Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mint Brownies

Like brownies? Then give these a try. Very tasty and will make a sheet cake size.....enough for a large family or potluck. We took these to my sister's for Christmas and everyone liked them.
To make the first layer mix sugar, butter, and eggs.

And add this whole can, yep the whole thing, to the above mixture.

Then, add the flour and baking powder together and mix all until smooth. Bake in a cookie sheet pan with sides. When done it will be browned and when you lightly press on the top it will spring back. Let this cool to room temperature.

Making the minty frosting part, or layer two. Mix butter, powder sugar, milk, peppermint extract and green food coloring.

Beat this mixture until fluffy, with no lumps and mixture is smooth.

Spread something like this over your brownie layer.

The next step or layer is the chocolate layer. We are going to use yet ANOTHER stick of butter. I never said these were good for you! :) Melt that stick of butter with 1/2 bag or 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour over the frosting layer...

Gently spread the chocolate around. Pressing in too hard will cause the frosting to come through.

Make sure to get those corners....

And last but not least, put in refrigerator until chocolate layer is hard enough to cut through. Slice in 1 inch pieces and enjoy!


Layer 1:

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter or margarine (I use butter)
4 eggs
1 regular can Hershey's Syrup
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate syrup. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture. Pour into greased cookie (jelly roll pan) sheet with sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Brownies are done when pressed with finger they spring back. Cool to room temperature.

Layer 2:

1 stick butter or margarine (I use butter)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
green food coloring, approx. 3-4 drops

Beat all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate.

Layer 3:

1 stick butter
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt both ingredients in a small saucepan on stovetop. Pour over peppermint layer and refrigerate. Cut into serving size pieces when chocolate is firm enough to cut.

Freezing Zucchini

I found these pictures of last years zucchini harvest and realized they never were posted.  Freezing zucchini is so simple and it is nice to have for breads and cakes in the winter.  I like to choose the small zucchini before the seeds get too big, but if they do get bigger I just cut them in 1/2 and scoop out those seeds and then shred them.

This year I can't take credit for doing all the garden preserving myself.  The kids have been a great help with everything from picking, cleaning, shredding, slicing, and processing.  To start, wash your zucchini and cut off the ends.  You can either shred the zucchini by hand using a grater or (the much easier way) cut pieces to fit in a food processor.

Since we have a large amount to freeze every year we just keep shredding and fill up some canners or large containers until they are all shredded.  *Don't forget that you can also chop zucchini into chunks and freeze them for soups and stews, etc.*  At this point some people will blanch the zucchini for a couple minutes and cool before they freeze it.  I have never blanched zucchini and it still freezes very well.

Spoon zucchini into freezer bags.  I do a quantity of two cups per bag as many recipes that I have call for this amount.  Lay the bag on the table or counter and press your hand from bottom to top to remove as much air from the bag as possible.  Seal, label and freeze!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foolproof Gravy

This is the gravy that I make with turkey for Thanksgiving or with chicken.  It really is super easy and delicious!


Drippings from 1 roasted turkey or chicken
1/2 to 1 cup turkey or chicken broth
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspooon white pepper


Pour drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup.  Skim and discard fat.  Add enough broth to the drippings to measure 2 cups; transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth.  Gradually stir into the drippings mixture.  Stir in the bouillon granules, poultry seasoning and white pepper.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

This is one of Joseph's favorite meals. It only takes these few ingredients. Try it. I think you will like it too.

While I am getting ready to make the rest of the dish I start by browning the pork chops in small amount of vegetable oil just until slightly brown. Remove from heat and sprinkle both sides with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Keep warm while the last ones are frying.

In the meantime, layer potatoes (I use about 9 medium) and sliced onion in greased 9x13. Should look something like this..

Then I melt the butter in a small pan,

quickly whisk in the flour, salt and pepper. (I mix this before I begin the dish)

It should look like this.

Pour the chicken broth (I used 2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon) and stir for 1 minute.

It will look like this at first and once it is coming to a boil it will get thick...

and look like this.

Pour over potatoes and onion.

Cover with the bouillon mixture evenly.

Lay the pork chops on top.

Cover with tin foil and cook at 350 degrees for one hour.
Uncover and bake for 30 more minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
3 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can (14.5 ounce) chicken broth
6 rib or loin pork chops about 3/4 inch thick
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Lawry's Season Salt
6 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1 small onion, sliced


In a saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth; cook and stir constantly until mixture boils. Cook for 1 minute; remove from the heat and set aside. In a skillet, brown pork chops in oil; season to taste with Lawry's Season Salt. In a greased 9x13 dish, layer potatoes and onion. Pour the broth mixture over. Place pork chops on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; uncover and bake 30 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

6 servings

Orange Cottage Cheese Salad

Orange Cottage Cheese Salad

1 large container small curd cottage cheese
1 small orange jello
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1-12 ounce coolwhip, thawed

Mix cottage cheese and jello until jello is dissolved.  Add fruits and fold in cool whip.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yummy Frosting

This is a very good frosting for cakes, cream puffs, etc.


2 cups milk
2 small vanilla pudding
1-8ounce cream cheese, softened
1-8ounce coolwhip

Beat milk and pudding. Add cream cheese and beat until smoooth. Fold in coolwhip.

*We also use chocolate pudding in place of the vanilla.*

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Snickers Apple Salad

1- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
4-5 medium-sized granny smith apples, chopped
10 miniature snickers candy bars
8 ounces coolwhip

Drain pineapple and float apples in pineapple juice. Mix pineapple and candy bars. Drain apples and fold into salad with coolwhip.

Sirloin Tip Beef Roast

We tried this new roast recipe and liked it.


3 pound sirloin tip roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon worcestershire
1/2 cup beef broth

Put roast in crockpot. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Buttermilk Cocoa Cake


1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk


1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup buttermilk
3-3/4 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional

In a large saucepan, combine the cocoa and water until smooth; add butter. Bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and baking soda; add cocoa mixture. Combine eggs, oil and buttermilk; add to cocoa mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

In a large saucepan, bring the cocoa, butter and buttermilk to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the powder sugar and vanilla. Spread over the warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans if desired. Cool on a wire rack.

12-15 servings

Raspberry Fluff Salad

1 small box raspberry jello
2 small boxes tapioca pudding
12 ounce frozen raspberries
8 ounce coolwhip
3 cups water

Boil 3 cups water.  Add jello and pudding; cook for 3-5 minutes.  Let stand a few minutes.  Add raspberries.  Put in refrigerator until set or overnight.  Fold in coolwhip before serving.
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