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Monday, December 19, 2011

Lemonade Pie!

I know this sounds like a summertime treat - and it surely can be - it is however, tasty, any time of the year and it is super simple to make!  It's a great pie for today because I am in a hurry.  I am getting ready to go to Mexico in a few days so I went tanning and have been packing and very soon I need to go to work.  Please refer to an earlier blog posting of mine for my simple, flaky pie crust recipe.  Here is the Filling recipe for today:

Lemondade Pie
1 6 oz. can lemonade concetrate, frozen
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip

Stir these 3 things together until well mixed.  Pour into a cooled, baked pie shell.

Craving - WAFFLES :)

I have a part-time job at Herberger's working evenings and weekends.  So as not to interrupt my stay-at-home day job.  Anywhoo - we have been selling lots of waffle irons lately and as I worked all weekend long it got me really craving waffles.  So this morning, I got up and did something about it - I made them!  I also need to whip up a lemondade pie later today.   Hopefully, I will have a chance to post that too.  But for now, here is the waffle recipe:

Never-Fail Waffles
2 eggs
1 c. milk ( I used skim)
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. canola oil
dash of vanilla

Preheat your waffle iron.  Mix your ingredients together (if you are in a hurry to eat, like I was).  And cook according to your iron.   IF, you have time and are more patient than I was this morning, you can seperate your eggs, and whip your egg whites and fold them in at the end before you cook the batter!

Friday, December 16, 2011

PB Pretzel Bites :)

I found this recipe on "Blog is the New Black", I thought, well, I love Peanut butter, I love pretzels, so hello this looks like a winner.  It is a quick recipe to whip up and most of you probably have the ingredients in your cupboards now!  This makes a fairly small batch so if you want more for holiday entertaining or for sharing, you may want to double or even triple this one.  IAs you can see from the supporting pic, I have taste tested and they are YUM!  So, without further ado:

PB Pretzel Bites:
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/4 c. + 1 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. butter, softened
1 c. pretzels, crushed
5 oz. chocolate (the recipe called for milk chocolate) I used white chocolate this time!

Stir together all the ingredients.  Scoop into little balls, or roll them, Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.  Melt chocolate and dip them in.  Let set!

Oreo Truffles :)

These are my sons favorite holiday time treat.  I made them 2 years ago and they quickly turned into his favorite.  I know that lots of other food bloggers out there have made them too and posted the recipe.  Here is the one I use.  Cold out today, here in Minnesota, even though we still have only had flurries.  Its supposed to warm up for the weekend, which will be nice.  I am not complaining, one bit!

 1 pkg. Oreo cookies ( I only use Oreo, they are the best tasting!)
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. Almond bark coating

In a large mixing bowl combine the cookies (crushed) and the cream cheese.  Beat with a mixer until well blended.  Scoop into balls with a cookie scoop (use the size you want).   Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm.  Dip into melted almond bark.  Let set.  These keep great in the freezer!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Also, made Cocoa Gingerbread Cutouts!

I said I have been busy in the kitchen.  I also whipped up a batch of these.  Tomorrow, both my husband and I are planning to bring trays of cookies/goodies (that I have whipped up) to our work places.  So I wanted to get a few more things done to add some variety, and I have to work tonight so had to get it done today.  This recipe was given to me last year by my oldest daughter, Jessica, she found it online at, we both fell in love with them.  I had forgotten I had the recipe and then today I was going through my binder of recipes I have clipped from magazines or printed off the internet and I came across it, I am so glad I did, because I do love these!  (p.S. I doubled the recipe found on the website to the following)

Cocoa Gingerbread Cutouts
1/2 c. butter, softened
4 tbsp. Crisco shortening
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

I preheated the oven to 350 (instead of 400). 
Cream together your butter, shortening, brown sugar and molasses.  Add in eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Add in your dry ingredients and mix well.  Regrigerate to chill dough until firm.  Roll out into 1/4" thickness on a floured surface.  Cut out with cookie cutters.  I then sprinkle with colored sugars! Bake 8-10 minutes until firm.

Give them a try - you won't be disappointed!

Almond Roca :)

I have been busy in the kitchen today.  First of all, I have cheesy potato soup in the crock pot.  (If you are interested in that recipe, look back in my blog history for it!).  Then I made a batch of Almond Roca, I got the recipe from "Recipe Girl", you can find her blog on Facebook.  This is chilling in the fridge as we speak, so I took a pic of it still in the pan  :)  Only four ingredients, so get cracking!

1 1/2 c. chopped toasted almonds, divided
1 c. light brown sugar (packed)
1 c. butter
4 Hershey bars

Butter a 9 x 6 baking pan.  Sprinkle 1 c. of the almonds on the bottom of the pan.  In a saucepan, combine your brown sugar and butter.  Bring this to a gentle boil and boil for 12 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and pour over the almonds into the pan.  Unwrap your hershey bars and place on top of the hot mixture.  Let melt and then spread carefully.  Sprinkle the remaining almonds on top.  Let cool.  Either on the counter, in the fridge or in the freezer.  Cut into the pan with a sharp knife and break into pieces.  YUM!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spritz cookies :)

Last night my daughter Heather and I made Spritz cookies, she loves to "sprinkle" them and I do the rest - ha.  We also dipped pretzel rods and made the haystacks I have already posted the recipe for.  Then when we were done we left the dishes to be done today and turned on the Christmas lights and she watched, "Love Actually" with me, I love that movie!  It was a fun night  :)

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix all together and get out your spritz gun!  If you wish, you can add some food coloring to part or all of your dough  :)
Enjoy - they are tasty!

Friday, December 9, 2011


These happen to be my husband's favorite Christmas time treat, they are so simple to make I should make them for often for him, but I always wait until Christmas.  I am in a mode here so hoping to get more done tonight so I am going to keep this short.  Two things:  1.  No snow yet where I live, which makes me HAPPY. and 2.  In 13 days I will be in Mexico for Christmas  :)  Happy baking and treat making to you!

1 12 oz. bag Nestle Butterscotch chips
1 12 oz. bag Nestle Milk Chocolate chips (you can use semi-sweet if you wish!)
1 12 oz. package of Chow mein noodles

Melt your chips together.  Stir in the noodles and drop onto wax paper to let set!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crock Pot Candy - my altered version...

I have often seen a recipe and pictures of "Crock Pot" candy.  I clicked on it today, out of curiosity and decided it sounded good and easy to try.  Of course, I can't ever seem to make a recipe exactly according to the recipe so here is what I did - they did turn out tasty but certainly the chocolate is not as dark as it could be (or is in the recipe I altered).

Crock Pot Treats
2 1/2 c. peanuts, almonds and cashews
4 oz. peanut butter chips
4 oz. chocolate chips
4 oz. white chocolate chips
1 8 oz. german chocolate baking bar
1 1/2 pkg. white almond bark candy coating

Layer all of these, in this order, in your crockpot.  Put the lid on, turn on low.  3 hours later.  Turn off heat, stir and scoop into paper cups or onto waxed paper.  Let harden.  Eat!

Question now - is what to try next?  Any suggestions out there?  I am pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new treats/cookies, etc.
I do need to get some choc. chip cookies whipped up as I have promised some people some of those for tomorrow :)
Then next on my list - my gingerbread cookies  :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's a Blueberry Muffin Morning!

Well, fellow Minnesota peeps, today is the last day of November, and dare I say there is NO snow on the ground.  In my 40 (something) years of existance I cannot remember another time where this has happened.  All I can say is WAHOO.  No one had difficulties with travel for the recent Thanksgiving day holiday which almost is never a smooth travel holiday here in this state.  Today there are clouds in the sky so I dare say we may likely not see the sun, which is a bummer of course.  This morning I already have fresh sheets on the beds and fresh blueberry muffins in the oven.  I have received my first Christmas card in the mail.  Oh for those uber-organized amongst us.  I USED to be one of the first to pop my cards in the mail.  As we speak, my cards are on their way to me via the U.S. Mail and I have started the draft of the annual Christmas Greetings letter.  So I guess, I am not doing too badly.  Cheers to a great day and whip up some of these muffins for your family - they are YUMMY and super simple! 

Blueberry Muffins
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix all ingredients together.  Stir in blueberries.  Spoon batter into either paper-lined or PAM sprayed muffin tin.  Bake @ 350 for about 25 minutes or until lightly, golden brown.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Busy prepping today!

Ok, yesterday I did all the shopping, it took me to three different stores!  Chaotic for sure but glad I did not wait until today.  This morning I had a DONUT and grapefruit for breakfast - ha, breakfast of champions for sure.  I did then trudge down the hall to the exercise room and worked out for 45 minutes.  I have swept everything and vacuumed every vacuumable surface.  Then I set out to get the cranberry sauce ready.  That is in its bowl and secure in the refrigerator.  I then got this side dish ready to just pop in the oven for 30 minutes tomorrow.  I found the recipe in a November issue of a magazine and adapted it to suit what I wanted to accomplish in a sweet potato side dish.  Once my mom gets here later this afternoon we are tackling the PIES (my favorite part!).  OH and BTW the turkey is safely thawing in the refrigerator.  Enjoy everyone and have a great day tomorrow! 

Carrot Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes (or yams)
1/2 bag of pre-peeled baby carrots
1 c. orange juice
Peel your sweet potatoes and place in a large pan with your carrots.  Pour the juice over them and then proceed to add enough water to cover and set on the stove.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until your carrots and sweet potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat.  Drain most of the water off.
Add 3 tbsp. brown sugar
a dash of nutmeg
and beat with your mixed until smooth and pureed.  Place in a baking dish.  Top with marshmellows.  Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes until golden and toasty marshmellows appear! 

(I have them ready to go as shown in the pic, so that tomorrow, I just place in the oven and bake!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't want to make pie crust? Make A Crisp!

If you are one of those who is afraid to make a homemade pie crust, or if you don't have the time, how about a warm, bubbly, apple crisp?  My family loves this.  It is so good, warm and fresh from the oven with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream plopped on top.  I thought about what should be on my Thanksgiving menu today - but haven't made any firm decisions.  I am toying with doing a few turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey.  I did also decide on a sweet potato recipe that has carrots and a bit of orange juice in it as well.  Super cold here in Minnesota this morning, in my neck of the woods we woke up to 9 degrees - yep that is a single digit  :(  I did hear that the northernmost parts of the state woke up below zero - UGH.  Glad that wasn't me.  I am making a quick potato/ham/cheese soup for supper tonight - its bubbling on the stove, some nice french bread is warming in the oven right along side the apple crisp that is baking!  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp
5 c. apples, peeled and diced ( I used Cortland & Haralson)
2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
Place your apples in a 9 x 9 baking dish.  Sprinkle with your cinnamon sugar.  Prepare the following topping:
1 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. melted butter
Mix all of your dry ingredients together.  Stir in the melted butter to form a crumble.  Sprinkle this over the top of your apples.  Bake @375 for 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbly!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Thanksgiving Pie :)

Here in Minnesota we have had a fall that has made it difficult to think ahead to Thanksgiving and then Christmas.  However, that fate turned yesterday, brrrrr for strong, gusty, COLD winds.  Luckily in my corner of the state we don't have the snow yet but it sure has gotten cold.  One thing that does is make me want to stay home and bake.  Or at least think about what is going to be on the Thanksgiving menu when my family comes to celebrate it with us.  Here is a recipe that my mom has been making for years and truthfully, it's the ONLY way I like Pumpkin Pie.  I am planning to make this one along with a traditional Pumpkin Pie and a Blueberry Pie.  So, if you are like me and have been procastinating so far, there is no time like the present, to start scouring through your recipes and cookbooks and decide what is going to be on your menu. 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream, softened (go ahead and use the light)
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 TBSP. orange juice

*Mix the first 3 ingredients together and pat into the bottom of a pie plate, or you can use a 9" square cake pan.  Chill one hour or until firm. 
*To prepare the filling, combine the rest of your ingredients, stirring well until all is combined.  Spoon into the chillded crust and freeze until serving.  May top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

San Diego bound....

I am off to San Diego tomorrow.  Going out to visit my daughter, and I am going with her grandma and her grandma's friend.  It should be a fun time  :)  Weather in San Diego is always lovely, so not at all worried about that.  Excited to get a bit of color to me already very pasty Minnesota skin.  Just hoping not to get burnt.  In the meantime, here on the home front, yesterday I went grocery shopping and stocked up the fridge for Ken and Heather.  I made a pan of their favorite Scotcheroos, and am whipping up some Goulash hotdish so they can survive the first few days.  I am thinking McDonalds and the like will be frequented in the next week here that I am on vacation.  So have a great week and I will hopefully be better about posting once I return, rejuvenated and refreshed and maybe a little bit tanned!

1 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. karo white syrup
*Put these ingredients together in a saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and then remove from heat.
Stir in:
1 1/2 c. Peanut butter
6 c. rice krispies
Spread into a buttered 9 x 13 pan (I use the tupperware one, because it has a handy lid).
In the microwave melt together (carefully):
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips
Spread this over your bars.  Regrigerate long enough to let the chocolate harden up.  Then remove from fridge.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dinner tonight :)

Another very nice day here in Minnesota even though it is fall.  My heat has not kicked in for several days in a row again and today I actually have a window open for some fresh air  :)  We had a busy weekend watching our son's college football game, driving to Bemidji to visit family, and coming back home to work a shift at Herbergers!  I am not sure working at Herbergers is actually going to put money in my pocket, or just stuff in my closets?  So far I have worked 4 shifts and haven't bought anything but how long can I hold out?  This is the question of the day.  My hubby just called, to inform me, he is on his way home from work, he likes to do this so that I know when he will be getting home and it usually is a signal to get supper in the oven - ha!  Here is what I just popped into my oven now:

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. skim milk
salt & pepper
1 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 bag frozen chunky hash brown potatoes
12 oz. chopped ham
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your cake pan with PAM.  In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. butter and stir in the flour until mixed.  Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer while stirring.  When sauce has thickened remove from heat.  Season with salt & pepper.  Spread 1/3 of your saucwe in the bottom of the pan and top with half the potatoes.  Top with half the onions and 1/2 the ham and 1/2 the cheese.  Add another 1/3 of the sauce.  Continue with one more layer of each ingredient.  Pour remaining sauce over the top.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
P.S.  I got this recipe off of and altered just a tiny bit!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Corn :)

Fall has hit my corner of the world hard in the past few days.  Up until then it still felt like summer, highs in the 70's and even 80's.  No need to turn on the heat even.  Until yesterday that is.  October 18 is the latest I have turned the heat on in many years, so I guess I cannot complain.  My son is a member of the M-State Spartan football team and it brings back a conversation with our son in August 2010.  Grant had gone off to fall football camp and came home five days later so stiff and sore and exhausted that he wondered if it was worth it.  Now two years later at the end of his M State player career, he could not be happier that he soldiered on and stuck it out.  Tomorrow we trek up to Grand Rapids, MN for the final game of his season.  I decided to whip up some caramel corn to bring along for a snack :)  Enjoy what fall is left in your neck of the woods, and don't be afraid to stick things out!

15 c. popped popcorn ( I pop mine on the stove top) - set aside
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1/2 c. Karo syrup
Put these 3 ingredients into a pan and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Let boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. baking soda.  Stir well.
Place your popped corn into a paper grocery bag.  Pour your caramel sauce over the popped corn - using a big spatula, stir well.  Close down the top of the bag.  Place in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high.  Remove and stir well.  Put back in the microwave and cook one more minute.  Stir.  Pour out onto waxed paper to cool.  Store in  ziplock bags.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My hubby asked - is it time for soup yet?

And I said - WELL, with this fabulous October weather we have been having - it hasn't felt like soup weather.  However, he has not felt well for a month now so figured maybe I best make him some soup and see if that helps his recovery along.  Will he go to the doctor?  I think we all know the answer to this is no.  I asked him, WHY he would not go to the doctor and he said, "Well, it's not like I am dying."  Ok then.  I just have a hard time having sympathy for his discomfort when I have been asking him to go to the doctor for a few weeks now.  I am not certain what his fear of doctors is but apparently there is something underlying here.  SO despite the 75 degree temps outside in Minnesota, in October mind you, I did make said spouse some soup.  Here is the recipe:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 c. onion, chopped fine
1 c. celery, chopped fine
4 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped fine
carrots, chopped, as desired
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 c. butter
3/4 c. flour
3 c. cooked wild rice
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans water
1 pint Fat-Free Half & Half

Place chicken and vegetables in a stock pot with the butter.  Season with salt and pepper and add bay leaf.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Stir in the flour.  Quickly add the broth and water.  Stir in the cooked wild rice.  Simmer for an hour or more, until potatoes/carrots are tender.  Stir in the half & half, heat through.  Serve! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Channeling Paula Deen :)

I have a few of Paula Deen's cookbooks.  Friday I was looking for a quick treat to whip up and bring to Morris for a small gathering to be held after the home football game.  I stumbled upon the Pretzel-Peanut bark recipe in the Paula Deen Celebrates cookbook.  Three ingredients and a few minutes was all it took to whip up this sweet/salty treat.  I love me some white chocolate so this was perfect for me.  It was also a hit at the party and is now but a distant memory.

Pretzel-Peanut Bark
18 squares (1 oz. each) white chocolate
3 c. skinny pretzel stick broken into small peices but not crushed (measure after breaking)
2 c. peanuts (I used honey roasted) I also chopped these up a bit so they were not whole or half peanuts.

Melt chocolate in microwave.  I did for 1 min. on high and then stirred and back in the microwave for about 40 more seconds.  It was perfectely melted.  Stir in the pretzels and peanuts.  Spread onto a sheet of waxed paper.  Let cool and harden.  Break into pieces and eat.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I made TWO pies :)

Well, another weekend is in the history books.  It was a busy one.  First of all made a 2 hour trek on Friday night to pick up a used car for our daughter, Heather.  Then turned around and drove 2 more hours back home.  Saturday was a Spartan football game, which our son is a team member of, so my mom, her husband, and my brother Scott all came down for the game.  Well, their grandson/nephew was the homecoming king!  Then yesterday got up and went to church and came home to watch the Vikings play - they are now 0-4 which is a stat I am not too proud to report, it doesn't however, wane my support for my team!  I also texted my son, the homecoming king, to see if he would be interested in coming over for supper, an hour later, no response, to I texted him again, seeing as it was past noon and a football game was on t.v., I knew he would be awake!  Still, however, no response.  So I had Heather trost it yety him too, still no answer.  Finally, as most mom's would do, Iwe texted one of his friends, and they informed us that Grant could NOT find his phone!  Now, I tell you this, because surprisingly, said son has had a cell phone for 3+ years now and has not lost it, until yesterday.....his roommate helped him look, his girlfriend helped him look and then I asked a girl he knows on campus to also help him look and she did.  So when he borrows a phone and calls me this morning I am going over there to do a final search before heading to the Sprint store.  Last night we did get him to come over for supper and I made he, his girlfriend and one of his roommates, cheeseburgers for the main course and PIES for dessert.  Here is the recipe for the apple pie I made:

MacIntosh One Crust Apple Pie
1/2 c. Crisco shortening
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cold water
Mix together and roll out your crust.  Place in the bottom of your pie dish, and Crimp the top edges.
8 large MacIntosh apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
Peel and slice the apples, place in a bowl and stir in the other ingredients.  Place in the unbaked pie crust in the pie plate.
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. butter, melted
Mix together to form your crumble.  Crumble over the top of the filling in your pie plate.  Bake @ 375 for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown on top!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Squeaking in one more post in September :)

Yesterday in Fergus Falls, MN we had nearly 88 degrees and sun and it was B E A U T I F U L!  Today - totally windy and 64 degrees, and the sun was hiding but has now just peeked out.  Tonight is coronation for homecoming @ MSCTC Fergus Falls, and my son Grant is up for homecoming king - how exciting!  I am going to go to the coronation - it should be fun!  Then it will be home to watch Grey's Anatomy :)  My hubby has been craving a pot roast with carrots, and potatoes - simple.  So tonight he is getting just that!  He will be excited and he will have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow!  Of course we need some sort of treat after that nice fall, hearty meal and today I decided it should be Pumpkin Bars.  Here is the recipe now:

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 c. canola oil
2 c. sugar
1  15 oz. can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all together.  Spread into a jelly roll pan that has been greased.  Bake @ 350 degrees.  Frost with cream cheese frosting - you can find my recipe for that in an earlier carrot cake blog! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Computers . . .

Since the move, we have been totally wireless for computers and phones.  We will see how this works, we consider ourselves somewhat tech savvy but not really tech savvy - this for sure we have learned in the past 2 weeks.  My Old faithful Dell computer was getting a bit slow and it was not set up for wireless, so I decided to get a new one and ordered it and it finally showed up yesterday.  So now, I thought my husband will finally get my desk all assembled and get my new computer set up and I will be ready to go, Hey there, not so easy is what I learned last night.  First of all, we are going through the old computer (which is not hooked up to internet) to pull off information, pictures, documents, etc., that we feel we cannot be without.  You know the computer guys who will offer to transfer your information from one computer to your new one - TAKE THEM UP ON IT!  Needless to say, we spent about 3 hours working on this last night and alas, still today my desk is not ready and my new computer is not yet assembled.  Good thing hubby leaves his laptop here for me to work on!  Before the above-mentioned new computer showed up at the door last night, I did make this recipe, one I had not tried before, it too is in the Gooseberry Patch Best Ever Cookies cookbook (page 150) and was submitted to GP by Linda Elvins from Missouri!

Bake-Sale Butterscotch Bars
1/2 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar
In a saucepan over low heat, combine butter and brown sugar.  Cook until bubbly, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 c. chopped walnuts (optinonal)  I did not add the walnuts because I am not a fan of walnuts.
Mix thoroughly, spread into a greased 15 x 10 jelly roll pan and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. 
**I used a 9 x 13 cake pan instead of the jelly roll pan and they turned out fine!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Packing, Unpacking, no time for cooking or baking . . .

Well I see that I have been almost 1 Month delinquent in posting to my blog.  Sorry about that.  As I type today it is from my new 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in Fergus Falls.  I have learned a great deal of things since my last post, some of them listed as follows:
1.  It's much easier to move across town, than it is to move 55 miles away, from the home you have known for the past 23 years.  :(
2.  It's much more exciting to unpack than it is to pack.
3.  It's no fun getting ready for a moving sale.
4.  It is exhilirating to go through stuff and decided you don't need that STUFF anymore.
5.  It is good to make lists!
6.  I hope I remember where the STUFF I did save, is all stored, some at a friends, some here in Fergus Falls and some at my Mom's house another 2 1/2 hours away.
7.  As soon as you pack something in a tote to be stored away for the next year - you will NEED it.

Shockingly, all of this work, as mentioned above - has not caused me to lose lots of stress related pounds  :(  Oh well, such is life.  Good news on that front - there is a very nice treadmill, in the fitness room, right down the hall from me, so I can't even use the "I am not going out in this weather" excuse to not exercise!  I did tread down to said treadmill last night and walked 2.5 miles in 35 minutes and then ran (well, more like, jogged) for the last 2 minutes!  Hey, I am trying.

Today is gray, rainy and cool here in Fergus so I am making my 6-can chili for supper and following it up with Lemon bars for dessert.  Please look through my previous posts for the chili recipe.  Without further ado, here is the lemon bar recipe, WHICH BTW (by the way) you can find on page 130 of Gooseberry Patch's cookbook entitled Best-Ever Cookies!

Buttery Lemon Snow Bars
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
Mix together.  Pat into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.  Then mix together, the following:
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. flour
Mix well.  Pour over the baked crust.  Bake an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool slightly.  Dust with powdered sugar (while still warm). 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies (with chocolate chips, of course!)

Ok, I may be smiling big here, but you can't see that! ha!  Yesterday I whipped up a batch of Oatmeal cookies, and may have put chocolate chips in, in place of the raisins - ha!  Anywhoo, my daughter, Heather, today informed me they were AMAZING!  That's a word we fellow bakers/cooks/moms all love to hear  :)  So I hadn't posted this recipe last night or taken a pic but decided to do so today.  I have been quite busy, our home, which has been on the market for over a year decided it should sell, so it has, and I have approx. 2 weeks from today to pack everything, have a moving sale, and find somewhere new to live!  So, I have been busy and not really thinking about taking time for a post - but, alas, the packing sits there quite idle and I am posting on my blog instead, hey who wouldn't rather blog than pack?  Without further ado - here is the recipe for the cookies!

Heather called AMAZING Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix together!  Stir in your chocolate chips.  Bake @350 for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Busy, Busy = Time for Peanut Butter Bars :)

My life is being turned upside down and around, this past week and in the coming few weeks.  Of course its nothing devastating like sickness or anything, so I cannot complain.  I have been busy trying to get things done and ends tied up, etc., however, the other day I did have time to make some Peanut Butter Bars and therefore, must share the recipe with you now:

Peanut Butter Bars
1 c. butter, melted
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. peanut butter, I use Jif and Creamy
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips

Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan ( I use my Tupperware one, because it has a lid). 
In a mdeium bowl mix together the butter, graham crumbs, powdered sugar and the peanut butter.  Stir together until well blended.  Press this evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan.
Melt your chips together until smooth and spread over the top of the peanut butter mixture.  Refrigerate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peach Pie - 2nd post in one day!

So, after all of our hard work, and the delicious pizza on the grill, we needed something sweet, so I used up the ripe, fresh, peaches I had and made a peach pie, here is the recipe for it, it was fabulous, warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. 

Peach Pie
6 c. fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. Crisco shortening
1/2 c. ice cold water

Peel and slice your peaches.  Place in a bowl and stir in the sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Let sit.
Prepare your pie crust.  Place the first piece of crust dough into your pie plate.   Pour your peach mixture into the crust.  Place the pats of butter over the peaches.  Cover with your other piece of crust and crimp your edges.  Bake @ 365 for about one hour.  I put my pie plate on top of a cookie sheet so that the peachy goodness would spill on the cookie sheet instead of onto the bottom of my freshly cleaned oven  :)
Eat with ice cream (of course!)

Shrimp Pizza (on the grill)

Yesterday was a busy day full of lawn mowing and house cleaning.  Now everything is looking spiffy, and of course after all of that hard labor my husband and I were hungry!  And we were the only two home for supper, so I could try something new and know that I wouldn't get any whining!  P.S.  However, my husband was very skeptical, he loves shrimp but wasn't so sure it should be on pizza, however, he took all the leftovers to work for lunch today  :)
Shrimp Pizza
1 boboli thin pizza crust
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 16 oz. bag, frozen shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
2 c. arugula (or spinach)
green onion
pizza cheese

Take the pizza crust and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and put on the pre-heated grill, let cook until it starts to bubble.  Remove from grill.  Saute your shrimp, chopped green onion, and lemon juice together.  Drain.  Put on top of the crust.  Top with 2 c. chopped arugula and sprinkle your cheese over the top.  Return to the grill and continue to cook until your cheese is melted and bubbly! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stuck in a rut!

Okay, you know you are "stuck in a rut" when your 20-year old daughter, who really hasn't had an interest in cooking or baking, until now, is searching the internet for new things that Mom can make.   Last night we did just that, we (she & I) made the following recipe - which has no name because that part didn't print out (ha!).  We have taken the liberty to halve the recipe list for you, because we made the whole batch and it was BIG - so go ahead and double it if you are feeding say 6 or more people!  She also brought home a recipe for an Oreo Cheesecake pie -which is on the list of things to make and try (perhaps this weekend!)  Without further ado - I shall now type up the recipe whipped up last night in our kitchen and since we don't know the recipe's name - it shall now for my purposes be called Heather's Chicken Pasta  :)  Oh, and BTW - it was tasty!

Heather's Chicken Pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/4 c. flour
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 pkg. cavatappi noodles

Take your chicken strips and coat lightly with flour.  Saute chicken in a pan with the butter, until cooked through.  Meanwhile, have a pot of water boiling for your pasta.  When chicken is done put chicken on a plate and set aside.  Into the pan you sauteed the chicken in put your lemon juice and chicken stock and let it come to a boil.  Add a few tablespoons of butter if you desire (we did!)  Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and let it simmer.  Meanwhile, cook your pasta as directed on the package.  Drain.  Return pasta to pasta pot, pour in your lemon sauce.  Stir to coat noodles.  Add the chicken to your pasta pot and stir to coat.  Serve!  (p.s.  when you serve, feel free to sprinkle with parmesan cheese!) (again, I did!)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sugar Cookies (Yum)

First of all, a shout-out to my sister-in-law, Michelle, as this recipe is from her.  I made these Friday night and have not had a chance to post a blog or the recipe since then.  This morning, I am procrastinating on getting to my real job so thought what better way to keep putting it off, but to post a new blog.  We are in a streak here in Minnesota of hot, humid days, a streak that I am telling you can end right now, its so sticky out its not even enjoyable to be outside.  I mowed the lawn yesterday and I am telling you its a very good thing no one took a pic of me afterwards, the camera would have crashed!  I then convinced my hubby it was a good afternoon to hit the beach, and he reluctantly agreed  :)  Anywhoo, my daughter is here from San Diego and I will see you later today, trying to decide now what to make for her, likely some biscotti as it's her favorite, and I just found a new recipe for Coconut Lime Biscotti.  IF, I get that far today, I will post that too  :)

Sugar Cookies (Michelle Gagner's recipe)
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil ( I use canola)
5 c. flour (recipe calls for 4 c. plus 1 T.) I find more works a bit better (for me anyways)
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
Mix all together.  Roll into balls.  Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake @ 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Morning Muffins!

First of all, I didn't realize it has been 17 days since I last posted a blog update!  Time flies when you are having fun (and maybe when you are busy working too!).  Eight of those days I wasn't blogging I was traveling to San Diego and vacationing there (while visiting my daughter and son-in-law) double bonus for me.  A few lessons learned about San Diego, since I had not been there before, first of all it is a long ways from Morris, MN.  Secondly, it is beautiful and the weather absolutely can't be beat.  Thirdly, there are so many restaurants, cafes, bakeries, etc., to see and try its very overwhelming.  Fourthly, I am trying to figure out how to get myself transplanted out there.  Flew back into Minnesota after our week there with NO humidity and NO bugs, as we were getting off the plane, I didn't even have to say it, the girl behind me in line did, Welcome back to HUMID Minnesota . . . .Me, personally, not a fan of that word or how it makes the temperature and outdoors feel!  Anywhoo, it was a great trip, a great time was had and now I am back to the reality of working, laundry, keeping the house clean, and trying to bake when I can!  This morning, with my central air humming along I cranked on the oven and made muffins for breakfast.  Here is the recipe I made, they are yummy for breakfast, or alongside a bowl of chili or soup on a cold winter evening as well. 

Sweeter Muffins
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix ingredients together in order listed.  Spoon into a greased muffin tin and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. 
**This morning my batch made 9 muffins (i like to make a good size muffin).
**You can stir in chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc., if you desire they are a good base muffin for mix-ins. 
**My family likes to eat them with butter or honey or jam!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Breakfast fit for brothers & dad!

Well this weekend's company consisted of my two brothers and my dad.  My one brother Scott came to Morris to run a 5k race with my husband and then my other brother joined in for an 18 hole best ball golf tourney.  Needless to say they were hot and ready to hit the air conditioned house when they were done.  It was a scorcher here yesterday - supposedly storms are on their way tonight and will clear out some of this &*($%@#^ humidity!  It will make me happy that's for sure - I am not going to like the looks of next month's power bill - the central air was running non-stop yesterday to keep the house cool and today it will be a repeat!  Last night I made the runners/golfers pork chops (on the grill), corn on the cob (which was awesome) and cheesy hashbrowns, then for dessert served up their choice of Key Lime pie (see previous post) or rhubarb crisp!  Then while they were all lounging and playing a few games of cards with my dad, (who had helped me grocery shop, put groceries away, shuck the corn, do dishes and weed my flower beds!) I got busy making breakfast for today, I whipped up the following egg bake!  Something I knew would be a hit with everyone that was here!  Keep cool today - and keep hydrated!

Egg Bake
1 bag frozen hashbrowns (either shredded or southern style)
12 eggs
1 c. skim milk
8 oz. shredded cheese ( I use cheddar)
1/2 c. chopped onion (you can add mushrooms, green pepper, etc., as well)
1 c. cubed ham (or use bacon or sausage - if you prefer)
**Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam spray.  Pour the bag of hashbrowns into the bottom of the pan.  Put your onion and meat on top of the potatoes.  Whisk together your eggs and your milk.  Pour this over your layers in the pan.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.
**I always make this the night before and put in the fridge, since I am NOT a morning person, then I can just insert into the oven in the morning and bake while I go back to bed!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Busy Week, but time for Key Lime Margarita Pie!

With it being the week of the 4th of July and everyone's schedules being all shifted around, what have we all accomplished this week?  Summer has hit West Central Minnesota hard this week, it has been sunny and warm and humid all at once.  If I lived at a lake I would have accomplished even less this week than I already have - ha!  We do have company coming tonight though as my hubby has a weekend full of running a 5k and golfing in a 3-man best ball, and he has invited my brothers down to join him in his endeavors.  Grant is also golfing in a golf tourney tomorrow - though not the same one as his dad!  Heather is going off to visit some friends and I will be here trying to keep people fed and hyrdated!  I work tonight so trying to get everything ready today!  Since its so warm outside I figured this would be a tasty & cool treat to serve up:

Key Lime Margarita Pie
1 1/4 c. crushed pretzels
1/4 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter, melted
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. lime juice
1 envelope LIME KOOL-AID unsweetened mix
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool-Whip, thawed

Mix your pretzels and sugar together.  Stir in the butter.  Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.  (set in freezer until ready to fill)
Combine the condensed milk, lime juice and KOOL-AID packet in a large bowl.  Stir well.  Stir in the cool whip.  Pour into the pie shell.  Freeze 6 hours or overnight!  Garnish with a dollop of cool whip and a slice of fresh lime (if desired!)  EAT!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

No supper here!

Well, the husband went off golfing, the rock-picking son went off to the lake and that leaves Heather and I for supper, which I thought about all day, but never got planned or cooked.  So the good news is now I don't have too  :)  We are kinda hungry though so some kind of snack is in order and then I have to go to work from 7-10.  It sure was a HOT one today!  I wish I lived by a lake - it would make me much more appreciative of these hot days.  As I sit here my central air is humming along and I am oh so thankful that I have it!  I don't mind some heat but it seems in Minnesota we can't get heat without the humidity that comes along and HUMIDITY is like a very long four letter word to me.  Anywhoo, this is the snack mix that I did whip up to take to my family in Bemidji for snacking at my brothers lake spot this weekend.

Sweet & Salty Mix
Crispix cereal
Honey Nut Cheerios
Fritos Corn chips
2 bags of Nestle White Chocolate chips
3 tbsp. vegetable oil

Mix WHATEVER ingredients you want together in the BIG Tupperware bowl.  The ingredients listed above are what I used today - I have been known to also use different Chex Cereals, frosted cheerios, M & M's, Cashews, Almonds, Teddy Grahams - you name it if its in your cupboard you can mix it in!  Fill the bowl pretty much to the top with your stuff, stir well.  Then melt the chips together with the vegetable oil until smooth.  Pour this over your mix and stir well to coat.  Dump onto a big sheet of waxed paper.  Let set.  EAT!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wind, Sun, Lawnmowing & Cake :)

Well, today was almost a perfect day!  We had Sun, we had a decent temperature, the humidty was low, but the wind sure was strong . . . .I did however get the lawn mowed, figured I better do it today, before the humidity and heat sets in this week.  Always a good feeling to get the lawn mowed, our house is for sale, so then I am always thinking, jeez someone should come and look today!  Kids were off rock picking too, they came home covered in dirt from head to toe, so I can add that the laundry machine is humming along getting the clothes cleaned before tomorrow's dirt can set in.  My hubby decided to throw a roast in the crock pot this morning so we had that sliced up for sandwiches for supper and I made the following cake for dessert!

Strawberry-Vanilla Bundt Cake
1 box Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla cake mix
** Add the ingredients listed on the back of the box and mix well.  Then stir in 1 c. chopped strawberries and any juice they create.  Mix well with your mixer.  Pour into a greased bundt pan.  Bake for about 40 minutes, at 350 degrees, until it is set and done.  I frosted it with cream cheese frosting, which you can find the recipe for in an earlier blog ( I believe its listed with Carrot Cake!).  I must say it turned out very yummy, the strawberries managed to sink to the bottom (which turned out to be the top of the cake!)  The whole family thought it was very good!  (Yeah, score one for me!) Ha! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Strawberries :)

Yesterday, the local berry farmers, hand-delivered two-flats of fresh picked strawberries to my house!  I was thinking one flat won't be enought, right?  Well, 2 flats of strawberries is ALOT of strawberries - and we all know they don't last long.  So today I have made 1 batch of strawberry slush (freezing now) and 2 batches of strawberry freezer jam, and 1 batch of strawberry-rhubarb freezer jam, and sliced some up for the freezer, and eaten just a few!  They are tasty!  It has turned out to be a beautiful day here in West Central Minnesota so the windows are open and the fresh breeze is flowing through my kitchen, which smells really good!  I highly recommend you get yourself some fresh grown strawberries, they are a true taste of summer!  P.S.  tomorrow for breakfast - Waffles with Strawberries & Whip Cream  :)  Here are two recipes I used today:

Rhubarb-Strawberry Freezer Jam
2 1/2 c. chopped fresh rhubarb
2 1/2 c. chopped fresh strawberries
4 1/2 c. sugar
2  (3 oz.) pkgs. strawberry Jell-O

Chop your fruit and mix together with your sugar in a soup size pot.  Bring to a boil on the stove and simmer until rhubarb is tender.  Stir in the Jell-O and stir well, until dissolved.  Pour into jars, put the lids on.  Let set overnight.  Then place in the Freezer until you are ready to eat!

Strawberry Slush
2 1/2 c. fresh chopped strawberries
1 12 oz. can frozen lemonade
2 c. water
Mix all ingredients together in the blender.  Freeze.  When you are wanting to serve, remove from freezer and let thaw a bit so you can spoon it out, scoop desired amount into your glass and fill the glass with Squirt or 7-Up.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day & Cheesecake~!

It's Father's Day and I have made my phone calls to my Dad and my Step-Dad, I wish I had a Grandpa to call too.  My husband is off for a round of golf and it's a pretty relaxed day here so far.  I made the family Morning Mix-Up (see previous blog post for recipe) and currently have a cheesecake baking in the oven.  Going to pull some steaks out and grill them later!  Hope you and yours have a nice, relaxing, or fun-filled day as well.  Here is the cheesecake recipe that I have always used:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
**Combine these ingredients, stirring well.  Pat into the bottom and partially up the sides of your springform pan.  Put this in the freezer while you make your filling.
3 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/3 c. flour
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
**Beat your cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Add your eggs one at a time, beating your batter in between each egg addition.  Add in the flour.  Then add the sour cream and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Pour into your crust.  Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, Until the middle is set.  Turn off the oven and open your oven door slightly and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for an hour.  Remove from oven and chill. 
We usually have Cherry Pie Filling on top of our cheesecake but you can eat it plain or with whatever topping you like best.  To make this a chocolate chip cheesecake, simply stir in
1 1/2 c. miniature chocoate chips and then bake!

Friday, June 17, 2011

TGIF ~ Brownies!

It's Friday - we have made it through another work week :)  So I think we should treat ourselves with the brownie recipe I have for you here.  I found this in yesterday's Minneapolis Star Tribune Taste section (my favorite section, obviously!)  Brownies have always reminded me of my Uncle Jerome he and Aunt Lois used to take me and my cousin camping with them.  They had a fancy, schmancy camper with a real oven!  My uncle loved Brownies with Peanut butter spread on top.  So we would get to bake these for him when we were camping....good memories.  Anywhoo, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Homewood Brownies
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. Crisco shortening
3 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
**  Preheat oven to 350.  In a saucepan combine the butter, shortening and chocolate, stir over low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  In another bowl, beat together the 4 eggs.  Beating steadily and briskly.  Gradually combine the eggs into your chocolate mixture until well combined.  Stir in the sugar and vanilla.  Then add your dry ingredients mixing until well combined.  *Add nuts if you desire.
**Pour batter into a lightly Pam sprayed 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Dust with Powdered sugar (if desired). Cool before slicing!

Well, I am off to the gym now so I can have one of these later!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

In a rush~!

In a rush, like me today?  Here is what I am making my family for dinner tonight (Heather will bake them up once its dinner time).  Since I will be @ work!  Today we have had sunshine  :)  Excited about that.  Heather and I went downtown and each got a colored hair extension - hey we had a coupon for buy one get one free!  Heather got red and I got purple - why not~! 

Pillsbury Ham & Cheese Crescent sandwiches
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
8 thin slices cooked ham (8 oz)
4 thin slices Cheddar cheese (4 oz), each cut into 4 strips (except I used swiss!)
**Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 piece of ham on each triangle; place 2 strips of cheese down center of ham. Fold in edges of ham to match shape of dough triangle.
  • Roll up each crescent, ending at tip of triangle. Place with tips down on ungreased cookie sheet.

  • Bake 15 to 19 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Hump Day~!

    Well, today is/was, hump-day.  My two kids (19 & 20) who are home from college for the summer, were supposed to be rock picking today - but Mother Nature decided that they should have the day off and be home.  Grant kept himself busy running around visiting various friends and did get called in to his job @ BP for a few hours too.  Heather and I went to workout at SNAP and then we decided it was a good (dreary) day for baking some cookies.  So we whipped up a double-batch of Chocolate Chip cookies - I would share this recipe with you - but I like to keep it kind of top-secret.  Many people who have had my chocolate chip cookies declare them the best they have had and I still hold out hope that someday they will make me some money or fame (ha!).  We also threw a lemon pepper chicken, and potatoes in the oven so that for supper we were able to enjoy chicken, baked potatoes and asparagus!  It was good if I do say so myself.  Now with the family all disbursed to various activities and me listening to the dishwasher humming along, I had time to sit and write on my blog!  I am reading through a book I bought called, "A passion for baking" by Marcy Goldman.  If you haven't seen this book you should check it out - YUMMY recipes and pictures too  :)

    Here is one such recipe "that I have tweaked" a bit to suit my family:

    Candy Bar Shortbread
    1 c. butter, softened (Paula Deen I wish you were reading this!)
    2/3 c. sugar
    2 1/2 c. flour
    pinch of salt
    4-6 chopped up Snickers or Milky Way Candy bars (depends on how much you want!)
    *Preheat your oven to 325.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Combine your butter and sugar until blended and flour and salt to make a stiff doe.  Pat the dough into your pan.  Bake until lightly golden (25-35 minutes).  Sprinkle your chopped candy bars over the top  Let set about 5 minutes and then smear your chocolate around.  Refrigerate to let set!


    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Sunday Morning Waffles~!

    Just got done feeding the troops waffles and Jimmy Dean (50% less fat) sausage  :)  Now the rest of the day can unfold!  Sunday mornings I like watching the CBS Sunday Morning Show - it always has interesting stories.  Then I always get up and get going and make some kind of breakfast that is not cold cereal (save that for the rest of the days!).  Here is my waffle recipe, we eat them with butter & syrup or with whipped cream and strawberries, both are equally delicious.

    3 egg yolks
    3 c. skim milk
    3 c. flour
    2 tbsp. baking powder
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. canola oil
    *Begin by seperating your eggs.  Place the whites in a seperate bowl.  To the yolks add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed.  Stirring together.  Then whip your egg whites and gently fold into your waffle batter.  Pour into your waffle iron and cook as directed according to your waffle iron.

    Now that this post is up, I am off for some shopping and a birthday party later.
    Have a great day!

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    This just in! (Mississippi Mud Cake :)

    Literally, this recipe just arrived in my mailbox, so even I haven't had a chance to make these yet.  However, they sure do look tasty, so the recipe will be added to my must-bake-soon list.  Thankfully, my daughter is home from college for the summer and MAKES me go work out - we are leaving here shortly to hit SNAP to get our 4th day in a row workout in, makes it easier to indulge in the treats I bake~!  Without further ado, here is the recipe:

    Mississippi Mud Cake
    1 c. chopped pecans
    1 c. butter
    1 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar, chopped up
    2 c. sugar
    1 1/2 c. flour
    1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
    4 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1 (10.5 oz. bag) miniature marshmellows
    * Place pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes, until toasted.
    *Melt the butter and semisweet chocolate in a large microwave-safe glass bowl, until melted and smooth.  Stir in sugar and the next 5 ingredients.  Pour batter into a greased 15x10x1 inch greased pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with marshmallows, bake 8 to 10 more minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with the pecans.  Frost with the chocolate frosting below:

    1/2 c. butter
    1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
    1/3 c. milk
    Stir together in a saucepan over medium heat, cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Beat in 1# powdered sugar (more or less depending on the consistency you desire!) and 1 tsp. vanilla.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Craziness & Rhubarb (they go hand-in-hand, right?)

    Monday and Tuesday here in my neck of the woods in Minnesota we had temps in the 90's, rare for this early in June for sure, then sometime last night (without the help of a severe thunderstorm) the wind shifted from the South to the North and today it's 59 degrees.  Yesterday the central air was doing all it could to keep me & my family nice and comfortable and today that is turned off and I have a sweatshirt on, I do however, refuse to wear pants, and I have decided my favorite weather is when I can wear shorts & then a sweatshirt - I guess that truly is a Minnesota style! ha.  In the crazy weather, however, my rhubarb is doing well and my mom sent some home with me last time I saw her so today I whipped up the following freezer jam recipe (the only jam this chick prepares) and later today will whip up a famous rhubarb crisp to have with some ice cream for dessert after dinner tonight!  This recipe was given to me by Dee Daly (who used to be the daycare mom to my youngest two (who are now 19 & 20).  This is yummy and if you knew Dee like I do you would know that she loves to bake just like I do!  So without further rambling - here is the jam recipe I just whipped up:

    Rhubarb Blueberry Freezer Jam
    5 c. chopped rhubarb
    1 c. water
    Bring these to a boil in a stock pan.  Boil a few minutes.
    Add:  5 c. sugar, and bring to a boil again.
    Add:  1 6 oz. package of JELLO (you choose:  strawberry, raspberry, cherry)
    and     1 can blueberry pie filling.  Bring to a boil again.  Let boil for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Pour into jars or freezer containers.  Let set overnight and then freeze!
    P.S.  Today I used Cherry Jello - as that is what happened to be in my jello/pudding drawer!

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011


    Holy Hannah for a windy day here in Mo-town! Started bright and early this morning and has only been increasing throughout the day.  Like Grant says, can't we get a NICE day without wind for once? Apparently the answer is no. Jessica and Jesse have been in Minnesota since Friday - it has been nice and fun to see them. Last night we all went up to Alexandria for the movie Bridesmaids, if you haven't seen it yet, go!  However, maybe not with your 19 year old son and 20 year old daughter - who I was sitting between- we all looked at each other after the opening scene and said, "awkward" ha!  In honor of Jesse being here yesterday morning I popped the following into the oven, this is one of the only breakfast foods he has ever gotten excited about here at my house!

    12 eggs
    1 c. skim milk
    *Beat these 2 ingredients together  in a bowl.
    In a 9x13 greased cake pan, pour 2-3 c. frozen hashbrowns, top with cubed ham (2 cups), and then whatever veggies you desire.  (onion, peppers, mushrooms, etc.). Pour the egg mixture over this and top with 1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 -60 minutes.  It will be done when the center is no longer jiggly!

    I am off to bake some cookies now!

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Tis the season of Rhubarb & Lilacs too!

    Across my back yard I have a row of lilac bushes planted - they bloom at various times (so that I can enjoy them as long as possible!) - right now 3 of them are blooming - they win the prize of being the first.  Right in front of the row of lilac bushes sits our little garden spot and in that garden spot is a patch of rhubarb!  I love this stuff.  My eldest daughter used to eat it raw (dipped in sugar) when she was little, now our whole family love my rhubarb crisp - its absolutely the best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Said daughter will be in Minnesota late tonight fresh off a flight from San Diego, where she lives now (and where she saw Giada (from the FOOD NETWORK) last Sunday  :)  She texted me right away because she knew her food network junkie mom would be super impressed, and I was!  Tomorrow I am making a pan of rhubarb crisp because I can  :)

    Rhubarb Crisp 
    8 c. rhubarb, chopped in small pieces
    1/2 c. sugar
         Wash and then chop your rhubarb.  Place the chopped rhubarb into a 9 x 13 cake pan.  Sprinkle with the 1/2 c. sugar.  Let set (while you make the topping!)
    2 c. oatmeal
    2 c. brown sugar
    1 c. flour
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    1 c. melted butter
         Stir the dry ingredients together.  Stir in the melted butter.  Stir well (or use your hands to mix!).  Crumble the topping over the rhubarb in your pan.  Bake @ 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes.  Until your dessert is golden brown and bubbly!

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Easy Breezy Day and Strawberry Shortcakes too, yes please~!

    Here in West Central Minnesota, where I live it happens to be the third straight day of BEAUTIFUL weather!  Hey, around here that is an accomplishment worth noting.  Sunny, warm (but not hot) and just a slight breeze and birds chirping outside my window too.  Gotta love it!  Gooseberry patch is asking for Strawberry recipes today so this is what fresh strawberries bring to mind in my house, besides just eating them straight from the container (after washing of course!).  This shortcake recipe is the one my late gradma used to use and it was passed on to me by my aunt (thank you!).  I need to get right to the recipe so I can go outside before I have to get some work done!

    Strawberry Shortcakes
    1/2 c. melted butter
    1 egg (break into a 1c. measuring cup) fill the cup with milk
    1 1/2 c. flour
    1/2 c. sugar
    2 tsp. baking powder
    Mix all together in a bowl and stir quickly.  Spoon into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
    Remove from oven.  Cut cake in half and place on plate, spoon fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries on top!