Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Great Baked Bean Recipe for your Holiday Weekend!

It's almost the July 4th weekend and have I got a great
baked bean recipe for you.
This is actually "Dear Abby's" mother's recipe.
It was recently published in her column
and I gave it a try.
They are first rate and different!

6 slices bacon, diced
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (16-oz) can pork and beans, drained
1 (10-oz.) can lima beans, drained
1 (15-oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10-oz.) pkg sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 c. ketchup
3/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 1 1/2-qt. casserole.

In a small skillet, saute the bacon and onions until the
bacon is crisp and onions are lightly browned;
drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, ketschup, brown sugar
and Worcestershire sauce.

Add the drained beans...

and mix everything.

Add the bacon-onion mixture; mix well.
Pour the bean mixture into the prepared casserole.
Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
(The one thing I might try differently next time,
is to use shredded cheese instead of cubed.
Perhaps my cubes were too large, but the
cheese did not melt consistently, so there were
some "chewy" bites.)

a recipe I found at 33 Shades of Green,
which was great!

(picture from 33 Shades of Green)

This week I'm linking to
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

From My Book Shelf

It seems like ages since I've blogged--
written a post or read any.
Sometimes, life just gets in the way!
I have done a little reading though.

WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison is a good read.
However, I don't feel as though I did the book justice.
I read it while my mother was visiting,
so there were too many times when I put the book
down for long periods. 
Then when I got back to it,
I couldn't always remember who was who.
There ARE a lot of characters in this book.
It's actually two stories intermixed.
One is the story of Washington state and
the Pacific Coast during the 1890s and how
it came to be explored and developed by early settlers.
Intermixed with that is a present day story of
those settler's ancestors.
This book explores our connections to our past.
I'd like to think I'll someday reread this book
and really explore everything there,
but considering all the books on my
"To Read" list,
it's probably not going to happen.

THE TIGER'S WIFE by Tea Obreht has gotten
outstanding reviews and awards.
It's a debut novel and the author was only
twenty five when she wrote it.
Quite an accomplishment.
Obreht's family left the former
Republic of Yugoslavia during
the 1990's Balkan War.
This is not light reading.
However, it is beautifully written.
It moves back and forth from realism to
Balkan mythology and  folklore.
It's the story of Natalia, a young doctor
who learns of her beloved grandfather's death 
while she is on a trip "over the border"
to treat orphans of the war.
While Natalia tries to explore the
circumstances of her grandfather's death,
she remembers stories he has told her
and the book becomes very surreal.
I'm glad I read this book, but
I'm also glad I'm finished with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Progress Report #2

The sweater knitting continues...

Twelve little mice now sport
their new green sweaters!
While I'm at it,
I think I'll knit
 twelve pink sweaters.

Group picture! 
Everyone squeeze in and say
(Sixty four sweaters left to be knitted...)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Porches at Buttermilk Cottage

You know the saying about..."best laid plans..."
I had every intention of showing off newly planted
flower boxes on my front porch for
Kim's Blog Party today.
The above picture is how my bedding plants looked
this morning after returning from the garden center.
I love red, blue and yellow together and
these fit the bill.

The pansies from last winter and spring were definitely
looking a little tired and ready to be replaced.

This is how they looked last month.
 The new plants are all in, the pansies are gone.
However, it was hot here today and the new
bedding plants need a little time
to themselves to "bloom."
That won't stop me from sharing the porches
here at Buttermilk Cottage.

The front porch is well loved, and well used,
throughout the year.
In summertime it's my favorite place for a
morning cup of coffee.

We use the front lawn and porch each summer
for our Porch Bistro.

We served cold iced tea on the porch the last time
Buttermilk Cottage was part of the neighborhood
garden tour.

The front porch even serves as the entrance
to our annual Holiday Show.

The front porch dressed for the holidays.

I can't talk about porches and not mention the little back porch here at Buttermilk Cottage.

It's a small enclosed porch and...

...a perfect transition from outside into the house.

A baker's rack just outside the backdoor
is the perfect spot for all those lovely things
we'll soon be bringing home
from the farmer's market.

Because it's unheated,
it's also the perfect place for storing
 goodies during the holidays.

Since, I wasn't able to show you my newly planted
flower boxes on the front porch,  check back later
and I'll be sure to share!

I'm linking this post to
Summer Decks & Porches Party

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!

For my birthday a few weeks ago,
I was presented with an
ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
A couple of days later our daily paper's
recipe section had the directions
for making one.
Since my Mom's birthday was coming up
and she'd be here for a visit,
I decided to give it a try.
I consider ice cream to be one
of the major food groups
and this recipe did not disappoint!


Two 1 and 1/2-qt. containers of ice cream
(two complementary flavors,
I used peanut butter and butter pecan
since these are my Mom's favorites.)
12 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1c. jarred hot fudge sauce
Half of an 8-oz tub frozen
whipped topping, thawed
1/4c. purchased caramel sauce
1/2c.chopped toasted almonds, divided

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch spring form pan
with foil (to prevent leaks).
Allow 1 container of ice cream to sit
at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes,
or until slightly softened.

In a medium bowl, mix all but
1/4c. of the chocolate sandwich cookies
and the hot fudge sauce.

In another bowl, stir together the whipped topping,
caramel sauce, and 1/4c. of the almonds.

Spread the full container of the softened ice cream
 into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Spread the ice cream so that it is flat,
even and has no air bubbles.

Top with the hot fudge mixture,
then freeze for 15 minutes.

While the cake freezes, allow the second flavor
of ice cream to soften at room temperature.

Spread the second flavor of ice cream
over the hot fudge mixture.
Spoon and spread the caramel-nut topping
over the second flavor of ice cream.

Sprinkle the top with the reserved
cookies and almonds.
Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
To serve, remove the sides and bottom
of the spring form pan and transfer
to a serving plate.
Makes 16 servings. 
(They're all gone...)

This week I'm linking with
Tasty Tuesdays at 33 Shades of Green
All Things Inspired at All Things Heart & Home
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Progress Report #1

Remember these guys? ----

I told you about them recently.

Well, my Mom is here visiting for the week
and knitting tiny, little mice sweaters has
been a mindless project to work on
while we sit and talk.

Twelve down and
88 left to go...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Strawberry Sheet Cake

Sadly, strawberry season,
at least locally,  is over for me.
Last week when I went to the nearby farm stand for
the locally grown strawberries, they were closed.
No more locally grown strawberries until next year!

Luckily I still had about a half quart left at home
and used them to try out the following recipe for

Strawberry Sheet Cake

You will need 1/2 cup of mashed,
sweetened strawberries
Add a little sugar,
(I used 1/4 cup from the 2 cups called
for in the cake recipe.)

Mash them until they are well mixed and coarse.

Mix together:
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
1/4 cup mashed, sweetened strawberries
1 small box dry strawberry jello

Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes
or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the Icing, mix
1/2 stick softened butter
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup mashed sweetened strawberries
You may need to add more powdered sugar or
strawberries for a spreading consistency.
Mix well first, before you add extra
sugar or strawberries.
Store in the refrigerator.

This is a great cake for pot luck dinners.

This week I'm linking with
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollom
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
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