Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD!

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Helen's Elephant Ears (and/or "Twirly Rolls")

After already getting a lot of rain this month and almost three more inches of it since yesterday morning (instead of what would normally be December snow for our area), I just knew today would feel like the perfect day to make these--so,... I started them before going to bed last night.  I may be an odd ball and all alone in my thinking, but, for me,  these are more of a favorite than Christmas cookies!  With very little extra effort, I could make these look really festive, too, ...IF I wanted to, that is!

Elephant ears with chopped pecans rolled into the dough...
Without nuts...

"Twirly Rolls" made with the same dough...

All three variations together...
Glazed 'Twirlies' pictured further down in this posting.

Some food stands at County Fairs sell "Elephant Ears", but theirs are  'deep-fried' whereas these are baked.  When I roll these out to be quite flat, they are so similar to a yeast bakery sometimes called "Cinnamon Crispies".  (Helen gave me this recipe in the early 70's.)

Here's the recipe for these VERY EASY to make (non-kneading) rolls:


2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (not too hot!)
1 teaspoon sugar (to activate the yeast)
1 cup milk (scalded, then cooled to 'warm')
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup softened butter
4 cups flour (about 1.25 lb.)
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Chopped nuts (optional)


1.  Soften yeast in warm water with 1 tsp. sugar, set aside until 'foamy/rising'.

2.  In small kettle, heat the milk only until little bubbles form around the edges of the kettle.  Cool this to 'lukewarm' and then add the slightly beaten egg yolks.

3.  Add bubbly yeast mixture.  Add softened butter.  Mix until smooth.  Add flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well.

4.  Put in a lightly oiled bowl, rotate to coat top with oil, cover, and place in refrigerator for not less than 2 hours, but not more than 2 days.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board and divide into four balls.  Punch each ball into a flat 6" circle and let rest for about 10 minutes*

Next, roll each of the flat circles into a rectangular shape and spread with a quarter of the 1/4 cup soft butter.  Sprinkle each buttered circle with a quarter of the combined sugar(s) and cinnamon mix.  Taking the narrow side, roll each rectangular portion of dough up as you would a jelly roll.

Cut each roll into 4 sections (slices).  Place each (with a cut side down) on a surface that has been sprinkled with a small amount of the sugar/cinnamon mixture (you can also sprinkle some nuts on  the surface so that you can "roll them in". Coat both sides of the "cut roll" with the sugar/cinnamon mix and then roll with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 - 1/2" thick.  (Again, ...before rolling out, you could sprinkle some chopped nuts onto the dough and roll them in, also.)  I like to roll these really flat so they bake up thinner and crispier. 

Transfer the flattened roll to a sprayed OR foil-covered OR parchment lined (my choice) cookie sheet and let them rest for 15-20 minutes; bake at 375-degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.   Ovens vary, so adjust temperature accordingly-- for yours, maybe 350-degrees will be best. (?)

*At this point in the recipe, if you want to make the 'twirly' rolls in my picture, roll dough into rectangle, 15x9 inches.  Brush with melted butter.  Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle that evenly over rectangle.  Roll up, beginning at the wide/long side.  Seal final edge by pinching the dough tightly together for the length of the roll.   Cut rolled 'log' into 1-inch slices.  Place a small round handle of a wooden spoon in center of each slice parallel to cut sides; press down and almost through the dough.  Transfer to greased OR parchment paper-lined baking sheet.   Or, I've found that I can do the 'pencil crease' AFTER the rolls are on the baking sheet.  (The 'pencil push' makes the ends of the little slice push out.)  Bake about the same as with the Elephant Ears recipe above.   If desired, frost with a light glaze kind of icing.

GLAZE:  1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix well and drizzle over rolls.  (Adjust consistency  by adding either more milk, or more powdered sugar.)

Better than this vanilla glaze, I like to drizzle over these a burnt (browned) butter kind of icing... stirring constantly, I heat butter until it is a med. dark color.  Then, very quickly add small amount of milk to stop it from darkening further.  To that, I add sifted powdered sugar and quickly (QUICKLY) pour it in strips over the rows of rolls.  One must move quickly with this kind of icing because it "stiffens up" so quickly!

These freeze well, but two of them won't make it into the freezer...
The hot chocolate was not as 'dark' as it looks in the picture, but it 'wuz-z-z-z' good.

If you have any questions about this recipe, send me a message.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

RICH Potato Soup (Makes 5-quarts of soup)

The following recipe makes abut 5-quarts of soup!

For a couple of years, already, this soup was moved to the front of my "FAVORITE SOUPS" list... I like it because it is SO thick/creamy, and... filling.  Oh, yes, and it is "RICH!!!!" and I think that is why it is SO satisfying and has such a great flavor.  Have you ever had a bowl of soup that just "wouldn't hold"?  This isn't one of them.  With this soup, I find that one modest-sized bowl "fits the bill".

Would I make this very RICH soup often?  No, not "often", but I would when I want something "special" because that's the category I have this in.

When I make this soup, I make a LARGE batch-- in fact, by the time I am done, I have almost filled a 6-quart enameled cast iron kettle.   It's good for feeding a larger group, to serve as left-overs the next day, and even for a short term of freezing.  (I can even eat this for breakfast and like it!)

To make it as I did, you will need:

12 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed/diced.  (In the past, I have used peeled/cubed/diced baked potatoes for this soup, thus being able to skip boiling them in the chicken broth.)
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth (OR water).
2 long stalks celery, diced.
1 medium-large onion, diced.
15 tablespoons butter.
15 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
2 cups heavy cream.
4 cups whole milk.
4 cups cooked ham, diced.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnishing of your choice when serving.


1. 12 cups of peeled and diced/cubed potatoes (cut in whatever size you like). Slowly boil the potatoes until barely tender in 2 quarts of low-sodium chicken broth (or water).  Drain and set aside.  While the potatoes are boiling, I have the next step going-- this way, everything comes together at the end in a timely way.

2. Saute the following together in  a large pan until tender:
5 Tablespoons butter (Remaining butter will be added later)
The celery, diced
The onion, finely chopped

3.  Add the following to the sauteed celery / onion mix and blend well:
10 tablespoons MORE of  butter (Yes, that's 15 Tbsp. total!)

4.  In a quart-sized covered jar, vigorously shake together until smooth:
1 cup cold heavy cream (Remaining cream is added later.)
1 cup cold whole milk (Remaining milk is added later.)
15 level tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5.  When cream and milk and flour in the jar are shaken to "smoooooooth", pour this shaken flour mixture from the jar into a large enough bowl to add and whisk together:
1 remaining cup heavy cream
3 remaining cups of  whole milk.
Whisk until everything is well-blended and very smooth.  To make sure I don't have any  lumps of flour in this mixture when I'm done with this step, I pour this through a screen-type strainer before I add it to the kettle with the boiled potatoes. 

Add the above smooth/creamy mixture to the pan of sauteed onions/celery/butter mix.  Also add:  4 cups of cooked ham, diced or cubed. Stirring constantly, heat everything through and bring to a "slow boil" until "bubbly thick". 

 Continue heating for a minute or two to "cook" the flour.  

Now, add the cooked potatoes.  Stir gently.  It's done!

In serving bowls, garnish with grated cheese or green onions or whatever else you like.

If you can't follow my crazy directions,
 leave an inquiring comment below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Nadine's Fresh Apple Cake (stays SO moist!)

Apple cake frosted with browned butter cream cheese frosting...

 Above and below:  Recipe baked in bundt pan.

 Below:  Recipe baked in 9x13" pan, 
frosted with "quicker" browned butter frosting.

If you happen to own an apple peeler like the one shown below
you will be able to get this cake into the oven with 
little effort and less time spent doing it.

My sister Nadine often brought a pan of this apple cake for us when she'd come up from Arkansas.  It is SO moist, and SO good!  Here's the recipe for it.  I'm happy that she shared it with me.

Ingredients and Directions 

Combine, set aside and let soak for 1 hour (some bakers skip this actual "soaking step" and just proceed as if they had "soaked" them):

4 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 cup "Omega" kind of vegetable oil (OR you favorite vegetable oil).
1 and 1/2 cups sugar  (Original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I did not miss the 1/2 cup I left out.)


After the "soaking time" is up for the chopped apples in the oil and sugar, slightly beat 2 eggs and add to the apple mixture.  Also, add 1 teaspoon Vanilla, and stir in.

In a separate container, combine the following dry ingredients: 

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice (Opinion:  For the best tasting cake, do not substitute with any other spice.)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Blend the dry ingredients into the apple mixture.

Fold in 1 cup raisins OR chopped dates and 1 cup chopped pecans OR walnuts.  (OR you can add flaked coconut, too!)  Tip:  If my raisins or dates seem too firm, I would just add them to the apple/sugar/oil soak at the beginning of this recipe.

Bake at 325-degrees for "about" 1 hour if you choose to bake this in a greased and floured Bundt pan.  

Optional baking method:  I sometimes bake this cake in a 9x13x2-inch greased and floured pan for just under one hour-- but check your cake for doneness with a toothpick or very clean/sharp knife at just under 1 hour.  If knife/toothpick comes out clean, it should be done.  


If you really want to put something on this cake and want a topping that seems  made-to-order for just this kind of cake, see the two options below..

Apple Cake GLAZE

Bring just to a rolling boil 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk), 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla or rum flavoring and stir well.  Pour this hot mixture on hot cake fresh from the oven and sprinkle with slivered almonds or pecans.  Cool.



Heat ½ stick butter in pan over medium heat and watch closely while stirring until the butter turns golden brown in color.  Then,...quickly add to the hot/browned butter about two tablespoons of milk to stop the browning, and then stir in some SIFTED powdered sugar till you have the amount and consistency of frosting you need.  It may be necessary to add tiny amounts of more milk to get a smooth texture.   I poured "ribbons" of this frosting from end-to-end over the still warm (but not hot) cake.   Once this kind of frosting hits the cake's surface, it cannot be spread without making a mess.  Again, you have to get this type of frosting onto the cake very quickly before it thickens too much to pour it on.

Oh, my goodness!!!!!-- this cake is so 
delicious with a browned butter cream 
cheese frosting, too!

This cake freezes well, too.