Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Martha Stewart's Cheddar Bits and my recipe for Cheddar Snaps from the 80's!

I'm simply re posting Martha Stewart's recipe for these amazing crackers. I have a Best of the Best recipe for Cheese Crackers and I thought these were incredible too. I'll post my recipe at the end of this one.

Cheddar Bits:

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 C grated Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Sweet Paprika
2 TBS Heavy Cream

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pulse Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Flour, Salt, Cayenne Pepper and Paprika in a Food Processor just until combined and resembles coarse crumbles. Add Heavy Cream and continue to pulse until just combined.

Divide dough into 4 pieces, shape into rectangles.
Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.
Working in batches, roll out each  rectangle on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thickness and cut into 1" squares .
Transfer to a Parchment Paper lined sheet pan 1/4" apart.
Refrigerate the crackers on the pan for 20 minutes.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 - 17 minutes.
Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on a cooling rack in the pan for 10 minutes.
Transfer crackers to the rack and cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's my recipe from 1980. I used to make these often for parties.

Cheese Snaps:

1 pound of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
3 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 C Chopped Pecans

Combine the first 5 ingredients on a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix well.
Add Pecans
Divide the dough int thirds.
Form each third into small 1 1/2" diameter logs on a sheet of parchment paper.
Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the rolls into 1/4 " slices
Arrange 1 1/2" apart on a baking sheet
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes
Transfer to paper towels to cool
Store in air tight containers

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs

Today I posted recipes for pickled Jalapeños and pickled Okra. I happen to like pickled eggs too. I never thought I'd ever post a recipe for them. Maybe there are others that share my passion.
They're a great source of protein and when they're pickled, they become very tasty!

Here's what you'll need:
1 dozen Hard Boiled Eggs. We buy them in large quantities already hard boiled and peeled.
A large glass jar.  I use a large Vlassic Pickle Jar.
We always have a jar of Pickled Eggs in the refrigerator. I just keep a jar of brine and add eggs.

3 TBS Dijon Mustard or any  Grainy French Mustard
1/2 C Water
2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 C Sugar
1 TBS Salt
1 tsp Chile Powder, I have great Chile Powder from the Chiles in Chimayo, New Mexico.
1 TBS ground Cumin
1 TBS Celery Seeds
2 TBS Mustard Seeds ( we buy our Celery and Mustard Seeds at a bulk Amish / Mennonite store in Kansas.
8  Cloves
6 Whole Cloves of Garlic
4 Serrano Chiles
2 medium Onions, roughly chopped.
1 Dozen Eggs, Hard Boiled and Peeled

In a Sauce Pan or Stock Pot:
Whisk until blended.

Chile Powder
Celery Seeds
Mustard Seeds
Whisk well and bring to a boil.
Continue whisking until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Reduce heat.
Serrano Chiles
Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the stove and let it cool in the pan at room temperature.
Pack the Onions and the Hard Boiled Eggs alternately into the jar.
Add the cooled brine.
Cover with the lid and refrigerate between 1 and 2 weeks.
We re- use the Brine and simply add additional Eggs.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Sugar and Spice Cookies

If it begins with "Tex - Mex" believe me it's got to be good y'all!

What you'll need:
Some fun Texas Cookie Cutters, the shape of Texas, Cactus, Coyotes, Jalapeños ....etc.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.

1/4 C Sugar
1 TBS Cinnamon
1 Stick (8 TBS) Butter, softened
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 2/3 C all purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together:
1/4 C  Granulated Sugar mixed with 1 TBS of Cinnamon for dusting the cookies just before they're baked. I sometimes add a pinch of additional Cayenne to kick up the heat!

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
3/4 C of the Sugar.
Beat for 5 minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Egg and Egg Yolk one at a time.
Beat until just incorporated.
Add the Vanilla and continue beating on low until creamy.

In another bowl, sift together:
Baking Soda
Cayenne Pepper
Sift twice.

Gradually add the Flour mixture to the bowl of the mixer with the wet ingredients.

On a floured Surface:
Roll out the dough to 1/2" thickness.
Cut out the various shapes of cookies.

Sprinkle each cookie with a dusting of the Cinnamon / Sugar mixture.
Place on the prepared sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees for 5 - 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes .
Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack and cool completely

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pickled Jalapeños and Okra and my Original Salsa Recipe

I happen to love Jalapeños and Okra. Texans eat a lot of them. I'm sure I've posted other recipes using Jalapeños and Okra but I can never seem to have enough. So here's my latest recipes for both.
At the end I re posted my Original Salsa Recipe because it's a great addition to a menu when your'e serving the Jalapeños and Okra!

Pickled Okra:

1 LB. of Whole Okra
4 Serrano Chiles
1 C water
1 C Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tsp Turmeric
3 TBS Ground Black Pepper
2 TBS Sea Salt

Clean the Okra Pods.
Pack tightly, stem sides up into 2 Pint sized, Sterilized Canning Jars.
Tuck 2 Chiles into each jar.

In a Stainless Steel Pan:
Black Pepper
Whisk well.
Bring to a boil.
Whisk again and immediately divide the Brine among the 2 jars.
Seal them and store in the pantry for 3 weeks!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pickled Jalapeños :

1 dozen large Jalapeño Peppers
1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 good sized Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Carrot, roughly chopped
1 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Water
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 C chopped fresh Cilantro ( I always have it available in my garden)
1 tsp Cumin Seeds

Pack the Jalapeños into 2 Pint sized Sterilized Canning Jars

In a Stainless Steel Pan:
Heat Oil
Onion Garlic
Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Bring to a boil.
Remove immediately.
Cumin Seeds
Mix well.

Whisk again and immediately divine the Brine among the 2 jars.
Seal them and store in the pantry for 3 weeks!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Another "Best of the Best" recipe.

Every Texan has their favorite Salsa. Believe me when I say that we are passionate about it. I could talk about Salsa for days, instead, I'll just say that I created this fresh Salsa recipe to make up for all of the "not so good" Salsa that I've purchased or eaten in Restaurants.

I've made this for our friends in France. This means that I take this recipe with me when we travel and make it there.

I use 8 medium sized Jalapenos, you can use less if you don't like the heat. This one is spicy.

I happen to love fresh, non cooked, non roasted and very simple Salsa.

30 Plum or Roma Tomatoes ( I prefer these to others because of the firm texture. I don't peel them) roughly chop them, they'll be processed in a food processor.

6 - 8  Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, cut off the tops, I leave the seeds in. You don't have to if you prefer a less spicy Salsa.

1 Large White Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
1 dozen garlic cloves , peeled and cut in half
1 C of packed chopped fresh Cilantro
1 TBS Salt
4 TBS Adobo Seasoning
2 TBS Cider Vinegar
1/4C  Olive Oil
Juice of 3 Limes
Juice of 3 Lemons

In a Food Processor .
Pulse the Jalapenos, Onion and Garlic
Scrape down the sides to incorporate everything
Remove this to a large bowl ( I use a  large Stainless Steel Stock Pot)

Pulse Red and Green Peppers, transfer to the bowl
Without cleaning the processor, add the tomatoes in batches and pulse them and transfer them to the bowl with the Jalapenos.

Stir in the Adobo Seasoning
Add the Cilantro
Season to taste with Salt
Stir in the Vinegar
Stir in the Oil
Add the Juice of the Limes and the Lemons
Mix well


"the longer it sits, the better it gits".

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lavender Ridge Farms' favorite Lavender Recipes

Over the Memorial Day weekend in 2014, we went to our local Lavender Festival. Lavender Ridge Farms is located 8 miles east of Gainesville, Texas.
I've included stories, photographs and some of the recipes from their farm.

It was originally a strawberry and melon farm in the 1920's and 30's. It is now a lavender, cut flower
and herb farm. It has 2 acres of lavender, and a field of Zinnias, Bachelor Buttons, Sunflowers and a variety of vegetables for picking.

You can have lunch in the cafe or bring a picnic.
There's also a gift shop with Dried Lavender, Homemade Soaps that are amazing, Pottery , Herbs, Culinary Lavender and Cookbooks.

Twice a year they have a Festival that includes tents with vendors selling a variety of antiques, collectibles and various other knick-knacks that we just can't seem to live without.

 The gift shop is charming ,with a variety of Lavender gifts.

Anne and I bought Soap, Culinary Lavender and a Cookbook. We discovered, for the first time, Aubrey Oaks Alpacas, a vendor that raises Alpacas and sells the most beautiful items of clothing and accessories made from the hair that has thermal properties. The hair is strong, soft and comes in a variety of natural colors. Anne got a Sweater/Coat and I bought a Vest that looks very German/Austrian.

I purchased the Lavender Farms Cookbook and Culinary Lavender to bake a variety of items and post recipes on the blog. I received permission from Kevin and Jerry to talk about the Festival and post some of their Lavender Recipes. Thank you for allowing me to blog about your wonderful farm and event. We've visited the farm several times and will return again many more times!

If you're ever in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, take a day trip to visit the Farm.

We've spent many years vacationing in Provence, France enjoying the Lavender Fields near Valensole. We have many friends throughout France. Provence in the summer is amazing! We'll be returning next summer.
If you can't make it to France to see the lavender, come to Texas and visit Lavender Ridge Farms.
Before I post recipes, I wanted to show you that even when we left Lavender Ridge, it reminded us of Provence.

And now........ Recipes!
As I make some of these recipes, I'll add photographs.

I added a note at the end of this post talking about Lavender and Culinary Lavender. The recipes mention Culinary Lavender . We purchase ours at Lavender Ridge Farms.

There are so many great recipes, it was difficult to choose, but here are some of my favorites from their cookbook.

Summer is approaching so I'll start with two drink recipes.

Lavender Lemonade:

Steep 2 TBS dried lavender in 1 C of boiling water, about 5 - 10 minutes.
Cool and add 2 quarts of prepared lemonade.
Stir well, serve chilled and garnish with a fresh lavender sprig.

Lavender Lemon Chiller:

2 C Water
1 C Sugar
1 TBS Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender
1 1/2 C Lemon Juice
1 Lemon, sliced

Place a bottle of Vodka in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours until syrup like.
Combine Water, Sugar and Lavender in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Allow to cool at room temperature.
Add Lemon Juice.
Strain to remove the Lavender.
Fill a tall glass with Ice and 1 shot of  Vodka.
Fill the glass 3/4 with the Lemon mixture.
Add a fresh Lavender Sprig and a Lemon Slice.
Top off each glass with Sparkling Wine.

I have to add this recipe for Lavender Hot Cocoa and I'll make this for family and guests during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Lavender Hot Cocoa:

1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Cocoa
Dash of Salt
1/3 C Hot Water
4 C  Milk
3/4 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender.

Milk Mixture:
In a medium saucepan, combine milk and finely ground culinary Lavender.
Bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Strain before combining with Chocolate mixture.

Chocolate Mixture:
Mix Sugar, Cocoa and Salt in another saucepan, stir in hot water.
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and milk mixture.

Lavender Pound Cake:

This recipe calls for a prepared loaf pan. I use my Pan Release Mixture. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mix well and keep refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
The recipe calls for a Lavender Syrup, so here's my personal favorite.

Lavender Syrup:
1 C Water
1/2 C Sugar
1 TBS Lavender Ridge Farm's Culinary Lavender
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve and cool completely at room temperature.

1 1/2 C Sugar
1 1/4 C Butter
3/4 C Vanilla
6 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt
2 2/3 C Flour
2 TBS Lavender Ridge Farm's Culinary Lavender

Cream Butter and Sugar.
Add Vanilla and Eggs.
Add Salt, Flour and Lavender.
Mix well.
Pour the batter into an 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" X 2 1/2" prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. ( or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean) This cake took almost 1 1/2 hours.
Cool 10 minutes in the pan.
Remove the cake from the pan while it's still warm.
Transfer to a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan.
Brush the sides and top  generously with Lavender Syrup until well saturated.
Cool completely before serving.

The batter is incredible!

Lavender Syrup

The final cake with the glaze brushed on it.

Lavender Lemon Bars:

2 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar + additional for dusting
1/2 pound Butter (2 sticks) chilled and cubed
1 1/2 C Sugar
6 TBS Lemon Juice
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tsp Ground Lavender Ridge Farms Lavender
4 TBS Flour (set aside)
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Eggs

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 C Flour and Powdered Sugar.
Cut in the Butter with a pastry blender or two forks.
Press evenly into the bottom of 9"X13" baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl:
Lemon Juice
4 tsp Flour
Baking Powder
Mix well
Pour batter over the crust and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into bars and dust with additional Powdered Sugar.

Lavender Pecan Crisps:
I love this recipe!

2 C Sugar
2 C Butter
3 C Flour
1 tsp Crean of Tartar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
6 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender
4 C Corn Flakes
1 C toasted chopped Pecans

In a mixing bowl:
Beat until creamy and smooth.

Slowly Add:
Baking Soda
Mix well.

Fold in Corn Flakes and Pecans by hand.
(at this stage, I would chill the dough for at least 1 hour)

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and place cookies 2" apart an a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and place the sheet pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Lavender, Potato and Leek Soup:

4 - 5 slices of real bacon (Vegetarian version, I use Morning Star Farms Bacon Strips. I microwave 5 strips for 2 minutes. They should be crisp. Crumble and set aside.
3 large Leeks (white part only) Washed well to remove sand, chop and set aside.
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
6 C peeled and diced potatoes
6 C Chicken Broth ( Vegetarian version, I use a vegetarian Chicken Broth)
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 C Milk
1 1/2 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender
Salt and Papper to taste

In a large soup pot:
Cook Regular Bacon until crisp.
Remove and crumble.
Add Leeks to the bacon drippings and sauté until they're soft. (Vegetarian version, add 2 TBS Olive Oil to the pot and cook the Leeks.)

Chicken Broth
Simmer until the Potatoes are soft, 20 minutes.
Pour into a Food Processor and puree the soup.
Return to the soup pot.

Herbes de Provence
Reheat until hot but do not boil.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

This next recipe does not use Lavender but it use Herbes de Provence that are available at Lavender Ridge Farms.
This looks very appealing to me.

8 oz. Cream Cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/4 C Mayonnaise
2 cloves of crushed Garlic
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms Herbes de Provence
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl:
Mix thoroughly.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve with a variety of Crackers or slices of toasted French Baguette Bread.

Lavender Goat Cheese Croustades:

1/4 C of your favorite Italian Dressing
1 French Baguette
5 oz. Goat Cheese, softened
1 TBS ground Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice bread into 1/4" slices.
Brush with Italian Dressing.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Allow to cool.

In a small bowl:
Mix well.
Spread on toasted bread and serve.

Lavender Honey Salad Dressing:

6 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tsp Coarse Grain Mustard
2 TBS Honey
1 tsp Lavender Ridge culinary Lavender

Mix all ingredients together.
Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Store refrigerated up to 1 week.

Raspberry and Lavender Vinaigrette:

1/2 C Olive Oil
3 TBS White Wine Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
3 TBS Raspberry Vinegar
1 TBS minced Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender
2 TBS Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a jar and shake well until blended.
Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

This is the last recipe and it says to serve this sauce warm, over Bread Pudding. They did not include a recipe for Bread Pudding but I will post my Best of the Best Bread Pudding recipe at the end of this sauce recipe.

Vanilla Sauce with Lavender:

1 C Sugar
1 Stick  (8oz.) Butter
1/2 C Half and Half
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender

Grind the Lavender with 1 TBS of sugar in a spice grinder to a fine consistency.
Put remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
Simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve warm over Bread Pudding.

Another Best of the Best Recipes.
I've had this recipe since the early 70's.
It's the only Bread Pudding I make.

1 Baguette, sliced
1 Quart of Milk (4C)
3 eggs, beaten
2 C Sugar
2 TBS Vanilla
3 TBS Butter
1 C Raisins

Mix Bread and Milk by hand
Add all other ingredients except the Butter
Melt the Butter in a 9X13 pan in a 350 degree pre heated oven, coating the bottom and sides well
Pour the mixture in the pan and Bake for 45 minutes

Another option is to bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins lined with paper cups.
If you bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins, make sure to break up the bread into small pieces, not slices.
Spray the paper cups with a vegetable cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with The Queens Sauce:
1 Pint Heavy Cream
3 Eggs
1/2C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Brandy or Whiskey

In the top of a doubler boiler,  place the Cream and Eggs and whisk well
Add Sugar and Vanilla
Stir constantly for 10 minutes
Slowly add the Brandy or Whiskey and whisk until incorporated

Here's another Whiskey Sauce :

In a sauce pan, over medium low heat:
1/2 stick of butter
THe juice of 1 lemon
1 C apple cider
1/2 C brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 C Bourbon Whiskey

Cook to reduce to 1/2
Serve on the side with Bread Pudding.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Culinary Lavender

Though most varieties of lavender can be used in cooking, some varieties are more widely used, including Lavandula angustifolia, particularly the “Munstead” cultivar. These lavenders have the sweetest fragrance among all species of lavender, which creates flavor in cooking. Though the leaves and stems of lavender plants can be used for culinary purposes, the flowers particularly give dishes a subtly sweet, citrus flavor.

Cooking with Lavender

Lavender can be used to add flavor and color to culinary recipes in either fresh or dried form. To dry lavender for culinary use, snip the stems off the plant just after the flowers have opened and hang the stems upside down or lay them flat to dry. Wash the buds well, then dry-roast them to remove some of the floral taste or grind them in a coffee grinder to improve the texture. You can also make lavender-infused sugar for baking and swap it out for regular sugar in your favorite recipes.

I hope my readers have learned a bit about cooking and baking with Lavender. I hope you all take some time and make some of these wonderful recipes.
Again, I want to thank Lavender Ridge Farms for allowing me to share our experience, photographs and recipes at their farm outside of Gainesville, Texas.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Apricot Pudding

This is another vintage recipe from one of my Mennonite Recipe Books.
I've adapted it a bit to make it contemporary.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 8" X 8" baking pan, greased with my Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) Mix well and keep in a jar in the refrigerator. I start with 1 C of each and always have it available for all of my baking needs. I use a pastry brush to grease the pans well. If you're baking in a Bundt Pan with a detailed design, this is a fool proof release mixture.

1/2 C Butter
1 C Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 C Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda dissolved in 3 tsp of Buttermilk
1 C of really good chunky Apricot Jam

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Beat 3 minutes until light and creamy and the sugar is dissolved completely.
Add Eggs, One at a time until each one is incorporated.
Add remaining ingredients and mix just until combined.

Pour into the pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
Serve with Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Easy Macaroons

Here's a simple recipe for Macaroons.
I love macaroons, but sometimes the recipes can be complicated.

2/3 C Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 C Shredded Coconut
1 tsp  Vanilla or Almond extract.

In a small bowl, mix milk, coconut and your choice of extract.
Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and drop them on a Parchment Paper lined Sheet Pan about 1" apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. The should be light brown when done.
Remove pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cookies to a new Parchment Paper lined Sheet Pan, to cool completely. Do not put the cookies directly onto a cooling rack.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Campfire Foil Packet Recipes : Vegetarian Chicken and Vegetables, Onions in Foil, Potatoes, Onion and Cheese, Mixed Vegetables, Breakfast Sausage and Eggs, Pineapple Upside Down Donut Dessert, Spicy Provencal Olives, Portobello Mushroom Caps, Bread Pudding Dessert

Campfire Foil Packet Recipes:

Summer is a time when many of us enjoy camping.
We happen to be lucky enough to have a place in Colorado with an outdoor fire pit, where we cook.We also have one in our backyard in Texas. If you don't have a fire pit, you can always make these recipes on the grill. If you go to a camp ground, they'll have charcoal grills and maybe a fire pit for you to use.

Chicken and Vegetables:

1 lb. of skinless chicken breasts, vegetarian option available. Quorn Cutlets, cubed.
2 onions, diced
1 C of sliced mushrooms
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 red potatoes, cubed
1/4 C olive oil
The juice of 1 lemon

In a large Zip Lock Bag:
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Divide evenly among large pieces of heavy duty foil and wrap tightly.
Cook directly on the coals of a campfire about 30 - 40 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Onions in Foil:

1 onion per person , or 1 for 2 people, peeled leaving the root intact.
salt, to taste
lemon pepper, to taste
garlic salt to taste
2 TBS butter, melted

Place the onions on large squares of heavy duty foil, root side down.
Slice the onion in wedges without cutting through to the bottom.
Pour on butter and sprinkle with all of the seasonings to taste.
Wrap tightly and cook directly on the coals of a campfire for about 20 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Potatoes, Onion and Cheese:

5 Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
6 TBS butter cubed
1/3 C of your favorite shredded cheese
2 TBS minced fresh parsley, basil , rosemary or oregano, (your choice), or a combination.
1 TBS vegetarian worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C vegetable or vegetarian chicken broth

In a small bowl:
Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper
Set aside

Place potatoes and onions on a large piece of heavy duty foil, folding the edges to hold the liquid until you wrap it tightly.
Dot with butter.
Sprinkle with Cheese mixture.
Drizzle evenly with the broth.
Wrap tightly and place on the coals of a campfire or on a grill.
Cook about 30 - 40 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Mixed Vegetables:

4 Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 - (10oz.) package of your favorite frozen mixed vegetables
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp Adobo Seasoning
5 TBS butter, cubed, divided evenly

Create two large heavy duty foil packets.
Spray the foil with a vegetable cooking spray.

In a large bowl:
Frozen Vegetables
Seasoning to taste.
Divide evenly among the two packets.
Dot each packet with cubed butter.
Wrap and seal tightly.
Cook over the coals of a campfire or in a grill for about 12 minutes on each side.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Breakfast Sausage and Eggs:

This recipe is 1 per person.

1 frozen hash brown patty
2 eggs, beaten, uncooked
2 frozen vegetarian or regular sausage patties
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chile Powder or Adobo Seasoning to taste
Your favorite Shredded Cheese

Create a large heavy duty foil packet for each person.
Roll the side so the eggs won't leak out until you wrap the packet.

Layer each packet:
Hash Brown Patty
Sausage patties
Seasoning to taste
Wrap and secure tightly.
Cook on the coal of a campfire or on the grill for about 15 minutes.
Loosely unwrap and sprinkle with Cheese.
Eat directly from the foil packet.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pineapple Upside Down Donut Dessert:
These are great for breakfast too.

Here's what you'll need per person:

1 Cake Donut sliced in half like a bagel
1 Pineapple Ring
1 TBS Butter, room temperature
1 TBS Brown Sugar
1 Maraschino Cherry

In a small bowl:
Brown Sugar
Mix well
You can mix all of the ingredients together for the number of servings you're preparing.

Create a heavy duty foil packet for each serving.
Roll the sides until you seal the packets

Place one half of the donut, cut side up onto each packet.
Spread each donut with some of the Butter / Sugar mixture
Top each donut half with a pineapple slice and a cherry in the middle.
Spread the other Donut half with additional Butter / Sugar mixture.
Top with the other half of the donut, cut side down.

Wrap tightly and seal each packet.
Cook over campfire coals or on a grill for about 5 - 7 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Spicy Provencal Olives:

This is a great afternoon appetizer with a Cocktail and Cheese Plate, served on slices of Baguette or your favorite crackers.

1 C Mixed Provencal Olives, sliced in half
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Clove of Garlic, minced

Create a heavy duty foil packet.
Fill with all ingredients.
Wrap and seal tightly.
Cook over campfire coals of on a grill for 15 minutes, turning half way.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Portobello Mushroom Caps:

This recipe is for individual servings.

1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
1 Clove of Garlic, minced
Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley or Rosemary

Prepare 1 heavy duty foil wrap for each mushroom cap.
Rub each cap generously with olive oil.
Top each with some of the remaining ingredients.
Wrap tightly and seal well.
Cook over campfire coals or on the grill for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Bread Pudding Dessert:
This is one of my favorite desserts that's been adapted for campfire cooking.

Here's what you'll need:

2 eggs, beaten
1 C Heavy Cream
1/4 C granulated Sugar
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
4 C Day Old Cubed Baguette
1 C Fresh Raspberries, Blue Berries or Black Berries.
Butter for the foil packet.

Gently mix all ingredients together, except the butter, in a large mixing bowl and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Create a large heavy Duty Non Stick foil packet.
Generously butter the packet.
Add the Bread Pudding.
Wrap and seal tightly.
Cook over the coals of a campfire of on the grill for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chocolate Caramel and Pecan Bars

There's something enticing about a Bar Dessert. There are so many varieties to choose from. It's certainly a very popular dessert during Thanksgiving and Christmas in America. I remember my Grandmother and Aunt making a variety of fruit bars during the holidays.
This recipe is filled with Chocolate, Caramel and Pecans, three of my favorite ingredients in a dessert.
This recipe is adapted from ChocolateChocolateandmore.

2 C Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1/2 C Butter (1 stick) melted
2 (12 oz.) bags of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 - (11 oz.) bags of Kraft Premium Caramel Bits
2 1/4 C chopped Pecans, divided
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

Here's what you'll need:
 1 - 9" X 13" baking dish, greased well with my Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mixed well. I keep it in the refrigerator until I need it. I always have some on hand for all of my baking needs.

In a mixing bowl:
Vanilla Wafers
Melted Butter
Mix by hand until the mixture is well combined.
Spread and press evenly in the baking dish.

Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order:
1 Bag of Chocolate Chips
2 Cups of Pecans
Remaining bag of Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Pecans
Drizzle evenly with the Condensed Milk

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Punch Recipes!

My niece just asked for some Punch Recipes. I never thought about posting Punch Recipes. I know that everyone has a favorite.
I decided to post some different options.

Pink Punch:

1 - 12oz. can of Frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
4 C of White Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 quart of Club Soda
Place all ingredients in a pitcher and serve over ice. Don't dilute the Punch with ice.

Optional Garnish: Fresh Mint Leaves

Strawberry Punch:

1/2 Gallon Strawberry Sherbet
2 ( 64.oz) Bottles of Fruit Punch
1 (2 liter) Bottle of 7UP.

Faux Champagne:

1 (2 liter) Bottle of Squirt
1 (64 oz.) Bottle of White Grape Juice

Peach Punch:

1 (64 oz.) Bottle of Ocean Spray White - Cran - Peach Juice
1 liter of Chilled 7UP
2 (11.5oz.) Cans of Peach Juice
2 (10oz.) packages of Frozen Peach Slices
1 (12oz.) package of Frozen Raspberries

Lime Punch:

6 C Water
1 C Sugar
1 (6oz.) box of Lime Jello
1 (46 oz.) Can of Pineapple Juice
2 Quarts of Orange Juice
1/2 C Lemon Juice
2 (2 liter) Bottles of 7UP

Bring to a boil:
Reduce heat and whisk until Sugar and Jello are dissolved ( 3 minutes).

Stir in:
Pineapple Juice
Orange Juice
Lemon Juice

Allow to cool.
Pour into large Freezer Bags and freeze for 4 hours.

Pour into a Large Punch Bowl and add 7UP.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Texas Pecan Cake Cookies

There's a classic Chocolate Skillet Cake recipe that I have on the blog, (I'll post it at the end of the cookie recipe.)
Here's a cookie version of the cake.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop
1 - 9" X 13" sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/3 C granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2  tsp sea salt
1 1/3 C flour
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips, melted (microwave in a glass bowl, stirring occasionally until completely melted)
1/2 C finely chopped pecans

1/2 C butter
2 TBS cocoa powder
3 TBS heavy cream
2 1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1/4 C finely chopped pecans

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Beat for 3  - 5 minutes until creamy smooth.

Beat until fully incorporated.

Baking Powder

With the mixer on low:
Gradually add Flour.

Melted Chocolate and Pecans.
Mix, just until incorporated.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Use the cookie scoop and drop cookies 2" apart onto the sheet pan.
Bake 7 - 8 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack and cool 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Cocoa Powder
Whisk until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Remove from heat and whisk in the Confectioner's Sugar and Pecans.
Ice the cookies.
Allow to cool completely before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I got this recipe from a friend. My friend misplaced it and called me for it. After I gave it to them, I couldn't find it. I thought I had posted it on the blog and was unable to find it. It was discovered today in my many archived recipes so, I am posting it here incase I need to share it again! It is a vintage recipe that's been around for generations. I've made it many times and will continue to!
If you've never tried it, it's quite simple and delicious.

Chocolate Skillet Cake:

1C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C butter
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 TBS cocoa powder ( I use a good Dutch processed cocoa)
1/2 C water
1/4 C buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla


1/4 C butter
2 TBS cocoa powder ( same as above)
4 TBS milk
2 C confectioner's sugar
1C chopped pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a Bowl, whisk:
baking soda
Set aside

Put a 10"-12" Cast Iron Skillet on medium heat
Melt butter in the skillet

Whisk in:
cocoa powder
Bring to a simmer

Remove from heat
Add dry ingredients and combine well
Whisk in:
stir until smooth

Place skillet in a 350 degree oven
Bake 15-20 minutes, until set

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, set it aside and make the frosting.

In a saucepan, heat to a simmer:
Remove from heat and whisk in:
confectioner's sugar

Pour the warm frosting over the warm cake and spread evenly with a spatula.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tex - Mex Chiles Rellenos Casserole

Just another favorite Tex - Mex recipe.

Tex - Mex Chiles Rellenos Casserole:

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9"X 13" Casserole Dish sprayed with a Vegetable Cooking Spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2 (1 lb. 11oz.) cans of Whole Green Hatch Chiles. Split the Chiles in half lengthwise.
8 oz. shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
8 oz. shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 large Eggs, beaten
1 (5oz.) can of Evaporated Milk
2 TBS Flour
2 TBS Adobo Seasoning
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1- 8oz.) can Tomato Sauce

Layer the Casserole:
1/2 of the Chiles
1/2 of the Pepper Jack Cheese
1/2 of the Cheddar Cheese
Remaining Chiles

In a small bowl:
Adobo Seasoning
Whisk well.
Pour evenly into the dish.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Cover the top with the Tomato Sauce and return to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with all of the remaining cheese.
Serve Hot!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Hazelnut Espresso Cookies

I'm always interested in new cookie recipes to consider for the Holiday Cookie Baking Contest.
This one is great.
I think I'll make these for Christmas at our house.

Here's what you'll need:
A sheet pan lined with Parchment Paper.
A 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

This recipe is an adaptation of a Betty Crocker recipe.

1 Pouch (1lb. 1.5oz.)  Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/3 C Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
3 TBS Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso
1/2 C Butter, softened
3 TBS Hazelnut Coffee Syrup
1 Egg
1 1/2 C Chopped Hazelnuts
1 C Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips
2/3 C Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Frosting
1 1/2 tsp Hazelnut Coffee Syrup

In a large mixing bowl:
Cookie Mix
Whisk well.
3 TBS Syrup
Mix well.

Fold in:
Chocolate Chips

Use a 1 3/4" Cookie Scoop.
Drop 2" apart on the Sheet Pan.
Press the top of each cookie with the back of a spoon and flatten slightly.
Bake 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool it on a rack.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

In a small bowl:
4 1/2 tsp Syrup
Mix well.
Frost the tops of each cookie.
Sprinkle with remaining Hazelnuts.

Peace in the Kitchen!

A Classic Christmas Cookie

It's never too soon to start planning for Christmas!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Polvorones, Spanish Shortbread Cookies

There are so many recipes for these crumbly shortbread cookies.
I found this one in my Aunt Faye's recipe collection.
I'll make these for Christmas this year.

1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Crisco
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C flour
4 TBS Sugar
1C chopped Pecans
Cinnamon / Sugar mixture (6 TBS granulated sugar + 2 tsp ground cinnamon) Mix together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer:
Cream together well.
Mix well.

Shape into balls using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop. I added these directions. She simply pulled off some of the dough and rolled them into balls in the palm of her hand. You can choose either way.

Place them 2" apart on a Parchment Paper lined sheet pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and while they are still warm , roll them in the Cinnamon mixture.
Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store overnight in an airtight container at room temperature before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rhubarb Dump Cake, Traditional Pineapple Dump Cake, Tropical Dump Cake, Polly's Fall Dump Cake, Caramel Apple Dump Cake and Lemon Blueberry

I previously posted several recipes for the Iconic, All American  Dump Cake. I've included them at the end of this recipe.
I had never heard of Rhubarb Dump Cake until I received this recipe from I Love Texas Recipes, a blog that I follow.
It doesn't get much easier than this.
I found several recipes for this online and I adapted it a bit, without changing the integrity of the original recipe.
I love Rhubarb and I will definitely make this during the summer, maybe for Christmas too.......!

Rhubarb Dump Cake:

1 lb. (3-4 cups) Rhubarb cut into 1/4" pieces
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 - (3 oz.) package of Strawberry Jello or Raspberry Jello
1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 c Water
1/4 c Melted Butter
Spread Rhubarb in bottom of a Buttered  9"x13" Pyrex dish.
Sprinkle Sugar evenly on top.
Sprinkle Jello evenly on top of that.
Sprinkle Cake Mix evenly on top of this. Pour Water over top of these layers. Now add melted Butter to top. DO NOT MIX OR STIR.
BAKE @ 350° for 45 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is such a crazy American recipe.
For all of my friends around the world, this may seem bizarre, but I think every American family has a version of Dump Cake.

I first made this in 1980 , it was given to me by Polly Harlan in Dell City, Texas

 Traditional Pineapple Dump Cake:

1- (1lb.5oz.) can of Crushed Pineapple
Pour this into a 9"X 13" baking dish sprayed with a vegetable spray or my Pan Release mixture

Pour in 1 can of Cherry or Blueberry or Apple Pie filling
Dump and spread evenly, 1 box of White or Yellow Cake Mix ( Dry, out of the box)
Cover the cake mixture with 1 1/2 sticks of sliced Butter

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
Top with 1 1/2 C of Chopped Pecans

I must apologize to my European friends that you may not be able to find the ingredients to make this All American recipe. You'll just have to make a trip to America and have someone make it for you!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Dump Cake is an iconic recipe that has been made in most families for generations. It's simple, and a great dessert to take to a family gathering, or a church supper. It's also an iconic American 9"X13" baking dish recipe.  There are many versions, many flavor options. This one is new to me and it's delicious!

Tropical Dump Cake:

1 - 20 oz. can of cubed pineapple ( pineapple chunks), including the liquid
1 - 15 oz. can of tropical fruit, including the liquid
1 package of orange cake mix
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/2 C instant oatmeal
1 C coconut flakes

Pour pineapple and tropical fruit with the liquid into a 9"X13" baking dish.
Pour dry cake mix evenly over the fruit
Mix oatmeal and coconut together and sprinkle it evenly over the top
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

There are so many pumpkin recipes available this time of year and I've posted many of my favorites.
This is just a Fall version of the All American Dump Cake. For those that aren't familiar with Dump Cake, it's one of the easiest American Iconic Recipes made in the famous 9"X13" pan.
Last February I posted the recipe for the basic Dump Cake Recipe, from a friend of mine in Dell City, Texas. You can search it under Dump Cake.
There are so many versions of this recipe available. Thank you Polly for introducing me to Dump Cake in the late 70's.
This is truly a Best of the Best Recipe.
I will make this several times during the Holidays. Our family and friends love it!

Polly's Fall Spiced Dump Cake:

1 - 16oz can of Pumpkin
1- 12 oz can of Evaporated Milk
3 Eggs
1 C sugar
1 TBS of Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice Mix (whatever you have available)
1/2 tsp salt
1 box of Spice Cake Mix
2 sticks of cold butter, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C finely chopped Pecans

In a bowl"
Whisk until smooth
Pour into a 9"X13" pan that's been buttered

Dump the cake mix over the Pumpkin Mixture
Sprinkle with Pecans
Cover the Cake  evenly with pats of butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
Cool completely and serve with Vanilla or Pumpkin Ice Cream.
You can also simply dust the Cake with Confectioners Sugar and serve with Whipped Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Caramel Apple Dump Cake: 

2 cans of apple pie filling  
1 box of yellow cake mix 
2 sticks of butter, melted (1 cup) 
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
Whipped cream for garnish
In a greased 9x13 dish, mix apple pie filling and caramel sauce.
Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon evenly in pan.
Pour dry cake mix directly on top of the pie filing, spread evenly.
Top with melted butter and pecans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until top is golden brown and apple filling is bubbly around the edges.
Serve with ice cream or whipped cream

Peace in the Kitchen!

Lemon Blueberry Dump Cake

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Casserole Dish brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

2 - (21oz.) cans of Blueberry Pie Filling
1 - (15.25oz.) Lemon Cake Mix
16 TBS Butter, melted.

Pour the Pie Filling into the Casserole Dish.
Sprinkle evenly with the Dry Cake Mix.
Pour Butter evenly over the Cake Mix.
Bake 50 - 60 minutes until Golden Brown.

Remove to a rack to cool completely.
Serve with Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.
You can also serve each serving dusted with Confectioner's Sugar.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I just had a request for a Chocolate Dump Cake Recipe.

Chocolate Cherry Dump Cake

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Baking dish, brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco. Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

2 - (21oz.) cans of Cherry Pie Filling
1 -  (15.25oz.) Box of Chocolate Cake Mix
16 TBS Butter, sliced
1 - 2.25oz. Bag of Chopped Pecans
1/8 C Granulated Sugar

Pour Cherries in the dish.
Sprinkle evenly with dry Cake Mix.
Evenly distribute Butter Slices over the Cake Mix.
Sprinkle evenly with Pecans and Sugar.
Bake 30 - 45 minutes.

Serve warm with Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!