Fern's Veggie Dip

Creamy & packed with flavor, this dip is
perfect for veggies
or chips.
Lots of activity in our kitchen as we prepare recipes for the upcoming family reunion. We just mixed up a dip that Barry's mom, Fern, used for fresh veggies. It appears in Clara's Clan family cookbook.



Fern's Veggie Dip
1 (16 oz.) carton sour cream
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese @ room temperature
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes, drained well
1 small pepper, finely chopped (green, red, yellow or orange)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (this was our addition)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (  oz.) pkg. Italian Salad Dressing (dry) Mix

Combine all ingredients and mix. Best is allowed to refrigerate at least overnight.


Kansas Caviar, aka Lorraine's Black Olive Dip

We are in the process of making snacks for the upcoming family reunion -- using some recipes from Clara's Clan Recipe Book. This recipe, that appears in the book, comes from Barry's sister, Lorraine.
Clara's descendants get together every other year and it is Kansas clan's turn to host this year.  Of Clare's seven children only one, Bert, is still alive. Barry's mom and her twin sister were born in 1916 and would have been 100 this year.

Kansas Caviar / Lorraines's Black Olive Dip
2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
4 to 5 scallions (green onions), sliced thin (green & white parts)
6 oz, can black olives, drained & sliced
3 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (our addition)
Up to 24 oz. chunky salsa or picante
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
  1. Mix tomatoes, scallions, olives,  chilies and cilantro together. 
  2. Add as much salsa and oil as desired (I used all of the picante and 3 Tbsp. of oil).
  3. Taste and add salt if needed.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.
Recipe without photos . . .
Kansas Caviar / Lorraines's Black Olive Dip
2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
4 to 5 scallions (green onions), sliced thin (green & white parts)
6 oz, can black olives, drained & sliced
3 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (our addition)
Up to 24 oz. chunky salsa or picante
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt to taste
  1. Mix tomatoes, scallions, olives,  chilies and cilantro together. 
  2. Add as much salsa and oil as desired (I used all of the picante and 3 Tbsp. of oil).
  3. Taste and add salt if needed.
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

The Silver Palate’s Glazed Lemon Cake


I decorated the cake with lemon drops
and fresh mint leaves.
It's been a long time since I've made this cake but I revived the recipe for a summer birthday celebration. This oldie but goodie recipe comes from The Silver Palate Cook Book.



Glazed Lemon Cake     Makes one 10” tube pan cake / 8 to 10 portions
½ lb. sweet butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tightly packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon Icing (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 10-inch tube pan
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well each time.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
    This mesh bottomed pan fits over the top of a mixing bowl and the flour is pushed through for quick and easy sifting!
  5. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. (I added flour, buttermilk, another batch of flour and buttermilk and ended with flour.)
  6. Add lemon zest and juice. (The batter is thick.)
  7. Pour the cake batter into prepared tube pan.  
  8. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for ten minutes, set on a rack, for 10 minutes.
  10. Carefully invert to remove cake from pan.
  11. Spread on icing at once, wile cake is still hot.Put any extra in the hole in the center.
Lemon Icing
1 lb. (3 ¾ cups) confectioner's (powdered) sugar (I sifted the sugar.)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) sweet butter, softened
3 tightly packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
  1. Cream sugar and butter thoroughly.
  2. Mix in the lemon zest and juice.
Recipe without photos . . .
Glazed Lemon Cake     Makes one 10” tube pan cake / 8 to 10 portions
½ lb. sweet butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 tightly packed tablespoons grated lemon zest 
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
Lemon Icing (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 10-inch tube pan
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well each time.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. (I added flour, buttermilk, another batch of flour and buttermilk and ended with flour.)
  6. Add lemon zest and juice. (The batter is thick.)
  7. Pour the cake batter into prepared tube pan.  
  8. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool the cake in the pan for ten minutes, set on a rack, for 10 minutes.
  10. Carefully invert to remove cake from pan.
  11. Spread on icing at once, wile cake is still hot. Put any extra in the hole in the center.
Lemon Icing
1 lb. (3 ¾ cups) confectioner's (powdered) sugar (I sifted the sugar.)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) sweet butter, softened
3 tightly packed tablespoons grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
  1. Cream sugar and butter thoroughly.
  2. Mix in the lemon zest and juice.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN Hog Dog, Let’s Make Lunch!

During this 2916 Abilene Parks & Rec summer class — lunch included typical kid-friendly homemade dishes:  
individual portions of Fruit Salad in a bag 

This class was held at Abilene's  Parks and Recreation Center. 








            

Kids in the Kitchen -- Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese

Summer is here and today was our annual kids cooking class offered through Abilene Parks and Recreation. Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese was definitely a success. This is the same recipe that we made with Erin when she was a little girl!

Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese      6 to 8 servings
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound elbow macaroni  (1/2 lb. = 2 cups dry pasta)
  1. About 1 cup cheese sauce  (recipe follows)
  2. Fill a medium to large saucepan with about 6 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 
  3. Place pot a range top set on medium high temperature and bring to a rolling boil.  
  4. Add the pasta gradually (so water keeps boiling) and give it a good stir to separate the pieces.
  5. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally. Check the pasta package for specific cooking time. After about 5 minutes, test a piece of the pasta for doneness.  It should be tender but firm to the bite. This is called “al dente” (ahl DEHN-tay).
  6. Use a colander to drain the pasta.
  7. Put the pasta back in the saucepan; add the cheese sauce and stir to combine. 
Variation:Tuna or Chicken Mac-n-Cheese:  Add 1 (6 oz.) can water-packed light tuna or chicken, drained, to Mac-n-Cheese; stir to combine and heat until tuna or chicken is hot. Serve over toast..

Cheese Sauce      Makes about 1 cup sauce
Cheese Sauce is versatile – use it over pasta, baked potatoes, or other vegetables. It could also be used as a dip for bread sticks or tortilla chips. You can substitute different kinds of cheese or even leave out the cheese to make a basic white sauce. Add fried, crumbled bacon, diced ham or cooked ground beef to cheese or white sauce and serve it over toast or a baked potato for a tasty main dish. Chicken or beef broth may also be used with or in place of all the milk called for in the recipe.
Difficulty:  Medium
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 cups cheese (grated Cheddar, cubed Velvetta®, etc.)
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. 
  2. Blend in flour with the melted better to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add the milk, stirring constantly.
  4. Cook until smooth and thickened (the sauce will coat a spoon when thickened)
  5. Add salt and cheese.  Continue cooking 2 or 3 minutes longer to improve flavor, or until cheese is melted. 

German Chocolate Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Topping

Amish in origin, this soft, moist cake with a chewy topping is a favorite of Jessica
Weissenbach's family. Jessica shared Marica Adams recipe, that appeared in Cooking From Quilt Country, when I interviewed her for a monthly cooking column that appeared in the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle on April 27, 2010.
It is yummy!

German Chocolate Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Topping     Makes one 9” x 13” cake; 12 to 16 pieces
1 cup quick-cooking oats - not instant 
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
4 oz. (4 squares) German sweet chocolate*, broken into small pieces
1 ¼ cups milk, scalded**
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a 9” x 13” pan.  (If using a glass dish, lower the heat to 325°.)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, butter, chocolate, and hot milk; cover with a plate and let stand 20 minutes. (This allows the oats to soften, the butter and chocolate bar to soften or melt.)
  3. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda together.  
  4. Add the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate mixture; mix well.  

  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly with your finger.  
  6. Once cake is removed from the oven, spread immediately with the topping and chopped pecans.
  7. Prepare the Topping:  In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix the butter, brown sugar, and cream; bring to a boil. Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Pour over the hot cake and sprinkle the top of the cake with the pecans.  Cool completely before serving.


*Substitute for German Chocolate Bar — I did not have a bar of German Chocolate (dark chocolate bar with added sugar) on hand so I used this substitute: For each 1 oz. of German sweet chocolate use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (dark cocoa preferred), 4 teaspoons granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil.

**Scalded milk is milk heated just to the boiling point; tiny bubbles will form around the edges of the pan.  Remove the pan from the heat but don’t let it cool.

Recipe without photos . . .
German Chocolate Oatmeal Cake with Caramel Topping     Makes one 9” x 13” cake; 12 to 16 pieces
1 cup quick-cooking oats - not instant 
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
4 oz. (4 squares) German sweet chocolate*, broken into small pieces
1 ¼ cups milk, scalded**
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Grease a 9” x 13” pan.  (If using a glass dish, lower the heat to 325°.)
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, butter, chocolate, and hot milk; cover with a plate and let stand 20 minutes. (This allows the oats to soften, the butter and chocolate bar to soften or melt.)
  3. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda together.  
  4. Add the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate mixture; mix well.  
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly with your finger.  
  6. Once cake is removed from the oven, spread immediately with the topping and chopped pecans.
  7. Prepare the Topping:  In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix the butter, brown sugar, and cream; bring to a boil. Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Pour over the hot cake and sprinkle the top of the cake with the pecans.  Cool completely before serving.
*Substitute for German Chocolate Bar — I did not have a bar of German Chocolate (dark chocolate bar with added sugar) on hand so I used this substitute: For each 1 oz. of German sweet chocolate use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (dark cocoa preferred), 4 teaspoons granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil.

**Scalded milk is milk heated just to the boiling point; tiny bubbles will form around the edges of the pan.  Remove the pan from the heat but don’t let it cool.

Egg Salad

Cracked Wheat Berry Bread spread
with butter & Egg Salad. 


Egg salad sandwiches are a favorite of mine while Barry likes to spread the filling on crackers. 
This egg salad recipe is especially good on Cracked Wheat Berry Bread or Parmesan Potato Bread.







Egg Salad 
3 hard cooked eggs
3 to 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2+ tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon+ yellow or Dijon mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut up hard cooked eggs and place in a bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and gently mix. Add more of any in order to adjust creaminess or taste.