Sunday, April 22, 2012

Simple Deserts

I was thinking today about something simple you all might like to fix for your family that would be quick and you could make while your eating your supper. I have been making these recipes for about 30 years. When I worked as a cook in a daycare we used this Banana recipe for breakfast a lot. It comes from "The Christian Home Cook Book". I don't believe it is in print anymore but maybe if you get hold of Weavers Store they may be able to get it. These are a real go-to when I have nothing in the house but some dead Bananas and a couple cans of peaches. I don't have a picture as I just made the Banana one and it's gone.  Neither of these are very sweet but really good and will stand in for a tasty desert.
I always called this one;
"A Cup, A Cup, A Cup Cobbler"
Oven 375* 30 - 40 minutes
1 stick Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour [reg.]
1 C Milk
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp Salt
In a 8 x 11 oven proof dish [glass] melt the butter.
I just put the butter in the dish and stick it in the oven to melt.  Whisk the dry ingredients together and then stir in the milk. Pull out the dish of melted Butter from the oven and pour the batter over the melted butter. DO NOT STIR.
Pour sweetened fruit over the top, juice and all.
I use a couple of 15 oz. cans of sweetened Peaches.
You can use Cherie or Blueberry Pie Filling. If you use a pie filling you will have to kind of plop it over the batter. Probably one can, 21 oz. will be enough as it is bigger than the peaches. Looks odd but trust me it will come out real good. When I had an abundence of Blackberries I used to sugar them and wait till they had maserated and pour them in. Boy was that good!!
OK, put this in the oven when you are serving up supper and it should be about ready when you are clearing the table. It's done when a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown. Serve it with some Vanilla Ice Cream or Cool Whip.  It's really good hot or warm.

Banana Cake
Bake 350* 45 minutes  13 x 9 sprayed pan
Cream together; [with mixer] 
3/4 C Butter [room temp. or soften in microwave]
1 1/2 C Sugar
Then blend in;
1 1/2 C or about 4 dead, meaning black Bananas
I moosh them up really well with a fork before I add them. I have tried just putting them in but it comes out better if you moosh them.
2 Eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla
Whisk together before adding to wet ingredients;
2 C Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
Add to Banana mixture, alternately with
1/2 C Buttermilk or **sour Milk.
Blend after each addition. Don't beat this to pieces. You don't want it to be tough. Just get the flour and milk incorporated and then add;
1 C Pecans or Walnuts or no nuts at all. [It's great just plain.] Chop the nuts so they aren't big hunks in there.
Put it in the oven and it is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
I wait till it has cooled some then sprinkle Powdered Sugar over the top. This is good hot, warm or just room temp. It's a winner. No icing needed.  Really Yummy!
**Sour Milk is easy made. [as my Mother-in-law would have said] Add about a 1 tsp. [scant] vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 C Milk when you start this recipe and it will look like Buttermilk by the time you need it.
Hope this helps you working Mothers. Hard to have something homemade when you are gone all day. These are easy and good. Try them and see.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Few Ideas For Leftovers and a Cake

Been doing a little bit more cooking lately and my sister was asking if I had ever posted anything about leftovers. I know when you have boys or men who are hungry there just isn't anything left over. We do have meat that is sometimes left over and I make meals out of Chicken or Beef at little cost. I did this when my husband was living and kids were at home.  One of the things I make is Chicken Pot Pie [Daughters favorite]or Beef Pot Pie depending on what I have left. If you have gravy left from your Roast Chicken or Roast Beef and some chicken and beef left over too, you will have a hearty meal. I always just heat some mixed Vegetables or just whatever you have. [Not Broccoli because it will disintegrate and be horrible.]Heat the gravy in the microwave. You will have to add a little water to it so it isn't so thick. Add the chopped Chicken or Beef and the warmed Vegetables. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Top it with crust and there you have a Pot Pie.  I have made either in a casserole dish or in an iron skillet. No Pie Crust needed if you are short on time and the kids are around your ankles and starved. Just top with biscuits instead of crust. Bake at about 375 until the biscuits are brown and done. Yummy in the gravy and super simple and fast.

A couple of other things I wanted to show you and mention. Duncan & I made a beautiful Angle Food Cake this week. I always make cakes with Duncan, Hines that is. If you follow the recipe it is so simple and it makes a great cake. Bigger and lighter than the ones already made at the grocery store.[blah] I think better than Bettys or that dough boy guy.  Just be sure that your mixing bowl is clean and your Angle Food Cake pan is grease free and clean. So simple and it takes about 3 minutes to stir up. It's good covered in Strawberries & Cool Whip. I sometimes make a Lemon or Orange Glaze for it. You can also get some Cool Whip and add a little bit of Cocoa powder to it and have Chocolate Whipped Cream. There is also Cinnamon or Mint Extract and a little Green Food Coloring. You have fancy and it took no time at all.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I asked my daughter for an idea of what she thought folks might like to have this week and she said "How about your Lasagna". It looks long and complicated but it isn't. I'm sure you all have made it before and you  just might like to add something different to your dish. I do that a lot.  It's a good dish that can be cut in half and frozen for another time too.  I got this recipe from a neighbor before Ellen was born. This lady really knew how to cook and I have added a few of my own tweaks to it over the years but hers was the main idea. It's really tasty and filling. Serve it with a tossed green salad and Garlic Bread and you have a hearty meal for any time of the year. 
Meat Sauce:

 l lb. Ground Chuck, plus ½ lb. Ground Italian Sausage
 ½ half Green Pepper, diced fine
 I large Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
A couple of Tbs. Oregano, to your taste
Salt and Pepper
Fry above and drain well. Set aside.
Pour into a large skillet:
1 jar Prego or Ragu Sauce 32 oz. [which ever you like]
2 Tbs. Sugar
1 can sliced Mushrooms
1 large can Tomato Sauce [I'm talking 15oz.]
Add the drained meat mixture to this sauce and simmer about 30 minutes. You want his sauce thick, not runny.
Cheese Filling:
3 Cups Cream Cottage Cheese [you may have to drain it]
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbs. Parsley
2 eggs well beaten
Salt and pepper to taste [don’t go nuts tho]
Mix this up and set aside. [Looks horrible but it will be fine]
2-6 oz. Packages of sliced Mozzarella Cheese  
1-2 cup Package of Grated Mozzarella Cheese
1-2 Cup Package of Grated Cheddar Cheese
Lasagna Noodles 
Heat to boiling 3 qt. Water [don’t salt before, it takes longer to boil]
Add 1 ½ tsp.  Salt when it’s boiling.
Gradually stir in noodles. I use the whole package because some of them tear up. You will need about 10 or 12 depending. Cook about 10 minutes and then blanch in cold water. They will stick together, so be sure everything else is ready to put together.
Spray a 13 X 9 ovenproof pan. Place a small amount of sauce on the bottom, then 4 noodles. They will overlap but that’s okay. Spread with meat mixture sauce, then ½ cottage cheese mixture then sliced Mozzarella. Then noodles again,4, meat sauce, the rest of the cheese sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Now cover the top of the cheese with noodles. Be sure the top is covered with them. Add remaining meat sauce and spread it over noodles.  Cover with foil and put into a 375 oven for about 30 minutes until cooked through. Remember you have eggs in there.  
the last 5 minutes remove foil and top with the Grated Cheese’s.
This needs to stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting or it will not look editable. I always had a fight on my hands when I wanted the famiy to wait because it always slops all over the plate. You want it to cut evenly. [duh!]
Anyway it didn't look too hot to me but they didn't seem to care they were always starved!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gayle's Fresh Apple Pie

Gayle's Fresh Apple Pie

I've been making fresh Apple Pie for a long time. I never am for sure how it will turn out but I guess as my son says "you've been making it forever and it's never bad". Hummm!
I've never never been a fan of Apple Pie filling. They are always cut so big and are hard. Never enough Cinnamon and just uck!  I always put up about 2 bushels of Apples every fall. I use Johnathan Apples and I freeze them. I peel and slice them, not to thin or thick but just right. [this is not The Three Bears story but that part fits] Now, I fill a big bowl with apples and add 1/4 C Sugar and a good sprinkle of Fruit Fresh. Mix it with your hands. Then I measure, in a dry measuring cup, 5 C of Apples. [Push them down in the cup]I put them in a quart freezer bag and freeze. This is messy and sticky and fun if you have kids around. They love a slice of Apple in the mouth every pass they make by you. My daycare kids always did. Anyway, since I just made one this past Wednesday for some "Cousin Company" I thought you might like to try this pie sometime too.
There are so many sizes of pie plates that I almost want to caution you about the size but I won't.  I would bet that most of you have a 9" or 10" pie plates so I will assume that with the approximate measurements.
Apple Filling
5 C Apples, thawed or enough fresh apples to make 5 C. You can use Granny Smith or a good baking apple that doesn't turn to mush.
Sugar to your taste [who would mind tasting these apples?]
Cinnamon and plenty of it.
5 or 6 tsps. Butter for the top of the Apples
If you have a fresh Orange or Lemon squeeze about a half of either one into the apples.
Let this stand while you are making the pie crust. The juices will come out but they won't soak the crust because you have put that flour in the bottom crust.[see below]
I don't add any other thickening to them as a too thick any kind of pie filling is not good.
Pie Crust for a 2 crust pie
1 1/2 C Flour
3/4 C Crisco [only] No butter as it will fall apart.
1/3 C to 1/2 C ICE water, more or less.  See how it holds together.
2 tsp. Salt
Work this [the dry ingredients] together with a pastry cutter. I use a fork, but then I'm old fashioned. It is not going to resemble peas. I can't ever figure that saying out. I look at mine and it is small but have you looked at peas lately? Impossible. 
Add the water a little at a time and I flour my hands and work it together. Use half of the dough and roll out on a well floured pastry cloth or whatever you use. I use a cloth. If you added a little too much water it is NOT a big deal. This is a great pie crust my mother-in-law invented when she was a cook and it turns out EVERY time.  OK now........roll it out. Then roll it back up on your rolling pin and re roll it into the pie plate. It will easily fit and if not don't panic just fix it with a little left over crust and a tiny bit of water. Pat it into place and who will know?? Now add about 1/4 C of flour to the bottom of the crust that is in the plate and spread it around with your fingers so it covers the bottom.
Slowly spoon in the apples. They won't be mounded up and I think that is just dumb anyway. It is so hard to get them done when they are so thick. Add the butter on top of the apples in the pie plate and then roll out the rest of the crust and do the same thing you did with the bottom. Slit the top like in the picture above and sprinkle with sugar. Into the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. I always know it's done when it is bubbling in the center. I also want to add that I use a pastry "sock" over my rolling pin and once it is rolled in the flour on the pastry cloth nothing sticks to it either. This looks like a lot of blah blah but once you get this crust recipe you are set for fruit, pudding, meat, chicken or any kind of pie. 
Have a Blessed Easter and wonderful weekend.