Nanna’s Bookshelf

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I’m staying a few days with my husband’s mother after a few hard weeks in and out of the hospital. When she has the energy we have great conversations reminiscing about the amazing work of God in our lives. Our brokenness, His grace, mercy and sovereignty.

As I think about the years of loving and being loved by this dear woman, who adopted, loved  and raised my husband, the thing that bonded us the most (after loving the same man) was our love and benefit from the same books.

We took turns finding and sharing the recommendations. We spent hours discussing their challenging and encouraging truths. Here’s a sample of her bookshelf. 

Tamale Bites

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2 cups crumbled cornbread

1 10 oz can mild enchilada sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded jack cheese (or try cheddar)

Combine cornbread crumbs, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and salt, mix gently. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Place in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F. oven for 18-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the tomato sauce and the remaining enchilada sauce. Served cooked meatballs in sauce topped with cheese. Makes aprox. 90 meatballs.

Grilled Peach Melba with Ice-cream

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3/4 cup sugar (+ 1 T. sugar)

3/4 cup water

1 vanilla bean (scrape seeds and set aside) or 1 T. vanilla extract

4 peaches, pitted, peeled and cut in half (I leave peel on)

8 oz raspberries

1 T. lemon juice

vanilla ice-cream

Preheat grill to medium/high heat.

Place 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water, 1 T. lemon juice and the seeds scraped from one  vanilla bean (or 1 T. vanilla extract) into a small saucepan and cook over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes. Removed from heat and add peaches, set aside.

Place raspberries and  1 T. lemon juice and 1 T. of sugar into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Use a mesh sieve to remove seeds. Cover and set in the refrigerator.

Grill peaches for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from gill and place back into the syrup and cover with foil for 5 minutes. Remove peaches from syrup and serve with ice-cream and drizzle with raspberry sauce.

Susie’s Broccoli Salad

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2 bundles of fresh broccoli – cut into bite size pieces (flowerettes)

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup pecans, diced

1/2 lb bacon, browned and crumbled

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup yellow or red onion, diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup vinegar

The day before you plan to serve this dish, wash broccoli and place in a large bowl. Add chestnuts, pecans, bacon, raisins and onion. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar well, the pour over all other ingredients and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at one for one night, maybe two. Stir and serve.

 

 

Garden Vegetable Casserole

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2 small summer squash, sliced

1 med. zucchini, sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

2 T. grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. thyme

Place all the sliced vegetables on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over and lightly toss with vegetables.

Cover and and cook in a 350 degree F. oven on a middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Or place in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes.

Apricot Pie Filling

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3 cups pitted fresh apricots, cut into bite size pieces

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (+ dash of nutmeg optional)

pat of butter

Mix all together and place in uncooked pie shell. Cover with another layer of pie crust and bake in a 425 degree F. oven on a middle rack, for 35-45 minutes or until crust is brown and center is bubbling. Let cool.

This filling can be made ahead of time and placed in a large plastic bag then kept in the freezer until ready to bake. Allow to thaw at room temperature until it will pour out easily (but not all the way thawed) or can even be microwaved in a bowl to thaw and warm it up before placing in pie shell to bake.

Pinto Beans (home cooked from dry stage)

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For each pound of dry beans, add 6-8 cups of water in a large pan and bring to a boil; cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Let stand for an hour or so. This produces softening equivalent to soaking beans overnight. After an hour has passed, drain beans and discard the water (helps reduce gas discomfort).

Add fresh water to cover, 2 tsp. salk, 1 T. fat (oil, shortening, bacon fat, butter, etc), cover and cook about an hour or more until beans are tender.

1 lb of dry beans + 2 cups cooked beans (approximately).

Jelly Roll

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This recipe is from my high school best friend Mom – Ruth New. She passed away way too soon but I have such fond memories of her warm hospitality, witty sense of humor and just all around fun loving spirit. Oh and she was a wonderful cook/baker. I loved spending the night or weekend at their home as often as I could. I think I tried this recipe once but I plan to give it a try again. Rolling the cake is a bit tricky but my memory of that beautiful spiral and delicious flavor (especially while it was still warm) makes my mouth water all these years later.

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. orange extract

1/4 tsp. lemon extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup sifted all purpose flour (or cake flour)

Strawberry (or other fruit) Jam (small jar or half a large one or to taste)

Beat eggs, oil and extracts. In another bowl, mix or sift flour baking powder and salt together.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in mixer and beat well.

Prepare a jelly roll pan by greasing the pan, then adding wax or parchment paper, then adding shortening and lightly dusting with flour. Pour batter over prepared paper in pan and bake in a 375 degree oven, on the bottom rack, until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes (watch closely so that it doesn’t over cook).

Cool approximately one minute in pan. Use a clean unscented dish towel to turn cake upside down, remove pan, then carefully remove wax or parchment paper as you roll into jelly roll shape. When paper is removed, gently unroll, spread with strawberry jam and re-roll. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice and serve or wait until it is cooled.

(Directions for rolling and filling might be best to find on YouTube).

 

 

 

Aunt Clara’s (Secret) Blueberry (Cream Cheese) Pie Recipe

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My Aunt Clara (God rest her soul) was the type of good cook that might occasionally leave out an ingredient or step so that yours didn’t turn out as good as hers. Or so I’ve been told. Anyway, my parents had this pie while visiting my aunt once and this is the recipe she shared. I have never tried the pie or the recipe but it does sound good and I searched and could not find the exact recipe online…so maybe it really is ‘secret’…or was until today.

Bake and cool a regular flour and shortening pie crust.

4 oz white chocolate, finely grated

1 8 oz package of cream cheese at room temperature

1.2 cup sour cream

Mix together with a mixer until it is well blended and smooth. Set aside.

3 cups fresh, washed blueberries

1 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)

1 T. lemon juice

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 T. butter

Combine sugar and cornstarch well, sprinkle over blueberries and mix gently, then mix in lemon juice. Cook in saucepan over medium heat, gently stirring occasionally, until thickened. Add the butter, mix and let cool.

Pour cream cheese mixture into cooled pie shell. Then pour the cooled blueberry mixture over the top. Cover with wax paper touching the surface and refrigerate 4-5 hours or overnight. To serve roll a half cup of fresh blueberries in powdered sugar and use as a garnish.

 

Uncle Richard’s “Joe’s Steak”

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My Uncle had a friend named Joe that invented this recipe. I don’t remember the whole story but I’m trying to copy all of my hand-written family recipes and save on blogs or on my computer to have later.

Start with good quality large whole steak.

Lightly sprinkle with garlic powder. Place in a large ziplock plastic bag and pour a large amount of Gebhardt’s Hot Sauce (enough to cover completely). Massage the steak, close securely and place in a dish and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. The longer it marinates the less hot (spicy) it will be.

When ready to cook, sprinkle with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and coarse ground pepper on both sides. Grill to desired doneness using indirect heat (sauce will burn if it’s directly over fire/coals), let rest a few minutes, then slice and serve.

Left-overs freeze well.

By my now deceased Uncle Richard Lytle, a loving and devoted father and grandfather.