Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day!

Can you believe it’s almost here? Most children have returned to school, and the fall sports have started. There are signs of fall all around, from the leaves that have started to fall to the pots of colorful mums on sidewalks in front of stores to the noticeably shorter daylight hours. It just doesn’t seem right, though, that the temperature and humidity soar while we have glimpses of fall. The air conditioners are getting a workout lately, that’s for sure!

I did a post last year for Labor Day about its history, and that’s probably quite enough. If you’d like to read it, just go the the Archived posts and check out the August 27, 2012 post - it also includes a delicious potato salad recipe. For now I’ll just ramble on a bit about a lot of nothing. It’s been a very busy work week, and I’ve put in several 12-hour days. Today is slower, but that doesn’t help my tired brain work any better. Add tons of work to housework to caregiving, and you have one tired lady here! We work at home, which is good because we don’t spend time commuting, but sometimes it gets a little difficult to keep concentrating on the work at hand.

The dinners haven’t been very creative this week, mostly whatever I could prepare quickly so I could get back to work. Now I’m making plans for a Labor Day cookout and for a family reunion next Saturday. Love those reunions and family gatherings!

For the cookout I’m thinking we’ll have grilled steak and Italian sausages with peppers prepared  in the slow cooker. And, of course, there must be potato salad and baked beans.

To do the sausages, just put them in the slow cooker. Throw in an onion, sliced and separated into rings, a green sweet pepper and a red (or whatever color you like) sweet pepper, cut into strips. Pour in a jar of good marinara sauce and let simmer on low for several hours. If you want mushrooms you can either use sliced fresh mushrooms or sliced ones from a can, drained. Add them toward the end of cooking. Serve on good hoagie buns. I'll probably add some of my frozen pesto and some garlic to the sauce - spice it up however you like!

The reunion is more of a problem. There are so many great cooks and always such a huge amount of food that it’s hard to know just what to take. I do take something different every year, but there are some who have their specialties, and we’d certainly miss them if they didn’t bring them. This year I’m thinking either Mexican or Italian. These folks are good down-home people who love good home cooking, so I’ll have to give it some thought. And there’s always the dessert dilemma….what to take, what to take? There are typically more cakes than pies, so last year I took pies and might do that again this year. Or fancied-up brownies of some sort. Or cupcakes. Or cake balls. Oh my….
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Today is National Marshmallow Day! Did you know that it takes 64 of the large ones or 8 cups of the mini ones to make a pound? There are recipes online for making your own, but when they’re so readily available it seems a lot of work! So pop a few ooey-gooey marshmallows in your mouth today – make it happy!

It’s also Slinky Day. In 1943 Richard James, a naval engineer, was working on a meter for battleships when he dropped one of the tension springs. Watching it bounce across the floor gave him a great idea – a toy! He and his wife worked on the concept for 2 years, and the Slinky came out for the Christmas season in 1945. They are still made today by James Industries in Hollidaysburg, PA using the original equipment. Each Slinky is made of 80 feet of wire. And aren’t they fun? Now, I'm probably giving away my age a bit here, but I do remember this advertising jingle - can you sing it?

"What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, 
And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing,
Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy,
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy"
- Advertising Jingle
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Playing With My Camera 

I’m trying to improve my photography skills, so I went out earlier today and just took random shots in the yard. Some were immediately deleted, but some turned out fairly good.  Here are a couple of pics.
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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
(Harriet Tubman)

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
(Henry David Thoreau)
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Wishing you a very happy Labor Day!

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cream Cheese Spread & More

I made this over the weekend, and it’s great on chunks of bagel or on crackers.

FLAVORFUL CREAM CHEESE SPREAD

1 (8 oz.) container whipped plain cream cheese spread
1 (1.4 oz.) package vegetable recipe mix (I used Knorr)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, or to taste

Mix all together in a small bowl and put back into the cream cheese tub. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. (This will allow the dehydrated vegetables to soften.)
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Today is National Dog Day. Do you have a canine friend? We don’t have a dog, but Rocco is our “grand-dog”. He’s been with our daughter’s family for several years. It’s funny how they become such a part of the family. Give yours an extra treat today!


(This isn't Rocco, but he is cute anyway!)
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“The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”  ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.”  ~Author Unknown
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TECHNIQUE  TIPS:
What do some of those strange cooking terms mean? And just how do you perform some of the techniques that are used in cooking? The technique for today is “saute”. 

To saute means to put a small amount of oil and/or butter in a skillet, get it really hot then add your meat, vegetables or whatever you’re cooking, stirring frequently as it cooks. This is different from frying, which requires considerably more oil or butter.
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Freaky! These popped up in our front yard overnight. We think they're called "Wood Mushrooms", but they also resemble "Jack-o-Lantern Mushrooms", which are said to glow at night - we'll check that out tonight.

Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stocking the Pantry





When it comes to preparing meals, having a stocked pantry can make the difference between ease and panic! It’s easy to prepare meals when the ingredients are readily available, but often we must make that emergency trip to the market for just a couple of things for dinner. And, if you’re like me, you’ll end up picking up “just a few things” and spending more money than you’d planned to spend.

Here’s a list of some items that are great to have on hand for all types of meals, and you, of course, can add whatever your family likes:

Canned or jar spaghetti sauce and marinara sauce
Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste
Canned beans of all types, especially black beans and kidney beans
Canned mushrooms
Canned green chilies
Jars of pickles, olives, pimientos
Packets of taco seasoning, gravy mixes and salad dressing mixes
Chicken and beef broth in cans or boxes and bouillon cubes
Olive and vegetable oils, solid shortening
Flavored vinegars (balsamic, red wine, etc.)
Dry pasta in different shapes
Condensed mushroom and cream of chicken soup
Salsa and taco sauce
Baking mix (such as Bisquick) and corn muffin mixes
All-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar
Baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch
Jars of minced garlic

Salt and pepper, as well as any herbs and spices you like
Peanut butter, jellies and jams
Pancake mix, syrup and honey
Pudding and gelatin mixes, canned pie filling, cake and brownie mixes

Simply put, stock the pantry with non-perishable foods, then all you’ll have to buy weekly are dairy products, meats and other perishable items.

If you’re like me you’ll have to hunt to find space for your pantry goods – I have an old entertainment center in the basement and a small metal cabinet with shelves in the kitchen. And, of course, the Hoosier cabinet! We all should be able to find room somewhere for food storage. Any cabinet or shelf will work.
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Today is Be An Angel Day, so be one!

Coming up are National Waffle Day (August 24), Kiss And Make Up Day (August 25) and National Dog Day (August 26).

Celebrate just for the sake of celebrating! Consider all your blessings and be grateful for them. And take some time to relax this weekend. I know it’s easier said than done, but I hope we’ll all give it a try.
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 "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Love Those Canning Jars!


The first Mason jar was developed in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason. Those glass jars have been made by other companies since then, the most well-known being the Ball Corporation. Through the years they’ve been called Mason jars, canning jars, fruit jars and Ball jars.

The jars consist of 3 parts – the glass jar, a flat lid with seal and a ring or band that screws onto the jar. The jars and rings can be used multiple times, of course, but the flat lids are meant for one-time use only as the seal would not be tight with multiple uses. Some early jars had a wire bail closure, and the zinc lids have been popular to collectors.

These jars have been highly collectible over the years, and can be found at flea markets, yard sales, antique stores, etc. They are primarily clear glass, but some blue jars can fetch a pretty high price. You can also find half-gallon and gallon sizes.

My mother canned quite a bit over the years, everything from green beans to tomatoes. I remember that old pressure canner hissing away while the jars inside heated and sealed – it terrified me! I normally freeze foods rather than can, but have been known to make jams and apple butter. One year I tried a pumpkin butter recipe that was so good…I’ll have to try that one again.

Jars have been used over the years for purposes other than canning, too. They’re great for storage – I have several that contain old buttons! They make great drinking glasses and vases for flowers. In the photo above you'll see a lamp - a jar filled with shells and with a shell-stencilled shade. Jars are great for cookie mixes and other similar recipes. They have recently become popular for desserts, such as mini pies, parfaits, etc. There are many recipes online, and new cookbooks coming out all the time with recipes for all these mini-treats.

I recently made a cherry cheesecake parfait that was so easy and very tasty.

CHERRY CHEESECAKE PARFAIT

1/2 package refrigerated pie dough
1 package sugar-free cheesecake instant pudding
1 can cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the dough to room temperature and flatten out on floured board. Cut into rounds with 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to rack to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the pudding according to package directions. In separate bowl combine pie filling and almond extract.

In half-pint jars place one pastry circle, then pudding. Top with pie filling. Repeat as many times as desired. Top with whipped topping.

This one is so quick and easy! But you could do any flavor combination you like - it looks like a perfect opportunity to experiment, doesn’t it? And they can be made ahead. Just top the jar with a lid and band and keep in the refrigerator until serving time.

Note: The first time I made something like this I used pint jars - way too much dessert! The half-pint jars are the perfect single-serving size.

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TIP TUESDAY

I’m sure you can guess the topic for today. There are two styles of canning – pressure and water-bath. The pressure canning is for low-acid vegetables, meats, poultry and fish. Water-bath canning is for high-acid fruits and is perfect for jams, jellies, pickles, etc. Pots for the two types are both large, but quite different. The water-bath canner will have a rack inside that typically holds 7 jars and a lid that just sits on the top as with any other saucepan. The pressure canner has a lid that locks and seals in place with a pressure valve on top. During the canning process this valve helps regulate the pressure inside the canner so that the cans will seal properly and the food will be preserved.

1) Always be sure jars are in good condition, with no cracks or nicks in the top. Again, the rings or bands can be used multiple times, but be sure to use new lids.

2) Be organized and work quickly so that food will be preserved at its peak of freshness. Have all supplies ready so you don’t have to stop and look for them.

3) There are tools available to make your canning project go much more smoothly, such as funnels that fit tops of both regular and wide-mouth jars perfectly, jar lifters, a tool to remove air pockets, a magnetic lid wand, tongs, etc.

4) Wash jars, lids and bands in very hot soapy water. Place lids and bands in a large saucepan of simmering water and leave until ready to use. Do not remove from water before ready to place on jars. Place jars in a large pot and fill with water until jars are submerged. Bring water to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Leave in water until ready to use.

5) Fill jars to 1/4 inch from top – this is called “head space”. Remove air bubbles with special tool or with skewer, then place lid and band on jar and process according to your canner and recipe instructions.

6) Follow your recipe to the letter and do not substitute ingredients. For example, do not substitute canning or kosher salt with table salt. Table salt can have iodine added, as well as an additive to prevent caking. Your finished product could be off-color or cloudy. 

7) If your canned product doesn’t seal the first time, try a new lid and reprocess. If it doesn’t seal the second time, either freeze or use the food right away. You can tell if the jar lid has sealed in several ways. One is to hear the “thunk” as it seals. Hold the jar at eye level – if the lid has a downward curve in the center it is sealed. And if you press down on the lid and it “gives”, it isn’t sealed properly.

8) If you plan to can often, it’s a good idea to stock your pantry with most of the ingredients you’ll need. Of course, the vegetables and fruits should be as fresh as possible, but you can store the following for quite a while:

canning or kosher salt
honey and sugar
vinegar with 5% acidity
herbs and pickling mixes
pectin, both powdered and liquid
ascorbic acid

Well, working on this post has really given me the “canning bug”, and I’m thinking it’s time to make some jam. My local market had blueberries on sale a while back, and I put quite a few in the freezer. A good blueberry jam does sound great. And I may just give that pumpkin butter another try. My husband loves the good apple butter that we make, so that’s also on my list, and I can hardly wait for the fall apple crop.

Let me know what you love to can – I’d love to hear from you. And Happy Canning!
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“I won all the blue ribbons at the state fair” (Loretta Lynn)

So she does much more than sing!
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Today is Radio Day, so turn yours on and give it a listen! I have several stations that I listen to, usually depending on my mood. It could be oldies from the 30s and 40s with those great old standards and crooners, or it could be early rock and roll from the 50s and 60s, or sometimes it’s classical or instrumental. 

Tomorrow is Senior Citizens Day. I am one of those – and deservedly so! I think I’ve earned every one of these gray hairs. So if you aren’t one, be kind  to those of us who are. Smile
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Bit of History…

Today is National Vinyl Record Day – a day to celebrate those wonderful discs that we’ve all enjoyed for so long. Today they appear to be having a resurgence of interest, and some actual record stores are popping up here and there. Although I’m sure they aren’t as inexpensive as they were back when I was collecting them, it’s good to know that vinyl records are still available for those of us who love them.











Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, and was the first to record and play back sound. The first recording was a recital of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, but it’s uncertain whose voice is on the recording. It was made on a strip of tinfoil wrapped around a revolving cylinder.

The first flat disc record was made of rubber by Emile Berliner in 1888. The first commercial vinyl records - by RCA Victor - came in 1930. But they were slow to take hold because during the Great Depression few could afford the expensive machines on which to play them. 45RPM records came in 1949, and stereo was introduced in 1957.

Of course, a lot has changed over the years, and CDs replaced those good old 8-track and cassette tapes that came after vinyl records; however, my husband has read that downloadable music has pretty much cornered the musical market and that CDs could be on their way out.

Back in the 1930s and 1940s, there were little recording studios around where you could go and, for a small fee, record your own music. Most of the time the recordings were for personal enjoyment alone. Years before I came along, my mother and aunt went to one of those studios and recorded a 78RPM recording of “Where The Old Red River Flows”. I can hear it now! And I recall listening to 33 1/3RPM albums of show tunes and lovely instrumentals at home. A couple come to mind: The South Pacific sound track and a song called “Lisbon Antigua”. The latter was probably on an album by the Nelson Riddle orchestra.

In his early teens my husband walked to a music store in town called The Band Box and purchased his very first 45RPM record. It was called “Seven Little Girls Sitting in The Back Seat” by Paul Evans and the Curls on the Guaranteed record label. Since that time he’s collected hundreds of records – some day we’ll need to transfer all that music to CD just so it won’t deteriorate with age.

In my teens I listened to the rock and roll radio station in the closest “big” town. While listening one day I called to enter a contest and….I won! I was so excited! I had won a collection of 100 45RPM records, and was just sure I’d be listening to all the greatest popular hits from then on. My father, though not at all fond of the music of the day, agreed to drive me to the station downtown to pick up my prize. When I came out with a big box full of b-sides and record label demos – and probably some old, unplayed ones from jukeboxes – he was not thrilled! Needless to say, they didn’t get a lot of play time on my little portable record player.

Last Christmas we enjoyed listening to the Christmas 33 1/3 albums that we collected years ago, many of them either free or for $1.00 or so at gas stations and dime stores. You know, I do miss the good old days!
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Last night’s dinner was a pot roast. The recipe for this roast has been going around the internet for quite a while, and I’ve made it several times. It’s a flavorful, simple recipe. I’m not sure where it originated, and cannot provide attribution for the recipe.

3 PACKET ROAST

1 boneless roast, 2-3 pounds
1 packet ranch salad dressing mix
1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 cup water

Place the roast in the slow cooker and sprinkle with contents of all 3 packets. Pour water around meat in bottom of cooker. Cover and cook on Low 7-8 hours or until tender.

That’s all there is to it! Delicious and juicy, with plenty of sauce to pour over mashed potatoes or noodles.
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Today is also IBM PC Day and Sewing Machine Day. Tomorrow is International Lefthanders Day - I'm one of those! The 14th is VJ Day - an important historical event to commemorate. Please see the "Holidays" page for a full listing.
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NOTE: This is the last post for this week as my husband and I are taking a well-deserved short vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Please come back next week to see what’s going on in Grammie’s Kitchen!
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Do You Do With Leftovers?

We all have that problem, don’t we? There are always leftovers, no matter how well we try to plan meals. But with the cost of food these days we just can’t throw them out! I try to be creative and disguise them as much as possible, but sometimes it just can’t be done. Here are a few ideas:

Mashed Potatoes:

1) Add egg, flour and chopped onion and mix till stiff. Form into patties and fry in butter – potato pancakes!

2) Do the same thing as above, but roll into balls then in panko or dry bread crumbs and bake until light brown. Spraying with cooking spray will help the browning process.

3) Make shepherd’s pie and top with mashed potatoes. Top with cheese and bake.

4) Stir chopped onion, garlic and sour cream into the potatoes and put in casserole sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until hot. Top with cheese if desired.

5) You can freeze them if needed. They will thaw out a bit watery, though, and will thicken a bit when heated.

Roast Chicken:

1) Make chicken noodle soup. You’ll need chicken broth, carrots, celery, onions, seasonings such as poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, parsley and, of course, noodles. Shred or chop the chicken and add when veggies are tender.

2) Make chicken and dumplings or chicken and noodles. Either one is delicious!

3) Make chicken salad. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Mix with finely chopped onion, sweet relish (drain it a bit), finely chopped celery. Stir in mayonnaise and season as desired.

4) There are tons of good chicken casseroles! To prepare leftover chicken for these, chop it and wrap in 1-cup portions, then freeze. Recipes will usually call for 2 or 3 cups, so it will be measured out and ready to go.

Meatloaf:

1) Meatloaf melts are one of our favorite sandwiches. Heat the meatloaf on a pan in the oven, put cheese on top and let melt a couple of minutes. Place on toasted buns and add mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Yum!

2) Crumble meatloaf and mix with cooked rice, tomato sauce, shredded cheese. Fill blanched green peppers and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until hot and peppers are tender.

Frankfurters:

1) Cut up and put in baked beans or scrambled eggs.

2) Slice in half lengthwise, fry in a little butter and make a sandwich.

Pot Roast:

1) Shred, mix with barbecue sauce or au jus for sandwiches.

2) Cut up and put in vegetable soup.

Pork Chops, Ribs:

1) Shred for sandwiches.

2) Slice thinly for fajitas.

Vegetables: Keep a freezer container filled with leftover vegetables for soup.

Bread: Make crumbs for casserole toppings.

Cereal: Crumble unsweetened cereals for casserole toppings and sweetened cereals for dessert toppings.

These are just a few ideas for using up those leftovers – I’m sure you all have your own ways of preserving them and saving money.
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"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing
but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."
Calvin Trillin 
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Today is Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night – if your garden has given you more zucchini than you can handle, be sure to share some!

Tomorrow is Rice Pudding Day. Do you love it? Give this a try: Prepare a package of  vanilla pudding mix as directed on the box and stir in some leftover cooked rice. Add a little vanilla and/or cinnamon if desired. Quick rice pudding! To make it even more creamy, stir in some whipped topping.

Kool Aid Days start tomorrow (the 9th through 11th). They are always held the second weekend of August.
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tip Tuesday is Going Bananas!

Because I just made a loaf of delicious banana bread over the weekend I decided that bananas should be the topic for today. Around here we don’t seem to eat all the bananas I buy before they start getting that speckled appearance – and no one wants them at that point. I started throwing the whole banana into the freezer when it’s getting too ripe.

When I decided to use them for the bread I pulled 5 out of the freezer and put them in a colander in the sink to thaw. After a while they were ready to peel and mash, and the 5 made just enough for a loaf of bread. Give this recipe a try…it’s quite easy and yummy!


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BANANA-NUT BREAD

1 1/3 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups Bisquick mix
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom only of a 9 x 5” loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients until well blended. Stir in Bisquick and nuts. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.

(Recipe from Betty Crocker Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook, published in 2009. Available at Amazon starting at $.01 plus shipping!) The book is hardcover, with 416 pages. Recipes include everything from appetizers to desserts – and don’t forget those impossible pie recipes!

Notes: A frozen banana has less volume than a fresh banana, so it took more than called for in the recipe. I used an artificial sweetener blend rather than sugar. The nuts used were walnuts. 

TIP TUESDAY

So while we’re on the subject of bananas, here are some helpful tips for you:

1) When you get the bunch of bananas home, separate them at the stem, and they won’t ripen as quickly.

2) Bananas are typically picked while still green. If they ripen before picking they lose their taste and texture. Picking while green allows the bananas to be shipped over long distances before ripening fully.

3) The best place to store and ripen bananas is between 60 and 70 degrees. Do not store them in the refrigerator as they will ripen too quickly.

4) 1 cup mashed banana = 2 to 3 bananas. 1 cup sliced banana = 1 medium or 2 small bananas. 

5) An average banana contains about .6 grams fat, and a fully ripe banana contains about 20% sugar. A small banana will have about 80 calories, and a medium one about 100. 

Ideas for using bananas:

Banana Pops – peel banana and cut in half crosswise. Insert a popsicle stick into the cut end, then stick in freezer for a few minutes. Take out of freezer and dip into melted chocolate, then roll in crushed nuts, coconut, sprinkles or whatever you like. Return to freezer.

Foster Ice Cream Topping – melt butter in skillet and add brown sugar. Stir till sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Stir in sliced banana and saute just a few minutes. Stir in a small splash of vanilla. Serve over vanilla ice cream and top with chopped, toasted nuts.
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A couple of humorous banana quotes:

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

"I'm getting so old, I don't even buy green bananas anymore." - Chi Chi Rodriguez
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The FREE Christmas Cookie E-Book is still up for grabs. Get yours today by emailing me at fromgrammieskitchen@gmail.com (for an emailed version) or by going to www.thecottagepantry.com for an immediate download.
I hope you’ll all take advantage of this free special – the book has 400 great recipes just in time for planning your holiday baking!
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Today is National Root Beer Float Day - doesn't that sound tasty? I love those things, and they might just be on the dessert menu for tonight!

It's also National Night Out Day, an event which was established by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) in 1984, with the first Night Out being Tuesday, August 7 of that year. National Night Out is held annually on the first Tuesday in August (in Texas, the first Tuesday in October). Every year since then the number of participants has grown. The purpose is to bring neighbors together for the betterment of neighborhoods, to prevent crime and provide emergency information. It also builds a sense of community in those who take part. So, if you can, turn on your outside light and step outside to see what's going on in your neighborhood!
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Great New Recipe!

It's been a while since I've tried anything new, but the recipe experiment I started a few months ago continues! I found this one yesterday and, since my husband and son (and I) love Mexican food, had to give it a try last night. It was definitely a keeper, and one that will be in my repertoire from now on. Everyone enjoyed it, and said they ate too much because it was just so good!

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QUICK-FIX BEEF BURRITO SKILLET
1 pound lean ground beef
1 package (1 1/4 oz.) taco seasoning mix
1 can (15 1/2 oz.) red kidney beans, drained 
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup water
4 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into 1/2” pieces 
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large green onion, chopped 

Brown the ground beef; drain. Stir in the next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low heat 5 minutes. Stir in tortilla pieces and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes till the cheese melts. Top with sour cream and onion.

(A Kraft recipe, found at http://www.kraftrecipes.com. I read a small portion of the 522 online reviews, and they were positive, with some good ideas for making the recipe your own. Thank you, Kraft!) 

Notes: I used black beans instead of kidney beans, and added a cup of frozen corn (thawed). I used Fiesta blend shredded cheese. The only tortillas I had on hand were the large ones, so I only used 4 of them. The sour cream and onion were available on the side, as well as chopped tomatoes and salsa. This recipe made quite a bit for 4 servings. Rice and a few tortilla chips were all that we needed to finish off this meal.
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I have a request for readers of this blog. If you enjoy reading it and find something interesting or helpful or of use, please recommend From Grammie’s Kitchen to your friends! Readership of blogs is of the utmost importance, and all bloggers aim to grow their readers and memberships. Thanks for your continued support!
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Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!