Sunday, September 30, 2012

Parmesan Spinach Spread

I had the yummiest dip tonight that I had to come home and share it with all of you! Thank you Amanda for letting me post your great recipe!  I made a meal out of it - hey it had spinach in it - don't judge!

1 (10 ounce) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (3 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayo
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced onions
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Drain spinach, press between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Combine cream cheese and mayo in a bowl, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth.
Add spinach, 1cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the rest of your seasonings, stir well.
Spoon into a greased 1 quart baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes more.  Serve with assorted crackers or party rye bread. Yield 2 1/4 cups.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil


Have you heard about Extra Virgin Coconut Oil?  This is so so so good for you.  I have been incorporating it into my diet.  It is suggested to take in about 3 tablespoons a day.  You can cook with it - put it into smoothies, eat it by the spoonful - the options are endless.  It is full of Lauric Acid which is a medium chain fatty acid that your body NEEDS. It is considered a super food and an immediate source of energy.   You should just google: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Benefits.
Weight Loss, Skin and Hair, Cholesterol benefits, anti fungal anti bacterial - I use it like Neosporin.
There are so many uses for this besides health benefits, that I wouldn't have believed it unless I tried it myself. Josh had a cut on his hand that was taking forever to heal, after putting EVCO on the cut with a band-aid it was good in about a day. 
Me and my girlfriend, seriously just eat it by the spoonful.  That could be because she has 4 kids and I have 3 and sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to whip up a smoothie.  I use this in the afternoon as a pick me up! I like the taste of it because I like the mild coconut flavor. 
Different brands have different textures and Garden of Life brand is my favorite so far.  You can pick it up at your local health food market or online.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Vanilla Train Cake (a pound cake)

For Colin's 3rd Birthday we celebrated with a train cake.  He was in love with trains at the time and I had found the perfect cake pan at Williams Sonoma.  This recipe is so yummy I wanted to share it.  It works great in these little cake pans, and now you can find them everywhere in all different shapes and sizes. 
You have to make sure that you re-wash the cake pan for every batch you make and re spray the pan and flour it, in order for these to pop out correctly -  that is the secret to getting them to work right.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 Tbs vanilla extract

Have all ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of a an oven and preheat to 350.  Grease the wells of the Cake pan using a oil Spray.  Lightly flour them and remove excess flour by tapping the pan against the metal edge of your sink. 

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.   In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla until combined.  Fit the mixer with the flat beater.  Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and beat on the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, 15 to 20 seconds.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Increase the speed to medium, and beat for 30 seconds. 

Divide the batter in half and set half of it aside.  Spoon the remaining batter into the prepared wells, filling each 2/3 to 3/4 full.  (within a 1/2 inch of the top of the pan) Tap the pan firmly on the counter-top to release any air bubbles.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes - or longer depending on how your oven cooks. 

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes then invert the cakes onto the rack and let cool for at least an hour before decorating or serving. 

Wash and thoroughly dry the pan, Grease and flour the wells once again for the rest of your batter.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Candied Jalapeno's

1 Gallon Canned Jalapenos
Hot Peppers - whole for color
1 1/2 cups Tarragon Vinegar
4-6 Cups Sugar

 Place the Jalapenos and Hot Peppers in Canning jars or refrigerator dishes.   Bring the Vinegar and Sugar to a boil and pour over drained Jalapenos and hot peppers.  Either can these or store in refrigerator.
Candied jalapenos are so delicious on so many things.   I really love them with cream cheese and crackers~  Yum!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Candied Dill Pickles

This is the time of year when the cucumbers are just being planted and your wishing you had some fresh pickles.  Well, I have my Grandmother White's recipe for Candied Dill's to share with you.  We start with Dills from the store!  I hope you enjoy these like our family does!  They are so yummy!

1 quart Dill Pickles
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Tarragon Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Celery Seed
1 teaspoon Mustard Seed

Wash and drain cucumbers (pickles) and cut into chunks.  Mix all other ingredients and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Let cool and pour over chunk pickles.  Can be canned while hot, otherwise, place them in the refrigerator.

In order to do a gallon of pickles just double the syrup recipe. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baked Beans

To make my Aunt Lorna's Baked beans you just have to attend the White Christmas to take them in.  They are delicious and my favorite.  I have tried and tried to get her to write her recipe down and I think she just eye-balls everything and isn't that our luck!?  
I have tried to figure it out, but I am sure this isn't the exact precise way it goes down.  However - we have been eating them this way for years, and they are pretty great!

This was a huge batch for a family get-together so if this is a bit much just cut it down!

Drain your Baked Beans out of the can and rinse with cool water.  Remove the piece of Pork Fat.

Cut up a bell pepper and about 1/2 cup of red onion.  I used the Onion chopper as seen on TV that I love so much! I like them to be tiny.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
1 Tablespoon of Worchestire Sauce
1 Teaspoon liquid smoke
Ketchup and Mustard = Eyeball it.
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 cup or your favorite BBQ Sauce
Stir and check to see if you have enough sauce on your beans.  If you want more sauce add a little more BBQ.

Add some bacon to the top and bake in a 13x9 baking dish at 350 for at least an hour!  I love for these to reduce and cook down a bit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

African Hut Hot Pad

 Ive introduced you all to Karina before, Remember the delicious Guacamole recipe?  Yes, well she is my sister in law who is more like a sister.  I am so thankful for her friendship! 
She has recently taken up sewing and we have been having a great time sewing together.  She found a wonderful Bernina 830 Machine in Dallas on craigslist of all places and we went and picked it up for her. When she arrived from Austin last weekend we had to do a little project to show her around the machine.  We both made  African Hut quilt squares and made them into hot pads.
We both did them a bit different and I embroidered her name and sent her home with mine to beef up her hot pad drawer. 

This African Hut Pattern comes from the Kaffe Fasset Book
Kaffe Fasset Quilt Road.  There are so many ways that you can switch this quilt block up to look differently.  I started with a log-cabin square for the center of my hut.

You can do them all sorts of ways add doors or windows, the options are endless.  I think it is super  cute whichever way you decide to do it.

The secret to making this block is that if you make your roof line first - everything else is a straight line.  I suggest using the HST method for this.  (half-square triangle)  Cut one square of sky fabric and one square from the roof fabric.  Check out this tutorial on how they are made from p.s. i quilt.  Once you have sewn them and cut them properly, rotate the roof fabrics together and go from there.  Everything else is a straight line and you can make your own design decisions about where you want the grass to start and stop.  Your horizon line can be lower,  you could even add more sky to the top if you prefer.

In order to make this into a hot pad, you basically are making a sandwich!  Can you tell food affects everything I do?  Cut a double layer of thickness of padding (consider recycling old towels or mattress pads for this).  Cut a backing in the same size as your block and pad.  In order to not have to bind the hot pad as seen here:  Stack in this order.  Padding first, right side up of backing, and quilt square wrong side up.  Pin the project together.  Baste these together.  Now trim away the exess batting material and sew the sandwich together much like you would a pillow, leaving an opening to turn your project right side out.  Remove your baste stitches so that you can turn it inside out.    Hand stitch together the opening.
If you want to put a binding on the Hot-pad, you will stack it in the order seen.  Backing fabric first, batting, and then the quilt block right side up.  Pin your sandwich together and baste.  Quilt as desired then sew on your binding.  I wish I were better at binding.  It is something that I have not mastered, which is why I suggest the first option.  Otherwise google some tutorials for binding and tackle it!