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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Banana Nut Bread Muffins

I have loved Banana Nut Bread since I was a child.  My mother always cooked it in a loaf pan.  I also cooked it in a loaf pan until one day I tried it in an cast iron bundt pan that makes six large muffins.  I knew from that day forward I would always make my Banana Nut Bread as muffins.  They are moist and delicious.  I sold Banana Nut Bread Muffins at the Farmer's Daughters Market this past spring and will sell them again this fall.  Make ya'll some yummy muffins!

                                                   Banana Nut Bread Muffins 

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted

Cream butter and sugar.  Add beaten eggs.  Cream bananas until fluffy.  Add to the sugar mixture alternately with the dry ingredients.  Add chopped pecans.  Pour into greased loaf pan or cast iron bundt pan that makes six large muffins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 23 min.   

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mexican Cornbread

Deli N Delites was a favorite place to eat in Dothan for many years.  There were many menu choices and everybody had their favorites.  During the winter months, on Thursday and Friday you could order Mexican Cornbread.  I would just order a slice of Mexican Cornbread and make a meal of it with my sweet tea.  Sometimes the jalapeno peppers were hotter than others but I always enjoyed it and wanted to learn to make it at home.  I kept searching for a recipe that I thought would give me the closest version of the one that I ate at Deli N Delites and when I found this one I felt like I had hit a homerun.   I use jalapeno peppers from our garden and I do remove the seeds, so that it won't be so hot. 

                                                     Mexican Cornbread

2 eggs
1/3 cup Wesson oil
2 jalapeno peppers
1 small onion, chopped
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 small can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Combine eggs, oil, jalapeno peppers, onions, muffin mix, corn, and sour cream.  Pour half of the mixture into a greased, heated 2 X 9 X 13 baking dish and cover with 1 cup of the cheese.  Add remaining mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.  Remove from oven and top with 1/2 cup of cheese.  Bake for an additional 10 min.  Cool in pan before cutting into squares.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Homemade Frosty's

When Phillip and I were dating 38 years ago, it didn't take long to realize how much he loved ice cream!  There was Johnny's Soft Serve on South Oates Street where you could buy twirled vanilla ice milk in a cone, Dairy Queen where he loved the brownie delight, and Wendy's where he loved the Frosty.  Somewhere around this time, grocery stores started selling Blue Bell Ice Cream and there was always several half-gallons of different types in his Mom's freezer as she loved ice cream, too.  Phillip's brother, Ronnie, also loves ice cream and he would keep his Mom informed of which stores had a sale on Blue Bell Ice Cream for the week .  I guess you can tell by now that this is a Herring family trait.  You must love ice cream to be a part of this family!  

I have a lovely wooden recipe box that I keep in my pantry.  I put recipes that I one day want to cook in my recipe box.  They don't get written in my recipe book until I know that we like the recipe and I will want to make it again for my family.  I do not have a clue how long I have had this recipe for a Frosty or where I got it from but it's a welcome delight on these hot summer days.  This recipe did make it to the recipe book!

                                                      Homemade Frosty's 

1 cup milk
1/2 cup Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Flavor
3 cups softened vanilla ice cream

Place all of the above into a blender and blend. 

Pour into a dessert dish or glass and enjoy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rotel Chicken Spaghetti

June 27th (today) is our 36th wedding anniversary.  Phillip and I are blessed to have found each other.  I hope there will be many more anniversaries together.


I have been so fortunate to be included in beach trips to Panama City to the Painted Lady beach house that belongs to my bestest friend, GeorgeAnn's two sisters, Judy and Sandy.  The sisters and their Mom, Mrs. Barrentine, used to all attend church together at Westside Baptist Church in Jasper, Alabama.  The Women's Ministry of Westside Baptist Church created a cookbook and often times recipes from that cookbook were cooked while we were at the beach house.  Rotel Chicken Spaghetti was one such recipe and it was a hit with me.  I liked the kick that the Rotel Tomatoes gave to the casserole.   

                                                       Rotel Chicken Spaghetti

4 oz. Velveeta Cheese, grated
1 jar chicken gravy
1 - 10 oz. Rotel tomatoes & green chilies, original
8 oz. chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cups angel hair pasta, cooked

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a 8 X 8 casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 min.  Cool slightly and divide into four servings.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Strawberry Fig Preserves

Today is a Happy/Sad Day for our Family.  My precious Mother-in-Law, Othell Herring, passed away on Tuesday and will be buried today.  We rejoice that she's free from her Alzheimer's disease.  We have missed her and mourned the loss of her for almost ten years.  I am thankful for the wonderful meals and recipes that she shared with me.  She taught me so much about life!


We have a lovely fig tree in our fruit orchard.  I always know that spring is coming when new leaves appear on the fig tree...that's biblical, too.  Phillip got a rooted piece from his mother's fig tree and here is where it comes full circle.  Mrs. Herring got a rooted piece from Phillip's grandparents home place which is where we live right now.  I got the recipe for traditional Fig Preserves from my Mother and they are delicious, too.  It takes five hours to cook traditional Fig Preserves but I am so glad that I have my Mom's recipe.  The recipe for Strawberry Fig Preserves came from my bestest friend, GeorgeAnn.  You cook the Strawberry Fig Preserves for only 20 min. and you have a preserve that tastes just like strawberries.  Our fig preserves will be ready in late June or early July.  I always enjoy watching Phillip eat them right off of the tree.  We'll get the ladder out and can fill a bucket in very short period of time.  I love having a fruit orchard!

                                                     Strawberrry Fig Preserves

3 cups of sugar
2 - 3 oz. boxes of Strawberry Jello
6 cups of figs

Wash figs.  Cut off the stems.  Cut figs in half.  Put figs, jello, and sugar in a large boiler.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Cook for 20 min.  Pour into jars.

Yield:  6 half-pints.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Ingredient Muffins

You know I was interested in a recipe for muffins with only two ingredients, especially if one of the ingredients is vanilla ice cream!  I saw the recipe in the March/April 2011 issue of Wiregrass Living Magazine and knew I would have to try the recipe.  Phillip bought me a half-gallon of Blue Bell French Vanilla Ice Cream.  I could hardly believe that when I took my first bite of the muffin, I actually tasted vanilla ice cream. 

                                                         Two Ingredient Muffins

2 cups of vanilla ice cream, softened
2 cups of self-rising flour, sifted

Combine with a mixer and then pour into muffin tins that have been sprayed with Pam Spray. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. 

Yield:  10 muffins.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Birthday Cake

My friend, Denita, is a wonderful baker and talented cake decorator.  One of the most beautiful cakes that I have seen her make is a basket weave cake with realistic roses on top.  For many years, she made all of our birthday and special occasion cakes.  One year, she told me how to make one of her cakes for Phillip's birthday.  It was a delicious birthday cake but the decorating that I did had a lot to be desired!  So, here's a good recipe for a birthday cake or cupcakes. 

                                                     Birthday Cake

Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Cake Mix
2/3 cup water
1 stick Land O Lakes Real Butter
3 large eggs

Bake in three 9 inch pans at 350 degrees for 28 min.  Cool and then frost cake.

Frosting

1 cup Crisco Shortening
2 lb. bag of Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. clear vanilla

Whip all together in a mixing bowl  Add water a little at the time until you get the consistency you want; thick for flower making and softer for spreading.  You will probably add less than 1/2 cup of water.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pink Pies

Mrs. Herring attended a small country church and one of the highlights of the year for the church was revival services that were held each July.  The visiting preacher always ate supper in one of the church members home before preaching the service each evening.  Mrs. Herring was known as an excellent cook and if the preacher had eaten at her home before he would usually make requests for certain items.  Pink Pies were just such a requested item.  They're light, fluffy, and delicious.  Phillip and I live close to Mrs. Herring and we were always invited for supper when the visiting preacher came to eat.  I was thinking about those Pink Pies recently and realized that I had not gotten a recipe from Mrs. Herring nor had I ever been in her kitchen when she prepared them.  I called my sister-in-law and asked if she had her mother's recipe for Pink Pie.  She said that she did and would send it to me.  She said that she had never made them either.  When I got the recipe from her, I knew it was going to take a little time in the kitchen to figure out the recipe. 

I've been told before that I am prissy.  Well, when I got out my Pink KitchenAid Mixer and made Pink Pies, I certainly felt prissy! 

                                                           Pink Pies

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 small can crushed pineapple,, drained
1 -  3 oz. pkg. Strawberry Jello
1 large can of Pet or Carnation evaporated milk
1 box Nilla Vanilla Wafers

Place Nilla Vanilla Wafers with flat side down in two pie plates.  Once the pies are filled, place Vanilla Wafers standing around the edge of the pies.

Stir together sugar, eggs, and pineapple; cook over low heat until eggs are done (160 degrees).  Stir in jello and let cool.  Chill milk in freezer until ice crystals form around edges of bowl.  Whip milk until stiff.  Fold in cooled egg mixture and mix well.  Pour into 2 vanilla wafer pie shells.  Let pies cool in refrigerator for several hours before serving.  Keep refrigerated.

  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beef and Cheese Dip

We were so fortunate to have a loving, older couple to care for Brent until he was old enough to  go to school.  It was like having grandparents to care for him.  It was a joy for me to go to their home each week day.  I, too, was learning a great deal about life from them.  There was always a good lunch prepared for the children as well as many times an evening meal for the couple's daughter and family who had a very busy life.  One evening when I picked up Brent, there was a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen.  Mrs. Pritchett had prepared what she called Chili Cheese Dip for her family and was kind enough ot share her recipe.  She would always add a can of Hormel Chili without beans to the dip.  We now prefer the dip without the can of chili.  This is a dip that you can add more ingredients of your choice if you desire to do so.  

                                                       Beef and Cheese Dip

2 lbs. of ground chuck
1 lb. of Velveeta Cheese
1 - 10 oz. can of Rotel Original diced tomatoes & green chilies  

Place ground chuck in a large boiler and cook over medium heat.  As meat is cooking, press down on meat with a fork, so that all of the meat will be in very small pieces.  Cook until done and then drain.  Add Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta Cheese in chunks.  Continue to stir until all of the cheese is melted. 

Serve with Frito Scoops, Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream, Chopped Tomatoes, Jalepeno Peppers, or whatever you would like.  My favorite way to eat the dip is with Tortilla Chips and Sour Cream.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pina Colada Cake

I remember when Pina Colada Cake was a very popular dessert.  In more recent years, I haven't heard much talk about it or seen it published.  Sara was a former nurse at our clinic and first introduced me to Pina Colada Cake.  She made it for one of our clinic lunches and it was a rich, moist cake.  This is a good cake for anytime.....maybe even Father's Day!

                                                        Pina Colada Cake

1 box butter recipe yellow cake mix
1 - 14 oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 - 8 oz. Cool Whip
1 creme of coconut pina colada mix
1 pkg. flaked coconut

Bake yellow cake mix according to box directions in a 13 X 9 baking dish; leave in baking dish.  Cool.  Punch holes in cake with a fork.  Mix Eagle Brand milk and creme of coconut pina colada mix and pour over cake.  Mix coconut and Cool Whip and spread on cake.  Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peaches & Cream

We have peach trees in our fruit orchard.  I can hardly wait each year for the peaches to get ripe.  I look forward to eating some peaches and cream.  It was Paula Deen that got me started on whipping cream.  On her cooking show, she'd take a dollop of whipping cream and put it on a dessert after she had prepared it.  She'd take a taste and then roll those big eyes of hers.  Well, when it's time for our peaches to get ready, we have a half-pint of whipping cream in the refrigerator that's sitting on ready to be whipped to go with those juicy peaches.  When the peaches are close to being ready, I put the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer and let them get really cold.  After allowing them to get cold, I remove them from the freezer and set-up the mixer.  I next add the whipping cream.  Slowly, I add 1/3 cup of sugar and continue to whip until the whipping cream is thick.  I spoon the whipping cream into a bowl with an airtight lid and place in the refrigerator.  I now have whipping cream ready to use with fresh peaches.

                                                                 Peaches & Cream

Fresh, juicy Peaches
1/2 pint of Whipping Cream
1/3 cup of sugar
Instructions are above for preparing whipping cream with sugar.

Peel and then slice peaches into a pretty dessert bowl.  Put a dollop of whipping cream on top of the peaches.  You can't help but smile as it is truly a delight! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BLT Sandwich

I truly believe that Phillip has grown more beautiful tomatoes than anyone else who has a garden in Houston County!  Not bragging, just fact.  His tomatoes are beautiful and taste like a tomato should or at least that is what he says as well as anyone else who has eaten one of his tomatoes.  Each morning, I load up a sack of tomatoes that I gather off of our kitchen island.  I have given them to my friends, family, and co-workers.  I will continue to bless folks with them as long as they produce.  A BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich) is a favorite way for a lot of folks to eat a fresh tomato.  Try one to tonight for a simple summertime supper.

                                                             BLT Sandwich

Fresh Sliced Tomato
Lettuce
Cooked Bacon
Fresh Sunbeam Bread
Hellman's Mayonnaise
Salt
Pepper

Combine all of the above.  Eat and enjoy, per Phillip.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Best-Ever Banana Pudding

I have always liked everything in a Banana Pudding, except for the bananas.  Now, I like a banana sandwich on two slices of bread smeared with mayonnaise but don't like slices of banana in the pudding.  Mrs. Herring liked to make a Bakeless Banana Pudding and she would always make me a bowl without bananas.  Believe me, I never had any mother-in-law jokes to tell about her!  For a long time, I chose not to make a Banana Pudding.  However, I always make desserts to take to my parents home whenever the family was having a get together and with it being summertime it just seemed like a Banana Pudding would be the dessert of choice.  I had a recipe from Southern Living for Best-Ever Banana Pudding that I had saved and wanted to try and was glad I did.  I did make a little change in the recipe, though.  Instead of sliced bananas, I mashed the bananas and then whipped them with the mixer, so that they were smooth.  Everyone loved it.  I was so proud of myself for learning to make a Banana Pudding with bananas. 

                                                   Best-Ever Banana Pudding

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt
1 - 14 oz. can Eagle Brand Milk
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 12 oz. package Nilla Wafers
6 large ripe bananas
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan.  Whisk together milk and egg yolks; stir into dry ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth and thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Arrange 1/3 of vanilla wafers in bottom of a 3 quart baking dish.  Mash ripe bananas in a bowl and then whip with an electric mixer; set aside.  Spoon 1/3 of mashed bananas over vanilla wafers.  Pour 1/3 of pudding mixture over bananas.  Repeat layers twice, arranging remaining vanilla wafers around outside edge of dish.  Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 min.).  Fold in vanilla extract; spread over pudding, sealing to edge.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 min. or until golden brown.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sirloin Tip Roast

Phillip and I both grew up with Moms that liked to cook a roast for Sunday dinner.  I, too, liked to cook a roast for our Sunday meal.  I learned like they did that you could put a roast in the oven on low heat before you left to go to church and when you returned your lunch was done!  My favorite roast to cook is a Sirloin Tip Roast.  Our butcher, Ed Harmon at the Cottonwood IGA, always has good cuts of meat for us to choose from.  Now I know that a lot of folks like to put a roast in a crock pot, add potatoes and carrots, and let it cook all day.  I've tried that, too.  However, to me the potatoes and carrots absorb the taste of the meat and you cannot distinguish their flavors.  I prefer to cook my roast in the oven on low heat for several hours.  The roast will be so tender that a knife is not necessary and the flavor will be delicious, especially if you've got creamed potatoes to eat with it!  This is the way that my mother-in-law cooked her roast and I did not go wrong following her example.

                                                         Sirloin Tip Roast

Sirloin Tip Roast
1 pkg. Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Place roast in a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam Spray.  Open pkg of onion soup mix and sprinkle over roast.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 300 degrees for 3 1/2 hours.

The pan drippings and onion soup mix will make a gravy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sweet Iced Tea

If you have not figured this out about me yet, just let me tell you how much I love sweet iced tea.  I have sweet iced tea with my oatmeal for breakfast.  I leave my home in the morning headed to work with a tervis tumbler of sweet iced tea.  I take a container of sweet tea to have with my lunch each day and yes I have sweet iced tea to go with my supper each evening.  I occasionally squeeze in a diet coke or sprite and rarely some good ole well water.  We keep a couple of gallons of sweet tea in our refrigerator at all times.  I truly feel like a southern girl when I sit on my front porch in the evening and sip sweet iced tea.

2 Lipton decaffeinated family size tea bags
small boiler
water

Fill small boiler half full of water.  Add 2 tea bags.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and let steep for 15 to 30 min.  Place 1 cup of sugar in a gallon tea pitcher.  Fill the pitcher 3/4 full of water.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  After the tea has been allowed to steep, add tea to pitcher and then stir.  Place tea pitcher in refrigerator to cool.  Keep in refrigerator when you are not serving.

To me, the tea has a better taste after it has become cold.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mother's Dressing

When I approached my mother and mother-in-law about getting their recipes for dressing, I received the same answer from both of them.  They didn't measure the ingredients and did not have a recipe written down anywhere.  I had to go to their homes and take a seat in their kitchen and stop them before they put any ingredients in their dressing, so that we could get the measurement each time before they added it.  I found that even after getting a recipe from each of them that it would still be necessary to tweak it here and there but I am sure thankful that I pursued this.  My mother-in-law can no longer cook and can no longer communicate with us due to Alzheimer's.  It is her recipe that I prepare for my family at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Don't miss an opportunity to get those treasured family recipes! 

                                                     Mother's Dressing

Boil 1/2 hen for 2 to 2 1/2 hours in plenty of water.  Save chicken broth.

Stir together 1 1/2 cups of plain corn meal, 3/4 cup self-rising flour, salt, 4 eggs, and approximately 3/4 cup milk.  Pour into a greased iron skillet and bake at 400 degrees until light brown.

Place cornbread in a dish pan.  Mash corn bread with a potato masher.  Add 1/2 to 3/4 sleeve of saltine crackers.  Pour chicken broth over this and continue to mash.  (You will need 3 - 4 cups of chicken broth).  Add 1 chopped onion.  Add 8 eggs.  Continue to mash and stir.  Add 1 can cream of celery soup.  Add chicken pieces.  Pour into a large baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brownie Trifle

This is a recipe that I found in Southern Living Magazine many years ago.  It's almost always a guarantee that if a recipe comes from Southern Living, it's a winner.  The first time that I made Brownie Trifle, I took it to Mrs. Herring's house for our dessert for Sunday dinner.  All of the Herring family showed up after church and came hungry.  A lot of times most of the family spent the afternoon together and even ate supper at the same table where they had lunch.  Needless to say,  my trifle bowl was empty when I took it home.

                                                    Brownie Trifle

2 - 21 oz. pkg. chewy fudge brownie mix
1 - 8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 - 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
2 - 8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed and divided
3 cups milk
2 - 3.3 oz. pkg. instant white chocolate pudding
1 - 12 1/4 oz. jar caramel topping

Prepare each brownie mix according to pkg. directions for chewy brownies in a 13 X 9 in. pan.  Cool; break into large pieces.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; beat in marshamallow cream.  Stir in one container of Cool Whip; set mixture aside.

Stir together milk and white chocolate pudding mix, stirring until thickened.  Stir in remaining container of Cool Whip. 

Crumble half of brownie pieces in an even layer in bottom of a 13 X 9 in. baking dish.  Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over brownies, drizzle evenly with caramel topping.  Pour pudding evenly over caramel topping, crumble remaining brownie pieces over top.  Cover and chill for two hours.

The recipe recommends making this in a baking dish but I make it in a trifle bowl.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baked Chicken Breasts

I got my recipe for Baked Chicken Breasts from an unlikely place.  Let me explain.  Last year, I had to have a tendon repair of my ankle.  The first meal that I was able to eat after surgery was a very tasty baked chicken breast.  After I went home from the hospital, I mentioned to Phillip several times how much I liked the chicken that I had while at the Medical Center.  He told me that I could probably get the recipe from the hospital and I was determined to do so.  After several calls, I was successful in getting the recipe for their Baked Chicken Breasts.  Now I know it's been a common joke that hospital food is awful but the chicken was good enough to me that I had to track down the recipe.

                                                             Baked Chicken

4 - 6 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. season-all salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt

Season chicken breasts with spices. 

Spray a jelly roll pan with Pam Spray.  Place chicken pieces on jelly roll pan.  Pour one cup of water into the pan.  Cover with aluminum foil. 

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tomato Pie

It is definitely summertime and we have an abundance of tomatoes at our house.   Phillip has more tomatoes than he can eat and shares with others.  I took enough tomatoes to work for everyone to have a tomato sandwich this week.  I brought fresh bread, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper as well as cucumbers that I sliced and there was some happy folks at lunchtime. Mom and Dad came over and we sent home three bags of tomatoes in different stages for them to enjoy for several days.  Folks say that there is nothing like a home grown tomato to eat.

The Tomato Pie recipe came from Sidney Miller.  I met Sidney when he was catering several lunches and breakfasts at our clinic several years ago.  Sidney has had several restaurants and is an excellent cook.  He was gracious enough to share this recipe for Tomato Pie with us when he made Tomato Pies for one of the lunches that he catered for us.  I'll share his recipe for Bread Pudding in the fall and you'll be glad I did!

                                                               Tomato Pie

3 large tomatoes, sliced
chopped green onions or scallions, to taste
black pepper, creole seasoning, basil, to taste
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
2 pie crusts, 8 or 9 inch

Slice tomatoes thin and place on paper towels.  Sprinkle with seasonings.  Place tomatoes in unbaked pie crusts.  Sprinkle with onions or scallions on top of tomatoes.  Mix cheese and mayonnaise together until pasty.  Divide cheese mixture over two pies.

Bake at 400 degrees until done.  Crust will be brown and cheese will be melted.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Stewed Squash

Our garden and fruit orchard have produced delicious fruit and vegetables this spring and summer.  We have gathered the mayhaws, nectarines, potatoes, plums, and peaches.  We are now gathering blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, okra, cucumbers, and squash.  I have made peach preserves, hot pepper jelly, and crystalized sweet pickles.  The watermelons and cantaloupes are growing every day.  Our kitchen island has lots of tomatoes in different stages of ripeness.  Phillip is very happy that the tomatoes are large enough that a slice of tomato will cover a slice of bread when he makes a sandwich.  He says the tomato tastes like a tomato should.  We love watching our garden grow.

I have just started to eat Stewed Squash.  Phillip loves it and he cooks it when we have it.  He only planted 4 hills of squash in his garden and said it would be plenty for us and it has.   

                                                         Stewed Squash  

Dozen squash
1 onion, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Wash and slice squash.    Cover the bottom of iron skillet with cooking oil.  Add squash, onion, salt, & pepper to iron skillet.  Cover with lid.  Cook on medium heat for 20 to 25 min. stirring occasionally, until squash becomes soft.

Butter Pecan Cake

My mother baked a Butter Pecan Cake for several years at Christmas and it was delicious to me.  After those couple of years of having baked this cake, she decided that we already had enough cakes and candies and didn't need an additional cake and stopped making this cake for us.  We really didn't need another cake but I still find myself wishing she would make this one again.  I am thankful that she shared her recipe with me and if I find I cannot live without another slice of Butter Pecan Cake, I can just make one in my kitchen.

                                                         Butter Pecan Cake

2 2/3 cups chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups butter, softened, divided
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups Swans Down Cake Flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place pecans and 1/4 cup butter in a baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 min. or until toasted, stirring frequently, set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift flour; add to the creamed mixture, alternately with milk.  Stir in vanilla and 1 1/3 cups of toasted pecans.  Pour into three greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 min.  Cool for 10 min., remove from pans to cool on a wire rack.

Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
8 to 8 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add milk and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Stir in remaining toasted pecans.  Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baked Cornbread

When I think of Baked Cornbread, I think of my best friend's brother-in-law, Jay.  GeorgeAnn's two sisters, Judy and Sandy, and their husbands, Jay and Sammy, bought a beach house together in Panama City.  Whenever they all went to the beach house, they always planned to have a meal of dried lima beans and cornbread.  Jay always made the cornbread and did a fine job.  I remember on one trip that I made to the beach house, Mrs. Barrentine was along for the trip with her girls and she cooked cut up sweet potatoes on top of the stove in a skillet with butter.   Needless to say, we needed to walk on the beach after tanking up on beans and cornbread but many times we piled up on the couches and engrossed ourselves in magazines.  Life is good.

                                                           Baked Cornbread

2 cups self-rising Martha White CornMeal
2 cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp. bacon drippings

Stir cornmeal and buttermilk together.  If batter is not thin enough to pour, add a little more buttermilk.

Spray iron skillet with Pam Spray.  Add 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings to skillet.  Place in the oven and allow to heat for a few minutes.  Pour mixture into heated skillet and bake.

Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown.