Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Family,Devil Dogs, and Beauty

March 8, 2010

When {Aunt} Laurene sent me a message that she had Grammie’s “Devil Dogs” recipe and would mail it to me, I didn’t really know what to expect. I don’t know that I have any recollection of ever having had one of these made for me. I also don’t think I ever had {Aunt} Margie’s Whoopi Pies. (Which are the classic referred to Swinimer recipes) I do remember chocolate dipped graham crackers with sprinkles….and I link that to {Aunt} Loretta’s wedding reception. I’m just not certain I went to her wedding reception?

Why are memories fleeting moments of clarity that leave a long trail of unanswered questions?

Did you know that baked goods can sense beauty? You didn’t? Oh, well apparently they can according to one of the women in the chapter I advise. That’s what she told her friend while we were making these and she had mastered the “squishing” of the cookies, apparently it had nothing to do with experience and everything to do with beauty.

Luckily, I had the perfect excuse to make these Devil Dogs when the chapter had a retreat and were asked to bring the desserts! We made so many delightful desserts but the Devil Dogs were certainly a highlight.

An extra special treat (for me!) was that I had someone else to help me take photo’s throughout the recipe. Here’s Ali, my photog for the night.

Now, Grammie’s recipe offers two alternatives for the shaping of these. The first is to do like we did and make them in rounds and “squish” the cookie dough so that it’s flat. The second is to use a cookie press. Now because I believe in full disclosure on this blog, I’m going to admit that it was out of complete laziness that I didn’t use the cookie press. Not only is my cookie press in my storage unit (the perils of living in less than 500 square feet) but the thought of getting said cookie press, cleaning it before and after cookie making, and returning it to storage, made my already burdened brain cringe. So I opted for the circle version which looks more like whoopi pies. They tasted no different, but the cookie press would make a BIG difference in production time, as you would be able to avoid processing through this:

Unless of course you have beauty on your side. In which case you will quickly master squishing the cookies.

In case you can’t tell from the above picture, the dough is very, very sticky. I mixed the dough exactly according to the instructions, and used my hands to mix the dough prior to adding the buttermilk. (And please note, the recipe says to use a glass cup dipped in flour, but it resulted in the same mess and we found sprinkling a bit of flour on top of the cookie and using your fingers left less of a mess. Again, Cookie Press = Easier)

After mixing this stiff dough with my hands, I put the dough back into the mixer and added the buttermilk to whip it all together. The end result of the cookie dough was a very moist, but thick dough. (And the fact that Grammie managed this recipe sans a Kitchen Aid mixer has left me in awe of her abilities!)

The frosting on the inside, is admittedly a bit tricky. It took two attempts to get it right, which was partially because I didn’t realize what was involved and left my friend (the beautiful one) in charge. A word of caution: It goes from soupy to toothpaste consistency in the blink of an eye. Make sure you are monitoring the pan very carefully in the first step. You will want to remove it from heat just when you think it is almost thick enough. Because of this misstep, which I thought could be fixed with some whisking, the first batch of frosting was absolutely disgusting. Because I didn’t want to have to make the frosting a third time, I substituted butter for the shortening because the first batch tasted like straight shortening. The butter worked fine, but it doesn’t whip up the same way that shortening would. For this reason, I plan on making them again with the shortening, but the butter worked just fine and resulted in very delicious Devil Dogs, none the less.

Devil Dogs

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1/2 C Shortening

1 1/2 C Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

1 tsp Vanilla

2 3/4 C Flour, sifted

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 C Cocoa

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, use hands if necessary. Add buttermilk and mix well. You may either drop from tablespoon and flatten with a glass dipped in flour (or fingers), or force through a cookie press using the lady finger tip. Bake in a 350* oven about 10 minutes. Put together, sandwich fashion with the following fillings:


1 1/2 Tbsp Flour

1 Tbsp Cornstarch

1/2 C Milk

Cook to thick paste (but not too thick!) then cool until very thick.

Then add:

1/4 C Shortening

1/2 C Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

Beat with electric mixer until very light and fluffy.


A deeper appreciation..

January 30, 2010

You can understand now why I felt the immediate need to type up this recipe. And why I had to do some “figuring”?

Stuffed Mushrooms

January 17, 2010

Does this look like the face of someone eating a bland stuffed mushroom?

I made these delightful stuffed mushrooms for the Madriz’s famous New Years Eve bash. And you know how it goes when you have a party to go to, everything seems to take much, much longer than you anticipated. Thank goodness this party didn’t start until 9:00 p.m. and I had plenty of time to finish the stuffed mushrooms. When Dad tasted the mushrooms fresh from the oven he claimed they were bland. Bland? I just spent an hour making these darn things, they can’t be bland! I don’t particularly enjoy mushrooms, but I did try one. I didn’t think it was bland, but it was a recipe without cream cheese (a common stuffed mushroom ingredient) so it simply wasn’t as rich, which is to be expected. But I sprinkled some salt over the tops and figured if they were horrible I’d go back to the drawing board with the recipe. I brought them to the party and everyone was raving, I mean RAVING over the mushrooms. At one point a friend came over to tell me she had to “cut her boyfriend off” because he had ate so many! I questioned everyone on whether they thought they were too bland, and no one felt that way. Dad thinks my last minute salting “saved” the recipe. Regardless, I have included that in my directions.

The mushrooms with their “insides” removed.

Usually when making stuffed mushrooms I would use a very tiny pairing knife and spoon for this job, but since I was at home and didn’t have all my usual tools I had to revert to plan B. Turns out, a grapefruit spoon is the next best option. And I actually think I will use the grapefruit spoon with my pairing knife next time.

Hot, Hot, Hot! Mushroom insides cooking!

And they’re done. Bland or not, here they come.

Stuffed Mushrooms

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12 Small White Mushrooms

1/4 c Oil

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Breadcrumbs

1/2 Shallot

1 Tbsp Parsley




Heat oven to 400*F

Clean mushrooms with moist paper towel. Remove stems from inside of mushrooms. Chop stems very fine. Heat oil in heavy skillet. When oil is hot (almost smoking) add chopped mushrooms and salt & pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring to cook evenly. Drain mushrooms.

Add butter to skillet, when melted add chopped mushrooms, breadcrumbs, shallot, and parsley. Heat mixture through.

Use mixture to stuff mushroom caps. Spray baking sheet with Pam and place stuffed caps on baking sheet.

Bake stuffed caps for 20 minutes, until mushrooms are piping hot and liquid forms under caps.  Sprinkle salt over tops of mushrooms before serving.

Boston Baked Beans

January 10, 2010

Being that Grammy was from the Boston area, I wonder why I can’t locate a “Boston Baked Beans” recipe?  (As I type this, I know that someone will ultimately comment that she did have one- or tell me that she was satisfied with beans from a can. Either way, this recipe seems much TOO divine to pass up and not share with you!)

I’ve loved to cook for a long time (And {Dad} has always had a messy kitchen to prove it) but the world of blogging, more specifically food blogging, has opened up an entire new world of opportunities for my cooking delights. Additionally, having friends at Alpha Tau who enjoy cooking as much as I do, and cook with me has made it that much more fun. But The Pioneer Woman is a new delightful find and her blog is just so much fun.

She recently posted this recipe for Boston Baked Beans, which made me think of {Dishin’ with Edna} and all those canned beans we ate with ham how wonderful they would be with a Ham dinner. It also made me covet a Bean Pot. How can I not have one?

Here’s the link to the recipe. I will certainly be making this recipe soon and will share my thoughts!

Next up are Stuffed Mushrooms! Just need to edit the photos and type the recipe for you!

Grandma Josie’s Blueberry Cake

January 2, 2010

When I saw this recipe I just knew it needed to be on our table for our Christmas morning breakfast! It just sounded yummy and it didn’t seem too challenging. (Special thanks to Jo Anne and Darlene for sharing the recipe!) The BEST part of the whole recipe was that I there was enough batter for two of my Christmas tree pans, so I was able to gift one to some friends. I used fresh blueberries, although I think the recipe would work fine with frozen too, I would just recommend thawing them first so the extra liquid doesn’t throw off the recipe.

I followed the recipe precisely, folding in the berries and pouring batter into well greased pans. This was fine, except all the blueberries sunk to the bottom. Next time I think I will fold in half the blueberries and then place the rest in mid-way through cooking. I don’t think it will really affect the taste of the recipe, but will just help the presentation.

Also, the actual cake batter recipe (minus the berries) seems like a really great base recipe. I’m going to work on some other variations with this, as I believe it will be delish!

Here is a picture of the family getting ready for Christmas Morning Breakfast!

Grandma Josie’s Blueberry Cake

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1/2 c Butter

1 1/4 c Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 c Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

2 c Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 c Blueberries


Heat oven to 350*

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and beat well.

Mix dry ingredients in seperate bowl and add to wet mixture, mix well. Fold in blueberries. Cook until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

**I recommend folding in half of blueberries and baking for 10 minutes and then placing remaining blueberries on top of cake to more evenly distribute the berries.

Best Christmas Cake Recipe Ever

December 29, 2009

Grammie had a wry sense of humor. And although she was a very good cook, at time she too would have agreed with the following (except she’d of been drinking manhattans not wine!)

* 2 cups flour
* 1 stick butter
* 1 cup of water
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 cup of sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup of brown sugar
* Lemon juice
* 4 large eggs

* Nuts
* 2 bottle wine
* 2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it’s best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup… Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.
Go to Costco and buy a cake.

And if it were up to us, this year we would have gone with Costco’s Red Velvet cake. Oh my goodness, it was SO delicious!

Bingle Jells!