I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lemonade

I tried many different recipes for lemonade, and all of them failed my expectations. I was looking for good old fashion lemonade. I finally came across a recipe around 10 years ago and tweaked it a little to my liking and am now satisfied.

(lemonade)

(strawberry lemonade)


LEMONADE (serves 10- 20 depending on size of glass)

Ingredients:
*1 cup water
*1 to 1 1/2 cups white sugar (I use 1 cup, don't like it to sweet)
*1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (5-7 lemons)
*7 cups cold water

Directions:
~In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.
~Stir and bring to a boil. Make sure sugar is dissolved.
~Remove from stove and let cool.
~Squeeze lemons, enough to make 1 1/2 cups juice.
~Remove any seeds that may have dropped in, but leave the pulp.
~Put lemon juice, sugar water, and the 7 cups cold water in pitcher, stir.
~Store in refrigerator, serve when cold.

Variations:
`You can use lemon juice from a bottle (ReaLemon), but I personally don't think it's as good
`freezing it makes for a great slushie.
`pour glass half way with lemonade and half with fresh brewed ice tea.
`Take 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries. Boil it. Strain mixture into your simple syrup (boiled sugar water), to catch all the seeds. Add to lemonade. (you could do this with raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, or mango's too) If you use a tart fruit add 1/2 cup sugar.
`Add a couple mint leaves to the picture of lemonade
`Replace the 7 cups water with soda water to make it a fizzy lemonade (also known as sparkling water, fizzy water and seltzer).

Helpful Hint: I put the lemons in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds and then roll them on the counter. It makes it much easier to juice them.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Applesauce

Not only do I love the taste of homemade applesauce, but I love the smell of it as it wafts throughout the house. My girls do not like store bought applesauce anymore, it's homemade or nothing.



APPLESAUCE (serves 6)

Ingredients:
*5 pound bag of apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
(Golden Delicious, Fuji, Mcintosh, Granny Smith, Jonathan)
I finding mixing a couple different types of apples make for a much better tasting applesauce.
*1 1/2 cups water
*1/2 tablespoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

Directions:
~Place all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat, and simmer for 30-35 minutes.
~Remove from heat, remove cinnamon stick if used.
~Mash with a potato masher or if you like no lumps run through a food mill.

Variation:
`Add a few pears to cook down with the apples.
`Add 1 cup of crushed strawberries cook with the apples.
`Add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice when you are done cooking the applesauce.

Helpful Hint: Apples are like potatoes and once you peel them, they brown rather quickly. Put a little lemon or lime juice in a bowl of water and put your peeled fruit into the water while you finish peeling apples.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I think this is on Bill's (my husband) top five list of cakes. It always looks good to the eye, it's delicious, it's moist, and super easy to make.


PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (serves 12)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup butter
*1 1/2 cups brown sugar
*1 fresh pineapple, cut into rings (you won't use it all)
*10 maraschino cherries
*1 cup walnuts, chopped
*2 1/3 cups flour
*1 tablespoon baking powder
*3/4 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 cup shortening
*2 eggs
*1 cup milk
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Melt butter in the microwave.
~Pour melted butter into a 9X13 inch-baking pan.
~Remove from the heat and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly to cover the butter.
~Next, arrange pineapple rings around the bottom of the pan, on layer deep.
~Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple ring.
~Sprinkle walnuts over pineapples and cherries.
~In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
~Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed.
~Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
~Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
~Pour batter on top of pineapple, cherries, & nuts.
~Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
~Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate.
~Do not let the cake cool to much or it will stick to the pan.

Variations:
`cut the pineapple into chunks and drop randomly over melted butter.
`use a yellow boxed cake mix and mix as directed, pour over pineapple, cherries, & nuts. Bake as directed on box.
`put into a 10 inch round pan.

Helpful Hint: I always place the pan on a cookie sheet, in case the butter & sugar boil over. No mess in your oven that way.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Waffles

My family loves to have Brupper, 'breakfast at supper time' (I have to give my friend Elaine credit for that word). A nice hot waffle and a dab of butter melting into the square crevices, a little syrup, top it off with homemade whipped cream and a few strawberries and presto, something yummy for your tummy!




WAFFLES (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*2 eggs
*1 3/4 cups buttermilk
*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*2 tablespoons sugar
*2 cups flour
*4 teaspoons baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
~Preheat waffle iron.
~Beat eggs in medium size bowl until fluffy.
~Beat in milk, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla, just until mixed.
~Sift flour, baking powder, & salt into wet ingredients and mix until smooth. (Do not over beat or they will not be fluffy)
~Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
~Pour mix onto hot waffle iron.
~Cook until golden brown.
~Serve hot.

Variations:
`1/4 cup pecan chips, 1/4 cup apple (grated very small), 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, add 1/4 cup more milk; mix all in before cooking.
`1/2 cup blueberries, mix in before cooking or put on top after cooking.
`1 cup raspberries, to go on top of waffle after cooking.
`1 cup chocolate chips, mixed in before cooking.
`1 cup banana, mixed in before cooking.
`1 cup of pumpkin puree, mixed in before cooking.

Helpful Hint: Make up a batch or two and freeze them. On a busy morning pop some in the toaster.

If you don't have buttermilk add one 1 tablespoon white vinegar to milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quesadilla Bar

This would be a great dinner to make with the kids. Your children will love the idea that they can pick what goes in their own quesadilla and love putting it together.



QUESADILLA BAR (serves 5)

Ingredients:
(choose what following ingredients you want to use)
*1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast, cooked and chopped (I like to marinate my chicken for a few hours before cooking)
*1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
*1 green pepper, chopped & cooked
*1 red pepper, chopped & cooked
*1/2 yellow onion, sliced & cooked
*1 cup mushrooms, chopped & cooked
*2 or 3 peperoncini's, chopped
*1 tomato, seeded & chopped small
*5 to 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
*1 (12 ounce) Colby & Monterey Jack shredded cheese
*sour cream

Directions:
~Preheat griddle (or large frying pan) to medium heat.
~Fill tortilla with desired ingredients put cheese last.
~Butter one side of tortilla.
~Place on griddle butter side down.
~Place another buttered tortilla on top of meat & veggie mixture, buttered side up.
~Cook until tortilla is golden brown, and then flip until other side is golden brown.
~Serve hot, top with sour cream if desired.

Variation:
`I use one tortilla and fold it in half as shown in the above picture.
`Marinated steak instead of chicken


Helpful Hint: Do all your chopping and cooking ahead of time and put your ingredients in separate bowls. This makes it's easier if you are letting young children make their own quesadilla. Set all the bowls up on the table and let them go at it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chocolate Pudding

If any of you are like me every once in a while you have a chocolate craving that just won't go away. I guarantee this will take care of it. Opening a box of instant chocolate pudding is much easier but nowhere near as tasty. This should come with a a warning, "once you've tried this you may never want to take the easy way out again". I don't mean to sound like this is hard, because it's not. It just takes a little longer than instant.



CHOCOLATE PUDDING (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:
*1/2 cup sugar
*4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn starch
*dash of salt
*3 cups whole milk (or 2%)
*2 tablespoons butter
*1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.
~Place over medium heat, and stir in milk.
~Bring to a boil, cook, stir with a whisk constantly.
~Stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the metal whisk (if your whisk is not metal, dip a mental spoon in it).
~Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.
~Stir until butter is melted.
~Pour into bowl or serving dishes.
~Let cool and serve warm or chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Helpful Hint: ~Place plastic wrap directly over pudding while it cools. This prevents the pudding from forming a skin on top of it.



Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Fashion Potato Salad

I decided to start with this, because it's getting close to picnic time and it's one of my top requested recipes by my friends. I have to admit, I am a potato salad snob. I do not like any that you buy from a store. No matter how much you doctor it up, in my view, "Yuck"! Nothing comes close to homemade potato salad.



MOM'S POTATO SALAD (serves 12)

Ingredients:
*5 pounds Idaho Potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled and cubed
*1 medium onion (I used red or yellow), chopped small
*2 celery sticks (approximately 1/4 cup), chopped small
*4 hard boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, and chopped small
*2 tablespoons sweet relish
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon pepper
*1 teaspoon paprika
*1 teaspoon celery seed
*1 to 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise.

Directions:
~Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover.
~Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 - 30 minutes, or until tender.
~Drain, cool, cube and place in a large serving bowl.
~Mix eggs, celery, onions, relish, paprika, salt, pepper and celery seed.
~Add mayonnaise and mix well.
~Chill, covered, for about 2 hours before serving.

Variations:
`Use Red Skinned potatoes and don't peel.
`Substitute Sweet Relish for Dill Relish.
`Use half mayonnaise and half sour cream.
`If you really don't like mayonnaise, try Miracle Whip although it will totally change the taste.

Helpful Hint: Easy way to peel potatoes