Friday, December 20, 2019

Always a favorite - Peanut Butter- Hershey's Kisses Cookies

Who doesn't just love these cookies?

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup Crisco
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
granulated sugar
3 dozen Hershey's Kisses

Preheat oven to 375.

In mixer, combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, Crisco, and egg.  Gradually add flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Mold dough into one inch balls and roll in sugar.  Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake until edges are light brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediate top each cookie with a Hershey's kiss.

It's important to have the chocolate pieces unwrapped and ready to top each cookie as soon as they come out of the oven.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Cranberry Bundt Cake

This is one of my favorites and makes a nice holiday dinner dessert.  I like my Lodge Cast Iron bundt pan because of its nonstick properties.  I always use a can of baking spray (Pam is one brand) that makes the cake just slide out totally unblemished!  Choose the one that contains flour.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon flour
2 sticks unsalted butter softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Mix well to combine.  Set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon flour to the cranberries and mix well.  Set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine 2 sticks butter and 2 cups sugar.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Next add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Mix in 1/2 the flour mixture until combined and add 1/2 cup sour cream.  Mix well.

Add in remaining flour until just combined, scraping sides of bowl.  Gently add cranberries.

Bake in center of oven for 50 to 55 minutes, using the toothpick test for doneness.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Turn out onto cooling rack and let it cool completely before adding glaze.

Combine the glaze ingredients and whisk well.  You may add more sugar for thickness or more orange juice to thin.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Super Greens

I saw this dish demonstrated in Wegmans today and I'm anxious to try it.  It is one of those recipes that has no exact amounts of ingredients.  A taste test proved it's one I like.

Start with olive oil and finely chopped onion in a saute pan.

Next add mushrooms and cook till soft.

Add chopped garlic and stir for a minute or two.

Now add one or a combination of dark leafy green chopped fresh vegetables:  spinach, kale, beet greens for example. When these are almost wilted, add a few drops of soy sauce and heat through.

Serve over rice or pasta.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

This is an old, old recipe.  Don't remember where I first found it, but it is one that is a tasty delight.

Pork Chops - enough to serve everyone

Coat meat with flour, ginger, salt and pepper

Brown the chops in oil, then remove from the pan.

Saute chopped onion and garlic in the pan you browned the meat in.


1/2 cup beef broth
1/3 cup chili sauce
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Bring this to a full boil.  Then simmer pork chops in the liquid till done.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Chocolate and Beet Bundt Cake

Admittedly the name doesn't sound appealing, but this is one you must try!  I especially like making bundt cakes.  You have one pan and drizzling a glaze over the top of the finished cake is quicker than adding frosting.  I use my Lodge cast iron bundt cake pan.  I'm a fan of cast iron in the kitchen and cakes just fall right out of this one.

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups pureed beets
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners sugar

Steam beets until soft.  Puree in food processor.

In microwave, melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter.  Stir until smooth.  Cool.

In large bowl, cream remaining butter and brown sugar.

In small bowl, combine chocolate mix, beets, eggs and vanilla.

Beat into creamed mixture.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture.

Pour into prepared bundt pan.  Bake at 375 for 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sprinkle top of cooled cake with confectioners sugar.  Or, as I did, make a glaze with 1 tablespoon water, 1 cup confectioners sugar and about 1/4 cup of the pureed beets.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Strawberry Pineapple Bread

This is probably my favorite quick bread.  I tend to get in a rut making banana nut bread just to use up bananas that are over ripe.  It goes together quickly and makes two loaves.

1 1/4 cup chopped or pureed strawberries
1/2 of 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine strawberries, pineapple, eggs, oil and sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix flour mixture into the fruit until evenly moist.  Fold in nuts.  Divide batter between two pans.  Bake about one hour or until toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean.  Cool on rack.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

New Pot Roast Recipe

I just put a pot roast in the oven that I am excited about.  It was demonstrated on TV yesterday and I just had to try it!  I ran to my freezer in the basement and pulled out a roast to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

First, brown the roast on all sides in olive oil and garlic.  Place in a dutch oven.

Chop up:  pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms, baby red potatoes, and celery.

Empty out your spice rack!  I tossed together:  salt and pepper, basil, oregano, garlic salt, and paprika

Combine the vegetables and the spices.

Mix together chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine.  (Not sure why chicken broth with a roast!)  Roughly a few splashes of Worcestershire, a cup of chicken broth and a cup or two of the wine.

Place the vegetable mixture around the roast in the dutch oven.  Pour the liquid mixture over and around the roast and vegetables.

Bake at 425 for half hour or 45 minutes.  Turn oven down to 325 and bake 3 to 4 hours.

This could also be cooked in a crockpot.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Texas-size Muffins

These are great tasting with lots of nutritious ingredients.  You'll need a "Texas -size" muffin tin.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup raisins
3 eggs
2/3 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices and salt
Add in carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, raisins.  Thoroughly combine.
Mix together the eggs, oil,orange juice, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients.
Fill muffin liners to the top.
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

New Ways With Green Beans

I've never been excited about green beans.  Other than using them in three bean salad, I consider them a blah vegetable!  Then I found this recipe.  Try it!  It really puts pizzaz into them!

Saute beans in olive oil.  Then add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook a few minutes more.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Best Ever Artichoke Dip

This one was buried in my recipe card file.  I made it today for my family.  It is always a hit and doesn't last long!  When it was fast disappearing, my daughter-in-law, said, "Sherry, they don't like your artichoke dip!"  Serve with fresh veggies for dipping.

8 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, drain well

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Bake in an uncovered casserole dish at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve warm from the oven.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Quick and Easy Dog Treats

I ran across this recipe recently and made it for my Labs, Morgan and Bailey.  They loved it. . . but I must be honest!  There aren't many things my two won't eat!

2 cups oats
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.

Process the oats in a food processor until a powder mixture.

Combine all three ingredients and mix well.  Form into balls or small patties and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hard.

Cool before serving.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Potato Salad

My daughter-in-law always said I made the best potato salad and asked for the recipe.  Well, there was no recipe!  I could tell her what was in the potato salad but I never measured the ingredients!  Often, at a family gathering, I would mix it together and then have one of my boys taste it.  "Just right", "You need more salt", "More pickles". . . were common responses!

As much as I think my "recipe" is the best, this one is even better!  It comes from one of my many Southern Living cookbooks.

4 lb. Yukon gold potatoes
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cook potatoes in boiling water to cover, about 40 minutes, or till tender.  Drain and cool for 15 minutes.  Peel potatoes and cut into one inch cubes.

Combine potatoes and eggs

Stir together mayonnaise and next 7 ingredients.  Gently stir into potato mixture.  Serve immediately or chill 12 hours.

And for a really special presentation, sprinkle crumbled bacon over the salad just before serving.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Here is a salad that I like and make often, especially in the summer.  It is full of flavor and nutrition.

2 15 oz. cans corn
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 large tomato chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Note:  I use cherry tomatoes, cut in half and prefer using dried black beans, rather than canned

Whisk lime juice, oil, cilantro, salt and pepper and set aside.

Combine all other ingredients and then mix well with the lime juice mixture.  Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Smoked Chicken

You don't have to be around me long to discover I LOVE smoking meat.  Today I will talk about smoking a whole chicken.

I use a Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker with charcoal for fuel.  I think this is the very best smoker on the market in terms of ease of use, reliability, and it is easy to clean.

The night before, or very early on the morning you are smoking it, soak the chicken in a brine.  Make enough of the brine to completely cover the chicken.  There are numerous recipes out there for brine, but this is the one I use:

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups water

I usually have to triple this recipe to make enough.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator after soaking in the brine and let it sit at room temperature.  Rinse well and blot with paper towels.  Rub generously with a good quality rub.  There are many recipes available for rubs and also store bought varieties.  Actually, I have never used a rub I didn't like!  The very basic one is:


While this is sitting, prepare the smoker.  Fill the bottom of the smoker with cold charcoal.  In a chimney, heat charcoal till most of it is grey.  Pour this hot charcoal in the center of the unheated charcoal in the smoker, along with three chunks of apple wood.

I buy my wood chunks online from  Their wood is stored indoors, thus protecting it from bugs and other undesirable "stuff!"

Fill the water pan, which goes above the charcoal.

When the smoker is heated, place the chicken on the rack, close the lid, adjust the vents at the bottom to maintain a temperature of 225 or 250.

Sit back with a glass of wine, enjoying the warm sunshine and the wonderful aroma coming from your smoker.

My chickens are smaller than most you find in the stores, since they have not been injected with hormones to make them bigger.  I get all my meat from a local farmer. It takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours for mine to be done.  The internal temperature should be 165.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Best Peach Cobbler

There is a funny reason why I'm posting this recipe!  In recent days on facebook, two of my friends, who have never met and live over 1000 miles apart, have brought up a discussion of peach cobbler.  In one of them, Clara, said her grandmother made the best peach cobbler.  To which I replied, "No, No!  I have the market cornered in that regard!"  Clara has accused me, on more than one occasion, of being outspoken and opinionated. . . guilty as charged!

At any rate, here is my recipe that I have had for 50 years or more.  I have no idea where it originated.  But I guarantee you will love this one.  It has a sweet, crusty top with down home Southern goodness baked in.  Enjoy!

Combine:  2 cups fresh, sliced peaches and one cup sugar.  Set aside.

Melt one stick of butter (butter, not margarine!) in a 2 qt casserole.

1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk

Mix together dry ingredients.  Beat in milk until lumps are gone.  Pour batter over melted butter.  Do Not Stir!  Spoon peaches over batter.  Do Not Stir!  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

As the cobbler bakes, the batter rises to the top and covers the peaches.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Energy Bars

This is a tasty, nutritious snack that I found recently.  And it is quick to put together.

Preheat oven to 325 and prepare an 8 inch square pan.

In small bowl, combine:
1 cup oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a larger bowl, combine:
1/2 cup raw honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Pour the contents of the small bowl into the large bowl and mix well.  Add the walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

This recipe lends itself to adding your own ingredients, such as chopped dried fruit, coconut, or ground flax seed.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Best Chicken and Dumplings

Who doesn't love great tasting Chicken and Dumplings?  I've used various recipes over the years but I really like this one.  I found it in one of my Southern Living cookbooks.  If you are an avid cook, you really should check out the Southern Living cookbooks. . . a treasure trove of great recipes!

1 whole chicken
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for work surface)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons Crisco
3/4 cup buttermilk
chopped fresh chives

Place chicken, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven, add water and 2 teaspoons of the salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about an hour.  Remove chicken from broth and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.  Remove and discard skin and bone from the chicken and cut/tear meat into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, combine, flour, baking soda and remaining1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender.  Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened.  Turn dough onto well floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times.

Pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness.  Pinch or cut dough in 1 1/2 inch pieces and drop into boiling broth.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until desired consistency, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken.  Garnish serving with chives.

Note:  While the recipe calls for "shortening", I am a true believer in Crisco!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Salsa time!

Yes, salsa is good any time of the year.  But somehow I think of it as a summertime food. . . don't know why!  Here is one that is especially good.  This brief (36 hours according to the weatherman) respite from the winter has got my mind thinking of firing up the Weber smoker out back!

2 cups black beans
1 papaya, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped with the juice
juice of 4 limes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Great tasting pot roast

I found this on the internet and have made it twice.  Just fantastic!

Start with a good quality roast of beef that is completely thawed.  Rub all sides with a mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Preheat oven to 550 - yes, you read that right!  Except my oven only goes to 500!

Place prepared roast in an open baking dish.  Bake at:

5 minutes per pound for rare or 6 minutes per pound for medium (pink center)

Turn the oven off but don't open the door for 2 hours.  Actually, I left it closed for an hour and 45 minutes.

The rub makes a fine crust that is delicious.  I prefer a pink center.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Greek Vegetable Pie

I tend to eat more vegetarian meals in the winter time, saving meat for the warmer months when I can smoke and grill outside.  Here is one I especially like.  It is from my Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health Cookbook. I was attracted to it first by the ingredients for the crust and then the filling mixture really caught my eye.  I wasn't disappointed!  If you aren't familiar with the Moosewood Restaurant in upstate New York and their numerous cookbooks, you don't know what you are missing!

For the Crust:

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives

For the Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3 ounces neufchatel cheese
1 cup grated or crumbled feta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
pinch or ground black pepper

In a food processor, pulse the crust ingredients until crumbly.  Set aside

Warm the oil in a skillet or saucepan on medium heat.  Add the asparagus and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the leeks and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 or 6 minutes.  Place the neufschatel on top of the vegetables, cover, turn off the heat, and let sit for several minutes to soften.

Meanwhile, press the crust mixture into a lightly oiled 9 inched pie plate.

Stir the neufschatel  throughout the vegetables.  Add 1/4 cup of the feta cheese and the eggs, dill, and black pepper to the skillet and mix well.  Spread the filling in the pie crust and top with remaining feta.

Bake in preheated 350 oven until the filling is set and golden, about 35 minutes.

Variations:  Add 2 or 3 chopped, softened sundried tomatoes in place of the olives in the crust.

Use broccoli instead of asparagus in the filling.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Marinated Vegetable Salad

I'm always looking for ways to get more fruits and vegetables in my diet. . . smoothies, salads, soups and stews.  Here is one of my newer ones that I really like.  It has a nice blend of flavors and loaded with nutritional value.

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
6 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Mix together with the salad ingredients.  Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight.