Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Autumn Beans with Apple Cider, Bacon and Raisins

Here's another fun baked bean variation, we loved these Autumn Beans with Apple Cider, Bacon and Raisins! The boys kept saying add a dash of cloves and they'd be Holiday Beans for Christmas. They'd make a great side dish with ham and only need to simmer for about 20 minutes once the bacon is done cooking. While the recipe calls for apple cider, I didn't have any at the time and used some frozen condensed apple juice. That turned out to be a tasty addition! I also felt they needed just a bit of brown sugar:@)

Autumn Beans-adapted from Taste of Home
8 strips of bacon-I used 4 strips and all of the fat
1/4 C onion, chopped
1 C apple cider-I used 1/4 C apple juice concentrate
2 cans (16 oz each) baked beans with juice-I drained one can
1/4 to 1/2 C raisins-I used 1/4 C
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tblsp brown sugar, optional to taste-my addition
  1. Fry bacon until crisp, remove to paper towel and break into small pieces when cool.
  2. Drain fat reserving 2 Tblsp, fry onion in bacon fat until tender.
  3. Add everything else, stir, bring to light boil, reduce heat and lightly simmer for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Last Minute Crock Pot Hot Apple Cider -And Frozen Orange Juice Tip

I'm calling this Last Minute Hot Apple Cider because comes together with just a few pantry ingredients. The key is keeping a can of frozen condensed orange juice in the freezer. While fresh orange slices are pretty, they may not always be in the house, but I do always have a can of frozen OJ. Add a couple cinnamon sticks and cloves, a dash of sugar and you're good to go. It's also nice that folks can casually ladle warm refills from your slow cooker as desired. Oh and, even if you're not rushing around getting ready for unexpected guests, you might want to set the Crock Pot to low so this tasty, mildly spiced treat will be waiting to warm you after a couple hours of shopping or chores:@)

Tips:
  • If really pressed for time the cider can be heated quickly on the stove then poured into the slow cooker on low or warm for serving.
  • This could be set up as a little self-serve bar area, allowing guests to make themselves a hot toddy if they'd like.
  • I prefer to keep orange juice concentrate in the freezer because I just don't drink a whole bottle of OJ. I spoon about a Tblsp or so (to taste) for each glass of juice or drink I make. Then push plastic wrap down into the container and press it against the top of the concentrate. This keeps ice crystals out and helps keep it fresh for a very long time. Once I get about half way through the container I simply cut through the cardboard container, make it shorter and add the plastic wrap again.
Crock Pot Hot Apple Cider
For every:
4 C apple cider
2 Tblsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves-they get spooned out right before serving
2 Tblsp brown sugar
  1. Add everything to slow cooker. Cover and turn to high for one-two hours. Reduce to low or warm setting (if you have it). Alternately, set to low for 3-4 hours. I used my 2 quart Crock Pot and it cooks hot. It was nice and warm after one hour on high, hot and nicely spiced by two hours.
  2. Remove cloves before serving.
  3. Ladle into mugs or tea cups and enjoy.
  4. Optional-allow guests to add rum, brandy, bourbon, Grand Marnier, schnapps or liquor of choice to their cup.
Enjoy a seasonal beverage and have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Snippets- Barbie's Thanksgiving Turkey, Perfect Seasonal Towels and A Bloggy Blooper

I decided since Barbie has a nice big DIY serving tray she should host Thanksgiving dinner this year:@) And since the price of 'real' Barbie turkey toys/props is a little cra-cra on Ebay... I made my bird from a 99¢ brick of clay. Took all of about 15 minutes and it seriously cracks me up! I love the little wings and kinda have a craving for some hot sauce now???

Barbie says "I don't know what all the fuss is about, cooking a turkey is a piece of cake"...

 White clay, some brown craft paint and quick spritz of gold spray paint... 
Looks good enough to eat:@)

Also lovin' these fun kitchen towels at Walmart!

And finally:
I've never been one to shy away from sharing one of my ~brilliant~ ideas that turned out to be a total Bloggy Blooper... 
This is my attempt at decorating the top of corn bread with a turkey for Thanksgiving. 
Yep, it's ok, go ahead and laugh:@)
I don't know if that looks more like a turkey head, a bald eagle or Abraham Lincoln??? 
Back to the drawing board... ugh.

Gobble, gobble... Have a great weekend everyone:@)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Sweet Hearty Beans with Beef -Slow Cooker or Stove Top

These Sweet Hearty Beans with Beef call for a can of baked beans and a can of big creamy butter beans-butter beans are a favorite of mine:@) With my love of beans and constant search for more ways to make them (this makes post 96 with the bean label), I just had to try them as soon as I saw the recipe. It's sweet and filling and perfect for a nice cool or cold day. I suggest a side of cornbread, and should you have any leftovers, they do freeze well for lunch another day.

Sweet Hearty Beans with Beef-from Taste of Home
1 lb ground beef-I cut back
1 medium onion, chopped
15 oz can baked beans with liquid
15 oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C ketchup
1/3 C brown sugar
1 Tblsp BBQ sauce
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
~Brown beef and onion, drain grease if necessary.
~Slow Cooker: Add everything to vessel, stir, cover and cook on high 3-4 hours.
~Stove Top: Add everything to pan, stir, heat through and simmer on low until ready to serve dinner. This is the cooking method I used.

Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Spritz Cookies with Jam Centers

My sons declared these Spritz Cookies with Jam Centers dangerously good! I declare them a winner too:@) They are buttery and delicate with a nice almond flavor and slightly sweet, glossy center. I used apricot preserves, chunky strawberry preserves would be great too and a mixture of both would be very pretty on a cookie tray or dessert buffet. I do highly recommend adding this recipe to your list if you'd like to try a new spritz cookie this holiday season.

A fun tip: Fishing the solid bits of fruit out of the jam to use on the cookies creates a chewier center. 

This is the first time I tried my thrifted battery operated Super Shooter and I'm pleased to report it worked well:@)
I chose what they call the Star Disc and gently pushed an indent into the center of each cookie with my finger tip.
Next time, I'll use a disc that makes a more solid, rounded cookie. Like the maple cookie on my sidebar...
The good news is... There ~will~ be a next time!
You can see my list of helpful Spritz Tips HERE and Spritz Pinterest Board HERE.

Spritz Cookies with Jam Centers-from Grandmother's Kitchen
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1 tsp almond extract
Jam or preserves for the centers (your choice of jam)
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg & beat well.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt & almond extract and mix well.
  4. Fill a cookie press with dough and press out shapes onto a non-greased cookie sheet.
  5. Add scant 1/4 teaspoonful of jam to the center of each cookie and bake at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Saturday Snippet -Walmart Metal Vintage Truck Alert!

Walmart is starting to put out their Christmas items and I found these really cool trucks! They are made of metal, are a substantial 12" long, 6" wide and about 6 1/2" tall. $18 and they come with some shortbread cookies as an extra treat for gifting. They had red, green and blue to choose from. Lovin' it:@) This truck would be great on the coffee table, a bookcase or even used as a centerpiece on the kitchen table.

 What's really fun is, the bed of the truck is 4" x 4.5" and can be filled up with seasonal items.
I found some fall apples for 50¢ at the thrift store (and just tossed them in for a quick pic, 
need to remove strings and add some pumpkins for Thanksgiving).

 And of course a fun bottle brush tree would look great for Christmas... 
Or load it up with wrapped candy!

 Now, I'm not saying this is extremely detailed metal work or master craftsmanship. It's what we'd expect for what it is...
But, it ~is~ super cute and will last for a long time as a home decoration. 
**This is not a toy for children

 So, put the pedal to the metal and zip on down to your Walmart if you like to decorate with this rustic/vintage look.
I'm sure they won't last long.

And have a happy weekend:@)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cheesy Garlic Bread (or Pizza Bread) Using Leftover Hot Dog Buns

On today's episode of Frugal Living, pinch that penny til it squeals...
What can we do with leftover hot dog buns besides toss them into the freezer for stuffing? How about turning then into a Cheesy Garlic Bread that would be great with a pasta dinner or even as side dish for a nice steamy bowl of soup. Super simple, lots of options and pretty darn tasty!

We could make them as garlic bread or omit the butter and add a little pizza sauce for a quick pizza bread...

I really didn't use any measurements, 
just slathered some butter on the buns and sprinkled them with everything else.

Cheesy Garlic Bread Using Leftover Hot Dog Buns
This is the kind of thing we don't really need a recipe for...
  1. Separate buns and a slather with butter. Lay cut side up on foil lined tray for easy clean-up.
  2. Generously sprinkle with garlic powder. 
  3. Shake on Italian Seasoning.
  4. Shake on some grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Sprinkle on some shredded mozzarella-as much or as little as your crowd would like
  6. Sprinkle top with a little paprika and dried parsley.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.
Eat well, save those pennies, and have a happy day:@)

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