Saturday, May 31, 2014

Leader Enterprise - May 28, 2014 - Asparagus

Let me begin by thanking each of you who have had a part in encouraging or praying for our family as we grieve the sudden loss of our oldest grandchild, Ashtyn Baker. It's a stark reminder that life is short, and to love the people in your life because we never know when God is going to want them back. God's grace is sufficient and amazing. We covet your continued prayers as we struggle to find our 'new normal'.

Just as spring is a time of new beginnings, asparagus is one of those springtime veggies that I love to experiment with. 

After reading this nutritional info at Eating Well (eatingwell.com) I decided it was worth sharing with my readers. Looks like eating asparagus will help keep us looking younger and is full of good-for-you protection against such things as cancer!

Just as a spear is used as a weapon, asparagus’s javelin-shaped form could be viewed as symbolic for its age-and disease-fighting abilities. Asparagus is packed with health benefits:


1- It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.


2- This plant — along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts — is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

3- Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process. 

4-Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 — found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy— to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)

ROASTED ASPARAGUS 
Preheat oven to 450°F. Trim tough ends from asparagus (if you bend the ends, they break off where they should); place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 tsp.(garlic) salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast, turning once halfway through, until the asparagus begins to soften and brown, 12 - 14 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
4 Tb. butter or margarine,melted
2- (15 ozs)cans asparagus spears, drained
(or 2 - 3 c. fresh cooked asparagus)
1- (8 ozs) can sliced water chestnuts, optional
2 - 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. evaporated or 2% milk
1- (10.75 ozs) can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" x 9" baking dish. In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs with butter; place half in bottom of dish. Layer asparagus, water chestnuts and chopped eggs on top of crumbs. In small bowl, mix milk and soup; pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cracker crumbs on top. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. May sprinkle asparagus with shredded cheese before topping with crumbs prior to baking if desired. 

I recently tried this wonderful coleslaw. Great for summertime picnics and potlucks.

(A blog follower recently told me this was the BEST coleslaw she's ever had!=)

COPYCAT KFC COLESLAW



1- (1 lb.) package pre-shredded coleslaw mix with cabbage and carrots 
2 TB. minced onion
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c. buttermilk
1-1/2 TBS. white vinegar
2-1/2 TB. lemon juice
Dried Parsley Flakes 

Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl. Add onions. Mix well. (Place mix in a food processor and pulse to shred a little finer if you desire the same texture as KFC serves.)

In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, milk, mayo, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and lemon juice. Whisk well. Pour over cabbage mix. Stir well. Sprinkle with dried parsley. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.





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Friday, May 30, 2014

Amazing Chicken Squares & Weekend Potluck #120

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 
SO SO happy you're here to share at our table..

 
AND...


When I share something worth sharing...again...

Cream cheese & chicken wrapped in a crescent roll...topped with croutons..Heaven!!  Love that they can be made ahead too...
Amazing Chicken Squares

Just a reminder before we start the party...when you want to pin any of these recipes, please go to the blog sharing it first, and pin from there to save problems finding it later...

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Recipes that caught our attention ~


Mississippi Mud Pie by Spicy Southern Kitchen

Antipasto Pasta Salad by Everyday Mom’s Meals

And, a personal favorite ~

Strawberry Broccoli Salad willcookforsmiles.com
Strawberry Broccoli Salad by Will Cook for Smiles 

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional videoPlease use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!








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Thursday, May 29, 2014

(3-Ingredient) Mini Nutella Brownies

In cleaning out, trying to downsize and move to a smaller place, this is another recipe I've come across.

I don't remember ever trying it, but with only 3 ingredients, and half a jar of nutella sitting on the shelf, I HAD to mix it up...by hand...and we were happy to enjoy a little snack.

Recipe says it makes 12 mini muffins - I ended up with only 11. But hey - who's going to complain?

NOT ME!  This is a fabulous recipe when you need a little something sweet but don't want a lot left to sit around and tempt you.  These would be great even for a family of 4 or 5...feel free to double the recipe if you want. 

I think I'll put little dollops of peanut butter in the middle before baking them the next time I make them. 

Enjoy!! 


MINI NUTELLA BROWNIES 

1/2 c. nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 egg
5 Tb. flour
1/4 c. chocolate chips, optional 

Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 mini muffin cups with paper liners. 

In small bowl, mix ingredients by hand, adding chocolate chips last, if you're using them. 

Divide evenly between cups, almost 3/4 full.  Bake 11 - 12 minutes or until they test done. (If you stick a toothpick in the middle of one, it doesn't come out gooey, it's done!)  Cool and enjoy. 

Yield: 11 or 12 

Linked to Weekend Potluck


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Raving Recipes using Pineapple {Blast from the Past}


Very yummy and delicious - only a few ingredients.  Great way to top off any meal.





This amazing side dish has cheese in it.  It's wonderfully delicious & simple too! One of my favs!





Definitely a taste of the tropics (maybe you'll feel those ocean breezes blowing on your face while you enjoy this?=) 


Lowfat Pina Colada Smoothie (No Sugar Added)





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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Simple Roasted (Parmesan) Asparagus


It's that time of year again.  My dear hubby just brought home a bucketfull of fresh asparagus from a local farmer. 

This is the way we enjoyed our first meal of it. We heaped our plates high and enjoyed. 

Easy and simple...with options. 

Truth is...Roasting asparagus takes the bitterness out and sweetens it up! 


ROASTED (PARMESAN) ASPARAGUS

1 bunch of asparagus (or enough to fill your cookie sheet), approximately the same size stalks
2 - 3 Tb. olive oil 
1 - 2 Tb. parmesan cheese, optional
garlic salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste 
lemon juice for garnish when serving, optional

Wash asparagus; bending each stalk at the end, it will break off where the tough part begins. (Love the ease of doing that!)

Preheat oven to 400. 

Line cookie sheet with foil (non-stick works great). Place asparagus on foil; drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the spears. (May do that in a bowl if desired). Spread evenly into a single layer; sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and seasonings. 

Bake about 12 minutes; using a spatula, toss spears; bake another 5 - 10 minutes until tender, depending on how thick your stalks are. 

Serve. (We eat it with our fingers=) 


If you like this recipe, check out this Amazing one for 




Linked to Weekend Potluck



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How can I begin to say Thanks?


My heart has been greatly blessed by all the prayer coverage, support and love extended to me and my family over the loss of our special and oldest granddaughter, Ashtyn McCrae, age 19. She suffered severe brain trauma in a fatal auto accident.  (No broken bones and only one little bruise on her forehead!)

This is the photo I used to announce her 17th birthday on my blog. 
(My heart flutters to see those natural red curls!)


I can't find the words (& that's a rare thing!) to thank you all for the kindness & thoughtfulness you've extended to me.  I read every single comment left for me at Facebook, and soaked each of them in.  What a comfort to know we're not alone in these dark times. 

We have a strong faith...I sure wouldn't want to face uncertain days without Christ.  HIS strength is made perfect in our weakness. And HIS grace is amazing beyond measure! We rejoice in knowing we'll see her again. 

And we are especially blessed because Ashtyn was an organ donor and 4 others get to live because of her!!  So thrilled over that! 

Whatever you have done to reach out to me - thank you. I've read and reread the cards & notes and they have ministered to me greatly, bringing cleansing tears. 

I wanted to thank some very special ladies...blogging buds...who took time to make me feel so very beloved in my sorrow.  They not only sent a gorgeous peace lily houseplant, they also sent a card with food gift cards...to us, AND my children!  

CAUSE THEY WANTED TO COOK FOR ME, AND SINCE THEY COULDN'T...

Bless their sweet sweet hearts! 

Sending a BIG slobbery sweet 

to each of you precious friends...

Brandie - The Country Cook

SO very thankful I can feel beloved and know I'm not alone in my sorrow. 

May God richly return to all of you the special blessing you are to me now! 


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

AMAZING! Hawaiian Ham Sandwiches

After seeing this simple recipe at Brandie's The Country Cook, I decided to kick it up a notch and add fresh pineapple...

May I Just say...TO.DIE.FOR!  
(For all of you that know our Country Cook Brandie, you know that's nothing new=) 

I'm not a big lover of sandwiches, but I gobbled these down so quickly! The sauce on the inside and outside...made with butter(!), worchestershire and a little bit of brown sugar and mustard, added a magnificent flavor that can't be beat.  

I used leftover Easter ham and added fresh pineapple, but you can certainly use deli ham and no pineapple, if you prefer.

Whatever floats your boat...(as we dream we're in Hawaii!!=) 

No doubt, you'll enjoy every single bite.  What a wonderful lunch idea.
Or dinnertime...or bedtime snack.  Or PARTY dish too!

You'll have a tough time resisting these nuggets of YUM! I can't wait to use ham from the freezer to make them again soon. 

I could NOT believe HOW MUCH a bit of raspberry jam added to this scrumptious sammy...OVER-THE-MOON AWESOME!

I love any recipe that you can choose to make a lot of, or just a few...

You're welcome! ;-}


HAWAIIAN HAM SANDWICHES 

1 pkg. 12 Hawaiian Rolls 
regular or deli ham
(Use about 1/2# deli ham for 12 rolls)
cheese slices of choice 
(I used pepper jack..monterey would be awesome too)
fresh (or canned) pineapple slices 

Sauce: (for 12)

1 stick butter
1-1/2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1 - 2 Tb. brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. mustard (dijon or yellow)

Raspberry Jam, optional

Preheat oven to 350. 

Slice rolls in half (can do them all at once)
In small bowl, combine sauce ingredients; brush on both insides of rolls.
(Be sure to save some for the top). 

Place meat then cheese on one side of rolls; add pineapple, then top with other half. Baste remaining sauce over top of rolls. 

Place in baking dish; cover with aluminum foil.
Heat for 20 - 25 minutes until warmed and cheese melts. 

Don't forget to add that special dab of raspberry jam too. You won't be sorry!!!! I'm guessing you could use a little cranberry sauce too. 


If you're not adding the pineapple slice, you can try adding some pineapple juice to the sassy sauce. 



Linked to Weekend Potluck


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Easy No-Bake Butterscotch Cornflake Treats

HEY GANG!  Do I have your attention with the title of this post?

Would you believe...ONLY 4 SIMPLE INGREDIENTS, and less than 30 minutes time, and you can be enjoying them too???

These would be super great to add to a Memorial Day menu! 

I am a fairly new follower of Stacey at Southern Bite, where I saw this simple recipe. 

Stacey says feeding people makes him happy.
Gotta love that guy! 

I recently made these wonderful bites of goodness to share at a funeral dinner. Taste testers were raving and thrilled to know it only took 4 simple ingredients to make these delicious snacks. 

Stacey calls them cookies...I decided to call them treats. 

Either way - your family is going to go wild over them. 

Perfect for something quick like a bake sale, or even for a picnic or potluck. 

(As I was mixing them up, getting ready to drop them onto waxed paper, I thought I should have added some broken pretzels to have some sweet/salty flavors going on.  NEXT TIME!!)


 NO BAKE BUTTERSCOTCH CORNFLAKE COOKIES 

4 c. Corn Flakes
1 c. peanuts
1 (11 ozs) bag butterscotch chips
3/4 c. peanut butter 
(I used chunky)

Place Corn Flakes and peanuts in large bowl. 

Combine butterscotch chips and peanut butter in small saucepan; melt over low heat, stirring often. When melted and smooth, pour over cereal mixture in bowl. Gently stir to combine. Drop onto waxed paper and allow to cool. 

That's it! 

If you like this recipe, you might also like these 



Linked to Weekend Potluck


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Friday, May 23, 2014

Quick Coconut Toast (Low Sugar Option)

I was so tickled when I came across a recipe I had forgotten about!
I use to make this often when the kids were growing up.

If you love enjoying a crispy, sticky, and sweet goodie for breakfast...THIS IS FOR YOU! I feel very spoiled when I enjoy it. It's frugal too!

This is certainly worthy of sharing with guests.  Trust you and your family find it a real taste treat too. 


COCONUT TOAST 
1/2 c. butter, melted (no substitutes)
2/3 - 1 c. sugar
(I used the least amount, and half of that was xylitol)
1 c. (unsweetened) flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 egg, beaten 
9 - 10 slices bread

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine butter & sugar. Stir in coconut and vanilla; then add egg, blending well. Spread over each slice of bread; (the mixture is thick so feel free to put a thick layer on each slice of bread) place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Linked to Easter Roundup
You might also enjoy this wonderful recipe for 
Crunchy Crust French Toast




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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Time for a Picnic! - Guest post from Hefty.com


I'm excited to be sharing a guest post today....Welcome to Katie, from Hefty.com. She's sharing some great ideas to help us enjoy fun times this summer, as we share meals outside.

Please be sure and stop by the website, Hefty.com..They have added a "Kitchen Pitch-In" section that covers a wide variety of helpful home organization ideas that you're sure to enjoy, from storage and cooking to cleaning and decorating. 

Take it away Katie...



Time for a Picnic!

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With spring well underway, you might be thinking about reaching for the picnic basket and heading out on a family spring outing, depending on the weather in your neck of the woods.  At any rate, it will soon be warm enough for everyone to go on picnics.  It is a great time to plan family get-togethers, especially with Memorial Day weekend coming up!  When going on a picnic, one question that is bound to come up is, “What do we bring?”  Of course, a blanket, picnic basket, and disposable tableware are all important, but the food is most likely what’s at the top of everyone’s minds!  If you’re struggling with planning the menu for your picnic, take a look at the picnic ideas below:

Sandwiches
This is an old standby, but it doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up.  Try bringing grilled chicken breast and avocado sandwiches on croissants with mayonnaise and Swiss cheese.  Lemon-pepper mayo is really delicious with this sandwich.  On the other hand, goat cheese and grilled bell peppers on French bread is a perfect choice for the vegetarian in your life.  A breaded pork chop or deviled ham sandwich would be another way to try out something a little bit different.  Just put your sandwiches in some plastic sandwich bags, and you’re good to go!

Chicken
You could also bring a rotisserie chicken with you and eat it cold.  This option is super easy, but make sure to bring forks and knives!

Salads
There are so many different types of cold salads to choose from for a picnic.  Caprese salads are always perfect for summer.  Slice a number of large tomatoes and intersperse the tomato slices with slices of mozzarella cheese.  Drizzle olive oil over the cheese and tomato and finish with some fresh basil leaves.  Put this salad in a sealed container and refrigerate until you leave on your outing.  There are a variety of potato salads and macaroni salads that you could try out, or you could cut up slices of zucchini and add vinegar for a healthy, easy salad.

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Fruit
Watermelon is always a fun choice for a picnic, though strawberries and other summer fruit would fit in perfectly, too.  Cut the watermelon before you head out, though, because it won’t be easy to cut it into slices outside.

Dessert
You can’t forget dessert!  Large cakes do not travel well, but a snack cake could be a lot easier to bring along.  Cookies and brownies are also quite simple to pack.  A pie could even make the cut.  Nothing beats a summer pie made with fresh, seasonal ingredients!
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Hot summer weather will be here before you know it, so take advantage of the in-between weather and enjoy the outdoors!

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Hefty®. Visit www.hefty.com to find products like trash bags and more that can help you out with your busy life.


Thanks so much Katie for inspiring us with these great ideas!








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