Saturday, June 30, 2018

Fourth of July Layered Bean Dip

I do love to make a Patriotic "something" for fourth of July, be it appetizer, main dish, side dish or dessert. It just helps make the meal and the day more fun don't you think?  This year's "something", is an  American Flag layered Bean Dip.  It is quick and simple, and would be great to bring to potlucks or picnics. It can be eaten cold or hot; I prefer it hot, but my hubby says he would take it either way without hesitation, so of course serve it the way you like.

2 16 ounce cans re-fried beans, or the equivalent homemade (about 4 cups).
2  cups salsa
2 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
1 1/2 -2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/2 medium white onion, minced
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
salt, pepper and onion powder
Blue Corn Chips

Optional Ingredients: These optional ingredients can be layered over the salsa, and under the cheese and sour cream, to keep your colors consistent for the flag.
Chopped green chilies, chopped green peppers, chopped jalepenos, guacamole, corn, fried ground beef or Chorizo

In a 10 x 13 rectangular serving dish layer the following:
  1. Begin with the re-fried beans spread evenly over bottom of dish. Season with salt and pepper
  2. Top with Salsa.
  3. Cover with shredded Pepper Jack Cheese.
  4. Spread  sour cream over cheese. Sprinkle with onion powder.
  5. Place chopped Tomatoes as stripes.
  6. Add shredded Pepper Jack Cheese over the remaining sour cream stripes.
  7. Top the cheese with minced white onion.
  8. Place sliced Olives in the upper left hand corner as the blue background, allowing for a few gaps of white sour cream to show through for the stars.
Serve Cold, or Bake in 350 degree preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, for a hot dip.
Serve with Blue Corn Chips

Spread re-fried beans on bottom of pan.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Top with salsa.

 Cover with shredded Pepper Jack Cheese.

 Spread sour cream over cheese. Sprinkle lightly with onion powder.

Lay tomatoes chunks into red stripes.

Cover the exposed sour cream with the remaining Pepper Jack Cheese, then top the cheese with minced onion.

Use sliced olives for the blue square of the flag, leave little spaces of white to show through for the stars.

Serve cold....

or bake for 20 - 30 minutes in a 350 degree, oven, and serve hot.

Little fingers can't resist.....


Friday, May 18, 2018

Strawberry Coffee Cake

When Strawberries are in abundance, this recipe is one of our family favorites.  I love to make it for a special occasion or when company comes by, and usually double it, because it always gets enthusiastic requests for more. I have adapted some of the ingredients, by using Almond flour, and Einkorn flour in the place of "All Purpose Flour", you can also use Almond flour with a wheat free or gluten-free flour  for wheat-free or gluten-free version.
1/4  cup butter, softened
3/4 organic raw sugar or coconut sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use half almond flour and half Einkorn flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup sliced, fresh strawberries 

Ingredients for the topping:
1/2 cup all purpose flour, einkorn, almond flour or gluten-free flour
1/2 cup organic sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 chopped pecans
organic powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, cream together 1/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture , and alternately add the buttermilk, and mix until well blended.
  5.  Pour the batter into prepared baking pan. 
  6. Arrange strawberries on top of the batter.
  7. Using the topping ingredients, make a topping by blending 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter into a crumbly mixture
  8. Add chopped pecans and blend together. 
  9. Sprinkle topping over strawberries.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until firm and golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. 
  11. Dust lightly with powdered sugar (optional).
  12. Enjoy! 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and then layer the fresh strawberries over the top.

Add the crumbly topping over the fresh strawberries.

Bake approximately 40 minutes or until lightly golden, and firm.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar.


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

DIY Fruit and Vegetable Prints

This is a fun craft for you or the kids, that is as easy as opening the refrigerator and laying hold of whatever fruits and vegetables you have on hand. Get out the paint and paper, or fabric and you have a delightful and inexpensive piece of art.  Use the base of celery, bok choy, or lettuce to make roses, slice oranges or lemons for a beautiful citrus print, carve carrots or potatoes into stamps such as leaves or simple designs, use bell peppers or squash for fun shapes,  slice apples or mushrooms and stamp them on fabric or paper. Use parsley and corn on the cob for texture and repetative design, and end up with some lovely scrapbook paper, pictures, cards or fabric prints.


Fruits and vegetables, such as:
Bok Choy, Lettuce, Carrots, 
Celery, Potatoes, Apples, 
Oranges, Lemons, Peppers, 
Squash, Mushrooms, Corn on the Cob, etc.
Craft Paint 
(if you are stamping onto fabric, use a fabric paint) 
Paint brushes or sponges
Paper or Fabric 

  1.  Slice the fruits and veggies in any manor that you wish
  2.  Brush on Paint.
  3.  Stamp onto Paper or fabric
  4.  Allow to dry
  5.  Use paper or fabric to create something else.
The base of bok choy, lettuce, or celery makes lovely roses. 


Carrots and potatoes can be carved into simple designs to create a stamp, such as the leaf stamp here.

 Bok choy rose, with carved carrot leaves.

 Peppers make fun shapes, such as flowers or shamrocks.

 Celery stems can be used separately as designs, or to add petals to your roses.

 I now have a nice pile of scrapbook paper to use.

Create greeting cards,

 scrapbook pages,

  or picture/plaques

Have fun and happy stamping.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Paper Shamrocks

A simple little craft for March is just what I needed this week.  These Paper Shamrocks are so simple to throw together, you will want to keep making them.  They are  perfect to make  flower arrangements coffee stirrers, or  some delightful garland to drape around and decorate.

Green Scrapbook Paper 
A small heart punch (or a larger shamrock punch)
Double sided tape 
Coffee Stir sticks
Bakers Twine
Glitter Glue
Tiny Buttons

Instructions:1.  Punch hearts out of the scrapbook papers (you will need six hearts for each shamrock, or two if you are using a shamrock punch).

2.  Lay down three hearts (backside up, pretty side down).

 3. Run the double sided tape several times over each heart.

 4. Place the three hearts together, so that they are slightly touching.

 5. Place a flat wooden stir stick down on the middle of the Shamrock.

6.  Add more tape to the other three hearts, and begin to place them over the first three hearts (wrong sides together). Smooth them down, pressing the two hearts together.

 7.  From here, you can decorate them if you want.

 8. Add buttons of glitter, or anything you might like.

 9.  You can use bakers twine instead of the stir sticks, if you want to create a garland.

 10.  Put them in a little jar, along with some Spanish moss and create an arrangement.

 or just a jar of stir sticks for a special coffee time.

Have fun everyone, and.....

May God give you, 
for every storm a rainbow,
 for every tear a smile,
for every care a promise, 
and a blessing in each trial.
 For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share
for every sigh,  a sweet song,
and an answer for each prayer.

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