The Best Strawberry Bread Ever!

 

 

Warm strawberry goodness sounds pretty good right about now! A friend suggested I share this recipe with y’all again – just in case you’d missed it the first time (2 years ago)! I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this one, it makes Winter a little more “bearable” by giving you a taste of Spring – something we could all use right about now!    😉  

This is some of the moistest, most amazing Strawberry Bread you will ever eat. Smothered with a Cream Cheese spread, it is a little slice of Heaven – and you don’t even have to use fresh strawberries to make it! Good eats at any time of day – breakfast, snack, dessert – doesn’t matter! Just be sure to stash it where it’s not in open view when you are not around – otherwise it will be all gone when you come back for seconds!!  😉 

Very easy to make with only a few ingredients required, and about an hour of your time, makes this a quick and scrumptous treat!

Shady’s Southern Strawberry Bread

*Makes 2 Loaves

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

2 sticks butter

1  1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs – lightly beaten

1 cup strawberry jam or preserves

1 cup sour cream

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. lemon extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

Line 2 loaf pans with wax paper and set aside. You can trim the paper down to fit the pans better – just make sure that you leave enough “overhang” to be able to grasp and  lift the loafs out of the pans when they are done!

In a large mixing bowl, cream your butter, sugar and eggs together.

In second mixing bowl, fold sour cream into jam.

In third mixing bowl sift flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together.

Now, add the flour mixture  ( 1/3rd at a time)  to the butter mixture while alternating with the jam mixture while mixing on LOW speed.

Now fold in the lemon extract and the vanilla with a spoon.

Pour into wax paper lined loaf pans – dividing batter evenly between pans, and place in preheated oven at 325 degrees on middle rack of oven. Bake for 1 hour. (Don’t worry – the wax paper WON”T burn, and it IS necessary for the success of this bread)  

While bread is baking make Cream Cheese Spread – if desired:

Cream Cheese Spread

1 pkg (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

 1/2 cup powdered sugar (can up this to 3/4 cup if sweeter, thicker spread desired)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all together on Med-High speed until well blended. Place in fridge until ready to use. (Please forgive my stained bowl – it’s around 17 years old and has been well-used)  🙂 

Now – when baking time is done, insert a toothpick into the centers of the loaves and check for doneness – it will come out clean when they are done. Remove loaves from oven, set pans on trivets or wire racks to cool for 5 minutes, then lift loaves out of pan by wax paper.

Peel off wax paper, slice loaves into hunks about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, spread with Cream Cheese spread (if desired – if not butter or plain is yummy too)!!

However – BEWARE – a hand will “magically” appear and snatch the first plate of strawberry goodness away before you even get done plating it all up!!

Guard the rest of the loaf wisely young grasshopper, guard it wisely!!!!

Enjoy!!  🙂 

Shady

 

 

 

Cure-All Hamburger Soup

It seems that there are some nasty “Bugs” going around right now, and I’ve had several requests for the recipe for my Cure-All Soup (because it WORKS!!).  So, I’m reposting the recipe here for you so you don’t have to search for it – and for those of you who’ve never seen it before.   🙂   

Make yourself (or a sick friend) up a quick batch of this and you WILL be 100% better in 24 hours! Miracle stuff!!

Enjoy!!   🙂    

 

Shady’s Cure-All Hamburger Soup

 

 

The main benefit to this soup is that No matter what cold/flu/sickness you are afflicted with, eat 2 – 3 bowls of this soup and it cures whatever ails you within 24 HOURS!!! Everytime!!! I’m not sure how – and I don’t care, I just know by personal experience – IT WORKS!!

*NOTE: Recipe can easily be doubled (this is how I normally make it now, I also will use bags of mixed frozen veggies when I can) or you can even triple the recipe for freezing leftovers. Recipe freezes wonderfully, and will keep up to 6 months this way – just thaw and reheat*

1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground beef , browned and drained

2 cans corn (drained)

2 cans green beans (drained)

1 can carrots or mixed veggies (drained)

1 can peas (drained)

2 cans stewed tomatoes (do not drain) (optional)

1 large can tomato juice (or 2 cans plain tomato sauce mixed with 1 can water if you are out of juice)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp (or more to taste) ground black pepper (this soup LIKES pepper)

2 tsp Italian seasonings (or 1 tsp each Oregano and Basil)

1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional)

*if more soup broth is desired, you can add 1 can plain tomato sauce to above ingredients*

Dump all into large pot and simmer on med-low heat until heated thru, stirring occasionally.

Serve and enjoy! I occasionally top with shredded cheddar cheese if I have some on hand, and a dollop of sour cream tastes great too!  :)

 This soup warms your insides, makes a nice change from chili on really cold days, and I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like this one!     :)

Hope y’all enjoy!

Shady

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled Pork or Beef

Okay, I know this is not a traditional Pulled Pork recipe. However, sometimes you need to “fudge” on long-cooked items for today’s crazy lifestyles. This is my “I-Don’t-Have-Time-To-Do-It-The-Way-They-Say-To” Pulled Pork recipe so that you can throw it on before you leave for work, and have dinner ready when you get home. Shhhh – just don’t tell them you cooked it this way and “they” will never know!!  ;)   

Here’s what you need to do:

Grab your Crock-pot, plug it in, set it on LOW.

Grab a 4 – 6 LB FROZEN  Pork Roast out of your freezer, unwrap it, throw it in Crock-pot. Sprinkle on some Garlic Powder and lots of Black Pepper.

Grab a bottle of BBQ Sauce outta the cupboard and dump it over Roast, Refill bottle 1/4 full of WARM or Hot water, swish around to clear bottle, and dump it over Roast.

Now cover crock-pot and walk away. In 8 hours you will have a Falling-Apart, Melt-In-Your-Mouth BBQ’d Pork Roast! 

Now take Roast out of crock-pot and place into a large mixing bowl. Take 2 large forks and pull roast apart – at this point it will fall almost completely apart on its own!!!

Now, you have 2 options – you can either dump the BBQ sauce cooking mixture back over roast and stir to serve – OR – take a new bottle/batch of BBQ sauce and pour it over the shredded meat, mixing in well (I prefer the later method since the sauce the meat cooked in is a bit “watery” at this point, but either method works well! I then use the sauce that is remaining in the crock-pot as gravy for smashed potatoes that I serve on the side of this dish – sounds weird, but tastes GREAT!!). 

Now, scoop meat out of the bowl onto buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches!

Enjoy! 

Shady

P.S. This also works for BBQ Beef  for sandwiches as well – same instructions, just a different meat.  ;)

P.P.S.  This is an awesome recipe for the “Game Day” buffet. Just return the shredded meat/bbq sauce mixture to an empty (no cooking liquid remaining) crock-pot,  and set crock-pot to “WARM” or “LOW” once you reach your destination to watch the game.  Just be sure to stir the meat every so often while watching game so the sauce doesn’t burn to the sides of the crockpot.    🙂

Chocolate Treasure Cupcakes

Okay – who’s ready for a massive chocolate fix????

This kind of warm, gooey chocolate fix???

Mmmmmmmm……Cheesecake middles…….

Well then, here you go:

Chocolate Treasure Cupcakes 

preheat your oven to 350 degrees 

prepare muffin tins for 24 cupcakes (either use liners, or grease and sugar; or grease and cocoa powder – if you REALLY love chocolate – the tins) 

Filling: 

1 – 8 oz. pkg softened cream cheese 

1 egg, beaten 

1/3 cup sugar 

1/8 tsp salt 

1  (6 oz.) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 a regular size pkg) 

 

Combine cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Beat with mixer on medium speed until well blended. 

 

Now stir in chocolate chips, using a spoon. Set aside for later. 

 

Cupcake Batter: 

3 cups flour 

1/2 cup cocoa powder 

2 cups sugar 

2 tsp baking soda 

1 tsp salt 

2 cups water 

2/3 cup vegetable oil 

1 tblsp white vinegar 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

Combine first 5 ingredients (dry team) in a large mixing bowl. 

 

Mix thouroughly – I use a whisk for this part. 

 

Assemble the rest of the ingredients (wet team). 

 

Now, SLOWLY add (in order) water, oil, vinegar and vanilla while mixing on LOW speed with electric mixer (otherwise you will be consumed in a dust cloud of chocolate…..sounds good, breathes bad).  🙂  Mix well. 

 

Now, fill cupcake tins 2/3 full of Batter, then drop heaping teaspoons full of cream cheese Filling in center on top of batter. Don’t worry – it will sink into batter while it bakes.  😉  

  

Arrange pans on center oven racks so that they are not touching. 

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes. 

Remove from oven and place on trivets or wire racks to cool before removing cupcakes from pans. 

 

You must let them cool a bit before eating – you don’t want to hurt yourself! But, most importantly of all…….BEWARE that blasted Hand Monster thief!! 

 

Because you are going to want all of this yummy goodness for yourself!!! 

 

Although, in order to avoid possible over-consumption and extra “jigglies” where you don’t want them, you MIGHT want to consider sharing….. Notice I only said “might” though.  🙂   

Enjoy!! 

Shady

My Breakfast Casserole

I origionally posted this recipe last January – but considering the cold/nasty weather conditions that most of us are experiancing, I thought you might like to try this out this weekend.    🙂

 

This recipe can be made with ANY cheese you have on hand, and it’s awesome for ANY meal – not just breakfast!!

Enjoy!    🙂  

 

 

Shady’s Breakfast Casserole

 

Breakfast Casserole

Easy Breakfast Casserole

 

 

 

(Approx. one hour from start to finish)

Oven set to 350 degrees, rack in center of oven

9 x 13 glass baking dish

non-stick cooking spray

2 LBS sausage – spicy is best (or 1 lb sausage, 1 lb hamburger, or 1 lb pork sausage and 1 lb turkey sausage – any combo will work)

12 eggs

2 cups milk

2 cups +/-  cubed bread/ stuffing mix (unseasoned works best)

5 slices taco cheese (deli cheese…can substitute any cheddar) crumbled

5 slices Chipolte cheese (can substitute pepper jack) crumbled

12 thin (1/4 – 1/2 inch thick) slices of Velveeta cheese

1/2 tsp. Paprika

1 tsp Italian Seasonings

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

 

Brown sausage in skillet (approx. 20 min over med. heat) DO NOT DRAIN, most of grease will cook off and you need what is left for the bread cubes.

While meat is browning;

 preheat oven, spray baking dish, place bread cubes in bottom of baking dish 1 layer deep only, set aside.

Whisk eggs, milk and spices (like making scrambled eggs) and set aside.

Crumble up cheeses and slice Velveeta, set aside.

Once meat is browned pour meat and any remaining pan drippings over bread cubes and level out. Next, place crumbled cheeses over meat. Now Pour egg mixture over top of that. THEN place velveeta slices on top (if you pour the eggs over the velveeta you will have a black, burned top).

Place in oven on center rack – UNCOVERED for 30 – 35 min. at 350 degrees

Let cool 10 – 15 min before eating or the cheese will burn you.

ENJOY!!! Serves 8 – 13 people, or makes GREAT leftovers for the next few days :)   Reheat individual servings in microwave for approx. 1 min 15 sec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Butter and Buttermilk

Here’s a recipe for you to make your own (flavored or unflavored) Butter and Buttermilk. 

With butter (and esp. flavored butter) prices going thru the roof, I thought I’d share this one with you to help stretch your grocery dollars a bit farther.    🙂   

Sorry for the lack of photos  – my camera wasn’t around for this one.    🙂

 

 

HOMEMADE BUTTER AND BUTTERMILK

 
2 pints heavy whipping cream

 

 

Leave the cream out for 12 hours before making the butter.

Put the mixing bowl and beaters for your mixture into the freezer for a half hour before you make the butter.

 

 

Pour the cream into the mixing bowl and beat until the cream turns yellow and clumps, and the liquid separates out. This is buttermilk! Don’t leave the mixer unattended or when that separation happens the buttermilk will splatter all over your kitchen!!!

Pour the buttermilk into a container and save for another use.

Pour the butter into a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Using a large spatula, press as much liquid as you can out of the butter.

Put the butter in a bowl and pour a few cups of cold water over it. Stir, press, and fold the butter, then drain off the cloudy water. Repeat 8-10 times until the water is clear.

Add salt to taste.

Add minced chives or basil to use on vegetables or pasta.  Add chopped peaches, a bit of honey, cinnamon or strawberries for a sweet flavored butter spread.

 

Enjoy!!!

    🙂   

 

Couponing 101 – Crash Course

In a time when everyone is cutting back, or cutting out (no pun intended), on just about every expenditure that they can – it seems “couponing” has resurged as the latest obsession. We have all heard stories, or seen newscasts, about those select few who can go into a store and walk out with 100’s of dollars of merchandise for under $20.00 .

No matter how we individually feel about using coupons – we all admire those resourceful souls who can accomplish this feat!

I happen to go to church with a sweet young mom who has managed to make “couponing” into an art form – and gotten several of us “hooked” as well!  She manages to regularly have $5.00  shopping bills for 100’s of dollars of household/grocery items almost weekly! I have even heard of times that she has basically “made money”  shopping because she has not only gotten all of her purchases for “free” – but she has walked away with “Register Rewards” that took several dollars off of her next shopping trip as well!

Awesome huh!?!

Who wouldn’t want to do that?!?

Even more impressive is the fact that we live in a “smaller” town where coupon inserts in the newspapers are far and few between!

So, we’ve all been taking notes from her (and her Blog  http://www.savingatthelake.com/ ) and have learned a few valuable things that really work to shave lots of dollars off of your check-out totals.  Now I am not quite to her “level” yet,  but I am now able to regularly cut my grocery/household costs in half (or more) at the check-out counter (think $45.00 – $75.00 off or more every time)!

That’s a huge deal nowadays (i.e. a tank of gas!!). Someday I hope to be as good at it as she is – but at least I’m making progress.    😉    

Now, you all know that I do not have a lot of free-time on my hands – so get the idea of spending hours/days of cutting out coupons out of your head right now! I am about to give you a Crash Course in “Couponing” for the time-challenged like me.    🙂   

Okay? Ready?     😉    

Rule #1)    Stop being “embarrassed” about using coupons at the check-out counter!!!  That fidgeting, miffed, “in a hurry” person behind you will be picking their jaw up off of the floor and asking you “How?” you did it when they see/hear your total go from $200.00 down to under $60.00 (happened to me last week at TARGET)!!!

Rule #2)    Get yourself a smallish-type accordion pocket file folder (4’x8′ or so) to keep your coupons in. Label each pocket of the folder with the types of coupons it will contain (i.e. grocery, pets, store, household items, paper products, hygiene, meds, car, etc…).  These save time, fit right into your purse/pocket, and make life MUCH easier!!

**NOTE:  Keep all of your “Store” specific coupons (meaning that they are only usable at a certain store) in the section marked “Store”, and all “Manufacturer” issued coupons (usable anywhere) in the other sections of your folder. This makes “stacking” coupons easier. (Definition of “stacking” : you use 1 “store” coupon AND  1 “manufacturer” issued coupon for the SAME item.  Saves LOTS!!!! Or gives you the item for “Free”!!!)

Rule #3)    Go Online!!!  Even if you are lucky enough to get a daily paper that puts coupon inserts in the Sunday or Wednesday paper, you will find 100’s more coupons online to print out, or even download to your phone!! Listed below are the ones I use (check them every week or 2 since they update often) and they are legitimate, cause NO computer issues, and are accepted with NO hassles at the stores!

Bookmark these as “Favorites” on your computer for easy access later:

http://Coupons.com

http://redplum.com

http://coupons.target.com

http://smartsource.com

http://pgeverydaysolutions.com/   (Proctor & Gamble)

http://www.kroger.com/  (several grocery stores under their ownership)

http://walgreens.com

Sign up for emails/subscribe/bookmark these Blogs that ONLY specialize in telling you about the latest coupon releases – and how to use them efficiently to save the most money:

http://savingatthelake.com

http://dealseekingmom.com

http://kansascitymamas.com

**NOTE: Wal-Mart just implemented a coupon policy, and they will even accept competitor coupons as well!!! It is so new that I recommend you print out a copy of it to take with you to show the cashier in case they haven’t been “briefed” yet – This is the Direct Link to the Wal-Mart Corporate Coupon Policy:

http://walmartstores.com/7655.aspx

Rule #4)   AS you shop, pull the coupons out of the folder that you will be using at the check-out! When you do get to the check-out aisle, hand your coupons to the clerk BEFORE they ring you up!!!  This save lots of time/confusion at the end.

Rule #5)   Find out who among your friends/family/co-workers also uses coupons, and switch off!! Paige and I do this for baby/toddler items (she has 2 young/new ones), and for dog/cat food items (I have lots of “furry” mouths to feed.  She brings me the dog/cat food coupons that she finds – and I bring her all of the baby/diaper/toddler item coupons that I find.  Win, Win!!!!!

There! That’s it!! Now, just keep your coupons IN your purse/car and grab them when it is time to go into the store! You will be AMAZED at how many of the coupons will be for items already on sale that week (or even already “on clearance” at Target)!!

Trust me – the 1st time you knock your check-out total in half (or more) you will b “hooked” too!    🙂   

Besides – who couldn’t use a lower grocery/household bill????

It’s just too bad they don’t make Gas coupons…….     😉     

Have a great day!!