Growing up in Tennessee, family gatherings were not sparse. We got together for any occasion and then just to get together. With sixteen, grandchildren I can only imagine the chaos we caused my grandmother.
My Aunt Sue always had a Christmas morning breakfast. It wasn't just family, it was neighbors and friends gathering to celebrate the holiday. As kids that was the best morning. We opened presents, then got dressed to head to her house for the most amazing breakfast.
She has gorgeous Christmas china. I have had a fascination with it ever sense. Maybe that's why I now have not one set, but three. She had powdered donuts on the tiered platters. I know it doesn't seem that special, but when those little white rings are on Christmas china, they look pretty darn good.
One thing she always had was sausage balls. My mom didn't like them, so she never made them. Aunt Sue always had them. She would make them ahead of time and freeze them. So they are ready in a jiffy.
This is one of those foods that bring back memories, smells, and feelings of Christmas morning at her house. Try them today
You can find a ton of different recipes for sausage balls on the web. The pioneer woman has a spicy variety that is delicious. This time I just made the basic. To be honest, I don't measure. I just dump it in. Here is my best guess.
Sausage Balls 1 of of sausage 1 -1.5 cups bisquick 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix all in a large bowl. Using a cookie scoop to make them the same size, scoop out a ball and roll with your hands.
Bake at 375 until brown and the sausage is cooked.
What says fall more than a fire? In the spring when the need to have a fire is getting less and less, I begin watching the wood inside the fireplace. I always save the remnants of the last log to burn as good luck in the first fire.
Yesterday, we had our first fire of the season. In no time the chill of the dreary outside was gone and the warmth of the fire gloriously moved through the house. Welcome Fall!
I don't really measure this out. It's more of a toss and see what it looks and tastes like.
In a large pot mix the chicken mix and water. Add the mix according to the package directions for the amount of water you added.
Let it come to a boil. At this point add the chicken. You can use any kind you like. I sometimes you leftover rotisserie chicken shredded. If using fresh, you can chop and sauté in a pan, boil in water then shred, or bake breasts in the oven sprinkles with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil. Either way works, just chop or shred and add to the broth.
Next add the carrots and peas. I use dehydrated carrots. They are one of my top pantry items. Just drop a handful or two into the pot. They will plump up to perfect pieces. If using raw dice to bitesize pieces and add. Also add peas to your desired tastes.
Finally add the frozen noodles. Let them thaw on the counter until they are soft. I sometimes put them in the microwave for 25 second bursts. Drop one at a time into the soup. It is time consuming, but if you drop the whole thing it will be one big lump.
Let cook for 20-25 minutes at a simmer. When the noodles are plump and thick, taste the broth. Watkins contains no salt. So you will need to adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
If you know me even just a little, you are overly aware of my fascination with fall. I just love everything it brings.
September – January, I consider to be a magical time. It just oozes family, cooking, and magic is in the air.
One of my favorite things to do is celebrate fall. As soon as it starts getting cooler, I feel the need to begin baking. I simply can't hold out. Now pumpkin spice everything is not what I'm talking about here. I'm meaning applesauce, pumpkin roll, and anything that smells of cloves and cinnamon.
Last year when I went up to New York for the yarn festival at Rheinbeck, I had the most glorious apple cider. It was different from anything I had every tasted. It was sweet and fresh! Not like the other stuff typically found.
After getting back to Wyoming, I knew I needed to share this great with my family. I began the search. I found it on Amazon. Well of course I did, I think you can find anything on there.
This stuff is magical. It arrives frozen or in some form of cold. Slushy is fabulous. I always order two, one in the fridge and the other goes into the freezer to save for the holidays.
Drink it cold or drink it warm, either way you will not be disappointed!
I started canning jalapeños for myself and family a couple of years ago. With pushing from my family I am on my way to being able to sell them. I know, I need another venture right?
Well they are the best jalapeños ever! I swear! They are sweet with a little kick. They are so addicting. I have made a few runs in the past few months and have perfected the recipe. So I hopefully am ready. They love are amazing on Nachos!
In case your wondering, those are not my nachos. I hate guacamole. My husband however would inhale it.
I am heading to an acidified processing class in Jackson Hole in a couple of weeks. (I know it was either Jackson or Powell and I went with Jackson. Wouldn’t you?). Then they will send in my jalapeños with my instructions and testing results and hopefully I will be approved.
I made up some sample jars for selling. These will be my first ones. I can’t wait.
I finally settled on some labels and a name. I think it will work.
I have neglected my blog and basically everything else in my life for the last month or so. Sorry about that. Sometimes you just have to let everything slide and remember where you are in life.
In early February I took a much needed road trip back to Tennessee to visit mom and dad. I had the privilege of picking up my cousin from Tennessee at the Denver airport and she road back to with me.
We both needed that 3 day girls trip. We ended up swinging down into Oklahoma City. I know it’s not exactly on the way, but if you make a little curve and come across Arkansas it is technically right smack dab in the path.
We were coming across Kansas and how could I deny her the chance to see some of her family who lives in Oklahoma. My family is really not big on road trips and traveling. They really like to stay in their little area of East Tennessee.
We had lots of fun and enjoyed 3 days of girl talk, food, and driving. Plus lots of Starbucks.
I have also set down my knitting. After finishing my alpaca snowflake hat, that John laid claim to immediately, I haven’t knitted anything. My goal for April is to finish up all my projects and get ready for all that May brings. (Lots of cow work! That’s what it brings. Lots and lots of cow work).
Two things I’m in love with right now are my new mixer and my puppy.
I got a new KA professional 600. I was a little worried from reviews that it was going to be too big and too noisy. So far I have made one single batch of cookies and one cake. I love it. JJ is dying for me to get some cream so that he can time how long it takes to turn it into whipped cream. The old KA mixer I am taking to the hunting house for use during hunting season. Then I will decide to keep it or sell it. I’m in between on what to do.
Aboo is fast becoming my doll. She is still living in the house since she is only 5 months, but she is proving to be an all around good dog. She is one heck of a guard dog and alerts me to anyone driving up or other creatures around the house. Totally loving that. I have not had a true barking dog since my Aussie died about 5 years ago.
Isn’t she a doll. We were laying down for a little 10 minute nap yesterday.
I was reading today and came across a simple sentence. The plain simplicity of the words urged me to read it again and again. If only to be pulled in deeper with each reading. The very meaning puts so many things at the front of my mind. I will elaborate more later. But see if this makes you ponder life’s relationships deeper and deeper.
“There is nothing stronger than a bond that has been repeatedly tested, but has never broken.”
As you well know, I love to cook. I especially love to cook soups and stews. This Christmas I was shopping for my father at Dillards near my parents house. Actually I was shopping for my mother for my father. He sent me to find her the perfect gift. And like me I knew a pan would be perfect.
I found myself in the kitchen section looking for a pan for my mom when I happened upon the most glorious sight I have ever seen. I am pretty sure a light was shining down on this pot. You know like the light on the Christmas tree in the movie Christmas Vacation.
This pot was made by Biltmore and it is fabulous. To be quite honest I’m not even sure how big it is, at some point I am going to fill it up just to see how much it holds. I know it looks like a small witches cauldron. But more beautiful. Oh yeah, much more beautiful.
I bought that baby and quickly told my husband that he had just purchased me the best present ever. He was thrilled with his purchase. I mean some women like jewelry or other type gifts. Give me a cooking item and I will love you forever. I know I am weird. I like those girly things, but I cook every day. The cows could care less if I have a diamond bracket on.
I used it to make ham and potato soup and it worked fabulous. Washed up so easily. The best part, I put 5 pounds of potatoes and close to 8 cups of water and it was maybe 3-4 inches in the pot. Not even close to the half way mark! I am dying to cook a large pot of stew soon. Now that I back in Wyoming and it is like -6 outside. I think it will happen soon.
The smaller pot is my usual soup pot. It holds about 4.5 quarts. We are going to eat soup for like a year if I fill that new pot to the top.
Don’t you just love pictures that you can see the photographer and all the background in. Well there I am.
I finished up the peanut butter balls. I love peanut butter balls with rice krispies in them. I just do. My family not so much. Which left more than plenty for me to eat.
I will tell you that for the dipping chocolate I used the leftover chocolate from the coconut balls. I made so much that I had more than plenty do handle both the coconut balls and the PB balls and still have to throw out a little.
Melt peanut butter and butter in saucepan, over low heat. In large bowl, mix crispy rice cereal and confectioners’ sugar well. Pour melted peanut butter and butter over cereal and sugar and blend together thoroughly.
Put into the fridge overnight.
Scoop with a small cookie scoop and roll into balls. Using a toothpick dip them into your favorite chocolate dipping recipe.
Place in mini muffin wrappers and top with sprinkles to hide the hole the toothpick leaves.