Friday, April 4, 2014

A new blog-reviewing recipes

I have so much to catch up on here at this blog but first I want to tell you some exciting news. My daughter Grace and I have decided to start a new blog together.  We both enjoy cooking and thought it would be fun to review our favorite cookbooks and individual recipes then post about them. We'll be sharing the recipes and also our opinion of how time consuming they are, expensive and of course tasty.
We're starting out the month of April by reviewing a cookbook by one of our favorite people, Ree Drummond.  We've chosen 30 recipes from The Pioneer Woman Cooks-Food from my frontier.  We're looking forward to this new endeavor and hope you'll join us.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Far away field trip-Delta Beach, Manitoba, Canada

While we were in Canada this fall, we took the time to drive the 2 hours to visit a place where we made a lot of memories as a family.  Over 10 years ago, my husband was a board member for a conservation organization called Delta Waterfowl.  Mark is a big hunter but he also has a degree in biology and understands that for him to keep hunting, he has to be a part of securing the future of ducks and geese.  

Delta Waterfowl was started back in 1911 by a hunter (James Ford Bell) who decided he would put 3 ducks back for each one he shot.  Later the idea of a waterfowl research facility was born.  In 1938, Hans (Al) Hochbaum arrived at Delta and became the first scientific director.  He and his colleagues pioneered the study of breeding duck ecology and made seminal discoveries on habitat use and behavior.  Today Delta sponsors many graduate and doctorate students in their research studies.  Delta Waterfowl has instituted programs for predator management, alternative land use services, hen houses and adopt-a-pothole.  

Our family would fly to Manitoba each July to hear the students give their research presentations.  We also had the opportunity to go through the research station there at Delta Beach.  This was the first time the girls got to see egg candling.  There were many ducks and geese at all ages and stages.  One summer there was even a big tank that a student used to study diver ducks.  It was because of these first few years and our experiences that the girls and I came to love waterfowl and the beautiful country of Canada.

Since that time the research station has closed at Delta Beach and some of the buildings are gone.  As the girls and I walked around this year, memories came flooding back.  They remember the ducks and geese, the eggs, bonfires with our friends and the students.  So many good times.  It was really nice to go back to a place we hadn't seen in many years and relive those days.

Mary and Grace summer of 2003

Mary, Emma and Grace October 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Glorious sunset

I'm continually in awe of God's handiwork!  This is a sunset we saw while in Canada. Amazing!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A little crocheted chicken

Isn't this the cutest thing ever??  I just love it!  It's really an egg cozy.  I bought little chocolate Kinder eggs and put under mine.  I made several for gifts-now I need one for me!  They make me smile!

I found this pattern and several other delightful projects in the Bernat Country Kitchen book.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Peanut butter chocolate chip chia bites

In my opinion, anything with peanut butter is simply scrumptious!  This recipe is also filled with fiber and Omega 3 which make these a healthy energy snack that just happens to be delicious!
Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Chia Bites*

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup honey
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chia seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.  Remove them from fridge, use a small cookie scoop to create uniform portions and roll into balls.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Makes about 4 dozen bites.  

*I found this yummy recipe at Bob's Red Mill.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apple pie pull apart

I try to eat healthy most of the time and lately have tried to eliminate as much sugar as possible.  If you do the same, don't read any farther.  This is not a healthy or sugar free recipe at all...but boy is it delicious!

Apple Pie Pull Apart*

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (16oz) tube Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced

For Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk, any kind
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a shallow dish and set aside.

Remove biscuits from tube and slice each in half, creating 16 rounds.  Coat each round and each apple slice with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and layer in the loaf pan, alternating biscuit rounds with apple slices.  Begin and end with the biscuit rounds.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until bread is fully baked throughout.

For Vanilla Glaze:
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and drizzle over warm bread.

*This is not my original recipe.  I found it at a delicious blog:  Comfort of Cooking

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homemade Velveeta Cheese

I have several recipes that call for Velveeta cheese.  I don't make them that often because I feel guilty buying Velveeta.  Something doesn't feel right about buying my cheese in a box down the canned food aisle.  With a little internet surfing, I came across this recipe.  It may not be 100% healthy, but I think it's a big improvement!  It tastes just as good in all my recipes as the Velveeta does.

Homemade Velveeta

16 oz Natural American Cheese
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup milk

Place all ingredients in a small crockpot.  Turn on high 2.5 hours.  Stir ingredients every hour to prevent sticking and burning.
I lined a bowl with plastic wrap and poured in the mixture.  After refrigerating for a while, this is what you have:

To make more of a dip rather than just Velveeta follow this recipe:
16 oz natural American cheese
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 10oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies-drained
1 cup of milk
1 tsp cumin powder

Follow same cooking instructions as above.