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, July 29, 2011

Black Cherry Ice Cream

Most ice creams I can have a little bit and leave the rest alone.  This is not the case when it comes to 'black cherry' ice cream.   Yummy!!!

(1 1/2 quarts)

*2 cups of cherries (pitted & sliced)
*1 cup white sugar
*1 1/2 cups whole milk
*1 1/2 cups heavy cream
*1 cup of white sugar
*2 large eggs
*3 large egg yolks
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

~In a large sauce pan over medium heat, cook cherries & 1 cup sugar, until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.
~Transfer cherry mixture into a large bowl.
~Let mixture cool to room temperature.
~Place mixture into refrigerator until chilled completely.
~In a medium sauce pan, combine milk, cream & vanilla.
~Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium heat.
~Reduce heat to low & simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
~While the milk mixture is simmering, combine the eggs, egg yolks, & 1/2 cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
~Beat on medium speed until the mixture is thick, smooth & a pale yellow color (about 2 minutes).
~Remove 1 cup of the hot milk mixture.
~With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream.
~When throughly mixed, pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and stir to combine.
~Pour in the juice from the cherries.
~Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
~Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the cherries.
~Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator and chill completely (about 3-4 hours).
~Once chilled, pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow your machine's instructions.
~Once finished mixing, pour the ice cream in an air tight container in freezer for at least 2 hours.

`add 1/8 cup maraschino cherry juice, add just before adding to refrigerator.

Helpful Hint:
`Place plastic wrap directly over ice cream before covering and placing in freezer.  This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Moist and chewy.   I think these are great for 'brownie ice cream sundaes'.  Make sure you don't over bake them.

(serves 16)

*1/2 cup vegetable oil
*1/2 cup melted butter
*1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
*2 cup white sugar
*4 eggs
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan
~Mix instant coffee into melted butter, until coffee is dissolved.
~In a medium bowl, mix together oil, coffee-butter sugar & vanilla.
~Beat in eggs one at a time.
~Comine flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt.
~Slowly stir into the egg mixture until just blended.
~Stir in walnuts.
~Spread evenly into prepared pan.
~Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broccoli Salad

Fresh, light and delicious.  Easy to make.   I think it tastes better if you let it set for a few hours in the refrigerator.

(serves 6)

*2 heads fresh broccoli
*1 small red onion
*1/2 pound bacon (optional), cooked & crumbled
*1/2 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup pecans, chopped
*3/4 cup mayonnaise
*1/4 cup white sugar
*1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

~In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper & garlic powder until smooth.
~Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces and place in a medium size bowl.
~Add the onion cut into thing slices & then cut in half.
~Add bacon, dried cranberries, pecans & toss together.
~Mix the mayonnaise mixture into the broccoli mixture.
~Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

`substitute dried cranberries with raisins.
`substitute dried cranberries with fresh fruit, such as red grapes, oranges, strawberries (all chopped or sliced into bite-size pieces).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Easy Baked Beans

I do not like beans, but my family does.   This is such a simple way to make them and they are so good (according to my family).  I have two baked bean recipes.   This one is what I would call semi-homemade because of the canned pork & beans.  In the near future I'll post the Boston Baked Bean recipe.   That one takes longer to make.

(serves 6)

*2 (15 ounce) cans pork & beans
*1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
*1 small onion, chopped
*1 clove garlic, minced
*1/2 cup ketchup
*1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard
*1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
*1 teaspoon liquid smoke
*1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*4 slices on bacon (optional)

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Place bacon on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes (you want the bacon cooked but not crisp).
~Remove bacon from oven and let cool.
~Once bacon is cooled, cut into small pieces.
~Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees.
~Combine beans, bacon, brown sugar, onion, garlic, ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, vinegar, salt & pepper in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
~Bake uncovered, for 1 hour.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate & peanut butter have gone together since the beginning of time.  Okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth a bit,  but it does go together.

(makes 1 1/2 quarts)

*1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
*1 cup half & half
*2 cups half & half
*1 cup heavy cream
*8 egg yolks
*1 1/4 cups white sugar
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*8 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
*3 tablespoons powdered sugar

~Place the cocoa powder, instant coffee granules and 1 cup half & half, in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
~Heat throughly (but do not boil) while whisking.
~Once hot, add 2 cups half & half and heavy cream.
~Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, remove from heat once it simmers.
~In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks for a minute or two.
~Gradually add the sugar and whisk until combined well.
~Remove 1 cup of the hot milk mixture.
~In a slow steady stream pour the 1 cup hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, while quickly whisking.
~When throughly mixed, pour the rest of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking until well mixed.
~Return to saucepan.
~Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon (you can run your finger down the back of the coated wooden spoon and if the mixture stays in place and doesn't run, it should be thick enough, abut 160 degrees.
~Pour mixture into a stainless steal bowl.
~Place stainless steal bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice.
~Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, stirring once in a while.
~Stir in vanilla extract.
~Mix peanut butter & powdered sugar in a medium bowl, mix until well blended.
~Drop peanut butter by small teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.
~Place in freezer until ready to fold in ice cream.
~Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
~Pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions.
~Once chilled, fold in peanut butter patties.
~Place into an air-tight container and freeze for another 4-8 hours (depending on how hard you like your ice cream).

Helpful Hint:
`Place plastic wrap directly over ice cream before covering and placing in freezer.  This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Turtle Brownies

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy! This is a real crowd pleaser. They are decant, gooey and delicious.

(serves 24)

*1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped kraft caramels.
*1 (12 fluid ounces) can evaporated milk
*1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix (not pudding type)
*6 tablespoons butter, melted
*1 cup milk chocolate chips
*1/2 cup pecans, chopped

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
~Unwrap caramels and place in saucepan with 2 tablespoons evaporated milk.
~Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
~In a large bowl, combine the remaining evaporated milk, dry cake mix, and melted butter.
~Stir until well blended.
~Spread half of the cake mixture in baking pan.
~Bake 10 minutes.
~Remove from oven.
~Sprinkle chocolate chips over top of baked brownies.
~Drizzle melted caramels over the top of chocolate chips.
~Sprinkle pecans over caramels.
~Drop remaining cake mixture by teaspoonfuls all over baked brownies.
~Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Potato Chips

Homemade potato chips are so good and go with any sandwich.  It takes more time then going to the store to buy them, but still are very easy to make.   I'll post a deep-fried, baked, & microwave version.  I think baked is my favorite.

(serves 4)

*1 pound russet potatoes, scrubbed & rinsed
*vegetable oil (for deep-fried)
*1/4 cup butter, melted (for baked)
*non-stick cooking spray (for microwave)
*1 teaspoon salt

                   (Deep Fried)

Deep-Fired Directions:
~Using a mandolin, slice potatoes (if using a knife about 1/8 inch thick).
~Place sliced potatoes in a bowl filled with cold water.
~Let sit in water for 15-30 minutes.
~In a large heavy sauce pan, fill a little less than half way with vegetable oil.
~Heat over medium-high heat, the oil should be between 325-350 degrees.
~Remove sliced potatoes from water and pat as dry as possible.
~Add potato slices to hot oil in a single layer.
~Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
~Drain on paper towels, season with salt, season mix or BBQ seasoning (listed below), while chips are still hot.

             (Oven Baked)

Oven Directions:
~Using a mandolin, slice potatoes (if using a knife about 1/8 inch thick).
~Place sliced potatoes in a bowl filled with cold water.
~Let sit in water for 15-30 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
~Remove sliced potatoes from water & pat as dry as possible.
~Arrange the potatoes in a single layer onto buttered cookie sheet.
~Brush the potatoes with melted butter.
~Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown.
~Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, season mix, or BBQ seasoning (listed below), while chips are still hot.


Microwave Directions:
~Using a mandolin, slice potatoes (if using a knife about 1/8 inch thick).
~Place sliced potatoes in a bowl filled with cold water.
~Let sit in water for 15-30 minutes.
~Remove sliced potatoes from water and pat as dry as possible.
~Put a piece of parchment paper onto a plate.
~Spray the parchment paper with non-stick cooking spray.
~Place the potato slices in a single layer on top of the parchment paper.
~Spray the potatoes with non-stick cooking spray.
~Turn off the rotating option on your microwave.
~Cook for 4-5 minutes.
~Remove chips that are a light golden brown, you may need to add a little additional cooking time with the chips that are in the center of the plate.
~Sprinkle with salt, season mix or BBQ seasoning (listed below), while chips are still hot.

`Seasoned Chips: Mix  1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder & 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.  Sprinkle desired amount over hot chips.

`For BBQ chips: Mix 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder,
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard, & a dash of cayenne pepper.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BBQ Beef Sandwich

I love meals that I can cook in the slow cooker.  This is easy and so good.  A great meal for a pot-luck dinner too.

(serves 12)

*3 pound chuck roast, rinsed & dried
*1 large onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 tablespoon olive oil
*1 pound cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced
*3 cups barbecue sauce (I make my own)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*12 hamburger buns

~In a large, heavy pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
~Add onions & garlic, cook until onions are translucent.
~Add tomatoes.
~Add barbecue sauce.
~Increase heat to medium high heat for about 10 minutes.
~Add roast.
~Bring heat down to a low simmer, cover and cook about 4 hours or until roast is falling apart tender, stirring occasionally.
~Remove the roast from the pot.
~Separate the roast into small pieces & set aside.
~Increase the heat to medium-high, uncover, cook until the liquid reduces and becomes thick.  Stir often so it won't burn.
~Return roast to pot.
~Add salt & pepper and heat meat throughly.
~Scoop onto buns & serve.

`add pepperoncini to sandwich
`add a slice of your favorite cheese to sandwich

**Serve with homemade potato chips**

Monday, July 4, 2011

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Butter Pecan Ice Cream is one of my favorites.  Toasting the pecans makes this ice cream over the top in flavor.

(1 1/2 quarts)

*6 large egg yolks
*6 tablespoon butter
*1 cup dark brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 cups heavy cream
*2 cups whole milk
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 cup pecans

~In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until well blended.
~Set aside.
~Pour the cream into a metal bowl set in a large bowl of ice.
~Set a medium mesh sieve on top of bowl with cream in it.
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring constantly, until it just begins to brown.
~Add brown sugar & salt.
~Stir until the sugar has completely incorporated.
~Slowly add the milk, stirring to incorporate (it will foam up at first).
~Heat until the sugar is completely dissolved (do not let it boil).
~Slowly pour 1 cup of the milk & sugar mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
~Add the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk sugar mixture.
~Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir.
~Cook & stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (about 5-7 minutes).
~Remove from heat.
~Pour the mixture through the sieve and stir into the cream.
~Add vanilla and stir until cooled over the ice bath.
~Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over ice cream and store in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Lay pecans on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
~Brush pecans with melted butter. (optional)
~Sprinkle with a little salt. (optional)
~Bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted.
~Let cool.
~When pecans cool, roughly chop the pecans and set aside.
~Once the ice cream mixture is completely chilled, pour into your ice cream maker.
~Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
~Once the ice cream is ready, fold in the the chopped pecans.
~Put in an airtight plastic container in the freezer for at least 4-8 hours (depending on how firm you like your ice cream).

Helpful Hint:
`Place plastic wrap directly over ice cream before covering and placing in freezer.  This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Strawberry Cake

I love cakes that are made from scratch.   They have such full, rich flavors.

(serves 12-14)

Cake Ingredients:
*10-12 strawberries (enough to make a 1/2 cup pureed)
*1 tablespoon white sugar
*2 cups white sugar
*1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
*1 cup butter, softened
*4 eggs, seperated (room temperature)
*2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
*2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1 cup whole milk, room temperature
*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting Ingredients:
*1 cup shortening
*1 cup butter, softened
*8 cups powdered sugar
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*3/4 cup heavy cream
*3-4 tablespoons strawberry jam
*1 1/2 cups sweetened cocoanut (optional)
*4-5 strawberries (optional-for top of cake)

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Puree strawberries in a small bowl.
~Mix in 1 tablespoon sugar & set aside.
~Grease & dust with flour, two 9-inch round cake pans.
~In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, 2 cups sugar & strawberry jello mix until light and fluffy.
~Beat in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each.
~In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder,
~Alternately mix flour mixture & milk into the egg mixture.
~Mix in the vanilla & strawberry puree.
~Whip egg whites until light & fluffy.
~Gently fold into cake mixture.
~Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
~Bake 25-30 minutes, or until done.
~Remove cake from oven, allow to cool in pans for 10-15 minutes.
~Remove cake from pans & allow the to cool completely on a wire rack.
~Cream shortening & 1 cup butter until fluffy.
~Add powdered sugar & continue creaming until well blended.
~Add salt, vanilla & whipping cream.
~Blend on low speed until just moistened (add additional whipping cream if necessary).
~Beat at high speed until fluffy.
~Put one layer of cake on cake plate.
~Mix strawberry jam into the frosting.
~Spread the 2 cups of frosting over first layer of cake.
~Sprinkle 1/2 cup cocoanut over frosting.
~Gently place remaining cake layer over first layer of cake.
~Frost top & sides with remaining frosting.
~Gently press coconut on sides of cake (optional).
~Place strawberries on top of cake (optional & do this just before you are ready to serve it).

`omit strawberry jam in frosting.
`omit cocoanut.
`add chopped pecans to top & sides of frosted cake.