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Monday, November 12, 2018

How to Dehydrate Mango

 
     My boys love mangoes but since we live in rural SE Oklahoma outside of a tiny community, mangoes are not so easily found.  If we can't find fresh mangoes, my boys beg me to buy the dried variety.  The only problem with the dried variety you can buy is that they are expensive and they contain sulfites and other preservatives.  Um, no thank you.


       Dried mangoes are not only easy to make but they turn out super sweet and make a healthy snack!  Once you dry mangoes, you'll never buy them again because the taste truly does not compare!

     To dehydrate mango, begin by thoroughly washing the skin.  Once they have been thoroughly rinsed with cool water, cut off each end of the mango.





  
    Sit the mango up and using a sharp knife begin cutting off the peel of the mango.  


   After all of the peel has been removed, cut up the mango into "sections" as shown in the below photo and place the pieces onto your dehydrator trays.




   
     Set your dehydrator to 135 degrees and dehdyrate the slices for 12-14 hours. 



Store the dried pieces in a canning jar until ready to eat.  Dried mangoes can be eaten as they are or they can be tossed into a salad, a smoothie or used in baked goods. 

     If you enjoyed this post over drying mangoes, I encourage you to check out some other how-to posts on drying fruit:  Pineapples, Cantaloupe, and Strawberries!



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Monday, November 5, 2018

No Bake Strawberry Kool-Aid Pie

    This pie is cool, creamy and delicious and would be perfect for any occasion!  Not only is it delicious but it is super easy to make and requires only 4 ingredients!  This pie will surely be a hit at your next party or get together.  You have to love a recipe that requires no baking and no cooking.  Everyone will think you spent hours creating this gorgeous dessert but don't worry...your secret is safe with me.  

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    Since this recipe calls for a packet of Kool-Aid, you can decide to make the pie any flavor you want but my whole family loves strawberry and it makes such a pretty pink pie that we chose to use it for this pie.  Other favorites of ours to use are mixed berry (turns out baby blue) and lemon. 
  
     Another really fun thing about this pie is it can be served two different ways.  You can refrigerate and chill it for one way or you can freeze it and serve it as a frozen pie.  Both ways are super delicious and we love it both ways. 

No Bake Strawberry Kool-Aid Pie

graham cracker crust
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. tub whipped topping
1 pkg. strawberry Kool-Aid envelope

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   In a large bowl, stir together the Kool-Aid and the sweetened condensed milk.  

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,
Pouring the sweetened condensed milk into a bowl.

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,
The kool-aid poweder poured into the sweetened condensed milk.

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,
The sweetened condensed milk and the kool-aid mixed together.   Doesn't it look so pretty?!



    Now fold in the whipped topping.

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easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,
Pouring the whipped topping into the mixture.
 
   Stir well.  Set out the pie crust.

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,





   Spoon in the mixture into the crust.

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,






   Cut and serve.  It is perfect on its own or top with some whipped topping.

easy 4 ingredients, Kool-aid Pie, super easy pie for all occasions, no bake pie,

   If you like this pie, I encourage you to try out some of my other pie recipes such as:  my Pumpkin Supreme Pie or my Chocolate Mousse Pie.  Both are so good!


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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Zucchini, Squash & Corn Casserole


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 This is a simple but super delicious casserole.  It is perfect for summer picnics or is a favorite side for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  No matter when you serve it, it will be a big hit around your table.

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Zucchini, Squash & Corn Casserole

 1 lb. zucchini, sliced
1 lb. yellow squash, sliced
1 can of corn, drained
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 c. sour cream 
1/4 c. butter
2 lg. eggs, beaten 
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet, add the butter and then saute the zucchini, squash and onion until soft.  

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    Lightly spray a 9"x13" cake pan.  Using a large bowl, stir together the cooked vegetables, the corn, spices, cheese, eggs, and sour cream.  

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Spread the mixture out into the cake pan.

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 Now, sprinkle on the Panko bread crumbs.

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zucchini and yellow squash casserole, cheesy squash and zucchini casserole, Southern zucchini casserole,



    Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.  

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     Dip up, serve, and enjoy!  Pairs perfectly with anything or even on its own.  

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     This casserole pairs beautifully with all kinds of meats but some of our favorites to serve it with include:  Glazed Pork ChopsSalisbury Steak, or my Soy & Garlic Chicken!

 
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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Dehydrating or Drying Cilantro

     Cilantro is an herb that pairs well with Mexican dishes mainly but can also be used in Middle Eastern or Indonesian dishes.  But if you are anything like me you can't use up a bunch of cilantro before it goes bad.  I use it in cooking but not that often.  I hate wasting it and I hate having to run to the store when I need it so I dry the cilantro and store it so I have some on hand whenever the need arises.


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    The first thing you need to do is thoroughly wash the cilantro.  I use some vinegar and water and soak the cilantro for a few minutes and then rinse it under cool running water to make sure all the dirt and residue is off the cilantro.  

    Once they are rinsed be sure to gently shake the bunch so most of the water is removed. Now lay the cilantro onto your dehydrator trays.  I leave the stems ON but you can remove them if you prefer.  I keep them on because most of the flavor comes from the stems. 

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   Set your dehydrator to 110 degrees and let it run for 3-5 hours.  They dry fairly quick but don't worry you can't exactly "overdry" them.  They are considered "done" when the leaves are completely dry and kind of "crunch" when you pinch them. 

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    Store the dried cilantro in an airtight container like a small canning jar.  Store in a cool, dry place until ready to use.  They should be used within a year.  The flavor and aroma is intense so don't listen to the naysayers who say drying the cilantro loses its flavor.  Just open up a jar that you have dried a few days after you store them and you will see what I mean. 

     I store my cilantro whole and do not crush or grind them down until right before I need them.  This keeps the flavors intact. 

    Besides the ethnic dishes I mentioned earlier, cilantro can also be added to soups for a punch of flavor. 


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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hawaiian Pizza Recipe

    At our house, we are big pizza lovers.  We have pizza night every Friday night and it is NEVER take-out...it's always made fresh, from scratch.  Sometimes we just make a "regular" pizza but we like to mix things up a bit and try a Fresh Vegetable Pizza or a Homemade BBQ Chicken Pizza.  Today, we made this Classic Hawaiian Pizza and it was a real crowd pleaser. 

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    This delicious pizza started with my homemade pizza crust and homemade pizza sauce and finished off with 2 kinds of cheese.  It truly was "love at first bite"!  My homemade crust makes a light, soft dough that almost melts in your mouth.   It is chewy and puffs up beautifully when baked  and has just enough of crunch. 






Classic Hawaiian Pizza

 Pizza Dough, homemade or you can buy some premade
Pizza Sauce, again homemade or store-bought 
Mozerrella cheese
Parmesan cheese
1 can (15 oz.) drained pineapple chunks
Canadian bacon 
1 T. Extra virgin olive oil

    To begin with, take your pizza dough and roll out and place onto a pizza pan.  I do highly recommend using homemade dough and homemade sauce.  They really do elevate your pizza from great to extraordinary.  Clicking on the links in the recipe will direct you to my recipes so be sure to check them out.   

    Take the extra virgin olive oil and spread it out on top of your crust as you would do pizza sauce.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,

   Now, take your pizza sauce, about 1/4-1/2 cup depending on your preference, and spread it over the crust.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,

     Take a handful of your mozarella cheese and sprinkle it on.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,



    The Canadian bacon we purchased was for sandwiches so we had to cut it up into bite sized pieces first.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,

 Place the pieces onto your crust.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,




   Now place on the pineapple.  To be honest, the pineapple chuncks were too big for my liking so next time I may buy crushed pineapple and see how that works.

Classic Hawaiian Pizza, crowd pleasing recipes, Friday night is pizza night,



   Finally sprinkle on some more Mozarella.  Place into a preheated 425 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes.  It is done with the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbling. 

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    Remove from the oven and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and enjoy!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #countrifiedhicks — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!




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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Quick & Easy Breakfast Sandwich

   We love to cook from scratch at our house but let's be honest, there are days when scratch cooking just isn't possible. Perhaps Mom is sick; perhaps you have to be out the door in 5 minutes...whatever the reason, this breakfast sandwich is quick and easy to throw together and tastes so good and is filling.  It also costs a fraction of what you would pay at a certain fast food restaurant.

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Quick & Easy Breakfast Sandwich

 1 english muffin
1 egg
1 pc. of cheddar cheese
1 pc. of Canadian bacon
  
   First, lightly toast your English muffin in your toaster.  As it cooks, crack the egg into a microwave safe bowl.  

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Our beaten egg in a ceramic bowl before we cook it in the microwave.

     Cook for 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until the egg is fully cooked.  You do not need to do anything to the bowl or add oil or anything.  It will cook just fine this way.  It usually only takes one minute to cook fully.

     As it is cooking, put your Canadian Bacon into a heated skillet with a small bit of oil.  Lightly fry the Canadian bacon on each side and then place it on the muffin.  Top with the cooked egg and a piece of cheddar cheese.  Top with the other half of the muffin and enjoy.

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If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #countrifiedhicks — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Blue-Ribbon Winning Baked Beans Recipe


     This is a baked bean recipe I created years ago and have entered and won several competitions with it.  It is the perfect mix of tangy and sweet and provides enough "juice" that you can "sop" up the goodies with a piece of homemade bread or some Cast Iron Skillet cornbread.

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      These Baked Beans go so good together with my Pulled Pork, my country style Ribs, or even with my Dr. Pepper Shredded Chicken.  Serve these with one of those meats, along with some Homemade Creamy Mac & Cheese and my Creamy Cold Corn Salad and you will have a really nice meal for you and your family!


Blue-Ribbon Winning Baked Beans


60 oz. pork and beans
3/4 c. barbecue sauce, I used homemade 
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
6 slices thick cut bacon
2 T. honey
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
     Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  
     In a large cast iron skillet, cook the bacon on medium to high heat.  Remove the bacon and allow to cool. 
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     Drain some of the fat out then add in the onions and allow them to soften and cook.  Add in the garlic and pepper and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir well.
   Pour the onion mixture into a large bowl and add in the pork and beans.
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 Stir and then add in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir.  

 Pour it into a 9"x13" cake pan.

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    Cover with foil and bake for one hour.  Once the hour has passed, remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove, serve, and enjoy!
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If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #countrifiedhicks — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!
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I shared this recipe with the following blogs:  

Blog Oklahoma
Blog Oklahoma
easy recipes