Sunday, July 31, 2011

Root Beer Pulled Pork

Posted by Lori:

For our oldest son, Zachary's birthday meal last week, he wanted "Pulled Pork".  I hadn't ever made it, so called in one of the best "chefs" I brother-in-law, Ken.  Zachary actually even wanted to help me prepare the pork and thanks to Ken's directions, the Pulled Pork was a great success!!
Purchase pork shoulder or pork butt. I bought four pork...two of them had bones in them.  This served about 20 people. Inject the pork with a bottle of liquid smoke.  (I used clean needles and syringes that my husband had for his goats!!  Ha ha!!  I made sure they were clean, never used, unopened!)

 Rub both sides of the pork with a generous amount of salt, pepper, and onion powder.... (a lot.more than you would think!).  Place in baking pan (I used a roaster).
 Pour a 2 liter bottle of root beer over the pork.  Cook at 250 degrees until pork is very tender and pulls apart.  I cooked mine about 6 hours.
Using two forks, pull the pork in opposite directions, making your "pulled pork"!  Discard bones if there are any.

Sauce:  Pour another bottle of root beer into a large sauce pan or stock pot.  Cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 cups, forming a glaze (It will still be fairly thin.).  Serve pulled pork with this glaze and/or barbeque sauce.

Thank you, Ken!  You made Zachary's meal the "best" in his opinion!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fruit Water

Posted by Donna:

Fruit Water

This is a very simple post, but this is certainly refreshing on these hot summer days.

I've been drinking fruit water all week. I tire of plain water; so, this has been a great substitution. Restaurants serve water with or without lemon--some offer oranges slices. A couple or so years ago, I was attending ladies' night out at Tamarack Church of Christ. Fruit Water was served as our drinks. It was so good and really pretty to look at.

For mine, I added slices of oranges, lemons, and limes. Mangoes, pineapples, apples, or whatever you like can be added. Store the water in the refrigerator for a cool, refreshing, fruity drink during these hot summer days! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banana Slush Punch

Posted by Lori:
For our oldest son's birthday, he requested Banana Slush Punch.  I have had it several times before at weddings and showers, but had never made it myself.  This is the recipe I used.  Unfortunately, I didn't read the recipe really well and only let the "slushy" part thaw for one hour before serving it, so it wasn't too slushy!  Thankfully, I divided the mixture and still have some frozen for another time.  Either way, my son was pleased!

Banana Slush Punch
4 cups sugar
6 cups water
5 mashed bananas
1 can frozen orange juice
1 can frozen lemonade
1 can pineapple juice
2 quarts 7-Up soda ( room temperature)

Bring water and sugar to a boil.  Boil for three minutes, then allow to cool.  Make frozen juices according to directions on cans.  Mix bananas and all juices together, then add the sugar water.  Freeze mixture.  Allow to thaw for 2 or 3 hours before serving.  Just before serving, add the 7 UP slowly.  Serve while still slushy.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Posted by Donna:

I've been reading about these muffins for about two or three years. The recipe kept popping up in cookbooks, all recipes, and other places. I was on a roll last week as far as baking was concerned---not housework!!!!! First, I made cinnamon rolls; then decided we needed some Morning Glory Muffins. They lived up to their reputation.

Morning Glory Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oi1
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
1 medium apple, peeled and rated ( I used Granny Smith)
1 ( 8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

****The recipe called for 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup raisins, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts; but, I omitted the coconut and raisins, and substituted the pecans for the walnuts.

In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, apple, pineapple, and nuts. Add to the first five ingredients and mix well.

Fill greased muffin tins about two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

These are really good. I shared some with some of our friends and they really liked them as well.

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Homemade Flour Tortillas

Posted by Lori:

Last night a friend on Facebook said she had made yummy homemade flour tortillas.  After having been  in Arlington, TX, for the weekend and eating homemade tortillas at Pappasitos, this sounded wonderful to me!  I look forward to trying this recipe!!  Erika found this recipe that is like her mom's, who doesn't need a recipe!  Thank you, Erika M!

Homemade Flour Tortillas

2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups HOT water

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening to resemble cornmeal. Add water slowly, mixing with your hands to make a soft dough. You may not need all the water.

Knead a few minutes on floured surface until smooth and elastic. Lubricate top with oil, put back in bowl and let rest, covered for 10 minutes.

Divide into small balls the size of golf balls and proceed to roll out into size and thickness you prefer.

Cook on top of stove over medium heat using a cast iron grill or heavy skillet until top is slightly bubbly then turning on opposite side for a minute or two.

Keep stacked and warm inside a clean dish towel...

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creamed Corn

Posted by Donna:

Back in April, Larry and I visited my brother in Keller, Texas. He took us to this great restaurant in Roanoke called Babes. Talk about home cooking!!!!! It serves chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, real mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade bread, green salad, and really, really good creamed corn. My sister-in-law and I tried to figure out what all was in the corn. I even went to Babes web page to see if it had the recipe---I knew it wouldn't. I thought I might even call them and see if they would share what was in it, but not tell the exact measurements. However, in small print, they stated they never share their recipes. I decided to go online and see if I could find something that had the ingredients that I thought were in it. I finally found one that sounded just right. If it's not the same, it's so close that I feel like I'm eating at Babes.

Creamed Corn

1 (16 oz.) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to personal taste
2 T. sugar (I really think 1 T. would work.)
2 T. butter
1 cup whole milk
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a skillet, combine the corn, cream, salt sugar, pepper, and butter. Whisk the milk and flour together, and then stir into the corn mixture. Cook,stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot. This is just as good the next day.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making Memories Craft Project

(Note: I posted this on my devotional blog last week, so some of you may have already seen it.  This is for those who haven't seen it yet! :)

A few weeks ago my mom and I went in a new shop that had opened in Altus, OK.  There was a cute frame that had been made into a photo holder. 
This week my daughter has been changing up her turquoise and white bedroom, but adding black as an accent color, so I told her about the frame idea.  She decided to try it!
First of all, get an old frame (or a new one, but we had an old, unused one in a closet).  Paint the frame as desired. 
Put desired number of eye hooks down two sides (Lauren did three on each side, making three rows for photos), being careful to measure and screw them in directly across from each other.
Tie on wire (like framing wire), twisting to secure each end.  You may want a little slack in the wire, but not too much.
Purchase mini clothes pins (Walmart has them.)  Paint them in a desired color or leave them natural.
Attach photos to wires with the clothes pins.  We made the pictures using black ink only to go with Lauren's room.  We also made the pictures in various sizes to add interest.
Notice the theme to most of Lauren's pictures???  Texas Rangers games on all but a few!  Yes, she's a huge fan!
The frame can be hung by a nail on the frame itself or tie ribbons for added "cuteness"!
Loop the ribbon on the top two corners, tie a bow, and hang on  a nail.  You could also bring two ribbons together and tie at the top to directly hang on the nail.  There are lots of possibilities!
This is a quick project that adds a sparkle to any room, but it's also a very useful way to display all of those special photos!
Note:  This post is linked to Gratituesday.  I am grateful for special ways to display those special memories of the many, many photos I have - and most likely you have!  What a wonderful memory!  Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers! Pin It Now!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creamed Peas and New Potatoes

Posted by Donna:

This is one of my favorite dishes. Honestly, I could eat the whole bowl full of these in one setting.

Creamed Peas and New Potatoes

This is the amount I used for just Larry and me:

8 small red new potatoes--cut in half-
1 can English peas, drained ( I like the Le Seur Brand)
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
salt and pepper
2 cups milk

Cook the potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a separate pan, melt the butter---then add the flour. Blend the butter and flour together until it makes a paste. Pour in the milk and stir constantly until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes and peas. Simmer for a few minutes, then serve. Pin It Now!

Build Your Own Burger

Posted by Lori:
While waiting in the dentist office a few days ago, I flipped through a magazine....probably a magazine I subscribe to, but haven't had the time or taken the time to look through at home! (Better Homes & Gardens...I think)
Anyway, there was a really neat idea for burgers.  Our family tried it yesterday and we really enjoyed it!  The kids thought it was lots of fun!
Directions:  Get out "add ins" you want for your burgers.  We used chopped onion, bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I remember the magazine listing pickles, but no one wanted those inside the burger, so we just added them on top with lettuce and tomato after they cooked.
Place a ball of hamburger meat in a small zip top bag.  Add to the meat your desired add ons and form into patty.   (Too much cheese may make burgers fall apart!).
In our family of six, we needed to mark the burgers to keep them straight.
Cut the top side (not the very top, but the side you want to be the top) of the baggie down both seamed edges, making it easy to flip the burgers out of the bag and onto the grill.  Grill until meat is no longer pink, turning once.  Serve with hamburger buns, desired condiments, and other add ons.

Not only will your burgers be delicious, but most of all, these burgers are fun and get everyone involved in the preparation! Happy grilling!
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Garlic Oven Fries

Posted by Lori:

When we go to Texas Rangers baseball games, four of the six of us like to order garlic fries.  They are delicious!!  Today on Gooseberry Patch's Facebook page, they celebrated National French Fry Day by having a contest to see which French fry recipe was a favorite.  This recipe won the contest.  It is from their fall cookbook that is shown below.  

I think I'm going to have to try these soon.  They would be much healthier than the Rangers ones since they aren't fried.  The ones at the Rangers' games also have Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and they serve them with ranch dressing.

Garlic Oven Fries

4 baking potatoes
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 T. garlic

Scrub and rinse potatoes well; cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Arrange potato slices on an ungreased baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are golden on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Turn over and continue baking until golden all over, another 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mini Pizzas

Posted by Donna:

Mini Pizzas

This recipe isn't anything new to most everyone, but I was just pleased that Larry actually liked this. Since it's been so terribly hot, cooking is not the foremost thing in my mind, especially at night. This hit the spot last night. It was so quick and simple, but tasty at the same time.

Whole grain English muffins
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Slice each muffin in half. Put under the broiler and get the top crisp. They taste better this way. Spread the desired amount of Pizza sauce on top of each muffin half, followed by pepperoni and shredded cheese. Place back in the oven to melt the cheese. This, along with a dinner salad, made for a very good light supper. Pin It Now!

Secret Marinade for Steaks and Chicken

Posted by Lori:

For quite some time any time we were grilling steaks or chicken, my husband and our oldest son would want to do the marinade. They would make a big deal of it and talk (and gloat!:) about their "secret". Tonight after eating our delicious grilled chicken, I asked for the recipe so that I could share it with you. Reluctantly they gave in and decided to reveal their "secret". Would you believe that it's only two ingredients? Yep! That's it! And here it is for all of you:

Joe and Zachary's Secret Marinade

1/3 part soy sauce
2/3 part Italian dressing

Mix together desired amount of marinade and marinate steaks or chicken for at least one hour and grill or bake/broil as desired.

On this Gratituesday, I am grateful to my husband and son for sharing their top "secret" recipe!  :)

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Weight Watchers Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Posted by Lori:

I am looking forward to making these muffins!  A friends said they are really, really good!  So simple to make, too, which is always a plus.

Weight Watchers Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1 15 ounce can pumpkin (100% pumpkin....not pie filling)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir ingredients together in small mixing bowl.  Scoop into 12 cup greased and floured muffin pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes. (3 points each - using new point system).
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Mini Spinach and Bacon Quiches

Posted by Lori:

Last week I received the flyer announcing the 2011 Gooseberry Patch Country Friends Christmas book.  It had several great recipes just in the flyer - tempting me to purchase the new book.  This recipe is one I look forward to trying.  It would be great for a brunch!

Mini Spinach and Bacon Quiches

1/4 cup onion, diced
3 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
15 ounce container ricotta cheese
8 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs, beaten

In a skillet over medium heat, cook onion in reserved drippings until tender.  Add spinach and seasonings; stir over medium heat about 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates.  Remove from heat; stir in bacon and cool.  Combine cheeses in a large bowl.  Add eggs; stir until well blended.  Add cooled spinach mixture; stir until well blended.  Divide mixture evenly among 12 lightly greased muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until filling is set.  Let stand 10 minutes; run a thin knife around edges to release.  Serve warm.  Makes 12.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heirloom Brooch Crafts

Posted by Donna:

Instead of concentrating on my cooking, I've been having fun doing small crafts for my home. I've wanted to use some of my mother's old brooches that I've had for a long time. I decided to get some burlap, cut it into wide strips, and wrap it around a few things I had sitting around. After wrapping it, I knotted it at the front and attached the brooches to it. It's nothing fancy, but I enjoyed doing this as much as anything I've done. I love having the brooches being used around the house where I can see them all the time.

I'm sharing a couple of the pictures with you---thanks to my husband. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4th Cupcakes

Posted by Lori:

Last week my family was away at camp all week.  We had a great time! 

For a recipe tip today, I wanted to share with you how to make striped icing.  I showed my daughter this technique and she created these cute July 4th Cupcakes for our youth group Sunday night.

Make Buttercream Icing:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter (not margarine), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream together butter and shortening. Add vanilla. Blend in the powdered sugar - one cup at a time - beating well in between additions. Add milk and mix until light and fluffy.

Directions for striped icing:

Place desired decorating tip into icing bag.  Place icing bag into large cup.  Roll down top of bag to the edge of the large cup.  Carefully paint on stripes of icing color (we used Wilton gel, but I originally learned to do this with paste.  The gel is more "goopy" so we should have started with less of the gel for the stripes. You can tell that some of the cupcakes are iced at the beginning of the gel tinting and some are later on.)
Place large spoonfuls of icing into tinted bag.  Roll up bag to secure and decorate cupcakes as desired.  We used a large 4B star tip.
(Obviously this is a first one, where we used too much gel in the stripes.  I just wanted you to see how it looked close up.  The kids didn't mind, but it wasn't appealing to me!  Pretty to look at, though!)
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