Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Almond Cakes

Mom snagged this from a friend, who in turn snagged it from a 2008 edition of Sunset magazine, who in turn got it from a woman who snagged it from her childhood friend. Sooo we're just gonna call it ours, a'ight?

1⅔ cups flour
1½ cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons almond extract
¼ teaspoon salt
cooking oil spray
2½ oz. (about ½ cup) sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, butter, eggs, almond extract and salt. Spray two 9" pie pans with cooking oil. Divide batter evenly between pans and sprinkle each with half the sliced almonds. Bake until light brown around edges, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 16 servings.

You can further jazz these up by layering them with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, if you really wanna.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Poultry Brine

If you want to get your turkey ready for Thanksgiving, or just have a really special roast chicken, you can dunk your bird in this brine to make it succulent and delicious. You're welcome!

(You can find juniper berries at well-stocked spice shops and in some import stores like Cost Plus.)

1¼ gallons cold water
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme or 2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves, torn in pieces
½ head garlic cloves, peeled
3 allspice berries, crushed
2 juniper berries, crushed
15-20 peppercorns, crushed (this was Curtis' addition)

Use a large pot that can easily hold the brine and the poultry you intend to brine. Add all ingredients and heat, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Allow brine to cool completely, adding ice if necessary to speed the process. Then add poultry, covering with a plate or weight to keep poultry submerged. Refrigerate 24 hours before removing poultry from brine. Rinse poultry briefly under fresh running water and rub skin with oil to encourage browning (otherwise your bird will be tender and juicy but a little pale).

This recipe makes enough brine to cover a chicken, duck or capon. Brine recipe may be doubled or tripled to cover a larger bird. Have fun!

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton (via several brining recipes)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake

If you have leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, this is a good way to use it up.

¼ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup chopped nuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups Bisquick or other biscuit mix
2 teaspoons sugar
1 egg
⅔ cup water or milk
⅔ cup whole cranberry sauce

1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon and set aside. Combine Bisquick, sugar, egg and liquid (water or milk) and beat vigorously 1 minute. Spread batter into 9x9" pan. Sprinkle with nut mixture and spoon cranberry sauce over top. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Mix together icing ingredients while cake bakes. While cake is still warm, spread with icing.

Makes 1 coffee cake.

Probably stolen off the back of the Bisquick box.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Caramel Corn

Made by my mommy (and probably all her sisters too).

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup light Karo syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 quarts popped popcorn

Put popcorn in a large bowl in a 200-degree oven to keep warm. Melt butter in a saucepan, add brown sugar and other ingredients. Pour over warm popcorn and toss well to coat.

Turn oven up to 250 degrees. Spread popcorn on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about an hour. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container. Or in your tum, really.

Makes 6 quarts of sugary fluffy corn goodness.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stover Fudge

No, this has nothing to do with Russell Stover. This Rocky Road-style fudge is named after Stover Hall in Helaman Halls at BYU, the one-time domain of head resident (and dorm mom) Jean Fossum May, who came up with this recipe. May Hall, a resident hall for women, was later named in her honor.

12 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cube butter
½ cup (or more) maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
4½ cups white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 package miniature marshmallows, frozen (they have to be or they'll melt in the hot fudge)

Butter a cookie sheet. Have ready in a large bowl chocolate, raisins, nuts, butter and cherries. In a saucepan, boil sugar and milk to fudge stage (228 degrees), and pour syrup over contents in bowl. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and ingredients are mixed well. Add marshmallows. Spread on cookie sheet, cool and cut into squares.

Makes 5 pounds candy. Yes, 5 pounds. Hey, you'd make that much candy too if you had visits from gobs of hungry college kids.

Contributor: Karin Buck (via Sister May)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pineapple Nut Bread

Mom doesn't even remember where she got this recipe. It was years ago and she's slept since then.

1¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup raisins
¾ cup chopped nuts
¾ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
1 8.5 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained

2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3" loaf pan. Sift dry ingredients; set aside. Plump raisins in a little hot water, drain and set aside. Beat sugar and butter together, beat in eggs, add raisins and nuts. Add half the flour mixture, then add pineapple. Add rest of flour. Spoon into prepared loaf pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over loaf. Bake 60 minutes; turn onto rack to cool.

Makes 1 delicious loaf.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pumpkin Cookies

You probably have a can of pumpkin sitting on your pantry shelf right now, dontcha? Well, let's do something festive with it besides make a pie.

2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. In a bowl, mix together wet ingredients; in another bowl, sift together dry ingredients (except the raisins and nuts). Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing until well combined, then add raisins and nuts and stir to incorporate.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet; bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 7 dozen cookies.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Thursday, November 6, 2014


It's ridiculously easy if you have a food processor.

2 cloves garlic
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, plus ½ cup bean liquid
¼ cup tahini
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to taste

Peel garlic and whirl it in the food processor until it's in tiny pieces. Open garbanzo beans and drain all but ½ cup of the liquid, reserving liquid for later use. Whirl garbanzos with garlic. Add tahini, reserved garbanzo liquid, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then process while adding a thin stream of olive oil to the mix. It's done when it reaches a nice smooth dipping consistency. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.

Garlicky good! Tasty as a dip for raw veggies, spread on lavash as part of a pinwheel sandwich, or in a tabbouleh-filled pita.

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton


If you can get really ripe tomatoes, make this to fully appreciate their lusciousness. It takes a lot of mincing but the results are worth it.

½ cup medium or fine bulgur wheat
½ cup onion, minced
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon or more pepper, freshly ground
1-2 teaspoons salt
3 cups parsley, minced
½ cup green onions, minced
2 cups ripe tomatoes, minced
1½ cups fresh spearmint leaves, minced
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
romaine or other leaves for serving

Soak bulgur wheat in lukewarm water to cover by ½" for about an hour, then drain in a sieve.

In a small bowl, combine minced onion with allspice, pepper and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine parsley, green onions, tomatoes, spearmint and cucumber. Gently fold in the drained bulgur and seasoned onions.

Refrigerate until an hour before serving, then dress salad with lemon and oil. Surround with romaine leaves, using them to scoop up the salad in juicy bites.

Serves a few people. (I can't remember.)

You can also use this as an excellent sandwich filling for a pita, along with some good hummus. Messy and delicious.

Stolen from the Internet by Sooz, muahahaha.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Yes, I know. You can always go to the store and buy a can. But if for some reason you're stuck at home and have a Sweetened Condensed Milk Emergency, we're here for you.

1 cup hot water
2 cups sugar
4 cups instant nonfat milk (just the powder, not reconstituted)

Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring. Once the sugar is dissolved, put mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend in the milk.

Yields 1 quart.

Contributor: Laurie White Porter

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Crab Cheeseball

Look, we're all big cheeseballs over something. Why not over crab? Mmm, crab!

½ lb. crabmeat, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
pinch cayenne
sprinkle of salt
8 oz. softened cream cheese
⅔ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Mix together everything except walnuts, stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated. Dump cheese mixture on waxed paper, using the paper to form the cheese into a ball, then roll cheeseball in nuts. Serve with crackers.

Makes 1 cheesy cheeseball for appetizer goodness.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Bread II: Electric Boogaloo

On we proceed with the pumpkin spree!

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
½ cup salad oil
2 eggs
½ cup chopped nuts
2 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon each salt, nutmeg and cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup raisins
¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x5x3" loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, pumpkin, oil, and eggs and beat until well blended. Sift or mix together flour, soda, salt and spices. Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring well. Stir in raisins, nuts and water. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Turn out on a rack to cool. Makes 1 regular loaf.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Cake

It's that time of year when nearly every American's fancy turns to thoughts of pumpkin. (Trader Joe's goes a little insane with all the pumpkin-related goodies.) So here's a little something to get into the spirit of all things squashy.

1 package spice cake mix
½ cup melted butter
1 egg
1 large can pumpkin
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
⅔ cup evaporated milk
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan. Reserve 1 cup of the spice cake mix, setting it aside.

To the rest of the cake mix, add 1/2 cup melted butter and egg and mix together well. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

In another bowl, mix together pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, cloves, ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour this over the cake mixture in the pan.

Finally, combine the reserved 1 cup of spice cake mix, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, sugar and 2 tablespoons melted butter and stir until mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle this crumble over the top of the mixture in the pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes.

Makes 10 servings.

Contributor: Karin Buck (who doesn't remember where she got this; it was years ago)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Desi Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are tasty and very good for you -- and if you buy them dried and cook them at home, they are also WAY cheaper than the canned kind. (Do it the easy way and cook them in a slow cooker; then you can freeze them and use 'em whenever the urge takes you.) Anyway, having recently visited my friendly neighborhood Indian grocery store, I had a whole lotta cooked desi chickpeas (the dark brown kind) and a family to feed, so I came up with this:

1½ cups cooked desi chickpeas
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
about 1 cup red onion, minced
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime or lemon
chat masala powder to taste
salt to taste

In a bowl, mix together chickpeas, jalapeño, onion and tomatoes. Add lime juice and chat masala and toss well. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 4 generous servings or 6 side-dish servings.

NOTE TO SPICY 'FRAIDY CATS: Don't be scared of the jalapeño! If you take the seeds and pith out, all that's left is flavor without excessive heat. Just be careful not to wipe your eyes after mincing it up. Learn from my fail.

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oatmeal Scotchies

Got a package of butterscotch chips forgotten and languishing in the cupboard? Well, you could use them to make Seven Layer Cookies, or you could do this instead!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups oatmeal
½ package (about 6 oz.) butterscotch chips
1 cup nuts, chopped, or 1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet, or line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer set to medium speed. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. A little at a time, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, blending well and scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Mix in oatmeal, chips and nuts or coconut with a spoon.

Drop by tablespoons 2" apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Allow to cool on cookie sheet 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 5 dozen yummy cookies.

Stolen off the back of the butterscotch chips bag.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

French Mint Pie

So bad for you. So yummy. So who cares?

4 tablespoons sugar
30 vanilla wafers, crushed
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cubes butter, softened
1 heaping cup powdered sugar
2 eggs*
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together crushed vanilla wafers, sugar and melted butter and press into a shallow 9" pie pan. Bake 7-10 minutes and allow to cool while making the filling. (Oh yeah, and turn off the oven. You're done with that now.)

In a bowl, cream together softened butter and powdered sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then add chocolate and peppermint extract and mix well. Spread mixture in cooled pie shell and refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Good on its own or covered with whipped cream and chopped almonds.

*If using raw eggs is a concern, use eggs pasteurized in the shell.

Makes 8 decadent servings.

Contributor: Linda Hart

Swedish Pancakes

Really Swedish. Grandpa's recipe.

6 or 7 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
1½ cups milk
¾ cup flour
2 tablespoons oil

In a bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar with electric mixer, then beat in milk. Add flour and mix well, then add oil and mix again. You want a nice thin batter to make nice thin pancakes, right?

Fry in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Roll up and add melted butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, strawberry or blueberry jam, or Swedish lingonberry preserves. Mm yeah.

Makes a few, but don't worry, they always get eaten.

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton via Karl Eriksson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cocoa Crinkles

I think I got this one from Aunt Linda, but I'm not really sure. Doesn't matter. Yummy.

¾ cup salad oil
¾ cup baking cocoa
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for rolling

In a bowl, mix oil and cocoa together until blended. Stir in granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until well blended. Add vanilla. Stir flour, baking powder and salt into oil mixture. Chill dough several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into powdered sugar. Roll in sugar and shape into balls, then roll again. Place balls about 2" apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookies have "crinkled." Cool slightly on sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton


Swedish gingerbread! It's GOOD STUFF Maynard!

1 cup butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
1 egg
1½ tablespoons orange zest, grated
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon water
3¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar; add egg. Then add orange zest, corn syrup and water and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and spices. Add dry mixture to wet mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly. Knead resulting dough a little and chill in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough out very thin and cut into cookies. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes a whopping 8 dozen cookies. (Now you know why Pippi Longstocking rolled the dough out on her floor, because dang.)

Contributor: Suzanne Houghton (because I had the recipe)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Onion Toasts

Another one from Aunt Marcia. I was tempted to call it "Elegant Onion Toasts," but... nah.

1 envelope onion soup mix
2 cups mayonnaise
bread, cut into triangles

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together onion soup mix and mayonnaise until it's about the same consistency as onion dip. Spread this onion mixture on bread triangles. Put the triangles, spread-side up, on a cookie sheet and slide it into the hot oven. Bake about 15 minutes, watching them closely to make sure they don't burn, until onion toasts are golden brown and puffy.

Auntie Marcia says, "Eat them and try not to make more!"

Contributor: Marcia Hetzler

Little Toasties

Aunt Marcia remembers eating "little toasties" from childhood. They're basically homemade croutons, but honestly, who doesn't occasionally eat croutons as a snack? (Look, I don't wanna know if you don't.)

1 loaf bread, cut into 1" cubes
Olive oil or melted butter
Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
Seasonings (suggestions below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put bread cubes in a large bowl; drizzle them with olive oil or melted butter, then add salt, pepper and additional seasonings and mix well to coat. Spread cubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast about 15 minutes. Eat like popcorn!

Suggested seasonings: parsley and onion powder, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese and basil, rosemary and garlic powder, tarragon and garlic powder (so I like garlic powder, sue me), seasoning salt (omit salt and pepper if you do this)

Contributor: Marcia Hetzler

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Elegant Fruit Salad

What is it with this family and elegance, anyway?

Oh well, I hear if you ain't got elegance you can never, ever carry it off.

1 package cook and serve lemon pudding/pie filling
½ cup sugar
2 cups skim milk
1 large can fruit cocktail, drained
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 can chunk pineapple, drained
½ pint sweetened whipped cream
1 bag colored miniature marshmallows

In a saucepan, cook together pie filling, sugar and milk, stirring constantly until mixture boils. (Mixture will curdle, but will smooth out when it boils.) Allow to cool, then add fruit and stir until combined. Fold in whipped cream and marshmallows. Turn all into a 9x13" Pyrex or similar glass dish, cover and chill 4-5 hours.

Serves many.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Vernetta Slater's Fruit Cake

Ah, fruitcake. People tend either to love it or hate it. This one's heavy on the fruit and light on the cake.

1 lb. walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 lb. Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
1 lb. pecans, coarsely chopped
3 cups coconut, shredded
1 box white raisins
1 lb. figs, chopped
1 lb. dates, pitted and chopped
1½ lbs. candied cherries
1½ lbs. candied pineapple
4 cups flour, divided
½ lb. butter
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup sherry or orange juice
1 2 quart bottle light Karo syrup

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two standard loaf pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Set aside ½ lb. each of cherries and pineapple for decorating. Dredge the rest of the fruit in 2 cups flour.

Cream together butter, eggs, sugar and 2 cups flour. Add all spices, baking powder, vanilla, lemon zest and sherry or orange juice. Mix in nuts and dredged fruit.

Divide measure equally between prepared loaf pans. Bake 3½ hours (checking after 2 hours for doneness). About 20 minutes before cakes are done, dip reserved decorating fruit in light Karo syrup and place atop loaves.

After cakes are removed from oven, pour the entire bottle of Karo syrup over them. (Hey, I don't make these recipes, I just write 'em down, OK?) Allow to age in covered containers.

Serves at least 18 people. More if they don't like fruitcake.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cream Cheese Pie

I bet you gained a pound or two just reading that. Oh well.

Graham cracker crust:
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup melted butter

12 oz. cream cheese, very soft
2 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest, grated

1½ cups sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients for graham cracker crust and press into 9" pie plate. Refrigerate crust.

In a bowl, combine filling ingredients and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn into chilled pie crust and bake 35 minutes.

Combine ingredients for topping and mix well. Spread topping on top of pie and bake another 10 minutes.

Allow pie to cool on wire rack, then chill well several hours or overnight. Top with fresh fruit or lingonberry preserves (oh my yes) and serve. Probably makes 8-10 servings, depending on how you cut it.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Mexicali Salad

Grandma used to make this one a lot. You may remember it from childhood. If you don't, you probably need to remember it from adulthood.

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
¼ teaspoon salt
1 onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 large head lettuce, chopped
1 can black olives, drained
1 large avocado, sliced
1 package tortilla chips, crushed
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz. Thousand Island dressing
hot sauce to taste

In a saucepan, brown ground beef. Add kidney beans and salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl (this is gonna feed a dozen people!), mix together onion, tomatoes, lettuce, olives and avocado. Toss salad ingredients with beef and bean mixture.

Before serving, add tortilla chips, cheese and Thousand Island dressing and toss to mix. Serve with hot sauce.

Makes 12 servings. That's right, 12. Call up all your friends.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mississippi Mud Bar Cookies

Even if you can't spell them, you should make them. They're goooood.

4 eggs
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups flour, unsifted
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
dash of salt
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1 jar (1¼ cups) marshmallow creme

⅓ cup butter
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
⅓ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13" baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla extract with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl as you go. Add flour, cocoa and salt and beat just until well blended. Fold in pecans or walnuts. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, place dollops of the marshmallow creme on the hot cake and spread evenly until it is a smooth layer. Let cool on wire racks for at least 1 hour before frosting.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, stir in cocoa and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add remaining frosting ingredients, stirring until mixture is smooth. Spread frosting on top of marshmallow creme layer. When frosting has cooled, cut into 1" squares.

Makes 7 dozen cookies. Aunt Kathie adds, "Can decorate each square with a wreath of green icing and a red cinnamon candy in center. Delicious Bar Cookie!" And there you have it.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Elegant Chicken Salad

From the always-elegant Auntie Kathie.

⅔ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons onion, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1 3-4 lb. frying chicken
1 medium onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
2 cups celery, with leaves
1 small carrot

1 cup green pepper, diced
1 lb. green seedless grapes
2 cups celery, chopped
1 small can pimientos, chopped (optional)
¾ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

First, mix together dressing ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill.

In a 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, add all chicken ingredients and enough water to cover. Bring rapidly to a boil, then cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken and chill until it's easy to handle, then remove chicken from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. (The boiled veggies and broth can be used to make soup later.)

In a bowl, mix together chicken and vegetables. Pour chilled dressing over all and toss lightly to coat. Serve in chilled lettuce cups, or as a filling for pita pocket sandwiches.

Serves a lot, because that's how we do things in this clan!

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jello Cheesecake Dessert

I'm pretty sure this was stolen from the kitchen of Grandma Ashton. She made all sorts of yummy jelled desserts.

1 small package lemon Jello
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
32 squares graham crackers
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cube butter
chopped nuts (optional)
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can evaporated milk, chilled

Dissolve Jello in water. Add lemon juice and let stand.

Crush graham crackers to crumbs and mix with powdered sugar. Melt butter and add graham cracker mixture, stirring to mix well. You may also add chopped nuts to the mixture.

In a bowl, place cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla and cream together until smooth. Add to Jello mixture and stir.

In yet another bowl, beat evaporated milk until thick. Add Jello mixture and fold in well.

Line a square pan with half the graham cracker mixture, packing it down to form a crust. Pour Jello mixture over crust. Sprinkle the rest of the graham cracker mixture over the top. Chill 3-4 hours and serve in sliced squares.

Serves many. And it's the bomb.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Gumdrop Cookies

"Do not use the black ones." OK then.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Wesson oil (or any neutral oil, really)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups rolled oats
1 package (about 1 lb. 14 oz.) gumdrops

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat together sugars and oil until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder and add to the sugar mixture. Then add rolled oats and gumdrops (do not use the black ones). Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Not entirely sure what the yield is on this one. Someone make the recipe and let me know, won't you?

Contributor: Norma Eriksson, I think

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aunt Naomi's Hermits

Aunt Naomi wrote that these fruit bars were [Uncle] "Brigham's favorite cookies." Tell me... how do you feel about... hermits?

1 cup butter
1½ cups sugar (part white and part light brown)
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup raisins
½ teaspoon baking soda, in 2 tablespoons boiling water
2½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons molasses
1 small package mixed fruit peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan (aka a cookie sheet). Cream together butter and sugar, then add beaten eggs and molasses. Add boiling water/baking soda mixture. Blend well, then add dry ingredients, mixing in nuts, raisins and fruit peel last. Spread mixture out in prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and hermits are a delicate brown.

Remove to a cooling rack and cut while still warm. "I cut mine on the diagonal," wrote Aunt Naomi, and further provided this helpful diagram:

They also freeze well! Is there nothing these cookies cannot do?!

Makes as many hermits as you can cut from a jelly roll pan, I guess.

Contributor: Naomi Card

Curtis' Rotkohl

Yes, we've already put up Grandma Kest's red cabbage, which is goooood. But if you've been to a family smörgåsbord in Utah in the past few years, the red cabbage you've eaten there was probably made by the handsome and talented Curtis.

This is his story This is his recipe.

3 pounds red cabbage, sliced thinly
6 slices bacon, diced (I like more)
1 onion, sliced
3 apples, sliced thinly
1 cup chicken stock*
4 tablespoons red wine
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground

In a large pot (8 quarts or so), sauté the bacon and onions until the bacon is clear. Drain most of the fat, but keep some for flavor. Add the sliced cabbage and apples. Sauté all this until the cabbage begins to collapse a bit.

Add the remaining ingredients and cover. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until all is nice and tender. This takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

*Curtis sez, "OK, if you really want to jazz this up, use corned beef broth instead of chicken broth. Trust me, this is like having a secret weapon in the kitchen wars."

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

Contributor: Curtis Houghton

Monday, October 6, 2014

Company Chicken Rolls

Company coming? Time for chicken rolls!

2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
4 oz. canned mushrooms, drained
2 frozen canisters Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
3 oz. cream cheese
3 oz. cream cheese with chives
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened and beat
⅛ teaspoon pepper
melted butter for dipping
1 cup breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon sage
½ cup finely chopped nuts

4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together mushrooms, cheese, margarine and pepper. Fold in chicken and roll about ⅛ cup of mixture into each crescent roll. Dip in additional melted margarine/butter, then in breadcrumbs, sage and nuts. Place rolls on a greased cookie sheet and bake 20-30 minutes.

Near the end of baking time, in a skillet combine chicken broth and butter and heat to near boiling. Add cold water to cornstarch to make a slurry and stir it into the skillet to thicken the gravy. (Hint: the better your chicken broth is, the better your gravy will be.)

Serve rolls with gravy and jellied cranberry sauce. Makes about 16 rolls.

Contributor: Marjorie Clark

Grandma Kest's Red Cabbage

This recipe card is so covered with splotches and glops that it's hard to read. Yeah, it's been used a lot.

1 head red cabbage, cored and shredded
2 or 3 apples, cored and shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
pinch of ground cloves
about 1½ cups water

Combine in a large pot and bring to a boil, then turn down flame very low and simmer slowly, 1½ - 2 hours. When almost done, if desired, add a small amount of bacon grease for flavor.

No, I'm not sure how much nutmeg, cinnamon or allspice you should add. But you're all good cooks. Do what comes naturally.

There is also a mysterious injunction on this recipe card: "Do not tap spoon on side of pan while cooking." Or you will invoke the ghost of Grandma Kest!

Probably serves 6-8 as a side dish, knowing our family.

Contributor: Catharina Kest

Pistachio Cookies

One of Auntie Kathie's recipe cards yielded this.

2 cups unsifted flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup butter, softened, or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red or green food coloring
¼ cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped
multicolor nonpareils

In a small bowl, sift flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. With wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed, just until combined. Turn 1 cup dough into small bowl, add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring and mix well. Add nuts and mix well. On waxed paper, shape dough with your hands into a roll 10" long; place in freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, roll remaining dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 10x6" rectangle. Place this dough in the freezer 10 minutes. Once dough is chilled, remove top sheet of wax paper.

To form cookies, unwrap and place colored roll lengthwise in center of dough rectangle. With your hands, mold dough rectangle smoothly around colored roll, covering it completely. Roll in nonpareils, wrap in wax paper, and place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes, or until firm enough to slice.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove roll from freezer and unwrap. With a sharp knife, cut roll into slices ⅛" thick. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sugar Cookies

This one is in Aunt Kathie's handwriting, but it says, "Recipe from the kitchen of Karin," so I'm giving them both credit. As is my wont.

½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond flavoring
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, cream sugar and butter until smooth. Mix in egg and flavorings. Add dry ingredients and stir well to create cookie dough. Refrigerate dough 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle rolling surface with a little powdered sugar. Roll out cookie dough to about ¼" thickness, cut in desired shapes and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size of cookie cutters.

Contributors: Kathleen Ashton/Karin Buck

French Bread Pizza

If you grew up in a big family, this was probably a staple. It was yummy and cheaper than pizza delivery. This particular recipe yields a vegetarian (not vegan) pizza, but you can mess around with the toppings a lot. Any combo that would taste good on a regular pizza probably tastes good on French bread pizza. Just make sure to butter the bread, or it could get soggy.

1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
enough butter to cover each cut surface of bread
a lot of Jack cheese, shredded
2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
about 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced thin
a coupla green chiles, seeded and sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
¼ - ½ cup hulled sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the cut surfaces of the French bread and put the halves side by side, butter side up, on a large cookie sheet. To each French bread half, add a thin layer of Jack cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, green chilies and onion, then cover all with another thick layer of cheese. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over all. Slide cookie sheet into hot oven and bake 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is toasty. Cut French bread pizza into slices and serve. Makes 8-10 servings depending on how thick you cut the slices.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Kari Sue's Broccoli Salad

OK, truth to tell, many of the aunties make this salad, but since my mommy phoned me to give me the recipe, she gets the credit!

2 heads broccoli, washed and broken into bite-sized florets
½ lb. bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1 small red onion, minced
¾ cup raisins
½ cup hulled sunflower seeds

1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for salad. (If you find you have a very strong red onion, mince it and then rinse it in a sieve under cold running water to help reduce some of the pungency.) In a smaller bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing; pour over salad and mix well.  Chill several hours in the refrigerator before serving. Makes 8-10 servings as a side salad.

Contributor: Karin Buck, neener neener.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Aunt Linda's Hamburger Pie

You saw it here first, folks!

Spiced meat:
2 lb. ground beef
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon onion salt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
dash allspice

3 large potatoes, sliced
4 carrots, sliced in coins
1 onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon onion salt

Mushroom sauce:
2 cans mushroom soup
2 small cans mushrooms
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet

Other stuff:

½ pint sour cream

1 recipe pie crust (or just buy it from the store if you're lazy)

In a skillet, brown spiced meat mixture, turning occasionally. While mixture is browning, prepare vegetables. Put vegetable mixture into a large pot, add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are tender, then drain water.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To vegetables, add mushroom sauce and spiced meat mixture. Mix all together and cook for a few minutes, adding sour cream near end of cooking time. Turn mixture into large bowl or casserole dish and cover with pie crust. Bake until crust is golden. Makes 8-12 servings.

Contributor: Linda Hart

Spanish Rice

It's a skillet-to-oven rice casserole. It's pretty tasty. And it's Grandma Eriksson's. Good for serving carbs to crowds.

2 large onions, minced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
a few stalks celery, chopped
bacon grease for cooking
1 lb. ground beef
1 large can tomatoes
1 can hot sauce
½ cup uncooked rice, washed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, sauté onions, pepper and celery in bacon grease. Add ground beef and brown well, draining fat. Add tomatoes and hot sauce, stirring to mix, and heat until mixture boils. Add rice and stir again. Turn contents into 9x13" casserole dish and bake for about 1 hour. Probably makes 8 servings.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Friday, October 3, 2014

Taco Pie

Yep, it's another Grandma Eriksson casserole special! And this one's odd in that you're baking lettuce into a casserole.

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 10¾ oz. can golden mushroom soup
corn tortillas, as needed
iceberg lettuce, shredded, as needed
cheese, grated, as needed

In a skillet, brown ground beef, draining fat. Add tomato sauce, onion soup mix and golden mushroom soup; allow to heat through, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread corn tortillas (enough to cover the bottom) in a 9x13" casserole dish. Top with a layer of shredded lettuce, then a layer of grated cheese, then half the sauce from the skillet. Repeat all layers, then top with grated cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Makes 8 servings.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Cathedral Windows

These are often served along with Christmas cookies, but they're really a simple (but very pretty) candy. Be sure to get the colored marshmallows; you need the variegated colors to make this treat look awesome.

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup butter
3 cups multicolored mini-marshmallows
¾ cup nuts, chopped

Melt together butter and chocolate chips; allow to cool. (You don't want this mixture to be so hot it melts the marshmallows.) Stir in marshmallows and ¼ cup of the nuts. Form mixture into two 6" long rolls; roll each roll in the remaining nuts. Cover each roll in plastic wrap and chill for several hours. When ready to serve, cut into ½" slices. Store uneaten Cathedral Windows in the refrigerator.

Makes about 24 candies.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cranberry-Orange Chiffon Pie

You already know this is an Aunt Kathie special, dontcha? Plus it's all no-bake goodness up in yo face!

Graham cracker crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
⅛ cup butter, softened
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar

1 envelope unflavored Knox gelatin
½ cup orange juice
1 1 lb. can whole cranberry sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest, grated
2 egg whites
¼ cup sugar

whipped cream
additional orange zest

For crust, combine crumbs, butter, walnuts and sugar and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie pan.

In a medium saucepan, mix gelatin and orange juice; let stand 1 minute. Add cranberry sauce and stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved and cranberries are broken up and heated, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add orange zest. Chill, stirring occasionally until mixture is the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Fold in chilled gelatin mixture and turn into a prepared crust. Chill until firm. Garnish top with whipped cream and grated orange zest.

Makes 1 pie suitable for Thanksgiving dessert, church suppers, community potlucks, or whenever you just want to pig out on cranberry goodness.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Green Tomato Pie

It's getting to the time of year when we gather in all the beautiful tomatoes that never turned red.

Oh yeah, you can cook with them. Just because they're still green doesn't mean they're inedible. Think of fried green tomatoes, green tomato pickles... and, of course, this. Your basic mock apple pie.

1 recipe pie crust for a 9" double-crust pie (or go buy crust from the store if you're lazy)
1⅓ cups sugar
7 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups green tomato slices, cut in quarters
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9" pie pan with pie crust. In a bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, gently mix together tomatoes, lemon juice and zest. Mix the contents of both bowls together and turn into pie pan. Dot filling with melted butter and cover with top crust, crimping edges of crust to seal. Cut slits in top crust to vent. Bake 35-45 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. Serve warm. Makes one 9" pie.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bubble Ring

Yes, today we're going to show you how to make a bubble ring. AKA sticky buns. Stop snickering.

Basic dough:
2 packages active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup shortening
2 cups milk, scalded
7 - 8 cups flour, sifted
2 eggs, beaten

Bubble ring:
half of the basic dough recipe
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup chopped nuts
½ cup raisins
¼ cup candied cherries

For dough: soften yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt and shortening to saucepan of scalded milk. Stir until shortening melts, then cook on the stove until mixture is lukewarm. Take off the stove and beat in 3 cups flour. Stir in eggs and yeast, beating well. Add remaining flour to form a soft dough. Let rest 10 minutes, then knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and satiny. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with a damp dishtowel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down and divide into halves. Let dough rest.

NOTE: Since the bubble ring recipe only uses half the dough, the other half may be formed and baked as rolls. Yes, this is a BONUS recipe!

For bubble ring: roll dough into balls the size of walnuts, hiding raisins and cherries inside each ball. Roll each ball in melted butter, then in sugar and cinnamon, then in chopped nuts. Place balls in a ring mold so they barely touch each other, cover and allow to rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake bubble ring 35-40 minutes. Invert on a rack to cool and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Makes one delicious bubble ring. Oh, and bonus rolls! Or double up on the bubble ring ingredients and make TWO delicious bubble rings!

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton

Cake Mix Cookies

This is a super-simple cookie recipe for when you don't have a lot of time to put cookie dough together, but you do have a box of cake mix on the shelf.

1 box commercial cake mix, any flavor
½ cup salad oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup "additions" (chopped nuts, chocolate chips, flaked coconut, whatevs) (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, blend together cake mix, oil and eggs. If desired, add "additions" and stir to mix. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Suggested combinations:
devil's food cake mix & white or semisweet chocolate chips
spice cake mix & tart apple, chopped
chocolate cake mix & crushed peppermint candies
lemon cake mix & crushed lemon drop candies
carrot cake mix & chopped macadamias

Basically, go nuts!

Contributor: Karin Buck

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thai Hot and Sour Soup

Mom hastily scribbled this down from a cooking show on TV. It's been one of her favorites ever since. When Vanessa was little she called it "Lettuce Soup" because of the nappa cabbage.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red curry paste
5 - 6 cups chicken broth
2 - 3 cups mixed mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, scraped and grated
1 lime, zested and juiced
¾ lb. shrimp, cooked (or substitute cooked chicken)
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 cups nappa cabbage, sliced
3 green onions, sliced
chopped cilantro for garnish

In a stockpot, heat oil and fry curry paste. Add chicken broth, mushrooms, ginger, lime zest and juice and bring to a boil. Add shrimp and water chestnuts and return to a boil. Remove from heat and add cabbage, stirring until cabbage wilts.

Top with green onions and cilantro as garnish, and serve immediately. Stand back, because people will be scarfing this stuff so hard it may be alarming.

Makes about 8 or 9 cups of soup.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Tuna Sweet and Sour

Got two cans of tuna and yearning for more than just a sammitch? Here ya go. It's not super authentic, but it's super tasty.

1 cup pineapple chunks with juice
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
½ cup green pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cup pimiento, chopped
¼ cup vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 - 3 drops Tabasco sauce
cornstarch and water slurry, to thicken
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked

In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple, celery, green pepper, pimiento, vinegar, water, brown sugar, soy sauce and Tabasco. Bring to a boil over medium heat until mixture bubbles. Stir about a tablespoon of cornstarch into a half cup of cold water and, stirring the hot mixture with a whisk, add just enough cornstarch/water slurry to thicken the mixture. Reduce heat to low and add tuna, gently heating through. Serve over rice or crisp chow mein noodles.

Makes about 6 servings.

Contributor: Linda Hart

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicken or Turkey à la King

Auntie Linda's recipe might seem like a skillet dinner from the '60s designed to use up leftover poultry, but the creation of this dish dates all the way back to the late 1800s. (Really. Check it out.)

¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
¼ lb. fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
½ green pepper, chopped
2 pimientos, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken broth or bouillon
½ cup milk
dash pepper, fresh ground
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cubed

In a medium saucepan, sauté mushrooms, green pepper and pimientos in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in flour and salt until smooth. Blend in chicken broth and milk, cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir in pepper, turmeric and sugar. Turn heat to low. Blend cream into egg yolks; temper the egg by adding a small amount of hot mixture to the eggs, whisking well, then slowly pour the egg mixture into the pan, stirring constantly. Add chicken or turkey and gently heat through. Serve over toast, biscuits, rice or noodles.

Makes about 6 servings.

Contributor: Linda Hart

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chinese Hekka

OK, so this stovetop dish is "Chinese" the same way Taco Bell is "Mexican," but it's still tasty. In fact, dare we say it's hekka good?

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cups celery, thinly sliced
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups carrots, grated
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup water
rice or crisp chow mein noodles

In a large frying pan, brown ground beef with onion. Add celery, cabbage and carrots. Pour soy sauce and water over all and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Serve over rice or chow mein noodles.

Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry you are.

Contributor: Linda Hart


Mom loves nummy Indian food. This is one of her favorites. If the thought of washing spinach fills you with dread, get some prepared spinach for salad -- easy peasy!

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, scraped and minced
2 tablespoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 lb. chopped spinach
1 cup water
1½ teaspoons salt
1 cup yogurt
¼ cup cream (optional)

Saute onions until lightly browned. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook 3 minutes. Add spinach, salt and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add yogurt and cream, then heat through, taste to adjust seasoning if needed and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beacon Hill Cookies

Grandma's chocolate meringue cookies are the bomb. And since they have no flour (check it out!) they are also potentially gluten free, for those of you who want that sorta thing.

1 cup chocolate chips
2 egg whites
dash salt
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon vinegar
¾ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet. In a double boiler (or carefully in the microwave), melt chocolate chips, allowing them to cool a little. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy, then gradually add sugar, beating well until whites form stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla and vinegar. Fold in cooled melted chocolate and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove cookies immediately to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies. Recipe can be doubled.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Becca's Famous Brownies

Mom gave me this recipe, on a piece of paper that was heavily doodled on by small children. I'm not quite sure who Becca is, but these are her brownies. And they're famous!

3 squares butter
3 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a jelly roll pan. In a bowl, mix together butter, sugar and cocoa. Add vanilla, eggs and salt and mix, then add flour and mix. Spread into pan and bake 25 minutes.

Makes as many brownies as you wish to cut into squares, I guess.

By the way, Becca has super nice handwriting. Kudos, Becca!

Stolen from Becca Hofheins

Aunt Kathie's Rolls

Sit down, everyone; a shocking admission must be made.

These are NOT actually Aunt Kathie's rolls.

This recipe is by Phoebe Norton, who contributed it to an Ashton family cookbook. BUT this recipe is the one Aunt Kathie always used to make her rolls, so if you're yearning for a pan of fluffy goodness at Thanksgiving, look no further.

AUNT KATHIE'S ROLLS (well, sorta)
2 cups milk, warm
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 - 6½ cups flour
¼ cup margarine
2 eggs, beaten
2 packages yeast, dissolved in ¾ cup lukewarm water

Dissolve margarine, sugar and salt in milk. Add eggs and 3 cups of flour, beating well. Add yeast and beat again. Add 3 more cups flour, beat well with a spoon, then knead on floured surface. Dough should be very soft and a little sticky. Allow to rise in a warm place, punch down and allow to rise again. Shape into rolls (any shape you like) on a cookie sheet, and allow to rise until doubled.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slide rolls into oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 4 dozen small rolls.

Contributor: Kathleen Ashton (via Phoebe Norton)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Grandma Kest's Christmas Soup

I know, David, you hate this stuff. But some of us loooove it. Mm mm good!

2 packages meaty soup bones
1 gallon water
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup barley
1 large can tomatoes
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
allspice to taste

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
¼ cup onion, diced
about ½ cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg
dash of allspice

In a large soup pot, combine bones and water. Add onion and bring to a boil; cover and boil gently 3-4 hours. Remove bones. Add barley and cook 30 minutes.

While barley is cooking, in a food processor whirl together all ingredients for meatballs until meat mixture is smooth and there are no visible chunks of onion. Roll mixture into walnut-sized balls and add them directly to soup when the 30 minutes are up. Cook another 20 minutes.

(At this point you may refrigerate the soup and skim the fat from the top, then reheat, but it's completely up to you.)

Strain canned tomatoes directly into the soup, then add remaining ingredients, heat through and serve.

Makes a whole lotta soup, and happy people if they happen to like homemade tomatensoep met balletjes, which is the Dutch name for it.

Contributor: Catharina Kest

Aunt Reenie's Tortellini Soup

What frozen tortellini was made for, bay-bee.

1 lb. Italian sausage (hot or mild), removed from casings
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
5 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 cups canned tomatoes
1 cup carrots, sliced
1½ cups zucchini, sliced
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 8 oz. package frozen tortellini
3 teaspoons parsley
1 cup chopped green pepper

In a large soup kettle, brown sausage, onion and garlic, draining fat as needed. Add all ingredients except zucchini and tortellini; cook until carrots are tender. Add zucchini and tortellini and cook until they are just done. Serve immediately in big soup bowls with garlic bread on the side.

Makes 12 servings, so it's a good recipe for Soup Night.

Contributor: Maureen Muhlestein

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Biscuits Supreme

Mom got this from Grandma, who probably got it from Betty Crocker. But if you ask Dan, he will tell you he is the Grand High Pooh-Bah of biscuit makers.

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons sugar
½ cup shortening
⅔ cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk all at once and stir with a fork just until dough forms. Turn onto floured board and knead for 30 seconds.

Pat or roll dough ½" thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. (It's best to cut the biscuits as close to each other as possible, so you don't have to pat the dough out again. The less you mess with the dough, the more tender your biscuits will be.) Slide biscuits onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 16 medium biscuits.

(Remember, it's baking powder, not baking soda.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Marinated Vegetable Salad

This may be used as a salad or a relish. Yes, "it's a lovely relish dish!"

½ lb. small fresh mushrooms, washed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half
1 head cauliflower, washed and broken into florets
1 head broccoli, washed and broken into florets
1 can black olives, drained
1 bottle Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix

In a large bowl, mix together all vegetables. Shake salad dressing mix over the top, then add the bottle of Kraft dressing. Stir gently to mix well, cover, put in the fridge and let marinate at least 4 hours, stirring every now and then to turn vegetables in the marinade. Serves 7-8 as a salad.

Mom sez, "Put the mushrooms in the bottom so they can really soak up the marinade."

I also like to add a container of marinated artichoke hearts (drained) just before serving, but it isn't necessary. IT'S JUST SUPER GOOD!

Contributor: Karin Buck

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Grandma Kest's Chocolate Applesauce Fruit Cake

I know, you may think you don't like fruitcake. But you're WRONG.

We think Grandma Kest came up with this one herself.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can applesauce
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ginger
½ cup shortening
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup maraschino cherries
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
2 tablespoons citron peel, chopped

OK, ready?

In one bowl, blend together flour, cornstarch, cocoa, salt, leavenings and spices. In another bowl, cream together shortening, sugars and egg. To this bowl, add alternately applesauce and flour mixture. Then add raisins, walnuts, cherries and juice, and citron peel and mix well.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan. Turn batter into pan and place in the middle rack of the oven. On the rack below it, place a small pan of water (this will help keep the cake moist as it bakes). Bake for 1½ hours or until a toothpick placed into the center of the cake comes out clean.

You will eat it! And you will like it! If you don't, Grandma's ghost will haunt you! So there.

Cowboy Caviar

This stuff is too solid and chunky to be called a dip, really. It's more of a scoop. This is the reason tortilla chips were made.

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1½ teaspoons hot pepper sauce
fresh ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed
⅔ cup green onions, sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
½ lb. Roma tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
tortilla chips

In a large bowl, combine vinegar, oil, garlic, hot sauce and pepper. Peel, pit and cut avocado into ½" cubes. Add to the vinegar mixture and toss lightly to coat. Add beans, corn, onion, cilantro and tomatoes. Mix gently to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

Cowboy caviar can also be used as a Southwest-style relish for grilled chicken or steak.

Stolen from Deanna Buxton. Ha ha, we are dirty stealers!

Tamale Pie

This was a well-used Grandma recipe. In fact the paper she wrote this on is so splotched and faded, it's getting difficult to read. Let's hear it for modern technology!

1 lb. ground beef
3 tablespoons butter (optional)
2 onions, chopped
1 15 oz. can tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder, dissolved in hot water
1¼ cups cornmeal
3 eggs, well-beaten
1 cup milk
1 can black olives, drained
1 teaspoon salt
Cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown ground beef in (optional) butter. Add onions and cook about 15 minutes, until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cornmeal, eggs, milk, olives and salt, and cook another 15 minutes more (mixture will thicken). Turn mixture into a 9x13" casserole dish and sprinkle top with cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serves at least 8, and probably more.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Chicken Divan

Your basic early '60s chicken-broccoli casserole dish. Perfect for retro get-togethers, church suppers and other places where you need to feed a lot of people. Mmm mmm cream of whatsit soup!

2 10 oz. packages frozen broccoli spears (or use the same amount leftover steamed broccoli)*
1 whole chicken, cooked, skinned and boned
2 10¾ oz. cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise (this ain't no diet casserole)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon curry powder
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle generously on top
A little melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On the bottom of a 9x13" casserole dish, layer broccoli. Place cut-up chicken on top of broccoli. Mix together soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder and pour over chicken. Top with Cheddar and Parmesan. (You can also mix breadcrumbs with the Parmesan for a topping with a little more body.) Drizzle with melted butter. Cover dish with foil and bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with rice. Makes 8 servings.

*This dish is also good made with asparagus, if you happen to like that sort of thing. (And who doesn't?)

Contributor: Norma Eriksson


Auntie Marcia's recipe. It's nummy good, oh my yes. By the way, did you know that "borscht" just means "soup" in Russian?

2½ lb. stew meat with bones
1 large onion, chopped
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
 3 cloves garlic, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 quarts water
½ bottle red wine*
3 lb. cabbage, shredded
sour cream
dill weed, to taste (optional)

*Non-drinkers: remember, this is going to simmer a while; all that will be left is flavor.

In a large soup pot, brown stew meat. Combine all ingredients except cabbage and sour cream, bring to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook about 2 hours or until the meat is tender. During the last hour of cooking, add cabbage to pot. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl.

Serves lots.

Contributor: Marcia Hetzler

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Another mystery card. Whose handwriting is this? Grandma's? Aunt Naomi's? Sasquatch's? NO ONE KNOWS, but it looks delicious.

2 eggs, whites and yolks separated*
¼ cup sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1½ cups evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups fresh peaches, crushed, sweetened to taste

Beat egg yolks until lemon-colored. Add sugar and corn syrup and blend thoroughly. Add milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract and peaches. Blend all thoroughly. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture. Place in large freezer-proof tray and freeze; after ice cream reaches a mushy consistency, beat for about 3 or 4 minutes, then return to refrigerator and freeze until firm.

*If you're nervous about using raw eggs, get eggs pasteurized in the shell.

Contributor: probably Naomi Card

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pineapple Sherbet

This recipe card is a bit of a mystery. The handwriting is either Aunt Marge's or Aunt Nell's, but we're not really sure which one (they had very similar writing). So enjoy the confusing but delicious taste of

6 oranges, juiced
½ lemon, juiced
1 large can (46 oz.) pineapple juice
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
1 pint cream, whipped

Mix together all juices and sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add evaporated milk, beat mixture for a minute with eggbeater or electric mixer, then gently fold in whipped cream. Freeze, beating once during the freezing process to keep mixture from crystallizing.

Not sure how much this recipe yields. If you make it, let me know, won't you?

Contributor: ??? (Marjorie Crooks or Nellemae Glauser)

Vanilla Ice Cream

If you grew up in the '70s or early '80s, you might remember working the dash of the ice cream freezer in Grandma's back yard. You might also remember having lots of soft-serve ice cream because nobody had the self-control to wait for the ice cream to harden.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear!

1 quart whole milk
5 eggs*
1½ quarts cream
2-3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1⅔ cups sugar
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in an ice cream freezer and churn until frozen. If you have the fortitude, put it in the fridge to harden. If not, just open it up and chow down! Makes about 3 quarts ice cream.

The recipe card notes: "Can add nuts, marshmallow, chocolate etc!" Yeah, Grandma, but WHY?

*If you're worried about adding raw eggs to the mix, buy pasteurized eggs and use them instead.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Chili Kenos

Grandma's fantastic Mexican-ish gringo casserole, ¡ay ay ay! You know you're gonna eat it.

2 lbs. ground beef
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons cumin powder
½ teaspoon oregano
4 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups hot water
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 cans olives, pitted
½ lb. American cheese, cut in cubes
2 bunches green onions, chopped
2 cans kidney beans
1 bag corn chips

Brown ground beef, spooning off excess fat. Add vinegar, salt and pepper, cumin and oregano. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture. Add chili powder dissolved in hot water.

In a bowl, combine tomato sauce, olives, cheese, green onions and kidney beans. Add to meat mixture and heat through enough to melt cheese. Just before serving, add the bag of corn chips. Serves about 8.

Before you ask: no, I do not know what size cans of olives Grandma meant, nor am I sure whether the kidney beans should be drained and rinsed before adding to the mix. Feel free to mess around with the recipe and see what happens.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Grandma's Orange Date Nut Bread

Grandma loved quick breads, and she seemed to be making them constantly. Based on the number of drips, glops and mysterious whatsits all over the original recipe card, this was one of her favorites.

1 medium-sized orange
1 cup dates, pitted
2 tablespoons shortening, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Juice orange, reserving orange peel; pour orange juice into standard 8 oz. measuring cup, and add boiling water to fill cup. Remove most of white membrane from orange peel and put through food chopper (coarse blade) along with dates. Add diluted orange juice. Stir in shortening, vanilla extract and egg. Add flour sifted together with salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar; beat well and stir in nuts. Grease and flour a 5x9" loaf pan, fill with bread mixture and bake about an hour. Makes 1 loaf.

Good for handmade Christmas gifts. Helps a sad friend feel better about life. Or just have a slice for yourself while you're at it.

Contributor: Norma Eriksson

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pecan Pie Squares

Delish! If you don't live somewhere near a pecan tree, you can usually find pecans at Trader Joe's.

3 cups flour
⅓ cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar
1½ cups corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
2½ cups pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients for crust. Grease a 10x15" jelly roll pan and press crust ingredients evenly into bottom of pan. Bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl (or just the first one, washed and ready to go again), combine ingredients for filling. When crust is baked, remove pan from oven (remember, oven mitt!) and spread filling evenly over crust. Return to oven and bake another 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool and cut into squares. Makes about 60 squares.

Contributor: David Ashton

Buttermilk Doughnuts

These old-fashioned cake doughnuts are great for days when you need your donies-in-the-morning fix right away and can't wait around for the dough to rise.

4⅓ cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup salad oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
oil for frying

¼ cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine all other ingredients (except frying oil) and add to first bowl, stirring to form dough. Knead on well-floured surface until dough is no longer sticky. Roll out to ½" thick and cut into doughnuts.

Combine ingredients for glaze and mix until smooth.

Heat frying oil to 375 degrees. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown. Drain doughnuts on paper towels and dip into glaze while still warm.

Makes a few dozen doughnuts and brings friends from miles around to eat them.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Russian Teacakes

These little cookies have about a bazillion names, including Mexican Wedding Cakes and Snowballs. They are numtious!

1 lb. butter, softened (that's right, LIVE IT UP)
4 cups flour, sifted
1½ cups walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
additional powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix together all ingredients (except additional powdered sugar) and roll into walnut-sized balls. Bake 35 minutes. While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll in powdered sugar again. Makes lots of little powdered-sugary bites o' goodness.

Mom informs me this is Tim Hart's favorite cookie. He's got good taste.

Probably stolen from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Chex Party Mix

Yeah, I know, you probably already have this one. But the newer versions of Party Mix they print on the back of the box don't taste like this any more.

6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Corn Chex
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups Wheat Chex
1½ cups mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in shallow pan. Add seasonings, cereal and nuts; mix thoroughly until coated. Heat in oven 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Makes about 7½ cups.

If you like crunchy salty things, beware. Very more-ish.

Stolen from the Chex people about 30 years ago.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Penuche Frosting

This stuff is so delicious it's almost wrong.

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil; boil over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk and (still stirring!) return to a boil. Cool mixture to lukewarm (you can put the saucepan in icewater in the sink to cool it faster) and stir in powdered sugar until frosting is thick enough to spread.

Helpful hint: to make sure the frosting doesn't sugar over, add a little bit of corn syrup to the mixture.

If you want to make this frosting into penuche candy, just keep adding powdered sugar until it's thick enough to roll into small balls. Roll the balls in chopped nuts and give them to someone you love. (Like you, for instance.)

Makes everything awesome. But you probably shouldn't spread it on liverwurst or anything.


Halloween has become the traditional time to make donuts. And there's nothing more traditional (nor more Intermountain West) than the use of potatoes as fillers where you wouldn't necessarily expect them. Thus we have:

1½ teaspoons yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
⅓ cup powdered milk (the powder, not reconstituted)
⅔ cup melted butter, cooled
1 cup mashed potatoes (just basic mashed potatoes; garlic would not be good in this recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup sugar
2 eggs
6 - 7 cups flour

hot oil for frying

¼ cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add everything but the flour and mix well. Beat in flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let dough rise until doubled in bulk, then roll out to ½" thick and cut doughnuts from dough. Let doughnuts rise for about 1 hour.

Heat oil to 375 degrees and fry doughnuts until golden brown. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time to keep the oil at a consistent heat. Drain doughnuts on paper towels. Mix together all ingredients for glaze until all is smooth and well combined, and dip warm (not hot) doughnuts into the glaze. Makes about 4 dozen doughnuts.

Stolen from Sister Densley!

Karin's Pancakes

How do you tell people you love them without saying a word? Hotcakes, baby.

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Mix together egg, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients and mix until just blended (the batter doesn't need to be smooth). Fry one by one on a hot skillet, flipping when pancake is full of bubbles. Makes about 10 standard-sized pancakes.

I guess you could add stuff to the batter like bananas or blueberries or even crumbled bacon, but why? Eat with syrup, lingonberry jam, lemon curd or Apricot Ambrosia. Nom.

Contributor: Karin Buck (of course)

Poppyseed Dressing

Poppies! Poppies... poppies will put them to sleep!

1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons salt
⅔ cup vinegar
3 tablespoons onion, grated (optional)
2 cups salad oil
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Mix it all together and chill. Makes 3 - 4 cups. Good with green salads. Especially popular in the Emerald City!

Contributor: Julie Buck

Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing

It's not blue, it's BLEU! Which makes it CEULER!

2 cups mayonnaise
1 small onion, grated
1 medium-sized clove garlic, pressed
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3 - 4 oz. Gorgonzola, Roka or other blue cheese, crumbled

Mix everything together, stick it in a container and cool it in the fridge. Easy peasy. Makes about 1 quart dressing, to be used on green salads, with crudités and other vegetables.

(Take that, Ranch.)

Hot Chicken Salad

Julie used to make this on a fairly regular basis.

1 chicken, cooked, skinned, boned and cut up
⅔ cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons onion, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1½ cups mayonnaise (yes, that much. Just do it, OK?)
1 can evaporated milk
4 cups cooked rice
3 cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup crushed cornflakes or fine breadcrumbs
1 cup almonds, chopped
6 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything but the topping together and sling it into a 9x13" pan. Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the casserole. Bake 1 hour. Do the Dance of Deliciousness. Serves about 8.

Contributor: Julie Buck (shamelessly stolen from Kristi)

Saucy Ribs


4 - 5 lbs. country-style pork ribs, boneless or bone-in
salt and pepper to taste

Rib sauce:
4 cups ketchup
¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup lemon juice
3 cups water
½ cup vinegar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon yellow mustard
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar

Brown ribs well, adding salt and pepper as desired. Put into a large roaster, Dutch oven or other ovenproof vessel and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, mix together rib sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over ribs, cover with a lid or foil and bake 4 - 5 hours. Serve with rice, noodles, potatoes or French rolls. Makes a whole lotta saucy deliciousness.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Amish Apple Pie Filling

Some homemade apple pie filling is thickened with cornstarch, but its thickening power dies over time. Not so with tapioca!

Tapioca mix:
4½ cups sugar
1 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water

Spice mix:
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Apple mix:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 - 3 drops yellow food coloring
16 cups sliced, peeled apples

In a large saucepan, add tapioca mix ingredients, stirring to blend. Add spice mix and cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens. Then add apple mix and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and allow to boil for 1 minute. Fill prepared canning jars with hot apple pie filling and process in a boiling-water bath for 25 minutes. Makes 6-7 quarts.

Good in pies, apple cakes, use it to top waffles or pancakes, on top of cheesecake, or just on vanilla ice cream. Mom says, "And it is GOOD!"

Stolen from the Amish. 'Cause we're like that.

Aunt Marcia's Lemon Curd

Mmmmmm lemoncuuuuuurd. Remember, don't stop stirring. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

4 - 5 teaspoons lemon peel, grated
⅔ cup lemon juice
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted

Blend together peel and juice, eggs and sugar until smooth. Add butter in a slow stream. Transfer mixture to small saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Pour into containers and refrigerate.

Serve on toast, over angel food cake, slathered on homemade bread, sneak spoonfuls straight from the jar, whatever!

Contributor: Marcia Hetzler

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Apricot Ambrosia

Mom remembers getting this jam recipe from an old Canadian cookbook, and then (as usual) tweaking it like crazy.

5 cups fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
5 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
juice of 1 lemon
1 medium bottle maraschino cherries, without stems, drained and chopped in small pieces
1 large package orange Jello

In a large saucepan, combine apricots, sugar, pineapple and lemon juice, bring to a boil, and boil 15 minutes (longer if at high altitude location). Add cherries and Jello, stirring until Jello is dissolved. Remove from heat, bottle and seal. Process jars in a boiling-water bath 15 minutes. Makes about 6 pints of ambrosia.

If you give some of this jam to your friends as a gift, be aware you are entering a life of Apricot Ambrosia-induced servitude. They will want it FOREVER.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Friday, September 12, 2014

Streamlined White Bread

Everybody should have a basic bread recipe. This one is nifty because it doesn't even require kneading, and it makes just one loaf at a time.

1¼ cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons soft shortening
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. When it forms a sponge, add shortening, salt, sugar and half the flour. Beat 2 minutes with electric mixer at medium speed. Add remaining flour and blend in with a spoon. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Stir down dough by beating 25 strokes. Grease and flour a loaf pan and spread out the dough in the pan (it will be sticky, so flour your hands first). Let it rise until it's reached about ½" from the top of the pan (about 40 minutes, give or take).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 45-50 minutes, remove from pan, brush top with butter and let the loaf cool on its side. It should cool completely before you cut it, but if you just have to tear into some hot bread, we won't judge you. Makes 1 loaf, and a lot of happy family members and/or housemates.

Stolen from Karin Buck's overflowing recipe file.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Aunt Anna's Almond Cookies

Anna Hartelius was Grandpa Eriksson's sister. She spoke "Swenglish," a mixed amalgam of Swedish and English that was equally unintelligible to both native Swedes and English speakers. She was also a very fine cook and a fantastic baker. These almond cookies are her creation.

1 lb. butter, at room temperature
1⅓ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
⅔ cup chopped almonds
2 teaspoons dark Karo syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract

To butter, add sugar, dry ingredients, syrup and almond extract; mix together, kneading with hands until dough is a soft ball.  Divide dough into 4 equal portions, form into long rolls, roll in wax paper and store in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut rolls into cookies (about ¼" in thickness) and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 20-25 minutes. Makes grundles of cookies!

Good with milk, cocoa and Auntie Marcia's Warm Elixir.

If you want, you can get all fancy-pants with this recipe and half-dip the cookies in melted chocolate, but really, they're good all on their own.

Seven Layer Cookies

About the easiest cookies in the world to make. Also the most addictive. Tim won a cookie jar contest at school with these things.

1 sleeve (about 9) graham crackers, finely crushed
1 cube butter (yes, a whole quarter pound! Live, baby, LIVE!)
1 12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz. package butterscotch chips
about ½ cup shredded dessicated coconut, or to taste
½ - 1 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts are all good choices, or use macadamias if you're feeling rich and decadent)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. While it's heating, put the butter into a 9x13" glass baking dish and let it melt in the oven. While you're waiting, you can use this time to crush the graham crackers. When the butter is melted, pull the dish out of the oven (remember, oven mitt!) and pour the graham crackers into the dish, mixing well until the butter and crumbs are well combined. Pat this mixture down flat to form a graham cracker crust. Evenly spread chocolate chips over the crust, followed by the butterscotch chips and coconut. Coarsely chop the nuts and distribute them evenly in another layer. Finally drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over all, making sure to cover evenly all the way to the corners. (The sweetened condensed milk is the glue that holds everything together, so distribute it as evenly as possible.) Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool thoroughly, then cut into small squares (this stuff is very rich). Makes a lot, but they never last for some reason.

Your friends will bow down before you and request the recipe. TELL THEM NOTHING.

Stolen from a number of places, including Grandma Buck; this seemed to be her favorite cookie recipe based on how often she made it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Mom sez this one is nom. And who am I to gainsay Mom?

1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, preferably at room temperature
½ cup mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing)
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts in water (not the marinated kind), drained and chopped
¼ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together everything but the spinach and artichokes until mixture is smooth. Add spinach and artichokes. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Chill and serve with cubes of French bread or raw vegetables for dipping.

Feeds a small gathering as an appetizer.

Contributor: Karin Buck

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

I think this one is Auntie Kathie's, and it's a make-ahead casserole. The long refrigeration time allows the corn tortillas to soak up the juices and become more like the masa in tamales.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. cheese (such as Cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack), grated
1 can green chili salsa
1 can diced green chiles
1 onion, grated
2 cups milk
a few tablespoons of chicken stock
12 corn tortillas, cut in 1" strips

Grease a 9x13" pan and put in a few tablespoons of chicken stock, just enough to glaze the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, mix together soups, onion, green chiles and salsa. In the prepared pan, layer tortilla strips, chicken, soup mixture and cheese; repeat two or three times, ending with a layer of cheese. (It's like Mexican lasagne!) Cover with foil and refrigerate casserole 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake casserole for 1½ hours, uncovering the last half hour, until browned and bubbly.  Serves 8.

Stolen from Kathleen Ashton, cook extraordinaire!

Primary Sherbet

Primary Sherbet has been made and enjoyed in our clan for at least four generations now. Simple to make, and relatively cheap (OK, I grew up in California where we picked oranges and lemons off the trees in our back yards, but even if you have to buy your citrus it's still pretty darn cheap). Just remember not to mess around with the sugar and fat -- you must use WHOLE MILK and ALL THE SUGAR as called for in the recipe, or you will be disappointed with the results.

2 cups whole milk
2 cups pineapple juice
½ cup orange juice
½ cup grapefruit juice
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups sugar

Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Freeze, stirring occasionally during the freezing process so the texture doesn't get too icy. (You could probably also make it in an ice cream freezer; I've just never tried it.)

Never makes enough. NEVER.

Stolen from the Children's Friend magazine and tweaked by Karin Buck.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scotch Broth

Since Dan asked... here's Scotch Broth or Scottish Broth or whatevayawannacallit. Best made when you can find lamb on sale (IF you can find lamb on sale).

⅓ cup pearl barley (or use the same amount quick-cooking barley)
3 lb. stewing lamb, trimmed of fat, cut into 2" pieces
lamb bones (I dunno, just SOME lamb bones, OK?)
8 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 small onion, diced
1 small turnip, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1-2 carrots, diced
2-3 potatoes, diced
salt and pepper to taste

If using pearl barley, soak 2 hours or overnight in sufficient water to cover barley.

In large soup pot, brown lamb and bones. Add 8 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, bring to a boil and skim scum off the top. Stir in ½ cup onion, bay leaf and cloves, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Remove spices and lamb bones; cool and skim fat (best to chill it overnight to remove nearly all the fat).

If using pearl barley, add it now -- drain it and stir it into the broth, bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes, covered, until barley is cooked. If not, skip ahead to the next sentence. Stir in onion, turnip, celery, carrots and potatoes (and quick-cooking barley, if using) and cook 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Salt and pepper soup to taste and serve garnished with chopped parsley. Serves 6. Or serves Dan.

Stolen from the Laura Secord Cookbook and further tweaked by Karin Buck.

Lentil Stew

Want something hot, nourishing, tasty and rib-sticking that doesn't cost a lot? Lemme introduce you to Kare-cat's lentil stew. It's not a prescription recipe, so the amounts here described are only approximate. Mess around with it and make it your very very own!

1 cup lentils, sorted and washed
beef or chicken stock (or bouillon and water), enough to cover
1-2 carrots, cut into rounds
1-2 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, diced or minced
2 potatoes, diced (peel if russets, leave skins on if red or gold potatoes)
½ green pepper, diced
1 ring kielbasa or other garlicky sausage, cut into rounds
1 can tomatoes (small or large, depending on how much you like tomatoes)
garlic powder

Cook the lentils in the stock until they're nearly done. Top up the stock if necessary. Add the carrots, celery, onion and potatoes and let them cook a while. Do what comes naturally with the garlic powder and allspice. Near the end of cooking time, add pepper, kielbasa and tomatoes and cook until all is heated through. Taste to check for seasoning. If it seems to need a little oomph, give it a squirt of ketchup. Serve with a smile and good crusty bread. Serves at least six people.

BONUS: Can be made vegan by using good quality vegetable stock and leaving out the kielbasa -- very yummy. (Can be made even better by leaving out the celery -- yech, celery.)

For a long time I disliked this dish because I associated it with being poor; Mom often made a version of this when there was nothing else to eat. But I'm coming to appreciate it again!

Contributor: Karin Buck

Pumpkin Bread

It's getting to that time of year when pumpkins are available and cheap. So get on out to the market and buy fixings for yummy deliciousness!

1 ½ cups sugar (or half sugar and half molasses)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ⅔ cups flour, sifted
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (ground ginger is also good)
2 eggs
½ cup salad oil
1 cup pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Mix together eggs, oil and pumpkin and add to dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Bake 1 hour. Makes 1 loaf.

If you make this for your neighbors they will love you FOR. EVER.

Contributor: Karin Buck