Monday, February 28, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....This is a Monday suited for a nice plate of biscuits, and here is a recipe for drop biscuits that you will love.

Lois Elaine Mueller's outstanding recipes are featured right here every Monday. Her heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

When Lois received a recipe from someone, she would note it on the recipe card.  This one for Red Lobster Biscuits came from, well, ME, back in July of 1996.  If you love Red Lobster biscuits, here is the recipe for you!

Lois Elaine's Red Lobster Biscuits:

1 c. milk
1/3 c. mayonnaise
2 c. self-rising flour
1 T. sugar
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
Butter-Flavored PAM
garlic salt

In medium mixing bowl, beat together milk, mayo, sugar and flour.  Stir in 1/2 c. cheese.  If necessary, add additional flour so dough can be worked and will hold its shape.

Drop dough by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet.  Spray top of each biscuit with butter-flavored PAM and sprinkly each with a pinch of garlic salt and a pinch of the remaining 1/4 c. cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or light golden brown.

Makes 10 biscuits.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday - We are almost done with winter, hopefully.  Here's a dog for your enjoyment....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer isn't talking right now.  Good conversationalists have to get a lot of sleep to keep their brains in good shape, and Sofi takes this very seriously....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Helpful Hints For Dealing With Snow

Wow - Much of the country, including Oklahoma, suffered through the gigantic blizzard of the first week of February, 2011.  What's to come for the rest of the month and March????  As I posted last week, I'm hopeful that Oklahoma is done with snow for this season, but nothing is guaranteed.

Well, if you have any more snow issues, here are some helpful hints to get your car through the stress....

1.  Keep your headlights clear with car wax! Just wipe ordinary car wax on your headlights. It contains special water repellents that will prevent that messy mixture from accumulating on your lights - lasts 6 weeks.

2.  Squeak-proof your wipers with rubbing alcohol! Wipe the wipers with a cloth saturated with rubbing alcohol or ammonia. This one trick can make badly streaking & squeaking wipers change to near perfect silence and clarity.  ( I HATE squeaky wipers!)

3.  Ice-proof your windows with vinegar! Frost on its way? Just fill a spray bottle with three parts vinegar to one part water & spritz it on all your windows at night. In the morning, they'll be clear of icy mess. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which raises the melting point of water---preventing water from freezing!

4.  Prevent car doors from freezing shut with cooking spray! Spritz cooking oil on the rubber seals around car doors & rub it in with a paper towel. The cooking spray prevents water from melting into the rubber.

5.  Fog-proof your windshield with shaving cream! Spray some shaving cream on the inside of your windshield & wipe if off with paper towels. Shaving cream has many of the same ingredients found in commercial defoggers.

6.  De-ice your lock in seconds with hand sanitizer! Just put some hand sanitizer gel on the key & the lock & the problems solved!

So, there you are.  These hints use items usually found around the house, and are easy to do if you have just a little time.  Happy snowy trails!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hope your February Monday is warm and cozy.  Here's another Lois Elaine Recipe...

Lois Elaine Mueller's outstanding recipes are featured every Monday. Her heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

In the '50's and '60's, Christmas and holiday parties were popular events.  Hey, they still are!  A great punch is a necessity for a successful party, and Lois has several punch recipes that look amazing.  Here is one...(beware, it has alcohol!)

Lois Elaine's Orange Punch:

4 oranges, unpeeled
1 pint brandy
6 c. fresh orange juice
1 bottle (4/5 qt) vodka
1 bottle (28 oz) Seven-Up
4 dashes aromatic bitters

1.  Cut thin slice off ends of each orange and discard.  Slice oranges into 1/4 inch cartwheels.  Cut each cartwheel in half.  Place oranges in a shallow glass dish; pour brandy over oranges and chill thoroughly - several hours or overnight.

2.  Have all remaining ingredients thoroughly chilled.  Just before serving pour chilled ingredients over a block of ice in large punch bowl.  Add orange slices and brandy and stir slightly to mix.  To serve, spoon a brandied orange slice into each cup of punch.  Makes about 4 quarts or 32 punch cup servings.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Spring is right around the corner.  Can't you feel it?  To celebrate, we have the Friday Dog Blog!

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer is an outdoor dog through and through.  She especially loves the beach and all of the fishy smells.  Sofi wishes she smelled like a fish, so she rolls in the sand and gets her wish, for just a little while....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are We Done With The Snow????

Hello, hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!  It's looking like we may be finally crawling out of the long, hard winter and racing headlong into Spring.  Sunday, after minus 30 degrees temps only a few days ago, the weather was a little better, 68 degrees.  So I went shopping, played 18 holes of disc golf, picked up some topsoil at the local nursery and even managed to get half of my onions in the ground!

Yes, it's time to start getting our gardens ready and planting early season plants like onions and, in a couple of weeks, potatoes and other goodies.  I'm hoping that we don't see any more snow in Oklahoma, but that's never a sure thing until late March or April.

After a particularly hard winter here, Spring will be especially welcome this year.  It's a good time to start thinking about the jellies and jams you want to can, and the recipes that will showcase your fresh vegetables.  And don't forget to visit your farmers' markets that will be opening up around April!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello and happy Valentine's Day!!  For today's recipe, we are going to take a one-week break from Lois Elaine's recipe box and feature a guest recipe from Red Gold Tomatoes.

Red Gold Tomatoes is a private, family owned Indiana-based company around since the '40s focused on growing local in the Midwest where true seasons impact the flavor of tomatoes (even winters are important for the tomato soil). They grow the tomatoes in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. They even have professional chefs who swear there is nothing better.  Red Gold tomatoes are sold in Oklahoma City grocery stores, and probably in stores near you.  I love Red Gold Tomatoes - Can't imagine a grocery that doesn't carry them, but if your favorite store doesn't, ask them to stock the Red Gold brand.  You'll be pleasantly surprised when you taste them!

Best Ever Chicken Fajitas

Stir-fried chicken strips, peppers, onions and cheese are simmered in a zesty sauce and wrapped in warm tortillas.

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 (10 ounce) cans Red Gold® Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies , drained
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese


In large skillet ( you know I love cast iron skillets, if you have one, pull it out here) heat oil, add chicken and cook until browned. Add green bell pepper and onion, cook until crisp tender.

Add soup and RED GOLD® DICED TOMATOES with GREEN CHILIES; heat through.

Spoon ½ cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with cheese. Fold tortilla around the filling.

Nutritional facts per serving:
Calories 370
Fat 15.00g
Trans Fat 0.00g
Cholesterol 60.00mg
Sodium 760.00mg
Carbohydrate 31.00g
Fiber 3.00g
Protein 28.00g
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 35%
Calcium 15%
Iron 15%

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hope you are having a great Friday.  Here is a great dog to go with your Friday....

Sofi the Talking Schnauzer loves to take a bath.  Being well-groomed and well-dressed is a priority.  She has well-groomed covered, but feels a little naked in this picture.....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Let's Get Ready To Garden!

Are we sick of winter yet?  In Oklahoma, onions and other cooler weather plants go into the ground in February and potatoes follow closely behind, so it's time to turn our thoughts to the garden.

Here are a few quick and easy tips to make your gardening experience a little easier this year....

1.  Put a bar of soap into a little mesh bag and tie it around the outdoor faucet.  After gardening, use it to wash the dirt off your hands.

2.  Take a clothespin along when you are cutting or trimming roses and grasp the thorny stem with the pin, not your fingers.

3.  Save a pair of old pantyhose, cut them up and use them to tie your tomatoes and other plants that need to be staked.  They make great ties, and they don't injure the plants.

4.  Want a natural weed-killer that won't hurt your plants?  Here's the recipe:  1 oz. of inexpensive gin, 1 oz. of vinegar and 8 oz. of water.  Give the weeds a nice dose of this and they'll wilt and die.

Now if someone can just come up with a remedy to keep squirrels away from my mom's apricot trees, things would be perfect.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello....How is your Monday going so far?  How about another recipe? 

Today, straight from the recipe box of Lois Elaine Mueller, is a recipe for Mashed Potatoes. For the next several months I will be featuring Lois Elaine's recipes every Monday. Her heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.

Lois noted on her recipes if they came from someone else, and this one is from Karen, one of her relatives....

Lois Elaine's Charged-Up Mashed Potatoes:

1 box Instant Potatoes (25 servings)
1/2 bottle Ranch Dressing
1 - 8 oz pkg of Cream Cheese
1 - 8 oz carton of Sour Cream

Cook the instant potatoes as directed, then add the other ingredients.  Then get ready for Mashed Potato Heaven!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello....It's another great Friday in the Sooner State!

Today we have a rather unconventional dog taking center stage on the Dog Blog.  We love all animals on our Dog Blog, and this little guy lives at the Wichita Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, Oklahoma.

This is a Prairie Dog, and he struck a pose that just screamed "put me on the Dog Blog!"  So, I did.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Oprah Book Club Selection #11 - Stones From The River by Ursula Hegi

Stones From The River by Ursula Hegi. 1994, Poseidon Press. 509 pages.

I am almost to the end of my year-long Oprah Book Club challenge. This is #11 in my year-long, self-inflicted challenge, and this one has turned out to be an excellent read.

This is a book about the life of a woman in pre and post-World War II Germany. Trudi Montag has dwarfism, and was born to a loving father and an emotionally-disturbed mother, who dies before Trudi reaches adulthood.

Trudi learns to use her intelligence to counterbalance the many obstacles of dwarfism, and she is a likeable character with a sense of humor. This is a book about secrets, and Trudi learns at an early age that gossip and secrets will make people pay attention to her. She becomes the go-to person of her fictional village, Burgdorf, for the town gossip, and she works tirelessly to gain the trust and confidences of people. She spends her day tending the family’s pay-library with her father and talking with their many customers.

Most fascinating about this novel, though, is the time period. The chapters are by year, and as the book progresses past the first world war, through the Twenties and on to the Thirties, you feel the dread and anticipation of what you know is coming quickly in Germany. The book gives you a small-picture view of the effects of Nazism and the Hitler era on this small town and its residents. It addresses the question of how the German people could succumb to the influence of a charismatic, unbalanced leader and how this small town’s residents managed to deal with the brutal reality that eventually all were forced to accept.

Ostracism and the need to “fit in” is a major theme in this book. Trudi becomes friends as a child with Georg, whose mother, mistrusting men, dresses him as a girl, complete with long curls. He eventually persuades Trudi to cut off his hair, which begins a series of changes that will bring acceptance for him among his peers, and Trudi sadly watches him distance himself from her, the dwarf.

Trudi experiences a brutal act at the age of thirteen, which colors her feelings and actions throughout her life. She exacts her revenge on most of the guilty individuals by the end of the book.

She finds another friend, Eva Rosen, who ignores her at school but cultivates a private friendship. As the relationship is blossoming, Trudi betrays Eva’s confidence and causes her a great deal of pain at school, ending the friendship. After adulthood, the friendship will resume.

Trudi has a romantic relationship with a man that she initially deceives, and the two fall in love.

The war begins and progresses, and fear, cruelty and shame take over the town. People become suspicious and paranoid, and those who are different disappear or are taken by soldiers during the night. Trudi and her father hide fleeing Jews in their home after digging a tunnel to the house next door. Trudi herself is imprisoned.

This book is simply outstanding. This is one that you will not want to put down, and I highly recommend it to everyone. Because of time constraints, I listened to the book on CD, and, as always, wished I had read the book. I found myself needing to page back and check the names to see who was who, and this is difficult to do with a CD while driving down a highway.

Loved the book. Read it, and you will, too!

Out of five stars, I give Stones From The River….

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