Monday, February 28, 2022

T Stands for Fried Catfish

  Wow How about that we have arrived to March 1st. February here has been all winter with two ice storms and quite a bit of snow too-we get spoiled as some winters are very mild here in SW Missouri. The lake house is an hour further north than our woods home so that may give us a bit more winter here.

   It's also T Stands for Tuesday with Bleubeard and Elizabeth. where we share a drink related photo. 

   I have a new outlook on blogging, which includes visiting bloggers that I enjoy so have decided to share posts again. I was also quite stressed out with all this ice removal on our steps and hill. Here is a photo of our steps going into the house. To the left is the area I will be working in first to plant lots of flowers and herbs. To the right of the steps-that area needs allot of work too-moving more rock, getting rid of some bushes, and turning this into flowers and herbs as well. a work in progress for sure.

Where this levels off up on top is a steep concrete driveway.  I don't mind the exercise this gives me to get my mail, but this is the first winter in this home that we had to deal with so much thick ice.  As one gets older these winters are more of a stress situation too.

  I am not one that fries foods much, my Mom never fried much. She would bake chicken instead of frying, and I don't remember her ever serving us french fries at home. Those were a treat growing up when Dad took us to the A&W restaurant. Husband and I do love fried catfish, so over the weekend I searched for a new batter recipe and fried us up a meal for Sunday. I served it with the last of the potato soup I had made earlier,

  This was the perfect recipe-moist fish inside and crispy batter on the outside really perfection, and not greasy either.  I fry with grapeseed oil when I do fry, and I read about straining it to use again. The site I read said to strain with cheesecloth and refrigerate. Can reuse for fish 4 times, and if not fish then 8 times-that was all new to me. I felt better knowing I can reuse this more expensive oil. It is a healthier oil and is why I like to use it.

   These are the ingredients: corn flour, I used gluten free flour instead of regular flour, and this is a gluten free sorghum beer-my last bottle from about 6 years ago. I also added a little onion powder, a good amount of fresh ground pepper.  I don't use salt in my cooking but this did need just a bit of salt.

    Maybe you that fry fish know this already, but what made this recipe so good I think was the method. You mix 1/2 cup of each flour together-then take half of it and put in the dish to coat the fish first. The other half you gradually add the beer til it is the right consistency and then dip the floured fish in that-and into the fryer.
   I forgot to take a photo of the bowl with flours and beer-but the ones on top in the dish to the right has been battered.
  My ticket to the T party is this bottle of Bard's gluten free beer made with sorghum, which I had a few swallows of while frying the fish.😀

I fried at 360 degrees in one of my favorite vintage cast iron pots. This one is a  Griswold and also has a lid with it-the perfect size for many things.

  My husband raved about this fish so the recipe is a keeper 

One of our pretty sunrises over the lake-loving the reflections on the water

Happy March and Happy T Everyone and thank you to Bleubeard and Elizabeth for hosting

and thank you to Iris for letting me know that Sunflowers are Ukraine's national flower-sharing sunflowers for support

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Art Journal Journey-What's Your Style

  Over at AJJ this month Bleubeard and Elizabeth are hosting, and the theme is What's Your Style?

  I have been wanting to make a page this month but just was not sure what I wanted to do. It came to me yesterday-my style is country living.  I love country-farm life, woods living, always have. 

  So I put together a collage from several old Ideals magazines  Then afterwards to make it more cohesive, I used a watercolor pencil and my water brushes to brush over the pages. I made a two page spread.

Here is a look before the watercolor

  I chose pages with country scenes-log cabin, deer, maple syrup collecting, making popcorn in the fireplace, spinning wheel and kitty, farm spread with plowed garden area. (photos will enlarge just click on them)

after the watercolor wash

Once this all dries I will go back and re glue some of these edges

February is almost to a close-are your ready for March and Spring? I sure am

Friday, February 25, 2022

Cast Iron Saturdays More Winter Dishes

  Good morning and Welcome to Cast Iron Saturdays

     Since many of my readers are still "enjoying" winter days haha  I am sharing more wintry foods this week.

    Lodge cast iron sent me an email with a few yummy looking recipes this week, so will start with those.

Chickpea Soup with Turmeric and Ginger  I think this recipe looks and sounds delicious and it is vegetarian and gluten free too


Creamy Mushroom Soup  to make gluten free use a gf thickener of your choice instead of the flour, for vegetarian use a vegetable stock instead of the chicken and if you don't eat dairy can change up the cream to your choice

Brisket Chili  this is a different "take" on chili and sounds delicious no beans

also from Lodge that I found on Pinterest-Tennessee White Chili  this is chicken based-simple but looks and sounds really good for something different

Dutch Oven Beef Stew this includes a really nice tutorial

Old Fashioned Southern Corn Sticks 
  if you have a cast iron corn stick pan-these are so fun to make  and go great with soups and stews  This link is full of information  and for gluten free just substitute a gluten free flour blend I found it worth the read too

and one more recipe that sounded interesting and a little different-Lentil Stew with Potatoes and Kale  This recipe also has butternut squash and the recipe looks vegetarian  She does use canned lentil soup-but I would make my own lentil soup and then make this recipe with the left over soup.

I am sharing this link especially for our Elizabeth 26 Vegetarian Dinners to make in your Cast Iron skillet  (of course you can make these in a different lighter pan) and these look really delicious too.

   Hoping winter gets easier for all of us soon. We have gotten more ice and snow here, and very very cold temperatures with it. A warm up begins tomorrow so hopefully I can grab my shovel and clear a path up the hill to the mailbox "again"

  Stay safe and warm everyone,  winter is a perfect time for comfort foods made in your cast iron skillets,  Dutch ovens, etc.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Food Wednesdays

 Welcome Everyone to Food Wednesdays

    I have always loved cooking and baking in my kitchen, has always been my happy place. In no way am I any sort of chef, but rather just a good home cook where most everything is made from scratch. I have always cooked-baked this way, as I have farm girl roots from my Mom and her Mom. All of us used to have large gardens that we froze-canned-or dried. My Grandma also canned allot of meat too.

   I decided to set up this link up event so friends can gather together and share their love of food too.  So as I have mentioned in the past this is all about the food-no rules just food related posts-you can share a recipe, a cookbook, history of foods, photos, going out to eat at a favorite place anything about food you would like to share.

  This post will be a mix of different things from my kitchen this past week. and I apologize ahead of time for the lack of photos-I need to remember to do a better job of that.

   It's been a rough winter week for this area last week-so I was thinking of comfort foods. I made a big pot of a mixed bean soup one day, that turned out really delicious. 

  I started with a carton of unsalted bone chicken broth then filled the pot half way up with water. I had picked up a mixed bag of soup beans from the Amish store that must have had at least a dozen different beans and lentils. I let that all soak for a couple hours after bringing the pot up to a simmer. I have stopped throwing this water-broth after the soak to keep the nutrients in the soup and not down the drain.     I then put it back on the heat and added handfuls of dried onion and dried soup mix veggies, soup herbs, chives, a little red hot pepper flakes, and black pepper (I don't add any salt when I am cooking) and I remembered that I had sun dried tomatoes and dried mushrooms in my pantry. I bought these awhile back and had not used them yet.

  I soaked a handful of these mushrooms for about an hour, cut off the stems as they were very tough and added to the bean soup along with the soaked water.

   These sundried tomatoes were amazing. I cut them in small pieces, added to the soup, they really swelled up-very tender and delicious but held their shape-thought that was interesting-I loved them and will be using these more often now.  I also added a spicy sausage from the Amish store that I found in my freezer. I cut off the casing-sliced in small chunks, heated through in the skillet and added to the soup pot.

We ended up with a delicious hot soup and I froze the rest to give us 3 meals for later.

   Yesterday I made us a keto cheesecake. I have shared this recipe before, but it is a good one if you are baking without or less sugars  The change I made was to make a crust first-that I slightly baked and then added the cheesecake filling.  This time I overbaked it just a bit-sigh-but this is a really good cheesecake. I use one full fat cream cheese and two of the less fat cream cheese.  My crust was made with a mixture of gluten free crushed graham crackers, ground almond and ground hazelnut, butter, splenda for sweetener Here is a photo of the ingredients.

Below is the keto sweetener I like to use now. This recipe uses confectionary sweetener.

  I have been enjoying hot beverages this week-including hot tea and hot cocoa with marshmallows

I love this large pottery mug, it is handmade. I found a couple of these at a garage sale years ago. These are heavy though

Before I set up the link up for you-views of our lake last week

Now it is your turn  Please link up with the url of your blog post and not the url of your blog site-that way someone that visits later on will be directed right to your Food Wednesday's  post

Also please check back late Wednesdays for any new link ups-thanks

Monday, February 21, 2022

Good Morning Monday Everyone

    and Happy President's Day, some of you may have gotten a 3 day weekend. After the crazy winter week we are in the 70's today, but it all goes back to winter after midnight tonight.

    This is what we like about this area of Missouri-as we always get breaks from winter.

 I wanted to thank everyone for your kind words and support. I realized I had gotten overwhelmed with being trapped in our home.  I don't mind staying in my home at all, but not to be able to get to the mailbox for three days took it's toll on me for some reason.

  I finished getting the very thick ice off the driveway this morning, but winter weather is coming back after midnight tonight-which sounds like more ice again sigh. at least this batch of ice is mostly gone.

  Wanted to let you know, that my friends online are really my lifeline to connect with another person, as is my slow mail-which I look forward to as well.

  I have decided to take a break from T for a bit, I always make sure I visit everyone on the T link up by the end of Tuesday and sometimes that is allot. 

  Will be posting for Food Wednesdays this week and also for Cast Iron Saturdays.

Thank you so much to all of you

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Taking a Bit of a Break

  Hi Everyone,

     I decided I need a bit of a break from posting. 

 I do want to still visit and see what you are all up to though, especially your art and doings. So I will be popping in to do that.

(photo found online)

    This rougher than usual winter has gotten me down a bit, (feeling my age for sure) and I have one bad knee that I tore allot of cartilage back around 1998-climbing into a tall tree stand haha-that is really acting up again-bad timing since I need to get this ice off the steps and hill, but then from the first ice storm is why this is acting up on me now.  So I am a bit down in the dumps right now and don't want my regular posting to reflect that.

(from online)


Friday, February 18, 2022

Cast Iron Saturdays- Skillet Casseroles

    Good Morning, Doesn't feel like it should be the ending of another week-but alas it is.  Another winter blast-again here at the lake with thick ice underneath a thin layer of snow. We are very cold too, until a warm up begins tomorrow. 

   I tried making it up the steps and hill this morning-Not happening, I caught myself from a bad fall, so headed back down to the house.  This is the first year that we have been here at the lake house that it was so difficult to make it up to the mailbox. I will need to wait til I can clear a path later today hopefully. Monday is a no mail day and I have mail that needs to get out. Larry says don't worry about it-well I do-smiles

   Hoping your winter is not as bad, I am very thankful not to have lost our electric, we would be in trouble this winter if we had.

  We are here for Cast Iron Saturdays so enough of winter talk 😉

     I got to thinking about casseroles in cast iron. 

  When I was a kid at home my father wanted absolutely No casseroles period. Only meat potatoes and a veggie. Only time Mom made a casserole was when Dad was working all day on Saturdays. I do like a good casserole once in awhile.

   Larry is not fond of casseroles either, but I do like to make one pot meals in a cast iron skillet. Today I browned a bone in pork steak, seasoned well, and added sliced onions, sweet peppers, fresh garlic slices, a little water, and a can of my own peeled tomatoes. Have the temperature set low on top of the stove and will simmer til our dinner around 2 pm.

  So searching casseroles prepared in cast iron, I discovered that most of what I found are called cast iron skillet dishes, or they add casserole to the title on some of them. 

Twice Baked Potato Casserole  This one is heavy in dairy ingredients

   Chicken and Broccoli Skillet Casserole  this would be easy to change to gluten free and I think this one could be made into vegetarian too-omit the bacon, and substitute other veggies for the chicken

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs  for gluten free use a gf pasta

I found a low carb gluten free dish-Keto Chicken Pot Pie Casserole This one sounds really good, uses almond and coconut flours in the crust. I pinned this one to save for later on my gluten free-keto pinterest board. 

and here is a link to lots more of these low carb-keto recipes-most look really good

 I grew up on tuna casseroles-did you? However Mom made it with canned soups etc. Here is one made from scratch The Best Tuna Casserole    and for gluten free change to gluten free-- flour to a gf flour, gf pasta, gf bread crumbs

and while we wait for spring to arrive-and stay-found this link for 100 cast iron recipes for spring I included this link as there are many one skillet meals included also desserts as well.

Happy Cast Iron Saturdays and Happy Friday and weekend

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Food Wednesdays

 Hello Everyone, and welcome to this week's Food Wednesdays

  I thought I would set this event for a link up event, so we can share food and recipes and such with each other. No rules, just all about the Food, and to be kind to one another. This is a new event, so if you can check back late Wednesday to catch any new link ups, that would be great and hopefully find a new friend as well.

    Last week I shared my favorite sugar vanilla cut out cookie recipe with you, so even though it's past Valentine's day (I do still have some cookies left in our cookie jars) I want to share my cookies along with a keto frosting I have been using with success.

   For my gluten free cookies I grabbed a couple different heart cutters and also my wolf and bison cutter. For the wheat version, I grabbed heart cutters-one larger than the one I used for gluten free, and also two fish cutters.

This vintage board was a wedding present from my brother. I really love it for rolling out cookies especially.

This is the frosting recipe I found online and it works well

  This recipe gave me exactly enough for both batches, it came out perfect for all the cookies. You would only need half the recipe for one batch of cut out cookies.      One could also use half powdered sugar and half keto powdered sweetener. I try to cut down the sugars in a recipe where possible. These keto sweeteners do have a a bit of a different flavor to them so I am thinking next time I may combine with a little powdered sugar.

  Over last weekend I also baked up another crisp. My readers are probably getting tired of reading about my crisps but I like them as I can easily make a gluten free for both of us-instead of baking up two pies with different crusts.

  If you read my T post, I am sharing the same photo again here.

   Here are the ingredients though and the recipe I like to use now

   In this photo you can see the jar that says apple. This is dried apples ground to a powder so I add a teaspoon or so to the topping to add more apple flavor.

   I rinsed the ice off under running cold water before adding these blueberries to the cast iron pan I loved this mostly blueberry crisp with a few apples-will make again for sure.

My changes to the above recipe link:

   If I am using apples I place the peeled thin slices into cold water with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Then drain them before assembling

  Instead of brown sugar I use coconut sugar, or Swerve brown sweetener, or Splenda or a combination It depends on the fruits I am using.

I do not use salt in my recipes

Instead of cornstarch I use instant tapioca

   Most recipes have you adding the fruit, sweetener, and thickener in a bowl and mix it all together. I don't do that-I layer the fruit, sprinkle the sweetener over the fruit, then sprinkle lightly all over the instant tapioca, and I like to sprinkle over on top the cinnamon or I have a apple baking spice that is really nice. Continue the layers you reach almost to the top.

   i change the brown sugar to coconut sugar and/or Swerve brown sweetener
   I omit the salt
     I really like the oat flour in this topping recipe it helps to bind it all together

   These crisps can really be made with most any fresh fruit-fun to play around with different combinations-this is really nice all year round too. 

Now it is your turn to link up your Food Wednesday post-please link up the url to your actual post and not your blog url thank you

Monday, February 14, 2022

T Stands for Tuesday-This and That

   Happy T Stands for Tuesday-where we link up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T. You are welcome to join in-just share a drink related photo and link up-click on T in my sidebar.

  Since I most always write my T posts on Monday, I am wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day.  End of last week I baked up two batches of valentine cookies-one wheat and one gluten free, and I even frosted them with sprinkles on top 😀 I will have more about the cookies on my Food Wednesdays post

I grabbed a bison and wolf cutter for me-of course

and I found 2 fish cutters for the wheat version for Larry's cookies

It's been up and down with the weather here-warmed up nicely with a good melt, although there are still areas of snow piles that were deep, and then it has turned quite cold over the weekend again. A warmer day tomorrow before it gets cold again.

  We have enjoyed lovely views most every morning, out our wall of windows this past week,

One foggy morning, there was also ice on the lake for a few days that had broken off from the more shallow areas of the lake

Late yesterday (Sunday) afternoon-surprise-the moon

Saturday I made up another crisp in a cast iron pan. I had about 8 apples left, and our Wisconsin friends gifted me with a large bag of blueberries they had picked and then frozen, from a friend's farm up near Green Bay Wisconsin. This was so delicious.

and for my drink share-these crisps are perfect for breakfast and with a cup of coffee.    Since it is Valentine's Day today I made my decaf coffee in the french press and added a tablespoon of my homemade cocoa mix. Soooo delicious-and splurged with a bit of whipped cream 😉

Happy T Everyone