Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Salmon Patties-quick and easy

I don't have a picture but trust me these are the best and easiest Salmon Patties, I've also made them with canned Tuna.

Salmon Patties
1 can(15-16oz) salmon or mackerel, drain setting aside 2 Tb of juice
1 egg
1/3 c minced onion
1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Drain salmon, remove skin and bones if you want to. In a medium bowl mix salmon, egg and onion; stir in flour. Add baking powder to salmon juice, it will foam up a lot; stir into salmon mixture. Form into patties and fry until golden brown. Serve with tartar sauce.

Homemade Tartar Sauce
Mix together Mayo and chopped pickles(sweet or dill) varying the amount of mayo to pickles that makes you happy. I mix about 3T mayo to 1tsp of sweet pickles myself. Any leftover sauce will keep in the frig for a while. Much cheaper than that little bottle you can buy at the store!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rising Waters

We have had A LOT of rain lately. My DH let me know the creek had risen so I decided to take some pictures of the event. Don't worry we are on high ground with chance of flooding.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lasagna Recipe

I made lasagna for lunch at Church and had 2 requests for the recipe so I thought someone else might enjoy it too!

Easy Lasagna-

1#ground beef
3 1/2c (32oz jar) thick spaghetti sauce
1 1/2c water
2c (15-16oz) ricotta or small curd cottage cheese
2c (8oz) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2c grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4c chopped parley ( I use dried)
1 tsp salt
1/4tsp pepper
8 oz lasagna noodles uncooked

Brown beef in a 3qt sauce pan; drain off excess fat. Add sauce and water; simmer about 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients, except lasagna noodles, for filling. Pour about 1c sauce in a 9x13x2 dish. Layer 3 pieces of uncooked lasagna over sauce; cover with about 1 1/2c sauce. Spread 1/2 of cheese filling over sauce; repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese filling. top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Remove foil bake about 10 minutes longer. Allow to stand about 10 minutes before cutting for easier handling. 8-10 servings.
The lasagna will expand to fill empty spaces.

This freezes and reheats very nicely !!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Snowing! Nope it's cotton picking time in the South

This time of year the cotton fields are ready to be harvested. I like to refer to the cotton as " Southern Snow". When it is harvested little bits of cotton fly around in the wind and get scattered along the roadways much like snow flurries up North.

The cotton boll(pronounced bowl) is a pretty sight but although I have never picked cotton I have been assured it is not a pleasant task. The bolls have very sharp thorns or edges.

Picking cotton now is all by machine. There is the harvester, and when it gets full it dumps its load into what I call a tamper( I don't know what it really is called) which tamps the cotton down real hard. When the 'tamper' is full it raises up and leaves a 'brick' of tamped cotton behind.

The farmers cover the cotton to keep it dry until a special truck comes by to carry it off to the cotton gin. At the cotton gin the cotton seeds are removed.

Cotton seeds have many uses- they are pressed for cotton seed oil, ground into meal for use as a soil amendment and of course some are saved for next years crop. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Turkey Stock

Every 1st Sunday our Church eats together after morning services. Last week the ladies were trying to decide what we would have and it was suggested that we would do a "Thanksgiving Meal". It was that and so much more! I volunteered to bake the bird. I bought a 24# bird! No pictures, well you all have seen what a cooked turkey looks like right.
Anyway, I brought home the leftover meat for pot pies and sandwiches and the bones to make turkey stock.

This is how to make turkey stock: Put all the bones in a large crock pot and cover with water and add 1/4 c vinegar( that's so you get calcium from the bones), and cook on low all night. Or you could use whatever pot you have that the bones will fit in cover with water, cover and simmer on low - med low for about 4 hours, watch the water level and add more water if the bones are not covered.  

This is my 8.5 qt crock pot full of the bones and water

In the morning let cool slightly and strain, pick out any good meat. You can then put the stock in the refrig and when it gets cold the fat will be on the top and you can remove it. Heat the stock to boiling and then pour the hot  broth into quart canning jars and pressure can at 10# for 25min, if you want to can in pints just pressure can at 10# for 20minutes. I've canned ham, chicken and beef stock the same way, always better than store bought.
This stock can also be frozen.

Canned Stock

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Winding Down the Summer

In May I posted my summer garden pictures so I felt it fitting to post some of the garden pictures for the end of summer. I have 4 heirloom pumkins yet to pick and am anxiously waiting for the citrus to ripen before a hard frost hits. Hubby has graciously tilled my small fall garden plot for me, usually I plant several garden areas for fall but we plan on starting to build our dream home in January. The other areas will either under the foundation or will be trampled by busy builders.


 The fuzzy stuff is stevia seeds getting ready to fly off the their new home.

Hamburger Soup

It's cool outside and time for soup! Today it is Hamburger Soup, it is comfort food. I've been making this soup for years starting with 1 1/2# of hamburger. Here is the recipe :
1 1/2# of hamburger in a stew pot(dutch oven for those in the know), drain
1c of chopped onion
1c chopped celery
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced,about 1c
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed,about 1c
28 oz can or jar of tomatoes plus juice
2tsp salt
1/4-1/2tsp ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1/8tsp dried basil leaves
3c water

Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer just until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Now you can get creative with this soup, today I added a handful of chopped spinach, 1/2c of field peas, 1tsp of pureed garlic, fresh ground pepper and Italian seasoning to taste and some leftover cubes of sweet potato. Yummy!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Play Dough

I've made this play dough many times for the nephews with great play reviews.

Play Dough- No cook
1 cup flour- any kind of plain flour, not self rising
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp food color- experiment with mixing colors, the new neon ones are fun.
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

In a small mixing bowl add the flour. In a measuring cup mix water, food coloring and oil, add to flour in mixing bowl. This will be very messy and sticky not very good for the kiddos to get into. Mix with a spoon or your hands, the hands work better for this. Keep mixing and kneading until it reaches the consistency of play dough, will take maybe two minutes. If the play dough seems sticky add a little more flour. I haven't tried doubling or tripling this since each nephew wants a different color. This play dough keeps up to a week if refrigerated in a baggy or other sealed container. Don't try to dry any "creations" the oil in the play dough will prevent it from getting hard enough.


Slow cooker Smothered Round Steak

 A great recipe for a family. I use this recipe for those days that I'll be gone all day shopping and going to orchestra. Works great with noodles or rice. Happy cooking-Viki


Smothered Round Steak Recipe

Slow cooker recipe
  • 4 Servings
  • Prep: 20 min. Cook: 7 hours


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds beef top round steak, cut into 1-1/2-inch strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, sliced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Hot cooked egg noodles, optional


  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add beef and shake to coat. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  • Add the onion, green pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce and molasses.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with noodles if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts: 1-1/4 cups (calculated without noodles) equals 337 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 96 mg cholesterol, 1,585 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 43 g protein.
Made it in October 09, it was great, would be a good Sunday Supper

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mennonite girls can cook: Almond Puff

Mennonite girls can cook: Almond Puff

Shared via AddThis

Pound Cake

I know this recipe works cuz I've made several. I'm posting because there has been a request for the recipe so here goes:

1# (3 1/4c) AP Flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1# butter-softened
2 c sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
9 eggs-room temp.

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter two 5X9 loaf pans. Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high until pale and fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium and add vanilla. Lightly beat eggs and add in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scrape down sides. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops. Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completel on wire rack.

Cinnamon raisin- toss 2 cups raisins in 2 T flour, fold into finished batter. Divide batter in half and fold 2 T cinnamon into 1 half. Scoop batters into 2 prepared pans, 1/2c at a time alternating between plain and cinnamon. Swirl with a knife.

Blueberry- Sour cream- Use 1/2c sour cream in place of 1 stick of butter. Toss 2 c blueberries in 2 T flour, fold into finished batter.

Chocolate Chip- Fold 2 c semisweet or bittersweet chocalate chips into batter.

Pan options: Use a bunt or angel cake pan in place of 2 loaf pans.

Front to back blueberry sour cream, left back- chocolate chip, right back- cinnamon raisin.
The two front cakes were baked in Demarle pans.

Sweet Potatoes!!

This year we were given some sweet potato slips to plant. We've never grown sweet potatoes so didn't really know what to do or expect out of the harvest. First of all we were told that they LOVE a hot and humid climate-got that here. Second the vines grow very fast-check that's true. Third dig them in the first week of October-did that. Didn't know how they would turn out, not to bad for beginners. Some of those sweet potatoes are big enough that one would feed several people. I just wish a picture was taken before we started digging. Here are a few after pictures with my helpers!!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese

This one is a favorite of the nephews!

  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni, I use whole wheat myself
  • 2 cups milk- whole works best
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese- this equals an 8 oz block*
Preheat oven to 400

Cook the macaroni until al dente, drain and place in a buttered casserole - 13X9 is a good size. Melt butter in saucepan then add milk,1/2 tsp salt, and flour stirring often until thick. Add the 1 tsp salt, pepper, dry mustard and grated cheese, mix well and heat stirring until the cheese is melted and well blended. Pour over the macaroni in the casserole. Bake for15 minutes.
Follow the recipe above but place in a greased crockpot and keep on low.

* I use a medium cheddar for the kiddos but have mixed cheddar and pepper jack with great reviews from the adults. I find that grating and freezing in 2 cup portions is a great time saver,especially when cheese goes on sale.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Another wonderful recipe for you to try. It will be one I make again and again.

Savory Chicken Noodle Bake

By Diana Rattray,

Photo of Chicken Noodle Bake

Chicken Noodle Bake

Diana Rattray
This tasty chicken noodle bake makes a great weeknight meal for the family.


  • 6 ounces thin egg noodles, cooked, drained ( I used wide egg noodles)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 to 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pimiento, drained, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked diced chicken
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed under hot water
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese , plus more for topping


Preheat oven to 350F°. Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.

In large skillet or saucepan over low heat, melt butter; saute mushrooms until tender. Blend in flour, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add chicken broth, milk, pimiento, and salt and pepper; stir constantly until sauce is thickened. Stir in chicken, peas, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and the cooked noodles. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over top. Bake chicken noodle casserole 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Serves 8.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Potato Soup

I found this Potato Soup Recipe that is so easy and thought I would share it with you.

Unbelievably Easy Potato Soup
From Recipe #74275 | 30 min | 5 min prep |
1 large potato, per person
1/4 cup chopped celery, per person (include leaves)
1/4 cup chopped onion, per person
1/4-1/2 cup milk, half and half or cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and cube potatoes.
Put in a saucepan along with the onions and celery.
Add water, but don't quite cover the vegetables.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are very tender.
Using a potato masher, coarsely crush the potatoes, but don't mash them--you want chunks left.
Add enough milk or cream to thin to desired thickness and add salt & pepper to taste.
(It will take a lot of salt!).

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Putting up fig leather!

First you must aquire your figs, mine came from a wonderful family that lets me pick as many as I want. Bring them home and wash and stem them. A small paring knife works well for this task.
Next I get out my handy dandy VitaMix. I tried doing this with a regular blender and the results were much better with the VitaMix. A food processor might work I just don't have one.
Puree in batches of a cup or two making sure there isn't big lumps. Sometimes there are some figs that haven't been chopped up and I just add them to the next batch.
Spread the puree on a teflex sheet or plastic wrap making sure the edges are slightly thicker than the middle, don't stress this isn't an exact science. The idea is to make sure that it is thin enough that it will dry evenly.

Place in the dehydrator that has been preheating at 135F. It takes about 10-12 hours to dry. Make sure that the leather is just tacky and not still coming off on your fingers. A good test is to peel some off and if it comes off in a sheet its is done, if some still sticks to the teflex or plastic wrap let it dry some more.

When the leather is dry-it will be darker than the puree, peel it off and lay it on a sheet of wax paper or platic wrap and roll it up. I prefer wax paper but didn't have any at the time. I like to cut the rolls into 1 to 2 inch pieces and vacuum seal in bags or jars.

Dehydrators and teflex sheets can be ordered on the internet. I bought mine through ebay.

What happens when the bugs don't like you.

This is what happens when you don't know that walking up the ramp will make the wasps angry!! I was minding my own business when bam I get nailed several times- I really don't know if it was two or three times. I screamed really loud, I mean really loud. I imagine that if anyone was around they would have thought that I was being mauled or something. Anyway I ran into the house and quickly put baking soda on my foot then went for the bug spray to nail those boogers. Can you guess what foot got stung? It doesn't hurt but in a day or so there will be a lot of itching. The swelling is making my foot real numb, there won't be any shoes on this foot for a while.

Wildlife up close!

One thing about living in the country is the amazing amount of times you encounter wildlife up close. In my case I actually get to see animals up close which just thrills me. I am always admiring how much God has created such diversity in nature and how blessed I am to see so much so often.

Just driving down the paved road and here come the Momma turkey and her clan. Wish I could enlarge this picture, just can't quite figure it out yet.

Found this baby hummer laying on the porch. I put it on the feeder, had to do it several times! The poor thing was so hungry and weak but it did finally get full and flew off a happy camper. I like to think it is one of my regulars at the feeders now.

I was going out the drive and noticed this turtle. I always try to avoid running over them! I slowed down to see what was going on and lo and behold egg laying was in progress. I feel so blessed to be able to witness this. I have since marked the location and made a note on the calendar to start watching for the hatchlings in three months. Hopefully I'll be there to take some baby pictures.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What is this flower?

I thought this was an amaryllis until it bloomed. I love the look of this flower, my Aunt kindly shared this with me and told me it is from the amaryllis family but has no idea what it is called. If anyone knows the name please let me know.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Everything is coming up green

All this rain is such a blessing and it has been coming down in manageable amounts, yesterday we had about 1". I wish it could be spread throughout the summer but God knows best.

The tomatoes are doing great with such promise for the up coming harvest.

The volunteer eggplants and summer squash love where they sprouted. Wonder what they will look like since both are cross pollinated, what I mean is that the summer squash crossed with zucchini which last year produced squash that had the shape of a zucchini and the color of yellow squash, they tasted great! The eggplant was a cross between a black beauty and a white that produced a beautiful lavender and white striped fruit that tasted great and boy did it make a lot. Please be kind and ignore the weeds that are also loving this bountiful rain.

The first planting of carrots is coming along nicely
and the second planting is coming up.

The second time I planted I scattered a few radish seeds,
it's supposed to help aeriate the ground for the carrots when you harvest the radishes.
The stevia plants are loving this rain as are the parsley and chives.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Garden Update

Well it has been a while since posting so here are some updates:

The vegetables have been growing a lot since last posted.

The rains have been a blessing for all of us. Some things that really have grown are the mushrooms!! I don't know what kind these are but don't eat these please.

These are where fairies hide right?

A half moon fairy ring found in our front lawn. I don't know why there is one here but it is an interesting formation.

It's twins! There is a lovely pattern in the
center of these mushrooms.

The Muskadine Vines have grown and they
look like they will bear a lot this year.

Just look at those lovely little fruit clusters.

The bean patch has grown a lot. I've been trying to grow green beans for several years without much success. Last time I had a good stand of beans I put up almost 100 jars. Most years the beans die out when the hot weather gets here but that year they kept on producing through August.

I had my fill of canning beans and till
ed them under. To bad I didn't know it would be a while before I had a nice bean crop again.

Here is a nice stand of green beans.
My first try at growing butter beans.
They look so healthy.