Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently, I baked one of my favorite stand-by cookies to share with friends and coworkers.  Upon receiving many requests to pass on the recipe, I decided to post it, so here it is.  It is a very basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, however, here is the secret.  REAL BUTTER and DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS.  Yup, that’s the secret.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

Wet ingredients mixed in one large mixing bowl:

  1. Cream 1 cup (2 sticks) of REAL softened butter.
  2. Slowly whip in 3/4 cup of white sugar (or raw sugar)
  3. Slowly add in 3/4 cup of dark brown sugar (molasses sugar)
  4. Slowly fold in 1 tsp of real vanilla (imitation vanilla does not have the same flavor)
  5. Off to the side in another small bowl, whip 2 eggs until ‘fluffy’ and add into the wet mixture by folding the eggs in until well disbursed.
  6. Add in 3 cups of dark chocolate chips (4 cups if you use the small (mini) chips)

In a separate bowl, sift together your dry ingredients.

  • 2 1/4 flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of salt

It is very important to thoroughly sift your dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding to your wet ingredients.

Next, fold in your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients a half cup at a time.  Yes, you read that correctly, a half cup at a time.  fold in making sure the wet and the dry combine evenly, so that the only lumps are your chips.

Once you have all of your ingredients mixed together in one bowl, set to the side.

Cover your cookie sheets with parchment paper.

I use a melon scoop so that my cookies are pretty even in size, but you can use a tablespoon or even a regular silverware spoon.  I scoop the dough and roll them into tight little balls.

Place the balls on your cookie sheet, make sure there is plenty of room in between because they will spread out a bit as they cook.

Bake for 10-11 minutes (until golden brown) at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove them from the paper and let cool on a paper towel (or cookie towel-thin weave towel).  Don’t put in your cookie jar or container until completely cooled.

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Sometimes I’ll add a cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, sometimes I’ll mix in a cup of mint chips as well, this is to your taste and mood at the time.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know how you liked it!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

Preserving Wild Ramps

Wild Ramps, also referred to as Wild Leeks, are an amazing spring treat that grows in the wooded areas around the same time that morals (mushrooms) and Pheasant Back Mushrooms start to peek out.  April to the end of May these wonderful natural treats cover select patches of wooded areas.  They originally were gathered and enjoyed in the Appalachia Areas (that I know of).   Ramps taste like sweet garlic.  Some people say they taste like green onion, but to me they are more garlic.

This year my husband and I went foraging and were blessed with an abundance of Ramps and some Pheasant Back mushrooms.

Since I work in the city all week, I long for my evenings and weekends in the country.  I love coming home to simplicity, and it doesn’t get much more simple than this.  Enjoying the gifts strait from God.  The wonderful afternoon hike proved to be more than just good for my soul, but it provided a bountiful addition to our pantry.

We love both of these items fresh, but honestly their natural shelf life is not very long.  So what to do with all the wonderful goodies, without over eating or worse, wasting them?

My favorite recipe this year is Pickled Ramps.  A very good friend of mine from church sent me a link for a recipe she uses for her pickled radishes.  I’ve tweaked it a tad to include water bath canning time and preferred taste:

Recipe 1:  Spicy Pickled Ramps  (Makes 2 pints)

Preparation:  Clean your ramps.  Wash thoroughly, peel away the outer layer, cut off the roots and just below the leaves.  (Keep your leaves separated for the next recipe)

 

Once you have your ramps ready, pack them tightly in clean and sterilized Pint Canning jars.  I pack mine to where there is a layer bulb down and a layer bulb up so that they are nice and tight but not squished.

In EACH Pint Jar Add 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of whole mustard seed.

Set the jars two the side, while your water bath canner is heating up.

Off to the side on another stove burner in a Simmering Pot Add:

  • 3/4 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar (canning grade)
  • 3/4 cups of Water
  • 2 teaspoons of canning salt
  • 3 tablespoons of raw honey

Heat your liquid mixture, constantly stirring until it is boiling.  Make sure you don’t stop stirring so your honey doesn’t scorch.

Pour your liquid over your ramps in your jars until the ramps are covered (1/2 inch head space for the jar).

Wipe down your jar rims from any splash.

Place your lids on the jars and tightly (but not like Hercules tightly) put on your rims.

Place the jars one by one in your water bath canner.  Water should be one inch over your jars after all jars are loaded into your canner.

Once your canner comes to a boil, you will want it to remain boiling for 20 minutes.

At the sound of the timer, the end of twenty minutes, I turn off the heat to the canner and let it sit until the boil is gone.  Then using canning tongs I take my jars out and put them on a clean covered area where they can cool for the next 12 hours.  Each sealed jar will give you that wonderful “POP”.  Let cool for 12 hours and put away in the pantry.

These are best if you can wait 5 days before opening, however, we opened one jar 24 hours after it was canned, we couldn’t stand it any longer, and it was absolutely heavenly.

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Refrigerate after you break the seal.

Recipe #2: Dehydrated Ramps

Remember when I said, don’t throw away those leaves?  Well here is why, they make yummy soup & stew & Stock greens.  Using your dehydrator (or oven on the lowest temperature), spread your leaves out and dry, then crumble up.

For the bulbs, we slice thin and put in the dehydrator at 100 degrees for overnight (or until they crumble).  Dehydrated ramp bulbs are so yummy to just eat like chips if you like garlic, which we do.  They are also perfect for dried goods for your pantry to be used anywhere you would use leeks, garlic or green onion.

We have a Vac-u-Sealer with a lid attachment, so we put our dehydrated goods in a canning jar, then using the lid attachment vac-seal the jar.  This is a great way to store without crushing your dehydrated goods.  NOTE:  You must use a clean jar and a clean canning lid each time you seal the jar.  You can not reuse lids.20180508_200148742386972.jpg

We also cleaned, diced and stored our Pheasant Back mushrooms this way with the dehydrator and the vac-u-sealer with the lid attachment.  The centers will be used for stew and soup stock while the tender outer areas will be used for pretty much anything.

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I really hope you enjoy this recipe and ideas to use what you have and venture out into nature to enjoy the beauty and bounty provided there.

But remember this, don’t take more than YOU can use.  Don’t be greedy.  Use a netted bag when collecting mushrooms (that way the spores will fall to the ground and make more next year).  Leave plenty for the animals and nature.  Oh and if you don’t know for sure if something is not edible, don’t eat it.  😉

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

 

Homemade Blueberry Syrup

Since I can my own fruit, especially berries, I have plenty of juice available as well. Each year I pick up fresh blueberries in Michigan when I visit my parents and to me nothing is better than blueberry syrup on pancakes.

Fruit syrup is simple to make.

Place 1 cup of juice in a small pot and add 1 cup of honey. While stirring heat on high for about 15 min after boiling. Let cool and bottle. Keep in your refrigerator.

Until next time.

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

One Skillet Dinner: Rice, Beans and Pork

Dinner doesn’t have to be a major production.  I am a true believer in keeping it simple and using what is on hand.  Recipes that have a ton of ingredients that you will only use once, are wasteful and frustrating.

I keep my pantry stocked with basics that I can go to in a pinch, beans, rice and canned meat & stock (I pressure can my own) are always on my shelves.  I keep diced onions in the freezer for a quick go to as well.

Here is a simple one skillet meal that really sticks to your ribs and is so easy to prepare.  Nothing fancy, even the name is as simple as it gets:

Rice, Beans and Pork

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of rice (not cooked)
  • 1 cup of pork (or chicken) broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 four/eight ounce jar of mushrooms (depending how much you like mushrooms, or not at all if you don’t)
  • one small onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon of lard or butter
  • 2 cups of shredded pork or chicken (or canned, I use my own canned pork)
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp of parsley
  • 1/4 tsp of thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce (Optional)

Directions:

  1. In a deep skillet, melt your lard/butter.
  2. add in your onion and garlic and cook until limp.
  3. Add in your mushrooms with juice.
  4. Add in your Rice, stir in with the base until well mixed.
  5. Add in your Broth and meat.
  6. Add in your beans.
  7. Add in water and cover the skillet and let cook until MOST of the water is soaked up by the rice.  (use a medium heat)
  8. Add in your parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
  9. Continue to cook while “folding” ingredients until the rice is tender. Be very careful not to scorch your rice!
  10. Dish up and serve, adding hot sauce to your liking.

This dish also is great as leftovers for a quick lunch or meal on the run.

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Enjoy and Until next time!

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Cheeseburger Casserole

A simple recipe that kids and adults will love.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 4 ounces diced roasted pablano peppers or green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons of steak sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Hand full grated pepper jack cheese
  • Hand full grated chedder cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup biscuit mix

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Spray deep dish pie dish with no stick spray
  3. In a skillet, brown onions and garlic with hamburger.
  4. Add to meat mix the steak sauce, salt, pepper and roasted peppers.
  5. Drain off grease.
  6. Put meat mix in deep dish pie dish.
  7. Put cheeses on the browned meat, keep a little cheese to the side.
  8. In a small bowl, whip the milk and eggs until well mixed.
  9. Add in biscuit mix and fold until no lumps.
  10. Pour on top of the meat and cheese.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Pull out and sprinkle remaining grated cheese on crust.
  13. Finish baking for 5 minutes.
  14. Serve.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Alphabet Soup Mix in a Jar

Meal-Prepping and filling your pantry doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  Utilizing dehydrated veggies and herbs works great to have a quick grab and prepared home cooked meal.  These also have a great shelf life to have on hand during emergency and disaster situations.

Today I am sharing a fun kid friendly recipe.  Alphabet Soup.  And it tastes so much better than store bought condensed.

First to prepare your jars.

  • 1 half pint canning jar with a tight lid.
  • 1 cup alphabet pasta
  • 2 tablespoons dried vegetable flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granuals or powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions for jars.

  1. Make sure your jar and lids are clean and dry!
  2. Layer 1/2 cup of pasta, then 1 tablespoon of dehydrated veggies, then the boullion and Pepper.
  3. Layer the second tablespoon of veggies then the second half cup of pasta.
  4. The layering just makes it “pretty”.
  5. Tightly screw on your lid and label.
  6. Alphabet Soup Mix
  7. Add 4 cups water + 1/2 cup of tomato pasta sauce.

When you are ready to use.

  1. Place water, pasta sauce and contents of jar in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, or until pasta and veggies are tender.

Easy peasy!

Place in a cool place to store that isn’t prone to high humidity, your pantry.
Until next time!

Kay L Rice

Rabbit Stew

Rabbit is a wonderful lean meat.  Whether domestic or wild rabbit makes a wonderful meal.  This is a very basic stew recipe which uses a whole rabbit and lots of mushrooms.  I use my Dutch oven for this stew.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole rabbit. (Cleaned and cut up into pieces)
  • 3 cups of mushrooms your choice (my favorites are baby Bella’s, oyster, morales) cut up in large pieces.
  • 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooking Sherry
  • 2 small onions diced
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In your Dutch oven, melt your butter.
  2. While Butter is melting, dust your rabbit pieces (yes leave the bones in the meat) with flour.
  3. Brown your rabbit in the butter.  Just brown the outsides.
  4. In a separate skillet, sauteed your onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
  5. Add in your sauteed ingredients over your rabbit pieces.
  6. Add in your parsnip and turnips.
  7. Sprinkle in your herbs and pepper.
  8. Add in your chicken broth.
  9. Move your stove eye heat to medium.
  10. Add in slowly while stirring your cooking Sherry (white cooking wine works nice too, just don’t mix the two).
  11. Simmer for 1 hour.
  12. Turn down to low.
  13. Using some of the broth (take out about a half a cup) stir in a spoon or two of flour to make a rich gravy and stir back into your stew.
  14. Turn on low until ready to sit down to enjoy.
  15. Yes the bones stay in the entire time.
  16. Serve and enjoy with some sourdough biscuits.


Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Russian Tea

There are certain times of year that I crave a special hot drink my Momma would make for me.  Those times are; Autumn, Winter and when I have a head cold.

With November being here, that memory and desire came back.  Now, I have no idea why this is called Russian Tea.  There is no Vodka in it, not any alcohol at all, but it sure can warm you up head to toe and completely inside!  It also feels great on a sore throat and stuffy head and nose.

This is my Momma Kathy’s recipe.

Russian Tea

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar (I use half sugar and half stevia)
  • 3/4 cup of Instant Nestea no sugar no lemon
  • 18 ounces Tang Powdered Orange Drink (You know, the breakfast drink that went to the moon…. I just aged myself, I know.)
  • 8 ounces powdered lemonade. (1 lg package of Wylers lemonade)
  • 1 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large bowl thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.  (Be careful, it will make you sneeze)
  2. Put mix in Mason Jars or glass storage containers that can be sealed tightly. It will fill a quart jar and about a pint jar.
  3. Put caps on tightly.
  4. Store in a dry place.

To Serve:

  • Heat water until boiling.
  • Put 3 tablespoons of mix in your favorite 12 ounce coffee mug.
  • Add hot water and stir.
  • Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Sourdough Flatbread (& Sourdough Starter)

Rarely will you walk into my kitchen and not see a quart (or gallon) mason jar tucked away on the dark part of the kitchen counter filled with sourdough starter.  I use this starter for everything from breads, biscuits, pancakes pretty much anything bread based.  Wheat and raw flours work much better than bleached white flour but you can use that too.

If you don’t know how to make your own sourdough starter:  Here you go.

BASIC SOURDOUGH STARTER

In a mason jar (gallon or quart, nothing less), add in 1 tablespoon of plain real greek yogurt (this is your cultures), 1 cup of your flour (I like wheat), 1 cup of warm room temperature water.  Stir but do not whip. Cover with a cheesecloth over the top, and screw on a mason jar ring.  Tuck away in a nice warm dark spot on your counter.  NOW Here is the important stuff  EVERY DAY at the same time you MUST FEED your starter, kinda like a pet.  It will die if you don’t.  To feed it you add in 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm (not hot, not cold) water.  Stir do not Whip, put the cheesecloth and ring back on set aside.  Do this for 7 days.  You should see “bubbles” and it should expand a tad and have a nice ‘sour’ smell to it.  It’s ready to use in your sourdough recipe of choice. If you have to let it go to sleep (aka not feed it for a few days) put it in the refrigerator where it will go to sleep.  To wake it up, bring it out of the refrigerator and start feeding it again (you do not need to re add the yogurt).

Now onto the FLATBREAD.

But today, I thought I would share with you how to make flatbread.  I love flatbread, it can be used as a soft sandwich shell, you can dip it in hummus or other dips, or use as a “slice” of bread with soup, stew or eggs.  My favorite are whole wheat, and honestly from what I’ve seen in the stores around here, it’s expensive for all it is.

NOTE:  Make your dough the night before, it needs to “rise” at least 8 hours to be perfect.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 7-8 flatbreads):

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of lard (yes, I use lard, you can use crisco or coconut oil if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups of sourdough starter

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Fold all of your ingredients together.
  2. Form into a large “ball” in a large greased bowl.
  3. Cover with a “bread towel” and set in a warm place in your kitchen (not on direct heat) and leave it alone overnight (or 8 hours).  Overnight is best.
  4. The next morning, Punch your dough down and form a new ball and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so.
  5. Take a mess of dough about the size of a small fist and form it into a ball.
  6. Place on your rolling mat with a sprinkle of flour (as to not stick to your board or rolling pin) and roll out with your bread rolling pin until round and about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Carefully lift your dough and place it on a HOT skillet (a cast iron skillet greased is best).  Cook for 30 seconds, flip over and cook for another 30 seconds, flip again, cook for another 30 seconds, and flip a final time and cook another 30 seconds.
  8. Do steps 6 and 7 until all of the balls of dough are done.
  9. They are great to eat immediately, or store them in a bread bag and eat throughout the week.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

Pickled Brussel Sprouts or Cauliflower

With the growing season coming to an end there seems to be an abundance of brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, squash.  The Autumn veggies.

Cabbage always gets put into fermentation crocks to become saurkraut, but what to do with brussel sprouts and cauliflower? Pickling.  This recipe will give you great treats to enjoy all winter as a side, salad or snack.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of brussel sprouts or Cauliflower (I don’t mix these two together in the same jars).
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 5 cups of water
  • 6 tbsp canning salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic spit
  • 1 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 5 sterluzed pint jars with canning lids/rings

Directions

  • Split your sprouts in half and remove the end ‘nubs’. Soak in water. About 5 min.
  • Split your cauliflower into small florets. Soak in water. About 5 minutes.
  • In a large pot bring your vinager, water, salt, sugar and pepper flakes to a rolling boil.
  • In each (hot) sterilized jar place one whole garlic clove split (2 halved).
  • Pack each jar with your brussel sprouts or Cauliflower leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  • Fill with hot vinager solution leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Use spacer tool to work out air bubbles.
  • Clean rims of jars.
  • Apply lids and rings.
  • Water bath can for 15 minutes after reaching canning temperature.
  • Cool.  Wait for the “pop”.  Make sure they seal.
  • Let set for 24 hours before moving to storage.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs Kay L Rice