Saturday, December 27, 2008

Straight From The Farm!

The following few recipes are straight from my Great-Aunt Lenora's farm kitchen in Massena, Iowa. I enjoyed these growing up as a kid when we visited in the summer to work the farm - um, my mom called it a vacation!! All the hard work was worth it when we had Aunt Lenora's home-cooked meals as a reward!


1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm milk
1/4 cup very warm water
1 package yeast
2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients, cover and leave in warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in size (yeast sponge)

Yeast dough:

1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oleo
Yeast Sponge
3-1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten

Mix all and let rise until double in size. Punch down dough and form into 1 inch balls and place inches apart on well greased baking sheet.
Set in warm place, let rise again until double in size.
Brush tops with egg; make a slight depression in top of each ball. Fil with prune filling. Bake 18-22 minutes at 350 or until golden brown.

Prune Filling:

3 dozen pitted prunes
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons oleo

Cook prunes, mash well, stir in remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring frequently until thick - about 10 minutes.

Green Tomato Cake

3/4 cup oleo
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups diced or minced green tomatoes
2 teaspoons orange flavoring
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk

Cream oleo and sugar; beat in eggs. Stir in green tomatoes, nuts and flavorings.
Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with milk.
Pour into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Cool and frost if desired

Luscious Apple Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oleo
1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups raw apples, finely chopped
1/2 cups nuts, chopped

Cream sugar, oleo, and butter flavoring. Add soda to buttermilk, stir well and add to sugar mixture. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.

Combine topping:
2 tablespoons oleo
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

and drop in dabs over top of batter.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes

Apple Crisp

4 or 5 cups chopped apples
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup softened margarine

Place apples in the bottom of glass baking pan.
Mix all other ingredients and spread over the top of apples.
Bake in slow oven (325).
Serve with ice cream, good hot or cold.

Friday, December 26, 2008


These are "signature" fudges my Aunt makes every year. This year we didn't make it over to her house for Christmas, so she sent the recipes for my chef-in-training!

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 cup butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cups powder suagr

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high.
Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
Pour into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with waxed paper.
Place a second piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool.
Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week

Mashed Potato Fudge

3 sq. unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
1/2 c. mashed potatoes (instant work well)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 c. nuts, chopped (optional)

Melt chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan.
Combine sugar, salt and vanilla in a bowl; add mashed potatoes and nuts.
Add melted chocolate mixture.
Mix well.
Put in greased or buttered 6 x 10 inch pan.
Let set until firm and cut into squares. Very good!

Cashew Fudge

1/2 cup butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup milk
1 3/4-2 Cups sifted powder sugar
1 Cup cashews

Grease 9" square pan. In saucepan melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and continue cooking, stirring until the mixture boils. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Gradually add the powdered sugar until the mixture is of fudge consistency. Add the nuts. Spread in prepared pan and cool

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

This is our dinner tonight!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I'm using 2# breast fillets)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Add all ingredients, except biscuits, to slow cooker. Cook on high 4 hours. Open biscuits and cut into quarters, add to slow cooker and cook an additional 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

If desired: add a package of frozen veggies, or canned veggies with liquid drained. You can also add spices to your liking--poultry seasoning, cumin, salt, pepper, etc.


Shortbread Cookies

An easy variation :)

1 cup butter, softened (use ONLY real butter)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1-1/2 cups flour

Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients and beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3-4 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes Remove as bottoms begin to brown and cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter (use ONLY real butter), softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon sugar

Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla thoroughly with electric mixer. Gradually beat in flour and corn starch. Add chocolate chips.

Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pour sugar onto small plate, dip bottom of glass into sugar and press down on each cookie to flatten.

Bake in preheated 300 oven for 25-30 minutes, until bottoms just begin to brown. Cook on pan for 5 minutes then remove to wire rack.

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

I've been making these since I was a teenager, and just like the Velveeta Fudge, misplaced the recipe trekking from state to state. Thanks to babs at for posting a great Comfort Treat!

4 ounces butter or margarine

1/2 cup milk

2 cups sugar

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 to 4 tablespoons peanut butter, optional

3 cups oats, quick or old-fashioned

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter (if used), oats, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.

Combine the margarine, milk, and sugar in a saucepan; bring to a rolling boil.

Boil for 1 minute.

Combine the hot mixture with the oatmeal and chocolate chip mixture; stir well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Quick and easy!

1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Karo light syrup
Dash of salt
1 Tablespoon margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place peanuts, sugar, syrup, and salt in 2 quart microwave safe bowl or 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Stir. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add butter and cook 1 to 1-1/2 minutes more. Add soda and vanilla, stir until light and fluffy.

Pour onto buttered cookie sheet. Cool and break into pieces.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh So Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the finished product. These cookies are delicious! And to think The Kid did it all by herself...I'm so proud! Of course, after sampling the dough pre-baking there inevitably seems to be that leftover amount that isn't quite enough for a whole pan, but too much to just throw away. What to do, what to do...oh I know, let's make a giant cookie for the baker!

Here's the recipe :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies


2-1/4 cups leveled flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1 4-oz pkg instant vanilla pudding (we used sugar-free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 12-oz bag chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Combine flour and baking soda, set aside. In a large bowl beat brown sugar, sugar, butter, shortening, pudding mix, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix until well blended.
Add eggs and mix well. Beat in flour mixture.
Stir in chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonful and bake 10 minutes at 350. Don't forget to make your BIG cookie!

Velveeta Peanut Butter Fudge

I can't believe I found this old recipe. I made it for years and somehow lost the recipe during many moves between Arizona and Colorado. Thank you so much cyberchef and for posting so I could grab it!


1/2 pound Velveeta cheese
2 pounds powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup peanut butter, smooth

Melt cheese, sugar, and butter together in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and remove from heat.
Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
Put onto a silpat or rolling mat. Knead until you can no longer see the sugar. Spread into greased pan using a spatula to spread evenly.
Refrigerate until set. Cut into squares.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Pure Sex" Pound Cake

3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour, less 3 Tbsp
8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
6 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add all ingredients, beat well. Bake in a greased Bundt pan at 325 for 90 minutes.

Thank you Aunt Lori :x

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 pound shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
Confectioner's sugar

Grease/flour 10-inch bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350.

Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa.

Beat eggs at high speed, add sugar. Gradually beat in oil.

With mixer at low speed, beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk.

Drain zucchini well, fold into flour mixture along with vanilla, nuts, and raisins.

Turn into prepared pan an bake 55-60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, turn out and cool completely. Just before serving, sift confectioner's sugar over top and slice.

Eggless-Milkless-Butterless Cake

Gotta love this one!!

2 cups raisins
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
1/2 cup cooking oil (I use canola)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix together raisins, sugars, salt, water, oil, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice in a saucepan. Bring mixture to boiling point and cook at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm.

Add soda, mixing well. Sift flour with baking powder. Add flour and nuts to cooled raisin mixture, stirring until smooth.

Bake in greased/floured pan (13x9) in 350 preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

English Corn Bread

This is the REAL McCoy!!

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweet milk
3 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp flour
1 additional cup sweet milk
1 tsp baking soda

Mix all together EXCEPT last cup of sweet milk and baking soda. When well mixed, add soda dissolved in 4 teaspoons milk.

Pour into hot pan (or iron skillet) and set in hot oven. Then pour in additional cup of sweet milk. DO NOT MIX MILK IN.

Cook 1 hour at 350.

Pickled Eggs and Beets

Ok I don't like beets but I love love love pickled eggs!!!

4 16-oz cans whole beets
4 cups vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 box whole allspice
2 tsp salt
24 eggs, hard-cooked

Heat beet liquid, sugar, vinegar, salt, and allspice to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

In gallon jar, layer eggs and beets. Pour vinegar mixture into jar and cover.

Refrigerate and allow eggs to marinate at least 12 hours before eating....longer is better!

Hoppin' John

This recipe came from an old friend of my Gram's with this description:

In the south, it's considered good luck to cook a dish of black-eyed peas on January 1. Hoppin' John is a favorite dish, combining the peas with rice, making it a complete protein meal.

This is her adaptation of the recipe, using quick and easy procedures to avoid that overnight bean soaking!

2 cup dried or frozen black-eyed peas
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup sliced onion
1 bay leaf
1 cup sliced celery
1 large can tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Sort peas and place with rice in steamer (add about 3 cups of water)
Mix remaining ingredients and cook until tender
Simmer 30 minutes, sitrring often to prevent sticking

This can also be made in the crockpot YAY!

Potato Chip Cookies

Another yummy treat from my Gram's kitchen :)

1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, potato chips, nuts, and flour. Mix well

Form into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Dip a glass in sugar and flatten cookies.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes

My Gram's Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form into ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down with fork to flatten. Bake 15 minutes at 375.

Crockpot Barbecue Pork Ribs

This is so easy and SO good....

Country-style pork ribs
Barbecue sauce of your liking
1 can of Dr. Pepper
Few shakes of Liquid Smoke
Few shakes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 green pepper, chopped up

I usually cook up about 10 pounds in my large crockpot, but you can use any amount and adjust barbecue sauce and Dr. Pepper to consistency and taste. For 10 pounds I use 2 bottles of barbecue sauce and one can of Dr. Pepper.

Spray the inside of the crockpot with PAM, fill bottom with about 1/2 inch of barbecue sauce. Add ribs and pour Dr. Pepper in. Add more barbecue sauce, Liquid Smoke, Worcestershire, and green pepper.

Cook on low 10 hours....Delicious!!

Leftover idea: Shred rib meat and place in a large saucepan or dutch oven, add a fair amount of sauce, thicken with corn starch and simmer until heated through and thick. Now you can have pulled pork sandwiches :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heartwarming Recipes

A few weeks ago I had to go through a course of radiation, and since I've been through it before, I knew I was going to be oh-so-tired for a week or two. So...I asked my church if the ladies there would be kind enough to gather up a few recipes that could be easily prepared by the kids, made ahead and frozen, or thrown together in the crockpot. The following handful of recipes are the result of the love from these wonderful women. I have to add, not only did they send the recipes right over, they actually prepared each one and/or brought the ingredients so my girls ate well while I was getting my strength back. A blessing to me that I am passing on to you!


1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey, browned
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1 pkg sliced pepperoni
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup each mostoccioli, curly-roni, and shell macaroni (cooked and drained)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Mix all of the above together with one half of the mozzarella cheese. Use the remaining cheese for the top. Put in a 9x13 pan (or 2 8x8 pans, bake one and freeze one).

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Sloppy Chicken

1 - 28oz can boneless chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
5oz chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Cheese-y Chicken Noodle Casserole

1 bag egg noodles
1 can chunked chiken
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
1 Tbsp minced onion
8 oz Velveeta cheese (+/- to taste)

Prepare noodles, drain and return to pan. Chop Velveeta into small chunks and add to noodles. Stir in chicken. Add onion and soup, heat on low until cheese melts.


1 pound ground beef
2 onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 can corn
1 can tomatoes (16 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
8 oz cooked noodles
Grated cheese

Brown ground beef and onion, add green peppers and saute. Add corn, tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Mix well and toss with noodles. Pour into casserole dish.

Spread top with grated cheese an bak 45 minutes at 350.

Ground Beef/Tater Tot Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can of milk (use soup can to measure)
1 pkg tater tots

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain.
Layer in bottom of casserole dish
Add mixed vegetables on top of beef.
Mix soup and milk and pour over casserole. Top with tater tots.

Bake one hour at 350.

Coca Cola Pork Chops and Baked Beans

2 - 28oz cans baked beans, do not drain
4-6 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup cola flavored soft drink
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce

Place beans in slow cooker. Place pork chops on top of beans and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Mix cola and barbecue sauce. Pour over chops.
Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water (use soup can to measure)
1/2 stick melted butter
1 box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a small casserole dish with Pam. Mix together soups, melted butter, water, and the seasoning packet from rice. Add rice to the bottom of casserole dish and pour half the soup mixture in, stirring until rice is wet. Lay chicken pieces over rice and pour remaining soup mixture evenly over chicken. Bake uncovered 1-1/2 hours.

Hamburger and Veggies

Brown 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of hamburger, drain. Sprinkle drained hamburger with soy sauce and simmer while preparing veggies.

Vegetables: Cut into large pieces:
1/3 head cabbage
1 onion
3 large stalks celery
2 green pepper
1 small bag mini carrots

Add veggies to meat and simmer 1-1/2 hours in wok or electric skillet. You can also combine all of this in the crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Sprinkle additional soy sauce over mixture while simmering. The amount you use is up to your individual taste.

Mix and serve over hot steamed rice.

This freezes well once cooked and is an easy prep for a quick evening meal.