Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dyeing Easter Eggs

I dyed Easter eggs with my two nephews last evening. I thought they might be a little excited but they were real excited.

The excitement is showing a bit.

Mom put old aprons on them to save their clothes.
Sawyer would hold the egg on the spoon until he was and the
top of the cup and plop the egg would go. Then he would check it 
every second just in case it was ready.


To Dye Eggs 
We just used old mugs and put about 3/4 cup of water with food coloring
and 1 Tbsp. of vinegar in each mug. It takes quite a few drops of coloring.
To swirl the colors- dye your eggs a little lighter- then add 1 Tbsp.
of pig lard to the dye in your mug and heat in the microwave for a minute 
or so until the lard is melted and the water is hot. Drop the lightly dyed egg in and immediately pull it up so the whole egg isn't colored. We have been 
using this method for years. The eggs will be greasy so wipe 
them off with a paper towel.


Pickled Eggs

I love pickled eggs. Every year around Easter time, my Grandma Rhodes makes pickled eggs. I called her last week for her recipe.

"Well, Hope, you know I don't use a recipe. I just dump and pour. I have never used a cookbook."

If anyone knows my Grandma, you would have expected her to say that. Thankfully my Aunt Shirley was there and had the measurements for Grandma's pickled eggs.

If you want to add some natural color to your Easter table, this is just what you need to make.

 They are easy and lovely too. 

Grandma's Pickled Eggs

2 dozen hard boiled eggs
1 pint of pickled beets

1 cup of beet juice, drained from your canned beets
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Cook your eggs as you would usually for hard boiled eggs.  
Run cool water over them and peel. It is better to use eggs 
that are a week old, they will peel easier.

Drain the juice off your beets and if you don't have a cup- add water 
to the beets and shake a bit to get more juice. Add beet juice, sugar, vinegar and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Place hard boiled eggs and beets in a gallon jar . Pour hot syrup over eggs and refrigerate. If it doesn't quite cover 
the top add a little hot water. Mine stuck out of the top a little so I just 
shook the jar a couple times a day so the eggs were pickled evenly. 
After three days they are ready to eat and will keep up to a month.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Comes in like a Lion...

and stays a lion. So much for the saying that if March comes in like a lion- it goes out like a lamb. I'm seeing no lamb here. By the way the lamb is freezing cold.

I say embrace the snow and enjoy it! No use being miserable. I tromped around our little town this morning and snapped some photos. It was real nice of my car window to decide not to close. One of those deals where it slips sideways- you push the button to go up and you hear clunk and then the pointed edge of your window comes creeping up. Not cool- but I couldn't help but laugh. Another reason for my husband to hate my poor, little car.

I can only imagine what the robins are saying. "Honey, are you sure 
we flew in the right direction? This white stuff isn't for the birds."

Duke enjoys snow. Crazy dog. He wanted the snowmobile to start as 
bad as Josh did. He stood there whimpering as he tried to start it.

My childhood horse, Cracker.

Wildwood Park.

Mrs. Cardinal fluffing her fluff.

My mother's cat that she claims she dislikes, but talks to it all 
the time and feeds it hot dogs. Mother, mother.

Pretty bird, pretty bird.

How far did the snow reach? Are you enjoying it too?
 Have a happy day! I am off to make eclairs.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

We have a winner...

Laura Keller
Oh wow! The thought of spring makes me smile although with 3 ft. of snow on the ground it seems like a distant dream. My first thoughts go to fresh mint tea with lemon and strawberry spinach salad. BTW, I'm your MIL's cousin. ~Laura

Laura, I hope you enjoy this and that you get to enjoy a strawberry spinach salad and a glass of mint tea with lemon, soon.

I will get this out to you next week!

This was so much fun... I wish I could do it everyday. My husband claims I would give the farm away if he would let me. I guess giving must be my love language. Thanks to all who entered, when I need an idea for spring inspired food I will be reviewing your comments for ideas.

A happy day to all,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Salad Bar

My husband has been working long days so I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight. To my surprise he said a salad with chicken on top and lots of toppings. I thought for sure he would say taco salad.

So the hardworking man got what he ordered.

Vegetables make me happy. They are just about as cheery as flowers.
What a vivid color palette our Maker gave us.

Really no need for a recipe.  
They sky is the limit.

For the dressing I tossed together a
Honey Dijon Dressing.

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vinegar
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
fresh ground pepper

This has some zip to it- so beware.
I love Dijon mustard but those wanting a sweet and
mild honey mustard use regular mustard and only 1 Tbsp.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Spring Giveaway..

because I have the spring fever- I guess kitchen tools have nothing to do with spring. Mostly because I really do love all my blog followers. I love getting feedback from, you, who are interested in what I am interested in.

I want to give you some of my favorite kitchen tools. All used in my kitchen very often.

A set of stainless steel shakers with no lids to mess with and these guys give a nice even sprinkle. This handy mini grater is great for zesting lemons or grating Parmesan cheese. A sturdy Norpro whisk and an all silicon spatula are my best friends. My diligent plastic scraper to scrape crusty pans or dough off my counter top. A little taste of vanilla bean paste, the ingredient that changed my life forever. No more imitation vanilla. Bars and cookies scoop beautifully with this wooden handled spatula and can be cut in one swoop with this sharp Rada knife. Icing a cake or cookies with an angled spatula  really is relaxing. No more stress- it all smooths out with one swipe. 

To enter just answer the following question, here is where the spring part comes in.

What is your favorite food to make in the spring?
It can be anything- the first vegetables from your garden,
or a creamy lemon dessert.

Deadline March 23.

In order to enter to win you must be a follower of my blog. However, you can become a new follower and enter to win as well. No shipping outside USA and Canada. I did that for you Parla:)

Winners will be selected using www.randompicker.com. One entry per person.
Winner will be announced on my blog page Saturday evening. Please include your email address so I can contact you. If you feel uncomfortable leaving your email address be sure to look at my page Saturday evening and you can email me your information for shipping.

Let the fun begin,

Monday, March 18, 2013

Baby Back Ribs

I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow of on the ground. The view from our bedroom window portrayed that the roads must be covered in snow and dangerous. I was proven wrong when I looked out the kitchen window to see that our lane was clear. I scrambled and got ready for work. No day off for me.

I decided to tackle making baby back ribs for dinner and found out that they are very easy to make. Yipee... bring on summer.

 Saute shallots and add brown sugar to caramelize. Add remaining ingredients and you have a delicious BBQ sauce. Baste ribs with sauce and bake until tender, then throw on the grill for 10 minutes.

Baby Back Ribs

1 rack of baby back ribs (about 2.5 lbs.)

BBQ Sauce

1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 brandy
1/2 cup A1 thick steak sauce (regular would work fine)
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. stone ground mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pinches of red pepper flakes

In a skillet melt butter, add shallots and saute until soft. Add brown sugar and cook until slightly caramelized. Add brandy and stir until combined. Add steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper flakes.

Cut ribs into two sections. Baste with 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. Place in a 9" x 13" baking dish, meat side down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 1 hr and 15 minutes or until fork tender. Turn grill on medium heat and baste ribs with remaining sauce. Grill until crispy and heat through- around 10 minutes. Watch closely, with the thick sauce they will easily burn. If you have sauce left over warm and serve with ribs.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ladies Retreat

I just got home from a ladies retreat... one retreat I will never forget. We had a wonderful time of Bible study and building relationships. I will never forget it because it was a great getaway- but mostly will remember a house full of women with no electricity or running water. Merilyn, our avid camper, wasn't worried a bit. She started to melt snow and boil it for drinking water. Some walked to the lake for water and filled buckets to flush toilets. Thankfully, there was a gas fireplace and gas stove top. I tailored the food to cooking it on top of the stove and at night we had jugs of water lit up by a candle for light. 

I took lots of photos the first day when all was well with electricity, but after the power went out I wasn't real worried about capturing the event. Here are some photos I managed to take...

 Sweet fellowship.

 Abundant food.

 A cooking show by Michelle and Sheila. Thanks ladies.

There were babies to be loved. 
LOVE Gavin's peek-a-boo skills.

More fun.

The storm came and...

... we survived!


Monday, March 4, 2013

A Luncheon

Last Tuesday I was invited to my Aunt's house for a luncheon to celebrate Lynette's birthday (happy) and to get together before Charity moved to Indiana (sad).

My sister stayed in Virginia for a year and now has moved to, Indiana, were her husband was formally from. I will cherish the year she lived here forever. After she was away in Bolivia for 8 years it was so much fun to have her next door. But I must, I must move on and not be sad- think positive, Hope, think positive. 

Here are some photos from the luncheon... as you can see it was quite lovely and tasty, too.

 Delectable dainties.

Aunties, Nieces and a few boys mixed in.

Sweet little cousins.
The best photo out of 40, yes, I counted.
Children never cease to amaze me, if I were a pink elephant maybe they
would look at me long enough for a good picture. I guess I'm not.

Now, I'm off to a ladies retreat for 2 days.
I get to be the cook and I am super excited.