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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Are You Reading From????

Where are you reading this from????

Leave a post letting us know from what corner of the world you call home...

I know there are readers from many different countries, 
It would be fun to see where my blog reaches...

So leave a simple comment of where you live...

Thanks so much!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Secret Ingredient Salad

I am making one of my favorite fruit salads a a bridal shower that I get to attend tomorrow....

 This is and old family recipe from my mom's recipe collection..... 

This salad is fruity and refreshing, and doesn't use cool-whip to bind it all together.  It does need to set overnight to work it's magic though.

So the secret ingredient is.......... Sour Cream.

Sour Cream Salad       from the collection of Lettie Lewis

1 container sour cream
2 cans mandarine oranges(or more if you really like them like me)
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can pineapple tidbits

Mix sour cream, marshmallows and crushed pineapple with juice together until well combined.  
Mix in pineapple tidbits.
Mix in mandarins very carefully to not break them up.

Let set overnight in the refrigerator, or at least 6 hours.

The sour cream and pineapple break down the marshmallows to make a delicious base for the salad.

You can hold out a cup of marshmallows to put on top, or put another small can of drained mandarins on top to decorate it if you want.

You can also add 1cup of coconut to it if you wish.


Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Here is another salad I'm making because it just sounded yummy....

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

12 oz. Cool whip
1 -3 1/2oz. Pkg of cheesecake instant pudding
3   6oz containers of strawberry yogurt
1 lbs strawberries sliced up
1 pkg mini marshmallows
1/2 to 1 pkg graham crackers broken in small pieces, not crushed.

Mix all but strawberries and graham crackers together.
Let setup in refrigerator for at least an hour.
Mix in strawberries.
Layer into serving bowl with layers of graham crackers in between.

I couldn't find the cheesecake instant pudding, so I substituted white chocolate instant pudding..... it is really good and it looks pretty layered in my glass bowl from IKEA.

Here is the website that had basically this recipe.
I added the graham crackers to make it taste more like cheesecake.

I can't wait to try her recipe... 

Update:   this was a great success today at the Bridal shower....  
Using the white chocolate instant pudding, and broken pieces of graham
Cracker layered throughout like a trifle.

~ Brat~

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Old Pyrex mixing bowls a thing of beauty


1 C. Flour
2 T. baking powder
2 T. Sugar
½ t. Salt

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 T. oil

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4tsp. Nutmeg
1tsp. Vanilla.

Mix dry ingredients in larger bowl.
Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry ingredients, mix lightly. 
Batter will rise a lot. Let set for a few minutes. 
Stir down, and use.

If batter gets too thick, add some milk to thin it.

I usually double or triple this for us.  

You can add anything to the batter.... My daughters usually add chocolate chips, since they are not too fond of syrups. 

This recipe is provided by a very good friend of mine and we have been making them for about 20 years now.... it is on a recipe card, taped to the inside of my baking cabinet, old and faded with time, yet where it is always accessible...  

These beautiful bowls were on eBay and sold for $175.00
Beautiful set of nesting bowls.  Made someone a happy baker!

My daughter Stephanie is the pancake expert in our family... since she got married, I don't think anyone has made them at our house since.  We go over to her house so she'll make them for us.

Breakfast for dinner happens a lot at our house. Since I am not a huge breakfast person and hate to cook in the morning, I make it an effort to just cook breakfast for dinner several times a month.


Thoughts on Hosea Day 3

I am reminded today in my study of Hosea
 that we are and were chosen by God...

He wants a relationship with us, and patiently sits there waiting for us to stop the craziness our lives and turn to Him with our thoughts, desires, wishes, hopes, dreams, needs, fears, inadequacies, problems, and prayers.

He knows we will fail Him each and every, and like a loving parent he will sit there and wait for us to learn our lesson...
Waiting for us to turn our hearts and minds towards him in devotion and need of rescue, or encouragement.

I am also reminded that I have to let God work in me.

I need to stop tryin to do it all in my power, but to give control to God to work through me to His glory, and not to satisfy my sinful earthly nature. It is something I have to keep reminding my self of daily...
It doesn't come easy.... 
but most things that are worthy, take hard 
work, and time and effort.

"When I am alone..... Give me Jesus....
 You can have all this world....... give me Jesus"

I hope you take some time today to work on 
your relationship with God..... 
He loves you.....
He misses you....
He's waiting for you....

Have a Blessed Day...

~ Brat~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Who Wants a Boring Lunch???

Who Wants a Boring lunch every day of the year?
With a little pre-planning, that doesn't have to be the case.

I just got done reading this article about packing lunches that are not boring, 
and this lady has done a lot of research on the topic.  
Ideas for children, teens and and adults, and even some GF ideas too.

There are a lot of great recipes and links as well as some printable
 ideas for you as well.

Take a spin around the article and use some ideas to perk up
Your families lunches, and make them feel special as well as satisfied by a 
Filling and yummy lunch.... 

Link to article
Thirty Days Of Lunches to Pack

I loved this link from the article, and the Dr. Who themed Bento Box
Lunch idea.... So clever....

And another great link from this article.
Over 200 days, this lady shares what she packs for lunch.
Mostly healthy ideas.

Operation Lunch Box

I hope you find some inspiration to bless your family or self with 
Some great lunches that you will be excited to eat...

Have a Blessed Day

~ Brat~

Thoughts on Hosea today

I am enjoying the Bible Study on the book of Hosea from She Reads Truth. Today was on the first chapter, and it really makes you think about your attitude towards God.

This part really stuck out to me this morning....

Take a wife who will not be faithful to you, get real good and attached to her, and have babies with her. Name them “I Will Punish” and “No Mercy” and “Not My People.” Why? Because they would be human flesh-filled examples of the rebellious people God was calling to Himself. Speaking about God was not enough. Hosea was called to live out a redemptive story, to love like the Father.

How often do we get caught up in the worshipping of self and become completely engrossed in our own selfish motives that we completely turn our lives away from God, and what is right and just and Christ like?  I know that no matter how much I want to spend time with my Bible, I put it off, time and time again..... I fall into Satan's trap, and find excuses to not find time or just put it out of my mind altogether.  

As the example above points out, we are a rebellious people, and God knew this before he even created each and every one of us..... And knowing the heart wrenching truth, formed us into creation anyway....  Wow.... Knowing full well we would be completely ungrateful at times, and honestly for me, all to often, he still loved us so much he made each one of our lives possible. 

What an amazing love he has for us.....unconditional, all encompassing, and eternal.  

I feel so inadequate in my devotion and commitment to God, will I ever get to the point that I feel worthy of his love for me?

Thankfully God's mercy and grace for me is unlimited, for I need it day after day....

Thank you Lord for not giving up on me when I fail you, I need you, even when I don't seem to realize it.... I will always need you to be by my side and guide me and my willful nature.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Starting a New Bible Study today

Today I started a new bible study. 
It is an online Bible Study from 
She Reads on Hosea. 
 I am really looking forward to the daily study. 
 It lasts for 17 days and you can follow along online, or by email or if you have an Apple product you
 can get an app in the iTunes store.

There is a beautiful study guide that you can purchase to go with the study, that comes with some beautiful scripture cards to put around your home.
The artist did a wonderful job on the prints,
 and his art is beautiful and really creative.
As you can see by this example....

Take a moment to visit the site and see
 it for your self... time spent on your 
relationship with God, 
only leads to a greater awakening of his 
Spirit within you... 
and a better understanding of 
who you are in Him.

On the above site link, they also have previous studies available online,
 and they all look really good.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Alaskan Brat

This makes a big pot.  

1 ½ lb. ground beef**
1 onion chopped
6 beef bullion cubes
6 cups water
4 large green peppers cut up
1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1 cup ketchup
½ tsp. paprika
1Tb. Garlic
1 tsp. salt
2Tb. Sugar*
2 cups or more cooked rice.* (long grain or brown)

Use a large Stock pot for this recipe.

Brown beef and onions, drain.
Add bullion cubes and water.  
Bring to a boil and add all remaining ingredients except rice.  Simmer 1-2 hours until peppers are tender.  
Adjust seasonings to taste.  
Stir in cooked rice and heat through.  
Add sugar to offset the acid taste.

*I usually don't add the rice to the soup, but instead add the rice to bowl and pour soup over the rice.  I helps the rice to not break down over night in left overs.

**I usually use hot Italian sausage instead of hamburger.   
It makes a hot and spicy version that most people like better.  You can also add a dash of cayenne pepper, or hot pepper flakes.

Hope you enjoy this soup... 
This is one of our all time favorite soups to eat during the winter, and it just gets even better after a few days of being in the refrigerator.  

I always get asked for this recipe when 
I take it to functions.

~ Brat~

Banana Bread

This is My favorite recipe for banana bread.
I have been using it for years.
  The sour cream makes it nice and moist.

Banana Cream Bread
(Green Acres Old Fashion Cookery Book)

Combine in a large mixer bowl with beaters:
1 1/3 cup oil
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
6 ripe mashed bananas
1 cup sour cream
1 Tb. Vanilla
1 ½ tsp. salt

Mix until smooth and add:
4 cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
Mix until blended,-do not over mix.
Add 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Divide into greased and floured loaf pans. 
Fill 2/3 full and sprinkle with sugar to form a sugar
Crust.  Put in preheated 325F and bake 40-60 min. 
Loaves are done when top is crowned, lightly browned
And tests clean with a toothpick.  Remove from oven
and cool in pans for 5 min before turning out on cooling
racks.  This bread is best made with Very, Very Ripe
fruit.  Cool and wrap and age in refrigerator or freezer
at least one day before serving.

Yield: 2 large loaves or 4-6 mini loaves.

It is really hard not to cut into these when you take them out of the oven.  It is worth the wait, the bread gets more moist as it sits wrapped in Saran wrap.
I love to slather it with butter or better yet with cream cheese....
So very delicious, and a great way to use up over ripe bananas, and who doesn't find themselves with over ripe bananas from time to time.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.

~ Brat~

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Over Night Steel Cut Oats

Our family loves breakfast... 
And they say It is the most important meal of the day.  
Most days you will find in our refrigerator a container of steel cut oats, cooked and ready to be reheated.  I usually make a big batch once a week, and we reheat it all week long.  It is really simple to make over night, and it comes out perfect each time, and doesn't burn, or stick to the pan, or over cook....

Steel Cut Oats (not quick) 

Follow the ratio on container, 
I know my container says 1 cup oats to 4 cups water, 
this should be pretty much universal, but I have seen the ratio of 1 cup SC-Oats to 3 cups water also so check your package.
I usually use my 5 quart pot, and make a double batch of this, 
so I use 2 cups of Oats to 8 cups of water.  

Bring your water to a boil, and add the steel cut oats, and then stir.  
Turn off heat, add a dash of salt (I like Sea Salt), 
put a lid on the pot and leave over night on the burner of the stove.

I usually make this Saturday night around 10 or 11pm before we go to bed, 
and it is still slightly warm when we wake up around 7 or 8 am. 
Just give it a stir, and it is ready to serve.
It will be done in as little as about 4 hours if needed.

Both my husband and daughter like to eat their oatmeal on the 
savory side, by frying an egg or two to a nice medium runny center 
and putting them on top of the oatmeal with some salt and pepper. 
It is good with a few strips of bacon or sausage this way too.

Now me,  I have to be different, I only like my grits on the savory side, 
I like and prefer the sweet side of oatmeal for breakfast. 
 I like to put some brown sugar and a dash of nutmeg on top and let 
it melt all over it.  It is just the perfect way for me. 
You don't need any butter since the Steel cut oats are really creamy and 
don't need it, but if you are a Butter lover  I suppose you could put a 
dab on top too.

Additions to Flavor your Oatmeal:
Choose your favorite flavors, and make your bowl to your liking, 
for a group of hungry people, you could have an assortment of toppings, 
and let everyone be creative and add their favorites before 
they eat or reheat. 

Bananas, chocolate chips, berries, raisins, chopped apples, coconut, 
Pie filling, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, flavored extracts, Maple syrup, Molasses, coco powder, apple sauce, walnuts, pecans,
 slivered almonds, peanuts, marshmallows and Graham cracker crumbs,
Jelly(strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, marmalade)
Cranberries, canned peaches, dried apples, Dried Apricots,
 Milk, creamer, half and half, almond milk, chocolate milk ....
Cooked and crumbled bacon, cooked sausage, fried eggs, hot sauce....


Helpful Tip:
If you stored all the topping ingredients in mason jars in a specific place in your cupboard, it would become a breakfast station for the family to help theirselves to make a healthy and yummy hearty breakfast.  It would encourage them to start the day in a healthy way.
(Non perishable/refrigerated ingredients)


I made Pumpkin Pie flavored oats this winter, by adding a small can of pumpkin 
and pumpkin pie spice to the pot with 1 cup of oats and 4 cups of water, and that was just like eating hot pumpkin pie... I put a little vanilla coffee creamer on top and some brown sugar...
 it was heavenly...

I am pretty sure it would also taste good with warm Apple pie filling added
 to it....and some cinnamon and brown sugar sprinkled on top...
Might have to try that...

I hope that you enjoy your breakfast Oatmeal... 
Let me know if you try it and if you have any more favorite toppings that I might have forgotten to mention.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beer Bread as Simple as 3 2 1......

I have been making this recipe for Beer Bread for about five years and it always comes out delicious.

Beer Bread

3 cups self rising flour
2 Tb. Sugar
1 12oz can or bottle of Beer.  Room temperature
1 stick of melted butter (8 Tb.)  Divided in half.

Turn oven on 400 degrees
Grease a large loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.

Mix beer, sugar, flour, and half of the melted butter (4 TB) together in a 2 Quart mixing bowl.  

It will start to rise and foam as you mix it. 

Don't over mix.

Immediately Pour into greased loaf pan and let rise for 10 to 15 min while oven heats up. 

The beer works like yeast to make the bread light and delicate.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min, remove from oven and spoon the remaining melted butter over top of the bread in the pan and return it to the oven for 15 min longer, or until golden brown and bread is cooked through.  
Test with toothpick.

Let set in pan 15 min, then pop out onto cooling rack to cool.  

Wait 20 to 30 min before cutting.


You can make many versions of this bread by adding different seasonings, or by using different beer.  My family likes PBR, Budweiser, or Yuengling, which gives the bread a light flavor.  I enjoy it with a Black and Tan Yuengling or other darker beer which gives it a molasses taste.

You Can Add; garlic, Italian seasoning, cheese(cheddar, parmesan, Swiss, mozzarella), onion powder, green onions, green chilies, green peppers, sage, pepperoni, olives.... the ingredients and combinations are endless that can be added....

Hope you enjoy.... I know we do!!

~ Brat~

Weekend Cookie Baking hits the spot

I had the privilege of baking cookies for a wonderful wedding this past weekend.

I tried out 2 new recipes, and both were supper yummy and considered keepers.

The first cookie mixes three of my favorite cookies together; Oatmeal, Peanut butter, and White chocolate chip (macadamia).  They are chewy and moist and flavorful.  Pop them in the microwave a couple days later and they taste like they just came out of the oven.  This blogger has an amazing recipe, you need to click the link and try these.  I made a double batch and I'm so glad I did.... Heavenly....

And the other cookie was a cheesecake cookie.... it was so moist and flavor filled.  I did change this recipe a bit though..... I rolled the balls of dough in finely crushed graham crackers.  It helped to make them taste more like cheesecake. It is more moist than your traditional thumbprint cookie. The recipe doesn't make many, I think 2 dozen, and it does need to chill thoroughly.  I put it in the freezer while I was making the previous mentioned cookie, then I  placed it in the refrigerator until I had time to make them.  They don't spread much so you can fill your tray up nicely and can get them baked quickly.  I really like the fact that they only take 5 ingredients.

Definitely make these cookies, you will not be disappointed!!

~Have a Blessed Day~


Easy Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice Soup

Easy Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice Soup

1 pkg. Chicken and wild rice mix
5 cups water
2 Tb. Chicken soup base or bullion.
2 cups cooked chicken cut up.
1 pkg. 10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed or 2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli chopped
2 med carrot shredded
2 stalks celery sliced thin or minced.
2 tsp. minced onion  or 1/2 onion chopped
1 can 10 ¾ oz condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 pkg. cream cheese, cubed  or 8 oz. Velveeta cheese

Saute  carrot, celery, and onion in bottom of soup pot until tender. 

Then in pot add and combine rice, season packet and water, bring to boil and simmer for 10 min, stirring once.  
Stir in the chicken, broccoli,  Cover and simmer 5 min.  
Stir in Soup and cream cheese.  
Cook and stir until cheese is melted.

I usually double this recipe to take to functions.

Great with a salad and a nice large loaf of Italian bread.

Hope you enjoy.


Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

1  1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 large or medium onion chopped
2 Chicken breast cooked
2 cups Spinach- torn or sliced thin.
Chicken broth or bullion
2 packages Gnocchi (I usually use one reg and one whole wheat)
2 small cans cream of chicken soup
*1 can cream of mushroom soup optional
Half and half or heavy cream -2 cups
Garlic, salt, pepper, sage, Steak seasoning.

Boil chicken to cook through, reserve broth, debone, and shred chicken.
Add carrots, celery, and onion to pot, sauté in olive oil until tender.
Add reserved chicken broth, bullion, and chicken to pot. Water as needed.
Bring to boil, add Gnocchi and spinach, cook to tender
Add cream right before serving, do not boil after adding cream or will curdle

Season to taste

This will thicken as it sets. 

 It Is even better the next day.

I will sometimes add a third package of gnocchi, simply
 because they are delicious!

Happy Eating!

~ Brat~

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