Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hot Apple Spiced Cider → Alcohol Free

You can of course, add alcohol to this...but for those looking for a warm hot drink without alcohol....I made this for our Halloween Parties.  I bought a container of a spice to add to it once and was not impressed by the extra crap they put in it...so I weeded through the ingredients and added the spices only.

In a Crockpot, add:

1 gallon of apple cider
½ tsp clove powder
½ tsp all spice
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of Cardamom (this tends to over power, so add a pinch at a time and taste)
2 T brown sugar
3 T honey
4 slices of orange (sliced thin, to float and flavor it)

Turn the crock pot onto low and let it heat up.  You can also add a pinch of ground ginger or better yet, fresh ginger grated with a microplane into the crock pot..this helps with sore throats and helps keep the cold virus away.

 Variation:  instead of clover powder and orange slices, you can float a whole orange with cloves stuffed into it too.

This fall beverage will warm your bones! → BOILO!

If you are from Pennsylvania, or more accurately the Coal Regions, you make or know someone who makes Boilo.

If you go into the Liquor Store in October and ask for boilo, they laugh at you, "We are sold out, its boilo season".    There is no other whiskey that you can use, it has to be Four Queens!
It's the perfect drink for having by a bon fire or even just a patio fire.  You sip it, its hot and the spices are so soothing.  It'll kick any cold virus out of ya too. 

This is the exact type up of the recipe that my step dad gave me....I do not  bring the alcohol to a boil, because that evaporates the alcohol.  There are many variations to this recipe, this is the one I like best...I've had apple versions and blueberry versions...I just like this one best. 

Try it, make a batch for your next get together or just for yourself, sit on the porch outside and stargaze while sipping it.  Either have friends over when you make it, or have some extra canning jars available because the stuff never fits back in the bottle after making it.


1 bottle Four queens whiskey
   Here's the recipe for the boilo and its all tea spoons NOT table
      1 cup a water
      2 cups of honey or slightly less.... never more...
      1 lemon
      1 orange
      4 cinnamon sticks about 3 inches long.  If the sticks are 5 or 6
inches I only add 2 or 3.
      1 tsp of anise ... dont over power the boilo with this... 1 level
spoon seems to work best
      1 tsp of cardamon powder...this is strong... (make it a level spoon).
If you get cardamon seed then use 2       tsp of cardamon seed.
      2 tsp of whole all spice... size does not matter for this.
      2 tsp of caraway seed.. again this doesn't matter.  2 large tsp cant
over power the original taste.

      Cut up the lemon and orange anyway ya like.
      Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Or more if you want.
      Add the whiskey ....
      taste it
      bring to a boil.
      taste it
      simmer of about 5 minutes.
      taste it
      simmer with it covered for about 10 minutes
      taste it
      let is stand and cool for a few minutes and strain it.
      taste it
      strain it the best you can.
      taste it
      bottle it
      taste it
      crawl to bed

If you double or triple this, skimp on the honey, it gets to be too much...I cut it down to a cup of honey for each recipe over the first.

Here is a night of making Boilo at my house...my kitchen/house is under construction perpetually, so don't mind the messy background.  We got pretty silly and my house is always grand central, so we have friends who stop by for some fun. The pics are awful, my sister walked around with the camera snapping pics of anything and everything...You'll see. I know that I am going to catch hell for posting these pics...hehe!

This is Jim

Mom is tending the pot

Harley Stamm and Gage VanKeuren
Terry, Tammy and Gage Van Keuren

Jordan and Devynne (my nieces)

Shawn Fromm stops by
Brian was here, were is Alex, I have no pics of him, I guess Gretchen didnt' take the camera upstairs to the video gamers.

I know, don't let the dog in, just take his pic

Me and Terry, my good friend's husband

Gretchen's self portrait...


My hubby Allen and Tammy (don't ask, I am not sure about these two lol)

What is this you ask....my sister with my camera, taking pics of the victoria secret catalog lol

What is really sad is, there are no pics of the boilo!~  You can see the pot on the stove..but where is the shots of us all toasting the finished product Gretchen?  LOL   
I guess I have to make more boilo and try to get some pics of the actually product~

There are many variations of this recipe.  Jackie Hoffman of Y102 Radio (www.wrfy.com) sent met his recipe in email a few years ago.  There are apple and blueberry recipes too.
She calls it Glenn's Boilo Recipe


·  2 Two-liter bottles of ginger ale
·  2 bottles of 4-queens whiskey
·  6 quartered oranges
·  2 quartered lemons
·  1 jar of cinnamon sticks
·  1/2 small jar of caraway seeds

·  32 ounces of honey 

Let all ingredients except your alcohol boil, reduce heat and cover for one hour. Add your juice (moonshine, whiskey, whatever), let it sleep. Strain and bottle. Recipe will make 4.5 bottles. Make sure you put 2 cinnamon sticks in the bottles and serve warm! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bed Bugs...ways to prevent them...

I got this from a friend and wanted to pass it on...I also included a website and some information on bed bugs.  I would flip if I saw one  of these.  I hear that people are taking them to work on clothing and passing them around at work now also. Gives me the heebie jeebies.


 A bit
 of information that you might like to know about. We have friends
 here in our community and one of their sons is an entomologist (insect
 expert), and has been telling them that there is an epidemic of bed bugs
 now occurring in America. Recently I have heard on the news that
 several stores in NYC have had to close due to bed bug problems, as well
 as a complete mall in New Jersey.

He says that
 since much of our clothing, sheets, towels, etc. now comes from
 companies outside of America, (sad but true), even the most expensive
stores sell foreign clothing from China, Indonesia, etc. The bed
bugs are coming in on the clothing as these countries do not consider
them a problem. He recommends that if you buy any new clothing,
even underwear and socks, sheets, towels, etc. that you bring them into
the house and put them in your clothes dryer for at least 20 minutes.
 The heat will kill them and their eggs. DO NOT PURCHASE CLOTHES
AND HANG THEM IN THE CLOSET FIRST. It does not matter what the price
range is of the clothing, or if the outfit comes from the most expensive
store known in the U.S. They still get shipments from these countries
and the bugs can come in a box of scarves or anything else for that matter.
 That is the reason why so many stores, many of them clothing stores
have had to shut down in NYC and other places. All you need is
to bring one item into the house that has bugs or eggs and you will go
to hell and back trying to get rid of them. He travels all over
the country as an advisor to many of these stores, as prevention and after
they have the problem.

Send this
 information on to those on your e-mail list so that this good prevention
 information gets around quickly.

Here is a site with more info..

Here are the facts about Bed Bugs:

  • Bed Bugs are flat, brown, wingless and about 1/4 of an inch
  • They have 6 legs, shiny reddish-brown but after a good serving of your blood, they appear dark brown and swollen as in the picture below.
  • They can be seen with the human eye, but do a great job at hiding
  • Bed bugs are not known to carry diseases as of yet
  • They feed on human blood preferring to do it in the dark when you're sleeping
  • Simply using chemical treatments will not remove the infestation
  • These bugs love to hide in the seams of your mattress including:
  • Sofa seams
  • Cracks in the bad frame and or head board
  • Under chairs, couched, beds and dust covers
  • Under rugs, edges of carpets, drawers, baseboards and window casings
  • Behind light switches, electrical outlet plates, cracks in plaster
  • Televisions, radio clocks and phones
  • Backpacks, Sleeping bags, Cloths
  • Behind wallpaper, picture frames and other dark areas

Quick tips to help remove bed bugs

The best way to deal with bed bugs is by sealing your mattress and pillows with a plastic or hypoallergenic zipped cover. This traps the bugs that are inside your pillow and prevents them from feeding and kills them over time - remember, a nymph can live for two months without feeding, an adult can survive more than 12 months!
Do not apply any pesticide to mattresses or surfaces that would come in contact with the skin unless the pesticide specifically states that the product can be used in this manner.
Wash all your linens and place them in a hot dryer for 20 minutes (or you can freeze them at -5 C or below for five days).
You can vacuum to capture bed bugs and their eggs, but because the eggs are embedded to the fabric, you may have to scrape the surface. Once you have vacuumed everything, immediately place the vacuum bag into a plastic bad, seal it tight and dispose (outside).
Seal items mentioned above to prevent the bugs from hiding. You can place glue boards or sticky tape around your bed and in the room to catch the bed bugs as the move around; this gives you a way to monitor the effectiveness of your efforts.
A few ways to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home include:
* Hang clothing in the closet farthest from the bed
* Place luggage on the folding rack found in most hotels
* Place luggage in the dry cleaning bad found in the hotel.
* Most important, don't bring home a mattress that has been used by unknown sources.
Our Bed Bug discussion has 100's of stories and pictures of people bitten by bed bugs that include helpful insights into coping with this . If have bite marks on your body and are looking to determine what bit you, check out discussions, they can be a big help! If you have a picture, please send it in and we'll post it for others to comment on - not to worry, we'll crop the picture so that only your bite shows, so don't fret about the details.
We also offer our very popular bedbug checklist to help you quickly look for signs of bedbugs BEFORE you sleep. Our Bed Bug Treatment section covers in detail the methods used to get rid of these bugs and our Frequently Asked Questions (Bed Bug FAQ) covers the most common questions our visits ask.
Perhaps you can help identify the bug bite or may know of method of pest control not mentioned? If so, please leave a comment and help out. Bedbug infestation is a frightening experience and knowing that others have been down the same road can really help, so please comment whenever possible.
note: a survey of pest managers by the University of Sydney Department of Medical Entomology shows the bed bug infestations have increased 5000 percent since 2000!
Take a look around and enjoy the site!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Funnel Cake

I had funnel cake for dinner last night (too lazy too cook).  My husband dropped the kids off at Shocktoberfest and was sweet enough to get out and stand in line for a funnel cake for me..and even drove it home without eating it!

I posted on my personal facebook page that I had funnel cake for dinner and a friend from the UK asked..what is funnel cake.  I explained it to him and sent him this video.  I am sure they have a version of it across the pond, but call it something else.

I have made funnel cake before...my recipe is below...or you can just use this guys recipe.  (of course, getting it at a fair or farmers market is way better, because who doesn't like to have it made for them with no mess)

Funnel cake recipe

I got this recipe below from one of my PA Dutch Cookbooks.

Funnel Cake

3 c flour
2 c milk
2 eggs
1 t baking powder
¼ t salt
¼ c sugar

Beat together milk and eggs.  Beat in flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Pour thru a funnel (or squirt from ketsup bottle) into oil and fry until brown

Oil should be  deep, not just alittle oil, enough to ¼ fill the pan.
Add powedered sugar

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CHILI ...Pressure Cooker Alert

Okay, here we go.  I am not a measurer.  I add, taste, add, taste.  

I made two bags of beans this morning in the pressure cooker. From dry to perfect in 20 mins.  

One pound venison meat 
(thanks Shawn Fromm for letting me help you empty out your freezer to make room for your newest deer, gotta love your hunter friends, keeping the roads safe).  
Add some green peppers, onions, hot peppers if you like (I like)  a bit of oil (its venison, if using beef, no need) and some fresh garlic. 

Turn the rice cooker (SORRY TYPO, this is Pressure Cooker!) to meat setting (it'll automatically go to 20 mins, you are not going to need to cook it this long) and brown  the meat, etc,  with the lid off.  Shut it off again when its browned enough....  

While its browning, I toss in this stuff...use what you like...
I used, granulated garlic, granulated onion (you can ever have enough), cayenne peppers, chili powder, basil, celery seed, cumin, oregano and yes nutmeg.  

  When the meat is browned, I add my tomato products...Whatever you have on hand..canned, fresh, no matter. I used canned crushed tomatoes (too lazy to run to the garden), tomato paste and tomato sauce and some water...oh,  and the beans that I pressure cooked this morning for it. 

Taste it, does it have enough spices?  

Add some Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. 
Taste it, you like?  No?  Add more spices...get it how you like it. 

It needed more...so now I added some paprika, crushed red pepper, a dash of molasses, and a little bit of cocoa powder. 
Taste it, need anything?  Add it.  Little more of this, more of that. 

Put the lid on it, hit vegetable setting and cook for five minutes..it will be ready. 

See, perfect. 
I'm not a cheese on my chili kind of girl, I have it if you want it, but I'll pass...just gimme some diced raw onions please! 

There it is....Gotta go, time to eat! 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

I have been using this same recipe for years, they turn out just perfect and are fast and easy to make.  I am not a big fan of icing, so these are my favorite cupcakes...and they take less time than iced cupcakes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
1-1/2 C sifted flour (whisk it if your lazy like me)
1 C Sugar
1/4 C unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 C water
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 Tbsp distilled vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°

Line cupcake tin with 18 liners.  Prepare cream cheese filling and set aside.

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl (I whisk it, I dont' sift)

In a small bowl, combine water, oil and vinegar and vanilla.  Stir into flour mixture until well blended. 

Half fill each lined muffin cup w/batter.  Place a spoonful of cream cheese filling into center of batter in each cup using a small scoop.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz cream cheese
1 eggg
1/4 c sugar
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Beat first three ingredients until smooth, fold in chocolate chips. 


Monday, October 4, 2010

Brian's Chocolate Pancakes with Peanut Butter Chips

My youngest son, Brian, woke up late today..and decided to make his own "breakfast". (yes, he woke up around 1:30 pm, its a weekend lol)    He is so creative, he took my Oven Pancake recipe and added a few tablespoons of Hershey Cocoa Powder into it, and a bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Chips, and fried them up like normal pancakes.    They were sooo good!
  Cook them up and add a little Hershey's Chocolate Syrup to them.  

Yes, he needs a haircut.  He grows it for Locks for Love.  
Here he is saying "Are you actually going to keep taking pictures of me while I cook, mom? 

You can't really see the peanut butter chips in these, but they are there...its just that until I realized we didn't take a pic of one cut open, they were gone!
Oh well, he promised to make more tomorrow!
I will take some better pics tomorrow!

Here they are...
Brian, no frying bacon without a shirt! lol.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Pie in a Jar

 My good friend Karen sent me this awesome article on how to make these adorable mini apple pies. What a cute idea...no having to cut the pie and dish it out, these are ready to serve.  You could even heat them up, just be careful the glass will be hot to touch, place it on a small plate with a doily and it would look even cuter! Below is the directions and recipe, but I think I will use my own recipe.

September 10, 2010
    This isn’t your grandmother’s apple pie. We’ve taken the tried-and-true favorite and spun it on its head, pouring the sweet fruit filling into a dough-lined jar. Top it off any way you choose—we’ll provide the scrumptious topping options.
    Apple Pie in a Jar Serves 8 Prep time: 30 minutes Bake time: 45 minutes INGREDIENTS 8 short, half-pint glass canning jars* 4 pre-packaged pie crusts, uncooked 7 cups (15-20 whole) apples, peeled and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3/4 cup white sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg *Find glass canning jars right in your grocery store. The short, half-pint versions work best for this recipe—and though they are pre-treated to resist heat, placing them in a cold oven will allow them to heat up gradually. That means no broken glass! INSTRUCTIONS
      1. Lay out pie crusts on a clean surface. Use the lid of your jar as a cookie cutter to create 8 circles. Insert a dough circle into the base of each jar, pressing into place with your fingertips.
      2. Cut the remaining pie crusts into long strips, approximately 4 inches wide. Press the dough into the inside of each jar, so the inside is completely covered.
      3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the apple slices in lemon juice.
      4. In a separate medium-size bowl, combine the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the dry ingredients over the apples, then toss to coat.
      5. Divide the apple filling equally among your jars, filling each about 2/3 full.
      6. Finish each jar with the topping of your choice (see our options below).
      7. Place your jars on a baking sheet and set inside a cold oven. Begin heating your oven to 375ºF and let bake for 45-60 minutes, until topping is golden brown and bubbling.
    Tip: There are so many apples to choose from, namely in the cool fall months. We love sweet Golden Delicious apples for this recipe, but for more ideas, check out our complete Apple Types & Tastes Guide. 3 Topping Options3 Topping Options
    • Lattice Crust: To achieve an old-fashioned look, purchase an extra pie crust or two at the supermarket, then cut the dough into very thin strips, slightly longer than the width of your jar’s mouth. Lay 3 strips vertically and 3 strips horizontally, then interweave them, pressing the edges into the inner rim of the jar. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
    • Capped Crust: Repeat step 1 of the instructions, then use the dough circles to top each of your jars—but be sure to press the edges into the inner rim of the jar to prevent burning. Use the tongs of a fork to crimp the edges, or cut out a few small, festive shapes like leaves with a mini cookie cutter or stencil. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
    • Crumble Topping: For something easy and extra sweet, simply follow the instructions below, then sprinkle generously on the top of each jar:

      1/4 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      2 tablespoons oats
      3 tablespoons cold butter

        1. In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon.
        2. Add butter, blending with an electronic mixer until pieces are approximately the size of peas.
        3. Add oats, stirring with a spoon until well combined.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Best Eggplant Parmesan

I recently got an email from Taste of Home with an Eggplant Parmesan that looked out of this world.  My garden is screaming with eggplants, tomatoes, basil etc... so I decided to make it.   The kids were all going out, so my husband invited some friends over for a cool evening patio dinner by the fire (always makes me a bit nervous serving something new that I have not tried yet, when guests are coming).  It was a hit!  Everyone loved it, raving it was the best eggplant parmesan they ever had (living up to its name). 

This picture is from Taste Of Home. I should have taken a picture of mine, it looked just as good, but I had company and don't think taking pics of my food would look too normal lol !  Especially because they were hungry!  I promise, if you make this, it will look this good! 
UPDATE:  I added my own pic below of the leftovers the next day. 

It is put together, almost like a lasagna.

Of course, I added my own bling to the recipe, because that is how I roll.  The changes I made are in Red. I left her recipe in tact, in case you want to make it her way or add your own bling. 

The Best Eggplant Parmesan
Recipe by Dottie Kilpatrick, with some minor changes by me

16 ServingsPrep: 1-1/4 hours Bake: 35 min. + standing


3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil Grapeseed oil
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes  56 ounces of freshed tomatoes, food processed for a whirl or two
1 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped I used green spanish olives from a jar, minced in food processor
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups dry bread crumbs 
I used way more than 3 cups, and I used panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
for each 3 cup of panko bread crumbs I used 2 T garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 small eggplants (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
We used Large
1 cup olive oil
again we use grapeseed oil
Heating olive oil in our house is taboo! 
Heat destroys olive oil.

2 eggs, beaten
2 cartons (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
I used about 32 ounces of my own homemade ricotta cheese (easy to make) 

Click here to find out more!
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 cups (32 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
 1-1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
Keep the shaker out, I went crazy with the Parm!
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tsp of cinnamon

 A few dashes of oregano


I "minced" the garlic and olives in the food processor (separately). 

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook garlic in oil for 1 minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, olives, basil, capers, pepper flakes and
pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45-60
minutes or until thickened.

In a pressure cooker, on the vegetable  setting with the lid off..saute the garlic for 1 minutes in the grapeseed oil. Dump in the rest of the sauce ingredients and place lid on. Cook on Vegetable setting for five minutes..that's done!

Meanwhile, for eggplant, place flour and eggs in separate shallow
bowls. In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder and
oregano. Dip eggplant in the flour, eggs, then bread crumb mixture.

In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in oil for 5 minutes on
each side or until tender. Drain on paper towels. In a large bowl,
combine the eggs, ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and

In a large bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, and 1-1/2 cups parmesan cheese (yes, I said it, just do it).  I also added 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Its my secret bling in any dish with tomato sauce and or ricotta cheese, people aren't quite sure what it is, but they love it.  My son's friends can pick it out now, they love it!  I don't add it to both sauce and cheese in the same recipe though, as not to over power the dish with cinnamon.  I chose the Ricotta cheese over the sauce because it really makes ricotta cheese shine. 

In each of two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes, layer 1-1/2 cups
tomato sauce, four eggplant slices, 1 cup ricotta mixture and 2 cups
mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle each with remaining
Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or
until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. 
I used a cookie scoop to put the ricotta mixture on the eggplant and used my hands to pat it down to cover the eggplant with it.  I almost made these like a sandwich in the baking pan, eggplant, cheese, mozz, eggplant, cheese, mozz.  Parmesan and then a little oregano on top. 

Yield: 2 casseroles
 (8 servings each).
This served 6 hungry adults with enough for maybe two more people, but most recipes don't really serve what they say they do, I guess for calorie reasons, to make it look like less calories.  (We also served about Chile Rellanos to our guests as an appetizer so it's not like they were starving)  I know, weird combo, but we have a garden screaming to be used and the guests loved both dishes!
So the nutritional info here may have to be doubled! Ah!  Close your eyes for the last part of this blog post!

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 562 calories, 38 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 138 mg cholesterol, 778 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 29 g protein. 

UPDATE:  I made some leftovers for lunch, and I decided to snap a pic.  Nothing fancy, just nuked and in a plain old bowl. Click to enlarge...hungry yet?