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.

Fresh Apple Cake


 Sue’s booklet Prize Winning Apples has this recipe for Fresh Apple Cake.
Since I had some apples on hand, this was our afternoon coffee snack. Lyle will always eat cake and Bettie will have a small piece. The rest will go with her to the office for her boss to eat tomorrow. 
  This is a fairly spicy cake. If you wanted too, you could leave out the allspice, but we like that flavor so I left it in.
  The raisins and apples make for a moist cake, and no frosting which we all like. The cake is not heavy, even though it is moist and the texture is very good. All in all, a very simple and delicious cake.
   I used golden raisins and pecans as that is always on hand in our house. No one likes regular raisins and I have to hide the golden raisins to have any to bake with. Either works and I would use what ever nuts you have on hand. Not  salted nuts however.
Fresh Apple Cake
1 ¾ cups coarsely chopped peeled apples
1 cup sugar
1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped nuts
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting cake
  Combine apples and sugar in a large mixing bowl; let stand for 10 minutes. (I sprinkled the apples with a half teaspoon lemon juice so they would not brown) 
  Meanwhile sift flour with baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, set aside. Blend oil and slightly beaten egg into the apples. Stir in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the raisins and nuts. 
  Spread evenly in a greased 8 x 8 square pan. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove and when cool, sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Sunday in Iowa



This creative "Iowa"-style house sign is located on a corner yard in Unionville, Iowa (population 102)

Family Favorites - Jellied Chicken

Myrna and I have been debating who would get to make “jellied chicken” for the blog.  We both have fond memories of it being served at one of her wedding showers – it’s an excellent dish for “ladies’ luncheons”, especially in Spring or Summer, but my husband says “Men like it too!”    Usually recipes for this are large, at least a 13x9” pan, so I had to make this version from "Betty Crocker Cooking for Two", it’s only 5 servings.  Notice the low calories!  Really good broth is the secret to the success of this dish, I used Myrna’s recipe.  This is a good recipe to use home canned chicken too.
The cookbook suggests this menu:  Jellied chicken, potato chips, baby lima beans, yeast rolls, fresh fruit in season, brownies.  We had it for lunch with homemade lard biscuits, green peas and orange custard for dessert.
                             Jellied Chicken
  1         tablespoon gelatin -- (1 envelope)
  1 ¼     cups hot chicken broth
  2         cups cooked chicken -- cut up
     ½     teaspoon salt
Soften gelatin in 2 tbsp. cold water.  Dissolve in hot broth.  Cool until thickened  Add chicken and salt.
Pour into oiled 9 x 5 x 3" loaf pan.
Chill until set.  Unmold on cold platter.  Serve cooled, with mayonnaise, if desired.
Garnish with olive slices, or parsley bouquets, radish roses, tomato wedges, or lettuce hearts.
Yield:  "3 cups"
Per Serving: 99 Calories; 3g Fat (24.2% calories from fat); 17g Protein; trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 258mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Cheesecake Supreme


Blueberry sauce poured on before serving
  I usually make cheesecake using the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe, but it is quite rich and I was looking for a lighter cheesecake to use up some blueberry topping I had made for another recipe. This recipe is light and yet rich enough and turned out great. I had one small crack but as I was serving it with the blueberry topping poured on it didn’t show. In this case I used blueberry topping I had made and just poured on each slice when I served it. You can serve it plain or with any fruit topping you like.
  Cheesecake Supreme
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
6 tablespoons butter
1 slightly beaten egg yolk 
¼ teaspoon vanilla
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
¼ cup milk
 Fruit topping of your choice
 Using a crumb crust of your choice, I used a graham cracker crust, chocolate cookies, or vanilla wafers work well also. These have recipes on the boxes of the crumbs, (saves making crumbs).
Cooling in pan
  For the filling: In a large mixer bowl beat together the softened cream cheese. Lemon peel and vanilla till fluffy. Stir together the 1 cup sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour and the salt; gradually stir into cream cheese mixture.
Add the 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk all at once, beating at low speed just till combined. Stir in milk. Turn into crust-lined springform pan wrapped in foil to prevent leaking. 
  Bake in a 450° oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°; bake for 50 to 55 minutes more or till center appears set and a knife inserted half way in from side comes out clean. Center should be jiggly yet. 
  Cool 15 minutes; run a sharp knife around the sides of pan and loosen side of pan and cool for 30 minutes; remove sides of pan. Cool about 2 hours longer. Chill thoroughly. Top with your favorite topping. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Make it Yourself...Omelettes

We think the best omelets are oven-style…perfect for making them for a group for brunch or Sunday morning breakfast.  Here are two of our favorites…
From Sue -
This is a nice brunch dish from the “Land O Lakes Flavors of Spring" cook booklet.  It’s an easy way to fix eggs without the last minute rush.  Do check the dish before the shortest time so your eggs aren’t overcooked.                    
 Cheese and Mushroom Oven Omelet
  2        Tablespoons  Butter
  8        Ounces  Fresh Mushrooms or 4 oz. canned
  1/3     Cup  Milk
  6        Large  Eggs
  2        Tablespoons  Flour, All-purpose
  1/8     Teaspoon  Pepper
  6        Ounces  Cheddar Cheese -- shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  6        Slices  Bacon -- cooked and crumbled (1/4 cup)

Heat oven to 350°.  In 10" skillet, melt butter; add mushrooms.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender (4-6 minutes).  Drain.  Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine milk, eggs, flour and pepper.  With wire whisk, beat until frothy.  Stir in 1 cup cheese, bacon and mushrooms.
Pour egg mixture into buttered 9" square baking pan; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set in center.
6 servings
2014 Cost:  $4.62 or 77¢ per serving
Per Serving: 286 Calories; 22g Fat (69.2% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 259mg Cholesterol; 394mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 3 Fat.
From Myrna-
This is one way we enjoy eggs. I find it much easier than making one for each person.
We do however disagree on how long it should bake so I am giving a range of baking time. I prefer the shorter time and Bettie likes it a little firmer. I would start with the shorter time and than add more if needed.  The recipe came from Kraft. 
Bacon Omelet Roll with Salsa
prep time 20 min
total time 36 min
makes Makes 8 servings.
what you need!
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1 red pepper, finely chopped
8 slices Bacon, cooked, crumbled
3 green onions, finely chopped *
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 cup 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Salsa, warmed
make it!
HEAT oven to 350ºF.
LINE 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends extending over shortest sides of pan. Spray with cooking spray.
BEAT eggs, milk and flour in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 14 to 16 min. or until edges are almost set. Top with cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted.
ROLL up omelet immediately, starting at one short end and peeling off paper as omelet is rolled. Place on platter; cut into slices. Serve with salsa.
I have used Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning instead of onion and oregano
You can change or add ingredients as you like (Ham instead of Bacon, some green pepper)


Grilled Iowa Pork Tenderloins

My husband’s brother Don gave us some tenderized pork steaks from their last butchered hog. 
In Iowa, they are most often breaded and deep fried and draped over a bun and served as “tenderloin sandwiches”, but some restaurants also serve them grilled.  Many restaurants here make their reputation on their tenderloin sandwiches, the bigger the better.  John grilled these with his favorite marinade; absolutely mouthwatering.                  

Grilled Iowa Pork Tenderloins
     ¾    Pound  Tenderized Pork Steaks
     ¼    Cup  Brown Sugar
  3        Tablespoons  Apple Cider Vinegar
  2        Tablespoons  Dijon Mustard
  2        Sprgs  Fresh Thyme
Combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard in a plastic bag.  Add cutlets and coat with marinade.  Add sprigs of thyme and seal bag.  Marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Drain, grill over medium heat about 10 minutes.

Serves 2

Brunch Oven Omelet


  Made an excellent recipe tonight. The Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook had a recipe for a Brunch Oven Omelet. I am not very good at omelets. That is a understatement as they usually are so bad that I have given up trying to make them.
Just out of the oven
  I do believe that I have now found the answer to that problem. While I don’t know that I thought they were quite the same as an omelet, they were excellent. The recipe is for 12 servings and I cut it in half for us and we have a few pieces to heat up for breakfast tomorrow. Melting the butter in the dish in the oven was just right also. When I first took the dish out, there was a little butter standing on top, but it disappeared within a few seconds and it was not at all greasy.
  I would certainly serve this to a group of people. So easy and everyone can eat at the same time.It would be good for breakfast, or brunch.
  I left the onion out and sprinkled Swiss cheese on the top just before it came out of the oven. That was very good, and you could put anything you would put in an omelet in with the eggs. If I was going to use onion or peppers, I would saute them a little before adding just to be sure they were done. The timing and temperature were just right in my oven and they were soft and very good texture. Served with sausage links and toast it was a great supper on a cool weekend. We really enjoyed this dish. 
  Of course, having fresh farm eggs makes a difference also. Bonnie brought them down from the farm this morning.
Brunch Oven Omelet
Prep 10 min.  Total time 45 minutes  Makes 12 servings
¼ cup butter
So good
18 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 ½ teaspoons salt (if using salty cheese I would cut back on the salt)
4 medium chopped green onions
Chopped fresh parsley for a garnish
  Heat oven to 325°. In 13 x 9 baking dish, melt butter in oven, tilt dish to coat bottom.
  In large bowl, beat eggs, sour cream, milk and salt with fork or wire whisk until blended. Stir in onions or other add ins. Pour into pan.
  Bake in 325° for 35 minutes, till set but still moist. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese if desired. Yum!
1 serving: calories 200; Total fat 16 grams; Cholesterol 340 mg; Sodium 530 mg; Carbohydrate 3 grams 

Sunday in Iowa



This Hanging Bridge is located in Columbus Junction, Iowa. 
The first bridge was built in 1886, and this one in 1922, 
it is about 260 feet long, suspended from steel cables.