Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cherry Pie Bars

½ cup milk   *    1 egg, separated
2 ½ cups flour   *   1 tsp. salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 ½ cups crushed corn flakes cereal  
2 cans cherry pie filling   *   2 Tbsp. white sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar   *   2 Tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract


BEAT ½ CUP MILK AND EGG YOLK TOGETHER IN A BOWL.  Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl.  Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; stir into milk-egg mixture until a ball of pastry dough forms.  Separate dough into 2 pieces.

Roll ½ of the dough on a floured work surface large enough to fit  in the bottom and up the sides of a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan.  Place dough on pan.  Sprinkle crushed cornflakes over dough.

Carefully spoon the cherry pill fulling over cornflake layer.

Roll remaining dough into an 11x16-inch rectangle on a floured surface; place on top of cherry layer.  Tuck ½ inch of dough under the bottom crust and gently seal edges.

Beat egg white in a bowl until foamy; brush over top dough layer.  Sprinkle white sugar over dough.

Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 1 hour.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 3 hours.

Whisk confectioner’s sugar, 2 Tbsp. milk and vanilla extract together in a bowl until glaze is smooth.  Spoon glaze into a plastic bag and snip 1 corner.  Slice bars and squeeze glaze onto each bar.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jim Peck’s Texas Beans


1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 lg. can of pork and beans
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp. liquid smoke
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses

Brown the ground beef and onions in Dutch-oven.  Add pork and beans.
Mix together the ketchup, liquid smoke, brown sugar and molasses; add to the meat and bean mixture.

Let simmer for about 10 minutes and serve.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cinnamon Pudding Cake

1¾ cup brown sugar   *   1½ cup cold water
2 Tbsp. butter   *   2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder   *   ½ tsp. salt
2½ tsp. cinnamon   *   ½ cup chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. butter   *   ½ cup sugar   *   1 cup milk

Combine the brown sugar, cold water and butter in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and set aside to cool.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, butter, sugar and milk.  Place the batter in a greased pan and pour the brown sugar mixture over the batter and sprinkle with the almonds. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Beef Barley Soup


2 lbs. stew meat (nicely marbled)   *   2 cups celery, chopped
Salt and pepper   *   2 Tbsp. oil   *   2 onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced   *   10 cups water
3 mounded Tbsp. good quality beef base
2 cups potato, peeled and shredded
2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup barley, rinsed

Generously salt and pepper the beef.  In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When it is very hot, add about 1/3 of the meat. When it is well browned on all sides remove to a plate and continue until all the meat is browned.  (If you add it all at once it will steam the meat instead of browning it—not what you want). 

When all the meat is browned, add it all back to the pot with 10 cups of water.  Add the beef base.

Add the chopped celery, onions and garlic.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 2 hours with the lid on.
When the meat is tender and you can bread it apart easily with a wooden spoon, add the shredded potato and carrots.  Bring back to a boil, then continue to simmer on low for another 30-45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Add 1 cup barley.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Cook for another half hour, or until barley is tender and the soup tastes…like home.

Monday, March 21, 2016


1 cup of warm water   *    1/4 cup sugar   *    1/3 cup oil
2 tablespoons yeast   *    1 teaspoon salt   *    1 egg, beaten
3 1/3 cup flour

In a large bowl, mix together warm water, sugar, oil and yeast. Let stand for 15 minutes until yeast mixture is bubbly.

Stir in salt and beaten egg to yeast mixture.

Gradually add flour. Dough will be kind of sticky, but add enough flour until it's manageable. Let dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes. I cover mine with a towel. This allows the dough to rise more.

Spray hands with non-stick cooking spray (such as Pam) and form dough into balls. Place balls so they don't touch on cookie sheet. Let rise for 20 more minutes.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Mix 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter with honey (to taste) and brush the top of hot rolls with the honey butter.


2 cups all-purpose flour   *   1 tablespoon baking powder
½ tsp salt   *   1½ Tbsp. Butter, melted
½ cup warm water   *   ¼ cup room temperature milk
4 cups oil for deep frying

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine water, milk and lard or butter in a large measuring cup.

Slowly add liquids to flour and mix just until dough forms a ball. Knead in the bowl, about 10 times, to form a smooth ball that is not sticky. A small amount of flour may be added if needed. Cover dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a high-sided pan. If using an electric pan set thermostat to 350 degrees F.

Divide dough into 8 approx. equal pieces. Pat on a floured board or with floured hands to form circles about 5 to 6-inches in diameter. Place dough, a piece at a time, into hot oil and cook for 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all dough is used.

Easy Flour Tortillas


2 cups flour   *   ¾ cup warm water
½ cup vegetable shortening   *   1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.  This isn’t like making bread and a minute of kneading is plenty. Divide the dough into 8 round balls.

Heat up a heavy frying pan over medium heat.  The heavier the pan, the easier they are.  A cast iron fry pan is ideal for making tortillas.

Sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and roll out each ball of dough into a flat circle, about 6 inches in diameter.  If the dough is sticking to the surface, just add more flour. 

Take a clean cloth and dust off any excess flour from the tortilla and place it into the frying pan.  You don’t need to add oil to the pan, they won’t stick.

When you see bubbles popping up all over the tortilla, it’s done.
Take it off the heat and wrap in a clean dishtowel as you repeat the process.
You don’t need to cook the tortillas on both sides as they’re so thin they’ll cook through from the bottom.  Cooking on only one side will make a better tortilla.

Don’t get discouraged if your tortillas look funny, by the second or third batch you’ll be a seasoned pro.