Anybody want a pie for their Labor Day picnic? I'll have plenty at market tomorrow, if you're in the area. ;) It's been a busy Friday of baking and preparing for company tomorrow. What does your weekend hold?
Our garden has been producing well. While most crops are petering out now that we are nearing the end of August, the tomatoes are still going strong. So far this summer, in addition to the ones we've eaten, I've processed 160 lbs of tomatoes, mostly by canning but some put up in the freezer. There are still more to be picked....Granny says they are coming out of my ears, though we have not yet harvested as much as we did last season! She has loved being here this summer to enjoy our fresh tomatoes, especially her favorite "pink ones" (Brandywine heirloom).
One way I have used the mounds of smaller paste, cherry, and pear tomatoes is by roasting several pounds at once along with garlic and onions, to make a flavorful sauce. One day for lunch I made pizza with a zucchini crust, topped with sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
The tally of jars stored away for the winter thus far is:
This afternoon it was time to try out one of my new recipes for market - homemade vanilla wafers. I'm not sure where I found the recipe, but it basically sounds like a sugar cookie. I decided to give it a shot!
As you can see, they spread quite a bit more than I was thinking they would...and definitely did not stay a wafer size. After letting them cool on the pan for just a few minutes, they decided they really liked the cookie sheet and didn't want to be taken off.
Hmph. That didn't work so well. :) But all was not lost, because these vanilla wafers happened to be for use in a cheesecake crust, so I was going to grind them into crumbs anyway! HA!
I just put my finished cheesecake into the fridge to firm up overnight, so I can slice and package it tomorrow. It's one of my new flavors this year, Luscious Almond. Hopefully it will sell well.
Tomorrow I'll be baking away in the kitchen. It happens to be National Donut Day, for those of you who don't know, and if I have time after market items finish, I may bake some. Also, Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, among others, are offering free donuts tomorrow! Don't miss out. :)
It's about time for another cooking post! Recently I was in charge of making dinner for the week, just as Sarah was back in February.
My first evening happened to be St. Patrick's Day, so I made sure to include some festive dishes per Sarah's friendly reminders. :) I made Irish Meatballs combining these tworecipes.
Now, a disclaimer on the food photography: some of these pictures don't look especially appetizing, because I didn't take the time necessary when we were usually ready to sit down to eat. Mom says I need to be more "blog-minded" at times like this!
Later in the week I baked Sriracha Salmon and put together the classic Spaghetti Salad with some homemade dressing and spice blend. I didn't plan the alliteration, but the refreshingly cold pasta salad fit well with the spicy fish.
That Saturday I put some meat in the crockpot since most of us would be working over at Jonathan's house for the day. That evening we devoured Balsamic Roast Beef Sandwiches along with Hawaiian Sweet Potato Salad. Everyone chose from one of the previously made desserts for this weekend meal.
The following week I completed my planned menus by fixing the meal one night when Mom was out of town until suppertime. She came in the door to the aroma of Stuffed Pepper Soup and Soft Buttered Pretzels. Mmmmm! We would make both of these again.
Cannoli Tart studded with mini chocolate chips rounded out this Italian meal.
We had a couple of leftover avocados in the fridge, and Hannah found a yummy sounding recipe to try with them! Avocado Mac and Cheese! I made it for lunch today, and it was pretty good. It matched my sweater. ;) The lime juice in the avocado sauce made it a little tangy, and I think next time I would leave it out. Also, we didn't have any Pepper Jack cheese, so I had to make do with what we had in the fridge - I bet the spicy cheese would have really made it even better!
This past week was my turn, once again, to take an entire week to plan and cook all the supper meals. It worked out well, since Mom was still gone Monday and didn't get back from SC until late Tuesday afternoon.
My first meal was simple - Sausage and Corn Chowder with some of Hannah's toasted bread. Yum! For dessert I made Chocolate Fudge Cookies.
For Mom's welcome home meal, we had something that's been on my Pinterest board for awhile: Parmesan Honey Pork Loin Roast. I think everyone really liked this one! We also had salad and onion roasted potatoes with it.
Wednesday night was one of my more involved meals, Fried Rice with marinated steak on top. For the rice, I followed part of this recipe. Then for the steak marinade, I used this one. The main side dish was a definite keeper, Honey Lime Rainbow Fruit Salad. It took a lot of time to dice all the fruit, but it was worth it. Sooo good! We actually made this a second time already, for guests on Sunday. Dessert was Coconut Cream Poke Cake (Pinterest!) - just a 9x13 yellow cake, poked and cream of coconut poured on top, iced with whipped topping and coconut.
Thursday was leftover day! Yay for leftovers! :) That gave Hannah a free kitchen to make her weekly batch of bread and also a batch of soap.
Friday was our Mexican night. The girls really liked this meal, it wasn't the guys' favorite, though. Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas, another Pinterest pick, were the main dish, with both poblano and jalapeno peppers in the filling. They weren't that spicy, I could have left some more of the seeds in to up the heat, I think. Sides were Mexican style black beans and creamy white cheddar baked corn. For dessert, we had Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream Dessert. I didn't put quite as much sugar in the topping as they call for...they say 3/4 cup, but I put more like 1/2 cup, and it was plenty sweet. We also had this dessert on Sunday when our company came over. Yum!
Saturday - Valentine's Day and Italian night! This was Dad's favorite meal of the week. Two more of my Pinterest recipes finally got to be made: Chicken Parmesan Meatballs and Stuffed Italian Bread. :) A salad (with heart shaped cucumbers and tomatoes) and strawberry limeade rounded out the meal.
For the final dessert, I made individual Raspberry Red Velvet Brownie trifles. I didn't follow an exact recipe for these, it was just a mix of several ideas. This is the recipe I used for the brownies. The trifles were layered with brownie chunks, chocolate syrup, red raspberries, and whipped cream.
All in all, it was a fun week! I enjoyed getting to plan out everything and try some new recipes. Several dishes were definitely make-agains. Let me know if you try any and how they turn out!
It's supposed to be a rainy day here in South Carolina. I had planned to drive back to Virginia this morning from my sister's house...but then decided I'd rather drive six hours in the sun tomorrow rather than in the rain today.
I've been here since last Wednesday when I packed up and decided I needed to check on Granny. The couple of phone calls from her early last week made me think she needed perking up and checking on!
So the road to Brushy Creek to see Granny has been my route each day. Conveniently located ten minutes from my sister's house, the grounds of the rehab facility are very nicely landscaped, and I enjoyed seeing all the workers adding mulch to the trees and shrubs around the place...made me long for spring and working in my yard! It was almost 70 degrees here in SC yesterday!Brushy Creek is composed of 12 identical "cottages" with 12 residents in each cottage, and Granny has been here in the Magnolia Cottage for almost two weeks after being released from the hospital with compression fractures in her back: Here's Granny, smiling even through the back pain she's enduring each day: You can see her ever-present back brace a little better in the photo below. It is a huge contraption she says that is a real pain to put on and take off....but it does help to cinch her back tightly and is doing a good job of bracing her for some relief: The physical therapist and occupational therapist come in each morning and afternoon for walking, exercising, and increasing her strength. She's improving a little more each day.
Here's Granny in the exercise room doing upper body strengthening with the occupational therapist:She will be here at this facility at least another week if not longer, and then her case will be discussed and determined what happens next.
Thanks, as always, for your prayers for her that she will continue to recuperate and to be extra cautious and not fall again!
Of course, my sister and I can't stay with Granny every minute, so when she's resting and if my sister doesn't have a class to teach...off we go on an antiquing adventure. This was a new place for me:This was my only purchase...an antique butter knife for $1.50: I always enjoy being here at my sister's house. She's close to everything, and Hobby Lobby is two minutes away at the end of her street! Amazing!
Here's a picture taken from her foyer looking into a portion of the living room...taken mainly so Hannah can see where the scripture plaque was placed that she painted for Aunt Bet for Christmas. I love the green plaque and brown walls!Also when I'm visiting, if my sister is at school, I'm on dog duty with little Barney...who delights in hiding under tables and under beds so I can't take him out: On the kitchen front...I have two new recipes to try when I get back home! My sister made Cheeseburger Soup for us (I don't normally change recipes, but I think I'd add some cayenne pepper and substitute Pepper Jack cheese for some spiciness) and also Baked Asian Style Honey Chicken while I've been here. Yummy!
Well, that's a bit of an update. I'm headed over to Brushy Creek in just a few minutes, so I'd better get a move on!
First, I used my trusty tablet...yes! I'm twins with Granny! We both have new tablets! We're two old dogs trying to learn new tricks!
I pulled up the recipe right at my kitchen counter: And then I assembled the rest of my ingredients. The oregano and basil are dried spices from our summer garden, and...the tomato can is turned that way because I opened it before I remembered to take the picture. :)
In the future, I'll for sure use fresh basil instead of the dried, because I think the taste will be so much better and basil-ly: And then, in no time at all, the soup was ready for our lunch, and I have to say that it was quite tasty! Hannah baked bread yesterday, and this was a perfect meal to pair with her Artisan Bread. I'll let her tell you all about that recipe!
This is the recipe I used for the Artisan Bread: No-Knead Bread. One commenter asked a question last week about our normal bread recipe. Usually I make Sue Gregg's whole wheat bread recipe found here, with a few adjustments, but now and then I'll try a new recipe such as the above bread. It had a crusty outside and chewy inside with great flavor. Below are the slider buns I made with my regular bread recipe:
Let me know if you try either of these bread recipes!
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Hannah, Happy Birthday to you!
With today being Hannah's birthday, Sarah and I worked in the kitchen and prepared some recipes Hannah found on Pinterest and picked out for her special meal this evening.
For the main entree, she picked Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoesfound on Julia's Album blog. The photo of the recipe looks much better on her site, but here's our version. We all liked how it turned out, and we'd definitely make it again:And for the side dish Spicy Cumin Lime Coleslaw which she found on An Oregon Cottage blog: Also we served homemade bread from the Girotti family kitchen that Hannah made yesterday on her normal Thursday bread-baking day:And here's Sarah buttering some slices for toasting: And, last, but certainly not least, the cake she picked was Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake found over at Sally's Baking Addiction blog. Sarah made the cake this morning, and it was absolutely delicious and definitely a "make again" recipe: Happy Birthday, Hannah! We are very thankful for you and pray that the Lord will shower many blessings on you this next year! ~Deb