Monday, July 21, 2014

Fresh Cherry Crisp

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a cherry tree in their backyard.  We would pick cherries until our hands were stained red and then run our haul to the kitchen.  Grandmother Mary would take requests and make whatever each of us wanted with our yield.  Some chose cherry jam, but my dad and I always chose cherry pie.  Of all the fruit pies, cherry is my favorite.  This Fresh Cherry Crisp is a variation on a cherry pie, but quicker.  The crust is much less labor intensive that a regular pie crust, and I like the rustic look.  Top it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream because seriously?  What's life if you aren't living a la mode???
Fresh Cherry Crisp...
Like Cherry Pie only easier!
Don't have a cherry pitter?
Don't worry.
Check my tutorial on how to pit cherries WITHOUT A PITTER:
2 cups of fresh, pitted cherries...
I love the rustic look
(and ease) of making a crisp!
Serve warm, A LA MODE of course!

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to PIT CHERRIES Without a Cherry Pitter

I'm a gadget girl.  I love kitchen gadgets.  I especially love ones that have more than one purpose or make a task that I do often easier.  What I don't like is a cluttered drawer full of gadgets that have only one purpose that I maybe use once every ten years.  Our market had the most beautiful, plump juicy cherries and I couldn't resist picking up a couple of bags.  Of course I don't own a cherry pitter and I was dying to get in the kitchen a bake something, not run out gadget shopping so I improvised.  The first recipe I made I used a small paring knife.  It worked but it was slow and made a HUGE mess.  Then I tried the star tip from my pastry set.  I simply set it flat on the cutting board and pushed the cherry down onto it.  The pit came cleanly out.  I pitted two cups of cherries in no time!  By all means if you have cherries in abundance and use them on a regular basis, invest in a cherry pitter.  They are very handy, and do a quick, clean job.  (You can also pit olives with them.)  But if you're impatient like me, and impulsively buy things at the market that you can't wait to bake with, then this method is for you!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Oven Roasted Cabbage

A while back my mother-in-law was sweet enough to share some yummy Vidalia onions with me.  I knew right away I wanted to make Beefy Grilled Vidalia Onions.  I suspected they might go great alongside some Oven Roasted Cabbage and I was right!  I rounded out the meal with a batch of my Slow-Cooker Candied Kielbasa and it turned out to be the perfect summer supper. 

Oven Roasted Cabbage
Good and good for you!
Oven Roasted Cabbage,
Beefy Grilled Vidalia Onions
and Slow Cooker Candied Kielbasa.
The perfect summer supper.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Apple Pie Tacos

My pal Michaela over at An Affair from the Heart invited me to do a guest post on her blog today, so I'm sharing Apple Pie Tacos with her readers and mine!

When Michaela asked me if I wanted to do a guest post for her blog, I was like: “DUH of course!” 
We go way back.  Many years ago I lived in Nebraska and met Michaela at a scrapbooking party.  She sold me one blue pencil for tracing pictures.  I spent a whopping $1.99 with her so I really don’t know why she decided to be my friend.  But I sure am glad she did.  Thankfully we share many more things in common besides that dumb pencil.  There’s a mutual love for tailgating during football season (although she’s a Husker and I’m a Sooner…) our moms are both twins, we’ve belly-ached about raising kids and why our husbands love racing and golf so much, and we share recipes just about every five minutes.  I was planning a birthday dinner for my mom and aunt, so of course I needed to run the menu by Michaela.  She was as excited about the dessert as I was.  APPLE PIE TACOS!  What’s not exciting about that?  A cinnamon-sugar coated taco shell with yummy apple pie filling and plenty of whipped cream and caramel.  A match made in Heaven.  Just like Michaela and me.  Here’s to you friend!  A dessert that is as fun and sweet as you are!  Thanks for inviting me to guest post at An Affair from the Heart, and thanks for being my friend all these years even after that dumb blue pencil incident.

Apple Pie and Tacos
go together like Michaela and Me!
Here's the flour tortilla circles waiting to be fried.

Carefully use tongs to fold each tortilla circle
in half to create a taco shell.
Sprinkle each taco shell generously with cinnamon-sugar
mixture and allow to cool completely on paper towels.
Spoon apple pie filling into the center of each taco shell.
Top with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a generous
drizzle of dulce de leche sauce.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Patriotic Birthday Bag

My mom and her twin sister (my second mom!) celebrated their 73rd birthday yesterday.  First of all you should know that they do not look or act 73.  They are fun and energetic and absolutely darling.  Soooo they deserved a fun birthday gift that reflects how lively and vibrant they are.  I don't always get them the same thing for holidays because although they are identical twins and a lot alike in some ways, they do have some differing tastes.  This time though I decided an fun Fourth of July-themed gift would be just the thing to celebrate a summer birthday.  The inspiration started when I found the cute red polka dot canvas tote bags.  My Devilish Assistant Emily and I had a blast shopping for fun, summery things to stash in the bag.  Here are some of the great things we found:

Here's all the great stuff we found to put in the bags.
Some things were red or blue,
and some just seemed like summer!
A patriotic plaque to decorate for the 4th of July!

The candle scent is: Summer Slices.
It smells so fruity and summery!
It's not summer without a
refreshing glass of lemonade,
so we added a cute little canister
of lemonade mix.

Since summer is sandal weather,
their fingers and toes need to
look fabulous in bright red polish!
I'm IN LOVE with this new hand cream.
It says, "For dark spot removal" but
it is the most luxurious and moisturizing cream ever.
I don't have dark spots on my hands, but I will
say after using this on a nightly basis
my hands do look much younger!
I thought my mom and aunt would like to
give it a try too!
Here's everything all bagged up in the cute
polka dot tote.  I stashed a little flag in the pocket
to add to the patriotic flair!
I thought this would make a great summer birthday gift,
but it's also ideal for a 4th of July gift or
summer hostess treat!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Beefy Grilled Vidalia Onions

A couple of days ago my mother-in-law was sweet enough to share some Vidalia onions with me.  If you're not familiar with Vidalia onions, they are a sweet onion that grow in certain areas of Georgia.  Much like only certain cheeses are allowed to be marked Parmigiano Reggiano, true Vidalias are also trademarked.  They are typically available from late April through mid September, and though I've never tried it, I've heard that some people just bite right into them like an apple.  I have tried this version many times, and it's one that we absolutely love.  It's a great side dish to any meal, super simple to make and something a little different when you're tired of potatoes or salad.  They're rich, beefy and just a little sweet.  It's like a little package of French Onion Soup!
Beefy Grilled Vidalia Onions--
They're like a French Onion Soup Side Dish!
Vidalia, Georgia's Finest!

Friday, June 13, 2014

COOL Dad Father's Day Treat with Printable Tag

Father's Day is upon us.  Normally I cook a big spread and have all of the Dads in my life over for a meal.  Back at Mother's Day our dog was so sick that the Moms were lucky they got a store bought gift.  I didn't have the time or the sense to do any cooking or entertaining.  Fast forward to this Sunday coming up.  I'm delighted to report our precious pup is doing much better, but now I'm the one under the weather.  I'm still on crutches recovering from yet another foot surgery related to my car accident in 2010.  Of course the family is totally understanding, and they know I can't very well cook and entertain with only one good foot.  But that doesn't mean the Dads don't deserve something special.  A while back I saw a commercial for these cooling towels.  You get them wet, and they are supposed to help cool you down at least 30 degrees.  Say what?!?  Cooling down 30 degrees in an Oklahoma summer is A LOT.  All of the guys in my life play golf, and spend a lot of time outdoors.  I thought these COOL towels would make a COOL gift.  Not being one to just wrap up a towel and say, "Happy Father's Day," I had to take it a step further and come up with something that would let the Dads in my life know just how COOL they are!
A COOL Treat for some COOL Dads!
You'll need:
Cooling towel
clear treat bag
Ice Breakers Mints
Dentyne Ice Gum
(or other COOL treats of your choice)
printable tag (below)
Bag up your Ice Breakers Mints and
Dentyne Ice Gum.  Tie the bag to the top
of the cooling towel and add the tag.
A COOL gift for Dad!
I found these Mission Endura Cool Instant Cooling Towels
at Target.
I also understand they are available at Lowe's
and Academy Sports.

What do you think?
Isn't it COOL?!?
Here is the free printable tag
I've included to make things easy for you.
Simply click on the image to enlarge it,
then right-click and save.
You can then open it with the program of your choice,
re-size if necessary and print it out.
Easy as that.

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