Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Betty White, the Super Bowl, and Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip

February 10, 2010

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On Sunday I watched about half of the Super Bowl commercials. I know this is a delayed comment, but my favorite commercial was the Snickers commercial with Betty White.

One of our pre-game appetizers was carrots, celery, and tortilla chips served with Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Chicken Dip. Mmmm, mmmm, good.  I’m not much of a one for really spicy food.  This dip had just the right amount of kick to keep it interesting, but not so much that it couldn’t be tamed with a swig of ice water of beer.

Instead of Frank’s Redhot sauce, “our” dip was made with Louisiana’s sauce, and without the crumbled blue cheese. I think the crumbled blue cheese would make it even better. But, even without the blue cheese, the dip was addicting. (Just one more bite. Ok, now, really, just one more “one-more” bite….)

My plan is to, by Friday evening, publish a fluff (but I think fun) post. After that, it might not be until the end of next week before I post again. When I do, I plan to post comments from two people who witnessed the Pocahontas, Iowa, grain elevator being constructed in the late 1940s. That grain elevator was painted twice by Mother (Marion Gunderson) in 1949. (Information about prints of each of her Pocahontas grain elevator watercolors is available on this blog at “View and Order Prints.”)

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe (perfectly sweet and tart for Valentine’s Day)

February 1, 2010

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Before Wednesday night (hopefully by tomorrow night) I’ll post the image for the most recently available prints of one of Mother’s (Marion Gunderson) watercolors.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad. These Target-brand sliced strawberries are thicker/humpier than the more thinly sliced berries that I usually use.* (Click photo to enlarge.)

Saturday night Bill and I had good friends over for an informal dinner party. Our menu consisted of lettuce salad with bacon crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, lasagna (Rolfe’s Paula Pedersen’s recipe), sourdough bread (from Target), strawberry pretzel salad (Phyllis Poppen’s recipe), and Flarah’s mini-cheesecakes (purchased at Gateway Market, West Glen, West Des Moines). I was a little concerned about having two rectangular-and-also-red main menu items (lasagna and strawberry pretzel salad). However, my family-sounding-board said to go for it, so I did.

Since Saturday night, one of the guests requested the salad recipe. So, here is the pretzel salad recipe. This salad is almost like a dessert. But…shhhhhhhhh! If we don’t call it a dessert, in addition to this salad during the main course, we get to have dessert after the main course, as well!

* * * * *

* Even though the recipe says that my Jell-O mixture never gets partially set before I put it in the fridge, that is not true in this case. When I made the salad in the photograph, I accidentally left the Jell-O in the saucepan for about an hour before pouring it into the 9″x13″ pan. By that time, the Jell-O had definitely set making it look sort of humpy in this photo.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

An Orange POMANDER: The perfect gift for anyone to give to almost anyone.

December 20, 2009

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Nancy Martin’s Gumdrop Muffin recipe is 99% for certain being posted by the end of tomorrow. [It is now posted.  See the update below.]

  • UPDATE: One of Santa’s elves came through with the typed (instead of Nancy’s with my chicken scratches on it) version of the Gumdrop Muffin recipe.  Here is the Gumdrop Muffin recipe!

Some pomanders are simply made with just these ingredients and a ribbon. To watch how to make a pomander with these ingredients and a ribbon (or without a ribbon), scroll down to the "click here" link for a video demonstration. (Be sure to notice that you'll need whole cloves as opposed to ground cloves.)

Also, are you looking for the perfect gift for a child to give to an elderly person who doesn’t really need anything?  Or, actually, for the perfect item for anyone to give to anyone?

How about an orange pomander? Basically an orange pomander is an orange with whole cloves pushed into it.  It is used as an air freshener because it smells really, really, really good.  If you google “orange pomander” you’ll find many sets of directions for making one. Some directions call for a preservative called orris or sandalwood oil. Others use just an orange, whole cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon…and a ribbon.

I remember making a pomander for my grandmother when I was little. (I’m almost positive I didn’t use orris or sandalwood oil.) I was so proud to give it to her because I made it all by myself (and because it smelled so good).

Click here for a less-than-3-minute video of a young girl demonstrating how to make an orange pomander.

If you do google, you’ll find that some directions are for a “quick” making of a pomander that could be given right away.  Some versions are for a pomander that isn’t given until after three or four weeks of drying.  Either way, it is a gift from the heart, inexpensive, and smells so refreshing.

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Wildflowers, Wine Bottles, and the Monster Cookie Recipe

July 20, 2009

6/4/2011 Update: The Celebration Barn is now closed. For more information, click here.

(To understand this post better, if you haven’t already read From Trevi Fountain to The Celebration Barn, it would be helpful if you did before you read the following post.)

IMG_5515 W bot and fl on white 1000

(Click photo to enlarge.)

After Katie’s (our younger daughter) and Joe’s July 19th, 2008, wedding, a family friend said that the wedding and reception were simple yet elegant, and that, “That’s Katie.”  Katie and Joe have very similar tastes and therefore came up with the idea of having our own wildflowers as reception centerpieces.  They also chose to have a box of monster cookies as a small gift for each guest at the reception.

Where Katie was raised outside of Perry, Iowa, Bill (my husband) planted wildflowers so he could avoid the difficult-to-mow hills.  The kind of wildflower typically plentiful in July where we live is the Purple Coneflower.  They are gorgeous.  And…free.  A nice combination when planning a wedding reception. more