Tag Archives: breakfast

Spicing Up the Holidays

16 Dec

I may or may not have mentioned that my husband is getting ready to retire at the end of this year.  With that comes a LOT of celebration!  With celebration comes guests, and with guests come FOOD!  What better way to utilize some of Grandma’s recipes?!  I even volunteered our house to host Christmas dinner.  I may or may not have bitten off more than I can chew.  All I know is that I refuse to wait until the last minute to get things ready.

So, I have planned my menu and begun to shop for our breakfast goodies.  The plan, for Christmas morning, is a hot cocoa and spiced tea bar to go along with a baked oatmeal casserole and a more traditional breakfast casserole.  The cocoa is going to be a crock-pot version I found here, thank you Pinterest!  As for the spiced tea, thank you Grandma!

This is such an easy recipe and one that can be made ahead of time (ahem, like I did today).  Since it’s shelf-stable in a air-tight container, it also makes for a great Christmas gift for the neighbors.  One tip: try to get your ingredients at a big-box store.  As much as I hate to shop at Wal-Mart, it is one of the few places where you can get Tang.

Anyway, I did change this recipe a little.  The original mix called for lemon-flavored tea and TWO cups of sugar.  Now, I don’t know where you grew up, but when Grandma had Tang at her house, I don’t ever remember having to add more sugar when making it.  So, I used unflavored, unsweetened tea and lemonade mix.  I think it gives a more “natural” lemon flavor.  Well, as natural as a powdered concoction can taste.

So, I mixed everything and put them into mason jars this evening.

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Spiced Tea

  • 1 cup unsweetened instant tea
  •  2 cups Tang
  • 1 cup lemonade mix (I used Countrytime)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves

Combine all ingredients and store in jar with lid.  Use 2-4 tsp of mix per mug of hot water.  Side note: this is an UH-Mazing concoction sprinkled over crushed or shaved ice and eaten as-is.

Grandma’s Notes: 11/26/81- Thanksgiving Day; Lance and family, along with George and family were here for a 6:00 P.M. dinner.  Had a good time, a grand meal, and good fellowship.  Called Frank and family about 10:00.  They had celebrated with church friends and had a good day

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Mincemeat Cake

9 Dec

So, it felt great to get back to the store to shop today.  I never thought I would enjoy shopping, but I did.  I went with my list and made sure I re-upped my staples (sugar, flour, eggs, milk, chocolate chips, etc.)  What I didn’t do was take my cookbook with me to make sure I had all the random ingredients for specific recipes.  Needless to say, I had a small panic attack was able to calmly decide what to make when I realized I didn’t have any enchilada sauce, tortillas, or powdered sugar (not the same recipes).

So, I went back to the pantry and looked at what I had available: fig preserves, pear mincemeat from this post, and other various pantry staples.   I remembered a recipe, back in May, that called for mincemeat.  That would have to do.  I also had all the other ingredients.

I was excited to be able to use a preserved item that I preserved myself.  I even had to use a knife to unseal the lid, it was THAT well-sealed!  I remember having to do that when opening my grandmother’s preserves and jams.  I guess I did it right?!  And when I added it to the mix, i had to taste the concoction (since it had been January since I made it)…umm…YUM!

Anyway, the cake is fairly simple and the mincemeat could easily be substituted with other fruit preserves.  I think fig would probably work well. *note: I have not tried it with other preserves or jams, so I can not attest to the consistency of a cake made with them.

This cake was a fairly wet mix and I had a hunch that the baking time would need to be increased.  I was right.  I tested the center of the cake at the end of the stated time and needed to increase the time 5 minutes TWICE.  I also used a ceramic corningware dish.  It calls for a 13x9x2 pan with no specificity of the kind, but I’m sure it was supposed to be an actual metal pan.  However, the result was DELISH!

Enjoy!

Mincemeat Cake

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup homemade mincemeat (I used pear mincemeat)
  • 1 cup milk, or buttermilk
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • pinch of salt

Beat together sugar, butter, and eggs.  Add mincemeat.  Mix soda in milk; add  to creamed mixture alternately with flour and salt.  Pour into 13x9x2 pan.  Bake at 375* for about 20 minutes (test center to determine done-ness).  Top with recipe below

Topping

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP grated orange peel
  • 2 TBSP orange juice
  • 1.3 cup coconut (or nuts) I used 1/6 coconut & 1/6 pecan
  • 2 TBSP softened butter

Mix together all ingredients and pour on top of warm cake.  Broil in oven until top of cake is bubbly

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Grandma’s Notes: 5/27/95- Lance and Marcus came; Marcus plowed the garden.  6/4/95- Church service was good.  When we think about it, how terrible life would be without love.  Barry Monroe was at church with Haley.  Went home and finished book.  I think I’ll read it again.  Started reading; then to bed.

No Eggs? No Problem!

19 Aug

Necessity is the mother of all altered recipes, I’ve learned.  As I have stated before, I am lazy.  I enjoy baking and cooking new things, but HATE to have to leave the house to get anything I’m out of.  Case-in-point, yesterday the boys were napping (as they are now) and I couldn’t sleep because the little boy had his feet in my face and the big boy was snoring.  So, I figured I would make something.  I looked in the pantry and saw we had oatmeal, I knew I had just purchased flour, chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies it was.  I even got so far as to mix the dry ingredients and add in the milk (almond in this house), after creaming butter and sugar, when I realized I didn’t have any eggs.  I know, I know, how could I be so lazy as to not even have eggs.  Believe me, I have gotten numerous scoldings from my baker-sister regarding a lack of stocking my pantry with basics.  THAT is a whole other post, though.
Anyway, I thought, “You need to use your Almond Milk before it goes bad so just add a bit more to the mix.”  Seemed like a substantial thought at the time.  So, I did.  This is what turned out:

Look good, huh?!  My son woke up from his nap, just in time to see the m&ms and was more than excited.  I even had the second half of the batch, uncooked, in the bowl.  With no eggs, I had no problems letting him taste a big ol’ spoonful of the concoction.  The reaction?  “MMMMMMM!”  Now, if that doesn’t say they are good, I don’t know what does.  The texture is obviously different from traditional oatmeal cookies, but by using the almond milk I almost made a sort of oatmeal cookie bar.  I can’t explain it, you would just have to try it!

With no further ado:

Amber’s No-Egg Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, margarine or butter substitute (for my vegan buds)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (THIS is our favorite brand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups quick cook oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, m&ms, or carob pieces

Cream butter and sugars, stir in milk and vanilla until mixed well.  Add dry ingredients,  except for oats and chocolate, until incorporated well.  Stir in oats and chocolate.  Spoon heaping TBSP onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 350* for approximately 12 minutes.  Cookies should cool a couple minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.  Cookies will “firm up” upon cooling.  Store in airtight container.  Yield: 1.5 doz cookies

 

 

Three-Grain Peanut Bread

18 Aug

Well, so much for “getting back on the horse.”  I can’t tell you how crazy life has been lately.  Sad thing is, I still have to go to the grocery store, I still have to cook, so why no posts?!  Well, um…I’m lazy.  There you have it.  I really enjoy these recipes and such.  However, after a while, you kind get tired of cookies, cakes, and pies (three of grandma’s fortes).  Even her “breads” are a lot like cakes sometimes.  So, it’s been a bit difficult to be motivated to make desserts.

That being said, we have new neighbors two doors down and I was looking for something easy to make for a house-warming goodie.  I found the following recipe, from November’s calendar, and realized I didn’t have to leave home to get any other ingredients. *Yay*

 

Three-Grain Peanut Bread

  • 1 cup fork-stirred flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (i didn’t have this, but added a bit more flour and oats)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk solids
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups regular milk (this means almond milk in our house, no cows milk)

In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, cornmeal, dry milk solids, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in peanut butter until particles are small.  Beat egg and milk to blend; pour into flour mixture and stir to mix well.  Turn into a greased and floured 9x5x3 inch loaf pan and spread evenly.  Bake in preheated 325* oven until cake tester toothpick (who has a cake tester anyway) comes out clean.  I baked mine for 70 minutes and it was fine.  Place pan on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes; loosen edges; turn out on wire rack; turn right side up; cool completely.  To store, wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Sorry for the horrible picture, but I ALWAYS forget the camera until after I have already cut into it and remember to take a picture.  But, you can kind of see the small chunks of PB in there.  This was one of the first things I’ve made that my husband actually requested seconds two days in a row!

I think this would be phenomenal put under the broiler, toasted, then with a little jam on top.  This bread is just sweet enough to make you LOVE it, but not so sweet that you feel guilty about eating it.  A great gift bread (if you don’t eat it all first).

 

Grandma’s Notes: 11/26/93- If the Lord be with us, who can be against us?  Such a wonderful thought.  Making tatting.  11/29/93- Helen and Phil Nathans spent the night.  Bessie Baldwin called; chatted about an hour.  12/18/93- Fixed Barbara a birthday card.  THANK  YOU FATHER FOR THE REALITY OF YOUR BEING, THE THINGS NOT SEEN BUT VERY REAL EVERY DAY.

 

 

 

When life hands you lemons…

27 Jul

…you make lemonade, or margaritas, or take shots of tequila.  However, when you don’t have lemons but your son wants to help you bake something, you improvise.  In order for me to get back into the swing of making things, I needed something simple- something that didn’t require me getting back into my car and going to the store in the 10000000% humidity that is a Florida summer.

Enter Lemon Bread.  This recipe could easily be made into lemon-poppy-seed, lemon-nut (which is what this one called for but I had no nuts), or even a Lemon-Berry…think: Sonic Lemon-berry slush in bread form…oooh!  But I digress.  This recipe was relatively quick to prepare, but did take a solid 80 minutes to bake through.

Lemon Bread

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.25 cups sifted flour (I didn’t sift and I only had 2 cups, the last 1/4 I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1/4 tsp soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Grated rind of one lemon 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts I didn’t have any, and hubs doesn’t like citrus or nuts.  So I figured it was one or the other for him to even try it
  • For the Glaze: Juice of two lemons 2 TBSP lemon juice in 3/4 cup sugar (dissolved)

Preheat oven to 325* and grease and flour a corningware glass ceramic loaf dish 9x5x3 (2-qt size). I only have a metal loaf pan, it worked fine.  Cream margarine and sugar; beat in eggs.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to batter, alternating with milk.  Mix well.  Stir in lemon extract (and nuts here).  Pout into prepared dish and bake at 325* for 1 hr 20 min, or until cake tester (aka toothpick in our house) inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes in dish.  Remove from dish and cool completely on wire rack.  Pierce in many places and spoon glaze over it.

The little corner cut out was for the boy.  Now, this glaze that was supposed to be all glazy and everything, was not a glaze at all.  It ended up being more like sugar mixed in lemon juice.  I’m not really sure how you would be able to dissolve 3/4 cup of sugar in the juice of 2 lemons.  From what I remember regarding juicing fruits, you never get as much juice as you want.  So, I figured using 2 TBSP of lemon juice from the fridge would help…it didn’t.  Now don’t get me wrong, though, the taste is amazing!  Just not so glazy.  And, when I went to cut a slice this morning, the sugar had formed a sort of crystallized force-field on top of the bread (kind of like a royal icing on a cookie).  It’s crunchy, but not hard, and the lemon flavor is spot-on.

 

Grandma’s Notes: 7/25/93- Meeting Frank in Van.  April is coming to visit.  Enjoyed visiting with Frank’s family.  Sunday, April sang “Do Lord” and a little worship chorus at church.  In the evening service Ashley and April sang “In the Garden.”  I THANK YOU LORD, YOU ARE THE ONE AND ONLY GOD; HELP ME IN MY COMMITMENT TO YOU.

 

 

Punkin Bed

24 Jun

That’s how my son says Pumpkin Bread…only he adds a Steven Tyler-esque inflection on the last part of “bread.”  It makes me laugh every time.  When I told him we were making it, it was all he kept saying all evening.  I love seeing his face light up when I tell him he gets to “help mommy cook.”  He pushes his chair up to the counter, but not in front of the stove…”hasst” (hot).  He enjoys using his very own whisk and spatula, both of which have animals on the handles.

He did well mixing the dry ingredients and just a bit spilled over onto the counter.  In fact, I think I would have normally spilled more!

He was too focused to even care about the camera

Festive Pumpkin Bread

  • 1/2 cup veggie oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup mashed & cooked pumpkin (I used canned)
  • 1 & 2/3 cup self-rising flour**
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (I don’t like nutmeg and used cloves instead)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • (optional) 1/2 cup chopped candied cherries…uhhh…NO! 😉

Combine wet ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Combine dry ingredients, except for pecans; add to pumpkin mixture; beat until smooth.  fold in pecans (and cherries).  Spoon into a greased and floured loaf pan (9x5x3).  Bake at 350* for 1-hour or until done.

**Don’t have self-rising flour?  Make some!  for every cup of flour, add 1.25 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.  Since this recipe called for almost 2 cups of flour, I made two cups of “self-rising” and then measured out what I needed.

Grandma’s Notes: 6/19/93-Anthony & Marcus ate supper with me.  Frank called; talked an hour.  6/24/93- Haley is going to Georgia for a week.  Cut out a quilt block; pieced it.  Bro. Don Jones (W/Mrs. Jones and Angie) came and visited.  THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH ME ON MY TRIP ALONE TO SHREVEPORT TO THE DOCTOR.  HELP ME CONCENTRATE ON BEING MORE LIKE YOU.

I Yam what I Yam

5 Apr

OK, so I really need to read and then reread recipes before completing them.  When making these muffins I read the recipe to determine what I needed, from the spice cabinet, and when I saw I was running low on cinnamon (which needed to be in the mix and on top) I knew I needed to add it to my shopping list for next week.  I did not, however, remember to add it to the top of the muffins before baking them…ARGH!

Anyway, if you remember a post of mine a few weeks back (think: Yam Molasses Cookies) you know that I was using a veggie peeler to “grate” my sweet potatoes.  This time, I just bought canned yams (in syrup).  Not only did I save cooking time, it was WAY easier to mash them up.  I also figured out one of the reasons I really don’t like the sweet tuber…they STINK!  I had a very hard time stomaching the scent of mashed yams and liken it to how I felt a few times when I was pregnant with my son and the lady next to me in choir wore too much horrid perfume.  But, I digress.

The muffins cooked well, although I am still having trouble keeping the “darker” recipes from browning too much when baking.  I also think there are some very serious issues with baking times and temperatures.  This one called for 425* for 35 minutes!  I don’t know about you, but I have never had to bake a muffin longer than 15-17 minutes at any temperature.  So, I watching these for the first 15 and they were more than done.  After taking them out, I saw the darker bottoms, but the tops were perfectly golden.  I then decided that I would cut it back to 325* the next time I make them.  I would also remember to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.  The final result is mildly sweet with little spice noted.  Perhaps pumpkin pie spice would be good too.

Yam Muffins

  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1.5 cups mashed yams
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • extra cinnamon and sugar for top of mixture

Combine first 6 ingredients.  Make a well in the center of mixture.  Combine eggs, yams, milk and butter.  Add to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened (the mix is very thick).  Spoon into 18 greased muffin tins.  Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Bake at 425* for 35 minutes.

You can see the extra browning on the bottom of the muffins…I just can keep them from doing that.  Suggestions?

 

Grandma’s Notes: 4/3/94- April Horton’s 9th birthday; Easter services.  Frank’s family left “hanging” clothes home.  Amber and Haley went & bought a dress.  Cheryl Horton borrow from Barbara; April from Ashley; Frank from George; all went to church.  4/19/94- LORD, LET MY WORDS BE WORDS OF COMFORT & COURAGE; NEVER WORDS TO DISCOURAGE.  LET THEM GLORIFY YOU.