Tag: Cooking

Peach “Candy” (Dehydrated Peaches)

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It’s peach season here in Ohio.  Fresh peaches are my absolute favorite fruit.  I ordered a ton from a local food hub and have been working on eating them and preserving them.  They are so sweet and delicious.

Each year, I have to make some peach “candy” for my family.  My 4 year old and husband are especially fond of these and they are so simple to make.

To make these you will need:

  • A dehydrator (or you can do this in the oven at 170 degrees)
  • 15 peaches (or more if you have the space)
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon

 

First I washed the peaches well in some water and white vinegar.

I got a large bowl and added about 6 cups of warm water.  In the water I added 2 TBS honey and 1TBS cinnamon and gave it a good stir to melt the honey.  Then I sliced the peaches into thin (about 1/4 inch thick or thinner) slices and placed them in the bowl with the water/honey cinnamon. I leave them in and swish them a bit, just long enough to get coated in the syrup.

Then they go on the dehydrator trays.

I let them run for close to 6 hours checking after 4.5 hours to see if they were dried.

{BONUS: The whole house smelled like heaven!}

I left the skin on, you can remove it if you’d like.  Whatever makes you happy.

I store them in a mason jar and keep them in the fridge.  They don’t last long around here.

What is your favorite way to preserve peaches?

 

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Chicken Spaghetti

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Today was one of those days with never-ending errands.  I swear I loaded, unloaded and re-loaded my toddlers into the car at least 10 times today.  Dinner time rolled around and we were just getting home (of course).  I needed some comfort food and had some leftover chicken I needed to use up, so I made Chicken Spaghetti.  This meal is a family favorite and a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb of chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken, but you can use fresh or frozen if you prefer)
  • 1 package of spaghetti noodles.
  • 12-16oz of Velveeta cheese
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup

In a large pot add 5qts of water and your chicken, bring to a boil.  If using cooked chicken, it will be warm enough by the time the water boils.  If you are using fresh or frozen, boil until chicken is cooked and remove chicken, shred, and add back to the water.  Add your spaghetti noodles and boil until cooked. Strain noodles and chicken and add it back to the pot. Add in the Velveeta and stir until mostly melted.

Add in the Rotel tomatoes, and cans of soup.

Mix until everything is fully incorporated.  That’s it!  Quick and Yummy!

My favorite is leftovers the next day, all the flavors get all soaked into the noodles and it is so good.

Let me know if you try it!

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Breakfast for Dinner

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I start most days with the best intentions.  I create long to-do lists in my mind at night when I can’t sleep.  I tell myself I will wake up and get it all done.  Then morning comes.

I try to get up before my kids so I can get a little quiet and coffee in.  As I sit and sip my coffee I tell myself, after this cup, I will get all the stuff done.  When I finish my cup of coffee and the little ones are still asleep, I tell myself that I can’t do any of the things on the list, because it’ll wake them up.  So I get more coffee.  Then, I hear little footsteps.

Once the kids are up, my day is a blur.  Diapers, drinks, food, naps, diapers, cartoons, diapers, drop teens off at friends, pick them back up.  Then finally nap time.

My 2-year-old is sneaky sometimes and snuggles me right to sleep with her.  Next thing I know, It’s 5 o’clock and hubby is on the way home and I haven’t made a plan for dinner.

Days like these, I feel like a failure.  I look around and see the house is a mess, the to-do list is still full and everyone is hungry.

I run into the kitchen, yank open the fridge hoping there is something quick and easy sitting inside, nope. So I pull open the freezer and stare at all the frozen stuff that would take forever to defrost then cook.  So I go to the pantry, Yes! Breakfast for dinner!  I grab a pack of bacon and the Bisquick and get to work.

To make things quick and less messy, I bake the bacon.  A trick I use with a large family and a pack of bacon…I always cut the entire pack of bacon in half. This way everyone thinks they are getting lots, but really it’s only about 2 strips each.

Sometimes my older kids jump in and help out too.

At the end of the day, it all works out.
The kids think I’m being a fun mom, and the hubby comes home to a cooked meal.  I pretend this was my plan all along.  Everyone is happy.

Do you have a go-to meal for when you haven’t planned meals, or, overslept during nap time?

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Mama’s Mac Salad

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I love cooking.

Growing up, my favorite was watching my mother and grandma cook. Every time a dish was prepared and placed on the table, I felt loved. Now I try to make my friends and family feel loved when I cook for them too.

Sometimes my meals are sub-par, and sometimes they are a hit. I still enjoy the process.

I really enjoy trying new recipes and methods of cooking. I love the challenge. Sometimes though, I just want something my Mama used to make.

Yesterday was my Hubby’s birthday. He spent the day smoking ribs in the smoker and so I decided to go with the BBQ theme for side dishes.

Hubbys Ribs

Like I always do with this recipe, I called my mom and asked for it again. I love using it as an excuse to call. Every time she tells me I should write it down, but I never do.

So here it is, my Mama’s Mac Salad.

MacSalad

Mama’s Mac Salad

Ingredients:

13oz Elbow Macaroni (I use Dreamfields to keep this THM friendly)

4 Eggs, Hard boiled

6 Stalks of celery, chopped finely

1 small red onion, chopped finely

I can of black olives, sliced

4Tbs Dill relish (I always add more because I love it)

1.5 Cups Mayo (More if the salad seems dry)

Salt and Pepper to taste

To Make:

Bring 8 cups of water to boil, add Elbow Macaroni and the 4 eggs (this is how Mama would do it). Once the pasta is cooked, strain, remove eggs and set both aside to cool.

While you’re boiling and cooling the pasta and eggs, begin chopping your other ingredients. Add everything to a large bowl.

When the eggs are cooled, peel them and then grate them into the bowl with the other ingredients. This allows the egg to be really nicely dispersed through the salad. If you prefer you can chop,slice, smash etc. It’s really up to you, but Mama would grate it.

Grated Egg.jpg

Add in relish and then the cooled pasta. I usually give it a good stir at this point. Then I add in the Mayo and some salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir so it’s well incorporated. This should really be refrigerated a few hours to allow all the flavors to really come together.

Sometimes after refrigeration, the noodles have soaked up a lot of the mayonnaise and moisture. It’s okay to add a little more mayo and mix at this point. Nobody likes a dry macaroni salad.

And there you have it. Quick, easy and delicious.

This is a low carb dish (when using Dreamfields) for those that are watching carbs. 😉

~Enjoy!

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