Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This is a favorite at our Thanksgiving. I don't make them every year but pretty close to it. If you make candy often you get to know the look and feel of it which I should have paid attention to this time. You cook them to the firm-ball stage but my new candy thermometer had it lower than the temp on the recipe so my caramel came out harder than I would like. Still very delicious but at my age you have to watch all those crown,you paid so much for, don't come off.
1 cup butter
1-16 ounce box of brown sugar (2 1/4 cups packed)
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (1 1/4 cups)
1 cup light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons instant coffee crystals or instant espresso crystals
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
In heavy 3-quart saucepan melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, coffee crystals, and orange zest. Mix until very well blended.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Clip on candy thermometer. Cook until it reaches 245 degrees or firm-ball stage. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in walnuts and vanilla(remove thermometer alsobefore stirring)
Quickly pour into butter pan any one around 8x8 or 9x9 or 10x7 will do well. If you put buttered foil as a liner it will come out eaasier. Cut when firm and cool into desired sizes, one inch is recommended. Wrap in wax paper cut to size.
NOTE: do not get distracted you must pay close attention the cooking of these . I dont' even answer the phone. Allow about one hour from start to finish and they make a great gift.


This recipe came from a cookbook, the name has slipped my memory. I do not know who to give credit for this recipe and this is the first time I made these. It has been snowing here so I thought my guests at Thanksgiving dinner might like them.

2 3/4 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
Flaked coconut ( I used between 1-2 cups)
Line airtight container with wax paper. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine wafers, sugar , almonds, butter and concentrate. Stir until well blended (mixture will be crumbly).
Shape mixture into 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in coconut and place in container. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 3 dozen.
I thought if you wanted to make them more of an adult only version ( like burbon balls) you could substitute orange liqueur`. I have not tried this but thought it might be a nice Holiday gift idea. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meat Loaf ~ For Jim

This meat loaf recipe is one I have used for at least 30 years and it came from Redbook Magazine. I have had to put the recipe in a plastic cover because it is so well used. This recipe really is a formula for meat loaf because it gives proportions along with options. I have never made it the same twice, and yet it almost always turns out great. One note: don't tell my husband Jim I am making meat loaf for dinner unless I really do. Every once in awhile I have had to change my dinner plans and when he came home from work to discover there was no meat loaf , well, let's just say the disappointment almost ruined his entire evening. He not only looks forward to my meat loaf, he is very happy thinking about the meat loaf sandwiches he will be enjoying for lunch.

  • 2 cups fine soft bread crumbs or variations~ Bread & rolled oats,bread & crackers (ground)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped peeled onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup liquid ~ milk, or ketchup, or red wine ...
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pounds of any combination ground meats. Beef & pork, beef & turkey, beef & venison or elk...you get the picture.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper, and liquid in a large bowl; combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and combine. Break about 1/4 of the ground meat and into small pieces and scatter over the bread crumb mixture. Mix thoroughly ( using hands is best) and repeat until all the meat is blended in. Pack the meat loaf mixture thoroughly into bread loaf pans or casserole dish that is at least 1" larger in all dimensions than the loaf. Bake uncovered for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Pour off excess fat and meat juices and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings. Also makes the best sandwiches!

Friday, November 12, 2010


This recipe also comes from my cousin-in-law Dana Burnson.
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1-1/2 granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter (soften)
3 eggs
6 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon each of black pepper, nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamon
2 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup ground almonds
*If you make a larger cookie(1-inch) you may add a couple extra minutes to the baking time
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and beat well after each one. Stir together dry ingredients. Add flour alternately with milk until dough is stif. Add nuts. (Dana uses almond extract) Chill overnight. Roll inot 1/2 inch balls. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
I made half the recipe because I wasn't sure if we were going to like them. I was surprised at how nice they came out and not to spicy either . The anise flavor is much like a Springerle but spicy like a gingersnap (no lemon). I think you could bake them right away or chill only for an hour or two if you want. The difference might be they flatten out a little instead of holding the round shape. I used a 1 inch cookie scoop, the 1/2 inch was to small for me. My company also thought they were great a different kind of cookie and I think it would be great for the Holiday's because it wasn't overly sweet.
Dana said this was her husband Tim's favorite from when they lived in Ritzville. they had many fond memories from Ritzville

Monday, November 1, 2010


This recipe is from Dana Burnson
~I gave the pie a little harvest decoration~
1 pre-cooked pie shell
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
Cream until well blended
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend into butter-sugar mixture
*2 eggs
Add one at a time beating 5 minutes after each egg. Keep Refrigerated
Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves.
Dana says--this recipe is from her grandmother Woods who made it each holiday.
It was a favorite so she keeps up the tradition.
* My family will not eat raw eggs so I alter the recipe a little. We had a big egg scare here in Minnesota and so we have chosen not to consume raw eggs. Dana assured me that her family has been eating this pie every year since she can remember and NO ONE has gotten sick. I will let you be the judge if you want to make this pie but be sure to keep it in the refrigerator(cold)


This recipe comes from Thom and Joanne Smith.
It comes from Thom's mother who still makes it with fresh potato dumplings
Cabbage (green) 2 large heads
Bacon (slab) 1 1/2 pounds
Potato dumplings 48ounces
Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch strips
Place into a large roasting pan
Slice bacon into 1 inch pieces
Sprinkle bacon across cabbage in the pan
Place into pre-heated oven at 325 degrees
Cook for about 2 hours stirring occasionally
After cabbage has cooked down drain off excess liquid and add dumplings
Cook for another 45 minutes or until everything is done
I could not find any potato dumplings except for the Italian kind and I think I should have followed the package directions because they came out a little chewy. Next time I will boil them and add them at the end, otherwise it was pretty good. I also drained the mixture in a colander over a bowl so the grease from the bacon would drain out. This took a few minutes while I put together the rest of the dinner.


This salad comes from Dana Burnson

3 or 4 apples cored and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup broken walnuts
1/3 cup mayonaise
1 Tablespoon sugar
Sprinkle lemon juice over apples and toss. Mix mayonaise and sugar set aside. Mix all the other ingredients and then add the dressing of mayonaise and sugar. Chill and serve.
Dana says this is was one of her dad's favorites. Her kids don't like it, but she makes it any way to keep up the tradition and her husband Tim likes it.