Thursday, August 30, 2012

HARD BOILED EGGS


There are various methods for coming up with the perfect
hard boiled egg.  The one I use works perfectly for
me so I tend to stick with the same procedure every time.
The yolk is set and dry without turning green.


For this tail-gate meal I made deviled eggs to serve with
 the tossed salad.


The main entree was baked chicken breasts


Along with the chicken I made a honey dipping sauce and rice pilaf.
You can find the recipe for Honey Dipping Sauce here


You can find the Carrot Rice Pilaf recipe here
Carrots and onions are sauteed with the rice before cooking.



HARD BOILED EGGS

Place eggs in a heavy saucepan.
Cover them with cold water, making sure tops of eggs are covered
by one inch of water.
Bring the water to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer eggs for 10 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat; drain hot water.
Cover eggs with cold water.
Replace water with cold water as needed to keep cold
until eggs are completely cooled.
I do this several times.
Peel and serve or refrigerate until needed.

To make deviled eggs: slice eggs in half lengthwise.
Remove cold yolks and smash with a fork.
Add enough miracle whip to lighten the texture.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon mixture back into the egg white halves.
Sprinkle with paprika.

Monday, August 27, 2012

MEATBALLS IN GRAVY


It is time to bring in the harvest!
This is the meal I took out to the combining crew this evening.


I played around with a recipe for Swedish meatballs and this
is my version with some changes.  One item that stayed the
same is sauteed onion.  I like the flavor that it gives to the meat.


I used a large scoop to form the meatballs after adding all the
ingredients.  The ground beef mixture is quite moist and
easily came out of the scoop and onto the foil-lined pan.
It was quick and hassle free plus they were all the same size.


I rolled the beef into a more compressed ball after they were all
scooped out.  It took mere minutes.


The meatballs can be sauteed in batches until browned on
all sides, but I prefer to bake them.  It is less messy
and I make the gravy while they are browning in the oven.
In this picture I have removed them from the drippings in
the baking sheet to a large baking dish.


Pour on the gravy and bake uncovered for about an hour.




MEATBALLS IN MUSHROOM GRAVY

1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter

In a skillet, saute onion in butter until onion is soft.

2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. dill weed
¼ tsp. allspice
2 lbs. lean ground beef
½ lb. ground pork

Combine onions, eggs, milk, bread crumbs and spices in a large
mixing bowl.  Crumble beef and pork over the mixture and mix
to combine.  Handle the mixture as little as possible to keep the
final product light in texture.
Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to several hours.
Shape into approximately 42 meatballs.
Place on large foil-lined baking sheet with sides.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned.
(Or saute in batches until browned on all sides)
Transfer to a large baking pan or roaster with 2-inch sides.
Pour gravy over meatballs.  Continue to bake, uncovered for 1 hour.
Yield: 7 to 8 generous servings

Mushroom Gravy

¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup flour
2 cans (10oz.) beef broth, undiluted
1 can (10oz.) cream of mushroom soup*

In medium saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour.
Gradually add beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly,
until thickened.  Blend in mushroom soup until smooth.
*OR blend in 1 cup half and half in place of mushroom soup.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

A FOREVER FEAST, SLICES OF SUMMER


Looking back over a wonderful summer.
The flowers loved the heat ... I was kept busy watering.


Evening after evening, the hummingbird moth returned to
the pots of petunias.


One windy evening the real humming bird came to seek out
the petunia blooms as well.  It was so breezy, he seemed to need
a rest in the tree  ... so I could get a picture.


I was surprised to see the eastern king bird swoop down in an attempt
to drive it away.  Could the larger bird have mistaken it for a
butterfly?  It happened quite a few times but the humming bird
buzzed off and returned.  I did not really enjoy the scene.

A Hutterite market garden ... rows of produce that seemed
to go on and on ... hours and hours of labor.


.. as beautiful as a rose ...


Blueberries from British Columbia  ... rinsed and frozen on cookie sheets ...
then packed into bags for the freezer.


An old fashioned portulaca that never fails to grow in my flower beds.


My family and extended family loves these dills.


For a time I picked off the dead blossoms and then ... I gave up.



These will come in so handy in the winter.


Tomorrow starts the harvest!


Gods beauty along the road ways.


The glow before the dark will hide the clouds ... and night is come.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1
What does the worker gain from his toil?
I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
He has made everything beautiful
in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11

Friday, August 24, 2012

CRUNCHY GRANOLA BAR


Last October I posted a recipe for Fruit and Nut Granola bars.
I made a few changes to the recipe that I felt deserved
a new post.  Adding peanut butter and crisp rice cereal
gave the bars a fresh new flavor and soft crunch.


The ingredient list is open to personal favorites.
Here is an assortment of dried fruit, seeds, grain and nuts.


A warm syrup mixture with peanut butter is the binding agent.


Pack into a 9 x 13 -inch baking pan.


Wrap and refrigerate ... enjoy whenever you crave a snack.


CRUNCHY GRANOLA BAR

1 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking)
½ cup crisp rice cereal
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
¼ cup  flax seed
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, chopped

On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, toast rolled oats in 350° oven for
10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
Continue toasting almonds, coconut, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds
in batches. Times will vary but most will take approximately 5 minutes.
Watch the coconut carefully as the moment of browning seems
to happen in an instant.
Reduce oven to 300°.

½ cup maple or golden syrup
3 tbsp. sunflower or coconut oil
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt

Combine syrup, oil, sugar, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in medium saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Combine oats, rice cereal,
nuts,seeds and fruit.  Pour warm syrup mixture over oat mixture
and stir until mixed. 
Spread granola into a parchment-line 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.
Place a piece of waxed paper on top and press down with a metal
spatula to pack evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool
completely in the pan for several hours.
Cut into bars.  Wrap and store in airtight container or freeze.
Yield: 16 bars (1 ½ x 3 - inches)




Monday, August 20, 2012

SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE


I went way back into my archives for this cake recipe that I remembered
tasted so delicious.  I had to make it again to see if the batter
was as yummy as I recall when I got to swipe the beaters
as a child.  It was indeed!
For this occasion I made an 8-inch layer cake to give away to
friends and a dainty 6-inch cake for myself.
The author of a cookbook on cakes gave me this idea.  But instead of
making two cakes, she makes one round cake and cuts the edges off
leaving a square cake to ice and give away.  She gets to savor the
rounded edges.  I am grateful to her but I loved my little individual cake.


The batter is very simple to whip together.


Gently fold in beaten egg whites.


Cool layers in pans on wire rack for about 5 minutes.
Dust cake with powdered sugar; place sheet of waxed paper
over top.  Cover paper with another rack or large plate and
invert.  The cake should slide out of the pan with ease.


I used cream cheese icing without the chocolate to frost the
 first layer because I like the white contrast in the middle.


Frosted with fluffy icing, this is the 8-inch cake before the almond garnish.


This is the mini 6-inch version.


My friends were lavish with their compliments and insist
that I blog the recipe so they can make it for themselves.



SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE

Grease two 9-inch round layer pans.
Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper.

1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. cocoa*
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup hot water
* alternately, use 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Sift cocoa through a small sieve
to eliminate any clumps. Stir into butter with sugar and hot water.
Cook over low heat until smooth.  Cool.

1½ cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla

In a mixing bowl, beat sour cream and sugar together until fluffy.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Blend in chocolate and vanilla.

1 7/8 cups all-purpose flour*
*(2 cups LESS 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Blend flour, soda and salt.  Mix in until batter is smooth.

3 egg whites
¼ cup sugar

Beat egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until
soft peaks form.  Fold egg whites into batter.
Pour into pans.  Bake in preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes
or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool

Fill layers and frost cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.
Garnish with toasted sliced almonds

6 tbsp. cocoa*
* alternately, use 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
 1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
sliced almonds, toasted

In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Sift cocoa through a small sieve
to eliminate any clumps. Stir into butter until smooth.  Cool to lukewarm.
Beat cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in
powdered sugar until well blended and smooth.
Add cooled chocolate and beat until blended.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

A FOREVER FEAST, BOUND FOR CAM


A patchwork of small blankets bound for CAM.
CAM or Christian Aid Ministries helps the needy in many
countries around the world with clothing, food and medical
supplies as well as Bibles.


I was showing these to a friend who has been on a distribution
trip, handing out blankets like these in Liberia, West Africa.
She was ecstatic when she saw the beautiful pieces of work,
made with new materials and carefully pieced together in colorful
combinations.  'I've been there, I've been there', she cried as she hugged
and felt one.  'They will be so excited ... oh I hope these go to Liberia',
she exclaimed.
Thank you to a family of Hutterite girls here in southern Alberta who
give of their spare time and their scraps to create warm coverings
that will bring much joy and blessing to children who have so little
in this world's goods.
What a perfect way to show the love of God!


I have lost track of the numbers but I believe this is the fifth
stack that was delivered to me to send to CAM's warehouses
in Ontario, Indiana, Ohio or Pennsylvania.
Various people travelling from Alberta to there graciously take these
offerings and transport them free of charge.
At the warehouses they are baled and shipped in sea containers
to CAM's distribution centers in poor countries.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me ....
The King will reply, I tell you the truth,
whatever you did for one of the least of these ...
you did for me.
Matthew 25:35, 36, 40



Friday, August 17, 2012

CHICKEN DINNER IN FOIL WRAP


It's not everyday I get a message that supper will be brought
to my house.  Wow!  A one meal deal all wrapped in foil!
The anticipation is palpable ... what is in the package?


Untie and peel back the foil ... oh yummy!


Chicken breast, stuffing, bacon, broccoli and cheese ...
a host of my favorite foods.


Thank you Raylee, that was scrumptious!
A perfect amount of goodness and a special treat!


CHICKEN DINNER IN A FOIL WRAP

4 sheets of heavy duty foil,
approx. 16 inches long
cooking spray

1 pkg. chicken flavored stuffing mix,
such as Stove Top
1¼ cups water

Stir together water and stuffing mix; set aside.

4 medium chicken breast halves
2 cups broccoli florets in bite-size pieces
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 tbsp. ranch dressing
8 slices bacon, fried until crisp

Spray foil with cooking spray.
Divide stuffing mix evenly and place on one half of the
sheet of foil, spreading to approx. 4 x 7-inches.
Place one chicken breast on stuffing.
Add ¼ of broccoli and cheddar cheese.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing over all.
Arrange 2 slices of bacon on top.
Fold foil over and crimp edges to seal tightly but
leaving some air space inside packet.
Continue assembling remaining 3 packets or
do them assembly line style.
Bake in preheated 400° oven for 25 to 30 minutes,
until chicken tests done.
Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SNICKERDOODLES


What a novel name for an old-fashioned cookie with crispy
edges and chewy centers!


Two easy steps brings you to a soft dough that is easy to handle.


Scoop out the dough if you want to have evenly-sized cookies.
Roll into balls to compact the dough.
Or use your hands for the whole procedure and wing the size.


Roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture and place on baking sheet.


The cookies rise and puff beautifully before they settle down
and become good old snickerdoodles.


If you enjoy a soft-center cookie, do not overbake.
Watch carefully or they will be crisp.


SNICKERDOODLES

1½ cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and oil together.  Add eggs and
beat until light and fluffy.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

Blend dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture; mix
until well combined.

2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Blend sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls using a cookie scoop or hands.
Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on
parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheet.
Bake in preheated 350° oven for 10 to 12 minutes
or until lightly golden.
Yield: 3½ dozen cookies