Recipes #2

6  Cakes, Pies, & Desserts
Carrot Cake & Icing      
My friend, Sara Radil, gave me this carrot cake recipe many years ago.  It is still Kent's favorite cake.    
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 c. cooking oil
4 eggs
3 c. shredded carrots
1 c. chopped nuts
Icing
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
3 1/2 c . powdered sugar 
2 t. vanilla
1/4 c. softened butter
Sift together dry ingredients.  Add oil and eggs.  Stir in carrots and nuts.  Bake at 350* about 50 minutes in greased 9x13 pan, until center is done.
For Frosting, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and butter together and spread over cake.  This cake freezes well and can be made weeks in advance.
One Egg Cake       
I use this recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, given to us as a wedding gift, for many different things, but our favorite way to use it is with strawberries.  See recipe, The Best Strawberry Shortcake, that follows.
2 c. flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2-1 t. salt, depending if used salted butter
1/3 c. shortening, or butter
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 egg equal to 1/4 c.
Heat oven to 350*.  Grease and flour two 8 inch layer pans, or a 9x9 square pan. Blend flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add shortening, 2/3 of milk and vanilla.  Beat 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer or 300 vigorous strokes by hand.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl constantly.  Add rest of milk and egg.  Beat 2 more minutes.  Pour into pans.  Bake layers about 30 minutes, square pan 30-35 minutes. Cool.
The Best Strawberry Shortcake        
This really is the best strawberry shortcake!
1 recipe One Egg Cake 
1 c. cream 
1 T. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 pint strawberries, hulled, sliced and sweetened.
      
Bake cake according to directions in 2 layer pans.  Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla.  Right before serving spread 1/2 the whipped cream and 1/2 the strawberries on one layer of cake, then top with other cake layer and repeat.
Party Cake    
This is a new discovery.  It is good any time, but I think it is especially refreshing in the summertime.  I use the One Egg Cake recipe, instead of a cake mix.  
1 box yellow cake mix without pudding in the mix 
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 8 oz. Cool Whip        
1 16 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 3 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding 
2 c. milk
1+ c. coconut, or 1/2 c. chopped pecans
Grease a 12x20 jelly roll pan.  Prepare cake mix as directed.  Bake and cool.  Blend cream cheese with 1/2 c. milk until smooth.  Add remaining milk, pudding, and drained pineapple to cream cheese.  Pour on cooled cake and spread.  Refrigerate for a few minutes till set, then spread Cool Whip over pudding.  Sprinkle with coconut, or pecans.  Refrigerate.  Serves 16-20.
Instant lemon pudding may be substituted for vanilla. 
Oatmeal Cake
From my mother-in-law, Evelyn Littlejohn.
1 c. quick oatmeal
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
Frosting:
6 T. butter, or margarine
1/4 c. cream or evaporated milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. coconut
1 c. nuts, optional
1 t. vanilla
Pour boiling water over oatmeal.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Combine shortening, sugars and eggs and beat well.  Add to oat mix.  Then add rest of ingredients and bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes.
Combine first 3 ingredients of frosting.  Boil 3 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients and spread on warm cake.
Aunt Vlasta’s Banana Cake   
I found this recipe in a Nebraska Children’s Hospital Cookbook.  The contributor noted it came from an aunt and that it was a family favorite, so I tried it years ago and liked it, too.
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
2 well beaten eggs
4 T. sour milk
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 c. mashed bananas
1 t. vanilla
Icing:
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. butter
1/2 c. English walnuts
1/2 c. sour cream
Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs and sour milk.  Then add soda and flour; add bananas and vanilla.  Bake, testing after 30-35 minutes.  Leave cake in pan and cover with icing while still warm. 
Icing:  Cook brown sugar, sour cream, and butter to the soft ball stage.  Add nut meats and spread on cake before it turns firm.  No other icing blends with this cake so well as this one..
Perfect Chocolate Cake        
When Greg was a child he used to ask for this cake for his birthday.  
3/4-1 c. cocoa
2 c. boiling water
1 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 3/4 c. flour
2 t. soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Filling:
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
Frosting:
1 6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. half & half
1 c. butter
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Combine cocoa and boiling water, blending until smooth; set aside to cool.  Combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla; beat at high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Combine dry ingredients; add to sugar mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beating at low speed and beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Do not over beat.  Pour batter into 3 greased 9 inch cake pans.  Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pans 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool completely.  Put layers together with Filling, and spread Frosting over top and sides.  Serve at once, or refrigerate until needed.
For Filling: combine ingredients in bowl; whip until thick.  Chill. 
For Frosting: combine chocolate morsels, half & half, and butter in saucepan; place over low heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat; blend in powdered sugar.  Set saucepan in ice, and beat until frosting holds its shape.  Yield: about 3 cups.
Texas Sheet Cake      
This recipe is from Mom.  She made it when we were kids and it’s still one of our favorites.  
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. margarine, or butter
1/2 c. shortening or oil
4 T. cocoa
1 c. water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. buttermilk, or substitute 1 1/2 t. cider vinegar mixed with 1/2 c. milk
Icing:
1/2 c. margarine or butter
4 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 c. chopped nuts

Combine sugar and flour; set aside.  Combine butter, oil, cocoa, and water in saucepan and bring to boil.  Pour over flour mixture.  Stir well and add eggs, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, and buttermilk.  Mix well and pour into greased 11x17 jelly roll pan.  Bake 25 minutes at 350*.  Remove from oven and frost while hot. Start icing 5 minutes before cake is done.  Bring first 3 ingredients to boil and add the last 3.   Spread on hot cake.
Bundt Cake       
Carrie Hamann, the wife of one of Kent’s partners in the law firm, shared this recipe with me.
1 Duncan Hines Butter Cake mix 
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2/3 c. oil
1 c. sour cream
1 c. pecans, cut, not chopped
Beat first 5 ingredients together for 4 minutes, then add nuts and pour half into a greased bundt pan.  Mix 2 T. brown sugar & 2 t. cinnamon.  Sprinkle half over batter in pan.  Add rest of batter and then rest of sugar mixture.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour in 350* oven.
Self-Filled Cupcakes           
This recipe is from our daughter-in law, Amy’s grandmother, Dorothy. Dickinson
1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
dash of salt
1 egg
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix cake as per directions.  Fill paper muffin liners 2/3 full.  Combine cream cheese with sugar.  Beat egg and salt.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop one rounded teaspoon cheese mixture into each cup cake.  Bake as package directions.  Makes about 30 cupcakes.
Hot Fudge Cake   
From my sister, Barb Harris.

1 3/4 c. packed brown sugar, divided
1 c. flour
6 T. cocoa
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 c. boiling water
Vanilla Ice Cream....a must!!

Combine 1 c. brown sugar, flour, 3 T. cocoa, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, combine the milk, butter and vanilla, stir into dry ingredients until combined.  Spread evenly into a 3 qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Combine remaining brown sugar and cocoa, stir in boiling water.  Pour over batter.  Do not stir.  Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.
Grandma’s Salad Dressing Cake   
This is Aunt Margaret Combs’ recipe, sent to me by my cousin, Pat Howard.
3/4 c. salad dressing, mayonnaise
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
Cream together salad dressing and sugar.  Add flour and water mixtures to sugar mixture gradually.  Bake at 350* for 25 minutes.  
7 Minute Frosting    
I used to love this frosting on Salad Dressing Cake, but haven’t made it for years.
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cold water
2 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar, or 2 t. light corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
In top of double boiler, combine sugar, cold water, egg whites, cream of tartar.  Beat for 30 seconds or till mixed.  Place over boiling water.  Upper pan should not touch water, and cook, beating constantly with electric mixer on high speed, about 7 minutes or till frosting forms stiff peaks.  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla.  Beat for 2-3 minutes more, or till frosting is of spreading consistency.  Spread immediately on cooled cake.
Gooey Butter Cake   
My niece, Mary Harris, sent this great sounding contribution for the cookbook.
Cake:
1 18 1/4 oz. package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 T. butter, melted
Filling:
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
8 T. butter, melted
1 16-oz. box powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350*  Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.  Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
Apple Pudding Cake       
From my mother-in-law, Evelyn Littlejohn
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oleo, or butter
2 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 c. apple, diced
2/3 c. nuts
Combine sugar, flour, soda, spices and salt.  Stir well; add eggs and oleo and stir.  Then add apples and nuts.  Bake 1 hour at 350*
Lightening Cake  
Another cake recipe from my mother-in-law.
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 T. salad oil
1 c. four
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla, or other flavoring
Beat eggs until thick.  Add sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Heat milk to just warm.  Add oil to milk.  Add milk to egg mixture alternately with flour mixture.  Add flavorings.  Grease and flour 8x8 pan.  Bake about 20 minutes or so at 350*.  Double recipe for 9x 13 pan.
Cake Icing     
This recipe is also from my mother-in-law.  I have never tried this frosting, or the cake recipe above, but wanted to preserve the recipes since they came from our children’s grandmother.
1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 T. flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 c. powdered sugar
Combine milk and flour.  Cook to a thick paste.  Cool to lukewarm or room temperature.  Add granulated sugar and salt.  Beat until fluffy.  Add lukewarm paste and beat until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and beat.  This makes enough for a 2 layer cake.
Ice Cream Pie     
This recipe is a favorite of our children and grandchildren, and so easy to make.  Jessica used to request it instead of cake for her birthday.  
Crust:
15 Oreo cookies, crushed 
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
Filling:
1 qt. any flavor ice cream, softened.  Butter pecan and mint chip are our favorites
Topping:        
6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 c. milk
1+ c. marshmallows
dash of salt
Mix together crushed cookies and butter, and pat into pie pan. Freeze till hardened.  Spread softened ice cream in frozen cookie crust and freeze till firm..  Combine topping ingredients.  Cook over low heat till all chips and marshmallows are melted.  You may have to add up to 1/3 c. more milk.  Cool before drizzling on pies. This will cover 3 pies. Drizzle topping on pies and sprinkle with nuts, if desired.  Since a 1 lb. package of Oreos will do 3 pies and so will the topping I usually buy different flavors of ice cream and make 3 pies at a time.  These will keep 2 or 3 weeks, or more, in the freezer if sealed tightly.
     
Strawberry Pie     
My friend, Mary Regan, who is a great cook, gave me this recipe years ago.  It is a favorite during strawberry season and now that we have several peach trees I'm sure I'll be making the substitute for peach pie.  
  
Pie Crust:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 T. milk
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Filling:
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 c. water
3 T. strawberry gelatin
3-4 c. whole strawberries
For Pie Crust, combine oil and milk.  Add to dry ingredients and toss lightly with a fork.  Press into pie pan or tart shells.  Prick with fork.  Bake at 450* until lightly browned.  Cool shell before adding filling.  Add filling and refrigerate until filling is set.
For filling, boil sugar, water, and cornstarch until thick and clear.  Remove from heat and add gelatin.  Cool slightly and add strawberries. Pour into baked pie shell and refrigerate.
Peach Jello can be substituted for the strawberry Jello and 5-6 peeled and sliced peaches for the strawberries.
Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie    
This recipe is from the Libby’s pumpkin can.  It is our family’s favorite
1 16 oz. can Libby’s pumpkin
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 9 inch unbaked pie shell with high fluted edge
Preheat oven to 425*.  Mix filling ingredients in order given.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350*; continue baking 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Serve with whipped cream.
Peanut Butter Pie       
Our friend, Peg Butler, is always asked to bring this pie to church carry-in dinners.  It is delicious!   
1 baked pie shell
1/2 c. peanut butter
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. sugar
3 egg yolks
2 c. milk
1/2 stick butter
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. flour
Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1 T. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. cornstarch
Mix peanut butter and powdered sugar to make a crumbly mixture.  Pat 2/3 of mixture in bottom of baked pie shell.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, eggs and milk.  Cook until thick. Remove from heat.  Add butter, vanilla and 1 t. peanut butter.  Cool and pour into pie shell.  Top with meringue  or Cool Whip.  Boxed cooked vanilla pudding can also be used instead of the egg yolk/flour pudding.
For Meringue: Beat together egg whites, cream of tartar and water until stiff.  Add sugar, vanilla and cornstarch.  Beat until stiff and shining.
Pie Crust for one single pie shell    
From the 1962 Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.  I have tried other crust recipes, but always come back to this one.
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
4 to 5 T. ice water
    
Sift together flour and salt. Cut in the shortening, half at a time.  The first half mixture will look like corn meal. When the second half is cut in the pieces will be the size of small peas.  This dividing of the shortening makes the pie crust extra tender and flaky.  Add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, till all is moistened.  Gather up with fingers; form into a ball.  On lightly floured surface, flatten ball slightly and roll 1/8 inch thick.  If edges split, pinch together.  Always roll spoke-fashion going from center to edge of dough.  Use light strokes. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Form pastry to plate and trim it 1/2 in bigger than pan.  Pinch edges around rim of plate. and pierce piecrust with a fork all around to keep it from bulging.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 450*.  Place trimmings, and extra pie crust on cookie sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar and bake a few minutes for an extra treat.
Banana Cream Pie     
This recipe is also from the Better Homes & Gardens 1962 Cookbook.  I started making this pie right after we were married in 1966.  Doug called it Banana Curly Pie and always wanted it for his birthday.  Kent’s favorite is the Coconut Cream Pie variation mentioned at the bottom of the recipe.    
Filling:
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour, or 3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
2 c. milk
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
3 bananas
Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. vanilla
6 T. sugar
    
Combine sugar, flour and salt in medium saucepan; gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture boils and thickens.  Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.  Stir half the mixture into beaten egg yolks then stir this into the remaining hot mixture; cook 2 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla; cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a crust from forming on top.  Slice bananas into pastry shell. Pour filling over bananas.  Top with Meringue and bake at 350* till meringue is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Prepare Meringue by beating egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla till soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating till stiff peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.  Spread atop pie, sealing to pastry.  Tap with spoon to make peaks.
Variations:
Coconut Cream Pie:  Omit bananas and add 1 c. flaked coconut to the filling.  Sprinkle 1/3 c. coconut over meringue before browning.
Chocolate Cream Pie:  Omit bananas, increase sugar to 1 cup.  Grate, or chop 2 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate; add with milk.
Butterscotch Pie: Omit bananas.  Substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar in filling.  Increase butter to 3 T.
Rhubarb Custard Pie    
Submitted by my cousin, Patty, for Aunt Margaret Combs.
2 eggs, whipped
2 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. flour
1/4 c. butter
2 c. diced rhubarb
2 crust pie crust
Preheat oven to 400*.  Mix together. all ingredients.  Pour into pie shell.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top. (Not much).  Add top crust and bake at 400* for 10 minutes.  Reduce temp. to 350* and bake 40-50 minutes more.  Cool before serving
Grandma’s Ice Cream     
This is one of our favorite homemade ice cream recipes given to us years ago by Mom.  It was her brother, Harold Ghere’s, recipe. 
For 6 quart freezer
8 eggs
3 c. sugar
3/8 t. salt
1 1/2 T. vanilla
3 c. whipping cream
2 qts. milk
Cream eggs, sugar, and add remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
   
For 4 quart freezer:
5 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
2 c. cream
1 1/3 qts.milk
For Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker - 1 1/2 quarts
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1 c. whipping cream, or half & half
2 c. milk
1/2 T. vanilla
Cuisinart Ice Cream   
This recipe came with the ice cream freezer.  I love my Cuisinart freezer.  It is so quick and easy to make ice cream and you don’t need ice or salt to make it.
2 1/2 c. chilled milk
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 T. vanilla extract, or to taste
Mix together and add to ice cream maker to freeze.  
Vanilla Gelato        
I found this recipe to make for the grandkids after we returned from Italy.  We brought the spoons we used from our daily gelato excursions back to the U.S.  The kids love it, and love eating it with the tiny spoons.  They request it often.  
12 egg yolks
3 c. sugar
8 c. whole milk
1 qt. half & half
2-3 T. pure vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
Combine egg yolks and sugar in large mixing bowl.  Beat at med-high speed till very thick and pale yellow.  In large saucepan heat milk to simmer.  Add half of milk to egg yolk mixture, whisk till blended.  Stir in remaining milk.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly till mixture coats back of spoon.  Remove from heat; stir in cream.  Pass mixture through a fine strainer into a large bowl set over an ice bath to chill.  Stir in vanilla.   Freeze in 6 quart ice cream maker.
Gelato For Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker - 1 1/2 quart
3 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
2 c. whole milk
1 c. half and half
1/2-1 T. pure vanilla extract
dash of salt
Prepare according to direction for Vanilla Gelato
Fruit Cobbler     
This recipe was given to me by my Grandmother Ghere when Kent and I got married.  It is wonderful topped with ice cream, or whipped cream.  I love it plain.  I’ve made it with peaches, apples and cherries. It is scrumptious with all of them, but I'm partial to cherries.  
1/3 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
fruit
3/4 c. sugar
Melt 1/3 c. butter in an 8 x 8 pan, then mix together the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over melted butter.  Do not mix with butter.  Place fruit on top and sprinkle with 3/4 c. sugar.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour.
       
Graham Cracker Banana Pudding     
Here is another recipe my mom made for us as kids.  Our children and grandchildren love it as much as we did.  
2 c. milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
2 T. butter
8 whole graham crackers, crushed
3 bananas
Mix milk, flour, sugar and salt in medium saucepan.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Boil 2 minutes.  Pour 1/2 of mixture into beaten egg yolks stirring constantly, and then add this to the remaining mixture in the pan and boil 2 more minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add vanilla and butter, and place pan in cold water to cool, stirring occasionally. Pour half the pudding into a serving dish.  Slice 1 1/2 bananas over the top.  Cover with 1/2 the crushed graham cracker crumbs.  Repeat layer ending with graham cracker crumbs on top.  Refrigerate.   This is best eaten the same day as the bananas will turn brown if kept long in the refrigerator.  It is still good to eat, just doesn't look as good.
       
Butterscotch Elegante     
I found this recipe in a Nebraska Children's Hospital cookbook when our kids were young.  They loved this dessert--as does most everyone else who tastes it.  
1st step:
1 c. flour
1/4 lb. butter or margarine
1/2 c. pecans
2nd step:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. Cool Whip
3rd step:
2 pkgs. instant butterscotch pudding
3 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. burnt sugar flavoring
4th step:
1 c. Cool Whip
Chopped pecans to cover
Combine 1st step ingredients and place in 9x13 baking pan.  Bake 15 minutes.  Cool.  Combine softened cream cheese with powdered sugar.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread on cooled 1st step shell.  Chill 1/2 hour.  Combine 3rd step ingredients.  Do not cook.  Spread over 2nd step mixture.  Spread Cool Whip over 3rd step and sprinkle with pecans.  Chocolate or lemon instant pudding may be substituted for butterscotch.  Omit the burnt sugar flavoring.
Strawberry Cheesecake       
I found this cheesecake recipe on allrecipes.com recently while looking for something to make with extra strawberries because they were on sale.  
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs 
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted
2 10 oz. packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed, or 1 qt. fresh berries to which 1/4 c. or to taste, sugar has been added
1 T. cornstarch
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. lemon juice, less, if desired
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
     
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.  In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in milk.  Add lemon juice; mix well.  Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.  Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust.  Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer.  Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce.  Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top.  With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce.  Cover bottom of springform pan with aluminum foil so water will not leak in and sit in a pan of water 1/2 way up side of cake pan.  Bake at 300* for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set.  Turn off oven and let sit in oven at least 1 hour.  Remove from oven and carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; allow to cool to room temperature and then remove side of pan.  Refrigerate overnight.  Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.
Dorothy’s Cheesecake   
This is a different twist on making cheesecake from my friend, Dorothy (Shimonek) Povondra, who always came up with excellent recipes.
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
2 T. oil
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
3 T. lemon juice
2 t. vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling
    
Reserve 1 c. dry cake mix.  Combine remaining mix, 1 egg, and oil.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Press into bottom and 3/4 way up sides of a greased 9x13 pan.  In same bowl blend cheese and sugar.  Add 3 eggs and reserved cake mix; beat one minute on medium speed.  At low speed add milk and flavorings.  Mix till smooth.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 300* for 1 hour, 10 minutes, till center is firm.  Chill.  Add cherry topping just before serving.
Sour Cream Pastries         
Another good recipe from Pat Duke.
1 c. butter
2 c. flour
1 beaten egg yolk
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. apricot preserves
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
Granulated sugar
    
With pastry blender, cut butter or margarine into flour till mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Combine egg yolk and sour cream; blend into flour mixture.  Chill several hours, or overnight.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Keep each part refrigerated till ready to use.  Roll each part to 10 inch circle on lightly floured surface.  Spread with 3 T. preserves, sprinkle with 2 T. coconut and 1 T. nuts.  Cut each circle into 12 wedges with fluted pastry wheel.  Start at wide end, roll each wedge into crescent.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Use un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 350* for 20 minutes, or till lightly browned.
Apple Crisp      
My friend, Marg Dickinson, gave me this delicious apple crisp recipe, which is one of their family favorites.   I love it because the topping stays crisp.   
4 c. apples
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. flour
7 T. butter
1/2 c. water
Butter dish.  Add apples.  Pour water over.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Mix flour, butter, and sugar till crumbly.  Bake 350* till done.  Doubling the recipe fits perfectly into a 9x13 pan.   
Aunt Margie’s Apple Crisp   
This recipe is from my aunt, Margaret Combs, submitted by her daughter, Pat Howard, because Aunt Margie is no longer able to cook.
Fill 9x13 glass dish to 3/4 inch from top with apples
Sprinkle top with 1 c. sugar
Topping:
2 c. flour
3/4 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, well beaten 
1/2 c. butter
2 t. cinnamon
Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and 1 1/2 c. sugar.  Mix well then stir in eggs and spread over top of apples.  Pour melted butter over this and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.
Persimmon Pudding       
I have had this persimmon pudding recipe for some time, but because we don't have persimmon trees on our property I don't make it a lot.   Kent loves persimmon pudding!
1/2 t. soda
2 c. persimmon pulp
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. vanilla
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 T. melted butter
Preheat oven to 325*.  Butter a 9x13 pan.  In mixing bowl, combine persimmon pulp, baking soda, sugars and eggs.  Mix well.  Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, milk and melted butter.  Stir to combine.  Pour into baking pan and bake 55 minutes.  The pudding will rise but will fall when removed from the oven.  I reduced the sugars by 1/4 c. each from the original recipe.  If you like your pudding sweeter you may want to add it back.
     
Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding     
Kent is also a big fan of bread pudding.  I’m not, so I’m adding this recipe as a reminder to make it for him occasionally.
4 c. soft bread crumbs, or very small cubes
2 c. milk, scalded with 1/4 c. butter
1/4+ c. sugar
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
pinch of salt
    
Place 4 c. bread crumbs into 1 1/2 quart baking dish.  Blend together and add remaining ingredients.  Place baking dish in about 1 inch of hot water in a pan and place in oven.  Bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from center comes out clean.
Pumpkin Pie Squares       
Jess gave me this recipe which I prefer to pumpkin pie.
Crust:
1 c. flour  
1/2 c. quick-cooking oatmeal  
1/2 c.  brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. butter
Filling:
2 c. pumpkin 
1 13 1/2 oz. can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/3 t. ground ginger
Topping:
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar firmly packed
2 T. butter
Combine flour, oats, 1/2 c. brown sugar and 1/2 c. butter in a mixing bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Press into 13 x 9 pan.  Bake at 350* for 15 min.  Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, and spices in a mixing bowl and beat well.  Pour onto crust.  Return to oven for 20 minutes.  Combine pecans, 1/2 c. brown sugar, and 2 T. butter.  Sprinkle over pumpkin filling.  Return to oven 15-20 minutes, or until filling is set.  Cool in pan.  Cut in squares. 
Quick Fruit Dessert   
This is an excellent variation of Dump Cake which was popular several years ago.
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4-1/2 t. cinnamon
1 20 oz. can any fruit pie filling
1 15 oz. can crushed pineapple, optional
1 c. coconut, optional
1 c. nuts, optional
Combine dry cake mix, coconut and/or nuts, if using, and cinnamon.  Spread pie filling on bottom of 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with cake mix mixture.  Drizzle with butter.  Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes till golden brown.
Apple Dumplings   
Jessica discovered this recipe a few years ago and shared it with me.
2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans Crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
cinnamon
1 small can Mt. Dew
Peel and core apples.  Cut apples into 8 slices each.  Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.  Place in a 9x13 buttered pan.  Melt butter, then add sugar, and barely stir.  Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples.  Pour Mt. Dew around the edges of the pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.  Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pudding Cake
I recently found this recipe in a magazine.  It is so easy and makes an excellent dessert.  I think pecans would be an excellent addition.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Pour 1 (13 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk into a lightly greased 9x13 pan.  
Spoon 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 cup brown sugar over milk.  
Scatter 1 (20 oz.) box brownie mix over the top.  
Pour 2 cups boiling water on top (do not stir).  Bake 30 minutes.
Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. coarse salt on top.  Serves 10.

7  Candy, Cookies & Bars
Dorothy’s Heath Bar Candy     
I always make this wonderful candy recipe from my friend, Dorothy Povondra, at Christmas, but because we love it, once in a while I just have to make a batch to munch on during the year.  We think it is better than Heath Bars.
1 lb. butter, not margarine
2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
4 T. water
1 t. vanilla
1 c. slivered almonds
1 12 oz. choc. candy bar
1 pkg. ground almonds
Mix butter, sugar, salt, water in a large kettle.  Bring to a boil.  Boil slowly 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 1 c. slivered almonds.  Keep boiling till candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage, 290*.  If it doesn’t reach this stage candy will be soft and sticky.  You want it to be crunchy.  The last minutes go very fast so watch carefully.  Mixture will begin to have a pale yellow color.  Remove pan from heat.  Add vanilla.  Pour into a buttered jelly roll pan.  Cool.  Melt 1/2 candy bar and spread over hard candy.  Press 1/2 the ground almonds into the chocolate with a spatula.  Cool in refrigerator for several hours.  Remove, and flip candy over and add rest of melted candy bar to this side.  Press in the rest of the almonds.  Refrigerate again several hours till chocolate has hardened.  Remove from pan and crack into pieces with a knife handle or meat mallet.
Chocolate Bon Bons        
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without these great treats.  The recipe was given me by Marg Dickinson.
2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, or margarine, melted
3 c. crushed Rice Krispies
1 lb. powdered sugar
4 regular size Hershey bars
1 6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 bar paraffin
Combine the first 4 ingredients.  Mix and roll into balls.  Refrigerate 1/2 hour.  Melt the Hershey bars, chocolate chips and paraffin together.  Dip balls to cover and cool on wax paper.  Use toothpick.  Do quickly.
Salted Nut Roll      
Marcia Shipley’s sister, Betty, brought this to a cookie exchange a long time ago.  It is so good.
16 oz. jar salted, dry roasted peanuts
12 oz. pkg. peanut butter chips
4 T. margarine, or butter
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg. mini marshmallows
Spread 1/2 of the nuts on bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Melt chips with margarine, then add the milk.  Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows.  The marshmallows will be only slightly melted.  Spread over nuts.  Top with remaining nuts.  Cool and cut into small bars.
Creamy Chocolate Fudge   
I found this good recipe a few years ago when I had a desire to make fudge.
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
1 1/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped nuts (or more)
1 t. vanilla extract
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt.  Bring to a full boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and pour in semisweet and milk chocolate chips.  Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir in nuts and vanilla.  Pour into buttered 8x8 pan.  Chill in refrigerator 2 hours till set.
Peanut Clusters      
From a Christmas cookie exchange when our children were small.
1 lb. almond bark
1 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
1 lb. salted peanuts, not Spanish
Melt bark according to package directions.  Stir in chips and peanuts.  Drop by spoonful on foil.   Freezes well.
Caramels        
This recipe is from my aunt, Joyce, who made them regularly when I was growing up. 
2 c. white sugar
1 3/4 c. white syrup
2 c. cream or evaporated milk
1 c. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
1 c. nuts
Cook sugar, syrup, butter and 1/2 of cream together.  When it boils, stir in rest of cream slowly so it doesn’t stop boiling.  Cook till firm ball stage of 245-250* on candy thermometer.  Add vanilla and nuts.  Turn into buttered 9x13 pan.  When nearly cool cut into squares.
Divinity   
Mom, aka Grandma Swisher, always makes this at Christmas.
3 c. sugar
1 c. white syrup
1 1/2 c. water
2 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1 t. white vinegar
nuts, optional
Cook sugar, syrup and water to hard ball stage.  Let set while beating egg whites to stiff peaks. Pour hot mixture slowly into egg whites beating constantly.  Continue beating till mixture holds shape.  Add vanilla, vinegar and nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper, or pour batter into 9x9 buttered pan.  Cool and cut into squares.
Rock Candy    
Another of Grandma Swisher’s specialties.
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. white corn syrup
1 c. cold water
1/2 t. flavoring
Mix and boil to 300*.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 t. flavoring and coloring.  Grandma likes cinnamon flavoring and red food coloring in hers. Turn onto 3 greased platters for 3 minutes.  Then turn onto powdered sugar surface.  Cut with shears.  Butter hands good before handling.
Oreo Balls          
An easy candy treat from my niece, Kaylan.  She and my sister, Deb, also shape these into little mice bodies and add licorice for their tails and candies for their eyes.
1 pkg. Oreo cookies
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
white almond bark
Crush cookies and mix with cream cheese.  Roll into balls.  Dip in melted almond bark.
Pay Day Puppy Chow     
This recipe is from my sister Deb, who often makes it at Christmas time.
1 c. sugar
1 c. white syrup
1 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
6 c. Rice Chex
Cook sugar and syrup for 4 minutes.  Add peanut butter and vanilla.  Pour over the peanuts and Rice Chex.  Mix well.
Candied Pecans            
I love candied pecans in salads, so after much experimenting I have found 2  great recipes.  The first one is quick and easy.  The second takes more time, but makes lots for sharing.  
1/2 c. pecan halves
2 T. water
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. vanilla
dash of salt
    
Place above ingredients in a small pan and stir to dissolve sugar.  Bring to a simmer and cook 5-7 minutes, till all the syrup is gone.   Watch so they do not burn.
Sweet Coated Pecans
1 egg white
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 t. salt
2 T. water
1 to 2 t. vanilla
1 + pound pecan halves
     
Preheat oven to 300*.  Lightly butter a baking sheet, or use parchment paper.  In a bowl, beat the egg white until foamy.  Mix in cinnamon, sugar, salt, and water.  Mix well.  Stir in pecan halves, stirring until well coated.  Spread on baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. 
Chocolate Chip Cookies   
This recipe is wonderful!  I found it in the Omaha World Herald newspaper about 25 years ago.  They’ve always been a favorite of our children & their friends and now they make them for their children & their friends. Returning guests request these all the time.
1 c. butter
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate. chips
Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Grind oats in food processor or blender until they turn to powder.  Mix with flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir into creamed butter mixture.  I often separate 1/2 of the dough into a smaller bowl and add chopped pecans to this with no choc. chips.  To the rest of the dough I add the choc. chips.  Drop in golf ball-sized amounts onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 375* for 8 minutes, or until edges barely begin to brown.  These cookies are best undercooked.   Trust me, these are amazing fresh out of the oven!
*A tip I learned from my daughter-in-law, Ashley Littlejohn, is to only bake as many cookies as you will eat in a day and refrigerate the rest of the dough for up to a week, baking a few whenever you want.
Oatmeal-Pecan Cookies  
I started making this variation of the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe above for Kent who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies.  Many people now prefer them to the original recipe.
1 recipe, Chocolate Chip Cookies, above
omit chocolate chips
1-2 c. pecans
Prepare according to choc. chip cookie directions.  Add pecans.  Bake.
Chewy Chocolate Mint Cookies      
I modified a chocolate cookie recipe to make these delicious mint cookies which have become one of our family’s all-time favorites.  
1 c. butter or margarine softened  
2 c. sugar                      
2 c. unsifted flour 
3/4 c. cocoa
2 eggs  
2 t. vanilla                                                       
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4-1 T. peppermint extract
                                                   
Add 3/4-1 T. peppermint extract to 1 12 oz pkg. chocolate chips and allow them to sit at least an hour, or overnight, or microwave for 5 seconds.  Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla; blend well.  Add rest of ingredients.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375* for 8 minutes.  Cookies will not look done, but will flatten when cooling.    Makes about 4 dozen.

Grandmother’s Cookies    
My friend, Jane Hutcheson’s mother-in-law was famous in her family for these cookies.
3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 c. pecans
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 t. soda
Mix together.  Roll into a long cylinder.  Refrigerate.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices and bake at 350* approximately 10 minutes.
Monster Cookies   
My sister, Deb Wineinger, makes these often.  They are so good!
3 lb.. peanut butter
12 eggs
2 lb.. brown sugar
4 c. white sugar
1 T. vanilla
1 t. salt
8 t. soda
1 lb. butter
15 c. oats
1 lb. M & M’s
1 lb. chocolate chips
nuts, optional
Mix all together in largest mixing bowl you have.  Drop by spoonful on baking sheets.  Bake 350* 10-12 minutes.  This makes a huge amount, so freeze some.
Original Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies       
My sister, Barb, makes these cookies from the recipe on the Nestle’s chocolate chip package for her husband, John, and his hunting buddies, but instead of dropping by teaspoons, she drops them by heaping tablespoons.  They are delicious!
2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened, or butter flavor Crisco
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 375*.  In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla till creamy.  Beat in eggs.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 9-11 minutes till edges are golden brown.
Santa’s Whiskers     
This is another good recipe from a Christmas Cookie Exchange many years ago.
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla, or rum extract
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. finely chopped red and green candied cherries
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
3/4 c. flaked coconut
Cream butter and sugar.  Blend in milk and vanilla.  Stir in flour, candied cherries, and nuts.  Form into 2 rolls, 2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long.  Roll in coconut.  Wrap and chill several hours or overnight.  Slice 1/4 inch thick.  Place on un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375* for 12 minutes.
     
Oatmeal Cookies     
This oatmeal cookie recipe came from the Quaker Oats oatmeal box.  We always used this recipe when I was a child, but for several years after Kent and I were married it was removed from the box.  So many people, like me, must have relied on it they eventually put it back.  Jess won first place at a county fair with these when she was in 4 H.
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3 c. oats
1 c. chopped pecans, or walnuts, optional
Combine ingredients.  I sometimes add 1 c. coconut and/or 1 c. choc. chips.  Bake at 375* 8-10 minutes.
Great Grandma Littlejohn’s Banana Cookies   
From my mother-in-law
1 3/4 c. quick oatmeal
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. shortening
1 egg
2 medium bananas
1 t. soda
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
Mix well and drop by teaspoon for small or tablespoons for large cookies.  Bake at 400* for 10 minutes.
    
Banana Jumbos    
Here is another of Doug’s & Kent’s favorite cookies that I’ve made since the kids were little.
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 or 3 mashed bananas
1/2 c. milk, or buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. chopped nuts
Mix butter, sugar & eggs.  Stir in bananas, milk and vanilla.  Add flour, soda and salt.  Stir in nuts.  Chill 1 hour.  Drop large spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes.   Frost with powdered sugar frosting.  Sprinkle with coconut, if desired.
             
Best Sugar Cookie You Ever Ate or Snitched       
I found this sugar cookie recipe in the Nebraska Children's Hospital Cookbook.  When our kids were at home I made these cookies often, but had forgotten about them until Greg mentioned them recently.  
1 c. butter, or half Crisco, half butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. salad oil
pinch salt
1 t. vanilla
5 c. unsifted flour
2 t. soda
2 t. cream of tartar
1-2 t. lemon extract
Cream butter and sugar.  Add next 4 ingredients.  After measuring, stir dry ingredients together.  Mix well.  Roll into balls about the size of a golf ball.  Roll ball in sugar and press down with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes or till lightly browned on edges.
      
Salted Peanut Cookies     
Marg Dickinson, our daughter-in-law Amy’s mom, brought this recipe to a cookie exchange when the kids were little.  I have always loved it.
1 c. butter, or 1/2 Crisco, 1/2 butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. crushed corn flakes
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. salted peanuts
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
Cream shortening and sugars.  Add eggs.  Add cereal, oatmeal, peanuts and dry ingredients sifted together.  Add vanilla.  Chill 15 minutes.  Lightly grease cookie sheets.  Roll into balls and flatten.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350*.
Ginger Snaps   
From Edith Malone, our next door neighbor in Omaha.  She said this was her grandmother’s recipe.
1 c. sugar
1 c. dark molasses
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. water
1 c. shortening, 1/2 butter, 1/2 Crisco or lard
1 t. salt
1 T. ginger
2 t. soda dissolved in a little hot water
4 c. flour
Boil first 4 ingredients together for 1-2 minutes.  Let cool and while cooling add shortening.  Then add salt, ginger, soda water and flour enough for a stiff batter.  Add 1 c. flour at a time.  Mix well and roll out on well floured board a little at a time.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Roll them thin.  After they are on greased cookie sheets, sprinkle with white, or colored sugar, or decorate with fancy frosting after they are baked.  Bake at 350* for 11-12 minutes. Makes about 150 cookies.
  
Apple Hermits         
One day when I was looking for a new way to use excess apples I found this delicious cookie recipe.   I omit the raisins.
2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. butter
1 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 c. chopped walnuts
1+ c. chopped apples
1 c. raisins, optional
    
Preheat oven to 350*.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.  Mix in sugar and egg.  Stir in flour mixture, and mix thoroughly.  Fold in nuts and apples.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Cool.
Peanut Butter Blossoms    
I’ve had this recipe so long that I can’t remember where I got it, possibly from Mom.
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. milk
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
Hershey’s candy kisses
Sift together flour, soda, salt; set aside.   Cream together butter and p. butter.  Gradually add sugars and milk.   Cream well and add egg and vanilla.  Mix well and add dry ingredients.  Shape dough into balls using a round teaspoon for each.  Roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 minutes at 375*.  Remove from oven and place a candy kiss on top and press firmly.  Return to oven for 2-5 minutes longer.
      
Almond Joy Cookies       
These cookies remind me of Almond Joy candy bars.  Sooo good!  
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 c. flaked coconut
1 12 oz. pkg. milk choc. or semi-sweet choc. chips
1 1/2 c. finely chopped almonds
In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars till light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and extracts.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt;  gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in coconut, chips and almonds.  Drop by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto un-greased baking sheets.  Bake at 375* for 9-11 min.
Ade's Icebox Cookies       
Who is old enough to remember refrigerators being called iceboxes?  This recipe is from Kent's grandmother, Ada Littlejohn.   I’m adding it as a remembrance for our kids and grandkids.  
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 t. cream of tartar
1 t. soda
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
3 c. flour
1 c. nuts
Mix and shape into a roll.  Refrigerate or freeze.  Slice and bake at 375*.
Sugar Cookies     
Jane Kampsnider sent these to me in an email recently, saying they were so good!
1 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 egg 
1 t. soda
1/2 t. baking powder
2 3/4 c. flour 
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla; add egg.  Mix.  Then add, soda, baking powder, and flour and mix well.  Drop on cookies sheets.  No need to flatten. Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 350* for 10 minutes, until firm but not brown.
     
Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies   
My kids, and now my grandkids, help me decorate these good cookies at Christmastime.
3/4 c. butter
1 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
Frosting:
1 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
2 drops any color food coloring
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and 1 t. vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture.  Cover dough, and chill at least one hour.  Preheat oven to 400*.  Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.   On lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Remove to racks and let cool completely before frosting.
For frosting, beat together butter, vanilla and powdered sugar in a small bowl till smooth.  Mix in the milk, 1 T. at a time until a good spreading consistency is reached.  Stir in food coloring.  Frost cookies.  Allow frosting to harden before storing cookies.
Teatime Tassies        
From my mom, Evelyn Swisher
1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. margarine
1 c. sifted flour
Pecan Filling
1 egg
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
dash salt
2/3 c. pecans
Soften cream cheese and margarine.  Blend.  Stir in flour.  Chill 1 hour.  Shape into 2 dozen 1 inch balls.  Place in tiny un-greased muffin cups.  Press dough on bottom and sides.  Mix filling ingredients together and pour over crusts in muffin cups.  Bake at 325* for 35 minutes.
Pumpkin Bars    
I don’t recall where this recipe came from.
4 eggs 
2 c. sugar
1 c. Crisco oil
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. soda
2 c. pumpkin
Frosting
1 3 oz. pkg. softened cream cheese
1 stick butter, or margarine
1 t. vanilla 
1 box powdered sugar
Mix bar ingredients and bake in 9x13 pan at 350* for 20-25 minutes.  Cool. 
Mix frosting ingredients. together.  Frost cooled bars.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts.
      
Cheesecake Diamonds    
My friend, Pat Schima, often brought these when asked to bring a dessert.  They are excellent!  And much easier than cheesecake.  
10 T. butter, or margarine
2/3 c. brown sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 8 oz. pkgs. soft cream cheese
5 T. milk
3 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
Cream butter and brown sugar; add flour and nuts.  Mix well.  Set aside 2 cups for topping.  Press remainder in bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  Blend sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Add eggs, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Beat well.  Spread over bottom crust.  Sprinkle with reserved topping.  Return to oven for 25 minutes more.  Cool, then chill.  Cut into diamonds or squares.
      
Chewy Brownies       
This has been my tried and true recipe for brownies for years.  I sometimes try a different one, but I always come back to this one.  
1 c. butter
4 squares baking chocolate
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 t. baking powder
1-2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1 c. flour
2 c. pecans or walnuts
    
Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan.  Remove from stove, add rest of ingredients, stir until well blended.  Pour into 9x13 greased baking pan.  Bake 20 minutes at 350*.  Cool.  Cut into squares.  These will not be totally baked, which makes them so good topped with ice cream.
Cream Cheese Brownies      
If you love cheesecake and chocolate, you will love these brownies!    They are so good I think I could make myself sick eating them.  That’s why I freeze most of them after baking.
Filling:
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
Brownie batter:
Use recipe above for Chewy Brownies
    
For filling, combine cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 eggs, vanilla.  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350*  Prepare brownie batter according to recipe above.  Spread 1/2 brownie batter onto greased 9x13 pan. Spread this with the cream cheese filling and cover with the remaining brownie mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool.  Can be eaten warm but are much better refrigerated for several hours or overnight.  Store in refrigerator, or freeze.
       
French Apple Squares     
Mary Regan’s husband loved these, but Mary was always misplacing the recipe.  Fortunately, she had shared it with me, so she would call me to get it.  When I looked for it to add to the cookbook, I couldn’t find it so I had to call her.
4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening or butter
4 egg yolks
3 T. lemon juice
5 T. ice water
Filling:
4 lb. apples, 12 or more
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. or more cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. nutmeg
Beat egg yolks and add lemon juice and ice water.  Blend flour and salt.  Cut in shortening.  Add egg yolk mixture.  Roll out half of dough to fit a jelly roll pan.  Toss apples with remaining ingredients.  Pour into prepared dough.  Cover with remaining dough.  Seal edges.   Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and drizzle immediately with a medium powdered sugar frosting.  Mary likes to add almond extract to the frosting, also.
Can’t Leave Alone Bars   
From my aunt, Margaret VanCleave
1 box white cake mix
2 large eggs
1/3 c. oil
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 stick butter
Melt chips, milk, and butter.  Press 2/3 of combined first ingredients in a 9x13 pan.  Pour melted mix over crust.  Top with spoonfuls of remaining cake mixture.  Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes.
Chocolate Mint Sticks    
Here is another Christmas cookie exchange recipe I’ve made every year for our children and grandchildren since I received it.
4 oz. baking chocolate
1 c. butter
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 t. peppermint extract
2 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. nuts
Frosting:
4 T. butter
4 T. cream, or milk
3 c. powdered sugar
4-5 tsp. peppermint extract  
Green food coloring
Melt chocolate and butter.  Cool slightly.  Add slightly beaten eggs and sugar gradually, then add peppermint extract and vanilla.  Mix well and add flour and nuts.  Bake in 9x13 pan at 350* for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.  Frost.  Will keep in refrigerator for a couple of weeks or more if tightly covered.  Or freezes well.
Sour Cream Apple Squares     
These used to be one of Doug’s favorites when he was young.  I think they still may be.
2 c. flour
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. nuts, chopped
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
2 c. apples, peeled and chopped
Combine first three ingredients in large bowl.  Blend at low speed until crumbly.  Stir in nuts.  Press 2 3/4 c. of crumb mixture into un-greased 9x13 pan.  To remaining mixture, add cinnamon, soda, salt, sour cream, vanilla, and egg.  Blend well.  Stir in apples.  Spoon evenly over base.  Bake 25-35 minutes at 350*.


German Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
This is a new recipe I discovered from the September 2012 Southern Living Magazine.  It is fabulous when served warm topped with homemade ice cream.


3 c. pecan halves and pieces
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. cold butter, cubed
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant stirring halfway through.

Line bottom and sides of a 13x9 pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides.  Lightly grease foil.

Pulse flour and next 3 ingredients in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press mixture on bottom of prepared pan.
Bake crust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over crust.  Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

Whisk together brown sugar and next 3 ingredients until smooth.  Stir in coconut and toasted pecans and spoon onto prepared crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and set.  Cool completely (about 1 hour).  Chill 1 hour.  Lift baked bars from pan, using foil sides as handles.  Transfer to cutting board; cut into bars.

(I think these are even better if you heat each square for 15+ seconds before topping with ice cream.)


8  Miscellaneous

Morel Mushrooms        
Here is a "how to cook morel mushrooms" recipe.  For detailed photo instructions see the blog post, "Cooking Morel Mushrooms," on April 26, 2011.
Morel Mushrooms
flour
salt & pepper
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. butter
Cut mushrooms in half or quarters, or into even more pieces if they are large.  Soak them overnight in cold salt water, if you can wait that long.  I usually rinse them several times before adding the salt so most of the bugs are gone and then let them sit in cold water to which a couple of tablespoons of salt has been added, till I’m ready to cook them. Add butter and vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat on medium high.  Drain the mushrooms and roll in flour to generously coat.  Drop into skillet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Watch mushrooms carefully—they’re too scarce to let burn.  When one side is crispy and brown turn over with spatula to crisp and brown other side.  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy.
Best Steak Marinade in Existence        
This really is the best steak marinade recipe I’ve ever had.  I found it on allrecipes.com last summer.  
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 T. garlic powder
3 T. dried basil
1 1/2 T. dried parsley flakes
1 t. ground white pepper
1/4 t. hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 t. dried minced garlic (optional)
                                                  
Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender.  Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired.  Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.  Pour marinade over meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.
Glaze For Ham        
From my friend, Bonnie Butts.  I love ham prepared with this glaze!
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 T. cornstarch
1/8 c. water
Bake ham according to label.  Meanwhile, combine first 3 ingredients.  Heat slowly.  Add cornstarch.  30 minutes before ham is done, score and baste with glaze.  Continue basting periodically till ham is done.
Flour Tortillas      
In case you are feeling adventurous, or have run out of packaged tortillas and want to make your own, these are quite good.
4 c. flour
1/2 c. shortening
2 t. salt
1 1/4 c. warm water  
     
Sift flour into bowl.  Add shortening and rub with fingers till consistency of coarse meal.  Dissolve salt in warm water and add to flour in steady stream using fingertips to blend.  Knead in bowl till ball forms.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead about 3 minutes.  Dough will not be smooth.  Cover and let rest at room temp. 1 hour, or overnight in refrigerator.  Knead dough on work surface about 1 minute.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes.  Pinch off dough in 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Roll on lightly floured surface into 7 inch circle, rolling outward from center, but do not get edges too thin.  Stack between pieces of waxed paper.  Cook in hot oil, for crispy tortillas, or fry in skillet for 2-3 minutes at 375* till light brown spots appear on surface.
Barbeque Sauce        
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe when Kent & I were first married.  We like it very much with the Country Style Ribs in this book.  
  
1 qt. catsup
2 1/2 oz. mustard
1/4 small bottle Worcestershire sauce
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 T. Tobasco sauce
1/4 lb. brown sugar
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
1/2 T. pepper
1/2 T. liquid Hickory smoke, optional
Combine and cook till onion and garlic are done.
Spaghetti Sauce              
A really good recipe to use for excess tomatoes.  We think it is much better than the jars of spaghetti sauce sold in the grocery store so I make lots and freeze it in quart freezer bags. 
1 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes)
1 4 oz. cans mushrooms
2 t. sweet basil
1 1/2 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 -1 1/2 t. onion salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Combine all in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Cook longer if using fresh tomatoes.
Pesto  
I had never eaten pesto till we were in Italy a few years ago.  We had a wonderful dish there, Gnocchi and Pesto, which I loved.  I have not yet been able to duplicate the gnocchi, but this is a great pesto recipe I found and changed a little.
3 c. packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2  c. olive oil
1/4  c. pine nuts, or walnuts
1/2  c. chopped fresh parsley, or baby spinach (optional)
    
Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and nuts in the bowl of food processor or blender.  Blend to a smooth paste.  Add parsley if desired.
Applesauce       
When apples ripen in the fall we really like this easy recipe.  
4 apples, peeled and cored
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until apples are soft.  Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.
Carmel Ice Cream Topping    
Kent loves this topping on homemade ice cream even though I sometimes don’t cook it right so it comes out grainy.
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. whipping cream
3 T.  butter, no substitutes
2 T. light corn syrup
1/2 t. vanilla
dash of salt
       
In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Over cooking will cause this sauce to be very chewy so watch carefully.  Cool to room temperature.  Cover and store in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave at 50% power for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve warm over ice cream.
Hot Fudge Sauce          
I love hot fudge topping and after looking a long time, I found this easy delicious recipe.
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla
dash of salt
    
Combine milk, chocolate chips and butter.  Cook and stir over medium low heat till chocolate is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Serve warm over ice cream. 


Trail Mix
I created this mix after trying Archer Farms' Caramel Cashew Trail Mix.  I like it even more than the Mix because the nuts are salted.


 10 oz. pkg. Milk Duds
 3.4 oz pkg. M & M's
 3/4 lb. coctail peanuts (without the skin)
 1/2 lb. cashews



Kettle Corn
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. popcorn

In a 6 quart pot, combine the oil, sugar and 2 or 3 kernals of corn. Set over high heat, and constantly shake the pan back and forth until the kernals pop.  After the first kernel of corn pops, add the remaining popcorn, place the lid on the pot, and continue shaking. When the popcorn slows in popping, remove it from the heat, and keep the lid on until it stops popping.

Add salt to taste and serve.

Pronto Pups       
I added this recipe because our kids, who were raised in Nebraska, have always thought it was hilarious that we called corn dogs, "pronto pups."  This recipe is for them, and for lots of fun “Fair” memories.  
1 pkg. hot dogs
1 1/2 c. pancake mix
1/2 c. corn meal
2 T. sugar
1 1/4 c. milk
    
Pat uncooked hot dogs dry with paper towel.  Insert popsicle stick about 3/4 of way into hot dog.  Roll in pronto pup mixture and cook in deep fat at 375* till browned.  Drain.  Have hot dogs at room temperature before coating.
Funnel Cakes        
This is another fun “Fair” food!  What is a county fair without funnel cakes?  I don’t feel as if I’ve had a “Fair” experience unless I have at least one of these during the week.
1 egg
2/3 c. milk
1 1/4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
cooking oil
Beat egg and add milk.  Sift dry ingredients together and add gradually to milk mixture.   Beat batter till smooth.  Heat oil to 375*.  Hold finger over hole of funnel with dimensions 3/8 to 1/2 inches.  Fill funnel with batter.  Holding funnel as near surface of hot grease as possible, remove finger and drop batter into oil using a circular movement from center outward to form a spiral cake about 3 inches in diameter.  Fry until cakes are puffy and golden brown, turning once.  Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel to drain.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar with a little cinnamon added.  Serve at once.  Makes 24 3 inch cakes.
Elephant Ears  
I like elephant ears even more than funnel cakes at the Fair, so I’m adding this for all who want to try making them at home.
1 c. milk
3 T. sugar
2 1/2 T. butter
2 t. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. warm water
3 c. flour
1 qt. vegetable oil
cinnamon/sugar mixture for coating
Scald milk, add sugar, butter and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.  Sprinkle yeast onto warm mixture in large bowl.  Add 1 c. flour to milk mixture.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough.  Turn dough onto lightly floured board, knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.  Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise till double in size.  Divide dough into small balls.  Roll out thin to form an elephant ear.  Heat oil to 375*.  Deep fry 3-5 minutes on each side.  Dip both sides into a bowl of cinnamon sugar.
Best Ever Hot Cocoa Mix        
This is great to have on hand to quickly make hot chocolate after playing in the snow.
3 c. nonfat dry milk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 t. salt
Combine ingredients in large bowl.  Working in 2 batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground.  Store in airtight container for up to 3 months.  To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 c. of this mix into 1 c. hot milk.  Top with whipped cream or mini marshmallows.  Makes 20 servings.
Hot Mulled Cider      
A great drink to warm you in the fall.
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 quarts cider
1 t. whole allspice
1 t. whole cloves
3 inches stick cinnamon
dash nutmeg
Combine brown sugar, salt and cider.  Tie spices in small piece of cheesecloth; add to cider.  Slowly bring to a boil;  cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Remove spices.  Serve hot.  Makes 10 servings.

Banana Punch       
I had this great punch at a CFO Annual Meeting in Georgia and asked for the recipe.
3 bananas, pureed
2 c. orange juice concentrate
3 c. pineapple juice
3 c. sugar
6 c. water
Mix together in a gallon jug and freeze.   Just before serving add Sprite or Ginger Ale.
Hot Spiced Tea           
An excellent cold weather drink for a crowd.
5 quarts water
3 regular size tea bags
2 c. sugar
2 c. apple juice
2 c. orange juice
1 pkg. Country Time Lemonade,  2 qt. size
8 cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
Steep and remove tea bags.  Then add rest of ingredients.  Heat and stir to dissolve.  Serve hot.
    
      
Coffee the way Dad made it         
I don’t drink coffee so Dad taught me to make it for him when he came to visit.  I get lots of compliments from guests, so he must have known what he was doing.
3 heaping soup spoons of Maxwell House Original Blend coffee, no substitutes 
7 cups of water. 
Since I usually make coffee in a 12 cup coffee pot, I use 5 1/3 heaping soup spoons and 12 cups of water to make a full pot.  Note that a soup spoon is the medium-sized spoon between a teaspoon and a serving spoon in the silverware drawer.
     
Luscious Slush Punch     
I made this wonderful punch  for my niece's bridal shower.  Half of it served 15, and most of us had more than 1 cup.  The full recipe says it makes 50 one cup servings.  This is a great, refreshing summer drink so don’t reserve it only for parties. 
1 1/2 c. sugar  
6 c. water
2 3 oz. pkgs. strawberry Jello, or try other flavors
1 46 oz. can pineapple juice
2/3 c. lemon juice
1 qt. orange juice
2 2 liter bottles 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water and Jello. The original recipe called for 2 1/2 c. sugar but that was too sweet for me.  Add the extra back if you like super sweet punch.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice.   Divide mixture in half, and freeze in separate containers.  I used gallon zip lock bags held upright in a pitcher while pouring in liquid.  Squeeze out most excess air.  Make sure bag is well sealed and lay flat on a jelly roll pan. Place in freezer at least one day in advance.  Allow mixture to sit at room temp for 1/2 hour to thaw slightly before adding soda.
When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one container in a punch bowl, mash with potato masher to break up to slush consistency, and stir in 1 bottle of soda.
               
Perfect Lemonade       
This is a very good recipe for fresh lemonade.  I have always squeezed lemons and then started adding sugar and water till it tasted just right.  This takes the guesswork out of the process.
1 c. sugar, or more to taste
1 c. water for the simple syrup
1 c. lemon juice from 4 large lemons
4 to 6 c. cold water to dilute
       
Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.  While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.  Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 4 to 6 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.  Serve with ice, sliced lemons.  Yield:  1/2 gallon, enough to serve 6.
       
Sweet Tea      
I was raised on sweet tea, so when we lived in Omaha I was surprised that not many there had ever made it.  I guess it is a Southern tradition, even though Illinois is not too far south.  Here is the "recipe" I use to make it.  
1 Family-Size Tea bag
5 c. purified water
1/3 c. sugar
For each Family Size tea bag:  Boil 2 c. water and immediately add the tea bag.  Let it steep 5 minutes.  Add 1/3 c. sugar to pitcher.  Pour in hot, steeped tea.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Add 3 more cups of water.  Serve over lots of ice.  Purified water keeps the tea from becoming cloudy.