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Sunday, March 2, 2014

I do still exist

You know the saying, Life gets in the way and it certainly has and did.

Hope to get back here with more posts.

Starting today with a nice chocolate treat that's easy, and anyone can make it.  My mother-in-law can't cook and she'll readily admit it ... but she made these and did a fantastic job.

So enjoy ...

CROCKPOT CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS

CHOCOLATE NUT CLUSTERS

INGREDIENTS
36 OZ DRY ROASTED PEANUTS (I USED 34 OZ, THE LARGE CONTAINER...HUGE)
4 OZ GERMAN'S SWEET BAKER'S CHOCOLATE
12 OZ PKG SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS
2 1/2 LBS WHITE ALMOND BARK

LAYER INGREDIENTS IN ORDER LISTED IN CROCK POT (PEANUTS ON BOTTOM, THEN BAKER'S CHOCOLATE, THEN CHIPS THEN ALMOND BARK)

DO NOT STIR!!!!

SET ON LOW FOR 3 HOURS

AFTER 3 HOURS, STIR THOROUGHLY WITH WOODEN SPOON.

DROP BY TEASPOON OR TABLESPOON IN MINI OR REGULAR CUPCAKE LINERS (SET ON A BAKING SHEET) OR YOU CAN JUST DROP ON WAX OR PARCHMENT PAPER. 

LET COOL COMPLETELY!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Pressure Canning ... I DID IT!

Don't know why, but I feared it more than I needed to.  Guess I was afraid I'd screw it up, but everything turned out wonderfully.  

However, true to what I've read you do need to stay nearby to keep an eye on the pressure and keep it at whatever pressure you need for wherever you leave.  I am high altitude so it was 13 psi ... so what did I do while I had to keep doing that, as I was not going to stand in the kitchen for 90 plus minutes and stare at it ... I cleaned all the rooms around the kitchen.  Sparkle and shine baby!!!!

I found a nice London Broil and bought that, some fresh white mushrooms, a package of Polish Sausages and a Beef Roast.  I didn't do the beef roast yet.  

I did chunk up the London broil and fill my jars and one I did with mushrooms.  Also did 2 jars of mushrooms, although after they were done and shrunk up, kinda funny looking jar.  And I sliced the sausages in half and canned those in a wide mouth jar.  

90 plus minutes later, here they are.  No broken jars, no destroyed kitchen and they have all pinged.  

 Mushrooms (far left) followed by London Broil with Mushrooms and then London Broil and Polish Sausages on far right.
 Mushrooms ... they shrink ... have to figure out how to cram more in the jar.
 London Broil Chunks, these are going to be good with brown gravy and noodles.
Polish Sausages ... Yum ... 

Yes the jars look "ughy" but ... tomorrow ... 24 hours later, I can wash them before storing them.


Can't wait for my next adventure.  

Have a good weekend.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

Yes, I know it's been awhile again, haven't been spending nearly enough time in the kitchen.  The heatwave sure doesn't help with wanting to cook either.

Ordered a 23 qt. Presto Pressure Canner that will arrive tomorrow, am so looking forward to canning quality food that I know what the ingredients are.  Being diabetic, overweight and trying to thin down, get healthy and tone up, it's a positive to keep track of these things.

Hubs had a big sweet tooth (when doesn't he) and wanted some soft chocolate chip m&m cookies.  So I searched high and low and found this recipe on All Recipes.  It turned out well, except, once I had everything mixed and was getting ready to scoop out the batter, well um, I looked and saw my bowl of flour and dry ingredients OOPS did I really forget that?  Yes I did.  Luckily I got it mixed in (Thank you Kitchen Aid) and they turned out great.

Soft Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3/4 oz) pkgs Instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla
4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I used about 3)
1 pkg regular m&m's

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside (And do not forget it)

In large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar.  Beat in dry instant pudding mix until blended.  Add in eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Stir in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips, m&m's and nuts if desired.  

Drop cookies by rounded spoonful on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes, edged should be golden brown.  Don't overcook, as they will continue cooking after out of oven.  I found 12 minutes to be perfect for my oven.  



 This little bowl is raw dough for hubs as well, I know, I know, I've tried telling him but ... he has a cast iron stomach and never gets to him ... men!!!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Really folks, does it feel like the summer from hell already?  I don't know about you all but here in Denver we've been baking for weeks now, which of course hasn't helped our fires at all.  My heart goes out to all those affected by these fires and hope they are all contained soon.


Last week, unfortunately was a busy family week due to a death in my husband's family.  His Uncle unexpectedly passed away on June 18.  We laid him to rest at Ft. Logan, he was a Vietnam Vet, Purple Heart recipient on June 29.  I have to say it was the first military honors funeral I've ever been to, and man does it get you right to the core of your heart.


Last week I experimented with a Low Carb Key Lime Cheesecake which turned out pretty darned well.  Hubs thinks that it needed more key lime so will tweak it next time I make it.


Today I am making a non low carb cheesecake.  Cherry Fudge Brownie Cheesecake courtesy of Food Snots.  Smells delicious.




Cherry Fudge Brownie Cheesecake

     1 box (about 1 lb 3 oz) fudge brownie mix
     3/4 cup all-purpose flour
     1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
     2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
     1 1/2 cups heavy cream
     1/4 cup chocolate syrup
     2 tablespoons water
     1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling

Stir together 3/4 cup of the dry brownie mix, flour and melted butter. Press mix into bottom of an ungreased 9" springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl frequently, until smooth. Add remaining brownie mix and heavy cream. Beat on medium speed until just combined. Add chocolate syrup and water. Beat on low until mostly incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl, and then beat on medium speed until smooth (about 1 minute). Spread over crust in pan.

Place spring form pan over a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Let cheesecake cool for 20 minutes. Then run a sharp knife or metal icing spatula between the side of the cheesecake and the pan. This step is to loosen the cheesecake away from the pan and to preventing cracking. Top with pie filling, cover, and refrigerate overnight (or for about 6-8 hours until chilled threw out). Before un-molding, run a knife or spatula along sides of cheesecake again. Refrigerate any leftovers.








We are also going to our friends house on 4th of July, she is making Brats, I am making a side salad and decided to try something a bit different than the usual mac or potato salad.  
This is low cal, low fat, low carb and just looks and smells delicious.

Connie's Cool Vegetable Salad
1 head cauliflower, cut in florets and cooked until semi soft
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed, cut and blanched
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 pepper of your color choice, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 box grape tomatoes, halved
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 large jar of Kalamata olive pieces, drained
1 large bottle of Italian Dressing (your favorite)

Cook the cauliflower in salted water until soft, drain and let cool.  Blanche the green beans in the water the cauliflower is cooked in for a minute and then put in ice cold water immediately to stop cooking.  Let cool.
Mix remaining ingredients and let meld overnight for the flavors to blend. 
I took the bottle of Italian dressing and mixed with some fresh basil and a little dill and a splash of olive oil, onion powder and pepper.





Also found this terrific Hamburger Mix in ... made by Marcum ... Terriyaki flavored, my hubs and I love it.  I make my burgers bunless but I slather on cream cheese and my cowboy candy (yes it has a tiny amt of sugar but I drain them well) they are sooo good.  Going to add red onion on mine as well tonight.  





Also on the menu, fresh green beans cooked in bacon with onions.  

Was put on call today and am hoping this late in the day I won't be called in.  Hate losing the $$ but like playing housewife.  

Hope everyone is having a great day ... work or fun ... live every moment, love every day because before you know it your precious time slips away!  

Peace!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Return of the long lost blogger

Holy Cannoli it's been a while.  Life gets in the way but my passion for cooking, baking and canning hasn't left.  


In the past month I was lucky enough to purchase a beautiful Boysenberry Kitchen Aid and I LOVE IT ... have been having a great time with it. 




I've enjoyed playing with it, experimenting and let me tell you just a few minutes ago as I was whipping up a Bundt Cake for work (that needed to mix for 5 minutes) I was grateful to turn it on and go on to something else.  



1-2-3 BUNDT CAKE 
1 c. shortening, use at least 1/2 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
4 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Grated rind of 1 lemon

Grease and flour a 10" tube pan or bundt pan. Set oven at 350 degrees.Cut butter and shortening into dry ingredients. Add eggs, all at once, mixing only until well blended. Add 1/2 of milk. Beat on medium speed of mixer for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping sides of bowl often. Add rest of milk, vanilla, lemon juice and rind. Mix only until blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until done. Cake is done when it pulls from sides of pan. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes and then turn pan over. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

















I am thinking that I will pour a can of pie cherries in the middle and glaze with a confectioners sugar glaze. 


We have had a busy few months with trips to San Diego, CA, Banning, CA, Springfield, IL, Pawnee, IL, Linn, MO ... my 30th reunion in Illinois and then visiting the grandbabies and our daughter and son in law in Missouri.  Travel is done until October, when we return to Missouri for the grandbabies birthdays (4 and 1).  






So today in the kitchen, as hubs and I are doing low carb way of eating ... which I must tell you has saved my life.  Diagnosed as Type II Diabetic last year, I got my Hemoglobin A1C down from 8.8 to 5.8, WHOO HOO.


Anyhoodles, today we are grilling some non sugar rubbed ribs for dinner ... and I whipped up some low carb cole slaw and also a faux potato salad made with cauliflower, fried bacon, tomatoes, celery, sugar free zucchini relish, celery seed, green onions and mayonnaise and a bit of Dijon.  









Made some lunches for the week, browned ground beef with garlic and onions, added 2 pkgs of broccoli slaw, some garlic powder, pepper, sesame oil and salt ... yum.  Cooked it down and will keep me busy all week with yummy lunches and also satisfies my love of chinese food.






So that's my cooking today ... and I work the next few days, so will post what I can this week.


Make it a wonderful day / week!



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy 1st Day of Spring

At long last, my favorite season has arrived ... SPRING!  


So many things run thru my mind ... getting ready to go buy seeds to start growing for my garden, planning my canning ideas for the spring / summer.  Planning my trips ... I just feel so much more alive during the spring / summer / fall.  Not a huge fan of summer heat, but with it comes fresh produce from my garden and canning yummy stuff.  So I will survive. 


Looking forward to buying a pressure canner this year and really get going on canning other things besides what I can do in the water bath.


Hubs is going to enter the Tomato Basil Jam in the county fair this year.  Since he "stole" my recipe guess I'll find something else to enter.


Doing a little spring cleaning, laundry and catching up on the Chew today.  Might make some Cowboy Candy today and making chicken fried steak, mashed taters, gravy and cheesy bacon squash for dinner tonight.


Make it a great day, open those windows and let spring in.


Happy Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just call me a slacker

How did the  months pass without any postings ... I feel like such a slacker.

It's been a busy fall / winter as I'm sure it was for most of my readers.  With all the holidays, and my oldest daughter and her husband, brother in law and 2 dogs moved in, a new granddaughter was born and of course working.  Time flies.

Although I am posting no recipes today, I will not slack any longer.

So saying hi and will be regularly posting from here on in.

HAPPY SPRING!