Because We All Need a Good Laugh…

I am sure many of  you are getting ready for the holidays. Along with that usually comes a great deal of stress, I know it does for me.

Well we felt it was important for everyone to take a few moments, sit down, put your feet up and have a good laugh!!!

Some of these you may have seen before but boy they sure are worth seeing again.

I know this absolutely put me in a better frame of mind to face the day and we are betting it will for you also.

Make it a great day!!!

Tracey

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

If y’all like Fresh Mozzarella Cheese like we do, you are going to LOVE this recipe!!!

Have you purchased Fresh Mozzarella Cheese in the grocery store lately? The price is out of this world. This recipe will cost you approximately $3.00 for a big ol’ ball of cheese, depending on the price of your milk.

Fresh Mozzarella is actually very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available. Cheese is a staple in our homes (somewhere along the same lines as water LOL).

I saw an episode of The Pioneer Woman on TV one day and they were making this, it looked so EASY (and fun).  I ran out a couple days later and purchased everything I needed. The one thing that was not available at our grocery store was Vegetable Rennet, I easily found it by doing a search for a Brewery supply store and found the one closest to us (there were several in the area).  Let me tell y’all, this was the coolest store!!! Okay, more about that later LOL.

I followed the recipe and before I knew it, I had Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, and it was delicious!!!

Since that first time, I have tweaked the recipe and feel that the recipe below is the best thus far.

Never again will we be intimidated by Cheese LOL.  Go on, give it a try

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!!

Tracey and Aileen

fresh mozzarella

Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients

1 Gallon Whole Milk (Raw milk works best but pasteurized works also. We used pasteurized)

1/4 teaspoon Vegetable Rennet or 1/2 tablet added to 1 Cup Water

2 teaspoons Citric Acid (if this is not at your grocery store, they will have it at the Brewery supply)

1/4 cup Water

1/8 cup Salt

Directions

1. Add Citric Acid and Water to a large pot (We used a soup pot). Swish around to dissolve.

2. Add Milk to Citric Acid mixture

3. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, to a temperature of 90 degrees on an instant read thermometer. (Don’t worry if milk begins to curdle, it’s suppose to)

4. Remove from heat and add Rennet and Water mixture.

5. Stir with an up and down, motion for about a minute.

6. Place a lid on the pot and go find something to do for 10 minutes

7. After 10 minutes take a knife and cut down through the curd to form a checker board pattern. Make sure you cut all the way to the bottom of the pan. (Don’t worry if you do not have really firm curd at this point. I freaked out because mine was no where near firm LOL. It will all work out in the end)

8. Return the mixture to Medium heat and warm until it reaches 110 degrees.

9. Using a slotted spoon move the curd to a colander. What you will have left in the pot is the “whey”. This is great to save and use when making bread as it is full of nutrients.

10. Squeeze as much of the whey out of the curd as possible and place into a microwave safe bowl.  At this point you may find that your cheese has the texture of a Ricotta cheese if you used pasteurized milk. Don’t worry, that will change quickly.

11. Add Salt working it through the curd (Just a note about the salt. Do not use course salt as it will make your cheese grainy.)

12. Place in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove, squeeze and stretch the cheese working as much water out of it as possible. Pour off the water in the bottom of the bowl.

13. Place in the microwave for 35 seconds. Remove, squeeze and stretch as before.

14. Repeat one more time for 35 seconds and squeeze and stretch.

15. Form cheese into a ball and place into an ice bath to cool for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

At this point, you now have Fresh Mozzarella Cheese!!!

We prefer ours with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil on top. Of course when I went to make this batch I didn’t have any fresh basil LOL, so I used dry and it worked out just fine.

This will last for several days in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. In our house, however, it doesn’t last for longer than about 5 minutes LOL. Everyone loves this.

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Nana’s Snickerdoodles

My daughter Brianna absolutely LOVES Snickerdoodles!!

This year I added this awesome cookie to my list of Christmas cookies.

This recipe comes from my Mama, or Nana as my children call her. She is the absolute best cook I have ever met. So when she told me she had this recipe for Snickerdoodles I KNEW they would be fantastic ………….and boy was I right!!!!!

I wanted to share Nana’s recipe with y’all  so that you too could add it to your Christmas Cookie list.

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!

Tracey

 

snickerdoodles

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter You can use 1 stick butter and 1 margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 deg. ( if your oven runs hot 375)

Mix butters, sugar and eggs thoroughly.

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt and stir into above mixture.

Chill dough 1 hour or more.

Form dough into balls about the size of a walnut.

Roll in mixture of sugar & cinnamon.

Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes

Enjoy!!!

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

This Pine Cone Cheese Ball would make a beautiful hostess gift or a cute and delicious little something to give to neighbors for the Holiday season.

This recipe is originally from Southern Living  NOVEMBER 1998.

We have seen this done with both the pecans as pictured and also with almonds.

Enjoy!!!

Make it a great day, you deserve it!!

 

Tracey and Aileen

 

pinecone cheese ball

 

  • 1 (8-ounce) container garden vegetable cream cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) container roasted garlic cream cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups pecan halves, toasted
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs

Preparation

  1. Stir together first 4 ingredients. Shape into an oval; chill 2 hours.
  2. Arrange pecan halves over cheese oval in overlapping rows beginning at bottom and working upward. Arrange rosemary sprigs at top of pine cone. Serve with crackers.

 

 

Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Make-Ahead French Toast

We are always on the look out for awesome recipes to share with our friends.

We found this Make-Ahead French Toast recipe on Grandparents.com and boy is it delicious!! This is just perfect to make for Christmas morning as most everything is done the night before so you don’t have to give up too much of your “family” time slaving away in the kitchen. It also works well for a nice Sunday morning breakfast.

 

We hope you enjoy this yummy French Toast and will share your thoughts with us.

 

Make it a great day, you deserve it!

 

Tracey and Aileen

 

Active Time: 7 min
Total Time: 1 hr 7 min, plus overnight soaking

Ingredients:
1 (12 1/2 oz) loaf of favorite bread (such as challah), cut into 1-inch-thick slices
3 cups whole milk
7 large eggs
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup, plus more for serving
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Directions:
1. Generously butter a 13 x 9–inch casserole. Arrange bread slices in dish, staggering in rows.

2. In large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread and press down, making sure slices absorb liquid. Cover with foil.

3. Refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove foil and bake casserole 55 minutes to 1 hour, until puffy and golden. Serve with more maple syrup, if desired.

Serves 6

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 450 calories, 62g carbs, 17g protein, 17g fat, 325mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 1g fiber

 

 
Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms