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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Very easy fancy dessert just in case royals drop in for an after-wedding snack!

Company coming?  Here's something to "wow" them with thanks to Angel from http://themustardseedfamily.blogspot.com/2011/04/boxed-cake-mix-magic.html

Is there a person left who doesn't know that Prince William is marrying Katherine Middleton on Friday, April 29th?  Wouldn't it be fun to serve a cake like this with tea to 'celebrate' in your home, too?

While in Germany last summer,  my DD, our friends and I visited Marienburg Castle in Lower Saxony (Nidersachsen).  Here's a great website for a peek at the beautiful rooms, furniture and art works inside:
The entrance hall and the library are my two favorite spaces...the blue ceiling with its golden stars in the entrance hall inspires me to create a quilt in those colors!  This palace was designed by the Queen of Hanover (1818-1907) and you can really tell.  I absolutely love it!
Entrance Hall at Marienburg
Here's the link to even more photos:http://www.schloss-marienburg.de/smbinter/cms/index.php?id=19

A Gugelhupf Form is a cake pan used in southern German, Austrian and Italian kitchens.  It is similar to our Bundt Cake Pan.  Here are some examples:

ceramic Gugelhupf form

New Silicone Gugelhupf Form.
 This design was used by the King of Hanover at Marienburg Castle.
This was easy to travel with - I just folded it in half and laid it flat in my suitcase!  It weighs next to nothing, too.
Here's the link where you can purchase it through Amazon Germany:
Copper Gugelhupf Form

Many times, European recipes call for a yeast bread with raisins or currants baked in these forms, but as we are in the United States, I opted for a nice, easy cake mix instead!

Here is the easy recipe to make this:

Easy, Fancy Dessert fit for Royalty

You'll need one white cake mix, with the addition of two teaspoons of orange or lemon extract.  (Angel's version was with a Butter Cake Mix and rum extract.)  Mix and bake according to directions, spray pan or form and bake according to directions.

For display, after the cake has cooled, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and place freshly washed, cut strawberries or desired fruit decoratively in and around your cake.  
Add freshly whipped, sweetened cream if desired.

Serve and enjoy all the oohh's and ahh's!

Even Prince William and his bride Katherine Middleton would enjoy this, don't you think?

Here's your piece:

Guten Apetit!  Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American Style Sweet 'n Spicy Chicken Rub

It's sunny and nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's Grilling Season!

My DD created the following recipe we enjoyed this evening and my DH grilled.

American Style Sweet 'n Spicy Chicken Rub

2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
dash of sea salt and cracked pepper
1/4 Tablespoon Famous Dave's Country Roast Chicken Seasoning (or paprika)
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon & pepper salt
1 tsp celery salt

Mix the dry ingredients together. Set aside. Mix the liquids together and coat on chicken.  Rub chicken with the dry mixture on both sides.  Allow to sit for one hour, then grill.  Serve with fresh salad.

Enough for six to eight chicken breasts.

PS  This is what we had for dessert this evening - strawberries and whipped cream!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Frosted Chocolate Drop Cookies circa 1950, from the Swift'ning Company

Grandmother Block has a booklet we've found amongst her things...it is entitled "77 Recipes Using Swift'ning Make Your Own Mix" by Martha Logan, Home Economist, Swift and Company circa 1950.  Swift'ning is described as an all-purpose shortening.  Neither Mother nor I recall the name; do you, perhaps?

Inside, we found an interesting recipes called Frosted Chocolate Drop Cookies.

All the recipes require Make-Your-Own-Mix which is to be in a closed canister or can in the pantry, so we'll begin with that:

Swift'ning Make-Your-Own-Mix

Yield:  about 13 cups                      (We tried Bisquick - see pictures below)

2 cups Swift'ning
9 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon salt (or 1 1/2 to Tablespoons of salt may be used)
1/4 cup or 4 Tablespoons double-acting baking powder (like Calumet, K-C, and Clabber Girl)

Combined sifted flour, salt and baking powder.  Stir well.  Sift into a large bowl, large pan or onto heavy paper.  Add Swift'ning (all-purpose shortening).  Use fingers or pastry blender to distribute Swift'ning throughout dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  The Make-Your-Own Mix is now ready to use or store in a closed canister on your pantry shelf.

Martha Logan

Frosted Chocolate Drop Cookies

Yield:   18 to 20 large cookies (these made twelve for us; we used a Tablespoon)

1 1/2 cups Swift'ning Make-Your-Own Mix (do not pack) (We used Bisquick)
1/2 cup sugar
 1 egg, slightly beaten
1 square or 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend Mix and sugar.  Add egg and beat well.  Stir in the chocolate, milk, and vanilla.  Drop from a teapsoon on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake in a moderate oven.  Cool.  Spread with Snowy Cream or Chocolate Frosting. (see below)

Baking Temperature:  350 degrees Fahrenheit
Bake:  about 10 Minutes

Snowy Cream Frosting

1/4 cup Swift'ning (all-purpose shortening) (I'd like to try butter next time)
1/2 tsp salt (when I tried this, it was much too salty; next time I'll use 1/8 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 to 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 Tablespoon milk

Beat Swift'ning until light.  Beat in remaining ingredients.  Beat until smooth and creamy.

For Chocolate Icing, add 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder.

from Taste of Home

Taste of Home online also has a comparable recipe here:  http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Chocolate-Drop-Cookies

Darla, I couldn't find the Charlotte's Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe from the back of the Imperial Sugar bag from the early 1960's, even when looking online, so I hope this will help at least somewhat for your Saturday treat day :-)

If anyone out there in blogland has that recipe, will you please let me know?

Thank you!

Here's my version used with what I had on hand - Bisquick

These are as easy as brownies to mix up!

350 degrees for 10 minutes produced soft, cake-like results...
if you prefer a crisper cookie, I'd recommend 12 minutes.

Mother prefers these without frosting; my DS prefers his with frosting!

My DS enjoyed a Chocolate Drop Cookie today as an after-school snack with a glass of milk.
Here's one for you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Magazine Recipe Favorites

There are some favorites our family enjoys torn from magazines of year's past. The first one we'd like to share is called "perfect pancakes" and was found in The Family Circle Feb. 09 edition on pg. 174 by Julie Miltenberger of Food University. These bake up so light and fluffy - they really are the very best pancake recipe we've ever had. The key is to take the time to fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.

Perfect Pancakes

"It's supereasy to make pancakes from a mix. But odds are you have everything you need to make these breakfast (or anytime!) crowd-pleasers from scratch.

Makes 16 4-inch pancakes
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 2 minutes per batch

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (we also like to add cardamom)
2 eggs (separated)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Butter, maple or pancake syrup, confections' sugar, for serving

1. Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat. Heat oven to warm (180F) and place a foil-lined baking sheet inside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and allspice. Separate eggs and whisk egg yolks in small bowl with milk and oil.
3. With an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks, about 1 minute. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Fold in egg whites in two additions, until no white streaks remain.
4. Using a ladle, drop 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter onto heated griddle. Repeat, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Cook 1 minutes, or until bubbles in batter pop and remain open (see third illustration). Carefully flip pancakes and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5. Transfer to baking sheet in warm oven; repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with butter and syrup or confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Per Pancake 101 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat.); 2 g protein, 12g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 133 mg sodium; 28 mg cholesterol"
Gather ingredients

 Sift flour

Measure carefully

 Adding 1/4 tsp cream of tartar to the egg whites produces better results

 Beat very little; just enough to combine - batter will be lumpy

Gently fold in the egg whites until it looks like this:

Heat griddle pan to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, then spray with Pam or add oil

1/3 cup of batter for each pancake

Almost enough bubbles to turn...

Oven at 180 degrees Fahrenheit to keep everything warm

Fresh, hot pancakes to serve to your family!

A happy breakfaster!

Next shows
•  Saturday, April 30, 2011, IKEA CHARLOTTE, from 2-4 p.m. with Curtis Aikens 
•  Saturday, May 7, 2011, IKEA SCHAUMBURG, from 2-4 p.m. with Mary Ann Esposito

For more information:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Breakfast & Dinner 2011

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Easter breakfast
Easter bread (currants & anise), fried bacon, boiled eggs, fresh peaches and strawberries, Five Alive juice

Cloverdale half ham

Deviled Eggs

Challah Bread from Patisserie on Fourth

Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Bake

Brown Sugar & Butter Sweet Potatoes

Oster Torte
Easter Cake

Wishing you all a healthy and Happy Easter 2011!