(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

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If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.

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When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –

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Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!

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Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!

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Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!

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Coconut Cake

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One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:

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We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

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(L)Oven Monday – Comfort Food Classic

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I recently needed to fix a meal for a couple who had spent many days and nights in the hospital.  They needed a nourishing, comforting meal.  That’s when I jumped on my blog’s recipe index to look for my long-time favorite recipe for Meatloaf. I mean you can’t get more comforting than meatloaf and the trimmings for a great home cooked meal, right? It was then that I was shocked to find that I have never shared that recipe here on my blog!  What?  I’ve been making it for YEARS!

I will fix that need today and share this incredibly easy and yummy meatloaf!It’s from Taste of Home and it’s called “Mom’s Best Meatloaf” for a reason!  It’s not over-seasoned; it’s just right!

To accompany the meatloaf, I made the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.  A sweet friend at church brought this cheesy heaven to my husband and me when we were caring for my mother-in-law in several years ago.  I asked my friend for the recipe, and also if she minded if I shared it with you!  She happily passed it on.  Thank you, Bethany!

Here was my menu for the Comfort Food Meal:

Mom’s Best Meatloaf
Macaroni and Cheese
Southern Green Beans
Fried Apples
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits

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Mom’s Best Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • Additional ketchup

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press into an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Drizzle top of loaf with ketchup; bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 6-8 servings.

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My Favorite Ever Macaroni and Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta, and cook until done; drain.
  2. In 9×13 inch baking dish, stir together macaroni, shredded Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle topping over macaroni mixture.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

This meal is comfort heaven!  Make it for someone who needs some love – or make it for your own family to show your love!

What’s your best comfort food meal?

With love from my country kitchen,

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(L)Oven Monday – The Best Food Gifts from Your Kitchen

As I make my preparations for a more “simple” Christmas this year, I’m reminded that giving gifts from what you love is the best kind of gift to share.  If I do what I love – I bake and the receiver knows that it was prepared especially for them with lots of (L)oven from my oven!

I have many recipes on my blog that I have given away, and I’m going to compile a short list of some of my favorites for you today.  These are simple to make and are LOVED by those that receive them.  Let’s get shopping/baking…

  1. Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – – This is a fancier form of Monkey Bread.  It’s made from canned biscuits, cream cheese and cinnamon and sugar.  It’s pretty, it’s easy to make and is so good it became a Christmas tradition for our breakfast!Nutty orange Coffee cake.jpg
  2. Cranberry Crumble – Another great coffee cake that anyone would LOVE to receive!
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  3. French Bread Loaves – A good old crusty bread tied up in a linen kitchen towel is as lovely as it is delicious!
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  4. Homemade Granola – Gifted in a jar with a pretty ribbon, this granola is perfect for any breakfast lover!
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  5. Cream Cheese Coffee Cakes – These are more like Danishes and who doesn’t love a Cream Cheese Danish????  This recipe makes four, so it really makes great use of your time in the kitchen!
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  6. Deep Dish Hershey Brownies – This is my family’s favorite brownie recipe and I’ve made them for years.  Any chocolate lover will be delighted to receive a plate of these!
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  7. Microwave Caramel Popcorn – This is the easiest caramel popcorn!  It makes a nice pile of popcorn for the snacker on your list!

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You can also go here for a list of some fabulous cookies to bake up and place in cellophane bags or pretty Christmas tins.

Food is a wonderful gift of love from your oven to the recipient.  Get baking and finish your gift list!

Which of these recipes will you make and give away?

With love from my country kitchen,

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Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins

 

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Saturday afternoon found me happily  not busy after a very busy week.  It was a very cool fall day, and I was home alone.  My mind went to one of my favorite activities – baking. I needed to have something for Sunday breakfast, and also wanted to send something over to my neighbors.  So, I decided to venture out and try a new Pumpkin Muffin recipe!  I have my old standby that I still love, but, like anything else, I wanted to try something new!  

The recipe I found calls for Coconut oil, which I’ve just started using this year.  It doesn’t make the muffin taste like coconut – it just gives a great texture!  Don’t be afraid to try it, but if you don’t have any or don’t want to use it, you can use vegetable oil instead.  If you’ve ever had a dry muffin, you know you never want to go there. ever.again.  But these are Oh-SO MOIST!

My husband came home when these had just cooled.  When he’s home, he really watches his sweet/bread intake, but he ate four of the little ones I baked without blinking an eye!  That’s when I knew I needed to share this recipe and my tweaks with you!

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Oh-So Moist Pumpkin Muffins
Makes about 18 Regular sized muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice
2 eggs
1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse sugar crystals – optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until all the dry ingredients are mixed in completely.

I use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into each muffin cup. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice rounded top. Sprinkle with sugar crystals for a nice little crunch on top.
Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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I used autumn colored sugar crystals – that’s why there’s green and red dots on top!

I like putting these in the muffin tin, rather than papers because it also made the edges of the muffins a little crispy – which we love.

I hope you’ll try these if you get a little time in the kitchen this week (they don’t take long at all!).  Like me, you may be replacing your “standby recipe” with this one!!!

With love from my country kitchen,

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Friday Favorites

My week has been full…full of activities and blessings!

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It started on Friday night when women gathered to join the True Woman Conference Simulcast – Cry Out!  We spent three hours at church reading Scripture, worshiping, and praying.  Those hours went by incredibly fast because we were so caught up in the splendor of our Savior! We are planning a five-week prayer time so that this won’t be a Moment, but a Movement!    We will be meeting up until the time of election on November 8th.  Will you join us?  We need to be praying for our nation!!

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I went to our local library this week – something I hadn’t done in a long time.  I LOVE THE LIBRARY!  There’s just something about picking up books, leafing through, reading a little, and then tucking a special treasure under your arm and taking it home for a couple of weeks!  I brought home a favorite – a Gooseberry Cookbook for a little inspiration for a party I’m hosting this weekend.  Their books are full of seasonal recipes and great ideas!  Who owns one or more of their books?

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I grew up going to Pioneer Girls.  Now it’s a club for boys and girls – Pioneer Club.  I get to help teach the first and second graders, and last Wednesday they were mesmerized with Miss Sharon’s story of a puppy who didn’t want to obey.  We’ve been leaning about God’s gift of the family and the importance of obeying their parents. I think they all went away with the understanding that fences (rules) keep us safe.  Great job, Sharon!  Are you serving in your church?  What do you do to share the Gospel with others?

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I got to bake French Bread loaves for an Autumn supper I’m hosting for our Apples of Gold gals.  These loaves will accompany a harvest salad and three kinds of soups!  I’m making Cream of Wild Rice & Chicken Soup and two others are bringing Beef with Barley and Potato.  It’s supposed to get really chilly this weekend, so this soup menu will be perfect!  I’m also making Texas Sheet Cake and Pumpkin Crunch Cake for dessert.  These are both great cakes, but the Pumpkin Crunch…oh wow!  I’m hoping we can have a fire in the fire pit and enjoy the patio in the evening!  What have you baked this week?

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Yesterday I had the joy of praying with friends.  One had a birthday and we gave her the gift of our prayers.  There were tears, of course, but we had the sweetest time together!  What better thing to do when you gather with friends?  We could talk all day long, but talking to the Lord about our friends is the best conversation!  Who needs you to stop and pray with them today?

That was my week!  I’d love for you to answer one of my questions and tell me about your week!

Stay refreshed,

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Perfecting the Biscuit

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I’m a southerner.  I’m a biscuit lover and I’m a baker.  Put those three things together and it means that over the years, I have tried to perfect both my recipe and results of homemade biscuits.  Where else would I turn but to Southern Living?  They are the cream of the crop, or in this case the best of the biscuits! 

I recently gave SL’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits a couple of runs and they turned out really good!  They have those buttery layers that are typified in a perfect biscuit.  They were simple to do and only required three ingredients – Self-rising flour, Buttermilk and Butter. No worries if you don’t have self-rising flour – just add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt for each cup of flour.

The secret to the flaky layers is the folding of the dough.  Follow the instructions to fold and turn, fold and turn and you’ll get perfect results!  Here’s the recipe:

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), frozen
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup chilled buttermilk
PARCHMENT PAPER
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 475°. Grate frozen butter using large holes of a box grater. Toss together grated butter and flour in a medium bowl. Chill 10 minutes.

2. Make a well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir 15 times. Dough will be sticky.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.

4. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.

5. Place dough rounds on a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter.

buttermilk biscuits

Add a biscuit to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh fruit, topped with yogurt and granola and you have a hearty start to your day!

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Have you mastered biscuit making?  I hope you’ll try this recipe and method if you’re still trying to find the perfect recipe!  It lives up to Southern Living’s reputation!

With love from my country kitchen,

 

French Breakfast Puffs

Has anyone you know well ever walked past you without speaking?  Or maybe they spoke, but they just barely gave you the time of day?  Well, I realized that my dear sweet friend, the French Breakfast Puff kind of got overlooked; slighted if you will here on my blog!  It’s just wrong because these little guys are the sweetest and the best breakfast treat!  I shared them on my blog about five years ago, but they just did not get the attention and recognition that they deserve! Soooo, without further ado, I give you The French Breakfast Puff:

French Breakfast puff

I made these last Easter weekend and realized that I needed to post them again, just in case some of my readers hadn’t tried them.  These are a cross between a muffin and a donut – how does that sound?!  

French Breakfast Puffs

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 C butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
Topping
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 C butter, melted

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Add milk, beaten egg, and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Mix well.  Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove while still hot, dip in melted butter, then mixture of sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Makes 1 dozen

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I made up a double batch and shared them with my neighbors, along with an invitation to join us for Easter services!

Let’s give this treat the rightful place they deserve – your breakfast plate or even dessert plate!  Run, don’t walk to the kitchen and mix up a batch.  They require no special ingredients and can be made in a flash!

With love from my country kitchen,