Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jam Cake

When I saw this cake was from 1912, I knew I had to make it as soon as possible!  I love that time period, the late 1800s and early 1900s.  I love to read and a lot of the books I read are historical Christian love stories.  The latest ones I just finished are here and here.  They were very good now I just need to get the third one.  If you enjoy reading I recommend anything by this author.  Anyways, I love how back then they made a hearty meal three times a day and they ate dessert with dinner.  With all that said that’s why I couldn’t wait to make this cake.  Since we were going to a friend’s house I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to make the cake so we wouldn’t have it all just for the two of us.  It was quite good.  We all loved it even the 20 month old!  It tasted like a spice cake but not quite as “spicey” as spice cakes.  I really couldn’t taste the blackberry jam but I’m sure it added to the moistness of the cake.

I followed this recipe exactly except for one unintentional adjustment.  I put the baking soda in with the flour and spices but it turned out fine.  I also made my own sour milk by putting ¾ tsp vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup and then filling it to the ¼ cup line with milk and letting it stand for 5 minutes.  I cooked it for 22 min and 30 seconds.  I had two on my top rack and one on the bottom so I rotated them three times, every seven and a half minutes.  They were perfect when I took them out of the oven.  I then let them rest in the pans 8 minutes before I turned them onto the cooling racks

Recipe taken from – Heritage Cookbook (1976)

1 c butter or margarine
4 eggs
4 T sour milk
1 c jam (blackberry is best)
1 ¼ c sugar
2 c flour
1 scant tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice

Cream butter, sugar and eggs thoroughly.  Sift flour and spices together.  Add soda to the sour milk.  Add flour mixture and sour milk and soda to creamed mixture alternately, a little at a time.  Add the jam last.  Divide into 3 cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake at 325 till done.

1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
½ stick butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1-lb box confectioner’s sugar
1 c finely chopped pecans (optional)

Cream the softened cheese and butter.  Add remaining ingredients.  Spread between layers and top and sides of cake.

Somehow I doubt that this icing is from 1912!  They probably didn’t have 8 oz packages of cream cheese!:)  But that’s ok it makes it yummy in 2011!

Recipe for a Happy Home!

Recipe taken from – W.M.U Centennial Cookbook

4 c of love
2 c of loyalty
3 c of forgiveness
1 c of friendship
5 heaping Tbsp of hope
3 spoonfuls of tenderness
4 qt of faith
1 barrel of laughter

Take love and loyalty; mix it thoroughly with tenderness, forgiveness, and faith.  Add friendship and hope.  Sprinkle abundantly with laughter.  Bake it with sunshine in a 350 oven.  Serve daily with generous helpings.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Best Lemonade

We went to a friend’s house on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend so what better way to bring in summer than with some fresh squeezed lemonade!  My hubby had to use his muscles to get the 1 ½ cup of lemon juice (approx 15 small lemons) but it was worth it.  So much better than Kool-Aid or Country Time Lemonade! 

I made the syrup the night before so it could do its thing overnight.  It was nice and sweet the next day following the recipes ratio.  I put some of it into a quart sized container with the additional water just so we wouldn’t have to continue making it by the cup full and that worked out well.

Recipe taken from – Hearts of the Home (1982)


1 ½ c sugar
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
1 ½ c very hot water
1 ½ c lemon juice

Need cold water or club soda.  In a 1 quart jar with tight fitting lid, shake first 3 ingredients till sugar is dissolved.  Add lemon juice and refrigerate.  To make lemonade:  Over ice cubes in a 12 ounce glass, pour ¼ cup syrup, then stir ¾ cup cold water or chilled club soda.  Makes sixteen 1 cup servings.

If you’re having a get together this summer give this refreshing lemonade a try.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

I've always been on the lookout for a good chicken spaghetti recipe that is quick.  Every cookbook I got had several recipes in them for chicken spaghetti.  This one caught my eye because it had mushrooms and used cheddar cheese and not velveeta.  I still may try some of the other ones though to compare and see if there is a better one!

I did make some adjustments to the recipe though.  I only used 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and a half of stick of butter to sauté the veggies in and it took about 10 min to get them soft.  I also used 1 lb of chicken breasts cut up into small cubes which I cooked in 1 T of oil and 1 T of butter, 1 min per side.  I used a 16 oz package of spaghetti noodles.  I used a large skillet to cook the sauce in but then transferred it to the big pot with the spaghetti at the end and mixed it all together.  We did put more cheddar cheese on top before serving but I really don't think it needs it.  It has enough cheese and creaminess without the addition.

Overall, this was a good dish but it had a lot of dairy which my husband can’t tolerate as well.  So, I probably won’t be making it to often but I will make it again for sure.  It also heated up very well the next day…I thought it might have been even better.  Oh, and another positive our 20 month old loved it too!

Recipe taken from – Thalian’s Society Cookbook

1 c chopped green bell pepper
1 c chopped celery
1 lg chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 lg can pimientos
1 sm can mushrooms
3 cans Swanson’s chicken
2 T Worcestershire sauce
¼ c catsup
1 c grated sharp cheese

Sauté pepper, celery and onion in 1 stick of butter, 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.  Add soup, pimientos, mushrooms, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, catsup and cheese.  Simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add 1 package of cooked spaghetti.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese when served, if desired, or melt cheese on top if desired.  Serves 6 to 8.

Give this unusual version a try and you just might be surprised!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chewy Brownies

My husband loves anything chocolate but me not so much so all the desserts I fix are usually chocolateless but the other day was our 5 year anniversary so I thought I would surprise him and make him brownies.  He loved his surprise and said they were delicious.  He gave them 10 stars and said they were better than boxed!  I tasted them and they tasted like brownies…duh!!:)

These were super easy to make.  My 20 month old son helped.  He loves dumping the ingredients in the bowl and helping stir.  It’s nice to know they are homemade because they don’t have all the preservatives that give box brownies a crazy long shelf life.  That makes you feel a little less guilty in eating them….right??!!...

I did not put nuts in the mix and I put slightly heaping tablespoons of coco.  I cooked them for 30 minutes.  When I cut into them they wanted to crack apart a little but not to bad….I’m not sure why though.

Recipe Taken from – County Heritage Cookbook (1976)

1 stick butter
1 c sugar
3 T cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 c flour
½ tsp vanilla
½ c nuts, chopped

Melt butter, mix cocoa with sugar and add to butter; mix well.  Add the eggs, then the flour.  Add nuts and vanilla last.  Bake in a square pan at 325 for 20 or 25 minutes.

Inspirational Quotes

One of the cookbooks has some really awesome quotes at the bottom of some of the pages so I'll share those as well.  I should post a batch each week....probably every Saturday.

Inspiration taken from – Thalian Society’s Cookbook

It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
Life is like a mirror – We get the best results when we smile at it.
May we always be the kind of person whom others will feel better by knowing.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Deep South Baked Chicken

This was our first main dish out of the new cookbooks and it was good but not great.  I think with some tweaking it could be really good but the chips just didn't stick well so it didn’t make a nice crust.  We were basically eating baked chicken.  The marinade was good but I think next time I would put salt and pepper on the chicken before I breaded it.  Also, I think I would use egg and not butter for the dipping next time because once the cold chicken went into the butter the butter hardens back up which is another reason I think the chips didn't stick.  I’m also wondering if frying the chicken a couple minutes on each side would help the crust get crispy and golden before putting it in the oven?  Any thoughts?  If so please leave a comment!

The 1 hour baking time is also way off I used thick chicken breasts (1.5 lb for 2 breasts) and cooked it for 35 minutes and it was perfect.  Since I only used two breasts I halved the marinade and turned the chicken every hour.  I baked on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.

Recipe taken from – Thalian Society’s Cookbook

4 chicken breasts, split in half
1 c lemon or lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp basil
1 c melted butter
3 c potato chips, crumbled

Mix juice, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil.  Marinate chicken in this.  Refrigerate for 4 hours.  Turn occasionally.  Remove chicken and pat dry.  Dip each piece in melted butter.  Roll in potato chips.  Arrange in greased, flat baking dish.  Bake uncovered, at 350 for 1 hour.

Give it a try to see what you think.  Please let me know if you have ideas on how to make a better crust.  I also think this would be a good marinade for grilled chicken…yummy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zucchini Bread

I had some fresh zucchinis that I needed to use and just as luck would have it my new cookbooks had some zucchini bread recipes.  There was a sweet one and a savory one but since I had just done sweet strawberry bread I thought maybe I should do the savory bread.  My husband had a company dinner to go to so my son and I had leftovers.  Since I didn’t have to cook I thought I’d make the bread to have with our dinner the next day.  I just wish I could wave a wand and have someone do the dishes for me.  That’s the only part of cooking that I don’t like!  My sister and I did wish for a magic wand to clean our room for us once when we were little but it never came so we had to clean it ourselves!:(

We enjoyed this with our chicken dinner but I have to say it’s more of a quiche/casserole than a bread.   My husband loved it, me I liked it and our 20 month old son ate it at first but then didn’t want any more later.  Would I make it again?  If I had a garden with zucchini and it was coming out of my ears then yes but to go buy zucchini just for this probably not but my husband would say yes!

I grated the zucchini with a large cheese grater and I used canola oil.  I baked it about 40 min but I used a smaller pan (not much but a little) and I don’t think I would want to use a 9x13 because the pieces would be really thin.  It was a really easy dish to whip up and is a good use of an over abundance of garden zucchini.

Recipe taken from – W.M.U Centennial Cookbook (1988)

3 c zucchini (4), pared and sliced thin
1 c Bisquick
½ c chopped onion
 ½ c parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
½ c oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp seasoned salt
½ tsp oregano
Dash of pepper
4 slightly beaten eggs

Mix all ingredients.  Spread into a greased 13x9x2 inch dish.  Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oatmeal Cake

I actually found this recipe on the internet a couple weeks ago and the description read “While going through my grandmother’s old tin box of recipes I came across this old favorite, handwritten by her, and oozing with memories”.  With that description and it having oatmeal in it (I’m a sucker for oatmeal recipes) I knew I had to make it!  As I was going through all my new found treasures (cookbooks) it happened to be in every one of them.  All the recipes are slightly different but I’m sure the outcome is still the same.  I’m not going to be making it again for awhile just for the fact that I have lots of other goodies to try!  So, I’m going to post it with one of the cookbooks recipes and then I’ll put the recipe I actually used.

The cake was really good.  For some reason it reminded me of German Chocolate cake but I think that’s because of the topping of nuts and coconut.

I had already put the oatmeal soaking in the water when I realized that ants had invaded my brown sugar so what’s a girl to do you ask.  Find a substitute off the handy internet!  I found this link and made the brown sugar and it worked perfectly!  Just make sure you keep blending until the molasses is incorporated really well.  And yes it will be stinky but it is still good I promise!

Recipe taken from – Local School PTA (1989)
1 c quick cooking oatmeal
1 ¼ c boiling water
¼ c butter
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 1/3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 c melted butter
½ c brown sugar
¼ c milk
1 c coconut
½ tsp vanilla
½ c pecans chopped

Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let stand 10 minutes.  Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.  Add mixture to oatmeal and then add: eggs, vanilla, salt, flour, soda, and cinnamon.  Blend well and pour into loaf pan.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until done at 350.

Mix all topping ingredients together and spread over cake immediately after coming out of the oven.  Put back in oven under broiler until lightly browned.

Here is the recipe I used in making mine.  Give this one a try!  It sounds different but it's different in a good way!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aspirin Cake

What I love about these old cookbooks is that they have very sweet "recipes" for friendships, marriages, and homes.  I will be posting them along with the "real" recipes for you to enjoy as well.  This one is more funny than sweet so I thought I'd start with this one.

Recipe from W.M.U Centennial Cookbook (1988)

Preheat oven
Turn down TV
Remove toys from counter tops
Measure 2 cups flour
Get baking powder
Remove Billy's hands from flour
Put flour, salt, and baking powder in sifter
Vacuum mixture off of kitchen floor (Billy spilled it)
Get an egg
Answer the phone
Separate egg, warm baby Adam's bottle
Help Mary figure out a new math problem (the old reliable way)
Grease pan; salesman at door
Take 1/4 inch of salt from greased pan and look for Billy
Put mess in garbage can
Put dishes in dishwasher
Call the bakery
Take an aspirin

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

What can I say about these!?  As a kid this recipe was a favorite of mine and my sisters.  It was something that didn’t require baking and was fairly simple.  It required ingredients that were always on hand so it was a go to cookie recipe.  My husband and I still make them when we want something quick and easy.  I don’t have a picture of these but I will put a picture of the page in the cookbook where these are.  You’ll be able to tell very quickly that these were a favorite!

Recipe taken from – Recipes from the “Heart of the Home” (1982)
2 c sugar
½ c coco
1 stick butter
½ c milk
2 ½ c oatmeal
Chopped nuts (if desired) (we never have put nuts)

In saucepan, combine sugar and coco, stirring until smooth.  Add milk and stir till moistened completely.  Add butter and heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes (to soft ball candy stage).  Stir in oatmeal and nuts.  Take off heat and stir till cool enough to dry on wax paper.  For vanilla oatmeal cookies, use same recipe, substituting 2 teaspoons vanilla for the coco.

We also always put peanut butter in ours about ½ cup.  If you choose to add peanut butter add with oatmeal.

I'm sure this is a familiar recipe to most but if not give these a try soon.  You'll love the taste and the quick making and cleanup!

Strawberry Bread

This bread was very easy and yummy!  I had some fresh strawberries that we had picked a couple months ago still frozen so I thought this would be a perfect recipe to use them for.  My son helped me make it and we had it made and in the oven in probably twenty minutes.  At the end of the process he finally discovered we were dealing with strawberries and wanted to eat them but luckily I had some extras!  I baked it in a Bundt pan for 63 minutes and then left it in the pan to cook a little longer for about 3 minutes.  Then I dumped it out and it came out great.  I did spray it heavily though because I didn’t want it sticking and falling apart.  I omitted the pecans and used canola oil in place of vegetable oil.  The best thing about this cake is it’s all done by hand so you don’t have to dirty up a mixer!

Recipe taken from – Texas State Foster Parent’s Incorporated Cookbook (1989)
3 c flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 ¼ c vegetable oil
2 c sliced frozen or fresh strawberries
1 c chopped pecans

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  In separate bowl, mix together eggs and oil then add strawberries and pecans.  Blend into dry ingredients (by hand) and pour into greased and floured loaf or Bundt pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Garnish with sifted powdered sugar when cool, if desired.

Fresh Strawberries are currently in season so the next time they’re on sale buy some and give this recipe a try!  You won't be sorry!