Cooking Healthy Food, Super Sides, Uncategorized

What’s the Best Time of Day to Eat Almonds?

When Is the Best Time of Day to Eat Almonds_

The answer to this question, I think, really depends on your main purpose for eating the almonds. Almonds are wonderful additions to any diet because they are high in fiber and heart healthy fats and minerals. They can generally be eaten at any time of the day, but certain individual characteristics may dictate the best time of day to eat the almonds.

If you are eating almonds strictly because of the heart health benefits, you can incorporate them at any point during the day – with a few conditions. Almonds, because of their brown coating, can be difficult for some people to digest. For this reason, it’s generally better to avoid eating almonds on an empty stomach. You can always try drinking a glass of almond milk instead. Silk is great, but I also really enjoy making my own almond milk using water and raw almonds in my Ninja Master Prep. Note: the almonds should be raw, and you should soak them first in the same water you’re going to blend them with for at least two hours.

If you’re eating almonds to help boost your athletic performance, it’s best to eat a handful after each workout. So, if you work out in the morning, you should eat almonds in the morning. Likewise, if you work out in the evening, you should eat almonds in the evening.

And speaking of evening, did you know eating a small handful of almonds before bed can actually help you sleep? They contain a significant amount of magnesium, which induces sleep and improves its quality. Because of the magnesium, eating almonds at night also helps to control blood sugar, which may especially help you if you have diabetes or weight issues. You won’t even be hungry when you wake up in the morning, because the fiber in the almonds helps keep you feeling fuller longer!

No doubt about it, everyone could benefit from eating almonds every day. The best time of day to eat the almonds really depends on your main reason for including them in your diet, but you don’t want to waste another day before making them a personal nutritional staple.

best time of day to eat almonds.jpg

If you liked this post and want to learn even more about nutrition and wellness, head over to my health and wellness site, WhyWellnessNow.com.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

Cooking Healthy Food, Super Sides

The Surprising Truth About Canola Oil

The Surprising Truth About Canola Oil

For years now, canola oil has gotten a very bad rap, and somewhat undeservedly so. The truth is canola oil can actually be good for you – in some cases even as good as olive oil, and it is much, much cheaper. This makes it a healthy and economical alternative to olive oil.

Here are just a few of the health benefits of canola oil, which comes from the rapeseed plant:

  1. It is low in saturated fat and contains no trans fats, so it is much better to cook with than standard vegetable oil or other types of oil high in saturated and trans fats.
  2. Canola oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and plant sterols, which decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
  3. It has been shown to both increase levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body, thus promoting a healthy lipid profile.
  4. It is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for the growth and development of the brain, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the body against stroke and heart attack.
  5. Clinical trials and studies have shown that consumption of canola oil in place of other edible oils benefits the body greatly by increasing overall metabolism.
  6. Canola oil can reduce joint stiffness and tenderness, as well as inflammation due to chronic arthritis. It can also reduce the inflammation caused by asthma and intestinal disorders.
  7. Canola oil is rich in vitamins E and K, which help with skin problems such as wrinkles, fine lines, acne, blemishes, eczema, etc. It is often used as a base in creams and lotions because it makes the skin soft and radiant.
  8. To adequately moisturize dry, flaky skin, stir in some canola oil with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and use it as a body oil. Alternatively, you can put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on your skin after a hot shower.
  9. Research and scientific studies show that lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the skin and joints of the body are constantly being destroyed by the immune system, can be treated with a combination of fish and canola oil. This research is currently still in its infancy, but the results indicate a huge potential benefit.
  10. Hot oil treatments using canola oil can be inexpensive and highly effective remedies for hair that is dull and damaged. The oil moisturizes the hair shaft and repairs damage to the strands, and it provides a protective layer against dirt, pollution, and sun damage. A mixture of canola, olive, and almond oil can be used to prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth.the-suprising-truth-about

To maintain the oil’s effectiveness and nutritional value, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark location to minimize exposure to light. If this isn’t possible, you can try wrapping the bottle with a dark, dry cloth. If stored properly, one bottle of canola oil can last for up to two years, which puts its economical value heads and tails above other oils like olive, sunflower, and peanut. Get some today, and try it out for yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

lychee fruit
Cooking Healthy Food, Exotic Flavors, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking, Super Sides

Lychee Nutrition Facts and Recipe

My family and I love to go to the local Chinese buffet. It’s a Sunday afternoon, after-church tradition now. We’ve been doing it for over seven years! You’d think we’d get tired of the same old, same old, but this particular restaurant switches up their menu just enough to keep things interesting. Our favorite things (the sushi, the coconut shrimp, the fried dumplings, etc.) are almost always there, but every once in a while they introduce something new to the spread.

Like yesterday, when they had these strange-looking little round things sitting out at the dessert table. I figured it much be some sort of fruit, but I didn’t have a clue what it was. Still, I’m an adventurous type, especially when it comes to food, so I thought I would try it. Our server came by the table before I’d taken a bite, and I asked her what they were.

“Lychee,” she said, pronouncing it “lee-chee,” or at least that was the way it sounded to me. She smiled at me like she didn’t really believe she was having to tell me what it was. What could I say? I was a lychee virgin.

I’d heard of the fruit before, but I’d never seen it in person, so I’d certainly never tasted it.

I speared one little fruit with my fork and cautiously stuck it in my mouth. Immediately, I tasted the ginger, and I wondered it if that was part of the fruit’s natural taste, but some later research online told me that probably wasn’t the case. They’d probably added ginger to it when they baked it.

My first overall impression? It was quite different from anything I’d ever had before, although the texture was somewhat reminiscent of baked pears, I thought. And it was spicy! But that was okay by me because I happen to like spicy food.

When I got home, I hit the Internet looking for more information about lychees. Turns out, by not knowing anything about this fruit I was really missing out! Lychees are amazingly nutritious!lychee fruit

For example, they:

  • Offer a great source of Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, and phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones, lignans, and polyphenols
  • Provide high amounts of folate, iron, magnesium, and manganese, which are all required for the formation of red blood cells

Please note, however, that lychees are really high in sugar, which may prove problematic for some diabetics, so consume with caution – and ALWAYS in moderation.

During my Internet search, I even found a yummy baked lychee recipe to try at home. So, I made my husband go out and find some lychees (which was no easy feat in Louisville, KY), tweaked the recipe by adding some things, and baked my lychees in the microwave (like I bake everything else).

Baked Lychees
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lb lychee fruit, peeled & seeded
Instructions
  1. Spray a Pyrex baking pan with Pam cooking spray.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the butter.
  3. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger to the butter, and stir together thoroughly.
  4. Roll each lychee in the sugar mixture, and set on the baking dish.
  5. Pour remaining sugar mixture over the lychees.
  6. Put the dish in the microwave and cook on medium power for about three to five minutes, until sugar is caramelized.
  7. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.

If you haven’t yet tried lychees, I highly suggest giving them a try. They’re a really different taste sensation at first, but in a delicious way – especially baked. Try this out, and see for yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

Breakfast, Salads, Super Sides

Do Something New with Your Easter Egg Leftovers

easter egg leftovers

Tired of Hard-Boiled Eggs?

If your family is anything like mine, you have about three different Easter celebrations. When I was a child, we’d celebrate Easter at our house and then go to each of my grandmother’s homes to celebrate, as well. Guess what that meant? We had a lot of leftover food and a lot of leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs!

After a while, I started to hate those eggs because I ate them plain – well, my mother would shake a little salt and pepper on them, but that was about it. As I got older, I began adding mayonnaise, mustard, and pickle relish for single-serve deviled eggs. Even this got boring after a while, though.

So, what do you do when you’re sick of plain hard-boiled eggs – or even deviled eggs? How about some of these tasty ideas?

leftovers

Spice Up Your Egg Salad

While egg salad is not that much different than deviled eggs on the surface, you can mix it up by adding exotic ingredients.

What would you think about adding a little curry to your egg salad? Or even some mashed avocado or grated cucumber for added, non-egg-y flavor.

Use your culinary imagination, and the sky’s the limit!

hard boiled egg recipes

Top Your Cooked Vegetables

Chop up some hard-boiled eggs and throw them on top of steamed vegetables. Chopped eggs are especially tasty, and aesthetically satisfying, on top of green vegetables (beans, broccoli, asparagus).

I’ll admit it. At first, I was nervous about trying this, but I was pleasantly surprised. Hard-boiled eggs really do make a yummy garnish for cooked vegetables.

hard boiled eggs

Don’t Forget the Cold Vegetables!

Sure, we all know we can chop up hard-boiled eggs and throw them on our lettuce salads. And most people add hard-boiled eggs to cold potato and tuna salad. But what about other cold salads?

Eggs can be a great addition to macaroni salad, shrimp salad – even cole slaw. And have you ever had cauliflower salad? This is something else I was afraid to try, but it turned out to be a delicious new addition to my cold salad repertoire.

pickled eggs

Pickle Your Eggs

Now this may be an acquired taste because not everyone likes pickled eggs. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of them, but they do hold a certain nostalgic value for me.

My grandmother always had pickled eggs on the table at Easter. Well, her pickled eggs always included pickled beets and onions, but there were always eggs in the mix.

Pickled eggs can be eaten by themselves or as a cold salad accompaniment. If you’ve never had one before, try them. You might really like them.

Simply Organic French Onion Dip, 1.1-Ounce Packets (Pack of 24)

Add Some Protein to Your Dips and Sauces

Finely chop your hardboiled eggs (yolk and all) and add them, along with some sour cream or plain yogurt, to your favorite dip seasoning mix. I think they’re best in French Onion dip or Ranch dip. You hardly even know the egg is in there, depending on how many you use.

Or how about some chopped hard-boiled eggs in a hollandaise sauce, or even a chicken a la king? You can easily sneak in the nutritional goodness of the egg without cluing in any egg-haters to their presence.

boiled eggs

Egg Up Your Main Dishes

You can always chop up your hard-boiled egg and throw it in with your favorite meatloaf mixture. Or you could spice things up a bit, Spanish-style.

Combining potatoes and eggs is a very popular culinary trick in Spain and in most of South America. That’s where I had my first Tortilla Española and absolutely fell in love with the flavor combination.

You can replicate the flavor in a casserole dish. Use equal numbers of boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. Throw them in the dish with some cooked sausage, peppers, onions, and spices. Layer the sliced eggs on top of the mixture with some milk-soaked bread and cheese. Repeat and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Delicious spicy breakfast (or dinner) casserole!

Some New Egg Ideas

Now you have some ideas for unique ways to use your leftover Easter eggs. You won’t be stuck eating just plain hard-boiled eggs, like I was for so many years! So go out and buy a few dozen and have fun decorating them for Easter. Or, if Easter’s a long way off, just decorate them for the heck of it. Why not?

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

cabbage soup
Soups, Super Sides, Vegging Out

Creamy Cabbage Soup

creamy cabbage soup.png

Sometimes it’s hard being the only one in a family of four who actually enjoys food – all kinds of food. If it’s edible, I’m willing to try it – except if it has eyeballs. I leave those types of things alone. At any rate, I don’t consider myself to be at all picky, but I live with three very picky (and somewhat unpredictable) eaters. They won’t touch a lot of things I want to fix, so I end up having to eat it all myself (and most of the time, that’s just fine with me).

Take, for example, the other day when I wanted to try out a recipe for potato salad slaw I found in one of my husband’s grandmother’s old cookbooks. I bought a head of cabbage, my husband took one look at it, and wrinkled his nose in distaste. Now, keep in mind, I know for a fact this guy does eat slaw (I also know he doesn’t eat potato salad, but this potato salad recipe didn’t have anything in it he wouldn’t eat, so I thought it was worth a try). Silly me! He just shook his head and said, “I’ve never met a potato salad I liked, and I don’t think I’ll like this one.” I love that man. I really do, but oh that comment made me so mad!

I had a head of cabbage I had to do something with, so I decided to cook it up with some bacon and cheddar cheese. That’s the Southern way to do it, you know. Everything’s better with bacon and cheese. But I found that I had a lot of chopped cabbage, and since I knew I was the only one who was going to be eating it (my girls took one look and ran out of the room), I thought I might vary the cabbage cooking a bit. That’s where this creamy cabbage soup comes in. It doesn’t have bacon or cheese, but it’s every bit as delicious as my old standby cooked cabbage recipe. Here’s how to make it:

Creamy Cabbage Soup
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
This creamy cabbage soup recipe is the perfect way to warm up on a cold day. It’s an excellent alternative to traditionally cooked cabbage, and it can even be altered to make it a vegetarian dish.
Ingredients
  • ½ chopped medium green cabbage (about 12 ounces, total)
  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 2 chopped leeks
  • 1 potato, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable or bone broth)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano flakes
Instructions
  1. Chop half the green cabbage up into small cubes.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring about 2 inches of lightly salted water to a boil and add the cabbage cubes
  3. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the chopped leeks gently for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
  6. Add the sliced potato and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Pour the cabbage and the liquid into the potato and leek mixture.
  9. Cook everything for another 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Remove pan from heat, and add the milk and oregano.
  11. Stir well, cover, and set aside for about 15 minutes.
  12. Pour half the soup into a blender, and blend gently for about 30 seconds.
  13. Return the blended portion to the saucepan and stir thoroughly.
  14. Heat on medium low heat until heated through.
  15. Serve immediately with bread or crackers.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

 

acorn squash recipe
Super Sides, Vegging Out

Stuffed Acorn Squash

 

stuffed acorn squash

I recently went on a field trip to Huber’s with my younger daughter’s preschool class, where I got to enjoy some of the delicious apple butter that inspired my own Kentucky Apple Butter recipe. I was also introduced to something I’d never heard of before – acorn squash. I’m a big fan of regular summer squash, so when I heard about acorn squash I was naturally curious to try it.

Turns out, this yummy vegetable is sweeter than summer squash, so it has more of a glycemic load, but it’s very nutritious in its own right. It has very little saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 17 mins
Serves: 2 servings
This is a delicious apple-stuffed squash recipe that makes an excellent side or main dish.
Ingredients
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 – 3 apples, sliced
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.
  2. Add ½ inch of water into a microwavable casserole dish, and place the two halves face down.
  3. Microwave on High (Power Level: 10) for about 4 minutes.
  4. Place the apple slices in a large bowl, and stir in the brown sugar.
  5. Turn the squash halves over and fill with the apple mixture.
  6. Top with the butter, nutmeg, and salt.
  7. Cover with wax paper and microwave on High for 3 more minutes.

Cutting the squash and scooping out the insides is a pretty messy business – not unlike carving a pumpkin – but it’s absolutely worth it. I made this as a side dish along with some baked chicken, but you could easily serve this as a main dish with a fresh green salad. It’s an excellent way to celebrate the tastes of the season.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

potato casserole
Super Sides, Vegging Out

Bacon and Potato Casserole

bacon and potato casserole.pngCasseroles are the ultimate comfort food, and they’re especially yummy when they include potatoes, cheese, and bacon. This loaded potato casserole recipe can be cooked up in no time in the microwave, and the easy prep makes this a perfect main course for a busy week night. Alternatively, you can serve it as a hearty side item along with ham or beef steaks.

Bacon and Potato Casserole
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 4
Loaded baked potatoes are wildly popular for one very good reason – they’re yummy! This easy microwavable casserole puts all those flavors together to make a meal that’s sure to be a family pleaser.
Ingredients
  • 4 medium potatoes, either peeled or unpeeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 pound bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Spray a microwavable casserole dish with Pam cooking spray.
  2. Arrange the diced potatoes on the bottom of the dish.
  3. Sprinkle the rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper evenly over the top.
  4. Stir slightly to combine.
  5. Layer bacon and cheese over the top.
  6. Bake for 17-19 minutes on high heat (Power Level 10) until potatoes are tender and bacon is crisp.

I don’t peel my potatoes because I like the skins, and I always appreciate cutting down on the prep time. But some people don’t like eating potato skins, and this recipe is just as good without them, so that’s completely your call.

I don’t serve this dish as often as I would like to because I have one very picky eater (my husband) in my household who doesn’t like cheese. The kids and I love it though, and if you don’t have any family members who hate cheese (or one of these other ingredients), I’m sure this will be a hit. I’ve found it also goes really well at potlucks and church suppers.

I’d love to know what your family and friends think about it, so leave a comment and let me know if you try it.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

fluffernutter
Cooking with Kids, Just Desserts, Sandwiches, Super Sides

Five Fun Fluffernutter Facts

 

fluffernutter facts

Today is National Fluffernutter Day! Admittedly, before today, I’d never heard of this delicious PB&J alternative. But I thought I would give it a try, because ever since I learned how to make peanut butter fudge using marshmallow creme, I’ve been a big fan of the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow creme together.

And in my quest for more information about the fluffernutter, I came across some very interesting facts:

  1. Marshmallow creme, which forms the basis of the fluffernutter sandwich, was first invented in Massachusetts in the early part of the 20th century. Sugar shortages due to war hindered its production for a time; however, the gooey treat never really fell off the radar.
  2. The fluffernutter (also known as the “Liberty sandwich”) was actually developed, and the first recipe for it was published, by marshmallow creme co-founder Emma Curtis during World War I (hence, obviously, the presence of “liberty” in the sandwich’s name). Emma Curtis was the great-great-great-granddaughter of Paul Revere.
  3. Because of its vast popularity and its rich local history, the fluffernutter has been named the “unofficial state sandwich” of Massachusetts, and real steps have been taken to make that title official.
  4. In 2006, the fluffernutter inspired some severe anti-junk food legislation in its home state when State Senator Jarrett Barrios found out his son was being served fluffernutters every day at school. The amendment limited the serving of fluffernutters at school to once a week.
  5. Fluffernutters aren’t just popular here on Earth. Astronaut Richard Michael Linnehan, who was born in Massachusetts and grew up in New Hampshire, enjoyed a fluffernutter while he was onboard the International Space Station.

I guess, since I’m not from Massachusetts and don’t really know anyone who is, it’s understandable I’m not very familiar with the fluffernutter. Well, that is, I wasn’t familiar with it until I decided to make one for myself today to celebrate this delicious holiday. I made some modifications, though, to the traditional white bread, marshallow creme, and peanut butter sandwich.

First of all, I didn’t have any white bread in the house, so I used wheat. And I’m such a PB&J fan, I just couldn’t bear the thought of substituting the jelly with marshmallow creme alone. So, I got the bright idea to add raisins (about half an ounce), since they are made from the same fruit grape jelly comes from.

fluffernutterI was a bit skeptical at first, but it really was an excellent idea. The raisins were amazing in this sandwich! And I got to feel a little bit better about my indulgence in the “unhealthy” sandwich my adding something healthier to it – well, in addition to the whole wheat bread.

All in all, I’m glad I was introduced to the fluffernutter. It’s not going to be my go-to sandwich when I get a hankering for peanut butter. PB&J will always win out over the fluffernutter, as far as I’m concerned. But I can definitely see the appeal of this sandwich. And I love the many possibilities that exist in terms of fluffernutter variations. For example, I ran across several mentions of fluffernutter cookies.

Also, in the process of researching this sandwich, I ran across this delicious cake recipe. I have not had a chance to make it yet, but I’m filing it away for later. It just looks too good to pass up!

Now I want to know: What are your experiences with the fluffernutter? Do you prefer it over the PB&J, or is it the other way around? Talk back to me in the comments!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

thai peanut sauce recipe
Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors, Super Sides

Delicious Thai Peanut Sauce

 

delicious thai peanut sauce (1)

There aren’t a lot of Thai restaurants where I live, so we don’t eat this type of cuisine regularly, but my husband did take me to a Thai restaurant once, and we both enjoyed it. One of the things I loved most was the peanut sauce served with the chicken. Yum!

So, when I thought about celebrating National Peanut Day today, one of the first things I thought about was that peanut sauce. It’d been a long time since I’d had Thai peanut sauce, so I hit the Internet looking for easy-to-make at-home recipes. There’s a wide variety out there (seems that way for almost any recipe you find these days – everybody has their own take on things), but I took what I thought were the best, combined them, and created my own.

This sauce is a wonderful way to add some zest and flavor to dull leftover chicken. And if you’ve been following this blog long, you know I’m all about sprucing up chicken leftovers. And it’s totally easy. No special cooking skills required!

Here’s the recipe:

Delicious Thai Peanut Sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings
This version of Thai peanut sauce is so easy, anyone can make it. It’s an exciting addition to leftover chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (either crunchy or creamy)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 8-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (halved)
Instructions
  1. Add the peanut butter, honey, coconut milk, lemon juice, and soy sauce to a blender jar.
  2. Blend for about 30 seconds on medium speed, and then reduce speed to low for 30 more seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan.
  4. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, red pepper, garlic, basil, and peanuts.
  5. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until heated through and completely combined.
  6. Serve immediately by spooning over shredded leftover chicken and prepared jasmine rice.
thai peanut sauce recipe

Like I said, it has been a long time since I went to that Thai restaurant, so I can’t attest to how close this recipe is to restaurant quality…and I certainly can’t say how authentic it is, since I’ve never been to Thailand. But I can say, for certain, that this makes for a yummy dinner. Even my kids like this sauce (they love peanuts, peanut butter, and soy sauce).

It looks like this is one recipe that might stay in our monthly dinner rotation for a long time!
//

natural skin care
Cooking Healthy Food, Super Sides, Vegging Out

Six Cool Folk Remedy Uses for Potatoes

folk remedies potatoes

For National Potato Month, I thought it would be fun to post an informative post about potatoes. I thought about publishing something on the history of the potato. But then my husband shared a tip with me he read the other day about using Vicks VapoRub to treat mosquito bites, and that got me thinking about folk remedies…which naturally led me to thinking about folk remedy uses for the potato. So, I started doing some research, and here’s what I found out.

Potatoes

1. A powerful natural treatment for many health problems

Instead of just tossing out the water you boil your potatoes in for salad, you should consider drinking it. I know, that sounds totally gross, but it really might be the best thing for you, especially if you suffer from certain ailments, like:

  • ulcers
  • heartburn
  • upper body spasms
  • sprains
  • gout
  • sciatica

Drinking potato juice can also help you flush out toxins from your body. If the idea of drinking straight potato juice sounds too gross to bear, you can add a little bit of apple or carrot juice to make it more palatable.

potato juice

2. A natural cure for headaches

I’ve never tried this, but now that I know about it, I’m going to do it the next time I get a headache (I get them all the time!). Cut a raw potato in half and put each half on a temple. Gently rub the potato halves against your temples until the pain goes away.

3. An inexpensive natural beauty treatment

  • Use the insides of potato peels to remove your eye makeup.
  • Reduce dark circles under your eyes by placing cut potato over them for about 5 to 10 minutes every morning.
  • Wash your face daily with potato juice to prevent wrinkles.
  • Cut a potato in half and put the cut side against your skin to reduce the appearance of acne.
  • Rub a piece of cut potato on your sunburned skin for immediate relief. Potatoes are supposed to work even better than aloe vera for sunburn!
  • Got a wart? Potatoes will take care of those too. Just cut the potato and rub it against the wart every day until the pesky thing is gone.

natural skin care

4. A natural, non-habit-forming sleep aid

Potatoes help you sleep somewhat indirectly. They prevent stomach acids from disturbing your sleep at night. Just eat a boiled or mashed potato with milk before bed to have a peaceful, uninterrupted night’s sleep.

5. A natural berry and beet stain remover

Is there anything harder to get out than beet or berry stains? I haven’t seen anything yet – well, exceopt for maybe red Kool-Aid. But a peeled raw potato provides a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to get rid of these stubborn stains. All you do is take the potato and rub it against the stain until it disappears.

6. A natural glue remover

You know when you’re working on a craft project, and you get glue all over your hands (or is that just me)? You can use raw potato to remove glue or any other sticky substance from your hands – even chewing gum!

Who knew potatoes were so magical? I didn’t. I just know I love to eat them. And now I think I might eat them more often!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Old Family Recipes, Salads, Super Sides

German Potato Salad

 

german potato salad

I’m at least 1/16th German. My great-great-grandparents came over on a boat from Germany before my great-grandfather was born (my mom’s mom’s maiden name was Woehler). So, naturally, I’m drawn to all things German.

I’ve had German potato salad before, but I hadn’t had it for a very, very long time, so I thought it would be fun to celebrate National Potato Month by posting my favorite German potato salad recipe. This is, at least in part, in honor of my great-grandfather. I never got to meet him. He died 10 years before I was born, but my grandmother told me he always had to have potatoes of some sort at every meal.

I guess it’s a German thing. I had a coworker once whose parents were German, and she said she grew up having potatoes at every meal.

Anyway, here’s my take on the traditional German potato salad:

German Potato Salad
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: About 12
This delicious German potato salad can be served either hot or cold.
Ingredients
  • 5 strips of turkey bacon
  • 6 medium-size russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Fry the bacon in a skillet over high heat until mostly crisp.
  2. Boil the potatoes in a 2-quart saucepan in enough water so that the potatoes are covered by about an inch or two for 13 minutes.
  3. Drain the water from the potatoes.
  4. Pour the potatoes out into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Crumble the bacon over the potatoes.
  6. Add the onion powder, salt, thyme, black pepper, and sugar.
  7. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the mixture, and combine well.
  8. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate to heat later (or to serve cold, if preferred).
German Potato Salad

You can peel the potatoes before cooking, if you prefer. I didn’t because I like eating potato skins. Also, I think they add some nice color and character to this salad. Besides that, I like to save myself as much time and work as I can in the kitchen. 🙂

For more information about how to boil “perfect” potatoes for salad, check out this article.

I made this potato salad and told my husband he had to at least try some (he’s notorious for not eating potato salad of ANY kind). As he puts it, “I’ve never met a potato salad that didn’t have something I won’t eat in it.” But this one DOESN’T have anything he won’t eat, and I told him so. He gave it a try and pronounced it, “Not bad.” LOL!

My four-year-old wouldn’t touch it, and my six-year-old took a bite and said it was a little too “spicy” for her. So, for now I’m the only one who really appreciates this dish. Not surprising, really. I live with a bunch of picky eaters!

If you give this a try, though, I’d love to hear what you think of it, so do leave a comment and let me know. Thanks!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Herbs, Salads, Super Sides

Sweet Peach Vinaigrette

 

sweet peach vinaigrette

One of my favorite resources for cooking heart healthy meals is Dick Logue’s 1,001 Heart Healthy Recipes. I was browsing the Amazon product page for this book the other day, and I noticed in the book description, they’d listed a recipe for a honey mustard cranberry dressing (vinaigrette).

This sparked an idea in my own mind to create a vinaigrette using ingredients I had on hand (cranberry wasn’t one of them), and I’m fresh out of dijon. I did find a can of peaches, though, and I thought it might make a yummy, sweet addition to the vinaigrette dressing line up. Turns out, I was right.

Here’s what I came up with, and here’s exactly what I did to make it. I may never buy pre-made salad dressing at the grocery again. This is just too delicious to ever want to try any other type of dressing – except, perhaps, one using another fruit or some other spices (thyme is one of my very favorite spices, but I was all out of it today, so I couldn’t use it in this dressing – maybe next time).

  • 3/4 cup peach juice (I took the juice from a can of “no sugar added” peach slices)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 2 tsps parsley
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp honey (preferably local)
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sealable container.
  2. Shake until thoroughly combined (about 30-60 seconds).
  3. Serve immediately over a crisp lettuce salad.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sweet Peach Vinaigrette

If you try this out for yourself, I’d love to know what you think of it. And I’d be interested in hearing what variations you come up with too…if sweet peach vinaigrette isn’t your style. That’s one of the things I love most about cooking – the variety you can add and the personalization you can do with every recipe. All you have to do is let something spark inspiration within you, and let your culinary creativity run wild!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

indian-mexican fusion fried rice
Cooking with Herbs, Super Sides

Indian-Mexican Fusion Fried Rice

indian-mexican fusion fried rice

Sometimes when you’re standing in your kitchen looking at leftovers that you know aren’t going to feed your entire family, and you wonder what you’re going to be able to do with them because you don’t want to waste food…inspiration strikes.

I had two cups of rice, some leftover pulled pork from Mark’s Feed Store, and half of a leftover egg from my daughter’s breakfast. Being a Chinese food fan, my thoughts immediately turned to fried rice. I’d never tried making fried rice before, but I didn’t think it would be all that difficult, so I gave it a whirl. I added some Indian and Mexican spices to give it a little extra flare.

The end result? Not the most attractive dish in the world, but it sure was tasty!

Here’s how I did it:

Indian-Mexican Fusion Fried Rice
Recipe Type: Side Dish
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4 servings
Traditional Indian and Mexican spices are added to a homemade version of a Chinese takeout favorite – fried rice. The end result is delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1 cup shredded cooked pulled pork
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • salt and pepper, according to taste
Instructions
  1. To cook the rice: Add four cups of water and two cups rice to a large saucepan.
  2. Add a dash of salt and one tbsp olive oil.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat.
  4. Add two tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet. Heat slightly, and ensure the whole skillet is coated with the oil.
  5. Transfer the rice from the saucepan to the skillet.
  6. Break up the pulled pork and add it to the rice in the pan.
  7. Crack the egg and pour over the rice and pork.
  8. Stir thoroughly, and add the oregano, parsley, cumin, cardamom, coriander, and salt and pepper.
  9. Cook over high heat for 5-10 minutes, or low heat for 15.
  10. Stir constantly.
  11. Serve with cooked pork or steamed veggies.

If you don’t happen to have pulled pork already on hand, you can make your own. One of my favorite ways to cook pork is in the Crock Pot. Add a bit of water or chicken broth to the bottom of the Crock Pot, wrap the pork in Reynolds Wrap, and heat for two hours (if thawed) or four hours (if frozen) per pound on low heat.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Herbs, Salads, Super Sides

Easy Homemade Salad Dressing

Fresh salads and healthy lifestyles go hand in hand. After all, what could be better for you than a big plate full of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fiber-rich legumes and lean proteins? Unfortunately, you could end up negating these delicious and healthy choices if you aren’t careful about the type of salad dressing you use.

Taking a quick look at the list of ingredients on your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing can be a real eye opener. In fact, you may be surprised to see a host of ingredients you weren’t expecting, including high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, and an assortment of artificial colors and preservatives to make it all seem more fresh and natural.

Fortunately, making your own homemade salad dressing is faster and easier than you might think. Plus, you get to control how much you make at one time, so you don’t have to worry about throwing out your hard-earned money if you don’t use it all in time.

When it comes to homemade salad dressings, vinaigrettes are fast, easy and delicious choices. One general rule of thumb to keep in mind when creating your own vinaigrettes is to use 1 part vinegar (or other acidic ingredient) to 3 parts oil. In other words, if you use ¼ cup vinegar, you’ll want to use ¾ cups of oil. If you like a little more kick to your dressing, try a 2:1 ratio instead.

When choosing these key ingredients, don’t be afraid to get creative. Think beyond plain white, red or cider vinegar and give rice vinegars, aged or white balsamic, or fruit-infused varieties a try, as well. Citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit, also work particularly well.

When it comes to choosing your oil, it’s hard to beat a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. However, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives, such as a more delicate grape seed oil, as well. Olive oils infused with garlic, rosemary or other herbs are also great choices.

A third ingredient you may want to add to your vinaigrette is Dijon mustard. Dijon is a popular choice because it tastes great and helps bind all the other ingredients together.

Beyond these three ingredients, there are countless ways you can customize your vinaigrette recipes to complement your salad ingredients. For example, you can add minced garlic, onion, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, honey, or a variety of fruit juices or zests.Spicy-Dijon-Vinaigrette

Here is a basic recipe to get you started:

Easy Dijon Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: salad dressing
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Why spend money on all those salad dressings that are full of fat and other not-so-healthy artificial ingredients. This salad dressing is healthy, delicious, and so easy to make. You won’t want bottled salad dressing ever again!
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbspns Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps honey
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients into a glass bowl or container with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Mix or shake vigorously to combine thoroughly

Starting with this basic recipe, I bet you can come up with dozens of yummy options to suit whatever salads are on your menu. Enjoy!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

 

Breads, Breakfast, Old Family Recipes, Super Sides

Best Kentucky Biscuits and Gravy

My most favorite breakfast food of all time is biscuits and gravy, hands down. Nothing can compare. We do biscuits and gravy a little bit different here in Kentucky, and these recipes were passed down to me by my grandmother, who cooked everything with either lard or bacon grease. Low-fat? No way! But it is incredibly delicious.

This is how my grandmother taught me to make biscuits – the best “Kentucky” way. They’re flatter than some varieties, but they taste every bit as good (or better). Serve with the bacon grease milk gravy for maximum Bluegrass State effect.

Best Kentucky Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time 15 minutes

Makes 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 tbspn white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in the milk.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, roll out into a 6 X 6-inch square, and cut into 12 even sections. DO NOT separate.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the square comes out clean.
  8. Separate the biscuits, and serve hot.

American_biscuits_and_gravy

Bacon Grease Milk Gravy

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes

Makes about 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bacon grease
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Heat bacon grease in a skillet over medium heat until liquid.
  2. Whisk flour into drippings until smooth.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color.
  4. Stir constantly for about 15 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Stir in salt and black pepper.
  6. Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until well blended.
  7. Continue whisking the milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time.
  8. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.
  9. Serve immediately.
  10. OPTIONAL (but totally recommended): Brown 1 pound of sausage, breaking it up into little pieces as you cook it. Drain most of the grease off, and then add the sausage to the bacon grease milk gravy before serving. Why not go “whole hog?” 🙂

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Breakfast, Fruit for Dessert, Old Family Recipes, Super Sides

Kentucky Apple Butter

Years ago, I got my first taste of apple butter (at Joe Huber’s restaurant in Starlight, Indiana, so it was not “Kentucky” apple butter), and I was hooked. Fortunately for me, my grandmother started making apple butter herself soon after that. Hers tasted a bit different than Joe Huber’s, and it was only later that I realized there are regional (and, possibly, even state to state) differences in the way apple butter is made.

Still, no matter where it comes from, apple butter is a delicious treat to have at breakfast or any other time of the day. Here’s a fabulous Kentucky apple butter recipe, which is very similar to the one my grandmother used to make.

kentucky apple butter on bread

Kentucky Apple Butter
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 2 hours 5 mins
Total time: 2 hours 20 mins
Serves: 45 servings
There are many apple butter variations. This one is a traditional Kentucky apple butter like my grandmother used to make.
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds chopped McIntosh apples
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbspn ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 (1-pint) canning jars with lids and rings, as needed
Instructions
  1. Place apples in a large pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened (5 to 10 minutes).
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  5. Press apples through a food mill to separate seeds, cores, and skin from apple pulp.
  6. Transfer pulp to a bowl.
  7. Stir together white and brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg into the apple pulp.
  8. Pour the apple mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  9. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, stirring and scraping the sides of the pan every 20 to 30 minutes, until the apple butter is red and thickened.
  10. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
  11. Fill the hot, sterilized jars with the apple butter, to within 1/4 inch of the top.
  12. Run a knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles.
  13. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue.
  14. Put the lids on the jars and screw on the rings.
  15. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water.
  16. Bring to a boil and lower the jars into the boiling water, using a holder.
  17. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars.
  18. Pour in more boiling water, if necessary, to bring the water level to at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars.
  19. Bring to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and process for 30 minutes.
  20. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place them, several inches apart, onto a cloth-covered or wood surface until cool.
  21. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down).
  22. Store in a cool, dark area.

Now, admittedly, this isn’t an easy recipe, but it’s worth every minute and every ounce of effort. If you try it, I’d love to know what you think about it, so be sure to leave a comment!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

 

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.