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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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rice Pilaf

1 stalk celery (diced)
1/4 cup fresh mushrooms (chopped)
1/4 cup white onion (diced)
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
2 cups white rice

Saute vegetables in butter until tender.

Combine chicken stock, water, bay leaves and salt.  Bring to a boil.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place the rice in deep baking dish.  Mix with vegetables and liquid mixture; stir well.  Cover pan with foil.  Bake 1 hour.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Savory Zucchini Muffins

The end of the summer garden has produced far more zucchini than anyone can possible use.  Grandma found a creative way to use up some of the extra zucchini by using it as a healthy ingredient in muffins.  These are delicious and are sure to become a family favorite.  They're easy too!

1 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian Herb Seasoning or dried Thyme

1 cup shredded zucchini (1 medium sized zucchini)

1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Combine all of the dry ingredients and stir to mix.  Add your liquid ingredients one at a time and then mix just until all ingredients are combined.  Stir in the zucchini and gently stir.

Spoon into 12 muffin cups (fill about 1/2 full).  Sprinkle with a dusting of grated Parmesan Cheese.  Bake @ 425 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.

Don't let the sugar fool you - these are not sweet muffins.  They are a perfect compliment to a soup dinner -- Tomato Soup, Potato Soup, Corn Chowder, or Beef Stew.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples

This is one of those perfect fall dishes that Grandma could prepare using fall produce.  It's the perfect casserole for cool fall nights.

4 sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2" slices)
2 large apples (peeled and sliced)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup light Karo syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Stir in salt and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 10 minutes until potatoes are just tender.  Drain.

Place sweet potatoes in the bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9" baking dish.  Top with sliced apples.  Drizzle apples with corn syrup and then sprinkle with brown sugar.  Dot with the butter and top with the finely chopped pecans.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.