Sunday, March 22, 2015

Carmel Apple Pie from

Are you ready for awesome? This pie is ultra delicious. The crunchy, buttery oatmeal cookie crust surrounding tender, spicy apple pie filling and topped with warm, homemade butter caramel sauce. What could be better? We like ours with homemade vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce, but store bought will suffice.
~ preheat oven to 375 degrees F. ~
for the oatmeal cookie crust:
1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking and not steel cut)
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (no substitutes)
Mix all crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan, forming a thick and even crust. Reserve 1/3 cup of this mixture for the pie topping.
for the filling:
6 cups peeled, cored and thin-sliced tart apple (approximately 4 to 5 large apples)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice OR orange juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 to 4 Tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream OR cottage cheese
Place sliced apples in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice/orange juice. Sprinkle with spices. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with the starch. Mix well. Gradually add the brown sugar and sour cream/cottage cheese until everything is evenly combined.
Spread filling into the unbaked crust. Sprinkle the reserved 1/3 cup oat mixture over the top of the pie. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until apples are very tender and the crust is a deep golden brown. If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking until done.
To serve:
Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with THIS homemade butter caramel sauce, or your favorite caramel sauce and a scoop of the very best vanilla ice cream you can find (Sonny’s is our absolute favorite.)

You may enjoy these related posts:

This is an easy, delicious, smooth caramel sauce that is wonderful for all your recipes that call for caramel. This recipe makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half & half
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the brown sugar, half & half, butter and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat for 7 minutes (or until it gets thicker.) Add the vanilla and cook an additional minute. Turn off the heat and allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
for cinnamon caramel: add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg when you add the vanilla. (wonderful in monkey bread)
for Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Caramel: add 2 Tablespoons JD in place of vanilla. (wonderful on ice cream or brownies)
for orange caramel: add 1 teaspoon orange extract in place of the vanilla (wonderful on caramel rolls)
for coconut caramel: add 1 teaspoon coconut extract in place of the vanilla (wonderful on banana splits)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Queen of Clean window cleaner

Queen of Clean Linda Cobb CLEANING WINDOWS
This is for windows that have bug stains, screen stains, bird stains, hard water stains, and windows that have been neglected. Remember, there is NO WATER in this recipe. You can double this recipe making the amount you need.
1 pint rubbing alcohol
2 Tablespoons clear ammonia
2 Tablespoons dishwashing liquid
Appy to the window using a nylon-covered sponge, rinse and buff dry. 
NOTE: Fantastic for car windshields.

It's that time of year. The sun is shining and suddenly you realize that the windows are dirty......really dirty. Sometimes there is no better way than to give them a really good scrubbing, but other times something quick and easy works. Here is my formula for a Wipe on - hose off- window cleaner.
1/2 gallon warm water
1 Tablespoon liquid automatic dishwasher spot stopper such as Jet-Dry or Finish.
2-3 Tablespoons dish washing liquid
Mix all ingredients in a bucket
Spray windows down with your hose.
Using a sponge, apply the solution to the windows as you would to wash them.
Immediately hose off your window starting at the top and working down. Do this to each window as you go.
The remaining water will sheet off and the window will dry. No towel drying is needed. Do not do this in direct sun or it will spot.
** HERE"S MY NOTE: if you have a lot of hard water spots (white spots) on the window they are probably not going to all come off without scrubbing. If you have very hard water you may have a few spots, but in general it will give you a fast and passable job. I would wash the window after winter doing a really good scrubbing, rinsing and drying, but this will work the rest of the time unless you are REALLY picky. In this busy world it is nice to have a quick option.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Un Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

You can eat the whole pot with very little carbs and calories. Weight watcher 7 points for the whole pot!
A great recipe to increase your energy levels! Healthy, too!
1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) low sodium diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Queen of Clean Cleaning Guidelines

You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in 1 minute-5 minutes-15 minutes-30 minutes of focused cleaning.
1 Minute
Family Room
• Find all the remotes and return to where they are kept
• Stack and tidy magazines, paper etc.
• Remove any dirty clothes to the hamper
• Clear off dresser or chest of drawers
• Be sure there is a supply of extra toilet paper etc and add necessary items to shopping list
• Put a teaspoon of orange flavored breakfast drink in the toilet to clean it, swish and let sit until you need to flush it
• Put some ice down the garbage disposal to keep it clean, fresh smelling and running well
• Fill garbage disposal side of sink with 3” of warm water. Add a handful of baking soda. Turn on disposal and immediately pull the sink stopper. Cleans out the holes and food that is stuck.
5 Minutes
Family Room:
• Gather up yesterdays papers etc and toss Remove anything that doesn’t belong in the room
• Dust lampshades with a micro fiber cloth
• Make the bed
• Shake out any rugs or throws (outside) Put in washer if needed
• Wipe down the sink(s) with a damp micro fiber cloth
• Put ½ cup of baking soda in drains and add ½ cup of white vinegar to keep drains free-flowing. Next time you are in the bathroom run cold water down the drain.
• Brush off seats on kitchen table chairs or bar stools with a soft brush
• Wipe down the front of the refrigerator with a 50% solution of white vinegar and water.
10 Minutes
Family Room
• Dust furniture with a lambswool duster to attract the dust and add some shine
• Take pet beds outside and go over with lint roller or brush
• Change Bed
• Dust all furniture
• Clean mirrors
• Clean mirrors
• Tidy medicine cabinet
• Clean countertops and buff
• Dust light fixtures/chandeliers with a telescoping duster
15 Minutes
Family Room
• Polish wood furniture with a mixture of 1 cup olive oil and ¼ cup of white vinegar. Apply with soft cloth and buff
• Vacuum soft upholstery with vacuum attachment
• Strip bed and vacuum mattress and pillows. Put sheets in washer
• Wipe down window sills and dust window treatments
• If you have a shower curtain (plastic) toss in washer with a couple of old towels, laundry detergent and 2 cups of white vinegar. Hang immediately
• Wash windows inside and clean window treatments
• Wipe out refrigerator with a solution of 50/50 water and white vinegar and dry. Discard old food
• Clean stove top area and microwave as appropriate 
30 Minutes
Family Room
• Pull out furniture and vacuum baseboards and all floor area
• Wipe down fans , clean overhead lights and clean decorative pieces
• Clean out bedside tables and remove things that don’t belong. Clean tops of all dressers, tables etc and remove and dispose of junk
• Vacuum dust ruffle and under bed area
• Thoroughly clean tub, shower and shower doors.
• Clean out under vanity area and cupboards
• Clean out as many drawers as you can in 30 minutes. Race yourself to see what you can get done.
• Wash baseboards and thoroughly clean edges of floor. Hand wash entire floor to get it really clean.
Thanks for Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Mushroom Soup Pork Chops


Thursday, March 12, 2015


This is so delicious. Serve for breakfast, brunch, even appetizers.
Super easy to make.
1 (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits (I used the buttery flavor).
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup diced ham
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11 x 7 or 12 x 8 glass baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat egg and milk with a wire whisk until smooth.
Separate dough into individual biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in ham, cheese, onions and granulated garlic. Spoon mixture into prepared dish, arrange biscuit pieces in a single layer.
Bake at 350 for 23 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. You can either cut into squares or just pull apart and serve.
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Thanks for Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Amish Meatloaf

Tonight I’m making Swiss meatloaf for dinner.  It’s a recipe loosely adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cooking From Quilt Country by Marcia Adams. I purchased a copy of the book while on a little road trip to Harmony Minnesota with my grandma Darling. That was over 20 years ago while I was pregnant with my daughter Andrea. My, how time flies!
This is a seriously AWESOME recipe. It completely changed my opinion of meat loaf.
~amish meatloaf~
2 large eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly gound black pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 cup Keebler “Club” cracker crumbs (crumbled fine)
1 and 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 cup finely chopped onion
5 to 6 strips bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add evaporated milk, sage, nutmeg salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add ground meats, crumbs, all but 1/4 cup of the cheese and onion. Blend well, using your hands. Form into a loaf and place in loaf pan. Lay bacon strips over top. Bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Cool a bit before serving with mashed potatoes mixed with sour cream and horseradish and topped with gravy.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Unshrink with the Queen of Clean

Have you ever shrunk one of your sweaters and wonder if you can save it? The answer is yes. Fill a basin with warm water and put a couple of squirts of baby shampoo in and swish with your hand. Lay the sweater on top of the water and allow it to sink on its own. Soak for 15 minutes. Gently take the sweater out without wringing it and put it in a container. Then fill the basin with clean cool water and a squirt of hair conditioner. Lay the sweater on top of the water and again, let it sink on its own. Take the sweater out, place on a towel and roll it in it to remove most of the water. Lay the sweater on a dry towel on a flat surface and gently re-shape it. Check the sweater as it is drying to continue reshaping as needed. Don't forget to SHARE me with your friends!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Turkey Salad

“I wish I were rich, and I could spend the whole summer in a hotel, eating ice cream and chicken salad.” ~Diana Barry Anne of Green Gables
There’s a sweet little restaurant and tearoom in Lake City Minnesota called The Chickadee Cottage that I visit at least a few times a year with family and friends. They’ve created a wonderful, quaint place to go for breakfast and lunch, and I especially like it in the summer. My favorite menu item is their chicken salad, but I bought their cookbook because they have a LOT of good recipes that I enjoy making over and over again.
~chickadee cottage chicken salad~
“The secret is out- We really make our chicken salad with turkey breast” ~from the Chickadee Cottage Cookbook
This makes a huge amount of salad. The recipe can easily be cut in half.
7-8 lb. turkey breast, baked in a roasting bag
1 Tablespoon dry onion
3 cups celery, fine-diced
3 cups real mayonnaise
4 oz. container Cool Whip
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 and 1/2 lb. green grapes
7 oz. box ring macaroni
1 cup slivered almonds
Cool and cube turkey. Bones, skin and juice can be cooked with water and vegetables to make soup broth.
Cook macaroni per box directions. Drain and cool.
Combine all salad ingredients, except the almonds which are sprinkled over the top just prior to serving. Stir well and taste. Adjust seasonings and add a little more mayo if needed. Pasta will absorb some moisture and seasonings. Chill. Serve on a bed of lettuce or on croissants.
20 servings
note: this salad can certainly be made with chicken
Happy Teatime Tuesday!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cleaning with the Queen of Clean

People talk dirty to me all the time, that’s because I’m the Queen of Clean®, a New York Times Best Selling author of 6 books on cleaning and organizing. In addition I’ve appeared on TV shows such as The Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, The View, Dr. Phil and Oprah. My entire approach is to clean with things you already have in your pantry or cupboards, to clean “green” as much as possible and clean smarter not harder – even I would rather talk about it than actually do it!
I have created this quick little quiz so that you can find out where you stand on the cleaning chart. Are you right up there with the Queen or should you be racing out to buy my books to get you started. Remember, the only person you have to please is yourself and your family when it comes to cleaning. Just remember to keep your home sanitary and livable. OK, let’s get started and see who you really are.
1. To make sure I can see my face in my chrome fixtures as well as my mirror, I
a. Use silver polish because they look silvery, right?
b. Rub with lots of cleanser
c. Spend an hour wiping them, making sure no spots are left
d. Give them the once over with a dryer sheet
2. I should remove the zippered covers on my upholstered cushions
a. Before my mother-in-law, who still has the plastic on her furniture, comes to visit.
b. To air out the foam
c. So I can put them in the washer
d. Never – they might shrink and then I’ll be looking at foam instead of just a few spots.
3. When my kitchen drain clogs up I
a. Put on rubber gloves, a mask, and safety glasses and get out the most caustic substance I can find.
b. Call my plumber, that’s why they have plumbers in the first place.
c. Call my friend, who knows all about household stuff, and ask her.
d. Just open the cabinet, grab the salt and baking soda and pour a cup of each down the drain, then add a kettle of boiling water. 
4. I smoke in my car and
a. I cover up the smell with those pine-tree air fresheners
b. I’ve just resigned myself to driving a portable ashtray.
c. I take a nicely scented candle out to the car, light it carefully, listen to the radio for an hour and then take the candle out of the car.
d. I prevent the smell by putting baking soda in the ashtray and dryer sheets under the seats.
5. I just painted my living room and
a. Now I’m scraping paint off light switches and doorknobs. Who knew I 
could be so messy?
b. I used a really tiny brush and spent hours painting so I don’t have much 
mess, but boy am I tired. 
c. I laboriously wrapped layers and layers of tape all over every surface. It
only took 17 rolls.
d. I covered all the metal fixtures with petroleum jelly so any paint would just wipe right off.
6. I know that the easiest way to keep my copper pots shiny is to
a. Clean them regularly with special, expensive polish
b. Shiny, who needs shiny? That greenish tinge looks nice…right?
c. Have a garage sale and sell them. I’ll just buy new ones.
d. Rub them with ketchup from the free ketchup packets I get from fast-food restaurants.
7. I got so caught up in the horror flick I was watching (I think is was called Attack of the Dirty Ovens), I forgot about my microwave popcorn. Now the microwave reeks of burned popcorn, but not to worry
a. Microwaves don’t weigh that much, I’ll just move it to the back porch
where it can air out for a few days.
b. I don’t really mind that smell, Actually, it’s so familiar that it says “home”
to me.
c. I’ll buy some toxic cleaners and clean it out every day for a week and then
not microwave until the smell is gone.
d. I’ll just microwave a bowl of vanilla extract until it comes to a boil, then
Leave the microwave closed for 24 hours. The smell will be gone.
8. Speaking of dirty ovens, I think that mine is ready to attack. 
a. I had better go to the appliance store again. Time is money and I’d rather
spend the cash than the time it will take me to clean that monster.
b. And I like it that way. Down and dirty in the kitchen is what I say.
c. Okay, get out the mask, the oven cleaner and the scraper. I can have this done in a few hours.
d. I’ll tame the beast with a simple paste of baking soda and ammonia.
9. I am prepared for the next time my husband “fixes” the car and makes an oily mess on the garage floor.
a. Because I’ve already made up a bed for him on the couch. He knows
What’ll happen if he doesn’t clean up after himself.
b. Because I’ve already listed that car in the want ads. No more car….no
more mess.
c. I really do love that man, what’s a few hours spent with toxic garage floor 
cleaner. I am sure he will buy me some flowers when he sees what I have done.
d. Because I know to take some of the resident feline’s Kitty Litter™ and sprinkle it on the spills. They’ll be gone in no time. Better still I have taught my husband to do it when he sees the spill happen. 
If you answered mostly A’s: You are, and I say this with kindness, a Domestic Disaster. You’ve reached the point of no return. Keeping up with all the cleaning has just become too much and you’re resigned to taking the easiest route possible, which may mean doing nothing at all. Check out the Queen’s tips for doing things quickly and easily…..I promise, it’s not as bad as you think. 
If you answered mostly B’s: You are a Queen Needing Training. You haven’t reached that point of no return, but you are tired, frustrated and probably irritated too. There are quick, fun ways to clean, how about putting Tang™ in your toilet and Massingill® on your dog?! Sound intriguing? Those are just a couple of the Queen’s cleaning tips.
If you answered mostly C’s: You are truly a Domestic Diva, in fact, you’re an American Idol. It’s surprising you had the time or energy to fill out this quiz! You’re working too hard at keeping everything clean, though; brush up on some tips from the Queen so you can be more efficient…and happier too. Maybe it’s time to come down off the pedestal. 
If you answered mostly D’s: You are a Cleaning Queen and truly the queen of your domain! You’ve obviously taken the Queen’s advice to heart and you’re using to keep your household under control…with as little fuss as possible. Keep it up—and recruit some friends! 
Don't forget to SHARE with your friends to see how they do!
Thanks for Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean!
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