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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red Cabbage In Red Wine

Larry and Edie have red cabbage ready in their garden. I just happen to notice as I was helping myself to some other goodies. This succulent red cabbage, flavored with red wine, is one of the many popular recipes from Germany that have found their way into our cuisine here.

If they are really nice to me I may make a batch for them.

4-5 servings
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2 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
1 apple, peeled and sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium head of red cabbage, sliced thin
1 cup of red wine
1 cup liquid (water or broth)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter or drippings in a heavy saucepan. Add the apple, onion, and sugar. Fry just until limp, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, red wine, liquid and seasonings. Stir together to blend ingredients.

Cover and bake in aa 325 degree F. oven for one hour, or simmer over a low flame on top of the stove. Check the liquid now and then, adding more wine if necessary.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Picnic Sandwiches

Who doesn't love a picnic! You don't have to go to the beach or hiking for a picnic. The back yard works just fine, so does the kitchen table. It is going to be 100 degrees plus the next few days. I'm not cooking! These sandwiches can be prepared in the morning and tucked away in the refrigerator for the flavors to mingle. Perfect for a hot summer day.

4 medium sandwiches
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4 medium sized French rolls (about 7-inches long)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green or red pepper, cut in thin strips
1 small red onion, sliced
2-hard-boiled eggs
1 large can tuna (12-1/2 ounce)
1/2 cup chopped or sliced black olives
2 ounces anchovies,drained (optional), but they sure are good
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Slice the rolls in half. Make a shallow hollow in each half of the roll to give space for the filling. Brush both sides of the rolls with the olive oil and minced garlic.

Layer the bottom half with the ingredients in any order you like. Drizzle the vinegar over the filling and sprinkle with pepper. Close sandwich. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Press together and place in the refrigerator with a weight on the top. This can be a heavy frying pan or any handy heavy item. I keep bricks wrapped in foil for this and other such purposes. Keep the sandwich weighted for an hour. Remove weight and keep refrigerated until serving time. You can also use a round or long loaf of bread, which can be cut into wedges or sliced.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sauerkraut Salad

Talk about an old recipe, this is it. This is one of the first recipes I posted in February 2010. I have made this so many times I don't even need the recipe. I made this yesterday to serve with grilled country ham, apple and cheddar cheese sandwiches for lunch today. I use my homemade saurkraut, but you can use store bought.

This is from one of those cookbooks that you buy a whole box of them at an auction or yard sale for .50 and find two you love and the rest you put in your yard sale. This book was published in 1976 by the Kentucky Federation of Women's Club's, Inc. of Louisville, Ky, entitled Kentucky Hospitality. Lots of Kentucky history and wonderful old recipes. Make this the next time you're having pork roast, pork stew or any kind of pork. It makes a wonderful relish. Great on pulled pork sandwiches.

If you use the Homemade Sauerkraut you will probably only need 1/4 cup of sugar because it's not as sour as store bought.

Sauerkraut Salad
4-5 servings
print recipe

2 cups sauerkraut
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup sliced green and red pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion

Put sauerkraut in a bowl and add sugar. Let stand for 30 minutes. I don't remember ever doing that. Add remaining ingredients. Cover bowl tightly. Chill at least 12 hours.

This salad can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks if tightly covered (Mason jar). When I double this recipe, which is always, I double everything except the sugar. Keep the sugar at 1/2 cup.

This is even good on hot dogs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Old-Fashioned Dressing

When I was growing up this was mixed in our house every other day in the summer, either by my mother of grandmother. I guess they didn't know you could make it ahead and store it in a cool dark place for up to two weeks. It was used on the cucumber and onion salads, with no oil added, and on tender lettuces with the oil to coat the leafy greens. Of course there was no recipe, so I got this one from one of my favorite cook books The Gift of Southern Cooking.

Makes about 1/3 cup
print recipe
The Gift of Southern Cooking

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

Put the sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a clean pint jar. Screw lid on tight, and shake well until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the oil, and shake vigorously to emulsify. If made ahead and stored be sure to shake well again before using.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Roasted Zucchini In a Cast Iron Skillet

Just when you thought I had run out of zucchini recipes! I have more, and keep finding new ones. This is a real keeper. This is adapted from a recipe in The Marshall Field Cook Book. Please don't leave out the anchovies. They add so much flavor. They melt into the mix and add a deep intense flavor that's anything but fishy.

You can also throw in potatoes or beans.

Serves 4-6
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2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
4 zucchini, thickly sliced
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Place a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the anchovies, garlic, and onion. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the onions brown. Add the zucchini and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook at a low simmer until the zucchini is soft but still holds its shape, about 45 minutes.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley and Parmesan. Serve warm.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Comeback Sauce

My version of Mississippi Comeback Sauce. If you've never had it you are in for a treat. There are recipes for this all over www. Basically they are all the same, with some people having a "secret ingredient" they will never tell you.

Use this on your hot dogs, burgers, as a veggie dip of drip your French fries. I added some to my deviled eggs and that was outstanding. You will find so many uses for this. It also makes a great dressing for your salad.

Makes about 1 pint
print recipe

1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive or peanut oil
3 tablespoons chili sauce (I use my homemade)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared mustard, creole, grain or Dijon
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Dash of paprika (smoked preferred)
Dash of hot sauce
1 small onion finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine chopped fresh parsley.

Mix all ingredients and store in glass container (Mason jar) in refrigerator overnight before using.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Just when I couldn't think of what to post for today, up pops this wonderful meditation. I hope I can remember this long enough to get me through church this morning.

When people bother you in any way, it is because their souls are trying to get your divine attention and your blessing. - Catherine Ponder

We are in constant communication with one another and with God in the spiritual realm. No matter how singular our particular course may appear, our path is running parallel to many paths. And all paths will intersect when the need is present. The point of intersection is the moment when another soul seeks our attention. We can be attentive and loving to the people seeking our attention. (Please let me remember this.) Their growth and ours is at stake.

We can be grateful for our involvement with other lives. We can be mindful that our particular blessing is like no one else's and that we all need input from the many significant persons in our lives. There is no insignificant encounter in our passage through life. Each juncture with someone else is part of the destiny of both participants.

I will look carefully and lovingly at the people around me today and bless them, one and all. They are in my life because they need to be. I, likewise, need them.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Garlic Green Beans

The green beans are finally here and I can't find enough ways to cook them. A few days ago I made the old-fashioned Southern green beans just cooked in pork stock with a little salt and pepper. It's hard to mess up a fresh vegetable.

This is a nice way to cook fresh green beans for a change. They are blanched in boiling water and shocked in ice water to maintain that bright color, then briefly sauteed in butter with minced garlic and parsley. For convenience, you can blanch and chill the beans and store them in the refrigerator for a day before sauteing and serving.

Makes about 4-6 servings
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1 pound green beans, washed and stemmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely snipped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fill a big pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the stemmed green beans, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until tender but resistant to the bite. Drain the beans, and immediately plunge into a bowl of lightly salted ice water to stop the cooking. As soon as the green beans are chilled, drain them.

Heat the butter in a wide skillet until hot and foaming. Add the green beans, and cook, tossing constantly, until heated through. Add the garlic, parsley, a generous sprinkling of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper, and continue cooking 1 minute longer. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Extra Special Zucchini Bread

You're right, it's time to think about what to do with all that zucchini.You will always get raves for this bread, or at least I do. You can make it into 2 large loaves, 7 small loaves or even muffins. It freezes beautifully and is always a welcomed gift.

This is the only recipe I have used for years. Can't find one better. If you have one let me know.

Extra Special Zucchini Bread
2 large loaves, 7 small loaves
print recipe

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 cups shredded zucchini, unpeeled

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans or seven 5 3/4 x 3x2-inch foil pans.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. On low speed, gradually beat into egg mixture.

Fold in walnuts and zucchini. Evenly divide batter between the two prepared pans or the seven smaller pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes (for larger size) or 35 minutes (for smaller loaves or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Turn out of pans and allow to cool completely. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

Best if made at least 1 day ahead of serving.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Braised Spring Onions

You can use Vidalia or large green onions for this dish. They should be about the size of a golf ball with the green attached. They are delicious when braised this way, in butter and a little cooking liquid.

Makes enough to serve 4
print recipe

about 8 large spring onions, green attached, golf ball size
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Chicken stock

Wash and trim the onions carefully, leaving about 6 inches of the green. Heat the butter in a large covered skillet until foaming but not browned. Add the onions, and roll them around in the butter so that they are coated all over. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then add the stock or water, and cover. Cook over very low heat, shaking the pan or tossing the onions periodically, until they are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the cover, and cook briskly, reducing the liquid in the pan so that it just coats the onions like a glaze. Taste for seasoning, and serve hot.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Roasted Beets In Ginger Syrup

Love'em, or hate'em, there is no in between. Beets are in my top favorite 5 vegetables, and I have not posted one recipe that I can find. Amazing! The beets are beautiful this year. I've already made my pickled beets, and yes frozen some also.

Roasting, in my opinion, is a great way to cook beets, because it intensifies their natural sweetness. Roasted Beets in Ginger Syrup is my new favorite way to eat them. I'll give you my old favorite way below. You can heat the beets in the syrup and serve them as a side dish, or chill them and use them in salads. They can be roasted a day in advance then heat them in a skillet with butter and seasonings just before serving (my old favorite way).

6-8 servings
print recipe

8 medium to large beets
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
4-5 grinds of black pepper

Ginger Syrup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thickly
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I've roasted them as high as 400 degrees.

Carefully wash the beets. If they still have their tops attached, remove and trim to approximately 1/2 inch above the beetroot. Place the beets in a casserole or baking pan that will comfortable hold them. A little crowding is okay. Drizzle the oil over the beets, and sprinkle with pepper. Cover with a layer of parchment paper followed by a double thickness of foil, and seal tightly. Place in the middle of the preheated oven, and bake for approximately 1 hour, until the beets are tender when gently pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool still covered.

When partially cooled but warm, peel the beets by gently rubbing them with paper toweling. The skins should slip off easily and without staining your hands. Trim as needed. If beets are small, you may wish to leave them whole; otherwise, slice into rounds or wedges, and set aside while you prepare the ginger syrup.

In a nonreactive saucepan, stir together all the sauce ingredients. Cook at a simmer for about 20 minutes, until of a syrypy consistency. Remove from the heat, and cool. Strain the syrup and discard the solids.

Marinate the beets in the syrup, preferably a couple of hours or longer before servings. They may be served cold as a garnish for salads, or heated in their syrup and served as a side dish.

Now, my old favorite - Hot Buttered Roasted Beets

Makes enough to serve 4-6

8 small or medium-sized beets
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Prepare, bake, and peel as in the preceding recipe. If the beets are small, leave them whole; if larger, halve or quarter as needed.

When ready to serve, heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet until hot and foaming. Add the beets, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until heated through. Sprinkle with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve hot.

If you are freezing beets, simply roast and peel as above, cool, store in freezer containers or freezer bags and freeze. Add your seasoning and butter when ready to prepare and eat.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Simmered Yellow Squash

Yellow crooknecks are a popular summer squash in the South. Fresh from the garden vegetables are not meant to be fussed with. The simpler the better. When simmered in their own juices, their flavor becomes clear and concentrated. Here the squash and onions must cook slowly and should not color at all. Stir often but carefully-especially when the squash approaches doneness-so the slices remain whole. I swear I could eat this whole recipe. This is my favorite yellow squash recipe.

Makes enough to serve 6-8
print recipe

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 medium Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch wedges (2 1'1 cups)
9 yellow crookneck squash, washed trimmed, and sliced crosswise into 1/3-inch slices (8 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, more or less, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or or less to taste

Heat the butter until foaming in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion wedges, and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the sliced squash, salt, and freshly ground pepper, and stir well to coat the squash with the butter and seasonings. Reduce the temperature to low, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or longer, stirring often, until the squash is very tender and yielding. Taste care fully for seasoning, and adjust if needed. Serve hot.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cheese Straws and/or Rounds

If you have a Southern bone in your body you will have a batch or two of these tasty treats on hand. Are there any three words more exciting than FREEZEABLE and MAKE AHEAD for a busy cook! I'm not as good as I once was, sounds like a song I remember, but I'm trying to keep these in the freezer at all times. They are equally delicious with a glass of sweet tea or your favorite wine or cocktail. They do pack a pretty good kick. If you like them a little less spicy, use the smaller amount of red pepper flakes.

I'm almost sure this recipe comes from the wonderful Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook(W.W. Norton, 2006)

Makes about 2 dozen
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1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (shred your own cheese)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon half-and-half

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a food processor; pulse in 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.

2. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle (about 1/8-inch thick). Cut dough with a sharp knife into 1/4 to 1/2-inch-wide strips, dipping knife in flour after each cut to ensure clean cuts. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake a 350 degrees F for 12 minutes or until ends are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets on a wire rack 30 minutes. Break into desired lengths.

To Make Cheese Rounds, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness, and cut wit a 1 1/2-inch round cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake and cool as directed. Freeze baked cheese straws and rounds in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic freezer bag up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

I know I should get back to the scriptures, but I keep finding these wonderful meditations and thoughts that I love sharing with you. By sharing I also hope I'll remember them when I need to.

I have come to believe in the "Sacrament of the Moment" which presupposes trust in the ultimate goodness of my creator. - Ruth Casey

The moment, realized, is like a bud blossoming. The day unfolds and with each minute we are moved along to the experiences right for us at this place and this time. Our resistance to certain experiences and particular people creates the barrier that blocks the good in store for us.

We can rest assured, God is caring for each of us. Each breath we take is Spirit-filled, and the plan for our lives is an accumulation of necessary experiences that is helping us to grow and develop our special talents. What we often forget is that the difficult periods, of our lives stretch us, enlighten us, ready us to be the person we desire within to be.

This moment is sacred. All moments are sacred. They will not come again. What is offered this moment for us to grow on will not be offered in exactly this way again. God knows our needs and is caring for them. We can trust the goodness of today.

Whatever situation I encounter today, I will believe in its goodness. It is right for me. It may stretch my patience rather than elicit laughter, but it is right for me at this time.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Broccoli with Caper Sauce

I have never seen a broccoli season like this one! Every time I turn around someone is saying, "Do you need broccoli". Last year and the year before I was begging for broccoli. I have no idea how much I have frozen. Like most fresh out of the garden vegetable, the simplier the better. You will love this!

This will be great with that big steak for Father's Day.

Broccoli with Caper Sauce
6 servings
I don't think you need a printed recipe.

Steam 2 pounds of fresh broccoli until barely tender. Of course it has to be cleaned and tough stems removed. Place in a heated serving dish and pour melted butter over it. Spoon bottled capers over broccoli, using both capers and juice as seasonings. Perfect every time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kentucky Butter Cake

This is a cake for grown-ups. No sprinkles, no frosting. It has proudly been clogging arteries for 50 years that I know of.

I have been freezing cakes and cookie dough for weeks it seems. When serious canning season gets in full swing I don't have time to stop and make something if someone gets sick, or heaven forbid passed away. I have to be prepared. Kentucky Butter Cake is just wonderful to have on hand any time. A slice of this with fresh berries and whipped cream is beyond heavenly. Perfect for Father's Day!

1 10-inch Bundt pan- 10-12 servings
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1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla or rum extract

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla or rum extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with a nonstick spray; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar for 3 minutes at medium speed.

4. Lower mixer speed and add eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat for 1 minute.

5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with the flour.

6. Add vanilla or rum extract. Beat on medium-high speed for 20 seconds.

7. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, water and vanilla or rum extract. Do not boil.

When the cake comes out of the oven, prick it with a wooden skewer or fork. Pour the glaze slowly over the cake.

Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marinated Zucchini Salad

I can't remember if I have posted this before or not. I'm too lazy to look. Anyway, the zucchini are coming on full force. This will be another year of ten loaves of zucchini bread in the freezer and bags of squash and zucchini sliced and frozen for casseroles. If you have any wonderful zucchini recipes please send them my way.

This is a beautiful make-ahead salad that is always appreciated. The credit goes to Mary Ellen Piost, Women's Club of Paducah Kentucky. I have never met the lady and I'm not sure if I know where Paducah, Ky. is, but I love her salad.

4-6 servings
print recipe

1 1/2 cups unpeeled thinly sliced young zucchini
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced onions
1/4 cup thinly sliced green pepper
1/4 cup vinegar (plain, wine or a mixture)
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, fresh works too, use more
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Layer vegetables in a shallow bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over vegetables. Refrigerate several hours or overnight; stir several times to distribute flavors.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jalapeno Pimiento Cheese

Every Southern cook has a recipe for her favorite pimiento cheese. However, this is one that I seem to use the most and it comes from a MAN. Jim Early took first place out of 300 entries in the Southern Foodways Alliance Pimiento Cheese Invitational by creating this recipe. It was published in Southern Living in 2008.

Jim mentioned serving this with crackers or bread slices. I have many more uses for this little goody. Wonderful serve with a veggie tray, top a grilled burger or hot dog, grilled cheese sandwich, etc. Good heavens, just get a spoon and a glass of sweet tea and go for it.

Makes 6 1/2 cups - easily cut in half
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2 (8-ounce) blocks extra sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) block mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 (7-ounce) jars diced pimiento, drained
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained (I use my home canned)
1/2 cup drained pickled jalapeno pepper slices More or less to your taste.
1/4 cup good mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Assorted crackers or bread slices, or anything else you want

Shred the cheese yourself, not the store bought kind. Process first 3 ingredients, in batches, in a food processor 45 seconds or until well blended. Add pimiento and next 4 ingredients and pulse 5 to 6 times or to desired consistency. Cover and chill up to 1 day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oatmeal-Raisin-Bran Cookies

We all love Bran Muffins, but sometimes you need a change. Who wants to eat a bowl of bran flakes every day when you could have a cookie. Bran is very important to those of us of a certain age. I feel the need to remind you that bran is an aid to the digestive system, those of you who decide to eat more than two of three of these per day could be spending a lot of time in the little room with the porcelain fixtures. Just sayin'.

about 2-3 dozen depending on the size you make them
print recipe

1 cup raisins (regular or golden)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup,6 ounces) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal, quick or old-fashioned, NOT instant
2 cups bran flake cereal, crushed fairly small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in middle position

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over raisins in a heat proof bowl. Set aside to plump.

1. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
2. Add eggs one at a time, beat well.
3. Add vanilla, beat.
4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; mix well.
5. Stir in oats.
6. Drain raisins and pat dry on paper towels. Add to mixture and stir.
7. Add crushed bran flakes, stir well.
8. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 12 per sheet.
9. Bake 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
10. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Scalloped Cabbage

You will have to bare with me on this one because it's one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. After looking in all the cook books I own and visiting all the web sites I could find, I still did not have the recipe that reminded me of my grandmothers scalloped cabbage. I called my friend Monna Lu, who lives down the road and has every old recipe ever invented because she has every church cook book published within a 100 miles of us. Sure enough she found the one I was looking for. The strange thing is the recipe is from another neighbor that was a friend of my mothers. Ms. Ivy Estes is in heaven now making scalloped cabbage and I'm thrilled to have her recipe. Here we go!

Coarse shred a large head of cabbage and cook in a pot of water that you have added a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar. Cook for 20 minutes and drain.

In the meantime crush 1 sleeve of saltine crackers. Just crush them in the package. Save a heaping cup of these for your topping mixed with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Sprinkle about half of the remaining cracker crumbs in the bottom of a good size baking dish. Add half the drained cooked cabbage and sprinkle with salt the coarsely ground black pepper. Add the remainder of the crackers and the rest of the cabbage. More salt and pepper.

Now here is the hard part. Do you want cheesy scalloped cabbage or plain? My grandmother made it plain, but its great either way. If you want cheesy add the cheese, if not leave it out.

Heat I large can (12-ounces) and 1 small can (5 -ounces) of evaporated milk and 1 stick of butter in a sauce pan. Now is the time to add a big hunk (4-6-ounces or more) of Velveeta cheese to melt, if your having cheesy.

Pour this over the cabbage and crackers. Cover with the heaping cup of crackers that you mixed with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees F., until golden brown.

I have just made a very simple recipe into a major event.

All I need with this is a pan of cornbread and fresh from the garden sliced tomatoes.

Print Recipe

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

The process of living, for each of us, is pretty similar. For every gain there is a setback. For every success, a failure. For every moment of joy, a time of sadness. For every hop realized, one is dashed. - Sue Atchley Ebaugh

The balance of events in our lives is much like the balance of nature. The pendulum swings; every extreme condition is offset by its opposite, and we learn to appreciate the gifts...of the bad times as well as the periods of rest.

On occasion we'll discover that our course in life has changed direction. We need not be alarmed. Our every concern, every detail of our lives will be taken care of, in the right way, at the right time.

We can develop gratitude for all conditions, good or bad. Each has its necessary place in our development as healthy, happy humans. We need the sorrows along with the joys if we are to gain new insights. Our failures keep us humble; they remind us of our need for the care and guidance of God and others. And for every hope dashed, we can remember, one will be realized.

Life is a process. I will accept the variations with gratitude. each, in its own way, blesses me.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pucker Up Lemon Cake

If you are a lemon fan, as you know I am, you will love this cake. I found this recipe in Joanne Fluke's Cinnamon Roll Murder. She writes the cutest little cozy mysteries. I love the story, but I think I enjoy the recipes just as much. This cake freezes beautifully. Great to have on hand during the summer.

One 9 x 13-inch cake
print recipe

1 large lemon with perfect skin because you will use it also
1 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup softened butter ( 1 stick)
1 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk ((this brings the milk total to one cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position

Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13-inch cake pan.

Wash the outside of the lemon. Then juice it and save the juice. Pick out the seeds, then cut the pulp and rind into 8 pieces.

If you have a food grinder use it, if not simply put the lemon pulp and rind into the bowl of your food processor, and add the raisins and pecans. Process with and on and off motion until they're chopped as finely as if you had used a food grinder. Set aside in a bowl.

Measure one cup of flour and put it in the bowl of your mixer. Add the salt, baking soda, and white sugar. Mix together on LOW speed. Add the second cup of flour and mix at LOW speed.

Add the softened butter, the lemon or vanilla extract, and the 3/4 cup of milk. Beat at LOW speed until the flour is well moistened. Then turn the mixer up to medium high speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time on LOW speed. Mix in rest of the milk. Turn mixer to medium high and beat for 2 minutes.

Gradually add the ground lemon, raisin, and pecan mixture by hand, folding in gently.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Topping for Lemon Cake
Topping may be added to hot cake right from the oven.

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Drizzle the lemon juice over the hot cake.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Sprinkle the pecans on top of the sugar and cinnamon.

Let cake cool to room temperature. Cover it and refrigerate. It freezes well if you wrap it in foil and put in a freezer bag.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stuffin' Muffins

Am I the only one that has never heard of Stuffin' Muffins until recently? Now every time I turn around I see another recipe for these. What a great idea, like stuffin' in a muffin tin. They are the perfect bread to have with all the fresh vegetables coming on in the garden. Now we don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to get our stuffin' fix.

I have adapted this from several (4) recipes, however most of them are basically the same. In the future I can see me adding cooked sausage, and or toasted pecans to the mixture.

Makes 12 muffins
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1 (1/4 pound) stick salted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped apple (do not peel) I like Granny Smith.
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
8 cups herb stuffing (I used half cubed and half crumbled Pepperidge Farm)
3 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake papers.

In a large saute' pan, over medium high heat, melt the stick of butter. Add the chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped apple. Stir as you go. Sprinkle in the sage, thyme, and oregano. Saute' this mixture for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the 8 cups of stuffing. If your stuffing mix has a separate herb packet sprinkle it over the mixture now so you don't forget it.

Pour in the beaten eggs and mix. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Mix them in. Pour the melted butter over the top and mix it in.

Add the mixture from the saute' pan. Stir it all up together. Pour in the 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Mix everything with your impeccable clean hands.

The mixture should be softened, but not wet. If you think it's too dry and the muffins might fall apart after baking, mix in another 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to fill the muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.

These can be served hot, warm, or room temperature. Reheat beautifully the next day in the microwave.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sausage-and Wild Rice Casserole

Remember the other day when we made homemade pork sausage? This is the perfect recipe to use when you make it. If you don't have homemade, store bought (Jimmy Dean) is fine.

You can assemble this dish the night before through Step 4 (do not add broth), and refrigerate. Stir in broth before baking. You can also cut the recipe in half.

Servings 8-10
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1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 (1 pound) package sage ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 (6-ounce) packages long-grain and wild rice mix
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1. Toast 1/2 cup chopped pecans in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove pecans from skillet.

2. Brown sausage in same skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet using a slotted spoon; reserve drippings in skillet.

3. Melt butter in hot drippings over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and saute' 10-15 minutes or until celery is tender.

4. Remove 1 seasoning packet from rice mixes; reserve for another use. Combine sausage, vegetable mixture, remaining seasoning packet, rice, and next 2 ingredients in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Stir in chicken broth until well blended.

5. Bake, covered, at 325 degrees 1 hour or until liquid is almost absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle chopped, toasted pecan on top.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blueberry Custard Tart

It is blueberry season again!

This would have been great for Easter if I had thought of it. A friend called and ask if I could make her a quick, pretty and unusual dessert. What the hick! See how I've cleaned up my language. Do I look like the local bakery? Of course I made it because I wanted to try this recipe. Plus I didn't need to make the twenty mile round trip to the grocery for any ingredients.

I will give you the Tart Shell recipe as a separate post. It's nice to have one on hand in the freezer. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

Blueberry Custard Tart
Makes One 9-inch tart
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Tart Pastry (separate post following)
1 pint (2-cups) blueberries or huckleberries
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 egg
2/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Line a 9-inch tart pan with the tart pastry and freeze it until it's hard. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set the frozen shell on a sheet pan and bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.

Sort through the berries and remove any stems or badly bruised fruits. Toss them with the flour, molasses, and lemon zest and arrange them loosely over the bottom of the tart shell. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the berries. Bake until the custard is browned and puffed, about 35 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Tart Pastry

This is the Tart Pastry for the Blueberry Custard Tart or any tart requiring a basic European-style crust. This is for lining those tart pans with a removable bottom.

Tart Pastry
Makes one 9-inch tart shell
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1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
A mixture of 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons water (omit for savory tarts)

Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl, then work in the butter with your fingers, or a mixer until it makes fine crumbs. Don't let it become completely smooth, though. Stir in enough vanilla-water to pull the dough together. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

To line the pan, roll the dough out into a 9-inch circle then set it in the pan. Using the heel of you palm, press the dough up the side. If some pieces are too long, break them off and add them, as needed, to areas that are too short. The sides should be about 1/4 inch thick, rise 1/4 rise above the rim, and be slightly thinner at the base of the pan.. This way, when the dough slumps during the baking, this shallow space will be filled evenly instead of being overly thick and underbaked. This is way too much information. Just put it in the pan, it will be fine. Carefully set the tart shell in the freezer to harden.

Tart shells are nearly always prebaked before filling. To prebake a tart shell, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the frozen shell on a sheet pan and bake until set and lightly browned about 25 minutes. Check it several times for swells and prick any large bubbles with the tip of a knife.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade Pineapple Sherbet

This is not just pineapple sherbet, this is the Best Pineapple Sherbet I've even had. I stopped by to see my friend Edie this evening and she was out bottle feeding her two baby calves. The woman has so many talents its amazing. She said, "Come in for a minute. You have to taste this." That's all it took for me. Dust off that ice cream maker you haven't used in heaven knows how long and be prepared for a real treat.

Makes a little over a quart
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1 (16-ounce) package frozen pineapple, no sugar added
2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk

Defrost your pineapple a little. Place in blender or food processor. Pulse a few times before adding the sugar. Pulse or blend until sugar is incorporate. Pour into a bowl and mix in the buttermilk well.

Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufactures directions. It will still be soft if you have a cheap ice cream maker like mine but will firm up in the freezer in a few hours or overnight.

No thanks necessary, just enjoy. Thanks Edie!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welsh Rarebit on Toast With Tomatoes

This recipe comes from a very old cookbook I more than likely found at a yard sale. Entitled The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, it was written in 1904 and is a collection of traditional recipes used by home cooks at the turn of the twentieth century. The tomato helps cut the richness of the rarebit. A wonderful addition is a generous handful of fresh crab on top of the tomatoes before pouring on the rarebit sauce. Serve with bottles of ice-cold ale or hearty beer.

My favorite toasted bread is black bread or crumpets. You can also use white, wheat, rye, sourdough or English muffins. Make sure it is good homemade or bakery bread.

4 servings
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1 pound good cheddar cheese, grated (white, yellow or a mixture)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup ale
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 bread slices
8 tomato slices (each about 1/2-inch thick)
Chopped fresh chives for garnishing

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the cheese, stirring occasionally. Add the paprika, cayenne mustard, and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Gradually add the ale, stirring constantly. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Place 1 slice of toast in each of 4 shallow soup bowls. Top each with 2 tomato slices and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the rarebit sauce over the toast and garnish with chives.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Spiritual power can be seen in a person's reverence for life-theirs and all other, including animals and nature, with a recognition of a universal life force referred to by many as God. - Virginia Satir

Taking the time, daily, to recognize the spiritual force in everyone and everything that is all about us, encourages us to feel humble, to feel awe. Reflecting on our interconnections, our need for one and all to complete the universe, lessens whatever adversity we might feel as we struggle with our humanity.

Our spiritual power is enhanced with each blessing we give. And as our spiritual power is enhanced, life's trials are fewer. Our struggle to accept situations, conditions, and other people, or our struggle to control them, lessens every day that we recognize and revere one another's personhood, one another's existence.

I can teach myself reverence, and I can begin today. I will look for "the Spirit" everywhere, and I will begin to see it.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stewed Anasazi Beans with Mushrooms

Before you go crazy looking for the Anasazi Beans, you can also use pinto beans. Even though Anasazi Beans are a food of our native fathers and over 1500 years old, I only discovered them about 20 years ago. Where I live now they are not that easy to find, but Whole Foods and some health food stores carry them sometimes. Online is always a good idea. This is delicious!

Yield: about 6 cups
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2 cups dried Anasazi beans
6 cups beef broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 springs fresh thyme
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato preserves (use the ones you canned last summer)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chervil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mesquite-flavorite barbecue seasoing
4 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

Sort and wash beans; soak in water to cover 8 hours or overnight. Drain.

Combine beans and next 11 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender.

Cook scallions and mushrooms in oil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until tender. Stir into bean mixture; return to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. These are even better the next day.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hungarian Cabbage Noodles (Kaposztas Taszta)

This humble peasant dish, a staple in the Hungarian Jewish kitchen, traditionally marries sauteed cabbage with homemade noodles (taszta refers to the noodle dough while kaposztas means cabbage). My noodle dough was not homemade, but my cabbage was home grown. Actually I "borrowed" the cabbage from Larry and Edie's garden. You would not believe the size of the heads. I love when they are gone and I go help myself. More kale, green onions, lettuce and kohlrabi for me.

Although this recipe looks incredibly simple, the mingled flavors of the browned cabbage and the egg noodles are surprisingly complex. Be sure not to overcrowd the skillet when cooking the cabbage, the result will be steamed cabbage rather than browned. To make this dish a bit richer, I added another tablespoon butter.

This is great served with pot roast. However, in the warmer months when I prefer no meat I serve it with cornbread, sliced tomatoes and green onions from the garden.

Serves 4 as a side dish
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered bacon fat
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 (16-ounce) bag wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pepper freshly ground

1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot for the noodles.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the cabbage, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked cabbage to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and cabbage.

3. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the noodles and transfer back to the pot. Add the reserved cabbage and butter, toss to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.