English Muffin Bread

This wonderful bread tastes like English muffins, complete with all the little crannies to catch your butter, jelly, or whatever you slather on it. Because it’s a batter bread, you mix it, let it rise in the pans, and then bake it—no kneading.

5 1/2 – 6 C. all-purpose flour
2 pkg./ 2 T. dry yeast
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 C. milk
1/2 C. water
Cornmeal for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 C. of the flour, the yeast, sugar, salt and soda. Heat the liquids together until very warm (120º) and add to dry mixture. Beat well. Gradually add enough more flour to make a stiff batter. Butter/grease two 8×4” bread pans liberally and sprinkle in cornmeal; rotate and shake to coat all inside surfaces. Spoon the batter evenly into the pans*, butter/grease the tops of the loaves, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until loaves are slightly above the tops of the pans. Bake at 400º for about 25 minutes. Loosen sides and remove bread from the pans to cool on a rack.

Kitchen Hint: This batter is sticky and I find it easier to butter my hands and grab it rather than trying to spoon it into the pans. The bread makes excellent toast and even better French toast because it really soaks up the egg mixture!

Colonial Oatmeal Bread

This was one of the first breads I ever made, and still one of my favorites. It’s soft and sweet and chewy—and the kneading works off stress, too!

1T salt
2 T. fast-rising dry yeast (2 envelopes)
4 C. whole-wheat flour, divided
2 C. all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. honey
4 T. butter or margarine
1 egg
1 C. rolled or quick oats

In a large mixing bowl, combine salt, yeast, 2 C. of the whole-wheat flour and 1 C. of the white flour. Meanwhile, heat the water, honey, and butter/margarine to 120º, and then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the egg and another cup of the whole-wheat flour, and mix again. Add the oats and the last 2 cups of the flours to make a warm, dense dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic. Let rise in a greased bowl until double. Punch down and shape into two loaves, and place in two greased/sprayed 9×5” bread pans. Let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350º and bake about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes before loosening the edges to carefully remove the loaves. Finish cooling on a rack.

Kitchen Hint: I burned out two or three mixer motors making bread dough before my husband bought me a big Kitchen Aide mixer that’s built to handle the strain of bread making. Don’t even try to use a hand mixer on this or any bread recipes! If you hear your motor straining, or it starts to smell hot, stop the mixer and do the rest of the mixing/kneading by hand.

Baked Pineapple

This side dish, warm and sweet and easy, never fails to get me requests for the recipe. And because it’s made with ingredients you have in your pantry all the time, it’s a wonderful last-minute addition to just about any meal.

1 large can crushed pineapple with juice
1 egg
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. sugar or the equivalent in sweetener

Preheat oven to 350º and spray a one-quart baking dish. Dump in the pineapple and juice, and then mix in the egg, cornstarch and sweetener, right there in the baking bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is set. Store leftovers in the fridge. Serves 4.

Kitchen Hint: For a little extra zing, add 1/3 C. dried cranberries and /or some shredded coconut!

Overnight Sensation Salad

This is an oldie but a goodie: crisp and crunchy with fresh veggies but topped with just enough bacon, mayo, and cheese to taste sinfully good. You have to make it the day before, so it’s ready for any occasion when you are!

1 head of lettuce, broken or cut in pieces
1 red onion, diced
1 head of cauliflower, cut fine
1/4 head of red cabbage, cut fine
1 small bag of frozen peas
2 or 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. sugar
3 C. Parmesan cheese

Layer all ingredients in a large glass bowl for best presentation—or in a large bowl with a sealable lid—and cover tightly. Chill in the fridge overnight. Toss just before serving.

Kitchen Hint: Don’t mix the topping ingredients, just layer them on the salad and let them blend themselves. You can replace part or all of the Parmesan with shredded Cheddar cheese, too.

Turkey-Cheese Chowder

Here’s a tasty, economical way to satisfy a craving for comfort food on a cold day!

2 turkey wings or drumsticks, cooked and deboned
4 C. turkey broth, from above
1 C. each of diced carrots, potatoes, celery, onion
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 C. milk
6 T. flour
1 C. shredded Cheddar or Colby cheese
1/4 C. butter

In a large pan or Dutch oven, cook the turkey in 5-6 cups of water, debone, and cut into chunks. Add the veggies and the bouillon cubes to the broth and simmer until tender, then stir in the cooked turkey. Stir the milk and flour together (or shake them in a jar) until smooth and stir into the hot soup until thickened. Stir in the cheese and butter.

Kitchen Hint: This is also great if you stir in a can of creamed corn! Because this is a milk-based soup, you’ll want to lower the heat and stir continuously to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan.

Hamburger Soup

This is one of my all-time favorite soups, because you can’t beat the basic meat and potatoes combination. The tomato juice base packs in lots of vitamins and veggie servings without adding the calories of a cream-based soup. Like a lot of soups, this one improves after a day in the fridge, but if you don’t want it sitting around simply freeze it in 1- or 2-serving portions. Makes a good, quick meal for another day!

1 lb. ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 large can/1 quart jar tomatoes (with juice)
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 64-oz. bottle tomato juice
Dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper, to taste

In a 2-quart pan or Dutch oven, brown and drain the ground beef with salt and pepper; set aside and discard the grease. In the same pan, simmer the potatoes, carrots, celery, and tomatoes with the bouillon and seasonings until tender. Add tomato juice and stir in the ground beef. Adjust seasonings to taste and simmer to allow flavors to blend.

Kitchen Hint: If you prefer a creamier soup, as my mom did, shake 1 C. milk with 3 T. flour in a jar until smooth and stir this in after the final step above. Stir continuously to keep the milk from scorching. Freezes well.

Stuffed Shells

Every time I make this dish for potlucks and receptions I get requests for the recipe! It freezes beautifully and combines a lot of great flavors. Think of it as lasagne in a shell!

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained/pressed
8 oz. cream cheese
1 egg
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. cottage cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper, Italian seasonings to taste
1 box of jumbo macaroni shells, cooked and drained
Large can of spaghetti sauce, any flavor

Cook the macaroni shells according to package directions, rinse in cold water, and separate them on wax paper. For the filling, cook the sausage and onion together, drain, and either chop with a pastry cutter or with a blade in the food processor. Press all the liquid out of the spinach. Combine the meat, spinach, cream cheese, egg, 1 C. of the mozzarella, the Cheddar, the cottage cheese and the Parmesan in a large mixer bowl and mix well. Fill the pasta shells and place in a greased/sprayed 9×13” pan, top with spaghetti sauce. Cover and bake at 350º for 45 minutes. Top with remaining 1 C. of mozzarella and bake uncovered about 5 minutes more.

Kitchen Hint: I usually have an “overflow” pan because it’s better if the filled shells aren’t crammed too tightly into the 9×13” pan.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

This is my all-time favorite recipe for banana bread, so I never make any other kind! The combination of whole-wheat flour, butter, and nuts makes a denser, moister loaf that freezes well. Like most fruit-nut breads, this one cuts cleaner and tastes better if cooled completely, wrapped in plastic wrap, and served the next day . . . although we can never wait that long at my house!

1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 medium bananas (1 C. mashed)
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. whole-wheat flour
1/3 C. hot water
3/4 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325º. Blend sugar into melted butter/margarine. Mix in the eggs and mashed bananas until smooth. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda, and whole-wheat flour alternately with the hot water. Stir in nuts. Bake in a sprayed/greased 9 x 5” loaf pan for an hour and ten minutes—or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Kitchen hint: This makes a dozen wonderful muffins, too—which shortens the baking time to about 15-20 minutes. Or, for smaller loaves, pour the batter into two 8x 4” pans and bake about 45 minutes, or until that pick comes out clean.

Boston Brown Bread

This recipe dates back to Colonial times, when refined sugar wasn’t readily available. Molasses and raisins make it a dense, sweet, satisfying treat for breakfast—or any time! Makes nice little sandwiches when spread with cream cheese and cut into squares or “fingers”.

1 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. whole-wheat flour
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1 C. raisins
2 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. molasses
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325º. Spray two 8” x 4” bread pans. Mix all ingredients and divide dough between the two pans. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes, loosen sides, and remove to cool on a rack.

Kitchen Hint: No buttermilk? Pour 2 cups of milk into a measuring cup and stir in 2 T. vinegar. Let it sit about 10 minutes to thicken.

Three-Grain Biscuits

These biscuits offer a tasty alternative to folks who like a serving of whole grains at breakfast. They don’t rise as high as a traditional white-flour biscuit but you’ll enjoy the denser texture and nuttier flavor with all of your favorite toppings!

3/4 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. whole-grain cornmeal
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening or butter
1/2 C. old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
3/4 C. milk

Preheat oven to 450º. In a large bowl, mix the first five dry ingredients and then cut in the shortening/butter with a pastry blender or by rubbing with the tines of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in oats. Stir in just enough milk so the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the bowl.

Knead on a lightly floured surface about 10 times. Roll to ½ inch thickness and cut biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter (or use a drinking glass). Place on a greased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Brush with milk and sprinkle with additional oats, if you like. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Enjoy! Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Kitchen Hint: You can put the dry ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor and cut in the butter/shortening with the blade, and then add the oats and dribble the milk through the top opening to mix the dough faster—although your biscuits will end up a little heavier. Butter will also make them a little heavier than shortening, but some folks (like me!) prefer that down-home taste! These freeze well.

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