Friday, April 29, 2011

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I thought I would finish up my celebration of strawberries by posting my favorite way to have strawberries (other than eating them plain!)...over pound cake!  

This pound cake comes from my friend Pam Sim’s mother Ruby Irby.  It’s easy and the only “special” ingredient is cream cheese.  Instead of a tube or Bundt pan, you can pour the mixture into 2 loaf pans (this is great for sharing!  Keep one and give one away or give both away).   And if you love the old fashioned "crust" on a pound cake, this is the cake for you!

8 ounces cream cheese, softened 
3 sticks margarine, softened (I use Imperial) 
3 cups flour, plain or cake (I use plain) 
3 cups sugar 
6 eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla   

Cream margarine and cream cheese, add sugar and mix well.  Add flour and 6 eggs alternately (2 eggs, 1 cup flour, repeat 2 times).  Mix in vanilla.  Pour into greased and floured tube pan.  Bake 325 about 1 ½ hours or until done.      

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strawberry Cake

This is a wonderful recipe!  We've had this for many birthdays in our family.  It's easy and SO yummy!

1 package white cake mix 
1 small package strawberry Jell-O 
¾ cup oil 
¼ cup water 
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and mashed (unsweetened) 
4 eggs (1 at a time)   

Mix ingredients well.  Pour into 3 9-inch cake pans (greased and floured).  Bake at 350 for time indicated on cake mix (watch carefully since you’re using 3 pans instead of 2).  You can use 1 9x13 instead.   

1 stick real butter 
1 box powdered sugar 
¼ - ½ cup frozen strawberries, thawed and mashed (unsweetened)    

Beat butter.  Add sugar and beat together,  adding strawberries until spreading consistency.    Spread icing over cooled cake.      

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Everything Eggs! Perfect Boiled Eggs, Stuff Eggs, & Egg Decorating Ideas!

Here are some boiled egg tips and recipes.  My cousin Belinda Cross uses the following boiled egg recipe (her mom used to use it as well) and my mom has shared her stuffed egg recipe with us!  I’ve added some egg tips and decorating ideas.   

Tip:  To ensure that the egg yolks are centered (for beautiful stuffed eggs), place the egg carton on its side overnight before they are hard-cooked.   

Perfect Boiled Eggs   

Remove eggs from refrigerator and place in warm water in a bowl.  Boil water in a pan (enough water to cover eggs).  When water is at a rapid boil, move eggs from warm water to pan.  Boil for 4 minutes, turn off heat and leave for 15 minutes.  Transfer to cool water.  Peel.    

Tip:  For easy peeling, be sure to cool the eggs as quickly as possible after the cooking process.  Crack the eggs under water (this seems to help loosen the membrane under the shell).  Remove the shell under running water. Very fresh eggs are harder to peel.   

Mama’s Stuffed Eggs   

8 hard boiled eggs, cut in half length-wise.  Pop out the yolks and mash with a fork.  

1-2 teaspoon dried onion flakes 
½ teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon yellow mustard 
1-2 teaspoon parsley (for color) 
salt & pepper to taste 
mayonnaise (enough to make creamy), about ¼-½ cup   

Stir together well.  Fill egg whites with mixture and sprinkle with paprika.     

Egg Decorating Ideas   

For “golden eggs,” place the dry peelings from one yellow onion in a pan, bring to a boil and add eggs.  Boil until desired color.  These turn out so pretty and they’re cheap too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thickened Strawberries (pie filling)

This is enough to cover a boxed Jello cheesecake (I usually do mine in a square pan). It’s also delicious warm over pancakes, French toast, waffles, etc. This is really my blueberry pie filling recipe, halved (the recipe came from Johnson Blueberry Farm).

Make paste of
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
2 ½ tablespoons water

1 cup mashed strawberries
¼ cup sugar
into saucepan.

Add paste and stir well. Heat slowly until mixture is thick.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Strawberry-Lemon Sheet Cake

This is a Southern Living recipe from years ago.  It has a home-made cake recipe but I always use a cake mix.  It’s somewhat time-consuming but very delicious!    To save some calories and fat, you can make the cake mix with applesauce in place of the oil and use egg substitute, then use light Cool Whip instead of the whipped cream.

1 yellow cake mix, baked in a 15x10 jellyroll pan (line with parchment or wax paper, lightly grease paper)  I've done this with 3 9-inch round pans as well and it works great!    

Filling & Topping 
2 cups strawberries (frozen work great for this recipe), unsweetened 
6 tablespoons sugar, divided 
¼ cup lemon juice 
¼ cup flour   

Bring strawberries, 4 tablespoons (¼ cup), and lemon juice to boil and cook for 5 minutes (on medium heat).  Whisk 2 tablespoons sugar and ¼ cup flour together in saucepan.  Add strawberry mixture and whisk together.  Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick and bubbly.  Pour into glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap, chill 2 hours.   

Cut cooled cake in half.  Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with half of strawberry-lemon filling.  Top with remaining layer.  Spread remaining filling over top.  

Whipped Cream 
1 ½ cups whipping cream 
6 tablespoons sugar   

Beat cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form.  Spoon into a 1-gallon freezer bag.  Press cream into one corner of bag, removing excess air.  Snip a ¼-inch hole in corner of bag.  Pipe cream vertically onto cake sides.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Strawberry Pie

I think this recipe came from my mom.  It’s easy and delicious! 

1 baked pie shell (not deep dish)
1 cup sugar 
1 cup water 
1 pound fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled (halved or quartered if big) 
4 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O (can use sugar free) 
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
red food coloring, about 4 drops   

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water.  Cook on medium until clear and bubbling and remove from heat. 

Add food coloring and gelatin and stir well.  Cool until slightly warm.  Line pie crust with berries.  Fill with cooked mixture.  Chill until set.  Serve with whipped cream or non-dairy topping.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beef Tips and Rice & Roast (also included: Beef Stroganoff)

This is basically my mom's recipe.  Choose your cut: beef tips or a roast (I usually buy a chuck roast).  It's easy to freeze (I would freeze the beef tips and gravy in one container; the rice in another (freezer bag).  Or just make minute rice when time to reheat the beef tips.  It's easy, not expensive (when you can find the meat on sale) and yummy.  There is also a beef stroganoff recipe below that uses leftover roast or beef tips and gravy.

Beef tips (1-3 pounds)
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 small package brown gravy mix
3 cups water
rice cooked according to directions (we prefer brown)

Preheat oven to 350. Place beef tops in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee until the outside of the meat is browned. Place browned beef tips in a roasting pan (you can use a casserole dish or even do this in the crockpot on low all day). Mix water, soup, and gravy mixes well. Pour over beef tips. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beef tips are done and tender. Serve over rice.

NOTES: This is great with salad and roll or veggies of your liking. You can even add baby carrots (or regular size carrots, peeled and cut in half) to the roasting pan. If you prefer potatoes instead of rice, peel a few (or don't peel, your preference!) and half or quarter them and place them in the roasting pan. This is the same way I do my roast, but you may need to bake it up to 3 hours to get it tender.  The crockpot works great for the roast or beef tips!  

You can chop an onion (or use some dried onion flakes) and add some salt instead of using the onion soup mix. 

 Sometimes I use a package and a half of the gravy mix (I buy it in bulk from Sam's so it's 4 1/2 or 5 tablespoons).  If the gravy doesn't turn out thick enough, transfer to a saucepan and place over medium heat.  In a small bowl (I use a custard cup), combine some cornstarch (2 tablespoons...not really sure) and a little water to make it the consistency of milk.  Slowly pour into the gravy while stirring.  It will thicken very quickly.  Stir until it's the right consistency.  You may not need all the cornstarch mixture or you may need to make more.  Once it's the right consistency, remove from heat immediately.  

Beef Stroganoff

1 package egg noodles (I usually get 12 or 16 ounces, whatever you need for your family), cooked & drained
1 onion, chopped and sauteed (optional)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (use more if you get a huge bag of noodles!)
sour cream (about 8 ounces, more if you use more soup)
leftover beef tips or roast (cut into small pieces) and gravy

Stir the onion, soup, sour cream, meat, and gravy together.  Add to noodles and stir well over low heat until heated through.  

This is so versatile.  I've made it without the soup and just added more sour cream and it was delicious!  I rarely do the onions since my gravy usually has them.

When I have leftover meat and gravy, I just freeze and use it in this recipe.  It only takes a handful of meat and a little gravy to make it.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This is basically my meatloaf recipe.  I had to have supper done quickly one night so I figured I could make these and they would cook quicker than my meatloaf.  I was right and really glad I tried it because we like these much better than we like meatloaf!  And they weren’t greasy like my meatloaf usually is.  If you have a favorite meatloaf recipe, try it as a meatball recipe…hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was!     

1 ½ pounds ground beef 
½ yellow onion, chopped 
a few splashes of soy sauce (or Worcestershire…I would have used this but I didn't have any) 
1 teaspoon salt 
pepper and garlic powder (just a few shakes) 
¼ cup quick oatmeal 
1 egg   

Crumble the beef into a large bowl.  Sprinkle the onion, soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oatmeal over it.  Crack the egg on top.  Mix with hands until well combined.    Make into meatballs.  One way of doing even-sized meatballs is to pat out the mixture into a square or rectangle.  Cut into same-sized pieces, roll into balls.  I find this is too much trouble so I just pinch off pieces and roll them up.   

Place in a baking pan or cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-30 minutes (depending on meatball size) or until done.  Remove from pan and serve.    I like to move them to another baking pan and spread ketchup and bbq sauce on them.  Put them back in the oven for 5 minutes until the ketchup and bbq sauce is hot.  I like to move them to a second pan because it gets them out of the grease that’s in the bottom of the first pan.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Caramel Sauce (syrup)

This morning I made an apple puff pancake (I would post it but it came out of a recipe book and I'm still not sure if I'm allowed to do that).  I realized I didn't have much syrup and I decided caramel would be a good flavor to go with the puff pancake.  So, I admit this is one of my creations…for better or worse!  It worked one time, but there’s no guarantee it will again.  So try at your own risk!

1 stick butter (no substitutes)
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk

Place butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium. Melt butter while stirring. Boil the mixture about 1 minute.  Then add milk, remove from heat, and stir quickly.

Serve with breakfast (over biscuits, pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc.), or over ice cream, pound cake, etc.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ham Ball (great for using leftover ham!)

This is my mom's recipe.  She usually makes it for family get-togethers or church fellowships.  I often make it just for us to have (Austin really likes it!).  I don't buy chips often so this is a great "addition" when we have sandwiches for supper.  It's so simple but has a great flavor!  We usually eat it on saltines but it's great on Ritz crackers and Sociables.  Also a great tea sandwich filling (either omit the nuts or stir some into the mixture).  

1 – 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
¼ cup mayonnaise 
2 cups cooked ham, grated (I use my food chopper for this)
2 tablespoons parsley 
1 teaspoon chopped onion (dried) 
¼ teaspoon dry mustard 
¼ teaspoon hot sauce 
½ cup chopped nuts (I prefer toasted walnuts)   

Combine cream cheese and mayo until smooth.  Add in all other ingredients (not nuts) and stir well (I use my mixer).  Refrigerate several hours.  Form into ball and roll in nuts.  Serve with crackers.   Also a great tea sandwich filling (omit nuts).

 Oftentimes I'm making this at the last minute so I sprinkle half of the nuts in a shallow bowl, scoop the ham mixture on top and sprinkle the rest of the nuts over the mixture, then refrigerate.  It tastes great right after making it but is at its peak the next day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Scones, Lemon Curd, and Mock Devonshire Cream

There’s a misconception that scones are difficult.  How untrue!  You follow the basic rules of making pie crust (which in my opinion IS difficult to make! But the rules are not difficult to follow.)—work with cold ingredients, don’t overwork the dough, and work quickly.  Use real butter and whole milk (cream or evaporated milk may be substituted to make “heavier” scones—I prefer “lighter” scones) .    

Scones are versatile and can be served any time of the day.  My preference is with a cup of tea and at least one friend or family member, time of day is of no consequence.  Great for brunch or dessert!  A plain scone with sugar sprinkled on top is a great homemade strawberry shortcake!  They also make great gifts!   Simply nestle in a tea towel-lined basket along with a jar of jam or lemon curd or some flavored butter.

I’ve included my lemon curd and mock Devonshire cream recipes.  Great served with scones but also great dessert toppings.  Scones may also be eaten plain, with butter (plain or flavored), jelly, jam, preserves, etc.  They are a cross between a biscuit and cookie—they’re similar to a biscuit consistency but somewhat sweet.  They usually have an egg in them, unlike biscuits.   


2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
¼ teaspoon salt 
6 tablespoons cold salted butter, cubed 
2/3 cup stir-in option (see below) 
½ cold milk 
1 large cold egg 
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract   

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add stir-in option and toss.  In separate bowl combine milk, egg, and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.  Pour into dry mixture.  Stir just until all is moistened.   

Divide dough in half and place half on a floured surface.  Cut into 8 wedges and place them separated on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done.    

Stir in options: 
Chocolate chips (semisweet, milk, or white) 
Dried cranberries (any dried fruit) 
Blueberries (or any other berries) 
Pecans (I usually use brown sugar in place of white sugar when doing pecan)   

For Gingerbread:  Stir these ingredients in with the dry ingredients:  1 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves   

To add lemon or orange flavor, add 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest.   

Get creative and mix things up.  Such as white chocolate and blueberries (use 1/3 cup of each) or pecan and orange zest.  Yummy!   

You can brush the tops of the scones with some cream and sprinkle with sugar or sugar and cinnamon before baking.   

Lemon Curd   

1 ½ cups sugar 
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (optional) 
4 large eggs 
1 ½ cups lemon juice (about 6 large lemons) 
¼ cup butter or margarine   

Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan (beaten well) over medium heat, stirring with a whisk.  Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color (about 3-5 minutes).  Stir in lemon juice and butter, cook for 5 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.  

Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl.  Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.  When cool, refrigerate up to 7-10 days.   

This makes a lot (about 4 cups)—you can easily make ½ or ¼ of the recipe.  It freezes well for about 2 months in freezer bag or container.  I omit the lemon peel and normally use bottled juice.  

Lemon curd is yummy on pound cake and topped with whipped cream, with mixed berries, on ice cream, etc.       

Mock Devonshire Cream   

8 ounces cream cheese, softened 
½ cup real butter, softened 
8 oz. cool whip (use the name brand for best results)
1 teaspoon vanilla   

Mix together.  Refrigerate until using.