Veterans Day

This is a photo from Okinawa that we keep on our fireplace mantle.

Honoring my late father-in-law, Gerald James Shea, He was an Army veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.

He was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 972, an emeritus member of the Seismological Society of America, a member of the NRA, member of the Inventors Hall of Fame, and a member of Hoosier Association of Science Teachers Inc.

He opened the first seismological station recognized by the government, in Terre Haute in 1948, was on staff at Indiana State University, held a solar energy patent and worked on the polio vaccine while at Pfizer. He retired a
medical technologist from Pfizer.

Pop is second from the right in the photo:

We love you pop and miss your laughter. We have wonderful memories of you and will always share them.

Crunchy Onion Sticks

I forgot to take a photo last night. I made these from the TOH 2011 Holiday Gathering cookbook. These are fun to eat; my 24 year old son said he thought it would be a good idea to take the leftover (it made a lot), dry them and cut them up as croutons. So, I did.

My tip: I would cover these lightly with the onions and make sure you crush the dried onions up fine – the chunks can fall off easily while moving them on to the pan.

This was easy to make and a fun snack.

Fruit and Caramel Brie

Fruit and Caramel Brie in the TOH 2011 Holiday Gathering cookbook.
This is delicious! I doubled the topping, and added half to the bottom of the brie. First, I put half of the topping on the tray, and set the brie cheese on that; I then added the rest of the topping to the top. I would definitely make this for gatherings.

I would definitely make more of the topping just to have on the side of this for anyone who wants extra.

Tip: I used a fresh apple as I didn’t like the smell of the dried apples which I had on hand. I tossed those and grabbed a granny smith, diced it and added to the cranberry and nut mixture.

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

2 large eggs

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

3 Tbsp 2% milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

4 peanut butter cups, chopped

In a large bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, butter and milk; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gradually add to sugar mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in the peanut butter cups. Spread batter into a greased 9-in square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

I didn’t have the peanut butter cups, but I had a bag of mini white peanut butter cups and a bag of peanut butter chips. I added half the bag of chips with the mini chips – which I chopped into smaller pieces. This recipe was fine but I felt it needed something else so I melted the remainder of the peanut butter chips and drizzled them over the top.

Baked Apples

I used Honey-crisp apples for this because that is what I had on hand – now I’m thinking I’d like to experiment with other apples to see what the different tastes would be – However, the honey-crisp was a perfect, delicious apple for this recipe.

2 Honey-crisp apples

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp flour

1 tsp cinnamon

4 caramels

Preheat oven to 375I sliced a small amount off the top of apples and scooped out the core with a small measuring spoon – then I cut a couple rows around the inside core of apple like rings – then I sliced down the sides of the apples to make these spread out while baking like a bloomin’ onion. I’m thinking the reason you are to slice off top is so the apple will absorb more of the caramel. I did not take too much off the top – I almost peeled instead of sliced.

Put 2 caramels in the center of an apple – in future – I may experiment and slice the caramels up smaller. Heat butter and sugar in microwave till melted – mine took about 20 seconds – stir and be sure it’s melted – stir in flour and cinnamon – put apple in baking dish and pour the sauce over top and down sides – I spread the rings out a bit to get the sauce down in there – this is from experience of having made these before.

Bake for 25 – 50 minutes – it really depends on where you live and your preference of firmness – I take out after 30 minutes and push a fork in sides – if it’s still a bit hard – I put back in for 10 minute increments, so here in Indiana – I baked mine for 40 minutes. You’ll learn your favorite tenderness. Remove from baking dish – put in bowl and add ice cream – also scoop caramel out of baking pan and drizzle over ice cream

Tip – leave in baking dish for about 10 minutes or longer to cool down before adding to dish with ice cream, otherwise the ice cream will be milk before you sit down to enjoy it.

We love how much the apple flavor comes out in this dish – I’ve tried a variety of other baked apples and this has been our favorite – plus it’s easy

The Best Chicken Parmesan

This is delicious and makes a lot. My college aged son said the house smelled so good while everything was being prepared throughout the day. I did this in stages. Definitely a keeper because I will make this again. This makes a lot, so be prepared for easy leftovers.

Pumpkin Apple Crisp

I’ve had knee problems for several months now, making the idea of standing in the kitchen unbearable. I decided to try this recipe over the weekend, because I was tired of not feeling up to baking. I was not thrilled with this taste combo. I’d like to try it again with different apples. I used Granny Smith apples, and thought, “Meh” This is disappointing as I’ve loved every recipe from this book.

Maybe it is just me, because I don’t have my mojo going – I miss it and I hope I can get it back, soon.

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