Monthly Archives: April 2015

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

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If you need a peanut butter chocolate fix, this recipe is your answer.  Ten minutes ( yes I said ten minutes) you can have these goodies cooling in your refrigerator.  For full disclosure, the graham crackers were already in crumbs.  Yes, I keep graham cracker crumbs crushed and ready to go.

Ingredients needed:  1 cup butter melted, 4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 2 cups chocolate chips, 4 Tablespoons peanut butter

Combine butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended.  Press evenly in an ungreased 9×13 pan.

Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Spread over peanut butter crust.  Refrigerate until chocolate is cool.

Cut yourself a piece.  Pour a glass of milk.  Put your feet up and ENJOY.

Potatoes Dehydrated

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Dehydrating potatoes is fun and easy.   Love getting a deal on a 50 pound bag.  We never buy those expensive boxes of scalloped potatoes, when it is so simple and healthier to make your own.

Dehydrated potatoes make a great addition too your food storage.  Listed are the steps to dehydrating your potatoes.

Wash all your potatoes.  I know your going to peel them, so your thinking why wash them.  Dirt and germs can transfer from the peeler to the peeled potato.

Peel your potatoes.  Cut the potatoes into quarter pieces. In a large pot boil your potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes.  You want them to “al dente”, which means just soft enough for a fork to go through.  Cool potatoes completely.

Using your mandolin slice the potatoes to the thickness you like.  ( au gratin potatoes yummy).  If you want to make hash brown potatoes use your food processor to shred the potatoes.

Place potato slices on racks, which have been sprayed with vegetable oil spray.  Place potatoes close together, don’t let them touch.  Dry according to manufacturer’s instructions or until potatoes are brittle, translucent and not pliable at all.

Let the dried potatoes cool completely.  Store for up to a year in glass or plastic jars or bags.

TIP:  The secret to getting that onion smell out of your dehydrator after doing a load of onions is (drumroll please)  Dehydrate a load of potatoes.

French Toast Crunch

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Homemade french toast with freshly made maple syrup, your day will be off to a great start after eating this.  Everyone in your family will enjoy, from your kids to hubby, this recipe is a keeper.

Needed:  Sliced thick homemade bread (or Texas Toast), eggs, milk, corn flakes, vanilla, powdered sugar (optional).

Slice your bread.  Break 2 or 3 eggs in a shallow bowl.  With a fork whip.  Add 1/2 Cup milk to eggs and mix. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla ( or almond)  In a zip lock bag put 3 to 4 cups of corn flakes.  Crush with your rolling-pin. If you have something else to crush the corn flakes lucky you. I crushed mine to a medium crumb.  Pour crushed corn flakes into a shallow bowl.

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Heat your griddle with butter.  Dip sliced bread first in eggs and milk, then into corn flakes. Make sure both sides are coated.  Place on griddle and cook until done.

We like to dust with powdered sugar.  Then next is a pat of butter and loads of syrup.  ENJOY!

Rock Candy Root beer

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Rock Candy is so very, very easy to make.  Family members, friends, and co-workers will love you when you make rock candy.  Pictured above is root beer flavored rock candy.  This is one of those recipes where adding different flavors (peppermint, orange, Licorice) you get the picture on all the different flavors.  Making root beer flavored makes the simple syrup turn dark brown.  I have made some beautiful colored rock candy, by adding liquid food coloring.

So far three sandwich bags of this rock candy has went out the door, just by friends stopping by.  One piece is not enough.  Time to make rock candy.

Need:  15 x 10 x 1 pan lined with foil, candy thermometer, butter.

Line your pan with the foil.  Butter the top of the foil.  This help release the rock candy.

Ingredients:  1 Cup water, 3 3/4 Cups sugar, 1 1/4 Cups corn syrup light, 1 teaspoon food coloring liquid.

In heavy sauce pan add water, sugar, corn syrup, food coloring.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar.

Without stirring cook mixture until candy thermometer reads 300 degree. (hard crack stage).  Remove from heat and add candy flavoring.

Pour into pan immediately.  Cool for at least an hour.  Break into pieces.

TIP:  Use even the smallest crumbs to sprinkle over frosted cup cakes etc.

TIP 2:  Sprinkle both sides of candy with powdered sugar.IMG_0584

Rock Candy poured and cooling in pan.

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Here the rock candy has been peeled off the foil and is ready to be broken into pieces.

Round Steak, Vegetables and Gravy

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This recipe is a staple in our house.  Makes a hardy, delicious and easy to fix meal.  Changing it up is easy to accomplish.  Use different vegetables, rice instead of noodles.  We make this with deer meat all the time.  Here are the directions.

Ingredients:  Round steak or meat of choice ( I used deer), 1 large onion chopped, 1 green pepper sliced into slices, 1 package or 1 can of mushrooms, salt, pepper and oil for browning.

Cut round steak into bite size cubes.  Dredge in flour.  In large frying pan (I used my cast iron skillet) drizzle oil and heat oil.  Add round steak and brown.  Remove from pan.  Add sliced onions, green peppers and mushrooms.  Cook everything until onions are soft and little brown. Remove from skillet and add to meat.

Gravy:  2 Cups beef broth, 2 Tablespoons flour or cornstarch

Scrap to release all that good stuff on the bottom of your skillet.  Pour in 2 cups of beef stock.  On medium heat stir drippings and beef broth until heated.  In bowl put in 2 Tablespoons of flour.  Using warm beef broth add 2 large spoons full (or more if needed) and stir.  Your making a slurry.  Pour into the skillet, continue to stir until smooth and gravy thickens.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

When gravy is thick, add back in your round steak and vegetables.  Mix and heat until everything is warm.

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Here is the gravy with meat, onion, green peppers and mushrooms added.  Makes my mouth water, just looking at all that goodness.

Serve over noodles, rice or potatoes.

TIP:  Use broccoli instead of green peppers, omit the mushrooms if you don’t like them.  Remember add what you and your family will enjoy.

Let me know what you did to make this your family favorite.  ENJOY!

 

Noodles from Scratch

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This picture of my pasta machine and noodles, makes me very happy.  Have you ever meant anyone who doesn’t like noodles made from scratch?  I haven’t!  For years I made noodles without a pasta machine.  So don’t feel you have to run out and buy the attachment to your kitchen aid or a stand alone pasta machine.

If you have flour, salt, water and eggs, noodles can be on the menu any day of the week.  Come with me.  Its time to make noodles.

Ingredients:  2 Cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 1 Tablespoon water.

In a bowl mix flour and salt.  Make a well in the middle of your flour.  Add the eggs and water.  Using a fork mix everything.  Make a ball of dough.  On a flour surface, knead for 10 minutes.  Cover your dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

If your using a pasta machine, follow the directions on how to make noodles.  If you don’t have a machine, dust a large surface with flour.  Roll your dough out into a rectangular.  The thickness of noodles depends on you.  Thicker or thinner doesn’t matter.  I have made them both ways.  Both are just as delicious.

Dust top of your rectangular with flour.  Roll up like you would jelly roll and using thread or knife cut your noodles.  If you don’t want to roll up the dough, leave it rolled out flat and using a pizza cutter, go ahead and cut your noodles.  Remember you get to choose how fat the noodles are.

To Cook:  Bring water to a boil, add salt and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Drop in noodles.  Cook until tender or for around 7 minutes.

TIP:  You can make your noodles and drop them in to cook immediately, or lay them out to dry and cook later.

Tip 2:  You can freeze uncooked dry noodles for later use.

For those of you doing food storage, knowing how to make noodles from scratch is extremely helpful in knowing how to actually use food storage.

Body Lotion

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With two simple ingredients, you can make this Body Lotion.  Coconut oil has so many wonderful uses.  Use this all over your body and see how soft your skin becomes.  With natural ingredients.  No perfumes or dies added.

All you need is 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil and 1/2 Cup Aloe Vera Gel.

Heat coconut oil until melted.  Add aloe vera gel to the coconut oil and whip and whip and whip.  If you want to add Tea Tree oil for anti bacterial benefits go ahead.  Adding a scent is optional, use Jasmine, lavender or any essential oil you enjoy.

Store in a pretty jar.  Dip couple fingers in to spread over your body, (you don’t have to use very much at a time.)  I love to use this on my feet and then put socks on.  Really helps keep your feet looking soft and smooth for those summer sandals.

This makes a wonderful gift.  Be sure to make this for a dear friend on his or her birthday, Mothers Day, Fathers Day or just because.

Lemonade Homemade Lemon and Pink

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If you have never tried making lemonade from scratch, you are missing out.  In 10 minutes you can have fresh, all natural lemonade.  Summer is here and nothing taste better than some nice and cold lemonade.  Here are two recipes, lemonade and pink Lemonade.  Go on make some, you know you want to.

First we are going to make a simple syrup.  2 Cups of sugar and 2 Cups of water.  In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over low heat.  Stir until all the sugar is dissolved.

Now you need 2 Cups of fresh squeeze lemon or lemon juice and a gallon of cold water.

Add the 2 cups of lemon juice to the gallon of water.  Pour the simple syrup into the water.  Stir and chill.

TIP:  Equal amount of honey can replace the sugar.  Heat the water to warm before adding the honey.

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Pink Lemonade:  2 Cups sugar and 2 Cups of water.  Make into a simple syrup.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.

1 Gallon water, 2 Cups lemon juice and 2 Cups cranberry juice.

Add the water, lemon juice, cranberry juice and simple syrup.  Stir and chill.

Tip:  To make Limeade, repeat with the simple syrup, gallon of water and 2 Cups of lime juice.

TIP 2:  To make lemon/lime, 1 gallon of water, 2 Cups lemon juice, 2 Cups lime juice and simple syrup

See how simple all these Lemonade, Pink Lemonade, Limeade and Lemon/limeade are to make.  Don’t forget about strawberry lemonade, blueberry lemonade.  Time for some wonderful summer drinks.

 

 

 

Homemade Potato Chips

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Look at all that crunchy goodness.  If you have never eaten homemade potato chips, now is the time to change all of that.  A bag of chips cost around $3.00 if you can buy them on sale.  Last night we had homemade tenderloin and chips.  Total to feed three people (who really enjoy their food) $5.00.  Yep I said three people for $5.00.  Before you run out to the store to buy a bag of chips, which has preservatives added, try making some homemade.

Ingredients:  3 average size potatoes, vegetable oil for frying.

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Wash and peel potatoes.  Pictured above is a mandolin, I used to slice the potatoes.  We like our chips nice and thin.  Use whatever you have to slice your potatoes thick or thin (your choice)

In your cast-iron skillet or fry daddy heat up the vegetable oil.  Carefully put your potato slices in the oil.  Be sure not to crowd the slices.  Turn to brown evenly.  Drain on paper towel.

Optional:  Season with salt, black pepper, vinegar and salt, garlic salt, the sky is the limit on how you want to season your chips.  ENJOY!

 

Fried Cabbage with Bacon

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Fried Cabbage with Bacon is one of those dishes we look forward to in the summer.  If your planning your garden, be sure to plant some cabbage. This is one easy dish to make.  It has bacon in it and who doesn’t like bacon.

Ingredients:  head of cabbage, pound of bacon, black pepper.

First in your large cast iron skillet, electric skillet or just use biggest skillet you have, fry up a pound of bacon.  After the bacon cools, cut into bite size pieces.

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Bacon, look at all that lovely, tasty bacon being sliced into pieces.

Take your head of cabbage and cut it up into pieces.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, go on just slice it all up.  Now you see all that bacon grease in your skillet?  Warm up the bacon grease and put your sliced cabbage right into the bacon grease.  That big pile of cabbage will soon wilt and start to fry.  Stir it around.  Add black pepper to taste.  We like a lot of black pepper on ours.  Fry the cabbage for about 15 minutes and sprinkle the bacon on top.  Stir everything together.  Serve immediately.

Now plan on planting several heads of cabbage, you will want to make this dish several time this year.  ENJOY!