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

Monday, September 8, 2014

Funeral Potatoes

Everyone has a different version of this recipe. This is how the Buck family makes 'em.

32 oz. bag frozen Southern-style hash browns, thawed
2 10.5-oz. cans condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup (Vanessa says mushroom is better)
1 pint sour cream
1 small onion, finely minced, or the same amount of green onions (aka scallions), finely minced
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (the sharper the better, IMO)
¼ cup melted butter
crushed cornflakes and additional butter for topping*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. At this point you may sauté the onion in a little butter if you want to make sure the onion flavor isn't too overpowering in the final dish, but it's up to you. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except cornflakes and butter; turn into a lightly greased 9x13" glass casserole dish. Combine a generous amount of crushed cornflakes with enough melted butter to hold them together and sprinkle it over the top of the casserole. Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Soooooo many carbs.

Serves 8 people or 1 hungry teenage boy.

*I've also made the casserole topping using crushed Kettle brand salt and pepper potato chips and butter. I thought it tasted pretty good, but Vanessa informs me that this variation is culinary heresy. For her it's cornflakes or nothin'.

Stolen from numerous Mormon farming cookbooks and tweaked to perfection!

Marshmallow Fudge

I know, everybody makes this one. Because it's WONNNNNDERFUL, that's why!

2 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup butter
1 cup marshmallow creme (or use about the same volume of mini-marshmallows)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
16 oz. chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Butter an 8- or 9-inch square pan. In 3-quart saucepan, mix sugar, butter, milk, creme and salt, stirring over medium heat until mixture boils and bubbles. Keep at boiling point for five minutes, stirring constantly to make sure mixture doesn't stick to the pan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and vanilla until chocolate is thoroughly melted. Stir in nuts, if using. Spread into prepared buttered pan, cool thoroughly and cut into pieces. Omnomnom.

Don't add walnuts if you're making these for Julie. They tear up the roof of her mouth.

Stolen from the back of the marshmallow creme jar.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Not Just Ordinary Carrots

Originally a way to use up leftover cooked carrots, NJO Carrots has become a common side dish at Thanksgiving. People tend to have... strong opinions... about the carrot-and-horseradish flavor.

6-7 cups cooked carrots
1 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons horseradish
2 green onions
12 finely crushed saltine crackers
1/4 cup melted butter
salt and pepper to taste

Slice carrots into rounds and cook until tender.* Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, horseradish, finely minced green onions, salt and pepper. Mix the carrots into the mayonnaise mixture until well combined, and turn out into a casserole dish. Combine saltines with butter and sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

*If you want your carrots to retain their sweetness, cook them in barely enough water to cover.

I'm pretty sure this was stolen from Bonnie Mattson, but be sure to inform me if I'm wrong.

Cinnamon Beef Noodles


Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, the recipe:

1 teaspoon safflower or corn oil (I usually use peanut oil; it needs to be an oil that can handle high heat without freaking out)

Chile Cinnamon Seasonings:
6 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1½" sections
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or you can press them)
4 slices fresh root ginger, peeled and minced
1 ½ t. hot chile paste (start with this amount and adjust if desired)
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 stars anise

8½ cups water
½ cup soy sauce (or a bit less tamari)
2 lb. beef chuck or stew meat, fat trimmed, cut into 1½" cubes
10 oz. spinach, trimmed, rinsed and drained (I usually choose the easy method and buy prepared spinach for salad)
½ lb. flat Chinese wheat flour noodles, cooked and drained (use a fairly hefty noodle for this dish)
3 T. minced green onions or chives for garnish

Prep the Chile Cinnamon Seasonings and put them into a bowl. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until it's ripply-hot, about 30 seconds. Slap in the entire contents of the Chile Cinnamon Seasonings bowl and stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Depending on how much chile paste you added, this process may make you cough and open the windows for ventilation. EET EES STRONG LIKE BOOL! Add the water and soy sauce and bring to a boil, then add the beef and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Fish out the anise and cinnamon sticks and discard, and skim the broth to remove impurities and/or fat.

When ready to serve, bring back to a boil. Add the spinach and cook just until it is wilted. Place cooked noodles into serving bowls and ladle the soup over them, or get totally lazy and just tip the noodles directly into the soup to serve. Makes 6 generous servings.

The flavor improves the next day, although the spinach doesn't look as pretty.

Contributor: Soozcat (shamelessly stolen from Nina Simonds' Asian Noodles)


Family dear!

Welcome to the Eriksson Conspiracy, where we share delicious recipes and plot to make sure that NO ONE HAS ANY FUN. EVER! But at least they're all going to be well fed, right?

If you have recipes to share, shoot me a message here (I screen all comments) and I'll get it posted in my copious free time.