Friday, December 31, 2010

My Chocolate Popcorn

I was happy with the results and would do this again This photo is the first batch I did.
I made a milk chocolate diabetic version. I had found some no sugar milk chocolate for candy making at the amish store in Indiana a few years ago, and what I had left needed to get used up. I also had in the cupboards a bottle of less sugar corn syrup. this corn syrup I would not buy again, I had trouble with candy making using this before-and I grabbed this by mistake-thought I had gotton rid of the last this.
I think there is added water in some of the diabetic products, or at least this corn syrup must have. I had a difficult time getting this batch-to have a "crunch" to it instead of a soft gooey texture.
after an extra hour in the oven, and then turning the heat off and letting it sit in there for several more hours-it was finally acceptable. There is someone coming to the party tonight that is also a diabetic, so wanted this to turn out.
On the second batch-I used regular corn syrup, and unsweetened dark chocolates and a little sweeter dark chocolate. I also added salt to the popcorn along with hot pepper flakes. This batch turned out excellent-and I love the hint of "hot" in this.
For both recipes I followed the first recipe I posted on my previous blog.

What are you sll doing to bring in the New Year tonight?? We have been invited to a party, close to home, so bringing lots of goodies to share, along with a pasta sausage dish.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Recipe Share Fridays--Early and a Little "Doings"

Wow we woke up to 55 degrees and high winds. Feels like an early spring day. Too bad it won't stick around, but will enjoy the warm while it is here

I went thru some more boxes of clothes, so have another big stack to cut for quilts and rags, and we found two boxes of flannel shirts-most don't fit Larry any more so saving a box for me, and may offer them to our Wisconsin friends, and another box to share with friends here. I also cut up and washed 5 wool garments for rugs and applique projects.

Next up is to go thru a few boxes of gardening books and decide what I can sell off. May try Ebay or Amazon for these. Haven't had alot of luck with the books I have on Amazon so far, except I was very pleased to sell my new Weaving book set this spring there. After I bought this, I decided it was too complex for me and since it was over $100.00 I decided to sell-and I did sell it right away, and got all my money back. I had purchased it as pre buy before the price went up quite a bit.

This is the first year we have been invited to a New Years Eve party. It is at our friend Mr. L's home. He says he always fixes fresh shrimp, and everyone invited brings food. I haven't totally decided what I am bringing, but I may bring a pasta dish-gluten free-so I know I will have something else I can eat. I also may make some candies today to take along too, and I have a recipe for chocolate popcorn I may make too.


Holiday Recipe Share Fridays

I decided to post early, so everyone that wants to, has time to post.

I haven't made the chocolate popcorn before but sounds good. Doing a google search there are lots and lots of recipes out there.

Found these:

Chocolate Covered Popcorn Recipe

  • 12 cup popped popcorn (air popped works great)

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips

  • 1 cup corn syrup

Spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Pop the popcorn and place it in the pan.

Combine butter, chocolate chips and corn syrup in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.

Pour mixture over popcorn and stir through to coat. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes stirring frequently. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

For an added dimension, add a cup or two of your favorite nuts.

No Bake Chocolate Popcorn

  • 6 cups popped popcorn

  • 2 tablespoons margarine

  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk

  • Dash of salt

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the popped corn in it.

Melt margarine in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in corn syrup, cocoa, milk and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Pour mixture over popcorn and stir well to coat. Allow popcorn to cool before serving.

Shortcut Chocolate Popcorn Recipe

  • 1 box/bag caramel popcorn

  • 1 bag chocolate chips

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place popcorn in bowl.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Stir every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Do not over heat.

Pour chocolate over caramel corn and stir well. Chill until chocolate sets.

Break up and store in an airtight container.

New Years Eve links with recipes:

From Food Network here

From Epicurious here

From Eating Well here

Monday, December 27, 2010

It is a Wintry Monday for Alot of Us

No more snow here, but very very cold-around 7 degrees. But the sun is shining bright, and we are to reach mid 30s today, and warm up to 60s on thursday and friday-wild. But then saturday back down to the 30s, with possible storms due to the temperature changes

I feel for you all on the east coast, especially New York and New Jersey I think you are getting hit the hardest with lots of snow and blizzard conditions. It is soooo bad there that the Giants are stuck in Green Bay after the game last night, til they open up the airports. An awesome game for the Packers. Go Pak!!

Last few days I have been going thru old t shirts-so old that most of them were made in the usa. I am cutting out 12.5 and 6.5 inch squares to make a t shirt quilt out of my favorites-alot of these go back to the 70s. I finally had to retire 3 of my most favorite t shirts and sweatshirts-but someday soon they will be in my quilt-lol Today I am going thru another big pile of clothes to see what I can discard. A few can be taken to the resale shop, some cut out for quilts, and some for rags.

I still have no cupboards here or closets, so I am basicly getting tired of looking at boxes of clothes piled high. So I am cleaning up this week since I am stuck in the house do to winter, and it is too cold in the house to work on my rock shower. I was really dissappointed I didn't get my shower finished by November, but I did get lots of food canned, and I helped Larry finish up with the food plot instead too.

Resolutions?? I have decided setting goals for the New Year will be more attainable.

What are you all doing this Monday morning??

photo from here

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Art Sunday Georg Ehret

I thought I would feature an artist today. I typed in artists of the 1700's, and one of the first names that popped up was Georg Ehret. Gorgeous works.

After studying horticulture in his native Germany, Georg Dionys Ehret (1708-1770) moved to Holland where he pursued botanical illustration. In a suitable testament to his distinguished talents, the great Carl Linneaus was among the first supporters of Ehret, with whom he collaborated on a book recording the contents of the renowned Georg Clifford estate ('Hortus Cliffortianus', 1838).

Ehret spent the second half of his life in England and was to become one of the most respected and influential botanical artists of the 18th century. He had already become known to the physician and passionate botanist, Chrisoph Trew, who acted as patron and publisher to Ehret for decades. Their collaboration produced one of the finest botanical works of the century in 'Plantae Selectae', which was published over about 20 years until 1769.

information from here
more about him here
Georg Dionysius Ehret

Many more photos here

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Thoughts (not political)

These holidays can be soooo depressing for alot of folks. I know my Larry goes into deep depression from about late October thru January-do to the war he fought in, and the winter blues too.

Christmas can be very difficult too, especially for us older adults. I never had children ( absolute no patience for it) so I don't go thru the "empty nest" at the holidays, but the whole thing of these holidays can have so many negative and uncomfortable expectations thru it all-if we fall into that and let it happen. I make an effort not to shop and listen to all that christmas music over and over, and I also stay away from all the crowds and all cities to keep away from all the commercialization of the season.

I have always enjoyed baking everything-and then giving it away. Used to be to family, now mostly to new neighbors here. I keep the holidays low key for Larry's sake, and I have never been one-for all the presents, and parties and all that. I do enjoy the quiet with the two of us-now that I am retired-I actually have the holidays off-as I used to always work them for the bonus money involved. I don't like alot of presents, don't like giving alot of presents either-but I do enjoy opening at least a few-lol--it is definately the "kid" in me.

For me-I watch all the Christmas movies I can handle from Thanksgiving til now-lol--there are alot of good ones out there, including some of the older ones too. and since I enjoy cooking and baking-I make us "good eats" for Christmas Eve and Day.

We are going thru a very difficult time money wise-do to the economy, the last of our Illinois property is such a "headache" and a money spender-that it really gets us down-so that has got to change-I want it on the market come spring-and we get what we get. It is burying us financially right now. I know this poor economy has hurt so many of us-and that is a depressant in itself.

So, in the end I really work hard to stay up beat, make good eats, and enjoy the peace and beauty here in the woods. When I am down and blue-I thank God for leading us to this beautiful place in the woods.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.

Slideshow-Winter Surprise in the Ozarks

They have been predicting ice and maybe a little snow. I don't think in recent years, it is the norm to have a white chrismas here where I live-so when we woke up this morning-I am sure the kids, and us kids at heart-got a beautiful surprise-especially here in my woods.
After taking Nikita for our walk this morning, it was soooo beautiful, that I grabbed the camera and went back out. All these photos are taken around our home here in the woods. Enjoy

Holiday Recipe Share Fridays-Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas.
Since Thanksgiving we have been sharing our favorite holiday recipes. Please join us if you would like to share with us, leave a link to your recipe or blog in comments.
I remember as a child, on Christmas Eve, we almost always went to a candle ceremony that ended at midnight. Alot of times when we left the church it would be snowing.
When we got home, we usually had hot cocoa, cookies and such, and cheese ball and crackers with little meats sometimes. Dad's favorite meat was ham so we always had ham during Christmas eve or day. Dad also would try to convince Mom that we could all open just one present-he rarely won cause Mom was stickler for opening presents only on Christmas day.
I found this Christmas Eve link full of recipes here (for eve and day)
I also found these Christmas Eve and Day menus w/ recipes here
Mom always made lots of fruit breads including cranberry bread
this recipe looks close
[Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread]
recipe here
Mom and Grandma always had lots of molded fruit and veggie salads too.
Remember those sunshine salads?-(I am dating myself here lol)one of my favorites.

Mamabear Cool Whip Fruit Salad

Sunday, December 19, 2010

White Chocolate Lollypops

I made these today, and they were fun to make, and turned out really nice too. The recipe is on my friday post for holiday recipe share. I used pine nuts, dried cranberries, and a few little christmas sprinkles.
I also made a batch of peanut brittle that turned out excellent, recipe on same post. This always turns out perfect-if you don't cook too far and burn-lol. I can finish up now with one of my neighbor's goodie bag which also includes handmade soap and a big jar of the lemon sugar hand scrub from Endlessi's recipe, a few cookies and some of the treats from today.
I have two boxes to put together to mail off tomorrow, one more little goodie bag, and then I am finished. Will be concentrating on the months bills-no fun--and since it has warmed up, want to go out hunting too-it's black powder season now. Nice to havae a bit of a warm up for a few days-not much sun, but we did get a little today so I could finally make some candy.
Are all of you that celebrate ready for the holidays??

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Recipe Share Fridays

If you like to join us and share a holiday recipe, please leave a link in comments.
We finally get some sunshine today, hope so, cause I want make up a few candies today. One of my favorites is my peanut brittle.
I love making peanut brittle, it always brings back fond memories of making it with my grandma on the farm (my Moms mom)
I have Grandma's recipe, but I also found another one in a 1951 cookbook, that I love better. I especially like the process of adding in the baking soda.
Here is the recipe from a candy book by Antoinette and Francois Pope in 1951:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups raw peanuts
1 teaspoon baking soda combined with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons cold water
In a heavy 2 quart saucepan cook the sugar, syrup, and water to 275 degrees F Remove the the thermometer and lower the flame to medium and add the butter, stir until dissolved and then add peanuts all at once and stir constantly for 5 minutes over the medium flame.
Place thermometer in the candy again and cook until the brittle is delicately brown or to 300 degrees. Remove from the fire and add the baking soda that has been combined with the vanilla and water. stir the brittle for about 1/2 minute until the brittle rises. Pour onto well greased marble slab (or large cookie sheet). spread with oiled spatula. when slightly cool, lift the two ends and turn over. With two forks or fingers (hot) spread as thin as possible. when cold break into pieces.
Makes about 2 pounds of brittle.
May also be formed in well oiled round molds. store in tightly covered jar or tin to prevent sticking.
I also separate layers with wax paper. Note: after the 5 minutes of cooking the peanuts, the next step is critical not to burn the batch. Sometimes better to go by color and not wait til it gets to the 300. I have been right on the edge of burnt in more than one occasion. also after flipping the brittle, work fast to stretch out as thin as you want. will cool down real fast. this is the first time I got to use my marble and it cools down real fast on the marble. Have fun!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good morning Monday-Tea and Crumpets

tea and crumpets

Still bitter cold here this morning How does the weather find you this monday morning??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Straining Off the Fruit Brandys

Good morning Thursday,
Yesterday I gathered up some of the saved bottles I have (wine, booze etc with caps) and washed them and bleached them. So this morning I started to strain off one of the apple brandys-this one has a beautiful blush color.
I need to ask around to see if I can gather up some more bottles, as I definately do not have enough this time, I made Lots of different fruit brandys this past year.
Larry is off fishing for bass. Today and tomorrow we will be back in the 50's before the temps drop drastically cold over the weekend.
I need to refill the wood rack, and bring lots of wood in the house too, before then.
What are you all doing today???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Awesome Giveaway from Mountain Rose

Click here for a chance to win an awesome holiday giveaway from Mountain Rose Herbs.

How to make evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk

Seems whenever I buy some of these little cans to have on hand, I end up not using them up before the expiration dates.
So I knew this could be made-cause way back when, the person in the kitchen would've needed to know how.
I found a couple different methods for making the evaporated milk. From Ehow and here is a quicker easier method from about their frugal living.
For the sweetened condensed milk, I found this link with lots of different recipes for making this, including an unsweetened non fat version too. click here for the recipes

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Few Christmas Memes

You Are Rudolph
Sweet and shy, you tend to be happiest when you're making someone else happy.

Why You're Naughty: You sometimes stick that nose where it doesn't belong

Why You're Nice: Christmas would be a sad affair without you!
You Are a Sugar Cookie
You are an expressive, creative, interesting person.
You are likely very crafty and even a bit artistic.

You're artistic in many ways - be it writing, acting, music, drawing, or painting.
You see yourself as original and unique. And you love showing people how special you are.
You Are A Reindeer
You are a solid, dependable person. You are more likely to act than talk.
You have a lot of endurance and grit. You can work well into the night if you need to.

You are cooperative and competent. You like being part of a team, especially if everyone is pulling their weight.
You are energetic and hyper. You don't like to stay still for to long, and you're always ready to go somewhere new!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Saturday

Another saturday has arrived. We have been blessed with warmer than normal temperatures this week-mostly in the 50's; but as the day progresses we will definately remember this is December after all-lol

I already baked up another batch of ginger cookies this morning, these are sooo good. This time I sprinkled some with little sugar snowflakes, and put most of the cookies in the freezer so we wouldn't eat them all up.

I am going thru my clothes and looking for my Illinois winter clothes for today We are going to a funeral of a friend that lost his battle with cancer, and afterwards going back to the house (in the woods) with a big bon fire, and food. I made two apple pies to take and thinking of also bringing along some cheese bread. They have a little "club house", isn't much but they will be lighting the woodstove in there too, so some of us can get out of the wind and cold. It will be a blustery cold day today-no snow though. Definately an ozark country funeral.

Song for my friend

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Recipe Share Friday

Hello everyone. Today I want to share a couple of my Mom's favorite recipes; they were always included in her christmas cookie boxes.
If you would like to participate: please post a blog with your recipe, and then post a link in comments.

photo from here
Chunky Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Cookies
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup white vanilla chips
1 seven ounce jar macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the sugars beating well. Add egg and vanilla mixing well.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients and gradually add to the butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in the morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool makes about 5 dozen cookies

Chocolate Chippers
1 cup butter softened
1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate mini morsels
1 cup milk chocolate morsels or rainbow semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the sugars, beating well. Add the eggs and vanilla mixing well.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients, gradually add to the butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in morsels and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degree for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes 8 dozen

Meringue Nut Cookies
Preheat oven to 200 degrees f
Lightly butter and flour wax paper, put on the cookie sheets.
Beat 3 large egg whites until foamy Add 1/8 tespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat until stiff.
Gradually stir in 3/4 to 1 cup sugar.
Fold in 2 cups coarsley ground nuts.
Drop on lined cookie sheet. Bake 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours til slightly brown
Let cool, peel off wax pater.
Makes 3 dozen

Thursday, December 2, 2010

anyone else having trouble following??

For about a month now I can't get the follow feature to work for me, on blogs I want to follow. anyone else having this problem??

Holiday giveaway over at Mountain rose

I just learned of a wonderful giveaway over at Mountain rose herbs-check it out here

Baking up a Ginger Cookie-with recipe

When I was in the middle of mixing up this recipe yesterday, I couldn't find the ginger. It ended up taking me over an hour to go thru all my spices to find some. I had forgotten that I ended up throwing away a big bag of ginger this past summer. It had to be at least 20 years old. I keep most all of my spices in the freezers, they do stay nicer for me that way, but that bag of ginger finally had lost it's "punch". lol
I ended up finding a little container of it in my canning spices, I had bought some new ginger from the amish store-yeh! Can't have ginger cookies without the ginger.
In my folders of recipes I found this recipe that I had found at allrecipes online, and noted I baked up a batch in '06 and that they were good. Since I am making up small batches of cookies this year-I decided to use this one again, and converted to gluten free.
These are delicous-very moist
Favorite Molasses Cookies found on
3/4 cup butter softened----I used 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar---I used sun crystals
1/4 cup molasses--I used organic unsulphured molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour-I used gluten free baking mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
and per my tip from Sea Nymph in the past-I added a generous amount of slivered candied ginger
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in molasses and egg. Combine dry ingredients, gradually add to creamed mixture. Chill for at least one hour,
Shape into 1 inch balls, place on greased baking sheets. Press flat with a glass dipped in sugar (I combined organic sugar, that I have a vanilla bean in, with green sugar)
Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, cool on racks
Makes around 36 cookies

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SB510 Passes

I just learned from friend Celeste that this bill just passed I did some research and found this article

There is some good news:

While SB 510 passed, the Tester/Hagen Amendment that was recently added to the bill excludes small farmers and farms making less than $500,000 annually, by allowing them to apply for exemption from FDA regulatory oversight. The inclusion of the amendment made the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition finally lend support for SB 510.

The link to the article is interesting reading

Cookies-Got Milk??

These are both made with the basic recipe from my previous post. Top one has honey and sun crystals for the sugars and gf oatmeal, currents, dried cranberries, slivered almonds and orange extract.
Bottom one I really love, I used dark brown sugar and sun crystals for the sugars, added two big spoons of cocoa, and added peppermint, mint, and dark chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies-converted to Gluten Free

I know we all have our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe that we have made forever. I grew up with the original toll house cookie recipe, and made that for many years.
However, getting older now and both of us having some health issues that I bake for, I have changed how I bake. I especially look for lower fat and lower sugar recipes. Most recipes just have way too much sugars in them. I have always cut back on the amount of sugar I use, and now I have cut back even more.
I also like making smaller batches of cookies at time, instead of the ones that make Lots of cookies-although when I do bake a large batch I freeze them now.
Here is the recipe I used the other day, from the Joy of Cooking 1967 edition.
Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies
about 45 2 " cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees f
Cream 1/2 cup butter---I creamed 1/4 cup butter with 1/4 cup lite olive oil
add gradually and beat until creamy---1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar. I used 1/2 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup sun crystals (which equals 1/2 cup white sugar-make with pure cane sugar and stevia)
beat in---1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sift and stir in 1 cup and 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. I used a gluten free all purpose baking flour mix with a little sorgham flour
Stir in---1/2 cup chopped nuts and 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips. this is where you can add any nuts you wish, and any type of chocolate chips you wish
Drop the batter from a teaspoon, well apart, on a greased cookie sheet. bake for about 10 minutes.
I was really pleased with this recipe being converted to gluten free. the mix I used is from the gluten free pantry Mix_All_Purpose_Flour I really love this company's mixes-no bean flours, no xanthia gum, just simple things like rice flour and a couple starches.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday Sales in my Etsy Shop

Good morning, cyber shoppers.

I have gone thru my store Kathyinozarks Creative Fibers shop on Etsy, and have marked down alot of items-my two baby quilts are now more than half off, also my dragon fly soaps, and more.

I also have set up a coupon code at checkout for 10% off your total order-before shipping.
The coupon code is cyberweekend

Please stop by for a visit and tell me what you think. The link is on the right hand column here-click on kathyinozarks under my etsy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Art Sunday Shoppers

My art sunday did not transfer over-here is a link

Update on my Rug Hooking Project

Remember when I started this piece


I haven't had the time to stick with this, but is a nice "fill in" when I have a few minutes for a craft project. If I had the time right now to just really devote to this, it would be finished already-it works up pretty fast. My biggest problem is I seem to get too many loops in an area, and then it wants to bunch up on me a bit. I especially love the white stars-they come from a felted white wool sweater that cut up into strips pretty nicely.

I thought if this went well, I would design a couple hearth rugs for in front of our wood stoves. Wool does not burn, so if a spark should get on it-should put it out.

Will be another gorgeous day in the ozarks today, back up in the 60s but with high winds. Tomorrow promises warm but rain coming in. I see my bird feeders are low, so will fill them back up today. The birds just love those bird bells-they eat up all up in less than a week.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Recipe Share Fridays

Good morning all.
and those of us that celebrate Thanksgiving-what do you all do with the big dinner leftovers??
It is usually just the two of us now, we did get invited to a dinner at noon, but we decided nicer to stay home this year. I cook alot different than the average, so it makes it difficult, especially for me, being gluten free, and usually too many high fat and sugar temptations for my Larry.
I cooked up a 14 pound turkey for us-a nice size for left overs. My favorite left over is to make up a big pot of turkey stock which I either freeze for later or make up, and this year since we are in a very cold week-I think I will make up the soup today. For the rest of the meal I really don't have alot of leftovers, cause I plan the meal that way.
We enjoy the big bowl of fresh cranberries that I cook up that I add in blueberries and mandarin oranges, sometimes grapes and apples.
My turkey stock recipe
For my stock nothing too fancy. I put all the bones and skin into a big stock pot and cover with cold water. If I have it, I add some celery stalks with leaves too. Bring it up to a simmer and let simmer for 2 hours. Let it cool down-strain off, and let it sit in the frig. overnight.
This morning, I will skim off all of the fat that has floated to the top and add to the discarded bones-and since it's cold out there, I will add it to the compost pile-which I know is a big no no, but some of the wild animals out there, and my cats can have a feast too, before I turn it under into the pile.
The day after Thanksgiving, is when I dig out all my holiday and cookie recipe files and decide what I want to bake. This year I am mostly baking for just the two of us. I will bake up the fruitcakes too, which are late this year cause I needed to order in the currents-which I have now.
I also like to make up some spirits-homemade kaluha, sometimes amaretto too. This year I think I will make up some chocolates.
If you would like to share a recipe for our Holiday Recipe Share just leave me a note with your link.
MamaBear Leftover Turkey Dinner
Carol Spiced Leftover Turkey Salad
Carol Hazelnut meringue torte with chocolate cinnamon mousse
I want to share a couple candy recipes that are from Larry's "Cuz" Patti
Walnut Turtles
2 cups walnut halves
3 tablespoons butter or Oleo
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips
35 packaged carmels
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons shortening
Cover baking sheets with waxed paper and arrange nut pieces in 28 to 30 clusters, space at least 1 inch apart.
Place unwrapped caramels in top of a double boiler, with butter and heat until caramels are completely melted. Stir occaisionally.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto center of each walnut cluster, making sure the caramel touches all of the walnuts-to hold them together. Allow to cool.
Melt chocolate with shortening over hot but not boiling water. Spread over caramel candies and allow to set before removing from the waxed paper.
I also have Patti's family fudge recipe
Never Fail Fudge
5 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces stick Oleo
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
12 ounces milk chocolate chips or a sweet chocolate
1 large can evaporated milk
13 ounces marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, milk, oleo, marshmallow cream, and salt in a ver large pan-at least 4 quarts. Stir over a medium flame til everything is blended.
Bring to a boil and continut to boil for 5 minutes, do not mistake air bubbles for boiling bubbles, overcook rather than undercook. I set the timer for 6 minutes when boiling begins.
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolates and add vanilla then the nuts, making sure the chips are melted first.
Pour into 2 greased 9X9 pans
This fudge does not fail, and if you like, the recipe can be cut in half to make a 2 1/2 pound batch instead.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baking Today

above cherry pie with gluten free crust still baking in oven the first pie photo was made with organic unbleached wheat flour, and the cookies in one of my dough boy cookie jars-he makes me smile

We started out pretty chilly this morning. I decided to make the cherry pies, and make cookies first.
For the cookie recipe I wanted one that did not use alot of fat in the recipe. In an older version of the Joy of Cooking book I have, I found a chocolate chip lower fat recipe. It used 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of sugar, it also did not make lots of cookies. The recipe said around 45 cookies and I got exactly that-lol Which filled a small cookie jar, and I froze a quart baggie full too.
I used 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil. I used 1/2 cup of agave and sorgham combined, and for the other half cup I used splenda (cause Larry is diabetic) You could also just use 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar as called for in the recipe.
For the flour I used The Gluten Free Pantry's all purpose mix, and since I had the sorgham in there-more liquid-I added in sorgham flour to get the dough thicker. I put in white chocolate chips, and mint chips, and dark chocolate chips, and about 1/4 cup of finely chopped english walnuts They came out of the oven-perfect-I wanted the cookies soft and melt in your mouth-and that's what I got-lol
If anyone would like the full recipe, let me know and I will type it up and post.
On to the pies. by now I had taken Nikita for our walk, and actually the cherries had thawed out a bit too much by now, cause I had lots and lots of juice.
I made the first one for our friend, the crust was perfect, but I am making it in one of those disposable pie pans so not to worry about getting my pan back-and these are not deep at all. Soooo cramming as many cherries as I could-I made a mess-with it spilling out all over. I put it on a rack that was on a cookie sheet with parchment paper to bake. It looks good though, and hope it sets up ok.
On to mine-I had forgotton how much more challening it is to make gluten free pie crust. I have been "cheating" in the past by using spelt flour, which is kinda like a fine whole wheat pastry flour, (does not have alot of gluten in it, and I usually can handle it) but I am getting into trouble now by using spelt as my main flour. Sooo I experimented today using the rest of the Gluten Free Pantrys all purpose mix, and going by their pie crust recipe on their site. I didn't let it chill long enough cause I just wanted to get the pie in the oven-so I had a really difficult time getting the crust rolled out and into the pan-without the crust totally falling apart on me.
Their all purpose mix and their pie crust mix are just a little different too. I had a little of this dough left and cherry juice with the instant tapioca in it-so I decided to pat the dough into a disposable pie pan, add the juice mixture that was left, I cut up an apple and put that in there-and have it baking too-I can taste test my gluten free pie crust this way too-lol
So, this project definately took way too long, I usually can whip these pies up fast-lol
I just checked the turkey that has been in the frig since monday morning-and it is definately not thawed out-so that will get set in the roaster pan with cold water over night tonight.
Guess I need to decide "what's for supper??"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Sunday Doings

I don't think I have lived in a place with such drastic weather changes since back in the 70s when I lived in Denver. We have worked our way back up to the mid 70s today with lots of wind.
A little too hot to be hunting today, so the guys went out fishing for white bass and cats this morning. I kept telling them it is super windy out there, but I guess they will be fishing in some coves where the wind shouldn't be too bad. A fun day out for the guys.
Tomorrow we have a chance of rain-we are still in need of a really good soaking, which we may finally get this coming week. Temps will start dropping tomorrow and be a high in the 30s on Thanksgiving day, with 20s the night before-these extremes in weather play havoc with my asthma and allergies-lol Although I am definately not complaining about our gorgeous warmer than usual days this November.
I can't believe it but my freezers are full-almost full to the top. One of the guys last weekend brought a huge ham-so big it filled a whole half of one refrigerator shelf. So yesterday, I had Larry cut a small end off-enough for 5 of us-which I served last night, and the rest of the spiral ham I packaged up into soup bones, and an end ham-big enough for 4 or more, and many small packages for meal size for two of us-what a blessing-enough ham for the coming year.
Since it is warm today, I need to go out to one of my out buildings and bring up some more pint canning jars. When we get our deer-alot of it will be canned. We enjoyed the venison hams that Mr. L made for us in his smoker-that I definately want to freeze some of those for us, and then make up some sausage, and can some venison too. I need to get the jars up to the house-so I can get them washed and ready to go. No fun trying to get to them once it turns cold.
I am not sure what I want to do today, I didn't find either of my teams on the tv-so no football to watch. I may go thru my big folder of holiday foods and decide what few things I want to bake for us this year.
I decided not to make lots of goody bags like I usually do for the neighbors. Instead a few friends will get some of my homemade soaps, I will still make up something to take to our little post office though. I know they enjoy it-cause they always thank me several times.
That's a little gripe of mine. Has the new generation forgotton how to say thank you?
I know giving is to be out of love and not expect anything in return, but I was really hurt last year with mostly no thank yous-for all the home baked goodies I gave out. So this year, I told Larry I was not going to do that this year. If I don't get any thank yous-than I will assume they didn't like the cookies and candies.
I need to get off here for a bit, and take Nikita for our walk, and re fill the bird feeders too. We also didn't see my kitty Autumn all day yesterday, so going to see if he is around today. Hoping he didn't go wandering into danger.
Enjoy your Sunday--are you all ready for the Thanksgiving feast coming up??


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