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, December 6, 2015

Pumpkin Pie

This is for a nine inch pie.

1 cup flour
1/3 cup lard or shortening
dash of salt

Mix these together really well.  It needs to be all crumbled and in small pieces.

Add 1/4 cup very cold water.

Try not to mix very much after you add the water.  It ruins the crust to mix it too much.  When it all holds together well, roll into a circle and put in the pie crust.

Pumpkin filling:

In a blender put 2 eggs and turn it on for about 30 seconds.


1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or what I usually use is 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp cloves.
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup cream or evaporated milk.

Blend well for a minute making sure that it is well blended.  Pour it into the pie shell.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and bake it at that temperature for 10 minutes.  This helps to set the custard.  Then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, but test it with a knife or toothpick before you pull it out to make sure that it is set.  If the knife comes out "clean" (with no pumpkin clinging to it) then the pie is done.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Danish Red Cabbage

This recipe was a traditional Christmas dish when I was growing up and we went to Grandma Petersen's house for Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Dinner.   I know it is not something that everyone likes, but I have always liked it.  This is the recipe that my sister, Karen, used.

1 small head of red cabbage

Finely chopped.  You don't want the pieces too big.
Simmer in a pan with a small amount of water until tender.

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small jar of red current jelly
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs butter

Simmer for 1/2 hour with the lid on.  Remove the lid and continue to simmer until most of the moisture is cooked off.  It's better if it is left to sit in its juices over night.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bottled Apple Pie Filling

6 quarts cored, pealed and sliced apples
2 cups water

Bring apples to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

While the apples are boiling, mix together in a bowl:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup Clear Gel
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

When the apples are done simmering, add 1/2 of a 12 oz can of frozen apple juice.  Stir in.  Then add the sugar mixture and stir very well.

Put it into canning jars, seal and process for 30 minutes.

When you make a pie, just make your crust, add one jar of pie filling, top with crust, lattice or streusel topping.

1/3 cup butter
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix together really well and sprinkle over the top of the pie and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Grandma Cox's Sugar Cookies

Grandma  Cox's Sugar Cookies

11/2 cups butter
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond
Beat them together.

Stir together:
6 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Alternate mixing this flour mixture into the butter/egg/sugar mixture with 1 cup milk.

Roll dough on a floured board and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until very light brown.  DON'T OVER COOK!  Frost as desired.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mom's Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1-2 eggs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
small chopped onion (if you want)

1.  Put all ingredients into a bowl.
2.  Mix well.  I use my hands on this one.  I know it seems gross to some, but it is the best way to get it mixed well.
3.  Pat it into an 8 x 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Pear Honey

Pear Honey

9 cups of sliced pears (this can be an approximate amount so if you have more, it still works)
1 can pineapple chunks
1/4 cup lemon juice
3-5 cups sugar

1.  Peel and core the pears.
2.  Slice before measuring.
3.  Put in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice and pineapple.
4.  Blend until partly smooth, but also partly chunky.  I like the chunks in it, but not too big - pea size or smaller is great.
5.  In a large 6 quart pan, pour the blended mixture in and add the sugar.  I start adding the smaller amount and then only add more if I want it  sweeter.
6.  Cook on low heat for 20 minutes.  Be sure to keep stirring the mixture at regular intervals to avoid scorching, it can scorch pretty easy.
7.  Pour the mixture in the jars and process for 10 minutes.

Goes great on pancakes and waffles!

Fruit Pizza


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • assorted sliced fresh fruit
With a mixer, blend the butter for one minute until smooth.  Add the sugar and cream the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and the vanilla and mix until smooth.  Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch and mix until smooth.  

The original recipe says to chill it for at least one hour at this point or it may rise too much and spill over the pan when you bake it.  I didn't have time and I didn't have a problem with it.  Spread the dough in a 12 inch pizza pan.  (I doubled the recipe and put it on the large sheet cake pan.  Spread it as evenly as possible.  If the dough is sticking to your hands, sprinkle a little flour over the dough and it will help with that.

Bake for 18-20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Remove and let it cool.

Mix the butter, and cream cheese together.  Add the confectioner's sugar along with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.  I started with one tablespoon and it was enough, so start with the smaller amount and add more if you need it.  Spread over the cooled cookie dough crust evenly.  Top with fruit.

Fruit ideas:
pineapple (fresh or canned, just make sure that you drain the canned pineapple well)
kiwi fruit
mandarin oranges (if it is canned, drain it will)
berries:  strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
grapes, cut in half

Monday, July 13, 2015

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract, and zucchini together in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together unbleached flour, white whole-wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture, a little at a time, stirring until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into two 4 x 8 loaf pans that have been greased and floured.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Check with a toothpick in the middle to make sure it is done.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Mix together:

1 cup oil  (to make a low fat version, use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs

Mix well and add:
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla

Stir in 2 cups of shredded zucchini.

Pour in a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if you want.

Bake at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Check that the top springs back with you touch it in the middle to make sure it is done.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Caramel Popcorn Balls (No Bake)

 Caramel Popcorn Balls
8-10 cups
Popped Popcorn
½ cup
1½ cups
Brown Sugar
1 cup
Light Corn Syrup
1 cup
2 tsp
White Vinegar
½ tsp
½ cup

Combine sugar, syrup, water, vinegar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir frequently. 
Once mixture begins to boil reduce to low heat and stir in butter until melted. 
Combine syrup and popcorn in a large bowl until popcorn is coated. 
Let cool and shape mixture into balls. Make about 12 balls.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

No Bake Power Cookies

11/2 cups oats
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1/4 cup flax seed

Blend in a food processor until smooth.  Place in a bowl and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl put:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
3 drops of orange oil or extract (optional)

Warm this mixture in the microwave.
Add to the dry mixture. Stir together well. Form them into 1" balls and put them on wax paper lined cookie sheets.
Freeze until firm (about an hour).

Store in a ziplock bag in the frig or the freezer.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Soccer Practice Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and peanut butter.  Mix well.
Stir in baking soda, salt, flour and oatmeal.
Press into a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top (add nuts if you want ;)   )
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and drizzle with icing.

Cool completely.  Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 24 squares.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

      1 1/2 cups wheat flour
      1 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1 cup buttermilk
      1 egg
      1/4 cup oil
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      3 tsp cinnamon

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Mix buttermilk, egg and oil.  Stir it into the flour mixture just enough to moisten the flour.
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together.
Grease the bottom of a 9 x 5 bread loaf pan.
Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
Carefully pour the other half of the batter on top of this.
Sprinkle the other half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top.
Use a clean knife and cut through the batter to swirl the cinnamon and sugar mixture through the batter.  Be careful not to mix it too much.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove it.  Put it on a wire rack to finish cooling.

If you want to cover it with a glaze, mix 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk together.  drizzle it over the loaf.

This recipe makes one loaf of quick bread.