March 27, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls

So good and so easy.

And definitely best if served warm.

I made these using frozen bread dough.  I used the Kroger brand.  I thawed the dough and let it rise for awhile.  Then I punched the dough down, kneaded it a few times, and rolled it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface.

 I sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar to cover the surface.  Then I placed pads of butter right down the middle in a neat little row.  I rolled the dough and cut the rolls as evenly as possible, and placed them in a nine-inch round cake pan sprayed with Canola Oil.  I baked these little sweeties at 350 degrees for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  I kept a close watch on them until they just began to brown on top.  

For the icing, I mixed together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.  (The icing is a thinner consistency than if you were frosting a cake.)   I spread the icing over the warm cinnamon rolls and ate one right then and there.  Delicioso!!

March 22, 2015

Ham Fried Rice

My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson ate lunch with us recently.  My daughter-in-law mentioned she has a co-worker from China.  She and my son told us that the Chinese diet doesn't include cheese or potatoes (two of my favorites) but does include a lot of rice.

This conversation made me think of my recipe for Ham Fried Rice.   I haven't made it in quite awhile.  I really like rice, and yet seldom fix it.   This, too, is a recipe my mother made often when I was growing up.  I also remember her making rabbit and rice.  I think this was a favorite of my dad's.  My favorite was when she made rice for breakfast.  Just Minute Rice with milk, sugar and cinnamon.  You can't beat it!!

Ham Fried Rice is an all-in-one skillet meal, or can be served as a side with a grilled steak. 

Try it.  You won't be sorry.

Ham Fried Rice

5 slices of thick-cut bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 large whole egg
1 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of Minute Rice

Fry sliced bacon in a large skillet.  After bacon is done, take it out of skillet and set it aside on paper towels to drain.  (Depending on how much fat is rendered from the bacon, you will probably want to pour some out of pan).  Add in onion, celery, mushrooms, and garlic.  Sautee the vegetables until soft or if you prefer, for a shorter period of time for them to be crunchy.    Stir in chopped ham.  Add 1-1/2 cups of water to skillet and bring to a boil.  Add 2 cups of Minute Rice, turn off heat, and cover skillet with a lid for five minutes.  After five minutes, remove lid and stir rice mixture.  Cut up and stir bacon in at this time.  Make a well in the middle of the pan and break one large egg into the rice mixture.  Let egg begin to cook, and then stir it into the rice.  Serve with soy sauce.

Other ingredients you can use for this recipe are green pepper, frozen peas, water chestnuts, or whatever your heart desires!

Serve to family and friends.  They will thank you for it!


March 17, 2015

Mother's Chicken Tetrazzini

I made my mother's recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini for dinner last week.  Wow, was it delicious.   I make chicken spaghetti, which is so similar that it is basically the same thing, but I hadn't actually looked at her recipe and made her recipe in, well, years!

I had seen a recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini on one of the blogs I regularly read, and it reminded me of Mother's Chicken Tetrazzini.  I knew it was in a local cookbook, and I finally found it in the Riverlore Mansion Cookbook.  This cookbook was a fundraiser for the upkeep of the Riverlore Mansion after it was purchased by the City of Cairo.  This mansion is now for sale by the city.

This Tetrazzini is creamy, cheesy comfort food.  A recipe from the '70s, it has Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup in it, like many comfort foods from that era.  I don't apologize for using these soups, because, well, they make great casseroles.

Such fond memories, I remember my mother making this for us often when I was a teenager.  She was and still is a fabulous cook.

It made a large amount for just two people.  I split it in half, and we also had it for lunch guests on Saturday served with a salad, and bread I made in my bread machine after getting it out of the closet and cleaning the dust off of it!

The recipe book is "Out of the Kitchen of Riverlore", and was printed in August of 2000.  My mother didn't actually submit her recipe, but a friend of ours who was co-chairman on the cookbook committee submitted it for her.   If you want to make this for your family or dinner guests, here is the recipe:

Chicken Tetrazzini
(original recipe)

2 small fryers
1 lb. spaghetti
3 to 4 bacon slices
1 large onion
1 green pepper
3 ribs celery, diced
2 cans mushroom soup
1 (4 oz.) jar pimentos
1/2 lb. sharp Cracker Barrel cheese
1/2 lb. mellow Longhorn Cheddar cheese

Boil chicken until tender.  Cool and debone; set aside.  Cook spaghetti in chicken broth.  Fry bacon and cut up into small pieces.  Add onion, pepper, and celery.  Brown and add to cooked spaghetti.  Add remaining ingredients.  Slice cheese into chunks.  Add to spaghetti, along with deboned chicken.  Casserole can be served or can be baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

(I used two large chicken breasts.  I boiled the chicken in a 32-ounce box of chicken broth and water to cover the chicken breasts.  I also added a small can of sliced mushrooms to the recipe.   And in place of the cheese in the original recipe, I used Kroger shredded sharp cheddar cheese and shredded mild cheddar cheese.)

Serve to family and friends!


March 12, 2015

Snicker Brownies

You need to make these brownies today.  Don't delay.  They are delicious!!  If you like brownies, and you like Snicker candy bars, this is a win, win for you.  Can you see the little Snicker bars peaking out?

This recipe is made in an 8 x 8 inch square pan.  I lined the pan with parchment paper.  Here they are right after I took them out of the oven.

And this is after the brownies were frosted.

I cut them into squares, but while doing this was distracted, as you can tell by the fact that this picture isn't centered in the least.  When I'm photographing my recipes, I'm not inclined to talk to anyone!!  I should stop and finish photographing my food later, but I am chasing the light these days.  Ah, well.

They are chocolatey, dense, moist, and very decadent.  I plan to make them again this Saturday for lunch with my family.  

My aunt gave me this recipe many years ago.  She got it from a very dear friend of hers.  For some time, her friend wouldn't share it with her, but eventually relented.  Years later, this friend of my aunt's moved across the street from me.  She was a lovely neighbor and friend.  I was in her gracious old home on many occasions, and she had this brownie recipe printed and framed in her kitchen.  It must have been a family heirloom.
   The original recipe did not have candy bars in it, but it did have nuts.    

Snicker Brownies:

2 semi-sweet chocolate squares
1 stick margarine - melt with chocolate
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 bite-size Snicker bars

Melt chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and let cool a bit.  Stir in sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and salt.  Spread in an 8 x 8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Press bite-sized Snicker bars evenly spaced into batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
If you want the brownies more chocolatey,  simply use more chocolate squares.  The same goes for the icing.


Melt 1/2 square of semi-sweet chocolate with 1/4 stick margarine.  Add to 1/3 box of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and milk to right consistency.  Beat with a mixer.

Spread icing on top of cooled brownies and cut into squares.

Serve to family and friends!!  They will thank you . . .


March 9, 2015

Strawberry Cream Cheese Angel Food Cake

This is an example of it doesn't have to be beautiful to taste good.   Sometimes cake is beautiful and isn't all that good.  Especially when fondant is used and not buttercream.  I absolutely do not like the taste or texture of fondant.  What do you all think?  

Hey, I don't like to waste my calories on anything that isn't yummy.  And this was yummy.

I found my inspiration for this angel food cake on Pinterest.  The recipe called for a store-bought cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting and strawberries.  The directions were kind of sketchy, so I just did my own thing.

I bought an angel food cake from the Kroger bakery.  Why?  Because I really like them and so does Cudjoe.   They taste better than the box angel food cakes, and I wanted to make something quick and beautiful.  So much for beautiful.  Unfortunately, when I cut the angel food cake in half, the top half broke in half, and after I spread the frosting and preserves on the bottom layer and on top and then added the fresh strawberries, the top slid right off!   I call this a semi-Pinterest fail.  What can I say?  It happens . . . but it tasted delicious; so delicious that there was only one piece left this morning!

I will definitely make this again and tweak it so that it looks as good as it tastes.


March 2, 2015

Turtle Brownies

This recipe has been around for a long time.  I see it called many different names, but it is always the same recipe.  The first time that I heard about "Turtle Brownies" was when my youngest son was playing grade-school basketball for the St. Joe Fighting Irish.  He is 28 today, if that gives you any idea of how long ago it's been.  One of the other basketball player's mother and I were working the door collecting money, and she told me about a yummy recipe for brownies that she made called Turtle Brownies.  I remembered I had seen this recipe in a cookbook; so when I got home, I took a look at it.  I didn't actually make these brownies for the first time until many years later!

These brownies are called "Rebel Brownies" in my Magnolia Manor Collection, Cairo, Illinois, cookbook.   

I recently saw them on Facebook, and in this particular post, they went by the name of "Basement Brownies".   Anyway, whatever you want to call them, they are delicious and decadent.  

All you need are these five ingredients.

Turtle Brownies a/k/a Rebel Brownies:

1 pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1 pkg. caramels
6 ounces chocolate chips
(1 cup chopped pecans, optional) , I did not use pecans

Mix cake mix, butter, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and pecans (if desired).   Spread 1/2 mixture in bottom of  an 11 by 7-1/2 inch brownie pan.  Melt caramels and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk and pour over brownie mixture.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Gently spread remaining batter over chips.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 22 minutes.  

Serve to family and friends!!