Friday, April 18, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake

Recipe ready to be used!
Lots of excitement in our family, so I haven't posted in a bit!  The beautiful celebration had been in the planning stages for more than a year.  Our wonderful younger son married his awesome fiancee and we are so happy to welcome her into our family!  A beautiful outdoor ceremony in upstate NY followed by an absolutely great indoor reception.  The weather, the ceremony and the celebration were all - perfect!   

After spending the 3 day weekend with family & friends, suddenly Easter is here.  No, I had not given Easter dinner much thought.  Mustard Roasted Leg of Lamb is now on the menu complete with all of the trimmings.  Dessert???

Strawberry Shortcake!  It comes in quite handy for me to check out my own blog for foodie ideas!  :)  Strawberry Shortcake is definitely a family fave!  Fresh sliced strawberries or in my case - I reach into our large freezer & locate a package of the frozen sliced slightly sweetened strawberries that only need to be defrosted.  Today 2 packages of the frozen strawberries will be placed in the fridge to defrost - ready for Sunday.

The Shortcake will be prepared tomorrow in a 9" round cake pan.  Vanilla Ice Cream & Whipped Cream have been purchased, so we are good to go!  This is a very easy, very delicious dessert!

Strawberry Shortcake
     printable recipe 

Oven: 450°F    Time:  15 – 20 minutes

***Strawberries & Shortcake are needed for this amazing dessert!

Ingredients for Shortcake:

2 Cups Flour 
2 Tablespoons Sugar
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup solid Crisco Shortening
1 Cup Milk (can be low fat, reconstituted powdered or soy)

  1. Heat oven to 450°. 
  2. Spray 9" round layer cake pan with PAM. 
  3. Measure Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder & Salt into a mixing bowl. 
  4. Add solid Shortening.
  5. Combine Shortening with dry ingredients using 2 knives or a pastry blender.
  6. Stir in Milk until blended. 
  7. Spoon & pat into pan. 
  8. Bake 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. 
  9. Cool. 
  10. Before serving, cut into pie slices.
  11. Then cut each serving to be used in half – a top and a bottom.
  12. Place the bottom in a dessert dish. Cover with sliced strawberries (that have been cleaned, sliced and mixed with a little sugar, according to taste) & ice cream. 
  13. Place other piece on top and cover with berries & ice cream. 
  •  Any extra shortcake slices can be sliced and frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.

This is an easy, tasty dessert to be enjoyed in the Spring!


Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry
My Slow Cooker is used so often!  I enjoy the quick prep time and also the great aroma that floats from my kitchen for a few hours while my slow Cooker is working.  Last week a Slow Cooker/ Crock Pot recipe caught my eye when I scrolled on McCormick's site.  A Slow Cooker Chicken Rice Curry recipe!  Chicken is a staple here, so I kept reading.  An apple - nice!  Raisins - I was definitely hooked.  The next day we totally enjoyed Chicken Curry served over Rice.  "Rice is Nice" and this is my fave method to cook Rice.

There were changes going on when I prepared this yummy entree:
  • I really don't like instant rice, unless I'm using my MIL's Rice Pudding recipe, that uses instant rice.  For that reason, I did not follow the McCormick recipe exactly.
  • My Slow Cooker has a teflon coating, so I usually place washed baby carrots in the bottom of the pot in many slow Cooker recipes.  The carrots prevent the meat (chicken here) from drying out on the bottom.  Can you tell that I once had a bad experience?  An added plus:  Those nutritious very tender carrots tasted so good here.

Extra portions to be placed in my fridge
In my photos the fluffy Rice is not plated with this yummy steaming flavorful Chicken Curry on top.  The aroma was so enticing - we could not wait for me to take out my camera and focus.  The extra portions shown above were covered with foil and refrigerated.  The Rice & Chicken Curry were reheated 2 nights later for another yummy dinner!  Sooo goood!

The Raisins & the unpeeled Apple cut into chunks added with the Curry Powder taste so good!  The carrots pick up a little sweetness, too.

Chicken Curry with Rice
                                            inspired by McCormick 

1 (16 ounce) pkg. rinsed Baby Carrots
2 lbs. boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Bay Leaves
1 large Apple cored & cut into chunks - Cortland or Empire
1/4 Cup Raisins

1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon dehydrated Onions

*  *  *
2 ounces Water
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 can (14.5 ounces) Chicken Broth
         (I use Fat Free/Lower Sodium Broth.)

  1. Spray Slow Cooker pot with PAM.
  2. Wash Baby Carrots & place on bottom of Slow Cooker pot.
  3. Rinse Chicken Breasts under cool running water & place on Carrots.
  4. Add 2 Bay leaves.
  5. Wash Apple.  Core & cut into chunks.  Add on top of Chicken.
  6. Sprinkle on Raisins.
  7. Add Curry Powder, Paprika & Garlic Powder.
  8. Sprinkle on Dehydrated Onions.
  9. In a bowl, combine Water, Flour & 1/4 Cup Chicken Broth.  Stir until smooth.
  10. Add remaining Broth to bowl, stir.
  11. Add Water, Flour, Broth combo to Slow Cooker pot.
  12. Place lid on top.
  13. Set temperature to HighCook for 4 hours.
  14. Start preparing the Rice about 40 Minutes before turning off the Slow Cooker.  Click for Recipe
This is absolutely delicious!  Take your Slow Cooker/ Crock Pot out and make this entree.  Full of flavor and very tender!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes with Turkey Sausages

O.K., that was a surprise this AM!  Snow covering our yard along with no Internet connection!  Out came my iPad with my playlist!  The day needed a bounce, so Pharrell's "Happy" sounded great!   

Yesterday AM it was chilly!  Raindrops fell, but there was a plan!  A break in the drizzles brought - a walk outdoors!  The daily walks have been missed during our cold, snowy winter months.  Sure, the treadmill is second best, but walking outside is just the best! 

There was a "I have no clue what is for breakfast this AM" dilemma.  If I do not know... it is not good.  A quick & easy meal was needed.  In my pantry was a box of the inexpensive "JIFFY" corn muffin mix.  The muffins made with this mix are comfort food from my childhood, so there's always a package in the pantry.  One day I read the side of the box and discovered the Cornmeal Pancakes.  They are so yummy when Egg Whites, Soy Milk, Olive Oil for baking & sauteing, Cinnamon & Nutmeg are used.

There's 1 more addition for me.  2 over ripe Bananas were just waiting in the fruit bowl.  Adding those 2 pieces of fruit after mashing them made for very light Banana Cornmeal Pancakes.  I now only make these pancakes when adding this fruit.
(File Photo)
These pancakes are easy & yummy when substituting:
  • 2 slightly beaten Egg Whites for 1 Whole Egg
  • Olive Oil (for baking and sauteing) for melted Shortening
  • Soy Milk for Milk
And adding:
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 mashed over ripe Bananas
If you have extra pancakes- after cooling, place each in a sandwich bag and then place sandwich bags in a Ziploc Freezer Bag.  Into the freezer they go.  These pancakes will be microwaved for breakfast on a busy AM.

Serve these for breakfast one morning.  They are so good! 


Saturday, March 22, 2014

~Great Surprise!~

Surprise of March 22!

The long wait is over!  March Madness does bring surprises to the brackets every year.  Today, this was the great surprise in our front yard!  Now, Spring is definitely here!

We're Enjoying!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Cole Slaw with Raisins

Cole Slaw with Raisins
Cabbage!  Carrots!  Raisins!  Each is tasty & nutritious by itself.  Put them together, add a few other ingredients & an easy salad can be enjoyed at dinner!  Cole Slaw with Raisins is so yummy!

Many years ago, my mother-in-law gave me her delicious, tangy Cole Slaw dressing recipe.  In the past I've purchased the cabbage & the carrots to peel/ shred, but these days a bag of these ready shredded veggies makes this side dish very easy to prep.

If you're waiting for the warmer days when the local salad ingredients will be available at roadside stands to be purchased, but still enjoy fresh salads, make this Cole Slaw.  It's great!  Add the raisins for that extra sweetness.

This dressing also tastes great in Carrot Salad.

Cole Slaw with Raisins

1  bag shredded Cabbage & Carrots (16 ounce)
1/2 Cup Raisins
*  *  *  *
Dressing Ingredients:
6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk (I use Soy Milk.)
1/2 Cup Vinegar (I use Cider Vinegar.)

  1. In a large bowl combine Mayonnaise and Sugar.
  2. Add Milk & Vinegar and stir well.
  3. Add shredded Cabbage & Carrots to mixture, stir.
  4. Add Raisins.
  5. Stir well, cover & refrigerate.
  6. After 2- 3 hours, stir again & refrigerate.
  7. Repeat again in 2- 3 hours.
  8. Before serving, stir again.
This is a delicious easy to prepare side dish when serving seafood or any entree that has been prepared on the outdoor grill!

Spring is here!!!  Woohoo!!!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Bake an Irish Soda Bread!

Irish Soda Bread
(File Photo)
After the month of February that was filled with achoo, cough, cough, cough, achoo suddenly March is here!  This is the month when "everyone is Irish"! It's either by heritage, by marriage or by wishing.  Every year I bake an Irish Soda Bread (also called Spotted Dog) to enjoy on St. Patrick's Day morn.  I remember the year when I had about 2 cups of Fat Free Buttermilk in my fridge & suddenly I decided to make a bread for St. Patrick's Day.  A delicious easy recipe search brought me to my friend Carol's blog, Charli and Me.  Carol no longer blogs, but I know that she is getting ready to bake her yummy Irish raisin bread for her family, too!  It's become a tradition for me to post it for others to enjoy, also!

Here's a little background info:   The original recipe is from the Will O'Glenn Irish Bed and Breakfast in Michigan with Mrs. Biddy Gahan sharing it.  Carol had posted it on her blog and I discovered it after "googling".  Many other good cooks made it possible for me to bake & for my fam to enjoy, so now I post it for others, too.  It is so good!  

Have your Buttermilk, Raisins & Butter ready!  Low Salt Butter works just fine.  Melting the Butter & then cooling it down works easier than using softened Butter.  The Raisins soak in hot water before adding them to the very sticky batter.

This is one tasty bread!  Follow the directions, exactly!

A few handy tips:
  • To work with sticky dough more easily, put a small dab of Butter on the palm of one hand, then rub palms together to coat with Butter.  Solves the problem.  :)
  • Use a cake tester or toothpick to determine if bread is done after removing from hot oven.
  • After the bread cools & is cut into slices, I also freeze a few slices.  They are first placed in sandwich bags and then freezer bags and sealed. 
Ready to be placed in preheated oven!
(File Photo)

Irish Soda Bread

Oven:  400°F, then lowered to 375°F     
Total baking time:  45 Minutes

1 and 1/2 Cups Raisins
1 Cup boiling Water
*  *  *
1 stick Butter - I use unsalted.
2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
5 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk, can be low fat/fat free


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 8" or 9 " Pyrex Pie Plate with PAM.
  3. In a small bowl combine Raisins and boiling Water.  Let sit while preparing dough.
  4.  Melt Butter.  Cool.
  5.  In larger bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder & Sugar.
  6.  Add cooled melted Butter to dry ingredients, stir in. 
  7.  Add Buttermilk, stir.
  8. Add drained Raisins, stir.
  9.  Shape into a ball after placing dough into pie plate.  Dough will be sticky.
  10.  Bake 15 Minutes at 400°F.
  11.  Lower oven to 375°F.  Bake 30 Minutes longer.
  12.  Remove the bread from pie plate and cool on rack.
  13.  After cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
  14.  Wait at least 5 hours before cutting into slices and eating. 
This is one tasty bread!  Follow the directions, exactly!  I cut the bread into slices and then place in two sealed Ziploc Bags.  A half slice of Irish Soda Bread is a very tasty treat.  The other half slice is located quickly!  Extra slices do freeze well, also.  They are a special treat later in the month!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dr. Seuss Day!

From my bookshelf!

It's March 2!
On a book shelf waiting for you
Are stories written 
by Springfield, MA native
Dr. Seuss!

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA.  This great children's author & illustrator used the name Dr. Seuss!  Memories from his childhood can be found in his wonderful books.  It's FuN for children (of all ages) to read them!   

Celebrate the 110th birthday of Dr. Seuss!

What is your fave Dr. Seuss book?  My fave is "Green Eggs & Ham"!