Friday, July 27, 2012

Mental Health Week?!

Since my brain has been fried this week (and last week too as a matter of fact!), we’re going to keep things in sync here on Free Recipe Friday too.  We’re going to give you something fried

This week’s Free Recipe is Fried Rice. Who doesn’t love that?!?  I’ve made several attempts at this over the years, and they have always left me with the feeling of, just forget it, I will eat it at a Chinese restaurant.  You know what I’m sayin’?!  But THIS recipe is the best I have had – it may even be a close contender to the restaurant styled ones.  It’s tastes so fresh and I know what went in it!  So get you some chopsticks – it’s time to make Fried Rice!

3 cups cooked white rice
(leftover rice is perfect for this)
3 tbs sesame oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
2 tsp garlic - minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce
a couple of green onions - chopped

(This recipe was revised from one I found at 

On medium high heat,
heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan.
Add the peas/carrots mix
along with the garlic.
Stir fry until tender.
Lower the heat to medium low
and push the veggie mixture off to one side,
then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet
and stir fry until scrambled.
Now add the rice, green onions and soy sauce
and stir them all together until heated through.

Serve with some Roasted Cabbage
and you have a meat free meal!


Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm Screaminggg!!!

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month??? Thanks Ronald Reagan.  What's weird is, I think our family eats more ice cream in the winter months than we do in the summer ones.  What's up with that?!??

Did you know about 9% of all milk produced by U.S. Dairy Farmers is used to produce ice cream??  On average, American's eat about 6 gallons of ice cream per year.  That's per person - and that's a lot of milk and a lot of cows.

This week we are going to honor the dairy farmers across the nation by eating ice cream like crazy.  Let's get everybody screaming for ice cream!  Homemade, store bought, gelato, sorbet, frozen yogurt, it's ALL delicious - so scarf it up!

For this week's Free Recipe Friday, we made the old standby, Homemade Vanilla- a flavor that you'd think would be the easiest one in the world.  But many years ago, when we FINALLY purchased an ice cream maker, we had no clue which vanilla recipe to make.  We tried many...then one day my little sister gave me this one that she had inherited and I think it is the best I've ever had.  It's so very creamy - just like soft serve ice cream!  We made it the other day for my birthday.  It was delicious.  We barely got a snapshot before it was all gone.

Since this is my birthday week, we're throwing in an AMAZING extra for you too - Hot Fudge Sauce.  You just gotta have some ooey, gooey chocolate on that vanilla ice cream!  It's soooo EASSSYYY!  You. Have. To. Try.

So, go get that old ice cream freezer out of the attic...wipe the cobwebs off...drag out the rock salt and get busy!  (You can also use one of those fancy new ice cream makers that require no ice, no salt...they are AWESOME!)

an Ice Cream Maker of some sort
5 large eggs
1 cup sugar

1 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
(I used 2 cans)
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tablespoon good quality vanilla
(I used a Mexican vanilla)

If using a traditional Ice Cream maker,
you'll need about half of a box of rock salt
and one bag of ice, maybe more.

In a medium/large bowl, mix eggs
with a hand mixer until pale yellow and foamy.
Add sugar and sweetened condensed milk.
Mix for several minutes.
Add milk, cream and vanilla. Mix well.
Refrigerate for making ice cream later
or pour directly into your ice cream freezer
and proceed per
manufacturers instructions.

*You do not cook the eggs in this recipe.
If you have personal or dietary objections to using eggs,
you can make your ice cream without them
or use Egg Beaters.
Yes, I have read the stats
and yes, there are all kinds of tricks
about adding a bit of lemon juice
to the eggs to kill any salmonella, etc, etc,
but we continue to eat this along with
other recipes with a 'cooked' base
as well as recipes with no eggs at all.
Please do what you feel comfortable with.

Now for the bonus Hot Fudge Sauce recipe, mmmm!
Note that this is not like Hershey's Syrup -
it is a thick Hot Fudge Sundae type sauce.

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup evaporated milk or cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
(kosher or table)
1 teaspoon good vanilla

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT vanilla
in a small saucepan on medium/high heat. 
Bring to a boil, stirring often.
Continue to boil for
a couple of minutes.
(If it boils much after 3 minutes,
it will get too thick and fudgy.)
Remove from heat and stir in
your vanilla.  Let it cool a bit
and you can use immediately.
If making ahead, keep in a sealed container
and store in the refrigerator. 
To soften and make pourable again,
before using, zap it in the microwave
or set the container in a bowl of hot water
until it reaches a good consistency.

Now you're ready to pour it over your
yummy ice cream OR eat it with a spoon!


Friday, July 13, 2012


This week it is definitely time for something sweet around here at Free Recipe Friday.  Cookies are a  delicious and great place to start wouldn't you say?!?  And LEMON CRINKLES at that.  Honey hush.  Cookies are just the best - I mean, unless you are making chocolate chip ones, you pretty much always have the ingredients to throw together some kind of cookies - at least I hope you do.  The staples of cookie life...butter, sugar, flour, salt, eggs...if you have those, you can pretty much rule the world!  Even though this week's recipe is my second favorite 'crinkle' variety (chocolate ones are the BOMB and my sister makes the best chocolate crinkles...maybe another post?!) they are that's what we are cooking up.  I recently stumbled upon them and wanted to give them a try. 

½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
1-½ cup all-purpose flour
½-1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease baking sheets with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together
until light and fluffy.
Mix in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice.
Scrape down the sides and mix again.
Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined,
excluding the powdered sugar.
Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.
Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate.
Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball
and roll in powdered sugar.
Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin
to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}.
Remove baking sheet from the oven
and cool the cookies on the baking sheet
for about 3 minutes
before transferring to cooling rack.

These are so yummy and addicting!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Easy Peazy Breakfast!

Hello there all the way from Tennessee!  This week's Free Recipe Friday is coming straight to you from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.  We are in Chattanooga for the week with about 28 other family members...and all but two of them are staying in the same house.  It really is fun....until you need a bathroom! 
Despite being on vacation, Free Recipe Friday must prevail - even if it is midnight where we are.  Since this week is a laid back easy one, we will show you an easy recipe - Baked Eggs. If you love eggs like my family, you will love these!  Baked Eggs would be great any time of the week, day OR night.

WHAT YOU NEED: (makes 2 servings - double up for more)
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    (Oven safe bowls)

    Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes
    and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

    Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls
    (you won't be baking them in these)
    without breaking the yolks.
    (It's very important to have all the eggs
    ready to go before you start cooking.)

    Place 2 individual oven safe dishes on a baking sheet.
    Place 1 tablespoon of cream
    and 1/2 tablespoon of butter
    and a bit of the minced garlic in each dish
    and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes,
    until hot and bubbly.
    Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each oven safe dish
    and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese,
    then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
    Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes,
    until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked.
    (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.)
    The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
    We sprinkled some cheddar cheese on ours
    and some parsley to spruce it up!
    Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.

    You can even make it an all in one breakfast by adding
    cooked bacon or ham that you've diced
    and sprinkled on the eggs
    either before or after baking.