Saturday, August 29, 2009

Peach Salsa

The tomatoes are ripe, and that means it's time for
  Homemade Salsa!

This is a great recipe I got from Rachel Clegg. (Miss you Rachel!) We add fresh peaches to it for a splash of flavor, but that's completely optional. If you can grow a lot of the ingredients in your own garden, that will save you some $. (Or you can borrow some of the stuff from other people's garden's, as we did since our peppers didn't grow very well this year.) It's nice to have some tasty salsa during the winter to warm you up!

8-10 quarts fresh tomatoes
4-6 med. onions (diced)
8 green bell peppers (diced)
12-20 Anahiem peppers (diced)
1-10 Jalapeno peppers (diced) for mild to medium
2-10 Habinero peppers- (diced) for HOT salsa
2 cups white vinegar
1 T. - 1/4 c. sugar to taste
3-5 T. salt
2 tsp. crushed red pepper (add more for hotter salsa)
4 T. cumin
8 Tbs. fresh, chopped cilantro
1-2 heads of garlic, peeled and minced

As you can see, there is a LOT of chopping involved. Use a food processor if you have one. If you don't , you might want to borrow one!
Now we add about 4-6 cups chopped peaches, for a nice salty-sweet flavor.

Bring to a boil in a very large pot. Simmer 20 - 45 min, or until some of the water has evaporated off and it is a consistency you like, stirring occasionally.
At this point Mark splits the batch in two, to make a really hot version for him with the habinero peppers, and a mild version for the rest of us. 

Process for 20 min. in pint jars.

With the peaches, this made a lot of salsa, like 18 pints. The first one didn't last long, though! Mmmmmm chips n' salsa!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Airplane Cakes

My 3 year old wanted an airplane cake this year so I decided to do make each child their own little airplane. All that was needed was

1 box of twinkies - plane body
1 box of wafers - wings, tale
Black licorice - propeller
Junior mints - nose
1 bag Hershey's treasures - cabin

I sliced a hole through the twinkie to make pushing the wafer through easier. The tale was made by slicing a wafer in half width wise and then cutting it to shape.

Frosting was the hardest part by far. mine are just kind of thrown together, but if you took a little time and thought it out, it might look better if you star tip it, although that would probably take a lot of time. I used a toothpick through the junior mint and the licorice to make the nose of the plane. I found it stayed better if I angled the toothpick downwards to hold things up better.

I was going to build a flight control tower out of candy lego's (Macey's bulk candy section) but ran out of time so I just drew a runway pattern on tinfoil.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

I got this recipe off of my friend Adele's recipe blog (including the great pictures).We had it for lunch today. Our friend Brandon came over and brought some authentic french bread with him and it was so tasty with the chicken and sauce.

1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided (I actually used Italian Pesto Dressing, because I had it in the fridge...)
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb. chicken)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil leaves 
Place large sheet of heavy duty foil over half of grill grate. Preheat grill to med. heat. Pour 2 Tbsp. dressing over chicken in resealable bag. Seal, turn bag over several times to coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes to marinate. Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, cheese, basil and remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing. Turn chicken over onto the foil with cooked side up. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Close lid and grill an additional 8 min. or until chicken is cooked. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kettle Corn

This is the easiest recipe in the world and it is so good! I guarentee it will leave you longing for more!

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
salt to taste

*Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan and add the popcorn kernels, cover the pan with a tight lid. When the oil starts to sizzle add the sugar and replace the lid on top. Continuously shake the pan until the popcorn popping slows down (so you don't burn the popcorn and the sugar)! Dump the popcorn into a large bowl and salt to taste. ENJOY!! Also, the sugar will caramelize a bit, so enjoy the extra carmel in the pan!!

Hot Fudge Sauce

Mmmm, doesn't that make you just want to dig in?

Here's an easy recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce that we had the other night at an ice cream party. It keeps in the fridge, (if you actually have any left over, that is.) Just microwave for a minute.

3/4 c. good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. Butter
2/3 c. Sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk

In a heavy small saucepan melt the butter, add chocolate chips and melt, stirring over low heat. Add the sugar, gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil while stirring. Boil gently over med. low heat for 8 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. Grab your spoon and and some ice cream-soooooo divine!

*Try it over brownies and ice cream- you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Strawberry Delight by Kristina Boler


1 Box of strawberry cake mix
1 Box of instant vanilla pudding
1 Tub of frozen strawberry pieces and juice
1 Tub of strawberry whip cream

How to make the most Delicious cake you will ever devour:

Make one box of instant vanilla pudding mix then let it set it the fridge. While waiting make the cake batter in a large mixing bowl. Follow the directions as instructed on the cake box. Add one cup of vanilla pudding into the cake batter. Mix Mix Mix. Pour mix into a large cake pan. Cook for as long as the cake box instruct. Some times you have to cook for a bit longer so check before you take it out. While it's cooking; thaw the strawberry juice and pieces in the microwave till it's juicy. When the cake is done cooking and is still hot pour the strawberry juice (not the pieces) onto the surface of the cake. The juice will seep into the cake. Let the cake sit till it is completely cool! While waiting; mix the whip cream with the strawberry pieces. Once the cake is cooled cover the surface with the whip cream. Then Ta Da- it's ready to serve.

Warning: May cause extreme weight gain. Do not attempt if you struggle with addictions to sweats or if you have weak taste buds. Some cases of drooling have been reported. If you wake up in the night with cravings seek medical attention.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry

I'm sure you could add garden zucchinis to this one. It is a "throw-in-any-veggies-you'-ve-got" with an easy sauce. And, with it all done in one frying pan (and a rice cooker), it doesn't heat the kitchen too much on a hot summer night.
1 Tbls Vegetable Oil
1 Lb. Chicken Strips
1 can (10 3/4 oz) "Golden Mushroom Soup"
3 Tbls Soy Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 bag frozen veggies
(or whatever: i.e. 1 cup broccoli, 1 fresh green pepper,
1 sliced/diced zucchini, 1 white onion)
4 Cups hot cooked Rice
Heat: Oil in Skillet
Brown: Chicken
Add: Soup, Soy Sauce, Garlic Powder
Heat to a Boil
Add: Veggies
Cook: until tender-crisp
Serve over Rice

Grilled Zucchini

So you asked for zucchini recipes, Hailey, and here's mine. We just recently got a new grill and have been trying to grill all kinds of things. Our favorite, by far, has been grilled zucchini. You can really put any seasoning on it, but here's how we like it.

Cut zucchini in spears about 4-6" long and 1/2-1" thick.
Place in shallow baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Use a basting brush to spread the oil evenly.
Sprinkle with salt (or sea salt, if you have it).
Sprinkle with garlic salt or garlic powder--depending on how much salt is initially added (we use garlic salt).
Sprinkle with plenty of oregano.

Then you simply grill on the barbie for 4-6 minutes per side at 300-325 (fairly low temp).

Fruit Pizza

I have to provide a treat for my next book club meeting (being held at my home next week). So, was thinking about doing a fruit pizza - but am not sure which recipe I should use (or perhaps a merging of the two? chocolate is a good thing - marshmallows with fruit not so much).

There are many such recipe options on the internet - these were the two that came out on the top of my list of potential recipes (not listed in any particular order).

Please provide advice and feedback if you have it - I have never made a fruit pizza before!! But it does sound really good!!


Fruit Pizza - by Paula Deen

pizza dough:

  • 1 package store bought sugar cookie dough
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large peach, sliced
  • 1 large green apple, sliced
  • 1 large orange, sectioned
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Flatten cookie dough onto a 6-inch pizza pan
  • Bake until firm to touch, about 11 to 15 minutes - then cool
  • In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar
  • Spread the baked cookie with the cream cheese mixture and decorate with sliced fruit
  • In a small bowl, combine melted white chocolate with chocolate syrup
  • Top the pizza with remaining berries and chocolate mixture
  • Slice and serve immediately

Patriotic Fruit Pizza - by Kraft Foods

  • 1 pkg (20 oz) refrigerated sliceable sugar cookie dough
  • 1-1/4 cups cold milk
  • 1 pkg (4-serving size) Jell-o vanilla flavor instant pudding
  • 3 cups minature marshmallows, divided
  • 1 cup thawed Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 2 cups cut-up fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana slices, or kiwi slices
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line 12-inch pizza pan with foil; grease foil lightly
  • Press cookie dough into prepared pan to form crust
  • Bake 14-16minutes, or until golden brown - cool completely
  • Remove cookie from pan and foil - place on serving plate
  • Pour milk into large bowl - add dry pudding mix
  • Beat with wire whisk 2-minutes - let stand 5 minutes
  • Gently stir in 2 cups of the marshmallows and the whipped topping
  • Spread cookie crust with pudding mixture
  • Top with fruit and the remaining 1 cup marshmallows

Thursday, August 6, 2009


It's that time of the summer- anybody have any good Zucchini Recipes?
Here's mine.

The Very BEST Zucchini bread. 
Or as Harriet called it when she was three, "bikini bread". (Except you wouldn't want too eat much of this if you had any plans for a bikini, it's loaded with butter and sugar. Fortunately, I have no such plans!)

3 eggs
1 C. Butter
1 3/4 c. sugar.
(yeah, I told you it was loaded. That's why it's good.)

Mix your dry ingredients:
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
nuts optional

2 cups shredded, drained zucchini or yellow squash
(the key to a bread that is not soggy is to wring some of the moisture out. place your shredded squash or zucchini in a clean dish cloth, or cheese cloth. Wrap it up in a ball and squeeze a lot of the water out. Don't wring the daylights out of it, you also don't want it too dry.)

Mix all together till combined, don't over mix.
Grease and flour two bread pans. Bake 1 hr. @ 350ยบ.
Let it cool 10 min. before turning out of pans. Smells heavenly...

*This recipe is from our lovely Aunt Janet.
**Sorry for the cheesy drawing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Princess Birthday Cake

So I thought I'd post the latest Birthday cake I made- (I always wanted one of  these as a kid!) It's the cake-as-a-dress with the doll poked in the top. It was lots of fun to do! I didn't have the official doll pan, so I baked the dress in a bowl. (Mary Jane loaned me the doll.) It came out about half the size it needed to be, so I just set it on a pie tin and frosted over the whole thing. Worked out pretty good i think. Good thing I had my daughter there who reminded me of the importance of accessories- " She needs earrings and a necklace!" 
Come to think of it, I think I will post the Buttercream frosting recipe. A couple of people have asked for it, it's the Wilton one you use for cake decorating, or just icing cakes. Lots of butter, hence the name, and very tasty.

1 Lb. powdered sugar
2 sticks real butter, room temp.
2 Tbs. milk
1 tsp. clear vanilla. (get it with the cake decorating supplies).

Beat ingredients on low speed till mixed, then whip with a whisk-type beater. Beat on high till light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as you go. Nice consistency for frosting/ decorating. 

How to Peel Peaches

Here is a link showing how to peel peaches quickly. Today I am making my peach sauce with all the peaches Mark picked from our tree. Basically you just stew the peaches with some sugar and corn starch to thicken, (like the Blueberry Sauce,)and then freeze in tubs. It tastes divine, we love it over crepes, pancakes and ice cream.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Homemade Maple Syrup

I made pancakes today and realized we were out of maple syrup. Emergency! So, I looked up a recipe and it turned out delicious.

Makes 1 bottle

4 C white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
2 C water
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp maple flavoring

1. Place all but maple flavoring in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Turn the temperature down when it starts to boil.
2. Simmer 10 miinutes and remove from heat.
3. Cool slightly and add maple flavoring.
4. Once cool enough, place in an old syrup bottle or secure-top tupperware.