Friday, April 29, 2011

Italian Beef Sandwiches

3 - 4lb roast
1/2 cup water
1 T. Butter
1 - clove garlic, minced
1/2 1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 - 1 tsp dried oregano
1 - green pepper, sliced
1 - onion, sliced
1 - 10.5 oz can beef broth
12 sandwich buns or hoagie buns
sliced provolone cheese


Rinse roast and pat dry with a paper towel. Place beef in slow cooker, add water, butter and garlic. Cover and cook overnight on low for 8 hours. Stir in rosemary, oregano, green pepper, onion and broth; continue to cook on low for 8 more hours. When ready to serve, shred and serve over warm buns with provolone cheese. Melt just a bit and serve.

I got this recipe from Mommy's Kitchen. Tina said she got it from Gooseberry Patch's Christmas Pantry Cookbook. It's wonderful!! We had these last night and the only things I did differently were: I added the broth immediately after putting the roast in the pot. That way it could absorb all that flavor the whole time it cooked. And, I started mine early in the morning so we could have it at suppertime. The next time I serve this, I want to get some little condiment cups and serve the juice on the side, and make kind of a "French Dip" sandwich out of it. Very good, and soooo easy!! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Raspberry Jello Salad

This recipe was one that Brian's Grandma Eva Pielstick used to make. We miss her so much!

1 cup hot water
1 (3 oz) box raspberry jello
1 cup applesauce
1 (10 oz) box frozen raspberries, completely thawed

Dissolve jello in hot water and add apple sauce and raspberries. Put in 9x9" pan and chill.

Topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Mix topping ingredients and spread on firm jello.

Raisin-Broccoli Salad

1 lg. bunch broccoli, chopped
10-12 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar


Mix salad, and pour dressing over. Mix well.--Linda French

Peach Salad

1 (16 oz) can peaches
1 (3 oz) pkg. jello
1 pint vanilla ice cream


Drain peaches; add enough water to syrup to make 1 cup liquid. Boil, then add 3 oz. pkg. of peach jello. Stir to dissolve. Cut up peaches. Add ice cream to jello and stir to dissolve; then add peaches. Put into 9x9" pan. Refrigerate until firm.---Linda French 

Caramel Morsel Bars

This is another recipe that Brian's Aunt Linda gave to us. :) Sounds kind of like a recipe I made the other day. :)

49 (14 oz) Kraft Caramels
3 Tbsp. water
5 cups rice cereal
1 cup peanuts
1 (6 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (6 oz) pkg. butterscotch chips


Melt caramels with water in saucepan over low heat. Stir frequently until sauce is smooth. Pour over cereal and nuts and toss until well coated. With greased fingers, press the mixture into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Sprinkle morsels on top; place in 200º oven for 5 minutes or until morsels soften. Spread softened morsels until blended to form a frosting. Cool, cut into bars.

Ham Rolls

This recipe was given to me by my husband's Aunt Linda. I don't know if I've had these before, but I can't wait to try them! :)

2 1/2 lb. ground smoked ham
2 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 eggs
2 cups milk

Sauce:
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 cups tomato sauce


Mix well and shape into 20-25 rolls. Cover with sauce after meat has heated through (20-25 minutes). Bake at 350º for 1 hour uncovered in 9x13" dish.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!!

I know I'm a day early, but I probably won't be on the computer much tomorrow so wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter! I've been tempted to hunt down some pictures of our kids when they were growing up and doing Easter Egg hunts to post. I still might if I have time. That is one aspect of Easter that I miss, seeing the kids' faces when they got their baskets, and seeing them running around trying to find the Easter goodies we hid. We did however, made sure our kids knew the Real Reason behind Easter; Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins and on the 3rd day being resurrected! I truly hope that if you are reading this and you don't know Jesus as your personal Savior, that you'll read the page I have titled "Free Gift". You can know Jesus as your personal Savior but you must ask him into your heart. Please read that post and it'll explain it alot better. 

On the flip side of all this, if you have little ones, do enjoy the hunts, the candy, the new clothes, etc. because let me tell you, they grow up WAY too fast. I am looking forward to the day when we can celebrate with grandkids and do it all over again. :) Until then, I'm just thankful for my family, and for the times we had to do the hunts and such with them. I'm thankful that God has helped us with raising them and that even though we all have our own faults and have done things we're not proud of, I know that our kids do want to serve Him and they're trying in their own ways to do so. What more can I ask than that? 

Easter has been kind of a sad time for us, for the last 3 years too, because my husband's mom went to be with the Savior ON Easter Sunday (2008), right around 6:00 pm. I'm sure even though we'll enjoy each other, we'll all be thinking of her tomorrow. We lost his father's wife (his step-mom) too, the week of Easter a year later. So, Easter has been kinda hard for us. But we know we'll see them again one day, because they did accept Jesus as their Savior. and that is so comforting to know! :) It really helps us get through that time.  

So, speaking of Easter, what's gonna be on your table tomorrow? We have family and some friends from church coming over, so we're excited. It should be fun. We'll have Ham, that my sis-in-law is making, and mashed potatoes, a corn dish that my friend Dawn gave me the recipe for, and salads, and a couple desserts-one will be The Neely's Strawberry Shortcut Cake. We enjoyed it so much last week, I was asked to make it for Easter so I will! :) I'll also be making Sarah's Lazy Day Cobbler. What are you making? Do you have some traditions that you'll hold to?   

Cream Cheese Corn

3 (8 oz pkg) Cream Cheese
3 sticks butter
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
3-4 (16 oz pkg) Frozen Corn

Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for about 4 hours. Yum!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfect Pancakes

Now, I need to preface this recipe with saying, I used my cast-iron griddle to make these, and I'm still getting used to cooking with cast iron again. lol The first batch I made stuck to the griddle, and the batter was too thick, and you name it, it was a mess. BUT I learned what I did wrong. First, I used regular all-purpose flour, and if you use all-purpose flour like I did, for each cup of cake flour, use 1 cup all-purpose, minus 2 Tablespoons. So, you end up with 3 cups flour, minus 6 Tablespoons. Hope that makes sense. Anyway, it makes the batter thinner-mine to begin with was so thick it was unreal. So, I added about 1/2 cup milk and it was fine. But the next batch I made, I used the accurate straight-across measurements.

Then, if you use cast-iron, make sure your fire isn't too high, low-med and that you keep your surface greased well. They don't need to float in grease, but just make sure they don't stick. I kept putting more oil on my griddle after each set of pancakes I made. I'd remove the pancakes, and grease it down, then add the next batch. They turned out great! I love 'em!! I serve mine with syrup or powdered sugar, which I love. What I would like to know, though, from someone who wants to weigh-in on this cast iron subject, is how you keep your griddle or skillet greased easily between cooking pancakes and such. I just kept pouring oil on mine (I was out of spray) and spread it around. Any other ideas?
3 - cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (or 3 cups MINUS 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour)
1/2 - teaspoon salt
3 - tablespoons baking powder
2 - tablespoons sugar
2 - cups milk or buttermilk
2 - large eggs
3 - teaspoons vanilla
4 - tablespoons butter (melted)
Lots of butter and syrup

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined. Melt butter in the microwave and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine. Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup.

Note: I got this recipe from Mommy's Kitchen. Thanks, Tina!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cranberry-Cinnamon Jelly

2 c. Bottled Cranberry Juice (not cocktail)
3 1/2 c. sugar
1 pouch Certo (liquid pectin)
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine


Place juice in saucepan. Add pectin and margarine. Bring to boil (full rolling boil) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar & Cinnamon quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8" from the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with flat lids; then screw bands tightly. Invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright, of use water bath. Makes about 4 half-pint jars. It's wonderful, especially at the holidays!

Squiggles

1 lb. browned Ground Beef
1 jar Prego (Or other spaghetti sauce)
Corkscrew Noodles
Shredded Cheddar Cheese


Combine first three ingredients, top with lots of cheese and bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes or until cheese melted. Can microwave also. for about 10 minutes. Can also add pepperoni if you'd like to kick it up a little. 

Homemade Tacos

1 lb. Ground Beef, browned
1/2-3/4 chopped Onion
Salt and Pepper
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning
1 can chili without beans
Chili powder

Taco shells
Tortillas
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Onion
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or cheese blend like Mexican)
Shredded Lettuce
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce


Brown and drain hamburger and onion. Add taco seasoning, chili powder, chili and salt & pepper to taste. Serve on warmed tortillas or taco shells and use favorite toppings. I add chili to mine, because it makes it stretch but also gives it a good flavor and consistency. Yum!

Homemade Cooked Salsa

20 c. Chopped Tomatoes
2-3 Chopped Onions
1 T Regular Salt
2-3 Chopped Green Peppers
2 T Garlic Salt

For mild to medium 3-4 Chopped Jalapeños
For hot 9-15 Chopped Jalapeños
3 lg. Chili Peppers (optional)


Boil jars and rings. Boil mixture for at least 10 minutes till thickened & place in drained, hot jars. Seal.

Smothered Chicken

6-8 Chicken legs, thighs or combination
1 tsp of Lowry's Seasoned Salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Cajun/Creole Seasoning
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
3/4 c. flour
4-6 c. water
2 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon
pepper to taste
splash of Worcestershire sauce
canola or vegetable oil for frying


Preheate the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken lightly with the seasoned salt. Whisk the creole/cajun seasoning into the flour and dredge chicken through the seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Add the oil to the pan (up to about 1 inch in the pan) and fry the chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides; set aside on a rack to drain.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot oil and drippings and saute until tender, but not overbrowned. Stir in the flour, a little at a time, untill fully incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Begin adding the water, one cup at a time, blending each cup in before adding the next. Stop when gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Stir in the chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Add pepper to taste and a splash of Worcestershire sauce if desired. Remove pot from heat and add the chicken pieces back into the pot. Turn each piece to coat all sides. Transfer covered pot to the oven and bake for 350 degrees for one hour, gently stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking and turn over the pieces. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. For me, it was more like 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once done, remove pot from oven and allow to rest on the stove for about 5 minutes. This will continue the cooking process and allow the meat to absorb the juices.

This is really good! My family said I need to make this again. The gravy is amazingly good! We were topping our mashed potatoes and bread with it, as well. I got this great recipe from
Mommy's Kitchen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rainy Spring Day

It's rainy here, today. In fact, it's supposed to be off and on all week. I love rain, but mainly when it's warmer. Our family is strange, I guess. We've played baseball in the rain and we go walking in it, when it's in the 80's. We have so much fun! My hubby has to work tonight, (he works late on Tuesdays) and so supper is pretty much a grab-and-go for the kids and me. 

I am thinking about trying some cast iron skillet biscuits. If I do, you can bet I'll post about it later. IF they turn out right! LOL!  

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Neely's Strawberry Shortcut Cake

Have you ever seen the show Downhome With the Neelys? I just love to watch their show. Being origninally from Texas, I love their Southern accents and the wonderful dishes they make! This is definitely one of them!


1 (18.25-ounce) box strawberry cake mix
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons cognac
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin (recommended: Jell-O)
Fresh strawberries, for garnish



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Follow cake directions as written on cake mix box. Remove from oven and cool cake completely. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine strawberries, cognac and sugar. Let macerate 20 minutes. Invert and release cake onto a decorative platter. Whip cream with confectioners' sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed until it reaches stiff peaks. Do not over whip.

Mix gelatin as directed on box. Refrigerate gelatin mix but do not let it harden, it should cool to a liquid consistency. Using a straw, poke holes all over the cake. Pour gelatin into holes and spread over the top of the cake. Spread layer of macerated strawberries on top of cake. Spread layer of whipped cream on top of the strawberries, making pretty swirls and ripples. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.



Note: I omitted the cognac. I just used a little bit of water instead. The cake was delicious!!

Slow Cooked Swiss Steak

2 lbs round steak or chuck eye
1 medium Onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 - 26 oz jar ragu spaghetti sauce
(mushroom & green pepper or garden combination)
1/2 - jar water
½ - 1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
1 - bay leaf (optional)
flour for dredging


Cut meat into steak size pieces. Add salt and pepper to flour and toss meat lightly in flour mixture. Brown meat in 2 T. of oil. Place meat into Dutch oven or crock pot. Add sliced onions and peppers. Add the jar of spaghetti sauce and a 1/2 of jar of water and chili powder, cover and cook until meat in tender. Cook on high for about 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.

Serve over pasta, mashed potatoes or rice.
My wonderful Mother-in-law used to make Swiss Steak and it was sooo good! I found this recipe however, for Swiss Steak you make in your slow cooker (crockpot), from Mommy's Kitchen and it's wonderful! If you want pictures showing how to assemble it all, go to MK, and Tina will show you. You've heard that old adage, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and so I will direct you there. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gooey Butter Cake

This is a fantastic recipe! It was given to me by a family member (My husband's father's wife, as he puts it. She's gone now but we got to be pretty close. She shared a few of her recipes with me.) Mine came out looking kinda funky, with the sides brown but rolled over on top of the cake. I dunno. But it was really good! My hubby suggested I top it with cherries or strawberries next time. I should have taken a photo of it when it was first baked. I can't now, it's gone. lol!

Gooey Butter Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix
2 eggs
1 stick melted butter or margarine (=1/2 cup)

Mix above ingredients and spread into buttered 9x13" cake pan. Note: This mixture will be very gooey, and will not pour out. You have to use a mixer and you have to spoon it out. Then mix:

3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 Tsp. vanilla

Pour over first mixture. Bake at 350 degrees till golden brown. Approx. 35-40 minutes.

As I said, mine turned out looking kinda weird but it tasted really good! LOL! Enjoy! I'll try to post a pic of mine when I make some more.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Punch

2-2 Liter Bottles Sprite, 7-Up or other Clear Soda
2 Large Cans Pineapple Juice
1/2 Gallon Raspberry Sherbet


Thaw sherbet for a few minutes while pouring the rest of the ingredients together in punch bowl. Add sherbet and stir. This is so easy but so good! You can substitute other flavors of sherbet depending upon your event and the colors you wish to use.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. Romano Cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt or one clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little too tart for your own personal taste, add a little sugar. You can enjoy your Olive Garden Salad Dressing for about 10 days if stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Another great use for the Olive Garden Salad Dressing is you can use it for a marinade for vegetables or even meats that you might like to grill.

I got this recipe off of a website called
CopyKat Recipes. Stephanie has lots of other recipes that are just like those you'd find in your favorite restaurant. Check out her site!

Olive Garden Salad

1 Bag American Blend Dole Salad
4-5 slices read onion
4-6 black olives
2-4 Pepperochini (if you like a sweet pepper you could use Banana Pepper)
1/2 c. croutons
1 small tomato, quartered
Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese



Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Place bag of salad in bowl. Place on top of lettuce sliced red onion, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese. If you'd like, add plently of Olive Garden Salad Dressing on top. I left out the peppers and olives, since some of us don't care for either. But it was still really good, with the Olive Garden Salad Dressing.


I got this recipe and the Salad Dressing Recipe to go with it, from a website called CopyKat Recipes. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Loving Cast Iron Cooking!

I have to say I'm loving cast iron cooking! I guess I stayed away from it because for one, those skillets get pretty heavy and for two, I wasn't sure about the care of them. I'm so glad that I'm getting back into it though! My new grill/griddle combo is getting alot of use, lately with hamburgers and other meats, and my skillet is seeing many casseroles. Both my skillet and grill/griddle combo were preseasoned. But I've been learning how to better care for them, so they hopefully last me a long time!


Some say not to use soap of any kind on them as it breaks down the seasoning. I have only used a mild dish soap once so far, when I grilled burgers and some of the grease was trapped between the grates on the grill. I wanted to get that "taste" of burger out of it so when it came to cooking chicken or something else, we wouldn't have that lingering. But if you make sure once your cast iron is washed at least with hot water, then wiped dry, (you might dry it on top of the stove after wiping it dry-this method pulls away any water remaining) and reseasoned (add a little oil back to the pan and heat for about another minute or two on your stovetop) it will no doubt last a long time. Do be sure it's completely dry of water, however because any water remaining can cause it to rust. Let your pan cool completely before storing. I am storing my skillet(s) and grill/griddle on the shelf of my microwave cart. I've placed paper towels on top of both to protect them. Now they're ready to go when I am! :)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Smothered Chicken

6-8 Chicken legs, thighs or combination
1 tsp of Lowry's Seasoned Salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Cajun/Creole Seasoning
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
3/4 c. flour
4-6 c. water
2 Tbsp. Chicken bouillon
pepper to taste
splash of Worcestershire sauce
canola or vegetable oil for frying

Preheate the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken lightly with the seasoned salt. Whisk the creole/cajun seasoning into the flour and dredge chicken through the seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Add the oil to the pan (up to about 1 inch in the pan) and fry the chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides; set aside on a rack to drain.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the hot oil and drippings and saute until tender, but not overbrowned. Stir in the flour, a little at a time, untill fully incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Begin adding the water, one cup at a time, blending each cup in before adding the next. Stop when gravy reaches the desired consistency.

Stir in the chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Add pepper to taste and a splash of Worcestershire sauce if desired. Remove pot from heat and add the chicken pieces back into the pot. Turn each piece to coat all sides. Transfer covered pot to the oven and bake for 350 degrees for one hour, gently stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking and turn over the pieces. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. For me, it was more like 1 hour and 15 minutes. Once done, remove pot from oven and allow to rest on the stove for about 5 minutes. This will continue the cooking process and allow the meat to absorb the juices.

This is really good! My family said I need to make this again. The gravy is amazingly good! We were topping our mashed potatoes and bread with it, as well. I got this recipe from Mommy's Kitchen.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring Cleaning and a poem

Wow, we've had some absolutely beautiful weather this week! I'm so happy to see the higher temps and the sun again! LOL! With all my spring cleaning, and going over recipes from family members that have passed on and that I miss so much, I glanced at a little, wooden kitchen sign that I got when Brian's Grandma Eva passed away a couple of years ago. She had it in her kitchen for years and now I have it in mine. Although it's pretty worn and hard to read, I thought it was pretty neat and wanted to share the poem.  

My Kitchen Prayer

Bless my little kitchen, Lord,
I love it's every nook.
And bless me as I do thy work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

May the meals that I prepare,
Be seasoned from Above,
With Thy blessing and Thy grace,
But most of all Thy love.

As we partake of earthly food,
The table Thou hast spread,
We'll not forget to thank Thee, Lord,
For all our daily bread.

So bless my little kitchen, Lord.
And those that enter in.
May They find naught but joy and peace 
And happiness therein.