Saturday, April 18, 2015

Pine-Apple Pear Crisp

Needs a small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream!
Last week after celebrating Easter there were a few leftovers in the fridge.  What treasures!  I'd used the crushed Pineapple in a very old family fave recipe for Polish Cheesecake.  Triple Yum!  Now it's been weeks since I'd baked a Crisp, so the dessert with baked fruit that's topped with crunchiness was on my mind!  Yes, I'm back to peeling & slicing Apples!  All of the ingredients were on hand. No pun intended.  In addition to the Apples, I spied 2 Pears, so I was on my way.  We also had Vanilla Ice Cream in the freezer. 

Crushed drained Pineapple was added to the slices of Pears & Cortland Apples in my rose colored Pyrex baking dish.  Then, Craisins were sprinkled in.  They always add a great flavor to a Crisp.

While this dessert was baking the aroma of the sweet fruits was so yummy!  After it cooled we enjoyed digging our spoons into our servings.  Yes, a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream was on top. 
Pine-Apple Pear Crisp
is so good!

Pine-Apple Pear Crisp

Oven Temperature: 375°F
Time: 45 - 50 Minutes

 4 - 5 peeled sliced large apples - I use McIntosh, Cortland
       &/or Empire apples
2 ripened Pears, peeled, cut into slices
8 ounces crushed Pineapple, drained
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon softened Butter or Margarine
1/4 Cup Craisins

  1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2.  Spray PAM in 8" x 8" glass baking pan.
  3.  Rinse Apples & Pears under cold running water & dry.
  4.  Peel & slice Apples & Pears. 
  5.  Place peeled sliced Apples & Pears in pan. 
  6.  Add Craisins and mix in. 
  7.  Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients together in small bowl.
  8.  Sprinkle over apples. 
  9.  Bake 45- 50 Minutes or until Apples & Pears are tender. 
  10.  Serve warm or chilled with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. 
  11.  When cool, cover & refrigerate any leftovers.
Whenever I have extra crushed Pineapple, this will be my "go to" dessert!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beefy Asparagus

Beefy Asparagus
There was a definite chill in the air yesterday.  Opening the fridge door before dinner suddenly I saw a container of cooked rice & asparagus.  Now, these could very easily be labelled leftovers from tasty dinners earlier in the week.  To me, they were the beginning of preparing last night's dinner. 

Asparagus is a treat at this time of year & we always enjoy it when it is available.  Rice is plain delicious!  Add in Plum Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce, browned ground beef & suddenly I was heading to my Spice Rack.  While preparing this colorful dish, it smelled so good!  The grains of Rice became nestled between pieces of Asparagus & Tomatoes.  Before I knew it dinner was ready.  Beefy Asparagus tasted so good!

Beefy Asparagus


3/4 lb. Ground Beef or Ground Turkey - browned
about 1 and 3/4 cups cooked Rice
6- 7 cooked Asparagus stalks, cut into pieces
(1) can (15- 20 ounces) Plum Tomatoes, drained- cut into quarters.
(1) can (15 ounces) Tomato Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Basil
1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder

  1. Brown Ground Beef or Ground Turkey.  Drain.
  2. In Dutch Oven or large pot combine all ingredients.
  3. Heat about 25- 30 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Enjoy!
Serve with Feta Cheese sprinkled on top!

What looked like leftovers in my fridge suddenly became a delicious dinner- served along with a fruit salad!  Try it, you'll like it- if you like Asparagus!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

~Happy Easter!~

A small amount of snow is still here.
A sight I've been patiently waiting for!  There's a path to our outdoor grill!  With the warmer temps &  sunshine these past couple of weeks and then a bit of rain, the snow in our yard has been disappearing.  Almost like magic!  However, our outdoor grill & deck were still surrounded by the white stuff!  Earlier this week Jim cleared a path to our grill.  The path got much larger.  Grilling on Easter Sunday sounded so good!  It's happening!  Woohoo!

Happy Easter!!!



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Officially Spring!

Woah!  No foolin', the Crocuses popped up with many more to come!

In the backyard garden Hyacinths are sprouting!

Now, It's officially Spring!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Early Spring Colors

Just waitin' on my Snow Crocuses! :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

~Minestrone Soup~

1st Day of Spring- 2015
Looking at the snowflakes falling on Friday reminded me of Minestrone Soup!  It was the 1st day of Spring & I've been waiting for the piles of snow in our front yard to melt.  My Snow Crocuses are deep in the ground- waiting to pop up!  Just sayin'!  Snow meant chilly temps.  Chilly temps called for a bowl of hot nutritious soup!  What can be easier than locating the ingredients at hand & combining them?  Usually, I add 1 Potato cut into chunks into the pot, but it was not to be found.  Sometimes, you gotta' go with the flow & use what's on hand!  This Minestrone Soup tasted so good!      Yum!       

Minestrone Soup

1 can Red or White Kidney Beans (15.5 ounce)
1 can Tomatoes, drained (16 - 28 ounces)
1 lb. Carrots - peeled & cut into slices or "baby carrots" 
1 box frozen Spinach - defrosted
1 Cup Elbow macaroni
4 cans Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth (14.5 ounce each)
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)

*1 washed/ cut into slices Zucchini- was in my fridge, so I added it into the pot.

  1.  Drain Kidney Beans.  Rinse in cold water & drain.  Repeat again.
  2.  Place Kidney Beans in large pot.
  3.  Drain Tomatoes & cut into quarters.
  4.  Add to pot.
  5.  Rinse Carrots in cold water & drain.
  6.  Add to pot.
  7.  Add the remaining ingredients into the large pot.
  8.  Stir.
  9.  Bring to a boil.
  10.  Reduce heat & simmer for 1 hour. Carrots should be tender.
  11.  Place in bowls & enjoy along with a slice of Rye Bread.
Yes, there were extra portions!  After this yummy soup cooled the portions were placed in Ziploc Freezer container(s) & then in our freezer.  There will be other chilly days & a bowl of hot hearty soup will be defrosted for dinner! 

 **When reheating, add 1 can (14.5 ounce) Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Irish Soda Bread!

Irish Soda Bread
(File Photo)

It's Irish Soda Bread time of year!  The bread enjoyed during St. Patrick's Day week that's loaded with Raisins!  I make it using 1 stick of Butter & 1 cup of Buttermilk!  What a great treat and it's so easy!  Really!  Surprise your family this year if you never have before by baking this yummy bread!  No need to purchase one.

Another name for this tasty bread is Spotted Dog.  Every year at this time I now share my very happy memory of me locating this recipe. In my fridge was an opened container of Buttermilk.  I was googling for an Irish Soda Bread recipe & located a blog, Charli and Me written by Carol.  Much to my happiness I saw what I had been searching for.

Originally the recipe is from the Will O'Glenn Irish Bed and Breakfast in Michigan with Mrs. Biddy Gahan sharing it.  Carol then shared it on her blog.  Every year at this time the low fat Buttermilk & unsalted Butter are in my fridge- waiting, along with a canister of Raisins in my pantry.  

Below are a few hints that I've learned to bake a great Irish Soda Bread:
  • One year I was working too quickly & melted the Butter in error.  After it cooled, I added the melted/ cooled Butter to the dry ingredients and discovered that the dough was easier to work with.  Now I always melt/ cool the Butter.
  •  I have a gas oven and my baking time is 10- 15 minutes more than the original recipe.  The extra time is included in my recipe below.
  • Before working with the dough by hand rub a little butter on your hands.  The sticky dough will not stick to your hands. 
Irish Soda Bread ready for oven!
(File Photo)

Irish Soda Bread
Oven:  400°F, then lowered to 375°F
Total baking time:  40- 45 Minutes

1 and 1/2 Cups Raisins
1 Cup boiling Water
*  *  *
1 stick Butter - I use unsalted.
2 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
5 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk, can be low fat/fat free

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 8" or 9 " Pyrex Pie Plate with PAM.
  3. In a small bowl combine Raisins and boiling Water.  Let sit while preparing dough.
  4. Melt Butter.  Cool.
  5. In larger bowl, combine Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder & Sugar.
  6. Add melted Butter to dry ingredients, stir in.
  7. Add Buttermilk, stir.
  8. Add drained Raisins, stir.
  9. Shape into a ball after placing dough into pie plate.  Dough will be sticky.
  10. Bake 15 Minutes at 400°F.
  11. Lower oven to 375°F.  Bake 25- 30 Minutes longer.
  12. Remove the bread from pie plate after using cake tester or toothpick to test for done and cool on rack.
  13. Cool. 
  14. Wait at least 5 hours before cutting into slices and eating.
After cutting the bread into slices, I then place it in two sealed Ziploc Bags.  A half slice of Irish Soda Bread is a very tasty treat.  Heated for a few seconds in the microwave is oh, so good, too!

The extra slices do freeze well.  It's always a great treat to find a package in the freezer the following week!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!