Sunday, April 17, 2011

N is for Nuts...

   This recipe for cake was given to my mother by one of her relatives, I'm not sure which one. But as you can tell it is a very rich cake. So of course it is also very good. You can make this as a loaf cake without the icing. Or go all out and make a layer cake with the rich gooey icing. Either way I think it would be really good with a cup of coffee. But then I think anything would be good with a cup of coffee.

Artwork by Pamela Jo

Nut and Jam Cake


6 eggs, separated yokes from whites
2 sticks butter
2 ½ cups sugar
3 cups  flour
2 cups seedless blackberry jam
1 cup  buttermilk
1 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp each : cloves, cinnamon, all-spice
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans


   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   Grease and flour loaf pan and set aside.
   Beat egg yokes well in a large bowl. Mix in all ingredients, but egg whites. Blend well. In seperate bowl, beat egg whites till they form stiff peaks. Carefully fold into batter. Pour batter into greased loaf pan and cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cake can be made in round cake pans and frosted with following icing as well.

Icing for Nut and Jam Cake


3 cups sugar
2 ½ sticks buttermilk1 large can milk
1 cup nuts
1 cup raisins


   Cook sugar and milk over low heat until it forms soft ball when dropped into water.
   Remove from heat and add butter, nuts and raisins. Beat until thick.
   Frost cake and serve.

   These would make great gifts or bake sale items. You could cook them right in the paper loaf pans from Sur La Table and cut down on the mess.  If you haven't seen there paper baking goods check them out the are awesome. You can purchase them by clicking here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

M is for Macaroni and Mexican...

    There were 6 people in our family when I was growing up. Momma, Daddy, 2 growing boys and 2 girls (and us girls could eat just as much as the boys could) So my mom was always looking for ways to stretch the food budget. This was a good one to make to help that out. The ring presentation may have made an appearance the first time, but after that it was just dump it all together and dish it out. She had four hungry kids, who were more interested in eating than looking.

Artwork by Pamela Jo

Macaroni Mexicaine


1 (8oz) pkg  elbow macaroni
1 lb      ground beef
½ c      chopped onion
2 Tbs   butter or margarine
1 tsp    salt
1 Tbs   flour
1 c       water
2 c       canned tomatoes
1 c       diced celery
2 Tbs   chili powder
2          bay leaves crumbles
¼ c      chopped parsley


   Saute the onion in butter.  Add beef and salt.  Continue to cook until browned.  Add the flour to the
water and mix well.  Pour into beef mixture and cook until thickened.  Put in the tomatoes, celery,
chili powder and bay leaves.  Cover and cook until well done.  Add parsley 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
   Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and make a ring on platter.  Pour meat mixture into the center and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Artwork by Pamela Jo
Okay so it is an international meal...Italian and Mexican..

This would be great to serve this in don't ya think.

L is for Lasagna...

   My mother made lasagna for us, when she had the time and wanted to cook a special meal. You gotta agree with Garfield on this meal. We loved it and wouldn't have minded if everyday was special. Then again, it wouldn't have seemed so special would it.

Artwork by Pamela Jo



1 lb        ground beef
2 Tbs     olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (20oz) can tomatoes
1 ½ tsp   salt
½ tsp      oregano
¼ tsp      pepper
½ lb       lasagna noodles
½ lb       Mozzarella
¾ lb       Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
½ c        grated Parmesan cheese


   Brown beef in skillet with olive oil and garlic.  Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, salt, oregano and pepper.  Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse.  Fill a rectangular casserole dish with alternate layers of noodles, sliced mozzarella, ricotta or cottage cheese, tomato-meat sauce, and grated Parmesan.  End with a layer of sauce and top with some Parmesan cheese.
   Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.

Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kraut...

   My mother was a firm believer in crock pot cooking. Since we also liked Sauerkraut, I think it is our German blood, this recipe was a natural for us. This was a quick and easy meal for a big family like ours.

Artwork by Pamela Jo

Sausage and Kraut Meal (slow cooker)


8 strips    bacon, cut into small pieces
1 ½ Tbs   flour
2 (1 ½ lb) cans  sauerkraut
2 sm        apples, cubed
3 Tbs     brown sugar
1 ½ tsp   caraway seeds
3 lbs      Polish sausage cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
½ c        beer


   Fry bacon until crisp,  remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.  Add flour to bacon drippings and blend well.  Stir in sauerkraut, mix well.  Place sauerkraut mixture and bacon pieces in slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients.  Stir together thoroughly.  Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.  (High 3 to 4 hours.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Jambalaya...

   When you live in Texas, you like things hot. I think because we are bordered by Mexico and Louisiana,that we get the best of both foods here. We love seafood. After all we also live on Gulf of Mexico. So here is a seafood recipe of my Mother's with a Cajun flavor.

Seafood Jambalaya


1 clove   garlic, chopped
½ lb       cleaned shrimp
1 Tbs     oil
1 (1lb) can tomatoes
1 (9oz) package french green beans with sautéed mushrooms
2/3 c      water
1 tsp       salt
1/8 tsp    thyme
1/8 tsp    pepper
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
2/3 cup   minute rice


   Saute garlic and shrimp in oil in a skillet just until shrimp turns pink.  Add remaining ingredients except rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.  Stir in rice.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes longer.

Makes 4 servings. (recipe may be doubled or tripled)

Monday, April 11, 2011

I is for Ice Cream....

   I is for Ice Cream. What else could it be for. This is a family recipe that has been handed around. I have many fond memories of taking my turn to hand crank the ice cream maker at family gatherings. Boy were we glad when they bought an electric one.
    I just have to warn you though, it is made from raw eggs. If you have any health concerns, you might want to heat the eggs and milk slowly to 160 degrees then cool them down.

Artwork by Pamela Jo

Ice Cream


2 c  sugar
6     eggs
1 can evaporated milk
1 can Eagle Brand sweeten condensed milk
2 Tbs  vanilla


   Beat eggs and sugar together.  Add evaporated milk, Eagle brand and vanilla stir to mix.  Pour into ice cream freezer.  Add milk to fill.  Place on lid on freezer and freeze according to manufactures directions.
( This is a recipe that pasted down to my mother. It does not call for cooking.  But be aware it does have raw eggs in it.)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Ham...

   Today for H, I pulled out another of my mother's casseroles. This one has ham, rice, cheese ... whats not to love. Okay, I admit it I love cheese.

Ham and Rice Casserole


½ c     uncooked reg. Rice
1 lg.   Onion, chopped
1 lg.   Green pepper, chopped
3 Tbs  melted margarine
1 (10 ¾ oz) can  Tomato Soup
1 c      water
1 (6oz) roll sharp Pasteurized cheese food, cubed
½ lb    ham, chopped coarsely
½ tsp   black pepper
½ tsp   salt


  Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
   Saute onion and green pepper in margarine until tender.
   Combine remaining ingredients with rice and sautéed vegetables.  Spoon mixture into greased 3 quart casserole dish.  Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

   If you have a rice cooker like this one (Zojirushi Nonstick Electric Rice Cooker), you can easily make the rice ahead of time for this recipe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Green Beans...

   This recipe was one of my mother's first stir-fry recipes. Our family loved green beans, so it was natural that she tried this one. It also is a great one to use when the garden is overflowing with beans. Dang beans are almost as easy and productive as Zucchini.

Spicy Green Beans (stir-fry)


2 Tbs  peanut oil
1 tsp  minced ginger
½ tsp minced garlic
½ lb  fresh green beans, cut in ½ inch lengths
1 tsp  sugar
2 Tbs dry sherry
½ tsp  crushed dry red pepper
2 Tbs soy sauce
½ tsp  cornstarch
1 Tbs  cold water
1 tsp  sesame seed oil


   Heat oil in wok until it reaches 325 degrees.
   Add ginger and garlic to oil. Stir-fry 15 seconds.  Add green beans and stir-fry 2-3 minutes.   Add sugar, sherry, salt, red pepper and soy sauce.  Stir-fry and additional 1-2 minutes.
   In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water to make a smooth paste.  Ass to wok stirring until mixture thickens.
   Turn wok off and stir in sesame seed oil.
   Serve immediately.

   Mixture maybe refrigerated for 2 or 3 hours and served cold if desired.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

F is for Figs and Frosting...

   Today is the letter Fs turn. The recipe I pulled out was for the fig preserves, but the frosting recipe was stuck to it. So I figured why not 2 today. Besides my Mother use to make us a cake everyday for an after school snack and used this frosting. It brings back a lot of happy memories.

Fig Preserves


3 c  cut-up figs
2 c  sugar (if figs are very sweet reduce to 1 c or less)
1 (6oz.)  package any flavor gelatin


   Mix figs, sugar and gelatin in saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring very often for 20 to 25 minutes.  The flavor gelatin you pick to add to your figs is a matter of personal preference.  Momma used strawberry, but raspberry would be good too. 
  Pour mixture into sterilized jars.  Wipe rim of jar clean and process in hot water bath.

And now for the Frosting....

Confectioners Frosting


½ c  shortening
2 -2 ¼ c confectioners sugar
4 Tbs  milk
¾ tsp  salt
1 tsp  vanilla


   In bowl cream shortening until soft and fluffy.  Add confectioners sugar,  milk, salt and vanilla to creamed shortening.  Beat until soft and creamy.

This will frost one sheet cake.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Eggplant...

   Today's letter is E. This was one of my Mother's dishes.
   I know not everyone likes eggplant, but my Mother loved it. So this recipe is for her and all you other lovers out there.

Eggplant Parmigiana


1 ½ lbs  Eggplant
2   eggs
1 tsp  salt
¼ tsp  pepper
½ lb   Mozzarella cheese sliced thin
2 c   Tomato Sauce
¼ c  grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Cooking oil


Wash the eggplant, but don't peel it. Slice thin.  Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Dip the eggplant slices in the egg, and fry in ½ inch hot oil in large skillet.  Fry the eggplant until golden brown on both sides and drain on paper towels.  Arrange layers of eggplant, cheese and tomato sauce in a 2 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle top with grated cheese.  If there is any beaten egg left, pour this over the top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven, until well heated through, about ½ hour.

Serves 6.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D is for Dip .....

    Today is the letter D. D is for Dip. This is one my Mother us to make for us and serve with tortilla chips. It is really good.

Baked Cheesy Chili Dip


1 lb Velveeta cheese spread, cubed
1 can (10 ½ or 15 oz)  Chili without beans
1 can (4 oz)  chopped green chilies
½ cup finely chopped onion


   Heat oven to 350 degrees.
   Mix all ingredients and spoon into a 1 quart casserole dish.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Stir before serving.
   Serve hot with toasted bread slices or tortilla chips.

Makes 4 cups

   This would be a great server for this dip.

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Cheese...

Click sidebar image to join the fun.
  Today's letter is C.  I pulled out my mother's recipe for an appetizer that she made every holiday. It is made with 2 kinds of cheese, cream cheese and cheddar.

Balls with Handles Cheese


1 (8oz) package  cream cheese, softened
3 cups  grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ tsp   Worcestershire sauce
Pretzels, small


   In bowl place, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until well blended.  Shape mixture into 1 inch balls and chill 2 to 3 hours.
   Right before serving, sprinkle cheese balls with paprika and press a pretzel into each ball for handle.

Makes about 3 dozen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Bread Pudding...

   Today's letter is B and one of my favorite deserts....

Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

Bread Pudding


10 slices  day old bread, broken into pieces
1 cup       scalded milk *
1 cup       cream
4              eggs, beaten
1 cup       sugar
1 tsp        Vanilla
1 tsp        cinnamon
½ tsp       nutmeg
¼ cup      butter, melted
½ cup      raisins


   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   In a large mixing bowl, combine bread pieces, scalded milk and cream. Sit aside.
   In small mixing bowl add eggs and sugar. Mix together well and stir into bread mixture. Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to bowl and mix well.  Stir in melted butter and raisins.
   Pour into well buttered baking 2 quart dish.  Set baking dish into larger dish with 1 inch warm water. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until knife inserted into pudding comes out clean.
Remove from oven set aside to cool.

to scald milk heat slowly over low heat till hot, do not boil.

Whiskey Sauce


3               egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup        sugar
1 tsp         vanilla
1 ½ cups  milk
1 Tbsp      cornstarch
¼ cup       water
1 ½ oz      whiskey


   Place beaten eggs in saucepan.  Add sugar, vanilla and milk to pan mix well.   Stir and cook over low heat to a boil.
   Add cornstarch to water and mix well. Pour slowly into pan stirring constantly until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in whiskey.
   Serve sauce over cooled bread pudding.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for Asparagus....

   On my There's Just Life Blog I have entered the A to Z Challenge.  So I decieded to do so here too.  Everyday in April (except Sundays) is a different letter. So for each letter I reached into my Mother's gray metal recipe box and pulled out a recipe for that letter. Here is the one I pulled out for today.

Asparagus Casserole


2 sm Cans   Asparagus tips
1 ½ cups     Grated American Cheese
1 can           Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 sm Can     Evaporated milk
Bread Crumbs


   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
   Drain Asparagus and place in a well greased Casserole Dish.  Cover with cheese.
   In a small bowl mix soup and milk together. Pour over cheese and asparagus. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over top of casserole.
   Place casserole dish in preheated over and bake 35 – 40 minutes or until breadcrumbs are brown. Remove from oven and serve.