Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What to do with all of that TURKEY? Turkey & Dumplings



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at my house complete with lots of family, delicious food, and the best thing we had? - Lots of baby holding!  We have several new baby blessings in my husband's family and thankfully we all got many turns at loving and snuggling the newest additions to our family.

But now... Thanksgiving is over.  I still have too many freshly washed, empty casserole dishes and pie plates to return and no energy left to deliver them after I get home. The tables and chairs have been folded and put away.  I have washed and stored the table cloths and fall decor.  What else do I have left?  Lots of leftover TURKEY!!

I vowed this year to use up that precious turkey so last night was meal #1 of turkey leftovers.  So far, I made broth with the bones and was able to freeze several servings of turkey for later, saving some turkey for the dumplings and enough to make turkey salad (like chicken salad) for a few lunches this week.

My husband carved and deboned our smoked turkey on Thanksgiving and placed the carcass directly in a bag in the the freezer for "later".  Later was yesterday!  

I dumped the carcass in my crockpot and covered it with water before leaving for work yesterday morning, replaced with the lid and turned turned the knob to LOW - knowing it would make a deep and rich broth from which I could make many wonderful meals.  That took a total of about one minute.

Last night when I got home from work, I made a hearty pot of turkey and dumplings.  It was delicious!  Here's how I made Turkey & Dumplings - Remaking Leftovers Into Something Wonderful - AT HOME MY WAY:





Turkey & Dumplings 

  • 4-6 cups - Turkey Broth 
  • Leftover turkey chunks
Dumplings:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon lard, margarine, butter
  • 2/3 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk
Instructions for Dumplings:

Mix all dry ingredients, cut in the margarine/butter/lard, using a fork until all crumbly and well mixed.  Add milk and stir with a large spoon.  Using hands, knead a little and form into a disk.

Cut in half and roll each half on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin - to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 3" x 3" squares.  Use as many as you wish. Unused, uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a cookie sheet and bagged for the freezer for another meal.


Turkey & Dumpling Instructions:

Bring broth to boil in a pot on the stove.  Drop in the dumplings and simmer. Stir only  once or twice.  Try not to stir much.  After about 15 minutes, drop in the chunks of turkey.  Stir to incorporate. Slow simmer for about 15 minutes.  



To thicken, mix:
  • 1/2 cup COLD water
  • 4 Tablespoon flour
Mix until completely smooth in a small cup and then pour into the boiling pot of meat/dumplings.  Stir.  Simmer 10 minutes or so , stirring occasionally, until thick.



*Also pictured, Seasoned Green Beans.


Enjoy!



Gina

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip - Oat Muffins



Breakfast-breakfast; what to have for breakfast?  This morning as I lay in bed, my tummy was already growling - hungry before I even stepped a foot out of bed.  Not a good sign LOL.

My best plan of action is always muffins.  They mix up fast and I like them well enough that I don't miss the super size chocolate frosted and vanilla cream filled long john donut that I'm really craving (shhh...)!

Back to the muffins... I LOVE pumpkin everything.  I especially love pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and bread.  I tweaked my normal pumpkin chocolate chip muffin this morning and liked it so much that I wanted to share it with you.  I subbed out 1/2 cup of the flour in the recipe for oats  so that I would get a heartier muffin.  I prefer muffins that taste like a muffin and not like a cupcake, ya know??  These muffins have the perfect texture now.  Perfect!

Anyway, these muffins are DEEEEE...LICIOUS!  They are lightly spicy and have all the delicious tastes of fall that we are all craving right now.  

Here's how I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins AT HOME MY WAY:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
Oat Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I omitted because I didn't have any)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or regular oats)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs (well blended)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 of 15 oz can of pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 °.

Mix all dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix all wet ingredients, including pumpkin.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Add chocolate chips and stir to fully incorporate.

Spoon batter into paper lined or sprayed muffin cups/tin.  I fill mine almost completely full.  

Bake 20 - 25 minutes, or until lightly browning.

Note:  These freeze well for later!  Great for packing in lunches.  Or take some out of the freezer the night before if you need a few for breakfast!

They would also be great for potlucks!



Enjoy!


Gina

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crochet Pattern - Pumpkin Hat for Baby



Remember the Strong Man Quilt I made for my niece?  Well, I was right.  Her baby is a strong little man!  

This strong little baby decided to make his grand entrance into the world six weeks early!  And my niece's labor was only like 2 and a half hours long or something like that!  WOW!  I couldn't believe it.  

The baby arrived at a wopping 3lb 8 ounces and 17 inches long.  Tiny but healthy! The little booger is strong as an ox!  He only needed oxygen and a feeding tube for a few days.  He also got sent home from the hospital when he was only 4lb 1 ounce.  The hospital said they usually keep babies until they are 5 pounds, but this little baby needed nothing from them so they sent him home.  

The only thing this little guy really needed  at home was that he had to wear hats to keep his body warm.  My niece commented one day that she only had one hat and that she needed to wash it.  I told her "You needed only to tell me that!  Aunt Gigi and her crochet hook to the rescue!"  

Overnight I was able to crochet for him four little hats of various patterns. 



 I made one like a football (Just a simple double crochet beanie changing colors for the white stripes at the top and bottom of the beanie like the, similar to the one I made for my other great nephew when he was a baby.  It's here:


I also made the new baby a simple, soft mint green one and a solid gray one.  I think the BEST one I made was the pumpkin hat!  And they all fit his tiny head perfectly.

I didn't have a pattern on hand for a pumpkin hat, but Pinterest to the rescue as usual!  I made this hat over my lunch hour and on the ride home from work, with yarn that I already had on hand.  It was so easy and quick to make.  So easy, in fact, that I made another one for another great nephew a few days later (just increasing my stitches to make a bigger hat).  

Anyway,  here is the pattern for the pumpkin hat.  It's on Ravelry.  And the author of the pattern encourages you to make these and donate them - like to a hospital charity.  I'm sure she does not authorize sale of these hats using her pattern as she stresses donation in her message.  I love crocheting baby hats so much that I'm definitely going to check out donating them to the NICU units of our local hospitals!  

Here's the link to the pattern!  So easy even though I only have a limited knowledge of crochet - I regularly use google and You Tube for help with my work.  If I can do it, you can do it!


(You have to register with Ravelry but registering is free and you will find so many wonderful patterns there.)


Enjoy!


Gina

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My apple pies always SMILE! (Recipe)



Years ago, I was a big time reader Taste of Home magazines.  I read them cover to cover and gleaned many wonderful tips and recipes from them.  There were always cute and funny pictures, comments, and memories shared back in the day (before Taste of Home changed to its more recent, more professional format).  It was in one of those magazines that someone shared a picture of their apple pie smiling.  So, being a mom of two little girls, the next time I made an apple pie, I made cuts in the crust to make my own smiling apple pie.  I never made an apple pie after that without giving her a smile.

My girls are both now grown.  They can make their own pies in their own kitchens, but once in a while I get to spoil them.  A couple of weeks ago, my college daughter was home and I baked a whole smiling apple pie for her to take back to Kansas City and share with her boyfriend.  She was thrilled!  And just as it was coming out of the oven, my older daughter came in the house and said,  "MMMmmmmm!  I just LOVE apple pie!"  It was torturous because I was sending the whole pie home with Rachel LOL.  (Although, I never expected Rebecca to want to eat the pie.  Rarely does she eat sweets.)


Last night I was making a big pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and Rebecca was coming over for supper, so I surprised her with a smiling apple pie.   I decided to share the picture (because new traditions are always fun) and my basic recipe (for future reference) on the chance that your family might like a Smiling Apple Pie!  (My crusts are not beautiful but this pie is yummy!)


Here's how I make Smiling Apple Pies AT HOME MY WAY:




Smiling Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Crust (for double crust pie):

2 cups all purpose flour (not straight out of the bag - fluff it a little before measuring)
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups shortening
6-8 Tablespoons ice cold water

Mix flour, salt well.  Add shortening and use a fork to blend well until shorting is crumbly the size of peas.  Add water, stir to blend as well as possible.  Knead with hands-getting all the flour in - until if will form a round/disc.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After refrigerating, divide the disc so that one half is slightly larger than the other (larger half is the bottom crust).

Roll on floured surface and place in your pie plate.  Roll the other half so it is ready.  Trim the crust in the pie plate slightly larger than the plate.  Leave unbaked until you add the filling and the top crust.

(I sometimes cut these crusts to the right size and roll them with wax paper, and freeze in zip bags just like store bought crusts.  They work perfectly once thawed.  That way I don't have to make homemade crusts every time I decide to make a pie.)

Apple filling:

7 cups apples (peeled and sliced) (I use granny smith or jonathan apples)
1/2 cup white sugar 
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon butter/margarine

Blend sugar, cinnamon, and flour, then stir in apples and pour into the crust that is already in your pie plate.  Place random small pieces of the margarine/butter on the apples.

Gently lift the top crust and place on the apples to top your pie.  Trim, leaving a little overlapping the bottom crust.  Seal the top and bottom crust together, and crimp edges.

Sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.

CUT THE SMILE:  I use my knife and cut two upside down U shapes for the eyes and a nose and a big fat smile.

Sprinkle with Sugar.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Then, turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.  

You can cover the edges with foil if they seem to be browning too fast but I didn't need to do that.

TIP:  I place my pie on a cookie sheet in the oven so that any apple juices are caught instead of burning in the bottom of my oven.


Enjoy!



Gina




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Homemade Crackers (Saltines)



So... yesterday I posted a recipe for Homemade Tomato Soup.  And you gotta have crackers with tomato soup, right?

YUP!

This weekend I also tackled my first batch of homemade crackers.  Crackers are one of those "bucket list" recipes for me that not everyone would think to make at home, but I really wanted to try them.  I found my recipe on a favorite, one of the most informative sites ever- The Prudent Homemaker.  This site is a wealth of information for making everything homemade and for all kinds of tips on how to save the hard to earned buck.  I encourage everyone to hope over there and check it out!

I was very pleased with the crackers.  They will be a terrific base recipe for adding all kinds of seasonings, oils, cheeses. I made Brandy's basic recipe and added my own twist on seasonings, a little salt, etc.  They turned out GREAT!  The key is to roll them absolutely as thinly as possible.  Note that they don't rise so very little space is needed between crackers on the cookie sheet.  Storage seems to be a key also.  I find that storing the completely cooled, crisp crackers in glass jars or tins keeps them crispier.  Of course, I didn't manage to get them as crispy as your favorite boxed saltine, and they are more like a pita chip in texture and that is perfectly fine with them.  I know what's in them!  That's the key!

(I might try to roll them in a pasta maker one of these days!)

One more item where I can "Ditch the Box"!  Success!

I think the possibilities are endless.  I think I will try using butter for the shortening or even olive oil.  I think I will try blending in some parmesan cheese and cracked pepper or garlic powder.  Also maybe taco seasonings or chicken bouillon?  

My only advice for making this is that this recipe makes a ton of crackers.  Halfing this recipe the first time seems like a wise choice so that you don't get burned out on cracker making.  

Also, I think young children would have a ball cutting the crackers into shapes with cookie cutters- a fun activity that would produce a savory snack instead of sweets (cookies).

Here's how I made Homemade Crackers (Saltines) AT HOME MY WAY:

Homemade Crackers/Saltines

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (a little more for rolling/cutting)
  • 8 Tablespoons shortening (melted) (I plan on trying olive oil)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (more for sprinkling)
  • Optional (spices:  I used 1 teaspoon onion powder)
Instructions:

In a mixing bowl combine flour and salt.  Combine melted shortening (or oil) and water.  Stir all ingredients together.

On a well floured surface, knead for 3-5 minutes.

Divide dough into six even pieces.

Roll each piece as THIN as possible!  Cut and move pieces to a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.  

Brush crackers on the cookie sheet with water (a spray bottle would work GREAT here) and sprinkle with more salt.  I also pricked a few holes in my crackers with a fork to give them the "cracker look".

Bake in a fully preheated 400 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes.  Make sure the crackers are just browning before removing them from the oven to insure crispiness.

Let them cool in the air, uncovered, until completely cold before storing them (glass works best).


Enjoy!



Gina


Here are some pictures along the way!


Rolling & cutting.



Brushed with water and a few holes pricked.



Starting to brown in the oven.  (The puff up a little.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Can the can! Homemade Tomato Soup!



This week I had a powerful craving for tomato soup!  Mmmm... I love the stuff.

Being the eccentric little cooker that I am, I - OF COURSE -wanted to try my hand at homemade!  Surely my ingredients would be simpler and better for me than these (which are found on canned tomato soup)!

INGREDIENTS

TOMATO PUREE (WATER, TOMATO PASTE), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, SALT, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, FLAVORING, CITRIC ACID, LOWER SODIUM NATURAL SEA SALT, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), MONOPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE.


I searched around and found several variations of "copycat" tomato soup recipes.  Most called for canned tomatoes, some called for tomato paste, some even called for chicken broth.  My favorite canned soup had no chicken broth in it!  So, I kept looking.

I ran across a recipe found on a blog that is new to me but which I LOVE called "Produce on Parade".  Lots of good recipes!  And vegan recipes at that!  I'm always on the lookout for good and diverse recipes.  Katie's pictures are beautiful and so far I'm sold on the recipes!  Check it out HERE.  Katie's recipe (and pictures) for the tomato soup are HERE.

This tomato soup recipe is SO perfect and is even better than my old favorite canned soup!  The only things I really changed about Katie's recipe is that I used corn starch instead of xanthum gum and I added salt to the recipe.  I've never used xanthum gum but corn starch worked just fine for this purpose!  I believe from my reading that arrow root powder would also work.  

I don't personally have a blender that works right now so I used my food processor.  My food processor didn't blend out the tomatoes as velvety smooth as canned tomato soup, but I LOVED that about it.  It's a rich, deep tomato soup and I can tell you that I will probably NEVER buy another can of tomato soup after tasting this (other than to send with a college kid or something...).

Here's how I made "Can the Can-Homemade Tomato Soup" AT HOME MY WAY.  Try it!  And you'll be a believer!



Can the Can
Homemade Tomato Soup

  • 2 (28oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup COLD water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste (not the whole can!  I had to buy a small can since my small town doesn't sell tubes of the stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon season salt (I used Lowry's)
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 2 whole bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)


Instructions:

First, Mix the cold water well with the corn starch.  Blend until smooth.  Then place that and all of the other ingredients EXCEPT BAY LEAVES in a blender/food processor.  Blend until as smooth as you can get it.

Place this mixture in a pot on the stove.  Add the WHOLE bay leaves and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't scorch.

Remove BAY LEAVES BEFORE SERVING.

Serve piping hot with your favorite dipping selection (grilled cheese, crackers, pretzels, etc.).

I'm going to freeze single servings of this for my lunches.  Bye-bye canned tomato soup!

Here's a few pics of the process:




My ingredients!




All blended in the food processor.



Ready to start cooking!



Lunch at work, all made by me 
(homemade cracker recipe coming tomorrow)!


Enjoy!



Gina


Monday, October 20, 2014

Crockpot Caramel Sauce - One Ingredient Only!



It's apple season here in mid Missouri!  Nothing like fresh apples from the tree.  I grew up near orange groves and had never seen an apple tree until my family moved to Missouri so I still find it somewhat magical to see those ruby red orbs taunting me from the trees!

One of my favorite ways to eat apples is sliced and dipped heavily in caramel!  Caramel apples on a stick are wonderful in their own rite but those things are hard on the teeth!  This is a much easier way to enjoy a fall favorite.

I had long heard of making homemade caramel sauce with sweetened condensed milk by boiling the cans in water-which I couldn't believe!  #1-sounded dangerous - boiling unopened cans-NOPE, not for me!  #2-sweetened condensed milk tastes nothing like caramel, right?  (Wrong LOL!)  I decided to give her a whirl and see what I could come up with.  I didn't like the idea of boiling an unopened can of something in water on my stove.  No way!!  I also was not a fan of heating anything in a can.  BPA leaching into my food did not sound like something I wanted to worry about.

I decided to pour my sweetened condensed milk into canning jars.  (You boil them to water process them, right?That's what I thought!)  I also decided to cook mine in the crockpot-even easier because I could see the contents and see the color changes and I didn't have to sit right there by the stove watching the pot boil!  Two wins!

It worked-deliciously!  This caramel sauce ranks right up there with the delicious stuff you buy next to the apples in the grocery store.  It's creamy and deeply caramel flavored.  Lovely stuff.

OK, here's how I made homemade Crockpot Caramel Sauce AT HOME MY WAY:



Crockpot Caramel Sauce
(One Ingredient Only!)

Ingredients:
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
Other Supplies:

  • Crockpot - tall enough for water to completely cover the jars
  • Water
  • canning jars with lids (I used half pints.)
Instructions:

Pour sweetened condensed milk into small canning jars, fit with lids/rings.  (Two cans of sweetened condensed milk made three half pints of caramel sauce.)  (Leave a little head space-do not fill brimming full.)

Place the lidded jars of sweetened condensed milk in the crockpot.  Fill with hot water, covering the jars with at least an inch or two of hot water (just hot from the tap).

Cover the crockpot with the lid.

Cook on HIGH 4-6 hours (all crockpots are different) (start checking them at 4 hours!).  Take a peak at your jars to see the color of the caramel as the time passes.  You want a medium caramel color.  Once they look "caramel" colored-at whatever time frame that is for you, they are done!  Take them OUT of the hot water so they don't keep cooking.  This last time I made caramel sauce, I cooked mine about 5 hours and they were a little too done.  Still delicious but a little too thick for my preference. 

Store in the refrigerator after cool (it will get super thick in the fridge).  Also, note that I replaced my lids/rings on the cooked caramel with clean lids/rings because my water left hard water grit on the lids.  

To use after refrigerating, bring to room temp or warm in the microwave until you can stir to a creamy consistency.

Uses for caramel sauce:
  • Dipping apple slices
  • Adding to brownie batter
  • Ice cream topping-milk shakes-sundaes
  • Gift giving
  • Drizzling over desserts like angel food cake, cheesecake, etc.

I find the store bought caramel sauce highly overpriced and will only be making my own from now on!



Enjoy!



Gina


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Strong Man Baby Quilt







My niece, Kelsey, and her boyfriend, Derrick, are due to have a baby boy soon.  We're all getting very excited! This past Saturday was their baby shower.

I like to sew something special for baby gifts when I can and I knew I wanted to make something tailored especially for Kelsey. Kelsey isn't really "in" to sports or even trendy baby fabrics like chevrons.  She told me once she really likes "repurposed" things and my initial thought was to make her baby quilt with soft flannel shirts that I picked up at the thrift store.  You see, Kelsey would really have liked that kind of fabric even better than anything I could buy new at Joann's.

Our sweet Kelsey is very artistic.  She has tremendous talent.  She painted this incredible Batman mural on her nephew's bedroom wall.  It's a view of Gotham City and it takes my breath way.  She is also one incredible little tattoo artist.  Kelsey is a very unique young lady and she has a really cool style.  She's not your every day diva.  She's my little dreadlocked, tatooed Kelsey and I love her so much.  Since she's so artsy, I knew I really had to up my game with whatever I decided to make.   

I have no doubt that Kelsey will be the very best mother.  She has a heart of gold and more compassion that most people hold in their little finger.

For Kelsey's gift, I chose to make a baby quilt; a very special baby quilt.  When I considered using thrifted clothes, it occurred to me that there was no use in doing that since our family has tons of clothes. I decided to make it using clothes from the men in her family whom she is directly descended from.  I even settled on a name for her quilt, 

"From a Long Line of Strong Men"

Kelsey's quilt is made with shirts and jeans from her grandpas and uncles (since this baby is a boy).  Kelsey's parents divorced when she was very young and I am married to her mom's brother..  Yet, I was adamant that I wanted to include the men on both sides of her family if at all possible.  After only a few phone calls, texts, and emails telling them my plan, they ALL came through for me!  I got jeans from her dad and even a shirt from her dad's brother whom I rarely even see.  A quick call to her paternal grandmother secured several shirts from her dad's dad to pick from.   My sister-in-law brought me a shirt from my husband's brother and of course, I had a motherload of clothes to use from my own husband.  Kelsey's maternal grandfather (and my husband's dad) passed away in 1995 and after much searching, we were having no luck finding even a hanky left from this very strong man.  After a last minute search of my basement (I live in the house my husband grew up in), we came across a very special find---my father-in-law's old army bag!  In it I found an extra piece of fabric perfect for using in the Strong Man quilt.

I chose to use a patchwork style rag quilt pattern because I thought Kelsey would really like that best and I simply searched Pinterest and reviewed the various instructions I found for rag quilts.  (It was easy peasy, with my only notation being to double sew the seams- a rag quilt is meant to fray and I had trouble with the seams fraying out until I double stitched the seams.)

My husband seemed concerned that the baby would be laying his little face on used and frayed fabric so I found new fabric (flannel) for the back.  Perfect for a "Strong Man Quilt"-since all of the men were either mechanics or carpenters.  It had hand tools all over it!



I completed my gift with a written key.  It read like this:  


From a Long Line of Strong Men...

This baby is already a strong little man!  He comes from a long line of strong men, Grandpa Copeland, Grandpa Kenney, your Dad, Bill, Steve & Doug.  

Maroon plaid:  Grandpa Copeland
Army green in the four corners:  Grandpa Kenney
Dark denim:  Dad
Cream plaid:  Bill
Navy plaid:  Steve
Light denim/solid gray:  Doug

So many things can be made into heirlooms, even a bunch of old clothes that were too worn to wear, too old, or too little.  It turned out even more wonderful than I expected AND  I even managed to gift it without too many tears.  

Here I am with Kelsey, Derrick, and the Strong Man Quilt.  (Imagine my surprise this week when I saw that Kelsey had cut off her dreads!  ;)


 
Enjoy!
Gina












Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Breakfast Burritos - Eat now OR freeze for later!



I typically am a sweet breakfast eater.  I usually have stuff like blueberry muffins, chocolate chip baked oatmeal, granola as cold cereal, or donuts (LOL) but this weekend I tried something different (for me).  

I've been reading about breakfast burritos in many of my favorite blogs.  There are lots of variations to pick.  Some use potatoes, some use sausage, all use eggs and sometimes cheese. One of the blogs I was reading suggested just using whatever you want in there with the eggs, including black beans and vegetables.  Another "duh" moment for me. Sounded like a great idea!  

I really wanted to spend the extra long weekend getting some food prepped for our lunches and breakfasts. Breakfast burritos sounded like a great option for any meal and especially good for keeping in the freezer as my own "fast food".

I was thrilled with my breakfast burritos!  I don't often eat scrambled eggs, although I don't dislike them as long as they are cooked well done.  But I did LOVE  these breakfast burritos!  Holy burrito, batman!  These things are KILLER!  

Breakfast burritos are a great way to use up leftovers.  I made mine using very simple ingredients that I had on hand, cooked cubed potatoes, scrambled eggs, salsa & cheese.  I ate one for breakfast and placed the others in a resealable bag for storing in my freezer.  With four scrambled eggs and a hand full of other ingredients, I made five breakfast burritos.  I HIGHLY recommend making some for your family.  Definitely they would be cheaper from home than even any dollar menu.  Plus you will know they are made from the best ingredients - especially made by you!



Here's how I made Homemade Breakfast Burritos AT HOME MY WAY:


Homemade Breakfast Burritos

  • Flour tortillas
  • Scrambled eggs (I scrambled 4 eggs with a drizzle of milk, salt & pepper in my buttered iron skillet)
  • Cheese (I only used one slice of american cheese and melted it right cooking the scrambled eggs-stirring all together)
  • Salsa
  • Cooked cubed potatoes, hashbrowns, leftover cubed baked potato, etc. (I just cubed a real potato and cooked in a little oil in my skillet until done but next time will be making these using leftover baked potatoes.)
  • Optional-cooked, drained breakfast sausage, ham, etc.
Instructions:

Warm the tortillas.

Scramble eggs however you normally do that.  Melt cheese over the scrambled eggs.

To the warm tortilla, add a little eggs, cheese, salsa, potatoes, any meat if you are using.  Wrap & place in a resealable bag/container and store in your freezer.

Reheat in the microwave or warm in the oven.




Enjoy!



Gina

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream




I have this thing for REALLY GOOD ice cream, made with REALLY GOOD ingredients.  I saw an experiment on one of my favorite blogs which showed that most cartons of ice cream sold in the freezer section of your favorite grocery store, even the ones with basic, wholesome ingredients, will not melt when left out of the freezer.  The stuff just shrinks a little bit and doesn't turn to liquid.  ???  Strange... See this POST at Heavenly Homemaker where Laura experimented using homemade ice cream and two kinds of store bought ice cream.  After 72 hours, both of the cartons of store bought ice cream had still not melted.  Eeek!  Something about that really bugs me.


Ice cream is one of those things that I never buy at the store any more.  I have one of these Cuisinart countertop ice cream makers which doesn't need ice or salt:





I normally make Super Simple Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream.  This weekend I made Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream.  

HOMEMADE Butter Pecan Ice Cream???  !!! Need I say more?  This stuff is the most delicious, wonderful, creamy ice cream EVER!  Straight out of the ice cream maker, it is divine (I had to taste...) although I placed mine in the freezer overnight for the whole scooping experience, ha-ha!    I used fresh Missouri pecans for my ice cream (which I keep in my freezer).  The hints of maple and toasted pecans will win you over for sure!  





Keep in mind that with completely frozen, homemade ice cream you need to let it sit out until it is scoopable.  The TINY bit of prep is COMPLETELY worth it.  


Here's how I made Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream AT HOME MY WAY:



Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (sold as "whipping cream")
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring/extract
  • 3 Tablespoons butter/margarine (I used butter)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (check for shells)
Instructions:

In a small sauce pan melt butter/margarine, add pecans and cook a few minutes, stirring often until pecans are toasted.

Combine all ingredients, including the butter/toasted pecans, in a container, stir well.  Place in fridge until cold (before adding to the ice cream maker).

After completely chilled, add to the ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Place in freezer container and freeze.  (Remember homemade ice cream needs to sit out and soften a bit before you can scoop it.)

Enjoy!




Gina


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