Saturday, June 7, 2014

Leader Enterprise - June 4, 2014 - Helpful Hints/Summer Recipes

Happy June! My next column won't be published until after Father's Day, so I want to take time to recognize dads. Grandpas play a very important role too. Happy Father's Day wishes to each of you who are blessed to be called dad, grandpa, papa, or whatever 'delicious' name your grandchildren call you.

"F" aithful
"A" lways there
"T" rustworthy
"H" onoring
"E" ver-loving
"R" ighteous
"S" upportive
(Author Unknown)

"A Grandpa has ears that truly listen, arms that always hold, a heart that's never ending and a heart that's made of gold". 

I just LOVE practical ideas. I'd rather have something inexpensive and practical, than to receive something very expensive that I have no use for. 

I read a lot of practical hints and tips, so am sharing several of those with you today. Even if you only find one thing you love, I will be delighted. This will be the first of two parts.

-Toasting oatmeal in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes before adding to recipes really brings out the flavor in cookies and breads. 

-To increase the volume of the frosting while making it fluffier and easier to spread, beat the frosting with an electric mixer for several minutes. You can also add 1/2 cup of whipped topping to the frosting while you're beating it to add even more volume. Or try beating an 8 ozs. pkg.of cream cheese, then add prepared frosting and blend until smooth.

-Keep brown sugar soft by storing with a couple of marshmallows or a slice of bread.

-The simplest way to slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes is to sandwich them between two plastic lids and run a long knife through all of them at once!

-Boil orange peel and cloves to get rid of unpleasant smells in the kitchen.

-Hang a bundle of chalk in the closet to keep everything fresh and dry. The chalk absorbs excess moisture - a thrifty alternative to an electric dehumidifier!

-Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard-boiling eggs to make the shells incredibly easy to peel off. (I recently discovered this idea and thought it worked great! - Marsha)

-WD-40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!

-Slot the stick of a popsicle through a cupcake paper to prevent drips on little fingers.

SOUR CREAM RHUBARB PIE (with crumbled topping)

1 c. sugar
3 TB. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 c. sour cream 
1 egg
3 c. chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1- (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell
1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. grated orange or lemon peel,optional
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/3 c. cold butter or margarine 
1/3 c. chopped nuts 
Filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat in the sour cream and egg. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour into pastry shell. Topping: In small bowl, combine the oats, flour,brown sugar, orange peel and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle over the filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 35 - 40 minutes longer or until topping is golden brown. Cool. Refrigerate leftovers.

A quick and easy (3 basic ingredients) treat even the older kids can make to satisfy dad's sweet tooth. (and mom's too!)


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 desired. 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 

1 med. onion, chopped
3 Tb. butter
3 c. grated zucchini 
(about 2 medium) 
1 medium carrot, grated
1 c. water
1 (10.75 ozs) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
1 c. 1/2 & 1/2 creamer
1 tsp. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste 

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter for several minutes. Add zucchini, carrot and water. Simmer about 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Mash with potato masher (or immersion blender) in pan. In medium bowl, combine soup, milk, creamer and basil, and spices. Stir into soup in saucepan; heat to simmering. Serve with cheese if desired. Yield: 4-5 servings 

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