Beulah’s “Marriage Meat Loaf”

Amish cooks tend to use fewer spices than I prefer, so I tweaked this recipe by adding the soup and salad dressing mixes. This feeds 10-12 guests, and they repeatedly ask for the recipe.

1 lb. each lean hamburger, pork sausage, turkey breakfast sausage
1 cup oats, uncooked
3 eggs
¾ cup tomato juice
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 envelope dry Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix

3 T. ketchup
3 T. mustard
3 T. brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine all meat loaf ingredients thoroughly. Pack firmly into 2 sprayed loaf pans OR shape into 2 loaves and place in a large crockery cooker, adding ¼ cup water in the bottom of the cooker.

Mix the sauce ingredients and spread over the meat loaves. Bake the pans at 350º for an hour. Bake slow cooker loaves for about 6 hours on low. Remove from pan/cooker and allow to sit on platter for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Pumpkin Bread

This is a fall favorite at our house, and it was my mom’s recipe! Moist and flavorful, and it freezes well. You can also make this as muffins or mini bread loaves by adjusting the time—allow about 15-20 minutes for muffins and about 25-30 minutes (or until the tops are firm and a toothpick comes out clean) for mini-loaves.

1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
4 eggs
½ cup softened butter
4 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-2 T. cinnamon
2 cups chopped nuts walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350º and spray two 9 x 5” loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, milk, eggs and butter with a mixer until well blended. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour and spices, then gradually blend these dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the nuts. Divide the dough between the prepared pans and bake for 55-65 minutes, until the centers are set. Cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Freezes well.

Butterscotch Cashew Bars

These thick, chewy bars are rich and satisfying. They have a place on my Christmas cookie trays every year!

1½ cups flour
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened
¼ tsp. salt

½ cup light corn syrup
1 11-oz. pkg. butterscotch chips (2 cups)
4 T. butter
2 T. water
½ tsp. salt
3 cups cashew pieces

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan. Combine crust ingredients with a mixer until you have coarse crumbs. Press firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile combine all filling ingredients except cashews in a microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stir, repeat until smooth and blended. (OR melt over low heat in a pan on the stovetop, stirring often.) Stir in cashews. Spread filling on the partially baked crust and bake another 10-12 minutes or until bubbly and just starting to brown. Cool completely. Cut into 20 squares, and cut each square into 2 triangles.

Orange Date Bars

These moist, dense bars are fabulous. When I can’t find orange cake mixes in the store, I substitute lemon cake mixes. I’ve also substituted dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries for the dates.

2 orange cake mixes
2 3.4-oz boxes instant orange or lemon pudding
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 8-oz. box chopped dates
1½ cups coarsely chopped pecans

1½ cups powdered sugar
1 T. orange juice

Preheat oven to 350º and spray a 10” x 17” x 1” pan (or two 9” x 13” pans). Blend the cake mixes, pudding, oil, and eggs. Add in the dates until distributed evenly. Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s) and sprinkle with the pecans, pressing them lightly into the dough surface. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until center is firm. Cool on a wire rack. Stir the powdered sugar and orange juice, adding just enough milk (a tablespoon or so) to make a thin glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the bars and allow glaze to set before cutting. Freezes well.

Bread Pudding

Here’s a basic bread pudding recipe using any bread you have around (even if it’s stale). As Rosetta did, you can also use up leftover rolls or muffins, as long as you measure out 4 cups. You can also substite other dried fruits, and add nuts to taste.

2 cups milk
4 cups bread scraps, in pieces
¼ cup butter, melted
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
Dash of salt
½ cup raisins
2 tsp. or more of cinnamon or nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a 1½ quart casserole. Place bread scraps in a large bowl. Scald the milk (heat just until bubbles form) and pour it over the bread, stirring to blend. Stir in the remaining ingredients and pour mixture into the prepared casserole. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 6.

Cheesy Rice Casserole

Here’s another dish Amish cooks stir up from ingredients in their pantries. This basic comfort food goes well with just about anything and feeds a crowd! You can use any sort of white/brown/wild rice you prefer.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, divided
½ cup chopped onion
8 cups cooked rice
1 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded Cheddar or Velveeta cheese
2 cups crushed corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350º. Saute the onion in ¼ cup of the butter. Stir this into the rice with the sour cream, soup, and cheese, then spread the mixture in a sprayed 9” x 13” baking dish. Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter and stir in the corn flakes, then spread this mixture on top of the rice. Bake for about 45 minutes, until bubbly and hot. Serves 15.

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

I enjoy just about any sort of cornbread—and to save you from having half a can of pumpkin puree hanging around, I’ve doubled the original recipe. If you only want a dozen muffins, use 1 cup of pumpkin and halve the remaining ingredients!

1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pie mix)
2 cups milk
¾ cup honey
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs
2½ cups yellow corneal
1½ cups flour
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375º and spray two regular-sized 12-cup muffin tins. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, honey, sugar, and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients and spices, and then stir in the pumpkin mixture and the melted butter. Mix until just combined. Spoon batter into the muffin tins and bake about 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and firmly set. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack—or to a basket for your table!

Kitchen Hint: These are best served warm. To reheat, place desired number of muffins on a microwavable plate, tuck a wet paper towel around them, and microwave for about 30 seconds.

Chocolate Gravy

Perfect for parties or any other time you’re in the mood for a decadent treat!

1½ cups sugar
4 T. flour
2½ T. cocoa
½ cup water
1½ cups milk
A few drops of vanilla (optional)

Mix sugar, flour, and cocoa in a medium skillet then stir in the water to blend. Add the milk and cook on medium heat, stirring, until gravy is thick. Stir in the vanilla as you remove the skillet from the heat. Serve over hot buttered biscuits, muffins, etc. Refrigerate leftovers.

Lemon-Cherry Candy Cane Cookies

I baked this shaped shortbread cookie for the first time this year, and it will be on my Christmas trays for a long time to come! The lemony dough and chewy dried cherries are an unexpectedly yummy combination, and a squiggle of pink frosting makes them stand out on a cookie platter. Makes about 2 ½ dozen.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 T. fresh lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup dried cherries, chopped

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
3 T. cherry or pomegranate juice
Few drops of liquid red food coloring

To make the dough, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla, beating until blended. Gradually beat in flour, and then stir in the cherries. Wrap dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350º. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 30 equal sections and roll each section between your hands, into a rope about 5” long. Bend the tops to form candy canes and place the canes 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool on sheets for a couple minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

For the frosting, whisk the powdered sugar, juice, and food coloring in a small bowl until smooth. Fill a pastry tube with frosting, and use a plain tip to form frosting stripes or make a zig-zag design. Allow to dry/set completely before storing between sheets of waxed paper. Freezes well.

Kitchen Hint: You can also spoon the frosting into a sandwich bag and nip off a tiny corner to decorate the cookies.

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