Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Truly Simple Nourishment

Things have been busy and finances have been narrowed to dry purses and flat wallets for the past several weeks. Isn’t it amazing how little we really need to live on?

Habits hold true for most of us in thinking we need far more than we actually do and consuming massively above what we should.
It is good to think anyway when there is little to be so indulgent on. Smiles. . .

We have had some delicious and comforting favorites and the creativity in my somewhat disheveled kitchen has been good. We have eaten fresh Roma tomato sandwiches with mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

I’ve made white sauce with cheese (what is it called: bĂ©chamel or something like that) melted in or broccoli. Served over toast or cooked potatoes.

We’ve made pasta with butter or oil and whatever we found to skillet sautĂ© and toss in with it. Bits of various cheeses when they were available, bits and pieces of mushrooms, squash, and so on mixed in with garlic infused pasta.

Fresh garlic has been peeled and rubbed on hot toast and this was eaten with salsa we were given as a gift.
Eggs provide protein and help fill up empty stomachs and they are awesome for the busy mama and/or wife. Just about anything you make with eggs means a quick meal and we’ve enjoyed them scrambled for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Scrambled with cheese, fried, with toast, as sandwiches, mixed in the above written of sauce, hard boiled, sliced and salted, and however one decides.

Our venison has proven a tremendous blessing and we have eaten the ground in place of hamburger meat. The tenderloin is very similar to a very tender cube steak and there is never a bite left when we these are made.
I’ve lost record on what I’ve shared and what I haven’t so if I’m repeated myself, please forgive me.
Just send me a note at
smile529@charter.net and let me know or beg me to never share such things again.
In the meanwhile…

I put some all-purpose flour in a wide, shallow bowl and added salt and freshly ground pepper. Another similar bowl was used for milk and I sliced each small rectangle in half so it would cook faster and put them all in the milk. When I finished cutting both packs of meat and had them in the milk, I moved on to the next step.
I took one at a time and placed on the flour until I ran out of room. Basic flouring deal until all were covered and filled a hot skillet with some olive oil and butter. I was out of regular oil and this made sure I was out of olive oil and butter but it was worth it. I used two large cast iron skillets because I haven’t cooked one pack of meat in years for the most part.

I let each side cook on low to medium heat until it looked cooked halfway or right before halfway through and then flipped them. I let those cook about the same amount of time and then added about ½ cup of beef broth to each skillet. The meat simmered until the broth wasn’t watery anymore and took them off the heat.
So tender they were cut without using knives and delicious!

“A clever cook, can make....good meat of a whetstone.”Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch priest and scholar


I might not be the most clever of cooks but the Lord has shown me another great way to eat deer meat!

We had them with mashed potatoes and buttered toast.

So… there is a latest sharing from my fragrant little kitchen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Lunch Visit

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Nana & Papa brought the twins {Summer & Seth} and a delicious lunch! My D~I~Love, Laura came for a week day visit and we all had a lovely time.

Nana and I worked on getting the food from the kitchen to the table and we laughed, talked and just enjoyed our time together.
When Laura arrived, she and Papa got a rare chance to talk at the table and then she and I went outside and hung two loads of clothes on the line. She was reminded of spending time at her grandmother's when she was growing up and helping her hang laundry.

We were gifted with this delightful menu:

Homemade Vegetable Soup brought in Glass Jars
French Bread
Chocolate Chip Cookies & Cookie/Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Apple Pie
Sweet Tea

Anytime Nana brings food, she has it wrapped in sparkling clean jars, tied in bows, ribbons, or string and/or neatly stacked in top rolled bags. She can use wax paper, parchment paper and/or freezer paper better than most magazines. I've tried for years to get my food packing and storage to look as neat as she does but have yet to arrive.

This lunch was no exception!

We heated up the homemade vegetable soup and it made the entire house smell as cozy as a fireside on a cold day. While it was heating, she threw the French bread in one oven and the apple pie she brought from my sister in another. The bread got too hard but we solved it by rubbing fresh, peeled garlic cloves all over it and spreading butter over the hard crust. Mom also slathered some butter between some of the slices and this bread was delicious!

We filled our bowls with steaming soup and had a small glass bowl of sour cream with parsley sprinkled over the top on the table. Glasses were filled with ice and chosen beverage and we ate our meal while we watched leaves falling outside the dining room window.

The chocolate chip cookies came from a bucket of cookie dough Mom found at Sam's and they were SO easy. Half were made into peanut butter cookie sandwiches by spreading peanut butter on one bottom and pressing another cookie bottom to that.

The apple pie was one my sister bought at a local store's bakery and it was really good as well.

My mom told me how to follow the directions off the back of the REAL Lemon juice we buy from Sam’s for the easiest and most delicious lemonade recipe! I have a husband and at least two sons (Michael and Braxton) but maybe all of them who LOVE this beverage.
So easy.
Add 1 cup of REAL lemon juice to 1 cup of sugar and mix well with 6 ½ cups of fresh water. DELICIOUS and lovely. Lemon slices could be added like my mom suggested. Also, cherries, strawberries, raspberries and so on can add a pretty touch.

We drank our coffee and watched the kids play outside for awhile and then Nana & Papa left with the twins.

Lauren, my teenage daughter, took her five year old brother out to play while Laura and I watched a movie.

When the movie was over, Laura was leaving and our oldest son, Michael was walking in the door with his family. Right before they left, my sister, Lynda from out of town came in. It was a fun, filled, and favorite kind of day...

Mother/Daughter~in~Love & Nandy Day

Wednesday Menu:

Main Dish Gravy
With Buttered Garlic Toast
Ricotta Cheese Cake
Iced Tea

I was browsing through Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking and came across an idea I used for lunch. I was in a hurry so I didn’t follow the recipe but look forward to trying it. I will share what I did and the actual one out of the book.

Some time ago, my M-I-Love shared with me one way she and Grandmother Willoughby (HER MIL) made meals stretch sometimes. She either called it Cheese Rarebit or Cheese Rabbit and I guess no one can say where such strange names came from. She told me to take a stick of butter and mix it in a skillet with ½ cup of flour until totally blended and bubbly and to add milk until it was creamy and just the thickness I wanted. Then, she said to add shredded cheese and Worcestershire sauce and serve over hot toast.
I wondered how in the world cold butter and dry flour would ever mix but somehow they do. Just a little heat and pressing the butter through the flour with a fork until it is smooth actually works.

Since that first time, I have made similar things in various ways and all have turned out good and well loved.

This day, I used the same process I just shared with the butter, flour, eventually the milk and I turned the heat off when it was starting to thicken. This can happen fast so I try to stay right there on it with my whisk.
When it was a smooth, white gravy, I added a little more than ½ cup of sharp shredded cheese and let it stir until melted. Now, this is the part I’ve never done… I followed the idea from the book and added a can of stewed tomatoes after I gave them a whir in the food processor!
We eat tomato gravy around here and we eat the cheese rabbit/rarebit but they are delicious combined!

As soon as the toast popped up, I rubbed peeled, fresh garlic cloves over them and spooned the gravy over the toast. Lastly, I added a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
Brandy had the idea to use this like a fondue and cut toast up in squares so we dipped hot toast in and it was delicious! We are looking forward to trying this again in a fondue pot.

Okay, onto the “real” recipe:

Tomato Rabbit

2 T. butter
3 T. flour
¾ cup milk
1 cup grated sharp cheese, ¼ lb (a lot of the older cookbooks say 1 cup of cheese equals ¼ lb. but 1 lb. is 16 oz. and 1 cup is 8 oz. Why isn’t it considered ½ lb? Maybe something to do with being shredded)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ cup canned or fresh tomatoes, pureed
5 slices buttered toast
5 slices pan-broiled bacon

Melt butter in top of a double boiler over boiling water. *Quick note* If you don’t have an actual double boiler set or top piece, one is easily made. Just use a sauce pan for the boiling water and put a sauce pan on top of that making sure the boiling water isn’t able to come into the top sauce pan. Blend in flour and stir constantly while adding milk, then continue to stir until sauce thickens. Stir in grated cheese, sugar, salt, cover and allow cheese to melt, stirring occasionally. Add pureed tomatoes gradually , stirring to mix well. Serve immediately on hot buttered toast. (Please do. We were feeding children and ours sat a few minutes and got too soft.) Garnish with crisp bacon. 5 Servings.

“It isn't only fictional heroes to whom toast means home and comfort. It is related of the Duke of Wellington - I believe by Lord Ellesmere - that when he landed at Dover in 1814, after six years' absence from England, the first order he gave at the Ship Inn was for an unlimited supply of buttered toast.”Elizabeth David, 'English Bread and Yeast Cookery’ (1977)

Ricotta Cheese Cake
Yields: 24 servings

1 (18.25 ounce) package
yellow cake mix
24 ounces ricotta cheese
3/4 cup white sugar 3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup confectioners' sugar for

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.
2. Make yellow cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into the greased 9x13 inch pan.
3. Mix together the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and spoon over cake batter.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle cake with confectioners' sugar when cool.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED C 2008 Allrecipes.com

This cake was okay but I don’t plan to make it again. It called for at least one stick of butter, a total of six eggs, and an entire tub of ricotta cheese. I expected it to be more grand. If someone desires to make this, I heartily suggest lots of powdered sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coconut Pumpkin Bread

We really liked this bread and it made the kitchen Autumn kissed. I cut up some chocolate from a semi-sweet baking square and pushed this into the top of the batter in one of the loaves. It was amazing!
A hint on cutting up chocolate: a serrated knife (like a bread knife) works wonders!

Coconut Pumpkin Nut Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown
2/3 cup white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup coconut milk 2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked
1 cup chopped walnuts,

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans.
2. Combine flour, sugars, pumpkin, oil, coconut milk, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until well blended. Fold in coconut and nuts. Pour into prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cover with foil tightly, and allow to steam 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto cooling rack. Tent lightly with the foil, and allow to cool completely.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED C 2008 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nourishing, Nutritious, & Nurturing Breakfast

Oatmeal with

Oatmeal, flaxseed, blueberries & almonds. To me, this is the perfect breakfast. Steel-cut oatmeal is probably the healthier choice, but if you are in a hurry, the instant kind will do fine (it doesn’t have as much fiber, but the other ingredients make up for that). After microwaving the oatmeal, add ground flaxseed, frozen blueberries, sliced almonds. You can add a little cinnamon and honey (not a lot) if you’re using the non-instant oatmeal. That’s four power foods, full of fiber and nutrients and protein and good fats, with only a couple of minutes of prep time. And very tasty!
Got from somewhere online? LOVED it and want to have it OFTEN!

Toffee Brownies

Toffee Brownies

Prep Time:
24 large/48 small brownies

1 (17.6-ounce) package brownie mix with walnuts
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 (6-ounce) candy bars with almonds and toffee chips (recommended: Symphony brand)

Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

Line a 13 by 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

Printed from FoodNetwork.com on 10/21/2008
© 2008 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

*Forgive if repeat*

Meals During NanoWrimo!

My posting might be zig zagged this month and many meals and/or recipes might not be posted but I’ll make an effort to keep up to some extent.

I’m focused on writing 50,000 words in this month and I’ve signed up to do this six straight years now (this being the 6th) and never managed it.
Hoping to change it this year and make writing a stronger priority in my life.
ANYway, that all JUST to explain the infrequent meal sharings and posting!

Last night was a very simple dinner since we had to make an unexpected trip an hour away during the day, h ad company come over last night, and trying to keep from stressing over the election.

The meat I set out didn’t thaw (even though it had been in the fridge for two days) and I was going through cookbooks for something to throw together. My husband, who sees it as being very strange to look through a cookbook for something to throw together… is the KING of throwing things together. He went in while I was deeply diving through my cookbook (the one I made our menu plan with and promptly misplaced when we rearranged rooms) … HE was in the kitchen making DINNER!

I was very glad and didn’t help other than to make the green peas he cooked into a dish I got the recipe from allrecipes.com for. It was a great meal at the table and I believe gathering there together makes any meal nicer.

Tilapia Fish Sandwiches – Oven baked tilapia seasoned with various things from the spice cabinet (sorry, but he gets kind of wild with the spices and never has a clue what goes where so I can’t be more specific) and some of us added a thin slice of cheese. We ate these on toasted buns.
Corn --- from freezer to stove top.
Peas --- turned out okay.

Cream Peas
Yields: 4 servings

2 cups frozen green peas,
2/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, combine peas, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then stir in butter.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together cream, flour, and sugar. Stir mixture into peas. Cook over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 11/4/2008

Sometime after dinner, we had those marshmallow/peanut butter/cracker under the broiler things I wrote about previously. Right from my Daughter-in-Love.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday with Sisters & Nieces

My home is RIGHT between the homes of two of my sisters. I am 30 minutes to the south of Lynda and 30 minutes to the north of Sherry.

They met here yesterday to visit and for one sister to drop off her daughter and let the other sister take her for the weekend. Isn’t that nice and confusing?

Anyway, I made hot coffee and these sandwiches from the:

Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook

These sound weird but they were wonderful and we’ll be making them again! I’m typing the recipe directly --- with the original notes from the cookbook. The only changes: the tblsp for tablespoon was changed into a capital T and I didn’t have green pepper so didn’t add it. Also, I ended up using 7 buns because there was so much filling!

Cheese/Tuna Surprise

It’s fun to unwrap and eat this tasty fix-ahead family sandwich.

1 c. cubed sharp cheese (1/4 lb.)
1 (7oz.) can tuna, flaked
2 T. chopped onion
2 T. chopped sweet pickles
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 T. diced green pepper
2 T. chopped pimento-stuffed olives
½ c. mayonnaise
6 hot dog buns

• Combine cheese, tuna, onion, pickles, eggs, green pepper, olives and mayonnaise. Spread on buns, cut in halves lengthwise.
• Place sandwiches on baking sheet. Heat in very slow oven (250 degrees F.) 30 minutes. Or wrap in foil and refrigerate a few hours if you wish to make them ahead. Heat and serve in foil. Makes 6 servings.
I am assuming they had to slice the hot bungs themselves back then because cutting them lengthwise again would make a mess. I just opened up the buns, filled them, pressed the two sides together and slid the cookie sheet into the oven.

Sherry, my youngest sister and Savannah’s mom left with her other kids (Sierrah, Kyle and Konnor ) and Lynda stayed here with Savannah. To add a tiny bit more of confusion but to eliminate hurt feelings for lack of mention: the rest of Sherry’s little ones were at our parents. Kinsey, Summer, and Seth.

Anyway, we decided to make a day of our visit and after talking and the teen girls hanging out on the computer, we came up with ideas for FEEDING us. We wanted something fun for eating before watching a DVD and Savannah asked about making our own McDonald’s Chicken Snack Wraps. All agreed.

For something sweet,
I pulled out a recipe Savannah had hand written when she was younger and was still in my kitchen notebook of recipes.

We had our dinner plans!

Snack Wraps
Yummie Bars
Iced Sweet Tea
Caramel Apple Cider with Whipped Cream

I cannot believe none of us thought to get PICTURES!

We made a grocery trip and worked together upon our return. Aunt Lynda got the cutting board out and filled bowls with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and chopped Rotisserie chicken.

She set out Ranch and I pulled a small tub of sour cream out. Lauren grabbed a bottle of hot sauce and a. Lynda heated the tortillas in the microwave. Lauren got out plates and made a gallon of her famous sweet tea, Savannah made the crust for the magic cookie bars and I made the cream cheese layer and washed dishes.

Everyone loved everything!

Here are the recipes:

Yummie Bars
• ½ box powdered sugar
• 2-sticks melted butter (separated)
• 2 eggs
• 1 block of cream cheese
• 1 box yellow cake mix
• 1 bag caramel
• 1 bag of chocolate chips
• 1 bag of toffee bits

1. Mix both bags of chips together in bowl.
2. Mix 1 stick of melted butter, 1 egg, and box of cake mix in a bowl. Dough will be firm.
3. Mix dough with ½ chip mix, and stir. Mash dough into 11 X 13 in. pan (ungreased)
4. Mix cream cheese, 1 egg, and 1 stick of butter together until it is a cream. Gradually add powdered sugar. Mix again and pour evenly over cake mix.
5. Sprinkle the other half of chip mix over the mixtures.
6. Cook for about 50 minutes. Check every 20 minutes.
7. Melt caramels and drizzle over the top.
8. Cool and cut into bars.

This was way, way, way too rich for me. I would use a few melted caramels instead of a bag and I would soften instead of melt the butter for the cream cheese mixture.

Apple Caramel Beverage

Heat apple cider and swirl in a couple of tablespoons of caramel ice cream topping from the jar. Top with loads of whipped cream and drizzle a small amount of the caramel over that.