Sunday, March 29, 2009

Giveaway from the Boutique by Bonnie

Today I found a terrific blog called Boutique by Bonnie which is authored by an artisan living in the beautiful Rockies of Colorado. She is having a fantastic giveaway! She writes:

"I think we can all use some relief this year, so I’m hosting another giveaway! This giveaway will run through April 15th (tax day) and you get to pick your prize from the two pairs of earrings pictured here (ok, only one of each is shown). Please write the number in your comment for which pair you'd like to receive!" The post is found here.

Stop by her boutique and leave her a comment so you can get in on the fun!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fresh Fruit Orange Dip

An easy and delicious dip to serve with fresh fruit. Recipe found in Marilee's Recipe Box.

4 eggs

1/3 cup butter or oleo – room temperature

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1/8 teaspoon salt

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice + 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small pineapple, peeled and cut in fingers

2 medium apples, cored and cut in wedges

2 medium oranges, peeled and cut in slices

2 medium bananas, sliced

In the jar of an electric blender, combine the four eggs, 1/3 cup of butter, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of orange rind and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Blend on medium for one minute. While the blender is running, add the specified amounts of orange juice and lemon juice.

Pour mixture into top of double boiler. Stir constantly over simmering water until the mixture thickens. This will take about 10 minutes.

Cover and chill. Makes approximately 8-10 servings. Serve with the cut up fruit.

This makes a beautiful and delicious light dessert or can be served as an appetizer.

My in-laws lived in Orlando for several years and had an abundance of fresh fruit. They had 2 orange trees, a grapefruit tree, and a lemon tree in the back yard. The lemons they picked from that tree were the biggest lemons I had ever seen. Much bigger than any I had ever seen in a grocery store.

My children loved to visit their grandparents and help them harvest this fruit. My oldest son would climb up on the ladder and hand the fruit down to the younger ones. They usually picked the fruit as they needed it until it became so ripe they had to gather it all. Those were times of good food and great memories.

Graphic from The Graphics Fairy.

Marilee's Pear Chess Pie

My beautiful mother-in-law loved pears; really she loved fruit of any kind I believe. There is a recipe in her handwriting in a box I have with other recipes of hers. This looks like a winner.

1 29-ounce can Bartlett pear halves
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Line a deep 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Crimp edge for a high pastry. Prick with fork and bake at 425 degrees F. for 5 minutes.

Drain pears well. Reserve 2 pear halves for garnish. Chop remaining pears.

Cream butter with sugars and salt until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Stir in flour, vanilla, sour cream, pecans and chopped pears. Turn into the pie shell.

Slice reserved pear halves. Arrange them on top of filling and bake at 325 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from oven. Cool thoroughly.


In the picture above my mother-in-law at a very young age of 18 at Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee with her roommate, Helen Adcock, in 1941. Helen is on the left, Marilee Davis Shubert is on the right.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irene's or Baker's One-Bowl Brownies?

As any of you who have read my blogs in the past knows, I am a total chocoholic! I could eat chocolate all day long; but alas, I fear I would get very, very sick by the time the sun went down.

Some days I can’t find a scrap or morsel of the smooth, velvety sweet that Hershey seemed to make famous. The other day I was digging in my pantry trying to find even a sweet tart, ANYTHING that had sugar in it. I was tired of eating a bowl of Special K with Splenda every day. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like Special K, and I prefer to sweeten cereals and iced drinks with Splenda. It’s much better than the “Pink” one or the “Blue” one!

Then I remembered my Aunt Irene’s brownies that she served sometimes when she didn’t have the famous Duncan Hines Brownie Mix in the house. They were just as good to me and better yet, she said they were so easy she stirred them up in a hurry.

That’s what I needed – something in a hurry. My sweet tooth was about to get the better of me.

I found that I did have a box of Baker’s chocolate squares in my pantry and there was the recipe for Irene’s One Bowl Brownies right inside the box! Why, the One Bowl Brownies must be a Baker’s recipe – you mean Aunt Irene didn’t just come up with it all by herself? Ah, well. It’s still chocolate, right?


4 squares BAKER’S Unsweetened Baking Chocolate

¾ cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 cup flour

1 cup coarsely chopped PLANTERS Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending near sides of pan. Grease foil.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour and nuts; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container.

Makes 24 servings, 1 brownie each. Serve with a large glass of milk.

Cream Cheese Brownies: Prepare batter as directed, using 4 eggs; spread into prepared pan. Beat 1 pkg. (8 oz.) softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg and 2 Tbsp. Flour until well blended; drop by spoonfuls evenly over brownie batter. Swirl with knife several times to marbleize. Bake as directed, increasing baking time to 40 minutes.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Prepare batter as directed, reserving 1 Tbsp. of the butter and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar. Spread batter into prepared pan. Melt reserved butter. Add to reserved sugar along with 2/3 cup peanut butter, mix well. Spoon over batter in pan. Swirl with knife several times to marbleize. Bake as directed.

My only trouble with this delicious chocolate snack: I did not grease the foil well enough and they stuck. But, hey, I’m not above digging that chocolate out of that pan!

Thanks BAKER’s Chocolate!!

Graphic by June at Art Freebies

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mildred's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Our mother's delicious cookie starts with the following recipe. Several of the younger generation likes to make these into large chocolatey sweet and gooey treats they can share with their friends. A cousin, Brooke, has even entered cookies made from this recipe in the 4-H Club competition in her hometown.

3/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Texas pecan pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine Crisco, brown sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer til creamy. Beat egg into mixture. Combine flour, salt and baking soda and mix into creamed mixture until blended. Stir in chocolate pieces and pecans. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11-13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheet 2 minutes. Remove to foil on counter top. Place next batch on cold cookie sheet. Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Try your hand at this great cookie that will be the favorite of all the kids in the neighborhood!

Mildred Smith Hicks holding oldest son, Don Earl Hicks in circa 1943 photo found in scrapbook belonging to Sue Hicks Breakall



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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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