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


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Easy Cajun Coconut Pecan Cake

Oh, I know that I'm a day late this week with my post, but I've had a great week;  our middle son, Blake, has been here for a visit!  He's getting ready to move states-away to a new job. Kudos to Blake for  accomplishing a couple of his major life-goals,  lately.   At the beginning of fall,  He was awarded his Masters degree in Industrial Psychology  and will soon begin his  new job (it involves analyzing statistics, which he enjoys).  I'm so proud of his hard work and determination;  There... all done with the Mom-bragging!

I dug through some of my old community cookbooks this week and found a very promising recipe for a unique cake.  The little ragged book was a group effort by the Whistling Pines Garden Club of Cypress, Texas in 1977.  This cake sounds moist and delicious.  Both the cake and icing recipes have few ingredients...I love that!  This might be a great cake to set alongside the pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.  I know it's hard to believe, but some folks would rather have cake than pie!  My husband's in that cake-eating group, bless his heart (More pecan and pumpkin pie for me!)

Cajun Cake and Easy Coconut- Pecan Icing
(Gaynelle Pucek)
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 lb. can crushed pineapple
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs

Mix at medium speed until combined.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Makes a 13x9 inch cake.

Easy Coconut Pecan Icing

1/2 C sugar
1 stick margarine
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 C coconut

Bring sugar, milk and margarine to a boil.  Add coconut and pecans.  Pour over warm Cajun Cake.

Swaps:
We are That Family
Raising Homemakers
Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home