Bean salsa or cowboy caviar, it’s good!

Are you a salsa lover? Grab a bag of chips and dig in! This recipe is good! One day I decided to take a little trip to one of my favorite stores. It’s about a half hour from here and if you’re in central PA you might know it, it’s Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill. They have a big garden center, a grocery and gift store and a great seafood department. There are lots of organics and all sorts of food that isn’t sold in the local grocery stores. In the refrigerated section I spied a beany concoction that looked pretty good to me because I love beans of every shape and size! I had to get it, those beans were calling my name! It was so good I wanted to make my own. When searching for recipes for Texas salsa, I discovered it goes by many names; cowboy caviar, cowboy salsa, Texas salsa and bean salsa.  There were so many recipes, so I added a little of this recipe and a little of that recipe and came up with my own version.

salsa, cilarnto, lime

Bean salsa

Bean salsa, cowboy salsa, cowboy caviar or Texas salsa, this recipe goes by several names. The spices can be adjusted according to your personal taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, 15 oz. (drained)
  • 1 can black eyed peas, 15 oz. (drained)
  • 1 can Rotel, 15oz. (or 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 jalepeno pepper or use up those fresh tomatoes from the garden)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 bell pepper (chopped, any color)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt, pepper

Directions

After draining beans mix all together.
Adjust herbs and spices to your taste. Add jalapeno peppers for more hotness.

Note

I like this recipe because it's simple to adjust the seasonings to your personal taste, fiery hot or not. Avocado is the perfect accompaniment.

I like to serve it with lime slices and avocado but I think sour cream would be good too. bean salsa, cowboy salsa

All the spices can be adjusted to your personal preference. I like it with lots of spice and always end up stirring in more after it’s refrigerated overnight.  It was a hit at our 4th of July party. Do you have a favorite salsa recipe?

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Apple Galette, french apple tart

If you love pie then you will love galette too. Sometimes called a French tart or a free form pie, a galette is nothing more than a pie without the pressure of making a pretty crust. There’s still a crust but it’s not so fussy, especially if you use store bought frozen puff pastry, which I love! It’s flaky and delicious! Even though it’s not a fancy pie, it is delicious like a pie!

apple galette recipe

Isn’t it so pretty? It’s easy too!

The complete recipe is at the bottom of the post. After preparing the apples, you work with the puff pastry. There will be 2 sheets in a box. Unroll one thawed sheet onto a lightly floured baking sheet. My favorite brand is Pepperidge Farms.

puff pastry

You’ll need to create a square, so cut the second sheet into thirds.

puff pastry apple galette

Use a little water as glue to add one third to one side of the first sheet and add another across the bottom. Where the red lines are is where I added the strips. One strip will be left over. With the left over strip, I roll up a couple of the prepared apples and bake along with the galette. Try to eat that piece while no one’s looking.

french apple tart apple galette

Heap the apples onto the center of the puff pastry square and fold over the edges. This is the part I like, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Smile It’s free form.

apple galette

After baking, you can drizzle the top with a little icing made simply from confectioners sugar and water.

Wasn’t that easy? Isn’t it beautiful? Is it delicious? YES!

apple galette 3

Enjoy cold or warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.

I love this simple recipe!

Apple Galette, French apple tart

Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
East French apple tart or apple galette. An easy way to make an apple pie! Apple pie without the pressure.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • honey or sugar/sweetener
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour or almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 box 17.3 ounce frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets in box, thawed)
  • 4 medium apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Directions

Peel and core apples, slice thinly
Add cinnamon, allspice, flour, lemon juice to apples. Add sugar or sweetener to desired sweetness.
puff pastry apple galette
Flatten 1 sheet of puff pastry on large cookie sheet or pizza pan. Cut 2nd piece into thirds. Add 1/3 to one side and 1/3 to the bottom to form a large square.
A little water will glue the sheets together. 1/3 piece will be left over to create your own little apple pie.
Heap apples onto the center of pastry.
Fold over edges of pastry to form a rough circular shape.
Brush pastry with beaten egg. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until apples are soft.

Note

This is quick way to make an apple pie without the pressure of creating the perfect crust.

Use the sweetener of your choice for this recipe and adjust it to your taste.

One strip of puff pastry will be leftover. I just roll up a few slices of the prepared apples in this piece and bake it alongside the galette. Enjoy before you cut into your galette!

Optional, after baking drizzle with a simple glaze made from 1/2 c. confectioners sugar and 1 T. water or milk.

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Are you eating your vegetables? Homemade vegetable stock

In summer our garden supplies us with plenty of healthy vegetables but in winter there are no fresh tomatoes or peppers straight from the garden. So I try to get every nutrient possible out of winter vegetables. I like to make my own vegetable stock whenever I’m prepping vegetables for the week. I throw the stems of kale,  greens from broccoli or cauliflower in a pot along with whatever other vegetable I have, like carrots, onions even sweet potatoes. Any vegetable at all. It’s all good.

vegetables

This pot of stock is made from kale stems and cauliflower leaves, the core of the cauliflower, some tomatoes that were a little past their prime, onions, parsley from my garden that I had frozen and a bunch of carrot peels and ends. Yes, I use the peels to make my stock.

vegetables for stock

This stock was yummy. It had a strong vegetable taste which I love.vegetable stock homemade

After it cooks, I mash it a little with a potato masher then strain it and put it in jars or freezer bags. I freeze it and use it when I’m making homemade soups. It adds so much flavor and must be packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

homemade vegetable stock

The trick to freezing in jars is to allow enough head room for expansion when it freezes. Wide mouth jars work best.

Every time I make vegetable stock it tastes different.  I used the last of my vegetable stock in homemade lentil soup and it was really tasty! The next time you’re cooking up a mess of vegetables try making your own stock for soups, it’s good to the last drop and you can sneak more vegetables in your family’s diet.

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Roasted red beets

Roasting is my new favorite way to cook vegetables.  Fall is the perfect season to give roasted beets a try. After roasting, I take off the skins and store them in the refrigerator. They’re great for tossing in salads, pickling or just sprinkling with salt and enjoying.

Red beets have always been one of my favorite vegetables. I tried growing them in our garden before and never had any luck but this year I harvested my first crop of beets. It wasn’t a bumper crop but I did get a couple dozen.

raw red beets

They aren’t the prettiest vegetable but I was pleased with my first crop.

To get them ready for roasting, I cleaned them and cut off the leafy greens. Some of the greens I tossed in a salad. Leave some stem attached to help hold the beet while taking off the skin.

roasting red  beets

Roast them in the oven at 375 to 425 until they are easily pierced. You can drizzle olive oil over them if you like. To contain any juices, wrap the beets in foil. Wrapping in foil kelps to keep them from drying out too. I didn’t do that and it wasn’t too messy. Nothing like red beet juice all over. I ruined my kitchen curtains a long time ago with red beet stains!

roasted red beets

You will get pink fingers though.

After roasting and cooling the skins come off easily. They will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

red beets in salad

Beets are slightly sweeter after roasting and make a tasty combo with a mild goat cheese or feta, a little salt and balsamic vinegar.

red beets

Lots of people say they don’t like beets but I bet they’ve never tried roasted beets with coarse salt, feta and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Now that’s good eating!

Most recipes for roasting beets recommend wrapping them in foil but I didn’t and they turned out fine. I’ll try that next time, It probably would cut down on oven time.

What’s your favorite way to eat beets? Please don’t say you don’t like them! smile_sad   They are full of good for you fiber, vitamins and minerals! I love beets! Smile

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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grilled watermelon, A new take on an old favorite

Watermelon is a classic summer fruit. I can remember as a child, eating a juicy watermelon and spitting out the seeds and later being amazed when a watermelon vine miraculously  sprouted. We never swallowed the seeds because we were afraid a watermelon would grow in our bellies. I loved those salted watermelon slices.

Back then that was how you ate watermelon, never in salads, salsa, drinks or grilled. Grilled? Yep that’s right, I came across a recipe that had grilled watermelon, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. Since it was foods that I love, I decided to give it a try. It was really good, different, but really good! And it was pretty too!

grilled watermelon

Chopped mint would have been a great addition to this salad but my husband doesn’t like mint so I just added some on the side.

grilled watermelon 3

There is a great company in Canandaigua NY that sells the best balsamic vinegars and it was so good with grilled watermelon.

grilled watermelon 44

To make this, put a slice of watermelon on a hot grill and grill only on one side, just long enough to get some nice grill marks. Grilling makes it even sweeter and redder. Plate it, then add feta cheese and a drizzle of your favorite balsamic vinegar.

grilled watermelon 2

So yummy and refreshing on a hot summer evening.

Watermelon is used in so many different ways today, salsas, sorbets, salads, you name it!

Summer Salad Recipes: Melon-and-Mozzarella Salad

I found this lucious looking Melon and mozzarella recipe from Southern Living and may have to try it too! It looks so good!

In mojitos, margaritas or as an addition to iced tea or sangria, be sure to enjoy watermelon while you can. It’s good for you, loaded with anti-oxidants, delicious and fun! How do you like to eat watermelon? Seedless or do you prefer seeds for a good old fashioned seed spittin’ contest?

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Healthy eating, vegetable hash

After the sickness of this winter, I was feeling better but still had no energy or strength. I’d start to do something and quickly run out of steam. I even had to sit down to fold the laundry. All I wanted to do was lay on the couch and knew I had to get over that fast. My desires were to get outside and do some gardening or work on projects inside and I needed more energy for that.

On instagram I saw lots of pictures of the Paleo diet, clean eating and whole30. I starting thinking that maybe a change in diet would help and boy did it! I feel lighter and have much more energy and an added perk, it’s so much easier to fall asleep.

My new way of eating consists of vegetables, lean meat, fruits, nuts and berries, whole grains and some dairy. It’s not strictly Paleo but it’s working for me. Grains, dairy and beans aren’t part of the Paleo diet but I’m not ready to give up whole grain bread or beans, I just eat them sparingly. Today I had one slice of a good whole grain bread and that will be it for today.

veggie hash and eggs

Part of this new way of eating it trying out new vegetables and recipes. You can make a great vegetable hash to eat with eggs. It’s a colorful and filling breakfast.

veggie hash

I diced onion, orange bell pepper and parsnips and cooked them in a sauté pan with a little coconut oil. The vegetables browned up nicely and then I added a big handful of fresh baby spinach and let that cook a bit more. I served it with some eggs over easy and a side of sliced tomatoes. It was so good!

veggie hash and eggs  2

I’ve always loved vegetable but now I’m eating new ones like kale and parsnips and am loving them too. I’m using coconut oil for cooking and delicious balsamic vinegars for dressing salads or just drizzling on vegetables. As far as sweets and packaged, processed foods, I can’t say I will never eat them. If I get a craving for a slice of cake, I’ll have it but not often. That’s the key for me sticking to a healthy diet. It would be a sad state if I could never again have a yummy treat. ……but just a little. Send a kiss

Come on over to Instagram! I’ll be posting photos of the good food I’m eating.

Do you have a favorite healthy recipe to share?

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

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Chocolate covered Strawberries and Blueberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are so good, especially if the strawberries are big, ripe and sweet. As much as I love chocolate in any form, I’ve never melted it at home to coat berries or even Easter eggs! Since I had a gigantic bag of chocolate chips, (that my hubby bought at Costco thinking I would make him 20 batches of cookies…didn’t happen) I decided to try melting the chips and coating strawberries and blueberries. It’s my version of health food.

I had to do a little search to find out how to melt chocolate chips.

melting chocolate chips

I found that you need to add shortening to the chips and it’s good to coat the chips before you start to melt them. To 2 ½ cups of chips I added 2 Tablespoons of shortening. The microwave works fine for melting chocolate, but I chose to use my vintage Pyrex double boiler just because I like using it.

melted chocolate chips

I kept the heat on low to simmer the water and kept stirring until it was completely melted. At this point I may have eaten a spoonful of the melted goodness!

chocolate covered strawberries

Using a wooden skewer I dipped the berries in the chocolate. The fruit has to be really dry…something about the chocolate seizing up.

chcoclate blueberries

Sorry for the quality of this picture, at this point my hands were coated in chocolate too. After a couple attempts at making chocolate blueberry clusters, I decided the best way is to place the berries in a pile on a piece of parchment and cover them melted chocolate, then separate a cluster of about 5 or 6 berries from the pile. It’s very messy!

tea cup pedestal

I used my teacup pedestal, embellished with Valentine’s ribbon, to serve the berries.

chocolate covered strawberries blueberries2

I may have over-dipped them but that makes them even more yummy! Winking smile

chocolate covered strawberries blueberries text

Delicious!

Have you ever dipped fruit in chocolate? What your best method?

 

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Thanks for visiting!

                          Debra (((xx)))

 

 

Pumpkin bread pudding

Any recipe with pumpkin and cinnamon is one for me. I’m such a sucker for autumn desserts. If you’re a carb lover then this is one for you too. French bread, pumpkin and cinnamon and warm, oh my goodness! Heavenly scent and heavenly taste.

 

I ate way too much of this so I don’t think I’ll make it often. Willpower, what’s that?

Pumpkin bread pudding with caramel sauce

Recipe Type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Debra
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
So good warm with whipped cream.
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of french bread torn into bite sized pieces
  • To make the Pudding:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 15oz. canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c 1/2 and 1/2
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 teas. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teas. nutmeg and vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • To make the Caramel sauce:
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 Tbls light corn syrup
  • 1 t vanilla
  • optional, 1 c walnuts, pecans, raisins or dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all pudding ingredients. Place bread in a lightly greased 9 x 13″ pan. Sprinkle with raisins or dried cranberries if desired. Pour pudding mix over bread and mix lightly making sure all bread is covered. Cover with foil and bake @350 for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  2. Caramel sauce: if using nuts, lightly toast them in a skillet for 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Heat butter, brown sugar and light corn syrup until sugar is dissolved completely. Stir in vanilla and toasted nuts.
  4. Pour sauce over pudding after baking.

More pumpkin recipes are here:

Pumpkin roll and a tutorial on how to roll it.

Pumpkin cobbler   

Pumpkin baked oatmeal and pumpkin smoothie

Added to Inspire Me Monday

Please be sure to read the Blue365 post and enter for a chance to win a $500. gift card. Just in time for the holidays. Just comment , that’s all you need to do to enter!

Thanks for visiting, Debra

Peach cake from fresh peaches

We had some fresh peaches that were getting really ripe and needed to be used up quickly. I clipped this recipe from the local paper and gave it a try. It was easy and ended up being pretty darn good. That is, if you like peaches, I know someone who doesn’t! How can you not love fresh juicy peaches?

Easy peasy yummy peach cake.

peach cake 11

Beat together 1 stick room temperature butter and 1 cup sugar. Add 2 eggs and mix together. Next, mix in 1 cup sour cream and 1 t. vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1 t. baking soda and 1 t. baking powder.

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients together.

Peel and slice 3 large peaches.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 t. cinnamon for sprinkling.

peach

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of an 8 x 11′” pan. Place half the sliced peaches on top and sprinkle on 2/3 of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.peach cake1

Repeat layers and top with remaining sugar mixture and 1/2 c pecans. I used walnuts.

Bake @ 350 for 45-55 minutes. I baked this for about 55 minutes.

peach cake 2

It looks like this when it’s done baking and it smelled heavenly!

peach cake 3

Layers of cake and peaches in cinnamon-y goodness. Oh my!

If you want a good peach pie recipe, here’s one I tried recently.

Coming soon apple recipes! I think I might go pick some at a local orchard.

 

Thanks for visiting! Debra (((xx)))

A simple and delicious Peach Pie

Someone who wanted a peach pie left this not so subtle hint for me in the kitchen. Guess I need to make a pie. I had a great recipe that I tweaked a little bit by adding some brown sugar and more spice. This recipe makes a great pie that holds it shape like a pie should. It’s not runny like the other peach pies I’ve made. Your family and friends will be amazed at what a great pie baker you are!

photo(1)

I used the store bought crust. What could be easier and you know it tastes good!

peach pie

Make a crumb mixture by  mixing together 1/4 cup flour, 2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats (oatmeal), 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon, a teaspoon almond extract and 1/4 cup room temperature butter. You can adjust sugars to your liking, I like the flavor of brown sugar in a peach pie…..well in anything.

Put the bottom crust in your pie pan, then a layer of sliced fresh peaches, then a sprinkling of crumb mixture. Continue layering and end with crumb mixture.  I used 7 peaches, some of them were really large.

peach pie2

Put on the top crust and crimp the edges. I’m not good at crimping, my pies usually look very rustic.

egg wash

I brush on an egg wash which will make the crust look pretty. It’s a beaten egg mixed with a little water.

peach pie3

The crust looks shiny from the egg wash and was so delicious!

Bake at 350 for up to 1-1 1/2 hour. Start checking your pie at about 45 minutes so the crust doesn’t get too brown. You may need to cover the edges with foil.

peach pie

So good! Even better with vanilla ice cream!  Look at that crust, I don’t think I’ll ever make my own crust again.

What’s your favorite way to use fresh peaches?

Enjoy those peaches while they’re in season because fresh is so much better than canned. Except home canned. If you can your own peaches, I bow to you!

I found a peach pie recipe that uses sour cream and pecans and I think I might try it next. Bill loves sweets and we always share with our neighbors so I don’t eat it all, because I might just do that!

Tomorrow Friday Feature will be back and next week a giveaway is coming up!

Added to Home Stories A to Z tutorials and tips

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

6 Favorite Zucchini recipes

It’s zucchini time!  Every year we get so many of these delicious vegetables.Smile with tongue out This year they seem extra hard to get rid of, I can’t even give them away. So I had to get busy in the kitchen cooking them up. Here are 6 of my favorite zucchini recipes that I make every year.

Zucchini cobbler, honestly, it tastes like apple cobbler! Warm with ice cream it’s so yummy!

zucchini cobbbler

Peel and cut up about 8 cups of zucchini. If they’re large and have big seeds, I remove the seeds. Smaller zucchini have small and softer seed so you don’t need to remove them.   Put in a pan with 1 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to your taste and 3T lemon juice.  I like lots of cinnamon, about 2 T. Cook until soft.

Make crumbs by combining 4 c flour and 2 c sugar, cut in 1 1/2 c cold butter, stir 1/2 c into the cooked zucchini mixture. Press about half into bottom of a 9 x 13” pan, spread zucchini over and add remaining crumbs on top.  Bake @ 375 for 35-40 minutes. This freezes well for the holiday season.

Ricotta stuffed zucchini, rich and delicious! This recipe is a little different because it doesn’t use ground meat.

zucchini stuffed

Cut a medium sized zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out as much as you can but still leave a sturdy shell.  Sauté a medium onion in olive oil. Chop up what you scooped out and add it to the sautéed onions. Cook until liquid is gone. Cool, then add in 3/4 c ricotta cheese, 1 cup of corn kernels and 1/4 c parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper. Mound filling in zucchini and sprinkle 1/4 c parmesan on top.  Bake 350 for 35 minutes.

This is really good. The corn adds just a little sweetness.

Zucchini pasta sauce, a favorite at our house. Click the following pictures to go to the recipes.

zuchini pasta

Chocolate Zucchini cake, we love this! It’s moist and gooey. So good!

zucchini cake

Zucchini relish, it tastes just like pickle relish and makes a great little gift too.

zucchini relish

A great zucchini bread recipes is zucchini bread with pineapple or pears.

pineapple pear zucchini bread

zucchini page 5

What do you make with zucchini? Got any good casserole recipes? I really need a few new recipes because I gotta use them up!

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

3 different Healthy Smoothies

If you need a quick pick me up a smoothie will do the trick. Here are three variations of how to make a smoothie. You can make your smoothie as healthy as you want it to be and might be able to sneak some of that healthy food into your kids.

I always start with organic yogurt, and ground flax seeds, fresh fruit and something green like spinach.

3 healthy smoothies

The greens provide  fiber and texture and I always think I’m being really healthy when I use them. These smoothies are supposed to be good for you, not sweet and full of empty calories.

berry smoothie

The version tasted like berries. I used blueberries, strawberries, kale leaves, banana, yogurt, and ground flax. I don’t have a real recipe, I just layer the ingredients in a blender with crushed ice and add some liquid. You could use fruit juice, but for a healthy version make sure it’s not sweetened, or use water. I’m going to try green tea. If you want sweetness, try adding stevia. For extra flavor I add cinnamon and vanilla because I love that combination so much.

smoothie coconut

The coconut version is made with coconut water, banana, blueberries, kale leaves, ground flax seeds and yogurt. Coconut water has been in the news lately claiming to have high amounts of potassium and other health benefits, so I tried it. It was pretty good but I did add stevia to this one.

avocado smoothie

This green smoothie gets its green color from spinach leaves. It had banana, apple, avocado, yogurt and ground flaxseeds. It tasted very green/organic. I’m not overly fond of avocado but I added it for the omega 3 it provides.

A blender full makes enough for 3 or 4 people. If you like it thick, use less liquid or none at all, just ice. The amount of each ingredient is up to you, but I start with 2 heaping tablespoons of yogurt. For the other ingredients I add a handful.

A smoothie will fill you up and you can go for a long time before getting hungry again. That’s good right? Do you have your own favorite version of a smoothie?

Shared at; Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Tips and Tutes at Home stories A to Z

Talent Tuesday at Vintage Wanna Bee

 

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

A memorial, Memorial day with a Blue Velvet cake

On Memorial day every year we have a little get together with my husband’s daughter and grandkids. It’s not fancy at all, just burgers, dogs, macaroni salad and baked beans. The menu is usually the same from year to year and we hangout outside, not doing much except chatting and eating. And eating.

 beans

Dominic, my husband’s grandson has been making the beans for the last few years. He really likes to cook and I’m glad that his parents don’t try to keep him out of the kitchen. Cooking is a great thing for a guy to know. Bill, my husband can barely boil water and I’m serious about that!

 Catherine 2012 

They always bring their Nan, Bill’s mom along too. She really enjoys her hotdogs and ate two. That’s a big meal for her. Can you believe that she will be 96 this year! She looks fantastic! She always wears jewelry, has her hair done and nails polished and she even had a cute little gold purse.

 

samantha and dominic

Dominic and Samantha are are just about to get into it. Those two can’t be in the same space for long. You know how kids are…”Mom…..he’s touching me….she’s looking at me” or this one, “she’s breathing on me!”

 

nichole dominic samamtha 2012

So mom has to get in the middle and give Dominic the look. Their dad is a fire fighter in Philadelphia and had to work, so he missed the cookout this year. More food for us!

 

blue velvet cake 2

I usually make a homemade dessert and this year was no exception. My cake looks very patriotic and I was anxious to cut into it to check out the color.

 

blue velvet cake3

It’s patriotic even on the inside. GASP, it’s really blue!

Source: sprinklebakes.com via Bungalow on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

I never heard of Blue Velvet Cake until I came across this and pinnned it to my red, white and blue board on Pinterest. I think my version had a little too much gel food coloring, but it tasted like classic red velvet, that is if you could get past the color.  Smile I used the recipe from the pin if you want to try it. If you need an invitation to Pinterest just let me know in the comments and I’ll send you one.

 

line

I’m getting ready to go to the shore next week and really looking forward to sitting on the beach. My family will be there with me. It’s the first time we rented a big house for all of us to stay. It’s got 2 Jacuzzis, a hot tub, fireplace and even a cute little paddle boat for us to use on the lake and it’s only 200 yards to the beach. I’m planning on taking lots of pictures to share. The beach is such a beautiful place.

line

The winner of the giveaway from Royal Design Stencils for a $50. gift certificate

is Sally P.

 

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

lemon roll with pansies

 

Lemon roll with pansies is a beautiful dessert for Mother’s day. It reminds me of a pretty dessert from a tea house and is perfect with hot tea.

The pansies are baked into the cake. If you want to impress your Mom, try this recipe! It makes such a pretty presentation that she’s sure to be impressed and so proud of you!  pat yourself on the back now

lemon roll with pansies 3

If you’ve never made a rolled dessert before, here’s my complete tutorial. It only looks difficult, actually it’s pretty easy.

Prepare a jelly roll pan which is about 16” x 10”. I used floured wax paper to line the pan but I think parchment paper is better, so use that if you have any.

Beat 5 egg yolks at high speed on an electric mixer 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating well.  Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon lemon extract.

Beat 5 egg whites in a large bowl at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.   Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture.

Combine 3/4 cup sifted cake flour, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder and a little salt and fold it into the egg mixture.    

lemon roll with pansies

Place pansies flowers face down on the waxed paper lined pan.

lemon roll with pansies 2

Spoon batter carefully over the pansies. I cover each pansy first and then fill in the spaces in between. Bake 350 for 12-15 minutes.

When cake is done, turn out onto paper towels sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Peel off the wax paper or parchment paper and turn cake pansy side down. Starting at the narrow end, roll up cake and paper towels together. Let cool.

For the filling, beat 8 ounces cream cheese and 4 tablespoons butter until creamy and then stir in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon curd.

Unroll the cake, spread on the filling and roll up again.

 

lemon roll with pansies 4

     Happy Mother’s Day!

 

It’s been about 14 months since my Mom has passed and I sure do miss her. No matter your circumstances or differences, cherish your time with your Mom and give her a hug from me! Red heart

 

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Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Making your own pie crust

A few days before Easter I got an insanely domestic urge to make pie. It’s so easy to buy pie crust and the store bought kind is easy and tasty, why would I want to make my own? I don’t know, maybe I like to clean up flour from every surface, the floor and my hair!  But when I get that urge to make pie crust, this is the recipe I use.

This recipe always works for me, it’s Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, and a little more if needed

It makes 1 top and 1 bottom crust or 2 bottom crusts.

 

pie crust 1

You can mix the ingredients by hand.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender. That’s the old fashioned way, or you could use 2 forks to mix the ingredients, that’s the ancient way.

pie crust 2

I use a food processor. Put flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces, about 10 seconds.

pie crust 3

With the machine running, add ice water slowly through the feed tube until the mixture holds together. You don’t want it too wet or sticky. Don’t process more than 30 seconds.

pie crust coarse

If it’s still too crumbly, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. This picture is after I added more water.

2pie crust added water

To test the dough, squeeze a small amount together.

pie crust wrapped

Put the dough on a clean work surface. Divide it in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Use the ends of the plastic wrap to help  push the dough into a disc shape.  Wrap each disc up real tight and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

pie crust 1

Flour your work surface and now you’re ready to rock and roll. I use my fingers to flatten the dough discs before I start to roll.roll pie crust2

Flour the top of the dough too. Roll roll roll your dough.

roll crust 2

To transfer the dough to the pie plate, wrap it on your rolling pin.

pie crust on plate

Ease the dough into the pie plate without stretching it. Cut off the overlap and crimp the edges any way you like.

weighter pie crust

Here are my pie crusts fresh out of the oven, I used rice to weigh down the dough so it would stay nice and flat. You can use dry beans too.

I made a lemon meringue pie and Rhoda’s ‘just like Shoney’s strawberry pie.’

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Catherine, my 95 year old mother-in-law could not keep her eyes off that strawberry pie. It was so cute. My husband Bill wanted to dig in too!

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Pansies made the lemon meringue pie  so pretty and I was really proud of how it turned out but the strawberry pie was the favorite.

Are you a pie crust maker? Some people have a knack for it but I’m not one of those people. This recipe always works for me and I’ve tried many other recipes that made me feel like poking a fork in my eye!

What’s your favorite pie? Apple pie does it for me!

 

I’m finishing up a little chair redo today and then I have to get ready for a trip to TN to visit family. It’s gonna be so much fun!

 

 

Thanks for visiting! Debbie (((xx)))

Pa Dutch style chicken pot pie

This dish is really popular in my area of the country. Lots of churches and fire halls have ‘all you can eat’ pot pie suppers. It’s called pot pie, but it’s not a pie at all. I think it’s called that because it consists mainly of flour dough, like pie dough and the PA Dutch are of German heritage and pronounce it bot boi. The Southern version would be chicken and dumplings.

I start out with the broth I made in the crockpot, from the day before.

chicken broth

I put all the broth in a big pot and add water to make it about 2/3 full. Then I add parsley and about 2 carrots and some celery, cut into small pieces. You could add a couple potatoes too .Let that come to a boil while you make the dough. This dough recipe was my grandmother’s and doesn’t use butter or lard, but some recipes do.

Mix together 5 cups flour, 4 eggs, a teaspoon of salt and 1 cup milk. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky. It should feel dry. Now you’re ready to rock and roll!

Flour your work area and roll out about 1/3 of the dough.

pot pie dough22

Cut the rolled dough into squares and add them to the boiling pot, one square at a time.You can see from the pictures, the size and thickness of the dough, but it’s really your preference. Roll out the rest of the dough and keep adding to the pot.

pot pie dough 2

I can remember my grandmother and mother, piling up squares of dough in their floury hands and dropping the squares into the pot.

Each time you add dough, give the pot a good stir.

chicken pot pie 2

I always add in the chicken from the crockpot last. After I’ve cooked the chicken in the crockpot, I let it cool and then pull the meat from the bones. I usually do this the day before.

I add the chicken to the pot last, because I prefer pieces of meat, not overcooked stringy chicken.

chicken pot pie

You can throw in some more parsley for color and add salt to your liking. If you think your broth needs more flavor add a couple bouillon cubes.

Chicken pot pie is usually served with a side dish that’s sweet like Harvard beets, pepper cabbage or a salad of lettuce with hot bacon dressing. It’s simple, good old fashioned comfort food and it’s so delicious!

I have never tasted southern chicken and dumplings, but it must be similar to this, right? What’s your favorite old fashioned recipe?

 

 

Debbie (((xx)))

 

Cook a whole chicken in your crockpot

There’s nothing much easier than cooking a whole chicken in your crockpot. You just throw it in there and you will end up with moist chicken and the most flavorful broth.

chicken in crockpot

 

Did you know that you can used crumpled up balls of foil to keep the chicken up and out of that rich broth that magically appears in the bottom of the pot? Yes, you can, and I’ve cooked a chicken like that for my Dad. That way, it’s easier to remove the chicken without it falling apart.

Put several in the bottom of the crockpot.

 

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I seasoned up my little chicken with lots of celery, peppercorns, parsley, onion and salt. Be generous with the salt. You don’t even have to peel the onion, but this time I didn’t have any whole onions. You could use rosemary, chervil, carrots, parsnips or anything you like for flavor.

seasoned chicken in crockpot

Here she is all seasoned up and ready to cook.

seasoned chicken in crockpot 2

Put the lid on, press the on button and go paint something. The wonderful smell will remind you that it’s in there. I hate the smell of boiling chicken, that’s why I like to cook it like this.

 

chicken broth

 

Remove the chicken, strain the drippings and look at that dark delicious broth! You just created your own concentrated chicken broth. At this point, I like to refrigerate it over night, then skim off the fat. You could freeze it in ice cube trays and drop the cubes in sauces and soups. I used this broth in an old fashioned recipe that I don’t make too often.

That’s coming up next!

 Have you ever cooked chicken this way and made your own broth?

I sure do appreciate every comment and if you came by last week and couldn’t comment, I’m sorry. That should be all fixed now.

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Debbie (((xx)))

Nutella-Peanut butter rolls

The recipe is quick and easy and starts with frozen bread dough.  It originally called for peanut butter, but I experimented and added Nutella! These days I can’t get enough of that stuff.

peanut butter

To make the buns or rolls, first push the thawed dough out into a rectangular shape and spread with peanut butter and powdered sugar or brown sugar. Just eye it up, I don’t know the exact amounts, but I used a little too much peanut butter.

I had 3 loaves of bread dough thawed, so I made 3 batches and have tons to give away. I hope we give them away and don’t scarf them down by ourselves, but sweets don’t last too long around here.

sugar peanutbutter

I sprinkled on the powdered sugar, but I think I like the taste of brown sugar better, so next time I’ll use that.

Next, roll it up jellyroll style and cut into 1 inch slices. Using dental floss to cut the dough is easier and neater than trying to slice it with a knife.

dental floss

Place the rolls in a 9 x 13 inch pan, cover with a kitchen towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Don’t pack them in too tightly because they will rise more while baking.  Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Some rolls had peanut butter, some had Nutella and some had a combination of both.

After they cool, spread some cream cheese icing on top, or any icing you prefer. I used canned icing.

3buns

Pull them apart and enjoy. My favorites are the ones with Nutella.                         I♥Nutella.

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Thank you! I appreciate you coming by so much!

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Debbie (((xx)))