Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hello Fall!!!

The smell of apples and pumpkins have been wafting from my kitchen for the past few weeks, the weather is turning crisp, and the fog here in the Northwest is settling in! It is Fall once again! Now that we live in the country it seems we have an almost unlimited supply of apples! We have done just about everything that is decent to do to an apple! Apple butter, apple jelly, apple sauce, apple pie filling, you name it!!!

I have gotten a lot of requests for my apple butter recipe. So here it is...

‎4 quarts of applesauce
1 tablespoon vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar but I don't like it, personal choice)
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp allspice
 2 tsp cinnamon
 4 cups sugar

cook on low in crock pot over night with lid propped up with wooded spoons. It's that easy!

You can can them in a water bath. 15 mins total processing time.

notes- if it looks runny in the morning, turn it up to high and take the lid off. it will thicken up in about an hour
          Place a towel under the crock pot to keep the counter clean from splatters

I hope you enjoy making apple butter as much as I do! Let me know how it goes!!

Friday, October 8, 2010 - Ensign Article - “Train Up a Child” - Ensign Article - “Train Up a Child”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bread and Butter Pickles in the microwave!?

I have to start by telling you that I can't stand any kind of pickle that is not a dilly one!! But these are by far the BEST pickles I have EVER TASTED!!!! Trust me on this... you have GOT to make them and see for yourselves!! My dear friend Sally gave me her brother's recipe for Bread and Butter refrigerator Pickles that you cook in the microwave. I was a little skeptical at first but once I made them I was hooked.

Fred's Bread and Butter Refrigerator Pickles

2 lbs Medium Pickling Cucumbers- end's trimmed and cut into spears
1 medium onion quartered and sliced thinly
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons ground turmeric (be careful with it.. it stains everything yellow, including counter tops!!)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups cider vinegar ( I prefer just plain vinegar)

Place cucumbers and onions in a 3 quart microwavable dish. sprinkle with salt and toss to coat, cover. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until cucumbers start to sweat.  Transfer to colander and rinse with cool water and let drain for about 5 minutes. Using same dish combine remaining ingredients. stir to dissolve sugar some. Add cucumbers and onions and stir to coat, cover. Microwave for 8 minutes or until liquid is hot but not quite boiling, remove and let stand until able to handle. Transfer pickles and liquid to a container, cover. refrigerate. keeps for several months (although I doubt they will last that long!)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's Hot!!!

So this weather here in the Pacific Northwest is finally starting to feel like summer now that we are half way through! We have been having fun experimenting with cold dinners. I thought I would share a simple, quick, and delicious recipe I made for dinner last night!

 Pasta Margarita (named for Pizza Margarita, not the beverage!)

1/2 pound whole wheat pasta cooked and chilled
1 can Italian diced tomatoes, chilled
5 to 8 fresh basil leaves, ripped into tiny pieces (we got ours from our garden!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil

combine all ingredients in a chilled bowl. Serve with your favorite cold beverage and a nice veggie platter!

It was a big hit with my kids and I am sure you will love it too!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Product Reviews

I have come up with a notion to do product reviews. And no, it is not an excuse to buy more things!! I am pretty excited to get going with all of these fun ideas. What I need from you oh so loyal readers are ideas. What kinds of products should I blog about? I'll tell you what, I will put a poll on the sidebar and you can vote! Thanks so much for your support!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Quick Hint

One of my new favorite quick hints is when cooking savory dishes don't season with plain salt. It tastes much better to use a flavored salt. There are so many different kinds too. Garlic salt, bacon salt, soy salt, saffron salt. etc. I also like to use granulated bullion. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My New Facebook page!

After much thought and prayer I have decided to take the plunge and start promoting my site on Facebook! My goal is to start to take a more active role in the blog and really get serious about getting a cookbook written. It has been a dream of mine for a long time and I hope with your support I can accomplish this goal!

I have heard from several of my friends that I should write a cookbook, so that is what I intend to do. I also plan on expanding my Quick Hints and Tips into a calender. I am full of ideas and can't wait to share them with you!

This is going to be quite the adventure so thanks in advance for coming along for the ride!!

 Click here to see my Facebook page and feel free to join! The more the merrier! Thanks again!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tips and Tricks for Bread Baking

(disclaimer... this information is from many different places. Some is mine, some not) Tips and Tricks for Bread Baking
  • Check the expiration date on your yeast. If it is to old… your bread will not rise.
  • Do not add salt directly to your yeast. It inhibits the yeast growth
  • Use a thermometer! Water that is too hot will kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t rise well.
  • Have ingrediants at room temperture
  • Do not scoop your flour with the measuring cup. You will end up using too much flour and the loaf will be heavy. Instead, use a spoon to lift the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. Do not tap or shake the cup to put more flour into it. Simply level the top with a flat edge.
  • Tap water is chemically treated and may slow down the rising. Hard water is alkaline which weakens the gluten and makes a loaf with less volume. Soft water is slightly acid which makes the yeast more active. If your breads are not rising very well, boil the water and let it cool to room temperature or use bottled spring water.
  • Any liquid sweetening can be substituted for sugar, but it will need to be counted as part of the total liquid content of the bread.
  • To reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in breads, use two whites instead of one whole egg.
  • Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh so use about a third of the quantity recommended for fresh.
  • Cinnamon can break down the structure of the dough which affects the size and texture, and garlic will inhibit the activity of the yeast. So measure carefully when you use these.
  • When I am making bread and need it to rise quickly I use this tip I am happy to say I thought up all by myself. I fill my sink about 2 inches with really hot water and stick in inverted cereal bowl in the water and put my bowl of dough on it and cover the entire sink with a towel and let it rise. The dough kind of steams a bit and since it is nice an moist and warm in there it rises in half the time. It works so well I use that trick every time I make bread.

  • IMPORTANT: When working with baking powder or baking soda, do not beat the batter; stir only enough to just moisten the dry ingredients. There may still be lumps remaining in the dough, but this is okay. the more you mix a quick-bread batter, the more you develop the flour's gluten, and the tougher the resulting bread.
  • Don't increase the quantity of baking powder called for in a particular recipe, for too much leaves a distinctive and unpleasant taste.  
  • Don't substitute self-rising or cake flour for all-purpose flour, unless you are confident of being able to calculate exactly how much to reduce the quantity of baking powder or baking soda to compensate.  
  • Bake all quick breads as soon as the ingredients are assembled. since high temperatures are often called for, it is best to bake them in the center of the oven, as the heat in the top third of the oven will be too intense. If you oven tends to overheat, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and increase the cooking time by 5 minutes.  
  • Because glass bake ware retains heat better than metal bake ware, reduce the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees when using glass pans.  
  • If you find that your bread is beginning to brown too fast, cover it with a tent of aluminum foil.  
  • Cool quick breads in the loaf pan for 10 minutes; then remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Non dairy Cinnamon Rolls


1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast

1 cup soy milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup shortening (plain, not butter flavor)

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

4 cups flour


1 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/3 cup non dairy buttery spread


 heat soy milk, shortening ans sugar in saucepan until it reaches 120 degrees.

 In a large mixer combine 2 Cups of flour, yeast, and salt Slowly add milk mixture and eggs. mix for 3 mins on med high..

 Switch to dough hooks. Add remaining flour and Knead the dough into a large ball

 Shape into a ball, Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

 Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide.

 It should be approx 1/4 thick.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Spread the softened non dairybuttery spread over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the surface.

Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.

Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a lightly greased baking pan.

Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Instead of icing I dusted to tops with powdered sugar.


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