Sunday, October 30, 2011

Date and Nut Bread

I loved the Jiffy Date Nut muffins and they  are no longer available.  Don't you just hate when that happens?  So when I was cruising through the Good Housekeeping Cookbook ©1963 for a good Banana Bread recipe and I spied this recipe with my own little eyes aided by my red framed no line bifocal glasses.  I had the dates, don't know why I originally bought them but the rest of the ingredients are always in my kitchen. I also used whole wheat flour (which I bought at My HyVee yesterday), just for grins.  I also made a little mini loaf in addition to the big loaf for my dear and sweetest Mom who never reads my blog. The bread is delicious, not overly sweet, I warmed it up with some butter on top and it is yummy!  I also sprinkled the top with some of my sugar glitter and it gave the top a nice crunchy top. I love this and will definitely make it again.

Date and Nut Bread
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup cut-up pitted dates
1½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3T shortening
¾ cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1½ cups sifted all purpose flour

With a fork, mix walnuts, dates, baking soda and salt.  Add shortening and boiling water, let stand 20 minutes.  Start heating oven at 350°. Grease a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan.  With a fork, beat the eggs and add vanilla, sugar and sifted flour.  Mix in date mixture until just blended, turn into the pan.  Bake 65 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes and then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.  Then wrap in foil.  Store overnight before slicing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crock Pot Taco Soup

This recipe was given to me by one of the managers at work.  I did not prepare it in the crock pot but on the stove top.  Shredding the chicken is the time consuming part.  Putting all the ingredients in the dutch oven was quick and easy.  I cooked it for about a hour on the stove.  I forgot to buy the green chili's but it was delicious, thick and wonderful.  I also did not get the right size can of tomatoes, it was smaller by half so I added a can of tomato sauce.  I was thinking it would be good served over rice too!  Will I make this again, oh heck yeah!  Even the Professor liked it!
Crock Pot Taco Soup

1-16 oz can pinto beans
1-16 oz can white/kidney beans
1-11 oz can niblet corn
1-11 oz can Rotel tomatoes & chili's
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
1-4oz can chilies, green
1-1 oz envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1-1¼ oz taco seasoning mix
1 lb shredded chicken or hamburger, cooked

Cook meat and drain. Shred chicken, add all ingredients to the crock pot.  DO NOT DRAIN CANS!! Stir. Cook on high for 2 hours, on low 4 hours.  Keep hot until serving.

Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and/or tortilla chips.  (I was also thinking sliced black olives.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stuffed Spud Soup

This recipe is from a book called "Just a Matter of Thyme" ©1992 from Among Friends.  I have made this soup numerous times and it is definitely a favorite.  I have made it in the crock pot and taken it to work.  It has also graced the entire trunk of my car once when I was transporting it.  Enjoy!

Stuffed Spud Soup
2 lbs frozen hash browns, thawed
½ cup butter
½ cup chopped green onion
1-10oz can cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups Half 'n Half or milk (I always use Half 'n Half)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
parsley flakes or chopped chives for garnish

Saute onion in butter, add soup, half 'n half and thawed potatoes.  Stir in cheese and heat gently.  Garnish and serve.  Serves 8-10.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Easy Banana Bread

This recipe came from "The Pastors Wives Cookbook" ©1978.  It is good and the Professor likes it.  I wanted it to taste like the Amish Banana Walnut Bread I bought at the Gibson General Store and it doesn't.  It isn't as moist and not as sweet.  I was wondering if the Amish made it with a starter.  I could make this again but will be looking for the perfect banana bread I tasted before.
Easy Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
2 eggs, unbeaten
1½ cups bananas, mashed
1Tablespoonful lemon juice (I used the ReaLemon)
2 cups flour
3 teaspoonsful baking powder
½ teaspoonful salt
1 cup nuts, chopped (I used English walnuts)
1 teaspoonful vanilla
Cream sugar with butter, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in bananas and lemon juice. Sift flour with baking powder and salt; add and mix quickly. Stir in nuts. Bake in greased 9"x5"x3" loaf pan at 350° for about an hour until done when tested. Cool on rack. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Easy Lemon Bars

Note: Heating up the lemon curd for 45 seconds and adding 1/8 cup of water when mixing. That was helpful as the lemon curd is really thick.
One box angel food cake mix
one jar lemon curd (sold by jelly/jam section)
Mix together and spread in a 13"x9" greased pan. Bake at 325° for 25 mins. When cool sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Easy Lemon Bars
The Professor really likes these.  I am not very fond of them and won't make this recipe again unless he requests it. The Lemon Curd was around $4.50 and the Angel Food Cake mix a little less then $2.00 so it was rather expensive to make.

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioners/icing sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (I use more and a couple drops almond too.)
4½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Combine butter, oil and sugars and mix well. Add eggs, beat one minute till well blended...add vanilla and beat well. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar and add to creamed mixture, mixing well.

Drop by small teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen.
Lilac Thicket Notes:  I didn't have any almond extract so I used 1½ tsp of vanilla extract.  These cookies do not spread a lot during baking. I used an Air Bake cookie pan, I would have liked them slightly browned, I will use a different sheet next time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chari's Awesome Crab Dip

This is wonderful.  Chari brought it in to work today for our weekend pig out on our weekend to work.  I love it!

Crab Dip

1 small brick of cream cheese, room temperature
1 small container sour cream

Blend the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.

1 small bunch of green onions, chopped or cut very finely
1-4oz pkg of imitation crab, chopped
2 Tablespoonsful of dill weed (dill seed can be used)

Mix and chill.  Then enjoy on your favorite crackers!  Thanks Chari!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dee's Cherry Cobbler

This was excellent.  I used the blueberry pie filling and the Professor really enjoyed it too!

Dee's Cherry Cobbler

8x8 pan, 400-425* oven, 30-40 min.

1. Open can of favourite pie filling-We like Wilderness' 'More Fruit'
Cherry variety if I can't find Blackberry pie filling already in the
can. (Don't use the blackberry fruit that you have to thicken yourself
and add things to to make a pie filling, not the same). Apple just isn't
our favourite for this one, but you may like it.

2. Dump filling into 8x8 'naked' pan, no need to grease and flour or oil

3. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to the filling, right in the pan, fresh is
preferred, but ReaLemon works just as well. Mix with pie filling. Don't
skip on this, as the lemon takes away that really 'sweet' taste of the
cherry filling and just perks up that blackberry sooo nicely.

4. Sprinkle 1 - 9 oz. pkg Jiffy white cake mix over fruit.

5. Pour 1/2-1 cup melted butter over cake mix. Margarine is not good for
this one and btw, did you know that margarine is one molecule away from
being a plastic???
I know what is in butter, t.y.,v.m.

6. Bake at 425* for about 1/2 hour or until the topping is a golden
brown. I play with it and my oven, and my recipe originally said to bake
at 400* for 40 min. So found that upping the temp and decreasing the
time would work also. The key is to get that crust on top to be a good,
rich-crispy golden-brown. (As you would for biscuits.)
Notes (not mine): I like it with vanilla ice cream on it while warm, but man, is it ever
good at room temp., plain. That crust is nice and crispy and soooooo
good. You will find yourself in front of it with a spoon in between
meals, Oh, am 'I' the only one that does that???? [O:)] [:|]  Cait, night owl stitchers

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins

Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins

Combine and beat:
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
pinch salt

Beat in separate bowl:
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
1 tsp. baking sodaFill tins 1/3 full of chocolate. Drop large spoonful of cream cheese filling in each. Cook 20 minutes at 325 degrees F. Makes 12 delicious muffins!

Note: Some really yummy sounding muffins at . The recipe is entered on October 31st and it is called "Muffins That Taste Like Donuts". Doesn't that sound good! I want to try those along with a recipe for Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins which is notated below. A team mate at work made them and said they are a big hit at her house.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dump Cake –TF
1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 package yellow cake mix or spice cake mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9”x13” baking pan. In a bowl, mix everything except last 3 ingredients. Pour in pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top of pumpkin, then sprinkle nuts over mix. Drizzle butter all over nut & mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Edges will be light brown. Good served warm or cold with Cool Whip or Whipped Cream.

Note: I prefer it warm. Just zap in the microwave. I used 3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon/ginger/cloves. I used a spice cake mix instead of the yellow.

Apple Butter Spice Cake--Not yet tried

I have not made this yet but I want to and when I do pictures and a review will be included.  I found this recipe at:
Apple Butter Spice Cake
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup apple butter (found in the jam section of your grocery store)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup wheat germ or quick oats
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or grease one 9"x13" pan. In small bowl, prepare the topping by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped pecans. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In bowl of standing mixer, blend together butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well. Add apple butter, vanilla, wheat germ or bran cereal. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour cream; mix well after each addition. Pour 1/2 batter into pan, sprinkle 1/2 the topping over top. Pour remaining batter and top with remaining topping. Bake for 40 minutes.The best part about this cake is the brown sugar topping on top and in the middle!

Hip Hop Dot's Peanut Butter Cookies

Hip Hop Dot's Peanut Butter Cookies
Bake @ 375° for 8-10 minutes
3 cups flour
½ cup butter
½ cup lard
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt

Cream fat, add sugars & mix.  Add peanut butter, beaten eggs, vanilla and mix.  Sift together flour, salt, soda & mix with creamed mixture.  Shape into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.  Press with fork to make criss cross design with sugar.
Hip Hop Dot's Peanut Butter cookies are best when eaten the next day.  Warm they are disappointing and cooled they are better but I could taste the lard and was upset I hadn't used shortening.  But after they sat overnight they were superb.  I want to get some of the bigger, decorative sugar crystals to sprinkle on top because I think it would look and taste better then granulated sugar.  Professor loves them.  He asked who they were for, because I usually bake stuff to take to work, I told him they were for us!  Oh there was that big smile of his that I love! 

Crock pot Lasagna

Well my Crock pot lasagna has received 6 vigorous thumbs up, 2 of them from Hip Hop Dot, the team's chef.  So I am sharing the recipe.  I used just ground beef, no ground turkey and I dispensed with anything low fat.  I will use more cream cheese and mozzarella next time.  Make it mighty cheesy!

Crock pot Lasagna

1 box lasagna noodles
1/2 lb. low-fat ground beef
1/2 lb. low-fat ground turkey
1 small container low-fat Cream Cheese (not ricotta)
1 small onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 cup small button mushrooms
2 grated carrots
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb. pkg. of mozzarella cheese, low fat
Using a cooking spray, spray your crock pot well (you will be glad you did this). Brown the meat and drain, then run hot water to drain even more of the fat content out. Chop onion, green bell pepper, and mushrooms.

In the crock pot lay a layer of noodles (no need to precook), then layers of meat, cheese, cream cheese, sauce, and veggies until you fill crock pot up. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 1 hour.

Servings: 4
Time: 30 Minutes Preparation Time

Easy Chicken Pasta Salad

Easy Pasta Salad is what I whipped up for the Professor and I yesterday evening.  It was pretty good although the next time I want to use grilled chicken rather then pan cooked chicken.  Professor really liked this and it was easy to make.  There is plenty left over for him to eat this weekend while I work.
 Easy Pasta Salad

  • 1 package chicken tenders
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 package (12 oz.) fettuccine pasta, uncooked
  • 1 package (16 oz.) frozen vegetable mix
  • 1/2 cup bottled Caesar or Italian dressing
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

  1. In large skillet, saute chicken in vegetable oil over medium heat until done. (Insert instant-read meat thermometer in thickest part of chicken. Temperature should read 170 degrees F). Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Add vegetables to pasta last 5 minutes of cook time. Drain pasta and vegetables and mix with chicken, dressing and basil.
Mix well; cook until heated through. Add cheese; toss to coat pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread, if desired. Serves: 4

Hip Hop Dot's Tomato Relish

As I previously stated I was slicing and dicing vegetables for Hip Hop Dot's recipe for tomato relish.  Heirloom tomatoes from my mother's neighbor, onion, cucumber, banana pepper and Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.  Oh it is so yummy and the Professor loves it.  I took some over to Mom's when we dropped off the pretty Mum we got for her.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

1 1/3 cup water
¾ cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups frozen/fresh vegetables
½ teaspoon onion powder
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1-10¾ oz cream of chicken soup

Stir soup, water, rice, veggies & onion powder in a 12"x8" shallow baking dish.  Top with chicken. Season chicken as desired.  Cover.  Bake @375° for 45 minutes or until done.  Top with cheese.

Because I am my mother's daughter, I didn't follow the directions exactly.  I used a Mexican Cheese mix that I had in the frig and I mixed it in with the rice.  I used the par-boiled rice we have here at home.  I didn't cover the pan and I think that the chicken breasts were a bit too thick because I baked it an hour.  But it was good, especially the rice and His Royal Self enjoyed the rice too!

Amish Sweet Bread

Oh the house smells good from the Amish Sweet Bread that I baked.  It should have been 2 loaves but I was able to stretch it into 3.  The recipe follows!

Amish Sweet Bread

1 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3.5 oz. box vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 - 1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/4 cup milk

Sugar/Cinnamon Mix
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two loaf pans.

Mix oil and sugar, add eggs and vanilla; beat. In separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, including walnuts. Add dry mix alternately with milk until well blended.

Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon together in small bowl. In two greased loaf pans, sprinkle mix on the sides and bottoms of the pans. Save some to sprinkle on top of loaves.

Pour batter into prepared pans, sprinkle top of loaves with the sugar/cinnamon mix. Optional, sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Bake for one hour or until tested done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. May be served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Freezes well; tightly wrap cooled loaves in plastic wrap, then in foil before freezing.

Note: I have read that you can substitute 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce for 1/2 cup of the oil. I have not tried this.

As you can see it looks as wonderful as it tastes and it really is as moist and sweet as the Amish Friendship Bread that begins with starter, but you don't have to deal with all the feedings and mess.  Make this!!!! 

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

1-package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1-cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 can (10¾ ozs) condensed cream of chicken soup
1-cup Original Bisquick® mix
½ cup milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased 2-quart casserole. Stir remaining ingredients in small bowl with fork until blended. Pour into casserole. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crust golden brown.

My notes: I used cream of mushroom soup, diced up a couple of small red potatoes and added more chicken, I cubed up 2 chicken breasts from the Parmesan Chicken the night before and put it in an 8"x8" square pan.  Professor liked a lot.