‘The Few, The Proud’ Veterans Day Hodgepodge

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all our Veterans who are serving or have served in any of the branches of the military.

1. It’s the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let’s go with a list of eleven things you’re feeling grateful for today.

  1. My God and Savior Jesus Christ.
  2. My Bible or several of them.
  3. My dear Hubby, 3-1/2 weeks shy of our 46th wedding anniversary.
  4. Our three children, Josh, Dan and Katie.
  5. Their three beloved spouses, Laura, Jamie and Andrew.
  6. Our two grandchildren, Addyson and Jaymison.
  7. Parents who loved the Lord and trusted Him during their lifetime.
  8. A Bible believing and Bible preaching church and tried and true Bible teachers who I can access online.
  9. Like minded friends who spur us on in our faith.
  10. A comfortable home with all the creature comforts.
  11. Good food around a happy and grateful table full of people.

2. What’s something you decided to do or act on at the ’11th hour’?

During our move across the state of Washington there were a lot of 11th hour decisions to get rid of stuff instead of packing them up and moving them.

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What’s a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe.

Here’s a Classic Macaroni Salad recipe with an added twist.

  • 4 cups uncooked small elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and chopped (I prefer a red, yellow or orange pepper)
  • 1/2 cup jicama chopped (the twist)
  1. Prepare small elbow macaroni as per package instructions, drain and rinse under cold water
  2. In large bowl combine mayo/mustard/vinegar/salt/sugar and pepper.
  3. Stir in onion/celery/bellpepper and jicama.
  4. Add macaroni and combine well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  6. If you’d like this to be a meal in itself you could add in a couple cans of Kirkland brand canned chicken breast meat or your favorite.

Cut recipe in half for 2 people

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self?

 

When I was eleven I was a 7th grader in Junior High School. ( I skipped a grade) Sometime during that school year I convinced my mother to let me shave my legs. I come from a hairy stock of ancestors. When I arrived at school with my freshly shaven legs the news spread like wildfire all across the school halls. Yikes, how embarrassing. Back in those days (the 60’s) we were only allowed to wear dresses or skirts to school so the end to my hairy legs was news!

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government’s website it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country.

Our brother-in-law Nick was buried on Veterans Day in 2015 at the Riverside National Cemetery.

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire.

Our son-in-law Andrew actively served with the Marines and had two tours of duty in Afghanistan. The photo above is of some of his Battalion in Afghanistan. The photo below was taken at the Marine Birthday Ball a few years back.

The next photo was taken at winter training on the border of California and Nevada.

We are proud parents (in-law) of our Marine. We are thankful for his service and that he came home to us and especially to our daughter. Even though he was honorably discharged from active service, once a Marine always a Marine.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This happened early Tuesday morning.

Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions each week.

A Flavorful Hodgepodge

For Wednesday Hodgepodge Jo comes up with the questions for us to answer. Click over to From This Side of the Pond to see more answers to the questions.

1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it’s fall y’all and it’s my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let’s weigh in with an either or today…pumpkin or cranberry? hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? cinnamon or maple? apple or pear? ginger or sage? carrot or butternut squash? Yes you have to choose. What’s a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here?

Cranberry ~ Cinnamon ~ Apple ~ Ginger ~ Butternut Squash

Here’s a good recipe for a delicious soup for Fall or Winter.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 large butternut squash
  • 4 sweet apples
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast iron dutch oven or large stockpot over low heat.
  2. Add the onions and curry powder and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are tender.
  3. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot every couple minutes.
  4. Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut the squash into chunks.
  5. Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks.
  6. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups broth to pot.
  7. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the squash and apples are soft, approximately 40-50 minutes.
  8. Use a food processor or hand blender to puree the squash and apples.
  9. Return to pot if you used the food processor and taste, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  10. If the consistency is too thick add a little more broth or water and heat through.
  11. Serve with toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds, optional.

2. Do you miss traveling? In this season of almost no travel do you think you’ve grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel?

Yes, I do miss traveling or even being able to plan a trip on paper. The only book I’ve listened to on CD this month about traveling was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Now that’s a special kind of traveling to be sure. 🙂 We’ve done mini travels to Coeur d’Alene Idaho the beginning of October and I’ve traveled to the suburbs of Seattle this month, too. The only movies we are watching these days are Hallmark Movies so I’m inspired to see picturesque little towns around the USA.

3. A time you felt like you were ‘flying by the seat of your pants’? Explain.

I think the place where I fly by the seat of my pants most often is in the kitchen when I have to come up with a meal on the fly and I start throwing caution to the wind with the ingredients I throw in the pot hoping the end result will be edible.

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a ‘Sunday driver’? Do you like to be ‘in the driver’s seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?

Rage is a strong word. I have been known to strongly criticize other drivers on the road. I do like to be in the driver’s seat both literally and figuratively and the Lord has tempered that tendency in me over my years of being His follower. Many miles yet to go in this tempering!!

5. Something you’ve recently ‘put the brakes on’?

Regularly shopping in Thrift stores.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our Concrete was poured on Monday and we tried to get some good handprints from Addy and Jaymison. Addy’s were easier since she can follow directions. Their little hands set in ‘concrete’. Since our niece and nephew were here on concrete day they each set a handprint.

Theirs are deep and have a 3D look.

I’m very wrapped up in the day to day with our family visitors. I will try to visit y’all soon.

Pear Custard Pie

I found the recipe for this Pear Custard Pie at https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/pear-custard/

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 firm pears of any variety cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch round pan with cooking spray.
  • Arrange the pear slices in the pan.
  • Put the butter, eggs, milk, salt, granulated sugar, flour and vanilla into a blender; process until smooth.
  • Pour the batter over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard is golden and firm to the touch. Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving.

It is a recipe that was very successful and I’ll make it again. Enjoy. Bon Appetit!

Instant Pot

This was the first full meal we attempted in our new Instant Pot. We made rice previously. If you follow the link you’ll see nicer photos of the end product instead of mine soaked in gravy.

This was a good recipe that I’d use again. Next time around I might add a little extra salt. We followed the recipe with no alterations. I was happy to be able to sear the meat and saute the onions etc. in the pot. A true one pot meal. The new potatoes I bought at our Farmer’s Market were so good. We decided on an instant pot instead of a new Crock Pot. Our son and DIL went with the Fryer Instant Pot combination and they are happy with it.

Here’s the link to the recipe we used.

I’m happy that I attempted this recipe to bond with the pot. It’s always a little scary trying a new multi functioning small appliance. At least for me…

Nutty Cardamom Bundt Cake

Nutty Cardamom Bundt Cake with a Salted Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients

For the Nutty Cardamom Bundt Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk full fat or lowfat
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Salted Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

For the Top:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Coarse Sea Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 12-15 cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray and set aside. Mix the flour, cardamom, Fine Sea Salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the mixer on low and add in the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Scrape the bowl and slowly add in the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl once again and mix in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Do not open the oven to test the cake until at least 55 minutes have passed, or the cake may deflate. Test the cake by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. If it comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and cool. Wait at least 20 minutes before flipping it out of the pan onto a wire cooling rack.

For the Salted Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze:

  • Place the brown sugar, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and Fine Sea Salt in a skillet. Set over medium heat and whisk until the brown sugar fully dissolves. Then remove from heat and whisk in the cream and powdered sugar. Whisk until completely smooth.
  • Place the cooling rack and cake on a piece of wax paper. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down all the sides. Sprinkle the nuts over the top of the cake. Once the glaze is almost completely dry, sprinkle the top with Coarse Sea Salt to taste.

Our daughter in law found the recipe here.

It was delicious and we would make it again.

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

We had the kids over for dinner on Monday night and I served this Ice cream cake that I made the night before. It has a few steps but is pretty easy to make. It’s a dessert you can make a few days ahead. I think it would easily serve 10-12 people. I’ll give you the link so you can see how much prettier you can make it look with whip cream and fresh strawberries on top. I only used a large carton of good Strawberry Ice Cream. My carton was not 1/2 gallon so my version is not as tall as the showstopper…

I used vanilla wafers and regular Strawberry Ice Cream.

To see the showstopper version of this cake and get the recipe click below!

You can find the recipe here.

It’s called Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake. I did not think it was overly sweet and we all enjoyed it. I would make it again.

Rhubarb Almond Cake

Rhubarb is ready for it’s first Spring picking or pulling or plucking. What do you call the harvesting of Rhubarb, anyway? Did you know that Rhubarb leaves are poisonous? Funny story about that later…

The recipe I picked to bake called for a pound of Rhubarb.

I got the recipe here.

After tasting it I would make it again. Now…who could I drop some slices off to?

Funny story from the mouth of our 3 year old grand, Addy. Her mother talked to her about Rhubarb leaves being poisonous but the stalks were not. In Addy’s mind she couldn’t separate those two thoughts. On Thursday when her dad got home from work he asked Addy, “What did you do today?” Her response was, “we made poisonous muffins for you!”

Piroshky Recipe

Piroshky are a Russian version of small hand held savory pies. They can also be filled with sweet fillings. Thank you to our sister Vera for watching our mom make these and writing down her recipe and then sharing it with all of us. Enjoy this Bagdanov Family Recipe.

Dough:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups buttermilk at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 cups flour (approximately)

Method:

  1. Dissolve yeast in the warm water and add the tablespoon of sugar, mixing well.
  2. Beat buttermilk, eggs, butter, salt, and 1 cup sugar in an extra large mixing bowl.
  3. Add yeast mixture that has proofed to the liquids and incorporate.
  4. Add flour a little at a time beating constantly until dough forms a ball and comes away from the bowl.
  5. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead well adding flour as needed until dough is smooth and not sticky, this can take 10 minutes.
  6. Form the dough into a dome and spread vegetable oil lightly on the surface of the dough and set the dough in a large bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let it rise in a warm oven or warm spot away from drafts until it doubles in size.
  8. While dough is rising start preparing your fillings, filling ingredients are listed below.
  9. When the dough doubles in size punch down the dough and then let it rise again to about twice it’s size.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  11. Pull off small portions of the dough and on a floured surface roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  12. Cut 3 inch diameter circles of the dough, we used a large drinking glass with a 3 inch diameter as our dough cutter.
  13. Fill each circle of dough with about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the circle.
  14. Fold the circle over the filling and pinch the whole edge securely and firmly so the dough does not separate in the baking process.
  15. Place each filled portion sealed side down on a prepared baking sheet (prepared with cooking spray).
  16. Brush the tops evenly with a mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of water.
  17. Let the filled Piroshky rise on the baking sheets another time for about 20 minutes before putting them in the oven.
  18. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (approximately 30-40 minutes).

Yield: Approximately 60-64 Piroshky

Fillings:

Ground Beef Filling:

  • 2 pounds ground beef 15% to 20% fat content
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 medium potato grated
  • 1/2 package dry onion soup mix  or substitute Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onion and potato in vegetable oil until onion is translucent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until beef is fully cooked.
  3. Set aside until ready to fill dough circles.

Potato Filling:

  • 2-4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Salt
  • 1/2 onion grated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  1. Cook potatoes in salted water until soft.
  2. Saute onion in oil.
  3. Mash the potatoes with the onion salt.
  4. Add the sauteed onion to the potatoes and mix well.
  5. Set Aside.

Cabbage Filling:

  • I head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 onion diced
  • Vegetable Oil (approx 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Tomato Paste (approximately 6 oz)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Saute onion until translucent in vegetable oil.
  2. Add cabbage, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  3. Add enough tomato paste to get a good orange color to the mixture.
  4. Saute until the cabbage is cooked to a soft state.
  5. Taste and add seasonings if needed.
  6. Set aside until ready to fill dough circles.

Promise made and promise kept.

To see all the photos from our baking day click here.

Some of our family prefer the meat filled pies and the portion for the meat filling could fill 30 Piroshky. Because we used 3 fillings for this dough recipe we had enough of the hamburger filling left over to make easy noodle Stroganoff.

Baking Day

Today, Saturday the 2nd of November, we are having the first Piroshky baking day at our Country Bungalow. I hope to document every step and let you know how we bring everything together to make these lovelies. Our 3 fillings will be tasty ground beef, braised cabbage, and potato. Our baking crew will be managed by my older sister Vera, the rest of us are eager to learn, Jamie, her mom Linda, our cousin Cindy, and myself. Addy will be here, too, and we will let her join in on the fun.

Stay tuned for recipes and photos to come.