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! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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.

You will see no advertising on my blog; this means there is no monetary benefit for me having "visitors" or "joiners"-- having said that, if you do wish to JOIN my blog, you can do so by scrolling w-a-y down to near the bottom of the page...

My Visitors

Locations of Site Visitors

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:

INGREDIENTS:

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
~~~~

INGREDIENTS  NEEDED JUST BEFORE  BAKING:
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Chopped nuts (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

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.


INGREDIENTS and DIRECTIONS:

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.

OR

A "QUICKER" BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING:

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.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Our Favorite Chili (It's SO quick!)

I like the flavor of this chili!

Years ago, a recipe card for this chili was handed out when Qualheim's True Value in Shawano hosted a kind of promotional event put on by the Regal cookware company.  During the 'event', someone from the Regal company was in front of the store and serving free cupfuls of this chili recipe from a HUGE frying pan that was sitting over some kind of heat source-- honestly, the huge pan was something like 5-6' feet across.  (M-m-m-m-m-m, the chili-- tasted so good!!!) 

This is about the 'QUICKEST' chili ever!  To save 'preparation time' when cooking, I like to 'brown hamburger' ahead of time-- about 5# at a time,  bag it and freeze in 1# amounts.  Using the pre-browned and thawed hamburger, this recipe can be completed start-to-finish in the length of time it takes to cook the onion/green pepper mixture.  (20 minutes?)  Even if starting with raw ground beef, it's still quick!


I like to double this recipe so I'll have some left for the next day.

6 servings (maybe less if you have 'chili likers')

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 chopped green OR red OR yellow  OR orange pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
~~~~
  • 1 package (1 and 5/8 oz. size) chili seasoning mix (recipe called for French's)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained (my addition, optional)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes with liquid, OR stewed tomatoes, OR whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushroom pieces, drained (optional)
DIRECTIONS:

Sauté onions and peppers of your choice in butter in a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat until onions are transparent.  While 'getting the onions ready', and if you are not using 'browned-ahead ground beef',  brown the raw ground beef in separate fry pan, and drain. 
 
(To speed everything along, you could start heating everything in the last group above over low heat while the onion/pepper and the hamburger is being readied.)
Combine EVERYthing. Mix well, breaking up tomatoes (if whole).  Bring to a very light boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 5-10 minutes (to make sure the beans are totally heated ).
 
*Once I get everything combined, and if  I'm in no hurry to serve, I'll put it into the oven at 340-degrees for about 30 minutes.  This is also a good crock pot meal.  Also, see note at far bottom of this posting.

This can be served with a variety of toppings:  Grated cheese, chopped green onions, snipped chives, or ???
▼    
▼    
SOUR CREAM......
▼    
 P.S.  I've seen cooks take a recipe like this, add a large can of tomato juice, a small handful of spaghetti strips that have been snapped into 1-inch pieces, and a can of corn for a different kind of dish-- adjusting the cooking time and amount of chili powder, as desired.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Cookies with Cranberries/Walnuts/White Chocolate Chips*


These cookies passed the "cookie 
tasting test" by everyone here.



Yield:  5 dozen  (This recipe can be easily cut in half to make 30 cookies) 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Cups (4 sticks, or 1 pound) butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
-----------------
  • 4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
-----------------
  • 2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cream the softened butter in a large mixing bowl.  Beat in the sugars and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Stir the sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, half at a time, until evenly mixed.
  4. Stir in the dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts.
  5. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.  
  7. Lightly butter two large baking sheets OR line them with parchment paper (I used the parchment paper method).
  8. Shape dough into 1 and 1/2-inch-diameter balls. 
  9. Place the balls on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 and 1/2" inches between each.  
  10. Bake one sheet at a time on the center rack in the oven for ABOUT 17 minutes.  (They take longer to bake because they are cold to start with.)  Since ovens vary in temperatures, check the baking process to control how you want yours to look.
  11. When done, the edges of the cookies should be a light golden brown and the centers lighter in color.  Don't over-bake-- they will sort of "bake" a little bit more on their hot pans after coming out of the oven.
  12. Cool cookies for about 5 minutes on their baking sheet and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Store in an air-tight container.  I like that the moisture in the cranberries helps to keep the cookies more moist.  Enjoy!




*  I adapted (and doubled) this recipe 
from one in The Old Farmer’s Almanac 
Everyday Baking cookbook

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thick Potato 'n Ham Soup

Seriously,... I wonder how many times 
in a row I could eat this before I'd say, 
"No, I think I'll have something else!"


But, when you see the ingredients 
(especially the butter, whole milk and 
the heavy cream), you might say,
"Take it easy on the soup!"

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
  • 8 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed to the size you like.
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked ham, cubed or diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk (or half 'n half)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded or thinly sliced (to be used as a topping)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cook potatoes in generously salted water until tender.  Drain well and set aside.
  2. In a separate and rather large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat, watching it carefully.  
  3. Add celery, onion, salt and pepper to the melted butter. 
  4. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender and the flour has cooked slightly.
  5. Slowly whisk in the milk (or optional half 'n half).  Continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken.
  6. Add heavy cream and continue stirring until soup is very creamy.
  7. Add diced/cubed ham and cubed potatoes and stir until blended.
  8. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Serve in cup or bowl and top with cheese.


This soup might be is "rich", 
but, ...I say it is SO worth it!

(I could see where a very small 
amount of thin slices of carrot 
would add a tiny dash of color.)


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

EZ Chick Meal

This is so EZ, so quick,... 

no exact recipe is needed...

  • First, I lightly sprayed my old speckled enamel navy blue roasting pan* with non-stick spray.   Set aside.
  • Secondly, in a large frying pan with oil, I browned both sides of the "bare/rinsed off" chicken thighs (thighs with skin on, bone in).  This step did NOT take very long!
  • Thirdly, this is what I put into the sprayed roaster pan:
  • 1 large onion, sliced into long strips (end-to-end, or pole-to-pole)
  • Peeled and "quartered" potatoes-- enough to serve however many people you wish to serve.
  • Large carrots, scraped and sliced.
  • 4 cups chicken broth.
  • On top of the veggies, I arranged the browned chicken thighs and sprinkled all with salt and pepper.
  • Cover with roaster cover (or cover tightly with foil?), put into 300-degree oven and set the oven for 3 hours.  M-m-m-m, so easy, so good.  (I'm sure this would be just as good with using a slow cooker, but it would just take a bit longer.)
IF you want to, you could drain whatever chicken broth is left in the roaster, thicken it, and use it for gravy.  



That's all, folks!

* The large blue speckled/enameled roaster I used was one of my wedding presents 52 years ago--  I love it with "old friends" like that just keep hangin' around my kitchen.

Here it is, again, in less light...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Pancakes

                                                                         Photo by Doris

Okay,... so I sometimes think I won't be 'doing this' (posting recipes/photos) too often because my most favorite recipes are already posted,... but, ... but, ... but, then I leave the 'door' open that I just m-i-g-h-t sneak one in here and there.   And,...I'll tell you what prompted me to do it.   I was reaching for a box of All-Bran cereal.  At the same time, I'm still hearing remembering two of my grandchildren describing this kind of cereal as looking like chicken feed ("chicken mash", they said, after the milk is on it for more than a minute)!  Even though I'm not crazy for the flavor and texture of this very plain kind of cereal, it's what I'll do because I know fiber is good for me (good for many).  BUT!, with the box already in my hand and making its descent from the cupboard this morning, I couldn't help but see the notice "New Recipe on Back"-- well, of course, I had to give that a look!

Ah-h-h-h, a couple of things factored into my next decision-- the picture looked gooooood, I was very hungry, I happened to have every one of the listed ingredients on hand, a-n-d, ... since I was already planning to eat the bran, why not eat it like this!?!?!  So, ... I did...and I will be putting the recipe for these on my list of 'favorite things to make for breakfast'.  They also passed the 'taste testing' from my hubby.  They're a mix of pancake/banana nut bread, etc.  I'm not done, yet!-- with adding a little butter and 100% maple syrup made from our own trees on this farm, my description is a simple "M-m-m!'

Some might say these are 'heavy', but I say it's more that they are "filling" (satisfying)-- two were great plenty for me. 
Yield:  I think I ended up with 10 of these 4.5" pancakes.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup 100% whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Kellogg's All-Bran Original cereal
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Maple Syrup
  • Banana slices and additional chopped nuts for garnishing (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, Kellogg's All-BRAN Original cereal, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.  Mix together.
  2. In a second bowl, combine the slightly beaten egg, milk, ground flax seed and mashed banana; stir until well combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir only until just combined.
  3. Stir in the 1/3 cup chopped nuts, optional
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup batter* onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or into a skillet.  Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown**, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and its edges are slightly dry. 
  5. Top with syrup, banana slices, and additional nuts, if desired.
*  I like to use my larger cookie scoop for this because it's about the same size and the batter dumps from it so easily (I guess it has no choice when I shove it out with the lever).

**Remember that with using the whole wheat flour, we already have a 'darker batter'-- so, when they say "golden brown", it's a little different look than we'd have when making all white flour pancakes.  Don't have the heat so high that they get 'dark' before they're done in the middle.
 ▼

Leave nuts out of the batter and off the top if you have a 'non-nut liker' in your group...
P.S.  I make up a double batch of these, cool each pancake on a wire rack, then layer 'em  between squares of Saran Wrap or waxed paper.  Next, I stick those little stacks in a Ziploc and I can freeze them, or just refrigerate them for enjoying over the next few days.  It's so convenient to pull one or two out, put 'em in the toaster and... ENJOY!!!   Some mornings, I take one of these (okay, maybe two!), fold it in half with a thin layer of natural peanut butter in between.  I liked that, too.

Whole Wheat 'n Oats Banana Pancakes

Don't let the '12-ingredients' part stop 
you from making these!  
They are easy, and............ I LIKE!
A BONUS:  You'll KNOW what's in THESE!*

*I remember attending a meeting held in the auditorium of the high school in Shawano when the lecturer said something like this about the packaged/convenience food we buy:  "If your first and second grader children cannot (or could not) pronounce the words in the ingredient list, don't buy it, don't eat it!"
----------------------------------

If you like a combination of banana, peanut butter and chocolate, do this:
Above:  Use the same recipe for the pancakes, but drizzle them with a 2:1 ratio of pure maple syrup and creamy peanut butter.  Oh, ...and top 'em with a KISS! (Depending on the quantity you want, use twice as much syrup as peanut butter.)

INGREDIENTS:
  1. 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (I used 'light' because that's what I had)
  5. 2 teaspoons baking powder (I use the aluminum-free kind that's now readily available)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt (Kosher is good)
  8. 1 whole egg
  9. 2 cups whole milk (I used 2%)
  10. 2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus a bit more for the griddle
  11. 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 1 banana, coarsely mashed
You could also add chopped nuts to the batter if you wish.

DIRECTIONS:
  • Place the rolled oats into a mini food processor or blender.  (I put the oats into a pint jar and then used my regular 'big boy' blender.)  Blend until it is the texture of coarse flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the ground oats, wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla and coconut oil (because my coconut oil was cool and sort of 'solid', I measure out the amount and just barely warmed it back to 'liquid state' before adding it).
  • Mash banana coarsely and add to liquid mixture; stir in.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir (or whisk) just long enough to combine.  
  • Let the batter sit for a few minutes while the griddle heats up.
  • Spread a little coconut oil over a hot griddle.  Use a quarter cup to measure out pancake batter onto the preheated griddle.  
  • Flip once the bubbles begin to pop and no longer fill back in with batter.  Keep warm and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Let's have some...


Thanks for stopping by!
This recipe adapted from www.simplyscratch.com

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Easy Peezy Peach Cobbler



I hit the jackpot on Tuesday when I bought six peaches at Woodman's in Appleton.  This time, I got lucky!  These were just perfectly ripe, juicy and sweet.  I should have bought a lot more!  Yesterday, I googled for a peach cobbler recipe* and settled on this one.  (I think I may have been lured to it by the words "Southern Living".)  In the past, I have had peach cobblers made with more of a "biscuit dough" topping that made it more necessary to eat it when fresh and warm.  I find that THIS recipe yields a cobbler that is STILL so very good even the next day when it is NOT fresh from the oven and warm!

Yield:  10 servings

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups sliced peaches, peeled, OR unpeeled.  (I used five peaches.)
  • 1 more cup of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg, optional
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Melt butter in a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine flour and first 1 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt.  Blend together.  
  3. Add milk to above dry ingredients and stir only until everything is moistened.  Pour this mixture of batter evenly over the melted butter in the baking dish.  Do NOT stir it.  Set aside.
  4. Bring to just a rolling boil the second cup of sugar, the four cups of peach slices and the lemon juice while stirring constantly.  It forms its own juice.
  5. Remove boiling peach mixture from heat and spoon the hot mixture evenly over the thin batter in the baking dish.  Do not stir.
  6. IF desired, sprinkle top very lightly with cinnamon OR nutmeg.
  7. Bake at 375-degrees (or less if your oven runs hot) for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Note:  I baked mine at 350-degrees for 40 minutes and it ended up as seen below.
  8. Serve this cobbler while warm OR cold.

Above:  Shown with a very light sprinkling of 
cinnamon on top before baking.


* I followed the recipe just as I found it here:  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/easy-peach-cobbler.  If you wish, you can go to that website and read through the 286 different "reviews" before you make one for yourself.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rhubarb Custard Squares (w/Cream Cheese/Whipped Cream Topping)



How does this compare to my "other" rhubarb custard
dessert?   Well,... ingredient-wise, it's like I've often heard 
our "fixit" guy say, "It's similar, but different!"


INGREDIENTS:

Crust--
  •     2 cups flour
  •     1/4 cup sugar
  •     1 cup butter (cold)
Filling--
  •     2 cups sugar
  •     7 tablespoons flour
  •     3 eggs (beaten)
  •     1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •     5 cups finely diced fresh rhubarb
Topping--
  •     1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •     8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
  •     1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
  •     3/4 teaspoon vanilla
DIRECTIONS:

Crust--
  1.     Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
  2.     Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13" baking dish (or pan).
  3.     Combine the flour and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cut in the cold butter until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  (I used my food processor to get this done very quickly!)
  4.     Press flour mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  5.     Bake for only 10 minutes and remove from oven for the "filling".
Filling--
  1.     While the crust is baking, combine the sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl.  Add the cream and eggs; whisk all together until well mixed.  (I used my stand mixer for this.) Set aside.
  2.     Dice the rhubarb and spread that evenly over the hot crust.  
  3.     Pour the liquid custard mixture evenly over the rhubarb layer.  
  4.     Return to oven and baked for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling is set.  Allow the bars to cool completely before frosting.  (With MY oven, I had to bake these for closer to 50 minutes for the center to "set/firm up".)
Topping-- 
  1.     Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.  (Be careful so that you   don't beat it to the point of  "making butter"!)
  2.     Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth; fold in the whipped cream just until well mixed.
  3.     Keep this topping mixture tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to serve with the "rhubarb squares".  
This recipe was adapted from a post by http://www.recipetips.com





Friday, April 24, 2015

Taco Casserole (with chicken) *




This recipe was adapted from one originally submitted by Campbell's Kitchen.  The original recipe called for a 15-ounce bag of tortilla chips to be crushed up and layered in here.  BUT!!!, ...because I like left-overs, I omitted the chips (I left them out because I could picture them soaking up moisture, AND/OR becoming soggy/rubbery).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups shredded or "small chunked", cooked chicken (a rotisserie chicken makes "quick work" of this, and it tastes  just great for this!).
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted.  (Original recipe asked for 2 cans, but I didn't want this recipe to end up being "too soupy".  Suit yourself.)
  • 1 cup sour cream.
  • 1 of 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained).
  • 1 of 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 of a 1 oz. envelope of taco seasoning mix--the reduced-sodium variety may be best.  (Especially for my husband's taste, I used only half of the 1 oz. envelope.)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided into two equal portions.
....................
  • Possible topping ingredients:  Chopped tomato, sliced green onion, cilantro leaves. black olives and/or ????
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat the oven to 350-degrees F. Lightly grease (or spray) a 9x13x2" baking dish.
  2. Stir the shredded or "small-chunked" well-done chicken meat, condensed soup, sour cream, tomatoes/chilies, black beans and taco seasoning in a medium/large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread 1/2 of the chicken mixture in bottom of dish.  Add a layer of 1 cup of the shredded cheese amount.  Layer with the remaining chicken mixture.  
  4. Cover the baking dish
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Then, uncover the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake, UNcovered, for another 10 minutes or until hot/bubbling and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve topping options on the side for "individual preferences".  For those who like "hot stuff",  maybe a dash of hot sauce or other kinds of "hots" could be added to their individual serving. 
*  In my opinion, this dish, after baking, could be used as a dip for your favorite kind of crunchy chips.   Also, ...I think it could be served in soft OR hard taco shells.   And,... this mixture (before baking) could be wrapped in soft tortilla shells and baked like that... maybe with adding a light layer of your favorite kind of sauce?  (Actually, this mixture in its UNbaked state was tasting pretty darned good, too--  I happen to know this because... I licked off the spatula!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Corn Bread

"We all have the Native Americans to thank for corn bread.  Its humble beginnings can be traced back to the Indians that the European settlers came in contact with when they first arrived in America." (http://www.indians.org/articles/corn-bread.html)

We (my husband and I) have invited the sister missionaries to join us for supper tonight.  Planning to try a new (new to me) recipe for corn bread, I decided to make a skillet of it this morning.  That way, if it didn't turn out, or if I didn't like it, I could scratch the idea and make some dinner rolls.  Well,... I say this recipe is a "GO" for tonight, and beyond.  The credit for this recipe goes to someone named "Nandabear".

As I was making this, I thought of a particular grandson (Matthew, shown below) because he always liked it whenever I served this in the past-- but, confession-wise, my "cornbread of the past" usually came from one of those little blue boxes.  NOT this time around!!


This recipe makes enough to serve 10 (I'd surely cut this recipe in half for a small family.)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white cornmeal-- but, I used yellow cornmeal today.  (Personally, I like to look around and find Non-GMO corn meal--  an Internet search will help you find some brands of it.)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (To make this, I added two tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to a scant two cups of whole milk, and then let it sit for about 15 minutes so it could do its "curdle thing".)

DIRECTIONS:


  1. If you DON'T have regular buttermilk on hand, make your own by adding lemon juice as I did.  Do this now so it can sit and do it's "curdle thing" for a little while.  Skip this step, of course, if you have regular buttermilk on hand.
  2. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
  3. Pour vegetable oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and swirl the oil to coat bottom and sides of skillet.  Place skillet (with the oil in it) into the pre-heated oven until very hot, OR for 3-5 minutes.  Set a timer so you do NOT forget about this being in the oven.
  4. Remove skillet from oven, and set aside.
  5. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a med. sized mixing bowl. 
  6. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, and then stir the buttermilk in.
  7. Pour half (2 tablespoons) of the hot vegetable oil from the skillet into this buttermilk mixture.  Beat until oil is incorporated.  
  8. Mix buttermilk/eggs/oil mixture into dry ingredients to make a smooth batter. 
  9. Pour batter into the still hot/warm skillet.
  10. Bake in the oven until top is golden brown, or 18-20 minutes.  This is how mine looked at 18 minutes when I took it out of the oven.  
                                  
Since ovens vary, check yours so see how it is coming along after the first 15 minutes.  IF you do not want the top to get as dark as what mine did, here, you might want to lay a piece of aluminum foil very lightly over the top when it gets to the desired "brownness" and continue baking until it is done.  (At 18 minutes, I tested this with a wood toothpick to see if I thought it was done-- the toothpick came out "clean" so I took it out.)

Cut cornbread into servings while in the skillet, and serve while warm.  If baked ahead of time, like I just did, warm it in the oven just before serving time.
After taking that big wedge of corn bread out of the skillet and............. well, you know,...... eating it while the butter was melting on it,............... I think I just may have made a meal out of this.  OINK!!!, OINK!!! ... to ...ME!!!!   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Caramel Nut Chocolate Squares



When my sister was down-sizing in preparation to move from a large home to a small apartment, she gave me a whole BUNCH of cookbooks.  One was entitled Our Mom's Best Recipes (and Dad's) Vol. II.  It was... "Dedicated to the Best Moms and Dads in the World!" and sponsored by the First United Methodist Youth in December of 1994.   I found this particular recipe, submitted by Carolyn Whisenant, inside of that booklet.  After they were baked, my "taste tester" said he approved of their moistness, chewiness, and... TASTE!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 14 oz. package of light caramels (or approximately 50), UNwrapped. (P.S.  I do NOT like the job of UNwrapping caramels!  Usually, IF any children are around, they more than gladly do it for me just so they can have some of the "extras".  There were no children here today.)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk (I found that, by using a small 5 oz. can of evaporated milk, I had  enough for the two separate amounts called for in this recipe without having any left over to "waste"?)
......................................
  • 1 package German Chocolate cake mix (as is)
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (Today, I used pecans)
  • 1 cup (or 6 oz.) chocolate chips-- you can choose between the semi-sweet or milk chocolate variety.  (Personally, I think they end up being toooooooooo sweet with milk chocolate chips.)
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a saucepan, heat UNwrapped caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk.  Heat over low/medium heat until caramels are melted.  Stir until smooth and set aside.
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan.  (I lined a pan with foil, and then used non-stick spray on that. This way I could lift them out of the pan for easier cutting after they cooled and the caramel firmed up.)
  3. In a larger bowl, combine dry cake mix, melted butter, the other 1/3 cup evaporated milk and the chopped nuts.   (Just because it's something I choose to do, I first rub the dry cake mix through a mesh screen-type strainer to get rid of any dry lumps.)
  4. By hand, stir until dough holds together.
  5. Press 1/2 of the dough into the baking pan, saving the rest for topping to be added later.
  6. Bake at 350-degrees for 6 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the baked/hot crust.  Spread caramel mixture over the chips.
  8. Crumble the remaining dough over the caramel/chips layer.  (In order to accomplish this, I dropped very LITTLE dabs of dough on the caramel layer until I had "most" of the surface covered by little bits of dough.)
  9. Return to oven and bake 15 to 18 minutes more, depending on how your own oven heats.
  10. Cool slightly.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the caramel layer set before cutting.

I often bake things like this and then put them into 
the freezer for sharing when others stop in.