Thursday, August 21, 2014

Spaghetti Zoodles

Zucchini is still going.

Making "Zoodles" ~ Zucchini Noodles ~ with a Julienne slicer.

Chelsea whipped up a batch of "The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce" (see recipe below),

Chopped up some leftover grilled chicken.  We marinate it in Berenstein's Italian dressing and the Dad is the grill chief.  Tastes so good, it's a miracle there are any leftovers!

Boil some spaghetti noodles according to package directions.  Zoodles go in for the last minute of cooking; drain.

Mix it all together and throw it in the Pyrex.  Bake at 350o until heated through.  Add grated cheese to top.


Dig in, and slurp noodles all over your face.  Pass the napkins, please.

The Best Homemade Marinara
1 T. canola or coconut oil
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced

14-oz can whole tomatoes, pureed
14-oz can diced tomatoes
14-oz can crushed tomatoes
8-oz can tomato sauce
2 t. oregano
1 t. basil
1/2 t. thyme leaves
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. garlic powder (use only if not using fresh garlic clove)
1 - 2  bay leaves

Simmer until thick (up to one hour), stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaves. Spoon over any pasta of your choice, and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan to serve.

Add 1-1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef or sausage to the onion/garlic for a terrific Spaghetti sauce!

~ the Momma

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Huckleberry Adventure

Drove 6 hours and 13 minutes north and a little east of home; up the interstate, through some little towns on the back roads to the family reunion, then up through the forest over a pass, through the countryside, along a river, past a geyser and a herd of antelope to a sweet little cabin, then headed for the mountains.

It was a little overcast.
Took a left at the lake,
Forgot to pull over at the picnic grounds for a hike, ended up on an 8-mile one-way road.
Pulled over at the first opportunity.
Saw the lake, got a few pictures.

Hey, what's that bush at our feet and down the slope?

No, it can't be!  Not with all these people tromping around, looking at the lake...
Little shining treasures right at their feet... or about knee-high, that is.

Tasted a few... yep.  Huckleberries.  That zingy tart burst of purple goodness.  Berry Perfect.

Spent our time picking berries instead of hiking.  Good trade.
Ryler documented our adventure.
Here's his view from the top of the water bottle...

Picked up some sugar, canning jars and a couple packages of pectin on the way back to the cabin.  Combined the berries with the now-thawed fresh-picked frozen raspberries purchased at the family reunion, and a few minutes later...

We be jammin'!  Just followed the recipe for raspberry jam on the pectin box.  Added 1/2 c. huckleberries to the first batch, then combined half raspberries and half huckleberries for the second.

Oh, that indescribable burst of flavor!

We still have enough berries for the Dad's birthday coming up... time for some Huckleberry Cheesecake!
I may be a little stingy with the berries, but if you stop by, I'll share a bit of toast and jam.  Maybe.  If we don't eat it all first.  Better hurry on over.  :)

~The Momma
More Huckleberry Celebrations (& recipes) HERE.

Prize-Winning Cookies!!


Nicole won SWEEPSTAKES at the Wasatch County Fair with her amazing White Chocolate Chip/Craisin Oatmeal Cookies!!  Best cookies in the whole county!
Big old Sweepstakes Ribbon,
$20 Cash in an envelope.
Smiles and cookies all around!
Woohoo!!  Way to go, Coco!  This prize-winning recipe has never failed!

In a large mixing bowl, combine and cream together:
4 sticks butter or margarine
2 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla

In a separate bowl, stir together:
4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

Add to creamed mixture, stir well.
Add and stir in by hand:
4 c. quick oats
2 to 3 c. chocolate chips

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  Use a small ice cream scoop and drop mounds on the cookie sheet.  Bake at 350o for 10 minutes or so.

Makes a TON of Prize-winning cookies every time!  Bake up a few, then freeze unbaked cookie mounds to save for later.

Substitute any flavor of chip for chocolate chips: try half chocolate chips and half peanut-butter chips, or any combination of mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mint chips, toffee chips, etc., or any combination of the above with raisins or craisins, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, etc.  

 Oh, M.M.M.M.M.M!!!
So proud of you, Nicole!
~ the Momma

SEW BIG: Star Medallion (A Carpenter's Daughter)


We recently got new couches for the living room, and we needed a new couch quilt to match.  We rifled through some of our unfinished quilt tops, and found that Chelsea's big star medallion matched the new furniture.  She sketched out the style of quilting she wanted, I quilted it on the longarm, she made the binding.  Another prize-winning quilt - even considered for sweepstakes!!

It's the perfect size lap quilt.

Even Charley approves!

Next time you need to whip up a quick quilt, try this easy-to-make big block quilt.  Here's a link to the PATTERN <<.   Great for beginners, too, made with giant half-square triangles.  Chelsea named it her "Carpenter's Daughter", not only because it's the center star of a Carpenter's Star quilt pattern, but because she happens to be the daughter of a carpenter.  *Ü*
Star Medallion (Carpenter's Daughter) Lap Quilt, 58" x 58" 
So proud of you, Chels!
~The Momma

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