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 counrty 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.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chocolate Chili

I make this chili with Hershey's Milk Chocolate "Snack-Size" Candy Bars, but sometimes I will use 10 Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses in place of the snack size chocolate bars. I love how this chili smells while it's simmering. You can actually smell the chocolate.

Chocolate Chili

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
3 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
4 Hershey's Milk Chocolate "Snack-Size" Candy Bars
1 (16 oz.) can Bush's Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

In a 3-quart saucepan, spray the bottom of pan with a no-stick olive oil cooking spray.

Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic, and cook until the beef is brown, and onion is soft.

Drain the meat, to remove any excess grease, then add the meat back to the pan.

Add all of the chili powder to the pan, along with the tomato sauce, and the snack-size chocolate candy bars. Cook over a low simmer for 5 minutes; stirring frequently.

Add the kidney beans, and stir frequently while simmering for 5 minutes, or until the chili is heated through.

Ladle the chili into bowls, and serve immediately.

Yields: 4 servings

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Manwich Chili

I enjoyed this chili made with a can of Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce. It's meaty, yet hearty, but not too spicy.


Manwich Chili

1 lb. (90%) lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 (15 oz.) can Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained
Garnish: with shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: with sour cream

Spray the inside of a Dutch oven with an olive oil cooking spray.

Cook the beef and onion in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat; till the beef is no longer pink, and the onion is tender. (I found it only took 5 minutes to cook the onion and brown the meat.) Stir and crumble the meat with a fork while cooking.

Lower the heat, and add the minced garlic, stir and cook for just 30 seconds.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder, then add the Manwich and tomato sauce, and stir.

Cover the Dutch oven; cook and heat the meat and sauce over the lowest simmer you can get for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the kidney beans, stir, then cover, and cook/simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish each bowl with a bit of the shredded cheese and sour cream.

Yields: 8 servings

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I never thought one could make a descent peanut butter cookie without flour, but you actually can, and they taste pretty darn good! These little gems are packed with lots of flavor, plus they aren't overly sweet, and they do freeze well. Whenever I make these petite cookies, I like to make them with a mixture of creamy and super chunky peanut butter, plus I like to bake these cookies on Pampered Chef Baking Stones.




Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Skippy Super Chunk)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, optional (See *Note)

In a bowl, add the creamy and chunky peanut butter, plus the granulated sugar; beat together until smooth. (I used a hand held mixer to cream the mixture together.)

Add the eggs and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.

Using a spoon; stir in the flaxseed.

Take a tablespoon of the dough, and shape by hand into a ball. (I used a small Pampered Chef Scoop, which is equal to 1-tablespoon.)

Slightly flatten the dough balls with the palms of your hands, and then place them onto Pampered Chef Baking Stones. (I place 12 onto each baking stone 2-inches apart.)

Press the top of each cookie down "gently" with a fork.

Bake in a 350º oven for 12 minutes, then remove, and let the cookies set on baking stone(s) for 5 minutes, before removing to a wire rack and allowing the cookies to cool completely.

Yields: 53 cookies (Each cookie about 2-inches in diameter.)

*Note: Adding flaxseed to this recipe is optional, but if you decide not to add the flaxseed, you may need to chill the dough in the refrigerator for a couple hours before baking. This helps to firm up the cookie dough, plus it makes it a lot easier for handling the dough.

Additional Note: I like to freeze these cookies in a Tupperware container, and just take out what I want to eat for later. I usually put those few frozen cookies in a plastic Glad container, and in no time they've unthawed for me to enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Witches Hats

These are such cute cookies to make for Halloween!



Witches Hats

1 (13 oz.) pkg. fudge striped shortbread cookies 
32 Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses
1 (16 oz.) container vanilla frosting (See *Note)
8 drops red food coloring
8 drops yellow food coloring

Unwrap the Hershey Kisses, and set them aside.

Add the entire container of vanilla frosting into a bowl, and stir it with a spoon.

Add the 8 drops of food coloring to the frosting, and mix it in well with the spoon, then add the 8 drops of yellow food coloring, and mix it in well with the spoon. You will have a pretty orange colored frosting.

Unwrap cookies in package, and taking one cookie at a time, hold the chocolate flat side of the cookie (facing upward) in hand.

Using a small spoon or the tip of a butter knife, apply a small amount of frosting in the middle of the cookie. (The frosting should cover the center hole of the cookie.) A tiny bit of the frosting will poke through the other side of the cookie, but that's ok, you won't really noticed that little bit of frosting peeking through.

Apply the chocolate kiss in the center of the frosting, and push it down lightly onto the flat side of the cookie, just till you see the frosting spreading out just a bit underneath the chocolate kiss.

I placed the cookies onto a large jelly roll pan for several hours, so the frosting will become a bit more dry, and to allow the chocolate kiss to adhere to the frosting. (If desired, you could line the jelly roll pan with wax paper before placing cookies onto pan. It also makes it easier for cleaning up afterwards.)

Store cookies side-by-side in a container, and cover with a lid. 
 (There's no need to refrigerate the cookies.)

Yields: 32 cookies

*Note: You may have noticed there will be plenty of the orange frosting leftover. You can either double the above recipe (except for the frosting), to make 64 witch hat cookies, or apply the frosting between graham crackers to make another kind of cookie, or use it to frost a one layer cake or some cupcakes.




Saturday, October 24, 2015

Broccoli-Cauliflower Vegetable Soup

I had some fresh vegetables in the fridge which I needed to use up, so I made this vegetable soup which has a hint of curry taste to it. It was creamy and delicious!

Broccoli-Cauliflower Vegetable Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
3 small cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all purpose flour (Yes that's correct, 5 TBSP.)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 cup chopped cauliflower (See *Note)
1 cup chopped broccoli (See *Note)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large stock-pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté the vegetables for 8 minutes; stirring frequently.

Add the garlic, and cook and stir for 1 minute more.

Add the flour, and stir until the flour has incorporated into the vegetables. This just takes a few seconds.

Gradually add the chicken broth and water, and stir continuously with a fork, to loosen the flour from the bottom of the pot.

Keep stirring the pot, till the broth has thickened.

Add in the broccoli, the cauliflower, and the bouillon; stir to incorporate the granules.

Turn the heat to high, and bring soup to a boil.

Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer the soup for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Pour in the half-and-half, and add the curry powder, salt, and pepper, and stir.

Heat the soup through, but do not let it come to a boil.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Yields: 4 servings

*Note: When I'm prepping the vegetables to make this soup, I don't actually chop the broccoli and cauliflower. I just cut the vegetables into some-what small floret pieces, but not too small.

Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup

I really like this soup! It's creamy, delicious, and stays nice and creamy even one day after being refrigerated and reheated.

Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheddar Cheese Soup


1 cup chopped broccoli, (See*note)
1 cup chopped cauliflower (See *note)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half cream
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon black pepper

In a large stock-pot, add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions, and the broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer the vegetables for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally

Remove the lid, pour in the half-and-half, and stir to combine.

In a small skillet (8-inch), melt the butter over medium or medium high heat, then add the flour, and quickly stir with a fork until smooth. (It only takes a few seconds for this to thicken and become smooth.) 

Add this mixture to the stock-pot, and keep stirring with the fork until well combined, and until the soup has thickened a bit.

Add the cream cheese, and stir until it has melted into the soup.

Now add the cheddar cheese, and stir until the cheese has melted into the soup.

Season the soup with salt and pepper, then ladle into bowls and serve.

Yields: 3 to 4 servings

*Note: When I'm prepping the vegetables to make this soup, I don't actually chop the broccoli and cauliflower. I just cut the vegetables into some-what small floret pieces, but not too small.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Spaghetti Salad

I love this salad, and while the recipe does make a lot, this pasta salad is sure to please your guests. I do make this salad one day prior to serving, and that's so I can incorporate a bit more of the Italian dressing into the salad.



Spaghetti Salad

1 lb. spaghetti (broken into 3rd's)
1 (16 oz.) bottle Kraft's Zesty Italian Fat Free Dressing
2/3 cup Kraft's Zesty Italian Fat Free Dressing
3 tablespoons McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning
Half of 1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and cut-up
1 cup each: broccoli and cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 large carrot, shredded
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Colby-Jack marbled cheese, cubed small
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced black olives, drained

Cook the spaghetti, then rinse under cold water till the spaghetti is cool. Drain well. (I cooked my spaghetti exactly for 12 minutes.)
 
Marinade the spaghetti over night with the 16-ounces of Italian dressing.
 
The next day (or morning), add the remaining ingredients, plus the 2/3's cup of Italian dressing.
 
Chill the salad several hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Yields: 7 lbs. of spaghetti salad
 
Note: Another really tasty Italian Dressing you can use in place of the Kraft's Dressing... Fit & Active Fat Free Zesty Italian Dressing (which is sold at Aldi's).
 
 
........... An up close picture of the salad ...........

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Savory Scotch Meat Loaves

I love these scotch meat loaves with the ketchup glaze on top. You can make these meat loaves with either ground beef or with ground pork sausage. I especially enjoy them made with "seasoned" ground pork sausage, which already has salt, ground black pepper, minced garlic, and ground sage added to it.



Savory Scotch Meat Loaves

1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs (See *Note)
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 lb. ground beef, or ground pork (See *Note)
5 medium size hard boiled eggs, peeled (See *Note)

Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
3 Tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoon vinegar
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed, oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon dried, crushed, oregano leaves

In a mixing bowl, combine the beaten egg, bread crumbs, diced onion, diced green pepper, plus the salt and pepper.

Add the ground beef or ground pork; mix well.

Shape equal portions of the meat mixture around each hard boiled egg; completely enclosing the egg.

Arrange the meat loaves in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. (If I'm using 90% lean ground beef, I'll lightly grease the baking dish before adding the meat loaves.)

Bake in a 350º oven for 30 minutes.

While the meat loaves are baking in the oven, prepare the sauce.

In a bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients.

Once the meat loaves have baked for 30 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven, and discard any excess fat.

Pour the sauce over the meat loaves, and return the baking dish to the oven.

Continue baking the meat loaves in the oven for 15 minutes.

Once the meat loaves are done baking, remove from baking dish and serve immediately.

Yields: 5 servings

*Note: Sometimes when I'm mixing up the meat loaves, I'll substitute 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of plain dried bread crumbs for the soft bread crumbs.  I have also made the meat loaves using either 85% or 87% ground beef.  Also, if desired, you can opt to make 4 meat loaves, by just using 4 large size hard boiled eggs, and shaping a 1/4 of the meat mixture around each hard boiled egg.  Arrange the meat loaves in an 8 or 9-inch baking pan, and bake as stated in cooking instructions.  Also, I did want to mention, when it comes to preparing the medium hard boiled eggs, I let the eggs come to a boil in a saucepan of water, I then remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan, and let the eggs sit for 9 minutes.  Afterwards, I place the eggs in cold water (which I also added ice cubes to it), and let the eggs sit for 15 minutes.  I then remove the eggs, peel them, rinse them under cold water, and pat them dry with paper toweling before I proceed to make the meatloaves.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stuffed Pepper Soup

The first time I ever made a stuffed pepper soup, I happen to come across a recipe which was posted on a blog titled: Ruth's Yummy Stuff! And the soup was delicious! But... the 2nd time I made the soup, I tweaked the recipe a bit, and the cooking instructions as well. And once again, I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious soup!



Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1 cup chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. McCormick's Ground Sage
1/2 tsp. McCormick's Ground Thyme
1-1/2 tsp. Morton Season-All Seasoned Salt
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, cut-up
2 cups diced green bell peppers
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
1 cup water
1/2 cup long grain white rice

Spray the inside (bottom only) of a large pot with a cooking spray. (I use an olive oil cooking spray.)

Add the ground beef and onions to the pot.

Cook the ground beef and onions over medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until the meat is brown, and the onions are tender.

Now add in the minced garlic, but only cook the garlic for just 1 minute.

If there is any excess grease in the pot, then drain off the grease in a colander. (Since I used 90% lean ground beef, there really wasn't any excess grease in the pot, so I didn't have to drain it.)

Add the cooked beef/onion mixture back to the pot, than add in the ground pepper, ground sage, ground thyme, seasoned salt, chicken broth, tomato paste, the cut-up tomatoes, and the diced bell peppers. Stir well, so the tomato paste is incorporated into the soup.

Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. (Be sure to stir the soup a few times while it's simmering.)

While the soup is simmering, I start cooking the rice and water together.

In a small saucepan, add the 1-cup of water, and bring it to a boil.

Once the water comes to a boil, add in the rice, stir the rice, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Cover the saucepan, and simmer the rice for about 11 minutes, or until all the water has absorbed into the rice. (I stir the rice a few times while it's simmering, so the rice doesn't stick to the pan. Also... I did want to mention, the cooking instructions on the back of the bag of rice, states to cook it for 15 minutes, but I found I only needed to cook the rice for 11 minutes.) Once the rice has absorbed all the water, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Once the soup is done simmering, then add the cooked rice to the pot; stir, and finish heating the soup through before serving.

Yields: 6 servings

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Southwestern Meatloaf

This is my creation for a slightly spicy Southwestern Meatloaf, which was approved by my husband. I found that the taco seasoning gave this meatloaf lots of flavor.



Southwestern Meatloaf 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


1 lb. ground beef (l used 87% lean)
1/3 cup water
1 large egg, beaten
5 tablespoons (mild) taco seasoning mix
1 tablespoon plain bread crumbs (or use ground flaxseed)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
ketchup, use desired amount to top meatloaf

Lightly grease the inside (bottom only) of one 8x8-inch Teflon coated baking pan. Set pan aside.

Preheat oven to 375º F.

In a bowl mix together thoroughly, the ground beef, water, egg, taco seasoning, bread crumbs or flaxseed, and the cayenne pepper.

Add the meat mixture to the baking pan, and shape into a loaf (7-inches in length -by- 3-1/4 inches in width).

Top the meatloaf with ketchup, and bake in the oven for 1 hour. 

After removing the pan from the oven, let the meatloaf sit for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.

Yields: 4 servings

Note: When it comes to adding either the bread crumbs or flaxseed, be sure to just add the 1 tablespoon. Surprisingly, that's all the recipe needs to hold this meatloaf together.


Here's a photo of the meatloaf topped with ketchup, and before it's been baked in the oven.
 
 
Here's another photo of the meatloaf, and after it's been baked in the oven.


I thought I'd post another photo of the meatloaf, which I served with mashed potatoes and peas.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bourbon Chicken Wings

These are by far "the best" chicken wings I've ever had. I did however, substitute apple juice for the bourbon, and the wings tasted great!




Bourbon Chicken Wings

2 lbs. chicken wings (See *Note)
vegetable oil cooking spray (used to cook the wings)
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup less sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup bourbon (or apple juice)
2 tablespoons ketchup

In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, soy sauce, bourbon (or apple juice) and the ketchup.

Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray.

Place wings in the skillet, and pour the sauce evenly over the chicken.

Cover skillet, and cook the wings over medium heat for 16-18 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Be sure to turn the wings often, to prevent them from sticking to the skillet.

Serve wings on a plate or platter, and spoon any additional sauce from the skillet, over the chicken.

Servings: 2-3 (12 wings, or possibly 6 wings and 6 drumettes.)

*Note: When preparing this recipe, I used 6 wings and 6 drumettes (about 2 lbs.). Also, cooking time may vary when preparing the wings. The 1st time I prepared them, they were done cooking within 18 minutes. The 2nd time I prepared them, they were done cooking within 16 minutes.




Photo of wings being cooked in a non-stick skillet.

Watermelon and Seedless Cucumber Salad

This is such a nice refreshing summertime salad. It sort of has a sweet-sour taste to it. Who'd a thought watermelon, cucumbers and green onions, would go so well together in a salad!!



Watermelon and Seedless Cucumber Salad

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/16 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds, plus extra for garnish
2-3 green onions, cut into thin slices (See *Note)
1 seedless cucumber (3 cups) cut into chunks
4 cups seedless watermelon (cut into 1" to 1-1/4" chunks)
 
In a bowl that would hold 8-cups of liquid, fruit, and vegetables, add the slices of green onion, and the chunks of cucumbers and watermelon.
 
In another bowl mix together the sugar, cider vinegar, water, all the salt and pepper, plus the poppy seeds. Stir until the sugar looks like it has dissolved into the liquid.
 
Pour the liquid mixture (the brine), over the fruit and vegetables.
 
Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours, to chill and marinate the watermelon, cucumbers, and onion.
 
After 2 hours, remove the watermelon, cucumbers, and onion from the brine, and discard the brine.
 
Return the watermelon, cucumbers, and onion to the bowl, and serve the salad immediately. (If desired, sprinkle the salad with a bit more of the poppy seeds just before serving.)
 
*Note: In regards to the green onion: I first cut the onions to 3-1/4 inches in length, and then discarded the remaining green part of the onion. I then cut the onion into thin slices.

Chocolate Coconut Coffee

I love this coffee, it tastes like a Mounds Candy Bar!



Chocolate Coconut Coffee

3/4 cup water
1-1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
1-1/2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon Coffee-Mate Coconut Crème Coffee Creamer

Heat water and instant coffee together till hot, then add to a coffee cup. (I add the water and instant coffee to my coffee cup, then heat it in the microwave.)

Add the remaining ingredients to your cup; stir and serve.

Note: If desired, top your coffee with a dollop of Cool Whip, or top with some Reddi Wip, and enjoy!

Makes: 1 serving

Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves

Frozen sweetened strawberries, fresh rhubarb, canned crushed pineapple, strawberry gelatin and wild strawberry gelatin, make up this wonderful tasting jam.


Strawberry Rhubarb Preserves

5 cups finely chopped rhubarb
4 cups granulated sugar
16 oz. frozen sweetened strawberries, in liquid (thawed)
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 (3 oz.) box Strawberry Jell-O Gelatin
1 (3 oz.) box Wild Strawberry Jell-O Gelatin

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture and the strawberries, in a large kettle.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat just a bit, and gently boil for 15 minutes (stirring constantly).

Add the crushed pineapple, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Turn off the stove, add the boxes of dry gelatin powder, and mix well.

Transfer the jam to the sterilized glass jars, and cover the jars with the lids.

Cool the jam to room temperature, before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 7-1/2 cups of preserves

Note: If using store bought frozen sweetened strawberries, you may want to decrease the amount of sugar to 3-1/2 cups. I however, used strawberries which I prepared myself and had froze them. They're not as sweet as the store bought, so the 4 cups of sugar I added, was the right amount to add to this recipe.

Rhubarb Cherry Jam

Rhubarb, sugar, cherry gelatin, and canned cherry pie filling; make up this wonderful tasting jam.


Rhubarb Cherry Jam

6 cups sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 oz.) box cherry gelatin
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil, then lower the heat just a bit, and cook for 12 minutes (stirring constantly).

Remove kettle from heat, and add the gelatin powder, and keep stirring for 1 minute.

Add the can of pie filling, and stir thoroughly until mixed through.

Return the kettle to the stove. Start to cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove the kettle from the heat, and carefully ladle the jam into the sterilized glass jars.

Cover the jars with the lids, then cool the jam to room temperature, before storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 4 pints

Rhubarb Raspberry Jam

Rhubarb, sugar, raspberry gelatin, and canned raspberry pie filling; make up this wonderful tasting jam.


Rhubarb Raspberry Jam

6 cups sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 oz.) box raspberry gelatin
1 (21 oz.) can raspberry pie filling

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to boil, then lower the heat just a bit, and cook for 12 minutes (stirring constantly).

Remove the kettle from the heat, and add the gelatin powder, and keep stirring for 1 minute.

Add the can of pie filling, and stir thoroughly until mixed through.

Return the kettle to the stove. Start to cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove the kettle from the heat, and carefully ladle the jam into the sterilized glass jars.

Cover the jars with the lids, then cool the jam to room temperature, before storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 4 pints

Rhubarb Jam With Fruit

I got this recipe from a friend about 30 years ago, and after the friend had also given me an abundance of rhubarb from her garden. This is a very easy jam to make. I love the added crushed pineapple, and maraschino cherries in this jam.



Rhubarb Jam With Fruit

6 cups finely chopped rhubarb
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries (l just cut the cherries in half)
1 (6 oz.) box strawberry gelatin

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Lower the heat just a bit, and gently boil for 15 minutes (stirring constantly).

Add the undrained crushed pineapple, the chopped maraschino cherries, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Turn off the stove, then add the dry gelatin powder to the kettle; mix well.

Transfer the jam to the sterilized glass jars, and cover with the lids.

Cool the jam to room temperature, before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 8 (half pints)

Sugar Free Rhubarb Cherry Jam

Last year was my first attempt at making a sugar free rhubarb jam. The jam had a nice spreading consistency, plus it wasn't overly sweet, and it had a nice cherry fragrant to it. While I thought the jam was slightly tart (in taste), my husband on the other hand, did not! In all we both agreed, the jam tasted pretty good, and I am pleased as to how it turned out!

 
Sugar Free Rhubarb Cherry Jam

6 cups sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups Splenda Granulated Sugar
1-large pkg. (0.60 oz.) Sugar Free Cherry Jell-O Gelatin
1 (20 oz.) can no sugar added cherry pie filling
Note: when making this jam, the pie filling l used was... Walmart's Great Value brand, sweetened with Splenda.

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and Splenda Granulated Sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil, then lower the heat just a bit, and cook for about 8 minutes (stirring constantly).

Remove kettle from heat, and add the sugar free gelatin powder, and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes, until you see the gelatin powder has dissolved completely into the rhubarb mixture.

Add the can of pie filling, and stir thoroughly until mixed through.

Return the kettle to the stove. Start to cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove the kettle from the heat, and carefully ladle the jam into the sterilized glass jars.

Cover the jars with the lids, then cool the jam to room temperature, before storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 6 (half pints)

Rhubarb Blackberry Jam

Rhubarb, sugar, raspberry gelatin, and canned Wilderness Blackberry Pie Filling; make up this wonderful tasting jam.



Rhubarb Blackberry Jam

6 cups sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 oz.) box raspberry gelatin
1 (21 oz.) can Wilderness Blackberry Pie Filling

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to boil, then lower the heat just a bit, and cook for 12 minutes (stirring constantly).

Remove the kettle from the heat, and add the gelatin powder, and keep stirring for 1 minute.

Add the can of pie filling, and stir thoroughly until mixed through.

Return the kettle to the stove. Start to cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove the kettle from the heat, and carefully ladle the jam into the sterilized glass jars.

Cover the jars with the lids, then cool the jam to room temperature, before storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 4 pints

Tropical Fusion Rhubarb Jam



Tropical Fusion Rhubarb Jam

6 cups finely chopped rhubarb
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
2 (3 oz.) boxes Tropical Fusion Jell-O Gelatin

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat just a bit, and gently boil for 15 minutes (stirring constantly).

Add the (undrained) crushed pineapple, and the chopped maraschino cherries; cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Turn off the stove, and add the dry gelatin powder; mix well.

Transfer the jam to the sterilized glass jars; and cover the jars with the lids.

Cool the jam to room temperature, before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 7 (half pint jars)

Note: Cooking this jam is between 25-30 minutes.

Razzy Rhubarb Blueberry Jam

This is one of my families favorite jams. It's an easy jam to make, and I like that I can just cook it, cool it, and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

 Razzy Rhubarb Blueberry Jam
 
6 cups diced fresh rhubarb
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries (one 12 oz. pkg.)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 (3 oz.) box raspberry flavored gelatin
(1.5 oz.) lemon flavored gelatin (1/2 of one 3 oz. box)

In a stock-pot, combine the rhubarb, frozen blueberries, and sugar.

Cook over medium-heat; stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.

Once the sugar dissolves, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes; stirring every few minutes.

Now add the 3 ounces of raspberry gelatin, and only half of the boxed lemon flavored gelatin, and stir well.

Ladle the jam into sterilized glass jars; only filling within a 1/2-inch to a 3/4-inch to the rim of each jar.

Cover the jars with the lids, and seal each jar tightly. (Just be careful when sealing each jar, as the jam in the jars is 'hot'.)

Place the jars on a dish towel on your kitchen counter, and allow the jam to cool to room temperature, before storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. (This does keep well stored in the freezer.)

Yields: 5 (half pint) jars

Rhubarb Strawberry Jam

Rhubarb, sugar, strawberry gelatin, and canned strawberry pie filling; make up this wonderful tasting jam.

 
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
 
6 cups sliced rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups granulated sugar
1 (6 oz.) box strawberry gelatin
1 (21 oz.) can strawberry pie filling

In a large bowl, add the rhubarb and sugar; stir to coat evenly.

Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, place the rhubarb mixture in a large kettle.

Cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to boil, then lower the heat just a bit, and cook for 12 minutes (stirring constantly).

Remove the kettle from the heat, and add the gelatin powder, and keep stirring for 1 minute.

Add the can of pie filling, and stir thoroughly until mixed through.

Return the kettle to the stove. Start to cook over medium heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.

Remove the kettle from the heat, and carefully ladle the jam into the sterilized glass jars.

Cover the jars with the lids, then cool the jam to room temperature, before storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.

Yields: 4 pints

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rhubarb Pineapple Pie

I love rhubarb, and this is one pie I enjoy making every Summer!
Serve as is, or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. (Before
 making the pie, be sure to read the "Note" following the instructions.)



Rhubarb Pineapple Pie

1 (15 oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie crusts
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3-1/4 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
1 (15.25 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained well

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar 

Remove both pie crusts from the package. Leave pie crusts in plastic wrap, and let sit on your kitchen counter for 15-20 minutes before using.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour and the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar.

Add the rhubarb and crushed pineapple; stir until the rhubarb and pineapple is thoroughly mixed into the flour/sugar mixture.  Set bowl aside. 


Remove one of the pie crusts from the plastic wrap. Unroll the pie crust, and place it on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle the teaspoon of flour over the crust. Using your hand, lightly spread the flour over the entire crust. Place the pie crust, floured side down, inside a 9-inch pie pan.

Pour the rhubarb and pineapple mixture into the pie crust.

Remove the other pie crust from the plastic wrap. Unroll, then place over the pie filling.  (I rolled out the pie crust on to the sheet of wax paper. I then took a mini cookie cutter, a star shaped cookie cutter, then cut-out and removed some of the dough near the center of the pie crust.)

Trim crust (if need be), seal and flute the edges.

Cut slits in the top of the pastry crust.

Sprinkle the top of crust with the 1-1/2 teaspoons of sugar.

(Before I bake the pie in the oven, I place (and bake) the pie pan on a 14-inch pizza tin, then place a pie shield on top the pie. I keep the pie shield on the entire time the pie is baking. This helps to prevent the edges of the crust from becoming too brown, or perhaps burnt.)

Bake the pie in a preheated 350° oven for about 55 minutes, or until the pie crust is brown on top, and the fruit juices begin to bubble out of the slits in the pie crust.

Makes: One (9-inch) pie.


Note: I wanted to let others know... that I have also made this pie using 2 (8 ounce) cans of crushed pineapple (drained well), and in place of the 15.25 ounce can, plus I also stirred 4 level tablespoons of ground flaxseed into the flour/sugar mixture before adding the rhubarb and pineapple. The pie tasted great, and I think the flaxseed helped to thicken the filling within the pie. Also, after the pie is made and cooled, I don't refrigerate it or any of the leftovers. I leave the pie set at room temperature, and cover it with paper towels. It keeps well on my kitchen counter for up to 2 days.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sweet Pea-Bowtie Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad, and this one's definitely a winner in our family. This recipe also makes a lot, so it's great to serve at family functions, outings, picnics, etc...



Sweet Pea-Bowtie Pasta Salad

Salad:
2-1/2 lbs. uncooked bow tie pasta
8 oz.  shredded carrots (See *Note)
8 oz. frozen peas, thawed
1 celery rib, diced
4 tsp. diced red onions

Dressing:
2 cups sweetened condensed milk
2-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. (I add a bit of vegetable oil to the water before it comes to a boil, so the pasta doesn't stick together.)

Rinse pasta under cold water, and drain pasta well.

In a large bowl mix together, the sweetened condensed milk, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, buttermilk, salt and pepper.
 
Place in refrigerator til ready to mix salad ingredients together.
 
When ready to assemble salad together, in a medium sized bowl, add some of the pasta, some of the carrots, a teaspoon or so of the diced red onion, a third of the diced celery, and some of the dressing; mix together gently with a spatula.
 
Add salad mixture to a "very" large size bowl, (I used my largest Tupperware bowl; total capacity: 32 cups) cuz this recipe does make an enormous amount of salad.
 
Toss a few peas, over the salad.
 
Repeat mixing the pasta, carrots, onion and celery together, (in small amounts) in the medium sized bowl along with the dressing, then place ontop of the salad in the "very" large size bowl, along with some of the peas.
 
Keep layering til all the ingredients are used up; ending with peas ontop of the salad.
 
Cover the bowl, and chill the salad for several hours in the refrigerator, or overnight.
 
Before serving, be sure to stir the salad.
 
This salad keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.

Yields: 25 - 30 servings.

*Note: For this recipe, I substituted matchstix (French-Cut Cooking Carrots) for the shredded carrots.  You can find these in your produce section. It came in a (10 oz.) bag, but I only use 3/4's of the bag, about (8 oz).

Monday, March 2, 2015

8 Can Taco Soup

This is a quick 'n easy soup to put together. My husband and
I especially enjoyed this soup the next day, as the seasonings
seem to meld together in the soup a bit more. We also enjoyed
the soup along with grilled cheese sandwiches.



8 Can Taco Soup

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 cup diced onion
2 (1-oz.) pkts. Old El Paso 25% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix
1 (1-oz.) pkt. Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
2 cans of beef broth (14.5 oz.) each
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
1 (10 oz.) can (mild) diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 (16 oz.) can Bush's Light Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
1 (16 oz.) can Bush's Pinto Beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15.25 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

In a large kettle or Dutch oven, add the ground beef and onion.

 
Cook the ground beef till it browns, and the onion is tender.
Drain off any excess grease.

Add the cooked beef back to kettle, then sprinkle the packets

of taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing mix, over the meat.
Stir well to incorporate the seasonings into the meat.

Add remaining ingredients into the kettle; stir, and simmer the

soup (uncovered) for about an hour.

Stir the soup occasionally while it's simmering.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Yields: One large kettle of soup (or about 12 cups)



---------------- Up close picture of the soup. ----------------

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Holly Berry Cookies

I enjoy making these delectable treats for Christmas, along with the help of my husband. After I prepare the cookies and place them on a baking sheet, my husband then tops each with the Red Hots Cinnamon Candies. We love these no-bake cookie treats, they are colorful, festive, and delicious!


Holly Berry Cookies

1/2 cup butter
30 large marshmallows
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon green food coloring
4 cups corn flakes cereal
Red Hots Cinnamon Candies, to garnish cookies

Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper; then set baking sheets aside.

In a large kettle or Dutch oven, add the butter. (I used a 5-quart Teflon coated Dutch oven.)

Melt the butter over low heat, then add the marshmallows; stirring constantly until the marshmallows have melted completely.

Remove kettle from heat, and add the vanilla extract and food coloring; stirring until the food coloring has blended well into the melted marshmallow mixture.

Remove kettle from heat, and add the vanilla extract and food coloring; stirring until the food coloring has blended well into the melted marshmallow mixture.

Drop mixture, one heaping tablespoon at a time onto the wax paper; spacing them at least 1-inch apart, then decorate each with 2-3 red hots cinnamon candies (quickly before they set).

Allow cookies to set on the wax paper for a few hours, so they will harden.

To store cookies, place them in an air tight container with a lid.

Yields: About 2 dozen cookies

Note: When I display the cookies on a platter, I keep them intact on the wax paper. If giving cookies to others, I cut closely around the wax paper and cookies with a scissors. And when ready to eat the cookies, just peel off the wax paper.



In this photo, I displayed the Holly Berry Cookies
and the Snickerdoodle Blossoms on a cookie platter.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pink Peppermint Meltaways

I love these cookies! They are a pretty pink cookie; especially on
the inside, and since they are peppermint-y, they remind me of Christmas. I like how they look displayed in the center of the
cookie platter.




Pink Peppermint Meltaways

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
15 drops red food coloring
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, for coating the cookies

In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch, then set the bowl aside.

In a large bowl cream together until light and fluffy, the butter and the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

Mix in the peppermint extract.

Gradually add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, and mix well.

Thoroughly mix the food coloring into the cookie dough.

At this point, I refrigerate the cookie dough (in a bowl covered with aluminum foil), so the dough firms up enough to shape into dough balls. This may take anywhere from 1-2 hours. (I let mine set overnight in the refrigerator, and bake mine the next day when I have the time.) I then let the dough sit on the counter (in the bowl covered with foil) for about an hour, before making the cookies.

When ready to bake the cookies, heat your oven to 350º F. And in a shallow bowl, add the 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar. Set the bowl aside (Use more powdered sugar if need be.)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. (I used a small cookie scoop which is equivalent to 1 tablespoon to make each cookie, then shape the cookie dough into 1" balls.)

Place the dough balls 2-inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheets.

Place baking sheets in the oven, and bake for about 13 minutes (until the bottoms of cookies are lightly brown) then remove from oven, and let cookies set 2 minutes on baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack.

Gently roll the warm cookies in the powdered sugar, then place the powdered coated cookies back on the wire racks.

Once the cookies have cooled slightly, gently roll them again in the powdered sugar, and place them back on the wire racks to finish cooling.

Makes approximately: 3 dozen cookies.

Note: I had noticed after baking 2 sheets of cookies, the cookie dough was becoming soft, so I place the remaining cookie dough back in the refrigerator, so it could firm up a bit, then finished baking the cookies. Also, once these cookies had cooled, I then place them in a container (such as Tupperware or Rubbermaid) and in the freezer, as these cookies do keep well if stored in the freezer. I then only take out a few cookies at a time when I want to serve them.



I added another photo of the Pink Peppermint Meltaways,
which are surrounded by Snickerdoodle Blossoms,
plus (Red & Green Sugar Coated) Gingersnap Cookies.