Sunday, February 27, 2011

French Silk Pie

My husband's birthday was this past week. I always want to make him something special, but he hates cake. I think the only time I have ever seen him eat cake is at our wedding when we cut the cake. So every year I make him a birthday french silk pie. He absolutely loves it!

First I start out with a homemade crust. I use a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, the orange Betty Crocker cookbook from 1969 that I got from my mom. She bought it for me at garage sale because she didn't want me to take hers! You can find the recipe here, but I always use lard instead of the shortening that it calls for.

Then I make the delicious chocolate filling! It is so easy with only 5 ingredients!

 You need:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large, very fresh eggs
sweetened whipped cream
Start by creaming the butter in a bowl. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light. Blend in the chocolate and the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat for five minutes after you add each one. Pour into the cooled crust and top with your whipped cream! I like to whip up my own whipped cream. I think it adds to the homemade goodness! Happy baking!

If you are at all concerned about salmonella or are uncomfortable eating raw eggs, this recipe is not for you! It is recommended that immuno-compromised patients, the very young, or elderly should not eat raw or lightly cooked eggs. Consuming eggs that have not been cooked to 165*F is at your own risk!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's Here!

My dutch oven has arrived! Isn't it beautiful?!? I love the blue color.

When I was looking for a dutch oven I knew I wanted one that was cast iron. I also saw somewhere that you should get one that is coated with enamel. So I decided on the Lodge brand that I saw on the Target website.

I can hardly wait to cook with it! I have found a few recipes that I already want to try, but I am looking for more, so feel free to share!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Chowder

Need a quick soup recipe? I am always looking for quick recipes to make during the week, especially with my daughter and homework keeping me busy. I love this recipe that I found for Chicken Tortilla Chowder. It is quick, easy, and delicious. I just made a batch tonight so that I could have leftovers for my lunch this week.
Photo from
 Happy cooking!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Valentine

I thank God everyday for the miracles that he has given me. I thank him most for my daughter. When we found out I was pregnant, we were elated! I felt great and had a very uneventful pregnancy, or so I thought. Everything seemed to be right on track until one night when I was about 30 weeks along. She decided that she was ready for us, even though we weren't ready for her quite yet. We were confused, shocked,  and worried when she was born so early.  Mix that in with happiness and joy and it was a real roller coaster of emotions! She weighed just 3 pounds and 7 ounces!

My daughter on her birthday, December 26th, 2009
 Why? No one ever told us. I'm not sure even the doctors knew what happened. We may never know why, but we are extremely comforted by the fact that we have a healthy, beautiful, and spunky little girl! We are very thankful to the NICU doctors and nurses (we thought the nurses were spectacular!) that took care of our little girl. They were wonderful!

13 months

Now, at 13 1/2 months, she is walking, talking, and smiling everyday! People that don't know her would never know she was born a little early, even when they do notice that she is small for her age. She is super healthy and right on track! She is the joy in our lives and I just know she is why I am here! Happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart! We love you!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sausage, Anyone?

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to make your own meat! One of the things that my husband enjoys doing is processing our own meat. Of course I always get roped into helping, but I don't mind. I get to see where and how some of our meat is made and I get to package it how I want. We start with trim pieces of meat that have previously been frozen. Partially frozen meat will grind better when going through the grinder. Today we processed deer and pork. The deer got turned into ground deer for jerky meat and the pork got turned into brats, Italian sausage, and plain ground pork. My husband has a special concoction of seasonings that he adds for our brats, and I even use some in a soup recipe that I made. (I will have to post that recipe later!)

It all starts in a grinder that looks like this:

Inside there is a blade that cuts the meat and then it comes out through a plate with holes. There are several different plates with different sized holes. The bigger the hole, the coarser the meat. It comes out looking like this:

Then some of it gets weighed so we know how much seasoning to add, and it gets run back through the grinder to get mixed. We have special plates for that so it does not get ground too fine.

Once the seasoning is added, some of it gets run through the stuffing horn to be made into brats.

My job is to wrap the meat. I think I have become an expert at it! Then it's back to the freezer until we are ready to use our sausage and ground meat!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Brownies

Looking for a special Valentine's Day treat? Make these super chocolately brownies!  They are so delicious and moist! I made some to take to the teacher's lounge and they were gone by the end of the day! (We LOVE food at school.) My mother in law shared the recipe with me. I am not sure where she got the recipe from, but I know that she calls them Texas Brownies. Happy baking!

2 cups sugar
1 tsp soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 TBSP cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. In a pan, melt the butter and add the cocoa and water. Bring it to a full boil. Pour it over the dry ingredients and mix. Add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla and mix. Pour into a jelly roll pan that has been greased. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

1 stick butter
1 TBSP cocoa
6 TBSP buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
Melt butter and add the cocoa and buttermilk. Bring to a boil, then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread on the brownies. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

That Gut Feeling

Ever have that feeling? You know, that gut instinct that tells you something is just not right? I had that feeling this morning, and it was strong!
It snowed a little last night, not a whole bunch, but just enough to be swirled around by the relentless north winds. As I sat in my car, with my daughter snug in her car seat in the back, I started having that feeling that maybe I should just stay home. The roads were not in great shape and we are expected to get more snow and even stronger winds for later today. So I made my own snow day! I shut my car off went back inside to my warm and cozy house. I decided not to go to school today. I see that now they are letting out at 12:30, so I am very glad I stayed home.
I am having a great day watching my daughter learn to walk and eating pancakes!