Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thanksgiving Decorations

I have started looking for ideas since Thanksgiving is looming in the near future. I came across this page today and thought you might get some ideas. If you find some decorating Thanksgiving sites post in the comment section. You know I read comments before posting on this site so it might take me a while to load it. GOBBLE, GOBBLE! Link to Thanksgiving decorating ideas I will keep looking for more links giving Thanksgiving ideas and start looking for Christmas too. The stores are getting ready for Christmas aren' t they?

Soup -Taco Soup

There is nothing better than a great bowl of soup on a cool fall or winter day. At one time I said that I could eat a potato each day, then the pounds began to sneak up on me, and now I think I could eat soup each day so that I don't eat such a large meal. This is another recipe from a friend. Soups on!
2 (13 3/4 oz) cans ready-to-serve chicken broth
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
11 1/2 oz jar thick and chunky medium hot salsa
11 oz can Mexican-style corn
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips, broken into bit-size pieces
In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, black beans, salsa, and corn. Simmer, uncovered, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.
Grate cheese and divide it and tortilla chips in serving bowls: ladle hot soup into bowls. Serve with additional chips and cheese if desired. YUMMY!

Salad -Cherry Salad

Today I pulled out this recipe that I had forgotten about. It was given to me by a friend after I enjoyed it at a luncheon. It might be an addition to your Thanksgiving table since we are now looking forward to turkey day.

1-16 oz carton of Cool Whip
1 large can(15 oz) crushed pineapple
1 large can(15 oz) of Cherry pie filling
1 can of Eagle brand milk
1 cup of chopped pecans
optional: 1 carton frozen strawberries
Mix pineapple and pie filling (and strawberries), add milk and Cool whip, mix in pecans. Chill and serve.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apron, what's that?

Do many wear aprons when they cook? I don't, but I bet many do. I guess I just put on my comfy clothes, start mixing, keep stirring, and at all times getting decorated with what's popping out of the pot. I was just looking for aprons and found many sites with apron making directions. I'm not into sewing, but the directions on the link I've included looked simple. Gee, I must find an apron to protect my kitchen attire! One link to directions for making a kitchen apron

Dip -Artichoke Dip

I could nibble on dip all day long with chips or crackers. I came across this recipe while thinking about what to post next and thought this might hit the spot while greeting Halloween visitors.

2 cans Artichoke hearts, mashed(NOT marinated)
1 small jar of mayonnaise
1small can parmesan cheese
1tbsp. cajun seasoning
Combine and place in a shallow baking dish.
Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes until toasted brown & bubbles around the edges. Serve with crackers.

Salad -Oriental Coleslaw

I have not made this salad, but I have tasted it and I thought it was very good. A friend gave me the recipe and it is a must try. In fact I may just prepare it today or if not today very soon.
1/2 lg. head cabbage, shredded-set aside
4 green onions, chopped-set aside
Mix for dressing:
1/2 c. oil
3 T. vinegar
2 T. sugar
You'll also need :
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
2 t. sesame seeds
1 pkg. Ramen noodles, crushed
with Ramen seasoning packet
Combine cabbage and onions. Add dressing, almonds, sesame seeds, Ramen noodles, and Ramen seasoning packet(comes in noodle pkg. ) Mix together

Monday, October 29, 2007

Craft-Halloween head band

Martha Stewart is on and she is making some really cute last minute head bands. Here is the link to the directions. They look simple and on the show she showed other head bands made out of different materials. Cute idea! Link to Martha Stewart's Halloween head band crafting idea

Dessert -Jello Cake

When I was growing up this was a quick and easy dessert that my mother made. Then I began to make it. I bet it might have been a favorite of yours. So bring back some memories as you bake this jello cake.

1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
1 box lemon jello
3/4 cup apricot nector
2/3 cup wesson oil
4 whole eggs
1 teasp. vanilla
1teasp. lemon extract
Put all ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour in greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hr.
Mix 1 cup white powdered sugar and juice of 1 lemon. Add 1 teasp. or more melted butter. Pour over cake while still rather warm. ENJOY


In just a few minutes I will go outside for my first walk. Today my plan is to walk two times for 45 minutes each time. Whew! I know I will be tuckered out when I finally finish. The sun is shining and the birds will be singing to entertain me. I hope that everyone is having an okay day and will find some time to exercise too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kitchen Gadgets

I have never been one for gadgets, but I found myself in a little cooking store the other day. As I looked around there was this huge wall of gadgets before my eyes. I found myself drawn like a magnet to that wall. I gazed at those gadgets, removed a few to examine them a little closer, and just thought about maybe buying and taking one of the gadgets home with me. There were just too many to pick from, so I turned around and quickly walked away bumping into the check out counter in my haste. There sitting and waiting for me to discover it was a soft skin veggie or fruit trimmer. I looked at it and began asking myself if I really needed this gadget to take up space in one of my kitchen drawers. Well, the temptation was too great and I bought it. It was well worth the money because when I have used it to trim tomatoes, it trims the skin and leaves a smooth tomato to be enjoyed. A few days later I noticed this article about health-boosting gadgets. Link to Health-Boosting Gadgets mentioned in Prevention I may have to go back and get more gadgets! If you have a gadget that you especially like, let me know by adding a comment.

Salad -Broccoli Salad

I love broccoli and this salad recipe was given to me by a friend. I hope that you will like it as much as I do.

Chop up Broccoli real fine(You put the amount you want)
Chop up red onion real fine(You put the amount you want)
Cook 5 or 6 slices of bacon real crisp
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbl. vinegar
Pour dressing over salad, mix well. Sprinkle the bacon over the top.

Muffin -Sour Cream

This muffin is great to serve with chicken salad. I slip around and even eat them as a snack. Shame on me! Give them a try and hope you enjoy.

2 cups self rising flour
2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 pint sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine all ingredients and spoon into small ungreased muffin tins
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Featured cooks/chefs on the cooking network

I find myself glued to the television when Paula Deen is on. Do you? She is one of my favorites to watch. Maybe it is because she is so southern. My mouth begins to water and I grab a pen and paper to jot down her recipes. I would love to have your comments about your favorites on the cooking channel. Hmmmmm, what should I cook today?

Visit Marshall, Texas for shopping and dining

In my opinion Marshall, Texas is a town with a common mission. That mission is to create a unique place for visitors to enjoy. I live near Marshall and visit the town often. I have seen the changes over the years and love watching as more is added to make it a unique place.
One spot that I visit is Central Perks which is in the downtown area. Find out more by clicking on the following link. I love to eat and shop there. I've posted the their link which gives more details.
Link to Central Perks located downtown Marshall, Texas

After Central Perks I stroll across the street to Charley & Bella's. It is filled with lots of gifts to present to special people and we all know those that it is hard to shop for. You will be glad you took the time to take a look at this friendly shop.
One other place that I have dined in Marshall is a place called Joe Buck's Coffee Bar. I tried the chicken salad on rye bread with slaw on the side. The chicken salad had cranberries mixed in and it was a delightful treat. I actually thought that I was eating healthy. So if you are ever in Marshall, Texas take time to visit these spots and you will be pleased with what you find. Trust me, you will enjoy a relaxing time as you brouse the shops and dine. Don't we all need relaxing moments?

Main Dish -Chicken Spaghetti

I love chicken spaghetti and love to add a different secret ingredient sometimes. Here is one recipe that I have used. I always make an extra batch to freeze. I love to have something that I can take out of the freezer and bake. I usually serve this with garlic bread, green salad, or fruit salad. It is yummy!
Mix the following ingredients:
1 can diced Rotel tomatoes and green chilies (I don't like it too spicy and don't use the whole can or I might use diced tomatoes instead)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup ( I sometimes have a time finding this soup so I may use a cheese soup instead)
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb. chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8 oz.) spaghetti noodles, cooked, drained
Top with 1 cup grated Mexican cheese or cheese of your choice. Pour into a 9 X 9-inch casserole dish. Bake at 390 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serves 4-6

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cookin Up a Storm

Since I now have the time to think about all the things that are fun and what I enjoy doing it will be my job to add to this blog. This blog is going to be fun to create. I know that I will have some lumps and bumps along the way as I polish and work on it. Isn't that just like life? We have a little sweet and a little salt along the way, but mixed together in the needed amounts, it always turns out just right. I plan to share recipes that I love and recipes that my friends have tried. I want to explore holiday ideas to share and maybe even special occasion tips. Because we are all thinking about our health and fitness, maybe there will be some tips for getting fit and some yummy low fat recipes or snacks to try, if that is possible. When was the last time that you read a good book? I want to share books that I have read and also books that friends have recommended to me. When was the last time you ate in a unique little tea room in my world of east Texas? Well, I am going to feature some of my eating out adventures. These will be excursions that I have shared with friends and family. Come along on this journey because I don't know where it will take me, but I will be cookin up a storm of fun and I'll share what I find out along the way. I hope to post only positive comments so be ready to smile and maybe I will even get some giggles as you read posts as they are added. You might even want to make comments along the way and I hope you will.

Dessert -Volcano Cake

Don't you just love a great dessert? I love the following cake recipe and I hope that you do too!

SERVES 12-16
1 cup shredded coconut
1cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 package German chocolate cake mix
10 bite-size Almond Joy candy bars, chopped
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick butter), at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the coconut and nuts and spread them evenly in the pan. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. Stir in the chopped candy bars. Pour the batter over the coconut and nuts. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and sugar. Randomly drop tablespoonfuls of this on top of the batter, do not spread them. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until sides of the cake pull away from the pan. I love this cake hot with whipped cream or ice cream. I love it when it has cooled down too.