Friday, December 30, 2011

Stuffed Jalapenos Ole'

I'm so excited about the upcoming "junk food festival and parade/football marathon" that New Year's Day/Eve brings! I only hope that it's chilly out so we can have the fireplace blazing for the day. There's nothing like a lazy day with the family, having New Year's snack food and watching all of our favorite college teams. And then....the Cowboys play a big game, too! It's going to be a great weekend. Hope you have some exciting, or just relaxing plans, as well. A very Happy New Year to everyone.

My Adventure in Texas: Took our three sons to Fort Worth yesterday to see the historic Stockyards and watch the cattle drive that proceeds down the cobblestone streets everyday at 11:30 and 4:00.
The Stockyards and the rodeo (every weekend) are American iconic events that you don't want to miss. I highly recommend this trip, especially if you have little ones that are going through their "cowboy phase". Be sure to let them wear their hats, boots, chaps, whatever; they won't look out-of-place, believe me! Real cowboys and cowgirls ride their horses down the street cracking leather whips and looking rugged, and for a price, you can ride in a stage coach or sit on a longhorn steer to have your picture taken. Did I mention that steakhouses and Tex Mex food places are in abundance? You gotta go to Fort Worth and check it out.

Here's my offering for a New Year's snack:

Stuffed Chicken Jalapenos

20 medium fresh jalapenos
2 C chopped cooked chicken
1 C Mexican Cheese Blend
1/2 C mild Rotel, drained
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray cookie sheets with Pam. WEARING LATEX GLOVES, cut jalapenos in half to remove seeds and membranes. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine chicken and other ingredients. Spoon mixture evenly into jalapenos. Place on baking sheets and put in oven for 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Break out the Diet Coke with Lime and enjoy!!

-Designs by Gollum

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Ham in the Crock Pot

This is "Countdown Week"; Sunday is Christmas!!..... and if you're starting to look for shortcuts to make sure that you get everything done in time, join the club! Here are some shortcuts:

-Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough is just as much fun for little ones to cut into shapes as homemade dough
-You can make gingerbread houses using graham crackers "glued" (with icing) to a cardboard base and a waxed milk carton. Let kids put on frosting and place candies, as usual
-peanut butter refrigerated dough also rolls into balls that can be topped with a Hershey's Kiss
-Candied dills can be made by draining a jar of dill spears, dumping in a cup of sugar and putting the lid back on the jar; set in the fridge for a day
-you can wrap packages with comic papers, old maps, or pretty dish towels if you run out of wrapping paper at the last minute
-kids loooovvveee to receive money!!!
-pets would enjoy extra playtime (or one of your well-worn throws or blankets with your scent on it!) rather than "things" from the pet store
-give your favorite college student a jar of quarters (trust me on this one!)
-give anyone who's extremely busy, or just has a hard time getting to the post office, a roll of Forever Stamps
-No time or energy for a tree? string tiny lights on a large potted houseplant

If you're thinking, "wow, Marcia, really?!" Don't be so quick to judge, sometimes the clock is running out and it's much better to keep your composure and your smile on than to be perfect....and stressed-out. Not preaching here, just sharing a lesson-learned :0)

Here's one more for today, fix your ham in the crock pot to save oven space for Christmas dinner:

Christmas Ham in the Crock Pot

1 boneless fully cooked ham (3 to 4 lbs.)
1/2 C apple jelly
2 tsp prepared mustard
2/3 C ginger-ale, divided
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
2 TBSP cornstarch

Score surface of the ham with a knife. In a bowl, combine jelly, mustard and 1 TBSP of ginger-ale; rub over scored surface of ham. Cut ham in half; place in a 5 qt. crock pot. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours, or until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees and ham is heated through. Baste with juices toward end of cooking.
Put cherry pie filling in a sauce pan. Combine cornstarch and rest of the ginger-ale. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 min. Pour over the ham to serve.

Please remember, as you go about completing your finishing touches this week, that Christmas doesn't have to be perfect to be memorable. Children, family members, pets, neighbors, fellow shoppers and store service people will remember the time and courtesy that you afforded them long after wrapping paper and bows have been thrown away. Enjoy your exciting week-before-Christmas!

-Miz Helen's Country Cottage
-This Chic Cooks
-Ani's Favorite Things
-Brambleberry Cottage
-Life as Mom
-Dining with Debbie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old Smoothie Candy Bar Recipe

If you're of a "certain age" you might remember buying Smoothie candy bars at the candy store, They were shaped like a Reeses Cup but had a different flavor. The candy cup had kind of a light butterscotch taste with a crunchy texture. When I had allowance money or "pop bottle return cash" (oh, you are in my age bracket!!) my brother, Greg, and I would go down the street to Berthie Doak's Grocery and buy candy: Smoothie bars; little wax pop bottles with juice inside; Pumpkin Seeds with the Indian Chief on the box or Boston Baked Beans. If you didn't have enough for these larger items, there was a bunch of penny and nickel candy in that glass case that was just as good: jawbreakers, tootsie rolls, gum and Charm pops....oh, and my favorite, blue wax lips!! Anyway, the maker of the Smoothie cups put little cardboard coupons with points inside and if you saved up so many points, you got "free" candy. I was seven or eight and not an "A student" in math, so this seemed like a good deal, at the time! :0)
Here's a recipe that is just like the flavor of those Smoothie candies. You'd better make a batch for Christmas, because I don't think you can buy them anymore.....if so, I'm sure they're not ten cents!

****Congratulations to Darcie Brady who won our cookbook drawing****

Smoothie Candy

1 lb. white chocolate. broken up
1 lb. butterscotch chips
1 C crunchy peanut butter

Microwave and stir ingredients so they're completely blended. Pour into small foil candy cups on baking sheet. Let cool on counter for 2 hours. Take some next door and impress the neighbors!!

-Designs by Gollum
-Home is Where My Story Begins
-Simply Sweet Home
-Fingerprints on the Fridge
-E Kat's Kitchen
-Comfy in the Kitchen
-Amy's Finer Thing
-My Sweet and Savory

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Holiday Scrapbook: Maraschino Cherry Bread

Here's an old recipe from Christmases past! Don't know really how old this "receipt" is, but I had to reinforce it with a piece of cardboard because the paper was crumbling. If you make this bread into little loaves, it's very pretty to give as hostess gifts (in a basket with fancy teas) for Christmas parties. Enjoy!

Maraschino Cherry Bread

1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 C melted Crisco or oil
2 eggs, beaten
8 oz. bottle maraschino cherries and juice
1 C chopped nutmeats

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine remaining ingredients and add to flour mixture, stirring just until mixed. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bread tests done. Remove from pan and cool on rack.

*****The winner of the Southern Heritage Cake Cookbook is Darcie Brady. Congratulations Darcie! You may leave your address in my comments box or put it on my wall at my Frugalhomekeeping page on FB. I'll mail that out to you, pronto! Thanks to all who entered.*****

-Home is Where My Story Begins
-Designs by Gollum
-Simply Sweet Home

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Menu: Dec 5-12

I'm washing clothes today as I jot down my menu for the week and get ready to bake. I hope you have a good start to your week, and a you don't feel overwhelmed by all of the items on your December to-do list :0) Here's what my clan is eating this week:

Blueberry pancakes

Pork stir-fry

Cauliflower with cheese sauce

Eat out

Creamed Chicken and Biscuits
Steamed Asparagus

Scrambled eggs w/ bacon
Wheat bagel

Eat out

Lemon pepper squash

Swaps you Might Enjoy:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Funnel Cakes at Home

It's the holiday season, and in just a couple of short weeks you are probably going to look across your breakfast table at your sweetie (who's off from work); your kids (who are home on Christmas break); or other visiting "loved-ones".
During most holidays at our house, everyone wants to sleep-in and they each get up at different times, so we have brunch at 10:00, 10:30....11:00 or whatever, and then just have a nice dinner that evening. You're preparing two meals instead of three and everyone thinks you're great because you let them sleep-in and.... had brunch ready when they got up! I'm not the "hostess with the mostess" when it comes to breakfast. I have just never been a breakfast person. So here are some of my ideas for easy breakfasts:

Egg Casserole (assembled the night before)
Irish Oatmeal (cooked all night in the crock pot)
Selection of cold cereals with bananas
Pan of (frozen Pillsbury) biscuits (microwave sausage patties)
Yogurt with fun toppings
Muffins and fruit salad (made ahead)

You can dress these basics up by adding several toppings, a bowl of fresh fruit, a couple of juices or special coffee (I don't skimp here, I grind it in my coffee grinder right before brewing for that super aroma!) Good coffee is like a good dessert; it will cover a multitude of sins at the end of a meal. The cook's inadequacies will be overlooked if the meal ends with a perfect cup of coffee or a cake that melts in their mouth. Believe me, there are just times that dinner doesn't turn out like you envisioned it.
Back to the subject of brunch for your bunch! How surprised would they be if you fixed them a funnel cake for that special holiday wake-up meal ? Here's a recipe. Please make sure that you have strawberries (either fresh or strawberry pie filling will do); whipped cream, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar available for each person to make theirs the way they like.

Funnel Cake

2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 C milk
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C cooking oil

In a batter bowl with a pour lip, combine eggs and milk. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add egg mixture; beat smooth with mixer. Test mixture to see if it flows easily through a funnel. If too thick, add milk. If too thin, add flour.
In 8" skillet, heat oil to 360 degrees. Cover bottom opening of funnel with your finger and release batter into hot oil, swirling the funnel to make a spiral shape. Fry until golden. Use tongs to turn cake over. Cook 1 minute more. Drain on a paper towel; sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Makes 5 cakes.

***********************************************************************************Marcia's Adventures in Texas: Dove Creek Cafe in Roanoke for chicken-fried chicken and homemade Blackberry Cobbler!.....oh, and a very good Elvis impersonator who gave a 2 hour concert, including requests from the audience. (He's there twice a month, but you have to have reservations :0)

***A BIG THANK-YOU to my son, Ben, who was sooo helpful in bookmarking and linking all of the recipe swaps that I list for you each week. That has made linking up so much more efficient as I write every day. Ben has been crazy-busy with the new app that he created called YUMMMBOX. It was accepted by Apple this summer and is available on Iphone in the Apple Store. He has been working feverishly to advance his business, and I'm very proud of him for his great ideas and follow-through!***

Next Friday is the drawing for The Southern Heritage Cake Book. Make sure you're signed on as a follower and Like Frugalhomekeeping on Facebook for a chance to win!

Swaps :
-Blessed with Grace
-From Mess Hall to Bistro
-Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
-Permanent Posies
-Hearth and Soul
-All the Small Stuff
-33 Shades of Green
-My Sweet and Savory

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aunt Monica's Fudge

As I dug the lights and Christmas decorations out of the sea of boxes in our garage, yesterday, I thought of how Christmas is like rearing your children. It's so exciting and fun, but if you do it right, it's also messy and a lot of work. Yes, it was a tedious job of finding each exact box that held the items that I needed. The lights were in a tangle; sadly, some things got chipped in the move; and by the time I was done for the day my sinuses were full of dust and glitter. But last night, when the tree was lit (Saturday, Hubby put it up and the Boyzclub decorated); Christmas music was playing on the radio; the animated angel was fluttering her wings across from the smaller tree in the dining room; and the ceramic Santas seemed to be winking at me every time I looked at them in my kitchen, I knew it was all worth it! Our house had a magical touch of Christmas spirit....but like watching your children grow up, you must enjoy every second because this "magic" doesn't last nearly long enough.

Here's a delicious family fudge recipe that Dana's Aunt Monica used to make. It's rich so you might want to cut it into small pieces.

Aunt Monica's Peanut Butter Fudge

3 C sugar
3/4 C margarine
2/3 C milk
1 C peanut butter
7 oz. marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cook sugar, margarine and milk on stove top to softball stage. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, marshmallow cream and vanilla. Spoon into greased square pan. Let cool and cut into squares.

****Don't forget to sign on as a follower and Like Frugalhomekeeping on Facebook for a chance to win The Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook next Friday!!****

Favorite Recipe Swaps:

-From Mess Hall to Bistro
-Blessed with Grace
-Permanent Posies
-Hearth and Soul
-All the Small Stuff
-33 Shades of Green
-My Sweet and Savory
-Balancing Bedlam and Beauty

-Tales from the Fairy Blogmother
-Dining with Debbie
-King's Court 4
-Raising Homemakers
-We are That Family

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Attempt at Returning to "Organizationville"

During our recent move from one state to another, my weekly schedule was "cast to the wind". There were no weekly menus; Mountain-o-Laundry Mondays; Tuesday shopping days (with coupons in hand and list of needed items); regular trash-gathering and house-cleaning (although, having our old house on the market was a cleaning blitz that never seemed to end!)
I'm a person who thrives on having a weekly plan. I know that rigid schedules can put a damper on spontaneity, but if you're flexible, I believe it makes a home run much more smoothly. So, as I ran back and forth from one location to the other until we closed on the house, I kept reminding myself that this chaos would not last forever. I'm happy to report that today I will be posting a menu! Hey, it's a start (oh, and I have my first load of laundry in the washer).

-Monday, Nov. 28
Baked Pork Chops
Baked potatoes with cheese and broccoli topping

-Tuesday, Nov. 29
Evening out

-Wednesday, Nov. 30
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Hot rolls

-Thursday, Dec. 1
Crescent Dogs

-Friday, Dec. 2
Grilled Chicken Salad
Iced tea

-Saturday, Dec. 3
Cocoa Wheats

Grilled hamburgers
Potatoes and onions
green beans

garlic crescent rolls
tossed salad

***Make sure that you go on Facebook and Like us to be entered in my cookbook giveaway. Next week I'll be randomly choosing a reader who Likes Frugalhomekeeping on Facebook to win my extra copy of..........The Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook!!! This is my favorite cake recipe book and you'll have a chance to win it. Be forewarned: I do plan to write something mushy on the inside cover about how great my faithful blog readers are to me. :0) Have a wonderful Monday.

I'm joining these recipe swaps today:
-Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
-Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
-Delightfully Dowling
-Beyer Beware
-A Southern Fairytale
-I'm an Organizing Junkie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chopping, Toasting, Baking.........And What Are You Doing Today??

The cooking marathon has begun! Today we have finished turkey stuffing balls, sweet potatoes with praline topping (see archives), green bean casserole, two pumpkin pies, one apple pie, a black forest cake (see archives), peanut butter fudge (archives) ......and a partridge in a pear tree. My dishwasher wonders what's going on; I've loaded it three times today and I'm ready to load it again. I'm sure you've had a busy day, too, unless you're one of those wise people who eats at someone's house other than your own, or a restaurant buffet. The down side to these options is that you have no leftovers to eat while you watch football games and Christmas specials on TV.
If you haven't chosen a pie for your Thanksgiving dessert table, yet, here's a great one from my new home state:

Texas Pecan Pie

1 C sugar
1TBSP flour
1/8 tsp salt
4 eggs
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Combine sugar, flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, syrup, oil and vanilla; beat at medium speed until blended. Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into pastry shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 30 minutes or until filling is set. Makes 1 pie.

Wishing God's greatest blessings on you this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ready to Talk Turkey

Oh my goodness, it was a busy summer and fall around our homestead. If you're one of the folks who check my blog out once in a while, then you probably realize that I've been missing. Some of you might have enjoyed my absence while others just counted it as a little something that was missing from their morning coffee break. This summer, we sold a home and bought another home within a one month span. It was a move that was just amazing, logistically-speaking. While we are now "settled" in the new house, we still have some boxes here and there, garages that are full, pictures that need hung and tile grout that waits to be sealed. These items will all be accomplished in time, but I had to return to the blog; I've missed chatting with you every day. I hope that your summer and fall were filled with great moments. Because, after all, that's what life is made up of.....several great moments.

My new home has a nice kitchen and I'm all set to cook my first Thanksgiving meal in this new place. I'm thawing a 20-pound turkey that I bought at Albertson's. Oldest son, Justin, will be making the green bean casserole, Blake will tackle the stuffing and Ben will make pumpkin pies. I've got to find the roaster (which is tucked away in one of the garages) and get it washed up. Tomorrow will be busy, but I look forward to Thanksgiving all year. I will get my holiday scrapbook of recipes off the shelf, so look for a recipe to show up on here tomorrow. You know that I believe recipes should be shared! Thanks for sharing your time with me every day on this blog. I count my readers when I count my blessings. Happy holidays. ~Marcia

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Becky's Poppyseed Chicken

Here's a delicious recipe for creamy chicken with a buttery crumb topping. I got this from my sister, Becky. She's a darn good teacher who keeps 4th graders in line all day and then comes home to a hungry family, so you know she has some good advice for quick recipes!

Becky's Poppy Seed Chicken

Boil and debone chicken breasts and save the broth. 4 for small pan (8x8) and 8 breasts for large pan(9x12).

Mix together: 1 can cream of chicken soup (2 for large pan); One 8 oz. carton of sour cream (16 oz. for large); and 1/2 C broth (1 C for large).

Add cubed, cooked chicken. Put in casserole dish or baking pan. Sprinkle with 1-2 TBSP poppy seeds.

Topping: Melt 1/2 stick margarine (I like butter) for small pan or 1 stick for large pan. Mix with 1/2 (or 1 whole for large pan) sleeve of crushed Ritz cracker crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

The crumb topping really makes this chicken casserole delicious!

I'll be at these recipe swaps:
-Fingerprints on the Fridge
-Comfy in the Kitchen
-The Shabby Nest
-Designs By Gollum
-Simply Sweet Home

-This Chic Cooks
-Miz Helen's Country Cottage
-Life as Mom
-Prairie Story
-Brambleberry Cottage
-Paisley Passions
-Everyday Tastes
-Feeding Four
-Somewhat Simple

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summertime Recipes

If you've been checking my blog and wondering about me.....I've been in the backyard watering my plants. It was 111 degrees here yesterday! And I'm only a fair gardener on my best day. Seriously, I've been taking a summer computer break. I've missed chatting with you, though, so I thought I would share some recipes that I've made this summer. Some of the recipes will be ones that are mine and some of the recipes were passed to me. I hope you are having a wonderful, I have to get that water hose across the yard before my basil withers.

I took this dish to a church luncheon and had several requests for it. The most time-consuming part of the preparation is baking a pan of cornbread. It is a good recipe for using leftover cornbread (is there such a thing?!) I personally think that leftover cornbread should be toasted in the oven and spread with strawberry preserves.

Cornbread Salad

Two 8 oz. Jiffy Cornbread Mixes
1 can of corn
2 C Miracle Whip (I use Hellman's Mayo and a little sugar)
4 green onions, chopped (I like red onion better)
1 green Bell pepper, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
4 boiled eggs, chopped
10 oz. grated mild cheddar cheese

Bake cornbread. Cool. Crumble in a large bowl. Mix corn with salad dressing(or mayo). Mix lightly with crumbs, Toss in pepper, eggs, onions, tomatoes and cheese; stir to coat. Chill.

I'll be at these swaps:

-Fudge Ripple
-From Mess Hall to Bistro
-Blessed with Grace
-Permanent Posies
-All the Small Stuff
-Who is Dr. Laura
-33 Shades of Green

-Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
-Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
-Delightfully Dowling
-Beyer Beware
-A Southern Fairytale
-My Sweet and Savory

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guacamole Dip/Tuskegee Cookbook

My boys have often teased me about loving stories and movies that are inspirational and have a good ending. It's true that some are sappy and overdone, but a really good story that they would call a, "triumph of the human spirit" story (while teasing me) doesn't have to be dramatized, because the details are spectacular on their own.
Such dramatic embellishment is not needed for the history of Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. The cookbook for review today involves the story of how Mr. Washington, a young teacher who had been a slave as a child, arrived at the legislatively approved school for blacks in 1881. He would teach and serve as Tuskegee's principal. Mr. Washington, along with Dr. George Washington Carver, a famous scientist and alumnus of the school, both developed plants that would grow in the South's cotton-depleted soil and help feed its hard-working, less-privileged citizens. White and black sharecroppers, alike, were in need of a more nutritious diet. These two great Americans came to the rescue; their innovations in crop development and farming techniques helped change the fortunes of poor southern farmers, and improve the diet of the south as a whole. The African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances From Alabama's Renowned Tuskegee Institute by Carolyn Quick Tillery was published in 1997 and its ISBN is 1-55972-325-4. The historic pictures of Tuskegee, the list of famous Americans who were students there and the recipes of Washington and Carver make this a must-have book, especially for those who love southern food (can you say, "Dandelion Salad"?!) and its history. It's a newer book and should be easy to find; I found mine in the Denton used book store (on the square). This interesting cookbook left me wanting to make a to visit Tuskegee, Alabama.

Page 25 Guacamole Dip

4 ripe avocados
1 large tomato
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mash avocados until smooth. Chop tomatoes and add to avocados. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use. 18-24 servings.

***Adventures in Texas: Great farmer's market near Brown Trail Church of Christ in Bedford, Texas. I found the best tomatoes, yet...this season.***

Book I'm Reading: The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine

Friday, May 27, 2011

Custard Pie/ 1968 Osterizer CB

I remember our Osterizer 8-speed push-button blender. It was a symbol of summer. Dad would get some ice cream, and soon, he and mom would make us three kids some great milkshakes in that blender using Hershey's chocolate syrup (the real stuff, the kind in a brown can) and vanilla ice cream. It was the 60's and few people, if any, had air conditioners in our little town. Our "air conditioning" consisted of screen doors and box fans; it was hot in the middle of summer, but the benefit was that we knew our neighbors ...and the people who walked past our house, because most of our summer was spent on the porch or in the yard. As kids "deprived" of air conditioning, we spent the days running through the sprinkler, collecting frog eggs in the shady wet marsh behind our house and riding bikes with neighbor kids. We didn't know that we missed air conditioning....we had Osterizer milkshakes!!

These days, because everyone is so busy, I am the "library courier" for our family. The last time that I went to pick up my husband's thrillers and my teenage entrepreneur's books about business success, I found a treasure on the free shelf. There it was in mint condition, in pink and turquoise blue with a picture of two now-vintage blenders on the cover...a cookbook from 1968. Spin Cookery Blender Cookbook, published by the John Oster Manufacturing Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 532217. This is the same model blender that was used to make our milkshakes in the late 60's. It has 8 speeds that are accessed by push-buttons on the front; I believe ours was avocado green...Mom was a fan of that color and it was very trendy at the time (so was copper and "harvest gold").
At the library, a woman ahead of me had just, " made off like a bandit" with two bags of new paperbacks by very popular authors (I think I saw dollar signs in her eyes as she she shuffled away from the free shelf and out the door with more-than-enough books!). Normally, I might have been disappointed that she was so greedy in spirit, but nothing could dampen my excitement that she evidently didn't cook or collect cookbooks.
As you can imagine, this little cookbook is full of recipes that would need a blender for the preparation. Great recipes for French Pancakes with Orange Butter Sauce and Cheese Blintzes are just an example of the breakfast goodies. There are also lots of sauces, omelette's, cakes and pie fillings. Curious to note that there are no smoothie recipes, I guess that's a part of our cooking and health evolution. Just like smoothies make for a quick snack or breakfast, this book serves up recipes that are quick to make because of the blender. I think you'll enjoy it. Great for summer treats! Our sample recipe is for a pie that is an American tradition and would be delicious for a Memorial Day get-together.

***Book I'm Reading: The Kennedy Detail***

Page 53 Custard Pie

4 eggs
2/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 C milk, scalded
One 8 " pie shell, unbaked

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put the eggs, sugar, salt nutmeg and vanilla into OSTERIZER container, cover and process at WHIP until sugar is dissolved and eggs lemon colored. Remove feeder cap and add milk, continue to process until well-blended. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a silver knife inserted into the custard comes out clean.
NOTE: My mom made this kind of pie and put a layer of blackberries in the bottom. It's a wonderful addition!

Friday, May 20, 2011

1915 Cookbook/Asparagus Soup & Chocolate Angel Food

If it was any given Sunday in 1915, you might have been to a place of worship, relaxed with your coffee and the newspaper, and/or spent a slow day reconnecting with family over a special meal. Sounds great, doesn't it? Our old cookbook today is called Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners by Mrs. Elizabeth O. Hiller; published by N.K. Fairbank Publishing.
Even as a child in the 60's and 70's, I enjoyed the slow-paced predictability that Sundays brought. Granted, the Sunday mornings at our house had a quicker pace, with all five of us trying to get ready, and look presentable for church service. My paternal grandparents, however, seemed to have an easier time, with no children to get ready. Their course of action every Sunday morning was to stop by the local grocery store to pick up their newspaper, treats for three expectant grandkids, and do a "candy-drop" at our house on their way to church. It's the little things that are a big deal to kids!
My grandfather, who we lovingly called "Pappy", would leave a treat for us to find every Sunday morning. Early that morning, as he bought his paper at Doak's Market, he would buy three bags of M&M candies; it was always a thrill to find the bags of chocolates on our coffee table. He and Mammam would already be in their pew when we arrived at the church building; Pap liked to get there extra early! Sometimes they would come over after service for lunch, sometimes we went to their house, or out route 7 to visit Mammaw and Pappaw Winland (this visit often included cousins!) It was a day for connecting with family and recharging your spiritual battery. I think this kind of Sunday would benefit us greatly in today's world.
Mrs. Hiller, the author of 52 Sunday Dinners, would agree with me, I believe, that Sunday dinner is a custom that allows families to sit down and bless each others' lives over some chicken or ham. In her book, she gives complete menus for every Sunday in the year. The meal plans are separated by months, with foods that are more festive for holiday seasons, and vegetation that should be at its peak flavor in that particular month. We love asparagus in the spring when it's beautiful in color and a good price, so I'm sharing Mrs. Hiller's recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup from page 66 for our sample recipe today:

Cream of Asparagus Soup

3 C chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus
2 C cold water
2 slices of onion
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
1 1/2 C scalded milk
1/2 C hot cream

Process: Wash, scrape and cut asparagus in one-inch pieces, reserve the tips. Cover with boiling, salted water, cook ten minutes; drain, add stock and onion and cook until tender, rub through a sieve (food processor or blender :). Melt butter in a sauce pan, add flour, stir to a smooth paste; remove from fire and add first mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper, add hot milk and cream, continue stirring. Cook tips in boiling, salted water until tender, drain. Turn soup into hot soup tureen, add tips and serve.

Cook's note: tips on fresh asparagus should be tight and have a bluish tinge.

***Jen, one of my followers, asked for me to share the Watkins Chocolate Angel Food Recipe from a previous Old Cookbook Review. I always like to keep my followers happy, so here you go, Jen!***

Watkins Chocolate Angel Food Cake from 1938

2 C egg whites
1 1/2 C well-sifted granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C Watkins Cocoa
1 tsp Watkins Cream of Tartar
3/4 C sifted cake flour
1 tsp Watkins Vanilla

Note: For small cake use one half of recipe. Bake in 9-inch ungreased tube cake tin, about 35 minutes, 350 degrees F.

Prepare flour before beating egg whites. Sift flour several times, sift cocoa several times, combine the two, sift three times. Beat egg whites on large platter with flat wire beater (I think this could be updated:) Add salt and cream of tartar; continue beating until egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Fold in sifted sugar, vanilla and then flour. Fold carefully into ungreased angel food tin, bake in moderate oven 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven, invert pan until cake is cold.

***My blogger friend, Kristen@ We are That Family has contact information and a list of needed items for the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri. Please visit her blog and do what you can to help out!***

My Adventures in Texas: Town square in Denton on Saturday for great antiques and one of the best used book stores, ever!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ripe Bananas? Make Cake Frosting/Watkins CB Review

My grandmother, who we referred to as "Mammam", always used Watkins' Pure Vanilla when she baked. She thought that their vanilla was the best, and that pure vanilla was worth the added cost over extract. When I found, recently, that Watkins' vanilla is still available at Target, I was thrilled and bought 4 bottles in one trip! I prefer to buy the smallest bottles because I think it stays fresher as I use it.
While roaming around the flea market at Canton, Texas, weekend before last, I was equally excited about my discovery of this 1938 Watkins' Cookbook. It is a blue, hardback cookbook that sold for $1.50 in the thirties. This example of cooking and advertising history, published by The J.R. Watkins Company of Winona, Minnesota, is worth your search. Fortunately my find is in very good condition. There are full page ads included in the cookbook for Watkins' cocoa, extracts and fruit syrups. For any history enthusiast, the advertisements make the book that much more interesting. The recipes in this cookbook have the expected wartime flavor; money and time-saving dishes all using Watkins' products.
In the thirties, some food items were expensive or in short supply (just like today!) so there are recipes for "One-Egg Cake" or "Two-Egg Cake", as well as, "Lima Bean Loaf" for a meatless meal. It covers a wide range of menu items, but I believe, because of Watkins' fame for baking supplies, the section for baking is the star of this book!
One of the more unusual baking recipes is for a Chocolate Angel Food Cake. I plan to try the recipe for Watkins' Jelly Roll, too. This book gives the history of the company and its sales strategy; good American salesmen selling great American products, including a map locating the 10,000 Watkins' dealers. Above the map it claims to be, "The Largest and Oldest Institution of its Kind in the World".
Our sample recipe today is a great way to use up that ripe banana that always seems to be lying on the kitchen counter.

Page 155 Watkins' Banana Frosting

Pulp of 1 ripe banana
2 C confectioners' sugar
1/3 tsp Watkins' Almond Extract

Sift sugar, slowly add to mashed banana. Blend to smooth paste. Add flavoring. (I think this would be great on a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake and then drizzle with chocolate!)

LATEST ADVENTURE IN TEXAS: SOUTHLAKE FOR JAPAN FUNDRAISER LAST WEEKEND (great bands, fantastic taco bowls, all-around-fun-time!!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Old Style Green Beans and New Potatoes/Man's Recipes

Being the mother of three sons, I particularly enjoyed this , well, it's not technically a "cookbook", but rather, a recollection of one man's memories, both good and bad, of the food and kitchens of his lifetime. Supper Time: Recollections and Recipes by Leon Hale, a Houston Chronicle columnist, is a treat. I smiled, laughed, got teary-eyed, and then copied-down some great recipes; it accomplishes everything that a successful book full of food chat should do. Mr. Hale has written ten books and four column collections, so he knows how to spin a tale that intrigues the reader.
Hale begins the book with food creations that he came up with in a one bedroom apartment, living in the new world of bachelorhood at 60, after a divorce. He pulls no punches as he describes his trips to the grocery stores in the wee hours of the morning (because he couldn't sleep). He talks about well-meaning friends and compassionate ladies in his apartment building who gave him cookbooks, and goes on to explain how useless the books were because, for example, a recipe would call for boiling a chicken first and then on with the next step. He needed a book that told him, in to boil a chicken!
He tried cooking one new food item at a time; his "Vienna sausage period" was followed by several months of chicken pot pies for every meal, sometimes twice-a-day. At one point, he craved cooked vegetables, and so, invented "The Soupwich" consisting of vegetables he had on hand, cooked into a type of stew and poured over a thick slice of wheat bread. His was a method of cooking by trial and error- out of necessity. It reminded me of talking on the phone with my middle son who's in grad school, and his thrill at discovering frozen skillet meals and vegetables in steamer bags...I think these items make up the bulk of his grocery shopping purchase.
The more tender parts of this delightful read are about the author's food recollections from a boyhood during the Depression; a move to his grandma's farm; carrying school lunches (and fried pies) in a syrup bucket; his army days in mess halls and Italy (and dreams of Mom's cooking); college cafeteria food in College Station, Texas and his his mother-in-law's and grandmother-in-law's kitchens and dining rooms.
This book, published in 1999, is not filled with recipes, but the ones he gives, relate to the people in his past that were precious to him. The recipes are all easy to fix with ingredients that are available in any grocery store. I really thought this one was worth the time. I would like to read some of his other ten books! If you want to look for it, the ISBN is 0-9657468-3-6

Green Beans and New Potatoes page 125

1 pound string beans or Kentucky Wonders
6 or 8 new potatoes
1 piece salt pork, 2-3 inches square
1 large pot, filled three-quarters full with water
3 or 4 whole black peppercorns

Peel the potatoes.
Cut off the stems of beans, pop in half, stringing them if necessary.
Score the salt pork in several places with a sharp knife. Place the pork and potatoes in the pot.
Bring the water to a rolling boil and add the beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover.
Cook the beans like this until they are thoroughly done and the potatoes are tender (half hour or so). At this point, some people will heat a scant TBSP bacon grease in a skillet until it's sizzling, then add the cooked beans and potatoes, tossing them lightly in the grease for a few seconds until they are shiny. Then add salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

***Happy Mother's Day to my own great mom and all the rest of the hard-working, wonderful moms out there***

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mayberry CB Review/Strawberry Pie

My Husband took me for another Texas adventure last night; we ate at Prairie House in Roanoke. What a historic town with a great knack for preserving historic buildings and promoting local businesses! With several locally-owned eateries, they are proud to call themselves a, "restaurant capitol". Having grown up in a small town, I have a warm, fuzzy feeling when I drive through Roanoke. There are little cottages, older stick-built homes and even a couple of Victorian "painted ladies". On Oak Street, there's a line of quaint restaurants and a book store/coffee shop. You can try to get into Babe's (there are often people waiting) if you want to eat fried chicken and watch the wait staff line-dance. On down the street, there's a variety of cowboy grub and authentic Mexican fare, too. What made me especially curious about Prairie House was the rustic look of the building and the name of the restaurant. I had to go in to see if Marshall Dillon or any of the Ingalls family were sitting at a table! It was unique and rustic inside, as well. The food was so good that midway through the meal, I looked across the table at my sweetie and said, "I am just in hog heaven!" I had smoked meat BBQ, homemade onion rings, cole slaw and a mason jar of brewed iced tea. Oh....and jalapeno corn muffins! Ronoake reminds me of a TV town called Mayberry and my favorite small town...Paden City. All of this is leading up to my book for review today; Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook.
If ever there was a famous small town in the collective memory of baby boomers, it is Mayberry. And if ever there was an iconic cook it is Aunt know, Bee Taylor, Sheriff Andy's auntie who toted him homemade food in a basket, just for lunch! Barnie, the deputy, always waited for that fried chicken and apple pie to show up at the jailhouse. I loved that show and still do! If you enjoyed it, you might want to look for this wire-bound cookbook from 1991. Ken Beck and Jim Clarck put it together with the editing done by Julia M. Pitkin. The publisher was Rutledge Hill Press from Nashville, Tennessee and its ISBN is 1-55853-098-3. I like the fact that a cookbook is dedicated to the memory of Frances Bavier (the actress who played Aunt Bee). I didn't buy my copy there, but I saw this cookbook being sold in gift shops when we visited the town that the TV show was based on. That famous little place is the town where Andy Griffith grew up-Mount Airy, N.C. If you loved the show, it's fun to visit Mount Airy.
This book is really full of good down-home recipes that you would typically find in a community or church group's cookbook, but it has names of characters from the show attached to the recipes. There's Barney's Salt and Pepper Steak; Goober's Secret Spaghetti Sauce and Opie's Oreo Ice Cream. Tidbits about the show, pictures of scenes from the show and character bios of Mayberry's well-known citizens are included. It's a fun read, especially if you're a fan! Here's a sample recipe from page 198:

***Cookbook hunter's alert: I saw 2 copies of this book at Antiques Mall in Keller, TX this past weekend. One copy was $10.00 and the other was $6.50!***

Mayberry Strawberry Pie
(Mary Ellis-Albuquerque, N.M.)

2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 C sugar
4 TBSP flour
1 C water
1 9-inch baked pie shell
whipping cream

In a saucepan, mash about 5 or 6 ripe strawberries, and combine with the sugar, flour and water. Cook until thick and refrigerate until cold.
Just before serving, place the strawberries in the pie shell, reserving a few for garnish. Pour the glaze over the berries. Cover with whipped cream and garnish with reserved berries. Slice and serve. Serves 6-8.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Leftover Eggs? Egg Salad-4 Ways

If you had an "eggs-travagant" Easter and still have boiled eggs in the fridge, don't fear! Here are 4 different ways to make a delicious sandwich spread from your boiled eggs. We always called it "egg salad" at our house, but it is good on a bed of lettuce or spread on bread or crackers. My favorite version always includes hot sauce...ditto for deviled eggs. Happy Springtime!

Egg Salad #1
3 C chopped hard-boiled eggs
1 C minced celery
1/2 C minced stuffed olives
pinch of salt
dash of pepper
1/4 C mayonnaise (I like a little more)
Blend and chill.

Egg Salad #2
Blend 6 hard-cooked egg yolks with 2 TBSP melted butter or margarine.
1 TBSP French dressing
1/4 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt

Egg Salad #3
Mince 6 hard-cooked egg whites (from #2 above) . Blend with 2 TBSP pickle relish , 2 TBSP minced green pepper, 1/4 C mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Chill.

Egg Salad #4
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3/4 C chopped celery
1/2 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco hot sauce (I like a little more!)
1/2 C mayonnaise
Mix and chill.

My humble opinion: Unless you have your grandma's homemade recipe for mayonnaise, buy Hellmans' original mayonnaise. It is the best one on the shelf! If you're going to the trouble of making fresh chicken, pimento, egg or any other salad, why on earth would you skimp on the mayonnaise? I'm a bargain hunter at heart, but I'm particular when it comes to a crucial element in the recipe. For fresh salads and spreads, mayonnaise is crucial (those of you on special diets for health reasons can totally ignore me! Pay attention to your Dr.'s advice :)

***Special thoughts and prayers go out to our son, Blake, who's in the midst of final tests and presentations this week and next***

Friday, April 15, 2011

Old Home Remedies, Receipts and Wives' Tales in a Cookbook

***Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of North Carolina as they recover from the horrific damage done by the tornadoes this weekend***

Old Cookbook Review: Seems Like I Done it This-a-Way by Cleo Stiles Bryan

Sometimes I slog through cookbooks at a painstakingly slow pace, dreading the review that I have yet to write. Other times, the reading is a joy and the review seems to write itself! This is one of those fortunate weeks; this book goes on my favorites list! I got it in a thrift store in Oklahoma for $1.00....and it's worth every penny.
If you aren't sure that you would like some home remedies for croup, warts, a black eye (or how to get rid of a kidney infection!) mixed in with old family receipts (recipes) , retired Extension Home Economist, Cleo Stiles Bryan will make you a believer. Her unusual cookbook is called Seems Like I Done It This-A-Way. She came up with the title because her mamma, Mary Elizabeth Reed Stiles (who was all of 5 ft. 1 and 89 pounds!) reared 11 children and would reply this way when they asked for advice. A picture of "Mamma" is, of course, included in the back cover. I love writers who give credit where credit is due.
The author worked with homemakers and youth throughout counties of Oklahoma for 35 years as an Extension Home Economist. Her experience included world travels, as she also served as National President of the Extension Home Economists. In 1974, the U.S. Department of Agriculture selected her as one of 9 extension workers in the U.S. to receive the Superior Service Award. Not bad for one of 11 children born on a wheat and cotton farm 7 miles southwest of Snider, Oklahoma! If any of you have stories to share about this exceptional woman, please leave them in my comments. She spoke all over Oklahoma, the U.S. and in other countries, so I'll bet that some of you know about her. Please share!
When it comes to writing, Cleo Bryan is practical in her style. There are no pictures, just recipes, planting tips for your garden, remedies for sickness and potions to make for housekeeping and laundry. There are old receipts that she collected for years from friends she met through her work. Many of these recipes are written just as the person gave them (orally) and lend a special flavor to this delightful cookbook.
My signed copy of this book is the 2nd edition, printed in1980; the first edition was in 1976 (I would love to have it and will have to start searching this summer), and within the book, ladies are sharing 100- year-old recipes for gingerbread and plum puddings, etc. from their grandmothers. In fact, Ms. Cleo gives us her mamma's recipe for Poor Man's Pie in the pie section and tells us how her sister,Rea, fixes ham, in the meat section of the book.
If you like the feeling, as you read a cookbook, that your mom, grandma and sisters are at a table swapping advice and recipes with you...this is your book. The book doesn't give an ISBN, but an address for information on ordering the cookbook. If this is outdated, you might be able to get a copy through the Oklahoma Extension Agency. This address given in the back of my book is: Box 749, Tahlequah, OK 74464.

Our sample recipe is from page 217:

Old Fashioned Gingersnaps
Willie Mae Street, Memphis, Tenn.

2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 C shortening
3/4 C sugar
1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 C molasses

Sift flour, measure, add cinnamon and ginger. Sift again. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually and beat until light. Add beaten egg and molasses. Dissolve soda in 2 tsp of hot water and add to the creamed mixture. Chill. Roll out on a lightly-floured board to 1/8 inch thickness, and cut with a round cookie cutter or gingerbread man-shaped cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. For a crackled surface, brush each cookie with water before baking. Makes about 6 dozen 2-inch cookies.

***Taste of Home Cooking School will be in Lawton, OK on May 10. Tickets are $12.00***

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quiche Lorraine and Julia's Wisdom!

There are times in the kitchen when I pray for wisdom......usually when a sauce looks too watery, or something in the oven is not, "rising to the occasion"! I'm not professionally-trained in cooking, I'm just a trial-and-error home cook trying to make everyone at my table happy. Sometimes my trials are, "trials by fire".... or dehydration. I must admit that learning to prepare large pieces of meat was tricky for me when I first began cooking. I have burnt or dried-out my share of roasts! That said, one of the little cookbooks in my collection is from a professional chef who took the time to jot down bits of cooking wisdom in a loose-leaf kitchen reference guide to remind herself of her trials in the kitchen, and what she did to remedy the situation. If you've ever had a cheese sauce turn out less-than-perfect, you know that cooking tips from Julie Child in a book form would be an invaluable addition to your cookbook shelf.
Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a lifetime of Cooking was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2000 and its ISBN is 0-375-41151-8. The web address for the publisher is Good luck in finding this one, it is more recent than many of the old cookbooks that I review, so you might have an easier search. In the acknowledgments, Mrs. Child calls this book her, 'happy collaboration of forty years of cookery with colleagues and friends'. She goes on to say that the idea for the book came after Geoffrey Drummond produced a 2-hour PBS special called Julia's Kitchen Wisdom that featured film snippets of her earlier shows on public television.
I'm so happy that Mr. Drummond's idea was transformed into book form. It is not a large cook book, but is concise and full of cooking basics. There is color blocking, which makes it easier to read, as any quick reference book should be!
Julia covers a wide array of food items, but keeps it basic: stocks, soups, sauces, salads,vegetables, meats,eggs,bread and dessert. She does include variations for each basic recipe. And, in true Julia-fashion, she gives us helpful information, all along the way (I needed this back in the days when I was turning pot roast into shoe leather!) Today I will give a sample recipe included on page 93.

Quiche Lorraine
for a 9-inch quiche, serving 6

6 strips of crisply-cooked bacon
A partially-baked 9-inch tart (pie) shell
3 large eggs
About 1 C cream
Salt, freshly-ground pepper, and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Break bacon into pieces and strew in shell. Blend the eggs with enough cream to make 1 1/2 C of custard, and blend in seasonings to taste. Pour into shell to within 1/8 inch of rim. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Unmold onto a round platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note from Julia: Quiche Proportions
Any quiche can be made with either heavy or light cream or with milk. The proportions always are 1 egg in a measuring cup plus milk or cream to the 1/2 C level; 2 eggs and milk or cream to the 1 C level; 3 eggs and milk or cream to the 1 1/2 C level; and so forth.

***Old Cookbook Review-Every Friday!***

Friday, April 1, 2011

Colonial Cookbook

When the show, Survivor, was in its first season on television, my son, Justin, was a fan. The premise of the show is that people who are unfamiliar with some far-off, exotic location are dropped off there and must adapt to their surroundings and learn how to survive. Food, is of course, of utmost importance to the contestants: what to eat; which items are edible; and how to get enough to have energy for the tasks. While reading our cookbook for review today, I saw a great parallel. The first people to settle in America from England were "survivors"! Yes, they had many concerns and tasks to accomplish, but much of their time and energy revolved around food: what to eat (and plant, successfully); which native items were edible; and how to get enough food to have energy to work and fight illness. They were blessed with knowledgeable help; Native Americans gave them information and assistance.These "survivors" became known as Colonists. Their diet ended up being a blend of flavors brought from their mother country and delicious new tastes, provided by friends from their newly- adopted home.

The Old Farmer's Almanac Colonial Cookbook from Yankee Books (Dublin, New Hampshire) is a 1982 reprint of an almanac first published in 1792. The reprint, by Yankee, is seven wonderful chapters from that 1700's almanac of authentic Colonial foods, "adapted for preparation in the modern American kitchen." The ISBN is 0-89909-008-7. Their address given in 1982 is: Yankee Books, Box C3CC, Depot Square, Peterborough, NH 03458. Other books they've published that you might be interested in: The Old Farmer's Almanac Heritage Cookbook; Yankee Church Supper Cookbook; and The Innkeepers Cookbook.

I've given as much information as I have on this book to help you hunt it down, because I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The authentic Colonial foods are a history lesson in themselves. There are several recipes that require cornmeal, pumpkins and beans. Seafood is also a popular ingredient. The recipes reflect the fact that foods had to be cooked outside or at a hearth and had to be easily kept. Food was precious and nothing went to waste (lots of chowders, soups and porridge). Breads were made with "emptyin's", a type of sourdough starter that they kept in a crock pitcher, or Thirds Brown Bread which was made with liquid hop yeast (hop-flavored malt extract, yeast, potatoes and sugar mixture). They ate Whitpot, a hot cereal (cornmeal) cooked and dotted with butter. They made their own soda crackers with soured milk. If you like cornmeal, you're in luck! There's Spoon Bread, Hasty Pudding, Johnny Cake, Crackling Bread....the dinner rolls even have cornmeal and oats in them! These were hearty, money-saving foods for the Colonists, and great whole grain recipes for today's diet. I especially like the recipes called, "Hardscrabble Oatmeal Pancakes" and "Snow Griddle Cakes" (which use snow as the leaven!)

The cooking method known as "Bean-Hole" is the earliest "Crock Pot cooking". They put dry beans in a pot, covered with water and boiled it over the fire for 5 minutes. The pork and other seasonings were added and the cast iron lid fitted tightly on top of the pot. In dry ground, they set the pot in a hole dug 2 feet deep by 2 feet wide in which a hardwood fire had been built earlier. The fire had been burned down to coals. Some coals were dug out to place the bean pot, and then used to cover the top of the pot. The pot was left in the hole all day. If you want to do this with your kids when you go camping this summer, the whole recipe is in this great cookbook.

As I've mentioned, the Colonists also brought favorites from their original country with them, so the book has recipes for: Bubble and Squeak; English Meat Pie; Mincemeat; Roast Suckling Pig and Roast Goose. In New England-style there are recipes for Boston Brown Bread; Sally Lunn; Harvard Beets; Original Plymouth Succotash and Brunswick Stew. The menu for the authentic foods for a traditional Thanksgiving feast is included.

I hope you will enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed reviewing it. I happened upon my copy when a young chef in New Martinsville, WV decided to sell some of his cookbook collection in his yard sale...silly boy!

Here's our sample recipe for today:

Hasty Pudding

1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1 C cold water
1/2 tsp salt
2 C boiling water

Mix cornmeal to cold water. Add with salt to boiling water. Reduce heat and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve with cream and maple sugar, brown sugar, honey or molasses. Chill unused mush, slice, dust slices with flour, and brown in butter or bacon drippings. Serve with syrup.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Boone Tavern Cookbook from 1950's

What do you do if you're the manager of a very popular southern inn and people love the food you serve, and are constantly asking for recipes? You publish a cookbook with the recipes in it, of course! I'm referring to Richard T. Hougen, manager of the Boone Tavern at Berea College, Kentucky. The book, Look No Further, was published in 1951, with reprints in 1953 and 1955. It's a hard covered book that sold for $2.95 in 1955 (my copy). It was printed and bound by The Parthenon Press at Nashville, Tennessee. There are a couple of unique things about this particular cookbook: Mr. Hougen included only "specialties of the house", and the entire book is printed in large print so you can see it clearly on the kitchen counter when you have both hands busy cooking-genius!
It is easy to see that the author truly loves cooking, whether for friends, family, patrons, or all three. Although probably half of the recipes are ones that I wouldn't prepare for my family, I'm sure that this cookbook has great recipes...some just don't suit our tastes. The recipes that look appealing include southern dishes and ways to prepare fresh fish. Since the author is French, he seems to have a love for sauces. If you like sauces: Caper Gravy, Mushroom Sauce, Lemon Clove Sauce, or Mint Sauce, for example, this might be a wonderful search item for you. Today I'm sharing Mr. Hougen's recipe from page 138 for pork chops:

Pork Chops, Some Tricky Way

4 lean pork chops
1/2 C tomato paste
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 C bread crumbs
2 C chicken stock
3/4 C mushrooms

1. Trim chops and brush over to coat with tomato paste.
2 Mix cheese with bread crumbs.
3. Pat the bread crumbs onto the chops.
4. Pan fry the chops in the skillet to brown on both sides.
5. Place the chops in a covered casserole and add a small amount of water to prevent them from sticking to the dish. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
6. Serve with a sauce, made by thickening 2 C chicken stock with 2 1/2 TBSP flour which has been smoothed to a paste with some of the cold stock. Cook for 5 minutes. Add 3/4 C of cut mushrooms to the finished sauce.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Microwave Brownie Mix: 5 Variations/1 Mix

As promised, I 'm sharing a recipe this week that I found in my box of old clippings. This sounds so practical for Spring and Summer baked treats without the fuss and extra heat in the house from using your oven. There is a master mix for the basic brownie and then the instructions for making the variations will follow :)

(***Please join me Friday for my Old Cookbook Review***)

Norma Schonwetter writes, "There's no need for buying packaged brownie mix with this short-cut technique to preparing brownies at a moment's notice." She's a food column writer (very old newspaper clipping-no idea which area of the country) who says she got this recipe while attending a food media conference. Here you go:

Microwave Brownie Mix

3 C sugar
2 C flour
2 C unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine all ingredients in a large reclosable plastic bag; seal. Shake until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store mix in plastic bag or tightly-covered container. Shake or mix well before using. Makes 7 cups.

Microwave Brownies

2 C Microwave Brownie Mix (above)
2 eggs
1/2 C mayonnaise
Non-stick spray

In medium bowl combine mix, eggs and mayonnaise, stir until well-blended. Spray a microproof 10 x 6 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread batter evenly in dish. Microwave on Medium (50 %) for 6 minutes, turning dish once. Turn dish; microwave on High 3 minutes or until surface is firm to touch. Cool. Cut in squares. Makes 18 brownies.

-Rocky Road Brownies:

Prepare brownie batter, adding 1/2 C chopped walnuts, spread in prepared dish.Microwave on Medium (50%) 6 minutes, rotating dish once. Remove from microwave. Sprinkle 1/2 C chocolate chips over top, then 1 C mini marshmallows. Microwave on High 4 minutes. With knife, swirl top to marbelize. Cool.

-Peanut Butter Streusel Brownies:

Prepare brownie batter; spread in prepared dish. In medium bowl mix 1/2 C quick oats, 1/2 C confectioners' sugar and 1/2 C chunky peanut butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Microwave at Medium (50 %) 6 minutes, rotating dish once. Turn dish; microwave on High 4 minutes. Cool.

-German Chocolate Brownies:

Prepare brownies as directed; cool. In microproof medium bowl or 1-qt. casserole, combine 20 caramels, 1 C flaked coconut, 1/2 C chopped pecans, 2 TBSP margarine and 2 TBSP milk. Microwave on High 2 minutes; stir. Microwave 2 minutes longer; stir to melt caramels. Spread over cooled brownies.

-Raspberry Liqueur Brownies:

Prepare brownies as directed; cool. In microproof medium bowl or 1 qt. casserole, microwave 1/4 C margarine 20 seconds on High or until softened. Mix in 1 3/4 C confectioners' sugar and 1
2 1/2 TBSP raspberry liqueur; beat until smooth and creamy. If desired, add a few drops of red food coloring. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate to set topping before cutting into squares.

~Recipes tested in 625-700 watt microwave; adjust times according to the wattage of your microwave~

***Book I'm Reading: Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig***

Menu Plan : Mar. 21- Mar. 26

We had a nice "Spring Break" with all three sons. The oldest son worked until Wednesday, but was off for the rest of the week. Our Middle son, Blake, was in from Tulsa, and Ben, the youngest, was very excited to have both of them home. Hubby took a couple of days off near the end of the week and that, also, was a rare treat! We enjoyed the warm weather, watching movies, grilling out and looking for the "Super Moon" in the sky on Saturday evening. The guys went out for a fun evening of "brothers only" activity that included dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and old Star Trek movies at Justin's apartment, while hubby and I went out for a date night. The rest of the week was pretty much time spent as a family. When life is so busy and we are all in our separate locales, I remember times like these.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Mon., Mar. 21
Brussels Sprouts

Tues., Mar. 22 ( Happy Birthday, Julie Ruth!!)
Grilled Chicken Soft Tacos
Jello with fruit

Wed., Mar. 23
Pancakes with blueberries

Thurs., Mar. 24

Fri., Mar. 25
Homemade pizza

Sat., Mar. 26
eggs, fried potatoes
bacon, biscuits

grilled chicken salad

****Join me this week for an easy microwave brownie mix that I found in my old clippings box!****

Book I'm Reading: Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig (very good so far!)

I'll be at these swaps today:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Irish Breads and Baking Cookbook

I realize that it's unusual for me to post my Old Cookbook Review on Monday, but I had a lousy computer day on Friday. So I'm glad this is Monday and I'm on a different computer. Get your cup of tea or coffee ready 'cause this book is a goody! and just in time for St. Patrick's Day baking.

When our friends, Julie and George, traveled to Ireland a few years ago, Julie made it her mission to hunt for an authentic Irish cookbook (written by a native) for me, and this book has been special to me, ever since. In her usual "Julie style", she wrote the story of where she found it, in the inside cover...yes, she knows me well. I appreciate all the back stories!

This wonderful baking book was bought in a gift shop/cafe' at Eilwee Caves. She notes that she searched for a hardback cookbook, but they were all written by folks who were not from Ireland. I'm happy that she settled for this paperback cookbook written by Georgina Campbell. The Best of Irish Breads and Baking: Traditional, Contemporary & Festive is full of great baking recipes for every occasion. Georgina Campbell is a well-known food writer and specialist on Irish foods. The beautiful food photography is done by Rai Uhlemann.

The only negative comment that I have on this cookbook is that it provides European, metric and US measurements for each item, which can get tedious when you're reading the recipe as you cook. For those of you reading my blog from spots around the world (at last count on my analytics, I had readers in over 15 other countries and remote areas) the additional measurements are most-likely a benefit. For this reason, I'll include them in our sample recipe today.

As I've said, what a baking book this is! Some of the many super recipes are for scones, tea breads, biscuits (cookies), pies, cakes, crumbles and even dumplings. But the absolute star of the book is breads. There's a recipe for culturing your own buttermilk, because it is crucial to the traditional soda breads in the book. You use skimmed milk, boiling water, yeast and sugar for this process. How interesting...imagine not having to run to the store just to get buttermilk for a recipe (I've done this...ditto for powdered sugar!)

As with any cookbook, the fact that the author provides us with stories about the history of each recipe makes it a must-read for me. Georgina gives details about the historic castles and the folks who are managing them today, with credit to the cooks/chefs who make the foods for these establishments. Many of the family-owned castles became too expensive to maintain as individual homes, and so are now used (at least partially) to educate and delight travelers with tours and delicious Irish cuisine.

Ms. Campbell is also good to provide the reader with information about the traditional festivals and holidays of Ireland, and which foods are served for each. This was my favorite part of the book. I learned that Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) originated as a practical way to use up non-Lenten foods before Lent began. Because pancakes were served, another tradition was to have the eldest unmarried daughter toss the first pancake. The traditional tale went like this: If she made a neat toss, she would have her pick of the young men, but if the toss was crooked, she would not marry in the coming year! (Hold that spatula steady, girl! :)

This is such a wee blessin' of a cookbook that you'll be wantin' it for your shelf :) I'll give you as much information as I can to help you hunt for a copy. It was first published by Wolfhound Press in Dublin in 1996. Mine is a reprint by EPICURE Press from 2004, also in Dublin. The book's ISBN is 1-903164-15-X. The address given for EPICURE Press is: P.O. Box 6173, Dublin 13. You may still be able to order a copy. Other titles by Ms. Campbell include: Irish Country House Cooking (on my wish list!); The Blue Book Recipe Collection and Meals for All Seasons; The Best of Contemporary Irish Cooking. Good luck!

Sample recipe is from page 38:

*Yogurt Loaf*
(From Co. Antrim where Elizabeth Hegarty treats guests to an afternoon tea in the drawing room of Greenhill House on the family farm. She uses the yogurt carton to measure with, making this a fast bread to fix!)

1 carton Hazelnut yogurt (you might have to settle for another flavor-I've never seen this flavor)
1 carton vegetable oil
2 cartons granulated sugar
3 cartons self-rising flour
3 eggs

Preheat a moderate oven, 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/gas 4. Grease and line two 1 lb./450 g loaf tins. Pour the yogurt, oil and sugar into a bowl and beat for a short time to blend. Add the flour and eggs and beat for a minute or until thoroughly mixed. Pour into the prepared tins and bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn out and cool on a wire rack. Serve sliced and buttered for tea.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayer for People Affected by Earthquake Today

Our thoughts and prayers go out today to the people of Japan, the Pacific Islands and the coastal states of western U.S. (California, Washington and Oregon). The 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the aftermath of tsunami waves are causing massive death and destruction, especially in Japan.
P.S. Since I wrote this early today (I had computer issues and am posting late) Japan suffered, yet another, milder earthquake , along with many aftershocks. Please remember these folks; they've had an unbelievable day of historical proportions.

Because of circumstances beyond my control, my Old Cookbook Review will be featured on Monday of next week. The book that I reviewed is a favorite: Georgina Campbell's Irish Bread Book. Please have a cup of tea with me Monday morning as we chat about this authentic Irish treasure for baking. Have a peaceful evening. God bless.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Healthier Dip

I have been on the lookout for a healthier dip to serve with chips or a vegetable tray. We really like my version of ranch dip (check my archives for that one), but I saw a container of dip made with yogurt at Walmart and decided to search my obsessively-huge files of recipe clippings. Never fear...there it was, a clipping from some magazine from years ago. Hope all the ingredients are still available in stores!

Healthier Dip
2 C yogurt (plain, lowfat)
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed
1/3 C minced onion (think I'll use green onions)
1 envelope Lipton Vegetable Recipe Soup Mix
raw vegetables or chips

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Place in middle of chips or raw vegetables for dipping.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu for March 7- March 13

What a great weekend! Hubby and I got to see all three sons, I got to "cook big" for them, and we just spent time as a family. On Saturday evening we stretched out in the living room, after a ham dinner, and caught up on American Idol. The opinions on musical talent (as well as movies, political policies and almost anything else you can think of-are varied at our house!) We all agree that the panel of Idol judges are too soft in their comments this year......Oh, Simon, please come baaaaacckkk! I found myself sitting and imagining what Simon would have said to some of the participants after they had a performance that was lacking.
Oh, well, it's Monday and time to jot down my menu on a wipe-off board on my fridge, and share it with you. Always make a menu for the week; it will save you time and money (less trips to the store, saving you precious gasoline, as well).

Monday, Mar. 7
Chicken and noodles
green beans

Tues., Mar. 8
Swiss Steak (peppers, onions, tomatoes)

Wed., Mar. 9
Vegetable Barley Soup
Grilled Two Cheese Sandwiches

Thurs., Mar. 10
Chili with crackers

Fri., Mar.11
Chicken Casserole
Iced tea

Sat., Mar.12
Scrambled Egg/Bacon on Bagel Thins

Hot rolls

Sun., Mar. 13
Leftover Lasagna

I'll be joining:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Abe Lincoln's Favorite White Cake

Last night, I was quickly looking through some old recipes that I bought out of an estate auction in the early 80's in the Ohio River Valley Area (WV, KY, Va and Ohio). This folded piece of very fragile letterhead stationary caught my attention. It appears to be the stationary of maybe a publication. The top is printed in a beautiful old font and declares: Country Gentleman; Service Department; Independence Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Readers: If you can provide further information about the history of "Country Gentleman" please leave it in my comments box so we can all benefit. It would be interesting to me!)

Abraham Lincoln's Favorite White Cake

Long, long ago, a certain little French caterer in Lexington, Kentucky, made a wonderful white cake in honor of his countryman, Lafayette, who was to pay a visit to the city. The cake was beautifully decorated with flags made of colored sugar, and with marvelous icing, but the cake itself contained only the whites of eggs, and when cut was snow white. Thereupon, every cake baker in the Blue-Grass region immediately began making white cakes; and the recipe for the most famous of all was originated in the household of the ancestors of Mary Todd, who many years afterward, made it for Abraham Lincoln. Later, when she became his wife, he declared this white cake was the best in Kentucky. Here is Mary Todd's recipe with modern baking powder included:

1 Cupful of butter
2 Cupfuls of sugar
1 Cupful of milk
3 Cupfuls of flour
3 Teaspoonsful of baking powder
Whites of 6 eggs
1 Teaspoonful of vanilla or other flavoring, as preferred
1 Cupful of chopped, blanched almonds

Cream the butter well, add the sugar and cream again, sift flour and baking powder together, add to butter and sugar, alternately with the milk. Then stir in the chopped nutmeats and beat well, finally fold in the stiffly-beaten whites of the eggs, pour into a well-greased, paper-lined pan and bake one hour in a moderate oven. Ice with boiled icing to which you have added half a cupful of candied pineapple and cherries cut in very small pieces.

Personal note: Many years ago, Hubby took me on a trip through Virginia (I was missing my sister, Becky, who lived in Manasses at the time). One of our side trips was to tour a plantation owned by some distant ancestors of Mary Todd (and the Lees). Shirley Plantation is known for its beautiful, suspended staircase. It is a fond memory of one of our summer trips that we took as a young couple, all because "Nana and Pappy" were willing to keep two little boys for a week. God bless grandparents!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu for Feb. 28 - Mar. 6

Oh, I can just feel Spring coming! As I sit here working on my menu plan for the week, I can see Daffodils in my neighbor's yard (out my window), and a Morning Dove, searching for a good place to build her nest, just perched on my balcony. It's exciting to think that warmer weather and budding trees and flowers are in our future. God is truly good to us.

It's hard to believe that today is the final day of February. How will March "come in" tomorrow; like a lion or lamb? Just another one of those wonderful surprises of the coming Springtime. Today I'm posting my menu plan for the first week of unpredictable March. I hope that you are making a menu for the week or month ahead; it makes life in the home run smoother, and I think you'll notice that you have less kitchen waste and more money leftover after grocery shopping. Please, give it a try!

Mon., Feb. 28
Ribs (in crock pot)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed cabbage

Tues., Mar. 1
Taco Salad
Iced tea

Wed., Mar. 2
Ham and Scrambled Eggs in Pitas

Thurs., Mar. 3
Pork BBQ Pitas

Fri., Mar. 4
Eat out (Make a Strawberry Shortcake)
Make a gallon of Iced Tea

Sat., Mar. 5

Baked Ham
Cheese Potatoes
Southern Baked Beans
Hot rolls
Strawberry Shortcake
Iced Tea

Sun., Mar. 6
Chicken Swiss Casserole
Green Beans
Iced Tea

I'll be at these swaps:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection Cookbook

In 1977 the Hunt Wesson Test Kitchens put together this unassuming little spiral-bound cookbook which sold for $1.99. Entitled Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection Cookbook, you might be lead to believe, incorrectly, that it's limited in scope. Aside from the variety of recipes for salads, sauces, ethnic dishes and "comfort food" style main dishes, there are even a few dessert recipes. What a surprise to find directions for Mahogany Cake, Brownie Drops and Pennsylvania Dutch Tomato Pie!

The Mexican and Oriental recipes are plentiful and have colorful photos to tempt the reader. It's a timely book for today's frugal cook as there are meatless dishes, bean dishes, pasta meals and many using polenta , barley, hominy and rice. It supplies recipes to feed a crowd, so you might find it useful if you're preparing a family reunion or other big get together. You'll find Sloppy Joes for 75, Spaghetti Meat Sauce for Fifty and Buckets of Barbecue Sauce.

As I've mentioned, I think this cookbook is relevant to the way we eat today. I found a few recipes that sounded like they came right from the recent popular cooking shows (with their celebrity chefs). For example there's Mediterranean Fish Rolls, Vegetarian Lasagna, Italian Sandwich Pockets (in pita bread) and Garbanzo Salad. You should start your search for this small cookbook now, the ISBN is 0-87469-015-3. I found mine at a Super Goodwill store for fifty cents! Our sample recipe is from page 80:

Garbanzo Salad
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 (2 1/4 oz.) cans sliced ripe olives, drained
1 C chopped green pepper
2/3 C chopped Bermuda onion
3/4 C Tangy Tomato Herb Dressing

Toss all ingredients, except dressing, in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until well-mixed. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Tangy Tomato-Herb Dressing
3/4 C red wine vinegar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp each: celery seed, dill weed, paprika and salt
1/4 tsp each; garlic powder and basil
Dash pepper
1 1/4 C vegetable oil
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste

In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil. Cool 10 min., add oil and Hunt's Tomato Paste. Stir or beat until creamy.Refrigerate. Mix before using. Makes 2 2/3 cups.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Swiss Steak, Sunday Style

Another "oldie but goodie" from the Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Book. I hope you enjoy it.

Swiss Steak, Sunday Style

2 lbs. round steak, 1/2" thick
3 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBSP oil
1 onion, sliced
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste
2 C water
1 tsp sugar
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas and carrots

Cut steak into serving pieces; pound in mixture of flour, salt and pepper. In large skillet, brown steak on both sides in hot oil; remove steak. Brown onion in drippings. Blend in tomato paste, water and sugar, stirring until smooth. Return steak to skillet and cover tightly. Lower heat; simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. or until steak is tender. Add peas and carrots last 10 min. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

I'll be at:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potluck Chicken

What a crazy -busy week! Hope that your week is going well, and if you are one of the folks across the country who got more snow, I hope that you are starting to see the sun magically melt it away. I'm ready for Spring; lately I catch myself looking at the lawn and garden section when I shop :) Happy Wednesday.

Here's a recipe that sounds good to me. I found it in a book called Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection. It will be the cookbook that I review soon. I am partial to recipes with tomato products.

Potluck Chicken

3 (2 1/2 lb.) frying chickens, cut up
garlic salt
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 C water
1 tsp oregano
12 oz. mozzarella or Swiss cheese, sliced
3 small green peppers, cut into rings

Sprinkle with chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Place, skin side up, in 2 (9x13x2") baking dishes. Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. In a bowl, combine Hunt's Tomato Paste with chicken broth, water and oregano, pour over chicken. On each piece of chicken, place a slice of cheese and a green pepper ring. Bake 30 min. longer or until chicken is tender. Makes 12 servings.

I'll be at:
- DiningwithDebbie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan for February 21-24

Happy Presidents' Day! How great it is to have a day to honor men who have served as leaders of our country. It is a difficult and stressful job; if you don't believe it, compare photos of any President when he begins his term in office to the photos of him when he leaves. God bless and guide America and her President.

Here's my menu for the week:

Mon., Feb. 21

Fried Shrimp

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Steamed Broccoli

Cherry/Apple Pie

Tues., Feb. 22

Hamburgers with onions

Carrot and celery sticks

Chips and dip

Wed., Feb. 23


7 Layer Salad

Thurs., Feb. 24

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Macaroni and Cheese

Green Beans

Fri., Feb. 25


My Adventures in Texas: Saturday night we were in Arlington at Cowboy Stadium to hear Toby Keith (a famous Oklahoma boy!) sing, and then to watch professional bull riding (those are some tough athletes). We got to be with some good friends who came down from Lawton; we all enjoyed a super evening. Note: You need to see the "Sheep Riding Event" some time before you die. Small children compete in a contest to see who can stay on his sheep the longest! Just another Texas Saturday night :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Old Recipe File: White Beans

When I was little, I remember my mom making "soup beans" when we had a fresh ham bone (always after Easter, but other times, too). When I saw this great recipe it sounded like the delicious, comforting "soup beans" from Mom's crock pot. Gotta make a pan of corn bread and cut up a "good onion", too! Love you , Mom.

White Beans

1 1/2 dried white beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C chopped carrots
1/2 C chopped celery
6 to 8 C water
1 tsp parsley
Ham bean, no meat
1 tsp white pepper

-Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water 2" above beans; let soak over night.
-Drain beans and set aside.
- Coat a large skillet with shortening. Place over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
-Combine reserved beans and vegetable mixture in a large Dutch oven. Stir in water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Serve with quarters of sweet onion. Makes 6 cups.

I'll be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Old Recipe File: Madame Rossi's Minestrone

This is a curious little recipe card from the old file box; it was typed on an index card and as you read it, you may agree with me that English may not have been the writer's first language. That just makes it even more interesting to me (maybe "Madame Rossi" was a French or Italian mother-in-law who passed down her recipe for soup). Sounds good to me... except for the addition of turnips! I'm not a turnip fan; they keep company on the list of "Things That I Don't Like To Have Touch My Tongue", right after okra, liver and ramps! I'm sure that I could down these food items if I had to, but not while there are any other choices.
Enough of my whining-have a wonderful Wednesday :0)

Madame Rossi's Minestrone

Cut up in pieces all sorts of fresh vegetables, including turnips, carrots and plenty of cabbage. To every 4 cups of navy beans, which have been soaked overnight, cook together in water to cover (with a little salt) for about 2 hours only, simmering gently and adding a little more water, if needed. Then make the following sauce:
Brown 1 sliced onion in butter, to which you have added a little olive oil and chopped salt pork. Cut small and add 1 large tomato, some celery, parsley and a clove of garlic. Cook together for about 20 minutes. Put soup and sauce together; add a good fistful of broken spaghetti and cook for another half hour. This is a meal.

I will be at these swaps today and tomorrow:
-The thriftyhome

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Soft Raisin Cookies

When I was cleaning out a storage cabinet in my laundry room last week, I found an old (think '50's red and white metal) recipe file that I bought at an auction years ago when I was first married. The recipes in the tin box were ancient back then...that's why I bought it. This week I'm dusting it off and sharing recipes with you. Grab an iced tea and pull up a chair at the kitchen table. Here's our first old recipe from the box.

Soft Raisin Cookies

3 1/4 C flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C butter
1 C milk
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C dark seedless raisins
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Early in the day or up to 2 weeks before serving:
Into large bowl, measure all ingredients, except raisins and nuts. Beat with electric mixer on low until just mixed; increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Stir in raisins and walnuts until well-blended.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop by heaping TBSPfuls about 2 inches apart, on greased cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned around edges. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in tightly-covered container. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

***If you're in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, check out the Lone Star Antiques Mall in Keller. It's one of my favorite places to look for treasures. Hubby took me there on Sunday afternoon as a treat! (and...yes, I found 2 more old cookbooks!... Alright?!)***

I will be at these swaps today:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu for a Sweet Week

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. If you don't have a "sweetie" be extra nice to yourself today! I plan to make my valentines who are still at home a special dinner tonight...a real "guy meal"...Ribs! Even though I usually consider eating out at a restaurant a treat, I don't prefer eating out on actual Valentine's Day (or actual Mother's Day...ditto for Easter Sunday!) It's too crowded, noisy, messy and there's usually a long wait for a table. So here's the plan at our house.

Mon., Feb. 14
BBQ Pork Spare Ribs
Potato and Cheese Casserole
Iced Tea
Valentine Cherry Cupcakes

Tues., Feb. 15
Baked Fish
Pepperjack Macaroni and Cheese

Wed., Feb. 16
Bean Soup

Thurs., Feb. 17
Swiss Steak w/ Vegetables
French Bread

Fri., Feb. 18
Leftover Bean Soup
Vegetable Soup

Sat., Feb. 19
French Toast
hot tea

Eat Out

Sun., Feb. 20

Eat Out

***I will be at today***

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mary Lane's Book of Baking-1936

My cookbook review today is short and sweet, just like the cute little book I'm reviewing from the 1930's. It's Mary Lane's Book of Baking from 1936, and I was lucky enough to find it in a Texas antique mall. Its copyright is under the Better Baking Institute of Sherman, Texas. This is an American product; written, printed and bound in Texas (Scruggs Printing Co. of Sherman, and The Universal Bookbindery, Inc. of San Antonio). This small green hardcover book was a promotional piece put out by Fant Milling Company in Sherman, Texas. They produced Gladiola Flour. The Better Baking Institute was the test kitchens of Fant Mills. Mary Lane was the home economist hired to be the head of the test kitchens, and the company's spokesperson on a radio show each week called, "the Kitchen Club". On this once-a-week show, Mary gave baking tips, recipes and answered questions that had been sent to her. An early-day "Martha Stewart"! (or Betty Crocker- don't know if she was real or just a mythical homemaker created by an advertising department). At any rate, this is a wonderful piece of advertising and baking history. The recipes in the book are classics in American baking. Its pages have handy index tabs and the sections sound like a primer for a Home Ec class. The selections include: Quick Breads, Yeast Breads, Butter Cakes, Sponge Cakes, Cookies and Pies and Pastries. Good luck hunting for this little cutie! Here's a caramel frosting recipe from its pages.

Caramel Frosting

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C milk
2 TBSP butter

Mix the sugars and milk together, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. There cook without stirring until a very small amount of the mixture forms a very soft ball in cold water. Add the butter. Let cool until lukewarm, then beat until thick and creamy, and of the right consistency to spread. The frosting may be placed over hot water to keep soft while spreading.

***Personal note: Here I go with a little "Mom-bragging"...last night I had the pleasure of eating dinner with my son, Justin. I'm so proud of his emerging cooking skills! He had fixed Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Potato Casserole, Baked Steak, French Green Beans and Lemon Cake for dessert. Thanks for a delicious meal, Justin!***

I'll be at these swaps today:
- Amysfinerthings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prize-Winning Turkey Stroganoff

I am going to continue our theme of turkey recipes this week. It all started because I decided to thaw out one of my post-Christmas bargains from my freezer (at 25 cents a pound, I bought the biggest ones in the case to stash away for later!) Today our recipe is a very old newspaper clipping from area cooks who won prizes for their delicious dishes. We like stroganoff, and turkey makes it milder in flavor.

Turkey Stroganoff

Saute 1/2 C chopped onions in a TBSP table fat (butter) until brown. Add 2 C diced turkey and 1 C turkey broth, boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 C dairy sour cream; heat together. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with parsley.

(My apologies to the cook-I didn't have her name on the clipping.)

I will be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turkey Burgers

In the winter, these burgers are best when fixed on a George Foreman Grill. Stack all the fixin's on them that you like on your hamburger! Add a few (baked) chips and you have a healthy "game day lunch" for in front of the T.V. :) Then, go watch WVU dominate!-oops, did I say that out loud?!

Turkey Burgers

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, diced fine
1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, sage
2 TBSP parsley
1/4 C bread crumbs (I like Italian), or cracker crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients. Form into patties and fry in olive oil until browned on both sides and done in the middle (or cook on Foreman grill).

Adapted from Kerr Home Canning Book's recipe for "Chicken Patties" (Chicago World's Fair Edition-1933).

I will be at these swaps today:

Book I'm reading: The Shack

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oriental Turkey

Sorry I missed you yesterday; I was traveling. My menu will be scattered this week, anyway, so you didn't miss anything. As promised, we will be sharing turkey recipes this week. We thrifty folks know that buying turkeys (and hams) after the holidays at bargain prices (and stashing them in the freezer) means you always have something to fix that makes a lot of meals! Hopefully, these recipes will provide variety. Happy Tuesday!

Oriental Turkey

1 turkey breast half
Cook in oven at 325 degrees for one hour. Top with 1/2 to 1 cup apricot preserves mixed with 1/2 C Catalina or Spicy French dressing. and 1 TBSP dried onion flakes. Bake 1/2 hour longer uncovered, basting occasionally. I like this with Lipton Terriyaki Noodles as a side.

I'll be at these great swaps today; check them out!
-From Mess Hall to Bistro

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Martha Washington Cookbook

Martha set up housekeeping and she had rules. She had a whole book of rules sand recipes handwritten by her mother-in-law; doesn't that sound fun?! It's not as bad as it might sound. The year was ' 1759 and Colonel George Washington brought a new mistress to Mount Vernon', the book begins. She had been the former Martha Custis, now widowed, but she saw the value in bringing with her a book that her first mother-in-law had so lovingly written just for her; a book of rules to use for keeping an orderly house, entertaining and the receipts to use for meals. What a wise woman to use good advice, because it helped her become a celebrated hostess and well-respected First Lady.
The cookbook for today was a gift from my dear friend, Karol. She gave it to me when I was on a trip back to WV for Thanksgiving of 2005. I read it back then, but hadn't looked at it since. It is a one-of-a-kind type cookbook. More of a history book, really. It gives a lot of information as to the customs of the upper class in matters of entertaining in the 1700's. Actually, it points out many times that, although the Washingtons were generous of time and spirit, they welcomed all kinds of people so frequently to both Mount Vernon and the President's residence, that they entertained more casually than most of the upper class of their era. They provided lots of wonderful food and drink, but were not trying to impress. I like that! It gave me an even greater sense of pride and admiration for the father of our country and his lovely wife.
The receipts in the book have been modernized (in 1940) but although you could literally make the dishes, I don't know that you would want to. Suffice it to say, that Americans' tastes have changed considerably since the 1700's. Also, from looking at the fare, I'd say that every leaf, bud, rose hipp, and every part of every animal on a plantation was pickled, smoked, salted and preserved for use at the table. There are recipes for Pease Porridge and Gruel. Instructions on making Stuffed Calves' Feet, Boiled Pigeon and Lambs' Tails.
I don't want to paint the wrong picture of this wonderful book, there are plenty of recipes for normal dishes like Chicken Pie, French Fritters and Raspberry Marmalade. I especially enjoyed the photos of the Washingtons' dining room and kitchen at Mount Vernon, the ink drawings, and the reproduced pages of the original manuscript; those folks made handwriting an art! The front and back inside covers feature the diagram of Martha's kitchen garden at Mount Vernon. The First Family was already onto the importance of eating" fresh, green and local"! They were trendsetters. Love this book, not only because it's from a special friend, but also because it is exceptional. The Martha Washington Cookbook by Marie Kimball will be harder to find than most of my old cookbooks, but I'll give you all the info I have. Karol bought it in North Canton, OH from James Direct, Inc., 1459 S. Main St.,44720. It was published by Tresco Publishers in 2002, but originally printed in 1940 by Coward-McCann, Inc. The ISBN is 1-883944-34-1. I hope you are successful in your hunt!

Page 144 Sugar Cakes
4 C flour
1/2 C sugar
yolks of 2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP cream
1 1/2 C butter
1 TBSP rose water

Sift the flour into the bowl in the shape of a cone. Make a hole in the center of the cone, like a crater. Into this put the sugar, the yolks, beaten with the cream and rose water. Break the butter in small pieces and dot around the edges of the flour. Work all together with the hands, mixing and kneading it thoroughly. Roll out, cut in circles, place on a buttered pan, dust with sugar, and bake until a pale brown.

I'll be at these swaps today: