Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate cake and Orange cream cheese frosting

For October's lunch group I brought a chocolate cake with orange cream cheese frosting. These are the recipes that I used.

Cream cheese orange frosting


Hot Water Chocolate Cake

1 cup water
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp. vanilla

Put water on to boil. Cream sugar and shortening, then add eggs. Add remaining ingredients except the boiling water and vanilla. When the batter is thoroughly mixed add the boiling water and vanilla. Pour into greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. After the cake has cooled, frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pomegranate Salad (from my aunt, Maralee Gardner) ~ Marcie Francis

This is a good "make-ahead" side dish/dessert for special occasions, like Thanksgiving.

1 large box cherry Jell-O brand gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 large can crushed pineapple (don't drain)
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 pomegranate, seeded (reserve a few seeds)
4 apples, peeled and finely chopped

Combine and put in 9 x 13 pan. Refrigerate until set. Then spread topping (recipe follows). Sprinkle with remaining pomeg. seeds if desired.

8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream

Whip the cream cheese, then mix it with the pwd sugar & vanilla until smooth. Then add the whipping cream, and stir until smooth (don't whip the cream).

"Bats and Cobwebs" from Everyday Food, Oct 2006~Marcie Francis

Notes: My comments are in { }. The recipe says it serves four, but it could easily feed 6-8. A photo is available at http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/bats-and-cobwebs


• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
• 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/8 teaspoon sugar
• Coarse salt
• 2 precooked chicken sausages (about 3 ounces each), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds {I used turkey sausages. Browned and crumbled Italian sausage could probably also be substituted.}
• 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (1 3/4 cups) {I used shredded}
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


• Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain; set aside.
• Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, oregano, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer; cook, stirring and breaking up tomatoes until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt.
• Add pasta, sausage, and half the mozzarella; toss to combine. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and top is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Romaine Salad.

Romaine Salad also from Everyday Food, Oct 2006~Marcie Francis

{This would feed a very large crowd. Halving the recipe seems about right.}

• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 3 romaine hearts (from 1 package), thinly sliced crosswise, washed and dried
• In a large bowl, whisk vinegar, oil, and Italian seasoning until combined; season with salt and pepper.
• Add romaine; toss to coat.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

6 medium sweet potatoes
5 apples (Golden delicious) peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice concentrate
1/2 cup butter

Boil sweet potatoes until partially done: cool, peel, and slice. Place sweet potatoes and apples alternately into pan or baking dish, starting with apples. Combine and cook (on stove top) the remaining ingredients until thick. Pour over the sweet potatoes and apples. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Green Beans with New Potatoes

8-10 servings
3 pounds fresh green beans (I used frozen and it cut back on the cooking time tons)
1/4 pound salt pork, sliced (I just used bacon)
1/4 cup bacon grease (I just used the grease left over from the bacon I just cooked)
2 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
2 to 3 teaspoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
12 small red potatoes
1 onion, cut into slivers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, sliced
Ground black pepper
Remove the ends from the beans. Snap the beans in 2 pieces, place into a colander, wash, and set aside to drain.
Meanwhile, in a large cast iron Dutch oven, lightly brown the salt pork in the bacon grease over medium heat, turning often, for approximately 10 minutes. Toss the green beans into the pot, stirring them with a wooden spoon to coat well with the pork fat. Add the broth and House Seasoning. Cook over medium-low heat, covered tightly, for approximately 30 minutes, or until the beans are half done.
While the beans are cooking, peel a center strip from each new potato with a potato peeler. At the end of 30 minutes, add the potatoes and onion to the beans; add 1/4 cup more broth, if needed. Cook, covered tightly, until the potatoes are tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes, periodically checking the pot to make sure a small amount of liquid remains. When the potatoes are tender, tilt the lid slightly, off to the side of the pot, and continue to cook until the green beans are wilted, approximately 15 minutes. While cooking, add the butter and season with pepper.
I cooked the bacon in a large pan. Then I added the frozen beans (still frozen) and let them cook for about 5-10 minutes, until they were thawed. Add the broth and seasonings. I cut the potatoes in smaller pieces to cut back on the cooking time. I then added those to the pot. I let it all simmer on medium-low, until the potatoes were tender and the beans were cooked through. You may want to add broth during the cooking process, like the recipe says.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cherry Jello Pudding Cake

This is not very Thanksgiving"ish" but it is delightful!

1 chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. cherry jello
1 pkg. instant choc. pudding
small cool whip
1 can cherry pie filling
  • make and bake chocolate cake according to directions
  • dissolve cherry jello in 1 cup boiling water
  • as soon as cake is done poke holes all over it with a toothpick (the more holes the better)
  • pour cherry jello over top of cake evenly
  • let cake cool and set in the fridge for an hour or so
  • make choc. pudding according to package and mix with small cool whip
  • spread on top of cake
  • then top with cherry pie filling

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stuffed Squash

okay so I'm finally getting on this thing.

1 Butternut Squash or Banana Squash (I used Butternut)-cooked, peeled (just scrape out), and mashed. Spread in a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 C. brown sugar over squash. (I did not use a full cup) Dot with 1/4 C. butter. (You can also leave the butter out too if you want) Cook 1 box wild rice as directed on package (I used Uncle Ben's chicken herb wild rice). Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 lb. browned sausage, 1 onion chopped, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder to rice. Stir well and pour over squash. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mashed Yams = Yummy!

This is my momma's simple yet really good yam recipe (in my own words since she doesn't write any recipes down--- they're all in her head!).

4 or 5 medium yams
brown sugar
frozen orange juice concentrate
Big or small marshmallows

Wash then boil your yams WHOLE. Boil until a fork pierces them easily. Drain the water and let the yams cool. Peel skin (it came off really easily). Cut up and put in mixer (I used the whisk-like attachment). Add about 2 tablespoons EACH butter, sugar, and orange juice concentrate. Whip until smooth. I added more butter, sugar, and oj until I felt it tasted good -- just depends on how sweet or citrus-y you want it (I probably did 4 tablespoons! or more....).
Put in pyrex casserole dish. Heat at 350 degrees until warmed through. Top with marshmallows and cook until golden brown.

My yams had some lumps today because I didn't boil them long enough. I like my yams to be really smooth, so don't be afraid that you'll whip them too much.

Broccoli and Gruyere Au Gratin~Lisa Esplin fr. 'Real Simple'

Serves 8Hands-On Time: 15mTotal Time: 1hr 00m
2 large bunches broccoli, roughly chopped (about 12 cups)4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)1/4 cup all-purpose flour2 cups whole milk2 cups grated Gruyere (8 ounces)kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket (or fill a large pot with ½ inch of water). Bring to a simmer. Place the broccoli in the steamer basket, cover, and steam until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes (do not let it darken). Whisk in the milk and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss with the broccoli.
  3. Transfer the broccoli mixture to a shallow 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Chili~ Tonia McConnell

This unique chili freezes well......but it still doesn't last around our farmhouse very long, especially when my five children ann 13 grandchildren are around! They often are---we are a very close-knit family.

3 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
2 cans (16 oz. each) chili sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder

In a large Dutch oven or soup kettle, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add remaining ingredients; stir to mix well. Add water if desire to reduce thickness. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

YIELD: 10-12 servings (11 cups)

Sweet Potato Biscuits~ Tonia McConnell

A pumpkin cookie cutter can be used for sweet treats and for savory biscuits as well. These biscuits are a fun addition to any meal in fall.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup cold mashed sweet potatoes
(prepared without milk or butter)
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Combine sweet potato and milk; stir into crumb mixture just until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-15 times. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 1/2 in. pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter or biscuit cutter.

Place 2 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Brush with egg; sprinkle with sugar Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

YIELD: 1 dozen