4/29/16

Friday Feature: Reynolds Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Baking Sheets

Friday Feature is a once a month post where I get to share one of my favorite time or money saving products or ideas ,and this month I am sharing Reynolds Pre-cut parchment paper baking sheets.

I am not getting paid to tell you about this product. (I will always tell you if I am!) I just happen to LOVE it!

I do have a silicone mat that I use all the time, but I also like parchment paper for some projects. I personally do not like those rolls of parchment paper where you unroll and tear off what you need. They are always too large for my pans and curl up all the time!

When the holiday rolls around and my silicone mat is already being used, I grab these handy precut sheets that fit perfectly into a standard sized baknig sheet. and you know what eles? No curling up of the paper!
A batch of my cinnamon-sugar pretzels in the prepping stage!

Grab a box for your favorite baker or candy maker. They will love you for it!


4/27/16

Garlic- Parmesan Alfredo Sauce

Making your own alfredo sauce is actually pretty easy! do not get intimidated! There are a lot of great recipes out there, and my recipe has become a combination of a few of them plus trial and error over the years.
How to make alfredo sauce

today I am serving mine over tortellini, broccoli, and diced rotisserie chicken.
 Printable Copy
Garlic-Parmesan Alfredo Sauce

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cream (can use all milk if no cream is available)
1 (8 0z) package of cream cheese softened to room temperature
3 Tablespoons butter (real butter is best)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:


  • In skillet over medium heat, melt butter. 
  • Add flour and whisk till well blended. 
  • Add in granulated garlic, milk, and cream, stirring till well blended.
  • Simmer over medium heat till sauce starts to thicken.
  • Add in cream cheese and stir it in as it begins to melt.
  • When cream cheese is melted in and sauce is thickened. stir in parmesan cheese.
  • Serve over pasta.


4/20/16

Lemon Pepper Pasta

Lemon Pepper Pasta. This completely wonderful dish looks simple, but oh do not be deceived, it is simply divine. addicting even.

Got a picky toddler who only likes "macamoni and cheese" as my 2 year old grand daughter calls it? They will gobble this dish up!

This dish is my daughters specialty. She shared the recipe with me and I am very glad she did!

She cooks the chicken up from scratch, but I am thinking we could use some diced rotisserie chicken as well. Just don't tell my daughter!

Jen's Tip:(Jan's daughter) Play around with the vegetable you use. Broccoli is a favorite, but today we used zucchini and yellow squash. (My grand daughter gobbles up zucchini like crazy, so the choice for me was obvious!) Asparagus in season would be wonderful too!


Printable Copy
Lemon Pepper Pasta

Ingredients: 2 cups Bow Tie Pasta
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 zuchinni, diced (or 1 stock of chopped broccoli)
2 large Chicken Breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning.
Sauce ingredients:
1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Cook noodles accourding to package directions.
  • In separate large skillet over medium heat, put oil, garlic, chicken pieces, lemon pepper seasoning, and zucchini. Stir occasionally.
  • When noodles are cooked through, drain and add to skillet with chicken.
  • Using the pan from the noodles make the sauce by adding butter and cream, 1 clove minced garlic, and lemon pepper. Let boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Pour sauce over pasta
  • Reserving 2 Tablespoons of paremsan cheese, mix in the rest of the cheese into the pasta.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  • If skillet is not oven proof, transfer pasta to large casserole dish.
  • Bake in oven at 350° for 30 min. or until bubbly.


4/13/16

Gram's Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper

Over on my families recipe blog we are trying to gather and share as many recipes from our Grandmother as we can. She is passed on and raised her 6 children during and just after the depression. It certainly had a lifelong impact on her cooking. She could whip up a dinner for any crowd stopping in, in no time and seemingly out of nothing!



Our cooking styles may have changed over the years, but documenting family recipes as well as just good old fashioned meals with good basic comforting ingredients really never goes out of style.

Here is one from my grandmothers files and is a perfect way to use those leftover mashed potatoes from a Sunday Meal.

Sloppy Joe Skillet Supper

Ingredients: 
1 lb. hamburger
1 med. onion diced
1 can tomato soup
1 package sloppy joe seasoning packet
3 cups mashed potatoes
1/2 cup grated cheese.

Directions:
Brown hamburger and onions.
Drain grease
Pour hamburger into 1 qt. casserole dish or bake directly in your oven proof skillet.
Stir in 1 can tomato soup and sloppy joe seasoning packet
Top with mashed potatoes
Sprinkle cheese evenly over the potatoes.
Bake in 350 ° oven for 20 min or until warmed and cheesy is bubbly.


4/6/16

Emergency Preparedness: Water

Close up of commercial water containers
photo: ready.gov

Water is one of the most important things you can work on in your emergency preparedness plan this year.



You will need water for drinking, sanitation, and cooking.
I recommend storing as much as you can. I store a combination of store bought bottled water as well as prepaparing my own water from my tap using 2 liter soda bottles.
My plan is to use the home prepared water mainly for sanitation (such as bathing, dishes, and flushing the toilet) and cooking. It is already clean and safe to drink so there really is no need for the extra commercially prepared water, but I prefer a combination of resources.
I also have water purification tablets, bleach as well as some portable drinking bottles that have very good filters in them for filtering out even some viruses and such that may end up in water.
How Much Water To Store
You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days.  This is for drinking and sanitation needs and does not account for cooking.
To determine your water needs, take the following into account:
  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
Ready.Gov shares the following information:
How To Store Water:
It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water, in order to prepare the safest and most reliable emergency water supply. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open until you need to use it. Observe the expiration or “use by” date. Store in cool, dark place.
If you want to use your own containers:              
It is recommended you purchase food grade water storage containers from surplus or camping supplies stores to use for water storage.
Before filling with water, thoroughly clean the containers with dishwashing soap and water and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
If you chose to use your own storage containers, choose two-liter plastic soft drink bottles – not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them. Cardboard containers also leak easily and are not designed for long-term storage of liquids. Also, do not use glass containers, because they can break and are heavy.

Using 2 liter Plastic Soda Bottles:

Follow these steps for storing water in plastic soda bottles.
Thoroughly clean the bottles with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap.
Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Mix the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. After sanitizing the bottle, thoroughly rinse out the sanitizing solution with clean water.
Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you do not need to add anything else to the water to keep it clean. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Let the water stand for 30 minutes before using.
A slight chlorine odor should be noticeable in the water, if not, add another dose of bleach and allow the water to stand another 15 minutes.
Tightly close the container using the original cap. Be careful not to contaminate the cap by touching the inside of it with your finger. Place a date on the outside of the container so you can know when you filled it. Store in cool, dark place.
Water can also be treated with water purification tablets that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores.
Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months.

How to purify water with bleach:
Clear Water: 1/8 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 gallon of water.
Cloudy Water: 1/4 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 gallon of water 
Mix together and shake well. 
wait at least 30 minutes before drinking or cooking with it.
Where to Store: 

Besides how and how much, Where to store water is the next big question. I store water in lots of nooks and crannies in the house. I have water under every bed in the house. the nice thing is that it is out of the way, still easy to access, and the kids cant shove their clean laundry under there! I also have water hidden in the corners of closets, etc.
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