Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet Potato and Golden Potato Skillet

One Potato, two potato...after sides of baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes for weeks I thought a Sweet Potato and Golden Potato Skillet recipe was up on the chopping block next.
I began the skillet with some quick prep of browning off bacon and chopping the bacon into small pieces.  Set the bacon aside. Next, with melted butter in my saute pan, I added chopped sweet onions, into the pan went fresh sweet potatoes and golden potatoes chopped into cubes.  I added some maple flavored breakfast sausage links and the bacon.  Saute until golden brown, turning as needed with spatula.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Oops...forgot to snap skillet prior to serving so this is taken after serving began.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bunny Terrarium

With Easter almost here I thought I would try to create a quick table center piece. I planted romaine seeds in a terrarium and a bunny to set the mood... Four days later romaine crop ready for some bunny to snack on.

Monday, March 26, 2012

baby it's cold outside....


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Orange Marmalade

Start with 4 fresh, washed seedless oranges cut into small sections with the skin on.Put orange sections into a food processor (I used my Bullet)and pulse until oranges and skin very small pieces. Yes, that is an upside down pineapple in the background. I ripen pineapples upside down so they last longer and juices filter down to other end. : )Put into medium sauce pan and add 1/2 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
and 6 tablespoons water. Bring to a gentle boil for 15 minutes. Cool and put in jars. Put in refridgerator. I did not cool mine, as I was proceeding on to canning in jars and the orange marmalade went into jars hot prior to canning bath.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Some days only a helping of comfort food will do.  This fits the bill very nicely.  Creamy, delicious potatoes accented with chopped onions and brought together by slices of ham...
The creamy base starts with a rue, an equal part blend of melted butter and flour, whisked together over low heat.  Finish off by whisking in room temperature heavy cream over low heat, continue whisking over heat until thickens.  Remove from heat.
Pour cream base over potatoes and ham.  Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt follow.
Bake covered at 350 degrees for about an hour until potatoes are tender.  Take cover off last 10 minutes of baking.
Let set 5 minutes before serving this creamy comfort food.  Fresh baked bread compliments it well, if you can stand more carbs : )

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dance in the Rain


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Happy Pi Day!

Homemade Beef Pot Pie
Sirloin steak 12-16 oz..(cut into smal bite size cubes)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef stock
3 potatoes diced
1 stalk celery chopped
olive oil (for saute of meat)
4-6 carrots peeled and cut into slices
1/2 cup sweet onion finely chopped
1 bag frozen peas
2 (9 inch) refrigerator pie crusts

Coat steak cubes in flour and brown in hot olive oil. Add onion, celery, carrots, potatoes and lightly brown. Add beef stock, salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and simmer until tender. Add peas to beef mixture. Remove Bay Leaf. Thicken with a rue of equal butter and flour added into beef mixture. (Can use cornstarch to thicken). Pour beef mixture into to pie shell and cover with other. Poke steam vents. Bake on 350 degrees until crust is brown, approx. 30-45 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Subway Art


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winter Yield to Spring Please!

Click and Print

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Forcing Branches into Spring Bloom

Time to force spring to show her blooms!

Forcing Instructions
*Select branches that are at least 12 inches long and that have a lot of flower buds.
* Cut branches from the tree or bush and trim the ends, removing any smaller twigs and buds toward the bottom 6 inches of the branch (or any part that will be under water once in a vase and will rot.)
* Using sharp scissors or kitchen shears, carefully slit the branches at the end in several directions. The slits should be about ¼ to ½ inch long and pound the slit ends on a hard surface to encourage the branch to absorb water.
*Place the branches upright in their vases and move to a room that doesn't get a lot of natural light and leave for a week or two or until the buds begin to show little signs of color. During this time add water as needed.(Photo above is my branches at this point, ready to be arranged and enjoyed.)
* Move to their permanent location, and enjoy the blooms! Depending on the type of branch, the flowers will take between 1 and 3 weeks to reach full bloom.

Friday, March 9, 2012


3 to 4 lbs of peeled, cored, and quartered apples
4-5 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 inches of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
up to 1/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
2 Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick. Mash with potato masher.

If you are canning follow your canning procedures. I do the following after sanitizing jars and lids.Fill the jars with applesauce and process them in the water bath
Fill them to within ¼-inch of the top, wipe any spilled applesauce of the top, seat the lid and gently tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water. Get the canner back to a full boil and begin timing. If you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint jars for 15 minutes and quart jars for 20 min. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more,increase time will be required.Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed.
Freezes easily, lasts up to one year in a cold freezer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

For the meatballs:3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
2 lightly beaten eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
10 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup small cooked pasta such as stars
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley,Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs into frying pan with olive oil to brown and until cooked through. Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked pasta to the simmering broth. Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until the spinach is cooked. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

I cannot remember exactly where I picked up this recipe a few years ago, from which friend, but I believe it had passed through more than one adaptation. Originally, if my memory serves, it may have been a Barefoot Contessa recipe.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Irish Blessing printable

Free Irish Blessing Printable

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Bottom Cake Layer:
1 box yellow or spice cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup for topping)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg
Middle Cake Layer:
1 (29oz) can pumpkin **not pie mix)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cloves
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 t. ginger
Reserved 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup dry cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix (reserving 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup for the topping), melted butter and egg. Spread into greased pan. For the middle cake layer filling, mix all ingredients well and pour over crust mixture in pan. For the topping, mix together reserved cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mix until crumbly and sprinkle on the pumpkin filling mixture. Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Chill and serve with whipped cream.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ooh La La Sweet Pepper Relish

Ooh La La Sweet Pepper Relish
The strong urge to recapture that summer sunshine in a jar with canning all the fresh veggies and fruits I can continues...

24 sweet bell peppers, (green, red, yellow)
2 Tablespoons salt
3 cups vinegar
5 onions
2.5 cups sugar
.5 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
Finely chop peppers and onions in the food processor, saving the juice. Combine juice, peppers and onions with other ingredients. Boil and keep at a low simmer for 60 minutes. Pack into sterilized jars and seal at once. Put in hot water bath for 30 minutes. Eat it from the jar hot or cold with tortilla chips, use it as a sauce over steak, Italian Sausage sandwiches. And of course as a condiment to hot dogs!