Old Fashioned Potato Soup

this is a satisfying meal, beautiful to look at and delicious, I use low fat milk and it is still creamy tasting~

This is a summer meal my mother fixed sometimes for supper. We all liked it, even Daddy enjoyed it although he was steak and potatoes man.  It made a pretty table with all the colorful vegetable. A sip of soup, a bite of radish, then a sip of soup and a bite of cheese~ on and on. The summer sausage was extra good with it.  I serve it every so often when the kids come on Sundays, it is easy to have after church since it can all be ready in advance, I just have to heat up the soup. The vegetable platter has pickled okra, black and green olives, cheese cubes, radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes, green and colored peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. You can just put together any vegetables you like. I also serve it with little whole grain crackers. Don’t forget to ask the blessing, we all have so much to be thankful for. 

Irish Potato Soup
3 T real butter
1/2 c chopped onion
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 c water
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c hot milk
1/2 c cold milk
1 egg yolk
crisp fried bacon and cilantro for garish
Melt butter in heavy pan, add onions and cook a few minutes
until tender. Add potatoes, water and salt, cover with lid and 
cook just until tender. (Take out 1 cup of the cooked potatoes
and save to add to the soup before serving). Mash the rest of the potatoes in the liquid, add hot milk and stir well. Combine half cup of
cold milk and beaten egg yolk, mix well, and slowly add to the warm soup,stirring constantly. Reheat soup but don’t let it boil. (at this point add  the cup of potatoes that you saved back) Pour into bowls,
top with crisp bacon, course ground pepper and a sprig of
cilantro. This recipe makes 6 or 8 servings~

Homemade Rice Krispies Treats

Everyone likes these crunchy treats. If you have ever been so desperate that you grab for a package of ready made bars, stop right there, Hold Your Horses!

A cup of coffee, a glass of cold milk or just enjoy one by itself~or maybe two or three.

A cup of coffee, a glass of cold milk or just enjoy one by itself~or maybe two or three.

 Instead get a box of Rice Krispies cereal and a package of marshmallows. It only takes a few minutes to make your own and there is no comparison. It makes a big batch. I will share my recipe with you even though the cereal box usually has one printed on it. Add two more ingredients and you have a gourmet version. You will need a 10 oz. package of large marshmallows, a box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, white raisins and pecans.

 

A close up shot, you can see the chunks of pecans and the raisins make it sweet and chewy.

A close up shot, you can see the chunks of pecans and the raisins make it sweet and chewy.

Gourmet Homemade Rice Krispies Treats

6 c. rice krispies

10 oz. bag of large marshmallows

3 T. real butter

1/2 c. white raisins

1 c. coarse chopped toasted pecans. (put pecans in microwave for 1 min. stir and then cook another minute)

First, lay a piece of wax paper on a large cookie sheet and grease with some butter~

In a large heavy pan, melt butter and add marshmallows. On med. heat melt marshmallows completely, keep stirring so it won’t brown on bottom. Add the pecans and raisins and mix well, then add the 6 cups of rice krispies, and mix completely. Dump out onto the wax paper and with buttered hands form it into an oblong layer, about 2 inches thick and square up the edges. Pack it pretty firmly and let it sit a few minutes. Then cut into what ever size bars you like. I use a big knife, put it across the top and press down. Wrap in wax paper and put in a big plastic bag. They will keep well, but probably won’t last long. They are delicious~

Chicken Fried Steak

Some people who check my blog every few days complain when I post a recipe, they accuse me of slacking or goofing off. They may be right but today I started out with thunder and lightning and two scared dogs. Jitter was digging in my pillow and walking all over me. Then I checked the live trap to see if I had a coon that had been getting into my almost ready apricots, and there was the pasture cat that has been bothering my two house cats. I called the animal control to see if they could come and relocate this cat and waited  and no one came, there had been a water main break in town and those men were all working on that. Finally I called back at 3:00 and was told that I should go check the trap. Sure enough the trap was gone and the cat was gone. Now I have to try to get my trap back so I can set it. You can see that I didn’t have time to post a new blog today. I am fixing to goof off and go to bed.

this was a colorful meal and everyone liked it~

Chicken fried steak is a great once in a while meal. If you cook it at home, you can make it healthy. It goes good with fresh vegetables and salads, a nice summer time treat. I served it to my visiting family after church a while back. (I had prepared it all before church and had it in the warming oven, I only had to bake the biscuits.) Mashed potatoes,  green beans, and scraped corn casserole, a big salad and cantaloupe. Cantaloupe makes any meal better.

Chicken Fried Steak
Thin cut round steak cutlets
Seasoned flour (1 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp salt, some garlic powder and pepper.)
Canola oil
Each cutlet is about the size of a slice of bread, it has been run
through a machine that scores it and makes it tender, you will need
one for each serving. Wet the meat, dredge it in the seasoned flour,
wet it again and then into the flour again.Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in
large skillet until it is medium hot. Lay each piece in hot oil. Don’t crowd
them. Cook each cutlet for  three or four minutes on each side.
Drain on several paper towels that are laying on folded newspaper. Pat the tops
with more paper towels to get the grease out.  Keep them warm as
you cook the rest of them.
For cream gravy, pour off all but about 3 T grease, add 3 T flour and cook
for a minute, then add enough milk to make it the thickness you like. Season
salt and pepper. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

these are good with milk or coffee, and great to take in the car with a sack of cut up apples. Peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are my favorites~

Peanut butter cookies are easy to make, you can double the recipe and share them or put them the freezer. I used to take these to the Road Lizard Races, no one wanted to eat before a race but were needing food afterwards. That was a time to visit and cool down, and of course eat cookies.  They are good to take on a trip, better than filling up with junk food when you stop to get gas. I always have them with sliced apples, they go great together. I make mine with Jif Chunky Peanut Butter.

We are fixing to have over 300 young people and sponsors early this summer come and do work projects and Bible Study. They are called M Pact. We will be needing lots of food. I am on the cookie list so have already started baking. Mine will be mostly Peanut Butter Cookies ~ easy, delicious and everyone likes them. Two recipes a day and I can have 50 dozen in no time. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 c flour
2 tsp soda
Cream peanut butter and shortening together,
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add beaten eggs. Sift flour and soda together,
add to mixture and mix well. Take a heaping
teaspoon full of dough, form a ball, lay on cookie
sheet and press top down with a fork, twice to make a “#”
Makes about 4 dozen.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, don’t
over bake them, you want them chewy. Remove
with spatula and let cool on counter. 

Mexican Cornbread Recipe

this was a meal for one and then left overs for later. You could make more servings by cutting up another tomato and cooking the whole bag of okra. Bertha Lux gows good okra~

I have been cleaning paintings and repairing frames for a couple of days. When I am busy and it is time to eat, I may go have a spoon full of peanut butter and a glass of milk but today, I had Jimmy Dean sasage cooked and in the freezer, a tomato from Anna’s greenhouse and Mexican cornbread only takes a few minutes to make so everything was ready in 25 minutes, I even had time to run to town and get the mail while it baked. I like okra, any way you fix it, today I boiled it for 10 minutes. I love Mexican corn bread. It is good to have for supper too, and always with a glass of cold buttermilk. Here is a recipe for the corn bread.

 
Mexican Corn Bread
1 c shredded Velveeta Cheese
1 can corn, drained
1 sm. can chopped green chilies
1 nice size onion chopped
1 egg
4 T oil
1 c buttermilk
Mix this all together and then add:
1 c corn meal
1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
Stir everything together and mix well.
Have oven heated to 400 degrees, put a little oil in a skillet and
get it hot, then pour batter in  and bake for about 25 minutes or until done and starting to brown on top. You can keep leftovers in the refrigerator for several days.

Homemade Corn Tortillas

You make the balls of dough the size of golf balls, don’t worry if they are a little ragged on the edges, they are home made, not machine stamped~

Home made corn tortillas are not necessary for good Mexican Food but they are delicious and fun to make. They have a real corn flavor, more like the ones you get in Old Mexico. The masa is pure ground corn flour, that’s it.

press it flat, you will learn how hard to press after a couple of times

I have had a tortilla press forever, I have bought them in Mexico for other family members and friends. You can find them on e-bay, priced $8.00 and up. You want a cast iron press, 7 inch size. Or you can roll your tortillas out with a rolling pin. Put the ball of dough between two one gallon size plastic bags, roll it thin, then peel the plastic back and lay it in the skillet.

it is ready to lay into med. hot skillet, 30 seconds on each side, then stack and keep covered

I realize not everyone has as much spare time to do these things but for those who do, it is worth it. (Now the press isn’t for flour tortillas, you need to roll those with a rolling pin). I just finished eating six tortillas, I have certainly enjoyed making this blog~

at this point, they are like store bought ones, they are not ready to eat. Never just  heat in a microwave, you need to soft fry them, that is the secret of great tortillas and great Mexican Food, remember, to soft fry first!

     Corn Tortillas
2 c Masa Harina  or Corn Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 c water
Mix flour, salt and most of the water for about 3 minutes. Add more water a little a time until it is firm but not sticky. Unlike pie dough, you can’t hurt it by overworking.
Divide into 16 pieces, form each piece into a ball, golf ball size and lay on wax paper.
Flatten slightly with hand and using a tortilla press. place between two heavy pieces of plastic. (I use two gallon size bags). A little dusting of the flour helps keep them from sticking) If you don’t have a press, you can use a rolling pin. Carefully peel off top plastic, lay tortilla in your hand and peel off the bottom piece of plastic. Flip out of your hand into the med hot ungreased cast iron skillet and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Continue until all are cooked. These should now be soft fried. To soft fry. put a small amount of oil in skillet, med hot for, about 6 seconds on each side. Pat grease off on paper towels. These are better than any corn tortillas you can buy, they have a real corn flavor because you use fresh masa. You can hard fry them by using more oil and cooking longer. I don’t hard fry mime, there are so many good corn chips out there, I use those for my nachos etc.

Apricot Cake

Burst of flavor, big surprise

Years ago a good  friend introduced me to this delightful cake  She was a great cook and  had many old recipes. She said this recipe made “one to eat, one to share, and one to keep for later”.  Dan and I spent great times with the Mann’s, they were an older couple who liked to ride more than drive. We made lots of day trips to the Hill Country.  Mr. Bart and Dan both smoked a  pipe and were happy to sit on the benches outside while Mrs. Mann and I shopped in the antique stores. She liked water tumblers and I liked everything. If you try this recipe, you will be surprised. It is wonderful!

APRICOT LOAF CAKE

11 oz.package of dried apricots (cut up and soak in warm water for 30 minutes,drain)

2 cups sugar
4 T. Shortening
2 eggs
½ cup water
1 cup orange juice
4 cups  flour, sift before measuring
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
½ cup chopped pecans

Cream shortening and sugar, then beat in eggs. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the batter alternately with the water/orange juice, ending with flour. Blend in nuts and apricots.

Line bottoms of 3 loaf pans with wax paper, spray with Pam, and pour in cake batter. Bake 55 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Cool slightly, remove wax paper and put cakes back in pans. Dribble a mixture of  3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup of orange juice over tops of warm cakes.

 

 

Supper Time Hash

Homemade, hearty and delicious meal from left over roast~

Hash is one of my favorite comfort foods. You can make it using left over roast cut in bite size pieces,  and adding onions and potatoes. Put a little oil in a sauce pan and  cook the onions until they are golden. Now  add the potatoes, meat, and any left over gravy with enough water to make a cup of liquid. Cook until the potatoes are done. Season to taste. Sometimes I make a big pot of hash and put it in individual bowls for the freezer, then take one out at a time for supper when I am starving. This is great meal with cornbread.

Gentleman Farmer

Longino worked all his life for Bill McWhorter on the farms. They grew up together.

This is Longino Pina, the man who farmed the place where we lived for 20 years. It was over a section of land and had two large fields which he plowed  and took care of by himself. He had a small field behind his house and  planted it in field corn. He raised beautiful corn. He would give us toe sacks full to put in the freezer, the best I ever ate. In the fall, he and his friends got together to butcher the hogs. They usually had two or three. It was quite a project, one time Longino sent his little son over to borrow Dan’s razor, (I think they shave the pig’s hide~ the last thing before they cook the cracklings). Dan gave him the razor and told him he ‘didn’t need to bring it back’. Later all the women got together and made hot tamales.  One day Bill told me I should paint a picture of Longino so I asked him, and his wife Goya thought it was a good idea, and he agreed.  When I finished it he was not happy because he was missing a bottom tooth, so I painted it in for him. Bill traded with me for it and hung it in his den, he was proud of that picture.  After he died, and then Longino died,  I gave it to Danny Pina, his grandson. It was nice living out there by Longino and his family. We were good friends for all those years. Goya taught me how to make tamales and all kinds of wonderful Mexican food.

Apple Pie

Today I am showing you a great dessert that we serve often.  

I like to cut strips of pie dough and lattice it over the top.

Apple Pie is one that everyone likes, it is good with a scoop of ice cream and coffee or milk. I took it from Elizabeth’s web site which she put together ten years ago and has been adding to ever since. She goes into great detail on each recipe, for those wanting step by step instructions, everything from Mexican Food to desserts. You can paste this address into your browser  if you like.
www.myhomecooking.net
 Apple Pie

6 Granny Smith tart apples , peel and slice thin
1 c. sugar
3 T flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (scant)
1/4 tsp salt
1 T vinegar
Put apple slices in a bowl and cover with water, then drain
Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, add
apple slices and vinegar and mix really well
Pie Crust
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 T sugar
5 T butter
5 T shortening
6 to 8 T cold water
Mix dry ingredients, then cut shortening and butter in
with a pastry blender until it resembles course corn meal
Roll into ball and cool in refrigerator while you do the apples etc.
Divide dough in half, roll out one ball on floured wax paper on counter
Carefully lay it into pie pan. Add the apple mixture.
Roll out second ball and lay on top of apples in pie pan. Cut excess
dough from around edges of pan, leaving half an inch or so, then tuck this
under and crimp. Now put several thin pats of butter on top crust,
and sprinkle 2 T sugar over pie and a small dusting of cinnamon. Cut several vent holes in top crust. (If you like, you can cut strips of dough and weave a lattice across the top of the pie instead of using a solid top) Cut some strips of foil and lay around outer edge to keep it from getting too brown, the outside edges cooks the fastest.
Bake for 50 or 60 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven~

Peanut Patties

 

these will be the best you will ever eat, homemade with real butter

You find pretty good Peanut Patties close to the check-out at the grocery store, they are hard to resist. I found a recipe for them years ago and they are one of my favorites. You can buy raw peanuts and freeze them, that way you always have some on hand to make the Peanut Patties or Peanut Brittle.  ( I will have the Peanut Brittle recipe for you later). Always read through a recipe before you start. When  you reach the right  temperature on the candy thermometer, take pan off the burner right then! First thing to do is lay out two big sheets of wax paper, butter them well, if you miss a spot, the candy is going to stick to it and someone will be eating paper~

Peanut Patties
3 c. sugar
3 c. raw Spanish peanuts
1 c. white corn syrup (Karo)
1 c. water
1/3 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp red food coloring

Mix all ingredients except butter, coloring
and vanilla, in large heavy sauce-
pan on medium heat and cook to hard ball stage
(260 degrees on candy thermometer)
Remove from heat, add butter, coloring and
Vanilla and beat until candy begins
to look creamy. Quickly!!! drop by
spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If mixture
becomes too firm, add a few drops
of hot water and beat.
Remember, never double a candy recipe, if you
want more, wash pan and start another batch.
Always use a heavy pan when making candy.
An old presto cooker is perfect~no lid though~
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, buy one,
they are not expensive and you will use it a lot.

Cheese Enchiladas

Great Cheese Enchiladas

This is a delicious and easy meal, you can make it beforehand and heat when ready to serve.

Everyone likes Mexican Food and this is an easy meal. Read  the recipe to be sure you have the ingredients, chili powder, cumino (cumin) and garlic powder. You will need a package of corn tortillas too.

Goya Pina’s  Enchilada  Sauce

2 T Gephardt Chili Powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 T corn oil
3 T flour
Heat together in saucepan, and then add
2 c. water. Stir until thickened. It should
be consistency of slightly thin gravy)

Soft fry the tortillas, three for each person. Fry a tortilla in in med hot oil for a few seconds, turn and fry another few seconds. Lay it on paper towels and blot all the grease off. Stack them and keep warm. (Don’t try a short cut by heating in a microwave instead of frying!)  Grate a pile of Velveeta Cheese, chop an onion. Take each tortilla, dip it in the  sauce, sprinkle on cheese and onion and roll it up. Lay them in a baking dish, sprinkle more cheese on top and pour more enchilada sauce over this. Heat about 10 minutes in oven. Put three enchiladas on a plate with a soft fried egg on top. Garnish the plate with sliced avocado,  tomatoes and what ever green stuff you like.You can also serve nachos, which are tortilla chips with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and heated to melt the cheese. A little sliced jalapeño  pepper doesn’t hurt either~