Vegetables and Salad Dressing #Recipe by @_NancyRadke

Growing your own vegetables is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding. I wrote before about growing sprouts inside during the winter, to get fresh produce. Mungo bean sprouts make a great addition to omelets, and alfalfa sprouts add vitamins to a salad.

This month I was given a small cold frame along with potting soil. I just planted a tiny patch of onions, lettuce, radishes, and arugula. It’s cold outside, and if it continues to be cool, I should have some radishes to eat in a month. I look forward to the salads I’ll make from these.

Vegetables

A great salad dressing can be made with a few simple ingredients. I use fresh orange juice for this and the lightest olive oil I can find. You can fudge on the kind of mustard. I use raw honey for the health benefits and Bragg’s Vinegar. I feel that a good olive oil is the most important ingredient, as it makes a huge taste difference.

ORANGE SALAD DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt + pepper

Put all in a small bottle, shake well. Use on both fresh fruit or vegetable salads.

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CUTE BUT CRAZY: UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE

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Bunnies, Colored Eggs, Peeps and Hunts – EASTER is Here!

A little history first….  The first formal Easter celebration dates back to the 2nd century. But it is believed that Easter celebrations began earlier than that. The Christian holiday is to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion 2,000 years ago.

Easter Bunny and Eggs

Bunny Rabbits and Easter Eggs

In the medieval era, Christians would decorate eggs and eat them on Easter to celebrate the end of the Lenten fast–eggs couldn’t be eaten during the Holy Week. The first instance of eggs being decorated dates to the 13th century. In Christian symbolism, eggs represent new life, paralleling the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Bunnies have been associated with Easter since around the 17th-18th century!

But that’s enough of history — let’s move on to the fun stuff!

Most American families start off with an Easter Egg hunt, that can be before or after church, if that is your tradition. Sometimes the fun filled egg hunt will take place at a park, or school ground, or church–where you will see lots of little munchkins running around like crazy, loving the excitement as much as their prized chocolates, I’m sure.

The Good Ol’ Days

I remember the good old days when my parents would take my sister and I to church in our pretty new dresses, and how proud I’d be. Years have gone by, but for me Easter holiday is a memory of hiding colorful blue, and pink Easter eggs, chocolates and bunnies and little surprises around the house for the children to discover. Not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or us, the parents.  Those days are long gone too.

For grandmas like me, it’s become a wonderful family time, followed by a delicious brunch or Easter dinner. A spiral ham has become the traditional meat of choice, but also turkey or prime rib, better yet– my favorite roast or grilled lamb can make a delicious addition or a great substitute.

On that note — here is a recipe for a Butterflied Leg of Lamb.

Easter Butterflied Leg of Lamb

This recipe came from a great friend of mine and she is a wonderful cook. I’ve tried it several times, grilling not roasted, but it is so amazing!!  I’m sure it’ll be perfect either way, but the timing will be important. My mouth waters just thinking about it! So easy, too:

  1. 1 5-lb leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied (weight after deboning).
  2. 12 oz bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce, a 5.5 oz bottle of mint sauce (Crosse & Blackwell), 1/2 cup oil
  3. Look for a leg of lamb that is mostly flat with the least fat. Pound it good so it’s about an inch or two thick and I suggest slicing off the extra fat.
  4. Combine chili sauce, mint sauce, and oil in a glass bowl. Pour over the lamb and marinate up to two days, turning the meat every 12 hours.
  5. When ready to cook, remove lamb from the sauce and grill over hot coals, basting often with the marinade. For medium rare, total cooking time is around 25 minutes. If you don’t own a grill, then place the lamb in a pre-heated oven set to 325* F for around 90-120 minutes.
  6. Carve the lamb into thin slices and choose your favorite sides. This is one of my easiest and best dinners ever!

HAVE A WONDERFUL EASTER NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO! ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT AUTHORS’ BILLBOARD FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL. GRAB THOSE BARGAINS! LEARN MORE ABOUT ME BY CLICKING HERE.

St. Patrick’s Day #Recipes by @PatriceWilton

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us – and I have something to share. When I was born, I was supposed to be David, and my parents had no girl name picked out for me. Since my birthday is March 14th, I became Patricia! How lame is that?

Here are a few recipes you might enjoy!

ST. PATRICK’S DAY IRISH CROCKPOT CORNED BEEF

INGREDIENTS: St. Patrick's Day

  • 1 lb of corn beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into three pieces
  • Medium potatoes, cut in half
  • Medium carrots, sliced in three pieces
  • 1 cup of beef bouillon
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place onion celery, potatoes and carrots in bottom of the crockpot. And then lay brisket on top.
  2. Whisk together bouillon, bay leaf, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard.
  3. Pour over the brisket.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, adding cabbage wedges for the last hour of cooking.
  5. To serve, discard cooking liquid, slice meat and place onto hot serving plates, accompany with the cooked potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage wedges. Serve your favorite mustard on the side.

No meal is complete without dessert, so here is one for you!

CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE

INGREDIENTS: Guinness Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup of Guinness stout
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, sliced
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt or 3/4 sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For the Icing:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • l/2 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter, and then heat until melted.
  3. Whisk cocoa powder and sugar into the stout and butter.
  4. In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and pour into brown, buttery, beery mixture. Whisk in the flour and baking soda.
  5. Pour cake batter into greased and lined pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack as it is a damp cake.
  7. When cake is cold, gently peel off parchment paper and transfer to a platter or cake stand.

ICING:

  1. Place cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip with an electric beater until smooth. A food processor can also be used.
  2. Add cream and beat again until the icing is a spreadable consistency.
  3. Ice top of cake, starting at the middle and fanning out, so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint of stout!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and think of me who might have been David!

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Petite Cherry Cheesecakes #Recipe for #Foodies

These petite cherry cheesecakes are easy enough for a casual, everyday meal, but they look fancy enough for a special occasion. Whatever your gathering, these little gems are sweet and lusciously creamy. You and your guests will love them.

Cherry Cheesecake Recipe

Petite Cherry Cheesecakes

Makes 24

Ingredients –

  • 24 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Directions –

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line 24 regular-size muffin cups with paper liners (I prefer the fancy silver liners). Place 1 vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of each cup. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and the extract with electric mixer on medium-high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture is light and fluffy. Spoon evenly into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours before serving.
  4. Just before serving, top each cheesecake with generous tablespoon of pie filling and sprinkle with almonds.

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Who’s in the mood for a women’s fiction novel?

I’ve got one just for you! FINDING FIONA

Finding Fiona

If her husband turns up alive—she’ll kill him!

Explaining to the seriously sexy cop why she hasn’t noticed her husband has been missing for three days is both embarrassing and sobering. But the day Fiona Rowland lifts her head above the churning chaos of kids, carpools, and a million things to do, annoyance turns to fury…then to worry. Where is Stanley?

Having one of those wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee moments changes the way a woman looks at things: marriage, money, family, and friends. And when her best pal from high school arrives (packing her own secrets) to lend support, it turns out even the past isn’t quite what it seems. Scrambling to make sense of the drama unfolding, Fiona discovers there’s an upside to having your whole world turned upside down. It’s easier to grab the good stuff.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and mystery, Finding Fiona has something for every reader. The discussion questions included at the back of the book make this the perfect novel for book clubs and reader groups.

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