Friday, September 18, 2009


We've been talking about our kitchen shortcuts lately so I thought I would re-run a post from last year with my crock pot lasagna recipe. I love to make use of my crock pot when I'm busy. It's nice to come home to supper when you've been out all day. Oh, and I got a new one for Christmas last year, so I no longer have to use the one with no handle. :)

Tonight's supper was lasagna that I made in the slow cooker. It was the first time for me to make this particular recipe. It was really easy and tasted good. I have to admit it's not quite as good as The Pioneer Woman's best lasagna ever, but much easier because it can simmer all day while you're busy. :)

This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch, Harvest Kitchen.

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 t. Italian seasoning
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked and broken into thirds
28 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 c. water
Optional: 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
15 oz. container ricotta cheese
8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine ground beef and Italian seasoning. Arrange half the lasagna noodles in a greased slow cooker. Spread half the ground beef mixture over noodles. top with half each of remaining ingredients. Repeat layering process. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low setting. Serves 10 (well, in my house it serves 6).

Notice the handle (or lack thereof) on the lid of my crock pot. It's been that way for years, but since the crock pot works just fine I limp along without a handle.

Make an easy meal by adding some garlic bread and a salad.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Cobbler Rerun

Ladies, thank you for all your help deciding on a birthday gift for Peter! You are so helpful! I won't say what I ordered just on the off chance that he reads here (he knows about this blog but almost never reads it). I think he will really like it.

It's apple picking time again so I thought I would rerun the apple cobbler recipe that I posted last year. Doesn't it seem like crisp fall air and colorful leaves skittering across the yard are already here when something appley and cinnamony is bubbling away in the oven? (Yes, as a matter of fact, I do like to make up words).

Invite your neighbors over for a bite and maybe they won't be too mad at you the next time your dog barks his fool head off in the middle of the night. Not that I know that from experience or anything... :)

My sweet mother (she of the gigantic watermelons) went apple picking and brought me some apples. One of my favorite things to make when I get fresh fruit like this is a cobbler. I figure that at least a cobbler has less calories than a pie since there is only one crust. I'm all about saving calories. :)

First you need to prepare the apples. Peel and slice the apples until you have 6 to 8 cups of fruit. Put the apple slices into a large bowl.

Pour 1 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice over the apples. Stir gently and let sit for a few minutes while you make the crust. If the fruit is really juicy, stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch.

Now make the crust. I use my old standby Crisco pie crust, doubled. It's just so good and flaky.

Here is the recipe for the single pie crust (remember to double it for the cobbler).
1 1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Crisco
4 Tbsp. cold water
Combine flour and salt and cut in Crisco until crumbly like coarse cornmeal. Add the water; toss with a fork and make a firm ball with your hands. Place on a floured surface; flatten dough with hand and roll to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Now pour your apples into a greased 9 x 13 pan and dot with 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine.

Place the crust on top and prick the crust with a fork or knife. Dot the top with a couple of tablespoons of butter and sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar all over.

Place in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes.

It's fantastic served warm with ice cream.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cooking Utensils

OXO, Chefs Cooking, UK, 1950
OXO, Chefs Cooking, UK, 1950

Since y'all are the best readers to be found on the internet, I know you can help me. Peter, my second son has recently become very interested in cooking (yeah!). He often calls me for recipes and he is also enjoying trying new and different recipes. He has a birthday coming up very soon and I would like to get him something special for his kitchen. Currently it is equipped in a very basic (cheap), bachelor style.

So here's where you come in... What are the tools that you can't do without in your kitchen? What do you think a budding chef would need the most that's not ridiculously expensive?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Reading

A Book with Glasses Left on the Bed
A Book with Glasses Left on the Bed

Top Recipes of 2008

Join Big Mama (and me, not that she knows me and is reading with me, but you know what I mean...) in reading the Bible in a year in chronological order. She started on September 1st so you haven't missed much if you want to jump in.

Free Vintage Clipart.

Little Things

What I want for Christmas
Hint, hint. :) Or maybe these.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Homemade Brown Sugar

Life through a New Lens (gorgeous pictures)

Before and after sitting room
at a beach cottage

I guess most of this is not really reading so much as looking, but that's fun too right?