Wednesday, September 16, 2009



There are Maid Rite shops in Iowa (where Nevin is from) and he says these taste like them. The shops serve the meat on sliced bread – I use buns. These are the “loose meat” sandwiches Roseanne and her sister Jackie sold (remember the Roseanne show??)

1 ½ lb ground beef
½ med onion, diced fine
1 can chicken broth ( I cannot remember the size – I use the Swansons, I think it is about 15 oz)
Brown meat in large skillet. Add in chopped onions and broth. Cook until broth is absorbed. Serve on buns (like a sloppy joe) with pickles, ketchup, mustard.

I think they taste a little like White Castles

You can also use chicken boullion cubes made into broth, but the canned stuff tastes better - probably the liberal additions of salt and artificial chicken flavoring! Artificial chickens must be tasty!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Apple Orchard Bars

These are very good, and very easy - I got the recipe from a Hannah Swenson mystery by JoAnn Fluke - I don't know which one, one of the earlier ones. The first in the series is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder - good, fun, light mysteries with lots of recipes!

Anita and Erin really liked these, and Nevin and Ben gave them a thumbs up, too!

Apple Orchard Bars

Preheat oven to 375

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
2 beaten eggs
1 cup peeled and chopped apples (I used two med. Granny Smith, and it was closer and 1 1/2-3/4 cup)
1/2 cup rolled oats (oatmeal, but not instant!)
2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Melt butter, add the sugars and stir. Add baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon and beaten eggs. Mix well. Add chopped apple, oats and 1 1/2 cup coconut (reserve 1/2 cup for topping). Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

Grease a 9x13 cake pan. Spoon the dough in and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup coconut evenly on top.

Bake 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly browned on top.

Let cool and cut into bars like brownies.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Reading Logs for July and August

I did not realize that I had not posted anything for July!


55. Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea – Nancy Atherton – 3 – Lori, Bill and their children receive death threats and Lori and the boys are hidden away in a Scottish castle. Where there is a mystery to solve. I didn’t like the end, I would have liked there to be some actual clues leading up to who the stalker was. But it was okay. Once again, she did not throw herself at the handsome man, perhaps Lori is growing up.

56. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – Laurie R. King – 5 – imagine a 15 year old girl at the beginning of WWI, who meets up with the real Sherlock Holmes. This is the first book in a series about the partnership between Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Excellent, excellent book. Mary reminds me of an older Flavia de Luce (Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie, from last month).

57. The Monstrous Regiment of Women – Laurie R. King – 4.75 – 2nd in the series, not quite as good as the first, but just barely.

58. A Letter of Mary – 4.5 – Laurie R. King – not quite as good as the first two. Holmes and Russell solve the murder of an archeologist friend.

59. Shanghai Girls – 3.5 – Lisa See – nowhere near as good as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Spoiler – the end is a cliffhanger, so there is a sequel. I hate that when I’m not expecting it! A quick read, and interesting, but I never could connect with the characters.

60. Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours – 5 – Kevin Leman – a re-read, but it’s been a few years, and I desperately needed it. He uses reality discipline, as in, let the natural consequences be the discipline. When I remember it (as opposed to yelling) it works really well. I like this book because it TELLS you what to do with the screaming 3 year old in Wal-Mart, it is not just theory.

61. The Moor – 4.25 – Laurie R. King – the 4th Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adventure. A very good book, not as good as the first two.

62. Prairie Tale – 2 – Melissa Gilbert – I upped it from a 1 to a 2 because at least it was fast-paced. The first part of her childhood and early years on Little House was interesting, but the rest was sludge. Basically, after she had sex once, then she had sex with lots of different men, some more famous than others – all very matter-of-fact (with no remorse shown, ever) and she names names, talks about her drug use (again, no remorse) and her alcoholism (only remorse – that it made her a bad mother). Lots of self-righteousness, lots of “therapy talk”. It definitely was not what I was expecting. It was like a really long story from Star or The Enquirer. The writing was not quite up to People. Definitely needed a good editor. I read it because I am a fan of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder – except, now, this book. Melissa is not fit to wear Laura’s hoopskirts, even in a Lifetime made-for-tv movie.

63. Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder Volume 1 “On Wisdom and Virtue” – 4.5 - edited by Stephen W. Hines. Collected writings from some of Laura’s newspaper columns. I am always inspired by her simple good sense.

64. O Jerusalem – 4.25 – Laurie R. King – Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. This one takes place chronogically during the first book, and puts some pieces in place for books 2-4.