Friday, May 27, 2011

My Memorial Day Menu

 Here's what I'll be serving up this Memorial Day ... complete with pics and a tutorial on how I dig my dogs.  :)  What will you be serving?  or eating?  :)

 My Mom told me about these chips a few weeks ago.  (Just after she'd gotten back to CO from visiting me...and we'd had NC BBQ in the Outerbanks...)   And ever since she recommended them I pretty much can't get enough.  It's kind of funny too.  I don't really normally like chips that well, especially flavored ones.  But Lays does a great job with these and they are just delish!  Try them for yourselves!  I know they have them in NC and CO at least!  :)
 Green beans with turkey bacon.  Just cook up a strip or two of bacon and then stir fry some green beans.  Then break up the bacon and stir in!  Add salt, pepper and serve!  Yummy!  :)  I like to leave the bean still nice and crunchy too.  
 I'm a picky eat all around...but I'm really picky when it comes to hotdogs.  So these are the ones I like.  (Although, I also like Hebrew National--who wouldn't though?)  Anyway, I not only like these hotdogs, but prefer them to be prepared like so....  (I learned this method from none other than my Mama by the way. :)
 Slit the dogs down the middle and open them like so...  Then place on your bbq grill or foreman (etc...) and cook them until you're satisfied.  I like mine pretty done ...  :)
 Oh, before you cook up the dogs you can smear some butter and toast up the buns if you'd like.  :)  And get out the condiments.
 See, the hotdogs are just about ready!  :)  Yum!
 Then just dress it up however you like....  for me I usually go with mustard and relish, with a little bit of ketchup.  (But I truly prefer Chicago dogs with just about everything on them...)
 And eat it all up.  See how there is meat in every bite?  And it's all equally distributed?  Yep.  That's the way I like my hotdogs...  :)
Don't forget some fresh squeezed lemonade!  :)

 And to top it all off you can always finish you bbq off with some apples or Apple Chips!
Or a dessert...maybe like these bars... :)

Thank you to all of you brave men and women who have served our country, and those who have died protecting our country throughout the years as well as their families!  Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How to make your own Dehydrated Onions!

It's not rocket science...but it's fun...and informative...and I just did some of these last weekend and thought you'd want to know, and see.  :)
 Start by slicing up some onions.  Try not to cry...although they always make me tear up.  Just like chick flicks! :)
 Arrange the slices in your dehydrator however you'd like.  If you are doing several onions you'll probably want to keep those slices from the first pic together.  If you're just doing one onion like I did this time, you can separate them out so they'll dry more quickly.  Whatever floats your boat!  :)

Turn on your dehydrator (away from any drafts and anything flammable of course!) and let it do its magic!  Then check on these little guys every 6 hours or so.  Mine only took 12 hours to completely dehydrate, but then I let them cool down overnight before storing them.
 Once they are dehydrated you can either keep them as slices or chop them up like below.  I wanted the versatility of having diced onions on hand (because they are SO handy!) so I chopped mine all up.   Then just store them in an airtight container at room temp until ready to use.  You could also freeze them...but since they are dehydrated that'd be kind of overkill don't you think?  :)
Happy preserving and dehydrating!  :)

Apple Chips

I love dehydrating things...especially apples!  The only problem is that whenever I do...they just disappear.  Literrally.  I have no idea what happens to them!  ;)  They're too delicious really though...  So here's a simple way to make your own apple chips!   Enjoy!  

All you'll need is:  a dehydrator, apples (Braeburn, Gala, Pink Lady, Fuji especially work well), lemon juice, water and knife/Mandolin slicer.
 So (carefully) slice some apples up either with your knife or slicer.  You can core them first or not.  I didn't this time...but sometimes I do.  :)  Then once they are sliced place them in a lemon juice/water solution.  (Solution= 1 part lemon juice + 3 parts water)  This prevents them from browning!  :)
 After all the slices have been in the lemon water solution for at least 5 minutes you can start arranging them in the dehdryator.  (Pay no attnetion to the stems and seeds I forgot to get rid of before snapping a pic...:)
 Then keep arranging until all the slices are gone OR you are out of space.  :)  Then turn on your dehydrator and let it work its magic....
 In about 6 hours you'll notice the bottom shelf may be getting curled up like this.  So it's time to rotate the shelves for equal drying!  :)  The continue drying for a few more hours.  
Total of 18-24+ hours.  (18 if you want them to be leathery and 24+ if you want them crispy.)  It also depends on the thickness of the slices of course.  Thinner slices will take less time than thick ones.  That's also why I like the mandolin--it's quick, easy and makes them all the same thickness!  :)
This next step is very important!  Enjoy!  :)  Yep, enjoy the fruits of your labor!  :)  Feel free to test along the way too!   Not that I have ever done that...  ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick and Easy Pesto

Here's a quick, and delicious dinner idea for this week!  Fresh Basil and Garlic Pesto!  :)

Easy Pesto:  (Makes about 6 servings)
Roughly 1 c. of Basil Leaves, rinsed and patted dry
4 cloves Garlic (more or less, depending if you like it)
1/4-1/2 c. Olive Oil
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese
Pine Nuts or Soy Nuts, for garnish

In a food processor or blender combine the basil, garlic, cheese and 1/4 c. Olive Oil.  Process until it is well combined, and you may have to scrap the sides every once in a while.  Add more oil until it is to your desired consistency.

Serve by mixing into your pasta of choice, and topping with the nuts.  (Goes really well with whole wheat angel hair pasta--as shown in the picture.)

You could also prepare this ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Monday, May 23, 2011

No Bake Take Five Bars

Have you ever heard the song "Take Five"?  It's a classic and quite fantastic.  So while you make these great bars you should take 5 and listen to Take Five!  :)  Also, have you ever had Hershey's Take5 candy bars?  This somewhat mimics that taste with the exception of the caramel.  It's still chocolaty, peanut buttery, pretzely goodness!  :) What you'll need for a 9x13 pan batch (which you can easily half or double)

No Bake Take Five Bars:
1 stick of Butter (unsalted)1/2 c. Milk
2 c. Sugar
4 T. Cocoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 c. Peanut Butter

Thin Pretzel Sticks

1.  Start out by lining your pan.  I'd recommend using waxed paper, because the foil tore later on and was a pain.  Then smear a little bit of butter on the liner.  (Optionally you can have a bottom layer of pretzels by just layering them directly onto the butter in this stage!)
 2.  In a medium saucepan bring the butter, milk, sugar and cocoa to a boil.  Then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let sit for 2 minutes.
 3.  Then pour about 1/2 of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Set pretzels into the chocolate like so.  (Or however you want to put them...:)  Place in fridge for 5 minutes.
 4.  Carefully melt the peanut butter in a bowl in the microwave.  Then pour it over the pretzels. (Like shown)
 5.  Put another layer of pretzels on top of the peanut butter layer, and let set in the fridge for 5 or so minutes.
 6.  Give the chocolate in the pan a stir and then pour it over the top of the pretzel layer.  Refrigerate or freeze overnight before cutting up and serving.  (You'll thank makes them WAY easier to cut if they stick together! :)
 7.  Bout ready to cut up and serve! 
 Ready to eat!
 Om Nom Nom...and it was good!  See the chocolate, pretzel, peanut butter, pretzel and chocolate layers?  Yum!  These were delicious! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

MIA, and a Photography Assignment!

The White House of the United States
Well, as you probably have noticed...I've been a little MIA lately.  There are a few reasons, like having a full-time job, enjoying time with my Mom who came to visit and also a little trip that my hubby and I took up to Washington DC!  And it was my first time to see DC so it was just spectacular and exciting!

Anyway, I've been busy posting pics from our trip on my personal blog, and I decided that I'd post a couple here and then also hold a Photography Assignment.  If you keep up with The Pioneer Woman, you are familiar with the Photo Assignments she holds quite regularly.  I thought it would be a fun thing to do once in a while around here, so I've set up a group on Flickr called:  A Delicious Melody Photography where you can join and then add photos for the various assignments.  :)

The United States Capitol Building.
This first assignment is all about the history of our Nation.  (Since I just got back from seeing some of the most amazing historical places of our Country!)  So, I would like you to share one or two (or few) of your very favorite photos of any Historical Place in our Nation that you have taken.  (Monuments, Memorials, Houses, Battlefields, Forts, etc...)  These can be straight off your camera, or altered however you'd like with photo editing software.    Then in a week or so, I will feature some on  :)  I'm excited to see what you have in store for us!!!  (As you can see I've been having fun experimenting with photo editing effects you can see some unaltered photos as well as some that I've added a vignette and 60's effect.)  :)
The Historic Power Plant (1900-2000) in Baltimore, that is now home to a Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock Cafe.

The Washington Monument.

The Marine Monument--a Statue of Iwo Jima.
General George Washington's House at his Estate Mount Vernon.

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
So, now you can dig through all your photos (new and old) to find your favorites of 
historical places in this wonderful Nation in which we live!!  Then upload them to the A Delicious Melody Photo group on Flickr for us all to see!  :)
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