Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bean Salad

2 cans black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 sweet pepper (red, yellow or orange-red adds nice color)
1 small bag of frozen corn
1 good sized celery stick
Green onions
Salt
Pepper
Ground Cumin
Salad dressing (I like Italian, but oil & vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and raspberry vinagarette are also good.)
Cherry or grape tomatoes
1 or 2 ripe avocados


Drain juice from canned beans. Rinse beans. Put in large bowl.
Remove stem, veins, and seeds from pepper. Cut into pieces about the size of small peas. Add to beans.
Add corn to beans. Do not cook.
Remove strings from the celery. Cut into tiny pieces (about 1/4" or so) and add to beans.
Take a handful of green onions, rinse, remove roots and tops. Slice the sweet white part into slices about 1/4" or less. Separate the slices into rings. Add to beans.
Add a little salt, pepper and ground cumin.
Add a little salad dressing. Go light --just add enough to moisten.

If you have the time, refrigerate this mixture overnight. This allows flavors to blend. If you don't have the time, you can skip this step, but make yourself a note to start earlier next time. It is better if it sits overnight.

Cut up the grape or cherry tomatoes and add to beans.
Cut up avocado(s) and add to beans.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Not Quite Olive Garden Salad Dressing

This recipe was described as a copy cat for the salad dressing at Olive Garden. It is not quite, but it is still good.  Once made it lasts about 10 days.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp grated* Parmasean cheese
2 Tbsp grated* Romano cheese
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
sugar (optional)

*Use grated cheese, not shredded

Mix all ingredients well. Refrigerate unused dressing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mary Jean's Hot Cheese Dip

This recipe comes from one of the women who meet on Tuesdays at Bead and Fiber Fantasy in Marion, NY. Once a year we have a pot luck Christmas gathering and Mary Jean brought this. I loved it.

Mix
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
2 T milk
4 oz. shredded dried beef  (Mary Jean notes she washes and dries this first)
2 T minced onion
2 T minced green peppers
1/8 t pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

Top with seasoned, buttered crumbs.

Bake at 350F for 15 min.
Serve warm.

Saturday, March 12, 2016



Kathryn's Peanut Brittle

Kathryn K is a fine cook. Her Italian Cream Cake is unbearably good. Her husband didn't want cake for his birthday, asking instead for peanut brittle. Oh, yum!

1 c sugar
1 c raw peanuts
1/2 c corn syrup
1/8 t salt

Mix together and microwave 4 minutes, then stir.
Cook another 3 minutes.

1 T butter

Stir in butter and cook another 2 minutes.

1 t vanilla
1 t baking soda

Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Quickly spread on buttered foil.

Kathryn's hint: I use my glass batter bowl to make this. You need something with a handle because the bowl gets really hot.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cheddar, Bacon, and Ale Soup

Parkwood Heights is a retirement community in Macedon, NY. Every January they host a soup tasting event. This recipe came from what I hope someday will be my "old folks home"...seriously.

1/2 lb. bacon
2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
5 cloves minced garlic
1 small bay leaf
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
12 oz. Scotch ale
2 1/2 cups milk
14 ounces chicken broth
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp hot sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP soy sauce
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside.

In the same large saucepan, over medium eat, melt butte; add onions and bay leaf. Cook stirring often until onions are translucent and softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and bacon; cook until golden brown.

Stir in flour and cook about 3 minutes longer.

Gradually whisk in ale; stirring for about 2 minutes or until mixture is bubbling and thickened. Whisk in milk, chicken broth and dry mustard. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring often so it doesn't scorch bottom of pan.

Add cheese a handful at a time; stir until cheese is melted and soup is hot. DO NOT LET SOUP BOIL. Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Southern Green Beans

6 strips of bacon  (before cooking, cut into 1" pieces)
1 onion (before cooking, slice onion on "longitude lines", not into rings)
1 clove garlic smashed
1/2 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles - mild
Vegetable stock, chicken stock or water  (vegetable stock is best)
1 1/2 lbs green beans (NOT the petite ones. You want mature green beans for this) washed and ends trimmed.

Put the cut up bacon in a large heavy pan on medium.  Saute until cooked but not crisp.
Add onions to the bacon. No, you don't have to drain first.  Cook until onions are soft. About 4-5 min.
Add the garlic. Cook for about a minute, stirring. Don't brown the garlic.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Add the green beans.
OPTIONAL: Add cracked pepper (yes), red pepper (I don't), and salt (I don't add salt here; I taste at about 1 hour and add salt if needed then; it usually doesn't need it because of the bacon).
Add stock or water to the level of the beans.
Let it come to a boil and then turn it down. You want it to bubble a bit, but bot a full boil. Cover and cook about 2 hours.

Friday, August 1, 2014

French Toast Muffins

I found this recipe at "Two Peas and Their Pod." I've made it for company and if any are left over, I stick them in the freezer until the grandkids are over.  Yummy. I use a pan with 6 giant muffin cups instead of 12 standard muffin cups. It works just fine.

For the muffin:
1 loaf French bread, cut or torn into 1/2 inch cubes (about 12 cups of bread)
2 1/2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt


Maple Syrup, for serving

 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
2. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Add about 1 cup of bread cubes to each muffin cup. Carefully pour egg and milk mixture evenly over each muffin tin. You may need to press down on the bread cubes after you pour a little mixture and then pour more. Pour slowly or you will have a mess. Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle the muffins evenly with the streusel topping.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with maple syrup.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Onion Strings

Whoa...it has been a long time since I posted. Yesterday I made onion strings. Oh, they were so good! I found the recipe at the Food Network website.

Ingredients
2 large onions
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 scant tablespoon salt
Plenty of black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Canola oil, for frying


Directions
Begin by peeling the onions and slicing very thinly, use a mandoline slicer if you can. Separate the onion slices and place them in a shallow baking dish and pour the buttermilk over the top. Press the onions down so they're submerged as much as possible and let them soak on the counter for at least an hour. If necessary, stir them around a bit halfway through the soaking process.
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and set aside.
Pour 1 to 2 quarts canola oil in a pot or Dutch oven. Heat to 375 degrees F, or until a pinch of flour sizzles when sprinkled over the pot.
Using tongs, remove a handful of onions from the buttermilk and immediately dunk into the flour mixture. Coat the onions in the flour mixture, and then tap them on the inside of the bowl to shake off the excess.
Plunge the onions in the hot oil. With a spoon, fiddle with them a bit just to break them up, and watch them! They'll be ready to remove from the oil in no time flat.
When they're golden brown (this should take just a minute or two), remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat with the remaining onion slices and serve immediately.




Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sarah's Mac and Cheese

When my life gets really hectic, opening the fridge and discovering someone has left a big ol' pan of mac and cheese in there for me would make me smile. I hope it does the same for my daughter. I used her recipe so it would be what her family likes.

5 cups fresh grated cheddar
16 oz. Elbow macaroni
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
4 cups 2% milk
1 T. onion powder
4 bay leaves
½ t. paprika
black pepper

Grate 5 cups cheddar.

Boil water and cook 16 oz pasta just until tender.

In pan, melt 4 T butter, wisk in 4 T flour, 4 c milk, 1T onion powder, 4 bay leaves, ½ t paprika, and sprinkle in some black pepper.

Add ½ the cheddar, then mix in drained pasta.

Put half the pasta mix in a buttered 9x12 pan, cover with ½ the remaining cheddar, then cover with the remaining pasta mix, then the remaining cheddar.

Broil to brown top.

If made in advance, bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Granola

Bedtime snack or breakfast cereal? Both!

I don't use shredded coconut for my granola. I like the look and texture of toasted chipped or flaked coconut in this. To toast coconut, spread the flakes on a baking sheet in a 300F oven. Stir every 5 minutes or so. When the coconut starts to get some brown around the edges, it's done.

My favorite nuts in this granola are a mix of sliced almonds and chopped macadamia nuts. It lends itself to endless variations.

I'm not a fan of raisins or other dried fruits, so I generally leave them out.


4 cups oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup nuts, coarsely chopped or sliced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried fruits (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F and place rack in center of oven.
Line a good sized baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, nuts, and salt.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the honey, syrup, and vanilla. Toss gently to make sure all dry ingredients are coated with the butter mixture.
Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Do not overbake.
Spread on a fine mesh wire rack to cool. The granola will be sticky when it comes from the oven, but becomes crisp and dry as it cools.
When it is completely cooled, stir in your choice of dried fruit.
Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spicy Cinnamon Pumpkin Muffins

It is rare that I post a recipe I have not yet made or tasted, but these just sounded good. A friend here in Amarillo got the recipe from her daughter-in-law in Houston. She said these are really good with just a enough bite to makes your tongue tingle and taste kinda like it was made with red hots! I can't wait to make this and I want to make a second batch using gingerbread instead of white cake mix.


Mini Muffin pans
1 can (15oz) solid pumpkin
1 Box white cake mix
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 350F. spray muffin tins with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Combine pumpkin, cake mix, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper in mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.

3. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of muffin batter into each cup. Bake on center rack for 15 min. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Almond Cookies

These are thin and crisp cookies with a strong almond flavor. I found the recipe as written allowed too much cooking time. The time shown here is shortened from the original. I suggest you start with the shorter time and check the cookies. If you need to bake them longer to suit you, then add time. Ya can't uncook 'em! Watch carefully as they bake, since these cookies can go from done to burned very quickly!

Mom used to make cookies with a similar taste, but she flattened the cookies and sprinkled them with sugar. I tried it with this recipe, but all I achieved was getting a wad of cookie dough stuck on the bottom of the glass.

These cookies have a really nice almond taste.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
8 oz. almond paste
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup nut meats, chopped fine (optional)

Cream the butter, sugar and egg.
Add the almond paste, flour, baking powder, baking soda and almond extract.
Beat until smooth.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drop dough by teaspoon on parchment.
Bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes. Cool before taking off cookie sheet.

Dilled Potatoes

Recently I had dinner with friends; each of us brought a dish to contribute to the meal. Among the wonderful foods was dilled potatoes. With permission, I include the recipe. The gentleman who prepared these potatoes has a cooking blog and as a bonus, I link you to his blog, where this recipe can be found.

Ingredients:
2-4 Russet potatoes
Salt to taste
1/8th cup Onion, diced
Non Stick Spray
Dill

Pare and cut the potatoes into thick slices.
Add the salt, non stick spray and about 1/8th cup of diced onion. Not much onion is needed, but more can be added.
Place on a single layer on the baking pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425F.
When tender, sprinkle with dill.

Be sure to visit Noms Cooking blog for this and other interesting and delicious recipes and tips, complete with pictures.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Butterscotch Cookies


I've been working hard at using up the "stuff" that has tucked itself into the freezer. Today I vowed to use up the cup of butterscotch chips that have hidden themselves under the coconut.

I had to modify a recipe since I had only one cup of the chips...not enough to substitute in a chocolate chip recipe. My measuring cup that measures in ounces came in handy for this.

They came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Ingredients
3 oz granulated sugar (that's approximately 1/3 cup rounded)
3 oz brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
generous pinch of salt
1 cup butterscotch bits

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Mix sugars, flour, butter, egg, baking soda and salt in large bowl.mix in butterscotch chips.
Roll into 1" balls and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet or stone.
Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft).
Cool slightly; remove from sheet and finish cooling on wire rack.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pizza dough


I was in the mood for pizza tonight AND I felt like making my own dough. Sometimes I want pizza and give in to laziness and call my local pizza parlor and order one. Ah, but not tonight. I wish I had green peppers on hand, or bacon, or mushrooms, or ... All I had was cheese, pepperoni and a little hamburger meat. It was still good.

Here's the dough recipe:

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oil, salt, sugar, and yeast mixture. Stir well to form a stiff dough. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Turn dough out onto a WELL floured surface. Be sure to flour your hands, too, because the dough will be soft and a bit sticky. Knead, allowing the dough to absorb enough flour to make it workable.

Spread the dough onto a pizza pan. Cover with sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

-----

My sweet daughter introduced me to a brand of pizza sauce she uses. Unfortunately, it is not available here in Amarillo. I came home with 4 cans and tonight I opened the last can. We need this brand here. Oh, it is good. I guess it's time to go to NY again!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Grandma's Corn Casserole

I was craving corn casserole and I have no business fixing it just for myself. I would eat the whole thing! Fortunately, I got a call last week to come to supper and bring a dish. Ah, saved. I could feed my craving in a reasonable way and my friends, too.

5 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cans cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn (frozen corn can be cooked and used)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a large oblong glass pan
In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs.
Add butter, sugar and milk. Stir.
Mix in cornstarch (small amount of liquid into cornstarch, stir smooth, add to rest of liquid in bowl.
Stir in the corn.
Pour mixture into baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tiropitas and Burritopitas


Sarah makes tiropitas (little cheese pies) and spanakopita (cheese and spinach pies). These are Greek foods and I've discovered there are as many variations as there are stars in the sky. I think I will be experimenting with fillings for a while.


The constants:
Fillo (Phyllo) leaves
Feta cheese
Eggs
Butter



The variables:
Ricotta cheese
Cream cheese
Herbs
Other ingredients (mushrooms, parmeasan)

I used 8 oz Feta, 8 oz Ricotta, 4 oz cream cheese, 3 eggs, parsley, chervil, 1/2 lb butter, and one sleve of Fillo leaves. Sarah does not use cream cheese, but uses more Feta.

Melt two sticks of butter. Set it aside.
Mix Feta, other cheeses, herbs, and eggs (2-4). Set it aside.
Butter pans. Set aside.

Cut the Fillo leaves into strips. For meal size, cut into two strips. To make appetizer size, cut into three strips.

Cover the fillo strips with a damp towel.

Remove a strip of fillo, brush it with butter. Put another strip on top, brush with butter. Put on another and brush with butter.

Optional: you can work with 2 or 3 or even 4 layers of fillo. You can brush between each strip or put two or three strips down and brush only the top strip. How much flakey, buttery wrapping do you want?

Put a dab of cheese filling on the end of one strip and begin folding "flag style."

Keep folding until you have a triangle. Use butter to help the last layers of fillo stay folded up. Brush the top and bottom of the tiropita with butter and place in a buttered pan.

Make sure you have brushed the tops of all the tiropitas. Place them in the pan with a little space around each one.

Bake at 350 degrees until burowned.

Let cool! Even when the outside has cooled a bit, the cheese inside will be hot!

Burritopitas? I mixed some ground beef, shredded cheese, taco seasoning, rotel (tomatoes and chiles). I rolled uncut leaves up burrito style, sealing and coating with butter. Next time I will add some refried beans to the mixture.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sister Mary's Carrot Cake

I thought I had posted this recipe, but it doesn't seem that I did. So here it is!

2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups salad oil
4 large eggs
2 cups shredded carrots
1 8½ -ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 3½-ounce can flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, mix sugar, salad oil and eggs.
Add egg-sugar mix to the dry ingredients. Beat 1 minute after adding.
Stir in the carrots, pineapple, nuts and coconut.
Divide cake mix into pans.
Bake 40 minutes (or until tests done) in 350° oven.

Cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on racks.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. (Mix 1/2 cup butter, 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, creaming well. Gradually add 1 pound of confectioners sugar, beating well. If mixture is too thick to spread, stir in a small amount of milk.)

This cake benefits for being made a couple of days before you frost it. Put each layer in a plastic bag in the refrigerator after it is cool. The flavors will blend nicely.

The cake keeps well in the fridge...if it lasts.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Caramelized Onion, Potato and Chicken Casserole

If you are one of the svelt, diet conscious, cholesterol fearing types, skip this recipe. It you need to feed a crowd, this will do.

3 lbs potatoes
2 cups caramelized onions
2 tbs butter
1/2 pound Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
1 1/3 c heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs cooked chicken (cut in smallish pieces)

Simmer the potatoes until tender. Drain. Slice.
Mix the potatoes and the onions.
Put half the pototo and onion mixture in 2 buttered 9x13 dishes. Sprinkle with half the cheese.
Arrange the chicken over the cheese.
Place the rest of th epotato and onion mixture over the chicken.
Pour the cream over all.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Dot with butter.
Bake uncovered at 400 for 30 minutes or until cream thickens.
Remove from oven and run under the broiler until the top is golden and bubbly.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caramelized Pecans

I'm unabashedly Southern. If a recipe doesn't call for bacon, then you have to put pecans in it! That's an unwritten law, isn't it? Yep.

2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves

Cook sugar in a skillet over LOW heat, stirring constantly until sugar melts and turns light brown. Stir in pecan halves, coating well. Pour into buttered shallow pan. Cool, then break into pieces.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Easy Pumpkin Crumble

Easy Pumpkin Crumble

I like pumpkin. Normally I don't like sweetened condensed milk in desserts. I can taste it, and I just don't like it, but it works in this recipe. This is from Our Best Bites, one of my favorite websites.


1 boxed yellow or white cake mix
1-2 sticks butter
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/3 C chopped pecans
1/2 t additional cinnamon for topping

Preheat oven to 350.

Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl. Cut in 3 T chilled butter. Just use your fingers to crumble the butter until it's in small crumbly pieces. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and press flat with your fingers.

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices until smooth. Pour on top of the cake mixture in the pan.

Now take the rest of the dry cake mix and mix in 1/2 t cinnamon. Sprinkle it all over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Use a measuring cup so you have a rough measurement of how much you're putting on. You’re going to do some simple math later, so do measure!

Next sprinkle on the chopped pecans. You'll have 3 distinct layers now:

Here's the math: For every 1 C of cake mix you sprinkled on top, you'll need 3 T of melted butter. Drizzle it right on top.

That butter is going to combine with the cake mix and make magic in the oven. Pop it in your 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or so. A knife should come out without globs of pumpkin on it and the topping should be nice and golden.

You can eat it warm, at room temp, or chilled! My favorite is actually at room temp. Put a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. It's also great with vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie
I have to admit I haven't made this one. It's un-American, I know, but I don't like peanut butter—love peanuts, just can't eat peanut butter. I don't like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, PB&J sandwiches, and I don't put peanut butter and Karo syrup on my waffles (an East Texas thing). But I was talking with some co-workers about PB Pie and was informed that it is next to heaven. I'll take their word for it. So, here, untested, is PB Pie.

Filling ingredients:
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup of peanut butter, unsweetened
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Meringue ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar

Your favorite pie crust.

Poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.

In a pot, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, flour and salt. Cook on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and peanut butter.

Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar. Pour the peanut butter custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake pie until peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

You can use smooth or chunky peanut butter. If you use sweetened peanut butter, you may want to cut down on the sugar.

Serve with one of the following:
a sprinkling of peanuts
a dusting of cocoa powder
a dollop of whipped cream

Maybe some day I'll try this pie by mistake or out of politeness and discover I love it. Until then...I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Banana Pudding .

Remember that banana pudding your grandmother made? Not the one that started with a box of Jell-o instant pudding...nothing against Jell-o (there's lots in my cabinet)...but that creamy pudding that melted in your mouth...the kind that shut you up 'cause if you opened your mouth to talk some of the goodness might escape? Remember that? Here 'tis.

4 whole eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas sliced
vanilla wafers
5 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat 4 egg yolks slightly. Add sugar, salt and cornstarch. Add mixture to milk. Cook in saucepan, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add vanilla extract.

Layer vanilla wafers and bananas in 8 inch square baking dish. Stand vanilla wafers up around the sides of the dish. Pour pudding over vanilla wafers and bananas.

Make meringue by beating egg whites until frothy and add 5 tablespoons granulated sugar. Beat until stiff and add vanilla extract. Spread on top of pudding and bake in slow oven 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown on tips.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Sticks .

I'm trying to use sweet potatoes and olive oil rather than the mmmmm white potatoes and butter. I'm trying. It doesn't come easily. This helps.

1 ½ pounds medium sweet potatoes
2 T olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t coriander
1 t salt
1 t parsley
fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Slice sweet potatoes into french fry shape and size. Large cuts get soggy, so cut them into small, even-sized sticks.
3. Put potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with your hands to make sure each is coated in the oil. If needed, add extra oil so they are all glistening.
4. Mix the herbs and spices and sprinkle over potatoes. Toss again to coat.
5. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet. They can be close to each other but should not be touching.
6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
7. After 15 minutes, remove and turn the potatoes. They are quite soft, so use a spatula and re-space them after you turn them.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes more.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pumpkin Dump Cake .

Oh, that dump cake recipe. What an unlovely name for such a yummy dessert. Here's the pumpkin variety which I hadn't tried before.

Canned pumpkin pie mix
One box yellow or vanilla cake mix
One stick of butter
Walnuts or pecans (chopped)

Pour pie mix into a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the pie mix. Drizzle butter over top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

If you use canned pumpkin, follow the instructions on the can to make pie filling and pour that into the pan, then follow rest of directions.

Bake at 350 for about 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Slow Cooker Turkey and Dressing .

From the Prairie Flower Extension Club...mighty good eats.
Sometimes the family table at Thanksgiving is too small to justify a big ol' gobbler. This recipe makes a smaller amount...still enough for leftovers, but not so much that you are eating them every day for a week!

1 8 oz package of herb seasoned stuffing mix
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 3lb. frozen boneless turkey breast, thawed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (0.88 oz) package turkey gravy mix* (prepared according to package instructions)

Coat the inside of a 4-qt slow cooker with cooking spray. Add stuffing mix, onion, celery and cranberries. Combine broth and melted butter. Pour over stuffing and stir gently. Remove string from turkey breast. Rinse. Place turkey in slow cooker on top of stuffing. Combine salt, pepper and thyme and sprinkle over turkey. Cover and cook on high for one hour. Reduce heat and cook until meat thermometer inserted in turkey reaches 165°F. Remove turkey. Wrap in foil and let set for 20 minutes. Slice. Stir dressing, cover and let stand 3-4 minutes. Prepare gravy according to package directions. Serve on the side.
*Some turkey breasts come with a gravy packet which may be prepared according to its directions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Snow Salad .

Sometimes I read a recipe and it sounds awful. I wouldn't chose to make it or, knowing what is in it, I probably wouldn't chose to eat it. Then it is served and for the sake of being polite, I eat it. OMG! It's good! Now I'll make it and serve it to another unsuspecting "victim" and watch the reaction. What follows is such a recipe.

2 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup white grapes, cut in half
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons cream
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted

Combine cabbage, grapes, and coconut. Mix mayonnaise and cream and toss with salad ingredients. Top with almonds just before serving.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Apple Cranberry Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust .

I copied this down earlier this year and I don't remember where I got it! I hope I am not violating a copywrite to publish it; I'm sorry I can't give credit where it is due!

Crust
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 sticks chilled butter
2 Tablespoons chilled shortening
1/4 cup ice water

Combine dry ingredients. Mix in cheese. Cut in butter and shortening with pastry blender until texture resembles coarse cornmenal. Gradulally stir in water and compress into two dough balls. Place in plastic wrap and chill 20 to 30 minutes. Roll each ball out to form two 1/8-inch-thick crusts.

Filling

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced tart apples
2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine sugars, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add fruit and toss. Pour into unbaked pie shell, dot with butter, and cover with top crust. Bake 40-50 minutes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Pumpkin Crunch Cake .

My friend Janice is a GREAT cook and comes from a family of good cooks. I love it when she shares a recipe with me. Lucky you! I post 'em! Remember your dump cake recipe..mmmmm...here's the pumpkin version.

One 16 oz can regular pumpkin
One 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice (or use 4 tsp. pumpkin spice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 package butter recipe cake mix, or yellow cake mix
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1 to 2 cup chopped pecans
Cool whip

Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt in large bowl and mix well.
'Pam' a 9 x 13 pan
Pour pumpkin mixture into pan.
Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture and smooth top
Melt 2 sticks butter into into bowl or large measuring cup and drizzle butter over cake mix , trying to get it as covered as possible. (will have some dry spots left, but that's o.k.)

Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes until golden.
Sprinkle with nuts and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cool
Serve with a dollop of Cool whip.

Refrigerate left overs

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Green Bean Bundles .

There are a lot of ways to do green bean bundles. This is a pretty yummy way.

1½ lb. green beans
8 slices sliced bacon
3 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. minced red onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt


Snip the ends off the green beans. Discard any beans that don’t look pretty or set them aside for soup.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Blanch the beans for 2-3 minutes in boiling water until the beans turn bright green. Quickly drain and rinse in cold to cool.

On a cookie sheet, divide the green beans evenly into 8 groups. Neatly bundle the beans in each group and wrap with a slice of bacon. Space the bundles on the baking sheet.

---------The preparation to this point can be done ahead of time.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and sizzling.

While the beans are in the oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. (Use real butter.) When the butter is bubbly, add in the onions and garlic; sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft. Reduce heat to low and add in vinegar, sugar, and salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

When ready to serve, place bean bundles on a serving platter and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cheese Straws .

Dig out the old aluminum cookie press you inherited from your grandmother for this one.

8 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound cheddar cheese
1 3/4 cups flour
salt to taste
cayenne pepper (how much? how hot?)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire

Preheat the oven to 300 °F.
Put the butter and cheese in a food processor. Add flour, salt, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Blend thoroughly. Or, if you don't want to dirty up the processor, use two knives or a pastry blender to blend thoroughly.
Put the hounds tooth or star disk in the cookie press. Push the dough through it onto an ungreased baking sheet to make individual straws. Or, you can roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into individual strips. You can twist these if you wish. The straws will fill up one or two baking sheets.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove and let cool.
Makes about 6 dozen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pasta e Fagioi .

I know people who love soup. They can eat soup in some form several times a week and never get tired of it. I secretly envy them. I have to be in the mood to eat soup—and then I love it. Making soup is another story. I love cooking soup and could make a big pot of soup several times a week and never get tired of that kitchen duty.

Ingredients

1/2 cup choppen onion
1 small carrot, grated
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 pound prosciutto, chopped fine
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups tomato juice
2 cups red beans
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
16 ounces ditalini pasta

1. In a large stock pot saute onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and ham in olive oil until the onions are transparent.
2. Add chicken broth, tomato juice, red beans, parsley, basil, red pepper, vinegar, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Simmer for 1 hour.
4. Fill a second stock pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain.
5. Place pasta in separate serving bowls and ladle soup on top.