Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

  In an ongoing quest for vegetables that all of us will eat this recipe for Brussels Sprouts caught my eye. I have always liked them and Lyle will eat about any vegetable though these are not one of his favorites. Bettie just plain doesn’t like veggies.
 Well, after trying this recipe I think that I can safely make it again as all of us liked them. What’s not to like about anything sautéed in browned butter? The fresh lemon juice perks up the flavor and helps with them not tasting too much like cooked cabbage. The sliced and sauté directions are easy and fast to fix so if you do a meal like I did with baked potatoes and meatloaf you only have to do the sprouts at the end.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil (I used all butter)
12 sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced (if frozen thaw part way before slicing)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

 Heat butter and oil in a skillet until butter is melted and starting to brown. 1 to 2 minutes. Stir sprouts and lemon juice into butter and cook; stirring constantly until sprouts are just heated through and starting to soften about 1 to 2 minutes. If using frozen they will take a few minutes longer ,3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve, pouring any melted brown butter left in pan over the sprouts

Steak and Potatoes in Foil

 Years ago I used to make foil packet meals. My kids really liked them and I liked the few dishes that were dirtied this way. After seeing several on the internet I thought I would make one for us. In an effort that I am making this year, I used things from the freezer and odds and ends I had on hand. 
 It turned out well, and I will make again but I didn’t make the packet flat enough so it took a little longer to cook through. You can also make this in individual packets so each person has their own. Just remember to open them away from you so you don’t get burned on the steam. Use any combination of vegetables and meat you have on hand. The next time I am going to use the same vegetables and smoked sausage instead of the Sirloin steak. We thought the vegetables were excellent with this meal.
Steak and Potatoes in Foil
8 ounces boneless beef top sirloin (or meat of your choice)
½ package of frozen stir fry vegetables (16 oz package) Ours had onion, peppers, broccoli and green beans
2 medium potatoes peeled and cut in chunks 
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
If using frozen vegetables still frozen no liquid needs to be added
 Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine all ingredients in bowl, having the steak sliced in thin strips or small pieces. 
 Place beef mixture in center of foil sheet (about 24 by 12) for one packet or make individual packets. Double fold sides and ends of packet to seal, leaving head space for heat circulation. PLACE PACKET ON BAKING SHEET.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Let set for 5 minutes to allow potatoes to finish cooking. Carefully open one end of packet to allow steam to escape.

Sunday in Iowa...

This silo is part of the grounds at Mooney's Hollow, a country music venue near Green Island, Iowa
Thanks, Dave, for the photo

Cookbook Reviews...Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book

I love the Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book, published in 1973.  It is one of the first cookbooks I purchased when I started canning on my own after we returned to the Midwest from living in Germany.  I also had a Kerr book, purchased that first year as well. 
I found plenty to can in this book; I still use many of the recipes, modified, however, to meet current guidelines.  I no longer add flour to my beef stew recipe, and now I water-bath my jams and jellies instead of turning over the hot jar or using paraffin, for example.  That said, the recipe combinations are first rate.
This book also includes freezing recipes, and a section of recipes for using your canning efforts that are very good.
We have weighed and measured meats and produce and give those measurements for you, but remember they are guidelines only.  I always have an extra jar and an extra half-size jar ready “just in case” I don’t have enough or have too much.  The weights and measurements are intended to help you be “in the ball park” when prepping your food.
As always, check out the guidelines and helps under our “canning” section.  We hope you will find something new to try if you’re an experienced canner and perhaps be inspired to start canning if you don’t already.

Check sites like Amazon for this book that's still available used; or flea markets and thrift shops.

Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cook Book 1973

Home Canned Pears

Home Canned Beef Strogonoff

Home Canned Beef Stew

Home Canned Bean Soup

Home Canned Meatballs

Family Favorites...Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

This recipe was on the cover of "Bake Sale Favorites" – I had all the ingredients in the pantry – it was my birthday the day I first made this - we had to try it.  The frosting wasn’t quite enough for frosting the sides, center and top of a layer cake – it certainly could be frosted simply between the layers and on top.  Still plenty of frosting and less caloric too.  I decorated mine with a few chopped nuts.
This is one of the better homemade cake recipes I have tried – moist and chocolaty but not bitter.  It took me 15 minutes from preparing my pan to getting it in the oven.  The method was very simple – I heated my water in the microwave right in a measuring cup.  (Use a 2 cup measure so it doesn't boil over.)
Check your cake at least 5-10 minutes early.  If it has pulled away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.  Over baking makes a drier cake.
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
  2             Cups  Sugar
  1 3/4      Cups  Flour, All-purpose
     3/4      Cup  Cocoa -- Hershey
  1 1/2      Teaspoons  Baking Powder
  1 1/2      Teaspoons  Baking Soda
  1             Teaspoon  Salt
  2             Large  Eggs
  1             Cup  Milk
     1/2      Cup  Salad Oil
  2             Teaspoons  Vanilla Extract
  1             Cup  Boiling Water
  6             Tablespoons  Butter
  2 2/3      Cups  Powdered Sugar
     1/2      Cup  Cocoa -- Hershey
     1/3      Cup  Milk
  1            Teaspoon  Vanilla Extract
Heat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour two 9" round baking pans.
In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water.  (Batter will be thin.)
Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks.  Cool completely. 
For frosting, beat butter.  Blend in powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating well after each addition until smooth and of spreading consistency, blend in vanilla.  Add additional milk, if needed.
If desired, bake in a 13 x 9" pan for 35-40 minutes, cool completely in pan.
10 Servings
2016 Cost:  $3.74 or 38¢ per serving.

Washington Apple Cake

 We are having a good year for apples and the price is good so I have been baking with apples this fall. This recipe for a bundt apple cake uses a cake mix and is not a spice type cake. It does have some cinnamon in it, but not the main flavor. With the sour cream, and pudding mix it comes out moist and of course the apples help with that. I think you could cut back on the apple amount if you wanted to though everyone here thought it was fine with that many. It does call for Granny Smith apples but I used up what I had which was one Granny Smith, one Braeburn and one Johagold. Turned out just fine. Easy to make and really the only amount of work is peeling and chopping the apples. 
Washington Apple Cake
 2 layer size yellow cake mix
3.4 to 4 oz. box vanilla flavor instant pudding mix
4 eggs
⅔ cup water
½ cup oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup sour cream
1 pound Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium apples) peeled, coarsely chopped
For glaze
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream 
1 tsp water if needed
Heat oven to 350°F.
Beat all ingredients except apples in a large bowl with mixer until blended. Stir in apples; pour into greased and floured 10 inch tube pan or 12 cup bundt pan.
 Bake 1 hour to a hour 5 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
 Cool cake in pan 15 minutes. Invert cake onto wire rack; Gently remove pan. Cool cake completely.

 Whisk powdered sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 teaspoon of water if needed until blended; drizzle over cake. Let stand until glaze is set.

From the Garden...Cheesy Coleslaw Mold

Our mothers liked molded salads like this for Sunday or company meals because they could be unmolded, decorated, and refrigerated on a tray until ready to serve, a couple of hours ahead of time. They can also be served on the plates on a tray on the buffet table.  
Molded salads like this make a cool, pretty start to a meal.  
This one is simple to make, pretty to look at and tastes good, both cool and crunchy.  Garnishes are best when they echo some of the ingredients of the dish, like mayonnaise and shredded cheese here.   This is a case where you can use “diet” ingredients successfully too.
I poured mine into custard cups and unmolded them, you can also pour into a shallow dish and simply cut into squares to serve.  I spray my molds with cooking spray.               
Cheesy Coleslaw Mold
  3          Ounces  Lime Gelatin Powder
  1 1/2   Cups  Boiling Water
  2           Tablespoons  Vinegar
     1/3   Cup  Mayonnaise -- or salad dressing
     1/2   Teaspoon  Salt
              Dash  Pepper
  1          Cup  Cabbage -- chopped
     1/2   Cup  Carrot -- chopped
     1/2   Cup  Sharp Cheddar Cheese -- shredded (2 ounces)
     1/8   Teaspoon  Celery Seed
              Lettuce Leaves
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in vinegar.  Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper; beat smooth with a rotary beater.  Chill until partially set (with the consistancy of unbeated egg whites).
Fold cabbage, carrot, cheese and celery seed into gelatin.  Pour into 6 individual molds.  Chill until firm.
To serve, unmold salads onto lettuce lined plates.
6 Servings
"Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step by Step Cook Book"
Per Serving : 189 Calories; 14g Fat (61.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 14mg Cholesterol; 351mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Apple-Coconut Coffee Cake

Fall and winter are my favorite times to bake. Everyone is ready for a heartier dessert and something with apples really hits the spot in my family. While usually it has to be pie, once in awhile they will settle for apple coffee cakes. This one has coconut in the batter but unless you know it is there it just enhances the flavor without a overpowering coconut taste. 
 Not hard to make, and it stays moist from the apples. Try to slice them about the same size slices so they bake evenly.  I used Gala’s as that is what I had on hand, but we felt a tarter apple would be better. The sugar cinnamon topping caramelizes and becomes golden brown. Cover with foil if getting too dark.
Apple-Coconut Coffee Cake
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk or half and half
½ cup flaked coconut
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 (about 4 cups) tart apples cut into ¼ inch thick slices
34 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F.
 Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk starting and ending with flour. Beat well after each addition.
Stir in the vanilla and coconut by hand.
 Spread half the batter in a well greased 9 inch round pan. Place half of the apple slices on the batter, top with remainder of the batter and than the apples.
 Combine the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the top.
 Bake at 375°F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. It will be moist but should not have crumbs. If top is browning too fast cover loosely with foil.

 Serve plain or with whipped cream.