Friday, February 27, 2009

Banana Cream Pie

Single Pie

4-5 Bananas
2 c. steamed milk (heat milk just til steam forms over pan-DO NOT BOIL)
In Separate bowl:
5 tbs. flour
2 tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c sugar

Separate 3 egg yolks and beat until lemony in color (set whites aside for meringue topping)

Add dry mixture (# 2.)to steamed milk
Add beaten egg yolks and cook til thickened (stir constantly)
Add 2 tsp. vanilla

After mixture is thickened (it will look like pudding) set aside to cool with a wax paper covering

Place sliced bananas on the bottom of an already baked pie crust
Pour cooled pudding into the pie crust.

Meringue Topping
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Pile on pie and bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: This recipe comes to me from my mother who received it from her mother and so forth....
Not too many people take the time to make a really great old fashion pie these days. It's so easy to open a box of pudding. This is worth the time!
I can tell you from my own experience growing up and even today...once you've tried this recipe you will not want to order Banana Cream pie in a restaurant ever again.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie (In the crust)

2 pie crusts
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken or turkey
3 tabs. flour
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. onion chopped
1 c. sliced celery
1 c par cooked or frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp thyme leaves crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 c butter
2 cups milk

In saucepan cook carrots, onion, celery and thyme with butter until tender
Stir in flour (wondra is suggested)
After the flour is well mixed add milk stirring constantly-simmer for 12 min.
Add chicken and vegetables
Place in pie crust. Top with second pie crust and flute the crusts together
Bake 350 for 45 min. Cool 15 minutes before cutting

Note: This is an awesomely delicious meal and fairly simple to make and is great after Thanksgiving when you have all of that left over turkey!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tortellini Soup Crockpot Style

My Tortellini soup is not a thin bowl of broth with some floating pasta. When I make any soup I tend towards a hearty stew!

2 large pieces of shin beef (bone in)
2 frozen bags of beef tortellini
4 large carrots sliced
2 pieces of celery sliced
3 medium potatoes quartered
1 small can of mushroom slices
2 tsp. salt (more or less to taste)
2tsp Italian mixed seasonings
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 cups water
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth

Place shin beef in 8 c. water with spices in crock-pot - turn on high heat

  • Cook for 2-3 hours
  • Add all of the vegetables and continue cooking on medium heat 1 hour
  • Most of the meat will have cooked off of the bone, remove the shin bones and cut off any remaining meat.
  • Any large pieces of meat should be cut into small cubes
  • Turn heat up to high and add the tortellini,
  • cook till tender, approx 20 min.

    Note: This soup is great served with fresh bread and salad

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tip and Tricks (Questions and Answers)

Tips and Tricks is comprised of a list of ideas or simple "fixes" I either came up with myself or learned from someone else or just by trial and error. If you'd like to add your own tips and tricks please do so in the comment section with the name you want credited and your home town.

1.-How do I stop dark brown shrunken edges from forming on my pie crusts?

Dark Shrunken edges spoil the look of your pie.

Cut three or four strips of foil 2 inches wide and wrap them around the crust loosely before you place the pie in the oven. Take the strips off 15 min. before the pie is done.

2.- What can I do after something I'm baking overflows in the oven... before it causes a smoky kitchen?

Keep on baking without cleaning first by pouring baking soda generously over the burned area. Do your cleaning after the oven is cooled down.

3.-I steam my vegetable but they seem to always come out over cooked

Most people if not all do not like soggy vegetables. When your vegetables are just beginning to be "fork tender," with a lid on tight...take them off of the stove. The vegetables will continue to cook at a very slow pace in the pot.

4.-I know I should cook with an apron on but I sometimes forget and get stains on my clothes, what is the best way to pre-spot when I'm in a hurry?

Baby wipes believe it or not, work great for pre-spotting almost any type of stain.

5.-How do I keep vegetables or even an already made salad fresh in my refrigerator?

Wash your vegetables when you bring them home from the grocery store. Put the them in a zip-top bag, then wet two paper towels with water, squeeze out the excess water and put them in the bag. Do the same with salad but place the towels over the top of the salad before you place a lid on it. Asparagus can actually be set in a bowl of water. Cut the bottoms first to allow the water to taken in.

6.-Pop do I make it when I don't have a pop corn maker or ready made pop corn packages.

Easy, simply place corn kernels on the bottom of a paper lunch bag, (approx. 1/4 cup) fold the top over about 2 inches and set in microwave for approx. 3 min. Cooking time will vary with different microwaves. You can usually tell by the smell when the pop corn is almost done...or just wait until it stops popping.

7.-Have you ever run out of bread crumbs just when you need them, or find a recipe that calls for "fresh" breadcrumbs?

I keep extra hamburger rolls, Italian bread etc....any kind of left over bread including the ends of sliced bread. I freeze all of it until it's needed. When needed I take out what I want and shred it with a regular hand held shredder...

8.-While on the topic of about garlic toast?

Five hamburger rolls will give you 20 slices of garlic bread. With a sharp knife carefully slice the top and then the bottom of the hamburger roll in half through the center leaving you with 4 round slices of bread. Butter each piece and sprinkle the desired amount of garlic salt and into the toaster with it! Tastes great!

More to come...

New York Cheese Cake

For this recipe you will need a *spring form cake pan
3 individual packages of graham crackers
dash of cinnamon
6 tab. butter
Mix and press into the bottom of a spring form pan as seen at right.

Refrigerate until needed


Beat 1-1/2 lbs of room temperature cream cheese

1-1/2 c. sugar while still beating until mixture is fluffy
add 4 eggs (still beating) one at a time

Mix the next four ingredients and add to the filling mixture
1 c. heavy sweet cream

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

2 cups sour cream

2 tabs. lemon juice

Pour into pan.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
(Do not remove from oven)

Turn heat off.
Let cake sit in oven for 1 hour before removing cake from pan

*A Spring form pan can be purchased in most grocery stores

Pumpkin Bread

3 c. sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix all of the above ingredients together

2. Add to the above mixture:
1- 16 oz can of pumpkin
2/3 c. water
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda

3. Pour into bread pan and bake at 350 for 45-60 min.

Test center by inserting a toothpick or sharp knife in. When done the toothpick or knife come out clean.

Note: I have made this bread at Christmas for friends. I baked it in a coffee can and wrapped it in a roll (tootsie roll style) with ribbons at each end.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Banana Graham Cracker Cake (no bake)

This is one of the most delicious and easiest no bake cakes you could ever make. It's always a hit wherever I take it.

1. Place a layer of whole (not crushed) graham cracker on the bottom of a 13 x 9 cake pan
2. Add a layer of sliced (long ways) bananas over the graham cracker

3. Alternate these two layers ending with graham cracker. I usually only end up with two or three layers.

4. Spread a butter cream icing over the top layer generously. Refrigerate over night.

Butter cream icing

1/2 c. solid vegetable shortening
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or margarine softened (1 c. of butter or margarine can be used if you'd rather not use the shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tbs. milk

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Note: Your cake will slice as nicely as any other cake would

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


3 c. flour
1-1/3 c sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening, margarine or butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. milk
2 eggs


1 large can (20 0z.) sliced pineapples
1-1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter


1.Take brown sugar and butter, (Topping) combine and melt in a saucepan on medium heat until the mixture is bubbly.
2. Pour mixture into a 10 inch diameter stick-free or greased cake pan with 2 inch high sides.
3. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the mixture.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
5. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. (Cake)
3. In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.
4. Add dry ingredients to the above mixture. Pour cake batter over topping and pineapples in the pan.
5. Bake cake until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: This cake can be made and baked directly in an oven safe skillet providing the sides are at least 2 inches high

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coffee Cake

2 tbs. shortening/margarine or butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix all of above ingredients and place in 9x13 greased pan


mix ingredients for filling and spread over top of cake before baking
1/2 c brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs. firm butter
2 tbs. flour

Bake at 350 for 45-60 min.
Note: I love the crumb topping so I sometimes add a bit more of each topping ingredient....not exactly good for the diet...but oh oh so great on the taste buds!

Peanut Butter Cake with chips of chocolate

1. Combine next four ingredients, blend at low speed until crumbly
(reserve one cup on the side)

2-1/2 c. flour
2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. margarine or butter

2. Add next five ingredients to remaining crumbly mixture by blending at low speed until moist:
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

3. Beat 3 min. at medium speed
4. Pour into pan
5. Sprinkle the reserved crumbly mixture plus 1 c. semi sweet chocolate pieces over top
6. Bake in 13x9 in greased pan at 350 35-40 min.

Creamy Cheese Cake Pie (very easy)

Beat 3 egg whites until peaked and set aside

Combine and beat 2- 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese with 3 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp lemon juice
3/4 c. sugar

Fold in beaten egg whites to above mixture and pour into a graham cracker crust

Place in a graham cracker crust
 Bake at 350 for 25 min.

Take pie out of oven...add topping and bake for 5 minutes more

3/4 C sour cream
3 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 


1. top with cherry pie filling

2. Use a chocolate graham cracker crust and twirl chocolate syrup over the top when served

2. You could also cover the base of the graham cracker crust with chocolate before adding cream cheese mixture.

Candy Cookies (No Bake)

2 c sugar
4 tsp. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. margarine

1. bring all of above to a full boil in saucepan
2. remove from heat

1-1/2 c. oatmeal (do not use instant)
3/4 c peanut butter (chunky is a great option)
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt (yes...I said pinch-about as much as you can pinch between two fingers)

Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper

Note: Although my kids love these cookies they have nick named them "Ugly Cookies."
I sometimes have problems with these cookies hardening on a rainy day, the solution is simple...don't make them on a rainy day :-)

Strawberries or Cherries in the Snow

2 envelopes of Dream Whip
1 c. cold milk
1 tsp. vanilla
18 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
2 cans of dark pitted sweet cherries drained
1 quart large strawberries sliced
2 angel food cakes cut in thin slices

1. Mix Dream Whip with milk and vanilla according to package.
2. Soften cream cheese and gradually add powdered sugar and Dream Whip.
3. Beat until smooth
4. Spread thin layer of mixture over bottom of pan.
5. Alternate layers beginning with cake and ending with the whipped mixture. Two or three layers is sufficient.
6. Top with cherries or strawberries

Note: This is a fantastic no bake recipe (buy the cake pre-made in any grocery store)
When copying this recipe over to this blog I had a difficult time reading the words because the recipe card is peeled, faded and tearing.

This has been a New Years Day traditional desert in my family. I have in fact only ever given this recipe to one very good friend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monkey Bread

4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 -1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (these are optional, it's great with or without them)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.
2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.
3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.
5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!

Icing: Ingredients:
1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Allow cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with a mixer.
3. Slowly add in the pound of powdered sugar.
4. After all the powdered sugar is added mix for 12 minutes (do not mix less than that).
5. When almost done, add in the extract and lemon juice.

Pumpkin Pie- (My grandmas recipe)

2 eggs slightly beaten
¾ C. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. clove
½ tsp. nutmeg
Mix together and then add:
1- 2/3 C. milk
1-3/4 C. or ½ of large can of pumpkin

Bake 15 min at 450…then turn down to 325 and bake 30-45 min. more.
Pie is done when knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Pie (recipe for three pies)

6 eggs
2-1/4 c. sugar
1-1/12 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp. clove
1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
5 c. milk
5-1/4 c. pumpkin

Note: A homemade crust can be great but if you're not so inclined, do yourself and your guests a favor and buy a good pre-made crust.

Pecan Pie (Southern Style)

3 eggs
1C. dark Karo syrup
1 c. sugar                                                               
2 Tbsp. butter melted
1 Tsp. salt
1 Tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. pecan halves (or cover bottom of pie)
1 unbaked 9” pie shell

·  Preheat oven to 350°F.
·  Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
·  Bake on center rack of oven for 50 to 60 minutes (see tips for doneness, below).
 Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

I always cut strips of foil (usually takes about three strips) and wrap them around the edges of the crust until the last 15 min. of baking. This keeps your crust edges looking nice.

Note: This recipe came to me by way of an old friend originally from Georgia