Buttery Sugar Cookies

I don’t usually make sugar cookies at Christmas, I get overwhelmed by the whole process. Mixing,chilling,rolling out the dough, cutting, and then decorating. It really is time consuming. I have my tried and true simple cookies that I make every year and I’m always happy to serve them. But this year early on my husband was really talking up his favorite sugar cookies his Mom always made when he was a kid and still tries to bake even now at 90 years young. I thought about it and decided to bake some sugar cookies this past Christmas. Only I took three days to do the process. Day one I mixed and chilled the dough, day two I cut and baked the dough, and day three I iced and decorated. The cookies stayed fresh for a solid week or more. It was much easier then trying to do all of that in one day. My husband loved the cookies, but no cookie could be as good as his Moms ūüėÄ

The cookie recipe I used was from Susan Branch Christmas From The Heart Of The Home ¬†ūüŹ° ūüéĄ it’s her Butter cookie. They are one of the best sugar cookies I’ve ever tasted.

Thanks for stopping by¬† ‚ĚĄ

Apple Crisp

DSCF7115

I am truly enjoying this Fall season. I especially loved picking up these apples on my way home from Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania a few weeks ago.¬†My husband scouted out an apple orchard and with the help of our¬†GPS we found it. There were so many choices of apples to pick from. I can’t even remember all the names. We got a bag and just started filling it with different varieties of baking apples and a few extra for eating. I always use a variety of apples when baking pie, cobbler,¬†or crisp. The flavor is just unbeatable. I used a¬†special family recipe it’s just¬†the best! The ride home was just beautiful¬†with all the colors of the changing leaves. I made my apple crisp the day after we¬†arrived home. I couldn’t wait! It took a while to get this posted, I do hope you give it a try.

DSCF7130DSCF7131As you can tell this recipe was used many times. I used some of my crisp mixture to make a few extra little servings. They get tucked in the back of the refrigerator for late night snacking.

DSCF7117DSCF7118DSCF7119DSCF7120DSCF7121DSCF7126DSCF7135DSCF7128DSCF7144    The crisp may be served warm or cold. It is so rich in flavor from all the apples you can skip the customary scoop of vanilla ice cream. But if you must go for it!

Hope your having a wonderful Fall season.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Banana Nut Bread

DSCF6909

What could be more comforting then ripe bananas baked into to bread. So sweet and so fragrant. This is one of my favorite fall treats.

DSCF6912

My ingredients.

DSCF6917

Cream the butter and sugar.

DSCF6920

Add banana to the creamed butter and sugar. Then add eggs, vanilla, and spices. Add flour to creamed mixture.

DSCF6922

Fold in walnuts.

DSCF6926

Pour batter into buttered loaf pan. Bake.

DSCF6936

Cool on a wire rack.

DSCF6952

Serve on your favorite plate and enjoy!

Banana Nut Bread

9 tablespoons of butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed, you may use pure cane sugar if you wish

Cream the butter and the sugar.

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

Add to the creamed mixture.

2 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¬ľ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and freshly grated nutmeg to the creamed mixture. Mix until blended.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

¬ĺ teaspoon baking soda

Sift ingredients together and add to the creamed mixture. Mix on low till blended.

¬ľ cup whole milk

Add milk and mix on low to blend

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Add walnuts to the mixture by gently folding into the batter.

Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. A tooth pick inserted should come out clean and the crust will be golden. Cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then cool¬†until it’s warm¬†on wire rack. Serve warm plain or spread with softened butter.

Bakers note: My ingredients were all at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.

DSCF6941Thanks for stopping by God Bless!!! 

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

I have always loved chicken pot pie. Even when I was a young girl I thought it so comforting. I especially loved the gravy. When my children were very young I began to learn how to bake. I bravely made white and wheat bread, homemade cakes and pies. Most attempts turned out pretty badly. I remember once serving company  homemade coconut cake it was so dry, all they could say was how much they admired me for trying. In time my efforts improved. I got to know the look and feel of bread and pie dough and mastered the cake batter. I made the chicken pot pie recipe in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook over and over again until I could make it pretty much perfect. My children have always loved it. To this day if I make a special  dinner they ask for that pot pie. The crust is flakey and crispy. The filling heavenly, with the flavor of fresh sage and thyme baked into the chicken. The tender pieces of chicken, sweet carrot, baby potatoes, and a few fresh peas add even more flavor. I love the idea of making them individual just like the banquet pot pies my Mom used to buy. Only these are oh so much tastier.

DSCF6627

DSCF6576

I like to bake my chicken in chicken broth, sprinkled with fresh sage, thyme, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. The broth keeps the chicken very tender and flavorful.

DSCF6580

Chop the vegetables in a small dice. Keeping them the same size for even cooking.

DSCF6587Boil the potatoes and carrots together.

DSCF6582Sauté the onion and celery together.

DSCF6593

Dice the chicken.

DSCF6589The gravy is made in the in the pan I sauté the onions and carrots in.

DSCF6598

Add all of the cooked vegetables and chicken.

DSCF6605

Pour the filling into the tins.

DSCF6609

Put the crusts on top and egg wash and bake.

DSCF6615

DSCF6633

Time to enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

Homemade or store bough pie crust

3 cups chicken, diced

Good pinch of fresh thyme and sage, chopped

Kosher salt, to taste

Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

1 cup diced baby potatoes, yellow or red

2/3 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

¬ľ cup fresh or frozen peas

4 tablespoons butter

2 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth

¬ĺ cup whole milk

1/3 cup of all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground sage

To prepare the chicken place the breasts into a baking dish add enough broth to generously coat the bottom, but not to cover the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake 350 degree until the temperature reads 160 degrees. Rest chicken for 10 minutes. Boil the potatoes and carrots together until tender, strain and set aside. In a sauté pan melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper, and ground sage. Be careful not to brown the onion. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan stir with a whisk. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broth while mixing with a whisk, and then add the milk and whisk to get smooth gravy. Cook until thick and bubbly. Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots, and peas. You may bake the pot pie in a 9 inch pie plate or individual tins. Pour the filling into the tins and top with your prepared dough. Cut a hole or slits in the crust to vent. Egg wash and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and bubbling. I used only a top crust you may use top and bottom crust. You can also top with prepared puff pastry.

DSCF6615

Thanks for stopping by!

Maple Glazed Carrots

DSCF6540

I ‘ve been trying to find some healthier options for snacking lately. I always think of raw vegetables a¬†quick snack. On days off however why not make the vegetable snack a little more tasty. Steam or boil some carrots. Add them to a small fry pan with 1 teaspoon of butter. Just let the butter melt and¬†then add 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup. shake the pan to coat and glaze the carrots. Serve in a pretty bowl and enjoy.

DSCF6544

DSCF6543

DSCF6549

DSCF6553

Thanks for stopping by!!

Hot Cross Buns And Snow

DSCF6482

My snowy backyard.

DSCF6516

I was at the book store one day last week and to my delight my eyes came upon a new magazine: SIFT, a King Arthur Publication. As I thumbed my way through I saw beautiful pictures of bread, muffins, cakes, biscuits, pizza, sandwiches, gluten free baked goods, and a section on a Mediterranean feast. The photos all looked so appealing, but one picture really had my attention: hot cross buns. I was hoping to make hot cross buns for the upcoming Easter season this year to share with my Mother-In-Law Helen. She just loves hot cross buns and buys them every year. I read over the ingredients and method for preparing the dough and the baking. I happily purchased my new magazine and couldn‚Äôt wait to bake the buns. Later that week we had a snow storm and I knew it was the perfect day for baking. The recipe called for either apple juice or rum, and I had rum on hand so I used that. It also called for mixed dried fruit, and I used a mixture of golden raisins and California raisins. I chose to mix the dough by hand instead of the mixer. When baking bread at home in such a small batch I love to get my hands in it. The dough was easy to mix and the process was relaxing. I did some reading during the rise times. It was so hard waiting for those buns to cool, but I wanted to enjoy the little taste of icing piped on the top to get the whole experience of the tasting. It was worth the wait! The bun was soft and tender. The fruit was tasty with the infusion of the rum, and who doesn‚Äôt love the taste of icing? I love the buns and the magazine. I will be patiently awaiting the next issue, but ‚Äėtill then there‚Äôs lots more great recipes in this issue to try.

DSCF6480

DSCF6487

DSCF6490

DSCF6497

DSCF6496DSCF6498DSCF6501

DSCF6503

DSCF6504

DSCF6506

DSCF6508

DSCF6510

DSCF6518

DSCF6483

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Stuffing With Sausage

I’m up early this Sunday morning to prepare the stuffing for our turkey dinner this afternoon. My husband Joe and I are celebrating Thanksgiving with our children today. Wish we could all be together on Thanksgiving Day, but as a blended family things can’t always go as you wish. I am grateful to be able to prepare such a special meal and share a day of thanks with each of them. Thanksgiving is such a special holiday for me. I have a many treasured  memories from my childhood. Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday season in our home. My Dad and Mom loved the holidays and spoiling their seven children with a feast on Thanksgiving another feast and tons of presents under our tree on Christmas. Those days were the happiest I can remember. Days before Thanksgiving my sister Carol and I would help Mom by washing all the china. We had at least 20 people at most of our dinners. I remember one year my Dad putting two wooden stands several feet apart and laying ply would over them for our table. Mom would lay a beautiful table cloth and the lovely china and food were the decoration, which would cover the entire table. One of my favorite dishes on the holiday table was Mom’s stuffing. It was made with sausage and stuffed into the cavity of a twenty five pound butterball turkey. Dad always put strips of bacon across the top of the turkey. When the turkey was resting I loved to sneak the bacon off the top. It was so crisp and delicious. The stuffing recipe was my Grandmother Queens and Mom always made the stuffing just the way her Mom taught her. Mom didn’t have a recipe box which I’m sad about now. However my sister Bev and I put the recipe together the best we remembered.

Grandma Queens Stuffing

2 bags soft unseasoned bread cubes. I use Stroehann Pennsylvania Dutch bakers.

1 16 oz. Package Jimmy Dean premium pork sausage, regular

2 eggs beaten

1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped fine

3-4 celery ribs, Chopped fine

1 stick butter

Chicken stock, use as much as you determine based on how moist you want your stuffing. Start with 2 cups. Grandma and Mom used boiling hot water. I like the stock for the flavor.

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, you could also use mixture of fresh chopped herbs, such as sage, thyme, rosemary etc.

In a large saut√© pan melt the butter. Add the onion, and celery. Add just a little salt at the point. Saut√© until the onion and celery are tender. In another pan break up the sausage and cook till almost brown. Drain off any fat. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the beaten egg and toss with the bread cubes. Add the onion, celery, sausage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt as the chicken stock has salt as well. Toss everything together. Add broth starting with 1 cup use your clean hands to mix. Add stock as needed to get the moisture you desire. I use about 2 ¬Ĺ cups. I love mine moist. Cooking the sausage is optional. It will fully cook in the oven when you bake it. I prefer it this way. If you are worried about the fat then cook and drain the sausage. Put the stuffing in a large casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

DSCF6262

DSCF6269

DSCF6268

DSCF6275

DSCF6294

DSCF6280

DSCF6279

DSCF6296

DSCF6258

Thanks for stopping by!!