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.

Cookbook Reviews...Betty Crocker Super Moist Cakes

Here's the 2008 Betty Crocker Super Moist Cakes paperback cookbook. 
  The recipes in this booklet all use a mix and are different ways to use mixes to produce great cakes without much time and effort. Well, I guess the effort might not be correct for all the recipes, but still much easier than from scratch.
  I like the flavor and texture of cake mixes and have used them since I was in high school when they first came on the market. I must admit I didn’t make cakes a lot before that. 
  This is one of the few mixes I use on a regular basis and find them economical to use and quite often on sale. Even with the cost of groceries going through the roof, they are still a good buy.  I find that with a basic mix, I can focus on doing something different and suitable to the occasion
  Now, frosting mixes are a different story and I don’t use them and where they are called for in here I will make the frosting by hand. I will give the directions both ways. Many people use frosting mixes and so would like the directions for something different to do with them.
Sue says:  I'm not a cake baker or a mix user as a rule, but Myrna talked me into baking at least 2 recipes from this book; and we did enjoy them.  We think you'll enjoy this book too.

Lemon Ginger Bundt Cake

Chocolate Cupcakes with Penuche Filling

Lemon Pound Cake  Incredibly easy!

Chai Latte Cupcakes

Praline Mini Bundt Cakes

Family Favorites...Green Tomato Salsa


 A good use for  Green Tomatoes on your tomato plants is to make Green Tomato Salsa. I had about 30 green tomatoes. 
I really didn’t want to lose and decided to make some green tomato salsa. 
  This is not out of any of the recipe books we are using as none of the recipes were quite what I wanted. I did not want to can it in case we didn’t like it. Just a recipe for some fresh salsa was what I needed.
  I used several recipes to come up with the recipe I ended up using. It is very good, not too hot and just what I was looking for. If you have some green tomatoes you might want to try this recipe.
Green Tomato Salsa
 5 medium green plum tomatoes 
 1 medium slightly red plum tomato
 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (more if you like it hotter)
 ¼ cup finely chopped onion 
 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 teaspoon coarse salt
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste
 Combine all ingredients and leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours to blend flavors before serving. Store any leftovers in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. 

Pork Bacon Burgers

 When I saw the name of the recipe, "Piggy Burgers", in the Southern Living cookbook I had to cringe. I am going to call mine pork bacon burgers. As I read the recipe it sounded much better than the name so tried the recipe on Lyle and Bettie. I did change it somewhat as I could not find the seasoning blend the recipe called for. Bettie really liked them as she is a bacon fan, Lyle and I thought they were good and a cheaper riff on hamburgers as ground beef has gotten so expensive now. I did mine in the house in a cast iron skillet but on the grill would be good also. Look for a lean mix of ground pork I got mine at the meat counter at our local Fareway Store. Serve with the toppings you would use for hamburgers or bottled barbecue sauce.
Pork Burgers
1 pound ground pork (not sausage)
4 slices thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 teaspoons molasses-bacon seasoning blend (I used bacon and chive)

4 hamburger buns
Favorite toppings


Preheat grill to medium high heat. Combine first 3 ingredients. If using the bacon and chive stir in about 2 teaspoons of molasses with the ground pork.  Gently shape into 4- 4 inch patties and covered with grill lid, grill 5 minutes on each side. Or until pork is no longer pink. Serve on the toasted buns with you choice of toppings.

From the Garden...Broccoli Ham Hot Dish

We liked this recipe…I’ve already made it again.  We liked the simple sauce much better than cream soup.  We did think that a pound of ham was plenty – I do buy good ham without water added which is more flavorful and really needs less to make a dish taste good. 
This is a perfect pot luck or buffet dish.  I simply chopped a couple of heels of homemade bread in my little food processor for the fresh bread crumbs.  I didn’t bother with the cheese on top – it didn’t need it.   If you want a little cheese taste, add some to the sauce before assembling.  
Broccoli Ham Hot Dish
  20        Ounces  Frozen Broccoli
     2       Cup  Cooked Rice or Brown Rice
  6          Tablespoons  Butter -- cubed
     2/3   Cup  Fresh Bread Crumbs -- about 2 1/2 slices
  1          Medium  Onion -- chopped
  3          Tablespoons  Flour, All-purpose
  1          Teaspoon  Salt
     1/4    Teaspoon  Pepper
  3          Cups  Whole or Skim Milk
  1 1/2   Pounds  Ham – cubed  (I used 1 pound)
               Cheddar Cheese -- or Swiss, shredded (optional)
Cook broccoli, drain.  Spoon rice in a 13 x 9" baking pan.  Place broccoli over rice.
Melt butter in a large skillet.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the bread crumbs and set aside.  In the remaining butter, sauté onion until soft.  Add the flour, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until blended, stir in milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.  Add ham.
Pour over rice and broccoli.  Sprinkle with crumbs.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with cheese; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
8 Servings
2013 Cost:  $5.62 or 71¢ per serving if using 1 ½ pounds good ham
I use 2/3 cup rice and 1 1/3 cup water to make 2 cups of rice.
  "Taste of Home Casseroles and One Dish Meals"
Per Serving: 388 Calories; 21g Fat (48.8% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 84mg Cholesterol; 1559mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.

Shrimparoni Salad


I went back to the ‘70’s for this simple shrimp salad from "Creamettes Encore Cookbook 1972".  My husband loved it…his favorite pasta shape, crisp vegetables that didn’t overwhelm the shrimp flavor, and I used homemade Cooked Salad Dressing, which is both low calorie and simple to make, and delicious.
I cooked my pasta, dressing and eggs the evening before and let the shrimp thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  I simply combined everything a few hours before lunch and let it chill until we were ready to eat.
We are both shrimp fans, and the recipe actually called for frozen cooked shrimp, which is the easiest way for us to get our shrimp fix here in the Midwest.  Fresh shrimp simply isn’t fresh here.
I served it with a muffin and fresh Missouri peaches for dessert…great on a very hot summer day.                     
                            Shrimparoni Salad
  7            Ounces  Macaroni -- 2 cups uncooked (I used shells)
  10         Ounces  Frozen Cooked Shrimp -- thawed and drained
  1 1/2    Cups  Celery -- diced
     3/4    Cup  Cucumber -- diced
     1/2    Cup  Cooked Salad Dressing or Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  1           Tablespoon  Onion -- grated or finely chopped
  1           Teaspoon  Seasoned Salt
  1           Large  Egg -- hard cooked, sliced
               Cucumber Slices -- for garnish
               Black Olive Slices -- for garnish
Prepare macaroni according to directions for salad use.  Defrost shrimp per package directions and drain well. 
Combine macaroni, shrimp, celery, cucumber, cooked dressing or mayonnaise, onion, salt and pepper. 
Chill well before serving.
Garnish with egg slices and cucumber slices and olives if desired.
**To hard cook eggs, in small saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover, let stand for 15 minutes (set your timer).  Drain and cover with cold water (I usually add ice to it).
When cool, remove from water and refrigerate or peel and prepare.

6 Main Dish Servings

Sea Island Salad


Here’s an old-fashioned main dish salad adapted from the Creamettes Encore Cook Book 1972.  I’ve had this book that long…and have prepared many of the dishes over the years.  I have modified it to use a 5 ounce can of tuna, since the 7 ounce cans have been downsized to 5 ounces and aren’t available everywhere today (I can still buy them at Costco).  The original recipe used the 7 ounce cans and served 6.
I used homemade cooked dressing and homemade pimientos – excellent!  Notice that all of the ingredients are very available and not too pricey.  The original calls for canned peas.  The Creamettes website has a recipe with this name, but it’s not the same at all!
The recipe says “how to make a salad everybody likes”; I think that’s true!  They also recommend a menu with this salad, buttered carrots with parsley, hard rolls and fudge pie for dessert!
                         Sea Island Salad   
  5         Ounces  Macaroni -- uncooked
  1         Tablespoon  Olive Oil
  1         Tablespoon  Cider Vinegar
     ¾     cup  frozen Green Peas -- thawed and drained
     ¾     cup  Celery -- chopped
  5         ounces  Canned Tuna -- drained
     ½     cup  Onion -- chopped
  3        Tablespoons  Pimiento -- chopped
    ¼      cup Cooked Dressing, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  2         Large  Eggs, Hard-boiled -- sliced
Prepare macaroni according to package directions for salad use.  Drain.
Combine macaroni with peas, celery, tuna, onion and pimiento.  Toss gently with olive oil and vinegar.
Cover and chill several hours or overnight.  Gently mix in salad dressing.  Garnish with egg slices.
Per Serving: 286 Calories; 8g Fat (25.5% calories from fat); 19g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 144mg Cholesterol; 318mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.









Sunday in Iowa...


The buggy parking lot at the Stringtown Grocery north of Kalona, Iowa

Cookbook Reviews...Better Homes and Gardens 1960's Cookbooks


  A cookbook that I use a lot, is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book Gold Souvenir Edition. I bought my copy in 1961 when it was first published. It is in a Gold binder edition, commemorating the sale of 10 million ”Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbooks”. It has the same contents as the 1968 red plaid cookbook which Sue has, I do not have the red plaid for that year. I do have 3 other red plaid cookbooks including the new one published in 2010. 
  I find that I use the souvenir edition first. The newest one has a lot of newer up to date recipes and directions, but I really prefer my older one. I find that if I want to try something different or find a recipe I have not made in awhile, this is the cookbook I turn to. Over the years, it has gotten battered and stained. I hope it lasts as long as I want to keep cooking as the used copies of it are selling for around sixty dollars. Ouch, I think I paid about 10 or 12 dollars for it new. Keep in mind that most of the editions were for several years and when they came out with a new edition, it had several changes in it. 
  Of all the cookbooks published, I think that Better Homes and Gardens have done the best job of staying current with the food trends and staying basic for new cooks and cooks who have been cooking for several years. It's a good basic cookbook that has a place in anyone’s kitchen.  Sue says "Some of our blue-ribbon recipes come from these books!"

Here are recipes from these iconic books:

Oven Barbequed Ribs

Club Chicken Casserole

Molasses Cake Bars

Scrambled Eggs

Blueberry Pie

Wild Rice and Mushrooms

Golden Peach Pie with Canned Peaches

Tossed Egg Salad

Lazy Day Lasagna

Chocolate Crinkles