Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Salad

I LOVE this turkey salad recipe! My husband does not and likes turkey and Miracle Whip only, nothing else. I like it too but my recipe rocks! Give this a try and eat it on a good homemade whole wheat bread. So good! Can you tell I am excited about eating it?? Better get this posted so I can eat!

White turkey meat-chopped into half-inch chunks
3 apples-chopped into half-inch chunks (I used organic jonagold)
4 stalks of celery-chopped
1 cup of walnuts or pecans-chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough mayo to make moist

I combine all the above ingredients. I like mine really chilled so I place it in the fridge for several hours, if I can wait that long before I eat it. I like it on bread as I said but I also like it on butter lettuce. Yummy! Not sure what I will make tomorrow. Next week my children have a party that I am making Christmas cookies for. Not sure what kind yet. One will be a sugar cookie with icing but not sure what other kinds I will make. We are also collecting stocking stuffers for needy children. Til later…

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008


Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie

Cranberry Sauce

Here are a few pictures of our Thanksgiving lunch. You do realize I make everything that we eat. I love it and would not have it any other way. We forgot to take pictures of most things. I could not believe it but we did. I was on auto pilot by this time and ready to get home. Oh, did I mention I cooked everything at my parents home. Remind me not to do that again if I even think about it, warn me not to. It is really hard to cook anywhere but home. I love my oven and hate my mothers. Well here are the pictures. Hope you like them. I will post some of my after the turkey recipes tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

We really like Turkey Meatloaf. At first mine were dry and just not meatloaf like. I started playing around with it and found this to be the best one for our family. Give it a try and you will love it too.

2 lbs. Ground turkey
1 lb. Shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs (I use free range)
½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Ketchup for the top of meatloaf
1-cup Italian bread crumbs (I make my own with 1 loaf of French bread, 1 cup of parsley, and 1 clove garlic-minced)
Parchment Paper
9x13 pan (Yes, I should own stock in a 9x13 company.)

Mix all of the ingredients except for ketchup in a large mixing bowl. I use my hands. Place parchment on 9x13 pan. Form meatloaf and place on parchment. Bake at 350’ for 1 hour. Place ketchup on top of meatloaf and place back in oven for 20 minutes. Should form a glaze on top of meatloaf.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

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Chocolate Chip Pie

This pie is to DIE for! One of our relatives made this pie and would not give me the recipe. NEVER WOULD!! I wanted to make it so bad. I searched high and low. Finally found the toll house recipe but it was not the same. I tweaked it a little and this is the way I like it best!


1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
2 large eggs(I use free range)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into pie shell.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with Cool Whip.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

I made this for my husband when we were first dating and he loved it! I have made it every Thanksgiving since. It is like cheesecake but a lot easier. All of our children like it too. My mother can eat a whole pie by herself. She is soo tiny I wonder where she puts it all.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie


1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T cream, chilled
1 T sugar
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip, thawed
1 cup cream, chilled
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 can Pumpkin
2 t Cinnamon
Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese, 1 T cream and sugar in large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread on bottom of pie crust.

Pour 1 cup cream into bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk for 1 minute (mixture will be thick). Stir in pumpkin and cinnamon with wire whisk until well mixed. Spread over cream cheese layer.

REFRIGERATE for 4 hours or until set. Garnish with more Cool Whip, if desired.

Pecan Pie

I first made a pecan pie when I was just married, that was 16 years ago. I used a Dear Abby recipe that I clipped out of the Tulsa World Newspaper. I thought it was a little too buttery, sorry Dear Abby. I worked with it and came up with this recipe. Hope you will give it a try. Pecan Pie is one of my many favorites.

Pecan Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie crust

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

3 eggs, slightly beaten ( I use eggs from my parents free range chickens. Their yolks are so yellow and pretty.)

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 t. salt

1 t. vanilla

1 cup pecan halves( I use organic from my parent's farm. They are so good!)

Heat oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust; I place pecans in a pretty pattern around the top of the pie.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is set. (Knife inserted in center will come out clean when pie is done.)

If crust or pie appears to be getting too brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time. Remove from oven and cool.

Pie Crust

First things first. I must give you my pie crust recipe before I give you ALL of my pie recipes that I am going to make for Thanksgiving. If Raine cooperates today I will post the following;
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
2 Layer Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Chip Pie
and the Pumpkin Roll

We will see how this goes. I think she knew what I was typing because she flew in here to get on my lap. Til later here is my pie crust recipe.

This is for a double crust. That way you can make two single crusts with this recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t salt
3/4 chilled Butter Flavor Crisco ( I only use Crisco. Off brands have a taste I don't like.)
4-8 T ice cold water (I put ice in my water to get it really cold)

Blend flour and salt very well in a mixing bowl. I use my Kitchen Aid. Makes my life a lot easier. Cut chilled shortening in until crumbly. Add water a Tablespoon at a time until dough can hold together when squeezed. Test by rolling a small ball of dough together and squeezing the ball. If it holds together dough has enough water if it crumbles you need more water.

Roll dough from center out. Bake according to pie instructions.

It is really not hard to make your own pie crust. I like to make extra and put in the freezer for later use.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deviled Eggs

My dad jokes that he cannot eat "deviled eggs" because they are too evil. Well, I guess he has eaten plenty of the eggs to know this, hee hee. This is something I always make when we have a get together and they never come home with me. Ransome and Raine both like them so I am making 18 this Thanksgiving. Maybe I will get one.

12 eggs-boiled and peeled. I use organic farm eggs from my folks farm. They are soo good!
2 cups of mayo
2 T Yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper for topping

I boil my eggs with 1/2 a cup of salt in the water. Doing this makes for easy peeling. Really, I kid you not. Once eggs are peeled cut them in half. Remove yolks. With a fork, mash yolks, add mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Once thoroughly mixed, spoon or pipe with a pastry bag and star tip into eggs halves. Sprinkle tops of yolk lightly with Cayenne pepper. Most people use paprika but we prefer the added spice of cayenne. Hope you give my eggs a try.

7 Layer Salad

This is such a pretty salad. It is really good too. Not so good for left overs so make sure you eat it up.

2 lbs. baby greens
3 carrots-shredded
3 stalks of celery-chopped
1/2 green pepper-sliced
1 small purple onion-thinly sliced
1 Pound of Sharp cheddar-shredded
1 pound of bacon-cooked crisp
1 1/2 cups of mayo
1 package frozen peas
1 large punch bowl

Layer items in listed order. Peas should be placed in salad frozen. Right before serving toss salad. It is easy and makes a very pretty dish on the table. Make this salad the night before you are going to eat it. The peas will be perfect!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is my very favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving!! I love it raw best of all. You will find NO EGGS in this dressing. I grow fresh sage and I think it makes a world of difference in the dressing. If you don't have fresh sage, dried is fine. Just be careful to not get too carried away, sage is a very strong herb. You don't want Grinch colored dressing do you??? Here is the recipe for our dressing.

2 pans of homemade cornbread (recipe will follow the dressing recipe)
2 loaves of homemade white bread (the only time we eat white bread)
1 bunch of celery-chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 yellow onions-diced
1 pound of butter
2 quarts of broth (can be chicken or turkey)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sage to taste
1 large bowl for mixing

Break cooled cornbread and white bread into chunks. Sauté celery and onions in the pound of butter. I know sounds like a lot of butter but you are making a lot of dressing. Yes, a lot.... Makes me feel better anyway. Once fork tender add to breads. Heat broth to a slow boil. Add broth a ladle at a time, being sure to stir each ladle full. Make sense??? Once dressing is the consistency of moist bread add salt, pepper, and sage. Stir very well. Now comes my FAVORITE part... The tasting. I cannot wait to taste... Okay back to the recipe. Season to your taste. Some people like it really peppery; I am one of those and others like a lot of sage. It is up to you. Place in baking pans, of course I use 9x13 baking pans. Bake at 425' until crusty. Should have a crust on top and be moist inside. I also like to bake some in the turkey. Just be careful. Remember cold dressing into a cold bird. I let my dressing sit in the fridge overnight and then stuff the bird. Always use a thermometer . Now on to the cornbread recipe.

6 cups of WHITE CORNMEAL (not yellow or a mix)
2 T baking powder (I use Rumford brand)
1 cup of powder milk
3-4 cups of warm water

Mix all of the ingredients together until well mixed. Bake in 2 well-greased cast iron skillets. You can use a heavy bottom-baking pan. You just crusty cornbread.
Bake at 425' until golden brown and crust. This usually takes 30-45 minutes.

Hope you try it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Easiest Hot Rolls You Will Ever Make

I hope all of you read the Tulsa World today. I had a small article written about how I cook a turkey. Here is the link
I am so caught up with Thanksgiving I have not been able to take many pictures though, sorry. We are having these hot rolls tonight with a pork roast dinner, so picture taking was easy.

I love hot rolls and these are so good you will not believe it! Easy and good makes a difference when talking about bread making. I make A LOT of BREAD!! Raven loves homemade wheat bread and Sean loves all BREAD!! Ransome and Raine are the biscuit eaters, so I make those too. I am willing to share my hot roll recipe if you promise you will make them. Okay, here it is...

2 cups warm water
2 T of loose yeast or 2 envelops
½ cup of sugar
½ cup of butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ t salt
6 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
Baking pan

Place water in a large bowl or your Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl, this is what I use. I love my Kitchen Aid mixer! Sprinkle yeast on top of water. Should foam up in 5 minutes. If it does not, your yeast may not be good. Once foaming adds sugar, eggs, salt, and butter. Mix for 3 minutes. Once that is mixed add flour 1 cup at time until well incorporated. Knead for 5 minutes. Brush bread dough with butter and cover for 1 hour or until it is doubled in size. I place mine on top of my stove to rise. Once raised, butter your baking pan. Break dough into 3-inch balls and roll in your hand until smooth. This dough is a little sticky, so add a little flour to your hands. Put into pan and brush each roll with melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, this usually will happen in 1 hour. Uncover and bake at 400’ for 35- 40 minutes and they are golden brown.

These are soo good and easy but they don’t look easy when served. Now get baking!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Bean Casserole

I know all of you have either made or eaten Green Bean Casserole. Mine is different but the same. Clear as mud?? Thought so. This is on most tables for Thanksgiving, so give it a try.

Now don't worry. I will be posting some pictures tomorrow. I thought some one you would like recipes for Thanksgiving. Til then, have a great Monday!!

Green Bean Casserole
4 cans of French-style green beans-drained
4 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
4 slices of crisp bacon-crunched up
2 cans of French’s Onions —I know not homemade but they are really good
Salt and Pepper to taste
9x13 baking pan (yes, I own a lot of these)

Heat oven to 325’. Place all of your beans, soup, 1 can of onions, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Pour that mixture into your baking pan. Place crumbled bacon and 2nd can of onions on top of bean mixture. Place in oven for 30 minutes.

This a little different than the normal “green bean casserole.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cranberry Sauce and Broccoli Casserole

I really like to eat cranberry sauce. I like it with the Thanksgiving Meal but I really like it on turkey sandwiches. I make my sandwich with dressing and cranberry sauce. Sooo good!! I make my cranberry sauce the day before Thanksgiving so it has time to setup the way I like it. I hope you will try this recipe.

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag of fresh cranberries
2 cans of mandarin oranges
1-2 cup of sugar
Medium saucepan

Rinse cranberries. Place them in your saucepan. Pour juice from mandarin oranges in with cranberries. Put sugar in and stir well. Bring to a boil. Once berries begin to pop add your mandarin oranges. Cook until berry mixture thickens to a jam consistency. Usually around 30 minutes. You MUST CONTINUE TO STIR. If you don’t you will have a scorched mess. Another don’t ask issue with me. Try this recipe. You will never go back to the canned version again!

Broccoli Casserole

This is my all time favorite casserole. I can eat a huge bowl of it everyday. No, I don’t. Stop asking…. This is really a comfort food for me. This is a snap to put together. What is Thanksgiving without all of the sides???

Broccoli Casserole
2 frozen bags of name brand broccoli- thawed (I have found the off brands or cheaper brands have A LOT of stems)
2 pounds of Velveeta- melted
1 pound of Colby cheese- shredded
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 stick of butter
1 small onion diced
7 cups of cooked rice (you can use brown or whites)
Salt and pepper to taste
13x9 baking dish

In a large bowl, place rice, thawed broccoli, and soup. Mix well. In a pan melt butter. Once melted sauté onion until tender. Add onion to rice mixture. Melt Velveeta in the microwave. Pour Velveeta into rice mixture. Now is the time to salt and pepper to taste. Once seasoned to you liking pour into your 13x9 pan and sprinkle with shredded Colby. Bake @ 325’ for 30 minutes. Top should brown a little.

Better stop for now. I am hungry. Will post Granny West’s Corn Casserole this afternoon. Get cookin!! Or at least make your shopping list.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Turkey Gravy

I really love mashed potatoes. The way I make them on Thanksgiving should be illegal. I always use whole milk from a dairy in Claremore OK that does not pasteurize. Don't be alarmed. Unpasteurized milk is completely safe. It is in fact better for you. The milk from this dairy is soo good. I will be using their cream and milk this Thanksgiving. Here is their website in case you want to check it out. Now back to the potatoes. When you make them with cream and butter they are so delicious you will be hard pressed to make them any other way. Here is how to make them.

5 lbs. of Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut in chunks
1 stick of butter
Enough cream added to make the potatoes whip up nice. This can be from 1 cup to 2 cups
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dutch oven

Place potatoes in dutch oven and cover with water. I pour a small amount of canola oil in with the potatoes. This keeps them from boiling over so easy. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain water off. Mash with potato masher. Put butter in and let it melt while you stir in the cream. Whip with a mixer until you like the consistency. It is entirely up to you. Some people like them lumpy, my father, or fluffy, my husband. Salt and pepper to taste and you are done. Now on to the gravy.

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Drippings from roasted turkey
Turkey broth from turkey parts that come with your turkey in a bag or in the cavity. Use everything but the liver.
All Purpose flour
Sat and Pepper to taste

Take drippings and heat them up in either the roasting pan or a large saucepan. When heated up add flour. Cook the flour until it is golden brown. Stir constantly or it will BURN!!! Add broth. I start with a quart. Cook until gravy is the thickness you like. Add salt and pepper. Serve piping hot. If more broth is needed add at 1/2 cup increments. If you need to thicken it up a little mix 2 T cornstarch in with 1 cup of cooled broth. Mix cornstarch and broth very well. Pour slowly into gravy. It should thicken quickly.

Hope you try this recipe and please don't buy canned gravy. You will like this MUCH better...

Grandma Minnie's Sweet Potato Casserole

Grandma Minnie's recipe needs a post of it's own for this casserole. When I first had it I could not believe what a pleasure for the mouth it was. I have made it every year since. Grandma Minnie passed away in 2002 but her recipes live on through her family's cooking each year. Cooking for me would not be the same without the first memories of the recipe, who made it and where it was first eaten. It is like taking a trip through time. I hope this will become one of your favorites too.

Grandma Minnie's Sweet Potato Casserole

5 lbs. sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
2 sticks of butter
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of pecans chopped
1 bag of large marshmallows
1- 13x9 baking pan
1- parchment lined baking sheet

First boil your sweet potatoes as you would potatoes for mashed potatoes. Once they are fork tender,then mash sweet potatoes with one stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar. I know this is a sweet dish but it is worth it. Pour mashed sweet potatoes into your baking dish. Next place pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan. Boil until liquid disappears. This happens in about 12 minutes. Pour pineapple on top of mashed sweet potatoes. Next take one stick of butter and brown sugar and place into a saucepan. Once the sugar and butter are melted add the pecans. Coat evenly. Then place pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet put in the oven at 250' for one hour. Turning EVERY 15 MINUTES. If you don't they will BURN!! Once they have cooled, crunch them up and place on top of pineapple. You are almost done now... Place marshmallows in a even line and cover top completely. Put into 325' oven until heated through. Marshmallows should be golden. This will happen in 30 minutes but keep a careful watch on them.

This is so good! I cannot wait until Turkey day. I will post mashed potatoes and gravy in a little bit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Turkey and Ham

I have ordered fresh turkeys for years and love them. I think the taste is the best for the money too. Here is what I do and it is nothing too fancy. I know a lot of you brine your turkeys for taste and moistness but to tell the truth, I have never had a bad tasting turkey. That is since I took over the cooking role of my mother when I was 12. Sorry mom. :)

Rinse thawed or fresh turkey and pat dry
Rub oil all over bird. This means inside and out. The oil really makes the skin taste good. You will want to place your salt and pepper in small dishes. I do this so I will not cross contaminate the salt and pepper mills. Salt and pepper the turkey INSIDE and OUT generously. Don't worry if it looks like a lot. It will soak into the meat on the inside and remember you only get a small piece of skin with each slice of turkey. Place in a large roasting pan and bake in your oven according to your turkey's cooking instructions. I use my Nesco, so there is no need to baste but when I use the oven I baste every hour that the turkey is in the oven. I also cover my turkey in the oven with foil when it reaches the brown color I like.

Now on to the ham. We really like Cure 81 hams. My husband is really quite picky on what ham he likes. I guess not picky but he likes what he likes. I guess that is where the children get that from. We don't use glazes either. I just put the ham in the oven in a covered roasting pan and warm it through at 325'. Depending on the size this can take anywhere from 30--1 1/2 hours.

That is it for now. Raven opened her play yesterday with the lead role! We will go celebrate today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Every year I write up a menu with the date in the heading, like the one above. Not sure why?? Maybe it is my type A personality coming out. Who knows? All I know is that it makes me happy to see the menu with what is needed handwritten next the menu choice. I use recipes my family loves and always have. Not too many new things, maybe one or two but the comfort food is what they want. Me too... I have a tablecloth I made many years ago with every feather known to man on it. We have used it every year since. I made embroidered napkins this year on my new machine, love them. I cannot believe I have not done it before. Well enough chit chat. Here is the menu. I will post recipes in a day or so and the pictures will come on Turkey Day.

Turkey-- of course, I am cooking a 22 pounder this year in my Nesco with the convection feature. I truly love my Nesco! If you don't have one you must get one. It frees up your oven for many other things on Turkey Day.

Ham-- we always have ham too

Grandma Minnie's Sweet Potatoes-- These are to die for!!

Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy--enough said

Cranberry Sauce--I make homemade. I like the store bought when in the hospital but you should at least try making a homemade version this year.

Broccoli Casserole-- This is my favorite.. My recipe is a little different.

Granny West's Corn Casserole--- This is my father's favorite. Sweet and savory at the same time. Granny knew what she was doing when it came to cooking.

Green Beam Casserole--Love it but I do tweak it a bit.

Homemade Hot Rolls--These are the BEST and EASIEST you will ever eat or make. Stay tuned..

Dressing--Yes, we call it dressing on Beaty's Creek. My husband helps with this. I love it raw out of the bowl. I am hungry for it right now. Must wait..Must wait..

5 Cup Salad--Everyone really likes this. Cool and fruity

7 Layer Salad-- I use baby greens in this because Raven HATES iceberg. Me too.

Deviled Eggs---Would not be a holiday without these.

Pecan Pie---I use organic pecans. We grow pecan trees at my mom and dad's farm. They make such a difference!

Pumpkin Pie-- Basic but so good

2 Layer Pumpkin Pie-- Like a cheesecake but even better to me.

Chocolate Chip Pie-- I could eat the whole thing but of course I don't....

Pumpkin Roll--Looks so impressive but is really pretty easy to make. Just takes some practice.

Ice Tea and Coffee

I make my pie crust. It is just easier for me. I like to know what goes into our food. Ever read a store bought crust's ingredients?? Scary!!

There it is. You never know what fresh produce will make me think of something to add to the menu. I will shop in the following week. Get your menu going. You might be like me and have one every year now. It is something to see year after year. Gets me in the mood. Oh wait, I am always in the mood for good food.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Apple Strudel

I know I promised this recipe quite a few days ago so better late than never. I love apple strudel soo much!! I love the crispy layers of crust and the sweet but not too sweet apple filling. This recipe is VERY EASY so you must try it! No excuses!

Here is what you will need;
7 or 8 peeled and sliced apples- I used organic jonagold
2 sticks of butter
1 T cinnamon
1-cup sugar
½ package of phyllo dough- thawed in the fridge overnight

Melt 1 stick of butter in a sauté pan. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon. Cook for 10 minutes or just until apples begin to soften. Take 2nd stick of butter and melt in microwave. Use a brush and brush EACH LAYER OF PHYLLO DOUGH!! Don’t skip this step or your strudel will taste like shoe soles. Don’t ask how I know this. Place the buttered layers on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spoon cooled apples into middle of phyllo. Bring the phyllo around and close off. Make sure you sealed well. Should seal easily with the phyllo being buttered. Take a fork and poke several holes on top of your strudel. Sprinkle top with sugar. Bake @ 325’ until golden brown. This should take any where from 20-25 minutes. Cut and enjoy…

It is very cool and rainy on Beaty’s Creek today. I am making my Thanksgiving Menu tonight and will post it soon. Can’t wait until Turkey Day!! Til then keep cooking….

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Potato Soup and Rubber Bread

What is better and easier than a pot of potato soup?? There are many versions, some call for milk or cream to be added at the end and some are just a water base soup. I love either one. My husband likes fresh onions chopped and put on top of his bowl of soup. Raven and Ransome like a little bit of crisp bacon crumbled over the top of theirs. Potato soup is comfort food for me no matter how you fix it. I am also including a recipe for Rubber Bread. The recipe comes from my husband’s Grandmother Minnie. Hope you will give these two recipes a try. It is going to be a cool week around Beaty’s Creek, a good time for soup.

Potato Soup
5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into ¼ chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ thick disks
1 stick of butter
Just enough water to cover potatoes, carrots, celery and onions
Milk to color broth once everything is done
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter into a large soup pot. Place onions, celery, and carrots into butter. Cook until slightly softened, 5-8 minutes. Add potatoes, salt, pepper and cover with water. Cook on medium heat until veggies are fork tender, 20 minutes. Add your milk. Make slurry of 1 cup of broth from soup and 2 T cornstarch. Pour into soup and stir very well. This will make a more creamy soup. If you want a thin broth don’t add the slurry.

Serve with chopped onions and crisp bacon.

Rubber Bread

5 cups of all-purpose flour
3 cups of water
Oil to coat skillet

Pour flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Pour water in the well. Mix with hands until it has the feel of biscuit dough. You may need a little more water or flour. Depends on your location. Humidity is a big factor here. Form into flat rounds about 3 inches big. Brown on each side in a cast iron skillet. Serve hot with potato soup or pinto beans.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Apple Butter

Oh how I love apple butter. I love it on toast or some good homemade biscuits. I love it in a spoon too. I have made apple butter for many of my 38 years. My grandmother started me on the path. She always made it for me when I was little. I can still smell the cinnamon in the air. Oh, wait...there is cinnamon in the air because I am making apple butter in my crock pot!! You will be shocked at just how easy it really is. Some people put vinegar in their apple butter. How gross is that?? Sorry but the truth hurts sometimes. I can always taste the vinegar. I think people do it so the the acid level will be high enough so that the butter will not ruin. I have never had that problem in my life. You just need to make sure that you watch the time when canning in a hot water bath. You can even store this in the fridge for 2 weeks with no problem. This year I am making the apple butter with organic jonagold apples from Iowa. They are so good. I have used all kinds of apples so just use what you have on hand and adjust the sugar to the particular apple you are using.

Apple Butter
25 apples peeled, quartered, and cored
1/4 cup of water
Sugar to taste
2 T cinnamon (I use more but we really like cinnamon)

Place apples into crockpot with water. Cook on high all day. That is at least 8 hours. Add sugar and cinnamon. Continue to cook overnight. Stir in the morning and see if it is thickness of warm pudding. If not continue to cook on high until this is reached. This is usually done when butter cooks overnight.
Ladle into hot canning jars. Seal with canning lids. Place jars into a deep enough pan that you can place water 1 inch over jars. Process for 12 minutes. remove from pan and cool. Jars will be sealed when cooled. If not place into fridge and use within 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I just love baklava. I have always bought pieces and have been quite happy with my occasional fix. That is until this recipe. This is the easiest and the BEST baklava I have ever eaten and I hope you agree. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised!

What you will need
1 ½ cups butter, melted
3-½ cups sugar
3 cups English walnuts or pecans
2 t cinnamon
1 store bought package of phyllo dough, thawed in fridge

Preheat oven to 375’. Heat 3 cups of sugar and 1-½ cups of water in saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. It will be syrupy now.

In a food processor combine walnuts or pecans, cinnamon and ½ cup of sugar. Pulse until ground finely.
Butter a 13x9 pan. You will have to cut your phyllo sheets to fit your pan. Layer 1 sheet of phyllo at a time. Butter each layer. Once you have 3 sheets place 1/3 of nut mixture. Then 6 sheets of phyllo (butter between each sheet), nut mixture, 6 sheets phyllo (butter between each sheet), nut mixture and then the final 3 sheets of phyllo (remember to butter between each sheet). Cut baklava into 24 squares BEFORE baking!! Bake at 375’ for 30 minutes. It will be golden when you take it out. Pour syrup over baklava. Let syrup completely soak in before cutting. This is soo good!