Who can find a worthy woman? For her price is far above rubies.......She looks well to the ways of her household. Proverbs 31:10-27
We're sisters who like to cook and bake, talk cooking and baking, and share recipes and kitchen wisdom.

Family Favorites...Hawaiian Sweet Bread

I have seen recipes for  Hawaiian Sweet Bread before, and for sale in the grocery, but hadn’t tried it.  This recipe is from the "The Taste of Home Baking Book ", and makes three loaves, enough for gifts.  I made one loaf with an egg wash and a little coarse sugar on top – my son and grandson took it home with them - and the others plain.  Slightly sweet, it’s good plain or toasted, and freezes well.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread
  7 1/2   Cups  Flour, All-purpose
     3/4   Cup  Potato Flakes
     2/3   Cup  Sugar
  4          Teaspoons  Instant Yeast -- 2 packages
  1           Teaspoon  Salt
     1/2    Teaspoon  Ground Ginger
  1          Cup  Milk
     1/2   Cup  Water
     1/2   Cup  Butter -- softened
  1          Cup  Pineapple Juice
  3          Large  Eggs
  2          Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
In a large mixer bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, yeast, salt and ginger.  In a saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter and pineapple juice to 120°-130°.  Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened.  Beat in eggs until smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Change to dough hook and knead 6 minutes or knead by hand 5-8 minutes.
Cover, let rest in warm place about 10 minutes.
Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface, divide into thirds, about 1 1/2 pounds each.  Shape each into a ball.  Place in three well-greased 9" round baking pans.  Press down into a 6-7" circle.  Cover, let rise until doubled, 20-25 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  "Three 9" Round Pans"

Nacho Biscuit Pizza

 I picked up a Better Homes and Gardens booklet at our local book sale, and it had a recipe that reminded me of the Pizza I used to make back in the late 50:s and early 60”s. The recipe was from 1975 so it was a little more up to date than what I was remembering. My family are fans of Nacho Pizza so this recipe was going to be just right for them. I also had some biscuit mix that I wanted to use up.
 Everyone thought it was very good, the crust was crisp and thin and we topped it with the toppings they like. You could use the crust and make the filling of your choice which is what I am going to try next time. 
Nacho Pizza
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup water
1 4-oz. can diced green chile peppers, drained
2 Tbsp. envelope taco seasoning mix or homemade seasoning
½ to 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
2 cups packaged biscuit mix
½ cup cold water
1 15 oz. can refried beans
1 cup shredded American cheese or cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
Toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, green or black olives, crushed corn chips)
Taco Sauce if desired
 Preheat oven to 450°. In large skillet cook ground beef until brown. Drain well. Stir in the ½ cup water, the chile peppers, taco seasoning mix and chili powder. Simmer uncovered, about 15 minutes or until thick. 
 While this is simmering, generously grease a 14 to 16 inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons cornmeal.
 In a medium bowl stir together the biscuit mix and the ½ cup cold water with a fork until it comes together. With floured fingers, pat dough into the bottom and up edge of prepared pan. Spread refried beans over dough. Spoon meat mixture over beans. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and bake a few minutes longer just to melt cheese.

 Slice and let everyone top with their favorite toppings and taco sauce.

From the Garden...Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans

Here's a way to use beans in this delicious, pretty and nutritious casserole - it bakes while you prepare a salad.  If you have big appetites, serve cornbread or French bread too.   Choose your favorite beans, cheese and “heat” in your Tomatoes with Green Chilies to make it your own.    We used the chicken, but I suspect you wouldn’t even miss it.   We used our home-canned black beans in this favorite, along with garden onion, peppers, tomatoes and carrots.           
 Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans
  10         ounces  Yellow Rice Mix  (recipe below)  1           cup  Onion -- chopped
     1/2    cup  Green Bell Pepper -- chopped 
     1/2    cup  Carrot -- chopped
  1           Tablespoon   Olive Oil
  2           cups  Cooked Chicken -- cubed
  15         ounces  Black Beans, Canned – drained and rinsed
  10        ounce can  Tomatoes With Green Chilies -- undrained
  8           ounces  Monterey Jack Cheese -- grated
Preheat oven to 350°.  Prepare rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, saute onion, bell pepper, and carrot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium heat 10 minutes or until tender.
Combine hot cooked rice, onion mixture, chicken, beans, diced tomatoes and chilis, and 6 ounces cheese in a large bowl.  Spoon into a lightly greased 3 quart or 13 x 9" baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
8 Servings
 "Southern Living Our Best Casseroles"

If you don’t have or don’t want to use the Yellow Rice Mix, perhaps to reduce sodium, here’s a recipe to make your own.
                        Rice Mix
  1           Cup  Rice
     1/4    Teaspoon  Turmeric
               Speck  Cayenne
     1/8    Teaspoon  Garlic Powder
     1/2    Teaspoon  Onion Powder
  1           Tablespoon  Dried Green Pepper
  3           Teaspoons  Chicken Base
  2 1/2    Cups  Water
  2           Tablespoons  Butter
To Make Rice Mix:
Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Add the mix. Sauté the rice and seasonings for a few minutes, until the rice is toasty, and begins to turn opaque. Add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible flame. Simmer, covered for until done, or for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Raisin Bran Bread

I found this delicious, nutritious bread recipe in the "Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cook Book" published in 1963.  I have modified it to use instant yeast and a simplified mixing method; I also found it didn’t need to bake as long as the original recipe called for.  When I made this for the photo I split the dough, making a plain raisin-free loaf for our breakfast toast, and braided the raisin loaf, but still baked it in the pan.  I use 4” x 10” loaf pans because we like nice square smaller slices. 
To scald milk, heat it in a saucepan until it starts to form bubbles along the sides, about 82° with an instant-read thermometer.  When you braid your loaf, pinch the ends together with the center rope of dough on top, to get a nice-looking end, and braid loosely so the bread can have room to rise.  To read more about making fast-rise yeast breads, CHECK HERE.  Remember, you can also make this recipe by hand too, the way I did for years.
This bread was a hit at our house; my husband doesn’t ordinarily like raisin bread, but he thought this version was excellent, and he liked the raisin loaf the best.  It’s good to have another recipe to help use up a box of All-bran. 

                            Raisin Bran Bread
  1 3/4    Cups  Milk -- scalded
     1/2    Cup  Water
  1           Cup  All-bran® Cereal -- (2 ounces)
  2           Tablespoons  Lard -- or shortening (1 ounce)
  2           Tablespoons  Molasses
  1           Tablespoon  Brown Sugar -- packed
  1 1/2    Teaspoons  Salt
  1           Package  Instant Yeast
  1 1/2    Cups  Raisins -- 8 ounces (3/4 cup or 4 oz. per loaf)
  5 1/3    Cups  Flour -- (1# 8 ounces) approximate
Scald milk and water.  Stir cereal, fat, molasses, sugar and salt into milk and water, cool to 120-125°.
Add 2 cups of flour and then the yeast to bran mixture; beat 2 minutes with paddle attachment or by hand.
Add raisins and remaining flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead 6 minutes with a kneading attachment or by hand.
Let rise 20 minutes, covered, in a warm place.
Punch down and shape into loaves for greased 8 1/2 x 4" or 4" x 10" loaf pans.
Loaves with raisins weigh about 1# 12 ounces, plain dough weighs 1# 8 ounces. 
If braiding raisin dough, each rope weighs about 9 ounces each.
Let rise until doubled, covered, in a warm place (about 30-35 minutes) preheating your oven while your loaves are rising.
Bake in a hot 400° oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 375° and bake for 20 minutes more or until loaves reach 200° with an instant read thermometer.  (You may need to cover loaves with tented foil if they are browning too quickly.)
Brush with butter and cool on a rack.

2016 Cost:  $1.65 per loaf

Chunky Peanut Butter Bread

Here’s a tasty, easy bread that’s perfect for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as well as toast or just enjoying with a meal.  My husband really liked this…it’s great just buttered!  We also tried it with chicken salad sandwiches…very good.
Instant yeast makes it fast…only a 10 minute rest before shaping into loaves.  Because it’s a little richer dough, the second rise is a little longer.   Use your scale to measure your flour and to size your loaves so they bake evenly.   I used water from the canned potatoes we had for lunch for the liquid; the bread was really moist and tender.    Our Mom always did that…use it up.               
For information on making fast-rise breads in your mixer CHECK HERE.   Remember, you can also make this recipe by hand too, the way I did for years.
                    Chunky Peanut Butter Bread
  4             cups  all-purpose flour – (18 ounces 1# 2 oz.)
     1/3      cup  sugar
  2             envelopes  instant  or RapidRise Yeast  
  1             teaspoon  salt
  1             cup  milk
     1/2      cup  water (or water from canned or cooked potatoes)
     1/3      cup  peanut butter
     2/3      cup  chopped peanuts
Combine 1-1/3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and peanut butter until very warm (120° to 125°F). Gradually add to flour mixture.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add 1/2 cup flour and peanuts; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes (or change to a dough hook and knead 6 minutes on speed 2).    Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 2 equal portions; (about 1#  4 1/2 ounces each).   Shape into loaves and place, seam side down, in 2 greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pans.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.  (I used 10" x 4" loaf pans).
Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.   Cover loaves lightly with foil if they start to get too brown before they are done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.
Yield:  "2 loaves."


Sunday in Iowa...

This 1961 "Metropolitan" was parked in the parking lot at the local market...not at a car show, while the owner shopped.
They were produced by Nash from 1953-54 to 1961-62 as a second car for the lady of the household for shopping, etc., one of the first subcompacts on the market.

Family Favorites...Shrimp and Grits

My husband and I lived in both Texas and Georgia, and grew to love Southern food.  We loved everything about this dish from "Southern Living".  Bacon, shrimp, cheese, chives, grits…oh, my.  
Cheese grits are so popular in the south I had many hospital patients there who asked for them when they were lacking in appetite – comfort food just like Mom made, and our cooks made those cheese grits just like their Mom's. 
This recipe is easy and good, doesn’t need to go in the oven, and has just the right amount of cheese, and is just a little special…perfect.   I made this with the heavy cream, but the next time I used half cream and half whole milk, and the grits were a little thinner, as we like, and just as good.  We enjoyed it as a light supper too.              
                             Shrimp and Grits
  16         Ounces  Unpeeled Medium Size Raw Shrimp* -- cooked
  3           Slices  Bacon -- chopped
  1           Medium  Onion -- finely chopped
  2          Teaspoons  Garlic -- mashed
  2           Cups  Chicken Broth -- low sodium
  1           Cup  Water
  1           Cup  Heavy Cream (or whole milk)
     ½       Teaspoon  Salt
     ¼       Teaspoon  Ground Red Pepper
  1           Cup  Grits -- quick cooking, uncooked
  4           Ounces  Cheddar Cheese -- extra sharp, shredded
               Fresh Chives -- chopped
Peel and devein shrimp (if needed).  Set aside.
Cook bacon in a 3 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in saucepan.  Crumble bacon.
Sauté onion in hot drippings over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add chicken broth, water, heavy cream or milk, salt and red pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, and whisk in grits.  Cook, stirring constantly, 7 to 8 minutes (I used 5 minutes) or until mixture is smooth.  Stir in shrimp and cheese and cook 1 to 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
Sprinkle each serving evenly with bacon and garnish with chives.
*Frozen uncooked unpeeled medium sized shrimp, thawed, may be substituted.
6 Servings

Per Serving: 349 Calories; 23g Fat (60.0% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 77mg Cholesterol; 617mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 Fat.