Life on Regal-Hill: June 17, 2009

Here at Regal-Hill we are still waiting for the weather to be dryer so we can start haying. Showers are forecast for every day this week. Now that it is time to start haying you would think the weather would cooperate and be dry for awhile. George is all ready to mow as soon as the forecast calls for three days in a row of dry weather.
Now that most of the garden is planted, we are waiting for it to grow so that we can soon enjoy fresh vegetables from it. We are already eating lettuce from the garden.
I am thinking again of what to do with all the clutter that accumulates so quickly in our home. It seems like there is no end to it. One problem is the junk mail that seems to come every day. If I don’t sort through it the same day it appears, I soon have more than I want to deal with every day. I guess one solution is to rid yourself of the junk mail as soon as it comes, and have a wastebasket handy as you sort through it. However, it then has to be recycled, or burned to be completely rid of it.
The paper says you can’t burn anything. Well, just be careful what you burn. It would seem that letters, requests for money donations, newspapers, magazines and catalogues could be burned safely.
Some mail says to notify the sender that you don’t want to receive their mail. I have tried that and it doesn’t work any better than being asked to be removed from a telemarketer’s list.
I don’t mind recycling, but it gets tiresome when it continues week after week with no real end in sight.
An article in Woman’s Day June 2, 2009 entitled “Mess-Proof Your House” is very useful if you are serious about getting rid of clutter. It has me thinking about how I can get rid of my clutter. At least I know I am not the only one with the problem.
There are a number of hard cheeses and many of them are used either sliced, shredded or grated and used in making main dishes, even though cheddar cheese is probably the most common hard cheese. Swiss cheese, Gouda and Monterey Jack are also popular.
The farmers’ markets in our area now have locally made Gouda cheese. Get some and try this recipe. You won’t be sorry you did.
Since pizza and stratas are so popular try these and see if you don’t like these as well.

Smoked Gouda Spinach Pizza
1 tube (13.8 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Alfredo sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pkg. (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach
1/2 lb. Italian chicken sausage links, cooked and sliced
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
Unroll dough into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; flatten dough and build up edges slightly. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in Alfredo sauce and thyme. Spread over crust. Top with spinach, sausage and cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crust and cheese are lightly browned.
Yield: 10 pieces
Taste of Home April/May 2009

Mustard Ham Strata
12 slices day-old bread, crusts removed and cubed
1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion
7 eggs
3 cups milk
3 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer the bread cubes, ham, green pepper, cheeses and onion. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, mustard and salt. Pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Yield: 12 servings
Taste of Home Simple & Delicious March/April 2009