Sunday, November 29, 2009

Do Ahead Sausage Souffle

This recipe has been around for several years in our family.  I didn't find this exact recipe in my Grandma's recipe box, but I know it is in there somewhere.  My mom originally came across this recipe several years ago in the Denver Post Newspaper.  There was a food editor by the name of Helen Dollaghan and this was one of her recipes.  A few years later, I even got one of her cook books autographed (I was pretty excited about that!).  This Do Ahead Sausage Souffle is standard fare for any holiday or brunch gathering in our family.  Over the years we have all tried variations, using different breads, different sausage, different baking dishes and I think we always come back to the original recipe.  This does cook up better in a glass baking dish than it does in a metal pan, but either way, it tastes really good and is one of Bubba's favorites.  (I am not asking him for a rating this time, cause his ratings aren't matching up with his consumption).

Do-Ahead Sausage Souffle
8 slices soft bread with crusts
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 lbs sausage links, cooked and cut in 1/3rds
4 eggs
2 3/4 c. milk
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Spread evenly, bread cut in to cubes, in bottom of well greased baking pan (13x9x2). Sprinkle cheese evenly over top of bread. Arrange sausage on top.  Beat eggs with 2 1/4 c. of the milk.  Pour over bread mixture.  Mix together dry mustard and soup.  Add remaining 1/2 c. milk.  Mix well.  Spoon on top of casserole.  Cover tightly with foil.  Refrigerate over night.  Place in cold oven.  Set oven to 300 degrees F. Bake about 1 1/2 hours until puffy and brown.  Option: substitute sausage links with ground turkey sausage.  Add a little garlic and pepper when browning.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Butter Horns

As you might imagine, Thanksgiving and a 4 day weekend provide an opportunity to make several recipes from my Grandma's recipe boxes.  At one point, I was thinking that I would make everything we were having for Thanksgiving out of her recipes, but I admit, I gave up and some things are my own (or my mom's or the internet's).  These rolls, however did come from her, or rather her friends Mary and Alice (I think they might have been sister's in law).  They're not bad and I think I would try to make these again as they are full of that good yeast roll flavor, I just don't think I got the texture perfect.  For those of us who don't cook all that often, I think we all would agree that baking rolls and bread takes some practice.
Butter Horns
1 cup milk (scalded)
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1 cake yeast (1 pkg)
3 beaten eggs
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c flour (sifted)
Blend scalded milk, shortening and sugar. Cool to luke warm.  Add yeast and mix to dissolve.  Add beaten eggs and salt.  Sift flour once then measure.  Add flour and mix until smooth.  Put dough into a greased bowl and cover.  Let rise till doubled in bulk.  Divide dough into 3 pieces.  Roll each piece into circle about 9 in. diameter, butter each circle of dough, cut into 12.  Roll up in crescents.  Cover, let rise till doubled.  Bake at 400 degrees F about 13 to 15 min.

One of the things about looking through recipe boxes around a holiday is you can't help but recall some of the many Thanksgiving's gone by.  Many of my memories are of those that were at my Grandma and Grandpa's.  My cousins would come from Colorado and we would all play outside in the leaves while our Dad's watched TV (usually football) and the women cooked.  Fall in Nebraska can be beautiful and of course, Football is big!!  If it was nice enough to be outside football was our game of choice and we had many a good game on the front lawn, or in the street, or in the neighbors yard.  The food was always yummy and there was lots of it. The "adult" table was long and impressive with turkey center pieces and cornuopias and our "kids" card table was, well, ours!  While I think back, I have made a huge mistake by not honoring my Grandma this Thanksgiving with a Jello recipe...we always had a jello salad, sometimes with cranberries, sometimes not, maybe strawberry/banana jello or some good ole' lime jello with cottage cheese (I told you there are things I need to make that I am putting off).  As I sit here thinking about those good times, I can remember always taking some jello so I wouldn't hurt her feelings (I think we all did it), we would take just a little and put it on our plates, but I don't know if anyone ever really ate it..except my Grandma...she loved it, I knew it was the one thing she made for herself. My Grandma also had this great little Turkey shaped cranberry dish, it was used once a year.  The funny part was, on more than one Thanksgiving, the turkey dish and it's contents were forgotten in the refrigerator and it was the subject of many a good laugh for all when we went to put the leftovers away and there sat the cranberries in the turkey dish.  :)  Perhaps a little late, but Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nut Fudge Cake

Ok, I am going to admit right out of the gate, this recipe was "hard". It is one that appears so old, it could have actually belonged to my Great Grandma.  It is these very kind of recipes I am avoiding as I look through my Grandma's recipes boxes.  See, this particular recipe has all kinds of things wrong with it as it is written on the card.  In fact there are so many things wrong, you should be asking me "why on earth did I make this in the first place if it is so bad?"  Well let me tell you why and then let me tell you what is wrong and then we can decide what to do with the end product (it could be another one of those trash can trips).  The "why" of all of this is because Bubba asked for it.  Now, I should have enough sense to look at a recipe and just say "no", but then again, I have committed to making everything in her recipe boxes (well, almost everything) and to just say "no" wouldn't have been the right thing to do.  On the surface the recipe looks ok, a chocolate cake with some chocolate frosting, how could I mess this up.  Well, let me tell you how.  First, I think when she or my Great Grandma was writing this recipe down, she wasn't focused.  Sugar is listed twice, with 2 different measurements, and the instructions (what few there are) indicated beating the butter and sugar together, but there isn't any butter listed as an ingredient, so I assumed that one of the sugars was actually butter.  Key, was deciding which one should be butter and which one should be sugar.  I don't have many real cooking skills, but I do know that I have never seen a cake with 2 cups of butter and so I decided that the 2/3 cup sugar was really butter.  Speaking of directions, they are hard to follow.  The instructions suggest that you use 1/4 cup of water to dissolve the cocoa...well 1/4 cup of water isn't going to dissolve a 1/2 cup of cocoa, so I ended up using the water and the milk, who knows if this was a good idea or not.  Vanilla is listed as an ingredient but no quantity is included, it says to fold "whites" in to the cake mixture but it never tells you what to do with the whites...I decided to beat them and fold them in after the nuts.  It doesn't give you cake size pan, a cooking temperature or a cooking time (My head is hurting just thinking about this and I haven't even started talking about the frosting).  I decided to put the cake in 2 round pans at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.  I decided to do this because the directions mentioned putting the frosting on the hot cake.  As it turned out, this probably wasn't the right idea.  Now for the icing, let me just say, it tasted good (how can powdered sugar, butter and cocoa not taste good?).  But again, I had to guess quite a bit on what to do, and when you see the recipe card, you will see why it was so confusing.  It mentions adding vanilla at least 3 time..geesh, she must have really been multi-tasking when she wrote this recipe.  (If you know my Grandma, what I would guess was going on was she was talking on the phone (her phone was ALWAYS busy!)).  OK, for the taste test, it tasted alright, but it shouldn't have been a layer cake, probably was meant to be a sheet cake, thus putting the frosting on a hot cake...I should know better.  While this didn't make it to the trash as quickly as the Tuna Delight, it wasn't far behind.  Oh well, on to the next recipe.  PS:  I am not even going to bother trying to write out the ingredients or directions on this one.  If someone really wants them, send me a note and I'll take a stab at it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Today Bubba and I were looking through recipe boxes for the weekends "treats" and as usual, we came across some sweets we wanted to try.  Now eventually I am going to have to cook some of her recipes that just don't appeal to our taste buds (like the Date Cake recipe) but for now, there are still plenty of yummy recipes to try.  The recipe included today was not one of her hand written ones, but was one of her newspaper clippings.  Based on the way the paper was folded these Chocolate Mint Cookies are probably what she had her eye on or it could have been the Ham Croquette recipe or the Hot Dip recipe, which while I am looking at it, I might try those soon too. I am not sure why these are called cookies, they are made in a pan and are more like brownies, but either way, I think you will like them.  I probably didn't get the mint cream filling thick enough as it didn't really set up even after refrigeration.  If I made these again I would use more powdered sugar or less milk than the recipe calls for. I used organic peppermint oil, and perhaps that affected the texture too. Also, note that the cookie layer directions don't indicate what to do with the butter, so I melted it with the unsweetened chocolate.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
Cookie layer:
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
Grease a 9x9 inch pan. Melt chocolate: cool. Beat eggs and sugar: add flour and chocolate. Stir until smooth. Spread in pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cool completely.
Mint Cream Filling:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon peppermint
Beat all ingredients together until smooth; add green food coloring, if desired.  Spread over cookie layer and refrigerate until this layer is firm.
Chocolate Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter
 2 ounces sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt together and drizzle over cookie layers.  Cut into bite size pieces.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tequila Daiquiri

While I clearly have a self explanatory title on this post, it isn't as clear as it seems.  First, the recipe I have (from my Grandma's Recipe Boxes) is for (as written on the card) Tequillo Daiguira.  I have quickly jumped to the conclusion that this is for some sort of daiquiri, based on 2 simple ingredients, tequila and frozen lemonade.  But for anyone who knows my Grandma, this recipe is about the last thing I would have expected to find amongst her recipes.  In fact, every time I look at the recipe card, I try to imagine where and when she might have picked up this recipe. Could it have been some wild and crazy bridge party (not likely) or at some after school bash with all her teaching friends (not likely) or maybe playing bridge out at the golf course (that's the most plausible option)?  And even funnier, if you look closely at the recipe card, the picture in the top left hand corner is of this cute, blonde, innocent looking little girl standing over a stove with a pan, hardly the picture I would associate with a can full of tequila...It's such a mystery.  Once I stop wondering about how she acquired this recipe, I then start thinking about how a tequila recipe get's called a daiquiri...oh well.....   Any way, here's the recipe in case it's nice and warm where you are and you are looking for something to spice up your cocktail party!

Tequello Daiquira
1 Can Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
1 Can of Tequello or 6 oz.
Mix.  Fill blender w/ice and mix.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cinnamon Cookies

Recently a friend from high school dropped me a note and asked if my Grandma had any cookie recipes that would be good for a Christmas cookie sale.  I was actually very excited about this inquiry, because it gave me a sense of "mission" as I started thumbing through all her cookie recipes.  I will admit, I have pulled several out that have what I would consider to be "potential". The cookie recipe I chose today is titled Cinnamon Cookies. It isn't the recipe I started with, because, what I found was, that my Grandma wasn't opposed to the "2-sided recipe card".  Well, as I look at this one, it isn't even a recipe card, it is a post card.  Yep, I told you she would write a recipe on anything. These recipes are written on a "Happy Birthday" post card.  It's hard to read the recipe date, but it is dated 9/26/71.  Seems like a really long time ago.

Cinnamon Cookies
Mix 1 cup soft shortening - part butter (I used all butter)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
Sift 2 3/4 c. flour or 2 1/2 
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
Roll in a ball the size of a walnut. Roll in mixture of 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.
Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned but soft. 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. 5 dozen cookies.

These are pretty easy, probably the hardest part is rolling them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  I used a cookie scoop that was probably a little too big (it's been a long time since I have seen a "whole walnut" - that's my excuse and I am sticking too it). In fact, mine were probably closer to golf ball size (ok, not really, but they weren't the size of walnuts either).

For Christmas, I like the idea of putting a dozen of these in a cellophane bag and add some ribbon or bows. I tried to get a rating from Bubba, but he was too busy eating them to give me one. Ultimately I think he gave them a 7 (He's too tough!).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mahi Mahi from L&L BBQ

OK, so we really have this Hawaiian theme going, which I am sure my Grandma would be OK with (at least for awhile, but she probably would also suggest that it is time to get back to her recipe boxes and quit messing around).  So I will listen to that little voice and move on, but I thought I would share some dinner we had this week.  This probably won't seem like a big deal to any body unless they have lived in Hawaii and then moved to the mainland.  Once you have lived in Hawaii for any amount of time, I believe that when you leave, one of the things you miss (right up there with beautiful blue skies and a warm blue ocean, sandy beaches and some of the worlds warmest, kindest people) is the food.  Texas hasn't been the mecca of "local" food and up until recently,  I was doing my best to make sure Bubba and I got a fix of chicken katsu, kalua pig or teriyaki chicken every now and then.  But now...L&L Hawaiian BBQ (a franchise from Hawaii), has popped up on my way home from work.  They have it all and the menu is exactly like those in Hawaii.  Their saimin is awesome and Bubba loves the spam musubi.  I guess we are considered regulars.  The picture above is a Mahi Mahi Plate, one of my favorites.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Food Pictures from the Past

Long before I ever thought about a food blog, we were taking pictures of food.  I think I mentioned in a previous post about the picture taking that preceeds eating at most family events.  Perhaps this attitude towards food and pictures goes way back in our family history.  While I don't remember lots of picture taking when I was growing up, what I do remember is my Grandpa taking/making home movies.  You know, the reel to reel kind.  And now that I think about it, I can remember a few of those times we gathered around to watch old movies and a few slide shows too. I am sure my Grandma had something for us to eat while watching the movies, I just can't remember what it could have been (maybe cookies or cake (or Jell-O). Maybe there are some old food pictures out there somewhere that I just don't know about.  Recently, while looking through my old pictures I came across this picture from a trip we took a few years back when Bubba was coaching a baseball team that "represented" the USA and played various teams throughout Belgium and Holland.  Over the course of 10 days, we combined baseball, site seeing, eating and a little bit of sleep to make for a once in a life-time adventure with 17 college ball players and Bubba's dad.  This picture was taken as we made our way through the streets of Brugge.  I think it was that same day that I look back to as one of my most memorable. We wandered around Brugge, took pictures, sat outside on a beautiful sunny day, had wine and pate for lunch (well I did, Bubba had something with a little more substance and his Dad skipped the wine) and we watched people go about their day in a beautiful place (the boys were off touring through the square) and getting ready to play a ball game later that afternoon.  We found the food in Belgium to be fresh, light and they serve up some awesome pastries (if you can believe it, we didn't eat any chocolate).  By the way,  Belgium lays claim to the "French Fry" and it considered a popular fast food is to serve mayo with fries.  The baseball teams we played were all "club" teams and after most games, they hosted us to a simple meal ( I remember creamed something or other over fries for one meal).  And of course for those of us who were of drinking age, it was served with a favorite beer (if you haven't heard, they have lot's of beers in Belgium).  I personally enjoyed the "cherry beer". If you ever get a chance, you should consider a trip to this area of the world.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hawaiian Pumpkin Pie

In my last post, I mentioned about how much my Grandma had always wanted to go to Hawaii and that I thought she would have included the recipe for the Pork Loin with Mango Chutney Sauce for it's tropical "flair", if for only that reason.  Well, in looking through her boxes to find something to cook this weekend, I came across another pumpkin recipe ('tis still the pumpkin season).  There are still several pumpkin recipes I need to make, but I decided to keep with my Hawaiian/tropical theme and make this Hawaiian Pumpkin Pie.  Now, I am not sure what made this "Hawaiian", maybe the little bit of ginger that is used in the pie filling and topping are what gives it it's name, I can't really be sure.  This pie is similar to a chiffon pie recipe I also found in one her many recipe boxes.  It is light and cool and the sour cream frosting adds a nice flavor to the sweet pie filling.  Bubba liked this one (well he likes them all really) and gave it an "8".  (I am feeling like I am really going to have to work hard to get anything above an 8, but on the flip side, I would have to work pretty hard to get below a 4 (remember the Tuna...he didn't even give me a 2 for that!).
Hawaiian Pumpkin Pie
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. cold water
1 1/4 c. pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each nutmeg, ginger and allspice
1/3 c. granulated sugar
9 inch baked pie shell
Add gelatin to cold water, set aside. In pan combine pumpkin, milk, egg yolks (slightly beaten), brown sugar, salt and spices.  Cook for 2 minutes after boiling point, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add softened gelatin and stir.  Beat egg whites, light and fluffy, add sugar and beat until stiff.  Beat cooled pumpkin mixture until smooth then fold in egg whites.  Pour into baked pie shell and pile high.  Chill until set, then top with sour cream topping.  Serves six.
Sour Cream Topping
1 c. sour cream
1/ c. confectioners sugar
2 tbsp candied ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Combine sour cream and c. sugar and candied ginger.  Spread over top of pie and sprinkle over nutmeg. Keep chilled until serving time.

You'll note that this recipe is written on a Frisco railroad note pad.  This railroad doesn't exist in name any more, but what I find ironic is I don't live too far from a town called Frisco.  Many of the signs in the town are exactly like the logo on this note pad. If I hadn't taken on this little project, I don't know if I would have found this recipe (it was pretty "smushed" down in the recipe box) or that there was a link to my Grandma, right here in Texas.  Yes, it's a stretch, but to me it is still a link!  Coincidence, sure. Fate?  Maybe!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pork Loin with Mango Chutney Sauce

I think I have mentioned a time or two that My Grandma's Recipe Box(es) is loaded with recipes for sweets. Honestly, I do enjoy baking, so this notion of cooking my way through her recipe box is going to work out fine, but I do need a break from bars, cakes and cookies from time to time.  So I decided to plan on cooking something different over the weekend.  As it turned out, while headed to the produce section of one of the grocery stores I frequent, I couldn't miss the huge display of mangos. They were beautiful and fragrant and the price was right at a $1.00 a piece.  So I bought a few mangos and a pork tenderloin and headed home to see what I could come up with. Now after living in Hawaii for 10 years, you'd think I would know exactly what to do with the mangos, and I do, if you count dicing them and eating them. I will admit,  I didn't even look through my Grandma's boxes to see if I could find something, I was frankly anxious to do what I usually do and surf the internet for a recipe.  I ended up making the following Pork Loin with Mango Chutney Sauce that I found at It required a Mango Chutney so I searched some more and found the following recipe for Mango Chutney at from Paula Dean. While there aren't recipes like this in my Grandma's Recipe box, I think she would have loved this one.  She always wanted to go to Hawaii and even to this day I can hear how she would say the word "Hawaii'a" ( yea, she always kind of added this "a" sound at the end).  In a picture that is tucked away, she is dressed up in a "mumu" and sporting a plastic lei and the smile on her face is priceless.  In reality, that was about as close to an island as she got. Perhaps one of the few regrets I have is that we didn't make sure she visited us while we lived in Hawaii.  Any how...Here's to one I think she would add to her box, if for no other reason than the fact that it's a tropical type recipe.

Pork Loin with Mango Chutney Sauce
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Dijon mustard with seeds
1 boneless pork loin roast (3 lbs.) well trimmed
Parsley sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  In small bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup mustard.
Pat pork roast dry with paper towels. With hand, pat bread-crumb mixture onto pork.  Place pork on rack in small roasting pan (about 14 inches x 10 inches) and roast 1 hour and 20 minutes or until temperature on meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees, F. (Internal temperature will rise to 160 degrees upon standing.)
Transfer pork to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes.
In 1-quart saucepan, heat mango chutney, remaining 2 tablespoons mustard and 1/3 cup water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1 minute.
To serve:  Slice pork.  Arrange pork on platter with parsley sprigs. Serve with sauce.

Mango Chutney
2 1/2 cups diced mangos
1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
Freshly ground pepper
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 25 minutes, stirring often to keep from sticking.  Let cool, and store in an airtight container.

For the Chutney, I didn't have a scotch bonnet pepper, so I used the last jalapeno from my "so called" garden. Bubba rated this one a "7".

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Banana Bars

As I have been pulling out recipe cards and putting them back in their recipe boxes, I have come across a few banana recipes, so I decided while I was shopping to add some bananas to our cart.  If we ate them through out the week, great! in fact, awesome!  'cause that would mean we had added some fruit to our diet.  If we didn't eat them, I knew I could find a recipe that wouldn't waste them.  Well, I guess you know how well we did on the fruit in our diet part.  This recipe has a few more ingredients than the last couple of posts, but true to the recipes I've come across so far, directions are a little light.  In general, I think I did pretty good, but I don't think I got the frosting quite right.  I didn't need any milk and it was a little "runny"  but still "yummy".  I have no real idea of the type of occasion my Grandma might have decided to serve this for.  This isn't one that has one of her bridge player or teacher friend's name on it so its hard to tell and I don't ever remember having this before.  I will caution you, it is a little sweet.  When I make this again someday, I might try this with less sugar.
Banana Bars
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 ripe banana
1/3 c. milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c. nuts
Mix all ingredients except nuts. Beat 2 minutes.  Add nuts.  Put in 13 by 9 in. pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until done.  Cool on rack.
2 tbsp soft butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 medium banana
Beat until smooth and if too thick add milk.
Cut into bars and serve. 
This recipe might be one of the better things I have made since I started.  In fact, Bubba gave this a 9 on our 1 to 10 scale.  A nice change after my Tuna Casserole fiasco.  I guess that's the thing about baking, it's a little more of a science and following directions (even when there aren't a lot of them) should result in something edible.                    
Protected by Copyscape plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.