Friday, October 28, 2011

Black Bean and Avocado Salsa

My new favorite lunch!

Day 1

While I know that this salsa is not the latest/newest concoction to spring from the pantry I never imagined that the words "I love black beans" would ever come out of my mouth. (And while I know that isn't a correct statement, I think you all understand what I mean.) ☺ So, in my household, it is a relatively new thing, and I can say that I mean it when I say those little things are quite good to eat! And if you mix them with red onions and tomatoes and silky smooth avocados and lime juice to boot you have a winning combo that is also versatile. So without further ado I will share with you my latest lunch happiness! Day one I ate it with dip chips. ♥

Day 2

Day 2 I put this concoction in a wrap with some leftover chicken breast, Romaine, and fresh Spinach. Aaaahh, yum!! ♥♥

Day 3

Day 3 I ate it as a salad with chicken breast and a small amount of ranch dressing.♥♥♥ All of these lunches were delicious and very satisfying!

As for the ingredients, I mixed together:

1 can black beans
1 Avocado, diced
Red Onion
Frozen Corn
Hot Peppers
Fresh Parsley
Lime Juice
Sea Salt

Starting with the first 2 ingredients as your base add the rest of the ingredients in amounts that please you. Try it sometime, I think you will LOVE it! I know I did!

Make sure you stop in here for a Giveaway!

Be Blessed!

Linked to: Weekend Wrap Up, Six Sisters Stuff, Friday Food, VIP Party, On The Menu MOnday, Simply Delish

Ms. enPlace 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake and a Giveaway

                                                       So Smooth, So Creamy

so delicious!!

I was asked to bring a Pumpkin Cheesecake to a ladies evening at church and my friend Rose directed me to this Taste of Home recipe. Wow, I'm so glad she did! I like when cheesecakes are tall and creamy but most recipes are baked in 9 inch pans and are more flat and dry. I increased the recipe in part so that it would fill a 9 inch Springform pan. It did not disappoint! It was smooth and super creamy! I liked the nut topping too, it added just enough crunch to keep it interesting. And everyone seemed to enjoy it a lot!

Crust ingredients:
1½ cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 32 cookies)
¼ cup melted butter

Cake ingredients:
5 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1¼ cups canned pumpkin
1¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping ingredients:
Lightly toasted walnut pieces
white chocolate drizzle
or any garnish of your choice

In a food processor chop the cookies into crumbs.

With the blade rotating, slowly pour melted butter through the tube.

Press into the bottom of a greased 9 inch Springform pan; set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla together. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat only till combined. Stir in melted chocolate. Combine pumpkin and spices; gently fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour over crust, place the pan on a baking sheet and bake @ 300º for 1 hour or until center is just set. Turn heat off and prop oven door open with a wooden spoon handle and allow cheesecake to cool slowly for another 60 minutes before removing from the oven. As soon as you remove it run a sharp knife carefully around the edge all the way around. This helps to avoid cracking as it cools. Cool on a wire rack before covering with a clean tea towel and refrigerating overnight. Before removing from the pan run a knife around the edge again. Place on a serving plate and garnish as desired. I baked it Saturday and it was served Monday evening. The flavors had plenty of time to meld and it was scrumptious!


This month is the 1st birthday for my blog and I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for taking time to visit, read and comment, on here and in person. You all have no idea what you have meant to me! As a little thank you I've chosen a few of my favorite things to share with you. The cookbook is one my sister and her family compiled that shares recipes with a healthier theme. I love the wood wick candles because of how they crackle as they burn, My favorite healthy energy/mental focus drink. A great alternative to the the ones that are out there that are loaded with sugar. And because I love to bake cheesecakes I will also offer the locals here in Lancaster County, Pa. a chance to win one of their choice from the blog. (not delivered, you pick it up. details to be worked out later if/when you win :)  

To enter I'll keep it simple:

1.Follow publicly and leave a comment here. If you're already a follower, just comment to let me know.

2. Blog about or facebook and comment to let me know you did. One entry each but with two seperate comments.

**If you comment anonymously make sure to give contact information for me - Thank You!**
Giveaway ends Wednesday, November 2nd @ 6:00 p.m.

Now closed ☺

Good Luck and Be Blessed!

  Around My Family Table  It's a Keeper
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Ms. enPlace    Nap-Time Creations    

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I was in the mood for something easy that would allow me time to get my errands and cleaning done so I put a pork loin in the crockpot. The result was delicious, tender meat that was seasoned with onions, garlic, Sweet Baby Rays and Worcestershire sauce.

Here is the complete list:
4 lb bone-in Pork Loin End Roast
12 oz. pineapple juice
generous sprinkle of
 Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 small - medium sweet onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped

Place loin into crockpot and pour pineapple juice over, then sprinkle with steak seasoning. Place chopped onion and garlic on top.

Cook on high for 2 hours, reduce heat to low and continue cooking for another 5 hours on. I flipped it around once so the top would have a chance to cook in the juice. When it's cooked and tender, drain (reserve onions and garlic) and remove to a cutting board and shred with two forks.

Place back into the crockpot along with the onions and garlic.

Add Sweet Baby Ray's and a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce and salt to taste. I added just a bit of water to help distribute the bbq sauce better.

The guys came in after dark from hunting and barely took time to enjoy a sandwich before leaving for the mountains for more hunting. (Serena and I enjoyed some quality shopping time together while they were gone.) ☺

These are the ones I love!

I know, bad lighting, fake smiles, and a chaotic house. But this happened to be life on this particular evening. ☺ This is how they look when they are trying to throw it down as fast as possible and Mom insists on taking pictures. I was impressed that they took time for even these pictures. I mean, come on Mom, we are headed to the mountains in five!

Be Blessed!

On The Menu, Creative Blog Hop, Make You Crave Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday

Everything Under the Moon


Don't be fooled by the plain nondescriptness of the picture. These babies are fresh and warm and so good with the fresh Applebutter I had made the day or so before these. I have made them before but never with freshly ground barley flour. I liked that they had more of a whole grain texture but were still tender and fluffy. I also added the regular Gold Medal all-purpose flour. I did not allow myself to eat more than a few of these total because I am in reduction mode and bread is a killer for me so I try not to even give in to the cravings much. So far, so good. ☺ I thought it took them sort of long to rise, so maybe the instant yeast in my freezer feels a bit tired , not sure, but they did turn out really nice in the end.

The ingredients:
2 Tablespoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons warm water

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, well beaten
2 teaspoons salt

4½ cups fresh barley flour
4 cups all purpose flour

¼ cup butter, melted
additional flour for dusting

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water.

Add the butter, milk, sugar, eggs, salt. Give it a stir.

Then add the flours a few cups at a time. Knead for a few minutes until you feel like it is well combined.

Let rise till doubled. This took long, about 2 hours, but it was a cool day and I suspect the yeast in my freezer needs to be replaced.

Next I took about 1lb. and 5oz. and formed a ball and placed it on a sprayed surface. Sprinkle with a bit of flour to avoid sticking to the rolling pin. (The dough is a bit sticky to work with so I put a small amount of olive oil on my hands.)

I rolled it out to the largest circle. Brush with melted butter. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.

Starting at the wide edge roll them tightly into a crescent shape and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (Lightly spray the parchment paper.)

Let rise.

Bake @ 350° for 15-20 minutes or till golden over the top.

My friend Naomi who shared the recipe with me says she sometimes puts them on the baking sheet and freezes them before they rise and stores them frozen till she's ready to use them. Allow 3-4 hours thawing and rising time before baking. Perfect for a Sunday morning if you want to serve fresh warm rolls to family or guests. They are delicious!

Be Blessed!

On The Menu, Creative Blog Hop, Make You Crave Monday, See Ya In The Gumbo

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Crockpot Applebutter

Wow a lot has been happening and I feel a little disconnected from all of you. I've had a very busy week and it looks to me like life will continue on at this pace for quite a while yet! I always thought once our kids get older things would slow down, ha, that was an illusion! So, for those of you out there thinking the same thing, settle in, just because they're older certainly doesn't mean you will have more time. It only means you no longer have to give them a bath and wash their hair and  brush their teeth. But you have more laundry, etc. etc. etc. Not complaining here, just sayin'. ☺

I was browsing Pinterest and found something that intrigued me enough to try it out and I was very pleased with the end result! It was Homemade Crockpot Apple Butter. Delicious and super easy! and so yummy with fresh, warm from the oven Butterhorns. And it would be perfect for the half moon pies my Mom used to make, but those will be for another post.

This is what I used:
adapted from the one on
7 lbs. assorted apples
peeled, cored, and shredded
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix. Transfer to a crockpot and cook on high for 1 hour.

Then cook on low for 11 hours, stirring occasionally. I put mine in and cooked it overnight and stirred it when I happened to wake up around 3:00 and smelled it. But otherwise I didn't stir it that much in those 11 hours.

3:00 in the morning

Once the mixture is thickened and dark brown remove the lid and turn to high again and cook for an additional 5½ hours to bring it down to a thickened to the right consistency. Stir occasionally with a wire whisk scrape down sides to avoid burning.

After this I removed the crockpot insert and let it cool completely before refrigerating it.

 The yield is approximately 7-8 cups.

Be Blessed!


Linked to: Friday Food, Weekend Soiree, Sundae Scoop, Six Sisters, On The Menu, Creative Blog Hop, Make You Crave, Stitch and Niche Saturdays 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Krispy Crunchy Granola

                                                       Sweet Crunchy Good-ness

For a long time now I've been looking for a granola recipe that is just right (at least in my opinion), and for years I've read and reread recipes and tried different ones but was always just a little disappointed with textures. The flavors were good enough but I have something against seeds or wheat bran etc. floating to the top in my cereal bowl. Just don't really like that. Every once in a while I've been buying some organic granola at the local grocery store that I really liked but was a little put off by the price so I thought I would try to imitate it by trying to figure out ratios. Some of the ingredients were a bit hard to find and theres one (tapioca syrup) I had to leave out because I couldn't find it and I added a few ingredients just because I enjoy them in granola. After several tries with this recipe I think the end result comes pretty close to the one that I buy. Close enough to suit me anyway  and there are no floaties. (shiver) When I eat it with milk I like to put fresh or dried fruit with it, but it's a perfect breakfast with Greek yogurt, and it goes well on top of ice cream.

So without further ado here are the ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats
4 cups Whole Grain Brown Rice Krispies
1 cup unsweetened coconut

¼ cup barley malt syrup
¼ cup french vanilla syrup
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt, optional

1 cup sliced almonds
dried fruit of your choice, optional

Combine the first 3 ingredients and mix; set aside. Combine the next 5 ingredients and mix well. Pour over the oat mixture and toss till evenly coated.

 Line a large (or several small) baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Bake @250° for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.

 To test for doneness I leave a bit out after 30 minutes and let it cool. If it is crunchy it's done. After it cools add the almonds.

I hope you enjoy this Granola!

Be Blessed!

Linked to: Home Sweet Home, Time Travel Thursday, These Chicks Cooked, What I Made Wednesday, Show and Share,