Grandma Geiger's Chocolate Chip Recipes

My daughter called me today.  Once again, it was for a recipe and one I had not included in their cookbooks.  That always happens!  So as I was typing out the recipe to send to her smart phone, I thought, "what the heck?"  Why have I not put this recipe on the blog.   So, here it is....

Its an heirloom.  She kept a cookie jar full of these at all times, for whenever any of her grandchildren came over.   It was collected by my cousin Todd years ago, when they sat grandma down and picked her brain for all of her recipes.   Ill post her bread recipe next week.  You'll enjoy it, with the handful of this and a spoonful of that....heirloom it is!  This one she wrote down and the original is now mounted and framed and on my cousin's wall.   Pretty special.  Its a tad different from your traditional tollhouse recipe, but it is oh so good.

Grandma Geiger's Chocolate Chip Cookies

¾ c white sugar
¾ c firmly packed brown sugar
½ t salt
2 sticks margarine
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 t soda
2 t vanilla
1- 6 oz bag of chocolate chips
2-1/2 c flour

Cream sugar, salt and margarine.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add flour and soda.  Mix thoroughly.  Add chocolate chips.  Mix. 

Drop by spoons full on cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Check out the Family Favorites

Our new page - Family Favorites has a recipe listed.  Joy's Casserole.  Check it out and enjoy!


Grilled Lamb Chops, right from the farm

I love summer, because I love to grill.  I have pretty much tried everything on the grill, from the traditional burgers, brats, chicken to roasted veggies and even my roasted Roma tomato sauce.

Today, its lamb chops.  We get our lamb from a great local farm, Ruegsegger Farms.  Their meats are fabulous and we have enjoyed helping to support our local farmers.    The lamb chops are lightly rubbed with olive oil and seasonings and grilled, nothing too complicated and simple flavors, so as to not mask the flavor of the lamb! I like to serve the lamb with either a spaetzle or a gnocchi, and a good salad with a glass of ice cold home made lemonade.  I hope you like it!

Grilled Lamb Chops

4 Lamb chops, about 1 inch thick
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Fresh rosemary (optional)
Fresh thyme (optional)
Garlic puree or minced garlic (optional)

Little drizzle the chops (both sides) with the olive oil.  Sprinkle your salt and pepper over both sides.  If you wish, mix the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and minced garlic together.  Rub over the chops (both sides).

Before firing up your grill, prepare your rack with cooking spray (I use Grilling Pam).  This helps the chops to not stick.  Over a hot grill, place the chops, center heat.   Cook for approximately 5 minutes per side; however, this will vary, depending on your grill and the thickness of the chops, so keep a close eye on them.   Turn and leave on the other side for the same length of time.  Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to gather  back into the meat.   Serve warm.

Greek Egg-Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)

Avgolemono Soup
(Greek Egg-Lemon Soup)
8 cups chicken stock 
(use your own homemade or you can buy good chicken stock (not broth) over the counter at your local grocery store.  I make my own, cause I like the added flavors)
1-1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
6 egg yolks (room temperature)
16 oz heavy cream (room temperature)
5 Meyer lemons, juiced 
(should be about 1/4 c of lemon juice, but it all will vary according to your taste)
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

In a large soup pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil.  Add the orzo and cook about 8-9 minutes, until tender.  

While orzo is cooking, in a medium bowl, slightly beat the egg yolks and add cream, whisking until mixed together.  When pasta has cooked, turn off the heat.  Remove 3 c of the broth from the soup pot.  One cup at a time, SLOWLY whisk the stock into the egg/cream mixture to temper the mixture.  (This ensures that when you add the egg/cream mix to the stock, it wont curdle the cream and scramble the egg).   When all three cups have been whisked in, add the entire mix back to the soup pot.  Add your lemon juice.  Bring the mixture heat up close to a boil, BUT DO NOT BOIL.  Taste and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to your liking.  

For this recipe I added more lemon juice and about a 1/2 t of salt and fresh cracked pepper.  I also added about 1 t of fresh dill.   

If you made your own stock and you have chicken left over, add chunks of chicken to the soup for a heartier soup.  


Carson Gulley's Fudge Bottom Pie

When trolling a Facebook group this week about growing up in Madison, a discussion was started about Carson Gulley's Black Bottom Pie.   I had long forgotten about this decadent dessert and was quickly transported back to days sitting in the union, having wandered down with friends just for an excuse to have some of this pie.   I was surprised to see that a large number of people were involved in this "discussion".   I had no idea it had become so iconic.  So I set out to do a little research myself.

I discovered that there is quite a legend as to the origins of the pie and its attribution to Carson Gulley (head chef of UW Madison's residence halls for over 20 years).   A great article was written by Michael Penn on The Life of a Pie and the life of Mr. Gulley.  Follow the link and you can read all about it.  

Something more than just the story of the pie hit me as I was devouring this article.   Julie Vincent, Memorial Union's assistant director of food and retail services makes an astute observation about why this pie, unlike so many other remarkable desserts, continues to receive such notoriety.   She attributes it to "nostalgia".

"The foods we love often represent the traditions we grew up with or the things we grew accustomed to at a particular point in our lives."

I get all tingly when I hear that someone else gets what the food really is all about.   Memories, traditions and love.

So, in honor of dear Carson Gulley and all the others at the UW-Madison Union, Residence Halls, past and present, I present to you what might be a close approximation of that fine dessert.

For more Carson Gulley recipes, the UW Madison Library  has the Carson Gulley Cookbook Collection online.  Browse through and enjoy!

Carson Gulley Fudge Bottom Pie

1 c graham cracker crumbs
¼ c powdered sugar
1/3 c melted butter

Mix crust ingredients.  Press into pie tin and back 5 min at 350 degrees.

2 c milk
1 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
4 eggs, separated
1 T gelatin, softened in ¼ c cold water
1-1/4 oz baking chocolate
¼ t cream of tartar

Heat milk in a double boiler.  Blend cornstarch and half of the sugar together.  Add enough of the hot milk to moisten well, then add to the balance of the hot milk and continue cooking in double boiler.  Beat egg yolks.  Pour some of the hot milk mixture over them, beating well and then add them to the hot milk mixture in the double boiler.  Cook, stirring constantly until thick and smooth.  Add softened gelatin.  Blend well and set mixture aside to cool.

Melt chocolate over hot water.  Take 1 c of the hot custard mix and still it into the melted chocolate and set aside to cool.  When it becomes cool, but not stiff, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar.  When they are stiff enough to bold peaks, add the remaining half-cup of sugar gradually and continue beating until will blended.  Fold beaten egg whites into the cooled vanilla custard mixture.  Now pour the cooled chocolate custard mixture into a graham cracker pie shell.  Pour the custard-egg white mixture over it and refrigerate several hours or over night.  Top with whipped cream and grated sweet chocolate before serving.