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Monday, November 28, 2011

Sausage and Egg Casserole

I am going to a Daughters of 1812 meeting and brunch in the morning, so I am making this old stand by brunch dish to take.  It is easy, and you prepare it the night before.  It is perfect for an event like this, or when you have overnight guests, and don't want to spend the entire  morning in the kitchen.

6 large eggs
2 C whole milk
7 slices bread, cubed
1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1# sausage, hot or mild
1 C Kraft Sharp cheese, grated

Brown and drain sausage.  Beat eggs, add all ingredients, and mix well.  Pour in 9x13 pan.  Chill 8 hours or overnight.  Bake in 350* oven for about 45 minutes.

Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas!

The Fall decorations are put away, all the leftovers eaten, so now it's time to get ready for Christmas! Today was my 69th birthday, and it was a good one. Slept late this morning, then my husband and middle son took me out for a great meal. Our son Michael has lived with us since 2007. He had a frontal lobe aneurysm, and is disabled.

I spent a lot of the day talking with dear friends and family on the phone, and "chatting" on fb. I enjoyed some long telephone conversations with my college aged grandchildren...and my three year old great-grandson called and sang "Happy Birthday"! Now, that was quite a treat!

Bobby, my sweet husband of 51 years, decorated out Christmas tree yesterday. I somehow found the time today to do the rest of the house! I even pulled out the everyday kitchen Christmas dishes! The outdoor lights will go up this week...then on to the shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping...and all the fun things we do this time of year.

May I be one of the first to wish you a Merry Christmas! Even if it is not a part of your religion, I wish you all the joy and happiness this Holiday brings to me!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Additional Information for Old Fashioned Southern Coconut Cake (Additional Information)

This recipe for the Queen of Southern cakes has been in my family for more than 100 years. It was always among the many delicious home made dishes on the tables at Thomas/Hodges family reunions. My grandmother always made it for me on my birthday, and as I will be 69 years old tomorrow, I wanted to share it on my blog. Maybe one of you awesome cooks out there will make one for me! I thought this recipe was lost forever, but my cousin and her mother still make it, and were kind enough to share it with me. Thank you Billie and littlecousin!

NOTE: I just received a message from someone who made this cake.  She said her icing was too thin, but it really is more akin to a glaze than a frosting.  You have to spoon it on the layers over and over until it sets.  This recipe is more than 100 years old, and it has always been written this way, so it didn't occur to me to add any further instruction.  I do apologize for the error.  My cousin told me today that this cake is entered in her church auction every year, and it always sets off a bidding war between two well-to-do gentlemen in particular.  This year, this cake sold for $500.00!  My grandmother and her kinswomen would love that!

1 C. butter
2 C. sugar
3 C. all-purpose flour (White Lily)
4 eggs (room temp.)
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ C. whole milk

Cream together: butter, sugar ; add eggs 1 at a time. Alternately add flour and milk, starting and ending with flour. (You might not need all of the milk). Makes 3 layers. Bake at 325* for 20-30 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool in pan.

Coconut Icing Servings: Icing for 3 layers
1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. milk
½ stick butter
¾ C. coconut juice
2 C fresh grated coconut (approximately)
Additional coconut juice

Mix all ingredients, except coconut, together in large sauce pan. Bring to boil and cook about 1-2 min. Let cool a bit. Spoon some coconut juice on layers, then spoon icing on layers, adding fresh grated coconut on each layer. Let cake stand in cold room overnight to soak, wrap in foil paper and refrigerate.

On the Menu Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesdays
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
Sweets For Saturday
Seasonal Sundays

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crispy Sugar Cookies

Over the years, I have tried many sugar cookie recipes, and this is by far the best I have tasted. They come out crispy, and not overly sweet. They are good with a cup of tea, and make great Christmas cookies for the kids...and Santa!

4 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tarter
1 C sugar
1 C powdered sugar
1 C butter, softened
¾ C vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine 1 C flour, soda, salt and cream of tartar. Set aside.
Combine sugars, butter, and oil, add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
Fold in flour. Chill OVERNIGHT.

Shape dough into balls, the diameter of a half dollar. Place on cookie sheet; flatten with a flat bottomed glass dipped in sugar. (I use finer textured colored sugar.) Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. If the cookies are too thick they will not have the great crispy texture.
Sharing with:
Sweets for a Saturday
Tea Party Tuesday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nanny's Pecan Pie

One last thing for Thanksgiving Dinner. My grandmothers Pecan Pie. She always made this pie for Thanksgiving with Georgia Pecans from our trees, and our neighbors fresh made butter and cane syrup. This has been a part of my Holidays for 69 years! My grandmother started it, and I have prepared it for 51 years. I am thankful that Ruby Euell Hodges was my grandmother, and that she raised me.
1 C Alga or Karo Dark Syrup
1 C sugar
½ C butter
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ C pecan halves
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, unbaked
(my grandmother made her own...but i take the easy way out!

Melt butter, add sugar and syrup, and mix well. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla, mix well. Put pecans in bottom of crust; pour filling over. Bake at 400* for 10 minutes, then at 350* until just set.
I am sharing this recipe with Foodie Friday's. and Tea Party Tuesday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Susta's Frozen Cranberry Salad

I just received this recipe from my cute, crazy, red-haired sister-in-law. I call her Susta, because I have loved her since she was six years old...she is 59 now, and still adorable! The recipe and the comments below are hers:

Here's the recipe. It's really pretty and VERY yummy! I make it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope I make the blog!!! Peace!! Susta

2 small cans crushed pineapple (drained)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2 3-ounce packages of cream cheese
2 TBS mayonnaise
3 TBS sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup whipped cream (I use the whipped cream in the can if I don't have time to whip it myself -- not that I'm lazy or anything, you understand!)

Combine first six ingredients with mixer. Then fold in the whipped cream. Can be spread in oblong dish and cut into squares after frozen, or put in pretty dessert dish or foil cupcake papers (makes about 16 servings in the cupcake papers and makes pretty individual servings) and freeze.
I am sharing this recipe with Tea Party TuesdaySimply Delish Saturday and Tickled Pink Saturday

Holiday "Waldorf" Salad

My grandmother used to make this salad especially for my brother and I for Thanksgiving. It is simple, quick, and very tasty. Your kids and grand-kids will love you for it!

6-8 apples, peeled and cubed
1 C pecans, halved
1 C raisins
1 ½ C mini marshmallows, not flavored kind
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained
Kraft mayonnaise, to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Place in pretty glass bowl to serve.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Colonel's Cornbread Dressing and My Grandmother's Giblet Gravy

Both of these recipes are the “pinch of this and a little of that” kind. I never measure the ingredients, these are guidelines, so may need adjusting. My father-in-law, "The Colonel", always made the Thanksgiving dressing and carved the bird at the table. The gravy recipe is my grandmother's.

1 recipe of Aunt Jemima white cornbread mix, baked and crumbled
½ stick butter
1 C celery, chopped with a few leaves
1 C onion, chopped
2 C Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Stuffing
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. salt and 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C Swanson chicken stock
1 C broth from turkey
1 C milk
2 eggs, optional

Sauté vegetables in butter until soft. Crumble cornbread into large bowl, add remaining ingredients, including both kinds of broth and milk; blend well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Make dressing a tiny bit soupy, but not runny. Bake at 350* until brown and set. Put rest of turkey broth in pot for Giblet gravy.

Giblet Gravy

Remaining broth from turkey, plus 1 can Swanson’s chicken stock
2 boiled eggs, chopped
Liver, Gizzard, neck, and meat from wing flats, chopped
Flour and water thickening
Salt and pepper to taste

Put broths in pot; add chopped eggs and meat, bring to a boil. Season, and then thicken to desired consistency with thickening made with flour and water. Whisk while boiling to avoid lumps.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chocolate Chess Pecan Pie

We had lunch with our friends Dick and Jane today. She made this pie for dessert. I urge you to make this pie...it is delicious!
1/2 package refrigerated pie crusts
1/2 cup butter
2 (1-oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1 (5-oz.) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 C pecan halves and pieces
2/3 C firmly packed light brown sugar
1 TBS light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350°. Roll piecrust into a 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Put into 9" pie plate; fold edges under, and crimp. Microwave butter and chocolate squares in a large microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in evaporated milk, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients. Add sugar mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake pie at 350° for 40 minutes. Stir together pecans, next 2 ingredients, and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla; sprinkle over pie. Bake 10 more minutes or until set. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
I am sharing this with Tea Party Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Butter Pecan Cake

My friend Jo shared this recipe with me. Another good choice for this hectic time of year. A good dessert, also goes well with your morning coffee or tea!
4 eggs
1C water
2/3 C oil
1 can Betty Crocker creamy coconut pecan frosting
1 box Betty Crocker Butter Pecan cake mix

Combine Eggs, water, oil in mixer until well blended. Add cake mix and beat for 2 minutes; then add frosting and mix well. Pour into oiled and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350* for about 50 minutes. This cake can also be made with Betty Crocker German Chocolate or Carrot Cake mixes.
I am sharing this recipe with Tea Party Tuesday.

Easy Coconut Cake

This is such a busy cooking time of the year, it's always good to have foods and desserts that are easy and quick to make, but still delicious. This cake fits the bill!

1 pkg. white cake mix plus ingredients for preparing listed on box
1 can condensed milk
1 9oz. carton Cool Whip
1 8 ½ oz. can cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
2 C grated coconut

Prepare cake and bake in 9x13 pan per package directions. While cake is hot, punch holes in top with fork. Pour condensed milk over. Mix Cool Whip and cream of coconut; spread over cake. Sprinkle all coconut over top of cake.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tasty Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving is almost here, and we are always looking for new side dishes to serve with our festive meal. This casserole is a good choice. It is easy, can be made ahead, and it is good!
2 7oz. pkgs. frozen French cut green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3oz. cream cheese
1 ½ C shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
2oz. sliced almonds
1 clove garlic, minced
8oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped
¼ C minced onion

Heat soup, onion and cheeses together until cheeses are melted. Mix in remaining ingredients, except almonds, and put into buttered casserole. Top with almonds and bake at 350* 30-45 minutes until bubbly, and beans are done.
I am sharing this recipe with Made It On Monday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cheesy Potato Casserole

These potatoes make a great side dish for most any meal, casual or more formal. Family and friends always enjoy them when they are served. Good for dinner parties as they can be made ahead and refrigerated. If you do this, add to cooking time.
6 medium potatoes
1 C Kraft sharp cheddar, grated
½ C milk
2 TBS butter
8oz. carton sour cream
¼ C minced onion
1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover 30 minutes, or until tender. Peel and grate potatoes when cool. Combine cheese, milk, and butter in small saucepan; cook over low heat until cheese melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, onion, salt and pepper. Fold mixture into potatoes. Put in greased 2 qt. casserole; dot with butter, and sprinkle lightly with paprika for presentation. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
Sharing this with: Family Fresh Meals

Monday, November 7, 2011

JFK's Favorite Chowder

It is getting colder outside. If you are looking for a delicious, light meal, this Chowder is perfect! My father-in-law found this recipe in the Atlanta newspaper in 1960 when JFK was running for President. It was called JFK's Favorite Chowder, and it quickly became our favorite too! This is not a thick chowder, but has the consistency of soup. It is delicious and comforting on a cold day.
1-1½# firm fleshed white fish (Haddock, Cod, Halibut)
10 slices Salt Pork, cut in very small cubes
2 TBS butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery and a few leaves, chopped
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
1 box chicken stock
1 quart whole milk (I use half and half)

Fry diced salt pork in large pot until brown and crisp; drain and save. Add onions, potatoes and celery to drippings. Sauté until soft. Add salt and pepper, stock and bay leaves. Bring back to a simmer until vegetables are done, then and add fish, cook until done. Add milk and butter. I use half and half because it makes a richer dish. Cook on low until hot. Do not boil soup. Sprinkle pork pieces on top when serving.
I am sharing this recipe with On the Menu Monday and Foodie Friday's

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mom's Pork Roast

My mother-in-law, second in greatness only to my grandmother, used to make this dish on Sundays in the fall and winter. Southern ladies didn't serve pork in the summer. She made corn muffins to pour the yummy gravy over, and some times I thought the Dodd boys would come to blows over who got the the last one!

3-4# fresh pork butt roast
1 large onion cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS oil
Flour and water thickening

Heat oil in roasting pan that can be covered. Salt and pepper roast, and brown on all sides in oil. Pour Worcestershire sauce over roast. Secure the two thick slices of onion to top of roast with toothpicks. Place meat on rack in pan; add about 1 cup of water to bottom of pan. Cover, put in 350* oven, and cook about 30 minutes per pound, or until pork is 160*. Remove meat when done, put pan on stove burner and bring to boil. Whisk in thickening until gravy is desired consistency.

Triple Cute Award

Many thanks to Sudha at http://witwokandwisdom.blogspot.com for this nice award. I will be sending it on to seven bloggers who I think have a triple cute site! Thank you again, Sudha, I really appreciate this!

Here are seven blogs I especially enjoy:

Swiss Steak

I made my version of Swiss Steak for dinner tonight, and tweaked the recipe a bit.  It was rich and delicious, and is a hearty man pleasing dish.  I served it with rice and green beans. I think you might like it too!

Black Angus round steak (have the butcher run it through a cuber 1 time.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour, for dredging meat
1/4 C oil
1 cans stewed tomatoes, original mixture
1 C diced tomatoes
1 C beef stock
½ bell pepper cut into large strips
1 medium onion, cut into large strips
4 potatoes, cut in quarters
2-3 carrots, cut in pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
Flour and water for thickening

Cut steak into serving-size pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dredge meat in flour. In heavy skillet or Dutch oven, brown both sides of meat in heated oil. Pour tomatoes, and 1C beef stock over steak; simmer over low heat in covered pan until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking to prevent sticking. Add vegetables, except bell pepper, and cook 30 more minutes; add peppers in last 10-15 minutes. If necessary, add more stock to keep meat partially covered. Keep pan lid on during cooking. When done,check seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste, and a little flour/water thickening.
Re-posted 3/7/2012
Sharing with these great blogs!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Egg Gravy

This is probably my family's favorite breakfast. My husband, sons, grandchildren and siblings all love it. It is always on the request menu when they come to visit..or if I visit them! My husband's mother taught me to make it, and like most of my "home cooking" recipes, ingredients are approximate because they are "a little of this, and a pinch of that" recipes that were handed down verbally, and by my watching in the kitchen. It might not sound very good, but it is delicious, and perfect for a cold morning!
3-4 TBS BACON drippings
3 TBS flour
3 C milk, approximately
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir flour into drippings until well blended. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbly and a light brown. Gradually add milk, stirring with whisk. Cook until thickened and creamy, stirring constantly. After gravy begins to thicken, break eggs into it, stir until eggs are cooked. Eggs will thicken gravy, so you will have to add more milk or water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Making gravy takes practice. Rarely does anyone get it right the first time. If it is lumpy, keep whisking; if too thick, add some water/milk. Above all,do not panic! Serve over hot biscuits or toast made in the oven.