Tuesday, December 16, 2008

World's Best Cookies

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup Crisco oil
1 egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 cup Old-fashioned Quaker Oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup Rice Krispies

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In mixing bowl, cream butter and margarine.
  3. Add sugars, vanilla, and oil. Beat until smooth.
  4. Add egg and beat again until smooth.
  5. Add flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Stir.
  6. Add nuts, oats, coconut and Rice Krispies. Fold in until well blended.
  7. Cover bowl with waxed paper and refrigerate for an hour. Dough will be stiff enough to handle.
  8. Spray cookie sheets lightly.
  9. Pinch off small piece about the size of a marble. Flatten with your fingers. (Regular size cookie sheet will hold 24)
  10. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. After taking them out of the oven, leave on the cookie sheets for a few minutes. Cool on racks.

No Fail Fudge

1 bag chocolate (or other flavor) chips
1 pinch of salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk

  1. Put ingredients in a heavy pan and melt on low heat until completely melted, and there are no lumps.
  2. Pour into a buttered 8x8 pan, chill until set.

Maple Fudge

3 cups light brown sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons maple extract (to taste)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Combine sugar, milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook until it forms a soft ball in cold water (234° F. on candy thermometer) stirring often.
  2. Remove from heat. Drop in butter. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add maple extract and beat with mixer for 1 minute.
  4. Add nuts and cool in buttered pan.
  5. Cut in squares when cool. To ensure freshness, wrap cut pieces in squares of plastic wrap. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Pizza Dip

1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 small jar pizza sauce
Pizza toppings of your choice (all chopped up)
Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together, place in bottom of dish or bread bowl covered in foil.
  3. Place in oven until hot and bubbly, and cheese is melted.
  4. Serve with or in bread.
I like to get a loaf of round bread, hollow it out and put the dip in it, then take the chunks from the inside to dip into this. Can also use crackers or bread sticks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pumpkin Cake



2 C. sifted flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Soda
2 tsp. Baking powder
Mix these dry ingredients together and add to the following mixture:
4 eggs
2 C. sugar
1 C. Wesson oil
2 C pumpkin

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Beat wet ingredients together then add dry ingredients.
  3. Add pumpkin.
  4. Bake in 2 nine inch pans for 35 minutes or until cake tests done.
  5. Cool completely before frosting with recipe below.

Frosting (Have all ingredients at room temperature)
1 stick butter or margarine
1 8oz. package Philadelphia cream cheese
Cream together and add:
1 lb. box of confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 C. broken pecans

Meatballs with Parsley and Parmesan

These are super yummy!!

4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
6 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 large garlic gloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef
Additional olive oil for frying

Suggestions for additions.
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
crushed red pepper
1 small onion
baby carrots chopped finely.
I have also made them using minced lamb.

  1. Stir eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp olive oil, parsley, garlic,2 tsp salt & pepper in large bowl to blend.
  2. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly.
  3. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch diameter meatballs.
  4. ***For healthier option you can bake them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes otherwise: Pour enough oil into heavy skillet to coat bottom. Heat over medium-low heat. Working in batches, add meatballs and fry until brown and cooked through, turning frequently and adding more oil as needed. About 15 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate.

Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

1/3 Cup Chopped Red Onion
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 Cup Sugar (can sub in honey...I sub in to taste. Have never measured)
1/4 Tsp Dry Mustard
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Canola Oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend in a blender until emulsified.
This is a really yummy salad dressing.

Crockpot Beef Stew

* stewing beef (approx 1 lb)
* 3 onions, halved
* 5 peeled potatoes
* 6 carrots peeled and cut up
* 1 can Golden Cream of Mushroom Soup
* 1/2 envelope dry Onion Soup Mix

  1. Throw all ingredients together in Crockpot first thing in the morning.
  2. Cook on low.
  3. Serve at dinnertime with rolls and a salad.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Crockpot Pulled Pork

* 4 lb pork roast
* 2 onions, sliced, divided
* 1 onion, chopped
* 5 or 6 whole cloves
* 2 cups water
* 16 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
* salt and pepper

  1. Place one sliced onion at the bottom of Crock Pot.
  2. Stud pork roast with cloves and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place roast in slow cooker on top of the sliced onion.
  4. Cover with the second sliced onion.
  5. Add enough water to fill Crock Pot two thirds of the way.
  6. Cover and cook on low 8 to 12 hours.
  7. Remove roast.

Spiced Beef Brisket

Spiced Beef Brisket
3 1/2 to 4 pound fresh beef brisket
2 cups of water
1/4 cup ketsup
1 envelope regular onion soup mix
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic (I use fresh garlic myself)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place beef in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crockery cooker. If necessary, cut brisket to fit into the cooker.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the 2 cups water, catsup, soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, garlic, and pepper. Pour over brisket.
3. Cover; cook on a low-heat setting for 8 - 10 hours.
4. Slice beef thinly across the grain OR shred it with two forks. Serve a French roll with your favorite BBQ Sauce. YUM!

Enchilada Casserole

Texas Enchilada Casserole

2 pounds ground meat
salt & pepper to taste
1 large onion
1 fresh jalapeno (seeded),
1 can each: cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, enchilada sauce
1 pound Colby-jack cheese
12 corn tortillas- quartered

  1. Preheat oven 350.
  2. Brown the meat.
  3. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook for a bit.
  4. Add jalapeno, soups, and sauce
  5. In a casserole dish, layer tortillas, then meat mixture, then cheese.
  6. Repeat.
  7. Bake in oven until the cheese begins to bubble.

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

This is a super clone for the real stuff, easy to make if you are in need for marshmallow creme for a recipe, and CHEAPER!!

Fluff was always a treat at Grandma Mima's house!

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff (Yield 2 quarts)

3 egg whites
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, combine egg whites, syrup and salt beat with mixer for 10 minutes or until thick
  2. Add confectioners sugar.
  3. Beat on low speed
  4. Add vanilla and beat until blended.

***NOTE*** This recipe makes a lot of fluff, but it can be frozen for later use. Remove from freezer and stir well with a spoon. It can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, just make sure to stir well with a spoon before using. I put it into a ziploc freezer bag and just squish it when I get it out of the freezer. Works great!

Use in any recipe calling for marshmallow fluff.

Peanut Butter Fudge

4 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
1 cups milk
1 cup flour
1.5 cups peanut butter, Skippy works best.
7.5 ounce jar of marshmallow Fluff
  1. Cook sugar butter and milk on med high heat for 15 minutes or until rolling boil.
  2. Time for EXACTLY 7 MINUTES.
  3. Take off stove and immediately add flour, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff.
  4. Blend until melted using wire whisk to help eliminate bumps.
  5. Put into buttered 13x9"pan and let harden

Easy Apple Cake

This is an easy cake the family will love.

Super Easy Apple Cake

1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
cups granny smith apples, peeled and cut into small chunks

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Combine everything except apples in a large bowl with mixer. The batter will seem stiff but the apples will release a lot of water.
  3. Fold in by hand the apples . This will be hard to do b/c batter is stiff but make sure they are evenly mixed in.
  4. Pour into a greased bunt pan.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes and let cool on racks.

Easy English Toffee

This simple candy recipe is on my list of gifts to give this year!

English Toffee Candy
1 C. granulated sugar
½ lb. Butter or margarine
3 T. water
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 small Hershey bars, chopped
¾ C. chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Place the first four ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook until brown, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  2. Pour onto a buttered cookie sheet.
  3. Carefully place the Hershey bars across the hot mass and spread gently as it melts.
  4. Sprinkle pecans over the top.
  5. Let cool.
  6. When cooled break into pieces of the desired size.

White Christmas Soup

This really is nothing more than a simple white soup, but being such a family tradition, it deserves a good name!

White Christmas (Cream Cheese Potato) Soup
Serves 8-12

3 (14 oz) cans of Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup milk
2 Packages (8 oz) Cream Cheese, Cubed
1/2 stick of butter
1 Package (30 oz) Frozen Cubed Hash Brown Potatoes, Thawed
1/2 to 1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Dill Weed

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the broth and milk.
  2. Add the cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer, uncovered, for 18 - 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Run through blender in small batches or use an immersion blender to emulsify.

Orange Rum Sweet Potatoes

I'm not a fan of canned sweet potatoes and prefer them fresh. It is easy to translate.

2 large cans of sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3-1/2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp. softened butter
5 Tbsp. rum
salt and pepper to taste

1/3-1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
crushed pecans (optional)

  1. Preheat oven 350
  2. Mix together until smooth and place in a greased 9x13 casserole dish.
  3. Mix topping and spread over sweet potatoes.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes.

Sinful Cake

There is far too much sugar in this cake so be warned!


* 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
* 1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
* 6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
* 3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped
* 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


1. Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.

2. In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended.

3. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.

4. Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping.

5. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberry Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I substitute 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce to cut calories and fat)
1/4 cup milk (skim)
1 Tsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries (raspberries work well too, sometimes I do a mixture of both)

1/4 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.
  4. Beat until smooth
  5. Fold in berries
  6. Pour into bottom of a greased bundt pan or 9 inch round pan.
  7. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Serves 10-12.


3/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
3 tablespoon butter
1.5 cups canned pumpkin
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cups brown sugar, firm packed
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese - softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine first three ingredients and press onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes.

  1. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar and spices.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Blend in pumpkin mixture.
  4. Pour over crust.
  5. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until center is just set.
  6. Remove from oven and run knife around rim of pan.
  7. Cool thoroughly at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.

Farmer's Casserole

Farmer's Casserole
Yield: 6 servings

4 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 pound cooked and crumbled sausage
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 eggs
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Place potatoes in an 8 inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, sausage, and onions.
  2. Beat eggs, milk, pepper, and salt; pour over everything in baking dish.
  3. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Bake, uncovered 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sausage Brunch Casserole

Sausage Brunch Casserole
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package
refrigerated crescent roll dough
2 cups mozzarella cheese
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  3. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet.
  4. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.
  5. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  6. Lay crescent rolls flat in the bottom of the greased baking pan.
  7. Cook rolls 5-10 min till just starting to brown.
  8. Combine cooked sausage, cheese, eggs, milk, salt and pepper pour over crescent rolls.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, until bubbly and rolls are baked
Serve with good cheddar cheese.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders

My dear husband found this recipe to make for me while caring for our colicky middle child. The recipe uses no eggs (for once) so it's OK for those allergic. It does use a lot of butter, so it's not necessarily heart healthy. What it is is a kid and party favorite, versatile, and easy to modify or use as appetizers for a large group or kids party. Made with love for all to enjoy!

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
Serves a family or a party of 12 children
takes 30 to 45 minutes

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or chicken tenders
1.5 sticks melted butter
a dash of salt
and a sprinkle of pepper
6 cups coarsely crushed flake cereal of your choice (we have used corn flakes, Total and special K)

Serve with ranch dressing, ketchup, honey mustard - you choose!

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Butter 2 large baking pans
  3. Gently pound chicken with tenderizer or a rolling pin
  4. Cut chicken into strips 1/2 inch wide.
  5. Stir melted butter, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan.
  6. Put crushed cereal in another pan.
  7. Using one chicken strip at a time, dip into the butter and then dredge into the cereal flakes. Press flakes firmly to adhere.
  8. Transfer coated strips to baking pans.
  9. Bake, switching pans positions once or twice, until cooked completely roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  10. Transfer chicken to wire racks- crust will firm as it cools.
Enjoy this scrumptious and buttery delight!

Petersen Pie crust

Now where is a good pie pic from the last party!?


2.5 cups flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 sticks chilled butter cut into small pieces.

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined into a pea sized grain.

  2. Slowly pulse in the ice water until dough adheres to itself and is no longer crumbly.

  3. Form into ball in hands and wrap in Saran wrap.

  4. Chill for at least 1/2 before rolling out on a well floured or even Saran Wrapped surface.

Makes enough for the top and bottom of a pie.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strawberry Tart

This recipe was written as a cooking lesson from my Great grandmother Baba.

1 quart strawberries (or peaches, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
4 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1.5 cups Rice flour
1 cup butter, softened
dried beans

  1. Preheat oven 300.
  2. Heat strawberries, sugar, and wine on back of stove. Do not boil, pour of juice, and simmer to reduce.
  3. Meanwhile to make the pastry, mix flour and butter with hands.
  4. Add two dessert spoons cold water.
  5. Pat into balls and then throw back and forth from hand to hand for 5 minutes.
  6. Roll to the size of a pie plate.
  7. Put in pie plate and fill with BEANS.
  8. Bake in hot oven for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove beans
  10. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
  11. Just before serving put in berries and pour juice over.
  12. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Easy to make and perfectly delicious!

Honolulu Salad Dressing

This recipe is credited to my great grandmother Baba.

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 large spoonful vinegar
4 large spoonfuls oil
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
chopped onion
a little sugar

  1. Mix ingredients
  2. Put in a glass container
  3. Shake well before using.
  4. Dress Salads.

The General's Soup

My ancestors are not so sure what General this is attributed to, and my father can not come up with what Generals were in the family either. There were not even Generals on my father's side of the family. Any searching I do only turns up with the history of Generals soups being poisoned, which this recipe is not an example of. So who knows what General this is named after, but more importantly is where they got their sense of measurement!

Equal portions: tomato soup, pea soup, milk
1/2 as much cream
white pepper
curry powder (mixed to a paste with a little cold milk)
Sherry or brandy
croutons or Melba toast

  1. Take equal portions of tomato and pea soup, milk, and 1/2 again as much cream
  2. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, and curry powder mixture.
  3. Heat in double boiler
  4. Add sherry or brandy to taste
  5. Stir well
  6. Serve very hot in soup cups, with croutons or Melba toast

Juno Fish Chowder

I used to have a picture of this boat from the Maine Maritime Museum, but it has since been lost. What I do have is a picture of a newspaper article written about the ship. This wonderful Maine chowder recipe was named after the ship Juno, owned by the Houghton family which married the Sewall's. Oddly enough, Samuel Sewall also had a Native American "servant" by the name of Juno.  I can only imagine how many times this savory chowder, adored by all family members it seems, would have been eaten on board. 
1 quart potatoes, diced
1/4 cup cream
1/4 pound butter
1/8 pound salt pork
1 pound onions, chopped
4 pounds Haddock, wrap in cheese cloth
3 pints milk ("+ cream" added in my mother's handwriting)
Major Grey's chutney
Pilot crackers

  1. Try out pork (which means to cook or render it before use. )
  2. Strain onto potatoes and onions.
  3. Cook slowly for 1/2 hour.
  4. Boil fish (in cheese cloth) for ten minutes.
  5. Remove fish and add potatoes and onions.
  6. Let simmer until it steams, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add milk - but do not let boil.
  8. Add fish.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls with Major Grey's chutney and Pilot crackers with butter (browned in the oven). This chowder is best made a day ahead as it improves with age. Unless you have a lot of people, halve the recipe if it is just your family.

Kidney Beans and Red Wine


1 large (No. 2) cans baked Kidney beans
3 small spring onions/scallions - tops and bulbs chopped
I small can tomato paste1/4 cup chopped cooked ham
8 bacon strips
1 cup red wine
1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped

  1. Preheat oven 350.
  2. Saute onions, pepper and ham in butter.
  3. Add tomato paste and wine and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add kidney beans and heat.
  5. Turn into low buttered casserole dish.
  6. Cover with bacon strips.
  7. Bake 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked. Serves 4.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Minced Lamb with Poached Eggs

Traditionally a spring meal this recipe is meant for those occasional left overs of a roast lamb. Serve for breakfast or for dinner.

some cold roasted lamb
poached eggs
chopped mint

  1. Take some cold roasted lamb and mince it.

  2. Season with pepper and salt and a little chopped mint.

  3. Make or heat gravy in saucepan, thicken with browned flour, and stir in meat and heat.

  4. Put poached eggs on triangles of toast and garnish with lamb.

Hominy Grits Souffle


2 cups cold cooked hominy grits

1 cup warm milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter

2 eggs, separated

butter to grease a baking dish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Take cold cooked grits and add 2 cup warm milk.
  3. Heat mixture to soften, beat well and stir in salt and butter.
  4. Once it has cooked some, add well beaten egg yolks.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Gently mix in stiffly beaten egg whites.
  7. Turn into buttered baking dish and place in oven until it becomes a delicate brown and firm through out.

Chocolate Dessert

My great grandmother clearly loved chocolate! She said, " Good for anyone, but the children love this too!" What a simple dessert!

whipped cream, slightly sweetened.
Bakers chocolate grated

  1. Put whipped cream in bottom of sherbet glass.
  2. Covered with thick layer of grated bakers chocolate.
  3. Cover with another layer of whipped cream.