Category Archives: household tips

Yam-it! – Moms chicken and sweet potatos

  Sweet potatoes or Yams…? You may think they are the same, but they are not.  Sweetimg_5237 potatoes have a smooth skin, are sweeter and come in a variety of colors- yellow, orange- even purple!  You can read about it here.

I personally never cared for sweet potatoes unless they came swimming in butter and brown sugar… until the first time I made a version of this dish… Wouldn’t touch that holiday tradition of SP’s and marshmallows, or SP pie…

But now- ….. Yum!! (*note*- these recipes are written for my sons who may or may not have basic knowledge or do-dads to work with and *notes are at the bottom)

  While we call this dish Yam-it! it’s really glorified Paprika Roasted Veggies and Chicken.

What you will need:

2 large Chicken Breasts (or 6 thighs) cut in half. (not butterflied),   some salt,  +/- a pound of Brussel sprouts- trimmed and halved or quartered, 2 Sweet potatoes- peeled and cubed, half an large onion peeled and sliced (optional),  some Olive oil,  a smidge of lemon juice.

img_5232 For the seasoning : 2 TBS Paprika- (that’s the red stuff sprinkled on deviled eggs), 1 tsp dried Cilantro, 1 tsp All-spice, and Garlic- to taste/minced..

Sprinkle chicken with salt and set aside.  In a small bowl mix the seasonings together.  In a large bowl toss the veggies with some olive oil (some is subjective to us Italians!) and sprinkle with 1 TBS of the spices mix.  Pour into baking dish. (aka cake pan)  To remaining spice mix add a 2-ish TBS of olive oil and 1 TBS lemon juice, mix to make a paste. Brush it onimg_5231 the chicken- both sides, and lay the pieces on top the veggies.  pour a smidge of water into the pan, cover with foil. BAKE 425 for about 45 min +/-. You’ll know.. veggies will be soft.

Drizzle with melted butter before serving.

*Notes*                                                                                                                                                       *Chicken- You don’t need breasts. You can use thighs or pork chops or slabs of ham.                                                                         *Veggies- if you want more, use more. It’s not an exact science.                                                * Olive Oil.. If you don’t have it, don’t sweat.. Veggie oil will be fine. Just don’t use as much!                                                                                                                                                         * If you want more ‘zing’  add a shake or two of something like Lawry’s or garlic salt to the mix.                                                                                                                                                       * All the spices can be found at the dollar store if you can’t afford the grocery store             *Lemon juice is not mandatory, but sure makes it taste better… You could sub for melted butter or OJ- It will change the taste a little, but still good.  Little squeeze lemons are in the produce dept, bottled lemon juice is in the juice isle (usually top shelf)                    *Onions- again, not mandatory- you can skip them, or use shallots or something.               *Covering with foil is a choice. We do it because it keeps it all moister.

**Every one of these ingredients can be found at moms- except brussels and SP’s unless the garden is in full swing**

Manga! Manga!

~Mama

 

 

 

Advertisements

Grammy’s Super Soft Sugar Cookies

Most of us love sugar cookies.  Me included… I am particularly fond of soft cookies.

47500364_10209882770504256_2737900106257793024_oWhat is the secret to soft sugar cookies??? Normally I would say lard… but in this case it is actually sour cream.   (okay- maybe a combination of the two)

These are made with my Grammy M’s recipe. *note* I make a very simple frosting that is so much faster and easier than making a traditional Royal Icing  (in case you were wondering, yes, it’s the very same as the  Hog Heaven Sugar Cookies I was selling in Buffalo Gals Mercantile)

Ingredients

1 1/2 C  Butter (or 3/4 lard (or Crisco) & 3/4 margarine)                                                                1 1/2 C  Sugar                       3 Eggs                                                                                                         2 tsp Vanilla (or Almond/lemon or whatever else sounds good at the time)                            4 1/2 C Flour                         4 1/2 tsp baking powder                                                                       1 tsp Salt                                A heaping spoonful of Sour Cream

~Cream well butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla and sour cream. Add in baking powder and salt, mix well. Add in flour 1 cp at a time.  ** mixture will be very soft!** Refrigerate for about an hour. Roll and cut into desired shapes. (a 1/4″ or more is perfect.

Bake at 350 on parchment lined cookie sheets about 7-8 minutes. The bottoms will be just turning color and they will be soft to touch. Let cool a couple minutes, remove to rack to finish cooling.

Frosting- I cheat- I simply mix powdered sugar with a smidge of milk and then add in Karo. ***For this many cookies, 2 c powdered sugar, about 1/4 +/- c milk and 1 TBS Karo ought to do the job.*** It should be pretty thick. *Super easy to color with liquid or gel coloring.  **Super easy to ‘paint’ on with cheap paintbrush                                                                                                If you want a real Royal Icing check it out here.

***NOTES*** Bear with me- these notes are  geared towards my kiddo’s!

*Yes. Mom cheats and does not mix the dry goods together first.. I just do it all in the one bowl.                                                                                                                                                  *NO– you do NOT have to sift the dry goods.. You can, but I have not noticed a difference.  *Eggs– If you have fresh eggs from the farm, “3” is open to interpretation.. usually moms eggs are smaller than ‘jumbo’ store bought, in which case use 4.                                          *Rolling them out-  Don’t forget to flour the counter when rolling! (keeps it from sticking. if you don’t have a rolling pin, don’t worry.. I know you have at least a beer bottle or something similar. **No cookie cutter? Use a glass or whatever you have handy.

Enjoy!

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

Moms bestest, easiest buttermilk biscuits

It’s no secret- we like bread. Any kind of breads- Sourdough, pumpernickel, garlic-y cheesy breads, bruschetta …. and that all around staple- biscuits. IMG_1641

They go so easily with every meal…

But alas- I live a fair distance to the market. So in this recipe you will learn how to make ‘fake’ or substitute buttermilk and a great cheaters trick so you don’t have to cut in the butter…

Super simple ingredients too!

2 1/2 C flour       2 T baking Powder    1 Tsp sugar   8 T butter (yes son,  you can sub margerine)  1 C milk   1 T lemon juice (trust me)  1/2 tsp salt(optional)

mix the milk and lemon juice together and put in the freezer  for about 7-10 min… while it’s chilling, melt the butter and let cool.  In the meantime mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and make an indent (well) in the center.

Here comes some magic!– Add the butter to the chilled milk and watch it make little butter balls/slush. Pour into dry and stir until just mixed. Turn out and roll or pat –gently-(I prefer pat) to about 1 inch-ish. and fold and pat..repeat like 6 times.

Cut with a cutter or glass. *tip* Do NOT twist the cutter/cup it makes the edges ‘crimp’ and your biscuits won’t rise well.

Bake at 425 10 min -they’ll be golden on top- take out and brush with some melted butter.

IMG_1638

Mama used a cookie cutter

Gobble up.  Eat with jam, make biscuits and gravy, dunk in gravy, make sandwiches…..

*Tips for the boy-o-s

Need buttermilk in a jiff??? 1 Tablespoon ( a generous soup spoon will do) lemon juice per cup of milk. Let stand 5 min and use.

No rolling pin? No problem- beer/wine bottles, be creative, just keep an equal pressure when rolling.

 

Yes- you can sub Margarine in most of moms recipes, though it alters the taste and these biscuits won’t be quite as fluffy.

Mama

 

 

 

 

Mama’s super soft Cinnamon Rolls

IMG_3450Cinnamon rolls remind me of Grandma’s house. They always smell soooooo good!

And they’re soft and gooey too.

Here’s my recipe based off my Grandma Bessie’s  recipe. Pretty much “No Fail!”  This doubles easily, and used for sticky buns, monkey bread, caramel rolls too.

You will need:

Yeast: (Either 1 pkg or  1 tablespoon)         1/2 Cup warm wate

1/2 Cup warm moo. Note: You can scald the milk f you want a sweeter dough.

1/4 Cup sugar                                1/3 Cup melted Butter

1 tsp Kosher salt (regular will do just fine too)      1 Egg- beaten

3- 3 1/2 ish cups flour.    1 Tbs Baking Powder (Optional)

Directions

~Heat oven to 350

~ mix (lightly) Yeast and warm water in small bowl and set aside to “proof”. -about 15 min-ish

~In a large bowl mix  warm milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and beaten egg.

~Add in about 2 cups flour and stir well.

monkey bread2~Add Yeast mixture.

~Add another cup of flour to make a soft dough. If it’s still ‘runny’ add some more flour.

~ turn out and knead a bit. . (I  do it about twenty times)

~put back in bowl and cover to raise until double in size.

~turn out and punch down. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 +/- inch thick.

~Brush with melted or soft butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it. (I use Brown sugar and lay it on pretty heavy and then sprinkle cinnamon on top)

~Roll up. Cut into rounds and place  Cut side down on greased pan or cookie sheet. (makes 12-16)

~Bake  20- 25 min until golden brown. Remove. Cool. EAT.  (I always start checking at 15 min- every oven is different)

Notes to my kids who don’t cook:  *No rolling pin? Use a wine bottle or mini rollssimilar. *  Simple frosting: about a cup of powdered sugar, mix in 1 tablespoon moo and pour over.  *Add raisins or cranberries for more flavor * Scalded milk makes it more of an Italian Sweet Dough. * Yes-you Can use Margarine. * BakingPowder is NOT same as the Baking Soda you use in the fridge! * Want them to taste like Johnsons Corners rolls??? add Vanilla pudding to the mix. ~ Either a snack pak or 1/2 package dry mix. **if you use the snackpak you will need to add a bit more flour.  ***Monkey Bread~ instead of rolling out, tear into pieces and pile in a bread pan (pie pan, whatever) .  Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup melted butter and pour over top. Bake 350 for about 20 min.  *Make Minis by cutting dough in 1/2 and then rolling out to make baby rolls and use a muffin pan.

~~Other useless information:  Where I grew up there is a huge difference between Sweet rolls, cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls and sticky buns!!!!  ~~ Cinn Rolls are just plain, Sweet has the white or cream cheese frosting, Caramel has the Carmel frosting ON TOP. and sticky buns are bakes with the gooey and nuts in the pan.

~Katy~

 

 

 

 

A little Italian humor…

~  Today on the radio I listened to an interview between well known Italian chef  Gino D’Acampo and a British talk show host… and of course the moment I got in the house I HAD to Google the live event….

In a nut shell~ The host insults the poor man by saying “If you just add ham….” who quickly replies with

if’a my Grand-a-mutha had wheels, she’d’a be a bike-a”  

Can you Hear the cadence and inflection in your head?? I can.

I laughed and laughed.

Because I am half Italian. and I understand. COMPLETELY.

 

~When we were younger, my brother told my mother that her cooking was “ALMOST as good s Chef-Boy-R-Dee”

My mother went on strike with some gestures and muttering with what we loosely translated to mean  “If we ever wanted another hot meal, we’d damn well better fix it ourselves because we sure the heck-0 weren’t getting it from her.”   (ever)10154406_10200976135483947_550699380467426684_n

I actually have some very funny stories about being Italian… But we’ll save those for a later date! WHY??? Because I will have to run fast when my Mother finds out I put her picture in here! ~

 

~Ehhh Tu~

Katy

 

L-A-R-D you are a friend of mine!

LARD.

How do I love thee? Let me list the ways~

Mouthwatering cakes, finger-licking good fried chicken, crispy onion rings….well you get the idea. But I could go on.

Potato Pancakes…. sizzling!

In todays world, most people cringe when you say LARD. “Whaaaaat?? Lard???? That’ll kill you! ”   In the past century some of the greatest recipes called for rendered lard.  Pork. Beef. Chicken. What do you think people used before all these processed oils???

(*ok.. besides the Italians, Greeks and Spanish that had a direct line to God with their olive oils.)

In the years we butcher a pig, we render our own.~ otherwise I suffer with Armour or Morrell  because it’s what we can find locally. Want to know how to render your own lard?? here’s a great link for making your own in the crock pot : http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/01/the-mystery-of-the-missing-pig-fat-and-how-to-render-lard.html

My grandmother made the moistest, richest chocolate cakes with lard. And I have made some incredible Chocolate/Apricot COOKIES with a recipe gleaned from an old boyfriends mom…. It was in  her WW2 era cookbook.1305759103-minimalistic-cookie-monster-pac-man-wallpaper

 Happy cooking!

~Katy~

It’s a Strawberry-licious Valentine’s!

img_0210             It’s that time of year…
Show your family how much you love them with these incredible Strawberry Brownies~
Yessssssss. This IS the very same recipe that I use….

Everybody loves brownies…these are a great twist to traditional chocolate brownies.
Very easy to make.
  Ingredients:
img_0211 1 1/2 Cups HERSHEY Strawberry syrup (Off brands are far too runny~ as it is you will notice this not as thick as regular chocolate syrup either)
4 eggs
1 Cup sugar
1  1/2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup Margarine -melted ( the margarine works better than butter in these… don’t ask me why. It just does)
     **optional:  strawberry flavoring, baking powder
Oven  to 350   Grease a small cookie sheet or cake 9×11 cake pan

In large bowl mix the sugar and melted margarine. Mix in eggs. Add strawberry syrup and mix well.  Add in the flour slowly , mixing well. Pour into cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes.
Stick in a toothpick to make sure it is done.
*Ovens vary.. you may need an extra couple minutes*

Frost with your favorite frosting. WE use a simple marshmallow frosting. But they are also good with a cream cheese frosting.
Frosting:
1 Cup sugar
1/4 Milk
1/4 Cup Margarine (that’s a half a stick)
1/2 Cup marshmallows
1/2 Cup White Chocolate chips
In a sauce pan bring sugar, milk and margarine to a boil. Continue to boil 1 full minute. Add in marshmallows and chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Pour over brownies. Letimg_0204 set up.
EAT!

**Tips.. *A couple teaspoons of baking powder in the flour will make these super ‘poofy’.
*If you think your frosting may be too thin, add a few drops of Karo while boiling.
(typically white chocolate is thinner than dark)
* For super tart strawberry brownies add in 2 teaspoons strawberry flavoring or about
1/2 cup diced fresh berries.
* add in chocolate chips or M&M’s for a twist
* Don’t be alarmed… Strawberry brownies seem to shrink some as they cool. This IS normal.
Enjoy!
~Katy~

How to be a good wife….

         I am A Good Wife…. Bwahahahahahah~ NOT…

It is not that I don’t try… But sometimes my intentions just don’t work out like I thought!
     And on that note…. One of my favorite cookbooks is “The Brides Book” 1936
       It is loaded with all manner of useful tips on being a GOOD WIFE… I also possess several others that read like novels… Here are some Tips for YOU:

    “Your house-dress should be wide enough for action, but not so wide it will get in your way or make you trip on stairs or the ladder.”….. “A house-dress should also be able to achieve a ‘nipped-in’ hourglass definition when corralled by your crisp and clean apron.”
    
                    ~Yeah- That one’s worked out really well for me.~ (a touch of sarcasm there)

                 “Never complain. Never show strain”
    “Always wear the proper foundation garments

   Advice on keeping your man:
           “The moment your world-weary office gladiator plants one wing-tipped foot through the vestibule, like an earthbound Tinkerbell, you shall flit around him until he wants for no more.~Delivering the high-ball, the newspaper, his slippers and the dinner with a SMILE and eyes overflowing with adoration.”
    “You should also eagerly ask questions about his day, benching your own news until further notice”  
                                (that one isn’t working
out to well for Hubby…)

So….How good of a wife are YOU?   I’d love to hear from you!

 ~Katy~



Granola Shotgun

Stories About Urbanism, Adaptation, and Resilience

SaveYour.Town

~life, love and humor on the farm

Paula.Jensen

Creating passion for community leadership and development

Grotto on the Go

Big Adventure ~ Tiny Space

daisiesandbluebellsblog

we are an online Children's Boutique selling funky, vintage style and retro kids clothes

A Girl & Her Chickens

A dive into all things feathered and farming...

Daily Hike

Just the daily things...

knotty is nice

Loving the knotty pine in our vintage homes

Kate's Country Living

~life, love and humor on the farm

The Misters Mrs

A Southern Fried Housewife