Sunday, February 28, 2016

Melt-in-your-Mouth Potatoes

Wow, its been over a year since I've blogged. My intention was to take a break for a month or two to get some much needed tasks done around the house, painting etc.
 I never realized it would be this difficult to get back into blogging but I came up with one excuse after the other why I just didn't have time and before I knew it a whole year had gone by. As much as I wish I could get back to blogging every week, realistically I know that is not going to happen. At least not at this point in my life. Its all about priority's. 
Anyway, I am a huge potato lover and this recipe is too good not to share. In fact I made them twice in one week, we loved them so much. And they really do almost melt in your mouth.
I highly recommend Yukon Gold's but I imagine Red Potatoes would be okay as well.
In the recipe I like using Tastefully Simple Spinach Herb Mix. If this is not available in your area you could add a combination of parsley flakes, onion flakes and dill to the thyme.
Melt-in-your-Mouth Potatoes
2 1/2-3 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled
4 Tbls butter, melted
1 tsp dried thyme. Here I substitute Spinach Herb Mix by Tastefully Simple.  Spinach Herb mix consists of Spinach Flakes, onion, dill and garlic. I LOVE this stuff!
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp minced garlic

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place oven rack in upper-middle position in oven.
2. Combine butter, thyme/spinach herb mix, salt and pepper in a medium bowl
3. Slice off ends of potatoes so they are flat on ends and cut potatoes into 1 inch slices.
4.Toss potatoes in butter mixture and arrange in a single layer in a 9x13 inch pan.
5. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each potato and roast for another 15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and flip potatoes again then add the chicken broth and garlic. (See note on bottom)
7. Roast another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and sauce has reduced slightly.
8. Serve the potatoes with the sauce drizzled over the top.
Note: Recommend using a metal pan. If using a glass pan make sure chicken broth isn't cold. You don't want to shatter your pan!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins are so delicious and full of flavor, I think they would be perfect for breakfast on Christmas morning. Actually, they are good anytime but the taste of cranberry and orange just screams Christmas to me.
 I would probably make these this day before and pop them in the microwave on Christmas morning because who has time to be baking on Christmas morning? Certainly not me!
You can substitute blueberries if you want blueberry muffins, and I have made it into a coffee cake as well.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp grated orange rind
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen. If frozen do not thaw. May substitute blueberries.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange rind.
2. in small bowl combine eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
3. Gently stir the cranberries into the egg mixture.
4. Add the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. About 15 stirs around the bowl. Do not over mix!
5. Fill lined muffin tins 3/4 full and top with streusel if desired.
6. Bake until the tops are lightly browned approximately 13-15 for mini muffins or 18-20 minutes for regular muffins.
7. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
Streusel: I use a basic recipe of 6 Tbsp flour, 4 Tbsp white sugar, 2 Tbsp Crisco
If desired, omit the streusel and glaze the tops with a powered sugar glaze.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Scenes from Holmes County

National Geographic just named Holmes County, Ohio as one of the most scenic spots in the world to see fall leaves, ranking third, behind Sonoma County, California, and Northern New Mexico.
I don't think the colors are as spectacular as in previous years here or here, but it might be a little early. We just had our first frost so maybe the best is yet to come.
I have lived here all my life and take this area for granted, but when I take time to slow down from life and just take in the sights around me, it is truly beautiful and I feel blessed to live here.
This might have been the most colorful tree we saw.
Holmes County is known most of all for being the largest Amish settlement in the world. Scenes like this are an everyday occurrence.
Holmes County has many, many miles of dirt roads and we love to see where each one takes us. 
I am very passionate about old abandoned buildings and when we came across this one I yelled....Stop! This is one of the most picturesque ones I have come across.
They may not look so pretty to some, but they are so full of history and stories, I wish it could tell me just one.
This home looks so empty and lonely. I'm sure it has stories to tell too.
We meandered along, from one country dirt road to another, some of them barely more than a cow path.
The only traffic we met was an occasional buggy.
The one thing I love about our area is all the beautiful old barns. 
 I love the old ones with their faded wood and lopsided walls.
The more run down and weathered, the more they appeal to me.
I even love the shabby doors and broken window panes.
While some of our surrounding counties are very flat, Holmes County is known for it's rolling hills.
An old Amish School House, I assume no longer in use. Sometime I would like doing a post of just Amish School Houses. There are dozens of them in our county.
 Our rolling hills open up to beautiful valleys.
 The last farm we happened upon as we headed home, completely captivated me. All the buildings were painted white or red, but had the same aqua colored roofs. Just loved it!
I didn't notice until I put this photo on here, but I pretty sure the dog house on the far left is painted to match.
The buggy barn. 
 I couldn't find a good place to get a shot of the side of this but has an aqua roof. I hope I can find this place again because I would love to take some photos of a few buildings that I didn't get.
So while there wasn't that much fall color yet, I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of  'where I come from'.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

West Trip....the long road home. it's time for another cousins trip and I never got around to finishing last years trip! For the few people that still are some highlights of last few days, which consisted of a lot of driving with a few stops here and there.
Continuing the long trip across Canada, day eleven was a driving day. We left Alberta and entered Saskatchewan.

 The country side was pretty, but a lot of the same. Prairies, farms, grain elevators, trains, etc.....mile after mile. Not at all how I envisioned Canada.

 I loved the cross in the sky.
 I forget what this was. Sand or Salt? That's what happens when you wait this long to blog about a trip that happened a year ago.
Who knows what this is? We all said dandelion but it's the biggest one I have ever seen!
We spent the night in Regina, Saskatchewan at a Country Inn and Suites. 
Day 12
We toured the Irvin Goodon Wildlife Museum. We were not allowed to take photographs here.
The last stop before crossing the border back into the United States was the International Peace Gardens.
The 3.65 square mile garden is located on the border of North Dakota and province of Manitoba. It was established in 1932 as a symbol of a peaceful relationship between the two nations.
A few of the features at the Peace Gardens are gorgeous gardens and the Peace Towers.
The four columns represent people coming from the four corners of the earth to form two similar but distinct nations, sharing a common base of democracy and beliefs.
The Carillon Bell Tower plays tunes every fifteen minutes.
9-11 Memorial
Steel girders from the  former World Trade Center were brought to rest at the Peace Gardens.
Interpretive Center and Conservatory
The Peace Chapel is the only building that straddles the US and Canadian border.
The chapel features quotes from "People of Peace" etched into fossil-embellished limestone walls.
Floral Clock
We are back in the states and spent the night at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Devils Lake North Dakota.
Day 13
A lot of driving again today with a stop at the headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi.
It's not so mighty at the beginning.
Lake Itasca
Lake Bemidji
We stayed at a Comfort Inn in Duluth Minnesota. That's us....Green Country Tours.
A beautiful array of Coleus outside the hotel.
Day 14
Sunrise over Duluth
We make a short stop at Amnicon Falls State Park in Superior, Wisconsin.
The Covered Horton Bridge
The Lower Falls
Another stop on this last full day on the road home was the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum.
Here you can experience what life was like in an 1890s logging camp.

On our last night we stayed in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Loading up that last morning was bittersweet knowing this was the final day. So many friends and memories were made in these two was hard to see it come to an end.
Must be back in's cloudy. There is a Bicentennial Barn like this in every county in Ohio, a total of 88.
Would love to do this trip all over!