Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shepherds Pie

I love comfort food and so does my family. When we start to feel a chill in the air, it is time for foods like chili, soup and shepherds pie. I made this the other night for dinner and it was all gone. I hate when there are no leftovers! This is a pretty simplified recipe, but we love it.
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
4 large potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables or 1 large can of VegAll
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
(You will also need whatever you use to mash potatoes-I use buttermilk, sourcream and garlic salt for this recipe)
Once your meat is browned and drained, add the frozen veggies and 1/4 c water (omit water if you have VegAll), Worchestershire, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add soup and simmer for a couple of minutes. Place this mixture in a 2 quart casserole dish or a 9X9 pan. Place mounds of mashed potatoes on top. Make sure not to cover all of the meat mixture. It has to have room to "breathe" while it is cooking. It will boil over in your stove if you smooth out the potatoes to cover the entire surface. Bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes and then add cheese to top and cook about 5-10 minutes longer. Let sit for a bit before serving. This is some serious comfort food!

Coconut Cream Dream-Yummy!

I love coconut cream pie and this recipe is soooo good!  I took 3/4 of the pie to my school co-op today for the moms to enjoy and many wanted the recipe.  It is a Southern Living recipe-so you know it has to be good....
3/4 c sugar divided, 1/4 c cornstarch, 2 c half n half, 4 egg yolks, 3 Tbsp butter, 1 c flaked coconut, 2 tsp vanilla-divided, 1- 9 inch pie crust baked, 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine 1/2 c sugar and cornstarch in a heavy suacepan; gradually whisk in half n half and egg yolks. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Stir in butter, cocnut and 1 tsp vanilla. Cover tightly and cool to room temp.Spoon custard into cooled pie shell and chill 30 minutes.  Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy, gradually add remaining 1/4 c sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Spread or pipe over pie. Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Breakfast from the past

I don't get to see my mom very often, which I hate, but every once in a while I do something or say something that makes me think "that was so my mom!" This morning I took biscuits from last night's dinner and split them open. I put butter on them and then broiled to a lovely golden brown. Then I put my homemade apple butter on top. YUM! Mom never let bread go to waste, neither did my grandma. I remember mom splitting open biscuits for us when I was little and putting strawberry jam on top. My kids now eat leftover biscuits this way too. I love sweet memories! On another note: we had one skillet chicken a la king (our weird version of it anyway) last night over biscuits, which was equally yummy. We got in late, so I wanted something quick. Here is a simple recipe. 2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces and cook thoroughly After the chicken is cooked add 1/4 cup water or chicken stock (if you have it) to pan over medium heat and add 1/4 cup frozen peas and 1/4 cup frozen sweet corn I like it with celery and carrots, but my kids don't). Cook until peas and corn are tender. Then take 1 can of cream of chicken soup and mix with 1 cup milk or half and half until smooth. Add this to skillet and simmer until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over fresh hot biscuits or toast.

Cable scarf take 2!

It has been a very busy week in our household, maybe I should rephrase that to "out of our household."I feel like I have barely been home this week. Took my 18y old to the dentist and she will be having her wisdom teeth out next week. She also can't drive right now due to a blood pressure problem, so we do a lot of extra driving (college/work). We live 30 minutes away from "civilization" so everything is at least an hour round trip. I did manage to restart my scarf while at the dentist's office for 2 hours waiting. It is looking much better, but I think my tension is a bit off. My knit and purl base seems looser than the cabled part. I am going to keep going though. Too many do overs aren't good for the organic yarn or my confidence. We will see what it looks like when I get further along. I am surprised that it is not more difficult to do. I thought it looked complicated, but it isn't too bad. I love cables and hope to do more than just a scarf. By the way-best wishes on your do over Cathi!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do Over!

I was knitting along on my cable scarf and then I decided (along with the helpful voice of a friend) that it was too wide.  I have since altered the pattern to 25 stitches and have finished the 2 inch border and I am a few rows into the scarf.  Will post new pics once I get some of the cabling done.

On another note, I thought I would share a very quick recipe for a cream cheese dessert/Danish. What you call it really just depends on how desperate you are for a sweetie breakfast. If I want to justify my high sweet, high calorie fix in the a.m., it is a Danish! On to the recipe...

2 cans of crescent rolls, 2 blocks of softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 stick of melted butter and cinnamon sugar for topping.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until very smooth. Press first roll of crescents into bottom of 13X9 pan. Make sure the entire pan is covered. Spread cream cheese mixture over crescent layer. Then unroll second can and make sure you stretch the rolls a bit or roll them out to fit the pan. Hard to correct once you lay them on the cream cheese. Then pour melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  I prefer this dish chilled, but it is pretty good a little warm as well. I cut it into squares and it is very yummy! Great thing for potlucks or quick dessert for unexpected company.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cable Knitting

I have challenged myself to start a cable knitting project and I am proceeding in a so/so fashion. I really like knitting and purling, but I wanted to learn how to do something new that had a very different look. Using more than 2 needles is a little scary, but once I get into a rhythm it won't so bad. My biggest problem is having to count and keep up with row numbers. I am used to watching an old movie while I knit, but I can't do that with cabling. I am not very far along, but we have had a busy weekend. After searching for a simple pattern, I found a fairly easy scarf that has 2 cables up the front. I cast on 38 stitches for this pattern and I am using #9 bamboo needles. I chose some strawberry organic cotton yarn that I bought on sale from Hancocks in the spring. This yarn is so soft. I only have 2 skeins, so we shall see!
On another note, my dog is such a cat! She curls up on top of my knitting or the instructions or the bag I have my knitting in. If anyone comes near my yarn, she snaps at them. I think she is a little psycho! She is nine and that puts me rather close to her age in dog years I guess. I understand how age can make you a little grumpy, but I am really not sure about her cat like qualities. Dogs are so weird!

Apples-Some butter and filling

Saturday was apple day. My kids all helped in some form or fashion for most of the process, which was much nicer than last year. Friday I cooked down enough into applesauce to start my apple butter. I do it in the crock pot overnight. So Saturday morning I added new applesauce to the cooked down butter and let it cook several hours longer. I froze or refrigerated 4 quarts, but I actually canned two quarts. We like "chunky" applebutter", so that is why you see pieces of apples in the jar. We also put up 20 quarts of frozen pie filling (Jonathons and Primas). I still have 1 1/2 bags of apples to do. We had a death in our church family yesterday, so I will be doing some cooking for that sweet family today. Hopefully I can finish the apples today or tomorrow.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple a Day-Keeps the Doc Away?

I am not sure about the validity of this old saying, but I think eating well can help you avoid those nasty doctor's visits. Our whole family loves apples. Last year I put up many, many bags and about three 16 ounce containers of apple butter. All of the butter was gone by early spring, but we still have a handful of bags of apple pie filling. I went to the orchard yesterday and bought 5-6 paper grocery sacks of Jonathon and Prima apples for only $27 . This weekend I will be up to my elbows in apple guts(if there is such a thing). I am planning on making "chunky applebutter" because that is our favorite on piping hot biscuits! Doubling the amount of apple butter this year, so we don't run out. I'll post my apple butter recipe later. I do mine in the crock pot overnight-YUM! It is less messy and it doesn't burn or scorch to the bottom. So hopefully we will be eating some by the end of the weekend. Will post some pics soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Sew Convert

I try to read several blogs about sewing everyday. Usually the posts are short, so I glance at them over my morning coffee. Today on Sew Retro I saw the cutest 50's inspired dress from the Sew Convert (she looks very elegant). I am posting a link here so you can not only see her cute dress and romper, you can enter to win a kit to help you make your own! I think it is interesting that she uses decorator fabric to get her "swing". I guess the stiffness of those fabrics helps give a fullness and a twirl to a full skirt pattern. I have several of these in my stash of fabrics. I might just have to make one into a skirt.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor on Labor Day!

The holiday was spent siding our shed. I am very thankful for our 2 story shed. Our family (mainly hubby and son) built it. It stores a lot of stuff. We have tar paper covering it, but it is starting to look a bit ragged. My husband decided we were going to get some siding on it yesterday. I know you might be thinking that sounds easy, but think again. We received "free" tin from a friend of ours years ago. This tin has tar globs on it because it was on his barn roof. It is also "weathered" white. So we had to measure and cut (by hand with shears) then get off the tar, Bondo the holes (of course they did not match where we needed holes) and then paint and hang. We only did the top section and it took us all day. Now most of the day it was just me, hubby and son. It looks so nice, but I kinda dread doing the rest. If the weather is cool, it won't be so bad. What did you do for the holiday?
Sorry for the bad picture-my camera is still ailing!

Pretty in Purple

I finished my purple scarf this weekend.  I really like this color of yarn.  It has several colors in it and somehow that gives it a pretty cool sheen. I am looking forward to some cooler weather and then I can wear it instead of my body double. I have decided that my next knitting challenge will be cables.  They scare me, but I don't want to just keep knitting and purling.  Have you done cables?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eating at Noshville

When the girls and I went to Nashville, we ate at Noshville. I believe it is a Jewish deli and they had pretty good food and a wide variety of choices. The food is BIG, so you can definitely split. It was packed the whole time we were there and Jen said it is always like that. I had a breakfast sandwich on homemade sourdough bread. Bacon, eggs and tomato piled high between two wonderful pieces of bread. Katy had chicken soup and Alli had a pretty hefty hamburger on sourdough as well. If in Nashville, you might try Noshville!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

PJ Pants-Hot off the serger!

I had co-op today and usually I come home a little tired. I love teaching writing and seeing all the kids every other Thursday. My kids enjoy being with friends and I love the moms. We are like one big family. I came home today and washed all the water bottles and coffee cups and unloaded bags and the cooler, but I wasn't tired like I usually am after a long day at co-op. We had a special treat today. We had 2 very old cars for the kids to look at and ride in (we are learning about Henry Ford). Hopefully I can post a pic soon. Oh well, I decided to cut out Simplicity 2721 for my 12 year old. I haven't finished her pj shorts yet (she hasn't tried them on), but she now has a new pair of pj pants out of some cool vintage flannel I got from nanny. This is a really neat pattern. I have never sewn pants by placing one leg inside the other. Pretty cool trick. Here they are. She actually likes them. Have a great evening.