FLOATING FRUIT CAKE – PEACH

This is a super fun recipe in that the batter and fruit actually trade places during the baking process ending with a crunchy biscuit topping over sweet, juicy fruit.   My favorite flavor is peach, but it works just as well with cherries, blackberries, blueberries, apples or ANY fruit combo you can think of!

PEACH COBBLER

FILLING
8 cups about 10 peaches peeled and sliced OR 32 ounces of sliced frozen peaches, thawed
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl toss peaches with 2 and cinnamon and set aside.

TOPPING
12 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl whisk together the butter, flour, 2 cups sugar, baking powder, salt and milk.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Layer evenly with peach slices.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until browned and bubbly.

NOTE: You can use other fruits, but omit the cinnamon if using berries such as blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.

CUCUMBER SALAD

CUCUMBER SALAD

1 LARGE English cucumber, peeled and chopped to 2 cups
1/2 cup chopped seeded Roma tomatoes, about 2 large tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped FRESH cilantro
4 red mini peppers, about 1/3 cup chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • In a Salad bowl toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and peppers.
  • Whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  • Add parsley and cilantro.
  • Pour over cucumber mixture and gently toss.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 28 of 2019

Be sure to join us.  You can link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies.  I hope you had a wonderful week and enjoyed your Independence day celebrations!  Ours was a quiet 4th.  I helped a friend paint her new house and hubby pulled his back so spent it on the heating pad! 

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We’re still trying to narrow down “where” we are going to settle for good and are taking a small trip this week to immerse ourselves into one of the areas we are considering.  And by immerse I mean walk the streets and neighborhoods, talk to the local people and get a true feel for the area.  The weather was predicted to be MUCH warmer when I first started watching it, but a “cool” front has evidently moved in and dropped the temps by 10 degrees!  We’re going to be LOVING it!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE hot water and cheerios

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… pretty tidy and caught up until we get back Friday
  • YARD…  hubby had to sideline the gate repair with his back and will hopefully get it finished today and if not after we get back Friday
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… nothing but research this week
  • BLOG… there are a few recipes set to post this week, but I need to get caught up on translations 😀
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I was hoping to get some of the garland done this past week, but it will wait until next week 😀

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH in NO particular order

  • The Good Witch
  • The Great American Food Truck Race
  • Guy’s Grocery Games
  • Beat Bobby Flay
  • Reef Break
  • Elementary
  • MasterChef

I’M READING Love Among Lavender The Merriams #2 by Ava Miles

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I spent the 4th of July helping my friend paint her upstairs in preparation for the carpet installation today.  We got A LOT done!  Her mom and the youngest munchkin made us a foursome for the day until the middle munchkin got home from a sleepover and joined the fun.  My favorite photo was of the munchkins helping paint their brother’s bedroom.  Just look at those smiles – I can NEVER resist them!

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – RICOTTA MEATBALLS with SALAD & AVOCADO RANCH DRESSING
TUESDAY – OUT
WEDNESDAY – OUT
THURSDAY – OUT
FRIDAY – OUT
SATURDAY – ??
SUNDAY – CREAMY CHILI CHICKEN & SALAD

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CHURCH SUPPER RING

I wish I had taken a picture of the “WHOLE” ring, but never even thought about it for some reason. It does make an impressive looking presentation for a church potluck or even impromptu company. The best part is that any leftover filling makes a GREAT cold chicken salad!  Fill a pita and eat on the run 😀
CHURCH SUPPER RING serves 8-12

2 – 8 ounce tubes Pillsbury crescent rolls
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Heinz Chili sauce
1/2 cup chopped mini peppers
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
6 strips bacon, chopped, cooked and crumbled crisp
1 package Good Season’s Italian Salad dressing

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 14 inch pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Unroll crescent dough into 16 triangles.
    place the wide end of the triangle 3 inches from the edge of the pan with the point overhanging the edge of the pan. Repeat overlapping the corners and lightly pressing to secure edges until all pieces are used.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce and Italian seasoning mix until well blended.
  • Fold in chicken, cheese, onions, bacon pieces and peppers until mixed well.
  • Spoon chicken mixtures over the wide edges of the dough.
  • Fold tip up over chicken mixture and tuck under the edge pressing lightly to secure the dough.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cut into slices.

HAM STEAK with RED EYE GRAVY

HAM STEAK with RED EYE GRAVY

1 1/4 pound bone-in ham steak
2 slices bacon, chopped small
2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon Wondra flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled VERY cold
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

  • Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until well rendered and crispy.
  • Pat ham steaks dry and season well.
  • Add to hot grease and brown well, about 4 minutes.
  • Flip and sear the second side about 2 minutes.
  • Remove ham pieces to a platter and tent with foil while you prepare the gravy.
  • Add onion to skillet and sauce a minute or so.
  • Add flour and whisk to combine 15-30 seconds.
  • Whisk in broth and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in espresso powder and COLD butter.
  • Season to taste.
  • Pour off any residual ham juices on serving platter.
  • Top with gravy and serve immediately.

NOTE:  The main use of the bacon is to create the grease to cook the ham and gravy in so chopping extra small I find works really well in order to not need to find another use for the bacon pieces. I just leave them in the gravy 😀

12 FREAKING years ago…

This is ***STILL*** our life! 12 freaking years! Countless reams of paper, phone call after phone call, time spent on hold, appointments for repetitive testing and questions, visits with representatives, congressmen, advocates… again and again to always be told BE PATIENT.

The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The medical waste as well as the paper waste is atrocious. The lack of care our veterans are getting is pathetic. Hubs has had the same test performed 7 or maybe 8 times now with no relief for the condition – the same condition his claim was filed for and dismissed by a rotating visiting doctor who didn’t give a crap and put him/us into this perpetual appeal process.

Since then at least 4 doctors have ***ALL*** said this should have been originally approved in 2007 because there was a clear cut degeneration of the condition while he was forced to remain on STOP LOSS and not get the treatment he was scheduled to receive prior to the deployment, but yet it remains in the perpetual revolving door of appeals and unfortunately the appeal remains based on this ASS of a doctor who NEVER performed the appropriate tests, exams or even touched hubby and even now that other VA doctors have, he is having to seek out relief from private doctors and his claim is YET to be settled.

The important message for me is that while ALL politicians (democrats and republicans alike) are debating, having hearings, writing bills and “deciding” about the VA and ALL its issues, this cartoon depicts what is truly going on, the veterans are losing each and every day in the quality of care they are receiving assuming they receive an appointment to begin with, not to mention the actual compensation for their losses.

In our own experience all over the country, not just in one place, the “flow chart” approach to care coupled with the apathetic attitudes of many employees and doctors with egos who order repeat tests because they want to or do not know how to access the last one done, let alone the first one done ALL culminates into major waste of time and resources for both the VA and the veteran.

It’s time for ALL politicians to get down to the real issues and make it right instead of drawing it out ANY longer. EVERY drawn out hearing, bill, investigation and stalling tactic just makes it worse.

HAPPY 4th of JULY and little trivia to celebrate it

Independence Day or the 4th of July as we call it has only been a federal holiday since 1941, but of course the tradition dates back to 1776 when the Continental Congress voted on July 2nd in favor of Independence. Two days later delegates from all thirteen colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and celebrated their independence and the birth of a nation on July 4th.

The celebrations major focus is traditionally on  leisure activities, parades, concerts, backyard barbecues, games, bonfires and family gatherings culminating in fireworks later at night.

When the Revolutionary War broke out back in 1775, a few colonists wanted complete independence from Great Britain. These colonists were considered to be the radicals of their time.  However, more and more colonists came to believe in favor of independence. Many because of Thomas Paine’s famous writing “Common Sense” which he published in early 1776.

In June 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion that called for the colonies’ independence. A heated debate followed and Congress postponed the vote to his resolution. At that time they appointed a committee of five men, Thomas Jefferson from Virginia, John Adams from Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman from Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston from New York to draft a formal statement justifying the break from Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence in a nearly unanimous vote. New York abstained, but later voted yes.

John Adams wrote to his wife that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.” He believed that the American Independence celebration should occur on July 2nd since that was the day of the vote to secure it and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest.

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Before the Revolutionary war, colonists would hold celebrations in honor of the king’s birthday. These celebrations included the ringing of bells, bonfires, parades and speeches. After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence these same colonists celebrated the birth of their independence by holding mock funerals for King George III as a symbol of the end of the British hold on America and a triumph to their new found liberty.

Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence.  The war was still going on and George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War and to this day, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day each and every year, in celebrations that allow the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. The tradition of patriotic celebration became even more widespread after the War of 1812.

In 1870, the U.S. Congress made July 4th a federal holiday. Over the years, the political importance of the holiday has declined somewhat, but Independence Day remains an important national holiday and a symbol of our patriotism.

By the late 1700’s, the two major political parties—Federalists and Democratic-Republicans—that had arisen began holding separate Fourth of July celebrations in many large cities.

The most common symbol of the holiday is still the American flag, and a common musical accompaniment is “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States.

And did you know New York City has the biggest fireworks display in the United States and that three U.S. presidents died on July 4? John Adams, Thomas Jefferson in 1826 and James Monroe 5 years later in 1831.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 27 of 2019

GOOD MORNING I hope everyone had a wonderful week!  OH NO it’s July already!  The year is officially half over! LEON day (exactly 6 months between Christmases) was last week and we are officially on a downhill road to the holidays!  That said, there is still plenty of summer to go around and I hope you have some fun trips and vacation plans as we head into the long 4th of July weekend.

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING Last week we had some fast moving and fantastic thunderstorms that brought in much cooler weather too.  This week not so much, we’re supposed to get quite warm again and be sunny all week.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE The new doctor has at least assigned a name to my newest health issue.  Retroactive hypoglycemiaUnfortunately, it does not have an easy fix, instead it puts me into a vicious never ending cycle of low blood sugar and needing to eat, but being unable to do so.  He has said the same thing as the gastroenterologist – there just isn’t much data for patients that ended up with this procedure when they didn’t need to lose weight to begin with and we’ll just have to experiment.  So, breakfast is back to hot water and baby food again most days with 2 hour grazing of a bite or 2 here and there. 🙁

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… I hadn’t done laundry all week and needed a distraction after we were finished Saturday so I got all caught up at once as well as some tidying up after the weekend
  • YARD… hubby is working on updating the gate repairs
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… paperwork, phone calls to set up new appointments
  • BLOG… still working on some recipe work ups on new recipes and a few updates and new pictures on some older ones
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I have been working on a plan for the garland I’m assembling and actually got the pieces together all in one place AND got a picture taken.  Now just to get it started finally.  I’m going to be making this in 8 foot lengths that will get clipped together as needed with some decorative star clips.

I’M READING Love Among Lavender The Merriams #2 by Ava Miles

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH in NO particular order

  • The Good Witch
  • The Great American Food Truck Race
  • Guy’s Grocery Games
  • Beat Bobby Flay
  • Reef Break
  • Elementary
  • MasterChef

FAVORITE and SADDEST PHOTOS FROM THE CAMERA We spent last week helping our friends and neighbors move to their new house, which BTW we can drive to in 2 minutes time, but it was still SUPER bittersweet.  They lived in this house for 13 years and had brought each and every munchkin home to this house as a baby so there was A LOT of sentimentality attached. Needless to say Saturday was a bittersweet day for EVERYONE and many tears were shed.  We’re super sad to see them go, but ALSO super excited for them in their new home and can’t wait to see how they make it their own. The munchkins have even picked out their room colors and painting will begin soon 😀

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – CHURCH SUPPER RING & SALAD with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
TUESDAY – PORK TENDERLOIN with BOURBON PEACH SAUCE & BROCCOLI
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N. & PEACH COBBLER
THURSDAY – BBQ
FRIDAY – CREAMY CHILI CHICKEN & VEGGIES
SATURDAY – RICOTTA MEATBALLS with NOODLES and GRAVY & CUCUMBER SALAD
SUNDAY – HAM STEAK with RED EYE GRAVY & SALAD with ASIAN SESAME VINAIGRETTE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

HERB SALAD with BROILED TOMATOES & CREAMY CUCUMBER VINAIGRETTE

HERB SALAD with CREAMY BROILED TOMATO CUCUMBER VINAIGRETTE

MAKE THIS STEP 1-2 HOURS BEFORE YOU NEED THEM!
PICKLED ONIONS
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1/2 SMALL red onion, cut into rings

  • In a medium skillet heat avocado oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion pieces and saute’ for a minute.
  • Add vinegar, tossing to coat and remove from heat.
  • Transfer onions to a small plate and let stand 1-2 hours.

“SALAD”
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Italian Parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped dill
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1 LARGE English cucumber or 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 bunch beech mushrooms, cleaned and separated
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 small red onion, chopped

  • Toss all together in large salad bowl and set aside until needed.

VINAIGRETTE
Reserved cucumber peels
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
pinch cayenne pepper

  • In a small food processor blend reserved cucumber peels, garlic, shallot, vinegar, sour cream, buttermilk, oil and seasonings until smooth.
  • Pour over salad and toss gently.
  • Let stand 15-20 minutes and allow flavors to meld.
  • Adjust salt and pepper as necessary.

BROILED TOMATOES
4 LARGE Roma tomatoes, halved or quartered

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Place tomatoes on baking sheet skin side down.
  • Season well with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes until browned and bubbly.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place a large spoonful of salad mixture in bowl or on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • Set 2 broiled tomato pieces next to salad.
  • Top with pickled onions.**
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE** I often toss the pickled onions with the salad mixture JUST prior to serving.

OVEN BBQ CHICKEN

OVEN BBQ CHICKEN

2 pounds chicken thighs and legs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

SAUCE
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons molasses
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ketchup, pineapple juice, vinegar, butter, lemon juice, molasses, brown sugar, garlic, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, salt and pepper.
  • Season chicken pieces with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dip each piece in sauce and place on baking sheet skin side up.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes or until temperature reads 170°, basting with reserve sauce every 15 minutes and at the end when you remove it from oven.  Tent with foil and allow chicken to rest 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with remaining sauce.

SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

SLOW COOKED COUNTRY CHICKEN & GRAVY

Slow cooked Country Chicken and Gravy is TRULY what easy comfort food is all about!! It is  absolutely ahhh-mazing!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet DRY chicken gravy mix
1 packet DRY Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix**(see notes)
1 – 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup**(see notes)
1 3/4 cups water or chicken broth**(see notes)
FRESH ground black pepper

  • Empty the gravy packets, cream of chicken soup, water and pepper in a slow cooker.
  • Whisk until the gravy is smooth.
  • Add chicken breasts in a single layer if possible.
  • Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes

NOTES:

  • You can interchange this packet for just about ANYTHING and get an entirely NEW dish. Try Hidden Valley Ranch, Pioneer Peppered Gravy or Lipton French Onion soup.
  • Try changing out the soup flavor also for a new and inventive flavor combination. Use cream of potato or cheddar cheese…
  • The chicken is so tender you can fork shred it into the sauce and make an entirely different dish!  Try adding some carrots or peas for color.
  • I usually have homemade chicken broth around and I prefer that over water. If I use broth I change this to 2 cups as the homemade broth has more body than store bought.
  • You can also add a quick cornstarch slurry at the end if you need to thicken up the sauce.

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

LOOSE MEAT BACON CHEESE BURGERS

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Heinz Chili Sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
1 tablespoon Avocado oil
1/2 Sweet Vidalia Onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck
6-8 slices bacon, chopped, browned and drained of grease
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet pickles
6 slices cheddar cheese
12 pull-apart dinner rolls

  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, chili sauce and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Heat the avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and ground beef. Season with the FRESH ground salt and pepper. Cook and stir until browned. Drain off excess fat if necessary.
  • Spread mayonnaise mixture on both sides of buns.
  • Remove from heat and stir in pickles and any remaining sauce.
  • Place bottoms of rolls on baking sheet and toast under broiler a couple minutes – WATCH that they don’t burn.
  • Remove baking sheet and turn oven down to 400°.
  • Spread the bottoms with cheese followed by the meat mixture.
  • Layer cheese on top of meat followed by the crumbled bacon.
  • Add tops to the burgers.
  • Bake 10 minutes until tops are toasted and cheese is melted.

NOTE: Also good with Frank’s Sweet Chili Lime Sauce.