Monthly Archives: August 2016

Kitchen Life

Everyday Kitchen Life
Everyday Kitchen Life

Life takes place in my kitchen.  People have asked  the question over and over, do you spend all your time stuck in the kitchen?  My answer is NO.  If I am being honest and upon reflection, yes as a matter of fact the kitchen is the heart of our home.

Kids did homework and projects right on our kitchen table.  Grandchildren have been bathed in my big farmhouse sink.  Hundreds of pints and quarts of food have been processed and canned in my kitchen.

Tears have been shed, hugs have been given and prayers have been offered.  It has taken place right here in my kitchen.

Grandsons creating and making memories.
Grandsons creating and making memories.

Now our grandchildren are making memories around the kitchen table.  Creating crafts, coloring pages, helping break eggs, mix and stir up goodies.

Grinding corn for cornmeal.
Grinding corn for cornmeal.
Keeping it Real
Keeping it Real

One of the last things that happen in my kitchen everyday is the dishes being washed, dried and put away.  No I don’t have a dishwasher.  I’m okay with that.

How do you feel about your kitchen?  For me, it is the favorite room in my house.  ENJOY!

4 Meals from One Ham

Ham Cook Once Fix Several Meals
Ham Cook Once Fix Several Meals

Found this bone in ham on sale for 99 cents per pound.  Score!  Our first meal was eaten on a Sunday afternoon.  So now what to do with all the leftover ham.  I happen to be a big fan of cook once eat twice or several times.

Here are the meals I made out of one ham cooked on a Sunday afternoon.  Ham and Beans, Ham and Cheese Quiche, Broccoli Scalloped Potatoes and Cheesy Ham Chowder.  On Monday morning I fixed the Ham and Cheese Quiche for dinner that evening.  Ham and Beans were made and put in the refrigerator for Tuesday.  The Broccoli Scalloped Potatoes and Cheesy Ham Chowder were made and frozen to pop in the oven or warm up on the stove for another time when we were rushed or I didn’t feel like cooking.

Ham and Beans

Soak 3 cups navy beans in water overnight.
Dice 3 cups ham
If you have the ham bone save to use.

Drain beans and rinse.  Beans will have plumped up and be soft.  Add beans and ham to your pot. Add the ham bone. Cover ham bone, beans and ham with water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for 2 hours.  Stir once in a while.  ENJOY!  TIP:  Don’t forget the cornbread to serve with the ham and beans.

Ham and Cheese Quiche

2 pie crusts baked for 10 minutes  (homemade or store-bought your choice.)
2 cups ham diced
2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Divide ham, cheese and onion between the two pie shells.  In a large bowl whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper.  Pour into pie shells.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Freeze ahead:  Cover and freeze unbaked Quiche.  Remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (Do not thaw).  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes.  ENJOY!

Broccoli Scalloped Potatoes

1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons onion chopped
5 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
2 pounds potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups diced ham
2 cups broccoli florets

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a dutch oven heat butter.  Add onion.  Cook 2 or 3 minutes.  Stir in flour, pepper and salt.  Gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly.  Cook until thick.

Stir in 1 cup cheese.  Reduce heat.  Cook until cheese is melted.  Add potatoes, ham and broccoli.  Stir to combine.  Bake covered 40 minutes.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.  Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Cheesy Ham Chowder

10 bacon stripes cooked and diced.
1 onion chopped
1 cup carrots diced
3 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups potatoes cubed
1 1/2 cups corn
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups cheddar cheese shredded
2 cups ham diced

Cook bacon until crisp.  Dice bacon.  In bacon dripping sauce onion and carrots until tender.  Stir in flour until blended.  Slowly add milk and water.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Add potatoes, corn, bouillon, pepper.  Reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add ham and cheese.  Heat until cheese is melted.  Stir in bacon.  ENJOY!





Doughnuts Baked Plus Topping Options

Doughnuts Baked Plus Topping Options
Doughnuts Baked Plus Topping Options

Doughnuts baked take 20 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake.  While these delicious doughnuts are baking make some awesome toppings.  Serve  these doughnuts with a tall cold glass of milk and your kids (hubby, boyfriend) will do anything you ask.

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or use all all-purpose flour)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons butter
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your doughnut pan so your doughnuts won’t stick.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda.

Cut butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

In separate bowl combine eggs, yogurt and vanilla.

Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon batter into a large resealable plastic bag.  Cut off a corner, squeeze batter in pan.  Fill about 2/3 full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until doughnuts are light, golden brown.

Topping Options:

Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Glaze:  In a sauce pan cook and stir 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter until melted.   Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Stir in 5 Tablespoons warm water until glaze coats the back of a spoon.  Dunk doughnuts into chocolate glaze.

Powdered Sugar Icing:  In a small bowl stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk or orange juice and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.  Add 1 teaspoon at a time milk or juice at a time to reach drizzling consistency.

Spiced Doughnuts:  Prepare doughnuts as directed, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves to the flour mixture.  Coat warm doughnuts with a mixture of 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Sprinkles:  Don’t forget the sprinkles!  ENJOY!


Candy Bar Apple Salad

Candy Bar Apple Salad

Search for a new salad to serve your family, take to the church potluck or family reunion?  Candy Bar Apple Salad should be your choice of dish to make and take.  Fast and easy, did I mention delicious.  Everything is covered with this Candy Bar Apple Salad.

Candy Bar Apple Salad

6 medium tart apples or red apples cored
6 snicker bars
2  4 serving size packages vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix.
2 cups milk
1  12 ounce whipped dessert topping thawed.

Cut apples and candy bars into bite size pieces.  In a large bowl mix together pudding mix and milk until combined.

Fold in whipped dessert topping.

Fold in apples and candy bar pieces.  Save few pieces of candy bar to sprinkle over the top.

Chill for 4 to 24 hours before serving. ENJOY!


Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Cupcakes
Brown Sugar Cupcakes

Earlier in the week I shared with all of you how to make your own brown sugar.  If you missed out please check it out under pantry items.  Back to these cupcakes.  The added touch of molasses in the sugar gives a rich flavor and the softness needed to moist cupcakes.

If you enjoyed the recipe for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bars, you are going to love these Brown Sugar Cupcakes.

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks of butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I use whole milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the milk and vanilla together and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and whisk together.

In a separate bowl mix the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Use your stand mixer if you have one.

Now add the eggs to your butter and brown sugar and mix.

Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and half of the milk mixture.  Mix to combine.  Add rest of the milk and flour mixture.  Mix until the batter is nice and smooth.

Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.  Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full of batter.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Frost with this delicious Brown Butter Frosting

2 sticks butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk (I use whole milk)

In a saucepan bring the butter to a boil.  When the butter starts to boil swirl the pan constantly until the butter passed the foamy phase and turns an amber color.  Refrigerate the butter for 1 hour.  It will become solid again.

After the butter is solid transfer it to your mixer and let it return to room temperature.

On low-speed add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.  Mix until everything is combined. If the frosting is to stiff add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until the frosting is to the consistency you like.

TIP:  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze for up to 1 month.

Be sure to let the frosting return to room temperature before using.  ENJOY!


Homemade Brown Sugar


Simple Cheesecake

Simple Cheesecake
Simple Cheesecake

I have two children who would much rather have cheesecake for their birthday or any holiday over cake or pie.  Now they have nothing against cake or pie and would gladly eat any and all if placed before them.

Give a choice they always seem to go for the cheesecake.  Now I have made over the top cheesecakes with all kinds of goodies in them or on top of them.  Once again keeping it simple seems to be the way to go.

Plus with your basic cheesecake you have the choice of what goes on top.  As you can see chocolate sauce was chosen for this piece.  Lay out a topping bar.  Include fruits, candy, sauces, whip cream and let them go to town.

Might be a great treat for your next get together.


1 1/4 cups graham crackers crushed
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cut butter melted

Mix the crushed graham crackers with the sugar.  Add the melted butter and combine.  Pour into your pan and spread out and up the sides.  Using the palm of you hand works great.

Simple Cheesecake

2 packages 8 ounce plus one package 3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 14 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.  Beat cream cheese in a large bowl, gradually add sugar beating until fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.

Pour over graham cracker crust.  Bake for one hour or until center is firm.

Make a fruit glaze for the top.

Strawberry glaze

1 cup strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Blend sugar and cornstarch in a medium pot.  Stir in water and strawberries.  Cook slowly stirring constantly until thickens and boils.  Boil one minute.  ENJOY!

Taco Potato Layered Casserole

Taco Potato Layered Casserole
Taco Potato Layered Casserole

Make ahead one dish meals are always a life saver around my house.  This is a stand alone dish, if you want to add a few toppings here are some suggestions.  Sour Cream, cilantro and fresh tomatoes diced.

1 pound ground beef
2 green peppers chopped
1 onion chopped
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes or I use one quart jar of my canned tomatoes
1 package taco season (I use my homemade taco season.  Find it on the blog.)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk
2 pounds potatoes thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Cook ground beef, green peppers and onion until meat is browned.  Drain off fat.  Stir in tomatoes and taco seasoning.

In medium saucepan melt butter.  Stir in flour and salt.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Spread half of the potatoes in the baking dish.  Top with half of the meat mixture.  Drizzle with half of the sauce.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat for second layer do not add last layer of cheese yet.

Bake covered for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Sprinkle rest of the cheese on top.   Bake uncovered to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.  ENJOY!

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bars.

Cinnamon Bars
Cinnamon Bars

Searching for a new quick, easy and delicious snack treat.  Your search is over.  Make these Brown Sugar Cinnamon Bars for something special.  Warning!  These bars are sweet and rich and eating just one will be more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

4 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cups butter
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoon butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with foil.  Be sure to extend the foil over the sides of the pan.  Grease foil.

In a large bowl stir together flour, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large saucepan cook and stir brown sugar and 1  1/3 cups butter over medium heat around 6 minutes or until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.

Combine with flour mixture.

Spread batter in the baking pan.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Stir together granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Brush 2 Tablespoons melted butter over bars.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Cool.

Lift the foil out of the pan.  Cut into bars.  ENJOY!


Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad


Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad
Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad

Macaroni salad just isn’t for the summer months.  Fall is just just around the corner, which means wiener roasts and football gatherings.  Add this Deviled Egg Macaroni Pasta Salad to your menu.  Easy to take along and feeds a bunch of people.  Very cost effect on your food budget.

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (I used red onion)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups elbow macaroni
12 eggs hard-cooked
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons Dijon style mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika ( I used smoked paprika)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sweet pickles diced

In a saucepan combine onion, vinegar and sugar.  Bring to simmering, stir occasionally.

Cook elbow macaroni.  Rinse with cold water.

Chop eggs, sweet pickles and celery.

Add mustard and mayonnaise to combine.  Stir together cooled onion, vinegar mixture.

Mix together macaroni, eggs, pickles and celery.  Add mayonnaise mixture and combine.

Chill before serving.  ENJOY!


Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corncobs

Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corn Cobs
Pioneer Maple Syrup Made from Corn Cobs

Our pioneer ancestors were very resourceful people, mostly because of necessity.  Nothing was thrown out until every single thing was used up.  They were the masters of frugality.

Some of you may be thinking no way can this come close to tasting like maple syrup.  No I did not add maple flavoring.

My wonderful neighbors are willing taste tasters (maybe not so willing sometimes) they always tell the truth.  This Pioneer Maple Syrup made from corn cobs passed the test with flying colors.

Come on, I’ll share how you can make some Pioneer Maple Syrup.

12 ears corn shucked and with the corn cut off.  (yes you can use the cobs after your family eats sweetcorn.)
4 cups packed brown sugar or one 32 ounce bag.

Rinse corn cobs with cold water.

In a large pot place corn cobs.  Cover with water one or two inches over the cobs.

Simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Remove cobs.  Strain liquid.  Rinse inside of the pot.  Return liquid to pot.

Add brown sugar.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.

Simmer until liquid is reduced by half or to desired thickness.  Syrup will thicken as it cools.

Cool and store in an airtight bottle in refrigerator.  ENJOY!

Our goal is to make everything as much as we can from scratch.  We ate the sweet corn, made maple syrup from the cobs and our chickens enjoyed the rest.  Use it up, make do or do without.  Amish Cinnamon Bread