So, in my quest not to turn on the oven if I can keep from it I have stumbled upon the suggestion by ldsliving.com to use instead my trusty, low energy, low and slow crock pot for cooking today.
I love to use it I just don't have the habit. But I am dusting it out today for supper tonight. I also have defrosted a jar of the pesto I had frozen last week as the fresh basil is suffering enough in the gardens heat without me cutting any more for the tome being. See * "Fresh Pesto from the Garden Today" on 6/12/12 for the pesto recipe.
Ingredients for Chicken with Pesto:
6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinned, trimmed of fat
1/2 C. pesto *
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T. instant tapioca
Hot cooked pasta of your choice cooked according to package directions. (At serving time.)
Cut the thighs into serving size pieces. Arrange the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Using a small bowl combine the pesto, pepper, garlic powder, and tapioca; pour over the chicken.
Place the lid on the cooker and cook on low 1-5 hours. Serve the chicken and the sauce over the pasta. Yield 4-6 servings.
The sweetness of the roasted beets paired with the tart lemon juice and salty Feta is delicious.
Ingredients for Roasted Beets with Feta:
1 bunch fresh beets, washed well, and tops trimmed
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. Feta cheese
1-2 thinly sliced green onions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the beets over a half sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I line the pan with foil then throw the whole mess away when done.) Place the beets in the hot oven and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.
Cool the beets and peel by slipping off the outer skin. Cut the larger beets into quarters. Squeeze the lemon juice over the beets and toss with the onions. Top with crumbled Feta and serve. This is delicious both warm and cold. Serves 2-3.
|Bar cookies are nice in hot weather as it is a much shorter bake time for one pan,|
I saw this in a paperback by Ron Douglas called America's Most Wanted Recipes. He had in his own words "copycat" versions of restaurant dishes. This is my adaptation of one of these. I just stirred this together by hand and popped it into the oven to bake.
Ingredients for Walnut Blondie:
1 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. soda
1/8 t. salt
1/4 C. chopped walnuts
1 C. packed brown sugar
5 1/3 t. butter melted
1 beaten egg
1 T. vanilla
1/2 C. white chocolate chips
Butter and flour 9" x 9" baking dish or equivalent and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the baking powder, soda, and salt to the sifted flour. Sift again then add the nuts to the flour and combine well. Set aside.
Add the brown sugar and butter to a mixing bowl and combine well. Add the beaten egg and stir. Add the vanilla beating until blended.
Stir in the flour mixture beating well to combine. Add in the white chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
2 T. soft butter
2 T. real maple syrup
3/4 C. powdered sugar + enough to reach desired consistency
Microwave the syrup and butter together in a glass measuring cup for 30 seconds and stir until melted and combined. Add enough powdered sugar to reach preferred consistency. I just wanted a drizzle across the top so I left it fairly loose. Drizzle across the top of of the Blondie and let set a few minutes before cutting into bars. Yield 9 bars.
Note: The cookbook version of this topped the bar with ice cream and added a warm Carmel sauce over all which would also be quite good. I made it as a cookie but it would be more of a dessert with ice cream and the sauce so it is versatile.
|The recipe for this three layer red devils food cake is given as Brian's Red Devils Food Birthday Cake on 6/11/10.|
God Bless Brian for smoking the pork butt on Saturday as it makes things so much easier on Sunday!! Not all the mess of that clean up and it is so much easier to pull the pork and cut out any fat or waste when the meat is cold. The meat is also a lot moister if allowed to grow cold and reabsorb it's own juices.
|Smoked, pulled, then slathered with sauce Boston Butt.|
|These are easily made ahead and can even be frozen then baked.|
|There is seldom any left when this cake is on the table.|
The new "do again" hit of the meal was the Crunchy Chinese Salad. My adaptation comes from a recipe I found on jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com one day last week. We make an Asian slaw a lot this time of year and this is similar. What attracted me is the added crunch with more Ramon Noodles than usually called for and the peanut spiked dressing. Plus, I have cabbages splitting in the garden from the heat and I can use this new twist as a new way to serve it up!
|The crunch and the peanut flavored dressing sets this salad in a class of it's own.|
2-3 pounds of Chinese Cabbage or green and red cabbage shredded
5-6 green onions with tops sliced
3 pkgs. Ramon noodles
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. pine nuts or sliced almonds
1/4 C. sesame seeds
1/2 C. + 1 T. canola oil
3 T. creamy peanut butter
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. rice vinegar
2 T. soy sauce
Note: The benefit of using the Nappa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage) is that the leaves are very porous and soak up the dressing beautifully. But it is quite flavorful with it's green cousin.
Remove the core from whichever cabbage you are using and shred it to you families liking. Place this in a large bowl and mix in the sliced green onions then set aside in the refrigerator. (You may want to put this in a plastic bag for now until serving time.)
Place the three blocks of Ramon noodles in a large (gallon size or bigger) heavy plastic bag and pound them into small pieces using a rolling pin or smooth sided meat tenderiser. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the broken noodles, nuts, and seeds then brown them lightly stirring constantly as not to burn. Set them aside to cool.
Using a small pan measure the oil, peanut butter, sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce into it over medium-high heat. Stir to melt everything together and bring to a full boil. Boil for one minute then remove from the heat and cool fully.
When you are ready to serve toss the cabbage, green onions, the Ramon mixture, and dressing all together until well coated. Serve immediately. Yield 12-15 servings. Enjoy.
|Pork Butt Lazily Slow Roasting in the Smoker.|
Twice Baked Potatoes
Relish Tray with Homemade Ranch Dip
Triple Layer Red Devils Food Cake
I ordered a pork butt from my favorite butcher Randy Pearson and picked it up Friday afternoon. He removed the bone, cut our some of the silver skin and fat, sprinkled in a bit of seasoning and tied it all up for me. I set it to brine overnight in the following mixture:
3 C. apple cider vinegar
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. Louisiana Hot Sauce
4 C. hot water
Dissolve all of the brine fixings in a large bowl and submerge the pork butt over night. Cover well with plastic wrap.
|Locally Grown Donut Peaches, Nectarines, and Peaches all from Engelbrecht's 4th at the Farmer's Mkt.|
Next step is Brian is firing up the smoker and putting on the pork while I am gone! he got it on at about 225 degrees at 10:15 AM. At around 2:00 PM he took it off a few minutes and wrapped it in foil and returned it to the low slow heat.
I am making BBQ sauce, and here is the ingredients list:
8 Oz. tomato sauce
1/2 C. spicy honey mustard
1 C. ketchup
3/4 C. molasses
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. wine vinegar
1/2 C. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 C. butter
2 T. Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 T. paprika
1 T. Lowery's seasoned salt
11/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. Chili powder
1/4 t. black pepper
Bring all ingredients to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and cook at least 30 minutes. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use. THIS IS VERY SPICY. Yield 1 quart.
|The Birthday Cake|
Tonight at 5 PM we took the pork off and moved it to the refrigerator. Tomorrow I will pull it and add sauce. It is so much easier and I think better when you handle it if it is cold. I will heat it back up in the oven in a covered casserole with sauce.
Tomorrow I will set the table, pull the all ready cleaned veggies together on a platter and make up a batch of fresh dip. Then make the twice baked potatoes and it will be dinner for Emily. Thinking of slicing a bowl of fresh peaches to go with the cake. We will see how ripe they are tomorrow. I wonder if a 17 year old girl would rather have some decorations on this cake? Um?
What I have found most interesting is that when my kids were little and would not eat vegetables this they loved?? To this day if I make it everyone loves it and there are happy smiles all around.
1/2 head green cabbage shredded
1 large onion diced
3 carrots shredded
1 bunch green onions sliced
1/4 head of red cabbage shredded
3 boiled red potatoes with peels left on
1 pound smoked sausage sliced
3 T. oil or bacon drippings
NOTE: This is just what I had on hand last night. You can use any meat and any vegetables with cabbage for this.
I do think maybe I have seen this insect before but not commonly in my garden. At my age it could have been anyplace over a long span of time! Thank you friends and readers!
FOLLOW UP POST TO THIS BIG BUG MYSTERY. MY SISTER-IN-LAW PAM SUGGESTED I SEEK HELP FROM LARRY CAPLAN WHO WRITES FOR OUR LOCAL PAPER AND IS AFFILIATED WITH PURDUE UNIVERSITY. HE HAS CONCLUDED AND I AGREE AFTER COMPARISON THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED A GIANT JUNE BUG.
It's name is Giant June Bug not, it is a giant June bug!! I am using Sevin at his suggestion and hope it will solve this infestation. Thanks go out to Pam and to Larry.
This morning after doing my out of doors chores I was hot, sweaty, and tired and thought to try this for the first time. It was really different. Hints of the mint, lemon, ginger, and cucumber were totally refreshing as I enjoyed the whole glass. I think you were just supposed to drink some every day and that was that.
2 L. ( 1 L. is about 95% of a quart) So, I used a scant 1/2 gallon and called it close enough!
1 medium cucumber washed and sliced into rounds
1 lemon washed and sliced into rounds
10-12 fresh mint leaves washed
1 t. fresh grated ginger
Combine all of the above ingredients in a pitcher or jar and cover. Steep in the refrigerator overnight then drink some each day.
Don't have a clue as to if this works for weight loss. I just found it refreshing and attractive!
|Tarragon, Sage, and Thyme are added to my "rooting" windows.|
First thing this morning I went to the garden and tidied up a bit. Made sure every climbing tentacle was wrapped and heading in the right direction! Then the suckers were all pulled from the tomatoes and I had to force myself to stay out of the basil as it has an allure all it's own.
How lovely the house smells! And the jars of herbs in my 3 dinning room windows are very appealing to me anyway. Who knows what anyone else might make of this?
|More Rosemary and Basil.|
Do you remember Aunt Betty? She is a lovely and fun Aunt to have. Actually she is my husband's Dad's brother's second wife and we love her. Both Uncle Gene and Betty were widowed and met, and fell, and you know the rest of the story. Gene is one of the luckiest men I have ever seen to have been married to two such WONDERFUL ladies! She is now quite famous for having given us all "Aunt Betty's 1-2-3 Cake in a Mug."
Anyway I am fortunate enough to have her occasionally share tidbits, recipes, helpful hints, and so forth with me. This one comes from one of her daughters who I hear is quite frugal, an admirable trait in these times especially!
I made this up yesterday and tried it today. It is terrific. I used Suave hair rinse and hot tap water and plain old white vinegar. I expect it made a little over 3 quarts and I have under $2.00 in it. Wow!
Here is the ingredient list and directions for Penny Pincher Fabric Softener:
6 C. very hot tap water
2 C. inexpensive hair conditioner
3 C. white vinegar
Combine the hot water and hair conditioner and whisk until the conditioner is dissolved. Pour into a washed and rinsed 1 gallon plastic milk jug. Add the vinegar and shake well. Use about 2 T. softener with an extra large load in the rinse cycle. Less for smaller loads.
It has occurred to me this is a wonderful way to use up amounts of leftover conditioner as well as that received as a gift that one might not want to use but not want to waste it either?? I also want to add that years ago when there were 5 of us living here I used to add 1 C. of white vinegar to my rinse cycle to cut down on the amount of lint in the dryers lint filter. You would be amazed and the difference it makes.
Happy days. I love to save anywhere I can so I can splurge somewhere else. If you try this I would love to know how it works for you.
|Fresh Peach Pie|
Prepare your favorite pie crust or one of mine, Cherry Pie and Crust, 7/710 or Pastry for three Pie Crusts, 2/12/12.
Prepare 6 C. fresh ripe peaches (peel, pit, and slice)
1 lemon juiced
4 T. flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 to 3/4 C. sugar (depends on sweetness of the fruit) + more for sprinkling
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll the bottom crust, draping into the pie plate but do not trim. Set aside.
Squeeze the lemon into the bottom of a large bowl and toss the peaches well in the juice. This will prevent the peaches from becoming dark. Add the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Stir together until well combined and spread into the waiting crust. Dot the fruit with bits of the butter evenly.
Roll the top crust and either cut vents into a solid crust or cut into lattice. Place the top crust and crimp the edges, then trim. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until the fruit is seen to be bubbling. Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm or cold, plain or topped with ice cream or whipped topping. Serves 6-8.
|Just cut the layers to size and serve them up to waiting smiles.|
Here is my adaptation of their recipe:
1 stick of melted butter + more to butter the pan
1 C. sugar
1 large eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa
2 pints softened ice cream ( oh my what flavors to choose?)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter a half sheet pan 12" x 15". Line the pan with parchment paper and overlap 2 " on all sides. Butter the paper.
Using a medium sized bowl whisk the cooled butter and sugar together then add the salt and eggs. Add the flour and sugar and stir just until combined.
At serving time unwrap and cut into 12 pieces. To store, wrap each sandwich in plastic and return to the freezer for up to 1 week. If you want to freeze for longer place the plastic wrapped sandwiches in a freezer storage bag and freeze marking with the date and contents.
This recipe will certainly make me "Brownie Points" with the family.
( My bad.)
1 pound chicken breast or thighs sliced for stir fry (skin and bones removed)
1 pound fresh green beans washed, stemmed and broken
1 large sweet onion cut to your preference
3 T. cornstarch
3 T. soy sauce
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. black pepper
1 C. cool water
1 T. bead molasses (optional, for color)
2-3 T. vegetable oil or chili oil
4 C. prepared rice
Start the rice according to package directions. Draw the water and add to a medium bowl. Add the soy sauce and stir. Add the cornstarch, spices, and bead molasses and mix well, then sit aside. Meanwhile heat wok or large flat bottomed pan and add oil.
Stir fry the chicken until no longer pink then add the green beans and onions and continue to cook. When the vegetables are tender crisp I turn off the heat until the rice is done. When the rice is ready turn the heat back up and quickly heat through. Add the reserved sauce and bring to a boil stirring until thickened and clinging to the vegetables. Spoon over hot rice and serve. Yield 3-4 servings. Pass additional Soy Sauce at the table. This is also good over Chow Mein Noodles or any noodle your family enjoys.
Helpful Hint: I almost always break, blanch, shock, and drain my green beans right away when I get them then store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until I am ready to use them. It makes the actual cooking go even quicker.
|This loaf is sweet and fragrant and has a lovely "chew" and texture.|
1 C. Scalded 2 % or whole milk
1 large egg (from local farmer if possible)
2 T. butter
1/2 C. vanilla sugar ( just add a tiny drop of vanilla if you do not have this made up)
3/4 t. kosher salt
3 C. King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
4 t. Laura Brody's bread dough enhancer or powdered gluten
1 scant T. instant yeast
Add the ingredients as your bread machine maker suggests and set the machine on the dough cycle.
Upon completion of the cycle remove and shape to a loaf of your choosing. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F for at least 10 minutes. I use a baking stone for round loaves so I put it into the oven when I set it to preheat. When the loaf has been shaped I set it upon parchment paper spread across a peel or cookie sheet. Sprinkle the paper with a bit of corn meal or flour place the loaf then cover it for the rise of 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
|YES, I am a Good Girl and I Got a BATH!|
I opted to adventure out back! I thought that by assembling a large bucket of warm water plus two large (a couple of gallons each) watering cans of warm water and the back up of the hose if needed I could make this work.
Off I trudged. Two of her favorite dog treats in one pocket, the camera in my other pocket, the leash looped across the back of my neck, and a watering can of warm water in each hand. After delivering these out of doors I slipped back inside with Brian's big blue work pail and filled it with warm water from the Jacuzzi. Then grabbed the dog shampoo on the way back out of doors. Lastly I slid the access panel shut so she cannot reenter the house until she is dry.
My plan was to loop the leash around the heavy wooden rocking chairs that stand on the patio then attach her to the business end as I sat down in the chair to further corral her.
Molly being the good girl she is, sat right down when asked to do so. Then I gave her the first treat.....the Annie bar the door!! When I "showered" her with warm water she was literally "fit to be tied." The shock and awe quickly subsided as I stroked her and applied the suds. Actually, I think she loved it as there was no further flutter from her. More like a swoon!
Thus there we were in the sunlight as it filtered through the trees and a gentle breeze fluttered the leaves. Molly was having a ball and enjoying every minute of this! As I finished up scrubbing her down she didn't mind a bit when I showered her with first the remaining warm water from the bucket that that from the watering cans.
|YES, I know how to shake, shake, shake.|
She was having a ball as she dried and ran like the hunting dog she is.
All the while I am thinking this is the way to go!! No dog hair in the tub drain. No dog shaking off water through the house. No splattered water and paw prints all over the bathroom. Success is sweet.
|Fruit Cream, a lovely salad.|
One lesson I have learned is that I do not have a clue as to what to expect in the way of reaction. Therefore I am very interested when readers, friends, and others ask for or make suggestions, and comments about things they would like to see explored or shared. I welcome you to do so.
I decided to share this with you so I searched out this morning the top read posts ranging all over 900 and up to the hundreds of thousands of hits as it is such a diverse list of titles. Some are regular blog posts (listed under Topics) and some are pages (found at the the top right on the first page of this blog). In all there are 7 pages and posts that meet the criteria.
|Chocolate Scratch Cake in a mug.|
#2 Page is Helpful Hints for Scrubbing Bathtub and other.....
#3 Post is Fruit Cream, a lovely fruit salad
#4 Post is Chocolate Scratch Cake for One in a Mug
#5 Page is Easiest Stove Cleaning for Enamel Tops and.....
#6 Chocolate Chocolate Pudding Cake
#7 Page is Produce Codes Explained
This is not to say there are not tons more posts and pages of interest. More interesting numbers are that there are 490 published posts, 488 published comments, and 234 followers. The blog was first published on 4/19/10 so we are a little over 2 years old.
|Chocolate Chocolate Pudding Cake.|
Thank you my friends for making my days such fun with this. I leave you now to go give Molly, our dog, her bath this fine sunny day. Hummm.....sounds like an interesting if not comical upcoming post.