that aren’t fixed and the rest of them are.  This bunch of babies is wild still, but Mama Kitty is bringing them around and feeds them on the back porch and has moved them to the dog house.  Good thing Molly doesn’t use it.

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