About Me

My photo
United States
Hello everyone, I'm Cindi, aka "domestic goddess", and I consider myself to be a country girl at heart. I'm also a mother to 3 daughters, and I have 1 granddaughter. Being a country gal, I enjoy preparing down-home country meals for my family. I also enjoy sharing recipes with others, collecting cookbooks, reading about the paranormal, and spending time with my family.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rex, our lit'l angel

Here's proof that angels do exist here on earth,
and in heaven!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Our Beloved Rex, We Will Miss You!

This is a tribute to my daughter Jenny & her furbaby Rex. Sadly last weekend, Jenny had informed us that Rexie had passed away. In the past and here on my blog, many of you have viewed pictures of our dear daughter Jen, and her beloved Rexie. Once again I thought I would share some pictures of our beautiful furbaby grandson, who will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Rexie singing/howling along to Billy Joel's song...
It's Still Rock-n-Roll To Me! It's a song Rex never missed howling along to whenever he heard it on the radio. We all loved that about him, and I'm sure we'll all be thinking of Rex whenever we hear this song on the radio as well.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry Tuna Salad Sandwich

"This is absolutely "the best" tuna salad sandwich I have ever had!Besides the sandwich, the tuna filling is also good served on crackers."

Cranberry Tuna Salad Sandwich

1 (5 oz.) can tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 hard boiled egg, peeled & chopped
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/3 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
4 slices bread, toasted

In a bowl combine together, the tuna, celery, chopped hard boiled egg, sweetened cranberries, and the mayonnaise.

Spread the tuna salad mixture on 2 slices of toasted bread.

Top each with the remaining slices of the toasted bread, and serve immediately.

Yields: 2 sandwiches

Note: This also tastes great served on crackers, such as, Keebler Club Crackers.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pumpkin Pie in a Cake

I wanted to post this photo of the unusal cake my daughter Jenny had made as per requested by her older sister Wendy, who wanted pumpkin pie baked in a cake for Thanksgiving. I can't believed my daughter Jenny pulled it off, and the cake actually tasted pretty good! I think I'd of prefered the cake frosted with a cream cheese frosting, but Jenny chose to frost the cake with a chocolate frosting instead. When viewing the photo, you can actually see the pumpkin pie in the middle of the cake.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Chicken (or) Turkey Salad

1 cup chopped, cooked chicken (or) turkey
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon French's Honey Mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 of a McIntosh Apple, chopped
1/3 cup of seedless red (or) green grapes, cut-up
1-2 lettuce leaves (optional)

In a bowl, add the chicken or turkey.

In another bowl or cup, mix together, the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.

Add the mayo mixture into the chicken or turkey, and stir to mix. Stir in the celery, apples, and grapes.

Refrigerate to chill salad, or serve immediately if all ingredients were chilled.

Serve on a lettuce leaf, if desired.

Makes: 1-2 servings

Note: You can add a few pecan halves (toasted) to the salad, if you wish. I did not add any pecans, and enjoyed the salad without them. Also, since all my ingredients were already chilled in the refrigerator, I ate my salad immediately after making it.

Cranberry Meatballs

What To Do With Leftover Canned Cranberries...
This is a delicious way to enjoy beef & pork together, in a tangy cranberry or cranberry/raspberry sauce. It's also a great way to use up those leftover canned cranberries, after the holidays are over.

Cranberry Meatballs

1-3/4 lbs. ground beef
8 ounces ground pork sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2-3 teaspoons garlic, minced or finely chopped
3-5 dashes salt & pepper
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

Cranberry Sauce:
16 ounces jelled Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry Sauce
8 ounces jelled Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can tomato soup
3/4 cup water

In a large bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients together.
Shape into 34 (1-1/2 inch meatballs).

Place on a greased (15-1/4 x 10-1/4 x 3/4-inch) baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

In the meantime, add both cranberry sauces and canned tomato soup in a Dutch Oven; mix together thoroughly. (I mix mine with a potato masher.)

Add water; stir until all is combined.

When meatballs are done, add to the cranberry mixture.
Cook over low heat (covered) for 20-25 minutes.

Makes at least 7 servings.

We enjoy these with hot-cooked mashed potatoes.

Note: If you don't have a (16-oz.) can of the Jelled Cran-Raspberry Sauce, you can use regular Jelled Cranberry Sauce instead.

Turkey A La King

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped, green bell peppers
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk
1-1/2 cups cubed, cooked turkey, chicken, or ham
2 tablespoons diced, pimiento
Dash of black pepper
Toasted bread

Cook onion and green peppers in butter, until tender.

Blend in the soup and milk.

Add the turkey (or chicken, or ham) the pimiento,

and black pepper.

Heat slowly; stir often. 

Serve over slices of toasted bread.

Yields: About 2-1/2 cups.

Turkey or Chicken Casserole

4 cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken
2-3 c. cooked, wide noodles (I only used about 2 cups)
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix, cooked & drained.
1 (10.75 oz.) can cheddar cheese soup
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken, celery or mushroom soup
1 soup can of milk
3 to 4 slices
Kraft American Cheese Slices, cut in half diagonally
(You can top the casserole with a few more slices of cheese, 
if desired)

In a saucepan, heat the soups and milk together.

In a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan, add the chicken or turkey,

the cooked noodles, and cooked vegetables; stir to coat evenly.

Top with the cheese slices.

Cover pan with aluminum foil, or a lid that comes with the

baking pan, and bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Yields: 6-8 servings

Turkey Curry

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1-1/2 cups cubed, cooked, turkey
parsley, dried or freshly snipped
rice, long grain or instant (already cooked)

Cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter or margarine.

Add the cream of mushroom soup and the milk; heat and stir until smooth.

Stir in the sour cream and the curry powder.

Add the cooked turkey; heat through, but do not boil.

Garnish with fresh snipped parsley, or with a bit of the dried parsley.

Serve over hot, cooked rice.

Yields: 4 servings.

Turkey Stroganoff

1/4 cup diced, green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped, onion
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups cubed, cooked, turkey
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 cups (cooked) wide noodles
A few can sliced mushrooms, drained well (optional)

Additional paprika, to garnish casserole

In a saucepan, cook the green peppers and onions in butter, until tender.

In a 1-1/2 quart casserole baking dish, blend the soup and sour cream together.

Stir in the cooked turkey, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika,
the cooked noodles, and a few slices of mushrooms from a can.

Cover, and bake for 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until casserole is hot.

Remove baking dish from the oven, and stir.

Sprinkle on additional paprika before serving.

Turkey Salad Sandwiches

This is one sandwich I just have to make after Thanksgiving is over. It is also another one of my "favorite" sandwiches. "Oh what a little mayo, honey mustard, and dill can do, to make one heck of a turkey sandwich!"

Turkey Salad Sandwiches

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon French's Honey Mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups cut-up cooked turkey
1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped onions
slices of bread (bread of choice, and enough to make 2-1/2 sandwiches)

In a medium size bowl, add the mayonnaise, mustard, dill and salt; mix well.

Add the turkey and onion to the bowl, and mix well.

Spread the turkey mixture between slices of bread.

This is enough meat filling to make 2 and a half hearty sandwiches.

Creamed Turkey & Rice Soup

1 turkey carcass (from a 14-lb. cooked turkey)
14 cups water
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 large carrots, chopped or sliced thin
1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 cup butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups flour
1 pint half-and-half cream
5 cups diced cooked turkey
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
6 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
salt & pepper to taste

In a large soup kettle or stockpot, add turkey carcass and the 14 cups of water. Bring water to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Remove bones; reserve meat for soup. Strain stock; set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine onions, celery, carrots, rice, and 1-quart (4 cups) of the stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes; set aside.

In a large soup kettle, melt butter. Blend in flour; heat until bubbly.

Add the half-and-half, and remaining 2 quarts (8 cups) of stock, to the butter/flour mixture; cook and stir until bubbly.

Stir in the reserved vegetable mixture, turkey meat and seasonings. Heat slowly to serving temperature.

Yields: 12-14 servings.

*Note: This soup freezes well.

"Leftover Turkey" Noodle Soup

Bones and trimmings from 1 turkey (or 2 chickens)
6 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes or 3 tsp. bouillon granules
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning or sage
1 bay leaf
... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..
1/2 c. barley or rice (or) 1 to 1-1/2 c. uncooked wide egg noodles
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1-2 cups chopped, cooked turkey (optional)

In a large saucepan, combine first 6 ingredients. Simmer (covered) for 1-1/2 hours.

Remove bones; cut off meat, and return the meat to the broth.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley. Simmer (covered) for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and barley are tender.

When ready to serve the soup, remove the bay leaf.

Garnish soup with the parsley.

Serves 6 to 8.

Tip: Other vegetables may be added or substituted, such as: corn, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, peas or mushrooms.

Note: Sometimes I find I need to add more turkey meat to the soup, when it's time to add the vegetables, then I will add 1-2 cups of chopped, cooked turkey.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crock-Pot Cream Corn

In 2004, I came across this recipe at recipezaar. My family loves this creamed corn! It's easy to put together, and I like that I can cook it in the crock-pot without much fuss. I usually double the recipe in my 3-1/2 quart size crock-pot.

Crock-Pot Cream Corn

20 ounces frozen corn
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into thin slices
1-1/2 tablespoons. sugar, divided

In a 3-1/2 quart crock-pot, layer the corn, cream cheese, butter and sugar.

Cover, and cook on low for 4 hours; stirring occasionally.

Yields: 5 to 6 servings.

Note: Be sure to stir this several times while its cooking, so it will blend the ingredients all together.  By the way, you can double this recipe inside a 3-1/2 quart crock-pot. And when doubling the recipe, you will need 2-(16 oz.) bags of frozen corn, plus an 8-oz. bag of corn, 2-(8 oz.) pkgs. of cream cheese, 2 sticks of butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry Relish

1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
10 ounces orange marmalade

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a 2-quart glass casserole baking dish, add the above ingredients. Stir to combine ingredients as best as you can.

Cover dish, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until cranberries pop. (I baked mine for exactly 30 minutes.)

Remove baking dish from oven; stir, and let sit until cranberry mixture cools somewhat. Cranberry mixture will thicken as it cools. (The cranberry mixture did thicken up after it sat for about 20-30 minutes.)

Serve while still warm, or at room temperature.

Ambrosia Waldorf Salad

Ambrosia Waldorf Salad

2 cups frozen cranberries, partially thawed and cut in half
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups diced (unpeeled) Golden Delicious Apples
1 cup seedless green grapes (See *Note)
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip

In a large bowl, combine the cranberries and sugar; mix thoroughly.

In a 3-quart (12 cup) bowl, add the marshmallows, apples, grapes, and pineapple.

Add the cranberries; mix well.

Fold in the Cool Whip.

Cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yields: 12-14 servings.

*Note: If using rather large grapes, cut them in half. If the grapes are small in size, I do not bother cutting them in half.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 (6 ounce) already-made graham cracker pie crust (See *Note)

In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, canned pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.

With an electric mixer (on medium speed), mix until smooth.

Gently fold in the thawed Cool Whip, then spoon into the graham cracker pie crust.

Refrigerate 3 hours, or until set.

Store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 servings.

*Note: I did want to mention, in regards to the graham cracker pie crust, while they are 9-inches in diameter, the pre-made ones that you buy in the store (the one that I use) comes in a 6-ounce pie tin.

Jimmy Dean's Stuffing

The first time I had this stuffing was at my sisters', and it was quite delish!

Jimmy Dean's Stuffing

1 lb. Jimmy Dean's Pork Sausage
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (14-1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
3 eggs, beaten
1 (16 oz.) bag, plus 2 more slices of bread, or 1/2 of a loaf (8 oz.) white bread, and 1/2 of a loaf (8 oz.) wheat bread
.....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....  .....
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or) 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cook pork sausage, and then drain thoroughly.

Combine sausage with the next 8 ingredients.

Put in a buttered roasting pan.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes; then bake covered for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, and top with the parsley and cheese.

Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes more.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the above ingredients together, then put the sweet potato mixture in a greased 1-1/2 quart size casserole baking dish.

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons butter, softened
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix the above ingredients together, and place this ontop of the sweet potato mixture.

Cover, and bake 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Note: The last time I prepared this, I used only 1 extra large size egg (instead of 2). I decreased the granulated sugar to a 3/4 cup, and decreased the milk to 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons. I also decreased the vanilla extract to 3/4 teaspoon. As for the topping, I decreased the brown sugar to a 3/4 cup. I only use 6 tablespoons each of butter and flour, and decreased the amount of pecans to a 3/4 cup.

Candied Yams

Candied Yams

1 (2 lb. 8 oz.) can sweet potatoes, drained
1 cup brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium size saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, salt, and whipping cream.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.

Add the drained can of yams, and stir gently until the yams are glazed and heated through.

Yields: 5 - 6 servings.

Note: For this recipe, I used 1-(40 oz.) can of Bruce's Yams (cut sweet potatoes in syrup).

Sweet-Sour Coleslaw

My family loves this salad!

Sweet-Sour Coleslaw

6 cups shredded cabbage
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped onion
8 to 10 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, onion and bacon.

In a jar (with a tight fitting lid), mix vinegar, oil, sugar and salt; shake well.

Pour (liquid) dressing over cabbage mixture, and toss.

Cover, and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Serves 6.

Jurrassic Coleslaw

This salad may be a bit spicy, but it's also very good!

Jurrassic Coleslaw

1 cup (8 oz.) apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons salad oil
1 tablespoon Dijon-Style Mustard
4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons chopped onion

Whisk ingredients together; p
our into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients....

1 head cabbage, shredded
About 2 cups dried fruit (apples, peaches apricots)
About 1 cup dried cranberries

Cover, and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

Quick Fruit Salad

Quick Fruit Salad

1 (21 oz.) can peach pie filling
3 firm bananas, sliced
2 cups strawberries, halved
1 cup seedless green grapes

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 6-8.

Jell-O In A Can

Jell-O In A Can

1 (20 oz.) can sliced pineapple
1 (3 oz.) pkg. Jell-O Gelatin, a gelatin of your choice
1 cup boiling water

Pour off pineapple juice from can, but leave pineapple in the can.

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Cool slightly.

Pour Jell-O into can over the pineapple. Chill until set.

To serve, run knife around inside of can and tip out.

Slice between the pineapple rings.

Serves 4-5.

Four Fruit Compote

Four Fruit Compote

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 Granny Smith Apple, unpeeled and chopped
1 Golden Delicious Apple, unpeeled and chopped
1 Red Delicious Apple, unpeeled and chopped
2 to 3 bananas, sliced

Drain pineapple, reserving 3/4 cup of the juice.

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.

Add the reserved pineapple juice, orange juice, and lemon juice.

Cook and stir over medium heat, until thickened and bubbly.

Then cook and stir for one minute longer.

Remove pan from heat, and set aside.

In a bowl, combine the pineapple chunks, oranges, apples, and bananas.

Pour the warm sauce over the fruit; stir gently to coat the fruit.

Cover, and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yields: 10 servings

Creamy Apricot Mousse

Creamy Apricot Mousse

1 (17 oz.) can apricot halves
2 (3 oz.) pkgs. apricot flavored gelatin

1-1/2 cups boiling water, to dissolve gelatin in
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups Cool Whip, plus extra for garnishing

Drain apricots, but reserving the syrup.

Add water to the syrup (if necessary), to measure 1 cup, then set aside.

Reserve 6 apricot halves for garnishing, then pureé the remainder in a blender or food processor; set aside.

Dissolve gelatin in 1-1/2 cups of boiling water, then a
dd the apricot syrup. Chill until it has the consistency of a thick egg white (45 minutes to 1 hour).

Stir in the pureéd  apricots and yogurt until well blended.

Gently fold in the Cool Whip, then pour into a lightly oiled 6 cup gelatin mold. Chill in the refrigerator until firm.

Unmold onto a plate or platter. Garnish with extra Cool Whip (or Reddi Wip), and the reserved apricot halves.

Yields: 10 servings.

Cranberry Mousse

Cranberry Mousse

1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice
1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry flavored gelatin
1 cup water
(16 oz.) of canned whole berry cranberry sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups dairy sour cream

Drain pineapple well, and reserving all the juice.

Add the juice to the gelatin in a 2-quart saucepan.

Stir in the water, heat to boiling; stirring to dissolve gelatin.

Remove pan from heat, and blend in the cranberry sauce.

Add in the lemon juice, lemon peel, and nutmeg.

Chill until mixture thickens slightly.

Blend the sour cream into the gelatin mixture.

Fold in the pineapple, then pour into a 2-quart gelatin mold.

Chill in the refrigerator until firm.

Unmold onto a serving plate.

Yields: 8 servings.

Turkey Gravy

This is the gravy I make after I've prepared the Herb Roasted Turkey (Baked in Oven Cooking Bag), and may I say it's some of "the best" tasting gravy I've ever had. I let the pan drippings sit overnight (in a glass bowl with a lid) in the refrigerator. The next day the fat hardens and comes to the surface of the bowl, which I then scrape it off, and make the gravy. (See *Note before preparing the gravy.)

Turkey Gravy

2 cups turkey drippings
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk

Combine the turkey drippings, pepper, poultry seasoning, and bouillon granules in a 1-quart saucepan; simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

While the pan drippings and spices are heating, combine the flour (the 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) along the milk, in a jar with a tight fitting lid; shake until ingredients become smooth.

Slowly add the milk mixture into the simmering broth; stirring constantly with a spoon.

Continue to cook and stir, until the gravy is thick and bubbly, then serve.

Yields: 2-1/2 cups of gravy

*Note: If I roast a 19 lb. bird, I am able to double the gravy ingredients, and then I'll add the already cooked, cut-up turkey meat into the gravy. The gravy and turkey meat taste great served over hot-cooked mashed potatoes. Also, whenever I double the recipe, I then prepare the gravy in a 3-quart saucepan.

Better Than Traditional Green Bean Bake

I really enjoy this side dish even more so than the tradtional green bean bake.

Better Than Traditional Green Bean Bake

2 (16 ounce) bags frozen green beans
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a 2-1/2 to 3 quart casserole baking dish, add and stir together, the frozen green beans, both cans of soup, milk, and black pepper.

Bake (uncovered) for 45-60 minutes.

Top with French fried onions, and bake (uncovered) 5 minutes more, until golden brown.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup orange juice (or) 1 cup water
12 oz. pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries

In a 3-quart saucepan, add the 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, orange juice or water. (I add orange juice when making these cranberries.) Stir to mix everything together.

Bring cranberries to a boil over high heat; stirring the cranberries constantly. (My cranberries came to a boil within 8 to 10 minutes.)

Once the cranberries come to a boil, I then cover the pan, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook the cranberries for 25 minutes; stirring the berries frequently. (Keep an eye on the cranberries, as they might rise-up while simmering. If they do, just stir them.)

After 25 minutes of cooking time, I uncover the pan, and continue to cook and stir the cranberries for 5 more minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and allow cranberries to cool somewhat (at room temperature), and before placing them in the refrigerator to chill. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. (I enjoyed the cranberries while they were still a bit warm, and since I had cooked them a bit longer, I noticed the berries thickened up sooner than I expected.)

Servings: 4-6

Note: I have used the following orange juices when preparing this cranberry sauce... Simply Orange with high pulp. Also, Tropicana with some pulp (both not from concentrate).

Baked Brandied Cranberries

I enjoy my cranberries baked this way. The brandy helps to cut down on the tartness of the cranberries, while the sugar gives it just enough sweetness.

Baked Brandied Cranberries

2 (12 oz.) bags cranberries
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Place the cranberries in a glass 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

Cover the cranberries with the 2 cups of sugar, but do not stir.

Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake 50-55 minutes in a 350º oven; until the cranberries burst.

Remove baking dish from the oven.

Remove the foil and stir.

Let stand 10 minutes, then drizzle with the brandy.

Stir in the 1/3 cup of sugar.

Cool to room temperature; then refrigerate.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Herb Roasted Turkey (Baked in Oven Cooking Bag)

This is how I cook my turkey for Thanksgiving. I prep the turkey the night before, and place the bird in an oven cooking bag in a large roasting pan, and in the refrigerator. Then I am set to cook the bird the next day. Most of the time I do this a day or two before Thanksgiving (prepping and cooking the bird). Afterwards, I'll remove all the meat from the bird, then when it's time to heat the gravy, I'll add as much of the cooked turkey meat to it as I can. Usually everyone pours gravy over their meat, so I figure why not just mix the two together. Also, when it's time to make the gravy, and if I've already refrigerated the pan juices the day before, I'll then scrape off the fat that has accumulated on top. I've found this is a good way to remove excess fat from the gravy. Years past I've even cheated and on many occasions, I've use jarred gravy in place of the home-cooked gravy, and I'll add the cooked meat to it. And by the way, the jarred gravy I used was... Heinz.

Herb Roasted Turkey (Baked in Oven Cooking Bag)

Reynolds® Oven Cooking Bag, Turkey Size (for 8-24 lbs.)
1 tablespoon flour
1 (12 to 24 lb.) turkey, already thawed (See *Note)
2 carrots, peeled and rinsed
2 stalks celery, cut in half if need be
1 medium size onion, peeled and cut in half
a few whole cloves of garlic, peeled

About 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon regular table salt (or desired amount)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (or desired amount)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray inside of bag with a nonstick spray, to reduce sticking, if desired. Shake flour in Reynolds Oven Cooking Bag. Place in a large roasting pan, at least 2 inches deep.

Remove neck and giblets from turkey.
Rinse turkey; pat dry.
Brush turkey with the vegetable oil. (See *Note)

Combine the thyme, rosemary, seasoned salt, sage, table salt, and black pepper, then sprinkle and rub the herb mixture inside the cavity of the bird, plus over the entire the turkey; turning to coat evenly.

Place turkey inside oven cooking bag. Add vegetables inside the bird cavity. Close oven bag with nylon tie; cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in top. Tuck ends of bag in pan.

Bake: 8-12 pound turkeys 1-1/2 to 2 hours, 12-16 pound turkeys 2 to 2-1/2 hours, 16-20 pound turkeys 2-1/2 to 3 hours, 20-24 pound turkeys 3 to 3-1/2 hours. (See *Note for roasting a 16 and a 19 pound turkey.)

For easy slicing, let turkey rest in oven bag (on top your stove) for 20 minutes before opening. If the turkey sticks to the oven bag, gently loosen the bag from the turkey, before opening the bag.

*Note: When it comes to prepping the bird, I do not brush the turkey with vegetable oil. Also, when it comes to baking the turkeys, I'll bake a (16 lb.) turkey for 2 hours & 15 minutes, and a (19 lb.) turkey for exactly 2 hours & 30 minutes. But, when I add the herbs and seasonings to the 19 lb. turkey, I use the following amount... 1-1/2 tablespoons of rubbed sage, 1-1/2 teaspoons each... of Lawry's Seasoned Salt, dried thyme, and rosemary, plus I add the 1/2 teaspoon of table salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. And after I bake the 19 lb. turkey, I let it rest on top the stove for 30 minutes, before removing it from the cooking bag.

Additional pictures of the turkey...

I wanted to let everyone know, that as of yesterday I had prepared an 18 lb. Butterball Turkey, and used the following vegetables, dried herbs, and spices...

1 medium size onion
4 medium size carrots
3 stalks of celery, each cut in half
3 extremely large size whole garlic cloves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
2 tablespoons dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon of table salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/16 teaspoon of black pepper

I placed the onion and 2 carrots inside the cavity of the bird, and 1 carrot each inside the pockets, which are on each side of the drumsticks and next to the breast of the bird. I also placed a celery half in each pocket, and the remaining halves of celery inside the cavity of the bird. I then placed an extra large clove of garlic in each pocket, and the remaining clove inside the cavity of the bird. I baked the turkey for 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the meat was so moist and tender.

As you can see, I upped the amount of carrots and celery, plus the dried herbs and spices this time when I prepared my turkey, which not only made my kitchen smell even more wonderful while it was baking, but I'm sure it will also make the gravy taste even more flavorful!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lovely and Luscious Mug of Coffee

Mirj at food.com, inspired me to make this coffee, but I tweaked the recipe to suit my taste. Also, instead of using boiling water, I just added cold water and the instant coffee in my mug, then placed the mug in a 900 watt microwave, and nuked it for 1 minute & 66 seconds.

Lovely and Lucious Mug of Coffee

1-1/2 tsp. Taster's Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
1-1/2 tsp. Taster's Choice Hazelnut Instant Coffee
11 ounces boiling water
1 ounce (2 tablesp.) liquid hazelnut coffee creamer
2 ounces (4 tablesp.) heavy whipping cream (*See note)

Place both coffees in bottom of a tall coffee mug.
Add boiling water to the mug, and stir.
Add the hazelnut coffee creamer and whipping cream,
and stir.

Yields: 14 ounces of coffee

*Note: When making this coffee, I used those individual single serve packets of instant coffee, which you can purchase either 7 or 20 in a box, and each packet equals 1-1/2 teaspoons. Also, be sure you use real cream in this recipe. Do not substitute using milk or skim milk!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

I just had to share this picture of our daughter Jenny, and her furbaby boy Rex. Jen had a good crop of pumpkins in her garden this year, which she shared her pumpkins, as well as her butternut squash, with her family. Seeing all those pumpkins put a smile upon my daughter's face.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Simple Heart and Mind (Blog and Forum)

I would like to promote a little website community that celebrates simple, frugal living. The site goes by the name: Simple Heart and Mind

Here is what you can expect to see at the site:

1. Daily chatter: Share what's happening in your day.

2. Funnies: Share a joke ... laughter is good!

3. The Art of Frugality: Share how we save to improve our lives.

4. Simple Suppers: See what's cooking, and share recipes.

Here's the link for those who'd like to check-out the site,
or even become a member and enjoy posting with others
in the forum:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jumbo Chewy Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

I came across this "delicious" cookie recipe at food.com. The recipe was posted by Kittencal, but I did modify the recipe to my liking. (The original recipe called for 1-cup of chocolate chips, and a 1/2 cup of the chopped nuts.) I added less of each! I also baked the cookies on Pampered Chef Stoneware, rather than using baking sheets. Kittencal's recipe stated to use about a 1/4 cup of cookie dough per each cookie (which made 18 cookies), where as I used a 1/4 cup per each cookie, which made 13 cookies.

Kittencal's Jumbo Chewy Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon non-dairy powdered coffee creamer (*See note)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I just added a 1/4 teaspoon)
3/4 cup of butter, melted
1 teaspoon maple extract (I used vanilla instead)
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar (*See note)
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans

Grease baking sheets (or line the pans with parchment paper). (I used Pampered Chef Baking Stoneware instead, so there was no need to grease any baking sheets.)

In a bowl mix together, the flour, powdered coffee creamer, baking soda, and salt.

In another mixing bowl using an electric mixer at medium speed; beat the melted butter along with the maple extract and the sugars, until all is blended.

Add in the whole egg and yolk, and continue beating the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes. The color of the mixture should lighten up slightly, and be a light caramel color.

Now add in the flour mixture to the cream mixture, and beat until just blended. (I just used a spoon to mix both together.)

Stir in the chocolate chips, (or the butterscotch chips) and the nuts. (If you find that the dough is too soft, place it in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.)

Set oven to 350°F.

Drop 1/4-cup of the dough onto the baking sheet; spacing each about 3-inches apart. (I found I could only add (3) 1/4 cupfuls per each stoneware.) Slightly flatten the cookie dough with the tips of your fingers or with the palm of your hands, or you can even use a spoon.

Bake in oven for about 15 minutes; just until the edges are slightly browned. (I baked mine for exactly 15 minutes on the stoneware.)

Onced removed from the oven, let the cookies set on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely. (The cookies will still be somewhat soft texture-wise, but will firm up more while cooling on the wire rack.) Since the cookies are quite large in size, I used a pancake turner to remove the cookies from the baking sheet/stoneware. (After making 12 jumbo size cookies, I found I didn't have enough dough for the last cookie to fill the one 1/4 cup, so the last cookie wasn't as big, and I ended up baking the last cookie for just 12 minutes.)

Servings: 13 cookies (12 jumbo size cookies, and 1-large size cookie)

*Note: When making the cookies, I did not have a plain coffee creamer, but I did have and used a Belgian Chocolate Toffee Creamer. Others who have made these cookies, stated they used a vanilla-cinnamon powdered creamer, or even a vanilla-caramel powdered creamer. Also, when adding the sugars, I didn't use both light and dark brown sugar, but rather a 1/2 cup of the dark, and a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, plus the 1/3 cup of granulated sugar as well.

Photo of cookies above, were made with butterscotch chips.
I think I prefered them over the chocolate chip cookies!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Homesteaders Casserole

I got this recipe out of a magazine about 30 years ago, it's from Kraft. It's an all-in-one casserole dish made with mashed potatoes, breakfast sausage links, green beans, onions, pimientos, and Velveeta cheese. This is really good comfort food!

Homesteaders Casserole

1 (9 oz.) pkg. frozen cut green beans, cooked & drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 (2 oz.) jar diced pimiento, drained
4 cups hot cooked mashed potatoes
1 lb. pork sausage links, cooked & drained (*See note)
8 oz. Velveeta Cheese Spread, sliced & divided

Combine the green beans, onions and pimiento.

In a 2-1/2 quart casserole baking dish, add the mashed potatoes.

Put half of the cheese slices on top the potatoes.

Place the green bean mixture over the cheese slices.

Top with the cooked pork sausage links.

Cover the casserole, and bake for 30 minutes in a 350º oven.

Top with the remaining cheese slices, and continue baking until the cheese melts, then serve. Be careful when eating, as this dish is quite hot (temp-wise).

Yields: 4-5 servings

*Note: You could substitute fresh cooked green beans for the frozen-cooked green beans. I cooked my fresh green beans with a 1/2 cup of water, and sprinkled them with a bit of salt & pepper, and cooked them in a 900 watt microwave oven for 13 minutes (stirring the beans half way through the cooking time). Also, when cooking the potatoes, I added a few cloves of fresh garlic to the pot of water, and when the potatoes were done cooking and drained, I added several pats of butter, a bit of half-and-half cream, plus I sprinkled the mashed taters with freshly cracked black pepper, and added some Mrs Dash Table Blend Seasoning. 
Also...  for the sausages, you can use Swift Premium Brown 'N Serve Sausages, as shown in photo above.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sweet Lime Iced Tea

During the Summer I make several gallons of this iced tea. I never thought adding lime juice to iced tea, could taste sooo good! It's a nice change from the sweetened lemon iced tea I usually make.

Sweet Lime Iced Tea

6 cups boiling water
7 tea bags (I used orange pekoe & black)
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2-1/2 tablespoons of sugar
2 limes (Plus half of one lime, see *note)

In a (2-quart) heat-proof glass pitcher, add the tea bags to it. (If the tea bags have strings attached, be sure to remove them first.)

Pour boiling water over tea bags in the pitcher. Cover the pitcher, and allow tea to steep for 45 minutes. (I covered the pitcher with saran wrap.)

After the has steeped for 45 minutes, remove tea bags from the pitcher, and discard them.

To the pitcher, add the 3/4 cup of sugar, plus the 2-1/2 tablespoons of sugar; stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar.

Add the juice of 2 limes to the pitcher, and stir. (For more lime flavor, add the juice from half of a lime as well.)

Let the tea cool to room temperature, then place tea in the refrigerator to chill.

Pour chilled tea into glasses filled with ice. Serve tea immediately.

Yields: About 55 ounces

*Note: For more lime flavor, add the juice of 2 and a 1/2 limes. Also, I usually double this recipe, and make the tea in a gallon size glass jar. Then I'll use 12 cups of boiling water, 14 tea bags, 1-1/2 cups of sugar, plus a 1/3 cup of sugar, and the juice of 4 limes (possibly 4-1/2 limes). This makes: 13-1/2 cups of tea (or) 105-ounces. One more thing I wanted to mention, if using a gallon size glass jar to make the tea, I'll cover the jar with an 8-1/2 inch glass dinner plate, while the tea is steeping.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sugar Free Strawberry Iced Tea

This is a delicious sugar free strawberry flavored iced tea. The ingredients I used to make this tea were... orange pekoe & black tea, and 1 packet of Wal-mart's Great Value Sugar Free Strawberry Flavored Drink Mix.

Sugar Free Strawberry Iced Tea

9 regular size tea bags (orange pekoe & black tea)
8 cups water, divided
1 packet sugar free strawberry flavored powdered drink mix
.......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... .......... ..........

Place tea bags in a 2-quart size glass pitcher.

In a medium size saucepan, bring 4 cups of water all most to a boil. Remove pan from heat as soon as you see bubbles start to come to the surface.

Pour the hot water over the tea bags in the glass pitcher. Cover pitcher with a plastic wrap, and let tea steep for 1 hour.

After one hour; carefully squeeze the tea/water from the tea bags into the pitcher; stir, then discard the tea bags. Cover the pitcher, then let sit until the tea has cooled down a bit more.

Once the tea has cooled; add the packet of sugar free strawberry flavored drink mix, and the 4 cups of cold water into the pitcher, and stir.

Refrigerate the tea until it's chilled.

Serve tea in a glass filled with ice.

Yields: 2-quarts

Iced Hazelnut-Caramel Coffee Chiller

While I enjoy hazelnut flavored coffees, I also enjoy caramel flavored coffees, so I decided to mix the two ingredients together to make this decadent beverage! Making this drink involves preparing coffee flavored ice cubes a head of time, one day prior to serving, so be sure to read through the instructions before making this drink.

Iced Hazelnut-Caramel Coffee Chiller

1/3 cup instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup hazelnut flavored liquid coffee creamer
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups 2% milk (use 2/3 cup per each serving)
24 ice cubes (use 4 ice cubes per each serving)
Smucker's Caramel Sundae Syrup
Reddi Wip Dairy Whipped Topping

In a bowl or coffee cup, add the instant coffee, granulated sugar, and hot water; stir thoroughly to dissolve the coffee and sugar.

Add the sweetened coffee mixture to a pitcher. Stir in the hazelnut liquid coffee creamer and cinnamon. Pour coffee mixture into ice cube trays. Place the ice cube trays in the freezer. (I let the flavored coffee mixture set over night in the freezer.)

The next morning I noticed the coffee mixture did not harden completely, so I removed the coffee cubes with a butter knife, and then transferred the coffee cubes to an empty Cool Whip container, and when I needed to add the flavored coffee mixture to the blender, I would scoop out the slightly frozen flavored coffee with a tablespoon. (I think the next time I make this, I'll skip the step of pouring the flavored coffee liquid into the ice cube trays, and just pour it in an empty bowl container with a lid, and just scoop out what I need to add to the blender.)

To make the iced coffee chiller per each serving:  
Add 3 tablespoons of the slightly frozen coffee mixture into a blender. Then add a 2/3's cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of the caramel syrup, and 4 ice cubes. (Ice cubes which were made with water.) I used 8-10 mini ice cubes, rather than 4 regular size ice cubes. (The 8 mini ice cubes is about equal to the 4 regular size ice cubes.)

Blend ingredients until slushy, then pour into a glass or mug. Top with a generous amount of the whipped topping, then drizzle on a bit of the caramel sundae syrup, and serve.

Yields: About 6 servings

Vanilla Mocha Iced Coffee

This Vanilla Mocha Iced Coffee is delicious topped with whipped cream. But, I also make two versions of this coffee. While the 1st coffee is made with the ingredients I've mentioned, the 2nd coffee I make, I use less coffee, less chocolate syrup, plus I omit the sugar and whipped topping all together. Before making this coffee, just be sure to read the note following the recipe.

(The photo shown on the left, was topped with Reddi Wip,
and the photo on the right, is without the whipped topping.)

Vanilla-Mocha Iced Coffee

1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons French Vanilla Liquid Coffee Creamer
2 teaspoons Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
ice cubes
Reddi Wip Dairy Whipped Topping, optional

In a coffee cup, add the cold water and instant coffee.

Place coffee cup in microwave and heat the coffee through.

When done heating, stir coffee, and place cup in the refrigerator to chill the coffee.

Once the coffee has chilled, add it to a blender, along with the liquid coffee creamer, chocolate syrup, sugar, and ice cream. Blend everything together in your blender.

Add ice cubes to a tall beverage glass.

Pour blended coffee mixture over the ice cubes, and serve.

If desired, garnish iced coffee with a dollop of Reddi Wip.

Yields: 1 serving

Note: To make the iced coffee using less coffee and less chocolate... only add 1-1/2 tablespoons of the instant coffee, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of the chocolate syrup, but omit the sugar. Add the other ingredients listed above, and mix according to thee above directions.

Iced Mocha Coffee

(The photo shown on the left, was topped with Cool Whip,
and the photo on the right, is without the whipped topping.)

Iced Mocha Coffee

8 ounces cold water
1 tablespoon instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
4 tablespoons half-and-half cream
1 to 2 individual packets of Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
ice cubes
Cool Whip (optional ingredient)

In a large coffee cup or coffee mug, add the water and instant coffee. (I added the ingredients to one 16-ounce coffee mug.) Place coffee cup or mug in a microwave, and microwave until coffee is heated through.

Stir the coffee, and place cup or mug in the refrigerator for 30 minutes; to chill.

To the cup or mug, add the chocolate syrup, half-and-half cream, plus 1-2 packets of Splenda; (I used 1-1/2 packets) stir to mix.

Add ice cubes to a tall beverage glass. Pour coffee over the ice cubes, and top it with a dollop or two of Cool Whip.

This makes: One serving (1-1/3 cups, or 11-ounces)

Coffee Slushie

I came across this recipe at Kraft's recipe website, and have made it several different ways. I've even substitute coffee flavored ice cubes for the ice cubes made with water, plus I've also substituted flavored liquid coffee creamers in place of the milk, but then I would omit the sugar all together, as the flavored coffee creamers added enough sweetness to the slushie(s). In all, I enjoyed these coffee slushie(s). They surely hit the spot on a hot summer's day!

Coffee Slushie

1 tablespoon instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup milk (I used 2% milk)
2 tablespoons sugar

Add ingredients to blender.
Cover, and blend on high until ice is crushed.
Pour slushie into a glass and serve.
Yields: About 1-3/4 cups

Substitution: Instead of adding water ice cubes, add coffee ice cubes, which are made with a strong coffee, (double strength) and omit adding the instant coffee all together.

Vanilla Slushie - To make a vanilla slushie, add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the blender, before blending the ingredients together.

French Vanilla Slushie - Substitute 1/2 cup of French Vanilla liquid coffee creamer in place of the milk, and omit the sugar all together.

Hazelnut Slushie -Substitute 1/2 cup of Hazelnut liquid coffee creamer in place of the milk, and omit the sugar all together.

Tiramisu Slushie - Substitue1/2 cup of Tiramisu liquid coffee creamer in place of the milk, and omit the sugar all together.

Note: I'm sure other flavored liquid coffee creamers would be a good substitute in place of the milk. I just haven't tried any of the others just yet!

Brown Sugar Iced Coffee

Roxygirl at food.com inspired me to make this delicious tasting iced coffee, but I did modify the recipe to my liking.

Brown Sugar Iced Coffee

1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
6 large ice cubes (8-oz. of ice)
Topping: Cool Whip (or) Reddi Wip

Heat water on top the stove, then add the hot water and instant coffee to a 1-cup glass measuring cup, and stir. (I just add the water and instant coffee to a coffee cup, and microwave it till the coffee is hot enough.)

Place measuring cup or coffee cup, in the refrigerator for at least 35 minutes, to chill the coffee.

Add the chilled coffee to a blender, along with the remaining ingredients, and blend on high until the ice cubes have dissolved into the liquid (about 30-35 seconds).

Pour iced coffee into a tall beverage glass, (enough to hold 24 ounces of coffee), and top with either Cool Whip or Reddi Wip Whipped Topping, and serve.

Yields: 1 large serving (24 ounces)

Iced Coffee Frappe

Boy was this a treat! Sydney Mike at food.com, inspired me to make this iced coffee frappe. The original recipe states to use double strength brewed coffee, but I opt to make this with an instant coffee.

Iced Coffee Frappe

2 tablespoons instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
8-ounces cold water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup ice cubes (I used 16 mini ice cubes)
Reddi Wip Dairy Whipped Topping, to garnish the coffee
Additional chocolate syrup, to garnish the coffee
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Add water and instant coffee to a coffee cup. Place coffee cup in the microwave, and microwave until coffee is heated through.

Place heated coffee in the refrigerator, to chill the coffee. (I found the coffee was chilled within 1 hour).

Add the chilled coffee, whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and the ice cubes into a blender; process until smooth (for about 1 minute).

Pour iced coffee into a large beverage glass (or 2 small glasses). Top the iced coffee(s) with a generous dollop of the Reddi Wip, and drizzle on a bit of chocolate syrup, and serve.

Yields: 2-1/2 cups of iced coffee frappe

Note: When making this coffee, you could substitute a double strength, already brewed, chilled coffee, for the 8 ounces of "instant" chilled coffee. Also, you can substitute 3 individual packets of Splenda, for the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Cherry Lemonade

Marg (CaymanDesigns) at food.com, inspired me to make this lemonade. The maraschino cherry juice gave this lemonade a lovely shade of pink and a hint of cherry flavor. When making this lemonade, I used a bottled lemon juice rather than fresh lemon juice, as that is what I had on hand, and it tasted great!

Cherry Lemonade

1-1/4 cups lemon juice, bottled or fresh
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
4 cups cold water
crushed ice, or ice cubes
lemon slices, to garnish beverage
maraschino cherries, to garnish beverage

In a pitcher, add the lemon juice and sugar; stir to combine.

Add the cherry juice and water; stirring briskly to mix.

Add crushed ice or ice cubes to a beverage glass.

Add cherry lemonade to the glass filled with ice.

Garnish each glass with a lemon slice and a maraschino cherry.

Yields: 1-1/2 quarts (48-ounces)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chilled Blueberry Soup

I prepared this delectable soup one day in advance, and thoroughly enjoyed it the next day for lunch. I never thought a chilled blueberry soup could be quite refreshing!

Chilled Blueberry Soup

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2-3/4 cups water
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
Garnish: Reddi Wip (or) Cool Whip
Garnish: fresh mint leaves (optional)

In a large 3-quart size saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the water until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir the mixture for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Add the blueberries and cinnamon stick, return to a boil. After mixture comes to a boil, remove pan from the heat, and stir in 3 tablespoons of the frozen orange juice concentrate; stir until the juice had melted completely.

Place pan back on the stove, cook mixture over low heat for 10-12 minutes; stirring continuously until mixture has thickened up a bit more.

Remove pan from heat, discard the cinnamon stick, cover the pan, and set the pan aside for 30 minutes, so the mixture has time to cool down.

Strain the blueberry mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer, into a heat proof glass bowl, and using the back of a spoon to press out the berry mixture. Be sure to scrape the berry mixture off the back side of the mesh strainer as you go along, and adding it to the bowl. After straining the berry mixture into the bowl, I then covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and placed the bowl in the refrigerator.

Be sure to thoroughly chill the soup (covered) in the refrigerator before serving it. (I refrigerated the soup overnight, and served it the next day.)

Garnish soup with a dollop of Cool Whip (or with Reddi Wip) and fresh mint leaves.

Yields: 3 cups, or 3 servings (1-cup each per serving)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Homemade Chili Mac

This delicious chili was originally posted by Laura Flowers
on her blog: The Cooking Photographer
Laura's chili mac reminded me more of a goulash.
I found this dish to be quite hearty, satisfying, and oh so good!

Homemade Chili Mac

1 tablespoon olive oil, or vegetable oil
1-1/4 lbs. ground beef
salt, to season the ground beef
pepper, to season the ground beef
garlic powder, to season the ground beef
onion powder, to season the ground beef
1 medium size onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, garlic
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1-1/2 tablespoons dried parsley, or cilantro
1 cup shredded mozzarella, or pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream, for garnishing
dried parsley, for garnishing

Heat oil in a large deep-dish size skillet over medium heat. (I omitted the cooking oil, and sprayed the inside of a chicken fryer with a no-stick cooking spray.)  Added the ground beef and onion, and season it with a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Brown the meat.

Once the meat is done cooking, and no longer pink; strain off any excess grease in a colander, then place the meat mixture back in the skillet or fryer.

To the skillet, add the minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, coriander, onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute; stirring continuously.

Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chilies, water, and macaroni. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then lower the heat to a medium simmer.

Cover the skillet, and simmer for about 20 minutes; stirring frequently, so the uncooked macaroni doesn't stick to the skillet or fryer, and until the juices are absorbed and the macaroni is tender.

Now uncover the beef/macaroni mixture, and add the parsley (or cilantro), and stir in the shredded mozzarella (or pepper jack cheese), and the shredded sharp cheddar.

Once the cheese has dissolved into the beef-macaroni mixture, serve immediately, and top each serving with a large dollop of sour cream, and each with a sprinkle of the dried parsley.

Yields: 6 servings

Old-Fashioned Pink Lemonade

I originally came across this lemonade at 2 separate recipe websites... allrecipes and recipezaar, but I did modify the recipe to my liking. When making the lemonade, I use a bottled lemon juice (price-wise it's cheaper and it still tasted great) but I'm sure freshly squeezed would taste even better. Also for this recipe, you could just use cranberry juice, but I used a raspberry cranberry juice, as that's what I had on hand, and I added a bit more than what the recipe called for. It was a taste preference on my part, but adding less cranberry juice, will make for a light pink lemonade. I found this lemonade to be quite refreshing!

Old-Fashioned Pink Lemonade

1 cup of sugar
4-1/2 cups cold water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 to 3/4 cup raspberry-cranberry juice, chilled
crushed ice (or) ice cubes

In a large pitcher combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, and cranberry juice; stir to dissolve the sugar completely.

Pour the lemonade in glasses filled with ice and serve.

Yields: 56 ounces of lemonade

Note: For this recipe, I substituted bottled lemon juice for the fresh, plus I added a 3/4 cup of the raspberry-cranberry juice.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Black Bean, Corn, and Salsa Soup

I really enjoyed this soup! Most of the ingredients were already in my pantry, plus the salsa and "slightly" spicy refried beans, added just the right amount of spice to the soup.

Black Bean, Corn, and Salsa Soup

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans
1-1/2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup diced onion
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
black pepper, desired amount added
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (16 oz.) can spicy fat free refried beans
1 cup salsa (mild or medium heat)
3 cups canned beef broth
1 (15.25 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
soup garnishings: shredded cheddar cheese & sour scream (opt.)

Drain and rinse both cans of black beans, then set the beans aside.

Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan, then add the diced onion. Sprinkle onion with a bit of black pepper.

Sauté the diced onion for 2 minutes, then add the minced garlic, and continute to saute the onion and garlic for 1 minute more.

Sprinkle the cumin over the onion and garlic, then add the can of refried beans, the salsa, and the beef broth, and stir.

Now add the black beans and corn, and stir. Simmer the soup on low heat, until the soup is heated through, for about 30 minutes.

If desired, serve individual bowls of soup with shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.

Yields: One 3-quart saucepan of soup.

Note: When making this soup, the brand of salsa I used was Red Gold (Medium Heat). The brand of refried beans I used was Old ElPaso Spicy Fat Free Refried Beans. And the brand of whole kernel corn I used was Green Giant Whole Sweet Corn.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lamb Cake (Our Easter Cake)

This is the cake our daughter Jenny made for Easter.
Isn't it an adorable cake!

Beaver Birthday Cake

This is the cake as per requested, that our daughter Jenny make for her uncle's (my brother's) 40th birthday. What an unusal request for a birthday cake, huh??? But isn't it a cute cake!

Southwest Tuna Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

Stacky5 posted this delicious tasting casserole recipe at food.com,
but it was Susan who had posted the photo of the recipe at the site.
When I decided to make the casserole, I modified the recipe some
what. I substituted one can of soup for another, plus I added a bit
more of the macaroni. I really liked this dish reheated the next day
(in the microwave). It was still nice and creamy!

(Photo by: 4Susan at food.com)

Southwest Tuna Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

2-1/2 cups uncooked macaroni (*See note)
1 (10-3/4 oz.) can Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
1 soup can filled with milk (I used 2% milk)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (Do not use salad dressing!)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. pepper (*Or McCormick's Hot Shot! Seasoning)
2 (5 oz.) cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained well
3 tablespoons Italian-style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Grease the inside of one 2-1/2 quart casserole baking dish; set dish aside.

Cook macaroni according to package directions to "al dente" (9 to 11 minutes). Once cooked, drain and rinse with cold water; then drain again.

While the macaroni is cooking, in a large bowl combine together, the soup, milk, and mayonnaise. Then stir in the shredded cheese, pepper, and tuna. (If desired, sprinkle in a bit of salt.)

Stir in the cooked macaroni, then pour the mixture in the casserole baking dish.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly on top, then pour the melted butter over the bread crumbs.

Place casserole (uncovered) in a 350 degree oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes. (I baked mine for 35 minutes.)

Once heated through, remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Yields: 4-5 servings.

*Note: Whenever I make this casserole, I always use Rotini pasta, and use 3 cups, which I cook anywhere from 10-11 minutes. Also, if I don't have a can of Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup on hand, but have a can of cheddar cheese soup, I'll use that, and I'll only use a half soup can of milk, plus a half soup can of mild salsa. I'll also substitute shredded Mexican cheese for the cheddar.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Venison Stroganoff

This stroganoff is made with canned tomato sauce rather than with a can of mushroom soup, which was a nice change, and still just as good!!

Venison Stroganoff

1-1/2 lbs. venison, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
5 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
7 tablespoons diced onion
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 (4 ounce) cans sliced mushrooms, well drained
8 ounces sour cream, plus 1 tablespoon of sour cream
extra wide egg noodles, uncooked (about 16 ounces)
dried parsley flakes, to garnish the stroganoff

Place venison in a bowl. Add the flour, and toss to coat the cubed meat. Once coated, add venison to the skillet, and brown according to the following directions below.

In a 10-inch skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Cook and stir the venison until it's cooked about 3/4's of the way done; stirring often so the meat doesn't stick to the skillet. Now add the diced onion, and continue cooking the meat until it's browned evenly. Once the venison is browned, cover the skillet, and remove skillet from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a 2-1/2 quart casserole baking dish, add the tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the Worcestershire sauce; stir to mix.

Add the cooked venison to the casserole dish; stir to coat the meat in the tomato sauce. Cover the casserole dish; place dish in the oven, and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, but be sure to stir the meat mixture after the first 30 minutes of cooking time.

After 60 minutes of cooking time, remove casserole from the oven, add the sliced mushrooms and the sour cream, and stir. Cover, and place the casserole back in the oven to cook for another 30 minutes.

About 15 minutes before the meat mixture is done cooking, cook the egg noodles according to package directions. (I cooked mine with a bit of vegetable oil, and with out any salt, for exactly 9 minutes.) Once I drained off the water, I stirred in a bit of butter, so the noodles wouldn't stick together.

Once the noodles are cooked, and the meat is cooked, add desired amount of noodles to each dinner plate, and top with the stroganoff. Sprinkle each plate with a bit of the dried parsley, and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Yields: About 5-6 servings

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4 Deviled Egg Recipes

Deviled Eggs with Horseradish

4 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
1/4 cup salad dressing
pinch garlic powder
pinch white pepper
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish sauce

Cut each egg in half lengthwise; remove yolks.

In a small bowl, add yolks; mash with fork.

Add remaining ingredients, (except the egg whites) mix thoroughly.

Fill egg halves with mixture.

Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yields: 4 servings
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Deviled Eggs with Curry

6 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
1/3 cup salad dressing
1 tablespoon minced green onions
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
dash white pepper

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half; lengthwise.

Scoop the yolks into a medium-sized bowl; mash with fork.

Add salad dressing, green onion, curry powder and pepper;
mix well.

Spoon the mixture into the egg halves.

Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yields: 6 servings
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Deviled Eggs with Relish

6 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
1/3 cup salad dressing
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
dash white pepper

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half; lengthwise.

Scoop the yolks into a medium-sized bowl; mash with fork.

Add salad dressing, yellow mustard, relish and pepper;
mix until creamy.

Spoon the mixture into the egg halves.

Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serves 6.
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Devil's Island Eggs

6 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
2 slices bacon, crispy cooked & crumbled
1/3 cup thousand island bottled salad dressing

Cut eggs in half. Remove yolks; mash with fork.

Add bacon and thousand island dressing; mix well.

Refill egg whites with the bacon-egg-mixture.

Chill in refrigerator before serving.

Yields: 6 servings

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sugar Cookie Bars

Just before Christmas I had bought several 3-lb. tubs of already made cookie dough from our Festival Foods Grocery Store, and placed them in the freezer to use for another day. This past week I unthawed the dough and decided to bake some bars with the sugar cookie dough. These were the bars I had made...

Sugar Cookie Bars

2 lbs. of store bought sugar cookie dough
(I used 2-lbs from one 3-lb tub of cookie dough.)

1 (16 oz.) cont. storebought vanilla frosting
(I used Baker's Corner Smooth & Creamy Vanilla Frosting,
which I purchased from Aldi's Grocery Store.)

candy sprinkles, such as: Cate-Mate (or) Betty Crocker
Decors Nonpareils, Jimmies, Confetti, etc...
(I used confetti colored candies... ducks & chicks)
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread 2 pounds of cookie dough in an ungreased (15-1/2" x 10" x 1") baking sheet. (I used my hands to pat down and spread the dough evenly onto the baking sheet.)

Place baking sheet in oven, and bake for 18 minutes.
(The bars will look lightly golden in color when done.)

Cool bars completely before frosting them.
(I didn't use all the frosting. I had a couple tablespoons leftover.)

Immediately decorate the bars with your favorite colored sprinkles.

Let bars set for a few hours before cutting them into squares.

Yields: 32 bars

Note: These bars kept well for several days in a cake pan sealed with a plastic covered lid. (A pan which I purchased from Walmart.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frog on Lilly Pad Cake

This is the cake my daughter Jen made for my
youngest daughter's friend, for her birthday.
Isn't it a cute cake!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dave & Cindi Bauer

Picture of us on the day our youngest daughter
Heidi & Josh were married  (June 8th, 2002).
The wedding took place outdoors.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Franks and Beans Soup

This is a hearty, delicious, quick 'n easy soup to put together.

Franks and Beans Soup

8 Jumbo size franks, cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 (11-1/2 oz.) cans condensed bean with bacon soup
3 and 3/4 cups of water
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
3 teaspoons minced dried onion flakes
1/8 teaspoon, plus 1/16 teaspoon black pepper

In a large stockpot over medium heat, add the vegetable oil.

Add the sliced franks; cook and stir frequently for 4 minutes,
to lightly brown the franks.

Add the 3 cans of soup, the water, kidney beans, dried onion flakes, and pepper; stir to mix.

Cook soup over low heat, uncovered, until soup has heated through (about 18 minutes).

Yields: 6 - 7 servings

Note: The brand of franks I used to make this soup were, Farmland Hickory Smoked Deli-Style Franks, but you could substitute jumbo size hot dogs for the franks, if desired.

Nikki's Going Away Cake

This is the cake my daughter Jenny had made for her friend Nikki, who will be moving to another city to further her career. Jenny and Nikki have known each other since their elementary school days. We all are wishing Nikki "the best" in her new job. Nikki will be missed by all who know her!

Kerry and her 'NERDS' Birthday Cake

Last week on St. Patricks Day, my oldest daughter's room mate Kerry, had celebrated her 35th birthday, and per requested by our oldest dear daughter, she asked her sister Jenny (whose the cake baker in our family) to make Kerry a 'NERDS' cake, as nerds are one of Kerry's favorite candies.

Here's a pic of the cake Jenny had made for Kerry...

Needless to say, Kerry loved her birthday cake!