Friday, July 27, 2012

Baking Partners: A New Baking Group

Baking Partners: A New Baking Group

Baking a homemade bread, cake or cookies will give the best outcome. However in order to achieve the best results, a  perfect recipe and  right techniques are required.

We are a small group of home baker friends, who love and want to learn more about the nook and corners of baking.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group.

Main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic the procedure if there are ways to improve, and to eat a delicious food.

Rules are simple, we will choose one recipe  and send it out to the group by 16th of every month and  the reveal date will be 15th of the next month . On that day we will  blog about it. A linky tool will be open during that time and each member can link their post.

First month we are going to do a recipe, 2nd and 3rd month will be a theme and the 4th month we will be back at  a recipe. By doing in between recipes, we will able to learn more.

All enthusiastic bloggers interested in baking are welcome, please email me   at
We will appreciate the use of logo or worded link that will help to spread the word.  A bunch of thanks to Tina for designing this beautiful logo.

If you want to make it a gluten or vegan free diet, you can do those modifications also.

Baking Partners are
 Julie Erivum Puliyumm 
 Archana  ( Tangy Minds)
 Reshmi  ( EasY Cook
 Prathibha ( Cook Ezee 
Priya R ( Cook Like Priya)
Vidhya (  A Portion to Share)
Usha Rao ( My Spicy Kitchen
Divya Prakash( Divya’s Culinary Journey
Swasthi Blank ( Swasthi The Health Freak
Sanoli Ghosh ( Sanoli’s Kitchen
Jayasiri ( Samayalarai )
Pam Capone ( Live Ranch Delux)

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Road Trip with my Daughter

On July 12th my daughter and I left Utah en route to Nebraska for a wedding.  Our road trip ended up being 10 days of fun and a ton of driving in a Mini Cooper.  

 We got up at 3:00 am and were on the road by 4:30.  The drive through the Utah Desert was stunning.

 We took the I-70 route through Colorado.  The Rockies were beautiful, it rained through Vail. Anna made an appointment at a darling retro salon to get her bangs cut and we both got our eyebrows waxed that was a treat it had been a year and half since these gerbils were tamed.  

We were again on the road since Anna wanted to go to as many states she could we headed north to Wyoming to spend the night.  I made reservations at the Historic Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, WY.  Thinking I would give my daughter a wonderful experience at a historic old hotel was a good thing....NOT!  The sheets had stains on them and hair stuck to them.  We had already been up for 20 hours and I was way to tired to even do anything about it.  We took the top bedding off and just laid on the top of the bed.  I was happy to leave early in the morning.

 Not going to lie the drive through Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas pan-handle has got to be one of the most boring drives ever.  I could not wait for corn fields, farms and trees.  Anna and I did a lot of singing, in depth conversation about coloring and building a hotel in Kansas panhandle of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz.  We have some great ideas if anyone would like to back us on building it.

 Finally we started to drive past farms and seeing something other than flat land.

 Highlight of the trip all the Cabela's we drove by (and went into) I love Cabela's.  I will have to share some of the photos that are also on my iphone.  Here is the Mecca of Cabela's the World Headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska

This is my daughter Anna taken at Cabela's - geese and ducks all over the grounds of Cabela's

 This was taken right after the wedding going to the reception.  Doesn't Anna look beautiful in her Bettie Page dress.  (Bettie Page Clothing Company)

 My sister Kim and daughter Anna at the wedding

 Anna, myself, my stepmother Janet and sister Kim

Anna standing in a corn field in Illinois

After Nebraska we went to Illinois for a visit.  OMG the Mississippi is amazing and huge.  Loved all the farms through IL.  This was my first time to IL and I got to check off another state I have not been to, 24 more states until I have seen all 50.

We drove through Iowa.  We stopped in Bettendorf to visit Deb and friend I met on the internet many years ago.  I didn't even think about taking photos however we had a wonderful visit and seeing her two dogs Shelby and Stella.  We spent the night in Pella, Iowa and darling Dutch town.  I saw the Pella plant where my windows were made for our house in CA.

These cute little guys were at a Amish Country Store in Iowa right at the Missouri boarder.  They were close to the bridges of Madison and I'm kicking myself now for not stopping.

I finally got to get off the highway and drive the back roads of Missouri.  I was very excited when we came across a Amish buggy.  Anna spotted horse poo on the road and said it's fresh I bet the buggy is close and it was just around the bend.

We stayed with my sister a couple of nights and visited with her.  While we waited for her to get off work we went for a drive and to get dinner since we had not eaten since that morning.  My sister is just 7 or so miles from Kansas.  I would have liked to have gotten a better photo of Leavenworth Prison it was beautiful and spooky at the same time.  I will have to see if our iphone's have a better photo.  Please excuse the typo on the photo, to lazy to change it.

After leaving my sister's house we headed home through Kansas, to Colorado and then on to Utah.  I will close here for now.  I do have iphone photos to share and our adventure on the day we spent with my sister Kim.  

Until Next Time,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anna's Favorite Pasta

My daughter Anna loves wheat pasta and pesto sauce. She asked me to make her a pasta dish for dinner.  As we walked through the market together we picked the ingredients to go into her dish.  While I was writing this blog I asked her what we should name the dish her response was "Crack Pasta" I laughed and she said "no mom, it's that good, I could eat it everyday" music to a moms ears.  So in honor of my daughter I give you...

Anna's Favorite Pasta

1 package Delallo Organic Farfalle No. 87 100% Whole Wheat Pasta
1 2 oz jar Delallo Pine Nuts
6 medium to large baby portabello mushrooms, sliced thick
1 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 6.35 oz jar Delallo Pesto Sauce in Olive Oil
4 links Italian sausage
1/2 cup Delallo Italian Bread Crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions shortening cooking time by 3 minutes, drain and put back into pan.

Toast pine nuts in skillet just until they start to lightly brown, remove from skillet and set aside.  In the same pan add 2 tablespoons olive oil, saute mushrooms on medium low heat for 10 minutes, remove from skillet and set aside.  Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute bell pepper and for 8 minutes add garlic the last 40 seconds of cooking, add to mushrooms.  Slice sausage and cook in the same skillet until browned.

Put pine nuts, mushrooms and bell peppers in the pot with the pasta.  Add pesto sauce and mix together.  Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs and top with butter cubes. Bake in a 375 degree over for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for another 10 minutes.

Until Next Time,

Happy Birthday Dad, I miss you 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

French Onion Soup Potatoes

I have been wanting some french onion soup but it has been to darn hot to make soup.  To combat my craving I made French Onion Soup Potatoes.  I love how easy this recipe is to put together and simple to clean-up.  You can also put these in individual bundles of foil and place on the BBQ or in your camp firepit.

French Onion Soup Potatoes

6 large red potatoes, cubed into bite size pieces
2 large onions, cubed into bite size pieces
1 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
6 beef bouillon cubes
1 stick butter, cubed
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Place 2 large piece of foil criss-crossed in a baking dish. In the center of the foil add potatoes, onions and rosemary.  Push bouillon cubes into the potatoes and onions. Top with the cubes of butter.  Pull up the foil making making a tight basket not to let steam escape.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes are fork tender.

Until Next Time,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cucumber Season

It's cucumber season.  This is a easy cucumber recipe (this is not a canning recipe) perfect for snacking or to take to a picnic.

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

3 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin (I used English cucumbers)
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dried red peppers

Peel and slice cucumbers and slice onion place in bowl.  In a sauce pan add vinegar, sugar and peppers bring to a boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat, cool for 30 minutes add to cucumbers and onions. Place in jar or plastic container with lid refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

BLT Pasta Salad

Today is the big day Laura's Wedding - Enjoy this recipe while I am with family


Back in June I made this BLT Salad and it was delicious. This salad is perfect for a family reunion, pot-luck or picnic.  The dressing is so good that I am now making it for other salads.

BLT Pasta Salad
With Creamy Bacon Dressing
Cuisine at Home - Issue No. 94 July/August 2012

1 lb dry campanelle pasta
1 lb thick sliced bacon, diced

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp minced shallots
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
salt and pepper to taste

Stir In
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups halved grape tomatoes

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Transfer pasta to a bowl of ice water; drain well.  Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 3 tablespoons drippings, set aside to cool.

Whisk together mayonnaise, bacon drippings, shallots, basil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta, romaine, tomatoes and bacon.  Add dressing and toss to coat; season again if needed with salt and pepper.  If you are taking the salad to an event put everything together toss with dressing just before serving.

Until Next Time,

Jam Hands

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Can Hear Willie Nelson...On The Road Again

Before going to bed last night I could check the following off my list, pedicure, packed suitcase, coffee ready to turn on in the morning and travel cups out.

Right now my daughter Anna and I are on a road trip to Nebraska for my Niece Laura's wedding.

I am looking forward to seeing my extended family it's been 7 years since I have seen many of them. I will be taking a lot of photos to and from this trip.  Not sure what day we will be back we are going to take our time driving and seeing the sights.  I will be stopping in Rock Port, Missouri so Anna can see where I spent my summers growing up.  

I made sure that I put together some food blog posts before I left.  I am going to try and blog about our trip along the way, internet permitting.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pina Colada Dump Cake

I was in the mood for cake however, my husband does not like cake.  Personally I love cake but I don't want to make a big cake if I'm the only one eating it.  I decided to make a dump cake I figured my husband would like it with fruit that way it's more like a cobbler.  There are only 3 of us so I decided to scale it down.

Pina Colada Dump Cake

20 oz can crushed pineapple, do not drain
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and stems removed
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup Malibu Coconut Rum
1/2 a bag of yellow cake mix
4 tablespoons butter, sliced

In a 8 x 8 baking dish dump pineapple, cherries, coconut and rum and mix together.  Sprinkle cake mix on top and lightly pat down.  Place slices of the butter on top of bake mix place in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

My family loved it and are looking forward to having it again.

Until Next Time,

ps...I didn't even know yesterday was Pina Colada Day

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Banana Bread

Anna and I leave on Thursday morning for our vacation.  I'm making sure Bill has enough food so he doesn't starve.  Tomorrow I'm making a big pot of chili for him.  I'm going to put it in freezer containers that way if he gets sick of eating chili he can just pop it into the freezer.  He has his favorites pickled eggs, pepperoni, cheese, crackers, bagels, Pepsi's and ranch flavored sunflower seeds.

I noticed that the bananas are not going to make it a few more days, time to make a loaf and it is one of Bill's favorites.  I love the smell of banana bread baking,  just might have to sneak a slice with a nice amount of butter or maybe some pineapple cream cheese.

Banana Bread
Inspired by a recipe at

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 large bananas, very ripe and mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together sugar, butter and eggs.  Sift baking powder, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and flour and add to wet ingredients, mix together.  Add bananas and vanilla and mix until incorporated.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.   Optional: chopped nuts 3/4 cup.

Until Next Time,

Never Ending Fire Protection

Last year Bill worked on clearing brush and trimming up trees around our house in order to help protect our house in case of a fire.  The Forestry and BLM were also on and around our property clearing trees and brush too.  We have scrub oak growing all over our property and it is taking over.  Last year Bill cleared it all out.  This year it came back with a vengeance.  We are going to cut it all back again by fall. There is a poison the BLM suggested we use to kill it.  We only want to get rid of the oaks that are close to the house and in the area we want to keep clear for a park like setting.  

Right now Bill is working the sage brush and trimming up more trees.  This summer it has been 10 to 15 degrees hotter than last year I really feel for Bill.  It doesn't look like the BLM and Forestry are going to be clearing the next stage of land.  There have been so many fires in Utah that it has taken them away from the plans they had this year.  The times we have seen them they have been training by doing timed walks up the livestock trail with loaded packs on their backs and carrying chainsaws.  I hope these guys get a break from being sent all over the state fighting fires.

With the sell of fireworks in Utah they are on high alert.  

The area around the house is looking so beautiful. All this hard work not just for beauty but to keep our home safe from a forest fire.

Until Next Time,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Love

I follow over 100 bloggers, some everyone has heard of like The Pioneer Woman some are like me a couple dozen followers.  I follow these people not by how many followers they have but how they inspire me. Today I am highlighting a few bloggers - visit them and send your Blog Love.

Blog posts and bloggers that inspire me to get creative, cook, craft, write

Circus Popcorn

Melon Berry Diablo Cocktail Popsicle

Pickled Beets

I love Jenny's gift of writing

For the Home

My Daughter's Blog

Homemade Creamed Corn and Check out her post on the Kino Sandals

Patriotic Pillow Project (Lisa oozes creativity)

Another creative blogger that does it all and her dog Doogan makes me smile

Until Next Time,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes

The Utah summer games are going on this month.  Today's event is cycling and our road will be closed from 10am until 6pm.   There is no other way in or out so we will be shut-ins for the day.  This will be perfect day to start making my to-do list and packing for our trip next week.  It is nice to have a day that you do not have to rush around you can just take your time and get things done without any distractions.

I made this mashed potato dish the night before all I have to do is heat it up tonight along with some leftovers.  

Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, grated
1 stick of butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon Slap Yo Mamma seasonings
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups cheedar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
extra butter

Boil potaotes until fork tender, drain and add to large mixing bowl. Add onion, butter, milk, pepper and seasonings beat until smooth. Stir in cheese. Place in a baking dish sprinkle with bread cumbs and dab with butter over top of bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until heated through and bread crumbs have browned.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Baileys Irish Cream Hot Fudge Sundaes

My husband is not a fan of "Sweets" I'm always trying to come up with something he will like without making the same thing over and over.  I love Baileys Irish Cream I put it in coffee both hot and cold. I wanted to make hot fudge sundaes and decided to put the Irish Cream and Hot Fudge together how delicious would that be.  I'm happy to say he loved it.

Baileys Irish Cream Hot Fudge Sundaes

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Smuckers Hot Fudge Sauce
2/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar to butter mix together.  Press into a small baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, set aside to cool.

Heat hot fudge sauce over medium low heat in a sauce pan until melted.  Remove from heat add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk together until incorpated.

Cumble graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the ice cream dish and then again after each scoop of ice cream.  Top with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and some more of the graham cracker crumbs.

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

My family and I will be spending the day at home.  

We will be having bison cheeseburgers, corn-on-the-cob and salad.  Utah has not banned fireworks this season which seems silly since there are between 8 and 10 fires burning in the state.  We live in a high fire area and after talking to the Forestry guys last year it would be better to stay at home just in case of a fire we would be able to grab our photos some clothing and get out.

I am very proud to be an American and thankful for the Servicemen and woman who have served our Country so we can be Free and Safe.

American the Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

My country, 'tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

Our glorious Land to-day,
'Neath Education's sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation's pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven's gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!

God Bless America

God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

American Flag Etiquette

  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
  • The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Home of the Free because of the Brave

Until Next Time,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Johnsonville - Brat Cocktail Entry

I entered my recipe in the Johnsonville Brat-Cocktail contest for a Weber Gas BBQ.  I have been whining to my husband since last summer that I want a gas bbq grill.  We are not allow to have open fires with wood or charcoal  since we live in a high fire area.   In California I BBQ'ed all year round. I miss BBQ'ing so much. Crossing my fingers that this recipe is a winner.

To enter the contest or view the enteries go to Johnsonville's Facebook Page and while you are there give The Southern Gentlement some LOVE by clicking on the Tongs.

The Southern Gentlemen

Package of Johnsonville Beef Brats
1 cup Bourbon 
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half thin slices
1 large yellow pepper, sliced thin
salt and pepper, to taste
2teaspoons honey
a shot of the brat bath
Deli Rolls, split and toasted
spicy mustard
smoked gouda cheese, grated

Heat  bourbon and chicken broth in a sauce pan.  Add Johnsonville Beef Brats and let simmer for 20 minutes. Heat olive oil in a sautee pan, add onion and peppers cook low and slow until tender about minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste, honey and a shot of the brat bath and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Toast deli rolls add mustard to taste, add onions and peppers and top with smoked gouda and place under broiler just until cheese starts to lightly brown.  Serve with Bush's Honey Baked Beans and Cole Slaw. 

Kick back with these Southern Gentlemen and a shot of bourbon. 

Until Next Time,

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