Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tzatziki Sauce

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Tzatziki Sauce is another greek dish, we enjoy very much.  The ingredients are simple, easy and fresh.  Give this sauce a try, I really think you will enjoy this sauce (or dip).

Cucumber peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Slice peeled and seeded cucumber.  Place in blender and grind, crush until cucumber is in small pieces.  Drain as much liquid as possible from cucumber.  Add rest of the ingredients to your blender/food processor.  Mix everything together.  Chill.

Serve with fresh vegetables or pull apart french bread and dip in sauce.  I like to use the sauce as a salad dressing.  ENJOY!

Cake Batter Cookies

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These cookies are just as delicious as they are pretty.  Kids love these cookies.  I used multi colored sprinkles as you can tell.  They make for a fun birthday surprise.  For the 4th of July use red, white and blue sprinkles.  Thanksgiving  orange, brown and yellow sprinkles.  Christmas red and green sprinkles.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup sprinkles or 1 cup assorted sprinkles

In a large bowl add butter and sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Add eggs and mix.  Add vanilla and almond extract mix to combine.

In separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt.  Add to wet mixture and stir to combine.  Add sprinkles and mix again.

Chill dough for 1 hour.  Tip:  You can make the dough ahead of time and let it chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Make 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheets.  Tip:  You can roll the cookie balls in sugar and more sprinkles before placing on cookie sheet if you want.  Bake for 10 minutes.

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This is a fun cookie for the kids and grandkids to help make.  Especially when making the balls of dough.  If your going to roll them in sugar and add more sprinkles, this is a perfect opportunity to get the kids or the whole family involved.  ENJOY!

Reusable Sandwich Bags and Bowl Covers

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Reusable Sandwich Bag.

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Bowl covered with a Reusable Bowl Cover.

We have a lot of plastic around the house.  Plastic wrap and sandwich bag are expensive and such a waste.  That doesn’t mean you won’t find find them in my home.  Perfect I’m not.

We are trying to reuse, recycle, make do or do without.  These reusable wax covers and bags make me happy.  They remind me of a simpler time.  Plus money is being saved and I’m not throwing away plastic bags and plastic wrap constantly.  Fill up your kitchen drawer with reusable bags and covers.

Always use 100% cotton fabric.  You can reuse old sheets and pillowcases or raid your stash. (Not judging, I have my own stash).  Beeswax fabric is non-toxic, reusable, washable and can be molded around dishes and food.  Beeswax when applied to cotton, renders the cotton unbreathable which helps keep air out for storing food.

These wraps are not recommended for meat.  You can store cheese, vegetables, fruit, nuts, sandwiches, pretzels, cookies etc.  Plus cover any bowl as you would with plastic wrap.  To cover a bowl, just place over bowl.  Using the warmth of your hands mold around top of bowl and rim to seal.

To clean, wash in cool water with mild soap.  I use castile soap.  Never use warm or hot water.  Covers and bags should last up to a year.  Re-wax to use again.

Supplies:  Beeswax grated or in pellets, 100% cotton fabric, cut to size.  12×12 and 8×8 work fine for me.  Go bigger if you have larger bowl.  Old cookie sheet (only use for this), paintbrush, cheese grater (only used for this), pinking shears, a place to hang with a clothespin to dry.

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Cut fabric to size and pink edges with pinking shears.  Sprinkle evenly and lightly with grated beeswax .  Be sure to go out to edge of fabric.  Place in oven for 3 or more minutes.  Check to see if beeswax has melted.  You don’t want it to start burning.  Remove from oven and using paintbrush spread melted beeswax completely to edges of fabric.  Immediately hang to dry.  Drying will take like 2 minutes.  Work fast.    Here are some pictures to help you along.  Don’t worry it really is easy to make.

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Fabric sprinkled with beeswax and ready to go on cookie sheet and into the oven for 3 minutes.

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Beeswax melted and hanging up to dry for couple minutes.  The fabric is stiff at this point.  Once dry you can start using your reusable bags and covers.

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How to make reusable sandwich bag.  Fold your beeswax fabric square into thirds.  Create flaps at top and bottom.  Sew two buttons onto flaps.  Use string or twine to hold close.

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Finish reusable sandwich bag.

 

 

 

 

Meatball Master Mix

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Everyone knows how expensive ground beef is.  Our local market was having a sale and I can’t pass up a sale.  We do a lot of deer hunting in the fall and process our own meat.  This includes grinding our own deer burger.  Unless there is a really good deal on ground beef, it usually isn’t on my grocery list.  Remember you can make meatballs out of any ground meat you like.  It doesn’t matter if your meatballs are made out of turkey, deer or beef.  It’s all yummy.

This is a excellent opportunity for the kids or grandkids to help.  I would have loved to have had the help of my three year old grandson.  Getting in there with his hands mixing everything up.  Rolling the meatballs and placing them on the pan.  Plus who couldn’t use some help in the kitchen.  Come along, we are making meatballs today.

4 pounds of ground beef ( turkey, deer)
2 eggs
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 cups milk

Combine all the ingredient.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Shape into 1 inch balls.  On ungreased baking sheet place meatballs.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  When done, immediately drain grease.  When meatballs have cooled completely divide your meatballs into any freezer containers or bags you like.  Use within 3 months.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks or 10 ounce can pineapple chunks drained.  (save the juice)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
20 meatballs
1 green pepper sliced
4 cups rice

In skillet combine oil and pineapple juice.  In bowl, combine cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar, water and brown sugar.  Stir into juice mixture.  Cook over medium heat 6 minutes or until thick.  Add meatballs, pineapple chunks and green peppers.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Serve over rice.

This makes a lot so if necessary halve the recipe for less people.

Meatballs Marinara

Spray a 9×13 baking dish.  Layer meatballs.  Pour  16 ounce jar of marinara sauce over meatballs.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over meatballs and sauce.  Heat in oven until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.  Serve over spaghetti or favorite noodles.

This is a fast meal for those busy nights.  Use a smaller baking dish if there are only two of you for dinner.

Cocktail Meatballs

Spray your crockpot and fill with meatballs.  Pour your favorite BBQ sauce over the meatballs and heat until warm.

There are so many ways to use meatballs.  Be inventive, see what your family comes up with.  Please leave a comment telling me your favorite way to use meatballs.  I could always use a new recipe.  ENJOY!

Chicken Souvlaki Marinade

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We lived in Greece for a year and this is one of my favorite and easy greek marinade for chicken.  If you are looking for something different here is your chance.  Before you use all your chicken in the Chicken Master Mix, save 4 or 5 chicken breasts for this marinade.

In pan or large bowl big enough to marinate chicken add the following ingredients.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sage and thyme

Mix everything together.  Add chicken breasts.  Marinate overnight or at least 2 hours.
Grill 4 minutes per side or until juice runs clear.

Serve with Pita bread, lettuce, red onion, tomato and feta cheese (optional)

We also like to serve one chicken breasts per person, along with garlic mashed potatoes and favorite vegetable.

ENJOY!

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Chicken Souvlaki ready to eat.  It started to rain before we could grill.  I ended up baking these in the oven  350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until juices ran clear.  You can see all the delicious juice in bottom of the pan.  So, So So, delicious.

 

Beef Jerky

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Beef Jerky makes an excellent snack or for your packed lunch.  Take beef jerky along in the car and when those hunger pains start you will be all set with a delicious snack.  For full disclosure, this is made with beef.  We are hunters.  Normally our jerky is made out of deer meat.  Your choice, it is all good.

Ingredients:  1 1/2 pounds of lean boneless meat, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, Vegetable cooking spray.

1. Freeze meat until firm.  NOT FROZEN.  Cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.
2.  In bowl large enough to hold all meat and marinade.
3.  Mix all ingredients.  Add meat.  Marinate at least six hours.  I marinate mine 24 hours.
4.  Dehydrate according to directions on your machine.  Usually I dehydrate at 140 degrees,  8 to 10 hours.  You want the jerky to crack, no break.
5.  Cool completely.
6.  Jerky should keep 3 weeks at room temperature.  4 months in refrigerator and 8 months  in freezer.

TIP:  Try to keep you sliced meat all the same size.  (I need to work on that.)  ENJOY!

Homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie

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Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie was a childhood favorite.  Reading the ingredients on side of the package was not enjoyable.  Way to many artificial ingredients.  Ta Da!  A homemade oatmeal creme pie.  I enjoy these just as much if not more.

Cookie:  2 1/2 sticks unsalted, softened butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 Tablespoon molasses, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 3 cups quick oats.

If you don’t have quick oats don’t worry.  I never have quick oats, only rolled oats.  Take the 3 cups of rolled oats and pulse in blender/food processor 4 or 5 times.  TaDa!  Quick oats.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Creme butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg, vanilla and molasses.  In separate bowl add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon.  Add oats.  Mix.  Now add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Dough will be thick.

Chill dough for 10 minutes.

Form a ball of dough 3/4 inch thick.  Place on cookie sheet.  Take palm of your hand and flatten.  Continue making balls and flattening.  Bake 10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Creme Filling:  1 1/2 sticks butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons heavy creme, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, pinch salt.

Beat butter for 1 minute until creamy.  Add powdered sugar.  Pour in heavy creme and vanilla. Mix until fluffy.  Add pinch salt.  Mix for 1 minute.

Put creme filling on one cookie, place second cooking on top of creme filling and push down gently, squishing filling between both cookies.  Continue until all filling is used.

Cookies stay fresh 2 days in airtight container. I keep mine in the refrigerator.  They will stay fresh for 1 week (if they last that long).

 

Homemade Tomato Soup

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Creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese (ham) sandwich,  is the definition of love around here.  Why you would want to buy the can version is beyond me, when you can whip up the homemade version in 40 minutes.  Remember I blogged about making homemade V7 juice.  If you make the V7 juice or any canned tomatoes you are on your way to tomato soup.  Give it a try.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic smashed and peeled
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 quart jar of canned tomatoes or 1 quart jar of V7 juice.  (28 ounce can of tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
Salt and Black pepper to taste

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally.  Onion should be soft but not browned.  Add flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.

Puree in a blender, food processor or using immersion blender.

TIP:  If using a blender don’t fill the blender all the way full.  Blend in small batches.  Crack the lid and using a towel hold over the crack.  Steam builds up in the blender and it will spray soup all over if not cracked so it can escape.  Don’t ask how i know this, just follow the tip.  It will save you from cleaning up a big mess.

TIP:  Make several batch of tomato soup and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.  My husband says it taste even better the next day.  One more way to use some of your food storage.

 

V7 Juice Homemade

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Does your family enjoy fresh homemade juice?  Here is a delicious juice which taste like V8 juice.  This is called V7 Juice.  There are only seven ingredients.  We process this V7 Juice in a water bath process.  Honestly a couple of jars never get processed.  They are consumed before being put in the water bath.  Fresh vegetables, no preservatives.  Doesn’t get any better tasting or healthier.

Needed:  Strainer, large bowl, non-reactive pot (glass, enamel or stainless steel), potato masher.

Ingredients:  24 pounds tomatoes, 1 pound carrots scrubbed diced, 1 bunch celery scrubbed diced, 1 cup diced onions, 1 large bunch parsley, 1 Tablespoon sea salt, 1 bottle lemon juice.

  1.  Wash tomatoes.  Slice a shallow edge from the top of the tomato, to remove the stem and core.
  2.  Cut tomatoes into quarters.
  3.  Add tomatoes to your stockpot.  Use a potato masher (or immersion blender) to break up wedges.  Turn burner to medium heat.
  4.  Add carrots, celery, onions, parsley.
  5.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking and scorching.
  6.  Simmer 35 minutes.  Carrots and celery should be tender.
  7.  Strain everything into a large pot.
  8.  Return liquid to clean stockpot.
  9.  Juice remaining vegetables.  Use a food mill, food processor or blender.
  10.  Strain vegetables.  Add to rest of your liquid.
  11.  Add salt.
  12.  Heat juice to 190 degrees.  DO NOT BOIL.
  13.  Wash and prepare glass jar and lids.
  14.  Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice to each pint jar.  2 Tablespoons to quart jar.
  15.  Ladle hot juice into jars.  Leave 1/2 inch head space.
  16.  Wipe jars.  Add lids and rings.
  17.  In a hot water bath, process pints 35 minutes.  Quarts 40 minutes.
  18.  Shake before drinking.

Tip:  You can add 1 cup of spinach, 1 Tablespoon black pepper or 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.  Remember it is your juice, make it to your tastes.

 

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Bread

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When in need of a chocolate fix, you will want this recipe on hand.  Cocoa makes this bread a rich chocolate tasting sensation.  Add chocolate chips to the mix and you have reached the top of the mountain.  There is nothing bad about this recipe (unless you over indulge).

Two bread pans greased.
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Combine everything and mix well.  Add chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until break springs back when touched.  Makes 2 loaves.

Tip:  As you can see from the picture I used my muffins pans.  Use BAKING CUPS in you muffin tins.  ENJOY!