Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cowboy Quiche From The Pioneer Woman Cooks

I have to say that I haven't made very many quiches. I made a few attempts many years ago, but I don't remember being very impressed by them.

But that's before I discovered Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook, and her recipe for Cowboy Quiche.

Ree says she's made this for years, and will keep on making it till the day she dies, because it really is that good. I think she calls it a cowboy quiche so the men in her life won't think it's sissy food.

It really is delicious, and I love that you can put in whatever veggies you have on hand. I used broccoli, but you could use asparagus, mushrooms, or bell peppers, too. Or you can completely leave out the veggies altogether, but I thought the broccoli tasted great.

The recipe calls for two onions, but I only used one onion instead of two. One of my kids isn't a big onion lover, and she was going to be eating this, and I thought two onions might be a bit much for her.

I also used a super easy pie crust recipe instead of the one used in the book. It came out just great, and took just a few minutes to put together and bake.

Recipe for Cowboy Quiche


For quiche crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk

For the quiche:
8 slices bacon, fried until chewy
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese


To make crust, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all ingredients in pie plate. Stir together with a fork until blended. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust. Bake for 15 minutes in oven, or until crust is golden brown.

To make the quiche, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Chop up the cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces. In a heavy skillet, over medium heat, fry the onions in the butter until deep, golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
Mix the eggs, cream, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the bacon, onions and cheese. Add 1 cup of veggies (if you choose to use any). Stir to combine.
Pour the filling into the pie shell, cover lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes.

Serves about 8.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Time To Fire Up The Grill With Hillshire Farm and Your Best Grilling Recipes

I have really been looking forward to some warm weather, so when it came, I was more than ready to get out the grill and start thinking about some good grilling recipes.

My family and I love to barbeque and eat out on the deck. But our Seattle area weather can be gorgeous one day, and rainy and cold the next.

We took advantage of a couple of sunny days to grill up some new Hillshire Farm American Craft Sausages that I picked up at Walmart.

Let me say right now, that I love these new sausages. I have bought Hillshire Farm meats forever, so I always trust that they will deliver a great tasting product, and they really came through with this one.

Delicious and flavorful, the new American Craft Sausages come in five flavors. I bought the Garlic & Onion, and the Smoky Bourbon flavors.

There are also Original Bratwurst, Jalapeno & Cheddar, and Craft Beer Brat to choose from as well.

These sausages are already fully cooked, so you can grill them, fry them, or microwave them in a short time.

We grilled them for about ten minutes, and they were smelling pretty delicious, and all ready to go into a bun with some toppings.

Sometimes we get fancier with what we put on our grilled sausages, but this time we just wanted the basics, good old-fashioned mustard and barbeque sauce.

I have to admit I have a bit of an onion obsession!!

I just love frying onions until they are soft and brown, and adding a tiny bit of sugar to help caramelize them.

I pile them high on all kinds of cooked or grilled meats. I have to say they were pretty fantastic on my sausages, and they totally brought out the flavor of the Garlic & Onion variety.

My son-law- was the grill master on the day we had this barbeque. Living in the Pacific Northwest, he has really enjoyed trying many of the local beers from some of the small breweries that we have here. So when I told him that Hillshire also made the sausages in the Craft Beer Brat flavor, he asked me why I didn't buy any.

That variety is next on my list to try for sure. If it's as good as the Smokey Bourbon, it's got to be delicious!!

I'm so looking forward to the summer months, where we can enjoy delicious foods, family and friends, outside on the deck.

You can find all five of the new Hillshire Farm Craft American Sausages at Walmart.

From May1st - 4th, select Walmart stores will be featuring a special demo of American Craft Sausages.

Pick up a package today, and #StartYourGrill season off right, with these new delicious sausages from Hillshire Farm.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Recipe For Strawberry Cake

This is another cake recipe from the new Martha Stewart's Cakes book. With all the strawberries that are now available at grocery stores and farmer's markets, this recipe is a real winner for strawberry lovers.

It's easy to make, and moist and delicious inside. Keep a close eye on the baking time, as you don't want it to bake too long and end up too dry.

We put some whipped cream on each slice, and it was a delicious, mid-week dessert that pleased the whole family. The recipe was quite easy too.

I've talked about the Martha Stewart's Cakes book before when I made the Carrot Tea Cake recipe.

I have to say that this book really is a keeper, and one that I can see using for many, many years to come. It has virtually all the cake recipes that a baker would ever need, and many of the recipes are actually very easy.

I know Martha Stewart recipes can be intimidating, but the recipes in this book are not. I love the book for it's simplicity and the down-right delicious cakes that run from every day coffeecakes, to special occasion birthday cakes.

Recipe for Strawberry Cake


6 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature, plus more for pie dish
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch ceramic or tin pie plate. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low, mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low, gradually add flour mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down, and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees, and continue to bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 60 minutes more. Transfer pie plate to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 8 servings.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Homemade Tastes Like Cheez-Its Crackers Recipe

My grandchildren and I love to snack. When they are with me, they know Nana is always good for a tasty snack.

I don't like feeding them snacks with lots of preservatives and ingredients I can't even pronounce.  So this recipe for homemade crackers that really do taste like Cheez-Its is one of our favorites.

It's simple to make, and you can even get the kids to help you make them. And a double batch is recommended if you have lots of little snackers in your house. They don't last long.

Recipe for Cheese Crackers


8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons ice water
sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all ingredients in a food processor, mix until well blended. Place dough in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.
Roll out dough and slice into small squares. Put them on a non-stick cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Slightly flatten them with a fork.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool before eating.


Recipe from Table For More blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Finding The Best Coffee Maker To Help Me Enjoy My Morning Coffee Journey and A Giveaway!!

Like so many coffee lovers, my day starts out with that first cup of freshly brewed coffee. For me, brewing coffee is a special beginning to my day. So I am beyond excited to have just gotten this gorgeous new drip coffee maker from Mr. Coffee®, and it's ability to make my morning coffee taste delicious.

Since I live in the Seattle area, there really is coffee to be found everywhere, and I do my share of buying coffee when I am in the city.

But for me, waking up to a quiet, early morning cup, really is the best way to start my day.

I got my new Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew™ coffee maker at Walmart, and while I was there, I decided to pick up a bag of coffee to celebrate. Yes, celebrate because I haven't had a new coffee maker in years, and I know this new beauty will be making me great coffee for years to come. For coffee lovers, a new coffee maker is a big deal for sure!!

When you have just bought a fantastic coffee maker, you have to buy some fantastic coffee to go with it.
Millstone® coffee is one of my favorites, and I always love opening a bag, and inhaling that delicious aroma. Especially if it's one of the flavored coffees they offer, like this Hazelnut Cream. It makes a rich and aromatic cup of coffee every time.

Millstone® coffee is available in light roast, medium, medium roast, and dark. Their flavored coffees are lightly roasted to allow the gourmet aromas and flavors to shine.

Love the flavored coffees!

Even though I spend a lot of time on the computer, my day starts with my datebook and that first cup of coffee.

It really is my special alone time, time to think about what I want, what I need to do that day, and catch up on mail, or read a new magazine.

I've been a mom for many, many years, and now I am a grandmother. I finally have time to drink my coffee at a leisurely pace, and it really is enjoyable. The special moments I enjoy with my coffee in the early mornings at my desk, are treasured.

Talking about how much I love coffee wouldn't be complete without talking about my father.

My dad was a Marine, and a gruff man who was busy earning a living for his family. He worked very long hours every day, but on the weekends, he made us pancakes. And every Saturday morning, he let me finish the last half cup of his coffee.

It was sweet with cream and sugar, and the aroma of that half cup is one that I can still recall to this day, some five decades later. That morning coffee was his love, shown to me in a way that he didn't have the words to express.

I also enjoy sharing coffee with my own grown-up kids. Plenty of heartfelt, happy and sad moments have been played out over cups of coffee for us.

The coffee maker aisle at Walmart was loaded with so many different kinds. Since I hadn't shopped for a coffee maker in years, I was surprised to see so many choices.

But I have trusted the Mr. Coffee® brand for decades, and it was actually the brand of my very first coffee maker. So when I saw this new Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew™, I knew that was the one for me.

It brews 10 cups of coffee, and has a stainless steel vacuum-insulated carafe that keeps your coffee fresh and hot for hours. It also comes with a Brewing Pause 'n Serve feature, Water Filtration, Removable Water Reservoir, Auto Shut-Off, and a Removable Filter Basket.

Of course, it also lets you pre-set it so that you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee whenever you choose.

And see how great it looks!! I have a fondness for stainless steel appliances, so this is one I am proud to display on the counter.

Good looking and hard working are what I look for in kitchen products, and my new Mr. Coffee ®  has both features.

I picked up my bag of Millstone® coffee along with my coffee maker, and couldn't wait to get home to try them out.

Pairing Millstone® coffee with the Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew™ coffee maker results in a great tasting, rich, aromatic cup of coffee, every single time.

Coffee is such an important part of my life, that I am quite picky about the coffee I use and it's brewing methods.

And I couldn't be more pleased with the results of using these two wonderful products together, for a great coffee experience.

My daily #coffeejourneys are something that are very special to me. I love talking about coffee.

Guess what else I love? I love giveaways!!

So I am super excited to tell you that I am giving away one Mr. Coffee® Optimal Brew coffee maker and a bag of Millstone® coffee!!!

Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and one lucky winner will be able to enjoy their own delicious coffee drinking experience.

**Giveaway Has Ended the Winner is:
Entry #307 Cathy K. following on Pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Disclosure: *Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts April 22, 2014 and ends on May 2, 2014 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. This giveaway will be fulfilled by Frugal Family Tree. This is a sponsored giveaway.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

edible SEATTLE Magazine and A Recipe For Kale Soup

You don't have to live in Seattle to enjoy this beautiful and useful magazine, edible Seattle.

If you have a passion for eating and cooking delicious food, using what foods are in season, and sharing it with family and friends, I know you would love reading a copy.

Delicious and unusual recipes like Spiced Parsnip Cake with Bourbon Brown Butter Frosting are just a sampling of what can be found in edible Seattle.

The January/February issue has a fantastic article all about kale. I have really come to love and appreciate this healthy vegetable, and now use it in soups, salads, smoothies, and as a pizza topping.

Last month I made this hearty and delicious Italian Sausage, Noodle, and Kale soup that I shared here. The weather is still chilly in many places, including right here in Seattle, so I thought I would share it again.

If you are a foodie, do yourself a favorite and read edible Seattle magazine. You are sure to love it.

Recipe for Italian Sausage, Noodle, and Kale Soup


 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground Italian Sausage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
 1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups egg noodles
1 medium bunch of kale, roughly chopped
 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
fresh or dried parsley for garnish


 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Break up and cook sausage through.
Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the other 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat, and add onions and carrots. Cook until onions are soft, 4-5 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning and garlic, cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the broth and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is just tender,
8-10 minutes.
Stir in the cooked sausage, kale, and tomatoes, cooking until completely heated through. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and serve with sprinkled parsley on top.

Serves 4 dinner size portions.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grammy's Peach-Custard Pie

I'm not the Grammy in the name of this recipe, but I wouldn't mind being her. She has created quite a delicious recipe here, and one that takes advantage of the lovely peaches in the market right now.

But this is also quite fabulous if you used canned peaches like I did, and much faster. Either way, this is a pie that everyone will love.

My grandson Jayden had a piece and declared it was delicious, so maybe I should start calling it 'Nana's Peach-Custard Pie'.

Recipe for Grammy's Peach-Custard Pie

I used an easy Martha Stewart pie crust recipe. This recipe is for a top and bottom crust, but you only need a bottom crust for this peach pie. You can freeze the extra crust if you don't want to use it for another pie right away.

Filling Ingredients:

3 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (about 5 peaches) or
3 (15-oz.) cans sliced peaches in juice or light syrup, drained and rinsed
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs


Prepare crust. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, toss peaches with 3 tablespoons sugar; let stand 5 minutes.
In a blender, place butter, flour, eggs, and remaining 1 cup sugar. Blend until smooth.
Stir egg mixture into peach mixture;, then pour into pie crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until filling has set, and top is golden.
Completely cool on wire rack. Chill about 4 hours before serving.

Serves 6-8, depending on serving size.


I originally published this on my Popcorn and Pearls blog, and it was so yummy I wanted to share here as well.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Soup


I love the ease and convenience of using my slow cooker, and this chicken and white bean soup was the perfect recipe to use it for.

The weather is getting warmer, but soup is still on the menu for me. Pairing it with a green salad, and warm French bread makes a delicious meal that is simple and easy to prepare.

I'm a big fan of freezing leftover soup in individual serving-size freezer bags. This way I can pull a bag out and use it for lunch whenever I want.

This soup is super good, and the jalapeno pepper doesn't make the soup terribly spicy, it really just gives it a nice kick.

Recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Soup


3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
cheddar cheese and sour cream to put on top if desired


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken, onion, jalapeno, oregano and cumin in oil for 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked, and vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute longer.

Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, mash 1 cup of beans; add 1/2 cup broth and stir until blended. Add to the slow cooker with remaining beans and broth. Add frozen corn. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.

Stir soup well before serving. Top with cheese or sour cream if desired.
(I actually sprinkled red pepper flakes on mine for some added heat.)

Makes 6 servings.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Easter Book Review: Lollipop Seeds That Sprout for Kind Deeds and Giveaway #sponsored

We have many traditions in my home when it comes to holidays throughout the year. We are very loyal to our traditions but do allow for new traditions to be added to make the holiday even more special. This year we learned about a book that tells a cute little story about how the Easter Bunny learns of a tradition long forgotten where the Easter Bunny brings special lollipop seeds that sprout when your child does kind deeds.

The book is colorfully illustrated and a fun way to teach children about doing good for others. My son enjoyed the story. He loved that the Easter Bunny had brothers, sisters and a Grandma in this story. I thought it was cute that they live on the East Pole where it is always Spring.

The last page of the book has room to write the year and the kind deed that was done by your family.

According to legend, the tradition of Lollipop Seeds goes back hundreds of years.  But, it was only recently re-discovered by the Easter Bunny when he asked his Grandma about the meaning behind other Easter traditions like eggs and candy.
Once the Easter Bunny learned of the Lollipop Seeds tradition, he couldn’t wait to hop on it and start delivering them to kids everywhere.
The magic of the seeds lies in the heart of the child who plants them.  They sprout into lollipops on Easter morning, not by water or sun, but by kindness instead.

After reading the book I talked to my 4 year old about what we could do as a kind deed to make our lollipop seeds grow. He had a few ideas, mainly ones about animals but he did say we could grow strawberries and share with Grammy ( his grandma that lives in CA). I thought that counted as a kind deed, to grow a plant with fruit to help feed someone he loves. We made a wish of happy thoughts and tossed our lollipop seeds into the dirt in the yard. The seeds are not for eating, they will grown into flowers, my son and I bought a strawberry plant to plant for the kind deed.

We had fun reading the book, planning a kind deed and sprinkling our lollipop seeds. I know next year we will do the same. I love to encourage my son to do kind deeds for others and this book is a great tool to start the conversation of helping others.

The book includes two Lollipop Seed packs and plant markers.


To celebrate Easter and to encourage others to do kind deeds we will be hosting a giveaway for a copy of the book Lollipop Seeds That Sprout for Kind Deeds by Cherri Prince and illustrated by Marco Bester.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Limited to US residents 18 years old and above. Giveaway starts April 10, 2014 and ends on April 17, 2014 at 12:01 am EST. Winner will be emailed and has 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. I was not paid for this giveaway or post. The opinions on this item are 100% mine and may vary from others. The sponsor is responsible for providing the prize. I was sent a product to review for this post.

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