Watermelons and Time crunches

I’ve been really, really REALLY busy of late….which has not stopped my consumption of watermelon.  The small ones.  The seedless ones.  Man, get those babies cold and slice them up, sprinkle some salt on and go to town!  These are what summers are made for.

I plan on consuming as many as I can this summer.   Me and hubby.   Or should I say, hubby and me.   And while I remain very busy the rest of the week with a big, big BIG meeting that I am in charge of, why not see if anyone wants these?  I also made Pico de Gallo with watermelon.  Just substitute your tomatoes with small chopped watermelon – throw it in with your chopped brightly colored bell peppers, purple onion, chopped jalapeno, cilantro (use parsley if you don’t like cilantro) and fresh lime juice, a little salt, and you are good.  I eat it on scrambled eggs – omelets, chicken, grilled shrimp, chips, you name it!

 In the meantime,  look at this…..

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These apparently work quite well, in fact. And the ones who won them last time love them.   I have two of them. So two winners will have a chance to win one each.   I have a lime green and a pinkish red plum (just not sure what (they call it purple) ZOKU slushie makers.

Have patience, as since I am busy I don’t know when I will get in here and draw – maybe Sunday evening??  

If you would like to have a chance at winning one of these, just leave a comment and tell me what you did over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Have a less stressful week and weekend!

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I know it sounds crazy, but….

Dill Pickle Dip????  Who would ever think of such a thing?   Well let me tell you….make this, serve it with ruffles potato chips and have at it!   Crazy good, if you like dill pickles.   Try it and see what you think.   I think it would also be good as a spread.

Dill Pickle Dip

1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened

4 or 5 whole kosher dill pickles (all I had was dill pickle chips -the sliced hamburger dill slices – so I got a bunch of those and chop, chop, chop!)

a little juice from the jar

1/2 to 1 tsp garlic salt (or just garlic powder – your choice- to taste)

 

Blend cream cheese in mixer – add a little of the pickle juice at a time from the jar until creamy or the consistency you want for dip – don’t add too much or it will be runny.  Grate or chop the pickles into the cream cheese mix and add the garlic salt; mix well.  Chill a few hours before serving so the flavors can blend.  Set out a few minutes before serving; serve with ruffled potato chips.  

This would also be good to add a bit of cayenne pepper – just a pinch – for a bit of heat!  A condiment for your burgers and dogs? Oh, yea!   Give it a try, you pickle lovers, and let me know how you like it!

 

Smokin ……Grillin….Eatin….for these winners

Congrats to…..

Winner #1

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#9 – Rebecca – who wins the first set of spices of the Smokehouse,Steakhouse and Ultimate Chicken rubs!

And Winner #2

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#1- Disney World Diva – who gets the Chipotle, the Chili Lime, and the Diavolo – 

Can we give them all a Woohoo!  Better yet, let’s go to their house for a grilling party!  Congrats, winners and I will get in contact with you to get your rubs to you!  Have a great week!  The weather is supposed to be beautiful.

 

Grilling? Here’s the rub…

Seriously.  Here’s the rub…..

Smokehouse rub…Steakhouse rub…Ultimate Roast chicken rub…

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Chipotle Spicy rub….Chili Lime rub….Diavolo Rub…..

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You want these.   They came from Williams-Sonoma.  And man, do they smell incredible.   And man, if they came from Williams-Sonoma, I can attest that they are good.  I have used their rubs, even though I like to make my own, theirs are top notch, easy when you want to save some time, and try different flavors, and are just plain good.  They help you to create some fantastic dishes, lets you experiment using them on all kinds of meats, and don’t forget, grilled veggies – add a little olive oil on veggies, put some of the rub on it, and there you go!  Unique, flavorful, healthy grilled veggies.

Lavon, cuz, you need this steakhouse rub.   And a meat thermometer.   Maybe that would help your cooking situation.  I have a cousin who says she can’t cook.  If you are having a steak dinner with her, you get it two ways according to her.   It either will “moo” at you, or it will come “flambayed” or “on fire” – literally.   She says she gets distracted.  There’s just so much on TV to distract a person when they try to cook that stuff just don’t work out!  I just don’t understand…….And her tea!! She says her mom and sis pulls it out when they come over and have “tea tasting” time and when they find hers that she made, they pour it out!!haha – There’s help, Lavon -“my name is Lavon, and I can’t cook” – maybe an intervention needs to be planned for you! teeheehee

Well, these MAY help her – that and an “off” button on her remote!  Anyway, if you want a set of these, get in on the give-a-way!  Someone will win one set of the smokehouse, steakhoue and ultimate roast chicken rubs, and one other wil wint the chipotle, chili lime, and diavolo rubs.  Just leave me a comment and tell me what the last thing was you either cooked/grilled/baked.  Two winners will be selected Monday morning, May 19th and posted.   Happy weekend!

Cowboy Bark – my way

I made a big stack of this but it didn’t last long…… Mother’s Day visits from my daughters and grandkids took care of this batch.  What a versatile recipe – change the type of chocolate you melt, change the toppings, and man you can have some fun with this one.

Here’s the version I made and the ingredients I used that put a lot of smiles on some peeps’ faces.

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Cowboy Bark – my way

16 Oz chocolate, (suggested to use 72% dark chocolate for part of the chocolate and the rest in milk chocolate- I used 4 different 4-oz bars – 1-4 oz Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree Chocolate with crushed almonds; 4 oz Ghirardelli semisweet Chocolate baking bar; 4 oz. Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, and 4 oz. Baker’s Sweet chocolate baking bar-these just happened to be the flavors that my Winn Dixie had)

1 1/2 cups mini pretzels

8 chocolate stuffed oreos, chopped

1/3 cup toffee bits

1/3 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (roasted, lightly salted)

1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds (roasted lightly salted)

Sea Salt to sprinkle (I actually skipped this step with the salt of the other stuff but it would depend on the toppings if i used this or not)

1.  Use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Have all ingredients chopped and ready for assembly before starting.

2.  Coarsely chop chocolate or break in to smaller chunks to help smoother melting.

3.  Heat chocolate in microwave safe bowl on high to melt, stirring every 15 seconds.  Don’t over-cook – or you can use a double boiler to melt chocolate which is what I did.

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4.  Pour chocolate on to parchment paper and use an offset knife or spatula to spread the chocolate into an approximate 10 inch by 15 inch size and about 1/8 inch thick.

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5.  Sprinkle with pretzels, chopped oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, and if using, sprinkle with sea salt.  Allow to set at room temperature for at least an hour or in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or more.  Break into pieces or cut with knife into pieces.  Enjoy!  And what a great tray to take to a gathering – you are sure to be the hit!

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S’mores Butter – It’s from the Devil, for sure

You want this.  And you want it today.  S’mores Butter.  Yep.  To quote my taste testers,” its probably the best thing I have ever eaten. Ever. EEEVVVVEEERRRR! I could eat it with a spoon, by itself, not slathered on anything.”   

So there.   Is that enough to make you want some?  Get that biscuit, slather it on.  Get that fresh baked bread (yes my bread  machine makes great homemade bread without all the work) and spread it on.   Got Bagel? There you go.   English Muffin?  Well. Pancakes, even.  Oh, my.

You just may want keep some of this on hand.  Always and forever. Just remember, if you put this in the fridge, place on counter for about 30 minutes prior to serving so it can soften up.  I just put mine on the counter and leave. 

Here’s my version of this heavenly wonder. It makes a lot.  Because it doesn’t last long.  

S’mores Butter

2 1/2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste

1 large Hershey’s candy bar (I used the 4.4 ounce size)

1 cup mini marshmallows

4 graham crackers (make sure it is the whole cracker and not half), broken into small pieces – I put mine into a zip lock and smush)

1.  Beat butter until creamy; add sugar and cinnamon and beat until combined.  You can taste and see if you need to add a little more sugar or cinnamon to your taste at this point before adding the other ingredients. 

2.  Chop candy bar until some are very tiny pieces.  You can leave some in small chunks if you like.  Pour into butter, and stir to combine.  Then take crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows and add to butter chocolate mixture and by stirring, mix until well combined.   

 

Breakfafast Cups – Easy stuff

We ate at church again – Sunday School – every last Sunday of the month, like clockwork.  Just like a Baptist! And I brought a recipe that got gone.  None left.  Not even a crumb.

These were easy, and apparently good = I made them in a regular size muffin tin – I tried making them in the mini muffin but using hash brown potatoes, it isn’t easy to smush them on the bottom and up the sides and leave enough room to add filling.  Make these and freeze some for a quick week day breakfast to zap in the microwave as you head out the door.

 

Breakfast Muffins

12 links Johnsonville Breakfast Sausage (or whatever flavor you wish)

3 cups frozen country-style hash brown potatoes, thawed

3 Tbsp butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

6 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups (8 ounce package) shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or green onion

Prepare sausage according to package instructions, cool slightly and cut into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside.

In a bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper,; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups.  Press mixture into sides and bottom of muffin cups.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven, divide sausage pieces into muffin cups. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper.  Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups.  Sprinkle with chives or onion.  Return to oven, bake 13-15 minutes or until set.  Serve.  ( For the Sunday School class, I let mine sit for about 5 minutes and cut in half to serve the whole class).

 

Some changes to jazz this up:  use some Conecuh hot and spicy sausage, or add some homemade taco seasoning, include some chopped jalapenos; change the cheese to an Italian blend, chop some basil, add some Italian seasoning and brown some Italian sausage.  You can really change this one up!  Have fun with this one!

Are YOU shopping at Target?

Well, I am a little later than normal posting who will be shopping at Target – I’ve been busy getting ready for a meeting – so let’s take a break and see who will be doing a little shopping – maybe for Mother’s Day!

 

Winner #1 –

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#17 – Matt Strange – Matt was first to be drawn by random.org and receives the $100 Target gift card!  And what do you want for Mother’s Day, Matt?  (teeheehee) 

Winner #2-

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#6-Dusty – Dusty gets one of the $50 gift cards to Target – I bet Dusty will be able to find a few things either she would like for Mother’s day or something special for her mom and mom-in-law!

And the last $50 Target gift card was drawn for # 26

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Patsy Mann – Happy Mother’s Day, to you! 

I will be emailing for some addresses to mail these to!

I so enjoyed reading all the comments.   I do hope each of you have a very Happy Mother’s Day!