Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hi everyone, I'm still here. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Years. First for me, Christmas was great, had all my family over for the day for dinner. This year we chose not to buy gifts for everyone to make things easier since money seems tighter this year for many of us. The kids received small candies and we're happy enough. All in all it was a great day that seemed to fly by, I love my family dearly and just love it when we all can get together, which is not often since we all live on opposite sides of the state of Kentucky.
Then the day after Christmas I got so sick with sore throat, headache, earache, bodyache that lasted for 5 days, that was rough and took all of my energy.
Then both of our sons started college at EKU ( which is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from home)
and my hubby and I drove down to help them get settled in, that was a job, you think you have everything packed and ready to go but when we got down there my son wore flip flops and forgot his shoes (hope it doesn't snow this week). I'll get back to regular posting after things settle down for me and oh did I mention I have jury duty starting Tuesday, hope my body will let me get through it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cheesy bread from French bread loaf

We are having Italian dishes for supper tonight. The French bread recipe makes two loaves and normally I freeze the second loaf but I decided to make some cheesy bread for my two teenage sons as a midnight snack. There on break from college right now so they stay up late. The extra french loaf was perfect. I cut in half and added 3 types of cheese, italian spices, garlic and butter.  Baked it until the cheese melted and slightly golden brown. It was delicious. So if you have some leftover french bread, try it, makes for an awesome snack and easy to, just add your favorite toppings.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

French Bread

This is the best homemade french bread recipe, it is just like you buy in the deli at the supermarket. Light, airy, and fluffy. Perfect sliced up with some garlic butter spread on it for all those Italian dishes.
recipe adapted from Deals to Meals
This recipe makes 2 large loaves:

2 1/2 c. warm water ( between 105-115 degrees)
2 Tbs. yeast
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. white vinegar -Add these ingredients together and let sit until bubbly, about 4 minutes
1 Tbs. salt
1/3 c. oil
6-7 c. all purpose flour

Making the dough:

Add first four ingredients together and let sit until bubbly, about 4 minutes. Then add salt, oil and flour. Add flour 1 cup at a time until incorporated. May need to add a little extra flour is dough is too moist, add just enough flour when dough pulls away from side of bowl.
 Knead for 3-5 mintues and then put in the oven with a small pot of boiling water. The water will keep the dough moist. Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this every time it gets to the top of the bowl, as long as you have time to babysit it (2-5 times). Put the dough on a greased countertop and divide into 2 equal sections.
Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet. Roll the dough balls into rectangle/long French bread shapes. Place on cookie sheet.
Slash tops of bread diagonally 3-5 times and cover with a beaten egg.
Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled) on the counter, or you can put them in your oven at 170 and wait until they are the size you want to cook them at. Once they are to the right size, turn up your stove to 375 (without opening the door!) and let them bake until done. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden  brown.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Roll

So I have been trying to make the perfect peanut butter roll, have tried several recipes and finally found the perfect recipe that my Mother in law gave me. It had to be moist, fluffy, creamy. I've had some that tasted dried and hard. The roll made with potato just can not get sodt and fluffy so I totally threw that recipe away. I think you'll love this one as good as I do.

3 egg whites
4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. warm water
3/4 c. white corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 + c. peanut butter


In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites very stiff and set aside. Be sure you have very carefully separated the eggs so there is no sign of any yellow in the whites. Mixing bowl should be very dry. In a saucepan, mix sugar, water and syrup. Cook on medium high heat and at first use a spoon to remove sugar crystals from side of pan. After mixture starts to boil rapidly, place the lid on the pan only 30 seconds, then quickly take the lid off. ( This melts all crystals). Do not stir anymore while sugar boils. Place candy thermometer on side of pan and watch carefully for temperature to reach hard ball stage.
Immediately take pan off of burner at exactly hard ball stage. Remove candy thermometer. Again re-beat you egg whites to stiff and while using beater, gradually add hot cooked syrup mixture ( about 1/3 of it at a time) beating in between until most all syrup is used.
 Do not take a spoon and rake syrup out of pan ( as you do not want crystals).
Add vanilla: keep beating, then later use large spoon beating until you can spoon white mixture out on theree sheets of waxed paper placed lapping over each one.
First of all this waxed paper should be well greased with butter, then butter you hands and wait until white candy is cool enough for you to work with your hands, patting it out like bread dough.
Spread peanut butter over entire area and start rolling it up lik a jelly roll.
When candy roll is completly cooled, slice and place in airtight container.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Perfect Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is our family's favorite pie, there perfect for any holiday, birthday, any occasion. Told you it was our favorite. I got this recipe many years ago and have never strayed, it is so good.
Makes 3 pies
Goes perfectly with my homemade pie shell recipe, makes 3

2 sticks margarine or butter
16 oz. chopped pecans
1 lb. light brown sugar
1 heaping Tbs.self-rising flour (serving tablespoon, not measuring spoon)
16 oz. bottle light corn syrup
1 Tbs. imitation vanilla
6 eggs
3 regular size pie crusts
 Melt butter until melted and set aside. Chop pecans or if you prefer whole, that's fine, set aside.
 In a large bowl add brown sugar. Using a fork, whisk brown sugar around to break down any lumps. Next add a heaping serving tablespoon of self-rising flour and stir until the flour disappears into the brown sugar.

 Add whole bottle of Karo syrup.

Then add 1 serving tablespoon of vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined. Add melted butter. Slowly add into the mixture so it doesn’t splatter until mixed well.
 In a small bowl, crack open six eggs and beat with a fork, fold the eggs into the pie mixture until they disappear.

Add pecans and stir until completely coated. Pour the mixture evenly into the three shells.

Be sure there is the same amount in each pie. Using a spoon, redistribute pecans  to make equal in each pie. I forgot to get a picture before I put on oven so I took a quick one in the oven.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350. Cook pies until they swell and then fall. At that point they are done.
Remove and cool for about four hours. Pies can be stored on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Resusable Spice Container

I don't typically save empty containers  but I found these extremely useful. They are parmesean cheese containers. Easy to fill with whatever spices you choose. They have a built in measuring spoon leveler in the lid. Just thought I would mention this since you will frequently see me using it in most of my recipes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade laundry soap is an inexpensive way to cut costs in these tough economic times. It only
costs pennies per load to make when you make it yourself.  You can also avoid the harsh chemicals
found in commercial laundry detergents.
You will need:
(1)  5 gallon bucket with a snap on lid  (a free or cheap place to get one is from a bakery or grocery baked
goods dept).
(1) grater-try to find one that grates up fine

To make liquid detergent:

1 gallon hot water
1 Fels Naptha soap bar or Ivory soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda -found in the laundry section
½ cup borax powder -20 Mule Team brand

* Fels Naptha Soap can be hard to find, if you can't find substitute with Ivory or any other low scented soap.
* Must use Arm & Hammer *Super Washing Soda*-Baking soda or Arm & Hammer Detergent will not
work.  It MUST be sodium carbonate. You can buy both of these online at Amazon if you have trouble
finding them in the laundry isle.

Directions for use:

Grate the soap and put in a large sauce pan on low-medium heat. Add 1 gallon water and heat until soap
melts thoroughly. Add washing soda and borax. Stir until completly dissolved. Remove from heat. Next
pour 4 gallons hot water into your bucket and add soap mixture, stir well. Let the soap in the bucket sit
overnight until it gels. You can then pour into an empty smaller laundry detergent bottle that is easier to handle. Just be sure to stir the bucket first before pouring in smaller container
and shake the smaller bottle before each use.

Use this amount:

*For Top load - 1/2 cup per load
** This recipe makes 5 gallons of detergent.

For Powdered detergent:

1 bar of finely graded Fels Naptha or ivory soap
2 cups Arm & Hammer washing soda
2 cups borax

Mix and store in a reuseable container.  Need to start washer first on hot water cycle ( this helps to melt soap) after it is 1/4 cup of detergent for a large load. After washer fills half way with water start adding clothes in.  About every other load add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle. It softens the clothes and also cleans the washer lines out.
I add vinegar to every load of laundry because it keeps my clothes from fading. It does not add a vinegar smell.

This laundry soap recipe will leave your clothes clean and fresh with basicly no scent and only comes to
about 2 cents per load depending on the costs of your ingredients. If you prefer to have scent to your laundery detergent, just add approx. 10 drops of essential oils per gallon of water like lavender scent.