Monday, February 28, 2011




I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass


Banana cake with chocolate frosting. This cake is just the best, and it is pretty darn easy, too. Make sure those bananas are really ripe. Ripe bananas store well in the freezer, just cut the tip off and squeeze into the measuring cup!



21/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
1 Cup sour cream
2 tsp. baking soda
3 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb vanilla extract
21/2 Cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 6 fresh, 8 if using previously frozen bananas)


5 Cups powdered sugar
1/3 Cup vanilla extract
1/3 Cup butter, softened
2-4 Tbs brewed black coffee



Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans and set aside. Mash the bananas and place in a measuring cup. If using previously frozen bananas, just cut the tip off and squeeze the thawed bananas into a measuring cup, pouring off any watery liquid. Cream the butter and sugar together until well mixed. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix well. Divide evenly among the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool a few minutes and remove from pans. Cool completely before frosting.


Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa together into a large bowl. Add the softened butter and mix on very low speed until they are incorporated. Add the coffee starting with 2 Tbs, and mix until it reaches your desired spreading consistency.

Friday, February 25, 2011


A follower of my blog sent this to me. Since I am originally from Texas, I got a kick out of it and wanted to share with everyone.

For those of you who is...and those who ain't!


Southern women know their summer weather report:

Southern women know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The crick

Southern women know everybody's first name:

Southern women know the movies that speak to their hearts:
Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern women know their religions:

Southern women know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Foat Wuth

Southern women know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern girls know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

More Suthen-ism's:
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption
fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them,
you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas,
beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in:
"Going to town, be back directly."

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the
white, granular, sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle
of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term,
but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a
neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of
cold potato salad.
If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and
"a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a
good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal
is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're "in
line,"... we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related,
even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are
perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried
green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in
the presence of a genuine

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the
need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened.. "Sweet
milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies
who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.
You just say,"Bless her heart"... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two
tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this
Southern stuff....bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on
Southernness as a second language!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass



1 pkg. (19.76 oz.) Johnsonville® Italian Mild Sausage Links
1 pkg. (1 lb.) rigatoni pasta
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. sweet red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
1 jar
(26 oz.) of your favorite pasta sauce


Cook sausage links according to package directions.
Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot.
Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds or until golden.
Add red peppers; sauté for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Cut sausage into 1/4-inch coin slices; add to skillet. Stir in pasta sauce; heat through.
Add pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with parsley.
Serve immediately


Grape seed oil is the secret to this salad. If you cannot find it, use olive oil. Preparation time is 15 Minutes.


2 cups romaine lettuce - torn, washed and dried
1 cup torn escarole
1 cup torn radicchio
1 cup torn red leaf lettuce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into rings
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced in rings
12 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup grape seed oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine the romaine, escarole, radicchio, red-leaf, scallions, red pepper, green pepper and cherry tomatoes.
Whisk together the grape seed oil, basil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pour over salad, toss and serve immediately.


Classic Italian dessert made with ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese. It can be made in a trifle bowl or a spring form pan. Try this substitute for mascarpone in this recipe: 16 ounces of cream cheese combined with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 5 tablespoons sour cream.


6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfingers
1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
Add mascarpone to whipped yolks. Beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.
Split the lady fingers in half, and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. Brush with coffee liqueur. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat ladyfingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011




Just in time for Spring, egg shaped chalk.These are so easy to make.


Plaster of Paris
Tempera Paint
Petroleum Jelly
plastic Easter eggs
disposable cups
disposable spoons or wooden craft sticks
egg carton


Take petroleum jelly and liberally coat the insides of the eggs and then place in the egg carton. Mix 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris with 1/4 cup water and stir well. Mix in enough liquid tempera paint to get your desired color. Add about a teaspoon or so. You can also use powdered tempera paint (start with about 1 tablespoon and go from there). Mix up a blue batch, pour it into the eggs then immediately mix up a pink batch.
Pour mixture into egg halves. This amount makes about 1 1/2 eggs. Use the 1/2 to make two colored eggs. DO NOT pour extra plaster down your sink drain --I tell you this is a no no. Throw it in the trash!
Allow this mixture to set about 5 minutes---just until thick enough to put the egg halves together. Once together, hold tightly and carefully give egg a good shake and a firm tap on a hard surface to allow plaster to form to the egg and the halves to come together.
Allow eggs to harden overnight. To remove them from the plastic an adult must use a knife to work the halves apart. Make a few of these to put back into plastic eggs once first removed and dry to hide in your egg hunt.


This Crayon Roll Holder is a great and useful gift for children

Noticed on the crayon roll, that the inner fabric lining gets marked up quite a bit from the crayons going in and out. So instead of using interfacing on the lining piece cover it with iron on vinyl. This is such a cool product. The turning at the end gets it a bit wrinkled. The only draw back is that it is slicker and the crayons have less friction. However the new closure allows you to tighten it up to keep the crayons inside.


1 - 5 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric for the outside
1 - 5 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric for the inside
1 - 6 X 16 1/2 inch piece of fabric folded lengthwise and pressed for the pocket
ric rac (if desired)
1 - 5 X 16 1/2 piece of iron on vinyl
1 Cord Stop


Iron on the vinyl to the right side of your lining piece following package directions.
Place pocket piece on top of right side of lining. Starting 1 1/4 inches over from the edge, stitch from top of pocket (back stitch at top) to bottom. Then stitch every 1 inch. You should have 1 1/4 inches left on the other end.
If using ric rac pin it around the edges, overlap at bottom. I use fray check to keep ends from unraveling.
Place outside piece on top of pocket and lining, right sides together. Place a 20" piece of cord (folded in half) in the middle on the right side. Ends of cord go towards the center.
Sew all the way around 1/4 inch from the edge. Leave a 2-3 inch opening at the TOP.
Clip corners and turn. Press (don't press vinyl with bare hot iron), making sure to press opening to the inside. Pin opening shut and then top stitch all the way around very close to the edge (making sure you sew all layers of the opening shut.)
Squeeze the Cord Stop and thread both ends of the cording through the center hole (have patience, thread ends one at a time). Tie the ends of the cording together into a knot. Place a drop of glue in the knot to keep it secure and then put fray check on the ends.



Make your favorite chocolate cupcakes or prepare purchased cake mix. Let cupcakes cool.



1 - 7 oz container marshmallow cream
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup powder sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt


With electric mixer beat ingredients together until fluffy. Add in a few drops of red food coloring if you like pink filling like we do!
Attach a large tip to pastry bag and fill with cream. Insert tip into cupcake and fill until cupcake slightly expands.



12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream (must be heavy cream -- half and half will not work)


Place chocolate chips into a bowl and pour cream over the top. Heat in microwave until chips are soft. Allow mixture to sit a minute to continue melting the chips. Stir well. Let mixture come to room temperature. With electric mixer beat until fluffy. Fill pastry bag with large star tip and pipe onto cupcakes.
Enough frosting and filling for 12-15 cupcakes depending on your frosting and filling style.
Thanks to Skip to my Lou for these ideas.

Monday, February 21, 2011




I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass

Your children or grandkids will have so much fun with these paints.

Heck why don't you and hubby have a fun time painting each other!


This recipe is really fun to make. The consistency of the paint is not as smooth as regular paint but as a medium it works really well. This recipe is completely made of natural ingredients found in your pantry.


Measuring Cups (1 and 1/2)


2 cups flour
2 tsp.salt
2 1/2 tsp cold water
2 cups boiling water
Food coloring


Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

Pour 2 cups flour in a mixing bowl.

Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of cold water. Stir until smooth.

Pour flour mixture into boiling water. Continuously stir mixture until it becomes smooth and thick. Make sure it doesn’t become to thick. I think I cooked my mixture a little to long.

Once mixture has cooled, place in containers such as baby food jars or old play dough containers. Add desired food coloring.


Why not turn bath time into a fun, creative art time with bath paints.
Great for tub paint! This recipe cleanes up easily, but you might want to test it first on your grout.


1/2 cup body wash (Suave Kids free and gentle body wash)
5 tablespoons cornstarch
food coloring


Mix the cornstarch with the soap. You may need to adjust the amount depending on your soap. Mix it in one tablespoon at a time. Divide mixture into smaller bowls. Use small containers with lids to save for future baths. Add a drop or two of food coloring to each bowl and stir.
Now it is time to paint...
walls, tub and faces..



These Cherry Pillows are, light, fluffy & super easy to make.


Rolling Pin
Baking Pan


1 can cherry pie filling
1 box puff pastry
dash of powdered sugar


Preheat Oven 400

Flatten puff pastry with rolling pin.

Spoon two tablespoons of cherry pie filling unto the dough.

Squeeze edges together.

Place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cool. Serve with cherries and sprinkle with powdered sugar!

Friday, February 18, 2011




Reynolds Wrap
Vegetables (potatoes, onions, celery and carrots)
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt and Pepper

Tear off a piece of foil that is about 15 inches long. Layer vegetables on tin foil, place an uncooked hamburger patty on top of the veggies, top with a generous scoop of Cream of mushroom soup, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.. Carefully wrap completely with foil, rolling up the ends. You can even double up the foil if you are worried about it spilling out.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


1 stick butter
1 cup chocolate wafers, crushed
1 cup caramel, melted
1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cups chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Melt 1 stick of butter in a square 8x8 pan lined with parchment paper (have it go over the sides for lifting the bars out of the pan). Layer over this chocolate wafer crumbs, caramel, peanuts, chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, (350 for a glass pan). Cool, lift out of pan and cut into 16 squares on a flat cutting board.

Thursday, February 17, 2011



I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass


I love these pork chops, they are so flavorful and so tender and you would think it took a lot of work to prepare this dish or that you had to use all these fancy ingredients, when in fact you didn't & let's not forget that anything you can throw in the Crock pot in the morning and not have to worry about all day, is perfect for those mid week meals.


6 lean boneless center-cut pork loin chops (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Brown pork chops on each side and place in a lightly greased slow cooker.

Stir soup and water together until smooth. Fold in onions, mushrooms and black pepper. Pour over pork chops.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.


Spinach is probably my favorite leafy green vegetable -- nutritious yet delicious, and so versatile.
Spinach + butter + cream looks mushy and unimpressive, but the delicious flavors just wrap around your tongue and the whole thing melts in your mouth


2 pounds baby spinach or 2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, tough stems discarded
1 3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk, or a mix thereof
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Wash your spinach well but no need to spin or pat it dry. Place spinach in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 to 4 minutes for baby spinach and 4 to 6 minutes for regular spinach.

Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the wrung-out spinach.

Wipe out large pot so you can use it again.

Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Stir in spinach, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

DO AHEAD: Creamed spinach can be made one day ahead and chilled, covered then reheated over moderately low heat until hot. However, it really tastes best eaten immediately.


After baking, the cake is drenched in a lemon juice/sugar concoction that immediately soaks into every inch of the cake, and then drizzled with lemon glaze. The end product is moist, sweet, tangy, and delicious -- you won't be able to resist going back for thirds and fourths!


1-1/2 flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups blueberries

(For the glaze)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour loaf pan or bundt cake pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture.

Fold vegetable oil gently into batter.

Mix in blueberries

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until knife in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for cooling.

While cake cools, cook 1/3 cup lemon juice + remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. When cake has cooled for about 10minutes, pour lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Turn cake over onto plate.

For the glaze, mix powdered sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice until thick. Pour over the cake.
Recipe from justputzingaroundthekitchen

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Got company and a sweet tooth this week, so I decided to try these recipes from Betty Crocker {wannabe} Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!



3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 (8-ounce) carton yogurt (vanilla or fruit flavored)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup add-ins (diced dried fruit, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips)


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla; mix well. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add to yogurt mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and add-ins of your choice (I used cranberries and chocolate chips; 1/2 cup of each).

Spread dough onto bottom of ungreased 9x13 baking pan.

Bake 28-30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Or just do what we do and cut into them as soon as they don't burn your fingers when you touch them.

Store tightly covered.


This tasted more like a coffee cake, or almost like a blueberry muffin. But it was definitely pretty, and tasted yummy


2 sticks butter, very soft at room temp
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thaw and drain them) at room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 egg yolk, plus 2 whole eggs at room temp 2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put the rack in the lower third of the oven.

Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ cake pan that is at least 2 1/2″ deep
Put 1 1/2 sticks of the butter in a large bowl. With a wooden spoon cream the butter with the white sugar and the egg yolk. Switch to a whisk and stir in the whole eggs one at a time. Whisk until the sugar begins to dissolve and the batter looks smooth. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla and salt.

Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a seperate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. The batter will be satiny.

Put the 1/2 stick of butter in the pan and set it in the oven to melt. Pull it out and stir the brown sugar into it. Pat the mixture out in the bottom of the pan as evenly as you can. Put the berries on top of the brown sugar/butter mix. Pour the batter on top of the berries. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 50-60 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes and then dump it out on a plate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass


This is your basic old fashioned recipe for egg noodles, just like grandma used to make! Try making them next time you prepare your favorite soup or stew. Don't forget that fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried! You may use a dough hook attachment on your electric mixer or your hands to make the pasta dough.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter


In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, milk, and butter. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness.
Allow to air dry before cutting
I hang mine on the back of the kitchen chairs to dry.
Cut into desired lengths and shapes.
To cook fresh pasta, in a large pot with boiling salted water cook until al dente.
Use with the Homemade Chicken Stock from yesterday’s post to make chicken noodle soup.


Mushrooms are high in Vitamin D! Choose firm, unblemished mushrooms with a tight underside (it is easiest to determine this when selecting mushrooms freely instead of in packaging).


1 ½ pounds mixed fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon coarse salt
9 ounces fresh or dried angel-hair pasta or linguine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Slice mushrooms into halves or quarters. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and thyme, tossing until garlic begins to soften. Add broth and salt. Cover and simmer 7 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to warm pan. Stir in butter and parsley, tossing to combine. Divide pasta among 4 serving plates. Make a well in the center of pasta and fill with mushrooms. Drizzle mushroom cooking liquid over the top and season with black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese.
Recipe from Relish


If you love the flavor of mushrooms, this pot roast is for you. Pancetta is “Italian bacon” and can be found in the deli section of the supermarket. Serve over premade polenta, found in chubs in the supermarket.


3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 (3-pound) chuck roast
1 tablespoon chopped ham or pancetta
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed


Heat 1 cup beef broth. Add mushrooms and soak until softened.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook until brown on all sides. Transfer meat to a plate. Add ham, onion, carrot and celery to pan. Cook, stirring, until onions are golden.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, bay leaf, sage, parsley, tomato paste and wine. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

Add meat, tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, mushroom soaking liquid and remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender. Turn meat over halfway through cooking time.

Transfer meat to a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with vegetables and juice.
Recipe from Relish

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day...

to you!!!

May your day be filled with happiness and love!


I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass


This is a wonderful chicken stock, my go-to recipe. It's time consuming, but worth every bit of effort.
The taste is fantastic!! It is terribly easy & makes a bunch of stock!


3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
4 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds
4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in half (optional)
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh thyme
20 sprigs fresh dill
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns


Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, and seasonings in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Remove 2 of the chickens and allow to cool slightly. Remove the breast meat from both chickens and set aside. Return the remaining chicken and carcasses to the pot and continue simmering, uncovered, for 3 more hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander and chill. Remove the surface fat, & pack in containers and freeze.

Debone the chicken, cut into chunks or shred. (The shredded chicken makes very good Chicken Enchiladas) Freeze the chicken you will not use in a few days.

Any stock that will be used within two days can go into the fridge in a covered container. the rest should be dipped into freezer-safe containers (24 oz containers are great) and frozen. your stock will keep for many months, though it’s bound not to last that long.

When you need stock (for rice, beans, soups, stews & veggies…basically anything savory) just grab one of the containers, sit it in some cool water to thaw the edges, pop it into a pan, and melt it down.
Recipe from Ina Garten


This is time consuming, but you get the best enchiladas you have ever ate. It is well worth the time & effort!


2 fresh poblano chiles
1 cup (lightly packed) roughly chopped spinach leaves
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter—or you can use vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
12 corn tortillas
A little vegetable oil for brushing or spraying
About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero or the like) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A little chopped cilantro for garnish


Make the sauce. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem. Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin. Roughly chop and put in a blender jar. Add the spinach.
In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm.

In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium. Add the garlic and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the chiles and spinach. Cover loosely (I remove the center part of the lid, secure the lid, then drape a cloth over the whole thing) and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.

Finish the enchiladas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Smear about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken.
Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil. Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.
Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish(es). Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 20 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve without hesitation
Recipe from Chef Rick Bayless

Friday, February 11, 2011



I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass


Today's modern home is loaded with toxic and polluting substances designed to make domestic life easier Studies have linked chemicals commonly found in household cleaners to health problems like asthma and reproductive abnormalities. We believe that people deserve to know whether the products they use to wash their dishes, launder their clothes, and clean their homes contain these chemicals. That way, they can make informed choices about how to protect their families and – even better – ask companies to leave these harmful chemicals out of their products altogether!

Make sure to keep all home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.

These formulas and substitutions are offered to help minimize the use of toxic substances in your home.
Results may vary and cannot be guaranteed to be 100% safe and effective. Before applying any cleaning formulations, test in small hidden areas if possible. Always use caution with any new product in your home.

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Another alternative are microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Air Freshener: Commercial air fresheners mask smells and coat nasal passages to diminish the sense of smell.
Baking soda or vinegar with lemon juice in small dishes absorbs odors around the house.
Having houseplants helps reduce odors in the home.
Prevent cooking odors by simmering vinegar (1 tbsp in 1 cup water) on the stove while cooking. To get such smells as fish and onion off utensils and cutting boards, wipe them with vinegar and wash in soapy water.
Keep fresh coffee grounds on the counter.
Grind up a slice of lemon in the garbage disposal.
Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove.
Place bowls of fragrant dried herbs and flowers in room.
Bathroom mold: Mold in bathroom tile grout is a common problem and can be a health concern. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold. Wait at least one hour before rinsing or using shower.

Carpet stains: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 - 30 minutes before vacuuming.
For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

Chopping block cleaner: Rub a slice of lemon across a chopping block to disinfect the surface. For tougher stains, squeeze some of the lemon juice onto the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe.

Coffee and tea stains: Stains in cups can be removed by applying vinegar to a sponge and wiping. To clean a teakettle or coffee maker, add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup vinegar; bring to a boil. Let cool, wipe with a clean cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.

Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit
Carpets - sprinkle baking soda several hours before vacuuming
Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 - 24 hours

Disinfectant: Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water. For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap. Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)
To disinfect kitchen sponges, put them in the dishwasher when running a load.

Drain Cleaner: For light drain cleaning, mix 1/2 cup salt in 4 liters water, heat (but not to a boil) and pour down the drain. For stronger cleaning, pour about 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction can break fatty acids down into soap and glycerine, allowing the clog to wash down the drain. After 15 minutes, pour in boiling water to clear residue. Caution: only use this method with metal plumbing. Plastic pipes can melt if excess boiling water is used. Also, do not use this method after trying a commercial drain opener--the vinegar can react with the drain opener to create dangerous fumes.

Fabric softener: To reduce static cling, dampen your hands, then shake out your clothes as you remove them from the drier. Line-drying clothing is another alternative.

Caution: Improperly diluted vinegar can harm certain surfaces. Always test first in a small area if unsure.

Thursday, February 10, 2011



I have started a Monthly Giveaway. I will be drawing names from
followers that comment. The drawings will be on the 1st of each month!

Sending a bunch of Prim Dried Carrots with some Dried Grass to a lucky FOLLOWER that has commented during February!
These will be perfect for your Spring Decor. Remember each new posting you comment on, will be another chance for you to win the Prim Dried Carrots & Dried Grass

Once you use the homemade soup, mayonnaise and sweetened condensed milk you won’t want to use the store bought ones.


Forget the canned stuff, this is a LOT better and yet easy to make, too! This sauce can be used as a substitute for CONDENSED Cream of Mushroom Soup I always make mine from scratch , I like having control over thickness, type of mushrooms and knowing what is in it.


5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half


In a large heavy saucepan, cook mushrooms in the broth with onion and thyme until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
In blender or food processor, puree the mixture , leaving some chunks of vegetable in it. Set aside.
In the saucepan, melt the butter, whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, half and half and vegetable puree. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil and cook until thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste.



1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pinches sugar
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup oil, safflower or corn


In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you've got an emulsion on your hands). Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.
Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week


Of course you can purchase sweetened condensed milk in a can at the supermarket, but why not make it yourself! With a few simple ingredients you already have at home, you can whip up this recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk. This is an easy recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk. It will work in recipes the same as purchased sweetened condensed milk. A few simple ingredients will help you make fresh sweetened condensed milk right in your own kitchen. This recipe is quick, simple and economical.

Place the following ingredients into a blender in this order:

2/3 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine
1/3 c. boiling water
1 cup dry milk


Cover and blend until smooth. The mixture will thicken as it blends. It will become even thicker as it cools.
Pour into a container and cool completely before using. This recipe yields one can of commercial size sweetened condensed milk.


If you're using frozen berries, cook them with the sugar and add water only if they're not juicy enough. The fruit mixture should be very soupy.


4 cups mixed fresh blueberries, blackberries, raspberries
2 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup self-rising flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 2 percent reduced-fat milk


Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine berries, 1 cup of sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries release their juices. Remove from heat.

Pour melted butter into 8 (6-ounce) ramekins or a 2-quart baking dish.

Combine remaining sugar, flour and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in milk until well combined. Do not overbeat. Pour over butter. Do not stir. Spoon berries and juice over batter. Do not stir.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes for ramekins or 35 minutes for baking dish, until crust rises to the top and browns.