Meatless Mushroom Burgers

SONY DSC

1-pound Portabella Mushrooms

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons butter or oil of your choice

1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

2 eggs

4 – 5 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter or oil of your choice

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Trim off bottom ends of mushroom stems.  Finley chop mushrooms. Sauté onions in butter over low heat until soft. Add the chopped mushrooms increase heat and sauté rapidly, stirring constantly, until any liquid evaporates, and mushrooms are golden brown. Let them cool in a bowl about 10 minutes. Add to mushrooms in bowl the eggs salt, pepper and parsley, mix. Add enough bread crumbs to form burgers. Fry in butter until golden brown on each side. Serve on a hamburger bun with all your favorite garnishes.

 

Keep Smiling!

CAFÉ RIO STYLE PORK

SONY DSC

2 cups lemon lime soda

1 ½ cups picante sauce or salsa

2 cups brown sugar

1-2 pork loin roasts ( depending on what will fit in your slow cooker )

When I make this I like to make a lot because it freezes well and is an easy meal to pull out of the freezer when I am in a hurry.

 Combine the first three ingredients, pour this over the roast or roasts in your slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 – 12 hours. I like to do this the day before I want to use it. When it is done let the meat cool slightly, so you don’t burn your fingers and shred the meat into bite size pieces. If you choose to do it the day before put the meat back in a large pot and marinate it in the liquid it has cooked in when it was in the slow cooker by pouring that over it. If you don’t want to do it the day before it can be served as soon as it is shredded. I still use some of the liquid it has cooked in to keep it moist. If you choose to do just one roast you may want to half the first three ingredients.

 KEEP SMILING!

CILANTRO LIME RICE

SONY DSC

1 cup uncooked rice

1 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 can (15 ounce) chicken broth

1 cup water

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the lime juice, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is gone. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Let the sugar dissolve and then pour this mixture over the rice and mix it in as you fluff the rice.

 

Keep Smiling!

VALENTINE CREAM CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRIES

SONY DSC 

2 pints strawberries

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese softened

¾ cup powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

½ teaspoon shortening

Wash and dry strawberries. Set aside. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and almond extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Using a sharp knife cut the strawberries from the tip almost to the stem in the middle of the berry. Make another cut cross-wise, creating an “X”. Be careful not to cut all the way through the strawberry. After all the berries are cut Use a decorating bag filled with the cream cheese mixture to gently pipe it into the strawberries. I used a plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off one corner to show it can be done if you don’t have a pastry bag. I also did the chocolate this way.

Melt the chocolate and shortening in a glass measuring cup in the microwave on ½ power. Chocolate burns easy so be sure to use ½ power. Place the chocolate in a sandwich bag with a small piece of  the corner cut off and drizzle it on the strawberries. Place the strawberries in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden the chocolate and serve.

These are a wonderful treat for Valentine’s Day but are good any day of the year as well!!!

KEEP SMILING!

I Hope We Find Our Keepers

My mom had five sisters the picture on the left is them with their mother my Grandma Ida that I have told you about. They were very close and did everything together. I grew up surrounded by my cousins. The picture on the right is a few of the oldest cousins when the sisters were just starting their families. When I was young it felt like life would always be that way.

Then one-day things started to change. The aunts were getting older and our annual 4th of July party didn’t happen anymore and the Christmas party with all the family was gone. Suddenly life was different, my sweet mother was the first to go home to Heaven. Over a period of 14 years they all went home one by one and on December 23rd the last of the six girls joined her sisters in Heaven. I found the story listed below titled Keeper and it is pretty much what I have been feeling. I hope we all cherish our keepers while we have them because one day they will all get used up.

KEEPER

I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.

It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, and renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But then my mother died, and on that clear summer’s night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.

Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return.. So… While we have it….. it’s best we love it…. And care for it… And fix it when it’s broken……… And heal it when it’s sick.

This is true. For marriage……. And old cars….. And children with bad report cards….. And dogs with bad hips…. And aging parents…… And grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.

There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special…….. And so, we keep them close! 

I hope we all find our keepers and smile with them!

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

SONY DSC

2 packages Ramon Noodles chicken flavored

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

¼ cup slivered almonds (optional)

¼ cup cashews (optional)

¾ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 head green cabbage finely shredded or (1 bag ready-made coleslaw mix)

2 chicken breasts, fully cooked and seasoned to your liking (shredded into bit size pieces)

1 bunch green onions, finely chopped

1 red pepper finely chopped

½ cup celery, finely chopped

Set aside flavoring packets from the Ramon noodles and break the noodles into small pieces; stir in sesame seeds, almonds, and cashews. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° until golden about 5-8 minutes.

Combine noodle mixture with cabbage or Cole slaw, chicken, onion. Red pepper and celery

 

Dressing

Combine oil, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and contents of flavor packets. Shake well.

 

KEEP SMILING