Blackberry Cobbler

Ingredients

1 Stick Butter, Melted

1 1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Self-Rising Flour

1 Cup Milk

2 Cups Blackberries (frozen or fresh)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.  Butter a pie plate or bake pan.

Stir together 1 cup of the sugar and the flour into a mixing bowl.

Add the milk, whisking until combined.

Gently whisk in the butter until smooth.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan.

Sprinkle the blackberries over the top of the batter, distributing them evenly.

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream and ice cream.

 

Date Bar Cookies

dateBars_cookie 

Ingredients

For the filling

3 cups coarsely chopped dates

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups water

For the crust and topping

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) very cold butter, cut into small cubes
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a nonreactive medium saucepan over low heat, combine dates, granulated sugar, and water. Cook stirring constantly, until thickened, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

In a large bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, place brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix on low speed until combined. While mixer is running, add butter, 1 piece or 2 at a time. Mix until crumb like, with some lumps of butter no larger than pea size. Using your hands, press and flatten half of crumb mixture into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread cooled filling over crust. Cover with remaining crumb mixture, patting lightly.

Bake until lightly browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into bars while still in the pan. Gently remove cut bars from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Date bars, stored in an airtight container, refrigerate and freeze well.

Fidget Pie

Fidget Pie

Fidget pie is a traditional English meal containing apples, onions and ham. I don’t remember my grandmother ever making this recipe, but she had it tucked away in her recipe book from my grandfather’s family from England. Turn it into a proper harvest lunch with some country bread and piccalilli.

Ingredients

2 nine-inch pie crusts

3 medium white, red or Yukon gold potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced crosswise

Salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup warmed chicken broth, preferably homemade and somewhat rich

3/4 cup fresh apple cider (unpasteurized), divided

2 tablespoons natural (unpasteurized) cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground brown mustard

1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar

1 ½ cup cooked ham, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 medium-sized tart apples (but not Granny Smiths), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

6 small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Egg wash: 1 whole egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Coarse salt

Prepare the crust and have it ready to fill. Refrigerate it until the ingredients have been prepared. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Slice the potatoes about 1/3” thick and toss them with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast them in the hot oven for ten minutes. You want them to be somewhat cooked, but not crisp. Allow them to sit on the baking sheet for at least ten minutes before removing. (They’ll come up much more easily, if you do.) You can do this step in advance and store the potato pieces, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Warm them gently, though, before assembling the pie.

In a heavy skillet, cook the onion slices in two tablespoons of butter (or bacon fat, or a combination of the two) with a pinch of salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside.

In the same skillet (without wiping it), melt the remaining tablespoon of butter or bacon fat and sprinkle the flour over it; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until you have a somewhat dry paste. Continue to stir while cooking until the mixture becomes a light, nutty brown color.

Add the chicken broth slowly, stirring constantly. Add the thyme leaves, continuing to stir. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the apple cider and stir well. Cook for about two minutes, add whatever juices have collected in the bowl with the onions, and cook for another minute, stirring. Add the mustard, the cider vinegar and the cooked onions and stir to combine. You can do this step in advance and store the mixture, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Warm it gently, though, before assembling the pie.

In the bottom of the prepared pie shell, layer the cheese, then the potatoes, then the ham, then the onion mixture, and then the apples. If you are adding Brussels sprouts, add them between the ham and onion mixture layers.

Slowly pour the remaining 1/4 cup of cider over the filling. Sprinkle the nutmeg, a good pinch of salt and freshly grated pepper, to taste, over the pie filling.

Paint the outer edge of the lower crust with egg wash. Put the top crust on, paint with egg wash, and lightly sprinkle on a few pinches of coarse salt. (The best way to do this so you don’t end up with clumps of salt on the crust is to hold your hand about 16 inches or more above the pie while sprinkling.)

Vent by cutting 1 ½ inch slits around the outside edge and in the middle. Cut as a vent in the center of the pie the initial of someone who will be at the table when you serve it. This is very important.

Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and cook for another 45 minutes. Check after the pie has been in the oven for a total of 20-25 minutes; if necessary, cover with a foil frame or whatever method you prefer to prevent the crust from getting too dark.

Serve with roasted carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli (if you’re not cooking the Brussels in the pie).

Grandma’s Hot Water Pie Crust (use store bought if you don’t want to make homemade)

¾ cup high quality leaf lard or organic, non-hydrogenated shortening

¼ cup boiling water

1 tablespoon hot 2% or whole milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

If you are using lard, make sure that it is at room temperature before you begin making the crust. In a medium bowl, whip the boiling water and hot milk into the lard or shortening with a fork until the fat melts and the ingredients are combined. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Add the flour and the salt and stir well until combined.

Divide into two, with one piece — to be used as the top crust — slightly larger than the other. Quickly gather up one portion and wrap it in plastic wrap. While in the wrap, shape the dough into a rough disk about six inches in diameter. Put it into the refrigerator. Do the same thing with the other half of the dough.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Roll out each piece between two large pieces of plastic wrap (or a pie crust bag, if that’s what you typically use), lightly flouring the bottom piece, and lightly flouring the top of the dough. If you’ve refrigerated it overnight, it helps to let it sit on the counter for ten or fifteen minutes before rolling. Put one rolled crust in a 9-inch pie plate, removing the bottom sheet of plastic, and leaving a half-inch overhang of dough. Keep the other piece of plastic on it, tucking the edges so that the crust remains wrapped. Wrap the edges of wrap on the other crust so that it is fully covered as well.

Return both crusts to the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the pie.

Italian Pasta Salad for Summer

Italian-Summer-Pasta-Salad-print

 

Ingredients

3 cups short pasta (uncooked, such as penne, rotini, or radiatore)

1 lb asparagus (tough ends removed, then cut into 1-inch pieces)

11/2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 stalks scallions (diced)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (homemade or store bought)

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions. 2 minutes before done, add the asparagus to boiling water and continue cooking. Drain the pasta and asparagus under cold water.

Transfer pasta and asparagus to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, pine nuts, scallions, and Parmesan. Pour the dressing over the mixture and gently toss to combine.

Serve right away at room temperature or refrigerate for a few hours to meld the flavors. Serve with extra Parmesan, if desired.

Banana Split Icebox Cake

banana-split-icebox cake

 

 

Ingredients

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding

2 cups milk

4 cups whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), divided

3-4 bananas

Graham crackers (approx. 50 crackers)

14 oz can crushed pineapple in juice

Chocolate syrup

Cherries

Chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

Beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, add in powdered sugar. Combine vanilla pudding and milk, mix well. Add to cream cheese mixture and stir. Gently fold in 2 cups of whipped topping.

Slice bananas and toss with a little bit of the pineapple juice (or lemon juice) to keep them from browning. Drain pineapple, squeezing to remove all of the juice.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 pan with graham crackers. Top with half of the cream cheese mixture and the bananas. Add a second layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture and pineapple. Add a third and final layer of graham crackers. Top with remaining 2 cups of whipped topping, cherries and nuts. Drizzle with chocolate.

Refrigerate overnight.

Tangy Red Cabbage Slaw

 

 Tangy Red Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

kosher salt and black pepper

1/2 medium red cabbage (about 1 1⁄2 pounds), cored and shredded

2 large carrots (about 1⁄2 pound), grated

3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the orange and lime juices, oil, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Add the cabbage and carrots and toss to combine. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for at least 45 minutes. Fold in the cilantro before serving.

Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon

Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon

 

Ingredients

3 pounds small red new potatoes (about 24)

kosher salt and black pepper

8 slices bacon

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon

Directions

Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Cut into quarters.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then break into pieces.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the potatoes and celery and toss to coat. Fold in the parsley, tarragon, and bacon before serving.

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

Green Beans with Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup pecans

Salt and black pepper

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

1/4 cup olive oil

2tablespoons red wine vinegar

2tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions

Heat oven to 400º F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, ½ teaspoon Salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the green beans and pecans and toss to combine.

ZUCHINI BREAD MOM’S RECIPE or (Banana Nut Bread)

IMG_1278[1]

This recipe won a nationwide cooking contest.  My mother, Mae Wooton, put this recipe together and it is the best zucchini bread out there.  You can also make banana bread with this recipe; just substitute 3 ripe bananas for the zucchini.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups zucchini, shredded (to make this a banana nut bread replace zucchini with 3 ripe bananas)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup walnuts

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Glaze

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Enough milk for consistency you want

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Mix first 4 ingredients until blended.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well blended.  Grease and flour 6 mini loaf pans or one large loaf pan.  Bake until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool, then drizzle glaze on top.

Jeff’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

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Ingredients

2 ¼ Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

½ Tsp Salt

1 Stick of Butter

1 Cup Crisco Shortening

¾ Cup Sugar

¾ Cup Brown Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Eggs

2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.  Stir flour with baking soda and salt.  In mixing bowl beat sugar, with brown sugar at medium speed until creamy.  Add vanilla extract and eggs.  Mix until incorporated.

Gradually blend dry mixture into the creamed mixture.  Add chocolate chips and walnuts, mix together.

Use an ice cream scoop and scoop cookie dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies