Sunday, September 17, 2017


Hot cross buns are traditionally an Easter season treat that reminds us of the holy nature of the season by making a cross shape on top of the buns, but Olivia thought outside the Easter season and outside the box by making this delicious treat in her bread machine.  You can still add icing if you like and it would be a delicious breakfast bread or just about anytime bread.  The combination of lemon rind and raisins or candied fruit is what gives this bread its delightful flavor.  If you have a bread machine and perhaps you haven't used it for a while, give this a try.  We think you will really like it.


  • Put all ingredients except fruit into bread machine.
  • Regular bread and light crust.
  • Add fruit at signal.  
  • After you've cooled the bread and removed it from the pan, make glaze adding sugar or milk to make consistency to drizzle but not run.
  • Drizzle icing on bread.
  • Sunday, September 10, 2017


    Fall is moving in where we live and the temperatures are starting to edge downward.  This usually means more people start making fall dishes.  Dishes featuring carrots, pumpkins, and various root vegetables and squash seem to take center stage.  If you like gooey and moist desserts, this one is for you.  If you like desserts that are one the sweet side and you want a recipe that is fairly easy but still very impressive, this cake is for you.  Olivia found this delicious recipe and made this beautiful creation.  Add this to your fall recipe collection.  We hope you enjoy this season as much as we do!

    • The 9x13 Carrot Cake recipe of your choice, baked and cooled (I used a box mix)
    • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
    • 8 oz Cool Whip
    • 10.6 oz Cool Whip Vanilla Frosting (Cream Cheese flavor if your store carries it, mine doesn't)
    • 6 oz (half a tub) of whipped cream cheese (must be whipped)
    • Approx. 1/2 cup caramel sundae sauce (just pour on as much or as little as you'd like)
    • Approx. 1 cup chopped pecans (sprinkle on as much or as little as you'd like)
    1. Leave the cake in the dish it was baked in-- this is not a free standing cake.
    2. Poke approximately 20-25 holes, spread evenly, over the top of the cake with the bottom of a wooden spoon. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over top, trying to fill the holes as much as possible.
    3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together the cool whip, the cool whip frosting, and the whipped cream cheese until smooth. Spread over top of the cake.
    4. Pour the caramel sauce over top of the cake, and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
    5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, really overnight is best.
    6. Cut into 12 squares to serve (you can cut more, 1/12 is a pretty large piece!).

    Sunday, September 3, 2017


    Olivia found this great recipe on a website called Hey Grill Hey.  This quirky recipe can be made in either a smoker or an oven and makes this delicious beef jerky.  The spicy sweetness of it makes a great jerky combination.

    I don't know if you have ever tried to make your own jerky but it can be great fun.  My father used to make a teriyaki jerky using a food dryer when I was a kid.  Boy was it good.  Beef jerky seems to be all the rage these days, at least it is around where we live.  It is a great protein snack, but you may have noticed it can be kind of pricey as well.

    The biggest complaint I have about store bought jerky is the consistency.  Sometimes it can be melt in your mouth tender and other times it is so tough it can rip out your dental work.  Making your own can help you control the amount of dryness, the texture, and the amount of spice or salt you use  If you have never tried making your own beef jerky, I would recommend you try it and experiment until you get something you really like.  .  Don't worry if you don't have a smoker.  Try the oven and enjoy!

    • 1 2-3 pound beef eye of round roast thin sliced against the grain
    For the marinade:
    • 2 cups Dr. Pepper
    • 2 jalapenos sliced
    • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder

    1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by half. You should have just over a cup of marinade. Chill the marinade completely.
    2. Transfer the sliced beef to a gallon sized zip top bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the marinade into the meat and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, or overnight.
    3. Preheat your smoker or oven to approximately 170 degrees. 
    4. Remove the meat from the marinade and dry each strip thoroughly by laying on paper towels. Transfer the strips to the grill grate, jerky rack, or cooling rack and smoke/cook for 2-3 hours (depending on the thickness of your slices, some thicker pieces can take 4-5 hours). Check often after the first hour to be sure your jerky is drying evenly. You are looking for jerky that is firm and still slightly pliable, but not soft. If you bend your jerky and it breaks, you've cooked it a little too long.
    5. Place the finished jerky in a gallon zip top bag while it is still warm. Don't seal closed all the way. The jerky will steam in the bag slightly and this step will make the jerky moist. The jerky will last 3-4 days on the counter or 2 weeks in the fridge.