July 26, 2013

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

In an attempt to find ways to use all the cucumbers from my garden, I've been pickling. I've already shown you the bread and butter recipe I found, which I LOVE.  These are a dill refrigerator variety.  That means they aren't put through the normal canning process and must stay in the refrigerator for preservation.  The plus side is that they are done relatively quickly (10 days), the minus side is that we're in a rush to eat them before they need to be tossed.

I love all pickles, in fact I love (almost) all things pickled.  I know, I'm a little weird like that.

These pickles have a hint of sweetness, not overpoweringly but you can definitely taste it. I actually chose not to make mine spicy as the original recipe calls for because I knew I'd be giving them to my daughter.  I thought they were delicious.  A very nice change from the kind you buy from the store but still definitely dill.  You also get a good amount of garlic taste, if your crowd isn't all eating these you might want to sneak a mint. :)

I hope you'll give them a try.  It's a great tasty way to use up some garden cucumbers.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Recipe from allrecipes

  • 12 - 3 to 4 inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill sprigs
*Add 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes to make these spicy

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir together.  I cut my cucumbers in quarters length wise but the original recipe doesn't say to do so. Let sit for 2 hours until the sugar and salt have dissolved. 
  2. Use 3 - 1 1/2 pint wide mouth jars.  Place 4 whole (or cut up) cucumbers in each jar. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers to cover them.  Add 1 sprig of fresh dill to each jar. Seal each jar and let sit for 10 days before eating. Use within 1 month. 

July 24, 2013

Restaurant Style Salsa

Looking for a classic dish to bring to any party or just to have on hand?  You can't go wrong with this recipe. Loads of flavor and so easy to put together.  I used mine on nacho's but try adding some to a casserole or slow cooker meal.  

When I brought this to a friends party not long ago, we all sat around the table and just tore through a bag of chips and this salsa.  Then dinner was served......and we weren't hungry anymore. 

This salsa is exactly what  you might think of when you are at a Mexican restaurant, it's not the tomato sauce-y kind but more of a fresh tomato taste.  It's essential to let the flavors blend for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  So good, it will be a favorite.

Restaurant Style Salsa
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cans (10 oz) Rotel tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeño, seeded, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, or more to taste
  • 1/2 whole lime, juiced
  1. Use a large food processor (12 cup) or do this in batches. 
  2. Add all the ingredients into the food processor and pulse about 10-15 times. 
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

July 22, 2013

Soft Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can't believe it's Monday again already.  Wasn't it Monday last week? Well honestly I'm super excited to get this week over with because that means I get to head off to Montana sooner.  I can't wait!  Some nice refreshing mountain air is exactly what I need. A little 0% humidity will be a welcome change. 

Before we start packing, I had time to make an awesome new chocolate chip recipe.  I wanted something just slightly different then the regular recipes I use and I think it was a hit.  Malted Milk Powder gives the cookies a slightly different flavor while the cornstarch makes them super chewy.  Great combination. 

 Lightly golden around the edges and chewy inside.

As an extra little somn' somn' I added some chocolate chips to the tops of the dough balls right before baking.  That makes those cute little chips stand out much better and they look super fancy.  I'm all about fancy ya know. 

The cookies are super soft and chewy, a lot of chocolate flavor with a little tiny malted milk flavor in the background.  My daughter ate them up and kept asking for more.  She's not shy about telling me if she detects a flavor she doesn't like so that's a good sign for this little cookie.  This is also the first cookie recipe that I've used cornstarch so I'm waiting to see if they stay softer longer, but honestly they are so good that I doubt I'll have any left in a couple of days anyway.

Soft Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Cookies and Cups

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, plus more for pressing into the tops
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, malted powder, baking powder, salt and cornstarch. Whisk together. 
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium low heat. 
  3. Use the bowl of your stand mixer and add the brown sugar and melted butter. Mix well. 
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. 
  5. Add the chocolate chips and mix by hand to incorporate. 
  6. Refrigerate for 2 hours to up to 3 days. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 350º
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  9. Make a ball with 2 Tbsp of dough and place on the cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. 
  10. Press additional chocolate chips into the top, if desired. 
  11. Bake for 11-12 minutes until the edges are golden but the middle looks undercooked. 
  12. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. 

July 17, 2013

Raspberry Pie

It's been raining so much here that I have actual moss growing in my backyard.  The weather has been so strange.  I'm not complaining though because this time last year I was confined to my house because of the soaring temperatures.

Needless to say we haven't done very many fun things.  We can't even get to our neighborhood pool without having to turn around and go home because of a stray thunderstorm.

I was in Wal-Mart the other day and saw school stuff out!  I'm NOT ready for this.  My little one will be in kindergarten and I'm not prepared to start thinking about that yet.

I will bake pie instead.  Makes perfect sense doesn't it?

I made this pie for my neighbor because she said it's her favorite.  Who am I to deny someone their favorite pie? That's why the picture above is not so great.  I apologize.
If you're a raspberry lover you will enjoy this pie immensely. Full of fruit flavor, not overly sweet. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream and you'll be in heaven.

Raspberry Pie
Recipe from AllRecipes

  • 1 recipe double pie crust
  • 4 cups raspberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp quick tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp butter
  • egg wash or cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º
  2. In a large bowl, combine the raspberries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt and carefully mix together so you don't crush the berries. 
  3. Line a deep dish pie dish with one crust and then fill with the berries. 
  4. Dot the top with the butter and then add the top crust. 
  5. Make slits in the crust for steam to escape and brush with egg wash or cream. 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375º for 25 more minutes.  Check the crust as it bakes and if it begins to look like it's getting too dark, cover it with tin foil. 
  7. Let cool before serving. 

July 15, 2013

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

There is something comforting about chicken for dinner, don't you think?  I mean I'm not the world's biggest chicken eater but I always feel like I'm home when I eat it.  I know that sometimes chicken can be sort of boring so I try to do it differently each time I make it.  One of the musts for my chicken making is a good seasoning or sauce that goes with it since white meat needs that extra little tang and moisture in my opinion.

This recipe was rated very well at AllRecipes and I incorporated several of the suggestions by other readers.  I think it turned out really well.  Keep in mind that I was only cooking two chicken breasts so the seasonings below were perfect.

This recipe has a nice spicy kick but I did read where some other people had spiced it up even more by either adding minced jalapeño, more cayenne and even tequila.  One person added some honey into the sauce so you get a sweet and salty taste. The wonderful thing about chicken is that you can do anything to it!

*Double this recipe for more than two chicken breasts.  You want it really well coated.

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken
Modified slightly from AllRecipes

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  1. Mix the salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley together in a bowl and then rub onto the chicken breasts so they are completely covered. 
  2. Melt the butter and add the olive oil together in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes on each side. 
  3. Add 2 tsp of garlic powder and 3 Tbsp of lime juice and the chicken broth. 
  4. Cook for an additional 5 minutes so the sauce can reduce slightly and the chicken is fully cooked. 

July 12, 2013

Jalapeno Cheese Dip

Have any of you ever heard of pimento dip? If you're from the South you have, but I'm not from the South and when I first heard about it I was like, huh? You make a dip out of pimento's? So some friends of mine bought some at the grocery store and I had some.  It was alright but I never went out of my way to have it again. It's usually a nice orange color, which also had me wondering.

Anyway, many years have gone by without me ever having the desire to have it again until my neighbor made some for the 4th of July.  Only she made hers with some jalapenos that I grew in my garden. But this time the taste was much different, much more memorable than my previous experience.  So I decided to make some of my own, but without pimento's. I just didn't have any on hand.

 I really loved this recipe. If you're not really into jalapenos you should know that without the seeds and membrane it's not spicy at all.  It was creamy, sharp and very flavorful.

If you want to make this authentic Southern Pimento Cheese Dip just add 1 - 4 oz jar of pimento's and use orange cheese.

Jalapeno Cheese Dip
Modified recipe from allrecipes

  • 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until creamy. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  
  3. Refrigerate so the flavors can distribute.  Serve at room temperature. 

July 10, 2013

Shredded Wheat Pie Crust

From my dad's creative kitchen comes a new "healthy" pie crust.  No seriously, it's healthy.  Now what you fill it with might not be but I'm not judging you.

Can I also compliment the beautiful photograph that my sister took?  Seeing that I'm not in Montana to take such a picture, I had help from my sister, nephew and dad. I think that's my nephew's hand in the picture. You're all making me home sick!!!

This particular pie is filled with his Sugarless Sweet Potato Craisin recipe as I previously posted about here.

The shredded wheat adds a nice crunch to the crust and holds together well, great texture and taste.  Everyone who tried this recipe loved it.  Perfect for those people trying to add more fiber into their diet or just try something new.  I think he's really onto something here, great job dad!

Shredded Wheat Pie Crust
Recipe from John Frelich

  • 5 shredded wheat biscuits, smashed
  • 1/2 cup light margarine
  • 2 Tbsp Truvia sweetener
Cooking Directions
  1. Smash the shredded wheat very well.
  2. Melt the margarine and add to the shredded wheat and Truvia and mix well.
  3. Press into a deep dish pie dish.
  4. Bake at 350º for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't over brown. 

July 8, 2013

Balsamic Pork Chops

I can't believe it's Monday already.  It's hard to come back from a four day weekend, am I right? We had a relaxing 4th.  Barbecue's, fireworks, friends and rain....well not constant rain but definitely more then I've ever seen in July here before. But between all that rain we had fun!

My husband was actually home for the 4th this year so that was very nice.

The only thing I'm not quite sure about is when the fireworks actually stop being set off.  I mean, it's a given that they'll be out in full force on the night of the 4th and perhaps even the next night but I've been hearing them each night since.  Just wondering.

I made these pork chops last week before the holiday and they were delicious.

The balsamic isn't overpowering so if you're not a fan you should still give these a try.  It just added a nice little background flavor. You can never have enough background flavor if you ask me.  Great meal for a busy weeknight. We didn't bother with the rice and just had some veggies on the side but I'm sure the rice would be a great way to soak up all that glorious sauce! I'll try that next time.

Balsamic Pork Chops
Recipe from MyRecipes

  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz can) chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, rosemary, salt and pepper. 
  2. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture. 
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and melt the butter and olive oil. 
  4. Add the garlic and sauté briefly, then add the pork chops. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown (they do not need to be fully cooked at this point). 
  5. Remove the pork chops and add the broth and vinegar.  Reduce by half. 
  6. Add the pork chops back into the pan and cook until done, about 5 minutes. 
  7. Serve over rice and garnish with rosemary if desired.

July 5, 2013

Sex in the Driveway

I hope you had a fantastically fun 4th of July!  We had a big ol' block party on our street and it was so much fun! There is nothing like living on a street full of people you actually like!  Imagine that! We have several of these little block parties a year and I look forward to them.  Also, it's handy to be steps away from your house on late night's like these. 

I'm a fan of sweet fruity flavored drinks so this was perfect for me. 

I'm not sure where the name came from, or maybe I just don't want to know. :)  If you like fruity drinks you're going to really like this, perfect for pool parties!

Sex in the Driveway
Recipe from The Daily Noff

  • 1 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 1 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 2 oz. Vodka, I used dragon fruit but citrus is good too.
  • top it off with Citrus flavored soda like 7up
  1. Mix all the ingredients (except the soda) and put into a big glass with ice. Top it off with soda.

July 1, 2013

Some 4th of July Favorites

This Crepe Cake is a show stopper.  If you're looking for a dessert that will make people's eye's grow wide and mouth start to water, this is it.

Sour Cream Blueberry Pie has 4th of July written all over it!

PW's Barbecue Sauce will make any barbecue better.

Nellie & Joe's Tropical Ice is so cool and refreshing that it'll cool you down from the 4th of July sizzle.

Fudge Pop's are a family favorite, just try to find a kid who doesn't like them!

Blueberry Raspberry Cobbler has all the 4th of July colors! Doesn't hurt that it's delicious too.

How about a yummy Peach Margarita to cool you off?

Peach Cobbler is one of my favorites!  This recipe will rock your world.

I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July!