Welcome & Stay a Little Longer!

Welcome to Slice of Pie! I'm glad you dropped by to visit. You'll find a variety of life styling ideas on my blog ... and lots of grand daughter pictures, too! Miss Phoebe is my best helper and we do lots of special things together. Make sure you take a look down my sidebar! Under the "You're Invited" icon you'll find picture links to dinner parties I've hosted. Under the "Good Food" icon, you'll find picture links to food posts I've done. I usually post a sidebar picture link to magazine articles I've written. You'll find something you like! Hope you enjoy and stay around for awhile!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Soup Time - Snack Time!

My grand daughter is a snack rat!  She loves to visit our snack supply shelf when she visits and I try to keep the jars filled for her! I store many things ... but especially snacks ... in half gallon canning jars.  I don't think I've ever used a jar that size for actual canning, but I sure love them for storage!

Everybody has their favorite oyster cracker seasoning, but this is ours.  I prepare them in the Nuwave counter top oven, so I do half a bag at a time.  A half gallon jar holds a whole bag.

I toss half the bag of crackers in 1/4 cup canola oil, 2 Tablespoons of ranch dressing mix and 1 Tablespoon of dill weed.  That is it.  Bake it at 225 degrees for 10 minutes.  Prepare the second half of the bag the same way.

In a traditional oven, you'll have to bake the crackers for about 20 minutes.

October Pork Burgers

I cannot believe we are at the end of October and the weather is still beautiful! I don't require beautiful weather to grill ... but I'm sure going to take advantage of it when it is here! In three weeks in Southern Illinois ... we could have a little early snow!

So, I used my portable Cuisinart gas grill to make some pork burgers. I always sprinkle the raw meat with a raspberry/chipotle bbq rub that I keep on hand.  It takes pork a little longer than beef to get done, but still just about twenty minutes.  I used my Nuwave counter top oven to make seasoned fries. I toss raw potato pieces in a little canola oil mixed with ranch seasoning (which I buy in bulk) and dill weed.  In the Nuwave, two potatoes cut into fries are done in about 12 minutes cooked at 350 degrees.

Pretty good!  Pretty easy!  I'll share in a couple parties on my sidebar, so click through to take a look.

Smoked Chicken & Vegetable Soup!

I'm pretty lucky!  I work for a company that has businesses in a very large multi-county region, but my base office is just a couple blocks from my house. As a result, I can take a quick trip home for lunch a couple days a week. That caused me to want to put some homemade soup in the freezer and since I had the perfect ingredients in the freezer and fridge, I decided this was the right weekend to make it.  Nothing complicated about it! I used my pressure cooker and it was done in 20 minutes.

The recipe is so simple. I had a chicken breast in the freezer ... from a day when I grilled and smoked several using cherry wood for the smoke flavor.  I chopped it, added 4 cups of chicken broth with a dash of liquid smoke.  For the vegetable, you could add almost anything you like, but I love carrots so I added 2 cups of chopped carrots, 2 cups of frozen corn kernels, a can of roasted tomatoes with their juice, a small green pepper chopped, about 1/2 cup chopped onion and a cup of frozen green peas.  Pasta would have been good, but I added 2 cubed potatoes for the starch. I seasoned the soup with fresh parsley, 2 bay leaves and a sprig of fresh rosemary.  I also used a Tablespoon of "greens flavoring" that I guy at a local meet market.  It contains salt, pepper, garlic and a little more smoke flavor. There is no right or wrong in preparing this!  Use the seasoning you like best .. but add a dash of liquid smoke to enhance the smoked flavor of the chicken.

I'll share with a couple of the blog parties on my sidebar, so make sure you click through to visit other sites!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Zoodles or Cuoodles?

I recently bought the zoodle attachment for my Kitchenaid, and I've had lots of fun with it.  I love garden fresh cucumbers and raw carrots.  This was an easy salad made with the ribbon attachment ... and tossed with a simple vinaigrette.  I make my vinaigrette with equal parts of Splenda, cider vinegar, canola oil and water.  The original combination used sugar, of course, and Splenda is actually much sweeter, so you might want to start using half as much.  I always add fresh herbs ... or fresh herbs that I've frozen for wintertime use.

If you don't have that attachment ... it is perfect for peeling and slicing apples ... and making other colorful and delicious salads.

I'll post with a few of the parties listed on my sidebar, so make sure you click through!

My Surprise Gourd!

I haven't posted too much in recent months and there is a wonderful reason why! After being semi-retired for a couple years, I decided to take a real job again ... and I love it!  I actually returned to my deepest roots in geriatric health care and I am marketing over a dozen skilled nursing facilities in my region.  Being around people who need what I do has really filled the gap in my soul that had been there since my husband died.  I am thrilled to have a reason to do things and I am equally thrilled to be able to see the results of my work!

Well ... back to the post.  In Autumn 2015, I attended a family wedding on a farm. The decorations were all real pumpkins and big squash and gourds.  Like most everybody in attendance, I came home with a trunk full of pumpkins. I used them as fall decorations outside ... then decided to move them to a corner in the flower bed and let the animals pick at the seeds through the winter.  I figured I'd have a few plants spring up ... and that did happen.  I had lots of blooms, but this is the only thing that really grew!  Isn't it beautiful?

I'll share this with a few of the blog parties listed in my side bar ... and thanks to all of you who have continued to visit me daily, even though I wasn't posting much!  I'm back in action now ... and it is fall ... my favorite season!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sweet & Spicy Venison Loin

Seems like I've been posting lots of venison this spring and summer, but I've been cooking plenty of it ... so I've enjoyed sharing recipes. The loin is by far the best part of a deer and it doesn't take much time to cook it. I grilled this one. Here's the recipe ... and I always soak my loin in a combination of water and cider vinegar for a couple hours before I prepare it.

After rinsing or soaking the meat, dry it completely with paper towels. Make a wet rub by combining the following:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of liquid smoke
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup of olive oil

Mix this well and rub it all over the surface of the meat. You will probably have some left ... keep it to finish the meat.

On your grill, sear the meat over hot heat ... then reduce the heat to medium to continue cooking.  If you are cooking over coals instead of gas flames ... move the meat to a cooler part of the grill.  There is a great time chart for grilling venison right here.

When the meat is ready to come off the grill, brush the rest of your wet rub over the surface of the meat. Let it grill a couple more minutes.  Let the meat rest a few minutes before you slice it.

My go-to recipe for dressings for all kinds of summer vegetable salads is to mix 1/2 up mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, a dash of salt and pepper and a couple Tablespoons of sweet pickle juice.  I use this basic foundation for potato salad, macaroni salad, mixed vegetables ... and for this delicious sweet corn salad.  I cooked 3 ears of corn using the microwave method, cut it off the cob and added an avocado cut in chunks and a hand full of cherry tomatoes cut in half.  Toss in your favorite herbs ... I used basil and rosemary ... and had a delicious salad.

I'll be sharing this post with a couple parties listed in my sidebar ... so click through to check them out!  Enjoy!