Make It Monday

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Rhubarb Dessert Topped With Ice Cream

The other day I was digging through my freezer looking for some hamburger to use for supper. I ran across some bags of rhubarb that I had frozen last year. I decided I should probably make something from it as it will not be long and there will be a whole new crop of rhubarb to freeze.

I took one of the bags that I had marked “3 cups” and decided to turn it into a crisp. I think I found the recipe on Facebook last year and I have no idea who the original creator of this recipe is!  If it is yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.

Rhubarb Dessert

2-3 cups chopped rhubarb (can be fresh or frozen)
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
2/3 cup boiling water

Spray bottom of 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan
Put fruit on bottom of pan
Mix: 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, flavorings, flour & milk
Put over fruit
Mix rest of sugar and cornstarch
Sprinkle on top
Pour boiling water over all
Bake at 375° for 45 minutes

Let cool before serving and top with ice cream if desired.

My husband has always said that rhubarb is a fruit that really wants to be an apple. He really never cared for anything with rhubarb until he tried this dessert last year. He is now a believer that you can make something good from it!

A few weeks back he even went so far as to put the corn tunnels over the rhubarb patch. He decided it should be saved from our group of marauding chickens. I have girls who cannot resist digging through that patch when the plants just start peeking through the dirt in the spring. I am not sure what they are looking for as the bugs aren’t even out yet!

The plants are growing nicely under their cage and I am looking forward to another nice crop to freeze for next year. It is always good to have things on hand to make a sweet treat. Let me know if you give this recipe a try and how you like it!

One of the secrets to a happy life
is continuous small treats.
Anonymous

 

 

 

Homemade Biscuits

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A while back I had a craving for some biscuits and gravy. I had never really made biscuits from scratch but figured I wouldn’t be out of much if they did not turn out.

I googled homemade biscuits and found a recipe that had 5 stars and was titled as easy. For me this was a deal breaker….what was not to like about easy AND 5 stars? Here is the link to the site: Sugar Spun Run

I followed the directions exactly and was so impressed with how they turned out. Since they turned out so good, and were really delicious; I thought I should share the recipe, so you can all give them a whirl.

Homemade Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup whole milk

Instructions:
For the best results, chill your butter in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before beginning this recipe. It’s ideal that the butter is very cold for light, flaky, buttery biscuits.
–Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper. Set aside.
–Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.
–Remove your butter from the refrigerator and either cut it into your flour mixture using a              pastry cutter or use a box grater to shred the butter into small pieces and then add to the flour mixture and stir.
–Cut the butter or combine the grated butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
–Add milk, use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until combined (don’t overwork the dough).
–Transfer your biscuit dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to gently work the dough together. If the dough is too sticky, add flour until it is manageable.
–Once the dough is cohesive, fold in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold ion half again, repeating this step 5-6 times but taking care to not overwork the dough.
–Use your hands (do not use a rolling pin) to flatten the dough to 1″ thick and lightly dust a 2 3/4″ round biscuit cutter with flour.
–Making close cuts, press the biscuit cutter straight down into the dough and drop the biscuit onto your prepared baking sheet.
–Repeat until you have gotten as many biscuits as possible and place less that 1/2″ apart on baking sheet.
–Once you have gotten as many biscuits as possible out of the dough, gently rework the dough to get out another biscuit or two until you have at least 6 biscuits.
–Bake at 425ºF for 12 minutes or until tops are beginning to just turn lightly golden brown.
–If desired, brush with melted butter immediately after removing from oven.
–Serve warm and enjoy.

NOTE:  This recipe can be doubled for more biscuits

I made a double batch of these as it looked like a lot of directions to be followed. I also ended up with more than 12 biscuits. The directions really were fantastic when I followed them exactly and the biscuits turned out light and tasty.

Many of them did not make it to the table for biscuits and gravy, as my husband and I sampled them before we got that far! I must admit I do enjoy baking and cooking and I enjoy it even more when things turn out and taste good!

If you give them a try let me know how yours turned out. I have a feeling these are my new favorite biscuits and I may have to make them the next time my family comes over.

 

“Baking is like washing
–the results are equally temporary.”

― Patricia Briggs,
Raven’s Shadow

“Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy.”
― Mary Berry

Friends That Feel Like Family

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Friends/Family

This past Monday, Lar and I were privileged to meet one of my blogging friends in person!  Anne (MerhlingMuse)  and her husband, John, stopped by on their way home from a wedding in Denver.

Anne and I had been plotting and planning for a bit to make this day happen. The minute they rolled up in their vehicle it felt like family had come to visit. The time we had together sped by all to quickly.

The couple hours we had was really not enough time to get all the answers to questions we wanted to ask. We learned about each others’ families, churches, hobbies and pretty much every thing in between. We also found out that the Smokies would be a great place to visit.

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Old Train ~ Fremont, NE

Lar and I shared some photos of a train that we had taken on our weekend trip to Lincoln, NE to see our son and his family.

We had found out in advance that John was a train buff and just could not resist taking some photos to share.

We took a brief tour outdoors and Anne was able to take photos of the girls and their chicken coop. The girls cooperated by letting me pick one up for a quick photo of them being held.

Questions were asked about where the water had been during the recent flooding and what we grew for crops. There was lots of talking and laughing before we even made it into the house for a bit of lunch.

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Cheesecake Pie with Blueberry Topping

I had made a Cheesecake Pie to share for coffee time. Only we had peach ice tea instead of coffee to go with the pie.  I am going to share the recipe as I promised Anne I would make sure she got it.

This is a great pie to make as you can use different kinds of fruit for the topping. You can use canned pie filling or use fresh fruit sweetened with sugar.

 

Easy Cheesecake Pie

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers, about 24 squares
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Press into pie plate and refrigerate till it is set.
(I have been known to skip the refrigerating step if I am pressed for time.)

Filling:
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup sour cream
8 ounce tub Cool Whip
Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla till smooth.
Add sour cream and cool whip.
Put on top of graham cracker crust.

Fruit:
1 can pie filling
Can spread over pie or put dollop on each piece
OR
Sweetened fresh fruit

Refrigerate for a bit before serving and enjoy!

Note:  I have never made this pie with real whipped cream instead of cool whip.
If you try it let me know how it works out!

It was so much fun to talk over lunch. Stories were shared. (see Anne’s link above as she tells them really well!) So much laughter as we discovered we shared a very similar sense of humor. I loved Anne’s story of the family saying, “The chicken is used to it.” I will also let her tell that story as it is hers to share. Needless to say it made me laugh while also learning a good lesson!

It didn’t take long….at least it did not seem long …and it was time they went back to their travels. I am so grateful to hear they made it home safely. I am also so grateful that God put this couple in our lives. I think my husband said it best as we waved good-bye. “That was a great visit….it felt like family.”  He was so very right.

 

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
— Unknown,
via etd.ohiolink.edu

 

No friendship is an accident.
— O. Henry,
The Heart of the West

 

 

 

 

 

Cold Days and Warm Food

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This past weekend our weather has changed.  I am not totally sure it was for the better! There were winter storm advisories but that kind of bombed out for us and I was good with only getting a small amount of snow.

The weather guys were right on their prediction of  cold temperatures. Sunday saw us in the sub zero range with a wicked wind chill to go with it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look to change any time soon. (This always makes my husband wonder why our ancestors settled here!)20190121_112554.jpg

Today just seemed to be the kind of day where a good pot of chili soup needed to be simmering on the stove. The only problem with that is my husband is not in favor of chili soup.

Chili soup was kind of out of the question for him for a meal; so I also went with one of his favorite cold weather foods…..Balken Brei. I made him a loaf pan of it last week when I heard the weather was going to nose-dive temperature wise.

I am NOT a fan of Balken Brei but I do like how it smells. For those of you who have no idea what this “delicacy” is I will try explain. When you render the lard from a pig you end up with these crunchy little bits called cracklings.

You take those cracklings and fry them out till they are a crisp golden brown and kind of dry.  At this stage you can go ahead and make Balken Brei or you can freeze your cracklings till ready to use.

For the brave among you I am going to give you the recipe so you can try this Dutch treat for yourself.

Balken Brei
1 Pound Cracklings
Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
White Flour
Allspice to taste

Put the cracklings in a sauce pan.
Cover, till just covered, with water.
Add about 1 tsp. sald and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Bring to a boil then let simmer till most of the water has been absorbed by the cracklings.
Remove from heat and add flour. You will keep adding flour
till the mixture is very stiff and hard to stir.
Add Allspice to taste…start with about 5 teaspoons.
You may have to use your hands to mix at this point.
Put mixture in loaf pan lined with wax paper and press in firmly.
Cover and put in fridge to cool.
Once it is cool and firm you can slice into thin slices.

To prepare:
Cut into thing slices and fry in pan in melted butter.
Fry till golden crisp.
Serve with syrup.
My husbands favorite is Dark Karo syrup.

Some people use buckwheat flour. Some people add other meat to this recipe. My husband prefers the basic one so that is what I go with. It think he likes it this way because that is what he grew up with.

I am pretty sure this is NOT a heart healthy recipe. For years my sons have called this “fried fat”. I am also not sure what cracklings really are! If they were fat they would have melted? If anyone knows please let me know.

Being of Dutch background, I often wonder if our Dutch ancestors were just so tight thrifty that they did not let anything go to waste…not even cracklings! I also wonder if there is any other use for them….other than feeding the girls…..

And now…..I really want to know….what is your favorite cold weather food? When those temps dip close to zero and the snow flies (assuming you live where this happens) What is your go to food for comfort? If you have a favorite recipe please feel free to leave it in the comments or link to it if you have already posted it on your blog.

Have a great week doing things for those you love…..and if you live where it is cold….stay warm and make a family favorite!

Cooking is like love
It should be entered into with abandon
or not at all
Harriet Van Horne

 

Really Good Pudding Dessert

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The other day I got a call asking if I would trade turns for bringing lunch to our Coffee Break Bible Study. I had no reason to refuse so I went ahead and started looking through my pantry items to figure out what I could make without making a trip to the grocery store.

After checking the fridge and finding that I did, indeed, have cream cheese and also realizing I had the necessary White Chocolate pudding mix I decided to go ahead and make a family favorite for Bible study.

If you are looking for an incredibly easy dessert to make and if you like cream cheese…this may just be the dessert for you. It is smooth without being overly sweet and totally delicious. It does not take very much time to put together, which is another big win….at least for me it is a win.

Great Pudding Dessert

Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts-optional

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces Cool Whip
2 packages white chocolate instant pudding mix
2 1/2 cups milk

Directions:
Mix crust- put in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350º  for 15 minutes.
Whip Cream cheese, powdered sugar.
Add 1/2 of the Cool Whip and mix thoroughly.
Spread on cooled crust.

Mix milk with pudding mix.
Add rest of Cool Whip.
Put on top of Cream cheese layer.
Top with nuts if desired.
Let set in refrigerator.
Enjoy!!

Years ago I got this recipe from a friend. It had no name so I just named it what my family always called it! Sometimes keeping things simple is a great way to go. Many times…..keeping it simple is a great way to go. (Yep….I think there is a lesson in there somewhere!)

I am always on the lookout for quick simple recipes of all kinds. I love to explore the possibility of new favorites. If you have a family favorite please feel free to share in the comments……in fact I would be very grateful to have you share, as I could add to my stash of simple favorites.

 

“The discovery of a new dish
does more for the happiness of the human race
than the discovery of a star.” 

― Jean Anthelme Brillat-SavarinThe Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bar

January is typically the month that many resolutions are being made. Resolving to lose weight, to exercise more, read through the Bible in a year, stay in touch with loved ones….and the list goes on.

Heading the list always seems to be the weight thing. For some reason when I decide I should work on the weight issue every amazing tasting food seems to end up in front of me. I am not sure how that happens or why. Is it kind of the Murphy’s law of dieting?

I had planned to bake less this season to help with the getting healthy idea. I really did plan to do that….and then the phone rang. A neighbor gal called to ask if I would take her turn bringing lunch to Coffee Break Bible Study on Wednesday. (She was busy moving cattle with her family). Of course I said sure…..I love to bake. (I love to eat too!)

I figured it was a great time to make those bars that are really addictive. If I am baking bars like these particular bars, it is always a good idea to bake them when you need to bring most of them away. It is never a good idea to have a whole pan of these in the house with just two people.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Bars
2 cups +4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1 Cup butter or oleo, softened
12 Tablespoons sugar
12 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Filling:
2 8-ounce pkg. Cream Cheese

1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375º
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt….Set aside
Combine butter, sugars, and vanilla
Beat in eggs; add flour mixture, and mix well
Stir in chocolate chips
Blend until creamy
Put half in bottom of 9 x 13″ pan
Then spread filling mixture over this and top with rest of cookie dough
Bake 20-30 minutes
Cool and cut
Store in refrigerator (if there are any left!)

 

These bars are from a recipe book that the employees made when I worked at a lab that produced swine vaccines. I have always told people to look for the recipes in that book that are from a woman named Ethel. If you make any of her recipes you are in for a real treat!

I have a feeling that till the bars are gone those New Year resolutions are just going to have to wait….fortunately or unfortunately it won’t be long and they will be gone. I dallied with the idea of using this post and linking it to the Daily Post photo challenge “Growth”……for the very reason that consuming too many of these bars will definitely promote growth…of the wider, not taller variety! Aaaahhhh well…..tomorrow is another day…..I guess.

If you give these bars a try let me know what you think of them…..also please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes….I am always on the lookout for a new favorite.

“Take a bite of food,
if it tastes good…..spit it out
……you can’t have it!”
An Uncle

My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people.
Orson Welles

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/orson_welles_104829?src=t_diet

Christmas Traditions

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Some things are a Christmas tradition that have no basis in anything Christmassy whatsoever. For us that would be some of our cut out cookies. We have the traditional bells, trees, stars and snowmen but we also throw in buffalo, doves, pigs (we are in Iowa!), geese and jackrabbits. I am not sure how the animals became part of our tradition but they have been included for a long time.

Christmas is the only holiday that I really take the time to make cut out cookies. They are so time consuming to make as you have to mix the dough, chill the dough, roll out the dough, cut out shapes, roll again, cut some more, roll some more, cut again…repeat…repeat…repeat. It is a process that goes on and on till there is only a tiny little blob of dough left. I am grateful that my husband helps with this process!

While all this cutting and rolling is going on you are also baking cookie sheet after cookie sheet of cookies. I usually try to set the timer for each batch as I always tend to burn some of them. The ones I burn; are typically those on the last couple of cookie sheets. I am not sure if it is because I am too busy with the other cookies or just plain sick of cookies!

After all the baking they still need to be frosted. I will never win a cookie contest for looks with these cookies but they do taste good. Fortunately for me, my husband is more concerned about taste, texture and flavor than he is with presentation when it comes to food of any type.

The recipe I use is one I have used for years. It came from a co-worker from years ago and is always a favorite. The amount of dough may look meager but it really does go a long way.

Cut Out Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 cup butter (real)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon almond flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cut butter into dry ingredients (like you do with making pie crust)
Add eggs, cream, and flavorings

Chill a few hours
Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness
Cut with cookies cutters
Bake at 350º till edges are just brown
DO NOT OVERBAKE
Frost with a powdered sugar frosting….I don’t actually have a recipe I follow for this.
I just put a couple cups of powdered sugar in a bowl,
add 1 tablespoon melted butter,
add 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
then add milk a little at a time till you get a spreading consistency.

The only downfall to these cookies is that they do not last! I kind of think I tend to only make them for the holiday because then there are more people around to help eat them. If only my husband and I had to eat them we would probably end up in a sugar coma.

I am glad that my family looks beyond the looks of these cookies. The cookies are a good reminder that it is always good to look beyond what you can see. So many times, in so many circumstances there is so much more than what is visible.

The old saying about not judging a book by it’s cover is still so true today. To paraphrase it…don’t judge a cookie by it’s frosting! And definitely don’t judge people just by what you see.

Let’s take this weekend to really see, hear, and understand people and their circumstances. Let’s give a little grace to those we find hard to understand and let’s show some love to those who frustrate us. Let’s take the time to really taste those cookies instead of just looking at them.

Blessings to you all this weekend!

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.
By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil
and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” 

― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship

 

 

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
–   William James  

 

 

Making a List, Checking it Twice….

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Melt in Your Mouth Cookies

I am wondering if you started humming or singing as you read that title?  I can never read those words without putting the tune with it and singing them.  It is definitely the season for making lists I am finding.

In fact I have several lists floating around here at this point.  There is the Christmas wish list that has all our kids and grandkids names on it; complete with things they would like.  Then there is the Christmas dinner list….the one with the menu.  To coincide with that list is the grocery list; with those last minute items that I forgot the last time I went to the grocery store to get the Christmas dinner stuff.

We should also not forget the list for the Christmas Eve party at my folks house. That one contains the food items I need to bring, the gifts we must not forget to take along and other random items that need to journey to their house.

Then there is the list for the things I need to finish up.  Things like getting the bedrooms upstairs ready for kids to stay overnight. Turning the water on upstairs is also on the list. Oh, and we mustn’t forget that the list should also remind me to finish purchasing and then wrapping the presents that need to get under the tree before Christmas day.

I also need to make tags for those gifts that are under the tree. My gift tags have never had names on them…..only stamped images. We started doing things that way, back when the boys were little and could not (or would not) leave their presents alone. Once they started getting married I thought I could put names on the tags; but they all insisted the nameless tags were a tradition….so I need to stamp some tags…..soon!

On one of my lists it reminds me that I need to finish the Christmas cookies that I have started. Today, I could check a couple of those cookies off my list as I finished piping the frosting star on them.

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Thumbprints

The two I worked on today are called Melt In Your Mouth cookies and Thumbprints. Both of these cookies are real favorites of mine. (To be really honest there are very few cookies that I have met that I have not liked!)

Just in case you are looking for one more cookie to add to your holiday baking; I will share the recipes with you today.

 

 

Melt In Your Mouth Cookies
1 cup butter (do not substitute)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
Milk (a few drops if needed)
Frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter (melted -do not substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla
green food coloring to make light green color

Cream butter and powdered sugar.
Add vanilla, flour, and cornstarch.
Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350º for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and make a thumbprint in the center of each cookie.
Return to oven and bake another 8 minutes.
Cool and fill center with frosting.
NOTE:  I like to use a #21 star tip and decorator bag to pipe a frosting star on top.

Thumbprint Cookies
1 cup butter (do not substitute)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks (reserve egg white)
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Frosting:
1 cup butter (do not substitute)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Red food coloring to make a light red

Blend butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients.
Roll into 1 inch balls and dip into slightly beaten egg whites.
Roll in finely chopped walnuts
.
Place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheets.
Bake 5 minutes at 350º.
Remove from oven and make thumbprint in center of each cookie.
Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes.
Cool and frost.
NOTE: I like to use a #21 star tip to pipe a frosting star on top of these cookies.

It is a good feeling to check things off my lists. I do find having them makes it easier for me to relax through this busy season that requires lots of preparation and planning. I think it might be because I know I am not forgetting something. I do find it is also helpful to contain my lists in one notebook. That way I only have one thing to keep track of.

It makes it easier for me to focus on what is important when I know the little things are taken care of or will be taken care of in good order.   It makes it easier to focus on the joy of the season and the anticipation of family gatherings.

So I am making my lists and checking them twice….    I am wondering what little tips and tricks do you use that make your busy holiday season run smoother?

And what are some of your favorite cookie recipes?  Please feel free to leave a link to your blog if you have some of these posted there! Cookies and tips and tricks!  I would love to check them out.

“The best way to get through any challenge is to step back,
look up at the sky, breathe deeply in and out,
smile if you have to…
then dive in.”

Waylon H. Lewis

Thanksgiving Anticipation

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I have been spending the last few days anticipating the coming Thanksgiving holiday. This year is a little more work as my husband and I are hosting at our home.

All those things that we have been putting off; are now looking at us and begging to be done. We have finished and installed some baseboard, cleared out cobwebs in places I did not even know there were cobwebs, cleared out those “science experiments” in the back of my fridge (as Bee Organized With Pamela puts it), and just general house cleaning. I have discovered you can only put these things off for so long and then they need to be done.

By the time noon rolled around I had things under control and could start with the baking.  This year I am making the desserts. I made the standard thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie and then I thought I would make a Cream Cheese pie for those who do not care for pumpkin. I also had a request for the Skor Cake that I like to make. (Evidently a chocoholic made that request!)

Here are the recipes.  They are good to make anytime of year. And for those of you who have never eaten or made pumpkin pie, this is your chance to give it a try!

Pumpkin Pie
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin home grown or one can pumpkin pie filling
1 – 12 oz. can evaporated milk
I use home grown sugar pumpkins so I put the pumpkin in my blender
with the evaporated milk and eggs.
I then add the rest into the blender and mix.
Pour into unbaked pie crust. (see recipe below)
Makes a 9 inch pie.
Bake at 425º for 15 minutes
Reduce heat to 350º and bake 50 minutes longer.
Pie is done when you insert a knife into it and it comes out clean.

Betty Crocker Pie Crust
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoons shortening or
1/3 cup lard (I use lard)
1cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 – 3 tablespoons cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt till they are pea sized
Sprinkle water over and toss with fork.
When flour is moistened form into ball.
Roll out and put in pie pan.

 

Cream Cheese Pie
1 – 8 oz. block cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 – 8 oz. cool whip
Whip filling and put in graham cracker crust.
Refrigerate and top with either fresh fruit or pie filling when serving.
If you could find a gluten free crust this pie would be great.
For those who have gluten issues I have also just put the filling into bowls and topped with fruit.

Skor Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix – bake as directed in 2 – 9 inch round pans.
Filling:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 Skor candy bars or Heath
Mix: cream, sugar and cocoa then refrigerate for 15 minutes
Beat mixture to stiff peaks.
Fold in 3 crushed Skor bars.
Cut your 2 round cakes to make 4 layers total.
(I find it works great to freeze them before cutting.)
Divide filling into 4 even amounts.
Put filling between each layer, reserving the last 1/4th for the top.
Crush the last candy bar and sprinkle over top.
This cake will get moister if you make it the day ahead.

The food is a big part of our Thanksgiving celebration, but the best part of tomorrow will be the people. Old stories will be told, new stories will be made and woven through it all is the feeling that God is good and this house full of people loves each other no matter what.

Cherish your human connections
– your relationships with friends and family.
Barbara Bush

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_family2.html

Pineapple Slush and Shed Raising

Pineapple Slush

We seem to be in the “dog days” of summer around here.  The days that are hot, muggy and generally uncomfortable if you are outside too long.

To prepare for these days I made Pineapple Slush so we would have a cool refreshing treat after a day of working outside. Especially after an afternoon of baling, or hand weeding in the garden or pretty much anything outside.

I haven’t made this recipe in a few years.  I think the last time I made slush was for a “shed raising” at our farm.  A few years back; we decided it was time to put up a machine shed. Instead of just hiring someone, my husband went to a DIY (do it yourself) type store and ordered the materials he would need to put one up.

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The Materials Have Arrived!

We found someone in our area willing to rent out their  telehandler thing, talked to our daughter in law’s brother (who had worked construction) and set out to build a shed.  As our sons would be around on the 4th of July weekend that year we decided that was the optimum time to get started.

Of course the day they set the poles, July 5,  it was blisteringly hot and muggy…..a fairly typical Iowa summer day in July. I am not sure why we thought the weather would be comfortable at that point?? You would think after living our entire lives in this area we would know how hot it can get.

By the time it was afternoon and time for a much needed lunch break; the guys were ready for something cool and the Pineapple Slush was just the ticket.  The recipe makes an ice cream bucket full plus a little extra.

Pineapple Slush
6 cups water
4 cups white sugar
1- 46 oz. can pineapple juice

2 – 12 oz. cans frozen orange juice
1 – 12 oz.  can frozen lemonade

6 bananas – mashed
Bring water and sugar to a boil.
Chill till cold.
Add remaining ingredients.
Mix  and freeze in a 5 quart pail.
Stir once during freezing.
To serve, put a scoop (or more) in a glass and fill with soda
7-Up, Sprite, Orange soda are all good.

(Palm Breeze is also pretty good in this)
Note:  I usually forget to stir during freezing
and my mashed bananas tend to float to the top.

The shed was a weekend building project….multiple weekends; because everyone had other full-time jobs they needed to be at. Calendars would get checked often as to when was the best weekend to get the most guys to help. It took most of the summer, lots of persistence, buckets of slush, watermelon and a few tubes of aloe vera gel for the sunburnt shoulders …..but the shed did eventually get done.

The guys loved the tele handler and it sure made the job a lot easier and safer.

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I also know that my sons had a good time taking pictures from waaay up when they were in that basket of the tele handler. They all seemed to think owning one of them would be pretty handy.

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Old and New

I am not sure how many hours were spent or how many weekends were taken up with shed building or how much slush was consumed while putting the shed up …. I do know that it was a lot of fun having family and friends around to help out.  We did a lot of work on the shed, a lot of laughing and lots of eating on those weekends. We also really enjoy being able to get pretty much all the farm equipment under cover.

Two people are better off than one,
for they can help each other succeed.
Ecclesiastes 4:9