Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scratch Pie Crust, the easy way! Part 1

I have always made my pie crust by hand, I just prefer knowing the ingredients that we eat, cooking from scratch insures that I know what we are eating. However, I always made small errors, especially in the amount of water added at the end. This made for good pie crust, but not great pie crust. And of course I wanted a great crust.......enter the machine made crust.

My homemade crust recipe
by the seat of my pants

2 1/2 c flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
3/4 c butter

6 T cold water - do not use more water, that is the secret to great crust.




Cut the butter in small pieces, add flour, sugar and salt to the mixer bowl, along with the butter. Begin mixing and let the paddle cut the butter into the flour.









While the mixer is mixing, add the water 1 T at a time. The dough will begin to cling together and work into a solid mass.













Remove dough from bowl, divide into two parts. Coat lightly with flour, and you are ready to roll out and make pie! See you tomorrow for Part 2, because easy as pie, is a true statement!


As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

This post will be shared with:

hearth and soul @ premeditated leftovers


Friday, January 27, 2012

Home, Sweet Home!

The search is over! We will have a signed purchase agreement by FED EX this afternoon, so life as we know it can get back to ........ normal!

This Sunday is Sunday Cafe, we definitely have something to celebrate! I can't wait to share photos, especially the brick alcove for the wood stove and wood storage in the living room.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cheeseburger Scalloped Potatoes, Recipe rewind because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives. Saturday, May 15, 2010.

Some days, dinner like this will do!

Some days/weeks are better than others. And along that same thought, some days/weeks are busier than others. I had one of those weeks! How about you?

Warning: the following words are a feeble attempt to convince the family that this is a "good" dinner!

That seems to be the constant theme; across the blogsphere, myself included. I am (hopefully) on the brink of many changes, change I have worked for and hope will culminate in a final outcome that is, recognizable to my "blueprint" of the original thought. I know I am not alone in the change lane, for one thing is absolutely true. Change is going to happen, regardless of our own personal opinion. We change or are left behind in the change.


Now you might ask, what on earth does that have to do with dinner? Well as the title suggests, some days a dinner like this will do. The focus is on feeding the family a good meal; and sometimes that needs to be a simple affair, so that other tasks can be completed as well. Often I have landed on a blog or article that talks about simple meals, and that author is brave enough to put it out there. By that I mean they tell you what they are eating, and give you the nitty gritty details. Sometimes it is not pretty, but when you look at the sum of the parts, why would it not taste good when put together? Today I took a step toward brave!


Cheeseburger scalloped potatoes
a slow cooker meal - I used a 6QT

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained of excess fat
6 potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin (peel if that is your preference)
3 T flour
2 T dried onion
rounded 1/2 t thyme leaves, crushed
garlic salt
pepper
1 1/2 c beef stock
1/2 c milk
2 c grated cheddar cheese - divided

Slice 3 of the potatoes and place in the bottom of a slow cooker, sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and half of  the flour. Add the ground beef, sprinkle with the thyme and dried onions. Slice the remaining 3 potatoes and layer over the beef. Sprinkle with the remaining  flour, more garlic salt and pepper. Bring stock to a boil, add milk and pour over the mixture. Sprinkle with half (1 c) of the cheddar cheese, cover and cook on high, 4 hours. 

Remove cover, pierce top potato layer. If tender, cover with the remaining cheese, recover and let rest 30 minutes before serving. If potatoes are not tender cook addition 30 minutes then sprinkle with cheese, cover and let rest. Serves 4 - 6


Serve with something green and something fruit and dinner is done! Simple and tasty, yes a brave dinner!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

This post is shared with:

full plate thursday@Miz Helen's

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday's words.....

Yesterday was busy, I had more new house paperwork to sign and we should know by Friday if the purchase agreement will be signed by the seller. So if you have a spare toe to cross to help out, I would appreciate your assistance in this task!

I also reviewed my "stats" on this little blog-o-mine and found that for some reason sweets get the most hits. Today I discovered the secret to that fact.......


this explains everything!

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mocha Date Banana Bread

Lets make banana bread! We have been busy house hunting and now have an accepted bid! Wait, that means we will have to pack and move.....


My basic banana bread recipe is so easy to change up! It is delicious each and every time it is baked. In this house banana bread bananas stack up, so the challenge is to use them in new ways and come up with an equally delicious loaf. After baking this loaf I thought, wow a cup of chocolate chips would dress this up to  Sunday dinner status.

Mocha Date Banana Bread
350F

1 c snipped dates
1/2 c hot coffee

Cover dates with the coffee, stir once or twice while coffee cools. (I poured the coffee over the dates, let sit 10 minutes, stirred again and left for work.)

In a medium bowl combine and set aside:

1 c flour
1 c whole wheat flour - I used spelt flour
1 T cocoa
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

In a large bowl, beat together:

1/4 c oil
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
2 eggs

then add and stir well:

3 mashed bananas (about 1 c)

1 c chopped walnuts

Stir dry ingredients, add sugar oil mixture, mashed bananas and the date mixture. Do not over mix. Pour into a prepared 9X5 loaf pan. Add chopped nut to the top of the loaf.

Bake 55 - 60 minutes or tests done.

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments. This post was created for and shared with Our Krazy Kitchen. .

This post is also shared with:
hearth and soul @ premeditated leftovers
weekend potluck @ country cook




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Recipe rewind because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives Saturday October 16, 2010.

Not just any cookie mind you, the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever made. The additional bonus to these cookies, because you brown the butter, you don't have to wait for any ingredients to come to room temperature, that makes this a great spur of the moment treat. Almost like instant gratification, but in chocolate chip cookie form!

Browned butter chocolate chip cookies
adapted from: How Does She ?
350 degree oven

1/2 c butter

1/4 c butter - cut into 4 slices
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar

1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T vanilla

2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda


2 c chocolate chips
1 c pecan pieces or walnut pieces

Place the 1/2 c butter (1 cube) into small flat pan, melt over medium low heat, then carefully let butter brown to a golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.











Place the 4 slices of butter in bottom of the mixer bowl, add the brown sugar and sugar, add cooled butter and mix until creamy.




Add egg, yolk and vanilla, beating well.


Add flour, soda and salt, mix well. Mixture will be smooth and creamy. Quickly mix in chips and pecan pieces.

Using large cookie scoop (2 T size) scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Edges will be golden, do not over bake.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies. 

As always thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments.

This post will be shared with:

http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/2012/01/full-plate-thursday-1-19-12_18.html
gallery of favorates @
http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gallery-of-favorites-127/

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday's words

When you blog, it is all about the words. We act like it is about the food, but if the written content is lacking or not correct, the recipe will not turn out and no one will want to eat what you have cooked.

So in essence, all food served at meal time starts with words.

Usually the words first start out in developing a friendship, then from there the sharing of ideas and finally recipes. I have always loved words, the history behind the word and the use of words, especially in a proper but unusual way. Words are multifaceted, just like any other gemstone.

It will come as no surprise that I love quotes.

I send them in friendly greetings, in emails to my husband and when there is a passing at work, in tribute I search for a quote that reminds me of the one just lost. I share quote blindly because maybe others do not like them as much as I do.

But share I do.......


It is quiet here, snow on the ground and fresh coffee to sip by the warm fire. I will start out to work a bit later than usual, letting the larger vehicles carve a path for my little car. Husband has already left, beginning the carving that others will need. Life, business and living continue, no matter the weather. Have a wonderful day.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We have made an offer on a house!

We have made an offer on our next home!

The real estate market here in out town is a fast and furious ride these days. 
We narrowed down our list of "wants" and focused on our list of "real needs" and put an offer on a nice place last night. 
We will know in less than 48 hours if our offer was accepted. Wish us luck, with the market running as fast as it is here, we will need it!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments.

PS this is my 888th post! Life keeps moving on and this little blog-o-mine is a little story book of that life. Sharing all the good things and progresses, some already made and others still in the works. I am so grateful for the continued friendships found here and shared here.  



Friday, January 13, 2012

So tell me, has this ever happened at your house?


While searching for a new house I discovered I am so far behind,  I am now in line behind myself! I will be taking a little break and getting organized and hope to be back before the end of January.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by and say hello. I appreciate your time and your friendship.

key words:  over scheduled, out of ideas, too much to do

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rich Corn Cake

Beans have been simmering most of the day, the ham bone has been remove to cool, so that the meat can be added back to beans. That means it is time to put the corn bread in the oven. We have a good cornbread that is made here, but since I wanted to share with Cookbook Sundays @ Couscous & Consciousness I took a look in my favorite cookbook, The Fanny Farmer Cookbook for another great cornbread to share. This is a richer cornbread made with sour cream for moisture, but less sweet with only half as much sugar.


Rich Corn Cake
The Fanny Farmer Cookbook
serves 9
425 degrees

a cooks wisdom: use 1/2 c sugar for sweet cornbread.

1 c flour
1 c corn meal
1/4 c sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tarter
3/4 t salt

Whisk together to combine well.

1 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
2 eggs

Combine well, stir into the dry ingredients.

4 T melted butter

Whisk in butter until mixture is smooth.


Turn out into a 9 inch prepared baking pan or cast iron skillet.

Bake 20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes, cut and enjoy!

Recipe rating:  It's Ok. (tasty but not special)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments.