Strawberry Pie


We have been very fortunate to have wonderful strawberries this summer. I have created and made several recipes using these luscious berries. By far my favorite recipe has been for strawberry pie.  This is a very simple and fast recipe.  It will soon become your favorite too!
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                    Strawberry pie
Vonnie

1 (9 inch)pie crust, baked (I use King Arthur Flour and I make their double crust recipe)
2 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions
Arrange 1 qt. of strawberries in baked pastry shell.  Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan.  Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water.  Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture.  Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell.  Chill for several hours before serving.  In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


I grew up in a house where bread and cookies were homemade. Every week my mother would make homemade white bread and cookies for our lunches and dinners.  There were always cookies in the cookie jar. And believe it or not I would ask my mom if we could buy Oreos or Chips Ahoy almost every Saturday when we would go to the store.  But my mother would always say, ” Absolutely Not”.

One of my favorites  was my moms Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  They were so soft and chewy and I couldn’t get enough of them.  The only thing I have done to my mom’s recipe was add just a dash of fresh ground nutmeg.  I usually get 4 dozen cookies out of this recipe. I use my Pampered Chef medium scoop.

A plate of cookies and a glass of iced-cold milk. YUM!!

I have added one Variation and I know some of you will think it is crazy, but once you try it you will be hooked.  The add-in : BACON.  It makes it a breakfast-on -the- go cookie!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                               

Vonnie

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups oatmeal, old-fashioned, uncooked
  • 1   heaping cup raisins
Preparation:

Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, fresh ground nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.  In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well.  Add vanilla.   Add flour mixture a little at a time until fully combined.   Fold in oats and raisins, mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Variation:

6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled in chunks.  Add with the oats and raisins.

Ambrosia


Are you looking for a side dish that is easy to make and your family or guests will love?  Look no further! Ambrosia is a great salad you can serve with just about any main dish.

When I was growing up in Northeast Ohio,  Sunday dinner was always Roast Beef with carrots, and potatoes, salad and dessert. My mother would make this salad occasionally and it was always a big hit! Tonight I am making my Slower Cooker Chicken Stew for dinner and thought I would make this as my salad. It seemed like the perfect side/salad to round out my dinner and since it is spring here in Michigan I thought it would be a better choice than the baked apples. You can find the Slower cooker Chicken stew recipe on my blog too!

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                         

Vonnie

 

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice

1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 large bananas, sliced

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 (15.25 ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

 

 

Dump instant pudding into a large mixing bowl. Add pineapple, and mix well. Mix in non-dairy whipped topping. Stir in bananas, marshmallows, fruit cocktail, and mandarin oranges. Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Photo: Taken by Kraft foods

Carrot Cake Cookies


It’s time for a quick history lesson!

Did you know Carrot cake is often referred to as Passion cake?  The history of this sweet dessert can go back as far as Medieval Times. Carrots were used in sweet cakes since sweeteners were scarce and expensive. Here in the States following the end of WWII there was an over abundance of canned carrots. A business man named George C. Page hired master Bakers to find uses for the cans of carrots.  He promoted the idea of carrot cake after seeing a recipe on the side of the cans.  The cakes became very popular in the 1960’s in restaurants and cafeterias from coast to coast. Every establishment had the delectable dessert on their menu.

My family history of carrot cake is with my Grandma Taylor.  She was a wonderful baker. I loved spending time with her. The most amazing smells filled my Grandma’s kitchen and I loved sitting there watching her glide easily from counter to oven and back. She would make the most delicious baked goods and all from memory. I never remembered seeing her ever refer to a cookbook.  After her death I found a small spiral notebook with my Grandma’s hand written recipes.

Consider these cookies portable mini carrot cakes!  They are made with my Grandma’s recipe in mind.

Enjoy and Happy cooking,                        

Vonnie

 

Ingredients:

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups sugar

1 lb. butter

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 ½ tsp. ginger

3 cups grated carrots

1 cup raisins

4 cups rolled oats

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Directions:

Cream butter and sugars together until light brown.  Add eggs one at a time. Wait until each one is combined before adding the next. Mix in vanilla. Fold in carrots, raisins and oats.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl. Slowly add mix to wet ingredients by fourths. Scrape after each addition.

Scoop by teaspoons (I use a small 1-tsp ice cream scooper to make the perfect size) onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350° until golden.

Cool on rack.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, whip up the frosting.

Frosting

1 lb. cream cheese (softened)

1 lb. butter (softened)

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter and cream cheese until no lumps remain.

Slowly add vanilla and sifted powdered sugar.

After the cookies have cooled and the frosting is ready, assemble them by smearing some frosting on the bottom of one cookie and then sandwiching it closed with another.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Chocolate-Mint Overload Cake


Chocolate-Mint Overlaod Cake

I love this time of year when the Girl Scouts deliver my much anticipated order. Of course I have several boxes of the Thin Mints! I love to take them and add them to cake mixes and make my guests smile as they enjoy a delicious dessert that took me no time to make.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                    

Vonnie

Ingredients:

1-18.25 oz. chocolate cake mix

1-3.9 oz.package chocolate instant pudding mix

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup Girl Scout thin mint cookie crumbs

1- 8 oz container sour cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

powdered sugar

Directions:

Mix together the first eight ingredients in a large bowl until all are blended. Pour batter into a well greased and floured 12 cup Bundt pan. (I use a Tablespoon or more of cocoa powder instead of flour)

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place on serving dish. Cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Nancy’s Banana Cream Pie


This recipe is in honor of my mother Nancy Taylor. She is/was the best baker in Champion, Ohio.  Well, at least my family thought so!!  Everything was homemade in our house.  Breads, cakes, cookies and pies.  My mom’s pies were always a big hit.  The best thing was my mom made dessert EVERY night.  After dinner ,we had the very best sweets imagined.  Banana cream pie was always put a smile on my family’s face!

Enjoy my mom’s recipe and Happy Cooking,                                                          

Vonnie

Ingredients:

3/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

4 bananas, sliced

whipped topping                                                                                                                              

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.

Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.

Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees  for 12 to 15 minutes. Chill for an hour.

Top with whipped topping.

Buttermilk Double Chocolate Bread


To love Some say it’s hard 

But I think otherwise 

Love is the easiest feeling 

No need to hide it, express it with pride                                    

It’s a kiss, a hug or a smile 

It’s hidden in our eyes 

Nothing compares To love

On this eve of Saint Valentine’s day I wanted to share a recipe that included chocolate.  This bread will put a smile on your special Valentine’s face and love in their heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,

Vonnie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 egg

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

 Directions:

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add vanilla.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda;  add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Valentine’s Day menu


Enjoy spending time with the one’s you love.

 

This is one of my favorite Valentine’s menus.  I made it for Mark Valentine’s Day 1994 ( sometimes it pays writing notes in my cookbooks!)  I was very pregnant with Maddie, Chris was 4, and Taylor was 2.  The boys and I cut out 100 hearts and wrote all the things we loved about Mark on them.  We taped the hearts to the door so when Mark got home from work he would see them. Then we sat down and enjoyed this wonderful dinner and laughed and told Mark all of our adventures of the day!!

I hope your Valentine’s Day is full of love and laughter.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                      

Vonnie

 

 

Menu:

Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dreesing

Garlic Green Beans

Chicken Amore

Raspberry Cobbler

 

Deep Fried Ravioli with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients:                                                                                           

1 pkg. raviolis, found in the refrigerator section

1 cup of roasted red peppers, rinsed and chopped

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

In a food processor combine peppers, vinegar, mustard, oil and salt until finely chopped. Pour into a mixing bowl and sitr in mayonnaise. Serve as a dipping sauce for raviolis.

Fry raviolis in oil until crspy.

Tossed Salad with Grandma’s Italian Dressing

Ingredients:                                                                                                            

Romaine lettuce, Chopped

Tomatoes, sliced

Cucumber, peeled and sliced

Add all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Dressing:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients together set aside. In a large mixing bowl add vinegar. Whisk oil in slowly and well. Add dry ingredients and whisk well. Before serving over tossed salad whisk dressing.

Garlic Green Beans                                                                             

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic

1 lb. green beans

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook green beans by steaming until crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Crush and mince garlic. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over meduim heat. Add garlic and saute. Add green beans, salt and pepper. Toss in pan until beans are thoroughly coated and evenly heated.

Chicken Amore

Ingredients:                                                                        

1 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

4 chicken breast halves

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

dash hot sauce

1 1/2 cup white wine

3/4 cup sliced black olives

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1-7 oz. jar pimentos

Directions:

Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a large zip bag. Add chicken and shake well. Make sure chicken is coated well. Heat oil in a large skillet over meduim heat. Add chicken and brown 3-5 min. turn and brown another 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, parsley,seasoning, hot sauce and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add olives, mushrooms, and pimentos. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Raspberry Cobbler

 Ingredients:                                                                                    

1 pkg. frozen raspberries

2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup melted butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Thaw berries and spread evenly on the bottom of a 9×9 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine bisquick, milk, butter, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Mix well until moist. Set aside. In sauce pan combine water, 3/4 cup sugar, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Stir until mixture is thick and clear. Pour over berries. Drop Bisquick mixture by spoonful over berries. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Chocolate Mint Overload Cake


I love this time of year when the Girl Scouts will soon be delivering my much-anticipated order.  Of course I have several boxes of the Thin Mints!  I love to take them and add them to cake mixes and make my family and friends smile as they enjoy a delicious dessert that took me no time to make.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking,                                                                                         

Vonnie

1-18.25 oz. chocolate cake mix

1-3.9 oz.package chocolate instant pudding mix

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup Girl Scout thin mint cookie crumbs

1-8 oz container sour cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

powdered sugar

Mix together the first eight ingredients in a large bowl until all are blended. Pour batter into a well-greased 12 cup Bundt pan.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan and place on serving dish. Cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream