Thursday, March 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grandma B's Peanut Butter  Cookies

Tonight I'm baking...

... peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!  Yum!

It's Grandma B's Peanut Butter cookie recipe - one of the recipes at my daughter's "Recipe Shower".  

Each guest brought a favourite recipe AND a recipe for a happy marriage.  Grandma B was the groom's grandmother.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Cream well in mixer.

1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Add and beat well.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix in flour and soda.  Add chocolate chips.
Roll into balls and press with fork.
Bake at 375 for 10 - 12 minutes.

Makes about four dozen.

Now for a recipe for a happy marriage!  This message is from the groom's aunt - wonder how many cookies she ate as a child? : )

Recipe for a Successful Marriage
from Aunt S.

(My first try I wasn't very successful, but I learned a lot!)

Enjoy the things you share, those things will always be there.
Plan ahead together, it's much more fun to work on a common goal.
Laugh together, a lot.  Have fun, enjoy the moments you share.
Keep your friends - each of you - friends are very important all your lives.
Talk it out - even if the first words out of your mouth are, "This isn't going to come out right..."  At least it's out there to talk about.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

# 95 Hazel Hutchins, Canadian Children's Author

Found a bargain at Superstore - a board book by Canadian children's author, Hazel Hutchins.  Perfect for an Easter treat for my granddaughter!

Up Dog  has just two words per page yet it tells a sweet story about a puppy that makes a huge mess digging up a bone.  

 Other board books by Hazel include Up Cat, Cat Comes Too and Dog Comes Too.

I enjoyed using Hazel's picture books and beginner novels in the classroom and often read aloud The Three and Many Wishes of Jason Reid.  

Next time you visit the library with your child, check out Hazel Hutchins.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

# 94 Happy Saturday Oatmeal Muffins

Maggie's Oatmeal Muffins

Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sour milk*


1 egg

Add; beat well.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Add; mix very well.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix together.  
Add to oatmeal, stirring only enough to dampen.
Optional: stir in 1/2 cup raisins, craisins, etc.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
(12 muffins)


Bake at 350 for one hour and fifteen minutes
(5 x 7 loaf pan)

* To make sour milk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to milk.

Now, enjoy a muffin with a cup of coffee 
and check out Weekend Potluck 59.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Meringues

Today I have a great little recipe to share - perfect for Easter! 

The original idea came from a newspaper article I clipped a number of years ago.  It uses few ingredients, can be made ahead and is easily transported if you need something special to take to a potluck.  

Start by making these little meringue cookies. 

Mini Meringues

4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Use an electric mixer with a large bowl.
Beat until the whites are foamy.

1 cup sugar

Continue to beat as you very slowly add the sugar.
Beat until thick and glossy.
Use a teaspoon to make small mounds of meringue 
on parchment lined baking sheet.

To make nest shape, dip finger in water, then 
make  indent in meringue.  Repeat for each cookie.
Bake at 200 degrees for 90 minutes.

These little cookies can be made in advance and stored in a sealed container at room temperature.  Four egg whites will make about 60 tiny cookies.

The original recipe calls for lemon curd - just add a tiny teaspoon of filling in each cookie.  If you like meringues crisp, fill just before serving.  If you like them soft, fill a few hours ahead of time.

Don't they look like little fried eggs?  LOL  They'd be a fun addition to a brunch table!!

Today I added some little Cadbury mini-eggs to make Easter nests, but you could do just about anything with these meringues...whipped cream and fruit (mini Pavlova) or a red fruit or jam filling for Christmas...lots of possibilities!!

You can find this recipe and many other great treats at Weekend Potluck # 59

Monday, March 18, 2013

# 93 Kids and Reading

Look what I found on the Internet this weekend.  

Reading to (and with) your child is one of the most wonderful things you can do as a parent.  Reading opens so many doors.  

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
- Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

As a parent, you are your child's first and most important teacher. Enjoy the challenge and the rewards.

Enough said!  Hope you take time to read with your child today.

Happy Monday,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Potato Bread (FADGE)

St. Patrick's Day Potato Bread
Oh, my!  St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner!  Rather than bright green cupcakes or Irish stew, here's an inexpensive, easy and truly Irish side dish for a St. Patrick's Day brunch.

To set the stage, let's back up a year... or two... or three! 

Born in Northern Ireland, I was just a young girl when I emigrated to Canada.  My mother was in charge of the kitchen and all things domestic, but it was my dad who would make a "fry" on the weekend.  Sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, even bananas would be fried up.  When he felt particularly energetic, he would also make potato bread.  Hot off the pan with butter melting on top - delicious! 

A "recipe"?  No such thing.  We'd sit in the kitchen and watch as Dad boiled up potatoes, mashed them thoroughly with butter and a bit of salt and then kneaded in enough flour to make a dough.

Needing a bit more than that, I consulted my mother's Form VI Domestic Science notebook.  (LOL, you may remember when I shared from this notebook once before: "How to Efficiently Run Your Home".)

Potato Bread

1/2 pound potatoes (2-3 Russet potatoes)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 ounce butter (1 tablespoon)
2 ounces flour (1/2 - 3/4 cup)

Peel and boil potatoes.
Mash potatoes smoothly.
Add salt and melted butter and mix together.
Work in as much flour as the potatoes will take up.
Roll out thinly, cut into triangles.
Bake on hot griddle on both sides until nicely browned.

Notes:  No lumps allowed when mashing those potatoes!! : )  I added some of the flour when the mashed potatoes were still in the pot, then kneaded in more until I had a workable dough. Roll your dough quite thin - about 1/4 inch thick.  Using a non-stick pan means no fat needed.  Bake about three minutes a side.  Keep warm in oven.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Have you checked out Weekend Potluck # 58?
There are some yummy recipes there this week!

Monday, March 11, 2013


This morning, it's all about jicama.  

This is a relatively, "new-to-me" vegetable I first met when my son was married two years ago in Mexico.  Before Christmas (another destination wedding), we enjoyed this treat again and on a recent visit to Phoenix, jicama and I got "up close and personal"  : )

Jicama Sticks
Where I live, you can search out this little guy, but he's not centre stage at my local grocery store.  In fact, the day I bought my first-ever jicama, there were only two in the whole store.  Fortunately, he was just the right size - I gather, if they are bigger than two fists, they can be a bit woody.

Peeled, and cut up like carrot sticks, jicama makes a great snack and I can see including these next time I make a veggie tray.  

Last night, however, I made this salad for supper - tasty, with a nice crunch, a bit like adding water chestnuts.  

Jicama, Orange and Spinach Salad
No real recipe here...  I just mixed some baby spinach leaves, a little red onion, orange and jicama!  I tossed the salad in Newman's Own Light French Vinaigrette and then served it on the plate with some tomato on the side.  

Here's a link to the recipe I really want to try next time we have company - Apple Jicama Coleslaw!  Chef John at Food Wishes tosses everything with a yummy sounding dressing that includes pineapple juice and hot sauce!

Happy Monday,

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cynthia's Salsa Chicken

Cynthia's Salsa Chicken

For dinner last night, we had Salsa Chicken, an easy, tasty dish that can be prepared ahead of time.

Cynthia, a family friend, shared this recipe a few years ago at a "Recipe Shower" for one of my daughters.  Each guest brought a favourite recipe AND a recipe for a happy marriage.  Enjoy!

Cynthia's Salsa Chicken

12 - 18 skinless, chicken thighs or 6-8 chicken breasts
3/4 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot, depending on taste)
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 - 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger root (optional)

Arrange chicken in a single layer in 9 x 13 baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine marinade ingredients.
Pour marinade over chicken.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Bake chicken and sauce, covered, in 400 degree oven 
for 40 - 50 minutes.

1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

When chicken is done, transfer sauce to saucepan. 
Bring to a boil.  Mix and add cornstarch and water mixture.
Stir for 1 - 2 minutes as mixture simmers and thickens.
Pour sauce over chicken.
Cynthia's Salsa Chicken

Now for Cynthia's recipe for a happy marriage!  Good advice from a lady happily married for over forty years.

Marriage Recipe

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man,
Remember, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye, when sought, man.
- Robert Burns

Have fun catching the moments, doing things spontaneously, 
having many varied experiences together.
- Cynthia

March 11 - Sent this recipe over to Weekend Potluck # 57 - a great place to check out recipes!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

# 92 Avocado...picking and planting...

Today, it is all about the avocado.

Love them!

In salads, in guacamole, in a BLT....yum!

I used to have problems picking out one that was "just right" until I read this article.  The secret is in the little stem.  Flick that off.  If it is green underneath, it's a perfect pick.  

After using an avocado in our salad last night, I thought I'd see if I could start a plant with the seed.  Remember doing that as a kid?  Here's a short video that shows you how. 

We need a little green around here - too much snow!  Sigh!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Carry-On Baggage & Vegetable Stock

Simplicity is making the journey of this life 
with just baggage enough.

- Charles Dudley Warner


Just back after a quick visit to see some snowbird friends in the Phoenix area.

Hmmm.... Just in time for a Canadian prairie storm.  Sigh!

As for being limited to carry-on baggage?

Wonderful...uncluttered...stress free  : )  That makes for a great holiday!

What would life be like if we all had to limit our possessions to what could fit in a carry-on bag?

Our snowbird friends are living a wonderfully uncomplicated life these days.  We enjoyed some great visits to interesting places (more about that another day) and some great meals based on very simple, well-prepared food.  

Making their own stocks for cooking, baking their own bread (on the BBQ), squeezing oranges for fresh juice...inspiring!!

Still feeling that motivation this morning, so join me as I make some...

Vegetable Stock

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped

Saute gently for about 8 minutes.

3 tablespoons McCormick "No Salt Added Seasoned Herb Medley"
3 litres (about 12 cups) water
3 dried tomatoes

Add and gentle simmer for about 45 minutes.

That's it.  Simple!  

You'll notice I didn't add any celery (didn't have any) or salt - thought I'd wait and add that later when I use the stock.  

Basically, (almost) all vegetables are going to be happy jumping into the pot, but there are some exceptions - check here.  For some additional handy tips, I'm also linking a second article.

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mexican Caviar

Today's treat idea was passed along by my daughter-in-law...

...who got it from her cousin...

...who heard about it from a friend...

You get the idea.  It's one of those great recipes that's been passed along so many times, it's impossible to give credit.

That said, you will love this little recipe - it's inexpensive, healthy, easy to put together, can be made in advance and makes A LOT.  

So, if you need to take something to a party for an appetizer, whip up some Mexican Caviar!

Mexican Caviar

1 can black beans
1 can lentils
1 can niblets corn

Drain, rinse and combine in a bowl.

1 cup finely chopped purple onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper (two colours)

Add to bowl and stir.

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
salt and pepper

Heat dressing ingredients to melt sugar, then cool.
Pour over veggies and beans and let sit overnight.
Drain off dressing and serve.

That's it!  The cans are all regular "soup can" size.  It lasts well in the fridge and I have even frozen some without a problem.

Mexican caviar - definitely a keeper!

Find this recipe and plenty of other tasty treats at
I've also posted on Carole's Food on Friday
website - a great place to cruise around if you're
looking for something new to try!!