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.