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.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream


Here’s a different recipe for ice cream – with brown sugar in the ice cream base and caramelized pecans stirred in.  The pecans are easy to make in a non-stick skillet; just be sure you don’t let it burn.  I simply broke my pecans into quarters or so.  You can make them early in the day or the day before.  We liked the smaller amount of brown sugar, and whole milk instead of half and half in the ice cream mixture – it depends on your taste.
Any way you make this recipe it is delicious!
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
     ½        Cup  Pecans -- coarsely chopped
     ¼        Cup  Sugar
  1            Tablespoon  Butter
  2            Cups  Half and Half -- or whole milk
     ¾ -1   Cup  Brown Sugar -- packed (6-8 ounces)
     ½       Tablespoon  Vanilla Extract
  2           Cups  Heavy Cream
Pinch     Salt (My suggestion)
Pecans: In a heavy 8" skillet, heat butter and sugar over medium high heat for 4 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a rich brown color, stirring constantly.  Add pecan halves, stir until coated.  Remove from heat.
Spread nuts on a buttered baking sheet or foil; separate clusters and cool. Break clusters into small chunks.
Ice Cream:  In a large bowl, combine half and half, brown sugar and vanilla; stir until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the whipping cream.  Chill.  Freeze in a 2 quart ice cream freezer.  Stir in pecan mixture.  Ripen 4 hours.
  "BH&G Test Kitchen Favorites”
  "1 1/4 Quarts"
2014 Cost:  $3.66 for about 8 servings

Raspberry Almond Tassies


  Raspberries and almonds are among my favorite flavors and foods so this was a easy choice for me to bake.  The Better Homes and Garden’s Test Kitchen Favorites uses these two flavors in Raspberry Almond Tassies. With a butter crust, which rolled out beautifully after chilling, Raspberry All Fruit preserves and ground almonds make up the filling. They are quite easy to make, just a little time fussing with them. I was surprised how easily the dough handled. I did get 24 tassies instead of the 18 it stated. A nice bonus.
  Do use the amount of the jam called for in each tassie. I had a few that I got too much jam in and it boiled up on the sides.
Raspberry - Almond Tassies
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
4 ½ teaspoons seedless raspberry jam
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
⅔ cup finely ground almonds
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 slightly beaten egg
  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. With a fork, stir in the cold water one tablespoon at a time until all flour is moistened and the ball stays together. Add a little more water if necessary. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut circles with a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter. Ease into the cups of a ungreased 1 ¾ inch muffin cups.
Spoon ¼ teaspoon jam into the bottom of each cup. No more than ¼ teaspoon.
  In mixer bowl, beat sugar and softened butter till creamy. Beat in the egg, add the almond flavoring and ground almonds. Stir until well mixed.
  Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into each cup on top of raspberry jam. Bake in 400° oven for 23 minutes or until brown on top. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Homemade Beef and Noodles


We never had a large family meal at my mother-in-law’s without beef and homemade noodles, unless we had chicken and homemade noodles.  The first time I made them for a crowd, my sister-in-law Dixie helped me make them using her grandmother’s recipe – we made a large enamel dish pan full, and they all disappeared!  The only way to serve this country dish is over mashed potatoes.  Better Homes and Gardens (of course, headquartered in Iowa) says this is one of the straightest paths to comfort food heaven.  I never ate these growing up in Minnesota or Texas, and I don’t know if it’s just an Iowa thing or not, but everyone here loves them.  They are usually at every pot luck dinner.
Use good homemade broth or dilute 2 cans of consomm√© to make the 3 cups of water.  You may need additional liquid when you add the noodles.  When I make mashed potatoes for this, I keep them a little stiffer so they don’t get runny under the gravy.
I usually make my own noodles, but I followed the recipe here and used Reames regular frozen noodles.  They cost about 5 times what I can make them for, and I freeze my own too, so these are probably the last I will buy.  Reames noodles originated in Iowa in 1952, and I expect most women here use either purchased frozen or dry homemade-style noodles nowadays, although my husband’s family members still make their own fresh ones.
 Beef and Noodles
  1         Pound  Chuck Roast -- or round steak
     ¼     Cup  Flour, All-purpose
  1         Tablespoon  Cooking Oil
     ½     Cup  Onion -- chopped
  2         Cloves  Garlic -- minced
  3         Cups  Beef Broth or consomm√©
  1         Teaspoon  Dried Basil -- crushed
     ¼     Teaspoon  Black Pepper
  8        Ounces  Frozen Homestyle Noodles
  2        Tablespoons  Fresh Parsley -- snipped
Trim fat from meat.  Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.  Coat meat with flour.  In a Dutch oven, brown half of the coated meat in hot oil.  Remove from saucepan.  Brown the remaining meat with onion and garlic, adding more oil, if necessary.  Drain off the fat.  Return all the meat to the saucepan.
Stir in the broth, basil and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, covered, for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
Stir noodles into broth mixture.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cook, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until noodles are tender.  You may need to add hot broth or water to keep noodles from sticking.  Sprinkle with parsley.  4 Servings.
  "BH&G Test Kitchen Favorites”
Per Serving: 351 Calories; 21g Fat (55.4% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 1019mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat.

Family Favorites...Oven Barbecued Ribs



  Since I really, really do not like to BBQ outdoors, this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book Gold Souvenir Edition, has always been a favorite of mine. My family likes it quite well and I have been making it for  better than 40 years.
  It is a fairly mild sauce. If you are into hot, you could always add some hot peppers, chilies or even your own favorite sauce. However, this is quite a good sauce, easy to make and worth a try. The lemon slices and onion slices are what make it good.
  Also baking for a half hour first gets some of the fat drained off and the sauce doesn’t burn as easily. 
  We like it with french fries which I do in my electric frying pan. Saves getting out the deep fryer for just a small amount and none of us like them as well baked in the oven.
I do not make them often, too much oil and salt, but good for a treat.
Oven Barbecued Ribs
3 to 4 pounds spare or loin back ribs (I use boneless ribs, more meat, less mess)
1 lemon thinly sliced
1 large onion thinly sliced
Basting Sauce
1 cup catsup
⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
2 dashes Tabasco Sauce
  Salt ribs; place in shallow roasting pan, meaty side up. Roast at 450°F about 30 minutes. Drain excess fat from pan. Top each piece of ribs with a slice of lemon and a slice of onion.
  Make Basting Sauce; Combine remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.Pour over ribs.
Lower temperature to 350°F; Bake till well done, about 1 ½ hours. If sauce gets too thick, add more water.
Makes 4 servings

Braised Chicken Thighs, Pancetta and Sherry


Ready to Serve
  When you have 4 boneless chicken thighs and some Iowa Pancetta, thanks Sue, and not a recipe that was really what you wanted, this is the result. I took two recipes one from the internet and one from a Fine Cooking magazine and came up with my own variation on braised chicken thighs. 
  Chicken thighs hold up better to braising than breasts and are usually cheaper to buy. Also, the dark meat goes well with the Sherry and Pancetta, onion mix.
  This took very little time and the result was very good. So here is my recipe for chicken thighs braised in Sherry.
Before sauce has cooked down
Braised Chicken Thighs with Pancetta and Sherry
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 ounces of Pancetta (or bacon) chopped
¼ of a medium onion diced or two diced shallots
½ cup chicken broth
¼   cup Sherry (or all chicken broth)
  In a medium skillet or size to hold your chicken, heat a small amount of oil. When hot add the diced Pancetta and saute till brown and crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain while you saute the onions till limp and browned. 
  If necessary add a little oil and lightly flour chicken thighs and brown on both sides. If they start to unroll let them and lay them out flat to cook faster. When brown remove from pan and deglaze with the chicken broth. Add everything back to pan, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes adding more broth if needed. Add the Sherry if  using and cook another 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
  Serve with the sauce from the pan on top of each thigh. Good with rice or noodles.

Classic Rich Bread


I bake bread regularly, and this is an old recipe from the "Red Star Yeast Centennial Bread Sampler 1981" that I have been making probably since the book came out.  It makes a nice, golden, fine-grained sandwich loaf that’s perfect for toast.  It's really just a "good white bread".  
When you can get farm eggs, like we do from my husband’s brother and sister-in-law Don and Bonnie, this bread is even better.   The directions for mixing are mine, not the original recipe.  If you use regular dry yeast, rising times are longer.  
             
Classic Rich Bread
  5 1/2    Cups  Bread Flour
  3           Teaspoons  Instant Yeast
     1/2    cup  Sugar
  1           Teaspoon  Salt
  1           cup  Whole Milk
     1/2    Cup  Water
     1/2    cup  Butter, softened
  2           Large  Eggs
Heat water to 120°-125° (I use my microwave).  Place flour (minus 1 cup), butter, sugar, salt, eggs and yeast in mixer bowl.  Using paddle attachment, turn on mixer to slow and add water.   Let mix 2 minutes.  Change to dough hook, add remaining flour and knead 6 minutes or knead by hand 8 minutes.  Let rise in warm place in covered mixer bowl 20 minutes.  Shape into 2 loaves, about 1# 13 oz. each, let rise in greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2" pans until center of loaf rounds above the rim of the pan about 1 inch, while preheating oven to 375 °.  Bake 25-30 minutes.
2014 Cost: $1.81 for the recipe or 91¢ per loaf


Join us at the Homestead Barn Hop!

Chicken Imperial

I love the photo index in the "Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook" – the recipe photo for this recipe caught my eye.  It’s beautiful, delicious and oh so tender.  I flatten my chicken breasts a little, and then the cooking time is about 10 minutes total.  This is a great dish for Sunday dinner.
                             Chicken Imperial
  8         Chicken Breast Halves -- boneless, skinless
     1/4   Cup  Flour, All-purpose -- for dredging
     1/2   Cup  Butter
  1         Pound  Mushrooms -- quartered
  1         Tablespoon  Onion -- minced
  1         Cup  Heavy Cream
     1/4   Cup  Dry Sherry
  1 1/2   Teaspoons  Salt
     1/8   Teaspoon  Pepper
  1         Tablespoon  Flour, All-purpose
  2         Tablespoons  Water
On waxed paper, coat chicken breasts with flour, shake off excess.  In 12 inch skillet over medium heat, in hot butter, cook chicken, a few pieces at a time, until lightly browned on all sides.  Set aside.
In drippings in skillet over medium heat, cook mushrooms and onion 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in cream, sherry, salt and pepper and stir to blend well.  Return chicken to skillet.
Reduce heat to low; cover skillet and simmer 10-15 minutes or until chicken is fork tender.  Remove to a warm platter and keep warm.
In a cup, blend 1 tablespoon flour with water.  Gradually add to pan liquid, stirring constantly.
To serve, spoon sauce over chicken.
8 Servings
Per Serving: 494 Calories; 36g Fat (67.1% calories from fat); 33g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 165mg Cholesterol; 623mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 4 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 1/2 Fat.