Monday, December 31, 2012

Sugar-Free Cocoa Mix

Happy New Year!  I hope the beginning of the year finds you well and ready to enjoy the moments that 2013 has to offer.  My resolutions?  I'm going to attempt to not drink pop (that's "soda" for you non-West Virginians) and to  read my Bible every day.  I've found that the simpler and more concise I make my little deals with myself, the better it goes!  When I was younger I used to make a list of 10...way too many resolutions for me to remember them on a daily basis.  I figure that if I make 2 and keep them that I'm doing better-than-usual!  I've also ruled out impossible life-changing attempts over the years...like giving up chocolate.  That's just a crazy idea...my birthday's in January;  having no chocolate just isn't going to work!  So how about some chocolaty cocoa with no sugar?

Sugar-Free Cocoa
1 1/2 C Splenda
1 C powdered non-dairy creamer
1 C dry milk powder
3/4 C cocoa powder (unsweetened)

In a blender or food processor, combine all dry ingredients.  Mix well and store in an air-tight container.  To serve, put 2 to 3 TBSP in a mug filled with hot water and stir.
2 TBSP = 51 calories;  1.8 grams fat;  1 mg cholesterol

Favorite Christmas Gift:  Having family here !


Adventures in Texas:  I bought some ornaments at half price in Macy's at the Dallas Galleria;  cowboy hats, spurs, boots, stars...great on the tree!

SWAPS:
All the Small Stuff
33 Shades of Green
My Sweet and Savory
Blessed with Grace
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Monday, December 24, 2012

Last Minute Cookies for Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!   We enjoyed having my sister, Becky, and her family here last week and so I've already gotten one of the best presents ever!  We went to Dallas one day, Fort Worth for one of the days, Six Flags for Holiday in the Park, Babe's, Texas Motor Speedway and Southlake Town Square...many of  the Texas hotspots!  Now all three of our sons are home...life is good!
 This Christmas has been fast-paced so far, so I haven't gotten the cookies and fudge done that I usually do by Christmas eve.  That got me to thinking that many of you might like a very quick recipe for cookies, as well.  So today, I'm sharing my Aunt Hazel's recipe for Date Balls.  Eat some of these delicious cookies  with your "kith and kin"...yes, we did watch Christmas Vacation with the Williamson crew while they were here!

Aunt Hazel's Date Balls

1 C sugar
1 stick butter
1 C chopped dates
1 egg
Mix well; bring to a boil.  Remove from heat;  cool and stir in 2 C Rice Krispies cereal, 1/2 C chopped nuts.  Form into small balls and roll in shredded coconut.  Very good!  

I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!        ~Marcia

Swaps:
Homemaker on a Dime
Rattlebridge Farm
Stone Gable
DIY Home Sweet Home
Create with Joy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Curry Dip

I'm happy to say that the tree's up, decorations are done, lights are in the front yard and ...well, most of the gifts are wrapped.  We've been working our way down that Christmas check list!  True, the angel just went into her spot at the top of the tree last night because it required Hubby hoisting up our tallest ladder to place her there.  No cookie baking has begun, yet. I usually bake right before,  because they like the cookies really fresh.  Picky, picky, picky, I know!
Along with having our sons home, we are very excited to have out-of-town company coming, as well,  and I've been getting their rooms and bathrooms ready.  I've also been planning the menu to have while they are here.  Ben, our youngest son, got in from college last night and promptly started "cleaning out" the refrigerators (Hey, Mom, is this leftover pork roast?!)
During  our guests' brief visit,  we plan to see Holiday in the Park at Six Flags and eat out at a Texas-style restaurant.  One night will be the viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and I plan to fix party food for that movie night at our house. The crock pot will have the sausages in BBQ sauce, crunchy chicken bites in the oven, cheese ball with veggies and crackers and chips and dip. As I was going over my list, I realized that you probably  have a Christmas party or some company, too, so here's a great dip recipe!


Curry Dip

1 C mayonnaise, plus 1/2 C sour cream 
3 TBSP ketchup
3 tsp curry powder
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp onion juice (or onion powder)
salt, pepper, and crushed garlic

Mix first six ingredients until well-blended.  Add salt, pepper and crushed garlic in small amounts (about 1/2 tsp each) to taste.  This is great with shrimp.  Put a small bowl of dip in the center of a large bowl filled with cracked ice.  Place shrimp, raw cauliflower, celery, carrots and ripe olives on the surface of the ice.  Very pretty in the center of the buffet! 

Great Christmas Movie:  The Preacher's Wife (or older black and white version:  The Bishop's Wife) Both are great!!

SWAPS:
Designs by Gollum
Simply Sweet Home
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Brambleberry Cottage
Attempting Joyful Homemaking
My Romantic Home
At the Picket Fence
Amy's Finer Things
The Shabby Nest
Life as Mom

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Old Southern Fruitcake Recipe

'Tis the season for a really good fruitcake;  nothing tastes better with a hot cup of  tea or coffee!  I have a recipe from a friend (Freda Handley), given to me years ago, called Texas Lizzies, but they are fruitcake cookies.  I may share that recipe with you  before the holidays are over.  However, if you are a true fruitcake-lover, as I am, you have to have the loaf type cake filled with nuts and candied fruit at Christmas. If you don't bake, Claxton White Fruitcake can be a semi-homemade substitute.  I would also like to add that many locally-owned  restaurants often bake fruitcakes for sale, but you must order early!   My dear mother-in-law, Louise, used to order each of us a fruitcake from The Wren's Nest, a Mom and Pop Restaurant near St. Albans, WV,  that was known for good food (and jazz night)!  We were a small fruitcake-loving club of  2 at the Davis' when Christmas time came;  thoughtful Louise had ordered the cakes for us to enjoy way before she got busy at Thanksgiving!
 So many jokes have been made about gifting unwanted fruitcakes, but if it's a great homemade fruitcake with the right ingredients, there is no better food gift!!  Here's a wonderful old recipe from a southern family;  it's the only Christmas cake that the lady who cooked for their family  made for decades.  Enjoy!

Big Mama's Fruitcake
(Shreveport, Louisiana) 

1 C butter
2 C sugar
6 eggs, separated
4 C flour (save 1 C for flouring the fruit)
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 C good Kentucky bourbon
2 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
1 lb. candied cherries
1 lb. pitted dates
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. pecans
1/2 lb. English walnuts
1 lb. candied pineapple

-Cream butter thoroughly, then add sugar gradually.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Sift and measure three cups flour;  resift three times with the baking powder and salt.  Add alternately (flour first and last) with the whiskey.  Add nutmeg and vanilla.
-Flour fruit with remaining cup of flour (sifted) and fold into the batter.  As this needs a very large container, you can use a roasting pan, and use your hands to mix the fruit into the batter thoroughly.  Finally, fold in egg whites, which have been beaten stiff but not dry. 
-Put batter into tube, loaf, and other deep pans, greased and lined with waxed paper.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 or more hours.  Test with a toothpick or clean broom straw for doneness of batter;  you do not want cake to be too dry!
Makes wonderful Christmas presents
Yield:  1 large and 2 small cakes

Swaps:
We Are That Family
Tammy's Recipes
Raising Homemakers
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scented Cinnamon Ornaments

Here's an idea for a simple, but much-appreciated gift.  I helped make several of these little ornaments one year for the school kids to sell at their Christmas fair at West Teays..  I think we sold all that the moms made and  even had  people requesting the recipe.  Buy the thin silk ribbon in your favorite color (we used red) to loop through the hole at the top.  These ornaments are cute on a Christmas tree, wreath, package...or in your closet (or car) to make it smell wonderful.  I collect old cookie and biscuit cutters, so I have a lot of shapes which allow me to get very creative with the spicy, scented dough.  Enjoy this easy craft with your kids or grandkids! 

Scented Cinnamon Ornaments
(Do Not Eat!!)
1 C cinnamon
3/4 C applesauce
2 TBSP white glue
1 TBSP cloves
1 TBSP nutmeg

Combine spices;  add applesauce and glue.  Stir to combine.  Work mixture with your hands for 2-3 minutes or until the dough is smooth.  Divide into 4 parts,  Roll out each dough portion to 1/4 " thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Make a small hole in the top of each ornament with a straw (for the ribbon).  Allow to dry at room temperature for 3-4 days.  Turn ornaments once a day for uniform drying (I dried mine on waxed paper).  Thread ribbon through the hole in the ornament.

SWAPS:
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine
All the Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
33 Shades of Green
My Sweet and Savory

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I've Found It! Enchilada Casserole

I love it when my readers request a recipe from an old cookbook that their mom or grandma used to have, or a missing  family-loved  staple that they thought was lost forever.  Armed with my  collection of old cookbooks, filed clippings, other ladies' cooking files that I've adopted (estate sales) and my own family recipe cards, the search begins!  I received such a request on my Frugalhomekeeping Facebook page last week for Enchilada Casserole from a 1970's cookbook.  I hadn't been this excited about a "recipe-dig" since I got a call from a Bible class/Girl Scout leader wanting to know if I had the old original recipe for Scripture Cake (I did!... both the written-out ingredients version and the recipe that requires the cook to look up the Bible verses to find the ingredients!).
For this reader's treasured  enchilada casserole recipe that we needed to find,  I went through all of  my shelves and cupboards full of cookbooks and ...ta-da!  Here it is!  The book is Make-A-Mix Cookery and I've featured recipes on the blog from Make-A-Mix  before;  I believe that's what gave the reader hope that I might own this particular copy of the book (here, my husband would chime in, "of course, she has this book, too!!")
I can understand why this recipe was a family favorite, it sounds delicious...and easy!  Have a great week-before-Thanksgiving.   ~Marcia

(Sandra's) Enchilada Casserole
1 (6 oz.) pkg. corn chips (3/4 C)
2 C Ready Hamburger Mix*(thawed)
1 (15 oz.) can chili with beans
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 C sour cream
1/2 C grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly butter a 2 qt. casserole dish.  Crush 1/2 C of the corn chips and reserve for the top.  In a medium bowl, combine remaining corn chips, Ready Hamburger Mix, chili, enchilada sauce and tomato sauce.  Pour into prepared casserole.  Bake about 20 minutes, until heated through.  Remove from heat.  Spread sour cream on top.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and reserved crushed corn chips.  Bake 5 more minutes until cheese is melted.  Makes 6 servings.

*Ready Hamburger Mix
(The beginning of many meals, made in minutes)

4 lbs. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Brown ground beef in a heavy skillet.  Drain.  Add onion and continue cooking over medium-low heat until onions are golden.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cool.  Spoon mixture into four 1-pint freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at top.  Seal and label containers.  Freeze.  Use within 3 months. Makes about 4 pints of Ready Hamburger Mix. 

SWAPS:
Love Bakes Good Cakes
We are That Family
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Deep Roots at Home

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mama's Cornbread Dressing

***Thanks to Ben, my tech guru and designer, for this cool new fall look !***

I've been asked recently for my version of cornbread turkey dressing.  As a person who proudly  hails from West Virginia, I spent every Wednesday night before Thanksgiving  helping toast white bread to make our "traditional stuffing".  It includes celery, onions, sage and broth.  I do  have more-southern friends, though, who think that Thanksgiving dinner would be incomplete without cornbread in the cavity of their bird.  Here's the recipe from one of their families;  enjoy!

Mama's Cornbread Dressing

2 quarts cold, crumbled cornbread (packaged mix can be used)
3 slices loaf bread or cold biscuits
2 C chopped celery
1 C chopped onion
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 TBSP sugar (if packaged mix is not used for cornbread)
2 C stock from turkey
1 (10 3/4 oz.)  can chicken broth
4 eggs, well-beaten

Mix all ingredients well.  Spoon into a greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or just until set.  Do not overcook.  Yield:  about 3 quarts.

Swaps:
Delightfully Dowling
Mandy's Recipe Box
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
We are That Family
Raising Homemakers
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Deep Roots at Home


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Texas Crock Pot Dip

Trick-or-treaters will be coming to your door next week.  Are you prepared?  Oh, I'm sure you've already polished off one of the bags of candy that you bought for them...and have to get more before Halloween;  that's the candy companies' evil plans-they know that we love chocolate and can't stand watching a bag of Reeses cups just sit on the pantry shelf  ahead of time.  They put out those candy coupons early, we buy it early, and there are those chocolate/peanut butter "sin-cups" staring us down every time we open the cupboard!!  Oh...maybe that's just at my house...and I just made a public confession!  OOPS!
 I just love Halloween, especially trick-or-treat.  It's such a fun night for children (and the adults who remember being children).  It's not really the pillowcase full of  of sugary treats that make it special, it's the memories of getting to dress up like your favorite character and run through the neighborhood with your friends.  It's one of the holidays where kids can be  kids...just one more year ("I'm not too tall, Mom...can I just dress up and hand out candy?") Let them go!  It's one night a year... to be a kid, again. :0)

Here's a recipe for a yummy dip to have in your crock pot to enjoy between doorbell rings...or if any friends or neighbors stop in!

Texas Crock Pot Dip
1 C onions, chopped
1 small can diced green chilies
16 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, or 2 C fresh tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 C cubed Velveeta cheese (we like the new white Velveeta)
Cook on Low for 6 hours.  Serve with tortilla chips or vegetable sticks.


Swaps:
All the Small Stuff
The Blackberry Vine
We are That Family
Raising Homemakers
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Deep Roots at Home
Delightfully Dowling
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Peach Crumble in Your Crock Pot

I think that one of the many delightful aspects of fall is enjoying the scent of cinnamon-laden desserts floating throughout your home.  During Southlake's recent Oktoberfest, I had a cup of hot cider with plenty of cinnamon, and it was like a celebration (in my mouth) that fall had arrived!  If you are anxious to celebrate that warm cinnamon embrace of Autumn, just put the ingredients for this wonderful peach dessert in your Crock Pot and savor the smell of peaches and spice for hours.  The bonus that evening will be a delicious dessert on your dinner table!

Peach Crumble (Crock Pot)
1 1/3 C rolled old-fashioned oats
1 C granulated sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C buttermilk baking mix (I use Bisquick)
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I use more)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 lbs. fresh peaches (about 8 medium), sliced

Stir together oats, sugars, baking mix, cinnamon and nutmeg in large bowl.  Stir in peaches;  mix until well-blended.  Pour mixture into Crock Pot.  Cover and cook on Low 4-6 hours.  Makes 8-12 servings.

Swaps:
At the Picket Fence
Raising Homemakers
We are That Family
Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Potato Soup/Salmon Casserole

I thought that this week would be a great time to share some slow cooker recipes.  It's finally fall, and if you're like me, the cooler weather gives you that boost of energy to accomplish your household to-do list.  I've been painting a dresser in black and white to match Ben's (our youngest son)  IKEA furniture in his bedroom.  He likes contemporary with a 60's flair, and his room is "Rat-Pack cool"!  Anyway, if you are working your way down a list of projects, you might just appreciate some recipes that let your slow cooker do the work during the afternoon... and your family enjoy the aroma and taste of a home-cooked meal when dinnertime rolls around.  After I post today, the painting will go on;  today I will wear latex gloves because at finishing time yesterday I looked like a Dalmatian!

Potato Soup

6 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 green onions, washed and cut up
2 whole onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 TBSP parsley flakes
5 C water
1 TBSP salt
Pepper
1/3 C butter
1 can evaporated milk
chopped chives

Put all ingredients in large-sized  slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours.  Can top with chives, bacon, sour cream or shredded cheese before serving if desired.


Salmon Cheese Casserole

1 lb. can salmon (with liquid)
1 (4 oz)  can mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 c bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 C grated cheese
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP minced onion

Flake fish in bowl, removing all bones.  Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Pour into lightly-greased slow cooker.  Cover and cook on Low 1 hour then turn to Low for 3 to 4 hours.  Great served with asparagus as a side!

Swaps:
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
Beyer Beware
Delightfully Dowling
I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine






 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Copycat Recipe for Babe's Honeymoon Salad

As my readers from Texas know, Babe's Chicken Dinner House is a beloved Texas tradition!  We went to one of their local restaurants recently with some good friends who were visiting (from Oklahoma).  The fried chicken is some of the best I've ever eaten and Babe's creamed corn is Hubby's favorite, but surprisingly, I have a strange addiction to the cold bowl of salad that they put on the table first (food is served family style).  I say, "strange" because it is so basic.  The salad  is simply torn iceberg lettuce in a chilled bowl with a vinegar dressing.  I know, it doesn't sound impressive, but like Olive Garden's famous salad, I could just go there to have the "rabbit food"!  It is delicious and I could tell that the dressing had oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, but wasn't sure of the proportions, that is...until I was looking through an Edna Lewis (famous chef and expert on southern cooking) cookbook and found her recipe for "Old-Fashioned Dressing".  I made it that same evening!  It was like having Babe's Honeymoon Salad at home.  The rejoicing began;  I could make a mason jar of this dressing and keep it chilled in the fridge.  You have to try this salad...but don't forget to chill the glass bowl if you want to pretend you're really at Babe's!  Oh, and get Edna Lewis' cookbook;  this one is The Gift of Southern Cooking and was written with Scott Peacock.

Old-Fashioned Dressing
(The Gift of Southern Cooking-page 60)

2 TBSP granulated sugar (I used a little more)
1 tsp salt (I used a little less)
1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1/4 C cider vinegar
2 TBSP peanut or vegetable oil (I used canola)

Put all ingredients in a mason jar;  screw lid on tightly and shake vigorously.  Pour over clean torn iceberg lettuce and toss.  For best results, make sure everything is chilled!  This dressing can be made ahead and stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks.  Be sure to shake well again before using.

Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
All the Small Stuff
A Southern Fairytale
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grand Prize Lemon Chicken

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love quick and easy recipes that are time-tested and delicious!  The recipe that I'm sharing today is not from my files, although I do  plan to try it soon.  I found it while looking through a cooking  pamphlet from 1992 called Our Daily Bread.  The group of home cooks that compiled this great collection of family recipes was the Minister's Wives Fellowship WV Convention of Southern Baptists.  The lady who submitted it for the pamphlet noted that another minister's wife, Jan Garrett, won the grand prize in a Royal Gelatin contest with this recipe.  Please comment later and let me know if you tried it (and if it was a keeper!)

LATER NOTE:  I made this chicken for our dinner last night.  We both liked the chicken, but Hubby wasn't fond of the tangy, lemony sauce (I added coarsely-ground pepper to the top of the chicken, also).  I loved the sauce and recommend serving it with steamed rice and roasted vegetables! ~Marcia

Royal Lemon Chicken
(Bess Adkins and Jan Garrett)
One 3 oz. box Royal Lemon Gelatin
3 TBSP melted butter
2 tsp garlic salt
3 TBSP yellow mustard
2 whole chicken breasts (halved, skinned and boned)
1/2 C thinly sliced almonds

In an 8 1/2" x 11" baking dish, stir together the gelatin, butter, garlic salt and mustard.  Arrange chicken in a single layer in the mixture, turning over to coat both sides.  Place sliced almonds on each breast half.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered, basting once.  Remove cover, baste again and bake 15 minutes more or until golden.  Makes 4 servings. 

*Be a blessing to someone today* 


Swaps:
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party 
All the Small Stuff
33 Shades of Green 
Blessed with Grace
My Sweet and Savory













Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beef with Carmelized Onion Gravy

Now that the youngest son is away at college, I have to keep meals interesting yet small...very small.  I'm so used to cooking for four big guys that I'm really having to adjust my cooking and shopping style here!  Yesterday I was in the mood to surprise Hubby with one of his favorite meals.  He loves roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy.  I tried this short-cut version (after scouring my pantry for inspiration) and it really turned out well.  He said it was one of the best meals he'd had for a while;  high praise from a man who often  frequents restaurants staffed with professional cooks!  But, this meal was done by a woman who had in her possession a can of Campbell's Select Harvest Caramelized French Onion Soup and it was down-home delicious!  Here's how I made it:

Marcia's Beef and Caramelized Onion Gravy

3 lb. roast (I had a tip roast, but any small roast will do)
3 stalks of celery, cleaned, stringed and chopped in half
1/2 small onion, chopped
handful of baby carrots (enough for 2)
1 can caramelized french onion soup (18.8 oz.)
Coarse-ground black pepper

Throw all ingredients in the crock pot;  sprinkle plenty of pepper on the roast.  Pour one can of Campbell's Caramelized French Onion Soup (18.8 oz)  over all and 1/2 can of water.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Put the drippings in a skillet. Shake a couple tablespoons of flour and a little water  in something with a tight-fitting lid. Using a slotted spatula, blend the flour mixture into the drippings to make gravy.  Simmer to desired thickness.  Serve beside beef roast and vegetables.

My Adventures in Texas:  Overheard at the Justin boot outlet in Justin, Texas:   "Those boots are really cute!  They look like they have snakeskin on them.  Oh, but if you get the ones with orange at the top you could wear them to football games, too."  Yes, this was a young prospective bride and her Barbie-like  bridesmaids on a trip to find the perfect pair of  western boots for her to wear...with her wedding gown!! :) Gotta love it!

 Book I'm Reading Now:  The Phantom Tollbooth

Swaps: 
Little House on the Prairie Living
All the Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
33 Shades of Green
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
DIY Home Sweet Home
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gooey Turtle Bars

 I'm so happy that it's my day to write the post for this blog;  I really enjoy the process of thinking of a topic, going through my recipes and sharing with you.  The only step that I can't control is whether I receive comments-that part is up to you! I really love to hear from you, so please leave a comment, or comment on my Frugalhomekeeping page on Facebook, if you like.
  Today you get to hear me chat about road trips (and food, of course!)  Tell me which  trips and food you remember most from childhood (or any time in your life....remember the scene from Driving Miss Daisy where Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman share a packed lunch with the car parked and doors opened up?  They were on their  way to Uncle Walter's birthday party...but you gotta eat!)
  This morning, as I wrapped Hubby's roast beef sandwich and plopped his Gala apple into the paper bag,  I thought of my mom fixing on-the-go lunches.  As a child of the 60's, I remember my mom making food for us to take on long car  trips.  Fast food places didn't abound like they do now.  If you were out for the day, you packed some food for the trip.  Restaurants were sit-down places with real napkins and silverware and were  too expensive for  most family  budgets to just stop for  a quick lunch.  You went to a restaurant for dinner or a special occasion. 
 In the summers of the  60's,  road trips were what families did for fun!  You packed up the car, made sure everyone had used the bathroom, rolled all windows down, and off you went for a fun-filled day of  adventure!  One summer when I was probably 8 or 9 years old, Mom and Dad packed up our  'Michael Family Truckster' and we went to Kennywood Park for the day.  We had Mammam and Pap along with us for that trip.  I still remember how special it was to me that Mom had fried chicken (and made M&M cookies!) to take with us.  When lunch time came, there we were with the car opened up, food displayed and sitting anywhere you could find a spot.  I still have fond memories of that day and a picture somewhere (of me and my brother, Greg in front of a giant storybook  at Storybook Forest) to prove how truly great it was!  I'm sure this trip wasn't  as idyllic as I recall it (especially for the adults);  there were probably bugs and heat and tired, cranky children at the end of the day, not to mention a long drive home for Dad.  But, what a wonderful childhood memory they made for us!  Fall is upon us and it is even better weather for one of those "retro road trips".  Get your food packed and go!  Here are some bar cookies to make for the journey:

Gooey Turtle Bars

 2 C graham cracker or Nilla wafer crumbs
 1/2 C margarine, melted (butter)
2 C (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 C pecan pieces
1 (12 oz.) jar caramel topping

Combine crumbs and margarine in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan and press firmly into bottom of pan.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans.  Microwave opened jar of caramel topping 1 minute on HIGH (stir after 30 seconds!  Will get hot quickly- Be Careful!)  Drizzle caramel over pecans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until chocolate chips melt.  Let cool in pan on wire rack.  Chill at least 30 minutes;  cut into bars.  Makes 2 dozen.

Swaps:
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
The Blackberry Vine
It's a Blog Party
A Southern Fairytale


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Marcia's Banana Bran Bread

I think I've discovered something that may equal the stress of having car trouble...cell phone problems!  I have been without a phone since yesterday morning. Tuesday morning, while throwing sheets in the washer, (I had a mountain-o-laundry since Labor Day visitors left to go back to work, college, and grad school apartment), I accidentally dropped my cell phone into the sudsy water.  Since then, I've been alternately using the blow dryer on my little android cell phone;  covering it in a bowl of rice and perching it on the windowsill in the sun (dry heat is recommended in online tutorials).  I know that these sound like spa treatments, but my phone still hadn't responded favorably, as of last night.  I felt lost without FB and texting!  Oops!...Did I say that out loud?!
 Both husband and son tried to revive my texting and calling capabilities;  men know that a woman without her phone is not a good situation...for the whole family!  Some of their cell phone "alternative medicine" must have worked.   This morning I'm keeping my fingers crossed;   I've made two successful calls and just sent a text that went through!
After all of  this "techno-stress" we need some comfort food around here.  I'm making banana bread today!  I've already shared a couple of my best banana bread recipes with you in previous posts.  To find these you may click on the search box at the top/left and put in "banana bread", or just go to March 13, 2009 or February 23, 2010 posts.  This particular recipe is great because it has raisin bran in it.  I make it quite often as a breakfast pick-me-up treat.  Hope you and your family enjoy it.  Bit of hard-earned advice:  Don't let your cell phone or Ipod go swimming no matter how much they beg!

Marcia's Banana Bread

2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C mashed ripe banana
1 1/2 C raisin bran cereal (or All Bran)
1/2 C margarine, softened (I like butter)
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C coarsely-chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 C plain yogurt

Stir together flour, soda, salt and baking powder.  Combine mashed banana and cereal(I crush this a little, too);  let stand for 2 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar.  Mix in the eggs and cereal mixture.  Stir in flour mixture and nuts.  Finally, fold in the yogurt and mix until blended.  Spread in standard-sized loaf pan(I use a Wilton pan that makes 4 small individual loaves-shorter baking time, too).  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  Let cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Cool completely before wrapping in waxed paper to store.  Freezes well!

Happy Birthday on Sept. 11 to our oldest son, Justin!! Love you!  :)


Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
All the Small Stuff
It's a Blog Party
Mandy's Recipe Box
Itzy's Kitchen
The Blackberry Vine

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baked Spaghetti with Bacon

The beginning of a new school year in our household has always meant pulling out a few of my easy, fast recipes for nights when there was very little time to get dinner on the table.  The criteria that these recipes had to meet was simple:  nutritious, quick to prepare, short list of ingredients and tasty!  Pasta dishes were always a hit.  After having spaghetti made the same way several times, though, the adults at the table start getting weary (not so, for the children;  they're creatures of habit).  If you'd like to mix up your "go-to school night  spaghetti" a little here's a recipe that uses bacon.  I think everyone at the table will like it and the cook will get an A+. (Have the kids who are complaining that they "need a snack";  they're "hungry";  and  "when's it going to be ready"  to tear up the salad and set the table.  They will "sneak" salad ingredients to munch on as they're helping, and you've gotten them to eat their vegetables without even trying :)

Baked Spaghetti with Bacon

1/2 lb. bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
8 oz. spaghetti, cooked and drained
garlic salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, brown bacon and onion until bacon is crisp;  drain.  Add tomatoes and tomato sauce;  bring to a boil.  Place cooked spaghetti in a 2 qt. baking dish.  Pour sauce over;  cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Yield:  4-6 servings.  Sprinkle parsley on top to garnish. 

Book I'm Reading Now:  Eudora Welty;  A Writer's Life

Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

When we lived in the Charleston, West Virginia area many years ago, we attended church at the Park Avenue Church of Christ.  The congregation was blessed to have several good cooks and everyone looked forward to the monthly luncheons, "following the morning service".  At one point in time, we had two ministers serving at that location, Jerry and Steve.  Steve the younger of our two preachers, was married to Suzy and they had three children.  Suzy, a great cook, would bring dishes that were road-tested by her husband, three kids, and congregations of her past as a preacher's wife and daughter (yes, her dad was a preacher, too!)  Often, I would ask her for one of the copies of a popular recipe (that she was copying  for everyone else who had requested it).  Suzy, as usual, would cheerfully oblige.  She brought a cold pizza dip one time that I've used for youth devotionals many times since.  I also remember her being asked to bring this cornbread after it was devoured at one luncheon and there were no "seconds" left!  I hope you enjoy this yummy  twist on cornbread.

Broccoli Cheese Cornbread

1 1/2 sticks butter
2 boxes corn muffin mix (Jiffy)
8 oz. cottage cheese (I use small curd)
1/2 C chopped onion
1 box frozen chopped broccoli, cooked
1 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 eggs

Melt butter in a 9 X 13 pan.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour into the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.  Cut into squares and serve warm.  Step Back!!  It will be gone before it has cooled :)

Book I'm Reading Now:  Eudora Welty;  A Writer's Life

Swaps:
All the Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
Bizzy Bakes
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hot Homemade Rolls in 30 Minutes!

Please check the bottom of my blog everyday for the swaps section.  The recipe swaps that I include on the bottom of each post for that day are a wealth of recipes and useful information.  I encourage you to check out these other wonderful  blogs.  I found a super roll recipe through one of the swaps this week.  The recipe is originally from Real Mom Kitchen, but posted by Home-Based Mom. It's a goody and  evidently has  been passed around!  I liked it so much that I included  it on my food ideas board at Pinterest (also a wealth of information!).  The ease of preparation is a given since you mix this dough up  in your stand mixer, using the dough hook attachment.  However, I did tweek this recipe a little by substituting whole wheat flour for the white flour and adding a touch more sugar.  In a mere 30 minutes, we buttered these warm rolls and drizzled them with some Texas honey.   Ohhhh, sooo  good!   This recipe will go into my main file;  it's a definite keeper.  The rolls were a little denser because of the wheat flour, but really delicious.  Enjoy!

Here you go:

30 Minute Rolls
1 C plus 2 TBSP warm water
1/3 C vegetable oil (I used Canola)
2 TBSP dry yeast
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/2 C bread flour (but all purpose will work-I used whole wheat flour)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine water, salt oil, yeast and sugar in your mixing bowl;  let rest for 15 minutes.  Using your dough hook attachment, add salt , egg and flour.  Knead with hook until dough is soft and smooth (just a few minutes).  Form dough into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.  Rest for 10 minutes;  pop into the oven.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees (takes a little longer to get the centers done  if you make wheat rolls).

Swaps:
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

All the Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
33 Shades of Green
My Sweet and Savory
Bizzy Bakes
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Grilled Teriyaki Sirloin and Vegetables

Well, here's a short rant about the disorganization of my "moving to Texas" experience.  I know that it's been almost a year in the new house, but I still can't find some of my stuff and have no clue as to which box might be holding it.  (This rant does have a happy ending so hang in there with me.)  This past weekend I wanted to make kabobs on the grill, so I went to get the wooden skewers from the kitchen drawer, but all that I found were wooden chopsticks.  Now, somewhere in this house (or garage...or attic) I Know that I have wooden skewers!  They may be in with a box marked "bedroom closet #2"...due to unusual packing procedures on the part of our packers, but they are here...somewhere!  Also, missing...my Frankhoma corn-on-the-cob  dishes!  So, I decided to be creative and fix all of  the ingredients without putting them on skewers.  It was a total success!  I thought I would let you in on how we (Hubby does the grilling part) made this beautiful steak dish.

Teriyaki Sirloin and Vegetables on the Grill

Marinate a large piece of sirloin steak in a gallon-sized ziplock bag with plenty of French's Worcestershire Sauce for several hours (I put mine in the fridge the night before).  Our steak was probably 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.  When it's time to grill, take the steak out of the bag and discard the marinade.  On a chopping board, cut steak into nice-sized cubes.  On separate board cut vegetables into similarly-sized chunks.  We used:
-red onion
-fresh mushrooms
-red bell pepper
-green bell pepper
-tomatoes
Grill meat until almost done to your liking, add the vegetables to the grill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Baste with your favorite teriyaki sauce right at the end to make a delicious glaze on the meat and vegetables.  I served this with my "backwoods-cousin version" of  the fancy potato dish from Truluck's (type  Truluck's into  my search box and you will find the potato  recipe that I concocted).  It is a super combination.


Swaps:
I Should Be Mopping The Floor
Blessed with Grace
33 Shades of Green
All the Small Stuff
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
The Blackberry Vine

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magic Meatloaf

Our recipes from the Original Rival Crock Pot pamphlet continue!  Here's one from page 26 that claims, "...it cooks while you loaf!"   The Rival folks were so clever back in the 60's.  I think it's "magic" not only because the meatloaf cooks on its own in your Crock Pot, but most importantly you don't have to heat up your oven in the summer.   We've had 111 degree days here in Texas;  I can use some of that kinda magic.  Hope you all are staying cool and drinking plenty of water on these hot days.  If you exercise outside (like my sons)  keep a close eye on that "feels-like" temperature! 

Magic Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 egg, beaten
1/4 C milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 slices stale bread, crumbed
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 TBSP each:  chopped green pepper and celery
4-6 potatoes, cut-up
Ketchup ( I like Heinz chili sauce)

Mix egg, milk, salt and bread crumbs;  allow to soften.  Thoroughly combine with ground chuck and chopped vegetables.  Shape into loaf and place in Crock Pot.  Top with ketchup and green pepper rings.  Place potatoes at the sides of loaf.  (If potatoes are peeled, coat with butter to keep from darkening.)
Cover and set to HIGH for 1 hour, then turn down to LOW for 8-9 hours.  This recipe may be doubled for the 4 1/2 qt. Crock Pot.

SWAPS:
The Blackberry Vine
Itzy's Kitchen
33 Shades of Green
Beyer Beware
All the Small Stuff
Delightfully Dowling
It's a Blog Party
Bizzy Bakes
Mandy's Recipe Box




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crock Pot- Tortillas, Steak and Pound Cake

One of the most enjoyable parts of writing a cooking blog is receiving feedback from readers.  I often receive requests, questions and comments.  Friends of Frugalhomekeeping have contacted me through my Facebook page, the Frugalhomekeeping Facebook page or even my email. Most recently, I had a request for an electronic copy of the original Rival Crock Pot pamphlet (from the 60's) that I had featured in a previous post .  While I would love to fill that request, I am unable to.  I will happily share some recipes from it, though.  Enjoy!

Chicken Tortillas
(Rival Crock Pot pamphlet)

1 fryer, cooked and boned
6 to 8 tortillas, broken into pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 10 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can (1/2 cup) chopped tomatoes and chilies
2 TBSP quick-cooking tapioca
2 C grated cheddar cheese

Cook and cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix well with soup, tomatoes, chilies and tapioca.  Line bottom of Crock Pot with tortillas.  Add 1/3 of chicken and soup mixture;  sprinkle with onion and cheese.  Repeat layers of tortillas, chicken soup mixture, onions and cheese.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  (HIGH:  3 hours)  Recipe may be doubled if desired.

Smothered Steak

1 1/2 lbs. chuck or round steak, cut into strips
1/3 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large onion, sliced
1-2 green peppers, sliced
1 lb. can tomatoes
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
2 TBSP molasses (optional)
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen green beans, French style (optional)

Put steak strips, flour, salt and pepper in Crock Pot.  Stir well to coat steak.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then turn to LOW for 8 hours.  (HIGH:  5 hours).  Serve with rice.

Golden Lemon Pound Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix (2 layer)
1 pkg lemon jello
4 eggs
1/2 C oil
1 C water

Beat all ingredients 2 minutes in large mixing bowl.  Pour into greased and floured 3-pound coffee can.  Place in Crock Pot;  cover top of can with 4-6 paper towels.  Put lid on Crock Pot and cook on HIGH 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  DO NOT PEEK until last hour.  Note:  Bake 4-5 1/2 hours in 4 1/2 qt. Crock Pot.

Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green

Stone Gable
Flour Me with Love
Homemaker on a Dime
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Skip to My Lou
A Southern Fairytale
DIY Home Sweet Home

Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Refried Bean Dip in Your Crock Pot

I found a great recipe to share with you this week.  My recipe file box  is a disaster area right now, but I still  spotted this prize recipe down in that mess.  This one is noted to be a diabetic recipe (I believe it was Aunt Sis'),  but it's just a yummy  dip for anyone who enjoys Mexican food.  The basic recipe is pretty mild in flavor, but if you like it hot (like I do) you can throw in some extra peppers,  crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to jazz up the flavor!  We like our dips and salsa with the large white corn "restaurant style" chips or Scoopers.  Here's that recipe I promised:

Refried Bean Dip

20 oz. can fat-free refried beans
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C chopped green onions
2-4 TBSP taco sauce

Combine;  cover and cook on LOW in the crock pot for 2-2 1/2 hours, or cook on HIGH for 30 minutes and then on LOW for 30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Eat-out places that have good Mexican dips:
-Chilis
-Cheddars

Swaps:
Comfy in the Kitchen
Designs by Gollum
Grocery Cart Challenge
Momtrends
Ann Kroeker
Simply Sweet Home
Shabby Nest
At the Picket Fence
My Romantic Home

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ice Cream Like Dairy Queen's

This ice cream recipe will have you believing that you made a trip to Dairy Queen for a cone.  Get your ice cream freezer out of the garage or attic and give this one a try.  Summer is too short to not crank out some delicious  homemade ice cream!

Ice Cream Like Dairy Queen's

1 pint whipping cream (do not whip!)
1 small can Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 can Eagle brand condensed milk
1 qt. plus 1 C whole milk
1 C sugar
3 tsp vanilla

Mix well and pour into ice cream freezer's bucket, only fill to half-full mark.  Freeze.

Swaps:
Beyond the Peel
Home to 4 Kiddos
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
My Sweet and Savory
33 Shades of Green
Beyer Beware
Making the World a Cuter
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party
Homemaker on a Dime






Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

It's hot dog grillin' time!  Here's a recipe for a great sauce to go on top of those dogs.....and don't forget the coleslaw.   :)

Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

1/4 lb. ground round
1 1/2 C water
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 C sweet pickle relish
1 TBSP chopped onion
1 TBSP prepared mustard
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar

Cook meat in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble meat;  drain.  Add water and remaining ingredients to skillet;  stir well.  Bring to a boil;  reduce heat and simmer mixture, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Yield:  about 3 cups.

Swaps:
King's Court 4
We are That Family
 Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her House



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jam Cake Recipe from 1915

I found this dessert recipe from my 1915 copy of the Quaker Cook Book and thought it sounded like a winner.  You can use any kind of jam that your family likes, but personally, I lean toward blackberry or strawberry.....or orange marmalade.  There are so many choices.  No icing recipe given for it, but I think I will top ours with Cool Whip and fresh fruit of whatever type jam is in the cake.  This is a very easy and light dessert for summer evenings.  Enjoy!

Jam Cake

One cup sugar, one cup butter and lard, one cup jam or jelly, three eggs, one cup sour milk, one teaspoonful soda, one teaspoonful each of cloves, cinnamon and allspice, two cups flour. (Substitute Crisco or butter for the lard, and buttermilk for the sour milk.)

My Adventures in Texas: The State Chamber Conference was held this year at Lost Pines Resort (near Austin).  It was a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere and the resort is really geared toward families (love that!).  Dana said the conference was one of the better ones that he has attended.   (One of the keynote speakers was LaDonna Gatlin,  the sister of the Gatlin Brothers.)
 The evening before the conference started, we enjoyed a side trip to a little place called Bastrop;   "The most historic small town in Texas".  The folks in Bastrop have made preserving their historic buildings, landmarks and downtown business district a priority and it shows.  Homes and vintage church buildings with their original gingerbread trim on the front;   storefronts with original signage and paint colors;  down-home restaurants, bookstores, and antique shops all add to the comfortable, well-worn feel of the town.  There were two eateries on the main street that offered home-cooked food and live music;  we chose the one that seemed to have the most foot traffic.  Maxine's on Main  turned out to be an excellent choice!  The special of the evening was chicken Parmesan with homemade garlic bread and salad, but the menu also had offerings of  fried green tomatoes, collard greens and black-eyed peas (choices for your "meat and three").  Our chicken was served in  huge portions  that could have fed two people.  The salads were so fresh that the shredded carrot topping was actually crisp!  The homemade desserts (in their glass pie case) looked so good that we ordered a piece of coconut cream pie to share....it was the best I've ever had!  We waddled out of that place and down the street to look at the shops and enjoy the rest of our evening.  If you ever have the chance to stop at Bastrop.....eat at Maxine's on Main (eat early in the day, so you have plenty of time to walk!!)

***Good movie to rent:  The Artist***

Swaps:
Common Ground
33 Shades of Green
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff
My Sweet and Savory
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Making the World Cuter
Mandy's Recipe Box
It's a Blog Party



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chili Sauce-Quaker Recipe 1915

As I took the trash to the curb a few minutes ago, I observed that mornings in Texas are the best time to get outside if you need to do anything that takes even a speck of energy.  It is moderate (I really couldn't stretch the truth and say, "cool"!) and there is a breeze.  After I chat with you and share a recipe, I'm going to dead-head my petunias and water my hanging planter.  I really enjoy living in Texas but the heat is muy caliente'!   Oh well, it makes those Knock-Out  Roses (a beloved  heat-resistant Texas variety) bloom!

I mentioned that I have a recipe to share, and as many of you have told me, you enjoy tidbits from my collection of old cookbooks.  I have a friend, Earlene, who cans every summer and that prompted me to share a canning recipe from an old Quaker cookbook from Carmel, Indiana.  This soft back book was published in 1915 by the "Women's Sunday School Class" and the quote on the front cover says, "With baked and boiled, stewed and toasted;  Fried and broiled, smoked and roasted;  We treat the town."  Hope you enjoy this "treat" from the Quaker ladies in long-ago Indiana.  (My Mom brought me this sweet book from a thrift shop near my Uncle Dave's house.)

Chili Sauce
~Abbie Quick
One peck of green tomatoes, one-half peck ripe tomatoes, twelve onions, three large heads cabbage, one-half dozen green peppers, one-fourth dozen ripe peppers.  Chop fine, mix well, sprinkle with salt and let stand twenty-four hours.  Then drain off liquor and add the following:  Three pounds brown sugar, two tablespoonfuls pepper, two tablespoonfuls cinnamon, two tablespoonfuls mustard, one tablespoonful celery seed;  cover with vinegar and cook thirty minutes.

Note:  As usual, this recipe is copied directly, as it was written,  to retain the literary flavor of the old cookbook and it's recipe donor's writing style.  I make no apologies for these old treasures.  I've found that the home cooks of the past  were often brief and to-the-point;  they had homes and sometimes farms to run.  Most were not writers by trade, but 'knew their stuff' when it came to cooking and preserving produce.  It's an honor every time I have the opportunity to share something from these cooks of the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

***Good movie rental:   "The Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep***

Swaps:
Simply Sweet Home
The Shabby Nest
Comfy in the Kitchen
The Finer Things in Life
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Ann Kroeker
Momtrends
Grocery Cart Challenge
Designs by Gollum

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tangy Glazed Chicken


I'm happy to report that Ben graduated and that the graduation open house in his honor went smoothly.  I'm sad to report that my mom and dad, after a whirlwind stay,  had to leave yesterday, but I cherish the fact that they could be here.  West Virginia to Dallas/Fort Worth  is a  long trip by car....and Dad has declared that he does not prefer traffic (and all the construction)  here compared to the slower pace of home!   Our pointing out that big construction projects in an area are a sign of a strong economy  did not make him feel any better about driving through it (my dad is the original "small town southern man"  that Alan Jackson refers to in the song).  I think Mom and Dad would agree though,  that seeing their grandson graduate was well worth the drive!
 While we fit a lot of visiting and sightseeing into a week, the main event, of course, was watching our youngest son accept his diploma at UNT's coliseum (large enough to accommodate the family and friends of Byron Nelson's first graduating class of 400 students!).  Ben looked so handsome in his graduation cap and gown, and just like his brothers before him, required an extra tall!  He was excited that the graduation was held at UNT because it allowed the grandparents a chance to get a glimpse of the campus where he will be attending in the fall.
Congratulations, Ben, we're very proud of you!

***HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO MY DAD ......AND ALL GREAT DADS!***

Today I'm cleaning and catching up on laundry, but I do have a wonderful chicken recipe to share with you.  I got this from a preacher's wife in West Virginia.  Carrie  said that this was a very easy dish that everyone in her family loved.  I hope your family loves it, too!

Tangy Glazed Chicken
Carrie Gallagher

2 chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt, optional
4 1/2 tsp butter or margarine
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1/2 C chicken broth
1/2 C apple jelly or spreadable fruit
3 TBSP orange juice
1 TBSP minced fresh parsley, optional
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dried thyme

Sprinkle chicken with salt, if desired.  In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat;  brown chicken on all sides.  Remove and keep warm.  In the pan drippings, saute' onion and celery until tender.  Add the remaining ingredients;  cook and stir until jelly is melted.  Return chicken to the pan.  Cook, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until meat juices run clear.  Top chicken with onion mixture.  Carrie made a note at the bottom that she serves this with rice (I think it would be good with mashed potatoes, too!)

Swaps:
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
Make Ahead Meals for Harried Homemakers


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Bread Recipe-Late 1800's

This week, at our house,  is the countdown to Ben's graduation and life is buzzing!!  I'm running around in a flurry of cap, gown, tassel, blue and white napkins, blue and white balloons, batteries for the camera....you get the idea!  Today is the day that I order his cake.... and accomplish  the rest of  the items on the "Today List".....tomorrow will have its own list!  I'm making my case for why this posting is going to be brief, but hope you enjoy this very old recipe from a Clabber Girl Baking Powder pamphlet entitled,  "Clabber Girl Baking Book"  that I bought  at an estate auction.
Fun Fact:  Did you know that Hulman and Company, the makers of Clabber Girl Baking Powder, was founded in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1848?  When my pamphlet was printed, the ad inside says that it was, "10 cents for a 10 ounce can at all grocers".  The ad slogan at that time was, "All's Well That Ends Well".  I'm hoping that applies to high school graduations, too!    ~Marcia

Peanut Butter Bread

2 C sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar
1 C milk
2 eggs
1 C peanut butter

Sift dry ingredients together.  Beat milk, eggs and peanut butter together with egg beater, then add gradually to dry ingredients while beating with a spoon.  Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan, size about 8 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches.  Bake 1 hour in a moderate oven (350 degrees F).


Swaps:
All The Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
33 Shades of Green
My Sweet and Savory
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Jello Milkshake

I went to the grocery store today.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to find specials in my area!  It was just such a hot day here that as I hurried up and down past the rows of  boxes and canned goods in Walmart, all I could seem to think about was cold drinks, ice cream and watermelon.  I came out of there with lots of cooling items, needless to say!  Today, as I brace for another Texas summer, I'm happy to share a quick little recipe for a milkshake that's cheap and easy.  I like to change the directions up a bit;  I replace the ice cream with vanilla frozen yogurt or ice milk (less fat and calories) and use sugar-free jello pudding.  You can get really creative with this....banana cream pudding-then top the finished shake with whipped cream and crumbled Nilla wafers!   How about a  chocolate shake with whipped cream and Oreo crumbles.  Oh!  So many possibilities!  Enjoy :)

Jello Milkshake

1 C milk
1 pkg. (4 serving size)  Jello pudding mix
1 pint ice cream (vanilla)

Put all ingredients in the blender and give it a whirl for 30 seconds.  Happy summertime sippin'!  Put the cushions on the wicker chairs;  it's time for some porch-sittin'.

Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
All the Small Stuff

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Ruth Cookies

After this graduation hoopla is over and life is back to "normal", I need to do some  organizing.  I realized while searching for a recipe last weekend that my notes and recipes are a mess.  I've just been tossing them into the drawer in the wooden file cabinet because I don't want to take the time to file them properly.  I never did find the recipe......and had to look it up with the search box on my blog!!  This blog has saved me on numerous occasions when a favorite recipe card  is missing.  As I was digging through my wooden file though, I was lucky to find a great old candy bar-cookie recipe for us.  Hope you like this one!  Have a good week.

Baby Ruth Cookies

1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) margarine
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped Baby Ruth candy bars

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt;  set aside.  Cream together margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Stir in candy bar pieces and dry ingredients until well-blended.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Drop dough by 1/2 tsp onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until done.  Remove from sheets and cool on wire racks.

******Congratulations to our son, Blake,  for finishing his classes for grad school with an overall  4.0 GPA!!! Way to Go!!******

Swaps:
All the Small Stuff
Blessed with Grace
My Sweet and Savory

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Texas Cake for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is this Sunday and how nice it would be to bake a special cake for the occasion.  I happen to have a recipe that is used at the Governor's mansion here in Texas.  It does not include a recipe for icing, but I believe that is because they serve it with fresh fruit (like a pound cake).  Strawberries or blueberries would look pretty on the side with some whipped cream!  My mom would like it with chocolate icing......like mother,  like daughter :)  Happy Mother's Day, Mom.  Love you bunches!

Bishop's Cake
Governor's mansion:  Austin, Texas

1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 C granulated sugar
2 C unbleached flour
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 10"  Bundt pan.  Cream butter and sugar;  add flour (stir just enough to blend).  Add lemon juice and vanilla;  stir well.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Pour batter into the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes;  loosely cover pan with foil and bake for another 45 minutes.  When cake is done, cool in pan on top of a rack for 10 minutes.

Swaps:
Home is Where My Story Begins
Shabby Nest
Simply Sweet Home
Ann Kroeker

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Noodle Lasagna (and the "Baby" is Graduating!)

I hope your week is going well.  Around this house, we're gearing-up for our youngest son's high school  graduation (and the visiting family members).  It's an exciting yet sentimental time for all of us.  I was digging through boxes of old photos this weekend for "Senior Sunday" at church.  It's a time when the congregation recognizes its graduating seniors;  there's a slide show in the foyer and tables with their photos and accomplishments.  Our  Ben is "the baby" of the family and his momentous occasions are always a jolt for me.  I don't know why, but expectations are that the first-born and middle will start school,  get their driver's license, date, attend college.....but, not the youngest.  In my mind he will remain in a perpetual state of youth, I guess!  I always get a wake-up call, though,  when I realize that he works  summers as IT support for a school district,  knows his way around technical equipment  at the radio station, created a  mobile  app  and runs a small business.   Why then, do I always picture him, in my mind,  as a 4-year-old  dressed in  cowboy boots and a Batman cape.....running through the back yard at full speed, as he feeds the neighbor's dog the PBJ I just gave him for lunch!    I know why!......It's because he's my "baby"!    Sorry, Ben, you can't reverse birth order.  Justin is the "responsible one";  Blake is the "diplomat"  and you will forever be  "the boy of summer".  Love you. 

Here's a different recipe for lasagna.  Hope you like it!

No Noodle Lasagna

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 TBSP parsley
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of garlic salt
1 egg
1 1/2 C small cottage cheese
1/4 C Parmesan
2 tubes of crescent rolls
1/2 lb. mozzarella
1 TBSP milk
1 TBSP sesame seeds
Cook meat and onions;  add seasonings and tomato paste.  In bowl, combine egg, cottage cheese and Parmesan.  Roll out 2 crescent roll packages to 15x10 each.  Put 1/2 meat mixture and 1/2 cheese mixture in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.  Top with one of the crescent crusts.  Repeat.  Top with second crescent crust.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

Swaps:
Flour Me With Love
Blessed with Grace
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
33 Shades of Green
All the Small Stuff
My Sweet and Savory



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Corn (Seafood) Chowder

I spent the afternoon with some of the  dedicated and hard-working volunteers at the Southlake  Chamber of Commerce.  We were collectively working on a large mailing project.  While there,  I enjoyed chatting with my friend, Jill.  She is a successful  career woman who helps  make the chamber run smoothly but, in  her spare time, she enjoys cooking and baking.  We're fellow "foodies" and  our conversations usually gravitate toward recipes.   As Jill was growing up, her mom was a "made-everything-from-scratch" cook, like many of the good cooks I grew up around.  Every time we talk about home and family, I get the feeling that we had similar upbringings: church, down-home cooking, and family.    She was so  kind today  to ask about my blog,  and has promised to share some of her own  family  recipes when she gets time to jot them down.  I have plans to go down and share a lunch of  comfort food soon with the whole staff....such great people!

This evening I plan to make this chowder for dinner.  I've been gone all day and this sounds like a good choice with some hot rolls (or French bread).  The original recipe is just called "Corn Chowder," but I have fish and shrimp to add to it, so it will become a Seafood Chowder.  My son, Ben would like scallops in it, but I don't have any in the freezer.

Corn Chowder

5 slices bacon, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans chicken broth
2  " water
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 oz.) can cream-style corn
2 C evaporated milk
salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
(I'm adding shrimp and cooked Tilapia fish at the end of cooking)

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon and saute' onions in drippings.  Add chicken broth and water. Add potatoes and cook until done.  Add the rest and sprinkle with Cayenne pepper for color and heat.  Makes 6-8 servings (more with added seafood!)

Swaps:
Blessed with Grace
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
My Sweet and Savory
All the Small Stuff
33 Shades of Green

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Movie Star Recipes-1931

We enjoyed a visit (beginning last Thursday) from West Virginia friends. They left yesterday and now our house is painfully quiet. It feels like the "down time" after a big party or a major holiday when all that's left are great memories and all the hum-drum chores to catch-up on. I spent the afternoon yesterday with a mountain of laundry.... and a treasure trove of pictures we took (Monday) at a nature center where butterflies perched on our shoulders. We crammed in so many adventures while they were here! We went to the Book Depository Museum and The Dallas Art Museum on Saturday, and then enjoyed watching their excitement at the first rodeo they'd ever seen (in Fort Worth that same evening). During the visit we watched the cattle drive down the street in Fort Worth and spent one afternoon in a Civil War museum. Bob Jones Nature Center (and a picnic) in Southlake was our destination at the close of their visit. The picnic had the usual items, but featured Whataburger hamburgers that we picked-up because they had never heard of Whataburger; doesn't exist where they live! We ate out; ate in; hiked; biked; played board games; had movie night (on a rainy Sunday) and just loved the whole time that we got to spend with them. Family and friends are life's true blessings! They are now on their way home and seeing what Austin has to offer :)


Any time that we have visitors at our house, I attempt to be a good hostess, but as I've admitted before, breakfast is not my "starring" meal. I do not excel at complicated breakfast and brunch recipes. I try to provide something that will keep folks from starving until lunchtime....when I'm awake and "firing on all cylinders"!

Here's an unusual brunch recipe from my file of vintage recipes. I got it from an old cookbook called, Favorite Recipes of the Movie Stars (1931).

Gary Cooper's Mom's Griddle Cakes

2 C flour
2 TBSP cornmeal
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 C buttermilk
1/2 C milk or cream
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

Set griddle on medium heat. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Separately, mix remaining ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture. Stir lightly with a fork; the batter should be lumpy. Pour by tablespoonsful into the hot griddle. Cook until tops bubble; flip over. Cook 2 more minutes. Serves 4-6.

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

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cilantro Chicken Salad

Ahhh....another holiday in the books. Now is the time to focus on which herbs I want to grow on the back porch. I enjoy fresh salsa, so Cilantro is a logical choice for one of the little clay pots that Mom gave me. Then, maybe some Italian Basil and Lemon Balm for the other two containers. Once upon a time (in 1990, to be exact) the Lakewood Service League put together a great little fund-raiser cookbook. This Cilantro Chicken Salad recipe comes from that Dallas, Texas community cookbook. Enjoy!

Cilantro Chicken Salad
(Holly Greef and Judi Suddereth)

6 skinless chicken breasts
3 C chicken broth
1/2 C fresh lime juice
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP oil
2 tsp salt
1 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 C chopped fresh Cilantro
1/2 C chopped red onion
2 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 small chili peppers

Poach chicken breasts in broth. Cool. Reserve 1 C broth, fat removed. Mix all other ingredients with reserved broth. Pour over chicken breasts which have been cut into bite-sized pieces. Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight. Serves 8.

Swaps:
A Southern Fairytale
Beyer Beware
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Delightfully Dowling
Our Delightful Home

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

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oven Barbecued Pork Chops

Life has been busy around here since Spring Break ended. We've had dental issues, let's just leave it at that! I've been making quick meals with a soft texture for someone who is now minus 4 wisdom teeth. But, thank goodness, solid foods are back on my menu for this week. Here's one of my recipes for pork that is easy and delicious. Enjoy!

Oven Barbecued Pork Chops
(Tennessee Cookbook-Southern Cookin' by Pearlie B. Scott, 1993)

6 pork chops (at least an inch thickness)
1/2 C brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar)
1 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C catsup
1/2 C barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 372 degrees. Combine all ingredients and pour over pork chops in a shallow pan. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Serves 6.
Tip: Good served with New Peas and Potatoes or Wilted Lettuce....my springtime favorites!

Swaps:
The Shabby Nest
Comfy in the Kitchen
Designs by Gollum
Grocery Cart Challenge
Simply Sweet Home
Ann Kroeker
Home is Where My Story Begins

Everyday Tastes
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Life as Mom
Brambleberry Cottage
Somewhat Simple

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jezebel Sauce for Spring Parties

It's that time of year when preparations for spring parties are heating up. It seems like the warmer weather and the combination of baby showers, weddings, graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day and any other number of events has party planners looking through recipes for interesting items to add to the menu. If you don't have a big "To-Do" coming up this spring, you could still make this fancy little sauce and cheese to take to a family reunion this summer; don't you love it when everyone is guessing who brought the yummy item that they've never tasted before?! This sauce recipe is that, "something different" item that is perfect for an appetizer (or just for snacks on the back porch with a a glass of iced tea!!) You can mix this up ahead, keep it in the fridge, and when the time comes just pour it over cream cheese and surround it with your favorite crackers or Melba toast.

Jezebel Sauce

1 (18 oz.) jar pineapple preserves
1 (18 oz.) apple jelly
1/2 (1.37 oz.) container of dry mustard
1 (5 oz.) jar horseradish
1 tsp coarsely-ground pepper
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

Mix preserves, jelly, mustard, horseradish and pepper together. Chill. Place cream cheese on a pretty serving plate; pour sauce over cheese and serve with crackers.

Swaps:
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
King's Court 4
We are That Family
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Raising Homemakers

Monday, March 19, 2012

Austin Over Spring Break....Lovin' that BBQ!!!

We spent part of my youngest son's spring break last week in Austin, Texas. Although my husband has been there several times on business trips, Ben and I had never seen the capitol city. We went during the South By Southwest event, a celebration of media including technology, music and movies. Ben really enjoyed the atmosphere that went with SXSW. He spotted musician, Ziggy Marley, on the street; made a video in the Dell booth (that is now online) and saw several tech start-ups like his own Yummmbox app. Ron Howard's Imagination Photography Project was on display and there was literally music flowing down 6th street! One of our favorite bands was called Tins; we thought they sounded a little like Franz Ferdinand. Ben came home with a shirt, magazines (gaming magazines for his friends) and information related to some his favorite subjects!
On our second day in Austin, Dana surprised Ben with a previously-arranged segway tour that lasted for two hours. The tour guide took them all around Austin to see its historic landmarks. I was offered this tour, as well, but opted for my "girls-only shopping tour"; this included Target and Ross for..... Two Hours!!....with nobody "waiting on me" at the front of the store! I found two summer dresses that I liked. That's quite an accomplishment for me; I don't enjoy the tedious and time-consuming project of trying on new clothes when there are time constraints.
The next day, I had the luxury of Dana and Ben giving me a personal tour, on foot, of all that they had seen and learned about Austin on the previous day. The weather was just a perfect 10 for our trip. The sky was so blue that in many of the pictures that I snapped it looks like a "storybook sky". We roamed around the capitol grounds, buildings, statues and huge old trees (my favorite photo subjects). We covered the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum (which had Dr. Seuss' original sketches and storyboards for The Lorax on display!); the University of Texas Campus; 6th Street; the historic Driscoll Hotel and the Convention Center (SXSW). We ate Texas BBQ, Tex Mex food and Thai street food. It was a fun experience; I recommend putting Austin, Texas on your "bucket list".
I thought I would go with a BBQ theme this week as I return to real life after my Austin trip. Here's a recipe for those of us who like BBQ but are limited on time; get your Crock Pot out!

Texas BBQ-Coke Roast

1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 (4 to 5 lb.) boneless chuck roast
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 (12 oz.) can of Coke or 1 (10 oz.) bottle of coke
1 (12 oz.) bottle of chili sauce
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP Louisiana Hot Sauce
3 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 C water

Combine garlic salt and pepper; rub over roast. Brown roast on all sides in hot oil in large skillet. Transfer to 4 qt. slow cooker. Combine Coke and next 3 ingredients; pour over roast. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or LOW for 8 to 9 hours. Remove roast, reserving juices. Keep roast warm. In slow cooker, combine cornstarch and water, stirring well. Cook, uncovered on HIGH for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over roast. Makes 8-12 servings.

Swaps:
Flour Me with Love
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Delightfully Dowling
Beyer Beware
Skip to My Lou
A Southern Fairytale

Monday, March 5, 2012

Banana Bars A -Recipe from Aunt Vivian

I can't tell you how much I enjoy getting "snail mail" from "home"! We are living across the country from our parents, siblings and extended family, as I know many of you are, as well (and some of you are living countries away from your loved ones, bless your hearts!). When I wander out to the mail box each day to get what is usually junk mail and bills and find a letter or card in the mix, it makes my week special! (It also makes me feel guilty if I haven't sent anything out in a while to brighten my sons' or parents', etc.'s day.)
Last week I received a note from my Aunt Vivian (Mom's sister). I stopped in the middle of my day just to enjoy the photos she had sent and read her note. A bonus treat (in addition to that cute picture of her first great grand baby!) was the recipe she sent; another great way to use up ripe bananas! Mom gets the credit for mentioning to her that I would like to have this recipe.
My little chats with Mom (and joke-swapping with my dad) always make my week better. Our last "catch-up" conversation was about Aunt Vivian and Uncle Henry coming down (they live 5 miles from my parents) to go to the fish fry at the town's volunteer fire department with them. Vivian wanted to bring the dessert to have at Mom and Dad's place, later. Mom described it as a banana cake and said it was really good. I'm always on the hunt for recipes that use up those 2 or 3 ripe bananas that always seem to be left on my kitchen counter. As soon as I said, "I'd like to have that recipe, if she doesn't mind", Mom must have made a call, because it wasn't a long wait until I heard from my aunt; those two are efficient! Thanks to the "tag team" of Mom and Aunt Vivian, I'm able to share this wonderful and useful recipe with you. Have a great day and keep in touch with someone from "home"!


Aunt Vivian's Frosted Banana Bars
(originally from Karen Dryak from Niobrara, Nebraska: looks like a Taste of Home clipping 3/20/'96)

1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
2 C sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C All-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

Frosting:
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
4 C confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bars test done. Cool. For frosting, cream butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Gradually add confectioner's sugar and vanilla; beat well. Spread over bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Swaps:
This Chic Cooks
Feeding Four
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Brambleberry Cottage
Everyday Tastes
Somewhat Simple

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pistachio Cake

I went searching through my old file of try-it recipes yesterday and found this unusual marble cake recipe. I thought it might be pretty for St. Patrick's Day. Back in the 70's there was a popular cake recipe that circulated; it also included pistachio pudding mix and was called "Watergate Cake". This one sounds like it might have a little more flare since it includes orange juice and you swirl chocolate syrup through it to achieve the marbling. I think chocolate kisses or chocolate shavings might be nice on top!

Pistachio Cake
(came as a promo with Nordic Ware Bundt Pan-??year)

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 C orange juice
1/3 C cooking oil
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix (3 1/2 oz.)
1/2 C commercial chocolate syrup

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, o.j., cooking oil and pudding mix; blend at low speed for 1 minute, then beat at high speed 3 more minutes. Pour 2/3 of the batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt Pan. Add chocolate syrup to remaining third of the batter and mix at medium speed until well blended. Pour over top of batter in pan. Marbelize by cutting through batter with knife. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack or serving plate to complete cooling. Top with chocolate glaze.

BRAG MOMENT: My first daffodils are in bloom this morning!!

Swaps:
The Shabby Nest
Simply Sweet Home
Home is Where My Story Begins
Designs by Gollum
Momtrends
Ann Kroeker
Amy's Finer Things

Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu for Cleaning Out Vegetable and Fruit Bins

I just realized that I have a lot of fresh produce in my bins that I need to incorporate into our menu this week. We can all benefit from adding more fruits and vegetables, right?! So here's the plan.

Monday:
Asparagus soup
Pork roast with roasted rosemary vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery)
Rolls
Fruit salad (this will be used as dessert and several snacks this week)

Tuesday:
Baked chicken over salad greens (sliced carrots, tomatoes, green onion)
Oven-toasted wheat buns

Wednesday:
Cheese ravioli with meat sauce
Steamed bag of spinach
Wheat garlic bread


Thursday:
Pancakes or French Toast
Scrambled eggs w/ bacon bits
Fruit plate

Friday:
Roasted turkey breast
Mashed potatoes
Corn
Sweet potatoes/baked with butter and cinnamon
Green beans
(bake an apple crisp for the weekend-using 1/2 bag of leftover apples)

Saturday:
Warmed apple crisp
Milk/hot tea

Turkey sandwiches
Macaroni salad
Baby carrots

Sunday:
Wedge salad
Tuna Casserole
Parkerhouse rolls


Swaps:
Orgjunkie

Adventures in Texas: Went to a great birthday party at the neighbors' yesterday to celebrate their 2-year-old's birthday and the church dedication of their baby. The party included pony rides for the little ones, as well as, rides on a little train pulled by........a John Deere tractor!! Love it!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

This past weekend my sweetie surprised me with dinner at Truluck's and later a movie in Southlake Town Square. Since Valentine's Day landed in the middle of the week, we planned to celebrate this weekend, but I didn't have a clue that he had made such wonderful plans! Dinner at Truluck's is always a treat. After we enjoyed the warm, homemade Italian and Walnut Bread, Hubby chose the Sea Bass and I had Salmon. Both types of fish were served over a delicious combination of potatoes with garlic, green onion and Parmesan cheese. Our dessert was a 4-layer chocolate cake with strawberries and "Godiva sauce" over the top! Amazing meal!
That evening when I got home, I jotted down on an index card all of the flavors that I could detect in that potato dish. I'm certain that mine is the "backwoods cousin" of Truluck's version of this recipe. Their menu items are prepared by a trained chef who I'm sure uses only the best ingredients (such as a block of aged Parmesan, instead of Kraft in a can!) But, I have to say that when I fixed my potato "Truluck's-wanna-be" dish to have with our pork chops last night, both husband and son loved it. It went on a permanent card to be placed in my permanent file. I'm happy to share it with you today:

Parmesan Garlic Potatoes

3 C prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C Kraft Parmesan cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced fine
salt to taste

Spray a square glass casserole with cooking spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread evenly in casserole dish. Cover with foil and place in preheated 400 degree oven until bubbly and slightly brown around the edges. Uncover for last 10 minutes of baking until it's golden on top. Sprinkle top with black pepper to serve.

Swaps:
-Permanent Posies
-Home is Where My Story Begins
-Designs by Gollum
-Comfy in the Kitchen
-Momtrends
-Ann Kroeker
-Amy's Finer Things
-Grocery Cart Challenge
-Simply Sweet Home
-Fingerprints on the Fridge

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Snickers Candy Bar Pie

I have promised a great chocolate recipe from my files this week and here it is!! This is what used to be called an, "icebox pie". This pie features my all-time favorite candy bar, Snickers. I have a list of sinfully-tempting items that I don't usually keep in the house, and Snickers bars are on that list. But, it's Valentine's Day and all bets are off. I say, "Keep your friends close....and your chocolate closer!" Happy Valentine's Day. :0)


Snickers Candy Bar Pie

Need 1 graham cracker pie crust (store-bought or homemade).
4 oz. cream cheese
1 TBSP milk
1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
2 bars (2 oz. each) Snickers(chopped)
1 3/4 C cold milk
1 pkg. (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding

Directions:
-Mix together 4 oz. softened cream cheese with 1 TBSP milk in a bowl until smooth.

-Gently stir in 2 C Cool Whip and 2 large snickers candy bars (chopped up). Set aside.

-In another bowl, pour 1 3/4 c milk. Add 1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding. Beat for 1 minute. Gently fold in 1/2 C Cool Whip.

-In pie crust: Spread 1/2 the pudding mixture. Next, spread cream cheese mixture over pudding. Top with the rest of the chocolate pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Put rest of Cool Whip on top.
If for some strange reason you do not like Snickers (or you are allergic to nuts) you may use Milky Way or other favorite candy bar. Enjoy!

Swaps:
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Designs by Gollum
Grocery Cart Challenge
Momtrends
Ann Kroeker
Comfy in the Kitchen
Home is Where My Story Begins
Simply Sweet Home
Shabby Nest

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Freezer- Ready Biscuits

Here's that recipe for biscuits that are similar to the bag of frozen Pillsbury-type biscuits from the grocery store. These are great because you make them at home and they are cheaper. Please let me know how you like them.

Make Ahead Biscuits
(recipe from a mom or grandma of one of Aunt Sis' Typing students)

instant non-fat dry milk
2 C shortening (Crisco!)
2 C sugar
6 pkg. yeast
flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 TBSP baking powder

-Prepare 2 quarts of dry milk according to the box directions. Pour into a sauce pan and heat until scalded. Add shortening and sugar; stir until dissolved. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Combine enough flour with milk mixture to make it the consistency of pancake batter. Let dough rise for 2 hours.
-Stir in salt, soda, baking powder and enough flour to make a soft, not sticky, dough; mix well. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness with a round 3-inch cutter.
- Place on greased cookie sheet and freeze immediately. Transfer to plastic bags and seal. Store in freezer until ready to bake.
-Place desired number of biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven (this can vary depending on your oven) until brown. You may bake these right from the freezer or let stand for 10-15 minutes before baking. Will keep in freezer for 6-8 weeks.

Adventures in Texas: I found Jalapeno Cheese Bread at a local deli. Had never seen bread like this before; swirled with flecks of green pepper and crusted with cheddar. Love it for roast beef sandwiches! It's a Texas thang!

Swaps:
-Flour Me with Love
-A Southern Fairytale
-Beyer Beware
-Delightfully Dowling
-Skip to my Lou
-Orgjunkie
-Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
-Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Weekly Menu Plan

I've got plenty to do today and have to get off to a running start, so here's my menu for the week. Tomorrow I'll be sharing a recipe that lets you make your own "Pillsbury-type" freezer biscuits. I love the convenience of biscuits that go from freezer -to-oven, and these have no preservatives and are cheaper! Look for that recipe on here in the morning. Have a great day!

Monday, Feb. 6
Chicken Sloppy Joes (search my archives)
Hash Brown Casserole
Broccoli

Tues., Feb. 7
Vegetable Stew
Biscuits

Wed., Feb. 8
Blueberry pancakes
Fruit plate

Thurs., Feb. 9
Pizza
Vegetable plate

Fri., Feb. 10
Grilled steak with mushrooms and onions
mashed potatoes
corn
broccoli/cauliflower
rolls

Sat., Feb. 11
French toast
link sausage
citrus plate

Eat out

Sun., Feb. 12
Toasted turkey/Provolone sandwiches
Lettuce/tomato/red onion
baby carrots

Leftover Buffet!

Swaps:
-Orgjunkie

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Carrots, Raisins and Walnuts in a Healthy Salad

Sometimes when I dig through my files of old recipes that I've collected, I am amazed at some of their names. A few of those clever cooks of the past have given catchy titles to cakes, such as, "Sock- it -to-Me Cake"; "Better Than Sex Cake and Lazy Daisy Cake. In my community-type cookbooks (those great down-home treasures that are often sold by firehouses, churches and schools to raise money!), you can find even more personalized names that have been given to family favorites such as, "Shipwreck"; "Angels on Horseback"; "Daddy Says it's Good Casserole" and "Mama's Never-Fail Pie". Well, I have to say, that yesterday, as I looked through one of my "try-it-someday" files, I found a recipe with a very unusual name. I was on the look-out for winter salad ideas and I think this one sounds like a salad that I've enjoyed at Furr's Restaurants before.

When our family lived in Oklahoma we would sometimes eat at Furr's Buffet or Golden Corral on Sunday after morning church service. Family-style buffets are like the after-party of Sunday morning church. When I was a kid, a friendly joke was that, " The preacher better not be too long with his sermon, or we won't beat the Baptists to Bonanza!" (a popular steakhouse buffet). As kids we would go through the alphabet with this joke (none of the faithful were safe!). There was, "Beat... The Presbyterians to Ponderosa; The Methodists to McDonald's...you get the idea. Hey, was there a Larsen's Cafeteria, maybe in the 60's or 70's? Does it still exist? Maybe some of you will know. Oh! if so, we'll have to..."beat the Lutherans to Larsen's"!

Larsen's Anti-Sneeze Salad
1/2 C chopped walnuts
4 to 5 medium-sized carrots, unpeeled
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C mayonnaise

Measure walnuts, chopped coarsely into a serving bowl. Cut carrots into 2-inch chunks and drop them into your blender or food processor. Add raisins and hit the Low Speed button. When the carrots look coarsely-chopped, stop. (If you have trouble with these new-fangled machines, simply shred the carrots by hand, add raisins and continue.) Toss raisin-carrot mixture into the serving bowl with the walnuts. Gently stir in the mayonnaise and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve often.

Note: "new-fangled machines" ?! Wonder how far back this recipe goes?! After the creation of food processors, but before computers is my guess :0)

Swaps:
-Home is Where My Story Begins
-Designs by Gollum
-E Kat's Kitchen
-Comfy in the Kitchen
-Momtrends
-Ann Kroeker
-Amy's Finer Things
-Simply Sweet Home