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Monday, June 30, 2008

My Disaster making Sour Cream Pound Cake

I don't know what happened to my pound cake! I have made Paula Deen's Grandmother's Sour Cream Pound Cake numerous times with success every time, but today something happened either in the oven or at the mixer.

About mid-way through the baking time I started smelling burned sugar - oh, no. I knew what I'd find when I peeked in the oven. Sure enough, the cake batter was spilling out over the sides of the bundt pan and down past the racks to the floor of my oven. A huge mess. But I left it to bake and eventually the timer went off and I removed the poor cake from the oven. It had obviously fallen in on itself. I quickly cleaned out the warm batter from the bottom of the oven and off of the racks while my "cake" cooled a little in the pan on the cutting board. When I finally got to the cake, I turned it out onto a cake plate and there were spots of teflon coating, of all things, in several places on the cake that had come off of my "old" bundt pan! Well, I cut that away - don't won't to poison anyone - and even cut away 1/4 of the cake and dumped that into the trash. I know, you're probably asking why I didn't just throw the whole thing away? Well, I have company coming this afternoon and my husband asked specifically for this cake. Any of you who know him will realize he doesn't do that very often, so I really wanted to please him. And I figure that since I have some sweetened strawberries and Cool Whip in the refrigerator, we can always disguise the cake, right?

Well, it's a poor excuse for a pound cake. I really don't know what happened. Like I said, I've made this very recipe several times. The humidity shouldn't be a problem. There isn't any! The only thing I can think of is the oven temperature was too low. The recipe calls for 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes and I honestly don't know if I've changed that to 350 degrees when I made the other cakes. I may have. I think it wasn't cooking fast enough. Does that sound logical? Also, maybe I beat the cake too much after adding the sour cream.

At any rate, we'll probably eat the cake smothered in strawberries and my husband and I won't say a word about our morning of disaster in the kitchen!

If you'd like a copy of Paula Deen's Sour Cream Pound Cake it is on her website here.
It's really a wonderful cake and I know you'll enjoy it. Maybe I was just having a really bad day. Sometimes we cooks have them, don't we?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Aunt Irene's Hot Cole Slaw

This recipe is a favorite of mine. It's especially good for all of those 4th of July picnics or luncheons that will be enjoyed next week. I think all of our family likes our Aunt Irene's version of a classic salad.


You will need the following ingredients:

1 head cabbage, shredded

1 large onion, shredded

1/2 cup sugar

Sprinkle sugar over shredded cabbage and onion. Set aside.


1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

3/4 cup vinegar

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup Wesson oil


Place sugar, celery seed, celery salt , mustard, vinegar and salt in pan; bring to boil. Then add Wesson oil and bring to a boil again. Pour over cabbage mixture.

Chill—the longer the better.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Baked Pork Chops – A Reminder of Home

My Daddy and Step-Mother
Mildred Smith Hicks & Leon Fremont Richards
in their home in September 1964
Having grown up in a household where my father was a butcher for the local Safeway store and my mother worked in the same meat department, we had a variety of cuts of meat every day. Breakfast fare usually included thick slices of bacon, smoked, peppered, and honey cured. Occasionally a pork chop made its appearance on our breakfast plate beside the usual eggs and fried potatoes and onion. We didn't have that big of a breakfast every weekday because Mom spent long days at work and school was calling - we usually ran a little late with 4 teenagers and 2 elementary-aged kids to get ready. But the weekends found us all gathered in the country kitchen around the beautiful round oak table that my younger sister now has in her home.
Align Center
Again on the weekends we enjoyed various cuts of meat that daddy patiently showed us how to prepare. Mom was usually in the garden or making biscuits.

Reminder of Home
I was reminded tonight of the thick pork chops that Daddy used to bring home and stuff with delicious dressing prepared just like you would for the Thanksgiving turkey. He would take a very sharp knife and cut a slit in the meat across from the bone and stuff it with cornbread dressing.

Request for Pork Chop
I had asked my hubby to please bring home some pork chops from the grocery (he usually does our shopping) because we hadn't eaten them for quite some time. He found some beautiful chops that were about 1-inch thick with the bone in. If you sometimes wonder how to cook pork chops that are that thick I find that baking them is probably the easiest thing to do.

Preparation of Meat
I rinsed the meat under running water and patted them dry. I had prepared a basil olive oil mixed with garlic salt and dry Italian seasonings that I placed in a shallow bowl. Then I rubbed this on all sides of each pork chop. I then wrapped them tightly in aluminum foil, placed them in a heavy cast iron skillet to bake in my 350º oven. I baked them for one hour.
They were delicious. And because I had wrapped them in foil I had no mess to clean up. Of course, they could just as easily be cooked in any ovenproof dish and if you chose to not use the foil, the chops would brown nicely. Mine were not as brown but tasted more like a pork roast.

You should try this method of cooking pork chops. I found I could not "fry" my pork chops all the time. Cooking them this way cuts down on the calories and fat.

Bon appétit.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Photos taken at the West BBQ Cookoff by Judy Shubert





















Copyright 2008 by Judy Shubert ~ Related Posts





West Volunteer Fire Department's 15th Annual Barbeque Cook-Off

I'm posting this article that I wrote on March 26th for the Associated Content website. I wanted to post more of the pictures that I took that day, so for those of you who have not read it, I hope you enjoy.

Last weekend my hubby and I spent a fun-filled, relaxing afternoon at the West Volunteer Fire Department's 15th annual Barbeque Cook-Off in the north central Texas town of West! We go occasionally to visit my sister and brother-in-law while they're cooking for various Barbeque Cook-Offs around the state. They were competing at the Volunteer Fire Department's Barbeque Cook-Off Saturday, March 15th. They've also been to several Cook-Offs in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri. They're great competitors and have two rooms FULL of awards. They usually compete in the Barbeque Brisket, Barbeque Ribs, and Barbeque Chicken categories with an occasional entry in a special category such as "Cook's Choice," Beans, Dessert, or Pulled Pork.

Backwoods Smoker
For a long time my sister only helped her husband prepare for the event. Since she wasn't the actual contestant she wasn't allowed to actually help him cook. Then she fell in love with a small, very unique cooker - the Backwoods Smoker. It was only the SECOND time she entered using her new Backwoods Smoker when she snagged the coveted Grand Champion award at a Cook-Off in Irving, Texas. She has been cooking ever since.

American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri
They were invited to cook in the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri a couple of years ago. They came away with a check for 2nd runner-up. My brother-in-law has also cooked in the Great American Cook-Off in Kansas City, Kansas, where he won 1st place in the Invitational Pulled Pork category. The next day he cooked in the open contest with 182 other teams and won 1st place in the chicken category. He has really had to watch his back, however, because my sister's awards are beginning to crowd out his in the office and the den!

Awards Ceremony at the West Cook-Off
When my husband and I stop by where my sister and brother-in-law are cooking we try to show up in time for the awards ceremony which is usually held on a Saturday afternoon about 5:00 p.m. Everyone is so friendly and they have so much fun together, we really enjoy the excitement of waiting to hear who won, who got on the final table and who won Grand Champion. The Grand Champion has to have the highest score of any other cook in that particular Cook-Off. The Cook-Off in West was no exception.

Kids Barbeque Pork Chop Cook-Off
My niece's 5-year-old daughter has been entering the Children's category with her special Barbeque Pork Chop. Last weekend at the West Barbeque Cook-Off she placed 2nd in the Kids Barbeque Pork Chop Cook-Off for ages 5-10. She won a trophy that is nearly as tall as she is.

It was reported that last year there were 101 teams and I believe there were nearly as many this year. The Cook-Off is sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA) and is judged by their rules.

The IBCA Mission Statement can be found on their website:

"International Barbeque Cookers Association's purpose is to develop and bolster equitable competitive Barbeque cooking internationally."

We give competitive cookers the peace of mind when their product is placed in the judging area. IBCA shall know no boundaries nationally or internationally.

The Cook-Off was held at the West Rodeo grounds where motor homes, rolling barbeque pits, pickups, and the wonderful smell of barbeque filled the air and the grassy parking area reserved last weekend for the cooks and their "followers." The West Volunteer Fire Department sold barbeque for $8 a pound and had a drawing for a $300 charcoal grill that was donated by the West True Value Hardware Store.

Everyone Wore a Different Hat!
I always try to have my camera with me and I especially loved taking pictures of all of the different "hats" found in West that day. Everyone was so friendly and very willing for me to snap away. I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of them. I have attached five of my favorites to this article.

Don Swift Photos
I also want to tell you about the pictures that Don Swift took at the Cook-Off.

Don is a great photographer who routinely has his work in the Waco Tribune-Herald and also online. Don takes great shots at high school sporting events and some of his best were taken at China Springs High School football games. Of course, I'm probably a little prejudiced since my niece and nephew are both involved with the football team and the marching band. Don Swift's photos of the West Barbeque Cook-Off are online at the Waco Tribune-Herald website.
As my husband and I drove away that evening headed back north towards Fort Worth we both agreed that we had one of the most enjoyable afternoons we'd had in quite a long time. We decided to try to go more often. Maybe my sister and bro-in-law will actually let us go in the motor home with them and stay all weekend some time soon!

Friday, June 20, 2008

29 Pints of Dill Pickles!

Well, I made dill pickles yesterday. Had to search our local vegetable markets to find fresh dill, but my husband was finally successful. He found 3 large bags at a fruit and vegetable market on Hwy. 26 in Colleyville, just 20 minutes from us.

My neighbor and her husband gave me the cucumbers with a promise from me to supply the neighborhood with dill pickles! She gave me enough to make 29 pints. That's a pretty large batch of pickles! It took me about 8 hours from start to finish and my feet and back hurt like crazy when I finished. But all of those pretty little glass jars look great on the kitchen counter.

Remember, I posted the recipe here several days ago. This recipe is one of my favorites. Our Mom, Mildred, always had them on her pantry shelf and an opened jar in the refrigerator.

Come on by ~ I'll let you taste them ~ maybe even take a jar home with you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Lifestyle Food Attitude with Gratitude


My 4 sisters and I have decided to challenge each other to lose weight. While we were on our annual Girls' Weekend in April we weighed and decided how much weight we wanted to lose by Thanksgiving. We sat at the kitchen table in the little Bluebonnet Bed and Breakfast and shared our current weight and our individual goals. We did okay for a while but seem to have gotten off-track a little. But there are a few tricks to get back on course.

I have joined Beliefnet, a web community of inspiration, spirituality and faith. You can find in its pages some very encouraging, helpful articles. I read those by Norris J. Chumley under the section "Weight Loss with Norris" daily. They have been very helpful. I am able to forward the pages to my sisters giving them encouragement also. He has comments on such things as "Q&A: Is Peanut Butter Really Fattening?" "Eat More Fish", and "7 Diet Mistakes to Avoid". You can find a unique lifestyle plan, based on Norris Chumley's book "The Joy of Weight Loss" (Lantern Books 2001), that can help you drop unwanted pounds by encouraging you to connect to your spiritual source, eat balanced meals, and discover that fitness can be fun.

I also love reading the blog by Janice Taylor, Our Lady of Weight Loss whom Oprah called "a kooky genius". She is a Weight Loss Coach and Certified Hypnotist, author, artist and motivational speaker. She is the author of Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal and All Is Forgiven, Move On: Our Lady of Weight Loss's 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville (publication date May 15, 2008). Janice is also the creator of the popular e-newsletter Kick in the Tush Club and a 50-pound big-time-loser.

You might want to get inspired reading her blog and working her puzzle here at the bottom of my page!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quick Dill Pickles

Gardening season is upon us. Soon there will be enough cucumbers in the garden that I thought a good pickle recipe was in order.


3 quarts water
1 cup salt
1 quart cider vinegar
1 head dill for each jar
1 garlic clove for each jar
cucumbers


Bring water, salt and vinegar to boil in big pot. Cut and slice cucumbers into spears or rounds. Place in clean jars. Add dill and garlic to jars. Use some kind of dipper to scoop up enough liquid for each jar to pour over cucumbers, dill and garlic.


Jars and lids need to be heated in boiling water for a few minutes so you will get a good “seal” when closing. Jars must be proper canning jars such as Kerr or Ball brand. You may use these jars if left over from last pickling session, but you need to purchase new lids and rims.


After sealing, immediately cover the pickle jars with a towel so they will not cool off too quickly. You will be able to hear the lid pop. This means they have sealed properly.


Let the pickles set for at least seven days before eating.


This is one of Mildred's recipes. One summer Ann and I made so many quarts of these we thought we were dreaming about pickles. But they disappeared quickly. Everyone likes them (if they like dill pickles)! Try them. They are not as difficult to make as it sounds!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grandma Mildred’s Orange Slice Cake

Christmas and Thanksgiving have always been very popular holidays for the cooks in our family (and those who enjoy eating!), as I'm sure it is with most families. There is always a favorite dessert that someone requests and at our house Mom's Orange Slice Cake was one of those. I don't remember the grandchildren being especially fond of it, but for the adults it was one of those explode-in-your-mouth kind of tastes that you only experienced at that time of year. For one thing it's not something you would want to eat every Sunday afternoon! My goodness, how in the world would we ever get to our desired weight loss goal?


For the cake you will need:

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 lb. Dates, chopped

1 lb. Orange slice candy

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

3½ cups plain flour

1½ cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda


Cream together 1 cup butter with 2 cups sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each. Mix chopped dates, chopped orange slice candy, pecans, and coconut with ½ cup of the flour; set aside.


Add ½ cup buttermilk to sugar mixture; beat well. Add baking soda to remaining buttermilk. Sift remaining flour and add to sugar mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in date mixture.


Turn into an oiled and floured tube pan. Bake in preheated 250º oven for 2 hours, 30 minutes.


Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes and then turn out of pan.


GLAZE:

1 cup orange juice

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons butter


Mix orange juice, confectioners’ sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan. Heat, stirring until sugar and butter are melted. Pour over hot cake. Cool.


Enjoy this moist, delicious, beautiful cake next Thanksgiving or Christmas with Gratitude in your Heart and Praise to God on your lips.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Arthritis Formula

Maedelle Carlyle

"Mother gave me this for arthritis."

1 cup Bur Rabbit Syrup (Blue label)

1 cup lemon juice

Mix and keep in "box".

Take 2 tablespoons 3 times a day.

As you feel better, take less.




Sunday, June 8, 2008

Marilee's Chess Cake Squares - a Hit!

I don't know how my sister-in-law's birthday celebration supper for her son turned out but I tried the recipe for Marilee's Chess Cake squares yesterday and they were a hit. I took them to my sister's house for supper. All four of us sisters got together with 5 of their grandkids in Rhome, Texas for Scrabble. We enjoyed the fun. Baby sister won again!

When I make the Chess Cake Squares the next time I believe I'll add another tablespoon of lemon juice. It was good with 1 tablespoon like the recipe indicated, but I like lemon and think a little more of it could only make it better!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chess Cake Squares from Marilee

Yesterday my sister-in-law in Nashville, Tennessee, called to ask if I had her Mom's recipe for Chess Cake Squares. It was her son's 37th birthday on June 4th and that is the cake he requested for his celebration dinner last night. I didn't remember the recipe or the cake but I have a lot of Mom's recipe cards in a box that I brought home from Nashville after she died on January 11, 2000. My intention then (and now) was to somehow devise a way to make copies of all of them for the grandchildren in the family. There are 8 of them and I would love to surprise them with a group of recipes in their grandmother's handwriting that they can use and cherish. My sis-in-law's request has placed this on the fore-burner of "my list of things to get done SOON!" If anyone out there has any good ideas I'd really, really like to hear from you.

I found the recipe in the first handful of cards I picked up and read it to her on the phone. I'm sure she made a delicious version of this cake and it was enjoyed by all of the family there last night. Sure wish Shubert and I could have been there to enjoy it, too, and wish our nephew a "Happy Birthday".

In case you'd like to try this easy cake I've copied the recipe here for you. Bon Appétit!

CHESS CAKE SQUARES

1 box Butter Cake Mix (Duncan Hines)
1 egg
1 stick oleo (I'd substitute butter)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Mix the above ingredients. Pat the fairly dry mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. (Do not melt butter.)

8 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs
1 box powdered confectioners' sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Place the above 4 ingredients in the same bowl, mixing well. Pour over top of dry mixture in pan.

Bake 38-40 minutes at 350 degrees for metal pan, 325 degrees for glass pan.

Don't over cook!

And, yes, I DO plan to give that box of original recipes to my sister-in-law as SOON as I get them scanned into my computer!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Family Cookbook - One Slice at a Time


Several years ago, before it became fashionable or even practicable, to use a computer program to keep our recipes at our fingertips, my sister and I decided we should put together a family cookbook. From conception to birth it was a labor of love and long, long hours of sorting, typing, editing, editing, editing!

The idea was received with great anticipation and cooperation from all of our family, "Give us several of your favorite recipes and we will be responsible for putting a cookbook together and see that everyone gets a copy."

Recipes began to pour in from all directions - North, South, East and West. Not that we are scattered in too many directions that far from Texas, but we did have family members sending recipes from as far away as North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Before we knew it we had a stack of handwritten and typed recipes that seemed to spill over the top of the desk to the floor and several feet out into the room. My sister was responsible for calling or sending emails to verify ingredients or quantities or give someone a gentle reminder that, "Yes, we do need your recipes, Aunt Bea, what would our Family Cookbook be without your favorite pecan pie?"

I busily began to enter the recipes into my computer, using the only computer program that I was familiar with - WordPerfect. And I was VERY loyal - adamantly proclaiming that WordPerfect was the best and only program worth using. Little did I know then how I would regret using WordPerfect for our cookbook.

I don't remember what year the idea of a family cookbook actually took root, but it took several years and many inquiries from family members as to its whereabouts to finally bear fruit - no pun intended! To begin with my sister and I both are perfectionists in certain areas of our lives. We couldn't seem to leave well enough alone as we edited, cut, rewrote, and edited some more. The book would seemingly be coming along great and then someone would want to include another one of their new recipes, or they just found Aunt Nancy's peach cobbler recipe written in her own hand, and it just had to be included. In retrospect we should have set a limit, but how do you tell Aunt Bea or Aunt Nancy why her favorites were not in the final book?

With all the changes and our dedication to "perfection," so to speak, time was slipping away - further away from our promised delivery date - every day. Then with my insistence on using WordPerfect instead of Microsoft Word, disaster was lurking just around the corner.

My computer died. Now I think my husband is a computer genius. He had suggested that I backup my work on CD. Thank goodness for that. But when we got a new computer, guess what it didn't have. That's right - WordPerfect! I don't remember exactly WHY I couldn't convert my WordPerfect files and have them formatted the way I wanted, but I eventually had to open them in Microsoft Word and let the formatting do whatever it wanted to do, and then slowly and methodically redo the pages one at a time. I'm sure there was something I wasn't doing properly, but I was very frazzled by that time, and I just did the only thing I knew how to do.

We finally began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The book was being printed at last - on my printer, of course. My husband took reams of 24# bright white paper around the corner to Staples to be cut into 5 ½ x 8 ½ sheets. My printer was spitting the pages out faster than I could check to make sure the pages were backed up with the proper pages! You see, I insisted on a Table of Contents and an Index. What self-respecting cookbook editor wouldn't? It took nearly as long to print the thing as it did to get it prepared and ready to print. After we had collated the pages and printed a front and back cover we had the cover laminated and the cookbook spiral bound at a local print and copy shop.

My sister thought it would be a great idea to include a Memorial to those family members who were no longer with us. Each of them had a recipe that we included and the Memorial was placed on the same page with that recipe. We published additional books three years later because there were friends and other family members who had not gotten a cookbook and asked us to "please" print them one. By that time there were other beloved family members who had gone home to be with their Lord and Savior so their names and Memorials were included in the new edition.

We included a list of contributors as well as the Memorials. Favorite sayings were scattered throughout the cookbook. They were taken from a high school Autograph Book that had belonged to the Mother of a cousin in Oklahoma. Her daughter graciously gave us permission to use the sayings. One of my favorites is "Don't drive faster than your Angel can fly."

We have all enjoyed our family cookbook and I can say with assurance it is one that nearly everyone uses more than any other. The cookbook is a source of enjoyment and comfort. Comfort when we see the names and recipes of our loved ones who are no longer here and comfort in all the "comfort foods" found on the book's pages.

My children sometimes call and ask why a certain recipe is not in "our cookbook". Then there is always that little nagging thought in my head that it would be nice to print a 2nd family treasure but I think my marriage of 40+ years might be strained a bit if I took on another task such as the last one.

I heartily recommend taking on a project such as this with your family members or friends. It will be one you will not soon forget. I still have my backup copy on CD in Microsoft Word and the WordPerfect copy is lurking around somewhere laughing at me!

Also published by Judy Shubert at Associated Content

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Gratitude

When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

--Chief Tecumseh

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