Did you know…

Eric made a calendar with fabulous photos of food for a project for school.  I was the lucky winner of this fun calendar.  For the month of May there is a photo of some barbecued ribs.  The reason;  May is Barbecue month!!

Here are a few facts about barbecue;

1.  The most popular holidays for barbecuing, in order, July 4th (71%), Memorial Day (57%) and Labor Day (55%).  (Memorial Day we barbecued delicious hamburgers)

2.  The most popular foods for cooking on the grill, in order are, burgers (85%), steak (80%), hotdogs (79%), and chicken (73%).

3.  The side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill, in order are, corn (41%) – I have never done corn, potatoes(41%), and other vegetables (32%)

4.  The most popular flavors of barbecue sauce are hickory, followed by mesquite, honey and then spicy-hot.

Salt Potatoes – A Central New York Thing – Syracuse

I remember those clam bakes at Hinerwadels in North Syracuse NY.  Those clam bakes are where I experienced the extreme deliciousness of Salt Potatoes.  Just so you know, Salt potatoes are a regional dish of Syracuse NY, typically served in the summer when the young potatoes are first harvested. They are a staple food at fairs and barbecues.  In the Central New York region where they are the most popular, potatoes specifically intended for salt potatoes can be purchased by the bag along with packages of salt.

This is a very simple and delicious side dish to make for your family.  Believe it or now you will enjoy it!

Salt Potatoes

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8 cups water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt (or 1 1/4 cups of non iodized table salt)
3 # baby red potatoes
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
Optional
2 Tablespoons Chives
1 teaspoon pepper

1.  Bring water to boil in Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Stir in salt and potatoes and cook until potatoes are just tender, 20-30 minutes.  Drain potatoes and transfer to wire rack set over baking sheet (I set over papertowels, it’s ok, really!)  Let dry until salty crust forms, about 1 minute.
2.  Meanwhile, melt butter over stove or microwave.  Transfer potatoes to serving bowl and serve passing butter at table.

I had salt potatoes for many summers at clam bakes and at home when we lived in Syracuse.  I was so glad I could find a recipe to make this delicious treat at our home in Wisconsin.  These potatoes are delish!  Give them a try.  🙂

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Martin challenged me with these delicious cookies.  This is a very simple and delicious recipe.  Every single one of my family loved these very easy cookies.   I have made these cookies before but never thought of blogging about them. I guess the simple things in life you think everyone knows about…maybe not!  ENJOY!!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Cookies Martin Martin II and Paige 004

Preheat oven 350 degrees

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark brown)
2 eggs, room temperature (if possible)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounce bag white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts (I had raw nuts, those worked out great)

Directions

1.  Cream butter and sugars until blended.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time and beat together well.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Stir in chips and nuts.  (I mixed the chips and nuts in the stand up mixer and it worked out just fine.)’
2.  Drop with a tablespoon measuring spoon onto parchment lined (or ungreased) baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  I turn the baking sheet around half way through for even baking of the cookies.  (It works quite well.)

Many fans of this very simple cookie.  Give it a try.  Simple and Delicous!!

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Paige is back in Green Bay for the summer.  Her birthday was last weekend and we decided to celebrate on Pizza Friday.  Her request was a macaroni and cheese pizza and this cake.  We also had an olive salad and ham pizza, sausage pizza and plain cheese pizza.

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

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Start with –
Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Directions

1.  Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2.  Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Ok, now comes the fun part.  I bought a gallon of strawberry ice cream. I took the ice cream out of the freezer to get soft.  I put in a bowl and stirred until it was soft enough to spread on the cake.  I used my springform pan for this part of the process.  I sliced the top of each cake so it was flat. I placed the first layer down and topped with half of the softened ice cream.  I placed the second layer on top of the ice cream and topped that layer with ice cream.

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 I then covered loosely with aluminum foil and put in the freezer overnight.

Next morning, I took a pint of strawberry ice cream and 2 cups of cool whip.  I mixed this together and frosted the cake. 051713 011 I once again loosely covered with foil and put back in the freezer until we were ready to celebrate that evening.

We had a great Pizza Friday celebrating Paige’s Birthday.  051713 014  There were more people but this was one of the only pictures we took.  Eric holding Scrappy, Rachel, Ryan, Paige and Lily.  Paige loved her cake and so did everyone else! 051713 019 Happy Birthday Paige!!

Graduation Day – A New Beginning

My first born graduated from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay last Saturday.  Graduated with an Animal Biology major – Magna Cum Laude!  We are very proud parents of this wonderful person that is our child.  I can remember when he was born as if it were yesterday. If you have children I am sure you remember too.  All the plans you had for that child.  The number one plan on my mind for all my children was I wanted them to be happy. To be content with who you are as a person.   If you are happy and content with yourself in life you are very fortunate.  That content feeling spreads to others you meet.  That makes the inner circle in your life incredibly special.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Today is a “New Beginning.”

All the week before graduation and even the morning of, I really didn’t think anything of this special day.  I knew we were going to a graduation ceremony but that was all I thought about it.  When we got there and I was in my seat, Kent to my left and Paige to my right.  The procession of the students to their seats.  I saw her (yes,her) smiling, beaming, proud to be there, going to her seat.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  That “aha” moment.  It was very hard to keep back the tears.  I don’t think I ever saw her that happy and confident, EVER. Continue reading

Mini M&M Cookies

Paige is visiting for the summer.  This week she requested mini M&M cookies for Pizza Friday.  (I was able to find a super easy recipe.)   I just hope they last until then!  They are quite yummy and of course, Simple and Delicious!!

Mini M&M Cookies

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (you can use light brown, that was all I had)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 ounce bag mini M&M’s

1.  Blend together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined.  (I used my stand up mixer, as usual.  You can bake by hand or electric mixer too.)
2.  Add vanilla and egg, mix well.
3.  Add dry ingredients and mix together.
4.  Add mini M&M’s by hand or with mixer.  I used the mixer.  (I was kind of lazy tonight)
5.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place a heaping teaspoon on baking sheet, 2 inches apart. (I know a teaspoon seems too little but the cookies bake better small).
6.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  I baked 5 minutes, turned the baking sheet around and baked 5 more minutes.  They were perfect that way!  I baked 36 cookies from this recipe.  ENJOY!!