Carrot Bars

>> Saturday, April 19, 2014

I took the photo without the frosting so you can see how packed with delicious goodness these bars are. You can add coconut to them too if you like.

Carrot Bars
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. oil
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3 c. grated carrots

Beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in sugar.  Add oil, then dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in carrots, pineapple and nuts.  Spread into 2 greased 9x13 pans.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.  Cool and top with cream cheese frosting.

Notes: I made this in my really big sheet pan and the recipe fit perfectly.  I also sprinkled cinnamon-sugar over the frosting to make a sugar crust--excessive and wonderful! If you are serving a smaller group, divide this is half and bake it in just one 9x13 pan.
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Sausage Potato Goulash

>> Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This recipe is adapted from Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam cookbook.  It is delicious and reminded me of Green Bean Supper in it's preparation and appearance. I think this will become a staple at our house.

Sausage and Potato Goulash
1 lb. bulk sausage
1 med. onion, chopped
Brown together in a skillet and drain excess fat
Add:
1-2 tsp. paprika
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 c. hot water
salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer about 20 min. Until potatoes are soft. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf before serving. Serve with bread to soak up all the juices.

Notes: I used red baby potatoes in this and so left the skins on.  I also used a can of Italian seasoned tomatoes. You can take the cover off and boil the liquid down more, or you could thicken it with a bit of cornstarch if you want it thicker.
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School Day Raisin Cookies

>> Friday, April 11, 2014

These are really scrumptious with their maple flavoring, we absolutely loved them!  This recipe comes from a cookbook published in 1953 called Family Cookbook by Parent's Magazine.  The step to rinse the raisins is probably not necessary now, but I still did it, as I had no way to measure the liquid amount that would be left on the raisins and therefore be part of the recipe. :)

School Day Raisin Cookies
3/4 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. maple flavoring
1 tsp. vanilla
Rinse raisins and drain, set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine oats and sugar.  Stir in oil and eggs.  Add dry ingredients and stir together.  Stir in raisins and flavorings.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees 8-10 min. Cool on wire rack, makes 3 dozen cookies.
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Irish Soda Bread-Sweet

>> Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This is a fun treat to serve along side a meal.  The recipe comes from Sunset Breads cookbook.  It is like eating a biscuit, only a bit sweet.  I am posting a savory version soon.

Irish Soda Bread-Sweet
3 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. raisins (or dried currants)
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine (divided)
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients with raisins in a bowl.  Combine buttermilk, eggs, 2 Tbsp. butter and vanilla and beat until blended. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.

Spread batter into a greased 10 inch oven-proof frying pan or cheesecake pan with removable bottom.  Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbsp. melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees until bread is browned and pulls away from sides of pan, about 45 min. Serve warm or room temperature.  Makes 1 loaf, about 10 servings.

Notes: to "oven-proof" your skillet (unless it is cast iron, like mine) usually just takes wrapping the handle in aluminum foil. The leftovers were yummy with cocoa for breakfast
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Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole

>> Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You know that I am always doubling recipes, right?  Well, this one, I cut in half.  Because I LOVE it! But no one else at my house does, and my husband will eat it with me for variety's sake once in a while. Cabbage love is a lonely place.  (I think we've discussed this before...) But if you are a cabbage lover, I would not want to deprive you of this scrumptious recipe.  This is quick to make, and filling with a crusty slice of bread.

Sausage and Sauerkraut Casserole
6 fully cooked, smoked sausage links such as German or Polish
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1 jar (32 oz.) sauerkraut, rinsed, well-drained
1/3 c. diced green pepper
1/2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
Slice each sausage link into four or five chunks. Place sausage in a large skillet with 1/3 c. water.  Cover; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low; simmer covered 10 min. Uncover and simmer until water evaporates and sausages brown slightly.
While sausage is cooking, combine sugar, mustard, caraway and dill, sauerkraut and pepper in a microwave safe casserole dish.  Stir and microwave 2-3 min. until hot and sugar dissolves.  Sprinkle cheese over sauerkraut and top with sausage.  Mircrowave 4-5 min. or until cheese melts.
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Pineapple Coconut Meringue Cake

>> Thursday, March 6, 2014

Remember the Cherry Meringue Cake? Well, this is a similar recipe, but made in two layer cakes and stacked with a filling of whipped cream.  The original came from the 1929 Better Homes and Gardens cake contest. I have made the coconut changes. Try this, you will love it!

Pineapple Coconut Meringue Cake
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks (save the whites for the topping)
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded coconut
With a hand mixer cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and flavoring, mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add them alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture. (Cake Method) Fold in coconut. Divide batter into two greased and floured 8 inch cake pans.

Topping:
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shredded coconut
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites and flavorings until soft peaks form (tips just curl over).  Gradually add sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight).  Add coconut and just beat to mix. Drop spoonfuls of topping onto unbaked batter in pans, then carefully spread to cover.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 min. Cool in pans 10 min. Carefully remove from pans and turn meringue side up to cool. Place on rack, cool completely.

Filling:
1 c. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. coconut flavoring
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained really well
(Make filling about 2 hours before you want to serve the cake.) Combine whipping cream, powdered sugar and flavoring.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Fold in pineapple.  Place one cake, meringue side up on plate.  Spread filling over top.  Place second layer, meringue side up on filling.  Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour, but not more than 2 hours.  10 servings.

Notes: to just make a pineapple meringue cake, eliminate coconut and coconut flavoring, replacing flavoring with vanilla in the topping and cake.  You can press chopped pecans gently into the topping before baking for a pretty presentation if desired.
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Pork with Cider

>> Friday, February 28, 2014

This is a gorgeous, stick-to-your-ribs dish with so much flavor and so little fuss.  The long cook time is perfect for those afternoons when you want to get the house clean before dinner or just to sit and read a book in peace.  We served it up with a loaf of  Dill Onion Bread and some mashed potatoes. The recipe is from The Encyclopedia of Creative Cookery.

Pork with Cider
2 lbs. boneless pork, cubed
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. apple cider or juice
5 large carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Dredge pork cubes in flour.  Heat oil in a skillet and brown pork. Remove pork to a casserole dish.  Drain oil from pan.  Add cider to hot pan, heat and stir to loosen any browned bits from bottom of pan.  Add carrots, onion, seasonings and hot cider to casserole dish.  Cover.  Bake at 325 for 2 hours until meat is tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Notes: I think you could put this in a crock pot on high for 3-5 hours too.
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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

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