Update: I have had some computer problems lately. I had to have a few repairs done and picked it up yesterday. Problem is, when I got home, I realized they kept my power cord. It’s a 60 mile trip, one way, to the Apple Store. They promised to mail me one. Hopefully I will be back in business soon!
The older I get, the more that I realize that all of those times that Mama said: “don’t spend your money on me,” she meant it. She wanted then what she still wants, time spent together. Time is something we can never get back, and the older my mama gets, time becomes more precious to me.
In comparison to many families today, my mother’s family was a big one. She had six brothers and sisters. Today, my mother and her sister are the only siblings that remain. I decided that my mama would like nothing better than a little family time for Mother’s Day. So on a recent visit, I invited my aunt and a couple of cousins to a luncheon at mama’s house. I kept the menu simple with homemade chicken salad, pasta salad made with fresh vegetables and purchased Italian dressing, cucumber sandwiches, purchased cheese straws, and I bought a fruit tray, cut up and ready to eat and made a poppy seed vinaigrette dressing. The table was elegantly set with mama’s best china and crystal and the memories we made are priceless.
As you struggle to come up with a gift for mom this Sunday, keep in mind that time spent with you is something she will always treasure!
- 1 lb. pasta
- 2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ¾ c. sliced black olives
- sliced red onion
- crumbled feta cheese
- chopped bell pepper
- 1 to 1½ c. Italian dressing
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, and bell pepper with Italian dressing.
- Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
- 4 cups fresh fruit
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
- Wash and cut up fruit, set aside. In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Pour over fruit an gently toss. Serve immediately.
- 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cucumber, peeled & seeds removed
- 1 medium onion
- dash salt
- dash hot sauce
- mayonnaise on bread, if desired
- Grate cucumber and onion and squeeze dry. (I do this using a clean dish towel. Put in the center of a towel then roll towel and twist.) Set aside.
- Blend cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.
- If using mayonnaise, spread on desired bread. Top with cucumber spread and another slice of bread.
- 4 lg. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 to 2 c. mayonnaise, depending on how you like it
- ½ to ¾ c. chopped celery
- 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
- ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
- ½ tsp. salt
- Mix shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl and refrigerate.
In searching for easy recipes, I have decided I am a hoarder, a cookbook hoarder that is! I wish I would have counted the cookbooks I have in this house, but I have already taken a load to Goodwill.
I have always been a sucker for a cookbook. I tend to pick them up on trips, at flea markets, at Goodwill, and from anyone selling them for a cause. I should never be at a loss for what to cook!
Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin is a treasure that I found while cleaning out! This recipe has an excellent flavor and requires very few ingredients, very little preparation, and very little clean-up. With just five ingredients and one pan, you will have dinner on the table in no time flat!
A package of pork tenderloin typically comes with two small tenderloin strips, not to be confused with a pork loin. I always pick up a few packages for the freezer when I find them on sale. They are versatile and you can find several pork tenderloin recipes on NJSD. I cook tenderloins to around 145°F to 150°F and they come out fork-tender every time.
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1.5-lb. pour tenderloin, trimmed
- 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter and honey over medium heat until melted. Dry the tenderloin with paper towels and sprinkle all sides with Cajun seasoning and black pepper. Brown each side of the tenderloin in the honey butter. Remove from the eye and lower the heat before returning the pan to the heat if the honey begins to burn.
- Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches between 145°F and 150°F with a meat thermometer.
- Remove from the oven and cover with foil for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Slice tenderloin on a diagonal and serve.
With the kitchen in complete disarray, cooking has been a challenge. Not that I am complaining because a little time off is good! I’m sure I will be back at it soon. The house is looking great but Greg could possibly be regretting the decision to paint. My “honey-do” list for him is getting longer by the day! New light fixtures, coffee bar, floating shelves, and the list goes on!
This week I will be sharing a recipe that I tried a while back. I started with Greg’s grandmother’s cream cheese pound cake, one of my all-time favorite cakes. I wanted something coconut though, so I added a little coconut extract and flaked coconut for an excellent cake. It’s moist and with just the perfect amount of coconut. This cake is even better a few days after it’s baked! I like to use a tube pan for this cake rather than a bundt pan. I then place it on my cake plate exactly the way it cooked, with the flat side down. This way all the crunchy goodness does not get smashed under the cake.
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8-oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 c. granulated sugar
- dash salt
- 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. coconut extract
- 6 lg. eggs, room temperature
- 3 c. cake flour
- 7-oz. bag flaked coconut (or about 2 c.)
- Grease and flour large tube pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add salt, vanilla extract, and coconut extract, and blend.
- Add one egg at a time, blending well after each addition.
- Add flour, gently stirring to combine.
- Stir in coconut.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven. Check the cake with a long wooden skewer after 1½ hours. If addiditonal baking time is needed check every 10 to 15 minutes until cake tests done.
- Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.
I have a question for the ladies out there. Do you ever take your purse and dump it out? Dump every little coin, paperclip, hair tie and piece of trash out of it? Then pick through the contents, get rid of those things that are cluttering it up and placing your necessities neatly back inside your purse.
With the painter almost finished here at our house I have been thinking about what I have that is really necessary and what can be considered clutter. It’s as if I have “dumped” it out and I am starting over. Just thinking about the purge makes me feel invigorated. Imagine if you will, how much better our lives would be if we applied “dumping the unnecessary” to ourselves. How much better would we feel to get rid of the negative thoughts that are cluttering our minds every day?
These muffins are wonderfully moist and delicious. The finishing touches are not necessary, but I love the added crunch on top. I promised easy recipes, and that is still my goal. This week’s recipe is easy, but I’m not sure how many of you will have almond paste lying around. These muffins are well worth the trip to the grocery store though. This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks. One that is well worn with plenty of vanilla splashes and creased pages. Almond Poppy Seed Muffins is from Marcy Goldman’s The New Best of Better Baking.com. You may add one teaspoon of lemon extract and a little lemon juice for a fantastic lemon poppy seed muffins.
- 1 c. sugar
- 4-oz. almond paste, minced
- ½ c. finely ground almonds
- ½ c. (4-oz.) unsalted butter
- ¼ c. canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. sour cream
- ⅓ c. milk
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- FINISHING TOUCHES
- Slivered almonds
- Coarse Sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Position the oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the sugar and almond paste together well, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the ground almonds, butter, and oil and blend well. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds and blend, scraping the bottom of the bowl occasionally to ensure nothing gets stuck in the well of the mixing bowl. If the mixture seems too loose, add a touch more flour. It should be the consistency of thick cake batter.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with some slivered almonds and sugar. Place the muffin cups on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake about 30 to 35 minutes, until the muffins are nicely browned and spring back when lightly touched. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning them out onto a rack to cool completely.