Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
We're sisters who like to cook and bake, talk cooking and baking, and share recipes and kitchen wisdom.

Family Favorites...Orange Cheese Cookies

Crisp, citrusy, not too sweet, this recipe from "Farm Journal Homemade Cookies" is a big hit at our house.  These cookies are perfect with tea or coffee, and are a relief from overly rich holiday cookies.  We like these in the summer, too, with iced tea.  A perfect use for this RS Germany cookie plate.
Preheat your oven while you mix these, and then bake them without chilling.  Dough that is too cold doesn’t press out very well.  You can use whatever shape you like, although we like them the way the recipe calls for, as ridged bars. These can be lightly glazed with thin powdered sugar frosting if desired.  Be sure to grate your orange peel finely so it doesn’t clog up your press - take short strokes on your orange.  Like all shortbread-type cookies, these are best if left to ripen a day.  They keep well.
I purchased my current cookie press at our church thrift shop for $2 – it was complete with box and recipe book!  I haven’t found any press that works better than the ‘50’s Mirro cookie press.  Kids enjoy pressing out cookies too, and you get a fancy cookie that you can put right on the cookie sheet and bake.  This is one place where parchment paper doesn’t work well, the cookies won’t stay in place as you press them out.  Remember, you can scoop any mistakes back into the press and do them again.
                          Orange Cheese Cookies
  1        Cup  Butter, room temperature
  3        Ounces  Cream Cheese, room temperature
  1        Cup  Sugar -- 7 ounces
  1        Large  Egg
  1        Tablespoon  Grated Orange Peel
  1        Tablespoon  Orange Juice
  2 ½    Cups  Sifted All Purpose Flour -- 10 ounces
  1        Teaspoon  Baking Powder
            Dash  Salt
  • Combine butter and cream cheese; beat until light.  gradually add sugar, eating until mixture is fluffy.  Beat in egg, orange peel and juice to blend thoroughly.
  • Stir together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture, blending well.
  • Put plate with narrow slit in cookie press.  Put a fourth of the dough into press at a time and press rows of strips of dough about 1" apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  With a knife, mark strips into 2" lengths.
  • Bake at 375° for 8 to 10 minutes, until very delicately browned.  Immediately cut strips into pieces on knife marks.
  • Remove cookies and cool on racks.

6 dozen     2014 Cost:  $2.25 or 4¢ per cookie.
Per Serving: 54 Calories; 3g Fat (50.6% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 37mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Cornmeal Parmesan Cod Fillets

Here’s a delicious, low calorie way to have breaded fish.  You can also use flounder or sole, and bake a little less time (as they are usually thinner.)  I quickly stir-fried some vegetables while the fish was in the oven.                    
Cornmeal Parmesan Cod Fillets
     ¼     Cup  Flour
     ¼     Cup  Cornmeal
  1        Teaspoon  Salt
     ½    Teaspoon  Paprika
     ½    Teaspoon  Pepper
  2        Large  Egg  Whites
  2        Tablespoons  Skim Milk
  4        4-6 Ounce  Cod Fillets
  1        Tablespoon  Grated Parmesan Cheese
Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, paprika and pepper in a shallow bowl or plate.
In another shallow bowl, beat egg whites and milk.  Coat fish with cornmeal mixture, dip in egg white mixture, coat again with cornmeal mixture.
In a shallow baking pan like a 15 x 10 x 1" pan, sprayed with pan coating (I like to use nonstick foil), arrange fish in a single layer.  Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake uncovered, at 425° for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
4 Servings
Per Serving: 171 Calories; 1g Fat (7.7% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 50mg Cholesterol; 649mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat.

Make it Yourself...Chiffon Cake

Here's another cake that uses egg whites as part of the leavening.  Unlike angel food cake, it uses both the yolks and whites of the egg, and it is a little more moist.
I had to try the chiffon cake recipe in “Betty Crocker Cooking for Two" because it made a smaller cake.  Myrna has made this same recipe several times, so I got my cake-baking advice from her.  She recommended the square pan, and that’s what I preferred as I wanted to serve it with berries and cream.  I didn’t have any wood spring clothes pins, so I balanced the pan, upside down, on some jar lids on a rack.  Remember to use a spotlessly clean bowl and beater for whipping the egg whites very stiff, and carefully fold in the batter to keep the cake from deflating.  
We loved this cake…it is light, tender and not too sweet.  It’s also versatile; serve it with sliced and filled with berries and cream as we did, or make a custard sauce or frost or glaze it.  Perfect!
                           Chiffon Cake
  1       cup Sifted cake flour -- plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces)
     ¾   cup sugar
  1 ½   teaspoons baking powder
     ½   teaspoon salt
     ¼   cup salad oil
  2       large egg yolks -- unbeaten
     ¼   cup cold water -- plus 2 tablespoons
  1       teaspoon vanilla extract
  1       teaspoon grated lemon peel
     ½   cup egg whites  (about 4 eggs)
     ¼   teaspoon cream of tartar
Set out 9 x 5” loaf pan or 8” or 9" square pan.  DO NOT GREASE.
Preheat oven.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into bowl.  Make a "well" and add in order: oil, egg yolks, water, vanilla, and lemon rind.  Beat with a spoon just until smooth.
Measure egg whites and cream of tartar into large mixing bowl.  Beat on high speed until whites form very stiff peaks (if you pull a spatula through the whites, they should stay separated).  Pour egg yolk mixture gradually over beaten whites, gently folding in with a rubber scraper, turning the bowl, just until blended. 
Pour into ungreased pan.  Bake loaf cake at 325° for 50-55 min; bake square cake at 350° for 30-35 min., until top springs back when lightly touched.
Invert, supporting pan on clip clothespins, until cool.

Five Vegetable Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw has many versions, though cabbage remains the main ingredient. This recipe is taken from New Recipes From Quilt Country. I modified it some for our families taste and the ingredients I had on hand. The basic idea here is to marinate the vegetables with salt before using. The slaw is to be made a day in advance so you must allow time for this. 
The salt draws off the moisture from the vegetables making for a crisper and not watery slaw. The scaled down version I made serves 4 easily with some left over. It kept well and we had it with sandwiches the next day for lunch.
This makes a nice dressing that will please those who like a vinegar dressing and those who like a mayonnaise dressing.
Five Vegetable Slaw
4 cups shredded cabbage (shredding your own will give you fresher cabbage)
½ small onion or to taste
1 rib of celery finely sliced
¼ of a medium green pepper, sliced in fine strips
¼ of a medium red pepper, sliced in fine strips
1 medium carrot, shredded
⅛ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup mayonnaise
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon celery seed
½ teaspoon mustard seed
¾ to 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (I used wine vinegar)
  In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetables and salt and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. The salt will draw off the moisture so there will be some liquid to drain.
  Prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, sugar, celery and mustard seeds, and vinegar; blend well. Add the dressing to the drained vegetables and cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
If you like a very dry Cole Slaw drain again before serving.

Tortellini Spinach Casserole

My husband thought this recipe was an excellent way to use our fall spinach – I agree.  I didn’t need 12 servings, so I made mine in individual casseroles.  If you don’t have brick cheese, any similar cheese, like Gruyere or Fontina would be good.   Add an easy salad, fruit for dessert, done.                   
Tortellini Spinach Casserole
  20            Ounces  Cheese Tortellini -- frozen
  1              Pound  Fresh Mushrooms -- sliced
  1             Teaspoon  Garlic Powder
     1/4      Teaspoon  Onion Powder
     ¼         Teaspoon  Pepper
     ½         Cup  Butter -- divided
  12           Ounces  Evaporated Milk
  8             Ounces  Brick Cheese -- cubed
  30           Ounces  Frozen Chopped Spinach -- thawed and squeezed dry
  8             Ounces  Mozzarella Cheese
Cook tortellini according to package directions.
Meanwhile in a large skillet or wok, saute the mushrooms, garlic and onion powder and pepper in 1/4 cu butter until the mushrooms are tender.  Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, combine the milk and remaining butter.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat; stir in brick cheese.  Cook and stir until smooth. Drain the tortellini; place in a large bowl.  Stir in the mushroom mixture and spinach.  Add cheese sauce and stir to coat.
Transfer to a greased 3 quart baking dish (13 x 9") sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.  Cover and bake at 350° for 15 minutes.  Uncover, bake 5-10 minutes longer until heated through and the cheese is melted.
12 Servings
  "Taste of Home Winning Recipes "
Per Serving : 392 Calories; 23g Fat (52.2% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 96mg Cholesterol; 529mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 1/2 Fat.

Sunday in Iowa

Myrna thought we needed a photo of this great Farmall McCormick Deering f-22
parked beside highway 163 between Pella and Oskaloosa, Iowa

Family Favorites...Whole Wheat Mustard Buns

When my husband saw what I was making, his comment was “Good, now maybe we’ll have some good whole wheat buns!”  He’s right - I hadn’t found a whole wheat bun recipe I liked until this one. 
Talk about fast – using instant yeast, it took me less than 1 ½ hours from start to finish – about the time it takes to make batter-type rolls.  The dough was very easy to handle and shaped into buns easily.  I baked them on a jelly roll pan, using parchment paper.
This recipe from "Simply From Scratch" has become my  “new”  sandwich bun recipe - they taste great and had a very nice texture.    
Whole Wheat Mustard Buns
  2 1/2 Cups  Bread Flour -- 11 1/4 oz
  1        Cup  Whole Wheat Flour -- 4 oz
  1        Tablespoon  Sugar
  1        Teaspoon  Salt
  1        Package  Instant Yeast -- 2 teaspoons
  1        Tablespoon  Salad Oil
  1        Tablespoon  Prepared Mustard
  1        Large  Egg
     1/2 Cup  Whole Milk -- 120°
     1/2 Cup  Water -- 120°
  1        Egg -- beaten
Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl, except 1/2 cup bread flour.
Add mustard, oil and egg to mixture.  Add warm water and milk while mixing with paddle attachment.  Mix 2 minutes.
Add remaining flour gradually until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.  Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes.
Let rise, covered, in warm place 15 minutes.
Grease large cookie sheet.  (I used parchment paper on a jelly roll pan).  Divide dough into 9 pieces (about 3 ounces each).  Shape each piece into a ball; place on cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly.
Let rise in warm place until doubled, 20 t0 30 minutes.  Cover lightly with a sprayed sheet of waxed paper or a plastic cookie sheet cover.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 375°.  Carefully brush buns with beaten egg.  Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on wire rack. 
9 Buns
2011 Cost:  $1.37 or 16¢ per bun
Per Serving: 227 Calories; 4g Fat (15.9% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 49mg Cholesterol; 282mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Dorothy Lynch Style Salad Dressing

  Our local pizza and fried chicken place has a nice salad bar where they serve Dorothy Lynch Salad dressing.  I always get it; it’s very good.  I searched on the internet for a recipe and found this one in a multitude of locations.  We tried it and liked it a lot.  Even my husband likes it, and by making it myself, I can control the type of oil used, and it’s relatively low calorie for a full-fat dressing.  I used a little instant clear gel in place of the cornstarch and it worked OK too.  I mixed it with the sugar so it wouldn’t clump. 
 From the company website is the following info:  "Yes, there really and truly was a Dorothy Lynch. In the late 1940s, Dorothy and her husband ran the restaurant at the local Legion Club in St. Paul, Nebraska. This is where the original recipe for Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing was born. As the Legion Club members were introduced to this delicious recipe, the legend of Dorothy Lynch began to grow and the dressing fast became a "must-have" favorite. Stories of local people bringing their own bottle or jug to town to have it filled with "that delicious Dorothy Lynch salad dressing" were quite common."  The dressing is sold in stores today throughout the midwest.
Dorothy Lynch Style Salad Dressing
  1           Can  Condensed Tomato Soup -- 10.75 oz
  1           Cup  Salad Oil or Olive Oil
     3/4    Cup  Sugar
     1/2    Cup  Vinegar
  1           Teaspoon  Dry Mustard
  1           Teaspoon  Salt
  1           Teaspoon  Celery Seeds
     1/4     Teaspoon  Black Pepper -- coarsely ground
     1/8     Teaspoon  Garlic Powder
     1/4     Teaspoon  Cornstarch -- optional
Combine in a jar with lid.  For thicker dressing, stir in cornstarch.
Refrigerate overnight for best flavor
Cost: $1.99 for 24 ounces.
  "3 Cups"

Per Serving: 57 Calories; 5g Fat (71.7% calories from fat); trace Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 74mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.