Monday, October 17, 2011

Fruit Buckle

Peach Buckle made with home canned peaches

This could be called buckle and there are those who would call it cobbler. I call it Yum! Buckle is batter with fruit added and then a streusel topping added. As the batter of a buckle bakes it rises up around the fruit. Cobblers are made with the fruit mixture first then a biscuit type crust on top. Some buckles have heavy batters and others light; some have lots of topping others very little. This buckle is a light batter that needs no eggs and the only topping is a light sprinkling of brown sugar. It's cheap and easy to make. Any fruit can be used and if you like it can be a combination of fruit. Pick the fruit of your choice, apples, peaches, pears, plums and any berry, you decide. The fruit can be frozen, fresh or canned. Before being  measured, the fruit should be cleaned, drained, pealed and/or cut, all depending on the fruit.  Don't forget the ice cream or whip cream, or both to top it off.  I love this made with summer fruit and served at a barbecue with homemade ice cream or on a crisp fall evening as dessert after a warm homemade soup dinner. Really it's great any time of year.
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
3 cups prepared fruit
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of a 9x13 or 2 quart baking dish. In a medium bowl combined sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; whisk in milk; add melted butter and  whisk until all blended. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle fruit on top off batter, trying to distribute evenly, Do Not Mix, Stir or Blend. Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar evenly over fruit and batter. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Sprinkle remain 1/4 cup of brown sugar over top of buckle, then return to over and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gingerbread Man Pancakes

"Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man."  Oh yes we can and love we every bite!
These pancakes are a new favorite at our house. My grandsons will eat as many as I will make them. They're perfect for a yummy Thanksgiving breakfast when the family has gathered. They taste extra yummy served with applesauce and warm maple syrup. I use my wonderful pancake pen my daughter gave me for Christmas last year, a must for every mom and grandma, to draw perfect little men or whatever shape is requested, but if you don't have a pancake pen don't let that stop you from making these for you family.
 They are yummy no matter what shape you choose. I wish I had this recipe when my kids were little and doing the gingerbread man unit in kindergarten, but I have it for the grandkids and you bet we have fun eating them up.

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk soured with lemon juice *
3 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbs molasses
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Butter or cooking spray for grilling
Raisins, crannies or chocolate chips for decorating

*(to make sour milk, pour milk into a liquid measuring cup so that you are just about 2 Tbs shy of 1 cup. Add 2 Tbs of lemon juice to the milk making 1 full cup. Set aside the milk while lightly beating the egg and melting the melting the butter. The milk should lightly curdle, or you can always use real sour milk or butter milk.)

Combine egg, sour milk, melted butter and molasses . Sift together remaining dry ingredients and add to egg mixture, stirring just until moist.
 Spoon or using a pancake pen shape pancakes on to hot , lightly greased griddle. Raisins, crannies or chocolate chips can bee used for eyes and buttons. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles, turn and cook other side. Serve with butter, warm syrup and apple sauce. Makes about 3 cups of batter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

There are so many recipes for peanut butter cookies out there, but this is one I keep going back to.
 I usually add chocolate chips because that's how my family likes them, but we like chocolate on almost everything, so the choice is yours. Just before baking peanut butter cookies the tradition is to use a fork dipped in granulated sugar. I like to get creative and use things with fun textures, a glass with a fancy cut bottom, or a meat mallet. You can also use an old fashion cookie press. Not the kind you use like a cookie gun; these are made from wood or glass and you hand press them on the dough before you put it in the oven. The brand or type of peanut butter can make a difference in the moisture and texture of your cookie. Some bands are higher in sugar and so the dough is a moister dough. The less sugar in the brand usually means the more milk you will need to add. If you are using natural or the kind you grind yourself at the store, I recommend adding all the milk. Whether or not you use butter or margarine also makes a difference in the moisture of the dough. Margarine has water in it, making a moist dough; butter is tastier but no added water. It's all in your taste, health and what's in the frig. Your dough should be moist but not gooey wet, but too dry and you have a crumbly mess. The kitchen is one big chemistry lab and you just have to experiment with things a little. Funny how I completely failed at chem, but I do okay in the kitchen.

1 cup butter at room temp or margarine
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 baking soda
3 Tbs milk, as needed
chocolate chips to taste - optional
about 1/4 cup sugar for pressing

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix butter and peanut butter; add brown and granulated sugar. Mix until well blended, smooth and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg; add in vanilla. Combined the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Depending on the dryness of your dough add in the milk one tablespoon at a time. The dough should be moist, but not so moist you can't handle it. Fold in chocolate chips if desired. Shape dough into balls using a heaping tablespoon of dough and place on greased cookie sheet. Useing a fork or cookie press or whatever cool thing you want to try, dip that cool gaget in the sugar for pressing and press each cookie ball. Bake cookies in preheated 375F oven for 9 minutes, until just golden.  Once baked remove cookies from baking sheet to a opened brown paper bag to cool. Once cooled cookies should be stored in an air tight container.

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Made with chocolate chips and dried cherries
These yummy, chewy cookies are one of my favorites. I add different things to the recipe depending on my mood and the time of year. Some of my favorite add ins are raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, granola, dried fruit or a mix of things. I've used a mix from the Winnco bulk section, I think it was called Thanksgiving  or Harvest granola with white and butterscotch chips, craisins, candied walnuts and chopped dried apples. I broke the walnut halves into smaller pieces and it worked great. I think my favorite add in is dried cherries and chocolate chips.

Thanksgiving mix from Winnco
 For measuring purposes, I used raisins in this recipe.   
1 cup butter at room temp or margarine
1 cup shortening
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup canister sugar
4 eggs at room temp
2 Tbs Vanilla
3 cups instant rolled oatmeal (regular can be used)
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
2 cups raisins (optional- you can substitute the raisins for chocolate chips chopped fried fruit, chopped nuts or a combinations of all, be creative.)

Preheat oven to 375degrees. Prepare greased cookie sheets. In a large bowl, mix butter and shortening till smooth. Slowly add in both the brown and canister sugars to the butter mixture; add eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg; add vanilla. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition; mix until until blended and smooth. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and add to butter and sugar mixture.
Fold in raisins. Drop by tablespoon to greased cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes or just until golden and no longer looks wet. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack, paper bag or paper towel until cool enough to eat then hide them so you don't eat them all at once. Store in an air tight container. Makes about 6 dozen.
Made with Thanksgiving mix and picture taken with bad lighting

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Revel Bars

I can only make these cookies if I know I am going to have help eating them or I will eat the whole batch. I Love these cookies! They are gooey, chewy, bits of cookie heaven to me.
3 cups quick roll oats
2½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp salt, divided
1 cup butter or margarine at room temperature
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla, divided
1 14oz can (1⅓cup) sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
½ cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven at 350. Combine oats flour, soda and 1 tsp salt. In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup butter for 30 seconds, add brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and 2 tsp vanilla; beat well. Gradually stir dry ingredients into mixture, stir until well blended.

In a saucepan heat together sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp butter and ½tsp salt over low heat stir until smooth. Remove from heat, stir in nuts and remaining 2 tsp vanilla.
Pat ⅔ of the oatmeal mixture in the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1 inch backing pan. Spread chocolate mixture over oatmeal dough. Dot with remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool before cutting into 1 by 2 inch rectangles.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Corned Beef Brisket

Top of the morning to ya.
As a young child, I wished that I was Irish because my mom always made St. Patricks Day so fun for us. I tried to continue the fun with my kids, green four leaf clover pancakes, making sure everyone was wearing their green, destructive visits from the lepercons who left their gold scattered amongst the mess, making lepercon traps that of course never worked, but our families favorite is probable a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. This is one of the easiest things to cook and made even easier with the use of a good slow cooker. Whether you use a large pot on the stove or a slow cooker, the meal is put together in the morning and simmers all day to fill your home with the yummy smell of comfort food. To make the meal perfect add your favorite Irish Soda Bread and it never hurts to serve with a fun green drink of some kind. One important thing to remember is that you can never have too much corned beef. Leftover corn beef makes wonderful sandwiches and corn beef hash.

  • 1 corned beef brisket - already in seasoning. (Why make more work for yourself?). Costco has good prices or you can find them at any grocery store meat department. They come prepackaged in a brim with a seasoning packet or with the seasonings in the brim, either will work fine. You want one that isn't too fatty and is nice and big.
  • 1 red potato per person - washed and cut in half, unless they are small and then just leave them whole.
  • 1 small to medium green cabbage - washed and quarted.
  • 1 medium carrot per person - washed, pealed and cut in half.
Cut open the beef packaging at one end and pour the liquid into a large slow cooker. Trim the extra fat off of the meat and place meat in the slow cooker; open and add seasoning packet if needed. Fill the meat packaging with water and pour into the slow cooker. Add red potatoes, cabbage and carrots to slow cooker and enough water, if needed, to just cover the meat and vegetables. Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours. Meat should be very tender when done. Remover meat to platter and cut across the grain of the meat in about half inch strips.Remove vegetables from liquid and toss with butter; add to platter and serve. Liquid can be discarded.

*If you want to make sure that your meat is plenty tender in time for you to eat with out having to worry about getting up too early in the morning, you can add the meat and liquid to the slow cooker and cook on low over night. In the morning add the vegetables and cook for 5 to 6 more hours on low or med, being careful not to over cook the potatoes and carrots or they will be mushy.

*If you choose to cook on the stove, follow the same instructions using a large stock pot. Do not start the night before and be careful to not leave the pot unattended in case it decides to boil over. They do have a mind of their own. Cook the meat at a low simmer for at least 6 hours. Vegetables can be added the last hour.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mom's Brownies

This is my Mom's recipe and I make these brownies CONSTANTLY.  As soon as I bake a batch I'm right back at the store picking up everything I'll need for my round of brownie baking. They are super easy and idiot proof. I promise you that once you make these brownies you'll never even think about baking a batch out of a box ever again.


  • 1 C Butter (two sticks)
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 C Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 C Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips (optional, but when are chocolate chips ever really optional. Don't skip them)
Heat oven to 350*. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a medium pot, melt butter over LOW heat. Remove from heat and mix in sugar, cocoa, eggs and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients and stir, being careful not to over mix. The chocolate chips can be mixed in or sprinkled on the top. Spread in pan and bake 25-30 minutes. Sometimes I over bake these by about 5 minutes if I know they're going to be served pre sliced on a plate at a social gathering right away before having time to cool completely. This makes them easier to slice and get out of the pan.
That's all there is to it. The best brownie recipe ever.
PS: Warm brownies are easier to slice if you use a plastic knife.