Category Archives: Food

Chocolate Town Pie

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Chocolate Town Pie  is my new favorite pie and I think it will remain that way!  Yummy and so easy to make.  I could put whipped cream on it but I want you to see how it looks then you can add the whipped cream if you like.  It tastes like a pecan pie with melted  chocolate chips in it.  When I read this recipe it looked like to me that it would be a chocolate cookie in a crust but no… It is much better and has that soft gooey, yummy center like a Pecan pie.

Here is the recipe I got from a friend.

  • CHOCOLATE TOWN PIE

 

  • Ingredients

9 inch unbaked pie shell

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 eggs beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chocolate chips (I used the big milk chocolate kind)

1 cup chopped pecans (you could use walnuts) but then, it wouldn’t taste like a pecan pie would it?

  • Directions

Prepare pastry shell; set aside. Heat oven to 350.  In a smallmixer bowl cream butter, add eggs and vanilla.  combine sugar and flour and add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour into unbaked pastry shell.

  • Bake

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden .  Cool about one hour.  Serve warm, with whipped cream.

This Chocolate Town Pie is as “easy as pie”!  I can hardly wait to make it again.  I won’t even wait for a holiday for this one.

 

 

Fresh Creamy Tomato Soup

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This tomato soup was inspired by a bumper crop of tomatoes in our little garden.  It is so fresh and delicious.  So healthy and easy to make.  Nothing feels better than a healthy soup fresh from your garden or the produce section of your grocery store.

Fresh Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

3 cups blended tomatoes

1 clove garlic

¼ tsp. Allspice

½ tsp. Salt

Pepper to taste

1 T. dried onion flakes

1 T. fresh basil

2 Tblsp. Butter

1 Tblsp. Flour

1 Cup Milk

Blend pureed tomatoes, garlic, allspice, salt pepper, onion flakes and basil til smooth .\

strain to remove seeds.

Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes but do not boil.

make a paste of butter and flour and add a little tomato mixture then gradually add it all together.

Add milk to the soup and reheat.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream if you wish.

Favorite Granola Recipe

Our Favorite Granola Recipe

Favorite Granola

We love this nutritious, healthy granola.  It is full of delicious fiber and sweetened with healthier sugars and fruits. sometimes I change up the nuts or raisins but usually we just love it most just like this recipe.  You can make it crispy or soft whichever you prefer.  So enjoy your very own homemade fresh granola.  Buy your oatmeal in bulk and the raisins and brown sugar for extra savings.  It is so easy to make and your kitchen will smell like cookies!

 My friend, Julie introduced me to this wonderful recipe.  When we lived in the same area we enjoyed it as a Christmas gift from her family to ours.  We looked forward to it every year.  I finally just had to ask for her recipe.  I have changed it only a little since then.  so enjoy it and share it.  it will be a hit!

Favorite Granola

5 cups quick oatmeal

5 cups regular oatmeal

2 cups Raw sunflower seeds not salted

3 cups chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup wheat bran

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl

Mix in another separate bowl

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ cup brown sugar

½ cup honey

½ cup molasses

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons salt

Mix together

Pour liquid over dry ingredients

spread in 2 or 3 cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees about 25-30 minutes depending on how crisp you want it.

Add 3 cups raisins or other dried fruit after baking. And mix.

Makes enough to fill a large gallon canister.

Yummy Oatmeal Balls

Here is a great yummy energy bite and it is healthy too. A great gift for a friend who is counting their carbs.

Mix:

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup Raisins (or chocolate chips)

1/2 cup natural Peanut Butter

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup sweetner (or agave or honey)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 TBLSP warm water (not neccessary if you use agave or honey)

Make balls and refrigerate to set.

Makes 12 large balls.

Tickled “Pink” Baby Shower

Everyone was Tickled Pink” to be at this baby shower!

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I did not give this shower but I was happy to be a guest and I asked permission to take these pictures so that I could share these ideas with you. The hostess worked hard and organized help to achieve a warm and friendly and fun atmosphere for this lucky mom and baby.  It was a great success with a large group of friends gathered to wish them well. The food was not only beautiful but it was delicious the pink hearts are homemade marshmallows dipped in pink chocolate.  Then pretzel sticks dipped in white and pink chocolate and even edible glitter on them.  Strawberries and bananas were served plain but so nice and colorful. party 026chocolate covered cheesecake with pink stripes was asdelicious as it looks. the white dish in the back was chocolate covered Oreos.  There was a delicious chocolate trifle you see in the back and wouldn’t you know that I forgot to take a picture of the equally attractive veggie table.party 024 to drink. pink lemonade in bottles or jars filled with the lemon water or cool aid.  All decorated with pink doilies and striped straws. party 023 party 022 These festive garlands and banners were all made by the hostess.  party 021 party 020 party 019This topiary tree was made of tissue flowers with pearls in the center.  They were made by a group of volunteer young women.  party 018A candy “bar” of all kinds of pink sweets was in the first area just past the display of supplies so the guests could make headbands for the baby.  It was equipped with various beautiful elastic ribbon, lace and flowers and jeweled buttons with glue guns and scissors to achieve the right look.  Everyone could make one for the baby.  party 017

Dad’s Stache Cookie Jar

This is just the cutest cookie jar  to store Dads Stash.  My husband loves his and it sits proudly on our counter.  Sometimes it holds his favorite cookies.  That really makes him happy. !

Clever Cookie Jar for Dad, and Valentine’s Day  coming… hint hint.

step #1 find a cute jar, one you have? thrift store?  or buy new?  I already had this jar.  Free!

step #2 cut letters with your vinyl cutter or get some stickers from the craft store.

*Here is a huge tip if you have a small machine like a cricket or silhouette?  I bet you have a friend with a huge vinyl cutter for business or pleasure.  I have several.  The scraps that they throw away because they are too small to feed into the machine…. Those are extremely valuable to you.  Offer them a little change for their scraps.  They really go a long way!!  A  friend gave me vinyl.   Free!

step #3 fill it with his favorite treat.  His favorite cookie….  Oatmeal Raisin.  Easy.

 

Delicious no knead rolls

Hamburger buns, fancy rolls, cinnamon rolls.  This Delicious no knead rolls recipe makes a great base for any of your favorites to fit every occasion. Delicious No Knead Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls ad pictured above or Make them big and you have wonderful hamburger buns.  Delicious treat for everyone.

Healthy, easy No Knead rolls.  Quick and delicious. First rule is do not use metal bowls or spoons.  I ignored that for years making mediocre rolls with this recipe using my bread mixer.  One day I had the mixer busy so decided to actually follow the recipe.  They were amazing.  I also have tweeked the recipe to my own liking and to make it healthier.

 In a small non-metal bowl, sprinkle 2 Tblsp.  or 2 packages of yeast into 1/2 cup of lukewarm water with a little raw sugar sprinkled in.  Let sit until it is frothy

 In a large mixing bowl put 1/2 cup coconut oil (the solid white kind or salad oil or for a softer roll use pure vegetable oil. –  1 TBSP salt, 1/4 cup raw sugar and 2 cups hot water.  Stir until sugar and  oil are fully melted. Stir in 1 TBSP. gluten flour and 3 cups of whole wheat flour.  Stir well and add yeast mixture.  (it should be cool enough now that it won’t kill the yeast) then stir in about 3 or 4 more cups of flour (whole wheat or white)

 Put in enough flour that when you mix it up with your hands it will be this sticky as in the picture above.

Place a cloth over the bowl and let it rise

 Until it is double in size as pictured.  (It can be refrigerated overnight if you want to bake them the next day) or you can shape the rolls now.  these are hamburger buns pictured below but I usually make dinner rolls in balls and put them almost touching in the pan.

Let the cough raise til they are double in size. then bake them at 375 degrees until golden brown.

MMMMM good.  And your house will smell like heaven too. Take a plate to the neighbors and they will be your friend forever :).

 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanutbutter Cookie Sandwiches

 

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Great for Mailing

1 cup Crisco shortening, butter flavor

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

3 cups white flour

¼ tsp. Salt

Filling

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ tsp. Maple flavoring

5-6 Tablespoons milk

1- cream the shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine the four, soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

2-Shape into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten to 3/8 inch thickness with fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Remove and cool on racks.

3-Filling beat the peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar maple and enough milk to make it spreading consistency. Spread on half of the cooled cookies and top each with another cookie.

To mail these cookies stack two cookies together and wrap with cling wrap. Place cookies in a medium sized mailing box or a decorated  mailing tube and fill extra room up with paper or bubble wrap. It works best to put a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom too just to give them some padding.

Kids love to get cookies in the mail!

Slow cooked Apple Pie Filling, with easy, flaky crust

Slow Cooked Apple Pie Fillilng & Easy Flaky Crust

mmm Good

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Roll it out, fold it over and place in pie pan and spread it out gently.

 

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Place filling in crust- Roll out the top crust and cut slits or  designs in it for ventilation

Moisten the edges of the outside of the bottom crust then place the top crust on it and seal it shut with fingers around the edge. 

 

Deep Dish Apple pie

for 10” pie pan or deep dish pan

you can divide it by half for a regular 9” pie shell.

 10 apples regular size to fit in apple peeler

2-3 cups sugar

4 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Allspice

1 tsp. Lemon juice

¾ cup flour

2 T. Butter (reserved for later)

Peal apples, place everything but the butter in slow cooker .

Cook in slow cooker for about 4 hours on high until apples soften.

  ( or on stove top for a faster method.)

Place in unbaked 10” pie shell

Dot with butter

Add top crust indenting around the edge and cutting a design on the top for ventilation.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. (for larger pies)

Flaky Easy Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. Salt

1/ ¼ cups shortening (chilled in refrigerator overnight)

(or use chilled butter cut into small bits).

1 egg beaten

1 T vinegar

¼ cup ice water

Mix flour , salt, and shortening with pastry blender or with whip in mixer til in little crumbs.  Do not over mix.

In separate bowl, add egg water and vinegar and mix well. Pour into flour and shortening mixture

Mix gently with fork until moistened.

Divide and form into 2 discs

Refrigerate in plastic bags or covered bowls for 30 minutes or more. (even a couple of days .

Roll out and put in pans, trim place top crust on trim, indent the edges cut a design on the top for ventilation, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes until crust is golden brown.

This is big enough for a top and bottom crust for a 10” pie.

 

Secrets to the BEST BAKED POTATO

Potatoes-What to buy, how to store and bake them. Do not store them in the refrigerator!   I will tell you why.

How to you buy and bake those beautiful light fluffy baked potatoes?  It is so simple but important to take these steps

1- The most important step is to buy #1 Russet BURBANK potatoes grown in Idaho.  Idaho because with higher altitudes and cooler nights the conditions are ideal to grow the best potatoes.
 Burbank potatoes are dryer and bake up light and fluffy not soggy.  They are also whiter.  They are a much different potato than the Russet Norkotah so do not mix them up.  Burbanks are harder to  find because that is what all the first rate restaurants buy for their baked potatoes.
Farmers like to raise Norkotahs because they are heavier and prettier so they make good money off of them by the pound.
2- Store your potatoes in a dark cool place. About 40 degrees is best.  Do not store them in  the refrigerator BECAUSE potatoes are a living organisms and need to breathe.  When they are stored in the big storage buildings they pump oxygen into them all the time.  If they are stored in the refrigerator with not enough oxygen to speak of they go into shock and turn the starch to sugar and then you have a much different potato. You are also getting too much light on your potatoes in the fridge as you open the door.   store them in a place like a cool garage or root cellar or in the coolest place you can 35 degrees or more .Do   Do not freeze them. They need humidity too, but not water.  They will rot in water. A cardboard box with holes in it or a mesh bag or racks are great but they must be dark.  If they are not kept dark then they will turn green and bitter and not good for you. If it is green you might as well throw the whole potato away.  sort them occasionally to throw out any rot if you keep them for long.  Some potatoes are treated so they won’t rot easily now.
3-Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your potato to bake by just simply washing it.  If you like a crisp skin then don’t oil it or salt it just keep it as it is.  Wash all the dirt off but not the skin.
4-Prick the potato with a fork.  You should give it three deep pricks.  If you forget to do this then it will explode in your oven (been there, done that a few times).  Some people cut the ends off but that spoils the looks and how it will open up when it is done.  Microwaving them will not give you the same effect but a Russet Burbank will be a lot better than the other types of potatoes for microwave baking.
5-Bake it at 400 degrees in the oven  for one hour.  That is long enough for a big #1 potato which is about 6″ long and   8 1/2″ around.  Your altitude may make a difference too as well as the size.  You can also buy Russet Burbank “bakers” they are about twice the size of the regular no.#1 potato.  Of course you would bake them longer and you will probably end up cutting them in half to serve them. they are impressive though.
Potatoes are great as a base for chili or broccoli cheese soup. there are so many different ways to do a “potato bar”  they are versatile and healthy and delicious.  The favorite is always butter and sour cream with some chives and bacon bits on top. Oh, and they are so good in soups and stews.  They are wonderful mashed  and served with gravy mmmmm.  You will always have the best results with a Russet Burbank with almost anything you serve but you especially want Burbanks if you are going to bake them.
Where did I learn so much about potatoes.  My husband and I both grew up on Idaho potato farms and ate them at almost every meal and loved it.   My husband is an expert on potato storage. He developed some great methods for lengthening the life of stored potatoes (ways to increase the air and the humidity.   He was one of the top potato storage builders (big steel buildings the size of a football field) in the Northwest and also built storage units in other states and countries.  He is a walking encyclopedia on potatoes.
Potatoes are good for you. I copied these facts from http://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition/nutritional-facts/

Nutritional Facts

potato nutrition labelHave you read http://www.potatogoodness.com/nutrition/nutritional-facts/e label lately?
One medium-size potato has just 110 calories and is absolutely fat-, sodium and cholesterol free, making them downright undeniable for any diet.  The power of the potato doesn’t stop there.
POTASSIUM
Potatoes are a good source of potassium…more potassium than a banana.
One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) per serving. Potatoes rank highest for potassium content among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits. Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell. It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.
Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, few Americans are getting the recommended 4700 milligrams per day of potassium they need. (Potatoes make it easier!)
VITAMIN C
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage. It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy. Vitamin C may help support the body’s immune system.
FIBER
One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value per serving.
Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream.  Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
B6
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. It helps the body make nonessential amino acids needed to make various body proteins; it is a cofactor for several co-enzymes involved in energy metabolism; and is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin – an essential component of red blood cells.
IRON
One medium potato provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron.
Iron is a major component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also has a critical role within cells assisting in oxygen utilization, enzymatic systems, especially for neural development, and overall cell function everywhere in the body. Thus, iron deficiency affects all body functions, not only through anemia, which appears late in the process of tissue