Strawberry-Watermelon Slushies

This recipe is best during strawberry season, with fresh berries, but is also fine using thawed berries. I have even been known to use a couple tablespoons of strawberry jam in a pinch. Plan ahead a bit and keep frozen watermelon cubes in the freezer, so you can make this anytime! When we get a watermelon I cut some of it into cubes, take the seeds out, and spread it on a cookie tray in the freezer. After it’s frozen I put it in a bag or container and keep it in the freezer until I need frozen watermelon. By doing this instead of using ice cubes and fresh watermelon, your slushy doesn’t get watered down!

Ingredients:

2 c fresh strawberries
1/3 c lemon juice
1/3 c sugar
1-2 c frozen, cubed watermelon

Directions:

Blend the first three ingredients until smooth. Add watermelon a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. For extra flair, I like to serve it in a tall cup with a twist of whipped cream on top–what a wonderful classic taste of summertime!

Peach Pie

So…whatever you were planning to do after getting off the computer, you should reorganize your schedule, get some peaches, and make this pie. Not only did I think it was one of the better pies I’ve ever had, my husband compared it to apple (his actual favorite) and said that it was the best peach pie he had ever had. My father-in-law and sister-in-law also agreed with that statement…so I’m not just making things up! Seriously, do yourself a favor and make this pie. It’s not even hard!!

Pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie

5 c fresh sliced peaches
1 c sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T butter
2 T sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Stir together peaches, flour, 1 c sugar, and cinnamon. (If you let them sit while you are preparing and rolling out the pie crust, it makes the flavors bend deliciously.) Pour filling into the pie pan, slice the butter thin and place on top of peaches, and cover with the top crust. Cut whatever pattern you want in the top, and sprinkle the crust with 2 T sugar.

Bake 35-45 minutes (or longer, if needed), until pie is browned and juice bubbles show. If it starts getting too brown on the edges before it is completely cooked, you can cover it with foil. This is not a pie you want to underbake. Caution: this pie will almost certainly boil over–do yourself a favor and put a cookie sheet underneath it so you don’t have to clean the oven! 

Eat it warm with a scoop of ice cream…mmm. Wonder how long I can live on just peach pie… 0819151850

Banana Bread with Streusel Topping

I had a bunch of bananas that really needed to be used, so looked around for a recipe for banana bread. With a few changes, this one was a hit!

For the bread:

1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4  t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon
1 1/2 c mashed banana
2 eggs
1/3 c sugar
1 T melted butter

For the topping:

1/2 c flour
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1-2 T soft butter
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 bread pans well (bread will stick if they are not properly greased).

Mix together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Mix next 4 ingredients in a larger bowl, and slowly beat in flour mixture until well mixed. (I used my kitchenaid for the larger bowl, and it worked very well.)

Pour the bread dough evenly into the two pans.

For the topping: combine all ingredients, adding butter as needed to make a crumbly topping. Divide and sprinkle over the two loaves.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (I had one that was done right at 30 minutes, and another that needed more time. If it is getting brown but is still not cooked through, you can cover it with foil.)

Cool for a few minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on wire racks.

We ate this for breakfast, heated up and with butter on it. It was delicious! My husband also took some in to work, as we only needed one loaf, and it went over well there, too.

Wonder where I can find some more bananas??

Baked Fish

I have found several great recipes online lately, and although I never seem to be able to make something exactly as the recipe states, I want to keep the base recipe around for later inspiration. We had Baked Fish a couple nights ago, and it was delicious–here’s what I did:

2 large Tilapia fillets (1-1.5 lbs.)
4 T melted butter
2 t lemon juice
1 T garlic powder
1 t white sugar
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t thyme
1 T chopped parsley
dried breadcrumbs
grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish (I used olive oil from my Misto–it’s perfect for that kind of thing).

Clean and rinse fish fillets and place flat in the pan in a single layer.

Combine butter, lemon juice, garlic powder, sugar, pepper, thyme, and parsley in a bowl (if you melted your butter in a 2-cup measure, just put everything else right in on top) and stir. Pour over fish, spreading it evenly to cover it all.

Sprinkle with a layer of parmesan cheese, then top with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then turn the oven to broil and move fish to the top rack for an additional 5 minutes. Test for doneness–it should be opaque and flaky. Finishing it under the broiler helps crisp up the topping.

We really liked the combinations of the spices on the fish, and I served it with macaroni and cheese and watermelon, with peach pie for dessert. My husband said it was wonderful!

BLT Sandwiches

Bacon–Lettuce–Tomato–

So simple, and easily one of my favorite sandwiches! We had these for dinner last night, and they were delicious. I like to add lots of other things, too.

-Homemade bread, toasted
-Mayo (we like Duke’s)
-Bacon (I cook mine on a cookie sheet in a 375° F oven for 16-20 minutes–no splatters, no fuss, and it cooks nice and flat) {bonus: the grease can be poured off the pan into another container, and then used for frying eggs, potatoes, etc.!}
-Tomato, Lettuce, and Onion, fresh from the garden and thinly sliced
-Sliced cheese (a good cheddar is probably my favorite for these sandwiches)

mmm…I could eat these at least twice a week in the summertime when everything is fresh!

Wonder why I don’t…

Introduction

Hello, greetings, welcome.

I love good food, and I love making it. I also like it to look pretty, and I like sharing it. I decided to make a blog so I can share some of my favorite recipes and ideas!

What you can expect:

-Recipes I’ve personally made, that taste good and can realistically be reproduced with fairly normal ingredients
-Ideas for how to do things more quickly or use fewer dishes or dress them up a little
-Examples of what I’ve done to make leftovers into a new meal
-A genuine wonder and amazement that putting certain things together can make such delicious-tasting results. I just really love cooking and have a lot of fun with it!

What you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for:

-Lots of pictures: I like taking a picture of the finished product, but I’m not into the play-by-play-every-step-of-the-way picture posts
-A post every day, or even every week: sometimes we eat leftovers. Sometimes we go to other people’s houses for dinner, or out to a restaurant. Since there’s just two of us, I have to limit how much food I make in the interest of not letting things go to waste. So sometimes, there just will be nothing to share.
-Tons of things you’ve never heard of before: nearly everything I make had a base recipe idea that I found somewhere else. I usually change it up a little, depending on what I have in the pantry, how much time I have, and what I think sounds good. And I like to find ways of simplifying the procedure. But the odds are good you’ll be able to pronounce and understand the name of everything I blog about–without using a dictionary. 🙂

I think that will do for now. Shall we be friends?