Tom's 70th birthday

Tom's 70th birthday
50 years of marriage this year September 2017

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Yummy Easy Macaroons


INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups flaked coconut (one 14 oz bag)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
In large bowl mix together the flour, coconut and salt. Set aside.

In separate small bowl mix together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.

Pour over coconut mixture and blend together with your hands. (To keep the mixture from sticking, spray your fingers with cooking spray.) (Place dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes to achieve a ball shaped cookie. )

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 

Using a cookie or ice cream scoop drop dough (golf ball sized) onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or edges are golden brown and the coconut is toasted.

Cool on wire racks. Cookies will be more firm overnight but can be enjoyed right away!

May be drizzled with milk or semi sweet chocolate after cooled or put a piece of cherry on top after it comes out of oven.

Amount Per Serving (3 ball size cookies) Calories: 293 / Total Fat: 13.8g / Cholesterol: 11mg

Monday, November 26, 2012

MOM'S POTATO PANCAKES


What a wonderful addition to any meal.. or for that fact... a meal in itself. My family always loved this and when times were lean.. potato pancakes fit the bill!!

Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes, grated
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt and ½ tsp. black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Peel and grate potatoes and onion.. (Mom and I used to grate by hand..in fact, still do:) and mix with remaining ingredients.


Drop by tablespoons in the frying pan (in which the oil has been added) on medium high heat. Fry until nice and crispy and brown all over (careful not to burn). Place on paper towels to drain the oil....and serve immediately to reserve the crunchiness. Tastes GREAT with sour cream or onion dip.......or just PLAIN!! Your family will love them. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CHICKEN SAVORY BAKE


Crust:

Mix together


2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ c. soft margarine or butter
8 oz. sour cream
1 egg 
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sage or poultry seasoning


Topping:
Sauté following until tender:
3 Tbsp. margarine
½ c. chopped carrot
½ c. chopped onion
½ c. celery 
1/4 c. green pepper

Add 3 c. cooked, boned  chicken cut into bite-sized pieces , 1 can of cream of chicken soup and 4 oz. drained mushrooms to the vegetable mixture and mix well.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan and spread the crust mixture evenly into the bottom  (it should be nice and gooey) and cover the crust with the vegetable mixture to the edges and top with 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the edges are browned and the cheese is bubbly... Set out of oven for about 10 to 15 minutes to cool and cut into squares to serve.
( My husband, Tom,  calls this one "Chicken Pizza")

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mom’s Homemade Banana Cake



Ingredients:

2  cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
6 bananas, mashed (set aside)
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

8 Tablespoons soured milk (add a little vinegar to regular milk to sour)
Mash bananas and set aside.    Mix sugar and butter and whip til creamy.  Add to this the 4 eggs, mix well and then add all the banana mixture. 

Now add the flour a cup at a time and mix well, then add the baking powder, soda and salt.   Finally mix in the vanilla.  The texture will be nice a fluffy and creamy.

Place in the 13 x 9 baking dish, well greased.   Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the middle springs back to touch or a knife comes clean when inserted into the middle. 
Now the cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients:

8      ounces  butter, softened
8  ounces cream cheese, softened
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla. 
Cool cake completely then ice the cake.  Tasty and moist and coming back for more. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

FRESH PEACH COBBLER



Ingredients:

8 large peaches, peeled, halved and sliced
3 c sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c (2 sticks), melted

(Batter)
2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c milk

Directions:

 In large bowl, toss peaches, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar. Set aside.

 Melt butter into a 13x9 glass baking dish or pan. 

 In another large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 1/2 cups 
sugar til mixed. Stir in milk and vanilla til just combined. (Don't over mix it can be a little
 lumpy.)

 Pour batter slowly over butter evenly.
 Top batter evenly with peach slices. Drizzle any 
leftover sugar mixture over peaches.


Here it is ready to go into the oven.


 Bake at 375 for 55 minutes til top is totally done and firm to the touch.  Serve with whipped topping or vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

STUFFED PEPPERS



One of my husband’s favorites is Stuffed Peppers.  He loves cabbage rolls but gets a reaction to the cabbage and sauerkraut.  So I thought I’d share this very special recipe with you as well.  With the abundance of green peppers in the summer, it makes it easy and inexpensive to make.

Ingredients:
4 large green bell peppers
Long grain white or brown rice, pre-made and set aside
1 ½ # lean ground round
1# hot breakfast sausage
1 egg
6 baby carrots chopped
1 large onion chopped
4 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
½ stick butter
2 – 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 – 15 ounce diced tomatoes
Garlic salt and black pepper

Make the rice of choice and set aside.  I make white or brown long grain rice.  Two cups of water with 1 cup rice.  Prepare as directed and set aside.
Saute` onions, carrots, and celery in butter until they  are softened and translucent.  In a large bowl, place the ground beef and hot breakfast sausage along with 1 egg.   Add about 1 heaping tsp. of garlic salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.  Mix well.  Then add the sautéed vegetables and rice and make sure everything is combined evenly.
Cut the peppers in half (across the stem).  Remove stem and with a spoon scrape out all the seeds and membrane.  In a large pot, put enough water to bring to a boil and you want to parboil the peppers until they are blanched.  Drain water and add cold water to cool down.  Drain again.
Now you need to spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of your small roaster or 9 x 13 baking dish.  Fill each pepper half with a generous amount of filling.  Place side by side in pan and if need be make two layers.  Pour all the remaining tomato sauce on top evenly as well as the can of diced tomatoes.  Sprinkle enough  garlic salt and black pepper to season. 
(Ready to put in oven)

Place in a 350 degree oven without the lid for 1 and ½ hours.   Place the lid on top and continue to bake for an additional hour.  At this time turn the oven down to 325 degrees.  Re-cover the pan and bake for an additional hour and a half.   Turn oven down to warm until you are ready to serve.
The longer and slower you bake it the better the flavors will blend.  The hot breakfast sausage adds a little zip to the flavor.   If you prefer, you can use just plain sausage.
 Serve with a salad and enjoy!!


Monday, August 6, 2012

FRIED ZUCCHINI BAKE ITALIANO


This recipe can be made for as much or as little as you need,  but for the recipe sake, I will give it to you in these proportions. (Double it as needed)

Ingredients:


2 medium zucchini (washed and slice 1/8 inch thick, with skin on)


Vegetable oil
1 egg
Milk
1/2 c. flour
Box of Panko Crumbs
Garlic salt
Pepper
28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce, your choice
(I prefer Hunts Garli & Herb Spaghetti sauce - 24 oz.) 
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese

In a small bowl,  mix egg with milk and beat and set aside.

 In a medium bowl, put flour, panko crumbs, a shake of garlic salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and mix well.

In a large frying pan, put enough oil so it's about 1/2 inch deep. Allow the oil to heat just enough to fry  (take a couple drops of water and put into oil, when it pops and dances, it's time to fry). 

Take zucchini slices and with fork dip on both sides with egg wash  then dip both sides with the  flour-cracker mixture so it is completely coated.   I then dip again in egg wash and press more crumbs (the more the better.)  


Place carefully into the hot oil and put enough zucchini in to cover the bottom. Turn the zucchini over and allow to brown nice and evenly on both sides. 


Do NOT burn and watch it very carefully. You may need to turn down the heat if it's too hot.

 Place zucchini on paper towels to drain and continue the process until all the zucchini is cooked.


Cover the bottom of a large baking dish with your spaghetti sauce.    Put  the zucchini edge to edge (or even overlap) to completely cover the bottom. If there's more zucchini than  needed to cover the bottom, double up in some areas. Cover the cooked zucchini with the rest of  the  sauce.  

Sprinkle with parmesan and  4 oz. of the  shredded mozzarella on top.


Bake in a 350 degree oven until all the cheese is melted and bubbling all around the edges. It should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes to serve.  This is a delicious addition to any meal or even a wonderful meatless main dish with salad. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Garden 2012

One of the big projects I wanted to do was a raised garden bed. Also known as square foot gardening.  I had seen the idea many times and decided  what I wanted.  Tom helped me by buying two 4' x 4' kits making the garden 4' x 8'.  I thought this would be adequate.  Then the combination of soils we bought was the Miracle Grow potting soil which feeds for 6 months plus mushroom compost, vermiculite and sphagnum peat moss.  On the bottom we put a couple of bags of pebbles and gravel for drainage.  Then a very thick layer of newspaper  (not the shiny colored kind just regular black and white).   Mixed the soil on top of a large tarp until it was blended and then filled the bed with it.   Then the next idea I saw was how to keep all the varmints out, including neighborhood cats, squirrels, and chipmunks until I could be sure they were safe.  (of course, I'll probably have to re-cover later).
 So I told Tom my idea and showed him some pictures and he came up with the pvc pipe and connectors to make what I call my "covered wagon" garden. :)  I bought Bird Block from Home Depot to cover and protect it.  I used those little ties to connect it to the pipe.. and voila!!   Now it's been a little over a month and here's some more pics. 
 A  little more growth
 And a little more growth... 

 A closeup of the first plum tomato
It's getting there... more to come.
Here it is now with tomatoes all ripening on the vines.


As the summer went along and the heat was unbearable, a lot of the plants were not producing, so I pulled out some of the stuff, (including cucumber plants that just died)... trimmed back many of the tomato plants and decided to plant radishes, lettuce and another crop of cucumbers.  I figured as of July 30th, we had at least two good months of growing left.   So this is the beginning of the new crop.  I may try some other seeds as fall comes. 

The second thing I wanted to do was to fix up the back of the garage which is the view I see from our new deck from last year.  It definitely was NOT a sight for sore eyes, but made my eyes sore (ha  long story).  Anyway, my hubby and daughter helped clean up the area and then I went into action. 
I dug up the area closest to the deck steps  and covered it with black plastic to keep the weeds down.  Then I added a couple combos of soil and vermiculite, etc.   and planted impatiens (especially because it's very shady) and begonias and a few marigolds.

The next part of the project included filling in the nearly 10' next to the flowers which had been home to the trash cans, wheelbarrow and such.   Underneath, my husband had built it up with a brick surface and tons of stones to keep the drainage from the rain.  Instead of digging up ALL the bricks and stones, I decided to keep them there and cover with black plastic and buy bags of chipped white marble stones.  So, I did that.    Bought 6-50# bags of stone to cover and before I did that I bought red interlocking stone  for edging.  This took a little time because I had to dig and shape for these to fit into.  
I 've had mole problems as well, so this has not helped the evenness  of the stones.   With the 13 stones set into place, I spread the white marble  stones.  I will have to keep an eye on it because of the moles, but it doesn't look too bad. 
Here's the view from the yard looking at the deck and back of garage now.

I love how the impatiens have grown in.

I also bought a couple of those upside down planters just for the heck of it.  They only cost $2 so I didn't think I was going to lose much.  One has a tomato and the other is for peppers.   It had enough spots for 7 pepper plants.  

 This was when they were first planted.
See how much its grown and the tomatoes on it.


Now you can see a little bit of the jalapeno and Hungarian hot wax peppers that are forming.   Pretty cool. 
(P.S.  I wouldn't buy them again.  Not that productive)

Another cool idea I got was from Pinterest (gotta love that site).   Put the celery stalk in the garden and watch the leaves grow.  You can cut and use for soups and sauces or potato salads.  Great idea and YES it works. 
I've got 3 of them now. Amazing. 
It 's neat to see how the celery has grown.  Now it can be pinched to use in soups or dried to use later.
Well, here's the celery leaves from the celery I grew above.   I washed  the leaves and placed them on a paper towel lined cookie sheet and placed in the lowest setting in the oven.   It takes any where from 1 and 1/2 hours to 2 hours to totally dry. 
When it's all cooled, remove the hard stems and place in a small ziplock baggie and label it.
Now, my kids teased me and said, "Sure it's celery leaves."   Yes it definitely is.    

Now just some of the flowers which grace the yard.   I just love to look at them every day and watch them grow and change.  I marvel in the creation that God has given us to enjoy.  What a blessing.  Can you imagine what heaven will be like?
I can only imagine.... 






This is the second time the knock out roses have bloomed along side the yellow daisies. 









The yellow and pink miniature rose bushes I planted on the edge of the wall.