Sunday, June 27, 2010

It was Pretty much a Bust


The following is meant to be funny, so I don't want to offend anyone. The pictures kind of simulate the male form. Consider yourself warned.

Back in April, I had posted that I had gone to a silent auction for a benefit for a friend who lost everything in a fire. I had bid on and won the wiener roasting sticks.

We went camping this weekend and it was terrible. Well, not completely. We did have some sun on Saturday and went and looked at some boats for sale (just for fun). In a grand scheme, it was bad. It started raining Friday night right when we were having dinner at the bar that is next to the campground. Pouring. We walked there and had to run back to our camper in the rain, lightening and thunder. We had watched the weather at the bar and it was thunderstorms with hail and a lot of wind. We turned on the local radio station and they were saying that there were tornado clouds spotted all around us. Then the sirens started-first in the town that the campground was in, and then the across the river in Red Wing their sirens started going off. The storms passed and we were able to get to sleep. Saturday during the day, the weather was pretty nice, but we started a fire around 8 and the storms started again so we headed back into the camper. The sirens went off again and it rained even more the second night, but again we were spared something serious. And on the way home we drove through a monsoon. Ugh.

We built a campfire at home tonight and were finally able to use our new wiener sticks!

Roasting over the fire

Yum! That was one good dog!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Too hot to cook

It has been a little hot and humid, which is normal for this time of year in Minnesota. I hate heating up the kitchen in the summer, since our kitchen and dining room faces South we get a lot of sun in the windows. It just makes it miserable in here and then the poor air conditioner has to work overtime and then the bill goes up and then we can't afford food. Whew! I have used my NuWave oven a lot lately-round steak, chicken, pork loin. Nothing fancy or new to blog about. I hope to have a dessert up soon. Dude wants me to make the 'cobbler' portion of the peach cobbler and macerate the raspberries I just got.

For now, here are some flowers from the deck-they are getting hot and burned out now, even after moving them to some shade for a day or two. Sigh. Love it when summer comes, but spring is so much nicer to the plants.

Taking the camper out this weekend for the first time this year. Camping by the Mississippi River down by Red Wing. Gonna chill with a beer while watching the rich people boating on the river!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I think summer is already half gone and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. I did however bake a peach cobbler for work. It was mainly well received, but one person thought it was too dry. Dude thought it was really good-reminded him of his Mom's shortcake.

Peach Cobbler

Cobbler dough:
1 cup flour
2 TBSP sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Fruit filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
4 cups peeled, sliced peaches

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Cook filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, water, cinnamon and nutmeg in saucepan. Stir to combine; stir in fruit. Cook and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Simmer, stirring constantly for 1 more minute. Pour fruit into an 8 inch square pan. Place in oven while preparing dough. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine oil, egg, milk and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Remove baking dish from oven and spoon dough in 8 scoops over the top of the fruit mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

It would have been great with ice cream, but we don't have a freezer at work.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ahhh, the last of the rhubarb. Or is it? I found a few new shoots out there today. I had a little rhubarb left and two containers of strawberries I had bought on sale that needed to be used. I was bringing treats to work, so they lucked out and got both Lemon Cheese bars and a pie.
Pretty red fruit

Grandma's pie pan

Dude enjoying left over strawberries

I even had a few strawberries left to macerate for some angel food cake for Dude.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Crust for two crust pie
4 cups rhubarb, cut into half inch slices
4 cups strawberries, cut into similar sized pieces
6 TBSP instant tapioca
1 TBSP Triple Sec
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 cup sugar
more sugar for top
more Triple Sec for top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place one pie crust in pie tin. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and instant tapioca. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in liquor and nutmeg. Pour into pie crust; top with second crust. Brush Triple Sec on top crust; sprinkle with sugar. Cover rim of pie to protect crust edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Lower temp to 350 and bake for another 35 minutes.
This was formed out of necessity. I had a recipe written down but must have set in butter as there was a grease spot on it that erased some of the measurements and it originally called for orange juice which I had none of on hand. I was concerned about the tapioca at first as it doesn't absorb into filling when sitting on counter, but does magically thicken and disappear when baked. The liquor worked fine and gave it a very slight orange taste that everyone at work enjoyed. It smelled amazing in here while it bake!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Easy Chicken Dinner

Ever have those days when you have about 28 seconds to come up with a plan for dinner? I do, just about every day. We had sandwiches for dinner at work and I knew Dude wasn't too excited about a second night of them, so I saw a can of sliced potatoes and a can of Cream of Chicken soup in the cupboard. I knew I had a couple breasts left in a bag of IQF *individually quick frozen* in the freezer. I grabbed the chicken, nuked it for a few minutes on defrost, poured the potatoes in a colander and rinsed all the liquid away and shook them to get the water off of them. Poured the spuds into a greased 9x13 pan, seasoned the chicken with some paprika and poultry seasoning, poured the soup over it, covered it with foiled and baked in the oven at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes and then took the foil off and put back in for about 10 minutes for it to get some color. It turned out pretty good-Dude ate his whole container full and said he'd like that again.
It doesn't look too pretty in the picture, but it was tender and juicy. It could have used a little more spice, but time was short and work was only 2 hours away!