Category Archives: Recipes

Toad-In-A-Hole

I hadn’t made this favorite of my children in several years, but since there was an opened package of beef hot dogs which needed using, i decided on a trial to see if they would be acceptable substitute for sausages. It worked out great and was a hit with my 93 year old father-in-law and husband’s 100 year old aunt this past Sunday lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef or lamb sausage links (or beef hot dogs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in an 11 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch baking dish and place sausages/hot dogs in baking dish and bake at 400ºF  for 10 minutes.  Whilst those are baking, mix the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Remove baking dish from oven and pour batter over links/dogs.  Pop dish back into the 400ºF oven uncovered for about 30 minutes until golden.  Cut into squares.

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Here’s a photo of the traditional appearance of Toad-In-A-Hole.  The links are left intact.  
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Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil into an 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish.

 

 

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Feel free to leave the sausages (or hot dogs in this case) whole.  I sliced mine since i felt they’d be easier for my guests of advanced age to eat.
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Place in oiled pan.
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Bake in 400ºF oven for 10 minutes.

 

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While the sausage/hot dogs are cooking, mix up the batter until smooth.
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Remove the baking dish from oven and pour batter over top of sausages/hot dogs.

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Bake at 400ºF uncovered for about 30 minutes.

 

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Cut into pieces and serve.  Enjoy!

 

 

Texas Sheet Cake by June

Nearly every birthday my children had, especially as they grew older, they would request that their Great Aunt June Lamme would make them a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake.  Yummy!  I made it for the boys’ October birthdays this year (2019) for a small gathering at our traditional weiner roast birthday celebration.

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Grandma’s Texas Sheet Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Bring to boil: butter, water, and cocoa.  Sift flour, sugar, soda, salt into a mixing bowl.  Pour in boiled mixture and mix.  Then add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Pour batter into a buttered 15″ x 12″ pan.  Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes.

*i rarely have buttermilk on hand, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk and stir – wait 10 minutes and voila! buttermilk.  OR i mix 1 tablespoon dried powdered buttermilk to 1/2 cup water.

FROSTING:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or 3 tablespoons cocoa)

Boil together all ingredients until soft boil stage, beat until cool.  Frost cake.

Now, this recipe assumes you’ve cooked a bit, so be sure and stir often ingredients on the stove and don’t use high heat.  Also, you may need to let the icing or the cake cool a bit before spreading the frosting or it could melt and slide off.

I rarely make or using icing anymore – we simply don’t need the extra calories and this cake is rich enough to go without.  Dust a bit of powdered sugar on top and/or serve with ice cream or any favorite topping.

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Sprouting!

Basic instructions for sprouting healthy addition to salads, sandwich toppings, or  a stand alone snack.

Put 3 tablespoons of seed into your sprouting jar.  Add 2-3 times as much cool (60°-70°) water.  Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.   Let stand in water 6-12 hours.

Drain off soak water.  Rinse thoroughly in cool water. Drain thoroughly!  (this is important)

Set sprouting jar anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between rinses. Ensure sufficient air circulation is provided.

Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly every 12 hours for 3-7 days.  Always drain thoroughly.  Refrigerate after growing if you don’t eat them all straightaway.

Food borne illness is a possibility when consuming raw products.  Sprouts will smell fresh not musty.  Keep them cool.

Here’s an interesting article concerning health benefits.

Raw Sprouts:  Benefits and Potential Risks

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Day 1 – 3 tablespoons of sprouting seeds in a quart jar with screen top or use cheesecloth and a rubber band.  These are broccoli, alfalfa, radish, and clover seeds.  I’ve chose Food To Live brand, but there are others.
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Day 1 – pour in some cool water, swish it around to stir up the seeds, then allow to stand in water for 6-12 hours.  Pour out the water.  Add more and swirl around then drain thoroughly.
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Day 3 – Be sure to add cool water, swirl it around to rinse seeds and drain thoroughly EVERY DAY TWICE A DAY!
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I start another batch every 3 days or so because i like a continuous supply to eat if i want them.  This batch is using 2 tablespoons rather than 3 tablespoons in this quart jar which should allow more room to grow longer and green up more.  This also helps eliminate those extra crunchy seeds by allowing the it to sprout longer.
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This first batch had filled the jar in 6 days.

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Great for toppings on sloppy joes, sandwiches, and most everything!  —  well, maybe not ice cream.
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Or as a stand alone salad.  Here i sliced olives and our home raised eggs.  Squirt a bit of dressing you like on top or none at all.  

Surprising Sweet Potato Crop

So excited to dig in the tubs and find some sweet potatoes!  Granted, probably not enough to justify the purchase of slips and certainly doesn’t include my labor, but i still had a harvest and that’s no small thrill for me!

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That’s my sweet potatoes i grew!  Apples are from my father-in-law’s tree.  Using these to make that delicious Sweet Potato & Apple Marshmallow Casserole.

 

Sweet Potato & Apple Marshmallow Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick*
  • 3 large apples peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick*
  • 1 cup marshmallows
  • ½ cup butter     

Sprinkle Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch**
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS: 

Assemble the casserole by layering half the potatoes and half the apples, then dot with half the butter and marshmallows.  Sprinkle half the mix, then do the layering process again.

Cover with foil and bake in a 375°F oven for 35 minutes.

  • *substituting pears and winter squash works great
  • ** or tapioca (cassava) starch

From the kitchen of sister-in-law, Shawna Penn and is a staple for the Penn Family Thanksgivings.

 

 

Chili – 18 quarts!

Time for me to get crackin’ taking meals to Refuge Ministries in Mexico, MO again.  So good to see everyone last night.  Find them on Facebook.

When i prepare chili, i like to fix a full pot for sharing and freezing.

  • 8 lbs ground beef
  • 9 cups dry beans soaked overnight, then simmered in plenty of water for 5-6 hours (i used pinto, black, and white beans because that is what i have on hand)
  • 6 medium onions finely chopped (i chop them in quarters, then whir them in a food processor – don’t over process)  OR 1 2/3 cups dried minced onion flakes
  • 12 – 15 oz cans of tomato sauce or a combination with diced tomatoes (remember, if you use your own tomatoes, you may need added salt)
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 8 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 8 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic ( at least one large fresh garlic bulb if you prefer)

Make sure your beans are cooked and well softened, but not mushy.  Cook the ground beef and crumble into smaller pieces.  If needed pour off extra fatty liquid (i feed that to the chickens over rice – they love it!)

Place all these ingredients in an 18 quart roaster, stir gently, and heat through, then simmer for a couple hours – longer if you have time – stirring occasionally.

*optional – i don’t put in any chili powder because my husband is allergic

 

Persimmons are Sweet & Ripe!

Persimmon trees here in north Missouri are not loaded with fruit by any means, but the soft native fruits are falling and we are gathering them just as quickly due to their delicate nature.  Many people have never eaten persimmon fruit and i think i know why.  It’s a lot of work – not hard, just time-consuming – to process them.

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The golf ball sized soft fruits contain 4-7 seeds, which comprises half the weight and volume of the fruit.  Add in that the seeds are slimy and difficult to remove and the effort hardly seems worth it.  But their taste is so smooth and naturally sweet that they don’t need making them into sauce or jam –  the spread is just that tasty.  No sugar added.

Missouri Department of Conservation Field Guide – Persimmon Trees

Missouri Department of Conservation Discover Nature Notes

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Fruits picked up from the ground are very soft and need to be worked up and frozen immediately.
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Never waste anything – these seeds will go to compost.
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I put the ‘meat’ of the fruit into my Ninja thing and whip into this lovely sauce, then freeze it in 2 cup containers for use throughout the fall and winter.  This can be used as a sweet spread just right away.

Bill Smith’s Persimmon Pudding (8-10 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter
  • 3 cups persimmons
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease two 8 ½” diameter by 2” deep cake pans with butter.  Use a food mill, sieve, cone strainer, or by hand remove the seeds from the persimmons and puree the pulp; it will reduce them from 3 cups to 2 cups.  Combine the puree with the buttermilk.  Beat the remaining butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until fluffy.  Add the eggs one by one.  By hand, in a large mixing bowl, stir the persimmons into the butter.

Sift all the dry ingredients together and fold them into the persimmon mixture.  Pour the batter into the baking pans and place the pans in a larger pan filled halfway up with warm water.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the pudding is firm at the center, has pulled away from the sides of its pan, and a paring knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean.

Serve hot with fresh whipped cream.  This keeps well in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days and reheats beautifully in the oven.

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This bark has a yellowish mold on it, but the shape and size of the bark is quite unique to a persimmon tree.

Cheese and Rice Casserole

An excellent non meat recipe.  But meat can easily be layered on and consider other vegetables.  Pictured here, I used sliced zucchini from my garden and added ground chicken breast from pastured poultry raised by my friends at Pigeon Creek Farm.

Cheese and Rice Casserole  (Riso e Formaggio) 

8 servings 

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked regular rice (or barley or couscous or any combination thereof)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper sauce (optional
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium onion (I used green onions)
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 Heat water, rice, salt, mustard, red pepper sauce, and pepper to boiling, stirring once or twice; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  (Do not lift cover or stir.)  Remove from heat.  Fluff rice lightly with fork; cover and let steam 5 to 10 minutes.

Layer half the rice mixture in bottom of greased 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish.  Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (and 1 cup vegetable if desired); repeat.  Whisk together 4 eggs and 2 ½ cups of milk then pour over rice mixture.  Sprinkle with ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese.  (Casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.)  Cook uncovered in 350°F oven until set; 45 to 50 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares.

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