Monday, December 21, 2009

Candied Walnuts

While in Napa over Thanksgiving, Mike headed to the end of Gramp's street. He picked walnuts every day. We drove home with a paper boxes full. Mike did all the cracking with a hammer in the back yard. And tonight, we tried this recipe. It was Mike's first time using a candy thermometer. The walnuts came out terrific. These will be our Christmas gifts this year!

Two days later we made Sweet & Spicy Walnuts. Not sure about these yet.

Might try this next. Honey Roasted Walnuts

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups walnuts, halved or large pieces

boil sugar, salt, honey and water together stirring often until it read 242 degrees on a candy thermometer (firm soft ball stage). remove from heat and stir in the walnutsand the vanilla, stirring until creamy. turn candy onto wax paper and seperate the nuts using two forks

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheerio Bars,1810,146182-230198,00.html

I made 1 1/2 times the recipe. But, used only 2 c. PB and substituted 1 12oz bag of M&M's.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gram's Lil' Cheddar Meat Loaves

originally from Taste of Home

1 egg
3/4 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t. salt
1 # lean ground beef
2/3 c. ketchup
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t. mustard

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese oats, onion, and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 8 loaves; place in 9x13. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 min. or until the meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Yield: 8 servings.

Persimmon Cookies

from Lena Murray (Grace Baptist)

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. margarine
1 egg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. mashed ripe persimmon
1 c. raisins
1 c. chopped nuts
2 c. flour
1 t. soda

Bake at 350 for 15 min.
Makes 3 dozen+

Evelyn's Banana Bread

My Gramp's SIL

1 c. Sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
2 T. milk
1 t. soda
3 bananas
2 c. flour

Cream together sugar and butter
Add eggs
Mash bananas
Add milk & soda (dissolved in a little hot water)
Add flour

Bake at 350 for 1 hour
Makes 1 9x5 loaf

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gram's Cut-Out Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. unsifted powdered sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder

frosting: 1 egg white beat until foamy and 1/2 c. powdered sugar. (can be tinted)

Soften butter, and beat until creamy.
Beat in sugar until smooth.
Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
Stir in flour and baking powder until thoroughly mixed.
Chill 2 to 3 hours
Roll dough thin on floured floured board.
Cut into desired shapes.
Frost before baking, sprinkle if desired.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in 375 oven (8-10 min)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Resurrection Rolls

Makes 6 dozen

2 packets yeast
1 t. sugar
1 c. 110 water
2 c. milk (scalded, cooled) *
*(next to this, Gram has a note for 2 1/2 c. H2O and 2/3 c. pwd milk)
2/3 c. melted margarine (or veg. oil)
3/4 c. sugar
4 t. salt
2 beaten eggs (room temp)
10-11 cups flour

Proof yeast (put first 3 ingred. in small bowl, stir and let stand until frothy -10 min)
Put sugar, marg., salt, eggs into large bowl.
Add yeast, then flour stirring as you add each cup.
Let stand 10 min.
Knead on lightly floured surface about 10 min. (until smooth and elastic.)
Place in greased bowl, cover and refrigerate
Shape rolls 2 or 3 hours before baking - bow knots.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 min.

Gram's Crescent Rolls

Makes 3 dozen

1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c butter or margarine
1 packet yeast
1/4 c. warm water (to proof yeast)
1 c. milk (scalded and cooled)
1/2 t. salt
2 medium eggs (room temperature)
4 c. flour

  • Mix together, then refrigerate.

  • Roll into 3 circles

  • Brush with melted butter

  • Cut into 12 pie wedges

  • Roll from wide end to point

  • Place on parchment lined cookie sheets
  • Let rise until double in bulk
  • Bake @ 375 for 10-15 min.
This is all the instructions my Gram had. The rest was in her head. Here's how I made these.
  1. In Kitchen Aid, cream together butter and sugar
  2. Proof yeast in 110 water with 1 t. sugar (This took us 3 tries since we didn't have a thermometer for the water. Or it could have been the yeast. But, we finally had success in a small metal bowl, not the pyrex measuring cup.)
  3. Scald milk by heating in microwave then cool
  4. Alternating, slowly add milk, yeast, and flour
  5. Refrigerate overnight

Nana's Stuffing

1 lb. mushrooms
8 oz. bag of shredded carrots
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cans of water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 qt. chicken broth
1 16 oz. bag of herbed stuffing

  • Saute onion, garlic, celery and carrot in 2T. butter. Set aside.
  • Saute mushrooms
  • Add stuffing, chestnuts, and veggies to mushrooms.
  • Add broth to moisten.
  • Spoon into a baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Recipes we've found for next year...

Pumpkin-Chocolate Strudel

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Lime Jello

2 c. boiling water
1 (6 oz) pkg lime Jello
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1 (8oz) box cream cheese
1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • Soften cream cheese. Whip with crushed pineapple (include liquid) and set aside.

  • Whip cream and refrigerate.

  • Pour boiling water over Jello. Wisk until disolved. Freeze Jello in the Kitchen Aid bowl until it's the consistency of loose jam. Freeze the beater too.

  • Whip Jello until it forms stiff peaks.

  • Fold in cream cheese mixture.
  • Fold in whipped cream.
  • Pour into bowl and refrigerate until set.

My Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

I started to make Libby's Gingersnap Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, except the store didn't have the Pumpkin Pie Filling, only the Canned Pumpkin. (Knowing there's a shortage this year...I was grateful, but we needed to improvise.)

I'm using a purchased Graham Cracker Crust so I needed less filling than the recipe called for (they had a 9" deep dish pie.)

  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 c. very hot water
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 box (3.4oz) vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 c. thawed, CoolWhip
Place gelatin in small saucepan. Pour water over gelatin; let stand for 1 min. Heat over low heat stirring often, until the gelatin is dissolved. Add evaporate milk; heat, stirring frequently, until just hot (not boiling). Remove from heat.

Beat canned pumpkin, sugar, spice, and pie mix. Slowly pour in milk & gelatin. Beat on high for 2 minutes total. Carefully fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Visit to Gramp's House

Day 1 Dinner: Ikea Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Carrots

Day 2 Breakfast: Elsie & Cereal
Lunch: Grilled Ham & Cheese, Pears, Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice-Cream
Dinner: Mustard Chicken, Steamed Red Potatoes, Zucchini, Applesauce, & Cookies
Baking: Peanut Butter Cookies

Day 3 Breakfast: Elsie & Cereal
Lunch: Tortilla Soup, Tortilla Chips & Cheese, Skinny Cow Ice-Cream
Dinner: Gram's Cheddar Meatloaf, Campbell's Rice-n-Roni, Green Beans

Day 4 Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls, Eggs & Sausage
Lunch: Deli Sandwiches
Dinner: Chicken Kisses & Salad. Raspberry Pie
(Gramp couldn't eat the crescent roll, so I made a bit of the chicken mix in a ramekin with mashed potatoes topping it like a shepherd's pie. This was a hit.)
Baking: Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Day 5 (Turkey Day) Breakfast: English Muffins
Lunch: Crackers & Cheese & Deli Meat & Apples & Grapes

Day 6 Breakfast: Elsie & Cereal
Lunch: Bean Burritos
Dinner: Thanksgiving Left-Overs
Baking: Nanny B's & Cut-Outs

Day 7: Breakfast: Make Ahead Breakfast
Lunch: Deli Sandwiches
Dinner: Ham & Steamed Red Potatoes & Carrots
Baking: Banana Bread & Persimmon Cookies

Day 8: Breakfast for the Road: Uncle Dan Sandwiches...that's what my kids call "egg mc muffin's"

***Extras: We didn't get around to making the Turkey Cobbler, so I've left the chunk turkey in the deep freeze for our next visit. We were able to mail a box to Uncle Roy with 3 mini loaves of banana bread, Nanny B's, Peanut Butter Cookies, Cut Outs, and the Koolhaas hat.

Thanksgiving Menu 2009

Turkey (rubbed with Bell's Poultry Seasoning)
Mashed potatoes
Jello (raspberry jello with raspberry juice and pears, lime with purred pineapple)
Yams with marshmallows
Cranberry Sauce
Tossed salad with candied walnuts and pomegranates

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pumpkin Dessert

1 lg. can pumpkin
1 c. sugar
1 13 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
4 t. pumpkin spice
1/2 t. salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 c. walnuts
1 1/2 stick melted butter

Mix all but last 3 ingredients.
Pour into a 9 x 13.
Sprinkle with cake mix.
Dribble with butter.
Sprinkle nuts. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In search of the perfect cole slaw...

Tonight I tried the Neelys Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw. I subbed 1/2 chili powder and 1/2 paprika for the cayenne because that's what I had. I also used white wine vinegar. Go figure, I have red wine, white wine, balsamic, and rice wine vinegar but no apple cider. The mustard didn't specify so I used dijon. We're having Brisket on Whole Wheat French Rolls and M wanted to try some new cole slaws. We'll see if this recipe is a keeper, or if we're still in search of the perfect coleslaw. There were some other recipes I wanted to try. Blue Cheese Cole Slaw. And Cole Slaw with Pecans and Spicy dressing (this one has Granny Smith apples).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Criss Cross Applesauce

This summer, our family went to the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Gravenstein apples taste like my Grandma's applesauce. In Daily City, and again in Napa, the trees in their backyard were Gravenstein. We just had to buy 2 bushels. That's roughly 160 apples.

We drove home in a car that smelled like apples. Quickly, I tried to see how many would fit in my fridge. The rest became applesauce right away. Gravensteins have a short shelf life.
1/8 the apples, fill a pot, add a little water at the bottom of the pan, bring to a boil, stir and simmer until you have applesauce.

Here's what you'll have after cooking. Now all you need is a foley food mill.

I don't have an after photo, but the food mill takes out the seeds, stems, and peels leaving you with smooth applesauce that tastes just like my Gram's. YUM!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sunflower Slaw

It's been awhile since I've made this, but it always gets rave reviews at potlucks and parties. It's from a Taste 0f Home cookbook. This potluck favorite recipe calls for 10# of shredded cabbage. Here's my modified recipe for a smaller group.

2 packages of Ramen noodles (3 oz each)
1 package of slivered almonds (2-1/4 oz)
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
2 T butter or margarine (melted)
1 cup oil
2/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 T plus 2 t. cup soy sauce
1 t. salt
2-3 # of cabbage shredded (for me this is a smallish head, and I shred it using a box grater with large holes. I'm sure a food processor would be nice but I don't have one.)

Break the noodles into small pieces (save the seasoning envelope for another use). Place noodles almonds, and sunflower kernels on a 15 x 10 x 1 pan, drizzle with butter, mix well, bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes (or lightly browned) stirring several times. Set the noodle mix aside. Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Toss with cabbage. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir in noodle mix just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. This makes 22 (3/4 c.) servings.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Potato Soup

This is something I modified from a crock pot recipe.  Last year sometime I had this soup going in my crock pot when it decided to quit working.  I dumped it in a soup pot and realized how quick this was on the stove top.  This is my go-to soup.  I really don't measure.  

In my soup pot (I think it's 8 qt) I add 7-8 pounds of potatoes peeled and diced.  Sprinkle with parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Add 1 box of TJ's chicken broth or 3 heaping teaspoons of chicken bouillon (depending on what I have) then fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring to a boil then simmer until the potatoes are cooked (about 20 min.).  Here's where I cheat.  I thicken the soup with a bit of instant mashed potatoes.  Since the soup is already hot, I just pour in somewhere between 1/2c. and 1c. from the box.  Add a can of condensed milk to make it creamy.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with bacon and shredded cheese.  YUM!  

***As a rule at our house, things are seasoned pretty mild.  With kids, I know they can be picky.  And if it's 'spicy' they're quicker to complain.  I can always add spice to my bowl but I can't take it out of theirs.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tortilla Soup

But, to be honest, we leave out the tortilla chips a lot. =0)

This soup mix is for a gift jar...but we like it so much I keep the mix in the pantry for a quick dinner.  On a rushed night, dumping a bunch of things into a pot to simmer for 20 minutes is my kind of dinner.  

2T. chichen bouillon granules
2t. lemonade powder with sugar
1t. lemon pepper
1t. dried cilantro leaves
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt (I usually leave this out)
1/4 c. dried minced onions (I use 2 T.)

1c. rice
1 10 oz. can chicken
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes (I like Hunt's Fire Roasted or something with green chilies)

Add everything to a pot with 10c. water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve with crushed chips at the bottom of the bowl.  Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, name it.  YUM!