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Showing posts from October, 2010

GIVEAWAY on My Blogoversary!

Woo hoo!!!  Today is my one year blogoversary!
One year ago today, I had no idea what this blogging was all about.  I just saw a couple of food blogs and thought it would be a great way to finally organize my recipes and have fun doing it.
First of all, I must give much credit to my older son, Bubba (Bill, Jr.) who has a blog of his own.  He helped me with the start up and answered my multitude of questions.  Thanks Bubba!!! 
 After I decided to go ahead with it, I told Bill about it.  He rolled his eyes and I knew what he was thinking, “Here we go, another impulse thing.  I wonder how long this will last!”  Surprise, surprise Bill!  I’m still at it and enjoying every minute of it.  I love it!
I want to tell you what is incredibly wonderful with this blog ~ it is meeting all of you caring, smart, loving and often times funny people out there.  I just want to thank you all very much for your support and your comments.  I am very humbled by it all and I just wish I had the chance to meet …

Roasted Pork Loin with Citrus and Onions

I feel like I’m Dorothy in a scene from the “Wizard of Oz!”  There is nothing magical about this storm front passing through “Chicagoland” though.  The wind is howling and the only good thing is that it is not frigid cold ~ it’s in the high 50’s with wind chill in the low 40’s; our first wind chill reading since April.
I’m used to this area being a little windy, especially regarding Chicago politics, but yesterday was a little too much and more strong wind is in the forecast for today with sustained winds of 40 MPH with gusts of 65 MPH.  The barometric pressure readings were the lowest ever in a non-tropical storm in the mainland United States.



There were times yesterday when I thought our house would be carried away.  Tornado warnings abounded and fortunately no tornadoes touched down in this area; however, our subdivision looks like a war zone.  Trees are down, large branches are everywhere along with debris.  And then there are the power lines.  We were without power for most of yest…

Best Baked Apples

Ahhh!  If you could have only smelled these apples as they were baking!  The aroma filled the house with the ultimate cinnamon potpourri!
I love it when apples can be turned into a sweet treat other than the usual pies and cakes.  For these mouthwatering apples, just core the apples; add some cinnamon, chopped nuts and dried fruit that have been soaked in rum, and bake for an incredible treat.
The rum gives a wallop to the apple but, if you prefer, apple juice can be substituted.  This time I made both Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples.  They each hold their shape and bake extremely well so they are perfect for this recipe.
 This is a great autumn dish that could be calling for a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.  Or, eat one the way I like best ~ by itself!  How can you resist?


Best Baked Apples
Ingredients:
6 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apples ¼ c. raisins ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped 2 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped Dark rum, to cover ½ c. chopped pecans 1 tablespoon Sa…

Baked Acorn Squash with Spinach

Acorn squash is our favorite winter squash. So many recipes for it as a side dish include butter with brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon. I'm not one for really sweet foods other than desserts and candy so, I wanted to incorporate another vegetable with the squash for a more savory dish.

Acorn squash is filled with amazing health benefits:
Cancer-fighting properties: Acorn squash contains a large amount of phytonutrients and antioxidants that have anti-carcinogenic effects on the body. Men's health: This particular squash may help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.  Protects against birth defects: Expectant mothers would do good to add acorn squash to their diet this fall and winter. Immune system support: Eat acorn squash and protect yourself from this year’s cold and flu season. Lung health: Asthma sufferers can help alleviate their symptoms by consuming acorn squash.  Heart and cholesterol benefits: The beta-carotene in acorn squash proh…

Homemade Gravlax

I can't believe how hands-off easy gravlax is to make!
Gravlax is expensive to buy but I learned it is very easy to make after reading Stephen's post about it. Check it out here @theobsessivechef. If you love salmon and haven't done this before, you should try it. Gravlax is not to be confused with lox, which is smoked, not just cured.
You only need a very fresh filet of salmon, some salt, a little sugar and dill; weighting it down and refrigerating it for 2-3 days, turning it every 12 hours. However, it takes a whole lot of patience for the time it takes to cure. The salmon turns into a silky smooth delicious delicacy. Since I'm a pepper addict, the only thing different I did to Stephan’s recipe was add a heaping tablespoon of coarse ground black pepper. In regards to weighting it down: my bacon press, which I never use for bacon, was perfect for the job.
After the gravlax is cured in the refrigerator, rinse it well under cold water and it is ready to enjoy aft…

Bill's Tossed Salad with Chicken

Every once in a while, Bill makes our favorite salad for lunch! This is a delicious crunchy fresh salad and he does it up perfectly.
I especially like the addition of peas and hard-boiled eggs.  To make it really easy, pick up a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store!  This is a good salad with a simple dressing!

Bill's Tossed Salad with Chicken

Ingredients:
½ small head lettuce, torn 1 cup diced cooked chicken breast 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed ½ small carrot, peeled and shredded ½ small white onion, chopped 1 hard boiled egg, chopped ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded ¼ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup sour cream Dash lemon zest ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard salt and coarse ground pepper, to taste
Method:
Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Blend remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Combine and toss. 2 servings
Have a great lunch today!
Today is the last day to enter the CSN Stores giveaway that I posted on October 8th. Don't forget to enter!
Check out my friend, Linda’s blog, at My Kind of Coo…

Mom’s Chicken Casserole and CUMC

Every month at our church, Cary United Methodist Church, the women's "Dorcas Circle" gathers for a luncheon and meeting.  This month was my turn to prepare the main entrée and I chose this chicken casserole to make for them.
They’re a great group of women whom always have a fun time talking, laughing, enjoying lunch together and then settling down for the program.  Pastor Shirley joins us when time permits and we were honored with her presence on this day. 



This chicken casserole will rise to the occasion as a great entrée for a crowd or for a perfect dinner at home every time.  It’s Mom’s recipe, not sure of the origin, but I’ve made it for years and we love it.   This dish is tasty with the succulent chicken pieces and the savory stuffing mix; containing flavors most everyone will enjoy. 
It has to be made ahead of time and allowed to refrigerate over night.  A lot of times when I still worked, I made it on the weekend, froze it, set it in the refrigerator the morning o…

Cajun Pepper Steak

I don’t know about all of you good people out there but, I love bell peppers and could eat them about every day, raw or cooked.  And steak is delicious also so this dish is the perfect combo.
I decided to cook the Cajun pepper steak last night for dinner after hearing a neighbor mention it.  It’s a colorful, tasty medley of steak and green and red peppers, loaded with spices.  I favor spicy food, not the case so much with Bill.  So depending on your taste, adjust the spices accordingly; especially the Cajun seasoning. 
Round steak is a tougher cut of meat and takes a longer cooking time but, that is what I like about this recipe.  It has ample cooking time to bind the flavors.  Use sirloin steak for a more tender meat that gets this savory dish to the dinner table quickly.
Cajun pepper steak is the best, especially when served over a mound of rice!


Cajun Pepper Steak
Ingredients:
1½ pounds boneless round steak, fat removed, cut into strips or cubes 1-2 tablespoons canola oil 1 (14½ ounce) ca…

Another CSN Giveaway!

Woo hoo!!!  Another great CSN Stores giveaway!
I was so happy the other day when Sean contacted me as a member of the CSN Preferred Blogger Program and asked if I would like to do another wonderful CSN giveaway!  I’ve enjoyed working with him in the past so of course I said, “Absolutely!”  I know you good folks out there always love a giveaway and I do too!
It’s that time of year again!  There’s definitely a chill in the air and it’s time to bring out of storage all the heavier comforters, quilts and blankets.   Or, maybe you’re like me and want to cozy up with a brand new comforter or quilt like I see among all the bed sets at CSN Stores.
In case you’re not aware of it, CSN Stores has over 200 specialty online stores with an amazing array of products.  You could find just about anything you ever wanted from bed setsto crib bedding, clocks, dinner ware, luggage, rugs or maybe a new cat bed for your favorite cat.  

How about this?

Or maybe you like this one?

Are you like my son and daughte…









Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape…

~ Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird






ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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