Daily Tidbits

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Zesty Corn Relish

Printable Recipe

  • 8 cups cooked sweet corn kernels, cut from the cobs of 10 to 12 medium ears
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red peppers
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced poblano pepper (I added a jalepeno too)
  • 2 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 t mustard seed
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Blanch the corn. (Put the corn into boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and place immediately into cold water.)
  2. Remove the corn kernels.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the corn, red pepper, onion, and poblano pepper. Set aside.
  4. In a large pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, cumin, coriander seed, celery seed, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the corn mixture.
  6. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  7. Simmer uncovered for ~15 minutes.
  8. Spoon off any accumulated foam.
  9. Ladle into 4 pint or 8 half-pint sterilized canning jars.
  10. Cover jars with lids and screw on the bands.
  11. Process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Holly's Notes:
My aunt swore that she remembered my grandmother making corn relish, but no one could find Grandma's original recipe.  I found this recipe at A Farm Girl's Dabbles.  The recipe was a refrigerator recipe, but I canned it instead.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Family Favorite Friday: Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Easy and yummy.  Quick and completely done on the stove top.

  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not the kind in oil)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. Warm the olive oil.
  2. Sauté the garlic, but don’t let it brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and sauté about one more minute.
  4. Add the wine, broth and cream.
  5. Bring it to a simmer.
  6. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 12-15 minutes), stirring often.
  7. Add onions, basil, and chicken.
  8. Stir together and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  9. Pour sauce over the pasta, toss to coat, add grated parmesan cheese if desired and serve.
Holly's Note:
This is even better second day. It is fabulous when paired with green salad and Herbed Bread Rolls.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

God Created Chocolate



Monday, September 22, 2014

Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers

Printable Recipe

  • 1 bag Rolo candies
  • 1-2 rolls Ritz crackers
Cooking Directions
  1. Place Ritz crackers on a cookie sheet salted (face) side down, and top each one with a Rolo candy.
  2. At 350 degrees, bake for ~3-5 minutes to soften the Rolos. You don't want them melted.
  3. Remove from the oven and immediately top the Rolos with a second Ritz cracker, salted (face) side up.
  4. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  5. There are about 49-56 Rolos candies per bag (serving size suggests 49, my bag had 56).

Holly's Note:
I found this via Pinterest on Lick the Bowl Good.  It's oh so easy and delicious.  I made some for the gals in my husband's office and they were a huge hit.  I think they would also be good dipped in chocolate.  I love that the total process takes so little time.

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 and Juicing

So The Doctor and I saw Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2 in the theater last night.  It was a one time release for the new film. We first watched Fat Sick & Nearly Dead several years ago. It was on Netflix and The Doctor had heard about it from a patient. We watched it, loved it and bought our own copy along with a juicer.

The Doctor did a 60 day juice fast two years ago and lost a significant amount of weight. But, like most weight loss programs, it's hard to go back to real life without a plan. The weight slowly crept back on. For both of us.

A couple of weeks ago, we got back on the health wagon and pulled the juicer out. No 60 day fasts, just a juice in the mornings for me and a couple throughout the work day for The Doctor. It's amazing the difference it makes to get straight, healthy nutrients into your body. Cravings go away too, which is awesome.

If you haven't seen Fat Sick & Nearly Dead, it's a fantastic documentary about an Australian man named Joe Cross who goes on a quest for health. He's overweight and on meds for an autoimmune disease and decides to eat nothing but juice for 60 days. For the course of those 60 days, he travels around America talking to people about health. He also loses over 60 lbs.

6 years later, Joe has made a second film, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2, where he chronicles the past 6 years since his original fast.  He revisits some people he met during the first film and he talks more about health and how to eat and live a healthy lifestyle in an unhealthy world. Juicing is a big part of that lifestyle, but so is moderation and making good food choices along with exercise.

The film was fantastic. I can't wait to get my own copy. It was honest, real and inspiring. I loved that we saw what happened to people Joe met in the first film. I really appreciated the fact that moderation was discussed and the idea that food isn't bad for you, some food is just healthier than others and it's all about choices and moderation. I can live with that.

The Doctor prefers green juice. I prefer mine to have a bit more fruit in it, although I am slowly replacing fruit with more greens.  I make our juices before bed and they chill in the fridge overnight. The Doctor takes his to work with him. I drink mine in the morning.

The Doctor's Green Juice

Kale (several leaves)
Broccoli (small bunch)
Carrots (about 4)
2 apples (1 granny smith/1 fuji)
Parsnip (about a 4 inch piece)

Holly's Juice

2 apples (1 granny smith/1 fuji)
1 orange
1 carrot
Strawberries (a handful)
Kale (several leaves)
Spinach (a couple of handfuls)

You can learn more about juicing and Joe Cross at Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. You can watch the film on Netflix. It's fantastic. Truly inspiring.  I can't wait until the new film is available on DVD.

Monday, September 15, 2014

French Toast

Printable Recipe

  • 1 loaf Texas Toast (about 18 slices)
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 T vanilla
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
  2. Dip each slice of bread in the egg/milk mixture.
  3. Place each slice on a greased griddle.
  4. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove.
  6. Serve with syrup or powdered sugar.
Serves ~6 or 4, including a teenager.

Holly's Notes:
What is it about French Toast?  I mean, it originated as a way to use day old bread and now it's practically gourmet.  We don't reserve French Toast for just breakfast, we love it for dinner too. My personal preference is for thick Texas Toast with syrup and sausage!

I also cook the entire loaf of bread.  If it doesn't get eaten, it's great to freeze and then just pop in the toaster later.

The vanilla and cinnamon add just an extra decadence to a simple dish.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Family Favorite Friday: Potato Casserole AKA Funeral Potatoes

This is one of my favorite recipes.  Ever.  I can eat it as a side dish, I can eat it as a main dish.  It's versatile and delicious.  Never use corn flakes.  The parmesan/bread crumb topping is fantastic.

Printable Recipe

  • 1 package frozen hashbrowns (I like the shredded style)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 can milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the hashbrowns, soup, sour cream, milk, cheese and onion. Dump it into a 9x13 pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and butter. Spread over the top of the casserole.
  3. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
Holly’s Note:
Here in Idaho, these are called Funeral Potatoes. I refuse to call them that, but I do get asked quite often to bring them to funeral luncheons! The original recipe that I have came from my great-aunt. I realize that there are tons of recipes like this out there, but I like to think that it is a family recipe because I copied it from her a gazillion years ago. Her original recipe said to cook the potatoes and shred them. I buy frozen hash browns.

This also freezes well. It's the perfect accompaniment to ham or as a side dish for barbeque. We often have it alone as a meatless meal.

Many recipes call for corn flakes on top.  I can't stand it that way.  The Parmesan/bread crumb topping is so good and gives the dish a very elegant look.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Never Forget

Where were you that September day?
Is your flag flying today?
Have you forgotten?
Do you think it's important to remember

The Brother is 13. He was 9 months old on September 11, 2001. He knows about the twin towers, but is just now starting to understand what really happened. Last night we talked a bit about that day and where we were and how we felt.

There are significant moments in life that stand out, whether they are personal or national. My mother remembers the day President Kennedy was assassinated. I have memories of the moon landing and I remember watching the twin towers fall and the terror and uncertainty of 9/11.

How grateful I am for those who founded this country and created an inspired Constitution that still stands despite efforts to destroy it. How grateful I am to live in a country that is still free. How grateful I am for the men and women who serve in the military and for those who have given their lives in service of this country so I can enjoy the freedoms I have.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Sometimes for a snack or a craving, I just want a slice of white bread spread with peanut butter and jam.  Homemade raspberry jam is my favorite.  Add a glass of milk and it's perfect.  Comfort food at its best.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chicken and Mushrooms

Printable Recipe

  • 8 chicken tenderloins or about 1-1/2 lbs of chicken breasts pounded and sliced into strips
  • 2 t butter
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 can chicken broth, set aside 1/4 cup
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Cooking Directions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. 
  2. Lightly dredge in flour.
  3. Heat a large skillet on medium heat; when hot add about 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. 
  4. Add chicken to the skillet and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink. 
  5. Set aside in a warm oven.
  6. Add additional oil and butter to the skillet. 
  7. Add the garlic and saute a few seconds; add the mushrooms and salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until golden and the mushrooms have started to soften, about 5-8 minutes.
  8. Add the wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil and let simmer. 
  9.  Stir occasionally and get all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. 
  10.  Stir the cornstarch into the remaining chicken broth and add it to the gravy for thickening. 
  11. Cook a few more minutes or until the liquid reduces by half or it is thick to your preference. 
  12. Add the chicken back into the mushroom sauce and serve over mashed potatoes or rice.
Serves 4

Holly's Notes:
I found the original recipe at My Love for Cooking.  I tweaked it and we were really happy with the results. It was very light and filling.  I served it with some garlic mashed potatoes, but it would be good with rice or pasta.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Family Favorite Friday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Always a favorite.  Comfort food at its finest.

Printable Recipe

  • 4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 packages frozen broccoli/cauliflower blend (parboil for 1 minute and drain)
  • 3 cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 t curry powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix vegetables with soup, mayonnaise, and curry.
  2. Add chicken pieces, mix well.
  3. Dump into a 9 x 13 pan.
  4. Mix together the butter, parmesan and bread crumbs.
  5. Spread over the top of the casserole.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.
Holly's Note:
This is seriously one of my kids' favorite meals.  My non-veggie eater will inhale it and then take it for lunch the next day and eat it cold at school.  It's easy and a great way to use up leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken breasts.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What to do? Jalapeno oil on your face...

So, I just did my second batch of salsa for the summer.  I know that it is advised to use gloves when cutting up peppers, but I never have.  I've never had a problem with pepper oil bothering me.  I guess this batch of peppers was different and I don't know which pepper was the culprit: jalapeno, anaheim, habanero, I used them all.

It started on my face.  I can't remember touching my face, but I must have and my nose and upper lip began burning.  Later on it was my hands.

I washed with cold water and soap.  Soothing for the moment, but it didn't stop.

One solution said yogurt: I didn't have any but I poured some milk on a cloth and pressed it against my face while I searched my tablet for more solutions. Again, soothing for the moment, but it didn't stop.

One solution said aloe vera. I have an aloe vera plant on my counter and I pulled off a piece and rubbed the gel on my face. Nothing.  I washed again in cold water and rinsed.  I have some aloe vera gel that stays in my fridge for sunburns and that was soothing for the moment, but didn't help overall.

Finally, I saw an explanation.  The pepper oil is not soluble in water, so the writer said to rub on olive oil and rinse with soap and water.  That I did.  It lessened the pain, but it didn't go away.

The next solution was to use automotive soap. Well, if it dissolves automotive grease and oil, why not? My husband has some of that Fast Orange pumice kind and normally I hate the smell.  But, I rubbed it on my hands and yes, my face (avoiding my eyes, because they were fine).  I then rinsed with soap and water.

That combination of olive oil and automotive soap was the best combination.  It made the pain bearable and within 20 minutes, it was gone completely.

I don't know that I will use gloves the next time.  I'll probably try it at least once to see how awkward it is to cut peppers that way.  At any rate, I do not want to deal with this again.

What about you?  Have you ever felt the jalepeno burn?  What worked for you?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Milky Way Brownie Bites

Printable Recipe

  • 1 brownie mix and ingredients to bake them
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare brownies as directed on the box.
  2. Spoon 1 teaspoon into greased mini muffin tins. I prefer to use mini baking cups as getting the brownies out of the pan is always hard for me.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes at 350.
  4. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, then use a wooden tart shaper or spoon to push the centers in.
  5. Let cool 2-3 more minutes in the pan, then remove to wire rack and cool completely.
Prepare Homemade Chocolate Frosting
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix it all together, adding more liquid or sugar depending on the consistency you want.
  2. Makes about 2 cups.
Spoon a small amount of caramel into each brownie cup. Top with a swirl of frosting.  Eat.  Enjoy. Bliss.

Makes about 36 brownie bites.

Holly's Notes:
I found the original recipe at Inside BruCrew Life.  The original recipe called for a chocolate whipped topping, but I wanted the chocolate buttercream.

These were amazing.  A hit with everyone.  Easy to make and delicious.  Rich too.  You'll definitely want a glass of milk.

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