Monday, November 25, 2013

Coffee Squares




Hello everyone, I hope this day is finding you all well.  The recipe I am going to share with you is a great thing to take to pot lucks, work food things, parties, or just to make because you have a family with a crazy sweet tooth.  Although if you are going to make these and kids are going to try them use decaf coffee.  These are pretty quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients.  So here we go with the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of oil
2 eggs
1 cup of warm coffee
3 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
1/8 cup of white sugar

Instructions:

Pre heat your oven to 325, then grab a medium mixing bowl.  Mix all ingredients except the last 4 listed.  Now grease a baking dish with cooking spray and pour the batter into the dish.  Now in a small bowl mix the last four ingredients together, then sprinkle them over the top of the batter.  Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.  Let cool for about 5 minutes and then start cutting them.  Its as easy as that.  I will link my video for those of you who wish to watch it.

Live, laugh and love.  Heather

Video:



Friday, November 22, 2013

Homemade Pie Crust


Hello friends, we are a week away from Thanksgiving.  Now you could be having a family thing at your house or maybe you will go to someone else's house.  Either way you can impress your friends and family with this quick and easy pie crust recipe.  I used to be so overwhelmed with the thought of making pie crust by hand and I always resorted to store bought.  However with the rising cost of everything everywhere, it really doesn't hurt to try this on your own.  Pie crust is very forgiving if you keep your butter and water ice cold.  You will save your money at the grocery store and you can throw in fun add ins to where its not just a pie crust but your very own pie crust.  The picture above is with home made pie crust and all I did was roll out the pie crust as normal.  Then sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top.  Roll the dough into a roll and make small cuts going across and just press them to your pie pan.  You can keep with the basic recipe if this is your first pie crust.   

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar ( use salt if making a savory pie)
1 1/2 sticks of butter chilled in the freezer
approx. 5 tablespoons of ice cold water 

Instructions:

Before you begin, get a cup of water and throw about 5 ice cubes in the cup.  Now grab a medium sized mixing bowl and a pastry blender.  Its one of those handheld things that looks like a cheese slicer on the bottom.  Now add in the flour and sugar.  Mix together with your pastry blender, and add in the butter.  Blend the butter, flour and sugar together until the mixture looks like little peas (of course it wont be green).  Now add the ice water but only do it a spoonful at a time. Blend the water in and add more until the flour forms a ball.  Now all you need to do is incorporate any loose flour into the ball and you can use your hands for this.  I almost forgot if you do not have a pastry blender just use a fork.  After all your flour is worked into the crust.  You should probably give your dough a rest.  If you are going to be using it that day, go ahead and put this in your fridge for about 20-30 minutes and then roll it out.  If you want to just make up a bunch of these, which is what I do, just wrap it up in plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer.  

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!
Heather

Video:  



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Homemade Garlic and Cheese Bread



Another lifetime ago when I was in my early 20's I took a job working in a deli.  The pay was fair and the people I worked with were awesome.  In amongst having fun with people who were my friends we did a lot of cooking and we had a lot of food fights when the boss wasn't looking lol.  One of the most popular things we made aside from pizza, sandwiches, soups, salads, ect.  Were these, now at the time we called them breadsticks, you had the option of getting them plain or with cheese.  You can imagine that the breadsticks with cheese were the most popular of the two options.  You would get about 20 breadsticks with cheese and a side of marinara sauce.  We would get orders for these all over the city and surrounding areas.  So many memories, I think I miss the people I worked with the most.  We had Carl who sounded like wolf man jack with a heart of gold.  You had crazy Pam who was always chasing delivery men out of the store if he didn't get the orders right (she was the boss) a long with many other characters.  Carl is no longer with us anymore but I have memories of him being hilarious and a kind soul.  It is at this little store that these breadsticks will go down in my hall of fame memory because I made thousands if not millions of these things daily.  I am going to share this recipe with you all and I know some of you have made these a million times as well, but for me this is where I knew I wanted to do something with food for the rest of my life.

Ingredients:

2 frozen bread doughs or you can make your own but you need enough to make two
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of celery seed
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
a pinch of crushed red pepper flake
a pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of grated cheese I used a combo of mozzarella and provolone

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
If you use frozen or make your own bread dough you need to grease a large bowl and set the doughs on top of each other.  After they double in size and are thawed if you use the frozen.  Roll out with some flour and a rolling pin.  You want the doughs about a half inch thick and you want them stuck together side by side.  Grease a cookie sheet a large one, and place your dough on the cookie sheet. Now oil the top of your dough and start adding all your seasonings, save the cheeses for last, and add only half of your Italian seasoning, save that for after you sprinkle the cheeses on it.  Now add your cheeses and the rest of the Italian seasoning .  Bake in your oven for about 20 minutes, or until your crust is golden brown and the cheeses are melted and bubbly.  Like this (see picture below).




I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane with me.  The truth is there are so many people and so many good times we all had its hard to remember them all.  A special shout out goes to a friend and a former boss after Pam left, Lisa.   Live, Laugh and Love everyone.  Heather

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Soup with Mini Wagon Wheels



Hello again friends, so we are in November and that could mean pumpkin season has already started, and seeing everything and all things tempting and loaded with many many calories, that we all save exclusively for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  By the time New Years rolls around we feel guilty and make unrealistic promises to ourselves that we can never achieve, unless of course your an NFL player.  We do not want to think of the other side of this chilly season and that is cold and flu season.  Oh the horror of fevers, chills, stuffy noses and persistent coughs, that is only if you get out of it easy.  There is the whole other side of all that I just mentioned plus many more that should never be mentioned on a food blog, you get my drift.  That is where this soup was born, we all want the comforts of something warm, nutritious and not out of can when we are sick.  At least for me I prefer homemade soups and as long as I can make them, you will not see me eat a can of soup unless I have a strange craving.  At any rate I give you the recipe for this stew like soup.

Ingredients:

1 pint of homemade chicken stock ( I will have the recipe for this soon) or 2 cups of
chicken broth 
 2 Carrots diced
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 stalks of celery
2 -3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper ( or to your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound of mini wagon wheel pasta
2 bay leaves
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions:

In a large skillet saute onion, carrot, garlic, and celery until you can see through the veggies.  Take the veggies out of the skillet and put aside.  Now add the chicken, we are not cooking the chicken just searing on both sides.  Now add the veggies back in with the chicken add the seasonings and put veggies seasonings and chicken into a slow cooker.  Cover with chicken stock and water.  Add more of the same seasonings to the crock pot and simmer over night on low.  Half way through the cooking add in the mini wagon wheels.  Cook for about 2-3 hours or until the pasta is soft and serve.  It may take a while but its worth the wait.  The broth will darken to a dark mahogany color where the stock, veggies, and chicken have concentrated their flavors.  Feel free to add mushrooms to this if you like them, mushrooms would be a great addition to this.  However you choose to make this, you wont regret it.

Live, laugh and Love.     Heather




Monday, October 28, 2013

Cinnamon Spice Muffins



Hello everyone, now its no secret in my house breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  However I know in some house holds it's more of an after thought.  Most people are rushing out the door and consider the morning a complete success if they can manage a drinkable yogurt on the way to dropping kids off at daycare and getting to work.  That used to me.  When I first started out with this parenting business I was a single working mom.  Never slowed down, never had time to slow down.  I didn't like missing all that time from my daughter but it paid the bills and with just her and I we were going to make it work.  I was determined to make it work, and I lived for my days off.  Most cases my days off were not weekends but some random day through the week.  On those days I kept my daughter home with me because I missed her through my work week.  It was on those days I did the bulk of my cooking and its where I came up with this recipe.  I wasn't the best cook back then but these muffins were awesome and practical for my busy lifestyle.  Since then a lot has changed in my life, but these muffins are still a hit today.  I hope you enjoy them as much as my daughter and myself did and now my family does.

Ingredients:

2 cups of prepared pancake mix ( yes you read that right) 
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of all spice
1 pinch of ginger
1/4 cup of butter (melted)


Topping:

2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of melted butter

Instructions:

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and with non stick cooking spray, spray the muffin tin wells.
In a medium sized mixing bowl mix butter and sugar together.  Add in the egg, and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Add in the pancake mix and spices.  Mix all together and spoon into a muffin tin.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  While the muffins are cooking go ahead and melt the butter for the topping.  In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar.  When the muffins are out of the oven and still hot drizzle the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar.  Let cool for about 2-3 minutes or devour while still hot the choice is yours.  
Here is what they look like when are you ready to serve them:




Have a great day everyone!   Heather

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Inside/Outside Reese's Peanut butter Cookies



Hello everyone, this post is coming at you late this morning.  I had scentsy to work on and putting out the new warmer of the month along with getting some samples out to some customers and I have a sick kid at home.  Sometimes the most loyal food blogger has their days and I guess today is one of them.  Things were so much simpler back when we were kids of course we didn't realize it then, but I am sure we realize it now.  Speaking of back in the day, this recipe reminds me of the first movie I went to see at the movie theater, ET.  I was six and half and I remember my favorite aunt and uncle taking me to see it.  One of the snacks they bought me was Reese's pieces.  The movie freaked me out and then had me fascinated at the same time.  Ever since then I have thought of E.T. and Reese's pieces synonymous with one another.  So for that Halloween my parents thought it was only fitting for me to be E.T. So with Halloween coming up and because I made these on you tube back in August, I thought it was only fitting to share this recipe with you now.  I am going to share the video I made but I have learned from my mistakes in the video and I have adjusted this recipe accordingly.  

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of granulated Sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of Vanilla
1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup of oil
1 Egg
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1-2 cups of flour basically if it seems too wet add up to 2 cups 
1 teaspoon of baking soda if you add 2 cups of flour make it 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
Reserve about 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
Reserve approx. 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 bag of Reese's Pieces
2 packages of Reese's peanut butter cups or 4 peanut butter cups
2 tablespoons of milk (if needed)

Instructions:

There are a lot of steps to this recipe however take one step at a time and you will find its not that bad.
Start off by preheating your oven to 375.
Next Mix the first 7 ingredients basically all the wet ingredients with the sugar, butter , peanut butter and egg.  Next mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients until the batter becomes the consistency of sugar cookie dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so.  Next grab more plastic wrap and cover it with some flour.  Roll out your dough until about 1/8 inch thick.  You want your dough to be in a rectangular shape.  Now sprinkle reserved sugar and chocolate chips over the top leaving a little bit around the outer edges.  Now with the help of the plastic wrap roll the dough tightly while keeping the chocolate chips from popping out.  Its like roll, stuff and pinch movement.  Now from here wrap the rolled dough up and put it back in the freezer just until firm.  Grab a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper and spray a little non stick cooking spray on it.  From here you need to bring your dough out of the freezer and slice it like you would store bought cookie dough.  Place the cookies on the cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  While your cookies are in the oven put your Reese's pieces in a plastic baggie, get all the air out and pound them with a rolling pin or a hammer would work too.  Put the smashed pieces in a small bowl and set aside.  Now grab two pots, one that is filled about a quarter full of water, and another one for the top. That is right we are making a double boiler.  Bring your water to boil, shut off the heat and melt in your peanut butter cups.  If the chocolate starts to seize on you add the milk, whisking the whole time.  Now at this point it should be time to bring the cookies out of the oven.  While they are still hot, drizzle the cookies with the melted peanut butter cups. Then top them with the Reese's pieces.  Serve immediately or wait until cooled.  Either way they are a fun and yummy treat.

Video: 




Live, Laugh and Love,

Heather

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homemade Stewed Tomatoes



Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well.  Lately we have been so busy with cooking and just trying to keep up with all these tomatoes!  This year was the biggest tomato season we have ever had!  Now truth be told my husband is the gardener in this family, sure I have picked up a few things about it here and there, mostly from doing this year after year with him.  Now If you do not follow me on my facebook page please do there you will find pictures from recipes, my youtube videos and reg. pictures of what I am up to.  I have made gallons of roasted tomatoes from the over 200 pounds of tomatoes this year.  That is right you read correctly 200 POUNDS, of tomatoes.  Here is just a sneak of just the green tomatoes not counting the ones I roasted:


So after roasting about 6 gallons of tomatoes, I thought since there are so many and roasting them was taking me days to complete, just to find more ripe tomatoes the next day why dont I just stew a whole mess of them in a huge stock pot?  So that is what I did. I made a huge batch of stewed tomatoes so I used bigger amounts of things.  However I am going to give you the less industrial sized version of this recipe lol.  

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds of fresh tomatoes
1 large onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of fresh basil
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary
1-2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 green bell pepper diced
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a large stock pot or dutch oven add extra virgin olive oil and add all veggies except the tomatoes.  You want to sweat out the veggies and they cannot sweat when the tomatoes are in there.  Next we are going to add all seasonings,including the bay leaves and mix them around with the veggies.  After the veggies are translucent in color add in your tomatoes, now I cut mine in half  like this here:


Now we are going to let these stew, in order for that to happen you need to knock down the heat from a low medium to a medium low temp.  On my stove its a 3.  Cover the top of the pot and let them stew for about 6 hours or more.  Stir occasionally and as they cook down they are going to release their juices and give off more liquid.  You do not need to add water at all.  Just give it time and let nature take its course.  

I know this is a time consuming recipe however if you can devote just one day for making your own stewed tomatoes it will be well worth it in the end.  Take care everyone and Live, laugh and love.

Heather



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grandma's Soft Molasses Cookies



Good Morning one of the many reasons why I love living in New England is the crisp fall days.  Along with the crisp air, fall brings back childhood memories of playing in leaves, picking apples and the smell of baking bread, and freshly made cookies.  I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house and she was a great cook.  She never used recipes, never measured anything and everything she made was delicious.  I would smell these molasses cookies through her kitchen every fall and it was one of the best smells in the world.  However like most children that start out on their own we tend to call on our mothers when we dont know how to make something, my mother was no exception to the rule at all.  My mom recently was cleaning out a junk drawer in her kitchen and she found this piece of paper that had all the ingredients to my grandmother's soft molasses cookies!  She recalled a time many years ago that she wanted to make my grandmother's molasses cookies and called her to ask her what she put it them. My grandmother didnt steer her daughter wrong and after all these years we finally found a recipe of something my grandmother made!  Keep in mind my grandmother passed in 1991, and finding this recipe was like finding a piece of my mother's childhood and mine too.  My mother shared this recipe with me and I am going to share this with you all.  When I made these the other day  for my family it was like my grandmother was in the kitchen with me, like she was so many years ago.  

Ingredients:

1 cup of softened butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
a pinch of salt
4-4 1/2 cups of flour

Instructions:


Before you begin you need to dissolve the baking soda in the milk.  Next sift all your dry ingredients including the spices into a large bowl and put aside.  Next in a stand mixer or just a large mixing bowl and a spoon, mix together the butter and sugar until flyffy.  Next add in the egg and mix that until well incorporated.  Add in the molasses and mix until well combined.  Now slowly add in the flour a half cup at a time and alternate the milk with the dissolved baking soda in it.  If you start with flour you need to end with flour.  Now save out that 1/2 cup of flour because depending on how dry your kitchen is you may need it to get your cookie dough at a desired consistency.  From here you can either roll out the dough and cut it with cookie cutters or you can just spoon it on cookie sheets to bake.  My grandmother always rolled her dough out but I just used spoons.  In a 350 degree oven you bake these for about 10-20 minutes.  When they come out of the oven while they are piping hot sprinkle them with some sugar on the top.  That's it my grandmother's molasses cookies.  Fall can now officially begin! 

Thank you all for stopping by, Live, laugh and love.  Heather

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cake Shake



Hello everyone, I know I have been away for a bit.  We have been so busy with kids, homework, band practices, clubs, tomatoes, ect ect ect.  My oldest child is involved with two clubs at school plus she wanted to join band this year playing the trumpet.  If we thought our lives were loud before, hold on and find your ear plugs.  However the practice is hilarious to me and I know the pay off will be worth it, for right now its very funny to me.  My husband on the other hand not so much but you know what he can talk about that over on his blog.
Speaking of my husband last week was his birthday and days before his birthday he had all his teeth removed and got dentures.  So for a time he couldn't eat much in the way of solid foods.  Now me being the homemaker I am, I do not let a birthday go by in my house without least a birthday cake.  However he couldn't eat it, so I thought he can drink it!  So this recipe was born.  Now before you jump on me here, I know there are tons of different recipes making this very thing but mine is different, I kept it simple using real ingredients you would use in any cake minus the eggs. 

Ingredients:

1/2 of a box chocolate cake mix (or whatever flavor you prefer)
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of chocolate frosting (or whatever flavor you like)
1 frosted glass
1 big tub of sprinkles ( I call them jimmies)
approximately 2 cups of vanilla ice cream or more depending on how thick and how much your making.  I made enough for 5 people

Instructions:

Before you begin choose your glass, or mug you want the shake in and throw it in the freezer.  Grab your blender because this is the only tool you will need minus bowls and spoons and such.  Unless you have a high powered blender you will  have to blend the cake mix and milk first then add in the frosting, blend all that together and add a lot of ice cream.  Add more or less ice cream to your preference.  Now grab your frosty mug from the freezer and with a butter knife you will want to put some frosting around the rim of the glass.  Make sure you get every part of the rim or the sprinkles wont stick.  Now dunk your glass or mug into the sprinkles turning ever so slightly so you get every part of the rim.  Now add in your shake and a straw!  Its really that easy and simple.  You could do the same idea with shot glasses for mini cake shakes too.  Below is a video so you can see how I did it and some goofy commentary as well.  Take care and Live, laugh and love.  

Video:





Heather

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grandma's Coffee Cake



Hello everyone, I hope your Labor Day went well.  Now is the time of year to hear all the kids in your neighborhood squealing with delight while they are anxiously waiting upon the arrival of their school bus.  Of course if your neighborhood is anything like mine you will also hear a frustrated parent dragging their child to school by their backpack that is on the child's back to ensure they do indeed go to school.  Ahhhh yes fall is here and aside from the neighborhood festivities that can delight us all, it smells wonderful in many kitchens.  Fall, to me means spending more time cooking making homemade treats for my family, and spending a lot of time with my children, while my husband is scarfing down all the goodies I have made, while watching endless hours of football.  It is also a reminder to me that has stayed in my memory for over 30 years or more.  When I was a little girl I spend a lot of time with my grandmother and when I started school I could count on this one recipe every single year on the first day of school.  I grew excited for the first day of school as any other kid does however even more excited for my grandmother's coffee cake.  I feel that no first day of school is complete than a breakfast of my grandmother's coffee cake so I shall share that recipe with you all today.

Ingredients For the Cake:

2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of sugar 
1 stick and 1/4 of butter softened
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of sour cream
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt

Ingredients for the Topping:

2 sticks of butter softened
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons of cinnamon ( or more)
2 1/2 cups of flour

Instructions for the Cake:

It is optimal to use a stand mixer for this recipe however if you don't have one then a hand held mixer will be fine.  You want to start by adding butter to your mixer and mix just until creamy.  Then add sugar, and vanilla to the butter.  When the sugar and vanilla are well incorporated into the butter add the eggs one at a time.  Make sure the egg is well mixed in before adding the other one.  Next Add in all your dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl.  Stir the dry ingredients with a fork.  Now You want to add your dry ingredients a little bit at a time, I usually use a half cup at a time.  You need to alternate the dry ingredients with the sour cream.  A good rule of thumb here is to start by adding the dry and end with the dry.  Let the half cup of dry ingredients get well incorporated before adding the sour cream and vise versa.  When you have added all the sour cream and dry ingredients put the batter aside, its time to make the topping.

Ingredients for the Topping:

For the topping you will need a medium sized mixing bowl, a fork and clean hands.  To the mixing bowl add in the softened butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and flour.  Mix in all the ingredients with a fork or your hands.  I find using my hands works best.  make sure the topping is crumbled because that is the texture your looking for.

Now grab a cake pan and you want to grease and flour it.  I usually use some butter and a little flour and make sure you get every inch of that pan.  Now put half your batter into the bottom of the pan.  Spread out the batter with a bowl scrapper and sprinkle about half your topping on top.  Next add the rest of the batter on top of the first layer of topping.  Spread the batter around the pan and top it with the rest of the topping.  Bake in a preheated oven to 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes depending on your oven. 
* Just as a little footnote you can use a 9 inch cake pan and the shape of it is up to you.  




Now you can always have a little taste of home no matter where you are at.  I hope you have a great day and Live, Laugh and Love.

Heather

Saturday, August 31, 2013

BBQ Bacon Wrapped Dogs




Hello everyone so Monday is Labor Day the last day of summer pool parties, barbecues or just your ordinary ho down, get together that involves cold beer, food and some jackass saying "hey everyone watch this."  Those are not the words to be saying if you don't want to find yourself the subject of a dumbass news article.  Today though we are talking recipes to take to your get together whatever type of food bringing party you want to have.  I will link a video that goes with this so you can follow along or just sit and wonder why your mishmawsh girl hasn't made it to dumbass news yet.  Either way I have your back with this recipe.

Ingredients:

8-10 hot dogs
8-10 slices of bacon
1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
8-10 wooden skewers or you can use metal ones

Instructions:

The first thing you will need to do is soak your skewers if they are wood in water.
 Then grab your hot dogs and bacon.
Put your barbecue sauce in a bowl.


Then you will need to coat your hot dogs in barbecue sauce and wrap 1 slice of bacon around them and poke them length wise with the skewer. Put them on the grill until the bacon is crisp and your dogs are crispy like this:


You are ready to serve em up.  You do not need a bun or a fork just serve with your ordinary sides for a barbecue.  Its that easy and they are a favorite with the kids or anyone you invite to your barbecue.  Even the dumbass in the corner will enjoy them!

Video: 


Live, laugh and love.   Heather

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cream-Cheese-Frosting



Hello everyone, I hope you all are having a great start to your weekend or whatever time it is that you are reading this.  Last year right after Thanksgiving I decided to make my family's favorite, gingerbread cake.  Now its just my opinion but I think cream cheese frosting goes wonderful with gingerbread cake so much so that I made some cream cheese frosting for it.  I know its taken me all this time to write the recipe for you all that would like to print it out or copy it down.  I have no good excuse at all to give you on why it took this long either.  I could tell you I was abducted by aliens for the past 9 months but I cannot do that since some of you watch my yt videos and follow my mishmawshandotherthings facebook page.  So I guess its better late than never for this recipe and believe me there are a lot of these better late than never recipes coming up so be prepared.

Ingredients:

8 oz of cream cheese softened or cold really doesn't matter
1 stick of unsalted butter softened (you can nuke it)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups or more of powdered sugar, just keep adding the sugar until its at the texture you are looking for.

Instructions:

Blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together in a bowl.  You can use a hand blender or mixer its really your choice.  Now we are going to add the sugar gradually what does that mean you ask; small amounts and mix in between amounts.  You want to add about 1/2 cup amounts to the cream cheese concoction.  So basically add the 1/2 cup of sugar mix until combined and then add 1/2 cup more sugar mix and so on until you have used your sugar.  Now you are ready to frost whatever your heart desires.  Its really as simple as that and you don't have to be abducted by aliens to make it either.  




Video:




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Homemade AppleSauce



Hello everyone, so many of us parents were happy / proud to send our kids back to school.  If your child's school is anything like my children's school then they probably encourage healthy snacks.  My children love having healthy snacks but they tend to be picky when it comes to fruits and veggies.  Because of that reason when I pack their snacks I try very hard to make sure the items they do like are as nutritious as possible.  So I make home made applesauce, I control the sugar and what goes into it and I keep it pretty basic and my children love it.  This applesauce can be stored in the freezer for about 6 months or more.  In my house it doesn't stay in the freezer 6 days because my kids love this so much.  So in honor of children going back to school and in honor of fall coming its way, lets go make this recipe.
Oh I almost forgot I will link the video for this down below.

Ingredients:

6 Apples cored, peeled and diced
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 cup of brown sugar

Instructions:

In a large dutch oven or pot is what I like to call them.  Add your apples, cinnamon, sugar and water.  You can have this on medium heat like I did in the video but a lower temperature works best. Simmer for about an hour while checking on the water level through that hour.  Add about 1/8 of a cup of water a time if you need more water through the cooking process.  When the apples are so tender they are falling apart, mash them with a potato masher or break up the apples with a whisk.  Let cool and serve or store in your fridge or freezer.  Its that easy and the kids love it, you will love it too because you know everything that goes into it.  

Video:





Live, Laugh and Love everyone!  Heather

Monday, August 12, 2013

Italian Sausage and Pepper Soup


Hello everyone, I hope today finds you well.  Today's recipe was one of those recipes that I had things to use up or they were going to go bad kinda recipe.  I was wanting an Italian wedding soup but I like making my own meatballs and I had none made.  I know how can I call myself a good Italian cook without having a stock pile of meatballs on hand?  Well what can I say, I am not perfect and this is probably a mistake that will taunt me for the rest of my days.  I am only kidding as everyone knows a good Italian cook knows how to improvise, when life gives you lemons you make a stew.  So I had these seasoned chicken sausages and some veggies that I need to cook up.  My veggies were mostly peppers and I thought sausage and peppers sounds great, I wanted soup so I got to thinking that only a natural blond can think and this soup was born.  Now I must admit I am the only soup lover in my family.  Even oldest child who is not fussy in the way of any culinary creation, soup is not on her list of any kinda of food she wants to eat this century.  At any rate even though I was the only one who enjoyed my creation, I felt there are others of us out there.  You know the people who could eat soup all year round?  Yeah that's me too, so I am going to share this recipe with you soup lovers and if you want to wait till Fall to try this soup well have at it, however there are some of us that will probably make this tonight for dinner, and those are my peeps.

Ingredients:

3 Large potatoes diced
1/2 of a large onion diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 large bell pepper any color I used orange
3 stalks of celery diced
1/2 of an Italian pepper diced ( they are a mild pepper nice flavor)
3 Bay leaves
3 chicken bullion cubes or 2 teaspoons of chicken base ( I used chicken base)
6 cups of water
1/8 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 basil leaves chopped up or 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1/2 box of frozen spinach or you can use fresh
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

In a large dutch oven or what we call a pot, add in the oil.  As the oil gets warm not too hot or you will burn your oil, throw in all veggies and your bay leaves, leave out the potatoes though.  Slice the sausage links into little circles and throw them in the pot.  Now add the potatoes and chicken base or bullion cubes with the water.  Throw in all your seasonings and bring everything to a boil.  Reduce your heat from medium to about medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Now add in the spinach and take off the heat.  Give the broth a little taste to see if it needs salt and pepper.  If your potatoes are not cooked through yet leave the soup on medium low for about another 10 minutes or until the tators are tender.  You can serve this with a salad or crusty bread on the side.  There you have it Italian Sausage and Pepper Soup  an any time food for any weather too.  

Live, laugh and love and have a bowl of soup its good for your gizzard !  Heather






Monday, August 5, 2013

Meatloaf Stuffed with Macaroni and Cheese



Hello everyone, so there are very few things in the food department that my husband demands me to make.  First off he knows not to demand anything of his wife unless he wants to be met with a cast iron frying pan upside the head.  However this recipe my husband couldn't resist in demanding me to make and I understood.  Woman's lib and wives standing up against the "man" went out the window because I did understand why my husband demanded this because before he told me to make this I was thinking how in the world could I make this.  Well let me explain the situation, weeks ago on my facebook fan page, I was having a party and for some of you that are not in the food blog world that just means foodie friends were coming over to my page sharing their recipes.  It helps the ones sharing the recipes and it helps the person's page.  This was one of those shared recipes brought over by food genius in my opinion and I am sure my "dumbass" husband would agree with that.  Tales from a Middle Class Kitchen can be found over on facebook 
and you can just follow the link that takes you straight to the original recipe.  With his permission I am showing you all how I made this mind blowing recipe.  I changed a few things to fit my family's needs but kept the integrity of the recipe.  There will be pictures to follow along with the instructions.


Ingredients: My Version

2 pounds of lean ground beef or you can use any ground meat you wish
2 eggs
2 cups of bread crumbs I used homemade you can use store bought
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 whole onion diced
2 carrots diced
2 celery stalks diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive olive
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of ketchup
2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of rosemary
1 tablespoon of thyme
1 tablespoon of steak seasoning
1 box of Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups of shredded cheese I used a blend of mozzarella and cheddar
1/4 cup of milk

Instructions:

First off you want to dice your veggies and take 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil , throw it in a pan and add in your veggies.  You want to cook the veggies just until you can see them through them and they are not browned.  Take veggies off the heat to cool. Now lets work on making the meatloaf.  Put your ground meat in a mixing bowl add in eggs, and all your dried seasonings.  Throw in 1 tablespoon of ketchup, all the barbecue sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.  By now the veggies should be cool enough to throw in with the meat so add the veggies too. Give it a good mix with your hands.  It should look like this or similar to it.  

Put this in your fridge until you are ready for it and start making the macaroni and cheese.  Follow the directions on the box when the pasta is done drain it and return it to the heat.  Add in the dried cheese it comes with and add the milk and shredded cheese too.  The secret here is not to make the mac and cheese too wet because then that would be just a mess everywhere.




  Try not to add too much liquid to prevent a meatloaf and mac and cheese mess.  When the shredded cheese is all melted put it aside and bring out your meatloaf.
I scored the center of the meatloaf with a knife and split it in two like this:
I put half of the meatloaf on a large cookie sheet and formed a meat boat and put the remaining tablespoon of ketchup on the meat.  Here is my meat boat with ketchup a masterpiece if I do say so myself lol.
You will want a meat boat like this to contain your mac and cheese, like this 
Then we take the other half of the meatloaf and put it on top of the mac and cheese and form it so there should be no mac and cheese poking through like this.
Drizzle the top with barbecue sauce and top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and a half , there is a lot of meat there to cook.  Half way through you need to take out the meatloaf and drain it because the pan gets juicy and could over flow if you dont.  Put it back in the oven to continue to cook.  Let it cool about 15 minutes if you can wait that long and dig in.  Here is what it looks like when you cut into it.

So there you have it everyone meatloaf stuffed with mac n cheese, it was a huge hit at my house.  A huge thank you to tales from a middle class kitchen for this amazing recipe and you all should go check him out because he has some fantastic recipes and they are budget friendly without complicated ingredients. 
Take care my friends and until next time Live, Laugh and Love.  Heather