Sunday, October 28, 2012

Buttermilk Rolls

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In recent months, I have enjoyed making different bread recipes.  I have memories being in my Grandfather's house, watching him make loaves of bread.  He had these HUGE kitchen mixers.  I was always fascinated with those mixers.

Grandpeepaw and Nana
Every time my Mom watches me cook, she tells me that I cook just like Grandpeepaw.........we are MESSY!

The ingredients for today's recipe:

1 package active yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 cups flour

To begin, pour warm water in your mixer bowl.  Add the yeast and let it proof.  This means that the yeast will start to "bubble."  Add the next 6 ingredients, along with 3 cups of flour.  Mix well.  Slowly add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

You will know that the dough is ready because it will gather up on the dough hook.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl.  Put the bowl on top of the stove, with the oven on a very low heat.  Cover with a towel and let it rise 2 hours.

After 2 hours, punch the dough back down.

Tear small pieces of dough and roll them into balls.  Put them in a greased pan and let them rise another 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Brush with melted butter after removing them from the oven.


Stuffed Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes

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Mmmmmm!  I just finished an excellent dinner!  I stuffed a chicken breast with spinach, cheese and topped it with sun dried tomatoes.  Here is how I did it:

Take a chicken breast and put it in a Ziploc bag.  Take a meat pounder and pound the chicken breast thin.

Add olive oil, salt and pepper to the bag.  Take the chicken breast out, and lay some spinach and cheese on the breast.  Roll the breast up and place in some bread crumbs.  I used Panko bread crumbs.

Spinach from my garden and Provel cheese!

In a sauce pan, melt some butter and olive oil.  Brown the chicken breast on each side.

Put in the oven on 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until chicken is done.  Top with chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Served over cheesy polenta! Mmmmm!
This dinner was fantastic!  Try it, you'll like it!

Almond Lemon Poppyseed Bread

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I love almonds, and lemon poppyseed bread so it's time to put it all together!  Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup oil
Sliced almonds

Mix all ingredients in the mixer.  Put in 2 small loaf pans or 1 large loaf pan.  Put sliced almonds on the top of the batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Glaze for the bread:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix together to form a consistency so that you can drizzle it on top of the bread.


This recipe is listed on My Turn For Us

Chicken Salad

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Last night I poached chicken breast for chicken and dumplings -

When I poach chicken, I always poach 1 more than I need so that I can make chicken salad.  Here is a great recipe for chicken salad:

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes or shredded
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/2 stalk celery, diced
10 grapes, quartered
1/2 cup craisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 hard boiled egg, chopped


2 teaspoons mayonaisse
2 teaspoons greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all ingredients together.  Serve on bread, rolls, or wrap in lettuce leaf!



Friday, October 26, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

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One of my favorite meals is a big bowl of chicken and dumplings.  Over the years, I've adapted how I make it.  Here is the latest and greatest.

For the broth:

Several pieces of chicken, with bones
2 carrots cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks cut into large chunks
2 onions, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
Palm full of peppercorns
Bunch of parsley, thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt - 2 tablespoons
Pepper - 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons chicken base (or more to taste)

Cover these ingredients with water - about 4 quarts.  Let that simmer for several hours. Drain and save the broth.  Take the chicken pieces and pick out the meat.  Add the meat back into the broth. Discard the solids - some of which would be great in your compost!

I really like white meat so at this point I add a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Poach the chicken breast until done.  Remove from the broth, shred and add back into the broth.

For the dumplings:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 pint of buttermilk

In your mixer (with the dough hook) add the flour, baking powder, salt and shortening.  Let that mix until you have a mealy consistency.  Add the buttermilk and let that form into a dough ball - knead about 5 minutes.

Take the dough and put it on a floured surface.  Roll the dough into thin pieces, keeping the dough well floured.  When the dough is thin, about 1/4 inch thick, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into pieces.  Flour the dough pieces again.  The flour will thicken your broth.

Happy Hubby Helping!
Note:  If you don't want to take the time to make dough dumplings, my mom always used the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box.  These dumplings are great also!  They poof up and are very "doughy" - which I like!  I've also heard of people using canned biscuits - breaking the biscuits into small pieces and dropping them into the broth.
Bring the broth to a rolling boil.  Shake the dough pieces into the broth.  Cook on a full boil, stirring gently.  After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to low and put the lid on.  The broth will thicken as it cooks.  The dumplings are ready to serve after 20 minutes.


Apple Pie Bars

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Last week my husband and I took the grand kids to the apple orchard.  I made homemade applesauce ( and homemade apple butter (  With the leftover apples, I decided to make apple pie bars!

The ingredients for the crust:

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Put all ingredients in the mixer and mix (use a dough hook).  Take the dough out and press it into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Refrigerate until ready to assemble the bars.

The ingredients for the apple filling:

6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon flour

Mix the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to assemble

The ingredients for the topping:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecan pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix the ingredients together.

To assemble the apple pie bars:  Take the 9 x 13 pan out of the refrigerator.  Put the apples on top of the crust and put the topping on top of the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until browned.  Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool.


1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix the lemon juice into the powdered sugar until it is the consistency that you can drizzle it on top of the apple bars.

These bars should be refrigerated.  Enjoy!  This recipe is listed on Foodie Friends Friday!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Granny's Fried Chicken

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Today's adventure was a lesson about Granny's fried chicken.  My Granny was raised in the South and wherever she moved, she had chickens.  My mom told me that Granny wouldn't eat her laying hens.  Instead, every spring she would go and buy young chicks.  Before they were ready to lay hens, when they were still young, called spring chickens, she would kill them and make fresh fried chicken.


My mom said Granny would take the chicken by the head, and snap her wrist and twist.  She told me that this would remove their head!  GROSS!  Granny would then let the dead chickens flop around on the ground.  When they finally stopped moving, she would dunk the chicken in boiling water.  Then she would hand the chicken to my mom who had the job of removing the feathers.  She said that even when you thought you were done removing feathers, Granny would hand her some pliers and she would have to remove the pin feathers.

After that Granny would gut the chicken and keep it in cold water, until she was ready to cook it.  Hungry now?

Right from the start, mom had a disclaimer.  She said, "This will not be as good as Granny's.  The fresh chicken made it better." 

To begin, we put the chicken in a large bowl and covered it with buttermilk.  The chicken should stay in the buttermilk for at least 2 hours - overnight is better.

The flour mixture is:

4 cups flour
3 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic

Mix this really well.  Take the chicken and dredge it in the flour mixture.  Mom said that Nana liked to put a little corn meal in the flour for added texture.

Mom had me bring my cast iron skillet because she said that was how it was supposed to be done.  While I was there, she dug out her cast iron skillet and said that it was Granny's.  LOVE IT!

Mom put a little vegetable oil in the skillet.  She heated the oil up and told me that the oil is ready when you put a little flour in it and it sizzles. 

Once the oil is ready put the chicken in and don't touch it until you see brown going up the sides.  That is how you know how to turn it.


Today's lesson was great.  I loved hearing stories about mom and Granny, but most of all, today was about family.  I hope that you are lucky enough to enjoy your family.  God has truly blessed me!  I have the best family in the world!

Dad playing cards with Jonah, Jake and Dominic
Mom and Dad enjoying a great fall evening and a great dinner!

Jerry and Tonette chowing down!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Herbal Salve for Strains, Bruises, Arthritis

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One of the things that I have been very interested in learning about is herbal medicine.  Yes, I know that modern day medicine is miraculous and I wouldn't change that.  However, I know the God put the things we need on this earth and our ancestors were wise enough to discover some amazing healing properties in the plant life around us.

I am not a doctor and I do not proclaim that you should follow my advice.  It is up to each individual to make his/her own decisions.  In fact, the FDA does not endorse herbal medicine, although doctors in Europe prescribe many herbs to treat many different ailments.

Here is a fact:  I'm getting old!  I have daily pain in my knees and want to do something about it without having surgery.  In my research, I've discovered that the following herbs are useful in treating inflammation, strains, arthritis, etc.


To make my salve I used the following ingredients:

2 cups olive oil
1 cup beeswax
1 cup dried calendula, and comfrey
2 eye drops full of arnica oil
Lavender Essential Oil
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
2 Tablespoons glycerin

To begin, I put the olive oil and dried herbs in a sauce pan and let them simmer for a few hours.

The herbs infuse in the oil.  Make sure the heat is on not the oil get too hot!  After a few hours, strain the herbs out and keep the oil.  When the oil is strained, add the essential oils, glycerin, and arnica oil.  You can add any essential oil that you want.  I used eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender because of their calming effect.  I added tea tree essential oil because of its healing properties:

Put the oil in a double boiler or use a measuring cup in a pan full of simmering water.  This will keep it hot as you mix the ingredients together.

Add the melted beeswax and mix.  Pour the mixture into clean, sterilized jars and let it cool.  The mixture will harden as it cools.

Not a great picture, but you can already see the mixture starting to harden. 

This recipe is featured on Chic and Craft Party!
The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ode to Julia - Sausage and Cabbage Soup

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My niece Julia is a great cook and she has definitely inherited the family passion for good food.  My Aunt Trudy told me about a great recipe she got from Julia and she urged me to try it.  I'm always up for a great soup!

One of my favorite pictures of Julia!  She was such
a cute baby, I'm not sure what happened.............
Julia and I - 1989 (or thereabouts)
Karrie, Tonette, Julia and I - 1985 or so
(He He - Look at Tonette's hair)

Here are the ingredients for the soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 pound Jimmy Dean (you could use and sausage, Italian etc...), bulk, or removed from casings
1 yellow onion, half sliced and half minced
1 carrot diced
1 celery diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c Sherry
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
Hefty sprinkle of red pepper flakes (pizza peppers)
1 15-ounce can of white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or kidney if you prefer), drained
1 c each peas and edamame (if you aren't sure about edamame, then double the peas)
4 c chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 pound cabbage, quartered, then sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (8-quart), thick-bottomed pot. Add the sausage, breaking it up into pieces as you put it into the pot in a single layer. When the sausage has nicely browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion, carrots, celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze with sherry. Reduce by 1/3 and add bay leaf and thyme.
Add the stock, beans, edamame, peas and browned sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then uncover and add cabbage. Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender, about another 5 minutes.

 Julia, this soup was really good.  I must admit, I was worried about sausage and cabbage going together, but the flavor is wonderful!  I love talking with you about recipes and food.  Love your passion and knowledge!  You have turned into a wonderful woman (even though I still think of you as 10).  I am proud to be your aunt (the best one you have.........).