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...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

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.

Flemish Carbonade

  This is a version of Flemish Carbonade.  Several years ago, our older sister Kay who lived most of her married life in Texas, gave me some Texas cookbooks. In one of them was a very simple version of Flemish Carbonade. While I am sure that American Test Kitchen has a different and more complicated version, this works quite well for us.
  Serve it with a lot of mashed potatoes or rice or noodles. I seem to do it more with the mashed potatoes. So here is my version of Inez’s Flemish Carbonade. Not fast, but easy to get together and will cook with out a lot of attention.
Inez’s Flemish Carbonade
1 pound of round steak (our butcher tenderized it)
3 medium onions sliced in rings
1 can or bottle dark beer
1 teaspoon butter
Salt and Pepper
Brown sugar to taste
  Cut round steak in 3 inch pieces. Brown in a small amount of oil. Remove the meat and add onions, stirring to brown. Remove and off of the heat, pour in the can of beer, stirring in the drippings from the pan. Add butter to beer mixture.
Put meat and onions in a casserole dish pour the beer mixture over. Add 1 or 2 bay leaves and a teaspoon dried thyme leaves. Cover and bake in a slow oven, 325° for 2 to 3 hours or until tender. About an hour before it is done, add a tablespoon or less of brown sugar. You want a sweet sour flavor.
  Served over mashed potatoes, rice or noodles, great cold weather food.

Sunday in Iowa

These barns and windmill are near Joetown, Iowa
Notice the barn quilt on the right

Family Favorites....Cherry-Streusel Muffins

I made these today as I had a jar of Maraschino Cherries to use. They are not regular muffins, but what I would call a coffee house muffin. More of a sweet treat. Very good however and quite easy to make. The cherries cut up well if you use a scissors instead of trying to chop them with a knife. Also be sure to put them on paper towels after they are chopped so they drain a little more. Too much liquid will spoil the recipe.
Cherry-Streusel Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped sliced almonds
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter
1 jar (10oz) maraschino cherries, drained ¼ cup juice reserved
1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
Heat oven to 400° F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking cups.
  In medium bowl, mix all topping ingredients, cut in the butter, using pastry blender, or two knives until crumbly. Set aside.
  Chop cherries; set aside on paper towel. (scissors work well.)
  In large bowl mix 1 ⅓ cups flour, the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. In small bowl, beat oil, reserved cherry juice, almond and vanilla extracts and eggs with a fork until blended. Stir the liquids into the flour mixture just until flour is moistened. Fold in cherries and almonds. Divide evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon of topping.
  Bake 19 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or cold.
Betty Crocker Soups and Breads