Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cuppa, Cuppa, Cuppa Cobbler

One of our family favorites is cobbler...any kind, almost...everybody has a favorite!  It's SO simple & is a great dessert (with ice cream, of course!).  Enjoy.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9x9 pan.
Mix together:
     1 cup flour
     1 cup sugar
     1 cup milk
Pour into pan with melted butter, do NOT stir.
Add fruit to your liking (I use about 2 cups).  Sugar & cinnamon to taste, or just sugar, depending on the fruit.
Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.

So did you get the name?  cuppa flour, cuppa sugar, cuppa milk......hee, hee!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Goodie, goodie, gumbo!

Cold winter nights have traditionally meant soup or chili at our house.  Tonight was that kind of night!!  Last night we enjoyed a wonderful fried oyster, boiled shrimp, crabmeat & hot butter meal.  Since I cooked enough shrimp for Cox's army, we had leftovers!!!  Now, my family is not made up of leftover eaters, so I have to get creative. All day long I was thinking about how good those shrimp tasted & how good some seafood gumbo would be.  Alas, I have never made gumbo.  The roux, the file', all that just seemed daunting to me.

When finally home for the day, a quick trip to the internet and yielded a seafood gumbo recipe that was really easy!  I fudged the ingredients a little as this was a "refrigerator/pantry" meal, but the outcome was outstanding!  We cooked rice to have with ours.  I also took some out before adding the seafood & made a small pot of chicken gumbo for our non-seafood eater!  Some crunchy rolls would have been good, but none in the kitchen :(

Seafood Gumbo (from

5 qts. water
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 c. celery, chopped
6 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce  -  I used 2 cans diced tomatoes & a can of Rotel for a browner gumbo
3 tbsp. black pepper
8 slices bacon, cut fine
3 c. green onions, chopped
3 lbs. shrimp, crabmeat or both  (I also added some leftover baked chicken)
1 cup flour
2 lg. onions, chopped
4 tbsp. garlic, chopped
3 tbsp. salt
3 tbsp. red pepper
3/4 c. parsley, chopped
10 pods fresh cut okra
7 or 8 tbsp. vegetable oil (or sausage or bacon grease)

Make a roux stirring vegetable oil and flour until well browned.  Add 2 cups water and stir.  Add 3 more cups water and all other ingredients.  Let cook until vegetables are done.  Add seafood 15 minutes before gumbo is ready and let cook.  Add more water if necessary.

My changes that worked:
no bell peppers
canned diced tomatoes instead of sauce
cooked bacon I had in the freezer
no green onions
some fresh garlic & some garlic powder
frozen breaded okra (yes!  it worked great)
chopped chicken and 2 chicken bullion cubes

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cookie Medicine

Today is a stormy, rainy, cold day.  I always want to bake cookies on days like this.  It makes the house smell good, it cheers everybody up, and we have delicious snacks all day!  My two little helpers (ages 1 & 2) will, of course, be assisting in the mixing process.  I love baking with my grandchildren as I did my children.

One very special memory that stands out from my lifetime is of baking sugar cookies with my brother.  When I was in second grade, I was very ill.  I had 3 day measles, red measles, and scarlet fever.  Back in those days, that meant I had to be in a completely dark room all the time.  My momma did my schooling, so I did not get behind (I was actually ahead of my class when I went back to school after 2+ months!)  I had a little record player  and a radio in the room with me, and lots of family "company" when I was awake.

After some time had passed and I was well on the road to recovery, Momma left me with my brother while she went to run errands.  Of course, I had no idea what he was doing; but soon found out that he had been making and rolling out cookie dough.  I will never forget him coming into my room, putting a blindfold on me, and taking me to the kitchen.  He sat me on a stool at the kitchen counter and gave me a cookie cutter.  I blindly felt the rolled out dough and cut out cookies.  He baked the cookies and we had them with milk back in my dark room.  It was my first time out of that room in almost 2 months and I will never forget it.  My big brother is somebody special and I'm thankful for him and his tender heart.

The kiddies and I did not make sugar cookies today, but see my previous post on teacakes for an excellent recipe.  Today we made M & M cookies, got flour all over the kitchen, licked the beater, and had a good time!!

M & M Cookies
1 - 1# pkg M & M's
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, if desired

Chop up 1 1/2 cups of the candy.  Stir together flour, soda & salt.  Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.  Beat in flour.  Add chopped candy and nuts.  Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 6 or 7 minutes.  Remove, put on candy and return to bake until brown (another couple of minutes).  Makes about 5 dozen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cupcakes...a little bite of heaven!

     Ok, so I know cupcakes are all the rage these days.  We even have a cupcake bakery in Hernando!  I've been there & the cupcakes are good.  They're a little expensive for my taste, especially when cake mixes are 10 for $10 at Kroger!  Even going the scratch method, which I completely prefer, is cheap.  I am also a watcher of  the Food Network's Cupcake Wars.  I could not be a judge though, because bacon in a cupcake is just gross.  I have branched out a little in this arena myself...only with the frosting (so far!).   Some day soon I might try my hand at filling, because that just appeals to me!  
     But really, cupcakes are nothing new...they are just the new big trend.  Cupcake papers were always a staple in both Momma's and Grandmother's kitchen.  It's a kid-friendly thing to bake, so pull a chair up to the counter, strap an apron on them & let them lick the beaters when the cake is in the oven!  Kids also love to wash dishes when you're done!  I find that an excellent time to mop also!!  Today I'll give you a scratch dark chocolate cake (that is to die for) with a mocha buttercream frosting.

     **If you are adventurous, go online & search "cupcake decorations".  You can get step-by-step instructions for making flowers on top with the icing and they are very easy to do!!

Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk  (you can add 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice to sweet milk to make buttermilk)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate (melted & cooled)

Heat oven to 350.  Grease & flour 2 round pans (I also line the bottom with wax paper for a perfect turn out)  OR use cupcake papers to line cupcake pan.  Beat all ingredients on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Pour into pans or liners.

Bake until wooden pick comes out clean, layers 30-35 minutes, cupcakes 15 - 20 minutes.  Cool layers 10 minutes, remove from pans & cool on rack.  Remove cupcakes from pans & cool on rack.  Cool completely and frost.

Mocha Buttercream Frosting
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/4 cup hot water   (or just use 1/4 cup coffee left over from breakfast)
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons cocoa
4 1/4 to 4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve coffee granules in hot water, set aside to cool (or use left over coffee).

Beat butter and cocoa at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 4 1/4 cups powdered sugar to butter mixture alternately with coffee, beginning and ending with powdered sugar.  Beat at low speed after each addition until blended.  Add additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar, if necessary.  Beat until spreading consistency.  Stir in vanilla.  Yield: 2 1/3 cups   Put in a ziploc bag & snip off one corner.  Squeeze around the cupcake, starting in the middle.  Very fancy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nana's Tea Cakes

   When I worked at Hernando Bank's branch in Horn Lake, Mrs. Wooten used to always bring tea cakes from the school cafeteria.  Yes, I said school cafeteria!  Those ladies were such good cooks & I ate many lunches there during my ten years working down the road!  I never got her recipe, but was excited when Mrs. Sybil Crawford shared this one from her Nana.

Nana's Tea Cakes
1 cup sugar
1 stick oleo
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract  (sometimes I use lemon extract)
2 cups plain flour

Cream sugar & oleo.  Add vanilla, almond, & eggs.  Sift dry ingredients and add a little at a time while beating. Pinch off small balls of dough, flatten with a fork.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

You can also chill the dough to roll out or put through a cookie press.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fried Chicken - Possum style!

     As we were sitting in the living room the other night, Daddy asked, "Can you fry chicken like Mrs. Poss?"  Sadly, my answer to this question was "No".  Mr. and Mrs. Poss were great friends of Grandmommy & Grandaddy.  They came over to their house about every week to play cards, eat supper, shell peas, or just sit on the porch.  Katherine called them "them possum people" when she was a little thing.  Fortunately, they thought that was amusing!
     Anyway....Mrs. Poss made the most amazing fried chicken.  She told me how to cook it, she had me over to her house to show me how to cook it, and I still could not cook it like her....still can't.  The best word I can think of to describe my fried chicken is inconsistent.  Now, fried chicken is a staple in the southern diet so something had to be done.  I happened upon a recipe for oven fried chicken and decided to give it a try.  Eureka!!  It was delicious, tender, moist, good crusty and VERY easy!!!  Double whammy bonus!!!!
     Also, as I sit here typing I am enjoying ginger snaps with pumpkin dip.  This stuff is so good!  I'm including the recipe for the dip while it's on my mind.  LynnWorld is a lovely place, but it's not for everybody!  God bless you!  

Pumpkin Dip (very good with ginger snaps)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese
1 can (30 oz) pumpkin (or pumpkin pie filling)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
Combine sugar and softened cream cheese until well blended.  Beat in remaining ingredients.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Oven Fried Chicken
1 tablespoon butter
2/3 cup Bisquick (I use the Kroger brand baking mix)
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Melt butter in 13x9 pan.  Add all other ingredients together (I like putting it in a bag to shake the chicken)  Coat chicken.   Bake 35 minutes.  Turn chicken.  Bake 15 minutes more or until juice runs clear.

World's Best Waffles - No Joke!

If you think, "Waffles are waffles, what's the big deal?", this recipe will change your life....well, at the very least it will change your breakfast!!  No kidding, these are so light & fluffy, they are just incredible.  We had them this morning, so I thought I'd go on and share the recipe!  God is GREAT, God is GOOD!!!!

2 cups sifted flour  (Anytime you see this & salt/bp/baking soda are called for it's all purpose flour)
2 cups sweet milk (That's old timers talk for plain, white milk.)
2 eggs
1 t salt
3 t baking powder
4 T melted butter

Sift flour, baking powder, & salt, in large bowl.

Separate eggs.  Beat whites in one bowl.  Beat yolks until lemon color in another bowl.  Add milk to eggs and beat.  Melt butter.

Add egg/milk mixture to flour and stir just enough to mix.  Add melted butter.  Fold in beaten whites.  Bake on HOT griddle.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cooking on the Wild Side

     Growing up on the farm we were used to having animals on the table: cow, chicken, get the picture.  We even had some strange fare.  For example, cow's tongue is a very good tasting roast.  Cow's liver...yuck!  I do remember having fresh milk to make butter (barely) and well remember Daddy not letting us name the calves in the pen by the barn... because they were headed to the stockyard & then to the table.  My outlook on food changed when I became part of the Ford family.  They also were used to having animals on the table: deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, coon, quail, dove...a whole new picture!   Now, I was taught that you should try to eat what was served when you were company at someone's home.  Honey, I was diving into that new world of food with vigor and learning to cook it as well.  This is also where I discovered the wonderful world of homemade biscuits, but that's a whole 'nother story!!
      My children have grown up eating grocery store meat & what their daddy brought home from hunting & fishing trips.  We never worried about bad weather not allowing us to get to the store, because the freezer was always full (and still is!).
     Today, being a cold, damp day with precipitation in the forecast and two championship football games on tv; it was bound to be a chili night.  Usually  on "game days" we also have deer roll ups for appetizers, so I'm including both recipes.  If you don't have access to venison, just ask a hunter at your church or workplace for a sample.  Most hunters are happy to share their bounty.
     My best tip for cooking with venison is onion.  Some people like to soak theirs overnight in milk or something else.  I only marinate when cooking on the grill.  You cook venison just like beef only slower!  The onion gives the meat a more welcoming flavor to me.

Deer Roll Ups
Backstrap, tenderloins, or tenderized steak cut into thin strips  (Marinate in a zip bag or closed plastic container for as long as you can.  Overnite is great, but a couple of hours will do.)
Cream cheese
Jalapeno peppers (in the jar or fresh)
Pepperincinis (I use the jar)
Toothpicks soaked in water
     Take the strips of meat & place a blob of cream cheese & one of the peppers on it.  Roll up & secure with toothpick.  (I use 2 different color toothpicks to know which is hot pepper!)   Cook on the grill for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the roll up.  Yummy!

Marinate:   I do mine different & never measure anything!  If you have a favorite steak seasoning, use it.  I pick & choose among lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Backyard Seasoning, seasoned salt, pepper, Wickers, dill pickle juice, and onion powder.

Deer Chili
apx. 5 pounds ground venison
1 onion, diced up fine
2 pkg dry chili seasoning mix
Salt, pepper, chili powder to taste
1 large & 1 small can diced tomatoes
Tomato juice (the kind you drink) until you like the consistency

Brown the meat and drain off excess fat.  Throw it all in a big pot & cook on low for at least an hour.  We like to serve ours with sour cream, shredded cheese & fritos or tortilla chips.

Happy hunting & cooking!!  God bless you bunches!   Lynn

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Start with the family fav

     You will soon discover that a large portion of my recipes will be desserts.  My grandaddy always had his dessert by his place at the table and took a bite or two before he ate his meal.  I never questioned that, because it made perfect sense to me!!!
     From many people, pumpkin pie gets an "ooh", and not always in a positive way.  Sometimes pumpkin & sweet potato pie taste very much the same & it is a heavy pie.  Our pumpkin pie is a cinnamony, spicy, custardy, pumpkin pie.  It is wonderful & makes the whole house smell like Grandmother Henderson's house.  She was the best cook and thankfully some of that love  of cooking rubbed off on me!  This pie has been a Thanksgiving & Christmas standard my whole life.  Now that Daddy is not in the best of health, it appears whenever he says, "A pumpkin pie sure would be good."!!  Nah, we don't spoil him!!
     Don't skip steps & enjoy!!!

Here is her Hot Water Pie Crust recipe also.
(If you're not ready to try crust, use the ones you buy at the grocery store!)
1/2 cup boiling water poured over
1 cup shortening
Stir well.
Add 1 t salt
        1 t sugar
        1 t baking powder
Now add 3 cups all purpose flour. Mix well.
Cover well and refrigerate.  This makes 3 or 4 one crust pie shells & will keep a week or longer.

Grandmother Henderson's Pumpkin Pie
2 cups pumpkin
2 t cinnamon (heaping)
2 t allspice
1 t ginger
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
2 cups milk
Nutmeg to sprinkle on top

Heat milk just to scalding.  Beat eggs, add sugar and beat a little more.  Add rest of ingredients, milk last.  (It will be very runny)  Pour in unbaked crust, sprinkle with nutmeg.  Bake at 450 for 10 - 15 minutes, until the crust is browned.  Lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Note:  If you don't have a steady hand, you might want to put on a cookie sheet before putting in the oven to prevent spillage!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Beginning at The Beginning

Well, this is new for me and something I've been thinking about for a long time.  I would love to share recipes and ideas that came from my grandmothers' kitchens, as well as new and time-saving ideas that are more geared to our fast paced lives today.  I will be posting recipes for "scratch" cakes & pastries and quick cake mix cookies; spaghetti sauce that takes a while & sauce that you can have on the table in 30 minutes; melt in your mouth rolls that take a full day to make and melt in your mouth rolls that take about 15 get the idea!!   Along the way you will find family memories that make each recipe or menu special and tips for making memories with your family.  I hope you will come along this little stroll down memory lane with me and enjoy the time we spend "Cooking Up Memories".    God bless you bunches!    Lynn B.