Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies


When we make peanut butter cookies in "Cathy's Kitchen," about 99.9% of the time we do the "criss-cross" variety with the tines of the fork. While that's a great way to make them, I wanted to try a different recipe where that wasn't involved. In my mother-in-law's "treasure trove" of old newspaper clippings, I found a basic recipe for peanut butter "honeys." I adapted the ingredients slightly to use agave nectar, oats and chocolate chips. Note to self: don't make these before dinner. They will make your entire house smell so good you'll want to have dessert first!  Dominic grabbed three of these cookies off the wire rack while they were cooling and tried to talk me into letting him have all three before dinner. Well, in his defense, he did hand one to me to eat. LOL. I let him have one. It certainly didn't "spoil" his appetite any, my boy had two servings of spaghetti for dinner!


2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 large eggs
1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, put the white flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, put the peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract and using a large spoon, mix until smooth. Add the sugar, honey, agave nectar and eggs. Combine well and then add to the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Stir well and then add the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until they are just starting to turn brown. Remove from oven and let the cookies sit five minutes. Remove to wire rack to continue cooling. Makes 2 1/2 dozen. Store covered at room temperature.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Yellow Corn Bread

The hubby made some really delicious barbeque chicken on the grill last night. Since I really have no clue how to use our grill, I am usually put in charge of the "side" dishes. We had fresh broccoli that I knew I would steam for the "veggie," and I planned on making buttered noodles for the "starch." I didn't have a bread "item" though. Biscuits didn't seem like quite the right thing to make, so I looked through an old Amish-Dutch cookbook and found a great recipe for corn bread! When we have corn bread around here, I usually just open up two boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix, add the milk and eggs and make a dozen muffins. It took just a few extra minutes to make this corn bread from "scratch," but wow, was it ever worth it!


1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1/2 cup white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoon white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons melted shortening

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, put all the ingredients in the order given. Combine well with large spoon and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and put on wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into squares. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store at room temperature.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Raspberry Shortcakes

Raspberries have been "dirt" cheap in these parts. Guess that's why this is the second recipe in a row on my blog using them, LOL. I knew it was time to think of a way to use a package, when I discovered three in the fridge! Hmm, what to make. How about, shortcakes?!?!?! This recipe came courtesy of my mother-in-law's "collection" of old newspaper clippings.  Some of the wording in the directions gave me a chuckle. When "cutting" in the shortening, it said, " if your hands are naturally quite warm, you'd better use the blender or two knife blades," and when it's time to put the dough out to knead it, "don't plop it down as if you were mad at it." All righty then. Not all of the recipes that I have found in my mother-in-law's recipe collection have been "winners." Early last week, I found an easy recipe for pound cake. I followed all the directions exactly, but it ended up being dry as a bone and hard as a brick!  The hubby ate it and said it was good, but I think he was trying to make me feel better. Shortcakes aren't just for a dessert. Yesterday morning, Dominic asked me, "piece of shortcake??" I gave him one and he gobbled it down. I decided to heat up a few shortcakes for myself and then added some honey. I can see why Dominic ate it so quickly - they were pretty tasty!!!!

2 cups white flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons shortening
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (plus)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
   (reserved for top of shortcake)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. With two knives "cut" in the shortening until it resembles small crumbs. Set aside. In a measuring cup, break the egg. Add enough milk to measure 3/4 of a cup.  Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough about ten times. Press out to approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. Using a biscuit cutter,  I was able to get 10 shortcakes out of the dough. If you don't have a biscuit cutter, the top of drinking glass works in a pinch! Brush the melted reserved butter on top of each of the ten shortcakes. Bake for 15 minutes or until the shortcakes are starting to turn brown. Remove immediately to a wire rack. Let cool slightly.

Macerated Raspberries

6 ounces raspberries, rinsed and patted dry,
  cut in half
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a small bowl, put the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly with a small spoon, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for a minimum of one hour and no longer than 24 hours.

*To assemble, split the shortcake in half and put the raspberries in between and also on top. Put whipped topping on the very top if desired. You could also add a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pineapple Raspberry Milkshake

Earlier in the week, I had cut up an entire pineapple and knew I wanted to use it somehow in a recipe. After poking around a bit in the fridge and freezer, I realized I had all the "fixins" for a milkshake!! Lauren left early this morning for a week long vacation and the hubby was out running errands, so it was just Dominic and I here. Dominic had never ate pineapple before and when I first offered him a chunk, he tossed it back into the bowl. After a few minutes, he came back into the kitchen and said, "pineapple." I tried again to give him another chunk and this time he ate it!!  I knew I wanted to also put some raspberries into the milkshake because Dominic has never eaten a raw one.  After a little blender action, I had a "sample" ready to go. I handed the glass to my boy and he drained it dry within a few minutes. I put what was left of the milkshake into a zippered top bag and tossed it into the freezer. I want the hubby and Lauren to be able to have some too!

2 cups fresh pineapple, chunks
6-ounce container raspberries
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup white milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a blender and combine until desired consistency. Makes five cups. If you want to freeze any of the leftover milkshake, just pour into a zippered top gallon size plastic bag and tuck into the freezer for at least one hour. The milkshake is super duper tasty frozen too (take my word for it)!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cinnamon "Twisties"

Yep, this is yet ANOTHER recipe using cinnamon!! If I had my way, I would probably put cinnamon in everything I baked :) This recipe came out of the 1938 edition of the Town Crier De Luxe Recipe Book,  the same year my mom was born!
My mom used to make cinnamon rolls a lot growing up. She moved into a skilled nursing facility this past December and about three weeks ago, my family and I were able to visit with her. My mother is pretty much bedridden and her memory is starting to fail a bit, but she is still able to recognize us. I feel incredibly blessed that I still have in her my life, because she is so very ill. I think the next time I visit my mom, I will pack some cinnamon twisties in my suitcase!!!
2 cups white flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Powdered Sugar Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, put the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. "Cut" in the shortening with two knives. Pour the milk in the middle and with a large spoon, mix well until soft dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, knead about 10 times and then roll out until it is 12 inches long and six inches across. Brush the melted butter over the entire surface. In a small bowl, put the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle evenly over the dough and then roll up like a jelly roll and cut into eight slices. Place in prepared pan. The cinnamon rolls will look small, but with five teaspoons of baking powder, they get bigger, I promise!  Bake for 20 minutes or until they begin to turn lightly brown on the bottom. Remove from oven. In a small bowl, put the powdered sugar and water. Mix well with small spoon until smooth and then drizzle over the "twisties." Makes eight. Cover loosely with foil at room temperature.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pink Lemonade Muffins

Yesterday, even though the weather was beautiful, I spent a large portion of the day inside working on the computer and doing household chores. I figured I could sit outside today on the deck and just "chill," sipping a cold glass of pink lemonade and reading a book. Well, guess what? I woke up to heavy rain pelting our bedroom window! Wonderful. Since it was so cloudy and dreary this morning, I wanted to bake a little "sunshine" into some muffins. I love "experimenting," in the kitchen with different ingredients, such as using powdered lemonade in place of some of the white sugar in this recipe and substituting yogurt instead of sour cream to make these muffins more moist!! These were so tasty, I had two for breakfast with my coffee :) I'm keeping my fingers crossed the sun comes out later this afternoon!

2 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup pink powdered lemonade
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5.3 ounce container Yoplait Greek 100 
   strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside. In a large bowl, put the flour, sugar, powdered lemonade, baking powder, salt, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and yogurt. Stir well with large spoon until smooth. Distribute the batter evenly between the paper liners. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to continue cooling. To make the glaze, put the powdered sugar and water in a small bowl and mix with a spoon. Drizzle on the muffins. Makes one dozen.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cinnamon Cake

Buried in my collection of over 110 cookbooks, I found a Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook from 1960.  There are some pretty "unique" recipes such as shoo-fly pie, pretzel soup, rabbit cake and boy's legs. Boy's legs? Don't worry - they are potato and beef filled pastries. Anyways, being the cinnamon "gal" that I am, when I found a recipe for cinnamon cake, I knew that was definitely one to try! I always love the way our house smells when I'm baking anything with cinnamon - it smells so good! Both Lauren and Dominic were around when I frosted this cake last night, so they both got a "sample." Of course they loved it! Why won't they?!?!? They "inherited" their love of cinnamon from me!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth by hand or with electric mixer. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, eggs and milk. Combine well until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Below is my recipe for cinnamon cream cheese frosting which is what I used on top of the cake. If you still want even MORE cinnamon, sprinkle a little on top!  Store cake covered in fridge. Serves eight.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract