I found these delightful self-watering containers at a local hardware store. I always begin the growing season with the good intention for watering my plants regularly. Slowly but surely, as the season moves into the hot and sticky months, my intentions are quickly forgotten and my garden begins to fade. I’m hoping these little babies will help me find success this year.
I recently purchased a bag of pears, brought them home and placed them in the fruit bowl on my kitchen table. Those pears sat there all week as the family seemed to choose every other fruit in the bowl when snacking. I watched as the pears began to get overly ripe. Not wanting to waste the fruit, I remembered an apple cake recipe that I frequently make during the fall months. I thought I could easily substitute the pears into the apple recipe. So, I peeled and chopped the remaining pears and tossed them in. I was making a Father’s Day meal and thought this would be a lovely dessert.
Well, I was right… this cake was super moist, and tasted delicious pared with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I’ll definitely be making this one again!
Glazed Pear Cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cups pears, peeled and diced (apples work well too)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup milk
1 stick of butter
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13” baking pan. Mix all cake ingredients by hand in order the listed. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes; remove.
In small saucepan mix topping ingredients; bring to a slow boil for 3 minutes.
Pour over hot cake and return to oven for 4 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
Comfort food at its finest!
My daughter is a healthcare worker and was able to get a few days off this past week. She decided to come home to enjoy the peace and quiet of our tree-lined property. A brief get-away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city…
While she was home, I decided to reorganize my pantry and she noticed a box of elbow noodles on the shelf. She remarked that a Mac and Cheese dinner would be a delicious treat. She said, “Mac and Cheese comforts my soul.” Naturally, I gathered the ingredients and I cooked up a huge baker filled with delicious cheesy goodness. I was sure to pack up the leftovers so she could take them back home with her and munch on them after a long night at work. I got a text shortly after she arrived home thanking me and letting me know how great it was to be back home. And, to reiterate her love for this Mac and Cheese recipe.
Creamy and Crunchy Mac and Cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 lb. (16 oz. box) elbow macaroni
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Hot Sauce)
2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (I use Jack Stack Barbecue – Kansas City, all purpose seasoning)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
16 ounces Mozzarella, grated
½ stick butter, melted
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-x-13-inch glass baking dish; set aside. Cook macaroni according to package directions; until al dente. Drain well and return to pot. Add butter to noodles and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, whole milk, and eggs. Stir in the hot sauce, all purpose seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine the cheeses; lightly toss and set aside.
For topping- In a small bowl, mix melted butter with breadcrumbs; set aside
Spread one third of the macaroni in an even layer in the prepared baking dish; cover evenly with one third of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and shredded cheeses. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the contents of the baking dish, sprinkle with topping and bake until the top layer is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
I love using up ingredients from the fridge when pulling together a last minute breakfast. This quiche is one of my favorite go-to breakfast items because it’s so simple and delicious.
Actually, it a great lunch or dinner entree, as well. Just add a light salad and enjoy!
Easy Ham and Cheese Quiche
1 refrigerated pie crust
7 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cooked ham chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll pie crust and press into a greased 9″ pie plate, crimping the top edges, if needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, hot sauce and pepper. Sprinkle ham, cheese, and (optional) green onions into the pie crust and pour the egg mixture over top. Bake for 40-43 minutes until the center is completely set. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
On Saturdays, I usually make a big homemade breakfast for all those that may have returned home for the weekend. While it’s usually just my hubby and I, when the kids travel home for a few days, I enjoy the time we have catching up around the breakfast table.
When making pancakes, I usually use my old standby recipe, Oatmeal Pancakes, and stand at the stovetop griddle pouring individual mounds until I’ve cooked all of the batter into round-shaped cakes. Alternatively, this recipe is a lifesaver as I can mix up a batch of batter, pour it into a baking dish, and throw it into the oven while working on all of the other items that will need to be prepped and cooked.
During the late winter/early spring, we tap our trees to make our own delicious maple syrup. Our family loves its rich flavor and I use a healthy dose for this convenient recipe.
Oven Baked Maple Pancakes
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
½ cup maple syrup
1 ½ cups pancake baking mix
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar and the maple syrup until completely combined. Pour into greased 13X9” baking pan.
Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, until well blended. Carefully pour over syrup mixture.
Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when touched in center. Cut into 3-inch squares; turn each square upside down onto plate. Serve immediately.
I quickly rushed home from work on Friday to pull together a family meal. After rustling up a salad and main dish, I searched the pantry for a few staples that would make a base for a quick dessert. I have a semi-homemade bar recipe that’s quite easy to pull together and these Quick Double Chip Bars would work for a simple ending. For a more festive occasion, a big scoop of French vanilla ice cream, a bit of chocolate syrup, and a dollop of whipped cream can make for a more decadent dessert. We opted to munch on these in their original state while watching TV after dinner. Make sure to have on hand – glasses of cold milk, hot tea, or coffee to wash down these delicious treats.
Quick Double Chip Bars
1 pouch chocolate chip cookie mix
Butter and egg(s) called for on cookie mix pouch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, mix cookie mix, butter, eggs, and vanilla with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in butterscotch chips and walnuts. Using damp fingers, evenly press dough in pan.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
We recently spent a week in Walt Disney World for their Annual Marathon Weekend and festivities. Record high temperatures made for a tough course. My daughter looked so relieved when she finally crossed the finish line. We are quite lucky as our Disney Vacation Club membership has allowed us to visit “the mouse” quite often over the last twenty-something years. We usually only travel down when attendance is low and crowds are at a minimum. In my mind, this is the only way to really enjoy all that WDW has to offer.
One of our new favorite dining spots is the Kona Café, located in the Polynesian Hotel and Resort. The restaurant is known for its Tonga Toast and Macadamia Nut Pancakes entrees.
This morning, I wanted to duplicate the pancake recipe but didn’t have the correct ingredients. I opted for a basic banana nut recipe as I have a freezer full of overly ripe bananas that I wanted to use. You’ll love this delicious and easy recipe. We top the pancakes with a dollop of butter and our very own maple syrup.
Banana Nutter Butter Pancakes
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk
4 overripe bananas, mashed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Mix flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Next, whisk in eggs, milk, bananas, melted butter, and vanilla extract; stir until just combined.
Heat a lightly buttered skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter into the skillet. Cook until bubbles form and the edges are firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Every summer, I attend basket making classes at a local county park. I always look forward to the project at hand. This year, we made an adorable Christmas stocking basket. I’ll fill it with lots of dried or fresh flowers for all my Christmas events.
Here’s a brief picture tutorial…
There is nothing quite as special as a homemade gift. Giving this holiday loaf mix is sure to make anyone smile. Pour the ingredients into stylish jars in the order suggested. Then, creatively attach the bread making instructions for a quick and delicious holiday treat.
Make a day of it… Turn on the Christmas music, gather your bulk supplies, and make an abundance of jars for the special people in your life.
I recently bought the Ninja Foodi XL and tried out one of its multi-cooker recipes for a spicy chili con carne. If you like chili, the depth of flavors in this recipe… simply amazing. If you’ve never used a multi-cooker before, follow the pictures below for a brief tutorial.
Chop your fresh ingredients…
This recipe uses corn tortilla shells to thicken and flavor the chili. Pulse in a food processor or blender.
Using the multi-cooker, sauté ingredients on high.
Add a few more ingredients to the pot and pressure cook as directed in the recipe below.
This recipe book accompanies the Ninja Foodi XL. One of my favorite chili recipes with a incredible depth of flavor.