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Posts from ‘October, 2010’

Family Update


Last week our daughter Megan, her husband Jim, and their son Drew drove down from Michigan to spend a few days with us. We had a wonderful time with the whole family. This visit was a brief one, so we tried to make the best of it. Here are a few pictures of the fam:

We celebrated three birthdays while we were all together. Here Jim and Megan are celebrating at a birthday party for Topher:

picture of Jim and Meg

Here is Drew:

picture of Drew October 2010

Nora and Topher are planning to be married in April, so some wedding planning was going on during the visit. Here they are while we were waiting for lunch at Hubba Hubba Barbecue in Flat Rock, NC:

picture of Nora and Topher

Mark and Katie were waiting for their lunch there too. They are also awaiting the birth of their first child in April. We are thrilled that we will have another little grandchild.

picture of Mark and Katie

And, finally, here's a picture of Rob and me during the birthday celebration:

picture of Rob and Becka

While everybody was here I baked a ham. We had a couple of meals from it with the family and now Rob and I are finishing up the leftovers. I made this casserole with a portion of it. It is sort of like a cheese souffle, but much less fussy. It will "fall" after you remove it from the oven and let it sit for any length of time, but it still tastes good and the leftovers can be reheated in the microwave. I cut the recipe in half for the two of us.

picture of Cheese Puff

Cheese Puff

6 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever you like and have on hand)
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup cubed or ground ham

Beat eggs. Add flour and baking powder, then milk. Beat until smooth and then fold in the cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, and ham. Pour into a greased two quart casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the mixture is set. If you insert a knife in the middle of the dish it should come out clean. Serve immediately.

We usually have this for supper, but it would work for a breakfast or brunch if your family is apt to arrive at the table promptly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Becka


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The salad that won his heart


picture of Tuna on a Shoestring

The other night I needed to fix a quick supper since I was going to be getting home late and Rob had to leave shortly after supper for play practice. I thought of this salad. Most of the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time and just combined at the last minute. I made this salad for Rob on one of our first dates, which was a picnic at a nearby park. He later told me that he was really impressed when I combined all the ingredients to make a tasty salad right before his eyes at the picnic table. (I think he was just really hungry!)

I don't guarantee any results if you prepare this salad for your loved one, but it is a different way to eat tuna. I got the recipe from an old edition of Betty Crocker. If you like tuna, give it a try.

Tuna on a Shoestring

1 small can tuna, drained
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small (4 oz.) can shoestring potatoes (these are usually near the potato chips)

Combine tuna, carrots, celery, onion, and mayonnaise in a bowl. At this point you can cover and refrigerate. Just before serving fold in the shoestring potatoes.

Becka


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Aunt Bea’s Fruit Drop Cookies


One thing that I have in common with Andy and Opie Taylor is that I, too, had an Aunt Bea. My Aunt Bea was at one time married to my mother's brother, Kenneth. They were married for only a short time and then were divorced. I remember seeing Kenneth only one time, but Aunt Bea lived near us and continued to be my aunt in spite of the family break-up. She never had children of her own but she knew how to delight young children. I can still remember the anticipation of receiving birthday cards from her which contained either dimes or sticks of gum. She also sent my sister and me a yearly subscription to Donald Duck comic books. I still have a few of those comic books and I have this recipe for her delicious fruit cookies:

picture of Raisin Spice Cookies

Aunt Bea's Fruit Drop Cookies

1 cup dates (chopped)
1 cup raisins (chopped)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 sticks margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (these are optional -- I usually omit)

Combine the dates, raisins, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in saucepan and cook about 5 mins. or until the mixture thickens and fruit softens. Set aside to cool about 20 mins.

Cream together butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Blend in fruit and nuts. Drop onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 mins. Makes about 8 dozen.

These are one of my favorite cookies. I really like them with the combination of dates and raisins, but you can make them with just the raisins if that's what you have on hand.

Becka


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Dewey Contest Winners


My totally unbiased assistant pulled two names out of the hat to win copies of the new book, Dewey's Nine Lives.

picture of Unbiased Assistant

The winners are:

picture of Two Winners

Joy B.
and
Brenda Evans

If you two will send me your mailing addresses I will contact the publisher and ask them to send you your copies of the book. Please contact me by clicking on the contact button above the header picture at the top of the blog post. Your message will go directly to my e-mail account. I hope you both will enjoy reading this new book.

Thanks to all who left comments and participated in the contest.

Becka


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Another Fall Favorite


Starting about August I get excited thinking about the cooler weather and the opportunities to bake some fall favorites. Last weekend I got to make two family favorites — Cake Mix Rolls to take to a bridal shower, and Danish Pastry Apple Bars. I got this recipe from a Crisco cookbook that I got when we were first married. It is a good recipe to have if you need to serve more than eight--the typical number of pieces you can cut from a pie.

picture of Baked Danish Bars

You might find the cereal to be a surprising ingredient. After the pie bakes you would not even know the cereal is in there. I think it helps to prevent a soggy crust and it just blends into the apple filling. The original recipe calls for Corn Flakes, but I generally use either bran flakes or Raisin Bran. I take the raisins out but you could certainly leave them in.

picture of Danish Flakes

picture of Danish Apples

Danish Pastry Apple Bars

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
1 egg yolk (reserve the egg white)
milk (about 2/3 cup)
1 cup cereal flakes (corn flakes, bran flakes, etc.)
8 cups peeled and sliced apples (about 8-10 apples)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
the reserved egg white

In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening. Place the egg yolk in a measuring cup and then fill the cup with milk. Blend and then add this to the flour mixture to form pastry dough. Divide the dough into two pieces and form each piece into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you peel and cut the apples. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. At this point you might want to preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll one piece of the pastry into a 17" x 12" rectangle and place in a 15 1/2" x 10 1/2" jelly roll pan. Sprinkle in the cereal flakes. Top with the apples and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll out the second piece of pastry and place on top of the apples. Crimp the edges, patching if necessary. Make a few slashes with a knife for steam vents. Whisk the egg white until it's a bit frothy and brush on top of the pastry. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 mins. or until golden brown and the apples are tender. After baking drizzle with this glaze if desired:

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbsps. cream or milk
Mix all together with a wire whisk and then drizzle on top of bars.

I omitted the glaze this time and served the bars with ice cream.

picture of Plated Danish Bars

There's still time to enter the contest to win a copy of the book Dewey's Nine Lives. See my last post for details.

Becka

Becka


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