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Friday, January 28, 2011


Itttttt’ssssss Suuuuupperrrr Bbbboooowwwllll Ttiiimmmmmee!  In other words, Super Bowl Sunday is coming soon.  I make food like it’s a holiday, not sure about you, but me…..well, any excuse.  I thought maybe this year, if I put this up early enough we could share.  I will post some of the things I am making before I make them and you can put a recipe in the comment section or on the Zombie site on Facebook, whichever you prefer.  Who knows, maybe you will end up making something I am making and I make something that you are making.

Won’t be any pictures this post as I will be referencing recipes with links.  Of course, I will tweak the recipes some when I make them here, but will take pictures then and add to this post.

I am partial to finger foods for this day.  This first one is a favorite of mine and has no links as it is my recipe.  Quick and easy and always a favorite, it’s a really easy way of doing potato skins.

Loaded Home fries

4 Russet potatoes (I cut mine in half lengthwise and then half lengthwise again and again until I have 8 slices from each half.  They will be rather thin, but that way they crisp up well)
6 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
2 cups sharp cheddar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
2 teaspoon Tapatio (or your favorite hot sauce, if you like it hotter add more, I like mine with a little kick, so I do 3 or 4)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the cookie sheet)
5 green onions chopped
Sour cream for dipping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On your largest cookie sheet add olive oil, potatoes (this will probably take two cookie sheets), all the spices and Tapatio and mix with your hands.  Spread out evenly and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, bottom side will bee golden brown.  Take out of the oven and turn potatoes.  Careful, it’s hot.  Place back into the oven and cook checking every 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove and top with cheese and bacon, place back in the oven until cheese is just melted.  Top with green onions and serve right away with sour cream to dip them in.   You can slice a bunch of potatoes the night before and store in a zip lock filled with water, air removed, in the fridge.  When you are ready to make just make sure you strain the potatoes and remove any excess water.  These are great if you make chili too, you can dip them into your chili that has sour cream on top.  Suuuuppper Badddddd, lol.

Now let’s try a new one that is a new one for me too.  I want to try this one.  It was just posted and is a nice twist on regular spinach dip.  I can leave this one in my fondue pot to keep it warm and instead of the chips they suggest, serve it with some marbled rye bread, my families favorite.  I want stuff I can set out and forget.  That way I can play too!

Or, here is the recipe:
The Creamiest-Cheesiest Spinach Artichoke Dip
By Kimberly James
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Tillamook Sour Cream
2 cups Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)
Corn chips, for serving

Squeeze all the water out of the spinach, chop the artichoke hearts, and set aside.
In a big pot over medium heat, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, and cheese. Stir about 3-5 minutes or until everything melts together (don't heat too long or the mayonnaise will separate).  Add the spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic salt; stir to combine.  Serve immediately in bowls, while still quite hot, with corn chips.

Or, in my case marbled rye and maybe a loaf of my own baked bread.  Thank you Tillamook and Kimberly can’t wait to dive in.  I will change a few things, like adding real garlic and salt to taste, but that’s the nice thing about recipes, you can make them your own.

Okay two down and I want at least four, plus all the normal snackies like veggie tray and chips and dip, what next?  Hmmm.  I was talking food with my friend Rose last night and we were talking Hawaiian food.  Think that is were this will lead me.  Yep, need the shrimp truck shrimp for sure.  When we all went to Hawaii, my children bothered me to figure out how to make the food that they loved there.  The shrimp was one thing they bothered me about, so here is my recipe for it.

Hawaiian Shrimp Truck Shrimp

3 pounds of shrimp peel on (if you can’t handle the peel or the mess, just use raw shrimp), but deveined
6 ears corn (cleaned and cut in half)
1 cube butter
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
2 pinches cayenne
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt

Melt butter in a pan.  Add garlic, cayenne, red pepper flakes and paprika.  Take out a pot big enough for corn and shrimp fill with water.  Boil water with 3 teaspoons of salt.   Add the 12 half ears of corn gently boil for 5 minutes, add shrimp and cook until just pink (it will continue to cook for a bit after you take it out of the water), remove with a spider or pour into a strainer.  Place on paper towels to remove the extra moisture.  Get out a nice serving platter and place shrimp and corn on it. Pour butter mixture over the top, sprinkle with a little salt and toss together.  Yummy.   You just peel and eat the shrimp and eat the corn.  Kinda messy so make sure you put out peel bowls and lots of napkins for this one.  Might be nice to cover the table with news papers, sports sections would make a cute table cloth.  Think I will break out the duck tape and sports sections for a cute decorating idea and easy clean up!

Need a main dish or two.  I think I will do chicken.  Don’t want regular buffalo wings….hmm.  Rose and I were talking Huli Huli Chicken too and I said I would post it for her.  I used to make this at least once a month and we have not had it in so long, sounds good!

Huli Huli Chicken

5 pounds chicken of your choice, I am doing thighs
3 cups low sodium soy sauce
½ cup honey
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons corn starch

Cook chicken until just done.  I do mine on the grill, but if you want to cook it in the oven, you can cook it in a baking pan at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  It is done when juices run clear and top is browned and crisp.  While chicken is cooking make the sauce.

In a pan add 2 and ½ cups soy sauce, garlic. ginger, and red pepper flakes.  Add honey and bring to a simmer.  Add the 3 Tablespoons of corn starch to the remaining ½ cup of soy sauce and add to simmering sauce slowly while stirring, I only add half and see how thick it becomes.  If it is still not thick enough add the rest.  It will probably stop simmering so bring it back to a simmer, should thicken to a thin BBQ sauce consistency.  I split my sauce in half.  One half I mop with and the other I use to dip the chicken in. You just mop with this sauce like you would with BBQ sauce.  I probably do 4 coats on each side waiting a few minute between each.  Serve on a nice platter.  You can serve with your favorite cold slaw if you want.  In Hawaii we had it with a sweet and sour vinegar sauce on the cold slaw, no mayo.

I thought I would have a bunch of links and discovered I had the recipes I needed in my head.  My children will be happy that these recipes made it to the blog, this way they will have them in the future.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Well, I would love to get some recipes back, so………it’s up to you now.  Oh and if you give out any prizes here is a great little prize for someone at a great price!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I am thinking about the end of winter.....the sooner the better in some places for some of you.  When it does end, I love to open up my whole house for a day, turn up the music and clean like a crazy person!  We have all been locked in for way too long by the end of winter and our houses need to be aired out.  With this in mind, I am thinking about it a little early this year because I plan on making my own environmentally safe cleaners.

Now, I know this sounds like a lot of work, but have you priced the majority of the cleaners?  Crazy what the word "green" does these days to the price of anything!  I plan on spending very little and getting a whole lot of clean.

Here is my first recipe.  I have tried this and LOVE it.  My kitchen is glowing.  My cabinets, which are very old and need to be replaced look great.  I won't be re-thinking the replacement, but honestly, they look better than when we first moved in five years ago, just from this one cleaning.  I have been trying everything for five years and nothing worked even close to this well!

Save the peels from 4 oranges (I put the peels in a ziplock in the fridge every time someone ate one.  You can also use lemon or lime, but only the peel, no pulp at all.)
1/2 cup plain white vinegar
Half gallon of tap water

Bring the water to a boil and add peels.  Turn of heat and let cool with peels steeping in the water.  Once cooled to just warm add the vinegar and strain.  I used a kitchen funnel to pour it into an empty milk jug.  It is just that easy and gives you a half gallon of cleaner.  I used this on everything in my kitchen, dinning and living room.  It smelled a little like vinegar for a little while and then you could only smell the oranges.  As with any cleaner, be careful with surfaces you normally clean gently.

Fancy right?  I put mine into a spray bottle and used my new Sham-wow.  Now I know you are laughing at the last. I was when we got ours in a gift basket for Christmas from Mark's work.  They always throw in some fun quirky stuff.  I really thought, hmmm, what the heck am I going to do with this thing?  So, thinking this way, I went under the sink for a rag (I recycle clothes and socks this way) and saw the Sham-wow.  It was fate.  That thing cleans like a champ!  It is so big and holds so much I only rinsed it maybe ten times.  I would have had to rinse it at least 30 or more if it had been one of my rags.  The time it saved was great!  So, WOW, lol.

Here is a great link to some other cleaning recipes:  I have not tried any of the recipes the Cha Ching Queen has listed yet, but I will be giving them a try.  I am pretty sure my mother and grandmother used some of these and positive my father used the same oven cleaner.  My Mom had asthma, so he would clean the oven that way for her.  That way she did not have to smell fumes from the commercial cleaners and possibly have an attack.  I have done a past post on the homemade laundry soap we made and we love that, use it almost everyday. You can look that up under cleaning recipes and tips on the left bar of this blog.

Any who, enjoy your spring cleaning this year, I know I will.  Just in case you need a Shamwow, lol, here is a link.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Part 2 of the Bread Post

Next thing I made was Cinnamon Rolls.  Yep, you can even make Cinnamon Rolls.  Watch!

Roll out the dough to about an 1/8 of an inch like you did for the pizza dough only I did twice as much.  Roll into a rectangle.  Spread one softened cube of butter over the surface.  Then use the wrapper to butter your baking dish.

I covered it with 3/4 cup light brown sugar and 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar.

I sprinkled it with cinnamon.  Just a light even coat.
Roll it up carefully.  I used my spatula to help me get under it.
Cut into slices about 2 or 3 inches thick.
I only cut half.
The other half I wrapped in plastic wrap and froze.  We get yummy cinamon rolls tomorrow and will not have to do any of the work!
Place in your pan, cover with wrap and let rise two hours.  While you are waiting you can make your frosting.

Here is the recipe I used:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Creme together the butter, creme cheese and vanilla together and slowly add the sugar.  Put into the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat the oven to 350 and bake.  I checked mine after 15 minutes and kept peaking until they were done.
We iced ours individually, but you can let cool and ice the whole pan if you want.  We wanted some warm ones.  Eat with a fork.....yummmmm.
Ever happen to you?  Everyone in the house wants hamburgers for dinner and you don't want to run to the store for buns?  Make them, yep, made the buns.
Get out what you think is a small or womans fist size for each bun you want to make. I made six buns.

Shape them into small loaves by picking it up and rolling the dough under itself to make a ball.

Put them on a silpat cookie sheet or a regular one with cornmeal sprinkled on it.  Let rise for two hours or do a fast rise like I did.  You can cut the time in half by warming your oven to 100 or so degrees.  I just start to preheat to 170 for about two minutes and then turn off the oven.  I heat a small pan of water to boiling and place it on the bottom rack.  Next I put the cookie sheet with bread or buns above the pan of water and shut the oven door.  This really works well.

Bake at a 400 degrees until golden brown.

Love this grill pan.

Okay, they were really good!

Served with home fries and broccoli.  So good Naelyn's friend said she was going to marry me.  I had to tell her Mark would not like that, lol.  Enjoy.  Please post comments, it's how I know that I am being read.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Master No Knead Bread Dough and Recipes on how to use it.

So I found an Artesian Bread recipe on Mother Earth News and decided to give it a try, this was a few months ago.  I really did not believe all they said about how you can make it and just leave it in your fridge for a couple of weeks, using a little for a loaf when you want one, but I thought, what the heck it is worth the try.
I started with the smaller recipe and made one loaf, storing the rest.  I worked beautifully.  I did not have a pizza stone or cornmeal, but figured I would use my silpat cookie sheet and that would work and it did.
Since then I have been experimenting with it for you and I. I wanted to figure out what all we can do with it.  I also have made the large recipe twice.  I wanted this last one to go the full two weeks.  It still works just as well, just makes it into a sourdough bread.
Here are all the different pics from what we have done and at the end I will give you the recipe.  These guys have a book out, so I want to give credit where it is due, so I will list that too.  I have not read the book and don’t know if they used the master dough to make all of these things, but I did and I am LOVING it!

Okay, so the first time I did the big batch, it got away from me and over flowed everywhere and then when I stored it in a plastic bowl in the fridge, it escaped the bowl there too.  Make sure you put it in two bowls to rise if you are doing the 13 cups of flour batch.

I use my mixer and it makes even short work of 13 cups of flour believe it or not.  Here is the Kitchen Aide I own.  It saves me a whole lot of time.  You just slowly add the ingredients and it will mix it for you with the dough hook.  My guy and kids got it for me a few years ago.  I hardly had a chance to use it and now I am giving it a real work out!  Above is the first thing I made with the dough, just two normal loaves of bread.  I recomend you make at least one loaf after the first rise, I say that because it is will rise again a little even in your cold fridge.  You don't want to have to clean sticky wet dough all over your fridge like I did.  It was not fun.  See, I can make the dumb moves for you!
Here is my next move:

Pizza!  It was yummy.  We made about three this night because we had company and Mark was sure that there was not going to be enough for him.  The pizza was easy.  Flour your space you are going to roll on, look at your two fists put together and grab out a portion the same size from your bowl.  It will be wet and sticky.  This is a wet dough.  Let rest on the floured counter for 10 minutes before rolling out, this will  make it so the dough will roll better and thinner.  It takes some practice, just remember to add flour to the top and bottom of the dough while rolling, this will go for the next recipe too.  Once rolled into a square (or circle if you have a pizza stone or pan), tranfer to a lightly oiled or cornmealed cookie sheet or to a silpat cookie sheet.  Top with your favs!  For me, I make my own sauce because it is so easy.  Here is my quick recipe:
1 can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
taste and adjust
add to the top of dough in a thin layer, add pizza cheese, and toppings.  Mine had pepperoni, olives and mushrooms. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and check in 15.  It is done when bottom is golden brown and top is bubbly and melted.

I just realized this is getting huge and it is getting later in the day.  I will finish the post tomorrow, with the other two recipes I used for the dough so far.  Here is the recipe in case you want to give it a try tonight.

Mixing and Storing the Dough

1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded container (not airtight — use container with gasket or lift a corner). Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.
3. Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook, until uniformly moist. If hand-mixing becomes too difficult, use very wet hands to press it together. Don’t knead! This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough loose enough to conform to the container.
4. Cover loosely. Do not use screw-topped jars, which could explode from trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), approximately two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than room-temperature dough. We recommend refrigerating the dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf. And relax! You don’t need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as in traditional recipes.
5. Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.
Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece with a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it doesn’t need to be incorporated. The bottom of the loaf will flatten out during resting and baking.
6. Place the ball on the pizza peel. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes. Depending on the dough’s age, you may see little rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.
7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf.
8. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.)
9. With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch. With wet dough, there’s little risk of drying out the interior, despite the dark crust. When you remove the loaf from the oven, it will audibly crackle, or “sing,” when initially exposed to room temperature air. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire rack, for best flavor, texture and slicing. The perfect crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.
10. Refrigerate the remaining dough in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next two weeks: You’ll find that even one day’s storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. This maturation continues over the two-week period. Cut off and shape loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

The Master Recipe: Boule

(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)
Makes 4 1-pound loaves
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel

Tips to Amaze Your Friends

The “6-3-3-13” rule. To store enough for eight loaves, remember 6-3-3-13. It’s 6 cups water, 3 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons yeast, and then add 13 cups of flour. It’ll amaze your friends when you do this in their homes without a ­recipe!
Lazy sourdough shortcut. When your dough container is empty, don’t wash it! Just scrape it down and incorporate it into the next batch. In addition to saving cleanup, the aged dough stuck to the sides will give your new batch a head start on sourdough flavor.
Variation: Herb Bread. Add a couple teaspoons of your favorite dried herbs (double if fresh) to the water mixture.
Here is the book this is from.  I will see you tomorrow for the rest!

This is there book with many more bread recipes in case you are interested.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Great ideas when you are cleaning out your closets after the holiday rush!

Here are some great ideas when you are cleaning out your closets after the holiday rush!  Found a really great blog on how to recycle clothing read this from money saving Mom and get some good tips on consignment shops.  My problem is when I go, they reject so much.  I like to donate to a certain extent, but am trying this year to reuse, recycle, grow and compost as much as possible.  I want to keep the cash I have put out, paying me back as much as possible.  I racked my brain on what to do with the left over clothes.  You can only get so much of a tax deduction and then you are done.
My parents were much older than all my friends.  My relatives even got confused this year with which group I belonged to for pictures, my cousins or my cousins children.  I teased that it was the first because I was the baby, but it is true.  Lots of stuff was passed down from my grandmothers depression era sewing, but only in my brain.  I never followed up.  So I started thinking about my fathers mother and her great quilts, always made out of dress or shirt scraps.  I did some of that this year for my rice bags.  Then I though about my mothers mother and the fact she made me some great Halloween costumes from scraps.  I remember a whole Indian princess costume from burlap sacks.  Why can't I do things like they did this year?  I can do it and help to recycle, save money and save the environment in my own little way.
A few things I came up with are listed here with links:
1.  If you have babies, friends that do or even grandchildren and can sew at all, these patterns for diapers and wipes are great.  So many of us are trying to go green and this is a wonderful way to do it yourself or help someone you know who is, get greener.  Thank you Zany Zebra for the many options and patterns you have listed.  They allow you to even use left over t-shirts!  She also gives you tips for washing them on her main pages.
2.  Everyone loves quilts or baby blankets. These are great gifts for Mom's to be, or me.  This is an EASY one you can  make with old clothes.  I know, they say they used flannel, but you can use cotton or anything else.  I would choose to use all the same type of material, but still this is great.  Use old flannel sheets or pillow cases if you want, but these are neat.  Rag quilts.
3.  OKAY!!!!  This is my favorite - my friend Heather's Aunt sews her new pillow cases each year for Christmas.  I thought, man, I love those.  They look and feel so much better than the store bought ones.  Why can't we make these with left over clothes.  Since it is something you sleep with, I recommend cotton or flannel, but use what you want as long as it is non flammable.  Watch this woman, this is amazing.......we can do this....Easy Tube Pillow Cases.  You can make these and send them to our troops too.  They are asking for pillowcases from home.
4.  Okay, always have to take it a step too far.  But I am making some of these just to have on hand in case of an emergency.  Flood, power outage or volcano, who knows.  Anything that means I can't re-stock.  They are a necessity.  Sanitary pads.  The Hillbilly Housewife has this one down pat and she uses them all the time.  So here is her post on how to make your own Sanitary Pads.

Explore and have fun, make some pot holders or make a baby doll for the little girl in your life, start looking here Rag Doll.  This is the first of many she has posted to complete a doll.  Just remember to try and be a little greener if you have time.  People will appreciate those gifts you start now for this next Christmas.  You can do them with little money and lots of love if you start thinking and planning now.  Thank you for reading what I post and please send me ideas back in the comments, if you have any, feedback is much appreciated.  Suggestions on posts you would like to see are great too.  After all, I have the time right now.  What homemaking stuff would you like to know about?  Also, if you have any friends you think would like my ideas, let them know.  I love having peeps out there.  The more the merrier!