Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Church compiles favorite recipes

If you had walked into my kitchen last Thursday afternoon, you would have wondered what in the world was going on.

I was sitting in a wheelchair, with a blue plastic bowl in my lap, cutting up apples for a dessert I was making. I scooted up the wheelchair to do a few tasks and stood a few times on my good leg, but I let my daughter do the rest, including putting the heavy pan into the oven for the dessert to bake.

Although this broken ankle of mine has set me back quite a bit, I’ve also been determined to do most of the things I want to do, and that includes trying a recipe from Daniels Chapel Free Will Baptist Church’s new cookbook, "Favorite Recipes.”

If you read my food column often, you know I always enjoy a good church cookbook, and this one is no exception. The Crossroads Sunday school class at Daniels Chapel assembled favorite recipes from two previous cookbooks as well as new recipes from members, families and friends for this book.

The spiral bound cookbook is filled with many recipes local cooks will enjoy trying — some you might have seen before at covered dish dinners or at family reunions and others that are very new.

I’ve told my son I’d try Sherri Whitley Jernigan’s healthy zuppa Toscana soup; he loves that soup at Olive Garden, and this version sounds very good and easy to make. And I know my family would love the baked potato cubes recipe Kathy Hayes submitted. The recipe sounds simple enough and would be such a good side dish to a beef main course. And if I could drive right now, I would have already gone out and bought the ingredients for one of the main course casseroles of chicken pies in this book.

The bread section is always one of my favorites in a cookbook. In this one, I left a marker for Debbie Lewis’ blueberry muffins sweetened with sugar and honey. There are plenty more blueberry recipes in the dessert section for those lucky folks with blueberry bushes in the backyard!

There are plenty of cakes in this cookbook, including Lillian Jackson’s chocolate chip cake which I’d like to try and Carolyn Barnes’ 10 layer chocolate cake. My family loves those multi-layered cakes with delicious chocolate frosting. They both sound delicious! And there are plenty of pies to go around, too, made with pecans and lemons and chocolate and so many more yummy things.

The recipe I made last week was Inez Etheridge’s delicious apple crunch. The recipe is very simple, with apples and a cake mix as the main ingredient. We ate the dessert as a crisp, served hot with vanilla ice cream. It was very sweet and very good.

Help out Daniels Chapel and purchase this cookbook. Call the church at 243-2013 for more information. The cookbook is $15. Proceeds will go to the church renovation project.

Delicious Apple Crunch
  • 4 large cooking apples, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick margarine
Place apples in 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with water. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle dry cake mix over mixture. Melt margarine and pour over cake mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Delicious either warm or cold.

Inez Etheridge

*NOTE: I used brown sugar instead of granulated and cut it to 1/2 cup; I also used butter instead of margarine. This is very good served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Macaroni Beef Bake
  • 4 ounces macaroni
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 pound can tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni following package directions. Rinse in cold water and drain.

Brown beef, onions and pepper in skillet. Stir in flour. Add tomatoes and cook until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese, seasonings and macaroni.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Louellen Galloway

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Easy sorbet

It tastes great, is refreshing and is pretty to look at. And it’s oh so easy to make!

The recipe is a simple sorbet that I ran across on the Internet. Although others claim it’s been around for many years, Mark Bittman wrote about it in a 2008 New York Times column and many people have made it since.

The recipe is as simple as it gets with three ingredients: frozen fruit, yogurt and sugar.

Give the ingredients a whirl in a food processor, and the result is a smooth and delicious treat that’s perfect for a summer snack or dessert.

I made mine with a frozen fruit mix of strawberries, peaches, mangos and pineapple. The sorbet was delicious and such a gorgeous peachy color.

I don’t have a large processor (although I do wish my checkbook would allow for the splurge!), so I used my mini-prep food processor, making just half a recipe. The processor complained a little bit, because it was a big load for the tiny machine, but it did do the job fairly well, only leaving a few pieces of unprocessed mango!

When you’re making the sorbet, watch it closely so it doesn’t go from the point of sorbet to smoothie. And eat it immediately for the best results.

The fun thing about this recipe is the many ways you can adapt it. I’ve been reading variations such as blueberry/ lemon yogurt/ brown sugar and Bittman’s variation with frozen cherries and 4 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate in the place of the sugar. But whatever you choose to try, make sure you use frozen fruit, even if you freeze it yourself.

Super-Simple Sorbet
  • 1 pound frozen strawberries or other fruit*
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, creme fraiche or silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup sugar, more or less
Put all the ingredients in a food processor container along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Process until just puréed and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If the fruit does not break down completely, add a little more water through the feed tube, a tablespoon or two at a time, being careful not to over-process or the sorbet will liquefy.

Serve immediately or freeze it for later; if serving later, allow 10 to 15 minutes for sorbet to soften at room temperature.

Yield: At least 4 servings.

Mark Bittman
New York Times

*Notes: I bought a bag of frozen mixed fruits that included strawberries, pineapple, mangoes and peaches.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cookies in your cupcake!

Oreos are a favorite cookie at my house. Since I was young, I’ve enjoyed the sweet treat with a glass of milk and in recent years have become quite fond of Oreo milkshakes. I’ve always loved making them at home for my kids, combining frozen yogurt and skim milk with the crushed cookies and trying not to feel guilty when I make one for myself as well.

What is it about that combination of cookie and cream that’s so yummy?

For the last year or so, I’ve wanted to make Oreo cupcakes but didn’t get around to it until two weeks ago. I wanted to make something new for a family dinner we were invited to and decided to try a cupcake recipe.

I’ve read many versions of Oreo cupcakes, and there are any number of ways you can make them. Some have cream inserted in the middle, others have chocolate frosting sprinkled with cookie crumbs. Some use a variety of chocolate cake mixes, others use yellow. Some bakers place a whole cookie inside the filled cupcake holder (vertical) before baking

For my cupcakes, I chose milk chocolate cake mix made with Oreo pudding. I put half of an Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner before filing with batter. I frosted my cupcakes with a can of whipped vanilla frosting mixed with Oreo cookie crumbs. They were so yummy! In fact, I made them again the next day to take to our church Bible school kickoff.

I especially liked the cookie at the bottom of the cupcake. When you remove the cupcake from the liner, you see the firm cookie at the bottom, and it adds a nice crunch to the cupcake, I think. I also like the cookie crumbs that are already in the Oreo pudding. But if you can’t find the Oreo pudding, plain vanilla should work fine or just make the cupcakes by the package instructions and omit the pudding altogether.

These cupcakes were a real treat. They would also be fun to make with seasonal Oreos that have colorful filling.

I feel sure I’ll be making this recipe again!

Oreo Cupcakes
  • 1 box milk chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package (4-serving size) instant Oreo pudding mix (I had to buy the larger size and divide it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Oreo cookies (or another brand of chocolate sandwich cookies)
  • Can of vanilla frosting

Fill two 12-count muffin pans with cupcake liners and place one half of an Oreo into each liner. Leave the filling on the cookies.

Pour cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk and oil in a bowl and mix for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake according to cake mix box directions.

While the cupcakes cook, crumble 6-8 cookies with your hands, a chopper or in food processor to make coarse crumbles. Place frosting in a bowl and mix in cookie crumbs.

Once cupcakes have cooked and cooled, add frosting and top with more cookie crumbs if desired.