July 31, 2018

BBQ RANCH SALAD - Spinach, cabbage, lettuce, kale, green onions... bbq sauce and ranch dressing!

I wanted to update my site but I absolutely don't have much time so I'm going to grab a few photos from my Snapchat story and just upload them here.

My Snapchat story is only for family and a couple friends - and I literally was going to throw together this salad for dinner so I snapped the steps for my kids too - because it's THAT GOOD and THAT EASY.

So dear readers... these 'snaps' were originally meant for my kids but it makes it really easy to post this 'recipe' for a kick-butt good salad for hot summer days!


Start with a lot of your main two ingredients:
Various romaine and dark green lettuce(s)


Spinach, fresh
Kale, optional of course
Green Onions just a couple
Broccoli, a little bit
Yellow or Orange sweet bell pepper* optional just a touch
carrots* optional, just a touch

Pulse in a food processor for just 4, 5, 6 times and only a second or two each time.  You want to finely chop the veggies; not puree' them!  Or if you have the time you can finely chop it all by hand. I always use the food processor with an S blade.  Pulse, pulse, pulse... done!

Then add a small amount (like 1 ounce of each for about 4-5 cups of veggie mix)
BBQ sauce of choice
Ranch dressing of choice
 Crunch some tortilla chips on top and serve nice and cold!


I don't buy bottled ranch dressing as it tastes like chemicals to me, so for the past 20 years we've always made ours from scratch using the dry seasoning mix and because we are also usually pretty much sugar free, I make ours with cream, almond milk, low carb milk, etc.  We also buy G. Hughes BBQ sauce (I get mine at Walmart when I buy groceries.)

You can also purchase these items online through Amazon's groceries and my affiliate links;

Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix, 16 Ounce and  G Hughes Smokehouse Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Hickory -- 18 fl oz - 2 pc


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July 26, 2018

I finally decided on what cherry pitter to buy....

As much as I like to eat cherries, and as many years as we've been married, and as much baking and cooking that I do, you would think I would own a whole bunch of awesome little fancy kitchen do-dads.  And I don't.  As a matter of fact I'm the queen of improvising... because I've never had money to buy fancy do-dads so I always made do without.  I even used a little $8 Hamilton Beach mixer for the first 12 or 13 years of marriage - even when I was making upwards of 1000 cookies each holiday season and doing baking and cooking daily for my family and friends.

But this past week I finally invested in a cherry pitter!  I normally just use a paring knife and cut around the pit if I'm using cherries in a recipe.  I was placing an order on Amazon for something or other (can't remember what it was) but I did a quick search that night of cherry pitters - found one I thought would work well for me and ordered it.  And?  YES I LIKE IT!

Ultimately I'd like to try two more; one of which is a 'multiple' cherry pitter that does a number of them at once; but for starters I got this single pitter.  After I got used to how it works, I found it was quick and simple - I went through an entire bowl of cherries in no time!

The one I chose is the one that looks like a tulip - or a flower.  It's the 'blossom' style: MSC International Joie Blossom Cherry Pitter.  You simply drop your cherry in, press the plunger, let it spring back and then give it a quarter turn to release the spring to 'dump' the cherry into your bowl or container.

A close up of it in action...

Here is what it looks like when there isn't a cherry in it - and this is a good photo to show you why I chose it.  Because the other similar 'plunger' style pitters didn't have the space this one does for my fingers!  Do you see how the petals of the flower blossom curve out?  They gave more space than the shorter and smaller versions of plunger style cherry pitters and I knew that if I was doing an entire bowl of fruit, my fingers would be more likely to slip off as there just wasn't enough to 'grab'.

The only tricky thing to remember is to line up the little notches inside so your plunger will go down through the cherry and then back up.  If they aren't lined up it will block it or lock it.  This is actually how you store it when not in use as well; you push it down, give it a slight turn so the notches don't line up and then it stays in the plunged position for storing in the drawer.

Cherries that have been pitted - quickly and easily!

Ready to be made into my pie filling.... (for a Cherry Crepe Cake - hopefully I'll get around to posting about it soon but... life.)

This is one I bought from Amazon myself and a couple other options if you decide this isn't the style you care for.

MSC International Joie Blossom Cherry Pitter, 4"

There are a number of other styles!  I went for 'affordability' when I ordered mine as last second impulse buy on an order I was placing anyway.  But I may invest in another one in the future (because I have 2 daughters and a son that will be VERY happy to take any of 'extras' off my hands!)

2 PCS Portable Cherry Pitter Tool Remover - Green
Obecome Cherry Pitter - 6 Cherries
OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter, Red

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July 23, 2018

Homemade Spicy Salsa - Can be canned or stored in the refrigerator

Admittedly I've posted this recipe a couple times already on An American Housewife but I've noticed that I'm often cooking and baking things I've made before - so I don't take new photos or post updates and then it looks like I'm just not making anything at all (at least from the internets view!) So yes, I've made this recipe a hundred times - and I've posted it twice before - but for those who haven't seen it before, this is my favorite salsa recipe, and the one I prefer to make when I have the time to simmer and can. You don't have to can it, you can just keep yours in the refrigerator or use it right away.

Adjust the 'heat' of your salsa by the variety of peppers you use and how many/much you use!

Homemade Salsa

10 Cups of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes**
5 c chopped onions
3 sweet banana peppers, diced
4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 t minced garlic
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 1/4 c vinegar
2 T chili powder
2 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 T sugar

Mix all the ingredients for your salsa and simmer 1-3 hours.

While simmering, be sure to either run your jars and lids and seals through an extra hot dishwasher cycle or boil them in another pot of water so they are hot and sterilized when you are ready to use them.  Ladle salsa into the jars with about 1/2 inch head space at the top.   Wipe the edges completely clean with a clean cloth and place the lid on it and then the ring.  You don't have to tighten them hard - just a quick twist to hold the seal/lid on during the process.  Now, originally this old time recipe did not call for a water bath.  The heat from the salsa and the jar will seal the lid.  However, I like to boil them in a water bath as an extra precaution for 25 minutes for pints.

Remove from the water, set on a towel on the counter and let them cool at room temperature.  You will hear popping noises.  That is the lids sealing.  When completely cooled, store in your pantry or cupboard.

**To peel/skin your tomatoes easily just put them in boiling water. Skins will split in 10 seconds - 2 minutes. Remove as soon as the skin splits and lay on a clean towel to cool until you can handle them comfortably - or you can dip them into a bowl of ice water if you wish. Some tomatoes won't split but they are still ready;  if it has been in the water for approximately 1-2 minutes, lift it out and feel it. If it looks tight and ready to burst, yet it feels like a water balloon, then remove it to cool. It's ready.  The second your fingers or a knife touch the skin it will probably split on contact.  Tomatoes can be seeded and the juice canned separately or you can use the whole tomato in your salsa and skip that process.  Up to you.

Tomatoes from the garden, ready to be made into salsa

Immersing in boiling water to easily remove the skins

The skins will split within about 30 seconds and they literally slip right off.

If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon. - An American Housewife at Amazon

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July 18, 2018

Frozen Fruit Smoothie Puree'

I'm not a fan of sweets, which includes sweet fruits.  I'll invariably choose vegetables over fruits and when I do eat fruit, there are only a handful I like.  But those I like, I love!  And when they are frozen? I love them oh-so-much more.

Nectarines, mangoes, cranberries, cherries, pineapple and strawberries are on the list and when frozen, I'll eat a pound them;  blended in almost any combination, with just enough liquid to make them smooth.  The end result is a gelato looking blend that is nothing but frozen fruit slushy goodness.

Here was what I ate 3 nights last week - as my 'go to' snack.  My body was craving the vitamins I guess, because I seriously was craving it.

I do not like dairy products in my smoothies... at all.  So YOU can feel free to add yogurt, milk, almond milk, etc. to this but... I won't don't.


Fruit of your choice - frozen
Liquid of choice - just enough to make it smooth (water, seltzer, fruit juice, etc.)
Options:  yogurt, milk, sweeteners like a tablespoon of honey, sugar, etc. (I don't add but you can!)

Blend in a good quality blender or food processor - pulsing and scraping down the sides until smooth.  Adding a small amount of liquid when needed to get the consistency you prefer.  Pour into a bowl or glass and eat with a spoon or use a thick 'smoothie' straw.

You can see the bits of cranberry in it... yum!

Frozen goodness

It almost looks like gelato...but no dairy! Just yummy frozen, pureed fruit!

You might also be interested in these related products, available to purchase through Amazon;

Assorted Bright Colors Jumbo Smoothie Straws, Pack of 100 Pieces
Hiware Extra Wide Smoothie Drinking Straws - 12mm Reusable Jumbo Bubble Tea Straws with Cleaning Brushes - 10 Pieces - Bpa-free Boba Straws
Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base, 72oz Total Crushing Pitcher and (2) 16oz Cups for Frozen Drinks and Smoothies (BL660)


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