Sunday, May 20, 2012

I tried the Pioneer Woman's blackberry cobbler #1 yesterday.  It called for self-rising flour, which I didn't have and could only buy in 5 lb. bags.  After searching the internet for a self-rising flour substitute, I found that for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour you add 1 1/4 tsp. of baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Now we are in business...

Blackberry Cobbler #1 - Pioneer Woman style!
Prep Time 10 mins., Preheat oven 350, Cook time 1 hr.   Servings 8

1 stick butter
1 1/4 c. sugar (separated)
1 c. self-rising flour (1 c. all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 t. b. powder, and 1/4 t. salt)
1 c. milk
2 cups blackberries (frozen or fresh)


Melt butter in a microwavable dish.  Pour 1 c. of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk.  Mix well.  Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together.  Butter or spray a baking dish.

Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries.  Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly.  Sprinkle 1/4 c. sugar over the top.  Back in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly.  If you desire sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 mins. before it's done.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Life is sweet in Michigan...but if you make this it will be "sweet" anywhere you are!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Here's a recipe that I tore out of Family Circle in August 2010.  I adapted it for my own taste and it's a quick meal for a hot summer day.  But my warning is that you need to REALLY salt your pasta water and it makes much more than 6 servings...more like 8-10!  I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Caprese Pasta
Makes 6 servings  Prep 10 mins.  Cook 9 mins.

1 lb. cavatappi pasta (I used what I had in the pantry)
2 large tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. pitted black olives, chopped (we used closer to 1/2 c.)
2 Tbs. capers
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
1 c. fresh basil, torn
2 c. cooked, cubed chicken (optional)

1) Cook pasta following package directions, about 9 minutes, drain
2) If using chicken, grill or pan sear
3) In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers and balsamic vinegar.
    Add pasta and chicken to the bowl and stir to combine.  Fold in mozzarella and basil.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Today, I have a great dinner idea that is not only easy, but also cheap!  Today was one of those days when everyone in my family had to eat at different times.  Even though it was a rather warm day, it was a slow cooker day.  I often do this during the summer because I don't want to heat the house up, and pork loin roasts were buy one, get one free this week...slow cooker it is!

I braised the roast on all sides in some olive oil in a large skillet with salt, pepper and onion powder.
In the slow cooker I put a liner, 2 garlic cloves, half of a softball-sized onion, one peeled and sliced red pear, and 6 new carrots (peeled).  Next, put the braised roast in the slow cooker and cover with 1 1/2 cups of apple juice.  Deglaze the pan with apple juice and pour into the cooker.  Cover the cooker and cook on high for 4 hours.

Pull the pork roast apart with two forks and serve with the vegetables.  If you would like to pour some juice over the meat, it tastes great, but you could thicken the juice and make a gravy.

It was yummy and there are leftovers!

Life is Sweet in Michigan!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012

Hi!  I'm sure you thought that I was never posting on this blog again!  Life has been a bit topsy turvy in my little corner of Michigan lately!  However, today I wanted to make sure that I directed you to the Piggy Bank Parties blog for Monday and today, Tuesday.  You will see one of the many things that I have been busy with.  Stay tuned to PBP, because you will see a tutorial on the musical instruments that were created for the Sassy Spring Chickens "Old MacDonald's Farm Band" party. 

Stay tuned for some new recipes coming in the next few is still so sweet in Michigan.