May 22: I linked up my Writing my Recipe Binder post to the Encourage One Another Wednesday Link Up #87 tonight over at Deep Roots at Home. Please feel free to go visit her blog and see what others have shared.
This cranberry salad recipe was given to my momma by my uncle’s wife and was present for family dinners for as long as I can remember. I know it seems like a crazy combination when you read through the ingredients. I couldn’t believe it myself until I tried it, but it really is delicious. Time for a trust fall, I say! :)
1 lb frozen cranberries
2 c sugar
4 stalks celery
1 c pecans
2 small boxes cherry jello
1 20 oz can pineapple
- Chop cranberries in food processor.
- Cover with 2 cups sugar. Set aside.
- Chop celery and nuts.
- Pour 2 cups hot water over 2 boxes jello. Stir until dissolved.
- Add pineapple with juice, celery, and nuts to cranberry and sugar mixture.
There’s a project I’ve been busying myself with, working on a little bit at a time for a while now. A lot of people have these. I’ve noticed them on Pinterest and cooking and homemaking blogs. What I’m working on (you may have guessed from the title) is a recipe binder.
My mother has had a recipe binder all my life. It’s a bit of a mess. The pages are uneven and some of them are folded up on the edges. It’s full of notebook paper, copy paper, magazine clippings, the side of a cocoa box snipped out with scissors. The recipes are typed up or scribbled down, some in her handwriting, some jotted down by aunts or church ladies. Honestly, it’s sort of comical. There really is no organization other than the simple idea that she “knows where it is.”
It’s messy, but when I look at it, I smile because I know that she really does know where every scrap of paper is inside that binder. I love her for it because she has spent so much time collecting those recipes to cook for the people she loves. There’s something in there for all of us. Chocolate cake recipes to bake for my sister’s birthday. My aunt’s sweet potato casserole recipe for me.
It was always there with us in the kitchen. It’s been present for all the family dinners. It helped teach me how to cook when I was sitting on my feet to be high enough above the kitchen table to measure and stir. I know a lot of people have these recipe binders, but when I think about the traditions my momma’s binder has been a part of, and the time I’ve spent with my momma and that binder, it means the world to me. I always knew I wanted to have a binder like that for me and my family someday.
One day I was browsing cooking blogs when I ran across something that really inspired me. It was a blog entry where a woman shared a story about her mother’s recipe cards. Her mother had passed away, and she told about how having those hand written recipe cards in her mother’s handwriting meant the world to her. She saw it as a piece of her that she could keep and that she could pass down. When I read that, it almost made me cry. It was such a beautiful thing. I wish I knew where I read it so that I could share the link and read it for yourselves. It was really quite moving. After reading that, I decided to start a little project of my own that I hope will be like my mother’s recipe binder, and like that woman’s mother’s handwritten recipe cards.
I am copying down every family recipe, recipes momma and I love from her cookbooks, all those recipes given to my mother by friends and ladies of the church, my favorite recipes, and those that I come up with on my own. I’m writing each and every one of them down in my binder, by hand. I love the idea of seeing this binder in the kitchen of the home where David and I live as husband and wife someday. I look forward to opening it up to cook a hot meal for him. I look forward to knowing that he’ll be able to cook anything I cook for him even if I’m not able to. I can’t wait to see little eyes peering over that binder someday while our babies watch me cook. I know I’ll be glad that they’ll have those recipes someday, and I hope that it will mean to them what the recipes from the women of my family mean to me.
I love working on this binder. It brings back the best memories I have from my childhood. It reminds me of a lot of selfless love from momma and granny. It’s just a joy for me to work on. I am passionate about feeding my loved ones good food that reflects the care I am willing to put into it. I love working on this project because I know someday I will be a homemaker like my mother and my grandmother before me, and their recipes will be a part our home. My home will smell like home when the one I love comes through the door. My kitchen will always be warm and filled with the love, laughter, and tenderness I grew up with.
Today I made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. For the longest time, I have never really cared for chocolate cake. I’ve been strictly a vanilla girl. However, now that I’m baking more, and baking for my Superman who likes a wide variety of things… I’ve been branching out. For a while, recently, I’ve been all about red velvet cupcakes. Because of that, I started thinking, maybe I should give chocolate cake a go again and I might like it now. I have to say, I’m still a vanilla kind of girl. It will probably always be my favorite. However…
These were absolutely amazing! I do, in fact, like chocolate cupcakes now. Who knew? After all these years. Maybe I’ve been falsely accused these 23 years of being a picky eater.
This chocolate cupcake recipe is the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe from the side of a cocoa box a long time ago. It’s been momma’s favorite chocolate cake recipe all this time, so I knew it had passed the test. Now it is my favorite.
In layer cake form, this cake recipe is meant to serve 10-12 as a 9″ round, 2 layer cake. As cupcakes, it will actually yield approximately 3 dozen.
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
2 c sugar
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 c Hershey’s cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
- Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin.)
- Place cupcake wrappers into cupcake pans and pour in batter, filling the cupcake wrappers only about half full. This batter will really grow in your oven!
- Bake 30-35 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
Peanut Butter Frosting
2 c creamy peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
5 c powdered sugar
2/3 c milk
- With mixer, mix peanut butter, salt, and vanilla.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and milk, alternating.
- You can add powdered sugar to the frosting recipe to make it thicker and more dry.
- If your frosting is too dry or thick, you can also add milk to make the frosting thinner or less dry.
- You can boil your water in a microwave safe measuring cup or microwave safe bowl in the microwave if you like. This took me about 3 minutes. I’d advise starting to beat the batter one minute into boiling the water. This way, you will know when you have been beating the batter for two minutes, and your boiling water will be ready just in time for your next step.
- When you’re baking 3 pans of cupcakes, one pan could get done a little before or after another. Some spots in your oven may be hotter than others. Some pans may also absorb more heat.
- These would be very cute with a mini peanut butter cup or half a mini peanut butter cup nestled into the frosting.
These cupcakes were definitely hard to beat for a dessert that came straight from the pantry. I decided to make them mid-day today and not one trip to the store was made. Now that’s a winner.
Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
Oil (Vegetable oil is fine.)
Diced Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders
1 Can Queso Blanco
- If necessary, thaw boneless skinless chicken tenders.
- Dice tenders.
- Mix chili powder and salt in a 2:1 ratio. Add a bit of cayenne and a pinch of red pepper flake to taste.
- Coat tenders in oil.
- Pour seasoning over chicken and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
- Sauté onions and peppers.
- Set onions and peppers aside.
- Once chicken is marinated, sauté in the same pan you used for your onions and peppers. You may not need more oil, but use your own good judgement.
- Once chicken is done, turn the heat down to low and add onions and peppers back in.
- Once all that is warm, add queso blanco and allow to melt.
- Serve with mexican rice, refried beans, and warm tortillas.
- If you’re using pre-prepared refried beans, taste them before you heat and serve. You may want to season them with your seasoning mixture, or just add salt. It depends on the brand.
- If your chicken starts to dry out, just add a splash of water.
- Be careful and don’t leave your stove, because this can burn quickly.
This is the post where I don’t make anything, really, but have fixed myself some food I want to talk about. I made some frozen blueberry pancakes from Walmart, layered with bananas, and topped with blackberry syrup. You might remember the blackberry syrup from my Blackberry Pie Sundae. I haven’t felt very well the past few days, and, for whatever reason, the thing that sounds best to me is fruit. So, when I went rummaging through the refrigerator earlier, I pretty much pulled most everything fruity out of the fridge and put it together. It was delicious. If you love fruit as much as I do, you could try this too. They’re my favorite frozen pancakes. Maybe not quite the same as fresh, but good. Here’s how I did it.
Blueberry Banana Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup
frozen blueberry pancakes
- Prepare pancakes as instructed on the package.
- While microwaving pancakes, prepare syrup. Put a spoonful of blackberry preserves in a microwave safe bowl. Dilute to desired thickness with tap water.
- Remove pancakes from microwave and put the blackberry syrup in for just a few seconds. I microwaved mine for 10. You’ll want to microwave it only because the preserves were cold, so if you don’t want to cool off your pancakes, you need to warm the syrup.
- Butter your pancakes immediately so that the butter will melt well.
- Remove syrup from microwave.
- Add syrup and bananas between your pancakes.
- Finish off the top of your stack with your syrup and enjoy.
- You could do this with any preserves and any fruit you like.
- You might also like to add nuts.
- A little whipped cream never hurt anyone.
I haven’t been very active posting recipes lately. I’ve been a bit more active on my relationship blog. This time, it’s honestly less about me being ill, which does happen a lot, but more about me being busy. The holidays came, then Valentines Day. I’ve been seeing David a little more often than usual, and, in between, spending a lot of time with my mom. But, yesterday and today I’ve been all about ice cream, and today I made myself a sundae. It wasn’t the usual strawberry or hot fudge sundae, so I thought I’d share this sundae with y’all. I’ve been thinking plenty about warm weather foods, as Spring will be here before we know it. So, if you’re looking for something that makes you think spring, a sundae could really fit the bill.
I’m calling this a blackberry pie sundae, because I was eating it, I realized it tasted like blackberry pie with ice cream on top to me.
Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Pecan Sandie or Shortbread Cookie
- Add a spoon full of blackberry preserves to your bowl.
- Dilute the blackberry preserves with just a bit of tap water. Just add it gradually until it is as thin as you like. Trust me, it won’t taste like water if you do this gradually. The flavor of the preserves is actually pretty strong.
- Add your vanilla ice cream.
- Crumble your cookie on top. The pecan sandies will pretty much turn to dust if you just crush them in your hand.
I hope you’ll try this. I know it isn’t a complex recipe, but I think it’s a nice departure from the ice cream toppings we typically think of. Let me know if you try it and like it.