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Ciao for Now and Single Serve Cherry Crisp

Tis the season- for friends and family to join, for good food to be shared, and for goals for the new year to start filling up in our minds. Unfortunately, my reassessing my goals is making it near impossible for me to continue working on my crafting and creativity and to share it with the world. I am going to need to take a break… Although it seems like I’ll be cutting a lifeline as I really feel a need to continue with my creative process, I’m really just putting my wants to expand my handmade crafting business into a coma.

As you’ve seen in descriptions of me in my various online places, I’ve just got a lot on my plate right now- not a single serving of anything but a full dish of life. With the end of my husband’s lawncare business season, I had to reconsider what my priorities are with helping my husband’s business to grow so we have more income, and with working towards my “at home” income goals so I can be more available for my family and children and still provide a decent income.

I know I will have my creativity side satisfied for a while- in the sense that I’ll have the holiday season to make my handmade items for family and friends- but I know I’ll crave moments during the winter months where I’m studying but wishing I could be painting instead. I know I don’t have many readers, or much of a fan-base yet, but I hope to be welcomed with open arms in the future when I find that I can put priority into the creative part of me that needs to be promoted.

I may write the occasional story here, or post a simple recipe, but not much dedication will go into being on a schedule or being “theme” related.

I thank you for looking.

Ciao for now!

PS: To make single serve cherry crisp: Just find a recipe for cherry crisp that you like and make it in a cupcake pan with some heavy duty cupcake liners! (I topped mine with sliced almonds- yum!)  Then carefully pull out, set on a plate, and enjoy! A great recipe idea for a simple serve dessert during Thanksgiving or Christmas! Whipped topping or ice cream would make a good addition too!

Website Recipe Update: Peanut Butter Surprise Brownies

Ingredients:

You will need 1 batch of cake brownie batter (my favorite recipe is in my cookbook, you’ll have to decide which one you can use!) Make sure it can be baked at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes at least! And you’ll need the ingredients below for the Peanut Butter batter:

  • 1 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy for the peanuts)
  • 2 cups of packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of peanut butter chips or Reese’s pieces
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips for the cake brownie batter

Directions:

1. Make your cake brownie batter in a bowl, stir in the cup of chocolate chips, and set aside.

2. Begin making your peanut butter batter in a medium bowl by combining peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

3. Stir in flour and baking soda until you have a goopy glop in the bowl. Add peanut butter pieces and stir in.

4. Grease a large cake pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

5. Begin dropping large spoonful dallops of the peanut butter batter throughout the area of the cake pan.

6. Pour chocolate batter over the peanut butter dallops and, using a spatula, carefully spread the choclate batter around the peanut butter parts.

7. Bake for about 18-20 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the middle parts of the pan (in chocolate and peanut butter parts) comes out clean.

8. Let cool for a couple hours. I’m sure these would taste great frosted!

Halloween Breakfasts with Pumpkin

It is a little late for this post, I know. First of all, it’s 2:30AM my time- I’m exhausted but I’m up anyway as I am finishing up some of my canning and preserving (after midnight is a great time to write- by the way- it is SOOO silent in this house!). Second- it’s already the morning of Halloween. You’ve all probably got it figured out what you’ll be making for breakfast when your little goblins crawl out of bed. Still, I want to post my ideas for some pumpkiny nummies- and you can choose to save for future reference or use anytime you like. They also make great additions to Thanksgiving menus!

To your left you will see the image for my Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes. To your right you will see my Cranberry Almond Pumpkin Bread with Fall Spice Frosting.

For Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes:

Needs:

2 c whole wheat flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 15oz can of pumpkin

1 c milk

1 egg

1/4 c melted butter

Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients together in one bowl. Mix all wet into another. Combine in larger bowl until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour batter onto greased griddle and cook each side until lightly browned.

 When cakes are done, use a cute pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to cut out little pumpkin pancakes. You may want to let them sit in butter and syrup for just a tad- as my kids could tell that they were pretty healthy. I enjoyed them though!

Cranberry Almond Pumpkin Bread with Fall Spice Frosting

I am not giving a detailed recipe here with photos, etc. In fact- I’m only giving the Fall Spice Frosting Recipe as I don’t have an original handmade pumpkin bread recipe of my own. I actually use Better Homes and Garden cookbook for that recipe- and I just toss in a cup of cranberries and a cup of chopped almonds. So- you’ll want to find your favorite pumpkin bread recipe to top with this delectable frosting (feel free to email me for mine and I’d be happy to type it up for you and send it over!)

Here’s what you need- and just make it your first step to beat cream cheese, vanilla, and milk together until combined, then beat in the dry ingredients. Remember to refrigerate extras! This should be enough to top 2-3 loaves of pumpkin bread! (I think it would be great on carrot cake too!)

12oz container of spreadable cream cheese

3 c sifted powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c milk

1/c tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Do you have any favorite fall breakfast recipes? I’d love to hear your ideas or thoughts! Did you end up trying these? What did you think? Contact me here or visit my website at www.delightfullyperceptive.com to get in touch!

Happy Halloween!!!

Pickle Tasting Experiment

Yes, I have been gone quite a while. I got in a rut where I just couldn’t motivate myself to be on the computer updating, blogging, or sharing my creative ideas after long days of working my day job, working on my husband’s business stuff, helping my kids with homework, cleaning house and making dinners, and working through my garden clean-up and harvest. Now I’m attempting to get back in the groove.

I thought I’d share a fun experiment I did with my children after harvesting some of our garden produce- specifically the cucumbers and dill.

Here’s what we did:

I had my children list in their journals all of the ingredients that had to go into making refrigerator pickles. We then made a section by the ingredients where they would put how they felt each thing tasted on its own. After everything was done- they tasted the pickles. The results were so CUTE! I loved watching the little crinkled noses, the tongues sticking out, and the crossed eyes as each ingredient was tasted (especially the vinegar!)

My children were very surprised when the pickles turned out so much better than individual ingredients that go into making them! Now they make a great after-school snack or an addition to sandwiches or burgers!

Steak For Sudden Company

I was going to post this on the “Whats for Dinner” page… but the story behind this needs to be told to understand the reasoning for creating such a dish. 🙂

So- my husband had a family friend over to help with a certain large project he’s working on outside.  (I’ll be updating ya’ll later with what he’s been working on for me… can any of you guess?) Anyway- they got so lost in their work that they were outside until the moon had risen and darkness was settling. Of course, I wanted to be able to offer our guest to stay for dinner. I had steak laid out for the day- but with the rising cost of meat there was barely enough for our family of four to enjoy steak just grilled. I had to come up with something that would stretch the use of the sirloin- and voila- Steak and Noodles. 🙂

Here’s what the meal consisted of:

Petite Sirloin Steak sliced in strips and marinated in my favorite seasoning… (you choose your own!) then cooked to my liking (medium rare, well done, etc).

Cooked Fettuccine noodles

Garlic Alfredo sauce

Cooked pieces of bacon

Italian cheeses

Chopped black olives

So… mix it all together (including the juices from cooking the meat) and you have a very flavorful meal that is satisfying for everyone as well as sort of “fancy” as there’s steak in it. 🙂

What would you make for sudden company? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

Fresh Herb and Butter Croutons- Website Recipe Update

There are certain things a salad needs to make my husband and kids want to eat it. 🙂 Of course there’s ranch dressing- but it seems to them (especially my son and husband) a salad wouldn’t really be a salad without the croutons! So- with all of the fresh lettuce, cilantro, radishes, spinach, basil, and sage growing in my garden to make nightly salads with- I had to come up with some way to keep croutons available at the house without having to buy them every week. Here’s a simple recipe for those of you who have fresh herbs from gorgeous garden growth like I do and some few day old bread (homemade, storebought, whatever your fancy or whatever you have available).

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/8 tsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/8 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 medium slices of few day old bread (cut into small squares)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic salt

Other Possible Additions for Different Flavors:

  • Cilantro
  • Minced Garlic
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Oregano

Directions:

1. Melt butter in microwave in a microwave safe bowl until only liquid. Add minced onions and stir together.

2. Mix together finely chopped sage, thyme, and basil with the garlic salt in another bowl.

3. Dip pieces of bread one at a time into the butter then roll in herb and salt mixture. Place onto a small aluminum foil covered pan to fit into a toaster oven.

4. Once all pieces of bread are coated and placed on pan- top with any other “additions” you have come up with (garlic, cheese, etc).

5. Toast in toaster oven at 420 degrees for about 3 minutes or until browned (not burned).

6. Munch on a couple for a taste test then top your salad! 🙂

 

 

Fruity Breakfast Crockpot Bread- Website Recipe Update

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

With weather in the 90’s now I need to get up in the morning about 5:30 to get started on watering my garden before I head off to work for the day. Since I am up so early- I thought I’d come up with a way to make a good breakfast for my kiddos without heating up the house. I don’t have a bread machine, and I have read in various places online that you can make bread in a crockpot. So, in effort to make something totally inventive, I made up my very own fruit bread breakfast recipe for the crockpot. It is not a fluffy bread, but rather a moist and slightly sweet bread. I didn’t want to copy any recipe for bread that I had in my cookbooks- so I just mixed together many of the common ingredients of breadmaking and came up with this. I was pleasantly surprised and hope you’ll enjoy it as well!

Combine these ingredients in Mixing bowl number 1:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbsp margarine (I’m sure butter will work, but I didnt have any on hand)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package yeast
  • 2 cups fresh fruit (I chose blueberries and chopped apple pieces)

 

Combine these ingredients in Mixing bowl number 2:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice (I like almonds)

 

Directions:

1. After mixing each bowl of ingredients, pour bowl number 1 mixture into bowl number 2 (liquid to dry).

2. Stir and knead mixtures together until you have a dough.

3. Divide dough into 2 parts and place in 2 greased loaf pans. (I have a large crockpot…)

4. Place a few cups of water into the crockpot and place wire rack inside of crockpot (there are other varying ideas if you don’t have a wire rack- please contact me and I’ll be happy to share).

5. Place loaf pans onto wire rack and put lid on crockpot.

6. Turn crockpot on to 375 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Insert toothpicks towards end of baking time to see if done (toothpick will be clean).

7. Remove pans from crockpot and turn bread over onto a cooling wire rack.

8. Slice and serve with butter and honey for a great breakfast treat!

Other Possible Additions:

  • Strawberries
  • Raisins/Craisins
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Walnuts
  • Chopped Pecans
  • Chocolate Chips

Stay tuned for my posting of: Homemade Herb Butter Croutons- or go to my website this week to see it now! http://delightfullyperceptive.com/perceptive_delectables/a_delectable_recipe