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Pear “Butt”er

Back in September, in an attempt to hurry the onset of Fall, I made a batch of pear butter. I tried find the recipe I had used before but couldn’t find it. So I just made it up this time.

I peeled, cored and chopped up the Asian pears and put them in the Crock Pot. I added a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and maybe a half of a cup of brown sugar. I let it cook on low most of the day. After the pears had started to get mush, I turned the lid so the steam could cook off and the butter would thicken.

So yummy on bread!

In the bag of pears we found this gem, we set it on the windowsill and laughed over it for awhile:)

Even now when it pops up on the screen saver the kids shout “pear butt!”

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Slow Cooker Potato Soup

This is the best potato soup I have ever had…ever.

I have made it several times and never manage to get pictures of it…I finally tried today with the last bowl…Yeah, not a food-blogger…I want to encourage you to make this, not discourage you. So I will not post a picture…just the recipe and any suggestions I have for you…

I found the original recipe on Tasty Kitchen but have made some slight modifications.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups Diced Potatoes (peeled)
  • ½ cups Diced Carrots
  • ½ cups Diced Celery
  • 3 cans Chicken Broth, 14 1/2 Oz Each
  • 1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup (10 Oz. Can)
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 package Cream Cheese (8 Oz. Package)

Instructions:
In a large slow cooker/crock pot, combine all above ingredients, except for the flour and cream cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until potatoes are done.

About an hour before you serve the soup, cut up the cream cheese and add it to the soup. Stir until blended.

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My suggestions:
I have tried this with no celery and double the carrots and it’s good. Extra garlic? Good. Healthier versions of Cream of Chicken soup? Good. 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese? Good. “Can’t even taste a difference” good.

The original recipe called for bacon, I liked the ham much better. I also don’t usually add salt because the ham is salty enough for us. Bacon is a yummy garnish though.

I am not exact when it comes to potato/chicken broth measurements. I dice a bunch of potatoes and then I cover them with broth.

The original recipe also called for flour to thicken at the end. I have never needed it, probably because I don’t use the full amount of broth…The next day it is even thicker so I add a bit more broth when I reheat it.

Finally, if you don’t have the full 8-10 hours for this to cook on low, you can turn it to high. I also tried heating it up to a boil on the stove and cooking it for about 20 minutes and then putting it in the slow cooker. That shaved off a couple of hours of cooking time.

 

 

They Practically Don’t Need Us Anymore…

On Saturday, Danny made pancakes as usual. He made extra so that the kids could have them again on Sunday.

Early Sunday morning, Grace came in (while we were still sleeping) and asked if she could get pancakes out of the fridge for herself and Owen. We said yes…

A little later when we got up, this is what we found…

Grace had made quite a little spread for them to enjoy…they even had mugs of milk…

I guess if they wanted warm pancakes, then they would still need us…

More Bounty

This past weekend was spent putting more stuff in our almost full freezer…

I made pear/plum butter which smelled like Fall in a pot. So good on bread (or pizza crust:)

We shredded more zucchini and made this zucchini bread. We ate an entire loaf Sunday afternoon. We tried a healthier version which didn’t work so well so I’ll be working on modifying this recipe…it has potential to be good to eat and not so terrible for us!

I planted Basil seeds back in early August with the hope that they would be ready to make more pesto by the end of September…I was spot on!

I had enough for four batches (about 6 cups) despite a little someone who likes to snitch the leaves and eat them. He also likes to pass them through the fence to the neighbor girl.

This time I froze it in regular and mini-size muffin pans

And here are a couple of pics of the kiddos waiting for Daddy’s amazing blackberry pie from last weekend. It was fantastic, I think one of his best ever!

I plan on making some pear sauce later this week. Grandma and Grandpa Ruby have Asian pear trees hence all the pear stuff rather than apple…Yumm!

Then honestly we’ll have to be about done freezing because if when Danny gets deer or elk this year we will have no where to put it! Although too much food, definitely not complaining!

Curried Orzo Salad with Dried Cranberries

I have been making this salad for the last couple of years. It is great in the summertime when it is just too hot to cook. You can make it early in the day and refrigerate it until dinner time. (excuse the picture, I am NOT a food blogger:)

Curried Orzo Salad with Dried Cranberries
adapted from this recipe

1 cup orzo
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 orange, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground pepper
2-3 chicken breasts

Cut up chicken into small cubes and cook on stove with salt and pepper. I sometimes use this.

Cook orzo according to package instruction, drain and pour in a bowl over the dried cranberries.

Mix curry powder, salt, sugar, orange and lemon juice and olive oil together. Pour over orzo and stir.

Serve warm or cold

Blueberry Picking

This past weekend we did our second annual blueberry picking trip. We picked 27 pounds and I froze them in quart bags with 4 cups of berries in each bag. We had about 20 bags and we still have about 5 bags left from last year.

Last year we had fun, but it was miserably hot (90 by 11:00 am). This year it was probably 75 when we headed to the farm.

The blueberries were delicious. The kids mostly ate, rather than picked.

And then of course we had special treats. Two tired kids…

And Danny made another delicious blueberry pie.

Yum!

Enjoying Hot Cocoa

I have ruined hot cocoa for my kids…

Instead of cocoa I give them Carnation Instant Breakfast in whole milk. My kids are little and they need to pack on the pounds. They don’t need plain old sugar-filled cocoa…

The result of this is when we are out and they want cocoa they are usually disappointed because “it’s different”. And they can’t get past that fact even if the cocoa is really good.

The whipped cream is usually a good start and at a recent breakfast out, both kiddos actually drank their cocoa after they inhaled the whipped cream…

More Smoofies

I have been trying out these smoothies the last couple of days and they are so yummy…

And I am not the only one that thinks so…

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

It’s practically fall! My favorite time of year! The weather changed this week and I decided to make these yummy blueberry muffins with some of our recent pickings.

They were so yummy and passed my batter/dough test…which means they were so good as batter that you really don’t want any once they are made because you ate so much batter…

Happy September!

Chanterelle

One of our super cool neighbors, one of the ones that makes me cringe at the thought of ever moving, who brings us his newspaper every day after he reads them, and other things here and there such as cookies and Halloween decorations (today) and Halloween candy when he bought too much (last week)…

…brought us this beauty…
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…the biggest Chanterelle mushroom I have ever seen…you know, in real life.
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It was promptly chopped up and sauteed with ham, garlic and eggs and fed two. YUM!P1080248