"At my table, sit with me. I'll pour coffee or some tea. Perhaps we'll share our tears and laughter, and be friends forever after.

Welcome! Come on in, pull up a chair, have a cup of coffee and take a look at recipes from different cookbooks, vintage finds from vintage cupboards and enjoy sharing memories.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your Best Friend Treats

A dear friend bakes cookies for her dog all of the time. Once in a while, she sends a bag to Sophie, who thoroughly loves them! If you want to spoil your best friend.............this is the best way!
Peanut Butter Dog Treats
1 to 1-½ cups flour
¾ cup oatmeal
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup water
Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C).
Combine all ingredients and mix on low until blended. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls to ¼"" using tines of fork:
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes about 20 cookies
Let cool and store in air tight container.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spanish Rice

For years, I have tried to make Spanish rice and it always turns out soggy and clumpy, without much flavor. After doing some research, I found out what I was doing wrong.................

I was not browning the rice before I put it into the water..................did you know to do this?? I also found a wonderful recipe in the process of this research. How about you? Have you ever made a dish and found out there was a whole other way to make it? I would love to hear! So here is the recipe.......

Spanish Rice

1 cup of rice

2 cups hot water

2 tbs. olive oil

small can of tomato sauce

1 cup chopped onion

cumin..(to your own taste)

salt to your own taste

Put the rice into a large, non stick skillet with the olive oil. Brown the rice on high heat (keep moving rice around with a wooden spoon so that it does not burn), then add 2 cups of hot water. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, reduce heat to low. Let cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to keep the lid closed during the entire 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Success And The Recipe!

Here it is!! Doesn't it look pretty? And yes, it is so delicious. Even though it had brick after brick of cream cheese in it............it came out light, creamy, and very rich!
I served strawberries along with it. Out of my whole family of (the pickiest eaters) they all like it! Which is an accomplishment for me! One of the "pickiest eaters of the world " asked me to make a chocolate marbled one next..............I think I will! So here is a wonderful recipe for you!

New York Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs 1 cup sour cream
Mix crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes.
Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, just until blended. Blend in sour cream. Pour over crust.
Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A First Try At Cheesecake

Here it is! Finally.......a real cheesecake....baking in my oven!! For the past 27 married years, I have baked the standard favorites and some new things......but never a cheesecake. I have made the easy jello, mix and put in the fridge kind, I have made the wonderful cheery cheese pie.....but have always steered away from one that you actually have to bake. ...
One reason.....I never have bought a spring form pan....
.....the main reason.......not sure if it will come out right.
This summer, my dear friend, from way back in childhood/schooldays......made her yearly visit to our home. Along with her she brought a set of spring form pans.....just for me!!
I just made a plain New York Cheesecake.....the batter tastes wonderful!!
If it comes out like "cheesecake" I will post the recipe sometime late this weekend. If it doesn't turn out....I will have a disappointing post to make.
How about you?? Have you made cheesecake before? Were you pleased with the results? I would love to hear!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chili with chicken and green chilies

I had a picture of this wonderful chili, which I had made this past weekend, but I somehow deleted the image..........but at least I will share the recipe. With temperatures dipping down below freezing, I made two pots of chili over the weekend. One regular chili, made with the usual store mix, tried and true, and one which neither myself or my family has ever tried. This recipe was passed on to me via email by a dear friend who states that it is such a wonderful hearty meal. One big problem,........ my family are not big Navy bean eaters....and this chili had navy beans in it. However, I made it............. oh, so, so , delicious!!! So much in fact, that my husband even liked it and had a second helping!!
Chili With Chicken And Green Chilies
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 onion, diced
2 tbs. garlic, minced or powder
2 cans of green chilies, chopped
1 pound navy beans, sorted and rinsed
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tbs cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
2 tbs. Masa
In large pot, saute onions and garlic until onions are tender. Add green chilies and beans. Add chicken broth , cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for 1 hour and then add chicken. Cook for another hour or until beans are done. When beans are tender, mix milk and masa together and stir into chili. Cook for another 10 minutes to thicken. Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

13 Years of Taste Of Home

I remember the first time Taste of Home came out. I remember how much my friends and I loved it. At that time, I still lived in town, and I was a mother of 3 very small children and I cooked so much more than I do now, in my very tiny kitchen (which also served as our dining room).

Over the years, I have been given a subscription to Taste Of Home, by one of my dear friends, every year for a Christmas present. I have not thrown any of these issues away.......dating back from 1996. It sounds like a gigantic amount........however, the magazine only has 6 issues a year. I have also been given their wonderful annual cookbook by another dear friend.
One recipe I have always used is this wonderful Potato pancake recipe that came out in the early years of Taste Of Home. Reminiscent of a hash brown patty, but with more flavor, it is wonderful for a breakfast side.........however, it is also wonderful when you want something different from the usual baked and mashed potato.
I fixed this for our after church dinner with my menu of:
Country Fried Chicken
Green Beans
Tossed Salad
Savory Skillet Rolls
Potato Pancakes...Taste Of Home Recipe

Mom's Potato Pancakes
4 cups shredded peeled potatoes (about 4 large)
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tbs. flour
1 tbs. grated onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Rinse potatoes in cold water, drain well. Place in a large bowl. Add egg, flour, onion, salt and pepper and mix well. In skillet, heat 1/4 inch veg. oil over medium heat. Drop batter by 1/3 cups into hot oil. Flatten to form a pancake. Fry until golden brown, turn and brown the other side. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just A Thought For The Weekend

"Give us this day our daily bread"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Savory Skillet Rolls

Light, buttery, savory, and so delicious!
Since I am spending my time looking for recipes through a lot of my books, I don't have a really new recipe to post.
My menu consisted of:
Country Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh corn
Savory Skillet Rolls
However, these yeast rolls have turned out to be my family's favorite. I have already posted the recipe for the yeast dough on my previous post , Homemade Bread Everyday June 27, 2009, so you may click on that post for the recipe. The only thing I do differently for this recipe is place the dough in balls into a large well greased iron skillet. Butter the risen dough and then sprinkle garlic powder, sea salt and Rosemary over the dough. Place into a preheated 400.F oven and bake until golden brown. Serve out of skillet. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Disappointment, but a good alternative

The idea of cooking through "The Blue Willow Inn" has turned out to be a disappointment. The book is wonderful as ever, but with picky eaters that I have to cook for........I am wasting time and ingredients. No matter how great the recipe turns out, I am about the only one in this family that will try it. With this kind of situation, there is no use in me going along with this idea any longer. There are wonderful sounding recipes in the cookbook, but there are recipes such as Catfish Stew, Fatback with Gravy, Grits Lasagna, Ham Broccoli Noodle Casserole, and Liver and Onions, that my family will never, never try. So I have tossed out the idea of "cooking through a book" and instead, I will choose a cookbook out of my collection and cook something more desirable for my picky eaters out of that and then blog about it. I have over a 100 cookbooks, plus 10 years of Taste Of Home magazines put away. I know that there will be something different, yet more appetising for this group to fix. So for this year, I will be cooking through my cookbook collection one book, one recipe at a time.
But I don't want to close the Blue Willow Inn without posting this wonderful salad recipe from the book. It tastes almost like orange sherbet! Such a light and creamy creation! The name of this recipe does not give it the glory it deserves. My menu consisted of:
Green Chili Enchiladas
Red Chili Enchiladas
refried bean
spanish rice
white rice
Buttermilk Congealed Salad (from the Blue Willow Inn Cookbook)
Buttermilk Congealed Salad
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 3oz. package orange gelatin
2 cups buttermilk
1 6oz. container whipped topping like cool whip
2 cups chopped pecans
Drain juice from the pineapple into a small saucepan. Add the gelatin, and cook over low heat, stirring until the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved. Cool. Mix the buttermilk and whipped topping. Add pecans, pineapple and gelatin. Pour into mold or casserole dish and refrigerate. Serve when firm. Enjoy!
I will be back later on this week, with a new book and a new recipe!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Angel Biscuits

First, let me explain another obstacle in going through this cooking journey, I have chosen to do. The people I cook for in my family are extremely picky, and at the same time, I must say, I do have one who is willing to at least taste new creations I make. Yet on this note, if it does not look familiar in shape or color, it is hard to convince these picky eaters that what I have made is actually very tasty. So my cooking years have been very challenging and boring if I want to keep everyone fed and happy. So it was not surprising when I fixed these light and fluffy biscuits, that they disappeared as quickly as I made them, without anyone asking....."is this from that cookbook?"
My menu consisted of:
sliced ham
sliced fruit
Angel Biscuits (recipe from the Blue Willow Inn Cookbook)
The recipe states that it yields 15 to 20 biscuits...........however, I make large biscuits when I cut them, so I came out with 12 gigantic biscuits........8 of them were eaten!
Angel Biscuits
1 pck. active dry yeast
2 tsp. warm water (110)F.
4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 475.F. Sprinkle yeast into the warm water in a small bowl. Stir and give the yeast time to get frothy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.Cut in the shortening. Mix the yeast with the buttermilk and combine with the flour mixture. Add the baking soda. Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Place each biscuit on a lightly buttered baking pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!
Please stop by tomorrow, as I will be fixing a gelatin salad for our meal.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Lemon Sauced Gingerbread

New Year morning 2010 arrived with me excited about finding something new and different to fix for our celebration meal out of the Blue Willow Inn Cookbook. I must say that since I cook all of the time, this new cooking journey I am starting, has given me a new excitement about preparing every day meals. Although I fix the same usual thing every new year, I can always add something new. My menu consisted of:
Chicken Fried Steak
Black eyed Peas (which is in the cookbook)
Yeast Dinner Rolls (also in the cookbook)
Baked Potato
Fresh Corn
Chocolate Devils Food Cake
and the new thing to try out of the cookbook............
Lemon Sauced Gingerbread
Even though we are familiar with gingerbread, we don't eat it that much. The idea of making a lemon flavored sauce to pour over it, made everyone.........even me.......... a little doubtful, however, it was the difference I was searching for. I am so glad I made it! Out of my family...one refused to try it....(he is the picky eater of the universe) and 2 others tried it and ate it, but really would not beg me to make it again. (They are the 2 picky eaters of the world) .......I , however, who will eat anything that does not move........loved it! The gingerbread alone is wonderful.......a great recipe, but the lemon sauce poured over it, makes it even more delicious. The cookbook states that the lemon sauce can also be poured over bread pudding............I also think it would be wonderful over ice cream! So here is the recipe for this dessert. I will be posting the black eyed pea and dinner roll recipes at a later date. Enjoy!
Lemon Sauced Gingerbread
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350.F. Lightly grease and flour a 9x13x2 inch pan. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, molasses, and melted butter. Add the eggs. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add to sugar, molasses, butter and egg mixture. Mix well. Add the boiling water and mix thoroughly. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool If serving with Lemon Sauce, ( recipe below) , serve the gingerbread and lemon sauce slightly warm.
Lemon Sauce
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tbs. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
dash of nutmeg
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, and add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, butter, lemon juice, lemon rind and nutmeg; stir well. Continue stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until well blended. If sauce is too thin, add a small amount of dissolved cornstarch. Remove from heat. Cool. Serve at room temperature.
I hope you find this to be a wonderful recipe to try. Please come back tomorrow, as I plan to make Angel Biscuits for our Saturday meal!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blue Willow Inn.........a cooking review

I've done it.........I have made my decision on which cookbook I want to work out of this year.
Watching the move Julie and Julia, inspired me, but also got me to thinking ..........does one ever cook more than a handful of dishes from one cookbook...........or to further ask, does one prepare every recipe from one cookbook? I know I don't. And I don't know why.......cookbooks are tools that should be used all of the time.......I have a wonderful collection of cookbooks, but have only read through most of them....loving them and thinking, I'll make that later......but never do. So I have decided, to choose a cookbook,The Blue Willow Inn, that fits my family's palette and budget. The dishes are more common to my family....with some a little different and intriguing to try. During this period, I will let you know which dishes I am making and what the results were along with interesting history about the Blue Willow Inn and of course a recipe or two. I'm not planning on a daily ritual like the movie shows, but I am planning to make different recipes out of this book to go along with our weekly meals. I will post about these as I go.
Now, how about you? Have you ever cooked your way through a cookbook? If you did, did you enjoy the journey? I would love to hear!
For our New Year Eve party platter, I made the usual treats and appetisers, but once again, the movie made me want to try Bruschetta..................which is now my favorite thing to make. I think I could actually have this for my lunch every day !
1 lb ripe grape tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 loaf crusty French bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick (or italian)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces parmesan cheese, shaved
Mix tomatoes and basil together and season with salt and pepper.
Set aside.
Fry Bread: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in frying pan and fry bread until golden brown on both side.
Remove and drain on paper towel.
Rub one side with garlic clove.
Drain the tomato-basil mixture of excess liquid and spoon on to each slice of bread.
Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.