Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Beef Barley Soup

Beef Soup platedIf you’re looking for a warm bowl of comfort food on a cold wintery day, this hearty beef and barley soup definitely fits the bill.

Easy to make, you can serve a large group with this recipe.

Add a green salad and some toasted bread on the side and you’ve got a great meal.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Take about two pounds of stew meat and trim off most of the fat, cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

Take about two pounds of stew meat and trim off most of the fat, cutting it into bite-sized pieces.

Season with an all-purpose seasoning and salt.

Season with an all-purpose seasoning and salt.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Doesn't that look yummy? Don't you want to just snitch a piece?

Doesn’t that look yummy? Don’t you want to just snitch a piece?

When the meat is almost done, add water and broth to your stock pot.

When the meat is almost done, add water and broth to your stock pot.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover then cook on medium-high heat until it reaches a nice roiling boil.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover then cook on medium-high heat until it reaches a nice roiling boil.

Add meat, cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Add meat, cover and let simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Beef Barley Soup

2 pounds of stew meat, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 cup celery, cut into small pieces

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

4 cups chicken broth

8 cups water

1 cup Quick Barley

1 tbsp. parsley flakes

1 tbsp. all-seasoning

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion flakes (or add real onion pieces if you like)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a nine-inch cast iron skillet, give it a light coat of non-stick cooking spray. Place stew meat in the pan, add 2 tsp. all-seasoning and 1 tsp. salt. Cover with foil and bake 2 1/2 hours.

Just before the meat is done, put eight cups of water on to boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or stock pot. (I used an 8-quart pot).

Add the chicken broth, salt, vegetables, barley, remaining seasoning, and parsley flakes (I happened to find some left-over potatoes in the fridge and tossed them in, too!) Cover and bring this to a boil.

Once it gets rolling, add the meat. Make sure you scrape all the delicious beefy goodness from the bottom of the pan into the soup. Cover and turn heat down to medium, letting this simmer for about 15 minutes, until veggies are cooked through.

Serve and enjoy!

She Who Loves a Warm Bowl of Soup on a Cold Day

garnishing

If you are looking for one go-to guide to dazzle your guests, check out Garnishing & Decorating Ideas for All Seasons by Georg Hartung.

This delightful little book offers step-by-step instructions for creating edible art guaranteed to earn you the title of hostess with the mostess. Arranged by the season, you’ll find everything from spring ideas through winter treats.

Snowman

Isn’t this marzipan snowman adorable? I definitely want to make one of these. There are also directions for making marzipan roses, a hedgehog, piglet and mouse.

White chocolate mousseThis recipe for White Chocolate Mousse looked to yummy, I was momentarily tempted to lick the page. Love the garnish of kiwi and red currant that make it so festive.

Moz skewers

Lest you think I’m all about the sweets (which I totally am), check out this colorful and lovely presentation for Mozzarella Skewers. I want one right now! Just looking at the balsamic drizzle makes my mouth water!

There’s also suggestions for tools, tips on how to make a piping bag and more!

Published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., you can find his book on their website at schifferbooks.com

Hash Brown Casserole

Hash Brown Casserole PlatedOur weather has been incredibly and ridiculously cold the past week or so (although it seems like months!).

The bone-chilling temperatures just make me crave comfort-type food. Something warm and filling.

The other day, in a panic to come up with something edible for dinner before Captain Cavedweller arrived home, tired and hungry, I whipped up a hash brown casserole. Super easy, it proved to be quite tasty.

Simple ingredients

Simple ingredients

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Start by giving your baking dish a good coating of non-stick spray.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Melt the butter and crush, crumble or pulverize the crackers into the bowl.

Stir together until cracker crumbs are well coated.

Stir together until cracker crumbs (in my case, chunks… did I mention I was in a hurry?) are well coated.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Mix together the rest of the ingredients.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Then scoop into your baking pan. If you love cheese, go ahead and sprinkle some on top.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

Finish it off with your cracker crumbs and bake in a 350 oven for an hour.

When it's done, you'll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

When it’s done, you’ll have a crispy ,crunchy golden cracker crust on top of a gooey layer of cheese.

Hash Brown Casserole

2 lbs frozen shredded hash browns

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar (or colby-jack cheese) grated

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

1 tsp. parsley

1 sleeve of Saltine crackers, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.

Melt butter then crumbled crackers into it, stirring until well coated. Set aside.

Mix the remaining  ingredients together, place in prepared pan, and top with 1/2 cup additional cheese, if desired. Top with the cracker crumbs and bake for an hour.

Remove and indulge in the deliciousness!

She Who Should Not Make This Again, but It Was So Yummy

I thought I’d share a little about The Christmas Calamity this morning since the book is now officially released in both Kindle and Paperback formats! Make sure you click on the “Meet” pages for some fun info and visuals!

The Christmas Calamity

Hardman Holidays Book 3

The Christmas Calamity Cover

 Arlan Guthry hasn’t got a chance once Alex the Amazing rolls into town…

Dependable and solid, Arlan Guthry relishes his orderly life as a banker’s assistant in the small town of Hardman, Oregon. He has good friends, a great job, and the possibility of marriage to the town’s schoolteacher.

His uncluttered world tilts off kilter when the beautiful and enigmatic prestidigitator Alexandra Janowski arrives in town, spinning magic and trouble in her wake as the holiday season approaches.

Kindle

Amazon

goodreads badge

Pinterest_Logo

Meet Arlan and Alex

Excerpt:

Entranced by the way her mouth moved as she spoke, Arlan didn’t realize he leaned closer and closer until Alex stopped talking and released a sigh.

“Arlan, don’t you think…”

“Yes, I do.” He set down his coffee cup and rose to his feet, pulling Alex up next to him. Gently tracing his thumb across her bottom lip, he watched her eyes flutter closed and listened to her draw in a ragged breath.

“Alex, please, may I kiss you?” Arlan thought he’d die if she said no. Every nerve, every muscle, every ounce of blood pumping rapidly through his veins wanted to taste her lips, savor their velvety softness moving against his own.

“Arlan…” Alex raised her gaze to his. The wanting in her eyes was undeniable, but she stepped back from him. “As much as I want to say yes, I have to say no. I refuse to come between you and Miss Bevins. It wouldn’t be right or fair.”

“There is no me and Miss Bevins. In fact, I wrote her a letter today making that point abundantly clear.” Arlan moved until he stood with the toes of his boots disappearing beneath the hem of Alex’s skirt.

“But I’ve heard you whispering her name over and over, like a chant or something. I know you love her, Arlan, and I won’t do this.” Alex backed up until she bumped into the wall.

Arlan wasted no time in closing the space between them. He raised his hand to her face again, trailing his index finger across her smooth cheek and along her jaw. “If you heard me whispering her name, it was in a futile effort to remind myself of her. You see, I tend to forget she even exists whenever I think of you.”

Kolacky

Kolacky plated

In my soon-to-be-released holiday romance, The Christmas Calamity, the heroine of the story is of Polish descent.

The Christmas Calamity Cover

Alex the Amazing is a prestidigitator who knows her way around the kitchen, when she needs to cook.

She bakes a batch of cookies from a recipe her grandmother shared with her. The hero of the tale, Arlan, falls for her cookies almost as much as he does her.

Since the cookies were important in the story, I decided I better bake a batch of Kolacky.

Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, Kolacky are especially popular for Christmas.

Oh, my gracious! These are so, so good. I had to practically beat Captain Cavedweller off with a stick so I could have a few.

Give them a whirl. They weren’t hard to make and are incredibly yummy! Here’s a modern version of a delicious recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Start by creaming butter and cream cheese together.

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

Beat together remaining ingredients (except jam!)

 

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Until you have a nice bowl of somewhat sticky dough.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Roll out on a floured surface.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Traditionally, the dough should be cut into squares, but you can use a round cutter or a glass.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

Add dollops of jam to the dough then fold edges together.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

If you have trouble getting the edges to stick, use a touch of milk or water to hold it in place.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Remove from the oven before they start to brown. You want the dough to be just set.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Then force the other inhabitants of your home to share.

Kolacky

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (3oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup strawberry jam (any flavor works)

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat until fluffy.  Add flour then mix well. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Traditionally, the pastry is cut into squares, but you can use a round biscuit cutter or glass if that’s what you have on hand.

Place pastries two-inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Spoon 1/4 tsp. jam onto each cookie. Fold opposite sides together. If you have trouble getting the sides to stick, dampen the edge with a drop of milk or water.

Bake for 12 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks and sprinkle liberally with confectioner’s sugar. It is nearly impossible to eat just one!

Yield about 2 dozen.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

I’ve shared this recipe before, but it bears repeating. Sooooo yummy!

Happy Halloween!

These are easy to make, quick to bake and just as yummy as traditional pumpkin pie. Especially piled high with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon!

 

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Crust:

1./2 cup butter

3-4 ounce of cream cheese (3 oz. if you have a small pack or cut a large pack in half)

1 cup flour

Soften butter and cream cheese, blend together with flour until a soft dough forms. It will be sticky. Cover and chill for one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a greased mini-muffin tin, roll dough into walnut-sized balls and drop one in the tin. Use a tart tamper (or the back of spoon – or a shot glass if you have one) to smoosh the dough into the bottum and up the sides of the muffin cup.

Fill with pumpkin filling and bake for about 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is set and dough is starting to brown. Remove from oven, let cool, devour.

Pumpkin Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

3/4 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup evaporated milk

Beat egg, blend in pumpkin and milk then stir in dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into crust-lined muffin cups and bake.

Garnish with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin cookies 013

I don’t know how I missed this… but I recently came across a recipe for the most moist, delicious, pumpkin cookies. The best part?

Two ingredients.

That’s right – just two ingredients!

If you can open a box of cake mix and a can of pumpkin, you can make these!

I added a drizzle of cream cheese frosting and some toffee bits sprinkles and that was a delectable decision.

Tantalize your taste buds and make these easy cookies today!

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

Mix a can of pumpkin with a spice cake mix.

Mix a can of pumpkin with a spice cake mix.

Blend until thoroughly mixed.

Blend until thoroughly mixed.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil when you run out of parchment.)

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (or foil when you run out of parchment.)

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes, until cookies are just set. You don't want to overcook them.

Bake at 350 for about ten minutes, until cookies are just set. You don’t want to overcook them.

Some of the cookies, I topped with a pumpkin marshmallow just before they were done. Yum!

Some of the cookies, I topped with a pumpkin marshmallow just before they were done. Yum!

Remove from oven and let cool, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting (nuke frosting in microwave for 10-12 seconds to reach a pourable stage.)

Remove from oven and let cool, then drizzle with cream cheese frosting (nuke frosting in microwave for 10-12 seconds to reach a pourable stage.)

Top with toffee bits, sprinkles, cinnamon, candied nuts or whatever tickles your fancy.

Top with toffee bits, sprinkles, cinnamon, candied nuts or whatever tickles your fancy.

Pumpkin Cookies

1 box of spice cake mix

1 small can of pumpkin pie filling

1 cup cream cheese frosting

toppings (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cake mix and pumpkin until thoroughly blended.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment and drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the cookie sheet.

Bake about ten minutes, until the cookies are just set but not yet starting to brown.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Warm cream cheese frosting in the microwave for about 12 seconds, until thin enough to pour.

Drizzle over cookies.

Top with toffee bits, cinnamon, sprinkles or candied nuts.

Enjoy!

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

She Who Loves Pumpkin Treats

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 189 other followers

%d bloggers like this: