Monday, July 11, 2016


Greetings Everyone! I have returned from my trip to Scotland. It was great since I spent time with my Dad and sister. Also, I tried some great food over there. Yes, I had tea and scones in Edinburgh. I tried sticky toffee pudding and Cranachan. I had dinner in a pub and snacks on a train. I have photos to share with you.
 This is a photo of Edinburgh castle. Queen Mary of Scots lived there. She gave birth to future King James of England. As you can see, the castle is well defended and was never conquered.
Since we took a tour of the castle, I wanted to share some photos of the grounds. It really is beautiful with a spectacular view. The Edinburgh castle is one of Scotland's most visited attractions. During our visit, we were unable to visit the Holyroodhouse Palace since Queen Elizabeth was in residence.
I had to capture a Scotsman in full outfit. I did see the gentleman at several locations. Normally, I did not see many men wearing the traditional kilt but it was nice to spot some. I did ask the family if anyone wanted me to bring them home a kilt. Sadly, my family said no. Since kilts are not cheap, I didn't buy one even with a lower than normal exchange rate.
This is a photo to show a view of the city. It is beautiful with so much history. One day I will bring the kids and my husband with me. Cheers!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Six Bean Salad

     Occasionally, I will post a healthy recipe. My philosophy is to eat your fruits and vegetables, then you can have some sweets. No wonder my kids will eat their vegetables. The first time I had a five bean salad was while I was in the military. I liked it but I like beans and green beans. My favorite is green beans so I doubled the green beans.
     Since we were having a cook out. I decided to make some easy side dishes. The five bean salad was one of the side dishes. My husband will not eat this dish. He wouldn't even try it. The kids would try it but they preferred the macaroni salad. 
     I will have to make this dish for my Dad. He would appreciate it as much as I did. I will post photos of my trip soon. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July. Be safe.
Six Bean Salad
2 cans (15 oz) green beans
1 can (15 oz) waxed yellow beans
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) white kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 tsp grated onion
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt, additional for garnish

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the green beans and yellow wax beans. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Rinse off the kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans. Set aside. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Gently, toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. 
  5. Lightly top with additional celery salt.
  6. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Samina Cooks

Two years ago.......................I made Strawberry Fool with blueberries.
Three years ago.....................I made Strawberry Whoppie Pies.
Four years ago.......................I made Bacon and Cheddar Scones.
Did you already know........................
-Green beans originated from Mexico and South America.
-In the 16th century, the Spanish explores introduced beans to Europe.
-Green beans and dry beans belong to the Phaseolus vulgaris family.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cinnamon Tea Cookies

     Alright, I haven't made cookies for while. So, it was time. I wanted something spicy and sweet which match these cookies. These cookies did not last. I really like spice so I did increase the amount of spice in the recipe. 
     Lately, I have made this deal with my daughter. I will make the cookie dough if she bakes the cookies. Since she wants the cookies, she always agrees. I think it is a nice arrangement. She does a great job. She likes the arrangement since she always gets the first cookie. I always tell her if she doesn't want to make all the cookies then freeze the dough. She has never frozen the dough and has made tray after tray of cookies. Why save some dough for later when she can have all the cookies today. Plus she knows Mom will make more cookie dough if asked. 
     Also, I'm heading to Scotland this weekend. I am going with my sister and we will see my Dad. I will post some photos of my trip next month.
Cinnamon Tea Cookies
1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
10 Tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract. 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. 
  5. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine. 
  7. Scoop 1 inch dough onto the baking sheet. Space the dough at least 2 inches apart. 
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until medium brown.
Recipe adapted from Tazo.

Two years ago.....................I made Paint Splatter Cupcakes.
Three years ago...................I made Flag Cookies.
Four years ago.....................I made Sweet Cakes.
Did you already know.................
-Cinnamon sticks are called quills. 
-Indonesia is the largest producer of cinnamon.
-The ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as an embalming ingredient.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Skillet hamburger Pasta

     Since my son keeps requesting this meal, I had to post it. I think we have made this meal at least three times. When I initially made this dish, I forgot to add the cheese (which is very unbelievable for me). Every since, we haven't added cheese. It is very easy and delicious recipe. However, it is very easy to burn the bottom of the skillet. 
     My son even cooked it by himself including chopping the onion. It was crazy the mess he made just from chopping one onion. It even made him cry. My husband liked that my son actually cooked a whole meal with no help but my husband didn't enjoy the aftermath of the mess left behind from our son. The meal is made with one pan but it still appeared our kitchen was hit by a tornado created by our son. This is the perfect meal for a busy night. Remember if an 11 year can make it, you can too.
Skillet hamburger Pasta

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb. ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
8 oz. can tomato sauce
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard
1 stalk of green onions, chopped

  1. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the ground beef and onion.
  3. Saute until the beef is browned. 
  4. Sprinkle the flour over top and stir into the meat. Allow to cook for one minute.
  5. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Stir. 
  6. Add the pasta and stir to combine. 
  7. Allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is the desired texture. Stir often. 
  8. Add the ketchup and mustard to the mixture and stir to incorporate.
  9. Top with the green onions and serve.
Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

One year ago............................I made Southern BBQ chicken.
Two years ago..........................I made Steak Stir Fry.
Three years ago........................I made Radish and Potato Soup.
Four years ago..........................I made Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes.
Did you already know....................
-The U.S. has more tornadoes than any other country.
-The U.S. has about 1,200 tornadoes a year. 
-The fastest winds on Earth were from a tornado which can reach about 300 mph.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Strawberry Sour Cream Streusel Cake

Strawberries are very popular at my house. They are one of my two girls favorite fruit. So everyone agreed that we should try this dessert. It is so good. It is very moist and dense. It didn't need any topping like frosting or powdered sugar. I think whip cream would be a nice addition but not a necessary. This dessert was gone by the next day. I will be making it again but next time I'll it with a different type of berry. I really do like this recipe.
Strawberry Sour Cream Streusel Cake
Strawberry Puree:
8 oz. strawberries
3 Tbsp strawberry jam
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sugar plus 2 tsp sugar
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
12 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  1. In a blender, puree the strawberries with the jam. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the vanilla. 
  3. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blender. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the cake: 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. 
  4. Add the butter cubes and combine until mixture resembles large crumbs.
  5. Remove 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and set aside in a small bowl.
  6. To the large bowl, add the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  7. To the prepared pan, drop half of the batter by spoonfuls. 
  8. Pat the batter down and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
  9. Add the strawberry puree to the pan and spread over the batter.
  10. Cover with the other half of the batter over the strawberry puree. Set aside.
  11. In the previously set aside small bowl, add 2 tsp sugar to the flour mixture. 
  12. Sprinkle evenly over the cake.
  13. Bake the cake for 45 minutes and until lightly golden brown.
  14. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe adapted from NY Times Cooking

One year ago.................................I made Msemmen Moroccan pancakes.
Two years ago...............................I made White Chocolate Ice Cream.
Three years ago.............................I made Cheese Crackers.
Four years ago...............................I made Macaroni Grill copy-cat bread.
Did you already know.................
-The New York Times began publication in September 1851.
-The newspaper has won 117 Pulitzer Prizes. 
-The New York Times is the second largest circulated newspaper.