Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cookie for One Perfect for Santa

Hi everyone! Hope you all are ready for the big day coming on the 25th! We had our Christmas last Sunday, only seven of us, as my husband had knee replacement surgery on December 20th. I know, but that was the only time before the end of the year and had to get it done so insurance would pay for most of it.

Ok, now on to this cute idea that I found surfing the web. It is a recipe for one big cookie for Santa. Heck, you could make it for yourself if you are all by yourself and looking for something sweet to eat but don't want to make 2 dozen cookies. I have not tried this recipe but it is just too cute of an idea not to pass along to all of you.

You can find the recipe HERE. If you try this recipe, let me know how it taste, please. I bet the kids would love to help make this cookie with you too.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

Hi everyone! I hope that you all are doing well and looking forward to the week-end too. If you are like me, you still have some Christmas shopping and baking to do too.
Today I wanted to share an unusual chili recipe with you. I found this recipe in one of those little cookbooks that you find by the check-out in the grocery stores, probably about 10 years ago now. It has quickly become one of my family's favorite way to eat chili. Oh, we still enjoy the traditional chili too, but this is nice for a change and now is the perfect chili weather too. As you can see it has some of the same ingredients that traditional chili has in it. Oh, by the way, I accidentally put cloves in the picture, that is wrong, so ignore that spice, it should have been the chili powder in there instead.
Start off by browning your hamburger and chopped onions together. When brown, drain off any excess fat. When I was cooking this my daughter was in the kitchen with me and when I took this picture, she looked at me really funny and asked, "Mom, why are you taking a picture of raw meat?" I told her it was for my cooking blog. Well she didn't know I had this blog! Oh the things we will take pictures of for our blogs, LOL!
Now add your crushed tomatoes, chili powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar and ground red pepper (cayenne). I also add my red kidney beans at this time, but you can leave those out and serve them on top of you chili, if you like to do it that way. Mix together well and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until ready to serve. Now while your chili is simmering, cook your spaghetti until desired doneness. Drain.
When ready to serve, place your cooked spaghetti in a bowl or on a plate. Top with chili, chopped onions, beans (if not added to chili) and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Cincinnati Chili
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 medium onion, chopped, other half will be used for the topping
1 pound hamburger or lean ground turkey
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne), less or more depending on how hot you want it
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
additional chopped onions
shredded mild Cheddar cheese
Add hamburger and chopped onion into a large frying pan. Cook meat/onions until done; drain off excess fat. Add all remaining ingredients except kidney beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add kidney beans and simmer until thoroughly heated. To serve, spoon spaghetti into individual soup bowls. Ladle chili over spaghetti. Top with chopped onions and shredded mild Cheddar cheese.

Serves 4.

Hope you enjoy my recipes and give this one a try, you'll not be disappointed! Mary

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cherry Pound Cake

Cherry Pound Cake

Hi everyone! Well today I don't have a full picture tutorial for you but I did want to share this recipe with you. I found this recipe about three years ago on a thread about Christmas projects and recipes on Splitcoaststampers, which is a website that deals mainly with stamping and making paper crafts. You can find some really good ideas over there. Well anyway, I recently downloaded my digital program by Stampin' Up! called My Digital Studio. I was playing around in it one day and created my very first project! I think if you click on the picture, it will enlarge it and than you can print it off.

Now on to this recipe. The first time I made this, I made it in the small loaf pans and put them on my Christmas platters that I give to my neighbors each year. I had an extra one left and my daughter asked if she could have some (everyone in the house ALWAYS ask first, "can we have some or is it to give away", yep, I've trained them very!!) Well, after one bite, she was in LOVE with this cake and is always begging me to make some for her. It is so good and I thought I would share it with you now, so if you want to, you can try it before Christmas and add it to your Christmas goody list! Here is what it looks like after mixing for five minutes. Here are my cherries all quartered and drained. Here are my loaves before baking. Here they are after baking.Thanks for stopping by to see me today! Mary {Printer Friendly Version}

Monday, November 7, 2011

Best-Ever Banana Bread

Hi everyone! Hope you all are doing well! We survived all of the ghouls and goblins that came around and now am looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Today I want to share a recipe that I found in the late 1970's in the cooking magazine Bon Appetite'. At first I was not going to cut this recipe out because it called for such a small amount of buttermilk, but than I decided to save it anyway. Boy, I'm ever so glad that I did, this has turned out to be one of my most requested recipes of all time. Everyone that taste this bread, always request the recipe! Now I did not name this recipe, that is the original name that Bon Appetite' gave to it, and it is very fitting for this! So let's get started! First I want to show you a picture of the banana's that I use, it is very important to use banana's with a nice yellow color and some of those brown spots on them. These are the one's that will give your bread a wonderful banana flavor without having to use that icky fake banana flavor extract! Most people would throw these out but don't they make the best bread, muffins and cake too.
I mash my banana's up with my hand held mixer, makes it very easy and fast too and I think it spreads the flavor around in your bread more.
See, here is how it looks after the banana's are all mashed.
Next I add all of my wet ingredients; eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix it all up real good.
Than I add the sugar and incorporate it good too.
Now add your dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix well again.
Now add your nuts. If you don't like nuts leave them out, it still taste just as great!
Now pour your mixture into a greased loaf pan, 9" x 5". Bake for one hour and 20 minutes, at 325 degrees. Oh your house will smell wonderful too!
After it is done baking, remove from oven and let cool, turn out of the pan. Now get the butter out and spread some on your bread...hmmmm!

My husband and daughter's just LOVE this bread. One year for Christmas I made 12 loaves of this to give to neighbors, work and to freeze. Oh, by the way, this does freeze very well too!
I hope you give this recipe a try and sit back and wait for the compliments to come your way!
Best-Ever Banana Bread
2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts, or your favorite
1/2 cup vegetable oil, I use Crisco
1/4 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour one 9" x 5" loaf pan. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until top is golden brown and splits slightly, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Serve warm.
I don't know why you shouldn't double the recipe but I never have, I don't want to mess up a good recipe!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Applesauce Bars

Hi everyone! Today I'm going to share a recipe that I got from my friend Bonnie. She had these yummy bars one time when she went to get her hair done. Boy I'm ever so glad that she got the recipe too! These are so moist and oh so good too!
Mix together your wet ingredients; eggs, applesauce and oil. Now add the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon baking soda and salt. Now the recipe does not call for vanilla but I do add some. I don't know if it is suppose to have it in or not but I do add some.
I mix this all together with my hand held mixer until everything is well incorporated. Pour into an ungreased 15" x 10" x 1" pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Pull out of the oven and set aside to cool.
After the bars have cooled...
Cream together your softened cream cheese, room temperature butter, and vanilla.
Add your powdered sugar gradually, mixing well.
Frost your cooled bars.
Now my husband and daughter like to eat these cold, I prefer them at room temperature because the frosting is soft and gooey. You decided how you like them, but I hope you do like them!!
Applesauce Bars
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts, you can omit if you don't like nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 beaten eggs
2 cups applesauce
1 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla, not written on the original recipe maybe a mistake??
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in eggs, applesauce, oil and nuts, until well blended. Spread batter into an ungreased 15" x 10" x 1" baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Frost
2 - 3 ounce packages cream cheese, softened (I just use the whole 8 ounces)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1 pound box powdered sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter; add vanilla, mix. Gradually add powdered sugar until all added and spreading consistency.
Well I hope you all will enjoy this recipe, it is so easy to make and so good too! Mary

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Crock-Pot Ham Bone Soup

Hi everyone!! It sure has gotten cool around here, how about where you live? Last week it was so cool that a big pot of soup or crock-pot full sounded so good. I went digging around in my freezer and found a ham bone, so I decided to make some Ham Bone Soup.

I found this recipe over on Allrecipes. Normally I just make it on the stove top but on the day that I made it, I had alot going on and so I put it in my crock-pot. I love using my crock-pot, it's so nice to come home to the meal done and the house smelling good too! As you can see from the picture you use a ham bone (honey baked is fine too), chicken stock, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, green beans, garlic, tomatoes and kidney beans. Of course you peel and slice the carrots and celery, dice the onions, drain the green beans and drain and rinse the kidney beans. I use 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic too. Now the original recipe calls for 4 cups of water and 6 chicken bouillon cubes but I just use 4 cups of chicken stock, I was in a hurry one day and that change worked really well with this recipe. Here is what it looks like in the crock-pot ready to be turned on. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
About 30 minutes to an hour before you are ready to eat, pull the ham bone out, my ham just came right off the bone and I had to fish out the meat. You can dice, slice or shred the meat, however you would like it. Put the meat back into the crock-pot and stir. Leave until you are ready to eat.
Here is what a bowl of the soup looks like and oh the wonderful smell, YUMMY!!! I serve it with cornbread. Hope you give it a try, you will not be disappointed!
Ham Bone Soup

1 ham bone with some meat
1 onion, diced (I use half)
1 - 14.5 ounce can peeled and diced tomatoes, with juice

1 - 15.25 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 potatoes, cubed (you decided if you want to peel them)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed (I omit this)
4 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
Place the ham bone, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes and green pepper (optional)  into a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water and pour into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on High until warm. Reduce heat to Low and continue to cook for 5 to 6 hours.

Like I said earlier, I use 4 cups of chicken stock. I also add, celery, carrots and green beans. If you don't like kidney beans, use your favorite.
Thanks for stopping by. Mary

Linked to: Skip To My Lou Made by You Mondays

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Hi everyone, sorry to be missing for awhile but I've been very busy here of late. But I guess everyone is busy too, no excuse! Today I want to share with you my mashed potato recipe. You've probably have a recipe similar to this but these are just too good not to share with you!

First off I peel a five pound sack of potatoes, I usually use the white one but I think the red ones would work just fine too. Put them on and let them boil until you can stick a fork in them and the potato is tender. Oh, I dice mine so that they cook faster. After they are done, drain them. Than add milk, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper. I use my hand held mixer to mix everything together.
Here is what they look like with some yummy meat loaf and green beans....yummmmm!!
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
one- five pound sack of potatoes
4 ozs. cream cheese, cut into cubes
8 ozs. sour cream
1/2 stick butter, sliced
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup, depends on how you like the consistency of your mashed potato
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice potatoes and place in pot large enough to hold, fill with water to cover the potatoes. After the potatoes are cooked to the tender stage, drain. Return the drained, cooked potatoes to your cooking pot. Add salt, pepper, milk, cream cheese, sour cream and butter. Mix well either with a potato masher or mixer until well blended. Serves about 6 to 8.
You can put them into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish and put them in the refrigerator, covered with foil for a couple of days. When you need them, put them into a preheat 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour. You can also put additional slices of butter on the top, if desired.

I have used this recipe at Thanksgiving and put the mashed potatoes in a sprayed Crock-pot,large enough to hold them, and put them on LOW to re-heat and serve, I think for about 4 hours.
I hope you enjoy these potatoes, we sure do, in fact my one daughter can make a meal off of these!
Thanks for stopping in to see me. Mary

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cake Mix Cookies

Hi everyone!! Hope your day is going good. Today I'm going to share a super easy cookie recipe that I found three years ago on Skip To My Lou. It is so easy and they really are very good too. This is a good recipe to have when the kids yell at 10:00 at night, "hey Mom I need two dozen cookies for school tomorrow". Bet that hasn't ever happened to you right!? Okay, enough talking let's get started. In a large mixing bowl combine your eggs, cake mix and oil ( I used a 1/2 cup of oil when I make my cookies).Mix it all together until it looks like this, yes, it will look dry and be sticky and it may crumble just a bit but that is correct.Now take about two tablespoons of your dough and make into round balls. As you can see here I have a handy, dandy cookie scooper for when I make cookies, it holds two tablespoons. My mother got this one for me before I got married (clear back in 1979) and it makes making cookies sooo easy and fast too! I would recommend you get one for yourself too! Here they are all lined up to go into the oven. Now you can leave them rounded or you can squish them down some if you want, your preference.Here they are after baking.

Now after they have cooled, ice them with your canned icing or if you want, your favorite homemade icing. The ones I made today taste like little brownie bites to me.

You can use any flavor of cake mix you like, white cake mix taste like sugar cookies. I've had some made using the Funetti cake mix too. They are all good in my book! Hope you enjoyed this simple recipe to day, now go make some, hurry!! Mary
Cake Mix Cookies
1 Cake Mix, your favorite brand
2 eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup for this tutorial)
Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil until well combined. Place balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheets (you will need two sheets). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes. Cookies will be soft. Ice cookies after they have cooled to the touch. Makes 20 cookies.

When I make this I get either 22 or 23 cookies, you could steal some dough from some and squeeze out 24 if you need 24 cookies.

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Repurposing a 1970's Record Cabinet

Hi everyone!! Today I'm going to share my brand new storage cabinet with you!! I'm so thrilled with the way this turned out that I couldn't wait to share it with all of you! I'm going to show you the before pictures, and than the after. The story behind this record cabinet...our elderly neighbor passed away last December and they just had the estate sale a couple of weeks ago. We were walking around in the basement and here stood this little cabinet all by itself off over in the corner. Now when I saw this little cabinet, I could envision it painted white, to match all of my furniture in my scrapbook room. I've been on the hunt for a cabinet to hold all of my larger Sizzix dies that I've gotten the last couple of years, but I also wanted a place to put my Big Kick on so that I could just go and grab a die and run it through my machine, all in one place, instead of being spread all over in my craft room. When I saw this I hoped that it would work and it was for sale for only $10.00. So my husband asked if there was anything there that I wanted and I showed him this cabinet. He said will wait until tomorrow (half price day), he said he didn't think anyone else would even be interested in it. So first thing the next morning we walked across the street and I made a bee-line to the basement, and yep, it was still there!! Oh boy was I ever so happy, but before I bought it, I took the extra-long die that I had brought with me to see if it would really work for what I wanted and....YES!!!! it did!! So I hubby carried it upstairs for me and I laid my $5.00 on the table to pay for my treasure (the cashier just looked at me like, "really, you are buying that ugly thing?") So I got it home and started working on it that afternoon.

As you can see, it was pretty ugly, even had to wipe off the cobwebs...

Yes, there is a small piece missing on the left, but I can work around that, no problem.

As you can see the top was in very sad shape, it looked like they had used it to store laundry soap on it. The metal feet had rusted too.

After sanding it, wiping it down, I primed with with spray paint...

Than use Rust-oleum white satin spray paint to finish the cabinet with. Didn't the top turn out nice!!? Look at all that storage underneath! I even taped off the metal and spray painted them silver.

Here it is in my craft closet holding my Big Kick and all of my dies too!

In the space behind the doors, I have some of my crafting supplies, all nice and put away!!

Now if I were to do alot of repurposing of ugly/old furniture, I would invest in a paint sprayer because it did take three cans of primer and three cans of the Rust-oleum. I did get the paint at Wal-Mart so I did save there. So for around $30.00 dollars, I got a nice piece of furniture and I know Frank and Dorothy would both be pleased that it is still being used!!