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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easy as can be!

Okay, I realize I haven't been posting lately.....why I am not sure......I guess I have been busy.  Shoveling some more and trying to get my 12 workouts per month in at SNAP so that I get my rebate from BCBS.  Hey a girl needs to save where she can, especially since gas prices here went up 10 cents/gallon, just since last night, UGH!  Quit rallying and protesting overseas, please.......In light of all of this I am thankful for my part-time gig at the BP in the evenings, even though the downside is that the nights when my hubby is coming home from his job out of town - I am at work :(  I can say I have seen him for about 10 minutes since Monday.  So yesterday was one of those days, he came home last night, but I was at work until 10:15 and then when I got home he was sleeping, however, he called me this morning once he was at work and THANKED me for making him supper yesterday before I headed to my part-time job @ the BP.  Here is what I made him and he said it was EXCELLENT  :)

Chicken in the Crock
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (I use the healty request kind)
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. white cooking wine

Put these ingredients in your crockpot and set on low.  Let cook until you are ready to eat!  In this case it cooked for about 7 hours.  It was served with freshly cooked egg noodles (my hubby had to do that part!).  *His report was - very tender, moist chicken and very flavorful, he also informed me I can make that dish again! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, Well, Well . . .

Ok, my previous post stated that I had some serious certainty that Valentine's Day was going totally un noticed in the Gagner house, Alas, I have to eat my words (well I like to eat so that part is not so bad, ha!).
This is what happened instead, my husband of lots of years, came through with a homemade card (on pink cardstock he rummaged in my craft supplies to find), a beautifully wrapped box, (he had help here we ALL have to admit that), and inside the beautifully wrapped box -was a silver key to his heart necklace!  There were even a few dove chocolates tossed into the bright pink gift bag.  All right - I am sure he got the chocolates from his secretary's desk at school, but I don't care it's Dove and now it's mine  :)  So here's a tip of my hat (if I ever wore one) to my hubby - he did come through and I like the gift too :) a Double bonus.  So if you run in to him somewhere tell him, Job Well Done.  Since I sort of (well definately) bashed him in the previous blog I am posting the recipe for his very favorite bars here now!

Chocolate Revel Bars
1 c. butter
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I always use fat-free!) ha save a calorie or 2...
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)

*In a mixing bowl beat the butter until fluffy.  Add about 1/2 of the flour, the brown sugar, egggs, 2 tsp. of the vanilla and the baking soda.  Beat till combined, add in the rest of the flour, mix well and then stir in the oatmeal.  Set aside.
*In a medium saucepan combine the chocolate chips and the condensed milk.  Cook over low heat until the chocolate is melted,  stir well.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tsp. vanilla.  (if you are using pecans, add them in the chocolate mixture now!)
*Press 2/3 of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 cake pan.  Spread the chocolate mixture over this.  Using your fingers, drop the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer.
*Bake in a 350 degree oven about 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.  Cool.  Eat!

P.S.  The coconut cream pie from the VD post is very yummy! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pie & Valentine's

Okay, here it is Valentine's Day already.  It is always kind of a normal day here at our house.  I certainly did not marry a romantic when I said I do.  He used to buy me flowers he has never bought me chocolates (even though I love them) I know that I don't NEED them.  But on the flip side who doesn't love a good Whitman sampler......anyways as it is now 4:35 p.m. and I can testify that a floral delivery person has NOT darkened my door this may not be the best attitude to carry forth on this day for Valentines but I am trying it anyways - hoping he may feel guilty?  If that is possible?  I am making Cashew Chicken for supper - see earlier blog for that recipe.  AND I bought him a card and scratch off lottery tickets (because he likes them even if I think they are a waste of $$) AND I baked the following pie which is chilling in the refrigerator as I type this blog update!

Coconut Cream Pie

For Crust:
1 c. Crisco shortening (not butter flavor)
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cold water
Mix together and roll into circle to fit in your pie plate (this is enough crust for 2 single crust pies or 1 double crust pie!)  Place in pie tin and crimp edges, poke with a fork (if using for single crust pie) and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

For Filling:
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
3 c. milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sweetened coconut flakes

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Keep stirring, reduce heat and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Remove from heat.  Seperate egg yolks from the whites; set whites aside for meringue.  Beat egg yolks lightly with a fork.  Gradually stir about 1 c. of the hot filling into the egg yolks.  Return all to the saucepan and cook and stir until it comes to a gentle boil.  Keep stirring and cook 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut!  Pour into baked pie shell.  (If you are using meringue on your pie, beat the egg whites to form your meringue, spread over your filling and bake for 12-15 minutes @ 350 degrees.  Cool.  **I prefer mine with whipping cream so I forgo the meringue step! 

Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still Baking Biscotti!

Hello all!  I am actually still baking Biscotti - helps to warm up the kitchen and the house smells great!  I finished my batch of Pistachio Biscotti (which I have now posted a picture of on the previous posting).  Thought I best make another batch as long as I was baking and had a mess in my kitchen so as I type this the following Biscotti recipe is baking!  (P.S.)  The reason for two batches of biscotti in one day is that I promised my daughter, Jessica, that I would bring her one batch and she requested the pistachio flavor!  I know many of you are thinking back to my earlier post when I mentioned my plaque that "a balanced diet is NOT a cookie in each hand" - ha - good to think of but today it's not the reason I am whipping up two batches!


1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp. anise extract
3 1/4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 c. chopped, toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In your mixer combine:  oil, eggs, sugar and flavoring and mix until well blended.  Mix in your dry ingredients .  Stir in the almonds.  Form into logs about 12" long and 1/2 to 1" thick.  Put on your baking sheet or baking stone.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.  Slice each loaf into 1" diagonal slices.  Place the slices on your baking sheet and return to the oven for 10 minutes on each side.  Eat, hey may as well try them both and have one in each hand (for balance that is!)


Well, I must apologize for ignoring my blog for a bit here, but I have been a bit under the FREEZING COLD weather with a COLD!  I pride myself generally on the ability to remain healthy when others around me are sick but this time - it got me.  I have been sneezing and wheezing since last Wednesday and I am not happy about it.  Kleenex is my new best friend but my nose is getting sore despite our friendship.  Since I have a Cold and it's way to COLD outside to go out there I am going to be home a good portion of the day baking Biscotti!  Here is the first recipe I am headed to the kitchen now to bake!

Pistachio Biscotti
1 1/2 c. pistachio nuts (last week at Walmare I found them in a bag, already shelled!)
1/2 c. butter
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lay the pistachios on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 10 minutes to lightly toast them.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix until well creamed.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until dough is smooth.  Stir in the pistachios.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surced and cut in half.  Roll each half into a log.  approx. 12 inches long by 1 inch high.  Place the logs on your baking stone (the only thing I bake with) or an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then slice each long into 12 1" thick pieces (diagonally).  Put them back on your baking sheet and bake 5 more minutes.  Turn each cookie over and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.