Feb 272013
 

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So it is 10pm, Tuesday night.  My dishwasher has completed the scrub cycle.  It waits.  I procrastinate.  My least favorite job in the whole wide world awaits my attention.  I know – slight exaggeration.  But you get the point.

I do NOT like to unload my dishwasher.

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I open it to let the dishes cool.  I attempt to dodge the steam, but I can’t avoid a 3 second facial from the Kenmore carwash.  I tell myself, who unloads hot dishes anyway?  Open it up and save it for the morning. I can do it while watching the Today Show.

But I remind myself of the lesson I learned so long ago:  completing the chore that takes 10 minutes in the morning is not wise—no, it is idiocy.  For some reason that I have not yet comprehended, morning minutes are so much shorter than any other minutes in a day.  Don’t dispute me—any mother that has ever had to get three kids bathed, dressed, fed and buckled in their car seat by 8:00 knows this is true.  And this truth never departs from you –even when aforementioned kids are now grown, married and doing the same drill themselves with their own three kidlets.  It’s just that those years of the routine have trained me that wisdom dictates to “do it the night before”.  Fast forward 30 years, it is not because of the car seat drill, but because your job and boss don’t care that you are late because “I was unloading the dishwasher.”

So, like a corporate day planner that I am (not), I decide that I will make a game out of it.  Unload it with as few steps as possible—assemble trays to group like items so to save mileage. Or start with the silverware tray first, the plastic next, the glasses last.  Like choreography  — Dancing with the Stars.

I settle on this:  perhaps I can persuade myself that it isn’t such an onerous task if I time myself!  It seems like it takes eons to empty the monster; perhaps I am deceived!  So, if it is true that time flies while you are having fun, the converse must be true.  The clock crawls when you have to do the dreaded job.  Timing the task will convince me that it really doesn’t take THAT MUCH TIME!

So I hunt down my phone and open the ap with the timer.  It reminds me that it is 10pm and that I should really be in bed snoring by now. But I digress… (when I should be getting undressed)…mumbling that now famous poetic prose:  Git ‘er done!

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So, start I do.  I quickly realize that my strategy to utilize “trays to transport”  won’t work.  Stupid.

I begin to:  compile, then transfer. (Sounds like a Fed Ex commercial…)

I mentally group like items that share common real estate in my cupboards.  Using both hands, I gather and cradle as many items as is safely possible and quickly traverse the kitchen before my arms have to juggle.  Note here:  this is not recommended for glasses or knives, unless you really want a good excuse why you cannot execute this chore. (Now that sounds like CSI)

Continue the strategy—group, then cradle.  Traverse, then place.  Pirouette, then Tours en l’air.

No, wait, that last move will eat up time.

Now the last move, no, second-to-the-last-move: a reconnaissance sweep of the ungrouped items that dictates inefficient moves about your cupboards.  (Military channel here)  A cutting board here, a measuring cup there.

Lastly—the silverware trays.  Evidence that you really did eat what you cooked.  The spatula that stirred the eggs, the steak knife that sliced the tenderloin.   Ambulate and relocate.

While emptying the tray, a revelation!  On the loading end, why not group the knives with the knives, the spoons with the spoons … (the thought crosses my mind: what will my kids think?) Nonetheless, I determine to take that strategy next time I get loaded.  I mean load it up.  I mean—well, you get what I am saying.  My new take on “Git ‘er done.”

Done, I take a bow (only in my head).  OOPS!  I am so taken with my performance that I forget to stop the timer.  Get the phone, the phone!  Wake it up, slide to unlock and press STOP!

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6 minutes, 56 seconds.  Deduct 4 seconds for waking the phone and stopping the timer.

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I am pleased.  Pleasantly surprised.  Under 7 minutes!  Why, oh why, do I think this takes eons??  Can it be that my dislike of this chore makes it seem ever so long to complete?

I decide that it is time to rethink my hatred.

Until my eyes scan the kitchen—

the dish drainer is piled two feet high….

 

 Posted by at 10:38 pm
Feb 252013
 

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A Favorite from my primer cookbook, (1978,1969) Betty Crocker’s COOKBOOK. New York Publisher’s City: Golden Press . page 176.

One of my first cookbooks, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, was my “go-to” resource for the basics of cooking.  You know, like:  See Dick run.  See Jane run.  See Spot run.    It was my best resource on how to boil noodles and measure flour.   The front says:  “Including Microwave Recipes”  something that was rocket science to most of us in the 70’s.  Here is a pic of it; note my Reub-Goldberg repair to the binding.  It is obvious that Betty helped to take me from: “See Dick run” to….

“Observe Richard perambulate expeditiously.”

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Can you tell that I love Betty???

Because I was so “first grader” to cooking, I thought this corn recipe was worth a trial because I liked the recipe title.

It was a hit from the beginning:

1.  because it was so simple

2.  I had all the ingredients in my “6 miles from town kitchen”

3. and because the buttery sesame corn combination was a palate pleaser!

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Okay… I did use frozen corn instead of the corn off of the cob (as was recommended by Betty.)  I suppose that if you had fresh corn, it would be especially tantalizing. Fast forward 35 years– This is such a great corn recipe, that I served it alongside fried chicken for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner.   I did the math and made enough for 35 people, using my crock pot to slow cook it and to keep it hot, too.  Its presence was immediately evident when my guests stepped inside our Montana ranch home—   the aroma of the basil and garlic is wonderful, but not overpowering like an unwelcome relative…

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7  ingredients (8, if you add salt)

A favorite aspect of this corn recipe?  I can have these ingredients on hand at all times—it does not require fresh produce (although you can use it) or a lot of freezer space or cupboard real estate.  Use it as part of a usual family dinner, or for that fried chicken feast for fifty, too.  Me thinks this easy and quick corn recipe is just about impossible to ruin … a point of comfort for all  “See Dick run” cooks.

So here is my favorite corn recipe that qualifies for:  Only My Best Recipes (by way of Betty)

Corn Sesame Saute’

2 c. frozen corn

3 T. margarine or butter

1 clove garlic, or ½ t. prepared minced garlic ( I do like this– I never have to throw out dried out garlic bulbs!)

2 T. sesame seeds

2 T. chopped green pepper

½ t. salt or salt to taste (always my method)

¼ t. dried basil leaves

1/8 t. pepper

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until all the butter has melted. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. I tend to under cook this because I like the corn kernels to be a bit firm.

Another trick to try – saute’ all but the corn first. Makes for a more intense flavor.

Makes 4 servings.

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Here is the Ziplist version for you:

Corn Sesame Saute’ – A jazzed up corn recipe you’ll love as a side dish –

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 13 minutes

Corn Sesame Saute’ – A jazzed up corn recipe you’ll love as a side dish –

Ingredients

  • 2 c. frozen corn
  • 3 T. margarine or butter
  • 1 clove garlic, or ½ t. prepared minced garlic ( I do like this– I never have to throw out dried out garlic bulbs!)
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • 2 T. chopped green pepper
  • ½ t. salt or salt to taste (always my method)
  • ¼ t. dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 t. pepper

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictured directions, go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/corn-sesame-saute-a-jazzed-up-corn-recipe-youll-love-as-a-side-dish/]
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan.
  3. Cook and stir over medium heat until all the butter has melted.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. I tend to under cook this because I like the corn kernels to be a bit firm.
  5. Another trick to try – saute’ all but the corn first. Makes for a more intense flavor.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/corn-sesame-saute-a-jazzed-up-corn-recipe-youll-love-as-a-side-dish/

 

 

Feb 232013
 

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I sometimes say that a full dishwasher means I’ve had a wonderful day—translated:  I’ve either cooked a bunch or I’ve had a “bunch” of people to my house.

Now my question:

Is unloading your dishwasher your least favorite chore to do? Does it feel like you are scratching a chalkboard or scrubbing the toilet?  Here is my confession: my dislike of this chore is so great, that I have acquired a skill that I have perfected: the mastery of loading my dishwasher to the max.

I  so dislike unloading it, that I load it to the brim—I mean, I maximize every nook and cranny, utilize two-tier loading, and juggle and rearrange

until …

until I surrender and put in the detergent  and then push the start button.

But alas, a great side benefit—you save on energy and detergent costs!

I have “uploaded” a few pics to demonstrate my techniques on loading my dishwasher– try them yourself, and please, if you have some tricks to get loaded, please post them at the end!

Want to know my strategy?

Well,  here are a few of my loading secrets:

First of all—I must begin by saying that I do not rinse my dishes-UNLESS—it is easier to remove the solid particles by rinsing into the disposer.  Also, try not to leave your dishes out to air dry– load them up and keep the door to the dishwasher closed.  This will keep the humidity high and the drying to a minimum.

Starting from the innermost top corner, put items in, fitting glasses together and traversing the conventional rows to maximize every inch.  Don’t scatter your dishes, compact them like you’re are playing Tetris. Let no inch go unloaded!

 

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As you are loading this part, less dirty dishes can bridge over the top of the glasses.  For example, the cereal bowl that just has milk and sugary residue will get clean even if it is a canopy over your coffee cup and the kids’ sippy cup underneath.

 

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Do the same on the bottom tray of your dishwasher, placing the dirtiest dishes directly onto the rack and canopying less soiled items over the top.  (Aim for a tilted positioning.) Never mind if it is a bit of a balancing act to get it all placed.  (Some items, like drinking glasses really only need rinsing and the heat of the steam to sterilize them.)

 

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Lay spatulas and cooking utensils horizontally across the silverware, placing the length of the item into the silverware tray handles so that they stay put.  Horizontal is the key here-who says that they have to stand upright?  The vertical placement usually ends up stopping the sprayer arm from doing its thing.

 

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Now, don’t neglect this sneaky technique:  “impale” glasses on top of tall silverware in your silverware compartment.  Surprise, they will get clean while they piggy back on the silverware tray in your dishwasher.

 

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Okay next: see if you can tuck narrow lids and small plates between the glasses and the outermost part of your racks.  Put the dirty side facing the middle of the rack. Tuck them in wherever they fit.  Remember, we are not creating a work of art or an organized masterpiece!  Martha Stewart is not going to score your “dishwasher loading” style!

 

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Next, take a risk; place a few flat pieces on top of it all, making sure that your rack will not be obstructed when closing.  If these items don’t get perfectly clean, at least they come out sanitized and only need a quick dunk in regular dish soap in your sink.  (What have you lost? They haven’t filled up your sink or “decorated” your countertop while you procrastinated.)

Lastly, be sure that the sprayer arm is not prevented from twirling.  The dishwasher has to be able to do its “dance” in order to clean the crowd you jammed into it.  Check for any possibility of hanging “chandeliers” that would stop the party—this is a real show stopper on your chances to have a clean load.

 

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Now pay attention here:  It is imperative that you use good quality dishwasher soap!  This is one time where cheap doesn’t cut it.  If you use cheap, then you cannot jam your trays like this—you will have to opt for the “load it, unload it more often” technique–my least favorite option, your least economical practice.

So spend more and buy the better brands- you save in water and energy costs. I came to this realization around 2010 after the makers of dishwasher detergent had to remove the phosphates that did such a great job cleaning our dishes.  Why? We have government to thank—for more information than you care to know, find out why Spokane, Washington is to blame for the lame detergents, and why, in the end, our  sacrifice may all be in vain… “Another Triumph for the Greens–To go with toilets that don’t flush and light bulbs that don’t light, we now have dishwashers that don’t wash.”

So, a lot of people ran out and dropped hundreds for new dishwashers when the new eco-friendly soaps came out.  So sad, too bad.  Wasn’t necessary!

My recommendations: Amway’s Legacy of Clean Dishwasher Detergent.   Easy, simple.  No, I do not sell Amway.

Another product, Lemi Shine , is a great booster to use with your regular product, provided you remember to add it.  They  make a number of dishwasher products.  Cascade does well, but don’t get the one that has bleach in it.  It does what bleach is supposed to do, but I wasn’t happy with the white on some of my colored plastic ware, and you probably won’t be either.  Experiment with several brands, and if you aren’t happy, contact the company and take them up on their money back guarantee—you will be letting them know that the product disappoints!

A FB friend also gave me this tip:  add 1/2 t. of Trisodium Phosphate to your detergent!  I plan to try it–  watch for an update.

This may seem like useless information to you— or maybe you are one that LIKES to load and unload  ( a strange sense of accomplishment to your day, maybe?) Or, you still have kids at home who love chores, or a husband who makes points by unloading the dishwasher for you. Or, perhaps you own a hopelessly wimpy dishwasher—my condolences to you.

Mine is a Sears Kenmore Elite dishwasher that I bought off the display floor because it had been returned for some reason (that I never could figure out why.)  I got a great buy on it! I usually run it on the scrub cycle.

I have none of the above, so I’m still stuck doing the chore I hate most.  So get loaded to the max, I do.  My life is more exciting with one less load to unpack.  (But may I confess? Each “unload” is a discovery event to see what new technique I have discovered—not a cure for cancer, but satisfies the scientist in me.)

By the way, the pics that I have posted:  they were two separate loads.  Here is the only “unclean” item:

 

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It boasted the remnants of my Simply Great Chili.  I think it was “spooning” with another spoon…

I will keep you posted on any new methods to my madness. You may discover that inner mad scientist thing in your head, too…

Feb 192013
 

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I use a strange unordinary technique in my kitchen.

Yes, time for true confessions.

I fry in my soup pot.

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Not a life changing confession, I agree, but I am telling you this because you may want to change your frying habits, too.

It won’t kill you to try it.  I can tell you that it won’t even hurt, I promise.

See, if you try it, you may find out that it works just as well with one added benefit, one HUGE added benefit:  you won’t have to wipe up grease spatters the way you do with a shallow fry pan!  I even recommend that you try it with hamburgers (although I must admit it to be a bit tricky to turn the patties).   Does it work? Yes, yes it does.  And I have been doing it so long that I question who ever said that frying needs to happen in shallow, grease splattering fry pans.  Face it—they are designed to disseminate a fine mist of bacon, beef or pork grease that lurks in your fan filters, stove grates and on the — you know, the cabinet above your stove that you hate so much to wipe down and never do because the sticky residue never comes off with one wipe or even two and then you pull out the big gun, the degreaser spray and then you have tiny rolls of greasy dust bunnies that beg to be removed with a paper towel that also releases little fibers of….

Well, you know the rest.  And if you don’t, then you probably have never cleaned that cabinet above your stove.

So now you know.  Frying in a soup pot makes perfect sense. Right?

 

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Feb 182013
 

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This recipe is quick, delish and a very simple sauce to create!  It comes from one of my daughter’s friends, Alyssa, who made it for us when she was still in high school.  It takes only about 5 minutes from start to finish and is pretty much fail proof.

We have a friend, Jeff, who likes it so much, that he makes it and eats it by the spoonful.  I wouldn’t recommend that, but I would suggest that it is yummy on ice cream, cookies with ice cream, and on brownies (with ice cream).  My quickest dessert is to take chocolate chip cookies (from my freezer), top with ice cream, then pass the sauce.  I love to watch people pour a second dollop half way through their cookie treat.  It is what my grandson would call “lick-a-licious”!

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Here are the ingredients:

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¼ c. butter (don’t substitute margarine)

2 squares unsweetened bittersweet chocolate

¾ c. sugar

¼ c. cocoa

¼ – ½ c. evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla

Pinch salt

Over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often.

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Remove from heat.

Add sugar and cocoa and stir well.

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Return to the burner at medium heat.  Add milk, stirring constantly, taking it to a consistency that you want.  (I tend to make a little on the thin side)

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Once you have the right thickness, cook for one minute more over medium low heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Taste– to be sure that it has enough salt.  Then taste it some more ’cause — well just because. (I think that you will understand why.)

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Are you brave?  Try adding cayenne pepper while still warm, or after cooled, add bits of sea salt.

You will have a new taste sensation.  (Just so you know — most just like it plain)

To reheat, simply place in microwave at half power for a few seconds. It heats quickly, so “babysit” it to be sure not to overheat.

Here is the Ziplist version:

OMG– 5 Minute Hot Fudge Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

OMG– 5 Minute Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. butter (don’t substitute margarine)
  • 2 squares unsweetened bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. cocoa
  • ¼ – ½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictures directions, go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/omg-5-minute-hot-fudge-sauce/]
  2. Over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add sugar and cocoa and stir well.
  5. Return to the burner at medium heat.
  6. Add milk, stirring constantly, taking it to a consistency that you want. (I tend to make a little on the thin side)
  7. Once you have the right thickness, cook for one minute more over medium low heat, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  9. Taste-- to be sure that it has enough salt. Then taste it some more 'cause -- well just because. (I think that you will understand why.)
  10. Are you brave? Try adding cayenne pepper while still warm, or after cooled, add bits of sea salt.
  11. You will have a new taste sensation. (Just so you know -- most just like it plain)
  12. To reheat, simply place in microwave at half power for a few seconds. It heats quickly, so "babysit" it to be sure not to overheat.

Notes

Simple and simply the best!

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/omg-5-minute-hot-fudge-sauce/

Feb 182013
 

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Honey Butter

Once I discovered that my Mile High Biscuits were so popular, imagine how happy I was to find out that you could make honey butter that did not separate!  The following recipe is very simple and  can be frozen.  Slather it on toast, scones, peanut butter sandwiches or any bread that begs a topping!

You will need the following:

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¾ c. butter (this is 1 ½ sticks)

1 c. honey

one egg yolk from a pasteurized egg   (to be safe)

Add all three ingredients to a standing mixer bowl.  (You can use a hand mixer, but you will likely tire of the 10 minute mixing.)

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Mix for a minute.  Stop,  scrape the sides of the bowl.

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Now, turn the mixer on high and allow to beat for 10 full minutes.

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Once done, pour into a container that moves to and from the fridge easily.   A covered dish works best.  You can serve it right away, but I do like to chill it so that it is not so runny.

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Decide if you want to freeze half—the frozen portion needs to be tightly sealed and dated.

Lick the bowl.  (If you haven’t already…)

Here is the Ziplist version:

Oh, Honey Butter!

Oh, Honey Butter!

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. butter (this is 1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 c. honey
  • One egg yolk from a pasteurized egg (to be safe)

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictured directions, go to: [/http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oh-honey-butter/]
  2. Add all three ingredients to a standing mixer bowl. (You can use a hand mixer, but you will likely tire of the 10 minute mixing.)
  3. Mix for a minute. Stop, scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Now, turn the mixer on high and allow to beat for 10 full minutes.
  5. Once done, pour into a container that moves to and from the fridge easily. A covered dish works best. You can serve it right away, but I do like to chill it so that it is not so runny.
  6. Decide if you want to freeze half—the frozen portion needs to be tightly sealed and dated.

Notes

Sweet treat on anything bread!

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oh-honey-butter/

Feb 172013
 

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My Kitchen

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Photo by www.kjgregorsphotos.shutterfly.com

The kitchen that I have now is close to my “dream kitchen”!  It is not where I learned how to cook, but it is where I have learned how to expand my cooking dimensions.  I have discovered that I can “dream” about new creations to serve.

Why it is — I do not know —  but it wasn’t until I will into my 50s before I thought that I could create a new recipe.  I had not tried to move outside of the box when it came to cooking, unless it was of necessity—say when I was missing an ingredient.  I guess it was because I am not much of a risk taker.  I like safe, I like consistency, I like predictability.

But in my mature years, I have discovered that I can create new “food stuff”!  Perhaps because I have cooked so much that I understand more of what works and why. Or, maybe it is because of boredom or the search for my new “self”?  So for whatever reason, I now find it safe to go out of the box.  This may seem like an “okay, soo….” moment to you, but the reason I write about it now is because I wished that I had made this shift earlier in life.  I could’ve been free from the constraints of cookbooks and how-tos and ready for brave new worlds so much sooner.

So this is not a new “epic” truth for you, but rather, an exhortation to you to be brave and create.  Do it sooner than I have.

 Posted by at 7:32 pm
Feb 162013
 

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This delightful dessert comes from a friend, Pam, who did a stint as  sandwich shop owner in Helena, Montana.  I found the treat both colorful and tasty- and she found it in her heart to share her recipe with me.

It can be made ahead of time, portioned out in separate servings and kept in the freezer for several weeks.  Wrapped in wax paper or plastic wrap, the hardest part of saving for future use is deciding what size to make the wedges!  It is delightful served only slightly thawed, and is pretty as a picture  (depending on the fruit that you choose).  If you plan to use frozen fruit and aren’t particularly artistic, it works to add some of the fruit to the topping mixture and beat a few extra minutes to blend well.  Then top with the frozen fruit.  It may not be a pretty pinwheel, but heck, taste is what counts, yes?

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Also, it is simple to cut out some of the calories and the taste is not dramatically altered. (See notes in the ingredients.) If you don’t have fresh fruit, frozen fruit works well also.

For the crust, place the following ingredients into a mixer bowl:

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1 yellow, white or vanilla cake mix  (I like Betty Crocker, but you can use whatever is on sale.)

¼ c. brown sugar

¼ c. margarine or butter (optional!)

¼ c. water

½ c. almonds (slivered or sliced) or finely chopped walnuts or pecans (any nuts are optional)

Combine these ingredients and mix for about 2 minutes on medium speed.  Mixture will be very thick.

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While mixing the crust, top a shiny, 16 in. pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil (I prefer the paper.)   If you do not have a 16 in. pan, two smaller pizza pans will work.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place batter in the middle of the pan.  Spread the mixture to the edge of the pan.  This is a bit tricky, you will need to grasp the paper and hold it opposite the direction that you are spreading.  Also, I place a rubber no slip pad underneath the pan to hold it in place. Aim to make a consistent thickness throughout the crust, going to withing ½ inch of the edge.  Don’t worry if it is not pretty, it will not show in the final product. Consistent thickness is what is important.

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Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, and then check for the next 2 minute intervals until light brown.  (I call this babysitting your oven)  It will take 10 – 14 minutes, depending on your oven.

Remove and allow to cool.

For the topping, place the following ingredients in your clean mixing bowl:

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2 8oz. packages of cream cheese  or Neuchâtel cheese  (I use this Philadelphia Cream Cheese)

1 c. sugar

2 t. vanilla or,      1 t. vanilla and 1 t. almond flavoring

(Note:  if you want to cut out calories, halve this part of the recipe and use the Neuchâtel cheese—it will still be very delicious!)

Cream these ingredients until very smooth.  You may add a bit of milk to thin so that it is more spreadable.

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Spread over the cooled crust.

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Next, “decorate” with fresh fruit.  My friend  used the following:

Bananas (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning)

Fresh kiwi, peeled and sliced

Fresh pineapple, sliced in wedges

Fresh strawberries, sliced

Frozen blueberries or blackberries

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(My advice?  Use whatever you enjoy—experiment! Just make sure that you slice it thinly so that it is easily cut with a pizza cutter once frozen.)  I like to use a slicer as pictured so that you get consistently thin slices.

 

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After decorating, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.  To serve, allow to thaw for 10 minutes and wrap the leftovers (in single servings if you like) and refreeze.  Do not allow to thaw completely – the fruit will deteriorate a bit.

This is a great show stopper at any gathering!

Here is the Ziplist version:

 

Frozen Fruit Pizza

Frozen Fruit Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow, white or vanilla cake mix (I like Betty Crocker, but you can use whatever is on sale.)
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • ¼ c. margarine or butter (optional!)
  • ¼ c. water
  • ½ c. almonds (slivered or sliced) or finely chopped walnuts or pecans (any nuts are optional)
  • 2 8oz. packages of cream cheese or Neuchâtel cheese (I use this Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla or,
  • 1 t. vanilla and 1 t. almond flavoring
  • Bananas (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning)
  • Fresh kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh pineapple, sliced in wedges
  • Fresh strawberries, sliced
  • Frozen blueberries or blackberries

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictured directions go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/frozen-fruit-pizza/]
  2. Combine these ingredients and mix for about 2 minutes on medium speed. Mixture will be very thick.
  3. While mixing the crust, top a shiny, 16 in. pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil (I prefer the paper.) If you do not have a 16 in. pan, two smaller pizza pans will work.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Place batter in the middle of the pan. Spread the mixture to the edge of the pan. This is a bit tricky, you will need to grasp the paper and hold it opposite the direction that you are spreading. Also, I place a rubber no slip pad underneath the pan to hold it in place. Aim to make a consistent thickness throughout the crust, going to withing ½ inch of the edge. Don’t worry if it is not pretty, it will not show in the final product. Consistent thickness is what is important.
  6. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, and then check for the next 2 minute intervals until light brown. (I call this babysitting your oven) It will take 10 - 14 minutes, depending on your oven.
  7. Remove and allow to cool.
  8. For the topping, place the cream cheese, sugar and flavoring ingredients in your clean mixing bowl.(Note: if you want to cut out calories, halve this part of the recipe and use the Neuchâtel cheese—it will still be very delicious!)
  9. Cream these ingredients until very smooth. You may add a bit of milk to thin so that it is more spreadable.
  10. Spread over the cooled crust.
  11. Next, “decorate” with fresh fruit. My friend used the following:
  12. Bananas (dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning)
  13. Fresh kiwi, peeled and sliced
  14. Fresh pineapple, sliced in wedges
  15. Fresh strawberries, sliced
  16. Frozen blueberries or blackberries
  17. My advice? Use whatever you enjoy—experiment! Just make sure that you slice it thinly so that it is easily cut with a pizza cutter once frozen.)
  18. After decorating, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
  19. To serve, allow to thaw for 10 minutes and wrap the leftovers (in single servings if you like) and refreeze. Do not allow to thaw completely – the fruit will deteriorate a bit.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/frozen-fruit-pizza/

 

Feb 162013
 

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Heston with my iPad

I was set to post another recipe today, but was missing an ingredient.  So did I run to town (5 miles) to complete the list?  No, because of a cute distraction.  His name is Heston, and he is my (almost 3 year old) grandson.  He was visiting me today and was extraordinarily entertaining (oh, yes, I AM a grandma) and I thought that I just better cuddle and smooch him while he was interested.  He usually wipes my kisses off (or, maybe he is rubbing them in?)  Anyway, I have learned something that I did not learn when I was a young mom– work  and to do lists can wait.  So kiss and cuddle we did while he allowed it.

So,  I think that is a kind a recipe, yes?  A recipe to enjoy life as it comes, for the days go by too fast, and soon, he will be a 6′ teenager that will  chafe of my cuddles and tickles.  But then when he is that big, I bet he will eat at my kitchen table, and I will use my other love language– cooking!

In the mean time, can I tell you just how “chewable” he is??

 Posted by at 2:05 pm
Feb 132013
 

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This recipe is my mother’s.  It was one the first recipes I asked her for when I was a new bride.

The cookbooks that I looked at started with dried beans, and I was afraid to start from “scratch” when I was so new to cooking.  Besides, I always liked my mom’s chili the best.

It is very simple, no extraordinary ingredients, but always gets compliments and second helpings.  It takes about 10 minutes of prep time, about ½ hour of simmering and less time to disappear (at the chow line, that is).

Now if you like a more complicated chili, with more unusual ingredients, this does not fit the bill.  But if you want something that is universally liked and EASY to make, give this a try.  I personally think that it is the Pork and Beans that make this recipe so tasty—see what you think!

Start with 1 lb. ground beef

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Place the beef in a 5 to 8 qt. stockpot, top with 1 cup chopped yellow onion.

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Sauté the ground beef with the onion over medium high heat, adding 1 T. Worcestershire sauce once you have broken the meat into small pieces.

Stir and cook until the onion is very soft and the meat is not pink.  Drain off the fat.

While meat is browning, open the cans—do not drain any of them.

2   15.5 oz. chili beans

1   15 oz.   Pork and Beans (I prefer Van Camps)

1   4 oz.  Can of chopped green chilies

1   6 oz.  Can of tomato paste

1 – 2 T.  chili powder (depending on how hot you like it)

1 T. cumin (this gives it a smoky flavor)

1 t. salt

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Once you have drained the fat off the meat, add the above list of ingredients and stir well.

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Next add 4 cups hot water.

Bring to a boil.  At this point, you can transfer the mixture to a crockpot and allow to simmer 5 to 6 hours on low.  If you want to serve sooner, simply turn the heat to low and simmer gently for about ½ hour until mixture thickens.  Stir often to keep the bottom from sticking and burning.

If you want it spicier, add tabasco or serve with jalapeno peppers.  We also add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a surprise twist or serve with corn chips for crunch.  Also works as a good topping for nachos!

Serves 5 – 8, depending on your appetite!

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Simply Great Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Simply Great Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion.
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 15.5 oz. chili beans
  • 1 15 oz. Pork and Beans (I prefer Van Camps)
  • 1 4 oz. Can of chopped green chilies
  • 1 6 oz. Can of tomato paste
  • 1 – 2 T. chili powder (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1 T. cumin (this gives it a smoky flavor)
  • 1 t. salt

Instructions

  1. [For detailed directions and pictures, go to: [/http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/simply-great-chili/]
  2. Start with 1 lb. ground beef
  3. Place the beef in a 5 to 8 qt. stockpot, top with 1 cup chopped yellow onion.
  4. Sauté the ground beef with the onion over medium high heat, adding 1 T. Worcestershire sauce once you have broken the meat into small pieces.
  5. Stir and cook until the onion is very soft and the meat is not pink. Drain off the fat.
  6. While meat is browning, open the cans—do not drain any of them.
  7. Once you have drained the fat off the meat, add the remaining igredients and stir well.
  8. Next add 4 cups hot water.
  9. Bring to a boil.
  10. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to a crockpot and allow to simmer 5 to 6 hours on low. If you want to serve sooner, simply turn the heat to low and simmer gently for about ½ hour until mixture thickens. Stir often to keep the bottom from sticking and burning.
  11. If you want it spicier, add tabasco or serve with jalapeno peppers. We also add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a surprise twist or serve with corn chips for crunch. Also works as a good topping for nachos!
  12. Serves 5 – 8, depending on your appetite!

Notes

Serve with onions, cheese and or apple cider vinegar.

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/simply-great-chili/

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