a spirit of simplicity in the kitchen

a spirit of simplicity in the kitchen

Monday, August 31, 2015

BLT Salad

BLT salad

from Family Circle magazine September 2007

1 pound thick sliced bacon
2 large heads romaine letuce, washed, dried and cut into bite-size pieces
3 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. salt-free seasoning mix (such as Mrs. Dash)
~ Cook backon in a large skillet untill crispy. Drain on paper towels; crumble when cool.
~ Place half of the lettuce in a 14 to 16 cup salad or trifle bowl. Sprinkle half of the tomato pieces and half of the crumbled bacon over the lettuce. Press to compress ingredients.
~ Spread half of the salad dressing over the top. sprinkle with half of the seasoning mix. Repeat layering with remaining lettuce, tomato (reserving some for garnish), bacon and dressing. Sprinkle top with remaining seasoning and reserved tomato. Cover and refridgerate for at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


 Every Halloween weekend when my daughters were young, we would go to a huge Halloween parade

in a town about an hour away. We would visit a friend who lived in the town and we all brought beef stew

in crock pots. Every year I made these cookies!

Now they are little Joey's favorite and when asked what type of cookies he likes the best

he always answers



this is straight out of the Fanny Farmer baking book my mother gave me.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar, plus extra to roll the cookies in
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together the shortening and 1 cup of sugar. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy, then add the molasses. Stir and toss together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, and cinnaon, and add to the first mixture, beating until smooth and blended.
Gather up bits of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands into 1 inch balls, then roll each ball in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and the tops have cracked. Remove from the cookie sheeets and cool on a wire rack.

Just look at all that yummy-ness!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

potato bread or rolls

potato bread

First of all let me say this is NOT my recipe. I don't like to take credit where credit is not due. I got it on line when I googled potato bread.
Second of all, and certainly more important, it is delicious! I made the bread not the rolls. I will try them when I have more time. This will be the recipe I always use for potato bread. It's that good.
  • potato rolls
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes, REAL (leftovers work great!)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • potato bread (FOR BREAD MACHINE)
  • 1/2 cup water, lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey (do NOT add honey if planning to use sugar. Honey is listed here because it should be added with liqu)
  • 1 egg, whole
  • 1 egg, separated, use white only
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, REAL (leftovers work great!)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (do NOT add sugar if using honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (or one envelope)


  1. 1
    If making POTATO ROLLS: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2
    In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Allow the yeast to activate and then mix in sugar or honey.
  3. 3
    Add mashed potatoes, vegetable oil, eggs and salt. Use mixer or bread hooks.
  4. 4
    Add flour one cup at a time stopping at 5 1/2 cups. Slowly add remaining flour until the dough is only slightly sticky to the touch. The dough should be workable but not dry.
  5. 5
    Place in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, or it can sit overnight at room temperature.
  6. 6
    Punch down and then roll dough out on floured surface to 1/2" thickness.
  7. 7
    Use a canning jar ring to cut rolls - should make 30-36 rolls.
  8. 8
    Place on a greased pan and allow to rise till almost doubled.
  9. 9
    Bake in a preheated 350°F oven 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. 10
    If desired, slather outside tops with butter while still warm.
  11. 11
  12. 12
    NOTE: Prep time does not include rise times as they will vary.
  13. 13
    If making POTATO BREAD: Place into bread pan in order as listed above OR as per manufacturer's guidelines.
  14. 14
    Set for 1 1/2 lb. bread loaf and start bread machine.
  15. 15
    Walk away until you hear the "ding" of the bread machine - approximately 3 hours later.
  16. 16
    Remove from pan and slather outside of the loaf with butter while still warm from machine.
  17. 17

Apple Zucchini Bread

Apple Zucchini Bread Recipe

Apple Zucchini Bread RecipePhoto by: Taste of Home Apple Zucchini Bread Recipe 
Since apples and zucchini are so abundant in this area, it's only natural that the two be used together in one recipe. I really don't know the origin of this bread, but I do know it's been one of my favorites for many years.
This makes rather a LOT  of bread -two large loaves or 3 smaller loaves. It is delicious though and though I've never done it, you can freeze it.
We didn't tell Joey it had zucchini in it. We just told him it was apple bread and he loved it. After about his 19th slice, he asked what the little green specks were and I told him it was green apples. 
Some one finally spilled the beans and he now knows there is zucchini in there as well as apples. He just asked for another slice. 
I didn't add the pecans though....let's not get carried away. 

Apple Zucchini Bread Recipe
15 50
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded peeled apples
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans


  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, sugars and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples and pecans (batter will be stiff). Spoon into three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 loaves.

Grandmother bread in the bread machine

Grandmother bread in the bread machine.

I use the machine for the dough only. When it is done doing it's kneading and rising in there I put the dough in a bread pan and finish up in the oven.

1 c warm almost hot water
2 T sugar or honey (for brown bread I use 2 T brown sugar and 1 T molasses)
2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 c oil
3 cups flour (for brown bread I use 1 1/2 c white and 1 1/2 c whole wheat)
1 tsp salt

Place in bread machine pan in order given. Use the dough setting for white bread (unless you're making brown). Let the machine take it through the first rise. After the first rise oil your hands, shape the bread and place in a bread pan coated with cooking spray.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it's over the top of the pan. (Here in TX when it's warm it only needs to rise about 45 mins. During the winter it sometimes takes longer and I usually let it rise in a warmed oven.)

Bake a 350* for 35 mins.

Brush with butter while still warm and wrap in plastic wrap. This steams the crust a bit and makes it tender. Don't slice (if you can help it) until it's cool.