Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pineapple Cookies

It seems like only a short time ago baseball season started, but as of yesterday the season for our team is over and it's time to get back to my Grandma's recipe boxes.  I started this morning with the usual routine, looking for something new to make.  I was actually going to make something out of jello, but I've got to tell you, I need to get psyched up for some of her jello recipes.  So once again, I found myself in the cookie section...there are so many cookie and dessert recipes, it's almost a sure bet I can find something I am in the mood to make and that I have the necessary ingredients to get things going with minimal planning.  These cookies were so easy and are rather unique.  I really don't remember seeing a recipe for Pineapple Cookies ever before.  So maybe some of you following along will take a chance on these like I did.  Next to jello, pineapple might be the most popular ingredient  in my Grandma's recipe boxes...and of course, one of these days, I'll have to make the pineapple/jello combo. These cookies are light and fluffy, which I attribute to the baking powder. I think you'll like them.  Bubba did!

Pineapple Cookies
1 egg
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. pineapple - crushed - drained
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 c. white sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. pecans
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
Mix and drop on cookie sheet to bake - 350 degrees.

I beat the butter and sugars together, added the egg, beat it some more, added the vanilla and pineapple.  Add the dry ingredients and the nuts, mix well.  The batter will be soft ( I recommend using a cookie/ice cream scoop).  I baked these for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel

It was a baseball weekend again and I had banana's from the week.  I didn't have time to find a banana recipe in my Grandma's recipe boxes so I just found one on-line.  This is from Cooking Light and is super easy. I didn't waste banana's and Bubba had something to take in his lunch during the week.  I think this is another recipe my Grandma would put in her box and I am sure I will find one very similar to this the next time I am thumbing through her boxes.
Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel
Yield: 12 muffins (serving size: 1 muffin)


  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2  cup  whole wheat flour (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2/3  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 3/4  cup  1% low-fat milk
  • 3  tablespoons  canola oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  large egg
  • 1/4  cup  chopped walnuts, toasted

  • 6  tablespoons  regular oats
  • 5  tablespoons  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  butter, softened
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare the muffins, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine banana and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.
To prepare streusel, combine oats and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutritional Information

241 (30% from fat)
8.1g (sat 1.9g,mono 3.1g,poly 2.5g)
Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light, MAY 2007

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake

If you have been following along, you knew something strawberry was coming from my Grandma's recipe box.  If you haven't been following along, but you've been in a grocery store lately, you aren't surprised to see a strawberry recipe.  As I made the Strawberry Cheesecake, there were a couple of thoughts I had about my Grandma.  The first was this...I really don't think my Grandma ever made this.  I think she saw this and cut it out, planning to make it some day, but that day just never came.  I say this for 2 reasons..first, I must have talked or thought about making a cheesecake at least 200 times before and I never did it (I think I inherited that from else could I explain it) and second...this was a lot of work and I just think my Grandma was too busy to make something like this.  When you see the picture of the whole pie, you'll see what I mean.  The other thought I had about my Grandma when I was making this was how amazed she would be about the size of a strawberry today...I think she would suggest that it "just isn't right, what they've done with these strawberries".  We all must agree, they are probably "over engineered".  Regardless, I do know, my Grandma would appreciate and enjoy this lovely  Strawberry Cheesecake, almost as much as Bubba (I think he gave me more than an 8 on this, again, based on the consumption scale).
Strawberry Cheesecake
1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 pkgs (8-oz. size) cream cheese, room temperature, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/4 cup milk
6 eggs, room temperature
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
2/3 cup strawberry or red-currant jelly, melted
1 tablespoon kirsch or rum (I didn't have either so skipped it)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium bowl, toss graham-cracker crumbs, brown sugar, butter and nutmeg together.  Press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack.
2.  Make filling:  Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  In large bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
3.  Blend in flour, vanilla, orange rind and milk until mixture is smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
4.  Pour mixture over baked crumb crust in pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 250 degrees F.  Bake 1 hour longer.
5.  Leave cake in oven, with heat turned off and door shut, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven.
6.  Cool on rack until room temperature, then refrigerate cake 3 hours or longer.
7.  Prepare strawberry topping:  Slice enough dry strawberries to garnish.  Arrange sliced and whole strawberries on top of cake.
8.  To Glaze;  Combine melted strawberry jelly and kirsch, cool slightly.  Brush strawberries with glaze.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 12 servings.

Here's a picture of the whole cheesecake and her recipe card.  The recipe was cut out from some magazine or newspaper and neatly glued to a recipe card.  Typical of several recipes in her recipe boxes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It was a bit of a mystery - But as it turns out, I was making muffins!

I wouldn't say I have a process that I am following as I cook my way through my Grandma's recipe boxes, but I see a pattern or routine that has developed.  It usually starts with a sit down session on Friday night or Saturday morning.  It could be something catches my eye, or I am hungry for something, or Bubba says he is hungry for something.   I'll start thumbing through the boxes,  find what I'm looking for, read the recipe, read it again, do my best to make it, take a picture and then write about it.  But in the case of this post's recipe, it was just simple curiousity that made me pick this one. It started like any other recipe search on a Saturday morning, I was  looking for something made with strawberries, so I started flipping through recipes, and as I moved through the bread section (which preceeds the dessert section) I come across this recipe that doesn't have a name.  Yep, it just starts right in with ingredients...I guess the name of it wasn't important.  So, as I start, I have no idea what I am really making.  It's kind of exciting!  I really can't tell what I am making, other than it has a bunch of stuff I love...yeast, vanilla, cinnamon, nuts and it is supposed to raise and it goes in a muffin pan.  So do I have rolls?  Are they muffins?  I guess I'll just have to make it and find out.

It's kind of funny how it could be such a "thrill" to be making something you have no idea what it is.  OK, so my life is a little boring and I have to get my excitement from an untitled recipe...but hey...I'm digging it and I am sure my Grandma is loving it. I can hear hear her urging me on, with a sweet little laugh thinking this is good, clean fun! Besides, it's a big baseball weekend and that is giving me just about all the excitement I can handle....the 'Mojo" couldn't make the road trip...but his collar did...hoping for good things!!!  So while I keep up with the game, I'll see if I can figure this one out.

Soften 1 cake yeast in lukewarm water. (I used 1 pkg. rapid rise yeast)
  1 C milk
  2 TB Sugar
  1/2 C Shortening (I used butter)
  1 Tsp Salt
Cook to Lukewarm
Add 1 C flour and beat well
Add softened yeast
Add 2 well-beaten eggs
Add 2 1/4 C Flour
Add 1 Tsp vanilla
Cover, let rise 1 1/2 hrs or until light
Stir down and add 1 C sugar, 1 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 C nuts cut fine.
Fill muffin tins half full, let raise 30 min, cook 30 mins at 375 degrees.
Makes 2 1/2 Doz.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I think awhile back I mentioned that I was trying to use up a few things in my pantry that would eventually be stale or bad.  Some wheat flour was one of those ingredients so I went on a recipe search and found this Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe at  I made the bread and I would say it turned out OK.  Bread is tricky... I KNEED  (pun intended) to keep on practicing.  Any's the recipe and a was good toasted with a little butter and jelly.
Honey Whole Wheat Bread
makes two loaves
1 lb whole wheat flour
12 oz hot water
8 ounces bread or all-purpose flour
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (or milk, or more water or soy if you are vegan)
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons instant yeast
an additional 1/2-1 cup flour, as necessary, to achieve the desired consistency

Mix the hot water and whole wheat flour together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside until around room temperature, at least 1 hour.
(My thought is that soaking the flour may help soften the bran and release some of the sugars in the wheat, though, truthfully, I don't know for sure if it does).
Add the milk, honey, salt, yeast, and bread flour to the original mixture and mix until well combined. Add additional flour and knead by hand or in a stand mixer until a tacky but not completely sticky dough is formed. Place the ball of dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
Divide the dough in two and shape the loaves. Place the loaves in greased bread pans, cover the pans loosely with plastic (I put them in a plastic bag), and set aside to rise again for 90 minutes.
During the final 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pans into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans once so that they brown evenly, until the internal temperature of the loaves is around 190 degrees and the bottom of the loaf sounds 
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