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Archive for October, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone has a safe and fun trick or treating night.  C & I will be at home with the porch lights on just waiting for the little ghosts and goblins to stop by.  We celebrated a little earlier this weekend by going to a soup/chili supper/hayride given by our neighbor/cousin and had a great time.  I also had to work this Saturday and made it to the grocery as well.  Whew, it was a busy but good weekend!

I do have to admit that the new recipes on last week’s list did not get made.  Oops.  I just didn’t have enough time to get it all done, but hopefully this week will be better. 

Sausage Bake (2 nights)

Chunky Vegetable Soup (new)

Chili

Grilled Pork Chops & Oven Baked Fries

Classic Ziti

Easy Shredded BBQ

Snickerdoodle Cake (Let’s try this one more time-new.)

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C & I really like pancakes, but we rarely have them for breakfast.  I use them for suppers 90% of the time.  Fix a few pieces of bacon or sausage to go with them and you are ready to eat! 

I have several flavored pancake recipes that I use, but I did not have a good basic one until I found this one.  The original recipe was published at the blog “The Way The Cookie Crumbles”, and there is always good food to be seen over there.

1 cup (5 ounces) flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk (I use powdered buttermilk.  For 1 cup of buttermilk, use 4 tbsp. of the dried.  Add it with the flour mixture.  Then add 1 cup of water when the recipe calls for the buttermilk.)
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In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg until thoroughly combined, then add the butter and buttermilk (see note above). Pour the liquid
ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk gently until batter is mostly mixed but still contains small lumps.

Let the batter rest while the pan heats, at least 5 minutes.  Heat a non-stick skillet or a griddle over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray.  Using a ¼ cup measure, pour the pancake batter onto the hot griddle.

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When the pancakes are golden brown, after about 2-3 minutes, flip to cook the other side another 2-3 minutes. Keep warm in oven heated to 200 degrees.

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Join me over at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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I mentioned in my Menu Plan Monday post that C & I took a weekend trip to Nashville so I just had to give you all the gory details.  We had a wonderful time in a beautiful city.  Nashville, to me, is one of those places where I just can’t seem to see everything there is to see.  We stayed downtown for the first time and were able to do a little sight-seeing that we hadn’t done before.

Before we get to that, I have to mention the little reason we actually went there for…WICKED: THE MUSICAL!!!  I have the most wonderful husband ever!  I told him he must love me a lot since he doesn’t seem to mind dressing up and going to Broadway musicals with me!  The tickets were a birthday present, also from my wonderful hubby and we had enough hotel rewards points from our summer vacation to get a free night.  Score!! We saw the show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center which is a fabulous venue.

If you have a chance to see this show, DO NOT HESITATE!!  It was incredible!  I know I am using a lot of exclamation points, but they are well deserved in this case.  The songs, the sets, the characters…there’s just too much detail to describe here. Go see it!  There is one scene where Elphaba (future Wicked Witch of the West) is singing “Defying Gravity” and it looks like she is being lifted up on something but the theater is mostly dark except from her torso up.  When she hits that last long note, all of the stage lights come on and she is hanging there like she is flying.  Awesome, all I can say is, AWESOME!  The actress in this touring company filled the theater with her voice and it literally brought me to tears and there wasn’t anything sad about it.  It was just that good!  By the way, you also need to read the book by Gregory Maguire.  It makes the show that much more enjoyable to know a little more detail.

Anyway, I searched online for a local restaurant to try out while we were there and found 417 Union.  It is located, not surprisingly, at 417 Union Street.  It is a pretty little diner decorated 1940’s style.

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They seem to be most know for their breakfast so I ordered the pancake platter with maple vanilla syrup and it did not disappoint.  These pancakes had a delightful crunchy exterior and the fluffiest interior I have ever seen.  So very good!

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C had the burger and fries.  He said he thought it was the best burger he had ever had and believe me, that is saying something because C loves his burgers!  It was made out of ground sirloin so that might have something to do with it.  C says that he is going to get me the grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer so I can make them, too.

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This is the only new restaurant we had the chance to try, but it was a huge success.  We would definitely go back to 417 Union again.  This is just part of our little trip though.  Check back for the next edition of Thoughtful Thursday where some of the local ambience of Nashville will be featured.

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Menu Plan Monday

Good morning, everyone!  This has been a wonderful weekend for us and I hope for you all as well.  C & I travelled to Nashville on Saturday to attend a showing of “Wicked-The Musical” at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.  I had wanted to see it for a while and missed it when it was in Louisville, KY so I jumped at the chance to see it at TPAC.  If you ever get the chance to go to TPAC, I highly recommend it.  It is a wonderful facility.

We had a great weekend trip and I will have lots of photos and details in an upcoming Thoughtful Thursday post.  Check back!

I have a couple of new recipes on the menu list this week and I hope they are a success.  The recipes look so good!

Cheesy Steak Sandwiches with Oven Fries

Cheesy Corn Chip Skillet

Sausage Bake (2 nights)

Hamburger Stew with Buttermilk Corn Cakes (new)

Pizza night

Basic Meatloaf with Butter Roasted Potatoes

Snickerdoodle Cake (new)

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How could you possibly go wrong with a recipe that includes brownies, peanut butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips?  You can’t!!!  These bite size delights are scrumptious and hard to resist or at least they were for me.  I will definitely have to share the love with these so I don’t eat them all.

This little goodie was found on Pinterest, but it originates from Baked Perfection which is an very appropriate name.  If you are a chocolate and peanut butter fan, give these a whirl.

1 box brownie mix

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place paper liners in a mini-muffin pan and set aside.  I got 2 batches of minis out of this recipe.  Prepare the boxed brownie mix according to package directions.  Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon).  I used a small scoop and that worked great.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and the center is still slightly wet.

After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall.  This will happen upon cooling.  If not then tap the centers with the back of a spoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

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Place the peanut butter in a small microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir.  While the brownies are still warm, spoon about half a teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie.  Top with chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Cool completely and enjoy!

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Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday!

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Book Beginnings

The other day, I went to my local library to check out the first Harry Potter book.  I must be one of the few readers on the planet that hasn’t read these books, so I decided to give them a try.  The movies were good, so hopefully the books would be even better.  Before I got the book, I was browsing the shelves when a lady I know suggested another series of books.  Before I knew it, I was leaving the library with all five books of this other series.  I like to read, but I can’t read that many before my check-out time runs out.  I didn’t want to hurt the lady’s feelings, so I just decided to go with it and take the books back later to get the Harry Potter book that I really wanted.

I am reading the first book in the series though and it is pretty good.  The author lives in my home state of Kentucky and I will probably read the others, just not immediately.  This book is simply called “Folly” and it is set in Folly Beach, South Carolina.  The author is Bill Noel who is a college administrator and professional photograph.  Here is the first paragraph:

“I met Jim Lionetti on a chilly, early April morning and learned to hate him.  It wasn’t his fault-he was dead.  I was standing on a desolate, rough stretch of sand on the east end of Folly Beach, South Carolina, looking down at him.”

As you can tell, this is a light-hearted murder mystery, if that’s possible.  I am about 59 pages in and the book is pretty good.  There are plenty of interesting characters to give you the local flavor of Folly Beach and the descriptions of the locales are detailed as well.  I am hooked enough to finish to find out what really happened to Mr. Lionetti, so that says a lot in of itself.

This post will be linked to the blog A Few More Pages and her link party Book Beginnings.

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Menu Plan Monday

Since I usually write the menu plan posts over the weekend, Mondays seem to roll around awfully fast and here we are again.  I hope all of you had a great week and weekend.  The weather here has been wonderful with that beautiful autumn sunshine that is so different from the hot, scorching summer sun.  Get out and enjoy it if you can!

This week’s list is still a meal or two short because we have some fun plans out next weekend.  I will give you all the low-down afterward, but it should be fun!

Hamburger Stew

Chili

Calzones with Italian Tomato Sauce (new) 2 nights

Tacos with fruit salad

Vegetable Beef Soup with cornbread muffins

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I first read this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s spin-off website Tasty Kitchen, of which I am a member.  Don’t look for my recipes though because I haven’t had time to put any on there.  I know, shame on me. There are just too many things that I want to do and not enough time to do them.  Forgive me!

Murphy’s is a joint in Pioneer Woman’s hometown and the Hot Hamburger was their specialty.  I had read this recipe many times and always thought, “Hey, I need to make that.”  I finally did and it was a big hit!

This is definitely comfort food and not diet food, but it is really really good!  I served this just like the recipe with a piece of white bread on the bottom with the burger and fries on top of that and the gravy covering everything.  Yum-o!!!

1 pound Ground Beef

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon Onion Powder

1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt

5 Tablespoons Flour

28 oz. Beef Broth

5 whole Large Potatoes

1 Tablespoon Oil, Or As Needed (I used olive oil.)

Salt And Pepper, to taste

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Slice potatoes into fries. Place on a large baking sheet. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil over the fries and toss with fingers to coat evenly. Sprinkle fries with seasoning of choice. I use seasoned salt. Place in the oven. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden and crispy. (I covered my baking sheet with foil and then sprayed it with non-stick spray.)

I used my handy-dandy fry cutter and I noticed on Tasty Kitchen that The Pioneer Woman has one just like it.  Great minds think alike!! Ha, ha!

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In a mixing bowl, mix hamburger, garlic, seasoned salt, onion powder and salt and pepper. Mix well with hands. Form 4 large patties. I like to make really rustic, greasy diner-style patties with no uniform shape. Place in a large preheated skillet over medium heat, preferably one with deep sides. Brown burgers on each side until done.

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Remove burgers from the skillet and place on a plate covered in paper towels. Do not drain the grease. Add the flour a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a whisk. You have enough when the grease is all absorbed and the flour mixture gets thick and bubbly. Slowly add the broth a little at a time, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken. (Note: These are the original instructions.  I used very lean beef and had next to no grease so I poured in just a tiny bit of vegetable oil to help with that, probably no more than a teaspoon.  I also had to scrape up a little of the black stuff left in the pan.  There was a little too much of that and not enough grease.) Season the gravy with a little salt and pepper.

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To serve, place an ample amount of fries on the plate. Place a hamburger on top of the fries and cover it all amply in gravy.

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Please join me at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday.

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For this edition of Thoughtful Thursday, I am going to show how to make another “homemade” version of a household product that I usually buy.  If you read the last TT post, you will see that I am trying to reduce C & my exposure to chemicals and fragrances at home. 

I like using liquid hand soap instead of a bar for just hand-washing because the bars always seem to get gooey and nasty.  Even when I buy the plainest liquid soap I can find, it always has a long list of ingredients that don’t really seem necessary.  Guess what?  They are not!!  This recipe has all of three ingredients and that is all it takes.  The basis for this is from the website Tipnut, and the only thing I changed was to leave out the honey, but I may add some next time to try it.

1 bar of soap (I used Dove Unscented for Sensitive Skin, but I need to find an all natural organic soap to use.)

1 tsp. vegetable glycerin

water

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Grate the bar of soap into small flakes.  Pour into a blender.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and blend until smooth.  Add the glycerin and stir to combine.

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Allow the mix to cool for about 15 minutes and whip again.  Add about 3 cups of water to this and pour into a container.  Allow this to cool with the top off of the container.  The soap should thicken when it cools.  I really like this recipe, but I used a too much water in mine so it was little thin.

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I will definitely try this again!

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October in Kentucky…

 

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