Thursday, October 30, 2008

I love the rain

Well we don't get a lot of rain here in Santa Cruz. I love the rain and not that we have this pellet stove it is really nice to start it up and stay warm while I listen to the rain. So today I thought it would be nice to make some homemade chicken noodle soup. David does not like Chicken Noodle soup, I told him can and homemade taste so different to give it a try. Well I was right, he liked it.

2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles
12 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine broth, salt, and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in celery and onion. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Add pasta and cook about 6-8 minutes
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup, stirring constantly. Heat through.

I thought I would add a picture of our very spoiled dog also, she won't go outside if it rains no matter how bad she has to go to the bathroom. She is getting old and has arthritis so the

cold is hard on her, hopefully the pellet stove will help keep her warm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I thought I would make the kids some nice yummy spaghetti and meatballs, the kids will love this one at the Harvest night tonight in church. Oh did I tell you they just happen to be cupcakes.
I used a chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting that I mixed with a little cocoa powder and a few drops of yellow food coloring. The meatballs are Ferrero Rocher and the sauce is low sugar strawberry preserves. They are really good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eggnog Coffee

I want to post this recipe before I lose it again. I have made it in a long time and started thinking about it. So I will store it on my blog so it will be easy to find next month. I will post a picture once I make it.

You need to try it, I do not like coffee but I like this.

Eggnog Coffee
1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon hot water
4 cups eggnog*
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a bowl, dissolve coffee in water. Add eggnog, brown sugar and cinnamon; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Chill. In a mixing bowl, beat cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Pour eggnog mixture into glasses; top with whipped cream. Yield: 4 cups.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

It is really good

I am not sure what I think about this cake. I made it for Sunday so I will come back and tell you all how it taste. I made it becasue I thought it was a pretty cake. Hey we taste with our eyes first right. As I was making it I was wondering if the person where I got the recipe from gave the right ingredients. I hate it when people do something with a recipe because they don't want anyone else to have the real recipe. Just don't give the recipe out. But come Sunday I will know how it taste. I had to make the cake twice because the first one was so heavy and I know that was not right.
OK, we tried the cake and it is good, it is a lowfat cake and a little heavy but good, so you have to try this one. I am use to light fluffy cakes, this is heavy like pound cake but really good.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
For fr
osting :
12 oz cream cheese, room temprature
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cups sugar
For syrup:
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2)
Preheat oven to 350°.Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add pumpkin; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beting well after each addition and vanilla; beat until well blended.Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg), stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.Split cakes in halves, brush with orange syrup each .For frosting beat cream-cheese with sugar until smooth and light, add sour cream beat for some more time.Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread cream cheese frosting evenly over top of cake. Top with the next cake layer; spread cream cheese frosting over top, continue like this with other 2 layers, spread frosting on the sides. Arrange orange slices in a ring around outer edge of top cake layer. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over center of top cake layer. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator
I did a double layer of the oranges because I did not want a huge amount of seends on it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Yes I had to do it, I made breakfast for dinner. I love sausage gravy and never take the time in the morning make it. So I figured I would make it for supper tonight. It was a super simple recipe and good. I start my scramble eggs because they take the longest. I cook them very, very slowly and they are great. I hate eggs but they are great.

1 pound Bob Evans® Original Recipe Sausage Roll
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
8 prepared biscuits

Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot over biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sugared nuts

I seen this recipe and thought it would be something easy to try. I assume it is good because when I looked in the pot it was not as full as I thought it was when I started out, to find my husband would take some each time he walked by. :o) The kids seem to like them also.

Crock Pot Sugared Pecans or Walnuts

16 ounces pecans or walnut halves
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Turn slow cooker to HIGH about 15 minutes in advance. In hot slowcooker, stir together the nuts and butter. Add the powdered sugar,stirring to blend and coat evenly. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15minutes. Reduce the heat to LOW and remove lid; cook, uncovered,stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the nuts arec
oated with a cr
isp glaze.Transfer the nuts to a bowl.In another small bowl, combine the spices; sift over the nuts,stirring to coat evenly.Let cool before serving.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Playing around with pork chops

My son Jacob hates Pork Chops so I thought I would hide it. Well it started out just wanting to do something different with it. I decided to bread it and fry it, then I put it in a pan with can diced tomatoes, sliced onions, bell pepper and seeded jalapeno pepper and salt and pepper.
I then covered it and simmered it for about twenty minutes. Well I made sure I made a pasta dish for Jacob so if he did not like it he would have that and I also had some butternut squash from my garden I knew he would hate but zucchini that I know he likes. I had him take a bite of both squashes because he decided he hated both of them. I was right with the summer squash and he tried to pretend he hated the zucchini until I seen him sneak some more. he would not take a bite of the pork because he thought it was fish, but I have a rule at least one bite. He took a bite and decided he hated it. I told him to hide it under his pasta and try it. LOL He ate most of it. I then asked him how he liked the pork chop, he said it was gross. LOL He is such a silly kid. If I happen to look at him he ask me why I keep looking at him, I tell him it is because he is so cute and I love him. SO today we are in the truck and I have my sun glasses on and happen to look in the side mirror and he is looking in it. He then ask me why do I keep looking at him, now this has been going on for weeks. I ask him why is he looking in the mirror at himself, he tells me because he is hot. The joy of being almost 13. He is a silly kid. We Hey I even went all out for dessert tonight. LOL My new spoon was also sitting there winking at my pork chops. By the way they were really good, only the two younger kids did not care for them. One does not like pork and the other does not like meat that much.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I think they are our new pets

So we have been talking about getting Chicken for awhile, my daughter's in-laws are moving and had nine Hens so we thought we would go for it. So we worked and built a coop and then the run. We picked up the Hens Friday. Now for a week before we got them my husband said, don't name them, don't get close to them, don't this, don't that...I mean how stupid does he think we are, naming a chicken come on! Well they take them out of the carrier and and one of them he is thinking of shooting because it is screaming at the top of it's lungs and it is late. Well since it is dark I cannot really see them. So Saturday I go out to check on them and make sure they are fed and watered, well then I seen her, the blond Hen...did I name her.....oh you know I did, her name is Marilyn. a few of the others have been named also by my boys. Have then been held, yes, they love to be held. Now we want hens for the eggs not as pets, have they given us eggs...nope....are they more like pets....yes, we have bought them nice scratch, new food, clean their coop and run every other day. Have they done anything for us in the egg department....Nope! Now lets back up a little, the man who said don't name them, hold them... was holding Marilyn today and petting her. So I don't feel so bad. LOL We could never live on a farm and raise our own food, we would look into the eyes of a cow and that would be it. We are in bad shape. LOL

My cute spoon

I got the cutiest ( I know it is not a word, it should be with as much as I use it)spoon in the mail today. There is such a funny story behind this. Well on one of the blogs I belong to there was a contest I entered, I was so excited because I noticed I was a winner. I mean Woo Hoo! EXCITED!! WOO HOO! I even emailed Megan my Woo Hoo!! Well I was so pumped, then I thought wait a minuted, I did not remember saying my friend, So I clicked into my name so I could see my page....OH MAN!!!! It was another April. Was I sad? No, I thought it was so funny, I rewrote Megan and told her what happened, she thought it was funny also. But she mailed me a winking spoon and I love it! Thank you Megan. I will use the spoon for everything. I am driving my family nuts with it right now, I keep saying "look what I got!" "My Spoon is sooo cute." they know I am crazy so they just look at me and go on with what they are doing. LOL

Woo Hoo!!!! I got my spoon!!! Woo Hoo.. I told Megan it is a good thing it was not a car I won. :o)

Old Fashion Sunday

This is Noah our Grandon, Grandma, Grandpa and Noah, this is Noah Daddy(Eric) His Mommy(Kim) who is our youngest daughter.

I did not fry the chicken all the way because I needed to keep it in the oven so it would be hot.

Sunday was Old Fashion Sunday at our church. It is always a lot of work and a lot of fun, from getting the church ready to baking and then all the clean up. It was nice because almost everyone pitched in to help clean up this year. Makes it so much enjoyable.

So my 12 year old son kicked my butt this year in the pie baking contest. See if I give him a recipe again. But on a better note, I beat my daughter by one point this year in the cheesecake, she always wins. But hey one point is one point and it made all the difference. LOL

Jacob's Toll house pieChocolate pieOld Fashion Coconut Pie

We had a great turn out and it was a lot of fun. Everyone dresses up Old Fashion and we have an Old Fashion Pot-luck and the baking contest and then we go into the evening service. I won three ribbons this year, I wished I would have kept all the ribbons I won during the years it would be fun to see them all together. I was in my mid twenties when I made my first homemade cake, Lady Baltimore and it won first place, I had no idea it would even place and that was out of over 100 cakes.

Here are a few pictures of the desserts and the food, hey got to have the food.

I have to admit I was shocked I won over my daughters cheesecake, she places first every year, when I seen her cheesecake come out of the oven and it was perfect not one crack I thought I was doomed, then I cut into it and knew I was doomed. I would like to thank my daughter's future sister-in-law for voting for mine, that is why I won. LOL
My pumpkin cheesecakeKristine NY
Fried Chicken

2 cups apple cider I like to add orage juice adn oranges and not the cider.
1/2 cup salt
1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 quarts vegetable shortening, for frying
In a large bowl, whisk together cider and salt until salt dissolves. Add chicken pieces and enough water to coat and soak 1 hour in the refrigerator. Chicken should be completely submerged in brine.
In a large pot, heat vegetable shortening until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with a wire rack.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cayenne and black pepper. In a paper bag, shake together flour and cornstarch. Drain chicken from brine and dip in batches first in egg mixture then in flour mixture to coat. Set on wire rack to let coating sit for 10 minutes. In 2 batches, fry chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the piece. Remove from oil to drain on paper towel-lined plate.
Chocolate Cream Pie
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed, I like to whip up my own

In a large mixing bowl, cream together egg yolks and sugar. Mix in cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Add milk and stir gently.
Pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in butter or margarine and vanilla extract. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into pastry shell. Chill before serving. Garnish with whipped topping
Toll House Pie
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup semisweet chocolate
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch
single crust pie
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the flour, white sugar and brown sugar; beat until well blended. Blend in the melted butter. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter into one unbaked 9 inch pie shell.
Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

3 to 4 waxy red or white potatoes (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 Spanish onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
12 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 recipe empanada dough, recipe follows
Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water; add the salt and bring to a boil, uncovered. Simmer until fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium flame. Add the chorizo, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until the sausage renders its fat and gets crispy. Add the onion and garlic; season with the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, until the mixture is soft and has a beautiful red color. Pour in the broth and simmer for 3 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and fold them into the pan, using a wooden spoon, break up the potatoes into nickel-size pieces. Add the olives and raisins and toss everything together; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the filling to cool before filling the empanadas. Serve with cilantro cream.
Empanada Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup masa harina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Butter, for greasing the pans
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter. Gradually add 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water, working it in with your hands to incorporate; the dough should be easy to handle and not sticky. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
Lightly flour your rolling pin and counter. Divide the dough in 1/2 so it will be easier to work with and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 10 circles of dough; repeat with the other 1/2.
Spoon 2 generous tablespoons of filling into the center of each pastry circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush the edges with the egg wash and then fold the dough over in 1/2 to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Tightly seal the edges by crimping with the tines of a fork. Chill at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the empanadas on a buttered baking sheet and brush the tops with additional egg wash. Using a fork, prick a few holes in the top of the empanadas for steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Cilantro Cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice together. Mix thoroughly; season with salt and pepper. Serve with empanadas. Yield: 1 cup
Chicken Empanadas (these are really good)
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts Water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Jam Empanada

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup fruit preserves
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.DAY BEFORE: Cream butter and cream cheese together until smoothly blended. Beat in the flour. Shape dough into a smooth ball, wrap in foil or cling wrap, and refrigerate overnight or up to a week.

2.AT BAKING TIME: Remove dough from refrigerator 30 minutes before using. Start heating oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

3.Roll chilled dough thin. Cut with 3 or 4 inch round cookie cutter. Place small spoonful of jam in center of each round, moisten edges with water.

4.Fold round over and press edges together. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately roll in sugar mixed with cinnamon (traditional) OR in confectioners' sugar if preferred.

Pumpkin Empanadas

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups shortening
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 egg white -- beaten
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Combine pumpkin, 3/4 cup sugar, and allspice; stir well, and set aside. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle 1 cup of milk evenly over surface; stir with a fork until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Shape into a ball; chill. Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 4-inch circles. Place 1 tablespoon of pumpkin mixture in the center of each circle. Moisten edges with additional milk; fold in half, and press edges together with a fork.

Brush Empanadas with egg white; place on un-greased baking sheets, and bake at 450F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over empanadas while still warm. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chocolate Chip cookies.

The weather here in Santa Cruz can not make up its mind, it is cool one day hot the next. Today is was very warm. We are building a chicken coop so we can raise out own chickens. Eggs cost so much anymore and they always seem to be old. I went to the chicken farm and bought some of the best brown organic eggs I have ever tasted. Did I mention I hate eggs. I use them for baking and every once in awhile I will eat one but they always have a gross egg taste to it. These eggs I got are great! I was shocked they were so good.

Well I made some chocolate chip cookies last night. See I am trying to lose weight before my daughters wedding at least the 30 I decided to put on in the past six month. Why is it so easy to gain and so hard to lose. Well back to my cookies, I am not too found over chocolate, milk chocolate I like a little, I hate dark chocolate by the way I also hate coffee and milk. I know I am odd. Well so back to my cookies....I wanted to bake but not eat anything I made so I made the kids chocolate chip cookies last night. I wanted to try a new recipe and these seemed to be a huge hit.

Warning they make huge cookies.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


In school the kids are learning about Mississippi so we made a Mississippi Mud Cake. I will post the recipe later. Jacob does not eat a lot of sweets but he liked this one.

Last week we made taffy and rock candy. My computer is in the shop so I have not been doing a lot of posting.

Fried Chicken

I cannot believe I did not post about this chicken I made. I soaked my chicken in salt water with fresh squeezed oranges in it and I sliced up another orange and put it in the container with the chicken and salt water. I soaked it for about 12 hours.

Then I took it would and dried it off. I then dredged in in flour, then a egg and milk mixture then my last was in a mixture of flour,
salt, pepper and a little cornstarch. I fried it in hot vegetable oil,
since I cook for such a large family I just kept it in a 375 degree oven until I was done. It was really good, I am not a huge fried chicken lover but this was good. I had corn from my garden that was very great.