Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken Bites

Tonight I tried a recipe from my Tabasco Cookbook. This is a platter of Honey Mustard Chicken Bites!

chicken bites

They were very moist and delicious. The Tabasco flavor was very mild, so if you like things a little more spicy…just add a little more Tabasco!  Here is the very easy recipe:

1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
1 pound boned skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces.

In a medium bowl, mix the mustard, honey, ketchup, garlic and Tabasco sauce. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture; add the chicken to the rest and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Preheat the oven broiler. Arrange the chicken pieces on a rack in the broiler pan and broil, turning once and brushing with the marinade, until the chicken is tender, about 10 minutes. Serve with the reserved sauce as a dip.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

NVCS School Carnival













Yesterday there was a carnival at  school.   It was a first for New Vision Charter School and from what I can tell it was a big success.  Of course, it was also raining/blowing/cold here yesterday so that may have helped. 

We set up a booth showcasing ideas for kids parties and gave away a gift certificate for a kids party package for 8.  Here are some pictures of what we came up with. 



Got a birthday in the near future? Give us a call!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Does this qualify as a collection?


Here is how I store my cookie cutters.  And I have to keep them in the garage because you just don’t keep tub like that in your kitchen. Or your pantry for that matter.  100_1325 See why I think this qualifies as a collection?  If you need a cutter, I probably have it.  Except for a big alphabet, those belong to Laura :) 


Now, in order to use these effectively, you must first have the perfect sugar cookie recipe.  Oh and I have that too!  Here you go DeAnn!

Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400.  Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add baking powder and flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  The dough will be stiff.  It may be necessary to blend the last flour in by hand.  Divide dough into two even balls.  Do not chill dough. 

Bake cookies on top rack of oven for 6-7 minutes until cookies are light brown.  Remove from cookie sheet immediately after removing from oven.

I always make a double batch of this dough. 


Royal Icing -  You may want to pursue the meringue powder version so as to avoid the eggs :)

3 egg whites

3 cups powdered sugar

3-4 tablespoons water

Beat egg whites and powdered sugar for 5 to 7 minutes on med to high speed.  Add water to achieve desired consistency.

This works best in a pastry bag or a squeeze bottle with a small round tip.


And when you use this recipe along with those cutters, here is what you end up with!  Happy Baking!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

The fine line between necessary and unnecessary


There are quite a few things in our kitchens that we really couldn’t live without.  A meat thermometer, measuring cups, spatulas and wooden spoons would all fall into that category.  I am pretty sure my new cupcake cookie cutters fall into that category too. 

I know, it sounds kind of crazy but just look at how cute they are!  And who wouldn’t want these just hanging out, taking up space just knowing what kind of adorable cookies they could turn out?  This cutter set has definitely made my must have list.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Fancy Chicken

This is a great recipe that I tried from the Relish Magazine. Please note the suggested wine pairing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flower Frogs – Another Collection

pams frogs

Our first featured “guest” collector is Pam Bell, my niece. Pam has some wonderful collections….old scales, cake plates, metal stools…and this is her latest collection – flower frogs. She lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, just a jog up the interstate from Loveland. There are some really great flea markets in Cheyenne.
I was especially excited about this collection after reading a feature article on flower frogs in the magazine Flea Market Style. Check out their blog.  Thanks for sharing your collection, Pam.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Food & Wine

Pairing food with wine is big industry. There are numerous books and magazines with so many suggestions….Some say you must follow certain rules such as - red wine with red meat, white wine with chicken and seafood; others tell you to break all the rules and just enjoy! The choices can be overwhelming and where do you start?  Do you choose your menu and then the wine? Or should you choose the wine and then plan the menu? I personally like to choose wine based on the name and/or the label. I don’t worry too much about pairing it with the perfect food. It's much easier to pair a wine with a good friend.  Kellee and I do have some favorite wines. This is one of them.


Cupcake Vineyards have some very interesting food & wine pairings.
Check out their suggestions.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It’s Thursday Already


I cannot believe that this week is almost over.  I also can’t believe that it has been my turn to blog for three days and I am just now sitting down to do it!

About a month ago, we sat down and talked about things we wanted to write about and determined who was blogging on what days.  We even put it on our calendars so we would have it in writing, and not just in our heads :)  All of which leads me to be able to make up my lack of blogging in one post. 


Calendars are the greatest things ever.  It allows you to be organized, not to double book things and it always gives you an excuse to look at it and tell someone you are just way to busy to do what they are asking you to do. 

Right now, my calendar is my best friend for lots of reasons. Here is a sneak peak of what we have in the works and few personal things thrown in the mix too.

School Carnival booth

Piano Recital

Scott’s Birthday (it’s a big one that requires a big party!)

Last day of 3rd grade and Ninny’s Graduation too (she gets to be Graduate Nin one more time)

Graduation #1

Grandma comes!

Graduation #2

Graduation #3

Summer Vacation starting with at trip back to Grandmas!


We are all excited for all the things we have coming up and hopefully with a little help from our friends, our families and our calendars, they will all be just fabulous.  Stay tuned. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Substitute Ingredients

As I continue to cook my way through the Pioneer Woman Cooks…I kept looking at her Chicken Spaghetti recipe, but I could never remember to buy the pimientos! One night I just decided to make it and substitute a few ingredients. A good cook once told me “if you change one ingredient of any recipe it becomes your own”. So here is the DFD (Dairy Farmer’s Daughter) version of PW Chicken Spaghetti. I used the meat from a rotisserie chicken,  roasted red peppers instead of pimientos and celery instead of green bell pepper. Because I did not have any chicken broth from cooking my own chicken, I added some canned chicken broth to my water before I cooked the spaghetti. I thought the results were great!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My favorite book collection

I love to read. I don’t think I always have time to read. But that really depends on what is meant by “reading”. Does it mean a good novel? A quick romance story? Or does it mean the daily newspaper? Or daily devotions? Maybe you read a great children’s book every night! I guess I do have time to read! It is probably no surprise to some of you that I love to read cookbooks. This is another wonderful trait passed on to me by my mom. We always joked that she read cookbooks as if they were novels…beginning to end. So here is a peek into my favorite book collection. I have cookbooks in 3 rooms, on 4 shelves and 2 tables…just on the main floor. My flea market collection of cookbooks lives in the basement…(that’s another story).
I like to buy cookbooks as souvenirs…Here are my latest.
I’m still reading through these two. Keep your eyes open for a spicy recipe coming soon!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Isn’t it weird when this happens?


Last week we were having a conversation about Red Hots which lead to the conversation about the wonderful dish that is Red Hot Jello.  So I had to laugh when I saw this over at as one of today’s posts.   I love it when that happens but I don’t love how long it takes me to put it all together :)

Check out some of the other cute things over there too!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sushi Anyone?

Thanks to the Food Network Magazine, I had a little fun with friends and family over Easter weekend. We love going out to eat sushi, but I have never tried to make it at home. This recipe was the perfect solution for all of our non-sushi eating friends and it was really fun and easy to make. My daughter Briee was so impressed she took all the ingredients back to school to “make” sushi for her college friends.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

These are a few of Dad’s favorite things.


1. Coffee

2. Donuts

I think this is how Dad’s favorites list would read.  If you ask Grace, Josie, Ollie or Jonathan what they like best about Grandpa Farm, inevitably the word donut or sparkle donut will come up.  Dad has a knack for picking out the best donut, sneaking it past a very observant mom, and enjoying a sugary treat with his grandkids.  It is a family tradition. 

Well, I came across this recipe one day and I finally got a chance to make it last week.   A perfect pick me up, any time of the day!

100_1149  Coffee and Donut Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/8 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

(coffee frosting recipe, below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a cupcake pan with liners.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Combine the coffee and milk, set aside.

Alternate the flour and the coffee mixture into the butter mixture, beating until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool on a wire rack.

The cakes become more coffee-vescent the longer they sit. These make a really nice cake as is. The coffee frosting is just a nice touch.

Coffee Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2-1/2 Tablespoons coffee
1 Tablespoon milk (as needed)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, carefully adding the sugar, coffee, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. Add a little of the milk at a time to get the right consistency. Turn the mixer up to high and beat well.

Quite obviously, if you have a donut maker OR a tiny sous chef to help sprinkle the donuts: top these with a donut to make coffee+donut cupcakes. Or just buy mini donuts from the store, they make a really cute presentation.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Cheesy Potatoes

Easter dinner on my side of the family is ALWAYS ham and cheesy potatoes. The ham is pretty simple and nothing too fancy. The cheesy potatoes, on the other hand, have evolved over the years. This dish started out as Golden Potato Casserole, a recipe from the 1966 cookbook put out by the American Dairy Association, and fondly referred to as “the dairy wives cookbook”. My mom made this casserole as a side dish to ham and fried chicken. As kids, we called this dish “cheesy potatoes”. As my sisters and I left home (each with our own copy of the “dairy wives cookbook”) we continued to make Cheesy Potatoes whenever ham was on the menu.

Sometime during the 1980’s, my aunt gave my mom a recipe for a quick easy version called “Hash brown Cheese Potatoes”. My recipe research took me to the internet where I  found quite a few recipes for Hash Brown Cheese Potatoes…most of them included cornflakes. My recipe card from mom does NOT include cornflakes. Then I remembered my mom telling me that my aunt always put cornflakes on hers but she never did. This “new” recipe for cheesy potatoes is now being made by the 3rd generation in my family. My niece made two pans yesterday for Easter dinner. That will cover about 15-18 people, no leftovers.

Although the new easy version is very good, this little jog down memory lane found me at the stove this morning boiling potatoes for the original Golden Potato Casserole. I put it in two pans and took one over to Kellee.  Her and Brian both agreed, the original is better! I am giving you both recipes. If you have the time…make the Golden Potato Casserole, if you are feeding a crowd, use the Hash Brown Cheese Potatoes. Either way…I hope you agree, Cheesy Potatoes are delicious!

Golden Potato Casserole
6 medium potatoes
2 cups (8oz.) shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 cups sour cream at room temperature
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Cook potatoes in skins, cool, then peel and coarsely shred. In a saucepan over low heat combine Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup butter, stirring occasionally, until almost melted. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream, onion, salt and pepper. Add potatoes, stirring lightly and turn into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter; bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until heated through.

Hash Brown Cheese Potatoes
2 lb. frozen hash browns (country style or shredded)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
Slightly thaw hash browns. Mix together all ingredients. Mix in hash browns. Put in greased 9x13 pan, bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Golden Potato Casserole on Foodista

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Think Spring! (One of my many collections)


As of Good Friday, we have been in our house for 3 years!  It is hard to believe it has been that long already and just last week I unpacked the very last box we still had in the basement.

It was the box with all my jadeite green things!  I have a great turkey, a chicken, a squirrel perched on an acorn and two little bunnies that are all covered dishes.  I also have other assorted pieces  like coffee cups, vases, a cake stand and wonderful flowered candy dish that was Gram’s.

Here they all are, put to good use and out of the box!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chocolate Bonbon Pops


I made these last week for Bible Study. I missed the part at the beginning where the recipe says “your kids will love this Christmas treat…” I made them for the ladies, the week before Easter…and yes, they did love them. I did use orange liqueur (because I was making them for the ladies), they tasted great!
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