From the Promise Lodge Kitchen

Light Shines on Promise LodgeThe ladies of Promise Lodge are always whipping up good things to eat, and here are the recipes from most of the dishes they concocted in this story! These are down-home foods Amish women feed their families, along with some dishes that I’ve concocted in my own kitchen—because you know what? Amish cooking isn’t elaborate. Plain cooks make an astounding number of suppers from whatever’s in their pantry and their freezers. They also use convenience foods like Velveeta cheese, cake mixes, and canned soups to feed their large families for less money and investment of their time.

If you don’t find a recipe you want, please email me via my website to request it—and to let me know how you liked it!


Amish Pumpkin Crunch

Here’s a wonderful fall dish that bakes up like a pumpkin pie on the bottom with a layer of streusel-like cake on the top—and your house smells fabulous while it’s baking! Serve it warm as a dessert or even as a brunch dish, or serve it chilled.

1 15-oz. can solid-pack pumpkin
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350º and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, and spices. Pour this mixture into the pan, then spread the dry cake mix evenly over the top of it. Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the cake mix, and drizzle the melted butter evenly over everything. Bake 55-60 minutes or until top is golden brown and the center is set. Serves 12. To serve warm, allow the crunch to set about 20 minutes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Annabelle’s Homemade Barbeque Sauce

Here’s a tangy sauce made from simple ingredients—and without the high-fructose corn syrup found in commercially bottled BBQ sauce. I especially like to use this sauce with pulled pork or chicken I’ve cooked in the slow cooker, or in place of taco sauce for nachos. It adds a whole new dimension of zing as a pizza sauce, as well!

1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup water
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. each celery seed and salt
1 T. each garlic powder and dried onion

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or a little longer to make a thicker sauce. Stir occasionally. Makes about 2 cups. Store in the refrigerator—keeps for several days.

Date Raisin Spice Bars

Nothing’s easier than a bar recipe that you stir up in a pan and bake! This recipe is from my mother-in-law’s collection, and I doubled the spices to make these moist, fruity bars a truly memorable treat!

½ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup raisins
1 8-oz. pkg. chopped dates
½ tsp. salt
1 T. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups flour
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. each vanilla and baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray/grease a 10×15-inch pan. In a 2-quart saucepan on the stove, combine shortening, sugar, water, raisins, dates, and the spices. Simmer gently for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients until mixture is well blended. Spread batter in pan and bake about 15 minutes, or until center is set. While bars bake, make the frosting. Place bars on a rack to cool, and frost the bars while still hot. Cool completely before cutting.

2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar
2 T. softened butter
¼ cup milk
Dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. of rum or almond flavoring

Posse Stew

Maybe this recipe was first created over a campfire out West? No matter what you call it, this stew goes together quickly from staples in your kitchen and provides a filling meal for all the folks around your table! Great with cornbread or biscuits!

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15-oz. can chili beans in sauce, undrained
1 15-oz. can hominy, drained
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
1 T. cornstarch
¼ cup water

In a large skillet, cook the beef and onion until all the pink is gone. Drain and return meat mixture to the skillet. Add the vegetables and beans and heat through, then stir the cornstarch into the water and add this to the skillet to thicken the stew. Adjust seasonings and serve. About 4-6 servings.

Kitchen Hint: For more kick, add a 4-oz. can of undrained jalapenos or a packet of dry fajita seasoning. You can also replace the cornstarch/water mix with a small can of tomato paste and add a dash of chili powder or more garlic powder.

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Bars

Love cinnamon? Here’s another bar recipe that goes from a saucepan to the oven in minutes! Don’t let their plain, unfrosted appearance fool you—these bars are moist and chewy and indescribably delicious!

2 cups flour
2 T. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. sugar
1tsp. cinnamon
1 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 9-inch baking pan with foil so that a flap extends on 2 sides, and spray/grease the foil. Combine the flour, 2 T. cinnamon, baking powder and soda in a small bowl and set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan on the stove, cook and stir the brown sugar and butter until butter is melted. Cool slightly. Stir in eggs and vanilla, then stir in the flour mixture. Spread the batter in the pan and bake 30-35 minutes, until a pick in the center comes out clean (bars will still seem a bit doughy, but don’t overbake!) While bars are still warm, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cool completely. Lift out of the pan with the foil to cut. 24 small bars.

Kitchen Hint: Double this recipe to make in a 9×13-inch pan.

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