Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pie Crust

I wanna brag again.
I made an apple pie one afternoon with some of the filling I had left over from the day before when I was canning.  It was SO yummy.  So I thought I would share my pie crust recipe.  I got this recipe from my friend's mom.  How did mom's get so smart?  My parents got so much smarter since they have had grandchildren!  I actually enjoy her advice now.  This mix keeps in a cupboard for quite a while if it is cool.
Pie Crust
6cups of flour
1tsp baking powder
1tbsp of sugar
1tsp of salt
2 cups lard (tenderflake box is 2 1/4 cup)
break up lard in to pea size pieces, toss lightly all ingredients together
keep in a container. This will make about 6 pie crust bottoms.
When you are ready to make one pie, put 2 cups of mix into
a bowl. Add enough milk to make proper consistancy. This amount will make a large
bottom and top crust of a pie.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chocolate  Clusters (Macaroons)

2 cups white sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup margarine or butter

Melt butter.  Add milk and sugar.  Bring to a bubbly boil and let boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.


3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

1 cup medium unsweetened coconut, firmly packed

6 tbsp cocoa

1 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of salt

Mix together.  Drop by teaspoon on waxed paper. Makes 3 dozen
Not my recipe but these cookies are so popular and easy.   With Christmas coming I am whipping up batches of these for our MOPS group.   For church I will make a treat tray of Rice Krispie squares and macaroons to take for coffee time and I will be the 'Sunday Hero'!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Today was another great cooking day.  I got up with 2 whiny girls.  I was frustrated that I would spend another 12 hours alone with my kids.  I wasn't feeling very creative.  I never thought I would ever get tired of 'playing' but you can only hide in the same spot for a 2 year old to find you for so long.   My day turned around when we ended up playing MY games and doing some things I enjoy.  It turns out Ashley is old enough to help Mommy do some of house jobs.  We decided to go pick apples in the morning and I thought I could peel, freeze and cook while the girls napped.  The 'U-pick' place was closed so I drove on to the next apple orchid and bought some apple seconds.  A HUGE bag for $15 of the apples that had scabs or had fallen off the tree.
I also got real apple juice.  Ashley has been suffering from a rash. My doctor thinks that it is food related.  we finally got rid of it but I am much more aware of the additives and preservatives in food.  I have been trying over the last week to feed her as close to original foods as possible.  That way if she does have a reaction again it will be easier to figure out which out which food it was.
So when we got home Ashley asked if she could peel the apples.  I got out the apple peeler and she went right to work.  What a treat to have my little girl do all the work (and a little snacking) while I measured and stirred and cooked up all my recipes.  We made 2 batches of applesauce, applesauce muffins, apple crisp for supper tonight. I froze chopped apples and canned 9 jars of apple pie filling.  Tomorrow I will tackle an apple pie and do some freezer apple pie filling.  I also want to make another batch of salsa but I need more jars! 
I just love cooking and canning.  It has been a beautiful, not too -  hot day.  Great day to cook with my kiddo's and do some things I enjoy.  The kitchen is a big mess but  I tired the girls out and filled their bellies.  Also Ashley is feeling very proud of herself.  I would say that was a great day!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chocochip Banana Muffins

I buy a lot of banana's. They are a healthy snack and they travel well. The banana has it's own ziplock container and I can grab it and go.  My kids like banana's a little on the green side.  Not too ripe. I make these muffins a lot with the ripe bananas.  I also freeze my over ripe bananas which is a little messy and gross when they thaw but I hate wasting food and when the muffins are all baked no one will ever know the difference.  This is my own creation recipe. I love to use up my expired yogurt this way. Sometimes I put in jam and use less sugar.

3 bananas
3/4 cup of white sugar
100gram yogurt any flavor (I use expired)
1/3 cup of margerine
1 egg
beat for 1 minute
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 cup of chocolate chips
mix by hand well.

12 large muffins - bake 350 for 20 mins

3 blog posts ago the picture of muffins is this recipe. I like these muffins for my kids. They eat them almost everyday. They love the chocolate and I love that I know what is in them. Sometimes if we are out over lunch time it makes a great substitute sandwich. Grab a couple boxes of raisins and cheese sticks and we are out the door. Or if we are in a hurry in the morning they can eat one in the car. This recipe ALWAYS turns out for me.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

This morning I made coldslaw.  SO good.  I don't think i have posted my recipe so here goes.
1 cabbage
2 medium onions
2 stalks of celery
3 large carrots
1 pepper
Run it all thru the food processor slicer. Set aside in a large bowl.

1 cup of vinegar
3/4 cup of veg oil
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp of celery seed
1 1/2 tsp salt
Bring to a boil and pour over veggies, then toss.  This will keep in a fridge over a week.

I picked up a cabbage sunday at the local farmers stand. This salad is almost a whole meal at our house.  Today I also picked our first veggies from our garden.  They are small but Ashley and I are proud.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Planning meals

Planning meals saves money, stress and time.  It has been so hot that we have been eating crock pot meals a lot. Chili, roast in the crock pot, then stew with the leftovers in the crock pot. I even picked up a Pizza in town last night.  This morning was cool so I took the opportunity to refill my freezer meals.  Two weeks ago we were suppose to go to a family do but I had a sick kid so I was very thankful when I opened the freezer and found a loaf of bread, a bag of muffins and a lasagna. It sure was nice to have grilled cheese sandwiches and lasagna and muffins for the weekend since I was busy caring for my kiddo.  This morning I baked chocochip banana muffins and blueberry muffins. I will freeze most of the muffins in bags of 6 for a quick snack or even a breakfast at the cottage.  I made spaghetti sauce for supper and split it in half and layered a lasagna for the freezer. I am going to make a pasta salad tonight with the extra noodles from supper.  This weekend will be hamburgers and hotdogs since I will be away and Daddy is cooking. The salad will go good with that.  I also have chicken fingers and fries in the freezer for another quick meal. I have some porkchops for the BBQ next week and some chicken legs for the crockpot. Since it will be another hot week I am glad I have a plan.  Good luck to you all avoiding the heat.

P.S. The pulled pork was so easy and good.  Pork tenderloin and 1 can of root beer. Cook in the crock pot on low for 7 hours.  Drain off rootbeer and shread meat. Put back in crock pot with 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce. Mix and eat with buns. It was a hit with the company.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It has been another steady stream of busy adventure here. Summer has been doing it's thing with kid's playdates, swimming at the cottage, berry picking and bbq's.  I have been making a selling quilts which I love but it keeps me away from the kitchen. This week I cooked in one day chili, speghetti sauce, taco salad, 2 quiche and chicken pot pie.  I shared a couple of meals with a friend who is a new mom. Today I clean out the fridge and start again.  Today is a beautiful day so probubly BBQ hamburgers tonight.  I am having dental surgery tomorrow so I am thinking about soft cold foods I will be eating for the next 2 week. Any suggestions? I am also having friends over for Canada day celebrations and I want to try pulled pork in the crockpot. I'll let you know how it goes.  I make one great potato salad.  Here is the recipe. The secret is to pour 2 tbsp of vinegar on the cooked potatoes while they are hot.  The potatoes soak it up and gives the salad a ZIP.
Potato Salad
Hard boil 3 eggs, cool, peel and cut up.
6 med potatoes
2 tbsp of vinegar
peel and cook potatoes, add vinegar and put in fridge for an hour to cool.
Chop finely
1/2 large onion
2 stalks of celery
6 pieces of cooked bacon
 Put all together in with potatoes.  You can cut up the potatoes now while they are cool. I find the potatoes with hold together better this way rather than cutting them up before you cook them.
Add 3 tbsp of mayo
chopped dill pickle
2 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of salt
2 squirts of mustard
I add plain yogurt if i have it to make it creamer without adding more mayo
Also I add 1 tbsp of ranch dressing.
This recipe is a lot of work and many of these ingredients can be optional but this is the full knock out potato salad.  We will be having this with our pulled pork for sure. I wonder if I can talk Gary into making it....

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's a hot day.  I can feel the storm coming that will break this muggy weather.  Hopefully it brings lots of rain.  We need it for the fields but also for our well.  I am on water alert week 2. Less dishes, less laundry, less cooking and cleaning.  With this heat it is a great excuse to enjoy my girls in the shade. Today was a morning visit to the park which was on the Napanee river.  I let them go in up to their knees but once the splashing started they were soaked.  We took a naked drive home and they slept all afternoon. I cooked 1 lb of ground beef in a fry pan during their nap.  At 4pm we went out to play in the shade and we did crafts.  It was a very successful day.
At 5:30 we came in for supper.  I made Taco Salad for the first time.  My own recipe.
I made a layered one so I can keep it for supper tomorrow night too and it won't get soggy.
Bottom of a big bowl I chopped half a head of iceburg lettuce.  When I cooked the ground beef at nap time I sprinkled 1 tbsp of chili powder on the meat and stirred it up before I drained the fat off.  Once it was drained I put it in the fridge to cool and keep til supper.
So I layered the ground beef on top of the lettuce. I chopped a ripe avocado on top of ground beef with 1 green pepper and 1 large tomato. I put 3 tbsp of sour cream and 3 tbsp of salsa in the center on top of the veggies.  Then I grated old cheddar cheese on top. It looked so pretty.  I scooped out half into another bowl and mix it together for the girls and I.  Ashley liked it.  I will try it again when Gary comes in and we all sit down for supper.  I bet if I put ranch dressing on it Emily will like it.  Nice cool supper with little mess and effort.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Saturday I did what many others also do every May long weekend, plant a garden.  I went plant shopping with my mom and daughters.
P.S. don't do that, leave the kids at home. At age 2 they must pick every flower they see in the greenhouse.
I bought tomatoes plants and green pepper plants, basil and pansies (to bribe my daughters to leave other flowers alone).  I bought lettuce seeds as well and a big pot to put herbs in.  This is all in preparation for my lovely produce for the summer.  I can't wait to eat toasted tomato sandwiches and salads with basil.  I love to do canning especially my salsa. My parents are planting potatoes, onions, squash and beets for us. My inlaws grow lots of cucumbers.  So my garden is in.  I learned a few things this year from my mom.  Pansies like cool shade.  Petunias and marigolds can take the heat. Geraniums are in between.  Last year my neighbour said if you pluck the dead heads off your marigolds and leave them inside over the winter (I used an open mason jar) you can plant them in the spring.  It worked and Ashley loves seeing the little green shoots that she planted come up.
I am looking forward to enjoying all the fruits of the season. I want to pass on a link to those of you who are new to gardening. This is a rough guide for those in Ontario for what is in season and when.  I encourage you to enjoy the fruits of the season as well. Feel free to raid your local farmers market or fruit/veggie stand and let someone else do the work.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great rhubarb cake recipe from the united church cookbook.  This is by far my favorite cookbook.  everything in the cookbook had turned out right and the ingredients are everyday items I have in my home.
Rhubarb cake
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of margerine or butter
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sour milk (just add 1 tbsp of white vinegar to make it sour)
1 1/2 cup of fresh rhubarb
1 tsp soda
Mix together.  put in a 9x13 pan.  Top with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Bake 45-50 mins at 350.

Today I made this with my girls.  They just LOVED picking the rhubarb and adding all the ingedients and stirring.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Time sure flies...don't it!  I am way to tired to blog anymore.  I am afraid my entries will turn into venting so I have kept what I was always told true.  If you don't have anything nice to say - don't say anything.  I can tell you many wonderful things that are happening in my life.  My children are healthy and growing like weeds.  They are hilarious and beautiful beams of sunshine (with minor fits of rage).  My life is full of dairy farm life and fresh air. My house is not under construction anymore and though we have a few more boxes to unpack and furniture to move, my kitchen is REDONE and beautiful! 
My time in the kitchen has come to hault.  I run the same 12 meals through this house.  I rotate the order depending on what I have on that day but the grocery list is the same.  I can tell you I don't mind not having to think much about food right now.  I occasionally look for more crock pot recipes but the desire to cook is gone. For right now....
My 12 meals are:
BBQ hotdogs, hamburgers
Pizza (sometimes just a frozen one)
BBQ porkchops with rice and salad
Homemade battered sole fish with salad and oven fries
Roast in the crockpot with mashed potatoes, frozen peas and corn.  This is a weekend meal and often can be stretched into 2 nights.  I put a can of mushroom soup with the roast and add beef stock to make it's own gravy in the crockpot.
Speghetti ( I use the leftovers to make a lazagna and I freeze it for next week)
Taco's or meatloaf or chili or sheppards pie (no one else in my family likes these anymore because I used to cook these too often so I rotate them)
Stew or Beef Stroganoff. I make this after we have Roast beef and use up the leftovers. Also can be made and froze for a crock pot meal in the future.
Chicken fingers and fries with veggies and dip (for the kids)
Chicken legs in a roasting pan with  carrots and potatoes. Very easy  and cheap to make and surprisingly quick to cook. It is always a hit in my house.
Ham and scallop potatoes. (more of a once a month meal)
BBQ Steak and microwave potatoes finished in foil on the BBQ.

  I write my menu on the calendar for that week.  Things change daily but it keeps me from having to panic at the end of the day when I am too tired to think - What are we going to eat tonight.  I find most of these meals easy to make. Also everyone in the family will eat them.  I don't make substitute meals for those who want something else.  If Gary is looking for brownie points he will look on the menu and pull out the food from the freezer the night before.  I really appreciate him doing that.  The other nice thing about this plan is that we don't run to the store to buy groceries at the last moment. I buy what is on sale and most of all these items can be frozen til you want to cook it. If you need to pack a lunch for work, leftovers from the night before really help on the budgeting.  Over all a little planning goes along way.  You could almost make a whole months worth of meals out of this list.  What is you family's 12 favorite meals?  Make a list and make meal time easier for you.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January routine

I have been slacking off on trying new meal ideas.  This winter I am all about 'the old but good'  We have been eating lots of speghetti, chicken legs and roast beef.  The kids like those, I don't have to cook something different for them. We have had a few 'fish sticks/chicken fingers and fries' nights. Then when the kids go to bed Gary cooks him and I steaks on the BBQ.

This week I did the same old routine but I thought for the moms that are going to work each day and getting home looking for a hot meal, I would share my tips on working around the 'time' issue.  Sunday I pull my meat out of the freezer for the week.  This week I thawed 3 lbs of ground beef and 1 big cross cut rib roast.  Any cheap piece of roast would work since it is going in the crockpot.
I cooked all the ground beef and divided into in half.  One half I put in the fridge for the next day. 
Monday night I cooked a big pot of speghetti sauce
2 Cans of cheap spegghetti sauce (rinse out 1 can and add water to sauce)
1 cup of salsa
1 onion chopped
1 can of sliced mushrooms
1 stalk of celery chopped
The rest of the ground beef.
Simmer for 30 mins.
Cook noodles and eat.

Tuesday morning I put Roast beef in crock pot with 1 pkg of onion soup mix, 1 can of mushroom soup, and 1/4 cup of water.  I cooked on low for 8 hrs.
At supper time I boiled 5 lbs of peeled potatoes and made a big pot of mashed potatoes.  I boiled carrots, peas and corn for a veg.  The juice from the crockpot I boiled in a pot on the stove and added some beef stock and pepper with 2 tbsp of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water.  This made a lot of gravy.  Half the amount I mixed with the ground beef in the fridge to make a sheppards pie.

That night after supper I layer ground beef in a 11x13" casserole dish with the leftover carrots, corn and peas.  Then I topped with leftover mashed potatoes. Ba Da Boom, Ba Da Bing - Sheppards pie.
I also made a very tasty Lazagna with oven ready noodles and mozzarella cheese with the leftovers from Monday night. If you didn't have cheese and lazgana noodles you could make the old stand by chili, with kidney beans and chili powder.   These casseroles could be put in the fridge to be eaten this week or frozen for a quick dinner during a busy week later on.

I plan on using the Roast beef leftover  in Beef Stroganoff for Friday night.  The recipe was given to me by my sister.  I will plan on following the recipe but add my roast bits and gravy leftovers in the stroganoff as well to make it stretch a little farther and extra meaty for my man.

Bargain Beef Stroganoff

1/4 cup                        all-purpose flour
1 tsp                salt
1/2 tsp             black pepper
2 lbs                 stewing beef, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1 tbsp              vegetable oil
8 oz                 small white button mushrooms, cleaned or large white mushrooms, quartered (about 2 cups)
2                      onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups        beef stock
3 tbsp              Worchestershire Sauce
3 tbsp              tomato paste
2 tbsp              paprika
1 1/2 tbsp        Dijon mustard
1 cup               sour cream
                        hot cooked egg noodles

  1. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper.  In batches, add beef to seasoned flour and toss to coat.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add beef in batches and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned on all sides.  With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to slow cooker; add mushrooms and onions.

  1. In a 2-cup measure, combine beef stock, Worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika and mustard, mixing well.  Pour into slow cooker.

  1. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours, until bubling.  Stir in sour cream ans serve over hot noodles.