Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cherry Pie Squares

This is a recipe I've wanted for a long, long time, so I'm really excited to have it now to share with you!

Growing up, one of my friend's moms would make these. It seemed like whenever my family was at their house, these cherry pie bars were part of the gathering. 

I asked one of their daughters for the recipe recently after an unsuccessful attempt of trying to locate it. So, here it is for you:
My friend says it was easier for her to double the dough recipe. One for the bottom crust and one for the top. I doubled it, as well, and it fit in my large 13 x 18 inch pan. I knew I wanted the crust thin like I remembered it being. 

Single Recipe:

2 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup shortening
2 Tablespoon sugar
1teaspoon salt
1 egg, separated
2/3 cup milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1 can cherry pie filling

In large bowl, cut shortening into flour. Add salt and sugar. Blend 1 egg yolk in 2/3 cup milk. Roll out 1/2 dough to fit bottom of a 9" x 13" or a 20 1/2" x 15 1/2" pan. (I just pressed the bottom crust into pan).  Spread with 1 can of fruit pie filling and dot with butter. Cover with top crust and brush with egg whites. Bake @ 375 for 35 mins. Glaze with powdered sugar icing (powdered sugar, milk, vanilla) Cut into squares!   

Dotted with butter...
I rolled out the top crust onto the lid of my pan to get it the right size.
You could also prepare the top crust in your pan that's covered with parchment paper, then remove it, make bottom crust, add filling, then place top crust. I thought after that after the fact!
I turned my lid upside down, tapped it a few times, and the crust fell off onto the pie filling! A little crooked, but I adjusted it a bit.
The finished product! Someone took a little nibble out of a corner. Wonder who did that??? 😊
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chicks 'n Bunnies

Well, I had a great new recipe all ready to publish for you this morning.  I was so excited about it!  But there was a big problem:  It was NOT GOOD!  It was a BIG FLOP! So, it's back to the drawing board with the Crock Pot Mandarin Orange Chicken!  Oh, well!

So, are a few cute ideas for Easter.  A "Peep" in a little graham cracker house, complete with edible grass and edible eggs.  My husband would steal the Peeps and eat them (yucky, in my opinion!).

And the next cute food craft is bunny pancakes!  Kids would surely want to gobble him up!  If they don't like coconut, replace it with yogurt or a little spray of whipped topping. Adorable!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

This recipe is adapted from one I found on the back of the Gluten Free Krusteaz Flour bag.  I haven't found any gluten free dessert/snack that I really like, mostly because I've probably not gotten used to it, yet.  However, these actually taste pretty good and are moist.  I figure if you've been used to eating gluten free foods such as this, you will like it.

I didn't use the recipe as originally listed because a friend had made them with organic coconut palm sugar and I had some, so wanted to do the same.  But then, I also didn't have any yogurt, which it called for, so I substituted sour cream.  I think sour cream is better, since it doesn't add sugar to the recipe like yogurt would.  The original recipe also called for lemon zest. I didn't have any, but was excited to use my Young Living Essential Lemon Oil in a recipe! It's made from freeze dried lemon rinds!
GF Blueberry Muffins
(This recipe is doubled from original Krusteaz recipe.  The original ingredients are list after my own.)

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup organic coconut palm sugar (Original recipe: regular white sugar)
2 eggs
3 cups Krusteaz Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sour cream (Original recipe: plain yogurt)
2 - 4 drops Young Living Essential Lemon Oil (Original recipe: 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest)
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons raw sugar (for topping)
1 cup milk (Original recipe calls for no milk at all and says batter will be stiff.  It would be very stiff. I don't see how it would bake into muffins, actually!  If you use regular sugar, you may not need as much)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners.  In medium bowl, combine butter, sugar and egg.  Add GF flour, baking power, soda, sour cream and lemon oil. Stir until well blended. Gently fold in berries.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, sprinkle tips with raw sugar. Bake 20-26 minutes or until light brown.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

I made this last week and  it's delicious!!  Too bad my children don't like cabbage. My husband would like it, but he had a tuna sandwich in mind. He hadn't had one in a while and he needed his tuna fix!! 😂

Directions: Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and onion in the hot Dutch oven until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease. Add cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, garlic, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat, and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chinese Dumplings

Several days ago, I made 200 Chinese dumplings to be used at a Dr. Seuss "Oh the Places You'll Go" Celebration at our elementary school.  I went the easy route and used wonton wrappers.

I accidentally deleted the recipe I used, but I used these ingredients:

Ground pork (I used mild sausage)
Cabbage (cut into thin strips)
Ginger root (freshly grated)
Onion (chopped finely)
Sesame Oil
Soy Sauce

After I cooked the sausage, I added the other ingredients, sautéing it until the cabbage was soft.  It may have been too much, but I wasn't sure the elementary kids would like it not soft!  

Using only a few at a time, I filled the wonton wrappers with a small amount of filling, sealing the wrapper with brushed egg whites.  Then I froze the dumplings. 

To cook the dumplings from fresh or frozen, heat a small amount of oil in a saucepan on med-high heat.  Turn the dumplings to brown on both sides.  Add 1/2 cup or so of water, cover, then steam dumplings until done.  Serve with soy sauce.  They are delicious!!!!  Most of the students really liked them, too!  Some wouldn't even try them, but ate the chicken fried rice.  And some wouldn't try anything!  I also had seaweed (yuck!), bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts for them to sample.  And of course - chopsticks to use!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Laundry Ideas

I love finding laundry room ideas for families! This one is really neat to me, and if all four children were still at home, I would do this and have a basket for each of their clean clothes instead of using the for sorting baskets.

When our children were young, I didn't have room for anything like this, but now I do. Being organized within the home makes everything run so much smoother. The young child years are hectic anyway, so a little bit of organization goes s long way in reducing stressful situations!

Maybe this idea will help some of you young moms! 
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

These are my husband's favorite cookie, and sadly, I rarely make them for him.  I was sure I had posted them before, but couldn't find them.  They are too chocolatey for me, so I don't often think of them to bake.  And neither of us need more cookies, anyway, so we are on the continual battle of staying away from sweets.  BUT, on this past snowy weekend, our oldest son asked to make these cookies I had planned to make. My husband was excited! It's his mother's recipe and one he remembers her making.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. Cream together shortening and sugar in large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, vanilla, and milk. Mix well.   Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well.  Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Dip moistened end of flat glass into sugar and press down to coat cookies with sugar.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  Cookies will be done when set to light touch.

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