Staying in on a snowy Sunday

We are in the middle of a mini snow storm.  It’s cold, windy and snowy out.  Yesterday I ran errands and got a few things for the week.  I am not a big fan of grocery shopping, so I tend to only really go on a big shopping trip every 2-3 months.  When I do that, I stock up.  And I mean stock up.  I spend about $400 to stock up my pantry and freezer and pick up fresh items every week or other week.

So, yesterday I needed to get some stuff for a potluck at work this week (I am making crock pot lasagna…more on that this week) and some items for this week.  I wanted to make some queso so needed a few things.

After I got home, what I had in mind for dinner quickly went out the window, and I ended up making one of my favorite salads.  It’s a version of Cabbage Crunch Salad–and it was so yummy.

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I know it’s not a great picture but here’s how you make it:

cabbage–sometimes I use broccoli-slaw (precut)

1 carrot, grated

1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped

craisons

slivered almonds

uncooked ramon noodles, broken up

The dressing is:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 packet of chicken ramon noodle flavoring

Today, I made some homemade refried beans (you can find the recipe by clicking here), and some queso dip.  The queso is super easy…just take a block of velveeta cheese, a can of rotel, and some browned ground beef and mix it in a crock pot.  Let it melt together and it’s perfect for a dip or for a snack or for dinner.

So that’s what I did today.  Check out the blog later this week for crock pot lasagna!

Keep Simply Delighting!

 

Hot Spinach Dip

This weekend was pretty low-key, but I did make this incredible hot spinach dip.  It was quick and easy and you can eat it with tortilla chips or pita chips.  We had both.

 

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Here’s what you need:

10 oz chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained (I actually put in a towel and squeezed the excess water out)

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Beat cream cheese, mayo, parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese together.  Add spinach and mix well.  Spray a pie plate lightly with non stick cooking spray (and I mean lightly, or else you will have a greasy mess when you try to eat).  Smooth out dip into pie plate.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until everything is melted and loose looking.  Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips. 

Keep Simply Delighting!!!

The Easy Life

I am still on vacation…and it’s HOT here in northern Michigan.   And my parent’s house does not have air conditioning.  So…in order to beat the heat, my Mom and I drug out an old inflatable rectangle kiddie pool that my sister bought during one 4th of July vacation when she, my brother and his family, and I were here.  We filled it up yesterday and by evening the water was nice and warm.  So…this afternoon, we just sat in the water and chatted.  Now, I previously blogged about my Mom when my blog was at www.simplydelighting.com (don’t go there, the content is gone and I am still devastated about it) but she is my inspiration and role model for everything in my life.  We were out there for 3 hours just chatting and laying in the sun…and one of the things she mentioned that was on The Chew today on ABC, Carla made fudge.  Fudge is probably my Mom’s favorite sweet treat.  So…when we came inside, I whipped it up really quick, and it is delicious! 

Here is a pic of the fudge being made:

The recipe is super easy.  You can find it here:

Carla Hall’s Homemade Fudge

Also, I found out today that my niece that is pregnant and due in November is having TWINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, my WIP list will be adjusted to add another baby quilt for her.  She finds out next week what she is having and as soon as she does, I will be ordering more fabric.  I am hoping it’s a girl…and if it is, here is some of the fabric I will be ordering:

It’s from the same Robert Kaufman Urban Zoologic line, only for girls.  I am secretly hoping she has a girl too!

I think that’s all for now.  Oooh one more interesting tidbit…I had to mend my swimsuit today, and I used my Mom’s sewing machine.  My Dad bought her this sewing machine in 1986.  It’s a basic White sewing machine.  What an antique!  I realized how spoiled I am with my modern machine.  While mine isn’t fancy by any means…it’s way more convenient than hers.  Thank goodness for modern technology!

 

 

Guacamole

My friend Craig makes great guacamole!  He graciously agreed to share his recipe and photos.  Congrats Craig, on being Simply Delighting’s first guest blogger!!!

Most store-bought guacamole has a ton of ingredients that are not needed.  Here is how to make your very own guacamole
without sacrificing taste.

For this recipe you will need 4 ripe avocados, a lime, 2 roma tomatoes, garlic, an onion, salt and pepper.

First, cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds and set aside for later.  Scoop them out and into a large bowl.


Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Roughly chop the onion and garlic.

Add the juice of the lime.  Put as much salt and pepper into the bowl that you think is reasonable (Remember, you can always add more later).

Mix everything up until there are only some small chunks of the avocado visible.

Once everything is mixed together, bury the seeds into the guacamole (this helps the avocado stay fresh longer).

Serve chilled and enjoy!

Catching Up–Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time to catch up!!!  I was away for a little bit visiting my parents, and did a lot when I was at their house.  My Mom, who is an amazing woman and mother, and I spend hours talking about recipes, crocheting, and many other things.  I was able to bake and cook whatever I wanted–working in my Mom’s kitchen is like having a grocery store at your fingertips and she has any kind of kitchen gadget, appliance, or dish/pan ever made.  However, of all the things I made, I think the most enjoyable thing I made was chocolate chip cookies. 

My Mom hates to make cookies.  She hates to put them on the pan and take them off…that is the only reason.  To make this worse, she is married to the original cookie monster, my Dad.  He couldn’t remember the last time she made him cookies (don’t worry, he still has some kind of dessert most nights!).  So…this post is for him.  Chocolate chip cookies…to my Dad with love.

Cream together 1 cup butter (using butter is the key to making these cookies), 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup sugar.

Beat in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

With a wooden spoon, slowly mix in 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  After the flour is incorporated, add a bag of milk chocolate chips (yes, use milk, not semisweet…it makes all the difference).

My mom swears by parchment paper, and after using it, I agree.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  Do not overbake…the cookies will become hard.

Cookies are done when they turn just a light golden brown.  Let them rest for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet.

Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Let cookie sheets cool completely before dropping more dough on sheets to bake. 

Zucchini Bread Recipes

These are the recipes from my post on Sept. 2.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup oil

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 8 ounce can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Bake in greased pans at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire racks to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Keeps well in freezer.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 cups flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 package (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1 cup oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups shredded zucchini

1/4 cup poppy seeds

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel.  Bake  in greased pans at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Freezes well.

Pie Pumpkins

Today my Mom and I processed pie pumpkins to be used to make breads for the holiday season.  The pumpkins were from my Dad’s garden. 

Pumpkins washed and ready to be gutted.

First, cut the top out of the pumpkin (about a 5 inch circle)–just like you would if you were going to carve it for Halloween.  Remove the seeds and pulp.

It is easier to cut the pumpkin in half and use a serving spoon to remove the pulp. 

After the pumpkin is completely cleaned, place skin side up on a baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack until the pumpkin is cooled down enough to handle.

After it has cooled to touch, peel the skin off of the pumpkin pieces.

Puree pumpkin in a food processor until it is baby food like consistency.

Package 2 cups of pureed pumpkin in freezer safe containers.  When you want to make pumpkin bread, just thaw and it is ready to use!