Saturday, July 18, 2015

Simple Supper

I was looking for something to cook for dinner that was fast and easy and didn't require a lot of clean up.  We love taco salad but my daughter had gotten some dental work done and would have had a difficult time chewing the chips.  I have made this numerous times and thought I would make it again but tweak it just a little.

 Here is the recipe:

1-2 lbs. ground beef (depending on how meaty you like it)
4 Tbs. chopped onion, divided
2 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. paprika (in place of chili powder, cumin, and paprika, you can use taco seasoning)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 bottle Western style salad dressing (or  Catalina)
1 lb. box of pasta twists, cooked and drained 
1 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. chopped green pepper, (or red or yellow or combination bell peppers)
1 small can sliced black olives
1/3 head of lettuce (iceberg)washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. fresh corn kernels, or frozen corn, thawed 
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (not finely shredded)
2 c. Dorito brand tortilla chips, Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese, broken up a little, optional

**Brown ground beef with garlic and 2 Tbs. of the onion. Add spices or use taco seasoning pkt. Cool slightly. Put all vegetables including remaining onion into a big bowl. Add pasta. Add meat mixture, and cheese. Pour dressing over all and mix. To serve, spoon onto plates, sprinkle with broken up Doritos. Serve immediately.  

We love this salad!!  It is very filling. And it is a quick cook, simple supper or lunch with fast clean up.  I have taken this dish to potlucks and added the salad dressing and mixed it in at the last minute 
to keep it crunchy. 
*Note* You can use light version of dressing and ground turkey in place of beef and fat free cheese without altering the outcome too much. It is still delicious! Also, you may omit chips or olives or beans if you so desire. 
 Have a great day!!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Mom's Cucumbers and Cream Recipe

I was frying chicken and was thinking of something refreshing to go with it since it was such a hot day (90 degrees) I know, I know some of you will say Hot?(well for Michigan that is hot), annyway I remembered my Mom making these cucumbers and cream all summer long.  They are delicious, cool and creamy!

So here we go~~

Get some cucumbers from your garden (if you have one) or if you live in the frozen tundra for gardening like we do and don't have cucumbers on the vine, just use little ones from the store.  I used 10 for this recipe. You will also need a sweet onion (I used a vidalia which are my favs) and cut into a medium dice, also heavy cream or half and half, vinegar (any kind except red wine vinegar, unless you want pink cucumbers and cream  lol ), sea salt, sugar and pepper.

Peel and slice your cucumbers into slices like this.  

Now layer them in a bowl with the chopped onion and add a sprinkle of sea salt on each layer and keep going until you have all the cucumbers sliced and layered with the onions and salt.

Now get a plate that will fit inside your bowl and turn it upside down on top of the layers and set it aside on the counter.  Let it sit for about an hour so the cucumbers will give up some liquid and get wilted.

After an hour, take the bowl to the sink and drain out the liquid while pushing down on the plate. (If you want to lower the sodium of the final dish, you can now rinse and drain the whole mess o" cucumber love but I just leave it the way it is.)  Get your vinegar, I used this white wine one today but it is delicious with apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or rice wine vinegar.    I used about 10 small cucumbers and 3/4 ths of a medium size onion and I have about 4 cups of veggies, so I started with a third cup of vinegar and I just poured it on the cuke-onion mix.  Then pour in about three-fourths of the cream.  I used this......

But you can pour the whole thing in if you want it thinner consistancy.  It is a pint. I then add more salt (yes really because your cream mix needs a little salt love now.)     So salt to taste, add some black pepper and a couple teaspoons of sugar if you like it a little sweeter.  Stir and taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Put into the fridge for at least an hour to chill.  Serve.  (It is really good and is better the next day after the flavors have had more time to blend.

OHHHH, it is SSSOOO good!!!  I remember my aunt used to make this from her spotless fresh cream right from the cream separator.  Those were the days!!  She was such a good cook......homemade bread and butter, homemade dill pickles...  The best pickles I ever tasted in my life were hers!!!  I miss her!!  She was a great lady!!  Boy, my mouth is watering just thinkin about her cookin'...........But for now I guess it's time for supper...........fried chicken, glazed carrots, cucumbers & cream and rolls with homemade lemonade...Yumm..........!

I hope you have a good evening.

Blessings ~~Annabell

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The blog......

I am writing this blog to document some of my life's details for my family and friends. I LOVE  to decorate, paint and sew.   I love living in the country.  Our home, though not very fancy, is comfortable and pretty and I am always changing things around.  My mom used to tease me about painting saying my rooms were getting 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

3-Way Meatballs

Here is a great recipe that I made for dinner and wanted to share. These are homemade, unlike those frozen meatballs.  They are EASY to make.

 The second two recipes are easy and I will tell you how you can make them as well. You could easily double this meatball recipe and make one for now and freeze one for another day, or even all three, or just meatballs, plain and frozen and you can then make them up as you wish on the day of.... they are YUMMY !!

 I have made these for years and have gotten loads of recipe requests for these meatballs because they are homemade, easy, and delicious!  These are so versatile because you can take this same basic recipe and make three completely different meals, depending on what you add to them after they are browned.
 They also freeze very well. I cooked them on the stove top but you may brown them in the oven on a cookie sheet as well.(350 degrees/approx. 20 mins. ) This recipe makes enough for a family of five or six.

Here is the basic meatball (or base) recipe:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 c. crushed corn flakes (measured after crushing)
2 Tbs. minced onion
2 Tbs. worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs

Place all ingredients into a bowl except beef. Crumble ground beef over crumb mixture and mix until combined. Roll into meatballs about 1 and 1/2" to 2" diameter in size. In a large skillet, brown meatballs on all sides. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, about 12 minutes. (Or use oven method, described above).
At this point, you can make your meal in one of three ways, which I will explain below, or cool and freeze them and save them for later. You can also make any of the recipes below,(meat and sauce part) completely, and then freeze them for when you need a quick meal. 
#1 Recipe 
Swedish Meatballs:
PLEASE NOTE: You will need cooked mashed potatoes, or egg noodles (1 lb.), or rice. Whatever you prefer, you can cook it and keep it warm while the meatballs simmer.

For Swedish Meatballs:
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1 sm. can mushrooms
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4 tsp. allspice

*****After you have browned the meatballs, remove them from the skillet. Add undrained mushrooms to skillet and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add remaining ingredients, except sour cream and stir. Add meatballs back in and cook for 12 minutes on simmer. Add sour cream last. Do NOT boil or you will curdle the sour cream. The allspice gives a homecooked and delicious flavor! Serve immediately. We like these with pickled beets as a side dish and/or sliced cucumbers.

#2 Recipe
Spaghetti and Meatballs: Cook spaghetti according to directions on box. Keep warm.  
 AFTER BROWNING and before adding ANYTHING ELSE......
You just take those same meatballs and add spaghetti sauce to them in the skillet. Simmer for 15 minutes and served over cooked spaghetti. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you like. 

#3 Recipe
Hawaiian Meatballs:
For the third recipe....again, brown meatballs, AND THEN, add one bottle of barbecue sauce ( I use Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ Sauce), 2 bell peppers, any color, (I use a yellow and an orange one), diced, 1/2 onion, chopped, one med. can pineapple chunks, undrained.  Simmer 12 minutes. Easy.  We serve this one over rice.

I have put these meatballs, and all sauce ingredients, already cooked and cooled into a freezer container (box or bag) and freeze for up to 6 months. I just cook the rice or noodles, pasta or mashed potatoes at the last minute, and thaw, heat and serve the meatball/sauce combination on top.  These meatballs taste great all three ways!  Give them a try!  You can double this meatball recipe with great results.

I usually have at least one recipe of these in the freezer for unexpected company.

If you make these, let me know how you like them. 

Thanks. Have a great day !


Friday, February 27, 2015

Birdcage Pillow Tutorial {Inkjet printing directly to fabric}

I wanted to make a small pillow for my bed...........And I found an image of a birdcage at The Graphics Fairy that I really liked....
            ...this one...

I printed it out on regular paper..........................I washed and ironed a piece of muslin cut to the size of the paper..........
I then cut a piece of freezer paper the size of the computer printer paper as well......

I ironed the waxy side of the freezer paper to the muslin and loaded it into the paper tray of the printer...... I took my image and colored the birds blue and the lady's clothes and I also stenciled some swirls onto the image now looks like this..........

I scanned this 'new' image and printed it directly onto the muslin/freezer paper sheet that was loaded into my printer paper tray. You will need to use the mirror image feature on your printer for this process. Also make sure your muslin/freezer paper sheet is loaded upside down so it will print on the muslin and not on the freezer paper side....

Next, I printed the image......and removed the piece from the printer........

I then ironed the muslin to set the ink and peeled off the freezer paper backing.  You can now use your printed fabric for whatever you want.  I made mine into a pillow.......added trim, buttons, scalloped edge and green linen.  Here is how it turned out..............      

I like it and it looks cute on our bed or on our couch.......

So, what do you think? .......... thank you to Karen at The Graphics Fairy for the awesome images!

Have a wonderful day! 


Recycled Bedboard Shelf

 Well, we got a new tv and got rid of our old entertainment stand........

        ...... we had a bare spot above our television because our tv stand is smaller than our last one so.......... a picture ?   .......a shelf ?
    .......   I went to Home Depot and Lowe's and Walmart..... and I looked all over online for a shelf.....       I couldn't find one that I liked....    They just didn't have enough character. 

        So I started looking around the barn.... and garage....... and my husband's stack of old boards, even old pallets that he has out there........ 

                    And....... way under a stack of boards next to our old shed and under the snow, I saw it!!! .................

             It used to be part of our old waterbed. It was of course all wet and icky looking ...... yet I thought, had potential   ....character   .....possibly even charm...

     So,   I brought it in.... cut off the bad wood....washed 
it and let it dry.   I went back to Home Depot and bought 
some white brackets......and hung it.    I decorated it for Christmas.........................

And this is how it looks right now.....

 I really like it!!
                              blessings,   Annabell  :)

Here in Northern Michigan.........

Still in winter's icy grip!! 

      It is -20 degrees here today with wind gusts up to almost 30mph!! At least the sun is out and it is pretty.  I was on Pinterest for  a while this morning and the hot soups all looked so good. I think I will make one for dinner. 

Here is a picture outside my front door:

It is SSOOO icy cold out with that wind. I see another branch came down too.  I hope spring is on it's way. I think this has been the coldest winter I can ever remember.
Hope you all have a great day!  

                                            blessings,     Annabell