Friday, October 31, 2014

Homemade Caramels

Here is a last minute
homemade candy recipe for halloween
(or anytime for that matter):


This recipe was given to me by a neighbor, Helen MacAlpine, who made these every Halloween and delivered some for Becky while bringing her own children Trick or Treating at our house. Becky was very young and her mom and dad (I won’t mention any names) ate this special treat to save their daughter from too much sugar at such a young age. Sadly Becky figured it out a few years later and claimed them for her own J. Helen notes that this is her grandmother’s recipe. She wrapped these special treats in waxed paper.
I also remember my sister-in-law Gloria and niece Erin making this at Christmas – such a treat.
Prepare your pan by greasing or lining with parchment paper. Do this before you start making the candy.
1 Cup butter
2 ¼ Cups brown sugar
1 Cup corn syrup
1 – 15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
¼ tsp. salt
Melt butter, add sugar and salt. Stir in the corn syrup and mix well. Gradually add the condensed milk.
Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat till it begins to boil slowly. Let the mixture boil to the firm ball stage (245 F) – approx.. 15 minutes.  You can stop stirring it once it gets boiling but watch carefully.
Remove from heat and stir in a splash of vanilla. Pour candy into pan. Cool till set and cut into squares. Wrap with waxed paper or serve right out of the pan.
Till next time .......... have a happy Hallow's eve my friends.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Monster Cookies

These cookies are not as scary as they sound ....
the"Monster" part is that it makes a monster size batch!

I used to make these for Halloween treats when the 
neighbourhood kids came trick or treating.
We live in a very rural area and that meant that
there was only a handful of children who came to the house.
(I'll confess that I begged their parents to bring them over).
Those were the good old days when homemade treats were still allowed
and peanut allergies were rarely heard of.

This makes a Monster size batch (approx. 20 dozen)! Half the ingredients for a more manageable batch.
1 lb. Butter - softened
4 Cups Brown Sugar
4 Cups White Sugar
1 Dozen Eggs
3 lbs. Crunchy Peanut Butter (approx. 5 1/4 Cups)
8 tsp. Baking Soda
18 Cups Oatmeal
1 lb. Chocolate Chips (approx. 2 1/2 Cups)
1 Cup Peanuts
1 lb. Smarties or M & Ms to decorate the unbaked cookies.
Cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs and peanut butter. Combine the oatmeal, baking soda, chocolate chips and peanuts and stir into the wet ingredients.
Spoon or scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet.  Top the unbaked cookies with several smarties.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  These can be easily over baked – take them out while cookies are high – they will drop flat, soft and chewy when removed from oven.

Do you remember when homemade treats
were given out at Halloween?

Till next time ......... pass the milk please!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Torte - Made Famous by Marilyn!

Pumpkin Torte

A Leis Family favourite!!!  My sister-in-law, Marilyn, makes this for our Thanksgiving Dinner every year because it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.  I have passed this recipe on to so many people over the years.  It looks complicated to make but it’s not.  It just takes a bit of time but well worth the effort! It's a winner!

24 crushed graham crackers (approx. 1 ½ Cups)
½ Cup sugar
½ Cup butter –melted
Mix and press into a 9 X 13 pan

Next layer:
2 Eggs
¾ Cup sugar
8 oz. package cream cheese – softened
Mix together till smooth.  Pour over graham cracker base.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool while preparing next layer.

Pumpkin Layer:
2 Cups pumpkin
3 Egg yolks (save egg whites)
½ Cup sugar
½ Cup milk
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 package gelatine
1/4 Cup water
Cook in saucepan till thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 package gelatin soaked in ¼ Cup water.  Let mixture cool completely.  

Beat egg whites till stiff – add ¼ Cup sugar and beat again.  Fold the egg whites into the cooled pumpkin mixture and pour this over the cream cheese layer.

Top with whipped cream.  Chill and serve.  This dessert does not disappoint!!

It truly is famous, at least in our family it is.

Till next time ............ it's pumpkin time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Organic Vegetable Soup

The farmer went to pick up a wood splitter from,
James Harrison, a local organic vegetable farmer
and brought home a nice sampling of his
delicious and nutritious harvest!

Fresh picked kale and dragon kale,
purple and deep red potatoes,
purple, red, white and orange carrots,
some heads of the best garlic in the land,
a huge leek, onion, and pretty edible flowers.

Have you ever seen such beauty?

I've never tasted Dragon Kale.

Dark purple carrots and
solid red potatoes,
packed with vitamins
and nutrients.

Pretty edible flowers
and some of James' famous
juicy garlic!

This calls for a healthy energizing vegetable soup.
Just a quick picking of parsley, thyme and sage from
my herb garden and I'll be all set!
Wonder what colour this soup will be?

Saute an onion in a splash of Olive Oil,
add in 3-4 cloves crushed and chopped garlic,
add in some chopped carrots and 2 - 3 diced potatoes.
Add fresh or dried herbs and seasoning to taste.
Pour in 4 - 5 Cups of chicken or Vegetable broth
and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Chop and add in 3 Cups of Kale and cook
for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove a few cups of the soup and blend with
hand held blender if desired - add back into soup pot.
Serve with a wee garnish of chopped green onion and Enjoy!

That soup should give me enough energy to get out of my pjs and
help the farmer chop some wood - right!!?

BTW - the soup turned out to be a lovely
slightly lavender colour - so yummy!

Till next time ...... gathering some more kale recipes .... do you have a favourite one?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings and Travel Privileges

What an amazing whirlwind week!

5 days in Lost Wages Las Vegas - O.K. - that was fun
and a totally new experience for us
country folks!!!

We rented a car for a day and drove to 
the beautiful Red Rock Canyon.

Stayed in the amazing Aria Resort and Casino
(BTW - nere a penny was gambled nor lost).

Did some shopping at a premium Outlet Mall!
(a few pennies lost here).

Enjoyed the Conference's Gala dinners and outings
(Carmines in the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace was worth every 
blister getting there and back!)

We saw so many beautiful buildings, fountains, and gardens.
Vegas was never on my "bucket list" but I am so thankful to have been a guest there!

And then ....

... suddenly we were back home and down the road,
at Paul and Charlene's,
at the "home place", and the table was prepared
for the Leis Family dinner!!!

What a pleasure to see everyone and enjoy this Thanksgiving Gathering.

The feast was on .......
Glennis' beautiful Beet Salad,
Gloria's Pear and Blue Cheese Salad,
Charlene's creamy coleslaw,
Marilyn's Apple salad,
An oriental salad - just to mention a few!
Charlene made a delicious Roast Turkey with ALL the trimmings, including twice baked potatoes!

Dessert was decadent as usual and Marilyn's famous Pumpkin Torte did not disappoint.
There was candied apple pie, flakey custard pie, pumpkin cookies, lemon cheesecake, fresh fruit platters and more!

The cutest Gobbler Oreo Cookie Turkeys .... made by Merlin and Angela were a hit!

A walk to the neighbour's "park in the field" ...

A pony ride on Snickers ...

and petting a new born puppy made the day perfect!


Till next time ........ so thankful for all our blessings and travel privileges!


  Our blue eyed sweet boy turns 5 today! A fun day celebrating with his school buddies at  "Your Way to Play" Today - we will see ...