Category Archives: Recipes

As promised I will share my Killer Brownie recipe from my husband’s family. I have to admit I am a recipe collector! I not only have numerous cookbooks but I also have several recipe boxes full of recipes I’ve collected over the years. The first recipe I asked for was in grade school, I asked my best friend’s mother for her macaroni and cheese recipe. It was something I don’t remember my mother making and I thought it was delicious! Since then my collection has grown. I’ve mentioned before the collection of family recipes that my mother-in-law gave me when I was engaged.

recipes, cookbooks, collections

Well loved recipe collection.

It is a wonderful collection of delicious and well-loved recipes. When my grandmother-in-law passed away I inherited her recipe box. What a treasure, this brownie recipe originated from the recipe box but was also passed along in the collection of recipes from my mother-in-law. I will pass it along to you.

brownie recipe, recipe boxes

Original Recipe

recipe box, recipes, prudent living

Gram's Recipe Box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killer Brownies

2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
½ cup butter
2 squares of Bakers Chocolate (semi-sweet)
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ tsp vanilla

Melt the butter and chocolate over hot water. In a bowl, beat the eggs till light add the sugar and continue to beat. Add chocolate mixture, then flour, baking powder and salt. Then add vanilla. Spread in a 8×8 pan and bake 325 for 25 minutes or until done. I’ve also baked this recipe in a pie pan for brownie pie.

I then made a basic cream cheese frosting and spread it over the brownies (I doubled the recipe for the brownies). Once the frosting was spread I sprinkled on some of the crushed candy canes. What a delicious treat!

candy canes, brownies

Candy Cane Brownies

frosting, homemade, cream cheese

Basic Cream Cheese Frosting

I also made the Peppermint Sauce, which despite its bright pink color is delicious. Poured over vanilla ice cream I can enjoy the taste of peppermint stick ice cream year round! This recipe is very easy and can be made in a matter of minutes. If you missed the link here is the recipe:

peppermint sauce, prudent living

Peppermint sauce ingredients

Peppermint Sauce

1 ½ cups crushed peppermint candy canes
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème (fluff)

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and the candy is melted, stirring occasionally. (I left some of the candy bits un-melted)

peppermint sauce, ice cream topping

Stir until melted.

marshmallow creme, peppermint candy

Combine ingredients in a pan.

Pour into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Serve warm over ice cream or cake. Makes three cups.

ice cream topping, peppermint candy canes

Bright pink Peppermint Sauce.

I wonder how many people end up with a pile of leftover candy canes after Christmas? I know we do. For some reason everyone likes to have them hanging on the tree but they never seem to get eaten up. I was looking at the pile of candy canes the other day and thought there has to be a way to make use of them rather then throw them out. After spending a little time on the computer I found numerous ideas!

candy, peppermint, frugal tips,prudent living

Leftover Candy Canes.

1. Stir them in your hot chocolate.
2. Use them to stir your tea.
3. Add them to a milkshake.
4. Break off the hooked end and dip the straight piece in melted chocolate.
5. Crush them.

peppermint candy, candy canes

Crushed Candy Canes.

crushed candy, frugal tip

Put the candy cane pieces in your blender.

The last idea had so many uses that I decided that’s what I would do. I took all of our candy canes and put them in the blender and made sugar cane sugar! This sugar can be used in many ways.

candy, peppermint, crushed candy canes

My container of candy cane sugar.

1. Ice Cream Sprinkles (I love this idea, Peppermint Stick Ice Cream is my favorite)
2. Cake Sprinkles
3. Cupcake Sprinkles
4. On top of whipped cream in your hot chocolate
5. Sweeten your hot tea
6. Sweeten your hot chocolate
7. Use the sugar in recipes

Use them in recipes, what an idea! I found all sorts of recipes that you could use the crushed candy canes in.

Here are links to just a few:

1. Candy Cane Fudge
2. Peppermint Four Layer Cake
3. Chocolate Peppermint Bark
4. Peppermint Ice Cream
5. Candy Cane Brownies
6. Peppermint Meringues
7. Candy Cane Cheesecake

What did I do with our candy cane sugar? First I made Candy Cane Brownies, I didn’t use the recipe mentioned above but I will share the recipe I used this Friday, it is a recipe passed down from my husband’s grandmother’s recipe box. I also made some Peppermint Sauce. I’m hoping it will remind me of peppermint stick ice cream! I’ll let you know.

This blog is a part of the Frugal Tuesday Tip!

home cooking, chicken

Ingredients

This recipe originally came from the cookbook Bouquet Garni, a cookbook published by the alumnae of Mount Holyoke College in 1978. It is a collection of recipes from the alumnae and is full of delicious meal ideas. Parmesan Chicken has been a favorite for years, I love this recipe because you can mix up the crumb mixture and just keep it in your freezer. You can use just what you need for the number you are feeding. Once your chicken is defrosted you can put together a delicious meal very quickly. This recipe is good enough for company! The recipe says the crumb mixture is good on fish although I’ve only used it on chicken.

Parmesan Chicken

1-2 pounds of boneless chicken
½ cup butter
2 cups bread crumbs (seasoned work well too)
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup chopped parsley
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika

Melt butter in a small pan. Combine remaining ingredients. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumb mixture and place in a shallow greased baking pan.

chicken, homemade

Chicken before baking.

bread crumbs, seasoning, prudent living

Seasoning mixture can be stored in the freezer.

Drizzle butter that is left over the chicken. Cover with foil.

aluminum foil, chicken

Foil Covered Chicken

Can refrigerate till ready to cook. Bake ½ hour at 350 degrees covered; uncover and continue baking for an additional ½ hour. Bake until the chicken is tender.

chicken, parmesan

Dinner's Ready!

Leftover crumbs store well in the freezer. Mixture can also be used on broiler-fryer chickens that have been cut up and skinned.

Several months ago I took part in a Raw Dairy Processing Class, the description of the class intrigued me, “Learn how to make delicious soft cheeses, yogurt and butter in your own kitchen! Get acquainted with using butter molds and adding herbs, or other flavors to your final product. With simple instruction and good quality raw milk, it is an easy and exciting activity adding delicious artisanal treats for any occasion.” The class was held on a farm where they raised cows, heritage turkeys, pigs and had large gardens. The house was off the grid yet you never would have known.

Learning to make yogurt was so much fun and very easy. I always thought you needed special equipment. Other than the culture you don’t need any special equipment and the yogurt you can make at home is so tasty! I purchased my yogurt culture from www.cheesemaking.com. You do not need to use raw milk to make yogurt, you just do not want to use the ultra high pasteurized milk.

homemade yogurt

Only two ingredients needed.

Here are the simple directions. Pour ½ gallon of cold milk into a heavy stainless pot for heating. Heat the milk to 185 degrees and then hold it there for 10-20 minutes. This will prepare the whey proteins, which are largely responsible for the thickening of the yogurt body. Set the milk pot directly on the burner and begin heating with careful stirring to prevent the scorching of the milk. Cool the milk as quickly as possible to your target temperature for inoculating the yogurt (116 degrees F). When the milk reaches the proper temperature for inoculation, it is time to add the direct set yogurt culture. The culture will be a mix of Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus bulgaricus plus and probiotic additions the culture may contain.

yogurt making, prudent living

Cool to 116 degrees F

temperature, yogurt, prudent living

Hold the mixture at 185 degrees.

Incubate the cultured milk for the required time. This can be done easily by pouring your cultured milk into containers and placing those containers inside an insulated cooler. Pour warm water (116 degrees F) into the cooler so that your container lids are just an inch or so above the water line. This “water bath” will maintain the temperature so that the appropriate bacteria will thrive and populate. The time of incubation is about 8-10 hours for most yogurt cultures. Place the yogurt in the refrigerator when the incubation is complete.

making yogurt, yogurt, prudent living

Cultured milk in cooler, water up to lids

yogurt, culture

Cultured milk was poured into two quart jars.

I inoculated my milk, poured it into glass jars and placed them into my cooler. I added the warm water, put the lid on the cooler and let it sit on the counter for 10 hours. Before going to bed I placed the yogurt in the fridge. In the morning I had two containers of plain yogurt ready to enjoy! I have always preferred flavored yogurt but I find this yogurt to be delicious. If you want, feel free to add fruit to flavor it yourself.

yogurt, homemade

Finished product.

This blog is linked to Frugal Tuesday Tip.

After making my first batch of laundry soap I decided to look into making our own liquid hand soap. We don’t go through it that quickly but I figured I should look into it as it might be cheaper to make some myself. To my surprise it is rather easy. I did a bit of online research and decided to give it a try.

This is all you need to make your own liquid hand soap:

homemade soap, liquid glycerin, prudent living

The ingredients for liquid hand soap.

Cheese grater
2 Tbsp of Liquid Glycerin (I didn’t have any on hand but a good friend gave me some)
One 8oz bar of soap
1 gallon of water

The first step is to grate the bar of soap.

handmade liquid handsoap, prudent living

Grate your bar of soap.

Fill a pot with 1 gallon of water and add the soap shavings.

Add 2 Tbsp of liquid glycerin to the pot and turn the heat to medium-high and stir until the soap dissolves. At this point it pretty much looks like soapy water.

liquid handsoap, prudent living

Looks like soapy water to me!

Leave it alone to cool for at least 10-12 hours. It begins to cloud up after 3-4 hours.

homemade liquid soap, prudent living

Water finally begins to cloud up.

After it has cooled completely, around 12 hours later it will thicken and look like liquid soap. If it is thicker than it should be you can take some beaters and blend it while adding just a bit of water until the consistency is more like liquid soap.

For the cost of a bar of soap and some liquid glycerin you now have a gallon of liquid hand soap. Now you can refill your bottles of liquid soap. In a cute dispenser this would make a great handmade gift!

homemade liquid hand soap, prudent living

Success, a gallon of liquid hand soap.

 

Eating healthier and making good choices – good goals for the New Year. I am really enjoying the book I received for Christmas called Eating Well in Season – the Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Now that our farmers’ market is re-opened after all the flood damage from Irene I can enjoy their wonderful produce. This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found in the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

1 tsp olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into one inch pieces
¾ tsp salt
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp paprika
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup white wine
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (reduced sodium)
1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped (about 8 cups)
1-15oz can cannellini beans rinsed

kale, tomatoes, beans, onions, pork

Ingredients for the soup.

Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven. Add pork, sprinkle with salt and cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs, leaving juices in the pot.

homemade soup, prudent pantry, prudent living

Cooking cubed pork.

Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring often until just beginning to brown, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Ad wine and tomatoes increase heat to high and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a boil.

Add kale and stir until it wilts. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in beans, the reserved pork and any accumulated juices; simmer until the beans and pork are heated through, about 2 minutes.

beans, homemade soup

Beans ready to be added to the soup.

Serves 6.

homemade soup, kale, prudent living

Pork, bean and kale soup, delicious!

 

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