Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Lemonade

Last October while we were in California we visited a Tea Room that served vanilla lemonade.
An unusual couple, I agree. But it was so good! And so smooth!

So today because lemons were on sale and because I have more vanilla beans than I know what to do with, we made vanilla lemonade!

Vanilla Lemonade

3/4 c sugar
1 c water
1 c lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3 to 4 c cold water (to dilute)

Make a simple syrup by heating 1 cup of water, sugar, and split vanilla bean with seeds until the sugar has dissolved completely.
Juice 4 to 6 lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice.
Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. (I strained mine through a mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter to catch lemon and vanilla seeds)
Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength.
Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.
If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fudge Nut Bars (without the nuts)

These are those yummy bars that are at every pot luck function. You make them in a jelly roll pan so it feeds a lot! This version of the recipe comes from a dear lady in our church who passed away this spring.

Fudge Nut Bars (without the nuts)
from the kitchen of Kathy Smith

1 c butter
2 c brown sugar
2 eggs

Then add:
2 t vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 t soda
3 c oatmeal

Use about 3/4 of the oatmeal mixture to cover the bottom of a jelly roll pan, save the rest for the top.

melt together (we microwave it)
12 oz chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter
1/2 t salt
2 t vanilla

Spread chocolate fudge on top of oatmeal layer. Then crumble remaining oatmeal mixture across top of pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


This week's meals:

chicken pad thai
philly cheese steaks/fruit
homemade chipotle burritos
bbq chicken pizza

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Who doesn't LOVE rhubarb?! Well actually, I know some who don't.
But, for the rest of us, here is another way to use up that strange, over-achiever of a fruit that doesn't stop giving.

This is a twist on that classic recipe that Betty Crocker gave us on her cake mix out of box, but this one doesn't include a box....or her cake mix. It's from scratch!
Rhubarb Custard Cake

for the cake:
2 1/2 c flour

3 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 c sugar

1/2 c oil

2 eggs
1 1/3 c milk

2 t vanilla

for the fruit & custard layer:
4 c chopped rhubarb
3/4 c sugar

1 1/2 c whipping cream

Combine rhubarb and sugar. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

In a larger bowl, mix eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk.

Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly combined.
Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan.
Scatter rhubarb and juices evenly across the top.

Pour the cream over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour until cake springs back when touched.

Hamburger Hash

This is Evan's favorite meal. You've probably seen it many times on my weekly menus. It's easy, yummy, filling. It's a man's meal! But the ladies can eat it too :) There's not even really a recipe, but here's what I do:

Hamburger Hash

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 pkg frozen hash browns
shredded cheese
salt and pepper

Brown hamburger and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Brown bacon. Drain.
Lightly oil large skillet and brown hash browns. Season with salt & pepper.
Add hamburger and bacon to hash browns.
Carefully crack eggs on top.
Turn heat to low and add 1/4 c of water and quickly cover to steam eggs. (takes 8-10 min).
Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

You can add whatever you want-bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro.