About Me

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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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

I happen to come across this cookie bar recipe at the allrecipe website. I did however, tweak the recipe a bit by adding more jam. The bars indeed are quite delicious, and can be made with various jams.

Delicious Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) softened to room temperature
1 cup seedless raspberry preserves (See *Note)

Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Once lined, spray the inside of the foil lined baking dish with a no-stick cooking spray; set pan aside.

In a medium size bowl, add the flour, soda and salt. Stir ingredients with a spoon to mix. Now add the brown sugar, oats, and butter. Mix ingredients with a pastry blender, to form a crumbly mixture. (I used a fork to mix the ingredients together thoroughly. It did take at least 5 minutes to blend everything together.)

Add 2 cups of the oatmeal crumb mixture into the baking pan. Press the crumb mixture down firmly with your hand.

Spread the preserves to within 1/4 inch from the edge of the pan.

Sprinkle remaining oatmeal crumb mixture over the preserves. Press the crumb mixture some-what firmly on top the preserves.

Place pan in a preheated 350 degree oven, and bake bars for 40 minutes.

Once the bars are baked, allow to cool to room temperature. (I then refrigerate the bars for a couple hours, so they can firm up a bit.)

Use aluminum foil to lift bar mixture from the pan. Cut bars into 12 squares.

*Note: I made these bars twice, once using raspberry preserves, and the other using home-cooked strawberry jam, but I found I much preferred the bars with the raspberry preserves. I think these bars would taste great using apricot preserves, or another kind of tart-tasting jam or preserves.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wendy's 35th Birthday (and cake)

Here's a picture of my oldest daughter Wendy on her 35th birthday. Our other daughter Jenny had made her sister an octopus birthday cake, as per requested by Wendy. As you can see, Wendy was quite pleased with the cake! The inside of the cake was a lime-coconut cake, and it certainly was quite delish! Wendy's birthday was February 5th.

Heidi, Kerry and Jenny on Dec. 26, 2010

Here's a picture of my 2 daughter's and my oldest daughter's room-mate Kerry. Kerry is my recipe buddy, and the two of us enjoy talking about and exchanging recipes.

To the left is my youngest daughter Heidi.
In the middle is Kerry.
To the right is my 2nd oldest daughter Jenny.
(Jenny is known as the cake baker in our family!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

David, Jenny and Heidi on Dec. 26, 2010

Here are pictures of my husband and 2 of our daughters.

Dave and our youngest daughter Heidi

Dave and our 2nd oldest daughter Jenny

Wendy, Jenny and Heidi on Dec. 26, 2010

Here's a picture of my 3 daughter's

To the left, our youngest daughter Heidi.
In the middle, our 2nd oldest daughter Jenny.
To the right, our oldest daughter Wendy.

              Here's Wendy in her Santa hat!

These are the cookies I made for Christmas this year

Cherry-Nut Slices
Chinese Almond Cookies
Black Forest Cherry Cookies
Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms
Confetti Peanut Butter Cookies

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cherry Mocha Coffee

Rachel Ernst at food.com inspired me to make this delicious
coffee, but I slightly tweaked the recipe to suit my taste.

Cherry Mocha Coffee

8 ounces water
1 tsp. instant coffee (Maxwell House or Folgers)
1-1/2 tsp. Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. McCormick's Imitation Cherry Extract
Reddi Wip (or) Cool Whip
1 maraschino cherry

In a coffee cup; heat water and coffee in the microwave until hot. (Or heat the water and coffee on top the stove in a small saucepan.)

Add the cocoa powder and sugar; stir well to dissolve.

Now add the extracts, and stir.

Top the coffee with desired amount of Reddi Wip.

Place the cherry on top the whipped topping, and serve.

Yields: 1 serving

Note: To make 12-ounces of the coffee... use 12 ounces of water, 1-1/2 teaspoons of instant coffee, 1/4 teaspoon plus an 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract, 1/4 teaspoon plus an 1/8 teaspoon of cherry extract, 2-1/4 teaspoons of the special dark cocoa powder, plus 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar. This is what I used to fill my glass coffee cup.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cherry Coffee

Annacia at food.com, inspired me to make this coffee, but I slightly tweaked the recipe to suit my taste.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Coffee

2/3 cup water
1-1/4 tsp. instant coffee, Maxwell House or Folgers (*See note)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 dark chocolate, or milk chocolate covered cherry
Reddi Wip, or Cool Whip (to garnish the coffee)

In a coffee cup; heat water and coffee in the microwave until hot. (Or heat the water and coffee on top the stove in a small saucepan.) Add the sugar, and stir.

Now add the chocolate covered cherry; stir well to dissolve. After the chocolate has dissolved, remove the cherry from the cup.

Top the coffee with desired amount of Reddi Wip, or Cool Whip. Place the cherry on top the whipped topping, and serve.

Yields: 1 serving

*Note: If using ground coffee instead of instant, use 2 teaspoons per each 2/3's cup of water in your coffee maker. Also, I have found that not all of the chocolate from the chocolate covered cherry, dissolves completely in the hot coffee. You may still see bits of chocolate floating in your cup.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hearty Minestrone

This one of two really delicious minestrone soups I enjoy making. While this minestrone is made without meat, it is packed with lots of flavor, an abundance of vegetables, plus I added 2 kinds of beans to the soup. My family enjoys this hearty minestrone soup, and I hope yours will too!

Hearty Minestrone

4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced (about a 2/3 cup)
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1-1/2 cups sliced carrots, cut into extremely thin slices
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15.5 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1-1/2 cups chopped russet potatoes
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
salt (I added a light sprinkle)
black pepper (I added 6 grinds from a pepper mill)
1/2 cup small shell pasta
1 good handful of baby spinach (stems removed, rinsed & patted dry with a paper towel, and torn into small pieces)
Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese, to garnish the soup (optional)

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large stock-pot over medium to medium-low heat.

Add onion to the pot, and sauté
the onion for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Add the garlic, and
 sauté the garlic for 1 minute.

Add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot, plus the celery and carrots, and 
sauté the vegetables for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, great northern beans, potatoes, chicken bouillon granules, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Cover the pot, bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer the soup covered, for 30 minutes. (I stir the soup once or twice while it's simmering.)

While the soup is simmering, in a small saucepan, add water to it, plus a little bit of vegetable oil, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring water to a boil, then add the pasta.

Once the water comes to a second boil, which doesn't take long, cook the shells for 8 minutes; stirring the pasta frequently.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain pasta in a colander, and gently rinse it under cold water. Drain well, then set the pasta aside, covered, until it's time to add it to the stock-pot.

After the soup has simmered for 30 minutes, add the cooked pasta and the spinach. Stir the soup, and then ladle the soup in to bowls.

Top each bowl of soup with a bit of the parmesan cheese, if desired.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

I wanted to widen my horizons, and prepare a different kind of soup that's out of the ordinary. This soup has a bit of a 'kick' to it, but it's also a soup that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium size onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for less heat, add an 1/8 tsp.)
1 teaspoon paprika
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
salt (Add if desired, and season according to taste.)
2 handfuls of baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

Heat vegetable oil in a large stock-pot over medium to medium-
high heat.

Add onion to the pot, and sauté the onion for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.

Add the garlic, and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.

Add the cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika,

and cook the spices for about 1 minute.

Now add the broth, tomatoes, and the chickpeas; stir to mix.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer,
cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes of cooking time, remove about half
of the
chickpeas, and place them in a bowl. 

Using a potato masher; mash the chickpeas.

Once mashed, add the chickpeas back to the pot, then add the
spinach; stir the soup.

Season the soup with a bit of salt, if desired, and serve the soup

Yields: 6 - 8 servings

Ground Beef & Cabbage Casserole

This is a simple, delicious casserole to put together. I have made this using ground beef and tomato sauce, or with a seasoned ground pork sausage and along with a traditional style spaghetti sauce. No matter how it's made, both taste great! The seasoned pork sausage I used, already had salt, course cracked pepper, dried sage, onion and fresh garlic added to it. Have also made this using a lb. of leftover (already-cooked) taco seasoned meat, which gave this dish lots of flavor.

Ground Beef and Cabbage Casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt, season according to taste
pepper, season according to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
4 cups shredded cabbage, divided
3 tablespoons Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a skillet, brown the ground beef; drain off the excess grease.

Add beef back to the skillet, then add the onion, garlic, salt & pepper, and the red pepper flakes.

Add the tomato sauce, stir and heat the tomato/beef mixture, over low heat.

At this point, set the oven temp to 350 degrees.

Spray the inside of a 2-1/2 quart casserole baking dish with a no-stick cooking spray.

Add 2 cups of the shredded cabbage to the casserole baking dish, and half of the tomato/beef mixture over the shredded cabbage.

Repeat layer of cabbage and tomato/beef mixture.

Sprinkle casserole with the parmesan cheese.

Cover, and bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Yields: 4 servings

Note: I happened to of read an interesting review (at another website), that someone had posted about this recipe. It gave me an idea to turn this dish into an "unstuffed cabbage roll" recipe. I wish I had thought of that before, and what a great idea!

The review reads as follows...
If your family likes stuffed cabbage rolls, and you shudder at the thought of boiling uncooperative cabbage leaves, then rolling and stuffing for half an hour, then this is your recipe! I made it as is, with a bit more tomato sauce. Next time, I'll stir some cooked rice (about 1 cup or less) into the ground beef mixture, then it will become a deconstructed cabbage roll. Serve with mashed potatoes, and you've got a winter winner on your hands! Oh, and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese will give it a nice slight crustiness, if you uncover for the last 15 minutes!