Saturday, November 3, 2012

Autumn Brittle

1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Cashews
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
2/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup  shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 Cup Honey
1 Cup Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Butter
2/3 cup Raisins
1/3 cup Walnuts

Heat the sugar, honey, water and salt in a large pot over a low-medium flame. Use a pot that is larger than you would think necessary because when the mixture begins to boil it will foam up and increase in size. Stir every five minutes or so. Using a candy thermometer, continue to heat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of exactly 302 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very important because this is the temperature at which sugar hardens into a rock-like state after it cools. Pay close attention not to go very far above 302, otherwise you will burn the sugar. It can take up to an hour for the mixture to reach that high of a temperature, so don't get too worried if 15 minutes go by and the thermometer is still at 175.

While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a shallow pan, about 9 x 13 inches in width and length, and grease the parchment paper. Set aside. Once the sugar mixture reaches 302, immediately remove it from heat and stir in the butter, raisins, walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries until they're coated in the mixture.

Immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it out into a large rectangle using a rubber spatula. Try to keep the surface relatively even and about 1 inch in height. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow the brittle to cool for one hour. Once it has finished cooling, remove the sheet of brittle from the parchment paper and break the brittle into pieces using a meat tenderizer or clean hammer. Arrange the pieces on a serving platter and serve. Store excess brittle in a cool dry place.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pickled Three Bean Salad

4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2" green beans
4 1/2 cups slice 1 1/2" yellow wax beans
1 lb lima beans or garbanzos
      (I substituted a combination of kidney & garbanzo weighing a total of 1 lb.)
2 cups sliced celery (3/4 inch)
1 2/3 cups sliced onion (1/4 inch)
1 cup diced red bell pepper (omitted)
Boiling water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 T. mustard seeds
1 t. celery seeds
4 t. kosher, pickling or canning salt
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water

Prepare jars and lids. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine green and yellow beans, lima beans, celery, onions and red peppers. Add boiling water to cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce and heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until vegetables are heated through. Drain hot vegetable immediately and pack into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace.

Meanwhile, In a separate stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until spices have infused the liquid.

Ladle hot pickling liquid into jars to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and fill with liquid to adjust. Wipe rim and add hot lids and rings. Process in water bath for 15 minutes at a full boil.

 recipe come from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning - June 2006

Monday, July 30, 2012

Dried Tomatoes


Devo Basil Olive oil

½ tsp.-  Sea salt

12-15 - Roma tomatoes cut in quarters

1 tbsp. - Dried basil

Instructions :

Quarter the tomatoes. Not necessary to remove the seeds. 
Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil and arrange tomatoes cut-side up.  

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and dried Basil.

Place the tomatoes in a pre-heated 200 degree F oven for 4 - 6 hours. Times and temperature may vary based on your oven. Tomatoes should  be  dried  but not crispy.

Place the dried tomatoes in a storage freezer bag and  put them in the freezer. Soak dried tomatoes in olive oil  or water to rehydrate. 

I plan on using them for Tomato Pesto and on Homemade Pizza`s

*  My  Basil Olive Oil came from the Devo Olive oil co. in Branson, Mo. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hawaiian Cowboy Candy


1 lb fresh sliced  jalapenos
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup chunk fresh Pineapple  without juice
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seed 


Slice jalapenos. Mix cider vinegar, sugar, and mustard seed to low boil. Reduce for 5 minutes to a simmer. Add jalapenos at the simmer for 5 minutes more. Load sterilized jars with  5 chunks of pineapple. Using a slotted spoon add jalapenos first and add liquid filling the jars leaving a 1/4 headspace. Remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula  and refill to headspace if needed. Wipe rims with wet papertowel. Add hot lids/rings and place in water bath canner. Process at a full boil for 15 minutes. Makes 2 pints and 1 half pints

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Avocado Macaroni Salad

Here is a fresh new twist on the  Mac and Cheese  favorite we a grew up with.


1- lb. box of elbow macaroni    
2- tsp. minced garlic
2 - avocados peeled and pitted
1 - lime juiced
2  - tbsp dried Cilantro  
Salt and pepper to taste
2 - tbsp butter
2 - tbsp all purpose flour
1- cup milk
2 - cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese


1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Salt the water and add in macaroni. Stir and cook about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

2. While the pasta is cooking, make the avocado sauce by placing the garlic, avocados, lime juice * see notes below, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside. 

3. To make the cheese sauce, place butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour to create a paste. Whisk in milk until smooth. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken. Add in Pepper Jack cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy. 

4. Place macaroni in a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over the macaroni and stir until well coated. Add the cheese sauce and stir until macaroni is coated and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. 

* notes 
Note-the lime juice keeps the avocado from browning 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Walnut Salad

This is my healthy version of the favorite Appalachian wilted lettuce salad. I dont think you will even miss the bacon!


1  med.bag -Spring Mix greens
1/ 2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup walnut oil
1/3 cup olive oil
½ small  white onion sliced thinly
½  cup goat cheese crumbles
¼  cup lemon juice
Pepper to taste


Place Spring mixed greens in a med bowl,  put in the sliced onions and set aside.

Using a small saute pan, add the  walnuts, walnut oil and half of the olive oil and toast the walnuts on med. to  med. high  heat  for  no more than 5 min.  Turn the heat down to low and remove the walnuts  from the oil  (leave the oil in the pan )and sprinkle  walnuts on the salad.  Add the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and pepper to the saute pan  with the walnut oil and gently whisk together, while warm pour over the salad and  sprinkle with goat cheese and serve.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Orange Ice Cream Pie

Makes 2 pies

½ gallon Vanilla Ice Cream ( softened )
1-  8 oz. container cool whip
1- 12 oz. concentrated frozen Orange Juice ( thawed )
2- ready made Graham Cracker Crumb Pie  crusts

In a large bowl, add the softened ice cream, Cool Whip and the thawed Orange juice concentrate and fold   all together. Spoon evenly into the pie shells and place the plastic lids back on and seal the edges and place in the freezer over night.  When ready to cut use a long sharp knife and run  it under hot water if needed to make the pie cut easier.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Classic Potato Salad

5 lbs. potatoes boiled with skin on
9 eggs hard boiled
1 med.  Yellow onion diced
1/3 cup pickle relish
3 cups mayonnaise
4 teaspoons yellow mustard
 Salt and pepper to taste                                             

Serves 10


Boil potatoes  with skins on till tender, drain and fill with cold water to cool potatoes. When potatoes are cool to touch, peel and cut into chunks and place in a large bowl.
Boil the  eggs, peel and dice and add the  potatoes,  add the med. onion diced then add the relish, mustard, mayo and fold together. Salt and pepper to taste. When mixed thoroughly sprinkle with paprika, cover and refrigerate.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hash Brown Casserole inspired by Cracker Barrel

Serves: 8
10.25 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. cheddar  cheese ( grated)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 sm. minced onion
1 tsp. salt         
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 1b. bag of frozen shredded hash browns ( thawed)

-Spray a 13" X 9"  baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
-In a lg. bowl, combine soup, cheese, butter, onion, salt, and pepper.
-Gently stir in the potatoes into the mixture and pour into prepared pan. And spread out evenly.
-Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until heated through and top is browned.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cranberry Cabbage Slaw


2 1/2  cups shredded  green  cabbage
2 ½ cups  shredded red cabbage
½ cup of red onion sliced thinly
½ cup dried cranberries


¼  cup of cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of minced  Serrano pepper


In a  large bowl combine the cabbage, onion  and cranberries and toss to combine.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour over the slaw, cover and refrigerate a few hours. Then toss again and serve. Serves 4-6 people

Monday, February 20, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

2 scallions minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 - 16 oz can of Black Eyed Peas ( rinsed and drained)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 serrano pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried  parsley
 Spicy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Scatter the cubes of butternut squash in one layer on a baking sheet with sides. Drizzle the squash with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the squash is brown around the edges and tender when pierced with a fork, stirring the squash pieces periodically so they brown evenly. Allow it to cool slightly.
Gently scrape the warm squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, bell pepper, serrano pepper, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and toss gently. Season with additional salt, pepper, or vinaigrette to taste. Season with additional salt, pepper, or vinaigrette to taste. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese. Serve room temp. serves 6

Spicy vinaigrette
 Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½  teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

- Stir vinegar, honey, lemon juice, pepper flakes, salt and pepper together in a med. bowl. Add  the oil slowly, whisking constantly until all is mixed. Use immediately

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blueberry Lemon Scones

1 cup  frozen blueberries ( do not thaw)
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour                                                                                                      
2 teaspoons baking powder                                                                                                  
1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                  
8 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes                                                                                     
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine sugar with flour, baking powder and salt and lemon juice. Add butter, using a pastry cutter to cut in butter or you may want to use your fingers to be sure butter is evenly mixed into flour mixture. Stir in Blueberry`s then add heavy cream/buttermilk. Use spatula, gently stir dough until it holds together.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate dry ingredients. Be gentle so you don't break up fruit and don't overwork the dough. Sprinkle dough with flour if it gets sticky.

Gently pat the dough into a circle that is 3/4 inch thick. If any of the fruit pokes out, push back into dough. Cut circle into 6 wedges, transfer wedges to the cookie sheet, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space between them. bake 15-20 minutes or until the tops are beginning to brown and spring back when you push them. Do not over bake.

* I like to make a glaze to drizzle on my scones once they have cooled. ¼ cup  milk, 1/3 cup of powdered sugar mix, ( add milk very little at time if too thick or  if not thick enough add more powdered sugar till the right consistency) drizzle over scones and serve.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mexican Cornbread

½ cup softened butter
½ cup sugar
4 eggs
1 can creamed corn
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup Jiffy corn meal mix
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup diced ham
1 Serrano pepper diced ( take seeds out first)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl  and pour into the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until golden on top and cut into squares and serve hot.