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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Overnight French Toast - Grandma Would Have Loved This!

My Grandma always spoiled us with food.  She prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us with the intent to wow us all at every meal.  And . . . she usually did.  What I wouldn't give to be able to cook with her today.  There is still so much she could teach me.

This is a recipe that I think she would have loved.  I've made it a few times for my family in the last few months and they LOVE it!  My favorite part of this . . . it's prepared the night before.  All I have to do is get up, pre-heat the oven and let it bake.

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
12 slices Texas Toast
6 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tsp Vanilla

Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking pan
Place six slices of Texas Toast in the bottom of the pan
Combine the brown sugar in cinnamon in a bowl
Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar over the bread
Add another layer of 6 slices of Texan Toast
Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together and pour over bread layers
Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture
Cover and refrigerate overnight

In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and let sit while oven pre-heats to 350 degrees.
Bake (covered) for 30 minutes
Uncover and bake for 15 minutes or until set

I like to serve this with Johnsonville sausage links and orange juice.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Grandma's Recipes

I've been away from blogging and sharing recipes for about a year.  It's time to get back to it.  I have shared most of Grandma's recipes already, but I'll change my focus and concentrate on the basics of cooking and baking.  Grandma was a fabulous cook.  She was creative and she loved us.  Her meals were full of flavor.  She was a thinker and a planner, and she certainly didn't have the conveniences that you and I have today.  This blog will focus on combining the good ole fashioned basics with new products to create good nutritious meals for our families.  Stay tuned for yummy ideas to come.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

My attitude toward New Year's Resolutions changed this year -- I decided to approach my resolutions from an "I plan to achieve"/doing point of view  instead of the "deprive myself" point of view.  My first resolution is to win the lottery this year.  Tell me . . . how is that any more unrealistic than planning to lose 30 pounds this year?

My New Year's Post from 2013 is shown below . . .

Most of Grandma's recipes have been for what I call ordinary everyday recipes that came out of the 1940s through 1960s.  There are tools in the blogger world to look to see how many people read posts and I've definitely found a pattern.  The more exotic the recipe name, the more visits there are to that post. 

There are certainly gems hidden in the posts on this page -- I've had the pleasure of discovering most of them.  It's just a shame that more people don't take the time to read back through the recipes to discover the basics.  Grandma didn't have the luxury of running to the grocery store just to pick up a forgotten item.  Her shopping was limited to one day each week -- usually Saturday.  She relied on items in her freezer, on her canning shelves, or from her garden to plan her dinners. 

It couldn't have been easy.  I can't imagine not being able to just run to the store for something I need to complete dinner.  That happens to me frequently.  Grandma was a planner.  She had to think ahead -- there were no microwaves to defrost meat or other items. 

We have so many luxuries when it comes to cooking compared to those who cooked years ago.  One of my resolutions for 2013 is to get my financial house in order.  To accomplish this, I'll need to review my grocery budget.  That's one area that can use an extra eye!

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The same statements could apply to 2014 . . . but I plan to make a difference in my life and the lives of my family members.  Maybe saying I will win the lottery this year is a little bit "out there", but I will begin the steps required to build a business that will provide a good living now and in the future for my family.  

Please share any thoughts you have about your perfect dining experience, and ideas that would be interesting.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grandma's Seven Layer Salad - It's So Good!

Seven Layer Salad is my go-to dish when I have to take a dish to share.  I always get tons of compliments on this salad, and there is never anything left to take home.  And . . . it looks great in my Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl.

Kosher salt
8 oz Bow Tie Pasta
2 stalks Broccoli (cut into florets)
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
2 tsp dried parsley
Juice of one lime
Freshly ground pepper
2 avocados (diced)
2 cups of diced ham
8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheddar
1 small head romaine lettuce (sliced)
2 tomatoes (diced)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Add the broccoli during the last four minutes of cooking.  Drain the pasta and broccoli and rinse under cold water.  Shake off the excess.  Remove the broccoli and pat dry.

Whisk the Miracle Whip, buttermilk, chives (reserve 1 Tbsp), parsley, half of the lime juice, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the past and a few tablespoons of the dressing in a medium bowl.

Assemble the salad:
Toss the avocados with the remaining lime juice in a large glass serving bowl and season with salt.  Arrange in an even layer.
Top with layers of the ham, broccoli, pasta, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.
Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and then sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbsp of chives.

Cover and refrigerate salad and dressing before serving.

 

Monday, September 30, 2013

It's Fall . . . Time for some Apple recipes -- Apple Chutney

I love Fall!  The weather is getting cooler and that means it's time for apples and pumpkins.  Tonight -- it's all about apples.

6 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and diced)
1 medium Vidalia onion (diced)
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins

Combine the apples, onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar mustard, pepper flakes and salt in a large saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Take off the heat and add the raisins.

Set aside to cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Cooking with Grandma in the Kitchen

I learned so much cooking with my Grandma in her country kitchen.  I think my love of cooking is a product of spending time with her, watching her cook, and eating her delicious dishes.  I was fortunate enough to have her in my life well into adulthood.

I have cooked my way through all of her recipes now.  Many of them are wine, pickle, and bread/roll recipes that are very labor intensive.  It's so much easier to just go to the store and buy these things, but I believe it's good to know how to make these foods yourself.

Check out the recipes here.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

A simple, but very tasty way to prepare potatoes for dinner.

3 lbs fingerling potatoes (washed, but unpeeled)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and thyme leaves.  Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet in a single layer and season with ground sea salt and pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes or until tender inside while crispy outside.

This one gets a thumbs up from the whole family!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Produce Co-op -- What a Great Way to Save Money


About a year ago I read about this produce co-op and I thought it sounded like a good idea.  But . . . I was reluctant to try it out.  I didn't know anyone who had participated and I wasn't sure about the quality of the produce they would provide.  The prices were great, but I had to pay in advance and then pick it up at a particular location within a 15 minute window.  So much pressure!!! :)

I finally gave in and placed an order for the Produce Basket.  With the delivery fee and the required one time $2.00 contribution for coop bags, my total came to $24.25.  Take a look at a snapshot of the Produce Basket.


This picture doesn't begin to do justice to what was in the basket.  There were bananas, plums, nectarines, fresh ginger, cilantro, Napa cabbage, button mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, oranges, apples, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower.  The bag had to weigh about 30 lbs.  Amazingly, everything was very fresh and well worth the money spent.  Some weeks the bag weighs 40 lbs plus.

The co-op delivers every two weeks.  When I arrive at the pick up point, there are probably 50 people waiting in line to get their produce.  Pick up goes very quickly.  Everything is sorted into bags and boxes and our orders are labeled with our names.  I have quite a time carrying all of my purchases all the way to the car.

Check out the co-op when you have time.  Their website is www.communityhelpingscoop.com.  There are groups all over the St. Louis area.  I happen to be part of the High Ridge group.  Be sure to sign up for a group, and they will e-mail you a couple of days ahead to remind you to order, and then send you a reminder to pick up your produce on the delivery date.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Grandma's Recipes

Most of Grandma's recipes have been for what I call ordinary everyday recipes that came out of the 1940s through 1960s.  There are tools in the blogger world to look to see how many people read posts and I've definitely found a pattern.  The more exotic the recipe name, the more visits there are to that post.

There are certainly gems hidden in the posts on this page -- I've had the pleasure of discovering most of them.  It's just a shame that more people don't take the time to read back through the recipes to discover the basics.  Grandma didn't have the luxury of running to the grocery store just to pick up a forgotten item.  Her shopping was limited to one day each week -- usually Saturday.  She relied on items in her freezer, on her canning shelves, or from her garden to plan her dinners.

It couldn't have been easy.  I can't imagine not being able to just run to the store for something I need to complete dinner.  That happens to me frequently.  Grandma was a planner.  She had to think ahead -- there were no microwaves to defrost meat or other items.

We have so many luxuries when it comes to cooking compared to those who cooked years ago.  One of my resolutions for 2013 is to get my financial house in order.  To accomplish this, I'll need to review my grocery budget.  That's one area that can use an extra eye!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Grandma's Hands

Growing up my sister and I spent time each summer with my Grandma and Grandpa on the farm.  We loved to go to the barn with Grandpa and feed the cats each evening.  We loved helping to pick veggies and berries in the garden every day.  But, most of all . . . we loved to help Grandma in the kitchen.  She made everything from scratch and everything was so good!

Looking back, I remember Grandma's hands.  Yes, they were wrinkled, but her hands were always busy and I thought they were cute.  I wanted nothing more than to be able to cook like Grandma.  Today, I look at my own hands and I see hers.  They aren't young anymore.  They are wrinkled (I call them love lines) and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Feeding my family and friends gives me the greatest pleasure in life.  My kitchen and dining room are the place we always wind up.  Three-year-old  Christian loves to help me in the kitchen already.  I can only hope that when my grandchildren are all grown up they will look back and think about Grammy's wrinkled hands and the goodies I made for them and the dishes we made together.  Is there any better legacy?  I don't think so.