Savory Pie, with Ham, Mushrooms, Cheese, & Onions

This is a VERY forgiving recipe and I have used whatever was on hand many times in it's making.  A special thank you goes out to Nonie Daniels who shared this recipe with me years ago.
It always feels so good to make something delicious from on hand supplies.  Since we are "in to" fresh fruits and vegetables this savory Quiche seemed a good direction to head.  My dear "cousin" Joyce brought me fresh country eggs this week and there is still a bit of ham from the weekend.  It sure sounded like a plan to me yesterday at about 5 PM. when I hadn't a clue what to start for dinner.

Earlier in the week I headed to Sam's Club for produce and really felt good about the decision when I was able to purchase beautiful produce with sell by dates 2 and 2 1/2 weeks from now.  So I pulled a large onion from the big bag of Vidalias, about a third of the 2 pound package of fresh mushrooms to flavor the pie.

Ingredients for Savory Pie or Cheese & Mushroom Quiche with Ham:

9" pie shell, unbaked
1 1/2 C. shredded cheese, Swiss Gruyere is optimal but I also use a mix of whatever I have with equal success, today I used cheddar and mozzarella.
1 chopped onion
1/4-1/3 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 T. butter
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 C. diced cooked ham, bacon, or sausage (optional)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 C. milk
3 T. flour
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. Coleman's dry mustard
sprinkling of paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and place the pastry in the pie shell and set aside. 

Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter over medium high heat then season lightly with salt and pepper.  Spread the grated cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and top the cheese with the mushroom and onion mixture.  Sprinkle the ham evenly over the vegetables.

Using a medium size bowl beat the eggs and milk together.  Add the flour, salt, and mustard and whisk briskly until smooth.  Pour the custard mixture over the pie ingredients.  Sprinkle with paprika.

For the sake of saving on clean up I do the assembly and baking with the pie plate centered on a larger baking sheet.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until browned and firm in the center.  Remove from the oven and let sit 10-15 minutes before slicing.  Yield 6 servings.

Note:  I served with a generous portion of fresh made Cole slaw on the side.
This link will take you to the slaw recipe.


Fruit Plate Breakfast and the 9 Cup Diet for Health and Healing!

Breakfast today was 1/2 apple, 1/2 banana, 8 strawberries, and 2 tablespoons of blueberries.  It was 3 cups for each of us!
Yesterday I happened to come across the most fascinating dialog about the part mitochondria plays in healing and brain and cell function.  I had heard our boys speak of mitochondria but not payed a lot of attention.  That is until yesterday!

What I happened across was a video made by a female doctor, Terry Wahls.  She had been a champion Martial arts competitor in her youth, studied hard and become a doctor, married, had 2 children, and was then stricken with MS.  She took all of the conventional and latest treatments but still wound up in a wheel chair with a less then optimum prognosis.

She started studying and after all sorts of research and consultations felt the answer was in the way we now eat versus the more natural way we ate as hunter gatherers and the various cultures that reflect this same happenstance.

She called it a "Hunter Gatherer Diet" and attributes many improvements and her healing to this.  Her video was found on and it is titled "Minding Your Mitochondria".

Basically the elements of this way of eating are:   3 C. green leafy vegetables @ day,  3 C. sulfurous vegetables @ day (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, and mushrooms),  3 C. brightly colored fruits and vegetables @ day.   This totals 9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day!  In addition organ meats once a week, sea weed once a week, and high quality protein like wild caught fish and grass fed meats and poultry should be added.  So we are going to sort of try to steer this direction and see if we feel better.

I told Brian after 9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day you would be too full for much else!  We shall see.....

DOCTOR TERRY WAHLS  is no longer in a wheelchair and is back practicing medicine.   She attributed her healing to the effects of this way of eating.



Spicy Glazed Pork Steaks, Fresh Fried Zucchini, and Homemade Cocktail Sauce with a Kick!

Glazed Pork Steak & Fried Zucchini
One appliance I am really having a good time with is the Cuisinart Griddler.  There are three lean, boneless pork steaks that in my minds eye have been begging to hop onto it and sizzle away!  So, I adapted a sauce from for her Honey Garlic Pork Chops and set them to marinade.

The result is sweet and spicy entree with very little mess and a very nice dinner for my husband.

Ingredients for Spicy Glazed Pork Steaks:

1/2 C. ketchup
2 1/2 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce
1-2  cloves fresh minced garlic
1/8 t. ground Cayenne pepper
1/8 t. lemon pepper
1 1/2 pounds pork steak
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Season the pork steaks with salt and pepper.  Place the meat in a one gallon freezer zipper style bag.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl stirring until well blended.  Pour over the seasoned pork and swish the bag until the meat is coated.  Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 hours to marinade.

Heat whatever type of grill you are using until it is hot.  Grill on each side for about 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.   Yield 5-6 servings.

I am serving with fresh Fried Zucchini and HOMEMADE COCKTAIL SAUCE.  The sauce:  Mix 1 C. ketchup, 2-3 T. grated horseradish, juice of 1/2 fresh lemon, and a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce.  Stir until well combined.  Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  This sauce is perfect for any type of seafood or fried vegetables.

Ingredients for Fresh Fried Zucchini:

1 or 2 fresh zucchini washed, ends removed, and sliced 1/8" thick
2 eggs
2 T. cornstarch
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
peanut oil for frying

Place the zucchini slices into a clean colander in the sink.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with your fingers to distribute evenly.  Leave them sitting for a few minutes while you place about 1/2" of the peanut oil in a heavy skillet.

Mix the eggs and cornstarch beating until it is well combined.  A few small lumps may remain.  Toss the zucchini into the batter and stir well.

Heat the oil and fry the slices without crowding them until golden brown.  Remove to a platter covered with paper towels and keep warm on the stove top while you finish frying all of the slices.  Serve immediately with the prepared sauce.  One medium zucchini serves two.

Turkey Salad

Turkey salad on bread with lettuce is a family favorite.
I am always so very surprised when I ask people if they like turkey salad and they tell me they have never had it.  It seems since chicken salad is such a hit with so many and turkey has become much more common then just for Thanksgiving or Christmas that turkey salad should have made some headway.

At any rate my Mother and Grandmother both always made it and we all loved it so I always take the opportunity to make it when leftover turkey is available.

Over the Memorial Day weekend we had a family gathering and I cooked the ham and turkey so today I made turkey salad with the few leftover turkey bits.  Happily it made a wonderful lunch just for me!!

Ingredients for Turkey Salad:

2-3 C. cooked turkey diced
2-3 stalks washed and diced celery
1/3-1/2 C. sweet pickles chopped
black pepper
1/2-3/4 C. Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
1/4-1/3 C. sweet pickle juice

I do NOT recommend making turkey salad in a food processor.  You will I fear have mush.  Just chop the cooked turkey and place it in a medium bowl.

These ingredients are all stirred together until evenly moistened.  There is some latitude  in the quantities and you may need to adjust further.  Just taste and adjust.  If you have a lot of turkey and it is dry it will need more salad dressing.  Just taste until it is pleasing to you.

Serve on lettuce leaves or on bread or rolls in a sandwich.  Yield 4-6 servings.  Additional Options:  Add halved grapes, dried cranberries or apricots, chopped almonds or pecans. 


Cheesecake Cupccakes

Cheesecake Cupcake
I have made Oreo Cookie Cheesecake Cupcakes before and we loved them and today have been looking at modifying two of my recipes to make a dozen Oreo and a dozen plain cheesecake cupcakes. 
It has turned out the resulting recipe yielded 28 cupcake cheesecakes.

Ingredients for Cheesecake Cupcakes:

14 Oreo cookies plus 5 Oreo cookies roughly crushed
14 Vanilla wafers
3-8 ounce pkgs. Cream Cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 C. sugar
4 large eggs
1 T. vanilla

Ingredients for Topping

1 1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla
optional fruit topping

Half of our cheesecakes are plain and half are "Oreo".
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Place a cupcake paper in each of 28 cupcake tins.  Place an Oreo cookie in the bottom of a 14 cupcake papered slots and 14 Vanilla wafers in 14 cupcake papered slots.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer and preferably a stand mixer as this is beaten for quite a long while!  Mix the cream cheese and sugar beating for 5 full minutes.

Fill half of the prepared paper cups with plain batter then add the crushed cookies to the remaining filling.
Add the eggs, one at a time and continue beating.  Add the vanilla and beat an additional 30 minutes.  Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl really well at least twice.  Remove half of the batter and by hand fold in the roughly crushed Oreo cookies.

Carefully spoon the Oreo batter over the Oreo cookies in the cupcake tins filling to just below the top of the paper.  Spoon the plain cheesecake batter over the Vanilla wafers as you did the first dozen. Bake the filled tins in the center of the oven for 30 minutes then check for doneness.  When the center has set (They may look slightly cracked or slightly sunken.) remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.
The left are Oreo cheesecakes and the right are plain cheesecakes after baking.

Mix the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla together well and spread dollop onto the top of each individual cheesecake.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight before serving.

These cakes have been topped with the sweetened sour cream and finished baking.
At serving time serve these as they are or top with fruit topping of your choice.  We like fresh sweetened strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries.  Enjoy as these treats make any occasion a party!  Yield 28 desserts.

Update on lemongrass started from cuttings.

A week ago I moved the rooted cuttings of the lemongrass I had started on 4/25/13 with stalks purchased from an Asian market, a dozen for $1.25.  They are just in a big pot on the patio and are doing just great!

I will have the seasoning for the next year I would estimate and enjoy the added benefit of it's natural insect repellent properties.  They will be lovely after they grow out a bit more too!


Before the party,
It has NOT been a "usual" week at our house.  Not at all!  Our oldest granddaughter graduated from High School Monday evening.  So this is quite a marker of time in our lives.  As my fried Mickey told me yesterday we are getting on if you know what I mean! Nevertheless it has been busy with lots of surprises.

First we helped prepare for the party our family was having for our Granddaughter.  This meant breaking out the "CORN HOLE GAME"......putting up the canopy and blowing up balloons.  I thought everyone really did a nice job on this.  There was lots of help from friends and family.

Molly of course remained in the thick of things as we scurried about! She exercised stretching and yawning!

Of course everything turned out great and a good time was had by all.  The weather was fine and there was no rain, only warm sun and cool beverages as we celebrated Emily's graduation.   None of the pulled pork was left so everything turned out J-u-s-t  R-i-g-h-t!  Congratulations to Emily and THANK YOU to everyone who helped us celebrate her day.

Saturday 5/25/13 another celebration took place at Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana.  This is a beautiful and well equipped park close to where we were raised and we all spent good times there as children.   Now our children ans children's children are loving it too.

We had the #2 shelter house reserved and it was perfect for our group.  Neat as a pin and clean as a whistle.  There were playgrounds on both the front and back sides and a sandy court to the side which was quite entertaining for the little ones.  The train and carousal were both running.  A good time was had by all.


Crowd Size Potato Salad, Smoked Pulled Pork, & a Candy Bar!! (Serves 35-40)

We buy the whole butts and have the butcher remove the bone and excess fat.  We season them and smoke at 225 degrees.  Low and slow is the formula. 
We are making the smoked pulled pork and the potato salad for an open house this afternoon and here is how we go about crowd size cooking.  First we do a lot in advance.  We take a long time and find low and slow to be the best result.  The 2 pork butts went on the smoker yesterday at 9:30 am.  They were boned and well seasoned with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder.  The water pan was filled with fresh citrus and onions.  The smoker temperature was kept at 225 degrees F. for 6 hours.  Next we removed the butts, wrapped them in foil and placed them in the oven at 225 degrees F. for another 6 hours.  When cool I slide them into the refrigerator for the rest of the night.

Note:  If a smoker is not available simply roast in an open flat pan at 225 degrees F. in your oven for 6 hours to start the process for melt in your mouth BBQ.   Place another pan of water, wine, or beer in the very bottom of the oven with cut up citrus and onions to provide moisture in the form of humidity in the oven.

Remove the butts and wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Be sure to either place the wrapped butts in another pan or cover a pan they are in with secure tight foil.  The meat will give off quite a bit of liquid now and you do not want a big mess.  Place into the oven or back out on the smoker at 225 degrees F. for another 4-6 hours.  It will depend on the weight and volume.  As long as you have the meat tightly and securely wrapped it sshould not dry out.

Cold and ready to pull apart, thus "pulled pork."
Remove and leave wrapped to cool.  Refrigerate until cold.  Lay the cold pork butt out on a cutting board and cut the butchers twin and pull it off the meat.  Using very clean hands pull the piece of meat apart.  I usually have 6-8 hunks of meat lying before me.  With your fingers pull off and discard any membrane, fat, or gristle.  You will have beautiful meat to tear or chop or slice as you desire.

Ready to eat and relax the work is done when serving this BBQ.
My "secret sauce" is whatever kind of BBQ sauce you like thinned with apple or pineapple juice and spiced with an ample amount of hot sauce.  Honestly, it has never mattered if I spent hours on a homemade sauce or empty several bottles of open BBQ sauce into a bowl.  As long as I stick to the above formula it has always been a hit.  Currently we prefer Long Horn or Sweet Bay Ray's but I am not sure it matters as long as you thin with fruit juice and season with hot sauce!  Pour the sauce over the pork, cover tightly with foil, and return to the oven at 225 degrees until serving time.  Or,  put the meat in a slow cooker on low or a roaster on it's lowest setting until time to eat.  Serves 30-35.

The potato salad recipe is given at the following link.

 As is my creamy Cole Slaw recipe plus more pictures.

If you cook the potatoes with the skins on then peel they do cot get mushy and fall apart as easily.
To serve 30-25 I used 8-10 pounds of potatoes boiled in the skins then peeled and sliced.  1 1/2 dozen hard cooked eggs, and one bunch of celery cleaned and sliced.  I prepared these items the day before and stored them in the refrigerator until just before serving time.

For this much dressing I used 1 quart of Hellman's mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar.   I also thinned the dressing with about a cup of buttermilk.  Whisk together and pour over the salad fixings.  Season well with salt, pepper, and a bit of celery seed, tasting until it is just right!

Everyone loved the "CANDY BAR."
One nice idea my daughter-in-law and her friend did was a "CANDY BAR."  The teenagers all loved this as did everyone else!  Since Memorial Day is just around the corner I hope these large quantity recipes will help you with your summers activities.


French Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs (No Mayonnaise)

We had friends a lifetime ago of French heritage and she made lovely potato salads without mayonnaise using a bit of white wine and olive oil.  Since then I periodically play around with the recipe.  Today with fresh chive and dill in hand I made it again.

I have made a wonderful discovery.  Produce is plentiful, with a large variety, and quite economical at our local Asian markets.  While I shop there periodically for special ingredients it may be wise to up my game by making them a much more regular source!  This morning I found beautiful fresh dill while fetching lemon grass.  I also found an item I have sought for years at Aihua International Market, lime leaves.

French Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs:

3-4 pounds Yukon Gold (or other good boiling potato)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3-4 T. White Wine (or Vermouth)
1-2 Shallots, sliced thinly
2 T. Red Wine Vinegar
Torn Fresh Herbs (Tarragon, Chives, Dill, whatever you like)
2 t. Dijon Mustard
1/4 C. Olive Oil

Cover the potatoes with salted cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook until fork tender, drain, an peel.  Slice onto a large platter or bowl/  Sprinkle while still warm with the wine, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine.

While the potatoes are cooking slice the shallots into the red wine vinegar.  Drain after 5-7 minutes.  Toss the rough chop herbs and shallots atop the potatoes.

Stir the mustard into the oil and pour over the potatoes, pour over the potatoes and toss.  Taste and correct the seasonings.  Yield 4-6 servings.


Wonton Soup with Pork and Shrimp

Delicious fresh, light, complex, wonderful soup.
Yesterday I simmered the bits (backs, necks, wing tips)  from the six chickens purchased and frozen a couple of weeks ago.   The result was a rich and aromatic stock that will be the base for tonight's supper of stir fried vegetables and Wonton soup.  What I don't use will be frozen for another day.

The Durango was making a squeaking noise that ended up only needing a brake adjustment to resolve.  On the way home from B & K Auto in Chandler, Indiana I stopped at The market and picked up a half pound of raw shrimp, Wonton wrappers, and a package of pork steaks to round out the supplies needed.

After planting herbs out back I am ready to sit down and hatch my plan for supper!  The stock recipe can be found on this link  the fried vegetables will be adapted from   using sliced pork steak instead of sausage and the Wonton soup is my adaptation from Chicken Wonton Soup with Shrimp from The Ultimate Chinese and Asian Cookbook by Editor Linda Doeser.

Ingredients for Wonton Soup with Pork and Shrimp:

8 ounces ground fresh pork ( I used small chunks of lean pork steak.)
8 ounces fresh shelled and cleaned shrimp
1 t. finely minced fresh ginger
3 green onions chopped fine plus 2 green onion cut into strips
1 egg
2 t. oyster sauce (optional, I substituted Soy sauce.)
1/4 pepper
1 pkg. wonton wrappers
1 T. cornstarch paste (mix 4 parts cornstarch to 5 parts water and mix until smooth)
6 C. chicken stock
1/4 C.  carrots julienned or other vegetable on hand
3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro and 1 tomato peeled, seeded and diced to garnish

Place the pork, three fourths of the shrimp , the ginger, and two green onions in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes.   Add the egg, oyster sauce if using, and seasoning and process briefly.  Set aside.

Place 8 wonton wrappers at a time on a work surface.  Moisten the edges with cornstarch paste and place 1/2 t. of the meat filling in the center of each.  Fold them in half and pinch to seal.  Simmer in salted water for 3- 4 minutes.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the remaining shrimp and carrot and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Add the filled wantons and simmer 3-4 minutes more to heat through.  Garnish with the cilantro, scallion and diced tomato and serve hot.  Pass additional Asian hot sauce and Soy sauce.  Yield 8 servings.


Painted Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

Airplanes, hammers, trucks, puppy dog paws, dinosaurs, rockets, trains, sunglasses, and more new cookie cutters!
I have had such a nice day.  Sunny, mild, widows open.  Lots of things accomplished.  The most fun has been baking these painted cookies with my new treasure trove of cookie cutters!  It's 5 pm and I have just finished cleaning up.  My big oak dinning table with the leaves still in from yesterday is half laden with colorful sparkling painted sugar cookies.  They are still resting from having come from the oven and I will pack them and ship them tomorrow to Chris our oldest son and the boys!  Bet they will have "big eyes" when they open this box!

This recipe is just too good not to make again and again and I do.  If you would like to try them here is the link.

Really what I like so much about them is you just paint the cookies before baking and I sprinkle with colored sugars and as they bake and puff a bit it makes an outline it is really a cute outcome for not a lot of work.  On top of that I froze the unused paint I had made and used at Easter in little jars so I just thawed them today and they were perfect.  No waste at all!  (The paint is egg and food color.)

All those from these!!


Taco Dip Fast, Fun, & Delicious Every Single Time I Make It!

I love the ceramic dish my Granddaughter's painted with big triangular corn chips and our names!
This Mother's day has been lovely and such a relaxing time.  Partly because we had an easy meal and nobody had to do a lot because we all did a little!  Brian grilled burgers and roasted carrots on the grill.  Joel and Julie brought the chips and Mike and Julie brought dessert.  I made the dip!  One of my favorite dips!  It is easy, fast, and downright yummy.

Ingredients for Taco Dip:

8 ounces room temperature Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 C. sour cream
1 bottle taco sauce
i can black olives
1/2 jar of pepperonchini
3-4 sliced green onions, optional
1 diced tomato
4 ounces shredded cheese
Corn Chips for scooping up the dip

Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.  Spread this onto a large flat serving dish.  I used the large decorated dish the granddaughters made me one Christmas.  It is decorated with big triangular corn chips with all of our names on painted on them. (Really cute girls!)  Next spread the taco sauce across the top of the cheese and cream layer.

I usually stop with the sauce just before the edge but it really doesn't matter!  Next add a layer of sliced black olives and a layer of sliced pepperonchini.

Top these layers with diced fresh tomato and shredded cheese.  You are ready now to scoop and enjoy!  Yield 12 - 15 servings.


General Tao's Chicken Sauce & Monteray Cherry Juice, Two Great "Finds"

I always get General Tao's chicken when we go out and this turned out just as good as any I have ever eaten.
I have looked high and low for a recipe for General Tao's Chicken and even my Ultimate Chinese and Asian Cookbook does not give a recipe.  When I came across an Asian sauce for General Tao's Chicken made by TY LING Naturals, I snatched it off the shelf and have given it my best efforts this evening. It turned out GREAT!  I was happy with the results and Brian loved it.

Ingredients for General Tao's Chicken:

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 eggs
2 T. cornstarch
oil for frying
Ty Ling General Tao's Sauce
dried red pepper flakes

Cut any excess fat from the thighs and cut each thigh into 4-5 pieces.  Place about 1/2" oil in a heavy skillet and heat.  Meanwhile beat the egg and cornstarch until smooth.  Season the thigh pieces with the salt and pepper and toss them into the batter.

Fry the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil until deep golden brown and remove and drain on paper towels.  Do not crowd. fry in 2-3 batches.

Combine the cooked chicken pieces in a dish with about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the Ty Ling General Tao's Sauce stirring to just coat each piece.  Sprinkle with dried red pepper flakes and serve hot over just cooked rice.  This is a sweet, spicy, hot, sticky and delicious dish, the best way I know to enjoy a chicken thigh!   Yield 2 servings.

Concentrated Monterrey tart Cherry Juice Concentrate.

I have made another discovery.  Tart Cherry Juice, if has a lot of nice effects.  We have been drinking one glass each evening with our supper.  We do not add any sweetener.  We just use 2 generous tablespoons of the concentrate in a glass of filtered water over ice.  We are starting our second week and there are some noticeable improvements in our sleeping.  We both looked at each other and said the same thing one morning.  "Gee,  I am sleeping better!"

I also have slowly noticed some improvement in my arthritis.   Less stiffness and swelling.  The literature suggests some other benefits but these are the things we are certain about.  Certain enough that I bought a second bottle of concentrate today.  It is not cheep.  Almost $28. a quart but if the benefits continue it is worth it!  I buy it at Rivertown Butcher Shop but have seen it other places too.  You can visit them online if you are interested.  I do not sell it, get paid to talk about it, or own stock in the company.  We just think we feel and sleep better.  is the web address given on the bottle.

Cookie Cutters!! Dinosaurs,Tools,Trucks, Planes, Rockets, Zoo Animals, Shades, and a Puppy's Paw.

These cookie cutters directly reflect the current "likes" of our little boys.
I am so pleased to report the quest has been successful!  I finally found and purchased a selection of "boy" cookie cutters!  I could not be more pleased!! I had gone to several local outlets for baking supplies and never seen the exact selection I was looking for.  Then I remembered good old Google!

Upon Googling I found Cincinnati Cake & Candy Supplies and after clicking onto the cookie cutter tab found everything I could possibly ask for!  Many of you may have observed  there is usually way more "girl" stuff and I admit that too seems to be improving over what it had been when my sons were growing up.  At any rate I found a great selection of exactly what I was looking for!

The service was perfect and the cookie cutters arrived the third day after I placed the order with no special instructions for shipping.  The cutters were very well priced.  Most under $2.00 (some under $1.50) each and look perfect.  I hope to make cookies with them on Monday or Tuesday to send to the twins and will share photos with you of the end result.

Note:  I am not paid by this company, do not own stock, or work for them.   I just found them and they filled my needs nicely!

Cincinnati Cake & Candy Supplies  has way more than cookie cutters and I will be looking there for more of my baking needs.  They can be found at  if you too would like to visit their site.  It was certainly worth my time.  I found and ordered over a dozen  dinosaurs, trucks, sunglasses, dog paws, rockets, airplanes, and other animals. 


Slow Cooker Meatballs for Spaghetti with Hot Rolls and a Salad!

I only wish you could smell these meatballs!
Slow cooker meals are just such a delight.  Meatballs and sauce might be the least original of them but that doesn't lessen the goodness!  If I purchase very lean beef, ground sirloin or ground round I feel very comfortable NOT browning the meatballs but rather just dropping them into the sauce and letting them slow cook away.  That is my game plan if I have a busy day and am looking for time savings.  Today was still a bit lazy, I used the higher in fat content ground chuck, so I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about half an hour before dropping them into the waiting red sauce.  That way the most fat is eliminated before the meat goes into the sauce.

Between the aroma of the meatballs and these rolls it is heavenly in my home today!
I mixed up a batch of rolls and there are enough washed and ready greens from last night for salad so the menu is set!  Here is the link to a delicious recipe I like for a small batch of dinner rolls.

Ingredients for Meatballs:

1 1/2 pounds lean (chuck) or very lean (round or sirloin) ground beef
1 1/2 C. soft bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 C. cream
1 T. parsley flakes
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. sweet basil flakes
1 t. onion flakes
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Form into meatballs about the size of a walnut.  Either roast in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for 20-25 minutes or drop into slow cooker with your favorite red sauce and simmer on lowest setting 4-6 hours.  Serve over your choice of hot cooked al dente pasta sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese.  If the meatballs are oven roasted just drop them into the prepared sauce and again slow simmer at the lowest setting until serving time topping with grates cheese if desired.

CONFESSION;   I hate to scrub pans if I don't have to and almost always line sheet pans with foil then just pitch the mess when roasting.  I admit to some guilt about this as we do recycle and have for a number of years.  Lazy is all I can say....just plain lazy.