Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May Days and Freezer meals

I'm a learn by doing kind of person. I like reading blogs and attempted creating my own a few years ago. At my age, a few years ago seems like last year. I was shocked to realize the last post I made was in 2011.  What I do well, I continue to do. What I don't do so well, seems to fall to the way side. So here goes another endeavor at blogging.

Recently, my daughter and I were discussing teaming our efforts at making freezer meals. She's a great cook/baker.  I'd like to say she inherited it from me, but truth be known, she has far surpassed whatever she learned growing up.

We are in the stage of making a list of needed groceries, etc. for the day of beginnings, which is supposed to be Thursday, Lord willing.  I have to correct that statement.  She's already been to the store and bought her ingredients. I keep a fairly well stocked pantry and freezer, but still need to recheck for some items I may have missed.

I'm going to enjoy trying some of her freezer meal recipes.  So far, we've come up with marinated chicken breast or tenders, useful for various recipes or just grilled.  Add to that frozen meatballs, homemade pasta sauces, enchiladas, several Italian pasta recipes that I can't remember the names of, and roasting chicken to be used for a variety of recipes. 

Last year I found a recipe on my Facebook page and cannot remember who posted it or I would otherwise give GREAT credit to for the recipe. I love the simplicity of this desert and having a recipe that includes fruit of my choice. This desert actually improves with time in the refrigerator. That's a plus for us. At our age, deserts usually sit in the fridge after we've had it twice and then it goes into the garbage.

Here's the recipe:


 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
 1/2 cup sour cream
 1 cup of sugar
 pinch salt
 1 egg
 1/2 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1 + 1/2 cups flour
 1 tsp. vanilla

 1 pint whipping cream - whipped and sweetened with 4Tbsp. powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon corn starch,  when thickened add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
 1 - 2 pounds sliced slightly sweetened strawberries - or fruit of choice

 In a medium bowl, mix together with a whisk or wooden spoon, yogurt, sugar, sour cream, egg, salt, baking soda, baking powder. Add flour and vanilla.
 Grease or spray 3 - 9" layer pans and divide batter evenly between pans. (the batter will seem skimpy....but spread as evenly as you can with a spatula in each pan - layers will rise on baking).

 Bake at 350 oven (325 if using Convection oven 325 oven) Bake for only 10 - 12 minutes....till Very Light Brown. Cool on racks...and remove from pans with a plastic spatula onto racks to finish cooling as soon as you can handle the cakes.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT over bake!! If not using immediately - put wax paper between layers, cover with plastic and refrigerate or freeze till ready to assemble cake.

 Layer cake layers: 1/3 sweetened whipped cream and 1/2 sweetened sliced strawberries, or fruit of choice - then 1/3 sweetened whipped cream and 1/2 berries.
Last layer - just sweetened whipped cream. Decorate with berries.
 This cake tastes even better the next day and the day after that....if there is any left!! The Trick is Not to Over bake the layers...or it will be dry and not nice and moist.
 This will soon become Your Favorite Family Cake too!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


We moved to South Carolina in August. So much has happened since then. This is the first post I've made since the move and have a lot I want to write about. My days are usually interrupted and that unexpectedly, so my new style of blogging may be one paragraph at a time. It's kind of like my knitting. I start a project, stick to it and eventually it's finished. Most of the time, I start a project with no finish date in mind...just hope to finish it while I can still remember how to finish it.

January is a month commonly used to make resolutions.
When I was young, I tried that. It may work for some, but for me, it was an exercise in futility. This year will be the first time I've made a resolution to myself in probably 30 years or more.

I have resolved myself to write my passwords in a notebook. Yes, I have written them down previously but thought I could remember and didn't write them down. My old lap top crashed last month, along with
information that would have made accessing my blog easier when I forgot the password. If you don't have the email address and the password exactly as it is, you will not be accessing your blog anytime soon.
Trying to retrieve my password and correct email address was a test of patience. Sometimes I have little, and sometimes I have not. At least I had made my identity question easy to remember and I was able to once again get on my blog. I think I'll share that info with my daughter. I know she will write it down and remember where it is. At least if she doesn't remember now, she'll remember after their baby is born. I understand pregnant women also have memory disfunction. I'm well past the child bearing years but enjoy knowing I share a common occurance of younger women. (Yes, I'm laughing as I write.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Potato Rolls (extremely good!!)

I found a new recipe for rolls and I think it is one of the best roll recipes I've ever tried. I used my bread machine to make the dough which took about an hour and a half. I roll the dough into balls placed on a greased cookie sheet and baked them a bit under 375o for about 10 to 12 minutes or till lightly browned.

Place the ingredients in bread machine in this order:

1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup softened margerine or butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes (includes whatever you added when you made them such as butter,salt, and milk)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour or bread flour
3 teaspoons of yeast

After the bread machine is on for a few minutes you may need to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to the dough if it appears dryer than you like. Let it rise, (takes about 1 1/2 hours) Punch down the dought and form into about 20 rolls. I formed them into balls and they were a bit like a fluffy biscuit, but you could put them in muffin tins to keep a more roll like shape. Brush tops sparingly with oil or butter, cover with light weight cloth and let rise until doubled. Bake about 10 or more minutes at 375 or until lightly browned. I freeze the leftover rolls and reheat briefly in a microwave oven.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Garden progress

These are new pics of our backyard garden. Everything is green and our tomatoes and squash are productive. This is my second try at growing yellow squash. The type we planted this year is a bush type and not vine growing. It's planted on a hill of dirt. The raised bed has solved the snail problem we
had last year and we have planted early enought to avoid humidity and rain that tended to cause powdery mildew. We are using drip watering with hoses bought from Costco. They only cost $12 for two. Drip watering has reduced the splash up on the plants that can cause disease and mildew from the dirt.

There's some labor in gardening but we have enjoyed it and hope to even more enjoy eating the fruits of our labor! Gardening in Miami, Fl allows us to plant earilier than other states but the summer weather limits what can be planted here at that time.

I hope to post one more when the squash is visible.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing/ the frugal way

I've been reading about living frugally recently.I think it began when my daughter informed me that you can make your own laundry detergent for pennies. I tried it and I was totally amazed. It takes a little time to make but lasts for at least 2 or 3 weeks depending on how much laundry you are doing in a week. For any relatives reading this, I can still afford groceries. I've always enjoyed getting the most for my money without settling for lesser quality. I would prefer to have high quality used things than new things that are poor in quality. A used linen shirt from a thrift store is a good example. Linen fabric shows little wear, lose little of their color, and last much longer than other fabrics. The down side is that it must be ironed unless you like the wrinkled look. (If you're young, the wrinkles don't matter. If you're my age, more wrinkles are not welcome.

The dollar doesn't buy as much as it did a year ago. I've noticed that my grocery bill sometimes includes an increase of things I buy that thirty years ago I didn't. I'm thankful that we have grocery stores that carry a multiple choice of items. But, regardless of your budget, you can easily spend more than you need to.

I had never thought of this until I read it in one of my cook books. If you buy Italian dressing and want creamy Italian also, you don't need to buy two bottles of dressing. Mix 1/2 cup mayonaise with 1/2 cup Italian dressing. (the oil and vinegar Italian dressing is the type I'm referring to.)  One less bottle of salad dressing to buy.

If you have a frugal tip, please leave it in your comment. I would love to share it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The cooking, the gardening, and vacation Bible school??

This is my recipe blog. Sometimes I feel like writing about things other than recipes. We recently started our spring garden.  I didn't like the photo on this blog.  I couldn't find a photo that I liked until I found a photo of one of our pineapple plants. Now that I look at the photo on the page, I think the pineapple photo is beautiful!

I never knew pineapples were so easy to grow. I didn't even know you could grow them. I had believed that only farmers could grow these things.

 There was a previous time in my life that I thought differently about something else because I had not known that  the things that seem impossible are  quite possible. All things are possible with God. I felt like sharing this small but life changing experience of my life.

My husband and I were recently cleaning out my mother-in-laws home. She passed away last year. Among some of the photographs we found was an old vacation Bible school photo of my husband when he was about ten or eleven years old. The photo reminded me of my childhood and memories of attending vacation Bible school, Sunday School, and church. I think most families attended church on a fairly regular basis during the 50's. I always believed in God. From a young age, I sincerely loved Jesus. What was there not to love? He loved people, healed people, forgave people, fed the masses,  and  was the only human being who never sinned.(as a child  the sinlessness  of Jesus was  something unique in Jesus that I was in "awe" of Him)  Even children know that we are not perfect. I think even young children know that God is perfect. The one thing that I did not know as a child was that the Lord is a very personal God who does answer prayer.

In my early adult years, my sister-in-law who was  also a Christian,  told me that God really does answer prayer personally. This one little seed was planted in my mind that later would be the starting point that I trusted that the Lord would possibly answer my prayers.
  I had been practicing the piano in my music room when I sensed  the deepness of my sin,  that of my self centered nature, and  I humbly prayed to God for forgiveness. I needed to be humble. I think I had become more self confident, which doesn't leave a lot of room to rely on God on a daily basis. Self confidence is not a bad thing, but too much of it leads to pride.  I cannot recall what year it was other than my three oldest children were very young. I knew at that  moment that my prayer had been heard. Not only did I know that I was forgiven, but everything in my nature changed. My heart changed and at this point in time,  every area of my life began to transform in a very personal way. The goodness of God exceeds the limits of our finite minds.

  I  have to press toward the life that the Lord wants me to live. But even when I fail or fall short, He is a merciful, loving God. None of us are without sin even as believing Christians.) The  difference for the Christian is He's forgiven and does not enjoy sin or want to continue in it. He discovers the God of all comfort, the God who is a present help in time of trouble, and a Soverign God who controls all things. He works His good purposes for us individually, and yes, in a very personal way.

The most satisfying success I find in my daily endeavors of life comes through the strength that only the Lord can give.   I pray in thankfulness for all things. Even in the simple things we enjoy are blessings.  He gives us the ability to enjoy life and to enjoy whatever work our hands find to do.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Backyard Gardening

We have started our backyard garden. (I'm very excited as I think this year it may actually do well.) My DH made a raised bed garden. We're getting older and though I don't think we are quite in the "elderly" age bracket yet, it is becoming a challenge to do certain physical things we once did with ease. The level of effort it once took to do certain things has been ratched up a bit.  (What age would be appropriate to describe elderly anyway??)

  I could hardly believe my DH  was so willing to dig, weed, haul 50 lb. bags of garden dirt and fertilizer.  He's always very helpful. I am blessed.  If it were me and he asked me to do that I probably would have said "Are you out of your mind?"...not really. I would only think it. I wouldn't say it out loud. (I know,  it's just as bad to think it as to say it. ( I do appreciate that he is supportive of my endeavors, even if it's manual labor contributed on his part.)

Living in Florida is not like gardening elsewhere. I have at least 4 books on gardening. Two are books on Florida gardening. However, there is a great difference in temperatures and dirt in North Florida and South Florida. These Florida gardening books seem to relate more to North than South Florida.

We've previously had good results with tomatoes, bell peppers, and okra.
I have not yet accomplished growing yellow summer squash. Last year the rain beat it to death and what was left was attacked by snails. I've read up this year and hope to meet the bug challenge with success.
Ground egg shells in the garden are a deterant to snails and I also bought a snail insecticide. The insecticide are small pellets that are  sprinkled around the plant to keep the snails off.
(The snails also destroyed the green beans last year.)  I'm as persistant as these bugs and I'm looking forward to the day I can post some pics of some squash and green beans! 

Today we planted green beans at the back of the yard next to a chain link fence that the beans (hopefully) will be growing off the fence. We had to make a raised bed next to the fence also. We have dogs and they would most likely destroy the beans if not in a raised bed. I recently read that it might be a good idea to cover the area the beans are planted in with chicken wire to prevent birds from eating the young bean plants and seeds. I had only considered the insects and not birds. This is almost funny.  The next project may be a scarecrow for the garden.

I forgot to mention that we have been successful in growing pineapples. They grow easily here all year long. The pineapple plant has an almost thorny type leaf and the leaf is so tough it would be difficult for most insects to eat. (one for the humans!!)