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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have collected so many recipes over the years, but the ones I have kept the longest were from college--from  roommates or classes or church homemaking activities.  This is a favorite every time I make it--which isn't often enough.  Everyone raves about it.  I had never even heard of rhubarb until Mom Metzger made it for Sunday dessert when I went home with my roommate, Cindy, over break.  I was like, "That looks like celery, but it's red.  Is it a fruit or a vegetable?" (that's probably not what I actually said.  It was 1980.  Who remembers?) was amazing.  I made the pie a few days ago and decided I needed to know what kind of food this was.  Check out the collage below for the answer.

1 qt. rhubarb, cut up into 1/2" little chunks 
3/4 - 1 cup sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup tapioca
3-oz. strawberry Jell-O
about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water

1.  Mix everything but the Jell-O together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
2.  Add the Jell-O and stir to evenly combine.  
3.  Pour into prepared pie crust. Dot with butter, if desired.
4.  Place top crust over pie and flute the edges to seal.
5.  Cut slits in top crust to vent.
6.  Bake 40 minutes at 425 F.
7.  Cool in refrigerator.

*Note:  the filling may boil over a bit so be sure to have something under your pie to catch any drippings.

Source: Cindy Wilson's Mom in Buhl, Idaho, 1980.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streudel

I love fresh berries in the summertime!  This coffeecake is a delicious breakfast treat, mid-afternoon snack, or late night dessert!  It is moist and bursting with buttery blueberry flavor!

Ingredients List:

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. fresh blueberries (1 pint)
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
2 T. sliced almonds
1 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. butter (melted)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter (softened)
2 T. vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 c. low-fat buttermilk
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 T. fresh lemon juice


1. Combine 2 c. flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk to combine.  Remove 2 T. flour mixture; sprinkle over blueberries, tossing to coat.

2. Combine brown sugar, oats, almonds, 1 T. flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Drizzle with 2 T. melted butter; toss to coat.

3. Place sugar, 1/4 c. softened butter, and oil in a large bowl.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended.  Add egg; beat well. 

4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; mix after each addition.  Stir in lemon rind and juice.

5. Spoon half of the batter into a cooking spray-lined 9" square light metal baking pan.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 c. blueberry mixture.  Spoon remaining batter over blueberries.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining blueberries.  Sprinkle with brown sugar/oat mixture.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

7. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then cool completely.

Yield: 16 servings

Nutrition Information, per Serving: 190 Calories, 7 g Fat, 0.7 g Fiber, 3 g Protein

Source: Cooking Light June 2014 magazine

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

Sometimes I just forget about Pinterest.  Can you even fathom that?  And really, that is not a bad thing.  But once in a while I will go to my boards and find something that I really want to try.  This week it is this yummy bread--reminiscent of the bread at Macaroni Grill.  Just sayin'.  When I made this tonight, I put together a little "Italian Salsa" to dip the bread in, just like in a restaurant.  When we lived El Paso, Texas,  we went to another Italian place called Johnny Carino's--best Chicken Scaloppini on the planet, by the way--and when the waiter brought out the bread, he poured some olive oil in a little plate, added a little balsamic vinegar and some herbs and BAM!  He called it Italian Salsa.  You know because we were in Mexican salsa territory.  Get it?

1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
1 T. sugar
2 t. active dry yeast
1 t. salt
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped (you can use 2 t. dried, instead)
1/4 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. black pepper
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked with 1 T. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary for sprinkling on top

1.  In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast.  Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2.  Stir in the salt, fresh rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour.  Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball.  Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding in more flour to prevent sticking and for a smooth dough.

3.  Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4.  Punch down the dough and form into a round loaf.  Place on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper (I used this), cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5.  Meanwhile, preheat oven and a pizza stone to 400 degrees F.  When the dough has risen, gently brush top with egg wash and sprinkle with some dried rosemary.

6.  Bake  for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it.

SOURCE:  A Hint of Honey via Pinterest

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

This is one of my 3 favorite cakes!  My other two are Texas Sheet cake (HELLO CHOCOLATE!) and Hummingbird cake (can you say pineapple, bananas, walnuts, and CREAM CHEESE FROSTING?!)  But this cake is a delicious Strawberry cake that I only make once a year when strawberries are in season!  It's so good, and the icing--oh my goodness!  You've got to make this cake!

Ingredients List:

1 (16.5 oz.) package Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package strawberry gelatin (dry)
4 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 c. 1% milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
Strawberry Buttercream Frosting (ingredients and directions to follow, at end of post)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients (through flour) at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute.  Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for an additional 2 minutes, until all ingredients are well blended.

3. Pour batter into a greased jelleyroll cake pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until cake springs back when pressed lightly with a finger.

5. Cool in pan on wire rack until completely cool.

6. Frost cooled cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting.

**Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Ingredients & Directions:

Beat 1 c. softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add 1 (32 oz.) package powdered sugar and 1 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries; beat at low speed until creamy.

Yield: 32 servings

Nutrition Information, per Serving: 291 Calories, 10.8 g Fat, 0.1 g Fiber, 1.7 g Protein

Source: Southern Living 2012 cupcakes and cakes pamphlet

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Non-Alcoholic Substitutions

I don't know about you, but as a cook who doesn't partake of alcoholic beverages, I have a hard time figuring out what to substitute in recipes that call for wine and liquor.  I was looking through a cookbook the other day to figure out my next blog post and found this list of substitutions that seem to be pretty good.  It's a little lengthy, but comprehensive.


  • Liquor/Liqueurs--sub an equal amount of fruit juice
  • Wine--sub equal amount of fruit juice plus 1 T. vinegar


  • Liquor/Wine--sub equal amount of liquid: chicken, beef or vegetable broth, or even water.  Add 1 T. of red wine vinegar or white vinegar for a little zing.  Also consider available non-alcoholic wines, but still add a vinegar to balance their sweetness.


  • 2 T. Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur--sub 2 T. unsweetened orange juice concentrate.
  • 2 T. Rum/Brandy--sub water, white grape juice, or apple juice.
  • 1/4 c.or more White Wine--sub equal measure of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or clam juice (If      using non-alcoholic wine, add 1 T. vinegar to cut the sweetness.
  • 1/4 c. or more Red Wine--sub equal amount of chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, clam juice, flavored vinegar, fruit juices, apples cider, and non-alcoholic wines (remember the vinegar trick).


  • 2 T. Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur--sub 2 T. orange juice and 1/2 t. orange extract.
  • 2 T. Rum/Brandy--sub 1/2 to 1 t. rum or brandy extract for recipes in which liquid amount is not crucial.  Add water, white grape juice, or apple juice, if necessary, to get the right amount of liquid.
  • 2 T. Amaretto--sub 1/4 to 1/2 t. almond extract.
  • 2 T. Sherry or Bourbon--sub 1 to 2 t. vanilla extract.
  • 2 T. Chocolate Liqueur--sub 1/2 to 1 t. chocolate extract plus 1/2 to 1 t. coffee granules dissolved in 2 T. water (I don't drink coffee either, so if you know of another way, let me know)
  • For 1/4 c. or more port wine/sweet sherry/rum/ brandy/fruit-flavored liqueur--sub equal measure of orange juice or apples juice plus 1 t. of corresponding flavored extract or vanilla extract.

Source: Just a list stuck in my cookbook.
Image courtesy of

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baked Beans

Independence Day is just around the corner!  Is there anything more American on the 4th of July than grilling out hamburgers and hot dogs?  You need some good angus hot dogs and Bubba burgers, along with chili and slaw (if you're from the South, ya'll!)  There's one more side you need though!  It's baked beans, of course! 

Ingredients List:

8 slices thick but bacon
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, diced
3 large cans (28 oz. each) pork and beans
3/4 c. BBQ sauce
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard


1. Place whole bacon slices on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet.  Place sheet in an un-preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Take sheet out of the oven.  The bacon will not be completely cooked, but will cook later once the baked beans are assembled.  Save the bacon grease.  Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.  Once cool to the touch, cut each bacon strip in half, to make serving easy.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and decrease oven temp to 325 degrees.

3. Add about 1/4 c. bacon drippings to a frying pan, and over medium heat, add onions and peppers.  Saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add beans and remaining ingredients (besides bacon) and bring to a simmer.

4. Pour bean mixture into a greased 13 by 9" ovenproof glass baking dish.

5. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours.  Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Servings: 16

Nutrition Information, per Serving: 198 Calories, 3.4 g Fat, 6.9 g Fiber, 8.9 g Protein

Source: The Pioneer Woman

Thursday, June 18, 2015

White Texas Sheet Cake

White Texas Sheet Cake.  Hmmmm.  For a southern girl who has only had the chocolate version, this seemed a bit unnatural, but I was game, so I tried the recipe for my daughter's 27th birthday.  Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious.  It was so good, and we were all snatching little pieces of it the rest of the evening.  I had to give half to my daughter to take home because I knew I would not be able to stay away from it.  Enjoy this.  And definitely use the coarse sugar sprinkles.

1 c. butter
1 c. water
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T. almond extract
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

FROSTING: (Mix well in large bowl. Frost cooled cake.)

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. almond extract

1.  Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

2.  In a saucepan, bring water and butter to boil and add to dry ingredients.

3.  Mix eggs and sour cream together in a small bowl and add to mix, along with almond extract.

4.  Pour into a jelly roll pan and bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes.

5.  Cool and frost. Coarse sugar sprinkles are great on top.

SOURCE:  Shawni Pothier