Sunday, January 14, 2018

ROBIN EGG CAKE

ROBIN EGG CAKE
Spring is definitely NOT in the air here.  The temperatures have been in the teens and snow is in the forecast, but already Olivia and I have begun to look at seed catalogs and dream of Spring and the garden's bounty.  Soon it will be time to plan for an early Easter and all things fresh and beautiful. 

With visions of green grass and sunshine, we offer this Robin Egg Cake from Country Living Magazine.  Make it now to dispel the Winter gloom or keep the recipe for Easter.  Either way you will love its flavorful taste and creamy texture.  It is a feast both for the stomach and the eyes.  Enjoy!
-Nanette




For the Cake:

Ingredients

  • Baking spray, for pan
  • 3 c. cake flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. half-and-half, at room temperature
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure coconut extract
  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Coconut Buttercream (recipe link below)
  • 1/8 tsp. brown gel food coloring
  • Phyllo nest and robin egg candies (recipe link below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Whisk together flour, baking powder, malt powder, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together oil, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, coconut extract, and whole egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Fold in flour mixture just until incorporated. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into batter just until combined.

  1. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
  2. Place one layer on a cake plate and frost top with 1 cup coconut buttercream. Repeat two more times. Frost sides with remaining Coconut Buttercream.
  3. Stir together food coloring and 2 drops water in a bowl. Dip the tip of a wide, stiff paintbrush into the mixture. Holding the brush 6 to 8 inches from the cake, gently fling the mixture onto iced cake. Repeat for desired effect. Spread phyllo nest around the base of the cake, and nestle candies in nest.
For the Coconut Buttercream:

Ingredients

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. cream of coconut
  • 6 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • Blue gel food coloring

Directions

  1. Beat butter and cream of coconut with an electric mixture on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Gradually beat in sugar.
  3. Beat in pure vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt until combined.
  4. Beat in blue gel food coloring, one drop at a time, to desired color.
For the Phyllo Nest:

Ingredients

  • 6 sheets of phyllo dough
  • Cooking spray
  • Directions

    1. Tightly roll 6 sheets of phyllo dough lengthwise. Very thinly slice.
    2. Transfer to a baking sheet, loosely separating layers. Spray with cooking spray.
    3. Bake at 350 degrees F until golden-brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
This recipe came from www.geniuskitchen.com.  I have made scalloped potatoes differently many times over the years, but this recipe is particularly good because it sets up well and the sauce is a nice consistency.  The only variation I have made is to use Honey Baked Ham and to sprinkle a little parsley on top at the end for a little more color. 

Growing up, Olivia has enjoyed with her parents a Honey Baked Ham each Christmas.  One of the best things about such a ham is that you can get a lot of mileage out of it and what is left that gets put in the freezer.  We have enjoyed breakfast casseroles, soup beans, and even scalloped potatoes made with the leftovers.  I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes when I make ham and scalloped potatoes.  They add to the richness and creamy texture.  This is a great recipe to make if you live somewhere where it is cold right now and you could use a little comfort food.  Enjoy!
-Nanette


READY IN:
 1hr 50mins
SERVES:
 8
UNITS:
 US

INGREDIENTSNutrition

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat; blend in flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Remove from heat gradually stir in milk.
  3. Return to heat; cook until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Fold in ham, onion, green pepper and cheese. Pour over potatoes in a large bowl.
  5. Stir gently then move into a buttered 13X9-inch baking dish; cover with foil.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Uncover and continue to bake for 1 hour.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.











S

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ham and Potato Casserole

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
Christmas is bearing down on us fast.  It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind or all the activity.  Two of my favorite things to do during the holiday season are attending special holiday programs that heighten the joy of the festive season and preparing recipes I wouldn't normally make but really enjoy.

This recipe is one Olivia found at www.allrecipes.com.  It is a simple and good way to use up left over ham and possibly potatoes (Olivia chopped up baked potatoes when she made it).  It uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and makes a creamy, comforting casserole.

Olivia and I want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy 2018.  We also want to wish you a warm and satisfying Christmas filled with the joy in knowing that unto us a child is given and unto us our Christ is born...Emmanuel God with us!  Merry Christmas!
-Nanette

 HAM AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ham and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir potatoes into ham mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir flour into melted butter until smooth.
  7. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir Cheddar cheese into the white sauce until melted.
  9. Pour sauce over ham and potatoes.
  10. Sprinkle bread crumbs atop casserole.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES


SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES
Olivia and I have long had a tradition at Christmas time of making Christmas baskets to give away to friends, co-workers and family members.  In years past they have included cookies, candies, breads, and homemade soaps, candles, etc.  If I remember correctly, one year we did over thirty baskets.  It was quite the feat putting them together.  Nowadays they aren't quite as big or as many, but we still make the effort to share favorite holiday recipes with others--especially people whom we know do not do holiday baking themselves because perhaps they can't or they are alone, or they have small children, etc.  In previous year we have made a mix of old and new recipes. 

This year Olivia's holiday baking included these delightful snickerdoodles.  The snickerdoodle is a favorite.  It is not a fancy cookie but good for its basic wholesome consistency and cinnamon goodness.  We quite frankly adore them.  It is a good bet that if you make them and give them away, the people you give them to will love them also.  Take the time to make and enjoy these.  This time of year can be busy and stressful but taking time to make something homemade and sharing it with others can be a gift to you and others as well.  Enjoy!
Nanette


SNICKERDOODLE COOKIES

Ingredients:

1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Monday, December 11, 2017

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE

HAM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
Christmas is bearing down on us fast.  It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind or all the activity.  Two of my favorite things to do during the holiday season are attending special holiday programs that heighten the joy of the festive season and preparing recipes I wouldn't normally make but really enjoy.

This recipe is one Olivia found at www.allrecipes.com.  It is a simple and good way to use up left over ham and possibly potatoes (Olivia chopped up baked potatoes when she made it).  It uses ingredients you probably already have on hand and makes a creamy, comforting casserole.

Olivia and I want to take the time to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy 2018.  We also want to wish you a warm and satisfying Christmas filled with the joy in knowing that unto us a child is given and unto us our Christ is born...Emmanuel God with us!  Merry Christmas!
-Nanette

 HAM AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients

  • 6 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ham and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir potatoes into ham mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir flour into melted butter until smooth.
  7. Gradually whisk milk into flour mixture; season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir Cheddar cheese into the white sauce until melted.
  9. Pour sauce over ham and potatoes.
  10. Sprinkle bread crumbs atop casserole.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven until sauce is bubbly and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Crackers

Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Crackers

Like many people, Olivia and I make Christmas goodies to share with friends and family.  Aside from the usual cookies and fudge, this is a beautiful and delicious variation on a cookie.  The recipe comes from www.allrecipes.com.  It is pretty, sturdy for packaging, and very yummy.  It makes a nice addition to your treat plate because it can be decorated with the sprinkles of your choice or you could even embellish with colored candy coating drizzled over the top.  Be creative and make it fun.  You will love the taste, the crunch, and the fun.  Enjoy that holiday treat making!
-Nanette







Ingredients

3/4 cup peanut butter
2 pounds vanilla flavored confectioner's coating
80 buttery round crackers such as Ritz
2 1/4 ounces of colored candy sprinkles
Add a notePrint 

  1. Melt chocolate-flavored almond bark OR vanilla candy coating in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Reduce heat and keep chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water.Place 1 teaspoon peanut butter on each of half of the crackers. Top with remaining crackers to make peanut butter "sandwiches".
  2. Dip each cracker "sandwich" in chocolate, allowing excess to drain back into pot.
  3. Place coated crackers on wax paper to cool. Sprinkle with multi-colored sprinkles or other holiday decoration. Allow coating to completely set, placing in refrigerator for 15 minutes, if necessary. Store between layers of wax paper in cool, dry place, or refrigerate. These also freeze well.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Beef Bologna with New Potatoes and Peas

BEEF BOLOGNA WITH NEW POTATOES AND PEAS
When Olivia was a child, I used to make this recipe occasionally and I haven't made it for quite a while.  The recipe is a basic one for creamed potatoes and peas.  You can find it at allrecipes.com.  I have always made mine with chunks of ring bologna added.  This may seem like an odd way to use bologna, but it is really good.  Try it some cool, autumn night.  I think you will find it soothing, filling, and just plain good.
-Nanette

1 lb new potatoes or red potatoes cut into chunks
1 cup of frozen peas
1 pound of beef ring bologna cut into one inch chunks
1 T of flour
1 T of butter
1 cup
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in water for 15-20 minutes.  Drop in peas and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Drain
Set vegetables aside in a bowl.  Use the same saucepan to melt the butter and whisk the flour into it .  Stir in the milk and cook until thickened.  Stir the bologna chunks in to warm them.  Stir in the cooked peas and potatoes.  Salt and pepper.  Eat and enjoy!
-Nanette