Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homemade Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles
makes 2 pints

6 pickling cucumbers
½ bell pepper, chopped
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Wash and scrub cucumbers. Slice into a non-metallic bowl, leaving peel on, about 1/8" thick. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic to cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt and celery seed. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil then remove immediately from heat. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool; pour over cucumbers. Mix well; fill jars and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Enjoy a jar and share one with a friend!

Daddy's Favorite Supper

Skillet Chicken Parmesan
4 servings

8 ounces angel hair pasta (cooked according to package directions)
1 jar pasta sauce
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups bread crumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Heat pasta sauce. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish. Combine bread crumbs, spices, and parmesan cheese. Dip each chicken breast in milk wash, then in bread crumbs; repeat. Heat oil in saucepan over high heat. Brown chicken breasts on each side in hot oil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until done - about 5 minutes each side. Dish up pasta; top with sauce, chicken, more sauce, mozzarella and fresh grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Welcome Home Daddy!

This beautiful espresso cup and saucer candle
was a thoughtful gift from my sweet husband!

The morning is brighter.
The day is sweeter.

A song is lovelier.
A picture is prettier.

My heart is lighter.
My burdens are fewer.

My pillow is softer.
The night is safer.

Everything is better when you are home!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Cake
16 servings

2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
4 egg whites
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

for frosting
7 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups baking cocoa
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
8 whole fresh strawberries

Cream butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, on high until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold into batter. Fold in strawberries. Pour in to two, greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. For frosting, combine confectioner's sugar and cocoa. Beat in butter and milk until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Spread frosting over bottom cake layer; top with sliced strawberries. Top with remaining cake layer; frost top and sides of cake. Dip whole strawberries into frosting and arrange around and on top of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Enjoy!

Summer Morning

I can't think of a better way
to spend a summer morning,
then browsing in the cool comfort of the library
and strolling in the warm breeze of the farmer's market.
Can you? :-)