Sunday, December 22, 2013

Grandma's Kitchen Revisited

You know what they say about best laid plans?  Well, that's my life this weekend.  An unexpected Christmas gift has laid me low - specifically, a nasty case of bronchitis.  In spite of my three prescriptions and various inhalers, I barely have enough energy to shuffle from the bed to the sofa and back.  So, instead of the blog I had intended to post today, I offer you a re-run of one of my favorite posts from the first year we opened the doors here at TRD...with a few tweaks, an additional favorite cookie recipe and a brand new giveaway. Thanks for your understanding.  I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane. ~PJ

Some of my earliest memories are of being perched on a stool at my grandma's kitchen counter, hanging onto her every word as she taught me how to wield a rolling pin, create flaky melt-in-your-mouth biscuits or golden brown, perfectly baked cookies. Much of what I know about baking was learned at my grandma's side but baking wasn't the only thing I learned in her kitchen. Sprinkled so lightly among the various techniques that I was hardly aware of them, were gentle lessons that have guided my life over the past 50+ years. From that wise and kind woman I learned to find joy in creating something with my own hands and mind, to take pride in my accomplishments but not be boastful about them, to share willingly and joyfully with others, to have compassion for those lacking the skills or resources with which I was blessed, to treat others with the same kindness and respect that I wish to receive from them and to honor those who have gone before me by sharing my love, my time, my knowledge and a few gentle life lessons with the young people in my life.

Grandma has been with the angels for many years now but, to this day, I can still feel her gentle hand on my shoulder, guiding me in the right direction. A few years ago I was visiting with some cousins that I hadn't seen in almost 30 years. One of them said to me, "You're so much like Grandma it's almost like having her with us again." I can think of no greater compliment.


1 cup solid Crisco shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt
Cream shortening. Add 1-1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and flavorings; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2-3 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Dip a fork into flour then lightly press on each cookie to flatten. Sprinkle cookie with remaining sugar. Bake at 375° F. for 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
YIELD: 9 dozen

** For a festive appearance, sprinkle cookies with colored sugar before baking or forego the sugar and frost or glaze the cookies after they have baked and cooled.  .

1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons brandy
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped pecans
Powdered sugar
Melted milk chocolate

Cream butter.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
Add brandy, vanilla and salt; mix well.
Add flour, stirring until blended.  Stir in pecans.

Shape dough into 1-1/2 x 1/2 inch logs.  Place two inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 325° F. for 15 to 20 minutes.  Cookies should not brown.

While warm, roll cookies lightly in (or dust with) powdered sugar.  Place on wire racks to cool.  When completely cool, dip one end of cookie in melted chocolate.  Let stand on wax paper until set.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Here's a photo of Connie's Brown Sugar Caramel Pound Cake.  I'm already drooling!  For the recipe, see Connie's comment below.

Are you baking this Christmas?  Who taught you how to bake? Are you passing along that knowledge by being a baking mentor to someone else?  Share your memories with me for a chance to win our giveaway.   Share a recipe and you'll have two chances to win!

U.S. Winner:  a package of books from our prize stash

International Winner:  The Devil Wears Kilts by Suzanne Enoch (a new book that kept me up reading way past my bedtime) OR Sweet Madness by Heather Snow (one of my favorite books of 2013.)

Please indicate in your comment if you are U.S. or International.  (International giveaway open to any address to which delivers.)

~ PJ


  1. I spent the day in the kitchen yesterday making homemade peanut butter cookies and cutout sugar cookies that I frosted and sprinkled with peppermint flavored sugar. On Christmas day, my family has requested me to make a French apple tart. That’s always a favorite.

    My mother loved to bake and I learned a lot from her. However, as she passed away too soon, I am self-taught on lots of my cooking skills. As the mother of two sons, I insisted on teaching them the basics of cooking. It’s a good thing too because my one daughter-in-law just does not like to cook so my son does most of it. I have made Christmas cookies with my grandchildren over the years but I’m not sure if any of them have picked up a love for cooking. Sadly, it’s quickly becoming a lost art.

    Here is a recipe I tried recently and it’s wonderful.

    Brown Sugar Carmel Pound Cake

    Ingredients: 1 ½ cups butter softened 2 cups light brown sugar, packed 1 cup granulated sugar 5 large eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup whole milk 1 8oz bag toffee chips 1 cup pecans, chopped

    Carmel Drizzel: 1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions: Preheat oven to 325 spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee buts and pecans. Spoon batter into pan and bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.

    Directions for Caramel Drizzle In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes before using. NOTE: Make sure you drizzle the caramel while it’s still HOT. When cooled the caramel does somewhat harden.


    Merry Christmas and enjoy your baking!


    1. That pound cake sounds fabulous! I'll be trying that recipe for sure. :)

  2. Sorry! Looks like the picture won’t show up. :(

  3. PJ, oh, dear. I hope you feel better soon. Bronchitis is awful. Big hugs.
    I loved this post when you first put it on a few years back, and I loved rereading it.
    I'm not baking this year for the neighbors. I have in years past, but just decided, not this year. I usually make either Danis Puff or Scottish Shortbread, when I do bake for the neighbors. However, the oldest son is here today, so I may make sookies or pumpkin bread or..something. :)

    1. Thanks, Deb. I enjoyed your comments on the original post, especially this one:

      I have fond memories of my Gram as well. She was an awesome cook and would never measure, yet everything she made was wonderful. I remember following a recipe of hers once and had to call and ask her what a glub of oil meant. She said, "You know, when the oil comes out of the bottle, it makes a sound like glub." So, two glubs of oil went into my mixture!

      Grandmother memories are precious, aren't they?

    2. PJ, how awesome that you found my original comment! Love it, and you! Get lots of rest! BIG {{HUGS}}}! Yes, Grandma memories are precious, indeed.

    3. I obviously could not type this morning. That should be Danish Puff and cookies. Sookies sound interesting, though, huh? ;)

  4. oh, my, hope you're able to knock that nasty thing's butt quick. I don't bake much anymore myself though always enjoyed it, would help put me in the holiday spirit :)

    1. I have good meds and hopes that I can get ahead of the curve before it gets worse. On the good side, it's warm enough here today to open the door and get some fresh, germ-free air. Also, since I don't have enough energy to do much more than sit on the sofa, I've been keeping company with my Kindle and catching up on some good books!

  5. Sorry, maybe the third time will be the charm lol.
    Oh, hope you feel better soon. I think one feels twice as bad when sick during a holiday. Hope you can cuddle in and at least do some reading - when I'm so sick that I can't read I can't think of anything worse.
    I use to bake but really haven't done it in quite a while. It so easy to buy them although definitely not the same emotional attraction to store bought. We have a light, almond flavored thumb print cookie filled with grape jelly and sprinkled with nuts that is our family Christmas cookie. They are a lot of work lol. Although my mom did show me how to make these, my one aunt was the real baker and cook in the family. Alas, she had two boys that weren't interested.

    Here is a simple (I love simple) chocolate chip recipe:


    1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter (salted, unsalted, vegan butter, margarine, shortening, lard)
    1 cup sugar (granulated, light brown, or dark brown) (reduce if you like a less sweet cookie)
    1 egg (or Ener-G egg replacer)
    1 cup plus 2 TBSP flour (all-purpose, self rising, or bread)
    1 cup chocolate chips (any kind your prefer or have on hand)


    Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    Mix the butter and sugar together until completely combined.
    Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
    Stir in the flour then the chocolate chips until combined.
    Bake at 350ºF until just set on the edges and middle still looks undercooked. About 8-12 minutes. (if you did not use brown sugar the cookies will not brown because of the lack of baking soda and baking powder)
    Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing.
    Makes about 2 dozen medium sized cookies


    1. Thanks for the recipe! Chocolate chip cookies are always a favorite - at least they are in my house!

      I did more sleeping than reading yesterday but still managed to get a book in that I really enjoyed. If you like small-town contemporary, give CHRISTMAS IN SAVAGE BAY by Ann Lawrence a try. It's only 99 cents for Kindle right now and kicks off a new series. I hadn't read this author before but I like her voice. I'll definitely be checking out her historical romances and am looking forward to returning to Savage Bay for her next book in that series.

      Don't feel bad about the three-time post. I wrote a long reply to an earlier comment then hit "sign out" instead of publish! lol

  6. I don't bake. Hope You feel better soon. US

  7. Thanks, jcp. I hope I feel better soon too! :)

  8. I'm so sorry you are ill, PJ. There's no good time to be sick, but it does seem worse during the holidays. I hope you feel better soon.

    I love using traditional recipes handed down from my grandmother via my mother, but I'm not baking this year. Even the cookies we baked with the grands were the slice and bake variety courtesy of a school fund raiser. The kids loved them anyway.

    1. Thanks, Janga. It's very hard to slow me down this time of year but I'm trying to give myself time to heal and not worry about what I'd rather be doing. There's nothing wrong with slice and bake cookies. One of the favorite recipes around here is slice and bake. Here's the recipe:

      One roll slice and bake Peanut Butter Cookie dough
      One bag Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

      Cut the cookie dough into thick (around 1 inch) slices. Cut each slice into four pieces. Put one piece each into mini muffin pans. Bake according to directions on cookie dough package. Remove from oven and immediately push a peanut butter cup into each cookie. Let cool and eat!

  9. I hope you feel better soon! If you were given more than 1 puffer, remember to use Ventolin first since it opens up the throat... And if you were given another steroid puffer like Flovent, rinse your mouth with water afterwards so the steroid particles don't get struck in there!

    I bake sugar cookies. It's the easiest, I think. You rarely go wrong with that as long as you have a good recipe and cookie cutter. I used to bake them for my bf and friends. Now I do it to keep my 2 kids happy. :)

    I am from Canada!

    1. Excellent advice, May. I have asthma so I use inhalers on a regular basis. The mouth washing lesson is one I learned a long time ago. Amazing how many people don't do that though.

  10. I don't really bake, but I do help out whoever is doing the cooking and baking for the big dinner. Feel better soon, PJ.


  11. I'm so sorry you're sick. Just rest and try to let go of all that stuff you won't be able to do right now. Get yourself well for Christmas!

    I enjoyed your column. Baking, especially around the holidays, is such a great family activity. My grown daughter and I baked cookies yesterday. A few days ago, my sister and I decorated sugar cookies with the two five-year-old grandkids. One of my favorites (which I haven't yet made this Christmas season) is listed below. Merry Christmas, all.

    Milky Way Cake
    (from the Aug. 1977 issue of “Southern Living” magazine)

    15 ounces of Milky Way candy bars, 1 tsp. vanilla, ½ cup melted butter, ½ tsp. soda, ½ cup softened butter, 1¼ cups buttermilk, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, 4 eggs, 1 cup chopped pecans

    Combine candy bars and melted butter in a saucepan. Melt slowly over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool. Cream sugar and softened butter till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine buttermilk and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with flour, beating well after each addition. Stir in candy mixture and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 10” tube or bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 80 minutes. Let cool in pan for one hour, then remove and frost.

    2 ½ cups sugar, 6 ounces of semi-sweet choc. chips, 1 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup marshmallow cream, ½ cup melted butter, extra milk, as needed

    Combine sugar, evaporated milk and melted butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat till a small amount dropped in cold water forms a soft ball. Remove from heat; add chocolate and marshmallow cream, stirring till melted. Cool slightly. If necessary, add a small amount of milk to make spreading consistency. Frost cake.


    1. Thanks, LSUReader. I'm working on that getting better part!

      I've found many of my all-time favorite recipes in the pages of Southern Living. That cake looks delicious!

  12. Your grandmother's recipes look good! No on in my family is known for baking, but I make Toll House cookies with an added 1/3 cup of mini choc chips &1/3 cup of butterscotch chips. No one complains!

  13. I'm not great at baking. I enjoy it, but I'm not great ;-)
    Here's a short recipe that's easy and yummy.

    Toll House Crackers.
    Peanut butter.
    Block of milk chocolate.

    Make peanut butter crackers.
    Melt chocolate in microwave.
    Cover peanut butter crackers in melted chocolate.
    Let refrigerate.
    Become addicted.

    Happy Holidays!

  14. What a bummer....I feel for you and anyone that is under the weather during Christmas.
    With family and friends visiting, all the shopping that has to be done and of course the baking....there's just no time for any cooties!
    Sending you feel better (((hugs)))!!!
    My mom was not a baker at all, she could cook up a storm, but baking was a big no-no for her.
    I basically taught myself as I got to be in my late 20's....mainly to make hubby happy and to statisfy my sweet tooth.
    Now, with friends, who have loads of recipes, we all share and give each other helpful hints. Plus, can we talk the hours away!! LOL!!

    Cookies are always popular in our house, can't seem to eat enough of those goodies! *^-^*
    Here's one popular cookie that never last at all, always the first to go.
    Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies.

    1 c. Butter softened.
    2/3 c. sugar
    1/2 tsp almond extract
    2 c. all purpose flour
    1/2 c. seedless raspberry jam

    GLAZE--- 1/3 c. confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1 tsp. water

    In a large bowl, cream butter sugar and extract until light and fluffy. Add flour & mix well. Chill for one hour.
    Roll into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indention in the center of each, fill with 1/4 tsp. jam. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-17 min. or until edges are lightly brown. Remove to wire racks & cool completely. For glaze, in small bowl combine the confectioners sugar, extract & water......drizzle over cookies.

    1. Forgot to mention....U.S. ...Merry Christmas!!!

  15. I'm not doing any baking this year. I did just make a spiral-cut glazed ham today! I'm not that good at baking simply because I haven't done that much of it. However, one of my favorite "recipes" is from Pillsbury -- the rolls of cookies that you just cut or break and bake... :) Actually, I do love to make no-bake cookies. Here's the recipe I use:

    2 cups sugar
    4 tablespoons cocoa
    1 stick butter
    1/2 cup milk
    1 cup peanut butter
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    3 cups oatmeal
    Waxed paper
    In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.

  16. I'm not baking this Christmas because besides not being a baker, it's just me and I don't have room in my diet for those goodies. I learned to bake in home economics in school, and I do know how, I just don't. I haven't had anyone to pass along what knowledge I have, except to show my son how to make brownies and cookies. I don't have any good recipes to share, except a very easy candy recipe that turns out very well.
    Amy's Simple Buckeye Candies:
    • 10 oz. of peanut butter chips
    • 16 oz of vanilla cake frosting, from a can is fine
    • 12 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate
    Melt peanut butter chips in the microwave. Stir them into vanilla cake frosting. Form one-inch balls with the peanut butter/vanilla candy mixture and dip into melted chocolate with a toothpick leaving only a small circle of candy visible at top, then set on wax paper.

  17. {{{PJ}}} It sounds like you got the bug that hit my family a couple of weeks ago. We're still recovering and on meds, which is one reason our Christmas is going to be low stress this year.

    I don't bake as much as I used to. My older sister has always been the baker in the family and she delivers goodies for the holidays even though she lives two states away. Lucky for me, she has to drive past my exit on her way to visit her in-laws on the other side of the state. ;)

    Thanks for posting all these lovely recipes, ladies.

    Marcy Shuler

    1. I forgot - I'm in the US. ;)


  18. Hope you feel better!!! Ummm... I don't and can't cook... in fact have been asked nicely by friends and family to stop trying! I don't know why I just can't! LOL... but I'm a great helper :) So my mom and I make her famous sugar cookies this time of year, which alas, I can't share the recipe.... it's a well guarded secret!

  19. Get better, I didn't bake but I love to eat it , us

  20. I don't do a lot of baking, but my Mother does. She makes the best slices, cookies & cakes. Her Christmas cakes & plum puddings are just amazing. My trouble with baking is that I want to eat it.

    Merry Christmas!!


  21. Poor PJ, I hope you get better soon- it's horrible being sick during the holidays. But on the bright side, you'll have time to catch up on some reading!! :-)

    I love to bake when I have time, but this year Christmas has snuck up on me and I just didn't have the time to make anything. There's always next year!

    Here's a delicious "Brownie Refrigerator Cake"

    1 box brownie mix
    1 extra large egg
    1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (softened)
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 (8 oz.) containers whipped topping
    1 (3 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
    1 (3 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding
    3 1/2 cups milk
    1 Hershey chocolate bar (shaved)

    Mix brownie mix according to directions. Add egg. Bake in brownie pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Put this mixture on top of the cooled brownies. Blend puddings and milk together and put this on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of whipped topping. Put chocolate shavings on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Enjoy, and Merry Christmas from Canada (International)!

  22. As my sister can attest to, I suck at generally everything in the kitchen but still I like food enough to keep trying even though they never come out right. I plan on trying the Chocolate Banana Triffle next.


    18 whole graham crackers (5x2") divided
    3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
    1 container (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
    1 pkg (3.4 oz) banana cream instant pudding
    1 cup milk
    1 lemon or 2 tbsp lemon juice
    4 large bananas

    (1.) Finely chop half of graham cracker and set aside. Coarsely crumble remaining crackers.
    (2.) For ganache, place chocolate morsels and 1.5 cups of whipped topping in bowl and microwave on high for 45-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring every 15 seconds. Combine pudding mix with milk and whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Fold in remaining whipped topping and set aside.
    (3.) Juice lemon or measure 2 tbsp. juice. Peel bananas and cut into 1.5" slices, add lemon juice and toss gently to coat. Set aside 12 slices for garnish.
    (4.) To assemble trifle, place half of the crumbled graham crackers over bottom of clear bowl. Place half of the bananas over the crackers, arranging some of the bananas against the sides of bowl and top with 1/3 of the ganache. (To get a good visual of the ganache layers, spoon ganache into resealable plastic food storage bag; secure with a chip clip. Trim corner of bag to allow ganache to flow through. Pipe around the inside edges of the bowl, then drizzle remaining ganache over the bananas.). Spread half the banana filling over ganache, spreading to edges. Repeat layers one time. Decorate with remaining ganache. Sprinkle top of trifle with chopped graham cracker. Arrange reserved banana slices around the edges of the trifle.

    Number of Servings: 16

    The pictures for this always looks so yum, I just hope I can make it somewhat decent....or at least taste decent!

    Get well soon, PJ! I've had bronchitis before and it's not fun at all, especially this time of the year. Sending positive vibes your way!


  23. I hope you feel better soon. My mother taught me to bake and I taught my daughter to bake. She will actually be doing some Christmas baking for me today since I am working and she is off. Happy Holidays to everyone. US

  24. Here is hoping you are feeling better soon. I taught myself to bake and I bake with my granddaughter; she loves to make the Christmas cookies with the special cookie sheets that I have. My aunt was a great cook and baker - she made all kinds of cookies and her biscotti were to die for. I have several of her recipes. I have been doing a lot of baking since I am retired and have to cut down to keep healthy and not gain weight - but that will be much easier when the holidays end.

  25. Me too forgot - U.S. and will try to pop back later with a recipe.

  26. I love the sound (and looks) of the baked goods in this blog. In fact, I'm copying some of the recipes. I usually bake 2 or 3 kinds of cookies each year along with Crixpix mix (like Chex Mix but with Crispix cereal) and Ranch Oyster Crackers. This year, I found a recipe for a Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Bark that I made and was absolute delicious, so I'll share it here for you today:

    Chocolate Hazelnut Pretzel Bark

    1 cup Jiff Chocolate Hazelnut spread
    1 cup white chocolate baking chips
    2 Tbsp butter
    2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels, divided
    ¼ cup toffee baking bits

    1. LINE 15 x 10-inch pan with parchment paper or foil.
    2. COMBINE hazelnut spread, white baking chips and butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 45 to 50 seconds or until melted and smooth.
    3. STIR in 1 1/2 cups pretzels and toffee bits until evenly coated. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Press remaining pretzels into top. Chill 30 minutes or until firm.
    4. Break into pieces. Chill until ready to serve.

    I think this one is a keeper, but I think the next time I make it, I'll reduce the white chocolate chips by half and add half semi-sweet chips to add a bit of dimension to the flavor.

  27. Feel better quick.

    Am from the U.S. These recipes look yummy. Will have to copy them and give them a try.

  28. From the US These recipes sound awesome and I will have to try them. Got to get off of here I have pies to make.

  29. Wonderful post which has me so enticed. Thanks.

  30. From the U.S. I made a delectable Apple Cake which is devoured in no time. Thanks for your recipes.

  31. Ok, back with a recipe:

    Lemon Lush:
    2 c all purpose Flour
    1 cup butter, softened
    1 c sugar
    2 8oz pkgs cream cheese
    2 3.4 oz pkgs instant lemon pudding mix
    3 1/2 cup milk
    1 12 oz container of cool whip (I used heavy cream whipped instead)

    Preheat oven to 350. In a med bowl, combine flour and butter using a pastry cutter intil a ball forms. Press into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish.

    Bake for 25 mins in the preheated oven or til lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

    In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together til smooth and well blended.. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. In another bowl, whisk together the lemon pudding mix and milk for 3 to 5 mins. Spread over the cream cheese lyaer. Chill til set, then top with real whipped cream or the cool whip.

  32. Well, I don't do a lot of baking, but I learned from my mother and I'm now passing it on to my granddaughter. This year for Christmas, I'm baking a regular pecan pie and a sugar free pecan pie for my hubby who is diabetic. They are both super easy to do. Thanks for the giveaway and Merry Christmas everyone. I am in the US.

    mlawson17 at Hotmail dot com

  33. My M-I-L was an excellent cook. She taught me how to use yeast and make yeast rolls and coffee cakes, hmade cheese strudel and Hungarian goulash.
    Spritz cookies were my favorite!
    I have taught all 4 of my children her secrets and tricks!

    1. This cookie recipe is from a Quick Cooking a Taste of Home magazine(Christina Burbage)


      1 1/4 cup softened butter (no substitutes)
      2 cups of sugar
      2 eggs
      2 tsps vanilla
      2 cups flour
      3/4 cup cocoa
      1 tsp Baking soda
      1/2 tsp salt
      32 round thin chocolate covered mint patties

      In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each. Beat in vanilla.

      Combine the flour, cocoa,baking soda soda, and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture until well combined.

      Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350* for 8-9 minutes or until puffy and tops are cracked. 325* if your oven is hot.

      Invert 1/2 of the cookies onto a wire rack, top with a mint cookie then top with another cookie. Press lightly to sea. l Cool.


  34. Dont do much baking, sometimes cupcakes or a cake from a mix. Will stop back with a fav recipe that I do love.

    Natalie's Mama

  35. Figured would do it now before involved in rest of holiday.

    Simple Lemon Bundt Cake
    1 pkg 18 oz or so lemon cake mix
    1 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    4 eggs
    1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated soda (I even used lemon selzer)

    Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 10 inch bundt pan.

    In large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix, then stir in oil. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in soda.

    Pour batter into prepped pan. Bake in preheated oven for 35 mins or til a toothpick comes out clean from center of cake. Allow to cool.

    Natalie's Mama

  36. Back with my recipe. (US here).
    Marscapone Cream Filling
    (goes wonderful in your favorite homemade chocolate frosted chocolate cups - makes enuf filling for 12 cupcakes.

    1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
    1 small container of marscapone cheese or 4 oz whipped cream cheese
    1 tsp vanilla
    1-2 heaping tbs sugar

    Mix ingredients in a bowl with a hand mixer, 1/2 pint whipping cream, 4 oz marscapone or whipped cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix until very stiff. Spoon into qt. size plastic storage bag, cut off the tip and pipe into the center of cupcakes, piping it up about an inch above the frosting.


    Helen L.

  37. PJ, hope your well enough to enjoy celebrating tomorrow.

    Ooh, my mouth is watering reading all these recipes, have to pass some along to my baker sisters, especially that pound cake, PJ. The lemon lush is another favorite, one of my grandmother's finds some years back. Me, I haven't baked since I was a young kid, not much of a cook as I got older and started working, so lucky to have two of my sisters who love to bake and share all their goodies - my favorite cookies Chinese Chews and Spritz butter cookies.

  38. My mom, both my grandmothers, and one of my aunts taught me to cook. I have always enjoyed it and take every opportunity I can to attend classes and demonstrations. My husband is also a good cook. We started our children cooking early on and they all have turned out to be good cooks. Our son was enrolled in a Junior Chef series of classes when he was 4. Our grandson is 15 and has been experimenting with cooking. Our oldest daughter has a 2 year old and has her helping in the kitchen already. When I was a Girl and Boy Scout leader, I made sure we did lots of cooking and even some cake decorating. I can't believe how many young adults can't fix a meal unless they can throw it in the microwave.
    Everyone will be contributing to our Christmas dinner. Things have been crazy this year and I haven't been able to do the baking I usually do. Have missed it.

  39. What great looking recipes. I am certainly going to have to copy some of them. Will have to rememeber to get back here to share one of my recipes. I learned to bake and cook from my mom and I make cookies with my grandchildren. Happy New Year to everyone. We had a great Christmas and hope everyone else did as well.

    Patty B 43

  40. Natalie's Mama here again - sorry I forgot to say that I am from the U.S.A.

  41. My MIL was my mentor. She taught me how to make several recipes with yeast including apple cake and dinner rolls. She tried to teach me how to make the extremely thin strudel dough but I could never replicate it. Finally she passed on her Spritz cookie recipe.

    Here it is:
    Spritz Cookies

    3/4 lb butter (no substitutes, softened)
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla OR 1 pkg of vanilla sugar
    3 cups flour if too soft add small amount of flour
    1/2 cup ground almonds (peeled) OR 1/4 tsp of almond extract ( this stuff is strong)

    Blend together butter sugar and vanilla
    Knead in flour and almonds

    Place in cookie press, alternate designs
    Place on slightly greased cookie sheet
    Bake at 325* 15-20 minutes until light golden brown
    Watch towards the end of baking so they don't burn