Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pineapple Smoked Pork Butt (well sort of)

1 smoked pork butt (I didn't find a smoked pork butt, but did find a smoked pork shoulder @ Walmart)
2-3 large cans pineapple juice
3-4 cloves garlic (optional)
brown sugar

Place smoked pork butt/shoulder in large pot. (One it just fits in without too much extra room is good.) Pour pineapple juice in to cover, or nearly so. Add grated garlic, if desired. Simmer on top of stove, covered for several hours, until bone will wiggle, but not actually come out. Mine was a 10 lb shoulder, so I think I simmered it for close to 5 hours.) Move pork to shallow pan covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. (Reserve liquid.) Pat a thin layer of brown sugar all over and bake at 350 degrees until it forms a glaze.

At this point I pulled the meat off the bones and shredded it, placed in crockpot to stay warm. Add a little of the pineapple juice it was cooked in to help meat stay moist, but not soupy. I served it on Hawaiian Sweet rolls, I had sliced to make sandwich buns. I also had some Sweet Hot Mustard and Cajun Mustard to spread on the buns, if anyone so desired.

I go to the Southern Indiana YMCA 3 - 4 times a week for Water Aerobics. We call ourselves Waterholics. Some days we work very hard at it, some days, we do a lot of socializing as we move about in the water. One of the men in our 8:00 a.m. class, Tony, told us this recipe. I decided to try it and take it to our Sunday School Class Christmas party this past Sunday. I know that is dangerous, to try out a new recipe for the first time when taking it somewhere, but it sounded like a winner. And I've been told now that it's a keeper.

I have always said, "I need the T-shirt that says 'Spoiled Rotten' on the front," since Gary does do exactly that, spoils me rotten. I have another way to prove this, at least our daughter says so. As I said above I purchased a Smoked Pork Shoulder that was a little over 10 pounds. Well, when I went to make this recipe, I discovered it would not fit in my 8 quart saucepot! What to do? After all there was a bone that went from one end to another! Gary, being the amazing hubby he is, states, "I have a brand new hacksaw blade downstairs, so why don't we cut the meat around the bone with the electric knife and I'll saw through the bone with my hacksaw?" Well friends, it worked like a charm! And both pieces fit in the pot and filled it quite nicely! What a guy, what a guy! I'm so blessed!

p.s. I do apologize for the b-i-g gap in my blogs. I do plan to continue with Ky State Fair recipes at some time. Blessings to all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pralines (Just so you know "Prah-leens*")

1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
1 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ c. pecans

Put milk and sugars in heavy pot, mix well, and cook (without stirring) until mixture reaches “soft ball” stage (234º). Remove from heat and add rest of ingredients. Beat until cool and slightly thickened, then spoon onto waxed paper. Makes 1½ to 2 dozen.

NOTE: Stirring while cooking will produce a sugary texture.

I actually had decided not to make and enter these after all, since it had been so humid and believe me, it does not work to make candy when the weather is humid! However, the morning of the 16th dawned a beautiful sunny day with very low humidity, so again I thought, why not give making a batch a try? Now I think I had made them once before and they turned out o.k. However, this batch turned out looking just like the Pralines I had seen and enjoyed in New Orleans. (A nice golden brown color, flat except where the pecan halves made them raised) In fact the recipe came from the Cooking New Orleans Style cookbook I had bought in New Orleans when we were there in 2004. I was so happy with them when I packaged them up for the fair! And I am actually very happy they won a ribbon. I do have to say that I am wondering if the Ky State Fair judges have even had a real New Orleans "Prah-leen*," since the first place winner looked more like penuche fudge - pale and thick and gloppy with chopped nuts. I guess they must have tasted a whole lot better than mine, for they certainly were not as pretty.

*The reason I have mentioned this is that we recently met a couple from New Orleans and Karen pronounced the confection as "Pe-cahn Prah-leens." I just want us to get it right, in case we do make it back to "N'Awlins" for another fun time!

Two Ribbon Winners!

Hi Friends! The 2010 Kentucky State Fair was held from August 19th to August 19th this year. I entered 13 items in the regular fair culinary contests. Entries had to be turned in no later than Monday (08/16) by 5:00 p.m., to be judged on Tuesday, displays set up on Wednesday for the opening on Thursday. On the first day of the fair, Elizabeth and I searched all the shelves for all my entries. Out of the 13,I had 2 Second Place (red ribbon) winners!

One was the Sour Cream Corn Muffins I had entered in 2008 for which I had won a second place ribbon. I figured I would try for First Place with them. However, it was Monday morning, August 16th and they had to be turned in that afternoon, and when I went to make them, I discovered I did not have any Self-Rising Corn Meal. So I ran up to Big Lots and bought a box of Corn Muffin Mix to use. I'm not sure if my mistake was buying the mix there, or in using the mix itself instead of Self-Rising Corn Meal. Anyway, they really did not turn out to be very pretty - tops were rather flat instead of the nice rounded tops muffins are supposed to have! At first I wasn't going to take them, but why not - they were made, so I packaged them up to take. Imagine my surprise to find a ribbon on them!

The other winner was Pralines. I will direct you to that entry for "the rest of the story."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kentucky State Fair-recipes already in blog

Hey Friends!

August is spent getting many entries ready for the 2010 Kentucky State Fair (08/19 -08/29). I only entered 13 entries in the regular culinary competition and 6 of the Sponsored contests. Why the Kentucky State Fair and not the Indiana State Fair? Approximately 90 miles! Jeffersonville is just across the Ohio River from Louisville, where the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center is. The Indiana State Fair is in Indianapolis. So, since Kentucky is so hospitable as to allow Indiana residents to enter, I do! This year the regular fair entries had to be in by 5:00 on 08/16/2010, so they could be judged on 08/17, placed on display 08/18 for when the Fair opens on 08/19. The Sponsored Contests take place several nights of the Fair, with entries for the specific contest brought to the Fair that night by 5:45 p.m. and are judged as we watch.

I have been entering the KSF for several years now. I have won a few ribbons, which always makes me happy. Below is a list of recipes already posted in my blog that I have entered in past years, some winners, some not. I'll post recipes, again winning and non-winning, that I think you might like on another day. I do want to let you know that if a recipe I have posted is a winner in a Sponsored contest, such as Crisco "My Favorite Pie," it actually now belongs to the sponsor-Crisco, as those recipes are original. The recipes in the Culinary Divisions of the Kentucky State Fair are not original.

November 2009 - Apple Crumb Pie (2005 Third Place in Crisco "My Favorite Pie")
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cinnamon Pecans
Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Icing

December 2009 - Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing (2006 First Place, Division 3303, Class 65 Favorite Sugar Cookie)

January 2010 - Sour Cream Corn Muffins (2008 Second Place Division 3301, Class 20)

February 2010 - Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies

April 2010 - Blueberry Orange Whole Wheat Muffins

Friday, July 30, 2010

Greek Stuffed Mushrooms

18 – 20 large white button mushrooms
1 pound ground lamb
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbles or chopped
1 egg
¼ c. bread crumbs
1½ tsp. Greek seasoning
½ tsp. dried mint, crushed
Olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Heat grill to about 325º to 350º. (If using a gas grill, heat up the entire grill; if using a charcoal grill, put briquettes on only one side.) Spray a grill topper with non-stick spray (unless topper is a non-stick). Once grill or coals are hot place grill topper on grill rack to heat.

Clean and pull out stems from mushrooms. (Can discard or save for later use.) Brush outside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Mix remaining ingredients together. Press about 2 tablespoons of meat mixture in hollow of each mushroom cap and flatten slightly on top.

Place stuffed mushrooms meat side down on grill topper and cook over heat for 10 minutes. Either turn off gas units under topper or move topper to side without coals. Turn mushrooms so meat is up. Cook 15 – 20 minutes until done. Serves 4 – 5. (I think you could bake these at 325º if you wanted to do them when grilling is not a good option.)

This has got to be one of the best recipes I ever threw together. Luckily, I decided to write down ingredients and how much of each one. I bought my Greek seasoning from a vendor at the Jeffersonville Farmer's Market (sorry, don't remember name of vendor), but I think you can find it in the stores, or even through Penzey's Spices catalog. The inspiration came when I purchased some large button mushrooms that had been marked down at Kroger. I remembered I had some ground lamb in the freezer, had Feta cheese, and the Greek seasoning. And that's a lot for me to remember! Oh, and I also had some pita's that had gotten a little hard, plus the hummus. Then remembered the zucchini our friend Howard had given us from his garden. Thus a delicious dinner was created and really very easy. Below are the directions for the Zucchini and pita chips. Enjoy!

Marinated Zucchini: Cut Zucchini in quarters lengthwise. Marinate in Italian dressing for 30-60 minutes. Grill about 2-3 minutes on each of the 3 sides (2 cut, one with peel).

Baked Pita Chips: Preheat oven to 425º. Cut pita rounds into 8 wedges, leaving the wedges double. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper (or experiment with other spices/herbs, such as cumin or cinnamon/sugar). Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 5 until crispy and brown. Serve with hummus. (My favorite is Kroger’s Private Selection Roasted Red Pepper.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken (NYR- YYYYY)

¼ c. low-fat buttermilk (I used low fat sour cream)
2 T. Dijon mustard
4 (6 ounce) chicken cutlets
1/3 c. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts
2 T. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¾ tsp minced fresh rosemary
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray (I used olive oil spray)
Rosemary leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425º.

2. Combine buttermilk (sour cream) and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat.

3. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan, cook about 3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture; discard any remaining mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture.

4. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat check with cooking spray. Bake at 425º for 13 - 18 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired. Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet).

I finally got to look at my June 2010 Cooking Light Magazine this week. I saw this recipe and was pretty sure I had everything needed for the recipe, so decided to give it a try. (I was especially excited to have to use some of the rosemary growing out on our patio!) Well, as it turned out, when I went to make it, I discovered I did not have any buttermilk, so figured I'd give low fat sour cream a try and that worked just fine! I also had to flatten my thawed chicken breasts to cutlets, by pounding with my small iron skillet - that was kind of fun. In the magazine this was served over a "Toasted Garlic Escarole" salad. I was going to try that using romaine instead of escarole, but found I had no garlic. So I served it atop romaine salad greens dressed with Ken's Steakhouse Lite Caesar dressing into which I had mixed a little minced rosemary, some grated parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts. Gary and I thought this combination was a definite winner.

I'll go ahead and give you the Toasted Garlic Escarole recipe, even though I haven't tried it.

Toasted Garlic Escarole: Cut a 1½-pound escarole head crosswise into 1-inch strips; place in a large bowl. Heat 1 ½ T. olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat; add 1 ½ T. fresh lemon juice, ¼ tsp. kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle dressing over escarole and toss to coat.

And in case you've forgotten, or haven't looked at any other recipes on my blog: NYR means New Year's Resolution and YYYYY is the highest Yummy rating I assign to new recipes I try.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Asparagus and Ham Mornay

24 asparagus spears, about 2 pounds
3 T. butter or margarine
4 T. flour
1½ c. milk
1 c. grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 egg yolk
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 – 2.5 oz. pkg. wafer sliced ham or turkey

Place the asparagus spears on a flat surface. Break off the tough bottoms where they naturally break; it doesn't matter if the spears are not exactly the same length, but they'll be about 7 inches long. Bring enough water to a boil in a skillet to cover the spears. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook about 1 – 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Cooking time will depend on your taste and how thick the spears are. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring with a whisk. Add the milk, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat. Add ¾ c. of the shredded cheese, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Add egg yolk, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne and beat to blend.

Preheat broiler to high. Select a baking dish large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer, slightly overlapping. Wrap 1 – 2 slices of ham or turkey compactly around each spear. (If spears are very thin, wrap two – three spears in the slices of ham.) Arrange spears touching in baking dish. Spoon the sauce over all and sprinkle with remaining ¼ c. cheese. Broil 5 inches from heat until bubbling and golden brown on top, 3 – 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Great with crusty rolls. Serves 4.

This recipe came from an article in the paper years ago that featured recipes from The New York Times 60 Minute Gourmet. It was a hit the first time I made it. It actually called for prosciutto instead of the wafer sliced ham. However, when I searched for that in our area I could only find it at a specialty shop for $9.99 per pound. Now I love my family, but that just seemed a little steep to me, so I substituted Carl Buddig wafer sliced ham, Perhaps if I tried it with prosciutto (now available at my local grocery) I would see and taste a big difference, but hey, why mess with a favorite? Elizabeth would ask for this on her birthday and the first time we invited Toby's parents, Jerry and Betty Jo, over for dinner, Elizabeth requested this as the entree. It really is not difficult and makes for a lovely presentation. Timing is is probably the thing that seems the trickiest, but have all your ingredients measured out and ready to go, you'll find it does not even take 60 minutes to prepare.

By the way, I have made half the recipe just for the 2 of us "empty nesters" and just not added the egg yolk. The sauce is not quite as rich, but still yummy, although I guess it's not truly a Mornay Sauce then. However we have also found that leftovers reheat well in the microwave as long as you don't overdue it. I use 80% power for 1 minute in my 1350 watt microwave.
Hope this becomes one of your favorites, too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt
¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
6 T. sour cream (I’ve used fat free-works fine)
1 T. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. dried dill (if you use fresh you’ll probably want 1 – 2 tsp.)
Ground black pepper, to taste

In a colander, toss cucumber slices and salt; let stand until juice has drained, 30 – 45 minutes. Pat dry and transfer to a bowl and toss with red onion slices. Mix together sour cream, vinegar, dill and pepper and toss with vegetables. Can be served right away or refrigerated for several hours. Serves 4. (Although at our house it has been known to only serve 2!)

Not a new recipe today, but it has been too long since I posted one. (I do have one I'll post when I have more time.) The above is, again, a quick salad type recipe that fits the weather we're having - HOT! Although the high today has only reached 84 and the humidity is much, much lower. I also have to get my entry form in for the Kentucky State Fair by July 1st. For the general culinary entries, recipes do not have to be original. For the Specialty/Sponsored contests, they do. So after I get the entry in, I'll be back! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Salad

1 4-serving package sugar free red raspberry gelatin
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. cold water
½ c. boiling water
2 c. unsweetened applesauce

Stir together gelatin and cinnamon. Pour cold water and stir to soften gelatin. Pour boiling water over this mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in applesauce and mix well. Chill several hours until set.

Here's another simple, yet satisfying recipe for the hot summer months. Like the Green Bean Salad also posted today, you do have to think ahead to make this in order to have it ready. This is a take on the recipe where you melt Cinnamon Red Hot candies in the gelatin, but this one is calorie and diabetic friendly! We especially like this with pork, probably because whenever Mom made pork chops or a pork roast when I was a kid, we always had applesauce with cinnamon sprinkled on top as an accompaniment. Now, please don't think both the Green Bean Salad and Cinnamon Apple Salad are only for the summer; they taste great all seasons. These are just two recipes that came to mind this week when it got so hot. Also, you can use any flavor gelatin you want, I just think the red ones make it pretty and red raspberry is my favorite. Enjoy!

Green Bean Salad

1 16 oz. can French style green beans, drained
1 c. celery, diced
½ c. diced cucumber ( I remove seeds before chopping)
¼ c. diced green pepper
2 oz. jar diced pimentos
½ tsp. instant minced onion
¼ c. red wine vinegar
¼ c. white vinegar
Artificial sweetner to equal 2 tsp.
½ - 1 tsp. salt

Place first 5 ingredients (beans through pimentos) in a medium bowl that has a tight fitting lid. Mix together remaining ingredients, pour over vegetables and mix well. Cover and chill overnight. (If you think of it, shake the bowl a few times while chilling to make sure vegetables stay marinated.) Makes 5 cups.

Hey! It is definitely feeling like summer around here in Southern Indiana! So I started thinking about some easy, refreshing recipes to make up. This is one that my husband, Gary, and I really like, but the kids think it is too vinegary. Very low calorie and a good salad to take on a picnic, since it holds up well in the heat. I think this is a good alternative to coleslaw - great with hot dogs, brats, burgers and such. (Great with a bologna sandwich for the matter.) Another great thing about making this recipe, is I usually have lots of celery, green pepper and cucumber to munch on while making it, so again, nibbling with few calories! Always a plus! You definitely want this to chill several hours and preferably overnight. Very easy to double and leftovers will last quite awhile in the refrigerator, which means you can have some veggies with that quick sandwich you may make for lunch. Enjoy!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pineapple Pistachio Salad (better known at our house as Pistachio Glop!)

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice (undrained)
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix (I use sugar free)
1 small carton plain yogurt (6 - 8 oz.)

Mix all together. Chill a couple hours. Great as a side dish, or dessert. Can be put into a graham cracker crust and voila! a Pineapple Pistachio Pie!

Sorry Friends, that it has been so long since I entered a recipe! Part of the time was spent in Florida with Gary's mom. We had great weather and walked to the pool almost every morning. She mentioned she had looked at this blog and found the recipes too complicated. Hence, I made her this while there, and I don't think you can get much simpler!

This is a recipe I was given by Laura Kelly Gibbs, a close friend and co-worker at the Peach County Dept. of Family and Children Services located in Fort Vally, Georgia. We worked there in the late 70's. Fort Valley was quite a culture shock for a girl raised right outside of Washington DC in College Park, Maryland in Prince George County. However, discovering good friends like Laura helped immensely in the adjustment. I really don't remember if this recipe had another name besides "Pistachio Glop." I just made up the Pineapple Pistachio Salad as it sounds a little more mature! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes - NYR - YYYYY

This recipe is from Taste of Home® Simple & Delicious, April 2010

1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
(OR 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed)
3 T. olive oil
4½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 ½ tsp. Creole seasoning *
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, and onion. Mix together oil, garlic cloves, rosemary, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Drizzle on vegetables; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 425º for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 8 servings

* The following spices may be substituted for 1 tsp. Creole seasoning: ¼ tsp. each salt, garlic powder and paprika, and a pinch each of dried thyme, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.

Because I only used sweet potatoes (3 pounds), I mistakenly doubled the Creole seasoning substitute, thinking I was doubling the recipe. This actually only added about 1/3 too much, since the recipe called for 1½ tsp. and this made about 2 tsp.. They tasted fine.

This recipe is from one of the magazines we received in our "Goody Bag" from the 2010 Taste of Home Cooking School." (See Asparagus Tomato Salad blog - April 4, 2010.) It also became part of the Law Family 2010 Easter Dinner. This year we even had ham, although I had been roasting a leg of lamb for the last few years. The entire menu was Spiral Sliced Ham, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Harvard Beets, Asparagus and Tomato Salad, Broccoli Salad, Fresh Pineapple Chunks, and Rolls. This did make for an absolutely colorful plate. For dessert each of us had a Chocolate Covered Oreo from Schimpff's Confectionery here in Jeffersonville (

For several years we would go out for Easter Dinner - would you believe to Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant? This tradition began when we asked our friends, the Skogmans, whose extended family, like ours, was all several states away, if they wanted to go out for Easter. Chi Chi's was one of both families' favorites, so the 4 of us (Gary, Shell, Elizabeth & Richard), the 4 of them (Mark, Linda, Josh & Mary Beth, and a single friend (Wes) all had a fun time that day (and quick service for not many people were there for some odd reason). The next year we decided to do it again, and this time we had a group of 18! The next year, we made an announcement from the pulpit about our Easter Dinner plans and we got a room to ourselves as we had 32 people in attendance at Chi-Chi's. We continued for several years, but in smaller numbers until, unfortunately, the food and service at Chi-Chi's deteriorated so this tradition stopped and Chi-Chi's eventually went out of business. However we treasure the memories of our unusual Easter dinner tradition and the friends that shared in it with us.

I pray all of you have had a blessed Easter. He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Asparagus Tomato Salad - NYR - YYYYY

(This is from the Spring 2010 Taste of Home® Cooking School Spotlight magazine)

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces *
1 small zucchini, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices *
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes
¼ c. sliced green onions
¼ c. minced fresh parsley
3 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
¼ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
2 T. sunflower kernels, toasted, optional

Place the asparagus and zucchini in a steamer basket; place in a saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoned salt and mustard. Pour over asparagus mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and sunflower kernels, if desired. 6 servings

* I kept the asparagus tips and stalks separated. I have a microwave steamer, so steamed the stalks for 2 minutes, the tips for 1 minute, and the zucchini slices for one minute. I did rinse all in cold water to stop further cooking.

I also forgot to add the cheese and sunflower kernels and it was still excellent!

If you have leftovers, which I would suggest you refrigerate, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving since olive oil tends to solidify somewhat when refrigerated.

My girlfriends Lori, Nancy, and Betty all went to the "2010 Taste of Home Cooking School" at the Horseshoe Casino near us in Southern Indiana. (Interesting - this was our first trip to "the Boat" and forget gambling, food was the only draw for us!) It was a fine evening! We got there early enough to get front row seats and even interacted with the Cooking School "teacher." (O.K. so I was the only one with the big enough mouth to do that, but I think she enjoyed it as much as I did!) If you love to cook and if you are familiar with the Taste of Home Magazines and Cookbooks, I would recommend you go to a Cooking School if one comes near you. The demonstrator puts on quite a show as she actually prepares several dishes (our show featured 10, of which this was one). Many local vendors come and participate and have samples (yum) and door prizes to sign up for. They even give out the finished recipes as door prizes. Betty won a beautiful scarf from one of the vendors that were present at the show; I won a ham, no comments please. This was pretty cool, as I had seen a neighbor of mine during the break time and she expressed how much she wanted to win one of the hams. I said, "Eva, if I win one, it's yours!" So I was tickled when they called my name! This recipe was part of our Easter dinner menu. Colorful and delicious!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blueberry-Orange Whole Wheat Muffins - NYR - YYYYY

¾ c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. whole wheat flour
¾ c. rolled oats
½ c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon or ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ c. buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tsp. finely shredded orange or tangerine peel
¼ c. orange or tangerine juice
¼ c. vegetable oil
¾ c. fresh or frozen blueberries
½ c. chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
Coarse sugar or cinnamon/sugar mix (optional)

1. Lightly coat twelve 2½-inch muffin cups with cooking spray of line the muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon or cardamom. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix egg, buttermilk, fruit peel, juice, and oil. (I used orange peel and juice.) Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy and thick). Gently stir in berries and nuts. (I used walnuts and toasted them for 5 minutes @ 400º, then chopped them.)

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffing cups, filling each almost full. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar or cinnamon/sugar mix, if you like.

4. Bake muffins in a 400º oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature. Make 12 muffins.

* To make ½ cup sour milk, place 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in ½ cup milk. Stir to combine.

We helped a friend pack up her apartment of 17 years last weekend and I decided I had to start clearing out some of the "stuff" I have been saving for way too long! First on my list was a stack of magazines I had in the back bedroom that had recipes marked to try. I really meant to not even look at those marked (I have way too many recipe clippings waiting for me to get to them!), but for some reason I had to peek. Several I had marked, in looking at them again, I had to admit I would never try. However, this recipe from Midwest Living, June 2009, still called my name. So I cut it out and this morning I mixed them up and was so glad I did. They are absolutely fabulous! That's why they get a 5 Y "Yummy Rating" of my New Year's Resolution's (NYR)recipes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Black Forest Pie

1½ c. water
1 (4 serving) pkg. sugar-free cherry gelatin
1 (4 serving) pkg. sugar-free vanilla cook-and-serve pudding mix
2 c. pitted red cherries (fresh, frozen, or canned, packed in water, drained)
½ tsp. almond extract
1 (6-oz.) Keebler chocolate-flavored piecrust
1 (8-oz.) pkg. Philadelphia fat-free cream cheese
¼ c. Cool Whip Lite
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Sugar substitute to equal 2 tsp. sugar
¼ c. (1 oz) chopped walnuts

In medium saucepan, combine water, dry gelatin, and dry pudding mix. Mix well to combine. Stir in cherries. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and starts to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into piecrust. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese with a spoon until soft. Add Cool Whip Lite, vanilla extract, and sugar substitute. Spread mixture evenly over set pie filling. Sprinkle walnuts evenly over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8.

Each serving equals:

201 calories, 7 gm Fat, 7 gr Protein, 27 gr Carbs, 372 mg Sodium, 1 gr Fiber

Diabetic exchanges: 1 Fruit, 1 Starch, 1 Fat

This recipe was one of the first "diabetic" recipes I tried when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I went to the library and checked out several cookbooks, rather than buy cookbooks without having tried any of the recipes. This one comes from the Healthy Exchanges Cookbook by JoAnna Lund. It has become a favorite of many people with whom I have shared the pie. If you don't particularly care for cherries, try using raspberry flavored gelatin and frozen (without sugar) raspberries. These both go great with the chocolate crust. I imagine other flavor fruits and gelatin would work, as would varying the crust.
For those of you who love to cook, as I do, checking cookbooks out of the library is an economical way to try new recipes. My daughter, Elizabeth, and I both like to do this. If you come across a cookbook that has many recipes you try and enjoy, then you can buy the book with confidence that it is a bargain!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fruit Dip

Beat together until fluffy:

1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
Zest of 1 orange
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Fold in 6 – 8 oz. Cool Whip. Chill.

Suggested fruits: apples, oranges/tangerine segments, pineapple, grapes, bananas

I created this recipe for my nephew, Cannon, to take to his cast party for Grease. He was an absolutely fabulous "Danny Zuko" in Burke County (Georgia) High School's production of Grease last May. I decided to share this with you today, because Cannon told me on Facebook, "You need to come back and cook some more for us. My friends all loved the fruit dip you made." Aunt Shelly feels loved!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Roasted Asparagus Lasagna - NYR - YYYYY

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons Crisco® Pure Olive Oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Dash ground cloves
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place asparagus and mushrooms in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with
1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or
until vegetables are browned; set aside. Reduce heat to 350°.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and
cloves until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook
and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside. In a large
skillet, saute onion and garlic in remaining oil until tender.
Remove from the heat; add roasted asparagus and mushrooms.

In a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray, layer four
noodles, a third of the asparagus mixture, a third of the white
sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat
layers twice.

Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15
minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes
before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece (prepared with reduced-fat butter, fat-free milk and part-skim mozzarella) equals 216 calories,

Nutrition Facts: 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 16 mg cholesterol, 251 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 12 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch

I discovered I had forgotten I had purchased some fresh asparagus when it was on sale. We have a favorite asparagus recipe, Asparagus and Ham Mornay, that I will share at a later date. However, I wanted to make something different. My friend, Nancy, told me she loves the Taste of Home website for finding new recipes, so off I went, and I found this recipe. (I think it's funny that I decided on this recipe as Nancy dislikes both mushrooms and asparagus!) Since there is just Gary and me to cook for now, I halved* the recipe with no trouble and baked in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Gary and I thought this dish was absolutely delicious, served with some garlic bread made out of ciabatta bread. You also may notice that this recipe uses a lot of preparation dishes. Although I do not have an automatic dishwasher, I am blessed to have a wonderful (human)dishwasher named Gary. We make a great pair. I cook and make the mess and he cleans the mess up.

The only change I would make in the recipe is to increase the amount of asparagus and mushrooms by half. For a full recipe I would use 3 pounds of asparagus and 1 and 1/2 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms. (For half the recipe I would use 1 1/2 pounds of asparagus and 3/4 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms.) I also need to experiment with how to heat up any leftovers. Microwaving seemed to make the cheese/noodles too dense and overcooked the vegetables. So you might want to make the smaller batch, unless you're having company!

(Reminder: NYR = New Year's Resolution and YYYYY is at the top of the "Yummy Rating."

*Ingredients for half the recipe:

1 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoons Crisco® Pure Olive Oil, divided
1 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and white pepper to taste
Dash ground cloves
3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
3/42 cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hearty Beef Vegetable Chowder

1 lb. ground beef OR
1 lb. Round steak cubed in about ½ inch cubes
1 c. chopped onions
1 c. sliced celery
2 T. butter OR spray pan
with non-stick cooking spray
2 c. canned tomatoes
4 c. hot water
2 - 4 beef bouillon cubes OR
4 tsp. beef soup base
1/8 tsp. pepper
½ bay leaf
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. uncooked noodles OR other macaroni such as alphabet
1 pkg. (10 oz. - 16 oz.) frozen mixed vegetables
¼ tsp. thyme

Sauté meat, onions and celery in butter in a large soup pot until beef is well browned. (If you are not using very lean ground beef, you may want to brown the beef, drain most of the fat, then sauté onions and celery.) Add tomatoes, water, bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add noodles, mixed vegetables and thyme. Bring to a boil again and cook 15 minutes. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

This was a recipe Mom got from one of her friends in her Susannah Circle. (A United Methodist Women's group, named after Susannah Wesley.) I believe we kids, or at least I, called it "Hamburger Soup." It's a quick, hearty hot soup and I had forgotten how good it makes the house smell, until I made it recently.

I had a very special reason to make this soup again. My cousin, Krishana (actually my "first cousin, once removed" as she is my first cousin, Pam's daughter) has been diagnosed with Follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She had told her mom that vegetable soup sounded good to her, so Pam asked if I could make some. I jumped at the chance to do something for her. (So as you read this, will you please pray for Krishana?) It made my heart glad when I got a call the next evening and heard a chorus of "Thank you, Michelle. The soup is delicious!" from Krishana and her parents, Pam and Dennis. Cooking is so my element, so I hope I can be of service to Krishana over the next 6 months as she undergoes her chemotherapy. Again, I ask for your prayers for Krishana.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies - NYR - YYYYY

1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2½ c. quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 c. (10 oz. pkg.) HERSHEY’®S Cinnamon Chips
¾ c. raisins (I used golden raisins)

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins. (Batter will be stiff.)
Drop by heaping teaspoons (I use small cookie scoop-1 T.) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes 6 dozen.

BAR VARIATION: Spread batter into lightly greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars. About 3 dozen bars.

I was going through the pantry area in our basement and came across some Hershey's Cinnamon Chips. I wasn't sure how long I had had them, and was pretty sure I had bought them just because I had never seen them before and I love cinnamon. So there was this cookie recipe on the back that sounded pretty darn good, so I decided it was time to make a new cookie. I took them to our Emmaus Reunion Group that evening and everyone there said they really liked them. Our friend, Howard, suggested I enter these in the State Fair this year. I think that may be a good idea, now that I have found the Hershey's Cinnamon Chips at Meijer. I had first looked for them at Kroger and Walmart and did not find them at either, so I began to wonder if I had bought the ones I had on clearance or at Big Lots! So, I'll try to remember to let you know how these do in the "My Favorite Oatmeal Cookie" category in August.
This make a really nice basic oatmeal cookie. Some variations I think would be great would be using white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, or chocolate chips and dried cherries.
(Reminder, NYR = New Year Resolution to try new recipe per week (already have blown that) and YYYYY rates high on the Yummy Rating.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shrimp Creole - NYR - YYYYY

2 medium-size onions
1 green pepper
2-3 ribs of celery (to make 1½ c. chopped)
4 T. bacon drippings
1 large can (4 cups) plum tomatoes
½ tsp sugar
4 T. tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste (or Creole or Cajun seasoning)
3 cups cooked shrimp

Coarsely chop onions, green pepper, and celery and sauté in bacon drippings until translucent. Coarsely chop tomatoes (or you can use petite diced tomatoes). Add tomatoes, sugar, and tomato paste to sautéed mixture. Let this mixture simmer slowly to a thick consistency for 30 – 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Five minutes before serving add cooked shrimp to warm.

This should be served over cooked long-grain white rice. Serves 6 – 8. (I think it’s more like 4 – 6.)

I came across this recipe yesterday, quite by accident. We had some cooked shrimp left from the shrimp cocktail we took to Elizabeth's Super Bowl Party on Sunday. I told Gary we must eat that tonight. I didn't know what I would do with it, figured we would just eat it as Shrimp Cocktail with a salad, but it's freezing around here, so that didn't appeal to him. He suggested stir-fry, but for some reason that did not appeal to me. Later I decided to read a book I had picked up at the library, A Christmas Pearl, by Dorothea Benton Frank. It was a delightful story set in Charleston, South Carolina. At the end of the book I discovered she had shared several of the recipes for foods served in the book, one of which was Shrimp Creole. Upon checking out the ingredients, I found I had everything on hand to make a half of the recipe. I will tell you that Gary and I both enjoyed the dish very much, in fact, we both had seconds, so what should have fed 3 - 4 fed the two of us. Had I made anything else to accompany the shrimp creole, I don't think we would have eaten all of it. But we figured it had plenty of veggies in it and served over the rice, it was a pretty much all in one meal.

(NYR=New Year's Resolution. Yummy rating: YYYYY = fabulous!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ham, Swiss and Poppy Seed Sandwiches

1½ c. butter or margarine at room temperature
¼ c. prepared yellow mustard
¼ c. + 1 T. poppy seeds
1 pkg. (24 count) small sandwich buns (dinner buns can be used, just have to slice with serrated knife)
3 – 3½ pounds thinly sliced ham
1½ - 1¾ pounds sliced Swiss cheese

Combine butter, mustard and poppy seeds. Spread on both sides of buns. Layer about 1 ounce ham and ½ ounce cheese on each bun. Close sandwiches and wrap in foil, 2 to a package. Refrigerate or freeze. When ready to serve, heat in 350º oven for 20 – 25 minutes, if refrigerated, 30 – 35 minutes if frozen. Make 12 servings, 2 sandwiches per serving.
Note: If you have some of the spread mixture left – this depends on how generously you spread it on the buns – it can be frozen to use the next time you make these.

The original recipe came from my Aunt Mary, Mom's sister. Mom used to make these for parties. She liked them because they were make ahead and just had to be heated at party time. Also, because they were wrapped in foil, she would pile them in a bowl or basket and they would stay warm for a long time. Actually the original recipe had 2-3 T. grated onion in the poppy seed mixture, but we kids didn't like that, so she'd make some up for us before she added the onion. I probably ought to try them with some onion sometime, but it's like fixing something that's not broken.

These also became quite a favorite with the folks who came to our W.O.W. (What's On Wednesdays) dinner that preceded other Wednesday activities at Morton Memorial UMC. I was in charge of the kitchen for 5 years. The rest of the menu when these were served: raw veggies (usually carrots, celery sticks, green peppers, and grape tomatoes), chips, and fruit salad. The W.O.W. kitchen crew liked this dinner for ease of preparation and clean up!

Thanks, Michelle, for requesting the recipe. Hope the folks you fix these for enjoy them!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

French Coconut Pie-NYR-YYYY

8 inch pie:

4 T. (½ stick) butter, melted .
2 eggs, beaten
1 T. flour
¾ c. sugar
1 c. sweetened coconut
1 c. milk
1 (8 inch) unbaked pie shell (see November 26th blog "Apple Crumb Pie" for my pie dough recipe, which is for a 9 inch pie, so you'll have some pieces to sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 10 minutes)

9 inch pie:

6 T. butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten
1½ T. flour
1 c. + 2 T. sugar
1½ c. sweetened coconut
1½ c. milk
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell (see November 26th blog "Apple Crumb Pie" for my pie dough recipe)

Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, flour, sugar, coconut and milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake until firm, about 45 – 60 minutes.

I was going through my freezer the other day and discovered a partial bag of sweetened coconut. (This was left from my Ky State Fair entry of Key Lime Macaroons. Won't share that recipe yet as I plan to enter those again with a few tweeks to improve them, so perhaps they'll be a future winner.) Anyway, decided I needed to do something with that coconut, so went to and found this recipe from Paula Deen. I was totally amazed it did not have a full stick of butter in it! The original directions gave the ingredient amounts that are listed for an 8 inch pie, but called for a 9 inch pie shell. However, I could just tell that would not fill the shell sufficiently, hence I increased the amounts to the amounts listed above for a 9 inch pie shell. This made a nicely filled pie and no overflow while baking.

I am so happy to give this recipe, which was tried as part of my New Year's Resolution (NYR)a much higher Yummy rating that I have been able to give some of the others. (Y being so-so and YYYYY being fabulous) Leave it to Paula Deen to come through! This pie will definitely be made again, as it not only tastes wonderful, but is so very easy to make.

Don't be afraid to make you own pie crust. It really just takes some practice to get the hang of rolling out the dough. Remember to let the rolling pin do the work-do not try to push the dough. Always keep a light touch. I have been making pie crust since I was about 12. That was the year we had "boatloads" of apples ready for pies in our freezer. This was thanks to our neighborhood farm owners, who offered Mom free apples that autumn. Mom had taken 3 of my friends and me to a movie. When she came to pick us up, she had my 2 older brothers with her. On the way home, we stopped at the farm, my brothers got to get up in the trees and shake the apples off, while my friends and I picked up bagfuls and bagfuls of apples. Then for several weekends, my grandma, my Aunt Betty, my mom, and I gathered in our kitchen to pare and slice apples and put them in bags along with the cinnamon/sugar/flour mixture used for pies to freeze. That next summer, while Mom was working, I must have made a pie about every week! So you can see, just practice, practice, practice!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sour Cream Cornbread/Muffins

For Cornbread:

2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ c. oil
½ c. cream style corn
1 c. sour cream
1 c. self-rising corn meal

Preheat oven to 425º and preheat 8 inch iron skillet. Mix eggs, oil, corn, and sour cream, mixing well. Stir in self-rising corn meal. Spoon into preheated, greased skillet and bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. 8 servings.

For Muffins:

(Same ingredients as cornbread.)

Preheat oven to 425º and preheat muffin tins. Mix eggs, oil, corn, and sour cream, mixing well. Stir in self-rising corn meal. Spoon into preheated, greased muffin tins and bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes and remove from tins. Make 1 dozen.

Tonight there was a discussion of cornbread - southern vs Yankee - on Facebook between my daughter and her friends. This recipe for a very moist cornbread popped into my mind. I don't remember exactly where I got this recipe, it may have been a Southern Living Magazine. I believe I first tried it when living in Ft. Valley, Georgia, so that's over 30 years ago! I entered these in the Kentucky State Fair a couple years ago, and they took second. Hope you think they're winners, too!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Italian Beef

Place in crock pot:

3-4 pound boneless beef roast, round or rump (I like bottom round best)
2-3 onions, thinly sliced (to taste, lots is good)
½ of 12 oz. jar pepperoncinis (or mild banana peppers) and ½ the liquid from the jar.
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
½ can beer (6 oz.)
Water, about ¼ c.

Cook 10 – 12 hours on low. (Can cook 7 hours on high, but low is better as high tends to make the beef not want to shred. TIP-slice onions the night before and have all ingredients ready to roll so you can put this on to cook before or while fixing breakfast!)

Pull roast out after cooking and shred with forks. If using pepperoncinis, remover stems and most of seeds and chop. Put all back in crock pot and mix. Serve on buns.
Really good on toasted Kaiser rolls and topped with Muenster cheese (melt cheese on top side of bun after toasting).

Because this makes a lot, I often freeze about half of the recipe. To serve I just defrost in refrigerator, then heat up the amount I need at the time.

This recipe became a favorite as soon as I made it for my family. A co worker at the Social Security Administration, Sandy Mack, gave me this recipe. Our unit there was staffed by wonderful cooks and when we would celebrate birthdays or holidays, good food was definitely in abundance. The other work units were always glad to come in after the 8:00 a.m. parties and help devour the leftovers.

Probably the memory about this recipe that really makes me smile is my nephew, James', reaction to it. We were visiting my sister and her family in Waynesboro, Georgia ("Bird Dog Capital of the World") and I made this for dinner one night. (I think one of the reasons my sister likes me to visit is that I'm always ready to cook some of the meals. Hey-I love to cook and she still works outside the home, so why not?) Anyway, this dish is, shall I say, very "aromatic." James, who was about 8 or 9 at the time, came into the kitchen from another area of the house and as he did so, holding his nose, said rather suspiciously in a very nasal tone, "What's that smell?!?" It just cracked those of us in the kitchen up! Now that is one of our favorite phrases!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Berry Bacon Bread-NYR-Y + update

1 package (13 ¾ oz.) hot roll mix
½ c. lukewarm water
2 eggs
2 T. instant minced onion
½ pound bacon, fried (or microwaved) until crisp, crumbled
2 c. fresh cranberries

Place yeast from hot roll mix into a large bowl. Stir in lukewarm water until yeast is dissolved. Stir in eggs, onion, and bacon. Stir in flour from hot roll mix. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Please cough into a bowl and grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Place dough on a floured surface and pat into a 9 inch square. Sprinkle cranberries on top of dough. Roll up dough jelly roll fashion. Place roll of dough seam side down into a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 375º for 35 to 40 minutes, or until richly browned. Properly baked, loaf will sound hollow when thumped. Remove loaf from pan at once; cool on its side on wire rack. Cool loaf thoroughly before cutting into thin slices. Serve spread with butter.


I came across some old copies of The Workbasket magazines from the late 70's. My grandmother King had given me gift subscriptions for many years. It was interesting to see the address label change from "Miss Michelle Plue" to "Mrs. Gary Law" after I married Gary (09/24/77). These magazines featured directions for Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, and Sewing Projects as well as recipes. I did not realize I even still had a stack of these magazines packed away in a box. (This gives you a clue to the state of our basement!) This particular recipe came from a group of "Cranberry Holiday Creations" in the November 1977 issue and seemed to have an unusual combination of ingredients, so I had to give it a try.

The first slice I had seemed very tasty to me, but like all breads, the filling did not go to the edge, so the cranberries were not overwhelming. In later slices I found the cranberries just too tart and concentrated. I'm going to try making French Toast out of this bread to see if serving it with syrup, or even heated jellied cranberry sauce, will balance out the tartness of the berries. If I try this again, I believe I will use fewer berries and cook them with some sugar and perhaps orange peel, before rolling them up in the dough.

Reminder: NYR means this was a recipe tried in my “New Recipe Once a Week Resolution.” Yummy Rating: Y = so-so, YYYYY = fantastic!

Update 01/25/09: Made French Toast Saturday with this bread. Cut 4 slices - about 1/2 inch each. I beat 2 eggs, 2 T. milk, 2 tsp. Splenda, and a couple dashes of cinnamon together. Heated about 1 1/2 tsp. butter in non stick pan and cooked 2 slices of toast at a time, until browned on both sides. Served with maple syrup. The maple syrup did a lot to tone down the tartness of the cranberries and I think the browned egg mixture was a nice complement to the onion/bacon in the bread. I would give the French Toast a YY rating. I still have about one half of a loaf left, and I'm going to try making a bread pudding to serve along roasted chicken and oven roasted vegetables. Will let you know how this turns out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese-NYR -YY

1 pound dried pasta (any small tube shaped pasta (i.e. elbow, penne, cellentani, pipette, campenalle)
4-6 quarts water
2 T. salt

¼ cup corn starch
4 cups milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper (optional)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1-2 cups: Your choice of corn flakes, garlic croutons, saltines, or cheese crackers,crushed

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray 3 quart casserole dish or 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.

Fill large pot with 4-6 quarts water. Bring to a boil; add pasta and salt. Boil 8 - 10 minutes or according to package directions until pasta is al dente (resists bite slightly). Drain.

While pasta is cooking, combine corn starch and milk in 2 or 2½ quart saucepan. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir constantly, bringing to a boil. Continue stirring while bubbling for 1 minute or until very thick. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 c. cheese until melted. Add cooked pasta and stir well. Stir in remaining cheese and pour into casserole dish and sprinkle with 1 - 2 cups extra topping. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until brown.


I decided to try this dish and a friend had told me she had been very disapointed when she been at a holiday dinner to which someone had volunteered to bring Macaroni and Cheese and it was Kraft and not a home baked version. I had just seen this recipe in a "ACH Food Corporation" booklet, so I told her I would make it and give her some, since it made so much. Now it had said to blend all the cheese in until melted, but I wanted some little clumps of cheese to be evident in the macaroni, which is why I stirred some in just before pouring the mixture into the casserole.

Gary and I thought this was a little bland, despite using extra sharp cheddar and adding a couple pinches of cayenne. Someone asked me if I put mustard in my mac and cheese and, now that I think about it, that may be a good addition to this version. The suggested amount is 2 tablespoons for this size dish. My friend, to whom I gave a pan of this to, liked it, except for the cracker topping. Another change I would probably try is to sprinkle some of the cheese on top, or better yet, more cheese! So I will probably try again, but only do a half batch in a 8 x8 pan. All the measurements above will be easy to halve.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolution - "NYR"

Someone asked me what my New Year's Resolution is (or would be if I made them). I decided to try something I wanted to do several years ago, but didn't follow through on. That is to try a new recipe once a week. So I have done so, on the 7th and then on the 14th. When I mentioned this to Elizabeth, she asked why I hadn't posted them. I told her I wasn't really impressed with either. She thinks I should post them and tell what I think of them. After thinking about this, I thought why not and will notate them as "NYR" and give them a "Yummy" rating: Y being so-so and YYYYY being fabulous (in my opinion, of course.) If I decide to try one again and make some changes, I'll let you know how that works out, especially if my changes result in a higher rating. I plan to also keep posting some of my favorites. So here goes....
BTW-I'm backdating this and my first 2 "NYR" posts to keep things in order.