Recipes P – Z

 

I’m trying to limit this swarm of recipes to some I have actually used, and to others I am still assuring myself that I will someday try. Someday. It looks as if I only make desserts, but those are what we need real recipes for, not for everyday stews and staple entrees. I will add more recipes, and perhaps emphasize healthier options in time. For now, just reading these pages may clog our arteries, and contribute to our (just one or two) extra pounds. – LLF

** Recipes P Through Z **

includes:

Parmesan-Peppercorn Dressing

Pastry Doughs

Paul Bunyan Sugar Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Pie

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie Brownies

Pecan Pralines

Penuche – Brown Sugar Fudge

Pineapple Cake

Pizza Dough

Play Dough

Prune Cakes

Pumpkin Pie

Raisin Cream Pie

Red Beans

Rye Bread

Sandy’s Caramels

Secret Sugar Cream Pie

Shortbread

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Spinach Salad

Springerles

State Fair White Bread

Sugar Cut-out Cookies

Tarte Tatin

Tea Tree Recipes

Toasted Butter-Pecan Cake

Turkey Roasting Timetable

“Unfair” Whole Wheat Bread Vanilla Pudding

Vegetable-Beef Soup

Waffles

White Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Citrus Cake

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini-Tomato Summer Saute

 

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Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire +++++++++++++++

 

Parmesan-Peppercorn Dressing

 

1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream 1/3 to 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup milk * 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon sugar, if desired In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes around 2.5 cups of dressing. * You might use reconstituted dry milk for this, or evaporated milk, to increase the holding time of the dressing.

–from AllRecipes.com c. 2006

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Pastry Doughs

includes:

Basic Short Pastry Dough

Cream Pastry Dough

Milk Pastry Dough

Rich Short Pastry Dough

Royal Light Pastry Dough

Royal Short Pastry Dough

Sweet Short Pastry Dough

Basic Short Pastry Dough

1 2/3 cups, less 1 tablespoon, flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut in bits

1/4 cup cold water

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Stir in cold water, and gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

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Cream Pastry Dough

1 2/3 cups, less 1 tablespoon, flour

pinch of salt

3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) cold butter, cut in bits

1/2 cup chilled heavy cream

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cream, and gently mold dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

 

Milk Pastry Dough

1 5/8 cups flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut in bits

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cold milk

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and toss to combine well. Stir cold milk into the flour mixture, and gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

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Rich Short Pastry Dough

1 2/3 cups, less 1 tablespoon, flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut in bits

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

3 tablespoons cold water

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and toss to combine well. In a small cup or bowl, beat the egg yolk and water together, then stir this into the flour mixture. Gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

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Royal Light Pastry Dough *

4 cups, less 2 tablespoons, flour

pinch of salt

7/8 cup (14 tablespoons) cold lard, cut in bits

3/4 cup ice water

1 1/4 cups cold butter, cut in bits

In a large bowl, blend flour, salt and lard till it resembles coarse meal. Stir ice water into the flour mixture, and gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Gently knead together bits of butter to form a 4-inch square; dust butter with flour and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until firm.

Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface to form an 8-inch square. Place chilled butter square diagonally in the center of the dough. Roll the exposed dough “corners” into 6-inch strips and fold dough strips over butter, to enclose it; carefully turn the dough over. Roll the dough into a 12 by 16 inch rectangle. Invert the dough, and brush off any excess flour from the top. Fold top and bottom thirds of dough over the center. Flip the dough again, so the seam side is down, and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat this rolling, folding, flipping and rotating process 4 more times, chilling dough between steps as necessary. For the final roll, carefully divide dough into two squares, then roll each to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer each to pie pans, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 2 9-inch pie crusts.

* I’ve left this as a 2-crust recipe, as I’m not sure what size pieces you would need to be making for a single-crust portion. – LLF

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Royal Short Pastry Dough

1 2/3 cups, less 1 tablespoon, flour

pinch of salt

3/4 cup cold butter, cut in bits

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup cold water

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and toss to combine well. Stir cold water into the flour mixture, and gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, aiming for a 1/4 inch thick rectangle of dough. Fold top and bottom thirds over the dough’s center, and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat this rolling, folding and rotating process 3 more times, then again chill the dough for 30 minutes, wrapped in waxed paper. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

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Sweet Short Pastry Dough

1 2/3 cups, less 1 tablespoon, flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup cold butter, cut in bits

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cold water

In a medium bowl, blend flour, salt and butter till it resembles coarse meal. Add sugar and toss to combine well. Stir cold water into the flour mixture, and gently form dough into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, dust it with flour, and chill it, wrapped in waxed paper, about 30 minutes, until it is just firm. Roll dough out on a lightly-floured surface, to about 1/8 inch thickness; carefully transfer it to a pie pan, then trim and flute the edges before baking. Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

–from Gourmet, February 1983, “English Dessert Pastries”

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Paul Bunyan Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten lightly

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons milk

4 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup raisins (very optional)

Cream together the first 4 ingredients until light and fluffy; stir in the milk. Sift together the dry ingredients, and add them gradually to the creamed mixture, blending well. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour, then roll on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 5-inch circles, and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Makes about 14 large cookies.

Note: In the real world, I roll the dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls, flatten them slightly on the baking sheets, (which I grease a bit), and sprinkle the tops with sugar. I can’t give a baking time, just watch for them to start browning at the edges, and take them out when the tops feel firm; let them cool for a minute on the sheets before shifting them to cooling racks. Yield is usually 4 to 5 dozen cookies. – LLF

–adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookies and Candies cookbook, 1960’s edition

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Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup peanut butter [nominal amount]

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour *

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

In a large bowl, cream the butter with sugars; beat till fluffy. Stir in peanut butter, eggs and vanilla and blend well. Sift together the dry ingredients, and gradually add them to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Cover and chill the dough at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1-inch balls of dough at least 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets, flattening them slightly with a fork dipped in cold water, making a cross-hatch design on each cookie. Bake cookies in the top third of the oven, until the edges firm and start to brown. Try not to let these brown too much, unless you want crunchy cookies. Allow them to cool on trays 30 seconds before removing to cooling racks. makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* The stated amounts are from my mother’s hand-copied version of this popular recipe from the 1950’s. But I no longer measure the peanut butter, and probably use more than the given quantity. And I use at least 3 cups flour now, making them less sweet than most. They also don’t spread so far or so thin while baking. – LLF

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Peanut Butter Pie

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1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

15 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

 

Directions

Mix the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and peanut butter together until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust.

Place the remaining whipped topping over the top of the peanut butter mixture and garnish with the peanut butter cups. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

 

–from AllRecipes, December 2014

 

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Pecan Pie

3 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (just over 5 tablespoons) butter

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup finely-ground pecans

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 unbaked deep-dish 9-inch pie shell

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs slightly; add sugar and salt and mix well, till light and fluffy. Melt the butter, and warm the corn syrup a bit, then add them to the egg mixture. Beat to combine all ingredients, and stir in the vanilla. Spread the nuts evenly across the bottom of the pie shell, and pour in filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until the center is set. Cool completely before serving.

–From Mary L. Frederick, adapted from the cookbook she received as a wedding gift in 1949, The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (1943)

Note: my mom always made these two at a time, (mostly at Christmas and Thanksgiving), since corn syrup came in pint bottles, and you could eliminate the messy step of measuring it that way. But I would caution that you should have plenty of people available to consume two pies fairly quickly, as the bottom crust gets soggy. Also, very few of us really need to eat much pecan pie; I estimate at least 4000 calories per pie, probably more! Someone once said that pecan pie may be the only dessert we put whipped cream on so it will seem less rich. – LLF, August 2012

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Pecan Pie Brownies

 

16 pecan halves

1 tablespoon dark corn syrup, to coat pecan halves

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons dark corn syrup

1/4 cup pecan pieces *

2 egg yolks, beaten lightly

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

In a small bowl, mix the pecan halves with 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the shortening and brown sugar until creamy; add molasses, remaining corn syrup and chopped pecans; blend well, then beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir together the dry ingredients, and gradually add them to the batter, combining well.

 

Spread the batter evenly in a well-greased 8-inch square pan, and top with the prepared nut halves. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. (If using a glass pan, bake 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees.) Cool brownies before cutting; yields 16 bars.

 

–from Mrs. Field’s Copycat Recipes website, December 2016

 

* This seems like a scanty amount of nuts to me, even with the pecan halves factored in, but we’ll see. – LLF

 

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Pecan Pralines

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups pecan halves

2 tablespoons vanilla

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over high heat: add the sugars and cream. Cook for 1 minute, while whisking constantly. Add the milk and chopped pecans: cook for an additional 4 minutes, still whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium: cook and whisk for 5 minutes more. Add the pecan halves and vanilla, and cook, still whisking, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees, when it just begins to make “threads” when dropped from a spoon. Remove pan from heat. Quickly drop candies by heaping spoonfuls onto buttered baking sheets, using a second spoon to scrape mixture from the first spoon. Finished patties should be dull and crumbly, rather than translucent and chewy.

–from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen

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Penuche – Brown Sugar Fudge

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Generously butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add sugars, cream, milk and butter, and combine well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, and the liquid comes to a boil. Stirring only if necessary, let mixture cook to the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and let it cool to lukewarm without stirring. Add vanilla, and beat vigorously until the fudge becomes very thick, and starts to lose its gloss. Quickly stir in the pecans, and turn the fudge out into a well-buttered 9-inch pan. Score it into squares while it’s still warm; cut it after it is cooled and firm.

–from Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1960’s edition

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Pineapple Cake

2 cups flour

2 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple

2 eggs, beaten lightly

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, including the pineapple juice, and mix well. Pour batter into a well-buttered 9 X 13-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake tests done, and the center springs back if pressed lightly. Cool on a rack in the pan. When cold, frost cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, given separately.

–from Helen Rieser, 1981

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You better ccut the pizza into four pieces, I’m not hungry enough to eat six. –Yogi Berra

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Pizza Dough

 

1 1/4-ounce package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup lukewarm water

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, proof the yeast with the sugar and 1/4 cup lukewarm water for 15 minutes, until foamy. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup lukewarm water, oil, whole wheat flour, salt, and 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour. Blend until mixture forms a sticky dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly-floured surface and knead, adding up to 1/4 cup more flour as necessary, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly-oiled large bowl; turn to coat it well with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough; it is ready to use at this point, or it may be covered and refrigerated for a few hours first. Makes enough dough for 4 7-inch pizzas, or for 1 14-inch pizza.

–from Gourmet, January 1985

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Play Dough The secret ingredient here is cream of tartar. This recipe makes play dough that is not grainy like uncooked play dough and keeps for a long time. 4 cups flour * 1 cup salt 4 cups water 4 tablespoons oil, mineral oil if available ** 1/2 cup cream of tartar *** various food colorings, flavorings as desired **** Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Try to eliminate all lumps if possible–though these may keep forming as the mixture heats, which is what seems to happen. Squish the lumps with the spatula and/or between your fingers to achieve an even texture–a messy job, but kind of fun. Cook and stir over low/medium heat until play dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow to cool slightly before storing in an air tight container or zip lock bag. * Half the recipe makes a good amount of play dough–over a pound–and is as much as you might want to wrestle with at once. ** this seems to give an oily result, but very pliable and nice to work with–try cutting the amount of oil slightly next time. *** available in quantity at better prices from Bulk Foods.com **** it’s hard to judge how much of these to add to get the shades and scents you want, just experiment–and remember the colors may change with cooking. Variations: Add one package of unsweetened powdered Kool-Aid to your playdough to give it a great smell. (Thanks to James Slaughter for this variation). –from a forgotten website, June 2006 ++++++++++++++++

Prune Cakes

Breakfast Spiced Prune Cake

“This moist cake was a favorite of mine as a child – probably because it meant I could have cake for breakfast! Moist, spicy and delicious any time of day!”

Prep Time: 20 Min

Cook Time: 50 Min

Ready In: 1 Hr 10 Min

Servings: Recipe Yield1 – 9 inch tube cake

1 cup shortening

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1 1/3 cups stewed prunes, chopped

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan. In a large bowl, mix the shortening and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and prunes. Sift the flour, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl or onto a sheet of waxed paper. Stir in the dry ingredients 1/3 at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix in the walnuts if using. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the crown of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.

–from AllRecipes.com, August 2012

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Festive Prune Cake

“This is a relatively plain cake made moist with prunes and prune juice. Its nice to have a slice of this cake for breakfast in the morning.”

 

Servings: Recipe Yield1 9×13 inch cake or 2-8 inch rounds

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup shorteningfinds

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup prune juice

1 cup prunes, cooked and chopped

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Set aside. Cream the shortening with the white sugar. Blend in the eggs one at a time and beat well for 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the prune juice. Stir in the prunes and nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until done.

–from AllRecipes.com, August 2012

Note: this makes a decent 9-inch square cake. Mom finds it too sweet, I thought it was okay except for the prune flavor, and I cut way back on the spices, which might help mask that. – LLF

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Shedding late-summer tears for the end of cherry season.

Patiently and hopefully waiting for pumpkin pie season. –Terri Guillemets +++++++++++++

Pumpkin Pie

1 30-oz. can cooked pumpkin puree

4 eggs, beaten lightly

1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

pinch ground ginger

1 13-oz. can evaporated milk

enough fresh milk to fill about 3/4 of the evaporated milk can

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 deep-dish 9-inch pie shells, unbaked

Place your oven rack about 1/3 of the way from the top, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs to combine well. I often add a tablespoon or so of flour at this point, as I’m not sure the commercial pumpkin is as solid as it used to be, especially if you buy a store brand. Also, be careful that you’re buying plain cooked pumpkin, not a mix already containing sugar and spices; they are easy to confuse! In a smaller bowl, combine the sugar, salt and spices and blend well; gradually stirr this into the pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Stir in the milk and blend well; add the vanilla and mix thoroughly

Carefully pour the pie filling into your pie shells, and very carefully place the pies in the oven — spills are not fun to clean up afterwards. Bake pies for 15 minutes at 425 degrees; reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the filling is set in the middle of each pie. Most ovens heat unevenly, so it’s good to rotate your pans at least once while baking, and you might need to switch them from side to side in the oven as well. Cool pies on racks if possible, and store them in the refrigerator, or at least keep them as cool as possible.

–from Mary L. Frederick, circa 1975, which she modified from the recipe found on Libbey’s Pumpkin labels during the 1950’s

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Raisin Cream Pie 1 – 1/2 cups raisins, dark or golden 3 tablespoons rum or orange juice 1 – 1/2 cups water 1 egg 1 – 1/2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon orange rind [or zest?] 1/3 cup flour 1/4 cup lemon juice dash salt 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine raisins, rum and water in a heavy saucepan, and allow to sit 20 minutes or so, so the raisins can plump up. In a medium bowl, beat the egg thoroughly; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Add egg mixture to the raisins. Bring filling to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook till mixture thickens; allow to cool. Pour filling into the pie crust, and bake about 25 minutes, till crust is nicely browned and filling is bubbly. Cool before serving. –from Great Old-Fashioned American Desserts

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Red Beans 2 lb. dried uncooked pinto beans* 1 teaspoon baking soda several changes of water in kettle 2 cups beef broth, optional 1 tablespoon cooking oil pinch allspice 1 to 2 tablespoons dried basil 2 to 3 bay leaves 1 tablespoon celery flakes, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh celery tops 1/8 teaspoon ground clove 1 tablespoon fennel seed, ground if possible 1 to 2 teaspoons oregano 2 tablespoons parsley flakes (if using fresh parsley, add with next group of ingredients) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes, or to taste 1 teaspoon rosemary, crumbled 1/2 teaspoon sage 1 teaspoon savory 1 to 2 teaspoons thyme 3 to 4 carrots, sliced 3 to 4 ribs celery, sliced 3 to 4 medium onions, sliced 1 cup green pepper, diced 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon cider vinegar 1/2 to 1 cup browned flour ** 1 to 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder 1 to 2 teaspoons beef base [boullion powder] if broth is not used for cooking 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 2 to 3 medium onions, diced 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced fine 1/2 to 1 pound polish sausage, in bite-sized pieces (I like Hillshire Farms for this) *** 1/2 to 1 teaspoon marjoram additional thyme, basil and fennel seed to taste salt, pepper, hot sauce all to taste In a 6-quart kettle, cover beans with cold water; bring to boil over moderate heat; add baking soda and stir well. Remove kettle from heat. Let beans stand, covered, till they cool to room temperature, making sure there is plenty of water in the kettle, as beans will absorb more than you’d think. Change soaking water at least twice. Beans may soak several hours to overnight. If holding longer before cooking, keep covered and chilled. Drain and rinse beans well in a colander, and place back in the kettle with about 2 to 3 quarts cold water. [They have changed something in processing dried beans, and I must use a pressure cooker for beans now, cooking them 45 to 50 minutes under pressure; otherwise they will not get tender for me. – LLF, 2012] Add the second group of ingredients given above, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Simmer beans 90 to 130 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are tender. Add next group of ingredients, and cook till veggies are done, at least 20 minutes. If needed, add more water.

Stir in next ingredients, and cook, stirring frequently, as the flour tends to stick, about 5 to 10 minutes more. Add last items, and adjust seasoning to taste; let beans stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving over unseasoned long-grained rice. * If you like, use red kidney beans, or the roundish ones you see in New Orleans if available. ** You can always make a brown roux of equal parts flour and oil–and stir it for 30 to 45 minutes over a hot skillet. It’s easier to spread 1-2 cups flour in a shallow baking pan, and brown it in a 325 degree oven about an hour, stirring occasionally until it browns noticeably, and no longer tastes raw. Keep unused flour in the freezer for later use–it goes rancid very quickly otherwise. *** Proper Cajun andouil or garlic sausage can always be used if available, but Polish sausage is quite good. — LLF, September 2001

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Rye Bread

8 ounces rough (coarse) rye flour, plus extra to dust kneading surface

6 ounces high-gluten bread flour

2 ounces whole wheat flour

1/2 ounce cake compressed yeast, about 4 teaspoons crumbled

3 tablespoons mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons warm (100-110 degrees F.) water

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for greasing pan

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dill seed

3/4 cup buttermilk

 

1 egg white, beaten till foamy

In a large bowl, mix the flours together, and dry them in the sun, or in a low oven. In a small bowl, mix yeast, mashed potatoes and warm water, smoothing any lumps. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour in the yeast mixture, covering it with flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it proof for 20 minutes at 75 degrees. Uncover the bowl, and stir in the surrounding flour to combine well. Gradually add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. The dough will be rather stiff and sticky.

Turn the dough out on a lightly-floured board or counter. Quickly clean and generously butter the mixing bowl. Knead the dough for a few minutes, dusting it sparingly with flour as needed. Form the dough into a round cushion shape, and return it to the bowl, flipping it once so both sides get buttered. Again cover the bowl with plastic, and let the dough proof overnight at 55 to 65 degrees.

Next day, turn the dough out on a lightly-floured surface and knead it for about 2 minutes. Cut it in two, , and form each piece into an oval log shape. Grease 2 baking sheets, sprinkle them with flour, and place a loaf on each sheet. Cover them, and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until the dough increases by about 1/3 in size. Bake in the middle of the oven, for 25 minutes at 425 degrees; reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer. Brush the top of the loaves with beaten egg white, and return to the oven for 1 minute. Cool bread on racks.

–from Diana Kennedy, Nothing Fancy

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Sandy’s Caramels

 

1 cup butter

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups light corn syrup

2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar and corn syrup and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, still stirring, for 5 minutes more, then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 1 can of the milk, and half the second can. Carefully combine the remaining milk with the flour, and stir this into the pan, blending well.

Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture darkens, and forms a medium-hard ball when tested by dropping a small amount of the syrup into a dish of cold water, and reaches 240 degrees F. on a candy thermometer. *

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Quickly pour candy into a well-buttered 9 by 12 inch cake pan. Cool it completely before cutting into 1-inch squares with a sharp buttered knife. Wrap each caramel in waxed paper, place in containers or zip-lock bags, and keep them in a cool place.

–from Sandy (Morgan) Howard, circa 1998

* My mom says her cook time for these runs about 40 to 45 minutes, but I’m not sure if that’s the total time, or after adding the milk and flour. A ton of stirring, either way. – LLF

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Secret Sugar Cream Pie 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2/3 cup brown sugar 5 to 5 – 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch pinch salt 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell, which doesn’t need to be deep ground nutmeg and allspice for sprinkling In a heavy saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients and blend well, getting out all lumps if possible. Gradually mix in the cream, blending to combine very well. Add milk and mix thoroughly. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil; continue cooking for 1to 2 minutes more, still stirring. Remove your pan from the heat, and stir in vanilla. Combine well and spoon filling into pie shell. Sprinkle the filling generously with nutmeg, sparingly with allspice. Bake about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees, until the crust is golden, and the filling bubbles. Cool before serving. –LLF, based on memories, descriptions of my great-grandmother’s recipe, circa 1975

 

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Shortbread

2 cups flour

1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter, softened

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and sugar; mix well. Using a hand pastry blender, or a heavy-duty electric mixer, cut in the butter. Knead the dough gently by hand for just a few seconds, and form it into a circle 3/4 inch thick on a non-stick baking sheet. Flute the edges, and prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, until it just begins to turn light brown. Let shortbread cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Once cooled, cut or break the shortbread into smaller pieces.

–The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Our Immigrant Ancestors

Note: This dough can also be shaped or cut into smaller cookies, which will naturally bake in less time. – LLF

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“Walkers” Shortbread

 

This is a pretty close knock off for Walker’s shortbread. Be sure to really pack the dough down to get it right.

 

Minutes to Prepare: 40

Minutes to Cook: 30

Number of Servings: 20

 

1 cup Softened Butter

1 cup Powdered Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

4 cups White Flour

 

Blend softened butter with powdered sugar until well mixed. Add vanilla and slowly blend in flour until clumpy.

Knead into a ball and evenly spread out into buttered 13×9 baking dish. Press dough down until even and divide into 3″x3/4″ fingers being careful to not cut all the way through. Using a fork poke holes into each cookie.

 

Bake at 345F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for ten minutes on cooling rack. Transfer to cutting board and separate individual cookies.

 

–Recipe from SparkRecipes, January 2016

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Scottish Shortbread II

“Light, very buttery. Does not make a large batch, but are simple enough to make many batches. Recipe does not double well.”

 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup white sugar

3/4 cup butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Blend all ingredients well. Dough will be stiff.

Press into a 9 x 9 inch buttered dish. Prick top with a fork.

Bake until pale golden brown on the edges. Cool and cut into squares.

 

–Recipe By:Cheryl Otten

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 Allrecipes.com

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Scottish Shortbread

There are many different recipes for shortbread out there, and I have to say that I like most of them. Who could resist such a buttery treat? Walkers Shortbread is one of my favorites. I like the tender, but not crumbly, consistency of the shortbread and the way that it seems to melt in your mouth when you eat it. It is also very satisfying to eat for something so small. I wanted to make something as similar as possible to that classic Scottish shortbread at home and with the help of the ingredients list on the back of some of my favorite brands, I began to experiment.

This shortbread recipe is very simple and uses just flour, sugar, butter and a little bit of salt. I wanted the shortbread to have a tender, melt in your mouth texture and this recipe delivers exactly that. The shortbread have a wonderful consistency and a very buttery flavor, with just a hint of sweetness that makes them satisfying. The key to getting a sandy texture in the shortbread is to use quite a bit of butter and blend it into the flour very well, so only very tiny pieces remain. Unlike a pie crust, you don’t want your shortbread to be flaky. Instead, you want it to have a very uniform consistency. The best way to mix up the dough is in the food processor, but if you have a little patience you can also rub in the butter by hand.

Score the shortbread dough with a sharp knife before baking. You will need to cut it as soon as it comes out of the oven, while it is still hot, so you get clean slices. It is best to cut the shortbread into small pieces because it is rich and having smaller pieces will make it last longer. This shortbread keeps well and can be made in advance, and stored in an airtight container for at least a few days.

3 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter (pref. European-style), chilled

 

Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to blend. Cut butter into large chunks and add to food processor. Whiz for about 1 minute, until dough has a very sandy and starts to clump together. Pour into a 9-inch square pan and spread into an even layer. Use a flat-bottomed glass to press down the dough firmly, creating as smooth a surface as possible. Score dough lightly with a knife, marking 4 rows by 8 rows of shortbread pieces. Dock the dough with a fork, if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until shortbread is lightly browned all over. While the shortbread is still hot, use a sharp knife to cut shortbread all the way through along the lines you scored prior to baking. Allow shortbread to cool completely once it has been cut. When cool, shortbread pieces should break apart very easily. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 32 pieces.

 

–from Baking Bites, January 2016

 

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Sour Cream Raisin Pie 4 large egg yolks 2 c. sour cream 10 T. sugar 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1-1/4 c. dark raisins 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. lemon juice, optional 4 large egg whites pinch cream of tartar pinch salt 3 to 4 T. powdered sugar 1 partly-baked 9-inch pie shell, deep-dish Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy saucepan, combine egg yolks, sour cream, sugar and flour; combine well, then mix in the raisins. The mixture will be thick at first, but thins as you begin to heat it. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick again, and looks glossy and pudding-like, with plumped raisins–about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and taste filling, adding lemon juice if needed for balance. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar and salt. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and continue beating until whites hold their shape, but are still glossy. Top the filling with meringue, covering surface completely to touch the pie crust. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Let the pie cool at least 1 hour before serving. –from American Home Cooking

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The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary, no painter’s pallet can duplicate nature’s artistry. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com ++++++++++++++++

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Spinach Salad 2 boiled eggs, or more, chopped–I use more, removing most egg yolks 1/4 c. shredded carrot, if desired–or a small carrot can be diced and microwaved with the onion 1/4 c. celery, sliced thin, if desired 1 bag washed spinach or baby spinach–it’s worth the money, very clean! 1 med. to large onion, sliced or chopped about 4 oz. polish sausage, quartered and thinly sliced, or to taste–normal folks use crisp bacon. of course 1/4 c. diced bell pepper, if desired 1 small clove garlic, minced fine about 2 T. cooking oil about 1-2 T. cider vinegar ? 1-2 T. brown sugar about 1 tsp. fennel seed, whole or crushed, optional 1-3 T. fresh parsley, snipped pinch of tarragon, thyme, any herbs you like dash of hot sauce or pinch of cayenne if desired salt, pepper to taste In large bowl, place chopped eggs, carrot, and spinach, rinsed and chopped to bite size pieces. Microwave the onion and sausage in a 4-6 cup bowl, adding peppers and garlic after about 2 minutes; cook 1 more minute, or until onions reach desired doneness, but still have a slight crunch. Add oil, vinegar and sugar; mix with a fork and season to taste, aiming for a sweet-sour effect. Return the bowl to the microwave 1-2 more minutes, stir and adjust seasonings. While still warm, pour dressing, sausage and the rest over spinach, tossing to mix well. Serve immediately. Sorry nothing is more exact, but I don’t measure anything, just sort of judge by how much spinach I have, and go from there. The amounts can all vary with your own preferences. — LLF, January 2005

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Springerles

 

4 large eggs

1 lb. fine granulated sugar [? not powdered sugar?]

4 drops pure anise oil [or about 1 teaspoon anise extract?]

4 1/2 c. sifted cake flour

1 and 1/4 Tablespoons crushed anise seed (optional)

 

Beat eggs with an electric mixer [unless you are an incurable masochist!], until thick. Add sugar gradually, beating well between each addition, until all is thoroughly combined; then beat for 15 minutes more — this will make for a light finished cookie. . Stir in the anise oil and blend, then fold in flour lightly.

 

Roll dough out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness. Flour springerle molds or rolling pins before each use, and press them firmly into the dough. Cut cookies along lines of imprints.

 

Place cookies on greased cookie sheets, after sprinkling sheets with crushed anise seed if desired. Leave in a cool place to dry overnight, or at least for a few hours.

 

In the morning, place the cookies in a moderate (375 degree F.) oven to set the shapes; but immediately reduce heat to a slow 300 degrees F. When done, in 12 to 15 minutes, cookies should be only lightly colored, with the appearance of being iced. Cool thoroughly on racks before storing.

 

You can color in details with a brush if you like, using a bit of food color thinned with water. [It doesn’t say if you do this before or after the cookies bake – I’m guessing after. – LLF]

 

Keep cookies in a tightly sealed container for 2 to 3 weeks to develop best flavor before consumption. If they get too hard, place a piece of cut apple in the container for a day or so before you need the cookies. [Just don’t leave it to rot and go moldy! – LLF]

 

–from Fante’s Springerle page, 12/2001:

 

http://fantes.com/springerle.html

 

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Grandma’s Springerle

 

History –

These are my mother’s and husband’s favorite, and the Christmas baking rises and falls (pardon the pun) on the success of the Springerle. In my family, every other cookie can be picture-perfect, (and for my aunts, usually is), but if the Springerle fail, it wasn’t a good year. Do the tops crack? Do they rise unevenly? Does the oven door fall off onto the cookie sheet that’s ready for the oven? Does the mixer motor burn out? If there is time to bake only one kind of cookie, it must be the Springerle!

 

The name Springerle comes from an old German dialect, and means ‘little knight’, probably because of the pictures of knights on the cookies. According to Mimi Sherton’s Visions of Sugarplums: A Cookbook of Cakes, Cookies, Candies and Confections from All the Countries That Celebrate Christmas, the poor would offer cookies stamped with pictures in place of more expensive sacrifices. This is an old recipe, probably similar to my great-grandmother’s. Great-Grandma would have Great-Grandpa beat the batter the requisite hour by hand, and he spent most of the time asking, “Is it done yet?”

 

A number of people have contributed Springerle recipes: Eric, Jan Bissel, Horst Ehrhardt

 

Ingredients –

6 eggs

3 cups (1 and 1/2 lb.) sugar

3/4 teaspoon hartshorn or baking powder

5 to 6 cups flour

 

anise seeds [enough to sprinkle 3 baking sheets if used]

* modern alternative – 1 to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons anise extract, or 5 to 6 drops pure anise oil

 

Directions –

Do not double this recipe! [In fact, I would not try a batch with more than 4 eggs – and 3 might be advisable. – LLF]

 

In a large (at least 4.5 quart) bowl, beat the eggs until very pale and light. Gradually beat in the sugar; keep on beating – by hand at least 1 hour, 30 minutes by mixer. * Add anise extract or oil at this point if using this option, and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder with 5 cups flour; gradually and gently add this by hand to the egg mixture. This should make a stiff dough, so add more flour if needed to reach that consistency. Allow dough to rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

 

Grease three cookie sheets and sprinkle them with anise seeds, if you choose that option. Anise in some form is what gives the cookies their characteristic flavor. Roll out small portions of the dough on a well-floured surface, to about 1/2 inch thick. Dust the springerle mold with flour between each use, pressing designs firmly into the dough. Cut out cookies with a sharp knife, cleaning the blade often to remove sticky dough. Let cookies stand, covered with a clean cloth, at least 24 hours. [Lesley says this is too long, and makes them too dry. – LLF]

 

The next day –

Bake one tray at a time in a 350 degree oven until cookies are white on top, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool them thoroughly on racks before storage.

 

Notes-

Molds are available through The House on the Hill, Fante’s, Kitchen Kapers, and other kitchenware suppliers. Flat molds are easier to use than rolling pin molds, as the rolling pins tend to distort the dough and the pictures. Older molds and imported molds generally have more detailed, sharper pictures.

 

Hartshorn is the traditional leavening. It is an ammonia compound and not harmful after baking. However, you can’t eat the raw dough, and the kitchen will stink of ammonia while the cookies bake.

 

Make sure your mixer is up to the job of these cookies! I burned out the motor on my mother’s Sunbeam the first year I made these on my own. Faced with a dearth of Springerle at Christmas, or beating the batter by hand, my husband bought me a new mixer for Thanksgiving.

 

–from a Fante’s link for Grandma’s Springerle Cookies, 12/2011

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Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts! ~James Beard ++++++++ Top of Form 1

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State Fair White Bread 3 T. sugar * 3 pkg. dry yeast * 8-9 c. flour 1 1/2 c. warm milk 2 T. salt * 4 1/2 T. warm bbutter * In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 T. sugar and 1 1/2 c. lukewarm (105-110 degree) water; Sprinkle yeast on top and proof for 10 minutes. Stir in 2 3/4 c. flour, and let this rise, covered with a damp cloth in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Combine milk, remaining sugar, salt and butter and warm gently to dissolve sugar and salt, then let cool to lukewarm; add to yeast ‘sponge’ and mix well. Gradually mix in remaining flour, to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn dough out on well-floured surface, and knead 10-15 minutes, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until mass is smooth and elastic. Place dough into well-oiled large bowl, and let it rise, covered … for 45-60 minutes, until it has doubled its bulk. Punch down the dough, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place these into 2 well-greased bread pans and let them rise, covered … for 30-45 minutes, till almost doubled. Preheat oven to 425 degrees; place bread on middle rack and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes, till tops are golden and breads test done. Turn out of pans and cool completely on racks. — ‘Gourmet,’ Sept. 1988, “Entering the East Idaho State Fair” * Modifications – I use 6 T. sugar and 2 pkg. dry yeast, using 2 T. sugar for proofing the yeast. And I use 3-4 tsp. salt, and 6 T. butter. When bread is nearly done, brushing the tops with 2 T. butter makes a great, softer crust. This recipe also makes wonderful yeast rolls. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Sugar Cut-out Cookies

 

1 – 1/3 cups shortening, at room temperature *

1 – 1/2 cups sugar

1 – 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

3 tablespoons milk

 

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

 

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg and beat till light and fluffy. Stir in the milk to combine well.

 

Sift together the dry ingredients, and gradually add them to the creamed mixture. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 pieces. Shape these into balls; wrap and chill them at least 1 hour before continuing. Keep the dough chilled until ready to roll it — in fact, if possible do the whole rolling process in a cool room.

 

On a lightly-floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. [Yes, that is what the recipe says, but who are they kidding? I never roll dough that thin, and if you could, the cookies would be very finicky to handle! Try for 1/4 inch dough, and just mix up extra dough if you need zillions of cookies. Personally, I get very tired of the whole decorating process very quickly — so recruit lots of eager artists if you can! – LLF]

 

Cut out shapes and place cookies 1 inch apart on well-greased baking sheets. [If decorating with colored sugar, this should be applied before baking. The baking times are more even if you can have a full sheet with all the same shapes, or at least cookies of similar sizes – but this is not always possible, especially with a small batch. — LLF]

 

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for about 6 to 8 minutes, or till edges start to brown slightly. Cool a bit on the sheets, then move to racks to finish cooling before frosting. Makes about 3 dozen cookies [though how do you estimate them? What would Archimedes do? – LLF]

 

* These are pretty bland, so I like butter for the shortening, but of course frosting would cover any lack of flavor. – LLF

 

–from Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies, 1960’s edition

 

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Tarte Tatin

A Sweet History of the Quintessential & Accidental French Tart

… I’ll tell you a story: a quirky history of Tarte Tatin, that legendary French treat, and the Tatin sisters who started it all.

Our story begins in the late 1800’s in a small town in the Loire valley with two sisters, unmarried, who ran a small hotel. At the desk was the youngest, the tender-hearted Caroline Tatin. Every pensionnaire of the hotel considered her a friend, and many sought her out for confidential advice on affairs of the heart.

The older sister, Stéphanie Tatin, took care of the cooking, and she could be found at any time of day working the stove with her big copper pots. Her specialty was tarte aux pommes, that traditional French apple pie, which she served crunchy and caramelized, with melted sugar and butter. One day when she was preparing lunch in a bit of a hurry, by mistake Stéphanie put the apples and sugar in the pan without putting the crust in first. In a rush she threw the crust on top, baked it a bit too long, then turned it out on a plate, upside down, not bothering to let it cool as she usually did. Et voila, the delicious tarte tatin was born.

Ah, but then the intrigue begins! Maxim’s, the famous Paris restaurant, got wind of the popularity of the tart, and engaged a chef to pose as a gardener and steal the recipe. It has been on their menu ever since. But the best tarte tatin on the planet is made by our own châtelaine, Nicole. I’m privileged to present you with her formerly secret recipe.

Nicole’s Incomparable Tarte Tatin

For the filling: 6 medium sized apples, cored & peeled. Cut 4 in half, 2 in quarters. [Nicole says any apple will do, and she sometimes mixes varieties. Traditionally it’s made with firm dessert apples, not cooking apples).] 2 – 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted (30g) ¾ cup sugar (150g)

For the crust:

1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup, (120g), softened 1/3 cup sugar (75g) 1 egg 1 – 2/3 cups flour (250g)

Crème fraiche, or whipped cream to garnish

NOTE: Plan this dessert so you take it out of the oven about an hour before you are ready to serve it. It is always served warm.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Your pan should be about 8 inches (20cm) in diameter and at least 2 inches (5 cm) deep (Nicole uses a heavy pottery dish. We southern girls would use a cast iron skillet). Swirl the melted butter around the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the butter. Arrange the apple halves, cut side down, on top of the sugar. Fill in spaces with the quarters. Cook about an hour; apples will brown lightly.

Meanwhile, make the pastry: Cream butter and sugar together until well blended. Add egg, mix well. Stir in flour to make a dough. On floured surface, form dough into a long cylinder, cut into thirds, and pile up the 3 pieces. Mix/knead them together with your hands until blended. Repeat 2 more times. Roll out to circle a little larger than your pan; dough will be a tad bit thicker than a normal pie crust.

When apples are done, cover apples with dough and tuck in edges around apples. Bake 50 minutes more. Set pan out to cool, for 1 hour. Just before serving, Cover pan with a plate and flip pan and plate together carefully, turning tarte out onto plate. Serve with cream.

As the French say: miam miam!

–from Southern Fried French blog, 26 June 2010

http://www.southernfriedfrench.com/blog/2010/06/the-history-of-the-quintessential-accidental-french-tart.html

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Tea Tree Recipes

How to Use Tea Tree Oil: Top 10 Everyday Uses

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

By Ben H.

Affordable, readily available, time-tested, versatile… these are just a few of the many reasons why tea tree oil (also called melaleuca oil) has become one of the most popular essential oils in the home. Some have come to call tea tree oil the “jack of all trades” herbal oil because of its many uses for natural health and throughout your home. One little bottle goes a long way, but before we talk about how to use tea tree oil, let’s get to know this natural gift from down under.

What is Tea Tree Oil?Tea tree or melaleuca oil comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree plant known as Melaleuca alternifolia. According to the researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia, several native aboriginal communities have long used tea tree and its extractions for natural health purposes, specifically for topical applications. As is so often the case, our ancient ancestors seem to have been one step ahead, as we’re still just discovering all that tea tree oil has to offer.

The name “tea tree” comes from British explorer James Cook, who in the 1770s watched the native Australians brew batches of tea using the plant’s leaves. Cook referred to the plant as the tea tree and began making his own “health tea” to serve to his crew in order to help keep them well for their travels.

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Is Tea Tree Oil Safe?The quick answer is yes, but as with anything, you need to follow label instructions and recommendations. Skincare is the most common use for tea tree oil, but it can dry out your skin. Always dilute it before applying to your skin, and start with a low concentration until you determine how your skin will react. Tea tree oil is not safe to ingest. It is only meant for topical applications and the various cleaning applications covered above.

 

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10 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil

1 Beautifying Skin Cleanser The most popular way to use tea tree oil is in any number of different skin care applications. Of those, this simple skin cleanser recipe reigns supreme. All you need is just a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in 30 drops of witch hazel. This combination can be used daily for your skin cleansing needs, but be careful not to overdo it. As with any cleanser, it can dry out your skin.

 

2 Refreshing Foot Bath Let’s face it; if there’s one body part that usually gets ignored, it’s your feet. But they do so much work for us throughout the day–they deserve a little pampering, too. For a rejuvenating, comforting (and fresh smelling) foot bath, combine the following all-natural ingredients:

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

4 cups water

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon Epsom salts

10 drops tea tree oil

Combine the rosemary, sage and ginger in a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil, and then remove from heat, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the herbs and mix in the baking soda, Epsom salts and tea tree oil. Pour the concoction into your foot spa or any basin big enough for your feet, and soak for up to 15 minutes.

 

3 Skin-softening Balm Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of warm coconut oil. Allow the mixture to return to a solid state and apply to hands, knees, elbows or any area of your body that deserves a little extra moisturizing and softening attention.

 

4 All-natural Bathroom Cleaner The bathroom is probably one of the rooms in your home that gets cleaned the most. Instead of using store-bought cleaners with all of their toxic chemicals (which end up going down the drain), try this tea tree oil bathroom cleaner recipe instead:

Combine one cup of vinegar (apple cider vinegar, perhaps) with half a teaspoon of tea tree oil Add this mixture to a spray bottle and get cleaning! Feel free to double or triple the recipe depending on the size of your spray bottle… or how many bathrooms you need to clean.

 

5 Humidifier Cleaner Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to the water reservoir of your humidifier. The tea tree oil’s natural cleansing properties will refresh and renew your humidifier so that it provides the freshest, healthiest humidified air for your home. This all-natural cleaning solution is ideal for parents with little kids in the house who regularly run small humidifiers to help the little ones sleep.

 

6 Toothbrush Cleaner Few people think about cleaning their toothbrush, but it’s strongly recommended. Add a drop or two of tea tree oil to a small cup of water and soak your toothbrush in the solution while you’re at work. You’ll come home to a fresh toothbrush.

 

7 Natural Pest Control Tea tree oil has a distinctive smell that will naturally (and safely) keep ants and other insects away. You can apply tea tree oil directly to small areas of your home where bugs may be entering in from the outside, but you can also make your own homemade insect repellant lotion by combining a few drops of tea tree oil with some coconut oil.

 

8 Laundry Refresher Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your regular detergent will make your laundry smell crisper and fresher when it comes out to dry. Its natural properties will also boost the cleansing power of your regular wash cycle.

 

9 Mold Cleaner Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with two cups of apple cider vinegar inside a spray bottle. Use this potent combination to attack mold growing around your windowsills (a common issue that can arise from uncontrolled humidity levels) or on the surfaces in your bathroom.

 

10 Tea Tree Oil Deodorant There are a lot of natural DIY deodorant recipes out there, but the most popular (and reportedly most effective) ones all have one thing in common: tea tree oil. You’ll need:

1/3 cup baking soda

1/2 cup cornstarch

5 tablespoons coconut oil

15-20 drops tea tree oil

Mix the baking soda and cornstarch together first while combining the softened coconut oil and tea tree oil together in a separate bowl. Add the two mixtures together and allow to set into a solid form.

[I just tried this, but I’m wondering if they suggest too much cornstarch, or perhaps I pack it down too firmly? May try equal amount to oil and soda. Don’t know yet how well it works. – LLF, January 2016]

 

–from Swanson newsletter site, October 2015

 

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Toasted Butter-Pecan Cake

1 – 1/3 cups chopped pecans

3 tablespoons butter, in bits

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 – 1/3 cups sugar

1 – 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

In a shallow baking pan, spread chopped pecans and dot with 3 tablespoons butter. Toast nuts about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, stirring occasionally. Cool in the pan while mixing the cake batter.

In a large bowl, cream the remaining butter. Gradually mix in the sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Sift together the dry ingredients, and add gradually to the batter, alternately with the milk, and beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the toasted pecans.

Bake in 2 greased and floured 8-inch pans at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, till layers test done. Cool 5 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto racks to cool thoroughly before frosting.

Toasted Butter-Pecan Frosting

4 tablespoons soft butter

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 to 3 tablespoons cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup toasted pecans, reserved from cake recipe above

Place butter in a medium bowl, and gradually beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla and enough cream to make a spreadable frosting; mix in pecans and use to frost Toasted Butter Pecan Cake, as given above.

–from Better Homes and Gardens Pies and Cakes Cookbook, 1960’s edition

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A three-year-old gave this reaction to her Christmas dinner: “I don’t like the turkey, but I like the bread he ate.” ~Author Unknown

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Turkey Roasting Timetable 12 to 15 pounds, unstuffed 325 degrees 20 to 25 minutes per pound 12 to 15 pounds stuffed 325 degrees 25 to 30 minutes per pound 16 to 22 pounds stuffed or unstuffed 300 degrees 20 minutes per pound

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Bread-baking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread. –M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating ++++++++++++++

“Unfair” Whole Wheat Bread 4 T sugar 2 pkg. dry yeast 2 3/4 c. unbleached flour 3/4 c. warm milk 3/4 c. water 1 c. brown sugar, or slightly more 6 T. warm margarine or oil 1 T. salt * 1 tsp. dill seed 1 tsp. caraway seed 5-6 c. whole wheat flour 2 T. butter or margarine to brush loaves when almost done Proof yeast in large bowl with 4 T. sugar in 1 1/2 c. lukewarm water for 10 minutes. Stir in unbleached flour to combine well; let this rise, covered with a damp cloth in a warm place for about 55-70 minutes. Combine next group of ingredients and warm gently in microwave to partially dissolve brown sugar, then cool to lukewarm. Add to yeast ‘sponge’ and mix well. Gradually mix in whole wheat flour, to form a soft, rather sticky dough. Turn dough out on well-floured surface, and knead 10-15 minutes, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until mass is smooth and elastic. Place dough into well-oiled large bowl, and let it rise, covered … for 65-90 minutes, until it has doubled its bulk. Punch down the dough, and divide into 2 equal pieces. Place these into 2 well-greased bread pans and let them rise, covered … for 40-55 minutes, till almost doubled. Preheat oven to 425 degrees; place bread on middle rack and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 45-50 minutes more, or till tops are brown and breads test done. Turn out of pans and cool completely on racks. * If using oil. you may use slightly more salt–or less brown sugar? — adapted from State Fair White Bread recipe above, c. 1997 ++++++++++++

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Vanilla Pudding

2 cups milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract *

1 tablespoon butter

In a medium saucepan at low to medium heat, heat milk until bubbles form at the edges. In a smallish bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour dry ingredients into the hot milk, a little at a time, stirring to dissolve thoroughly. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in butter and vanilla; combine well. Pour pudding into serving dishes, and cool before serving.

* I use vanilla powder, which I add with the dry ingredients. – LLF

–from AllRecipes.com, July 2013

 

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As the days grow short, some faces grow long. But not mine. Every autumn, when the wind turns cold and darkness comes early, I am suddenly happy. It’s time to start making soup again. ~Leslie Newman +++++++++++++++

 

Vegetable-Beef Soup

2 to 3 large onions, chopped 1 lb. ground beef, or chuck roast, cut in bite-size pieces 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced salt, ground pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin seed, fennel seed, cayenne to taste

1 15-oz. can beef broth, optional * 1 16-oz. can green beans, with liquid 4 to 6 medium carrots, sliced 3 to 4 ribs celery, sliced 1/2 to 1 c. bell pepper, diced 2 to 4 large onions, chopped 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced pinch ground allspice 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried basil 1 large bay leaf pinch ground cayenne 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. cumin seed 1 tsp. fennel seed 1/4 tsp. marjoram 1/2 tsp. oregano 1 T. parsley flakes, or 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley 1/4 tsp. rosemary, crumbled 1/2 tsp. tarragon, crumbled 1 tsp. dried thyme

4 to 6 c. potatoes, diced 1 qt. diced tomatoes, or 4 to 6 c. tomato juice

1 16-oz. can whole-kernel corn, with liquid 1 16-oz. can sweet peas, with liquid 1 to 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

Place the first batch of onions in the bottom of a heavy 6-quart kettle, then add the beef; add garlic and seasonings. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat until the meat is done. Add the next group of ingredients. If you use ground beef, break it up with a large spoon at this point, then bring the kettle to a boil, covered; let simmer about 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the soup, then add the potatoes and tomatoes to the kettle; you may want to sprinkle a little salt over the potatoes. Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the final ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste; stir and cover the soup long enough to heat the peas and corn before serving.

* You can add water instead of broth, and even with the broth and the liquid drained from all the canned vegetables, I often add an extra cup of water to the kettle, to cover the veggies well. If you’re using frozen beans, corn and peas, I’d use an additional cup of water or broth. I always seem to nearly exceed what will fit into my kettle – I get carried away chopping up carrots and potatoes, apparently.

Note on seasonings – I’ve listed a rough estimate of the herbs and spices I use, but I’d say you could use about equal amounts of poultry seasoning and Italian seasoning without much difference to the taste. I like a good bit of basil, cumin and fennel myself, but they are certainly not traditional, so just use what you like.

—LLF, c. 1977

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Waffles The waffle recipe I have found to be a good consistency: 2 large eggs 2 cups all purpose flour 2 cups milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon light brown sugar * 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Heat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl until fluffy. Sift flour into bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Using “ice cream scoop”, scoop one portion scoop of batter in a circle close to the edges and one scoop into the middle. (this distributes the batter a little more evenly to fill out the heart.) Close lid and cook until done. Use tongs to remove the waffle, placing on a plate bottom side up. –from Amazon wafflemaker review, March 2007

* As given, this makes a very plain waffle, so try more brown sugar, if this doesn’t make them stick. – LLF

++++++++++++++++++++++

White Chocolate Cake

4 ounces white chocolate, broken in pieces

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 unbeaten egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 – 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks *

Place white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl; add boiling water and stir till chocolate melts, then allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, preferrably using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar till smooth and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla and mix well.

Sift dry ingredients together, then gradually add this to the batter, alternately with the buttermilk. Beat until batter is smooth, and fold in beaten egg whites.

Pour batter into a buttered and floured 9 X 13-inch cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done. If making 2 8-inch layers, cake will be done a bit sooner. Cool the cake before frosting with White Chocolate Frosting (see separate recipe).

–from Jeannette Barber, c. 1985

* Add a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites before beating.

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Rich White Chocolate Frosting

4 ounces white chocolate, broken in pieces

2 tablespoons hot water

dash salt

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt chocolate slowly and gently (in top pan of a double-boiler, or in a microwave) and add sugar, salt and hot water, combining well. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and blend until smooth. [As I remember, this is not very thick at first, so you may need to chill it slightly to frost the sides of a cake. – LLF]

Note – This makes about 3/4 cup of frosting, enough for the top of a White Chocolate Cake (see separate recipe). If you need filling and icing for the sides, double the recipe.

–from Jeannette Barber, c. 1985

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Yellow Citrus Cake

2 cups flour

2 – 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

1 – 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon orange peel

1 – 1/2 teaspoons lemon peel

3 eggs

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the shortening about 30 seconds, then add sugar and fruit peels, and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk and lemon juice, beating well after each addition.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide cake batter between 2? well-greased and floured loaf pans. Bake about 30 minutes, or until layers test done. Cool on racks in their pans 10 minutes, then remove to finish cooling.

[The recipe calls for splitting the cake layers before adding filling, though I don’t recall doing that. Then again, I just used 8-inch round cake pans. -LLF] Spread Lemon Filling (see separate recipe) between layers, and frost the top and sides with Fluffy White Frosting II (also a separate recipe). Serves 12.

–from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

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Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. ~Jim Davis +++++++++++++++

Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground clove (optional)

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil 2 9 X 5-inch loaf pans. Sift together the dry ingredients in a very large mixing bowl. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil till light; add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla and mix well. Blend the egg mixture into the flour mixture, alternately with sour cream, just till combined. Fold in zucchini and nuts, mixing just to combine.

Divide batter between the loaf panns, and bake in the center of oven about 80 minutes, or till set. Cool in pans for 5-10 minutes before removing, then finish cooling completely on racks. This bread is supposed to be very moist, and it should freeze well when well-wrapped.

* Potato Variation: I had a glut of frozen mashed potatoes, which are watery and unpleasant when thawed. So I substituted 2 cups of half-thawed potatoes for the zucchini, and used water instead of sour cream, which I prefer when I have it. Next time, I may add an extra 3 to 4 tablespoons liquid, or decrease the amount of flour slightly. – LLF, March 2015

 

–from AllRecipes.com, August 2014

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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. –Unknown

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Zucchini-Tomato Summer Saute

This is a quick, tasty way to use some of your summer garden’s bounty, though I don’t recommend it for those monster zucchinis everyone has to deal with now and then. Smaller squash that can be cooked without peeling or removing the seed cavities work better for this dish. All quantities here are approximate, and so are the proportions. Just fit what you have to the pan you’re using, and season to your own taste. – LLF, August 2012

3 tablespoons cooking oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 ribs celery, sliced

2 to 3 medium carrots, sliced

about 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (optional)

3 to 4 medium zucchinis or summer squash, sliced, about 3 cups

4 to 5 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped, about 3 cups

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

hot sauce or red pepper flakes to taste

salt, black pepper to taste

about 1 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, to taste

2to 3 cups grated colby or cheddar cheese, 8 to 12 ounces

Place oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and peppers, and toss to coat with oil. Cover the pan, and reduce heat to medium-low; cook about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a lid for your pan, it can be covered with aluminum foil, just bbe careful of escaping steam when uncovering the pan .

Add squash, tomatoes, garlic and seasonings to the skillet; toss to combine ingredients; cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes more. Add the ketchup and worcestershire, stir, and adjust the seasonings. Top generously with grated cheese; cook on low heat with the lid on, till the cheese melts,and the sauce is bubbly, about 5 minutes more. Take the skillet off the heat, remove the lid and let the mixture stand for a few minutes before serving.

–from Lila McClure, 1980

Note: Because tomatoes and ketchup have so much acidity, I would not use an iron skillet for this dish. And if you don’t have all the herbs listed, Italian seasoning will work perfectly well. – LLF

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“There’s no such thing as bad food” Mama used to say. “There are only spoiled rotten children.” –Sam Levenson

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