Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Angel Cake

Just Plain Cooking today:

Angel Cake (Memaw's)

3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large eggs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift together flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
In large bowl put in egg whites from eggs that are at room temperature. Sprinkle salt over egg whites. Beat until foamy with electric beater at high speed.
Add cream of tartar. Continue beating until stiff and shiny, but not dry.
Beat in sugar about 2 tablespoons at a time.
Fold in vanilla.
Sift about 1/4 cup of flour mixture over the beaten egg mixture. Fold in lightly with mixing spoon.DO NOT BEAT! Repeat until all flour mixture is used.
Put in greased 8 1/2 inch tube pan. Cut gently through mixture with a bread knife to remove bubbles.
Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until firm to a gentle touch.
Remove from oven. Turn pan upside down so as to rest on the tube.
When cold, remove from pan.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Gave Up Diet Drinks!

We gave up diet drinks this summer!

Actually diet drinks gave up us. They just "fizzled" out.

Over the last year we noticed that we were letting our stash of diet drinks (cola, lemon-lime,dr. pep) go past their "sell by" date. Have you ever tasted that? YuckYuckandmoreYuck. I think we even tried to poison a few friends and relatives who came here for a party. We never even dreamed that we were drinking (and serving!) expired drinks.

Don't those bottled drinks last forever? NO, of course not! So after trying to check the "sell by" date--good luck with that-- on plastic bottles, we just let our stash go and started drinking San Pellegrino water. I have to admit that the first bottled water we ordered from Amazon was "expiring" and had lost its fizz factor. We drank that up quickly. Ice cold, and you do not really notice. Not so with our old diet standbys.

So we gave up diet drinks here at home. That doesn't mean that we won't still need to pay attention to "sell by" dates on our water, but at least we won't poison anyone!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

No Lemon, Please!

That isn't I. I like lemon anything.

But as my hub is not a lemon fan, we rarely have lemon desserts around here. One time he was gone on a trip to visit his parents, and I actually bought (instead of making) a lemon icebox pie and ate the entire thing. In several days, mind you. But it was ALL MINE. Actually I could do that when he is here, since he would not touch it. Don't know who I was fooling. Maybe I thought I could eat it all in one sitting. That is too rich and too sweet for my taste!

Now here is a dream of a lemon cake ;) from Just Plain Cooking:

Lemon Dream Cake (Memaw's)

1 package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup apricot nectar
1/2 cup oil

Blend all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread batter in a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes or until center springs back when touched lightly.
Cool right side up for about 15 minutes. Then remove from pan.


Blend 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over warm baked cake.

This cake can also be baked in two 9 inch layer pans for 30 - 35 minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jelly Rolls Are Almost Done

No, I am not baking jelly rolls! Memaw used to make the most delicious ones, tho'. Maybe the recipe is in Just Plain Cooking. I will look for it later.

My jelly rolls are yards and yards of strips of fabric that I plan to turn into a lasagne quilt. Confused yet? I promise that I am NOT piddling in the kitchen.

I am finally using my craft room upstairs to cut a couple of hundred of jelly roll strips to sew together to make a quick quilt. The only problem is that I did not buy a jelly roll. I am cutting my own jelly roll strips. With a little rotary cloth cutter and a much too small cutting board (hint, hint Memaw), I still need to cut the last piece of material before I can begin sewing together the strips.

Then I will be ready to time myself to see how quickly I can put together my lasagne (or jelly roll) quilt top.

Then the fun begins! Tacking on the batting (read where you can use blue painter's tape) and backing. Then edging the whole thing and quilting it. What have I gotten myself into? A beautiful quilt, I hope. When I have finished, I will include a photo of my first quilt.

I made a patchwork quilt top back in the early 80's from Laura Ashley squares and then made a duvet cover out of it. That was the lazy gal's way out of making a quilt.

Back when Mom and Dad lived in the northern part of the state, my then teenaged son and I helped Memaw hand tie knot a quilt top that my Auntie had made years before. I still have that quilt made by four generations! That is a special quilt!

But this will be my first real quilt--from start to finish. Wish me luck.

My hub says I go from hobby to hobby, but I like to keep busy. Who knows what else I can find to do in all of those craft boxes upstairs! Hum?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hide Your Toes

Maybe you should sit on your feet if you don't want me to "step on your toes" with this rant today.

"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." ~G.B. Stern

What happened to good old thank you notes? I know that they are standard supplies for bridal and baby showers, weddings, graduations, and, if you are a true Southerner, dinners at your family, friends, or neighbors.

"Thank you" messages have gone the way of the "bread and butter" hostess gifts. (Google that, if you don't know what that is.)

In the last three years, we have been invited to several weddings, showers, and graduations. An invitation these days usually means "send a gift." I have no problem with the gift part, but a "thank you" would be nice. In fact, a "thank you" is necessary!

Many times receiving a "thank you" message is your only guarantee that the gift got to the person(s) you sent it. Deliveries get lost. Envelopes get misplaced. Who knows what can happen to the gift? If I never receive a "thank you" message, I assume that either the gift was lost or disliked by the receiver. Either way, I do not feel good about giving the gift.

So thank you to all of you who do not practice silent gratitude. And for the rest of you, we can't read your mind!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Simplicity Has Service

How many hours have I spent sitting on a tall stool turning the pages of a huge Simplicity pattern catalogue?

Memaw sewed most of my clothes up until I went to work and could buy my own clothes. Or make them myself, which I sometimes did. But Simplicity was our source for patterns for many years, and I only see such pattern books whenever I visit Hancock's. I never sit down to flip through them anymore, since I don't sew.

But last week while shopping I saw a magnifier to attach to the head of my sewing machine. As I really have both the time and desire to get back into sewing (I have a great idea for a "jelly roll" quilt!), I bought the magnifier. On getting it home, I discovered some parts were missing from the box. I have learned from my adult son that you shouldn't settle for poor quality or missing parts, so I "Googled" the magnifier and the make and found out it was a Simplicity product. I then emailed Customer Service with my problem and promptly received an answer. Lauri at Simplicity found me a new magnifier and mailed it off to me within two days. No cost! No postage! Just good ole American SERVICE!

Where has that kind of service been hiding the last 10 years?

Thank you, Lauri. And thank you, Simplicity! (And yes, I sent thank yous to both Lauri and her boss.)

Now Thank You notes will be another blog topic another time. Need to rant about that!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1970's and Strawberry Cake

I have three sisters-in-law, and the dark haired one used to make the most delicious cake--Strawberry Cake. I remember that the cake was her family's favorite back in the 70's. Every time we visit her even these days I hope that she will have made a Strawberry Cake. Guess I will just keep hoping or make one myself!

(As a side note, Memaw made one of these cakes last August for my niece E's bridal shower. Memaw is still laughing about turning the sheet cake out onto the serving platter and the following morning forgetting to take off the wax paper before icing it. LOL)

Here is the Just Plain Cooking version:

Strawberry Cake (Memaw's)

1 package yellow or white cake mix
1 package strawberry jello
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup frozen strawberries (thawed)

Combine cake mix, jello, water, and oil. Mix until well blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
Add strawberries and beat until they are pulverized and well mixed with other ingredients.
Bake in 2 greased and floured 9 inch pans for at least 1 hour at 350 degrees F.
Remove from pan and cool.

Strawberry Icing

1/2 cup drained strawberries
1 box confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Cream butter, add salt, sugar, and strawberries. Beat well.
Put between layers and on top of cake.

Monday, July 23, 2012

White Cake

While I wait for Antiques Roadshow to come on tv, I will do what I needed to do this morning. Where did the day go?

As I have "perfected" my homemade Greek yoghurt, I am giving bread making a try again.

Two summers ago I tried to get the hang of it, but mastering No Knead Bread is definitely an art I can't quite grasp. So I am trying again this summer. After two different recipes and throwing out old yeast, I will try again tomorrow. The dough has spent a couple of hours in a warm closet, so if I can just get it to cooperate, tomorrow we will have baguettes for breakfast.

Now for some green cake with chocolate chips and almonds. (Made that on Saturday with pistachio pudding and a yellow cake mix.)

No, I mean here is the recipe for White Cake:

White Cake (Memaw's)

1/2 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg whites ( beaten with 1/2 cup sugar at high speed to form meringue)

Beat shortening at medium speed until fluffy.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add to shortening, alternating with milk. Start and finish with dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes.
Add egg whites. Beat 1 minute at low speed.
Pour batter into two 9 inch round pans which have been greased and floured.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until done.
Frost with white , chocolate, or coconut icing.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

Marie Antoinette never said that! Funny how rumors become fact. The best bet is to "keep it real" and only share what you know is true.

And what I know is true is that all-purpose flour does not bake up the same as bread flour. I tried a No Knead Baguette recipe and used the only flour I had --all-purpose-- and the baguettes are edible but would have been better with bread flour. So I will try again, since this was so simple. Here is the recipe:

no knead baguette (stecca) recipe

Recipe from My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey. If you want to keep the baguettes plain, just skip the step of embedding the garlic, olives and cherry tomatoes.

3 cups (400 grams) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups (350 grams) cool 55-65F water
additional flour for dusting
20 pieces of the any combination of following: whole garlic cloves, whole olives, halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, table salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 10 to 18 hours (24 hours if you have a cold cold home.)

2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over itself to her three times and gently shape it into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse salt (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).

3. Grab a large bowl (large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. you could also use a large pot) and brush the insides of the bowl with olive oil. Gently place the dough, seam side down into the bowl. Cover bowl with a towel. Place in a warm draft free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 500F, with a rack in the center. Oil a 13″ x 18″ x 1″ baking sheet.

5. Cut the dough into quarters. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves. Embed the garlic cloves, olives or cherry tomatoes into the loaves, about five pieces per loaf. Drizzle, tab or brush olive oil on each loaf. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over each loaf, remember to go light on the olive loaf since the olives are salty.

6. Bake For 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a pan for five minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the baguette to a rack to cool thoroughly.

Note: The baguette may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.

///. I just made plain baguettes without the froufrou on top. Now we can eat them anyway we like.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fluffy, Not Fat

One of my favorite television entertainers says he is "fluffy" and not fat. Ha Ha, he is waaay overweight! But if he feels better calling himself "fluffy,"then he should do that.

The following cake recipe is fluffy. I won't try to figure out how "fluffy."

Fluffy Gold Cake (Memaw's)

2 cups flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon lemon flavoring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
4 unbeaten egg yolks

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add shortening, lemon extract, vanilla, and 2/3 cup milk. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/3 cup milk and egg yolks. Beat 2 minutes.
Pour into 2 round 8 inch layer cake pans that have been greased and floured lightly.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.

Frost with chocolate, white, or caramel icing.

Still waiting for the Dutch IPad user to let me know if you were my 2,000th viewer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dutch IPad Viewer

At 10:00pm NL time, someone using an IPad was my 2000th viewer. I know for sure that M and J have an IPad, since we helped them order it and set it up. Are they the winners, or was that someone else? I would really like to know!

Add a comment to this blog entry or send me an email message.

Who Will Be Number 2000 Viewer?

I can't give my prizes away! But I keep trying!

I am nearing my 2,000th viewer. That should happen momentarily.

If you are the 2000th viewer (look at the counter at the bottom of the blog), send me a sign or email (if you are family or friend).

This time the prize is your choice. I have lots of brocante and new items to choose from!

Waiting to hear from the winner.

Grass is Knee Tall

With all the rain last week and the sun this week, we have tall grass. My hub even mowed around the house last week between rain showers, but that only helped a little. We aren't complaining about the rain (our Dutch life was full of that) or the sun (wasn't that what last summer was all about), but now we just have to find the right time of the day to do outside mowing/weeding jobs without getting overheated.

Years ago when I visited my parents up in the northern part of this glorious state, I remember my Mom going out to weedeat early in the morning. I tried to help a few times and she said to me, "Don't get too hot. Take it easy." The humidity is so high here that after 10 minutes I am sopping wet and not a degree cooler. So much for sweating cooling off your body!

Last night instead of walking with Flip, we did yard work for the last 1 1/2 hours before dark set in. I did my usual weed busting around the roses and big agaves, and my hub did his weed killing spray job on the gravel drive and paths. Flip didn't quite understand why we weren't walking with him, but after a while he amused himself in the forest chasing rabbits or something and was equally as hot and tired as we were at dark.

So that means maybe I will try more weed ridding (around the smaller agaves and bushes) tonight. I have washed the outdoor work attire and am ready to sweat some more. Still think it is better than driving to a gym facility to work out and sweat. At least doing it outside here in the yard, I get fit and get a neat trimmed lawn!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Coconut Cake Story

There are only two people who really know the story of the coconut cake. They are my two oldest nieces. So if you want the real scoop, you have to ask them.

From what I heard, they loved Memaw's coconut cake so much that they decided to give it a go. Story goes that it didn't quite come out the same as Memaw's. When they told my dad about the problem, he informed them that Memaw always used a 99 cent Duncan Hines cake mix. So the "cat was out of the bag" or rather the "cake was out of the box."

I too remember how delicious this coconut cake was. And I am pretty sure that it wasn't a box cake when I ate it. I can even remember Memaw purchasing a coconut (what cute faces they have!), poking out one or two "eyes" of the coconut with an ice pick and draining the liquid into a glass, cracking the hard shell with a hammer on the back steps, tediously peeling off the equally tough inner shell with a sharp knife, and finally grating with a hand grater the pieces of delicious, moist coconut.

So here is the "real coconut cake" recipe:

Coconut Cake (Memaw's)

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Cream shortening, add sugar gradually, creaming well.
Blend in eggs, one at a time. Beat for 1 minute.
Combine milk and vanilla. Add alternately with dry ingredients to cream mixture. Blend thoroughly after each addition ( with mixture use low speed).
Fold in coconut. Pour into 3 well-greased and lightly floured 9-inch round layer pans.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool and frost.

Fluffy White Icing

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar, syrup, water, and cream of tartar and salt in top of double boiler.
Cook over rapidly boiling water, beating with electric mixer until mixture stands in peaks.
Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until thick enough to spread.
Sprinkle coconut over each frosted layer and over all the cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another "Piece of Cake"

(By the way, Memaw, my hub liked your cake. A lot!)

Tomorrow will bring the famous (or infamous, W. and S.) Coconut Cake recipe. Stay tuned!

Now for another Orange Cake recipe from Memaw's Just Plain Cooking:

Orange Cake with Creamy Orange Icing (Memaw's)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup strained orange juice
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

In large mixing bowl, put in flour, sugar, shortening, salt, and orange juice. Beat for 2 minutes.
Add baking powder, eggs, water, and orange rind. Mix thoroughly for 2 minutes.
Pour into two 9 inch layer pans.
Bake in moderate oven 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
Cool and ice.

Creamy Orange Icing

2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
2 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Mix confectioners sugar and egg thoroughly.
Bring orange juice and granulated sugar to a boil. Boil one minute.
Add to sugar and egg mixture and blend well.
Add shortening and orange rind. Beat until creamy.
Spread on cake.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it”

Let's not sit on this cake! (I just couldn't resist the quote above for my blog title today.)

Fresh Orange Layer Cake (Memaw's)

2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
2/3 of 1 cup liquid (1/4 cup untrained orange juice and 3/4 cup water or milk)
1/3 cup liquid

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
Add shortening, grated orange rind, and 2/3 cup liquid. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
Add 1/3 cup liquid and eggs. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
Pour into 2 greased 8 inch layer pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Frost with orange icing.

Orange Icing

5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 box confectioners sugar

Put all ingredients into small mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy. If mixture is too thick, add more orange juice until consistency for spreading.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Have You Stumbled Upon StumbleUpon?

I remember calling myself "computer illiterate" back a few years ago, and I still am today.

But I am Internet savvy. I think it is because I just keep Googling.

My latest find is StumbleUpon. Actually I found it a while back and just didn't take the time to figure out what to do. Recently when I was notified that two people from my address book were on StumbleUpon, I checked it out and registered.(Isn't it still freaky that the Internet knows what we or our friends are doing and sometimes even where we are? Big Brother is watching YOU!)

As Memaw says, the computer is a time filler (I say waster!). The weeds are growing uncontrollably in my front flowerbed as I write this, but they aren't going anywhere. Now I fill my time with this blog, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and ancestry Googling. Once in a while I go out to pick a few tomatoes or peppers, since the other veggies are spent. And whenever this rain lets up I will go back to weedeating.

In the meantime, let me see what I can stumble upon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Who Doesn't Like Nutella?

Thanks to America's Test Kitchen:

Nutella Bread Pudding from Slow Cooker Revolution

Serves 8 to 10  
Cooking Time: about 4 hours on Low

Why This Recipe Works: The rich hazelnut and cocoa flavor of Nutella inspired this gooey, over-the-top variation of our Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding. Out went the rum, raisins, and cinnamon. In went chocolate chips and a large dose of Nutella—a common European breakfast spread of hazelnuts, skim milk, and cocoa, which is readily available in the United States. We simply whisked the Nutella spread into the custard (which we reduced by a cup to account for the Nutella) and poured the custard over the toasted bread cubes, once again pressing the cubes into the custard. We loved the addition of chocolate chips, which added a chocolaty boost that the Nutella couldn’t without adding too much sweetness. Once cooked, the chocolate chips melted and added a decadent gooeyness that had tasters diving in for seconds. The perfect accompaniment for this bread pudding turned out to be softly whipped cream. If you cannot find challah, firm, high-quality sandwich bread may be substituted.

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 (14ounce) loaf challah bread, cut into 1inch cubes (12 cups) (see note)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar, then line with foil sling and coat with vegetable oil spray. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Spread bread over rimmed baking sheet and bake, shaking pan occasionally, until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes. Let bread cool slightly, then transfer to very large bowl.

2. Mix chocolate chips into dried bread; transfer to prepared slow cooker. Whisk cream, milk, egg yolks, Nutella, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in bowl, then pour mixture evenly over bread. Press gently on bread to submerge.

3. Mix remaining tablespoon granulated sugar with brown sugar then sprinkle over top of casserole. Cover and cook until center is set, about 4 hours on low. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

I am going to try this soon!

Coon Skin Cap

Back in the day, coon skin caps were prized apparel for little (and big) boys.

Last night our boy dog almost got him one. Coon, that is.

Flip and I both know there is a very large raccoon that roams out by the side of the barn after dark. But last night when he and I went out for his late "spook" search ( or rather pee break), I forgot to peek for raccoons before I let him outside.

Too late!!! I have never seen that hound run so fast. They disappeared around the side of the barn into the dark, while I was screaming for Flip to come back. I thought that was the end of the coon or of Flip! But no, our beagle came wandering back with his tail wagging madly in the night air.

The thrill of the chase! (Now where is that dog biscuit?)

Added note:There are presently birds flying into the windowpanes of the front porch doors and the dining room windows. What does that mean?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Zucchinis Out the Wazoo!

I know that blog title is a bit rude, but try to keep from throwing away zucchini. Then you will feel the same as I do. I am going to try the following recipe for tonight's dinner. It looks similar to my favorite summer squash recipe, so it should be good.

Printed from COOKS.COM

3 large zucchini (cubed with peel on)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
16 oz. shredded cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups bread crumbs
1 stick butter, melted

Cook zucchini and onion in enough salted water to cover, just until slightly tender.

Drain and add next 5 ingredients and mix well. Pour 1/2 into 15x11x2 casserole. Stir butter into bread crumbs and sprinkle 1/2 on first layer of zucchini mixture.

Repeat layers.

Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes.

Submitted by: Brenda Z.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

181 and 1881 on 7/12/12

181 blog entries and 1881 page views! Whew!
And almost 8,000 Pinterest pins! Who says I don't have it with numbers?

If You Ain't a Little Dutch, You Ain't Much

Ha!Ha! I still laugh at one of my nieces whenever she says, "I know, it is Dutch!"

For years she has heard from either my hub or me about John de Mol's television revolution both in Holland and the US -- Big Brother, Fear Factor, The Voice, Deal or No Deal, etc.--, that the best chocolate around is Dutch, etc. And yesterday after trying to decipher this tome of family pedigree information about our family, I can show her that she too is a little Dutch. Like it or not!

I sent family members the thick PDF document yesterday, and today I will send my notes of my reading it. It was an interesting thing to do on a rainy day.

I learned a lot about names and where they originated before Napoleon decreed in 1810 that people in his Dutch reign had to choose a name and register with it. I am just happy that my forefathers chose decent names and not something profane.

My sympathy to the Naaktgeborens/born naked, Piest/pisses, and Spring int Veld/spring in the field families in The Netherlands!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Pedigree

This morning I sat down to read my email messages and ended up rereading a 600+ page document on our family pedigree.

I love reading those family trees, but this one is a bit too much.

Since I promised some family members that I would share what I recently received from a distant relative, I thought I would pick out the good bits and send that, too.

Several hours later I am still busy and still interested! I will try to send the file first, and later today or tomorrow I will send the good, relevant bits.

So if you are family, be prepared. Now back to business. Recipes another day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Number 2 Banana Nut Bread

It is still raining, and the water level in the new (old) pond is rising. Slowly, but surely.

A few animals are happy about that, I am sure. Yesterday we saw a black snake in the backyard enjoying slipping and sliding in the rain puddles. Out front we saw a momma deer with her young one skipping over the freshly bush hogged grass. These animals keep our Flip flipping! Great name for this little guy, Hub!

In the meantime, there are four bananas that are waiting to be eaten. If we wait too long, they will end up in one of these bread recipes.

Banana Nut Bread (Memaw's)

2 1/2 cup flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
2 eggs
1 cup pecans

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Add shortening, 1/3 cup buttermilk, and the mashed bananas. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add the other 1/3 cup buttermilk and eggs, beating until well combined.
Fold in pecans. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool. Ice cooled cakes with Banana Icing.

Banana Icing

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup mashed bananas
1 pound box powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix butter and bananas in mixing bowl. Gradually add powdered sugar. Mixing well. If icing is too stiff, lemon juice may be added to achieve spreading consistency. Spread onto cake or bread.

Monday, July 9, 2012

He Did It!

It finally happened!

What I had expected to happen long ago happened just now. Our Flip flipped out and jumped through (well almost) a panel of plastic screen on our back porch.

We tried to teach him that the screen was like a glass door, but in the moment of the chase he forgot. And so did I!

We were both sitting out back on the porch enjoying the rain and the view when behind me I heard a whimper and light thud against the screen. Before I knew it, Flip whipped around my chair and charged into the lower screen panel at the end of the porch. The tension of the plastic screen was so intense that he yelped with a stunned pain and panicked. I saw the damage to the screen and shouted for him to follow me back into the kitchen. Reluctantly he did follow, and then headed for the front door. Needless to say I let him outside.

He ran to the end of the front porch and jumped to the chase. Was it a rabbit? Deer? Squirrel? Black bear? Elephant? Who knows? And Flippy can't tell me.

It is raining really hard now, and he is back on the front porch from the chase. Wet! Muddy! And guilty of ruining our screened in back porch!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


It is too much of a coincidence that I should be publishing the following recipe for Banana Nut Bread on this exact date, July 8! According to my notes in Memaw's recipe book, I made this bread on July 8, 2004. As I am not very consequent about writing notes in cookbooks about successful cooking experiences, the date has really thrown me for a loop.

This is what I wrote exactly eight years ago today:
July 8, 2004 Delicious - 6 grain flour. Cooked 1 hr 15 minutes. No mixer. 180 degrees C regular oven.

Banana Nut Bread (Memaw's)

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup oil
3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 to 3 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 inch X 4 1/2 inch X 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add sugar, eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Stir to blend. Fold in bananas and nuts.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.
Makes 1 loaf.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Desserts

Back in the late 1980's we moved to Zoeterwoude.

As my Dutch hub was convinced that we should invite our new neighbors for coffee and cake, I decided to do something American and make my own cake. Now Dutch bakeries are fabulous, but back 25 years ago they had a limited cookie and cake selection. So I thought I would offer our guests something typically American. I guess I should have tried chocolate chip cookies, but chips were hard to come by back then. Thus I made Pineapple Upside Down Cake. That is surely a 1950-1960's specialty!

What did our neighbors think of my cake? Who remembers? I just remember that my hub didn't have much faith in my baking skill and was worried that they would not appreciate something "homemade." ( Years later I baked King Cakes for all the neighbors on 6 January, and one neighbor said that if I started a bakery that she would buy from me.)

Here is Memaw's recipe for the pineapple upside down cake:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Memaw's)

2 1/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
2 unbeaten eggs

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 medium size can sliced pineapple
Maraschino cherries

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add shortening, 2/3 cup milk, and vanilla. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Use spoon or electric mixer at low speed.
Add 1/3 cup milk and eggs. Continue beating for 2 minutes. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a deep 9 inch oven safe skillet.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over melted butter in the skillet and stir over low heat until sugar is melted and lightly caramelized.
Arrange 7 or 8 slices of canned pineapple on top of caramelized sugar in skillet. Put maraschino cherries in holes of pineapple.
Pour half of cake batter over the pineapple slices.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until cake shrinks from the side of the skillet.
Turn out at once. (Just put a plate upside down on top of the cake in the skillet and then flip it over so the plate is facing up. Lift off the skillet and do any repair work. It should look beautiful and as good as any bakery!)
Makes 6 to 8 servings. Good served warm with whipped cream.

Memaw says to make cupcakes out of remaining cake mixture. (What about making a second pineapple upside down cake? I think they taste even better the next day!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dump Cake

Just the name sounds nasty, but the dump cake isn't. In fact, the one I made yesterday for the 4th of July dinner was tasty. It is super simple to make.

Apple/ Pineapple Dump Cake

Spray a lasagne size pan with Pam or other oil spray.
Dump in a 20 ounce can of pineapple bits (I drained the fruit first).
Dump in two cans of apple pie filling. Sprinkle with a good teaspoon of cinnamon (I used speculaas spices), and the next time I will add at least 1/4 cup of sugar. You might want to taste your pie filling for sweetness.
Dump a dry cake mix (white cake this time) on top of the fruit and cinnamon. Melt two sticks of butter (I used unsalted) and pour over the entire top of the dry cake mix. Sprinkle with nuts (I used sliced almonds, but pecans or walnuts would be delicious!).
Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for at least 50 minutes or longer if you want a crusty top.

Now back to Just Plain Cooking :

Pineapple Pride Cake (Memaw's)

2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup pineapple juice
2 eggs
1/3 cup pineapple juice

Sift together all dry ingredients into large bowl.
Add shortening and 2/3 cup pineapple juice. Beat 2 minutes.
Add eggs and 1/3 cup pineapple juice. Beat 2 minutes more.
Bake in 2 deep 8 inch pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes and then turn out of pan.
Frost with pineapple frosting.

Pineapple Frosting

3 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons crushed pineapple
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients with electric mixer until creamy.
Spread between layers and on top of cake.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Two Hundred Thirty-six Years! Happy Birthday, USA!

What did you eat on July 4, 2012? Hot dogs? Watermelon? Apple pie?

Where did you celebrate Independence Day 2012? On the beach? In the park? At a street party? At a fireworks display?

We had spare ribs prepared in the oven, corn on the cob ( thanks F!), cucumber salad, Sister Somebody's yeast rolls, apple/pineapple dump cake, and Memaw's homemade pear pie. And we drank iced tea.

We enjoyed our cool air conditioned house out here in the country with our injured pup asleep nearby. How he injured his leg and tummy early this morning, he could not tell us. He will be better tomorrow.The injury did not hurt his appetite, since he especially enjoyed the leftovers from the spare ribs and the new food we bought this week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Japanese Fruit Cake

Back some 40 years ago my Dutch sister-in-law met a Japanese family while she was representing The Netherlands at (I think) the World Fair in Japan. (Maybe it was Expo 70?) That same Japanese family still sends Christmas greetings every year to our Dutch family. Actually they send greetings to my email, since I took over my mother-in-law's correspondence with them several years ago.

I have never met the family in Japan, and I doubt that they would know the following cake recipe as being Japanese. But that is what my mom calls it in her Just Plain Cooking cookbook, so we will leave it at that. The cake is delicious, in any case.

The Japanese Fruit Cake was another cake in Memaw's Christmas collection, so I guess this fits in perfectly with the Japanese family Christmas cards!

Japanese Fruit Cake (Memaw's)

1 1/2 cup orange, grind whole orange
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cup raisins, ground
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup shortening
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream sugar and shortening.
Add eggs and beat well.
Blend remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake in three layers.
Bake in 350 degree F oven until done.
Cool and frost.


2 cups sugar
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 whole coconut grated or 1 can coconut
4 tablespoons flour

Mix sugar, flour, and pineapple and boil until thickened. Add coconut. Whip and spread between layers and on top of cake.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Showers? How many today?

How many showers per day can old skin handle?

You know it is summer when....you must take at least two showers per day.

Our son was amazed when one of his roommates in college showered at least two times per day. My husband commented on the fact that my dad changed clothes several times every day when we visited. Now that we live and work outside here in the deeeep south, we know why the roommate showered so much and my dad changed attire so often.

Since we do our own yard work, we now have special "yard clothes" hanging on a clothes rack by the garage door exit. During the cold weather we add jackets, caps, scarves, and gloves. (And, yes, it gets cold enough for fur coats here in December or January.) In the mosquito seasons (fall or spring), we wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, hats, socks, and Off. And now in this hot and humid time we wear the same mosquito garb, but without the gloves and Off.

Most times after just a few minutes outside in these hot, humid times, we come in completely soaked and head for the shower. And then after our late evening walk with Flip, we do the same. So showering at least twice a day has become a daily happening around here. Changing clothes several times each day has also become the standard procedure. So washing "outdoor" clothes and towels is a continuous job.

Keeping "outdoor" clothes handy by the back door has been a lifesaver for our "regular"clothes.