Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lima Bean Soup

With the weather suddenly going from the 70s to the 30s I decided it was time for some body warming soup.  One of the men I work with cooked some lima beans and brought a bowl to me at work.  They were delicious but reminded me more of a soup than just a dish.  He told me what his ingredients were but I didn't write them down.  So, I again decided to Think With My Taste Buds and came up with my version of Lima Bean Soup.  It didn't turn out quite like his limas but it sure turned out delicious.  See my full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Key Lime Jello Pie

While wondering around through the grocery store I ran into a really nice lady who apparently loves to cook too.  We talked for a while and then she told me she went to one of the restaurant chains for her birthday.  There she had a dessert that consisted of graham crackers, lime jello, key lime yogurt and cool whip.  I wrote down the ingredients but not the exact assembly.  So I used my motto "Think With Your Taste Buds" and created what I'm calling Key Lime Jello Pie.  You can find the full recipe by going to my site Martha's Recipe Cabinet.

Changes - Change the flavors of the jello and/or yogurt

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cookie-Sour Cream Cake

As most of you know, I have a site which I named A Book and A Dish.  At this site I post book reviews and the book author's favorite recipe.  When I did my review for The Salvation of Tanlegalle, Author Tim Ahrens send a recipe for Cookie-Sour Cream Cake.  Due to time, I don't normally make the recipes sent to me by the authors but this recipe caught my eye.  Most of you know that I can't leave a recipe as it is.  I have to make at least one change and in this case my changes simplified the recipe.  When you go to my site A Book and A Dish you will find the original but until then, here is my version.

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup water
2 eggs
16-20 cream-filled sandwich cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 round cake pans or a 13x9x2" baking sheet.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients except cookies.  Beat on high speed 2 minutes.  Coarsely chop cookies and stir into batter.  Pour into pans.  Bake round pans 30-35 minutes; rectangular pan 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for about 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.  Top with pre-made icing and sprinkle with 2-3 chopped cookies.

Notes:  I divided my batter and used chocolate sandwich cookies in one and vanilla sandwich cookies in the other.  Changes:  Use coconut, peanut butter, banana, etc. cookies, change the flavor of the cake mix and/or change the flavor of the icing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Tips

 Sent to me by a friend

Thought I'd pass this along, some good tips.
      DID YOU  KNOW? , []   
[] Take  your bananas apart when you get home from the  store.
If you leave them connected  at the stem, they ripen faster.  
Store your opened chunks of  cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much  longer and not mold!
[] Peppers  with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for  eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the  bottom are firmer and better for cooking. 
Add  a teaspoon of water when frying ground  beef.
It will help pull the grease  away from the meat while  cooking.
[] To  really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple  of
Spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy  cream; then beat them.  
[] Add  garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light  taste
Of garlic and at the end of  the recipe if your want a stronger taste of  garlic.
[]Reheat  Pizza
Heat leftover pizza in a  nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to  med-low
And heat till warm. This  keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this  on the  food channel and it really  works.
Easy  Deviled Eggs[]
Put cooked egg yolks in a  zip lock bag. Seal; mash till they are all broken up Add  remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up  mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy; squeeze  mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done - easy  clean up. 
Reheating  refrigerated bread[]
To warm biscuits, pancakes,  or muffins that were refrigerated, place them  in
A microwave next to a cup of  water. The increased moisture will keep the  food
Moist and help it reheat  faster. 
[]Newspaper  weeds away
Start putting torn newspaper  in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet  newspapers,
Put layers around the  plants, overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget  about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening  plastic; they will not get through wet  newspapers.
Broken  Glass[]
Use a wet cotton ball or  Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see  easily.
[]Flexible  vacuum
To get something out of a  heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper  towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to  your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow  openings.
Reducing  Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to  the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt  or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when  wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... Ta  DA! .. Static is gone. 
Measuring  Cups
Before  you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with  hot water.
Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup.  Next, add your ingredient (peanut butter, honey, etc.) and  watch how easily it comes right out. ? 
Foggy  Windshield?[] 
Hate  foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in  the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with  the eraser! Works better than a  cloth!
[]Reopening  envelope
If  you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to  include something inside,
Just place your sealed  envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It  unseals easily.
Use  your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper  than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth.  It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought  but didn't like when you tried it in your  hair.
[]Goodbye  Fruit Flies
To  get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it  1/2 with Apple Cider Vinegar
And 2 drops of dish  washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn  to the cup and gone forever! 
Get  Rid of Ants[]
Put small piles of cornmeal  where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't  digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so,  especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have  the worry about pets or small children being  harmed!
The  heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that  fixes things around the house for us told us that he  wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer  and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always  clean the lint from the filter after every load of  clothes.) He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot  water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material  . I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks  like. Well .... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh!  It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer  sheets cause a film over that mesh - that's what burns out  the heating unit.
You can't SEE   the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets  to make your clothes soft and static free. You know how  they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ...  well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint  screen. This is also what causes dryer units to  potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best  way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and  to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter  out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush  at least every six months.
He said that increases the  life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about  that!?!
Learn something new every day! I certainly  didn't know dryer sheets would do that. So, I thought I'd  share!
Note:   I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water  on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly  collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it  with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done  in 30 seconds. Then when
I rinsed it ... the water ran  right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all!  That repairman knew what he was talking about! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Martha's Kitchen Korner

Some of you may have noticed that I've been making a few changes to Martha's Kitchen Korner...the real kitchen korner.  Most of you remember the blue kitchen that I've used forever, well a few weeks ago I received a message from a lady that tells me he picture is one of her retro kitchen pictures and in no uncertain terms suggested that I remove it quickly form my site.  After much pondering a friend suggested I make a picture of my own kitchen.  So I took a picture and replaced it with the blue kitchen.  The more I looked at my kitchen picture the more I wanted to make some changes, thus creating my Martha's Kitchen Korner project. 

One thing I decided when starting this "little" endeavor was that I would take it slow and just do a little each week.  I started by wall papering the walls, one side each week.  Then came the cabinets, one section each week.  So, above you will see the new Martha's Kitchen Korner.  It's bright making it fun to work in.

Now, I did discover 2 things that I didn't know before.  One was in the drawer that held my steak knives and other miscellaneous knives.  There are dividers in the drawer which holds the knives in one section.  When I emptied the drawer I noticed the back of my drawer looked like something had been chewing on the wood.  Turns out that every time the drawer was opened some of the knives would slide into the back of the drawer, tips 1st causing them to stick the wood.  Over time they actually chipped out little pieces of wood.  I solved this by applying a piece of foam to the back of the drawer. 

My second discovery was the use of wax paper.  When I paint cabinet doors I've always placed them on newspaper, painted one side, allowed it to dry and then turned over for the other side.  It never failed that some of the paper would stick to the doors.  I decided to try laying the doors on parchment paper.  That worked ok but there were times when the paint would dry on the paper and attach itself to the fresh paint when turned over.  Then I tried wax paper.  It takes a little more but it works perfect and you can use the sheets over and over. 

So, next time you decide to paint your kitchen, remember my 2 discoveries.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Cobbler

This is one very rich cobbler.  I found the recipe while surfing around one day but didn't get around to working with it until today.  I made just a few changes.  I added milk to make the batter more workable.  I increased the cocoa making it even more chocolaty, plus I added the pecans and glaze.  As I said, this is a very rich dish and is perfect served hot with a scope of ice cream.
See the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nutella Fudge

The recipe for this No Cook Fudge was sent to me by Cindy Bauer from Recipes by Cindy.  The original recipe for this used peanut butter and cocoa.  I decided to give it a hazlenut flavor by using the Nutella.  You still get a touch of chocolate from the Nutella but you also taste the hazlenut.  And the texture from the cream cheese makes it a wonderfully smooth fudge.

2 lbs. Powdered Sugar
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Nutella
1/2 cup coconut, optional

Put all ingredients into a large bowl.  Using your hands, mix until well blended.  Press into a 9 X 13" baking sheet.  Refrigerate to chill.  Cut into squares.  Amount depends upon size of squares.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deadly Currents - Meet the Author tomorrow 3/16/11

Join Author Beth Groundwater in her virtual book tour on March 16, 2011 as she visits A Book and A Dish. During the whole month of March she will be a guest on a dazzling variety of blogs and on-line radio shows, she’ll discuss the debut book in her RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series, Deadly Currents, give behind-the-scenes glimpses of how the book was created and her life as an author, and answer your questions. You may even get a chance to chat with her whitewater river ranger protagonist, Mandy Tanner, and other characters from the book!

Every time you comment on Beth’s guest blog posts you will be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of Deadly Currents. Good luck!

To read my review, talk to Beth and enter to win a copy of Deadly Currents go to A Book and A Dish anytime tomorrow after 7:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cabbage Rolls

This dish is so good.  The original recipe called for 2 egg whites as well as the 2 whole eggs, I left them out.  It called for basil and dill which I also left out.  Also, the cheese in the original recipe was cheddar, I wanted a little heat so I used Pepper Jack which gave this a wonderful taste!  I just decided to "Think With My Taste Buds."
See the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tips on Pumping Gass

This was sent by a friend from a friend from a friend, etc.  It has nothing to do with food, unless you think about the gas you spend going to the grocery store, but it is something we all need to know.   It's from a guy who works for the Kinder Morgan Pipeline so he should know what he's talking about.

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to
$3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.
Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold.

Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.
A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Portabella Spaghetti

Whether you are a vegetarian or just want to try something different, this dish is perfect and of course, simple.  Here is what I did:

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, covered a baking dish with foil sprayed with non-stick spray, placed 4 large portabella top side down on the foil.  Bake about 20 minutes.  You want them to still be slightly firm.  Cook enough spaghetti to serve 4 and heat up a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce.  Place a serving of spaghetti into an oven proof serving dish, top with sauce, place portabella top side down over the sauce.  Top the portabella with your favorite shredded cheese and oregano.  Place under a broiler until cheese melts.

Due to the meaty flavor of the portabella, you will never miss the meat.  But...if you must have meat, brown some up and add it to your sauce or use a sauce that has the meat included.  This dish is mmmm mmm good!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dirty Rice and Shrimp

The original recipe called for regular rice, I wanted the different textures so I used the wild and long grain rice.  I also had a list of 6 different seasonings but I had just bought a jar of Zatarain's Jazz it Up Seafood so decided to try it instead.  I used 1 Tbsp. but wanted just a bit more heat so I added an extra teaspoon which is optional.  I also bought my shrimp already cooked which saved time.  All-in-all, it turned out wonderful!

Think With Your Taste Buds - Use Polish Sausage or chicken instead of the shrimp.

View the recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pork Chops with French Fried Onions

I've seen the recipe for chicken battered in French fried onions and have even made it.  It's delicious!  But why stop with just chicken.  I worked up a recipe using mustard and mayo as my liquid batter and flour, Panko and French fried onions for my dry crust.  These are simply wonderful and so easy to make.
See the full recipe by going to Martha's Recipe Cabinet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Scallops Over Rice

I LOVE scallops so when I found them at a fresh seafood market for $10.00 a pound I bought a pound.  Now, I wanted to do something a little different so while at the same market I bought some Tempura just in case I decided to fry them.  After getting home I put my thinking cap on and decided to "Think With My Taste Buds."  Here is what I used and did.

1 lb. scallops
1/2 cup Tempura
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 bag Boil-in-the-Bag rice
salt to taste

Cook rice according to package.  Drain.  In a large frying pan melt butter on medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for about 2 minutes (don't brown). Batter the scallops in the Tempura.  Fry in the hot butter about 2 minutes on each side or until slightly browned.  Remove scallops.  Add rice to butter & garlic.  Mix well.  Toss scallops into rice.  Serve immediately.