Showing posts from June, 2012

Potato Salad

About once a year I get really hungry for the potato salad we used to make in the summer at home. And with the grilling season here it's a great as a side dish.
This was also standard fare at funeral meals when I was growing up. It's a tasty tried and true recipe. I love the crunch the celery adds to the tangy sweetness of the salad.
6 cups shoestring potatoes 7 hard boiled eggs 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion 1 cup celery, diced
Dressing: 1½ cups Miracle Whip 3 Tablespoons prepared mustard ¼ cup milk 1 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon salt
Bake potatoes and cool completely. Remove the skins and shred along with the hard boiled eggs. Add the celery and onion.
In a separate bowl mix the dressing ingredients and pour over potato mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly mixed.
Happy Weekend to everyone!

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White Choclate Almond Cheesecake with Black Cherry Sauce

This cheesecake idea has been bouncing around in my head for a pretty long time. I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted it to look like but knew the flavors of it wouldn't really excite any of the big eaters in my house and so was reluctant to make it until I thought of the cute little 6 inch cheesecake pan in my pantry. And I was pretty sure my neighbor Myma would be happy to see me coming again.☺

I wanted it to be fluffier than a regular cheesecake so I decided to add just the whites of two eggs beaten stiff and folded in. Worked like a charm. It's very fluffy and doesn't seem as heavy. The almond flavor is very nice with the dark sweet cherry sauce.

For the Crust: ¾ cup chocolate graham crackers 1 Tablespoon Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder 1½ Tablespoons sugar 2½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Mix thoroughly and press in the bottom of a sprayed 6 inch Springform Pan. Bake at 300° for 7 minutes. Allow to cool.
For the Cheesecake: 8 ounces white chocolate, melted …

Grilled Farmhouse Ranch Chicken with Apple Wood Bacon and Smoked Cheddar

I found a dressing at the grocery that sounded, (and tasted) really yummy but... it had that nasty ingredient, MSG! Growl, why not just leave that OUT of food?!! Anyway I decided move on and do my best to come up with something similar that is minus the chemicals. I mean, bad-for-you chemicals and the word food should never be in the same sentence. Right?! Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and climb down from my 'high horse' now and share it with you.☺ Mine was not thick like the bought stuff but had a really good flavor. It was more of a marinade than a dressing.

Ingredients: 1 cup buttermilk ½ cup sour cream ½ cup canola oil ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup water 2½ teaspoons lemon juice 1 TBS. dried onion flakes 1 TBS. Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning ¾ teaspoon Smoked Sea Salt 2 teaspoons cornstarch 2 TBS. fresh red bell peppers, finely diced Fresh Parsley Fresh Dill
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded* or cut in half horizontally.
*I dislike p…

Smoky Cheddar Breakfast Bake

We spent a relaxing weekend at the family cabin in the mountains over the last weekend hanging out with my husbands family. He has two siblings out of state that we don't get to see real often now that most of us have children in school, so this is usually a good time for catching up again.

Saturday breakfast is usually prepared by my MIL and this year she made this delicious, easy to prepare breakfast casserole. The smoked and cottage cheeses add so much yummy flavor! The recipe calls for cheddar but I could only find a smoked blend of cheddar and swiss and that worked well too.
I served it yesterday at the brunch I hosted and the ladies gave it good reviews. Thanks Mom for allowing me to share it here. ☺

Ingredients: 3 cups cooked, shredded Potatoes (I used frozen shredded hash browns, thawed.) ¼ cup butter, melted ¼ cup onion, chopped 1-1¼ lb. ham, small cubes 2 cups smoked cheddar cheese, shredded and divided 1 (16 oz.) small curd cottage cheese 6 eggs, beaten
Layer in a no…

Citrus Mint Tea

Cool andRefreshing!
The heat is amazing these last few days and calls for something cool and refreshing!

I hosted a ladies brunch this morning and served this refreshing Citrus-y Mint Tea. I am told my husband's Grandmother served this tea quite a bit and it became her signature drink, so I thought I would give it a try.

I had fun with the photo shoot as you can see ☺ but it really is too warm to work outside if there is nothing very pressing to do out there so I had plenty of time to play around with it. The blue hydrangeas and the calla lilies are favorites of mine too and were gifted to me a few years ago.

Ingredients: 2 cups fresh mint leaves, packed 3 cups cold water Blend and put through a sieve.
Discard the leaves then add: 2 cups sugar 2 (12 oz.each) frozen lemonade concentrate 2 (6 oz.each) frozen orange juice concentrate
Add enough water and ice to make 2 gallon.

This would make really good slushies or Popsicles. Yum!!
Hope you're having a wonderful Thursday!

The heat CAN be beat...

Today is shaping up to be VERY warm! I was out picking more raspberries and Anthony's been doing a little mowing, so I've determined we will replenish with an afternoon 'cocktail' of Spark and Rehydrate from our favourite, Advocare.

My favourite is a mix of Mango Pineapple Rehydrate and Mandarin Orange Spark. The rehydrate does a terrific job of replacing electrolytes and the Spark gives you a boost of energy and sharpens your mental focus. By afternoon on any given day who doesn't need those two things?!

Taking an Advocare break while building our new deck
For several years my husband, Linford, struggled with working in the heat. He would come home with headaches and muscle cramps and no energy for the kids. He was trying everything out there to stay hydrated, Gatorade, water, Propel, etc. etc. but nothing seemed to work. Since using Rehydrate and Spark he's a different man and has energy to spare and no headaches or muscle cramps. Yippee!! ☺☺☺

If this scenari…

Berry Blessings and a Yummy Raspberry Cobbler

Delicious Summertime!

We had a wonderful all day gentle rain on Tuesday. The berry picking next morning was perfect! The berries felt clean, the air was clean, the birds were singing and there was a wonderful breeze. I really enjoy picking raspberries, in case you didn't catch on there. haha - Several years ago we planted a row of 10 Black Raspberry plants in the garden and they have faithfully satisfied us. They are much easier to pick than strawberries, although very pricker-y.

Our Small Group from church was planning to come over last evening so I thought it would be nice to serve them fresh, warm Raspberry Cobbler with ice cream. We also have a row of Red Raspberries elsewhere that we are enjoying right now, so I mixed the two together for this.

An easy dessert that is also -

DEE- licious!!

I'm enjoying the lillies in the bed by the garden.

Here's the recipe:
5 cups fresh Raspberries 1½ cups sugar
Stir together and set aside to let fruit syrup form.
2 cups AP flour 4 tea…

Easy Roast Beef

We had a busy day on Saturday and were on the schedule as Host family at church on Sunday so I was looking for an easy meal that would kind of cook by itself. Ha, are we not all looking for something like that at times?! I didn't do a lot of meal prep Saturday because of other things we wanted to do, but I did take time to make the Pure and Simple Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with fresh fruit topping. It's a delicious way to have an elegant fuss free dessert that is always well received.
This Roast Beef is along the same lines as the other roasts I have posted but with a few different flavors. I also recently prepared it for just our family here and they all really enjoyed it so I thought I would share it with you here.
The Smoked Sea Salt adds a yummy flavor along with the Red Wine and Chicago Steak Seasoning. The gravy that develops as it cooks just begs to be paired with mashed potatoes. Delicious!
Smoked Sea Salt Chicago Steak Seasoning
Sprinkle over a 3½- 4 lb. Chuck Roast.


Italian Meatloaf Spiral

In an effort to avoid yet another mundane meatloaf I recently decided to jazz it up a bit and prepare it as a spiral with a different flavor from the usual. It was delicious! And while it can't really be considered a thing of beauty ☺ it fit the bill for something more exciting than a hunk of burger with a ketchup sauce on it. As much as we enjoy that kind as well!

Unfortunately I served it on a night when 3 of them were playing ball. They never eat much before a game, so I ended up with lots left over. But that was okay. I turned it into an easy crock pot Lasagna for tonight. Oh, right, 2 of them play ball tonight. Sigh...

Flatten the mixture into a rectangle. Make sure you do this on parchment paper because it's sticky and this will make it easier to roll.

Spread with ½ cup Parmesan Cheese and fresh basil, parsley, and oregano, keeping away from the edge about an inch so you can seal it better.

Shape into a loaf. Coat with 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (kinda press it into the mea…

It's For the Birds...

Natural Beauty

On a recent Sunday afternoon I was sitting in one of my favorite Sunday afternoon spots, the gazebo, reading and watching the bluebirds feed their hungry babies. Haha, we have a lot in common. ☺

Thought you all might enjoy the pictures so here they are.

Sadly a few days later I discovered that something, probably the straying cats around here raided the nest and the babies are no more. :( GGRRR!!!

I also discovered that a Carolina Wren has a nest in the greenhouse. She gets in through a vent. Love to hear them sing.

It was amazingly WARM in there with the door closed! I thought perhaps she was one of those smart multitasking women and layed her eggs in there so they would incubate by themselves while she could be doing other things. ☺ Or maybe she's one that is willing to be somewhat uncomfortable just so she can be alone. Most likely it seemed like the safest place unreachable by those same raider cats! haha, either way I really like the way they build their nest…

Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Coffee Cake


Rhubarb has always intrigued me but I can never decide if it's a good intrigued or if I should just walk away from it because to take the tartness away you have to add so much sugar! And sugar... is the enemy

 I used to have a rhubarb plant just because it's green and it grows without much help, and you know... because it intrigued me. But 6 years ago when we moved here I gave it to my former neighbor lady. She was quite happy with it! ☺ I thought I had walked away from it but every Spring it's there again, in the back of my mind. Well this year was no different. Usually I ignore it and it goes away, which is what I should have done this time, but I didn't. So I will share with you the delicious cake I baked yesterday

Half of the cake is now at my neighbors place because I needed to get it out of the house! (Do you wish you'd be my neighbor? ha) I kept some for Lin to eat tonight but didn't quite trust myself to keep the rest of it and I knew the ki…

Frozen Lunchbox Strawberries

For the last two weeks Monday and Tuesday were Strawberry days here at my house. I won't tell you how many quarts but I will tell you that I was quite glad to let someone else pick them for me and pay them to do it. I love strawberries but have never enjoyed picking them. Makes me cranky. Anyway some of them went into these small individual serving sized boxes for the lunches that I'm privileged to pack for my family. ☺ (Okay there was a bit of sarcasm in there. I love my family but packing lunches has never quite reached the favorite things to do level.) They are super easy to do and with the help of everyone last evening the last of them went into the freezer for this year. Yay!

7 quarts, coarsley chopped strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 box dry Sure Jell

Mix together and let stand for 10 minutes than stir again and place into freezer containers, size of your choice. They tell me that the strawberries are usually still a little slushy at lunch time when I put them in frozen in t…