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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

As I have shared on this blog my parents and grandparents were avid gardeners. They grew everything from veggies to fruits and flowers. They would use their garden to please our family as well. My dad never liked cake and my mama always made him a pie for his birthday. One of his favorites was a rhubarb and strawberry pie. Perfect creation to start the early summer off as both should be in season either now or real soon. Perhaps you could make one up for the one you love.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie:

2 cups cut up rhubarb
2 cups cut up strawberries
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
2 T lemon juice
Topping: 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter
pie crust -

On low heat, cook fruit covered about 5 min. Add lemon juice. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup cornstarch. Add to rhubarb mixture. Cook and stir 4 – 5 min. until thickened and bubbly. Cool.
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

Prepare your pie crust and pour in the filling. Make your topping in a seperate bowl of sugar, flour and butter. Sprinkle it on top of the filling.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 25-30 minutes. If you feel it needs more time, reduce the heat to 350 for another 10-15 minutes. You want the sugar to have melted with the butter for a brown and crusty topping.

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Grilled Spiced Shrimp

I love the weather here lately, warm days perfect for cooking on the grill. I would love to introduce you to a new recipe that I just found. Today is national shrimp day and how better to celebrate than with a great recipe for grilling. Hope you enjoy

Spicy Grilled Shrimp (adapted from A Taste of the World)
1 ½ lbs shrimp
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne
1 Tbs lime juice
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated

Toss the peeled shrimp with all of the remaining ingredients and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Skewer and grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy

The Chicken Chick

National Foster Care Month

My grandparents, my dads parents, spent many years looking after those who needed care. My grandpa was a product of a broken family. Many years ago as a child having a native American mother who was with a white man and neither of them wanted him. They raised him the best they could I guess, looking at him as a burden rather than a child. When my grandfather was old enough he left to live on his own. There is no real story to my grandpas life just that he made it his mission to try his best to help children everywhere. Him and my grandmother became foster parents and raised many of them until their parents were more fit. Other children were not so lucky and aged out of the system and thanked my grandparents for caring for them. There are those that can and those that can't thank goodness for the lessons my grandparents taught me and many others. If you feel the pull to help those in need perhaps you should check out being a foster parent as well

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

World Asthma Day

There are several individuals in my family who suffer from asthma. We have learned the signs of symptoms of asthma do you or someone you love have asthma?

Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes with increased production of sticky secretions inside the tubes. People with asthma experience symptoms when the airways tighten, inflame, or fill with mucus. Common asthma symptoms include:
  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness, pain, or pressure
I can remember my public speaking class in high school well. It was the first selection for me. I had always wanted to take a public speaking class since I was a young gal in 4H. The 4H public speaking contest was one that left me wanting more. I loved the entertaining aspect of it while it could be very serious as well. So when I finally reached my freshmen year of high school I eagerly selected public speaking or speech. My teacher did not disappoint me. Her name was Mrs. Ewart and she was a short to the world lady who carried a big voice and boy did she want us all to learn all about it. I think every speech I learned to share from group , explanatory and my favorite demonstrative left me wanting more. Both watching and listening to others sharing to sharing my own speeches left me content. My favorite speech was one where we could share anything we wanted to with the class as long as we demonstrated something in our speech. I shared a humorous speech where I demonstrated how to make brownies from a mix. I got an A which is what I normally received from my speeches. But it was during the demonstration speeches where I found one of my favorite recipes. Crepes oh how delicious they looked and the speaker shared it with enthusiasm leaving us all wanting some of our own. Today being national Crepes Suzette day left me with these memories flooding back. So I thought why not share this awesome recipe with you perhaps leaving you wanting more

For Crepes:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted
Clarified butter, for cooking
For Sauce:
4 white sugar cubes
1 1/2 pounds oranges (about 5)
3 tablespoons clarified butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cointreau
2 tablespoons brandy

For The Crepes
Sift the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt and the sugar. Make a well in the center, then add the eggs and extra egg yolk. Mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk, gradually incorporating the flour. Combine the milk with 1/4 cup water and gradually add to the batter. Add the clarified butter and beat until smooth. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Melt a little clarified butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed or nonstick 6-inch crepe pan or skillet. Pour off any excess butter, leaving a fine coating. Tilt the pan and pour in a little batter, swirling the pan to create a thin layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. Loosen the edges with a flat-bladed knife or spatula and turn or flip the crepe over. Cook for about 1 minutes, then turn onto a sheet of waxed paper and cover with a dish towel. Repeat until all the batter has been used up, each time lightly coating the skillet with clarified butter.

Rub all the sugar cube sides over the rind of an orange to soak up the oily zest, then crush the cubes with the back of a wooden spoon. Squeeze the oranges to produce 1 1/4 cups liquid. Over low heat, melt the clarified butter in a wide shallow skillet or saute pan. Dissolve the crushed sugar in the butter, then add the sugar. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly add the orange juice, keeping well clear of the pan as the mixture may spit. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by a third.

Fold the crepes in half, then into triangles. Place them in the orange sauce, slightly overlapping, with their points showing. Tilt the pan, scoop up the sauce and pout it over the crepes to moisten them well.

Cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and have a saucepan lid ready in case you need to put out the flame. Pour the Cointreau and brandy over the sauce without stirring. Immediately light the sauce with a match, standing well back from the pan. Serve the crepes on warmed plates. Fresh vanilla ice cream is a lovely accompaniment.

recipe source here

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken (adapted from serves 6
I have joined the craze, yes it took me a bit longer but I am in love with oange chicken. Check out this recipe for a way to fix a delicious recipe at home

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-1/2” cubes
1 ½ cups corn starch
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

orange sauce

1 ½ cups water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Combine corn starch, salt, and pepper.  Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs, another with panko bread crumbs and another with corn starch. Dip chicken in egg mixture, dredge in cornstarch, then again in the eggs and finally in the panko bread crumbs, set aside.  Heat pan with vegetable oil to 375 degrees, fry chicken in batches until completely cooked.
In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.
Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onion

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Little Bit of Paint creates a Wonderful Mothers Day Gift

Love this super cute idea. So easy for even the youngest to surprise mom, nana, grandma or even a special aunt with a bouquet that will leave a warm spot in the one that receives. With just a bit of ink you can create a blossom of time saving love. Saving the stamp of time in the prints of little hands that will soon grow up.

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Spring Chore

Tilling the garden is one of the early steps of gardening. I can remember my parents hiring a man with a tractor to tear up the garden plot each year. After that it was time to til up the garden area. Tilling is done to turn over the soil in the garden. It is done to aerate the soil before planting and also is done to mix in fertilizer and compost into the soil. Both fertilizer (rabbit droppings) and compost (anything from leaves to kitchen goods) were placed in the are of the garden during the year when there was no garden. Tilling  also helps to weed the garden.

It is best to not til will when the soil is wet. It may become clumpy and compact. The issue of aerating the soil is denied. Tilling to early will make the soil to dampen and tilling is not at the right time. Good trick to decide if it is right time to til simply pick up a handful of soil and press into ball in your hand if ball keeps shape open your hand, it is to wet for tilling but if it crumbles when pressure is released tilling time is here.

Tilling in the fall is also a great idea and may make spring tilling more beneficial

Do you till your garden?

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