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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!