My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sausage and Noodle Stuffed Butternut Squash

Happy Halloween! This will make your young or old trick or treaters warm and happy before they go out to collect their loot.

We have had first frost so the winter squash, kale, and turnips greens are more flavorful than ever. This is a hearty fall and winter dish the whole family will enjoy.

Sausage and Noodle Stuffed Butternut Squash
4 servings
print recipe

2 Medium butternut squash
1 cup broken medium-wide noodles
1 pound sausage meat, I've used breakfast sausage and Italian sausage.
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water or broth
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut each squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and fibers. Place cut side down, in a baking dish, add about one-quarter cup water and bake until just tender, 30 minutes or so.

3. While squash is baking, cook the noodles according to package directions and drain. Brown sausage meat and pour off excess fat. Mix the flour with the sausage, add the water or broth and heat to boiling. Add noodles.

4. Mix the sugar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Brush the cut surfaces of the squash halves with sausage fat and sprinkle with half the sugar mixture mixture. Pile the sausage mixture into the squash and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.

5. Return to the oven and bake fifteen minutes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Mini Muffins

We can tell fall has arrived when every magazine you pick up has a pumpkin recipe of some sort. This one is especially good because of the frosting. If you don't feel like making the muffins, make the frosting and hand everyone a spoon. These really are good, and easy. They also freeze beautifully unfrosted. Thaw and frost as needed.

Pumpkin Mini Muffins
Makes about 5 dozen
print recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon EACH of ground nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Maple-Cream Cheese Frost ( recipe following)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups into miniature muffin pans.

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Combine pumpkin and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Bake in batches, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pans, on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely. If you are freezing some, now is the time to freeze in air tight containers for up to 3 months.

If using now, it's time to frost.

Maple Cream Cream Frost
Makes about 4 1/2 cups

16 ounces cream cheese softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat first 3 ingredients in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed after each addition until well blended.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Puerco Cubano

I'm always on the search for a new recipe. This and several others were in a book I just finished reading, Crunch Time, by Diane Mott Davidson It may sound a little strange to some of you, but trust me it is wonderful, and takes very little time to make. Perfect served over fluffy white rice.

Puerco Cubano
4 servings
print recipe

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons freshly minced or crushed garlic
2 teaspoons demi-glace de poulet or demi-glaze veau (chicken or veal demi-glace)
1/4 cup all=purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh or organic, not-from-concentrate lime juice
2 teaspoons (or more) granulated sugar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large (12-inch) nonstick saute' pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the pork and the garlic, and cook, stirring and breaking up the pork, until the meat is just cooked. Add the demi-glace and stir well.

Add the flour, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook stirring, until the flour is cooked and the mixture bubbles.

Stir in the juices and sugar and raise the heat to medium. Stir constantly until the mixture bubbles and is thickened. Taste and correct the seasoning.

Spoon the pork onto a large platter and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. This dish goes well with hot cooked rice.

Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Key West Pork Chops

Another old recipes I haven't made for a few years. This really is so good, and with the pork loin sales we have been having now is the perfect time. Not to mention this awful cold weather. This will warm your bones.

Key West Pork Chops
6 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 lean pork chops, about 1-inch thick
1 1/2 cups raw rice
Salt to taste
6 large onion slices
6 lime or lemon slices
6 tablespoons chili sauce
3 cups tomato juice or water
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1. Preheat oven to moderate (325 degrees F.)

2. In a Dutch oven,heat the oil, add the chops and brown on both sides. Remove the chops and drain off all but four tablespoons of the fat. Stir in the raw, dry rice, coating all the grains with fat. Arrange the chops on top and sprinkle with the salt.

3. Place a slice of onion, a slice of lime and a spoonful of chili sauce on each chop. Add the tomato juice and Tabasco, cover closely and bake until the chops are tender, about one hour.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cream of Curried Pea Soup

What a wonderful way to use some of your frozen peas from the garden this winter. There is something about curry that just warms the body on a chilly night.

Cream of Curried Pea Soup
6 servings
print recipe

1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery with leaves, sliced
1 medium potato, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream

1. Place the vegetables, seasonings and one cup stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for fifteen minutes.

2. Transfer to the container of your blender. Cover and turn to high. Remove the cover and, with the motor running, pour in the remaining stock and the cream.

3. Reheat DO NOT BOIL or in the summer serve chilled. Top with whipped cream or a large crouton.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old Fashioned Swiss Steak

The weather is perfect for hearty meals. You know we have to do something in the colder weather to put on a few pounds just to stay warm. This recipe is yelling for garlic mashed potatoes on the side.

This is the first recipe I used to make Swiss Steak, so you know how old this is.

Swiss Steak
4 servings
print recipe

1/4 cup flour, approximately
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds beefsteak (rump, round or chuck), cut 1 1/2 inches thick
3 tablespoons fat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups stewed tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced carrots
1/3 cup sliced celery

1. Mix the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the steak with the seasoned flour. Pound into both sides of the steak as much more of the flour mixture as it will hold, using the edge of a heavy plate.

2. In a Dutch oven heat the fat, add the steak and brown very well on both sides.

3. Add the vegetables, cover and simmer gently until tender, one and one-half hours. Or bake in a covered casserole in a preheated slow oven (3oo degrees F) two to two and one-half hours. Remove the meat to a warm platter and keep hot.

4. Strain the drippings from the pan and skim the fat from the surface. Serve hot as a gravy with the meat.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chicken Baked In Sour Cream

In the summer or warmer weather most of the meat I prepare is on the grill. But on days like we had last week, 47 degrees, and the wind blowing a hundred miles an hour, I want comfy food. This is easy and economical.

Chicken Baked In Sour Cream
4 servings
print recipe

1 Two-and-one-half pound frying chicken, cut into serving pieces
Flour for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste or House Seasoning
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, more if you like
1 cup sour cream
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon thyme

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Dredge the chicken pieces with seasoned flour. In a large skillet heat the butter and brown the chicken on all sides. Transfer to a casserole.

3. Add the mushrooms and sour cream diluted with the water. Sprinkle with thyme and cover tightly. Bake until the chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Serve with fluffy rice or small boiled potatoes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Difficulties

Everyone has problems and difficulties, but they only have the power that you give them.

We will not be free from all difficulties today, or during any period of our lives. But we have the personal power to eliminate the threat, the sting of any challenge. But it's our vision of circumstances that gives them their interpretation.

At this moment, we are defining our experience. We are labeling events good or bad, particularly this day, is greatly influenced by the value judgements we attach to our experiences.

As we grow stronger emotionally and spiritually, we learn that all difficulties are truly opportunities for exceptional growth and increased awareness of the truth of existence. All experiences can be taken in stride if we are trustful of their intended blessing.

We are sharing this life, every moment of it, with God. We need not worry about any circumstance. Always we are watched over. We need not struggle alone.

We can let go of our problems. It's ourselves and the attitude we have cultivated that makes any situation a problem. We can turn it loose and therein discover the solution.

I will not make mountains out of the molehills of my life.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lentil And Short- Rib Stew

This will make you smile even if it's 10 degrees outside. Like most stews and soups, this is better made a day ahead. Freezes beautifully without the pasta.

If I could get my brother to bring me some of his home grown beef short-ribs I could make a big pot of this and share with he and Edie.

Lentil And Short Rib Stew
3 generous servings
print recipe

3 pounds short ribs, cut into 3-inch pieces
Oil for browning ribs
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 small stalk celery chopped
1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over
1/4 teaspoon thyme or oregano
1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked (optional)

1. Brown short ribs in the same heavy pot you will be using for the stew. Add water, salt, bay leaf, garlic, onion and celery. Simmer, covered, until meat is tender, about two hours.

2. Add lentils and thyme and continue cooking, stirring often, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes longer. Correct seasonings and add macaroni, if using. Reheat. This is also wonderful served over rice if not using the macaroni.

3. If the bones have separated from the short ribs, remove them before serving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole

The weather is perfect for soups and hearty casseroles. We all have a version of this tucked away in our recipe files. I think it's only fair to tell you that your casserole will not be as good as mine unless you have home canned tomatoes and some of my brothers ground beef. However, I have made the necessary adjustments for you to still enjoy this heavenly meal. I am so mean!

You can freeze assembled, unbaked casserole up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.

Homestyle Ground Beef Casserole
6 servings
print recipe

1 pound ground round
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups uncooked medium-size egg noodles
5-6 green onions, chopped
1 (8-ounce container sour cream
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup (4-ounce) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4-ounce) shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Cook ground round in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in diced tomatoes with basil and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook egg noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain. Stir together hot cooked noodles, chopped green onion, sour cream, and cream cheese until blended.

3. Spoon noodle mixture into a lightly greased 1 x 9-inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture; sprinkle with shredded cheeses in the order listed.

4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees For 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spareribs and Kraut

It is almost the end of October and I haven't posted one sauerkraut and meat recipe. What am I thinking! I'm so busy thinking about using turnips and whining about the cold weather I forgot. It will be time for Thanksgiving recipes and I haven't finished Oktoberfest. Did I mention how damn cold and windy it is today!

Spareribs and Kraut
3 or 4 servings
print recipe

3 pounds spareribs, whatever is on sale
3-4 cups sauerkraut, homemade or bags
1 tart apple, (Granny Smith, peeled, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1. Cut the spareribs into individual portions and brown in a heavy pan. Add the juice from the sauerkraut and enough water barely to cover. Simmer, covered about 45 minutes.

2. Add the kraut, pushing it down into the liquid in the pan.

3. Add the apple and caraway and cook thirty minutes to one hour longer. The liquid should evaporate during cooking.

Note: If desired this dish may be baked in a 350 degree F. oven.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Southern Comfort Cookies

How can you go wrong with a name like that! When the weather starts turning cooler, or just plain cold, I start thinking about baking.

The chilling time for these cookies is very important!

Southern Comfort Cookies
about 3 dozen
print recipe

1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup Southern Comfort whiskey
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nuts, and raisins. In a separate bowl cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. To the egg mixture, alternately add whiskey and the flour mixture. Chill the batter at least 1 hour, longer is better, then roll it into 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and chill 4 hours, overnight is better. Slice 1/2-inch thick and place 1-inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes in a preheated 350 degree F oven. Cool and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, October 17, 2011

U.S. Senate Bean Soup

It is going to be colder than a witches' behind here for the next few days. Perfect hearty soup weather.

There's a reason this soup has been on the menu of the U.S. Senate restaurant every day since 1901. I double this because the longer it sets the better it gets.

U.S. Senate Bean Soup
about 6 cups
print recipe

1 1/4 cups small dried white beans, such as navy or Great Northern, rinsed and picked over. Soak overnight in water to cover by at least an inch

Drain and place in a soup pot, along with:
1 small ham hock
7 cups cold water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the ham hock (leave the soup at a gently simmer). Discard the bone, skin, and fat; dice the meat. Return it to the pot and add:

1 large onion, diced
3 medium celery ribs with leaves, chopped
1 large potato,peeled and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Simmer until the potato pieces are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher until the soup is a bit creamy.

Stir in:
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms

Brussels sprouts are among the top 5 favorite veggies in my life. If the fresh ones are not absolutely perfect use frozen ones. This is a quick and easy side dish, or for me this could be the main dish with a big piece of corn bread.

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms
Serves 4-6
print recipe

4 cups Brussels sprouts
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped

Steam sprouts in salted water to cover until tender; drain thoroughly.

Saute mushrooms in oil until wilted. Add sprouts, salt and pepper to taste and lemon juice. Toss lightly and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Turnip Soup

Turnip Soup? By all means, for it is startlingly good. Yep! Annie, Mazzy and I went to the turnip patch and came back with a big basket of fresh turnips. If I can get just one of you non turnip eaters to try any of these recipes I might stop writing about them. Maybe.

This is an old New York Times recipe, 1950's, that I haven't made for years and thought I would never find the recipe. But, here it is!

Turnip Soup
6 servings
print recipe

2 cups peeled and diced white turnips
1 quart beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, more if you like

1. Cook the turnips in the beef broth until tender. Drain, reserving the liquid.

2. Rub the turnips through a sieve or food mill, or puree in a blender.

3. Add the reserved broth to the pureed turnips and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat but do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks and butter. Serve piping hot.

This needs a little corn bread with it, I think.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gingerbread with Warm Lemon Sauce

My wonderful friend, Nancy, at Promises To Keep, has sent me some of the most wonderful old recipes from her mother and grandmother's collection. This is the first one I made.

Is there anything that smells better than gingerbread baking. No, not even chocolate chip cookies. This was just like my grandmother use to make. She couldn't find the lemon sauce recipe, so we decided this one is very close.

Gingerbread with Warm Lemon Sauce
1 - 9-inch square cake
print recipe1 cup sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter softened
1/2 cup Crisco - Not oil
2 beaten eggs
1 cup molasses. She used New Orleans Brer Rabbit
1 cup sour milk (add 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking soda to milk until foamy)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
Dash salt

Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 degrees. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch, or close, baking pan or line the bottom with parchment paper

Whisk together in a large bowl, sugar, butter, Crisco and eggs. Whisk together in a small bowl, molasses and sour milk. Whisk together thoroughly flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Add dry ingredients and liquid ingredients alternately to the butter mixture, whisking well after each addition.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cake cool on a rack in the pan.

Warm Lemon Sauce
1 1/2 cups
print recipe
adapted from Joy of Cooking

Combine in a small heavy saucepan and stir thoroughly:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Stir in until well blended:
1 cup water or unsweetened apple juice
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup strained fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Serve at once or let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat over low heat, stirring.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth)

Okay, so it's mashed apples and potatoes. There are so many variations to the recipe and so many German regions claim to have invented it, that any written recipe will be controversial. Personally I add a few turnips to the potatoes. Got to do something with all those turnips.

Here is a simple version which can be dressed up or down and will go nicely as a side dish to pork chops, pork loin, fried German bologna, fresh grilled or fried bratwurst, etc.

Don't forget to check out Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth)
2 servings as a main course with sausage or 4 servings as a side dish with pork
print recipe

1 pound yellow onions, about 2 large
4-6 tablespoons butter
1 pound apples, about 4, Boskop or Elstar, or what ever is in your area
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
1 pound starchy potatoes (Russet), about 4-5 medium
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onions thinly and evenly, Start to brown them in 3 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan on medium heat. Cook and stir, adding butter as necessary to keep onions from sticking, until golden brown. Depending on how brown you like them this will take 20 minutes or more.

Peel and chop apples. Place them in a pan with one cup of water, lemon juice and sugar and cook until apples start falling apart and become chunky applesauce. Add water as necessary.

After apples have been cooking for 15 minutes, peel and slice or chop the potatoes (turnips, if using). Cook in salted water until tender. Pour off water and mash with a potato masher, adding butter, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

When applesauce is to your liking, taste and adjust lemon or sugar, then mix applesauce into potatoes. Serve with the caramelized onions on top.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cabbage and Rice

When fall arrives I start thinking about cabbage dishes. This is one of my favorites. It is also a perfect way to use up left over rice. I always seem to have left over rice. I normally use long-grain and wild, but regular long grain is fine. Use whatever you like.

Cabbage and Rice
Serves 4-6
print recipe

1 head cabbage, chopped, steamed and drained
1 cup of cooked rice, your choice
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup chopped pine nuts
2 tablespoons white wine or broth
Salt and pepper, if needed

Place half the cabbage in a buttered casserole. Cover with rice, parsley, fennel seeds, pine nuts. Sprinkle with wine, add salt and pepper to taste, and spread remainder of chopped cabbage over top. Bake uncovered in 325 degree oven, 30 minutes, until heated thoroughly.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Garbanzo Beans

Garbanzo beans are not something I grew up eating, it was pinto, navy or great northern, as far as dried beans went. Of course they have to be cooked with a ham hock or some sort of pork fat. I first discovered these wonderful little nutty tasting things when everyone started making them part of there salad bars. Yes, I remember when salad bars were invented!

I can make a meal of these or use as a wonderful side dish.

Garbanzo Beans
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 pound dried garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups whole-pack tomatoes, chopped, or use your canned
1 can pimientos, cut into strips, or use your Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
Salt and Pepper

Drain beans and cover with fresh water. Add garlic, onion and oil. Cover and cook gently 1 hour. Add tomatoes and simmer until beans are tender and tomatoes have cooked down. During last 15 minutes of cooking, add pimientos and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kraut Salad

In the fall I crave pork and if you have pork you have to have kraut or at least some kind of cabbage. This can be stored in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. It's great on sandwiches also.

Kraut Salad
as a salad 6-8 servings
print recipe

1 2 pound bag of sauerkraut, drained, Not rinsed
1 small jar chopped pimentos, I use the marinated roast red peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 small chopped onion
1 small chopped green pepper
1 cup grated carrots

For the dressing:
Boil together for 15 minutes
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar

Pour over salad. Let sit in refrigerator overnight. May be placed in jars and kept in refrigerator for 6 weeks.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Be Still and Listen

I may have posted this before. If I did it's not like we don't need it again. This is my hardest mediation. The prayer part is very easy, it's the sitting quietly and listening that gets me.

Be still and listen to the stillness within.

No answer eludes us if we turn to the source of all answers - the stillness within. Prayer accompanied by mediation will always provide the answers we need for the situations facing us. The answers we need for the situations facing us. The answers we want are not guaranteed, however. We must trust that we will be directed to take the right steps. Our well-being is assured if we let go the control and turn our wills over to the care of God, our messenger within.

How comforting to know that all answers are as close as our quiet moments. God never chooses to keep them from us. We simply fail to quiet our thoughts long enough to heed them. Our minds race, obsessively, all too often. We jump from one scenario to another, one fear to another, one emotion to another. And each time our thoughts capture a new focus, we push the answer we seek further into the background.

The process is simple, if I want to follow it. The answers await me if I truly want them. I need only sit quietly and ask God to offer the guidance I need. And then I will sit quietly some more.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Turnips In Sour Cream

There is something about turnips that I just love. I don't mean like, I love them. However, I don't remember ever having the surplus of turnips that are available to me as I do this year.

My brother, yes the strange one, planted about 12 acres of those little gems this year. I have no idea what the yield is on that many turnips. He feeds them to his cattle. He has healthy cattle. I'm going to get there before the cattle. Turnips do freeze beautifully.

This is just one of many turnip recipes that will be coming your way.

Turnips in Sour Cream
6 servings
print recipe

6 white turnips
Boiling salted water
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Lemon Juice

Preheat Oven to 350 degree.

Cook the turnips in boiling salted water with the caraway seed ten minutes. Drain and cool.

Peel and slice the turnips and place in a buttered casserole. Add the sour cream and basil, cover and bake until tender, about 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with paprika and a little lemon juice.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mom's Cabbage

When I lived in Florida every time I started to make this I would have to call Mom for the recipe. Of course there was no recipe, what I really got was the ingredients and a guess at how much. Finally after many years I did take the time to formula sort of a recipe. Here it is. I always double it now because it's even better left over. It's also a good way to use some of your canned tomatoes or oven roasted tomatoes. I use my frozen cabbage in the winter.

Mom's Cabbage
3-4 servings
print recipe

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet

2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup diced tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chopped onion

Cook over medium low heat 10-12 minutes - Don't overcook.

Just before serving stir in another tablespoon of butter, because Mom said so.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Rhissanna, the winner of the ebook giveaway. Check your email for your prize! Thanks to all who entered, and for those not lucky enough to have won a copy Tight Budget, Tiny Kitchen, and No Time: How to Eat Well in Your First Apartment - it's now for sale both at Smashwords and at Amazon for Kindle.

Ceci Bean Minestra

This is a wonderful old world Italian soup. The anchovies give it a great mild nutty flavor. I love garbanzo beans (ceci beans) any way they are prepared. You will notice I'm still being frugal here.

Ceci Bean Minestra
4 servings or just enough for me
print recipe

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons water
1 cup cooked ceci bean (garbonzos) I use a whole can
4 cups water or broth
Salt and pepper
1 cup elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese

Place oil, rosemary and garlic in soup kettle and brown well. Add anchovies and tomato paste diluted with 4 tablespoons water and cook over low heat 20 minutes.

Add ceci beans, water, salt and pepper, and bring to a slow boil.

Add macaroni and cook slowly until tender, approximately 15 minutes.

Garnish with cheese when ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Cake with Ornamental Icing

Those of you of a certain age may remember your mom or grandmother making this cake for your birthday. This is what birthday cake is suppose to taste like.

If you are making it for small children it would be best to leave out the surprises. This also makes beautiful cupcakes.

Birthday Cake With Ornamental Icing
1 9-inch tube cake
print recipe

1/2 cup shortening (not oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract

Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs together. Mix and sift flour salt, and baking powder and add alternately with the milk to the first mixture. Add almond extract and beat thoroughly. Pour into a greased tube pan. Wrap a button, thimble, ring, and dime in separate pieces of wax paper and put into the cake batter. Bake in a 350degree F. oven 50-60 minutes. Let cool completely and cover with Ornamental Frosting.

Ornamental Icing

1 egg white
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Beat egg with 1 cup sugar until stiff. Add lemon juice and beat in. Add remaining sugar, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition. Any desired color may be beat into this icing.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fancy Green Beans

The fall green beans are still plentiful and I'm always looking for a new way to prepare them. You know without the ham hock and simmering the beans all afternoon.

If I remember correctly this is an old Paula Deen recipe. I've used it for about 5 years. Nice change of pace.

Fancy Green Beans
6-8 servings
print recipe

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 slices bacon (got to have a little bacon grease)
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
1/2 cup thin onion wedges
1/2 cup whole cashews

In a small bowl, stir together the teriyaki sauce, honey, and butter.
Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lemon juice. Drop in the beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beans are bright green. Drain the beans in a colander and then plunge them into the iced water. Drain again and set aside.

In a skillet, cook the bacon until very crispy, crumble and set aside. Saute the bell pepper and onion in the hot bacon fat for 2 minutes. Add the beans, cashews, and bacon to the skillet. Add the teriyaki-honey sauce and toss gently.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Butter

One day last week I made pumpkin butter, as I do every year. I would love to tell you that I roast and puree a fresh pumpkin to make this. Well I did one year. It is so much easier to use canned pumpkin. Trust me.

This makes a lovely hostess gift, or welcome to the neighborhood. Use it like you would apple butter. I just think it's so much better.

Pumpkin Butter
about 5 half pints
print recipe

4 cups of pumpkin puree (29 ounce can)
3/4 cup apple juice - all natural
2 teaspoons ground ginger, if using fresh use a little more
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, if using fresh grated use a little less
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.

Transfer to hot jars, seal with hot lids and rings and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

If you are going to use this in the next two weeks or so simply refrigerate without the canning process.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saint and Scripture Sunday - Sort Of

There is a Saint and a Scripture some place pertaining to yesterdays church auction. You will have to find them yourself. I'm too tired. It was certainly a spiritual day. It was so cold and windy the auction was moved inside to the church hall. People were wall to wall and starving. They started eating before the auction and continued until after. The only food we served was hot dogs, pimento cheese sandwiches, soda, coffee, baked beans and potato salad. We gave away desserts left over from the funeral yesterday.

Sort of as a joke we made pimento cheese sandwiches using the heel, or ends, of the bread loaf. Those are the ones that sold first. People wanted the hot dog sauce on a bun with no hot dog.

These nice Christan folks were having bidding wars over everything. A pan of 24 homemade rolls sold for over a hundred dollars. A bag of apples for twenty five dollars an apple. Pickled beets, (pint jar), for eighty dollars. Bourbon Balls for seventy dollars a pound, etc. It was crazy!

My brother bought every potato that came up for sale, about 30 pounds. I guess he's expecting a potato famine.

These are just some of the things that went on. I was so busy slinging food I missed half the stuff. I ended up with a beautiful basket of red sweet peppers and a pair of hand knit wool hand warmers.

These people have been doing this since 1947. In a couple of months we will all be talking about what we will make for next year. But for now I need a nap.

I would say this was a nice saintly day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hot Dog Sauce and Church Auction

Today is our annual Lord's Auction at church. Sixty plus years. I have loved it since I was a kid. After being gone for 25 plus years and returning, nothing has changed. The cakes, pies, candies, home canned goods, crafts and beautiful handmade quilts and linens, etc, are all still there. Mr. Fuller(85) has been making his cream candy since I can remember.

There could not be an auction without hot dogs and Linda and Janice's Hot Dog Sauce. This is also nice to make and freeze in 1 or 2 cup containers.

Hot Dog Sauce
print recipe

3 pounds ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped, more if you like
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bottle ketchup
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
Chili powder and garlic to taste

Brown ground chuck, drain; add onion, garlic, celery and peppers. Add other ingredients and cook until thick. May cook in slow cooker for 2 hours or so. This is always better made the day before serving.