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.

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.