THE INDIVIDUAL CHEESECAKES I MADE FOR JERA AND BRADLEY'S WEDDING

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I AM GOING TO BE A GREAT-GRANDMA!!!

As I slide into a new decade of my life with real trepidation, I get the news that my beloved Grandson and beloved Grand-daughter-in-law are expecting a little boy!!!  What joy!!! What a difference the tools for managing a pregnancy are from when I was having children until now.  I know the baby is a boy and that he is cute as a button even though he is only as tall as an ear of corn.  I knew nothing about my children until they were born.

I still am not happy with all the changes aging has brought to my life, but I am so thrilled to be here to welcome the next generation of my family.  Just wish Tom was here to share the joy. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

MY MOM'S MACARONI (ACTUALLY SPAGHETTI) AND CHEESE. I CAN"T HUG MY MOM, BUT USING HER RECIPES GIVES ME A HUG.

http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2010/03/moms-macaroni-and-cheese.html


This is my Mom's version of Macaroni and Cheese.  I have never found a recipe quite like it.  Instead of macaroni, it is made with thin spaghetti.  There is no sauce to make.  The ingredients are just layered into a casserole and some warm milk is added.  The Spaghetti and Cheese comes out of the oven looking like a puffed souffle.  This is one of the first recipe I posted on this blog.

Do you ever have those days, weeks, years, when you feel like a punching bag?  When the saying, "God doesn't give us anything we can't handle" and you say, "God, I think you have me confused with someone else."  That is how I have felt lately.  I need my Mommy.

I am old enough to have a Grandson who is getting married, and my Mom left this life over twenty years ago, but I need a hug.  I still miss both my Mom and Dad.  To be hugged, have my hair stroked, and be told it will all be alright was such a comfort growing up.  No matter what happened to me, I knew they loved me.  

Now I use their recipes to celebrate their lives and to remember what fantastic, loving, generous people they were, and even with their own problems to deal with, what wonderful parents they were.  I hope you enjoy my Mom's unique Spaghetti and Cheese.  Just thinking about it gives me a hug. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

THE VERY BEST LEMON BARS MADE BETTER WITH MEYER LEMONS


MEYER LEMONS


I am on a lemon kick because I am so excited to be able to purchase Meyer Lemons in a supermarket in Michigan.  It use to be you could only get Meyer Lemons if you grew them yourself or had a friend with a tree in their yard that you could beg them for a lemon or two.

Meyer Lemons are from China and are a cross between a Mandarin Orange and a lemon.  The flavor and perfume are heavenly.



NELDA'S BEST LEMON BARS
 
http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2011/01/neldas-best-lemon-squares-for-either.html



CELESTIAL VARIATIONS FOR THE BEST LEMON BAR RECIPE


NELDA'S BEST LEMON BAR WITH A COATING OF APRICOT GLAZE ON TOP OF THE TOP LAYER


Other variations in this posting are baking fresh red raspberries or blueberries in the lemon filling.  Yummy and pretty.

http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2011/12/celestial-lemon-bars-made-even-more.html


Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOT CROSS BUNS FOR GOOD FRIDAY OR FOR ANYTIME YOU WANT A FLAVORFUL FRUIT-FILLED BUN


HOT CROSS BUNS
 
 

Spicy, fruit filled buns with a cross marked on the top are a speciality for the Holy Day Good Friday.  However, I think they are wonderful for any time of the year.  Traditionally the cross is white to symbolize Christ, but I thought that it would be interesting to try other cross colors.  Traditionally the buns were served hot and toasted, and the fruit was dried currants and citron.  I don't like citron so I use candied lemon peel or candied orange peel instead.  Modern times have made all kinds of dried fruits available.  Dried cherries, cranberries, pineapple, or blueberries would also be delicious in these buns.  For other times of year, frost the whole top of the bun.
 
 
In 1592, Queen Elizabeth 1 ruled that spiced fruited buns could only be served on Good Friday, Christmas, and at burials.  She probably wanted all the tasty buns for herself.  Thankfully that law has fallen by the wayside.
 
 
I make the dough for the buns in my bread machine.  Bread machine have become passe in recent years, when my old bread machine died a couple of years ago, I couldn't wait to get another one.  It makes baking so much easier and convenient.  
 
 
 
 

 
HOT CROSS BUNS FOR A BREAD MACHINE OR FOR WITHOUT A BREAD MACHINE

1 ½ LB. BREAD MACHINE PAN OR LARGER

¾ c lukewarm water
1 egg
4 T butter
1 t salt
1/3 c sugar
3 T instant powdered milk
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/4 t nutmeg
2 1/4 t instant yeast
3/4 to 1 c dried currants
1/4 c candied lemon peel, optional
 
EGG WASH
1 egg yolk
1 T water

Ingredients:  Flour, sugar, salt, instant dry milk, butter, yeast, eggs, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried currants, and candied lemon peel.

 
ICING
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 t milk
 
 
You can make an icing for the crosses or do like I do and use commercial icing. 
 
 
Place all ingredients in bread pan of a bread machine in order given for your machine.  Select DOUGH setting.  Press START.  Add fruit when your machine signals to add.  When cycle is finished, shape dough in preferred shape. Put shaped dough into greased baking pan.  Cover.  Let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.  Brush with egg yolk/water mixture.  Bake in a preheated 350° oven.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown and rolls test done.  Cool on wire rack.





Place ingredients in bread pan according to your brand's directions.  Add currants and lemon peel at the end of the kneading process.


Remove dough from bread pan.


Cut dough in half to make two 8x8-inch pans of buns.



Divide one-half of the dough into thirds.



Then cut the three pieces in half for six buns.




Shape the 6 pieces of into buns and place in a greased 8x8-inch pan.




Cut second half of dough into 8 pieces.
 
 
 
 

Cut the pointed ends off the 8 pieces to make a 9th bun.



Shape 9 pieces into buns and put into greased 8x8-inch pan.



Place pans in a warm place.  Cover pans with a dish towel.  Let rise until double in bulk.



  

Put egg yolk into a bowl with water.




Beat well.


Cut a cross into the top of the buns with a floured scissors, if desired.



Brush tops of buns with egg yolk wash.  Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the buns.



Baked buns.


Smaller buns in the 9 bun pan.




 Don't wait for a holiday to enjoy these buns.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!



































TO MAKE HOT CROSS BUNS WITHOUT A BREAD MACHINE


 

Use 1 pkg. yeast

Reduce salt to ½ t

 

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast.  In a saucepan heat and stir milk, butter, sugar and salt just until warm (120° to 130°) and butter almost melted.  Add to flour mixture along with egg and almond extract.  Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining cup of flour.  Turn out on floured surface and knead to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic.  Shape dough into a ball.  Place in a greased bowl; turn once.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).  Punch dough down and shape into 24 balls.  Place balls in greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Cover and place in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).  Brush with butter and bake as directed in Bread Machine Recipe.  

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

THE BEST LEMON PIE FILLING OR PUDDING PLUS HAVING YOUR "PIE" WITHOUT RUINING YOUR DIET

This is how I have my "pie" without having to spend a week in the gym working it off.  I place the pie filling in tiny taster dishes and enjoy them, one after a meal, with a swirl of whipped light cream.  


I love lemon meringue pie.  My Dad always told me not to say I love something unless it could love me back.  Lemon meringue pie loves me back by staying on my hips to be with me forever.  Therefore I make my very favorite pie filling as a pudding.  I proportion it out into any proportions and enjoy the flavor and texture without all the calories.  As metabolism slows with age, it becomes important to improvise to enjoy all the pleasures of life.

Recently in the supermarket I found bags of Meyer Lemons.  Back in the middle 1960's I lived in Marquette, Michigan which is on the shores of Lake Superior.  In the midst of all that cold and snow, I had a house plant of a Meyer Lemon.  I made this recipe with the lemons from that miniature tree and I never forgot the wonderful taste.  Meyer Lemons are from China.  They are believed to be a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange.  The flavor is sweeter than a lemon and the aroma is intoxicating.  I was thrilled when I found them in the market because before this you had to have a tree of your own to have the lemons.





THE BEST LEMON PIE FILLING AND PUDDING
This is the best recipe my dear friend, Nelda and I've found for this classic American pie.  Nelda and I have both tried many recipes and keep coming back to this recipe which is from an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook from the 1950's to early 1960's.   My copy is well-worn as it is my favorite cookbook for pies.
 
 
1 1/2 c sugar
7 T cornstarch
Dash of salt
1 1/2 c water
3 beaten egg yolks
1 t grated lemon peel
2 T butter, I use 1-Tablespoon
1/2 c lemon juice
 
 
 
Ingredients: Sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, lemons, and butter.
 
 
In a sauce pan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.   Mix well.  Stir in water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and stirring constantly.  Cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks.  Put heated egg mixture into pan of sugar mixture.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add lemon peel and butter.  Slowly stir in lemon juice.  Cool to lukewarm.  Pour into cooled baked pastry shell or serve as pudding in bowls.
 
 

 Grate lemon rinds and juice lemons.
 
 

 
Put sugar, salt, cornstarch in a saucepan.  Mix well.  Add water and stir well.


 

Separate the eggs from the yolks.  It is always best to break the egg into a bowl, not used for either the whites or yolks, to separate in case it is a bad egg or the yolk breaks in the separating process. 


The separated egg yolks.


 
Beat yolks well.



Bring sugar/water mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.   Remove from heat. Stir small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks.  This warms the egg mixture so it mixes into the sugar/water mixture and doesn't make scrambled eggs instead of pie filling. 


Add warmed egg mixture to sugar/water mixture.



Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.



Add lemon zest and stir well.



Add butter, if desired, stirring well.  Place plastic wrap directly onto pie filling/pudding surface and chill mixture.


Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!





 

Monday, March 25, 2013

PERFECT COOKED EGGS FOR COLORING EASTER EGGS


http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2010/03/easy-hard-cooked-eggs-perfect-every.html
Every Easter I receive requests from people to re-post this simple fool-proof way to make "hard-boiled" eggs.  There is no green ring around the yolk and the eggs are easy to peel. 

For Easter eggs, chill eggs in water and ice cubes.  Then dye are you wish.