Monday, August 29, 2011

My Week!

morning sun from my front porch

Usually the end of August after the children return to school I have a week or two that seem like anything but a vacation! These weeks usually involve tomatoes, pears, peaches, and anything else that is ripe. This week there are also peppers...and a son turning 16... and a meal to prepare for someone from church. Along with a few other extras and the normal duties of a wife/mom. All things I enjoy doing, but still that in-over-my-head feeling will surely be present!

We were fortunate to escape Irene with leaves and twigs being the only cleanup necessary. And we had electricity through the whole storm. Blessed indeed!

So I just thought I would warn you all that there probably won't be anything interesting being cooked or baked at our house this week. ☺

What does your week look like?

Be Blessed!

Friday, August 26, 2011

UPrinting Giveaway

Would you love some customized letterhead? Maybe you've been wanting to update the look of your business, etsy, or blog letterhead. Or perhaps you could use some personal staionary, or maybe you know a friend that would enjoy some personalized stationary as a gift. With you can make your own letterhead and the possibilities are endless!

I'm excited to be able to share this with you, so dive in and check it out! You just might be a winner by Monday night!☺

Letterhead Printing
Envelope Printing

Here are all the details:500 pcs letterhead for one (1) winner
5.5" x 8.5"
70lb Offset
Front Only Printing
4 Business Days Print Turnaround Time
*Free Shipping
Restriction - Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only
If you have won a UPrinting giveaway in the last six (6) months you are not eligible to win.

How to enter:
1. Follow my blog and leave a comment that you've done so.
2. Share the giveaway on your blog with a link back, leave a comment here for that.
3. Share the giveaway on your facebook, leave a comment here for that.

Please leave an email address with each comment so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner!☺
Giveaway ends Monday August 29, 6:00 p.m. EST.

Giveaway closed

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive letterhead printing service by hosting. Letterhead design and envelope printing is also available. Please visit for more details.

Good Luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pumpkin Bars


We love Pumpkin Bars!

I know it's a bit early to begin with Fall flavors but I needed something for lunches and was out of butter so I decided it has to be something with oil and these bars were the first thing that came to my mind. My next dilemma was that I had only a big can of pumpkin and I don't really like to have that stuff hanging around in the fridge so I made a very large pan of bars and also a few cupcakes. This took care of the whole can of pumpkin and now I have some goodies in the freezer. I only used 1 recipe of Cream Cheese Icing for a double recipe of bars. I really like this icing but also like to be able to taste what's beneath it. ☺

They are easy and go together in a jiffy.

4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

In a mixer bowl beat the eggs till light and fluffy. Add the oil, pumpkin, and sugar. Mix; then add the salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix again then add the flour and nuts. Mix, scraping down sides as necessary. Pour into an 11 x 15 baking pan. (Sprayed with non stick spray)
Bake @ 350° for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing with

Cream Cheese Icing:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
3½ cups powdered sugar

Place ingredients into mixer bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread on cooled bars.
Store in the refrigerator.


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Parmesan Meatballs

Recently I made a big batch of these meatballs and since then we have enjoyed them in various ways. They are full of flavor and very versatile.

2 lbs. 90% lean ground beef
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed fine
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Mix all together and form into balls (size 50 cookie scoop). Fry in Olive Oil or bake @ 375° for 25 minutes. I've done them both ways and much prefer the baking method. Less time consuming and less fat. For my last batch I didn't have grated Parmesan Cheese so I just used a shredded mixture of Romano, Parmesan, and Asiago cheeses. Delish - with lots of flavor!

                                                       First of all we had them like this:

We are not huge fans of spaghetti but it was the quickest thing I could think of after a busy day canning pizza sauce. ☺

                                                           Then we had them in a Sub:

Everyone enjoyed them like this except my daughter, she ate them plain with no bread and reluctantly at that. Someday, maybe, I'll understand everyones tastebuds at the same time on the same day!☺ I had mine with cheese and fresh basil. The others had theirs plain.

Then in a Stromboli with cheese and pepperoni and Sauce for dipping:

And last but not least Stuffed Crust Pizza

They were all tasty. The Pizza and Stromboli Crust recipe is here. To stuff the crust, roll it bigger than the pan and cut strips of cheese and fold the crust over the cheese and seal the edges. This is Anthony's favorite way to make them and he was helping me. He's a great helper in the kitchen!

Cut the meatballs into slices

Top with cheese and pepperoni and bake @ 490° for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 400° and bake until golden. Mine got a little more 'gloden' than I would have preferred because I was stressing about the crust in the center and sort of forgot that it was still in the oven. But it was still yummy.☺ At least I guess so there was only one piece left and I didn't eat any.

I hope you try them and enjoy them!

Be Blessed! 

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Roasted Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap


I had some leftover roasted chicken and some fried bacon in the fridge begging to be used, so for lunch today I thought I would make a wrap like Subway's delicious sandwich that I enjoy when I go there. I usually eat it in a flat bread but had these almost paper thin tortillas on hand instead. It was scrumptious!

melt the cheese in the microwave

roasted chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pepperoncini, and ranch dressing

wrap it up and enjoy!

Be Blessed!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Apple Allspice Muffins

Fresh, Warm, and Delicious

What could be better than a cooler, calm morning with fresh and fruity muffins with spice and nuts and a struesel topping?

Well...I'm sure we could all think of something in our life that is way better but for a treat this morning I decided we should enjoy these. They are moist and tender oh so yummy!

¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
1 cup finely chopped apples
½ cup walnuts (I used pecans)

4 Tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon allspice

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.

Combine the next four ingredients

  Add alternately with the milk. Begin and end with dry mixture. Do not overmix. Stir in apples and walnuts.

Fill greased muffin pans (I used paper-lined ones) using a size 20 cookie scoop.

Combine the topping ingredients until crumbly.

Sprinkle over each muffin.

Bake @ 400° for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing.

Be Blessed!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Pizza Sauce

Quite a few years ago a friend of mine shared this recipe with me and I think it's the best tasting home canned pizza sauce I've tasted yet. It has just about everything in there and is nice and thick. I've been putting up tomatoes and peaches this week and made this yesterday with more to come.

One thing that I would not want to do without to make this stuff happen is this little gadget right here:

It's easy to assemble and beats a Victorio Strainer by a mile in the making of tomato juice!

Also easy to take apart and keep clean. If you don't have one you should get one. I've had mine for more than ten years and it still works like a top! I can't remember the name of it though, I think it was something like Tomato Press. If anyone could help me out there that would be great! I bought it at an Amish store in the area here in Lancaster County.

Another thing I do to make sure the tomato juice is thick is to drain the cooked tomatoes till they look kind of dry, draining off as much of or all the clear watery juice.

I then crank it through this handy little gadget.

The seedy waste stuff (in the white bowl) is usually pretty juicy yet after the first time around. I crank that through again once more to get all the pulp.

nice and thick, eh?

                                           The children always seem to be on hand for this. ☺

After this there is usually a bit more of the clear juice to get rid of and I use a tiny baster for that.

I know... that's what they have cheese cloths for. But that is messy and a pain to clean up so... I do it the easy way. ☺ If I don't have enough juice for 1 batch of sauce I just freeze it until I have enough ripe tomatoes for another round of juice. After this comes the fun part, and the smell is wonderful!!

1 gallon tomato paste
9 quarts tomato juice
1 quart ketchup
3 cups sugar ( I think that's too much and I used SomerSweet instead)
9 Tablespoons parsley flakes
6 Tablespoons sea salt
6 Tablespoons Paprika
3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
3 Tablespoons Oregano
3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Dry Mustard
2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
9 Large Onions*
8 Celery Ribs*
2½ cups Parmesan Cheese, optional

I quit adding the cheese because I serve it with Italian dishes anyway.

*The Onions and Celery are sliced and cooked, covered in water, until soft then drained and blended till smooth.

Add all ingredients together and mix well so the paste and spices are distributed evenly.

 Sometimes I heat it to mix it , sometimes I don't. Place in quart jars, wipe tops of jars clean, cap, and screw the ring on tightly. Water bathe for 30 minutes or if you have a pressure canner it is 15 minutes @ 11 lbs. pressure. Read directions and follow them when using a pressure canner! 
Yield: 16 quarts

For an easy supper after a busy day I decided to take advantage of the fresh sauce and have spaghetti w/ Parmesan Meatballs.

Be Blessed!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Buttermilk Waffles w/Peaches and Cream


 Because I was too tired and uninspired to cook anything awe inspiring tonight I decided on these waffles, and because I was peeling and chopping peaches today for the freezer (previous post) I thought I would try mine with them instead of the usual peanut butter and syrup.


My husband had some of his waffles like this as well and they passed the test for him too.

I didn't have buttermilk but I had some plain yogurt and to fill out the measure of buttermilk I needed I also used regular milk with lemon juice in it. If you let it sit for five minutes it will curdle and thicken like buttermilk. So with the combo of the yogurt and the homemade buttermilk I was good to go with the rest of the ingredients. I added about a ¼ cup of lemon juice to 1¼ cups of milk.

Buttermilk Waffles
2¼ cups all purpose flour
1½ Tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
3 egg yolks
2¼ cups buttermilk
9 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 egg whites, beaten

Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Combine egg yolks and buttermilk, stir in melted butter. Stir until smooth. Stir into dry ingredients until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter. Bake in a waffle iron. Serve immediately.

I added a little cinnamon and vanilla to the whipped cream and drizzled a bit of Pure Maple Syrup over the whole thing. With my cup of Green Tea it hit the spot!

Enjoy and Be Blessed!

Frozen Lunchbox Peaches

In case anyone was wondering, I haven't forgotten this little place where I share yummy food ideas but the last few weeks have been busy!! Getting everyone ready for school and trying to get a few last minute fun things in and doing some canning and freezing. Yeah, just haven't had the time or inspiration for a lot of brainstorming in the foodie part of my life. It's 4:30 now and my son just reminded me that I should start getting concerned about whats for supper. I know... I should! But I feel like the day should be done and a simple cup of tea would be fine with me. I know though, that I will have to come up with something more substantial than a cup of tea! But no matter I'll figure it out shortly, just now I need a break!

I was peeling peaches today... and driving my son to and from work... and pondering how to be a Mom to teenagers for the next - hundred years. ☺ It's all good, I just need a bracing cup of tea or something! Notice I didn't say chocolate, I'm trying to be a good girl!

I decided to do things differently this year and freeze peaches in individual cups instead of canning them, for the lunches I will have to pack starting next week.

(Is it possible that 90 days have passed so quickly?! Wow time really did fly by this summer!!)

Back to the peaches: I have a few friends that have been using this recipe for several years and say their school children like it a lot better than canned ones. I'm all for less hot, sticky messes in my house so this sounded great!

6 quarts chopped peaches
2-3 cups sugar
1 box dry Sure-Jel
3 Tablespoons Fruit Fresh

Self appointed peeler of peaches. She was surprisingly good at it for a first timer! It didn't last long but sure was nice having a helper while it lasted!

                                   she peeled backwards but I figure she'll catch on somewhere along the way☺

Peel peaches, chop, and mix everything together.

 Place in containers and freeze. Put into lunches and by lunch time it should be slushy. Yummy and refreshing!

I scooped about a 1/2 - 2/3 cup into my containers and got approximately 43 containers per ½ bushel basket of peaches. I bought the containers at a bulk food store. They are approximately 1 cup in size. I also bought a smaller ½ cup size for my daughters lunchbox.

Now I guess I really do need to figure out whats for supper, somehow my mind can't think past pancakes or waffles. Perfect with my cup of tea!

this is how my supper turned out :)
It was scrumptious!

Be Blessed!

Cool giveaway here.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping

                                                                 mmm mmm MMM!

A couple of weeks ago our church family enjoyed an ice cream social and I decided to take along some peanut butter topping. My husbands favourite sundae at Friendly's is the Peanut Butter Cup one. I've tried to imitate it in the past and never quite achieved the texture that I wanted, so after doing some more research I found this recipe here. The texture is perfect and the flavor is delicious! I wanted to increase the recipe so that I would have plenty to share at the social, hahaha, however! I ended up with WAY more than I expected! So after serving it and giving some away and freezing some I was still looking for ways to use what I still had. So here are a few things we have enjoyed that are made with it:





all of which are totally delicious!

and here is the recipe:

½ cup half and half
3 Tablespoons sugar
¼ cup light Karo syrup
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Combine all ingredients (except peanut butter) in a saucepan stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.

Let the mixture cool completely then add the peanut butter and stir well.

Stir until smooth.

this supposedly serves 2


Be Blessed!