Monday, May 23, 2016

Fluffy Fan Rolls


I made a pea salad recipe for March, only not to like the taste of the finished salad. Since I only post what works for me- in other words it will work for anyone else- and tastes good, I did some research into pea salad recipes and came up with a couple I was going to try. Only, I got sidelined with planting my veggie garden and before I realized it the month of March, along with April, was gone. I determined to get a Mother’s Day recipe to post.

After dithering over a couple of recipes while the days in May few by- between working outside, keeping up with my growing ducks, and then getting some baby chicks as well- Mother’s Day came and went, although I felt quite motherly with all my farm animals. Right after Mother’s Day, I tried the Fluffy Fan Roll recipe and loved the buttery taste and texture- along with my fellows, who gobbled them up at top speed- but wasn’t satisfied with how they looked. A second time around and I finally had the rolls looking like they were supposed to.

While these Fluffy Fan Rolls are not a real quick and easy recipe (see second paragraph) they are something fun to do in the kitchen and look quite elegant to serve.  You can make your own bread/roll recipe or thaw up a frozen bread loaf to make the Fluffy Fan Rolls.  Time to do the Fluffy Fan Roll will vary as the dough needs to rise and double, but once they are in the pan you can let them sit while you do other stuff until up in the afternoon or suppertime.  This buttery Fluffy Fan Roll recipe makes twelve dinner rolls.


1 frozen bread dough roll or enough dough to make a loaf

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough real thin in a rectangle shape about fourteen inches wide by twelve. Butter the top of the dough.  Using a sharp knife cut seven strips two inches wide.  Layer all the stripes of dough on top of the end strip.  Then cut one inch pieces up the strip until you have twelve.  Place each inch layer in a greased roll/muffin pan lengthwise.  Spray cooking oil over the dough and cover. Let sit and rise until doubled. Bake at 350º for twenty minutes until lightly browned.  Serve warm.

Tip: To keep freshly baked bread or rolls soft: remove from pan and cover with a kitchen towel as soon as they are out of the oven until ready to serve!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cheesy Spoon Bread


In my parent’s day spooning meant you were courting; an old fashion slang word for kissing and cuddling.  The word spooning originated from an old custom when houses were heated only by a wood-stove and wooden furniture was the norm.  The bed was considered the warmest place in the house so it was practical for a courting couple to spoon or bundle fully clothed in a bed.  Old order Amish and Mennonites still consider spooning a practical purpose to give young unmarried couples a chance to be “close” without being sexual.  Today spooning is considered a form of affection between a couple where they lay front to back fitting together like spoons in silverware chest or kitchen drawer. 

Spoon bread is believed to be of Native American origin from the Indian porridge called suppone or suppawn, although today’s version of spoon bread with butter, milk, and eggs came more after the civil war.  The first printed recipe for spoon bread appeared in a cookbook by Sarah Rutledge in 1847 and became popular as a Southern belle in the South. Even though spoon bread is named “bread” it is closer in consistency and taste to a savory pudding served by the spoonful.  Kentucky has a yearly Spoon Bread festival.

There are many variations to spoon bread.  My Cheesy Spoon Bread is like the traditional Southern cornmeal pudding and goes with anything. This Cheesy Spoon Bread has a soft, creamy, velvet-like texture that can be used in the place of bread or cornmeal.  It was an instant hit with my fellows and the perfect dish for your valentine.   Best of all the Cheesy Spoon Bread is easy and quick to make. This recipe serves six to eight.


1 box (8 ½ oz) corn muffin mix
1 can (15 oz) cream corn
1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c sour cream
2 eggs
1 small onion minced
½ stick butter melted
Black pepper

Mix together all the ingredients and pour into greased 9-inch baking dish or iron skillet.  Bake at 350º for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving!

Tip:  You can substitute yogurt in place of sour cream in any recipe to get the same consistency!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Baked Bean Soup


When the chill North winds starts to blow over the mountains here in Tennessee bringing frosty mornings as the leaves change color and begin to fall, my taste buds always start yearning for the comfort of warm homemade soup.  Autumn is a busy time of the year finishing harvesting the last of the fresh veggies to put up and store, cleaning out garden beds, and layering straw in the hen-house. I also switch over to flannel sheets, washing, and hanging out all the bed comforters on the line during the remaining warm sunny days. Like the squirrels outside who scamper around storing up the last of the acorns, I find myself racing to complete my list of chores inside and out while the weather lasts before the holidays begin. Often dropping and fluctuating temperatures flare up my bones without warning sidelining me beside the cozy warmth of my wood-stove for a day. This time of the year I cannot afford spending hours in my kitchen.  Instead I fall back on popping something in the oven while a kettle of soup simmers on the stove as I scurry about completing another task.

So when I spotted a recipe of Baked Bean Soup it jumped right out at me.  Baked beans are always a favorite of my husband and bring back the memory of hot summer cookout days when our children were small.  The Baked Bean Soup is filling- especially with a slice of homemade bread or toast- and yet quick to prepare. Also my Baked Bean Soup is something you can put in a Crock-pot and let simmer all day.  This recipe makes around thirty servings and is great the second time around.


5 (16 oz) cans of pork & beans
1 lb hamburger
1 (14.5 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 small onion chopped
1 c catsup
¼ c syrup
¼ c bacon bits
1 tb mustard

Brown the hamburger and onion.  Puree three cans of pork & beans and put all of the beans and tomato sauce with the hamburger.  Stir in the catsup, syrup, bacon bits, and mustard. Bring to a boil and let simmer for fifteen minutes. Garnish with bacon bits and serve!

Tip: You can also freeze any leftover soup as well.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Grape Sherbet


During the hot and humid (and often very dry) days of August garden work slows down outside but continues inside with canning.  It is while working over a hot stove and keeping jars filled to can that I am most thankful for central air.  Years ago when I was younger and my children small we had a large window unit to try and combat the summer heat that never could keep up with the canning season.  By the end of the day the last thing I wanted to do was cook supper after working at the sweltering stove all day so I’d often pack sandwiches and our family would head down to the nearby park to try and cool off.  Sometimes I would grill hot dogs or hamburgers for supper on our small grill in the front lawn under the largest tree- before grilling outdoors became fashionable- just to get out of the hot kitchen. Today with central air, I’ll take a break from canning in the afternoon indoors and enjoy an ice cream cone- something the younger generation takes for granted.  Growing up ice cream cones and homemade ice cream was a rare treat.

I’ve always loved the taste of sherbet fascinated by its rainbow array of colors and flavors.  To my dismay this summer I noticed that sherbet was nowhere to be found in the ice cream frozen section of the stores.  I don’t know if the demand for sherbet has decreased until the managers have decided not to stock it anymore or what. So I was quite delighted while organizing my pile of recipes to try one hot afternoon to discover an article and recipe on how to make sherbet. I couldn’t believe how simple sherbet is to prepare.  All it takes is fruit juice and a simple syrup water combination that you freeze together. I had just harvested and made grape juice earlier in the week and had some juice left over after make grape jelly.  Even though grape juice wasn’t listed in the fruits (I can’t imagine how it was left out considering all the fruits you’d first think of like strawberry, blueberry, orange etc they had grapefruit, watermelon, and even tea) I decide to make some Grape Sherbet.  My Grape Sherbet was absolutely delicious and turned out perfect.  Talk about a classy desert! Needless to say I am hooked on making sherbet.


2 c grape juice or any other fruit you desire that is pureed and chilled
2 c simple sugar syrup

Combine the juice and syrup together with a Wisk. To make sure the mixture has the right density drop an egg into the mixture (I washed the egg first) and submerge it completely.  If the egg floats to the top with only part of the shell showing about the size of a quarter the mixture is ready to freeze.  If the egg doesn’t float add more sugar syrup.  If too much egg is exposed add more juice.  Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze like you would ice cream.  The finished sherbet should be smooth and thick. Freeze 2 hrs or overnight before serving.

Tip:  To make a simple sugar syrup bring to a boil equal amounts of water and sugar (like 2 c of sugar and 2c of water) and then let cool!

Saturday, July 11, 2015



The older a person gets the more they become aware of how much they act and sound like their parents.  Often the things that drove us crazy about our mother or father, or embarrassed us as a teenager until we’d say, “I’m never going to do that,” comes back to haunt us in our adulthood when we find ourselves doing and saying the very thing we were positive we’d never do. I’ve discovered as a grandmother that the mannerism and habits we have inherited bring fond memories to cherish. One of my dad’s Dutch sayings when something went wrong or he got exasperated at something was- with a shake of his head, “If that isn’t the berries.”  Without realizing it (only to be brought to my attention by my one of the family members in amusement) I’ve found myself saying, “If that isn’t the berries,” myself.  Life has a way of bringing things in a full circle.  Hopefully one of these days my grand-kids will continue to carry on our Dutch family’s sayings.

This year for the 4th of July celebration, I made a special dessert I discovered while going through my pile of recipes to try and tweaked that was an instant hit with my family.  The month of July is always hot and humid and the last thing one wants to do is spend hours in the kitchen baking and cooking.  My luscious Fourth of July No-bake Cheesecake is a perfect dessert for summer with its light, cool, creamy, and fruity texture.  The colorful red, white, and blue Fourth of July No-bake Cheesecake will add the finale to your festivities all summer long. You can mix match fresh fruit to the Fourth of July No-bake Cheesecake. And finally, what cook can resist a no-fail dessert that only takes around fifteen minutes to prepare?


12 graham crackers crumbled (about 2 c)
4 pkg cream cheese
1 c sugar
1 (8 oz) cool whip
1 c fresh strawberries sliced
1 c blueberries

Put the crumbled graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and cool whip until smooth. Fold in the strawberries and blueberries leaving a few for garnishing.  Pour over the graham cracker layer and chill for 4-6 hours until firm. Serves sixteen.

Tip:  Here is an excellent recipe for fruit toppings to use in multiple desserts. 2 c of fresh fruit, (blueberries, raspberries, etc.) ½ c sugar, 2 tb cornstarch, and 1 c water. Bring to a boil the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Add the fruit and cook until thickened and