Oct 122013
 

I love granola—but have always been too cheap to buy it ready made.  And when I discovered how easy it is to make it at home, I swore I would never buy it at the store.  Still haven’t.  Take a try at this recipe.  It is sooooo, so  easy that  you will likely convert to my way of thinking.

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Oh, and don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your favorite flavor!

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Easy Home Style Granola

Simple, common ingredients you can always have on hand
Simple, common ingredients you can always have on hand

6 cups regular oats (you can use quick oats, but I prefer the regular)

2 cups shredded coconut

1 – 2 cups chopped nuts

1 cup honey or maple syrup (or pancake syrup)

or

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup canola or coconut oil (or melted butter or margarine)

3 t. cinnamon

1 1/3 c. raisins or other dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.

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In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, combine the oil and the honey (or syrup or brown sugar).  Stir well.

Add to the combined dry ingredients and mix well.

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Oil two large cookie sheets and divide oat mixture between the two pans.

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Lightly salt and then place in oven.  Bake 10 minutes, then switch cookie sheets and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Before allowing the oats to cool, loosen from pan with a metal spatula.  Allow to cool.  Top with dried fruit. (Or use chocolate chips if you are a chocoholic.)  Keep in an airtight container.  Serve with milk or eat as a snack.

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Hide it from yourself if you made it for the rest of the family.  Simply too tasty to pass up.

Makes about 10 cups of granola.

Easy to make Home Style Granola

Easy to make Home Style Granola

Ingredients

  • 6 cups regular oats (you can use quick oats, but I prefer the regular)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 – 2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1 cup honey or maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
  • or
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup canola or coconut oil or melted butter or margarine
  • 3 t. cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 c. raisins or other dried fruit

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, combine the oil and the honey (or syrup or brown sugar). Stir well.
  4. Add to the combined dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Oil two large cookie sheets and divide oat mixture between the two pans.
  6. Lightly salt and then place in oven. Bake 10 minutes, then switch cookie sheets and cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven. Before allowing the oats to cool, loosen from pan with a metal spatula. Allow to cool. Top with dried fruit. (Or use chocolate chips if you are a chocoholic.) Keep in an airtight container. Serve with milk or eat as a snack.
  8. Hide it from yourself if you want it for the rest of the family. Simply too tasty to pass up.
  9. Makes about 10 cups of granola.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/easy-to-make-home-style-granola/

May 282013
 

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I have a dog-eared index card in my recipe box that I received over 35 years ago.  It was one that was given to me by David’s Aunt Patty.  It is called “Sweet and Sour French Dressing.” I have it in her writing, and next to it, in my handwriting, a quadrupled version of the ingredients that yields 2 quarts.

I don’t like it.  David does. It is sort of similar to Catalina dressing, I think.  I say, “I think” because I am positively NOT a fan of French dressing and so I really cannot tell you if they are the same.  I will take David’s word for it.

French dressing?  I just don’t love it.  It just seems so wrong to put ketchup on your salad (and now that I said that, you agree, right?)  And since I am a mustard person, and most French dressings have ketchup in them, you now understand why I sidestep them.

But since David has a strong preference for the French—I build this one often.  It is simple, uses common ingredients, and, although I am not a fan, many of my guests love this one.  I must admit, IT IS pretty.  Especially atop a spinach salad—the contrast between the dark green leaves and the reddish glisten of the (ketchup) and green onion –a delight to the eyes.

BESIDES—it is so inexpensive to make your own salad dressings! Besides,  I am NOT fond of forking over several dollars for a small bottle of what I can mix up in a blender is less than five minutes.

So, I said two dressings—here’s the deal– Yesterday, when I was making this recipe, I paused before adding the ketchup (like it takes courage to add this to the beautiful blend of ingredients.)  It struck me—maybe this recipe is delectable WITHOUT the ketchup!  So here’s what I did:  I saved out half of the mixture before adding the ketchup and voila’! Two recipes for the effort of one!  I served our salads for lunch, David’s with the French, mine with the French minus the ketchup.   It works.  The taste of both—sweet and infused with that green onion freshness, his with the ketchup, mine without.  Definitely a pleasing discovery—one that I will pass on to you.  Maybe next time, I will add mustard to mine, because I am definitely a mustard girl.

I will get back to you on the mustard idea.  I will have to wait until my fridge door has enough room to house all the condiment jars that I try to fit into those narrow cubbies.  Ahh… the limitations of the inspirational cook.

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The ingredients– simple and common

Two in One:  Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing and Sweet and Sour French Dressing

½ cup white vinegar

2/3 cup sliced green onion (use the green parts)

1 cup oil

2 t. salt

2 t. pepper (fresh ground or course ground is preferable)

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup ketchup—for the French version.

Measure all the ingredients except the sugar and ketchup and place into a blender.

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Blend very well (about one minute).  While running the blender on low speed, add the sugar slowly for about one minute.  Stop the blender and pour off half of the mixture. This is your Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing.

Now add the ketchup to the other half, blending for another minute.

Pour into jars and refrigerate.  This recipe keeps very well if kept refrigerated.  Makes 1 cup each version.

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A Tale of Two Dressings—one on purpose, another by chance.

A Tale of Two Dressings—one on purpose, another by chance.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sliced green onion (use the green parts)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 t. salt
  • 2 t. pepper (fresh ground or course ground is preferable)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup—for the French version.

Instructions

  1. For detailed and pictured directions, go to: [http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/a-tale-of-two-dressings-one-on-purpose-another-by-chance/]
  2. Measure all the ingredients except the sugar and ketchup and place into a blender.
  3. Blend very well (about one minute).
  4. While running the blender on low speed, add the sugar slowly for about one minute.
  5. Stop the blender and pour off half of the mixture. This is your Green Onion Sweet and Sour Dressing.
  6. Now add the ketchup to the other half, blending for another minute.
  7. Pour into jars and refrigerate. This recipe keeps very well if kept refrigerated. Makes 1 cup each version.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/a-tale-of-two-dressings-one-on-purpose-another-by-chance/

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Apr 222013
 

I suppose that many families have traditional recipes that have been passed down the generations.  My Mom’s family has this breakfast recipe that I grew up with and loved—for as long as I can remember.  I have never heard of anyone else making it, but if you recognize this concoction, please comment so we can find out if we are related.

Mom tells me that her Aunt Agnes made it.  And Aunt Agnes—well, Aunt Agnes has been gone a long time.  So the origins of this rich breakfast creation continue to be a mystery.

It is pronounced GON cheese.  I even had to invent the spelling because I have never seen anyone spell it.  I added the “i” so it looked foreign because my Slavic relatives invented it– at least I think they did.  And surprise!  My spell check had no suggestions (Mild disappointment to me.)

I best describe it as scrambled pancake batter, but it is richer than pancakes.  More eggs, more fat.  I often wonder if it was invented from a failed pancake batch and an abundance of eggs from the family chicken house.

I remember watching my Mom eat it by taking a spoonful and drenching it in her coffee cup until the clumps of cooked batter soaked up some of the black coffee.   That always looked good to me, except that I did not like coffee and to this day, still do not like it.  But you can try it—if you like coffee with a sweet pastry, you likely will find this a tasty practice.

My favorite way to eat it is with maple syrup and a dusting of regular sugar, mostly to add a little texture. (Okay,  why lie?  I love sweets)   And as you can tell from the pictures, it is not particularly pretty.  I suspect that my Aunt Agnes did not care much whether it was suitable for photographing.  They were mostly concerned with keeping their family fed during The Great Depression.

I make it now for my grandkids, who enjoy it—with lots of syrup, as most kids would. My son even made it when he was away at college.  And now my two daughters make it for their families.

A new twist—my oldest daughter, Paige, made it using coconut oil in the pan.  It gives it a slightly  coconutty flavor to the dish—one that makes me forget that I am counting calories.  Epic fail.   And if you too are counting calories, don’t make this unless you have plenty of mouths to feed.  Otherwise, it will call your name from the leftover section of your fridge.  Because this is one breakfast dish that reheats perfectly.

So consider yourself warned.  Hopefully, your kids and grandkids will save you from yourself!

(Oh, and this recipe is easily halved, if you wish.)

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Simple, common ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gonchiese

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

6 eggs

2 cups milk

5 T. shortening (Butter Flavor Crisco or coconut oil)

Heat a large electric frypan to 400 degrees.  Add solid shortening  or coconut oil.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

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Combine milk and eggs and beat until well combined.

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Stir liquid ingredients into the dry, beating with an egg beater or electric mixer.  Mix until all lumps are gone.100_1894

 

 

 

 

 

Once the frypan is heated, carefully pour batter into the center of the pan.

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Allow the mixture to cook until the bottom is browned.

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Gently lift the batter to allow the uncooked batter to slide to the underside.  Flip the cooked side.

Allow the batter to brown one more time.   Next, using the spatula or spoon, “scramble” the batter to form chunks, stirring as you break it up.

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See– I told you it isn’t pretty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn the pan down to 300 degrees.  Cover and allow to cook until none of the batter remains and all the clumps are cooked through.  Allow to cook for another few minutes.

Turn pan down to warm.

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Serve in bowls with syrup, a dusting of sugar, or, dipped into your morning coffee, as shown.

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Refrigerate leftovers.  Can be reheated in the microwave.

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Share with the grand littles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is the Ziplist version for you:

 

Gonchiese—a family mystery food.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 T. shortening (Butter Flavor Crisco or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. For detailed and pictured directions, go to: {http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/gonchiese-our-mystery-family-breakfast-recipe/}
  2. Heat a large electric frypan to 400 degrees. Add solid shortening or coconut oil.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Combine milk and eggs and beat until well combined.
  5. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry, beating with an egg beater or electric mixer. Mix until all lumps are gone.
  6. Once the frypan is heated, carefully pour batter into the center of the pan.
  7. Allow the mixture to cook until the bottom is browned, as shown.
  8. Gently lift the batter to allow the uncooked batter to slide to the underside. Flip the cooked side.
  9. Allow the batter to brown one more time. Next, using the spatula or spoon, "scramble" the batter to form chunks, stirring as you break it up.
  10. Turn the pan down to 300 degrees. Cover and allow to cook until none of the batter remains and all the clumps are cooked through. Allow to cook for another few minutes.
  11. Turn pan down to warm.
  12. Serve in bowls with syrup, a dusting of sugar, or, dipped into your morning coffee, as shown.
  13. Refrigerate leftovers. Can be reheated in the microwave.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/gonchiese-our-mystery-family-breakfast-recipe/

 

 

 Posted by at 10:35 pm
Mar 192013
 

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Cheap, Easy and Quick Salsa

There is a restaurant near us that serves great Mexican food—I love their chimichangas, I DON’T LOVE their salsa  —  mainly because it stays with me until the next day, or the next shower—the garlic is just too pervasive!  I have been tempted to take a jar of my own salsa with me so I (we) don’t have to live with me smelling like a garlic bulb for the next week.

I acquired this recipe a long while back.  I think it bears a striking similarity to the Chili’s Restaurant’s salsa.  Taste and see what you think. I know that lots of my friends have secret recipes for elaborate unmeasured creations– creations that I love, but cannot make cause there is no “recipe” for them.  This is for beginners, cheaters and anyone who happens to have run out of salsa while assembling their Mexican dish (which by the way, my husband says is usually the same ingredients that are simply rearranged.)

But I am fond of this one because it is very simple to make and uses common ingredients. Canned tomatoes may not be as great  tasting as using fresh tomatoes, but it certainly works for me, because it kills me to spend the $$ for fresh ones.

Use fresh cilantro if you like, or none at all—you can make the call.  I find that many of my friends either love it or hate it.  I am non-committal.

Also, add more or less jalapenos to your taste.  This one rates as a medium salsa.  If you are like me, medium doesn’t satisfy– double the peppers for the burn that you crave.

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1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes

¼ c. sliced jalapeños

¼ c. chopped yellow onion

1 T. white vinegar

¾ t. salt

¾ t. sugar

¼ t. cumin

Dash dried cilantro (if desired)

Chop onions and jalapeños in food chopper—I like to use my Vidalia Onion Chopper for this.  Put these in a 1 ½ qt. bowl.

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Add spices, sugar, salt and vinegar.  Add tomatoes and stir.

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If you like chunky salsas, then you are done.  If you like smoother salsa, use a hand blender to blend it to your desired consistency.

The salsa is ready to eat, but like most salsas, it does improve with time.  Just be sure to store in a glass container.  It will forever change the smell of anything plastic!

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5 minute Salsa- incredibly easy and quick

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 1/2 cups

5 minute Salsa- incredibly easy and quick

The salsa is ready to eat, but like most salsas, it does improve with time. Just be sure to store in a glass container. It will forever change the smell of anything plastic!

Ingredients

  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • ¼ c. sliced jalapeños
  • ¼ c. chopped yellow onion
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • ¾ t. salt
  • ¾ t. sugar
  • ¼ t. cumin
  • Dash dried cilantro (if desired)

Instructions

  1. [For pictured directions, go to:/http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/5-minute-salsa-incredibly-easy-and-quick/]
  2. Chop onions and jalapeños in food chopper—I like to use my Vidalia Onion Chopper for this.
  3. Put these in a 1 ½ qt. bowl.
  4. Add spices, sugar, salt and vinegar. Add tomatoes and stir.
  5. If you like chunky salsas, then you are done. If you like smoother salsa, use a hand blender to blend it to your desired consistency.
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/5-minute-salsa-incredibly-easy-and-quick/

 

 Posted by at 5:19 pm
Feb 182013
 

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This recipe is quick, delish and a very simple sauce to create!  It comes from one of my daughter’s friends, Alyssa, who made it for us when she was still in high school.  It takes only about 5 minutes from start to finish and is pretty much fail proof.

We have a friend, Jeff, who likes it so much, that he makes it and eats it by the spoonful.  I wouldn’t recommend that, but I would suggest that it is yummy on ice cream, cookies with ice cream, and on brownies (with ice cream).  My quickest dessert is to take chocolate chip cookies (from my freezer), top with ice cream, then pass the sauce.  I love to watch people pour a second dollop half way through their cookie treat.  It is what my grandson would call “lick-a-licious”!

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Here are the ingredients:

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¼ c. butter (don’t substitute margarine)

2 squares unsweetened bittersweet chocolate

¾ c. sugar

¼ c. cocoa

¼ – ½ c. evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla

Pinch salt

Over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often.

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Remove from heat.

Add sugar and cocoa and stir well.

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Return to the burner at medium heat.  Add milk, stirring constantly, taking it to a consistency that you want.  (I tend to make a little on the thin side)

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Once you have the right thickness, cook for one minute more over medium low heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Taste– to be sure that it has enough salt.  Then taste it some more ’cause — well just because. (I think that you will understand why.)

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Are you brave?  Try adding cayenne pepper while still warm, or after cooled, add bits of sea salt.

You will have a new taste sensation.  (Just so you know — most just like it plain)

To reheat, simply place in microwave at half power for a few seconds. It heats quickly, so “babysit” it to be sure not to overheat.

Here is the Ziplist version:

OMG– 5 Minute Hot Fudge Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

OMG– 5 Minute Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. butter (don’t substitute margarine)
  • 2 squares unsweetened bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. cocoa
  • ¼ – ½ c. evaporated milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictures directions, go to: /http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/omg-5-minute-hot-fudge-sauce/]
  2. Over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add sugar and cocoa and stir well.
  5. Return to the burner at medium heat.
  6. Add milk, stirring constantly, taking it to a consistency that you want. (I tend to make a little on the thin side)
  7. Once you have the right thickness, cook for one minute more over medium low heat, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat and add 1 t. vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  9. Taste-- to be sure that it has enough salt. Then taste it some more 'cause -- well just because. (I think that you will understand why.)
  10. Are you brave? Try adding cayenne pepper while still warm, or after cooled, add bits of sea salt.
  11. You will have a new taste sensation. (Just so you know -- most just like it plain)
  12. To reheat, simply place in microwave at half power for a few seconds. It heats quickly, so "babysit" it to be sure not to overheat.

Notes

Simple and simply the best!

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/omg-5-minute-hot-fudge-sauce/

Feb 182013
 

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Honey Butter

Once I discovered that my Mile High Biscuits were so popular, imagine how happy I was to find out that you could make honey butter that did not separate!  The following recipe is very simple and  can be frozen.  Slather it on toast, scones, peanut butter sandwiches or any bread that begs a topping!

You will need the following:

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¾ c. butter (this is 1 ½ sticks)

1 c. honey

one egg yolk from a pasteurized egg   (to be safe)

Add all three ingredients to a standing mixer bowl.  (You can use a hand mixer, but you will likely tire of the 10 minute mixing.)

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Mix for a minute.  Stop,  scrape the sides of the bowl.

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Now, turn the mixer on high and allow to beat for 10 full minutes.

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Once done, pour into a container that moves to and from the fridge easily.   A covered dish works best.  You can serve it right away, but I do like to chill it so that it is not so runny.

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Decide if you want to freeze half—the frozen portion needs to be tightly sealed and dated.

Lick the bowl.  (If you haven’t already…)

Here is the Ziplist version:

Oh, Honey Butter!

Oh, Honey Butter!

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. butter (this is 1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 c. honey
  • One egg yolk from a pasteurized egg (to be safe)

Instructions

  1. [For detailed and pictured directions, go to: [/http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oh-honey-butter/]
  2. Add all three ingredients to a standing mixer bowl. (You can use a hand mixer, but you will likely tire of the 10 minute mixing.)
  3. Mix for a minute. Stop, scrape the sides of the bowl.
  4. Now, turn the mixer on high and allow to beat for 10 full minutes.
  5. Once done, pour into a container that moves to and from the fridge easily. A covered dish works best. You can serve it right away, but I do like to chill it so that it is not so runny.
  6. Decide if you want to freeze half—the frozen portion needs to be tightly sealed and dated.

Notes

Sweet treat on anything bread!

http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/oh-honey-butter/

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