Get In My Belly!

Hello Everyone,

Well the weekend came and went and after I left my parents on Sunday after stuffing my face with mom’s vegetable soup and baking powder drop biscuits I realized I keep meaning to share some recipes of food I have made and been asked to make many times over.  With that being said I feel confident you too will be asked to make these many times over.  I will also say a few of these are adapted from family members (which I have noted) and I don’t think they will mind you using at your next gathering!  One last thing my mom and I as you know love to bake and you may find it shocking but many of our recipes outside of baking consist of using the shake method.  I have noted quantities but please know we typically just use one shake, two shakes, etc.  So let’s get cooking and baking!!

So let’s talk about a bread that will knock your socks off!  Banana Bread!  Yes, I eat this at all times of the day even for dessert!  That’s when I add a little extra butter!!  I believe the story goes that my mom pre my dad dated a man, I know I was shocked by this as well but that man’s grandmother gave my mom this recipe.  My parents have been married for over forty years so if the man’s grandmother would like credit within my blog I would be happy to do so.  Just send me a note!  My family has been enjoying this recipe for many years and now my family enjoys it as often as banana’s turn brown.  As my opinion is NEVER throw brown bananas away always bake with them!  Then take the peels and cut them up and bury them a few inches deep in your vegetable garden to rid it of aphids!  These little pest HATE banana peels!  So here is the recipe for the Banana Bread!IMG_0988

Let’s move to my Tomato Basil Bruschetta!  This is something I can’t even remember where I learned about but I have been making for years.  It is always a hit actually I made for our “Friendsgiving” party this year and mentioned I was going to make for our New Year’s Eve party.  Well I brought out my other appetizers and my one friend waited about half an hour and said “I thought you were making your bruschetta?”  Then Joe chimed in “Ya where is the bruschetta!”  I honestly was just not really interested in whipping it up as we had just ate a big dinner a few hours earlier.  But I ran upstairs and whipped it up as I don’t like to let my guests down!  So if you decide to make these just plan to be asked to make them again.

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Next is what Joe likes to say “The best pretzels you will ever have!”  He actually thinks these should be made and sold at baseball games in place of popcorn or peanuts!  Actually, I would totally agree with this statement!  They are super addicting and the recipe I will share makes two bags full so there is plenty to share weather to snack on at work or have as a bar snack when friends are over!  The cheese dip I can’t vouch for as I never make it as these little gems need no stinkin’ dip!  Lastly, I do think the pretzel is what makes these what they are so I recommend trying to find the Tom Sturgis brand!

Last on my list of appetizers is one that my brother-in-law shared a few years ago at Thanksgiving!  It’s a brie with jalapeno jelly, pecans and crackers!  This is another one that is perfect for any occasion and available year round.  I will say I usually share this one in the fall/winter months but again can be used any time of year.  This is more of a lay out and guests put together to enjoy then really any work on your part!  I can already tell your loving this one!  The most important part to this appetizer with that being said is choose a great platter to display it on!  As a side note I used to always use Braswell’s Jelly but they stopped carrying it at my local grocery store so I switched to Reese Mild and I think it taste just as great!  I found Reese’s right by the apricot jelly, etc.  Braswell’s I found at a small end cart in the produce section.

Now let’s talk about my grandmother’s Baking Powder Drop Biscuits!  These are so simple and go perfect with just about anything but with soup I loved!  Adding a little butter or a squeeze of honey is always welcome!

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On to the soup!  Mom made vegetable soup on Sunday and yes this is my blog and yes sharing what I do is all great but you know what sometimes someone else does something great and it’s worth sharing!  My mom is a vegetarian but my dad is not.  I will also say dad is the main cook in my parents house!  Yes I know you didn’t expect that.  Don’t discount my mom here.  My mom is a great cook but when we were younger mom always worked later than dad so I think this is a big part of why dad has always done.  As we joke the dinner bell rings promptly at 5:30 at their house each night.  If you are not there you don’t eat.  This is no joke I remember as I kid sliding in on my bike just in time to eat.  Once dad cleared and washed the dishes you were well you know how the saying goes S#*! out of luck!  Ok so back to the soup it is vegetarian but hearty.  Joe ate a bowl mom sent home and thought it was fantastic and I will say he is typically the one to not even give something a try if there is no meat involved!  I know silly man!  So here you have the Vegetable Soup Recipe!

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One main course item I feel necessary to share with you is one that will fill your home with the great aroma of sesame seed oil.  Which in our home means Joe’s favorite dinner is being served!  Pork Tenderloin with a few seasonings!  The smell alone of this is inviting and I will also say for Christmas we did the same recipe with our beef tenderloin and was just as good but I think the pork showcases the flavors a bit better.  The amount of each seasoning will depend on the size of the tenderloin.  Just make sure it is covered on both sides with the oil.  The black pepper is the other stand out ingredient here so don’t be shy.  The garlic powder is an accent so just sprinkle; not so much of a shake for this one!

Ok now it’s time to talk about our sweet tooth…Now you all know I am a baker or maybe I should rephrase that I have a love for baking.  Yes I went to culinary school but as in the title of chef I think ALOT of work goes into earning this title and can sometimes be used by people who may not have done the work to earn it.  So let’s just say I’m passionate about baking.  I share this passion with my mom as well.  It is one thing we LOVE to do together.  We have had many crazy experiences in the kitchen always ending in one thing a great dessert!

I think sharing a no bake cheesecake is a good start for us!  Not that I’m doubting any of you and your skills because I’m not but this cheesecake is so good and with a few holidays just around the corner that brunch is an appropriate meal to celebrate them I think this will go over well with your guests!  Plus there’s a bit of champagne in it and no we don’t bake it out so CHEERS!  It is our Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake.  One thing I will mention about cheesecakes baked or not.  When we had our micro bakery and did the cheesecakes for a local restaurant we had many trials and errors with pans.  I will say my ALL TIME favorite springform pan to use is one with an extra lip on base.  They are a real pain to find.  I ended up getting mine from an individual bakery supply contact I found.  Back to the cheesecake the key to this cheesecake is set up time.  Make sure you allow this cake at least 24 hours to set up.  If for some reason you go to use it and you can’t slide it off on to your platter have a back up plan.  Mine is to have wine glasses or small bowls ready and a ice cream scoop!  The taste will still show through and you will still be a rock star!  You can totally play it off as this was what you planned on.  I will say this has only happened to me one time but it has happened so don’t freak just rock it!  P.S. Don’t mind the ingredients on the paper this is how most of my recipes look; that just means they get a lot of love!2016-01-19 10.45.15 WOW!  Now that was fun!  I have many recipes to share and will try to be better about doing so and also more specific and maybe less shaking!  If you have any problems with opening the recipes let me know.  I just took pics so you could open and print and simply add to your box of recipes!  I hope you and your family and friends enjoy these as much as me and my family and friends have!  Cheers!

Lisenby’s Happenings

Ok so I have been MIA!  This summer has been bananas as I’m sure yours has been too!  The great part of summer is there is always something to do…Fairs, sporting events, parties, simply enjoying the sunshine with those that mean the most to us!  Well I am back!  Friday was Joe’s thirty-fifth birthday so of course I had to have a theme!  Beer tasting was what seemed perfect.  So off and running I went…chalkboard tablecloth, aged vinegar bottles with cotton tails and grass inside.  Mason jars for pretty much anything I could find its use appropriate so that meant water glasses, soup, jar tops I covered in chalkboard paint and used for place cards.  For food we did cheese displays, Brie on toasted baguette, large soft pretzels with two cheese dipping sauces,  potato and beer cheese soup, seven different brats, and I made individual beer mugs filled with chocolate cake and bailey’s ganache!  Oh yeah and the beer we planned to taste four but I ended up doing five!  The night was a success, everyone left happy and full just what I hoped for.  Most important Joe had a great birthday!

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Morning of Joe’s birthday the kids gave him the gift they made and then it was off to the beach!

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Other than getting myself all stressed over a party that in my opinion was a success.  As they say if guests come happy and leave happy you have accomplished this which they did!  The kids and I have just been up to other summer shenanigans!   Which have included our summer hunt for amazing treasures at local rummage sales, we added a few peeps to our crew including my two nephews who of course when it was time to do a quick snap had to show their love for mom and dad via diet coke!  My mom showed her love for no one other than yours truly! Lol!  Backyard swimming has been great when weather has permitted.  This Midwest weather has been bananas!  Resulting as three of the four having colds! Ugh! We had to do another visit to our friends at The Bear Den Zoo.  This time bringing Papa who is recently retired and cousin Phoenix!  The kids completed their rookie sports season which after Aunt Connie left Papa joined us, which was fantastic…Papa still thinks they are just too little to understand as he of course expected them to be soccer, football and t-ball players after this program was done but they were more like pro climbers at a new playground with a new group of kids! We babysat my Aunt and Uncle’s little girl who is going to be two which shockingly super easy.  Joe on the other hand decided he is very happy with just two kids as keeping your eyes on three takes some skill!  We set up the camping tent but due to rain in the forecast we were only able to watch a movie but none the less S and K loved it!

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Well we are off to get some eggs from a friends chicken farm!  I am working on creating a unique high heel dessert for a friends baby shower next month.  I am also planning our Halloween party too!  But with the madness of summer wrapping up I will be checking back very soon!  Until then have a wonderful Wednesday!

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Everyone!

Well we made it!  The 4th of July party was a great success!  We completed all our home projects in time and I was a complete wreck day of!  I only left grocery shopping to the day of which in years past is done days before but then we are crazy trying to get the house and yard ready even with three to five extra sets of hands I get myself all stressed.  This year I wasn’t going to let that happen!  Here are some pictures of the day!  Kids enjoyed pony rides, jumpy house, face painting, a donut eating contest, s’mores, and fireworks!  While all guests indulged in rotisserie chicken, flank steak and lamb gyros!  As well as a dessert spread that included a cotton candy machine, rock candy, cake ball push pops with red and blue white chocolate, red velvet cupcakes with red,white and blue cream cheese frosting, and of course fireball jello-o shots for the adults!  We can’t wait for next years party but until then I’m working on details of Joe’s thirty-fifth birthday in August which will be a beer tasting!

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I did want to include the excitement leading up to the party as we had the two thousand pound bridge that had to be set over the waterfall before the party.  Cousin Slade helped during the moving of the bridge as I was in with my mom and sister-in-law baking!he kids enjoyed a ride in a crane before the driver left!  I’m pretty sure S and K think these types of machines are completely normal to have at your home regularly!

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I mentioned we were up visiting my in-laws a few days before the fourth.  On our last day we were able to visit a wildlife park and the big fish both I remember visiting as a kid and having so much fun.  S and K enjoyed it so much. S being my girl of nature was in love with having the opportunity to talk and hang out with adult and baby deers.  K is all boy so the fish were right up his alley.  They even got to throw the line in a few times with grandma!  What memories both these locations provided!

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Well I’m exhausted just sharing the past weeks activity with you!  We sure will miss our guest/s Connie, Mike and Slade:( Thanksgiving visit will hopefully be here before we know it!  Connie thanks for everything this past month and creating some memories with us!

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I’m looking forward to getting back to some rehab projects that were pushed aside over the past few weeks as well as some fun crafts with the kids!  Have a wonderful weekend!