Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays

Christmas 2009 sure brought a doozy of a blizzard! Snowed in for 2 days with all my children and most of their children. What a very good time we had. This being our last Christmas in this house it turned out perfect that we should all be together like this. We had lots of food. Santa knew all about the kids being at my house instead of theirs and everyone got what they wanted. Uncle Tommy took the kids out sledding while us ladies made a delicous seafood burrito that was the brainchild of one sons girlfriend. Kudos to her it was very yummy. Now I am sitting in my comfy chair and Pa is taking a nap. I think I will plan my menu for the next 2 weeks I need to grocery shop. I am thinking lots of veggies after the last few days.
Hope you Holiday was good for you as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Banana Bread

Banana Bread
In my quest to put all my recipes in one place I cannot forget my famous banana bread. It comes from an old Roberts Dairy Cookbook. Roberts Dairy is a Midwest thing I think. They produced all kinds of milk products and eggs. My mom bought me this cook book. the page that has the recipe is dirty and stained. I have been making this bread for more than 30 years and it has served me well. Freezes good too.

2 bananas, mashed
3 T. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sugar
1 c. chopped walnuts

Combine mashed bananas, milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Sift dry ingredients together; add sugar and banana mixture and beat until smooth and well blended. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 8x4x3 loaf pan or 3 smaller pans. Bake at 350 for about one hour, 30-40 minutes for smaller pans.
note: I used the oldest yuckiest bananas I have.

Monday, December 14, 2009

English Toffee

English Toffee
I originally started to blog in order to collect all my recipes so my children could have them in one spot. My candy recipes were the ones I really needed to get together in a form that would last. The picture of these recipes is 33 years old. The paper is so tattered and worn that even I have trouble discerning what is what.
English Toffee is a real favorite. It uses very few ingredients and is very simple to make if you pay attention. Its one of those recipes that is hard to describe because every ones stove and pans are different. I use the clock, my nose , and my eyes to tell if its just right. And yes I have thrown out a batch or two.I also find that I do better alone with no distractions.
I use Mexican vanilla. Its very cheap and comes in big bottles that last awhile. I got mine from snow bird family members who lived in Mission Tx. Years ago there was a concern about vanilla containing cumarin ( cancer causing agent) so I have my peeps make sure that the bottle claims it does not contain cumarin and this has never been an issue for me so I bet none of it contains it anymore but better safe than sorry!
I use a copper bottom pan for all my candy. 3 quart Revere Ware makes a nice pan.
In that pan put in
1 c. sugar
1/2 lb butter ( 2 sticks) must be butter.
3 T water
1 tsp vanilla
Cook on medium high stirring constantly.The cooking time is about 8 minutes. As you stir you will notice that the texture changes and thickens and as you stir through it you will see the bottom of the pan . This is where you will notice it scorching a bit. This is good because the scorching is what makes it darker. About halfway through the cooking you will need to turn the heat down to medium. Keep stirring from the bottom. At about the 8 min mark the color will be a carmel brown and bubbly and the smell will have changed to a very yummy aroma. If it begins to smell burnt you have gone too far. Don't throw it out yet. It could be ok.
Pour this mixture into foil lined pans. I use 8 or 9 in. round cake pans but anything that size will do.

When the surface has hardened somewhat lay out broken pieces of a Hershey bar. If they sink in too much hold off a few minutes. The heat from the candy will melt the chocolate and they will get real shiny.
Spread the chocolate around and let the chocolate harden completely which takes awhile.
Take a sharp knife and break into pieces.
Let me know how you come out. Good luck.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cranberry Orange Bread

Every year I make this yummy moist tangy quick bread. Freezes well and makes a nice gift.

Cranberry-Orange Bread

3 medium oranges

1 beaten egg

2 T cooking oil

2 c. flour

3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1 c. sifted powder sugar

Grease one 8x4x2 in. loaf pan or three 6x3x2

Shred the peel from one orange

Juice all oranges

Combine 3/4 c. of the juice the other 1/4 cup is for the glaze

1 tsp of the peel, egg and oil. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda. Add the orange mixture, stir just till moistened. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Bake at 350 degree oven for 50-60 min for larger loaf and 30-40 min for smaller loaf. Cool.


Blend 1 T orange juice with powdered sugar. Add rest of orange zest. Drizzle back and forth across loaves. Makes 1 large or 3 small loaves. If you make this let me know. This can be all done in a food processor too. You know chop the cranberries add sugar and wet ingredients then the dry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Countdown

Every Thanksgiving I always think back to the first Thanksgiving that I hosted. It was four months after Tim and I got married and I was a very rookie cook. My mom hooked me up with the recipes and I was very busy getting everything going. It being a beautiful aftrenoon my hubby and I went out to enjoy while the turkey was cooking away. When we came back into the house we breathed in the turkey smells...or did we! I had forgotten to turn on the oven! Well diner did get done and it was lovely if I say so myself and now 33 years down that road I have been making basically that same meal.
This year the menu is as follows
Roast Turkey with oyster stuffing
Deep fried Turkey
Mashed Potatoes/Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Layered Lettuce Salad
Butternut Squash
Cranberry Chutney
Apple Crisp
Vanilla Ice Cream
On Monday I took out the turkeys. On Wednesday I plan on brining them for a day before cooking.
Tuesday I put togther the mashed potatoes and froze them.
Shirleys make ahead potatoes
5 lbs potatoes
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Cook and mash potatoes. Add the rest ingredients. Put in 3 qt. casserole. This can be made a week ahead and frozen. The day you need it, take out of freezer 2-3 hours before baking to thaw. Bake at 350 for 30-40minutes.
That done I needed to get the Cranberry Chutney going. I like to make this ahead to give the flavors time to do their thing.
I cannot find that recipe to save my life! Have you ever done that? I can see it in my minds eye but nowhere I thought it was, so I found a good recipe on line very similar to my recipe.,1823,146185-251207,00.html
The only deviation I made was to add chopped walnuts. This makes a quart and now its in the refrigerator.
While all this was taking place I was roasting a butternut squash. I will put this casserole together tomarrow. Now I will get some sleep.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More Comfort Food

My dad was sick last week and when he got to feeling better I asked him what he was craving. He wanted Ham and Bean Soup. My mom made it so good and I have picked up where she left off after she passed 14 years ago from breast cancer. Remembering is honoring.

I start with onion and celery sauteed in a large pot. Then I add the beans. I have used canned northern beans and dried beans, whatever I have and have time for. I like to add some different types of beans too, like lima and dried peas. Whatever I have or feel like.

The ham is usually turkey ham because its cheap and makes the soup meaty. My husband is all about meat. Sometimes I use a couple of smoked ham hocks.

I add water to cover all, add some carrot, bay leaf and salt and pepper. Then I add my moms addition of tomatoes. Just a can , diced, crushed, whatever. When its all cooked up and in the bowl add a spoon of vinegar to your bowl. I use balsamic, it is a great addittion, try it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Tim was chomping at the bit to pick a butternut squash before the vines died so I decided to make this beautiful fall soup. I found it on a cooking blog for gluten free cooking. I have been searching different blogs for interesting healthy foods to get me and the old man on track. This fits the bill.

I made a few deviations. Us Freemans are all about deviant behavior! Anyway, this recipe has just a few ingredients and the only thing you might not have ever cooked with, is the coconut milk, but dont let that turn you away. You must try this.

I didnt have any celery but I did have some Pak Choi and I used the stalk not the leaves. I put it together and got it started cooking when my BFF came over and we had to leave because I had some money burning a hole in my pocket.

Shopping was great! Got a cute pair of jeans just like I like, Tummy control, a little stretch, boot cut and cheap! Old Navy "Dreamer". And I picked up some everyday tees. V-neck with a little stretch.

After all that the BFF let us come home. (she has shopping stamina !)

When the Goof Troop gets together we work up an appetite and thats when I can try out new stuff. After I returned home from shopping ,released the hounds , I gathered up the last ingredients for the soup, the pot that the soup was in , my bottle of wine and headed to Carms.

I have not used my new immersion blender yet so I was very excited to get it out and try it. Assisted by Carm we tried to read the directions and figured it out quickly. I stuck it in the pot and did o.k. but when Carm tried it she didnt put it all the way down and it blended by drawing everything around it into a tornado in reverse. The color was rich golden orange and everything was completely blended in just seconds. It was beautiful. Then we added the remaining ingredients stired a bit and turned off the fire.

As you can see the Goof Troop liked it very much and we all had two bowls and there was enough for the old man and a bowl for me at breakfast.
I Know you all think that I am a wild child and that I Boogaloo all night but I was still home and in bed by 10.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Looking out my Window

Looking through my window today the cotton wood tree is shedding its leaves while the sun shines through a hase of clouds that was fog this morning.

I didnt go for my walk because I chose to lay in bed a little longer. I did walk the last two days. Not a great excuse but one, none the less.

Last night Tim and I attended a public meeting for the upcoming lake that the NRD is proposing to build where we live. We learned that the appraisals are to be done in the next 3 months and after that they will come with a $ figure and it will be a done deal. After 10 years of living in a house that will be sold , torn down or whatever. It wont be mine and hasnt been mine since we heard of the plans 10 years ago. I want a house that is mine and no one will knock on the door and take it away from me. I am a homamaker and that is my bliss. Playing house is what I like to do.

I have been afraid to dream too much about the new place. My husband is very forward thinking and we have purchased land about 3 miles from where we are now. Its a beautiful sight. With 55 acres there is some farm ground,some pasture, some timber and plenty of view. We pastured cows and horses this summer and whenever I got a chance I would slip out and sit where we are thinking of putting the house. It feels right. And if you think my present place is peaceful you need to come out to Crazy Acres. Thats what we decided to call it. Some of our relatives dont like that name but it suits us. Hey, crazy aint so bad!

Sometimes I suprise my self and make something yummy out of nothing. I had some leftover deer meat that I didnt use all of for the chili on Sunday. I started out with a little olive oil in the pan added the meat cut up really tiny. Added a few cloves of garlic and onion. I had some little eggplant on the counter so I sliced them up threw them in a collander and sprinkled with salt to let the bitterness weep out for a few minutes. Then I added the eggplant and cooked for a bit and added what I am afraid is the last of a truley worst year for tomato production, EVER!

Oh ya and I threw in some chopped pak choi that i picked up at the Asian store. This all tasted pretty good but it was lacking. I hate to try something totally different that would cause the whole dish to be ruined so I took the easy way and added some soy sauce. not much just a few hearty splashes.

Since Tim likes a little bread I had some bakery buns and I opened them up and spooned the mixture onto the buns then ladeled some of the juices over top to drain through and soften the buns a bit. Srinkled this with parmesan cheese and we both really liked it.

Do you like Soap Operas? Oh, I do! And so does Tim. I told you he is a great guy! We watch the first part of all my children together everyday, then he goes to work and I alone must endure the trials and tribulations of Pine Valley, Lanview and Port Charles. Its a tough job but somebodys got to do it.

Sometimes the shows really crack me up. Like a while ago Blair had a vision of what it might be like if she and Dorian were the Beils (Grey Gardens). Very funny stuff. I love looking at the fashions and the home decor in the background.

Later today I am going to take diner to my dad and hang out for a while. Dad is a retired policeman and hes 85. Does ok by himself but should not be driving. Still golfs. He and I also share the same love of books so I have been providing him with different selections. He read the western I took him real fast and now he is reading Barbara Walters book, Audition. He says its real good so I cant wait to read it. I started "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young. I really liked the begining but when it got further along I lost interest. I am taking it to dad and see if he likes it. One of the little towns by me has a book club and posts what books are to be discussed in the newspaper so I am going to try and read a few of those. "The Shack" is a pick for Oct. and that is all I could get at the library this time. I will have to look them up on my on-line library and see if I can download them to listen to. I am currently listening to Shanghai Girls,by Lisa See. Very good and a pleasure to do cleaning, laundry and yardwork listening to such a good story.

I have been yacking too long I better get going. See you next time I look out my window.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zuccini Crazy

This year the garden was real slow to start. The rabbits ate all the cauliflour and broccoli that I set out then the weather was strange and the rest of the garden was very slow to produce. The zuccini were the first veggies ready. We have been eating them since! Everyday I go to the garden and pick whats ready. I put them in everything. Scrambled eggs, taco meat, stir fry, soup, cake, and pico de gallo.
The pico de gallo was a surprise because I did not have any peppers so I thought I would try zuccini instead. Suprisingly it works very well and picky critic son did not even notice. It is best fresh.

I diced up red onions, tomatoes, unpeeled zuccini and tossed them in a large bowl.
Squirted the juice of a lime, chopped some cilantro and added a hot pepper and threw in some salt. Thats it! Let it sit for a bit to let the flavors meld.

We love it so much that we caught each other standing at the counter with a spoon and eating right out of the bowl.

One day I diced up an avacado and shrimp and put some clamato juice in it and ate it like a soup.
How healthy can you get!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I am fat! My knees hurt. My back hurts. I have become very lazy and just do not have the energy to get up and go. I need a change. I do not work outside the home other than getting up real early to sit at my daughters house when one parent goes to work and wait for the other to get home. Then I come home have coffee and when my husband gets up we feed the chickens and horses then we take water to the cows and horses that are in a pasture a couple of miles away. When we get home Tim gets ready for work and i cook lunch which is our biggest meal for the day. After lunch we watch the news and then hubby goes to work and the rest of the day is mine.

Left alone to my own devices I clean the kitchen and then I am ready to clean something or work on one of my many projects. Lately this is where I get stuck in nuetral. I find myself sitting and thinking about doing something yet I do nothing. It is starting to get to me. I cant take the guilt.

I am so fortunate to live my life. I am so very loved by my husband. I have great kids and darling grandkids. Two dogs and a granddog are my companions all day.
So whats my problem? I think I am complacent. Too comfy in my safe lovely life. So I need a change and this blog is going to be my springboard. I am going to share with the world the details of my fortunate life.

So jump starting things the first thing I will do is walk as many days a week as I can. The dogs will really like that. Eating healthy with lots of fruits and veggies will be a challenge especially not eating after 7 o'clock. I am a night time bored eater. I love bread and soft mooshy foods.

I plan to start eating just veggies for my evening meal that way Tim will have something to eat when he gets home and he wont have to prepare anything for himself and it will be good for him too. We both need to lose about 30 pounds. Well here goes I will keep you posted.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I am Back!

It has been a couple of months since my last blog. For these and all my sins I am sorry. Sound like confession? I read so many blogs that I think mine is rather boring and not as grand as some of the blogs I read. Thanks for your encouragement Susie.

Life here on the farm can be busy but lately I have been in a bit of a low energy phase. I think it is lack of estrogen. The garden was real slow to get growing and producing. I was asked if everything I make has zuccini in it. Last summer the zuccini did not do well and this year I am making up for it. I made a fresh salsa and substituted zuccini with peppers ( I did not have any). No one even noticed not even Johnny my biggest critic. Hes the kid that starts conversations with "You know what you should do". Love hearing that from a 27 year old child!

I was able to spend lots of time this summer with two of my granddaughters. Mikayla, 9, and Mariah 3. Mikayla usually came mid week so we could hit the library before taking diner to my dad. She liked making dessert for dad and licking the bowls! Mariah and I spent time while her mom was riding her horse. This summer she really started talking and was always cracking me up. Mariah got a pony for her 3rd birthday but refuses to ride so Mikayla has been riding him. His name is Trooper and he is so cute!
As the summer comes to a close I start to feel panic over projects not completed and regret for projects not done well, like the garden around the pool. It is terribly weedy and looks horrible. But nature will help me out and freeze those offenders and in the spring the ground will be tilled and it will look nice and neat until late summer when I let down my guard and the weeds will once again take over. What a world!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Damned Life

Ten years ago an aquaintence pulled into our lane and suggested that my husband and I attend a meeting that was coming up soon. He then informed us that the state of Nebraska was considering our valley as a watershed project. They wanted to build a dam and create a lake on the Jones creek. The creek is a quarter mile to the east of our land. The lake would be 250 acres and they would purchase roughly 750 acres in all.

So we went to the meeting and were horrified that several state entities were involved and had a design all drawn out and were actually working on this project. I got my chance to speak and I chastised the group for not contacting us sooner and explained to the group how we felt about our home of which we had only been in for 2 years. We bought 32 acres in 1997. The house has 2800 sq ft and very nice. A large barn and a pool we felt like we were on vacation when we were home.

That was ten years ago and the project is near completion as far as obtaining permits, funding and the engeneering. The powers that be have worked very well with us and have included us in any meetings and I have become an integral part of this project. I am not crazy about giving up my home but as I have always said "When given lemons, make lemon ade!"

A couple of years ago we recieved a flyer in the mail that advertised 55 acres of land for sale about 3 miles from us. We did a drive by and my husband fell in love. A hunters paradise! At that time the land was in set aside. The governments way to pay landowners from not farming parcels of land that are hilly and may cause erosion. When its ten years was up we took it out of set aside (which we had to pay for, what a racket!) We are pasturing some horses and cows this summer on 11 acres and we have decided that when we get $ from the state for our current home we plan on building there. We needed a name for the newer property so we started calling it Crazy Acres. It suits us. One really cool aspect of the property is that is has a 2acre cemetery on it. The headstones are dated from 1898 to 1912. It is very overgrown with lilacs and plums so I plan on clearing it out a bit and making it available to the public. This property has fantastic views and it is very private. I am getting pretty excited and we have a house design in mind. I will keep you posted in future and more pix are coming. Time for chores , Peace

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mama Freemans Easter Thoughts

Easter is a time for a fresh start . All the sins of the past are forgiven.
This is so evident in our gardens. I might have neglected things last fall but a little raking and a big fire makes things so neat and tidy .
Gives me a thrill!
I incubated some eggs and hatched out 8 little cuties. I am going to leave them in the house till Monday. I want the grandkids to see them.
It's funny but I have 2 pit bulls that live in the house and they do not bother with the chicks at all. Some people give them a bad rap but I believe its what I as the owner allows.
Living in harmony is what its all about.
Have a Harmonious Easter my friends!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ma ma Freeman builds a chicken coop

The moment you have all been waiting for is here! I made a design on graph paper, collected my tools including the cordless drill I recieved for my birthday. Thanks Johnny, Autumn and the Arnolds.
The chickens kept me company while I was working and at times made so much racket with their squacking that I could hardly listen to my book on tape. I am always plugged in when I work.
I have so much pride in this project. After breaking my pelvis in Sept 08 I thought I would not be able to do what I used to do but am so pleased to discover that I am as good as ever and
am back! Next I work on the outdoor run. And yes there will be more pix.

Monday, March 23, 2009

OK you critics I am changing my picture. For a while any way. I plan on changing my hair color back to red soon. I do not like the gray. Too blah. And we all know I am anything but blah!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Barrel Racing Time

The days are getting longer and warmer and Mary is getting geared up for barrel racing. It's not as easy as years past when we put on our boots and were ready. Now we have kids to take along,snacks to plan and diaper bags to fill. Saturday we loaded up and hauled to Freemont Nebraska about 60 miles away. We stopped twice along the way. It took us 1 1/2 hours to get there! Oh Mary how you have changed. When it was just the 2 of us Mary would get iritated with me if I dared to stop for a potty break. Now Mary is a mom she she has adapted to the many detours life gives us when we travel with kids. Mariah and Mikayla (cousins) had lots of fun playing in the trailer. It was a beautiful evening and Mary was happy with her run so a good time was had by all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paper Pots

Now that I am not "working", I am always looking for free things and now its time to start my seeds indoors I have found a great way to start my plants. Paper pots! A pot maker cost me $10.
I cut news paper into 4 inch strips. Wrap the paper around the pot maker, fold over the end and mash with the bottom of pot maker. press hard and mash back and forth to create friction. This causes the pot to stay molded.
The pots will hold up well till planting time. But treat them gently. They hold moisture very well.
Using our local rag I have come upon news stories and obits that I have wrapped so they show and then those pots become little tributes.
To cut the strips of news paper I use a rotary cutter and a self healing mat. Makes for quick work.
I fill the pots with a lightweight soiless mix. This means there is peat moss and other stuff in it. Fill the pots 3/4 full. Press lightly and give each pot a shot of water. Place a couple of seeds in each pot and cover with more soil. Spray with water that has a shot of Listerine in it. This keeps from mold and mildew from forming in a damp situation. Cover pots and peek daily to check for growth. If they appear too wet take the cover off for a bit every day. Cover at night. As soon as the seeds germinate put them under fluorescent lights hung 2-3 inches above the plants. I know this sounds close but this keeps the plants from getting spindly. Fluorescent lighting is perfect for getting plants started., they don't have the colors of the spectrum to make plants flower very well. The plants once started will only stay indoors a few weeks then they will go outside to a sheltered area to harden off for a week or so before you plant them in the ground.
I will keep you updated on my plants.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm Crackers for Crackers!

It's true, I am crackers for crackers! I made my first batch years ago with a recipe I found in a Country Living magazine.

The other day we had no snack food so I fished around on the net and came upon this cite with lots of cracker recipes. The link is a the end of this blog. I made the jalapano cheddar cheese crackers. Instead of jalapanos I had some Mariachi peppers in the freezer that we just didnt like. Too hot. But perfect for these. So easy to make, I use a food processor.


Salmon Patties

Lent is not the only time to eat fish. My New Years resolution was to eat smarter and keep cost down. My plan is to have beef twice a week, chicken twice a week, fish once, vegetarian twice. The reason we have beef and chicken four days a week is because we produce it on our farm so cost is way down and because we are meat eaters and proud of it! That said now onto new business.
Salmon patties are fast and nutritious. I use the salmon that comes in the easy foil packets. Two packs will make about 8 patties and feed 4 Freemans. Dice up some celery and onion. Add an egg, a cup of crushed saltine crackers, and a little milk. Mix it all up and make patties and fry in a little oil.
I put the patties on a rye bun with a dill sauce that I recreated from a recipe that was given to me via a comment on my Friday Night Pizza blog. I took 1 cup sour cream, small diced red onion, tsp lemon juice, dill weed to taste, salt, pepper. This is a very refreshing alternative to tartar sauce. I sliced an avacodo and cut some of my indoor lettuce and wala very pretty and so Yummy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Molasses Cookies

I was feeling old fashioned today and decided I needed to make a good old fashioned cookie. Looking in the pantry I spied a nice jar of molasses that looked a little lonely.
Mikayla my help for the day and I got started and within 30 minutes we were tasting the fruits of our labor. Soft and yummy these will not last long.

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar, and egg together well add molasses. Combine flour, with the rest of the ingredients . Gradually add to creamed mixture, blending well. Shape dough by spoon fulls into balls and roll in sugar. I used Sugar in the raw. It has larger granules and a molasses type flavor. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Yields 3-5 dozen depending on how big you roll the balls. Give them plenty of room because they spread out as they bake

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Apple Goody

Last Sunday the family gathered for diner and I had one more bag of apples in the freezer. Our apple tree produces well everyother year and '08 was it.
I really wanted to show a picture of my last Apple Goody but the vultures were swooping in and I could hardly get to the stove to finish diner! I guess a real compliment to the chef is an empty dish.
This recipe comes from my husbands grandmother Alma Wozniak from Ord Nebraska. It is a classic apple crisp recipe and comes together fast and if you use slightly tart apples that dont turn to mush when cooked you too will have an Apple Goody!
  • 3 cups of apples peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • heaping Tablespoon flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon and toss with apples. Place apples in 9 x 13 pan
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • In a bowl mix oatmeal ,brown sugar, flour, soda, baking powder, salt
  • cut in butter
  • sprinkle over apples
  • bake at 350 about 1 hour or till top is browned .
  • try to wait till it is cooled a bit to eat.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chili the ultimate comfort food.

On this last day in February we recieved two inches of fresh snow. The snow and ice from November was finally gone. Oh what a world!

After doing chores in the crisp cool morning air we came in craving something hearty. So Chili won the vote. Johnny and friend were there to vote and Johnny kept his nose around to critique. We started by sauteing onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot. I only use one pot so a dutch oven or stock pot works well. After a few minutes add hamburger or whatever meat you want.

I have already used up my home grown and canned tomatoes. I was reduced to store bought tomatoes. I bought 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. Pour these into pot add beans I use a large can of red beans and a small can of red kidney. For spices I used twice as much chili powder as I did cumin, 1 tsp. Salt. Add 1/8 tsp liquid smoke and you know those bright green peppers that you put on sub sandwiches, peperoncini, a few of those diced up with a splash of the juice from the bottle. Yummy! Heat it all cook it low for a while. Serve with sour cream and a few peperoncini.

Friday Night Pizza

Friday nights at my house is pizza night. We have had pizza on Fridays for 33 years! I've made deep dish, thin, fully loaded to very simple. We tend to prefer the thinner crust and I prefer simple toppings. The beauty of making you own is that the sky is the limit with the limit being what is on hand .

The crust came from my good friend Marth Stewart and her guest on Thursday It was fast and simple and he and Martha show how to toss a pizza. Since I forgot to buy pizza sauce at the store I roasted up some old wrinkled cherry tomatoes in olive oil till they popped open then added them to a pan with a can of diced tomatoes and onions. Cooked this till thick and seasoned with salt, basil,oregano,marjoram and thyme.

I tossed the pizza to the best of my abilities which was about half way then I laid it on parchment and spread it out with my fingers to get the shape I wanted. Starting with the sauce I layered sauce, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, mozarella cheese and topped with orange bell pepper rings. The pepper rings were not precooked because they bake up very well in the oven and get very soft. I think precooking them would turn them to mush. Bake your pizza in the lower third of your oven and bake at a high temp. The big boys say 450-800. However high your oven goes. I am a bit of a chicken and I baked this at 400. Took about 20 minutes and the crust was done but not real browned. so next Friday I will go to 450. The result was a flavorful healthy hunk of pizza which paired very well with my spinach sweet potato salad.

Goof Troop Meeting

Friday night the goof troop got together and a good time was had by all!

I got to try my new salad idea on them and if I say so myself it was yummy and pretty.

Very fast and easy to put together and it is a powerhouse of the healthiest foods available.

I first got the idea from my friend Martha Stewart. I have coffee with her everyday you know! She was creating a salad with spinach and boiled potato cubes that she fried up in olive oil to crisp them then she put some eggs and other stuff. I opened my fridge pulled out the spinach and saw the sweet potatoes I got all tingly inside and knew I was about to create something special. I laid out a bed of spinach on a platter, peeled, diced and boiled the sweet potato for 4 minutes no longer (then you get mush). Drained the sweet potatoes and sauted them in olive oil till crispy and then drained them on a paper towel. I then scattered them on the bed of spinach. On top of this I put shredded carrot and red onion that I sauteed in the same olive oil pan as the sweet potatoes.

I then sprinkled this with blueberries which have been realy big and juicy. I topped all this with a rasberry vinagrette. The result is a sweet and savory explosion in every bite. Walnuts would be a great addition and toss some salmon on it and you have a very healthy meal with all the best foods

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Garden in the Winter

Times are tough. But I am tougher. I think my husband and I do better when we have to work together to make ends meet. We call it going back to nature. Living on an acreage has helped. We raise our own beef and chickens of course eggs. I incubate some eggs and keep the hens and raise the roosters and butcher them. We raise a large garden and put up as much as we can.

In Sept 08 I had amisshap on a horse and broke my pelvis. I spent 35 days in the hospital. My recovery took 4 months. I am not going back to work, I only worked part time. I have always been a homemaker and know it has been my true calling. I like being home. I love cooking and gardening. I have been growing leaf lettuce , spinach and cilantro under flourecent lights since January. The lettuce is a mesculin mix and doing very well and what I have cut is growing back for another cutting. The spinach is a little small so I am going to use a larger container. Right now they are in newspaper pots that i make from strips of newspaper and hold up very well . The cilantro has been harvested a couple of times as well. I have planted these every 2 weeks so have 3 batches going. What fun to go into the formal living room that houses my nice furniture and grandkids toys and a stainless utility shelf with lights, to get greens for a salad!

I just got a visit from my friendly neighborhood mail carrier and he brought me my spring seeds. I cant wait to get going. This year I am starting the pepper seeds earlier than any thing even though they will be the last in the ground because they like it warm. I will use newspaper pots which is a great way to use old newspapers. Here is my link to my seed company and you can get a pot maker too!