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So I decided to pull one of my cookbooks off the shelf and try some new recipes. I chose “The New York Times Cookbook” 1990 edition. It looked so promising with its 762 pages of recipes, but so far I’m not impressed. I don’t want to jump the gun as I’ve only tried 3 recipes, but 2 of the 3 were not good at all! Lets start with the two I didn’t care for. I tried “Kung Pao Shrimp with cashew Nuts” (pg.267), last Sunday for my families dinner night (Asian themed). It had such an overpowering taste of vinegar that it was hard to enjoy. You would think that you couldn’t go wrong with shrimp and cashews but vinegar was definitely where the problem lied. Good thing my Mom’s sweet and sour chicken turned out great! I’ll try to get her to write down the recipe.     Last night I made “Julie Wilson’s Wild Rice And Mushroom Soup” (pg. 67). I love soup and I thought this one sounded great. Well,,, after hours of soaking mushrooms, steaming wild rice, sauteing, and simmering I was left with a soup that was edible but not enjoyable. Not what I was expecting after all that work and a messy kitchen! My daughter said it was “disgusting” and she is my soup lover. I wouldn’t go that far, but it definitely wasn’t yummy!        The 1 recipe that everyone liked was “Apple Oatmeal Crisp” (pg. 721). However I did not follow the recipe. I used 4 apples 3 T. sugar and I doubled the oatmeal topping and served it with vanilla ice-cream. Either way it turned out great and everyone enjoyed it!       I am not going to give up on this Cookbook yet! I have 62 more recipes tagged to try, there is bound to be some good ones. I’ll keep you posted!

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Almond bars

Here is the Almond Bar recipe I made for my grandparents Anniversary. I have had this recipe for years. I love almond desserts! I have about 4 different Almond Bar recipes and I like them all. This one has a yummy frosting!

Almond Bars

2 Eggs

1 C. Sugar

1 C. Cake Flour

1/2 C. Butter (melted)

2 t. Almond Extract

Pre heat oven to 350

Spray a 9″ square pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar together. Fold in cake flour. Add melted butter and almond extract. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 min.

Cool and frost.

Almond Butter Frosting

Beat 2 T. softened butter, 1 C. powdered sugar, 1 T. milk, and 1/2 t. almond extract until creamy. Spread on bars. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Enjoy!

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I really don’t have a recipe for my antipasto platter. Every time I make one it is different. They generally will have some type of cheese, Italian meets, fruits, veggies, breads, and/or olives. Whatever I’m feeling like at that moment. I love to make them! They are pretty, (at least the ones I make are 🙂 ) fun to eat, and yummy! Every special gathering I have ever had growing up has had some type of antipasto platter out before the meal. I make them a little different now then the ones I had growing up. NO anchovies on celery, Yuk Yuk Yuk. Sorry Grandpa!

Here is a picture of the last one I made.

Here are some pictures of how I assembled it.

After I rolled my prosciutto and basil over the mozzarella, I secured the bundle with a toothpick (which also made it easy for everyone to pick up and eat). Then I sprinkled an Italian dressing over the top ( lightly). We make our own with olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings, but a bottled dressing would work fine.

Then I rolled the prosciutto around some cantaloupe as well. My Grandma likes this. It has a sweet and salty taste.

The rest is just placement.   Serve and enjoy!

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We had a family get together this weekend for my grandparents 55th wedding anniversary. My family means so much to me. When we get together it is always a good time and of course there is always a lot of good food. We had an Italian feast! My Aunt Rae made my Great Grandmothers Sausage And Peppers, my Aunt Lynne made Eggplant Parmesan, and my mom made Pasta and Sauce. I made an antipasto platter, salad, and Almond bars for dessert. Like with most of our meals there was fresh bread and wine. Everything was so delicious! I have yet to have better, anywhere! I could be partial but that is just my opinion.

I know, a lot of red. The base for most italian dishes is tomato, at least the ones that we eat more often are. I will post the pictures for my antipasto platter and almond bars next.

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Blackberry Lemonade

We were given a big bag of lemons from a friend a couple of weeks ago. I put the lemons in a bowl in the kitchen and there they have been, untouched, for two weeks! I absolutely love all things lemon. So I decided it’s time to do something with them before it’s to late. This past weekend I made lemon muffins that turned out great! I’ll try to post that recipe later. Today I made blackberry lemonade! My kids love blackberries. A basket of blackberries wont last more than 1 day at my house. So since I have all these lemons and my kids love blackberries I decided to try this recipe. It is out of one of my Taste Of Home magazines. The June/July 2003 issue. I changed it just a tad. Either way it is easy to make and tastes delicious and refreshing.

Blackberry Lemonade

4 C. water, divided

1 C. sugar

1 C. lemon juice

1 C. blackberries

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and sugar to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining water. In a blender, combine 1 cup of the lemon mixture and the blackberries, cover and process until blended.


Strain and discard seeds. Pour blackberry mixture and remaining lemon mixture into a pitcher, stir. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice. I like to put a couple of fresh blackberries and a slice of lemon in each glass. Enjoy!



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Baked Chicken

I came up with this recipe awhile back when my husband was asking me to make some baked chicken. It was a, what do I have on hand moment…… This is what I came up with. It has been a family favorite ever since. Up untill now I had never written down this recipe so I had to make it last night and try to write it down as I went. A lot of my created recipes are done by sight and taste, so writing them down isn’t always the easiest task. I hope this works fine. Remember I’m cooking for a family so this recipe could be halved if needed. I figure two pieces of chicken per person, give or take a little. So this recipe should serve 6 people fine.

The ingredients are:

12 chicken thighs (bone in skins removed)

2 C. Bread Crumbs (Italian Style)

2 C. French Fried Onions

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1 C. milk

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 Egg

1 stick butter (melted)

The first thing I do is get my milk mixture started. Get a shallow dish and put in milk and crushed garlic. I like to do this first so that the garlic has time to flavor the milk. Set the dish aside and get the crumb mixture ready.

Mix Bread Crumbs, French Fried Onions, Salt, and Pepper all in a shallow dish. I use my hands and crush the onions up a bit in the mixture.

Next get your chicken ready. The crumb mixture makes a nice crunchy coating so you don’t need the skin. Even my husband who is a fan of crunchy skin does not complain.

Once your chicken is ready, get your milk mixture and add the egg. Mix to combine. Dip chicken in milk then in crumbs. Press crumbs on chicken to get a good coating. then place in a large baking pan (11×15). Once you have done this with all the chicken get some of the extra crumb mixture and press onto the tops of the chicken.

Last but not least, drizzle melted butter all over chicken and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Enjoy

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Hot Artichoke Dip

I received this dip recipe years ago from a friend at Bunko. This recipe is not only delicious, it is so easy to make. I almost always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry and can have this dip ready to bake in the oven in less than five minutes. I have served this so many times and never has there been any left in the dish by the end of the get together. It’s warm and delicious with the perfect balance of artichoke and parmesan!

The ingredients are:
1 can artichoke hearts in water Chopped
1 C. Mayo
1 C. Parmesan Cheese
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
Preheat oven to 300
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Put in a baking dish (I like to use my pretty green pie plate for this) and bake for 20-25 min. Serve warm with crackers or bagel chips. Yummy!

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