Greetings...

Greetings...
Welcome to my little space in the world-wide web. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit down and enjoy your trek. I am not sure what brought you here, but I am glad you came. I hope you find something you like and come back often to visit. Be sure to sign up on the right to recieve all updates via your email.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

White Hot Chocolate Gone Bananas

I have always liked bananas and banana flavored items.   Do you remember the Banana Flip snack cake?   




Or these Banana Flavored Suckers?  

They were both a couple of my favorite banana items when I was growing up. 

How would you like to reminisce that banana flavor profile,   You can with this ......



White Hot Chocolate Gone Bananas

1 pkg. of your favorite White Hot Chocolate Mix, made with milk or water
2 heaping teaspoons of Cook and Serve Banana Flavored Pudding Mix
1/2 tsp Banana Flavored Extract
Whip Cream 
Banana Chips
Cinnamon or nutmeg


Make a mug of your favorite White Hot Chocolate.   Stir in two heaping teaspoons of dry pudding mix and 1/2 teaspoon of banana extract.   Top with whip cream, sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg  and top with banana chips.   


Notes  and Swaps
  • Try using unsweetened almond, soy or coconut milk 
  • Replace the banana extract with a Banana flavored liquor (adults only)





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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

This Is How I Roll

My dad worked the 2nd shift at a local factory while I was growing up.   Nearly everyday, I remember my mom packing his lunch and setting it out for him in a simple brown lunch Bag.   One of the things she used to pack him was a piece of Jelly Roll Cake that she had purchased at the local store.    

I have attempted many recipes in trying to recreate it and many have failed.  This one, however, hits the nail right on the head.    Yipee!    Now I can make it and play with the fillings.  As you can see from the photo below I have already strayed from the plain strawberry jelly filling.   


Jelly Cake Roll Recipe
Ingredients
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/4 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1-1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Confectioners' sugar

Filling
1 jar (12 ounces) your favorite jelly
1 8-oz. pkg. Cream Cheese Softened
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups Original Cool Whip

Bring eggs to room temperature and separate the yolks from the whites.  Save each in a separate bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°. 
Line a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan with waxed paper; grease the paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and water on high speed 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Stir in extracts. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together twice; gradually add to yolk mixture and mix well (batter will be very thick).

Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter; continue to fold in remaining whites. Spread evenly into prepared pan.


Bake 15-18 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack. 

Make the filling by placing the room temperature cream cheese in a bow.  Beat on low to medium speed until cream cheese is soft and pliable.  Add in the 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar, mix until thoroughly combined.   Add in vanilla and 2 cups cool whip.   Mix until combined.    

Unroll cake; spread evenly with a layer of jelly and then the cream cheese filling, Roll up; place on serving dish and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Note & Swaps


  • I used home made black raspberry jelly, but you can use your favorite. 
  • I also filled mine with a cream cheese, whip cream filling, but why not try filling it with Cheesecake, Ice Cream or Pudding?   All of those sound delicious. 

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Can Can of Minestrone

This recipe came from my husbands side of the family.   The original recipe started with dried northern beans.  When the recipe was first given to me, I was told I had to prick each dried bean with a pin so that it would absorb the water better.   Of course this made the recipe less appealing.   I made several times the old fashioned way by soaking the beans and it turned out as yummy as the first time I tried it.   The next few times I made it I replaced the dried beans with canned northern beans  and replaced the water with chicken stock and it is still delicious and oh so easy to make.

The next time you are shopping at one of the Can sales in the grocery store, remember to try this recipe.   As you can see it calls for 6 cans of vegetables.

Minestrone Soup

2 8-oz cans northern beans
10 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup celery slices
1 8-ounce can of peas drained
1 8-ounce can cut green beans drained
2 8-0z of tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. grated cheese
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. oil
½ lb. small pasta, cooked
2 tbsp. snipped parsley
1 clove garlic minced

In large stock pot, sauté onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.   Add the can of diced tomatoes and its juice.    Drain all remaining canned vegetables and add to the pot.   Simmer for 30 minutes.   While that is simmering, cook ½ lb. of  your favorite small pasta.   Last five minutes add the parsley, butter, cooked pasta and grated cheese.   Serve with your favorite crusty bread.


Notes and Swaps
·        You can also use dried northern beans if you prepare them the night before.

·        There are many types of Minestrone; this one is my favorite because adding the butter at the end enhances the flavors of the beans and other vegetables.   

Yes you can make this with fresh vegetables, but honestly why would you when it tastes so good this way.


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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Meatloaf vs. Meat Loaf



Insert chuckle here…………………. Have you ever looked up the story of Meatloaf? I just did and the web was flooded with stories of the singer: Meat Loaf. It made me chuckle. As any good researcher would do, I then added the word hamburger to my meatloaf search. Upon choosing Wikepedia I found this on the very first line “This article is about the meat dish. For the singer, see Meat Loaf.” Made me chuckle again.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat mixed with other ingredients, formed into a loaf shape, then baked or smoked. The loaf shape is formed by either cooking it in a loaf pan, or forming it by hand on a flat baking pan. Meatloaf is usually made from ground beef, although lamb, pork, veal, venison, and poultry are also used.

So begins my story about Meatloaf (the meat dish, for the singer see Meat Loaf). My mom made a meatloaf which contained: Hamburger, breadcrumbs, eggs, green pepper, and onion. She always made mashed potatoes and brown gravy to go with it. Her brown gravy was always made from scratch which included browning the flour in one of her cast iron skillets. When she was adventurous she would pour a can of Tomato soup or sauce on the top. While it was delicious, my family prefers my mother-in-laws recipe for meatloaf. The ingredients are a little unusual but you can’t beat the smell that comes from the oven while this is baking. You must give it a try and decide for yourself.




Nana’s Meatloaf
Loaf
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
2 large eggs
2/3 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup milk
¾ tsp. poultry seasoning
½ cup onion chopped (optional)
½ cup chopped green pepper (optional)

Glaze
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. browning sauce
¼ tsp. mustard

Preheat oven to 350º degrees. Mix loaf ingredients together and place in ovenproof dish. Mix glaze ingredients and smear over the top of the loaf. Bake for 1 hour.

Swaps and Notes

For a large family you will want to double this recipe
I serve this with baked potatoes (because you can throw them in the oven and cook them while the meatloaf is cooking). They both take an hour.




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