Friday, February 28, 2014

Campfire Cake In An Orange - Pinterest Buster

Dancer saw this on Pinterest and when we had our fire going for pies we quick made these up to see if they really did work.
The thought of this project was that you make a cake mix, put it in a hollowed out orange, throw it in the coals of your campfire and in 20 minutes you have an orange full of cake.

We cut the top of the orange and hollowed out the inside.  Sounds simple, except getting the orange cleaned out with only the top cut off was easier said that done.  We did our best but there was still plenty of orange clinging to the sides.  In hind sight I think cutting off the end that has the navel would have given us better results.  Fill the orange about 2/3 full of cake mix, stick the top back on and wrap it in tinfoil, dull side out.  Wrapping it twice might be a good idea.
After 20 minutes, pull them out of the campfire and open them up to see what you got.  The first batch we did baked really well, but we put more wood on the fire before they started to bake.  The second ones were at the very end of the fire and I don't think the coals were quite hot enough for the whole 20 minutes.

When we opened them up we were greeted by fluffy cake!  We used a white cake mix and I have to say that orange that was left in the orange really added to the taste.  We did have a few bites that tasted "smokey," but other than that, these turned out good. 
Did we bust the pin?  Nope, I would have to say these were a big enough success that we will make them again.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bonfire Pies

Enough of this winter already!!  We couldn't take it anymore - even though it was below zero with the wind chill - we shoveled out the fire pit, started up a fire ( not an easy task with snowy logs) and baked some pies in the pie makers.  No need for chairs, we just pulled up a snow bank.

What do we put in our pies?  Ham, cheeses, sloppy joes, hamburger with tomato sauce, sausage, salsa con queso, tomato sauce, peanut butter, apple butter, apple and pineapple fruit filling and onion. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cowboy Beans

Spark was looking through the Better Homes and Gardens Heritage Cook Book, found this recipe and talked Dad into making them for him.

A little back ground from the books said, "No range cook would start out on the trial without a good supply of dried beans.  In fact, mealtime was often referred to as bean time.  Some cooks placed their beans over a slow fire to cook at least five hours - a full day's cooking was even better.  Others buried the bucket of beans in a hold, full of hot ashes, dug near the fire.  If the cook was busy, cowboys who passed by would make sure the ashes were always hot."

Cowboy Beans

1 pound dry pinto beans (2 cups)
7 cups cold water
2 pounds smoked ham hock
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 4-ounce can green chili peppers.  (or use a can of RO*TEL for both the paste and the peppers)
2 tablespoons sugar (taste it after putting in one tablespoon for desired sweetness)

Rinse pinto beans thoroughly. (Check through for rocks!)  Combine beans and cold water in kettle and bring to a boil.  Simmer two minutes; remove from heat.  Cover and let stand one hour.  Or the beans can be soaked over night.  Do not drain.  Add ham hocks and onions.  Cover and cook over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Remove ham hock.  Remove meat from the bones and return meat to the beans.  Add tomato paste, chopped chili peppers (or RO*TEL) and sugar.  Cover and cook till beans are tender, about 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Add additional water if needed.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Svedsker Grot

Prune pudding is what that title says.  If you like prunes this is really good, although it is on the sweet side.  We thought it would be great for a baby food or spread on toast as well as eating a bowl of it.
1/2 pound dried prunes
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
Simmer prunes in 2 cups water until very tender and they can be cut in small pieces.  Add cinnamon, sugar and boiling water to prunes and simmer another 10 minutes.  Add cornstarch mixed with a little water and cook until thick.  Add lemon juice and beaten egg whites.  Good hot or cold served with cream.

Monday, February 24, 2014

4-H Winter Party

Ice soccer

There was also a potluck, ice fishing, cross country skiing, sledding and ice skating.  Sadly, only Dad and Dancer were able to go because Spark was sick.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Apple Crescents

This yummy little morsels look like you spent a long time in the kitchen when they really are quite quick to whip together.
Start with a refrigerated pie dough (premade pie dough is the big reason these are so quick).  Lay it out on wax paper and roll it thin, about half what it was when it came out of the package.  Spread a thin layer of butter on the dough and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Cut the dough into 12 pieces (so a two pack of dough will make 2 dozen.)

Slice an apple into about 1/2 inch wedges.  Starting at the fat end of the dough slices, roll it up into a crescent roll.  Brush a film of butter on the top - we forgot that step with this one - and sprinkle again with the cinnamon and sugar.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until they are golden.  Then stand back and wait for the oohs and aahs to begin.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Opposite Ends of Childhood

You know when kids are little and they drop a toy or their pacifier (or papapire as Dancer affectionately called hers) and they cry for you to come and get it for them? 
Well, we have flip flopped from toys and papapires and have moved on to pencils.
"Will you get my pencil, I can't reach it," she calls from the living room, "I'm all set up studying."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hollywood Snow

Our latest snow storm drifted down in huge graceful flakes that reminded us of movie snow.  Those big flakes added up to well over 8 inches. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Sledding in 43 degree heatwave means we only need sweatshirts.  After our cold winter so far it seemed so liberating!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Hey, it was empty when I got here.  I don't think you could prove anything, and even if you could, I left no evidence.

Friday, February 7, 2014

This Chair is Saved

Mystery Meal

A mystery meal is a meal where you order off the menu but all the foods are in riddle form.  We did this for lunch at our co-op and the kids said, "We should do this every month!"  Instead of thinking of our own riddles to go with food, for example, the Titanic's Demise would be ice cubes, we used one of several that can be found by doing a Google search.   

There were four courses to the meal, the kids filled out their choices and then the parents filled the orders.  I think this part was probably more fun than being a diner. 

Dancer wondering about her choices for this course.  Her plate had ham, ants on a log, gravy, a glass of water and a napkin.  Actually not to bad, the worse plate we had ordered was gravy, chocolate syrup, a tooth pick, a knife and a glass of water! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014