Saturday, April 19, 2014

Leader Enterprise - April 9, 2014 - Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung...slowly..and aren't we H-A-P-P-Y? After such a wicked winter, the sunshine is more than welcome. It’s definitely my favorite season of the year. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying sunshine. It tends to warm us up inside and out. 

This is the time of year we begin thinking about spring cleaning. I feel more like cleaning on a sunny day than a cloudy one, and realize it’s much easier to see dirt and dust in the natural light.

There are many uses for household products such as vinegar and baking soda, so I thought I would remind you of some cleaning ‘tricks’ using these simple on-hand products to help get your home sparkling.

Nontoxic Bathroom Cleaner: Here’s a terrific deep-cleaning cleanser recipe that works on any bathroom surface. It cuts through soap scum and mildew as well as any commercial bathroom product and costs just pennies. Clean Green!

Ingredients:

1-2/3 c. baking soda
1/2 c. liquid dishsoap
1/2 c. water
2 Tb. white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce spray bottle with closing cap

Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using. Spray on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water.

Remove Stains on Carpet: Lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar. Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.

Refresh the Fridge: Did you know that vinegar might be an even more effective safe cleanser for your refrigerator than baking soda? Use equal parts white vinegar and water to wash both the interior and exterior of your fridge. To prevent mildew growth, wash the inside walls and bin interiors with some full-strength vinegar on a cloth. Also use undiluted vinegar to wipe off accumulated dust and grime on top of your refrigerator. Of course, you’ll still want to put that box of baking soda inside your refrigerator to keep it smelling clean when you’re done.

Vinegar acts as an odor absorber. That in and of itself, is interesting. My favorite use for vinegar is to set a bowl of it in a musty room. It absorbs the odor and does not leave the room smelling like vinegar.

I found this one-dish casserole recipe at “Mennonite Girls Can Cook” blog online and it is wonderful! They have fantastic ideas and recipes. This would be a great dish to help use up your leftover Easter ham. Easy too. Recipe can easily be cut in half.

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU BAKE

4 c. chicken, cooked and diced
2 c. ham, cooked and diced
1 c. shredded swiss cheese
1 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
2-1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt, optional
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9” X 13” baking dish. Layer chicken, ham and cheese. Saute onion in butter. Stir in flour and whisk in milk; add dry mustard and seasonings. Cook and stir until thickened. Pour over ham mixture and sprinkle with topping.

CRUNCHY TOPPING

2-1/2 c. coarse bread crumbs
1/2 c. cheddar cheese,shredded
1/4 c. melted butter

Mix together until combined; sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with rice and a vegetable or salad and enjoy!

This is a delicious and moist bread to enjoy any time of the year!

GLAZED COCONUT BREAD 

4 eggs
1-2/3 c. sugar (I reduced it from 2 c.)
1 c.oil (or substitute half the amount with applesauce)
2  tsp. coconut extract
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. flaked coconut
1 c. buttermilk (see TIP below)
Coconut Glaze
3/4 c. sugar (reduced from 1 c.)
1/3 c. water
2 Tb. butter
1 tsp. coconut extract

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2 large loaf pans. In large mixing bowl beat eggs until fluffy. Add the sugar, oil, applesauce and coconut extract and beat 3 more minutes.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and add to mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add coconut and buttermilk. Pour batter into loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes. (Be sure to check after 40 minutes). Remove pans from oven and set on wire rack.
Just a few minutes before the breads are finished baking, begin making the glaze by combining sugar, water and butter in small saucepan. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute and then add in coconut extract. Slowly pour the glaze over the hot bread (while it's still in the pan).The glaze will soak into the bread and down the sides of the pan. When cool enough to handle, remove the bread from the pan and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack. Slice and serve or place in airtight container until ready to serve. (If you want to freeze ahead, wait to add glaze until after thawing).

TIP: You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 Tb. white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup; fill with milk; let stand 5 minutes before adding. 

Here's a couple of awesome desserts to consider adding to your Easter menu. They're both impressive!

OATMEAL FRUIT BARS 

1 pkg. (18 ozs) yellow cake mix
2-1/4 c. quick oats
3/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg or 1/4 c. egg substitute
1/4 c. brown sugar 
1 to 1-1/2 cans (about 20 ozs. each) any flavor fruit pie filling

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9"X13" baking pan with non stick cooking spray. 

In medium bowl, combine dry cake mix and oats; blend in the butter and egg until crumbly. Save out 1 cup. Add brown sugar to remaining mixture. Press mixture into prepared pan. Spread pie filling over mixture in pan.Top with remaining mixture; press down lightly. Bake 22-26 minutes. Yield: 12-15 servings  

                                             
                                                           No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER PIE 

1 9" Homemade pie crust, baked, or graham cracker crust (chocolate would be great too)
1 sm. box (4-serv.size) (sugar free) instant vanilla pudding
1 pint (2 c.) 1/2 & 1/2 
2/3 c. crunchy peanut butter
1-1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 (8-ozs) container Lite Cool Whip 
In small bowl, combine peanut butter and powdered sugar with a fork until crumbly. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine pudding mix with half and half; whisk for about 2 minutes. Stir in half the Cool Whip. Add about 2/3 of the peanut butter crumbles to the bottom of the crust, spreading evenly. Top with pudding and spread evenly. Add Cool Whip to the top and spread evenly. Top with the remaining peanut butter crumbles. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. 

Be sure to take time to enjoy the sunshine. As a wise 80-something friend once said to me.."do what you can, while you can".




Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, April 18, 2014

Special Egg Salad & Weekend Potluck #114

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 

It's soooo fun to have you come to our party....
We love all the yummy goodness you bring to our table, 
especially when you take time on a busy busy weekend.   

May you and yours enjoy a blessed Easter weekend. 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY...


Where I share something worth sharing...again

I had to share my most favorite EGG-celent salad with you.

This salad is dreamy, creamy and holds a week in the fridge - 
the cream cheese, garlic & onion powders make it extra special. 



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Quick Cinnamon Rolls by Kitty’s Kozy Kitchen

Recipes that caught our attention ~



Orange Supreme Pie by Serenity Cove

And, a personal favorite ~


Peanut Butter Easter Bird's Nests by The View from 510

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video Please use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

P.S. This is a POTLUCK! We want to share your delicious food on our table, not a DIY post for a chicken coop, ok?




Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crockpot Sweet Potato Chunks (WW Points)

If you're looking for a delicious sweet tater dish to add to your Easter menu, here it is!! *-* It's cooked in the crockpot, freeing up the oven for other things. 
(I also cook my ham in a bigger crockpot). 

This tasty recipe is in my newest cookbook, Love at First Bite

I've slightly adapted a recipe found in the Halfmysize.com Cookbook, from Hungry Girl.  (I added a little water to the 'sauce'). 

If you are fond of the combo of sweet taters and apples, as I am, you'll love this one too! Applesauce sweetens up this dish, naturally, and adds more texture overall to this scrumptious side dish. 

Each serving has 4 Weight Watchers (Old) Points..nutritional info below. 

TIP: I know sweet potatoes can be a real bugar to peel...I microwave mine just a few minutes to soften it up...poking a few holes into it prior.  Makes the job of peeling a bit easier. 


CROCKPOT SWEET POTATO CHUNKS

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
(about 4 medium potatoes)
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
(or 2 Tb. Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
1 Tb. water
3 Tb. diet margarine, melted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
(or 1/2 tsp. each cinnamon & nutmeg - my preference)
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted 

Place prepared sweet potatoes in crockpot sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix remaining ingredients, except pecans; spoon over potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 3 - 4 hours or until potatoes are very tender.  Toast pecans in ungreased skillet over medium low heat for 5 - 7 minutes (or place in bowl in microwave - heat in 1 minute increments, stirring between each, until you can smell that nutty fragrance.)

Sprinkle pecans over sweet potatoes; serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings 

Nutritional info per serving: Calories: 225; Fat: 7 gr.; Fiber: 4 gr. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck


Here's another lovely sweet tater dish you might like...
Creamy Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes




Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 Favorite Do-It-Yourself Recipes {Blast from the Past}

OH.MY.STARS!  This simple 3-ingredient recipe is the way to go. 




I am always in awe over this recipe.  The texture of the s.c.m. is thick like store-purchased...I can't believe it's only 4 simple ingredients either!




I love to add a tablespoon or more of this delicious pudding mix to apple crisp or overnight oatmeal. It's a great flavor booster.  
Mix can be cooked for pudding. 






Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bunny Munch Mix

I am always inspired by the awesome recipes Tina shares at 
Mommy's Kitchen.

I so love quick and simple recipes like this one, but decided to adapt her recipe...
by adding pretzels & peanuts to make it more like my White Christmas Mix. 

How can you possibly go wrong having a sweet & salty dish for everyone to nibble on, in between chocolate eggs?  {wink}

This is basically a guideline - you can add or subtract anything you'd like...but if you just stick close to having 6 - 7 cups of 'filler' to the white chocolate, it should be just fine. 

This recipe is what I used...be sure to check out Tina's recipe at the link above for an simpler popcorn dish.



BUNNY MUNCH MIX 

4 c. popped popcorn, kernels removed
(a 1 - 3 oz. bag microwave popcorn = about 6 c. popped corn)
1 (6 ozs) box Baker's White Chocolate Baking Bars OR
6 ozs. white chocolate chips 
1 c. salted peanuts
1-1/2 c. pretzel sticks
Easter M & M's, plain or peanut


Place popcorn in large bowl; add peanuts and pretzels; mix. Set aside.


In small bowl, melt white chocolate according to directions, being sure to heat over low so it doesn't burn. When melted and smooth, pour over popcorn mixture, mixing well to coat all the popcorn/cereal mix. Can add M & M's now or when the popcorn mixture has dried.

Spread on waxed paper. Break into pieces when dry. Place in holiday bowl to serve or bag into individual treat bags. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

A similar recipe...Honey Sweetened Snack Mix





Print Friendly and PDF