Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Long Hot Summer

  

It's not a news flash to us that live in the South that's it's hot!!  As a matter of fact it's been hot over most of the country.  We've had many days that have been in the upper 90s with the heat index over 100. 



The last thing I want to do when it's so hot is to heat up the kitchen.  In the summer I always like to make baked beans.  It just says summer along with great meals from the grill.  My old standby recipe requires heating up the oven.  This new (to me) recipe uses a slow cooker that you can prepare in your cool kitchen and still have a great dish. 




Hearty Baked Beans

 3 cans (16.5 oz.) baked beans
 1 pound of  lean ground beef
 4 slices of chopped bacon
 1 diced onion
 1/2 cup of ketchup
 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
 1 teaspoon of vinegar
 1/2 cup of brown sugar

Saute' onion and bacon until the bacon is done and a little crispy. Add ground beef and continue cooking until beef is done.  Add mixture to slow cooker along with  the other ingredients.  Stir it all until combined.  Cook for 3 hours on low.


This is a great dish to take to a covered dish dinner.  It would also be a great accompaniment to other grilled foods when it's not too hot to fire up the grill. 




It would not be summer if we didn't make homemade ice cream.  I have one of those electric Krups machines that makes 1 1/2 quarts of ice cream.  When our children were young, we had the old fashioned style machine.  Even though it was electric, we still had to prepare the ice cream outside with the rock salt and ice.  I like to make the custard for ice cream the day before freezing it.  My machine makes the ice cream in twenty minutes.  We've had chocolate (the only kind according to Grayden) and vanilla.  Of course you can add what ever you wish to vanilla such as fruit or candies.  Do you make ice cream in your home?  Here are the two recipes I use for ice cream.





French Vanilla Ice Cream

  3 eggs
  1 cup of sugar
  2 cups of cream
  2 cups of whole milk
  2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat eggs and milk together in a large saucepan.  Add sugar and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  About 10 minutes.  Mixture should coat the spoon. Cool, then add cream and vanilla.  Refrigerate overnight.  Freeze in your ice cream maker.





French Chocolate Ice Cream

  1 cup of sugar
  3 egg yolks
  1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  2 cups of cream
  1/3 cup of cocoa
  1 teaspoon of vanilla

Beat milk and egg yolks together.  Blend in sugar.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the spoon.  Remove from heat and gently sift cocoa into the mixture, then beat well until blended.  Cool.  Add cream and vanilla. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.  Freeze in your ice cream freezer. 




I hope you are trying to enjoy summer even though it's a hot one.  I'll leave you with some photos of the Crepe Myrtles that have been spectacular this year. The official spelling is Crape Myrtle, but here in the South it is spelled Crepe Myrtle because the flowers resemble crepe paper.  Mine is about to open.  These were taken one day this week in Williamsburg, where to me, everything always looks lovely. ♥























52 comments:

  1. All the recipes sound great! I've book marked this post for the future. Thanks!

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    1. You are welcome, Cathy. I think you would enjoy. ♥

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  2. Beautiful pictures and yummy recipes!
    Yes...it has been hot here in the Northeast too.
    Today we had a nice break...a steady rain and cooler temperatures.
    I love cozy days like that!

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    1. Billie Jo, we had a terrific storm this evening that dropped our temperatures by 20 degrees. I'm so thankful for the rain. Enjoy the cozy times! ♥

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  3. I know what you mean about using the oven during the hot summer days. The crock pot baked beans look delicious. And homemade ice cream is always a treat. French chocolate.....YUM! Oh, that red bird is so pretty, and the crepe myrtles are lovely gracing the homes on this charming street.

    It sounds like you are enjoying these summer days, Martha Ellen, even though it's been pretty hot there. : )

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, I am trying to enjoy summer. I hope you are as well, my friend! ♥

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  4. Hi ME - what a coincidence! My hubs made me peachy vanilla ice cream tonight as a suprise (he was sneaky and made it in the basement while he was busy working on some tinkering of his own.) What made it extra special is that he doesn't eat ice cream - so doing this was so super sweet.

    Hope it cools off for you soon. It cooled off today - there was a breeze, much welcomed!

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    1. Your husband sounds so sweet, Michele. How thoughtful for him to make it especially for you. I adore peach ice cream. It was my Daddy's favorite. Have a comfortable day. ♥

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  5. Oh, yes, I remember it well ~ those meltingly and desperately hot, humid days living in Virginia Beach! Your Hearty Baked Beans look so good {hold the meat for me though} and the slow cooker adds barely any heat to the room ~ bliss! It's funny, I lived in the south for two years but the only flowers that stick in my memory are the magnificent magnolias and the azaleas. I must have seen Crepe Myrtle, I must have!
    Sending wishes for a cooler week ahead!
    ~~~Deb xoxo

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    1. Oh Deb, if you have photos from that time I'm sure you will see Crepe Myrtles! In the Tidewater area they are so abundant and beautiful. I am happy you remember the azaleas and magnolias.
      We had a rip snorting storm last evening that dropped our temperatures, but not for long as they are climbing now. Enjoy your afternoon. xoxo ♥

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    2. I'm afraid I don't have very many photographs from back then, it was thirty years ago and we didn't take many photographs.
      I also meant to say, colander brain that I am, your ice cream recipe reads very similar to the ice cream my lovely Mum used to make when I was a child. I haven't made ice cream for years, not since I lived in Virginia Beach and we'd go pick our own strawberries at Strawbridge, come home, and make fresh ice cream. After three weeks we'd gained so much weight it had to stop!
      Have a great week ahead! Deb xoxo

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    3. Deb, strawberry ice cream sounds great when made with fresh picked. I like hearing your memories of VA. We didn't take many photos back then either. We have to watch the ice cream habit as it is so good. Luckily our machine only makes a quart and a half and we have a strong healthy grandson to share the booty! Have a nice week. xoxo ♥

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  6. The crepe/crape myrtles are beautiful! It has not been unbearably hot here...getting close, but not quite. Your discussion of ice cream making reminds me that I'd love to have a current ice cream maker. They surely must have improved in the three decades since I last owned one. It was electric, but made such a racket that I put it in the laundry room and shut two doors blocking out the noise, Delicious ice cream, though! Stay cool as you can! 🌿

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    1. Vee, your wonderful New England temperatures make me jealous when our temperatures soar.
      The new ice cream makers make it quite easy to make ice cream, maybe a little too easy! I made the French chocolate custard yesterday and it's waiting in the fridge to go into the ice cream maker. ♥

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  7. Martha Ellen..this is the ultimate summer post...the delicious baked beans, the divine ice cream and the beautiful homes in your area..I so enjoyed your post today....it's SO hot here too....ready to say bye to Summer....

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    1. Betsy it won't be long before we bid summer goodbye and then glorious Autumn will be here! Thank you for stopping by today. Stay cool and enjoy your day! ♥

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  8. It looks like you are finding perfect ways to beat the summer heat and humidity, Martha Ellen! My husband occasionally makes baked beans here. I'll have to ask if his 'secret' recipe is similar to yours! The Crepe Myrtle blossoms in Williamsburg look stunning. I would truly love to visit often to experience each season of beauty there!

    Luckily, our Midwest summer hasn't been quite so hot. I start my garden projects early in the morning to beat the heat of the day. I'm making great progress as I continue to 'right-size' our garden beds in the backyard. :) So pleased with the new look this summer! In fact, yesterday we placed an order for new window treatments for our family room, so we can more easily view the garden! :) Enjoy your French Chocolate ice cream today, sweet friend! Stay cool! ♡

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    1. Dawn, I know you are happy with your progress in "right sizing" your garden. It's a very smart project indeed. We are considering making changes to our backyard for next year. The grass aways looks great in the spring, but with our heat and humidity it dries up in a rather large area. Our grass is telling us please don't plant again.
      You would love visiting Colonial Williamsburg any season, my friend. Hopefully you can plan a visit. Have a wonderful week enjoying your time in your garden. My time outside is quite limited these days. It would be lovely to share this ice cream with you and John. ♥

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  9. I live in the South too and it's been so hot! Those look like great recipes! I've always wanted to make homemade ice cream!

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    1. Pilar, I hope you try homemade ice cream. It is really quite delicious and nothing like store bought. Have a great day. ♥

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  10. Beautiful pictures.. can I make ice-cream without ice cream maker?

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    1. Krishna, there are recipes online for ice cream without using a machine. I've seen those that use sweetened condensed milk, but I've not made them. Look them up and give them a try with your son. I'm sure he would enjoy the process. ♥

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  11. The crepe myrtle always amaze me--their vibrance and health in the hottest weather. Yes it sure has been hot but we had a cooler early summer than usual, so this feels even more shocking I think! Ice cream sounds really good and the recipe looks great!

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    1. It is amazing they withstand the heat and humidity, even thrive in it! Unlike me, this year seems more instense than previous years. It wouldn't have anything to do with getting older I'm sure! Ha.
      Thinking of you and your surgery ahead, Dotsie. Praying for peace and comfort that will come in the weeks ahead. ♥

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  12. Fabulous photos, Martha Ellen. And great recipes!!!

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  13. Martha Ellen, those are just beautiful. And looking at the crepe/crape myrtles makes me feel a little cooler! I'm with you - easy meals in the slow cooker and ice cream for dessert. And a big glass of iced tea!

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    1. Jean, a big glass of iced tea is by my chair right now! I so agree it's a must for summer. Crepe myrtles sure do add beauty to our summer. Have a great week. ♥

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  14. I love crepe myrtles but have none in my yard just yet....This heat has been dreadful lately and we can't seem to get our pool straightened out this year, between algae and chemical treatments it just won't stay clear :-( So we've mostly been indoors. I agree about cooking we have been looking for light meals to make so I don't have to run the oven very much :-) Stay cool and enjoy the week ahead!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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    1. Oh Jill I hope you can get your pool ready to enjoy. A crepe myrtle would be lovely in your garden especially near your new pool. Have a great week ahead. ♥

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  15. Love those crepe myrtles- wish we could grow them up here! I love baked beans too and often make them but haven't used ground beef. Can you believe I've never made homemade ice cream! We're enjoying a typical summer up here- mostly in the low to mid 80's. We've only been near 90 a few times. We did have some heavy humidity which I intensely hate! Thank goodness for air conditioning!

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    1. Liz, making baked beans with ground beef certainly makes them more hearty. Your summer sounds like my daughter's New England summer. I hate to complain the days away, but this summer has been so hot and humid! Yes, I don't know what we'd do without ac! Have a great week. ♥

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  16. Thank you for the wonderful ice cream reipe, sounds so delicious. The baked beans are another and the air conditioning is running hard enough these past few weeks.
    My crepe myrtles have been taken over by beetles. They are not pretty and I wonder what Colonial Williamsburg does to keep theirs from being eat up? They are awful this year.

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    1. Oh Betsy, I'm sorry to hear the beetles have invaded your crepe myrtles!! We had them on our wisteria, but they have left us now, thank goodness. My crepe myrtle should be in full bloom this week.
      I'm not looking forward to getting the electric bill as our ac is running a lot! Stay cool. ♥

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  17. I agree with you . . . everything looks lovely in Colonial Williamsburg!

    Your baked bean recipe looks really good! It's definitely a bonus to not have to turn on the oven. I am quite content to remain inside on these blistering hot days. We're supposed to have somewhat of a break mid-week. I am hoping for it! Stay cool, friend!

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    1. Cheryl, I'm inside these days as well. I don't know if I'm as content as you are to do so. I'm working on that one, my friend. ♥

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  18. Saw you on Amalia's blog, and I hit the jackpot -thanks for your baked beans recipe. Even in the mountains at 300 feet in California where we live it has been near a hundred for weeks! Yes, no oven dishes now!
    Am curious about your Krups ice cream machines - you make it sound easy!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeannette! Making ice cream is quite easy. I've had this Krups ice cream maker for years. It has a canister that you keep in the freezer. I can't remember where I bought it, but I'm sure any good kitchen store would have one if not another brand. I hope you are staying cool. ♥

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  19. Oh I love the photos, Martha Ellen, the buildings and flowers! And that ice cream - oh my. I haven't made ice cream for about ten years. I have an electric ice cream maker that you do add rock salt to, and one summer I made ice cream and gelato several times - heavy whipping cream, etc. It was unbelievably delicious and I put on 10 pounds. LOL But I'm still going to keep your recipe AND that recipe for the baked beans. I have lots of company here during the summer and that would be perfect for one of the meals. Thanks so much! xo

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    1. Thank you, Judy for your kind comments. Making ice cream is a fun event for summertime and especially when you have your family visit. My children still speak of those times when we sat outside with anticipation of the ice cream finishing. It's a simple pleasure that is reserved for summer. xo ♥

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  20. Never made ice cream in my life...but I've eaten gallons of it.
    We fell in love with Crepe Myrtles upon moving here to the South and although the blooms are lovely, it is the bark, or lack thereof, and the twisting trunks that are most intriguing. I've planted 7 Crepes here and 3 more little "sticks" this year. It really is a Southern Tree, aren't we lucky?!!

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    1. Jeri, Crepe Myrtles are just the loveliest in the summer. I agree their peeling bark reveals an interesting trunk! It sounds like you have many in the Hollow. How wonderful! We are lucky to have such beauty! ♥

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  21. One of my fav bushes...I have a pink one in full bloom and a red one that has a couple of blooms since it is still a baby. Love them. You are correct...here in TN it has been WAY too hot..I am staying in and running my errands before the sun goes down...Ice cream, love it but not on my list of things I can have, my tummy don't like it anymore. I crash. Not sure how your little machine would do but I have directions for ice cream that I always loved. Twelve to 15 mini Milky Way bars, broken up, melted in a can of eagle brand milk. Add 10 to 12 oz bag of mini marshmellows. Melt all together. When done, pour in ice cream maker and fill the rest of the way with sweet reg. milk......oh so yummy!

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    1. Oh Pam, your recipe sounds divine! I hope you will share your lovely crepe myrtles with us on your blog. I've enjoyed them more this year than ever. I didn't have my camera with me as I went to the dentist today--I spotted a deep purple one that was beautiful. ♥

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  22. First I would like to thank you for your kinds words and visit.

    The ice cream looks delicious! My parents made homemade ice cream when I was a child.
    Your crepe myrtles are gorgeous. I had no idea they grew to that height.. And your home! How beautiful it is.
    blessings,
    Penny

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    1. Penny, thank you for your visit. The homes that I featured in these photos are not mine, they are in Colonial Williamsburg. Crepe Myrtles really are trees and not shrubs, though some folks cut them back severely every spring. ♥

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  23. I'd love some homemade ice-cream. Very hot here as well.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Amalia, I hope you are finding ways to stay cool, my friend. We have enjoyed the last couple of days with cooler temperatures and no humidity. I'm so thankful for this respite. Have a nice week. xo ♥

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  24. My mouth is WATERING!!!
    I enjoyed the photos too!! XXX OOO

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    1. Oh Linnie, you know how wonderful homemade ice cream can be. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are having a restful Sunday, dear one! xoxo ♥

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  25. Lovely home-made ice cream.
    Lovely selection of photo's too.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Jan the ice cream was delicous! I wish I had a bowl to offer you. Have a nice evening. ♥

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