Monday, June 28, 2010

Ann's yummy Potato Salad

Since it is picnic season and I have had many requests for this recipe. Decided to post it. I have combined a couple of my old potato salad recipes over time and this is what I came up with for cookouts and such. It is hard to beat a good potato salad at a picnic!! Be sure and try my baked bean recipe too. Serves a lot also.

  1. 8 medium potatoes
  2. 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped(sometimes I will use Sweet Vidalias or Walla-Walla's when they are in season)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  5. 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
  6. 1/2- 3/4 cup mayonnaise(not Miracle Whip)
  7. 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  8. 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  9. 1 teaspoon celery seed
  10. 2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Peel and cut potatoes into cubes, place in large pan, cover with water and add some salt to water. Cook until tender, drain and cool. Combine cooled potatoes with onion, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add Italian dressing, cover and refrigerate at 3 hours but overnight is better. Just before serving, add mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, celery and celery seed. Mix well. Refrigerate until using. Garnish with fresh parsley and more chopped eggs, if desired. Happy Picnicking!!!!!

Tarragon Chicken Salad

I originally got this recipe from "The Martha Stewart Cookbook". It was the first time I had found a recipe for chicken salad where you cook the chicken on a bed of herbs. Since I grow my own herbs, it seemed like a nifty way to infuse the chicken with more flavor. Boy does it!! I've made some changes over the years, and I have included those. In the photo, you will see the chicken salad served with my homemade croutons which are included on this baking site. Chicken Salad is wonderful with fresh fruit and homemade rolls(lots of recipes on my site).

  1. 1 onion, sliced thin

  2. Fresh herbs, use a combination and I cut large sprigs to line my Pyrex baking dish. This last time I used parsley, sage, tarragon, thyme, and oregano. I also sometimes add rosemary and or bay leaves

  3. 8 whole chicken breasts( I also use chicken breast filets without skin)

  4. Juice of 1 lemon

  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper(I like to use seasoned salt on mine for more flavor and Lawrey's seasoned pepper)

  6. 2 TBLS. chopped Fresh Tarragon

  7. 1/2 cup sour cream(I use about 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup)

  8. 1/2 cup mayonnaise( NOT Miracle Whip, use real mayo or Lite Mayo, I also use 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup)

  9. 2 cups finely chopped celery

  10. 1 cup toasted chopped pecans or toasted chopped almonds (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans but I prefer them toasted(much more flavor) and not so many, I also like almonds in this so added) NUTS are OPTIONAL

  11. 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (this is my addition also, you can not use eggs if you don't want them)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a baking pan or pans very generously(Use butter not spray). Scatter onion slices and herbs in the pan and lay the halved breasts on top, skin side up, in a single layer. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until done. Do not overcook. Cool

Remove the skin and bones from meat and cut or shred into small cubes or slivers. Put in a bowl and mix with salt and pepper to taste and add 2 TBLS. tarragon. Add celery and chopped eggs.

Mix sour cream and mayonnaise together and stir into chicken a little at a time until creamy. Mix in more sour cream and mayo if necessary. Taste for seasoning and add chopped nuts, if desired. To serve, spoon chicken salad onto a bed of lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. or spoon into a hollowed out tomato. Serve on cantaloupe slices or in a hollowed out cantaloupe. Top with homemade croutons.

Homemade Croutons a la Ann

Thought many of you would enjoy making your own croutons to go with fresh summer salads. I grow many of my own herbs so I have access to different ones all summer. Remember to mix it up as far as the herbs you use go, try different combinations for different salads, etc. this is just a basic recipe I use. In this picture, I show the croutons on Tarragon Chicken Salad(recipe on this site), with fruit. Have Fun!!

  1. Older bread or rolls, about 4-5 cups

  2. 1 stick Unsalted butter, melted

  3. Chopped herbs of your choice... Some of the ones I like are tarragon, thyme, basil, parsley, rosemary

  4. Onion powder to taste

  5. garlic salt to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut bread or rolls into small bite size pieces. Put in bowl. Melt butter, add herbs of choice, garlic salt and onion powder. Toss well. Spread in a single layer on a sided cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turn croutons, and then bake for 15 minutes more. Cool on cookie sheet and put in plastic bag. Will keep quite a while in a bag or you can freeze part for later. HINT: Instead of using herbs, you can add grated parmesan cheese to herbs and a little parsley for a different taste. These are really good on the top of soups also.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ann's Italian sausage, hamburger, mushroom and red onion pizza

All of The girls in my cooking class, wanted to learn to make homemade pizza. A couple of them had tried to make it before, but didn't like the results.  I have experimented over the years and finally came up with my own version. It makes 2 large pizzas, so for 2 people you can have one for dinner and freeze another one for later. They freeze nicely. You can use any toppings you like, but most things should be sauteed before putting on the pizza. It cooks and softens the veggies and brings out the flavors. The exception is pepperoni, which can just be layered directly onto the pizza. Also, you can make plain cheese pizza, which is how my grandson likes it. My kids and grandkids always request this pizza when they visit or I go to see them. My favorite mix is hamburger and mild Italian sausage mixed together with mushrooms and red onions sauteed together and added on top of the meat mixture. THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to spread the pizza sauce on thin!!! You should have about one half of a jar left. This pizza just says home, family and comfort food to the max!! The girls in the picture are from my May Cooking class. Good friends and good fun, You can't beat it!!

  1. 1 pkg. instant yeast (can use regular)

  2. 1 cup lukewarm water

  3. 1 TBLS. sugar

  4. 1 teaspoon salt

  5. 2 TBLS. oil(I like Crisco vegetable)

  6. 2 1/2 - 3 cups unbleached flour(I like Pillsbury or King Arthur)


  1. 1 jar Ragu Pizza Quick Sauce

  2. 1 12 oz bag grated 5 cheese Italian

  3. 1 12 oz bag mozzarella cheese

  4. pepperoni, sliced (If using instead of sausage/hamburger mix)

  5. 1 lb. Italian sausage and 1/2 lb. hamburger, crumbled and browned.
  6. about 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  7. 1/2 of an 8 oz. pkg. of mushrooms sliced 
  8. green or red peppers, sauteed(I prefer red cause they are milder)

In bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt amd oil. Mix well. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth. Put a little oil in medium bowl, turn dough to oil both sides, and cover with a damp towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk.

Empty dough out on pastry cloth that has been floured and divide in half. Roll out thin and put each half in a pizza pan or on a pizza baking stone. (For grandkids, I use 7 inch cast iron skillets). Crimp the edges to hold toppings. Spread Ragu on very thin, covering surface and then almost 1/2 of the grated cheese from each bag(you will have a little left but you also can use it all). Put the meats on next and then veggie toppings. Bake at 400 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. So much fun to make with friends or family!!

Kathy's Fresh Strawberry pie

The grand finale to our cooking class was a pie brought by Kathy Neve. It is a very fresh Spring/summer pie made with fresh strawberries. I have made a followers of my class in using real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. There is sooo much difference. We worked on whipping cream and I taught them how to not overwhip so it turns to butter. We all enjoyed this dessert. I garnished the slices with fresh mint and a fresh strawberry sliced with stem.

  1. 1 1/3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers(about 42 wafers)

  2. 2 TBLS. sugar

  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla

  4. 5 TBLS. unsalted butter, melted

  5. 8 cups of hulled strawberries, divided(small ones work better)

  6. 2 TBLS. water

  7. 2/3 cup sugar

  8. 2 TBLS. cornstarch

  9. 1 TBLS. lemon juice

  10. 1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the melted butter; Press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake 10 minutes or until set and barely beginning to brown. Cool the crust.

Slice 2 cups strawberries. Combine with 2 TBLS. water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil while mashing strawberries. Cook about 2 minutes. Push thru a sieve with a spoon. Discard solids that remain. Measure juice and water to equal 1 cup.

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in strawberry juice and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in remaining vanilla. Place 1/3 of the berries in pie shell; drizzle with 1/3 of the glaze. Repeat twice. Chill 2 hours or until set. Serve whith whipped cream. Serves 6-8. Wonderful on a hot summer's evening!

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Another recipe from our May cooking class brought to us by Carol Nystrom, as a side to the homemade pizza we were making. These are delicious and perfect for that summer picnic, now that cukes are coming in season. Thanks, Carol

  1. 3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar

  2. 1/2 cup sugar

  3. 2 teaspoons Kosher

  4. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, can adjust according to how "hot" you like things

  5. 1 TBLS. plus 1 teaspoon finely grated, peeled fresh ginger

  6. 4 lbs. seedless cucumbers, halved crosswise

Whisk together vinegar, red pepper flakes, ginger, and sugar in a large bowl for dressing. Using a vegetable peeler, cut cucumber lengthwise into ribbons and add to bowl with dressing, tossing to combine. Salt to taste. Chill at least 15 minutes or more, stirring once before serving. Serves 8

Warm Bacon Cheese Spread

At my last cooking class here in Colorado City, we made this yummy appetizer. The ladies in the picture, holding the bread bowl are my friends from the class, Lisa Wachob on the right and Sue Phillips. Men love it too and it would be GREAT for that Super Bowl Party!!! It is from the Taste of Home magazine, that I love. Can make ahead and then heat it when ready to serve.

  1. 1 Round loaf Sourdough bread(Can use wheat or multigrain, etc., Whole Foods has several choices)

  2. 1 - 8oz package cream cheese, softened

  3. 1 1/2 cups(12 oz) sour cream

  4. 2 cups(8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese(sharp is best)

  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire Sauce

  6. 3/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled(Applewood Farms smoked is great!)

  7. 1/2 cup chopped green onions

  8. Assorted crckers bread cubes from loaf

Cut the top 1/4 off the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1 inch shell all around. Cut the removed bread and top of loaf into cubes; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worchestershire Sauce until combined; stir in the bacon and green onions.Spoon into bread shell. Wrap in a piece of heavy duty foil(about 24 in. by 17 in). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 - 1 1/4 hrs or until heated thru. Serve with crackers and reserved bread cubes. Yield 4 cups

Italian Cream Cake

Before moving to Colorado, I had never heard of Italian Cream Cake. There is a large Italian contingent in Pueblo and many of Italian descent around Southern Colorado. Some of my friends, who are Italian, put me onto this wonderful cake. It is one of my top 2 most requested and I made it for several graduations this year, by request. If you like coconut or carrot cake, this would be in the same family, only BETTER. The cake in the picture, I made and decorated for a special friend's birthday. All of our gorgeous lilacs were in bloom then. Know you will love this if you try it!!!!

  1. 1/2 cup Crisco( I use 1 cup butter flavor Crisco at high altitudes!!! and leave off the butter)

  2. 1/2 cup butter

  3. 1 2/3 cups sugar

  4. 5 Eggs, separated

  5. 1 cup buttermilk

  6. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  8. 2 cups unbleached flour, sifted (I use Pillsbury or King Arthur)

  9. 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla

  10. 1 cup pecans, toasted and then chopped

  11. 1 - 3 1/2 oz. can flaked coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

  2. 1/4 cup butter, softened

  3. 1 lb. Powdered sugar

  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla

  5. 2 TBLS. or more whipping cream(can use milk)

  6. 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans

Cream butter and Crisco, add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add buttermilk alternately with dry ingredients starting and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla, pecans, and coconut. Fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Bake in 3 greased and floured pans that also have a round of parchment or wax paper on top and then grease the paper too. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until done when checking with a toothpick. Cool in pans for 20 minutes and remove. Ice with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with toasted pecans.

To make frosting: Cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, ending with cream to make the proper spreading consistency.

Eileen's Italian Cream Cake

Supreme Double- Coconut cream pie

I love this pie!!! I just found this recipe again and I remembered it is the best ever. While the original coconut cream pie I have on the website is good, this is heavenly. It uses both cream of coconut and flaked coconut. Wait until you taste it!!!!

  1. 3 Egg whites (I use 4 or 5 to make a high meringue, just use heaping measures of the sugar and cream of tartar)

  2. 1/4 cup cornstarch

  3. 2 cups milk

  4. 3/4 cup Cream of coconut

  5. 3 beaten egg yolks

  6. 2 TBLS. butter or margarine

  7. 1 cup flaked coconut

  8. 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  9. 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  10. 1/3 cup sugar

  11. 2 TBLS. flaked coconut

  12. 1 baked 9 inch pie crust(recipe found on this website)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile for filling, in a medium suacepan combine cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir in 1/4 cup of the milk, with a wire whisk, until smooth. Stir in remaining milk and the cream of coconut. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot filling into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Pour egg yolk mixture into remaining hot filling in the saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Keep warm...

For meringue, in a large metal mixing bowl combine egg whites, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and the cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on fairly high speed for 1 minute or so until soft peaks form(soft peaks are when you pull up meringue with mixer(not on) and the peak "droops", stiff peaks are when they stand straight up in the air). Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, 1 TBLS. at a time, beating on high speed 4 minutes or more, until mixture holds stiff peaks. Spoon hot filling into baked pie shell. IMMEDIATELY spread meringue over hot filling, carefully sealing to edge of crust to prevent shrinkage. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 TBLS. flaked coconut. Bake for 15 minutes, watching carefully, until meringue and coconut are nicely browned. Cool for 1 hour. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. However, I like to bring to room temperature to serve. Think it tastes the best!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blueberry Pie

I absolutely love this pie recipe and I originally found it in Better Homes and Gardens. However, I have made a couple of my own changes over the years. Blueberry season is in full swing and the blueberries are very reasonable right now, so make several for friends and neighbors. You will be much appreciated, believe me!! Another taste of summer...

  1. Pastry for 2 crust pie

  2. 4 Cups fresh blueberries

  3. 1- 14 oz. can small wild blueberries, drained well

  4. 3/4 to 1 cup sugar

  5. 3 heaping TBLS. flour

  6. 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

  7. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  8. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  9. dash salt

  10. 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  11. 1 TBLS. butter

Combine 4 cups fresh blueberries and wild blueberries with sugar, flour, lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Line bottom of pie pan with pastry and add filling. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter. Add top crust and make slits for steam. Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Put on baking sheet with sides and bake for 35-40 minutes until browned and bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream!!! DELICIOUS!!

Grapefruit Pie

An unusual and really good recipe, using grapefruits!! It was given to me by one of my workout friends, who used to live in Florida,Charmaine Anderson, hence the abundance of citrus!! A bit of sun during the winter months when one can use a taste of the sunny southern climes. this is also for my Arizona friend, Laurie who has a fabulous grapefruit tree in her yard.
  1. 1- 9 inch BAKED pie shell(see my recipe for pie crust on this site)
  2. 4 pink grapefruit
  3. 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, depending on grapefruit sweetness
  4. 1 TBLS. cornstarch
  5. 3/4 cup grapefruit juice
  6. 1- 4oz. box strawberry jello(Charmaine says she has used all flavors and they are good with it)

Peel grapefruit, removing pith. Cut into bite size pieces. Drain in a strainer over a pan, collecting the juice for a couple of hours. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and juice in a small saucepan(if the collected juice does not measure 3/4 cup, add water to make that amount). Bring to a boil, stir in jello. Cool slightly. Spread grapefruit in the bottom of the baked pie shell; pour jello over fruit. Refrigerate and serve with whipped cream or cool whip. HINT: After baking pie shell, brush with melted butter and refrigerate for an hour or so before putting in the filling; this keeps fruit juice from leaking thru crust!! Relish your taste of sunshine, Thanks, Charmaine!!

Kristine Ritter's Ultimate Pull-apart Coffee Cake

This recipe is an easy, breezy one but wonderful for guests or holidays when on a time crunch. It is wonderful and everyone loves it!! Kristine got it from a Paula Deen publication and I have personally used it several times since she gave it to me last Fall. This is much like a "monkey bread" Thanks, Kristine!!

  1. 16-18 unbaked frozen dinner rolls, such as Rhodes
  2. 1- 3 oz. pkg. REGULAR(not instant) butterscotch pudding mix
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  4. 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  5. 1/2 cup(1 stick) butter, melted

The night before, place frozen rolls in a well-greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over rolls. Sprinkle brown sugar over pudding mix. Sprinkle pecans over sugar. Pour melted butter over all. BE SURE melted butter is not hot. Cover with a damp towel or tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Let rise overnight at room temperature, 8-10 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover rolls and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Invert pan onto serving platter, remove pan. Serve by pulling apart with forks. Makes 6 servings or more.

Mrs. Rice's Honest To God Memphis Pound Cake circa 1910

My dear friend form Springfield, who also lives in Colorado, Jill Woodruff Manos, shared this wonderful pound cake recipe. Interestingly, it is from a mutual family friend back home and has been handed down in their family. Jill provided a high altitude adjustment which I will include for those of us in the Rocky Mountain area. Know you will enjoy this cake recipe. It's a keeper!!
  1. 1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
  2. 6 Eggs
  3. 3 cups sugar
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon soda
  7. 8 oz. sour cream
  8. 1 heaping teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 2 TBLS. whiskey (optional)
  10. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add whiskey, if using(Jill says can't imagine leaving it out). Sift flour. Add 1 cup flour, then 1/2 of sour cream and alternate, ending with 1 cup flour. Pour batter into a WELL GREASED and FLOURED angel food cake pan. Bake @ 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Cool on rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pan to finish cooling. FOR HIGH ALTITUDE: Reduce sugar to 2 3/4 cups and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Great holiday cake!!

Blackberry Cobbler

This is a good ole Missouri Ozarks recipe and one I've used for 35 years. Where I'm from in the Ozarks has the biggest, juiciest blackberries you've ever tasted and we used to go blackberry picking every summer. Inevitably I got poison ivy, but well worth it!! It is easy and just use my crust recipe on this site. Always yummy good with a scoop of vanilla bean or peach ice cream. Oh, those lazy days of summer!!

  1. 4+ cups of blackberries, rinsed and picked over and drained

  2. 2 TBLS. tapioca

  3. 1 1/3 cups sugar

  4. Dash of nutmeg

  5. 2 TBLS. butter

  6. 2 pie crust- recipe on this site

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix berries, tapioca, sugar, and nutmeg togther. Pour into bottom pie crust and dot with the 2 TBLS. of butter. Do a lattice top crust by cutting 1 inch strips and weaving them together. Do this by laying strips one way with small space in between and then lay the strips over the first ones from the other direction or side.(See picture). Brush lattice top with milk and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Put on baking sheet with sides and bake at 375 degrees for app. 1 hour until crust is browned and juices are bubbling. It's heaven!!

Apricot Pie

This absolutely FABULOUS Apricot pie comes from my friend, Bev Giffin. She is part of my quilt group and we have been meeting for 24 years!!! We not only quilt, but everyone is a great cook and we enjoy exchanging recipes. This came from her grandmother. It uses 2 crusts and you can find that recipe in the index. Be sure and roll the crusts very thin for this pie. If you like the peach pie, you will love this too!!
  1. 1 28oz. can apricots
  2. 1 16oz. can apricots
  3. 3/4 cup sugar
  4. 3 TBLS. minute tapioca
  5. dash of salt
  6. 2 TBLS. butter
  7. 2 crusts- For this pie, roll VERY thin!!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain apricots, saving about 1/3 cup of juice. combine sugar, tapioca, salt and juice, add to drained apricots. Let stand while making crusts or for 15 or 20 minutes. Fill bottom crust and top with 2 TBLS. of butter. Put on top crust and cut slits in a decorative way. Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Put pie pan on cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes @ 450 degrees. Lower oven to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream. YUMMY!!