Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Good Luck Foods

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune.

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sugar Plum Dip

A friend on Facebook shared this and it sounds YUMMO!

SUGAR PLUM DIP: good with meatballs:

1/2 cup cranberries, finely chopped 2 teaspoons dry mustard 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 1/2 cup sugar-free grape jelly 1 teaspoon lemon juice Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan,and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

Serve dip warm.
8 Yield: 3/4 cup

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Herbal Healing Teas

Recipes for Herbal Healing Teas

Cold and Flu Tea
1 part peppermint
1 part yarrow
1 part boneset
1 part elder flower
A few drops of vinegar and honey to taste
Place two to four tablespoons of the herb mixture into an empty glass,
ceramic, or stainless steel container. Boil a quart of water; pour over
herbs; cover; steep for at least ten minutes, then strain. The tea will
become more bitter the longer you brew it, so feel free to adjust the
vinegar and honey to taste.

Sleepytime Tea
1 part valerian
1 part passionflower
1 part skullcap
To make a quart of tea, place two to four tablespoons of the herb mixture
a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container; boil water and pour over
herbs; cover and steep for at least 10 minutes; strain.

Soothing Tea
1 part oatstraw
1 part linden flower
1 part lemon balm
1 part passionflower
Place two to four tablespoons of herbs in a glass, ceramic, or stainless
steel container; boil water and pour herbs; cover and steep for at least 10
minutes; strain.

Cold Prevention
1 part horsetail
1 part alfalfa
1 part nettle
1 part red clover 1 part red raspberry
Licorice, orange peel, or anise seed to taste
Pour a quart of boiling water over two to four tablespoons of herbs; cover
and steep for at least 10 minutes--even overnight; strain.

Laxative Tea - Drink At Bedtime
1 part senna leaves
1 part buckthorn bark
1 part anise seed
1 part fennel seed
1/2 part licorice root
Steep 1 tablespoon in 1-1/2 cups boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Sweeten
as desired

2 parts peppermint leaf
1 part fennel seed
1 part anise seed
1/2 part ginger root
Steep 1 tablespoon in 1 cup boiling water. Sip slowly.

Immunity Booster
- three cups a day during cold or flu
2 parts echinacea root
1 part hyssop
1 part peppermint leaf
1 part thyme
Steep 2 tablespoons in 1 cup of boiling hot water.

Sore Throat/Laryngitis
1 part marshmallow root
1 part mullein
1 part licorice root
1 part blue malva flowers
Mix in equal parts. Steep 1 teaspoon in 1/2 cup boiling hot water. Sweeten
with honey or rice syrup.
Ginseng Tonic Tea - for fatigue
1 part white Asian ginseng root
1 part red Asian ginseng root
1/2 part Chinese licorice root
1/2 part Chinese red jujube date

Steep 1 tablespoon in 1 cup of boiling hot water.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cotton Candy Cake

4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups sugar
6 large egg whites
Red food coloring
One 9-inch round, 3-inch-deep yellow cake, made from 1 box cake mix
One 6- or 7-inch round, 3-inch-deep yellow cake, from 1 box cake mix
One 8- to 10-ounce jar raspberry preserves
Cotton candy and assorted round pink and red candy or gumballs, for

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and vanilla.
In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg whites.
Place over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking, just until the
sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and beat with clean mixer blades on high speed
until the mixture cools to room temperature and forms stiff peaks, about
5 minutes.
Lower the speed and add the creamed butter a few tablespoons at a time
(the mixture will look broken and curdled).
Slowly mix in the rest of the butter until combined.
Beat on high until smooth, about 10 minutes.
Add a drop of red food coloring and beat until uniform in color.
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 even
Dab a bit of the preserves onto each cardboard round and place one
corresponding cake layer on top.
Spread the remaining preserves on the 2 bottom layers, then spread about
½ cup frosting over the preserves.
Top with the remaining 2 cake layers.
Apply a thin layer of frosting to each double-layer cake to seal in the
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set slightly.
Cover the tops and sides of each cake with the remaining frosting, then
place the small cake and its cardboard on top of the large cake.
Top with cotton candy and decorate with the candies

French Chocolate Candies

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 or 3 bottles chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate chips over medium heat, stir in nuts, milk, vanilla and
salt. Cool 5 minutes and shape into 2 inch balls and roll in chocolate
sprinkles. Makes about 50 pieces of candy

French Chocolate Christmas Candies

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts
3/4 c. condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
2 or 3 bottles chocolate sprinkles

Melt chocolate chips over medium heat, stir in nuts, milk, vanilla and
salt. Cool 5 minutes and shape into 2 inch balls and roll in chocolate
sprinkles. Makes about 50 pieces of candy

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Golden Lemon Bread

Golden Lemon Bread

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well After each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture Alternately with milk.
Pour into a greased 8-in. X 4-in. X 2-in.
Loaf pan. Bake at 350� for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center Comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack.
Combine the glaze Ingredients; immediately pour over warm bread. Cool completely before removing from pan.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Christmas Peppermint Candy Pie

1/2 c. peppermint stick candy
1/4 c. sugar
1 env. unflavored gelatin
1 1/4 c. milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt
Red food coloring
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped
1 1/3 flaked toasted coconut

Mix candy and next five ingredients together.
Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves, and candy melts.
Tint with red coloring.
Chill until partly set.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating to stiff peaks.
Fold into gelatin mixture.
Fold in whipped cream.
Chill until mixture mounds lightly when spooned; pile into toasted
coconut crust.
Chill until firm.
If desired, whip some more cream.
Add enough sugar to sweeten.
Put near the edge of the pie shell to make a wreath.
Sprinkle with pistachio or other nuts or toasted coconut flakes and
crushed peppermint candy.

Peppermint Bark


1 (7.5-ounce) package hard peppermint candies
1 pound white chocolate, chopped (do not use chips)
2 cups puffed rice cereal

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; line with wax
Place candies in a doubled resealable plastic bag; seal, and wrap in a
kitchen towel.
Using a rolling pin or skillet, crush candies into tiny pieces.
Sift to separate crushed candy from fine powder, reserving fine powder
for another use; set crushed candy aside.
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan
of simmering water.
Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in rice cereal.
Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet; using a spatula, spread evenly
to a ¼ -inch thickness.
Sprinkle with crushed candy; with a piece of wax paper covering entire
surface, press in gently.
Chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes (no longer, as candy will begin to
get moist).
Peel wax paper off.
Break bark into 2-inch pieces.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Makes 36 pieces.

Chicken Alfredo Crockpot Stew

1 jar (16 ounce size) alfredo pasta sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions
1 1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs -- cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 bag (1 pound size) frozen mixed vegetables

In small bowl, mix pasta sauce, water, basil and salt.

Spray 3- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, layer half each of the potatoes, chicken strips, frozen vegetables and pasta sauce. Repeat layers ending with pasta sauce.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.

Serves/Makes: 6

HIGH ALTITUDE (3500-6500 FT): No change.

KITCHEN TIPS: Unbreaded chicken breast tenders can be used instead of the cutup chicken thighs.

If you like garlic, try using garlic-flavored Alfredo pasta sauce.

Beef Stew Italiano

2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat -- cut into 1" cubes
4 carrots -- cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes -- cut up
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon
1 cup uncooked mostaccioli or other pasta

Brown meat in slow cooker (or in skillet is easier) on top of range or skillet on medium heat. Transfer pot to base or meat to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients except pasta to cooking pot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low setting for 7 - 9 hours (OR high for 3 - 4 hours). Increase heat to high. Add pasta and stir to blend. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes until pasta is done.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween & Samhain Blessings to all of our Mystical Kitchen readers.

Halloween Poem by Cartoon Cottage

Pumpkin Waffles

Posted on Mystic Ramblings, visit here.

Absolutely Yummy!

• 2 large eggs
• 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
• 1 cup half and half
• 4 Tbsp. butter, melted, cooled
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
• 1/2 Granny Smith apple, pared, cored, cut into small dice
• 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Whisk eggs and brown sugar together in mixing bowl. Add half-and-half and butter and whisk until blended.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pie spice in another bowl. Add to egg mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in pumpkin, then fold in apple and walnuts.
Heat waffle iron as directed and make waffles, using generous 3/4 cup batter for large iron

Pumpkin Chili

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup sugar

In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain. Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Season with pumpkin pie spice,
chili powder and sugar. Simmer 1 hour.

Halloween Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk or water
2 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tub Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla or butter cream ready-to-spread frosting
8 fudge-dipped flat-bottom ice-cream cones
Betty Crocker® Fruit Roll-Ups® strawberry chewy fruit snack rolls
Shredded whole wheat cereal biscuits, crushed
Assorted candies, such as candy corn, red string licorice and small gumdrops
32 candy eyes
1 tub Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate ready-to-spread frosting
48 large black gumdrops
Black shoestring licorice, cut into 4-inch pieces

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Place paper baking cup in each of 16 regular-size muffin cups, or grease and flour muffin cups.
2. Beat Bisquick mix, sugar, milk, shortening, vanilla and egg in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Fill muffin cups about half full.
3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediantly remove from pan; cool completely. Frost and decorate cupcakes as directed below for Scarecrows and Hairy Spiders.

Scarecrows: Frost 8 cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Decorate each ice-cream cone with bow made with fruit rolls. Place ice-cream cone upside down on each cupcake for hat. Arrange crushed cereal on cupcakes for hair. Use candy corn for nose, red licorice and small gumdrops for mouth and candy eyes for eyes.

Hairy Spiders: Frost 8 cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Squeeze large black gumdrops, one at a time, through garlic press to form hair; arrange on cupcakes. Insert black licorice pieces into cupcakes for legs. Place candy eyes on large black gumdrops for eyes.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Use paper baking cups. Increase milk to 2/3 cup. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Thank you Paula Deen! This side dish is a perfect match for you Halloween, Harvest or Thanksgiving celebrations!


4 shallots, halved
3 parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1.Preheat oven to 425˚. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

2.In a large bowl combine shallots, parsnips, turnips, and rutabaga.

3.In a small bowl, combine honey, oil, thyme, and salt. Pour over shallot mixture, tossing gently to coat. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet.

4.Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Facts

Everything you ever wanted to know about pumpkins

Pumpkins are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the
gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which also includes squash, cucumbers,
gherkins, and

Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years. They are
indigenous to the western hemisphere.

In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence
region of North America, he reported finding "gros melons." The name was
translated into English as "pompions," which has since evolved into the

Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber. They are
good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.

The largest pumpkin ever grown was 1,140 pounds. It was grown by Dave Stelts
of Leetonia, Ohio, in 2000.

Pumpkin seeds should be planted between the last week of May and the middle
of June. They take between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked in October
when they are bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved to grow new
pumpkins the next year.

The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was 350 pounds and five feet in diameter.
(as of October 2003, that is)

author unknown

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cream Cheese Marbled Brownies

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

• Nonstick spray for baking
• 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
• 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
• 3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
• 2-1/4 cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with heavy foil, extending foil 2 inches over edges of pan. Lightly coat foil with nonstick spray for baking; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and the 2 tablespoons butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until mixture is fluffy. Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar, beating until light. Beat in the 1 egg and the 1 tablespoon flour just until combined. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine the 1 1/4 cups flour, the baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and the 3/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over low heat just until melted. Transfer to a large bowl. Gradually add the 2 1/4 cups sugar, beating on low speed until combined. Add the 4 eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
5. Spread the chocolate batter in the prepared baking pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture in mounds on top of chocolate batter. Using a table knife or narrow metal spatula, gently swirl the cream cheese mixture into the chocolate batter to marble. Sprinkle with pecans.
6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift uncut brownies out of pan. Cut into brownies. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 42 servings.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lavender Mint Tea Punch

6 Tsp. Dried Mint
6 C. Boiling Water
1 Tbsp. Dried Lavender Blossoms
1 Liter Ginger Ale
1 C. Purple Grape Juice
Ice Cubes w/fresh mint leaf frozen in each

~~Brew the mint in the water in a teapot for 10 minutes. Add the lavender blossoms to the pot. Allow tea to cool. Strain the tea & add the ginger ale, grape juice & ice cubes.

Serve in punch bowl and float w/lavender buds and mint sprigs on top.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homemade Butter in a Jar

Prep Time: 10 minutes


•Heavy cream
•A Jar with a lid


1. Fill a jar halfway with heavy cream (baby food jars work great for small batches), and screw the lid on tight.

2. Shake the jar up and down until the cream thickens and begins to stick together.

3. Then, open the jar, and pour any remaining liquid into another container; this is the buttermilk. Everything else is butter.

4. Knead the butter under cold running water for several minutes to work out any remaining buttermilk (otherwise the butter will spoil quickly).

5. Knead in salt, if desired.

6. Refrigerate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Colorful Chicken Croissants

2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 croissants, split

In a bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Spoon about 1/2 cup into each croissant

Applebees Clubhouse Grill Sandwich

Applebee's Clubhouse Grill Sandwich

Pita Bread (2 or 3 whole)
1 10 oz. pkg frozen spinach
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 med onion
5 or 6 plum tomatoes
8 oz pkg fresh mushrooms
4 clv garlic

1 tsp each of the following spices:
basil, parsley, cayenne pepper
1/2 to 1 cup rice milk
4 tbl flour

* Thaw spinach completely, press out all water. Heat milk in saucepan, when hot but not boiling stir in flour. Stir until sauce begins to thicken, turn heat down. Add nutritional yeast and spinach. Stir constantly until thick and gooey, only about 3-4 min. In separate pan, saute onion, garlic, until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms, and spices. Saute until just done. Preheat oven to 425. Using a very sharp bread knife, split each pita bread so that you have two round flat pieces instead of one thick one.

* Place each piece of bread on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Spread spinach sauce over each. Top with tomato mixture, being careful to avoid the juice.

* Bake for 5 to 7 min. Watch closely so that the edges of the pita don't burn.

Black Cat All Hallow's Eve Cupcakes

If a black cat crosses your path, we hope it's one of these cute chocolaty creations. This time-saving recipe relies on a boxed cake mix and a can of prepared frosting jazzed up with simple cookie and candy decorations.
TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) dark chocolate frosting
12 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, quartered
48 yellow jelly beans
24 black jelly beans
24 pieces black rope licorice

Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes, filling paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frost tops of cupcakes. Insert two cookie pieces into each for ears. Add yellow jelly beans for eyes and a black jelly bean for nose. Cut each piece of licorice into thirds, then in half; place three halves on each side of nose for whiskers. Yield: 2 dozen.

Blooming Lasagna

12 lasagna noodles
4 cups leaf spinach lightly packed
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Hidden Valley® The Original Ranch® dressing, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 jar (26 ounces) pasta sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool. Mix spinach, cheeses, 1/4 cup of Ranch and seasonings in large bowl.

Set 1/2 cup of pasta sauce aside. Pour remaining sauce into greased shallow casserole dish at least 10 inches in diameter.

To assemble flowers, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of cheese mixture on each noodle and roll up. Place flowers, curly side up, in casserole dish. Mix remaining Ranch with pasta sauce; drizzle over each flower.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Serves: 4 to 6

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quick, Easy & Tasty Summer Salad

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup Cool Whip
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 2/3 cups 2% fat cottage cheese
1 (1 ounce) package sugar free pistachio pudding mix

Put everything in a bowl and mix.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving for pudding to set up.

Quick, Easy & Tasty Summer Salad

1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup Cool Whip
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
2 2/3 cups 2% fat cottage cheese
1 (1 ounce) package sugar free pistachio pudding mix

Put everything in a bowl and mix.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving for pudding to set up.

First Harvest Apple Carrot Muffins

1 3/4 cups raisin bran cereal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup tart apples -- finely chopped,
-- peeled
3/4 cup carrots -- grated
1/4 cup walnuts -- chopped

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the
egg,buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in
apple, carrots and walnuts. Fill paper-lined muffin cups or cups
coated with nonstick cooking spray three-fourths full. Bake at 400 F. for
20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes
before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Makes 1 dozen

Breakfast Bars

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chocolate flavored cereal puffs
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons dry milk powder
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 Melt butter in baking pan.

2 Melt the milk in the water.

3 Mix the ingredients with the butter in the following order: sugar,
oatmeal, vanilla extract, eggs, flour, baking powder, cereal and milk. Pat
into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

4 Bake at 325 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until golden
brown. Slice into desired sizes.

Italian Cresent Roll Casserole

1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1/4 c. minced onion
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 pkg. spaghetti sauce mix
8 oz. sour cream
2 c. Mozzarella cheese
1 can crescent rolls (8 slices)
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
3 c. cooked pasta

Layer cooked pasta (your choice) in bottom of 9 x 13 inch pan. Brown and drain hamburger. Add onion and spread over pasta. Spread tomato sauce on meat layer and sprinkle with spaghetti mix. Spread sour cream over all and top with Mozzarella cheese. Unroll crescent roll dough on top. Dribble with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Honey Grilled Pork Chops

Yield: 4 Servings

A quick and easy grill recipe for a summer evening. You could make a little extra of the marinade and put in on zucchini slices while they grill as a side dish.

4 Boneless Pork Chops
2 T Honey
1/4 c Worcestershire
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Garlic Powder

In a shallow glass dish or bowl, mix together honey, Worcestershire sauce and spices. Add pork chops and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for no more than 4 hours to marinate. Lightly oil grill and preheat to medium. Remove pork chops from marinade. Grill until cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes, turning often.

Per Serving:
179 Calories
20 g Protein
6 g Total Fat
2 g Saturated Fat
1 g Polyunsaturated Fat
3 g Monounsaturated Fat
12 g Carbohydrates
0.1 g Fiber
100 mg Sodium
500 mg Potassium
48 mg Cholesterol

Diabetic Exchanges
0 Starch
0 Fruit
0 Milk
0.5 Other Carbohydrates
0 Vegetable
1 Lean Meat
2 Very Lean Meat
0 Fat

Thursday, June 25, 2009

All Day Ravioli Stew

All-Day Ravioli Stew

2 cups carrots (sliced)
1 cup onions (chopped)
2 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
2 (14 oz.) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 (19 oz.) can Cannellini beans (drained)
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 (9 oz.) package refrigerated sausage filled ravioli

In large crock pot, combine all ingredients except ravioli; mix well. Cover; cook on low setting for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. At serving time, increase heat to high setting. Add ravioli; cook an additional 8 minutes or until ravioli is tender.

Taco Dorito Casserole

Family Size bag Doritoes
1 1/2 lb. gr. beef
1 pkg. dry Taco Seasoning
2 cans Rotels ( I use 1 can original, 1 can mild)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken
1- 2 cans beef or chicken broth
(depends on how dry you want it)
1 can Ranch Style beans with liquid (if you don't use
beans, use hominy instead)
1 small can corn (or hominy) (optional)
8 oz. grated Colby Jack cheese
green onions, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 10 x 14 baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. In skillet, brown ground beef with Taco Seasoning and chopped onion.

3. In 10 x 14 dish, place about 2/3 bag of Doritoes. Crush Doritoes slightly to fit better in dish.

4. Over the Doritoes : place browned beef mixture, Add chopped bell pepper on top of this. Sprinkle on corn. Sprinkle on some of the grated cheese.Then put some more Doritoes on top.

5. In sauce pan, mix Rotels, mushroom soup, beans with liquid, and broth. Heat till bubbly , then pour over the beef mixture.

6. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, remove from oven, then sprinkle with more grated cheese. Return to oven for a few minutes to melt cheese.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get Your Fruit On - Tropicana FREE OJ

The first 5000 people to take the "Get Your Fruit On" pledge with Tropicana will receive a coupon for a FREE carton of Tropicana OJ!

In addition, for each pledge, Tropicana will contribute 16 fruit servings (1 64oz carton) to the USDA School Breakfast Program to help children jumpstart their day's fruit goals.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Anise Biscotti Cookies

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
3/4 cup oil
5 eggs
2 Tbsp. anise seed
1/2 teaspoon anise extract
1 cup chopped almonds
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup finely ground almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick baking spray containing flour and set aside.
Combine cake mix, oil, and eggs in large mixing bowl and stir to blend. Beat two minutes at highest speed of mixer. Add anise seed, extract, and chopped almonds and blend well. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and bars begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Cut dough into 3 strips lengthwise, then cut each strip across into 12 bars, making 36 bars total.

Place bars, cut side down, on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake bars at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes until cut sides begin to brown, turning over once during baking time.

While bars are baking, on shallow plate, combine powdered sugar and ground almonds and mix well. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and immediately drop into powdered sugar mixture; roll to coat. Place on wire rack and cool completely. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

36 biscotti cookies

Just like Lawry's, Make Your Own Season Salt

Lawry's Seasoned Salt

2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pour blend into an empty spice bottle to store.

Makes: 1/4 cup

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crockpot Beef Gyros

Beef Gyros

1 slow-cooker liner (we used Reynolds)
2 lb boneless beef chuck steak, about 11⁄4 in. thick
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper

Yogurt-Dill Sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup diced seedless cucumber
1 Tbsp snipped fresh dill
1⁄4 tsp salt
5 pocketless pita breads

Accompaniments: leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes and red onions

1. Line a 3-qt or larger slow-cooker with liner; place beef in liner.

2. Mix oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour over beef, turning to coat. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours until meat is tender.

3. Meanwhile, make Sauce: Stir ingredients, cover and refrigerate.

4. Remove beef to cutting board; slice. Return beef to juices in slow-cooker to keep warm. Warm pitas as package directs; top with sliced meat. Serve with accompaniments and yogurt sauce.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks Via Coupon

Free Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks Via Coupon

Kraft is giving away coupons for $1 million worth of Oscar Mayer Beef Franks.

Brownie Pops

Brownies on a stick - fun to make and delicious to eat! Just cut brownies, add a stick and dip in chocolate.

Prep Time: 30 min
Total Time: 3 hours 0 min
Makes: 24 brownie pops

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
24 craft sticks (flat wooden sticks with round ends)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
2 teaspoons shortening
Assorted Betty Crocker Decorating Decors candy sprinkles

Heat oven to 350F. Line 13x9-inch pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Place brownies in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Cut brownies into 24 rectangular bars, 6 rows lengthwise and 4 rows across, each about 1 1/2 by 3 1/4 inches. Gently insert craft stick into end of each bar, peeling foil from bars. Place on cookie sheet; freeze 30 minutes.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High about 1 minute; stir until smooth. If necessary, microwave additional 5 seconds at a time. Dip top 1/3 to 1/2 of each brownie into chocolate; sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Lay flat on waxed paper or foil to dry.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Follow High Altitude directions on brownie mix box for 13x9-inch pan.

Nutrition Information:
1 Brownie Pop: Calories 180 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 2 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 95mg; Total Carbohydrate 28g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 20g); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 6% Exchanges: 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat

Source: Betty Crocker

Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

A delicious and easy to make dish with broccoli, chicken and a cheese topping.

4 large chicken breasts
1 large bag of broccoli
Curry powder
Sour cream
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup ( I prefer cream of chicken, celery or even asparagus)
16 ounces shredded sharp cheese


Wash chicken breasts and boil until tender.
Cut chicken into bite size pieces and line the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
Boil broccoli until tender, drain and put on top of the chicken.
Mix sour cream, cream of mushroom soup and curry powder together and spread over
chicken and broccoli.
Lay shredded sharp cheese on top and bake until cheese starts to melt. Enjoy!

Servings: 8

Monday, May 18, 2009

Orangettes Recipe - Candied Orange Peel Dipped in Chocolate

1 large navel orange
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup chopped semisweet chocolate

Using a peeler, cut 3-inch long, 3/4-inch wide strips of orange peel from the orange. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and simmer the orange peels for 10 minutes. Drain the peels, rinse them with cold water, and boil them in fresh water for an additional 10 minutes; repeat this process 1 more time.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan and stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reduced in volume just a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the orange peels and continue simmering the mixture for 15 minutes. Transfer the candied orange peel to a wire drying rack and allow it to sit undisturbed for 45 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the 2/3 of the length of each candied orange strip in the chocolate, leaving 1/3 of the peel exposed, and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow the chocolate to set before serving.

This recipe makes approximately 10-12 orangettes.

Free Issue of Sandra Lee Semi Homemade Magazine

Cranberry Pretzel Salad

My mom got this from a friend and is sounds yummy & refreshing for a winter, spring or summer dessert, will post pics when I make here.

Cranberry Pretzel Salad

Bottom Layer:

2 cups Crushed Pretzels

3/4 cups butter melted

1 Tbsp. sugar

Mix the above ingredients together and press into a 9X13 inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes on 350 degrees. Cool completely. (Sometimes I stick it in the refrigerator to hurry it along).

Middle Layer:

1-8 oz. pkg cream cheese (leave out until softened)

1-8 oz. tub of cool whip

1/2 cup sugar

Blend these ingredients together with a hand mixer. Spread on top of cooled crust.

Top Layer:

1 Large pkg. Black Cherry Jello

2 cans whole cranberry sauce (I used Ocean Spray brand)

2 cups boiling water

Mix together and cool. I put it in the freezer just to cool it down more quickly. Do Not let it set up. It needs to be liquid when put over the second layer. With a large spoon, carefully put cranberry jello mixture over the cream cheese layer. Carefully place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until jello is set. I put it in uncovered and cover it once it is set up. Enjoy!

This recipe can also be made with mandarin oranges and orange jello or frozen strawberries (thawed) and strawberry jello.


1 pkg. lemon pudding and pie filling mix
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. water
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
4 tbsp. sugar
1 can coconut, toasted or tinted
1/2 c. whipping cream

Combine pudding mix, sugar and 1/4 cup of the water in a
saucepan. Add egg yolks and blend well. Add remaining water
and cook, stirring until mixture comes to a full boil and is
thickened--about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Beat egg whites until foamy throughout. Add sugar 2 tbsp. at
a time, beating until blended. Continue beating until
mixture will stand in soft peaks. Fold in hot pudding.

Spoon into parfait glasses, layering alternately with
toasted or tinted coconut. Garnish with additional whipped
cream and top with coconut and maraschino cherries. Serves

Milk may be substituted for the 2 cups water used in recipe.
Cherry sauce may be substituted for coconut to make
Lemon-Cherry Parfait.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Lady's Warm Potato Salad

I just love Paula Deen, this is a great recipe.


2 tablespoon Paula Deen’s Silly Salt
1/4 cup diced pimento
1 teaspoon Paula Deen’s Lemon-Pepper Seasoning
1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped
8 medium red potatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream


Boil potatoes with skins for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Let cool just to the touch and cut into cubes. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add potatoes. Mix gently and serve at room temperature.

Yield: 10 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: easy

Silly Salt & Lemon Pepper Spices can be purchased HERE

Bewitching Kitchen Tips

1. A quartz crystal placed on or near the stove when cooking makes food taste better.

2. A pot of basil grown in your kitchen keeps the area safe from evil forces and negative spirits.

3. Unlucky influences should be kept away from when cooking or preparing magickal recipes; to accomplish, always stir in a clockwise direction.

4. An aloe plant should be kept in the kitchen, it's juices are an instant cure for minor kitchen burns.

Lemon Facial Toner

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. distilled water
zest of 1 lemon
2/3 c Witch Hazel

Combine all ingredients in a clear bottle and seal with a lid or stopper.

Shake well before each use, keep refrigerated, will keep for 1 month.

Homemade Gourmet

Hello The Mystical Kitchen readers, thank you so much for being a follower and reader of my blog, it's greatly appreciated and I enjoy your comments very much.

I wanted to share today with you my newest venture with Homemade Gourmet, great items to help bring healthy and yummy meals to your table.

You can view my website and order direct from there

Homemade Gourmet also has a wonderful representative opportunity and if you are interested, I would love to have you on my team!

Please feel free to email with any questions:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tea Time Giveaway

I entered you should too!

What's better than a cup of nice tea to unwind or start your day.

As busy WAHMs we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves from time to time. One way I like to take a time out is to make a nice cup of tea. My favorite is Wild Strawberry from Teaporia. In the summer I take a chilled cup and sip on the front porch and take in the evening stars and air. Its a wonderful time to just take a deep breath and enjoy the quiet time to myself.

Read more and enter your name at Liv's WAHM Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Domino's Free Bread Bowl Pasta Wednesday from 11AM to 2PM Only

Appears to be for A Free Bread Bowl Pasta at Domino's, carry out only between 11AM and 2PM.
April 29, 2009

Print Your Coupon Here

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

Slow-Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
Serves 6 to 8

The barley, cooked over a long period of time, adds a velvety texture as well as a nutty flavor to the soup. Try substituting 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill for the parsley.

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3-pound), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions , chopped medium
2carrots , peeled and chopped medium
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2/3 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Dry the beef with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the beef, about 10 minutes, then add to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and repeat with 2 more teaspoons oil and the remaining beef.

2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 1 minute, then pour into the slow cooker.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broths, thyme, and barley to the slow cooker. Cover and cook, on either low or high, until the beef is tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high. Before serving, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Make Ahead
The night before (or a day in advance), prepare the recipe through step 2. Instead of adding the ingredients to the slow cooker, refrigerate them, but be sure to store the browned meat in one container and the vegetables and wine in another container. In the morning, add the chilled ingredients to the slow cooker, then add the tomatoes with their juice, the broths, thyme, and barley to the slow cooker. Proceed with step 3. The cooking time will run to the high end of the range given in the recipe.

April is National Grilled Cheese Month

Kraft is selecting randomly selecting 500 people to receive a coupon every week in April. The coupon is for a FREE pack of Kraft Singles.

All you have to do is tell them in 50 words or less why grilled cheese brings a smile to your face.

Enter here:

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread


2 1/3 cup baking mix
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup chopped strawberries

Mix all ingredients except berries and nuts then beat 50 strokes by hand.
Stir in berries and nuts and pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 50 minutes then cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

Baked Fluffy Orange French Toast

Serving Size: 6

6 eggs -- separated
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
12 bread slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup orange marmalade

Heat oven to 450~. Grease large cookie sheet. In medium bowl, beat
egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form; set aside. Beat egg yolks; stir in orange juice, orange peel, salt and milk. Fold egg yolk mix into beaten egg whites. Dip bread slices into egg mix until evenly coated. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown ( do not turn toast). In small saucepan, combine sour cream and marmalade; heat over low heat just until warmed. Serve immediately with sauce.

Homemade Herbal Baby Powder Blend

Baby Powder

1 ounce powdered chamomile
1 ounce powdered marigold flowers
1 ounce oat or oatmeal powder
1/2 ounce comfrey root powder
1/2 ounce powdered eggshells
1/2 ounce cornstarch (optional)

Sift through a very fine sifter, then bottle. If heat rash is a problem, add cornstarch.

Monday, April 13, 2009

WAH Mommy Biz

I've acquired a new site devoted to the support of promotion of WAH's.

WAH, WAHM = Work At Home, Work At Home Mom

Advertising, online parties coming soon, resources, articles, recipes and so much more! Visit often as we are still building the site and adding our content.

Emeril's® Southwest Seasoning

Emeril's® Southwest Seasoning
2 tbsp. Each chili powder, paprika
2 tsp. Ground cumin
1 tsp. Each black pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. Each ground coriander, garlic powder, salt, dried oregano


Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Use as needed

Easy Sour Cream Biscuits

Easy Sour Cream Biscuits

These are the easiest and best biscuits ever and a great way to use up
leftover sour cream.

1 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
2 cups self-rising flour

Combine butter and sour cream. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Fill
ungreased muffin pans with heaping tablespoons of batter.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Cool biscuits for 3 minutes
before removing from pan.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Arizona Sunset Cheesecake

Shortbread Crust
1 1/2 c Flour
1/2 c Finely ground pecans
1/3 c Sugar
1 lg Egg, separated
1/2 c Butter, softened

Cranberry Glaze Filling

1 cn Whole berry cranberry- sauce OR 2 cups cranberry orange relish
2 tb Sugar
1 tb Cornstarch
1 tb Grated lemon zest
1 tb Lemon juice

White Chocolate Filling

1 1/2 c Fresh orange juice
1-3 Inch x 1 inch piece- of orange peel (orange part only)
4 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
2/3 c Sugar
1 tb Grated orange zest
2 tb Cranberry Liqueur (such- as Crantasia Schnapps)
8 oz White chocolate, melted
4 Eggs

Candied Orange Topping
4 c Water
2 c Sugar
3 Seedless oranges (unpeeled)- cut into paper-thin slices

Garnish Whipped Cream

Shortbread Crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Working on a large flat surface, such as a pastry board, place flour, pecans, and sugar in the center of the surface and mix together. Form a small depression or well in the center of the mound. Add the egg yolk and the softened butter to the well, then blend these with the dry mixture. Mix the ingredients thoroughly using your hands --there is no substitute for warm hands. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 10 minutes. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. You should have a circle of about 11 inches in diameter. For best results, roll out your dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper, then peel away the paper and cut the crust in a 9 inch circle.

Place the circle inside a 9 inch springform pan. Prick the crust several times with a fork to keep the crust from puffing up during the baking. Place the springform pan in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown. Allow to cool. Using the leftover dough, line the sides of the springform pan. Press the dough against the sides of the pan, smoothing it so as to have a continuous layer of crust all the way around the sides of the pan. Make sure that the side crust meets the bottom crust all the way around. Brush the reserved egg white onto the shell, covering the bottom and sides. This will seal the dough and keep it from becoming soggy. Set aside until ready to use.

Cranberry Glaze Filling: Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan. Stir in the cranberry sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside to cool slightly.

White Chocolate Filling: Reset the oven to 350 degrees F. Boil the orange juice and piece of orange peel in a heavy medium saucepan until the juice is reduced to 3 Tbsp about 12 minutes. Remove and discard the strip of orange peel and set aside the reduced orange juice. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, grated orange zest, Crantasia, and reduced orange juice until smooth. Beat in the melted white chocolate and then the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Pour the cranberry glaze filling into the prepared crust, spreading evenly. Pour the white chocolate filling over the cranberry layer and bake about 50 minutes (the top will be dry and the sides puffed slightly - the center will not be set). Move cheesecake to a wire rack and cool completely to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Candied Oranges Topping: Cover a wire rack with waxed paper. Set aside. Combine the water and sugar in a heavy shallow wide skillet. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes longer. Add the orange slices 1 at a time and adjust the heat so that the syrup bubbles only around the edges of the pan. Cook the oranges for one hour. Turn over the top layer of oranges and cook until the oranges are translucent and the orange peels tender, about another one hour longer. Lift and drain each orange slice out of the syrup, and arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared rack. Let dry 1 hour. Boil the orange-sugar syrup until thick, about 6 minutes.
Loosen and remove the sides of the springform pan. Set the cheesecake on a serving dish. Overlap the candied orange slices around the top of the cheesecake. Reheat the orange syrup, if necessary, and brush over the orange slices. Drizzle any remainder over each serving.

Garnish: whipped cream

NOTE: You may substitute grapefruits for the oranges in the Candied Oranges Topping if you prefer.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Butter Glazed Asparagus

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: 6


1/2 cup Swanson® Chicken Broth OR Swanson® Vegetable Broth
2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoon butter


Heat the broth in a 12-inch skillet over high heat to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Add the butter.

Reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes more or until the liquid thickens and the asparagus is tender-crisp.

Easy Substitution Tip: Use frozen broccoli flowerets or sliced carrots for the asparagus.

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

Kitchen Sink Bowtie Pasta Salad
(Makes 4-5 servings.)
This simply delicious pasta dish has not one, not two, but three kid-friendly vegetables. Broccoli, tomatoes and chick peas add great nutrition as well as convenience to the recipe.

* 8 ounces dried bowtie pasta
* 4 to 5 cups fresh broccoli florets
* 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
* One 7 ¾-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or half a 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup lite Italian or Caesar salad dressing
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Two to three minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli. Bring back to a boil and cook until the broccoli and pasta are done. Drain and place in a large bowl.
2. While the pasta is still warm, add the tomatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese, salad dressing, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
3. Serve warm or refrigerate for a cold salad.

Tip: You could also add bell pepper strips, black olives, or sugar snap peas.

Per Serving:
350 calories, 8g fat (4g saturated, 550mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 15g protein, 30% vitamin A, 90% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 15% iron

Guiness Brown Bread

Guinness Brown Bread
Raglan Road Irish Pub, Downtown Disney

1/2 cups Guinness
3/4 lb Whole meal flour (whole wheat)
4 lb AP Flour
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Baking soda
4 cups Oats, rolled
4 oz Molasses
2 qt Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350
Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and add in the buttermilk in three batches as you mix and fold by hand lightly; the mixture should be quite sticky. Portion in to greased or buttered muffin pans. Bake in the oven until golden brown and it makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Enjoy with Kerry gold butter or Guinness reduction and Olive oil.

Guinness Reduction
1 pint Guinness
1 pint Sugar

Combine the Guinness and sugar in a large stockpot.
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until reduced by half (approx 1 hour). Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature. Do not leave the pot unattended while it is coming to a boil as it may boil over

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chocolate Covered Potato Eggs

I love Paula Deen but this is one of the most unique recipes from her, LOL. Going to try and make them and see what they taste like.

Cook Time

10 min


* 2 medium potatoes (2 cups total when mashed)
* 1 stick butter
* 2 (1-pound) boxes confectioners' sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups melted chocolate


Boil and mash potatoes, then cool to room temperature. Add butter to potatoes. Mix potatoes, sugar, and vanilla extract, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The mixture should be the consistency of marzipan. Divide into 16 equal pieces and roll into egg shapes. Freeze them for 30 minutes. Dip pieces into melted chocolate to cover, transfer to a rack for the chocolate to harden. Serve cold.

Found on Food Network.Com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sasquatch Jerky?!

Just when you thought you had tried every kind of jerky, someone takes it up a notch, lol.

The search is over! Its time to taste why brand Sasquatch Jerky is #1. Our hand-sliced strips of rare, 100% premium choice Sasquatch meat are seasoned and marinated with the finest of all-natural ingredients to create a savory flavor which will satisfy your taste buds every time.

* VERY Limited Quantities!
* Available only at
* Made from 100% Sasquatch meat
* Low in calories, high in protein
* No added preservatives or MSG

Want more info? Click Here: Sasquatch Jerky

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cherry & Port Glazed Ham

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 24


1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 1/2 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped shallot
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup port or other sweet red wine
1 package (5 ounces) dried cherries (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 turkey size oven bag
7 -to 10-pound unglazed fully-cooked bone-in spiral-sliced ham


Stir the cornstarch and stock in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until they're tender. Add the allspice and cook for 30 seconds.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir the wine, cherries and brown sugar in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

Stir the cornstarch mixture in the skillet. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.

Place the oven bag into a 3-quart shallow baking pan. Place the ham into the oven bag. Pour the cherry glaze over the ham. Close the bag with the nylon tie. Cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in the top of the bag.

Bake at 250°F. for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the ham is heated through. Remove the ham from the oven bag to a serving platter. Spoon some of the cherry glaze over the ham. Serve the remaining cherry glaze with the ham.

Tip: The cherry glaze can be prepared as directed above through Step 4, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat the glaze in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat until it's heated through. Serve with the ham as directed above.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

1 Cup of Everything Cookies

One Cup of Everything Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup
3 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup coconut
1 cup
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat margarine, both sugars, eggs, and
until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto
and bake for 10 minutes.
Makes 9 dozen. Enjoy.

Maple Pecan Pie

Maple Pecan Pie

1 cup (250 mL) maple syrup
2/3 cup (150 mL) sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup (50 mL) melted butter
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped pecans
1 9-inch (23-cm) purchased or homemade pie shell, unbaked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a mixing bowl, beat together maple syrup, sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until slightly thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in chopped pecans and pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife poked into the center of the filling comes out clean.
Let cool completely or serve slightly warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Servings: 6 to 8, or one 9-inch (23-cm) pie

Oatmeal S'More Cookies YUMMO!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 6 dozen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009



1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar, 1/2 cup
butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in flour. Pat into
ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (I need to wet the
spoon.) Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 15

In heavy saucepan cook and stir sweetened condensed milk, 2
tablespoons butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over low heat
until butter melts. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5
minutes. (Mixture will thicken and become smooth.) Stir in

Spread over baked layer. Bake at 350 degrees until golden,
12-15 minutes. Spread warm cookies with Fudge Frosting.
While cookies are warm, cut into bars and remove from pan.
Makes 48.


1 oz. sq. unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. hot water (approximately)

In a small saucepan melt one 1-ounce square unsweetened
chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter over low hat, stirring
constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 cups sifted
confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Blend in hot
water to make frosting of almost pourable consistency.


1 1/4 c. unsifted flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. Butterfinger candy bars, cut into sm. pieces (takes
approx. 3 - 3 1/2 big bars)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flour, soda and salt. Cream together butter
and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir in
candy bar pieces and dry ingredients. Add vanilla and blend
well. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Drop by 1/2 teaspoonfuls
onto greased baking sheets. Bake in moderate oven, 350
degrees, for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. (I bake 8 to
10 minutes.) Remove from baking sheets and place on wire
racks to cool.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Red Flannel Hash

Red flannel hash is a mixture of onion, beets, and potatoes that is satisfying
and tasty. While traditionally bacon is mixed in, this version goes vegetarian
by using eggs instead. And to make life easier, the hash is cooked in the oven
instead of being parboiled and cooked stove top—meaning you can take a shower
and return to a crispy, golden brown hash that's ready to eat.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 medium red potatoes, medium dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 small red beets, peeled and medium dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and medium dice
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
4 large eggs

1. Heat oven to 450°F and arrange rack in middle. Place oil in a large 12-inch
cast iron skillet, and put in oven until oil shimmers and pan is heated through,
about 5 minutes.
2. Combine potatoes, beets, onion, and garlic in a large bowl. Sprinkle
generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat.
Spread in an even layer in the hot cast iron skillet, and roast in oven until
starting to get crispy, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven, stir mixture,
and then return to oven to roast until beets and potatoes are fully cooked and
browned, about 25 minutes more.
3. Remove pan from oven and stir in parsley. Create four indentations in hash
and crack one egg into each indentation. Season eggs with kosher salt and
freshly ground pepper. Return pan to oven and cook eggs to desired doneness.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ostara Peep Ambrosia

Ostara Peep Ambrosia
Found on About.Com

Everyone knows Peeps, those overwhelmingly sweet little marshmellow critters that appear every Spring in the grocery store. Put your leftover Peeps to good use this Ostara, and make them into a delicious ambrosia salad! For the most colorful results, use yellow or pink Peeps.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
• 1 pkg of 12 marshmellow Peeps (chicks or bunnies)
• 2 cans mandarin oranges
• 2 cans pineapple tidbits
• 1 jar maraschino cherries
• 2 chopped bananas
• 2 C. shredded coconut flakes
• 4 oz. sour cream
• 1 12-oz tub of Cool Whip or other dessert topping
Dice the Peeps into small pieces. Drain the juices from all the fruit. Mix all ingredients together, and allow to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Serve as dessert following your Ostara celebration.

Easy Garlic Chicken

Garlic Chicken

2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the
flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Dip
the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread
crumb mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for
30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Angel Hair Pasta w/ Cream Shrimp Sauce

1 pound fresh shrimp

1 stick butter

Dash of thyme, tarragin, risemary, red and white pepper and 1/2 c. Mrs. Dash extra spicy

1/2 c. finley chopped onion

3 cloves finely chopped garlic

1/2 tbsp. finely chopped bell pepper

1-1 1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1/2 pint whipping cream

1/2 c. milk

1/4 pound Velveeta cheese

1/4 pound Monterrey Jack cheese

Jalapeno cheese

16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta

Mix cleaned shrimp with the thyme, basil, tarragon, rosemary, red and white pepper and Mrs. Dash. Melt the butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper.

Stir with a whisk till the onions are transparent. Add seasoned shrimp, stirring till the shrimp turns pink. Remove from the saucepan. Do not over cook the shrimp. Add the flour, to the mixture in the saucepan, stirring constantly till mixed. Slowly pour in the whipping cream, stirring constantly with whisk then pour milk in slowly. For a thinner sauce, add a little more milk. Cube Velveeta cheese and Monterey Jack. Add to the saucepan. Stir till cheese melts. Pour the shrimp into the saucepan and remove from heat. Cook angel hair pasta according to the directions on the pkg.

Place the shrimp sauce over the pasta. Serve with a green salad and hot french bread.

Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Marinated Carrots

3 lbs. carrots
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 cup snipped parsley

Peel and cut the carrots diagonally into 1/4 inch slices. Cook in boiling, salted water until crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes; drain. Combine the remaining ingredients, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour over warm carrots. Refrigerate, covered or in a Tupperware, at least 12 hours. Serve with slotted spoon.

Friendship Cookies

Friendship is something of which we could all use more. Of course, cookies by the same name are nice, too! This recipe was a fourth-place winner in the 1995 Chicago Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest: by Agnes Da Costa of Countryside, Illinois.

2 1/4 cup Unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Vegetable oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 cup Pure maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Additional sugar for coating

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Have ungreased baking sheet(s) ready.

2. Combine all ingredients, except sugar for coating, in large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until combined. Refrigerate to firm dough slightly, about 20 minutes.

3. Roll into large balls, using 1/4 cup dough each for large cookies or a scant tablespoon for smaller cookies (dough will be soft). Roll in additional sugar to coat. Arrange on baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart.

4. Bake until set, about 15 minutes for large cookies and 10 minutes for smaller ones. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Almond Chocolate Coffee Frappe

This thick, delicious frappe (basically, a milk shake with ice cream, coffee and flavoring) can be made with leftover coffee—just make an extra batch of coffee in the morning and refrigerate until you're ready. Follow this recipe as is, or change the flavors using different kinds of ice cream or syrups. Or make it really low in calories and enjoy it the way they traditionally make it in Greece: cold coffee, milk, sweetener and crushed ice mixed in the blender.


* 1/4 cup black coffee (room temperature)
* 1/4 cup milk* (plus a little more, if needed, for smooth blending)
* 1 cup chocolate ice cream
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 1 cup crushed ice (or smallest cubes possible)
* 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
* Cinnamon, for dusting


* *Milk options: whole milk, skim milk, soy milk, etc.
* 4 teaspoons of sugar or two packets of sugar substitute (to taste)
* Extra scoops of ice cream, for garnish
* Whipped cream, for topping

step 1Place black coffee, milk, ice cream, almond extract and crushed ice in blender jar. Add sugar or sugar substitute only if desired. (The taste is quite sweet without it!)

step 2
With blender lid securely closed, pulse blender until mixture is smooth. If blades get stuck, add a little more milk.

step 3
Pour 1 Tablespoon of chocolate syrup into the bottom of each glass. (This makes the drink look and taste even more delectable.)

step 4
Divide the coffee frappe between your glasses and dust with cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan


1 large eggplant
10-12 medium sized mushrooms (sliced)
pasta sauce (no added vegetables; plain)
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Italian bread crumbs
vegetable oil
3 eggs
salt (optional)

Slice the eggplant about 1/2 inch thick. Throw away both ends of eggplant; don't eat.

Beat the eggs together in a flat bowl (cereal bowl; salad plate). Use another bowl (same type) and fill about 1/4 inch with breadcrumbs.

Cover a slice of the eggplant, one at a time, with the egg and let excess drip off. Then lay the slice in the breadcrumbs, covering both sides. Repeat this process, adding more breadcrumbs as needed. If you fill the bowl with too many crumbs at on time, the crumbs will get sticky and chunky.

Add oil to a medium fry pan, but just enough to coat the bottom. Brown each slice; you can brown about 4-5 slices at a time. Don't overcook; just let them get crispy on the outside. Add oil as necessary; don't let the pan dry out or burn.

Transfer slices to a paper towel. Once all are browned, place a layer in the bottom of a rectangular casserole dish (approx. 9-11 inch dish). Top with half of a jar of sauce. Add the sliced mushrooms and a couple hand fulls of cheese. Add another layer of eggplant and the rest of the sauce. Cover with foil and put in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes (oven temps vary). Add another couple hand fulls of cheese and bake uncovered for about 8-10 minutes

Creamy Italian Dressing

Creamy Italian Dressing
Makes one cup

1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, coarsely ground

Mix all ingredients and chill before serving.

A Spring Kitchen

A SPRING KITCHEN by Cait Johnson

Spring kitchens are airy, fresh places where we feel stimulated,
energized, alive with possibilities. The first step in making our
kitchens places of inspiration is old fashioned spring-cleaning.
Even those of us who loathe housecleaning as a tiresome, thankless,
repetitious, and endlessly boring chore can learn to enjoy the
process of marking our territory with magick.

By the end of winter, the world looks a bit scruffy and neglected.
Dead leaves and fallen branches litter the ground, along with
remnants of snow pocked with grime. Just as a gardener needs to
clear away the winter debris to make room for spring growth and
flowering, so it can be a good thing to clear away debris from our
kitchens. Make space in your life for fresh, good things to grow.
Take some time in early spring to decide on your kitchen essentials:
What is truly necessary for you? What could you do without? Give
away anything that doesn't serve you. When your kitchen is clean and
uncluttered, your spirit can breathe.

Once your kitchen is as clean as you feel like making it, you may
want to celebrate the stirring of new life with a few essential
springtime decorations. Flowering bulbs and bare tree branches can
both be placed in water and allowed to bloom. Teardrops of glass
hung in the window catch the light like melting icicles. Dark,
earthy, winter colours give way to the lighter, more airy ones of
spring--a pastel rag rug for the floor or a woven mat for the table
may refresh your spirit. Look for shades of mouth-watering yellow-
green, violet, rose, pale blue, silvery dove-gray, and a tender
yellow the colour of the emerging sun. These are the colours that
will help you to envision, to plan, to be inspired.

Spring is associated with air, and with thoughts, ideas, and words.
You could invoke the power of words in your kitchen by writing a few
important ones here and there. Use large letters if you want them to
be seen (in a border around the ceiling, perhaps), or hide tiny ones
in secret places. Get yourself some magnetic poetry for the fridge.
What are the words that you need in your life? Is there a special
quote that you could frame or incorporate into your kitchen?

By the Spring Equinox, the birds are returning and the world is
filled with wings, nests, and the heart-lifting sound of their
singing. One traditional and pleasant way to commemorate the birds'
return is to include a nest or two in your kitchen. You could buy
one (Spanish moss, twig, or wicker nests look very realistic), or you
could find a real one (as long as it isn't being lived in anymore),
or create your own.

Fill your nests with eggs. Traditionally, eggs have held a place of
special veneration as objects of power and magick. Egg-decorating is
an ancient way to honour this season. And you may want to tuck in a
feather or two, as well--these are especially meaningful if you've
found them yourself.

There are egg-shaped soaps available now that would be fun in a
nestlike soap dish on the sink (look for nice all-natural herbal egg-
soaps in specialty stores or gift catalogues). Or, to make your own,
try grating leftover bits of soap into a bowl, mix with a little
water, and shape small palmfuls into eggs by hand. If you throw in a
few leftover coffee grounds, your soap will have a wild-bird-egg's
speckled look and will also be a good deodorizer for oniony hands.
Whenever you wash with a bar of egg-soap, let the symbol remind you
of the incredible power to create that lies in your hands--and in
your heart, your spirit, your mind.

The first tender vegetables of the spring garden make a welcome
appearance now. The tiny carrots, cheery radishes, asparagus spears,
and the earliest new peas to sprout up in gardens may be found on
everything from teapots to vases to dinnerware to teatowels, which
let you invite their hopeful message inside as well. Or you could
paint or stencil that veggie of your choice somewhere special: inside
a cupboard door to cheer you whenever you open it, for instance.

By late spring, the world is strewn with flowers. Make a place on
your table for a vase spilling over with blooms, or find an O'Keeffe
print to brighten your wall. The sensual beauty of flowers has age-
old associations with love, sex, and pleasure, and late spring is
certainly the time for those. To invite the power of loving
sensuality into your kitchen, choose fabrics and accents in shades of
rose to remind you of your own sacred petals. Consider making a rose-
patterned pillow for your power place; then, every time you sit
there, you will be embowered by these rich symbols of the Goddess.

Herb Gardening for Beginners

Herb Gardening for Beginners:

Herbs are very easy to grow with a little sunshine, soil that drains well,
some watering, and a little fertilizer or compost. Herbs can be grown in
pots however the plants will always prefer to be in the ground where they
can spread out. Some plants will grow quite large, 4-6 feet, and in pots
they are really stunted and can get stressed which causes them to be very

For planting Herbs, you’ll need to allow approximately 1 to 4 feet in
diameter for each plant depending up on the plant. Here are some guidelines
for plant sizes:

*Rosemary, Sage, Mints, Oregano, Marjoram 3-4 feet
*Basils, Thyme, Tarragon, Savory 2 feet
*Cilantro, Chives, Dill, Parsley 1 foot
The main thing necessary to grow herbs is to put them in the right place.
Most will prefer full sun if you don't have regular summer temperatures
above 90 degrees. If you do have very warm summers then you might consider
planting in morning sun and afternoon shade or a place which receives
filtered light in summer (under a tree that allows some light through).
Check the area several times during the day to make sure that there will be
at least 4 hours of sun. i.e. 8-12, 12-4, 9-11 and 2-4 etc.

Next you need to prepare the soil. Digging with a large garden fork will
loosen up the soil that has been compacted over the years and allow water to
drain and the plants roots to reach down into the soil. This is the most
important step--shortcuts here will be disastrous to your plants. Adding
some compost to your soil, about an inch or so on top and then dig it into
the soil, will help with drainage problems and add fertilizer to the garden.

The final step is to plant healthy, strong plants and water them as they get
dry. Most herbs like to be watered as soon as the soil is dry to the touch a
couple of inches down into the soil. This will be different every week
because of temperatures and humidity so you must check them often and do not
over water. More watering is not better and can lead to diseases for your

For harvesting, you simply cut off about 1/3 of the branches when the plant
reaches at least 6-8" tall. Cut close to a leaf intersection and your plants
will regrow very quickly. Some plants such as parsley have new leaves
growing from the center and need to have the oldest branches removed leaving
the new growing point intact so the plant can regrow. This will be more
clear as you watch your plants grow.

Herb Gardening in Containers:

Herbs are much easier to grow than many houseplants. All you need is a
sunny, warm place and containers large enough for the plants you want to
grow. Sunny decks, patios, and other such areas are great for container
gardening and do not require the difficult digging that starting a garden
usually requires. However, if you are lucky enough to have a great location
for a garden and like to work outdoors, the plants will always prefer to be
in the ground. Some plants will grow quite large and do much better in the
ground for that reason alone. Container gardening requires diligent watering
and regular feeding, but it can be easy and fun. The main things you will
need are:

*Clay Pots (or plastic) 8" to 18" in diameter (it is a good idea to combine
several herbs together of the same watering requirements)
*Good Potting Soil (enough to fill your pots)
*Plant fertilizer (Organic or slow release Osmocote pellets recommended)
*Watering Can or Hose
For planting Herbs, you’ll need to allow at least 8" in diameter for each
plant. Later you may want to transplant to larger pots because they will
outgrow their pots over time. (Basils can grow to over 2 1/2 feet high.)

First prepare your potting soil by filling the container and adding plant
food according to the directions on the package for vegetables. I prefer
organic fertilizers or slow release Osmocote pellets which last a long time
and are less likely to overfeed. Moisten the potting soil by adding water
and mixing soil until it feels damp all the way through. Place the pot on a
saucer and you are ready to plant.

Next, dig holes large enough for each plant, turn the plant upside down, tap
the bottom, and gently pull the base of the stem until the plant comes out
of the container. Place the plant in the hole and fill around the edges
pressing gently. Water the plant immediately after planting and then water
them only when the soil gets dry to the touch. Over watering can be just as
bad as under watering for Herbs.

Plants should get at least 4 hours of sunshine per day (certain plants will
appreciate a bit of shade in the hot summer months, during the afternoon
hours). They can grow with less, but they will not grow as well. For
harvesting, you simply cut off about 1/3 of the branches when the plant
reaches at least 6-8" tall. Cut close to a leaf intersection and your plants
will regrow very quickly. Some plants such as parsley grow from the center
and need to have the oldest branches removed leaving the new growing point
intact so the plant can regrow.

The History of Aprons

I have my Grandmother's aprons and still use them!
The History of Aprons
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath,
because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and
used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for
removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even
for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks,
and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had
shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much
furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch,waved her apron,
and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace
that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Send this to those who would know, and love, the story about Grandma's
aprons. Or it can be a good history lesson for those that have no idea how
apron played a part in our lives.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron.

But Love!

Monday, February 23, 2009

FREE Pancakes 02/24/09

Be a part of the pancake pandemonium as IHOP serves up FREE pancakes in celebration of National Pancake Day on February 24, 2009, at IHOP restaurants across the country.
From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., families and friends can enjoy a free short stack of IHOP’s famous buttermilk pancakes, and in turn, make a donation to IHOP’s national charity partner, Children’s Miracle Network, which helps improve the lives of children at the 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals nationwide. One hundred percent of the funds raised locally will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network hospital in the area.

National Pancake Day is a centuries-old tradition on the day before Lent, also known as “Shrove Tuesday” and Mardi Gras. For centuries, the English have “flipped” for pancakes on this day with rich lore and colorful events including pancake races. On February 24, IHOP will bring back this beloved tradition with its third National Pancake Day Celebration. After all, what could be more enjoyable (and delicious!) than eating free pancakes and supporting the community at the same time?

A great offer like this does have some rules - there is a limit of one free short stack per guest, and the offer is valid at participating restaurants for dine-in only while supplies last, and is not valid with any other offer, special, coupon or discount."

Mardi Gras Side Dish - Creole Okra


* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 large onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
* 3/8 teaspoon dried thyme
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 (16 ounce) package frozen cut okra


1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until limp. Add the green pepper; cook and stir until tender. Drain the tomatoes, reserving juice, and pour them into the skillet. Season with thyme, parsley, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add the frozen okra, and pour in enough of the reserved juice from the tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until okra is tender.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shamrock Toasties

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with this easy after-school snack.

Green pepper

English muffin

Cheddar cheese
1. To make one, slice a green pepper crosswise near the pointed end to get a small, three-lobed shamrock shape. (If your pepper has four lobes, you've got a lucky clover instead.) Cut a small slice for a stem.

2. Toast half an English muffin, then top it with a slice of Cheddar and the pepper shamrock. Place the muffin on a tray, then broil it in a toaster oven until the cheese is melted.

From Family Fun Magazine

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Restaurant Style Artichoke & Spinach Dip

* 4 cloves garlic
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
* 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
* 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
3. In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
4. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

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