Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Pie and Pumpkin Pie for sure!

Apple Pie

Double pie crusts *


3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon juice, if desired/or go wild with couple tablespoons of whiskey instead.

2 tablespoons butter cut up

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled Granny Smith apples (6 medium)

1. Heat oven to 425°F.

2. In large bowl, mix all filling ingredients except lemon juice and apples. Gently stir in lemon juice and apples. Spoon into crust-lined pan and dot with butter. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits or shapes in several places in top crust. Now here I like to brush the top lightly with a beaten egg and sprinkle just a bit of sugar on top, but it's completely optional.

3. Place the pie on a sheet pan to catch the juices if they boil over, and they will.

4. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 f. then reduce temp. to 375 f. and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.

After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

Serve the pie warm with vanilla ice cream, homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg.

*Pastry dough is a real challenge for me for whatever reason. I have tried it many times and really like the taste but it is such a stress for me, so sometimes I just go for the store bought kind, they're not too shabby.


Pumpkin Pie

Now when it comes to Pumpkin Pie (if using canned pumpkin) I think there is only one kind of canned pumpkin (at least that's always what I was told) and that is by Festal brand, which is distributed by the "Owatonna Canning Company" in Owatonna, Minnesota.  On the back of the can there is a recipe for pumpkin pie.  This recipe was created by a woman in Minnesota named Marian Biersdorf.  Unfortunately I can not find Festal brand where I live now, so I use whatever I can find and it works just fine.  I still think Festal is the only way to go if you can get it, it just makes the pie.  Here is her recipe:

1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated or light brown sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 cup evaporated milk
1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust, unbaked

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger, and mix. Add eggs and sugar. Mix well. Stir in pumpkin. Add milk and beat well.

Pour pumpkin filling into crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake additional 40 to 45 minutes. 

Test for doneness by inserting knife into pie center. The pie is done when the knife comes out clean. Garnish with choice of topping.

(Marian reduces the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. She also says it's fine to replace the evaporated milk with skim milk, to reduce the calorie and fat content)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


These cookies make your whole kitchen smell wonderful!

3/4 cup butter flavor Crisco or plain shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in large bowl.
In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, blending until mixed.
Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
Shape the dough into balls the size of whole walnuts.
Roll balls in sugar, place on baking sheet.
Bake 9-11 minutes at 375 degrees.
Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The Fudgiest Brownies!

1 cup butter, melted
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease a 9x13 cake pan.
Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared cake pan
Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting or frosting.

These are the fudgiest brownies you'll ever find so they don't really need to be frosted..... but why not.... now they are the most outrageous fudgiest frosted brownies you'll ever find!


¼ C butter, melted
6 T cocoa powder unsweetened - I use Dutch cocoa powder for this frosting
½ tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk

Stir butter and cocoa together until smooth, add vanilla.
Stir in milk, add powdered sugar a little at a time, using a hand mixer at medium high speed beat until rich and creamy, about 3 minutes or so.
If you like your frosting thicker add more powdered sugar if you like it thin add more milk.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Runza or Bierocks

Great snacks, like a homemade Hot Pocket!
Norwegian, Danish or German? Maybe just plain midwestern-ish You decide, either way they are tasty stuffed dinner rolls that freeze very well and hit the spot when needed. There are shops all over Nebraska selling these things like they are going out of style. Wish I would have thought of that!



4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour divided

1/2 cup sugar

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs


1 pound lean ground beef

2 small onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chopped cabbage

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


1. In a large mixing bowl, place 1-3/4 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat milk, water and shortening to 120 degrees F-130 degrees F. Pour over flour mixture; add the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on low until blended. Beat an additional 3 minutes on high. Stir in the remaining flour, adjust as needed (a little more or less); knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes Place dough in a greased bowl; cover with oiled Saran Wrap topped with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

*If your microwave is above your stove this is a great place for dough to rise. It's warm in there!

2. Meanwhile, brown beef and onions in a skillet. Add garlic and cook for a minute, Add Worcestershire sauce and caraway seed. Add the cabbage, salt and pepper; cook until cabbage is wilted. Adjust seasoning as needed.

3. Punch dough down; roll into 15/5-in. squares. Top each square with 1/4 - 1/3 cup meat mixture. Fold opposite corners together. Pinch edges tightly to seal and place seam side down on greased baking sheets. Cover with kitchen towel and let rest for about 15 - 2o min. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

These freeze really well. Cool baked Runza's completely then wrap individually in aluminum foil and place in plastic freezer bags. I get about 6 to a bag.

If they have been frozen heat oven to 400F, put frozen, (and still foil wrapped Runza package) into the oven and heat for 20-25 minutes. The last 5 minutes, remove the foil.

**Tip: Traditionally these are made with ground beef, onion, cabbage, lots of salt and pepper. You can add mushrooms, cheese, even drained sauerkraut instead of cabbage and season your way.

Any way these are wrapped they are tasty. You can shape them into rectangles or triangles, I like to make mine round like a dinner roll. Oh and by all means instead of making your own dough you can use thawed frozen bread or dinner roll dough too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Better Now Celebration Cake!

My youngest had his tonsils and adnoids removed on Oct. 2nd.  He wanted to bake a cake to celebrate his recovery.  What a great idea and what a fantastic baker he is.  He's hard at work here.  Check out his cool cake!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

One of those great Autumn dishes that just makes ya feel good.

6 ( 3/4 inch) pork chops
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 14.5 oz cans sauerkraut, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seed
1/4 cup apple juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Brown pork chops on both sides and remove from pan.

2. Add onion and cook for a minute or two, add garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Stir in apple juice, sauerkraut and caraway seed, salt and pepper to taste.

4. Lay browned pork chops over the sauerkraut mixture, cover, and simmer on low for 30 min.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

This bread makes your kitchen smell so good mmmm! I use left over butternut squash if I have it or canned pumpkin works too. I think this tastes even better if you make it a day or two ahead3 Cups baked fresh pumpkin or butternut squash -- or you can use 1 (15 ounce) canned pumpkin puree
4 Eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 handfuls raisins ( I use golden raisins and they are optional of course)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

2 In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl., whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

3 Bake for about 50 minutes (may take longer) in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lattice Apple Pie

This is a delicious apple pie that I found on called "Grandma Ople's Apple Pie".

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Grampa's Cherry Cheesecake

This is my dad "Pete" and this is his awesome Cherry Cheesecake. He moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico about 3 years ago, and while visiting us in Texas this year he made us his famous cheesecake, YUMMY!

This is his recipe as he wrote it.

Grampa's  Cherry Cheesecake

1 c. Graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c + 4 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 (8oz) Pkg cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
1 can pie filling
Crust: Mix crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar & butter
Bake 10 min @ 325
Whip cream cheese. Beat in 1/2 c. sugar, add eggs one at a time, mix in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Spread over crust. Bake 18 min @ 375 or until just set.
Mix sour cream + 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Spread over filling and return to oven for 5 min.
Spread filling over top.
Chill at least 4 hrs.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 unbaked 9- inch pie crust
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Scatter the pecan pieces and chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie crust.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together.
Pour the filling over the pecans.
Bake until the filling sets, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Tip: Before filling the pie crust cover the edge with strips of foil to prevent over browning then remove the foil about 10 min. before pie is finished baking.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


This is a South African savory dish. I call it a hotdish, but don't tell my husband that : )

While visiting South Africa in 2000 with my husband, his Stepmom Daphney gave me this recipe. I have tried others, but this one I like the best. There are just about as many versions of Bobotie as there are of hamburger hotdish.

This is broke down into 3 groups which makes it a breeze.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Swirled Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

First day back to school "After School Treat"

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) swirled milk chocolate and peanut butter chips

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. morsels.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

Date Nut Bread

Makes 2 Loaves

1 1/2 cups chopped dates

1 1/2 cups hot water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the dates, water and butter; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, walnuts, baking soda and salt. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and date mixture just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if top browns to quickly. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.