Thursday, April 30, 2009

CopyCat Recipe for Wendy's Chili

I got this CopyCat recipe for Wendy's Chili from my BFF Betty.. I tried it and it REALLY does taste like Wendy's Chili..
Try it for yourself...

Wendy's Chili

1- medium onion Chopped/diced... depends on how big you want the chunks
1- Bell pepper chopped/diced
1- 14oz can stewed tomatoes
4- 8oz cans of tomato sauce
1- 14oz can Ranch Style beans
1- can pinto beans
1- can kidney beans
1- 10oz can of Rotel tomatoes (with peppers)
1- 1 1/4oz pkg. McCormick chili seasoning mix
2- lbs of ground chuck.

Brown the meat in a your favorite Chili pot.
drain off fat.
add all the ingredients to the pot.. Stir well
Cook until the peppers and Onions are done...
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The Magic of Tire Swings....

We had the opportunity to spend last Saturday at a Friend's house. His son was celebrating a birthday.. Friends piled kids in the car and off we all went to join in the celebration.. We're out in the country so neighbor kids are few and far between.. not like in town where you can walk down the block and get 20 kids that you know to come to your house to play..
When we arrived the party was well under way. We got our glasses of tea and headed for the back porch.. out back were the kids. Some had greeted us in the front yard.. They were busy playing in the pond type water feature.. LOL a kid can find water in a desert, anyway.. the rest were in the back hoisting up the Tire swing. They all stood in line, even the little kids for their turn to ride. The older kids pulled back the swing and made sure their ride was "high" and they didn't crash into the tree.. They swung and twirled for hours.. then it was off in the dark to play hide and seek.. some did come in to watch the adults play the Wii fit.. LOL that's another story.. anyway it did bring to mind my favorite swing. My grandparents in Parma Michigan had a Swing in the front yard. It was on a huge Maple tree right up by the road.. I would swing for hours. I crossed fields and pastures in my mind. I flew with the birds. I was free and happy.. not a care in the world.. I could watch the farmers pass on tractors, and old farm trucks.. I watched new sports cars come whizzing by.. and families in their Sunday best on their way to Church.. I was a in heaven on that old swing..
I often wonder these days with all the video games, computer games, and other hi tech stuff, if our kids aren't missing out on something.. imagination.. I think that 's part of the reason I love the country.. kids here have that stuff.. but they still get outside and play.. they ride 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, hunt (yes, I said hunt.. a great way to learn firearm safety, and a time to bond with Dad) and fish, learn how to swim in the ponds, They make cars out of rocks and drive them around in the dirt.. they dig for worms, and twirl around on the ole' tire swing..
Think I'm going to take a turn next time.. I could use a good swing.. and a little imagination..
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Special Girls

These are our special girls.. This one is Sissy.. She and Rosie (see pic below) are our special little girls... They are JackRats.. LOL Husband refers to them as our Jackrats.. they are Jack Russel Terrier/ Dad.. and Mom is Rat Terrier... They love to look out the window and watch for squirrels LOL they love to tree squirrels.. bark at them, well I guess that is treeing them.. and chase them. They are squirrel nuts... or should I say " nuts for squirrels... Husband started working with them as 8 week old pups.. Now I won't guarantee that they would go hunting and tree them in the woods.. thought I don't know why they wouldn't... but they tree them all the time here.. They are on leashes.. We've had 3 dogs hit and killed here.. we are on a Hwy.. where folks drive between 60-80 mph. that and log trucks spell disaster for anything that doesn't have the good sense to stay out of the road.. We lost our Dixie the last time we were here.. and had to have our old Joe dog euthanized only 3 weeks later.. We heard about these two girls.. they were the only pups in the litter.. and they were both girls. We were very Leary of getting another dog.. but we've never been without at least two.. so we went to check them out.. we were just looking for one dog.. and I wasn't so sure we needed one right after the devastating loss of Dixie.. only a year old.. and Joe.. 14yrs.. But we went.. both these girls came bounding out of the house with their mom.. we played with them for a while.. then went across the road to see their dad.. he was a fine looking fellow and very friendly and a great hunter.. We left telling them we'd let them know in a few days.. well on the way back to the cabin Husband asked what I thought about getting them both.. I wasn't sure about one, let alone two.. but we talked about how having both dogs would give them each a playmate, someone to sleep with.. I really didn't want to go through the crying for mom all night.. the decision was made and we took both girls.. It was the best decision. Our Vet said Puppies are always better in twos.. LOL I think it's just cause he gets double the money for everything.. LOL but I think he was right.. they slept together, played together, console each other.. and tag team any animal that gets in their way.. they are really our special little girls..

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School Daze

We had to get out in the barn to fix a hole.. At one time chickens were housed in this section of the barn. To save time, the folks cut out a hole in the side and hinged the board. It allowed the board to be let down as a plank allowing the chickens access outside.. Well someone used the entryway to gain access to the barn.. LOL some kind of skinny mini for sure.. I could barely get my leg through that hole let alone my whole body.. We don't keep anything worth stealing in there.. (thank goodness) I'm sure they hoped to gain access to the other part of the barn, but that has been blocked off with a door.. anyway while working my flower bed next to the barn the board fell in leaving a nice entry to another skinny human, or a new home for various varmints living in the area.. so We had to fix a hole..
It was then that I remembered we still had the desk.. One of Husband's teachers desks.. I had forgotten we had it.. A Friend left it on our porch the last time we were here. She was moving, and as a special gift to us, she left the desk. Miss Edna's desk.. one of husbands favorite teachers.. The school here was 4 Rooms.. 2 grades to a classroom. No kindergarten.. you started school here in first grade.. Husband liked having two grades in a room.. he would finish his work early and listen to or follow the assignment for the older class.. A great way to learn more. Out of sheer boredom I'm sure..
We'd like to refinish the desk.. actually I'll share a dream with you.. I'd like to someday, if we build a house, fix a corner of the cabin to resemble one of the old classrooms.. We have a pupils desk.. not one from this school, but one similar.. the desks were all burned (egad) when the school was torn down (what a waste) to put in a mobile home... :-(
the former owner used this building to house animals.. chickens, rabbits etc.. We have brought it literally from a chicken coup to a very comfortable 2 room cabin... OK, so I'd like to have the teachers' desk, pupil desks.. 2 or three... then some slate boards for the pupil desks... a blackboard/ or slate board for teacher.. I have some old school books.. I'd love to find the Alphabet letters that use to hang over the blackboard.. do you remember them? I think it would look so cute.. and maybe a few things to go on the desk, globe, bell, etc.. I'll have to ask husband if he remembers what Miss Edna kept on her desk.
If you look at the desk the top opens up.. it's kind of cool.. you pull up and the top comes up along with a place to put books etc.
The hole is fixed.. the plastic sheeting put back over the desk.. maybe we will refinish it next spring, not enough time this year.. We are needing to head on home soon...
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Monday, April 20, 2009

We have Babies...

We have Babies.. As you can see there is a little head sticking up in the blue bird box on the old post. there is another one in the nest, but when I went to get my camera, little brother bird would not pop up..
I'm shocked that the birds had babies in this box. the front has been broken/chewed out.. The blue bird couple has had their nest in this box for several years. The Replacement box is sitting in the cabin. I was going to replace the old one until I saw that there were babies. We'll wait until the younguns are up and out of the nest, then we'll put up the new one.
I love the blue birds. They are my favorite birds in our yard here. I finally saw a cardinal, another favorite. When we winter here we feed the birds. There are always 50 + birds at our feeders. Sometimes there are 6 or more cardinals vying for the best feeding position. I love to get out my bird book out and see what types are here. Some winter here, some live here year round.
The other birds I love are the hummingbirds. I haven't seen any yet. I usually have my feeders up by now. We'll be leaving in a couple of weeks, so I've decided to forgo feeding them this year. It's fun to watch them come to the flowering trees and bushes in the yard.. they dart in and out and are not afraid to buzz your nose..
I love it when we have babies.. I love to listen to their calls and I love to watch their parents try to keep all the little mouths full of yummy bugs and seeds.. They like most babies are very demanding..
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wild visitors drop by all the time..

This is the first little fellow that drops by on most days.. there are 2 or three that live in the woods behind our cabin. We have Walnut trees.. several of them.. up by the cabin.. also a hickory tree.. it's fun to watch these little guys run up the mowed path from the woods to the Gymnasium foundation where the nuts are tossed.. they sit on the foundation, in the surrounding trees. and on stumps.. they eat the walnuts, take them back to their home, or plant them in the yard.. we have about 10 walnut trees that came into being this way.. :-)
There are also a little bunch of squirrels that live across the road.. I worry about them running across the road.. one little fellow lost his battle the other day to a vehicle. I tell them often to stay on their side of the road.. or to stop and watch for traffic.. like typical kids, they don't listen..
Another of the squirrels that come to visit.. I thought of naming them. I name most of our frequent visitors. Unfortunately to me all the squirrels look alike.. no distinguishing tattoos, haircuts, or clothing.. so they are just "one of the squirrels"...
The pictures of the deer are just two of many. They were taken a couple of years ago. Due to "blue tongue" and the ice storm this past winter, many of our deer died. Not to worry there are still plenty of deer in the area.. just not walking through our yard anymore.
at one time we could watch as many as 50 deer wander through our yard in the evenings. they stopped to nibble on the mowed grass, and eat some salt. I did name one of the deer one spring.. Crazy Larry.. I loved Larry.. he was not quite right.. he would buck and jump and fall over.. he would run through water splashing and chase the neighbors dog.. Larry was tolerated by the others. they would watch out for him. I never did see any of the others play with him.. I guess he was not very popular in the deer circles. I would love to be Larry's friend.. he knew how to have fun...
Yep, the wild ones come to visit.. we have turkey, owls, hawks, fox, deer, coyotes, squirrels, all kinds of birds and the occasional dog.. We even woke up one morning to find two young steers in the yard.. they had escaped their home down the road. It was quite funny to see this city girl try to help the farmer round up his cows. LOL well, at least I tried..
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Butterflies and Sunburns...

Butterflies and Sunburns.. I love them both..
as you can see from the photo, I got some pictures of a gorgeous butterfly that decided to come by for a visit.. We have lots of butterflies here. especially during the summer months. this one and the Black with blue (where the yellow is on this one) are my favorites. If you hold really still they will sometimes land on you.. fun..
the past two days have been warm.. 82, and sunny. I am now boasting my first sunburn of the year. Not the kind that fries me to a crisp.. not yet anyway.. just a nice red color.. so I'm not so pasty white.. LOL I have been waiting patiently for a good sunburn.. now for the burn to turn darker.. I don't really tan.. but, the sunburns will get kind of brownish looking..
a dear friend once told me that fat always looks better Tan.. I totally agree.. wish I could do tanning booths.. I did once.. I am on meds that make me break out in hives.. grrrr.. so no tan for me.. Husband is the lucky one.. part Cherokee Indian.. He tans if the lights in the house are bright.. I'm so jealous.. It's raining today. but I'm looking forward to a few more Sunburns next week.. and butterflies...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today it's me or the Tree...

I was up early this morning. I got cleaned up, made breakfast, and got myself prepared to do battle.. Yep, today it's me or the Tree..

I have a tree growing up in the middle of my one of the lilac bushes. well it's actually around a fence post.. the post holds one of our bluebird boxes.. the box is old and needs to be replaced.. I found one at the Amish community.. and am anxious to get it up.. Most of my boxes were damaged in the ice storm..

surrounding the post is a lilac bush.. and a bunch of "rose of Sharon" bushes. the huge old one is dead.. it has to come out.. then after removing it, I can cut out the tree.. Well, neither one is going peacefully.. I've worked for an hour and half.. I fear the tree is winning.. I just don't have enough umph to get to it and get it cut.. I'm going out again in a few minutes.. I may just have to have husband cut it down.. but I want to do it myself.. I hate wimping out on stuff like this.. I know I can do it, if I can just get in the right position.. the fence post has me limited as to how I can use the bow saw.. not enough room..

the rose of Sharon bushes here grow into trees.. so I really have 2 trees to tackle.. well wish me well.. I'll report back.. if you don't hear from me, call search and rescue.. the trees have taken me as hostage..

UPDATE: I went back out and tackled the tree and the Rose of Sharon.. the Rose of Sharon was the one that really had me perplexed.. I decided to try sawing the larger limbs off.. I tried the first one and after a few minutes decided to bend it over to see If I could get some of it "going my way" so I could cut through it.. It just laid over. I realized I didn't need to cut any of it off.. it was rotten and I pulled all of it up.. 

 After it was gone I could cut the tree out.. in the photo you will see the Lilac bush to the left.. then there are lots of new rose of Sharon sprouts coming up.. then you will see the fence post and the "old" blue bird house. there are baby birds in the nest right now.. so we won't change to the new house until the babies are gone.. I left some of the wisteria vine on the post.. it will help keep the bird house under some shade..

I fought the Tree and the mighty bush.. and I WON.. well, my arms and shoulders are achy.. but I'll tackle something else tomorrow.. I love my Loppers.. they give me such a sense of power..

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter memories.. Gumdrop cookies..

This is my Brother Keith.

As a special remembrance of my adoptive mother, I'd like to share her Gumdrop cookie recipe. My papa (my name for my adoptive Dad) always called me "his little gumdrop".. Mom would always let us help her bake. She was patient and we always got to lick the bowls and the beaters..
I guess if I had a favorite cookie when I was little.. this was it.. It's fun to make and the pretty colors of the gumdrops make it great for Easter as well as Christmas.. Of course Cookies any time are GOOD.. Enjoy..

Gum Drop Cookies

1-cup white sugar
1/2- cup brown sugar
1-cup of shortening or butter flavored Crisco (the one in the sticks)
2- eggs
1- teaspoon vanilla
2-1/3 cups all purpose flour (if using self rising flour omit the baking soda and salt)
1- teaspoon salt
1- teaspoon baking soda
1- cup cut up small gum drops
1/2- cup chopped nuts

1- cup gum drops cut into quarters for use on top of the cookies.

Cream together the sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla.
Spoon flour into a measuring cup and place into a bowl. Add the salt and baking soda to the flour (do not sift) and stir to blend.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in gum drops and nuts. Mix well.
drop by teaspoonful onto a greased baking sheet. Dot top of each cookie before baking with a piece of gum drop.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
makes about 5-6 dozen cookies..

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Mom, Easter, and Forgiveness..

Dear Reader,

First I want to extend Easter greetings to you.. today I'm thinking about a love that I can not even comprehend.. A Savior that gave all He had for me, and chose to do it..

I want to share something with you. Some of you know I was adopted at the age of 2. My adoptive mother was mentally ill and was very abusive. The last time I saw her I was 15. The last time I had spoken to her was in 1986. Ours was never a close or good relationship. I won't go into it all here just know it was not good..

I've spent years praying for God to help me find forgiveness for the awful mental and physical abuse that my brother and I suffered at her hands.. to be honest her attitude and personality never changed over the years. I can say I was glad when I didn't hear from her after my Dad (adoptive father) passed away in 1986. They divorced when I was 9 and I lived with dad.. Mom would call every 2 or 3 years to tell me what a horrible child I had been and how horrible I was as an adult. She would also tell me how I would regret not seeing her or speaking with her. I didn't regret it for one moment.

This past summer I kept thinking about her. I knew she would be abt. 80 and wondered what her life had been like over the last 23 yrs. our last conversation she had told me she was saved. I doubted it. God kept telling me to find her. I finally gave in and looked. Through the Internet I found an old address and through that address I found her and her sister..

 she had suffered several years of health problems, strokes, and dementia. She had been living with her sister for abt. 20 yrs. Sister emailed me and we exchanged info. I sent cards to Mom and emails. I sent Pictures of our family, and updates. Sister told me she had lost most of her memory, but she knew who I was and wanted to talk to me. I will tell you when I heard she wanted to speak to me I was flung back in time. I was terrified of her as a child, and I was still terrified of her as an adult. The thought of speaking to her, even on the phone, left me shaking and nauseated. No way.  I had done what God asked, I had found her, and that was good enough. I wasn't going to put myself through that, and I certainly wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of berating me again. 

God made it very clear I was to talk to her. God and I discussed it several times and at great length. I finally gave in and made the call. 

Mom and I spoke for about 5 min..I knew she was no longer the monster that haunted my dreams.. she was a frail, sick, old women, who needed peace, forgiveness, compassion, comfort, and Love..

I learned a few things during that call. first.. I learned with the memory loss I would never hear her apologize or beg for my forgiveness. I don't mind saying that the idea of that ticked me off. I wanted her to beg for my forgiveness so I could say no, or did I ?

 From the beginning. I knew that God had given me what I had asked for, Forgiveness.. I didn't have any anger or hate. I didn't want revenge. I did feel, pity, compassion, forgiveness, and love; not love in the sense that mothers and daughters should have, but love non the less.

I came to realize this was God's gift to me. You see He wanted me to know that my forgiveness toward her was what I needed; not an apology from her.That one 5 minute call was the last time we spoke. We both knew in our hearts that it would be. I was fine with that. There was no need for more words. I can't even describe it to you, but it was done..

Mom died yesterday morning. She is finally at peace. Home with her Savior and mentally stable. Something she never had in this life. She is no longer tortured by her childhood, or the problems and pain that changed her.

I want to tell you that forgiveness is real. It's a possibility. No matter what has happened God will give you His forgiveness to give to another, but remember it's for you not the one who hurt you. God's love and forgiveness is what had changed my life in 1982. It changed my hate filled heart into a compassionate one. 
God showed me how He saw me; full of meanness and hate. Twisted by sin and bad choices, But saved and redeemed through His love and compassion. Changed through His forgiveness. Forever changed through the love of Jesus Christ. I could now give to my mother what had been give to me. Forgiveness. 

I can say that I look forward to the day when mom and I will meet in heaven.. I will finally meet the mother that a little girl wanted and needed so many year ago. I'll meet the woman that God created perfect in His love. I'll be perfect too, and we'll know each other. that's cool. That's what Easter is really all about..

I continue to be amazed by God and His love for me.. I love that He continues to work with me and keeps forming me into the woman He wants me to be.
May God teach you the benefits of forgiving others, and may God Bless you always.

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
John 11:25-26

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chess Pie recipe from the 1700's..

The first time I ever had Chess Pie was in the early 80's in a little BBQ place in west Ky. It was called Wolf's and it was known throughout the area for BBQ.. Husband's great uncle Dewy took us there for lunch one afternoon.. it was a small place, just an old block building that didn't look like anything much.. inside it was the same.. just a few tables.. most folks bought their BBQ and took it home. home was about an hours drive, so we were dinning in..
The wonderful smell soon dispelled any misgivings I had about the lack of ambiance.. it was a heavenly smell.. pit BBQ.. we sat at one of the tables.. and ordered our plate lunch.. BBQ with sauce, buns, pickles, onions, and sides of potato salad and perhaps baked beans.. I don't remember what now.. and pop.... the smoke from the kitchen was overwhelming and the others headed for the door as soon as their lunches were eaten.. the smiling face lady asked me as only a true Southerner can.. hun, would you like a piece of our chess pie, it's just out of the oven, and cool enough to eat.. ummm warm pie, my favorite.. so of course I said yes.. oh my goodness.. It was the most heavenly pie I had ever eaten.. a little crusty on the top.. and then a thick sweet filling like nothing I'd ever had.. I was hooked..
I never asked for the recipe there.. we ate and were on our way soon after.. up to Evansville to visit a cousin.. But the pie never left my memory.. As I have mentioned before, I collect old cookbooks.. while browsing through one.. I found this recipe.. it was the closest to the one I remember at that little restaurant.. I have made a few changes from the original.. I will write the original recipe. I always half everything (I put my adjusted amounts in the parenthesis) you may want to also.. It is very rich and sweet.. almost to sweet in it's original form..

Chess Pie

1- 9 inch pie shell..

6- eggs (I use 3) beaten..
3- cups of white sugar ( 1-1/2 cups)
1- cup butter ( 1 stick of margarine or butter)
2 and 1/2 - Tablespoons of white vinegar ( 1- 1/4 Tablespoons)
1- Tablespoon vanilla (1- teaspoon)

Preheat oven 425..
Cream butter and sugar until no graininess remains.
In another bowl.. Beat eggs..
then add beaten eggs to the creamed mixture and beat hard.. ( I use my electric hand mixer)
add vinegar and vanilla.. beat again..
put into an unbaked pie shell..
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes..
then reduce heat to 350 ... and bake for 50 minutes.. till firm. the sugar rises to the top and forms a light brown crust.
let cool for about 15-20 minutes.. then eat... still warm.. or wait till cool...

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Sweet Kids, Sweet potato Casserole

I found another photo of us kids. This one is is taken after I got my glasses.. 1963.. I just turned 5. Keith is in his little suit coat.. how cute is he??? precious.. and then there is Kay.. Kay came to us as a foster kid.. my parents were considering adopting 2 more kids.. the boy, Kevin, only stayed with us for a couple of weeks.. Kay came and stayed for over a year.. I loved Kay.. we shared a room and toys.. she was so sweet.. I don't know why we didn't get to keep her.. (my 5 yr. old thinking) I have often wondered whatever happened to Kay.. (not her real name, I don't know what it would have been)
Here we are.. us girls in our blue ensembles, white hats and white gloves.. along with our baskets full of eggs and candy..
Three sweet kids..

Now here is a copy cat recipe for Boston market's Sweet potato Casserole.. our family loves it..

Copy Cat Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole
3- large sweet potatoes, or 3- 15oz cans of sweet potatoes (I buy the canned ones, easier and faster)
1- cup white sugar
2- eggs
1- stick butter or margarine softened
1- teaspoon vanilla

boil the sweet potatoes until tender, remove skins when cool enough to handle. or Just pour the canned sweet potatoes (well drained) in a large bowl.. Whip until fluffy.. add the sugar, eggs, margarine, and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.. pour into a greased casserole dish and top with the Crunch Topping.. (see below)

Crunch Topping:
1/3- cup melted butter
1/3- cup flour
1- cup brown sugar
1- cup chopped pecans
1- tablespoon cinnamon...
mix together and then spread around on top of the casserole...
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes..
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cinnamon apple salad

This is me.. 1961.. what a cutie.. LOL I think this is me with my basket before putting my dress for church on.. I'd have to study the two photos together..
I love those shoes, don't you.. I was 3 yrs old.. this is just before I got my glasses.
one of my favorite places to go and eat was at Grandma's. Grandma was an excellent cook. I guess all grandma's are. I think it's because we've cooked about 234 gazillion meals and we know what we make well and what we don't.
Grandma always wore an apron. you never saw her in the house without one. There were special aprons just for good. They came out after Church on Easter Sunday.. and before we ate dinner. They were pristine.. unlike me.. I can walk through the kitchen and get something that will stain permanently on me..anyway, she always used the good dishes on Sunday.. the table pad would go on along with the pretty tablecloth.. then the fancy glasses, and dishes. there was always a special molded jello salad of some sort.. this is one of those salads.. Grandma always served her Jello salad's on salad plates. the plate always had a pretty piece of bib lettuce on it.. with the jello placed on top.. it was almost to pretty to eat..

Cinnamon Apple Salad
1- pkg. (small) raspberry jello
1- cup water
1/4- cup cinnamon candies ( cinnamon imperials, or red hots)
1- can (14-16 oz) applesauce..

place water in a sauce pan and heat.. dissolve the jello and candies in the water.. Cool, then add the applesauce.. pour into a jello mold, or a pretty glass bowl.. chill till firm..
this is Delicious..

Easter Sunday at our house, Kidney Bean Salad..

This is a picture of my Brother Keith and I in our Easter finery.
I hated the crinoline slip.. it was cute and made my dresses pooch out.. but it was soooo itchy it drove me nuts.
I think I was 3 in this photo. I may have just turned 4.. Keith was 2..
Easter was big doings at our house. We colored eggs on Saturday night before we went to bed. Then we'd leave some carrots and cabbage out for the Easter bunny.. In the morning we'd run out to the living room to find our baskets full of colored eggs, and chocolate treats of all kinds. We looked at our baskets, then ate breakfast.. then went to our rooms to find our new Easter outfits for Church.. We'd get dressed, go to Church and then would go to one of our relatives houses and eat a huge dinner..

Kidney Bean Salad
3-Cups of dark red Kidney beans drained (3 cans)
1- cup chopped sweet pickles
5- hard boiled eggs sliced.. (use some of the ones your colored)
3/4- cup diced celery
1- cup miracle Whip salad dressing..
toss together and chill..

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let them Eat Cake.... Goofy Cake

This is a picture of my Brother Keith. Isn't he the cutest thing??? LOL guess I'm a little prejudice.. Keith and I got to help mother in the kitchen often. This is Keith's first Goofy cake.
I don't have a picture of my first cake. We got to add the stuff to the bowl and then we got to run the old electric beater. We were allowed to carry our creation to the supper table.
We always ate at the table in the dinning room. The kitchen table was for breakfast and lunch only.. funny, I miss the dinning room table. Husband and I now eat in the living room in front of the TV. The dinning room table holds my computer.. hmmm I would move it if I could..
OK, here is your chance.. grab a kid, any kid.. don't have any kids.. well make this fun cake anyway.. it's easy and yummy. go ahead and make any type of White frosting you like best.. go ahead and cheat if you want to.. get the stuff in the can. No one will know, unless you have a kid help.. they spill their guts to all.. bake the cake, and let the kid carry it to the dinning room.. stand up and cheer.. yep, if you have a dinning room table.. go ahead and use it..

Goofy Cake

preheat oven 375... baking time is about 30 minutes..

Sift (you can do this or not, up to you) together in a bowl the following ingredients:
1 -1/2 cups all purpose flour (if you use self rising flour omit the baking soda and salt)
1- teaspoon baking soda
1/2 -teaspoon salt
1- cup white sugar
3- Tablespoons Cocoa
If you don't sift this you need to mix it together..

In another bowl mix together:
1/3- cup oil
1- Tablespoon white vinegar
1- cup water
1- teaspoon vanilla

combine the liquids with the dry ingredients and beat with a mixer until smooth.
(Lick the beaters)
pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean...
Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.. we usually had cream cheese frosting on this.

French Toast Bake..

French Toast Bake:

This dish is made up the night before and then baked the next morning..
pre-heat your oven to 400.. Baking will take about 35-50 minutes.
you will need a 9 x 13 pan..

12- slices of day old bread, cubed (I like to use the thick Texas Toast bread)
5- eggs beaten..
2- 1/2 Cups milk
1- cup brown sugar divided..
1- teaspoon vanilla
1/2- teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 - cup butter
2- cups blueberries (optional)

Cube the Bread and place in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
In a bowl combine eggs, milk, 3/4 cup of the brown sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg.. mix well and then pour over the bread in the pan.
Cover and refrigerate overnight..

In the Morning, take the pan out of the fridge about 30 minutes before baking. pre-heat oven to 400..

Combine 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar.. stir till the sugar is dissolved..
Drizzle over the top of the bread.. Bake at 400 for about 25-35 minutes.. or until it no longer looks gooey on the top.. (it will be firm when shaken)
may sprinkle the blueberries on top and bake another 10 minutes..
bake until firm..
I've taken this to Church brunches and everyone loves it..

time to dig out the recipe box...

Do you have a recipe box? I do.. Well actually I have 10 of them.. plus I collect cookbooks. I have about 750 of them.. OK, I have looked through each one.. I love the old ones. Those are my favorites.. I especially like the ones that are advertising cookbooks. There were cookbooks you could get for anything. I have several that were offers from TV shows, several that were written during the 2nd World war.. even some old ones that came with the "New" wood cook stove. There are cookbooks from insurance companies, Church groups, and other "civic" groups. Books from the folks who made your pots and pans (guardian ware) and those that came with your "new" Frigidaire. There are books from cooking schools, readers digest, gourmet magazines, Betty Crocker, singers, senators, and president's wives.. Yep there are books for just about every food stuff you've ever heard of from baking powder to jello..

I love them all. they are colorful and full of wonderful goodness. I love the old books from the late 1800's and the early 1900's.. that give recipes for invalids. They show how to set a table. How to present yourself to your husband, children, and guests. I love to see how the books have changed through the years. The changes are interesting. They begin with women being at home, cooking on the old wood stove.. recipes for whitewash for barns and fences, pickling recipes for 100 lbs. of pork.. How to "put up" all the vegetables and fruit you grow in your garden. Then come the days when there are no eggs or sugar, ones that you could use with your ration stamps..

Those old Books tell how to make nutritious meals for your family, and how important it is for your family, your community and your country to grow a "victory" garden. Newer ones are time saving for the woman who works outside the home and still needs to keep meals full of nutrition and quick and easy..
Today it's raining/snowing .. it's cold, and damp. I didn't want to go out.. So I got out the small recipe box that I take with me to the cabin. It holds the recipes we like the best. lots to choose from, and all are good..

Today I decided to share a few recipes with you that would work for Easter Dinner on Sunday.
OK, don't panic.. go ahead and make your family favorites.. then try these over the next few weeks and see how you like them.. they may become new family favorites for the occasional holiday, or something new for Thursday nights. It's always good to change things up at mealtime.. keep 'em guessing.. :-)

Yep, time to get out your old recipe box, look through.. get some recipes out.. think about the one who passed the recipe on to you.. was it a favorite of your mom's or grandmothers'..??? Was it from a co-worker, your mother-in-law? maybe you carefully cut it out of that food magazine you found at your last Dr. visit.. get it out and cook. Your family will love you for it..

It will make new memories, and traditions for them.. So many now only make convenience foods. It's easy to fall into the habit of eating stuff out of boxes, cans, and take out containers..
Try something New.. Cook an old favorite.. or try a new one.. just get out the old recipe box..

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wild things live and grow in my yard..

If you wander through my yard, you'll find there are Wild things growing there.
some things are wonderful, like the wild violets in the photo .. others, well lets just say I use a lot of roundup and I know how to use a pair of loppers.. (big grin) I love the violets.. They pop up all over the yard. I have a bunch around several trees in the side yard. A neighbor, who use to do photos for nature magazines, has used the wild violets for several photos..
My wild stuff includes, dew berries.. similar to blackberries only larger and sweeter.. I don't have many left as the bush hog dude has murdered most of them.. There are also wild onions. Husband remembers when their milk cow would get out in the spring. They couldn't drink the milk for several days. There is butterfly weed that attracts gazillions of butterflies (and chiggers) and I have a ditch that is full of tiger lillies. There are also weeds of all kinds.. some wicked little devils that crowd out the grass.. Then there is the Fescue..a very hearty grass we planted, it's like iron.. weird for grass, but it holds the dirt in place..
I have some kind of "wonder grass" that grows behind the "old store" Building. it is so thick no weeds come up through it. it has to be mowed more often.. but it's just like walking on a thick carpet. most of my grass is dotted with weeds.. including dandelions.
Wild things not only grow in my yard, but they live there too.. TICKS.. the horrid little beasties thrive here. Poor hubby can run from the cabin to the truck and most likely will pick up a Tick on the way. We also have chiggers, not to bad until the heat of summer shows up. A friend told me the best way to get rid of them is to get a new batch.. then the itching emphasis will shift from one part of your body to another.. LOL it's misery..
Millions of bugs live here.. all kinds of bees including wood bees, red wasps, black wasps, wingless wasps, flys, etc.. We also have termites. We spray for them lots.. so only have a small group that live under the foundation.. they come up into the cabin in the spring.. but through relentless vacuuming, smashing, and spraying they have only eaten one window sill out..
We have bats, mice and lizards.. If they have good sense, they will stay outside in their assigned areas. I give fair warning that any beastie that dares to enter my domain, the cabin, will be promptly sent on their way to Heaven..
We have Buffalo gnats this year.. they are horrible. they get in your eyes, nose, ears.. they make it awful to try and be outside. We seem to get a big crop of them now and again..
They make it rough on the cattle and deer here. The farmers around spray for them when they get this bad. I'm hoping they will all be gone in another week or so..
Yep, our yard is a place for wild things to grow and live.. I love them for the most part. It's really funny, when we first bought this place I would scream if a bug got on me.. well, I soon realized that I couldn't scream 24 hours a day.. so I just took a warrior attitude and now seek and destroy if necessary.. I have released what I can.. usually lady bugs that winter in the cabin..
All spiders must die.. I have killed two already this year that were a good 3 inches or larger.. huge ugly things.. ewwww.. I get the creeps just thinking about them..
My favorite wild things are the kids that show up in my yard. Kids belonging to the neighbors, friends, even our grandkids this spring.. They run and jump and play just like kids are suppose to.. They know how to play and have fun without any gizmos or gadgets.. They make forts and fight great battles.. They play "king of the mountain" and cook hot dogs on sticks over bonfires.. they stomp bugs that scare maamaw.. they are my heroes.
I allow them to enter the cabin.. I have cookies that need to be eaten..