Friday, December 30, 2011

HOT SPICED PUNCH IMPERIAL

Have had this punch recipe around for ages.  Don't even remember when we first used it. 

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 quart medium strength tea
4 sticks cinnamon
6 whole cloves
2 quarts orange juice
2 cups lemon juice
thin slices of oranges and/or lemons for garnish

Combine the sugars with the tea, cinnamon sticks, cloves and boil for 5 minutes.  Heat the orange and lemon juices to the boiling point and mix in with the tea mixture.  Pour into a pretty punch bowl.  Float the orange and/or lemon slices on top to make it pretty.

Note: You can substitute a quart of apple cider for the tea and reduce the granulated sugar to 1 cup, if desired.

Makes about 30 punch cup servings.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

HONEY-BANANA BREAD

Honey has long been a dependable sweetener.  Go back to the old ways of sweetening your bread with this natural source.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Beat butter in a large mixer bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Add the honey, beating well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.  Add the banana and mix well.

In a small bowl combine the flour with the baking soda and salt; stir in the pecans.  Add flour to the creamed mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are well combined into the egg mixture. 

Spoon the batter into a greased and floured 9-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  If the corners of the bread start to get too browned, cover corners with foil shields for last several minutes of baking.

Note: File Photo

CORN AU GRATIN

Growing up in the midwest corn country, corn was always a favorite no matter how you cooked it.  Since corn and cheese are two of my favorite foods, I love this corn au gratin!

1 can (16-oz) cream-style corn
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup milk or cream

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together well.  Place in a greased 8-inch square baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TOMATO BISQUE

I have always loved tomato soup.  This old homemade version is a favorite since it has a potato, one of my favorite foods, in it!

2 tbsp butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced potato
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can (28-oz) whole tomatoes, do not drain
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
sour cream for garnish, if desired

In a large saucepan, melt the butter then add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until transluscent.  Stir occasionally during the cooking so as not to burn.

Add the diced potatoes, bouillon, water, and seasonings to the onion.  Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar to the potato/onion mixture.  Stir well to blend.  Replace lid and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.

Pour into blend in small batches and puree until smooth and thick.  Pour into soup bowls and top with sour cream, if desired.

I like mine served with crackers or a crusty bread.

This soup can be made ahead of time, stored in refrigerator and reheated to serve hot or may be served cold on hot summer days.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CHILI SAUCE MEATLOAF

For a different meatloaf, try this old fashion recipe using a can of hot dog chili sauce!

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup oats (I use quick oats)
2 tbsp minced onion
1 can hot dog chili sauce
2 tbsp chopped green bell pepper

In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, salt, pepper, oats, onion, and bell pepper; add half the can of chili sauce and mix well.  Pat mixture into a loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Take the remaining half can of sauce, add the meatloaf drippings and heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Serve the sauce over the meatloaf.

Monday, December 26, 2011

CHOCOLATE CHIP BUNDT CAKE

OOPS!  Meant to post this on my Ladybugs Sweet Treats Blog as it is not from my old-fashion recipe collection.  When I realized I had made a mistake, I decided to just apologize and leave it anyway!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips
Marshmallow Cream Glaze (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt cake pan; set aside.

In large mixer bowl cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each one.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until smooth after each addition.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 70 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto the serving platter and allow to cool completely.

Make the glaze below and spoon over the cake:
Creamy Chocolate Glaze:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 tbsp marshmallow cream
1 to 2 tsp hot water

In a saucepan, bring the sugar and the 2 tablespoons of water to a boil; remove from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate chips, stirring until they are melted.  Blend in the marshmallow cream.  Add the hot water, half a teaspoonful at a time, mixing until the glaze is of your desired consistency.

Yield: 12 slices of glazed cake

Note: I like to decorate with sliced raw almonds and well drained maraschino cherry halves; see picture below.

GRANDMA HAWKINS

As you who follow this blog know, I grew up in Southern Indiana and most of my favorite recipes can be traced to my roots there.  I grew up next door to my grandparents and my grandmother had a great influence on my cooking.  She was always happy to share her secrets and let me make a mess in her kitchen, although I was expected to clean up said mess! (Another good idea when teaching someone to cook!)  She was always very eager to be a taste-tester and always gave me an honest answer.  If there was a problem, she was generous in her approval and subtle in her corrections.  On Christmas Eve I found this picture of her and my grandpa.  I wanted to give her due credit and post her picture on this site.  This picture was taken around 1940.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

CREME DE MENTHE PIE

1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup melted butter
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup green creme de menth
1/4 cup white creme de cacao
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped pistachio nus
chopped maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the crust, mix the chocolate wafer crumbs with 1/4 cup sugar and the melted butter; press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes then allow to cool.

In a medium saucepan combine the gelatin, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt.  Beat the egg yolks together with the cold water and stir into the gelatin mixture.  Cook the mixture over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and all the gelatin is dissolved. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir the creme de menth and creme de cacao into the mixture.  Set into a pan of cold water to chill while stirring occasionally, until the mixture is the consistency of unbeaten egg white.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar gradually and beat until very stiff.  Fold the egg white mixture into the gelatin mixture.

Whip 1 cup of the heavy cream until stiff and fold into the gelatin mixture.  Pour the filling into the cooled crumb crust and chill until firm.

Whip the remaining half cup of heavy cream until stiff and use to garnish the pie.  Sprinkle the pistachio and maraschino cherries over the whipped cream to garnish.






Friday, December 23, 2011

APPLE-CITRUS WASSAIL

When I was young and living in Indiana, it was always cold and often snowy at the holidays.  We always enjoyed this fruity wassail.

6 cups apple cider (or juice)
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 can (18-oz) unsweetened pineapple juice
1 small can frozen orange juice,thawed & diluted as the container directs
1 orange cut into thin slices for garnish

In a large saucepan heat the cider with the cinnamon stick, bringing to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, covered.  Remove the lid and stir in the nutmeg, honey, lemon juice and peel, pineapple and orange juices.  Simmer an additional 5 to 8 minutes to heat thoroughly.  Serve in a pretty punch bowl with the orange slices floating atop the wassail.

Note: file photo

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CLASSIC VANILLA BUTTERMILK CAKE

For your next special occasion, try my old fashion vanilla buttermilk cake.  It is so yummy, you won't want to make birthday or other special occasion cakes any other way!

6 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups buttermilk

Allow the egg whites to stand at room temperature for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour 3 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powders, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter for half a minute or so.  Add the sugar and the vanilla.  Beat until the mixture is well combined.  Add the egg whites all at once and beat for 3 minutes at medium-high speed.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter/egg mixture, beating on low after each addition just until combined.  Mixture will not be smooth but have a slightly curdled appearance.  Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on the wire racks.

Frost and decorate, if desired with your favorite frosting.

Yield: 16 servings

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


VEGGIE TUNA SALAD

1 can (6.5-oz) tuna, drained
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can (4-oz) shoestring potatoes

In a large bowl use a fork to flake the tuna.  Add the carrots, celery, onion, and mayonnaise; toss until the tuna is coated thoroughly with mayonnaise.  Place in a bowl with a lid, cover, and refrigerate.  Just before serving time, remove from the refrigerator and fold in the potatoes. 

Serves 4 to 6

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

CINNAMON FLAVORED HOT CHOCOLATE

One of the things we have always enjoyed is hot chocolate.  And I, personally, love it flavored.  Try this recipe favorite of ours.

2-oz (2 1-oz squares) unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tbsp very hot water
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar (now that I am a diabetic I use Splenda)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups brewed coffee
2 cups hot whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream for topping, if desired
Chocolate shavings for garnish, if desired

Melt the chocolate with the hot water and 1 cup of whole milk in the top of a double-boiler over hot water.  Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, mixing well.  Stir in the coffee.  Heat the mixture for 5 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract to the hot whole milk and add to the chocolate mixture; beat until frothy.  Pour into cups and garnish with the whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.

Serves 6.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SMOKED SALMON PATE

If you would like to try an old fashion appetizer, try this salmon pate.  Serve with slices of toasted French bread, assorted crackers or party breads.

1/2 lb smoked salmon
water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 lb butter, melted
1/3 cup whipping cream
freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish

Place fish in a small skillet; just cover with water.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.  Remove from heat and allow fish to cool in the cooking liquid.  Drain fish and separate into flakes; discard any bones.

Put the fish, lemon juice, and thyme in a food processor or a blender container.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Add the melted butter slowly and steadily, pureeing until smooth.

Whip the cream until stiff.  Fold the fish mixture into the whipped cream until well combined.  Add pepper to suit your taste.  Store in a covered container and refrigerate several hours or overnight allowing the flavors to blend.

Remove from the refrigerator a half hour before serving.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley for garnish.

Monday, December 19, 2011

VELVETY CORN PUDDING

4 eggs
6 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen whole kernel corn
1 can cream-style corn
1 cup whipping or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease a deep 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.

In a mixer bowl beat the eggs until thick and lemon-colored.  Add the butter, flour, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, and salt; beat until smooth.  Stir in both of the corn products and the whipping cream.  Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until a butter knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes.

Modern note:  You can cut the cholesterol by 99% and the calories and fat by 50%, if you substitute 1 cup of egg substitute for the 4 eggs and evaporated skim milk for the whipping or heavy cream.


CHOCOLATE CHUNK PISTACHIO SHORTBREAD

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 beaten egg white
1/3 cup chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Lightly grease a cookie baking sheet; set aside.

In mixer bowl combine the butter and sugar; cream together until light and fluffy; blend in the vanilla extract.  Gradually add in the flour, beating well.  Fold in the half cup of pistachios and the chocolate chunks.  Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and using your hands, pat the dough into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle.  Brush with the beaten egg white and sprinkle the 1/3 cup pistachios over the top.

Bake at 300 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until the shortbread is lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting into 20 squares.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

APPLESAUCE-RAISIN TUBE CAKE

Neither of my parents liked fruitcake of any kind so they were not around our house.  Both my mom and dad did enjoy applesauce cake and we had that frequently.  However, this Applesauce-Raisin Tube Cake was reserved for the holidays.

1 cup butter or oleo, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan and set aside.

In mixer bowl combine the butter or oleo, sugar, egg, and applesauce.  Beat until light.  Mix flour, soda, salt, cinnmaon, cloves, and allspice.  Add to the applesauce mixture alternatley with the water, mixing well after each.  Fold in the walnuts and raisins.  Pour into the tube pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake tests done.

PINEAPPLE PECAN CHEESE BALL

One of my favorite things, especially at holiday time, is a cheese ball.  I love this one and have used it since my early married days.  It is just not New Year's Eve without my cheeseball!

2 (8-oz) pkgs cream cheese (In my later years I have started using the light cream cheese!) slightly softened
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (for Christmas I like to mix red and green bell peppers)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 small can pineapple, very well drained (I push the lid down into the pineapple to 'squeeze' dry.)
1 cup chopped pecans for rolling

In a mixing bowl mix the cream cheese, with the bell pepper/s, green onion, and pineapple.  When well mixed, refrigerate from 30 minutes up to 3 days to chill. 

To serve, remove from refrigerator and roll thoroughly in the pecans.  Place on a pretty platter and surround with an assortment of crackers.  (Now that I am diabetic, I use only whole-grain crackers.  Don't wait until you are diabetic.  Add whole-grain crackers to your platter now!)

 

Friday, December 16, 2011

OLD FASHION CRANBERRY TASSIES

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or oleo, softened
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp butter or oleo
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup coarsely broken pecan pieces
1 cup cranberries, chopped

In a mixing bowl blend the cream cheese with the half cup of butter until completely mixed together.  Add in the flour and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Shape the chilled cream cheese mixture into 1-inch sized balls.  Press over the bottoms and sides of 24 greased muffin tin cups.

In mixer bowl beat the egg, brown sugar, and tablespoon of butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla and salt.

Sprinkle the pecan pieces and the cranberries evenly into the crusts in the muffin tins.  Pour the egg mixture over the nuts and berries.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until the fillings are set.  Cool.

Note: File Photo

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

SAUSAGE AND SWEET POTATO BAKE

Another recipe from my old days in Indiana.

1 lb bulk sausage
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 medium apples, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

Brown sausage and drain.  Arrange the sausage, potatoes and apples in a 2-quart casserole.  Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and water.  Pour over sausage.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until potatoes and apples are tender.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

1 Xs 4 COOKIES

Have always loved this easy to remember recipe!

1 cup sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together and mix well.  Shape batter into small balls.  Place cookies on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees until the cookies are light brown and flatterened.  Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies



Monday, December 12, 2011

VIP CHICKEN

This is another of my old Indiana recipes.  The dried beef and bacon makes these chicken breasts different than the usual.  My husband has always been a meat eater and the more meats per meal the better.  Personally, I'm not much for meat but learned early in my marriage that every meal had better include meat!

2 pkgs (3-oz each) dried beef
6 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves
2 slices (3 x 6-inch each) Swiss cheese
6 slices bacon
1 container (16-oz) sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp butter
freshly ground black pepper
paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line an 11 x 8 1/2-inch casserole dish with the dried beef.  Pound the chicken breasts to 1/4-inch thickness.  Cut the each slice of Swiss cheese into (3) 1/2-inch strips and put one strip atop each chicken breast.  Roll each chicken breast up and wrap with one of the bacon slices.  Place seam side down atop the dried beef.

In a bowl, whisk the sour cream into the cream of mushroom soup together until smooth.  Pour over the chicken.  Cut the butter into small pieces and dot over the soup.  Grind black pepper over the top to suit your taste.  Sprinkle lightly with the paprika for a garnish.

Bake at 325 degrees, uncovered, for 2 hours.  Serve immediately.  This will serve 6.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

EASY PUDDING PRALINES

1 pkg (4-serving size) vanilla flavored pudding mix
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup pecan halves

In a medium saucepan combine the pudding mix, sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and butter.  Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.  Boil gently, stirring often, until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (a drop of the mixture will form a soft ball when dropped into a cup of cold water or a candy thermometer reads 230 degrees.)  Remove from the heat.

Stir the pecans into the hot mixture and beat for 2 minutes.  Working quickly, drop by tablespoon onto waxed paper using back of spoon to make each praline about a 2-inch diameter.  Let stand until firm.

Yield: 2 dozen pralines

NOTE:  You can make chocolate pralines by substituting chocolate pudding mix for the vanilla.  If you are feeling real adventurous, try butterscotch pudding.  Yummy!


Friday, December 9, 2011

WALNUT OATMEAL BARS

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp instant coffee granules
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In mixer bowl cream the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and coffee granules.

In another bowl combine the flours, baking soda, salt, quick oats, and 1 cup of the walnuts.  Gradually add to the creamed mixture while mixing to form a stiff batter.  Reserve 2 cups of this mixture. Press the remaining oat mixture over the bottom of a 10 x 15-inch baking pan.

Melt the half cup of butter in a saucepan over low heat; stir in cocoa, granulated sugar, and sweetened condensed milk.  Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened; remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Spread the cocoa mixture evenly over the oat layer in the pan.  Spoon the 2 cups of reserved oat mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with the remaining half cup of walnuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  The chocolate will be soft.  Allow to cool completely then cut into 48 bars.
I am so crazy.  Got the picture upside down and don't know how to change it on here!  I am vintage myself and not so good with these modern electronic gadgets!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MINCEMEAT COOKIE SQUARES

Since we are approaching the Christmas holiday, I have decided to feature some of our old holiday recipes.  If you like mincemeat, you will like this recipe.

3/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups mincemeat
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine the 3/4 cup softened butter, powdered sugar, and both flours in a bowl and mix well.  Spread the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar and 1/3 cup softened butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.  Stir in the mincemeat, coconut, and walnuts.  Spread this mixture over the baked layer.  Return pan to oven and bake for another 20 to  25 minutes or until set.  Cool on a wire rack before cutting into 24 to 36 squares.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BANANA CRANBERRY BREAD

Spending my earlier years in Indiana where we had black walnut trees, we always used them.  We never bought nuts back then as we always had black walnuts and hickory nuts.  It was always a treat at Christmas to get a bag of mixed nuts!  If you don't have black walnuts, you can use English walnuts just as easily. 

2/3 cup solid shortening
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1/4 tsp soda
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped black walnuts*
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour 2 5x9-inch loaf baking pans; set aside.

In mixer bowl cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; beat the eggs into the mixture.  Add the bananas, soda, flour, and black walnuts, mixing well.  Fold in the cranberry sauce.  Pour the mixture evenly into the two pans. 

Bake breads for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from pans to a wire rack to cool.

*If you don't have black walnuts, use English walnuts.

EASY TURKEY GRAVY

One of my hardest things to get right of a turkey meal was the gravy.  For awhile I just gave up and bought canned.  Finally I came up with this which has worked well over the years.

Drippings from baked turkey
1 1/2 cups canned chicken broth
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Pour the turkey drippings into a small saucepan; add the chicken broth. 

Stir the water into the flour until smooth; stir into the drippings mixture.  Cook until thickened while stirring constantly.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield: About 2 cups

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

PRETTY PEACH SALAD

4 fresh or canned (drained) peach halves
2/3 cup cottage cheese
2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
2 tbsp drained and chopped maraschino cherries
4 tbsp flaked coconut
crisp salad greens for lining plate

In a medium bowl, mix the cottage cheese, almonds, and maraschino cherries until combined.  Arrange the peach halves, centers up, on a salad greens lined plate.  Divide the cottage cheese mixture evenly and fill the centers of the pears.  Sprinkle the coconut over the top. 

Makes a very pretty addition to a buffet table.

NOTE:  If using fresh peaches, dip in lemon juice or sprinkle with fruit fresh to keep them from turning dark.

Also, this same recipe works great using pears instead of peaches.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BIRDIE CAKE

Another old recipe from my home state of Indiana.

2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2-lb can crushed pineapple with juice (don't drain)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the eggs and sugar together.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

TOPPING:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 lb powdered sugar

Soften the butter and cream cheese to room temperature.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Spread on the cake while the cake is still warm.

This makes a very moist cake yet uses very little fat.

Friday, December 2, 2011

1961 INDIANA PERSIMMON PUDDING

2 cups + 2 tbs. persimmon pulp, separated
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1/3 cup oleo

Mix 2 cups pulp, sugar, eggs, flour, and baking powder.  Stir, then add milk and cream a little at a time.  Add melted oleo, then for an extra dash add two more tablespoons of extra pulp.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

NOTE: As is often the case with these older recipes, the directions are incomplete.  I melt the oleo (I use butter) in a 9 x 13-inch pan in the oven then use same pan for baking the pudding.