Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quick and Easy Overnight Coffee Cake

Photo by: TinyTall

Quick and Easy Overnight Coffee Cake

Sometimes I like to treat my kids with something special for breakfast. This overnight coffee cake is so simple to make, and it tastes, so good.  The best part about this cake is that you prepare it the night before and then bake it the next morning. What better way to wake up the family then with the scents of cinnamon and nutmeg wafting through the house.

This recipe does call for nuts, but we rarely ever add nuts to our coffee cake.  It  is just as good whichever way you want to eat it.

3/4 cup butter, softened
½  sugar
½  cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk *
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
 1/2 cup Pecans or walnuts (Optional)

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and  buttermilk . Mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl.  Add this to the creamed mix. batter and mix well. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch cake pan.   
Combine brown sugar, and cinnamon; mix well. Some people like a little crunch in their coffee cake. If you do, add a 1/2 cup pecans or chopped walnuts to the mixture. Sprinkle half of this mixture over cake batter. Take a knife and cut through the batter. You don't want to mix it, you want to run the knife through the batter to swirl sugar and cinnamon mixture through the cake batter. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the cake.  Do not cut through or swirl this.  
Cover the pan with clear plastic, or if your pan has a lid, you can use that.  Place the pan in the refrigerator. 
The next morning,  preheat oven to 350 ° Fahrenheit. Remove the coffee cake from the refrigerator and take off the plastic cover. Place the pan on the center oven rack. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until cakes tests done with a toothpick.
Cut while the coffee cake is still warm. Eat and enjoy.
* If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute it. Measure out 1 cup of whole milk and then add 1 tablespoon vinegar.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding it to your cake. Don't worry wthat the milk turns lumpy, because that is what it is supposed to do.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Funnel Cakes

Photo by: garann

Funnel Cakes

Today is a fun recipe. It will remind you of warm summer days and going to the carnival. Can you guess what it is?  Yes, it's funnel cakes. Would you believe that I never had a funnel cake until I was in my 40's. Now I can revisit my happy food taste experience by making my own, anytime my kids and I want.

3 large EGGS
1/4 cup Sugar
2 cups milk
3 2/3 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Vegetable oil


Beat eggs and sugar together and then add the milk slowly--beat. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.  *See note below.

Pour batter into a funnel and at the same time, use your finger to plug the hole. In a large cast iron pot, add 2 inches of oil to the bottom.

When the oil becomes hot, move your hand over the pot and slowly release your finger so the batter can start cooking.

Move the funnel around to make designs.

Brown on both sides--then immediately remove and drain extremely well on paper towels.

Top with cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar as a topping.

*Sometimes I like to add cinnamon, or nutmeg to my funnel batter.  You could also add a dash of cloves to the batter as well. It gives the funnel cakes just a little more flavor. The amount depends on how much of the spice you want to taste. We usually do 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

Picture by:  Hans

Nothing tastes better than fresh peach pie warm from the oven. But like many of you, I don't have all day to make the piecrust, roll it out, and place it into a pan. And no, I do not buy the already made piecrusts found in the freezer section of the local grocery store. This recipe is a delicious alternative to the traditional two-crust pie. Here are some shortcuts that will make this pie baking experience faster and very enjoyable. Try it and let me know what you think.


1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups sliced fresh peaches (6 medium)*  

1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 400ยบ.

2. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch and cinnamon in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in peaches and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour into an ungreased 2-quart casserole. Place the peach mixture hot in the oven to keep it hot while you prepare the topping.

3. Cut shortening into flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder and salt in medium bowl, using a pastry knife. Instead of using a pastry knife, I often hold two knives together in one hand to cut the shortening into the flour, instead of the pastry knife. When the mixture resembles fine crumbs, stir in the milk. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto hot peach mixture.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whip cream, or ice cream if desired.

*I rarely have fresh peaches on hand when the notion strikes me to make this pie.  I substitute canned peaches. You may want to reduce the amount of sugar to 1/4 cup.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home-Made Apple Loaf

Photo by: Tingeling

Apple Loaf

We like quick breads and our favorite one is banana bread. Occasionally, I like to change things up a bit and make something else. This apple bread takes a little time to prepare, but not so long in the amount of work it takes to mix the ingredients. It does use more butter than banana bread, but because we don’t make it very often, it is a nice treat.


4 cups Macintosh apples. Core, peel, and dice the apples
2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs beaten until frothy
1 teaspoon vanilla


Mix apples and 2 cups sugar in a large bowl. Leave at room temperature 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The sugar sweetens the apples and brings out the juices.

Heat oven to 325F. Grease two 8-1/2x4-1/2 loaf pans.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Set aside until it cools down. If you use it while it is hot, it will cook the eggs. That will ruin the texture of your bread.

Mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir this into apple and sugar mixture.

Stir in butter, beaten eggs, and vanilla until combined. Pour half into each pan. Bang the pan on top of the counter to collapse air pockets. Sprinkle 1-teaspoon sugar over the top of each bread.

Bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until a wooden pick inserted in centers of loaves comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes before removing loaves from pans to wire-rack to cool completely.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spicy Hot Taverns, But Not Too Spicy

Photo by: jeffreyw

Spicy Hot Taverns, But Not Too Spicy

One meal I can count on my kids really enjoying is taverns.  I can remember enjoying taverns when I was in school and my dad requesting me to make this dish for him in his later years. We usually have this meal several times a month. Serve this dish with a salad and some baked beans for a wonderful meal.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 hot pepper chopped fine *
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup spaghetti  or pizza sauce
3 tablespoons hot salsa *
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper *
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
salt and black pepper to taste

In a heavy cast iron skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, hot pepper and sweet pepper. Drain off the fat.

Stir in the mustard, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, hot salsa, BBQ sauce, honey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and celery seed. Mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir often as it simmers or otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

If I have time, I like to make hot home-made bread buns for our taverns.

* If you don't like this much heat in your food, omit the hot pepper and cayenne pepper.   Use a mild variety of salsa. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Salad Dressing Dorothy Lynch

Lettuce was finally on sale so I bought two of them. We haven’t had lettuce in a long time, and it was such a treat. Our favorite salad dressing is Dorothy Lynch, but it too is costly when bought in the store. We make our own salad dressing that tastes very close to bottled Dorothy Lynch. If you want to save some money, try making your own salad dressing. You can control how much sugar goes into it for a healthier version.

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar (or less)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 cup oil

Put all the ingredients, except for the oil into a blender in the order given. Turn on the blender to mix. While the blender is running, slowly pour the oil into the blender container. Continue blending until it is thoroughly mixed. 

When blended, pour into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Keep the salad dressing in the refrigerator. 

Cut up the lettuce and put it into individual bowls. Pour the dressing over the top.  Enjoy.