Monday, September 30, 2013

Tomato Salad

Summer, summer where did you go? It just seemed like yesterday that we had snow! Summer, summer please don't leave. Why can't you wait until Christmas Eve?

Since I want to hold onto summer just a little longer, I decided to make a tomato salad. If you like tomatoes, you will like this dish.
Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp oregano
1 shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium bowl, add the cherry tomatoes,
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, oregano, and shallot.
  3. Pour the buttermilk dressing over the tomatoes. 
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Gently toss to coat the tomatoes.
  6. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Pat and Gina Neely.

One year ago..........................I made German Pancakes.
Two years ago.......................I made Apple Strudel.
Did you already know............
-This year the first day of fall was on Sept. 22nd.
-The first day of fall is decided by the Autumnal Equinox.
-The Equinox happens twice a year when day and night are roughly equal in time.

Friday, September 27, 2013

German Potato Salad

I realized I hadn't posted a German Potato Salad. I make it every year. I even order it if I'm at a German restaurant. When I made this recipe, I didn't mention to my family that it was German Potato Salad so I asked how they liked it. My husband told me that he really liked it a lot. Then I asked him if I should have added more vinegar to the dish. Smiling, he said that is what gave the dish a little zing but he couldn't place the ingredient. He said it was great just the way it was made especially the bacon and chives.
German Potato Salad
2 lbs. gold potatoes
1 tsp olive oil
8 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
salt and pepper, for taste

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and season generously with salt.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes and the potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until the bacon is brown and crispy.
  6. Add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes.
  7. Add the stock and vinegar to the skillet. Stir.
  8. Add the potatoes and chives. Toss gently to coat.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  10. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Anne Burrell.

One year ago..........................I made Plum Cake.
Two years ago.......................I made Apple Strudel.
I helped with the potato harvest this year.
Did you already know............
-The primary agricultural product of Northern Maine is the potato.
-Many variety of potatoes are grown in Maine including the Rose Gold potato.
-The Rose Gold potato has a red skin and a golden flesh. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fruit Riesling

I have discovered I can get my husband to consume fruit in two ways. The most obvious way is dessert. The other way is in a drink. He will occasionally drink a smooth as long as he can't see any spinach in it. We have tried telling him that he can't taste them but he is convinced he has superman taste buds and he can taste it. I made this drink and he shared a glass with me. He said he liked it. I love the novelty of fruit in my drinks even if I add it just to water but this German wine is even better.
Fruit Riesling Drink
2 plums, sliced
1 peach, sliced 1 (11.5 oz) frozen white grape raspberry juice
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup Riesling
1 1/2 cup ginger ale
  1. Evenly place the fruit slices in two to four glasses. Set aside.
  2. In a pitcher, combine the juice, water, wine, and ginger ale. Stir.
  3. Pour the drink over the fruit in the glasses. 
  4. Serve immediately or refrigerate the pitcher.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago...........................I made Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas.
Two years ago.........................I made German Red Cabbage.
Did you already know..............
-Riesling originated from the Rhine region of Germany.
-Riesling is made from white grapes.
-Riesling wine is typically a sweet white wine.

Monday, September 23, 2013

German Honey Cookies

Every year around this time, I think about Oktoberfest. Since I haven't convinced my husband that we should go back, I figure I'll tempt him with the food. If I planned this better, I should tempt in the Spring. Maybe next year? When I was thinking about what to make, I looked at all the past recipes we have tried. Here are some of the ones listed:
This year I wanted to try something different and found these cookies. Since I like honey, I decided to bake them. These cookies are soft and sweet. They are good and easy to make. I substituted ground ginger for pumpkin pie spice. My theory is the second largest ingredient is ginger in pumpkin pie spice so it works.
German Honey Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 cups flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the sugar, butter, and honey over low heat. Allow to cool.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Slowly, add the cooled honey mixture to the egg mixture.
  6. Add the flour until just incorporated.
  7. Drop about a teaspoon of the batter onto the baking sheet. 
  8. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until golden.
Recipe adapted from All recipes.

One year ago...........................I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes.
Two years ago.........................I made Hot Artichoke Dip.
Did you already know.............
-This year Oktoberfest began on Sept. 22 and will end on Oct. 6.
-Oktoberfest is held at fairgrounds in Munich, Germany.
-Oktoberfest is called kie Wiesn by the locals.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stuffed Pork Chops

My husband will pick chicken over pork chops every time. I have never heard him ask for pork chops. He thinks they are going to be dry and lack flavor. Well, pork chops were on sale and they looked good. Since I still had some apples left on my counter, I decided to stuff them. Oh, these pork chops came out so good. My husband said this is the best pork chop recipe he ever ate. I know he doesn't eat pork chops a lot but it is still nice. He said the bacon gave the pork chops just the right enough of flavor and saltiness. I will definitely make these again.
Stuffed Pork Chops
4 bacon stripes
1 apple, chopped
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 boneless pork chops
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup white wine

  1. In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy over medium heat.
  2. Remove the bacon and crumble the bacon onto a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  3. Drain the excess bacon grease from the skillet.
  4. Add the butter to the skillet and evenly coat the bottom.
  5. On another plate, mix the thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Carefully, cut the pork chops in half to make a pocket.
  8. Stuff the pocket with pieces of the chopped apple and crumbled bacon.
  9. Press both sides of the pork chops into they thyme mixture.
  10. Place the pork chops into the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes per a side.
  11. Place the pork chops into an oven safe dish with the wine and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes and the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees F.
  12. Allow the pork chops to rest for five minutes before serving. 
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago...................I made Focaccia Bread.
Did you already know.......
-According to USDA, pork internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F for medium rare.
-Pork served today is leaner than past generations.
-Pork usually has less saturated fat than the ones served in past generations.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sweetened Spice Cream Cheese

During this time of year, there are so many great type of bagels being offered from pumpkin to caramel apple. Normally, I will order plain cream cheese but once in awhile I want something different. Since it isn't hard to make flavored cream cheese, I decided to try something a little sweet with subtle spices. We also tried this cream cheese with apples and toast.
Sweetened Spice Cream Cheese
1 (8oz.) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp apple juice
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch cardamom

  1. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of cardamon until well incorporated.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Recipe from .

One year ago........................I made Zucchini Fries.
Did you already know..........
-Cardamom is native to India.
-Since ancient times, cardamom has been used to spice foods and drinks.
-Cardamom is an expensive spice.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Roasted Apple Bread

For some reason, my children love green apples. My son says they are yellow apples. Since I ate all my red apples, I needed a way to use up these yellow apples on my counter. I suggested to the kids to eat them but they still continued to be neglected. I was feeling a little bad for those neglected apples so I made some bread. This bread isn't overly sweet besides the pockets of the filling. My children agree this is a great way to use up those apples. Also, you can make toast with it the next day. This bread is started the night before you want to make it.
Roasted Apple Bread
3 apples, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 (.25 oz) package of instant yeast
1 3/4 cups cool water
3/4 cups chopped walnuts, slightly toasted
1/4 cups roasted salted sunflower (more for topping the bread)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the apples onto the parchment paper.
  4. Bake the apples for 10 to 15 minutes. The apples should be fork tender and not mushy. 
  5. Remove the apples from the oven and toss with the cinnamon and 2 Tbsp sugar. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the flours, 1 Tbsp sugar, yeast, and water until a sticky dough is formed.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. The sprayed side should be facing the dough.
  8. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  9. Spray an approximately 9x5 bread pan with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  10. After the dough has rested, lightly flour a clean surface. 
  11. Turn the dough onto the floured surface and work in the apples, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.
  12. Shape the dough into a log and place in a bread pan. 
  13. Sprinkle a few sunflower seeds on top.
  14. Cover the top of the bread pan with parchment paper. 
  15. Place the bread pan into a cold oven.
  16. Set the oven to 425 degrees F. and bake the bread for about 40 minutes.
  17. Remove the parchment paper from the top of the bread and back the bread for another 5 minutes or until the bread is a deep brown color.
  18. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.
  19. Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.

One year ago......................I made Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies.
Did you already know.........
-Apples come in red, green, and yellow shades. 
-In the U.S., the first apple trees were planted by the Massachusetts Bay colonists.
-It takes an apple tree 4 to 5 years to produce fruit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Peanut Butter Layer Bars

School is back in session so I want to share some safety pointers I have observed over the years or learned from others. 
Safety Rules for kids (maybe for a few adults too):
  • Do not cross in front of a bus unless the bus driver has made eye contact.
  • If a car engine is running in a driveway, kids need to be on the porch.
  • Hard candy is a chocking item.
  • Pots handle need to be turned into the stove. Pot handles should NEVER hang out over the stove.
  • Swim in pairs. 
  • Do not go near the underwater pool filter.
  • If possible, children need to walk in the sidewalk or the grass and not in the road.
  • Children should be checked for ticks after they have played outside or with pets.
  • Always wear a bike helmet.
  • Learn how to properly walk with scissors or knives.
  • Do not run with scissors or knives (unless you are in a horror movie and then learn how to throw knives well).
After all those safety rules, here is a great dessert to share. When I made this dessert, it was gone within a day. Yes, it was very good but anything with peanut butter is gone fast.

Peanut Butter Layer Bars
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup Heath Bits toffee bits
1 bag peanut butter chips
1 bag mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
    In a large bowl, cream the butter and 3/4 cups peanut butter until fluffy.
    Add the sugar and brown sugar. Mix until incorporated.
    Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
    Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough.
  4. Press the rest of the cookie dough evenly into the baking pan.
  5. Bake the dough for 15 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl combine the 1/2 cup of the dough with the toffee bits, 1 cup peanut butter chips, and 1 cup of chocolate chips.  
  7. Carefully, remove the pan from the oven and top the cookie dough with the toffee bit mixture.
  8. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. Allow to cool for 1 hour.
  10. In a microwave bowl, combine the remaining peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup peanut butter in the microwave for 1 minute.
  11. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the mixture is melted. 
  12. Evenly pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cooled cookie bars.
  13. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the chocolate topping mixture is firmed.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.

One year ago...................................I made Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Did you already know.....................
-In 1869, Charles Pillsbury bought a share in a flour mill. 
-In 2001, General Mills acquired Pillsbury.
-Both companies headquarters is in Minnesota.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peaches and Cream Cake

It was a warm day and I thought of autumn. I was wearing shorts and I still thought of autumn. Why am I thinking such thoughts? I need to be strong and think about something else. The leaves aren't changing yet. The way to fight autumn (besides move) is to make a dish that is so summer. For me, peaches are always a taste of summer. A cake with peaches and whip cream is a delicious way to hold summer a little longer. Can you tell I'm not ready to say good-bye to summer?
Peaches and Cream Cake
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced 
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease two 8 inch circle baking pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with 1 cup sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the yogurt and vanilla. Mix until incorporated. 
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  8. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
  9. Toss all the peach slices except 1/2 cup for garnish with the cinnamon sugar.
  10. Gently fold the peaches into the batter.
  11. Evenly divide the batter between the two baking pans.
  12. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes and until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  13. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  14. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Whip for a few more seconds.
  15. Layer half the whip cream on top of one of the cakes.
  16. Place the second cake on top of the whip cream.
  17. Top the cake with the remaining peach slices for garnish.
  18. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

One year ago............................I made Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins. Two years ago...............................I made Streusel Cake.
Did you already know.............
-There are over 200 varieties of peaches.
-Peaches and nectarines are from the same species.
-Nectarines have a recessive gene which gives them the lack of fuzz.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Corn Salsa

I have so many tomatoes and corn what is a girl to do? Well, I made salsa. I have made salsa before but never thought to share my recipe. Salsa is so versatile. It is a preference thing. I'm not a big fan of peach salsa. I like heat but not too much heat. Should it be made with lime or lemon? Corn or no corn? We had leftover corn on the cobs so I wanted to use it up. When I made this salsa, I was making it for supper for the next day. Did it make it to the next day for tacos? No, my son thought he waited long enough for me to take my photos.
Corn Salsa
4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped small
1/2 cup fresh cooked corn
1 Tbsp cilantro
1/4 cup red onion
2 Tbsp lemon juice

  1. In a medium bowl, gently combine the tomatoes, pepper, corn, cilantro, red onion, and lemon juice.
  2. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Serve immediately or chill.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago........................I made Mussels.
Come back with my salsa!
Did you already know............
-The word Salsa means sauce.
-Salsa is more popular in America than ketchup.
-Salsa should be refrigerated if not consumed immediately.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Green Smoothie

Almost everyday, my son has been making a smoothie. He likes smoothies but I think it is more that he gets to make all the decisions. He is the youngest. So, I asked him if he wouldn't mind making me a smoothie. This smoothie is totally his concoction. He doesn't even add sweetener. You may want to add a little honey or sugar but I thought it tastes pretty good. The main reason why I wanted him to make me a smoothie was for me to show him how he could make it into a frozen smoothie. He thought it was so cool that he took the smoothie and ate it all. He didn't even share. Good thing I have two different cups so I could make another frozen smoothie.
Green Smoothie
1 medium banana, cut into slices
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into slices
1 ( oz) container of vanilla yogurt
1/2 skim milk

  1. In a blender, mix the banana, spinach, kiwi, yogurt, and milk until well blended.
  2. If the smoothie is to thick add a little more milk until the desired consistency.
  3. Add the smoothie mixture into a Slush maker to make a frozen smoothie.
Recipe Sweet Morris.

One year ago............................I made Peanut Butter Brownies.
Two years ago..........................I made Vanilla Cake.
Did you already know..............
-Kiwifruit is native to China.
-Kiwifruit is also called Chinese Gooseberry.
-Kiwifruit has more Vitamin C than an orange.

Two year blog Anniversary giveaway!
Closed. Thank you.
Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vanilla Cupcakes

I really enjoy blogging. It is like my recipe journal online. It is a great way for me to find a recipe we like. It is also a great way for my family to make a recipe I've made for them. The best part of blogging is to see how much my children have changed. My little girl is almost (I am stressing almost) taller than me. I know this time next year I may be the shortest person in the house. For my youngest daughter birthday party, I made her cupcakes. They were a big hit and were all gone before the party was over. I had made extra.
Vanilla Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter mixture and blend.
  6. In a small bowl, add the milk and vanilla. Whisk lightly.
  7. Alternating between the flour mixture and the milk mixture add to the butter mixture. Combine until incorporated.
  8. Fill the cupcake liners slightly over half full.
  9. Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.
*These cupcakes will not have a high dome top which makes it easier to frost. One year ago............................Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies.
Happy Birthday Beautiful!
Did you already know...............
-The vanilla plant is an orchid.
-Vanilla is native to Mexico.
-Madagascar is the largest producer of vanilla.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Peach Scones

I like peaches but I am very particular about them. I like them fresh off the tree. I will occasionally buy the ones in the stores since they look so good but a lot of times they are misleading. They are hard so I've tried a number of tricks to get them ripen. I've tried just being patient. I've tried putting them in the paper bag trick. They always seem bruised when they finally reach the ultimate ripeness. I will admit I have a young son in the house who thinks his profession is to juggle especially fruit. I haven't caught him yet with peaches but one never knows. He is stealthy too especially when he thinks he needs to sharpen his ninja skills. These peaches are freshly picked. My children thought they were great.
Peach Scones about 15 to 18 scones
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus more for topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peaches, diced

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, process the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add the butter to the food processor. Pulse for about 20 times.
  5. Add the peaches. Do not pulse.
  6. Slowly, add the milk while pulsing the food processor. Continue to pulse until the dough begins to stick together about 20 pulses.
  7. Place about 1/4 cup of dough onto the baking sheet. Leave about 3 inches space between each scone.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the scones with a little sugar.
  9. Bake the scones for about 14 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Serve warm or eat within a few days. 
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago...............................I made Shortbread Cookies.
You are going to share, right?
Did you already know.................
-Peaches originated from China.
-White flesh peaches are lower acidic than the peach flesh peaches.
-There are two main types of peaches. Clingstone peaches have the flesh stick to the stone. Freestone peaches have the stone separate easily from the flesh.