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...Baby Beef Liver and Onions

When I worked as a hospital dietitian, whenever we had beef liver on the cafeteria menu, the lines were longer and very few chose the other entrĂ©e choice.  It didn’t matter where we were, Iowa, Minnesota, Georgia or Texas, those folks in the line said “I’m the only one at home who eats liver – so I have to get it here.”  Our local family restaurant serves liver regularly on its “senior” menu – and they prepare it correctly – tender and moist.  Liver was served often when we were kids…nutritious, full of iron and protein, and inexpensive.
I have been making this recipe from “Betty Crocker Cooking for Two” since I’ve been married – it comes out perfectly.  My husband said today – “the liver’s go-o-o-o-od”.  I can only buy it locally frozen in packages that serve 4; he cuts the package in half for me while still frozen.  Don’t overcook liver, it gets tough as shoe leather – I usually find 10 minutes is enough.
Baby Beef Liver and Onions
  2             medium sweet onions -- sliced
     ½         pound  beef liver -- 1/2" slices
                 bacon fat or (lard or shortening)
Peel and slice onions.  Cook in hot bacon fat until golden.  Cover and cook slowly until tender.  Remove to warm plate and keep warm.
Dip the slices of liver in flour.  Brown in hot bacon fat.  Season.  Cook over low heat 10-15 minutes, turning once.  I add a tablespoon or 2 of water before covering.
Serve hot, topped with onions.
2011 Cost:  $1.31 or 66¢ per serving
Per Serving: 204 Calories; 5g Fat (20.3% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 402mg Cholesterol; 86mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable.

Dark Cherry Ice Cream

  I made a different flavor of ice cream today. I saw the original recipe online and adapted it to suit us. It does not make a large amount, about a quart and a half but that is fine when it is a flavored ice cream instead of vanilla. We eat ice cream all year long, so I will try this with frozen cherries also.
  I bought fresh sweet dark cherries at the store. Bettie requested nuts in it and so it has Pecans and milk chocolate pieces and pieces of cherries added at the end. I did change from all heavy cream as even though I would like it, the rest think that is too rich, feel free to use all heavy cream if you would like to.
Dark Cherry Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ pound of pitted cherries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup chopped milk chocolate, ¼ cup chopped pitted cherries
  In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and milk, sugar and pinch of salt over low heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  In the jar of your blender, add the 1/2 pound of cherries and about ¼ cup of the cream, milk mixture and blend until very smooth. Place a sieve in a large bowl and pour the puree through it, discarding the pulp. Push on the pulp to get out all of the juice. Add the remaining cream, milk mixture along with the vanilla to the bowl and mix until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  Churn the mixture in the bowl of your ice cream maker, according to the machine’s directions. At about the last 5 minutes add the nuts, chocolate and chopped cherries. 
Serve immediately for soft serve or transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

Make it Yourself...Hard Cooked Egg Recipes

Want to usethose great hard cooked eggs?  Here are two of our favorite recipes, classic, ever-popular Deviled Eggs and the perennial Eggs a la King.
Myrna and I agree, this is the recipe for deviled eggs – from our mother’s Better Homes and Gardens 1946 cook book.  They disappear quickly at any meal, potluck or picnic.  To prepare them ahead, store the filling separately and fill them just before serving.
 Mom's Deviled Eggs
  6           Large  Eggs -- hard cooked, halved
  2 -3      Tablespoons  Mayonnaise -- or cooked dressing or miracle whip
  1           Teaspoon  Vinegar
     1/2    Teaspoon  Salt
               Dash  Pepper
     1/4    Teaspoon  Paprika
     1/2    Teaspoon  Dry Mustard -- or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Halve hard cooked eggs lengthwise; remove yolks and mash with remaining ingredients.  (The amount of dressing depends on the size of the egg yolks - start with the smaller amount.)  Refill egg whites.
This fills most "egg plates".
"Better Homes &Gardens Cook Book 1946 section L, page 5"
Yield:  "12 Egg Halves"

Eggs a La King
This dish is one of my husband’s favorites – simple and quick.  I’ve been making this dish all the years of our marriage.  You can also eliminate the peas and/or mushrooms if desired for plain creamed eggs.  Serve this on toast, hot biscuits, waffles or cornbread.   (The photo is over split, toasted corn bread muffins. Use it up!)                        
 Eggs a La King 
4        large  Eggs -- hard cooked
  3        tablespoons  Butter
  3        tablespoons  Flour, All-purpose
  1 ½    Cups  Milk
  2        teaspoons  onion flakes
  1        teaspoon  dill weed
  4        ounces  frozen peas -- thawed and drained well
  4        ounces  Canned Mushrooms – drained
  2       tablespoons chopped pimiento
            Toast, biscuits, waffles or cornbread           
·       Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 15-16 minutes.   
·        Meanwhile, make white sauce from butter, flour and liquid.  Add seasonings, and thawed peas and drained mushrooms.
·        Peel eggs while hot, save a yolk for crumbled topping, chop remaining eggs in large chunks and gently stir into sauce.  Heat through.
·        Serve over buttered toast, biscuits, waffle or cornbread. 
·        Or, poach eggs until yolks are firm.   Meanwhile, make white sauce, etc.  Chop poached eggs and gently stir into sauce.
    4 Servings     Yield: 2 ½ cups

Serve with pickles and relishes and fruit for dessert.

Or use your eggs in Myrna's Classic Potato Salad Recipe Here  

Garden Pepper Salad

I like salads like this one for outdoor eating or carrying to potlucks or picnics.  They don’t wilt.  This is a great way to use your garden peppers and tomatoes.  As you can see from the photo, I didn’t have yellow peppers in the garden, but I did have both red and yellow cherry tomatoes for color.
My husband especially liked the dressing.                     
Garden Pepper Salad
  3              large  Green Peppers -- thinly sliced
  3              large  Red Peppers -- thinly sliced
  3              large  Yellow Peppers -- thinly sliced
  18              each  Cherry Tomato -- halved
     1/4           cup  Onion -- finely chopped
  3        tablespoons  Cider Vinegar
  3        tablespoons  Olive Oil
  3        tablespoons  Honey
  1         tablespoon  Dijon Mustard
     1/4      teaspoon  Salt
     1/4      teaspoon  Garlic Powder
     1/4      teaspoon  Celery Seed
     1/8      teaspoon  Crushed Red Pepper Flakes -- optional
Combine vegetables in a large bowl.  Shake dressing ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat.  Serve
  "Everyday Light Meals "
Per Serving: 63 Calories; 3g Fat (38.9% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 52mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Ginger Garlic Noodles

Fresh Basil from my pot for the garnish

  Do you buy the noodle sides that are available in the stores? If so, this is a recipe for you. Everyone thought they were excellent and I thought they were easier to make than the noodle sides in the envelopes. Lipton comes to mind, though I know there are other brands out there.
  The recipe from Taste Of Home Winning Recipes calls for Linguine but Lyle and Bettie like noodles so much better that I thought I would use them. I don’t know how it could taste any better and be any easier to make. While the noodles cook, you do the rest of the dish and add the noodles to the pan. About 10 minutes start to finish. I made half of the recipe and it served 2 people and there is enough for lunch tomorrow. 
  I am going to post the recipe as I made it, if you want the larger version just double it.
I did use dried basil even though I had fresh as it would be quicker and seemed to fit the recipe. The amount of butter though it seemed like a lot, was just right when it was put together.
Ginger Garlic Noodles
6 ounces uncooked dry egg noodles
2 green onions finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
½ teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup butter
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste
  Cook dry noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions, ginger, garlic, basil and cayenne in butter for 3-4 minutes or until onions are tender, Drain the noodles; add to the skillet and toss to coat with the butter sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings

Sunday in Iowa

Hay bales in the big city...last year this field was in soybeans.
In a busy area in West Des Moines between hospitals and big insurance companies.

Family Favorites...Home Canned White Potatoes

I have only been canning potatoes a few years; we like them and I can quickly make any dish that calls for cooked potatoes.   I can them in wide mouth jars…it keeps them from breaking up when they are removed from the jar.  I like to can them in larger chunks, about the same size.   I can slice them when I open the jar if I wish, and they stay nice and firm.  I often save the liquid and use it in my bread baking instead of plain water.  It adds moisture retention to your bread and feeds the yeast – our mother always used potato water for bread baking.                  
Home Canned White Potatoes
  5            pounds  White Potatoes -- quartered 
     3/8     cup  White Vinegar 
  2 1/4     quarts  Water -- for soaking
  2 1/4     quarts  Water -- for heating potatoes
  2 1/4     quarts  Hot Water -- for filling jars
              Salt for jars
Quantity: An average of 5 pounds is needed per canner load of 7-8 pints if quartered and potatoes are of a good size – you will need more if the potatoes are small or you make a smaller dice or slice. 
Quality: Select small to medium-size mature potatoes of ideal quality for cooking. Tubers stored below 45 °F may discolor when canned. Choose potatoes 1 to 2 inches in diameter if they are to be packed whole.  I often use medium Russets from the grocery when they are on sale and they can successfully.
Procedure: Wash and peel potatoes. Place in vinegar solution to prevent darkening. If desired, cut into cubes. Drain. Cook 2 minutes in boiling water and drain again. For whole potatoes, boil 10 minutes and drain. Add ½ teaspoon per pint or 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Using a slotted spoon, fill washed, hot jars with hot potatoes and fresh hot water, leaving 1-inch headspaceDO NOT OVERPACK WITH POTATOES. Remove air bubbles.  Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and process in a pressure canner ONLY.
White Potatoes:  Pints 35 minutes and quarts 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure up to 1000’ above sea level.  Process at 15# pressure over 1000'.
  • (Do not over pack with potatoes, they will swell up some and be out of the water when cooled).  Having them above the water level darkens the top potatoes; it doesn't hurt their taste.
  •  Potatoes can be soaked in 1/3 cup vinegar to 2 quarts of water for up to 4 hours - keeps them white and cuts the starch.  Salt water works, not quite as well.
  • Using fresh hot water for the final pack helps reduce starchiness in the jars.
  • Wide mouth jars help keep the potatoes from breaking up when removed from the jar.
  • Winter 2011:  Cost with sale priced 89¢ per 5# potatoes:  13¢ per jar.  Store brand canned potatoes cost 68¢ each at the same time.  Each pint makes 2 servings.
From The Practical Produce Cookbook
Some ways I use home canned potatoes:
1.  Heat, drain, add a little heavy cream or sour cream, heat just until thickened and serve.  Garnish with a little snipped chives or parsley.
2.  Drain, slice, brown in skillet in a little butter - you can brown onion and peppers first, then add potatoes and have home fries.
3.  Use in potato soup or chowder.
4.  Heat, drain, mash, adding back some of drained liquid and some powdered milk and butter.
5.  Use in any soup, add 10 minutes before done - like vegetable soup, bean soup, stew, corn chowder, etc.

Quinoa Garden Salad

Myrna gave me some quinoa, and our daughter-in-law, Michelle, likes it as a substitute for rice, so used this recipe and modified it to suit our tastes.  We did like it too; we’ll be using up the rest!                    
Quinoa Garden Salad for 2
     1/3      cup  Quinoa
     1/2      Cup  Tomato -- diced
     1/2      Cup  Cucumber -- diced
  2             Tablespoons  Onion -- diced
  1             Ounce  Cheddar Cheese -- diced
  1             Slice  Summer Sausage -- julienned
                        Italian Vinaigrette
  1             Tablespoon  Olive Oil
  1             Tablespoon  Red Wine Vinegar
     1/8      Teaspoon  Garlic -- minced
     1/8      Teaspoon  Italian Seasoning -- crushed
    1/16     Teaspoon  Cayenne
     1/8      Teaspoon  Sugar -- or honey
Rinse quinoa in wire mesh strainer.  Pour into 2 quart saucepan and add 3/4 cups water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until quinoa absorbs water.  Remove from heat and cool.  Fluff with a fork.
Combine remaining ingredients in bowl.  Add cooled quinoa and Italian Vinaigrette and toss.
  "1 pint"

Per Serving: 281 Calories; 17g Fat (52.5% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 23mg Cholesterol; 242mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 3 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.