"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.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mint and Chocolate go together like

butterflies and wildflowers..........
don't you think so??
If you do, then you will love this wonderful and easy to make Christmas candy.
Great to place out for guests or to send for Christmas presents.
Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Layered Peppermint Bark
8 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil,divided
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, broken into pieces
25 peppermint candies, crushed
Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan and line with waxed paper, smoothing out wrinkles; set aside. Place the semisweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the crushed peppermints over the chocolate layer. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour. Place the white chocolate and the remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy over the top and gently press in. Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan; break into small pieces to serve.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving..............a cobbler recipe to share with you!

Here  it is Thanksgiving, and once again, I have not paid enough attention to this little cooking blog...............I don't know why, since I am cooking in the kitchen from the time I rise from sleep to the time I sink back down in slumber.
I am sure most of you already have your Thanksgiving specialties all lined out..........from Grandmother's best dressing to your Mom's perfect pie...............so here is a little something different, but so wonderful in keeping with the  tradition of the Thanksgiving bounty.
It is a wonderful cobbler with sweet and tangy tastes of apples and cranberries. Perfect with a scoop of ice cream or whipped topping..............or just by itself.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Apple Cobbler
For Cobbler:
5 c. thinly sliced peeled baking apples (choose a tart variety such as Granny Smith)
1 c. fresh cranberries
1 ¼ c. sugar
3 tbs quick cooking tapioca
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 c. water
2 tbsp butter

For Topping:
¾ c. flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
¼ c. butter
¼ c. milk
Grease 2 quart baking dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl combine apples, sugar, cranberries, tapioca, cinnamon, allspice,nutmeg, and water. Stir to combine, and let stand 5 minutes.
Transfer apple mixture to large saucepan; cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Cook and stir 3-5 minutes longer. Pour into baking dish and dot with butter.
In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Gently stir in milk; mixture should be lumpy and just combined.
Gently drop dough over hot apple mixture by spoonfuls. Bake, uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and bubbling, and a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baked Spaghetti

When ever I think of this dish, I think upon all of the church pot luck dinners my family and I have attended. If you ever attend one, I promise you, more than likely, you will find a large dish of baked spaghetti that someone from the church lovingly prepared.  It is an easy dish that you can stick into the oven, and while it is baking,  the aroma will fill your home. You take it out and you have a wonderful,  large dish of delicious food to feed a crowd.
If you are just feeding your family, this dish can easily be divided  into portions and frozen for later use.

Baked Spaghetti

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green peppe
1 tbs. butter
1 can 28oz. diced tomatoes with the liquid
1 can 4oz. sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can 2 1/4 oz. sliced ripe olives, drained
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
12 oz. cooked spagetti, drained
2 cups mozzerella cheese, grated
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup paremsean cheese, grated

In a larger skillet saut'e onion and pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, olives,  Italian seasoning, and ground beef. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Place half of the spaghetti into a greased 13x 9x 2 in. baking dish. Top with half of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with one cup of mozzerella cheese. Repeat the layer. Mix the soup with the water until smooth and then pour over the spaghetti casserole. Sprinkle with parmesean cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 -40 minutes until heated through. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Orange Cream Fruit Salad

This salad has a creamy sauce poured over fresh varieties of fruit, making this a sweet and delicious salad perfect for a Labor Day picnic.

1 can 20 ounces pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can 16 ounces sliced peaches,drained
1 can 11 ounces mandarin oranges, drained
2 medium firm bananas, sliced
1 small package fresh strawberries, quartered or sliced
Mix fruits together in a large bowl, set aside


in a small bowl beat,
1 package 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding,
1 1/2 cups milk and
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate for 2 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup sour cream and blend well.
Spoon over mixed fruit, toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baked Creamed Corn

Summer is almost over, gardens have long been planted and probably by now, much has been harvested. Many folks have processed the season's bounty and now have shelves lined with jars of tomatoes, corn, peas, and beans.
Corn is always a wonderful side to almost any dish. This recipe gives corn a different creamy flavor. The recipe calls for canned cream-style corn, but for you that make your own cream style corn,  the fresh corn will make it taste even more flavorful!

Baked Creamed Corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. butter
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup creamed style corn
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
In large bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, salt, butter, pepper and corn; mix well. Pour into a greased 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake at 350.F degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hummingbird cake...............this cake is not for the birds...............

although I am sure they would love a few crumbs of this
This is a fairly popular cake in the south and some folks put frosting on it, however, if baked in a bundt pan, it is a wonderful cake all by itself!
Hummingbird Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 med. bananas, smashed
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple with the juice
1 tsp. vanilla
Grease and flour bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 F. In large mixing bowl, beat together oil, eggs, and sugar. Add bananas, pineapple with juice, and vanila. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt,and cinnamon. Slowly mix into batter and mix until well blended. Stir in pecans. Spread batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for about 60 minutes or until cake is golden and done to touch. Enjoy!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Enchilada update

I fixed the enchiladas for my family as stated in my previous post....................they liked it! The enchiladas had a rich and wonderful flavor. This is my photo of what it looks like when I made it. Hope you give this one a try! Enjoy

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tomorrow, I plan to make this dish for my family..............

shredded beef and chile enchiladas........
This is how it looks in the cookbook.
It seems that Tex-Mex food is one of our favorites in the variety of foods that we eat.
This recipe sounds delicious and the ingredients are common to my family's palate, so I think the taste won't scare them away. I will serve this with a side of refried beans, spanish rice and salsa.
If you decide to try this............I hope you enjoy it and please let me know!

1 -3-pound fresh beef brisket
4 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
2 med onions, thinly sliced
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2   4 ounce cans of chopped green chilies
1 tbs. flour
1 8 ounce container of sour cream
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
12 flour tortillas
1 cup salsa
Preheat oven to 325 F. In a small bowl combine 4 tsp. chili powder, the cumin and the oregano. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over all sides of the brisket; rub in with your fingers.
Place brisket in a shallow roasting pan. Top with sliced onions, pour broth and vinegar over meat. Roast, covered, about 3 hours or until meat is fork tender. Let meat stand in pan juices about 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions; reserve pan juices. Halve meat crosswise. Using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Stir onions inot shredded meat; stir in enough of the reserved pan juices to moisten. (1/2 to 1 cup) Set meat mixture aside. Discard remaining pan juices.
In a medium saucepan, combine undrained chile peppers and the remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder; cook about 1 minute or until heated through. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Increase oven temperature to 350 F. . Grease a 3 quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Divide shredded meat mixture among tortillas, placing mixture along one edge. Top with sour cream mixture.  Roll up tortillas ( tortillas will be full) Arrange rolled tortilla , seam side down in prepared dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes; uncover. Spoon salsa over, sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake, uncovered about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Small Hand Pies

These are so wonderful and easy to just pick up and eat with your hand! Simply use your favorite pie crust and pie filling recipe..............I used apple.The dough comes out so flaky and the pie is so tasty! 
Prepare your pie filling, set aside. I used a two crust recipe so that I would have enough pie dough to make about 8 small hand pies, depending on how large you cut your crusts.
Roll dough out and cut dough into circles measuring 6 or 7 inches. Fill each circle with a little under a 1/2 cup of pie filling.
Gently fold crust around filling, creating a pie crust edge. Brush the edges with light water and sprinkle coarse sugar on top of pie. Place pies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake pies at 400 F. for about 30 minutes, decreasing oven to 375 F. and baking about 10 minutes longer or until pie is bubbly.  Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yeasted Chocolate Coffee Cake

One thing I love the most, is the smell of homemade bread or sweet bread baking in the oven. I love the way the wind blows through the open doors and  windows of the house, pushing the aroma throughout the rooms, and onto the front porch................seeming to say to the world.........as solitude as it is out here.......welcome.
This recipe comes from one of Martha Stewart's and it is so rich and wonderful! I made this for the weekend and it is so good!

Yeasted Chocolate Coffee Cake
2 1/4 teaspoons (one 1/4-ounce envelope) active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus a pinch of granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
Coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for bowl, pan, and parchment
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Make the cake: Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar over milk in a medium bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the egg, and yolk. Whisk into yeast mixture.
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add egg mixture. Beat on low speed until almost fully combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough-hook attachment. Add butter. Beat until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes.
Butter a large bowl. Turn out dough onto a floured surface; knead a few times until smooth. Place in bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Make the filling: Combine chocolate, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until combined.
Punch down dough. Transfer to a floured work surface. Let stand for 5 minutes. Roll out to an 18-inch square (about 1/8 inch thick). Brush edges with egg wash. Spread filling over dough, reserving 1/2 cup and leaving a 1-inch border. Tightly roll dough like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal, and fold in half to bring ends together to form a U. Twist 2 or 3 times to "braid." Butter a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan, and line with parchment, leaving 1-inch overhangs; butter parchment. Transfer dough to pan. Brush top with egg wash.
Make the crumb topping: Combine confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter. Sprinkle topping and reserved 1/2 cup filling over cake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drape plastic wrap over dough. Let stand in a warm place until risen by half, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap, and bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until deeply golden, 15 to 20 minutes more (cover with foil if top gets too dark). Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let cake cool. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

While searching through lost and forgotten items

in a local "junk" store a few weeks ago, I was delighted to come across a pile of neglected cookbooks in a far corner shelf. What caught my attention to this particular one was that as I searched for the copyright print.......... I noticed that the year was not in regular numerical form, but in Roman numerals. I have come across this often in very old cookbooks...........not sure if any of the new ones are done this way. The date in this one is MCMXLVI.................1946.
Of course, it had to come home with me, and yes, there are wonderful recipes inside. I researched the author, Sheila Hibben and was impressed with what I found out about her. I love this part the most in my journey of cookbook collecting. So if you love history, especially about cookbook authors, this is a great read. Enjoy!
Sheila Hibben

In her article about the culinary miseries of the White House kitchen during the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Laura Shapiro mentions that Eleanor Roosevelt sought the counsel of Sheila Hibben:
The best-known expert in American culinary history at the time was the cookbook writer and journalist Sheila Hibben (who not long afterward became The New Yorker’s first food critic). She agreed to visit the White House kitchen and advise the staff on such homey classics as stewed crabs, johnnycake, and chicory salad, as well as Presidential recipes going back to Washington and Jefferson. Honest fare like this, Hibben believed, could help people make their way through hard times. “Crisis or no crisis, the tension of the country is better for preoccupation with the art of cooking,” she counselled the First Lady.
Hibben had a culinary sensibility that was, in Shapiro’s words, “half a century ahead of its time,” but her tenure as White House kitchen adviser didn’t last long. Her departure was followed by the long reign of Henrietta Nesbitt, for whom a representative week’s lunch menus included “broiled kidneys on toast, chipped beef on toast, shrimp wiggle on toast, curried eggs on toast.”
Hibben, meanwhile, began publishing in The New Yorker in 1934, inaugurating the Markets and Menus column and also writing restaurant reviews and, later, the About the House feature within On and Off the Avenue. In all, she wrote more than three hundred and fifty articles for the magazine across three decades. At the outset of her career, her editor, J. O. Whedon, told her that Markets and Menus was a “service department”: that is, if she couldn’t say anything nice, she shouldn’t say anything at all. Nevertheless, Hibben’s preferences and opinions did work their way into her columns, which were frank and pragmatic. In a 1934 column about bread, she wrote,
Probably the worst setback to upper-class eating in recent years is the practice of serving caviar on pastry. The scope of this disaster is obviously limited, but all the same, it might furnish a better argument against capitalism than many in current use on Union Square. As a general rule, the uses made of a food in its native habitat are pretty sure to be sound, as witness what the Charlestonians and Javanese do with rice, or the Marylanders with crabs. That caviar is eaten on black bread in Baku and that in Erivan it is scooped up with bits of that strangely delicious galette made by Armenians all over the world, does not, of course, settle the matter, but it at least indicates that there is a certain virtue in the combination.
Her pieces covered the entire spectrum of food and drink, from Heineken to powdered ice cream; from Ching No. 1 Boy Zombie Mixer to the selection of grouse and woodcock at the Washington Market. She also took the service element of her job to heart, providing readers with advice about sending food to soldiers serving abroad and coping with wartime shortages at home, as in this article about coffee published in 1942:
An emergency product is the Altman[’s Delicacy Shop’s] Scull, a canned, ready-to-drink coffee which is more palatable than you might think and ought to come in very handy in a blackout, as it may be drunk right from the can either hot or cold.
Hibben lived an unconventional life. She was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1888 and passed an itinerant childhood in Italy and France. In 1916, in Athens, she married Paxton Hibben, a diplomat and writer. Paxton died unexpectedly in 1928, and Hibben began writing to support herself and her daughter, Jill. She was brought to the attention of Katharine S. White and Harold Ross by Lewis Gannett, a writer and man about town. In addition to her many pieces in the magazine, she wrote a number of influential cookbooks including “The National Cookbook” (1932) and “American Regional Cookery” (1946). She also provided the mystery writer Rex Stout with menus for his detective, Nero Wolfe.
Hibben died in 1964. In her obituary in The New Yorker, Robert MacMillan wrote that “she despised all gastronomic snobbery, and it was one of her ambitions to drive the word ‘gourmet’ out of the English language. She simply thought that good food should be respected.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mexican Chicken Skillet

In my area, chicken breasts have been very cheap. I have stocked my freezer pantry full.
But what to fix with all of that chicken, besides just fried, baked, or fajitas??
This wonderful warming dish is delicious served with a bed of rice and a side of red beans.
It is also so easy to make, using one skillet!

Mexican Chicken Skillet
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into medium size strips
2 tbs. oil
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour
l large bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 large onion, sliced into into wedges
1 can (14.oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1 small can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chicken broth

Mix flour and seasonings together. Sprinkle chicken with 2 tbs. of flour mixture and then set the remaining mixture aside.
Cook chicken in vegetable oil in large skillet until browned. Remove from skillet. Add bell pepper and onion to skillet and saute' until tender.
Stir in tomatoes, green chilies, broth, and remaining flour mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Add chicken to skillet. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve with a bed of rice and a side of red beans. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mexican Corn Soup

This is a wonderful hearty soup with a blend of chicken and corn. Blending part of the corn with the chicken broth is an easy way to thicken the soup.

1 16 oz. package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 cup chicken broth
1  4 oz. can diced green chilies
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
 In a blender, combine half of the corn and the broth. Cover and blend until nearly smooth.
In a large saucepan, combine corn puree, the remaining corn, chilies, butter, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in milk, chicken, and tomatoes. Heat through.
Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When I think of Valentine's day................

rich dark chocolate is the first thing that pops into my mind!
How about you? What is your favorite flavor on Valentine's day? Strawberries? Cinnamon candies Perhaps?
I would love to hear!
I hope you all have a sweet Valentine's day! 
Here is a rich, chocolaty dessert, perfect for the occasion! Enjoy!

All-Chocolate Boston Cream Pie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
CHOCOLATE FILLING (recipe follows)

1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour one 9-inch round baking pan.
2 Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa and baking soda in large bowl. Add butter, milk, egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed of mixer until all ingredients are moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Prepare CHOCOLATE FILLING. Cut cake into two thin layers. Place one layer on serving plate; spread filling over layer. Top with remaining layer.
4 Prepare SATINY CHOCOLATE GLAZE. Pour onto top of cake, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Refrigerate until serving time. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake. 8 servings. CHOCOLATE FILLING 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1-1/2 cups light cream 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Stir together sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in medium saucepan; gradually stir in light cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Cool completely. SATINY CHOCOLATE GLAZE 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 tablespoon corn syrup 2 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Heat water, butter and corn syrup in small saucepan to boiling. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cocoa. With whisk, gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth; cool slightly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I've come back

to this blog that I have been away from so very long. I thought I would combine it with my country living blog, however, I still love to have my own cookbook in a way. To get started is a wondeful recipe that I have previously posted on my country living blog, but feel it deserves a place here. Enjoy!

I ran across a recipe titled Italian Chicken Sticks. I decided to give this a try with my homemade pasta. Oh, let me tell you!.............................just wonderful! Now, in my cooking, I will never take those tiny, grainy bread crumbs for granted ever again! I have made them to be a constant in my pantry. If you are tired of chicken fried, baked, and roasted,..............give this tasty and( may I add, quick and easy), recipe a try. You'll be glad you did! Enjoy!

Italian Chicken Sticks
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of ground red pepper
1 stick of melted butter
8 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch strips
Marinara sauce or honey mustard for dipping
Preheat oven to 400.F degrees. In a pie plate , combine the breadcrumbs and seasonings. Dip the chicken strips into the melted butter and then dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken strips in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken sticks hot with sauces . Enjoy!