Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crochet "Rack or Trivet" for Canning

Most of the canning I do is in small batches and I have a 3.5 quart tall pot that works great for holding three jars at a time. I wanted something to keep the jars off of the bottom of the pot and what makes this Crochet "Rack or Trivet" for Canning a little better than a dish towel is, it can be made the exact size of your pot. It's 100% cotton, and I'm lovin' the fun sherbet colors! It does tend to float a bit, but I just push it back down when I add my first jar.
Now, in a perfect world I'd have a neat silicone trivet that would sit on the bottom of the pot and stay put, but until that day... 
This crochet trivet from leftover yarn, that cost me pennies to make, will do just fine:@)
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Use your favorite crochet stitch in a circle pattern until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your pot.

Be resourceful and have a happy day:@)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pineapple Marinade for Chicken (or Pork)

We hit our first 80 degree day in Philly and you know what that means, time to fire up Bella! (My terracotta pig hibachi.) This three ingredient Pineapple Marinade for Chicken sounded like a winner-and it was:@) I opted to make kabobs and cubed my chicken before adding it to the marinade, also tossed in the onion and pepper (I used jalapenos, if you like 'penos folks they grill beautifully). Canned chunk pineapple rounded out the skewers and was the perfect addition! This marinade is a little sweet, a little salty and has a very nice hint of fruitiness.
It's great for a crowd since it doesn't have overly assertive flavors (garlic), alcohol or heat. I think it would be really good with pork too. 
While I let my meat marinate for over 30 minutes, long enough for the coals to get hot and ready to use, most reviews let it go longer. 
Since there isn't any oil in the marinade I made sure I oiled my grill grate well before adding the kabobs.

Another successful grilling adventure with Bella! 
The end:@)

Pineapple Marinade for Chicken (or Pork)-from Food.com
1 C pineapple juice
1/2 C brown sugar
1/3 C soy sauce
2 lb chicken breast or tenders
  1. Heat juice, brown sugar and soy sauce until just before it boils. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Add meat and marinate for at least 30 minutes-some folks let it marinate a lot longer. 
  3. Grill or cook as desired.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Creamy Red Potatoes and Peas

I tried these Creamy Red Potatoes and Peas for the first time today and think everyone will love them with Sunday dinner one day soon! I simply steamed the potatoes and tossed frozen peas in for the last couple minutes. Sauteed some onion in butter and made a quick white sauce-done. White sauce just seems to make everything better... Leftovers will be mixed with some grilled turkey sausage for a hearty lunch:@)
 I used 2% milk but if there's room in your diet for it, I'll bet they'd be great with anything right on up to heavy cream.
There was a lot of flour in the original recipe, I only added an extra tsp to a standard white sauce and would leave that out next time.

Creamy Red Potatoes and Peas-adapted from Favorite Family Recipes
6-8 new potatoes, cubed
1 C frozen peas
1 1/2 Tblsp butter 
1/8 C onion, sliced thin-optional but good
1 Tblsp A/P flour-maybe an extra tsp if you like your sauce really thick
1 C milk or cream
S&P to taste
  1. Steam (or boil) potatoes until tender, add peas a couple minutes before the potatoes are done.
  2. While potatoes cook, melt butter in skillet, add onion and saute until tender.
  3. Add flour and stir in well.
  4. Add milk and cook until thick and bubbly, add S&P.
  5. Mix potatoes and peas with white sauce.
  6. Enjoy dinner!
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mother Nature's Sense of Humor

Well, here it is folks, after 16 years my forsythia has finally bloomed...
They grow wild and are a riot of yellow on the side of roads everywhere, but this one is stingy with flowers. 
While it might look dead, in two weeks it will be full of lush green leaves and growing like crazy. 
Oh well, I guess it is a sign of warmer weather... no matter how small.

Have a happy day:@)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Went Junkin' -Jello Jigglers Football Fun

It really is the little things that tickle me... Big smiles at the thrift store as I stood there wearing my Eagles sweatshirt and found this commemorative Jello mold for 31¢. It's from the 1997 Super Bowl in New Orleans, Green Bay vs. New England-the Pack won. It holds one batch of Jello Jigglers (Jigglers=3 oz size Jello plus one cup of boiling water). I look forward to making some with matching team colors for the Super Bowl this season...
 Let's see, the Eagles are green, and I do believe there's a lime Jello:@)
Have a happy day!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cheddar and Parsley Mashed Potato Stuffed Jalapenos

The peppers were beautiful at the produce store so a big bag of 'penos came home with me! These Cheddar and Parsley Mashed Potato Stuffed Jalapenos were a fun munchie during March Madness. I made standard mashed potatoes but held back on a bit of the milk, then stirred in finely shredded cheddar (about 1/3 as much cheddar as potatoes-Earl suggests using a bit more:@) and enough parsley for great color. What took them over the top was a liberal sprinkling of Lawry's Chile and Garlic Seasoned Salt once out of the oven. If you haven't tried that yet folks, it's great with potatoes!
My jalapenos were cleaned well (no seeds or membrane) and the potatoes were piped into them using an M1 icing tip.
They browned up pretty in a 375 oven for 15 minutes but a minute under the broiler really added toasty color!
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I do recommend letting these cool off a bit before eating them, they do stay hot for a while...
But they sure are good:@)

Have a happy day!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Light Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread -Bread Machine or Oven Recipe

My bread machine, a Breadman Plus, is well over 15 years old and while I've never been too fond of baking a loaf in it (unless the heat of summer makes that a necessity) I do like to use the dough cycle. More specifically, I like the timer on the dough cycle. It's perfect for setting to be ready when I get home from my Saturday rounds or after work. My current breakfast obsession is this Light Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread that I've adapted from the recipe booklet that came with my machine. While it does lack the pretty swirl of fancy cinnamon raisin breads, it does not lack in flavor! Cinnamon, raisins, vanilla and nutty whole wheat flour... I think you'll like this if you try it folks:@)
Toasted with peanut butter... a very nice way to start the day!

Light Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread-adapted from Breadman Plus Recipe Booklet
3/4 C warm milk-if using the timer I don't heat the milk
1 egg
1 Tblsp butter
2 C A/P flour
2/3 C whole wheat flour
2 Tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast-I use regular yeast for this, not the quick rising type we use for our dinner rolls
1/2 C raisins-a mixture of regular and golden is especially nice
  1. Add everything except raisins to bread pan in the order given. Try to pour the vanilla off to the side away from the yeast. Press dough cycle, this takes 1 hour and 30 minutes if not using the timer.
  2. Dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface, spread with fingers or roll into a rectangle and sprinkle on raisins. Press raisins lightly into the dough. I found that the machine breaks the raisins up too much for my liking if I add them with the rest of the ingredients. If I was home monitoring the situation I might add them after the unit's been running for about 25 minutes
  3. Roll dough up starting with the shorter end. Tucks ends under and place in a 4 1/2 x 8 1/2" bread pan. My pan has a non-stick coating, you might need to grease your pan.
  4. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it crests the top of the pan by 1".
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  6. *If you want to use the bread machine for baking too, add all the ingredients except raisins and choose the fruit/nut cycle. Add the raisins when it beeps.
  7. *If you are used to baking breads from scratch this recipe can easily be used following the same general guidelines as other recipes.
Treat yourself well and have a happy day:@)

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