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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apple Dumplings

When I was in a meeting at work yesterday for some reason we started talking about apple dumplings.  It is the season after all, but I was amazed at how many people (the majority) had never heard or tasted them!  It really goes to show how old I am compared to them I guess!  Anyway, when I was young, later teens and 20's, I used to make these quite often because my dad and husband really liked them with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream slowly melting over the warm dumplings.  Me too, of course.  Anyway, the recipe was from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from that 70's era..I think it was my first official cookbook, that I still have, but is in sad shape after 45 or so years of use.  I has a lot of good recipes in it that I still use actually.  Anyway, the page for the dumplings was ripped out from wear, and I knew that I had rescued it and put it in a "safe" place, and after searching in all the most logical places I finally found it and am going to post it on here along with a picture of the finished product once I make it to bring in to work to educate these kids on good apple desserts!  Next time I won't have to dig forever either!

1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (the recipe calls for 1/4, but I am not a big nutmeg fan)
8 drops red food coloring
3 Tablespoons butter

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups Crisco
1/2 cup milk

6 medium, whole apples, pared and cored:  I like Haralson apples the best, but any pie apples work.  (I actually slice the apples because I don't care for whole apples baked- in this case you need 1/2 apple sliced for each dumpling..I like the sugar more distributed throughout and I like apples fully baked and not hard at all, but it's up to you and your taste which you do)

extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling the apples before wrapping (just an fyi-the sauce is sweet on this, so I sprinkle them, but don't overdo it so it's sickeningly sweet)

FOR SYRUP: mix first 5 ingredients; bring to boiling to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat; add butter and stir. Set aside.

CRUST: (just an fyi, if you are scared to make this, just make your own pie crust version or buy some premade crusts.  it all works out fine).  I use my crust that is posted on my blog, but at first I used this and it's good.
Sift together dry ingredients; cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add milk all at once; stir just till flour is moistened.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 18 x 12 inch rectangle.  Cut in six 6-inch squares.  Place apple (or piled up apple slices) on each.  sprinkle apples with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg if you like it.  dot with butter.  Moisten edges of pastry, bring corners up and pinch together to close around apple.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased 11 x 7 x 1-1/2 inch baking pan.  Pour syrup over the dumplings; sprinkle with sugar if desired.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve with vanilla ice cream while warm or whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Elbow Macaroni Hotdish (from Grandma Finger)

Joe has been talking about this hotdish lately.  My mother-in-law Margaret used to make it often and he'd literally shovel it in.  (she used to make EVERYTHING he liked on a regular basis though..she loved her grandkids so much!).  Between her homemade cinnamon rolls and some of her dishes like this, she had plenty of company with those hungry grandkids of hers!  Anyway, I make it occasionally, probably not quite the same as hers, but close and decided to make it tonight for supper for me and Dave.  We enjoyed it, good old comfort food, hotdish, corn on the cob fresh from the roadside stand, and fresh Colorado peaches..good meal!  There really is no recipe, but this is close to how I make it..


Cook a few cups about 2- 3? of elbow macaroni per the package directions to a dente.  (the oven will additionally cook it and you don't want mushy blown up macaroni..not good.

in a medium kettle, brown 1 lb of hamburger that is salt and peppered to your taste, about 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery that is finely diced, 1 whole carrot that is cleaned and finely diced and 1-1/2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or the cream of mushroom/chicken blend soup-that's what I like to use), and 2-3 Tablespoons of Western dressing (I know it sounds weird, but it gives it a great flavor)  and a heaping tsp of the liquid beef base in the jar or a beef bouillon cube.  when the noodles are done, mix it all together, put in a casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until top looks a little bit brownish.  eat.


A coworker of mine brought in a GIANT zucchini she had found growing in her compost pile this last week.  No one wanted it so she brought it to me to see if I'd make something with it.  I kind of looked at it begrudgingly, but, because I hate wasting things so much, I took it and made this bundt cake for work on Monday.  I actually was going to make two recipes, but got too busy finishing up my Frida crochet project finally-picture will be on another post, and didn't have time to make two, but I will be making the second one and posting about that soon.  Everyone absolutely loved this cake..I put it in the breakroom and it was gone within an hour and people were coming in complaining it was gone because they wanted more!  It's definitely one to make if you want to use some zucchini.  very moist, dense and flavorful.  Here's the recipe with my  changes.


3 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in it's own juice (drained, but reserving syrup)
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cleaned and shredded carrots
1 cup peeled and shredded zucchini

For glaze: 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or make cream cheese frosting instead of glaze)  I made a glaze and put toasted coconut chips on mine (this recipe would be good with some coconut inside it too!)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  whisk together drained pineapple, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla in a large bowl  until smooth. 
3.  Add flour, white sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and ginger, kind of tossing together with a whisk and then combining to the #1 ingredients until combined well.  don't over mix.
4.  Pour batter into a well greased and floured bundt cake pan..(I use the baking spray with the flour right in it and spray well).
5.  Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. 
6.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a rack.  remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack until completely cool, about 30+ minutes.

For the glaze put powdered sugar in a bowl and slowly add the reserved pineapple juice until a spreadable glaze forms.  drizzle over the cooled cake and add toasted coconut if desired.  I only used a partial amount of the glaze because I didn't want it making the cake soggy on the bottom when it dripped down, but you could use some waxed paper pieces under the cake and pull them out once the glaze stays put. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Giant Blueberry Muffins

I had some blueberries in the fridge to use up, either by snacking on them, or making something with the small amount I had left..not enough for a pie or cobbler, so I thought of blueberry muffins.  I found this recipe on allrecipes called To die for Blueberry Muffins..a great choice for me because I love streusel on muffins and it had a 5 star rating.  I can see why it did.  These are really yummy.  just do a search for the recipe.  I won't post it because I did exactly what she recommended.  It makes 6 large muffins..I didn't see where she stated how many, so will let you know so you use the right size pan and don't dirty a bigger one..LOL.  I didn't use a cupcake liner, but probably would next time because they are so big that it's kind of a job to get them out easily, I managed but was scared I would crumble it all up.  Here's a picture.  Would be great for a brunch!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dill pickles with garlic and Jalapeno

My husband really likes kosher dills.  I haven't canned any for him for a long time, but had been thinking about them lately, so decided to make him a few quarts for a treat and to bring deer hunting this's kind of a tradition that he has had to buy them to bring the last few years!  I only made 7 jars because I favor my bread and butter pickles with hot dishes to eat and just for a snack sometimes.  I will be making much more of them because some of the kids/grandkids love them too! (tomorrow!).  I also am out of pickle relish so will be making some of that tomorrow too. 

Here is how I made the dills. 
Makes 7 quarts (I used wide mouth jars-easier to pack)

2-3 inch fresh pickling cucumbers, scrubbed and rinsed and set on a clean towel to dry (about 1/4 bushel?)

2 larger jalapenos, quartered.  you can add more if you really like spicy pickles.

1 large bunch of fresh dill with green heads

1-2 whole cleaned garlic cloves per jar, or 1 tsp minced garlic-that's what I used this time, per jar.

Run the 7 quart jars through the dishwasher cycle.  leave them in the dishwasher to stay hot once they are done.

In the meantime clean the cucumbers well with a vegetable scrub brush, rinse and lay on a clean towel.

rinse the dill and cut off the heads-I put 2 large or 3-4 smaller heads in each jar. 

In a larger kettle put in 8-1/2 cups of water, 2-1/4 cups of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of canning salt..canning salt is different than regular salt, be sure to use the canning salt...bring to a low boil so the salt dissolves.  leave on warm.  I actually had to make 1/2 batch more as I had larger pickles so they didn't fill all the space like smaller ones should.

take out a clean jar, put the dill in the bottom, garlic and 1/4 of the jalapeno with the seeds in the jar.  pack it with the cleaned pickles, just to wear the neck starts.  pour in the brine until there is about 1 inch of jar left, bottom of the neck, and covering the pickles.  wipe the rim of the jar well with a clean, dampened paper towel.  apply a new lid and screw on the ring tightly.  put in a canner that has been half filled with hot water (heated on the burner).  fill remaining jars and then drop down the jar holder and fill the canner with more hot water from the facet until it's just over the jars.  cover and bring just to a boil.  shut off immediately, set jars on a towel and let seal.  do not disturb.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sour Cherry and Chocolate scones

My daughter Kim presented me with an ice cream bucket of more cherries from her tree, and so decided to freeze enough for two pies over the winter for Dave and still had enough to make a few more things with.  I found this recipe online for sour cherry and chocolate scones, so made a batch this morning too and will probably freeze the remaining cherries for another day.  Kind of sick of making things with them right now..LOL.  Here is the recipe.  (they are good, would be really really good with a cup of good flavored or plain coffee)

It's from Adrianna Adarme, Fresh Tastes Blog:
3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 pound sour cherries or regular cherries, pitted and halved
  • 6 ounces chocolate chunks or chips or morsels
  • 1 cup buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, as topping
  • Directions

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
    3. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and mix quickly, breaking up the butter so it resembles the size of small peas.
    4. Add the cherries and toss so they’re evenly distributed throughout the flour. Next, do the same with the chocolate chunks or chips.
    5. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and in one batch, add the buttermilk. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix it together until it forms a shaggy ball. Drop the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead a few times, being sure to not over handle it, which will result in tough scones. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch thick disk. Using a knife, cut the scones into 8 equal triangles. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet and put in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. At this time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    6. Brush the tops with the buttermilk and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar. Transfer the scones to the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean and the scones are golden brown.
    Yield: 8 scones

    Sunday, July 9, 2017


    I had some cherries, that I didn't use yesterday on the jam, left, so I made Dave a cherry pie.  He loves them.  It was raining out this morning too, so good excuse to not get outside and do the work I was supposed to be doing yesterday, but didn't.  I have made this recipe before with canned sour cherries, but never the fresh off the tree, but thinking/hoping it will be the same and not too sour.  Those are supposed to be unsweetened,'s baking while I write this, and it smells great so far!

    The recipe I made for this is in the "Betty's Pies" favorite recipes cookbook from up on the North Shore,  with a few additions of my own.  It's a favorite of ours for pie and they have some good meals too. 

    Here's the recipe!


    2 pie crusts (I made my recipe that is on this blog-just put "pie" in the search bar on top and it should come up for you)

    3-4 cups tart red cherries, washed and pitted or 2 cans tart red cherries drained.
    1/4 tsp red food coloring (optional, but makes it pretty)
    1/4 tsp almond extract
    1-1/2 cups sugar
    2-1/2 Tablespoons flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    butter (about 1 Tablespoon)

    put one pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan.

    COMBINE cherries, food coloring, almond extract, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl; mix well.  Spoon cherry mixture into pasty lined pie pan.  Dot with butter.

    Roll out the other half of the pastry dough and either cover the cherry mixture or cut in strips and do a lattice crust.  seal the edges all around. if using the whole crust make slits in the top to vent. sprinkle with sugar. 

    Bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  cool on rack and get out the ice cream.