Category Archives: recipes

Update on my Freezer Challenge and Peach Upside Down Cake

I told you I’ve been working on my freezer challenge.  I’m trying as hard as I can to use up things in my freezer.  Since Kramer, my husband, passed away, I don’t feel the need to have two freezers running anymore.  I also don’t want to end up with a freezer full of items that are freezer, It’s time to use it all up.

I was pretty sneaky when the kids were home at Christmas time.  We planned to have fajitas.  I went to the freezer to see what I could use up.  There was a pack of round steak-perfect.  There were two chicken breast-perfect.  We’ll have combination fajitas.  Perfect.  Okay…what else.  Hmm.  I was feeding a bunch.  I needed more meat.  Look.  There was a beef heart. I thought maybe I could sneak it by them.  The spices would maybe disguise the “heart” taste.  Hmm.  Did I dare?  YES I DID!!  I am taking this freezer challenge seriously.

But how would I hide that I was using that.  Here’s what I did.  As fast as I could when no one was around I chopped up the beef heart. Then equally as fast I sliced up the round steak and chicken.  I left them on top.

In another pan I fried up two packages of chorizo (I find this at Wal-mart and highly recommend it)  I hardly spice fajitas anymore as the chorizo has the spice we need.  The chorizo is really reddish colored so as soon as that was cooked, I added it to the other meat.  Anyone looking into the pan wouldn’t see the different coloring of the beef heart.  (Aren’t I tricky??)

I added a partial package of shrimp too….I’m working so hard on my challenge!!  The more things out the better!!

No one said a thing about the meat.  I was told it was tasty.  I just smiled.  So moral of the story, if you are eating here during this freezer challenge, all bets are off….I can’t guarantee what you’ll be eating.  I did throw out the liver though.  I like liver but only about four times a year…we had tons as other people knew we’d eat liver and gave theirs, after they butchered, to us.

To balance off my hiding of the liver I did treat them all to a new recipe, Peach Upside Down Cake.  It was good.

I belong to a Facebook Group called Recipes Amish and more.  I like the group and have gotten several recipes there.  I think the recipes are a little more “down home” in style without fancy ingredients.

The minute I saw this recipe posted, I knew I’d make it.  I could use up a bag of frozen peaches from the freezer.

I doubled it and make it in a cake pan.  It was yummy and I got good reviews over it.

So that’s the update on the freezer challenge.  A bog reader sent me a recipe for a blueberry pound cake.  I’ll be trying that soon.

My Tried and True Blueberry Muffin Recipe

I love blueberries and blueberry muffins have been a long time favorite of mine.  When the kids were growing up and I was doing childcare the second time around (Yes, I’ve done childcare 3 times) this became my go to recipe.  To this day, it’s still my favorite of all the recipes I’ve tried.

The recipe isn’t fancy at all…just a tried and true recipe with ingredients I always have on hand.  That’s my favorite recipes.

The batter is a super thick batter that always leaves me wondering if I forgot an egg or the butter.  Then I always remind myself, nope.  It’s just this recipe.

Here’s the recipe…. Continue reading

Iowa Sugar Cookies

A long time ago I made a goal to slowly conquer some recipes.  You know how it goes..there is a taste or flavor you had one time and you want to find the recipe and replicate it.  You might try recipe after recipe until you find the “right” one and once you do, you don’t ever look for another recipe of that variety.  That has been so true for me.  I feel as though I have conquered the following cookie recipes.  (Clink the link to get the recipe)

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Soft Ginger Cookie
Monster Cookie
Waffle Cookie
Rice Krispie Cookie

One I didn’t have was a sugar cookie recipe…but no worries, I found the perfect recipe.

I like when my recipes are not only tasty but also look good.  Don’t these look perfectly cracked?

Here’s the recipe: Continue reading

Freezer Challenge

Since Kramer, my husband of 33 years, passed away, I’ve found I eat very differently.  Our years were spent with him farming and me making hearty meals for him.  I loved cooking and baking and he loved eating.  It was a match made in heaven.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again.  The making of a good cook is a good eater behind them…a good eater who doesn’t mind burnt food or cooking should have beens.  Kramer was all of that for me.  When we were first married, he lived through  some pretty terrible cooking.  He would pick up a homemade tortilla shell and ask me “which state I was trying to make”.  I had the worst time rolling out a circular tortilla with a rolling pin.  I’ve got room to grow…but I have come a long way.

Anyway…since he passed away I cook so differently.  I’m content with a sandwich and cottage cheese for supper.  I like my meat in more of a veggie mixture not just a steak only.  When Kramer was here, it was more of a meat and potatoes kind of supper.  He was also VERY big into desserts.  I always had something sweet here to eat.  He was great with me trying new recipes, but loved his old standbys too….so I was always baking.

In the last 6 weeks or so of Kramer’s life, he had a feeding tube.  It was the strangest thing ever.  I didn’t cook for him…I didn’t bake for him.  Life really changed for us both.

Well now that he’s gone, I’m left with two freezers full of steak and roasts and liver.  He liked it all.  I have lots of frozen apples and peaches as he loved apple crisp and peach crisp.  Seriously, that was likely the only fruit he ever ate except for grapefruits and grapes.

For about four months after he passed away, we used up food that was brought here when he was sick and after he passed away.  We got a lot of food from people and that was wonderful.  We so appreciated it.  We have all of that used…but now, we need to use up what we had.

Well, rather than all of the stuff end up freezer burnt, I’m making a goal to use it up.  We are eating freezer meals….not the kind people make and us at later date but meals that come from ingredients in the freezer until the contents of the freezer get to a more manageable amount.

The other day I walk down to the freezer and said we are eating the top three items in the freezer.  That meant the childcare kiddos had ham steak for lunch.  I’m done saving things for a different day….if I touch it, it’s going to be fixed and served.  The other two items we had for supper that night and the next night for supper.  I’m doing my best to let whatever my hand touched to the thing we make.  If I don’t, then I end up digging and digging and getting more frustrated with the whole process.

On the day I am writing this, I was especially proud of myself.  I used up a pack of frozen zucchini and make this…

You can find the recipe…. Continue reading