Monday, October 20, 2014

Macaroni with Kale and Creamy Pumpkin Sauce~~#PumpkinWeek

Today is the first day of #PumpkinWeek, hosted by Terri of Love and Confections.  This is going to be a fun filled week of everything pumpkin.  I am a pumpkin fanatic and I am so excited to share my recipes and learn some new recipes this week.

I think that many people, when if they think of pumpkin, only think of Halloween Jack o Lanterns, Pie and perhaps a pumpkin roll.  Well, we are here to tell you that there is  much more than that to your average pumpkin.  Wait until you see all the great recipes we have in store for you.

I wanted to start the week of with a savory recipe. That's right....pumpkin is good even when it is not served in a dessert.  Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and vitamin A and C.  In this first recipe I share I guarantee you that if you don't tell your family that there is pumpkin in the recipe they will never know....just in case you have some picky can simply tell them it is Mac and Cheese.  You can include any vegetables you like or none at all if you prefer.  I used Kale because we love it and it was in my fridge.  Kale is a nutritional power house to so if you can sneak it in, go for it.

The first thing I did to prepare for pumpkin week is make some pumpkin puree.  You can find my easy peasy recipe here or you can pick up some canned pumpkin puree.

Combine Cream Cheese, Milk, Butter and Pumpkin.
Cook and stir over low heat until melted and creamy.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In a separate pan, saute onion and kale in olive oil until tender.

Add Kale mixture to the Cream Cheese Mixture.

Stir to combine. 
 Add another drop of milk if sauce is too thick.

Toss with the pasta, cooked according to package directions.
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese or Parmesan/Romano Blend

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Pasta with Kale and Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

1 (1 lb) box pasta of your choice, I used Penne, cooked per package directions
1 (8 oz) block Neufchatel cheese
1 stick butter
3/4 c. milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/8 t nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/4 c. Parmesan/Romano cheese blend 

Place cream cheese, butter, milk and pumpkin puree into a large sauce pan.  Cook and stir over med low heat until melted and combined.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  In a separate pan saute onions and kale in olive oil until softened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.. Add to the Cheese mixture.  Combine with your cooked pasta and place into a baking pan or casserole sprayed with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until browned on top and bubbly.  Print Recipe

And a little note from our host:

We are celebrating our love of the season with a whole week of pumpkin goodies, leading up to National Pumpkin Day. 17 Food Bloggers have come together to share over 65 recipes with you. In addition to homemade pumpkin puree, pie, and cookies, we are also sharing savory pumpkin dishes like hummus, chili and pumpkin corn chowder. Come back every day for #PumpkinWeek recipes. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections' #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board!

Check out all the #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:
Pumpkin Loaf by Love and Confections
Lemongrass-Kissed Sankaya (Thai Pumpkin Custard) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting by The Spiffy Cookie
Pumpkin Peach Smoothie by Happy Food Healthy Life
Egg and Pumpkin Breakfast Cups by Curious Cuisiniere
Witches Eye Glass Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes by Lady Behind The Curtain
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree by Life Tastes Good
Pumpkin Orange Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Macaroni with Kale and Creamy Pumpkin Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Samosas by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter by My Catholic Kitchen
Pumpkin Scones by Making Miracles
Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Pajama Chef
Pumpkin Molasses Cookies by That's My Home
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oatmeal by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Low Carb Praline Pumpkin Pie by Yours And Mine Are Ours

Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Writing Fiction

Today is the first day of the 31 Day Challenge, hosted by The Nester and co hosted by Kate Motaung of  Five Minute Friday.  The Nester challenges us to write each and every day in October on one topic.  I am not sure that my pledge to write fiction each day qualifies as a topic but I am doing it anyway.  To make things even more interesting, Kate, has challenged us to limit our writing on said topic to only 5 minutes a day using a different word prompt each day that she has provided.

We will see how it goes...wish me luck and please stick with me during this journey.  I will gladly accept any feedback you have to offer.  This is completely new territory for me.

Day 1-Move


 I couldn't move.  I was paralyzed with fear.  I had heard of this happening but I didn't believe it was real.

How did I come to be here?  How could I have been so blind, so stupid.  It had seemed like such a good idea.  He was charming, rich, handsome....everything I had dreamed of finding in a man.

Was that what happened? Was I so enthralled in my dreams that I was blind to the truth?  It had sounded so innocent, so perfect.

Let's move away together, just you and I.  Somewhere we can call our own.  Somewhere secluded where no one else will be able to bother us.  It will be just the two of us, he said.  Our own little paradise.

I mean, really, how many people can afford to buy their own Island?  A whole entire Island just for us...and the staff, of course.  And the many guests we would have...because we both loved to entertain and be sociable sometimes.....or so I believed...


One year ago--Organizing for October and A Little Background

Day 2-View


We were entertaining the first time I got a view of the Island.  We had 50 people on the yacht and as I stood at the side of the boat looking over the railing he said "See that Island there?"  It was breathtaking! Imagine my excitement when he got down on one knee and proposed telling me that he had bought that Island just that week as a wedding gift for me.

I stood there flabbergasted as all of our acquaintances, friends and family began to applaud.  They had all known...they were all in on this little surprise.  I couldn't wait to accept his proposal.  I couldn't believe that this fairy tale was my life!!

As I looked out among the crowd I viewed my best friend, Lila, with a frown upon her face.


One year ago--Mom Falls

Day 3-New


Unfortunately, this was nothing new.  Lila had a look of consternation on her face every time she was around him.  She says she is worried about me.  That he is too controlling.  That I am blinded by my infatuation with him.  Why can't she see him as everyone else does?  Why can't she just be happy for me?  I think she is just jealous because I don't have the spare time to spend with her.  We used to do everything together.  Go everywhere together.  It was such an easy, relaxed atmosphere.  I could tell her anything.  We could talk for hours.  

It is true that we haven't gotten to spend as much time together, but he hates not being included when we go places and I do things.  Lila asks why he always has to be with me...she doesn't understand a love like ours.  I find myself avoiding her sometimes because I know that she disapproves of this relationship.  


One year ago--Happiness is Having your Hair Done

Day 4-Learn


You would think after all these years of being friends with Lila I would have learned that she always had my back. 

All I can say is I was blind...I didn't see the truth that she was pointing to.  I told myself she was jealous.  I told myself she didn't understand.  I told myself she was wrong.  I convinced myself that she wasn't really my friend.  

So when he told me that he really didn't want her around too much anymore because he felt that she was judgmental and bitter, I agreed with him.  I slowly started making excuses when she wanted to get together.  I quit answering the phone.  My texts were terse with a "sorry, I've been busy" air to them.  Finally her calls came less and less frequently.  Those few times that I did take her calls, I pitied her for her insecurities.  I couldn't wrap my head around why she refused to be happy for me.  I was angry that she constantly wanted to talk about how I had "changed".  How I was "losing who I was".


One year ago--Memories of Mom

Day 5-Stuck


But I didn't listen.  I didn't want to hear.  And now I am stuck here.

I have no one to whom I can turn.  I am alone.  Stuck on an Island with a mad man and everyone thinks that I am living the life!!  The only person who could know that I am not living the life was Lila and I pushed her away.  

It began very slowly, this total isolation, and I was so happy, so in love, that I did not see it happening.  First the staff started being let go one by one.  Nobody could seem to do the job properly in his eyes.  And finally he quit replacing them, saying we were better off doing it ourselves.

Maybe it was my fault.  It started with Cook.  Cook was wonderful and her food was delicious but I missed being in the kitchen so I simply asked that we give her extra days off so that I could start cooking again.


One year ago-Another Day

Day 6-Know


I can hear Lila's voice in my head right now..."Don't be ridiculous, how were you to know that he would take that as an excuse to fire the cook".  She would be admonishing me right now to not allow him to make me the bad guy in this scenario.  She would have my back as she always did.  Oh, how I miss her.

I know that I screwed up.  I know now that when something looks too good to be true that it usually is.  But I didn't know that at the beginning. I was too busy.  Oh, it was so much fun making plans for the house, taking day trips over to the Island to see the progress on it.  He let me have anything I wanted..."only the best for my wife", he would say.  Once the house was built, months were spent decorating it.  Oh and the travel....because if you want Persian rugs you go to Persia and if you want Italian tile you go to Italy.  I didn't have time for anyone else.  I slowly let all those relationships slip away. 

He does still allow me talk to my Mom once a week but only when he is present to monitor my end of the conversation.  I don't know how I let this happen.  I am not a stupid woman...just a naive woman, I guess.


One year ago--Mom and Frank

Day 7- Go


"There you go again" he says.  "Why can't you just be content with all the good things I've given you?, You are always complaining, always wanting more".

Every time I broach the subject of leaving the Island for a while.  Of going to see my mom or having a party with some of our friends that we haven't seen in so long.  I just want to go somewhere, anywhere.  He asks why I would want anything more.  Is he not enough for me?  Does he not dote on my every little whim?  Yes, I want to scream, YES, YES, YES.  You dote on me constantly.  I can't go to the bathroom in peace.  I can't shower alone.  I can't read a book.  I have no computer, no phone.  I can't go for a walk alone.  I can't breathe!!

I used to think it was so cute...


One year ago--No Mom Monday

Day 8-Say


What can I say?  I don't understand myself why I thought his cloying neediness was so cute.  I didn't see it for what it was.  Now I am suffocating here.

He says that he loves me but this is not love.  I am not sure what it is but I know that love should not make you feel like a prisoner.  

The next person to be let go was the upstairs maid.  He said that he caught her snooping around in our personal areas.  When I asked who we would get to replace her he said that we would take care of the upkeep in our bedrooms and sitting rooms.  I asked what about when we had guests, and was it my imagination or did he hesitate for a moment, like there was no reason for him to have considered that, before replying that we would hire temporary help while entertaining.


One year ago--Zzzzzz's

Day 9-Join


I am not sure what happened to the internet service.  It went out, or so he said, and it still hasn't been fixed.  He says it is hard to get the internet provider to come out to the Island to fix it but he had no problem at all getting them to come out to install it.

It quit working shortly after friends of ours posted on facebook that they were planning a trip to Costa Rica and asked us to join them.  I thought it sounded like fun but he didn't want to go.  He complained that our friends were immature and childish. It was going to be nothing but a drunk fest and he did not feel like joining in.  I was very disappointed and then when we got this photo from them showing that it had been a fitness vacation, he got angry that I was bringing it up again.  

He didn't understand why I felt the need to join our friends in everything they did.  He didn't understand why I wasn't happy spending time with him.  


One year ago-The Morning Ritual

Day 10-Care


I tried to explain to him how I loved spending time with him but what about other people?  What would they think if we always ignored them and turned down their invitations?  He said he didn't care what others thought and that neither should I.  The only person whose opinion I should care about was his.  

I tried to tell him that his opinion was very important to me but that I didn't know what to say to people when they asked why we were not being sociable anymore.  They thought they had done something wrong and we didn't like them anymore.  I wasn't able to answer their questions.

A couple of days later...I couldn't find my phone anywhere.  I searched high and was gone. He said that the downstairs maid must have taken it and the next thing I knew, she too, was gone.


One year ago-I can see clearly now

Day 11-Teach


I don't believe that the downstairs maid took it.  I believe he was just trying to teach me a lesson.  I asked him to please let me hire a replacement, that there was no way that I could tend to this house on my own.  He said that I needn't worry about the whole house, after all there were only the two of us and I never used all the wonderful things that he tried to give me...the pool, the gym, the sauna...instead I kept myself to the kitchen where I ignored him because I was busy cooking or in my room where I turned my back to him and cried myself to sleep.  Did I think he didn't hear me at night? he asked.  I made him feel guilty and he didn't appreciate my weeping and feeling sorry for myself after all that he had done for me.

I said that my cooking was for make him happy and that my tears were just because I was lonely.  He can't understand why I would be lonely when he is right here beside me all day, every day.


One year ago-An Available Resource

Day 12-Rest


I don't know why I am so tired all the time.  I can't seem to get enough rest.  I fall asleep throughout the day and feel so tired and weepy all the time.  He gets angry because I am "mopey".  He doesn't understand what more I could want.  I want to get off this damn Island but when I say that he gets hurt and shuts me out.  And then there is no one.  All the house staff has been let go.  There is still the grounds keeper and the captain of the ship.  I wonder if I might have an ally in one of them.  But he is always around.  At least with the house staff there were times that I might get a moment alone with them but that is not true of the groundskeeper or captain.  If I dare to step outside he is right there by my side.  I get no peace.....I get no rest....

I try to act cheerful when he is watching me but he is always watching me even when I think he is otherwise occupied.   


One year ago--And to All a Good Night

Day 13-Work


Was it really only 2 days ago that I was so excited?  That I believed things were turning around?  It was time for my weekly phone call to my Mom.  As he handed me the phone he said "Let your Mom know that I have to go out of the Country on some work business so you won't be in touch with her for a while".  I was so excited..... I asked where we were going and when we were leaving.

I love going on business trips with him.  I would shop while he was in meetings during the day and then we would go out to dinner, dancing and sight seeing each evening.  We would laugh and joke around and make love until the wee morning hours.  I couldn't believe that finally, life was getting back to normal.  He said that he had work meetings in various cities and would be travelling Europe for several weeks.  I was so excited when I spoke to Mom. And she was excited for me.


One year ago--Mom breaks her foot

Day 14-Away


The next day I awoke early and ran downstairs to ask him how I should pack. I ran into to kitchen, thinking that perhaps he was making coffee but he wasn't there.  I ran out to the porch thinking he was drinking coffee but he wasn't there.  I ran into the living room and saw the letter telling me he had gone away.

"Don't think for one minute, my dear, that I don't listen to what you say," he wrote.  "I spend my life striving to make you happy.  You said you wanted some solitude, that I was smothering you, so I decided we needed some time away from each other.  I will be back when my work is done.  I have given the grounds keeper the next month off and Captain will drop me at port and wait in the City for my return.  Enjoy your time away from me and think about how much I love you and want to be with you."


One year ago--It's not a break

Day 15-Life


I read that letter and chills started going down my spine.  What did I do....what kind of life was I going to have, married to this mad man.  I can't believe he left me here on this island, all alone,with no way to make contact with anyone or anyone to make contact with me.  Not even him!!!  What if something happened to me? What if I got sick?  What if I broke my leg?  No. NO. NOOOOO.  I am not going to allow myself to go there.  I am NOT going to let him knock the life out of me.  He is NOT going to dictate my life!  

I just need to keep a clear head and think.  He is trying to keep me frightened.  He is trying to prove that I am completely dependent on him...that I have no life without him.


One year ago--Rough Night for Mom and Dawn

Day 16- Adjust


I spent the next days, while he was gone, walking the Island and thinking.  Thinking about how I was going to manage to get off this Island.  I need to adjust my behavior to regain his trust.  I needed to make him believe that his plan of proving to me how much I needed him, how dependent I am on him, worked.  I needed to adjust my behavior back to how it was with us in the beginning, when I thought his constant neediness was endearing and proved how much he loved me.

So I made a plan, and adjusted and tweaked the plan until I think it is almost fool proof. Now just to await his has been nearly a week....I wonder how long he thinks my punishment and exile should last?


One year ago-Welcome to Wednesday

Day 17-Long


It has been 12 long days since he has been gone.  I have walked this Island, which measures 2 miles by 4 miles at least 3 times each day.  I have cleaned the entire house, 7200 square feet, from top to bottom.  I am nearly out of food.  Surely, he would not leave me here without any food.  Would he??

I have never been in such isolation.  There is no radio, no television, no computer, no phone. Just this notebook in which I am sharing my story, and I may have to burn this when (if?) he ever returns.  

I must stop this....of course, he is going to return and then, at long last, I can put my plan in to effect.I am going to get off of this Island, one day.  I promise myself that!


One year ago--A Good Day

Day 18-Taste


Well he finally got home 3 days ago.  I have such a bad taste in my mouth but I am swallowing it along with my pride.  When he finally came back, I ran to him.  I grabbed him and went on and on about how much I missed him. I told him over and over how much I loved him.  I acted like he had given me the world as Captain unloaded the groceries he had brought back with him.  I took him inside and made him a drink.  I sat with rapt attention as he told me all about his trip. I told him how much I wish I could have been there, not to see anything, but just to be with be held in his arms.  I made his favorite meal and then we fed each other champagne and strawberries as I told him how I hadn't realized how much I had taken him and his love for granted.  I vowed to him that it would never happen again.  Each day I have followed him around like a puppy.  He has asked me twice so far if I want to call my Mom.  I have told him there is plenty of time for that.  That right now the only person I wanted to talk to or be with was him.


One year ago--A Complete Turn Around

Day 19- Honor


I tell him that while he was gone I spent a lot of time thinking about our Wedding vows and how I promised to love, honor and cherish him.  I apologize for failing to live up to those promises.  I choke on the words but I force them out and I am rewarded with a gloating "I  told you so" look before he takes me in his arms and tells me that it's okay.  That he knew I just needed time to learn what was important.  That was why he was limiting my contact with others. That is why we needed to stop entertaining and going on vacations.  So that I could learn.  So that I could see...what, exactly....those Wedding vows meant.  He knew I would...He had faith in me....I just needed a little reminding.

Oh yes, I agreed.  I am so glad that he is so smart and knows me so well.  What a wonderful husband he is and how lucky I am to have him.  I have to stop myself from putting it on too thick.  I don't want him to get suspicious but I need not worry....his ego is huge!!


One year ago--ooops

Cannelloni ala The Terminal for Food n Flix

This month's Food n Flix is hosted by Evelyne of  Cheap Ethnic Eatz.  Evelyne chose The Terminal as the Flix and I chose Cannelloni as the Food.  First let me tell you a little bit about this wonderful club.  Each month the host chooses a  film for us all to watch during the allotted time period.  While watching the movie we get inspiration to create a dish of some sort.  This can be due to a food we see in the movie, the location the movie was shot, the era of the film, anything at all.  We create the food that was inspired by the movie and then share what we created and why in a blog post.  It is fun and you should join us.


I had seen The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks, many years ago when it first came out.  I remember that I enjoyed it then and I enjoyed it the second time around as well.  The premise of the movie (if you are the only person in the world who has not seen it) is that Tom Hanks arrives in the USA to fulfill his dead father's dream of collecting autographs from Jazz musicians in NYC.  He had collected all but one prior to passing away and Tom Hanks travels here to collect the last autograph.

Unfortunately, while on the flight over to the USA, Hanks' country goes to war and he ends up in limbo with no country to call his own.  He cannot go back to his own country and he cannot enter the US because his Visa is no longer valid.  He ends up living in the international terminal of the airport for the next 9 months of his life.  The photo above is when Hanks learns that his country is a war but don't let it deceive you...The Terminal is a comedy.  And a story of relationships...of which Hanks makes many during his time in the airport...including a relationship with Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Zeta-Jones is an airline attendant with a history of getting involved in bad relationships.  She and Hanks are very attracted to each other but she warns him that she is always attracted to the "bad boys".   During one point in their courtship, Hanks arranges a dinner on the roof of the airport and one of the offerings is Cannelloni, which Zeta-Jones had mentioned that she loved early on in the relationship.  
That is the inspiration for the meal I am serving.

I found a recipe by Kelsey Nixon on that sounded delicious and used many of the ingredients that I had on hand and I adapted that recipe to share with you today.

The original recipe called for spinach but I had some kale in the fridge so I substituted that. When making the filling I added a T. of Garden Gourmet Italian Herbs.  The original recipe also provided a sauce recipe but I used my Grilled Vegetable Pasta Sauce mixed with my Farmstead Marinara Sauce.instead. I also doubled the recipe as we were having company for dinner.  I only had 1 c. of Parmesan Cheese for in the filling but Frank picked some up for me so I put extra when I sprinkled it on top before baking.  I did not make my own pasta but used Barilla oven ready lasagna sheets because they were the size I wanted.    Pretty brave of me to try a new recipe out on guests, don't you think??  Luckily it turned out wonderful!!

Place the filling down the center of the pasta sheet.

Roll up leaving the ends open.

Place on a bed of your favorite pasta sauce.

8 Cannelloni will fill the pan. Cover with additional pasta sauce.
Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
I was having a dinner party and forgot to take photos after baking and before serving.
Trust me..It looked great and was delicious!!

Italian Sausage and Kale Cannelloni
adapted from Kelsey Nixon

1 T. olive oil
1 lg. sweet onion, diced
1 lb. Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 bunch Kale, boiled until tender and finely chopped
1 (32 oz.) Ricotta Cheese
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
6 eggs
1 T. fresh Italian Herbs or 1 t. dried Italian Herbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 package of oven ready lasagna sheets
8 c. of your favorite pasta sauce

Heat olive oil over med high heat in a large skillet.  Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent.  Add the Italian sausage sausage, break up using a potato masher and continue to cook until the meat is cooked through.  Drain through a colander and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, kale and Italian herbs.  Add the sausage and onions.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the Lasagna sheets and boil for 2 minutes.  Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and lay individually on parchment paper.

Using 2 (9x13") baking pans, ladle 2 cups sauce onto the bottom of each.  Fill each lasagna sheet with approx. 6 T. of the filling down the center.  Fold each side over into a roll and place, seam side down, into the baking pans, 8 for each pan.  Ladle the remaining 4 cups of sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350* oven for a half hour.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Print Recipe

One year ago--A Perfectly Wonderful Weekend

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Spooky Sunday

I got the cutest cookie cutter last week for Swapoween, that I decided to make some Halloween cutout cookies.  The best cutout cookies I have ever had were made by my friends, Kirsten and Karen for Ting and Tony's baby shower.  I contacted Karen to ask for her recipe.  She gladly provided it and mentioned that she was planning on baking Halloween cookies for her grandkids.  I suggested we make them together and I would make dinner.

Karen came over and we looked at what each of us had for Halloween cookies and what we still needed.  We decided that I would make the dough on Saturday night and on Sunday we would make the cookies.  We also decided to invite John and Kirsten to join us for cookies and dinner and then we invited Mom Klik because we hadn't seen her in a couple of weeks and were missing her.  Ting called in the morning and asked if she and Melody could join us and then I talked to Kim and she and Kurt joined us as well.

I had decided, that for dinner, I would serve the meal inspired by Food and Flix.  I will be posting a separate post for that meal which was inspired by the movie, The Terminal.

The cookie recipe, provided by Karen, is called Pie Crust Cookies.  She got it from her sister.  They are delicious.  Light and buttery, but not to sweet, which makes them perfect for frosting.

The recipe made 3 dozen large cookies.

We frosted the ghosts all white and I added mini chocolate chips for the eyes

We frosted the pumpkins orange of course with green stems

The bats turned out more gray than black.
Actually bats are more brown than black so I guess gray is okay.
I'm a poet!!

Pie Dough Cookies
Courtesy of Karen Pierce

1 1/2 c. sugar
3 sticks butter, softened
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
6 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
4 1/2 T. milk

In large bowl of stand mixer affixed with paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, 1 c. at a time mixing on low speed, add the baking powder, salt, and baking soda in between cups of flour.  After the fifth cup of flour, add the milk and then the last cup of flour.  Mix well.  Halve the dough and press into discs.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, roll the dough to approx. 3/8" thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Using cookie cutters cut into desired shapes and place onto cookie pans lined with parchment.  Bake at 350* for approx. 10 minutes.  You do not want the cookies to brown but you want the bottoms to be starting to turn golden.

Let cool completely on cooling racks before frosting and decorating as desired.  Print Recipe

We used this icing recipe from Wiltons.  We started with all white, made the ghosts and then separated the frosting to make the other colors by adding food coloring.

Karen wrote everyone's name on a cookie and they were used a place markers.
This is a wonderful and easy rolled cookie recipe.

Sharing this post at Inspiration Monday.

Soup Saturday

I have been getting tons of cabbage from my CSA that I needed to use and I remembered that I had some cooked Corned Beef in the freezer, left over from this dinner.  I thought about making a corned beef and cabbage casserole but then I decided to make a corned beef and cabbage soup for Soup Saturday.

I gathered together the ingredients I needed.

Cut, diced, chopped and threw them all in a pot.
Turned it on and walked away.

Came home after Mass and the house smelled lovely.
Dinner was served and it was yummy.

I did a google search and found several different recipes.  I read through each one (all were very similar) and then took a little of this and that from each one and created the soup I am sharing with you today.  It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

1 lb cooked corned beef, cut into bite size pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 small or 1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 1/2 large carrots or 3 small carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 large head or 1 small head cabbage, cut into bite size chunks
1 qt. tomatoes with their juices
1 bottle dark beer
4 c. chicken broth
generous amount of pepper to taste
3/4 c. white rice
2 T. Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hrs. Taste and season with additional pepper and salt if needed.  Print Recipe

One year ago--Freaky Friday

A New Adventure on the Farm

I had told you (here) that our little piglet was sick with an ear infection and had gotten a shot of antibiotics by one of our neighbors who said that we should give it 24 hrs and then take it to the vet if there was no improvement.

Well, she wasn't much better so I did some research and learned that it takes a few days of antibiotics to clear up an ear infection.  We have never administered antibiotics to our animals because we want them antibiotic free if possible so we had no idea how we were going to accomplish this little task. Frank went up to Family Farm and Home while I researched how to administer the medicine.  Let me just say that I LOVE you tube.  You can learn how to do anything at all with videos to watch it being done.  The best video I saw was of a gentleman who grabbed the pig, straddled it and held it's snout. As soon as he got a hold of it's snout, it calmed right down and he was able to give it the shot.  I showed the video to Frank and off we went to take care of the poor little piggie.

Here is the result:

A fine job done by Farmer Frank.
He only has to do this twice more.
He is so excited!!

As you can see the poor little thing stumbles around like she is drunk.  Good thing or Frank may never have caught her. It is amazing how quickly they calm down when you grab onto their snout. Who knew??

Friday, October 17, 2014

Vegetable Rice Pilaf

Today I made a new Fish Friday recipe that I will be sharing with you next Monday when we do our Secret Recipe Club reveal. It is a great recipe, so make sure you come back and take a look.  I made a Vegetable Rice Pilaf to serve with my fish and I am sharing that recipe with you today.  It is a great side dish for any meat and it paired perfectly with our fish.

It is also a great way to up your vegetable intake and use up any veggies that are in your fridge, blanching or sauteeing as needed to make them tender.

Vegetable Rice Pilaf 

1/2 c. broccoli florets, blanched
1/2 c. cauliflower florets, blanched
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 clove, garlic minced
1 t. butter
1 t. olive oil
1 c. white and wild rice blend, cooked per package directions

Combine butter and olive oil in a large saute pan over med heat until hot but not smoking.  Add vegetables and saute until onion is translucent and the hard vegetables are crisp tender.  Add rice and stir to combine.  Turn into a buttered casserole and bake, covered at 375* for 30 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve.  Print Recipe

One year ago--Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie