Wednesday, June 26, 2013

♥ Chicken and Dumplings

Of all the recipes my Mom taught me to make when I was young, my favorite is Chicken and Dumplings. It is the ultimate comfort food with the tender, moist chicken and fluffly biscuit-like drop dumplings that melt in your mouth. Of course my... Mom make her own handmade dough for the dumplings and I take a short cut and use Bisquick to get the same exact flavors in less time.  

Chicken and Dumplings

1 boiler chicken cut up
2 cups Bisquick baking mix (or make your own...see below)
2/3 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste

In Dutch oven or large wide pot, over medium heat, add chicken and cover with water. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat and cook for about 90 minutes until chicken is fork tender. Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool.

Mix 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, to broth bring to slow boil. Meanwhile remove skin and bones from chicken and shred or cut into bite sized pieces. Add to soup mixture. Stir to combine and cover.

Mix the 2 cups of Bisquick and 2/3 cups of milk together to form a soft dough. Then drop spoonfuls of dough into the broth and bring it down to a simmer. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes and then cover and steam for 10-15 minutes or until dumplings are done in the middle. Season with salt and lots of pepper and sprinkle with a little parsley.


5 Cups All Purpose Flour (I used unbleached)
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Shortening (or cold butter cut into pieces)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in the shortening. You can use a pastry blender, however, I find it easier to just use my hands to get it mixed in really well.
Store in an airtight container. Use the same as you would use Bisquick in a recipe. If you use cold butter in the recipe, you will need to keep this in the refrigerator. If you use shortening you can store it in your pantry.

Photo and recipe ©Welcome Home
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

♥ Strawberry Short Cake Croissants

I whipped up this easy dessert at the last minute and wanted to share it with you. It is heavenly. I buy my croissants at Costco because they are so rich and buttery and they made this even better than I imagined. 

 Strawberry Short Cake Croissants

4 large croissants
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons honey

Fresh strawberry Syrup

1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and let stand 30 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until warm.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix together honey and butter and brush on tops of croissants. Warm croissants in oven for 5 minutes or until warm. Remove from oven and set aside.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Beat cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Split warm Croissants in half lengthwise. Spread strawberry syrup on each half. Arrange strawberries on bottom half of croissant. Top with fresh whipped cream (I filled a plastic storage bag with whipped cream and snipped off the corner and piped mine in for a prettier presentation). Cover with top half of croissant. You can top with more whipped cream and fresh strawberry syrup if desired. Enjoy!

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
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Saturday, June 22, 2013



Her heart is like her garden,
Old fashioned, quaint and sweet,
A wealth of beautiful blossoms,
And there a quiet retreat.

Sweet violets are in hiding,
We know as we pass by,
And lilies, pure as angel thoughts,
Are opening somewhere nigh.

Forget-me-nots there linger,
To full perfection brought,
And a bloom of purple pansies
In many a tender thought.

And in that quiet garden -
The garden of her heart -
Songbirds are always singing
Their songs of cheer apart.

And from it floats forever,
overcoming grief and strife,
Sweet as the breath of roses blown,
the fragrance of her life.

~ Alice E. Allen

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

♥ Baked Lemon Chicken

Baked Lemon Chicken

4 large bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, about 3 pounds
2 large lemons, zested, plus the juice of 2 whole lemons (or use 1 whole orange for zest and juice)
2 limes, 1 zested, both juiced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly cracked black pepper

Put the chicken in a large non-metalic bowl. Put the lemon (or orange) and lime zests in a small bowl and add the juices. Whisk in the olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss until well coated. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes but no longer than 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. With tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and arrange them on the rack leaving space between each piece. Drizzle a small spoonful of the marinade over the top of each chicken piece; season well with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when meat is pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Cool slightly before serving or let stand until room temperature before refrigerating for later use.

Photo and recipe ©Welcome Home
Photography by Ramela Jimenez
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There is a story they tell of two dogs. Both dogs, at separate times, walk into the same room. One dog comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.

A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly one dog so happy and the other dog so mad. To her surprise she finds a room full of mirrors. The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him. The angry dog saw only angry growling dogs looking back at him. Meaning: What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are.

My Mom used to tell me, "Always show the world your happiness and not your pain... because people gather in sunshine and hide from the rain." 

  "People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway." ~Mother Teresa

For as far back as I can remember, my Mom taught me to "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you." I intend to do just that.
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♥ Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

9 inches pie shells, baked
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cupwhite sugar
1/3 cupall-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoonsalt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoonsbutter
1 teaspoonvanilla
3 bananas

Have baked 9-inch pie shell ready. In a large saucepan, scald the milk. In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.

In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla. Let sit until lukewarm. When ready to pour, slice bananas and scatter in pie shell; pour warm mixture over bananas.

If desired, make a meringue (you'll have 3 leftover egg whites) to top the pie, or just let the pie cool until serving.
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♥ Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I love this recipe and have been making it for years. I experiment with all kinds of cheeses depending on what I'm in the mood for. I like this combo best....

Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8... inch
1/2 lb Bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes, cream, milk, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and keep simmering for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender.

Remove and discard bay leaves. Transfer 1/3 of potato mixture to 3-quart gratin dish and sprinkle with 1/3 of all three cheeses and the bacon. Add another 1/3 layer of both and then the rest. End up sprinkling the top with a light layer of parmesan cheese.

Bake until the cream has thickened and is bubbling around the sides and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe and Photo ©Welcome Home
Photography Ramela Jimenez
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2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
3 tablespoon Soy Sauce (I used Kikoman)
2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 T Canola oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Few drops of hot sauce, optional (I used Tabasco)
Red and green bell peppers, sliced
Onion, sliced
Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Soak 4 barbecue sticks in water for about 1 hour. Line baking pan with aluminum foil, pour 1 cup of water over on top and put a cooling rack over it. Cut chicken breasts into about 2 x 2 inch pieces and marinate in soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, powdered ginger, garlic powder, ground black pepper, liquid smoke and sesame oil, hot sauce for at least 2 hrs. Cut bell peppers and onion the same size as chicken. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Thread chicken in between with peppers and onion on barbecue sticks.

Bake chicken for 15 minutes, brush with barbecue sauce and turn and bake for another 15 minutes. Put oven to broil and cook chicken 3-5 minutes longer. Brush chicken with more barbecue sauce as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Copyright ©Welcome Home 
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Here's a wonderful treat for you! A big glass of cold milk and a couple of these will bring sweet dreams! Yum!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
... 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
Stir together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, vanilla, orange extract and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares

Creamsicle Cream Cheese Icing

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons softened butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
½ tsp. orange extract

In a large bowl, blend cream cheese with butter until smooth with a hand-held electric mixer. Add in 3 cups confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time, orange zest, orange juice and orange extract whip until well blended.

copyright ©Welcome Home.
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Sometimes we need to go where we can hear that screen door slam, and bring back memories of Mom calling us at supper time. Sometimes we need to wish on a falling star and lay in the grass and make shapes out of clouds. Sometimes we need to ...climb a tall tree, and skip rocks across a pond and catch fireflies in a jar. Sometimes we need to remember when life was simple and innocent. Sometimes we just need to be a kid again.


Painting by Jim Daly
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♥ Jumbo Stuffed Shells in Meat Sauce

Who doesn't love Italian Food? Especially stuffed shells. They are so easy to make and so full of flavor. You can make your own homemade meat sauce with this recipe or use a store bought sauce. I thought I would never use a store bought sau...ce until I started using Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion about 2 years ago. I have never gone back to making homemade since. I love the texture...with chunks of sweet Roma tomatoes and sweet onions and lots of garlic. Good enough for me!

Jumbo Stuffed Shells in Meat Sauce

1 box large Pasta shells
1 lb. ground round
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 (26 ounce) Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion Sauce (or make your own)
15 oz. whole milk Ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained by squeezing on paper towels
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Boil Pasta Shells as per directions on box and cook to al dente. Drain and let it cool until easy to handle.

Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add beef and saute until brown. Add salt and pepper and oregano. Pour in Ragu sauce then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through.

In a big bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with the egg, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze out all moisture from thawed spinach by wrapping in a paper towel or clean dish towel. Add to ricotta mixture and stir until blended. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta combination and lay flat with open side facing up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add stuffed shells on top of sauce, still with open side facing upwards. set Spoon the rest of the meat sauce on top.

Completely cover top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

Recipe and Photo ©Welcome Home
Photography Ramela Jimenez
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♥ 5 Minute Fudge

Forgive me....but 5 of the 6 voices in my head are saying, "eat the chocolate!" The best fudge I have ever made was from a recipe I picked up on the cooking channel. I thought something so easy and so quick to make can't be all that good.......WRONG! This is delish!

5 Minute Fudge

1 and 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (6 ounce) package of milk chocolate chips
16 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, milk, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in chocolate chips; cook until melted. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallows, vanilla and nuts. Mix well. Pour into a 8-inch pan. Cool cut into squares.

Yep...that simple!
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♥ Southern Chocolate Cake

So I have been looking at this recipe of my Mom's Southern Chocolate Cake for a long time and wondering if I had the nerve to tackle such a beauty. Her instructions on the card were pretty straight forward so I decided, why not. I can remem...ber her adding a big spoon or two of mayonnaise to it and some buttermilk and how incredibly moist this cake was. Today I decided to go for it. Here is the result...just as good as my Mom used to make! Only one question...Who's got Milk?

Southern Chocolate Cake

For the Cake

6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
8 oz. (1-3/4 cups) all-purpose flour; more for the pans
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk, preferably low fat, at room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise


1 lb. semisweet chocolate (preferably 58% cacao), finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened

Make the Frosting first. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream directly over the chocolate and let it sit without stirring for 5 minutes. Using a whisk, stir in the center of the mixture in a small, tight circular motion until fully combined. Add the butter and stir until it is fully incorporated. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the chocolate mixture and set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Make the Cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment paper round. Butter the parchment paper and dust with flour. Tap out any excess.

With a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder onto a piece of parchment paper. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting. Using the parchment as a chute, add one-quarter of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add about 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix on low speed until incorporated. Continue to alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk, mixing until incorporated after each addition and stopping to scrape the bowl and beater as necessary. Using a whisk, fold the mayonnaise into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean and the sides of the cake have begun to pull away from the pan slightly, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the pans and parchment. Cool the cakes completely.

With a serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Put one of the base layers on a cake plate and tuck strips of waxed paper under the cake to keep the plate clean while icing the cake.
Top the cake with about 1/3 cup of the chocolate frosting, spreading it evenly over the top. Add another cake layer, top with frosting, and repeat until the last layer is in place.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes to seal in any crumbs. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Remove the waxed paper. I patted some shaved chocolate curls all around the sides of the cake for garnish.

Recipe and photo ©Welcome Home
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

♥ Shrimp & Broccoli in White Sauce

Shrimp & Broccoli in White Sauce

5 tablespoons of butter or margarine
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup white wine, like Chardonnay ( or use chicken broth)
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 lb large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
2 cups of broccoli florets
1 tablespoon cornstarch for thickening
Salt & pepper to taste
pinch of Garlic powder

In a saute pan over Medium heat melt 1 tablespoon of the butter, add chopped onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the water and 1/4 cup of the white wine or chicken broth into a small sauce pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, throw in the rice, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

When the onions and garlic are done, mix them into the rice with a fork, fluffing up the rice as you do this. Keep covered until you are ready to serve. Taste for salt & pepper, season as needed.

In a large saute pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter over Medium-High heat, add another 1/4 cup of chicken broth or wine. Throw in the shrimp and broccoli and saute until shrimp is just pink in color. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder then sprinkle cornstarch over it all, giving it a good mix. Sauce should bubble and become slightly thick as the shrimp heats through and the dish’s flavor come together.

To serve, place a large spoonful of rice on the plate, cover with the shrimp & broccoli, then drizzle remaining pan sauce over each plate.

Recipe and photo copyright ©Welcome Home
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Thursday, June 06, 2013

NEW ENGLAND HOME by Dominic Davison

Everyone knows I am a big fan of Mike Savad and I feature his work here quite often. But now I want to introduce to another artist that I absolutely love. This one is called New England Home by Dominic Davison.  Keep in mind, these are not paintings. They are digital photographs that he has purposely enhanced to make them look like a painting. He is a young digital artist from the UK and uses the same technique as Mike Savad.
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♥ Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet Potato Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1½ cups oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups sweet potatoes, grated

½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, eggs and oil. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, adding potatoes last. Coat a sheet cake pan with a nonstick spray. Spread batter into pan.

Bake in round pans for 25 minutes or in a sheet cake pan for 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center to determine doneness. Cool in pans before turning out for frosting. To make the icing, cream together butter and cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Spread on cooled cake, spreading between layers and on sides and top for round layers or over the top and sides of a sheet cake.
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Cleome (Spider Plant)

Cleome or Spider Plant
One of my favorite flowers in the garden each year is the Cleome, also called the spider flower. It is an annual known for its exceedingly long seedpods. They develop below the flowers are as bloom progresses upward on the stalk to give the... plants a spidery look.

Cleome clusters of flowers are six to eight inches in diameter and come in white, pink, or lavender. They perch atop stems that can grow up to six feet high. Cleome grows well in average soil located in full or nearly full sun. It is very drought-tolerant, though it will look and grow better if it is watered well. I will post another picture of a Cleome in full bloom next.
Here is a full shot of a Cleome (Spider Flower) already beginning to open. They are beautiful but have a pungent odor that can make you think a skunk has moved through the garden! That scent also repels pest such as moles and some insects like mosquitoes. You get used to the scent when you see it's beauty and realize it's benefits. I plant mine deep in my garden.
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♥ Peaches and Cream Tartlets

I love peaches and this is one of my favorite desserts to make in the summertime. Doesn't it just say summer all over it?

Peaches and Cream Tartlets

For The Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

For The Filling

1 (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 can sliced peaches in syrup (20 oz for large tart)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend flour, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt until moist crumbs form. Transfer dough to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom. (I used mini tartlet pans).

With fingers, press dough evenly into pan and up sides. Dip a dry-measuring cup in flour, and use it to press dough firmly into bottom and against sides of pan. Freeze crust until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a fork, prick crust all over. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, pressing down gently once or twice with a spoon during baking if crust puffs up. Cool completely in pan.

Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Spread into bottom of baked tart crust. If making tarlets, as shown in the photo, add a teaspoon or two of syrup from can to thin filling just enough to be able to pipe it into baked crust using a Piping bag or Ziploc bag with bottom corner snipped.

Chill in pan at least 1 hour (and up to 6 hours); remove from pan just before serving. Serve with whipped cream and peach slices.

Photo and recipe ©Welcome Home
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♥ Raspberry Bread Pudding

I make this with strawberries too! Warm... just out of the oven... with a sweet vanilla sauce....Oh my!

Raspberry Bread Pudding

12 Rhodes Warm-N-Serve frozen Soft White Dinner Rolls, previously baked and at least a day old.

... 1 quart heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Fruit Filling:
12 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed (I use strawberries)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple juice

Vanilla Sauce:
2/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cut rolls into 1-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Combine cream, sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix well and pour over roll cubes. Let roll mixture stand 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to allow cream mixture to absorb completely.

Combine fruit filling ingredients and mix well. Pour 1/2 of the roll mixture into a sprayed 9 x 13-inch pan. Top with fruit filling and remaining roll mixture. Bake at 350°F 60-70 minutes. Cover with foil last 30 minutes to prevent over browning.

Vanilla Sauce:
Over medium heat melt butter and add flour. Cook about 10 minutes, but do not brown. Add cream and sugar and boil until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve warm over pudding.
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Momma Finch 1

 I snapped this picture today in my garden as this little Momma was going home to feed her little ones a fresh new crane fly. She turned and looked at me just as I started to snap the picture as if to get my approval on what she was serving the kids for dinner tonight.

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African Daisies

I love African Daisies...especially for my container gardening. They are an annual and come in such an array of different color combinations. .The flowers open fully only in direct sun, and they complete close each evening.

They love cool evenings and will bloom profusely when the temperatures fall down to the 70's. During periods of the summer when the nights are very warm, there will be a period of reduced blooms. When the nights cool off, they will perk back up and put on a fresh show.

The Osteospermum does best when situated in sunny areas
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Frozen Yogurt Covered Strawberries

Warning: These are addicting! They are cold and sweet and refreshing and just delightful to pop in your mouth on a hot summer day! Try them...they're so easy to make!

Frozen Yogurt Covered Raspberries

1 container Vanilla Yogurt (Use Greek Yogurt because it's thicker)
Fresh ripe strawberries

Slice strawberries in half. Spoon Greek yogurt onto a shallow dish and dip the strawberries in the yogurt. Place dipped strawberries in a plastic container lined with parchment paper and freeze.
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I Only Have You

I Only Have You
Don't be angry with me for long.
You have your friends, your work, your entertainment.
I only have you.

Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your  voice when it is speaking to me and it comforts me
and makes me feel loved.

Remember, before you choose to hit me: I have teeth and jaws that could easily crush the bones of your hand,
but I choose not to bite you.
I understand. But please be aware of how you treat me.
I will never forget it.

And always remember that it is you that I live for.
It is you that I am loyal to.
It is you that I want to please.
It is you that I love unconditionally.
Without you, I would have no one at all.
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Broccoli and Cheese And Bacon Cornbread

Here's a quick cornbread made with a mix that is so fast and easy to make and so good!

 Broccoli and Cheese And Bacon Cornbread

4 eggs, beaten
2 sticks melted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ounces cottage cheese
1 package chopped broccoli, thawed
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup bacon drippings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add the bacon fat to a well seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet and place the skillet into the oven to melt the fat and heat the skillet.

Mix together eggs, butter, onion, cottage cheese and broccoli. Add corn muffin mix and bacon and stir until mixed well. Carefully remove skillet from oven and pour in batter. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Remove the skillet from the oven, let rest for 5 minutes, then very carefully turn the cornbread out onto a plate or platter to preserve that nice crispy crust!

Recipe Adapted from Farm
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Butterscotch Bubble Loaf

I love making monkey bread or bubble loaf or whatever you choose to call it. I especially like to make this one using butterscotch pudding! I love that warm butterscotch on hot sticky bread! Oh to die for!

Butterscotch Bubble Loaf

24 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
1/2 box butterscotch or vanilla pudding mix, non-instant
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Cut dinner rolls in half and dip in dry pudding mix. Arrange rolls in sprayed bundt pan, alternately with pecans. Sprinkle any remaining pudding mix over the top.

Combine brown sugar and butter. Heat together until butter is melted and a syrup is formed (microwave about 1 1/2 minutes). Pour syrup over rolls. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise until double in size or even with top of bundt pan. Carefully remove wrap.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Cover with foil the last 15 minutes of baking. Immediately after baking, loosen from sides of the pan with a knife and invert onto a serving plate.
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Momma Finch

I stopped in the garden and snapped a few early morning photos for you to enjoy. Like this one of that same little Momma bird who likes to show me what she will be serving her kids for breakfast before she heads home.
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White Henryi Clematis

I've featured my pink and purple Clematis that grows throughout my garden but I have saved the best for last...this is my White Henryi Clematis. Nothing pleases the eye quite as much as the sight of a clematis vine in full early-summer bloom, cascading over a wall or climbing a fence. The single daisy-shaped blooms are 6 to 7 inches across, with a dark center and a creamy "crease" or two up the center of each petal. I haven't made up my mind just yet but I think this one might be my favorite.
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Baxter The Box Turtle

My new garden friend ....a boxer turtle traveling through my garden this morning. I shall call him "Baxter the Boxer." As you can see, he tolerated my snapping a half dozen pictures of him, making sure he shot me a dirty look first. But all is well...we are friends now. I gave him some fresh bib lettuce and I am sure he will be back tomorrow for more.
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Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom
Before I was a Mom...
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not if my house plants were poisonous.
I didn't worry about my carpets being so clean or my cabinets safety locked.

Before I was a mom.......
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on
Chewed on
Peed on
slobbered on.

Before I was a Mom...
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night and enjoyed staying in bed later on weekends.
I never held down a screaming child so a doctor could give a shot.
I never looked into teary eyes and wept myself.

Before I was a Mom....
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late at night watching a baby sleep.
I never held a sleeping baby for hours just because I didn't want to put him down.

Before I was a Mom....
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew I would cherish every moment and those moments would turn into memories that would last forever.

Before I was a mom...
I never knew my heart could love this much.
I never knew my chest could swell so much with pride.
I never knew my eyes could cry so many tears.
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I never knew how much I would love being a Mom.

Author: Unknown
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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Sausage and Dirty Rice

I like making this recipe as a side dish with a main course or sometimes even making it my main dish. It's really good!

Sausage and Dirty Rice

1/2 cup uncooked Uncle Ben’s® Converted® Brand rice
1 package (16 ounces) Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage
1 package (16 ounces) Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
5 green onions, thinly sliced

In a saucepan, prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain. In a Dutch oven or large skillet, melt butter; sauté onions until tender. Add parsley, bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, rice and sausage; stir until blended.

Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, discard bay leaf, garnish with green onion and serve.
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Cinnamon Sugar Banana Lumpias

my gosh, these are just to die for!

Cinnamon Sugar Banana Lumpias

3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
... 8 bananas, peeled and ends cut
8 lumpia wrappers (or use egg roll/spring roll wrappers)
Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
Salted caramel for drizzling
Melted chocolate for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Working one at a time, dredge banana in cinnamon sugar mixture and place banana on lumpia wrapper. Bring bottom edge of wrap tightly over banana, rolling from bottom to top until the top of sheet is reached, being careful not to tear wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Place wrapped bananas onto prepared baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately, garnished with confectioners sugar and drizzle with salted caramel and melted chocolate, if desired.

 Recipe developed for Dixie Crystals by Chung-Ah Rhee
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The Digital Age

I know I have shared a lot of this artist's work with you over the last few months and for many of you it was here at Welcome Home that you were first introduced to this incredible photographer who takes a simple photograph and then enhances it with lighting, and shadows and so much detail that it takes on the look of a painting. You are used to seeing his urban series of Victorian style houses and front porches. But I wanted to show a different side of Mike Savad and I think this is the best example of the detail in his work and why I call it a masterpiece. This one is called, "The Digital Age." Remember, this is just a photograph....
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Slow Cooker Chocolate Turtle Monkey Bread

Oh My! And you make this in your slow cooker! What more could one want?

Slow Cooker Chocolate Turtle Monkey Bread

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Home-style refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
3/4 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
Spray 4 1/2- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, mix brown sugar and butter; microwave uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until mixture is boiling and smooth.

In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, place granulated sugar. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into fourths. Add a few of the biscuit pieces at a time to bag; shake to coat. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the pecans in slow cooker; top with half of the biscuit mixture. Pour one-third of the butter mixture over biscuits in cooker. Repeat with 1/4 cup pecans and remaining biscuit mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture over biscuits, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans.

Cover; cook on High heat setting 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and biscuits are no longer doughy in center. Tops of biscuits will be moist and may appear unbaked. Turn off cooker.

Carefully remove cover so condensation does not drip onto bread. Cover opening with paper towels; return cover to cooker. Let stand 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cooker; turn bread upside down onto heatproof serving plate.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat cream over medium heat just to boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Drizzle over monkey bread. Serve warm.

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