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Friday, April 29, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

I began employment with DCI 22 1/2 years ago and we had a patient's wife who always waited in the lobby while her husband was having his treatment.  She loved to cook and many times would bring the employees a cake to enjoy.  She was such a delight to visit with three times a week.  At that time, the business office was right next to the lobby and we had a large window and could see all of the patients and their families as they came and went on treatment days.  It doesn't take long to get close to people when she have a heart for them.  This wonderful Chocolate Chip Pound Cake will always remind me of this dear lady.

                                                 Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

3 sticks of Land O Lakes Real Butter
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream butter and cream cheese.  Add sugar and mix until creamy.  Add eggs and beat until fluffy.  Add flour and vanilla and beat until all is incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips and pecans that have been dredged in flour.  Pour into tube pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hr. and 20 min.  After the cake cools, you may add the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. milk

Microwave for 2 min. and then stir.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar.  Drizzle on cake.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mayhaw Jelly

Tomorrow is the Farmers Daughters Market at Dothan Nurseries on Montgomery Highway.  You can find us online at www.farmersdaughters.org   I will have mayhaw, blackberry, and hot pepper jelly.  I will also have banana nut bread muffins.  Come get your fresh produce, homemade breads, frozen casseroles, local honey, tea cakes, cream cheese pound cake, and pecan treats.  Dothan Nurseries is a beautiful location for our market and J.D., Blue, and the rest of the staff are such gracious hosts.


When I was growing up, I have fond memories of going for visits to see my Granny King and PawPaw.  We would always have buttered toast with mayhaw jelly for breakfast.  When you're a little girl, you can't help but remember pink jelly.  I liked the taste of that pink jelly, too.   My parents have a wooded area behind their house in Tallahassee and there are mayhaw trees growing in the woods.  At one time, water gathered in the woods and the mayhaws produced quite well.  When my daddy told me about having mayhaw berries and about the ladies that came and gathered them, I asked him to please let me have them the next year to make Mayhaw Jelly.  He remembered and gathered them for me.  I made pink jelly for the first time and was so proud!  Water no longer gathers in their woods and the mayhaws are not producing.  About five years ago, we went to a local nursery and bought five mayhaw bushes and planted them.  We have woods beyond our fruit orchard and there is a cypress pond in the woods.  When we have a lot of rain, the water will run out of the woods into an area where there used to be a ditch.  Because the water table stays the highest in this area, we knew it would be a good place to plant the mayhaw trees without being in a pond.  Three of the five mayhaw bushes that we planted survived and are now mayhaw trees.  The weather has gotten warmer earlier this year and I am already gathering mayhaws.  I keep enough berries to make all of the mayhaw jelly that I want.  I sell the rest of the mayhaw berries to others who wish to have them to make jelly.  I guess I am still a little girl at heart because I still think pink jelly is special.

                                                      Mayhaw Jelly

1 gallon of mayhaws

Place washed berries in a large stock pot.  Cover the berries with water and allow them to come to a full rolling boil.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the berries and water to completely cool.  I place a second large pot in my sink.   I put a large colander in the top of the pot.  I place a pillowcase in the colander and roll the excess down from the top.  I pour the mayhaws into the pillowcase and the water that the mayhaws cooked in drains through the pillowcase into the pot.  Next,  I squeeze the mayhaws that are in the pillowcase and allow the juice to run into the pot.  When I am through squeezing the mayhaws to remove the juice, I throw away the pillowcase with the mayhaws in it.  The mayhaw juice as well as the water they cooked in will be the juice that you use to make the mayhaw jelly with.  This juice will make several makings of mayhaw jelly.  The juice can be kept in the refrigerator for several days to use to make jelly.  

4 cups mayhaw juice
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell

Bring juice and Sure-Jell to a rolling boil in a large pot.  Add sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil again.  Boil hard for 2 - 3 min.  Pour into jars.

This will make 7 half-pints.

Note:  I run my jelly jars through the dishwasher before I use them for the jelly.  I place a towel on my counter top with the jars ready for use.  I place the lids and rings for the jars in a boiler and bring to a rolling boil.  I leave them on the heat until I place them on the filled jelly jar.  After a short time, you will hear a slight pop as the jar seals.

    

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sour Cream Cornbread with Honey Butter

I remember finding this recipe in a magazine many years ago.  You know I am a Southern girl living in lower Alabama and a recipe for Cornbread that you smear honey butter on while it's still warm is almost too good to be true.  Pour yourself a glass of sweet tea to go along with it and you know that life is good!  With summertime on the way, keep this recipe 'cause you'll want to try Sour Cream Cornbread with Honey Butter to go with fresh peas and butterbeans. 

                                               Sour Cream Cornbread with Honey Butter

For Cornbread

2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. honey
2 pkgs. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly.  Stir in sour cream and honey until well mixed.  Stir in muffin mix until just moistened.  Spread in a greased 9 inch square baking pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 - 30 min. or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 


Honey Butter

1/2 cup Land O Lakes Real Butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. honey

In a small mixer bowl, beat butter and honey on medium speed until well mixed.  Serve with warm cornbread.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Apricot Almond Bars

I made Apricot Almond Bars for a bridal shower for one of our nephews fiance.  It was perfect for a spring wedding shower.  In the South, we do love to spread a table with a variety of tasty choices for our invited guests.  We cannot have a shower without our cheese straws.  Toasted pecans are always a good choice, too.  I could go on and on.  I do love preparing and setting a pretty table with good food.   You don't have to prepare the Apricot Almond Bars just for a special occasion.  They are also a good dessert for anytime.
                                                 

                                                           Apricot Almond Bars

Crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1/4 cup Crisco Shortening

In a mixing bowl, beat flour, sugar, butter, and shortening.  Pat into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an ungreased 13 in. X 9 in. X 2 in. baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 18 min. or until lightly browned. 

Topping

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds

For topping, beat egg, sugar, preserves, butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.  Spread over hot crust.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 min. 
Allow to cool and then cut into bars to serve.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Poppy Seed Chicken

Mrs. Juanita came to work with us after retiring from the Medical Center.  She brought with her years of work experience as well as life experiences.  She had three children and several grandchildren and I am sure by now great-grandchildren.  She loved to cook for her family and Poppy Seed Chicken was one of their favorite casseroles.  When she gave me the recipe, she said that the poppy seeds were optional and I have always opted to not put poppy seeds in it when I made it for my family!  The sour cream in the casserole makes it so rich.  I do like the Ritz Crackers and butter on top, too.  

                                                       Poppy Seed Chicken

6 chicken breasts, boiled and chopped
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 pint Sour Cream
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt & pepper
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers, crushed
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

Place chicken breasts in a large stock pot.  Cover with water.  Cook for one hour.  Remove chicken from stock pot and allow to cool.  Save chicken broth.   Tear chicken apart.  Put a layer of chicken in a large casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Stir together soups, sour cream, and chicken broth.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Top with cracker crumbs mixed with poppy seeds.  Pour melted butter over crumbs. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oatmeal Cinnamon Crispies

I was given Oatmeal Cinnamon Crispies as a Christmas gift.  They were baked by a co-worker's mother, MaeBell Bridges.  Her daughter, Lavirty, has had "The Earth Stirs Cookbook" that the recipe was in for many years.  From the first bite, I was in love with the cookies and baked them on Christmas Eve to take to my parent's house on Christmas morning.  I chose to half the recipe since it makes 200 - 2 1/2 inch cookies. 

                                                        Oatmeal Cinnamon Crispies

2 1/2 cups butter, softened
5 cups sugar
1/3 cup dark molasses
4 eggs
1 1/3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 3/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 2 baking sheets. 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter.  Add the sugar gradually, then the molasses, and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Shut off the mixer and add the baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla to the batter.  Turn the beater back on and blend.  Add the flour and blend.  Last, add the oats and pecans and blend. 

Drop by rounded tsp. onto the baking sheets.  Bake for 5 to 9 min., or until the cookies are medium brown and a bit crinkly looking.  It may be necessary to turn the cookie sheets around in the oven, so they will brown evenly.  Allow the cookies to set on the cookie sheets for about 3 min., then remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.  The cookies freeze very well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Layered Salad

I was so blessed to be invited to attend the Ladies Luncheon at Westside Baptist Church in Jasper, Alabama.  My best friend, GeorgeAnn, grew up in this church.  She now lives in Tuscaloosa but her sisters, Judy and Sandy, as well as her Mother, Mrs. Barrentine, still lived in Jasper and attended church there.  I have such wonderful memories of the Ladies Luncheons that I was able to attend with GeorgeAnn.  Her sisters were a part of the Ladies group that decorated the tables for the luncheon as well as prepared the food.  I attended the luncheons on three different occasions and each time it was their Christmas Ladies Luncheon.  From the moment I stepped into the church, I was mesmerized at the beauty before me.  Each table was decorated with a tablecloth, placemats, linen napkins, china plates in chargers, crystal stemware, and a center piece that would stretch from one end of the table to the other.  Most tables were elegant and some were whimsical.  There would be little favors at each place setting for each guest.  Mrs. Barrentine was in her 80's at that time and she truly enjoyed being a part of whatever her girls were doing!  She had a small oxygen tank named Daisy and she rolled it along as she went her merry way.  Judy, Sandy, and GeorgeAnn were wonderful daughters to their sweet Mother who was wished a Happy 90th Birthday in Heaven by Jesus.

It was at one of these luncheons that I first had a layered salad and that very day it became my favorite salad.  It might become your favorite salad, too.

                                                              Layered Salad  

1 head of washed, crispy lettuce,
  torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups Hellman's mayonnaise
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 jar Hormel Real Bacon Pieces
1 - 15 oz. Lesueur Sweet Peas, drained

Spread bite sized lettuce pieces in the bottom of a trifle bowl.  Layer green onion, water chestnuts, and peas over lettuce layer.  Spread mayonnaise over the layer of green peas.  Sprinkle cheese over the mayonnaise and top with Real Bacon Pieces.  Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. 

Another variation:  Use 2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese instead of Cheddar Cheese.  Add 2 Tbsp. of sugar to mayonnaise.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

It's a tradition in our family that my sister, Debra, will bring a Green Bean Casserole to our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at our parents house.  When I decided that I would put it on my blog this week, I could not find the recipe at my house.  The recipe is always in every magazine, especially during the fall of year, in the ads for french fried onions.  I could see in my mind the ads with the recipe along with a picture of the prepared casserole but I had no recipe "at my house" for a Green Bean Casserole.  I had not made a Green Bean Casserole since the early years of our marriage and that's been a few years!  It was as simple as a phone call to my sister to get the recipe that I needed for today's blog. 

                                                       Green Bean Casserole

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 - 14.5 oz. cans French Style Green Beans
1 - 2.8 oz. can French's french fried onions 

Mix together all but 1/2 can of french fried onions.  Pour into a 1 1/2 qt. size casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam Spray before filling. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.  Add remaining 1/2 can of french onions and bake an additional 5 min.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Coconut Cake

Happy Birthday to me!  I am 54 years old today.  I am so thankful to have another year of life.

I found this recipe several years ago in our Sunday Newspaper magazine.  I first read the ingredients for the batter and it sounded pretty good.  When I read that the frosting had not one but two cans of Eagle Brand Milk, I knew I would have to make this cake.  Let me come clean about my love for Eagle Brand Milk.  When I have a recipe for Eagle Brand Milk, I always pour all of the can, except for at least one Tablespoon that I leave in the can for my tastebuds.  That one Tablespoon or so of Eagle Brand Milk is a delight for me!  With this cake, I get to have two delights when I empty two cans of Eagle Brand Milk for the frosting!  The first time that I made the cake, I must have done something not quite right because the layers did not come out of the pan in one piece, so I just made a trifle cake out of the mess.  It was delicious!  I still do not make this cake as a layer cake.  I bake it in a 9 X 13 metal pan.  I can leave the cake in the pan.  After it cools, I poke holes in the cake and the frosting will not only be on top of the cake but will also be in the cake. 

                                                         Easter Coconut Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar

Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Mix milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.  Using  a mixer, beat softened butter into dry ingredients, first at low speed, then medium, until mixture forms pebble-sized pieces.  Add 1/3 of the liquids and beat batter on low; then add remaining liquid in two stages, beating on medium speed just until batter is smooth.  Add sugar and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Pour batter into pans.  Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted into cakes centers come out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool pans on a wire rack for 5 min.  Run a knife around cakes to loosen, then remove them onto rack to cool. 

Frosting

2 - 14 oz. cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring condensed milk, butter, salt, and water to a full simmer in a large saucepan over medium low heat, stirring often (it's okay if condensed milk caramelizes on pan bottom).  Off heat, stir in coconut and vanilla.

Place one of the cakes on a plate.  Spread 3/4 cup warm glaze over cake.  Top with second cake and remaining glaze, which will spill over the sides, use a spatula to spread it evenly over the sides.  Continue spreading until glaze sets.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken & Dressing

Easter is next weekend and I always try to have my dumplings and dressing made ahead of time for holidays.  Last weekend, I made dumplings and this past weekend I made chicken and dressing and put it in the freezer.  I will take the pan of dressing out of the freezer on Saturday evening and place it in the refrigerator to thaw, so that it will be ready to cook on Easter.  We will be having smoked turkey, chicken and dressing, garden pea dumplings, white peas, yeast rolls, layered salad, and an Easter Coconut Cake.  I am fortunate to have two dressing recipes that I love, my mother's recipe and my mother-in-law's recipe.  I am sharing with you today my mother-in-law's recipe and it's the one that I make for my family.  I will share my mother's recipe with you at a later date.  Our Mothers always blessed us with a bountiful table of delicious food with an invitation to all of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to come celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas at their homes.  Sometimes it meant eating twice but we did what we had to do to make everyone happy!     

                                                         Chicken & Dressing 

4 chicken breasts with skin

Boil chicken in a large pot for one hour.  Remove chicken from pot.  Remove the skin and discard.  Save chicken broth.   Once the chicken has cooled, I pull the chicken apart.  When I am ready to add the chicken to the dressing, I add several pulled apart pieces of chicken together, so that each person has a serving of chicken with their serving of dressing. 

6 cups Martha White self-rising corn meal
3 cups buttermilk
1 cup water

Stir corn meal, buttermilk, and water together.  Spray a large iron skillet with Pam Spray.  Add 1 Tbsp. of Crisco Shortening to iron skillet.  Place iron skillet in oven to melt shortening.  Remove skillet from oven after the shortening melts.  Pour corn meal mixture into skillet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 min. or until light brown. 

6 cups chicken broth
2 large onions, chopped
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. salt
2 cans of Cream of Celery Soup
2 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
1 canful of water
3 Tbsp. cooking oil
6 eggs, beaten

Place the baked cornbread into a very large bowl.  Pour 4 cups of chicken broth over cornbread.  Use a potato masher to mash the cornbread.    Add chopped onions, black pepper, salt, soups, 2 cups chicken broth, and water.  Stir until all ingredients are blended together.  Add cooking oil and beaten eggs.  Stir again until well blended.   Spray a large deep baking dish with Pam Spray before adding dressing.  Place pulled apart chicken pieces into dressing.    Bake at 400 degrees for 2 hrs.

I always pour our dressing into two 10 X 12 disposable foil pans, so that we will have two occasions to have dressing.  For a family larger than ours, you will cook your dressing in a large deep baking dish.  Dressing heats well as a leftover, too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pear Salad

My Granny King always had Pear Salad when we came for a visit.  When we began having the King family reunions, you could bet there would be Pear Salad there, too.  I am carrying on the tradition of making Pear Salad but I do make it different from my Mother.   The way that my Mother's recipe and mine differ is that my Mother always stirred the cheese and mayonnaise together.  My Mother likes to talk about how I like to get fancy with some of the ways that I prepare or do my presentation of dishes but I'll let you know that she has been known to sit a cherry on top of each of her Pears!  This is just a too simple recipe for such a good taste.

                                                          Pear Salad 

29 oz. can of Pear Halves, drained
Hellman's Real Mayonnaise
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Place drained pears with open side facing up on a pretty plate.  Place 1 tsp. of mayonnaise on each of the pears.  Sprinkle cheese on top of the mayonnaise.  Cover and place in the refrigerator.

My favorite meat to serve the Pear Salad with is ham. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

M & M Cookies - Pecan Cookies

Farmers Daughters Market is Friday, April 15, at Dothan Nurseries.  We hope you will come for a visit!  I will have my most requested jellies there - hot pepper jelly, blackberry jelly, and mayhaw jelly.  I will have something new this week - pecan sandie bars.  The Bread Lady will have cinnamon, wheat, and orange bread.  Wendy will be there with her wonderful fresh vegetables.  Bobbi from Shelley Catering will have frozen homemade casseroles.  There will be local honey for sale, too.  Amanda will have pecan treats and trail mix.  Susan will have biscotti and cream cheese pound cake.  You've got to try the goat cheeses - vegetable & dessert goat cheese.  We always have samples so please come for a taste.  Dothan Nurseries is on Montgomery Highway, across from Loftin's Wedding Center.  Hope to see ya there!

It has always been a Christmas tradition in our family for my sister, Debra, to make and bring M & M cookies to our parent's home for Christmas.  We all loved them, except for our Daddy.  He said that he did not care for the candy in the cookies.  I decided to make them one year with chopped pecans, instead of the M & M's.  Phillip and Brent loved them and so did our Daddy.  When I make the cookies just for my family, I half the dough and put M & M's in half of the dough and chopped pecans in the other half.  The cookies are so good, especially when they are still warm from the oven.  I think your family will like the cookies, too.

                                                              M & M Cookies

1 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups M & M's

Blend shortening and sugar.  Beat in vanilla & eggs.  Sift flour.  Add to sugar and egg mixture and mix well.  Stir in M & M's.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 min.

Pecan Cookies:

Add chopped pecans instead of M & M's.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Our dietitian at the clinic, Renae, raised a large family and has entertained family for a number of years.  When I began entertaining, I was so fortunate to have her to help me with recipes and quantities to cook.  I have several recipes that she has given to me for wedding and baby showers as well as recipes for family BBQ's and meals.  I can't thank her enough for all of the help that she has been to me over the years.  The Broccoli & Cheese Soup recipe is one of hers and I thought others would enjoy it, too.

                                                     Broccoli & Cheese Soup

2 Tbsp. margarine
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 - 14.5 oz. can Swanson's Chicken Broth
1 - 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli
1 - 8 oz. jar Cheese Whiz
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. white pepper
bacon bits, optional

Melt margarine.  Stir in flour and cook a few minutes.  Gradually add chicken broth to make a roux sauce.  Stir constantly while adding chicken broth.  Stir in chopped broccoli.  Stir for a few minutes to cook broccoli.  Add Cheese Whiz, milk, and heavy cream.  Stir until Cheese Whiz is melted and soup is heated.  Season to taste with pepper.  Add bacon bits, if desired. 

 Renae's Notes:  She sometimes uses half & half instead of the milk and heavy cream combination.  She said that she usually lets people add pepper and bacon bits as a "side" to taste after soup is made.  She said that she almost always doubles the recipe.  Cheese Whiz can be found in 8 oz. and 15 oz. jars.  She said that the 15 oz. jar is cheaper to buy, so she uses a 15 oz. jar and 2-3 slices of processed American Cheese. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pineapple Cake

This is my mother's original recipe.  She said that she took a coconut cake recipe and made it into a pineapple cake and it's a good one, too.  This is the cake that she would make for my daddy's birthday and my birthday when I was growing up.  The pineapple with the juice gives the cake a moist texture.  The 7 minute frosting is a delicious icing for the cake. 

                                                             Pineapple Cake

1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1/2 cup Crisco Shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
small can of crushed pineapple, drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour pans.  Sift flour and sugar together in a mixing bowl.  Add shortening and about half of the milk.  Blend, then beat for 2 min.  Add remaining milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Blend, then beat 2 min.  Pour batter into two 9 inch pans and bake 25 to 30 min.

7 Minute Frosting 

2 egg whites
6 Tbsp. cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Put all ingredients, except for vanilla, in top of double boiler and mix thoroughly at medium speed.  Place over rapidly boiling water and beat at high speed until mixture will hold a firm peak, about 6 min.  Remove from boiling water and place over cold water.  Add vanilla and blend in using low speed.  Will cover two 9 inch layers.  You will need one large can of crushed pineapple.  Spread 1/2 of pineapple with juice over 1st layer then cover with icing.  Put other 1/2 of pineapple with juice over 2nd layer then cover with icing.  Let icing set for 3-4 hrs.   Refrigerate cake.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homemade Dumplings

I almost posted the name of this recipe as Chicken and Dumplings but we also like to have garden pea dumplings.  I'll explain.  I had never heard of garden pea dumplings and certainly had no idea how to make dumplings when I married Phillip.  My mother-in-law always cooked chicken and dumplings at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  When one of us was sick, she would surprise us with a pot of chicken and dumplings and you know it was just what we needed to make us feel better.  As a change, she would make a pot of garden pea dumplings using a can of Lesueur sweet peas with the addition of water for the broth to cook the dumplings in.  When you have someone who makes the meals that you love and you don't see how the meal was put together, you have no idea how it was accomplished or how much work was involved in the preparation.  I was so fortunate that I helped my mother-in-law for a couple of years to prepare her dumplings and dressing for the family Thanksgiving and Christmas meals as her health begin to fail.  Otherwise, I would just have a recipe and would not have had the experience of preparing it with her sitting right next to me giving step by step instructions.  Another mycookingmemories.com experience.  I made dumplings this past weekend and put them in the freezer with the plan of having them for our Easter meal in a few weeks.

                                                             Homemade Dumplings

5 1/2 cups Martha White self-rising flour
2 cups of water
1 Tbsp. salt

Sift flour into a large deep bowl.  Add water and salt.  Use your hands to mix together.  You want the dough to be smooth and not sticky.  You may have to sprinkle a little more flour on the dough to get the consistency that you want.

I spread a cup or two of flour on my granite island.  I place the dough in the middle of the island and use my hands to flatten the dough.  I flour my rolling pin and then use the rolling pin to smooth out the dough in all directions as thin as possible.  You are now ready to cut the dough into dumplings.

I cover the surface of my jellyroll pan with Press'N Seal. 

I cut long strips from top to bottom.  I then cut long strips from side to side.  The cut dumplings are now ready to go on the jellyroll pan.  I do a single layer and then tear off another piece of Press'N Seal.  I continue this process until all dumplings are on the jellyroll pan.  I securely cover the top of the pan and place the dumplings into the freezer.  They will keep until I am ready to cook them.  I usually have 3 layers and each layer is one cooking for us.  If we have company, I will cook more. 

To Cook:  If you want chicken and dumplings, cook chicken breasts with the skin on for a richer flavor.  Add 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of black pepper.  Cook chicken for an hour.  Remove chicken from broth.  Remove skin and discard.  Tear chicken apart and return to chicken broth.  Add one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.  Bring chicken broth to a boil.  Add a layer of frozen dumplings.  Do not stir.  Cook dumplings for 5 min.   Gently move dumplings around with a wooden spoon during the cooking process.  

For garden pea dumpings, make your broth with a 15 oz. can of Lesueur sweet peas and the addition of 4 more canfuls of water.  Add 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1 Tbsp. corn oil.  Bring broth to a boil.  Add a layer of frozen dumplings.  Do not stir.  Cook dumplings for 5 min.  Gently move dumplings around with a wooden spoon during the cooking process. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oreo Balls

Our sweet corporate accountant, Laura, surprised several of us at work with a "sweet treat" recently called Oreo Balls.  You know presentation is everything and she had packaged them in a clear bag and tied it with a black and white design ribbon.  You would only expect a perfect package with a perfectly delightful treat from Laura.   She has a style of her own and we have been tickled pink to see the enchanting baby pictures of her sweet baby girl, Harper Grace.  Laura likes to entertain and she says that the Oreo Balls are always a hit with her guests.  I told her that I am certain that Oreo Balls will be a part of our Christmas desserts this year and years to come.

                                                    Oreo Balls 

16 oz. pkg. Oreo Cookies
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
Vanilla Almond Bark

Place cookies in a gallon zip-lock bag.  Seal bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Pour crushed cookies into a bowl.  Add softened cream cheese and mix well with mixer.   Roll a tsp. amount of mixture into a ball.  Dip balls in melted Vanilla Almond Bark.  Place on wax paper to cool. 

Place in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Just a reminder that the Farmers Daughters Market is tomorrow, April 8.  We will be there every Friday in April and May.  I will have hot pepper jelly, blackberry jelly, mayhaw jelly, banana nut bread muffins, and crunch cake (also known as butter yummy cake & chess squares).  We have added more vendors, so you've got to come see what's going on at the Market!  Bobbi Shelley from Shelley's Catering will be cooking at the Outdoor Kitchen.  It's worth a trip just to see Dothan Nurseries where we're located on Montgomery Highway.  I hope to see you there. 

I have had this recipe for Garlic Cheese Biscuits for sometime but had not made them until this week.  If I had known they would be this good, I would have made them a long time ago!  I could not put the recipe on my blog without first cooking it to be certain it was a good recipe.  The biscuits are light and the garlic cheese butter adds a really nice flavor.  

                                                    Garlic Cheese Biscuits

3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup milk

Stir together and drop by Tbsp. onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14 min.

Brush hot biscuits with garlic cheese butter.

Garlic Cheese Butter

1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

Melt butter.  Stir in garlic powder and parmesan cheese. 

Store unused portion in airtight container in refrigerator

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tomatoes & Rice

My Granny King and my Mother cooked Tomatoes and Rice for us and it's a family favorite.  You can cook smoked pork chops to go with it and save the pan drippings to add to the Tomatoes and Rice.  It will add so much flavor to it.  

                                                      Tomatoes & Rice

3 cups water
2 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with liquid
1 Tbsp. corn oil or pan drippings
1 cup rice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Bring water, tomatoes, cooking oil or pan drippings, salt, & pepper to a boil.  Add rice, reduce heat to low, and stir several times during the first 5 min. of cooking.   Cover with a lid.   Set timer for 20 min.   Remove a tsp. of rice to check for doneness.    

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

14 Layer Chocolate Cake

Today is Brent's birthday and I always bake a 14 layer Chocolate Cake for his birthday cake.  He is loved very much!  Happy 29th Birthday, son.

For many years, I would go in search of a tiny layer chocolate cake, that was usually baked by a little old lady who made the layers in an iron skillet and cooked the icing on her stove top in a double boiler, for our family Christmas at my parent's home.  This was always at the request of my daddy.  Some years the chocolate cake was better than others.  A number of years ago, one of our Clinic nurses, Mona,  mentioned that her Nanny was going to bake Chocolate Cakes to sell for Christmas.  I told her that I would like to order one and had no idea that I would be getting the best Chocolate Cake that I had ever had.  I asked Mona if her Nanny, Mrs. Ada Alma Strickland, would share her recipe and she said yes.  Let me tell you the secrets that I have learned.  I always cook the icing first.  I cook it in a metal mixing bowl.  When I could not find a large double boiler, it was suggested to me while shopping at Kitchen on the Square in Savannah to buy the metal mixing bowl and make my own double boiler.  When it is finished cooking, I put the mixing bowl on top of a deep large boiler that I have ready with boiling water in it.  The top of the mixing bowl will fit even with the top of the large boiler and the bottom of the mixing bowl will just reach the boiling water.   This is how the metal mixing bowl becomes a double boiler.  The icing will not continue to cook but will stay hot and will be ready for the cake layers when they come out of the oven.   You need very good cake pans, so that your layers will cook evenly.  I always cook my layers in 8 in. pans.  I bake 4 layers at a time.  For me, it took cooking the cake several times before I became comfortable with it.  I spoon 3 heaping Tbsp. of batter into the cake pans that I have sprayed with Pam Spray and spread thinly.  When I remove the cake pans from the oven I immediately turn them over onto a dish towel, tap the cake pan, and the layer falls out of the pan onto the dish towel.  The cake layer may not always turn out perfectly and that's okay.  You can still stack it, even if it's in several pieces, and then spoon icing on it.  When the cake is sliced you will never know that a layer was not perfect.  The number of layers is not always the same.  The cake that I just made for Brent's birthday is 12 layers and so tall that my cake cover touches the top of the cake when closed.  Sometimes, my cake will stack straight and sometimes it's crooked but it always tastes good!

                                                         14 Layer Chocolate Cake

1 cup Crisco Shortening
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3 cups Martha White self-rising flour, sifted
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add one ingredient at a time and beat after each addition until all has been added.  Place 3 heaping Tbsp. of batter into 8 in. pans that have been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 min.  Stack layers and add chocolate icing while hot.

Chocolate Icing

3 sticks plus 2 Tbsp. of Blue Bonnet margarine
2 - 12 oz. cans of Pet Milk
4 1/2 cups of sugar
13 1/2 Tbsp. of Hershey's Cocoa

Melt margarine.  Add Pet Milk, sugar, and Hershey's Cocoa.  Cook over medium/low heat until it comes to a boil, stirring often.  Continue to cook for 7 min. or until desired consistency.  It will thicken slightly. 

Place icing in a double boiler.  It will remain hot while you bake the cake layers and place icing on cake layers.

I use a soup ladle to pour the icing on the cake layer.  I usually put two soup ladles of icing on the layer and then use a tsp. to spread the icing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hobo's

Growing up, the only hobo that I knew about was a man who wanted to catch a ride for free on a train!  I had never heard of a Hobo that you eat.  Phillip introduced me to hobo's when we were dating.  He said that his mother made hobo's for his family and everyone could have their choice of ingredients to add. 

                                                           Hobo's

Ground Chuck
Potatoes, peeled & sliced
Onion, chopped
Salt
Pepper

You begin my tearing off a square of aluminum foil.  You will need to tear off squares of aluminum foil for the number of Hobo's that you will be preparing.  You will need a pkg. of ground chuck.  You will be making hamburger patties for each person.  You can make the patty the size of a hamburger patty or the size of a hamburger steak.  Place the patty in the center of the square of aluminum foil.  Next, peel and slice a medium potato for each hobo.  Place the sliced potatoes on top of the hamburger patty.  Next, add chopped onion, salt, and pepper.  You are now ready to close the aluminum foil.  Bring the two longest sides of the aluminum foil together and roll down to the top of the hobo.  Also roll the aluminum foil on each end of the hobo toward the hobo.  This seals the hobo.  Place the hobo's with the sealed side up in a casserole dish.  Should there be any leakage from the hobo, it will leak into the casserole dish. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

The only other ingredient that we have added to our hobo's is sliced carrots.  You may add any  ingredient of your choice to your hobo.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Microwave Peanut Brittle

I was given this recipe by one of our patients at the clinic but had not made it in some time.  Phillip and I decided that we would make some Peanut Brittle but it took several attempts to get it right because we had a different microwave from when we used to make it and the wattage of the microwave does make a difference in the length of time that it takes to cook the Peanut Brittle.  Phillip actually got the timing down pat and we got on a tear of making Peanut Brittle almost every night for a week or two.  It makes just the right amount for two people and should last several days but we were overindulging, to say the least.  Seeing how I had signed up for Scale Back Alabama, I had to move on from this delightful treat as it did not promote weight loss!

                                                     Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup Karo Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Microwave on high for 6 1/2 min., stirring after 4 min.

Remove from microwave and add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring.  Microwave 45 seconds.

Remove from microwave.  Add 1 tsp. baking soda.  Stir quickly until foamy and then pour onto a pizza pan that has been covered with a piece of parchment paper.  Allow to cool and then break apart.

Store in an airtight container.