"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Whoopie Pies (Easy)

I used a Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mix with Butterscotch Instant Pudding Mix because that is what I had...  Old Goat gave the recipe two thumbs up and said that they taste more like a "Suzy Q" than a Whoopie Pie... Filling makes the difference.  You can also make this with a Marshmallow Fluff

1 box chocolate fudge or devil's food cake mix
1 sm. box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 lrg. eggs
1 cup water

Cake Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together with a electric mixer for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. When baked place cookies on waxed paper or rack to cool.

For Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
To make the filling, cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla; sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

To assemble whoopie pies, spread or pipe filling on one cake and then top with another cake.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and then bring to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Favorite Sweet Muffins w/Peach Cantaloupe Butter

This recipe is from my Go To Favorite Cook Book.  Betty Crocker's Cookbook.
 I have been the proud owner of this treasure since 1972...a wedding present from my Mom.

I decided to make the Surprise Muffins (See below) and added 1 teaspoon of the Peach Cantaloupe Butter from "Little House Living"  

Sweet Muffins
1  egg
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Salad Oil
1-1/2 cups Gold Medal Flour*
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups (2-3/4 inches in diameter)  Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.  Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened.  Batter should be lumpy,

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately removed from pan.

12 muffins

If using Self Rising Flour, omit baking powder and salt.

Surprise Muffins:  Fill muffin cups only 1/2 full; drop 1 teaspoon jelly in the center of each and add batter to fill cups 2/3 full.

I did add a dash of nutmeg just because I like it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Peaches and Coconut Cream Pie

This is a combination of several different peach pie/cobbler recipes.  This is best served very cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling

MAKES: 8 servings

Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches) Deep Dish
4 cups sliced peeled peaches (about)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
4 Ounces Philly Cream Cheese
1 large egg
1 3 oz. box Jello-O Cook and Serve Coconut Cream Pudding Mix


1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons shredded coconut
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Line a 9-in. pie plate with pastry; trim and flute edges. Add sliced peaches.

In separate bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, cream cheese, and egg. 
Beat until smooth.  Add pudding mix until combined.  
Pour over peaches and spread to cover.

Bake at 425° for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pecans, coconut 
and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly; sprinkle over pie.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean 
and topping is golden brown.

Cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over browning 
if necessary. Cool completely on a wire rack for 3 hours before serving. 
Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hammett House German Chocolate Pie

I have made this pie several times, it is the best chocolate pie you will ever eat!!   You might want to start with a small piece... it is SO rich.

Hammett House German Chocolate Pies Southern Living

Hammett House Restaurant, Claremore, Oklahoma

1graham cracker pie crust, refrigerated (large)

1 1⁄2cups sugar
3⁄4cup cornstarch
1pinch salt
4cups whole milk
5large egg yolks
6tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1cup sweetened flaked coconut
1cup chopped pecans

2cups cold heavy cream
1⁄3cup chocolate syrup, plus more for garnish (Fox's U-Bet brand is recommended)
1⁄3cup chopped pecans
1⁄3cup sweetened flaked coconut

Prebake graham cracker crust according to package directions; let cool.
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; whisk in the milk and egg yolks.
place over medium heat; cook/whisk until the mixture starts to thicken and comes to a low boil, about 5-7 minutes.
Continue to whisk and heat until quite thick, about 1 ½ minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips until the filling is uniform in color.
Stir in the coconut and pecans.
Pour filling into the cooled pie shell.
Gently press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the filling, leaving no gaps or air pockets, to prevent a skin from forming.
Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Shortly before ready to serve, make the topping: using a chilled bowl and chilled beaters, beat the cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks.
Add in the chocolate syrup and continue to beat until it is stiff but not grainy.
Stir in the pecans and coconut.
Smooth topping over the pie, mounding it in the center.
Drizzle with additional chocolate syrup.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Enchilada Penne

1 lb. Lean Ground Hamburger
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 bell pepper diced (any color will do)
1 large stalk celery diced
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1 19 oz. can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (Mild)
1 10 oz. can of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 8 oz. package of Philly Cream Cheese cubed

There are two ways to prepare this depending on how much time you have.

8 oz. Penne right out of the box.. or

8 oz. Penne Pasta prepared al dente in salted water reserving 1 cup of pasta water for later use if needed.  This can be done while browning the hamburger.

In large skillet w/cover break up and brown hamburger, just before hamburger is "done" add the onion, bell pepper and celery.  Cook until onion starts to soften.  Next add the chili powder.  Mix until you start to smell the chili powder release it's flavors.

Next add the Enchilada Sauce and Rotel Tomatoes.  Heat until it starts to bubble, add the Cubed Cream Cheese.  Stir until melted, reduce heat.

If you are in a hurry add the al dente penne and coat, cover and let simmer about 10 minutes.

If you have time on your hands add the uncooked penne cover and simmer until pasta is done.  **You may need to add additional water or tomato sauce (about 1 cup) if mixture gets too dry before pasta is finished.

When ready to serve top with grated Pepper Jack cheese.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pistachio Milnot Cheese Cake

I have had this version of the Milnot cheese cake in my head for a couple months now.  I finally got it together this weekend.  This is a very soft, light cheese cake that will put a smile on your face and asking for seconds!

(Please ignore the fact that the Pistachios in this picture are "flavored" Salt and Pepper)  Use regular crushed Pistachios as a topping if desired.

1 Envelope Knox gelatin
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 Box Jello Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 Cup Half and Half
1 12-oz. can MILNOT, whipped
Green food coloring to deepen the color if desired.  None added to this recipe.

3 cups Oreo crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Mix the gelatin and 2 tablespoons of sugar then dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Chill until slightly thickened. 
Cream together cheese, sugar, pudding and slowly add Half and Half ; add gelatin and blend well. 
Fold in stiffly whipped MILNOT. (This can be done with electric mixer.)  I whipped the Milnot at room temp.  Do not add anything while whipping, it will break.
Mix Oreo Cookie crumbs and melted butter together; pack 2/3 of mixture on bottom and sides of spring form pan or a 9x13x2-inch pan (or larger). 
Add filling and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Chill several hours (or overnight). 
Cut or slice and serve plain or garnished with Crushed Pistachios. 
Serves 12-16

Friday, July 17, 2015

Knox Gelatine Basics

Knox Gelatine Basics


If you have ever simmered meat bones for a soup then chilled it, you may have noticed a slight jellied effect to the broth. This result is due to "collagen", a protein substance which yields gelatine and is found in the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals. In manufacturing, unflavoured gelatine is extracted from the collagen by hot water, then concentrated and filtered for purity and clarity. It is cooled, extruded and dried into glassy brittle strips. In 1889, Charles B. Knox of Johnston, New York discovered a method of granulating gelatine by breaking down the strips using high speed mills.
Most unflavoured gelatine is packaged in pre-measured individual envelopes for convenient usage. Each envelope of Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine will gel 2 cups of liquid. If the recipe you want to use calls for unflavoured gelatine by the tablespoon, just use 1 envelope for each tablespoon called for.
Unflavoured gelatine has no flavour of its own and contains no sugar, unlike many flavoured gelatines which contain mostly sugar as well as artificial flavours and colours. This makes unflavoured gelatine extremely versatile: it can be used to create desserts, salads, main dishes, jams and jellies, even ice cream and frozen yogurt!
Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine contains only 6 calories per serving (or 25 calories per envelope) and can easily be used to prepare "lower-in-calorie" recipes.

per 1.75g* serving
Energy .......................... 6 Cal/30 kj
Protein .................................. 1.6 g
Fat ........................................... 0 g
Carbohydrate ........................... 0 g
*Equals a 1/2 cup serving "as
consumed" made up with water  


 Clear or Simple Gel
A clear or simple gel is a basic juice or broth mixture. Solids may be added after the mixture has chilled to "the consistency of unbeaten egg whites".

A whip is a clear gel that has been chilled until partially set; and then beaten until fluffy. Solids are not added to whips.

A snow is a clear gel that has been chilled until partially set; unbeaten egg whites are added, and the mixture is beaten until stiff. Solids are not added to snows. This dish is also sometimes called a "sponge".

A mousse is a clear gel that has been chilled until the "mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon". Whipped cream is then folded in; solids may also be folded in at this time.

Custard Gel
A custard gel contains egg yolks, milk and gelatine cooked to form a custard base.

A chiffon is a custard gel that has been chilled until "mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon". Stiffly beaten egg whites are then folded in; solids may also be folded in at this time.

A Bavarian is a chiffon with the addition of whipped cream.

A soufflé is a mousse, chiffon or Bavarian mixture chilled in a soufflé dish with a collar.

A charlotte is a mousse, chiffon or Bavarian mixture chilled in a bowl, loaf pan, or springform pan lined with ladyfingers.

Blend 'N Gel
A blend 'n gel is a clear or custard gel prepared in a blender or food processor. Generally, ice or another frozen food is added to speed the gelatine process.


Sprinkle Knox® Gelatine over cold liquid to separate the granules. Let stand for 1 minute.
Gradually add boiling liquid (or liquid heated to the boiling point).
Stir constantly until gelatine is completely dissolved - about 1-2 minutes depending on the amount and temperature of the liquid.

Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine is simple and easy to work with. Depending on the nature of the recipe, you can choose one of four methods of dissolving the gelatine: 

In a Bowl: for most recipes.
Liquid Mix Method:
1. In mixing bowl, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Add 1/4 cup (50mL) boiling water, stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved.
Sugar Mix Method:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine with 2 tablespoons (25mL) of sugar.
2. Add 1/2 cup (125mL) boiling water; stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved.
In a Saucepan: for recipes with ingredients that must be cooked or melted.
1. In a saucepan, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Place over low heat; stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved - about 3 minutes.
In a Blender:
1. In a blender, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox
® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) boiling liquid and process until granules dissolve, about 30 seconds.
In the Microwave:
1. In a glass measuring cup, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Microwave on High (100%) for 30 - 40 seconds; stir once.

Once the gelatine has been dissolved using any of these methods, remaining ingredients are added and the mixture is then poured into a mould or bowl and chilled until set.

For best results when preparing a recipe, use all imperial or all metric measures - not a combination.

Unmoulding is easy:

Carefully loosen gelatine from side of mould with moistened tip of sharp knife.

Dip the mould into warm (not hot) water to the depth of the gelatine contents for about 5 seconds. Tilt or shake mould gently to loosen gelatine.

Invert serving dish on top of mould. Hold both firmly together and turn over (to right side up).

Shake firmly until gelatine slips down from mould into serving dish. If gelatine doesn't come loose easily, repeat the process.
If Gelatine mixture becomes too firm:

Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine is more resilient than you may think. If a recipe reads "chill mixture to consistency of unbeaten egg white" and it chills too firm, that's easy to fix. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir just until the mixture returns to a smooth-textured liquid state. Repeat the chilling process to the desired stage and the mixture will reset successfully.

A metal pan or bowl chills faster than a glass container.
Small containers or individual moulds chill faster than large ones.
When chilling to a partially set stage, the bowl containing the gelatine combination may be set into a pan of ice and water to speed thickening. Stir frequently to ensure even chilling, then stir constantly once the thickening starts.

Chill to consistency of unbeaten egg white.

20-45 minutes.

Tip mixture off spoon. It should pour off slowly in partially thickened state.

Combine with solids or whipped cream, to give an even distribution.

Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.

20-45 minutes.

Tip mixture off spoon. It should mound slightly.

Combine with beaten egg whites, to give a fluffy even texture.

Chill until set (or firm):

Most dishes take 3 hours; large dishes 4-6 hours or overnight.

Tilt mould gently from side to side. The gelatine should hold its shape firmly.

Unmould and serve.

*Chilling times may vary with quantity of mixture, material of container and refrigerator temperature.



Unflavoured gelatine granules must be separated before a hot liquid is added or you're guaranteed to have lumps. You can separate the granules by mixing the gelatine with either sugar or a cold liquid. Then add the hot liquid, stir and there will be no lumping!


Follow these easy steps:

Use boiling water to dissolve gelatine in a bowl - temperature is important.

Use a rubber spatula, and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan or bowl while stirring. Easy does it ... too vigorous stirring will splash the gelatine and leave it on the sides.

It takes time as well as temperature to dissolve gelatine. So stir for at least two minutes (or longer if the recipe says so).

You'll know the gelatine is completely dissolved when there are no visible granules remaining. Splash a little bit up against the side and check. No granules? You're ready to go on with the recipe.


For special occasions, nothing is quite as impressive as a shimmering mould. And it's really not that hard to unmould gelatine:

Dip the mould into warm (not hot) water for about 5 seconds.

Carefully loosen the mixture by running the tip of a sharp knife around the edges. Place the serving dish on top; flip over and holding firmly, shake gently until the gelatine slips from the mould onto the dish.

If it doesn't come loose easily, simply repeat the process again.

Some consumers find it easier to lightly oil the jelly mould before filling.

But don't forget - you don't have to use a mould. Gelatine can be chilled in just about anything - bowls, dessert dishes, parfait glasses, baking or springform pans, graham cracker crusts, or even paper cups.


1 pouch is about 2 1/2 teaspoons (7g) unflavoured gelatine. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon, use 1 pouch of unflavoured gelatine. Each pouch will gel 2 cups (500mL) of liquid and up to 1 1/2 (375mL) cups of solids.


Sheets of leaf gelatine are not readily available in the United States or Canada, but it can be found in Europe. To use, these sheets are first softened in cold water for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft, then squeezed and then finally dissolved in hot liquid. One pouch of Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine has the same gelling strength as 5 sheets (2-7/8" x 8-1/2") leaf gelatine.


Many people confuse "softening" with "dissolving". Softening gelatine in cold water or another cold liquid helps the granules swell, which is the first step in dissolving. To actually dissolve the granules, boiling liquid or heating the cold liquid in which the gelatine is softened is needed, plus some stirring.


Yes. Gelatine can be dissolved easily in a microwave oven. Here's how: in a glass measuring cup, sprinkle 1 pouch unflavoured gelatine over 1/4 cup cold water and let stand for 1 minute. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 30-40 seconds; stir once.


Fresh figs, kiwi fruit, papaya, pineapple and prickly pears contain protease enzymes (enzymes which destroy protein). These enzymes have a softening effect on gelatine and prevent it from gelling properly. Boiling the peeled cut-up fruit for 5 minutes, however, will usually inactivate these enzymes, making all these fruits (except kiwi fruit) usable in gelatine recipes.

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