Favorite Family Recipes. . .
When someone asks for the recipe, we post it here.

Creamy Leek & Potato Soup


 Ingredients
• 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
• 2 onions, chopped
• 4 leeks (white portion),
• 1/2 green pepper, chopped
• 1/2 red pepper, chopped
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
• 1 T minced garlic
• Oil for sautéing
• 5-6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
• 6 c. vegetable stock or broth
• 1 t salt
• 1/2 t pepper
• 4 T flour
• 2/3 c milk
• 1 c. sour cream
• 1 bunch green onions, chopped
 
 
Instructions
1. In a large stock pot, sauté the celery, onions, leeks, peppers, jalapenos, and garlic in oil over medium heat until soft and fragrant.

2. Add the vegetable stock, potatoes, salt, and pepper.

3. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are soft.

4. Combine flour and milk and blend until smooth. Add to soup to thicken. Stir until the mixture is fully incorporated.

5. Before serving, blend in sour cream. Again, stirring until fully incorporated.

6. Garnish with green onions.
 
"We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic..."
(Numbers 11:5)

Zucchini Bread in Canning Jars


Ingredients:
 
2 c. sugar
 
1 c. canola oil
 
3 eggs
 
2/3 c. water
 
1 t. vanilla
 
 3 1/4 c. flour
 
1 t. baking powder
 
1 t. Baking soda
 
1/2 t. Salt
 
1 1/2 T. Cinnamon
 
1- 1/2 t. Allspice
 
3 c. grated zucchini
 
1 c. Chopped nuts OR chocolate chips
 
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325°.

Prepare Pint-Size LARGE MOUTH canning jars by sterilizing and then either spraying with canola oil spray or "greasing" w/ butter.

In large bowl cream sugar and oil with electric mixer.

Add eggs and mix well.

Add water and vanilla. Mix well.

Place dry ingredients in a separate large bowl and blend with a whisk.

Add creamed ingredients to dry ingredients and blend completely.

Pour one cup of batter into prepared jars.

Do not use more than one cup or batter will overflow and jar will not seal.

Place jars evenly spaced on a cookie sheet.

Place in a pre-heated 325° oven for 55- 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove jars from oven one at a time.

Working quickly, wipe rim, place lid and ring on jar and secure. Jars will seal quickly. Repeat with remaining jars. When ready to serve, bread will slide out. A properly sealed quick bread will stay fresh for one year.

Makes 6 jars.

#1 Bread Pudding w/ Vanilla Sauce

Ingredients:
2 cups white sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups stale bread, cubed or torn apart
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2- 1 cup raisins
 
For the sauce:
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cream (Flavored coffee creamer is excellent)
 
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
 
Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and place cubed bread in the pan.
 
Mix together sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla.
 
Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.  In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and raisins.
 
Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top of the bread mixture and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set.
 
For the sauce:
Mix together the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the cream, stirring well. Pour over the bread pudding or serve individually. Best served warm.
 

7-Up Biscuits from Scratch


Ingredients:
 
4 cups Flour
2 T. Baking Powder
2 t. Salt
4 T. Shortening
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup 7-up 
1/2 cup melted butter 
 
 
Instructions:
 
Whisk together Flour, Baking Powder and Salt.
 
Cut in Shortening with a Pastry Blender. 
 
Add Sour Cream and 7-Up. Dough will be very extremely soft.
 
Knead and fold dough until coated with your additional flour. 
 
Pat dough out and cut biscuits using a round biscuit/cookie cutter or rim of drinking glass.
 
Melt butter in bottom of cookie sheet pan or 9x13 casserole dish. 
 
Place biscuits on top of melted butter and bake @ 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until brown 

White Bean & Kale Soup

Ingredients:

32 oz Vegetable Broth
30 oz. Cannellini Beans
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Bay Leaf
1 c. Chopped Carrots
1 T. Rosemary
1 t. Salt
1/4 t. Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 t. Black Pepper
1 lb. Fresh Kale, chopped
1/4 c. White Wine

Instructions:

Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil.

Place broth and half of the Cannellini Beans in a large soup pot.

Purée the other 15 oz. of Cannellini Beans with 1/2 cup water and add to the pot.

Add the sautéed onion and garlic.

Add chopped carrots.

Season with the Bay Leaf, Rosemarry, salt and peppers.

Simmer on stovetop until carrots are tender.

Add Kale and Wine 15 -30 minutes before serving.

Alternatively, we put all ingredients in the crock pot and add the Kale and Wine before serving.







Creamy Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients:
 
12 oz. Penne Pasta
3 T. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
4 c. Shredded Zucchini
1 c. Diced Zucchini
3/4 c. Milk
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 c. Fresh Basil, chopped
Salt & Pepper
1 c. Grated Parmesan
Instructions:
 
Prepare pasta per pkg. instructions.
 
Saute garlic and zucchini in oil until tender.
 
Warm milk in large saucepan over low/medium heat.  Add cubed cream cheese. Continue warming until cream cheese melted.
 
Add basil.
 
Season with salt and pepper.
 
Toss with pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Focaccia Bread


Ingredients

2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Cornmeal, for dusting

Toppings:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

1 tablespoon coarse salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

Directions

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast with warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

3. Coat a sheet pan with a little oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

4. In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onion, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the onions caramelize. (I like to add a little sugar.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add caramelized onions, garlic, olives, cheese, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Breakfast Scones

INGREDIENTS
1-3/4 c. flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
(If I'm out of buttermilk, I place 2 tsp. lemon juice into my measuring cup and add milk to equal 1/2 cup)
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
(Any flavoring/extract works.  Almond is our favorite.
1/2 c. raisins, or cranberries, or walnuts, or chocolate chunks, etc.
GLAZE:
3/4 - 1 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk or cream
1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
(Or your choice of flavoring.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.  Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and blend together until soft dough forms.

2.  Place dough on floured surface and knead for about 15 seconds.  Form into a circle (approx. 10" - 12" diameter).  Cooking spray on your hands will help keep the dough from sticking. Use a serrated knife to cut the circle into eight triangles.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8 - 10 minutes.  Do not over bake.

3.  Using a sandwich- or snack-size zip-lock bag with a corner snipped off, drizzle glaze onto scones.

Chicken/Wild Rice Soup

INGREDIENTS
 
1 - 1/2 cups (3 sticks) REAL Butter

2 onions (chopped)

1 - 1/2 cups diced/sliced carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 - 1/2 cups flour

12 cups chicken broth

5 - 6 cups cooked Wild Rice

2 1/2 - 3 lbs chicken (Cooked and Diced)

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. curry

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 Tbsp. black pepper

3 Tbsp. Dry Parsley

1 - 2 cups slivered almonds

1/2 - 1 cup Sherry Wine (ya' know-- depending)

1 cup (+/-) Half-n-Half

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cook and dice chicken.  Cook rice according to package instructions.  Wash, prepare, and measure vegetables.

2. In a large stock pot -- sauté the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms in the butter until soft. About ten minutes

3. Whisk in the flour to create a roux.

4. Add chicken broth and whisk to thoroughly blend and remove any lumps.

5. Add the cooked chicken and wild rice.

6. Season with salt, curry, dry mustard, pepper and parsley. 

7. Add wine and allow soup to simmer for about 30 minutes.

8. About 20 minutes before serving, add Half-n-Half.  Keep temperature on burner very low to avoid scorching after adding Half-n-Half.

My Notes...

We always make very large amounts of soup at our house and freeze leftovers (if there are any!).  This recipe could easily be cut in half.

We always use fresh parsley if  we have it.

To keep cream soups from burning when warming on stove, I turn a large frying pan upside down on the burner and put my stock pot on top of the frying pan.  This keeps the bottom of the stock pot at least an inch or so away from the direct heat of the burner.

I also found that adding too much Half-n-Half to this recipe distracts quite a bit from the flavor. More seasonings might be needed if adding more than 1 cup of Half-n-Half.....   The consensus of "taste-testers" walking through the kitchen:

"The soup was already creamy before adding the Half-n-Half. 
Adding cream seemed only to add to the richness of the soup --
not necessarily the creamy'ness."
 
-- Either way, "It's all good!"

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts

INGREDIENTS:
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. buttermilk (regular milk is fine too)
4 eggs
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 c. water
1 c. fresh blueberries. (Do not try to make these doughnuts with frozen blueberries.  Mess!)

GLAZE:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
water

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, gently crush the blueberries with a pastry blender or a fork.

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the crushed berries and blend well.

4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Don't overmix this.

5. Fill each cavity in a doughnut pan about 2/3 full. (I use a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off to do this.  Sort of like piping cake icing -- much neater.)

6. Bake doughnuts at 325º for about 15 minutes (depending on your oven.)

7. While doughnuts are cooling, prepare glaze:  Mix together the powered sugar and lemon juice.  Add water 1 tsp at a time until it reaches a thick drizzling consistency.  Drizzle glaze over cooled doughnuts. (Makes about 15 doughnuts.)


Sour Cream Baked Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

INGREDIENTS:
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c. sour cream
1 c. sugar (plus a bit more for coating the doughnuts)
1/2 c. canola oil
1 tsp.vanilla
2 eggs

GLAZE:
3 1/2 - 4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
5-6 Tbsp hot water


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.

3. Combine the two sets of ingredients and mix together until fully blended.

4. Fill each cavity in a greased doughnut pan about 2/3 full. (I use a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off to do this.  Sort of like piping cake icing -- much neater.)

5. Bake doughnuts at 350º for about 15 minutes (depending on your oven.)

6. Allow the doughnuts to cool for 1-2 minutes and then toss them in additional sugar.

7. Prepare the glaze:  Whisk together all the glaze ingredients and either drizzle over doughnuts and tip top half of doughnut into the glaze.  (Makes about 15 doughnuts.)

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts

INGREDIENTS:
2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. melted butter

GLAZE:
2 Tbsp Half-n-Half (or whole milk)
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. corn syrup
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate 
   (squares, chips, whatever you have on hand)
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt). Mix well.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together (or beat with electric hand mixer) the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter.

3. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the dry ingredients and continue beating until fully blended.

4. Fill each cavity in a doughnut pan about 2/3 full. (I use a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off to do this.  Sort of like piping cake icing -- much neater.)

5. Bake doughnuts at 325º for about 10 minutes (depending on your oven.)

6. Allow doughnuts to cool while preparing the frosting:  In a small saucepan, combine the Half-n-Half, butter, vanilla and corn syrup.  Heat over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add the chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate.  When chocolate is completely incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar.

7.  Dip doughnuts in the glaze and allow them to set.

8. Optional: Sprinkles, Chopped Peanuts, etc...  Be sure to add toppings immediately after the glaze so they "set" with the glaze.  (Makes about 15 doughnuts.)

Baked Vanilla Doughnuts

INGREDIENTS:
2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. buttermilk (I add lemon juice to regular milk sometimes)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp melted butter

GLAZE:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 - 4 tsp Half-n-Half or milk


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients.

3. Combine the two sets of ingredients and blend well.

4. Fill each cavity in a doughnut pan about 2/3 full. (I use a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off to do this.  Sort of like piping cake icing -- much neater.)

5. Bake doughnuts at 325º for about 10 minutes (depending on your oven.)

6. While doughnuts are cooling, prepare glaze:  Mix together the powered sugar, vanilla and Half-n-Half -- adding the Half-n-Half one tsp at a time until the mixture reaches a thick drizzling consistency.  Drizzle glaze over cooled doughnuts OR... make a double batch of glaze (slightly more runny) and the dunk the entire doughnut in.  YUM! (Makes about 15 doughnuts.)

Copycat Recipe - {*McDonalds' Caramel Frappe}

Ingredients
THE MIX:

• 1/3 - 1/2 cup instant coffee granules
(Depending on your "strong-coffee" preference)
• 1 c. powdered milk
• 1 c. powdered non-dairy creamer
• 1 pkg instant butterscotch pudding
• 1 c. sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
(*Store mix in airtight container.
1/2 cup of mix = one serving)

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

To make a Latte--->
Combine in blender:

• 1/2 c. MIX:
• 1 1/2 c. crushed ice
(About 15 cubes depending on the size of the cube)
• 1/2 c. milk
• 3 Tbsp caramel syrup

Process on high until smooth. Pour into glass(es).

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Don't forget the "GreatValue" canned whipped-cream topping {or similar generic nitrogen- or isobutane-propelled sweetened whipped cream}. Drizzle with more caramel sauce.

Make a MOCHA LATTE, by substituting 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powdered for the instant pudding mix. Top with chocolate syrup!

Potato-Cauliflower Salad

Ingredients:
•12 round new potatoes
(or 6 regular Russet potatoes),
scrubbed and cut into pieces

•1 medium head cauliflower,
cut into bite-size pieces

•1 onion, chopped

•2 stalks celery, sliced

•1/3 c. sour cream dip
(prepared or homemade)

•2 Tbsp lemon juice

•2 Tbsp olive or canola oil

• 1/2 c. blue cheese

•1/4 c. fresh parsely

• 1/2 lb bacon
(cooked crisp and crumbled)

• Salt and pepper

Instructions:
• Cook potatoes. Microwave on paper towels for 5 minutes; turn, and continue cooking till tender - about 3-4 more minutes. OR boil till tender. When cooked, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces.

• Place cauliflower in large bowl with a small amount of water and microwave on full power for 5 minutes until crisp-tender. OR place in large covered saucepan with small amount of water and cook till crisp-tender. Once cooked, cut into bite-size pieces.

• In large serving bowl, combine potatoes, cauliflower, onion, and celery.

• In small bowl, whisk together sour cream dip, lemon juice and oil.

• Toss the liquid ingredients with the potato mixture and fold in the blue cheese and bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

*Tastes best when refrigerated for several hours before serving.

Fish Tacos w/ Lime

Ingredients:
• 1 lb fresh or frozen tilapia
(or catfish)

• 2 Tbsp canola oil

• 3 fresh limes

• 1/2 cup mayonnaise

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• 3/4 c. flour

• 3/4 tsp salt

• 8 flour tortillas

• 1 1/2 - 2 cup shredded cabbage

• 3/4 cup shredded carrot
(about 3 carrots)

• 1 jalapeno - seeded and thinly sliced

Instructions:
• Rinse the fish and pat dry. Cut it into 1" - 1-1/2" pieces and set it aside.

• Juice two of the limes (cut the third lime into wedges to serve alongside finished tacos).

• Stir mayonnaise and chili powder into the lime juice and whisk mixture till smooth. Remove 1/3 cup of the sauce and toss with the fish pieces. Set remaining sauce aside.

• In a large skillet heat the canola oil over medium heat. Mix flour and salt together. Add fish to the flour mixture and toss to coat the fish.

• Place fish in hot oil and cook until evenly crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels.

• Warm the tortillas. Top tortillas with fish, cabbage, carrots and jalapenos. Drizzle with remaining lime sauce and serve with lime wedges.

Fudge'y Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies w/ Walnuts

Ingredients:
• 1 egg

• 1 egg white

• 3 Tbsp plain yogurt

• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/3 c. canola oil

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 3 Tbsp water

• 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

• 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped

• 1/3 c. all-purpose flour

• 1/3 cup buckwheat or whole wheat flour

• 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Spray an 8-inch-square nonstick baking pan with cooking spray.

• In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

• In a small saucepan, combine sugar, oil, salt, and water, stirring constantly for 3 minutes on medium-high heat.

• Remove from heat; stir in cocoa and chocolate until chocolate melts, then add egg mixture. Add all flour, stirring until batter is smooth. Finally, fold in walnuts.

• Pour batter into baking pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until top is firm. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into squares.

Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:
• 1 c. butter or margarine
• 2 c. brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 1/2 c. flour
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 2 cups cooking oats
• 2 c. chocolate chips (or chunks)
and or 1 1/2 c. *raisins (or dried cranberries/cherries)
* Soak raisins in boiling water while preparing remaining ingredients.

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Beat butter and sugar.

• Add eggs and beat 'till creamy.

• Stir in remaining dry ingredients.

• Form dough into 1" - 1 1/2" balls and flatten slightly while shaping circle.

• Bake 8 - 10 minutes

*Try also adding macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, slivered almonds. . .

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:
• 2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups white sugar
• 1 cup canola oil
• 2 cups grated zucchini
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 - 14 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans

• Using microwave or double boiler, melt unsweetened chocolate stirring occasionally 'till smooth.

• In large bowl, thoroughly combine the eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and melted chocolate.

• Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend well.

• Fold in the chocolate chips.

• Pour equal portions of the batter into the two prepared loaf pans.

• Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Healthy Quick Bread

Ingredients:
• 1 c. raisins
• 2/3 c. brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 1/3 c. buttermilk
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 2/3 c. oatmeal
• 2/3 c. whole wheat flour
• 1 1/3 c. white flour
• 1 c. chopped nuts
• 1/2 - 3/4 c. chopped dates
• 1/2 - 3/4 c. dried or fresh cranberries
• 1/2 c. dried/flaked coconut

Instructions:
• Cover raisins with water & soak while preparing remaining ingredients.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 1 regular size loaf pan or three mini-loaf pans by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

• In a large mixing bowl add ingredients in order listed -- blending well after each addition.

• Drain water from raisins & add to the batter. (The soaking plumps them up for a juicier taste.)

• Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake: 45-60 minutes for 1 loaf; 25 - 35 minutes for mini loafs (depending upon your oven).

Butterscotch-Banana Bread

Ingredients:
• 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
• 1/2 c. white flour
•1/2 tsp. baking soda
•1/4 tsp. baking powder
•1/2 tsp. salt
•1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 c. brown sugar
•1/4 c. canola oil
• 2 eggs
•2 - 3 large bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. (or more) butterscotch chips
1/2 c. (or more) chopped walnuts (Optional)

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Prepare 1 regular size loaf pan or three mini-loafs by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

• Sift all dry ingredients together: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

• Blend brown sugar and canola oil till smooth.

• Add eggs, mashed bananas and vanilla to sugar/oil mixture.

• Finally blend the dry ingredients together with the wet ingredients being careful not to over-mix.

• Fold in butterscotch chips and walnuts.

• Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

• Sprinkle with mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon for a nice crunchy finish on top of loaf.

• Bake 55-60 minutes for 1 loaf pan or 25 - 30 minutes for three mini-loafs.

Chocolate-Mocha/Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:
• 1 cup canola oil
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup strong coffee
• 1 cup cocoa powder
• 2 cups flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 2 tsp. baking soda
• pinch of salt

• (+/-) 2 pints chocolate ice cream
• (+/-) 2 pints vanilla ice cream
• 2 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter (divided)
(2 cups + 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp hot fudge sauce

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9" x 13" baking pan by lining it with wax paper and spraying with a light coat of cooking spray

• Beat oil and sugar together until creamy. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

• Add vanilla, milk and coffee -- blending well.

• In separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

• Add dry mixture to liquid mixture in three separate batches, blending well after each addition.

• Pour batter into prepared pan.

• Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until center of cake bounces back when touched lightly and toothpick test comes out clean.

• Cool cake completely. (Refrigerating overnight if possible.)

~*~*~*~*~*~

• Set out both the chocolate and vanilla ice cream and allow it to soften.

• Remove cooled cake from pan, using wax paper to lift it out and avoid breaking.

• Using a large serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally being careful not to break the layers.

• Prepare TWO 9" x 13" baking pans (this time with plastic wrap) -- being careful to allow plastic wrap to hang over the edges of the pan and not fall inside.

• Place one of the cake layers into each of the prepared pans.

• Using a hand mixer or a blender, soften and smooth the vanilla ice cream. Add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter and continue blending until peanut butter is fully incorporated.

• Pour 'peanut butter ice cream' over one of the cake layers and smooth with a spatula. Cover and freeze until solid. (Overnight if possible.)

• Soften the chocolate ice cream in the same manner and pour it over the remaining cake layer. Smooth, cover and freeze until solid. (Overnight if possible.)

~*~*~*~*~*~


• Using hand mixer, blend together 2 cups creamy peanut butter with 1 cup powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. (Depending upon the consistency of your peanut butter, you may need to warm this mixture in the microwave until a spreadable consistency is reached.

• Spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate ice cream/cake layer(s) and re-freeze until peanut butter is set.

~*~*~*~*~*~

• Remove the cake/chocolate ice cream/peanut butter layer from the pan by gently tugging at the plastic wrap. If the cake does not come out easily, place a warm towel underneath the baking pan for a few minutes and try again. It should come out cleanly.

• Place the cake (cake on bottom/peanut butter on top) onto a large plate or cardboard. (We usually use a large sheet of cardboard wrapped in tin foil -- and use paper doilies between the tin-foil and cake.)

• Remove the cake/peanut butter ice cream layer from the pan in the same manner as the first layer; and place it on top of the first layer -- the cake should sit atop the peanut butter with peanut butter ice cream on top. (Layers are in this order: cake - chocolate ice cream - peanut butter - cake - peanut butter ice cream)

• Drizzle with 2 Tbsp hot fudge sauce by placing the fudge into a zip-lock bag and cutting a small slit in one corner. Additionally -- drizzle with 2 Tbsp [warmed] creamy peanut butter in same manner. (Hot fudge does not need to be warm -- just room temperature.)

• Cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer. If any melting has occurred (and even if it hasn't), wrapping the four outside edges of the cake tightly with plastic wrap helps to "set" the cake as it freezes.

Keep cake frozen until ready to serve.
Thaw slightly before cutting.
You can also cut the entire cake in half
and stack the two halves for a more dramatic presentation.

Creamy/Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
• 4 Tbsp butter or margarine

• 2 medium onions, chopped

• 2 tsp minced garlic

• 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

• 2 tsp curry powder

• 1/2 tsp ground coriander

• 1 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp ground pepper

• 45 ounces of 100% pure canned pumpkin

• 5 cups chicken broth

• 2 cups milk

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 1/2 - 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions
• Melt butter/margarine in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic and cook until soft -- about 5 minutes.

• Add red pepper, curry, coriander, salt and pepper. Blend well.

• Add the pumpkin and chicken broth. Blend well with a wire whisk.

• Bring soup to a boil and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

• Turn heat down to low, add the brown sugar and blend.

• Slowly add the milk, blending well with wire whisk.

• Thoroughly blend in 1/2 cup cream and then taste -- adjust seasonings to your liking.
If the soup is too spicy, add more cream to absorb the spiciness.

• Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, chopped green onion or cream.

~*~*~*~*~*~
I adapted this recipe from one which called for real raw pumpkin.
I simply do not have time to roast, strain and blend real pumpkin.
The canned pumpkin makes it less than 100% homemade, but this soup is SO good!
--> So creamy and spicy - yet mild and comforting.
I LOVE THIS SOUP.

... and more than one bowl might just give you a tummy-ache :-)

~ Shepard, age 6

Snickers® Bar/Apple Salad

Ingredients
• 6 Granny Smith apples (cored and cubed)
• 3/4 cup cocktail peanuts
• 8 oz. can crushed pineapple (drained)
• 5 - 6 regular size Snickers® bars (cut into small pieces)
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 12 oz. whipped topping (CoolWhip®)

Instructions
• In a large bowl, mix together the apples, peanuts, pineapple, and Snickers®.
• Blend the butter and powdered sugar together thoroughly.
• Fold whipped topping into butter and powdered sugar mixture.
• Pour the topping over apple mixture and combine gently.

Authentic German Potato Salad

So. . . what makes it "Authentic?"
The recipe was handed down verbally to my mother by her Aunt Martha and my mother taught me how to make it when I was
twelve years old.
When I asked my mother for the recipe in college, she scribbled out the ingredients for me on an empty box of baking soda.
The recipe is "Authentic" because Aunt Martha came to the United States from Germany in the
early 1900's and this is
"how 'dey make it in 'da Deutschland."

~*~*~*~

Ingredients
• 6 - 8 cups diced skin-on (not peeled) potatoes

• 1 lb bacon

• 1 large red onion, chopped

• 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped

• 1/2 cup white vinegar

• 1/4 cup water

• 1/4 cup + "a little more" [2 Tbsp] white sugar

• 2 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

• 1 tsp celery seed

• 3-4 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley


Instructions

• Boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook.

• Drain and set the potatoes aside to cool completely.

• In a large deep skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, turning as needed.
Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.

• Crumble the bacon once cooled.

• No NOT discard bacon grease.

• Add the chopped red and green onion to the bacon grease and cook over medium heat until soft.

• Add the vinegar, water, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper to the skillet with the onions and bring the mixture to a boil.

• Add the cooled potatoes and bacon to the vinegar mixture and combine thoroughly. (If skillet is not large enough for entire recipe, use a larger pot.)

• Heat entire recipe through then transfer to a serving bowl.

• Can be served immediately -- or refrigerated and warmed again before serving.
(It actually tastes better when refrigerated and re-warmed.
The refrigeration gives the flavors time to blend.)



* This same bacon/onion/vinegar/sugar sauce can be used over fresh spinach
for a wonderful wilted spinach salad too.

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Ingredients
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. butter (3 sticks) softened
2 c. sugar
1 bag (12 oz.) semisweet ch. chips

Instructions
• Preheat oven to 325º.

• Coat 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray; dust with flour and set aside.

• Combine flour and salt and set aside.

• Beat eggs and egg yolks together with wire whisk; add vanilla and set aside.

• Mix butter and sugar together on medium/high speed for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

• Reduce speed of mixer and gradually add egg mixture. Increase speed to medium/high and beat 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.

• Reduce speed of mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just blended.

• Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

• Divide batter between the two prepared pans.

• Bake at 325º for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

• Cool completely before cutting into slices.

Black-Out Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
FROSTING:
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 c. whole milk
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
1 tsp. vanilla

CAKE:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
1 tsp canola oil
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter (softened)
1 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk

Instructions
FROSTING:
• In a heavy saucepan, whisk sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to keep mixture from getting lumpy.

• Transfer saucepan to stovetop and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly w/ wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer, then add chocolate.

• Cook 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Stir in vanilla.

• Pour into a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours or overnight.

CAKE:
• Preheat oven to 350º.

• Coat two 8" round baking pans w/ cooking spray. Line bottoms with wax paper and spray the wax paper.

• Microwave chocolate and oil for 1 min. and stir until smooth in 15 minute increments if needed. Cool slightly.

• In large mixing bowl, mix flour, cocoa power, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

• In another large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined.

• Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Beat in the melted chocolate and the vanilla.

• On low speed, beat flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Blend thoroughly.

• Pour into pans. Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

• Cool completely.

• Cut each cake layer in half horizontally for a total of 4 layers.

• Crumble 1 cake layer into crumbs and set aside.

• Place one cake layer on serving platter and spread w/ 1 cup frosting.

• Top with another cake layer and repeat spreading 1 cup of frosting.

• Top with last layer and use remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.

• Sprinkle cake crumbs over top and side of cake, pressing gently to adhere.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
• 8 eggs (cold)
• 1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup REAL unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
• Powdered sugar for dusting

• Optional: 1 cup Andes® Creme de Menthe Baking Chips

Instructions
• Heat oven to 325°

• Spray an 8 1/2" springform pan with cooking spray and wrap the pan's bottom & sides with tin foil

• Put on a kettle of water to boil.

•Beat eggs with a hand mixer for 5 minutes or until the eggs have double in volume.

• Combine the chocolate and butter and heat in microwave at 50% power for 4 - 5 minutes, stirring several times until mixture is melted and smooth.

• Fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture and combine well.

• Fold in mint chips if using them.

• Pour batter into prepared springform pan and place entire pan into a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan until it comes halfway up the outside of the springform pan.

• Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
• Cool completely. Remove from springform pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Seafood Chowder

Formerly Known as New Year's Day Oyster Stew. . .

So . . . what's the difference between chowder & stew?
Traditionally, seafood stew is made with seafood and milk or cream. . . and that's about it.
With a chowder, you can toss in some onions and potatoes -- or you can get fancy and add white wine and fresh parsley too!

~*~*~*~

Ingredients
• 3/4 c. (1 -1/2 sticks) butter - divided
• 1 onion chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 4 potatoes
• 3 cups whole oysters
• 3 cups baby clams
• 3 cups milk - divided
• 2 cups half & half - divided
• 1/4 c. flour
• 1/2 cup cooking sherry wine
• 1/4 c. fresh or dried chopped parsley
• Pinch of cayenne pepper.

Instructions
• Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2" chunks. Boil until soft. Drain and set aside.

• Melt 1/2 c. butter in large stock pot. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and onions are soft: 5 - 10 minutes.

• Add oysters, clams and potatoes to the butter mixture and cook over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes. Add just enough liquid (from the oysters and/or clams) to keep mixture from burning. Do not allow it to boil.

• Add 2 cups of the milk and 1 cup of the Half & Half to the pot and continue cooking over LOW heat.

• Meanwhile in smaller saucepan, melt 1/4 c. butter. Whisk in the flour to create a roux. Add 1 cup milk and 1 cup Half & Half and cook -- stirring frequently -- until mixture is thick.

• Add the sherry to the roux mixture and continue to cook another 3-5 minutes until very thick.

• Stir the mixture into the chowder

• Add the parsley and cayenne pepper.

• Allow the chowder to warm/cook over very low heat for up to 20 minutes for flavors to combine.

• Stir frequently to keep milk from forming a film.

•The chowder will have a real tendency to thicken. Save some of the juices/liquid from the clams and oysters to add if yours becomes too thick.
Thinning the soup will also help it go farther!

~*~*~*~*~
Oyster Stew is a New Year's Day tradition in our family.

In 2010, I changed it up . . .
I'm not a huge fan of oysters, but I do like clams.
In this recipe, I added clams, potatoes and sherry-wine!
Delicious!!!

Orange Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients
• 3 c. granulated sugar
• 1/2 c. orange juice
• 1/2 c. water
• 1 pkg. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or pieces
• 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
• 2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Instructions
• In a large saucepan (at least 4 quarts), combine the sugar, orange juice and water.

• Cook over medium heat stirring until sugar is dissolved.

• Using a candy thermometer, cook the syrup without stirring until the temperature reaches 234 ° -- the soft-ball stage. This usually takes about 25 minutes.

• Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until completely blended. Stir in the orange peel and the walnuts.

• Spread in foil lined pan and chill until set.

• Turn out of pan and cut into squares. Store covered in a cool, dry place.

Chocolate Mint Meringues

Ingredients
• 2 egg whites
• dash of salt
• 8 - 10 oz. pkg. mint chocolate chips*
• 2/3 c. sugar
• green food coloring

Instructions
• Preheat oven to 400 °.

• Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.

• Gradually add the sugar and the food coloring while beating on high speed and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

• Fold in the mint chocolate chips.

• Drop onto two cookie sheets with a teaspoon. (About 24 - 30 meringues.)

• Put the meringues in the oven and turn the oven OFF. Do not open the door for six hours. You can leave them overnight too.

* I use about 3/4 of a pkg. of Andes® Creme de Menthe Baking Chips.

Chocolate-Raspberry Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients
• 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
• 1 c. sugar
• 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
• 1/3 c. cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 tsp. vanilla
• 1 egg
• 1-1/2 c. flour
Filling:
• 3-4 oz. white chocolate chips
• 1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
• 3 Tbsp raspberry preserves
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 3-1/2 c. powdered sugar
• 1 - 3 Tbsp whipping cream

Instructions
• In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in the cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add vanilla and beat in egg. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer, using wooden spoon to stir in any remaining.

• Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape each in an 8" - 10" log. (The longer the log and smaller the diameter, the smaller your cookie will be.) Wrap each log in wax paper and place in freezer for approx. 2 hours until firm enough to cut but not so soft that the circle-shape is distorted when cutting.

• Preheat oven to 350°

• Cut logs into 1/4" slices. Do not try to estimate this. 1/4" provides the best texture for a sandwich cookie. Baking time will need to be increased if you make the slices too thick.

• Place the slices 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 - 12 minutes or just until edges are firm. Do not overbake!

• Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

• In a small saucepan, melt the white chocolate over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

• In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Beat in the preserves and the vanilla. Gradually beat in the cooled white chocolate and powdered sugar. The mixture may appear "crumbly." Add whipping cream until a spreadable creamy texture is achieved.

• Spread the flat (bottom) side of a cookie with approx. 1 Tbsp (+/-) of the raspberry filling. Top with another cookie so that the flat (bottom) side faces the filling.

• This recipe makes approx. 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

These are Pastor Mark's favorite cookie!
They beat both the LittleDebby® Oatmeal Cream Pie . . .
and the Nut Goodie®.


Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

Ingredients
• 2 c. flour
• 3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts, toasted*
• 1/2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 3/4 c. sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 Tbsp vanilla
• 3/4 - 1 c. fresh cranberries, halved
• Canola oil spray
• 1 egg white
• 1 Tbsp water
• sugar (optional)

Instructions
• Heat oven to 350°

• Combine the flour, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

• Beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl until lemon-colored. Add butter, and vanilla. Continue beating until well-mixed.

• Reduce speed on blender and gradually add the flour mixture. Blend, scraping bowl frequently, until well mixed.

• Add cranberries* and mix by hand with a wooden spoon.

• Spray hands well with cooking spray and use hands to shape the dough into 2 logs. Place each log on an ungreased baking sheet and flatten to 12" x 3", shaping each into a parallelogram with slanted edges on short ends.

• Combine the egg white and water and brush on top of each biscotti. Sprinkle with sugar if desired.

• Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned and firm to touch. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.

• Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.

• Cut the biscotti logs diagonally into 1/2" slices with a serrated knife. Arrange slices cut-side down on baking sheet.

• Bake for an additional 16 - 20 minutes, turning once, or until golden brown. Cool completely. Store airtight.

* To toast walnuts: Chop nuts until very fine, but not quite a coarse powder. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet and place in a 350º oven for 2 minutes. Stir the nuts and arrange them again in even layer. Bake for 1 more minute. Do not let them burn!
~*~*~*~*~

We don't usually frost these because they store better without icing. But a simple cream cheese frosting diluted with a bit of milk and drizzled on top is very very good!

Chocolate Teddy Bear Cookies

Ingredients
• 1-1/3 c. cup butter or margarine
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 Tbsp vanilla
• 1 tsp almond extract
• 4 eggs
• 5 c. flour
• 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
• In a very large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

• Add eggs and blend thoroughly.

• Combine remaining dry ingredients and gradually add to the creamed mixture, blending thoroughly.

• Chill the dough -- until it is firm and easy to handle without sticking to hands.

• Preheat oven to 350•.

• Shape bears. For each cookie form:
1 large ball (1-1/2") --body,
1 medium ball (3/4") --head,
4 four small balls (1/2") --arms & legs,
2 very small balls --ears,
5 tiny balls --nose and four paws

• On an ungreased cookie sheet form the individual bears by flattening the large ball slightly and attaching the medium ball for the head. Overlap slightly. Place the balls for the arms, legs and ears and a tiny one for the nose. Arrange the remaining tiny balls on top of the legs and arms for paws.

• Use a toothpick to draw eyes and a mouth.

• Make a hole with a straw if you want the cookies to be used as ornaments.

•Bake 6-8 minutes, or just until set. Do not overbake.

• Makes about 2 dozen bears. Store airtight. If using as ornaments, allow to cool 6-8 hours before pulling ribbon or yarn through the hole.

~*~*~*~*~
This recipe makes a lot of dough and the whole process of shaping the bears is very time-consuming. Sometimes we cut the recipe in half.

Striped IceBox Cookies

Ingredients
• 1 cup unsalted butter (No Substitutions)
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 2 Tbsp finely crushed peppermint candies
• 1-2 drop red food coloring
• 1 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted (1 square)
• 1 Tbsp multicolored sugar nonpareils (multicolored)
• 1-2 drop green food coloring

Instructions
• Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with wax paper or parchment paper and try to get most wrinkles out; set aside. (I used canola oil spray to help the paper stick to the pan.)

• Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat in egg.

• In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually beat this into creamed mixture.

• Divide the dough into thirds; each in it's own small bowl.

• Add crushed mints and red food color to 1 third; mix well (may need to use hands to blend color well).

• Add melted chocolate to another third; mix well (may need to use hands).

• Add nonpareils and green food color to last third; mix well (may need to use hands).

• Spread red dough on bottom of lined loaf pan. Spread chocolate dough on top of that. Lastly, spread the green dough on top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or place in freezer for 1 hour).

• When chilled and firm, remove dough from pan.

• Preheat oven to 375°F.

• Lay the loaf of dough flat on a cutting board (just the way it was in the loaf pan) and use a large knife to cut dough down the middle lengthwise. Now cut each strip into 1/4" - 1/2" slices across (so each is "striped).

• Place slices 1" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375°F for 6-10 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. (For a softer cookie, I like to take mine out just before they begin to brown.)

Fruitcake Cookies

Ingredients
• 3 cups flour
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 c. butter
• 1 c. sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 tsp rum flavoring
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
• 1 lb candied cherries
• 1 lb chopped candied pineapple
• 1 lb chopped dates
• 3 cups whole walnuts
• 3 cups whole pecans

Instructions
• Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a very large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs and rum flavoring -- blend with hand mixer until creamy and thoroughly blended.
• Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
• Add the fruit and nuts and mix well. Using your hands works best at this point.
• Drop by teaspoonful (not a measuring tsp - but a piece of flatware) onto cookie sheets sprayed with canola oil spray. You can fit 15 cookies onto a 17.25" x 11.5" baking sheet.
• Bake for 25 minutes at 300 degrees.
• Store in airtight containers (Makes about 120 cookies.).

I was surprised to see this recipe highlighted in our local newspaper at Christmastime.
It was a fourth place winner in a Cookie Contest!
I've had the (almost) exact same recipe in my collection for years.
(Mine includes the rum flavoring and buttermilk.)

Corn & Potato Chowder

The Crock-Pot Version

Ingredients
•5-6 Potatoes,
diced into 1/2" -1" cubes
•4 cups frozen corn
•2 small cans chopped green chilis
•1 jar roasted red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
•1 medium onion, chopped
•8 cups chicken broth or stock
•1/2 cup butter or margarine
•6 Tbsp flour
•1 1/3 cups dry milk
•2-4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
•1 Tbsp (or to taste) Tony Chashere's© Creole Seasoning

Garnish
•Crumbled bacon
•Chopped Chives

Instructions
1. Combine potatoes, corn, green chilis, red bell pepper, onion,
and chicken stock in crock pot.
2. Cook at desired setting. (I usually set the pot on slow for 8 hours.)
3. About one hour before serving: drain most of the vegetable stock from the crock pot and set aside. (Do leave a bit of liquid with the vegetables.)
4. Melt the butter or margarine and make a roux by whisking in the flour. Using the wire whisk, add the vegetable/chicken stock and combine thoroughly. Continue to cook over medium heat.
5. Add dry milk and cheese. Continue stirring over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the crock pot, combining thoroughly with the liquid and vegetables remaining in crock pot. Season as desired.
6. Allow to cook an additional 1/2 hour for flavors to combine.
7. Garnish with bacon and chives.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

3 lbs Vidalia (or yellow) onions, sliced thin
1 stick butter or 8 Tbsp margarine
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp white sugar (or Splenda® )
1/2 cup flour
8 cups beef broth
2 tsp thyme leaves (or to taste)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine

Garnish:

1 loaf French bread, sliced thick
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp fresh minced parsley or dried parsley

Instructions:

1. Heat butter and oil in large stock pot until hot but not burning.

2. Add onions and cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until onions are deep brown, tender and cooked down.

3. Meanwhile, as the onions are cooking, mix the two cheeses together and put equal amounts of the mixture on each slice of bread and place on a baking sheet. Broil or back in a 350 degree oven just until cheese in bubbly. Do not allow it to burn. Set aside.

4. Add garlic and sugar to the onions. Cook an additional 10 minutes.

5. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir, making a roux.

6. Add beef broth 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly on low heat until soup is thickened.

7. Add thyme, bay leaves and pepper and simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

8. Stir frequently. Do not allow the soup to burn.

9. Turn of heat and add the wine and allow to sit for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Before serving, place a slice of bread with cheese in the bottom of a bowl or crock and ladle soup over the bread. Sprinkle with parsley.

This recipe serves 10 - 12.
(. . . and, Try as I might, I still cannot figure out how to make this soup in a crock pot.)


Frozen Oreo Dessert . . .

Ingredients

15 oz. pkg. Oreo cookies
1/3 c. melted butter
1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream
1 (16 oz.) can or jar fudge ice cream topping
9 oz. Cool Whip or Reddi-Whip

Instructions

Crush cookies a few at a time and mix with melted butter. Reserve 2 cups for topping of dessert. Spread remaining crumb mixture evenly over bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Slice ice cream and place over crumb crust. Top with fudge and then Cool Whip (or decorate with the Reddi-Whip). Sprinkle remaining crumbs over all. Cover and place in the freezer. Serves 15.

Sometimes I allow the ice cream to melt slightly before topping with the fudge.
Then I can blend the oreo pieces into the ice cream a little.

-- My brother Davidjay requests this every year for his birthday.
I personally think it's even better if you substitute chocolate-mint ice-cream.

the Chocolate Cake!

Ingredients:
• 1 (18 oz.) pkg. chocolate cake mix
• 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
• 4 large eggs
• 1 Tbsp instant coffee
dissolved in 3/4 c. warm water
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 2 cups white chocolate chips
• 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 6 Tbsp milk (divided)

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12 cup bundt cake pan.

• Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, coffee mixture, oil and sour cream in a large bowl; beat with an electric mixer on high for about 2 minutes.

• Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

• Cool cake completely.

• For icing/glaze: combine white chocolate chips and 4 Tbsp milk. Microwave on medium power at 30-second intervals until chips are completely melted. Stir well.

• Pour warm glaze over cooled cake.

• Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 Tbsp milk in the same way.

• Pour melted chocolate into a zip-lock bag and close.

• Cut the very corner of the zip lock bag to create a piping bag.

•Drizzle/pipe the chocolate atop the white icing.

Sweet Green Beans. . .
Or Green Beans Your Kids Will Actually Eat!

Ingredients

4 --16 oz cans Green Beans
1 Onion
1 Stick Butter
(or
8 Tbsp Margarine)
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
(or SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Saute onion in the butter (or margarine). Add green beans and brown sugar. Combine well. Transfer to a baking dish. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.

I use two cans of regular green beans and two cans of French-Cut green beans. The first time I made this, both children took seconds! Sure - they're getting some sugar, but they are eating BEANS!!! Try the new SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend.