Thursday, April 9, 2015

Grana's Macaroni and Cheese, a shared recipe with a family history!

I started this blog because of a relative and our family recipes. I love to hear stories about recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
I often reach out to friends that are eager to share their family recipes and the stories that accompany them. Our friend Carol passed this family recipe on to me. This was the only Macaroni and Cheese that her mother made. I believe she served it often, according to the family. Carol shared a photograph of the bowl, the "iconic bowl" that it was always served in. I believe it was the only bowl  she served it in and that makes this story very special, to be able to pass down the recipe and the memory of the bowl. I've included a picture of the bowl and a quote from her grandson, Ryan. I certainly remember my Grandmother's famous Potato Salad and the large tan crock bowl that she served it in.  I've had this recipe for quite awhile but I misplaced the photograph of the bowl, so I hesitated to post the recipe. Somehow it just didn't seem fair to post the recipe alone. Yesterday, while I was editing photographs, I came across the picture of the bowl that I thought I had lost.
I asked Carol to tell me something about her memories of this recipe and here's what she shared with me.
" The Grand Kids always fought over the leftovers, well, not just the kids. Ha! Also, originally my mother used black pepper, but my son, who is now 36 years old and quite a cook himself Ryan Wicker, didn't like the looks of black pepper, so she started "sneaking in white", as she said. She is 85 now and in good health but she doesn't like to cook much anymore, so I usually make it. "Carol said "I think the onion is the secret ingredient."

Thank you Carol, Ryan and Grana for allowing me to share your story!

I happen to love Macaroni and Cheese. I look forward to making Grana's recipe!

Ryan said, "this is one of Grana's bowls the M & C was delivered in
every Holiday. I was lucky enough to snag it out of what we
in the family call, the Vault."
" It's a well loved Pyrex."

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
 A 1 1/2 - 2 Quart Casserole Dish, buttered well.

Cook and drain 1/2 pound of Large Elbow Macaroni.
3 TBS Minced Onion
3 TBS Butter
2 TBS Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
A pinch of White Pepper
2 C Whole Milk
3/4 pound of Velveeta Cheese, divided.

Finely minced Chives
Minced fresh Parsley

Put the drained Macaroni into the buttered Casserole Dish.

Melt Butter in a Saucepan and add Onion.
Cook and stir until Onion is softened.
Salt and Pepper
Stir for 1 minute until the flour is moistened but do not boil.
Slowly stir in Milk and cook until smooth, but do not boil.
Cut 1/2 pound Velvet into chunks and stir into sauce until melted.
Pour Sauce over the Macaroni.
Add thin slices of remaining Velveeta over the top of the Macaroni.
Bake about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with Chives, Parsley and Paprika if desired.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Millionaire Pie

Our kids all brought some of their favorite food for our Easter dinner. Our daughter brought Millionaire Pie. It was a recipe that she got from a friend. I had never heard of Millionaire Pie. Unfortunately, we had so many desserts that we never got to taste the pie. She took it home. That intrigued me enough to do some research. I live in Texas and apparently this was a favorite Pie at a Ft. Worth Cafeteria in the 1950's. Apparently, during World War II, it was not easy to have access to Pineapple and Walnuts (the original nuts in the recipe). If you were able to get these, you must have been a Millionaire. That's how the Pie got it's name, or so the story goes!
There are so many variations of the recipe. I chose this one to post on the Blog.

Millionaire Pie

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1 - 8 oz. can of Crushed Pineapple, undrained.
1 C Shredded Coconut
1 C Chopped Pecans
1 - 8 oz. container of Frozen Cool Whip, thawed.
1 - pre-baked 9" Pie Crust.

In a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Beat on high speed for 4 minutes.

Fold in, by hand:
Until blended well.

Fold in, by hand:
Cool Whip, just until blended well.

Refrigerate overnight.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cinnamon, Raisin Bread Grilled Cheese with Jalapeño Jelly

This has  to be one of the most decadent Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, ever! Well, maybe in Texas? I love Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and this combination is very Texas Gourmet.
This is made with Trader Joe's amazing Cinnamon Swirl Bread. (Pepperidge Farm makes a good one too.) I love the combinations of flavors in this sandwich. I can't take credit for this recipe, I adapted it from Food52.

Cinnamon, Raisin Bread Grilled Cheese with Jalapeño Jelly

This recipe is for one sandwich.

2 slices of Trader Joe's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
1 TBS Butter, softened
1/2 C grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Pickled Jalapeño Slices
2 TBS Jalapeño Jelly. I make my own!  (homemade recipe included at the end of this)

Heat a skillet or griddle.

Spread the Butter on both sides of each slice of Bread.
Grill them Buttered side down for 2 minutes.
Flip and grill the other side.
Put Cheese and a few Jalapeño slices on one side and Jelly on the other.
When the Cheese melts, flip them together,
Cut on the diagonal to serve.

Serve with a Dill Pickle, Tortilla Chips and Salsa.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Homemade Jalapeno Jelly

2 C  finely minced Jalapeño Peppers. (I start with 1 pound)
1 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
6 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
6 oz. of Liquid Pectin
6 - 8 drops of Green Food Coloring

In a non aluminum saucepan on high heat:
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and gentle boil for 5 - 7 minutes.
Remove from heat and skim off the foam.
Stir in Food Coloring and Pectin.
Pour into Sterilized Jars. (I use small canning jars because I give them for Christmas gifts)
Seal immediately.
As they sit, you'll hear the lids pop when they are sealed completely.

This is the beginning step.

This is beginning to boil.

Canning the Jelly.

Love the color!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

British Pear, Apple and Raisin Pudding

I know that we have so many recipes for Crumbles, Brown Betty, Cobblers and Crisps, but I'm still fascinated by this British Pudding.

British Pear and Apple Pudding

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1 - (2-3 quart) Deep Casserole Dish

4 Pears, peel and chop
5 Apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 C Golden Raisins
The Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 C Water
2 C Flour
16 TBS  Butter, chilled, divided and cubed. (reserve 1 TBS and cut the remaining into small pieces)
1/3 C Toasted Sunflower Seeds
1/4 C Roasted Pistachio Nuts, chopped
1/3 C Rolled Oats
1/3 C Almonds, chopped
3 TBS Granulated Sugar, divided

In the Casserole Dish:
Lemon Zest
Mix well.

Lemon Juice

In a large mixing bowl:
Butter pieces, all but the reserved TBS.
Mix with with your hands to create a crumble keeping some visible pieces of Butter.

Sunflower Seeds
Pistachio Nuts
2 TBS Granulated Sugar
Stir well to combine.

Dot the Fruit with the Crumble mixture.
Dot the Crumble with the  remaining 1 TBS of Butter pieces.
Sprinkle with remaining TBS of Sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes.
It should be golden brown.
Serve warm with Whipped Cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Easy Fruit Crisp baked in a Bundt Pan

I recently received this from a friend in Michigan. Thank you Linda for sharing this recipe. This is an easy recipe reminiscent of one that my Grandmother used to make. Her recipes had to be simple because our family would show up without notice. She had to have something wonderful to serve and this would have been her choice. She had a well stocked Pantry and all of these ingredients would have been readily available. That's why I love this. We also have a well stocked Pantry.
Any canned Fruit Pie filling can be used for this.

Easy Fruit Crisp baked in a Bundt Pan

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1 - Bundt Pan brushed liberally with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. (I recommend a simple design like the classic Kugelhopf Pan. Here are two pictures of pans I use.

2 cans of your favorite Pie filling
2 C Bisquick
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
8 TBS Butter, melted
1 C chopped Pecans

Pour the Pie filling into the pan.
Sprinkle evenly with Bisquick.
Sprinkle evenly with Sugar.
Pour the butter evenly over the Sugar.
Sprinkle evenly with Pecans.
Do not mix!

Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the pan and scoop individual servings into bowls and top with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Breakfast Raisin Cinnamon Bread Pudding and Terry's favorite Bread Pudding with Sauce options

This is the breakfast casserole that we make when we have guests or family from out of town. We also make Hash Brown Egg Nests in Muffin Tins. Both are incredibly tasty and great for a Breakfast crowd.
I have a recipe on the Blog for my favorite Dessert Bread Pudding recipe. It's the only one I make and have been making it for years. It's served with a choice of sauces. I'll add it at the end of this recipe.

Breakfast Raisin Cinnamon Bread Pudding

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Glass Baking Pan brushed liberally 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.

1 Loaf of Pepperidge Farm Swirl Raisin Cinnamon Bread or Trader Joe's Cinnamon Swirl Bread, cut into 1" cubes.
8 oz. Cream Cheese, chilled and cut into small cubes.
1/2 C Brown Sugar
8 TBS Butter, cubed
2 TBS Lyle's Golden Syrup
6 Eggs
2 C Heavy Cream
2 TBS Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Vanilla

In a saucepan on medium heat, whisk together:
Brown Sugar
Golden Syrup
Heat until the butter and sugar melt and the consistency is smooth. Whisking constantly.
Pour into the pan.

Sprinkle half of the Bread cubes into the pan.
Top with an even layer of the Cream Cheese cubes.
Add the final layer of Bread cubes.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together:
Heavy Cream
Whisk well.
Pour evenly over the casserole.
Gently press the bread so it's all soaked in the Egg batter.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
Bake uncovered 35 - 45 minutes.
It should be golden brown and set.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Cut into squares to serve and dust each serving with Confectioner's Sugar.

Warm some Maple Syrup and serve it on side to drizzle over the pudding.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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

Terry's Bread Pudding:

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.

Rum or Brandy Sauce:

1 C Sugar
1/2 C Butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 C Brandy or Dark Rum ( my preference for Rum is Mount Gay Eclipse Dark Rum) Use Bourbon for the Bourbon Bread Pudding Recipe that follows.
1 tsp Vanilla

Heat Sugar and Butter in a saucepan
Add Egg, whisk well
Remove from heat
Add Rum or Brandy
Whisk well and return to heat until it thickens, whisking
Remove from heat and add Vanilla
Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Potato Salad

Summer in Michigan meant picnics at my Grandparent's house, at Aunt Faye's , in the back yard and during our summer vacations with relatives at Higgins Lake.

I want to do a segment here on traditional American Picnic recipes.
Summer is coming and so are the picnics.

We have a portable picnic table that we keep in the trunk of our car in the summer so we can enjoy picnics on the side of the road as we travel. We took this idea from our friends in the South of France.

The most popular Picnic dish would have to be Potato Salad.
I believe that my Grandmother made the best!

She never had a recipe for it, nor do I.
We knew it had to have Potatoes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Onion, Celery, Pickle Relish, Mustard Mayonnaise, Paprika, Salt and Pepper.
She would boil peeled potatoes, cool them completely, hold one in her hand and begin randomly cutting them with a paring knife over a large crock bowl.

One rule was that for as many boiled potatoes she made, she made an equal number of hard boiled eggs She always mixed the "dressing" separately and added it at the end. The amount of ingredients depended on how many people there were for lunch and that determined how many potatoes and eggs.

I also know that she would refrigerate the large bowl of prepared salad before she served it because it would soak up the dressing in the refrigerator and then she would have to add additional mayonnaise.

Here's my attempt to create my Best of the Best recipe for Potato Salad.

8  Yukon Gold Potatoes that are peeled, boiled and then randomly cut with a paring knife over the bowl.
8 Hard Boiled Eggs cut with a paring knife, into the Potatoes.

The Sauce or Dressing consists of ( these amounts are approximate)
In a separate bowl, combine:
1 C of diced Celery
1 C of diced Onion
1/2 C of Pickle Relish
2 or more TBS of Yellow Mustard ( we always refer to this as Kid Mustard) , nothing fancy like Dijon
2 C of real Mayonnaise, additional as need at the end

Fold the Sauce into the bowl with the Potatoes and Eggs
Add Additional Mayonnaise as desired
Sprinkle with Paprika just before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!