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!


  1. Oh my goodness. What a wonderful meal you have given us! It all looks wonderful and now I am hungry.

  2. Great recipes. They all sound delicious!

  3. Those pork chops look really good and easy!

  4. Oh, these all look so yummy. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. I can't believe it... I was just surfing your blog... loving all your recipes.... but earlier today I was thinking that I really needed to cook the thick cut pork chops I have in the fridge. Then I see this post and guess what, I have all ingredients on hand. That never happens to me. Anyway, I'm heading to the kitchen to make them right now!