Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flashback Friday ~Family Heirloom

This week's Flashback is very special to me. While visiting my family in Louisiana we stopped in to see my Auntie Gussie. She is my Dad's only sister and never married. She lived with my grandparents most of her life and she and my grandmother were bakers and cooks extraordinaire! They cooked three meals and day and desserts too. There was always something yummy on the stove, in the oven or on the table when you arrived at their house. Christmas time was over the top with so many goodies it was hard to sample them all.

My visit happened to correspond to my brother's birthday and since I knew he'd be there as well, I made a Banana Cream Cheesecake for him - combining two of his faves. Because of this the conversation turned to baking and recipes. One thing led to another and before we left Auntie had given me a little book where she kept clippings and handwritten recipes.

I was so thrilled and honored! She has always been one to share good recipes with friends and family but this was over the top for me :-) I don't want to be stingy with these recipes and plan on sharing many here. I had twinge of guilt when I was able to go through the pages and I saw the inscription in the cover. My cousin Ray also loves to cook and has a blog of his own with his wife Peggy, Cappy and Pegody's World. Lil Ray...if you read this - we can share okay? Love ya and thanks for giving Auntie this cookbook to fill in.

In side are recipes written on the pages, magazine and newspaper clippings and my favorite of all - the recipes written on whatever was handy.

Some of the recipes on the pages I recognize as things Auntie made many times - like Date bars. Some are recipes I recognize as things other family members made many times like my grandmothers Hot Ziggerty Nut Bars. It was hard to decide what to make first, but I settled on this recipe for Old Fashioned Tea Cookies which I thought might be a version close to my Grandmother on my other side's and I do think it's close except my MaMa Nezat used more flour and rolled them flat.

The end product was fluffy, soft and old fashioned. The kind you'd love to fill your cookie jar with~

I also took some photos of some old photos while there, so I could have a copy too including this old one of my Auntie and Uncle Ray - Lil Ray's Daddy. She has it in a frame that says Po' Folks! Weren't they cute?

Old Fashioned Tea Cookies - as written

2 cups sugar
2 sticks oleo
4 eggs
4 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
2 tsp vanilla

Mix in order given, beating each egg in well. Then add other ingredients. Roll out to 1/4 inch . Cut out as desired or in long strips. Bake in preheated oven (350°) about 15 minutes. Makes about 7 dozen. Note in parentheses after: I don't roll mine out. I drop from teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten out with a glass dipped in sugar. (Suzy's note - I followed the directions in the parentheses!)

If you have a flashback of ANY kind that you'd like to share, please add your link below.

I'm joining in this week for
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Don't forget about the Ice Cream Social I host every July - this year the weekend of the 16th & 17th. Any Ice Cream related posts are welcome. Here's a link to the previous years Socials.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chocolate Overload

It was one of my work buddies birthdays on Monday and I know how she (and I think every single one of my coworkers and boss) loves chocolate so I set out to make the chocolatiest cake I could. After it was all said and done the birthday girl declared it the best chocolate cake she'd ever had and dubbed it the Matilda cake. Having never watched Matilda I had to check the scene out on You Tube. Its a good thing she told me she liked it before I saw the video! :-) I do believe she meant it as a compliment.

Matilda Cake for Shannon

Start with your favorite chocolate cake. I cheated and used Betty Crocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix (for maximum chocolate overload), prepared as directed with an extra egg and 1 tsp baking powder added.

Chocolate Frosting

1 cup cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 pkg milk chocolate chips
1 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, cut into one tbls pieces

Heat cream with corn syrup and salt on stove until simmering. meanwhile, chop chocolate in food processor. with processor running add simmering cream slowly and process for one minute, until choc is melted. add powdered sugar and vanilla and process again. Then, with processor running, add butter one piece at a time, waiting until the piece is incorporated before adding another. cool until thick and spreadable. For a lighter, more buttercream-frosting, beat with an electric mixer before spreading which is what I did. Frost between layers, sides and top of cake which has been split to make 4 layers. Freeze cake for about 15 minutes then pour cooled put pourable ganache on top.

Chocolate Ganache
2 cups semisweet chocolate chip
1 cup cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine chocolate chips, heavy cream, butter and vanilla. Heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Cool down until no longer warm - you can put in fridge - but you want it to still be pourable for icing the cake. If you don't use all of it you can keep in fridge to use later for something else.

Come join me for a virtual Ice Cream Social the weekend of July 16th & 17th. Share your favorite ice cream recipes, memories, photos, products, dishes, etc! Or just come and drool! Here's a link to previous socials.

Joining in today for Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace and
Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer (my poppy counts!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mosaic Monday ~Summer Pinks

Joining in this week for Mosaic Monday over at Little Red House. Have a great week!

Hope you join me in a couple of weeks for the Ice Cream Social! Click HERE to check out the past years Socials.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flashback Friday ~Late Spring and a New Angel

I didn't mean to be gone for so long. Life gets in the way! For a Flashback I thought I would show whats been going on in my yard the past month I've been away. Spring was long, wet and chilly and due to some late frosts plenty of things were lost or set back. But time marches on and things begin to bloom to spite all of that ickiness!

The columbines are just about finished but they were beautiful!

And so were the Pacific Coast Iris

The Poppies were very bright....

My Lewisiia is still blooming by the bubbling rock

More irises..

The clematis is a favorite but I'm not sure of its name

The blue geranium mixed with the sweet woodruff was really pretty

And Blue Ravine clematis which is a similar color is growing nearby.

The blooms on the Lady's Mantle are unassuming, but I love how the raindrops hang on the edges of the leaves. Click the picture to get a closer view.

This Mountain Bluet is more of a purple color

The forget me nots are just about done now, but boy were they pretty this year - they are my spring weed of choice!

Another blue geranium

And Multiblue Clematis - lots of blue in the spring!

Big lollipop allium with California poppies in the rear

Here's an evening shot of some of the ginormous hostas

Its not all blue though...these pink columbine were extra sweet.

And the rhododendron bloomed with the bleeding hearts this year

Azaleas and more forget me nots

And this cute little saxifage

And finally one of the main things in my garden that I look forward to every year...The lilacs! Can you smell them??

Finally...a sadder Flashback and tribute to my sweet Mother in Law Darleen, who passed away June 1st. She was a beautiful person with a fun loving spirit and will be sorely missed. I'm sharing my favorite recipe of hers and possibly my very favorite cookie ever.

Darleen's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

Beat shortening, then add sugar, then eggs. Add and stir in peanut butter. Mix in rest of ingredients. Rolls in balls and pressed with a fork. I bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. Let them cool for a couple of minutes on the pan the remove to a rack to cool. Makes 5 dozen very delicious cookies. To me they are the peanut butter equivalent to a Pecan Sandie which is a very high compliment in my book.

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