Saturday, May 19, 2012

From Food Blog to Travelogue


Today we embark on a 5,000-mile road trip so this is where I will be spending most of my time in the next couple of weeks.  Since there doesn’t seem to be a kitchen in this thing, temporarily, I guess, this food blog will have to become a travelogue.

I thought I might share some of our adventures with you.  We will be visiting some of the great places of nature:  Zion National Park, The Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park.  We will also see some family and visit Branson, MO.

The most exciting thing for me about this trip is that I am going to get to meet a fellow blogger, Danni from Silo Hill Farm.  It turns out that she lives very close to our planned route so she is going to make us brunch, and we get to see her farm.  I am sooo! excited about that.

We were married 50 years ago next month, so this is sort of our  second honeymoon.  We went to Vancouver, Canada for our first one, but it was only for a few days.  We have never taken this much time or driven this many miles before.  It will seem very strange not to be in my kitchen for this long.

We are driving to Salt Lake City today and spending the night there.  Tomorrow we will drive through Zion National Park to Tuba City, Arizona.  Monday we will see the south rim of the Grand Canyon and drive to Tucson.  If me and my new camera get along, I hope to have some nice pics in a day or two.  Wish us Godspeed, and we will see you on the road.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Finds

Before I leave the subject of rhubarb, I just had to add one more rhubarb recipe link.  I had seen a recipe for Rhubarb Curd earlier, but it was for a larger amount.  This one was posted this week, and looks really, really good.

A Veggie Venture

The photo is of a parfait made with Rhubarb Curd, Brown Sugar Lemon Curd (also on the web site), Greek yogurt and whipped cream.  Looks very summery and yummy.

I have been very busy getting ready for a trip we are taking starting early tomorrow so I have not had much time to spend looking at recipes this week.  I do have two links I am going to share that have links for great strawberry recipes.  If you like strawberries like I do, you will definitely want to check these out.

Eat at Home Cooks

The subject for my friend Tiffany's Ingredient Spotlight this week was strawberries.  Hop on over to find over 50 recipes using strawberries.

Semi-Homemade Mom

This delicious looking breakfast dish is part of the May Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Kristen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  The theme was strawberries and cream.  Scroll down below the recipe to see links to all sorts of recipes made with strawberries and something that has the word cream in it.

The photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

Have a good time checking out all these great strawberry recipes.

I am linking to Friday Favorite Finds.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Improv Cooking Challenge-Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Torte Sundae

Strawberries say it’s spring and will soon be summer.  With summer comes the heat when something cool and refreshing is always welcome.  For this month’s Improv Cooking Challenge I decided to make Strawberry No-Machine Ice Cream and combine that with a chocolate crust and a layer of cream cheese and whipped topping.

One sleeve of the brand of chocolate graham crackers I purchase equals 1 1/2 cups.  If there is less than that reduce the butter by 1 T.  Of course, if for some reason you can't have chocolate, regular graham crackers can be used.  I put my graham crackers in a zip-top bag, close it, and use my meat mallet to crush them.  Helps to get out any frustrations I might be having that day.

Time must be allowed for this to chill properly, but that makes it an ideal make-ahead dessert.  Although it is very easy to put together, it can make quite a few dirty dishes.  I wash my mixing bowl out between steps to avoid some of this.

I make my own Sweetened Condensed Milk, but purchased will certainly work.  If you don’t care to use purchased whipped topping, use 1 pt. of whipping cream whipped with a little sugar.  I add a little red food coloring to make this a pretty pink, but that is optional.

You can used any favorite topping to make this a sundae.  We like chocolate or marshmallow.

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Torte Sundae
1 1/2 c. crushed chocolate graham crackers
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened, I use low fat
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed (low-fat or fat-free is fine) or 2 c. whipping cream, whipped
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 lb. fresh strawberries, chopped and pureed
1 pt. whipping cream
few drops red food coloring, opt.

In a bowl combine chocolate graham cracker crumbs, flour and sugar.  Mix well.  Stir in melted butter and mix until all crumbs are moistened.  Press into foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes.  Place on rack and cool for 30 minutes.  While crust is cooling, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended.  Fold in thawed whipped topping or whipped cream.  Spread on cooled crust.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Combine sweetened condensed milk and pureed strawberries until well blended.  In a separate bowl beat whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into the milk/strawberry mixture.  Spread over cream cheese layer.  Cover with waxed paper and freeze at least 6 hours before serving.  Overnight is better.  Using the foil, remove torte from pan.  Cut into  squares to serve.  Pour your favorite sundae topping over each square.  Serve immediately.  Makes at least 12 servings.

The Improv Cooking Challenge is hosted by Kristen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  In June we will be doing cherries and almonds.  If this sound like fun, come and join us.  You can get more information on Kristen's Improv Page.

Linking to Ingredient Spotlight
Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And the Winner Is-----

First a warm welcome to my new followers.  I hope that you find the information here useful.  Also my weekly thanks to all who take the time out of their busy lives to read this blog and to those who left a comment on the post to win the cookbook.


The winner is Judith E.  Judith, your name is not clickable to find your profile.  Please send your snail mail address to loymoore@dishmail.  I would like to get this out to you on Friday before we leave on vacation.  Congratulations.  I hope you enjoy the cookbook.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eating the Alphabet-Balsamic Green Bean Medley

A, B, C,D,E,F,G,H.  Here we are in our 4th month of Eating the Alphabet hosted by Brenda over at Meal Planning Magic.  Last month I wanted to do fennel, looked all over for it and could not find it, so I ended up sitting out April.  This month is G or H, so I bring a dish for green beans.

Mix some green beans, corn, onion, red pepper, almonds and bacon bits with some balsamic vinegar and a little sugar, and you have a dish that lifts green beans a little beyond the ordinary.

This dish is made with cooked vegetables so it can be made from fresh, frozen, or canned green beans and corn.  Hubby will really only eat canned green beans so that is what I use.  Most of the time I used frozen corn.  For myself, I would use diced, cooked carrots instead of the corn, but hubby prefers the corn.

This has a very light sweet/sour undertone, it can be made more pronounced by doubling the balsamic vinegar and sugar.

The almonds and crumbled bacon adds a nice crunch.


Balsamic Green Bean Medley
1 T. butter
1/2 c. diced onion
1/2 c. diced red pepper
1 can green beans, rinsed and drained or 2 c. cooked green beans
1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained or 2 c. cooked corn
2 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds
2 T. cooked, crumbled bacon

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add onion and red pepper and cook until tender.  Add green beans and corn and mix well.  Sprinkle sugar over the vegetables and mix well.  Add Balsamic vinegar, stir well and cook until vegetables are heated through.  Stir in almonds and bacon, reserving a little for a garnish on top.  Turn into a serving dish, garnish with the reserved almonds and bacon and serve immediately.  Makes 6 to 8 servings. 

If you would like to expand your veggie recipe arsenal come and join Eating the Alphabet.  You can find the details and sign up here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's truly are angels.  This year my mother literally is one.  I miss her and think about her everyday. If you are able to spend some time with your mother today, please do so.  Let her know how much you love and appreciate her.  To all who are mothers, in whatever shape or form that is, have a Happy Mother's Day. 

Graphic from My Cute Graphics

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Finds

Just a quick reminder that I am having a small give away on my blog to celebrate 100 followers.  Stop by if you would like to win a really nice Better Homes and Gardens Plaid Cookbook.

After my score on rhubarb, I had planned to find some rhubarb recipes to share last Friday, but ran up against band width usage issues with my ISP, so I had to back off my internet usage for a few days.  Here are some great sounding rhubarb recipes I found this week.

Sno White, our fearless Friday Finds leader, likes rhubarb as much as I do and  last year posted a great list of the rhubarb recipes that she has on her blog.

Of course, there would have to be at least one web site devoted to rhubarb.  I want to try several of the recipes found here, especially the steak and barbecue sauces.

Veggie Venture

I would have never thought of using rhubarb in a smoothie, but this is going to be breakfast tomorrow.  I see that I need to spend some time at this blog as she has all kinds of vegetable recipes.  Asparagus lovers take note:  there is a whole section devoted to this great spring veggie.  I missed this blog when I did my Friday Finds post on asparagus

Hot Eats and Cool Reads

I love "simple" when it comes to dessert recipes.  Dump Cake fits into that category, and here is a great rhubarb variation.  This one is betting made today.

The Kitchn

This can be used in a number of ways.  I really like the club soda and the poke cake ideas.

Eating Richly

Another simple, versatile idea.  Here the compote is being served with yogurt and granola.  The compote can be frozen.

The Brown Eyed Baker

I love crumb cakes.  They give me an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.  I want to make this one soon.

Because these are so, so good.  I could not resist including these bar cookies I posted on Monday. Truly, if you like rhubarb, you must try these.

As always all photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

I am linking to Friday Favorite Finds.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spiced Rhubarb Sauce/Jam

I am still on a rhubarb recipe kick since finding some rhubarb at a great price last week.  This is a simple recipe to make and can be used as a condiment to accompany meats, as a glaze for ham, or as a spread for biscuits, muffins, pancakes or waffles.

There is somewhat of a “pucker factor” when this is hot, but that lessens when it is cold.  Although I have not yet tried it, I think that using rice, balsamic, red or white wine vinegar instead of the apple cider vinegar might reduce this some.

I make very small batches of this at a time since it is so easy, but the recipe can be multiplied and the sauce put in the freezer.  This will keep for quite awhile in the refrigerator.

This is another recipe from Taste at Home and was submitted by Paula Pelis from New York.


Spiced Rhubarb Sauce/Jam
2 1/2 c. diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 cup plus 2 T. sugar
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 – 1//4 t. cloves
1/8 – 1/4 t. allspice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and mix well.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 to 70 minutes.  Pour into a clean container, cool, pour into a clean container and refrigerate.  Makes about 1 pint.
Note:  because I had a green variety of rhubarb, I added a bit of red food coloring to make the sauce prettier.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

100 Followers and a Little Give Away

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure there would be anyone who would want to read it.  Now I know that there are blogs out there with hundreds and hundreds of followers to whom another 100 followers would not be a big deal, but 100 readers is certainly a milestone for me.  Thanks again, to all who take the time to read this blog.

In celebration, I am going to give away a copy of Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book-Celebrating the Promise.  This is an edition that was put out to celebrate the 25th year of the Susan B. Komen Foundation.  Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book were given to the foundation.


This was a limited edition of the 14th edition of the New Cook Book.  There is  a special section at the beginning that contains recipes from celebrity cooks.

Like all good basic cookbooks, besides recipes, there are charts and all kinds of information. Nutritional information is include for the recipe.  Inside the front cover is a chart of equivalents.


Inside the back cover is a chart of emergency substitutions.


Beside common recipe topics, this book has a section on cooking basics, canning and freezing, grilling, and 20-minute meals.


Some my favorite recipes collected over the years have come from Better Home and Gardens cook books.

Everyone one needs a good basic cookbook in their recipe collection.  If you don’t have one, this may be just the chance for you to get one.  If you do have one, it would make a great gift for a new bride.

Although I purchased this book several years ago, I did it to support finding a cure for breast cancer.  I have an older edition and have never used this one.

To enter to win this book, you do not have to tweet, twitter or “like” on Facebook.  All that is required is that you make a comment on this post.  Since my “inquiring mind” wants to know, tell me if you have a Better Home and Gardens plaid cookbook, if so, what edition, and what is the name of your favorite recipe from it.

The contest will run through Tuesday, May 15th at midnight PDT.  I will draw a winner on Wednesday, May 16th so that I can get the book in the mail before we leave on vacation.

Good luck and thanks again for reading my blog.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rhubarb Dream Bars

A warm welcome to my new followers.  Thank you and all who take the time out of their busy lives to read my blog.  I so appreciate it and hope that what you find posted here is useful to you.  I will be posting a give away to celebrate reaching 100 followers in the next day or so.  Keep tuned in.

I have mentioned that I like rhubarb but don’t eat it much anymore since I can no longer get it free.  It is  quite pricey at the store, and the quality is usually lacking.  Well, when I stopped at the produce stand last Friday to pick up asparagus, much to my surprise they had rhubarb at .89 a lb.  Needless to say, I purchased all they had.

I will cut some up and put it in the freezer, but I made one of our favorite rhubarb recipes over the weekend.  If you like rhubarb, you Must, Must, Must try this one.  It has a wonderful sweet/tart taste that I think you will love.  This recipe can be made with frozen rhubarb, but I think it is much better with fresh.

This recipe came from “A Taste of the Country”, a Taste of Home Cookbook, published in 1988.  It came from Fancheon Resler who lived in Indiana. 

Note:  the rhubarb I was able to get was a green variety so the bars are not as pretty as they would have been if I had used the red variety.  Also, we like a thicker topping of rhubarb to the amount of cookie base, so I always use 1 1/2 times the amount of ingredients called for in the rhubarb topping.  I have indicated the amount I used after the name of the ingredient.


Rhubarb Dream Bars
2 c. flour
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 c. butter or margarine (I use butter)
4 c. thinly sliced rhubarb (6 c.)
2 c. sugar (3 c.)
1/2 c. flour (3/4 c.)
1/2 t. salt (3/4 t.)
4 eggs (6)

Place flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Mix to combine.  Cut in butter or margarine until the mixture is fine crumbs.  Press mixture into the bottom of a  foil-lined 10x13-inch pan.  Bake at  350 degrees for 15 minutes or until a very light brown.  Meanwhile put rhubarb in a large mixing bowl.  Add sugar, flour and salt and mix until well combined.  Beat eggs in a separate bowl until well blended.  Pour over rhubarb mixture.  Mix until rhubarb is thoroughly coated with egg.  Spread topping on hot crust.  Return to the oven and bake 40 to 45 minutes longer.  Cool.  Cut into bars.  Makes about 36 bars.  Store in refrigerator because of the high concentration of egg.  These may also be cut into larger squares and topped with whipped cream or Cool Whip to serve as a dessert instead of a cookie.


Linking to Weekend Potluck

Monday, May 7, 2012

Crazy Cooking Challenge-Loaded Pizza Grilled Cheese


 When I saw that grilled cheese was the topic for May’s Crazy Cooking Challenge, I knew that I wanted to do something pizza inspired.  I found a recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese at Never Enough Thyme.  I wanted a few more things in my sandwich so here is my take on that recipe.

Lana made a compound butter.  I did, too, but added garlic powder to mine, used Italian seasonings instead of oregano, and used 1/4 c. parmesan cheese.

I make my own no cook pizza sauce so I made up a recipe of that.  If I have leftover pizza sauce, I put it in ice cube trays and freeze i.  I put the frozen in a freezer bag; and when I want just a little pizza sauce, I put them in a bowl and thaw in the microwave. 

Besides cheese and pepperoni, I wanted Italian sausage, olives and green onion in my sandwich.  I browned up a pound of Italian sausage, drained it and blotted it with paper towels.  That is the amount that I had on hand so there was extra sausage.  I divided it into 1/4 c. amounts, put that in snack bags and put them into a freezer bag for the freezer.

I like to degrease my pepperoni so I put the amount needed for the sandwich between two pieces of paper towel and microwave it for 5 seconds.

A sturdy bread is needed to hold all the filling in this sandwich.  I used a multi-grain bread in my sandwich, but any favorite sturdy bread can be used.

I found a mozzarella/ provolone cheese blend at my local grocery store.  They had both sliced and shredded, and it was BOGO so I got both.  I ended up using the shredded.

Although I did not do it when I made this sandwich, I like Lana’s idea to brown the sandwich on both sides and then put it in a 325 degree oven to finish melting the cheese.  I think this would be good to do when making a number of sandwiches at a time.


Italian Garlic and Cheese Butter
!/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (shelf stable)

Combine ingredients and mix well.  Chill to let the flavors blend but bring to room temperature to spread on your sandwich.  Makes about 3/4 c.

No Cook Pizza Sauce
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 t. sugar or to taste
1 t. dry oregano
1/2 t. marjoram
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. garlic salt or 1/4 t. each garlic powder and salt

Combine ingredients and let set at least one hour to let flavors blend.  If using sooner than that I would heat the mixture until it boils and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Makes 1 cup.

To make one sandwich:
2 slices bread of choice
2 T. Italian Garlic and Cheese Butter
2 T. pizza sauce
enough pepperoni slices to cover 1 slice of bread, usually 5 to 6
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. Italian sausage, cooked
sliced ripe olives as desired
sliced green onion as desired

Place pizza slices between two layers of paper towel and microwave 5 seconds to degrease and cook slightly.  Set aside.  Place a skillet over medium heat and start  heating it up.  Spread one side of one slice of bread with about 1 T. butter mixture.  Place in skillet.  Spread about 1 T. pizza sauce on the other side of bread.  Arrange pizza slices on the bread.  Top  with the cheese.  Sprinkle the Italian sausage over the cheese.  Top with the amount of sliced ripe olives and green onions desired.  Spread remaining pizza sauce on second slice of bread.  Place bread on sandwich and spread remaining butter on the top side.  Press down lightly to help keep ingredients together.  Continue cooking on first side until bread is as brown as you like.  Turn sandwich and cook on second side until it is as brown as you like and cheese has melted.  Remove sandwich to a plate, cut it in half and enjoy.  Makes 1 sandwich.


Come and join in for next month's challenge.  You can get all the details at Tina's Mom's Crazy Cooking blog.

April Package Pals-What I Got

For April I was paired with Danni from Silo Hill Farm.  As I said in my post of what I sent her, she has very clever ideas for making something out of almost anything.  What a wonderful box of goodies she sent to me.  When the box arrived, it was wrapped in brown paper.  I used a sharp knife to take the paper off and almost had a heart attack when I realized what was underneath the paper.  I am so glad that I did not damage it.


Danni put what she sent me in a photo box.  Now how clever is that and what a nice, nice extra.  I am always looking for a box to store something in.  The lid was held down by two black elastic bands.  Upon
opening the box, this is what I saw.


Some nice tissue paper and an envelope with a little note.  The note was written on a this little handmade card.


This is what I saw when I removed the tissue paper.


There were lots of little wrapped packages to open, and this is what was inside those two little paper plates held together with the rubber bands.


This adorable little wreath with that cute, cute little bird.  Also in the photo is a decorated can and a little metal green bird.  Below is a close-up photo of the little bird.  Isn't she just too cute.  Now I know that it is a  she, she is pink after all.


In the bottom left corner of the box were three little gourds from Danni’s farm.  I am going to put them on my kitchen window sill.  I may decoupage or paint them at some point or I may just leave them as is.


In the upper right corner of the box was a little brown box and inside that box was a little decorated match box with a sweet little bracelet in it.  I wore the bracelet to work on Friday to show it off.

Other lovely and useful items in the box were some note pads, a cute little slate board, and a little notebook for keeping email and web site addresses in.  Also a little key.  Danni didn’t know that I have been collecting keys for some time to someday make some fabric with key shapes on it.


There was a wonderful little pack of homemade greeting cards.


There was also a selection of stickers and a great little calendar which were in a cut down file folder.


And last, but not least a little decorated can that I am going to put needles in, some Washi tape, and a beaded recipe card holder made from a fork. (Now I have to admit that I thought the fork might be a spoon rest at first.)


It really did feel like Christmas to receive all these wonderful things.  The best part of this swap, however, is that Danni and I are becoming very good virtual friends.  The even better part is that I may get to meet her in person in a couple of weeks as we will be in her area while on vacation.

I owe many thanks to Jamie over at C.R.A.F.T. for hosting this swap and linking me up with Danni.  There will be another swap in June.  If you think you might want to get in on the fun, I strongly suggest that you follow C.R.A.F.T.  Jamie only takes the first 100 bloggers who sign up, and she will announce the sign up day towards the end of May.  Jamie also hosts a great Monday link party called "Making Mondays Marvelous"

I am linking up to Package Pals Reveal

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ingredient Spotlight-Honey Mustard Dip

The Ingredient Spotlight today over at Eat at Home is honey.  The recipe I am sharing today is short and sweet, quick and easy.  It can be used as a dip for chicken nuggets or fingers, or veggies, it can be used as a spread in sandwiches or as a dressing for salads.

It is easy to vary the taste of this by the kind of mustard that is used.  I have made this with all kinds of mustards.  I, personally, like to use a pineapple mustard that I can get here in the northwest.

Heating the honey slightly in the microwave will help to make it more pourable.  Also, grease the measuring cup to make getting the honey out of it easier.  Try to make this at least a few hours a head if you can.  It keeps well in the refrigerator.


Honey Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Mix together honey, mustard, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and whip with a whisk until smooth.  Makes about 3/4 c.  If you are having a party, it is fun to serve this in a hollowed out pepper. 

Linking to:  Ingredient Spotlight
Weekend Potluck

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Package Pal Reveal-What I Sent

Today is reveal day for April Package Pals hosted by Jamie over at C.R.A.F.T.  My partner this month is Danni from Silo Hill Farm.  If you have not been to her blog, you should drop by.   She does amazing things with mostly recycled items.  She has very clever ideas, ones I certainly would not have thought of.

I learned that  Danni’s favorite color is green and that she like autumn.  I found a piece of striped fabric that I thought had the colors of autumn in it and decided to make a tote bag and a matching sewing kit.  The patterns I used came from the book, “Zakka Style.”  There is a an internet sew along going on making all the projects in the book.  I am making some of them, but not all.


This is a photo of the tote bag, sewing kit and, pin cushion.


This is the front of the bag which shows the zigzag patchwork and quilting.  I used a variegated green thread for the stitching.


This is the back of the tote.  I repeated the quilting decoration here.


I also put the stitching decoration on the inside pocket of the tote.

This is the sewing kit opened up.  It has a large pocket on one side and three little pockets on the other.  I used a pony tail holder for the closure. 

Those of you who read my posts regularly know that my mother died last November.   She was a sewer/crafter for years.  I recently went though a box of her things and found many things that I sent to Danni but did not take pictures of.  There was lace trim, ribbons, a couple of books, a craft punch, etc.  I send a big flat rate box full.  I know that Danni will find wonderful uses for the items.   They should keep her busy for awhile.

Danni and I are becoming great internet friends.  I will be receiving a box from her in a day or two.  I hope that she likes my little projects.

There will be a sign-up the end of May for the June Package Pal exchange.  Participation is limited to the first 100 people to sign up so, if you are interested in joining in the fun, I suggest that you follow C.R.A.F.T.

Linking up to April Package Pal Reveal
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