Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Onion Burger Recipe-Lipton Onion Burgers

Here's a recipe for onion soup burgers that's been around almost forever- long enough to be considered a classic! It's definitely worth a comeback to the summer grill.

Lipton Onion Burgers
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup water
2 pounds hamburger
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into 8 hamburger patties. Grill or broil until done. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

3 Ingredient Honey Mustard Dressing Recipe

A quick-to-whip-up honey mustard dressing made with only 3 ingredients! There's a good chance you may already have the ingredients in your cupboard. One good thing about making your own honey mustard recipe instead of using store-bought dressing is you can adjust the recipe to taste. Like it sweeter? Add more honey. Like it zippier? Add more Dijon mustard. Tweaking...it's a good thing!

Honey Mustard Dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Thoroughly mix ingredients. Refrigerate for one hour...time for the flavors to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Keeping foods cold at a picnic or party.

To keep multiple foods cold at warm-weather outdoor parties use a large flat plastic storage container- the kind that fits underneath a bed. Fill it with ice and nestle in the dishes of food that may spoil in the warm air (like potato salad or macaroni salad). This will keep the food fresh and safe to eat. Check the container periodically and add more ice if needed. *smile*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Fun Summer Activity- Make Sun Tea!

Sun tea is one of my family's favorite summer beverages...plus it's fun to make! Sun tea has a smoother taste than that of regular iced tea due to the sun's gentle warming of the water.

Making Sun Tea-
Fill a gallon-size clear jar or sun tea jar with water. Add eight regular-size tea bags and two of a flavored tea to the jar. Orange-spice, black currant, or raspberry tea works well.

Place the jar outside on a table, in the sun for three to four hours being sure to cover the jar with the lid or plastic wrap. The sun will gently heat the water, slowly steeping the tea.

As soon as the tea is as strong as you like, bring it inside and remove the tea bags. Sweeten the tea to taste and place the jar in the refrigerator to chill. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

9 Free Recipe Booklets-From Marzetti Kitchens

Like free recipes? I sure do!

Marzetti.com lists nine free downloadable recipe booklets (Yes nine!) featuring their brands: Marzetti, New York Brand, Girard's, Reames, and Teresa's Select Recipes.

I see a recipe for "Tasty Turkey Tetrazinni" from Reames Frozen Egg Noodles I'm dieing to try.

(Not a paid ad...really truly it's not!) *smile*

Friday, May 20, 2011

Popcorn Recipe- Parmesan-Garlic Popcorn Flavoring

Having friends over for a movie? Mix up this yummy parmesan-garlic flavoring for microwave popcorn. Recipe makes enough flavoring for three to four bags of popcorn.

Parmesan-Garlic Popcorn Flavoring

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 cup butter, melted

 Combine first five ingredients in a bowl. To serve, melt 1/4 cup butter then stir in 1 tablespoon of flavoring, pour over popcorn, mix and serve.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Starting A Charcoal Grill- For Newbies!

I must admit I've always been a little skittish about starting a charcoal grill...all that smoke and fire. The manly men in my family are the ones who do the outdoor grilling. That's why I was happy to find the Weber's Girls' Guide To Grilling (a free e-booklet, link is below).

Starting A Charcoal Grill- What I've learned so far:

1. Safety first! Barbecue mitts should be worn while cooking, adjusting air vents, adding charcoal, and handling the thermometer or lid. Use long-handled barbecue tools with heat-resistant handles.

2. Remove the lid and open the air vents. If there are accumulated ashes in the bottom of grill remove them to help with proper airflow. Check to see that all vents are clear and not clogged.

3. Mound the briquets into a pyramid-shape in the bottom of the grill.

4. Place a bit of crumpled newspaper or lighter cubes underneath the briquets.

5. Using a long-handled lighter or match, light the newspaper or lighter cubes.The briquets will heat up.

6. When the briquets are covered with a light grey ash (takes about 25 to 30 minutes) use long-handled tongs to arrange the briquets according to the cooking method you will be using.

7. If you prefer additional smoke flavor add hardwood chips or chunks (soaked in water for 30 minutes). Oak, maple, cherry, and hickory woods are good choices. Place the wet chips or chunks directly on the coals just before cooking.

Check out Weber's Girls' Guide To Grilling. It's a free e-booklet download by Weber with lots more info, grilling recipes, tips and techniques.

(Not a paid ad, I just came upon this guide and thought it was super-useful.) *smile*

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vintage Kitchen Decor- Vintage beverage glasses

Hubby and I just got back from Canton, Texas for First Monday Trade Days.
It's definitely worth a visit...antiques, vintage stuff, collectables, home decor, jewelry, clothing...they've got it all. I can't wait to go back!

While there, I found these pretty vintage beverage glasses. I think they are from the 50's or 60's. I love the green and yellow stripes.
Have you ever been to Canton's First Monday Trade Days? :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Super-Quick BBQ Beans Recipe- Great with grilled hamburgers or hot dogs!
'Tis the season for grilling. Here's a quick way to transform a can of plain pork and beans into cookout-worthy barbecue beans.
To a 15 oz. can of pork and beans stir in: 1/4 cup barbeque sauce, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil. Heat and serve. *smile*

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Recipe- Mix cinnamon and sugar to make your own blend.
When I was a kid one of my favorite breakfast treats was buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I still love it!
It's easy to make your own cinnamon sugar for toast, french toast, muffins, coffee cakes, etc. In a covered jar or container put 2 tablespoons sugar and two teaspoons ground cinnamon. Shake well until blended. Sprinkle and enjoy! *smile*

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tomato trick-
Have a recipe that calls for a can of chopped tomatoes but you have a can of whole tomatoes? Take a sharp kitchen knife and holding it vertically in the opened can, run the knife through the tomatoes several times, cutting them. Wha La! Chopped tomatoes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Farmers Markets-
Visit your local farmers market for the freshest
produce and good prices...the fresh air is a bonus!

I love getting up early on Saturday and visiting my local farmers market- enjoying the fresh morning air, the friendly people, and buying local fruits and veggies. It feels good knowing that I'm supporting my local growers and vendors.

Finding your local farmers market is easy using the USDA's farmers market database. To search for your local farmers market click here. Then, get out there and buy local! *smile*

Monday, May 9, 2011

Choosing fresh fish at the fish market...how to
Would you like to serve more fresh fish but not quite sure how to select it?
Here's some tips on how to choose fresh fish at your local grocery store or fresh fish market.

 1. Fish filets and steaks should be firm to the touch, not soft or mushy, and should have a moist, shiny appearance.

2. Whole fresh fish should have a firm, springy body and eyes that are bright, not sunken.

3. Fresh fish should never have a fishy odor. Also, check for brown spots which can be a sign of decay.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Have a Lovely Mother's Day

Graphic courtesy of  The Graphics Fairy

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Free Recipe Book from JIFFY Mix

Hubby and I love corn muffins made with "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix and you can't beat the price...just a quarter a box around here.

Here's a fun freebie...JIFFY Mix offers a free recipe book by mail. Just fill out the online form.

The recipe book has been recently updated to include new recipes for JIFFY'S newest mixes - "JIFFY" Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, "JIFFY" Oatmeal Cookie Mix and "JIFFY" Sugar Cookie Mix. It's also available online. Check it out!

(Not a paid ad, I just love JIFFY Mix.) *smile*

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to unmold a Jell-O salad.
Unmolding a gelatin salad can be a little tricky, here's how:

1. Fill your sink half full of hot water.
2. Holding the mold by the top edges, dip the mold in hot water
almost to the rim. Hold it there for three seconds.

3. Remove the mold from the hot water and set on counter.
4. Take the serving platter and place it on top of the mold face down, then flip!
5. Garnish salad with lettuce and colorful fruits and veggies.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spa Water Recipes- Cucumber Water...unique and refreshing.

Recently I visited the Austin Springs Spa in Johnsonville, Tennessee.
During my stay I was offered a variety of spa waters for relaxation and rehydration. The cucumber water was my favorite, clean-tasting and refreshing.

Spa waters can be made from a variety of fresh ingredients-
Fruits and vegetables: slices of lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, honeydew melon, or cucumber.
Herbs: sprigs of mint or rosemary, slightly crushed; slices of ginger root.

Cucumber water would be a perfect beverage for a wedding shower, bachelorette party, or any summer celebration.

Refreshing Cucumber Water
8 cups of water, chilled (still spring or mineral water is best)
1 large cucumber, sliced

Float thin rounds of cucumber in a pitcher of chilled water several hours or overnight. Serve slightly chilled. Place a cucumber slice in each glass before serving.

Here's two more spa water recipes you might like- one from Chef Scott Leibfried and one from MyRecipes.com. *smile*

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Banana Pudding Pie Recipe- Banana pudding flavor with less fuss.

My hubby loves banana pudding but sometimes I don't have the time to make the pudding and meringue from scratch. I created this quicker version so we can have that banana pudding flavor more often. Hubby says this pie is A-1. I was considering naming it "A-1 Banana Puddin' Pie" but then I thought it would sound too much like the steak sauce. LOL!

Banana Puddin' Pie
2 packages cook-and-serve banana or vanilla flavor
pudding & pie filling (4 serving size)

3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 Nabisco NILLA Pie Crust (6 oz.) or ready-made graham cracker crust
1 container whipped topping

Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Let cool. While the pudding is cooling, slice the bananas and place them in the pie crust, evenly covering the bottom. Stir pudding again and pour into pie shell. (You will have about a cup leftover for snacking.) Chill pie in refrigerator. Spread whipped topping on top of pie before serving. Serves 8.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ground Beef Tip- Drain off the grease easily.
After browning hamburger, push the meat to one side of the skillet and tilt the pan so the grease runs to the opposite side. Then you can easily draw out the grease with a turkey baster.
This saves having to wash a colander and I'm all about not washing dishes I don't have to! *smile*

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bread Boxes-Keep your bread fresh longer.

My vintage Lustro Ware bread box

I never thought of a bread box as being useful until I bought mine, the vintage one above. I purchased it because I liked the look of it and thought it would be a good way to "park" the bread in one place. Boy, I was surprised when my bread stayed fresh twice as long as before!

I can leave a loaf of bread in my bread box and it will stay fresh for up to two weeks. A big improvement over just leaving the bread on the counter. Saves money too as I don't have to throw out dry bread. Bread boxes work for crackers, cookies and other baked goods as well. I highly recommend looking into one. *smile*

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Croutons Recipe- How to make croutons.
My favorite Italian restaurant, Napoli's serves big, crunchy, homemade croutons on their Caesar salads.  I love 'em so much I decided to learn to make my own. Homemade bread croutons really are the ultimate salad topper. Here's how to make 'em...

Salad Croutons-
6 slices of bread

3 tablespoons butter
Melt butter in a microwave-safe dish. Remove crust from six slices of bread. Cut bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Place bread in dish, tossing to coat with butter. Microwave for 4 minutes, stir, continue microwaving for an additional 3 minutes, or until bread is completely dry. Store in a tightly covered container.
Variation- Garlic Croutons: For garlic croutons stir 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder into the melted butter. Continue with the recipe as above.