Thursday, March 31, 2011

Strawberry Banana Bars W/Lemony Cream Cheese Icing

Aahhh, the Taste of Spring

Because Spring seems to be somewhat elusive this year, and because there were some over ripe bananas laying around, and because making more banana bread sounded way to boring, I went in search of Spring elsewhere and found it here among the other treats. They were originally meant to be cupcakes but I wasn't in a cupcake mood either, so I decided to bake them in bar form and change the icing up a bit by adding lemon juice for something different. What a delicious surprise!! One that has Spring written all over it! So give them a try and you'll find Spring in a bite of  sweet confection.

this pic is minus the oil, yes it was one of  THOSE days ☺

Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray a 15½ x 10½ inch pan with non stick spray.

Ingredient List:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
¾ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped strawberries

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the bananas and strawberries and the lemon zest. Stir again till combined.

Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Lemony Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk
Powdered Sugar

Combine first five ingredients in a mixer bowl and add enough powdered sugar till spreading consistency is reached. Approximaetly 4-4½ cups. If it's too thick add more milk. If it's to thin add more powdered sugar.

While I was eating this yummy piece, (what??!! you DON'T eat the things you take pictures of ?!) I thought to myself, hmmm, these would be delightful with more fresh, chopped strawberries over top of them. Might have to try them in season. But first Spring needs to come so the season can start, eh?

Linking to :
Time Travel Thursday
Home Sweet Home
Hodge Podge
Keep It Simple Sunday
Debbiedoos New Blogger Party
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Sweet Tooth Friday
Food Fight Friday
Cupcake Apothecary
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I Love Spinach and Favorite Things

I've fallen in love with SPINACH

I'm not sure when I became hooked on Spinach but I've come to really enjoy this stuff  and these are a few ways I have been enjoying it. On my personal pizza along with fresh button mushrooms, onions, hot peppers, with a little bit of meat and cheese. Sometime I'd love to have it with sundried tomato pesto and fresh mozzerella cheese with a little fresh basil on top of everything.

And I absolutely LOVE it in a stir fry I make sometimes with broccoli, onions, red bell peppers over the best brown and wild rice mixture I've ever been lucky enough to eat. Perfect combination of goodness right there. And it's always better when I eat it with my red handled fork. Presently I have one fork, one spoon, and one knife like this in the house. My daughter and I both like to eat with them. I think I shall purchase more of them on my next visit to Ohio. That's where I bought these. Maybe we're quirky about this but I don't think that can be helped.

Be Blessed!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Lemons and Thyme

Tender, Juicy Chicken

with an interesting twist!

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light Magazine some time ago and last week when I went for groceries I noticed the roasting chickens were on sale so I picked up a few and gave this a whirl.
The lemon keeps it from drying out and gives it a good flavor along with the thyme. Thyme is always a good thing!

1 (6 lb) roasting chicken
2 teaspoons paprika
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
Cooking Spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
Lemon slices
Thyme sprigs

Preheat oven to 425°.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Combine paprika, 1 tablespoon thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper; rub under skin. Thinly slice 1 lemon; arrange slices under loosened skin. Cut remaining lemon into quarters. Place lemon quarters inside chicken cavity along with the remaining thyme.

Place chicken on a rack of a broiler or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush oil over skin. Cover chicken with foil. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 50 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165°. Tranfer chicken to a cutting board; cover with foil; and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

It was so juicy and delicious!

If you want you can make a gravy with the drippings but I preferred it without even though I did make it we ended up not using it. The chicken was too yummy to spoil it with gravy. So in the ingredient picture I have those things for the gravy, just ignore them. ☺

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Be Blessed!

Easy Grilled Pork Chops


Marinating center cut pork chops in Italian Dressing is a super easy way to get some great flavor into them and grilling them adds more deliciousness to the flavor. I like to have them in the marinade for at least several hours

and grilling them on a HOT grill to ensure juiciness. Simple is the way to go!


We had these today with salad and some grilled mushrooms that we wrapped in bacon. Those are totally awesome too! but they didn't survive the grill in a picture worthy fashion so I will try them some other time. You see, my hubby is a much better (more patient) griller than I but he had a killer headache for some reason and couldn't even eat with us sooo... but I'm happy to say he is better now after a loonngg nap. ☺☺☺

Linking to:
Debbies Newbie Party
Brambleberry Cottage
The Tattered Tag
Wicked Wednesday

German Chocolate Pie


I used to work at a popular restaurant in Holmes County, Ohio and this was one of my favorite pies they served there. Creamy, Smooth, and a perfect fit with soft ice cream and coffee. I have been trying to perfect this recipe for a while and while it's still not quite the way I want it, maybe I'm too picky, it is still worth making and sharing. I think my problem is that I'm too impatient and get it out of the oven too soon. So... moral of the story -leave it in there till it's done and tent the top with foil to protect it if it looks too dark.

4 ounces german chocolate squares
1/3 cup butter
2¾ cups milk, 1 can evaporated and the rest 2%
2¼ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons (serving spoon size) cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1 10 inch unbaked pie shell
coconut flakes and chopped pecans, enough for a generous sprinkle over the top

Melt chocolate with butter over low heat, stirring until blended. Remove from heat, gradually blend in milk. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt with a wire whisk in a seperate bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Gradually blend in chocolate mixture. Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with coconut and pecans. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Filling should be soft but will set while cooling. Cool at least 4 hours before cutting.

Linking to:
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Peanut Butter Cream Pie

Nothing new, nothing complicated

Just Creamy and Delicious!

Those two words usually also mean it's gonna be good and I'm gonna love it!
My Mom shared a little trick with me that also adds the word fluffy to this combo yet.
She uses half cornstarch and half clear-jel (the cook type, not the instant stuff).


You will need:
1 baked pie shell 9"

For the Basic Vanilla Pudding:
4 cups 2% milk, divided
4 Tablespoons butter
½ cup white sugar
4 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons (serving spoon size) Cornstarch
3 Tablespoons (serving spoon size) Clear-jel
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
½ teaspoon salt

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add 3 cups milk and sprinkle sugar evenly over milk. Place remaining cup of milk and the rest of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into milk mixture and stir
constantly over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. When ready to fill the pie crust whip the pudding with a hand mixer and add desired amount of Cool Whip to fluff it up.

For the Crumbs:
¾ cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
Mix together with a fork until small crumbs are formed.

Place a little more than half of the crumbs in the bottom of a baked pie shell.

Fill crust with Vanilla Pudding. Sprinkle more crumbs over this and top with cool whip or whipped cream. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.

Best served the day it is assembled.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

German Chocolate/Ice Cream Breakfast and Shopping

This day in my Life...

This morning when I woke up and saw a bit of snow on the ground it made me feel a little crazy. Seriously! I mean we keep saying Spring is around the corner, okay maybe it is, but how many corners do I have to turn to get to it!

 Yesterday I made a German chocolate pie and sadly it needs more cornstarch because it did not set up right when it was cooled, (I will share the yumminess with you all once I've tweaked and perfected it) :) but I couldn't help myself this morning, I knew I needed a morning brightener so I had runny chocolate pie and ice cream for breakfast. Bad Girl! Because I am actually on a diet to get smaller, not larger. But I will tell you, it was that bit of snow that put me over the edge!

I had this with gourmet coffee. Something else I haven't had for a while. And I thought it was interesting that I randomly chose one of my favorite cups which reads:

                                                         "CHERISH EACH MOMENT"

I did cherish each bite but I will tell you something else, I did not feel real good after the fact. This is not my normal breakfast! (And I have a much better picture of this somewhere on my computer but do you think I can locate it? I upload it to my web albums but it's not there when I go to post it!) Arrgg!

So because the cold persists and I felt like I needed to get OUT, and because almost none of my daughters shirts reaches the places that they should, I decided to go shopping. So I took myself to Kohl's and Target, and Ross, and to a Shoe store.

Now my daughter is properly clothed and my oldest son has jeans that fit again...and I feel much better now that I've blurted it all out. So if you came here hoping to see a tasty recipe, I apologize, but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Something tasty is sure to appear here soon again but for today...thanks for listening!! :)

One more thing, my second son needs a baby tooth extracted this afternoon, and he is not happy about this!! He feels positive the dentist can't be trusted!

I hope you have enjoyed your stroll through my hormonal day!  :) Makes me feel a little hysterical... Happy Wednesday! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stir Fried Cabbage w/Cottage Ham

If you like cabbage and if you like ham, this is really, really yummy! I spent a few days with my folks last week and my Mom told me to try this. So glad I did! I love stir fried cabbage and it is so easy to prepare!

I started by heating a small bone in ham in the crock pot. After it was done I sliced it and chopped about a 2/3 cup and kept the rest for another use.

I took a head of cabbage and cut it into fourths and sliced one of the fourths very thin.

Next I diced some green onions.

Then I steamed the cabbage for about three minutes till it was crisp/tender.

Then I put a little oil and butter into a saute' pan and stir fried the cabbage and onions. When they were well on the way I started adding seasonongs.

Garlic powder, sea salt, white pepper, greek seasoning, and some SomerSweet, or you can use a little sugar. Added the ham next to let it heat while the veggies finished cooking. Next time I might be brave and add a few apple slices to sweeten things up.

Oh my, that was a tasty lunch!! Hope you try it out sometime! Happy Monday to you all!

Here's the ingredient list:
¼ head of cabbage
green onions, desired amount
2/3 cup chopped ham
Seasonings of your choice, I used:
Greek seasoning
white pepper
garlic powder
sea salt
Somer Sweet instead of sugar

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag

Be Blessed!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ranch Potato Casserole

                                               mmm mmmm mmmmmm!!

This is a recipe from one of  my Aunts who enjoys cooking. She adds a topping of cornflakes and butter before baking but I thought I would leave that of since it's already smothered in calories. They are scrumptious!

2-2½ lbs small red potatoes
½ cup sour cream
½ cup prepared ranch dressing
¼ cup fried, crumbled bacon
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese

Cut potatoes in half and boil just until soft. Drain well. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat.

Put in a baking dish and bake until heated through and cheese is melted. Top with more cheese and bacon or garnish as desired.

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag
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Be Blessed!

Chocolate Mocha Pie

This is a pie that I remember from my growing up years. My Mom was always good at making it perfectly smooth-and it was delicious!!
9 inch baked pie shell
1 Tablespoon plain gelatin
¼ cup cold water
2 Tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant coffee, brewed
1¼ cups milk
1 cup cream,whipped or
2 cups cool whip
1 teaspoon vanilla, omit if using cool whip
Soften gelatin in water. Bring cocoa, sugar, salt, coffee, and milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add gelatin. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Cool until slightly thickened. Beat the cooked mixture until smooth. Beat cream until soft peaks form and add vanilla. Beat again till mixed. Or add the cool whip. Fold whipped cream or cool whip into cooked mixture. Pour into pie shell and garnish as desired.

I used an extra deep pie pan so I used a recipe and a half.

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Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake


I hadn't made a cheesecake for a while and was kind of itching to try something I had never made before so I concocted this one on Saturday. It's rich and creamy and super yummy. Lucky for us we had a fellowship lunch at church on Sunday so we didn't have to try to eat it all by ourselves!

I had some plain chocolate cookie wafers in the cupboard that I thought needed to be used up so I made plenty of crust and pressed it all the way up the sides of the pan. The brown sugar gives it it's pretty golden color and the toffee bits are so yummy! I added plenty of those. Four layers of them! Yum!

Preheat oven to 300°.

For the crust:
2½ cups crushed chocolate cookies
3 tablespoons white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together and press into a non stick sprayed 10 inch Springform pan.

For the cheesecake:
32 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract

1½ cups Heath Bar bits, divided into fourths

For the topping:
8 ounces sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each and scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. (Overbeating at this point causes cracks in the finished product). Add the extracts and mix again.

Sprinkle a fourth of the heath bits over crust.

Pour ½ of cheesecake filling over this. Sprinkle with another fourth of Heath bits.

Gently pour the rest of the filling over this and spread evenly. Sprinkle another fourth of Heath bits over the top.

Place cheesecake on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and prop door open with a wooden spoon handle and let cheesecake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and gently spread topping over cheesecake then return to the oven with the door closed for another 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Remove from Springform pan to serve. Garnish as desired.

Here I put a little chocolate and caramel topping over top, and more Heath bits :) or you can leave it plain. Either way it's delicious and it sure didn't last long!

LInking to:
Debbies Newbie Party
The Tattered Tag
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Chicken Salad

This is super easy and can be used in so many different ways!

I like it:
 on crackers as an appetizer
on top of a lettuce salad
in pita pockets
on whole wheat toast
wrapped in plain lettuce leaves, etc.

Use your imagination and eat it the way you like it. I'm sure you will enjoy it!

1 lb. cooked cut up chicken
2/3 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Makes approximately 3 cups.

 Today I chose to eat it with a Whole Wheat Pita Pocket and some cut up spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes. It sure was tasty for a Monday morning brunch!

I won't be posting any more recipes this week because I plan to go visit my family in Ohio!! There's two new babies out there for me to cuddle and a whole family for me to catch up on. We haven't been out there since August 2010 so there will be quite a bit to catch up on. My wonderful husband and children will stay here to keep the fires burning till I return. My Mother-in-law will be traveling with me, she has a sister living in the same area as my family. So...if y'all think of us Tuesday and Friday pray a prayer of safety for us!

See you all next week! ~ Martha ☺

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rustic Strawberry and Scones w/Clotted Cream


It took several tries but I finally got these little things the way I wanted them.

I love the texture the whole wheat flour gives them and the sweetness of the strawberries and cream.
and the sugar, can't forget the sugar, love that too!

1½ cups whole wheat flour, (freshly milled)
2 cups all purpose white flour (Gold Medal)
2/3 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ salt
½ baking soda
¾ cup cold butter, grated
2½ teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
1 cup cream
1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Grate in the cold butter.

With your hands, rub the dry mixture into the butter until evenly mixed and small crumbs are formed.

Add the egg,

with the help of little hands ☺

 vanilla and cream and stir with a fork until mixture sticks together and all the flour is moistened.

Add diced strawberries and mix gently by hand.

Turn onto a wheat flour dusted work space. Press gently into a round shape about 1 inch thick, dusting the top with flour to prevent sticking to your hands too much.

Use a biscuit cutter or just cut into wedges. If cutting into wedges, divide dough into two rounds.

Place scones onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Beat together one egg and a small amount of milk and brush over top of scones.

Sprinkle coarse sugar on top.

Bake 15-20 minutes @ 425°.

Serve with Clotted Cream.

Linking to:
The Tattered Tag
Debbies Newbie Party

Be Blessed!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Black Raspberry Scones

I love everything about scones! their lightness, the texture, the flavors, and it's fun to make them. And you might be surprised how easy they are to prepare!

1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup cream
Mix together and let set till the cream is soured, or I suppose you could simply use 1 cup prepared sour cream.

3½ cups all purpose flour (Gold Medal)
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

¾ cup unsalted butter, grated*

*Grate the butter and mix into flour mixture by hand.

*Crumbling it together till the butter shreds are pea sized (approximate) and evenly coated with the dry ingredients.

Then add:
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
Soured cream

Mix gently till all the dry ingredients are wet. If it seems too dry add small amounts of milk till the consistency is right.

1 cup frozen berries of your choice

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Then pat into a circle about 1 inch thick.

Cut into wedges or shape of your choice and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Don't put them too close together because they spread a good bit as they bake.

Brush with milk.

Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake @ 425° for 20 minutes.

*This proceedure also works for mixing pie crust. In my opinion it's less time consuming.
I had some Lemon Curd in my refrigerator that I had bought a while ago that I warmed up a bit and served with them. Perfect! They were so delicious!!

Try them, you will not be disappointed! If you live close to me, I would be more than happy to make them for you! ☺

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