Teaching Cooking

I have taught basic cooking to my seven children and to classes of elementary children. When my youngest daughter wanted to learn, I found that taking the recipes and making them into a step-by-step format made it easier for her, so here is a blog to hopefully make cooking easier for the beginner.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Merrilee.  She is a great cook and I can guarantee any recipe from her is going to be a winner!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 lb butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar

Cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Add:

3 eggs

Beat well and then add:

6 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix thoroughly, but not too much.

You can add any of the follow to make them even better!

2 cups nuts
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups toffee chips

Make one inch balls of dough or use an ice cream scoop to put on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Look for a little golden color on the bottom of the cookie.  If it is golden, take them out of the oven.  If you want the cookie flatter, you will need to flatten them with your hand or a spoon before you bake them.  Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes after you take them out of the oven to finish baking.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Crosscut Pickles

This recipe is an easy but wonderful pickle recipe that my family has enjoyed.  They are not too sweet, but also, not tart or too briny.  It also makes 7 pints and I put down amounts for just 2 pints (that will be the measurements in parenthesis)

Crosscut Pickles

You will need about 6 pounds, that equals about 4 quarts of cucumbers, sliced (2 pounds or 4 cups for a smaller batch).  Wash the cucumbers with a vegetable brush.  Slice unpeeled cucumbers 1/8 to 1/4 thickness.  Place in a large bowl or tub and add:

12 to 15 small white Onions.  I have also used sliced large onions and it works well, the small onions are just cute.  (1/3 cup of sliced onions).

2 large cloves of garlic. (1 clove, slice in half)

1/3 cup Salt (1 Tablespoon)

Mix these all together and add 2 quarts of ice cubes (1 quart).  Let it stand for 3 hours.  Drain the cucumbers and remove the garlic cloves.

Combine in a large pan:
4 to 4 1/2 cups sugar, depending on how sweet a pickle you want. (1 to 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric (1/3 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons Celery seed (1/3 teaspoon)
2 Tablespoons Mustard seed (2 teaspoons)
3 cups White distilled Vinegar (1 cup)

Stir and bring just to a boil and then add the drained cucumber and onion slices.  Heat for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure that all the cucumbers get heated.

Pack loosely in pint jars to 1/2 inch of the top.  Put on jar lids.

Process for 5 minutes once it starts to steam.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine molasses, butter, ginger and baking soda in a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until butter is completely melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in:

1 1/4 cups flour.

Then add:

1 beaten egg

Stir until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

On a well floured surface, roll our small amounts of cookie dough (about 2 teaspoons worth) to about 1/16 inch thickness.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake about 5 minutes or until done.  Remove from baking sheet and cool on racks.  Frost with confectioner's sugar frosting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sloppy Joes

I have been asked for my sloppy joe recipe from many people, so here it is.

Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp mustard

Brown the ground beef and salt and pepper it to taste.  Add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and heat through.

Johnny Appleseed Cake

This cake has been a family favorite since I found it in the first cookbook I ever bought.  I have done a little modifying from the original, but it only made it better.  And, thanks, Carolyn, for experimenting with the brown sugar!

Johnny Appleseed Cake

½ c. butter, melted
1 ¾ c. applesauce
2 c. flour
1 c. white sugar    (or use 3/4 cup brown sugar and 2 Tbsp white sugar)    
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 350º F.  Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.  Pour into a greased 9 inch pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

If you double this recipe (which I frequently do) let it bake for 40-45 minutes and use a 9 x 13 pan.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dutch Oven Fruit Cobbler

Dutch Oven desserts are fun for our family outings.  This recipe is for a generic fruit cobbler with variations for different fruit.

Dutch Oven Fruit Cobbler

If you are using bottled fruit, pour the fruit into the bottom of the dutch oven.  If there is a lot of syrup on the fruit, pour a little off before you put it in.  (I like to use an aluminum liner for easier clean-up)

If you are using fresh fruit, such as: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries (or mix them all!) then put the berries in the bottom of the liner.  Sprinkle a little sugar over the top of the berries (approximately 1/3 cup for a 12 inch dutch oven).

After the fruit is in, sprinkle a box of cake mix over the top.  Lightly spread it around so it seems even.

Some of the combinations that I have used are:
          pears with spice cake mix
          peach, apple pie, berries with yellow, white or lemon.
          some people like chocolate and fruit together (not me) and that is a possibility also.

Pears are also good if you use nutmeg sprinkled over them before you add the cake mix.

On top of the cake mix, pour a 12 oz can of pop.  I usually use Sprite, but root beer gives a great flavor and if you like coke, some people have used that, but I don't.

Melt 1/2 cup of butter and pour that over the top.

Put the lid on your dutch oven and put 12-15 charcoal underneath and 15-20 on top.  If it is windy or cold, you will need the higher amount.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  When it is golden on top, it is done!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zucchini Bread

This recipe is originally from my sister, Adell.  It is an easy, good quick bread.

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini with the peal on
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat the eggs until they are fluffy and light colored.  Then add the oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla and stir well. Then add:

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix until it is well blended.  Add 1/2 cup of nuts if you want.  Divide into 2 greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until done.  You will need to do the "toothpick stuck in the middle to see if the batter is still sticking if it is done" test.  (The batter will not stick to the toothpick, BTW)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Drip Drop Egg Soup

This soup is super easy.  It's nice to make on a day when you didn't want to cook.

Drip Drop Egg Soup

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

Add a package of raman noodles.  I like to break them up before I put them in the water so they are not as long and easier to eat.

Add 1 cup of frozen peas.

Bring this all to a boil and while it is boiling, add 2 eggs and stir quickly.  Cook for just 2-3 minutes more and it is ready to eat.  Add salt and pepper to your tastes.  You can add the flavoring packet also, if you want.

Makes enough soup for two.

Easy Shepherds Pie

This is one of those easy meals that can be made with a lot of variety and little fuss.

Easy Shepherds Pie

Choose what kind of meat you want to use.  If it is uncooked, you will need cook it until almost done,  With chicken, you will want to cut into smaller pieces and if it is ground beef, just chop it up as you brown it. If you use stew meat, cook it until it is almost done.  Season your meat with salt and pepper.  You can even used canned meat, including ham.

Next, add vegetables.  If you are browning or cooking meat, you can add celery or onions with the meat when it is almost done.  Add either canned or frozen vegetables after they are mostly cooked and heat through.  You can also add different spices such as: basil, garlic, parsley, season all, cumin, sage or any others that you want to try.  Add a can of cream of mushroom soup or make a white gravy using the following recipe:

       White Gravy
        1/4 cup flour
        1 Tablespoon Butter
        1 cup milk
       In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Sprinkle the flour over the top and quickly stir with a fork or a whisk. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until it is well blended.  Heat until bubbly.  Add a little more milk or water if it is too thick.

After you have stirred the meat, vegetables and sauce together, put in the bottom of a pan that can go in the oven.

You can make the topping by either putting refrigerated crescent rolls, biscuits or make your homemade biscuits.

        Homemade Biscuits
         1/3 cup shortening or butter, softened
         2 cups flour
         1 Tablespoon baking powder
         1 teaspoon salt
         1 Tablespoon sugar
         About 3/4 cup cold milk

         Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl.  Add the shortening or butter and mix it with a fork or knife, until it is crumbly.  Slowly add most of the milk and mix until it is no longer sticky.  Either add more milk or more flour, a little at a time.  You want it soft, but not sticking to your fingers.  Knead it on a lightly floured surface for a minute or two.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Roll out the biscuit dough until it is the shape of the pan you are using.  Don't have it more than 1/2 inch thick or it will not cook when the top is done.  Put on top of the hot meat and vegetable mixture.  Bake in a 350 oven for 12-15 minutes (Until the top is golden).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Finger (School Recipe)

This is the recipe that was given to me by a person that used to work in the school cafeteria (in the days when they actually made things from scratch).  My family has fond memories of this dessert.
Peanut Butter Fingers

Peanut Butter Fingers

In a large bowl:

1 1/2 cups Butter
1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Mix all ingredients well with a mixer.

Stir in:
3 cups rolled oats
3 cups flour

Mix well.

Spread a thin layer of butter in a large baking sheet (13x18) or two 9x13 pans.  Evenly spread the batter into the pan.  You will probably have to use your hands and try to get it as even as possible.

Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.  Immediately sprinkle 2 bags of chocolate chips on the hot bars.  Spread around with a knife as it melts.

Optional frosting:
2-4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4-8 Tablespoons evaporated milk.

Start with 2 cups powdered sugar and all of the peanut butter.  Gradually add the milk, starting with 4 Tablespoons.  If you happen to add too much milk and it is too runny, go ahead and add more powdered sugar.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yummy Mustard Chicken Thighs

I have been working on ways to prepare chicken without breading it, to keep the calories down.  This one tasted so yummy, I decided to put it on the blog.  I used chicken thighs, but I am sure you could use chicken breasts or tenders and still be good.

Place 4 or 5 boneless chicken thighs in a plastic zip lock bag.

Add to the bag:
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1/2 teaspoon Seasonal Salt
        1 teaspoon olive oil
        1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
        1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Mix it around in the bag until all the pieces have been coated well.  Let them sit in the bag for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Dump the chicken and all the sauce in an open baking dish.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Banana Bread

This is a very flavorful bread that we have loved for a long time.  You can leave out the nuts if you don't like them (unfortunately several of my children don't...sigh)
Banana Bread

Cream together:  1/2 C. butter
                          1-1/3 C sugar

Slice:      2 Large Bananas
Add bananas and 2 T. milk

Mix well with mixer and add:
             2 eggs

Mix and add:
             1 3/4 C. flour
             1/2 tsp. soda
             1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
             1 tsp. salt
             1 tsp. nutmeg

Fold in nuts.  Bake at 350o for 30 min then reduce heat to 325o for 15-20 min. or until done.  1 Loaf.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chicken (or Turkey) a la King

As requested, here is an old stand-by of mine for leftover chicken or turkey.

Chicken - You can use either fresh chicken or leftover.  If you use fresh chicken, cut it in bite size pieces and cook in Olive oil, stirring to lightly brown it.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Then add the vegetables and saute for a few minutes until they are the right crispness.

If you are using left over chicken, start by sauteing the vegetables and wait to add the chicken when the vegetables are almost cooked.

Vegetables = You can use a variety of vegetables.  If you are pressed for time, you can use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and just add them to the cooked fresh chicken or cook in some water and then add to the chicken.

Vegetables I like to use: Celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas, carrots, corn, onion.

After you have the chicken and vegetables together, add a can of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, garlic salt, parsley, (basil is also a good flavor) and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat it all together and serve over noodles or rice.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cakes for Strawberry Shortcake

I have two recipes that I like to use for Strawberry Shortcake.  One makes a 9 x 13 pan and the other is an 8 inch pan.  I suppose that I could just half the one, but the larger one is a little more complicated than the smaller one because you are beating eggs with the larger one.  They are both really good tasting cakes, so it all depends on how much time I want to use making the cake which one I use.

Chiffon Cake
(What I use for Strawberry Shortcake)

2 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups flour           
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º.  In a small mixing bowl using a mixer, beat egg white until frothy.  Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar and beat until mixture forms stiff peaks and set aside.  In another bowl, combine remaining 1 cup sugar with flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, oil and half of the milk.  Beat 1 minute at medium speed.  Add remaining milk, vanilla and egg yolks.   Beat 1 minute.  By hand, fold in the beaten egg whites.  Pour into a 9 x 13 pan that has been greased and floured.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.

This recipe can also be used for to make a layer cake and then you would pour the batter into 8 or 9 inch round pans and bake for only 30-35 minutes. 

Easy Company Cake 
(Another one I like for Strawberry Shortcake that makes a smaller but just as yummy cake.)

1 ¼ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
2/3 cups milk
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º.  In large bowl, combine flour, sugar baking powder, salt, butter and milk.  Blend well at low speed.  Beat  with a mixer for 1½ minutes at medium speed.  Add egg and vanilla.  Continue beating 1½ minutes at medium speed.  Pour batter into an 8 inch square pan that has been greased and floured on the bottom only.  Bake 35-40 minutes: until the top is golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oh Henry Bars

Here is a blast from the past for my kids.  They used to crave this dessert.

Oh Henry Bars

1. Mix together 4 cups of oatmeal and 1 cup brown sugar.  I make sure it is really mixed together well so the rest of the recipe turns out well.

2. Pour 3/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup corn syrup, and 3 teaspoons over the oatmeal/sugar mixture and mix really well.  Spread in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Don't let it burn because it gets hard and not as much fun to eat.

3. While it is baking, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and then add 1 cup peanut butter and mix well.

4.  Carefully spread the chocolate/peanut butter over the warm bars.  Let it cool and then cut up in about 1 1/2 inch square size pieces.   Makes about 30 squares.

Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb is a particular favorite at our house and this recipe is sooooo easy and sooooo yummy!

Rhubarb Crisp

1. Chop up 4 cups of rhubarb (about 12 stalks) in 1/2 inch pieces.  Spread out in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
2.  Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar evenly over the rhubarb.
3. Sprinkle 1 3 oz package of strawberry or raspberry jello over the sugar. (I like it when it sets up really well, so sometimes I use a 6 oz package)
4. Sprinkle one package of cake mix over the top of the jello, either lemon (my favorite), white or yellow.  They all taste good.  Break up any large chunks.
5. Pour 3/4 cup of water over the cake mix.
6. Melt 1 cube of butter and pour it over the top of the cake mix also.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  I have served it hot, but I like the jello to set up, so I usually let it cool for a few hours first.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Garbage Salad

I know the name of this salad sounds terrible, but it doesn't taste like that.  Super easy and fun to take to gatherings.

Garbage Salad

1 can fruit cocktail with the juice drained off
1 can crushed pineapple
2 or three bananas
2 8 oz. cans mandarin oranges, drain the juice off of one can
1 to 2 cups marshmallows (just depends on how much you like marshmallows and you can even not add them if you don't like them!)
1 3 oz. box instant pudding ( I usually go with banana cream, but french vanilla and lemon are good also.)

Slice the bananas into a large bowl.  Dump in the fruit cocktail, crushed pineapple and mandarin oranges.  Sprinkle the instant pudding over the top and stir well, make sure that the pudding gets into the juice.  When it is well mixed, stir in the marshmallows until they are distributed throughout the salad.

It helps if you chill the mixture after you make it before you serve it, or you can chill the fruit in the cans before you put them in the bowl.  This will feed 12 to 15 people.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dijon Chicken

This is a chicken dish I created for a quick dinner one night.  I was trying to think of a way to prepare chicken without breading and this came into my mind.  After rave reviews, I think it is a keeper!

Dijon Chicken

3 pounds chicken tenders (about that)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons chives
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon McCormick Herb Garden spice mix
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place the chicken in a bowl.  Mix all the other ingredients with a wire whisk in another small bowl.  Pour this over the chicken and either stir with a spoon or mix with your hands if you don't mind the feel of the raw chicken.  Place it all in a "zip-lock" bag and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Place in a baking pan and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350º F. 

Pumpkin Roll

If we don't have this creation at least five times in the fall, my family feels slighted. 

Pumpkin Roll


3 eggs                              Filling:
2/3 c. pumpkin                         1 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. flour                                4 Tbls. Butter, softened
2 tsp. cinnamon                         1 8oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. nutmeg                         1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper or parchment paper and spray with oil. 

In a blender:
Beat the eggs for 5 minutes. 
Beat in sugar. 
Add the pumpkin and lemon juice. 
Add flour, baking powder, and spices.  Blend together, cleaning the sides of the blender to mix well. 
Spread in the prepare jellyroll pan.  Bake for 15 minutes (until the center is set).
While it is baking, sprinkle a towel with powdered sugar.  As soon as the cake is taken from the oven, turn it over onto the towel with powdered sugar.  Remove parchment or wax paper.  Roll the cake and towel together.  Let it cool.

Make the filling while it is cooling.  Mix the powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until it is smooth.
Unroll the cake and spread with the cream cheese mixture.  Re-roll the cake and place in the frig for an hour to let it set up.  Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pizza Dough

It has always been a favorite gathering food to have homemade pizza.

Pizza Dough
In a bowl put:
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon of 1 package of yeast
Let it sit for about 5 minutes to activate yeast. Then add:
1 Tablespoon sugar
¼ cup cooking oil
2 cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Mix well for several minutes until it is smooth. Gradually add 1 more cup of flour until it is very firm. (Use more if it is still too sticky, but only add ¼ cup at a time)
Knead on a flour board for 5 minutes (or in your bread mixer if that is what you are using. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Press or roll it into your pizza pan to the desired thickness. (One hint that I have used is to push it from the middle out, if you are doing it all by hand.)
In a bowl add:
1 8 oz. tomato sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or ¾ tsp oregano, dash garlic powder, pinch of rosmary.
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Mix it together. Spread a thin layer on top of pizza. Add your own toppings and cheese.
Bake 10-15 minutes in a 425 Fº oven. It will look done when the edges of the pizza are light brown.

Broccoli Salad

This is a salad that is always a favorite at family gatherings. In the summer we usually have a ton of broccoli from our garden, so it is a great way to use it.

Broccoli Salad
Chop up:
2 medium bunches of broccoli
1 or 2 apples, don’t peal them (Optional)
1 cup raisins or craisins (optional)
¼ cup red onion
Combine all the items you just chopped up.
Blend for the dressing:
1 cup salad dressing
½ cup sugar
¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice (I usually us lemon juice because I like the flavor it adds)
After you have mixed the dressing, pour it over the chopped mixture. Let it sit in the frig for an hour or so (if you have time, if not just go on to the next step.)
When you are ready to serve it:
Cook ½ cup bacon until it is crispy. (I like to cut the bacon into ½ inch pieces before I cook it.) Wipe off excess grease. Let it cool.
Then add 1 cup shredded cheese and mix all the ingredients together.

No Bake Cheescake

I love this recipe for the smooth light texture and all the flavor. It has been a much requested birthday cake at our house.

No-Bake Cheese Cake

1-3 oz. pkg. lemon Jello (Can use other flavors)
1 c. boiling water
Dissolve Jello in water and set in the frig for about 1/2 hour, until it starts to set. Should still be runny.

2 Cups Graham Crackers
1/3 c. Margarine. or butter
Melt butter and mix with graham crackers. Press in bottom of pan.

1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
1 8 oz. pkg. frozen whipped topping or 1 can evaporated milk, chilled and whipped.
Cream together the cheese and sugar. Add whipped topping or evaporated milk and the partially set Jello. Pour over the graham cracker crust chill for 3-4 hours before serving.

Makes 12-15 generous servings.

Creamy Aspargus Soup

Asparagus Soup

This is the recipe that my youngest daughter wanted to learn to make. She needed to make it while I was gone and so, putting it in Step-by-step form was how it worked best for her.

Creamy Asparagus Soup
Chop up:
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1-2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lb. Fresh asparagus, trimmed and coarsely chopped
Put ¼ cup butter in pan and as it melts, add chopped onion, celery and carrot. Saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp flour over butter mixture and stir well.
4 cups water
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed chicken broth
4 tsp. Chicken bouillon powder
Bring to a boil.
Add: potatoes, asparagus. Simmer for 20 minutes. Puree soup in blender in smaller batches (it would be good to let it cool for a few minutes so it doesn’t break the blender). Return to pot and add Half and Half cream, soy sauce and black and white pepper and salt.
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black and white pepper
salt to taste
Bring it to a boil and don’t burn it. Serve hot. Serves 6-8