Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream

Photo Credit

Today I got a lesson in history.

At my school, the eight grade social studies classes are studying the period of time around when Thomas Jefferson was alive .

It seems that Thomas Jefferson was a early fan of ice cream and even created his own recipe.

Who knew?

I had a couple of boys ask me if they could make the ice cream in my foods lab and freeze it for their class presentation on Thomas Jefferson.

Of course I said, “yes.”

So this morning when I arrived at school, I had two nice young men waiting outside my classroom door with their ingredients to make Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream.

Here is the recipe that was made from the deciphered original recipe from Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream

2 quarts whipping cream

1 vanilla bean

2 cups sugar

6 egg yolks


Heat the whipping cream on medium heat in a sauce pan on the stove. Add the vanilla bean and simmer for 5 minutes. In a mixer, mix together the egg yolks and the sugar. This mixture will be very thick. When the cream is heated remove the vanilla bean and slowly add 1 cup of the hot cream to the egg yolk mixture. This is temper the yolks (bring up the temperature without cooking the eggs). Slowly add the rest of the cream and mix together with the mixer. When it is all mixed together, pour the ice cream mixture through a strainer or cheese cloth.

Place in the refridgerator to chill for several hours. When chilled, use a ice cream maker to finish making into ice cream.

The boys did not want to use my electric ice cream maker I have at school to finish freezing their ice cream. So, we just put it in tupperware containers and put it the freezer.

Their presentation is tomorrow.

photo credit here is one picture of the gardens at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson

I did not know that Thomas Jefferson could cook….I thought he just planted flowers.

I wonder if I will get a nibble.

It is not everyday you get a chance to sample presidential ice cream.

I will have my spoon ready, just in case.




Never Go To The Store Hungry


Rumble, Rumble, Rumble…..

“Yes, stomach I hear you.”

“I know I only fed you diet stuff all day and you are missing your extra 500 or more calories you are used to having, but can you be quiet already?”

Has this ever happen to you? You are trying to shop, count your coupons, weave through traffic with a cart wearing a cold wet coat, trying to get your shopping done as fast as you can. Then you hear it. The rumble and the deep voice saying, “feed me, feed me”.

“Ok already, if I buy you some pork chops will you be quiet?”


After school today, I stopped by Gerbes to buy a few items trying to use some coupons that expire in two days. Some item I wanted were out of stock and some items they did not carry. But, one item that was not on my list and I did not have a coupon for was pork chops.

I was craving pork chops or rather my stomach was craving pork chops.

So guess what? I bought some.


Here is what I bought tonight at Gerbes:

4 bags of Popcorn Indian.  

4 bags of Baked Natural Crackers (I love these with sliced deli meat for my lunch at work)

4 bags of steamfresh frozen vegetables

4 cans chicken of sea tuna

2 packages of Starfish tuna pouches

6-two liter bottles of Pepsi (my son the super hero will be so excited)

4 cans petite diced Hunts tomatoes

1 large packages of PORK CHOPS

My reciept says I spent $24.45


my four coupons for Indian Popcorn was not on there.

So when you take another $4.00 off ( four .50 cent doubled coupons) for my refund using my coupons.

I only spent $20.45 and that included my $13.25 package of yummy pork chops.

I also stopped by Hyvee to get some items that was going off of sale today.


I bought:

2 dozen eggs

4 one pound packages of Farmland sausage

16 packages of budding single serve lunch meat (super hero loves these)

Bunch of bananas (I go bananas over banans)

container of fresh blueberries (I love blueberries)

I spent a total of $14. 60

Total spent this week (so far) is $34.60.

Can you guess what we had for dinner???

Yes, you got it right!

Fried Pork Chops.

My stomach is so happy right now : )

Does your stomach tell you what you should have for dinner? Does it rule the roost, so to speak?

Don’t worry if it does, it happens to all of us : ).

Happy Couponing!





Grocery Budget Update

Believe it or not, cause I can’t hardly believe it myself, I did not buy very much last week at the grocery store.

I am going to try to break down my grocery spending for the month of January (so far)

I started with a fresh slate of $75.00 on January 6th.

Total spent on groceries $66.72.

On January 13th I added another $75.00 to my left over $8.28, giving me a total of $83.28.

Total spent on groceries $29.54.

On January 20th  I added another $75.00 to my left over of $53.74, giving me a total of $128.74.

Total spent on groceries $23.61.

On January 27th I added anotehr $75.00 to my left over $105.13, gving me a total of $180.13.

Gee. I hope I added all that correct. I am not a math whiz, and I did the calculations on regular old pen and paper.

I will double check all my math tomorrow. Right now, baby college girl is calling me for help with college algebra….I think she forgot I can’t add past 5’s.

Anyhow, I needed to know my budget, as I am planning a little shopping trip tomorrow to use some coupons that expire on the 3st. I will let you know how I do.

Have you set yourself on a weekly budget? I have been reading on some of the coupon sites that I look at, that they (the expert couponers) are  having to increase their grocery budgets by $75.00 a month because grocery prices have gone up. Have you noticed the same thing with your budget?

Happy Couponing!



The Must Goes!

Have you ever heard of the term must goes?

Maybe the term Re-Runs? (Minerva, I know you have )

I bet you have heard of the word left overs.

They all mean the same thing.

I had some” left overs” in my refrigerator that “must go” or be turned into a “re-run” meal.

Some things I had to throw away..

Chicken flavored rice that was in a cool whip container hidden way back in the fridge.

A large container of fresh spinach, that I tried to salvage into something edible but there were too many little slimy leaves in them. Yuck!

A small amount of bbq pork.

I did find one little gem.

Part of a left over rotisserie chicken, my oldest daughter who does not cook, brought home for dinner a couple of days ago. 

It looked like lunch to me.

My plan was to boil the whole chicken, make a great broth with it, use part of the broth to go into some spinach soup and the rest of the broth and the chicken meat made into chicken and dumplings. Of course after I looked closer at the spinach, the spinach soup idea turned into a must go into the trash. 


                         Here is the broth.                                                    Here is the chicken I pulled offed the bones.

Next, I made some homemade dumplings.







You can call it a re-run, a must go or a left over.

My kids are going to be calling it lunch : )


In case you want to make the dumplings, I have included the recipe below. These dumplings are very tender, so do not over stir them while they cook or they will start to fall apart. If you do not have a homemade broth, just use can chicken broth and add some cooked chicken to the broth. Then add the dumplings. The flour on the dumplings will thicken the broth.

If you like a firmer dumpling, I have another dumpling recipe that has an egg in it, that is a little firmer, I will make sometime in the near future for you.

Rolled Out Tender Dumplings


2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk.


In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. With a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour until you get the shortening into a small pea size. Add the milk and stir. (I had to add just a tad more milk to get the dough to come together.)

On a floured counter, knead the dough together and roll out to 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter cut the dough into 1 inch size squares. Have your broth on a slow boil and gently drop the dumplings in the broth, one at a time. Gently stir to keep the dumpling from sticking together. Gently boil until the dumplings are cooked through.

Week Three: Onion Seed Update


Help, I need Water!!!!


I guess I was not listening our paying attention.

My little onion seedlings need more water than I am giving them.

They were all just kinda laying down yesterday, looking peaked. The soil felt cool next to their little roots so I was thinking they had plently of water.


They look so much better today.

Whew….being a Mama onion is hard work.

I am not sure I am quite peeled out for the job….or diced up enough to do it….

Ok, no more onion jokes….I don’t want to make you cry.


Here it a little picture overview of my little darlings.


                                  Planting Seeds                                                                       Week One


                                     Week Two                                                                            Week Three

Grow Babies Grow.

Too Many Cookies


Have you ever purchased one of those over-sized tin of cookies after Christmas because it was on sale?

At the time it seemed like such a great idea.

Wow! All these cookies for 75% off.

Woohoo…..this is a deal.

You get them home, and you start eating them…..and eating them….

Two weeks later you are still eating them.

You still cannot find the bottom of the tin.

It is like a magic elf bakes more cookies every night and fills the tin up, just to torment you.

Another week has passed.

You decide that you HATE cookies. (except ones with chocolate in them)

Have you been there? Have you done it?

This is what happened to my oldest daughter who does not cook. She was shopping and saw this big tin of butter cookies on sale for $5.00. Her brain said, “What a deal!” Her stomach said,”I will love you forever.” Her pocketbook said, “I have $5.00 to spare.”

So what else would a BLONDE do…..she buys the cookies….

OK, I am not picking on blondes. I am a blonde too….well mostly blonde….some witch decided to share a few gray hairs with me.

Anywho…..she had too many cookies.

What do you do?

Throw them away?

Feed them to the birds?

Take them to school and hand them out in the hallway?

DING DING DING….You are correct.

I took them to school yesterday and handed them out during passing time.

Do you want a cookie?  Yes! Do you want a cookie? Yes!

Some students just looked at me suspiciously.

Do you want a cookie….yes…..

It only took two passing times (the time between classes) ……

                                                                         To look like this!

During the next passing time, I had students come to me and ask me for a cookie.

I had to tell them I was out of cookies.

I went from too many cookies to no cookies in less than 8 minutes (two 4 minute passing times)

Now I wish she would have bought 2 or 3 more tins of cookies…..

I am crazy….

I guess I am still a blonde.

As long as I stay away from that witch.

Cookies have the power to make even half asleep, grouchy, junior high students, smile.

I hope someone offers you a cookie today!

Did I mention that I get to keep the great looking tin?





Day in the Kitchen

Today was the first time I had my kids at school cook something that was actually part of my classwork.

Yesterday, I put the students in kitchen groups, or I should say they put themselves in kitchen group,s that I had to approve. They got to explore a little bit in the kitchen they where assigned too, to see where everything is located. It did not take long until they had to inform me that they already knew where everything was.

Funny how they thought the big upright freezer was a refridgerator.

Whatever….  : D

I got up early this morning; and by the way it was freezing outside; and made my way to the closest grocery store to buy the ingredients for microwave monkey bread. Microwave monkey bread is always the first cooking lab I do with my students. One of the main reasons is that it is so easy.  |It is also not expensive to make and the students love it. They love it so much, they did not even offer me a one little nibble all day. So much for getting up early on a freezing day to earn a bite of monkey bread.

I decided I would come home and make a batch that I could keep all to myself.

Right now it is hiding in the microwave. It is still warm, and gooey and cinnamony….. Please don’t tell oldest daughter who does not cook. She loves anything with cinnamon in it.

I am not sure where I got this recipe, or where I found this recipe, but I have been using it for years and years. I like to find recipes that my students are able to make at home, with ingredients that they probably already have.

If you need a super easy, super lip smacking, super fast treat on a Snow Day morning (all teachers dream of snow days), or any morning, you should  give this recipe a try!

This is all you need! How cool is that?

First thing you do is, melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons of water, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together in the microwave.


This is what it looks like melted.                                      This is what it looks like stired together


On a cutting board, using a pizza cutter (I found that it works the easiest) and cut each biscuit into four pieces.


Put all the little pieces of biscuits in the brown sugar and butter sauce. Stir to coat each piece.


Cook for three minutes in the microwave. Take it out of the microwave and let it stand for 2 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the pan and invert.

Invert the monkey bread onto a plate.

Grab a fork super quick and grab a bite, because they will not last long!

In fact, that is where I am heading.

Right to my golden, gooey, globs of deliciousness hiding in the microwave.

I just need to find a fork!



Microwave Monkey Bread


1/4 cup of margarine or butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1-7.5 ounce can of refrigerator biscuits (10 small biscuits)

Serves 4


In a round microwave safe dish, melt the butter, brown sugar, water and cinnamon on high for 45 seconds. Place a lid on the dish to prevent splattering.

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Place the biscuits into melted brown sugar and butter sauce. Stir to coat each piece of biscuit.

Cook biscuits in the microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked. remove from the microwave with potholders. Let the bread sit for one minute to allow the sauce to thicken. Place a plate over the pan and turn monkey bread over onto a plate to serve.


Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

Last week, I was in charge of making food for our hospitality room for the basketball tournament at my school. 

I have done this for 12 years.

I do not know if I get any better at it, but I do try to make the favorites; cornbread salad , chicken wings, texas sheet cake, chili, and my version of white chicken chili. But, in my attempt to switch things up a bit, I look for new recipes that grab my attention.

Melt in your mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookie.

This one got my attention.

This is not my recipe, though I did make a couple of changes. It comes from a great web site called Baking Bites. This cookie is rich, slightly crispy on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside and full of chocolate chips. My friend at school Jeanetta, (who is always elbow deep in a sink full of dirty dishes, washing them for me), tried one. She only had two words to say, “OH MY!”

I guess I could have called them, “Oh My, Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies.”

I will just call them delicious.

Here is what you need, except I forgot to put salt in the picture.


One of the changes I made, was that I used a powdered sweet cream buttermilk. This was my first time trying it. It was a little watery compared to buttermilk. But, the cookies still tasted great.


I also used dark chocolate chips, because I really wanted a deep chocolate flavor. Lastly I used vanilla bean paste, for no other reason except I love the flavor and the little specks of vanilla seeds in it.

The first thing you need to do is melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave.


Put the melted butter and the cocoa into a mixer and mix together until there is becomes a smooth liquid. You need to do this while the butter is still warm.

This is what mine looked like.

Next add the sugar.

The buttermilk. This is the powdered buttermilk made with water and the buttermilk powder.

Then add the vanilla. I used vanilla paste. Can you see the little seeds on the measuring spoon?

This is what it looks like with everything added. You might be wondering too, where is the eggs. There is not any eggs in this cookie.

In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients together.

Slowly add the flour to the chocolate mixture, making sure to get all the flour incorporated.

Add the chocolate chips. I used dark chocolate chips, but you can use semi sweet.

On a parchment lined cookie sheet, use a cookie scoop and scoop out 1 inch cookies. I used my small cookie scoop. The cookies were a little smaller than the recipe so the cookie time was lowered to 8 to 9 minutes. Just keep that in mind if you use a smaller cookie scoop or a larger one and to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until the edges just start to firm up.

Take them out of the oven and leave them on the parchment paper to cool.


When they are cool, they will lift right off the parchment paper.

Cool the cookies completely.

If you are looking for a deep, rich, chocolate cookie, this one will not dissapoint you.

I only have one problem left.

Jeanetta…..”Do you make house calls?”

I don’t have time to wash these dishes, I need to go find a glass of milk to go with these cookies!



Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies Recipe

addapted from;


2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup cocoa

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)

2/3 cup buttermilk (I used powdered buttermilk)

2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. It is important to line your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. While the butter is still warm (very important) put it into a mixer bowl and add the cocoa.  With a mixer, mix together to form a dark liquid. Add the buttermilk, sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and with the mixer, mix everything together. Slowly add the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking soda mixture) to the chocolate mixture. Mix until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

With a small cookie scoop, scoop out 1 inch cookies onto the parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 t0 11 minutes or until the edges are set. (Mine just took 8 to 9 minutes). Cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Yeild is about 4 dozen cookies.



Surviving a Three Day Weekend

It is now 9:30 p.m. on Monday and I can now officially say, I survived my three day weekend.

I love long weekends, I really do.

But this weekend was jam packed!

Here is a few things I did this weekend…..though not in order.

Dirty Dishes on Saturday morning!

Two hours of cleaning the kitchen.

Coupon shopping. (see I really do buy something besides cereal)

Planting artichoke seeds. I really think I have gone over the dirt…no deep end!

Update on onion seedlings. They are so cute it makes me want to cry.

Eating pasta salad with almost in the trash olives.

I think I did all of this just on Saturday.

My baby college girl came home for the weekend on Saturday night.

She has joined weight watchers and has signed up for two 5 k races. So, baby college girl is in training.

Sunday morning, in 24 degree weather baby college girl had me and oldest grand girl walking, running and FREEZING around the local lake at a nearby park. The only time I attempted to run was when I seen the car.

Sunday night, oldest daughter who does not cook had her Christmas party where she works.

Monday, Me and baby college girl babysat the grand girls all day….

Tomorrow, I go back work. Good thing too!

I need some rest : D

I hope you had a great three day weekend and you are refreshed and revived to start another week.

Only four days left before another weekend.


I need to go to bed to rest up.