Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy Day Soup

You know those days when you have a lot going on? Well I suppose that's everyday. Hmm. Let me try again. Autumn's arrived with tired sunflowers, changing leaves and cool mornings; all clues that Nancy Drew would have been sure to connect-the-dots on to conclude: it's time to start making Busy Day Soup again.  I'm sure Hannah would have made this for Nancy and her dad if only she had the recipe! This soup is a family favorite and it's easy to make. I hope you like it too.

Speaking of Miss Drew, as the new TV season is rolling out, you may be interested to know that you can watch both Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys on Netflix. 
Busy Day Soup
1/2 lb. hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can bean and  bacon soup
1 can alphabet soup
1 can tomato soup
1 small can nibblets corn
2 cans water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Brown together hamburger and onion, then add bean and bacon, alphabet and tomato soup. Add corn,  cans of water and chili powder. Simmer until hot. (Served above with homemade croutons)

Recipe Source: Jacque Jensen, Table Scraps pg. 18, and I posted it at too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Crackers

I wanted to share a lawn-mowing-day treat with you. My Dad taught me how to mow the lawn, I would try to make patterns in the grass; checker-boards and diagonal lines just to change things up a bit. (You know, make the backyard look like a golf course?) He also taught me how to make these little crackers. Don't turn away because of the simplicity of the snack. Read on and squirrel this vital information away for later. The next time you're spending the day outside working on the yard and you need a little energy, head inside to get hydrated and have some peanut butter crackers.
Peanut butter crackers were always part of our Saturday gardening ritual. After we'd been out in the garden mowing the lawn, edging, weeding, et al he'd send me into the house to make us some peanut butter crackers and get some sodas. (May I pause and comment on the water droplets on my thumb? I was not trying to get the "dew drop" effect... but hey, clean hands right?)

Peanut Butter Crackers
Jar of Peanut Butter
Ritz Crackers 

Create sandwich "cookies" by spreading peanut butter on one cracker and stick another cracker to the peanut butter. Simple. (Much better than the pre-made packaged crackers.)

Recipe Source: Dad

I've got my energy back now so I'm heading back to the garden. :)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mini Pain au Chocolat

This summer we took a road trip to Minnesota and decided to take along homemade, not-so-processed snacks. My daughter pitched in and we prepped: cheese & jalapeno stuffed cherry tomatoes, cherries, puff-pastry parmesan pretzels, and ginger snaps.
Road trip snacks
Road trip snacks: cherries, cookies, pretzels, cheese stuffed cherry tomatoes
For a quick breakfast on the road? Pain au Chocolat.

Mini Pain au Chocolat
Mini Pain au Chocolat

These mini stuffed croissants are just as good as they look! My daughter made them while I was packing. (I snuck one fresh from the oven the night before we left. Had to! Warm chocolate? Seriously heaven!) I worked at a French bakery when I was in high school where I was first introduced to stuffed croissants which are amazing; like ham and swiss, or the classic Pain au Chocolat--simply divine!

Easy Mini Pain au Chocolat

1 tube of freezer, crescent roll dough
1-2 Hershey bars

Unroll the dough and cut dough into rectangles. Place a piece of the chocolate bar on the dough and roll the crescent dough up around it. Bake at temperature on the dough package (probably around 350) about 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Source: If you've ever made mini pigs-in-a-blanket with Little Smokies, you already know what I'm talking about here. Only sweet instead of savory. :)

To quote Mr. Bingley in Pride & Prejudice "Enjoy the day!"

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Thyme Tea (Hot Lemonade)

There's a cold going around and it's only September! I just had my first big sneeze this afternoon. Wheee! So, cold remedies? This one's old school: thyme tea. Plain thyme tea is gross, so I'm addding fresh lemons and some local honey.
This is the tea steeping. You can breathe in the steam as it's steeping for sinus relief (It's not a decongestant or anything, just for comfort. Careful with the hot steam!)
Thyme Tea (Hot Lemonade)
2 t dried thyme leaves
1 green tea bag
1 small pan of water (About 3-4 C)
1 lemon
2 T honey
1 T sugar

Bring water to a boil add the thyme and green tea. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Juice 1 lemon and pour juice into a large mug through a strainer. Discard the tea bag then pour the tea into the mug through a strainer. (Save the remaining tea for later.) Add honey... then Oooooo! That was tart! Sugar to taste. The lemon gives this a hot lemonade taste which is more palatable than the plain tea, plus the lemon feels good on a sore throat. 

Recipe Source: Me, Suzanne Nikolaisen

P.S. You can buy loose, dried thyme leaf at health food stores. (While you're there check out "Tea for Flu" by Good Earth.) Read more about thyme.

About the honey, we went to an urban beehive tour presented by  Ellen Hartz. (Photos courtesy of my husband.) Interesting fact? Bees forage for 2 miles around the hive. Ellen gave us a jar of honey to take home. (Thanks Ellen!)


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