Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Field Editor : Sounds Fancy (too bad my picture is crappy)

Field Editor for Taste of Home- it sounds fancy doesn't it?  Not really but that is how Taste of Home Magazine knows me.  What does that mean?  I send them recipes - they send me the magazine - not a bad deal right?
One of the recipes I've submitted is for Chicken Pot Pie.  I have my usual recipe - but this one was more a throw together kind of dinner.  I usually make a double recipe so I can throw half of the filling in the freezer to make an easy meal for another night.  Please note - the final "beauty" picture on this recipe?  REALLY not my finest work… ugh.  Some days there is just no way to make you meal look as tasty as it is… it just looks like slop on plate.
If you want to give me a review or a few stars - head on over to my recipe at Taste of Home - I'd love some feedback - if you are willing.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 small onion diced
2 medium size potatoes, boiled and diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp season salt
3 cups diced/cooked chicken
1 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 premade pie crust
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, cook carrots, celery and onion in vegetable oil until just soft. In a large mixing bowl, add veggies, boiled and diced potatoes, soup, milk, seasonings, cheese and chicken. Pour into greased pie plate. Top with premade pie crust and cut several slits in top of pie. Whisk egg and brush on top of crust. Bake for 30 minutes – until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Yield: serves 6

Note: Double the filling to make extra filling for the freezer.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Growing Something Other than Weeds

Having a garden was one of the best things about having a house with grass - so we thought.  Ok we still think that.  It's pretty amazing to be able to go outside and grab a few tomatoes, some basil and be able to whip up dinner fresh off the vine.
Something we hadn't figured on… weeds.  Our perfect garden wouldn't dare to have weeds - would it?  Guess that's what happens when you go to Alaska in the middle of summer for a week… the weeds got so out of control - we never did regain control.  Despite all those weeds - our garden has been producing very well.
We've had an over abundance of tomatoes - cherries and Romas.  Canning tomatoes is so easy - I'm not sure why more people don't do it.  Really folks - it's easy… you cut up the tomatoes, heat them up a little, add some salt and lemon juice to the jar, fill it up - boil it for a while - done.  Canned fresh tomatoes.  You could even throw some garlic or basil in there to make Italian Canned Tomatoes.
Give it a try - don't fear the canner - it's just a giant pot of water with a metal rack inside… easy stuff.  
Note: I usually do the hot pack - mostly because if you do the cold you risk cracking your bottles.  I've lost WAY to many bottles learning this tip.

Tomatoes Whole, Halved, Quartered or Diced - Packed in Water 

You Will Need:
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 lb ripe tomatoes (about 8 to 11 medium) per quart
Bottled lemon juice
Salt, optional
Glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.WASH tomatoes. Dip in boiling water 30 to 60 seconds. Immediately dip in cold water. Slip off skins. Trim away any green areas and cut out core. Leave tomatoes whole or cut into halves or quarters.
3.PREPARE tomatoes according to raw or hot pack recipe.
4.ADD ½ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice to each hot quart jar. Add ¼ tsp Ball® Citric Acid or 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice to each hot pint jar.
5.PACK tomatoes into hot jars according to raw or hot pack recipe. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar, if desired. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
6.PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner 40 minutes for pints and 45 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Raw Pack 1.PACK tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
2.LADLE hot water over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar, if desired.
Hot Pack 1.PLACE tomatoes in a large saucepot. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil gently 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
2.PACK hot tomatoes into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
3.LADLE hot cooking liquid over tomatoes leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, 1/2 teaspoon to each pint jar, if desired.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A bit of Christmas in August

Bayview Publishing and Craftways have released a new book for the Christmas season: A Cross Stitch Christmas – A Heartwarming Holiday.  You may notice a name in there that seems a bit familiar – ours!  We were honored to design a pattern for this year’s book.  It’s called Christmas Cheer on page 69.
Be sure to contact you local needlework shop to get a copy of this beautiful book.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Release : “Boo!” Not Disturb

Another new release for August!  “Boo!” Not Disturb will be available in the Norden Crafts booth at the TNNA Fall Needlecraft Market in St. Charles - August 16-17, 2014.  This pattern is exclusively available to those shops attending the St. Charles market until September 16 - then it will be available for full distribution.

“Boo!” Not Disturb shows off our friends trying out their Halloween Scares.  Somehow their smiles may not scare too many.

Call up your local shop for your copy of this pattern - be sure to let them know to head to the Fall Market to be first to get a copy.
Shops?  Not heading to St. Charles?  Call up any of our distributors - they have them in stock on September 16 and ready to ship out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Look! We grew something!

One of the most exciting things about having a house with grass was having a garden in that grass.  Well, it turns out we actually have a LOT of grass in our garden.  We went to Alaska for a week and came home to a wild garden full of weeds that we just have not been able to overcome.  Despite those weeds, we’ve still successfully grown quite a few things.  One of those things is radishes.  I am not a fan of these, but Andy loves them.  We had an excess of radishes so we decided to pickle them.  This recipe seemed the simplest and truly was easy.  Are they good?  Remember the part about me not being a fan of these little red hots?  Better ask Andy his thoughts – they sure are pretty – does that count?

Korean Style Pink Radish Pickles
1 pound Pink radishes
1 cup White vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup Water
Pinch of salt

1. Wash the radishes in cold water and clean/trim the root and stems.
2.Thinly slice the radish bulb and set aside.
3.Make the vinegar mixture in a small sauce pan by mixing them all and bring it to boil until the sugar melts (3- 4 mins). You can whisk it occasionally to promote the melting process.
4.Put the sliced radish in a glass jar and pour in the vinegar mixture. Let the jar cool down for a couple of hours and close the lid. Refrigerate the jar for overnight.
5.Serve the radish pickles when required. (I found that the pickles taste better from the 2nd day onwards rather than on day zero or one.) It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days with still a good taste and the crunchy texture.
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