Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remember and Honor

As a proud American, 
and even prouder mom of a US Navy Serviceman, I can't let Memorial Weekend get by without remembering our heroes.  This weekend is a time to remember
those men and women that served their country all across the globe, and here in our nation,
 protecting our freedom. 



Saturday, May 26, 2012

Broccoli Slaw

I love the Summer Farmer's Markets, as well as, the single mom and pop style fruit/vegetable stands that pop up in small towns and communities at this time of year.  Today's bounty includes broccoli slaw ingredients.  A slaw recipe that is a huge favorite with the family and friends.
Start with fresh clean broccoli florets, add some chopped sweet onion, and let the crispy bacon be the flourish that pushes this slaw recipe over the edge : )  Bacon makes everything better...

Dress with your family's favorite slaw dressing, ours is Hellmann's, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of milk whisked together.

This slaw recipe can be "stretched" when dinner guests drop in unexpectedly by adding cooked and chilled baby peas, shredded cheddar cheese, and even grapes split in half!

Friday, May 25, 2012


What to do on a hot day...hmmm...I know, bake bread!  Sometimes I worry myself, baking on a hot day.  Maybe I should hit the central air on for the comfort of those that do not enjoy the steamy tropics in their home environment?  However, the aroma of bread baking is heavenly. When I am in the kitchen baking, canning, or simply cooking, I am never alone.  The spirit of generations of my family are right beside me.  Fond memories...this nod is to you Kat : )


2 to 2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter

Combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120º to 130ºF). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Shape into loaf. Place in greased bread pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375ºF for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Harvesting and Preserving Herbs

Time to harvest some of the herbs already!  I dry and freeze some herbs from the garden surplus to enjoy later in the year.  Herbs with a high water content preserve very well freezing. The herbs will become limp in the process, but their flavor will be intact. Frozen herbs will keep their flavor for several months. Unlike dried herbs, where the flavor gets more concentrated when drying, frozen herbs can be used in the same proportion as fresh herbs.
I use a couple of methods to freeze my herbs:
Freezing Herbs without added water:
1.Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves.
2.Wash, if necessary, and pat dry with paper towels.
3.Spread the individual leaves on a small tray. Freezing the leaves flat and individually will prevent them from freezing together into a brick.
4.Cover and place the tray of leaves into the freezer.
5.When frozen solid, place in airtight containers and return to the freezer.

Ice Cube Method:
(the method I am using today)
1.Harvest the freshest, healthiest leaves.
2.Wash, if necessary.
3.Place a couple individual leaves or chopped herbs in ice cube trays.
4.Fill the tray half way with water. Make sure the leaves are down into the water, as best you can. They will tend to float, but we'll fix that with the next step. Place the half filled tray in the freezer.
5.Once the ice cubes are pretty much frozen, finish filling the try with water. The leaves will no longer be able to float and should be completely surrounded with water. Now place the tray back into the freezer to freeze solid.
6.Once the ice cubes are frozen, remove from the tray and store in zip closure bags.
7.When ready to use, toss the whole ice cube into your favorite stew or dish.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Amazing what a dash of peppermint extract, a box of Ritz Crackers and Almond Chocolate Bark can be made into...
Melt almond bark in microwave approx. 90 seconds, add Peppermint extract (1 teaspoon) to chocolate and start dipping crackers. Allow to cool (I couln't wait so I stuck in fridge for 15 minutes to rush along) and serve. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sunshine Promises

Gotta love the happy sunshine face of a yellow Gerber daisy!
Promises of summer sunshine...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DIY Herb Planter and Herbs

Hmmmm...what's that I spy
in the corner of the garage scrap pile?
Scrap treated lumber? Add some tarnished copper pipe from the kitchen remodel job...
...and a herb planter is born.
 Quick coat of pale yellow will play well with the copper handle after a rough sanding, some pretty light blue stenciling and we are almost ready to plant!
Check out the newest Miracle Gro product!  After adding drain holes to the bottom of the planter and gravel for drainage, it was time for the Miracle Gro.  No, I haven't been paid to endorse Miracle Gro, but like many home gardeners, I love the product.
Next, I headed to Home Depot and Lowes to find my favorite Herbs...Lemon Tyme, Sweet Basil, Spicy Basil, Oregano and Rosemary to start.  I have a couple more Herb Planters in the works from the infamous scrap pile.  This will be a great start for a kitchen Herb Garden. Visions of sauces made from fresh herbs dance in my head and I can smell the aroma of the Scalloped Tomatoes baking already.
And of course keep all the herbs warm over night, with the threat of a spring frost!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Summer Bucket List

With summer fast approaching (fingers crossed)
it is time for a summer bucket list poster for the kids.