Friday, January 22, 2021


 Personally, I have never heard of sour oranges. Have you? They are native to Southeast Asia according to what I read. I almost didn't include the word in my title. The thought is enough to turn almost anyone off of this delicious pie. Fortunately Wayne's cousin's wife also shared a picture of her pie when she shared it on Facebook so I knew I had to try it. 

The good new is that the recipe is written for someone who doesn't have sour oranges. I think that's amusing actually. I didn't wait too long before I made it after seeing two days. (I had to go to the store to buy some animal crackers to make the crust. Don't worry if you don't have the animal crackers...just use a graham cracker crust. I almost did.)

I made the pie Wednesday as a celebration for our new president. At first I didn't think we would get to enjoy a piece because I spent all day, it seems, in front of the television. The recipe said to chill at least 3 hours or overnight and that usually means overnight to me. I do want the servings to come out clean. But Wednesday night about dinner time, Wayne asked if he could eat a piece. I reluctantly told him we could try. 

Well, they came out beautifully and tasted good. I was glad we had decided to go on and cut it. Yesterday after a late lunch, we ate another piece. The flavor was stronger and so I would probably suggest making the pie the day before you want to serve it, for that reason.

Thanks Mary for sharing the recipe.



5     oz. animal crackers 

3     tablespoons sugar (I used 1-1/2 tablespoons of stevia blend)

pinch of salt

4     tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I used just a little bit more so the crumbs would hold together.)


1     14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

6      tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

4      large egg yolks

2      teaspoons grated lemon zest (I used dried lemon peel)

6      tablespoons lemon juice (2 lemons) (I used bottled lemon juice)

1      teaspoon grated orange zest (I used dried orange peel)

pinch of salt

Whipped cream:

3/4   cup heavy cream, chilled

2      tablespoons sugar

1/2   teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Oven rack should be in the center of the oven.

Process the animal crackers, sugar and salt in a food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds.

Add melted butter and plus until combined.

Transfer to a 9 - inch pie plate.

Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup,

press crumbs firmly into bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

Bake crust until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Let cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

Whisk all of the ingredients for the filling in a bowl until

fully combined.

Pour filling into cooled crust. (I used one of my mother's pie plates that is only 8-1/2 inches. I thought the filling was going to overflow the crust, but it didn't. The pie plate also fits in my plastic pie keeper.)

Bake the pie until the center jiggles slightly when shaken, about 15 - 17 minutes. (I just took the pie out after 15 minutes.) Let cool completely on the wire rack.

Refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 3 hours or cover with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. I have a pie plate cover/carrier that I put the pie in and chilled in refrigerator 3+ hours and then cut to serve. I stored the pie in the refrigerator in the carrier.

To make the whipped cream, whisk cream, sugar, and orange zest in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, 2 - 4 minutes. Can put a dollop of the whipped cream on the slice of pie to serve. (I didn't make the whipped cream. We enjoy the pie by itself. I did put a dollop of purchased whipped cream on a slice for a picture - and to eat.)

***If you do have sour oranges, use 3/4 cup of strained sour orange juice for the orange and lemon juice.

Thursday, January 21, 2021


 I was trying to delete some past pictures from my phone so I could free up some space. I do take lots of pictures when I am cooking/baking in the kitchen. Two sets were back from December 20. I matched one set with the blog post and deleted them. The other set didn't match up with any post. I remembered from the pictures that they were muffins I had taken to a neighbor when I was giving baked goods to neighbors for Christmas. 

All I could do was hunt for the recipe. What a scary thought! From the pictures I could see they contained peaches so that was my clue to help me find the recipe.

Because I was making so many breads and muffins from my Volume One The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook, that's the one I picked up to check first. Instead of looking in the index, I thought I would first check the pages where I had my little pieces of stick-on Post-Its sticking up. Fortunately I had checked the recipe, but had also made another recipe on the page that I had marked with the Post-It. What a relief! It could have taken me a long time to find the recipe, but it only took about 10 or 15 minutes instead. I am blessed!

The recipe called for fresh peaches, but I did use some fresh frozen ones. I also forgot to sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar so I ended up making a powdered sugar glaze and drizzled it over them. 

The muffins came from Captain Ezra Nye Guest House in Sandwich, MA. The other recipe I made from there was for my new favorite Cranberry Nut Muffins. I made them Sunday and took them to our special teacher we "adopted" from our church to pray for and provide any needs she had for this difficult school year. I didn't even eat one of them. I took her all 23 of them that I made Sunday.  


4       cups flour

1       cup sugar

8       teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

*     *     *

2        eggs

2        cups milk

1/2     cup oil

*     *     *

2        cups chopped fresh peaches


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. (The mini-Bundt muffin pan.)

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing
 bowl combine the eggs, milk, and oil with a whisk.

Add the dry ingredients and

mix until just moistened.

Add the peaches that you chopped.

Pour into muffin pans and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes. Makes two dozen muffins.

I made one pan of 12 fancy mini-Bundt muffins,

12 regular sized muffins, and

4  mini - Bundt cakes.

As I said earlier, I forgot to sprinkle the tops with sugar before I baked them so I made a powdered sugar glaze and drizzled it over the muffins.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021


 I know I have shared several recipes with dates over the last few weeks. I do love dates even as fruit not in any recipe. This recipe that I am finally getting around to sharing is in Volume One of The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook was presented from the Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley, CA. I thought I would check out the resort and discovered it is now called The Ranch at Death Valley. It sounds like a nice place. We have been to Death Valley before but never to the resort.

Anyway, I made the bread to take to Hillcrest Thrift Shop for the volunteers before Christmas and before I took a break so that we could self-isolate for 10 days before going to CO to celebrate Christmas with our older son, Jeffrey, and his family. The instructions were a little brief so I used my years of experience and have given instructions on the way I prepared the bread in parenthesis.


2       cups chopped dates

*     *     *

4       cups sifted flour (sift flour before measuring)

1       cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1       cup sugar

1       cup chopped walnuts

1/2    cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3       teaspoons salt

3       teaspoons baking soda

Soak the dates in hot water for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. (The resort uses 2 aluminum foil loaf pans - size not indicated. I made one 9 x 5 - inch loaf and one smaller 4 x 6 - inch loaf.

TIP: Sift 4 cups of flour and

then remeasure 4 cups to use in the recipe.

(It does make a difference in the amount of flour you will be using in the recipe. Amount I had left over after sifting the 4 cups.)

**Blend all ingredients except the dates.

(I combined the dry ingredients first

with a whisk and

then added the butter.

There isn't enough butter to really do a whole lot but I did combine it with the dry ingredients to some degree.

I strained the dates from the water

to measure the cup initially added and strained the rest of the dates before adding them.

Since the recipe didn't indicate how much water to soak the dates in, I felt the water wasn't to be added.

***Add 1 cup of the dates and mix until smooth,

add the remaining dates and

mix well.

***Pour into loaf pans. (I prepared two 9 x 5 - inch loaf pans and filled one first. I did not have enough batter to fill the second one. I chose a loaf pan about 4 x 6 - inches for the rest. The recipe says it makes two  2 pound loaves.)

***Bake for approximately 1 hour. (I cooked the smaller loaf about 30 to 40 minutes and the larger one about 50 minutes.)

Cool in pans on wire rack. Wrap in foil to store.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


 So far 2021's weather in Kansas City, MO hasn't been too severe. Don't get me wrong. We have had snow a couple of times, but not a lot. So far we have been in a pattern of colder weekends and warmer middle of the week days. I will take it any day over some of the winters we have had. We are already noticing it not getting dark until 5:30 when just a month ago it was 5.

My menu planning continues to work well, which is good. Hoping I will keep it up. Less stress is an improvement. Today I am sharing an old family favorite of ours for "kicking-up" ground beef. It shows how serving sizes have gotten larger when you read my recipe card that says the recipe serves 6. A quarter pound burger is normal nowadays. When I made it last week, I was hungry so I made four patties, but whenever I make it again, I will try six patties. I did include in the instructions the temperature for an electric skillet. That shows how old the recipe is. I haven't used an electric skillet in YEARS. You?

One thing I did this time when I made it is I made up the four patties and then froze two of them. I will put it on our menu for one day in February. I'm not sure why but I think the ones I cooked last week were the best ever! It might have been because I lowered the temperature on the stove just a little and didn't cook them quite as quickly. The cracker crumbs didn't burn like they sometimes do.


1     beaten egg

1/4  cup milk

2     tablespoons finely chopped onion (I always omit)

1     teaspoon chili powder

1/4  teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1     lb ground beef

1     cup coarsely crushed saltines (20 crackers)

2     tablespoons cooking oil

Combine the egg, milk, 1/2 cup crumbs (10 crackers), onion, chili powder, salt, and Worcestershire sauce until combined. Add beef, mixing well.

Shape into 6 patties, 1/2 inch thick.

Coat both sides of the patties in the rest of the cracker crumbs. (If you run short, just crush a couple more crackers.)

In a skillet, cook the patties in hot oil over medium to medium-high heat about 3 minutes on each side.

As I said above, I cooked two for us to eat and put each one of the other two I made in baggies and froze them. I always put food in a storage bag and then put it all in a large freezer bag.

One more look...

(Electric skillet - 325 degrees F.) (I did cook with a little lower heat. Check side for brownness before flipping.)