12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Food, Grillin' One, Ranch Life

Homemade Angel Food Cake For A Special Angel’s Second Chance At Life Indeed Will Be One Tearful Birthday!

On November 1, 2020, we faced a day of excitement and fear all within just hours of one another. Mitch received a new liver which we all have been waiting for for over a year and because it was his second transplant the surgery had become difficult, complicating, and very unsure if he would pull through. Intense bleeding of over 40 liters was lots in the first 2 hours.

To say the least, this birthday will be a celebration of second chances! Mitch is now 26. WOW! What a life this young man has had and for sure a testimony to the faithfulness and worthy of Praise to an amazing Jesus! SO VERY THANKFUL!

He loves to cook and so does dad! (first liver came from) The boys get to work making a special meal, Beef Wellington, and his favorite cake…Angel Food homemade of course. One the best fro trials he faced!

Homemade Angel Food Cake

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cup egg whites, I used the liquid, or separate 9 eggs

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup cake flour

1-1/4 tbsp cream of tarter

1 tsp pure vanilla

1/4 tsp lemon juice, juice 1/2 lemon (save rest for frosting)

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. Place egg whites in a large stand-up mixer bowl; let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together, twice; set aside.
  2. Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add cream of tartar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. gradually fold in flour mixture with a spatula, about a 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an uncreased 10″ tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake until lightly browned and the entire top appears dry, 35-40 minutes. Immediately invert pan (upside down on its legs); cool completely, about an hour.
  4. Run a knife around the side and center tube of the pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

Frosting:

4 cups powdered sugar

2 sticks softened salted butter

1/2 squeezed lemon juice and zest

4-5 tbsp. half and half (or heavy cream is yummier)

Beat in stand-up mixer powdered sugar and butter until creamy. Add lemon juice and zest keep beating. Add half and half or cream. Beat until nice and smooth.

The Main Course!

The boys went to work on the Beef Wellington. Neither one has ever made this before so it was quite the sight to watch as they worked together to make this special meal.

Preparing the mushrooms, garlic, and onions cut ever so finally and saute’ in butter until a nice brown and translucent color. The kitchen smelled divine!

Next step give this precious meat a little rub down with mustard and salt and pepper!

This was a 2lb cut…would recommend 1.5!

Now for the hard part, wrapping the meat with crepes and pastry crust. A little tricky…but it looks beautiful already!

The hardest part was the wait…BUT ohhhh so worth it!

Just melts in your mouth!

Served with garlic mashed potatoes, spinach salad, fluffy biscuit, and a little sauce Mitch whipped up to pour over the meat…this meal was indeed a treat! Dan loves his meat rear the rest of us Dan popped back in for a few more minutes to medium. Truly, melted in our mouths! The pastry around the meat was so crispy and flaky. Amazing meal for sure!

A second chance…

This day could have been a whole different day. Thinking back to how close Mitch’s life here on earth could have been cut short but instead, the Lord provided this day to happen! A second chance to celebrate another birthday, to live every day in joy, and to bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ! May all of us live like we have a second chance because when we choose to submit to Christ and call Him Lord over our lives we are given the best second chance ever…eternal life forever with Jesus and enjoying a meal HE has prepared for us. Now that IS amazing! Enjoy your second chance day…A blessed Easter to you all!

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Crafts, Food, Grillin' One, Healthy Eating, Treats

Learn How to Make a Charcuterie Board by displaying a fun dessert or appetizer tray using foods you like using cheeses, meats, nuts, fruit, chocolate in a simple step by step.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and when I learned about these special Charcuterie trays I had to make one up. Of course the crafty person in me and my Valentine, Dan also made the tray.

What is a Charcuterie Board?

You may have experienced seeing one of these at a gathering especially a wedding or a shower creating a display of cheeses, meats, fruits, and wondered what they are all about. A charcuterie board is an easy way to display finger food on some kind of tray. I have mostly seen the wood looks because of where we live, but plates, marble, granite, or metal are some other ideas. You can give a distressed look by simply painting them even putting a cracked look or conversation piece using chalk paint would be awesome! For this special Valentine’s Day, I wanted to put my own twist into my charcuterie board adding little touches of Valentine’s.

What to Add to a Valentine charcuterie Board

Cheese: Really anything goes but when your thinking of color, try getting the cheese with white casings. Silton with Raspberries, Goat Cheese, or a block of simple cream cheese. (Cut it into a heart shape to add dimension)

Meat: For a sweet tray meat isn’t really a big deal to add but I chose salami and turkey slices. Again making them into hearts is fun. Adding prosciutto all curled up and ham would also be great.

Nuts: I love nuts so almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts…go crazy if you like. I do make sure they are all shelled for easy nibbling!

Dips: Try thinking about what your tray theme is. In this case on Valentine’s Day chocolate would be appropriate. So melting good chocolate like Gheradellie and having the good ol’ hazelnut as a spread. Adding jams, mustards, honey butter are some great options as well. If you want some amazing flavor to chocolate, check this out! So great for frostings too! One we did for this tray was the old marshmallow dip and cream cheese.

Crackers and slices of bread: One of my favorite snacks and make a wonderful compliment to meat and cheeses is adding a variety of crackers. The grocery stores also have those cute little slices of bread like pumpernickel or rye. I used a horse head cookie cutter for my bread.

Fruit: I love adding this to any try just because fruit can be so colorful and clean the palate for the next bite. Think color and theme again when choosing your fruits. For this charcuterie board, it fit to have raspberries, strawberries, and blood oranges.

Sweets: Well go nuts here! Another favorite! Chocolate is very fitting for this charcuterie board. Adding chocolate bars, kisses, round Lindor candy balls…so many choices when in the season of Valentine’s Day. I also loved adding Macaroons and heart-shaped cookies. We used the Raspberry flavoring again for the filling.

Put it All Together

Don’t be intimidated, the charcuterie boards are easy to assemble. Here are three easy steps for you to make a professional-looking board.

Step 1: Perfect Charcuterie Board

Think about your theme and how many you will be servin. Big group you will need a bigger platter or wooden tray. Living in the woods on a ranch we have lots of flat wood surfaces.

White marble, plates, round or rectangle also make beautiful charcuterie boards.

If your making a tray for two, think a bit smaller.

Step Two: Arrange Your Board

There is no wrong way to assemble a board, but for me I like to place all my “height” or large item first. Like bowls, cheeses, dips, pour pitchers.

Next are the meats and crackers. Roll meat, or cut into shapes. Stack crackers up giving height and even try making roses with meats and flat foods. Lay in a fan pattern or around taller dishes.

Lastly, I add the sweets like chocolate, fruits, candies, and nuts.

Step Three: Your Special Touch

This part is so fun as you can add herbs, eatable flowers, mint leaves again keeping with your theme it can be anything to make your special charcuterie board pop. Because we are a ranch, we had to add the horse head shape out of the bread. It added who we are too.

You just want everything on the tray to be eatable. My rose petals buds made the dessert tray smell divine!

The above trays my hubby and I made. We received a bunch of wood cabinets as a donation and decided to use them for this idea. The Cricut Maker helped with all the fonts using Expressions Vinyl in shiny black and gold. the western one seems to be a favorite around here!

Oh, how fun these trays are, and hope you try and make one at your next party for 2 or more!

LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER, ENJOY THE SIMPLE LIFE,

Lee

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Food, Grillin' One, Living Naturally, Ranch Life, Treats

Burr… it’s cold -31 this morning

I do love a nice crisp winter air, but not this crisp. Doing chores this morning I thought my nose would fall off!
What did I do to change my attitude and feel warm? Asked Alexa to play Caribbean music and…

Make a dinner full of Caribbean flavor! Appetizer, soup, salad, and the main dish. Oh and dessert of course! I even made a fun NA drink.

Appetizer…Orange Shrimp Mojo

A bright avocado salsa and the citrusy rum-kissed glaze make this appetizer spark the mouth watering for more! Use only fresh herbs and spices. Links below. It really makes a difference!

  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange or tangerine peel
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, uncooked
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2cups orange juice
  • 2 tbsp rum or chicken broth
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large orange, peeled, sectioned and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup cubed avocado
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tsp chopped seeded jalapeno pepper, optional but good
  • 1 fresh Lime

Prep

  1. In a small dry skillet over medium heat toast cumin seeds and peppercorns until aromatic. 1-2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Crush seeds using a spice grinder (great gift idea by the way) or mortar and pestle
  2. In a small bowl, combine the orange peel, oregano, salt, and crushed cumin and peppercorns. Sprinkle 1 tbsp spice mixture over shrimp.
  3. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in oil over medium-high heat. 1 minute, turn shrimp. Add the orange juice, rum, garlic, and 1 tbsp. spice mixture. Cook and stir until shrimp turn pink, 1-2 minutes longer, remove shrimp squeeze 1/2 of the lime juice over top and keep warm. ( when in a pinch I will use my Lime essential oil but fresh is best for this dish) If you do purchase the essential oil, you can only order one and get FREE shipping in the USA! Cool huh?
  4. Bring liquid in skillet to a boil. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, for salsa combine the orange, onion, avocado 1/4 cup cilantro, jalapeno, and remaining spice mixture in a small bowl. Stir shrimp and remaining cilantro into the sauce, heat through. Serve with salsa.

Serve with Fresh Ginger Mojo

This is an incredible drink and so fresh but most importantly good for you! YES, a fun drink that is refreshing and good for you…don’t forget the lime!

Muddle fresh squeezed lime juice and sugar along with dried or fresh mint. On ice pour ginger beer into a glass and stir in your muddled mixture. Garnish with mint. SOO refreshing! Put on the Beach Boys and start prepping for dinner!

Main Dish

This grilled chicken gets a lovely pop of color and spice from the lime butter… OOO you will love this dish! One of the reasons I love Caribbean night during cold stretches it gives us a warm time together cooking. The challenge to this dish is grilling out on our deck in the minus 30 below but SO worth it! You can do this on a grill pan (link below) too, which in this weather may be the better idea!

Ingredients: ( I like fresh herbs and spices. Store-bought you never know how long they sit on those shelves PLUS this company has such fun flavors so get creative with your dishes!)

1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar ( I use molasses and regular organic sugar instead)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cacao
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
Cilantro Lime Butter

1/4 cup butter, melted
minced  fresh cilantro (I like a lot so 1/2 cup )
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tbsp lime juice
1 pepper, jalapeno, or serrano, Fresh
pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Brush over chicken. 2.Place chicken skin side down on grill rack. grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 15 minutes. Grill until a thermometer reads 165 degrees, 20-25 minutes longer. Grill pan we use for indoor cooking. 3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter ingredients. drizzle over the chicken before serving.

TIP: if you have leftover, shred the chicken and save for tacos or other dishes. I freeze mine and save for later nights when I need a quick meal.

Now for the finale’

Yep, I love my desserts! What can I say! SO refreshing perfect in tying all the flavors of your pallet together!

Key Lime Mason Jar Delight

Give your own twist to make your winter meal a delightful time together! There is nothing like cooking together and enjoying a wonderful meal you have made! Stay WARM!!!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee


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Food, Grillin' One
Ok, I know homemade hamburger buns…EASY? No way! Well, you’re wrong. This recipe is wonderful and it truly is easy peasy. Trust me! By the way, it won’t take long to prepare and while you’re doing other things the rise is simple. Tips for making homemade bread: The biggest tip my hubby the bread maker tells me… 1) Watch that the milk is not too hot or too cold  for anything mixed with yeast or you will spoil the yeast 2) While you knead the dough, make sure you time it and pull the bread to see the elasticity. I should have taken a picture of this for you but was so into it I forgot. Anyway, I think you will be proud of yourself for making these and with the big game coming up it will be a special treat! You can make them smaller for sliders. Great for bigger crowds too! Here ya go! Ingredients: 1 cup warm almond milk (100 degrees F) 1 tbsp active dry yeast ¼ cup organic sugar 2 tbsp melted butter 1 egg  (room temp) 1 tsp fine sea salt 3-3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour For the top of buns: 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water (wash on top of bread dough to give it a shiny look) Sesame seeds Directions:
  1. Combine milk and yeast in small bowl. Make sure milk is not more than 100 degrees. Stir well. Pour into larger bowl.
  2. Mix in sugar, butter, and egg, then add the salt and flour.
  3. Pull dough onto lightly floured counter and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be smooth and have elasticity.
  4. Set aside in a warm place and cover with a towel for an hour or doubled in size.
  5. Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal balls onto a pan that you have greased and dusted with cornmeal.
  6. Flatten into 3” circles. I used the lid of a mason jar to make my circles.
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes then beat your egg and water and brush on each bun top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Place in 375-degree oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
Due to the fact, these are homemade, you need to put them an airtight container and eat within 3 days. Or freeze. I tell ya…best buns ever and guess what….YOU MADE  THEM HOMEMADE nothing better!!!! Let me know what you think if you tried it! Love to hear how yours turned out. God’s blessings, Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Food, Grillin' One, Ranch Life
Is your mouth watering yet? This recipe uses my favorite combination of chocolate and fresh oranges which sets the stage for a great breakfast! I did a cream cheese filling instead of whipping cream to make them more filling and to give it more fluff in the middle. The traditional crepe with whipping cream is awesome, but today I switched it up a bit. Let me know what you think…my family went nuts! It was a great start to our weekend of Christmas decorating! Festive Orange Chocolate Crepes Ingredients: 1 Cup Almond Milk ½ Cup of half and half or Whipping cream 5 eggs, beaten 1 Tablespoon butter, melted Plus more for your pan 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour 5 Tablespoons of Cocao Powder  Dash of salt For Filling: 4 ounces of Cream Cheese 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup 1 Medium Orange, zested 1 Tablespoon of Freshly squeezed orange juice 1 ½ cup of Heavy Whipping cream Instructions: CREPES: In a small bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and melted butter, and essential oil. Set aside In a separate bowl, sift together your flour, cacao powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in your dry ingredient bowl and slowly pour your liquid mixture together, stirring as you pour. I use a wire whip while doing the stirring and the bowl moves freely around on its own, kinda cool! Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Make your filling. For Filling: Beat together cream cheese, maple syrup until smooth. Add orange juice and zest. Add whipping cream until small peaks form. TRY not to eat this as you blend….HA didn’t work for me! Set in the refrigerator as you make the crepes. To Make Your Crepe: 1.When making your crepe, your butter your cast iron pan well. (We use this one perfect for this kind of thing) The pan must be hot to make a perfect crepe. 2. Pour 1/4 cup of your crepe mixture onto hot pan. 3. Roll the pan until the mixture is moving around forming the shape of the pan. 4. Because the mixture is dark you will cook for only about a minute. Flip do another side 5.Layout a crepe onto your plate and spread a generous amount of filling into the center of a done crepe 6. Roll up. 7. Sprinkle your powder sugar on top and add more orange zest. We had extra pomegranates so I spread them on the plate too. More festive!
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Food, Grillin' One, Ranch Life
Making Ranch ribs: First I prepare the ribs with a rub. I like to use fresh herbs if available so I will begin with those. 2 Tablespoons of fresh course sea salt 2 Tablespoons of fresh ground peppercorns Rub into meat on both sides. Let sit for about an hour Just before wrapping in foil and placing in your smoker I sprinkle on both sides: Red bell pepper flakes and paprika  Foil them up sealing well. Set up your smoker to manufactures directions. We use wood and sometimes wood chips in our smoker. If your smoker has a watering pan add 2″ of water. If not use a foil pan and place below where you will be cooking the ribs. Place fat side up. Smoke until light brown. Put on the smoker for about 4 hours @ 200F Pull and put on smoker directly for 1 hour Remove  Sauce them with your favorite BBQ and put on direct grill 3 minutes per side. These ribs are wonderful with some good ol’ corn on the cob and some sweet potatoes cooked in foil and oil! We just love this meal and great to serve with family and friends! Don’t forget the napkins! Or hose! God bless and enjoy! Lee AND DAN!
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