Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gingersnaps



These are my favorite cookie... Caleb's too!

From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook circa 1979

Oven Temp: 375°

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

granulated sugar

When measuring spices for this recipe I use generous measurements for a spicier cookie.

Cream butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses. Add spices, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add flour and blend well. Chill dough 1 hour. Roll about 1-2 teaspoons dough in a ball and roll in granulated sugar or gourmet sugar (large sugar crystals.) and place on ungreased baking tray or parchment lined trays. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes. Remove from trays immediately and cool on wire racks.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls


Christmas morning always means cinnamon rolls at our house. I once suggested that we don't have them and choose another sweet treat for Christmas and you might have thought I suggested that the world stop spinning. So every year I make cinnamon buns and they are a rich, buttery, cinnamon-y treat just right for the late morning breakfast we enjoy as parents of adult children... they were just right when the kids were small too!

When my kids were little I was often up late baking and making a terrible mess in the kitchen on Christmas eve so we could have fresh-from the oven cinnamon buns. Now I make them in advance and freeze them so I can enjoy the morning more. I am glad Kelly is carrying on the tradition at her house now and thank her for sharing her picture. I am posting this here so we can both remember how many cinnamon buns this recipe is supposed to make. I can never remember!

Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for Whole Families”
Makes 48 cinnamon rolls.
Oven Temp: 350°
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1-2 cups dry milk (optional)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • up to 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup wheat germ (optional)
  • 6-7 cups flour
  • additional butter, sugar and cinnamon for inside the rolls.

Topping for one 13x9 pan
Recipe makes 4 13x9 pans
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • about ½-3/4 cup brown sugar
  • about ¼ cup light Karo syrup.
Place brown sugar evenly in 13x9 pan. Drizzle with melted butter and Karo Syrup.
Mix all ingredients, except for 3 cups flour until batter is smooth. Add remaining flour and knead with dough hook for about 8 minutes. Use the larger amount of flour if you use four eggs.
Let rise about one hour. Divide dough into fourths. Roll each portion of dough into a rectangle. Spread about 2 tablespoons of melted butter over dough. Sprinkle with sugar (I use a handfulor two. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add raisins if desired. Roll from long side. Slice rolled dough into twelve 1 inch sections. Place in prepared pans. Let rise about 20 minutes. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. Rolls will be golden brown and you will se the brown sugar bubbling around the edges.
Immediately turn rolls out onto a foil or parchment lined tray. Wait a minute or two before removing the the pan from the rolls so all the sugary goodness can melt down onto them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Snickerdoodles and Variations

The dough for Snickerdoodles (really WHO thought of that name?!) is very versatile. Here is the recipe and three variations. The final one, is made with a specialty flavoring called Fiori Di Sicilia which is available from It tastes like a Creamsicle cookie! I was very pleased with the experiment!

Snickerdoodles and Variations
Recipe from Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook circa 1979
Oven Temp: 375°
5 doz. Cookies.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ c sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda and cream tartar.Beat well. Blend in flour until well mixed.

For traditional snickerdoodles

Mix ¼ cup of sugar and tablespoon of cinnamon together in a shallow bowl.
Roll 1 inch balls of dough into mixture and place on cookie sheet about 2” apart.

Bake 9-11 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.

For sugar cookies
add
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract along with vanilla.
Roll dough in gourmet sugar or sanding sugar and bake 9-11 minutes.


For Citrus sugar cookies add:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
Roll in gourmet sugar or sanding sugar.
Bake 9-11 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.


For Fiori Di Sicilia Cookies
, replace vanilla with ½ teaspoon Fiori Di Sicicilia flavoring (available from King Arthur Flour Co. )
Roll in gourmet sugar or sanding sugar.
Bake 9-11 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles

Kelly recently shared a recipe for pumpkin waffles, which we tried and everyone loved. However, I found the waffles a little difficult to get thoroughly done without being burnt on my waffle iron, so I adapted my favorite waffle recipe. The recipe below is doubled from the original so some waffles can go in the freezer, but the way the pumpkin ones disappear I have not yet frozen ANY!


Yeast Raised Waffles

  • 3 ½ c. warm water or milk
  • 1/3 c. oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 4cups flour
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast

For Pumpkin waffles add:

  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoon nutmeg
    2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 2 cup canned pumpkin


Beat all ingredients until blended well. Raise at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Stir down. Bake in waffle iron for about 4 minutes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carrot Broccoli Soup

A family favorite...

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups canned chicken broth (broth made with bullion cubes makes it too salty)
  • 10 oz package chopped broccoli (or 2 cups fresh chopped broccoli)
  • 2 cups grated carrots

Cook broccoli and carrots in chicken broth until just tender. Set aside. Saute onion in butter. Add flour and salt. Mix to smooth past. Gradually add milk and just bring to a boil to thicken. When ready to serve blend broth mixture with milk mixture and reheat if needed. Be careful not to boil as soup will separate and not look as attractive. It will still taste good though.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Joys of Multi-generational Living



The late summer brought a lot of changes to our household as we mourned the loss of my father-in-law, welcomed my mother-in-law, as well as our son, Scott, his wife Meg and their son, Timothy into our home and brought Elisa home from a summer at Delanco. Scott and his family will be staying with us until they go to Uganda, East Africa, as missionaries with World Gospel Mission in about a year. My mother-in-law is with us indefinitely. and Elisa is home until another camp season or until she leaves for college, whichever comes first!

One of the joys of lots of people in the house is sharing the cooking. It's nice after nearly 30 years of marriage to have someone take a turn as head chef. Meg served will in that role at a recent dinner party for 10. She made a great Chicken Florentine recipe from "Simple and Delicious", a Reiman publication. Served with bread hot from the oven and a salad brought by a guest, the meal was just right! The recipe, with Meg's adaptations is below. You can get the original recipe at Taste of Home

SERVINGS: 6

CATEGORY: Main Dish

METHOD: Other stovetop

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or chicken broth+ up to 1 cup additional chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Flatten chicken to 1/2-in. thickness. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the Parmesan cheese, basil and oregano. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 2 tablespoons butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, saute onions and garlic in remaining butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Gradually add flour and salt; stir in milk and sherry or broth until blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in spinach and cheese and sour cream, thinning the sauce as needed with additional chicken broth; heat through.
Remove from the heat. Pour sauce over cooked pasta and serve. Yield: 6 servings.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peach Muffins II

Some time ago I developed an allergy to cinnamon, which is kind of sad since many of the best recipes include this fragrant spice. I've adapted one of our favorites, Peach Muffins, so that I can still enjoy them with the family.
Makes 12 muffins
Oven temp: 400 °

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup finely diced peaches
Preheat oven to 400 °. Grease bottoms of 12 standard muffin cups (2 ¾ inches in diameter), spray with cooking spray or use foil or silicone muffin cups. Fruit muffins stick to paper muffin cups.

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl.In a mixing bowl, beat egg well. Stir in milk and oil, Mix in dry ingredients just until flour is moistened. Gently stir in peaches. Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. I use the largets cookie scoop for evenly sized muffins. Bake 20-25 mminutes or until golden brown. Let stand in pan 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

Garlic Grilled Shrimp

This is one of my favorites to order in a restaurant. Today I thought that I would try and imitate it so I made a simple vinaigrette and went from there. It was every bit as good as the restaurant and I fed three people shrimp, fresh Jersey corn on the cob and French bread for less than the price of one restaurant meal!

Garlic Grilled Shrimp
Marinate 6-8 jumbo shrimp per person (16-21 shrimp per pound) in a vinaigrette made from:
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 Tablespoon crushed or minced garlic.

Marinate at least one hour. While they are marinating, soak wooden skewers in warm water.

Thread shrimp on soaked skewers. Grill 3-5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Our Daily Bread

There is nothing lovelier than walking into a kitchen that is rich with the aroma of fresh bread. I bake bread often, but not every day. At our house we prefer a bread rich in wheat germ, but based on white flour. This is my favorite recipe... I dump everything in the kitchen aid and mix it up.

(basic dough for loaves or rolls)
Adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for Whole Families”
Makes 2 loaves of bread or 48 rolls.
Oven Temp: 350°

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1-2 cups dry milk (optional)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 6-7 cups flour

Mix all ingredients, except for 3 cups flour until batter is smooth. Add remaining flour and knead with dough hook for about 8 minutes. Use the larger amount of flour if you use four eggs.

Let rise about one hour. Shape into loaves or rolls. Place in baking pans. This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread or 48 rolls. Let rise about 1 hour ( a little less for rolls. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes for bread; 30 minutes for rolls.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cooking for Two

Before our house fills up again in September Dave and I will experience a season practicing for an empty nest. Jack has his own apartment, Elisa, Scott, Meg and Tim will all be at camp and we will be home alone! It has its good points as well as the bad.

One drawback I have discovered is that after feeding a family for 28 years I don't know how to cook for two. Nor do I have any casseroles or baking dishes that are right for two portions. I tried to make a casserole today and it looks like we will be having wild rice and chicken at lunch for a while! I was wanting something warm and creamy for dinner since here on the 4th of June it is 62 degrees F! So with the ingredients I had on hand, this is what I came up with.


Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole

  • 1 package of wild rice mix
  • 1/2 cup long grain rice
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 package steamer vegetables
  • 1 8 oz. package grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. dill

Microwave rice mix, seasoning and rice 12 minutes on high power, then 20 minutes on 50% power.

Microwave one package of Steamer veggies of your choice. I used a broccoli, carrot, edamame mix.

Mix the hot rice and vegetables with some cooked chicken, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup chicken broth, dill and 8 oz. grated Swiss cheese. Top with buttered bread crumbs if you like them. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes until the sauce us bubbly.

This makes enough food for 4-6 people... definitely overestimated on that one! But it is a filling dish that stretches a little bit of chicken.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Allspice Muffins

Kelly shared this recipe with me a while ago. I m not sure where it came from, but here is is with my modifications. These are very sweet dessert type muffins, not everyday breakfast fare, but absolutely delicious!

For the streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

To make the streusel topping, put the flour, brown sugar and allspice in a small bowl. Sift together with a fork. Add the bits of cold butter and toss to coat, then use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until you’ve got irregularly shaped crumbs. (I would do this in the mixer or food processor.) Set aside in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Stir in the lemon zest.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla together until well combined.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently but quickly stir to blend with the whisk or a rubber spatula; the batter will be somewhat lumpy.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle some streusel over each muffin, then use your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins to the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are always a favorite any time for any crowd. This is a double recipe and makes about 10 dozen cookies. They freeze very nicely so I just make the mess once and freeze the rest.
To me, the key to the success of this recipe is real butter, real vanilla and chocolate chips that have real vanilla (not vanillin). It just makes them taste better. They can be made with or without toffee bits (which I get at a local candy supply place).

Preheat oven 375° small cookies/ 350° for very large cookies
10-12 minutes/13-15 minutes


2 cups butter
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 2/3 cups flour
1 cop toffee bits

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Blend in baking soda and salt. Add flour, chocolate chips and toffee bits and mixuntil well blended. Be sure to scrape the bowl all the way to the bottom to make sure eveything is well mixed.

Drop by teaspoon or tablespoon on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 9-12 minutes. The longer you bake them the crispier they will be.

If you want large coffee house style cookies, use 1/4 cup dough and press it gently until the dough is in a circle about 1/2" thick. Bake at lower oven temp for about 15 minutes. You can fit 6 cookies on a regular cookie sheet.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cake Frostings

One Hundred Thousand Dollar Frosting
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cook milk and flour together ntil it is thickened. Cover tightly and allow to cool completely. When the milk mixture is cool, cream butter Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add cooled milk mixture and continue to beat until fluffy.

This makes a nice, not-too-sweet frosting that resembles whipped cream.

This also makes a lovely coffee flavored frosting by adding 2 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder to the milk mixture after it thickens.

A little of this coffee flavored frosting piped onto a mini-brownie bite (packaged brownie mix baked in miniature muffin pans) makes an very elegant, but easy dessert!


Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
Frosts 1 13x9 pan or 2 layers

1//3 cup soft butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 2 tablesoons milk or water

Blend butter and sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Beat until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency. If needed, add additional liquid about ½ teaspoon at a time until frosting is spreadable. This is a VERY sweet frosting. Flavorings may be substituted as desired.

For three layers use ½ cup butter , 4 ½ cups confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and about 3 tablespoons milk or water.

Adding a bit of maple flavoring or maple syrup to this makes a marvelous frosting for spice cakes.


Chocolate Butter Frosting
Frosts 1 13x9 pan or 2 layers

1/3 cup butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 2 tablespoons milk or water


Blend butter, melted chocolate and sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Beat until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency. If needed, add additional liquid about ½ teaspoon at a time until frosting is spreadable. Flavorings may be substituted as desired.

For three layers use ½ cup butter , 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 3 cups confectioners sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla and about 3 tablespoons milk or water.


French Silk Frosting
2 2/3 cups confectioners suar
2/3 cups soft butter
2 ounces melted chocolate, cooled
¾ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk

Blend butter, melted chocolate and sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Beat until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency. If needed, add additional liquid about ½ teaspoon at a time until frosting is spreadable.

Snack Cakes

With people of all ages floating through my house at various times for various reasons, it is always good to have a quick to fix snack cake recipe.

Here are three of our favorites.

Mud Puddle Cake

1 13x9 pan or 2 8x8 pans
Preheat oven to 350

  • 3 cups sifted flour (I never sift in real life though)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda.
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and blend till smooth. Bake for 35-40 minutes (test for doneness.)

This is a very moist cake that seldom fails. It goes well with 100 Thousand Dollar frosting.


Oatmeal Spice Cake
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 1 13x9 cake
Oven Temp: 350°

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup butter or shortening
  • 1cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dark molasses

Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 13x9 pan or spray with cooking spray. Measure all ingredients into mixing bowl. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes clean.

(Maple syrup can be substituted for molasses for a different flavor.)


Applesauce Cake
This recipe is from the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook, but is similar in most aspects to the Applesauce Cake in the Richwood Cookbook. The only real difference is in how the cake is leavened.
Makes 1 13x9 pan or two 8x8 pans

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ cups applesauce (smooth or chunky)
  • ½ cup shortening or butter
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • (Optional: 1 cup raisins)
Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour pan(s) or spray with cooking spray. Measure all ingredients into mixing bowl. Blend ½ minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan. Bake 13x9 cake 60-65 minutes, 8x8 pans about 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center comes clean. Cool completely if you are going to frost this cake.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Basic White Sauce

Today has been a day for recipe requests. This is the second recipe that's been requested today. I am always up for those quick calls for help from someone in a grocery store or in the middle of a new recipe!

White Sauce is a basic recipe that every good cook should know. It is the base for things like cream gravy, macaroni and cheese and carrot broccoli soup. This recipe can have as many variations in flavor as there are ingredients. It can be made into cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, an herb sauce or a cheese sauce.

For a medium thick sauce to be used in things like sausage gravy, or creamed chipped beef.
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter. When melted whisk in flour. Whisk until this is very smooth. Let it bubble for a little bit- 30 seconds or so. Add milk and then stir until sauce thickens and bubbles. Stir in (sausage, dried beef, cheese for mac and cheese) or use in recipes calling for a white sauce or cream of something soup.

If you are making something like cream of mushroom or cream of celery, saute these ingredients in the melted butter before adding flour.

To make macaroni and cheese add the following to the white sauce after it has thickened and been removed from heat.

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (more or less to taste
  • 1-2 cups sharp cheddar or cheddar-jack blend.
Pour this cheese sauce over 1/2 pound hot macaroni, cooked and drained.

Bake macaroni and cheese in oven till bubbly, about 20 minutes. This is a great recipe to double for freezer meals. We often freeze it in individual portions for those random times when someone needs and easy meal.

German Potato Salad

I can't say I've ever made this because I don't especially care for it, but it is a big favorite at family picnics every summer. My sister, Kay, makes it best- or so I am told by my husband who wishes I would make it.

  • 2 lbs. red potatoes boiled and sliced thin
  • 1 med. onion sliced thin
  • 4-5 slices bacon
  • 2 piece of celery sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. vinegar
  • 1/4 veg. oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced parsley

Fry bacon until crisp, drain off most of the fat. Add vinegar, oil and a little sugar if too sour.
Combine remaining ingredients and add bacon mixture.
Toss lightly to mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is good served warm or cold.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lemon Bars

Here is another recipe from my favorite Betty Crocker Cookbook (circa 1978). It is a tried and true favorite. They made a lovely ending to a lunch of salad, carrot-broccoli soup, wheat bread and conversation with a dear friend.

Begin the lemon bars preheating oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl mix:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
until it holds together. Press mixture into an 8x8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the cookie base is baking beat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour over hot crust. Bake about 25 minutes longer or just until no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Cool, cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wheat Germ Breakfast Rolls

Someone was looking for a treat for a church coffee hour and these little rolls are perfect finger food for that kind of event. The recipe was originally found by my mom on the back of a wheat germ jar. I get my wheat germ in bulk at the Amish market. Always buy toasted wheat germ for baking.

Below the original recipe is are the proportions for making these in bulk.. they go quickly!

  • 1½ c. Unsifted flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk

Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse meal I do this in my kitchen-aid!) Add milk. Stir till blended. Turn out on floured surface. Knead gently about 20 times. Divide in half. Roll out into 7x12 rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up like cinnamon rolls and cut into 12 pieces. Repeat with second half. Place in well greased miniature muffin pans. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. These don't get really brown, so don't over bake.

Dip in powdered sugar glaze when cool.

Makes 24 miniature rolls.

Recipe x 3= 6 doz.
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups wheat germ
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups milk

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs are always a very special dessert... a little time consuming, but not especially difficult for as impressive as they look. The filling recipe is one I came across in a magazine years ago, and nothing really beats it for a fabulous cream puff.

For a shower or special luncheon, the cream puff shells can be filled with chicken salad, egg salad etc. It makes an elegant finger food.

Cream puffs are like potato chips- you can't eat just one. Ask Joanna and Scott how many they ate once.

Making Cream Puffs

1 cup water
½ cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

In a saucepan heat water, butter an d salt to a full rolling boil. Reduce heat and quickly stir in flour. Mix vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pot. Place mixture in mixing bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time beating 20 seconds after each addition, until dough is smooth again. After all eggs are incorporated, beat 15 seconds at medium speed.

Drop dough onto parchment lined or greased baking sheets.. about 1 tablespoon dough for small cream puffs. I put dough in a large ziplock bag and pipe it out onto the tray, small Hershey-kiss-like dollops.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 25 minutes more until puffs are golden brown and dry looking. Cool completely on wire racks.

This dough for cream puffs does not double well; it needs to be baked right away and cannot sit waiting for the first batch to bake. I just make 2 or 3 consecutive batches when I need lots and lots of cream puffs.


For filling a single recipe of dough use:
8 oz. cream or small container of cool whip
1 cup milk
small box of pudding
and some vanilla to taste

Filling for two recipes of dough:
16 oz. heavy cream whipped and lightly sweetened (or large container of coolwhip)
1 large package of instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

To prepare filling:
Whip heavy cream and sweeten lightly. Set aside. Mix pudding, milk, and vanilla for two minutes until thickened. Fold in whipped cream . Chill while baking cream puff shells. I usually chill it right in the ziptop bag I am going to use for filling the cream puffs.

To fill cream puffs, slice a small portion of the top off. Fill cream puffs and replace top. Dust with powdered sugar.

To make eclairs: Pipe dough into lines about as long as, and slightly thicker than your finger. Bake and fill as for cream puffs. Top with your favorite fudge frosting or ganache.... I am still looking for the perfect ganache recipe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nothing like a warm muffin on a cold winter day

Today I had occasion to make muffins for a friend, so I thought I would post my muffin recipes. I think peach muffins in the summer are the best, but you can make them with canned peaches if you must. We freeze blueberries just so we can have blueberry muffins in the winter.

Muffins make a gret breakfast on a frosty morning or a nice addition to a simple meal. Whenever they are served, muffins are best served warm. To make it easy to prepare breakfast muffins I often mix the dry ingredients the night before and put the liquid ingredients in a jar in the fridge. In the morning I preheat the oven, mix the wet and dry ingredients and pop them in the oven. I can usually be done in the shower by the time the muffins are ready. This helped greatly when i had to have breakfast ready for the triplets by tbe time they arrived in the morning.


Sweet Muffins
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook circa 1979 (out of print)
Makes 12 muffins
Oven temp: 400 °

  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Optional ingredients:
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup finely chopped apples + 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 °. Grease bottoms of 12 standard muffin cups (2 ¾ inches in diameter), spray with cooking spray or use foil or silicone muffin cups. Fruit muffins stick to paper muffin cups.

.Beat egg well. Stir in milk and oil, Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Gently stir in optional ingredients. Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. I use the largets cookie scoop for evenly sized muffins. Bake 20-25 mminutes or until golden brown. Let stand in pan 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.


Oatmeal Muffins
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 12 muffins
Oven temp: 400 °

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk soured with 1 tablespoon vinegar or 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup quick oats or 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon b aking soda

Preheat oven to 400 °. Grease bottoms of 12 standard muffin cups (2 ¾ inches in diameter) or spray with cooking spray. Beat egg well. Stir in soured milk and oil, Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 mminutes or until golden brown. Let stand in pan 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

Make this recipe into a quick mix by measuring dry ingredients for several recipes into ziplock bags. List additional needed ingredients on the bag with a permanent marker.



French Breakfast Puffs
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 12 muffins
Oven temp: 350 °

  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 °. Grease bottoms of 15 standard muffin cups (2 ¾ inches in diameter) or spray with cooking spray. Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Stir in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Mix ½ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl. Dip baked muffins in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

Peach Muffins
Original recipe by Anne Marie Huste
Adaptations- Laurie Rambo
Makes 12-15 muffins
Oven Temp: 400°
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. milk
  • ¼ c. melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup peeled and diced peaches.

Blend all liquid ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Gently fold in peaches. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Don't overfill! Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 15 average sized muffins.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chicken Salad

I am often asked for my chicken salad recipe. All the credit goes to the Joy of Cooking cookbook, circa 1979 which offers these guidelines that I have adapted into a recipe of my own.

The basic guideline is to use twice as much chicken in your salad as all other ingredients combined. I often make this for a crowd, so here is how I do it.

Simmer boneless chicken breasts (3-4 lbs) in enough water to cover the chicken completely. I season this chicken well by adding
  • 2-3 carrots
  • a large coarsely chopped onion,
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • a few cloves of garlic or a spoonful on prepared minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • about 1 tsp. salt,
  • about 1 tsp thyme
  • about 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3-4 peppercorns,
sometimes I add some rosemary or dill, depending on the mood and most of the ingredients can have more or less depending on your taste, or what is on hand.

Simmer the chicken until it is tender.

When the chicken is done, strain the broth and save for another use. Cool chicken.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the chicken. I usually chop about half in the food processor into small bits and chop the other half by hand to have larger bites in the salad. Make sure the bits of chicken are small enough to stay on a sandwich.

To make the salad:
  • 8 cups chopped chicken
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • about 1 cup grated carrot
  • about 1 cup chopped celery
  • about 2 cups red grapes, quartered.

You can add any combination of ingredients, so it equals 4 cups altogether.

to the salad add
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Blend into chicken mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving to blend flavors.

Chicken salad is delicious served on home made wheat bread.

12/21/2012 update:  Recently I was out of sour cream, so I used a bit of buttermilk to thin the mayonnaise.  It was a great improvisation!  I might make it like that next time- on purpose!

Chewy Coconut Cookies

These cookies are very nice too. We have found that even people who don't like coconut like these cookies. Elisa, after eating one fresh from the oven one day said "These are like a soft, warm cloud of coconutty goodness melting in your mouth." From my dear one who doesn't really care for cookies anymore, that was the ultimate compliment.

The recipe is from the Land o' Lakes butter site.

CHEWY COCONUT COOKIES

Loaded with coconut and butter, these chewy cookies are bound to become family favorites.

Preparation time: 30 min Baking time: 9 min
Yield: 5 dozen cookies


1 c. butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
30 red or green candied cherries, halved


Heat oven to 350°F. Combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until well mixed. Stir in coconut by hand.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Press 1 cherry half onto center of each cookie. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from cookie sheets.

Recipe Tip
Proper storing keeps cookies at their best. If you will not be eating your cookies within three days, freeze them. Make sure the cookies are completely cool before placing them in storage containers. Otherwise, they’re likely to stick together. Keep soft or chewy cookies separate from crisp ones.

Gingersnaps

These are my all-time favorite, Caleb's too!

Gingersnaps
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook
Oven Temp: 375°

When measuring spices for this recipe I use generous measurements for a spicier cookie.

¾ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
granulated sugar

Cream butter, brown sugar, egg and molasses. Blend in spices, salt and baking soda. Add flour. Chill dough one hour. Roll teaspoon sized balls of dough in granulated sugar or gourmet sugar. If making cofffee shop style cookies, flatten the cookies to about 1/2 inch. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes, for teaspoon sized cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes if making large coffee shop type cookies