Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Butter aka Butta

When I was in second grade (a very long time ago) I remember a lady coming into class and making butter right in the classroom.  I still remember it as the best tasting butter I ever had!!  Today I found this recipe at www.southernplate.com and it was exactly like the childhood memory in my mind.  I can't wait to try it.
I promise to get back to some of my own recipes soon, but I have been in a rut and looking for new things myself lately.  I hope you will try the butter yourself or with your kids.

Making Butter At Home (Fun activity for all ages!)

  • Whipping Cream
  • Mason Jar
  • Salt (optional)
Fill jar 1/2 to 3/4 full with cream. Place lid on tightly. Shake for ten to thirty minutes, or until you hear solids shaking around and can see through the glass that the solids have separated from liquid (read up in post for more details of what the shaking stages will be like). Pour into colander to separate liquid from butter. Place butter in a ramekin or bowl and stir in salt, if desired. Refrigerate until hardened. Enjoy!
(photo and recipe from www.southernplate.com - she has a great cookbook out too!!!)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Sure would like one of these:

Tuscan Grilled Chicken - another Ina Garten recipe


  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved


Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.
When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread 1/4 of the coals across the other side of the grill. Place the chicken on the cooler side, skin side up, and weigh it down with the dish you used for marinating. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Double Chocolate Almond Cookies

  • 2 1/3 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. almonds, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat.
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla then mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix until it's just combined. Add the chocolate chips and almonds. Mix them until they are combined.
Spoon cookie dough onto the baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake them for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes to allow the cookies to set. Enjoy!

Lemon Chicken - Ina Garten Recipe

I can't wait to try this recipe!

1/4 c. EVOO
3 T. minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 c. dry white wine
1 T grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ t. dried oregano
1 t. minced fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (6 to 8 ounces each)
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Warm the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and cook for just 1 minute but don’t allow the garlic to turn brown. Off the heat, add the white wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and pour into a 9 X 12-inch baking dish.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and place them skin side up over the sauce. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon in 8 wedges and tuck it among the pieces of chicken.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breasts, until the chicken is done and the skin is lightly browned. If the chicken isn’t browned enough, put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meatballs - 7 meal ideas

Meatballs can be a versatile item to keep in your freezer for emergency meals.  I buy a large bag at Sam's Club and always have them in the freezer because there are so many things you can do with them.

1. Spaghetti and meatballs.   - Easy weeknight meal, just put frozen meatballs in crockpot with your favorite sauce and when you come home you just cook pasta and add salad and bread.

2. Sweet and sour meatballs - Recipe contained in blog...sorry I don't know how to do that link thing :)

3. Cocktail meatballs - classic recipe - 1 jar grape jelly and 1 bottle chili sauce...simmer in crockpot.

4. Meatball sandwiches - Same as #1 but serve on hoagie rolls and top with cheese.

5. BBQ meatballs - place meatballs in crockpot with bottle of favorite BBQ sauce.  Serve as main dish with simple sides like mac-n-cheese and a vegetable for easy weeknight meal or as a variation on the cocktail meatball recipe.

6. Ikea meatballs-1 can cream of celery soup, 1 can french onion soup, 8 oz. sour cream,
small can sliced mushrooms. Serve over egg noodles.

7. Meatballs with gravy - I made this up for an emergency meal once and it was really good.  Heat meatballs in microwave or oven per package directions.  Meanwhile make a packet of brown gravy or the jarred kind if you have it.  Serve gravy over meatballs and rice.  Easy peasy and tasty comfort food too.

 I am sure as soon as I post this I will think of more, but this should get you started if you are staring at the fridge with no idea what to cook when you see that bag of meatballs in the freezer.  I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's Your Favorite Cereal

I really love these cereals, but very rarely eat them for breakfast.  I mainly eat cereal with milk and sliced bananas for a snack late at night.  I have eaten frosted flakes since I was about six years old and even had a Tony the Tiger beach towel when I was a little girl.  It's kind of funny that for my forty plus years these have been on the rotation the whole time.  I have never tried Captain Crunch, Kix, Reeces, etc....I stay with these tried and true favorites.  What is your favorite?


Our precious new dog named Charlie has been such a delightful addition to our family.   Sadly after a big game of frisbee and catch he had a seizure on Mothers Day.  He was seen at the vet yesterday and they could not find a reason for the seizure.  They also found out he has heart worms.  I tell you we have had the worse luck with the health of our animals in the last year....a kitten run over and killed, my daughter's beagle (3 yrs old) becoming paralyzed overnight and being put to sleep, then our older dog Sam died.  We just hope and pray that Charlie will be healthy and the medication and treatments work.  He is such a great dog!   Keep him in your doggie prayers.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Addition

We have a bouncing new baby boy.  He is not a brand new baby, but he needed a home and we needed a new dog to love.  He is yet to be named so feel free to leave a suggestion.  He looks like a lab but he is about half the size of one so that is great for us.

UPDATE:  Charlie won out as his name.  I am sure we will have many adventures and Charlie capers in future posts.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Doesn't this look delicious?

I don't know what it is, but when something is made into a kabob I just think it is fabulous. 

Here is one dip recipe...I will add my others as I find them.

Pineapple Coconut Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 c. coconut
3/4 t. vanilla
8 oz. crushed pineapple (undrained)
1/2 t. grated orange rind (if you have it)

Beat cream cheese until fluffy and add milk and vanilla.  Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate.  Use halved pineapple to serve and top with toasted coconut.