Category Archives: Family Traditions

What’s Cookin’?

I’m still going through mounds of recipes collected but never tried.  Probably somewhere within the pile are the directions for making twenty different variations of blueberry muffins.  There’s cheesecakes, savory favorites, side dishes, and of course a thousand different kinds of breads.  Why do I always  collect the recipes, but never actually cook them?!  As a result, my self-commanded challenge this year is to cook my way through all of them.  

If the prepared recipe makes the grade, it will be included in my “Best of the Best” recipe collection and handed down to my kids.  One thing we have learned as a family is that when Grandpa was cooking his “fabtabulous” homemade biscuits, we all should have written down the recipe.  Now that he is gone, many of us lament about not having the tasty legacy to pass on. 

Hopefully, with all our favorite family foods in one book, my kids and grandkids will remember how much I love them!

Here are some recent tries that didn’t make the “A+++” grade.  They were good, but just not good enough!

Chicken Marsala (with not much chicken!)

Breakfast Pizza (the picture is green…the food was not 🙂

Lime Cilantro Pork Chops

 

Like I said, these were all good, but not the “Wow” factor our Family Cookbook requires. 

Two tasty treats that DO warrant saving are:

  Coconut Cream Pie

The crust is not homemade, but that doesn’t matter….the filling and meringue definately make up for it!  Also, this is the first time I’ve been able to use my new Kitchen Aid mixer for meringue, and it did not disappoint.  Never has mixing been so much fun and so easy!  Thank you again, my sweet and thoughtful husband, for making Valentine’s Day really special this year!

Coconut Cream Meringue Pie

2/3 c sugar, 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/4 t salt, 2 cups milk, 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten, 1 cup flaked coconut, 2 T butter or margarine, 1/2 t vanilla extract

Meringue:  3 egg whites, 6 T sugar, 1/4 t cream of tartar, 1 9″ baked pie crust, 1/2 c flaked coconut

For filling:  In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Gradually stir in milk until smooth.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Gradually stir 1 cup hot filling into egg yolks.  Return all to the pan, stirring constantly.  Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat; stir in chopped coconut, butter and vanilla until butter is melted.  

For meringue, in a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.  Add cream of tartar, beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time on high until stiff peaks form.  Pour filling into crust, spread with meringue sealing edges to crust.  Sprinkle with coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. 

Also, this Quick Chicken Parmesan really makes the mouth water! 

Quick Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 egg

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained

1/3 cup pitted ripe olives, cut in half

Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of Parchment Paper.  Flatten chicken to at least 1/4 inch thickness.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper in a bow.  In another bowl, lightly beat egg.  Dip chicken breasts in egg; coat with bread crumb mixture.  Sprinkle with any remaining bread crumbs, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet until hot.  Add chicken breasts; cook 3-5 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Remove chicken breasts from skillet; keep warm in oven.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet.  Press garlic into skillet.  Add bell pepper; cook and stir until pepper is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and olives; stir.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Serve tomato sauce over chicken.  We also paired it with fettucini  and alfredo sauce which made for a very filling and scrumptious meal!

So…..that’s a little of what’s been cookin’ around here.  What’s going on in your kitchen?  Got any great recipes to share?  (No wait!  I’m not supposed to read any more recipes until I finish cooking through what I’ve got!  Ugh….I’m a recipe-aholic I think!  Somebody help me 😉

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Filed under Family, Family Traditions, God, Life, Recipes, Resolutions

Easter Food Fun

Every year for the last 14 years, we have celebrated the Resurrection with our dearest friends.  An impromptu invitation on “Easter Eve” in the middle of Walmart began what has become our cherished tradition.

Both our families know that despite rain, hail, sleet, and snow, we are equally determined to attend this event and enjoy our time together.  We’ve watched our kids grow up and now have seen several marry and have kids of their own.  We eat ….. alot!  We also play alot, sit around and try to keep each other from napping and then open the leftovers again later to eat again!

Normally, I make the same things:  Banana Pudding, Chocolate Cake, Bread, a Vegetable, etc.  Not THIS year though!  I had extra time and decided to play with some recipes that had long been selected for experimentation.

 

I decided to make this bunny cake

and this broccoli salad (in my Grandmother’s beautiful bowl 🙂

I don’t eat alot of raisins, but they really work in this salad.  Normally my BFF makes this and I do the banana pudding, but this year we switched out on those two items!

I also decided to volunteer for bread duty this year.  To make it fun

I started with thawed, frozen bread dough, shaped it like this, brushed with egg, let it rise a bit and put into the oven.

Isn’t he cute?!!  As a bonus, the bread dough also naturally made a little belly button for him!

We needed more bread than what the bunny affords, so I made extra rolls and placed them all in the basket together.  Who needs a chocolate bunny when you can have BREAD!

I still made the chocolate cake, but didn’t get a picture of it.  Usually it goes so fast, there’s no way to capture it on film 😉

Our annual BFF Easter event is always a blast! It was aNOTHER great time with our friends family.  I can’t imagine spending the best day of the year with anyone else! 

 

 

 

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Filed under Blessings, Cakes, Children, Easter, Family, Family Traditions, Friends, God, Joy, Life, Recipes, Resurrection, Time

Is This What I Look Like?

Wow.  I am truly pondering life at the moment.  We opened our 2007 Christmas ornaments Monday night. 

Usually, Kenneth and I pick them out for everyone, however this year we let the girls pick out each other’s, and also our own. 

Typically, the ornament chosen is supposed to reflect something about the person’s character, or events that happened during the year.

So…I was horrified to find this when it was my turn to open the ornament:

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Hmmmm…….they said it was a joke.  Verrrrrrrryyyy Funnnnnnyyy Girls!!!!!  Very. Funny.

Both of the boys received Nascar ornaments.  They are really into hot wheels now, and particularly cars with numbers on the side of them.  They have even recently taken markers and added numbers to all of their toy cars.  Varoooooooom!

The youngest sister is known throughout history for her special….well,….umm…..let’s say “ability” to burp the entire chorus of “Jingle Bells”.  So….this was her ornament:

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Dad has always dreamed of flying an airplane.  Consequently…..

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Finally, the younger sister thoroughly enjoyed presenting the older sister with her version of the “Ultimate Christmas Ornament”:

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A GI-NORMOUS icicle.  I’ve already had to explain what it is to one visitor to our house.  (Did I mention that it was BIG?!)  This should be an interesting year!!

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Christmas, Family, Family Traditions, God, Humor, Joy, Life, Love