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!!