Happy Monday!

Had a really long weekend of working.  13 hours on Saturday and 14 hours on Sunday.  A little tired but now 5 days off. Hooray!!!

Today I have taken out some chicken and hamburger from the freezer for 4th of July cooking. Also found some “Firecracker” Johnsonville Brats at the store.  They are limited edition but thought we should try them.  I will also be making a potato salad and maybe some deviled eggs, ice cream and a lemon blueberry spritzer with a kick.  I’ll see what I feel like cooking tomorrow.  What are your cooking the the 4th?



My plan for this week is to update my PayPal account and then set up my etsy shop for my hand crafts.  I also need to type up some great recipes for my recipe card box and save in my recipe folder on the computer.


I  hope to do some more mending.  Our lovely Max (10 month old pittie),

has chewed on a safety vest.

I will be adding a strap to the shoulder of our safety vests to attach our walkie talkies for when we are driving near each other. Hope I get this stuff done this week.  Have to set goals.  Don’t we?  Have a great week!


Happy Easter

Easter is here again and with it the sunshine and bright colors. This year we had a ham, mashed potato and gravy, salad and Broccoli Francaise (see recipe below). Everything turned out great!

I haven’t colored eggs in many years but my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law wanted to color eggs after they were peeled and this is how they ended up. I believe this is the picture of spring and Easter.Easter Deviled Eggs4

Have a happy Easter with your families!!

Broccoli Francaise

3 Tbsp. margarine
2 lg. cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 c. chicken broth
1 tsp. cornstarch
4 c. cooked broccoli florets

Combine broth and cornstarch in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.

Melt margarine in 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat and cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, lemon peel, pepper and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until sauce thickens about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over cooked broccoli and garnish, if desired, with lemon wedges.

Good Friday

I know that some folks choose to have a day of fasting on Good Friday. I am not one of those people. So we decided to have a special meal with foods that have a fresh spring flavor.

We’ll start off with salmon fillets which are panned fried with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The salmon will be complimented with Mango Chutney (see recipe below). If you do not have the time (or choose not to make your own chutney), you can purchase a chutney or salsa of your choice at the grocery store. Because the chutney had ginger in it, I thought of this tasty Ginger Pineapple Fried Rice (see recipe below) that we really liked. We will also be having a fruit salad which will include pineapple and mango to tie all the flavors of the meal together.

Mango Carrot Cake1Of course you have to have a carrot cake for Easter. My son & his fiance found a recipe for Mango Carrot Cake in the April 2013 Better Homes and Gardens magazine which we made. It is yummy.

Have a great Good Friday! Come back to see what we are doing for Easter.

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney1

1 lb. ripe mangoes (2 or 3 medium)
10 whole cloves
½ tsp. hot pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. sugar
½ c. plus 2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Using a sharp knife, slice each mango lengthwise one either side of the pit/seed to make 2 pieces about ½” thick. Scare the flesh on each piece, making a fine crisscross pattern without cutting through the skin. Pull the ends toward you, forcing the center out to reveal little cubes of mango. Separate the fruit from the skin by scooping with a spoon or cutting with a knife. Pell the remaining skin from the pit and cut the fruit in chunks.

Combine the mango chunks with the remaining ingredients in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chutney is thick and glossy about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Spoon the chutney into jars. Let the chutney ripen for a day before serving. Refrigerate. Makes 1 ½ cups.

Ginger Pineapple Fried Rice

2 c. cooked Basmati rice, chilled
3 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled & minced
5 scallions (white & green parts separated), finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. pineapple, diced to 1/4” pieces
1 tsp. sesame oil

Heat large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to coat the bottom of pan. When oil begins to smoke, stir-fry ginger, white/pale parts of scallions and salt until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to pan. Crumble rice into the pan and stir-fry until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, then add scallion greens, pineapple and sesame oil, tossing to combine. Season with salt.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

green beerToday is St. Patrick’s Day and we are having Corned Beef & Carrots. Why do we only think of eating corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day?.  Maybe we should have it more often since I really like the flavor.  So look forward to some recipes using corned beef – maybe a version of the rueben or a casserole of some kind.

Of course everything has to be green, so why not add a few drops of green food coloring to  your beer  – Viola!  Green Beer.

*  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Continue reading

Dijon Ham & Swiss Loaf

Dijon Ham & Swiss Loaf2

4 c. all-purpose flour, divided
2 tbsp. Sugar
½ tsp. Salt
2 pkg. Rapid Rise yeast
1 c. water
¼ c. Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp. Margarine
½ c. (8 oz.) ground cooked ham
1 c.  chopped Swiss cheese
½ c. dill pickle slices
1 egg, beaten

Mix 3 c. flour, sugar, salt & yeast. Heat water, mustard & margarine to 125 to 130 degrees. Stir into flour mixture. Mix in enough of remaining 1 cup of flour to make a soft dough. Knead 4 minutes. On greased baking sheet, roll dough to 14 x 12-inches. Sprinkles ham, cheese & pickles down center third of dough length. Make cuts from filling to dough edges at 1-inch intervals along sides of filling. Bring strips from opposite sides of filling together, twist & place ends at an angles across filling; cover. Place large shallow pan on counter, half-filled with boiling water. Place baking sheet over pan, let dough rise 15 minutes. Brush loaf with egg.

Dijon Ham & Swiss Loaf4


Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve warm.


Dijon Ham & Swiss Loaf3


Washington’s Birthday

To celebrate Washington’s birthday, why not try the following Apple Smash while reading some history below:

Apple Smash+

1 sweet apples such as Gala or Pink Lady
Apple Smash2 c. white rum
1 c. simple syrup
1 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. Bitters

In a pitcher, mash half of the apples slices using a muddler or a spoon. Pour rum, syrup, lemon juice and bitters into pitcher. Stir until mixed, then strain over crushed ice in a glass. Garnish with an apple slice and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

NOTE: You make simple syrup by boiling water and putting the same amount of sugar in it.

* Washington’s Birthday officially honors the life and work of George Washington, the first president of the United States. The day commemorates past presidents of the USA. Washington’s Birthday is sometimes known as Presidents’ Day. This is because while most states have adopted Washington’s Birthday, some states officially celebrate Presidents’ Day.

Some states pay particular attention to Abraham Lincoln, as his birthday was also in mid-February. In the weeks or days leading up to the holiday, schools often organize events and lessons for students about the presidents of the United States and George Washington in particular.

The US federal holiday is on the third Monday of February each year, but records show that George Washington’s birthday is on February 22.

Many businesses are open as usual and many stores hold sales on Washington’s Birthday. Many delivery services, except for the Post Office, have a regular service and many, but not all, public transit systems operate on regular schedules. Some schools close for the whole week for a mid-winter recess. According to some government sources, Indiana observes the Washington’s birthday holiday in December.

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America. His first term as president was from 1789 to 1793 and his second term from 1793 to 1797. Before he became president, he played important roles in the military, leading the American Continental Army to victory over the British in 1783. Washington is often seen as the father of the United States and is probably the best known American politician ever.

The likeness and name of George Washington can still be seen in many places in the United States. There is the portrait of him and three other American presidents carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His image is also used on the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin. The capital of the United States, Washington D.C., Washington State and at least three universities are named after him.

Washington’s Birthday was first celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia in 1880. It was made a federal holiday in 1885. The holiday was originally held on the anniversary of George Washington’s birth, on February 22. In 1971, this holiday was moved to the third Monday in February.

+ From Celebrations.com

* http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/washington-birthday

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy V DayIt’s that time of year to ask the one you love to be your Valentine. This year as funds are short, I decided to do some inexpensive and fun things to show Mac how much he means to me. Do you remember when you were a kid and you bought a box of little Valentines for all your classmates?. I decided to make some of these to put in Mac’s lunch along with his favorite cookie, Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, to take to school today.

hershey's kiss moldIf you can’t afford your loved one’s favorite food ( Mac likes steak and I like shrimp), why not make heart shaped hamburgers and Baked Potato Wedges (recipe below). I have a ”Hershey’s Kiss” silicone pull-apart cupcake mold, so I am making a golden butter cake with chocolate frosting and red sprinkles and lettering for dessert.

Remember, the small things mean as much as spending a lot of money to show how much you love that special person in your life.

Baked Potato Wedges

BakedPotatoWedges14 medium-sized red potatoes, cut into wedges**
1 tbsp. Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend

2 tsp. Garlic salt
1 tsp. Ground black pepper
1 tbsp. Olive oil

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine Mrs. Dash, garlic salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place potato wedges in a large bowl and toss in the olive oil. Then pour seasoning in the bowl with potatoes and toss until evening coated.

Roast on a baking sheet about 30 minutes, turning at 15 minutes to evenly brown potatoes.

**If you don’t have red potatoes, you can use russet potatoes – just par boil them for 15 minutes or so before baking so they are cooked through.