Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lucile Isenberg's OSU textbook from Cooking Class 1920's

My review today is courtesy of Sarah Myers who has graciously given me her mom's vintage cookbook to share with you. Sarah's mother, Lucile Isenberg (formerly of 111 West St., Stillwater, Oklahoma), used the Textbook of Cooking for a class she attended at Oklahoma State University in the 1920's, however, the book's copyright is 1915! The textbook was written by Carlotta Greer and published by the Curtis-Johnson Printing Company.

I was very careful while reading this fragile article of cooking history, and taking notes for the review. It's easy to see that the book has been taken care of, but just because of its age,the pages are dry and the glue on the binding is starting to give way.

This cookbook has a unique style because it's written as a scientific book on cooking. As most textbooks, it's matter-of-fact tone is evident from the beginning. Every cooking method, type of food, and its composition are discussed in a very basic way. Greer states that the book's aim is, "to lay the foundation for skill in cooking by directing the pupil to follow established recipes and to treat processes of cooking as experiments in a scientific study." That is precisely the way the chapters are put together: presentation of subject matter (for example, root vegetables) , methods of preparation, recipes, experiment, questions.

As with any old book, some of the information on dietary matters and such have changed over the years, but as an article of the history of cooking and food, this book is a piece of Americana. You can see how our cooking methods have changed since 1915. It has a picture of a fireless cooker, and talks about wood stoves and the "modern" gas and electric ranges. I found the chapter on the dietary needs of children especially fascinating:

p. 385 Meals for One Day

Child 2-4 years old

breakfast: 7:30 a.m. oatmeal mush, milk, stale bread, orange juice

lunch: 11:00 a.m. milk, stale bread, butter

dinner: 1 p.m. baked potato, boiled onion ( mashed), bread and butter, milk, baked apple

supper: 5:30 p.m. boiled rice, milk, bread and butter

Fuel value, 1313 calories; protein, 191.2 calories cost,$o.13
Substitutions or additions: rolled wheat, wheaten grits, farina, hominy and corn meal
prune pulp or applesauce

My, how times and ideas have changed! This cookbook had many interesting items. I will treasure it, because I'm honored that a reader gave it to me so that I might share some of its contents with you. I'm sure that her mother, Lucile, became a great cook. The sample recipe today will be one that she wrote in the front of this book's cover:

Grandma's Boiled Custard
4 C milk
6 egg yolks
5 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla or rum extract

Scald milk. Add sugar and vanilla to lightly beaten egg yolks. Pour milk over egg mixture a little at a time. Place in double boiler. Cook only til mixture coats spoon. Beat 6 egg whites stiff; fold into custard while hot from stove. Sprinkle nutmeg over top, if desired.

I will be linking to: Grocerycartchallenge for today's recipe swap. Also Designsby Gollum and FoodonFridays.

Try It ! Coke Roast and a 5 Minute Corn Relish

I've got a long To-Do list today so I'll get right to the recipes that looked especially good to me from my clippings box. I love to try new recipes over the weekend when I have more time and my guinea are home to be my "tasters"!

I love Coca Cola. If you squeeze a fresh lime into a Diet Coke with lots of crushed ice, that is my all-time favorite drink on the planet Earth! Although, I find that I cannot drink a whole can of regular Coke (in the red can) after 7:00 in the evening, or I will not be able to sleep; it makes me very awake! What a wonderful American company, with such a great advertising history! If you visit the Atlanta area you should take the tour.

Coke Roast

1 small frozen roast (1.5-3 lbs)

1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 jar sliced mushrooms, undrained
1 can Coke

salt, pepper

Place frozen roast in crock pot; sprinkle w/ salt and pepper. Mix Coke and onion soup mix until dissolved. Pour over roast and add mushrooms. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs.

5 Minute Corn Relish

2 cans (12 oz. each) Mexican-style corn, drained
1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped red onion

1/4 C white vinegar
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients until well-blended. Cover tightly and chill until ready to serve.

Monterey Ranch Bread

2 C (8 oz.) shredded MontyJack cheese
3/4 C ranch salad dressing w/ bacon
1 loaf French bread, unsliced

2 TBSP butter or margarine
minced parsley

Combine cheese and salad dressing; set aside. Cut bread in half lengthwise. Brush w/ butter and place on baking sheets. Broil 4" from the heat until golden brown. Spread w/ cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 min. or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle w/ parsley. Cut into 1 1/2 " slices. 6-8 servings

Today I will be linking to for the recipe swap.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free Summertime Fun That Lasts a Lifetime

There is a source of summertime fun in your neighborhood that is absolutely free. You don't find valuable, free sources of entertainment everyday. If you have children, ones old enough to sit up, all the way through high school age, you definitely need to take advantage of this freebie! It's called the Public Library.

Every summer, most of the public libraries offer summer reading/listening programs for children; all you have to do is apply for a library card, and once you get it , take them to sign up. It's that easy! They will probably be given a card or booklet , in which you can list the books as you read them to your child (for the very young) or as they read them for themselves. After a certain number of books are read, there's usually some kind of reward; a small prize or their name put in a drawing for a larger prize. The rules and rewards vary from place to place, but you get the idea. The real reward for your children is the beginning of a love of reading that will last a lifetime! The bonus is all of the great memories your children will have of summer trips to the library, and the fun programs they enjoy there.

That's right, many of the library's summer reading programs include a schedule of live performances including different subjects throughout the summer. Many summers ago, I took my sons to Snakes Alive at the library where a snake expert shared his knowledge and his live snake exhibit; they got to help hold a huge snake and learn about the differences in poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, and what to look for (great before summer camping season!) . We've been to a drum concert, where the children got to try out the different instruments; a 911 Emergency exhibit where firemen and EMTs came and showed their life-saving equipment, and the children got to try on parts of the fireman's gear; a library "boot camp" where a National Guard drill sargent put them "through their paces" and later they had their faces painted in camo design; and one of their favorite experiences was when Abe Lincoln and his wife, Mary, showed up to talk to them about earlier times in American history. For the younger folks there's usually a "Story Hour" or" P.J. Time" with a Children's Librarian or volunteer reading stories aloud. This is wonderful for younger children; it builds their excitement and anticipation of their upcoming reading experience. The folks at local libraries are creative and they know what interests children. The offerings will vary from summer to summer, but you can be assured that your children will find something they like, even the teenagers. Don't be surprised if they beg to sign up every year!

The theme of this year's Summer Reading Club here in Lawton is: Be Creative@Your Library and is going on from May 25th through August 7th. The main library is located at 110 SW 4th Street. You can call (580)581-3450, ext 5 for more information

There is also a summer movie schedule on Fridays and craft classes every other Thursday. One class is available for ages 3-11, and one is available for teens, 12-18. You can call the number above or stop by and pick up the info.
See you at the library!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flash From the Past and Some Family Recipes

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with two of our three sons...and the dog. About the dog... something happened on Memorial Day that made me smile. As Hubby and I were trying to get the meal together, grilling and inside kitchen tasks, the dog was just underfoot, as usual. In her defense, there were the scents of grilled hotdogs and chili wafting through the air. But, as we kept giving her orders, to no avail, I was reminded of an experience from my past, and it made me smile.

I'm sure that anyone who's had to have a new tire put on, or their oil changed has had this same experience. You are confined in a small, possibly glassed-in room with a soda machine, coffee service, and possibly a couple of magazines, to wait out the procedure to your car. A person comes in with a small child, let's say his name is Bradley. The child starts asking his parent for things...gum, soda, the cupful of coffee stirrers! He then, starts touching items that may be germ-coated. He might start trying to hang off of things like display tires, or promo stand ups. The parent, every two minutes, is yelling things like, "don't Bradley";"stop that, Bradley";"Put that down, Bradley"; "get off there, Bradley!" By the time you are released and can pay your bill, and you would pay almost any amount by this point...just to be allowed to leave, you are sure that you will never forget Bradley's name!

Well, back to our Memorial Day kitchen scene: as we both are saying things like, "Stormy, move!"; "lay down, Stormy"; "Stormy, get out of the way"! as she continues to weave back and forth between us as if she doesn't hear a word, I'm having a flash back... and smiling. We did pretty well with the first three children, but that last one is always a challenge!

Here are a few family recipes for today. The first two are from my Aunt Georgia Milburn who was quite a conversationalist, and an avid dog lover!

Aunt Georgia Milburn's Chicken Casserole

5 C chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
1 C evaporated milk
2/3 C melted butter
1 can each: cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, and chicken w/rice soups
1 small can chow mein noodles
1 C stuffing mix

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a greased baking dish and top w/ grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr. (I don't measure my chicken; I buy a big chicken and use all the meat). This casserole freezes well!

As given to Mammam (Lina Michael) on 12/11/'76

Aunt Georgia's Waffle Recipe

1 1/2 C milk
2 C flour
2 eggs
6 TBSP melted butter
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Add beaten egg whites last!

Here's a nice cold dessert for summer from Aunt Hazel Bell:

Yummy Cake

In 9"x13" cake pan, bake a boxed yellow cake mix according to directions. Let cool; spread with prepared banana pudding (large box). Top with a layer of Cool Whip. Finally, spread a layer of cherry pie filling over all. Refrigerate leftovers.

Homemade Whipped Topping (I think this one's from Aunt Sis-looks like her writing)

1. Put into 1 qt. bowl, 1/2 C instant non-fat dry milk
2. Add 1/2 C ice cold water
3. Beat w/ mixer at high speed until mixture stands in soft peaks, about 2 min.
4. Add 3 TBSP lemon juice
5. Gradually beat in 3 TBSP sugar
6. Chill about 30 min.

Makes about 2 1/2 C (Note: I believe you could substitute a little vanilla extract in place of the lemon juice.)

Linking to: BlessedwithGrace, Raising4GodlyMen, and BalancingBeautyandBedlam

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday on Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all who have served, or are presently serving our country and the families who support them, and especially, those who have given their lives in service and their families. On this Memorial Day let's remember that "This is 'The Land of the Free'...because of the brave!"

Here's my menu for the week:

Monday, May 25

Grilled hot dogs/buns
Homemade chili/slaw/Vidalia onions
Macaroni salad
Baked beans
Chocolate Eclair Cake

Tuesday, May 26

Chicken and noodles (crock pot)
Green beans
Glazed carrots

Wednesday, May 27

Mom's Taco Bake
lettuce, tomato, sour cream

Thursday, May 28

Spicy Sausage and Rice (crock pot)
French bread
Tossed salad

Friday, May 29

Chicken sandwiches
Tomato soup w/fresh basil


Skillet Spaghetti
Leftover French bread-toasted
Vegetable plate

I'll be participating in Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

One of My All-Time Favorites

Today's Old Cookbook Review should be effortless for me because I'm telling you about one of my all-time favorites! It's My Mother's Southern Kitchen-Recipes and Reminiscence by James Villas, and his mother, Martha Pearl Villas. James Villas is well-known as the food editor of Town and Country magazine for over two decades. He has also written nine cookbooks and his work has appeared in Gourmet, Bon Appetit and other national publications. His mother is a home cook from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Villas freely admits that he "learned cooking from his Mama's knee". This book is a trip through James' childhood and is full of humorous bits and pieces of his family history as it relates to food and cooking. This is the kind of cookbook that once I've started reading it, I have a hard time putting it down!

As I read through this book, actually skimmed it this time because I've already read it twice in the last several years, I'm reminded of the opinions on cooking that I grew up around (and mind you, these opinions are based solely on taste and not medical fact!) For instance, when speaking about one of Martha Pearl's culinary commandments, she says, "You know why these are so good? Because they're fried in bacon fat. I'll have you know my mama lived to be ninety-two and she fried everything in either bacon fat or lard." Of coarse, it doesn't say, but "mama" probably worked like a horse, too! It's just one example of what makes this book so enjoyable to read; the recipes are just a wonderful bonus.

Villa's mother is very involved in civic organizations and her church, and all have been blessed, along with family and friends, by her passion for cooking. Her grandchildren are also a focal point of her life, so the cookie and dessert sections include many family favorites. It comes as no surprise, that the book includes family photos, as well. The little back stories about where the recipes came from and what she prepared them for make the book very readable. It's like a kitchen table chat with Martha Pearl and her famous son. Throughout the book there are little blue squares with "Martha Pearl says:" in them; these were my favorite parts of the book, full of cooking tips and Martha's wit and wisdom! This book was published in 1994 by Macmillan and its ISBN is 0-688-17174-5.

P. 31 Artichoke and Almond Dip

One 6-ounce jar artichoke hearts
3/4 C Hellman's Mayo
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
Black pepper to taste
1/2 C slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichoke hearts, place in mixing bowl, and mash well with a heavy fork. Add the mayo, lemon juice, cheese and pepper and continue mashing and mixing till the mixture is well blended. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof crock, top with the almonds, and bake till bubbly, about 20 min. Serve with toasted rounds or crackers. 6-8 servings.

It was a pleasure meeting a local reader, Sarah Myer, and her husband, Hank, yesterday! I will enjoy reading the vintage cookbooks that she passed on to me this week, and plan to review the OSU cookbook from the 1920's next Friday-don't miss it!

Also, I will be participating in Grocerycartchallenge's recipe swap, Food on Friday, Friday Feasts, Foodie Friday, and Frugal Friday

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Toasted Turkey Subs and an OSU Cookbook, Oh My!

I'm very excited! Today I get to meet one of my local blog-readers. She emailed me with an offer of her mother's vintage cookbooks and some recipes; what an honor. Ms. Sarah Myers is a former business owner and teacher from this area. One of the cookbooks is an OSU cookbook from the 1920's and I'm already planning to share that book review with you. I, myself, can't wait to read it! I'm getting ready to go so I will just give one recipe today. This is how I make toasted turkey subs:

Toasted Turkey Subs:

Leftover turkey or deli turkey
slices of provolone cheese
Heart Smart margarine
tomato slices
red onion, slice very thin
olive oil cooking spray
white or wheat sub buns

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet w/ olive oil spray. Halve buns and layer them on pan. Spread insides w/ margarine. Put in oven until just starting to brown lightly. Pull tray out and place cheese slices on bottom halves of buns only.
Put back into oven until cheese melts a little. Pull out, stack w/ turkey, lettuce, tomato and mayo; little salt and pepper, also, if you like. My husband loves this sandwich.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Salsa Contest in Spanish Class

I've mentioned on here before that my life sometimes takes unexpected turns, and the pace sometimes feels like someone hit fast forward on the remote. I realize that this comes with owning a dog and having a teenager in the house! It makes life interesting. Yesterday was just another one of those "fast forward" moments.

It was early morning, and I was snuggled up against Hubby in a warm cocoon of blankets when I felt a shadowy figure looming over our bed. In a low whisper, someone said,"Mom, where are the tomatoes? Do we have any tomatoes?!" I looked up through half-opened lids to see our lanky 15-year-old with a harried look on his face. I was only in a half-awake state, but still aware that he doesn't eat tomatoes for breakfast. "There may be one in the crisper", I mumbled. I could tell that I was not being helpful enough, "I need a bunch to make's the salsa tasting contest in my Spanish class!" he says. And, I'm still curled up contemplating just how important this is at 6:45 in the morning when he says the phrase that makes moms spring into action... "It's for a grade!"

(Now here's the "Fast Forward" part...)

I'm up, I'm up! and clothes thrown on in seconds. A comb goes through the hair, dab face with cold water, quick once-through with toothbrush and we have "lift-off"! As I yell, "You start chopping onions and get everything else ready...go clip some cilantro out back...and don't forget to wash it well... " I head out the door. I'm sure that's how all troop commanders do it; yell orders as they grab for their purse and car keys. I rev up the mini van and off I go.

At Country Mart, I cross the parking lot like a guided missile-I'm a mom on a mission! As I make it through the front door, fate smiles in my direction; tomatoes on-the-vine are one of the specials this week and so are bell peppers. I grab what I need and head for the register. The woman working is my favorite check-out person and she's used to me shopping there. This is good... and Bad! She looks at me (who is without make-up), raises an eyebrow, looks at the bag of tomatoes and one bell pepper, raises her wrist to look at her watch, and says, "What are you doing?!"
"My 15-year-old son has to make salsa for Spanish class...for a grade!" came spilling out like a confession. She just smiles and says, "Gotcha!" She's in my age bracket, has raised teenagers, and needs no further explanation; I love talking with women. They always "get it"!

I got home to find a bowl of chopped ingredients and the hulls of an already-squeezed lime. Ben is on top of things! I hand him the tomatoes so he can finish practicing his knife skills. Whew! I need my glass of Cranergy and a bagel before we start the school drop-off trip!
It was his final day before summer vacation. Fantastico!

I thought you might want the recipe for the salsa:

Ben's Salsa

4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 of a large onion (we used a red onion),chopped
1/2 of a large bell pepper, chopped fine
1/3 C pickled jalapenos, chopped fine
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Mix all together. Squeeze juice of 1 fresh lime over all and mix. Then add to taste: salt, jalapeno juice, about a TBSP of cider vinegar, more lime juice. Chill. Serve w/ Toastito Scoops.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spicy Goulash, Easy Broccoli and Yummy Orange Cake!

It's Tuesday and I always look forward to it-partly because Monday is over! No, the real reason is that it gives me an excuse to dig through my box of family favorites and share them. Today I've got three that I think you will love.

The first recipe is my mom's Broccoli Casserole. It is so quick to fix ahead and if you want to add a can of white meat chicken (or your leftover chicken) to it, you have a full meal, This might even get your kids to eat broccoli because it has Cheez Whiz in it! Here it is:

Mom (Shirley's) Broccoli Casserole

1 large onion, minced
1 pkg. chopped, thawed, broccoli (I think you could use par-boiled fresh instead)
1 C cooked rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
One 8 oz. jar of Cheez Whiz

Saute' the onion in butter, then add the remaining ingredients; mix together and bake for 30 min. in a 350 degree oven. Top w/bread crumbs if you desire (onion rings are good, too).

My sister-in-law, Mona, had a roommate named, Lori, when she was in law school several years ago. When we were there to visit one time, Lori made a delicious concoction of noodles and a spicy beef sauce for dinner. That's how I captured this recipe for Hungarian Goulash! I like to use up leftover roast beef this way.

Lori's Hungarian Goulash

1/4 C shortening (I use olive oil)
2 lbs. beef cut into one inch cubes (or leftover beef, cut-up or shredded)
1 C sliced onions
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 C ketchup
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
dash cayenne red pepper
2 TBSP flour
1/4 C water
3 C hot, cooked egg noodles

Melt shortening in large skillet. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook and stir until meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in ketchup, Worcestershire, sugar, salt, paprika, mustard, cayenne and 1 1/2 C water. Cover and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hrs.

Blend flour and 1/4 C water; sir gradually into meat mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 min. Serve over hot noodles (sour cream on top, optional).

My final offering today is a light, creamy dessert that's great in hot weather. I got this from my friend and walking buddy, Karol Simpson. We met when our kids were in high school band together. We were involved in Band Boosters and suffered...I mean, enjoyed many stints as parents who accompanied the band on the bus and at competitions. So, you know that she's a person who has endured! She's a good cook, too. Since I've moved, I really miss our walks through the neighborhood, and our shopping expeditions...we don't hunt "big game", we hunt bargains and, as walkers, we could beat any woman across a Kohl's store if we saw a sale sign.

Karol's Orange-Pineapple Cake

1 Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
4 eggs
1/3 C oil
1 small can mandarin oranges and juice

Mix cake ingredients in bowl; beat 300 strokes (break up the mandarin oranges)
Lightly grease cake pans (any size)
Bake according to pkg. directions. Turn out to cool on racks.

1 med. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
One 12 oz. Cool Whip (I use fat-free)

Mix all together and set in refrigerator for 1 1/2 hrs. When cake is cool frost and store in fridge. I refrigerate my cake and get it cold before I ice it.

Finally today, I want to, again, thank Mr. Tom Jackson for mentioning my blog yesterday in his newspaper column "On The Web". I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but I've always enjoyed reading his column. He makes useful information about websites and other bits of technology advice easy to understand for those of us who did not grow up with a computer mouse in our hands. Please take a look at his writing on Mondays in the Constitution, or you can reach him at


I'm joining BalancingBeautyandBedlam and BlessedwithGrace today for their recipe swaps!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday to everyone. I want to begin with a big Thank You! to the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, the City of Lawton, Fort Sill, and the many sponsors and volunteers who were involved with the Armed Forces Day Celebration this weekend. They provided a wonderful, all-day, family event that was free to the public. A warm Thank You! also goes out to those folks who came out to cheer on our troops and veterans at the parade and the festivities; your support was very much appreciated. The luncheon on Friday with Maj. Gen. Tommy Franks was a success. The parade on Saturday morning was damp, but very patriotic, and the rest of the day's activities were dry. The entertainers and concerts were all great, with Lee Greenwood putting on the finishing touch in a superb 90 minute concert, followed by a spectacular fireworks display!

It was disappointing, however, to see that a little bit of rain, early in the day, kept many people from attending. The time and money were still invested...and by probably, as soon as tomorrow, some people will be complaining, again, that there's nothing to do in Lawton-Fort Sill, and then traveling to outlying bigger cities and states to spend their money instead of putting it back into their own community. Please support our local events; they build up our quality of life, and the ability of local businesses to give back to the community.

Here's my weekly menu for all of you patient souls who have endured my venting; just what you need on Monday, huh?!

Monday, May 18

Turkey Casserole (use leftover turkey)
cranberry sauce
green beans

Tuesday, May 19

Pork roast w/carrots, potatoes and onions
Lemon pepper squash

Wednesday, May 20

Ladies Class Salad Luncheon-Apple Salad w/crackers
Pork BBQs on buns
Vegetable plate

Thursday, May 21

Egg casserole
Blueberry muffins

Friday, May 22 (Happy Birthday Blake!)

Vegetable plate

Saturday, May 23

Steak on grill
Twice Baked Potatoes

I'm participating in Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday today.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quick and Easy Cookbook From Southern Living

As I started yesterday's post with quick and easy recipes from my clippings box, I'd like to continue that pattern today with a quick and easy-style cookbook. This one that I'm reviewing is from Southern Living, so I had high hopes from the start. Over the years, I've found their magazines and cookbooks (including the Annuals that I'm fond of) to be of good quality. There are some magazines that I leaf through looking for a new recipe that might be good for our "dinner rotation of favorites", but I often come up empty-handed. I think food fads, come into play; for a while, everything was in a "wrap" now the hot recipe item seems to be black beans! There's nothing wrong with either of these items, but I like to see contributions of "tried and true" recipes from readers who are good cooks, and you get that with Southern Living publications. Taste of Home publications by Reiman are similarly good at recipes centered around home cooks, but our cookbook today is The Quick and Easy Cookbook from Southern Living. It was published by Oxmoor House in 1976 and it's catalog card number is 76-41573.

The beginning of the book includes timesaving kitchen hints for quick cooking and a pantry shelf list for "emergency meals". The first chapter is on appetizers and sandwiches, and this book is full of delicious-sounding quick fixes all the way to the last chapter that covers breads. As usual, the reader/cook's name, hometown and state are given under the recipes; that kind of information makes the recipe more interesting to me, as well.

Here are the sample recipes for you to try before you run out to hunt down this great cookbook!

P. 75 Lazy Barbecue
Preparation and cooking time is less than 1 hr.

One 6 1/2 oz bottle cola beverage
1 C ketchup
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
garlic to taste
1 med. chicken, disjointed

Place all the ingredients in a large skillet and cover. Simmer for 45 min. to 1 hr. or until the chicken is tender. Serve w/ rice. 6 servings.

Mrs. R.C. Cadden, Jr., Aberdeen, Mississippi

P. 112 Mushrooms with Rice
Preparation and cooking time about 30 min.

One 10 1/2 oz can beef consomme
1 C packaged precooked rice
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 C butter
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped parsley

Combine the consomme and 1 3/4 C water in a 1 1/2 qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover and cook over low heat for about 25 min. or until tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Toss the mushrooms with the lemon juice. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the mushrooms and onions and saute' for 5 min. Toss the mushroom/onion mixture and the parsley with the rice just before serving.

Mrs. Wendall S. Palmer, Tidewater, Virginia

Don't forget Lawton-Fort Sill's Armed Forces Day Parade tomorrow at 10:00 A.M. followed by a whole day of festivities for the entire family at Elmer Thomas Park! 9 Great Concerts!

I'll be at the recipe swap on Grocerycartchallenge today!Also at Foodie Friday @ Designs by Gollum

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Recipes To Try From My Clippings Box

What a storm we had last night! The tornado sirens were going off between 10:30 and 11:00. Our family finally, took one last look at the weather maps on T.V. and went to bed, hoping and praying for the best, and fortunately, our area wasn't hit too badly. I heard that Anadarko had some strong winds and fierce weather; I hope everyone there is OK today. At the beauty shop this morning, I was sorry to hear that some folks here in Lawton-Fort Sill suffered some hail damage to vehicles and homes.

I've been praying for good weather this weekend so that the parade and celebration to honor our troops and veterans goes off without a hitch! It's a big event, and a lot of people have put forth a lot of time, work and money to make it something that the community can enjoy and be proud of. Thanks to the sponsors, volunteers and participants!

When I was thinking of how busy this weekend will be, it made me aware of the easy, fast recipes that we all need in the summer months, and so I looked for some in my clippings box. We all have those times when we want delicious food that doesn't take much time to plan and fix. Two of the recipes I found use ground beef, which always speeds up food preparation because it cooks quickly! I think you'll like them.

Refrigerator Biscuit Tostadoes

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (16 oz) salsa, divided
1 tube (17.3 oz) refrigerated biscuits
2 C (8 oz)shredded Colby/Jack cheese
2 C shredded lettuce

In a skillet, cook beef and drain. Add 1 1/2 C salsa and heat through. Split each biscuit in half and flatten into 4" rounds. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min. Top w/ meat mixture, cheese, lettuce and remaining salsa. 16 servings.

I thought this recipe sounded great for summer; it has baked beans in it.


1/2 lb. sliced bacon
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 C ketchup
1/2 C packed brown sugar
One 32 oz. can pork and beans

In skillet, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside. Pour drippings from skillet. Brown the ground beef in same skillet; drain. Add onion and cook until tender. combine ketchup and brown sugar and stir into beef mixture. Add pork and beans and all but 2 TBSP of the bacon. Transfer to 8" square baking dish. Top w/ remaining bacon. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hr. 6-8 servings.

This last recipe for today is from an old promo piece from the Preston-Safeway Co. It was torn around the edges and I couldn't find a date. It sounds very healthy; you could even use these as breakfast bars if you eat on the run in the morning.

Sugarless Date Bars

1/2 C margarine
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange or lemon rind, grated
1 1/3 C dates, chopped
1 C rolled oats
1/2 C wheat flour
1/2 C wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 C non-fat milk
1 C walnuts, finely chopped

In mixing bowl, cream margarine w/ egg. Add vanilla, grated citrus peel and dates. In separate bowl combine remaining dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to margarine alternately w/ 2/3 C milk, beating until blended. Spread in 10"x15" shallow rimmed pan. Sprinkle w/ walnuts. Press walnuts into batter. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 min. or until done. Makes 25 (2"x3") bars.

Join me at LifeasMom for the recipe swap!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm Finally Done Polishing! Whew!

I began the dreaded household task of polishing my silver tea services and trays from the dining room last week...Last Week! I just finished the job Monday. What a job that is; I have to break it down into sections because my hands take a beating and my arms get tired. I love the look of old silver when it's polished to a shine, and I treasure my old tea sets because they were gifts from my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary, but like most things that are considered "treasures", (our children; our pets; our health; our homes) silver is high maintenance.

This project of polishing the silver makes me have an acute understanding of why being a domestic servant in old English manors was a tough job. Think of all the sets of teapots, trays and tableware that would need attention weekly. No wonder that in those old tin-type photos of servants standing on the lawn, they have such sour looks on their faces...they've been polishing silver! I try to have mine done for Easter (which didn't happen on schedule this year) and Thanksgiving/Christmas but it is certainly not a weekly event in this house. If there is a special occasion, I will break over and do an extra cleaning; we're talking Grandparents coming for college graduation or Ladies' Spring Tea at our church. If I have cleaned my silver for you, you know that you are on my "favorite people list".

When I first started cleaning the tea sets I must admit that I took the easier route and used the liquid-type fast cleaner, but I've since learned from experts that it can be harmful to antique silver, and can in fact, remove some of the silver over time. This is also covered in the vintage cleaning book that I reviewed in my April 29th post (The Best Cleaning Book I've Ever Read).

In case anyone here aspires to being owned by antique silver...I mean, own antique silver, or already has some and is tired of looking at tarnish, but fearful of ruining it by doing the wrong thing (I was here, myself, at one point) this is how I polish mine:

First, I wash the pieces in warm, soapy water (just a couple of drops of gentle dish washing liquid will do it: not the kind for the dishwasher, but the kind you use in the sink!). Make sure you have on latex gloves and old clothes. Just rinse the insides of your teapots and coffee pots with clean, hot water and dry completely w/ a paper towel.

Next, open a jar of silver polish, such as Wright's. Use soft sponge or soft cloth to apply, so you don't scratch the surface. Work in short strokes going one direction. When no signs of tarnish remain, wash again in warm, soapy water to get off all traces of the polish and tarnish. Rinse and dry completely with soft dry cloth. After silver is completely dry, I roll up a plain white dry paper towel and insert into each coffee and tea pot w/ lid, to wick away any moisture.

Note: If your silver has intricate patters on the handles or feet, you might need to apply the polish w/ an extra soft toothbrush to get into the little grooves. If you have new silver, consult whatever papers came with it for proper cleaning instructions.

Tip: The more often that silver is used and washed off, the less often you have to polish it, because it won't tarnish as quickly. So don't leave your silver to sit and collect dust; use it! You deserve to have your morning coffee or tea out of a pretty pot!

Lawtonians: Don't forget to show your support for our troops and veterans by attending the Armed Forces Day Celebration on Saturday, May 16th! It's going to be a day of fun and excitement! Parade at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pickle Garden Mix Uses Up Plenty of Garden Produce including Zucchini!

Even though today is my Tried and True Recipe Day, I want to start by saying a big "Thank You" to Mr. Tom Jackson who writes the On The Web column featured in the Monday edition of The Lawton Constitution. I was so surprised to see my blog mentioned in his column about technology information (talk about irony). I guess my son, Ben, had seen Mr. Jackson's request for local people's web sites and blogs, and submitted mine. Thanks for the belated Mother's Day surprise! And, a big welcome! to any readers who gave my blog a look after the article ran. I'm not extremely knowledgeable about my subjects, but write about subjects that I like. If anything, you might enjoy hearing about my trials and errors (see almost any post I've done on gardening). I welcome your advice and comments on anything that I chatter about.

Now, as my usual blog buddies know, Tuesday is the day each week when I share recipes, usually from family and friends, that I've actually made and enjoyed. I promised last week that I would include a great pickle mix recipe that uses zucchini...or almost anything you have left in your garden at the end of summer.
My Mom's friend, Bernadine, shared this recipe with her when I was growing up. Our families attended the same church, and Mom and Bernadine worked in the same office. When Mom first made this pickle recipe, Dad helped, and our whole kitchen smelled like hot vinegar...but the end result was so worth the wait and smell! The three of us kids devoured this sweet, tangy relish on sandwiches...and straight out of the jar! What a devious way to get your children to eat lots of vegetables.

Bernadine Culp's Pickle Garden Mix

1 gallon cucumbers or zucchini (or both)
6 medium onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 green bell pepper, sliced in narrow strips
1 red bell pepper,narrow strips
other vegetables may be used: cauliflower, carrots, etc.

Add 1 1/3 C coarse salt. Cover vegetables w/ ice cubes. Mix thoroughly, let stand 3 hours. Then drain on towels to remove moisture. Then, to 3 C white vinegar add:
5 C sugar
4 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp celery seed
2 TBSP mustard seed
Boil together; then add vegetables. Heat until boiling, again; boil about 5 min.
Put in clean mason jars and seal.

I did something with leftover vegetables yesterday that I do quite often, and then decided to put these "do-over vegetable dishes" that I make down as recipes. We had Red Potatoes with Garlic Butter and Parsley this weekend as a side dish. I always make a little extra so that we can have potato salad. Here's how I make my potato salad out of cold, leftover potatoes.

My Potato Salad

Boil 3 eggs; cool, peel and chop
1/2 C celery
1/2 C sweet pickles
1/2 C onions
Add all to cubed cold potatoes (at least 6 or 7)

2 C mayo or salad dressing
1 TBSP yellow mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed
pinch of ground pepper
1 TBSP sugar
enough pickle juice or water to thin it to a smooth dressing consistency.
Stir all together and chill for several hours.

My Red Potatoes with Garlic Butter and Parsley

Boil several Red Potatoes until fork tender. Drain off all water. While steaming hot, add 2 TBSP of Heart Smart margarine, 1 tsp garlic salt and 1 tsp parsley flakes.

Here's another vegetable dish that is a "Two-fer":

Corn on the Cob

Large kettle of boiling water. Add 1 tsp sugar. Drop clean ears of corn. When water returns to boiling, cover with tight lid and turn off the fire. Leave for 6 to 8 min. Put ears of corn on platter.

Fried Corn

In a large (preferably cast iron) skillet, put 2 large spoonfuls of butter. Cut cold, leftover corn from the cobs. Drop in hot skillet w/ melted butter; stir fry it quickly until hot. Add salt and pepper just before serving.

Don't you just love those time-saving dishes that you can get two meals from?

I'm going to finish today with my Grandma Winland's no-bake cookies. It's too hot to bake in the summer, right, and we have better things to do! But, most of us still like to have some sweets in the cupboard. My grandma was a quiet, gentle spirit who loved her family, and collecting antiques. For several years she and my grandpa ran Winland's Store. I miss her sweet smile and sense of humor.

Grandma's(Jessie Winland) Unbaked Oatmeal Cookies

2 C sugar
1/4 lb. oleo (margarine)
1/2 C milk
1/2 C cocoa
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 C quick oats
2 TBSP peanut butter

Put oleo, sugar, milk, cocoa and salt in a pan. Boil for 2 min. Take from fire, add vanilla, peanut butter and quick oats. Stir well. Drop from a tablespoon onto waxed paper to cool.

Don't Forget Lawton's Armed Forces Day Celebration this Saturday at Elmer Thomas Park! Lee Greenwood will be there!

I will be participating in BlessedwithGrace's TemptMyTummyTuesday recipe swap today!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. My husband grilled salmon for me, my boys treated me especially well, and it was a relaxing day overall. Now, I'm sitting here on Monday morning, with the dog on my feet, writing my menu plan and enjoying the sound of rain hitting the windows. I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, May 11

Homemade potato soup
BBQ Chicken Joes (April 16 post)
Baby carrots w/ dressing

Tuesday, May 12

French bread w/ garlic
Caesar salad

Wednesday, May 13

Oriental Chicken Salad

Thursday, May 14

Fruit plate

Friday, May 15
(Armed Forces Day Luncheon at The Patriot Club)
Busy Evening-Chili in crock pot
Jello w/ Fruit

Saturday, May

Lawton Fort Sill Armed Forces Day Celebration!
Elmer Thomas Park
(Largest celebration honoring veterans and the military in our nation)

I will be participating in Menu Plan Monday @

Friday, May 8, 2009

In a Pickle or a Jam Just in Time for Summer

The cookbook for review this week is from a collection of books called Creative Home Library that Better Homes and Gardens offered in the 70's. The author of the book is Vicki Willder and it was published by Meredith Corp. in 1971, and again in 1974. The ISBN is 696-275007. As you can see from the title of my post today, the title is "In a Pickle or a Jam" and it is a "well-preserved" cookbook that's just right for today's frugal style of living, including the trend of storing up a supply of food in the pantry. It is also a timely book given that this is a big year for gardening. Many people who don't normally put in a vegetable garden are polishing off their green thumbs and digging up a little space in the back yard, I think partly due to the "green movement", and partly to save money and eat healthier; we're all interested in that!

The beginning of this cookbook is interesting because it addresses another modern trend, home-based business! The very first chapter is devoted to talking about how to make money from your home-canned specialty items. It discusses keeping costs down, packaging and marketing your products. There are also tips on exhibiting your homemade goodies at local Fairs. For example, it tells you how to make your jams or pickles look their best so that they show well. Later chapters are sprinkled with handy bits of advice on home canning.

In a Pickle or Jam has full-page, four-color photos of some of the recipes; for me, that makes it an enjoyable cookbook, and inspires me to try some of the great looking foods. I also liked the user-friendly way that the written recipes are presented. It is a style that is concise and easy to understand. The ingredients are listed first, but then the really great part is the way the instructions are broken down into steps and numbered.

There are so many wonderful recipes in this book for preserving the bounty of your garden, orchard, vineyard....or if you're like me (a semi-gardener), just your "great haul" home from the Farmer's Market!
As a student of American history, I remember hearing that early pioneers and settlers depended on what they "put up" from summer to get through the winter. And also, how the diets of these folks were pretty bland, but they spiced it up with pickled goods, jellies and compotes. Well, that's what this book is all about, saving those summer flavors to put some "spice" in our meals and make them special. These are recipes for the nice little "go-withs" that can also become Christmas gifts or hostess thank-yous that say, "I planned ahead and made something unique for you this past summer." Don't miss hunting for this old cookbook; it's a gem and it's age (the 70's) means you might be able find it at a yard sale this summer.

P 27 Blackberry Jam

Yield: three 8 oz. glasses
6 C blackberries, 2 lb.
juice of 1 lemon

1. Combine blackberries and lemon juice in a heavy kettle.

2. Heat to boiling. Simmer until blackberries are soft, about 15 min. Press through a sieve to remove seeds.

3. Measure fruit and add 2 C sugar for every 2 C fruit in same kettle.

4. Boil until jam sets, about 10 min. Seal in hot, sterilized glasses.

Note: If you like the flavor of blackberries but hate the seeds, this jam is for you. Put a dollop of jam on tapioca pudding.


Next Tuesday I'll share a family recipe for a pickle mix that uses up almost any kind of vegetable from your garden, including that ever-abundant zucchini. Don't miss it!


I'll be participating in Grocerycartchallenge's recipe swap today. Also join me at LifeasMom for her FrugalFriday ideas swap.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Three Delicious Try-Out Recipes

I found three great-sounding recipes for us to try from my clippings box. My brother, Greg's favorite place to eat for his birthday is Red Lobster; he loves their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Here's a recipe that sounds similar, but guess what, you use Bisquick! I love how using a baking mix can speed up the process! I found it on an advertising hand-out from City National Bank and Trust of Oklahoma.

Theresa's Cheddar Biscuits

2 1/2 C Bisquick Baking Mix
4 TBSP (1/2 stick cold butter)
1 C grated cheddar cheese
3/4 C cold whole milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine Bisquick w/ cold butter in a medium bowl using a large fork until butter is about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix. Drop by 1/4 C portion (ice cream scoop) onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 17 min. or until the tops begin to turn light brown.

Brush on top:
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
pinch of salt

Melt butter in the microwave; stir in seasonings. Using a spoon, our butter over the tops of biscuits.

I'm thinking that this next recipe would be a great way to use up leftover there ever any leftover at your house? If I have cornbread and beans for dinner. I usually eat the leftovers for lunches 'til they're gone (with chopped onions!). I love it.

Mississippi Corn Bread Salad

One 8 1/2 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix
10 slices bacon crisp-cooked
3 large tomatoes, chopped (3 C)
Two 15 oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Two 15 oz. cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 C chopped red and green sweet peppers
1/2 C chopped green onions
1 C mayo or salad dressing
One 8 oz. carton dairy sour cream
One 1 oz. pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
2 C shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz.)


Prepare muffin mix; cool and then crumble. You should have about 5 C.
Crumble bacon. Set crumbs and bacon aside.

In a large bowl, stir together tomatoes, beans, corn, sweet pappers, and onions; set aside.

For dressing, in a small mixing bowl, stir together mayo, sour cream, and salad dressing mix; set aside.

In a 3 to4 qt. glass serving bowl, layer half the crumbled cornbread, bean mixture, bacon and cheese. Spread w/ dressing mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and chill for 3 to 24 hours. Makes 18 to 20 servings.

I think this would be great for family reunions, picnics and cookouts this summer when you have a crowd. I'm thinking of taking it to the next Sunday lunch after church.

Here's a twist on one of my favorite kinds of cake; it looks like it came from a women's magazine from years ago:

Pineapple Right-Side-Up Cake

2 TBSP margarine or butter
1/2 C firmly-packed brown sugar
8 1/4 oz. can pineapple slices, drained
6 maraschino cherries
1 pkg. Pillsbury Plus Yellow (Butter) Cake Mix
1 C water
1 C oil
3 eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12-C fluted tube pan. In small saucepan, melt margarine; stir in brown sugar until well-mixed. Press brown sugar mixture into the bottom of prepared pan.

Cut pineapple slices in half; Place 6 halves on top of the brown sugar to form a ring. Cut each of the remaining pineapple halves into 3 pieces. Place 1 piece between each pineapple half. Place cherry in center of each pineapple half.

In large bowl, blend cake mix, water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 min. at highest speed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Immediately invert onto cooling rack; cool completely. 16 servings (8 if you have boys in the house!)

Have a great Thursday!

I'll be posting these at Vintage Recipe Thursday at Joy@JoyofDesserts and also at LifeasMom recipe swap today

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Healthy and Happy Herb Garden

We've been blessed with a lot of rain lately, so my little herb garden is doing very well. Did I mention that I re-used the sand box under my son's old wooden playset outback? It makes a great raised bed. In fact, you can use the posts on all four corners to tie up beans or tomatoes or a Clematis. I'm even thinking of using the old wooden ladder to prop up a climbing rose or vine. I used the little side picnic bench to hold two potted tomatoes. I've never grown grapes, but I wonder if you could use the monkey bars for that. Someone who knows something about grapes, please let me know.

I went out yesterday and clipped some of my bay leaves which went into my fettuccine last night, along with some fresh garlic. My oldest son had a final to study for and by the time he got home from work, we were short on time, so sadly, there was no Cinco de Mayo celebration here. However, I do have plans to make a batch of salsa this weekend.

In her book, The Lady and Sons, Paula Deen has a wonderful recipe for Black Bean Salsa. I've eaten it at a cookout before, but never made it myself. It is absolutely addictive, and I will be able to put some of my fresh cilantro in it. The other ingredients, such as Hoss avocados may be on mark down at the store since Cinco de Mayo is past. That happened last year; I got avocados for 25 cents apiece. Here's the recipe:

P 15 Black Bean Salsa

Two 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
One 17 oz. pkg. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 large avocado, peeled and chopped (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1/8 to 1/4 C chopped cilantro
3 to 4 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Cover and chill overnight. Tatse, and add salt, pepper and more lime juice as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips as an appetizer, or with grilled chicken breast as a meal.

I'm participating in WorksformeWednesday at WeareThatFamily today

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tried and True Family Favorites

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all who will be celebrating! The guy at the little post office that I go to reminded me this morning; I guess that instead of Shrimp Fettuccine we will have Shrimp Tostatoes and salsa for dinner. All three of my sons took Spanish, and since we're in the Great Southwest we enjoy all the food-related holidays. In fact, last year, my oldest son asked for Mexican food for his birthday. I was happy to make him enchiladas, guacamole and lemonade w/ limes, as requested. I'm not bragging here, but it wasn't bad for a cook from the Southeastern part of the country. What mattered was that Justin was satisfied with it.

Even if Mexican food is not your favorite, I think you'll enjoy the recipes I "brought to the table" today. They are ones that I use often. The first one is Blake's (the middle son's) favorite recipe for pork chops. If I cook them this week, he'll probably smell them all the way from Japan!
When we first moved from one end of the country to the other and our belongings hadn't been moved, yet, I had my friend, Christy, use my code on my garage door to get into the house and get the recipe from my file. She read it over the phone to me so that Blake could enjoy these pork chops for his birthday when he came home from OU for the weekend. Good friends always have your back!

Amish Pork Chops

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C ketchup
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C chopped onion

Mix ingredients until combined and smooth. Pour over 1" thick pork chops. Bake 2 hrs. at 375 degrees. Serve with rice.

If you like to use the frozen rolls from the grocer's freezer for convenience' sake, take a morning and mix a batch of these rolls up and freeze them yourself; you'll save lots of money! Check the price on that bag of frozen rolls at Walmart and you'll see what I mean. Once these homemade ones are frozen and bagged, you can take out just the amount you need, just like the store-bought ones. (Ironically, my youngest son, Ben, who is the thinnest one of our crew is the bread-lover. If I make hot rolls I have to remind him that he is to put the other elements of the meal on his plate, too!)

Frozen Dinner Rolls

5 1/2 to 6 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/4 C water
1/2 C milk
1/3 C margarine
2 eggs (room temperature)

In a large bowl, mix 2 C flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast. Combine water, milk and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquid is very warm (120 to 130 degrees) Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 min. at medium speed w/ electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
Add eggs and 1/2 C flour. Beat at high speed for 2 min. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out onto floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 min. Cover w/ plastic wrap and let rest for 20 min.
Punch dough down, shape into desired shapes for dinner rolls. Place on greased baking sheets, cover, and freeze until firm.
Transfer to plastic bags, freeze up to 4 weeks.

from freezer, place on greased baking sheets, cover, and let rise in warm place, until double in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Bake at 350 for 15 min. or until golden brown (flick the top of roll with your finger, if it sounds hollow, they're done). Makes 4 dozen. I like to brush the tops w/ butter while they're still hot. This is something that I learned from Mammam; it makes the rolls shiny and pretty.

Tip: Sometimes, I'll lay frozen rolls out on greased baking sheets on Sunday morning before church (and cover them w/waxed paper to thaw and rise). If the kitchen's not warm enough, sometimes they've not raised enough by the time I get home. Usually, I have something in the crockpot, too. I immediately take the top off the crock pot and place the baking sheet over the top of the crock; that will finish your rolls to a nice rise! By the time you've changed into your "Sunday- comfy clothes" and gotten the rest of the meal under way, the rolls will be ready to pop into the oven. This also works with setting your dishwasher's door ajar if it's just finished running and is hot; set your baking sheet w/ rolls on the counter above it.

My family will all be home by the end of the week, so I wanted to make a special dessert. We love lemon desserts around here, so I searched for Aunt Hazel's Lemon Parfait Cake recipe. If you're not a big fan of those cakes that have mounds of gooey icing, this cake might be for you. It's got a glaze over the top that gives it a fresh lemony zing.

Aunt Hazel Bell's Lemon Parfait Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 C oil
3/4 C water
1 box(reg size)lemon jello

Combine all cake ingredients and beat 2 to 4 min. Pour into a lightly-greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 min.


2 C powdered sugar
rind and juice of 2 lemons

Combine topping mix and spread evenly over top of hot cake, after after lightly punching holes in top of cake w/ a fork. Place glaze-topped cake back in oven for 1 1/2 min. Remove from oven to cool. Good w/ vanilla ice cream!

Join me at BalancingBeautyandBedlam for her recipe swap today!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week

I've been linking to the Menu Plan Monday at for a while now. It's a way for everyone to get and share menu ideas, because I got tired of rotating the same five menus week after week. I've got lots of recipes to try, and it just takes a little planning on Sunday afternoon for my cooking week to go a lot smoother.
I have my "travelers" coming back on different days this week (sometimes, it's like an airport or train station around here!) so I'll plan my menu accordingly. As usual, I make snack and lunch items ahead on Monday, too. This Monday on "Laundry Catch-Up Day" I will be making Chinese Coleslaw, Egg Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Macaroons. Since everyone will not be here at the start of the week, I will not be roasting a large piece of meat, as I usually do, however, I will prep vegetables and salad items and make the base for my Pasta e' Fagoli Soup. The Ham and Potato dish will use up leftover ham from the freezer, and I'll be thawing pork chops, ground beef and French rolls from the freezer in the refrigerator.

Monday, April 4
Cheddar Omelets w/ Bacon
Cinnamon Fried Apples

Tuesday, April 5
Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo
Romaine salad w/ Balsamic Dressing

Wednesday, May 6
Pasta e' Fagoli w/ Parmesan
Toasted whole wheat mini loaves
(bake Lemon Parfait Cake)

Thursday, May 7
Ham and Scalloped Potatoes in Crock Pot
Carrots/broccoli/cauliflower medley

Friday, May 8
Amish Pork Chops
Wild rice
Tossed salad

Saturday, May 9
French Toast

Grilled Chicken w/BBQ sauce (Travelers' Homecoming Meal!)
mashed potatoes
corn on the cob
green beans
hot rolls
iced tea
Lemon Parfait Cake

Don't forget that tomorrow's "Tuesday's Tried and True Recipes" from my family recipe box; You know that you want to try my Aunt Hazel's Lemon Parfait Cake!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cookbook Has Connections to Literary History

I'm excited to present our cookbook choice for today. The book is Cross Creek Cookery, written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings who wrote The Yearling, a Pulitzer prize winner. This cookbook is a more personal look at the author, and her home in Florida where she wrote and managed a 72- acre orange grove. She gives stories about her life and family through the background profiles of the recipes.

In this unique and charming cookbook, which was published in 1941, Rawlings even makes references to her dairy cow, Dora (i.e. Dora's Ice Cream). Any recipes that came from her mom or grandma, or aunt are given titles such as Mother's Sunday Night Salad or Grandma Traphagen's Sugar Cookies. She adds little stories, such as the way she used to bribe her mother to make her favorite fruit salad by offering to pick out the nut meats for it.

The author was ahead of her time in using and featuring locally-grown produce; as an orange grove owner, I'm sure that she saw early-on the importance of this. You will find that she includes many recipes with kumquats, Malaga grapes, grapefruit, avocados, pecans, and mangoes. This made the salad section a little exotic for my taste. It had such dishes as: Tomato Aspic and Artichoke; Beet and Cabbage Salad; and Grapefruit and Avocado Salad. However, I would make her Mother's Sunday Night Salad, as well as, Mother's Fruit Salad Dressing.

Through Rawling's writing skills, the reader gets a sense that , although she's from the North and has lived in Florida for 10 years, she loves and appreciates the cultures and foods of her adopted home. Her eclectic mix of recipes reflects both worlds; there are recipes for both Alligator-Tail Steak and Boston Brownies!

The Main Dish section is also varied; there's a wide variety of great seafood recipes, some French, but there's also Cheese Grits, Dumplings and her family's Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe. One section is devoted entirely to " Wild Game Recipes" such as venison, bear and dove preparation.

The dessert section in this book is my favorite. It will absolutely make your mouth water! Typically-Southern desserts are the stars here: Sweet Potato Pone; Peach and Strawberry Shortcake; Pecan Pie; and Syllabub. After all, does it really matter what you had for dinner if the dessert is a show stopper?! If there's no dessert, though, her Shrimp Newburg might make up for it (or Chicken and Dumplings). I think I gained weight just reading this book.

I will warn readers, in advance, that there are some references from that period that might be offensive, and that would not be acceptable in writing today. I believe they are made in passing, with an innocent, unpretentious tone. After all, you have to take into consideration that this is written in the South in 1942. In one such passage, it talks about a kitchen servant making Sweet Potato Pone using butter instead of the usual bacon grease because the children are coming home to visit. As she churns the butter she chants:
"Come butter come. Grandma waitin' for the chillen to come." It's a look back in time, and I believe it adds to the flavor of the book's authenticity, just as her stories of friends and family do.

Cross Creek Cookery reads more like an autobiography than a cookbook. The drawings of an earlier time in Florida's history are well-done by Robert Camp and add to the book's charm. This is one of my favorites from my collection, and I wish you luck in finding it; to my knowledge, there was only one printing.

P. 61 Fried Asparagus

Large-sized can of asparagus, drained
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Dip in flour, then slightly-beaten egg, then in bread crumbs, and fry until golden. Yellow summer squash is good this way, too, but cut crosswise in quarter-inch slices.

P 180 Utterly Deadly Pecan Pie

4 eggs
1 1/4 C Southern cane syrup
1 1/2 C broken pecan meats
1 C sugar
4 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla

Boil sugar and syrup together two or three minutes. Beat eggs not too stiff, pour in slowly the hot syrup, add the butter, vanilla, and the pecan meats, broken rather coarsley. Turn into a raw pie shell and bake in a moderate oven for 45 min. or until set.

I'm participating in Grocerycartchalleng's Friday Recipe Swap!