Shrove Tuesday Pancakes – A Bonus Recipe

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This past Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday.  When I met first met my husband, he talked about Shrove Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday pancakes.  He told me stories about eating them for dinner each year.  This was totally foreign to me.  I had no idea what he was talking about and had never heard of this “holiday.”  Growing up, his family always celebrated Shrove Tuesday as an English tradition.  It was something they did for fun and looked forward to year after year.

My sister-in-law, Amy, was kind enough to be a guest blogger and to share the traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake recipe passed down through their family.  Rather than this being a recipe and history of my Grandma Dora’s, it’s an old one of another important family to me, the one that I married into.

Enjoy!  Wendy

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes – Written by Guest Blogger, Amy.

Our great-great-grandfather, Frank, came to America 1874, in search of a better life than he had known as a member of the working class in England. He spent eight years working for his uncle and cousins, until he could pay back the money his uncle had loaned him for his passage to America and earn enough money to buy his own farm land. In 1892, he married a young Baptist woman named Lemira. They attended the local Baptist Church, but Frank maintained his membership with the Church of England.

In 1900, tragedy struck when Lemira died suddenly and unexpectedly at the young age of 28. Frank was devastated and knew their four small children needed a woman to care for them, so he wrote to his sister in England and asked her to come. Fanny, whom the children always called “Auntie,” gave up everything she knew in England to live with her brother’s family and help him raise his children.

Auntie

“Auntie,” who passed down our Shrove Tuesday traditions.

Most of our family traditions came with Auntie from England. I assume the Shrove Tuesday tradition was originally part of their commitment to the Church of England. The idea was to use up ingredients that could not be eaten during the season of Lent. For us, it was just a fun family tradition.

Shrove Tuesday Pancakes

  • 6-8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • little salt
  • flour, enough to make a thick batter

Fry in oil skillet.  Cook until the edges have bubbles and are light brown, then flip until the other side is light brown.  Serve with lemon, lime or orange juice and sugar.  You can use syrup if you prefer.

IMG_9521I gathered the ingredients and got to work.

IMG_9538I used 8 eggs and started by beating them with the two cups of milk. Great Grandma always used a fork instead of a whisk, so that’s what I did. I then added the pinch of salt and the flour, mixing in one cup at a time. After adding about 3 1/2 cups of flour, it seemed to be the right consistency. It should drip off the end of the fork, but not be runny.

IMG_9563I heated a small amount of oil in my electric frying pan and used a ladle to scoop the batter into the frying pan.

IMG_9551You’ll know it’s time to flip the pancake when it gets a little bubbly and you can see the edges beginning to cook. When you flip it, the side that has been cooking should be light golden brown.

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The edges curled upward slightly, so I pushed them down with my spatula to make sure they were getting cooked in the oil. When the bottom side also looked golden brown (I usually had to peek a couple of times), I took the pancake off the heat.

IMG_9576Traditionally, we would sprinkle the pancakes with sugar and then squeeze lemon juice or orange juice over them. A few of us – I won’t name names – used to cheat and use syrup.

IMG_9578That’s all there is to it! This recipe made 8 big pancakes, which was enough to feed my family of four with one pancake left over.

I hope you enjoy a tradition that my family looks forward to each year.  Try it and it may become a favorite of yours too!

Happy Cooking!

Amy, Guest Blogger and sister-in-law of Wendy.

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Sugar Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Cookies 073 Wendy and I realized something the other day.  We never made “Christmas cookies” over Christmas.  We made lots of cookies, but for some reason (maybe it had to with family members taking turns being sick through most of the season and therefore never having time), we never made the traditional roll out, cut into shapes and frost kind of Christmas cookies.  So, we decided we definitely needed to make Valentine cookies this year.  One day when she and my nephews were over, we pulled up our sleeves and started in on some fun. Cookies 072 I always like to pull this recipe out for roll out sugar cookies.  I actually got it in junior high or high school in a home economics class.  I remember very little about those classes, but I have always kept this recipe.  I remember one time when our neighbor who had moved away came back for a visit.  I was always making these cookies when I first got this recipe and so I made them for her.  She took one bite and said, “These are just like cookies from a bakery!”  I’ve never forgotten she said that and I always think fondly of her (and her comment) when I make this recipe. Cookies 066 Sugar Cookies

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar and vanilla.  Add egg;  beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in milk.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Blend into creamed mixture.  Divide dough in half.  Chill 1 hour.  On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 inch thickness.  Cut in desired shapes with cutters.  Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6-8 minutes.  Cool slightly;  remove from pan.  Makes 2 dozen. Cookies 001 To begin, I put the shortening, sugar and vanilla in the KitchenAid. Cookies 002 I creamed the three ingredients. Cookies 003 I then added the egg (I actually doubled the recipe, so I had two). Cookies 004 I beat the ingredients until they were light and fluffy.  I then stirred in the milk. Cookies 005 Next I combined the dry ingredients and blended them into the creamed mixture.  I chilled the dough for an hour or more. Cookies 008 Then, with the help of my nephews and sister, we rolled out the dough and began cutting shapes. Cookies 011 We baked the cookies at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.  They always smell so good when they are baking. Cookies 076 Next came the fun of frosting and decorating.  My sister had brought her collection of sprinkles, so we all had fun putting our own finishing touches on our cookies.

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My nephews wanted to decorate the snowflake cookies.

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They were very generous with the sprinkles!

Cookies 075 This is a recipe I highly recommend.  You just can’t go wrong with these.  So, pull your family together and have some festive Valentine’s Day fun together! Cookies 074 Happy Baking! Amy Cookies 053 Cookies 054 Cookies 055 Cookies 052 Cookies 034 Cookies 044 Cookies 048 Cookies 043

Hawaiian Sheet Cake – A Bonus Recipe

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We’ve been getting pounded with snow in Michigan.  I do love it, but at times I think about warmer weather and what it would be like just to have a little break from the cold snow, to enjoy the sun, just for a little while.  Maybe in….Hawaii?!

When my husband was growing up, his Uncle was in the army.  He was stationed in Hawaii for about six years.  During that time, my husband’s family took a once in a lifetime trip and went to visit.  For a week, amongst many other things, they got to swim on the secluded beaches that were for military only, they hiked and explored the natural wonders of the islands and even toured the Dole Pineapple Factory.  He said he’ll never forget that trip, all the adventures, the way he remembers them as a nine-year old boy.

This recipe came from that trip to Hawaii.  My husband’s Grandmother and his mother made this recipe for years.  It was such a favorite of my husband’s that he actually chose it as the groom cake at our wedding.

Hawaiian Sheet Cake

Cake

  • 1 large can of crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt (scant)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Frosting

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup or more chopped nut meats (macadamia preferred)

For Cake: Heat crushed pineapple with juice and stick of butter.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar and beat in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla.  Beat in flour, soda and salt.  Stir in sour cream.  Pour into a prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For Frosting:  Add milk and butter to saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add 1 box powdered sugar.  Spread onto cake when still warm.  Top with nuts.

Melted butter and pineappleI started out by melting 1 stick of butter and the crushed pineapple on the stove top.

Pineapple and sugarI removed it from the heat and whisked in the sugar.

Pineapple butter and eggsThen I added the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

Dry ingredientsI then added all of the dry ingredients.  Once they were incorporated, I mixed in the sour cream.

BatterIt was ready to be poured into the greased cookie sheet and go into the oven.

BakedI baked it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  The edges were just beginning to brown and my toothpick came out clean so I pulled it out of the oven.

P - Frosting1While the cake was cooling, I began preparing the frosting.  I added milk and butter to my saucepan and brought it to a boil.

P - Frosting2Then I pulled it off the heat and slowly started adding the powdered sugar.  The recipe calls for a “box” of powdered sugar.  I looked it up and the equivalent was 4 cups, so that’s what I put in.

P Frosting3It made a nice thick frosting.  I made sure to put it on the cake while it was still warm so that it would spread easily.

P - WalnutsThe last thing that needed to be added was the nuts.  While the recipe suggests macadamia nuts, it was always served with walnuts at our family functions, so that’s what I used.  Any kind would be fine.  I cut them into pieces and sprinkled them on.

P SliceIt’s a deliciously moist and elegant cake.  One that serves a crowd!

HSCSo if you’re wishing for a little taste of warmer weather, turn your Pandora radio onto tropical, ukulele music.  Jack up your thermostat and put on your grass skirt.  Whip up a Hawaiian Sheet Cake and “get away” from the cold and snow for just a little while!

Happy Baking!

Wendy

Ham and Cheese Whirls – A Bonus Recipe

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The Superbowl is coming and it is snack food time!  Our family always has a little party featuring our favorite snacks.  Wendy usually makes my favorite, Mexican Layered Dip.  And, her husband, who is a great cook, makes a variety of good snacks.  I usually add some dishes of my own and it is a lot of fun.

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Last Saturday, after going on another hike in the snowy woods, we came back hungry and decided to make Ham and Cheese Whirls.  We were talking about what a great Superbowl snack they would be.  The recipe is actually, from our older sister, Rebekah.  Everyone worked together, and we had these delicious treats on the table in no time.

Ham and Cheese Whirls

Biscuit: (or substitute 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup milk

Filling:

  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

To make biscuit:  Mix dry ingredients.  Then add milk slowly.

For filling:  Mix cheese, ham, celery and mayonnaise.

Roll out biscuit into a rectangular shape.  Spread on filling.  Roll up and cut into rolls on greased pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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First we put the dry ingredients into the Kitchenaid. (You could also use frozen bread dough, or make up some bread dough in your bread machine.)

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Next we added the milk slowly and mixed until it formed a soft dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 011We put the dough out on the floured counter top.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 012We rolled out the dough into a rectangular shape (We doubled the dough since there were a lot of us eating, so it was bigger than one batch would look.).

Ham and Cheese Whirls 013While some of us were making the dough, others were shredding the cheese,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 002cutting up the celery,

Ham and Cheese Whirls 009and dicing the ham.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 014We mixed those three ingredients together along with the mayonnaise to create the filling.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 015Next, we spread the filling all over the rolled out dough.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 016Then it was time to carefully roll the dough up like you would cinnamon rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 017Once it was all rolled, it was time to cut it into rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 019We used a piece of floss to cut the rolls.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 020The floss keeps the dough from getting smashed like it might if using a knife.

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When the rolls were cut, they were placed on a cookie sheet.  We put them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  My nephew thought they looked so good that he wanted to try one before we cooked it!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 032I think the cooking was worth his wait because they came out of the oven golden and bubbly.

Ham and Cheese Whirls 042I’m glad we made a double batch because we all liked them!

Ham and Cheese Whirls 044Ham and cheese whirls are a dish I definitely recommend for your Superbowl Party.  Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Blueberry Banana Bread – A Bonus Recipe

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Did you go blueberry picking last summer?  We did.  It is one of our favorite summer outings.  We love to be out in the sunny field with the blueberry bushes all around us.  My nephews are good pickers (although they like to spend some of their time trying to pelt us with unripe blueberries – they learned this game from their dad and uncle) and so between all of the adults and kids we usually pick a large amount of berries.  I love bringing them home, pouring them into zip lock bags and packing them safely away in the freezer for winter days like today.

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Today just seemed like a good day to bake with blueberries.  So, I found this recipe, compliments of one of the blueberry farms we sometimes visit, and got to work.

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Blueberry Banana Bread

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cups mashed, ripe bananas

Wash and thoroughly drain blueberries;  toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour.  Sift together remaining flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Cream butter or margarine;  gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add flour mixture and bananas alternately, in three parts.  Stir in blueberries.  Spoon into greased loaf pan (9x5x3 inches).  Bake in 350 degree oven about 50 minutes or until done.  Makes 1 loaf.

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I pulled the blueberries out of the freezer and washed them thoroughly.

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I then tossed them in 2 tablespoons of flour and set them aside.

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Next, I stirred together the dry ingredients with a whisk.

blueberry banana bread 001

I then creamed the butter and then gradually added the sugar.

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Next came the eggs and the batter became very light, almost foamy.

blueberry banana bread 005

When bananas are starting to get too ripe, I like to peel them and stick them in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  I can then pull them out for baking.  So, I pulled a couple of bananas out of the freezer, thawed them a little and then mashed them a bit (I know, it does not look appetizing!).

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I added the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the bananas.

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I then stirred in the blueberries.

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Then, it all went in the bread pan and into the oven at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes.

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It came out looking and smelling delicious!  This blueberry banana bread is a special treat from a special summer memory!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – A Bonus Recipe

Grandma and Becky

Grandma Dora pulling my sister in a wagon on a snowy day. Maybe she couldn’t resist being out in the snow either.

The snow is perfect right now.  It has been for days and I can’t seem to keep myself from going outside.  I know I have work to do inside, but when I look out at the snow sparkling in the sunlight, I just can’t resist.  I’ve been cross country skiing or sledding with my friends and family (and even by myself when no one else was available to go) almost every day this week.

So, I honestly haven’t taken a lot of time to bake this week, but when I did bake, I decided to go with my all time favorite.  I’ve made a lot of cookies in my day.  In fact, I’ve made a lot of chocolate chip cookies.  But, this is the one cookie recipe that I always come back to.  It is simply the best.  How could you go wrong with the combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal?  Well, I’ll tell you – you can’t go wrong.  Just like the snow that’s on the ground right now, it’s perfect.

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My sister and my nephews are coming over today while my brother-in-law goes with some of his friends to the car show in Detroit.  I decided I would make them some chocolate chip cookies for a treat when they came.  But, not just any chocolate chip cookies – peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars;  beat in peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt;  stir into the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.  Yield:  2 dozen.

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First I creamed the butter and sugar together.

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Then I beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla.

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Next, I combined the flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.  (My sister likes to blend up the oatmeal before she adds it.  It changes the texture and is very good too.)

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I stirred the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until I had a nice cookie dough.

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Next came the chocolate chips.  Doesn’t it look good enough to eat?

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After that I rolled it into balls and put it on the cookie sheets.

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I baked them at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  They turned a lovely golden brown.  I cooled them for a minute, then moved them onto a wire rack.  They smelled delicious!

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I’m sure that when my sister and nephews get here, I’ll try to coax them outside to play in the snow.  And, maybe when we come inside all wet and cold and happy, we’ll have a snack of milk and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  You just can’t go wrong with these cookies.  They are simply the best of the best!  You really have to try them!

Happy Baking!

Amy

Mexican Layered Dip – A Bonus Recipe

It’s New Year’s Eve!  Time to party like it’s 2015!  And what else do we do when we celebrate?  We get together with friends and EAT!!  Just part of packing on the holiday poundage, I guess.  Hey, we need to have something to make a New Year’s resolution about, right?!

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago.  It is my ultimate favorite dip.  It eats more like a meal than a snack.  In fact, upon the rare occasion that there is some left after I’ve taken this to a party, I eat it for lunch the next day, with tortilla chips.  Yummo!

Mexican Layered Dip

  • 1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened (I use the 1/3 less fat.)
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup drained canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced black olives

Beat cream cheese and taco seasoning with mixer until creamy.  Spread onto the bottom of a 9 inch plate.  Layer remaining ingredients, in order, over cream cheese.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Dip1I started by adding one 8oz block of 1/3 less fat cream cheese to my mixing bowl.  I measured in 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning.

Dip 2I turned the mixer onto medium speed until the taco seasoning was nicely incorporated into the cream cheese.

Dip CroppedThen I spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over my serving plate and began the layering process of the other ingredients.

Dip salsa

I measured and poured on the salsa.

Dip 4Next, I added the rinsed black beans.  Rather than only using 1 cup of black beans, I always use the whole can.  I know that if I put the rest of them in the fridge, they will eventually get thrown out because I won’t use them.  Two bonuses here, they are good for you and you won’t waste them!

Dip 5My favorite flavor comes next, the green onions.  And if I’m perfectly honest, I don’t actually measure them.  I just cut up what looks about right and sprinkle them on.

Dip 6Cheddar cheese comes next and you might notice a pattern here, but I don’t measure this either.  This is a very forgiving recipe.  Just layer on what looks right to you!

Dip 7I added the shredded lettuce next and, you guessed it, I just eyeball the amount.

Dip 8I always go overboard on the black olives and put on way more than 2 tablespoons.   Knowing the way my son loves them, he’ll eat 2 tablespoons right off the top before it’s even served!

Dip 10

Make sure to let the dip sit in the fridge for at least an hour before it’s served.  During that time, the flavors blend together.

Dip 9

So there you have it!  Served with tortilla chips, it’s a delicious, colorful, healthy layered dip that you can take to your New Year’s Eve Party tonight!

Happy Layering and Happy New Year!

Wendy