Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Amish Custard

This year I'm making two dishes for our Easter dinner. For dessert I'm making a treat called Amish Custard (see yesterday's post for Loraine's Macaroni Salad). It's not really a custard, so I'm not sure how it got its name.  I love all things Amish, so it's no surprise that I adore this dessert. It's a delicious blend of sweetened cream cheese & chocolate on a flaky pecan crust. There's never any left over, so sometimes I make two to be sure we have some to eat at home. I hope this dish makes it on your Easter menu.

We usually go to Amish Country in Ohio twice a year  - June and October.  It's a nice, relaxing two days filled with food, shopping and a buggy and train ride for Landon.  Once we're back home, I try to live the simple life, much to Mike's amusement (that man really loves me, you guys!). It usually doesn't last long, but it does always cause me to take time to reflect on how simple life could be without the daily distractions we allow - but that's another post.

Happy Easter! Jesus lives & because He was victorious over sin & death, we too can be.

Amish Custard
1 c. flour
1 stick butter
1 c. chopped pecans
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. Cool Whip
Instant chocolate pudding

Melt butter, add flour and pecans. Spread mixture in bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. Let cool. Make pudding according to directions on box. Mix cream cheese & powdered sugar, add Cool Whip & stir until blended well. Spread cream cheese mixture onto cooled crust, followed by chocolate pudding. Top with remaining Cool Whip and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Macaroni Salad

For me, Easter marks the beginning of spring and summer dishes, especially cold salads.  I am not a huge fan of macaroni salad, but I loved my grandma's. I could never quite duplicate hers, until now...  This recipe is my idea of the perfect macaroni salad. It's amazingly creamy but doesn't contain too much mayonnaise. Be sure to drain the pimentos well - I use a paper towel in a small mesh strainer.

One of my biggest regrets is that I never had a chance or took the time to sit down with my grandma and write down her recipes/methods.  Everything that came out of her kitchen was pure magic. I can make most of her dishes from taste, but some, like her macaroni salad, have been trial and error trying to duplicate. 

Loraine's Macaroni Salad
(named after my grandma)

1 pound small ridged elbow macaroni
Salted water
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 jar diced pimentos (4 ounces), well-drained.*

Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on package for  al dente.  Drain pasta and rinse well in cold water. Pour pasta into large mixing bowl. 

Add garlic, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard to pasta and stir until well combined. Let set 15-20 minutes. Mix together mayo, vinegar and sugar.  Stir into macaroni.  Add green peppers and pimentos - stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Add salt to taste before serving. 

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Friday, April 11, 2014

five on friday

I'm linking up with Five on Friday this week. Here's a bit of what's going on in our world.

1. Landon has a sleepover with my sister and her husband  every week, usually on Wednesdays. Lately he's been getting a belly-ache at bedtime and comes home around 8:30pm. He's not in my arms more than 15 minutes before he's sound asleep. Last night right before bedtime, he caught a glimpse of our family photo, got tears in his eyes and put the photo under his pillow. A few minutes later..."I miss my mommy & daddy. I better just go home".  Such a sweet little story. It was one of those sweet, sweet moments that made me teary-eyed. It's amazing the love our babies have for us.

2. I've talked about my pajama addiction before. Landon has two new pair that will be going in his Easter basket. Here's one pair that I think is just too cute. Can't wait to see him in these.

3. I decided mommy needed some new pajamas too. This pair won out. How cute is the fabric.  I would usually never pay this much for pajamas, but I had some reward points to use up AND a credit balance, so... It is my birthday month, after all. 

4. Mike will be cutting the grass for the first time this season on Saturday, plus we're having a bit of other yard work done. I'm ready to clean the front porch and have everything fresh and pretty for spring. I'm hoping we have plenty of days of spring weather instead of going straight into summer. 

5. Did you see the super simple peach bellini recipe that Fancy Ashley posted on Everyday Cheer? I cannot wait to try this. A super-simple treat for lazy evenings on the porch.

Have a great weekend! 
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff

Do you struggle with meal planning?  I definitely do. I plan meals but end up doing something different at the last minute that doesn't require as much effort. This momma is TIRED!   That's why I was so excited when Michelle at Shadow Mountain Publishing sent me an early copy of the new book from Six Sisters' Stuff - A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff: 52 Menu Plans, Recipes and Ideas to Bring Families Together.  The book offers menu planning, a list of pantry staples, a food storage plan for beginners, and craft ideas. It also has something to keep the family communicating during meals - 52 dinner conversation starters.  I love that idea, as the art of good dinner conversation sometimes seems to be a thing of the past. 

The recipes are featured in a ’52 Menu Plan’ format that groups three dishes together for a delicious meal. You can mix and match the recipes to suit your family's taste and needs.  There's a good variety of recipes and nothing is too challenging. The Honey-Lime Chicken Enchiladas have become a fast favorite at our house, along with oatmeal scotchies, one of my favorite cookies.

Are you ready to add this book to your own collection? You can buy it here or I'm offering a lucky reader a chance win a copy of their very own. Here's how to win...

1. Like The Hillbilly Chicks on Facebook and leave a comment. 
2. Follow The Hillbilly Chicks on Instagram and leave a comment.

Contest ends Friday, April 18th. Random winner will be drawn and notified via email. Good luck! 
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


My uncle is going through a serious illness right now and I wanted to do something special for him. Over the weekend, I made him a batch of shrimp bisque and cheddar garlic biscuits, along with tiramisu for dessert.  It was nice to be able to do something for him and have a chance to visit with him and my aunt. I am not a person who does well with illnesses, so this was kind of a big step for me.

I used a different recipe than my usual because I didn't want to risk my uncle having uncooked egg yolks. I also used Kahlua instead of rum, which I think gives a much better flavor. 

Did you know that tiramisu actually means "pick me up"?  That's because it truly does just that.    

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup kahlua
Ladyfinger cookies (about 48)
unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour. 

In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth. In a small bowl, combine coffee and kahlua. Dip each ladyfinger in coffee/kahlua mixture about 3 seconds. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hippity, Hoppity, Easter's on its way...

I've been thinking about what we'll be putting in Landon's Easter Basket this year. I try to keep it pretty simple because he also gets gifts from the rest of the family. Aunt Nae Nae & Uncle Greg are getting him a fishing pole, which I know he will love, and my mom always gets him a few outside toys.

I'm definitely making the little Goldfish carrots. Aren't they the cutest?! I'll also add some bubbles, character band-aids (a must for little boys!), sidewalk chalk, a DVD, a few books  and a small chocolate bunny. We don't eat a lot of sweets, so I don't include much candy. I am going to try making some monogrammed Easter cookies {more on that later}.

I also like to include an outfit or two as part of his Easter basket. We're going to the beach soon, so some of the items in his basket will be for our trip - swim trunks, sandals, a robe, a new Doctor Who shirt. 

What are you filling baskets with this year? 

Special Note - I'm so glad to be back to blogging. It's been a crazy few months with the announcement that my husband's store is closing. We're still waiting to see where he'll be transferring to. I'm anxious,  but know that God has a perfect plan.  
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

embracing 2014

Happy 2014! It hardly seems possible that 2013 has come and gone, yet here we are in a brand new year. I hope and pray that 2014 has wonderful things in store for us all. 

I don't really make resolutions, but I have started choosing a word of the year. Last year's word was SHINE, which worked out pretty well. After much prayer and soul-searching,  this year's word is EMBRACE. I chose embrace because it really encompasses everything I want to do and be this year.  In every situation, the good and the bad, I want to EMBRACE it and be joyful.  Embrace and give God the glory in all things. Sometimes, in today's world, it's easy to get caught up in comparisons, desiring more, dreaming of more... Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with wanting more, but there's something to be said for being content with ~ and embracing ~ what you already have and saying  it's enough. 

I'm not sure exactly what this year will be like. I do have some plans and hopes but I'm going to embrace whatever God sends our way and trust Him completely for all our desires and needs. 

Cheers to 2014! 

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