If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chocolate Icebox pie

My mom made icebox pies often. She almost always made them in the 13x9 size. Hers were usually chocolate but she also made lemon. She used a crust on the bottom, pudding in the middle and then the top layer was Dream Whip or Cool Whip or whipped cream, whatever she had. Mom says she liked them because they were easy to make a day ahead. I remember we all liked to eat them.

I made icebox pie just about like my mom did. My hubby is not crazy about whipped topping so I leave that layer off the dessert. But I do keep a can of aerosol whipped cream in the fridge and it is easy to add to the top of my serving and anyone else who wants it.

Super Easy Crust
1 Cup Flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts like almonds, pecans or walnuts - nuts are optional
Just mix these ingredients and pat into the bottom of a pie pan.
If you are making a big 13x9 dessert, double the crust ingredients.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until just lightly browned. cool

Chocolate pie filling - this makes enough for one round pie, if you want to make a big 13x9 then double everything.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1.In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, and cocoa powder. Mix well. While stirring, slowly pour in milk. Mix until smooth.
2.Cook cocoa mixture over medium heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue until mixture thickens, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
3.In a heat safe bowl, slowly pour about a cup of the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten egg yolks , whisking rapidly until yolks are incorporated.
Whisk chocolate egg mixture back into the saucepan. Bring back to a low simmer and simmer for about a minute, stirring often.
Stir in vanilla extract and butter or margarine. Pour filling into baked pie shell. Chill before serving. Store in icebox-refrigerator.

If you don't want to make the pie filling, you could use a Jello type mix. I think the from scratch pudding just tastes much better.

and if you don't want pie, then how about cake?
This is Nina and her little sister in law, Hannah. Hannah likes manatees and Nina has been baking her a fancy birthday cake every year. So this year's cake a very big manatee and it says "happy birthday Hannatee" Aren't they clever?

Kitchen closed......

my kitchen is sort of closed. I've pretty much stuck to the weekly plan, but see all these dishes in the fridge?
they contain leftovers from Sunday's roast beef, Monday's baked pasta, Tuesday's burgers and hot links and Weds. pizza.
So tonight, we had leftovers for supper and made a pretty big dent in them. I expect we will finish them off tomorrow and then it will be back to regular cooking.

And I have to confess that I did do just a little cooking today. When I organized the fridge space, I came across the 6 egg whites left from the chocolate icebox pie on Sunday. I did not want to let them spoil so I baked 1/2 a recipe of Angel Food Cake.
I will post the pie recipe soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What's been going on at my home

We went to a few yard sales on Saturday. Not much purchased though,
I did find these 8 napkins, white with black and red cherries- 50 cents for the set

and 2 packs of vintage rick rack - 10 cents. Can you read on the packages how much they originally sold for?

I cooked a big meal and as I prepared the dishes, I lined them up so I could keep everything straight. First I put the roast beef in the oven. Then I peeled the potatoes, got the carrots ready to bake, cut the fresh corn off the cob and put it in a pan to cook on the stove top, made bread dough and have it rising, made a marinated vegetable salad like I read about on Lyn's blog and made a chocolate icebox pie.
Once all that was done, I put the salad and pie in the fridge, then I took a shower!

close up of Lyn's salad

This book arrived in today's mail. I won in a giveaway at Kusine.com - a really neat blog about sewing, gardening, cooking - if you have time, go visit.

Now I just have to decide which project to sew first........

Friday, July 23, 2010

Misc. from this week

Cantalopes raised by one of Jeff's coworkers - the same man that gave us last weeks corn - I think I owe him a plate of cookies.

corn and tomatoes from my brother's garden.

a Pyrex bowl my parents found an estate sale

fresh baked pound cake

Jeff bought a crazy-big watermelon. We try to get one every year from a farmer from Rush Springs who sells them out of his pick up truck. It probably weighs close to 40lbs.

A bucket full of Gavin, now at 17 months, and less than a year ago in the same bucket. Boy babies turn into little boys very quick!

Baby Elizabeth is 7 weeks old. She is wearing a onesie with little wooden shoes on it. My friend Heidi in Holland sent it to her along with 3 others, the others have tulips and little tags of windmills.

I've been busy this week with fresh produce, cooking, company and sweet grandchildren.
How about you, what were you busy with this week?

Thrift store finds

This week is Krazy Daze in my town. Most of the businesses have good sales and clear out their old or slow moving merchandise.
Even the thrift stores were clearing out stuff. My parents are here and we went to 3 thrift stores.

2 yards of blue and white flannel $1
bias tape, rick rack, a dress pattern and covered button kits were 10 cents each.

at the first one, baskets and magazines were 10 cents each and buy 1 get 3 free. Krazy huh? I picked out an assortment of both.
At another thrift store, the old Taste of Homes were 5 cents each.

A pyrex 8 inch pie pan and Pyrex tea pot - $5 for both

and the bargain of the month
a very cute needlepoint pillow - just 50 cents!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is it Tuesday already?

here's a few new things and what I've been busy with

for the 3rd weekend in a row, we did not go to any yard sales. hard to believe, I know!

On Saturday we drove to Oklahoma City. We went to several places including the Old Paris Flea Market.

We had fun walking around and looking at all the different things. We used to shop there 20 or so years ago and it has changed a little since then but not much. We did not find much we wanted to buy though.

Jeff did buy 2 hats - pretty good quality for their low price.

Sunday morning, I made oatmeal pancakes with fresh strawberries and blueberries - yum!
the pancakes are a Betty Crocker recipe.

My friend Elizabeth and her husband are moving next week into a smaller home. She has been doing lots of cleaning out as she packs ups.
She thought I would like this cute Christmas fabric and little fabric and patterns for our grandbaby - also named Elizabeth.

She is right, I like them a lot and little Elizabeth said she does too :)
not really, not yet anyway.Summer means lots of clothes changes and that means lots of laundry. We prefer the softness of machine dried clothes. But the dryer heats up the house and uses lots of energy. What works for me is kind of "Hybrid Drying."
I start our clothes in the dryer for just about 10 minutes, then I hang them up on clothes hangers and let them finish drying hanging in a doorway. They are still soft and don't really wrinkle since they are hanging up.

Miss Elizabeth is with me today and this is what she thought about taking a bath and putting on a pretty dress. Other than that, it has been a good day.

hope you all are having a good day too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday doings

I was thinking about what to cook for supper while reading a few blogs this afternoon. My good friend Terri / Penny Ann Poundwise posted this yummy looking cookie recipe on her blog. They sound great like she makes them, but my hubby is not crazy about raisins, so I left off her filling. Then since I knew the cookie dough would not be absorbing any moisture from the filling, I added 1 egg to the creamed butter and sugar.

Cinnamon Raisin Bars

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar ( and 1 egg if you make it the same as I did)

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats

Raisin Filling: sounds great but I omitted it.
1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 cup water

2 cups raisins

Cinnamon Icing: This frosting is so good with the cinnamon. I increased it so it would have coating of icing
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar (1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (3/4 tsp)
Milk (about 1 tbsp) Just enough more to make a spreadable glaze

Make raisin filling first. Mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water and raisins. Cover over medium heat till thickened and bubbly. Cool.

Make cookie base: Cream butter and sugar. Stir in dry ingredients. Add oats and 1 tbsp water. Mix until crumbly. Firmly pat half the mixture into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 pan. Spread with cooled raisin filling. To remaining crumb mixture add another 1 tbsp water. Spoon over raisin filling. Pat smooth. Bake in 350F oven for 35 minutes. Cool. Drizzle with Cinnamon Icing.

Mix confectioner's sugar, cinnamon and enough milk to make drizzling consistency frosting.

I really like this recipe and I think it will become a go-to recipe for me. It was easy to mix up, very tasty and I think they will freeze well for lunchboxes and snacks.
Thank you Terri, you have the best ideas!

Jeff got some fresh corn from a coworker. It was the last of this years crop and some of the ears looked kind of rough....

We shucked and cleaned them and all but 2 were just fine - fresh corn is so good!

And here are 2 new pictures of Baby Elizabeth - she is 6 weeks old today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

There were 2 overripe bananas in my kitchen this morning so I baked them into some everyday muffins - not too sweet or too rich. After they cooled, I bagged them up and froze them for future breakfasts and snacks.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

the original recipe said it makes 12, mine might be a little smaller but I got 17.
On other recipes, I've filled the cups too full and had more than one big mess after baking cupcakes and muffins, sometimes the batter will bake on to the top of the muffin pan or sometimes the muffins will all run together, so I would rather have them a little small and no mess.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed bananas ( my 2 bananas did not measure enough so I added enough applesauce to make a cup)

1.Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
2.In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
3.Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Real exciting stuff

no, not really. This post is just about everyday and routine homekeeping things of summer.

First, Debbie posted last week about what is under her kitchen sink and asked to see everyone else's too.
There is not much under my kitchen sink - our sink is in a corner on a diagonal and there is less space under it than any sink we've ever had. The garbage disposal takes up a good bit of space.

a small trashcan (I have a bigger one on the other end of the kitchen but this small one is really handy)
a bottle of dishwasher soap turned upside down to get the last bit out
some bleach spray and scouring powder - both used to keep that white sink white
rubber gloves and a scrub brush
and a few empty jars - so, care to join in with Debbie and share what is under your sink too?
we did not go to any yard sales this Saturday but I went to one thrift store this week. Their linens were half price and I got this vintage sheet with violets on it for 75 cents.

My parents went to an estate sale in their neighborhood and got this red Pyrex for me and the loaf pan - I like them both a lot!

I did a little kitchen experimenting this morning, I used up some strawberries bought on sale, blueberries left from the 4th of July and some apples that had been in the crisper drawer a few weeks. After some online research, I just started cooking. I used way less sugar than the recipes called for as I like jam a little tart and no pectin.
The result was 2 pints of strawberry jam, a tiny jar of blueberry jam and 2 jars of apple butter that I did not seal, just put those 2 straight in the fridge.

The petunias and begonias by the front door have bloomed so pretty this summer.
The little white chairs being used as plant stands make me smile. We got them at a yard sale for $1 but when Gavin tried sitting in them, they always fell over. I think their base is too narrow to be safe for a toddler. But one of my blog readers said they would be cute as plant stands and she was right.

I spent half of this morning doing yard work, mowing, weeding, edging, watering.
My father in law is in town and one of his specialties is yard work. Our front hedge was badly in need of trimming so he took care of that part this afternoon. It was getting pretty shaggy and I had been considering trying to trim it myself. But I am really glad he did it, I know he got it much straighter than I would of.

Theo got a bath today, can you tell how thrilled he is?

I actually prefer days at home when I can do this kind of stuff - so it may not be exciting but when I am home, I always stay busy and never run out of things to do.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

recent doings.....

I have not seemed to have found much time to blog this week, so I will just combine several things I've been doing into one post.
There were not many yard sales this past weekend with it being so close to the 4th of the July. Instead, we shopped at our local antique mall and we had fun walking through it.
I bought 3 things, and they were almost yard sale prices anyway.
a painted tray, and 2 Pyrex dishes. $12 for all.
I've been using a few of the Pyrex refrigerator dishes and really like them for storing leftovers. The other baking dish is about 4 x 8, I used it last night to bake 1/2 a recipe of cornbread. And tonight, I baked 1/2 of a small yellow cake. Both times, I used the toaster oven to save on electricity and to not heat up the kitchen too much. Nina has been doing lots of sprucing up around her home while she was on maternity leave. She had these pillows but either they did not match the rooms she was using them in or she just did not like them.
She found some fabric she did like at Hobby Lobby, I made new covers and reused the stuffing from some of the old pillows.
They look pretty on my blue bed but they have gone to Nina's. I am sure they look pretty wherever she put them too.
Family Dollar had a $5 off $25 purchase coupon in last weeks sale paper. I used it to stock up on our favorite toilet paper - Charmin Basic - it is soft enough and strong enough without going overboard on either quality.

Jimmy helped me can more jalapenos last night, 18 jars more! He was a huge help as he did all the pepper slicing. Some of the peppers are from my garden and some are from my brother.

Monday, July 5, 2010

White Texas Sheet Cake

Oklahoma Granny asked about the recipe for the white Texas sheet cake, it is recipe I clipped from a Taste of Home issue years ago. Jeff says he prefers the chocolate Texas sheet cake but he still eats plenty of the white one too.
All its ingredients are basic kitchen staple that I almost always have on hand. It stirs up really quick, no need to get out the mixer either.
However, it is very rich and unless you are an Amish farm worker who burns off a million calories a day, you probably should not eat it very often.

White Texas Sheet Cake
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup milk
4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (walnuts are good but I prefer pecans)
In a large saucepan, bring butter and water just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, salt, baking powder, extract and baking soda until smooth.
Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
For frosting, in a large saucepan, bring butter and milk just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in confectioners' sugar and extract. Stir in walnuts; spread over warm cake. Cool completely. Yield: 20 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 409 calories, (YIKES!) 19 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 62 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium, 58 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

White Texas Sheet Cake published in Taste of Home October/November 1993, p39

I baked it in a 13x9 cake pan instead of a jelly roll pan. It works fine either way.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

pickled jalapeno peppers

Georgene asked how I canned the jalapenos last weekend, so here is my recipe. It is a very simple easy way to preserve jalapenos.
We eat them with Mexican food, on chips with salsa, on pizza - I grew up in Texas and have been around spicy food most all my life. I think they are delicious but they may have too much heat for mild-food fans.
My brother is here for the weekend and he brought several sacks of produce from hi garden so now I have more peppers to pickle.

first - before you start handling the peppers, put on and leave on some kind of protective gloves.

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers(1 quart jar)

I doubled this recipe and got 6 pints and 1 half pint
Jalapeno peppers (about 2 pounds)
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt - I used sea salt
2 large carrots sliced,
1 small onion, cubed
1. Wash peppers and pack into a hot jar. Add carrot slices, celery sticks and a clove of garlic if desired. Pack tightly, leaving 2-inch headspace.

2. Combine vinegar, water and salt. Heat to boiling. Pour boiling hot liquid over peppers to two inches from top of jar top. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or rubber spatula down the side of the jar, rotating, releasing trapped air between the peppers. Wipe jar rims clean. Adjust prepared two piece canning lid.

3. Process jar in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Using jar lifters, remove to a draft free area, and allow to cool. Check the seal. Label the container.

I found this simple recipe from Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.
other variations I found used pickling spices, garlic, oil, even sugar, etc.

4th of July at our house

The remnants of Hurrican Alex brought rain and cooler temperatures to Oklahoma. Because the wind and the muddy conditions for parking, our city postponed the big fireworks show until Labor Day.

Dessert was white Texas sheet cake with patriotic fruit.

Elizabeth in her 4th of July dress

Gavin thought standing on the table was fun - here is what he looked like with this same flag just one year ago.

babies don't stay babies very long......