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...Watergate Salad

When I saw this ‘70’s salad in the “Library of Family Favorites" I immediately remembered buying it at our grocery deli back when, and everyone enjoyed it.  There were 3 contributors of this recipe which attests to its popularity.  The earliest printed recipe for this salad was in the Washington Post, November 13, 1975, according to Foodtimeline.Org.  Kraft published a similar recipe, without the Watergate name, when they brought out Pistachio pudding mix in 1975. 
It’s very, very simple to make, so we enjoyed it for lunch today, after I stopped by the store to purchase the ingredients.  Were I going to make this more often, I would look for the ingredients on sale.  However, it cost $3.99 for ½ this amount of similar salads at our grocery deli today, so 5 minutes of mixing saves a lot; and you know when it was prepared and how it was stored.  I can't believe I was ever willing to pay so much more to buy it premade.
It is a light, refreshing dessert-salad; excellent for pot lucks or entertaining when you don’t want to fuss and you want make something most folks will eat.                  
                             Watergate Salad
  1          box (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix  
  20        ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
  1 ½      cups *thawed Cool Whip® (1/2 of an 8 oz. carton)
     ½      cup  pecans or other nuts
  1          cup  miniature marshmallows

Fold dry pudding into whipped topping.  Add pineapple and juice, marshmallows and nuts.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
*Cool whip can be thawed 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Contributors:  Angela Fisher, Lori Rogus, Wanda Kline
2015 Cost:  $3.11 per quart recipe
Yield:  "1 quart"

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

 Bettie’s favorite quick bread has always been Lemon Poppy Seed. Well, she now has a new favorite. This Orange Poppy Seed Bread is really, really good. Easy to make as all quick breads are, it will be one of your new favorites also.
 If you can find them, Valencia Oranges will give you more juice than a Naval Orange. Our local Fareway store has them sometimes. Most are sold to large companies for orange juice. Sure wish I could buy them all year round.
 Do let the bread stand wrapped in plastic wrap overnight and it will be moist and slice neater. All quick breads are better this way. 
We had some sliced with butter, sliced with cream cheese, and just sliced and eaten plain. It was, according to my tasters, good all ways. I will make this many times. Thanks Taste of Home for a great recipe.
Poppy Seed Orange Bread
Yields: 2 loaves
3 cups all purpose flour
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, orange zest, vanilla extract and almond extract; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
 Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. 
 A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature of the bread should be 200° when done.
 Cool in pans. In a saucepan bring glaze ingredients to a boil. Pour over bread in pans. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to finish cooling.
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon butter flavoring Optional

Make it Yourself...Real Fettuccini Alfredo

Fettuccini Alfredo is my absolute favorite way to use fresh pasta. This is a 15 minute dish – most of time is heating the water to cook the pasta. Perfect for company – you can make it at the last minute. Even my picky grandson loves it.
This is my take on the “Joy of Cooking” recipe. No expensive cream cheese or additive laden cream soup. It’s so easy to make and tastes so good I couldn’t believe it! Serve it plain as a side dish or add what you have to make it a new main dish every time.
Fettuccini Alfredo
Serves 4
6 ounces Basic Egg Pasta (or 4 ounces dry fettuccini)
4 tablespoons Butter
½ cup Heavy Cream
2 ounces Parmesan Cheese -- freshly grated - divided
   pinch Nutmeg -- optional
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice -- optional
• Cook the noodles al dente; about 6 minutes from frozen, until tender and not rubbery.
• Melt butter in skillet over medium heat (do not brown).
• Drain the pasta (do not rinse) and add it to the skillet along with heavy cream and HALF the cheese. Toss over low heat until pasta is well coated. Add lemon juice and nutmeg if desired.
• Serve immediately, topped with remaining cheese.
Cost: about $ 2.10 per recipe or 53¢ per serving without additions.
Per Serving: 414 Calories; 29g Fat (62.9% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 26g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 162mg Cholesterol; 619mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 5 Fat.
Some suggestions for main dishes:
With Ham and Peas
5 Ounces Frozen Peas -- optional
8 Ounces Ham -- julienned, optional
If ham and peas are desired, defrost the peas in the colandar and pour the drained noodles over them; sauté the ham in the butter.
With Chicken, Mushrooms and Asparagus
6 Ounces cooked chicken, diced
6 Ounces asparagus, lightly cooked
Mushrooms, sauté in butter and maybe a little cognac
With Broccoli and Chicken Sausage
6 Ounces Frozen Broccoli -- cooked
2 Each Chicken and Apple Sausage Links – cooked and sliced
Mushrooms, sauté in butter and maybe a little cognac

Orange Zested Chicken Breasts

 I am trying to use more boneless skinless chicken breasts in our meals. This is far from being my favorite piece of chicken and so I try to find recipes that will cook quickly and keep them moist and yet still browned.
 This recipe form Betty Crocker’s web site is quite good. The chicken stays moist and cooks quickly. We did not feel it had enough orange flavor however, and will add more grated orange peel and about a tablespoon of fresh orange juice the next time I fix it.
 If you like the flavor of orange this is a good place to start, adjusting the flavor to suit your families tastes.
Orange Zested Chicken Breasts
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon or more grated orange peel
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (optional)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
 In a small bowl, mix seasoned salt and garlic powder.
 In a 10 inch nonstick skillet, heat butter and orange peel over medium heat until butter is melted. Add orange juice if using. Add chicken; sprinkled with salt mixture on all sides. Cook about 15 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken runs clear when slit with a sharp knife (170°
Makes 4 servings
Nutrition Information
1 serving Calories 190 Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 270mg; Total carbs 0g, Sugars 0g
Maybe vary if adding orange juice

Honey Glazed Pea Pods and Carrots

I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe…it’s just sweet enough, and the color and taste are excellent. My husband thought we need to have this again and I agree.  I was looking for one more recipe to use some sugar snap peas when I found this one.  You can substitute frozen pea pods too.
 I used my mandoline to slice the carrots.   
Another winner from the Land O Lakes folks.  Their recipes are well-thought out, with clear directions that are right on.                    

Honey Glazed Pea Pods and Carrots
     3/4  Cup  Water
  2        Cups  Carrots -- diagonally sliced 1/4"
  8        Ounces  Pea Pods -- or 12 ounces frozen
  3        Tablespoons  Butter
     1/2  Teaspoon  Cornstarch
  2        Tablespoons  Honey
Bring water to a full boil in 2 quart saucepan.  Add carrots and cook over medium heat, covered, until carrots are crisply tender (10-12 minutes).
Add pea pods and continue cooking 1-2 minutes more.  Drain and set aside.
In same pan, melt butter; stir in cornstarch.  Add carrots, pea pods and honey.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 2-3 minutes more.
6 servings
"Land O Lakes Treasury of Country Recipes"

Per Serving : 109 Calories; 6g Fat (46.7% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 78mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Sunday in Iowa...

Our neighbor's Spring bulbs, popping out after a few warm days.  
We are also celebrating 5 years of blogging this week. 

Family Favorites...Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Tea Bread

We like Poppy Seed Bread, and I didn’t really have a good recipe for it, so I tried this one from “Land O Lakes Treasury of Country Heritage Meals & Menus".  This recipe was a real hit with my husband – moist, tender and very, very good.
 I added the half-recipe version (you can use 2 small eggs); or split your large recipe between two pans (like 8 ½ x 4 ½” loaf pans) and bake for less time if you wish.  You can have a bread to keep and one to share.   This freezes well.             
                    Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Tea Bread
6 Cup Bundt Pan
12 Cup Bundt Pan
    ¾      cup  Sugar  (5 ¼  ounces)
  1 ½     Cups  Sugar  (10 ½ ounces)
     ½     cup  Butter -- softened
  1         Cup  Butter -- softened
  1 ½     large  Eggs (or 2 medium eggs)
  3         Large  Eggs
     ¾     teaspoon  Almond Extract
  1 ½     Teaspoons  Almond Extract
     ¾     teaspoon  Vanilla Extract
  1 ½     Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
  1 ½     cups  Flour, All-purpose (6 ¾ ounces)
  3         Cups  Flour, All-purpose  (13 ½ ounces)
     ¾     cup  Milk
  1 ½     Cups  Milk
     ½     tablespoon  Poppy Seeds
  1         Tablespoon  Poppy Seeds
     ¾     teaspoon  Baking Powder
  1 ½     Teaspoons  Baking Powder
     ¾     teaspoon  Salt
  1 ½     Teaspoons  Salt
             Powdered Sugar
             Powdered Sugar
Bake 35-45 minutes
Bake 50-65 minutes
Heat oven to 350°.  In large mixer bowl, combine sugar, butter, eggs, extracts.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
Add all remaining ingredients except powdered sugar.  Continue beating until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).
Pour into greased and floured 12 cup Bundt pan or 10 inch tube pan.  Bake for 50 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 
*(If using a half-recipe, use a 6 cup Bundt or loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.)
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool completely; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
16 Servings

Oven Fried Chicken

Both Sue and I recommend the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks. They are good for the beginning cook and the experienced cook. The Cooking for Today Chicken Cookbook has a range of chicken recipes from simple to a little more complex. This recipe for Oven Fried Chicken caught my eye as it used cracker crumbs for the breading. I have breaded fried fish often with cracker crumbs but not chicken. 
 We all enjoyed it and it was simple to do and once it is in the oven you are free to do other things. This is well worth your time to try it.
Oven Fried Chicken
1 beaten egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers (about 28)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
½ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon pepper
2 ½ to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and drumsticks
2 tablespoons butter melted
 In a small bowl combine the egg and milk.  In a shallow dish combine the crackers, thyme, paprika and pepper. Set aside
 Skin chicken, Dip chicken pieces on at a time, in egg mixture, then roll in cracker crumbs mixture.
 In a greased 15x10x1 inch or 13x9x2 inch baking pan arrange chicken so the pieces don’t touch. Drizzle chicken pieces with the melted butter.
 Bake in a 375°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until the chicken pieces are tender and no longer pink. Do not turn the chicken pieces while baking. Makes 6 servings

Per Serving: 253 calories, 24 g. Protein, 10 g. Carbohydrate, 12 g. Fat, 296 mg. sodium