Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BBQ Beef, Scalloped Potatoes and Cream Cheese Brownies

I'm planning to spend the day with Ben since he isn't scheduled to be at the station today(youngest son interns for Gap Broadcasting.) Speaking of Ben, I want to thank him for the beautiful re-do of my blog. He really enjoys all things pertaining to computers and broadcasting. He's been very encouraging and has helped me every step of the way with this blogging habit...um..hobby of mine. When he's not busy taking computers apart or running an online radio station from his room (Star 98 MiX) he likes movies, so when I noticed an ad in the newspaper for a movie that he's mentioned I thought we might see it on his day off.

So today, I'm sharing three recipes that are mine...well, that I have in my own file and have made before. You know how recipes are, never really ours, unless we created them from the get-go. In fact, I think I found the Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies on the back of a Kraft cream cheese box! The main criteria for me is not the history of a recipe, but whether it tastes good. I'm interested in old cookbooks and vintage recipes, but once tried, if they aren't delicious they're tossed.

Here are my recipes:

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

2 lb. chuck roast
2 C sliced onions
1 C bottled BBQ sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP water
6 Kaiser rolls

Trim fat and cut beef into 1 inch cubes. Place meat in slow cooker; stir in onion and BBQ sauce. Cover w/ lid. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours.

Remove meat and onions. Shred beef w/ two forks. Combine cornstarch and water and add the mixture to BBQ sauce mixture, stirring well. Cover with lid and cook on High for 1 minute. Return the shredded beef and onions to slow cooker; cover and cook 10 min. This can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Scalloped Potatoes

6 potatoes (2 lbs.)
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBSP butter
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 oz.)
1/4 C flour
1 tsp salt
4 slices of American Cheese

Peel and slice potatoes. Toss slices in 1 C water and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Drain. Put 1/2 of sliced potatoes in greased crock pot. Top w/ 1/2 of onion slices, flour, salt and pepper. Add remaining potatoes and onions. Sprinkle w/ remaining flour. Add butter and undiluted soup Cover and cook on Low 7-9 hrs. (High for 3-4 hrs.)Add cheese 30 min. before serving. Serves 6.

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

1 pkg. fudge brownie mix (19.8 oz.)
1 pkg. Kraft Cream Cheese, softened (8 oz.)
1/3 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Prepare brownie mix as directed and pour into 13x9 inch baking pan.

Beat cream cheese w/ mixer until smooth. Add sugar, mixing until blended. Add egg and vanilla; mix just until blended.

Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture; cut through batter several times with knife for marbled effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 min. or until cream cheese is lightly browned. Cool; cut into squares. Makes 24. (Do not use brownie mixes that include a syrup pouch!)

I will be joining BlessedwithGrace and BalancingBeautyandBedlam for their recipe swaps today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Red, White and Boom! This is the Week!

This week will be a short one for many of us, as far as work is concerned, since Saturday is July 4th and many have Friday off, too. What a wonderful holiday the 4th is! The first " big bash" of summer filled with cookouts, fireworks and watermelon. In some places there will be parades and blaring firetrucks , with little kids sitting on curbs, covering their ears. Folks will be gathering up the potato salad and watermelon for picnics and cookouts.

Here in Lawton, a lot of people head for the many lakes that are available. One year, we joined friends for a cookout by the lake and the fireworks display out there was something to behold; I've never seen so many fireworks set off just by individuals. We found out, in later years, that we can drag lawn chairs and cans of Pepsi to the end of our driveway and enjoy the same spectacular display without leaving home!

If you are someone who can't get out to view fireworks, I have a suggestion: Sit in your easy chair with your hot dog and Pepsi and turn on PBS for the Boston Pops Concert. I haven't checked the listings, yet, but every year the Boston Pops Orchestra does a fantastic concert with a fireworks display over Boston Harbor. It's the next best thing to watching them in a crowd and then trying to make it through the smoke to your car, just so you can fight your way out of the traffic....oh...maybe it's better! No matter which way you like to celebrate Independence Day, have a happy and safe one!

Here's my menu for the week:

Monday, June 29
Baked Ham
Scalloped Potatoes
Lemon Pepper Squash
Cantaloupe slices

Tuesday, June 30
Baked Steak and Gravy
Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday, July 1
Baked Spaghetti
French Bread

Thursday, July 2
Toasted Subs w/ ham, lettuce, tomato and cheese

Friday, July 3
Macaroni and Cheese
Vegetable plate

Saturday, July 4
Spanish Omelet
Fried Ham

Grilled Pork Chops
Macaroni Salad
Baked Beans
Cream Cheese- Swirled Brownies w/ ice cream

I will be joining OrgJunkie for MPM today!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cookbook Features Meals in Twenty Minutes

If you're in a dinner-time tight spot, you might resort to running through a drive-thru for burgers or picking up pizza. That's OK on a busy night, but this solution is better as a treat and not as a habit! Our cookbook today is full of recipes for meals that can be made in 20 minutes; it takes you that long to call in pizza and wait for it. The book was published by Meredith Corp. in 1987 and was a cooperative effort by Better Homes and Gardens and Kraft Foods.

Better Homes and Gardens 20 Minutes to Dinner is a softcover cookbook that's only 80 pages, but is full of speedy meal ideas. Its chapter topics include: Timesaving Tips; Fast Main Dishes; Suppertime Soups and Stews; Full Meal Salads; Hearty Sandwiches; Make-Ahead Freezer Mix and Mealtime Extras.

These recipes seem to have a broad appeal and that's great if you're cooking for adults and kids. Many of the meat dishes have sauces that you could leave on, serve on the side, or even omit if you cook for health-conscious adults or picky eaters. I appreciate the variety of meal ideas presented, as well. Our sample recipe today is for Sweet and Sour Pork, which is a dinner plan loved by both adults and children....and served in only 20 minutes after you come in the door! That's a winner.

P. 18 Sweet and Sour Pork

1/2 lb. lean boneless pork or turkey breast tenderloins
2 TBSP teriyaki sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
One 10-oz. pkg. frozen Japanese-style stir-fry vegetables w/ seasonings
1 TBSP cooking oil
One 8-oz. can pineapple tidbits (juice pack)
1/4 C water Chow mein noodles

Thinly slice pork or turkey into bite-size strips, then set aside. Preheat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a bowl stir together teriyaki sauce and cornstarch. If vegetables contain a seasoning packet, stir it into teriyaki mixture.) Set sauce aside.

Add cooking oil to hot wok or skillet. (If necessary, add more oil during stir-frying.) Add pork or turkey to the wok. Stir-fry over high heat about 3 min. or until pork is no longer pink or turkey is tender, then remove meat from wok or skillet.

Add frozen vegetables, undrained pineapple, and water to the wok. Stir sauce, then add it to the wok or skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 min. more. Stir in meat and cook about 30 seconds more till heated through. Serve over chow mein noodles. Serves 3.

I will be joining Grocerycartchallenge,DesignsbyGollum, FoodonFriday and Momtrends for their recipe swaps today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Orange Rosemary Salmon, Bean Dip and Lemonade Cookies

(I'm entering my Thursday post late Wednesday night because tomorrow is taken!)
I'm anxious to try out the recipes I found for us today. Since school is out, I find my teenager looking for something to munch on...it seems like all the time! I call him a "grazer" because he's constantly wanting a snack like he did when he was a toddler...and was having a growth spurt then, too! I think this first recipe for bean dip would go great with baked tortilla chips, and be a fairly healthy (and filling) snack.

Refried Bean Dip

20 oz. can of fat-free refried beans
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C chopped green onions
2-4 TBSP taco sauce

Combine. Cover and cook on Low in the crock pot for 2-2 1/2 hrs. or cook on High for 30 min. and then on Low for 30 min. Serve w/ tortilla chips.
(This is copied in my own writing on an index card from years back)

We try to eat fish as often as possible in this house because it's good for us and we really like it. With the fresh rosemary that I have in my herb garden and some salmon , this would be great for a special meal.

Rosemary Barbecued Salmon Fillets

1/2 C Kraft Light Catalina Salad Dressing
1/4 C orange juice
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 salmon fillets (4 oz. each)

Mix dressing, juice, rosemary and garlic. Pour 1/4 C over salmon in shallow baking dish; cover. Refrigerate 1 hr. to marinate. Refrigerate remaining dressing mixture til ready to use.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Cover grill grate w/ foil. Remove salmon from marinade. Place salmon, skin sides down on foil. Cover grill w/ lid. Grill 10 to 15 min. or until salmon flakes easily w/ fork, brushing w/ reserved 1/4 C dressing mixture during the last few min. of grilling time. Makes 6 servings.
(from old magazine clipping)

This final recipe sounds like a summertime treat to me. I love the flavor of lemon.

Lemonade Cookies

1 C margarine
1 C sugar
2 eggs
One 6 oz. can lemonade, concentrated and thawed
yellow decorating sugar
3 C flour
1 tsp baking soda

Cream margarine and sugar; add eggs and mix well. Add flour and soda alternately with 1/2 C lemonade concentrate.

Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 min. Paint with remaining lemonade and sprinkle w/ yellow sugar. Remove to rack and cool. Sugar sticks better if you brush one or two cookies at a time w/ pastry brush and then sprinkle sugar on immediately.

Diane Cole, Cleveland, Ohio (from newspaper clipping)

Hope you all have a wonderful day and are looking forward to the first weekend of summer!

Join me at LifeasMom for her recipe swap today!

Make Summer Memories With Kids-The List Continues!

Today was a mini-vacation for me. I went to the hair salon. I love the quiet hum and heat of a hooded dryer and the way a haircut makes my head feeling lighter (no "blonde jokes" here, please!) I also like to read as many of the Us and People magazines as I can during my drying time; I'm all caught up now on the Jon and Kate Plus Eight drama. I don't purchase these magazines, so it's like putting a kid, who isn't normally allowed sugar, loose in a candy store!

After I got home from my hair appointment, I realized that I would be getting my post for the blog done late today. Luckily, I had discovered two large index cards with more ideas I had written for the Kid's Summer Fun Ideas (see blog post for June 10th) that I had neglected to include. Here's some more ideas of ways to keep your kids/grandkids entertained and busy without a screen in front of them!

More Kid Activities for Summer Fun:

-Let kids organize a "no-money-needed" book or toy swap with their gently-used items that they want to trade (with other parents' permission) in garage or back yard

-put up a badminton or volleyball net

-Play plastic pin bowling or street hockey in the driveway

-teach dog to catch frisbee-while running through the sprinkler

-make a cardboard box tunnel and decorate it

-have a sidewalk chalk art contest in the driveway and let the kids hose it off when they are done

-let them "paint" your garage, house, shed with a paint brush and water

-collect unopened toiletry items from past vacation/business trips (shampoos, lotions, soaps) and make little gift bags that they decorate themselves to hand out at a nursing home or VA center

-make your own snow cones

Snow-Cone Syrup

2 C sugar
3/4 C water
1 pkg. unsweetened Kool-Aid

Bring sugar and water to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in Kool-Aid. Chill. It's ready for the crushed ice. If you have crushed ice in your fridge door, lucky you! If not, put cubes in clean plastic bag, tied shut, and whack it on the counter or smack it w/ a rolling pin. It won't be crushed as fine, but it will do...and the kids will be entertained!

One great site for moms who want to raise readers is MomTrends; Please give it a look!

Here are some of my summer reading suggestions:
(These are off the "top of my head" and in no particular order. Check for them at your local library and see which ones are age-appropriate for your kids!)

-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
-Wind in the Willows
-The Boxcar Children series
-Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
-Junie B Jones series
-Little House series
-Trumpet of the Swan
-Charlotte's Web
-Peter Rabbit series (tales of Beatrix Potter)
-Ralph Mouse series
-Hank the Cowdog series
-The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)
-James and the Giant Peach
-Little Women
-Amelia Bedelia series
-Mrs. Pigglewiggle
-Froggy series (Froggy gets dressed, etc.)
-Gus the Friendly Ghost series
-Magic Tree House series
-Magic School Bus series
-Dr. Seuss books
-Sesame Street series
-Arthur books by Marc Brown
-Dr. Doolittle
-Pipi Longstockings
-A Series of Unfortunate Events series
-Eric Carle books
-Treasure Island
-Moby Dick
-Black Beauty
-Ramona series

Here's to many happy summer adventures!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime and the Cookin' is Easy!

It's officially summer and we hit triple digit temperatures here in the Great Southwest yesterday!
That's right-102 degrees! I like summer, but I'm not fond of sweltering heat. I was thinking that summertime is the perfect time to use the crock pot; it makes meal preparation easy and once you get it ready in the morning, you're done. So I'm starting off today with my Aunt Sis' Crock Pot Casserole. She made this often and it was one of Uncle Dave's favorites, in fact, he mentioned it to me when I got her recipes. Uncle Dave is a man who loves good food, and I intend to make this dish when he comes to visit next!

Crock Pot Casserole
Ruth Ann Martin
(Aunt Sis)

2 large-sized potatoes, sliced
2-3 medium carrots, sliced

1 No. 2 can peas, well-drained
3 medium onions, sliced
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef, browned
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 10 oz. can tomato soup
1 10 oz. can water

Place layer of the vegetables in the order given. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Put the lightly-browned ground beef on top of the celery. Mix the tomato soup with the water and pour into the crock pot. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. (High 2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.) Makes 4 large servings.

Here's one of those vintage recipes that I bought at an Estate sale. It is on a yellowed card and is written in beautiful penmanship. It looks like it may have been her Mother-in-law's or passed to her by some other woman who was her senior. At the top, the owner wrote,"Excellent!"

Mrs. Beathe's Corn Bread

Hot oven!
1 C flour
2 C meal
2 eggs (if small, use 3)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda

1/2 tsp baking powder
enough sour cream or buttermilk to make thin. Sugar to taste.

Bev, a friend from church in WV, gave me this recipe for a cool, ice cream dessert. She made it for a Longaberger Basket Party and everyone loved it. It's very rich, so you might want to cut it in small servings.

Bev Morgan's Lorna Doone Delight

Crumble 1 package of Lorna Doone cookies. Mix with 1 stick of melted margarine. Pat into a 9"x13" pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 min.

Mix together 2 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding and 2 C cold milk; add 1 qt. vanilla ice cream (softened). Pour over baked crust (when cooled).

Spread 1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip over the pudding/ice cream layer. (I think it's easier to spread if you refrigerate it a while first)
Top Cool Whip layer w/ crushed butterfinger candy bars. Keep dessert in refrigerator.

I will be participating in BlessedwithGrace and BalancingbeautyandBedlam's recipe swaps today!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday Using Leftovers

I have some really good leftovers from the weekend that I want to use up, and it'll be a short cooking week for me because we have some meals out. I have Parsley Potatoes w/ Garlic and some leftover chopped onion that will become Potato Salad for snacking. And my leftover chopped Bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes (from making kabobs for Father's Day) will be saute'd to become a side dish with beef. I have leftover broccoli that will be included in a chicken/rice casserole. The big piece of meat that I'm cooking today, as I tackle the laundry, will be a top round roast. So here's my Monday Menu Plan:

Monday, June 22
Braised Beef Roast
Tomatoes, Bell peppers and onions saute'd in the skillet
Hash browns
Leftover Black Forest Cake

Tuesday, June 23
Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Tossed lettuce salad

Wednesday, June 24
Beef Stroganoff in crock pot
green beans

Thursday, June 25
No Cook Night-leftover chicken casserole for guys

Friday, June 26
No Cook Night-leftover Beef Stroganoff for guys

Saturday, June 27
Blueberry/Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Fruit Salad

BBQ Chicken
Macaroni and Cheese in oven
carrot and celery sticks

Sunday, June 28
Pizza Casserole in the crock pot
Caesar Salad
Hot rolls

I will be at OrgJunkie today for MPM. Have a great week. Join me tomorrow for some Family and Tried and True recipes!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chef Bubba and Friends Cookbook

I want to start out today by wishing my dad, and all dads, a very happy Father's Day! With Father's Day in mind, I'm reviewing a very "manly" cookbook: It's Chef Bubba and Friends published in 1992 by Wimmer Brothers and sold in Sam's Clubs and Walmart stores in the 90's. My mom gave me my copy as a gift and I love it! It was compiled by Chef Bubba, Leslee Womble and Chef Nancy Zduniewicz (Chef Nancy Z.), folks in the food arts who have a working relationship with Sam Walton's businesses. After Mr. Walton's death, they wrote this cookbook as a tribute to him and to raise money for cancer research.

The book, which is a large compilation of the authors' recipes, as well as employees' favorites and even Helen Walton's recipe's that were "Sam's Favorites," is a gem! It continues to have the flavor of a real "family affair" as one section of the book includes a food column called Conversational Cooking written by Bubba's mama, Louise Womble, for the Abilene Reporter-News in the 50's. That's right, Chef Bubba grew up in West Texas and followed in "Mama's" footsteps!

These are family recipes that represent home cooking at its best! Some of the recipes are: Apple Dumplings; West Texas Fried Quail and Skillet Gravy; Louisiana Seafood Stuffing; Wilted Spinach Bacon Salad; Mississippi Mud Cake and Homemade Peanut Patties to name just a few. I tried to choose a guy-type favorite in honor of our Father's Day theme. Here it is...two recipes for chicken wings! This will be popular with all the guys here; hope you like it , too. This is a book that I highly recommend for your collection if you like "down-home" cooking.

P. 74 Barbequed Chinese Chicken Wings

2 pounds chicken wings
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C Italian salad dressing

2 TBSP garlic powder

Place wings in large covered bowl. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over wings. Place covered bowl in refrigerator for 24 hrs., turning mixture occassionaly. Cook on grill, turning frequently, until golden brown.

Linda Brooks
Sam's Club #8214

Fern Park, Florida

P. 74 Parmesan Chicken Wings

1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP minced parsley
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
6 chicken wings, split (tips discarded)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken wings in egg whites, then roll in crumb mixture to completely coat. Arrange in spoke pattern in 8 or9 inch pie plate with thickest part facing toward rim. Cook in microwave on High until crisp, about 12 minutes.

Chef Nancy Z
Club Marketing

I will be joining Grocerycartchallenga and DesignsbyGollum today for their recipe swaps.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Horseradish Deviled Eggs, Chicken Mexicali and Fruit Pizza

I've decided (late last night as I dug through my recipe clippings mess) that I need a new system for all of my loose recipe clippings that I want to try. I have a definite system in place for the recipes once we've tried them out. After I've made the new recipe and we've sampled it, our family takes a pole (thumbs-up or thumbs-down) if thumbs- up wins, I copy it down and it goes in my "tried and true" box. If thumbs-down wins, the recipe gets tossed.

Right now, the clippings are stacked in an old librarian's file cabinet, however, there's no filing here! just a stacked-up mix of newspaper squares and ripped-out pieces of magazine pages, with some old, yellowed vintage cards thrown in. And every time I get ready to look through them I seem to look at the same ones that I saw last time, because I got tired and put them back on top of the stack...who knows what great things I'm missing on the bottom of the stack?! My sister got the organizing/labeling gene...and the sewing gene, too! Life is just not fair.

I did manage to find three delicious-sounding recipes last night, though, and I want to share them with you. They might be good ideas to add some zip to Dad's Father's Day meal. I think my dad would love the Horseradish Deviled Eggs; wish I lived closer!

Horseradish Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 C mayo
1 to 2 TBSP prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp salt
dash pepper
dash paprika

Cut eggs in half length-wise. Remove yolks; set whites aside. In a bowl, mash the yolks. Add mayo, horseradish, dill, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well. Pipe or spoon into egg whites. Sprinkle w/ paprika. Chill until serving. Yield: 1 dozen

Ruth Roth of Linville, North Carolina from Taste of Home magazine

Chicken Mexicali

2 1/2 lbs. cut-up chicken
1 C long grain rice
1 can enchilada sauce

1 can tomato juice

1 envelope taco seasoning mix
4 TBSP melted oleo (margarine)
1/2 C tomato juice

Sprinkle uncooked rice in a 9"x13" pan. Pour melted oleo and 1/2 C tomato juice over rice. Mix 1 can enchilada sauce and 1 can tomato juice together and pour over rice. Lay chicken on top and sprinkle with taco seasoning mix. Seal with foil. Bake 2 1/2 hrs. at 325 degrees. Do not peek-leave sealed until done!

Jan May
Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric (from an old electric cooperative pamphlet)

Summer Fruit Pizza

18 oz. pkg. sugar cookie dough
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C sugar
4 C fresh fruit (a variety)-strawberries, kiwi, bananas, grapes, blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten cookie dough out into pizza pan. Bake 18-20 min. Mix cream cheese and sugar together, and spread on cooled cookie. Top with sliced fresh fruit. Serve immediately.

Jana Moon
Lyon-Lincoln Electric

Join me for TastyThursday at SouthernFriedMama !

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recipes for Kid's Summer Fun Projects

Last Wednesday, June 10th, I did a post about fun things that you can do with your children/grandchildren this summer. Today I'm posting some of the promised recipes for the fun projects.


In a large bowl:
3/4 C warm water

1 C white school glue
food coloring (not too much!)

In 2nd smaller bowl:

2/3 C warm water

1 1/2 tsp Borax

Mix thoroughly. Pour contents of smaller container into larger container. Gently lift and turn the mixture until only a small amount of liquid is left. Flubber will be sticky for a moment or two. Let excess liquid drip off, and your "flubber" will be ready.

Finger Paints

For each color:
1/2 C cornstarch
3 TBSP sugar
2 C cold water
several drops of food coloring
1 drop dish detergent (Not the kind for the dishwasher!)
plastic cups

Mix sugar w/ cornstarch in a sauce pan. Add water and mix. Cook over medium heat for about 5 min., until the mixture starts to boil and thicken. Take the pan off the heat, cool and pour into plastic cups. Add a few drops of food coloring and a drop of dish detergent. Mix, and you're all set!

Homemade Play Dough

1 C flour
1 C water
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 TBSP oil food coloring

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook for 3 min., stirring constantly. Cool on waxed paper.

Edible Play Dough (Not for Children w/Peanut Allergies!)

1 C peanut butter
1 C white corn syrup
1 1/4 C nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 C confectioners sugar

Mix, then knead the ingredients together.
Keep in the refrigerator when not in use.

Face Paints (Good for Trick-or-Treat, too!)

For each color:
1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp facial cold cream
1/2 tsp water
2 drops food coloring
plastic cups

Mix cornstarch, cold cream, water and two drops of food coloring in a cup. Stir. Make several cups of different colors.

Homemade Ice pops

1 small pkg. Jello

2 C cold water
2 C hot water
1 pkg. Kool-Aide
1 C sugar

Dissolve Jello, sugar and Kool-aide in hot water. Add cold water and freeze. If you don't have a fancy plastic mold, just use paper Dixie cups and wooden popsicle sticks and set in freezer.

Pop Rockets

Empty plastic film canisters
Alka Seltzer tablets, halved

Fill empty canister half-way with water, throw in 1/2 tablet. Shake and turn canister lid inside-out and put back on container. Set container down and stand back. Do this in an open space, as the "rockets" really pop up high! You may have kids decorate canisters like rockets for fun, just don't put anything heavy on them that may weigh them down. Also, in this digital age, if you have trouble finding film canisters, consult older folks who may have a few cluttering the house!

Have a super Wednesday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pork Chalupas and Two Cool Summer Salads

Today's my favorite blog day of the week when I get to share my family recipes with you! I guess the reason I look forward to this is because it brings to mind many people who are near and dear to me. Some are still with us, and some have gone on, but the memories of them make me smile and warm my heart every Tuesday as I look at the recipes that I've collected over the years. Most of these recipes show some wear and tear, but all good things that have stood the test of time do; that's true of people, dogs, Raggedy Ann dolls, furniture and recipes!

Speaking of dolls, my first recipe, which some of you requested after you saw it on my menu plan for the week, is from my friend, Kathy, who is a doll collector. She is also a good cook who uses her skill to provide a delicious meal for Monday Night for the Master at our church. Kathy comes from a large family and told me that this is actually her sister's recipe that is in their "Family Cookbook". I had these Pork Chalupas at Monday Night for the Master and think that their cookbook must be full of great stuff! Thanks for sharing with us, Kathy!

Pork Chalupas
(Suzanne Frost)

3 lb. pork roast or pork chops, boned and trimmed
1 lb. soaked pinto beans

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp hot sauc
salt to taste

tortilla chips
chopped lettuce
chopped tomatoes
chopped onion
shredded cheese

Put roast and soaked beans in large pan and cover w/ water. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, hot sauce and salt. Cook, covered, for 5-8 hours until tender. Stir meat through beans and serve on top of chips. Cover w/ lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, guac and salsa.

My friend, Karol, from WV made this salad in the summer with fresh cucumbers. It is light and cool on hot days.

Blue Cheese Cucumber Salad
( Karol Simpson)

2 medium cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C green onion
1 C Blue cheese
2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TBSP olive oil
freshly- ground pepper

Mix together and chill.

My mom enjoys being a member of the Woman's Club and Garden Club in our town and has helped with many functions over the years. In fact, Sunday, the Garden Club celebrated its 65th anniversary with a Tea; when I called on Saturday night, Mom was busy making tea sandwiches and Dad was the taste tester! Here's one of Mom's light dessert/salads for a "Ladies' Luncheon" or Tea.

Mom's (Shirley's) Cherry Salad

1 can cherry pie filling

1 can condensed milk
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 C chopped nuts
2 C mini-marshmallows
1 (13 oz.) Cool Whip
Gently blend together and chill.

I will be linking to BlessedwithGrace and BalancingBeautyandBedlam today for their recipe swaps.

Menu Plan Monday

I'm excited to be starting a new week of menus, since last week was unusual and we had church most evenings. This week should go smoother. I'm going to cook a pork loin for my big piece of meat today, so you'll see that reflected in our menu plan.

Monday, June 15

Roasted Pork w/ herbs
parsley red potatoes
cauliflower w/ cheese
fruit salad

Tuesday, June 16

Spicy Rice and Sausage (March 31st post)
French Bread

Wednesday, June 17

Pork Chalupas
apple and pear slices

Thursday, June 18

Tilapia baked w/ Old Bay seasoning
Creamy Hash Brown Casserole
carrot/celery sticks

Friday, June 19

Pork on buns (or sub sandwich) for Family Game Night
baked beans

Saturday, June 20

French Toast
Turkey bacon
fruit plate

Hamburgers on grill w/ Vidalia onion and tomatoes

Sunday (Father's Day)

Steaks on grill
mashed potatoes
corn on the cob
green beans
hot rolls
Black Forest Cake

I'll be joining OrgJunkie today for MenuPlanMonday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Tells You How to Cook One Day and Eat All Month

Several years ago, my friend, Chrissie, and I decided to try out the "cook and freeze" method of meal preparation. Our children were young and summer was approaching. We both went and bought the cookbook that I'm reviewing today. The book is Once-a-Month Cooking: A Time-saving, Budget-Stretching Plan to Prepare Delicious Meals by MiMi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. It was published by Focus on the Family Publishing in 1992, but earlier versions were entitled Freeze and Save in 1982 and Dinner's Ready in 1984. The ISBN is 1-56179-041-9.

As Chrissie and I first experimented with this concept, I made two weeks worth of meals to put in my freezer, but over the phone, I learned that Chrissie had gone "whole hog" and made a month's worth of meals in one day. Wow! was her husband, Mark, surprised when he came in from playing golf and she said, "take your pick for tonight's dinner and pointed toward the counter tops which were covered with food to be frozen. She then realized that she didn't have enough freezer space to accommodate this much food and panic set in. She called neighbors asking to use freezer space, and stowed one week's worth in the fridge to be used immediately (for that week). She also realized that she didn't have enough freezer containers. Oops!

These funny experiences were just a few bumps along the road to success, though, because we both agreed that the month went much easier knowing that dinner was thawed each morning, and with a few minor preparations, was ready for that evening. We also decided, after our initial test runs, that maybe you should start by making just a couple of week's worth of meals ahead.

There are tips in the book that will save you from our learning curve. In hind sight, our problem was skipping the tips and moving directly to the recipes. I highly recommend this book if you need to save time and money and/or you have a hectic dinner hour. Cooking with one child in the high chair and one at your feet is a tough way to get dinner on the table; been there, done that! Give this book a look.

P. 59 Heavenly Chicken

One 10-oz. pkg. frozen, chopped spinach
1/2 C sliced green onions
2 TBSP margarine

2 TBSP flour

1 C milk
1 C soda cracker crumbs
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
8 boneless chicken breast halves, skinned, about 3 3/4 lbs.
1 C cooked, cubed ham

In small saucepan, cook spinach according to directions; drain well. In a medium saucepan, make white sauce; saute' onions in margarine over low heat until tender. Stir in flour, adding milk all at once. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until bubbly. Boil and stir one minute more until smooth and thickened.

Combine cracker crumbs and cheese. Dip chicken breast halves in crumb mixture to coat lightly. Arrange pieces in a 13'x9'x2' baking dish. Seal leftover crumb mixture in a 1 qt. bag. Stir spinach and ham into white sauce; spoon sauce over chicken breasts. Allow to cool and cover baking dish w/ foil, attaching bag of crumb mixture to side of dish.

To prepare for serving, thaw dish and bake covered in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 60-75 min. Uncover, and sprinkle top w/ crumbs. Bake 10 min. more. Makes 8 servings.

Summary of processes:
Slice 1/2 C green onions crush 1 C cracker crumbs; cut 1 C ham into cubes

Freeze in: 13x9x2 baking dish; 1 qt. bag

Serve with: Pineapple chunks and Mandarin oranges sprinkled w/ coconut, cranberry tea (page 139)

Note: This is practically a meal in one dish.

I will link to DesignsbyGollum, Grocerycartchallenge and Friday Feasts at Momtrends.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vidalia Onion Casserole with Cheese...Oh Yeahhh!

I looove Vidalia onions. I almost consider it one of the national holidays when they come in season and show up in the stores. I have a 3 lb. bag of them from Sam's sitting on my shelf right now. When we rode through Georgia coming back from our honeymoon trip oodles of years ago, I almost got us rear-ended because I spotted a sign that said," fresh peaches and Vidalia onions"which, to me, meant, "slow down and prepare to exit!"; the guy behind me was not as excited about the Vidalias as he was about me slowing down suddenly!

Luckily, I'm still here to enjoy summer onions! In fact, if I were given my choice between a steak and a grilled hamburger with a thick Vidalia slice and a summer tomato slice-I'd grab that hamburger in a New York minute! That said, you'll understand why I'm excited that one of our recipes from my clippings box is an onion casserole. Just imagine how great this would be as a side dish to any grilled meat this weekend.

Baked Onions Parmesan

8 medium Vidalia onions (about 3 lbs.)
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp paprika
Dash of pepper

Crumb topping:
1/3 C packaged dry bread crumbs
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

1. Peel onions. Place in a large saucepan along w/ bouillon cubes and 2 qts. water; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 min. or until onions are tender. Drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan w/ foil. Place onions in pan.

3. Combine the 3 TBSP butter w/ paprika and pepper. Pour over onions in pan; toss to coat well. Bake 10 minutes, basting once.

4. Meanwhile, make crumb topping:

In small bowl, combine crumbs, cheese, butter, salt and thyme. Sprinkle over top of onions. Bake 10 minutes longer. Makes 8 servings.

TIP: An older woman I met at the farmer's stand in Georgia told me to pick Vidalias that are "flat" rather than round in shape. She said that the flat, saucer-shaped onions have more sugar content.

Here's a recipe that I chose because it will be a handy way to use some of my fresh basil:


2 TBSP walnuts or pine nuts, coarsley-chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
4 C fresh basil
1/2 C Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp salt

Mince nuts and garlic. Add oil and pulse 3 times (in food processor). Add basil, cheese, and salt. Process until fine. Pour over hot pasta.

And finally today, here's a quick dessert that I clipped from a magazine. It originally came from The Sweet Potato Queen's Cookbook.

Twinkie Pie

Line a 9"x13" casserole pan with Hostess Twinkie snack cakes cut lengthwise. Make a large box of Instant Vanilla Pudding for the next layer. Cover w/ sliced strawberries. Chill in refrigerator. Can top w/ Cool Whip or drizzle w/ melted chocolate before serving.

I'm linking to LifeasMom's recipe swap today and Joy@JoyofDesserts VintageRecipeThursday

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Keep Those Kids Busy Making Summer Memories

I know that many of you have kids or grandkids who will be around your house this summer, now that school's out. The first week, they usually occupy themselves because they are so happy to have free time and not be in a classroom. After that, they start looking for things to do, or attempt to slouch on the couch in front of TV or video games. But, do you really want that for your children/grandchidren? Or do you want them to have fond memories of summer and time spent with you, playing outside?

I will admit that mine spent a certain amount of time in front of the TV and video games cooling off in the air conditioning, but it's nice to have at least a list of things that you want to do with them this summer, so that those special times are observed and don't slip past. Today I'm offering a list of ideas to get you started, please add your own fond memories of childhood to pass down.

-Go to Library Summer Reading Program and pack their lunchboxes for an outside picnic afterwards

-set up a lemonade stand

-line up empty plastic juice bottles for target practice w/ a sling shot or just a rubber band (outside)

-paint rocks with old nail polish or other old paint; smiley faces, flowers, bugs, your initials- they make great paperweights for gifts or child's own desk

-Put up a tent in backyard and "camp out"; if no tent, let them drag their sleeping bags into the family room floor. Tell stories by flashlight, make shadow animals, make s'mores (you can melt the choc-marshmallow filling in the microwave on defrost), sing camp songs

-have a pirate gold digging expedition(my Dad did this for our oldest two one summer and they never forgot it!) you have to paint rocks w/ gold spray paint ahead of time and hide them in a sandy or dirt patch in your yard or landscaping. Give them a pouch and a buried treasure map.

-make lunch a picnic! Throw down a plastic tablecloth on the back deck, backyard or porch and serve whatever you were planning for lunch, anyway.

-Tie dye shirts

-Make a driving obstacle coarse in your driveway w/ soccer cones and empty boxes for the big wheel drivers and skaters to maneuver. An open-end refrigerator box makes a tunnel for Big Wheel drivers!

-Help them make a photo mobile for their room using computer-printed photos of their family, friends and pets (or a wall collage).

-Do messy fun projects out on the back porch or deck: make a volcano that erupts w/ soda and vinegar; make slime; playdough, salt dough figures to bake; do finger painting.

-Stretch out rolls of brown or white parcel paper (outside) and let them use rubber stamps and paint to stamp personalized gift wrap and cards for the coming holidays (we did dinosaur wrap one summer). No rubber stamps, use half a potato and carve a design on it to stamp with.

-Make old sock puppets and a cardboard theater and have a puppet show.

-Make pop rockets w/ old film cannisters (I'll have to hunt for this recipe and will include it in a later post w/ instructions for play dough, etc) We made these for library program and our VBS one summer and the boys really liked them!

-Take them to VBS

-Read Green Eggs and Ham and then put a little green food coloring in the scrambled eggs for breakfast or lunch.

-Memorize the names of the Presidents in order or the books of the Bible; this is made easier if you use the singing method; offer a small prize or treat as a reward.

-Take them to swim lessons-some places offer them for free, or teach them yourself; take lots of pictures, the pool water is a great backdrop for summer pictures.

-If you have a child who loves cars and trucks and big equipment: take him to watch a construction project, let him wear his hard hat and keep at a safe distance.
- Buy a bag of pea gravel and enough landscaping timbers to corral it and make him a gravel pit in a shady corner of the yard; he can drive, scoop and dig to his heart's content! My husband made one of these for our youngest son and he loved it! He made ramps and tunnels for his cars to go through and spent a lot of time in the gravel pit. Be forewarned, he looked like he was a construction worker when he was finished. He had to be wiped down to come in the house.

-Make pet rocks with craft scraps; make a home for the pet rock with a shoe box that they can decorate. Our son named his Earl Grey because that was the name printed on his wooden tea-crate home!

-Take pictures of the special times in the summer and make a little photo album for each child

-Teach the dog some tricks (how to jump through a hula hoop)

-put some water in the plastic kiddie pool and let the dog chase tennis balls into the pool; let kids take silly pics of dog w/ sunglasses on.

-get out the sprinkler, water guns and water balloons!

-Teach your kids kick ball and freeze tag

-capture lightening bugs, caterpillars, lizards, ants in a jar w/holes punched in the lid and observe them, then release them back into "the wild"

-keep a turtle as a short-term backyard pet, then return him to "the wild" so he can find a girlfriend (Box Turtles love strawberries and lettuce ...and trips on vacation to Tennessee...it was a scouting project for a merit badge, and we couldn't leave "Speedy" at home!

-Pour pancake batter into shapes of Mickey Mouse, or letters that spell out the child's name for a morning surprise; every one that lived- at or stayed- at my house loved this! Chocolate chips in the pancakes are a fun, less messy surprise(oldest son had these at a friend's sleepover and it became a favorite at our house). The "surprise" was on me one Saturday morning when I heard one little visiting nephew whisper loudly to his little sister," Go ahead and ask her, I'm sure Aunt Marcia can make a pancake just like Cinderella's carriage"...whoa! me and my big ideas!
(Here's a shout-out to Hayley and Seth!)

-Teach them one of your interests: woodworking, cooking, scrapbooking, gardening. This can become a shared interest for a lifetime! My boys still remember my dad making bird houses and a sled with them.

Please send me your great kid-friendly ideas, and memories of childhood summers; leave them in my comments. Happy Summertime!

Join me today at WorksforMeWednesday at WeAreThat Family

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Iced Cappuccino, Spicy Ham and Pecan Bars-Fast!

It's Tuesday, and as I've said, I'm in fast and easy mode this week because of my schedule. In that same thought pattern, I've come up with the recipes that I want to share with you today. The first two are off the top of my head-no recipe necessary!

As I was growing up, my mom used to make a spicy ham mix on the stove top that was so good! She was a busy, working mom who appreciated quick recipes for dinner time. These ham sandwiches were really popular at our house and there were no leftovers!

Shirley's Spicy Ham Sandwiches

1 can Hunt's Manwich Sauce
1-2 lbs. deli ham, shaved (depending on how much sauce you like)
brown sugar to taste (Splenda Brown Sugar could work, too)

In large skillet, stir together sauce and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add ham and heat through. Put on buns. Put coleslaw on the side and you've got a quick meal.

It's no secret to anyone who knows me, that I'm a chocolate/flavored coffee fan. When McDonalds put out buy one-get one free coupons for their new iced coffees, I had to go try them. It was good! I will keep it in mind at vacation time when I'm traveling. Usually, though, I make my own iced coffee. It's an inexpensive alternative, and I can enjoy it on my back porch as I listen to the birds. If you have to drink your iced coffee on the run, you can make this in a minute and pour it into your trusty commuter mug.

Marcia's Formula for a Cheap and Easy Iced Mocha Cappuccino

Buy a large container at Sam's Club of their Member's Mark Cappuccino (or my favorite, Mocha Cappuccino) powder.

Use 1 scoop to 1 C water (adjust this to your taste); stir thoroughly and put in microwave for 1 minute, or just until tepid, or barely warm (this is very important, because you are going to pour it into a glass (or your travel cup)! You just need the powder to dissolve.

Mix, again, after it comes from the microwave. In tall glass, pour over crushed ice (if you don't have an ice crusher in your fridge door, you can use the ziplock bag/rolling pin crusher!

There, you've got an "Iced Cap" at a fraction of the price of drive-through. If you're so inclined, you can spray Redi whip and drizzle chocolate syrup on top; for purist-coffee lovers this just gets in the way. If you want to make it into a dessert you can skip the ice and top it w/ a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

The last recipe today is one that I picked up at a Ladies Retreat for our church years ago (1991). It is so good that you'll make it again and again, once you've tried it.

Pecan Bars

Spread a layer of graham crackers on foil-lined cookie sheet. Add crushed pecans.

Boil 1 C butter and 1 C brown sugar for 30 seconds. Pour over crackers. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. This is nice to put in tins for small gifts at Christmas or for hostess gifts.

Have a great day and don't forget to wear your sunscreen!

I'll be joining BlessedwithGrace's TemptmyTummyTuesday recipe swap.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Back to the Bible Week" at Church Means Simplicity in Meal Planning

Our "Back to the Bible Campaign" at Church has begun! We had two great topics yesterday and I'm looking forward to tonight, but when you have an unusually busy week like this one, it calls for easy meals. We sometimes have "whirlwind weeks" because of my husband's work schedule, or travel, or other activities, but, we all have times when we really need to use recipes that can be made quickly with very little clean-up. Usually for me, that means one-pot meals,soups or salads. I've tried to keep all of this in mind as I made up my menu for this week.

Monday, June 8

Chicken Casserole
Chinese Coleslaw
Steamed cauliflower
Lemon Pie

Tuesday, June 9

vegetable plate

Wednesday, June 10

Turkey bacon
Fruit plate

Thursday, June 11

Salmon Cakes
Potatoes Au Gratin

Friday, June 12

Oriental Chicken Noodle Soup
Toasted Turkey/Swiss Subs (lettuce, tomato, red onion)

Saturday, June 13

Oatmeal and toast

Grilled Chicken Salad

I will be linking to Orgjunkie's MenuPlanMonday today.

The topic tonight (Monday) is "Are We Nearing the End of Time?" 7:00 P.M. at any of the four Lawton-Fort Sill locations listed in my previous posts. Please join us! You're always welcome!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Better Homes and Gardens Book Gives Step-by-Step Dinner Recipes

I hope your Friday morning is going well. Mine certainly is-I get to spend the day with my youngest son, Ben. We might go out and check on our plants in the converted sandbox garden or take a walk with the dog. We'll have to do that early, though, because it's supposed to be in the 90's here today. The last time that we spent the day together he taught me a card game and we watched a John Candy comedy together and made popcorn. Now that summer break is here, I look forward to spending more time with him and catching up on what music is popular with the "Ipod set". I don't usually get the whole day because one of his friends calls or comes by on a skate board and his attention is diverted. That's just as it should be with teenage boys!

However, I will see Ben again, when the teenage boys come through the house searching out snack material and some cold drinks. This happens when they have been Ripsticking/skateboarding, playing flag football or just putting parts of computers back together. Teenage boys have been known to be "starving" from just slouching on the couch watching Star Trek reruns! They seem to have high metabolisms.

The cookbook I'm reviewing today is full of dinner ideas to keep these big eaters called "Teenagers" full (at least 'til their next snack!) It's Better Homes and Gardens Family Dinners cookbook; America's Best-Loved Community Cookbook Recipes. It was published in 1996 by Meredith Corporation and its ISBN is 0-696-20589-0.

I will start by saying that I really like the layout of this book. Each dinner recipe is presented by a full page, four-color photo of the finished product on the left-hand side. The right-hand page has numbered step-by-step directions and action pictures of the preparation methods. If you notice, in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, they offer recipes in the same manner-they never leave the home cook "in the dark". If it's an unfamiliar recipe, I especially appreciate the method steps and pictures.

This book not only gives a clear explanation of how to prepare the main coarse, it tells you how to make the pretty sauce and the vegetable that accompanies the meat. Also, Tips From Our Kitchen is a side note on the recipes; helpful little bits that you might not have known. For instance, one Kitchen Tip tells the correct way to snip herbs with scissors instead of chopping them with a knife.

Because this book is a collection of family recipes from around the country, each recipe contains a history of which community cookbook it is from. The sample recipe I have chosen for today is Giant Stuffed Shells by Nancy Brix from the Mark Twain Library Association in Redding, Connecticut. It was originally included in the Mark Twain Library Cookbook. Pasta dishes are always a great way to fill up hungry teenage boys! And you know that I like a cookbook project that raises money for the public library!

P. 70 Giant Stuffed Shells

6 oz. giant pasta shells (about 20)

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 C)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C fine dry Italian style or seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp pepper
1 27-30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Cook pasta shells in boiling water according to pkg. Drain and rinse w/ cold water. Rinse again. Set aside.

3. In large skillet, over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned. Remove from heat and drain fat from the skillet. Stir in mozzarella cheese, beaten egg, bread crumbs and pepper.

4. Spoon about 3 TBSP of the meat mixture into each pasta shell.

5. Pour about 3/4 C of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 3 qt. rectangular baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells over the sauce in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

6. Loosely cover w/ foil. Bake in the 400 degree oven for 20-25 min. or until heated through. Garnish w/ fresh parsley, if desired.

I will be linking to Grocerycartchallenge's recipe swap, DesignsbyGollum's FoodieFriday and FridayFeasts@ Momtrends.

If you're in the Lawton-Fort Sill area, you're invited to attend the Back to the Bible Campaign ( June 7th-12th) presented by area Churches of Christ. It starts this Sunday morning and runs through Friday evening. For Bible-centered lessons on various topics, come and enjoy a good speaker and meet some friendly people who care! The series of talks will be given at these locations: University (on Cornell across from Cameron University); Northwest; Sullivan Village; and Eight and Lee. For times and more info see yesterday's post, The Lawton Constitution or individual church websites included in yesterday's post.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp, Lime Punch and Baked Apple Butter

I've been digging through my clippings box and thought these three recipes sounded great for summer. It says to bake the shrimp, but I think they would be wonderful on the grill. The trick to shrimp "on the barbie" is to not leave them on too long or they'll dry out.

The lemon-lime punch sounds very refreshing for those hot weather get-togethers. And I think apple butter is good anytime, but who wants to stand over a hot stove in the summer? This recipe says that you can bake it in the oven (bet a crock pot might work, too!)

Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend.

Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon

24 large shrimp (flash frozen or fresh)
One 16 oz bottle French dressing
12 strips bacon, halved

Peel, clean and devein shrimp. Marinate in dressing for 2 hrs. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each shrimp w/ bacon and secure w/ toothpick. In shallow baking pan, bake for 20 min, turning once. Drain on paper towels before serving. 12 servings.

Punch for a Crowd

Three .16 oz pkgs. of lemon-lime Koolaid drink mix
5 qts. (20 C) water
1 1/2 6 oz. cans frozen lemonade
3 C granulated sugar
1 qt. (4 C) gingerale

In a large 2 gal. container, mix Koolaid, water, lemonade and sugar. Chill for 1 to 2 hrs. To serve, put in a punch bowl and add the gingerale. Yields 7 qts.

This apple butter recipe is a very old looking newspaper clipping taped to an index card that I inherited from Aunt Sis' collection. It comes from the Indiana State Fair.

Baked Apple Butter

Makes 1 Qt.
2 cans (16 oz each) or 4 C homemade applesauce
2 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C vinegar
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine applesauce, sugar, vinegar, cloves and cinnamon in a 2 qt. casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hrs. or until mixture is thick and almost transparent. Stir occasionally during baking. Pour into jars and store in the refrigerator.

I will be linked to LifeasMom.com for her recipe swap today.

*************************************************************************************************** Back to the Bible Campaign for Lawton-Fort Sill Welcomes You!
If you live anywhere in or near the Lawton-Fort Sill area please visit a participating Church of Christ during the Back to the Bible campaign, June 7-12.
Some of the topics included:

Are We Nearing the End of Time?
How is the Church of Christ Different?
What is God's Plan for the Perfect Home?
Participating Churches of Christ are:
-University at 2716 SW Cornell Ave. (across from Cameron U.) www.u-coc.com
-Northwest at 24th and Cache (www.nwcoclawton.org)
-Sullivan Village at 531 SE 45th St.
-Eighth and Lee at 1205 SW 8th St. (www.8thandleecoc.org)
Please see the Lawton Constitution or go the the individual websites for times and other information.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Out of an Ingredient? Check This List

I would like to start out today's post by thanking all of you who have mentioned that you enjoy reading my blog. This happens before and after church services, sometimes, and occasionally on my Facebook page, or in my blog comments. My mom and dad, of course, were complimentary from the very beginning; parents are like that. "Oh, look! 'Marcy' put her shoes on the right feet!...and just in time to start 1st grade!...what a smart girl!" Yes, our parents and family are always there cheering us on because they love us, no matter what. That's a good feeling!

With regards to my blog, my friend Pat at Church asked, "How do you do that?!" I replied, "well, I've made a "phone-booth office" out of a storage closet in my laundry room. Every morning, I sit there with the dog on my feet, or behind my chair and pretend that I'm talking to my sister (while tapping on the oldest computer in the house; I think the "computer elite" are afraid I'll break the newer ones, and I fear that, myself!). If I have any computer crisis I yell, "Ben..... can you help me?" My teenage son (if he can't find a hiding place) graciously volunteers as my IT support (it's a demanding job that requires the patience of Job). I'm usually sipping my morning dose of Cranergy and trying not to accidentally roll backwards and hit the dog's tail; Stormy, my "editorial assistant" has been slightly injured a couple of times! Yes, now you know, it's a very low-tech, laid-back operation with a small "staff".

Although I joke, I'm really enjoying this new hobby; it's kind of like journaling for me. The bonus is hearing from people that I didn't know before, who are also interested in cooking and other aspects of family and home life. What a great bunch of folks to know; your comments and encouragement keep me excited about blogging!

A few weeks ago, I posted an old clipping from Family Circle Magazine. I keep it on the inside of my pantry door. On one side it has what to stock in your cupboard to avoid last- minute shopping trips. The other side has a list of substitutions if you run out of an ingredient. I've already shared the stock-up list, today will be the substitution list. Here it is:

"Happy Windssssday..." as Piglet said to Pooh!

I'm Participating in WFMW@WeareThatfamily today.

2 TBSP flour (for thickening)1 TBSP Cornstarch
1 cup honey1 1/4 C sugar and 1/4 C whatever liquid is used in the recipe
1 C brown sugar(packed)1 C granulated sugar
1 clove garlic1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 C tomato juice1/2 C tomato sauce plus 1 C water
2 C tomato sauce3/4 C tomato paste plus 1 C water
1 TBSP prepared mustard1 tsp dry mustard
Olive oilvegetable or canola oil
1 C beef or chicken broth1 C boiling water plus 1 bouillon cube
1 C fine, dry bread crumbs3/4 C fine cracker crumbs
RaisinsAn equal amount of currants, chopped prunes or dates

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's June! Monday Menu Planning is Here, Again

It's June 1st, can you believe it?! Time to get out the flip-flops and sun block. I'm happy to say that I had a fun-filled weekend; I went on a little trip to the Dallas area with Hubby for our anniversary. It was nice to get away and relax. I requested that he leave his Blackberry and laptop at home...yeah, that didn't happen! What was I thinking?! He did keep his "communications" to a minimum. Boy, did I "talk his ear off" in the car, on the way; I had his full attention, and he couldn't escape. It's a good thing he has "male filtering capabilities" while I'm chattering at him ("Uhh huh"..."mm- hmm"... "oh... yeah") Men can activate this capability while watching a ballgame on TV, too! Of coarse, on the female end of this long conversation, I think he agreed... we should do some redecorating; rent a pressure cleaner to clean the the outside brick on the house, and check on one of the solar lights in our landscaping to see if it needs a new battery! Communication...that's what keeps a marriage alive!

Here's my menu plan for the week:

Monday, June 1

Baked cod loins
Hash brown casserole
Green beans
hot rolls

Tuesday, June 2

Fried ham
Scrambled eggs
Fruit plate

Wednesday, June3

Taco salad
Iced tea
Cold Texas cantelope

Thursday, June 4

Stromboli w/ ham, pepperoni, peppers and onions
Tossed salad

Friday, June 5

Roasted chicken w/ rice
creamed lima beans

Saturday, June 6

BLTs w/ egg on toast

Grilled pork chops
Sour cream and chive potatoes
Broccoli and Cauliflower

I will be linking to Orgjunkie's Menuplan Monday today. Have a great week.