May 31, 2009

Chicken Pasta Salad

1 8-oz package shell pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
½ cup Italian salad dressing (e.g. Bernsteins)
2 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar (I use some balsamic)
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked asparagus (cut into pieces)
½ cup frozen peas (thawed)
½ cup olive slices
1 clove garlic
Cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

Cook pasta according to directions (add oil to the water). Drain and cool slightly. In large bowl, add artichoke marinade to pasta. Blend mayonnaise, Italian dressing, vinegars, salt and pepper, and garlic. Chop artichoke hearts and add to pasta. Pour dressing mixture over all. Gently stir in veggies, olives, and chicken. Refrigerate overnight. Mix lightly before serving. Serves 10 to 12.

May 28, 2009

Banana Breads


I've never tried posting two recipes at one time for the same type of dish, but there's a first time for everything, right? The first recipe, from my grandmother, makes more of a traditional kind of banana nut bread, though in my opinion, this recipe is much better than most others I've tried. Grandma Beck's banana bread is more delicate and light. The second recipe is from my friend Angie. It doesn't have nuts (because her husband is allergic to them), it uses some wheat flour, and it includes some nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar. I recommend that you give both recipes a try. Tell me what you think.

Grandma Beck’s Banana Nut Bread
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 large bananas, mashed
¼ cup sour milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well. Then add dry ingredients alternately with sour milk and mashed bananas. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Makes 2 medium loaves.


Angie’s Uber Delicious Banana Bread
2 cups flour (I use half white, half wheat)
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
¼ teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine wet ingredients (butter, eggs, bananas, vanilla) in a bowl. Then slowly add dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Pour into one greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. Slice and serve.

May 27, 2009

Chicken Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained
1 can diced green chilies
2 to 3 cups shredded roasted chicken (vary amount according to preference)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions in oil until soft. Add broth, beans, chilies, and chicken. Season according to taste. Bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Top with sour cream, cheese, Fritos, and green onions.

May 26, 2009

Cousin Katy's Roasted Root Vegetables

Yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Potatoes, peeled (optional) and cubed
Beets, peeled and cubed
Carrots, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh rosemary
Salt
Balsamic vinegar

Peel and cut vegetables in uniformly sized pieces (the beets should maybe be cut a bit smaller since they are slower to cook). Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, rosemary and salt. Pour into a greased baking dish. Roast at 450 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, if desired.

May 25, 2009

Brownies with a Kiss or a Hug

I've had several requests for this recipe lately and many requests over the years. This fudgy brownie couldn't be easier to make, and it's one of my very favorites.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1-oz squares of unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup flour
1/2 up chopped walnuts
Hershey's Hugs or Kisses

Melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Cool slightly and pour into mixing bowl with the sugar and blend. Stir in vanilla and eggs, followed by the flour. Finally, mix in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into a greased 8" x 8" x 2" pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Shortly after the brownies come out of the oven and have cooled for a few minutes, arrange Hershey's Kisses or Hugs on top, pushing them slightly down into the brownies, so that each brownie has a Kiss or a Hug. Alternatively, these brownies can be frosted once they have cooled.

May 24, 2009

Thousand Island Salad Dressing

Homemade salad dressings are so much better than store-bought versions that they are worth the extra effort, in my opinion. I love this dressing on fresh tomatoes or asparagus, as well as on a traditional tossed salad.

¾ cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
¼ cup chili sauce
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1 tablespoon sliced stuffed green olives
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and chill.

May 23, 2009

Cucumber Punch

This drink has so few ingredients and is so easy to make that I hesitate to even call what follows a recipe (this intro is longer than the recipe). Of course, what makes this beverage a little out of the ordinary are the slices of cucumber. Most people have never tried cucumber punch before, which is why I enjoy serving it.

Combine equal parts limeade and ginger ale in a punch bowl. Float cucumber slices in the mixture. Add ice and serve.

May 22, 2009

Antone and Gretta Romney's Easy Candy Popcorn

This terrific and simple recipe comes from my great uncle and aunt. The flavor is somewhat like kettle corn--both sweet and salty. It's addictive!

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
food coloring
popped popcorn (I usually use 2 to 3 bags of microwave popcorn, with the unpopped kernels removed)

Stir first four ingredients over low heat until the mixture boils and is frothy. Then remove from heat and add several drops of food coloring. Pour over a large bowl of popcorn, stir very well, and then spread the popcorn out on wax paper to dry. Note: the candy coating should have a crystallized texture.

May 21, 2009

Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken

4 chicken drumsticks
4 chicken thighs
Coarse salt
Pepper
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk egg with water. In a large bowl, mix cornflakes with oil, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, coat with cornflake mixture, and then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

May 18, 2009

Eric's Green Beans

Green beans. Not usually anything to get excited about. But this is one of the best green bean recipes I've ever tasted. This recipe is courtesy of my good friend Eric.

1 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
1 yellow bell pepper, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into thin 1-inch strips
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly
2/3 cup canned whole tomatoes with juice (chopped)
1/3 cup water
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and pepper strips. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add green beans and mix until coated. Then pour in 1/3 cup water and add salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes. Add additional salt to taste.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

(Photo courtesy of Emily Spencer)

My cousin Katy made this dessert for our dinner group recently, and I really liked it. However, rather than go through the ordeal of making the cake from scratch, I used an angel food cake mix, to which I added 1/4 cup cocoa. The result may not have quite matched Katy's fully homemade version, but it was still delicious. But here is Katy's recipe in case you want to go 100% homemade.

Cake
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix powdered sugar, flour, and cocoa. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Beat in granulated sugar on high speed, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding vanilla and salt with the last addition of sugar; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat.

Sprinkle flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until flour mixture disappears. Spread batter in ungreased tube pan, 10 X 4 inches. Cut gently through flour with metal spatula.

Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, 30-35 minutes. Invert pan on a thin, tall, bottle with a metal lid; let hang until cold. Remove from pan by sliding a knife around the edges of the cake.

Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar (Note: next time I make this cake, I may try cutting the sugar back a bit. It's delicious as is but may taste just as good with less sugar.)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups chilled whipping cream

Beat all ingredients in a chilled 2 1/2-quart bowl until stiff. Cut the cake in half crosswise and spread a portion of the chocolate cream in between the layers. Then frost the remainder of the cake. After frosting, refrigerate the cake for at least an hour.

Serve slices of cake with fresh strawberries or other fruit.

May 17, 2009

Aunt Hope's Rolls

Everyone needs a standard roll recipe, whether for dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, or whatever. This is our family's go-to roll recipe, though I don't think any of us know who Aunt Hope is.

4 eggs, well beaten
½ pound butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon salt
3 packages dry yeast
2 ½ cups water
7 ½ cups flour

Cream butter, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water to butter mixture. Cool to lukewarm. Soften yeast in ½ cup warm water and then add to butter and sugar mixture along with beaten eggs. Add sifted flour and alternate with 1 cup cold water. Let rise overnight in refrigerator. Roll out and shape for Parkerhouse rolls. Place on greased sheets and let rise. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

May 16, 2009

Applesauce Nut Bread

This applesauce bread is a family favorite. The streusel-like topping adds an extra bit of sweetness. I prefer using a chunky applesauce so that the bread has small chunks of apple in it, but regular applesauce works well too.

1 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Topping
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Combine ingredients and turn into greased baking pan. Combine topping ingredients and spread evenly over batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Cap loosely with foil after first 30 minutes of baking.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. I love chocolate pecan pie, and here are some of those flavors and textures in a bar cookie.

½ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ cup granulated sugar
1 package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 stick butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt until coarse crumbs form. Pour mixture into prepared pan; press firmly into bottom. Bake until lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in same large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons melted butter until well combined. Add chocolate chips and pecans; spread over crust. Bake until set, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan before lifting out (use foil to lift).

Mom's Sloppy Joes

I made these sloppy joes recently, and they really hit the spot! The seasonings seemed to be just right. Of course, use a good bun and sliced fresh tomato, and your sloppy joe will taste much better.

2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, sliced
1 can tomato soup
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onion and brown the meat in butter. Combine remaining ingredients. Stir into meat. Blend well. Simmer slowly at low heat (about 2 hours) until thick; stir occasionally. Allow to stand overnight to season. Heat and serve on buns. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Homespun German Salad Dressing

Another recipe from The Homespun Restaurant, which existed many years ago in a tiny Southern Utah town called Leeds. My family makes this versatile dressing over and over again. It's great on tossed salads with fruit, on grapefruit, in a bean salad, on sliced fresh tomatoes, to marinate asparagus in, etc. You will be missing out on something wonderful if you don't give this a try! Note: Thanks to suggestions by my cousin Debbie Hogan, I have altered the amounts slightly from the original recipe to punch up the flavor just a little bit more.

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons onion salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 tablespoon capers with juice

Combine the first ten ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until salt and sugar are dissolved. Then add the canola oil while the mixture is blending on low speed until the dressing is emulsified. Finally, add capers with juice. Makes over a quart of dressing.

Homespun Red Cabbage

This recipe has been a family favorite for several decades. It came from a German restaurant called The Homespun in Leeds, Utah. The restaurant was run by a woman whose mother had cooked for the German kaiser. There was no menu. You'd just eat whatever was served on a particular night. But the food was always delicious! I highly recommend this side dish.

1 large red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 cups apple, coarsely shredded
2 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped

Mix ingredients together in a large pan and simmer over low heat (do not add water). Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Cover pan, turn off heat, and let rest for several hours. Keep in refrigerator and reheat before serving. This dish gets even better several days after you make it.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

For a soup that is a bit on the unusual side, try this. It's tasty. You can also substitute chicken for the ham (see preferred variation below) or leave the meat out for a vegetarian version.

3 15 ½-oz cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
1 16-oz can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8 inch dice, or sliced sausage
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds

In a food processor coarsely puree two of the cans of beans and tomatoes. In a 6 quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, curry, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, remaining can of beans, pumpkin, and apple juice until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds. Makes about 9 cups.

Preferred variation: Use chicken instead of sausage or ham, substitute chicken broth, and cut back on or omit cider vinegar.

Date-Filled Cookies

I know that few people will bother to give this recipe a try because who eats a date cookie these days? They seem old-fashioned, something your grandma would make. But if you fail to make these cookies, you're only punishing yourself. You'll be missing out on a real treat. These are a huge favorite in my family.

Ruth Kartchner’s Self-Sealing Date-Filled Cookies
Cookie:
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup honey
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar together and then blend in eggs, honey, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Form the dough into short rolls which are about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in wax paper and chill for several hours.

Slice dough (slices should be about 1/4" thick) and place on greased cookie sheet. Imprint bottom slice with thumb, fill with cooled filling, and place second slice on top. Cookie will seal when baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Filling:
2 cups ground raisins or 1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup water

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and cook until it bubbles. Cool.

Apricot Chicken

Some people have asked for recipes to make for easy meals. Here is one. Some of my friends call this "Kippy Chicken." ;-)

1 package dry onion soup mix
1 small bottle of any red salad dressing such as French or Catalina
1 small bottle apricot jam (about 2 cups)
Uncooked chicken

Mix above in blender and pour over chicken pieces in shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Aunt Joan's Toffee Squares

1 cup butter
½ sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 beaten egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars
chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugars, egg yolk, and vanilla. Add flour and cornstarch and blend well. Spread dough about 1/8"-1/4" thick on cookie sheet/s. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Crust should be soft. Remove from oven and immediately place separated squares of chocolate on top. Let stand until chocolate is melted and spread evenly over entire surface. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Cut in small squares while still warm.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese

I like recipes that are simple and tasty. This roasted asparagus recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food is just the kind of thing I look for.

2 bunches of fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse sea salt and ground pepper to taste
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim tough ends from asparagus. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus with olive oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Spread asparagus in an even layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roast until asparagus is tender and cheese is melted. 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Brown Sugar-Glazed Bacon

Another Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe. I'm not even a big fan of bacon, really, but I like this recipe. I usually cook a batch and then freeze what I don't eat. I also like this on BLT's.

16 slices of bacon (about 1 pound)
1 ½ teaspoons ground pepper
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; place a wire rack on top of each sheet. Arrange in a single layer on the two racks. Evenly sprinkle with the pepper and the brown sugar. Bake until bacon is crisp and browned, rotating sheets halfway through, 30 to 35 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This is one of my favorite soups. It's really good! Although not a particularly hearty soup, it is simple to make and looks beautiful. It can also be used as an appetizer soup. The original recipe calls for canned asparagus, but I've always used fresh instead. I typically buy a bunch of asparagus and make a double batch of soup.

1 15-oz can asparagus
1/4 cup chopped onion (I don't even measure this usually. I just use a whole medium or large-sized onion for a double batch)
1 15-oz can chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup light cream (you could use milk for a lighter version, though it probably wouldn't taste as good)
½ teaspoon salt

Assuming that you are using fresh asparagus, cook it until tender, then remove the asparagus tips, chop them lightly, and set aside. Then cut the remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Melt butter in pan, add onion, and cook until soft. Stir in flour and mix thoroughly. Then add broth, 1-inch pieces of asparagus, paprika, and salt. Pour this mixture in a food processor, puree it to the desired consistency, and then return the pureed liquid to the pan (Since I don't have a food processor, I use an immersion blender that has a blade for pureeing, and it is super convenient). Once the mixture is pureed, add the light cream and the asparagus tips. Stir and cook until slightly thickened. Makes 6 servings.

Easy White Bean Soup

2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (14- to 15-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 (19-oz) cans cannellini or small white beans, rinsed and drained (3 cups)
1 or 2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1/2-lb) piece baked ham (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cook garlic in 1/4 cup oil in a 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Coarsely cut up tomatoes in can with kitchen shears, then add (with juice) to garlic in oil. Stir in broth, beans, carrots, parsley, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes

Aunt Fae's Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies


I got this recipe from my Aunt Fae. It's kind of a nice variation on your standard chocolate chip cookie. It's a soft cookie rather than a crispy one. And I like the somewhat subtle banana flavoring. By the way, I don't usually make the frosting for these cookies. They are good enough by themselves. But if you think they need some extra sweetness, go ahead. Of course, I like to tell myself that because there is banana in these cookies, they must be healthy.

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 medium very ripe bananas)
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 package (6-oz) chocolate chips

Beat together sugar and shortening until fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Add mashed bananas alternately with mixture of flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees. for about 10 minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 4-5 dozen soft cookies. If desired, top with Super Confectioner’s

Sugar Frosting:
1 stick butter, softened
1 package. confectioner’s sugar (4 cups)
Dash of salt
Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat butter, sugar, and salt until thoroughly blended. Add milk (about 1/4 cup) and vanilla. Add more milk as needed.

Mom's Parmesan Chicken

This is a long-time family favorite. The chicken is good hot or cold.

3 frying chickens (1 1/2 to 3 pounds each), cut into serving pieces
4 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/3 cups butter or margarine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Wash chicken pieces and pat dry. Combine the breadcrumbs with the cheese, salt, and parsley. Mix well and spread in a shallow dish. Set aside. Melt butter and then add garlic, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well, and let the butter mixture cool but not congeal. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dip the chicken pieces into the butter mixture and then roll in the bread crumb mixture. Make sure each piece is well coated. Place the coated chicken in shallow baking trays and drizzle with remaining butter. Bake until golden and tender--about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Baste once or twice with pan drippings.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

A very easy (and addictive) treat that is very easy to whip up. I've gotten lots of compliments on these. And they make a great little Christmas gift for friends or neighbors when wrapped in a festive cellophane bag.

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups whole almonds
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Lightly beat the egg white in the bottom of a bowl. Add the water and vanilla, and then beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the almonds and stir until coated. In a separate bowl, mix the sugars, salt, and cinnamon and then sprinkle over the nuts. Toss to coat. Then spread the nuts evenly on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour in a preheated 250 degree oven, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool and then store nuts in an airtight container. Note: pecans also work well with this recipe.

Carrot Chowder

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans of cream of celery soup
3 cups tomato juice
1 cup water
2 cups grated carrots
2 large grated potatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 beef bullion cubes

Brown beef and onion, then drain fat. Add celery soup, tomato juice, water, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, garlic salt, bullion cubes, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Caramel Popcorn

This recipe makes a crunchy caramel popcorn, kind of like Cracker Jacks but a hundred times better. But if you prefer chewy popcorn, simply reduce the baking time.

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn (I use 3 to 4 packages of light butter microwave popcorn, with the unpopped kernels removed)
Nuts optional (I use pecans)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in a very large bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour mixture gradually over popcorn, stirring to coat. Place in two large shallow baking dishes (sprayed with cooking spray) and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

May 4, 2009

Dill Bread

This has been a favorite in our family for many, many years. The recipe comes from a longtime neighbor and friend of our family--Francince Bennion. Nothing beats a loaf of warm dill bread just out of the oven. Serve it with a little butter, some sliced cheese, some fresh fruit, and a glass of milk. Heavenly!

1/4 cup warm water
1 package dry yeast
1 cup cottage cheese, heated to lukewarm
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 to 2-1/2 cups flour

Soften yeast in water. Combine in mixing bowl cottage cheese, sugar, salt, onion, baking soda, butter, dill seed & weed, egg and yeast. Add flour to form a moderately stiff dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour. Then stir down dough and turn into well buttered baking pan. Cover and let rise again until light and doubled, about forty minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with soft butter and sprinkle with a little salt.