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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hoppin’ John

1 lb. dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
¾ lb. Tasso ham, diced
1 onion, halved
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves

In a large Dutch oven or kettle, combine ingredients with 6 
cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until beans are tender but not mushy, 2 to
2 ½ hours. Drain the black-eyed peas and ham, saving cooking liquid separately. Remove and discard the onion pieces, 
garlic, and bay leaves.

½ lb. bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
½ tsp. fresh thyme
1 cup Cajun Grain rice (or a good-quality long grain rice)
6 green onions, sliced
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper

Wipe out the pot and return to stove over moderately high heat. Add bacon and render until golden (8 to 10 minutes), then add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Using a wooden spoon, stir occasion-ally, cooking until onions look translucent (8 to 12 minutes). Add the thyme and 2 ½ cups water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, stir in the rice, cover, and simmer until the 
rice is tender, about 17 
to 22 minutes.

Stir in the green onions, parsley, and black-eyed peas and ham, season with salt and pepper, and adjust the consistency with the reserved cooking liquid. The hoppin’ John should be lushly moist but not soupy.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Taco Bake

The recipe below has been modified some, I had to use what I had in the house.  I do not keep 12 oz. cans of anything... I used 15 oz. size even the tomato sauce.  I did use black beans because we do not like Kidney Beans, and I rinsed the beans before adding.  I did not have the Jiffy Corn muffin mix so I used the recipe off the round box of corn meal.  Serve with Salsa, sour cream or what ever makes those taste buds happy.  I did not have the canned fried onions so I chopped an onion and added it to the hamburger mix.

1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 (12 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (12 oz.) can kidney beans
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (8.5 oz.) package corn muffin mix
1 (2.8 oz.) can French fried onions
1/3 cup sharp cheddar shredded

Heat oven to 400  .  Brown beef in skillet and drain.  Stir in taco seasoning, water, corn, beans, pepper and tomato sauce.

 Pour into a 7 x 12 inch glass dish or a 2 quart round casserole dish.  In bowl mix corn muffin mix according to package directions, then stir in one-half can onions.  Spoon corn muffin mixture around outer edge of casserole.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese and remaining onions on corn muffin topping.  Bake 2 to 3 minute longer.  Yields 8 servings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fried Cabbage and Stuff

This is one of those dishes that just about everybody makes at least once and everybody does something different to it to make it their own.  Good Basic Food.

Start out peeling (if your are using red potatoes don't peel), slicing and dicing some potatoes.  (Red Potatoes work the best)  Fry in a little bit of oil until crisp and brown.  Add one coarsely chopped onion and some coarsely chopped bell pepper (any color will do)  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Remember that the sausage will add salt to the mix.

Once the onions and peppers have started to cook add the smoked sausage .  This is Hillshire Farm, pork,turkey and beef mix,

Stir into potato mix until it starts to heat through.  Lastly, add coarsely chopped cabbage (about any type of cabbage will do)  This is 1/2 head of plain green cabbage, medium sized,.  Stir into mixture, cover and steam until cabbage reaches desire tenderness.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cran-Apple Crisp

Okay, we're not big fans of cranberry's here. But staying with tradition we have them every Thanksgiving.  Now what to do with what's left.

This actually turned out great, cranberries combined with apples and brown sugar is a great friendship...

Preheat Oven 350 degrees

5-6 peeled, cored and thinly sliced
whole cranberry sauce- about 15 oz.

Combine sliced apples and cranberries, add to a greased 8 inch deep dish

(I have a new Kitchenaid attachment that is labeled as a food processor and it does a great job evenly slicing the apples.  I did not peel my apples which was a mistake, peelings stayed tough and chewy.)

The crisp topping recipe comes from my very old (early 1970's) Better Homes and Gardens Encyclopedia of Cooking,  I have been using this recipe since the beginning of time.  The only thing I did different for this is add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped pecans ** Optional

Combine oats, sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut into butter to make a crumb like mixture.  Sprinkle over apples,  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes,  Serve warm with cream, if desired.

Test apples to make sure they are soft before removing from oven,  I ended up baking for about 50 minutes because I used a deeper pan so I had a really thick layer of apples to bake,

Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey Tetrazzini

This is a very forgiving recipe that amounts can be adjusted depending on ingredient availability.  I have seen various veggies added, peas, corn etc.  It's all about what you're craving at the moment. Have fun with the basic recipe!


8 oz. uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour**
2 cups chicken broth**
3/4 cup half-and-half**
2 cups grated cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
3 cups cubed cooked turkey
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Cook spaghetti .al dente  Drain.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, celery, mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low.

** At this point if you have left over gravy you can add or do this: (I have also been know to use the dreaded can of cream of mushroom soup and milk)  Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. 

Remove from heat; stir in half-and-half, cheese and 1/4 cup parsley, salt and pepper.
Add cooked spaghetti, parsley and turkey to  mixture; stir gently to mix. Spoon mixture into ungreased  (3-quart)  baking dish. 

Cover with foil; 

Heat oven to 350°F. 

** If  Tetrazzini becomes too dry add milk or chicken broth.

Cover; bake at 350°F. for 45 to 55 minutes or until thoroughly heated, removing foil during last 10 minutes of baking time. Uncover baking dish; sprinkle Parmesan cheese and/or grated cheese over top. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is hands down the most wonderful Sweet and Sour Recipe EVER!

This version is from Taste and Tell..which is actually the method I used.
Author: Deborah
Serves: 4-6 servings
2 to 2½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch

3 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoon ketchup
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons garlic powder

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl, I used a zip lock bag. Put the eggs in a separate bowl. Place the oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dredge the chicken in the cornstarch, then dip in the egg. Add to the hot oil and brown on all sides. You do not need to cook the chicken through, just brown the outside to get a crispy exterior. Transfer the chicken to a 9x13-inch baking dish and continue with the remaining chicken.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder. Pour the sauce over the top of the chicken.
Bake the chicken for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Maple Oatmeal Pie


Pastry for Pie crust or graham cracker crust

2 eggs, slightly beaten
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flaked coconut
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts

Cinnamon whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare pastry crust or graham cracker crust. Set aside.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, milk, butter and vanilla. Stir in coconut, rolled oats, and walnuts. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours
Cinnamon Whipped Cream: in a chilled bowl combine 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Spring Harvest Maple Farm

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Apple Butter Pan Bread

This is a very basic "tea" bread recipe.  I didn't add apple butter to the batter, but you can, just decrease the milk by the amount you are adding.

2 1/2 cup Gold Metal Flour
1       cup Sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1       teaspoon salt
3       tablespoons salad oil
1 1/4 cup milk
1       egg
1       teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 tablespoons apple butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour one 9" to 10" cast iron skillet.  Beat egg and sugar until light, add salt and vanilla, slowly add the oil, one tablespoon at a time.  With mixer on low, slowly add flour alternating with milk.  Pour batter into prepared pan drizzle apple butter over the top of the batter, using a knife pull the apple butter through the batter.  Place pan in oven and bake for about 35 minutes depending on the size skillet you are using.

Once bread is done, remove from pan or serve while warm.  Bread will continue to bake if you leave it in the hot pan and will dry out quickly.  Top with Fried Apples and whipped cream.

Fried Apples

3 medium Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Apple Butter

Melt butter in medium hot skillet, add sliced apples and coat with butter add lemon juice.  Fry apples until they start to slightly soften.  Add sugars and stir until a thick syrup starts to form.  Add Apple Butter and cook until it is blended and syrup is still thick.
Serve warm.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crockpot Apple Butter

Fall has arrived and boxes of apples are showing up at every festival.  We are lucky enough to have a local guy that goes to northern Missouri and brings back a huge trailer of five (5) different kinds. This year I bought three (3) different kinds to share with the family.  Fuji, Red Delicious and Granny Smith.  This recipe has some of each kind.  I don't think it really matters that much what type you use, they all cook down into a wonderful sauce.

Here is what I did..

Get that crockpot out!  Next, you will need five (5) to six (6) pounds of apples not pealed.
I have an apple slicer that cores and cuts the apples into eight (8) even slices.. 

 Once the apples are cored and sliced, it's time to dice into 1/2" cubes.  You should have enough apples to almost fill your pot.

In a separate bowl add:
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a mix of light and dark because that is what I had)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix thoroughly making sure all the lumps are gone.  Throw the mixture over the apples and mix coating the apples.

Cover crockpot and cook for an hour or two on high.  Stir and turn pot to low, cover and cook for at least eight hours.  If there is too much liquid cook tilt the lid creating an air gap letting the moisture escape or cook off.
When apples reach the desired thickness, process the apples with a blender, food processor or smart stick until smooth.

Now to finish,  add 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of real butter.  Stir until incorporated.