Saturday, February 19, 2011


Please add yourself as a "follower" of my blog. I love to see new followers.
And PLEASE, PLEASE share a comment! We bloggers LOVE comments--even just short ones! They inspire us to continue blogging!

Lately we've been motivated to try new things. I want to be more "homemade". Excited about my vanilla adventure! It's hard to wait 5-6 weeks! Since then, I learned that there are other ways to make vanilla. Another person uses less vanilla beans and let's it "steep" for several months longer. So I did that too--yesterday! I also saw a video last night where a guy was taste testing several vanillas he made with different liquors. He decided the vanilla extra made with gin was his favorite. Hmmm... wonder which is cheaper gin or vodka.

I had recently used up soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce--in brown glass 10 oz. bottles. So needless to say I was tickled to save them and use them for more vanilla! I cleaned them and then I cleaned them again! They have snap-up caps too!

Recycled bottles--from soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce

I bought some more vanilla beans from Vanilla Products USA Ebay store. They need to be in an airtight container--resealable plastic bags don't seem to work well enough. So I wanted to put them in a quart canning jar. But they didn't fit, and I was bummed until I remembered my green glass canister set--I can put elbow macaroni in any other container. The vanilla beans altogether in their package were perfect for this taller jar! I get excited over the simplist things sometimes!

I kept them in their original plastic bag and then bagged them in a
resealable gallon storage bag before putting in them in this canister. Now that I notice, I didn't have them in the resealable bag until after this photo was taken.

Nathan found another "soft bread" recipe and tried this the other day. This is the one he made for friends of ours which we delivered that afternoon. Always a delightful visit!


with melted butter basted on the top

We're still LOVIN' our artisan bread. It's so easy to make!

I also decided to make up Bisquick-type biscuit mix. It can be used for other things besides biscuits. Last night, I made up what is called "Impossible Cheeseburger Pie". I call mine just plain old "Cheeseburger Casserole". I like making it in a wider area-- in a 9 x 11 baking dish. I just add all the things we like on cheeseburgers (ketchup, mustard, pickle relish and onions) to 3-4 cups of already browned ground beef. I buy big packages of ground beef and brown the the same day. Then I store them in 2 cup portions in quart-sized freezer bags until I need them. That's what I used for the recipe. After spreading that in the pan, I place slices of American cheese across the top. I only remembered to take one picture of that. If forgot to take pictures after that! After making up the biscuit recipe, I drop small dollops of biscuit dough all over the top of the meat mixture. It's hard to spread the dough--so do what you can to cover the top. then bake for 1/2 hour--until biscuit topping is golden brown, like you would for biscuits!

Cheeseburger Casserole

Bisquick-type Biscuit Mix

I week or so ago, I finally got around to making a recipe that I had for a while--Almost Almond Joys. The recipe comes from one of my favorite websites called Mommy's Kitchen. Tina is so nice and she has wonderful, well photographed recipes--with great tutorials. I'm sure I've said it many times before, but I'm a very visual person! I love photos!

I mixed the ingredients together and pressed the mix into a baking pan. After letting it chill, I cut them up into rectangles.

I toasted the almonds in the oven. WOW! What a difference in the taste! I loved them--just to munch on too!

Melted milk chocolate chips for dipping!

Finished product--Almost Almond Joys!

They were DELICIOUS! I will be making them again! NEXT time I will cut them into 1" squares for bite sized pieces. They were hard to dip. Smaller will make it easier. AND they're very rich (I think)!

More things to share, but I'll wait until next time!




Mrs. Doug said...

I must try some of those "Almost Almond Joy" bars. Almond Joy is by far my favorite candy.

I know what you mean about comments. I think the reason I don't get too many is because I don't post often enough. If I posted more and were a more active blogger, people would be visiting more often. I just don't have that much time and it seem I have less and less these days. This summer we will be in construction mode Lord willing and so there will be even less time unless I can grab a few minutes at work.

You are in my favorites list now, so I'll visit once in a while and see what great concoctions you have come up with.

Visit me too.

Have a wonderful day!

Marie said...

Hi Joie thanks for the great post I often feel the same notion to wanna be more homemade but it never seems to happen, we will do good for awhile with home cooking but then its back to pizza and junk the next.. thats a tad frustrating but not sure how to keep it going in the right direction. I love your bread I have never tried to make it before but I love the stuff I really should give it a shot sometime. You are doing really well with this and I'm happy for you!! =]