Thursday, February 28, 2013

Swiss Steak ala Mom

My mom made Swiss Steak for dinner at least once a month when I was growing up.  She always served it over rice (or egg noodles) and always with canned peas on the side or sometimes just dumped over the top.  You can put this into the oven or use a crockpot.

1 pound (3/4" to 1" thick) boneless beef round steak
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 16-oz. can tomatoes (cut up)
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced celery (one stalk)
1/2 cup sliced carrots (1 medium)
1 tsp. dried thyme

Cut meat into large serving pieces.  Combine flour, salt, and pepper and cover meat pieces.  Using meat mallet, pound flour mixture into meat.

In large skillet, brown meat on all sides in hot oil.  Drain off fat.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Pour into casserole dish, cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours (or until tender).  Serve over  
2 cups hot cooked rice or noodles.

CROCKPOT METHOD:  After meat is brown, place in crockpot and add remaining ingredients.  Cook 10 to 12 hours.  Serve as above.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Old Fashioned Rice Pudding

I thought I had lost this recipe forever and BAM, I found it going through some old cookbooks today.  This recipe for Rice Pudding uses MINUTE RICE! 

4 cups cold milk
1 cup minute rice
1 package vanilla or coconut cream flavor pudding and pie filling (not instant)
1/4 (more or less) raisins (plump with hot water and drain)
1 egg, well beaten
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine milk, rice, pudding mix, raisins and eggs in medium saucepan.  Brint to full boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.  Cool 5 minutes, stirring twice.  Pour into individual dessert dishes or serving bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Makes 10 servings.  NOTE:  You can make this "fruited" rice, by adding one can of fruit cocktail after cooling process.

There's also a "baked" version of rice pudding recipe using Minute Rice that I used to make years ago ... a recipe I'm still searching for.

Old Fashioned Fudge

One of my fondest memories as a child is of standing in my Grandma Ollie's kitchen and making fudge together.  Waiting for the mixture to get to a "soft ball" stage and then beating the heck out it.  Not at all like today's recipes where you just melt some chips and add a few ingredients.  I'm talking about the MADE FROM SCRATCH kind of fudge!

Here's her recipe:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
   (or you can use 3 tablespoons cocoa powder)
1 tsp light-colored corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Line a loaf pan (9x5x3) with foil (extending over edges of pan).  Butter generously and set aside.

Butter the side of a heavy 2 quart saucepan. Combine sugar, milk, chocolate and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.  Clip a cany thermometer to side of pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue boiling at a maderate and steady rate.  Stir frequently until thermometer registeres 234 degrees (or soft ball stage) ( about 20 to 25 minutes).

Remove pan from heat and add butter and vanill, but do not stir.  Cool, without stirring to 110 on the thermometer (about an hour).

Remove thermometer from saucepan.  Beat mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken.*  If desired, add chopped nuts at this point.  Continue beating until the fudge becomes VERY thick and just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes).

IMMEDIATELY spread fudge in the prepared pan.  Score into squarel while warm.  When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan.  Cut fudge into squares.  Store tightly covered. 

(NOTE:  you can also add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter here (*) but just be ready as doing so will cause fudge to harden quickly.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Say Cheese!

Today I've been going through a Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe book published in 1989. There are several really good, basic recipes that I'll be sharing with you today.

Up first ... Hawaiian Coconut Spread.  It's as simple as comb ining 1 8 oz brick of cream cheese (softened) with 2 tablespoons of pineapple or beach preserves and 1/3 coconut.  Combine and chill and serve with banana bread!

Next up ... Creamy Deviled Eggs ... instead of mayo, add one 8 oz brick softened cream cheese to 8 hard cooked egg yolks, 2 tablespoons pickle relish, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, salt and pepper to taste.  Fill whites and sprinkle with paprika.

And I've always wanted to try this SIMPLE basic Fettucini Alfredo recipe ... Combine one 8 oz brick of cream cheese (cubed) with 3/4 cup kraft grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup milk.  Stir over low heat until smooth.  Add 8 oz. fettucini noodles (cooked, drained) and toss lightly. Add some fresh herbs if you have them.

Finally, here's a fresh spin on a Garden Macaroni Salad

1/4 c. mayonnaise

1 (8 oz.) softened cream cheese

1/4 c. sweet pickle relish, drained

1 tbsp. prepared mustard

2 c. elbow macaroni

1 c. chopped cucumber

1/2 c. chopped green onion

1/2 c. radish slices

2 tbsp. chopped onion

1/2 tsp. salt

Gradually add mayonnaise to cream cheese. Mix well until blended. Stir in relish and mustard. Add remaining ingredients, mix lightly. Spoon into lightly oiled 9 inch spring form pan with ring insert. Chill several hours or overnight. Unmold and serve.

Five Star Tuna Casserole

If you want to take your tuna casserole dish to the next level, try this recipe!

Tuna & Elbow Macaroni Bake

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1-1/4 cups milk
7 oz. (or more) of canned tuna (in water), drained
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter

Boil 2 cups elbow macaroni or elbo-spaghetti in 3 quarts boiling water (adding salt and oil to the pot of water).  Cook 4 to 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse.

In skillet, cook celery and onion in margarine until translucent.  Blend in soup and milk.  Add tuna dnd pimento. Combine with macaronio and turn into a 2 quarter buttered casserole dish.  Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over tope.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Carrots Au Gratin

A really quick and easy vegetable side dish your family will enjoy!


3 cups sliced carrots, cooked
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup (more or less) shredde cheddar cheese

TOPPING:  Mix 1/2 cup panco bread crums with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter 1 quart casserole dish.  Combine carrots, soup and cheese. Pour into prepared pan.  Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over carrots.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Leftover Cookies

I like making these cookies when I am trying to finish off the tail ends of baking goods.  They have a little bit of everything and once you have one, you'll want several more ... they are definitely addicting, so you may not want to wait to make these!

These are similar to what some call "ranger" cookies, but I have yet to find this recipe on the internet.  It was in a 1977 "simply from scratch" recipe book by Pillsbury.


1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of targer
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup cooking oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3-1/2 cups flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup rice krispies cereal
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients; beat 2 minutes on medium speed until smooth.  Add flour; beat one minute on slow speed until smooth.  Stir in remaining ingredients.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto UNgreased cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.

Bake 10-14 minutes until light golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheets to cool.

Pour a large glass of milk and ENJOY!

Blueberry Muffins

I've tried so many different muffin recipes over the years, but THIS recipe for blueberry muffins is NUMBER ONE in my collection.  And so darn easy too!


1/2 cup quick cooking oats (quaker)
1/2 cup orange juice

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed blueberries

Topping:  Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with baking cups (or grease pan - do not use oil).

In a large bowl, combine oats and juice and stir well.  Add remaining ingredients stirring well.  Carefully stir in blueberries.  Spoon into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with topping mixture. 

Bake 18-22 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Grandma Elly's Doughnut Holes

My Grandma Elly always brought a brown bag of these donut holes to our family picnics when I was growing up. Every time I make them I think of her! 


Oil for deep frying

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/3 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 c. milk

2 tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

In large saucepan, heat 2 to 3 inches oil to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in milk, oil, vanilla and egg with a fork JUST until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil, 5 to 6 at a time.

Fry doughnut drops 1-1 1/2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; roll warm doughnut drops in mixture. 24-30 doughnut balls

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creamy Tuna Garden Wedges (Bisquick)

Here's a recipe right out of a 1980's Bisquick recipe book.  So refreshing for a summer evening dinner party.


2 c. Bisquick baking mix

1/2 c. cold water

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing

1/2 c. sliced green onions

2 tsp. prepared horseradish

1/8 tsp. red pepper sauce

1 (6.5 oz.) can tuna, drained

2 med. celery stalks, cut diagonally into 1/4 in. slices

Assorted fresh vegetables (sliced mushrooms, cherry tomato halves, cucumber, chopped broccoli)

Shredded cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix baking mix and water until soft dough forms; beat vigorously 20 strokes. Pat dough in ungreased 12 inch pizza pan with floured hands, forming 1/2" rim. Bake until crust is light brown, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, onions, horseradish, pepper sauce, and tuna; spread evenly over crust. Divide dough into 6 wedges with celery slices. Top wedges with vegetables and cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour

Jello Ribbon Salad - My Son's Favorite!

I've been making this jello dessert for MANY years.  It has several steps and you have to wait for each layer to set up, but it is SO worth the effort !!

Christmas Ribbon Salad Recipe


1 package (.3 ounce) each of lime, lemon and raspberry gelatin

3 cups boiling water, divided

1 cup minature marshmallows

1-1/2 cups COLD water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed

1 can (1 lb. 4-1/2 oz) crushed pineapple, undrained

1 cup cool whip


Dissolve Jello gelatin flavors separately, using 1 cup boiling water for each.  Stir marchmallows into lemon gelatin; set aside.  Add 3/4 cup cold water to lime gelatin; pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. dish (coated with cooking spray). Refrigerate until almost set.

Add 3/4 cup cold water to raspberry gelatin; set aside at room temperature.

Add cream cheese to lemon mixture; beat until blended.  Chill until slightly thickened.  Then blend in mayonnaise, cool whip and crushed pineapple. (NOTE: if you like nuts, you can add 1/2 choped pecans at this point to the lemon mixture).  Chill until very thick; spoon gently over lime gelatin. Chill until set, but not firm.  Meanwhile, chill raspberry gelatin until thickened; pour over lemon mixture.  Chill until firm. 

Old English Crab Cheese Muffin Appetizer Recipe

I've been going through some old cookbooks and recipes given to me by friends and family, and want to get everything in a "digital" format, so I am posting and sharing them with you here on my blog.  A good friend of mine made these (many years ago) and I just came across her recipe.  These appetizers are absolutely delish and SO easy to throw together!

English Muffin Hors d'Oeuvres Recipe


1 stick butter (softened) (q/w cup)

1 jar Old English cheese spread (5 oz.)

1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. Lawry's Seasoned Salt or 1/4 tsp garlic salt or powder

1 (7 oz.) can crab meat (or sm. pkg. frozen flaked crab)

Mix all ingredients. Spread on muffins (6 or 8 pkg.). Cut each muffin in half and then each half into eighths. Pop under broiler until bubbly. Serve while warm.

These freeze easily - and then just pop under broiler again to reheat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rustic Breakfast

Doesn't this photo just have you yearning to be sitting at this farm table enjoying these AMAZING looking croissants??!!??!!  Beam me up, Scottie!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras Treat

I remember YEARS ago in school, we celebrated Mardi Gras in French Class.  Guess it had something to do with the French Quarter in New Orleans.  Whatever the connection, it was always fun to wear beads and have a piece of King Cake ... aways careful not to bite too hard in case that little plastic baby was in your piece of cake.  Years later I would be introduced to a pastry called a beignet ... and my world would be forever changed.  These light french puffs of pastry dusted in powdered sugar just melt in your mouth and will cause your taste buds to sing in pure joy. 

Here's a recipe from a southern gal, Paula Dean.


1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups confectioners' sugar


Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.