This part of my blog is all about the things I collect or the things I make myself. I love so many things, I paint and draw and want to learn oils and pastels. I knit and crochet but want to learn tatting. I embroider and can turn my hand to most things given a chance. So much still to learn and do. I live in hope of some day reading all my books, learning all I want to learn and now I am learning to blog. You will often find my original poems, poor as they are I offer them here. I also appreciate other people art and will feature things I find that I have enjoyed. That includes pictures of fairies and fantasy or maybe just anything beautiful.
I try to use my own photo's as much as possible, sometimes I borrow from the web. If I inadvertently use your picture without giving credit, please do let me know and I will either credit or remove it, I hope you will do the same with mine.
If you wish to leave comments on my blog you can do that by joining google if you do not have a blog yourself, please comment if you can I appreciate that.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Pineapple sheet cake..........

Using a yellow cake mix as the base I made this super Pineapple sheet cake. I don't normally make the ones in the flat pans, I like round cakes best but figured I would have a go. It sounded good and I was not disappointed.

 photo 20170127_122135_zpsikno7sg7.jpg

I box of Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 can 8oz of Pineapple crushed with juice. (I used a 20 oz can because you will use another 8oz for topping)


1 can 8oz of crushed pineapple (see above)
1 8OZ package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 - 2 teasp of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.


Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 pan.
In a large bowl
Mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and 8oz of pineapple with juice
Mix well.
Pour into the sprayed pan and bake bake for 20 to 25 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Meanwhile make the frosting

Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Mix together cream cheese and sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth.
Fold in the whipped cream.

When the cake is cool frost the cake and then spread the remainder of the pineapple over the frosting.

 photo 20170127_130107_zpsopduxepy.jpg

Make the frosting

 photo 20170127_130604_zpsjlvwliv6.jpg

Frost the cake
 photo 20170127_133518_zpsi8zpnkrh.jpg

Put the remaining pineapple on top of the frosting
 photo 20170127_133724_zpsnzhfaixt.jpg
Does it look good yet?
 photo 20170127_134246_zpskfwqzriv.jpg

It tastes good too

 photo 20170127_143134_zpslalb2gaf.jpg

 photo 20170127_143205_zpsn2j3mny4.jpg

I used one recipe for the cake, called Pineapple Sunshine cake. I used a different recipe for the frosting and so I renamed it.
The frosting recipe that came with the cake called for 1 8oz whipped topping and a small box vanilla pudding. 18oz can crushed pineapple. As I did not have either of those on hand. I found the other one that I used (above) I liked it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cranberry, walnut, oatmeal Cookies.........

I have two bags of Cranberries left over from Thanksgiving. I need to use them up so, first off I made another batch of mini loaves. I used the yellow cake mix recipe again. I did mess up, I used two sticks of butter instead of one and that instead of the oil. Well I think I will go back to the oil, I am not sure the butter made a lot of difference but when taking out from the pans, they stuck. So my loaves were a little battered. Still I frosted them and they taste great so no worry. I just want them to look good next time.
So, the cookies I made were Oatmeal, Cranberry, Walnut. Sounded good so here we go.
 photo 20170117_124436_zps9z3htcln.jpg

Cranberry, Oatmeal, Walnut Cookies
2/3 cup of butter softened
2/3 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup of oats (Instant)
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 teasp cinnamon
1 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp Sea salt
1 cup of dried cranberries (I used fresh diced in the food processor )
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup of white choc chips (I didn't have any so used Hershey's toffee chips.)

Preheat the oven to 375
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and brown sugar with vanilla until fluffy
Beat in the eggs
Add the oats and mix well.
Stir in the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
Add the walnuts, cranberries and choc chips (whatever flavour you desire) mix to combine.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a non greased cookie sheet
Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Should be lightly browned on bottom.
Makes about 18 or so.

 photo 20170117_142544_zpszksmw8mi.jpg
I thought that they didn't look very pretty. So I added some left over frosting from my loaves.
 photo 20170117_133209 1_zps6nb2ypri.jpg
 photo 20170117_142521_zps15poterb.jpg
They certainly tasted good so I left some unfrosted for me. My husband does not like (so he says) Cranberries. Well with the frosting he will like them.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trying another new recipe...Ziti.....

So I apologize, this is not a cooking site. I just seem to have been doing some experimenting recently so why not post it. I have not had time to do anything else for goodness sake. Got to fill up my blog somehow right. so today on facebook I saw a recipe that appealed to me so figured as I had no plans would give her a shot. Here it is. The only comment I have, this being done in a crock pot, is I miss the crunchy cheese on top that you get from baking. However this is so easy that it may be worth the sacrifice.
Slow Cooker Baked Zita.

1 pound of turkey burger (I don't use beef)
1 onion finely chopped
1 teasp minced garlic
1 teasp salt
1 teasp dried Basil
1 teasp dried parsley
1 can diced tomatoes 28 oz
1 jar of pasta sauce.
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth (or Water)
Salt to taste.
1 box of Penne pasta or Ziti about 4 cups
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese.

In a large skillet cook the ground meat and add the onions till browned.
Put everything (except the pasta) in the slow cooker on high. Cook on high for 3 hours.As nothing is actually raw you can adjust this time to your needs.
 photo 20170112_102337_zpsxo71ebvh.jpg
About an hour before your are ready to eat add the pasta.
 photo 20170112_161103_zpsk9fyvznw.jpg
Once the Pasta is cooked turn the cooker to warm until ready to eat.
Then stir it and add the cheese on top. Replace the lid and wait until the cheese is melted. Serve with warm bread?.
I have to say it was really good. My husband had two helpings.

 photo 20170112_163748_zpsbhr0vyjw.jpg

 photo 20170112_163805_zps0v1bvbof.jpg

I adapted this recipe from Recipe Rebel on Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Recipes...................

I have been, for some reason, probably since not eating beef and pork, trying new recipes. Phew!!, that was a mouthful.
Well, it began with seeing a recipe on Facebook. For Brownies no less. Now I am not overly eager about Brownies. I had some Nestles cocoa powder sitting around as it turned out and I am trying to reduce the waste. You know, you buy something and only use a small amount, the rest goes to waste. So, when I saw the recipe I figured I would give it a go. So here it is.

Lunchroom Ladies 50 year old recipe.

1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1 cup of chopped nuts
Pour in 9X13 pan and bake for 20 to 25 mins at 350

1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of cocoa
3 cups of powdered sugar (or fine sugar)
dash of salt
Mix together and frost as desired.

Well there were no instructions along with the recipe but it really speaks for itself.

 photo 20170110_113650_zpstcngyvwz.jpg
Actually all I did was mix everything in my food processor. It is a really stiff batter, almost a dough. I had sprayed the pan first, lucky I did, it helped to spread the batter.
 photo 20170110_124409_zpsgc7nfxar.jpg
I forgot to add the nuts so decided to wait and put it on top.
It baked for the full 25mins.
Then I made the frosting. Again, just mix it all together. The butter was soft enough by this time at room temperature.
I waited to spread until the Brownie had cooled a little but was still warm, again, the frosting was thick and stiff. It spread well on the warm brownie though. Then I sprinkled on the chopped nuts to finish it off.
 photo 20170110_141050_zps3ddrtqzp.jpg
They taste awesome, really chocolate flavour. Better than a mix for sure and very easy. It's a 50 year old recipe, that seemed really old until I realized I would have been 20 at that time. Sigh!!!
 photo 20170110_131828_zpsb6ize6dm.jpg

Then to crown it all I didn't have any plans for dinner. I had taken out some chicken so as I had seen another recipe I figured I would try it. No time like the present right?. So here it is. I did wait to be sure it was good.

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken Bake

1 pound of boneless chicken
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of fresh Parmesan (grated)
1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic minced (I used some from a jar)
1/2 cup of Italian Breadcrumbs (I used Panko)


In a 9 X 13 baking pan
Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and lay out into the baking dish.

In a small bowl mix together the Mayo and all the rest of the ingredients except the bread crumbs. I used fresh Parmesan, so I had more and after mixing up the ingredients you need to spread it over and cover all the chicken before adding the bread crumbs. I then grated more Parmesan on top but that was not in the recipe.

 photo 20170110_145535_zps35n3kvah.jpg

Bake at 375 for 30 -35 minutes.
This is very tasty, it went well with Cauliflower.
 photo 20170110_160352_zpsykixwnz5.jpg

 photo 20170110_160411_zpsjasrtxgc.jpg
The chicken was very tender.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Another cooking post.........................

I had another baking day today. I love homemade bread. Well, I just love bread, and butter. Yum, straight out of the oven with gobs of butter. Yes my bread is really only a vehicle for my butter but its nice if the bread is good. I have made both of these breads before because they are easy. I got them a lot better and more tasty this time around. I added more salt to the Artisan bread and it is more dense because I actually had some whole wheat flour this time. It calls for whole wheat and white. So that came out great. I also threw in some dill.
 photo 20170104_140812_zpshohsegtr.jpg
This bread is dense.It was not quite so much when I used all white flour.
 photo 20170104_145926_zps3y9gnf1v.jpg
I did the olive bread before and was not happy with it, it seemed bland so this time I added more garlic and cheese.
 photo 20170104_150621_zpsyboykfp5.jpg
It was yummy, hot from the oven. We will have that tonight with Spaghetti. Can't wait.
 photo 20170104_150737_zpsgolwg2cq.jpg
 photo 20170104_151233_zpsqeudbb11.jpg
 photo 20170104_161710_zpsikeekost.jpg
My mum used to make Mince pies and I just loved her pastry. Well I have never found the recipe and never had luck making it. Well I found a shortcrust pastry and tried that one. It was all butter and sugar. Well that was it. It was delicious. Not quite as good as hers but I bet I can work it out with that base.
 photo 20170104_135309_zps8aerllgc.jpg
Yesterday I opened the jar of mincemeat because I was determined to use it this year one way or other.
So I got my yellow cake mix out and threw in 1/2 the jar of mincemeat. I topped with crystalized brown sugar. In England we call it Demorarah. The spelling is wrong but anyway, its used to top cakes. More like cane sugar. I don't know but here's a picture
 photo 20170103_162724_zpsxpwzoj6d.jpg
It makes a light fruity cake, tasty.
 photo 20170103_162749_zpsspgeckxl.jpg
I made 4 small loaves. One got eaten right away two I froze. I was going to give one to Laura but she is sick so wont be over today. Pity as I had mince pies too. Anyway, I do have some more mincemeat left so I could make another batch.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Something new to eat..............

Today we had Salmon. I know, that's not new. Well I did make a new sauce though and a new side dish.
I pan fry my salmon most of the time, I use butter (of course I do) I put on some sea salt and some herbs and put a lid on, that keeps it moist. It almost steams.
Meanwhile I had looked for a recipe to use a Cauliflower that I had on hand. It sounded a bit bland to go with Salmon and I didn't want to do Potatoes. I am starting to get back on my "diet". Not a real diet, just cutting out Bread and Potatoes, Pasta and Rice. I had lost a bit of weight doing this last time and it also helped my blood sugar. Time to get back to it after the holidays full of treats.
I found a recipe for the Cauliflower that sounded tasty and it was. I forgot to take a picture and so I took one while I was eating it. At least I knew by then it was good.
 photo 20170102_165245_zpseaphlkv7.jpg
The salmon turned out delicious. Very moist and tasty. I made a different Sauce to go with it. I normally like Horseradish but fancied something different so I made a Creamy Dill Sauce.
 photo 371a553d-b70c-49b0-8dfe-90c1b5921b95_zpsk2l9fmwu.jpg
Here is the recipe.
Creamy Dill Sauce

3/4 cup of sour cream
2 teasp of English Mustard (or Dijon) or any hot mustard.
1/2 teasp of garlic powder
2 1/2 table sp of fresh Dill ( I used dried)
1 - 2 tbsp of lemon juice (If fresh add some zest as well) I didn't measure I just squeezed
1/4 teasp of salt
1/2 teasp sugar
The recipe also calls for 2 tablespoons of milk if desired to thin it down but mine was just fine. My sour cream was older so not as stiff.

Just mix it all and taste, alter accordingly. I liked it just as it was.

Next I made the Cauliflower Bake.
 photo 20170102_165252_zps7essbebf.jpg
Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
Preheat the oven at 450
Boil Cauliflower for about 5 mins just to soften it. Don't over do as it's going to bake as well. Drain and set aside.
8x8 baking dish sprayed or buttered.

You will need.
1 cup Panko crumbs
1/4 cup of butter melted (Or use olive oil) know me I use butter.
1 teasp Oregano
1 tblsp Paprika
1/2 teasp cayenne
1 tblesp chopped parsley
1 teasp black pepper
1 1/2 cups of Mozzarella shredded

Now I admit I did not use that much Paprika I just gave it a dash and didn't put in the cayenne. I was tasty enough even so,

So drain your cauliflower and I put some left over chopped onion in the b.ottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Spray the dish first. Lay the drained Cauliflower in the dish. After mixing the dry ingredients with the melted butter, throw some of the cheese over the cauliflower and add the rest to the Panko.
Spread the Panko mix over the Cauliflower and bake for 15 to 20 mins or until your cauliflower is tender and the topping is crisp.

 photo f5b4afba-c9f5-4ad0-8505-9996fed5bd86_zps7skd9s4b.jpg
It is a perfect side dish for fish because it's flavorful. Let me know if you try it. Now another thing you can do is do 1/2 Cauliflower and 1/2 Broccoli. That would be good. That topping would go on just about any veggie that you can bake.