Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hand Made Ice Cream For Two

Serena and I needed something fun to do together today after our brave hunters left for the woods. One of the boys asked me if I don't wish I could come. It was a bit chilly and I think I would get bored so I had to say no. I don't think he really understood his Mother today. ☺

 I remembered that a friend had shared a simple ice cream recipe with me several years ago that did not require any fancy equipment and very few ingredients. Serena really likes ice cream so I thought it would be fun to make a bit just for the two of us.

The fun part is that you place it in Ziploc bags and knead it by hand.

What you need:
1 gallon sized Ziploc
1 quart sized Ziploc , freezer quality for both
1 cup half and half
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup strawberry jam
Place ingredients into quart sized bag. Press out air and zip it shut. Set aside.
¾ cup salt
4 cups coarsely crushed ice
 Place crushed ice and salt into the gallon sized bag and give it a stir.
Place the smaller bag into the larger one and work the ice around the small bag and knead gently with your hands for about 7-10 minutes. When the mixture thickens let it rest a bit on the ice. Then dish it up serve immediately.

The original recipe didn't have the jam in it but I thought it would be good so we added that in. It was a delicious and easy little treat that we enjoyed together.☺
I'm guessing this would be perfect for those that love ice cream but don't want to keep it around because of it. It satisfies the craving and there's no extra around to eat later. Perfect, no?
Today she was an Indian Princess
Come to think of it, she wore those same clothes yesterday after school. I'll make sure she doesn't wear them tomorrow, don't worry.
She's been doing this a lot today on a favorite chair, and we played a funny round of Pictionary, took a nap and watched a movie. I hope you all had a happy day today too!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pizza Dough 2

For years I used the same pizza crust recipe, and while it is a good recipe, I became dissatisfied with it because it wasn't chewy. I wasn't sure how to fix this until one day I was watching a movie about two chefs. The one was an Italian chef and he made some pizza crust that used eggs as an ingredient. The lights went on in my head and I decided to try it. I found one with eggs and made some adjustments to the rest of the ingredients, adding some and substituting others, and it worked and I was pleased with the results of a chewier crust that seemed a bit more like what a pizza crust was meant to be. I've been using this one now for a while and really like it. I like it very thin-

- and I always make extra ones and pre-bake and freeze them for a quick, easy meal when I'm feeling lazy or rushed. Most times I also have prepped sausage and homemade bacon bits in the freezer along with some shredded pizza cheese, too. And most of the time I have deli ham and pepperoni in the fridge for lunches. So it really does go together quickly. Our two current favorites are Meat Lovers and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Chicken Pizza with fresh pineapple.
 BBQ Chicken w/Pineapple
Meat Lovers
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2teaspoons garlic and herb seasoning
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups milk
2 cups water
¼ cup instant yeast
10 cups all purpose flour
In a mixer bowl combine the first 6 ingredients and beat well. In a medium sized saucepan combine the oil, milk, and water. Heat to 110° then add the yeast. Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture. Add flour till it isn't real sticky anymore and then I like to get it out of the mixer and knead it by hand on a floured surface adding just enough of the flour until it is smooth and elastic and doesn't stick to my hands. This makes approximately 4 - (1.4lb) and 1 - (12 oz.) crusts. Divide and roll out to desired thickness and place on prepared (non stick sprayed) pizza pans. Pre-bake for 5 minutes at 350° or top with preferred toppings and allow crust to rise for a bit and bake at 400°-425° for 15-20 minutes.

Tonight I think I'll take advantage of the two crusts that I froze last week. The weather is a bit dreary and I have errands to run today and I know no one will complain about pizza. ☺ Sometimes you have to do yourself a few small favors, eh? Have a wonderful day!
Be Blessed!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Perfect for a cool Autumn morning!
I don't pretend to know a lot about fancy coffee drinks because for one I almost never drink coffee. But with the cool weather here, hopefully to stay, and the fact that I had a calm, quiet morning that  didn't require rushing around, and because I had some pumpkin puree in the fridge, I decided it's time to concoct one. I love the way my taste buds did somersaults when I thought about the name alone. Yummy!
White Chocolate. Pumpkin. Spice. Latte. Vanilla. Whipped Cream.
ahhh, you feel that?!
What you need:
1 cup milk
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
4 Tablespoons white chocolate chips
2 large Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
(not pumpkin pie filling)
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Heavy Whipping Cream
Vanilla extract
Brew coffee. Whip the cream and vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the milk, coffee, and pumpkin puree over medium low heat. Add the white chocolate chips and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Pour into 2 serving mugs (or drink it all yourself, like I did, ha) and top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Prepare for something delicious!
Be Blessed!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

mm mm, so yummy!

These things will not win a spot in the "Health Food Hall Of Fame" but they are super yummy and... we had help to eat them. ha ha ☺ The church youth group was here and were more than happy to help us out.
They're also quick and easy to whip up, which is a plus these days.
1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge
 Cake Mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 eggs
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups water
23 small Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
In a mixer bowl combine cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, butter, and water. Beat for 30 seconds, scrape sides, beat again on medium for a minute or until well mixed and smooth. Batter will be thick. Line a cupcake pan with papers. Scoop batter into papers using a size 20 cookie scoop. Press an unwrapped peanut butter cup down into the center of each.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done. Cool completely. Ice with a swirl of Peanut Butter Butter Cream (from  and Chocolate Fudge Butter Cream (from
These amounts of icing are enough for 2 batches of cupcakes unless it is really piled on.
Peanut Butter Butter Cream
1/3 cup Crisco
1/3cup soft unsalted butter
¾ cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 Tablespoons milk
3-4cups powdered sugar
(may not need it all)
Cream Crisco and butters and vanilla and beat. Add powdered sugar and milk alternately until it is the right consistency.
Chocolate Fudge Butter Cream
½ cup soft unsalted butter
¼ cup Crisco
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
¼ cup hot fudge topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream butter and Crisco. Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together and add milk until smooth. Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla and blend together until smooth and creamy.
To get the swirl effect, place even amounts of each icing in the center of  2 large (separate by flavor) pieces of Saran wrap. Fold each long side in towards the center and twist and knot both ends. When ready to use cut one knotted end of each flavor even distances from the ends for each and place them side by side into a large cake decorating bag fitted with a large tip of your choice. Squeeze evenly and swirl.
We are enjoying cooler temps and the feeling of Fall in the air here in southeastern Pa. I love that things slow down a bit and there's more time to be at home evenings together. ☺ Hope you are all enjoying life where you're at. Thanks so much for stopping by!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

White Chocolate Cream & Angel Food Trifle with Fresh Fruit

On our recent visit to Ohio we were invited to the home of Tim and Marie Miller for a super delicious Sunday Dinner. Our boys are not usually excited about going to the homes of people they don't really know for meals, but the rumors were that Marie is fantastic with food. I wasn't about to pass up that kind of oppertunity! And I'm here to tell you all, the rumors are true! The food was wonderful! Thanks Marie!!

This was one of the scrumptious desserts on the menu and my Son #1 informed me that I must make it soon! She was gracious enough to share the ingredient list with me so here it is. Simple, easy, and totally delicious! And I'm pleased to say the boys enjoyed their time there and discovered they had something in common with the host. They're all hunters, so the conversation was interesting according to them. ☺ Thanks Tim for swapping stories!

1 angel food cake, cubed
1 can eagle brand milk
1 box instant white chocolate pudding
1 cup water
16 oz. Cool Whip
2½-3 cups white grape juice
Clear Jel, to thicken grape juice
Fresh Fruit

Thicken the white grape juice with clear jel just until it forms a glaze. Mine got a little too thick because by accident I had bought some instant clear jel and I always use the cook-type. It makes the glaze more clear, which I like better than the instant stuff. So if you cook it, make it ahead of time and cool it completely.

In a mixing bowl combine the eagle brand milk, water, and instant white chocolate pudding. Whisk until lumps are gone. Fold in Cool Whip. Refrigerate until it firms up a bit.

Cut the cake into cubes and cut up the fruits.

Layer into a glass bowl starting with cake, white chocolate mixture, fruit, and then glaze. Repeat layers. Enjoy!!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Best Dill Pickles Ever

Crisp and Delicious!

If you love a good Kosher Dill Pickle look no further. THIS is the one! I found this delicious recipe here. Thank you Mary for sharing it!
Don't you just love a crisp dill pickle with plenty of snap?! I do!! Over the years I've tried different recipes for these but they never satisfied me. They were always a bit soggy and the taste wasn't right either. Thanks to Pinterest I found these. I decided to try a small batch this year.  I had to wait 8 weeks to taste them. Now I wish I would have done a lot more, but there's always next year! ☺
8 lbs. 3-4 inch long cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs of fresh dill weed
8 heads of fresh dill weed
Wash cucumbers, place in a clean sink or large dish pan with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2-3 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) wide mouth canning jars and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring brine to a boil.
In each jar, place 2 half cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 lb). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and i sprig of dill weed. Fill jars with hot brine. Wipe tops of the jars of any residue and seal.
Meanwhile bring the water bath water to a boil. Place the filled and sealed jars into boiling water and process quarts for 15 minutes. Remove immediately and allow to cool completely, undisturbed, on the counter.
Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool, dry place.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Simply Seasoned Spatchcocked Roast Chicken

Tender & Juicy

Spatchcocked. Not necessarily in my everyday vocabulary but don't let that big word scare you. It's just a fancy term that means you take a roasting chicken and trim away the backbone and then the breast bone so that it is butterflied and you have more roasting surface. You will need a hefty, sharp kitchen shears for this.

 When I went to season it I reached for my favorite seasoning, Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb, only it wasn't there. I was out of it. So I decided to be very basic with it and used the ingredients that follow.
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon dried Parsley flakes
2 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
7 lb. roasting chicken,
spatchcocked, trimmed, and patted dry
Spray a large roasting pan or glass baking dish with non stick spray. Melt butter and stir in the parsley, flour, and seasoned salt. Place chicken in the pan and pour butter mixture over it making sure to cover all the exposed surface. Bake (uncovered) at 425° for 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 180° when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching any bone. Baste with the drippings every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before carving and serving.
For a detailed tutorial on how to spatchcock a chicken go to Cookthink. com. Thank you Pam for the directing me there.
It's a beautiful day here in Pa. with sunshine and cool temperatures that hint at Fall. Hope your
 day is going well! I just recieved a happy text saying my son passed his driving test. I'm happy that God favored him with a pass and a wonderful instructor! ☺ Way to go Andre! ☺

Friday, September 7, 2012

Roasted Waffle Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes. Definitely nothing fancy and everyone makes them at some point I suppose. They're a simple way to get some good flavor onto your plate. I thought it would be fun to waffle them instead of cut them into wedges. They roasted a bit quicker because of being thinner and the flavor had a better surface to stick to. And they were kinda pretty, if that's possible for a potato.☺ 
Cut the desired amount and place them into a large bowl. Drizzle with just enough Olive Oil to make sure that each piece gets a bit of it on. Mix well. I used my favorite seasoning (Garlic and Herb) from McCormick's Perfect Pinch line and some regular table salt to season them.
Spread them in a single layer (if possible) on a large, shallow baking sheet. (Not on parchment paper.) You want to spread them directly onto the baking sheet so they roast from both directions. Bake at 425° and stir with a metal spatula every 10-15 minutes until they are soft on the inside and roasted on the outside. I added more seasonings and a bit of salt each time I stirred them to make sure the flavor was there.
I used Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes and they both worked well.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hot Pepper Jam

I first tasted hot pepper jam at a wedding about 10 years ago when it was served as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. Yum!! I never got around to making it myself until this year. I planted a Habenero plant in the garden and the yield from one plant is astounding! So I did some digging and found what I was looking for on

I like the texture of ground peppers better than the ones that come through a food processor so I used my trusty hand crank grinder. Do remember to wear gloves because these peppers as you well know are HOT and leave your hands burning for a long time afterwards if you don't. In fact I had trouble breathing as I was grinding the hot ones. (cough, cough)
12 bell peppers,
(I used green, yellow, and red ones)
20 Habenaros
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
Turn oven to 200°. Place clean ½ pint jars (about 10 of them) on a baking tray along with the flat lids. Heat in the oven while the pepper mixture cooks.
Grind all the peppers together and drain well. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until reduced by half.
It's good to wear some type of gloves meant for canning for the next step!
Remove jars from oven and fill with pepper jam leaving about an inch head space. Clean the top rim and cover with canning lid. Adjust canning ring tightly and turn jar upside down and allow to rest on the counter until completely cold.
Enjoy on crackers with cream cheese, on sandwiches or quesadillas, etc.
It's delicious! and HOT!!

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Labor Day Weekend

sunrise on morning 1
We enjoyed a lovely weekend in Ohio with my family, celebrated a few birthdays, the kids enjoyed some time with cousins, chatted with sisters and my Mom, we caught up with married nieces and nephews and their cute little babies. ☺☺☺
My husband also got to run a rescue call with my brother-in-law (and the local fire company) using his expertise to save a man from drowning in a creek after he flipped his vehicle into it. He's a good guy to have around in a crisis because he is not easily rattled and stays calm.☺ Great job, Lin!

Home Sweet Home

sunrise on morning 3

                                                                                     (cake credits go to my sister Becky)            

               ♥ Mom and Dad ♥

  L to R: Becky, Laura, Mom, me, Karen, Rosanna, Ann, Miriam

And now we get back to the daily routines.
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!