Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mission 2: Raisin Pie

Yup...raisin pie. I have never had raisin pie, but I have heard my Uncle J talk about it for as long as I could remember. He is in his seventies and he will tell stories of growing up in a large but fairly poor family. They had a good time despite their hardships. He recalls raisin and mincemeat pies from his home kitchen and you can see as he takes a trip back to olden days, that they have good memories attached.

Occasionally my aunt would be able to find them at a bakery or in the frozen section at the grocery during the holidays. That has not been the case for the past several years. When hubby and I decided that we would be able to make the trip to Texas this year, my thoughts started rolling. I made the Cranberry Cherry pie for Uncle G (it is in the previous post), a Cherry Cream Cheese pie for my cousins (who actually fought over it at the gathering!), and I found a raisin pie recipe!!! I decided to practice my lattice work...Don't chuckle to hardy, it was my first try!

When presented with the pie my uncle was speechless....no small feat! He hugged me and then hid it! I don't think he had to worry about it, no one else has an affinity for raisin pie. Throughout our visit different family members would tell me how excited he had been. Uncle J said it was the best one he has had....so maybe it tasted like the ones from his childhood!

Here it is: It is fresh from the oven and you can see it is still bubbly :)

Raisin Pie

• 1 cup sugar
• 2-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups cold water
• 2 cups raisins
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
In a saucepan, stir together sugar and flour. Add water and mix well. Stir in raisins, salt and cinnamon; cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Top with lattice crust, or cover with top crust and cut slits for steam to escape. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mission 1: Cranberry Cherry Pie

This year I decided to make a special pie for my uncles to have on Christmas :)
It has been a while since we have spent the holidays together and I wanted to do something extra special. Uncle G likes cherry pie the best, but loves cranberries. So, I found a recipe to join his two favorites to make a tart but sweet treat!

Cranberry Cherry Pie

• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
• 2 cups cranberries
• Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)
• Milk and additional sugar
In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in pie filling and cranberries. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim to 1 in. beyond edge of plate. Pour filling into crust.
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut slits in pastry or cut out stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter. Place pastry over filling; trim, seal and flute edges. Arrange star cutouts on pastry. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375°for 55-60 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings

Uncle G came over last night for dinner and was presented his pie. He was shocked and very pleased! He even shared a piece with all of us!
Mission 2: Raisin Pie for Uncle J. Uncle J remembers raisin and mincemeat pies from his childhood. When I asked my aunt what his favorite was, she said raisin. She told me he often mentions the pie from his past and wonders why you can never find one now days :) Never fear I will be making one today and delivering it in Texas tomorrow!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Baker Bakes Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin bread. I think it mainly has to to do with the smells. So many lovely spices complimenting each other....ahhhhhhh. I love the cozy feeling you get as the smell floats from the oven and the warmth fills the house. It is just perfect!

I use a recipe from my grandmother's box. It makes 2 loaves or 1 loaf and 6 mini bundt cakes. My neighbors look forward to their goody baskets of pumpkin bread and cookies each year :) The families get a loaf and the widows across the street get the mini bundts. Everyone seems happy to have home baked goods!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Break Begins :)

Today was the first official day in the kids' Christmas break. (According to Isabella)

So, I made sugar cookie dough and the kids cut out Christmas cookies. We used colored sugar crystals to decorate.

Jaxson felt he was in charge of the rolling pin.

If you look closely at the tree on the far left, you'll notice a few branches missing! Jaxson took a bite before I could get it baked. He was too excited :)

We had a ball!! It was fantastic to be doing something like this with the kids today!

Hope your break has started out equally as fun!

Friday, December 19, 2008


There is an older gentleman who works with my husband. Hubby tells me stories of the "mumbler". Through out the day this older man will mutter and mumble at his computer and people in the hall. He likes quiet and keeps to himself. He isn't hateful or rude, just a loner. He never participates with the group in anything.
I'm thinking Scrooge.

Today the loner mumbler man met my loud 3 year old....lol

Isabella, Jaxson, and I took hubby to work. I had made a greenbean casserole for their luncheon and we decided to make a morning out of helping hubby carry it all in. (presents for the white elephant exchange too) So, we got up early and drove downtown. When we got out, Jaxson realized where we were because of the tall buildings and started clapping. He shouted, "Circus!Circus!" The last time we went downtown was for the Ringling Bros and Barnum&Bailey Circus....Never fear he wasn't bummed for long. A quick walk in the brisk wind, security badges, and an elevator ride brought us to hubby's floor. This was the first time I had met hubby's co-workers since his promotion. (I was nervous!)

Then I met Mumbles. He was dressed nicely and greeted us pleasantly. Then before I knew it, hubby let Jaxson out of the umbrella stroller he jumps in Mumbles cubicle and shouts "HEY!" followed by "Jaxson-ese" talk. Mumbles left the area. I assumed we made him nervous. After we made our rounds to several offices, I noticed he still wasn't back. I started thinking we had run him off for good!

But before we left I dropped something in Hubby's office and bumped into Mumbles. He smiled and said we had a lovely family.

Awwwww.........not so Scrooge-y....is that a word?

Who wouldn't love this face?!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is almost here!!!!!!!!

Yikes! Where has the time gone this year?????

I have completed most of my shopping, just need stocking stuffers and a mother-in-law gift. (Any ideas?) The kids seem super excited this year! Santa is bringing Isabella a wooden Barbie House...(I always wanted one of these!!) and Jaxson is getting a Hot Wheels City Plex set....He will be in Hot Wheel Heaven!

We will be traveling to Texas for the holiday. It has been 4 years since we have spent Christmas with my side of the family. I am very excited! My aunt that lives in Texas asked me to plan the menu and coordinate the dinner. It felt very strange to be doing the job that has been handled by my mom and her sisters. (Made me feel old!)
But it has all turned out well nad should be great fun! I planned a traditional holiday dinner. mainly because it has been a while since we have been together. I asked everyone to make their "specialties" and even a few new ones. I am making pumpkin bread, green bean casserole, cherry cream cheese pie, chocolate chip cookies, cranberry sauce, a pasta salad, raisin pie, candied walnuts and cranberry pistachio bark. Whew! I get tired just looking at it. The cookies, bread and candy can be made before we travel, the rest will have to be done when I get there. I am staying at my best friends house. i know, it is corny for an almost 30 year old to say Best friend...but she has been for 15 years! We can cook and laugh together...well I will cook and she can make me laugh!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Season! I will take pics and post some of the recipes. I have been falling behind in my blogging!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Soup's Up!

Colder weather also begs for soup! This is a new one I found on Taste Of Home's website. It is delicious!! I have savored the leftovers!! This is one soup sure to warm you inside out! It is very fun to make too!

For the cooked chicken, I like to poach it. I place a pound of boneless chicken breast in a pot and cover with cold water and slowly simmer for 25-35 minutes until no longer pink. Try to keep the water from coming to a full boil.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

• 2 quarts chicken broth
• 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup finely chopped celery
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/4 cup butter, cubed
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
• 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth
• 3 cups cooked wild rice
• 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
In a large saucepan, combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, melt butter. stir in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in soup and wine or broth. Add rice and chicken; heat through. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lovely roasted pork with baked sweet potatoes

As colder days approach I am enjoying my roasting recipes! This recipe calls to slow roast your pork roast for an hour and half to two hours on 300-325 degrees. In a bowl, I combine extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper, dash of allspice, cayenne, and one or all of the following: basil, garlic powder and mustard seed.
It just depends on what you want. Sometimes I squeeze a bit of lemon juice in too.
I mix this up and make a rub of sorts and smear it over the top and sides of the roast. For the sweet potatoes, I just poke holes in them using a fork, rub extra virgin olive oil on them and wrap them in foil. They cook alongside the roast.
It was very good.

We usually add a little butter and cinnamon to our potatoes :)
I also prepared a green bean casserole to complete the meal. Hubby was loving this meal!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Up and Running again!

Yikes!!! My modem exploded and I was out of touch with the wide world for a while!
It is all better now and my new modem is humming along nicely :)

I got an A on my Humanities test and next Tuesday I will find out what I got on my book report. Yea!! This class has been very interesting. I am so glad I decided to sign up. Next semester I will either take Humanities II or a composition class. i can't decide!

Here is a picture of my Spanish Chicken Recipe. this is something I came up with one night when I was tired of the same old stuff. The amounts of the ingredients change with my mood when I make it :)
I start by melting 1 stick of butter. I add garlic powder, dash of cayenne, dash of Worcestershire sauce, dash of seasoned salt and 1/2 cup to 1 cup of salsa, mix well.
I place boneless chicken thighs in a greased 11x7 dish. Pour the sauce over. Cover with foil and bake for 60-75 minutes at 350 degrees. I serve it with Spanish rice, chips and salsa.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pasta Night!!

I LOVE pasta...LOVE IT!!

This is a recipe I changed up for my family's preferences. I boiled the Mostaccioli, scrambled the hamburger/Italian sausage mixture until no longer pink. Drain the fat off, add the sauce of your choice. Mix with drained cooked noodles. Place all in 11x7 baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella and bake. I also made Italian drop biscuits. They are easy and very tasty! I always make a double batch :)
Serve with a salad and you have a tasty meal!!

Hope your week is going GREAT!

Taste of Home recipe's I used for this meal:
Baked Mostaccioli
8 ounces uncooked mostaccioli
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (16 ounces) fat-free cottage cheese
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook turkey and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain if necessary.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and marjoram; set aside. Drain mostaccioli.
Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into an 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with half of the mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Top with cottage cheese mixture. Layer with remaining mostaccioli, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (dish will be full).
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Yield: 6 servings

Italian-style Drop Biscuits
1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
1/4 cup cold water
4 teaspoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
In a small bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cheese and chilies. Stir in water until a soft dough forms; stir 30 seconds longer. Drop dough into six mounds 2 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Brush over biscuits. Serve warm. Yield: 6 biscuits.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday Dinner

Growing up I knew that Sunday dinner would usually be roast beef. Mom would put it in the oven, with potatoes and carrots, before we headed to church. It was slow cooked and delicious! It was either roast or chicken fried steak.
My family enjoys roast as well. However, I have put different sides with it. I slow cook mine in the crock pot, just the roast. And then I make a sweet potato casserole. YUM! I boil the whole sweet potatoes, peel them, slice them, and place them in a 11x7 baking dish. I put tabs of butter around them, sprinkle with brown sugar, top with marshmallows and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until marshmallows are turning light brown.
I know your are shuddering at the amount of carbs, butter and marshmallows....but rest assured we do not have this EVERY Sunday. Just once in a while it nice to indulge in such comfort food!!
The casserole:

Dinner is served!

**Just a little note of thanks to those who read, comment and email me. I appreciate you hanging in with me. I have been struggling with time lately, there doesn't seem to be enough of it!! As some of you know I am taking a class in Humanities, trying to get my feet wet so I can jump in when Jaxson goes to school. I will take one or two a semester until he goes to school at which time I will probably go full-time. I really want to get my degree. I am also trying to start up a club at the college that has been inactive for 3 semesters. It is called the Writer's Bloc. Just an organization for people who enjoy creative writing, to gather and collaborate and have fun. I am not sure what it will turn out to be. Tonight is the first meeting and I am nervous. I fear no one will show up except the advisor who has to be present for college activities. I also fear the fact someone might show up....Feel the fear?
We all have struggles, trials and daily routines that we have to deal with. Mine are changing and i am trying to keep up! Isabella has dance class once a week, homework (with higher grade levels come more work), Jaxson is enjoying being 2 too much :) He will be 3 in November. He will suddenly morph into a quieter child, right? The terrible twos stop at 3....like midnight or something...please, let me enjoy this illusion.
My mom has MS. She was diagnosed 10 years ago. It is relapsing/remitting. It has been in remission for several years and now appears to be flaring up. I have talked to her about cutting back on the hours she works from 60/week to the normal 40. She is unable to do some of the things she could, which is probably why she spends more time at work. I now go to her place once a week to clean and do her laundry. She felt guilty about this at first, but has come around to see that I simply want to help and this is one way I can. The first time I went I was shocked by how little food she kept on hand. I guess when you live alone, cooking a meal doesn't seem as important. I now make her left over meals from our dinners and put them in her refrigerator a couple of times a week.
So, my days are full. i love blogging and I miss being able to do it everyday. I just wanted to let you in on why I may not post except for once a week.
Thanks! and special thanks to all of you who actually read this whole rambling post!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Southern Dinner

Sunday was a wonderful day! Cool Breeze, family and chicken fried steak!
I always pound the cube steaks with a mallet to make sure they will be tender. Dip them in egg and roll them in seasoned flour. (Flour seasoned with salt and pepper.)
Then fry in hot oil. I always serve it with mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and of course gravy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chocolate cake...how divine!

Birthdays are a great excuse for cake!! I made this one for my mom. She loves chocolate and strawberries, especially together! I sliced several to place in between the layers, then covered the rest and placed them on top.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chicken Quesadillas

My daughter requests these often! I love the smell of onions and bell peppers sizzling together! A little salt, a little pepper, a dash of garlic powder and let the fun begin!

I bake chicken breast for 60-65 minutes. I pour a little extra virgin olive oil on them, add seasoned salt, pepper, dash of garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Then I cut it up to place in the tortillas. I shred whatever cheese I have on hand. Saturday I had cheddar. Then I pile on the peppers and onions. Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with PAM. I secure the tortillas with a toothpick. In a 400 degree oven cook for 7-8 minutes, flip quesadillas and then bake an additional 5-7 minutes, depending on your desired crispiness.
Before baking...

And after...yummy goodness!!!! I serve it with spanish rice and broccoli florets

My daughter requests these often! I love the smell of onions and bell peppers sizzling together! A little salt, a little pepper, a dash of garlic powder and let the fun begin!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Mommy, I wanna muppin, mease"

After Jaxson asked so nicely..I couldn't refuse!

the recipe is from tasteofhome.com

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, milk, oil and vanilla; add to the dry ingredients just until moistened. Gently fold in blueberries.
Fill greased or paper-line muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 6 muffins

Already forming a plan.....

When do you start planning for the holidays? The meal, the gifts, the baked goods for friends, family and neighbors....it is alot to think about. Do you wait until the end of October, or until the last possible minute?

Or are you like me? I am going Christmas shopping for the kids this weekend. In two weeks I will pick up presents for my in-laws, two weeks after that, I shop for my side of the family. i have already started to plan the meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now there is a possibility that i will not be hosting either of these holidays this year, but hubby's side of the family is very laid back. They consider all plans flexible. Which is extremely hard on me, the type of person who likes to have a PLAN. So, after a few years of stress, pulling out my hair, and tears of frustration, I have learned to plan as if I am the one doing it. If it turns out I'm not hosting, cool, but at least I had a plan and wouldn't be caught off guard one morning by in-laws showing up with bright smiles and presents, me standing there in my bathrobe, mouth gaping....
My father-in-law married this past June. So, I am wondering if my new mother-in-law will want to host for the holidays. I will be all for this! Don't get me wrong I enjoy hosting, but I am not feeling it this year. Our house is between hubby's sister in Texas and his father's in northern Oklahoma...so it makes sense to meet here.
Growing up I never wondered where we would be for the holidays. Mom's family all lived in the same town. My grandmother, 3 aunts and all the cousins. My dad's side all live back East and I have never seen them for any holiday. I can count on one hand the times I have seen them my entire life, actually.
My mom's side still gathers in the same town, since all the cousins have married and had children, we make quite the number...something like 43. We usually reserve the family center at my aunt's church. I haven't been there for a holiday in 4 years. I would really like to go this year. In the past there have been things come up that made it impossible for us to make the trip. This year we should be free and clear.

Well, looks like I have babbled enough about the holidays. But I am curious as to when you start planning. And what are holiday staples in your house? I always make pumpkin bread for the neighbors. And no holiday meal is complete without holiday dressing and sweet potatoes with marshmallows!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zippy Beef Tips......zippy indeed :)

At least once in the summer, there comes a day that is unseasonably cool and overcast.
These are my favorite days. My dream place to live (one of many) is Seattle. With the rain falling 9 months out of the year, I would be in heaven! Weird? Probably....

Anyway, when we have a cooler day I enjoy making Zippy Beef Tips. You can make them in a slow cooker as well. I like to cook mine slow for 4 hours...so tender, so yummy!

Zippy Beef Tips

1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef tips cut into thin pieces (I just use stew meat)
1 cup 7-UP
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg lipton Beefy Onion dry soup

Place beeftips in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Spread soup over the meat and sprinkle with dry soup. Don't stir! Pour 7-UP over all and cover. Bake at 275 for 4 hours. Serve over hot cooked white rice. (or egg noodles)

IThis recipe was given to me by my grandmother.
Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School = Back to Blogland for me!

Hello All!!

I trust you all had a wonderful and exciting summer :)
We have traveled, played, been lazy, and just really enjoyed ourselves this summer!
I had a bit of "blogger's guilt", but I have to say I needed the break. Break's over and my daughter is off to 2nd grade. The little guy is still home with me. He really really wanted to go to school with her this year....sigh...just 2 years and that will be a reality.

I am taking a class myself. Just a night class to test the waters and get my feet wet. I hope to pick up more classes in the spring and summer.

Recipes!! I opened my email (I have not even checked my email since July) and had several requests for recipes

Hmmmm For my first day back I will leave you with this:

Angel Hair with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil (Capelli d`Angelo con Pomodorini e Basilico) www.barillaus.com
Ease of preparation: average
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6
Regions: Liguria
Wine pairing: Red

1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves peeled Garlic
1 teaspoon Red pepper
2 pints cut in halves Cherry tomatoes
5 leaves Basil
to taste Salt
1 package Angel Hair
1/2 cup Pecorino dolce

HEAT olive oil in skillet. Peel and gently press garlic. Add garlic and pepper. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and tear basil into small pieces. Add cherry tomatoes and basil. Simmer for five minutes. Season with salt. Discard garlic cloves.
COOK pasta according to the directions. Drain and toss with sauce. Garnish with freshly grated pecorino


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grilled Mango-Glazed Ham

Tasty, tasty!! This was a wonderful combination of flavors!

Grilled Mango-Glazed Ham
Taste of home

1-1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 medium ripe mango or 2 medium ripe peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
1 bone-in fully cooked lean ham steak (about 2 pounds)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, jalapeno and ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until glaze is thick and caramelized. Strain and cool. Place mango in a food processor or blender; cover and process until smooth. Stir into glaze; set aside.
Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Sprinkle both sides of ham steak with pepper. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side or until heated through. Brush both sides of ham with mango glaze; grill 5 minutes longer. Serve ham with remaining glaze. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Yummy! This was a delicious change of pace for us! Hubby found a recipe for oven fried catfish and asked me to try it out. I am so glad I did! I paired it up with apple and cabbage coleslaw, hush puppies and corn on the cob. Can't beat that!

Apple Cabbage Slaw
6 cups shredded cabbage
3 medium red apples, chopped
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
Dash pepper
In a large bowl, toss the cabbage and apples. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 10 servings. (I like to add a bit of shredded carrots in)

Brush both sides of fish with lemon juice and pat dry. dip in milk, roll in breadcrumbs or cornflakes, pressing the crumbs gently into fish. spread one tablespoon of vegetable oil in baking dish, place fish in pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender and flakes easily. (i liked the breadcrumbs, but am anxious to try the cornflakes next time!)
The fish before being "oven fried"

The complete meal....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

German Brats.....My,My

First, I would like to say that, yes, we do eat other things besides pork! LOL...lately the other things I have been making, I have already posted about. So I have been saving up my new stuff to show you.

German Brats were a hit the first time I made them for the family! Simple and fairly quick, they are rich and delicious. I served them with cheesy au gratin potatoes, green beans and corn.

German Brats
Taste of Home
Serves 5

4 bacon strips, diced
5 uncooked bratwurst
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white wine or additional chicken broth
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon celery seed

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels (save for another use). Drain, reserving 4 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, cook bratwurst for 10-15 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Drain skillet.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth; set aside. Add the mustard, brown sugar, wine or additional broth, vinegar and celery seed to skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is hot and bubbly.
Gradually add cornstarch mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened. Return bratwurst to the pan; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until glazed. Yield: 5 servings.

Making the sauce

Au gratin potatoes

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
5 cups thinly sliced peeled potatoes (about 6 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add potatoes and onion; stir well.
Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Uncover; bake 30-40 minutes longer or until the potatoes are tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

100th post...or sort of...

As customary here is my 100 things for my 100th post...is it 100 or am I late by 1 or 2?


1. I do not sleep outdoors.....
2. My idea of roughing it is Motel 6
3. I do not eat the ends of french fries....(didn't realize I was weird, did ya?)
4. I do not like the weather here in the summer...too sticky and humid
5. I like chocolate ice cream
6. I always wanted a tattoo...but too chicken
7. So chicken that my ears are not pierced
8. I am addicted to coffee and have considered starting a program at the local community center
9. There is always a book near me
10. I do not like ricotta cheese...very important thing to know about me
11. I sunburn in less than 20 minutes in the sun...SPF 55 for me
12. I am now realizing that 100 things may be too much for me....
13. I want to see Sex and The City movie.....can I talk hubby into it?
14. or will I have to go to Texas and go with my BFF
15. I want to go back to college
16. Before I die I would like to live in New York for at least a year
17. And London
18. I would pack up right now if we were offered the chance to live in Alaska...not humid there I bet
19. I hate spiders
20. I want to get a puppy
21. Laundry is fun for me...but I refuse to iron
22. Seriously I have not ironed since 1997 when I burned my favorite shirt...
23. Hubby is okay with that..hehehehe
24. I have a favorite pair of shoes and dress that I wear when I feel especially good about my self....doesn't every girl have that?
25. i have secretly wanted to be a photographer for a long time
26. once when i was a teenager my four year old cousin insisted I take him trick or treating at Halloween
27 So did, I dressed up as Mickey Mouse and took him to the mall
28 luckily his parent came along, the other visitors thought i had been hired by the mall and had me take pictures with their kids...after an hour I realized I should have started charging a dollar a pic....
29. I still have not seen Gone With The Wind
30. I love Italian food
31. And Thai food
32. i love to cook...did I already mention that?
33. I feel naked and exposed if my toenails arenot painted...regardless if I am wearing sandals or tennis shoes
34. I am allergic to bananas
35. I have ordered a banana split without the banana, just to see the clerks reaction
36. which was...."you want ice cream though,right?"

And now for questions from my peers:

from Pam at Random Thoughts

questions: What do you like most about each of your kids? hubby?
I love that my daughter has a natural grace. She has been in ballet for 4 years now. I have always received comments from her teacher that she is a natural at it. She is graceful in nature and it often shows in little things she does for us. Picking flowers for me, organizing dad's bookshelves after Jaxson has played in them, and entertaining Jaxson if he is being gooberish.
My son is a ball of energy, and although that can be tiring, it is also endearing. He loves to play and I am enjoying the time that I am the one he wants to play with!

hubby.....where do i start? He is amazing. I could not ask for a better husband and father. He is my helpmate in the true sense of the word. We often pick up where the other left off. If I make dinner, he cleans the kitchen. If he had a bad day at work, he is greeted with his favorite meal and dessert....He is very logical and practical. Some people find this annoying and boring. For me it is comforting and I know our family is taken care of.

how did you and hubby meet? We met while working in a call center for cellular service. Neither wanted the job in particular but at least we found each other! (And new jobs...lol)

what is your dream vacation? First, it would be a dream to get a vacation with just hubby. My dream vacation with the kids would be Disneyland. Dream vacation with hubby would be anywhere...London, Ireland, ANYWHERE!

if you had a super power, what would it be? I would want to be able to form a bubble around my family and friends from the bad things in the world. Sickness, hate and anything that would be bring them pain.

from Reluctant housewife
Questions: What is your all-time favourite recipe?
My favorite All Time Recipe would be my grandmother's BBQ chicken. Whenever I make it, I am overwhelmed with memories.

And what your favourite meal when you were a kid?

I know...not a hundred...sigh...but the kids are begging to go outside and I am uncomfortable sending them out without me...hey that's another one!
Anyhoo...if you have more questions...please feel free to ask and i will update the post with the answers!

Cheers for now!

Grandma's Chicken...shhhh it's a secret

My Grandmother's Chicken is legendary. She was one of five siblings and all the girls would make this dish when company came calling. It was secret for a long time. (Largely do to the lack of cooking interest among my cousins) I however finally got the recipe from my great aunt before she passed away. It is really simple and I was shocked by the "secret ingredients"
I usually make a huge package of drumsticks (my family's favorite) bu for company I will 2-3 pounds of chicken thighs, drumsticks and sometimes breast. We like a dark meat here! First you season flour with salt an pepper, dredge your chicken pieces and fry them in oil, just until lightly browned. Line a 13x9 baking dish with foil and place your browned chicken in it. (If making a huge batch, you made need another baking dish!) In a large bowl make the "secret sauce" the biggest bottle of Kraft Original BBQ, 1/3 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar, a dollop of prepared mustard and a squirt or two of ketchup.....no kidding those were her instructions...lol.
Bake in 275 degree oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, basting once half way through with remaining sauce. It is fall off the bone tender! We love it. It is pretty involved so I only do it a few times a year. The sauce has never tasted the same twice! But it is always good.

I also make up my mother's whipped potato salad. 2-3 pounds of potatoes. Prepare as you would mashed potatoes, mixing with hand mixer. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayo, 1 to 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard and 1/4 cup of sweet relish. My family doesn't write much down....but it is always good. The best way to follow these recipes (as I have learned) is to taste as you go. It is always easier to add something than to take it out!

I also served it with green beans and fresh corn on the cob. Here is a pic of hubby and the kids shucking corn! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another pork dish...but oh so good!

When BBQ doesn't quite right and the grill is out of commision..(sheesh)...what's a girl to do with those pork spareribs???

This is heavenly! My family loves it, yup, even the kids! I served mine with steamed zucchini and yellow squash.

Sparerib Casserole
Taste of home
6 servings

4 to 5 pounds pork spareribs, cut into individual ribs
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
6 cups cubed potatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Sprinkle ribs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet, brown ribs in 3 tablespoons oil in batches. Place ribs on a rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Turn ribs; bake 20 minutes longer. Pat dry.
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the flour, parsley, and remaining salt and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Drain potatoes; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Top with sauce and ribs. Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with paprika. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until ribs are tender and potatoes are heated through

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Too Long of a Break....

Thank you for all your kind words and emails! I apologize for being out so much. I do read your blogs, even if I don't comment all the time.

Summer break started on the 19th for us. With that comes busier times at our house. Blogging has taken a major back seat to things like fingerpainting, water gun fights, frisbee, soccer, mini golf and swimming...and the summer has only begun....

I will be back in from time to time with recipes and pics. I hope you do not forget about me! I will be back full force when school begins!

Dana, I will be posting recipes soon!!

Debby, Here is the recipe for the carrots:

1 pound baby carrots
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
throw in parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper...i added italian seasoning too...bake on bakking sheet for 30-40 minutes in 350 degree oven..until carrots are tender

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chop, Chop!

On the weekends hubby will cook dinner one night. Usually on Saturdays, since I work part of the day. (Isn't that sweet of him?) He likes to make pork chops. They are always so good and tender. He will change the seasonings up, sometime he makes up marinades. but it is always good. I help out by making the sides. This particular chop was rosemary, lemon and various other seasons he threw in. I made cornbread stuffing and roasted carrots to accompany it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Awards I missed while MIA

It was nice to take a break from blogging and come back to find that not only had I not been forgotten, but I had been given awards!

The first from Dana at Just Talk is the You Make My Day Award. She has a fantastic blog. If you haven't read her yet, you should. I love her stories and her humor!

Thanks Dana!!
I'd like to pass this award to all the blogs listed in my blog roll on the right hand side. You are there because you make my day!

The second award I received was from HoneyB at The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch. She has awarded me with the Arte y Pico Award.
As a recipient of this award we are asked to carry on the tradition and give it to 5 deserving bloggers. It is hard to choose only 5 people we feel this award should go to!

1)You pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award with their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogger community, no matter what language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the ward itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y pico" blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

Choosing only five is too difficult! I have met interesting people and read so many wonderful blogs. Hopefully I do not offend anyone, but I cannot pick 5. If it is ok, I want to extend this one as well to my blogroll friends.

(if I read/comment on your blog and you are not listed...let me know! I don't want to leave anyone out!)