Ellen's Hawaiian Bread

Every once in a while I stumble onto what I take at the time to be a treasure and it has happened again yesterday.  I cannot recall how I came across this, just that happily I did!  The recipes are called Home Cookin' From Ellen's Kitchen and I knew immediately from reading her recipes that I was bound to try most of them with enthusiasm!  Ellen lives in Oklahoma and looks to be just a wonderful baker as the breads and cookies are as tempting as they can be.

The first recipe I choose was her bread machine Hawaiian bread.  I as she does, occasionally like to throw everything into the bread machine and set it on the dough cycle.  Much as she has done in this instance.  Unlike the last recipe for Hawaiian bread I tried this calls for real pineapple juice and a pinch of ginger.  Way to much for me to resist!

You can savor all of Ellen's recipe at her blog,

Ingredients for Ellen's Hawaiian Bread:

1/2 C. water @ 110-115 degrees F.
1/2 C. pineapple juice
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 T. soft butter
3 C. flour
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 T. instant potato flakes
1 t. salt
pinch of ground ginger
1 T. yeast

Place all of the ingredients into the bucket of your bread machine in the order listed above.  Select the dough cycle.  Allow the machine to complete it's cycle.

Traditionally Hawaiian  bread is made in round form.  Ellen says she generously butters a round 9" cake pan to help control it.  However you choose, butter generously  the vessel of your choice.  Place the dough into/onto the pan, cover, let rise for about 45-50 minutes til double. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake approx. 30 minutes til golden.

If you choose to shape into rolls, bake at 375 degrees f. for 12-15 minutes until golden.  ENJOY!

PS:  I put this in to bake while I ran to pick up my granddaughter from school.  YOU JUST CANNOT IMAGINE HOW WONDERFUL IT SMELLED AS I DROVE INTO THE GARAGE!

Cheap Tips, Steel Wool Pads

Cut soap pads in half to stretch your $'s!
Steel wool pads come in quite handy when scrubbing a pot or dish with stuck on goo!  But seldom do I use it all up the first time out only to find a rusted and disintegrating mess when I grab it again.  My money saving and very helpful hint is to cut all of the soap pads in half the day you buy them and store them until needed.  At that time they are ready to go and I seldom if ever have needed more than the half pad at a time.  You now have stretched your purchase 2x's your investment.

Further if you store the previously used half soap pad that still has a bit of life left in your kitchen's FREEZER section it will not rust and disintegrate when you grab it to use again!  It is a little cold but will serve you well.


Basic Meat Loaf (Penny Pincher Series #3)

Cut the meat loaf in half and move it to your platter a half at a time.
My husband loves basic things.  This is his favorite meat loaf.  There is plenty of room for add ons if you like or this is just plain good, economical, and easy!

Basic Meat Loaf Ingredients:

2-2 1/2 pounds lean ground meat (traditional is part pork or veal and beef but part turkey is fine)
1/2 sleeve of crushed saltine crackers
1 large egg
1 large finely chopped onion
2/3 C. ketchup + 1/3 C. for topping
2 T. mustard
1/2 T. salt
1/2 t. black pepper + 1/2 t. for topping
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

I prefer to mix meat loaf early in the day, then refrigerate to let the flavors melt before baking.  I have also mixed the meat loaf, molded it, and frozen it ready to bake.  Be sure the meat you are using has not been previously frozen if you try this!

If baking now preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all of the ingredients except the + ketchup and + black pepper in the large bowl of a stand mixer and mix just until well blended.

Mold into desired shape.  Top with + ketchup and sprinkle with + black pepper.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours until done.

Delicious served with macaroni and cheese and green beans or a side salad.  I like the macaroni and cheese baked in the oven with the meat loaf at the same time!   Delicious meat loaf sandwiches the next day on white bread with mustard.  Just like Mother used to make!

Green Salad with Asparagus, Eggs, and Tomatoes for Two

Blanching fresh vegetables is a routine chore in my kitchen.  This week I blanched fresh green beans and then popped fresh asparagus after the beans were finished.  It is very simple.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and submerge the fresh vegetables.  Return to a boil, for green beans I boil 2-3 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon directly into a large bowl of ice and water to shock.  As soon as they are cold pull them out to drain in a colander.  Since I wanted to blanch the asparagus too I dropped them into the same water after bringing it back up to a boil.  I also used the same ice bath.  I boil fresh asparagus 1-2 minutes after breaking off the tough ends.

Ingredients for Green Salad with Asparagus, Eggs, and Tomatoes:

6 Washed and dried Romaine leaves
4 green onions
1 carrot
2 radishes
6 blanched stalks of blanched asparagus
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 hard cooked eggs
Dressing of your choice
Croutons, optional

Shred the lettuce between two salad plates.  Top with sliced green onion, diced carrot, sliced radishes, and halved cherry tomatoes.  Cut the stalks of blanched asparagus in 1" pieces saving the ends for the top of the salad.  Quarter the eggs and place them around the asparagus. 

Serve with your favorite dressing and croutons if desired.  Serves two.


Spring Cleaning Continues! From Drawers and Cabinets to Closets.

When last I posted about cleaning I was hard at work on all of the drawers and cabinets on the main floor of our home.   It is daunting because once you start you just see and find more and more.  I may plan to do this but am suddenly side tracked by that.  As I plod along I wonder at my enthusiasm and at how marvelous I feel after completing any little drawer or shelf!

I was sidetracked when Brian came down again with pneumonia a couple of weeks ago and I caught whatever he had that led him to contract it initially.  What a sight we both have been, curled up sick and coughing.  But this week we both seem to have recovered and I am stirring up the dust again.

Now I have completed two closets and today planned to start a third but was again sidetracked when I decided to move the kitchen table, then the canisters, and of course you find dust bunnies hiding in those places we seldom look!

I am excited to report I have lost count of the big trash bags I have filled and hauled out to both the good will truck and the trash.  My rule is stern but if we haven't used it in the past season or 6 months or so we must not need it!  This will really get tricky when I get to Brian's "stuff"!  For, he is much worse than I am and could win an award for being a champion pack rat.

There is a master plan.  I have always moved the summer cloths to the main bedroom closet in the spring and rotated them out and the winter things in as the seasons changed.  Now that everyone is grown with homes of their own I came to the realization it would be much more practical to move all my things together in another closet and then just go to the opposite end as the seasons change!  Then Brian can do the same with everything all in one place.  Less work for me in the long run and he shouldn't have to go banging around from closet to closet calling out, "where's my this or that?" as husbands are known to do!

All of this when really all I want to do is sew but I will not allow myself to until this house has had a good "going through" and then I must get everything ready for our tax man.  (A job I REALLY hate!) sewing will have to wait!  And then there are the spring flowers I love to plant? 

Turkey Soup (Penny Pincher Recipe Series #2)

Comfort soup for penny's.
Some may call me crazy but never, never do I throw away a good carcass, soup bone, ham bone, or leftover I can use in a delicious,  nutritious and comforting soup.  A few weeks ago I purchased a fresh whole turkey on sale for  $.59 @ pound and after serving I froze the carcass, wings, and everything not served in a large freezer bag.  Sunday there were almost a quart of left over roasted carrots and a couple of cups of cooked rice.  (I purposefully made extra rice and carrots.)  These things are the fixings for an inexpensive but wonderful home made soup!

This soup is wonderful simmering away on your stove.
Ingredients for Turkey Soup:

1 turkey carcass with all of the trimmings
1-2 turkey breast halves or chicken breasts cooked and diced or torn into bite sized pieces.
1 onion whole + 1 onion diced
3-4 cloves garlic
water to cover
2-3 C. cooked rice ( I use brown or brown and wild)
2-3 cups diced carrots (fresh or cooked)
2 C. diced celery
2 C. diced potato
1 diced turnip, optional
4-6 oz. dried noodles
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt
black pepper
turkey or chicken bouillon crystals or cubes, optional
shredded cheese, optional

The peels of the onion adds color.
Using a large soup kettle place the frozen or fresh bones and trimmings into the kettle (no need to thaw, just remove from the wrappings)  Add a whole onion with peel and garlic with peel a teaspoon of kosher salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper.  If your chicken breast has not been cooked you may add them here too. Cover with about an inch of fresh water and bring everything to a boil.  Cover with a loose fitting lid and simmer about an hour or so, checking the chicken or turkey breasts and removing them when cooked through, then dice and set aside when cooled.  After simmering strain and discard everything except the broth.  Taste and correct the seasonings. The onion/garlic peels are discarded.

Note:  If you have a lot of meat on the carcass you may want to pick it off and use in the soup.  However by this time most of the flavor has been cooked out and it may be a little pasty tasting.

Brown rice adds nutrients.
Place the turkey stock back into the soup kettle and add the diced onion and celery, carrots, turnip, and potatoes.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender.  Taste the stock and if needed enrich it by adding bouillon until it is flavorful and full bodied.  At this point the soup can be turned off or simmered over lowest heat.  About 20 minutes before serving time bring the soup to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook according to package directions.  Add the parsley and diced chicken or turkey and return to a boil.  Place 1/2 C. rice into each serving bowl then ladle the pipping hot soup over the rice.  Top each serving with shredded cheese and serve with crisp crackers.

Add a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
The yield of this recipe really depends on how much broth you make and you can tweak the amounts of the add ins accordingly.  I consider 1-1 1/2 cups of stock per serving.


Round Steak Simmered with Sherry and Asian Vegetables (Penny Pincher Series #1)

"And they licked the platter clean."
Round Steak has never been my favorite cut of meat.  But, I've found a reasonable and easy dish that is good, tender, and actually very flavorful using a tenderized round steak.  In the scheme of things I just served steak to 5 people with leftovers having spent a little over  $7.00 for the meat.  ($4.99 @ pound boneless)   Not bad.  So today in honor of this humble cut of meat I am starting the Penny Pincher series of money saving meals.

You can ask any meat department butcher to run a round steak through the tenderizer and that helps enormously.  If that is not possible use a meat mallet to tenderize, failing that take a coffee saucer and use the edge to pound the meat.  First in one direction then turning it over pound the opposite direction.

Next I trim off all of the fat and partially freeze the meat.  This will make slicing it into thin strips much easier.

Ingredients for Round Steak Simmered with Sherry:

1 boneless round steak trimmed and sliced into thin strips (1 1/2-2 pounds)
1/2 C. + 2 T. soy sauce
1/4 C. Sherry or cooking wine
2 T. corn starch
2 T. brown sugar
1-2 T. freshly grated ginger
1 generous pinch of dried red pepper flakes
1 can drained sliced water chestnuts
6-8 ounces fresh or frozen snow pea pods
1 onion large dice
oil for stir fry
3-4 C. cooked rice

After slicing the steak place it in a zipper bag with 2 T. soy sauce and combine.  Set aside for now.

Combine the soy sauce, Sherry, corn starch, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes and whisk until everything has dissolved together.  Add 2 T. of this mixture to the meat and mix.  Set aside.

Prepped vegetables.
Wash the snow peas and remove the ends.  Drain the water chestnuts.

Heat a heavy wide bottomed pan to sizzling hot, preferably cast iron.  Add 1-2 T oil and the peas and water chestnuts. Leave to brown 1-2 minutes than stir.  Fry the second side 1-2 minutes and then remove from the pan.

When the pan is again screaming hot add half of the steak,  Fry 1-2 minutes and turn. Add half of the onions and after 1-2 minutes turn again.  Remove from the pan and repeat with the second portion of the steak.

Next add everything back to the pan.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and reduce to the lowest simmer.  Cover tightly and simmer 20-30minutes while the rice cooks.

At serving time stir in the sauce, bring to a boil stirring until it thickens.  Serve immediately over steaming hot rice.

The side dish I served with this was oven roasted carrots and dessert was simple fresh strawberries with sweetened whipped cream.


SPRING CLEANING, Moving the Cedar Chest and Purging a Closet, then Off with the Flanel Sheets, I am expecting SPRING.

Such a lovely storage chest a cedar chest is.
Moving the cedar chest from the back of the Durango to the foot of a bed in an upstairs bedroom has turned out to be a long time coming due to the ice on our driveway!  Oh yes, our son and Brian could have done it but I just kept putting it off because of all of the ice.  Since the garage doors are not only shaded with trees but also on the north side of the house I was beginning to think it might be Easter by the time we had a thaw.  Somebody falling was just not worth it to me so I kept putting them off with, I just wasn't ready yet, or I needed to finish cleaning out the closet, or any other excuse that came to mind.

But hallelujah!  The ice is gone and the driveway is dry.  You cannot imagine how happy this has made me.  So, yesterday afternoon I thought I would move it myself.  Brian always has large sheets of cardboard stored for some reason or another so I grabbed a couple of flat sheets about 2' x 3'.

Next I lowered one end of the cedar chest onto the cardboard on the driveway.  From there I could easily walk it across the garage and to the steps just by moving the sheet of cardboard I had just walked the chest across to the end of the one I just stepped onto.  Then I laid a cotton blanket up the four stairs and positioned the chest on it's flat top and pushed it into the family room.  The hall and stairs were easily navigated by pushing the chest on the flat top up from the bottom.  Then in the kitchen I stood it up and again walked it, inching along on the two front corners in a walking motion.

And there it is ready to be filled with bed cloths and treasure! The funniest thing is that I had no sooner sat down with a glass of ice water when my benefactor, Grandma Powell called to see if Brian and I had ever gotten well.  We are both still coughing but on the mend I told her.

Since I was off to such a dandy start I proceeded to clean out the closet in that bedroom.  Then after lugging out 3 trash bags and hauling a couple of boxes to the Good Will truck up at the shopping center I can tell you I am off and running after a prolonged bout of bronchitis!  Tomorrow I plan to do another closet and each day thereafter.  That plan worked out very well with the drawers and cabinets so I think I will stick with it. 

My master plan is to consolidate and purge everything in this house and believe me when I tell you that is a tall order.  It seems to me you spend the first 2/3's of your life accumulating "stuff" and then you wonder what you are doing with all this.......and so it goes!


Lo Mein Noodles & General Tao's Chicken

I am making General Tao's Chicken for supper and thought Noodles with Vegetables sounded good too so off I went to gather my ingredients!  Here is the link for General Tao's Chicken.

Ingredients for (Lo Mein Noodles)  Asian Noodles with Vegetables:

1 pound tagliarini, or other noodle style pasta
1 sweet onion
handful of fresh spinach leaves
1 large carrot julienned
3 T. sesame oil
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. sugar
celery leaves for garnish, optional

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions.

Thinly slice the onion.  Heat 1 T. of the sesame oil in a preheated wok.  Stir fry the onion and carrot for about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the wok with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar,and salt to taste.  Stir fry for 1 minute, then add the remaining sesame oil and the spinach leaves.  Serve hot garnished with celery leaves.

Yield 4 servings.

Note:  You can use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand.  This is also made with red onion and fresh mushrooms etc.


Chocolate and White Chocolate Ganache to Decorate Valentines Day Cookies

Sweets for the Sweet.
I always decorate homemade cookies for Valentines Day.  I am really not too keen on all of these holidays that used to be simple and sweet but are all about more and more and more spending.  I can hardly watch the evening news without a bombardment of advertisements from pajama grams to sex aides?  Good grief.  Well, I am not changing my ways.

I do try to put a new spin on my cookies though and this time I am using ganache to do the final decorations.  I just finished them up and I have them cooling under the ceiling fan in the kitchen!

Ingredients for Ganache:

Making ganache.
1/2 C. heavy cream
2 C. chocolate chips

Place a glass bowl over a simmering pan of hot water.  Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.  Pour in the chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth.

It is very common to add flavorings to the chocolate.  I have added a teaspoon of instant coffee granules to chocolate and also 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to white chocolate and just stir in.  If you want to add a bit of additional sweetness you can also stir in a tablespoon of white corn syrup.

Keep the heat turned to the lowest setting and hold until ready to use.  Stir occasionally.

Cookie Paint and Cutters.
I have made painted sugar cookies and chocolate wafer cookies and will spoon the chocolate over the cookies or dip the cookies in the warm ganache and then place them on parchment paper to cool.

Painted hearts with red sprinkles.
Here is the link to make cut out sugar cookies and the cookie paint.

Assorted hearts.
Here is the link for the chocolate wafer cookies.

Cooling chocolate wafers.

After cooling the cookies and making the ganache I tried sever things.  Some were better than others but none were bad.
Drizzle stripes with a spoon.

Dip assorted cookies.
Roll edge of dipped wafers in Swedish sugar.
Drizzle wafers with almond flavored chocolate.
In the morning when these are all hardened I will package them up.  I think these will make a nice assortment and they are a little different from the previous years!


Raw Flaked Coconut Cream Pie and Miss Kay's Pie Crust

I fell in love with coconut at first taste and Brian loves Coconut Cream Pie.  It is really really cold, I don't want to go out, and I am going to try a new spin on Coconut Pie just using what I can scare up.

I am about out of milk but have 2, 12 ounce cans of evaporated,  no sweetened flake coconut but big raw flakes of natural unsweetened, this I can work with!  The evaporated milk will make a richer pie.

Ingredients for Raw Flaked Coconut Pie:

1, 9" baked pie shell ( I used a frozen single crust from my freezer.)
2/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. corn starch
1/4 t. salt
3 C. evaporated milk
4 large egg yolks beaten
2 T. margarine, softened  (out of butter too!)
1 T. vanilla
1 C. raw coconut flakes

Ingredients for Meringue:

4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/3 C. sugar
1/2 C. raw coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir together the first amount of sugar, corn starch, and salt in a heavy bottomed pan.  Add the milk and egg yolks gradually and whisk until smooth.  Cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until it cones to a full boil.  Cook 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter, vanilla then the coconut.  Pour into the baked pie shell.  Make the meringue.

Add the egg whites and salt to a broad bottomed glass or metal (I do not use plastic as it may hold an oil residue and keep the whites flat.) mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until frothy.  As you beat on high speed gradually add the sugar a little at a time.  Beat until very stiff.  The meringue should hold up stiffly when you remove the beaters.  Spread over the pie filling and sprinkle the coconut atop.  Bake about 13-17 minutes checking often, say every 6 or 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Then refrigerate until serving time.  Best if chilled through completely.  Yield 6-8 servings.

Yes I did lick the spoon and it is delicious!  Also I had "Miss Kay's" pie crusts frozen in the freezer which I rolled, docked, and baked at 375 degrees F. for about 18-20 minutes.  This is a very nice pie crust and I may well use it again!    Here is the link if you would like the recipe!


Tuna Salad Dinner Salad

Usually I make tuna salad the way Mother did at home and I love it that way!  But, with Brian home sick I have to make a "real" breakfast and lunch for him.  (I just grab something as I go by usually!)

So today when we finally got home from the pharmacy and the doctor's office he wanted lunch.  Gee, I thought?  He needs vegetables and protein is good too. (He has already eaten all of the soup that was on hand.) He loves salad so I made up a "Tuna salad salad."

Ingredients for Tuna Salad Dinner Salad:

1 family size pouch of vacuum packed light tuna
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 large tomato
3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 large stalks celery, diced
1/3 C. chopped sweet pickles or relish
2 green onions sliced thin
1-1/4 C. Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
black pepper

Wash and drain the half head of lettuce and cut it in half.  Shred each half and scatter across each of two dinner plates.  Wash and core the tomato and cut it in half.  Slice each portion onto the perimeter of the lettuce covered plates.

Empty the tuna into a medium mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Mound onto the center of each platter and sprinkle with black pepper.  Yield 2 servings.

Refrigerate any remaining tuna for another day.  This filling would also make a dandy tuna sandwich!

Chicken Cutlets and Rice Pilaf a Penny Pincher's Meal for Four

When I buy a whole boneless chicken breast and trim it myself I like to split them not only in half at the center but also in half by thickness.  It works best if they are partially frozen if it is your first try. Anyway, until you get the hang of this!  First halve them at the center.  I like to trim any fat off and the line of cartilage that joins the two sides.  Next on a piece of parchment I arrange one of the halves and place my left hand flat on top.  Next I use a sharp knife and guide it half way through the thickness.  Repeat for the second half.  This yields me four very nice big slices of chicken.

Note:  When making this menu I start the Rice Pilaf before the chicken and it works out perfectly for me.  However the rice can hold a few extra minutes with the lid left on the pan or the cutlets and hold in a preheated 200 degree F. oven as described if need be .

Ingredients for Chicken Cutlets:

4 sliced chicken breast pieces cut as above, or ask your butcher to do this
1 C. flour
2 eggs beaten
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 C. Panco bread crumbs
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
oil for frying

Place the first chicken slice on the parchment and cover it with plastic wrap.  Using a meat tenderizer. or mallet,  or small frying pan pound out the chicken until it is evenly thin about 1/4" in thickness.  Process the remaining pieces the same way.  Salt and pepper each piece.

Arrange a breading station with a dish of plain flour, a dish with the beaten eggs. and a dish containing the well mixed cheese, crumbs, salt, and pepper. 

Heat about 1/2 to 3/4" of oil into a heavy skillet and begin breading the cutlets.  Dip the first slice of chicken into the flour on both sides shaking off any excess.  Dip the floured chicken into the egg  turning so both sides are coated.  Next liberally dredge the egg covered chicken slices with the crumb and cheese mixture again shaking off any excess.  Place the breaded cutlet into the hot oil and fry until browned turning to cook both sides.  This takes 3-4 minutes a side.  Place the cutlets into a preheated 200 degree F. oven on absorbent paper on an oven prof platter until all of the cutlets have been cooked.  They can hold until the rest of the meal is finished.

Ingredients for Rice Pilaf:

1/2 C. orzo
1 C. long grain rice
1-2 cloves of garlic diced very finely
2 C. chicken stock
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in  a wide bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add the orzo and toast lightly.  Add the garlic and the broth stirring well.  Lightly salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let this slow simmer for 20 minutes before removing the lid and tossing with a fork.  Taste to correct the seasoning and serve hot.  Yield four servings.


Vintage Singer Sewing Machine, Vintage Aprons, & Treasures Galore!

What memories this brings to mind!
Yes......I have been away.  Last week I made the rounds seeing both sides of the family! Our son, grandchildren, my Mother, and sister, Grandma Powell,  Uncle Gene and Aunt Betty.  My husband's Uncle took a terrible fall on the ice and I was quite shocked to see how badly he was injured!  Grandma Powell sent me home with lots of treasure, most of which is still in the back of the car as I wait for either a break in the weather or a visit from one of our sons to help me carry a lovely vintage cedar chest in and another fantastic treasure!  A vintage Singer sewing machine!

I really do think it is exactly like the one I first learned to sew on in Ruth Sproat's class and in 4-H starting in the early 60's.  I would say it is well over 50 years old and will bear further investigation when I can get it inside!  Grandma Powell used it for years and one of our sons took it up to Noblesville to Arbuckle's Appliance Repairs and had it overhauled about a year ago so I am grateful to know it still runs like a top!

On a personal note I am sure hardly anyone reading this can imagine that as a member of my local 4-H club I walked on a gravel road between 4-5 miles each way, sometimes twice a day in the hot summer sun to attend the various 4-H meetings I needed to attend!   Back in those days there was no air conditioning much less a cell phone and everyone didn't have a car.  I fact I never had a bicycle!  Can you imagine anyone even feeling safe enough to do that now?

Even though I now have three sewing machine I am tickled to have this old girl to add to the line up!

I was also fortunate as she gave me a large oval lap quilting hoop.  I have a round one and am again tickled to add this to my vast array of sewing treasures!

Some of the vintage aprons.
Last but far from least she gifted me with Aunt Margaret's collection of aprons, which I dearly love!  I would say Margaret probably made most of them which I find really neat,  She and Uncle Boge never had children so I will treasure them.  I really haven't figured out how best to photograph them but I am working on it!  Only one of them simply ties at the waist.  Most have armholes and wrap around the torso as they frequently did in days of yesteryear!. 


Family Recipe for Frying Perfect Fish

I had been meaning to purchase another box of frozen Icelandic cod and remembered to grab a box on Tuesday while grocery shopping.  Our butcher carries a 5 pound box of individually wrapped and frozen fillets that is as handy as can be!  You can easily grab however much you need and thaw, returning the rest to the freezer for another time!

We like a couple of pieces fried with a side salad for an easy weeknight supper.

Ingredients for Frying Fish:

1 C. cornmeal
1 C. all purpose flour
3 T. paprika
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
thawed fish fillets
peanut or grape seed oil to fill to a depth of 1" a deep skillet

Rinse and blot the thawed fish fillets.  Mix the ingredients for the breading well.  Heat the oil to about 325-335 degrees F.  Quickly dredge the fillets and fry in the hot oil until golden brown and crisp.  About 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  Drain on absorbent paper.  I often keep the fish warm in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

Store the unused breading in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer.  You may also double or triple the recipe depending on the amount of fish you are making.


More Ice & Snow Inspires a Big Layered Salad for Supper!

11 Layer Salad.
Good Grief!  More Ice and Snow!  Well, about now I have had enough and I start wanting "Salad Days" to entice spring, the sounds of birds, and the melting of all of the ice and snow.  I must admit it is beautiful.  The picture I am sharing does not do it justice.

Burrrr, everything has an ice layer topped with several inches of snow!
I had not planned to go crazy for a big layered salad today when yesterday I did the shopping after returning from a trip up north to visit family.  So this is a layered salad using just what I have on hand which you to can easily do using what you have!  I try to keep the layers pretty on the outside edge for it to be the most appetizing! Improvising is the key to this one!

Ingredients for 11 Layer Salad:

1/2 head Iceberg lettuce torn into bite sized pieces
1 1/2  C. baby spinach leaves
1 pint washed and halved cherry tomatoes
5 sliced green onions
2 C. shredded carrot
1 1/2 C. steamed and drained etomaume or green peas
1/2 pound diced, fried, and drained bacon
5 diced hard cooked eggs
1 1/2 C. dressing (see below)
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or whatever you like)
salt and pepper

Ingredients for the Dressing:

2/3 C. real mayonnaise
2/3 C. sour cream
2 t. sugar

Select a tall glass bowl large enough for a big salad!  Dice an cook the bacon and remove to paper towels to drain. 

Mix the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Start with the Iceberg lettuce in the bottom of the bowl then layer in the spinach and tomatoes. 

Layer the sliced onions, carrots, and bacon. 

Next add the roughly chopped hard cooked eggs.

Now salt and pepper the eggs well and scatter the green peas or etomaume.  Spread the dressing over the top layer taking all of the way to the edge of the bowl to seal the air out.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Then top with the shredded cheese and seal tightly with plastic wrap.  Store all day or overnight in the refrigerator, tossing at serving time.

Yield 6-8 servings.  This can be a main dish salad or a side salad.  It is great doubled for a large crowd or a pot luck dinner.