Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese

This dish was inspired by a couple other recipes, one from Paula Deen and another posted on Food Network by Ed Wilson. I have played around with the ingredients and am posting my version here. Many recipes call for a white sauce as a base with cheese. However, this recipe does not require that, making it much quicker to put together. If you really want it creamy, you can use part Velveeta (or other processed cheeses). However, I prefer to use at least mostly other less-processed cheeses. Besides, the sour cream and evaporated milk help give it a creaminess. Paula's recipe calls for many different types of cheeses- most I do not have on hand. So for this time baking it, I used muenster cheese and sharp cheddar. Feel free to use whatever combination you like. This is not a diet-food, but it certainly is one of the ultimate American comfort foods.

If your kids don't like greens or other vegetables, hiding them in this casserole usually helps it slide down a little easier.

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 extra large egg, or 2 medium eggs
  • 1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
  • 2-3 cups of cheese (or more, if desired), whatever combination of cheeses
  • 1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons), melted
  • 1 tsp salt (I prefer Adobo all purpose seasoned salt)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dry ground mustard (may use 1-2 Tbsp yellow or dijon mustard instead)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup bread crumbs for topping, if desired or may use crushed crackers (saltines or Ritz or Town House or other buttery crackers)
  • 3-4 Tbsp butter to moisten bread crumbs, if desired
  • Grease 8x8 inch baking dish, (may use nonstick spray). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cook macaroni as per instructions on package- just until al denté- about 3 minutes less than what package says (firm when biting them). Drain pasta and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir in cheese, drained pasta and melted butter. 
  • In a small bowl, stir melted butter into bread crumbs and set aside. (may also add in some  chopped fresh or dried parsley to the bread crumbs)
  • Pour macaroni mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. If not using bread crumbs, top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and sprinkle paprika on top. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let set for approximately 5-10 minutes, then serve.
*This also great over the next few days as leftovers- sprinkle with a little water and put in the microwave for about 1 1/2-2 minutes (depending on power of microwave). Stir and then heat more, if needed.

I also usually double this recipe and cook it in a very large 4 quart oblong baking pan, since we love these leftovers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Carrot Salad

This is a healthy, yet very delicious salad that my mom has made for many years. This is the same way she makes it, except with the addition of crushed pineapple. It is light, but refreshing; great for summer and winter alike. If you do not have honey, you may use some other type of sweetener. Agave would probably be the best other substitute and any other types of sweeteners would change the flavor somewhat.

Serves: 8-10
  • 4 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 4-6 large ones)
  • 2 oranges, peeled, separated and sliced into thin chunks
  • 2 apples, peeled (or not), cored, sliced and diced
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1  8oz. can crushed pineapple (unsweetened) with its juice
  • 2/3 cup mayo (may use light/less fat, but not fat free)
  • After preparing ingredients, mix together and stir well. This is best made a day ahead so the flavors can intermingle and the raisins can plump up. This is supposed to be a "juicy" salad. Keeps well in the fridge.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sticky Buns (à la monkey bread style)

This really is more of a monkey bread recipe- but it was called sticky buns on the recipe I was given. When you are looking for a sweet, soft and doughy treat for a brunch, tea, dessert or just about anytime-- look no further. This takes a little planning to have the bread dough ready, but it is not hard to put together. This recipe was given to me by a friend, Rick Koppenhaver, and I am not really sure where it originated from. However, we have enjoyed it so much every time we make it. It has an unusual ingredient- vanilla pudding. In the picture above, I got more creative and added some unsweetened shredded coconut when the nuts were added the first time. It really give a nice crunch/texture but not an overpowering coconut flavor.


2 loaves of frozen bread dough, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator (or you may use your favorite bread dough recipe- 2 loaves worth)
1 1/2 stick of butter or non-hydrogenated margarine
2 Tbsp milk
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3-4 oz package of vanilla pudding mix (that needs to be cooked- not the instant)
11/2 tsp cinnamon
walnuts, pecan or other nuts (optional)
coconut to taste (optional)

Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. Break apart 1 loaf of bread into balls the size slightly smaller than golf balls and place balls/wads of it in the bottom of the pan. (There should be open areas between the balls of dough.)  Melt the butter and add the milk, sugar, pudding mix and cinnamon, stirring together well. Pour 1/2 -3/4 of this mixture over the bread already in the pan- to cover the dough and run around it somewhat. If desired, drop some whole or chopped nuts, followed by the coconut, around the pan also. Break apart the second loaf of bread dough and place in the empty spots. Pour the remainder of the liquid mixture over top of the second dough additions and sprinkle with more nuts, if desired. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or wax paper sprayed with non-stick spray (to keep it from sticking as it rises). Let rise for 3-4 hours or until it has filled the pan and risen to the top or slightly higher than the top of the pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or just until they are lightly brown- watch them closely to make sure they do not get too dark (they will end up hard and dry). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving, but they are best served while still warm. They will have a lot of gooeyness on the bottom, so it is good to serve them top-down on the plate with the gooey bottom facing up.  Watch out- they are addicting!

These are also still good if kept covered (to keep them from drying out) after baking/serving and then reheated later in the microwave for about 6-12 seconds in the microwave, depending on the strength of your oven.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

African Groundnut Stew

This stew's secret ingredients is the peanut butter-- gives it a wonderful flavor. My husband told me he never would have known it had peanut butter in it unless I told him, but there is a unique and "gotta have more" flavor that it adds. It is also good with many different kinds of meat. This from a recipe by Bob Kellermann and adapted by Paula Deen and then further adapted by myself with another similar recipe.


  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes (or you may use lamb or chicken meat cubes and substitute chicken bouillon cubes)
  • 1/2 cup flour to coat meat
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoon chili powder (I used 2 tsp)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 large bundle of fresh collard greens, (may also use kale, spinach or other greens) washed, drained, and thinly sliced (or frozen, chopped greens- 1 pound)
  • 2-3 carrots, chunked- may use any other root vegetables
  • 2 large white potatoes and/or sweet potatoes (optional)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1/2- 1 cup peanut butter (I used the larger amount and it was much tastier but not too strong. I even used chunky PB.)


  • In a Dutch oven, dredge the meat and flour and brown in the oil. 
  • Add the bouillon cubes, salt, crushed red pepper, chili powder, curry powder, parsley and water. Stir and bring to a rapid boil,  reducing the heat and simmering covered for 1 hour. 
  • Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in a skillet until all of the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside. 
  • Saute the greens and the onions in the bacon fat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, adding in the garlic part way through. 
  • Add the sauteed greens and onions along with the tomato puree, chunked potatoes and any other root vegetables, reserved bacon (optional), and peanut butter to the stew. Stir and simmer covered for 1 hour. If it seems to not have enough liquid, add another cup of water/broth while it cooks. You may also need to add a little more seasoning/salt since the potatoes absorb a lot. Serve with rice.  (Note: if using frozen greens, you won't need to cook them with the onions in the bacon fat quite as long.)

This can be easily adapted for a slow cooker, as well.

Alternative method-

Recently, I cooked the roast beef a couple days before at a very low temperature (250 degrees) for about 4 hours with onion soup mix and beef drippings from the pan that included seasonings from when I first browned it. Since I still had a large amount of meat left over, I used most of it to make this stew. Instead of flouring and browning the meat as above, I just chopped the cooked meat up into small pieces. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot- approximately 10-12 quarts, I browned 2 large onions and 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced very fine, with the oil, curry and chili powder. After the onions were softened and the seasoning had time to cook in the oil, I then added a 1 pound bag of frozen chopped collard greens. After these thawed in the pot and cooked for a couple minutes with the onion/garlic mixture, then I added the meat, 2 large white and 2 good sized sweet potatoes chopped into chunks, tomato puree and water/beef broth liquids, as well as the parsley and crushed red pepper (optional) and peanut butter- basically everything else. I did not bother with the bacon, instead just cooked the onions with the seasonings and oil. (The bacon adds much flavor, but also takes more time than I felt I had.) Because the meat was already cooked, I just needed to cook it on low temperature long enough to get the potatoes soft enough to eat- approximately 30 minutes. However, you need to stir this regularly so it does not burn or stick to the bottom.

Mmm good- and really not a hard meal to put together with leftover meat.

Galician Chicken and Rice

This recipe is a true homestyle recipe that is filling and healthy. I found it in an older La Leche League cookbook, and the recipe had been brought over by the father of the recipe's author who came from Galicia, a province in Spain. I had never tried cooking chicken backs and necks before I made this recipe for the blog- I had to go to a country butcher just to find them. I do not know that I will use them in the future- there are a lot of small bones that come apart as it cooks, as well as a lot of fat. I do not believe most chickens today have the flavor of birds raised a generation or more before. When I made it this time, I added some seasonings and chicken bouillon, which I feel helps keep it from being too bland and flavorless. In addition, to boost the "healthiness", I used brown rice.


1 chicken, cut up (or various chicken pieces)
3 chicken backs or backs and necks (optional)
2 slices bacon, cut up
3 large onions, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp of oregano
couple pinches of saffron
1 tsp Adobo seasoned salt or regular salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp capers with some juice (optional)
2 cups rice, white or brown
4 cups water
4 chicken flavor/bouillon cubes, crushed and mixed into the water
2 cups chopped or diced tomatoes
2 cups green peas

Season the chicken pieces with seasoned salt and pepper. Fry the chicken and bacon for approximately 15 minutes. Remove to a Dutch oven (preferably one that can go between the stovetop and oven; if you don't have one, you need to later put into an oven-proof pan to finish baking). Add the onions, garlic and rice into the fat and fry until onion soft and rice is turning slightly golden, stirring often. Combine seasonings, tomatoes, rice mixture and water. Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes (for white rice) or 30-45 minutes (for brown rice). Rice will be a rich, golden color. Stir in peas. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-35 minutes. Rice will be crispy at the bottom of the pot.

Serves 6-8.

Recipe adapted from one by Karen Vespignani in Whole Foods For the Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook, 1981.

Spanish Chicken on Foodista

Baked Oatmeal

This is a great food to make ahead of time for a quick and healthy breakfast, or to take on-the-go. It also keeps in the refrigerator and can easily be reheated in the microwave with some milk.

This recipe was originally featured in "Better Homes and Gardens" and then posted by Carroll Pellegrinelli on I will post it as it was, as well as my adaptations. It is a fun dish to try different variations with. If you do not have the bran and steel-cut oats (it won't be as good  ;), you can just substitute either the equivalent amount of rolled or quick oats in addition to the 2 1/2 cups of regular oats.


2 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or I prefer apple pie spice or a combo of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use instead 1/4 cup of molasses)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup oil
2 cups fruit

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 2 quart soufflé baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix with wire whisk; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add to the oat mixture and stir until just combined. Place mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven to stir mixture and gently fold in the fruit. Bake uncovered, for another 20 minutes. (I use a square or small rectangular baking dish, bake it at 350 degrees and mix the fruit into the mixture in the beginning. Then I do not mix it halfway through the baking time, and it seems to set up fine. The total baking time depends on if moisture amounts. I usually have to bake it for 35-45 minutes.)

Some of our favorite combinations are 1 cup of banana, mashed with 1 cup blueberries; 1 cup cranberries (frozen) and 1 cup chopped apples; you can use less banana and more of the other fruits, if desired. You can also use chopped strawberries, peaches, pears, various dried fruits (1 cup)  such as raisins, craisins, figs, dates, apricots, etc.

To serve, spoon into bowls and either eat plain or with yogurt, milk or cream.
This serves approximately 4-6 people.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pierogi (Polish Stuffed Dumpling)

There is nothing as good as homemade pierogies. Where I grew up, the local Ukrainian church women would sell freshly handmade pierogies regularly as a fundraiser. One of my good friends was the granddaughter of one of these women who did not even need a recipe to make wonderful pierogies. We felt like we were in heaven eating these. The ones I typically enjoy are filled with mashed potato and cheese. However, you might try making them with both potato and sauerkraut. I love these fried with some sautéed onions and butter and some keilbasa. They can easily be frozen and later boiled in some water for a few minutes to thaw, and then baked or fried with butter, onions and keilbasa.


3 -3 1/2 cups sauerkraut
4 Tbsp butter or oil
1 medium or large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper

Basic Dough:

4 cups flour, white or combination white/white whole wheat
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup lukewarm water

Cook the sauerkraut 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (If you desire sauerkraut not as sour, rinse it before cooking.) Push to sides of the pan; melt butter and sauté onion. Mix together; sauté 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

While filling is cooking, prepare dough. Mix ingredients together, adding water a little at a time. Dough should not be sticky. Roll out 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into circles approximately 4-6 inches in diameter. Fill each circle with a spoonful of kraut mixture. Fold in half; wet half the rim with water. Crimp with a fork. Drop into a large kettle of gently boiling water. Boil until they float to the top, stirring at times to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Remove with a slotted spoon. Let cool and dry on wire racks. Makes 25 pierogies.

When ready to serve, fry in butter or oil until golden brown on each side. Or for larger servings, dip in melted butter; bake at 350 degrees in a 9x13 inch pan until golden.

Try other fillings such as cottage cheese, mashed potato and cheese.

Recipe by Kathleen White in Whole Foods For The Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook, 1981.

Meat Tarts (Piroshki)

This eastern European food probably has some different variations. I was served a variation of these years ago by a good Russian friend who introduced me to their foods.


yeast dough for 1-2 loaves
3-4 cups shredded cabbage or 2 cups sauerkraut
2 medium onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1/4 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tsp prepared mustard (optional)

Let dough rise once. Steam cabbage for 10 minutes. Saute onion with the meat until browned; drain off the fat. Add cabbage or sauerkraut and seasonings. Cool. Meanwhile, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles or squares about 6 inches across. Put meat and cabbage mixture in center of each circle or square. Bring up the sides and seal shut. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet, pinched side down, and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

They freeze well. Serve hot or cold. Is good with potato salad, vegetable sticks, baked beans and fruit compote. You may also try other meats, fish, deviled eggs, cottage cheese, potatoes or whatever is handy for a filling. Fruits, jams and jellies work well for a sweet filling.

Romanian Karnatzlach

I am not very familiar with Romanian food but was intrigued to find this recipe while reading through my La Leche League cookbook.  The only other version of this food online called for mixing the meat with various ingredients and letting it sit for a few hours at minimum. Since I did not really have the time to try that method, I decided to give this one a try. I increased some of the ingredients and put wheat germ in the meat, as well as rolling the meat in the germ for a coating. These actually remind me somewhat of a Kofta or middle eastern version of seasoned meatballs. I did not think these were heavily spiced and if you like more spiced/seasoned meat, then increase the amount of spice in the meat and definitely use the worchestershire sauce.


  • 1/4 cup plus 2-3 Tbsp wheat germ or bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef (or a combination of beef and veal)
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 2 Tbsp worchestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 small red sweet pepper or hot pepper to your taste, finely chopped, or may substitute red pepper flakes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning or 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp marjoram and 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • dash pepper
  • Mix 1/4 cup wheat germ, 2 Tbsp yeast and 1/4 tsp paprika.  Add to bowl with meat.
  • Combine remaining 1st 3 ingredients and set aside for coating later. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients (spices, carrots, parsley, eggs) to the meat/wheat germ.
meat with ingredients ready to be mixed
together and then formed into "logs"
everything mixed together
  • Form into rolls about the size of hot dogs. 
  • Roll in wheat germ mixture. 
breaded and ready to put on the rack
  • Broil under moderate heat (350 degrees) on a slightly oiled rack about 15 minutes depending on how cooked you like your meat. Turn to brown all the sides, if needed. 
finished baking/broiling
  • Serve with a salad, other sides/vegetables and starches or put into a bread roll and use whatever sauces you like like a hot dog or sandwich.

Recipe adapted from Whole Foods For The Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook, 1981, recipe submitted by by Mary Jo Johnson.

Pasties (pass-tees)

My husband and I tried these for the first time while honeymooning in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are commonly found in the local restaurants of that area and are great for traveling/picnics or lunch. They also freeze well after being baked. Historically, this food was often the lunch that was packed for the lumberjacks and area people when they went to work. We ate it with a small side of brown gravy for dipping.


4 cups flour, white and/or whole wheat
1/2 tsp celery seeds (optional)
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup ice water


1 pound flank steak, stew meat or ground beef or chicken
3 medium potatoes
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
1 large rutabaga (optional)
1/2 tsp salt/seasoned salt
dash pepper
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Mix dry ingredients and oil with fork. Add ice water gradually, blending until dough is soft. Roll 1/8 inch thick on floured board. Cut in circles about 4-6 inches in diameter (cut around a saucer or with a large can). Set aside.

Run meat and vegetables through a coarse grinder or dice them finely. Mix meat, vegetables and seasonings. Spread on one half of dough. Dampen edges with a little water; lift side edges to center top and press together with fingers. Place pasties, seam side up, on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes; low to 325 degrees. Continue baking for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Recipe by Linda Church and Deanna Brekke from Whole Foods for The Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook, 1981.

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

These really are the same as, or similar to, Swedish meatballs. They are great served with a white cream/sour cream-based gravy over top of egg noodles, potatoes (new or mashed or boiled) or rice. They also can be made up in quantity in advance and then frozen with good results. For a good gravy recipe- see


1 pound ground pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
3/4 - 1 cup milk
1/2 - 1 cup wheat germ or bread crumbs
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (or less)
dash of pepper (or a couple)
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp paprika
dash ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or food processor. Mix well. Mixture should be the consistency of drop cookies. Shape into 12-16 medium-sized meatballs. Place on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, turning once. May also be fried, 10 minutes on a side, over medium heat.

Variation: try with ground beef and pork, or mix pork with pork sausage to equal 1 pound. If using sausage, omit the spices.

Recipe from Barbara Kautz in Whole Foods For The Whole Family La Leche League International Cookbook 1981.

Salmon Chowder

Here is another great and tasty way to get some of the needed omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.


1 can (14.75 oz.) salmon (wild)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons, butter or oil
2 cups diced potatoes
1-2 chopped or diced parsnips (optional)
2 cups diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp dried chopped parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 (10 oz packages) of frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cans lowfat evaporated milk (13 oz. each)
Minced parsley for garnish

Drain and flake salmon- you may want to debone the meat, reserving the liquid. Saute onions, celery and garlic in butter until soft. Add potatoes, carrots, reserved salmon liquid, chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer, covered 20 minutes, or until vegetables are nearly tender.  Add broccoli and corn and cook 5 more minutes. Add flaked salmon and evaporated milk; heat thoroughly. Sprinkle with minced parsley to serve.

This can be thickened with dried instant potato flakes, or you can make a roux with equal amounts fat and flour, cooked together until it is a golden brown color, then whisk some milk into it gradually. The amount of roux ingredients would be 1/4-1/2 cup flour and 1/4-1/2 cup butter. After it is made and cooked for a few minutes and the some of the milk added, then it can be whisked into the soup and cooked for at least 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is great with some cheddar biscuits, hearty whole grain bread or rolls and/or a green salad.

Salmon Cakes

Salmon is a great heart-healthy fish, rich in omega 3 fatty acids and many other nutrients. While some do not care for the strong flavor, I find that it is tempered some when prepared in a loaf or made into cakes. Be sure you are using wild salmon, since it has been shown that farmed salmon does not contain the omega 3's and actually may rob our bodies of omega 3 fatty acids.


1 (14.75 oz.) can salmon, drained and deboned (or use equivalent amount of meat already prepared in the pouches)
1 egg slightly beaten (or may substitute egg white)
1/2 cup chopped onion- white or green
1/2 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper
1/2 + 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like to use the Italian seasoned crumbs)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional)
1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Combine meat with egg, 1/2 cup bread crumbs and the remaining ingredients. Form into 4-6 balls. Then roll in remaining bread crumbs and flatten into cakes about 1/2 inch thick. Pan-fry in 3-4 Tbsp butter or oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown.  

Options: serve on toasted whole grain bread or hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles or other desired condiments, or you may serve with a rice pilaf or other seasoned rice or noodles, or over top of a salad.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (rear)
Oatmeal Craisin and White Chip Cookies (middle row)

These are the best oatmeal cookies- at least a huge favorite in our family, and the recipe came originally from Quaker Oats. I have been making them for years, and they are always a huge hit. You should take them out of the oven before they seem completely done, or they are not chewy and soft. I like to think of these as a "healthy" cookie with the oatmeal and raisins. You can also try different additions such as craisins (dried cranberries) and white baking chips (some call them vanilla or white chocolate chips)


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, or non-hydrogenated margarine (be careful it is recommended for baking)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or xylitol or other granulated sweetener)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I actually prefer apple pie spice mixture- is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or add in an additional 1/2 tsp allspice)
1/2 tsp salt (optional, I usually cut back since I use salted butter)
3 cups quick oats (may also use old-fashioned oats)
1 cup raisins
1/2 or 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Combine flour, baking soda, spices and salt (I prefer to sift the baking soda with a little flour to make sure there are no lumps). Add to butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats and raisins and any other optional additions; mix well.

May chill the dough for 30 minutes, if desired, and then drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to a wire rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen 2 1/2 inch cookies.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Banana Bread

My mom used a recipe like this for many years, and I have taken that plus others and adapted them into this recipe. I like it because it is moist and uses part whole wheat flour. This is a great way to use up all those ripe, soft and discolored bananas.

1/2 cup butter, softened (or oil)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour- may use extra 1/4 cup if batter turns out too moist
1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large bananas, mashed (approximately 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4- 1/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk or yogurt
1/2-3/4 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and milk. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add into wet ingredients. Add the mashed bananas and chopped nuts. Pour into 1 greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes * or until sharp knife poked in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to finish cooling. Wrap in plastic- keeps well in the refrigerator.

This is also good with mini-chocolate chips mixed in the batter just before baking. Feel free to try blueberries or other fruit, as well.

*When I made this for the picture, I used a sweet bread pan that was 5x12 inches. I only needed to bake it about 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. If you are using the shorter but wider bread pans, it will probably take about 1 hours to bake- watch carefully so it is not overbaked.

Rasam and Rice

I recently bought a Rasam mix at the nearby international (Indian) store. I mixed it up according to the directions with tomato, using 1-  15 oz. can of diced tomatoes. While it was a little too hot for our tastes (being labeled medium spice), as well as a little too tangy or sour (maybe from the tamarind), I decided to try to salvage it and remake it into something we could finish. Here is my experiment, which I think turned out quite well. I recognize that there are many different variations of Rasam (which can be a soup or a sauce over rice). The brand I tried that I felt needed a little help to suit our tastes was "Gits Rasam Mix". I am in the process of trying to make my own rasam mix- trying various recipes online. I also served this with brown rice, which gave it a wonderful flavor.

1 Rasam mix prepared according to directions, except as mentioned above- with can of tomatoes
2 large potatoes, peeled if desired, and chopped
1  15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained
1  15 oz. can of light kidney beans or pink beans, drained
2-3 large kale leaves, rinsed and chopped (or other chopped greens)
2 Tbsp sugar or xylitol (if using this brand of rasam mix)
1 large onion, chopped
3 Tbsp oil
2 tsp curry powder (not hot)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
cottage cheese (optional)
rice (brown or white), cooked

In a medium-large pot, combine the onions, oil and curry powder. Cook, stirring together frequently, until onions are soft. Then add the rasam mix, water, sugar and tomatoes, stirring together well. Add the potatoes, beans and kale or greens. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for the next 15 minutes, stirring frequently.  As the mixture cooks, it should thicken slightly. Cook the rice according to directions. After the rasam mixture has finished, take out some rasam juice and add to yogurt in a bowl, stirring well and then adding back into the rasam pot. Serve over rice with a spoonful or two of cottage cheese over top/mixed in.

We also tried the above with a fried egg- over easy or very soft yolk- over top of the rasam and rice. This was a great added flavor!

South American Breakfast

This recipe came to me through a couple different people, and I do not know how common this recipe is. However, this is a simple and easy breakfast with a unique twist. It is really like making poached eggs in stewed tomatoes. Now my husband is not a big fan of anything with plain, cooked tomatoes, but he really enjoyed the flavor of this after the cilantro and sour cream were added. I did not have any green onions, but they would have made it even better!

Serves: approximately 2-4


1  12-15oz can of stewed tomatoes
4 eggs
french fries
chopped parsley/cilantro
green onions, sliced 
sour cream


In some hot oil, fry (or you may bake) some french fries or diced potatoes until slightly crispy. Season with a little seasoned salt/pepper to taste. 

In a medium saucepan, pour the stewed tomatoes and bring up to almost boiling. As they cook for 1-2 minutes, break up the tomatoes. You may add some Adobo All-purpose Seasoned Salt to the tomatoes, if desired. Crack the egg shells and drop eggs onto the tomato mixture. Season the eggs, if desired. As the eggs cook, spoon the tomato juice up over the eggs periodically for a couple minutes, covering the eggs with a lid until they are cooked as desired.

Serve eggs and tomatoes together along side or over top of the fries/potatoes on each plate. Garnish with chopped cilantro, green onions and sour cream.

Oil Pastry (Pie Crust)

Usually, the crust is the part I throw away from a pie because it has little flavor and is full of empty calories. However, my mom has made this crust for years, and we all enjoy eating the crust as much as the pie. This crust is a healthy alternative to using crisco or other oils that are not healthy. If you are careful and only handle the dough minimally, you can have a beautiful, flaky and very tasty crust. We have always used regular olive oil (which does not affect the flavor*), but it also works fine with a coconut oil.

Makes 2-   10 inch pie crusts


2 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup oil
7-8 Tbsp water

Mix in a 2 cup measuring cup- 2/3 cup oil and 6 Tbsp cold water.  Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well in the center and pour in the oil/water mixture. Stir just enough to incorporate most of the liquid. Add a little more cold water, one tablespoon at a time if needed to pull it all together.

Use hands to pat the dough together. May need to lightly knead it a couple times to form a ball. Divide dough in half and place one of the pieces between waxed paper.

 With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is large enough to fit in the pie pan.

 Carefully remove the top wax paper, flip over the dough into the pie pan, adjusting as necessary, and then remove the other side of wax paper. If needed, trim edges and place extra in areas around the edge that are a little short. Press lightly together to seal the pieces together that you are piecing.

 The pie is then ready to fill with your preferred filling and bake as directed on your pie recipe.  If you are making a pie with a top crust, put your filling in the pan and cover with the second pie dough disc you have prepared and then begin rolling edges together and under. Then you may either crimp with a fork, use fingers to press various designs on the edge- fluted, rope, etc.

*A disclaimer- while we have used olive oil for many years, with all the news lately about "olive oil" not being pure but cut with other oils and labeled deceptively by most brands in the stores, it is very possible that we were using oils that were not 100% olive oil. Thus, that may explain why we did not note strong flavors in the baked goods when using it. If you use a brand that you are sure is 100% pure olive oil, especially extra virgin, you may need to use another type of oil as it may add a different flavor. I recommend using coconut oil as an alternative. You can find expeller pressed that has the coconut flavor removed and does not contribute any flavor.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Katherine's Apple Cake

This is such a beautiful cake and so flavorful! When I was growing up, our family was a little different. For birthdays, we did not usually have a chocolate cake (my dad did not like chocolate very much) or other types of cake with icing like one usually sees at birthdays. Instead, my mom often made cakes with fruit or other different cakes that are not traditionally considered birthday cakes. This was one of those cakes that we all loved and often had for birthdays and other special meals, as well as brought to picnics. This moist cake that was shared with my mom many years ago by her sister-in-law, Katherine Mattoon. Some food is best enjoyed fresh and some is best enjoyed after the flavors have time to sit together- this is one of those best enjoyed the day after it is made. It is much more moist and the cake has so much more flavor.


3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup orange juice
4 large sliced apples
2 tsp cinnamon (or if you really like cinnamon, use just a little less than 1 Tbsp)
5 Tbsp sugar

Sift together dry ingredients in a small bowl. Cream oil and sugar together in a large bowl and then add eggs, beating after each addition. Add orange juice and then the dry ingredients.  Pour half of the cake mixture into a greased cake tube pan- it needs to be one with straight sides, not the sloped angel food cake pan. Spread the sliced apples over the batter and then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Spread the remainder of the batter over the apples, followed by the remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.  (Lately when I have made this cake, I have laid down the initial half of the batter in the pan, then divided the apples into two groups and layered 2 layers of apple, separated by a small amount of batter and cinnamon mixture. This gives more layers of apple throughout the cake- not really much more work.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/4 hours or until thin knife inserted in cake all the way to the bottom comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for about 15-20 minutes on a rack, then remove tube from outer ring and cool the remaining time. After it has cooled completely, run a knife around the inside of the tube/cake, as well as under the bottom of the cake to loosen from the metal tube. Carefully turn out cake onto rack and then turn over onto serving plate/stand.

This is a tall cake! It can be a little tricky getting it out of the pan. It is very important to run a sharp knife (or butter knife) around the inside and outside edges of the pan to loosen it. Let it cool for at least 15- maybe closer to 20 minutes before trying to remove the outer ring. Then make sure it cools about 20 minutes or more before attempting to removed it from the inner ring.

An easy trick for removing the cake from the ring without it falling apart is to place a cooling rack on top of the cake and turn it over. Remove the ring, then place the cake plate/server face side to the bottom of the cake and then flip back over to upright position.

For glaze, mix together 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, 2 1/2 tsp milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla. May add more milk if desiring a thinner glaze. Pour over cooled cake.

Store cake in a covered cake container to preserve moisture.

Blueberry Sour Cream Cake

This has been a favorite recipe in my family growing up. It came to my mom from a good friend, Sandy Berry.


2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream

Blueberry filling:
1 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs. Sift dry ingredients and add, alternating with sour cream. Spoon 1/2 batter into greased and floured 9 inch tube pan. Sprinkle with blueberry filling. Repeat layers (1/2 of remaining batter, then remainder of blueberries, then remainder of batter). Stir topping together and sprinkle over cake.   Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. Cake is finished when knife inserted in the cake comes out pretty much clean.  Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 15-20 minutes, then carefully place cooling rack on top of pan and turn out cake to finish cooling.

Serve on a cake server or pretty 10 inch plate with a simple glaze (confectioner's sugar and milk with small amount of vanilla flavoring), if desired.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This always gets rave reviews when I make it. It was from a Pillsbury Blueberry Quick Bread and Muffin Mix box- you could substitute any blueberry muffin recipe in place of it.


Coffee Cake:
1 package Blueberry Quick Bread and Muffin Mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs

1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or grated lemon peel

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9inch square pan. In a medium bowl, combine quick bread mix, water, oil and eggs. Beat 50-75 strokes until well blended, but do not overmix.   Rinse and drain blueberries. Gently stir into batter; pour into greased pan.

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Spoon into 5 stripes on top of batter. Swirl by running knife crosswise across cream cheese stripes.  Bake at 375 degrees until topping is golden brown and toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Bake 8 inch pan 35-45 minutes; 9 inch pan 30-40 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes. Store leftover in refrigerator.   9 servings.

Lazy Day Lasagna

This recipe came to my mom quite a few years ago from my Aunt Lydia. We were a large family and this dish was hearty and so good! It is almost a one-dish wonder-- except for boiling the pasta separately. I also love how it is an easy way to get veggies into the kids!


1 pound ziti, cooked according to directions (may substitute penne, mafalda-mini lasagna noodles, or break up lasagna noodles into small pieces)
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp sofrito (optional)
1 small package chopped frozen spinach
48 oz spaghetti sauce
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound cottage cheese
mushrooms (optional)

Brown the meat, onions and garlic. Drain off fat. Mix all ingredients together, except the mozzarella cheese. Heat well to finish cooking the spinach. Then add 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and stir gently. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. May top with remainder of shredded cheese. 

Serve with salad and bread.  

Serves 6


This is an old-fashioned spiced drink that is served warm, similar but different from spiced cider. It is nice in the winter with snacks.


4 cups unsweetened apple juice
3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2 cups cranberry juice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
lemon slices

Mix all together and simmer on the stovetop for about 1 hour or warm and put in a crock pot/slow cooker a couple hours before serving.

Banana Crunch Punch

This is a wonderful drink for summer at picnics or parties.


4 cups sugar
6 cups water
5 oranges (may use unsweetened orange juice with pulp- approximately 2 1/2 - 3 cups)
2 lemons
1  46 oz can pineapple juice
5 mashed bananas

Boil sugar and water until syrupy (about 3 minutes). Cool. Juice the oranges and lemons. Combine citrus juice with pineapple juice and crushed bananas.  Add syrup to juices. Mix well and freeze.

When ready to serve, add 7-up or Ginger Ale to frozen punch. Serve while icy. Should be slushy.

Ellen's Beef and Bean Barbecue

This is very delicious and easy to make. I received this recipe from a coworker years ago.

Fry together:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound bacon
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Drain off the fat. Remove the bacon and crumble or chop into pieces; Reserve.

Mix together and add to meat:
1/2 small bottle of ketchup (approximately 1/2-3/4 cup)
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
1 can pork and beans
1 can drained butter beans
1 can drained kidney beans
1/2 cup each celery and green pepper, finely chopped
dash of creole seasoning (optional)

Put all into a greased 2 quart casserole dish and bake at  350 degrees for 1 hr.  (You may just cook it on the stove, as well, for approximately 15-20 minutes on low-medium heat.) Sprinkle the bacon over top as it is almost finished, if desired. May serve with rice or bread.

Norwegian/ Swedish/ Swiss Apple Pie

These are very easy recipes and are really more like small cakes. Since they are quite similar, I decided to share them together in the same post. They are very simple yet very flavorful and just perfect with some tea or coffee. The Swedish Apple Pie tends to be more of a dense, spiced cake, while the Swiss/Norwegian is a moist and thicker cake without the spices except some vanilla- allowing the apples to shine. Amazingly, although these cakes/pies do not have any butter or oil or other fats except what is in the eggs and nuts, they are moist and soft. Try one of each and see which one you prefer!

Serves 6-8
Swedish Apple Pie

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom
  • 1/2 cup apple, pared and sliced or chopped (1 large apple)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Mix egg and sugar together well. 
  • Sift dry ingredients together and mix into egg and sugar. (Mixture will be VERY stiff). 
  • Fold in apples and walnuts. 
  • Spread the thick mixture in a greased 8 inch pie plate or cake pan. 
  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Optional: Drizzle with caramel sauce, serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

The Swiss Apple Pie recipe I had from many years ago was almost exactly the same as a Norwegian Apple Pie recipe I found in one of my old cookbooks. So I just posted the recipe and you can call it what you want!

Serves 6-8
Swiss Apple Pie (or Norwegian)

  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup apples, pared and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, whole or chopped
  • Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. 
  • Pour in a greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Optional: Drizzle with caramel sauce, serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Milk Bread (Stretzel)

This is another type of old- fashioned bread not seen much these days.

4 cups scalded milk
1 1/2 cups oil
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3-4 tsp yeast
11-12 cups flour

Mix the salt, sugar, yeast and 1/2 of the flour together. Add the wet ingredients and stir well. Add in the remainder of the flour until it is a nice consistency that is not too sticky. Knead it until the bread dough has some elasticity, about 5-10 minutes (you may use a heavy duty mixer with a dough hook). Cover and let rise until double in bulk- about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and knead lightly for a couple minutes. Form into 3-4 loaves. Place in greased loaf pans (3 larger or 4 medium sized loaf pans). Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-35 minutes (or until outside is lightly brown- you can test it with a food thermometer; it should be 200 degrees when finished). Cool in loaf pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool the rest. May rub butter over top of loaves after removing from the oven.

Variation- may add 1 cup of raisins for each cup of milk used while mixing the dough.

*Recipe adapted from one from Mrs. John J. Becker in the Mennonite Community Cookbook 1978.

Danish Horns

These are a crisp, unsweet cookie with marmalade filling.


1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp hot water
1 cup butter
2 tsp light cream
1 3/4 cup flour
orange marmalade or other jam/preserves

Dissolve yeast in water. Cream butter. Blend in dissolved yeast and cream, mixing until blended. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto greased baking sheet. Shape into rounds. Press with finger to make a dent in the center and fill it with marmalade (or other jam/preserves). Sprinkle with sugar. Let stand in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until just turning pale brown.

*Recipe by Joan Whitlock from the Elmira College Cookbook 1971.

Raisin Bar Cookies

Bar cookies are my favorite because they are so easy- you do not have to stand around the stove, taking cookies off the pan and putting more in the oven. These are actually more like a cake and are quite moist. I have made them by using either oil or palm oil shortening, which is healthier than regular vegetable shortening. My mom made these type of bars frequently when I was young, and they are healthy and very easy. They would be a nice cookie with tea or coffee or milk.


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I would use palm or coconut oil, as it is healthier)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)


  • Cook raisins and water for 5 minutes and cool. Set aside. 
  • Cream oil and sugar; add egg and mix well. 
  • In separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg and then add into the wet mixture. 
  • Add the raisin mixture. 
  • Spread on a greased 8x10 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes, or until cake tester/toothpick in the center comes out clean  (or may use 9x13 inch pan but check at 15-20 minutes). 
  • Cool and then sprinkle with sifted confectioner's sugar, if desired. You could also put a light glaze over them made from 1 cup confectioner's sugar and a Tbsp of milk- more or less until the desired consistency is reached. A dash of nutmeg in the glaze would also be good, as well as 1/4 tsp of vanilla.

*Recipe adapted from Martha Morrison from the Elmira College Cookbook 1971.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Logs

This makes 1 pound of a homemade candy you do not have to cook.


1 cup chunk style peanut butter
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
3 cups crispy rice cereal
chopped peanuts

In mixing bowl, blend together peanut butter and butter; stir in confectioner's sugar. Add cereal, mixing well and crushing slightly. Shape into 3 logs- 7x 1/4 inches. Pat peanuts over the logs. Wrap in foil or clear plastic wrap. Chill. Slice 1/2 inch thick.

*Recipe by B. Murray from Elmira College Cookbook 1971.


This is a quick and easy cake that has been quite popular in Sweden years ago.


3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
5 Tbsp butter
20 sliced almonds
ground peel of 1 lemon

Melt butter and let it cool. Beat eggs and sugar- the less you beat the better. Add fruit peel. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixture and add butter. Stir only until ingredients are just mixed. Pour into a greased pan that holds about 1 1/2 quarts and sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes- until cake tester comes out clean from the center.

*Recipe from Elmira College Cookbook 1971.

Syrian Nutmeg Cake

I made this cake recently and shared some with our Iraqi friends and it was well-liked. They do not typically like very rich desserts. Often, they will have some cake and tea (chai) for breakfast. This cake is unlike any other cake I have ever made in the way it was assembled. This is a wonderful moist cake that has a slightly crunchy crust/crumb bottom. The nutmeg is not overwhelming, as I was initially thinking it might be. All in all, it is a very nice cake for tea/coffee time. As an added bonus, it is quite easy to make.

Serves 9

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used my homemade yogurt, which turned out well)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios)
  • Sift the first 3 dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and add the brown sugar and butter. 
  • Blend until mixture is crumbly. 
  • Grease 9 inch square cake pan. Spoon in half of crumb mixture and press lightly into the bottom of the pan. 
  • In another smaller bowl, stir baking soda into sour cream or yogurt. Mix this into remaining crumb mixture along with the beaten egg. 
  • Pour batter over crumbs and sprinkle with nuts. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick put in the center comes out pretty much clean. Serves 9.

*Recipe by Mary Casciato from the Elmira College Cookbook 1971.

Pumpkin Cake

I love just about anything with pumpkin, and it is packed with vitamins and health benefits. My mom has made this recipe for as long as I can remember and it  has always been a great cake to bring to potluck dinners or have as a birthday cake (since our family was not the typical iced chocolate birthday cake family). This is one of the cake recipes that I cannot make often enough for my family now! This cake is very moist and flavorful and tastes even better as it sets for a day or so. It is great with any icing, or by itself, or with a simple glaze.


2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice blend)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4-1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate chips or other add-ins (optional)

Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cream sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Add the flour mixture and blend. Add oil and pumpkin to mixture and pour into a well-greased and floured bundt or tube pan (I love to use the baking spray that has flour in it).  Bake approximately for 1 hour at 350 degrees or until a knife inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.

For a simple glaze, mix together  2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, with 2-4 Tbsp milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir together until well mixed. Pour over top of cake and allow to drizzle down over the sides. (Use more or less liquid until you have it as thick or thin as you want. If you accidentally add too much liquid, just add more sifted powdered sugar until it is the right consistency.)

*Recipe by Cathy David from the Elmira College Cookbook 1971.