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Archive for October, 2012

Here again is another sweet treat that I found on Pinterest.  The recipe comes from Taste of Home and was posted on the blog, Break Or Bake. It tastes just like a popular candy bar that is chocked full of peanuts and salty sweet goodness, but shall go nameless. 

The flavor is great and the only little problem I had was that the candy was a little gooey and didn’t set up quite as well as I would have liked.  That didn’t hurt the taste at all though!

peanutbars

3 cups salted peanuts, divided

2 1/2 tbsp. butter

2 cups peanut butter chips

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups mini marshmallows

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Place half of the peanuts in a 13×9” baking dish and set aside.  In a large saucepan, melt butter and peanut butter chips over low heat.  Stir until smooth then remove from the heat. Add milk and marshmallows; stir until melted.

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Pour this over the peanuts and then top with the remaining peanuts.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled and firm.  Slice and enjoy!

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The lines for today’s Book Beginnings post comes from the book “Four Sisters, All Queens” by Sherry Jones.  Hop on over to Rose City Reader to see what other bloggers are reading today.

I am a sucker for historical royal fiction so I grabbed up this book when I spotted it at my local library.  It is the first book of Ms. Jones that I have read, but I would definitely try out more of hers if given the chance.  Here are the first lines:

“I, Beatrice of Savoy, am mother to four queens.  What other woman in the history of the world could make this claim?  None, I warrant, and none ever will.”

This makes me think that Beatrice wields some mighty power in her family and country’s lives. 

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Ellie & Roy

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Good morning to everyone!  Please join me over at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  Today is my first day back to work after my vacation last week and it is always hard to get back to the grind.  Last week was wonderful though and I got several things done at home.  Then C & I enjoyed a two day getaway to Indianapolis at the end of the week.  I will have a Thoughtful Thursday post about that really soon.  We had a great time and Indy is a really nice city.

I plan on keeping things nice and simple this week to get back into my routine and to give us time to enjoy this beautiful fall weather.  Happy fall, y’all!

Bubble up enchiladas

Country ham biscuits with oven fries

Grilled pork chops with oven fries

Breakfast for supper (probably pancakes & bacon)

Chili (I still haven’t made my first pot of chili this fall so I must remedy that.)

Tuscan pot roast (new)

Pizza night if necessary

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Sliders

I love party food.  Mini versions of bigger dishes are fun to make and fun to eat.  This recipe from Martha Stewart’s website is no exception.  I made these for a Sunday afternoon meal at my Nanny’s house along with curly fries and everyone enjoyed them.  There was also enough left over for a couple of days’ worth of lunches for C & I.  You can’t beat that deal.

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6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely diced sweet white onion

2 tbsp. water

salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds ground beef

20 dill pickle slices

20 slices cheese (I used provolone and American.)

20 mini burger buns

Burger toppings of your choice.

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Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a small pan over medium heat.  Add the diced onion and cook until softened.  Stir in the water and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

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Form 20 patties using about 2 tbsp. of ground beef for each.  Place on a rimmed baking sheet and coat patties with remaining 2 tbsp. butter, melted.  Press a pickle slice into each patty.

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Preheat your broiler.  Season patties with salt and pepper.  Broil for 6-7 minutes.  Top with cheese for the last 30 seconds. 

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Lightly toast the buns then spread the onion butter on the bottom half of each.  Top with 1 burger and any other toppings you like.

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October in Kentucky…

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Hello and good morning to all my wonderful readers!  Please join me and so many other bloggers over at I’m An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  I am hopeful that this week’s plan goes a little better than last week’s.  Whew, last week was a blur for me.  Between multiple court days and over 600 new juror questionnaires being sent out at work to doing some home improvement planning, I am just about worn out.  It all works out in the end though because I am officially on vacation this week. Woo hoo!

It will mostly be a home-based vacation with a very short getaway sometime during the week and I am so ready for the time off.  Last week’s plan went pretty well considering how wild it was, but a couple of things had to be dropped off the list, namely the pork loin and brownie recipes.  I probably need to drop the sweets way back because I have had way too much of a sweet tooth lately and I am starting to feel it.  Here is this week’s list and it is a little short since I am not sure how much we will be home.  I hope everyone has an awesome and blessed week!

Famous pork chops with oven fries & scalloped pineapple

Tacos & fresh fruit

Chili

Honey butter pork loin (I am going to try this one more time.) with butter roasted potatoes

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White Out Cake

I am a huge chocoholic, but sometimes a simple white cake is a wonderful thing.  I spotted this not long after I started my Pinterest addiction, but hadn’t taken the time to make it until recently.  The photo of this cake is what first caught my eye.  The delicate white frosting with the creamy custard center were just too good to pass up thanks to Life’s Simple Measures.

Well, mine turned out really good except for that gorgeous custardy layer.  No matter how long I cooked and stirred and stirred and cooked, that stuff would not thicken.  Ugh, how frustrating!  All was not lost though…I just used some of the frosting to fill the cake and it was really tasty.

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For The Cake:

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1-1/2 c. sugar

2 cups self-rising flour

1 cups milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 egg whites

For The Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, very soft

8 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cups milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9” round cake pans.  Cream butter with an electric mixer on medium until smooth.  Add the sugar and beat until fluffy which will take about 3 minutes.

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Combine the milk and vanilla extract.  Add the flour to the butter/sugar mixture in 3 parts alternating with the milk/vanilla mixture.

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In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on high until soft peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, stirring slowly until no white streaks show.

Divide the batter evenly in the cake pans.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes and then turn out to cool completely.

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For the frosting: combine the butter, 4 cups of powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is thick enough to spread easily.

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Frost the cake, slice and enjoy!

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Welcome to another special edition of Book Beginnings where I give you the first line or two of a book and my opinion about it.  Rose City Reader is our gracious host so please hop on over to her blog to check out her selection and others as well.

Back in the summer, I had the opportunity to read and review “even if I am.” because of a giveaway hosted by Rose City.  After that, I was in contact with the author’s publicist and she asked if I would like to read and review a new mystery she was promoting.  I jumped at the chance and she sent “Public Trust” by JM Mitchell my way.  Here is the first line:

“ “Please, promise me they won’t let it burn,” the woman said.”

What’s burning?  Well, you will just have to read the book to find out.  Overall, this was an enjoyable read, but it did start out a little slow for me.  Once I got past the first 75 pages or so, the story picked up speed and made me want to find out what happened at the end.  There were a few little hiccups for me: the author is well acquainted with National Parks and their inner workings so some of the terminology was a little lost on me and there is part of the story that is missing.  The author keeps alluding to Jack’s backstory in Montana but never tells us what it is.  I want to know!

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I guess this will qualify as a “travel” edition even though we only travelled 45 minutes, but I wanted to tell you about a local (for us) landmark that is worth checking out.  C & I live about 45 minutes from Mammoth Cave National Park and, even though we both had been to the park, neither of us could remember being in the cave itself.

Every year for the last 16 years, C’s dad has a group of Mexicans that work (legally) on the farm for him during tobacco season.  One gentleman has been coming to Kentucky for all of those 16 years and others for many years as well.  They had asked to go see Mammoth Cave so when R took them, he asked if we wanted to go, too.  I am so glad we went.  I took photos for the workers so their families could see them and the cave.

I was surprised at the beauty of the cave itself.  Of course, the grounds are scenic.  The park is covered in forests with the Green River running through it, but I wasn’t expecting the scope and magnitude of the cavern.

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We took the 2 hour Historical Tour and had a wonderful time.  Here we enter into the only natural opening used by the National Park employees:

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The guide tells all sorts of interesting stories along the way.  After walking down these stairs, you come into a large open area about 150 feet tall.  There are hollow tulip poplar logs running on one side and these were used during the War of 1812 to mine saltpeter for gunpowder.

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The guide also told us about the “historical graffiti” that is on the walls of the cave in several areas.  All of this writing dates back before 1941 when the area became a national park.  After that, writing was considered a federal offense.  Here are two examples of the graffiti:

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The second photo shows an example of “smoke writing”.  It was so cool!  Next we crossed “The Bottomless Pit” which is about 150 feet deep.  It was discovered by a slave names Stephen Bishop that worked at the cave.  He laid a log across the pit to cross over.  Mr. Bishop is credited for exploring and discovering much of Mammoth Cave.

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Next we went through “Fat Man’s Misery” which is a series of twists and turns that are very narrow and low.  Thankfully, none of our group had any trouble navigating the misery!  Here’s proof C is no fat man!  Ha, ha, ha!

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The last big attraction on this tour was Mammoth Dome, also discovered by Stephen Bishop.  It is an large open area with beautiful coloring in the rocks.  Here is C & I at the Dome:
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As we all left the cave, there was one little bat hanging upside down…spooky!  I am not sure why this seems so spooky since we see bats all of the time flying around the house at dusk catching bugs, but it was a little spooky!

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It is required that each visitor walk across a soapy mat after leaving the cave to prevent what is known as White Nose Syndrome that can damage the bat populations.

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We had a wonderful time at Mammoth Cave and want to go back to see more of it.  If you have the chance to go, don’t hesitate!  You will learn a lot and see some beautiful sights, but remember to take a light jacket with you.  The cave is always around a cool 54 degrees.

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