Archive | March, 2012

Jell-o Took their recipe from Grandma!

31 Mar

When Grandma’s recipes call for gelatin or pudding, I am always interested in the recipes on the sides of the boxes.  This time was no exception.  I have NEVER used pistachio pudding, although I enjoy the nuts.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this following:

A very familiar recipe

I then compared it to Grandma’s recipe:

Pistachio Salad

  • 1 pkg pistachio instant pudding/pie filling
  • 1 (#2) can of crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 lg carton of cool whip
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients well.  Makes a good salad or can be put in parfait glasses and served as a dessert.

So, instead of thinking Grandma enjoyed this recipe so much she wrote it down for later use, I have to believe that Jell-o somehow got her recipe and made it into their “Watergate Salad.”  Right?  Right?

*crickets chirping*

Nevertheless, this is a tasty treat.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a cool whip fan, but in mixes like this it’s the best option for a good smooth consistency.  I think I’ve also said how much I lie pineapple but it can sometimes make your mouth raw (lots of acid in it), so I used an 8 oz can of pineapple instead of a 20oz can…that’s WAY too much pineapple for my taste!

Oh, and extra nuts and a couple maraschino  cherries never hurt either!

Grandma’s Notes: 3/23/91- Made tuna sandwiches; baked a cherry pie to carry to church tonight; singing after supper.  the singing was good.  3/24/91- They had the Easter program this morning.  Lich Pilkington brought me a pink carnation arrangement; went to church tonight.  LORD, YOUR SACRIFICE IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION.  THANK YOU FOR IT THAT I MAY GROW IN YOUR LOVE.


When life gives you lemons…

29 Mar

…you had better hope your lemon pie is good.   Mine was not.  I was greatly disappointed since the look of the pie was good.  I even got the meringue to form “stiff peaks” and it lightly browned when I baked it.  I quickly realized the problem was in the lemon flavor…there was none.  I took the first bite, expecting the sweet-tart flavor I remember as a kid, only to be greeted with a overly sweet-sweet flavor. Don’t get me wrong, there was some lemon flavor, but it was every other bite or so.  I threw the pie away.  I did a quick search of Lemon Meringue Pie recipes and they all have more lemon juice, which made sense.  I’ll give you the recipe I used, but will a disclaimer to TASTE the filling before putting it into the crust.  That way, you can add more lemon juice if you need.

Lemon Pie

  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 TBSP flour
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs separated (if you want more meringue, use another 1 or 2 egg whites)
  • Juice of 2 lemons (most other recipes call for a min of 1/3 cup)
  • Baked 9-in pie crust
  • 4 TBSP sugar for meringue

Mix scalded milk, sugar, flour, and grated lemon rind.  Cook until it begins to thicken (Med heat).  Add egg yolks, well beaten.  Cook till thick.  Add a few drops at a time of lemon juice until all is incorporated.  Taste here to make sure it’s lemony enough for you.  Put into baked pie crust.  Beat egg whites and 4 TBSP sugar into stiff peaks.  Cover the lemon pie with the egg white mixture and bake 350* for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Grandma’s Notes: 3/29/97- Frank’s family came for Easter and brought a family of five (the Pruetts) with them.  Adults stayed here and all the children stayed at Lance’s.  Frank sang a special at church.  We all carried our lunch to Lance’s and the children hunted Easter eggs.  THANK YOU FOR HEARING OUR PRAYERS.  GIVE ME PATIENCE TO WAIT FOR YOUR ANSWERS.

Potato, potahto

29 Mar

I’ve come to realize that my grandmother was able to make all these great dishes because she never really made it out of the house much. She had a standing hair appointment every Friday, church on Wednesdays and Sundays, but those were the “set-in-stone.”  Her access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts was unlimited.  Space was tight in he kitchen, but she always seemed to make everything work out and the dishes were clean by the time we were in the living room watching the evening sitcoms.  Anyway, my work schedule allows me Tuesdays and Thursdays off which (you would think) gives me more time to prepare and make the day’s culinary offerings.

Well, as you can imagine, the hubs has finally caught a piece of whatever the boy and I had the last three weeks or so: headache and sore throat.  So, while he napped, I began prepping the ingredients for potato soup.  There are very few fresh ingredients needed and the longest prep is peeling and chopping the potatoes.  I don’t have a potato masher, so I used a hand mixer to beat the potatoes, once cooked.  I left them a little chunky because I like having a little substance to chew when I have soup.  After cooking the spuds and then adding the rest of the ingredients, I let the soup boil a few minutes and then let it simmer for 45 minutes or so.  There was no instruction to do so, but I wanted the flavors to really meld.

I also would probably use different milk next time, all I had was skim.  The flavor was great but the thickness wasn’t quite there.  When the hubs had his bowl he also added some bacon.  It gave it a little more salt (which it did need) and made it more of a baked potato soup.  It was good!

I wish I had taken a better picture, but I never remember until I have already eaten the dish or I’ve put the leftovers in the fridge.

Grandma’s Notes: 3/26/91- Fasting and praying today; drinking plenty water. 3/29/91- Alice Horton came; I baked 2 pies + cake.  Frank’s family got here; Lance and Marcus came; then George’s family, and then Barbara and Haley; all visited.  3/30/91- All ate supper here; then Alvis, Doris, Gala, Renea, and David came.  Guy and Saralee came; “made merry” until late.  THANK YOU FOR MY FAMILY

Don’t forget the salt!

28 Mar

When you hear the words “whole wheat muffins,” what comes to mind?  A relaxing Sunday brunch, something healthy and tasty, or all of the above?  I was really surprised to add green onions to my grocery list this week.  I didn’t remember which recipe called for it until I started organizing everything once I got home.  Then I saw it was for the muffins.  “OK, I’ll bite,” I told myself.  They turned out really well, although I did forget to add a tsp of salt, and you could really tell.  The flavor was there, but the accent was missing.  However, I did serve them with yellow rice and shrimp etouffe (recipe below), so the blandness was good in contrast to the spicy cayenne seasonings.

I put the remaining muffins in the freezer to save for chicken and dressing.  That way I won’t have to make cornbread, I can just use them!


Shrimp Etouffe

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 medium onions chopped (I used only 1)
  • 1/2 chopped bell pepper (I used a whole red pepper)
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb cooked, peeled, de-tailed shrimp

Melt butter in heavy saucepan and saute onions and pepper.  Add tomatoes, garlic, and simmer covered for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook 5 minutes after it returns to a boil.  Serve over rice.

Note: Haley Monroe always shared birthday dinners and parties with Grandma because their birthdays were one day apart.

Grandma’s Notes: 3/19/94- Dick Templin disked my garden sometime.  I cut and pieced quilt pieces; went to church; good sermon.  LORD, HELP ME PATTERN MY LIFE AFTER YOU, SO THAT I MAY BE MORE LIKE YOU EVERY DAY.  THANK YOU JESUS.


28 Mar

“I do not think that word means what you think it means…”


This pie: “Impossible Pie” really did play with my mind.  I happily lined up all ingredients, preheated the oven, and got out my pie pan.  I then realized I had not brought my pie crust to room temperature.  Not to worry, this recipe calls for NO CRUST!  You read that correctly, no crust is harmed in the making of this impossibility of a pie!

I was pretty leery of making a pie with no crust, and rightfully so.  Some of my best concoctions are pies: with crust!  But, being the good little blogger I am, I conceded and made the pie as directed:

Impossible Pie

  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.75 cups sugar
  • 7 oz coconut (a small bag)
  • 1/2 stick butter softened (I used a whole stick because I read it as 1/2 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients and bake in 10-in pie pan at 325* for 50-55 minutes, or until done.

I cut a piece out while it was still hot, but it still kept it’s shape really well.  It went to work with the hubs today and all he brought back was an empty pan, along with the empty dish from the chocolate and marshmallow cake from two nights ago.  If you don’t like the texture of coconut, this will not be a favorite of yours.  You could, however, probably half the amount of coconut and you would be fine.  I don’t really like the texture, but ate a full piece just before bed…it was uh-mazing!


Grandma’s Notes: 3/19/97- it is 48* at 8:10.  Went to George and Rosalyn’s (her brother).  After lunch, visited with Ruth Templin at the hospital; on to Nursing Home; visited four (named) others; ran out of time before visiting others I wanted to see.  HELP ME LIVE EVERY DAY AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR YOU LORD.  I HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING WHAT DAY IS MY LAST.

I’m leaving the Swedish Meatballs to IKEA

28 Mar

The flavor was there, the consistency, not so much.  I’m not sure if I needed to add more milk and less cream to allow for the sauce to better coat the noodles, or what.  I didn’t even take a picture of it, that’s how impressed I was.  The hubs decided he is going to add some cream of mushroom soup and soy sauce to see if we can get more of a stroganoff result for the left overs.

Grandma’s Notes: 3/25/93- Read; watched game shows.  Barbara called asking who was here in 2 pickups.  I told her “electricians.”  Emptied 1/2 in rain in gauge.  3/27/93- Loyce Bush called; Susan sent us a surprise supper.  3/29/93- Thick fog.  Listened to music; wrote Susan. Wrote representative and senator.  Crocheted.  THANK YOU LORD FOR THE BLESSINGS I ENJOY EACH DAY!

And, I’m back in the game!

26 Mar

So, being out of commission for over a week really drains you, not only physically (duh) but mentally too.  I found, upon returning home from the grocers, I was craving something to cook/bake/can/anything.  Although we did end up eating at Taco Bell for dinner…don’t judge.  Once I got home and sorted through our spoils of shopping, I had to decide when to make what.  Since I missed last week, I needed to cram two weeks of recipes into one.  I quickly saw that it would not be too difficult, as there were a couple baked goods and even some individual icings that could easily be paired with one another.  Tonight’s pairing was no exception.

Fudge Nut Cake:  Think uber-chocolately devil’s food meets grandma’s chocolate cake.  It was not too sweet and not too many nuts.  Just enough to need something with a little more “umph” to complement the final product

Nut Fudge Cake

-enter Marshmallow Icing-

This guy has the sweetness of marshmallows with the spreadability of a microwave store-bought icing.  Sorry the picture is blurry.  It’s hard for the camera to focus on all the white!

Marshmallow Icing


It would go great on a cake (chocolate seems to be best), with peanut butter (think fluffernutter sammy), or even over ice cream.  This is one of those icings that you make, taste, taste again, and then have on your cake…THEN you realize how much sugar you’ve consumed.  But, alas, it is now too late and you must suffer through a delightful sugar coma…WELL worth the slight ache in the tummy!

Marshmallow Icing-

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 5 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP light corn syrup
  • 1 cup small marshmallows
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Put sugar, water, corn syrup, and egg white in top of double boiler, mix thoroughly.  Place over boiling water.  Beat constantly with mixer for 5 minutes.  Add marshmallows and continue beating for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat; add vanilla and beat until cool enough to spread.

*also, this is a great Bill Cosby icing…you know that kind: the icing Cliff would put on a cake after he took a piece out of the middle and tried to hide it from Clair on the Cosby Show.  When you slice through the cake the seam gets hidden by the marshmallow…amazing!


Check out that oozing over the edges!

Grandma’s Notes: 3/21/95- Found water leak under house; called plumber.  Jesus said in Mark 3:35, “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.” LORD IMAGINE ME A SISTER OF YOURS!  WONDERFUL PROMISE: MAY I NEVER FORGET THAT.  Heavy fog, can’t see the trees.

3/1/98-Amber washed the dishes.  April dried and put them away.  George picked up their car to do some work on it.  Anthony came.  Barbara called.  They all went with her to Longview.  Orzo Bush called wanting to see how Buster McMahon was doing.  Bro. Bill called and said he (Buster) was better.  THANK YOU LORD FOR ANSWERED PRAYER.