Friday, July 29, 2016

GERMAN APPLESAUCE CAKE

Back in mid June I had my yearly check-up with my doctor. I have had this place on my leg just above my ankle for several years and this year she saw it and said she didn't like the looks of it and she wanted me to go have it checked out. It had the warning signs ... irregular shape and two shades of brown, but it hadn't changed and she had never said anything about it before. 

Long story short...the biopsy came back that it was an "in situ" melanoma. (That means "in place".) Two weeks after the biopsy was taken, the doctor removed an additional 1 centimeter of skin and fatty tissue from around the original site as a precaution. It has been a little over a month since my initial visit with the Dermatologist/Skin Cancer Doctor. He says the wound is healing like it should (I have a "divot" or "crater" in my leg about the size of a silver dollar that will take 4 months to heal completely. I have to keep it moist by changing the bandage morning and night with a non-stick pad and a combination of petroleum jelly and antibiotic ointment held on with self-adhering bandage. During the day I have to wear a compression sock. All that until it heals in about 4 months. But I am blessed that it wasn't worse!

Besides wearing the compression sock during the day, keeping the leg up as much as I can will aid in the healing process. That means for the last month, I haven't been too active. The first 10 days after the surgery were the most uncomfortable. (I try not to use the word "painful" because I know there are people out there who are really having pain.) Fortunately for me I had about 8 or 9 posts that I had written and were scheduled to be published so I haven't missed any posts here.

One of the things that I have missed being able to do because of this though is going to volunteer at Hillcrest Thrift Shop. I have missed the last three Tuesdays. Since I am able to do more (be on my feet), I decided to surprise them Tuesday and take them a treat to eat with their lunch. I found this recipe for German Applesauce Cake that wasn't too difficult. It was in the Sesquicentennial Edition Cookbook for Missouri - 1821 - 1971. Mrs. August Begeman noted "Never fails. The above recipe was brought by the family from Germany in 1890 when the family settled in Hartsburg, Missouri, BooneCounty."

The other volunteers were surprised to see me and thought the cake was really good. I took some whipped topping along and most enjoyed a spoonful on top. I had sifted some powdered sugar on top since the recipe didn't give any further directions after it came out of the oven.



GERMAN APPLESAUCE CAKE

2       cups sifted flour
1        teaspoon baking soda
1        teaspoon cinnamon
1/2    teaspoon cloves
1/2    teaspoon nutmeg
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/2    cup butter
1        cup firmly packed brown sugar
1        cup unsweetened applesauce
1        cup raisins
1        cup walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.


Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. (Notice that the flour has been sifted first before measuring it.) Set aside.


Cream the butter until soft.
Gradually add the brown sugar. 
Mix well.
Add the flour mixture.
(Mixture will be very granulated looking.)

Add the applesauce
and mix well. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure mixture is well mixed.


Add the raisins and nuts and mix.


Pour and spread batter in the prepared pan.


Bake 30 - 35 minutes. (30 minutes was perfect)


Cool cake on wire rack.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top if you like.






I had a few pieces left so I gave them to our new neighbors. They were very appreciative, also.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

GERMAN'S SWEET CHOCOLATE PIES

We have new neighbors...Sean, 22, Wyatt, 23, and Jeff, 25. How exciting is that? Sean describes them as computer nerds and offered to help me out with any computer problem I might have. I told them about my blog and that I hoped they would be willing to be "taste testers" for me.

This German's Sweet Chocolate Pie is the first thing I took them. The recipe made two pies so that meant I could try it out before I took them one. I cut corners on the sugar (as I so often do) and so it wasn't real sweet. I warned them but Sean said sometimes too much sugar is not good. (Can you believe it?) Anyway, if you like sweet, you might want to use regular sweetened coconut.

Linda M. Kreitz from Houston, TX said, "The first time I ever baked this pie, it was for the FFA Fair in 1972. It won for me a first place ribbon for Pies and a trophy for Grand Champion for all food. I still bake it for special occasions and hope you'll enjoy it also."


GERMAN'S SWEET CHOCOLATE PIES

4         ounces German's sweet chocolate
1/4      cup butter
1          (12 - ounce) can evaporated milk
1-1/2   cups sugar
3         tablespoons cornstarch
1/8      teaspoon salt
2         eggs
1          teaspoon vanilla
2         unbaked (8 - inch) pie shells (I used two 9 - inch graham cracker crusts. Might try the regular pie crusts next time.)
2         cups flaked coconut
1          cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt the chocolate with butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir til smooth and completely melted.

Stir the chocolate mixture into the milk in a medium sized bowl with a whisk; set aside.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl.
Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well.
Add the chocolate mixture gradually, stirring constantly.


Pour equal amounts of the filling into the pie shells.

Sprinkle with a mixture of the coconut and pecans.
(I mixed 1 cup of coconut and 1/2 cup of nuts together and
then sprinkled on one of the pies. Then mixed another batch to sprinkle on the other pie. I wanted to make sure I divided it evenly.
)


Bake for 45 minutes.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SOUR CREAM LEMON PIE

Gary Schulte of Broadway, Virginia contributed this Sour Cream Lemon Pie in Phyllis Pellman Good and Kate Good's cookbook called Mennonite Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. Gary says it is one of the special pies he likes to make and share for the family's Thanksgiving. Isn't it interesting how we have family favorites that we always serve at holidays? The gathering just wouldn't be the same without the dishes.

I chose to make the pie because it sounded so easy. Canasta was meeting at friend Fran's house and I always make the dessert since Fran doesn't do a lot of cooking anymore. (It gives me another good opportunity to make and share a dessert for this blog and besides I love to bake.) Well, it was certainly well received by the ladies. My husband couldn't say enough good things about it when I brought home the last piece for him. Guess I will have to make it again.

It called for a baked pie crust. I thought it sounded like a good pie for a graham cracker crust. So that is what I did. (I finally found a ready-made graham cracker crust that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup. It was also a 10-inch one which was perfect for the pie. I'm not sure it would have all fit in a 9-inch one.)


SOUR CREAM LEMON PIE

1          cup sugar
3-1/2  tablespoons cornstarch
1          tablespoon  lemon rind, grated (I used lemon peel)
1/2      cup fresh lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice)
3         egg yolks, beaten
1          cup milk
1/4      cup butter (half a stick)
1          cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
9"        baked pie crust (I used a 10" graham cracker crust)
whipped cream (I used an 8 - ounce carton of sugar free whipped topping)


In a saucepan, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and lemon rind. Add lemon juice, egg yolks, and milk.
Stir well.
Cook over medium heat until thickened. (I constantly stirred it with a whisk.)


Remove from heat and add butter.
Stir until melted.


Cool mixture to room temperature.


Stir in the sour cream.


Pour into pie crust.


Cover with whipped topping. 

Cover and store in refrigerator til ready to serve.

Monday, July 25, 2016

GOURMET CHICKEN SALAD

I have said before that I love chicken salad, especially ones with fruit. When I made the Lemon-Honey Chicken a few days ago, I couldn't get all of the chicken breasts in the baking dish. I ended up cooking a piece in some water on top of the stove til done. 

When I saw this recipe for Gourmet Chicken Salad in Dawn Hill's Down Home Cookin' Without the Down Home Fat cookbook, I thought I would use the piece I had boiled and then some of the leftover chicken from the Lemon-Honey Chicken. 

I didn't have all of the ingredients called for and just substituted what I had or liked instead. It was really delicious and definitely a "keeper".



GOURMET CHICKEN SALAD

2       cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
1/2    cup apples unpeeled and chopped
25     raisins - chopped (I quartered red grapes to measure a rounded 1/4 cup - could use as much as 1/2 cup)
1/4    cup celery - chopped
1        tablespoon chopped chives
1/2    cup fat-free Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (I used reduced fat)
2       teaspoons sesame seeds (I used sunflower kernels)
2       teaspoons lemon juice
2       teaspoons brown sugar
2       teaspoons ground ginger
dash of salt - optional


For dressing mix together chives, Miracle Whip, sesame seeds or sunflower kernels, lemon juice, brown sugar, ginger, and salt, in a medium large bowl. Mix until well blended.




Add chicken breast, apples, raisins or grapes, and celery.


Toss until well covered with dressing.






Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Different ways to serve:


* Serve on top of a pretty bed of assorted freshly torn lettuce leaves.


* Serve opened faced or on lightly toasted bread. (or croissant) 






* Use 1/2 of a cantaloupe or honeydew melon. Cut the melon in half. Clean out the seeds of the melon. With a knife, cut the end of the melon flat giving the bowl shape a flat surface to sit on. Stuff cantaloupe with salad. (Sounds pretty.)

* Perfectly served rolled in a tortilla as a wrap, too.

Friday, July 22, 2016

LEMON-HONEY CHICKEN

I can't let the week go by without sharing another chicken recipe with you. If you have been following my blog, you know that I bought 40 lbs of fresh chicken breasts about a month ago. You can read about it here.

I ended up with 35 chicken large chicken breasts. That means we have to have chicken about once a week. (With leftovers that means we are eating chicken 2 or 3 nights a week.) I have tried several dishes main dishes using the slow cooker because I didn't want to heat up my kitchen and cooking in the slow cooker is so easy. This week though I found a recipe for baked chicken in the oven. (I just lowered the temperature on the A/C.

Actually I found two recipes in two different cookbooks that were very similar. I decided to take a little from each and come up with my own recipe. One of the recipes called Lemon-Honey Chicken was contributed by Judy Smith from Green Valley Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL (America's Best Recipes, a 1992 Hometown Collection). The other recipe was Tara Concelman from Houston, TX and was called Gold Shipment Broiled Chicken (Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook).



LEMON-HONEY CHICKEN

1/2       cup all-purpose flour
1           teaspoon salt
1/4       teaspoon pepper
3          lbs. chicken breast, cut into strips
1/2       cup butter, melted
1/4       cup honey
1/4       cup lemon juice
1           tablespoon prepared mustard


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rectangular baking dish with foil.


Combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.


Combine the honey, lemon juice, and mustard in a small mixing bowl. Whisk til well blended. Set aside.


Melt the butter and pour into the foil lined baking dish.


Place chicken pieces in the baking dish.

Spray the chicken pieces with non-stick cooking spray. (If you prefer, you can skip this step and just brush or spoon on about half of the honey/lemon mixture at the beginning. I brushed the mixture on the chicken after it had been cooking about 10 minutes. Next time I will do it at the beginning and not spray the chicken pieces with the cooking spray. The picture above was taken after I had sprayed the pieces with the cooking spray.)


Bake the chicken for 30 minutes uncovered.


Remove chicken from oven and brush and pour remaining sauce over chicken pieces and return to oven. (Make sure you "wet" all the chicken pieces on the top.)


Bake 20 to 30 more minutes or until chicken pieces are done. (If you like, you can baste the pieces with the honey mixture during this baking time.)