Monday, January 30, 2012

French Dressing

1cup ketchup
1/4cup vinegar
2tsp. chopped garlic
1/4cup sugar
1tbl. chopped onion
1tsp. Worcestershire
1tsp. paprika
1/4tsp. celery salt
1tsp. soy sauce
1/2cup salad oil
To a blender add everything except the oil.
Blend on the lowest setting for about 1 minute, then slowly add the oil.
Place the lid, and blend on high for 5 minutes. Chill. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Away From The Kitchen- Bath Bomb Fizzies

                    Handmade soap, soy fragrance tarts, perfume and bath bombs

Instead of baking today I decided to make a batch of bath bombs . A bath bomb in action. Drop one in the tub and inhale.
These are so easy, and you can make them in your favorite scents.
I made this batch using "OMG Olive" from Natures Garden. A soft citrus-vanilla-musk blend.

Recipe: and  Tutorial
3cups baking soda
1cup citric acid
1/2oz. fragrance oil
a few drops of food coloring
a spray bottle of water (I don't use witch hazel)
This made 17 -half sized -bombs
I get my fragrance oils from Natures Garden  and  Daystar
the citric acid from

Mix together baking soda and citric acid. Blend in fragrance and color. moisten with water until it begins to stick together, like wet sand.

Press into any mold (I Make mine into only 1/2 bombs) and dry overnight. Keep them in storage bags. You can use them the next day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grandma's Lasagna

                      Pictured with Hillbilly Garlic Bread and Flaming Canoes

My Grandmother owned a restaurant years ago, and her biggest seller was her Lasagna.
To this day, I have never had it's equal in any restaurant. The dark, rich sauce is perfect.
When she gave me the recipe, I was surprised to learn that she used  Lawry's Spaghetti Sauce mix  It didn't taste like a mix to me.
But I discovered, it was the technique she used, of caramelizing the mushroom sauce that gave it a rich, unequaled flavor.
This is my most requested recipe, and easy to make. This will make 2 pans.
If you can't find Lawry's- look for a mix that includes mushrooms in the ingredients.

2lbs. ground beef                                                                           
1lb lasagna noodles- cooked                                                          
2 packages Lawry's spaghetti sauce mix                                         
1-8oz. can of mushrooms-drained and chopped                             
2-29oz. cans tomato sauce                                                            
6oz. grated Parmesan cheese                                                         
16oz, shredded mozzarella                                                             

Brown the beef in a skillet and drain.
To a 4quart pan, add the beef, mushrooms and tomato sauce. Stir in the Lawry's mix.
Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. The sauce will thicken quickly.
This is where you will begin to caramelize the natural sugars in the sauce.
It will happen in the bottom of the pot.

There will be a brown glaze that begins to form. Scrape the bottom, and stir this into the sauce.
Wait about 5 minutes, and do it again. Don't let it get too brown or it will taste burnt.
As the sauce gets thicker you will have to scrape the bottom more frequently.

Keep repeating, until the sauce becomes a deep dark red. about 30 minutes more.
Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
In 2 Lasagna pans, place a layer of noodles, thin layer of sauce, noodles, etc. Until you have 3 layers of each. The last being, a heavy layer of sauce.
Top with mozzarella, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cheese just begins to brown.
Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

  I tried to show the caramelized sauce in the bottom, but it came out too fuzzy.

The sauce went from the color of tomato sauce, to a thick, rich, deep red sauce.Smells great.

           Turn the burner off and add the Parmesan cheese. Stir and set aside.

         Layer and bake until the cheese just begins to brown. About 45 minutes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mochomos Burrito

Mochomos is a dish from the Chihuahua region of Mexico.
What is unique, is the practice of frying shredded bits of pork or beef, until it looks like spun glass.
Shredded, fried Mochomos
Mochomos can also be diced bits of precooked meat, that are fried until they are crispy on the outside and juicy inside. That is the way I make them, but both are great.

1 pork loin roast-cubed
1 onion-diced
3cups water
Salt and pepper ( if desired)
2tbl. oil
flour tortillas
1 cup green chilli sauce
Burrito toppings of your choice such as: Diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream, cheese,
guacamole, re-fried beans.

Add pork, onion and water to a 4quart pot. Boil until the water has evaporated, (20 min) Cool completely.
Heat the oil in a skillet. The oil needs to be very hot. (almost smoking) Add the pork and fry until it becomes brown and crispy on the outside. (don't stir fry, allow the meat to brown before turning) Add green chili sauce to the meat. Stir to combine.
Place the unopened tortillas in the microwave 45-60 second to soften. This makes them easier to roll.
Wrap meat and toppings burrito style. Serve. How To Fold A Burrito

                                            Boil pork, onion and water                                

                             Fry until the outside becomes nice and crispy


                             Wrap mochomos and toppings in a flour tortilla

Horseshoes-Welsh Rarebit On Steroids

                                        Grilled Chicken Horseshoe

Chances are you have never heard of a Horseshoe.
It is a century old dish that originated in my hometown and is relatively unheard of outside central Illinois.
The Corndog, and Chili are said to have originated here also.
Originally a horseshoe was:
Place 2 hamburgers on 2 slices of toast, cover with a pile of French fries then add cheese sauce over all.
Then there is the pint size Ponyshoe which includes 1 slice of toast, 1 hamburger topped with fries and cheese sauce.
I really don't care for the hamburger version, but I like them with ham, breaded tenderloin and corned beef.
Every restaurant has their own unique cheese sauce. A local paper has an annual "Best of Springfield"publication that includes 'Best Horseshoe' as a category.

Adam Richman  of  Man vs. Food ate his way through town and had one. Man vs Food-Sprinfield
Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives ate one Diners, Drive-ins and Dives-Springfield
Today I found a Blog dedicated it comes...The Horseshoe. The Horseshoe Sandwich Blog
This heart attack on a plate makes a Big Mac look like a nancy boy.
Nowadays they are made with about every topping under the sun, but always include toast, meat, fries and cheese sauce. Here is my favorite.  Grilled Chicken Horseshoe

Grilled Chicken Horseshoe

                      Grilled Chicken Horseshoe. This is my favorite horseshoe.
What is a Horseshoe?

toast slices
1 small can sliced black olives-drained
1/4 cup scallions
Finely diced tomato
1/4 cup bacon bits-not imitation
1 recipe small batch Horseshoe Sauce
1 recipe Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast
French fries -fried

Grill chicken.
To the cheese sauce, add bacon and black olives. keep warm.
Place a slice of toast on a serving plate and top with a chicken breast.
Cover the chicken with fries and top with cheese sauce. garnish with tomato and scallion. serve hot.
                                                BUILDING A HORSESHOE

                                                  First the toast

                                        Add a chicken breast

Pile on the fries. Top with cheese sauce. Garnish with tomatos and scallions
              This is definitely "GUY" food. He'll love you for this one!

My Horseshoe Sauces

                                              Horseshoe Sauce

What is a Horseshoe?

Large batch
1stick melted, real butter
1 gallon can of cheese sauce
1/4cup Worcestershire
1 bottle Guinness beer
2tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. hot sauce
1tsp. adobo sauce
Just enough milk to thin it out a bit.

Add all to a large pot heat through. Serve warm.

For a small batch I use
1/2 box processed 'generic' cheese -similar to velveeta- cut up
1/2stick melted, real butter
1/2cup Guinness beer
1/4tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2tsp. hot sauce
1/2tsp. adobo sauce
Just enough milk to thin it out a bit. 1/4-1/2 cup
Add all to a 2 quart pan. Heat slowly until the cheese melts. Serve warm.

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast

                                       Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast

1 package frozen chicken breast -thawed
1cup Italian dressing
1/2tsp. adobo sauce
1tbl. minced garlic
Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and flatten with a mallet.
Whisk the Italian dressing and adobo sauce. Add the chicken and toss to coat.
Refrigerate overnight. Grill out of doors or in a skillet.
If grilling in a skillet: Heat 1tbl. oil. Add garlic and stir-fry a few seconds. Add chicken.
Grill until all pan juices have evaporated. Grill chicken a bit longer, until lightly browned on both sides.

                                              Marinate overnight

                                   Grill until lightly browned on both sides.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stewed Tomatoes And Bread

Stewed Tomatoes And Bread
This dish may me an acquired taste. It's a real comfort food for me.

1-15oz can whole tomatoes-crushed
3 slices of bread-torn

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir, while simmering just long enough to heat through.

Kolacky Cookies

                                                  Kolacky Cookies
These little pastries are so delicious and simple to make.
A favorite Holiday cookie. The kids call these poptart cookies

8oz. cream cheese-softened
2 sticks margarine-softened
3 cups flour
Red plum jam
chopped walnuts.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Mix in flour by hand, until well blended and mixture forms a dough.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 350* and flour a surface for rolling.
(I had pretty good luck using cooking spray instead of flour)
Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick.
With a knife or pastry wheel cut dough into 2inch squares.
In the center of each square, add 1/2tsp. jam and a few walnut pieces.
fold 2 opposite corners together and pinch. Leaving the other 2 corners as they are.
place cookies on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake about 10 minutes or until pastry is just beginning to turn golden. Cool.

 Roll out the dough, cut with a pizza cutter or pastry wheel. Top with a little jam and walnuts

               Fold 2 corners together, pinch and press into the top of the cookie.

Grandpa's Oyster Stew

                                          Grandpa's Oyster Stew
Grandpa used to make this soup-like dish often, for lunch.
He used evaporated milk in a lot of his dishes, saying it added richness.
A habit I've pick up as well.
You either love this dish or hate it. I love it.

1 can whole oysters and their juices-chopped
1 can evaporated milk
1 stick of butter
1 quart of water
1tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Add all ingredients to a 2quart pan and heat until the butter has melted and it's just about to boil.
Don't allow this to boil or a skin will form over the surface. Serve hot with oyster crackers

Scalloped Corn

                                       Another traditional Holiday dish.

2 cans of cream corn
1 package saltines-crushed
2tbl. melted butter
1/4 cup milk.

Mix all ingredients together, spoon into a casserole dish.
Bake at 375* about 35 minutes. or until golden. Serve hot.

Montreal Buttermilk Baked Chicken

                                 Montreal Buttermilk Baked Chicken
My son Aaron loves fried chicken, but we all know how bad fried foods are, so I rarely cook them..
I have finally found a baked chicken that's close enough to make him happy.
Add Montreal seasoning and you have an outstanding main course.

1 chicken-cut up
2 cups buttermilk
( add 2tbl vinegar to a measuring cup, fill to the 2 cup mark with milk wait 15 minutes-buttermilk)
1-1/2 cups breadcrumbs
4tbl .Montreal Seasoning

Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour in the buttermilk.
Toss the chicken to coat and refrigerate about 2 hrs.
Heat oven to 375*  Place a grilling or cooling rack inside a roasting pan.
In a large bowl, add the bread crumbs and sesoning.
Remove chicken from the buttermilk ( allow any excess to drip)
Roll the chicken in the breadcrumbs to coat, and place on wire rack.
Spray the top of the chicken with butter flavored cooking spray.
Bake for about 1-1/2 hours, or until the chicken is golden crispy and cooked through.

Montreal Seasoning

                                                       Montreal Seasoning
You must try this imitation of 'Grill Mates' Montreal seasoning. It's not spot on, but really good.

4tsp. salt
1tsp black pepper
1tsp. grated orange peel
1tsp. grated lemon peel
1tsp. paprika
1tsp. thyme
1tsp. rosemary
2tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder

In a spice grinder ( or use a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp. coriander
1/2tsp fennel seeds
1tsp bell pepper flakes- or red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
Grind just long enough to crush.

Add all ingredients to a resealable bag. shake to mix well.
This can be used on any grilled or baked meats.

Eggplant Parmesana

Eggplant Parmesana
I am a huge fan of this dish. I tried to lighten it up a bit, a few times.
I broiled the eggplant slices, baked them, grilled them outdoors.
Alas none of these compared in flavor to the floured and fried version.
Then I came across a buttermilk baked chicken recipe.
It was great, crisp, golden and a good flavor.
The problem is: the slices have to be baked on a wire rack, over a cookie sheet.
A bit of a pain and even more time consuming. So i guess I'll stick with the original recipe.
I'll add the tweaked chicken recipe everyone loved.

1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion-minced
1-29oz.can diced tomatoes
2tsp. dried basil
1tsp salt
1/4tsp. pepper
1/8tsp nutmeg
1/2cup Parmesan cheese
8oz. shredded mozzarella
flour for dusting

Slice the eggplant 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt.
Set aside about 30 minutes, ( the salt will draw out any bitterness).
Meanwhile make the sauce.
Heat 1tbl. oil in a skillet. Fry onion until slightly browned.
Add the tomatoes,basil,salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Mix well, and simmer until it becomes a thick sauce.
Rinse the salt from the eggplant and let them drain in a colander a few minutes.
Heat about 1/8inch oil in a skillet. Dredge the eggplant slices in a bowl of flour, shaking off any excess.
Fry on medium heat until golden on each side. Drain on paper towel.
Heat oven to 400*
In a lasagna pan place a layer of eggplant slices, sprinkle with a little of the Parmesan, followed by a little mozzarella then a little sauce. keep layering making the final layer sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve hot with Viva Italia Focaccia  and salad

Viva Italia Focaccia

                                          Viva Italia Focaccia
A delicious Italian flat-bread topped with garlic, Parmesan and thin slices of onion.

1 packet of dry yeast
1tsp. sugar
3cups flour
3/4cup warm water
1tsp salt
1tbl. minced garlic
2tbl. olive oil
1tbl. cornmeal or farina
2 tsp. sea salt
Parmesan cheese
1 small onion- very thin sliced separated into rings
1 recipe Easy Garlic Butter with 1tbl. minced garlic stirred in

In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and 1tbl. of the flour.Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining flour and salt. Add 1tbl. garlic and half of the onion rings.Stir.
Make a well in the center and add yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix to form a firm dough.
Knead on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
Spray a bowl with cooking spray. Add the dough, cover and allow to rise for about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425*
Sprinkle the bottom of a cookie sheet with the cornmeal.
Knead dough again, For about 2 minutes and flatten into a 1/2 inch thick circle.
Poke deep holes (lots of them) in the dough with your finger or the tip of a wooden spoon.
Smear the garlic butter over the dough.
Top with onion rings, sea salt and sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese.
Bake about 30 minutes or until just lightly golden.

Press/spread the dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. poking holes makes this bread more tender.

Spread the garlic butter. Top with Parmesan, onion and sea salt. Bake about 30 min. Cut with a pizza wheel.

Easy Garlic Butter

Easy Garlic Butter

Mix 1/4 cup soft butter with 1tsp. garlic powder.
Add more garlic according to taste. Works great.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Deb's Crab Spread And Rangoon Filling

 A versatile Crab Spread for crackers, mini egg rolls, pinwheels and Rangoons.

1 small package Imitation crab-shredded
1-8oz. package cream cheese-whipped
1/2tsp. garlic powder.
Mix all ingredients together. Chill and serve with ritz.
To make into Rangoons,
Brush the edges of a wonton skin with egg wash, add filling, fold and fry until golden.
How to fold a rangoon

To make pinwheels:
Spread a flour tortilla with crab dip.
Roll, jellyroll style, and refrigerate 1 hour to soften the tortilla. Slice before serving

Take make mini crab egg rolls:
Brush the edges of a wonton skin with egg wash, add filling, fold and fry until golden.
Here's a cute tutorial How to fold an Eggroll

Sangria -Red Wine Punch

                                         Sangria-Red Wine Punch
                                  A beautiful citrus and wine punch.

Red Moscato is really good in this punch, just omit the sugar.
A shot of peachtree instead of the brandy is also good.
I usually halve this recipe and make it in a pitcher.

2 oranges
2 lemons
2 fifths red wine-chilled( like rose or burgundy)
1/4cup sugar
1/4cup brandy
1 apple-cored
1 bottle carbonated water-chilled

Chill 1 orange and lemon for garnish.
Juice the other orange and lemon.
In a bowl Mix the red wine,sugar,brandy and juice.
Let it steep in the fridge for 2 hours or more.
When ready to serve, slice the orange and lemon.
Cut the apple into wedges.
Add the wine mixture and carbonated water to a punchbowl.
Float fruit on top. Serve-24 servings.

Refresco Regio- Royal Refreshment

                                    Refresco Regio -Royal Refreshment

This is a Mexican fruit and wine punch that is just lovely.
This is great with White Moscato wine, just omit the sugar.
I usually halve this recipe and make it in a pitcher.

2 oranges-peeled
1 can of chunk pineapple drained-reserve juice
2 cups strawberries- halved
2 fifths dry white wine-chilled
3/4cup brandy
1/4cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2cups carbonated water chilled

Section oranges over a bowl (reserve juice).
Place oranges, pineapple, and strawberries on a cookie sheet and freeze.
In a punchbowl add all other ingredients, including the pineapple juice, stir until sugar dissolves.
Add frozen fruit and serve. The fruit will float.-20 servings.

Tabbouleh With Feta Cheese

                                    Tabbouleh With Feta Cheese
A wonderful Mediterranean Dish. It's great on a hot day with grilled meats.
Garlic lover that I am, I always thought this dish could use a little.
I sometimes add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of Italian salad dressing. The addition of the basil and garlic from the dressing meshes well with the mint.

3/4cup uncooked couscous
1-3/4cup boiling water
3tbl. lemon juice
1tsp. kikkomans soy sauce
1tbl. olive oil
1/2 cup scallions
1 cucumber- seeded and diced small
1 large tomato diced small
1/2 cup fresh parsley- chopped
1/4cup fresh mint -chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, whisk together, oil, soy sauce and lemon juice.
Add boiling water, stir, add Bulgar. Cover and let stand for 40 minutes.
Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Add the Bulgar mix and combine.
Add salt and pepper. Chill. Serve.

Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

Orange Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1/4cup orange juice
3tbl. red wine vinegar
2tbl. sugar
1tbl. olive oil
1tsp. grated orange peel
1tsp. poppy seeds
1/tsp. salt

Whisk together everything in a bowl to combine. Pour over salad.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Paul's Nuclear Chili

                                         Paul's Nuclear Chili
2lb. ground beef
1-gallon size can of chilli beans
1-29oz. can diced tomatoes
1-29oz can tomato sauce
1 large onion-diced
1 green bell pepper diced
2  habeneros -minced
1tbl. hot sauce
1cup water -plus- 4 cups water
3-4 packages chilli seasoning

In a large skillet, fry beef, onions, hot and bell peppers. Fry until beef has browned.
Drain the meat drippings. Add beef back to the skillet and add 1cup water and 1 chilli seasoning.
Simmer until the water has evaporated.
In a large stock pot heat, beans, beef mixture, 4 cups water,  hot sauce, tomatoes, tomato sauce and 2-3 package of chilli seasoning.
Simmer for 1 hour and serve. If you leave out the habenero, this is great chilli

Chili is better if you make it the day before and reheat it.
Many people add brown sugar to their chili.
Sometimes I use 1 cup ketchup or a small bottle of salsa instead of the tomato sauce. 
You can serve chili with shredded cheese, sour cream, crackers, crushed tortilla chips or bugles, peanut butter sandwiches.

Tex-Mex Cornbread

Tex-Mex Cornbread
Paul makes this from a mix. We all love this one.

1onion- diced
2 jalapenos- minced
1tsp. minced garlic
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

Mix cornbread according to box directions.
Add all other ingredients, stir well.
Bake according to box directions.

Hold My Beer And Watch This -Peach Salsa

Hold My Beer And Watch This- Peach Salsa

1 large can of peaches -drained and diced very small
1tbl. minced garlic
1 habenero- minced
1 small white onion -diced very small

Mix everything together and chill. Serve with white corn tortilla chips

Paul's Fire In The Hole Beans

Paul's Fire In The Hole Beans
These are really good, every now and then, I brave the heat and have a spoonful.

1 can black beans-drained
1 habenero-minced
1/2 onion-diced
2tsp. minced garlic
2tbl. any BBQ sauce

Heat oil in a medium saucepan.
Add garlic,onion and pepper. Saute a few minutes.
This is generally when the house becomes filled with hot pepper fumes. Your eyes may water, nose tingle, develop a tickle in your throat, and your wife starts complaining..
Add the beans and BBQ sauce and simmer about 5 minutes. Ignore the wife and serve.

Lucifer's Onions

Lucifer's Onions
These have a great flavor, but they are too hot for me.
Paul uses these as a side dish or as a hamburger condiment.

1tsp. oil
1 onion- sliced
1 habenero- minced
1tsp. minced garlic

In a sauce pan, heat oil and add all ingredient.
Saute until onions are transparent.

Habeneros, Scorpions, and Ghosts- Oh My

Oh Boy. My insane Husband is about to order from  Pepper Joe  again. My freezer is packed with who knows how many years worth of hot peppers already. Last year he decided to order "The Hottest Pepper in the World" -The Ghost Pepper. I only had to touch a tiny sliver to the tip of my tongue to know when to walk away.
Paul, on the other hand, made his Lucifer's Onions, Nuclear Chilli, and Fire In The Hole  Beans with these insanely HOT peppers.
As if that wasn't hot enough, My son David (equally insane) decided to buy a food dehydrator and proceeded to dry large containers of molten ash to sprinkle over my blander dishes.
Well the fun isn't going to end there. Now apparently there is a new "Worlds Hottest Pepper" - The Scorpion- I guess He'll buy the -Volcano in a box -in case he runs out of hot peppers this millennium.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

                                        Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
These are wonderful, light, delicate and not too sweet. My favorite scone.
You could add orange peel and juice instead, or add dried currants, nuts or dried cranberries.This is a great dough.
Serve them plain, or with  Lemon Curd  , Orange Butter. Lots of possibilities

2cups flour
1/4cup sugar
1tbl. baking powder
1tbl. poppy seeds
2tsp. grated lemon peel ( I use the kind in the spice bottle)
1/3cup cold butter
3/4cup milk
2tbl. lemon juice (optional- just depends on how lemony you like them)

Heat oven to 425*
In a bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and lemon peel.
Cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter, until it resembles fine crumbs.
Add the lemon juice to the milk and gently stir into the crumbs.
Stir just enough to moisten. The dough will be soft.
The less you handle this dough, the lighter it will be.
Turn onto a floured surface, knead gently 5 times.
Pat dough into an 8 inch circle. With a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges.(like cutting a pizza).
Place the wedges on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serve warm.

Orange Butter

Orange Butter
Use on biscuits or scones.
2tbl. butter-softened
1tsp. orange marmalade
Mix to combine.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd
You could leave out the lemon juice and peel and add 1/4cup fruit such as strawberries.

1cup sugar
6tbl. melted butter
1/4cup fresh lemon juice
2tbl. grated lemon peel

In the top of a double boiler, whisk eggs and sugar.
Stir in butter, lemon juice and peel.
Stirring constantly, cook until mixture thickens to a pudding-like texture. cover and chill.

Cream Puffs

                                                 Cream Puffs
These are a lot easier than you think.
Tastes just like the ones you buy at the bakery.
I only make these in the winter, if the room temp. is to high, they fall.
Still edible, just not as pretty.

1/2cup butter
1cup water
1cup flour
1/4tsp. salt
Bavarian cream  -or-  Instant Bavarian Cream

Heat oven to 400*
In a saucepan, melt butter and add water. Bring to a boil.
Add flour and salt. Stir quickly.
Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that doesn't separate.
Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, beating with a spoon after each addition, until smooth.
Drop by heaping tablespoons, 3 inches apart, onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and puffy.
Split puffs and remove any soft uncooked dough from the inside.
(I usually don't have to do this, but it is best to check.)
Traditionally they are filled with Bavarian cream and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
They could also be filled with chocolate pudding, fruit, whipped cream, etc.

                           Melt the butter. Add the water and bring to a boil.

Add the flour and salt, stir quickly, keep stirring until it forms a ball that doesn't fall apart.Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

           Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir until well blended, after each addition.

     On a greased cookie sheet, place a heaping tablespoon- 3 inches apart.

Bake until lightly browned, about 30-40 minutes. Cool, fill and dust with confectioners sugar.

Instant Bavarian Cream

                                        Instant Bavarian Cream
This is not the real thing, but a lot more stable and a pretty good imitation.
Great for filling cream puffs. Lots of possibilities.
You could leave out the milk and add 1/2cup fruit such as strawberries, or use lemon pudding instead.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2- 3 1/2 ounce packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
12 ounces frozen whipped topping- thawed

Mix together cream cheese and dry pudding mix. Beat in milk. Fold in whipped topping.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce:
1cup sugar
1/2cup boiling water
2tbl. cream
Pinch of salt
Place sugar in a skillet and heat on a very low flame.
Stirring constantly until sugar begins to liquify and turn a golden-honey color.
Quickly remove from heat. Add water,cream and salt.
Stir very fast or your sauce will be too dark and bitter.
Can be reheated in the microwave.


A great vintage cookie whose origins have been lost. These are so light and delicate.
Almost a sugar cookie, but the cinnamon and cream of tartar and gives this a unique flavor and texture.
This is a family favorite that's always on the holiday cookie list.

1/2cup butter
1/2cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2+3/4 cups flour
2tsp. cream of tartar
1tsp. baking soda
1/4tsp. salt

 Also a mixture of 2tbl. sugar and 2tsp. cinnamon for rolling the dough in.

Heat oven to 350*
Whisk all dry ingredients together set aside.
In another bowl beat butter and shortening. Add eggs, beat.
Add dry ingredients a little at a time, beating after each addition.
Roll into 1 inch balls and roll into cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Place 2inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until just set and tops begin to crack.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
A peanut butter cookie is only as good as the peanut butter you use.
I'm sure it's only a matter of taste, but if I use anything but Jif, they just aren't as good.
I really love this recipe and have been using it for about 30 years. I'm not sure where it came from.

1/2cup butter softened
1/2cup peanut butter
1/2cup sugar
1/2cup brown sugar or 1/4cup honey
1/2tsp. baking soda
1/2tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-1/4cups flour
sugar for rolling(optional) I don't roll my dough in sugar

In a bowl, whisk together flour,baking soda and baking powder. set aside.
In another bowl beat butter and peanut butter. Add sugar and brown sugar.
Beat well. add the egg and vanilla, beat.
Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing after each addition.
Cover and chill -overnight is best.
Heat oven to 375*
Roll into 1inch balls, then in sugar (if using)
Place 2inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Dip a fork in water and press criss-cross marks into the dough, flattening it..
Bake for about 8 minutes or until they are just set and edges just begin to brown slightly.
Cool on a wire rack. Makes 3dozen.


Oh I love these ugly, wrinkly  little bites. I wonder how they would taste if you added raisins? hmm.
You have to take care to remove these from the oven as soon as they are set,
and the edges just begin to brown. Any longer,well... they make excellent slingshot ammo.

3/4cup butter
1cup sugar
1/4cup molasses
2cups flour
2tsp. baking soda
1tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. ground cloves
1tsp. ground ginger

In a Bowl. cream together butter and sugar. Beat til fluffy. Add egg and molasses. Beat well.
In another bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.
Cover and chill overnight, as this is a sticky dough.
Heat oven to 375*
Roll into 1inch balls, then roll in sugar.
Place on an un-greased cookie sheet 2inches apart.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just set and cracks begin to form on the surface.
Cool on wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Green Jello Salad- An Ode to Dad

Green Jello Salad
I'm kind of sitting on a fence with this one. But my Dad really loved it.
If someone forgot to make this during the Holidays, we would hear about it.
I guess the meal just wasn't the same for him without it. grmble..grumble.
I haven't made this since he passed away a decade ago, but...
I think I'm going to put it bake on the Holiday menu, as a homage. 
Who knows, one of the Grandkids might take a shine to it.

2 packages lime jello
1cup plus one cup boiling water
1 can of crushed pineapple-drained
2cups miniature marshmallows
8oz. whipping cream-cold
2cups grated cabbage
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In a bowl add only 1 package of lime jello and 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.
Add the marshmallows and stir into the hot mixture until they are only partially melted.
Add the pineapple and cabbage, Stir to mix, and refrigerate until set.
In another bowl, Add the remaining package of lime jello and 1cup boiling water. Stir to disslove.
Pour in the whipping cream and mix well. Stir in the walnuts. Pour this mixture onto the set jello mixture.Refrigerate until set.

Mom's Spanish Rice

                                               Mom's Spanish Rice
Mom made this quite a bit when we were kids.
Smelling it cooking would always make me hungry.

1lb.bacon-cut into lardons   What-Are-Lardons-Video
1-6oz. can tomato paste
4cups cooked rice
1 onion-diced
1 green pepper-diced
1-15oz. can diced tomatoes
2tbl. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
( Occasionally she would add a little taco seasoning to make it spicier)

Fry bacon in a skillet until almost crisp. drain bacon drippings.
Add the onion, garlic and green peppers. Cook until peppers are soft.
stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste,salt and pepper. Mix well. Add rice and serve.