Saturday, July 31, 2010


I made a bad pregnant person. I don't like pickles and I don't like ice cream. Of course, I was sick every day of both my pregnancies, so I wasn't too concerned that I was breaking the Pregnant Food Commandments. Grape Mr. Misty's were my friend.

Do your families have words they make up or phrases you say that make no sense to an outsider? We have a lot in our household. We quote movies, song lyrics, TV shows and our own words and phrases all the time here in the Butter household. One of them being 'pitchells'. I have called pickles this since before I was married. And I have no idea why. It stuck.
I have never canned in my life. I'm afraid I will kill those that I love with botulism or some other scary sounding condition. I did attempt refrigerator pickles knowing that it would maybe be a little more safe for those lazy mongrels that live in my house; my family.

I scanned the Internet and asked people on FB about pickles and I did a mish mash of all the recipes. I made three different 'flavors' for those two in my household that eat pickles. Here is what I made.
Spicy Dills
4 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 of a medium onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
3 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBPS fine sea salt
1-1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP coriander seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 sprigs of fresh dill
Put sliced cukes, onions, jalapenos and dill into a clean 2 quart jar. Crush the coriander and mustard seeds with the red pepper flakes slightly and place in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt. Tightly close the jar and shake vigorously until sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the cukes in the jar. Seal the jar and place in fridge for up to a month. I added a few whole coriander seeds also.
Sweet Pickles
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar (I used half white distilled and half apple cider)
1/8 cup salt
3 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 a medium onion, thinly sliced (mandolin again)

In medium sauce pan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Let cool while placing cukes and onions in clean 2 quart jar. Pour liquid over cukes and seal with lid. Store in fridge up to a month.

Sorta Sweet Pickles
1 small onion, thinly sliced (yep, mandolin again)
3 cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 sprigs dill
1 TBSP mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp celery seeds (I used salt because all the grocery stores here were sold out)
1-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP salt
Divide cukes and onions between 2 2-quart jars. Top with dill. Crush the mustard, coriander and celery seeds slightly. Place spices in saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients. Boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool and pour over cukes. Seal jars and store in fridge up to a month.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Oh, the simple recipes. The ones that look just too easy that they cannot possibly taste good. Let me tell you-this delivers on all accounts.

I needed to bring some bars and salad to my brother's house for his youngest child's graduation and going away party (he joined the Marines-I'm still dealing with that). Leading up to the weekend of the party, I had a lot going on. I went to the grocery store after work Friday morning with intentions of making my Double Decker Caramel Crispy Rice bars, but the store didn't have any of the caramel dot-balls-morsels that I use and didn't want to spend all the time unwrapping the caramels, plus the added time to melt the large squares versus the pebbles, so I was trying to come up with something else. I'm not an inspired cook. I cannot look in my pantry and say "Oh look-rice, beans, stock, some chicken in the fridge-I can make X". I believe I have spoken of my innate fear of this. It was also mentioned on someone else's blog (ehem, Grace) that she suffered the same fate, but she speaks and writes much better than I. So, I'm digressing. I stood in the baking aisle at 3:52 AM trying to figure out what to do. I decided to make a pan of peanut butter bars with cut up peanut butter cups in them and then I was going to do a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars. The graduate had specified to one of my sisters (the one that cooks, um not S) that he likes cookies-in-bar form. I looked on the back of a package of Betty Crocker Chocolate chip cookie pouch (don't hate me foodies, I had a time pinch plus I had to make the salad too!) and saw this recipe.

It was heaven in a bar. The aforementioned sister S, who I rarely see eat dessert, had like 5 and proclaimed to everyone around her how good they were. Have I mentioned that both of my sisters are thin and I'm......well, let's just say you can tell I haven't been late to the dinner table much. It was high praise indeed. I made another pan on Monday to bring to work. One guy said he ate three-I think he ate three rows as when I went to next break, half of the pan was gone.
These really are winner, you just need to trust me. And only make them when you have enough people around to help you eat them-or you will eat bar after bar.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies (from Betty Crocker)
1 box Betty Crocker Supreme brownies (with the Hershey syrup package)
ingredients called for on box: oil, water, egg
1 pouch Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
ingredients called for on pouch: butter and egg
Mix brownie mix according to directions on box. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Prepare cookies dough as directed on pouch. Drop spoonfuls all over brownie batter; press the dough into batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes, checking after 33 minutes. Cool on rack and cut into bars.
Lose yourself in chocolatey goodness.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dude can Cook

Well, okay he didn't make this. Thanks to Donna at My Tasty Treasures who got it from Shelby at Grumpy's Honeybunch, I decided to make one of my favorite cocktails from a local restaurant. It came pretty darn close. I had to cut down on the peach schnapps amount since I'm not a huge fan of peach, but enough to taste. Very refreshing...when I'm not spilling it on my laptop. My keys are now sticking a bit, but it didn't short out, so that was a relief!

Dude is on vacation for nine days, so he had to do some cooking while I was slaving away at the cereal plant. He grilled up a whole bunch ....I mean a whole BUNCH of dark meat and he and Hermit Crab feasted on legs and thighs while he made a breast for Drama Queen. He had leftover thighs, so on Friday night he decided to create something with his leftovers.
Garlic toast

So he took my square glass casserole dish, layered in spaghetti sauce, some fresh peppers and onions from the garden, cooked mini shells, the cut up grilled chicken, a little more sauce and some fresh grated sharp white Cheddar and Co-Jack cheese. Heated it up in the little toaster oven and it was dinner!
See? He CAN do it if he wants! No more buying his story of "I can only grill".....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brown Sugar Cake

This is all that was left of my cake. One last lonely piece. It sure made a good breakfast.
This is a super easy, dense, moist cake. It reminds me of a coffee cake, but I brought it in for a dessert to work.

Brown Sugar Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz package vanilla instant pudding
4 eggs
2/3 sour cream
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts-I used walnuts
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water and the oil until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg and mix just until combine. Stir in nuts. Pour mixture into a greased Bundt/tube pan. Bake one hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Loosen with a narrow spatula and invert onto a cake plate. When cake is completely cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Even better the next morning with a cup of joe.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thanks everyone

Thanks for the kind comments from my last (quick) post. We have had some trying times at our house these last few weeks. A friend of my youngest daughter had an accident on the 4th of July and sustained a serious brain injury. He is in a coma and on a vent, but is making progress. Having lost 4 friends when I was 17, I know this is hard on her. We also just found out this past weekend that our best friends for the last 17 years are getting a divorce because he has been cheating on her for the last 16-almost the entire time we have known them. This was a surprise, a shock and a huge loss. We had plans for our future which included travel, retirement plans (more travel), spoiling our own and each other's grand kids. Wiped out with the word "he left me and has been unfaithful". Really, really sucks. But we are standing by her with love, food, maybe a little alcohol, but mainly love. Makes me really thankful for all the blessings I have and pray for those who are not as fortunate.

We just got our internet problem resolved. Three weeks without internet is waaaaaay too long, but boy, this modem thing is great-all of us can be on the internet at the same time!! I know for you city dwellers you are probably scratching your head, but we had an air card and only one of us could use it at a time and coverage was spotty at best. I'm totally digging this!

I have some photos I need to load onto the computer so I can get a few posts up. Thanks for hanging there for and with me-I really do appreciate all you who come on by for a look-see. Even if you just keep checking in to look at the weenie roasters......

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Due to technical difficulties....

Hi everyone~
I'm without internet at home and only my laptop is working. I can't do picture uploads at work and haven't had time to get to the library to hook up some free wi-fi to do any blogging. Hope to have new internet installed next week. Hope to be back in a couple weeks; need to help out a friend who is going through a very difficult time right now. She is more like family so my focus will be on how she is doing for the time being. Hope everyone's summer is going good-I am hoping the heat breaks sometime soon-the electric company will be getting my entire paycheck pretty soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

A little late, but we didn't get home until after midnight!

We went into town to spend the afternoon with our friends, eat a LOT of food, light some fireworks off in the driveway and then watch the fireworks show the town puts on. We lucked out and the rain early in the day ended by afternoon and the skies cleared up so we could enjoy our day.

We did a potluck at our friends house, so I brought my ring salad and deviled eggs, and also tried my hand at a blackberry cobbler. Hermit Crab and I went grocery shopping (yes on a holiday weekend and it was scary!) and they had blackberries on sale 2 for a buck, so I knew I had to make something! According to Dude it was 'my best dessert ever' but he was lying-just trying to get me to stop taking photos of him eating! It was pretty well received considering half the people there don't like berries. It sure smelled fantastic and looked pretty.

I found a recipe on and added a couple of things based on some reviews. Here is how I prepared it.

Blackberry Cobbler

1 cup flour

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

6 TBSP cold butter

1/4 cup boiling water

2 TBSP cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. orange zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Place cast iron skillet on cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until it is crumbly. Stir in boiling water and stir until it is evenly moistened. Put blackberries in a bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar, the vanilla and the orange zest. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water. Stir in remaining 1 cup sugar and the lemon juice. Stir well to combine and then pour over blackberries; stir to coat all the berries. Pour into the cast iron skillet. Top berries with small spoonfuls of cobbler dough, and spread out dough a little with the back of the spoon. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Me and Dude-he really hates getting his photo taken.

My plate of food-hot dog, beans, chips, deviled eggs and pasta salad. Oh goodness I was full!
I hope everyone had a wonderful day. Thank you to all the service men and women who fight for our freedoms that we enjoy and take for granted. I salute you all.