Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who Knew???


1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

2. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

3. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

4. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

5. To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

6. For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

7. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

8. Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

9. Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

10. Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

11. Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

12. Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

13. Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go. Cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

14. Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

15. No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

16. Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

17. Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

18. Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... guess what! ... static is gone.

19. Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. (Or spray the measuring cup or spoon with Pam before using)

20. Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

21. Re-opening envelopes
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

22. Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

23. Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

24. Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

25. Dryer Filter
Even if you are very diligent about cleaning the lint filter in your dryer it still may be causing you a problem. If you use dryer sheets a waxy build up could be accumulating on the filter causing your dryer to over heat. The solution to this is to clean your filter with with a toothbrush and hot soapy water every 6 months.

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Fool's Toffee

    I love this stuff! Its so easy and yummy! I always make it!

    36 saltine crackers
    1 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 (12 ounce) package chocolate or white chocolate chips
    1 cup of your choice of chopped walnuts, peanuts, sprinkles, crushed candy, etc...

    1 Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non stick cooking spray.
    2 Place the saltines side by side but not over lapping each other.
    3 In a sauce pan melt the 1 cup of butter and add the cup of brown sugar bring to a slow boil stirring constantly for about 3 minutes.
    4 Immediately pour over the crackers try to coat as evenly as possible.
    5 Bake in the oven at 375°F for 5-7 minutes immediately remove from oven and pour the entire bag of chips over the toffee (give them some time to melt) and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle your choice of topping over the candy and press down lightly.
    6 Refrigerate till cool then remove and break into pieces and serve!

    (Crushed peppermint with white chocolate chips are awesome during Christmas, My aunt makes it every year!)

    Amish Chicken

    it makes its own gravy while baking - supper tonight. So simple!

    6 -8 chicken pieces, cleaned
    1 cup flour
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
    1 1/2 cups water

    Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and spices and arrange skin side up in a baking dish. Mix the cream and water and pour over the chicken. Bake at 350* for 1 1/2 hours or until the skin is golden brown.

    Crockpot Italian Chicken

    4 chicken breasts, 
    1 packet Zesty Italian dressing seasoning, 
    1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened), 
    2 cans cream of chicken soup; 

    Cook on low for 4 hours. 

    If sauce is too thick, add a little milk. Serve over pasta. 

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    The Greatest Queso That Ever Lived

    1 block (32 Oz. Block) Velveeta Cheese
    1 package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese
    1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel
    1 can (10.75 Oz. Can) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
    1 pound Ground Beef OR Sausage (or A Combination Of Both)
    1 Green Onion *Optional

    Brown ground beef or sausage (or both) in a pan over medium heat and set aside. Cut up the Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place into a crock pot. Pour in the Rotel and the cream of mushroom soup and stir ingredients together. Place the crock pot on low setting for an hour, letting the ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add the browned meat and continue to let cook, stirring as needed.


    “This wonderful recipe is from the Bring ‘Em On Home Cookbook, it was given to us by Londa Pogue. It is the yummiest apple cake ever and one of my very favorite cakes to make as everyone loves it! The Icing will taste exactly what you remember a good old fashioned caramel apple on a stick should taste like. So Good!! (Cowboy Approved)

    2 eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 1/4 cups self rising flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups chopped apples, peeled
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 pan. In large bowl beat eggs, then add oil and sugar, stir until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes until cake begins to pull away from the sides of pan. Cool.

    1/3 cup butter
    2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
    1/3 cup milk
    3 cups powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    Pecan halves, optional

    Melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in brown sugar, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk and continue cooking until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and gradually stir in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and blend well. Spread over cooled cake. If icing gets to thick, add a little milk and blend well. Garnish with pecan halves if desired.


    5-6 Granny Smith apples (make sure they can stand on their own)
    1 tbsp. cinnamon
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tbsp. brown sugar
    pie crust (homemade or pre-made)

    1) Preheat oven to 375F.

    2) Cut off the top of 4 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a spoon or melon baller very carefully, as to not puncture the peel.

    If you’re a skilled interior apple excavator, salvage as much as you can so you can use it for Step 2. I, on the other hand, am not skilled so I just had to throw my interior apples away and chop up additional apples for filling.

    3) Remove skin from remaining apple(s) and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.

    Mix sliced apples with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. If you prefer more or less cinnamon make adjustments as desired. Same goes for the sugar.

    Scoop sliced apples into hollow apples.

    4) Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture/sweetness to the pie.

    Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.

    5) Place apples in an 8×8 pan. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan.

    Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

    Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.

    Makes 4 baked apple pies (in the apple).

    Oven Roasted Cauliflower

    1 medium head cauliflower (about 2-1/4 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
    3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine cauliflower and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer, in a single layer, to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 450 degrees F for about 25 minutes,
    stirring once. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately Yield: 6 servings.

    Baked Chicken Chimichangas

    8oz pkg. cream cheese
    8oz. Pepperjack cheese, shredded
    1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
    1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
    8 flour tortillas
    cooking spray
    shredded cheddar cheese
    green onions, for garnish
    sour cream

    Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.
    Fold in chicken.
    Divide among flour tortillas.
    Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
    Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
    Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.
    Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
    Turn chimi's over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
    Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

    Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies-

    1 can seamless crescent rolls 
    1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature 
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

    How to Make
    1.With your hand mixer, beat sugar, cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth in a medium sized bowl.
    2.Unroll the crescent roll sheet. Stretch dough out slightly. It should be in the shape of a rectangle.
    3.Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the crescent sheet, leaving a gap at the edge about 1/2 inch.
    4.Sprinkle your chocolate chips on top of cream cheese.
    5.Roll the crescent sheet up tightly and wrap in cling wrap.
    6.Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
    7.When chilled preheat oven to 350°.
    8.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
    9.Slice the crescent roll into 1/4" slices. Bake on prepared cookie sheet for 12 -14 minutes until crescent roll appears golden brown.
    10.Transfer to wire rack.
    11.Eat warm or room temperature.

    I would try Peanut Butter or Blutterscotch chips.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    ONIONS! I had never heard this!!!


    In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu...
    Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

    The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

    Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

    Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

    Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmer's story...but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill... I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that...the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

    Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

    This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.


    I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

    Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

    "It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

    Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

    He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

    It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

    Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

    Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

    Buttermilk Pie

    1 9" unbaked pie shell
    3 eggs beaten
    1/3 cup flour
    1 Cup buttermilk
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup sugar

    Mix the sugar and flour. Add the other ingredients and blend. Pour into unbaked pie shell that has been poked with a fork to prevent the crust from rising. Bake at 350 degrees until done. The crust is lightly brown and the center is set. (40 minutes). Optional: Top with cinnamon sugar.

    Home-made Caramels

    1/2 lb real butter (2 sticks), 
    2 cups sugar, 
    2 cups light Karo syrup, 
    1/4 teaspoon salt. 

    Put all these in a deep pan and melt together on medium high heat stirring constantly until the mix bubbles boiling. 

    Then sloooowwwly add in 1 can evaporated milk, so it keeps boiling. 

    Boil at 245 to 250 degrees or you can do what I do and just stir constantly on high heat until it turns a light caramel color. 

    Then, take from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla quickly. 

    Pour right away into a well buttered pan and let cool. I do it at night and cut them in the morning with a butter knife and wrap separately in wax paper. 

    They taste GOOD!!! Good luck!