Monday, July 4, 2011

Leftover Makeover - Corn Cheese Enchiladas

Corn and Cheese Enchiladas

Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 457
  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrate: 41g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg
  • Sodium: 323mg

  • YIELD: 4 Servings
  • COURSE:Main Dishes
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Salt
  • 2 cups grated pepper Jack
  • 1 10-oz. can enchilada sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil and bake until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • While tortillas are baking, oil a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish. Warm 1 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in corn and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  • Remove tortillas from foil. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of corn mixture in center of a tortilla. Sprinkle with a heaping tablespoon of cheese. Roll up tortilla and set in dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, overlapping them slightly. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Banana Poundcake

Tried and True - Banana Poundcake

kitchen baking
Banana Poundcake

A few weeks ago when I posted the Chocolate Poundcake recipe, I came across this one. Per the dated notations I'd made it in 2001 and hadn't made it since. Because this year I determined that I would either use the recipes I'd collected or toss them, I set this recipe aside, along with the Chocolate Poundcake recipe, to make in the near future. Well I never did get the Chocolate Poundcake made at all. However, this past week I had three very ripe bananas on my counter and no clue what I'd be making for our weekend dessert. After dithering about in the kitchen, looking up recipes, discarding them and looking up more, I found myself turning again and again to the Banana Poundcake recipe.

The ultimate decision came from Chance. Still unable to make up my mind, I explained my dilmena. "So you choose," I told him. "I can make a Banana Pudding or a Banana Poundcake." To be honest, I couldn't have been more surprised with his answer. I was that certain he'd choose the Banana Pudding, but he said "Poundcake, by all means!" with such enthusiasm and readiness that I had no doubt at all he meant it.

So Banana Poundcake it was. I got out the ingredients and measured them out and then left them to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours. I read through the instructions twice (remember I told you how tricky poundcakes can be?) to be certain I understood all the steps involved. Then I read my own notes.
The recipe called for a 10" tube pan. I have none in my possession at this time, and apparently hadn't then either. I noted that I made it in a bundt pan and the cake 'cooked out and ran over the edges'. Hmmmm. I decided I'd use two loaf pans to bake the cake this time around (since I no longer have the bundt pan either!). That involved still more searching because I had no idea how long the loaves should bake.
I found three other recipes in various cookbooks and among my saved recipes that called for loaf pans for poundcakes. One involved baking the cakes at 300F, which wasn't at all the temperature recommended for the recipe I planned to use. I looked a little further and found that the average baking time for loaf poundcakes was about an hour. I was careful not to check my loaves until the first hour was up. I found the cakes not quite ready, so set the timer for 10 minutes more. Still finding them a little damp I went five more minutes. That was just right for one pan and just a little too much for the other, which had a slightly darker tint than the other. The edges were just a tad scorched on the darker pan. I made sure to note this on my recipe so that in future I won't have the same troubles.

And just for the record the one other difficulty I ran into: I carefully mixed all the ingredients in the exact order as stated. Just before removing the beater from my KitchenAid mixer, I noted the jar of eggs sitting by the mixer...Yes, I'd forgotten to add my eggs! So I beat them in, one at a time at the end, and prayed the cake would turn out well. Overbeating is as common a mistake with poundcake as underbeating. My mistake didn't seem to hurt the poundcake a bit, if the end results tell anything at all, but I do not recommend forgetting the eggs and tossing them in at the end of the mixing!

The cake is delicious the first day (we waited until evening to sample it). I stored my cake in a zippered bag on the counter and found that the cake became a little more moist after storage. We ate one loaf cake this weekend (with extra slices going to Mama's for her enjoyment) and I wrapped the other well and put in a zippered freezer bag and placed it in the freezer for a future time.

By the way, this recipe is from Southern Living magazine. I can't begin to tell you what month or year, but suffice it to say that my copy was dated 10-01-01 in my own handwriting, so either October 2001 or any time prior to that was it's publication date.

Banana Poundcake

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup butter, softened

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 ripe bananas, mashed

3 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat shortening and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine mashed bananas, milk and vanilla extract.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until blended.

Add flour mixture to shortening mixture alternately with banana/milk mixture. (I found it helpful to add 1/3 of the flour mix followed by 1/2 of the banana mixture, so that I began and ended with the flour.) Beat at low speed after each addition and mix just until blended. Pour batter into greased and floured pan(s). Bake at 350F.

For 2 standard sized loaf pans bake for 60-75 minutes checking periodically after cake has baked at least 55 minutes.

For a 10 inch tube pan: recipe recommends 1 hour and 20 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake(s) in pan(s) on wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then turn out and allow to complete cooling on wire rack.

Recipe makes 2 standard loaves or 1 10-inch tube pan.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easy Strawberry Jam

Easy Strawberry Jam

3 pounds Strawberries, topped and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsps lemon juice

Add all ingredients to 5 quart sauce pan.  Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium low to simmer.  Stir occasionally for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool and then pack in sterilized jars.  Keeps in fridge up to 1 month.

**You know me...always changing things up.  I had only 2 pounds berries on hand so I used what I had.  I figured 1/4 cup per pound of berries, and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup.  I didn't decrease the lemon juice and wish I had, but the jam is not too tart.  Per the recipe (Country Living or BH&G?) blurb, strawberries have enough natural pectin that it's not necessary to use boxed pectin.  I like that I could use just what I had on hand without purchasing anything extra.  It tastes very good!  I don't know yet if it will gel like commercial jelly, because it's too warm yet to tell, but it is nice and thick and syrupy the way warm jelly usually is...

Homemade Egg Rolls

While the photos for this post are pulled from my Xanga archives, Egg Rolls were made in my home today.  I thought you'd like to see how it's done and share in my recipe for these tasty treats.

In the above photo you see many of the ingredients: slaw mix, onion, garlic, ginger root (on the cutting board in the foreground) soy sauce and egg roll wrappers.  Today I also included some frozen chopped oriental vegetables and red and yellow bell peppers that I'd diced. 

Cook slaw mix, vegetables, garlic and ginger over low heat until tender.  I don't add water but do add about 1 tbsp olive oil and then clamp on the lid and steam cook. When tender add about 2 tbsps soy sauce. Allow to cool.

Separate egg roll wrappers and lay about 2-3 tbsps of cabbage mix on the diagonal of the wrapper.
Roll the first corner up over the vegetable mix, then tuck in the corners like this:
and continue to roll away from you until you have a neat little packet.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and brush with oil.  Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.  The end photo here shows a batch I made without the oil and baked on parchment.  They were good, but the ones brushed with oil have less tendency to break open and have a light crisp texture. 

1 bag of slaw mix generally will make about 20 egg rolls.  These freeze well after baking and may be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on the wattage of your microwave.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

My friend who introduced me to this dish, insists that it is a salad...and in the South, she's probably right because that gives us an excuse to go on and eat dessert, too!  This recipe is not mine, but was found on this site:  My friend always makes this dessert, urhm, I mean salad, in a 13 X 9 inch pan.

Judy's Strawberry Pretzel Salad Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix together the pretzels, 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water. Mix in frozen strawberries, and stir until thawed. Pour over cream cheese mixture in pan. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

I didn't take a photo of my chicken and dumplings the other day and I've no idea why.  Here's how I made them. 

I boiled together 3 thighs and 2 breasts in enough water to cover them.  I added in carrot, celery leaves and onion (about 1 whole, but in my case I used a bag of onion cast-offs from my freezer).  DO NOT SALT.  This will make the broth cloudy.  You can add whole peppercorns and a bay leaf however.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or longer until chicken is tender. 

Let cool.  Remove chicken and strain broth to remove onions, etc.

Heat broth in big Dutch oven.  It should be at least 1/2 pan full.  Add water if necessary to bring to that level.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Strip chicken of skin and bone and pull into nice chunks.  I like to pull the chicken apart rather than cut it, because really chicken and dumplings is a rustic old fashioned dish.  Put chicken meat back into broth. 

Mix dumplings as follows:
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
2 small eggs
3 cups flour (all purpose; if you do use self rising leave out salt)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well blended and formed into a dough ball.  Remove and place on a flat floured surface.  Roll out as thinly as you can.  1/16 inch gives a more noodle like feel to the dumplings.  I personally like them just a little thicker about 1/8 inch.

I used my pizza cutter to cut the dough into long strips about 1 inch wide and then across the strips into about 3 inch lengths.

Be sure that broth is up to a slow boil.  Begin to drop dumplings in a few at a time.  Do not worry about piling them up on one another.  Don't rush and hurry with this.  Just be methodical about it.  I lay strips over my forearm and then move to the pot and drop them in one at a time, then move back to the board and pick up my strips.  When all the dumplings are in the pan, put the lid on and turn heat down to low.  This should keep the broth at about a good simmering point.  Do NOT lift the lid to look.  Walk away for 20 minutes then look all you'd like.

Gently stir.  The dumplings should be plump and the broth will be slightly thickened.  Add 1 cup evaporated milk and if you'd like sprinkle over parsley and stir gently again. 

Serve in deep soup bowls right away, or refrigerate and heat the next day over very low heat or in crock pot.  The broth will now be more like a gravy than broth.  I prefer the fresh dumplings in the milky broth myself, but that is not traditional for my family.  They prefer them less liquid.

Rhonda's Grandpa's Bread

I'm going to put this down just as I did it.  Rhonda's page has a number of suggestions for substitutions and variations.  In fact, I suggest you read her blog period because it's loaded with lots of good ideas for using what you have at home to make all sorts of wonderful things!

2 cups warm water
1 package yeast
1 t salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
about 6 cups of flour

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Add salt, then pour into mixing bowl.  Add oil and most of the flour.  (If you are experienced with breadmaking then you'll know that all of the flour isn't always necessary.  Even though it was a very wet day, I needed only 5 1/2 cups flour.  I reserved the extra 1/2 cup).

 Mix well, then knead until you have a smooth dough. I let my mixer do all the work for me.  When the dough came together forming a ball and all the flour was incorporated, I stopped beating.

Let dough rise in an oiled bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, until at least double in size.

Punch down. Dump out onto a floured surface (using that reserved flour) and knead lightly. Shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans and cover.

Let rise again, until at least double. Remove cover.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Rhonda's site with her photos and instructions:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Aren't these biscuits just beautiful?  They were so tender we could barely split them to butter them.

When I began cooking years ago, Mama and Granny used bread 'bowls' to make their biscuits.  Mama's was an old tin bowl (I'd give my eye teeth to have it but she's still using it) and Granny used a wooden dough board (I have one of those above my cabinets).  They kept flour in these bowls and when they wanted to make biscuits they eyeballed it and added more flour if they thought it necessary.  Then they made a well in the middle of the flour and put in shortening or lard, and then buttermilk and they squished the shortening between their fingers until it flecked the buttermilk. 

When they judged the shortening and buttermilk was properly mixed they began to gently scoop a little flour from the sides of the well into the wet mixture, turning the bowl as they worked until they had formed a dough.  When the dough had the right feel to it, they'd pinch off a golf ball sized bit of dough and gently pat it in floured hands until they'd formed a perfectly smooth little biscuit.  Into the pan it went and they began to form the next one.  It was an awesome process to watch, truly it was.

It was also not easy to master... My first biscuits looked like horned toads.  They were absolutely inedible.  I tried several times and my family teased me unmercifully about my ugly rocks.

Then one day I discovered a recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens book for Biscuits Supreme.  Perfect biscuits were mine at last.  Not my mother's, nor Granny's, method of biscuit making but they were light and fluffy and delicious.  My family was in awe.  My biscuits were requested day after day.  It is that same recipe I use to this day.

Years and years ago I found a recipe to use up leftover Sweet Potatoes in that old fashioned cookbook I love so much, The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook.  I loved that I had another way to use up sweet potatoes. 

This recipe is a combination of the two recipes.  The biscuits are tender, have a lovely golden orange color and a slightly earthy taste.  I think I'd like to try this recipe sometime as a cinnamon roll.  I can just imagine the flavors would combine very nicely.  Tonight I didn't mash my sweet potatoes as the recipe says to do.  Instead I dumped in whole peeled baked sweet potatoes and there were some larger flecks of sweet potato through out the dough.  The biscuits were definitely golden, but I've used other varieties of sweet potatoes and the biscuits were more pumpkin orange in color, so note the color can vary.

Penny's Sweet Potato Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsps baking powder
2 tbsps sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sweet potato
1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together.  Add shortening to the dry ingredients.  Cut in until resembles coarse crumbs ( I've been using my electric mixer for this step.  It works beautifully). 

Mix mashed sweet potato and milk.  Add to the shortening/flour mixture.  Blend until a soft dough forms.  Turn out onto surface with an additional 1/2 cup flour spread on it.  Knead dough at least ten times.  Add a little more flour if necessary.  Dough should be smooth and feel similar to the meaty portions of your palm in tenderness.

Pat dough to 3/4 inch thickness.  I prefer a more or less circular shape and then I cut circles (using an 8 ounce tomato sauce can that I've removed top and bottom from) but you could form into rectangle and cut into squares if you wish. 

Place in ungreased baking pan.  I used a 13 X 9 pan which gave softer sides.  For crusty sides use a cookie sheet instead and allow space between the biscuits.

Bake at 425F for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

My recipe made 15 nice sized biscuits tonight.   

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pancake Syrup - Homemade Tightwad Gazette

I've tried other recipes for pancake syrup and passed up using this one from The Tightwad Gazette because it called for a few more ingredients than others.  Let me just say that I'm sorry I bothered.  The other syrups were very watery and lacked body and flavor.  This recipe delivers all of the above and then some.  It's a lovely deep color, tastes wonderful and has a nice body once it's been refrigerated.  I made up only 1/2 a recipe but next time I'll make up the full batch.  It's become my 'Go To' recipe for pancake syrup.

Pancake Syrup

3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsps molasses (this adds a little more flavor but you can substitute corn syrup if you'd prefer)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter flavoring (optional)
1 tsp maple extract

Combine all in a deep saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves (about three minutes should do it).  Turn off burner, leave pot on burner until bubbling stops.  Bottle in sterilized pint jar.

Chocolate Syrup - Homemade Tightwad Gazette recipe

My kids loved chocolate milk...Okay, I confess, I loved chocolate milk, too...But even on sale the bottles of Hershey's chocolate syrup were expensive.  I grew up on Hershey's and frankly that's the only one that tasted good to me, so it's the only one I'd buy.  We loved it over ice cream, one of the kids would sneakily apply it to pancakes on occasion, we'd have chocolate milk and hot cocoa...and when it was gone it would be many weeks and sometimes months before we could purchase it again.  It just wasn't on our regular shopping list you see, because for us it was strictly a luxury item.  Funny how sometimes even when the money isn't so tight we'll keep certain items on that back list as 'luxury' isn't it?

I came across this recipe in Tightwad Gazette years ago.  To me, it's better than Hershey's syrup. I love that I know exactly what goes into the syrup, none of those odd, unpronounceable ingredients. I've had an old Hershey's syrup bottle for years now and once cooled, I pour this syrup into that bottle.  It costs less than half the price of a bottle of Hershey's to make up this recipe. 

Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix cocoa, water, sugar in a deep saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until syrup comes to a rolling boil.  Lower heat and stir constantly.  Do not walk away as this will boil over.  Boil for 3 minutes until all sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and salt and allow to cool unless putting in a sterilized glass jar (1 pint size).  Store in refrigerator.