Tasty Tuesday – Freezer Corn

Happy Tasty Tuesday!  It’s been crazy busy around our house, so nothing was baked or cooked for this week’s blog.  Mom and I made a quick trip to Amish Country this past weekend to help our sweet dear Amish friend who had fallen earlier in the week.  We were to either can string beans or help with the take and makes for the upcoming Buggies and Buds Shop Hop.  She didn’t have enough beans, so we cranked our Big Shot machines until our shoulders ached and stuffed 177 packets for her so far.  It was a fun day of visiting with a good meal for lunch – ham balls, sweet corn, homegrown maters, fresh rolls, and Amish macaroni salad.  And she had 13 quarts of string beans for me the week before, so that was a pleasant surprise.  And yes, I was a nice daughter and shared some with my momma.

One thing I’d like to try this year before the corn is all done for the season is freezer corn.  It might be on my agenda this weekend if time allows.  Here are two recipes I found in the “Seasonal Garden Cooking and Family Favorites” cookbook.  Hopefully time and corn permit me to make one of these this weekend.  We’ve been getting the best sweet corn lately from a local little produce stand.

Freezer Sweet Corn, Lillian, page 121

4 qts. fresh-cut sweet corn 18-20 ears

1 qt. hot water

1/2 c. raw sugar

1/2 c. butter

2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in large kettle; simmer 5 minutes.  Pour into large, shallow pans and cool as quickly as possible, then put in containers and freeze.  This comes good out of the freezer and is very handy to just heat.

The secret to fresh tasting frozen corn is to thaw it and then use low heat.  The flavor will cook out if it’s heated too much.

Raw Freezer Corn, Salome, page 121

16 c. raw corn

1/2 c. sugar

5 tsp. salt

2 c. cold water

1 tray ice cubes

Measure corn into a large bowl.  Add sugar and salt, then mix water and ice and pour over corn.  Mix well and set, stirring occasionally until ice has melted.  Pour into freezer boxes and freeze immediately.  Tastes very fresh of freezer, but needs to be cooked 5-10 minutes.

Sorry no pictures of the corn since I haven’t tried it yet, but if I do, I’ll try and take some pictures of the process for you.  I just wanted to post these recipes in case some of you wanted to try your hand on freezing fresh corn to enjoy during the winter months.  Right now, our freezer has fresh blueberries and cherries to enjoy during the winter, so I’m hoping to add in some sweet corn too.

I’ve used this cookbook several times on my blog, but here’s a picture of the book if you want to try and find a copy for yourself.  I’ve seen it at Gordonville Book Store and Belmont Fabrics in Lancaster County as well as Countryside Creations – an Amish owned rubber stamp store.

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Hope you have a great week.  I’m enjoying the cooler temperatures we are having for August, but we sure are getting a lot of rain.  But all of this rain sure made the fields nice and green up in Amish Country this weekend, and I know my momma enjoyed that fresh country air during our travels as well.  And we did stop and see the camels on Sunday before heading home – those pictures are on my camera, so I’ll need to download them as well as a gazillion others I’ve taken over the past several months.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Blessings…

Tasty Tuesday – Last Week’s Giveaway Winner & Peach Crisp

Welcome to this week’s Tasty Tuesday post.  First, I want to congratulate Jayne Noble for being last week’s giveaway winner.  Jayne, please send me your address, so I can get your goodies in the mail.

Over the last three months, our house has been an appliance nightmare.  First the hot water heater went up (thankfully hubby could replace it himself even with it being his first attempt at dealing with natural gas), then the microwave, then our washing machine, and now our oven (the oven won’t heat up, but the burners still work).  And you all know how much I use our oven, but thankfully since it’s summertime and hot & humid, I usually limit the use of it, so I’m not missing it too much at the moment.  Our summertime meals usually consist of light stuff that I can either just take out of the frig or heat up on the stove.  And the sweet corn right now is absolutely delicious.  That was lunch on Saturday and dinner on Sunday with the addition of some yummy watermelon.  I love easy meals like that.

Well on Saturday, hubby picked up some really large and juicy peaches, and I wanted to make either a cobbler or crisp.  Not having an oven put a damper on that – well at least I thought it did.  Our camping friends, Bonnie and Donnie, gave us a Coleman oven run by propane when they stopped camping, so hubby said we could bake in it.  I am not a fan of propane, but I figured we could give it a shot.  We’ve only used the oven once while actually camping, and that was only to heat up leftovers.  It did that well, so we figured we’d see how it did in the baking department.  Hubby set it up outside while I prepared the peach crisp.

So here’s our adventure on making peach crisp in a camping oven…

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This is what the oven looks like.  We had to make sure an 8×8 baking pan would first fit in it.  Thankfully it did.  Next hubby hooked up the propane and started to preheat the oven.

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Here’s my baker making sure the oven stays around 350 degrees…

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While he was busy taking care of the oven, I was busy in the kitchen peeling and slicing peaches, and putting the crisp together.

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Since it was a beautiful day outside, we had the windows open.  Once he put the crisp into the oven and it had been baking for about 15 minutes, I could smell the wonderful aroma through the kitchen window.  We kept peeking inside to make sure the crisp wasn’t getting too brown.  It looked beautiful…

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As you can see, there isn’t much room in the oven, so I wasn’t sure if it would bake evenly, but this little oven sure surprised me.  It turned out perfect.

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The recipe came out of the cookbook, “Seasonal Garden Cooking and Family Favorites”.  I love this cookbook, because the first half of the book has recipes by produce item – corn, peaches, pears, tomatoes, cranberries, apples, strawberries, etc.

Here is the recipe for the peach crisp if you’d like to make a pan for yourself to enjoy…

Peach Crisp, page 139, Anna Mary, “Seasonal Garden Cooking and Family Favorites”

5-6 peaches

3/4 c. sugar

1 c. flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. butter, melted

Peel peaches and slice into greased 9 x 9 pan.  Mix remaining ingredients, except butter.  Sprinkle crumbs over peaches, then pour butter on top.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I only used three peaches, since the ones we had were almost softball size. I had never seen peaches that large before.  I layered the sliced peaches three rows high, and then I sprinkled less than a teaspoon of sugar on top of the peaches before putting the crumbs on top.  I mixed up the crumb mixture a little too much, so it was more like a cobbler topping than crumbs, but figured it would work.  And boy did it ever!  This peach crisp was so delicious that I even had a small second helping.  Oh my!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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We topped it with some cool whip.  Ice cream would be great on it as well, but unfortunately we didn’t have any in the freezer.

This recipe is definitely a keeper, and since I have about six more monster sized peaches in the frig, I’ll probably be making this again soon.  I’m sure hubby won’t have a problem setting up our little camping oven outside if he gets rewarded with this.

Hope you have a great week.  Again, congratulations to Jayne for winning last week’s giveaway.

Blessings…

Tasty Tuesday – Welcome to August Giveaway

Life at home has been hectic to say the least, so I decided to welcome in August with a little giveaway.  Figured I wouldn’t hear too many complaints about that, especially when you could win one of my favorite cookbooks from the sweetest Amish family.  The Fishers used to have dinners for tourists in their home, but have since retired from doing that and passed the baton onto their daughter.  This is one of their family’s cookbooks that I have used here and there on the blog.  My favorite breakfast casserole recipe comes from this book.

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I also picked up a bag of popcorn on one of my trips up to Amish Country.  A great little snack to fix and nibble on while cooking or watching a movie or reading a good book.

For your chance to win this little giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite summertime go-to meal is when it is so hot and humid outside.  Ours is either fruit and salads or corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes.  Something that won’t heat up the kitchen too much.  The sweet corn has been delicious so far this summer.  How about you?

I’ll post the winner’s name in next week’s Tasty Tuesday blog post.  Good luck!

Have a great week!

Blessings!

My Summer Reading Bucket List

Trying to find time to sit down and read this summer has been tricky.  We’ve been out and about so much that even trying to squeeze in a few pages before bed isn’t working, since I’m exhausted.  I’ve created this summer reading bucket list to hopefully get some reading in before the end of our hot and humid weather.  Being a part of Amy Clipston’s Bakery Bunch, this is one of our challenges this month.  So I’m hoping to squeeze in more time to read – it seems like I do read more when we are away camping though, since I don’t have my normal daily chores at home.  And nothing beats reading Amish fiction when you can hear the clip clop of the horse and buggies go by.  But camping is not in our near future, so I’ll have to curl up somewhere and hide at home with one of these books in my bucket list pile…

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My bucket list contains six books that I’ve had for a bit that I’d like to get read before summer ends.  Included are “Titus Returns” by Amy Lillard, “A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection” by Amy Clipston, “My Life as an Amish Wife” by Lena Yoder, “The Hawaiian Quilt” by Wanda Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter, “Almost Amish” by Nancy Sleeth, and “Change of Heart” by Rachel J. Good.

Why did I pick these six out of my to-be-read pile?  Here’s why…

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“In Wells Landing, Oklahoma’s warm and welcoming Amish community, there’s always hope for a new beginning—and a second chance…

Five tumultuous years have changed Titus Lambert in every way. Back then, Titus was preparing to marry his longtime sweetheart, Mandy Yoder. Then came the unthinkable—a tragic car wreck that left Titus serving time for vehicular manslaughter.

Titus isn’t sure he belongs in this peaceful place anymore, but he must make amends. When he goes to visit the Kings, whose son, Alvin, died that terrible night, he’s shocked to see that their farm has fallen into disrepair. Alvin’s sister, Abbie, resents Titus’s reappearance, but there’s no denying she needs his help. Honest toil—and their evolving friendship—slowly help his soul to heal. But with his feelings for Mandy still strong, Titus must choose between two very different futures, and find the strength and faith to claim the surprising gift of a fresh start.”

I really have enjoyed reading Amy Lillard’s Wells Landing romance series and need to catch up on this series.  “Titus Returns” is book 5 from this series.  All of these books have been great, and I cannot wait to see what happens when Titus returns after serving time.

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“In A Plain and Simple Christmas, from the author of the widely popular Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, shunned Anna Mae doesn’t receive the welcome she expects when she pays a visit for Christmas and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in her family—and her faith in God.

Set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Naomi’s Gift reintroduces twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has given up her dreams of finding true love. But when a young widower stirs surprising feelings in her, Naomi cautiously opens her heart to him and receives an unexpected response that once again turns her world upside-down.

Author Amy Clipston artfully paints a panorama of simple lives full of complex relationships, and she carefully explores cultural differences and human similarities, with inspirational results.”

I honestly can’t believe I have never read this by Amy Clipston, because her Kauffman Bakery Series is my favorite series written by her.  In each of those books from this series, I can picture myself in the bake shop and use the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop in Lancaster County as my “muse” while reading this series.  And I’m thinking hopefully reading these two Christmas novellas might just cool me off from Baltimore’s heat and humidity this summer.  Really looking forward to this book.

book-3“Lydia Esh’s younger sister Emma is running wild during rumschpringe, causing the family major heartaches. Although it means risking her reputation, her job as a schoolteacher, and her courtship with Jakob Zook, Lydia attends parties to watch over Emma and protect her sister’s virtue.

When Emma begins a relationship with Kyle, an Englischer, Lydia teams up with Kyle’s older brother, Caleb, to keep the couple apart. As Lydia and Caleb spend time together keeping an eye on their siblings, Lydia falls for this forbidden love. But she fights her attraction and determines to stay true to her faith.

Caleb confesses his feelings to Lydia. She admits her attraction to him, but she’s made her decision to join the church and marry Jakob Zook as her family is pressing her to do.

Will Lydia stay true to her faith even when it means giving up the things that are most precious to her?”

I won this book as a prize from a giveaway, and it’s been sitting in my pile to read for a bit now.  I have never read a book by Rachel J. Good and look forward to reading this since it is book one in her Sisters and Friends series.  I have heard good things about Rachel’s book, so it’s a must read this summer.

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“”After three hours of chores, breakfast, phone calls, and getting mail ready, it was 9:30 by the time I got to sewing. I sewed three blouses before noontime.”

As an Amish wife and mother of six, Lena Yoder has plenty of ways to fill her time.

“I helped with the afternoon milking, baked two different kinds of cakes, made two pizzas, and got everybody ready to take supper to school for the teachers.”

But amid the endless tasks to complete and challenges to overcome, Lena’s simple joy and deep faith are ever present in these brief, first-person accounts.

“I am thoroughly enjoying these days at home…Our family is filled with love…I could never list everything I am thankful for.”

These unassuming glimpses of Amish life will touch your heart and inspire you to seek the simple things—a loving family, a good day’s work, and a grateful heart.”

I found this book on the clearance shelf at Gordonville Book Store and the title grabbed me.  It’s a small book written like a diary which I find interesting.  One of the few non-fiction books I’ll read.  I am looking forward to seeing what Lena’s role is as an Amish wife and how much more work she does around her house than I do.  I’m sure it’s a ton more….ha!

book-4“Have you ever stopped to think, Maybe the Amish are on to something? Look around. We tweet while we drive, we talk while we text, and we surf the Internet until we fall asleep. We are essentially plugged in and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Rather than mastering technology, we have allowed technology to master us. We are an exhausted nation. No one has enough time, everyone feels stressed out, and our kids spend more hours staring at a screen each week than they do playing outside.

It’s time to simplify our lives, make faith and family the focal point, and recapture the lost art of simple living. Building on the basic principles of Amish life, Nancy Sleeth shows readers how making conscious choices to limit (and in some cases eliminate) technology’s hold on our lives and getting back to basics can help us lead calmer, more focused, less harried lives that result in stronger, deeper relationships with our families, friends, and God.”

My hubby bought me this book a few months ago, and I just haven’t had a chance to read it.  I figured it was perfect for my bucket list pile, since I am always trying to live more like the Amish in a few ways around our home – not having so much stuff is my first step…purging like a mad woman lately.  Another way is cooking more – I love cooking and baking, so that’s an easy way.  I’m looking forward to reading this book and seeing what the author has to say about cutting back on things we take for granted like technology and such.

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“A trip of a lifetime for Amish girl Mandy Frey is disrupted when she and one of her friends miss the cruise ship after a stop on Kauai.  But the adventure is just beginning as they make new friends and learn about the island.  When time to go home, will Mandy leave a part of her heart behind?”

I have thoroughly enjoyed the other books that Wanda Brunstetter has written with her daughter-in-law, Jean Brunstetter, and I am sure this one will not disappoint.  I’m looking forward to it taking me to Hawaii and seeing what adventures Mandy and her friend have after missing their cruise ship.  I’m sure the adventures will feel like I’m along for the ride too.

So there you have it…my bucket list of summer reading.  I better get busy, right?  Looking forward to reading these great books over the next month or so.  Do you have a summer reading bucket list?  If so, what book is at the top of your pile?

Happy reading!

Blessings…

 

 

Tasty Tuesday – Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Happy Tuesday!  I can’t believe today is the last Tuesday in July.  Wow!  And with it being July 25th, that means only five months until Christmas.  Oh my!

This week’s recipe is for Pineapple Zucchini Bread and comes from Wanda E. Brunstetter’s “Amish Friends Cookbook”.  This recipe is very similar to the zucchini bread recipe I always fix, but the spices are a little different with a little more cinnamon and the addition of nutmeg.  Our garden is producing zucchini like crazy, and I actually have three large ones sitting next to me in a bag for my momma to pick up later today, so she can get her bake on.

If you have some zucchini from your garden or local produce stand, give this recipe a try.  You won’t be disappointed.  Here ya go:

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Pineapple Zucchini Bread, page 30, Ruth Weaver, Millersburg, OH, Wanda E. Brunstetter’s “Amish Friends Cookbook”

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups finely shredded zucchini

1 cup vegetable oil

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup chocolate chips or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In mixing bowl, combine eggs, zucchini, oil, pineapple, and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and stir into egg mixture just until moistened.  Fold in nuts and chocolate chips or raisins.  Pour into two greased 4×8-inch loaf pans.  Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool before removing from pans to wire racks.

The nutmeg gives it an additional yum factor.  I only put chocolate chips into the batch I made as well.  I was able to get three loaves out of one batch.  We enjoyed one loaf, and I gifted the other two.

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Doesn’t it look yummy?  Now go get some zucchini and whip up a batch, so you can enjoy some too.

Have a great week!

Blessings…

Tasty Tuesday – Chicken Au Gratin Casserole

Happy Tasty Tuesday!  Can you believe it is already the third Tuesday in July?  Time just seems to be zooming by at a rapid speed.  This week’s recipe is for Chicken Au Gratin Casserole.  I pulled chicken off the bone from the Oven Baked Chicken recipe I shared two weeks ago and froze it to have on hand for dishes just like this.  Makes fixing dinner a breeze after working all day.  This recipe comes from the “Seasoned with Love” cookbook, Old Order Mennonites, Cumberland Valley, PA.

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Chicken Au Gratin Casserole, “Seasoned with Love“, Mrs. John L. Zimmerman, Edna Martin, page 120

2 c. green beans, cooked

2 c. cut-up chicken, cooked

2 T. butter

2 1/2 T. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. milk or chicken broth

2 c. soft bread cubes

1/3 c. butter, melted

1/2 c. cheese, grated

In a buttered 9×13-inch cake pan, put beans, then layer with chicken.  Melt butter; blend in flour and salt.  Stir in milk or broth.  Cook until smooth and thick.  Pour over chicken.  Combine butter, bread and cheese; toss together and sprinkle on top.  Bake at 350 degrees at 30 minutes, if warm, or 40 to 45 minutes, if cold.

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This is a fairly easy casserole to toss together.  Instead of cutting my bread into cubes, I just tore off pieces to use.  I used milk and grated parmesan cheese as well.  It was quite tasty.  And with the casserole already having green beans in it, I didn’t see a need to fix any other vegetable.  And there was enough left for lunch the next day too.

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Hope you are surviving the summer heat and strong storms.  My parents got hit hard yesterday afternoon with a storm and still do not have power restored this morning.  The flooding in their area was awful and so many trees/branches are down.  Thankfully they are safe, and I hope BGE gets the power restored soon.

Have a great week!  Stay cool and be safe!

Blessings…

Tasty Tuesday – Vegetable Soup

Happy Tasty Tuesday!  It’s already the second week of July.  Boy, does time fly by!  This week’s recipe is for Vegetable Soup, and the recipe comes out of “Katie’s Kitchen” cookbook again this week.  I used another meat bingo win – the pound of ground beef was part of a prize pack.

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Here is this week’s recipe:

Vegetable Soup, “Katie’s Kitchen”, page 20

1 lb. ground beef

1 cup onion (chopped)

1 cup potatoes (diced)

1 cup carrots (sliced)

1 cup cabbage (shredded)

1 cup celery (diced)

4 cups tomatoes

1/4 cup rice

3 cups water

4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. basil

3/4 tsp. thyme

1 bay leaf

Cook the ground beef and onion together until all the pink has disappeared and the meat is lightly browned.  Drain off excess fat; add all the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Makes 9 cups.

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I didn’t add the cabbage or celery, and since I didn’t have canned tomatoes, I used two cans of tomato sauce.  And instead of rice, I used little alphabet pasta.  Needless to say, I was having fun spelling out words as we were eating.  Yes, still young at heart!  I also added some leftover veggies I had in the frig to get rid of them.

As you can see, it made a large stockpot of soup.  I was able to freeze five containers of it even after we had eaten some for dinner.  Perfect for lunches.

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This cookbook is still available at some of the local Amish owned stores in Lancaster County if you are up in the area.

Hope you have a great week!

Blessings…