5.21.2011

Chocolate Sheet Cake


Chocolate Sheet Cake
Another repost to archive, but a good repost.  I seem to be on a dessert theme right now.  I promise that next week that will change!  We will be done with the reposting and onto the new recipes.  Besides, my weekend is scheduled with cooking and photo shoots! 

This recipe is another family recipe that my mom found, changed up and made her own (nothing new, right? ).  It is the standard for all large family functions.  Sheet cake and peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (Ill post those next week as well).   Its fool proof.  My girls were 10 and 11 when they first learned how to make this cake and I think by now they have the recipe memorized.   Its just good food!

2 c Flour
2 c Sugar
2 sticks of butter/margarine
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 c water
1/2 c buttermilk
1 t baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla

Sift flour and sugar into large bowl. In saucepan on medium heat, bring water, cocoa powder and butter to a boil. Pour over flour mixture and beat well. Add buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Pour into a greased 11 x 17 sheet pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. While still warm frost (recipe below).

Frosting

1 stick butter/margarine
1/4 c cocoa
1/3 c milk
4 cups of powdered sugar (you may need to add more. Not too thick, so its pourable, but not too thin, so that it soaks into the cake.
1 t vanilla
1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Bring to a boil all ingredients. Beat well, until smooth and shiny. Stir in walnuts. Spread onto warm cake. Refrigerate to set frosting.

Cake keeps well in refrigerator.


Chocolate Sheet Cake PRINTABLE RECIPE

5.20.2011

Fruit Pizza - Another recipe from the archives

I think I was very late in discovering this wonderful treat!  Once I did, it became a staple at almost every gathering we had.  Then come to find out, everyone I knew had their own "version".  So here is mine, all the subjective yummy components to everyone else's recipes.  


FRUIT PIZZA
1 RECIPE (OR TUBE) OF SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH (My recipe follows)
1 Pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c of confectioners sugar
1/2 carton of frozen whipped topping thawed (I use coolwhip)
1 c of red seedless grapes, halved
3 firm bananas, peeled and sliced thin
3 kiwi fruit peeled and sliced
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved, tops removed
1 RECIPE OF FRUIT GLAZE

Press cookie dough into an ungreased 14 in pizza pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  COOL COMPLETELY!

Usine a medium setting on electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Fold in CoolWhip.  Spread over the crust.  Arrange fruit on top.  Brush fruit with glaze (recipe below).  Chill. 


FRUIT GLAZE
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c orange juice
2 T water
1 T lemon juice
1-1/2 t cornstarch

In a saucepan, bring sugar, oj, water, lemon juice, cornstartch and salt to boil.  Stir constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened.  COOL COMPLETELY. 


SUGAR COOKIE DOUGH
2 c butter softened
4 c powdered sugar (sifted)
4 eggs
3 T lemon juice (fresh)
2 t grated lemon peel
6-1/2 c all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

Using medium setting on electric mixer, cream butter, powdered sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Stir in lemon juice, cream and lemon peel.  In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the flour mix to the butter/sugar mixture.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. 

5.19.2011

Another Archive Re-post - Arlene's Snowstorm Squash Pie

My mother had this pie recipe book - Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook (1965). In it was every recipe for every pie she had ever made, plus all of her changes and adjustments that made them her own. When I moved back to Wisconsin and into the family home (after her death), there, in the house were many of her cookbooks and among those her pie cookbook. All her handwriting and notes and even small cards inside that she had written. I was dumbfounded why it was still there, but glad that this was the inheritance left for me.

Anyone who has ever ate a meal at my mother's house and it involved a pumpkin pie, was fooled. There was never pumpkin in our house - never a can of pumpkin, never a fresh pumpkin cooked and pureed. Not one solitary pumpkin in over 40 years. The secret it out - it was all squash pie. Butternut squash to be exact. She was slow-roasting squash before Ina Garten had even thought of walking into a kitchen. In the fall, the garden would be cleaned out of all the squash, stashed in the garage and then she would start roasting butternut squash and pureeing it. She would then freeze some for later in the winter. But, there would still remain several squash, in a basket, covered with heavy quilts that she would keep, so that she would have them for Thanksgiving. Fresh roasted butternut squash, turned into these luxurious creamy, silky custard pies. Thanks mom. Your love clearly was felt through your food!


Arlene's Infamous Snowstorm Squash Pie Recipe

1-1/2 to 1-3/4 c of roasted, pureed butternut squash
1 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg (can adjust for personal taste)
1/2 t ginger
3 eggs
1-1/2 c cream (can use whole milk, evaporated milk in substitution)
1 t butter, melted
1 unbaked pie shell (recipe for a perfect flaky pie crust will come shortly)

Cut squash in half - scoop out seeds and threads. Place face down onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Roast for about one hour in 375 degree oven.

Scoop out squash from skins and put into food processor. Puree until smooth. Set aside. You will need about 1-1/2 c to 1-3/4 c of pureed squash.

Combine Squash, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger into a bowl. Blend eggs, cream, and melted butter. Add egg mix to squash mix and combine well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. (Deep dish if you have one).

Bake in 400 degree oven 50 minutes or until knife inserted in the center of filling comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold.

5.18.2011

Braided French Onion Bread

I have been making this bread recipe for the past 30 years.  It was the first recipe I ever created on my own and has been a family favorite since.  My girls (in their 20s now) have incorporated it into their repertoire as well.  Enjoy!  It is truly a family tradition.  Make sure to make an extra loaf though....

Braided French Onion Bread ®
1 Pkg Yeast
2 T salt
1-3/4 c warm water
1 c sour cream (room temperature)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 t baking soda
2 T sugar
2 T butter softened
3 eggs (beaten and at room temperature)
6-1/2 to 6-3/4 c flour
Sesame seeds (optional)

Sprinkle yeast and soften with 1/4 c warm water. In large bowl combine sour cream, onion soup mix, baking soda, sugar, salt, butter and 2 beaten eggs). Add one cupe warm water. Mix. Stir in soft yeast until smooth. Now gradually add enough flour to make a soft, smooth dough. Dough will be a little sticky at this point. Flour surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, gradually mixing in enough dough to make soft and smooth. Place dough in greased bowl, sover with damp towel and let rise until double in size (about 1 hour). Punch down, divide into thirds. Roll each section into 15-inch strips. Braid the three sections together and seal ends. Place on greased cookie sheet, cover with damp towel and let rise. Preheat oven to 350, brush with egg wash (remaining beaten egg with 2T water added and mixed). Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and when tapped, loaf sounds "hollow". Let cool.

Braided French Onion Bread PRINTABLE RECIPE

Updating our Recipe Archives

This week, while we set up our photo studio and spend the week testing recipes and taking pictures, we will be re-posting recipes from the old blog. Its a two-fold purpose and the main reason is so that they will be included in the Plucky Housewives Recipe Archives, at your disposal. Enjoy!

5.17.2011

Arlene and Lemon Meringue Pie

Arlene - Getting food ready
Food or the sharing of food is a big part of our family. It is a major component in family tradition. My mom was a "foodie" before the term even came into existence. One of my fondest memories as a young girl/teen was helping my mother bake 12 loaves of bread a week for our family. She would do it on Fridays and the baking would go well into the evening.

With my mother gone now for almost 5 years, my children and I really cherish those memories. She lives on in the messy pages of her pie cookbook, the one where the binding is literally in shreds and now sits in a Ziploc bag to hold it together; or the handwritten notes on the pages of her favorite cookbook, where she changed ingredients or even left notes in the corners to "remember" what worked or didnt work with the recipe. 

She was famous for her lemon meringue pie, with the meringue sometimes as high as 4" and perfectly brown. The lemon custard was sweet, but not overpowering. I still have yet to try it on my own, but I think this is the weekend I will finally do it.  Today, in honor of Mom, we'll start with the lemon meringue pie. Enjoy!

Best-Ever Lemon Meringue Pie

Baked 9" shell
1-1/2 c sugar
1-1/3 c water
1/2 t salt
1/2 c cornstarch
1/3 c water
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 c lemon juice
3 T butter
1 t grated lemon peel
4 egg whites
1/4 t salt
1/2 c sugar



Combine sugar, 1-1/2 c water and salt in saucepan. Heat to boiling.

Mix cornstarch and 1/3 c water to make smooth paste; add to boiling mixture gradually, stirring constantly; cook until thick and clear. Remove from heat.

Combine egg yolks and lemon juice; stir into thickened mixture. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles again. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and lemon peel. Cover and cool until lukewarm.

For meringue: Add salt to egg white; beat until frothy. Gradually add 1/2 c sugar, beating until glossy peaks are formed. Stir 2 rounded tbs of meringue into lukewarm filling.

Pour filling into cool pie shell. Pile remaining meringue on top and spread lightly over filling, spreading evenly to edge of crust.


Bake in slow oven (325 degrees F) about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on rack at least 1 hour before cutting.


Lemon Meringue Pie PRINTABLE VERSION