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Friday, June 1, 2012

Aloha Friday: Fun in the Sun

Aloha Friday a time to relax and have a bit of fun and a meme hosted by the blog An Island Life. The place to ask an easy to answer question to be answered by other fellow bloggers. My thoughts today is on summer fun and wondering what you all like to do. Our family is one for hiking, visiting historical pieces and enjoying life in the sun. Now it is your turn to answer my question

What do you like to do in the summer time

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Smores Cookies

One of the great family memories that many generations in our family have is having bonfires and camping. My grandparents loved bonfires but were not so big on camping. They would create bonfires where we could all roast our hotdogs and mallows and have an awesome time. Their would be great sides like potato salad, chips, and homemade hot chocolate there as well but one of the best things about bonfires and roast were the smores. Those ooeey gooey roasted mallows with chocolate and graham crackers. Whether you are preparing goodies for a roast of your own or you simply want some delicious tasting goodies you should check out this recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups marshmallow topping (such as Marshmallow Fluff)
2 cups milk-chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Mist foil with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; mix well. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Divide dough in half. Press half of dough into pan until dough is uniform and flat. Spread with marshmallow topping and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Scatter remaining dough over in clumps. Don't worry about covering the top; marshmallow and chocolate chips should peek through. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Remove from pan, peel off foil and cut into bars.

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Sew Chatty

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. President

John F. Kennedy a man who stood up for America and while many whisper in the background about some things that he may have been involved in all wonder what would have had happened if John F. Kennedy had not been shot and taken out so early in life. He had many followers and great ideas and just like my mama the whole world cried the day he was shot and killed. But today May 29, 2012 John would have been celebrating his birthday like he did in style in this little tidbit.

It was noted that Clam Chowder was one of the presidents favorite foods so since I love to blog about food I thought I might share this tasty recipe from taste of home.

1 large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced
3/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
3 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) minced clams
\3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart half-and-half cream
  • In a large saucepan, saute the onion, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Stir in potato soup and two cans of undrained clams. Drain and discard juice from remaining can of clams; add clams to soup.
  • Combine cornstarch and a 1 cup of cream until smooth; stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gradually stir in the remaining cream; heat through. Yield: 9 servings (about 2 quarts).
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Laugh, Love, & Craft

Small Bites perfect for little hands

Our two little ones are not picky eater but they do like to eat foods that they can manipulate with a simple spoon or even better their hands. One of their favorite recipes is Corn Dog Muffin Bites

Corn Dog Muffin Bites (Makes 40)
1 3/4 Cup Cornmeal*
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Honey
1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Vegetable Oil
3 Hot Dogs, cut into 1/2-inch coins (turkey, veggie or beef)
1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees.
2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, buttermilk, eggs and oil.
4. Pour the dry cornmeal mixture into the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine with a whisk.*
5. Pour one tablespoon batter into greased mini muffin cups.
6. Lay turkey dog slice cut side down in the center of each batter-filled muffin cup.
7. Top with an additional tablespoon of batter.
8. Bake for 14 minutes and serve.
* Boxed cornbread mix also works great in this recipe. Follow the directions of the boxed mix and skip to step 5 to continue making the bites.

a new recipe I want to make for them and share with their mommy is this simple recipe for mac and three cheese bites.

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
 Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano; tap out the excess. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top. The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 5 min­utes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dixie Porkchops

1 1/2 to 2 pounds thin Smithfield center-cut boneless pork chops (8 chops)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (reserve 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 10.75-ounce can cheddar cheese soup
1 7-ounce can broiled mushrooms with broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon House Seasoning

Dredge the pork chops in the flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add two or three chops, and brown them on both sides until half done. Repeat with the remaining chops. Remove the chops from the skillet.                          
Add the butter and reserved 2 tablespoons of flour into the pan drippings. Stir well over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are golden.                            
Add the soup, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, and House Seasoning. Simmer, stirring, until the sauce is hot and bubbly.                              
Place a layer of pork chops in a 13x9x2-inch casserole dish; pour half the sauce over the chops, then add another layer of chops, and top with the remaining sauce. Bake at 275 degrees F for an hour and a half, until the pork chops are tender.

Banana Corn Fritters

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Ingredient note) or cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups roughly mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chipotle (or cayenne) in a medium bowl. Mix banana, egg and milk (or buttermilk) in another medium bowl. Add the cornmeal mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just incorporated. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; using 2 tablespoons of batter for each, space 5 fritters evenly in the pan. Cook until golden brown, 30 seconds to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Cook a second batch with the remaining oil and batter, adjusting heat to prevent burning. Transfer the fritters to the oven and bake until puffed and firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes.

Beautiful Appetizer for that Special Event

30 red, yellow, and/or orange mini sweet peppers (about 12 oz. total)
18 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chevre) 

1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, tarragon, basil, or thyme

Fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Leaving the stem intact, cut a slit along the top of each pepper. Remove the seeds; set aside. In a small bowl combine goat cheese and snipped herbs. Spoon cheese mixture into prepared pepper . Arrange filled peppers close together on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is heated through and peppers are crisp-tender.                            
Use tongs to arrange warm peppers on a serving dish, stacking peppers into a pyramid shape. Garnish with fresh basil leaves. Makes 30 servings.

snack bars

1 17.5-ounce bag Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons water
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

*Do not add the ingredients called for in the label directions.

  1. Heat oven to 350º F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the cookie mix, butter, water, and coconut. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan and spread the jam evenly on top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until firm in the center. Remove to a wire rack and let cool
  2. completely. Whisk together the sugar and enough lemon juice to make a thick but fluid glaze. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies in the baking pan, then cut into finger-size bars.

HomeStyle Pasta Meal

4 1/2 cups cubed peeled eggplant (about 1 pound)
1/2 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups hot cooked penne (about 10 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    Cook eggplant, sausage, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sausage is browned and eggplant is tender. Add tomato paste and the next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Place pasta in a large bowl. Add tomato mixture, cheese, and parsley; toss well.