Monday, November 30, 2009

Scottish shortbread in a jar

1 1/2 c flour
3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Mix and place in jar.
 Attach instructions
Knead jar ingredients with 1 c butter, bake in molds, cut into shapes or bake in a 9 in pie tins, slicing into pie shaped wedges and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Note. this isn't as pretty as some more layered jar gifts, so place a piece of fabric on top of the jar and maybe tie on a cookie cutter or mini whisk or even a little baggie of chocolate to melt.

Peanut Butter Cookies In a Jar

3/4 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
8 peanut butter cups, cut in quarters

Mix flour,powder, soda and salt, layer in quart jar, next brown sugar, white sugar, place a piece of plastic wrap and add peanut butter cups. seal lid
Attach instructions
Remove peanut butter cups, set aside. Mix together Jar ingredients with 1/2 c butter, softened, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well, may have to use your hands! Add pb cups, shape into balls and bake at 375 degrees 12-14 min.

Broken Glass

This is a favorite of mine, it is very pretty when cut. It takes a little work but it just may steal the show.

1 small pkg lime jello
1 small pkg lemon jello
1 small pkg cherry jello
Dissolve each in 1 1/2 c hot water, in separate pans, cool completely, when firm cut into 1/2 inch squares.

Crush 24 graham crackers, add 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c melted butter. Place half of graham mixture into sprayed 9X13 pan.
Dissolve 1 envelope plain gelatin (Knox or store brand, should be in the same place as jello)
in 1/4 c warm water, set aside
Heat 1 c pineapple juice until warmed through, add gelatin, let cool to lukewarm.
While cooling beat 1 pint heavy cream with 1/2 c sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. When soft peaks form, fold in glass(jello cubes), Fold in gelatin mix and pour over crust, top with remaining graham mixture. Chill until set.

 You can use ready made cool whip for the heavy cream to save time and calories.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

1 1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
2 3/4 c sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 c canned pumpkin

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla.
 Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin, until all is combined.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 65-70 min or until center tests done. Cool 10 min, then remove from pans.


Bring to boil
1 c white sugar
1 c corn syrup

1 c peanut butter
stir until smooth, mix in 6 c rice krispies or Special K cereal and spread in buttered 9X13 pan.

Bring to boil
1 c white sugar
1/2 c butter
1/4 c milk
boil 1 min, add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 c chocolate chips, 1/2 c butterscotch chips, stir until smooth, spread over bars, cool and cut.

Grandma's Gingersnaps

2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves

3/4 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c molasses
2 eggs
Mix shortening, sugar and molasses, add eggs. Combine dry ingredients and add to shortening mix, chill dough 1 hour, form into balls the size of walnuts. Roll in sugar and flatten with bottom of glass bake at 350 until golden.
You may frost with powdered sugar frosting or leave plain.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dorritos Casserole

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 small onion diced
1 10.75 oz can fiesta nacho soup
1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 12oz bag nacho Doritos -crushed
1 8 oz pk shredded cheese

brown ground beef and onion, add taco seasoning
in 3 qt dish layer half of chips, combine in bowl beef mixture, soups and undrained tomatoes and chilies, spoon over chips, top with remaining chips and cheese bake 20 min.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Delicious Bars

Here is a recipe from my friend Dianna, I haven't tried them yet but they sound great.
Delicious Bars

1 stick butter or margarine (butter is always better)
1/4 C sugar
1 C flour
Combine ingredients and pat into an ungreased 9" X 13" pan. Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

1 1/4 C crushed graham crackers (1 of the 3 pkgs from box)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 C milk
Mix ingredients and spread on cooled crust. Bake 25 minutes at 250.

1 stick softened butter (definitely butter)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until smooth. Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.

These are sooooo yummy. They don't last too long at our house!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Honey Glazed Chicken

1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 broiler chicken, or 1-2 pheasants, cut up
1/2 c butter or margarine, melted and divided
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c honey
1/4 lemon juice
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp curry powder

Combine flour, salt and pepper, dredge chicken to coat. Pour 4 Tbs butter into 13X9 pan, place chicken in pan turning once to coat. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min.
Combine b sugar, honey, lemon, soy, curry and remaining butter and pour over chicken. Bakr 45 min or until chicken is tender and tests done (juices run clear,no pink)
Baste during cooking.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marinade for Turkey

1 1/2 c chicken broth
2 c water
1 c soy sauce or Dales steak seasoning (sold in spice aisle at Walmart)
2/3 c lemonjuice
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbs rosemary
1 Tbs thyme
Mix, place all but 1 c in large plastic bag. Place cleaned thawed turkey in bag and seal, place in fridge overnight. Drain and discard marinade, Bake turkey as directed, using reserved cup of sauce  to baste.

Method #2 you may mix this without the garlic, rosemary and thyme and use with a turkey injector. Simply sprinkle the garlic and spices on the breast and in the cavity of turkey before cooking, use remaining sauce to baste. Turkey injectors are sold in most stores and are a large needle used to season the meat deep inside, they work well but will get plugged if any herbs are inside.

Remember Keep your turkey cool until cooking. When completely thawed, rinse inside and out with cool water,remove giblet package and neck bone. Use a meat thermometer to test when the turkey is done, it should measure 160 degrees in the deepest part of the thigh and 180 in the breast. Let the bird sit,covered on the counter for 20 min, resting before slicing.
Note: this recipe does not season with salt because of the high salt content in soy sauce.

Garlic tools, a garlic press will give you fine minced garlic, the roller is used to remove the skin from the clove, simply place inside and gently but firmly roll until clove separates from skin.

Creamy Carmel Fruit Dip

In mixing bowl beat
1 8oz pkg softened cream cheese
3/4 c brown sugar
1 c sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
1 c cold milk
1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
Cover and chill, serve with fresh fruit.

summer beauty

Busy bees


With winter approaching I decided to post a few garden photos so I can reflect on the beauty of summer and wait IMPATIENTLY for its return.

           over zealous squash!             

                  fresh herbs

I like the tall varieties of beans and nothing beats the smell of a tomato plant

Monday, November 23, 2009

Toasted Pecan and Broccoli Salad

1/3 c chopped toasted pecans
1 c light mayo
1/3 c sugar
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1 1/2 lb broccoli florets
1/4 c chopped red onion
1/3 c dried cranberries
4-6 slices cooked crumbled bacon

Toast pecans at 350 for 6-8 min,stirring occasionally.
Stir together mayo, sugar and vinegar, add broccoli, onion and cranberries. toss to coat. Chill 2 hours, sprinkle with pecans and bacon just before serving.

Blueberry Peach French Toast

l loaf  soft French bread
1 c blueberries
1 can peaches, drained or 1-2 peeled, pitted chopped peaches
2 1/2 c skim milk
8 eggs or 2 c egg substitute
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Arrange sliced French bread on bottom of 9X13 sprayed pan. (about 1 in thick slices)
Sprinkle blueberries and peaches over top.
Whisk together milk, eggs, white sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, pour half over pan, top with another layer of bread slices and remaining egg mix. Press down, let sit and soak up up to 2 hours in fridge. Cover with foil, bake 20 min, uncover and bake another 10 min. at 400.
sprinkle with powdered sugar.
 We had this in Mississippi our last visit and I am hoping Rachel will make it again the next time we go!

Sausage Breakfast Casserole

1 lb cooked sausage, link or bulk, drained
Layer 6 slices white crust less bread on bottom of 9X13 pan,
top with sausage
and 2 c shredded cheese
Layer 6 more slices crust less bread

Mix 6-10 eggs (I use about 8)
2 1/4 c milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
pour over casserole, refrigerate over night
bake at 325 for 60-75 min.

Ham and Egg Casserole

12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 c chopped ham or bacon
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
6  lg eggs
3 c milk
1/2 Tbs salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard

Lay 6 slices bread in sprayed 9X13 pan.
Layer meat and cheese. Top with remaining bread.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour over, cover with foil and refrigerate over night. Set out 1 hour before baking, place 2 c crushed cornflakes on top and dot on 1/2 c butter. Bake at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour.

Broiled Salmon

This is my friend Renee's great salmon recipe.

Marinate 1 salmon fillet (enough for 6-8 servings) in 1 c chardonnay

Place in a broiler pan and spread on 1/4 c melted butter
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp garlic salt
Broil 20-25 min until starts to blacken slightly.

Renee is in the center with the dark hair. This was taken at a Christmas tea/cookie exchange at my house a couple years ago.

Snicker Salad

6 Snickers, chopped

1 12 oz cool whip

5-6  apples, peeled, cored and diced.

Mix and refrigerate until serving.
Easy but yummy side dish.

Egg Rolls

Use 1 package egg roll wrappers, these are the large 4 or 5 in won ton wrappers found in the produce dept.
Brown 1 lb ground beef, or sausage or a mix of the two.
Drain meat, mix in
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
soy sauce- approx 1/4 c
add 2 shredded carrots
1/2 large head of cabbage finely chopped
mix well.
place about 3 Tbs mixture onto wrapper in the center, fold up one corner to middle, then bring sides to middle. It will look like an envelope. then moisten top corner with a little water and fold over, bring all ends in tightly, if you have to much air your egg roll will hold too much grease. Deep fry in 2-3 inches of oil or deep fryer until golden turning once. Line a cooling rack with paper towels and let egg rolls drain excess grease.  Serve warm with sweet and sour or


Bring to boil
2 1/2 c evaporated milk
2 1/2 c water,  let cool to lukewarm

10 Tbs sugar
3 pkg yeast
Dissolve in 1 c warm water set aside

To milk mixture, add 4 tsp salt, 10 Tbs butter and  5 eggs, lightly beat, add yeast.
Begin adding flour until dough is sticky, place on floured surface and knead adding enough flour to make a soft dough, (about 15 c)
Let rise until double, this is a large batch so use 2 bowls or 1 very large bowl. Punch down, let rise again.

Form into rolls or buns(whichever you call them). or loaves of bread into greased or sprayed pans. Cover and let rise until double, bake at 375, 15-20 min for buns, longer for loaves. Bread should be lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped. rub warm bread with melted butter.

Cinnamon Popcorn

1 bag (8oz) of puffed popcorn*
1 c butter or margarine
1/2 c corn syrup
1 pkg (9oz) red hots
Place popcorn in very large bowl, set aside. Bring to a boil over med. heat, butter, syrup and red hots. Boil 5 min, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn, stir to coat evenly. Place onto two greased cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees  stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on wax paper to cool, break apart.

* you  can find puffed popcorn in your chip aisle, this works best. You can pop regular popcorn and use it, make sure you remove all unpopped kernels,but  I think you will have better results if you use the store bought puffs.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cake Bars

My grandma made these often, they were one of my favorites of hers. Whenever I would go to her house I would go to the back door, that way I passed by the washer and dryer. On top of them was always something fresh baked, be it rolls, cookies or bars. Everyone new this secret, sometimes people came to the front door, but usually not.
Mix well
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c margarine
3 eggs  
3/8 c milk
1 1/4 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Divide dough into two parts and add 1/2 c coconut to half  and add 1 1/2 squares melted baking chocolate to the other half. Layer choc mix then white coconut mix in 9x13 sprayed pan.
Bake at 350    30 min.
1 c sugar
4 Tbs milk
butter the size of an egg
cook 1 min, add 1/2 c chocolate chips, pour over bars,cool.
This is that beautiful classic frosting that sets thin, has a shine and a few little cracks. mmmmm 

Calories, calories, calories

When baking one of the biggest problems is we don't always know how many calories we are consuming, perhaps we like it that way, no guilt? or less guilt.
In case you would like to calculate those naughty little totals, here is a list of common ingredients and their caloric count. Add total amounts and divide by servings. If your entire recipe is 5000 calories and you cut it into 24 pieces you will have 208 cal each. All items general, brands may vary.

   Item                                                               Calories
1 c all purpose flour                                                444
   1 Tbs  flour                                                            55
1 c whole wheat flour                                              407
1 c stone ground whole wheat flour                          520
1 c rye flour                                                             440
1 c oats                                                                   315
1 c sugar (white)                                                      774
1c sugar (brown)                                                    827
1 c honey                                                              1631
1 c sugar (powdered)                                              467
1 c Karo syrup                                                       927
1 c chocolate chips                                                 960
cocoa powder 1/3 c Nestle                                      80
                       1/3 c Hershey                                 115
1/2 c peanut butter                                                 850
1 Tbs cornstarch                                                      30
extracts 1 tsp                                         approx. 10-20
yeast 1/4 tsp                                                            15
sweetened flaked coconut 1/2 c                             175
1 c oil                                                                  1930 

Buttermilk Pancakes

3 eggs
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs melted butter
1 c flour
1 c buttermilk*

 Set griddle to 380 degrees and rub with a salt bag.**
Mix ingredients and pour pancakes according to the size you want. Flip when golden brown.
*if you don't have any buttermilk, place 1 tsp of vinegar OR 1 tsp lemon juice into 1 cup container, continue filling with milk, let stand 5 min.
** to create a salt bag, place salt, preferably sea salt or rock salt in a piece of cheese cloth and tie shut

candy thermometer

When making candy or fudge a candy thermometer will make things much easier. They are cheap and available at most stores. You can always test your thermometer by placing in water right as it reaches the boiling point, 212 degrees F. If it is off you can adjust for that amount when cooking.
Be sure and never submerge your thermometer in water to clean, gently wipe with warm soapy rag.

If you don't have a thermometer, don't let it stop you from trying a recipe, watch the time indicated in the recipe and be sure and follow it exactly.
  For many recipes the Cold Water Test will also work.
When testing, remove pan from heat and place a few drops of mixture in to cold, not icy water, check chart below. Use a clean spoon and water each time.
Stage                                                       Cold Water Test
Thread (230-234)   degrees                     candy syrup dropped from a spoon spins a 2 in thread
Soft Ball (234-240)                                 can be shaped into a ball that flattens when removed from water
Firm Ball (244-248)                                 can be shaped into a firm ball that does not loose shape
Hard Ball (250-266 )                               forms a hard but pliable ball
Soft Crack(270-290)                               separates into threads that are not hard or brittle
Hard Crack (300-310)                            separates into brittle threads


Wild Rice Chicken Casserole

1 6 oz pkg Uncle Ben's Wild and Long Grain Rice
3/4 c mayo, (you can lighten this recipe by using plain yogurt here)
1 c chopped celery
1 small onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 can sliced water chestnuts chopped
1 large can of chicken (like the ones sold at Sam's club) -you may also use left over shredded cooked chicken or turkey

Cook rice according to directions on package, don't drain any left over liquid. Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 45-60 min. (can be refrigerated over night before baking)

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz chocolate chips, about 2/3 of a bag
1 1/4 c coconut
1 c chopped walnuts

In 9x13 pan melt butter in oven set to 350, for glass pan 325 degrees. Take out and add graham crackers, mix with butter and press over bottom of pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs, top with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Bake 25-30 min.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fantasy Fudge

This is the recipe you will find on the back of marshmallow creme jars.

1 1/2 sticks margarine
3 c sugar
2/3 c evaporated milk
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1 c walnuts (opt)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix margarine, sugar and milk in heavy 3 qt pan. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly, boil 5 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until chocolate is melted. Pour into greased pan, 9x9 for thick fudge or 9x13 for smaller pieces. cool until room temp  makes 3 lbs
Tips if you are not using a candy thermometer be sure and boil a full 5 min. Fudge can be cut into 1/2 lb bars, wrapped in plastic wrap with a bow and given as a great hostess gift. Freezes well, I freeze in single layers with wax paper in between and pieces can be taken out as needed.

Cranberry Short Bread

2 sticks butter at room temp
2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c finely chopped dried cranberries

Combine butter, p sugar and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Pat into an 8X8 pan. bake at 325 for 20 min, until golden.
You can form into rolls, wrap, chill and slice these, or cut into shapes.
My friend Jan made many batches of these one year and they have become a favorite of mine, similar to a classic shortbread.

Sand Art Brownies

5/8 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c flour
2/3 c brown sugar
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 vanilla chips
1/2 c walnuts
Layer ingredients in order in a 1 quart wide mouth jar, tamping down firmly. Place lid on jar and you can add a little fabric between lid and rim for decoration if you like
Attach a tag with these directions:
   Brownies- preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9X9 pan
                  Pour contents of jar in mixing bowl and add 2/3 c oil, 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla.
                  Mix until combined, pour into pan and bake 25 min or until center tests done.
(photo to come)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cranberry Flax Muffins

1 1/2 c bran flakes cereal
3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c wheat flour
1/2 c ground flax
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 c skim milk or 1% buttermilk
1/2 c honey
1/4 c canola oil
1 1/2 c cranberries
2 Tbs whole flax seed

In large bowl combine cereal, flours, ground flax, br. sugar, b powder, b soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In another bowl whisk egg, egg whites, milk ,honey and oil.
Stir together just until moistened, stir in cramberries.
Spray muffin tins, fill 2/3 full, sprinkle with flax seeds.
Bake at 375 for 10-15 min.

Easy Red Velvet Truffles

Prepare 1 box Red Velvet cake mix according to package directions.
cool completely, crumble entire cake into bowl
Mix with 1 can cream cheese frosting
Form into truffle size balls and chill 3 hours
Melt one package almond bark (chocolate or white)
dip truffles into chocolate to coat completely, let set on wax paper.

Pasta Bake

Mix 2 lb ground turkey or beef
with 1/2 tsp salt
   1/2 tsp pepper
   1 tsp garlic powder
   1/2 tsp onion powder
   1 tsp basil
   1/2 tsp thyme
shape into meatballs and brown,set aside

Use 1 large can of spaghetti sauce or make your own*
Boil 1 lb box of penne pasta or pasta of your choice,drain
Layer in 9X13 sprayed pan, meatballs, sauce, cooked pasta, add 1 pkg sliced pepperoni and 8-12 oz shredded Monterrey cheese, sprinkle with a little more basil. Bake at 350 for 20 min.

* tomato sauce
use 2 large cans tomato sauce
   1 tsp melted butter
   dash of lemon juice
   1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
   1/2 tsp garlic salt
   1 Tbs dried minced onion or 1/4 tsp onion powder
   dash of salt and pepper
   2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
mix and use like canned sauce, (adjust spice to taste)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spinach Strawberry Salad

Tear 12 c spinach
add 1 quart cored slice strawberries
3-4 peeled sliced kiwi
3 sliced green onions

1/3 c sugar (sugar substitute works well also) or you may omit sugar
1/4 c raspberry vinegar
1/4 c oil
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds*
2 Tbs poppy seeds
Mix well , toss until salad coats evenly
*to toast sesame seeds, place in non stick pan with no oil or spray over med heat until seeds turn golden

Pepperoni Baked Beans

1 can baked beans- your choice
1-2 can(s) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans
1 can green beans- drained
1 can wax beans- drained
1 can butter beans- drained

Mix in large casserole dish
1 lb sausage- hot and spicy if you dare
1 lb hamburger
add to beans
add 1 package sliced pepperoni
Add 1 can tomato soup
1 small can tomato paste
1 c brown sugar
pepper to taste
dash of cayenne
mix all together
Pour over top 1 small bottle of bar-b-q sauce, do not stir
Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 uncovered.
 To make in crock pot, stir all ingredients together and place on high 2 hours, then on keep warm until serving.

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

These taste similar to the wonderful Red Lobster biscuits.

2 c  Bisquick baking mix
2/3 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c butter, melted
Mix Bisquick and 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
Add milk and cheese, stir until soft dough forms,drop onto ungreased baking sheet, bake at 450 until golden. Mix butter and remaining garlic, brush over warm biscuits.  Makes 10-12

Hush Puppies

2 1/4 c yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 c flour
1 Tbs baking powder
3 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 small onion chopped
1 c milk
1 tsp Tony Chachere's (spice sold in most Walmarts) creole or cajon seasoning mixes will also work. to make your own seasoning see

Combine ingredients Heat a pan of oil about 3 inches deep to 350-375 or use deep fryer. Drop by Tablespoons into oil, turning for even browning. Drain on paper towels.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rhubarb Tea/ Rhubarb Slush

Boil 8 stalks chopped rhubarb in 8 c water, reduce heat and let simmer 1 hour, strain
Add sugar to taste. (adding sugar when tea is still warm will help it to dissolve)
serve warm or cooled

3 c rhubarb, chopped, fresh or frozen
1 c water
1/3 c sugar
1 c apple juice
1 6oz frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 bottle lemon-lime soda ( 2 liters)
In saucepan, combine rhubarb, water and sugar, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 min.
Cool 30 min, In blender puree 1/2 at a time. Pour into freezer container (Tupperware with lid)
add apple juice and lemonade,stir well. Freeze until firm. Let thaw 45 minutes before serving, place in punch bowl with soda. Serve immediately.
I served this once to a group of friends, NO ONE left the punch bowl, we stood there refilling until it was empty!

Hot Chocolate in a Jar

Sift into a bowl
3 c powdered milk
1/2 c cocoa ( Hershey's or Nestle )
3/4 c sugar
dash salt
Pack into a quart jar. Mix 4 Tbs to 8 oz hot water.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mix together
1/3 c light brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp powdered vanilla *
1/4 c cocoa
2 1/2 c powdered milk
Store and mix as above.
* can substitute powdered vanilla creamer or Cafe International coffee mix

Pecan Pie

1 1/2 c flour
pinch salt
7 Tbs butter
4-5 Tbs cold water
cut butter into flour and salt, add water,knead until blended refrigerate 1 hour, roll out on floured surface.makes 1 crust 
  * note see Never Fail Pie Crust recipe also

4 eggs
1 c dark corn syrup
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c butter, melted
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped pecans
3/4 c pecan halves      (you may simply add 1 3/4 c pecan halves)
Beat eggs, add rest of ingredients ,mix until smooth- using the 1 c of pecans. Pour into crust, top with remaining 3/4 c pecans- arranging evenly. Bake at 350 for 50 min.  Cover loosely with foil the last 20 minutes to avoid over browning.

Peanut Butter Pie

1 pk (8oz) softened cream cheese
1 c plus 2 Tbs creamy peanut butter, divided
1/2 c sugar
1 12oz carton cool whip
1 crumb crust
2/3 c plus 2 Tbs hot fudge topping, divided

In large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth, add 1 c peanut butter and sugar, mix well. Fold in 3 c cool whip and spoon into crust. Microwave hot fudge 30 sec pour over pie, refrigerate 2 hours. spread remaining cool whip on top. Drizzle with warmed remaining peanut butter and hot fudge. 

Banana Pudding

One of our families favorites!

1 lg package instant vanilla pudding
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz cream cheese softened
3 c milk
1 8 oz cool whip

4-6 bananas
vanilla wafers

Mix pudding, milks, and cream cheese. 
Fold in cool whip, in a glass bowl place a layer of vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and 1/3 of pudding mixture, repeat for a total of 3 layers.
 Let chill for 3 hours. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Young Bakers

We home school and every year we would have a bake off, It was one of the things they looked forward to most for years.


This recipe once won the best overall baked goods at the local county fair.
1 c butter softened, not margarine
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
3 c flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sliced almonds

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, stir in extracts.
Combine flour , b powder,salt and add to creamed mixture. Stir in almonds.
Line a baking sheet with greased foil or parchment paper. Divide dough in two logs 3X11 each. Bake at 300 for 35 min. Remove foil and let cool, slice into 3/4 in slices, place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 min at 325, turn each over and bake another 5-8 min.
serve plain or dip in chocolate.
for a variation add 1/2 -1 c chopped dried cranberries.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

do not double
 Grease 9X13 or 10X15 cookie sheet well, set aside .
Use 2 qt glass casserole dish.
  1 c sugar
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 c white corn syrup
 Stir together cook on high 5 min, add 1 c roasted salted peanuts, cook on high 3 more minutes.
Quickly stir in 1 Tbs butter 1 tsp vanilla  1 tsp soda   caution-may spatter!
Spread on pan quickly, cool completely, break into pieces. Do not store in tupperware.

Grease 2- 9X13 pans well- set aside
2 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1/2 c water
1/4 c butter
2 1/2 c peanuts
1 1/2 tsp baking soda-sifted
 Butter sides of 3 qt saucepan. combine sugar,syrup water and butter, cook over med high heat until 275 (soft crack stage) stirring occasionally, try not to get on sides of pan.
Add nuts and continue to 295 degrees and syrup is clear and golden. Remove from heat and quickly stir in soda. Pour onto pans, let cool. break into pieces.
The best way to store is to line a cardboard box with wax paper and layer brittle in with more wax paper between.  
   this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book


Microwave method

1 c whipping cream
1 lb. brown sugar
 microwave on high 13 min- times may vary according to your wattage should be golden and bubbly
add 3 Tbs butter
beat until shine begins to go away and mixture becomes cloudy
add 1 C pecans
Pour on wax paper into 1-3 in circles ( use the size you like)*
when set remove, wrap each in plastic wrap
  * it will help if you butter the wax paper and place it on top of newspaper as mixture is very hot!

Regular Method
1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbs butter
1 1/2 c pecans

Combine all ingredients except pecans into 3 qt saucepan and bring to soft ball stage (238-240), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir until mixture thickens and becomes less glossy (cloudy).
Add pecans (they should stay suspended in mixture), work quickly.
pour onto greased wax paper*see above - size is up to you, usually a 3 in praline is what is sold in stores.
Store individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Heat 1/3 c oil in heavy skillet, add 1/3 c flour,stir until caramel color- this is called roux . do not burn- set aside
In another pan saute 1 c  each chopped onions, green peppers, celery and 4 cloves minced garlic in a little oil, add 2 tsp gumbo seasoning* about 3-5 minutes
In a large stock pot combine roux and vegetables, stir in 4 c chicken broth, 1/2 lb sliced polish sausage and 1 c chopped tomatoes or 1 c tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 20 min. Add cooked shredded chicken and shrimp (approx 1/2 lb each) Heat through, shrimp can be previously cooked or raw (will turn orange when done).
Serve over cooked  rice.

  Now here is the thing about gumbo, it isn't exact, you can really change the recipe around to fit your taste. Most recipes include okra I omit it because I don't like it. You can change the basic amounts of vegetables as you like but in Southern cooking, onion, garlic and celery are considered the trinity.(correction, onion, bell pepper and celery are trinity) If you want more meat add crab or more sausage, bigger pot? double the roux and broth- no problem.
  Also if you should come across File' (fee'-lay) grab it, usually it is sold in good spice sections. You can make gumbo without it but they do call it File' gumbo. It is dried sassafras leaves. It can be a little expensive but if you have it throw in 1/2 tsp.
   Folks in the North don't always eat spicy foods, in fact if you use a little pepper it qualifies as spicy for some here. But for the adventurous.....make a pot of gumbo! (You ought to see  Yankees when you serve them crawdads!)
*make your own gumbo seasoning
   2 Tbs onion powder
   2 Tbs garlic powder
   2 Tbs oregano
   2 Tbs basil
   1 Tbs thyme
   1 Tbs each black and cayenne pepper
   5 Tbs paprika
   3 Tbs salt
Mix and store in airtight container
Photo is Zach, a family friend, eating a crawdad.

Rachel's Blueberry Cobbler

this is a family favorite
In Mississippi my dad and step mom have some wonderful blueberry bushes, last year she picked over 18 gallons of them!! Of course they grow along side, figs, lemons, kumquats, sassafras etc. Here in the Dakotas, we grow a lot of snow. Yes, I am jealous.

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
3 c blueberries
3/4 c sugar
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter- melted
1/4  sugar
1 c chopped pecans
Spray 9X13 pan. Layer ingredients in order, do not drain the pineapple, the cake mix is used dry and the sugar is sprinkled in both layers. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

Grandma's Doughnuts

1 3/4 -2 c sugar
4 eggs
3 Tbs melted butter
2 c buttermilk
1 c sweet milk (2%)
3/4 tsp vanilla
5 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp nutmeg

add to liquid
mix well
heat oil in deep fryer or 2-3 inches in a frying pan
place some mix into doughnut maker and drop into 350 degree oil, turn when golden brown.
Be sure to check that doughnuts are done in the center. It is a bit of work to get them even, done enough- yet not too brown. Good Luck! Nothing tastes so good as one of these warm and crispy, after they cool they are soft like a typical cake doughnut. Enjoy the funny shaped ones, the "bubbles" formed on them show that they are truly home made.

Krumkake (kroom'-ka-ka)

6 eggs, beaten
1 c sugar
1 c four
3/4 c melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Heat a krumkake iron over stove to med- high, lightly spray the first time
place 1 tsp at a time on iron, the weight of the iron will press out iron, if you have the old fashioned one pictured you will have to flip to keep both sides warm. when golden remove and quickly roll with wooden form. store in a box lined with wax paper, these are very fragile and the key to eating with out complete crumbling is to place your tongue in the hole and carefully bite down.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sky High Biscuits

3 c flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 c butter
1 egg
1 c milk

Combine flour, b powder, sugar,salt and cream of tartar,cut in butter until coarse crumbs.
Add egg and milk,stir until moist
Roll out on floured surface to 1 inch thick, use round cookie cutter and cut biscuits straight down, do not twist cutter*.  Bake at 450 for 12-15 min.
For buscuits and gravy brown 1 lb of sausage, remove sausage reserving grease. Mix 1/4 c flour into grease  over low heat. add 1 can of evaporated milk and 1 can water. Stir until smooth. Continue to add regular milk until desired consistency and amount of gravy is reached, you may also add more flour if you need to thicken gravy. Season with salt and lots of pepper. Add sausage back to gravy  and serve over warm biscuits.

I think this is one of my favorite recipes of all, these biscuits are great, they rise nicely and are light and flaky.

*Be sure and cut straight down, when you twist a biscuit cutter you will seal the ends and it will have a harder time rising.

Black Bean Salsa

 3 cans black beans- drained and rinsed
1 c Italian dressing
1  c sliced green onions
1-4 chopped tomatoes
1 md green pepper chopped
chopped seeded jalapeno peppers (to taste) or cayenne pepper
1 Tbs hot pepper sauce
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
salt pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregeno
3 cloves minced garlic
Mix all ingredients together, serve with tortilla chips or use as a condiment.

Creamy Artichoke and Spinach Dip

2  14 oz cans artichoke hearts
            drained and coarsely chopped
1   10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
6  oz  grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 c mayo
3/4 c sour cream
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
butter 1 1/2 qt casserole dish  mix ingredients bake 30-40 min at 375
serve with crackers or bread

Hot Pizza Dip

1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c pizza sauce
1/2 c finely chopped green onions
1/2 c finely chopped pepper
 tortilla chips or breadsticks
combine cream cheese, seasonings and spread on bottom of 9 in pie plate.
combine cheeses and sprinkle half over cream cheese, top with sauce and onions and peppers, sprinkle with remaining cheese. bake at 350 for 20 min. serve warm with chips or bread        makes 3 1/2 cups
   from Taste of Home magazine

Puppy Chow

1 c peanut butter
1 stick butter
12 oz chocolate chips
1 box of Chex or Crispix
powdered sugar
melt butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips over low heat. pour over cereal, toss to coat
place in paper bag or large baggie with powdered sugar, do a little at a time, coat completely. store in airtight container- if it lasts, this is gone in our house in about a day!

Pizza Crust

Heat 1 bottle of beer (non alcoholic works fine also) to 120 degrees
Add 2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sugar
1 pkg yeast
 mix  3 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt add to liquid
knead dough to soft consistency using as little flour as possible
let rise until double in size in a covered greased bowl
dust pizza stone with cornmeal and form pizza crust   makes one large deep or 2 thin crusts
let rise again 15 min. add toppings and bake

Lemon Bars

1 1/2 c flour
2/3 c powdered sugar
3/4 c butter or margarine softened
3 eggs  lightly beaten
1 1/2 c sugar
3 Tbs flour
1/4 c lemon juice
additional powdered sugar
Combine flour, sugar and butter, pat into greased 9X13 pan. bake at 350 for 20 min
meanwhile in bowl whisk eggs, sugar flour and lemon juice until frothy, pour over hot crust. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min until light brown. cool and dust with powdered sugar, cut into squares.

Classic Romegrad (Rice Mush)

Warning.... if you are on a diet... this is not for you!

3 c milk
4 c cream- not 1/2 and 1/2
1- 1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Heat milk seperately
Heat cream in heavy kettle, watch closely, when it boils stir in flour, then pour in hot milk
mix with whisk until smooth, add sugar and salt.

Cook 1/2 c rice, start with 1/2 c water, add milk until cooked well. watch carefully.
Place rice in large dish,cover with Mush. Serve with lots of butter, cinnamon and sugar.

My aunt Orvie always brought this to the holiday gatherings. I imagine if you have never had it you could have quite a look on your face right now. But hey, it gets cold in ND and you need something to keep you warm and full, you can imagine in the old farm days, this would be simple available food. I think it is comfort food to the max!

home made marshmallows

 These are a lot more work than going to the store to buy a bag, but I promise they are worth it. No marshmallow turns into a thick layer of foamy delight like these do atop your cocoa!

1 1/2 c cold water
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox or store brand)
3 c sugar

1 1/4 c light corn syrup                          
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar

Brush 9X13  or 10X15 pan with oil, set aside.the size of the pan will effect the thickness of marshmallows.I use a 10x15x2. Pour 3/4 c water in a large bowl, sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand until softened, about 5 min.
Place granulated sugar, 3/4 c water, corn syrup and salt in med saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. cook until 238-240 degrees, use candy thermometer
with mixer on low speed, using a whisk attachment (if you have one, regular will do) slowly add syrup to gelatin, continue to beat, gradually increasing speed of mixer until stiff peaks form. 30 minutes, yep, 30 minutes. Beat in vanilla and pour in prepared pan, let sit uncovered at room temp for at least 3 hours. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto counter and remove entire contents of pan. Using powdered sugar on all cut areas and on knife when needed, cut into squares, you can make them as small or large as you like, I usually get about 100 out of this recipe, big ones are great just remember they need to fit in your mug! Dust each on in enough powdered sugar so they wont stick, store in airtight container lined with wax paper between layers.

Sweet and Sour Pasta

Boil 1 16 oz. pkg tricolor pasta, drain and rinse with cold water
In large bowl add to pasta
1 med chopped red onion
1 med chopped tomato
1 med chopped, peeled cucmber
1 med chopped green pepper
 Heat over med-low for 10 min
   1 1/2 c sugar (splenda or other sugar substitute may be used)
   1/2 c vinegar
   1 Tbs mustard
   1 tsp salt
   1 tsp garlic powder
Pour over pasta and vegetables,cool. Serve with slotted spoon
 *nutritional values using sugar substitute
  1/16 recipe 137 cal. 5 mg sodium, o cholesterol, 21 gm carb, 11 gm protein, 1gm fat. Diabetic ex 1 1/2 starch,1 vegetable.
from Taste of Home, collector's edition.

Never Fail Pie Crusts

1 1/4 c crisco
3 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
5 Tbs water
1 Tbs vinegar
cut crisco into flour and salt, combine egg, water and vinegar, pour into flour
blend until moist. Makes 4-5 crusts.

This was my grandma's crust, it is light and she always said if you didn't get 5 crusts, you rolled them too thick.
when rolling crusts chill your dough taker out enough for one crust at a time and leave remaining mixture in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap.
use enough flour so your dough wont stick but use as little as possible and brush off excess with a pastry brush.
If you have a pastry cloth with board and rolling pin covers it will make it even easier. work  enough flour into cloths before rolling out (approx 1/4 to 1/2 c)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cake with Seven Minute Frosting

Bake a white cake according to directions on package. Use 2 8" pans.
layer lemon filling and top with seven minute frosting

Lemon filling
Combine 3/4 c sugar, 2 Tbsp. cornstarch and a dash salt, stir in 3/4 c cold water.
Add 2 beaten egg yolks
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3 Tbs. lemon juice
cook and stir until bubbly, continue 1 more minute after bubbling
Stir in 1 Tbs butter
 cover surface with wax paper to avoid getting a skin, and cool
spread between layers of cake

Seven minute frosting
1 1/2 c sugar
1/3 c cold water
2 egg whites
2 tsp light corn syrup OR 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla
in the top of a double boiler combine sugar, water, syrup OR tartar and salt. beat 30 seconds on low. On top of double boiler (top pan should not touch water below) cook 7 min beating constantly. if you have a whip attachment on your  mixer this works great but is not needed.
when stiff peaks form remove from heat and add vanilla, beat 2-3 more minutes until spreading consistency. Frost tops and sides of cake generously.
 this is a classic old fashioned frosting that is definitely worth the work!

Easy Rice Casserole

The first person I remember ever making this is my Step mother Rachel, It seems most people now have this recipe and it is one of their favorites, it can be made in the microwave but for best results use the oven.

1 cup rice, not minute or quick cooking
1 can consomme' soup   (fancy beef broth, Campbel'ls makes a good one)
1 can French onion soup
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 small can mushrooms  (opt) I say Ick! skip 'em
melt butter, add rest of ingredients bake in a 2 qt baking dish at 350 for 45 min.
 YUM and it smells delightful
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