Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dinner Rolls

Coconut Cake

I have not been very diligent in keeping this blog going. Things have been a bit crazy in our life lately and time has not been on my side for cooking, baking or blogging about either. BUT, my Mom's birthday was Saturday and we had a late birthday dinnner for her yesterday and I had to do some Mimi cooking of course!
Mimi went home to heaven July 21st at 10:00am. She was honored by an incredibly beautiful service and it was a lovely time with the family, regardless of the circumstances. I brought home Mimi's recipe boxes, since she allowed me to continue on in her traditions of cooking. :) As Mom's birthday came I was excited to cook for Mom, all the foods she enjoyed for her "birthday meal", which included Coconut Cake. Now, this coconut cake is the most simple thing ever. It is simply a white cake, with a unique white fluffy icing sprinkled with coconut. easy. I was able to find both the recipes for the cake and the icing and was pleased to find that they are both simple, easy and require staple items to make. You probably won't even have to go to the store for this one.

Here is the recipe for the cake itself. This white cake can actually work for any occasion. I'm quite sure it makes good cupcakes too! I'll have to try that sometime. :) The only part to this coconut cake that is coconut is the coconut on the top. So, this white cake is versatile and yummy for any flavor frosting! 
Best White Cake
Cream very thoroughly; 1/2 cup oil & 1 1/2 C of sugar
Add; 1 teaspoon vanilla & 2 eggs
Sift together: 2 1/4 cups of flour, 2 1/2 t baking powder, 1 t salt
Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1 C plus 2 T milk.
Beat well after each addition. Bake in two 9" layer pans at 375 for 20-25 mins. 

How easy is that! (tastes soooo much better than a box!!)

So this Fluffy White Icing is rather infamous in the family. It is unique, very sweet, sticky and nothing like your store bought icing. It is so different, but so good! 
Fluffly White Icing
Mix; 1 1/2 C sugar, 5 T warm water, 3 T Karo syrup (white), 3 egg whites
Place in top of a double boiler & stir until egg flecks begin to form. Remove from heat and beat until think & ready to spread. 

Let the cakes cool completely and then stack. You might need to "shave" off some of the round top to lay them flat, but once they are stacked, with icing in the middle, use the rest of the icing to frost the entire cake. Then sprinkle coconut flakes all over! 

Mom loved having this cake for her birthday most years...many that I can remember anyway. My Mimi made it in 4 layers though! In which, you would double the cake recipe. The recipe as is, makes 2 pans I found. Either way, it is delicious and EASY! :) 


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mimi's Pizza

One of my favorite Friday or Saturday night dinners that Mimi would make was pizza. Most families usually ordered pizza on the weekends from somewhere, we did a lot, but Mimi made hers. The dough was home made, the other ingredients were store bought obviously, but that crust. Makes all the difference.
Pizza Dough
Here is the recipe for Pizza dough! It's soooo easy! 

Pizza Dough
Dissolve 1 pkg of yeast into 1/4 cup of warm water
Add to: 1 C of warm water
             2 T oil (any light oil-canola, vegetable, probably not olive oil unless it is light)
             2 T sugar
             1 t salt
Add: 1 beaten egg
Mix in: 3 C of flour (you can use wheat or regular all purpose here, or mix!) You might need a bit more flour, to make it less sticky. Just add a little bit at a time until you get a nice dough. 
Let rise double- about 30 min- 1 hour
This makes 2 pizzas since I am using the same pizza oven my mimi used. 
Mimi's Pizza Oven
So, this dough recipes make 2 pizzas that fit in this pan, but I think it would work for most pans. I am going to guess that it is a standard pizza pan size. Just experiment. You might need the whole batch of dough for one larger pizza. 

Spray your pan thoroughly with non-stick spray. Coat your hands as well, and then take your dough and spread it starting from the middle of the dough outwards. It will come back to you, don't stretch it, just keep working it until it gets to the edges. Mimi always told me to be patient with it and just keep working it out until it stayed at the edge. It won't be perfect. That is the beauty of home made scratch pizzas. They aren't exactly round. :) 
spread out dough

Once you have your dough spread out nicely it is time to top! This is where you can be creative. My mimi generally put ground italian sausage, hamburger or just cheese on there. My hubby loves pepperoni, so I put turkey pepperoni on ours. I have even done plain cheesy bread and cinnamon bread out of this dough. It is versatile. I love green peppers and onion on my pizza so I'm sure in the future we'll have to try that. For now, I did a rather traditional topping. Sausage, pepperoni and cheese. 

I bought pre-cooked and pre-crumbled sausage because it was on sale and saved me time. I bought turkey pepperoni to save calories, 70% less fat that regular pepperoni, and then I bought two pizza blend shredded cheese blends. One of them had mozzarella and cheddar and the other had a blend of white cheeses like mozzarella, parmesan, and romano. Yum! Last, Mimi always used Prego spaghetti sauce for the pizza sauce. I think regular pizza sauces were too sweet in her mind, and she loves a lot of sauce. I don't care for as much sauce, so I buy the small jar of Prego, but you can buy a small jar of regular pizza sauce or one of those squeeze bottles as well. 

Assemble! Sauce first, a bit of cheese, then meat, more cheese and of course then I just plug in the pizza oven and let it cook for about 15-20 mins. I would guess and suggest that you set your regular oven to about 375 and let cook for 15 mins, checking often. Let the crust get slightly brown on the bottom and all the cheese melty. Done! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and try it out! The possibilities are endless! Like I said, I've made cheesy bread and cinnamon bread with this recipe as well! Have fun! Thanks Mimi for the memories and the yummmmmmy pizza! 
This pizza costs around $4.00. I never use all the ingredients for 1 pizza, so you could easily get 2 pizzas for about $8.00! 
Much better, healthier and cheaper than carry out!! 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This particular recipe is relatively new for me. I think I remember eating it when I was younger, but was not nearly as excited about it as I am today. A few months ago Mimi and I were in her and pop's apt and she wanted me to make this casserole. For those of you who know or not, mimi had back surgery almost 2 years ago now and she is still recovering in many ways and so she is not in the kitchen as much as she used to be or would like to be now. So she wanted to mix this together with me being her souse chef and I was thrilled because she was getting as close to the kitchen as she could that day! It sounded familiar, but I couldn't think back far enough to really know if I had eaten it before or not. It is such an easy recipe, I don't even need it written out, but I want y'all to have it! It is easy, tasty and easy to make ahead and freeze for later use, etc. On an average day, I'd say this dish is around $8.00. Add a bag of chips and make it a meal for $10.00. Can't beat it!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 can of chicken
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 small onion
6 (or so) corn tortillas
shredded cheese (a few cups)
1 can of green chilies chopped

Saute onion in margarine or butter until translucent.
Mix onions, cream of chicken soup, chicken, green chilies in a bowl.
layer a few tortillas on bottom of a casserole dish, 9x13 works well.
Then, layer mixture, then cheese then tortillas again. repeat layers (like lasagna)
bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes until it is fully heated through and cheese is bubbly on top.

This recipe is my go to for company, and I buy green chilies, corn tortillas and sometimes cheese in bigger sizes and freeze what I don't use, so I have it on hand. It is smart to stay stocked up on cream of chicken soup and canned chicken anyway, because those are two very versatile ingredients and you can always use them.

I did not take a picture of this recipe. We ate it too quickly before I had a chance to get a picture. Hope you try it! As a side note, my mimi would have served this with corn chips, salsa, and a green salad (green leaf lettuce, with your toppings optional)

I like to mix in a skillet with some olive oil, some black beans (drained and rinsed), yellow corn (frozen preferred but canned will do) heat through and add taco seasoning, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime. It makes a quick bean and corn salad that is really fresh and yummy!

I'm finding out that mimi has a lot of easy, quick and inexpensive recipes in her beloved recipe boxes. I will find more and share!!
Stay tuned, I have another recipe to share very soon! (cooookies)yumm!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My First Cookbook

Better Homes and Gardens- New Jr Cookbook Circa 1979
Given to me by my Mimi- 1986

Mimi gave me my first cookbook before I could talk. The first things I remember about my Mimi are from the kitchen. I don't remember a meal at her house that didn't include fresh home made bread. Every meal had fresh ingredients and was made from scratch. Every once in a while she would use short cuts, I mean after all, she was a busy banking woman for most of my growing up! I remember her telling me about how she would go through all the ads, coupons and flyers for each grocery store in Canyon and on Saturdays she would do her shopping, at each one. She got certain ingredients at certain stores and utilized certain sales, ads and coupons at each one! Talk about Extreme Couponing in the 80's and 90's, before it was popular! :) This sweet cookbook is in my kitchen and is very dear to me. Here's one of the reasons why...
I do enjoy cooking as much as you do, Mimi! 
Mimi always wrote in the books she gave us. I'm so glad. It makes this book even more special to me. I remember Mimi always getting paper bags at the store, getting home with all of her produce and washing, trimming it and getting it in her refrigerator as soon as she got home. She taught me the basics of keeping lettuce green and crunchy longer, storing onions where they won't smell up the fridge and the lost art of freezing, everything. Haha! Not until the last few months, now that we are shopping on a strict budget, etc have I really thought about freezing bread, but when there is a sale on something and I know I won't eat it all before it goes bad, FREEZE it!! Yay Mimi! :) I freeze nuts, grains, cereal (for baking), vegetables, tortillas, berries, etc. It is a great tool for saving money and NOT wasting! More details on this when I make her stew. :) 
There is a particular recipe in this cookbook she gave me that I used to make as a little girl. I have made a few different recipes in this book before, but the Snickerdoodle recipe is my favorite. (a lot of these recipes in this book are VERY dated, like, Cheese Strata? really?) My mom helped me make them a lot and they always turn out wonderful. Looks like Snickerdoodles are going to be my first recipe to make and record for the blog! 
My favorite recipe in the book! 
Snickerdoodles are an easy cookie that can be made by stuff you usually have in your pantry. The only thing I used to not keep in my pantry was shortening, but since my Aunt Dawn gave me her amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, I keep it handy so the boys at Nick's shop get a treat now and then. :) So, most people carry everything except the shortening. (and honestly, you can use non-stick cooking spray instead of shortening) remember, this book is from the 70's. 

3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 T sugar
2 T ground cinnamon
Turn on oven to 375
In large mixing bowl, cream the 3/4 cup of sugar and the butter or margarine with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg and vanilla. 
In small bowl stir together flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Stir into butter mixture with wooden spoon until well mixed.  In a small bowl combine the 2 T of sugar and the cinnamon. Grease cookie sheets and set aside. 
Shape dough into 1" balls, roll each ball in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put balls 2" apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Makes about 36 cookies. 

I hope you find some time to make this recipe. It is delicious and it brings back lots of memories for me! Thank you Mimi for this sweet cookbook and I hope Ava enjoys cooking as much as you and I do. I have a very special connection to you through the kitchen and I hope going through my memories makes you smile. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Savory Food Sweet Memories

I am excited to start this blog. I have many things I'd love to get written down, so I won't forget, so Ava will know and so that at the end of the year I can print this blog out and give it to my Mimi to keep. I have a mind full of memories of cooking, being in the kitchen, watching mimi cook, sitting on the barstool and talking with her while she made weekend meals for the family. I remember asking her if I could have her recipe boxes (that she got when she got married), someday. So many things to sort through and remember. Now that I am a mother and home maker, trying to be frugal, cook from scratch (as much as I can) etc etc, I want to document and share with you all the things Mimi has taught me over the years. I'm excited! Hopefully I will have pictures to put with each post. (sure does make things more interesting) :)
Thanks for following!