Cranberry Nut Bread

cranberry nut breadCranberry bread in spring?  I know.  I am a little unconventional, but this bread is so good that it should be enjoyed more often than Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Unlike some families, fresh cranberries and cranberry sauce were never an important, holiday food at our house. My grandma served a canned of cranberry sauce at Christmas one year when I was a kid.  I remember trying it–because I thought it was jello.  Expecting it to be sweet strawberry jello, I was completely shocked and disgusted.  Continue reading

Tender Juicy Turkey

How do you cook your turkey?

A fun tradition in some kindergarten and first grade classes is writing about Thanksgiving dinner.  The children write how they obtain and cook their turkey dinner.  The answers are varied and usually very humorous.

My daughter wrote that she would find a turkey in someone’s backyard.  (On a drive, we saw turkeys wandering around in a neighborhood yard). Another kid said they would get a turkey from a tree.  However, most kids wrote that their turkeys came from a store.

Even at a young age, kids disagree about the proper way to cook a turkey.  Some take it to a restaurant to be cooked, others cook it in the barbecue.  But the most popular method seems to be cooking the turkey in the oven. Most little kids seem to agree that 5-10 minutes is the proper cooking time for a turkey.  🙂  Although, one kid did say he would cook it in the microwave for 5 hours after it cooked in the oven. Continue reading

Red Pepper Flake Toast

red pepper toast

My oldest is completely obsessed with red pepper flakes.  He puts them on his eggs, his potatoes, his meat, his toast, and pretty much everything else in between.  He even tried it on plain oatmeal once, although I’m not sure if that was a keeper.

This toast is his creation, and he did the photography also.  The bread is buttered (with dairy-free margarine, Nucoa spread), and then sprinkled with red pepper flakes.  Propping up the bread on a rack allows the air to circulate and dry the bread on the bottom also.  A couple of minutes under the broiler, until it is toasted to your liking, and your red pepper flake toast is ready to enjoy.

 

Steak and Mango Pasta Salad

Thin slices of beef, sweet mangoes, and cool cucumber tossed with pasta and homemade Italian dressing . . . Summer is here.

steak and mango pasta salad

This salad was thrown together from some leftovers, but it was so delicious, I had to share it.  Really, my mouth is watering just writing about it.  The mango was an afterthought; it was looking sad and lonely in the fruit bowl, but it turned out to be the star of the show.  The sweetness of the mango pairs very nicely with the zesty dressing.

The Italian dressing is the most amazing recipe.  I copied down the recipe from an online recipe about 6 years ago, and sadly I have no idea who the creator is, but whoever it was, they know how to make Italian Dressing.  I do tweak it a little here and there when I make it.  For instance, I don’t own any celery salt, but I do have celery seed, so a little pinch of that and a bit of extra salt and voila…I don’t even know what I’m missing from the original recipe.  🙂

I cook my steak in a hot cast-iron skillet with a little oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  I follow a similar technique with a roast, first sear it in a hot cast iron pan, then place the whole pan in an oven and roast (without a lid) on a low heat about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.


Steak and Mango Pasta Salad

Chilled, and thinly sliced grilled steak or tender roast beef

Fresh mango, peeled and cubed

Cucumber, peeled and sliced

Pasta, cooked and cooled

Italian Dressing, recipe follows

 

Mix ingredients (amounts to your liking) and gently mix.  Eat.

 

Italian Dressing

1 cup vinegar of your choice

3/4 cup olive or canola oil

4 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp garlic salt

1/2 Tbsp onion powder (or dehydrated, minced onion)

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 Tbsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp celery salt (or a pinch of celery seed and a pinch of salt)

1 Tbsp salt

Whisk ingredients together, or put ingredients in a mason jar and shake well (with the lid on)

Store in refrigerator.

 

Simple Chicken Salad

chicken salad in cream puff shell
Chicken Salad in Cream Puff Shell

Quick and simple to make, this chicken salad is perfect for celebrating a warm spring day.

Today was a crazy day.  I entered an appointment into my calendar with the wrong time, and showed up to the appointment only to find out I had missed it.  Then, being late seemed to be the theme for the rest of the day.   I don’t know about you, but when I have a crazy day like this, I figure it must be time to simplify.  Continue reading