Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Molasses Sugar Cookies


This is Dear Hubby's favorite cookies of all time. In fact, in spite of being a confirmed chocoholic, he will choose this cookies over anything chocolate. Which for him, is really saying something!

3/4 cup melted shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, blend the shortening, sugar, molasses and egg. Add the baking soda, flour, clove, ginger, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Form into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.
Place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart and bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool on a flat surface.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamy Fruit Salad

This is a very nice, light salad that is good as a side dish or a dessert.

1- 11 oz can mandarin orange sections, drained
8 oz Cool Whip (I use fat-free)
2 cups coconut
1 - 8-1/4 oz can crushed pineapple IN HEAVY SYRUP*, drained
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup milk

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill at least one hour before serving.

*Be sure to use the pineapple in heavy syrup, not in juice. The pineapple in juice is not sweet enough, and you will need to add about 1/4 cup sugar to sweeten it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Marble Cake

This cake has a very light peanut butter flavor to it, along with the chocolate. Nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate!

1 pkg marble cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1/3 cup peanut butter

1 can fudge frosting
2 TBS peanut butter

In large bowl blend cake ingredients, then beat 2 minutes at high speed. Pour 3/4 of batter into pan. Add marble pouch and t TBS water to remaining batter; blend. Pour chocolate batter on top of yellow batter in pan. Marble layers with knife, turning pan while doing so. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

Blend frosting with peanut butter. Frost cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Chocolate Eclair Cake

This dessert tastes like chocolate eclairs, but is much easier to make!

Graham crackers
2 small pkgs French Vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
18 oz Cool Whip

2 oz liquid chocolate
3 TBS butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 TBS dark Karo syrup
3 TBS milk
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Butter 13 x 9 pan. Line pan with whole graham crackers.

Beat pudding and milk for 2 minutes; add Cool Whip. Pour half of mixture over graham crackers. Cover with another layer of crackers, then rest of pudding mixture, then top with another layer of crackers. Put in refrigerator to set.

Mix icing ingredients and spread on top of cake. Leave in refirgerator overnight, if possible.

Mandarin Orange Cake

This cake is a very light, very cool dessert. It is great for a dessert for Easter.

1 pkg orange cake mix
1 pkg orange jello
3/4 cup boiling water
2/3 cup cold water

2 - 18 oz cans mandarin orange segments, drained
1 - 8 oz Cool Whip
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
2/3 cup water

Prepare cake according to package directions. Cool 25 minutes. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water stir in cold water. Set aside at room temperature; stir occasionally. Poke holes in warm cake with fork; pour gelatin slowly over cake. Refrigerate.

For topping, combine 1 can orange segments, Cool Whip, pudding and water in large bowl. Stir, crushing oranges slightly. Spread over cake. Garnish with remaining orange segments.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pineapple Sheet Cake

This is one of my mother's favorite recipes. It makes a large-size sheet cake. It is very moist and very delicious.

2 cups flour
s cups sugar
2 TBS baking soda
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 - 20 oz can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix all cake ingredients together until blended. Pour batter into large cookie sheet (15 x 11) that has been buttered but not floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mix all frosting ingredients (except pecans) until smooth. Frost cake while still warm. Sprinkle with pecans (if using).

Sunday, March 6, 2011

French Vanilla Cake

This cake is faintly reminiscent of Gooey Butter Cake. It's pretty rich, so just having a small piece is in order!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Mix the above ingredients together; spread into greased 9 x 13 baking pan.

2 eggs
1 box (approx. 3-1/2 cups) powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Mix the above ingredients together; spread over cake mix in pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

These brownies are very rich and absolutely delicious!

Brownie Batter:
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I use 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecake Mix:
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and 8" or 9" square pan.

In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.

Bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on size of pan), until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned. Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled. Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

Makes 16 large brownies or 24 smaller brownies.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sausage Bread

This is a great bread, for breakfast, an appetizer, or to bring to a potluck.

1 loaf frozen bread dough
1 lb bulk sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 oz Parmesan cheese
1 egg

Thaw bread in refrigerator overnight. Remove and let set out for at least 30 minutes to warm up.

Brown onion and sausage until meat is cooked through, drain. Add egg and cheese; mix well.

Roll out dough into rectangle. Spread sausage mixture over dough, leaving a border. Fold dough over meat and pinch edges. Place bread seam side down on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Corn Pudding

Quick and easy side dish, that goes great with anything.

1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
16 oz sour cream

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Corn Casserole

This is a great side dish that goes with anything.

1 small onion, diced
6 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard
2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups bread cubes
4 cups corn
Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook onion in 4 Tbs butter until golden. Remove from heat and add flour, salt and mustard. Mix well. Add milk and stir until blended. Cook until thick; remove from heat and add eggs, bread cubes, corn and remaining 2 Tbs butter.

Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake 45-50 minutes.

Scalloped Pineapple

This is a great side dish with pork or ham, and also makes a good dessert.

4 cups bread cubes
1 cup milk
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 large can crushed pineapple (do not drain)

Mix bread and milk together. Add eggs, sugar and butter, mix together. Add pineapple and juice, mix well.

Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees fro 30 minutes.

Old Mother Mallard's Waffles

Not sure where the name came from, but they sure are delicious!

2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1 large egg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat waffle iron.

Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth.

Grease waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray and pour in batter. Cook until golden.

Serve immediately.


A great breakfast dish, especially with a side of scrambled eggs.

1 lb sausage
1 can evaporated milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup cornmeal

Brown sausage in skillet; drain. Add milk and water; season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat to boiling. Slowly stir in cornmeal. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. place mixture in greased loaf pan; chill until firm. Unmold from pan and slice. Fry slices in butter.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

Toad In the Hole

This is an old British dish. It's a form of Yorkshire Pudding, with sausage added. It makes a very warm and filling breakfast!

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 beaten eggs
1 lb bulk sausage (or sausage links, cut into pieces)
1 Tbs oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix flour and salt; stir in eggs and milk. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, shape sausage into 1-inch balls (if using bulk sausage). Brown sausage in large skillet. Reserve drippings.

Place sausage and drippings in 9-inch baking pan; heat in oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven; pour batter over sausage. Return to oven, bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake 10-15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Mac-n-Cheddar Burger

Another "comfort food" recipe!

2 lb hamburger
5 cups water
2 pkg macaroni and cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup milk

Brown hamburger in large Dutch Oven; drain off grease. Add water, salt, pepper, and macaroni (not the cheese sauce mix). Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cheese sauce mix, butter and milk.

Chili Mixup

This dish tastes best the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to blend.

2 lb hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes, crushed
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 box elbow macaroni
Chili powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger and onion together until burger is no longer pink; drain off grease. Add all other ingredients except macaroni, let simmer.

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Add to chili mixture, let simmer 30 minutes.

Mandarin Orange Sherbet Jello Salad

This makes a good side dish with ham.

1 large can mandarin oranges (reserve juice)
2 pkg. orange jello
1 cup boiling water
1 pint orange sherbet

In a bowl, drain juice from oranges and add enough cold water to make 1 cup. Add boiling water to this and stir in jello until dissolved. Stir in sherbet until melted. Mix in oranges.

Refrigerate until set.

Fruit Dip

This is a very simple dip that goes well with all kinds of fresh fruit.

1 sm. pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 - 8 oz Cool Whip
3-4 Tbs orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec)

Mix all ingredients together; refrigerate.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baked Chicken Breasts


3 full chicken breasts (or 6 smaller breast pieces)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small carton sour cream
2 pkg. chipped beef, cut up

Place chicken breasts in baking dish. Scatter chipped beef over chicken. Mix together soups and sour cream, spread over chicken and beef.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. Serve over rice or noodles.

Crisp Crusted Baked Chicken

This recipe has a twist to it - - it uses potato flakes for the coating.

1 frying chicken (approx. 3 lb), cut up
1 egg
2 Tbs milk
1 cup instant potato flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in shallow baking pan.

Wash chicken pieces and pat dry, set aside.

Beat egg and milk in bowl. In another bowl mix potato flakes, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese.

Roll chicken first in egg mix, then in potato mix. Roll coated chicken pieces in the melted butter and place skin side up in the pan.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until juices from chicken run clear when pierced with a fork.

Tater Tot Casserole

Comfort food at its best!

2 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can water
Tater Tots

Brown hamburger and onion together, drain well. Put in a 13x9 baking pan. Mix together soup and water, pour over meat mixture. Put solid layer of Tater Tots on top.

NOTE: I spray the top of the Tater Tot layer with cooking spray to help the top get crisp.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let set 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Bacon Cheeseburger Soup

I adapted this recipe from one given to me by a friend. It's nice and warm and so good on a cold Winter day!

1-1/2 cups water
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed small
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I use the garlic in a jar)
1 Tbs beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
2-1/2 cups milk (divided)
3 Tbs flour
8 oz process American cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta)
1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

In a large Dutch Oven, combine the first 6 ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Stir in beef and 2 cups of milk; heat through. Combine flour and remaining 1/2 cup milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. Add bacon, stir until mixed.

Makes 6-8 servings.

This soup is even better the next day, when the flavors have had a chance to blend.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Whole Wheat Molasses Bread

This recipe is from the Joy the Baker Website (www.joythebaker.com). This recipe comes together very quickly, and is very easy to make.

I tried a slice spread with Nutella, as she suggested.....and I can say is, "WOW!"

Makes one 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf

1 2/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8×4 or 9×5-inch loaf pan. Non-stick baking spray works well too.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk or yogurt and molasses.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold to combine. The batter will be slightly thick, but not dry. Spoon batter into prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake loaf for 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on how evenly your oven bakes, you might want to rotate the loaf in the middle of baking. Be careful though. Don’t manhandle it too hard or it might deflate.

(Note: Also, don't pull it out of the oven even a few minutes early, even if it looks like it is done or possibly even overdone.....I ruined the first loaf doing that)

When a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the loaf pan. Run a butter knife along the sides of the pan and carefully invert onto a wire rack.

Loaf will keep, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.

Serve with cream cheese, jam, salted butter or Nutella.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Almond Chocolate Fudge Bars

These were made and brought into class by an instructor of mine one time. Quite tasty, and more than a little addictive!


1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter
1 large egg

Process dry ingredients to a course meal in a food processor, or by using a pastry cutter. Add butter and egg and mix or process until a dough forms; don't overmix or the dough will become tough.

On a floured surface, roll out dough into a large rectangle. Place dough in a greased and floured 9 x 13 baking pan. Perforate dough randomly with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Cool completely.

Fudge Topping:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract
12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

Stir the mil, sugar, butter and extract over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved, being careful not to scorch or boil the milk. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Spread over cooled crust and chill.

Chocolate Cream Pie (Light Version)

This recipe may be a light version, but you can't tell it by the taste. It's delicious!

1-1/2 cups plus 3 Tbs cold milk
2 - 4 oz pkgs sugar-free instant chocolate pudding
1 reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
4 oz light cream cheese
1 Tbs sugar
1-1/2 cups Cool Whip Lite

Combine 1-1/2 cuts milk and pudding mix with mixer, beat 1 minute. Mixture will be very thick. Spoon into pie crust.

With mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and remaining 3 Tbs milk till smooth; fold into whipped topping. Spread over chocolate mixture in pie crust.

Top with grated chocolate if desired. Chill at least 3 hours before serving.

Note: To keep the crust from getting soggy, it can be brushed with a little beaten egg white and put in the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp up. Cool completely before adding filling.

Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake

This recipe is from a family friend, Myrtle Sims, who makes the absolutely best Red Velvet Cake on the planet!

Cream together:

1 - 4-1/2 Tbs instant cocoa
3 oz Red food coloring
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups sugar

Add 3 eggs to the creamed mixture; mix well.

Add 3-1/2 cups flour to the mixture, a little at a time. Add 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1-1/2 tsp. vinegar, 1-1/2 cups buttermilk, and 1 Tbs vanilla; mix well.

Pour into 3 round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick in center comes out clean (approx. 25 minutes).


Cream together:
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 Tbs shortening

Add 4-1/2 Tbs flour (1 Tbs at a time), 3/4 cup milk (room temperature), dash of salt, and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat with mixer until stiff, like whipped cream. Use for layers and to frost outside of cake.

YES - - this cake IS a lot of work, but believe me, once you taste it, you will know that it was worth every minute!

Sausage Potato Stuffing

This is an incredible alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving (or any other day) stuffing! This recipe is a "big batch" - - you can always cut down the amounts to make a smaller dish.

5 lb white Idaho potatoes
3 lb pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stick butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Poultry seasoning and Sage to taste

Peel and cut up the potatoes into chunks. Put into pan of cold water with a little salt, bring to boil. Lower to simmer, cook until done but not mushy.

Meanwhile, brown sausage and onion in a large skillet until sausage is no longer pink but not overdone, and onion is tender. Drain mixture on paper towel covered plate; set aside.

When potatoes are done, drain, and then put back into pan over low heat. Add butter and stir until melted, adding salt, pepper, Poultry Seasoning and Sage to taste. Mix well. Add sausage mixture and mix well.

Now that everything is mixed together, adjust seasonings to taste.

This stuffing can now be used to stuff a turkey, or can be cooked in a separate pan as a side dish.

Warning: This stuffing is very addictive!

Italian Chicken Pasta

This recipe is adapted from a friend's recipe; she had brought this dish into work, and it was great! But being the typical Italian cook that I am, there of course had to be some "tweaks" made.....

1 pkg frozen breaded chicken breast tenders
2 pkgs fresh Mozzarella Cheese balls
1 large or 2 smaller jars Spaghetti Sauce (or homemade if available)
1 lb pasta, any type
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the chicken tenders either by pan frying or baking until golden. Cool slightly and cut into chunks.

Cut or tear Mozzarella into small pieces; set aside.

Heat sauce in large Dutch Oven over low heat; stir in chicken tender pieces.

Cook pasta in boiling water until "al dente", drain. Add to sauce in Dutch Oven, stir well. Add pieces of Mozzarella and stir, but don't stir too much! You want the cheese to stay in soft chunks so that it will be stringy when serving.

This dish is good served with a hot loaf of Italian bread, a side salad, and a good bottle of wine.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Party Meatballs

These are a wonderful party appetizer or finger food.

1 - 16 oz can Ocean Spray jellied cranberry sauce
1 - 12 oz bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
1 - 2 lb bag frozen precooked cocktail-sized meatballs

Combine sauces in a large saucepan. Cook ever medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.

Add meatballs. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.

These can also be cooked in a crockpot:

Place meatballs in a crockpot. Combine sauces and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH.

Makes 30 appetizer servings.