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Category Archives: Cooking

Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

On the two Sundays before Thanksgiving, I try to make something that’s the exact opposite of food we might have on that holiday. This week I went with a sort of German theme with a smaller version of German Chocolate cake as dessert and for an entrée, Reuben sandwiches.

My younger daughter is the only one who loves coconut, so I don’t need a big cake. I adapted my recipe to make this smaller version which is plenty for a lunch serving for the three of us with some left over for my daughter to take home. From my 2012 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/german-chocolate-cake-a-smaller-version/

German Chocolate Cake (A Smaller Version)


2 oz. Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate*
¼ cup water
2 eggs, separated
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
Dash salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk**
*To substitute for German’s Sweet Chocolate, add 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate.

**To substitute for buttermilk, place 1 Tblsp. white vinegar in a measuring cup and add enough milk to reach one cup (8 oz.). Let stand 5 minutes before using.

Cover bottoms of three 7-1/2 inch loaf pans with waxed paper. Spray sides with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate and water on high for 1-½ to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

Beat egg whites in mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

In the large bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition – beginning and ending with flour mixture.

By hand, gently fold in egg whites.

Divide batter among the three loaf pans.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Immediately loosen the sides of the cakes and allow to cool in pans for 15 minutes.

Remove from pans to wire racks. Remove waxed paper. Let cool completely.

To Make Coconut Pecan Filling/Frosting

COCONUT PECAN FILLING/FROSTING

2 egg yolks
¾ cup evaporated milk, undiluted
¾ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. butter
1-1/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla until well blended. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add coconut and pecans; mix well.  Cool to desired spreading consistency.

Spread 1/3 of the Coconut Pecan Filling/Frosting on top of one layer of the cooled cakes, top with a second layer and spread its top with 1/3 of the filling/frosting. Repeat with the final layer and 1/3 of frosting. 

This is a wonderfully soft, delicious cake but I had a little of trouble handling the layers even in this smaller size. The cake isn’t picture-perfect-looking, but it sure tastes great.

Also served: Reuben sandwiches – corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on homemade rye bread, from my post of 2008

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/rye-bread-and-reubens/

 

 

 


Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

These pumpkin cupcakes are soft, spicy and so good without using eggs or milk. The Pumpkin-Walnut Fudge Frosting is delicious but very rich. The Cinnamon Glaze at the bottom of the recipe is a good choice and not so decadent.  From my 2011 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/pumpkin-cupcakes-with-pumpkin-walnut-fudge-frosting/

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Walnut Fudge Frosting

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil (Canola)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12 cupcake sections or insert 12 paper or silicone liners.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.

Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the 12 prepared cupcake pans and bake for approximately 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Allow the cupcakes to stay in the pan for five minutes. If using paper or silicone liners, leave in liners and remove to a rack to cool for five minutes.

After five minutes, remove the cupcakes from the silicone liners and allow to cool completely on a rack.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost with rich Pumpkin Walnut Fudge Frosting:

PUMPKIN WALNUT FUDGE FROSTING

¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. evaporated milk, undilulted
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

In a medium pan, place the pumpkin and cook over medium low heat (#4 on my electric range gauge) for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. A non-stick pan is helpful to keep the pumpkin from scorching. Add butter and evaporated milk and continue to cook over medium low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in spices and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in nuts. Cool. Spread on tops of cooled Pumpkin Cupcakes. Enough frosting to generously cover 12 cupcakes.

*Veronica’s Maple-Cinnamon Glaze (enough for 12 cupcakes)
½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tblsp. real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over cupcakes.

Also served: Autumn Chicken and Beans – a hearty dish of chicken, cannellini beans and the surprise addition of raisins.  From my 2011 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/autumn-chicken-and-beans/


Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

In the 1980s and 90s, we had a home out in the country with all kinds of fruit trees, including three kinds of apples.  I was always looking for something different to use up some of the fruit.  This recipe came from Bear Wallow Apple Recipes.  I first made this dessert in 1995 and have a note in my binder:  “Made with our own Golden Delicious apples.  David (my husband) loved this – ate almost the whole thing for supper.”  From my 2014 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/apple-sponge-pudding-with-cinnamon-whipped-cream/

Apple Sponge Pudding with Cinnamon Whipped Cream


1 egg yolk, beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup water
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg white, beaten stiff
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 Tblsp. butter
5 medium tart apples, peeled and sliced (about 5 cups)
Sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Have at hand a 9-inch baking dish

In a medium bowl, place the beaten egg yolk and whisk in granulated sugar.

Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture alternately with water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add vanilla. Fold in stiff egg white.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on bottom of baking dish and dot with butter.  Place sliced apples over sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour pudding mixture over apples.

Bake in 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.

 

Serve with a dollop of:

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
½ cup whipping cream
1 Tblsp. powdered sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon

Beat cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon until cream is thick

Also served: Pasta with Ham, Pear and Goat Cheese from my 2017 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2017/03/14/pasta-with-ham-pear-and-goat-cheese/


 

Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Today’s dessert has been a family favorite for 10-plus years.  Nantucket Cranberry Pie is not a pie at all, not a cobbler although batter is poured on top of the fruit and not really a cake, but it surely is good. Note that you will need a 10-inch pie pan or baking dish to keep the batter from overflowing. From my post of 2007

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2007/10/29/nantucket-cranberry-pie/

Nantucket Cranberry Pie


Filling:

2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Topping:

2 eggs
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch pie plate or baking dish. Place the cranberries in the pie plate and toss the sugar and walnuts over the berries.

For the topping, whisk the eggs and the butter with the sugar. Add the flour and almond extract to the egg mixture, lightly tossing with a fork.

Pour the topping over the cranberry mixture. If it’s difficult to get the topping to extend out over the filling, press down with water-damped hands to even it out. Bake for approximately 45 minutes @ 350 degrees F. Place on a rack to cool.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

Also served: Gone-All-Afternoon Beef Stew – a dish that is put into the oven and allowed to bake for 3-4 hours before serving. From my 2010 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/beef-stew-and-orange-tapioca-pudding/


Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week

 

We spent four days last week with my son and his family visiting from St. Louis, all centered on good food and eating, so I planned an easier, milder meal for this Sunday.  This week’s dessert is an easy chilled mousse-type dish that I devised, using what I had on hand.  I think the grated lemon adds something special.  From my 2012 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/lemon-pecan-dream-cups/

Lemon Pecan Dream Cups


Crust:

¼ cup all -purpose flour
2 Tblsp. butter, cut in small cubes
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Filling:

2 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup frozen topping, thawed
3.4 oz pkg lemon instant pudding (4 servings)
¾ cup milk

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1-½ tsp. lemon juice to enhance flavor 

Topping:

½ cup frozen topping, thawed (divided)
4 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Have four oven-safe custard cups at hand

To prepare the crust:

Place the flour and butter cubes in a small bowl.

Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Stir in chopped pecans.

Divide this mixture between the four custard cups and press mixture down in the bottoms of the cups. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Place cups on a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling:

Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl.  

Stir until smooth. Stir in ½ cup frozen topping until blended. Spread this mixture on top of cooled crust in custard cups.

In the same medium bowl, place instant pudding mix and milk.  Beat until pudding starts to thicken – about one minute. Stir in lemon peel and juice. Spoon the pudding mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture in the cups.

Swirl 2 Tblsp. of topping on each cup and place one pecan half in the center.

Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour. 

Also served:  An easy-to-prepare Beef Stroganoff with noodles.  From my 2009 post:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/beef-stroganoff-and-rice-pudding/


Since my 86 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Today’s dessert is special because it commemorates my 86th birthday – a White Velvet Cake with Caramel Frosting made by my younger daughter. She made her first county fair prize-winning cake as a teenager and made this Best-of-Show cake as a young mother. It’s the cake I always request for my birthday. From my 2008 post, two wonderful cake recipes:

https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/county-fair-white-cake/

My youngest daughter’s adventures with baking award-winning cakes for our county fair started in 1983 when she was a 13-year-old 8th grader and never that interested in fairs – to attend or to exhibit. But her older sister and her mother were immersed in getting things ready for the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Fair and she decided to enter the cake division.

Cakes were not allowed to be frosted, so all of the attention was centered on the attributes of the cake itself. She made the cake, I took it to the fair and she won a Blue Ribbon and even got her recipe printed in our community newspaper. Here is the recipe:

Blue Ribbon White Cake

2-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
4-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
5 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add one cup milk and Crisco. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1/3 cup milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9?x1-1/2? round cake pans. Bake approximately 25 minutes until cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted near the center.

Cool in pans for 15 minutes, remove from pans and cool on wire rack. Frost as desired.

The years passed by, she married, had two children, and out of nowhere in 2006, 23 years after her first blue ribbon, she decided to enter again. But this time she was adamant that she was going to get a Best of Show Rosette. Her sister and I, seasoned fair exhibitors, tried to tell her it was very difficult to get the rosette which would represent the best cake out of all kinds of cakes – white, chocolate, spice, layer, sponge, angel food, pound, etc. She said the Rosette was all she really wanted and she would retire from fair competition after winning it. In spite of a broken oven, coping with two young children and taking the cake to the fairgrounds on a day so hot that we were afraid the cake itself would dissolve – she did it. She won the blue ribbon and the Rosette for Best of Show.

The cake was a favorite she had been baking for quite a few years as my birthday cake – White Velvet Cake from the Cake Bible cookbook.

4-1/2 large egg whites (4 full liquid ounces)
1 cup milk, divided
2-1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
12 Tblsp. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk and vanilla.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared pans and smooth surface with a spatula. Pans will be about 1/2 full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.

Let cakes cool in pans on racks for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a small metal spatula and invert onto wire racks. To prevent splitting, reinvert so the tops are up and cool completely.

Frost as desired.

Note: Two 9×1-1/2-inch cake pans should be greased, bottoms lined with parchment or wax paper and then greased again and floured.

Can be frozen for two months. Texture is most perfectly moist the same day as baking.

The fair exhibit rules called for a single layer with no frosting, but I’m including the recipe for the luscious caramel frosting that she always uses for my two-layer birthday treat.

QUICK CARAMEL FROSTING (Fannie Farmer Cookbook)

6 Tblsp. butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and blend. Cool in the pan. Then beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick enough to spread.


 

Since my 85 years have started to catch up with me, I don’t cook as often, particularly experimenting with new recipes that I can share. I do still cook the family holiday meals, though, and every Sunday fix lunch for my two daughters which features a favorite recipe and is followed by 3 hours of various kinds of needlework and chatting. For these lunches, I always make something they especially like from my blogs of over 10 years and I thought it might be fun to share my Sunday desserts each week.

Our dessert this Sunday was a carrot cake that I first tried in 1985. It was supposed to be the recipe of Mary Frann who was the wife on the Bob Newhart show about the country inn in Vermont.  It was one of my favorite TV shows and this cake became a favorite dessert.  From my 2007 post:  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2007/11/04/marys-carrot-cake/

Mary's Carrot Cake


1-1/2 cups vegetable oil (I use Canola)
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple

Grease and flour one 13×9 pan. I like to use two small antique tube pans (8 inches dia. x 2-3/4 inches high) and divide the batter between them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixer bowl, combine oil, sugar and eggs – beat well.

In a medium bowl, sift together the cinnamon, soda, salt and flour. Add to large mixer bowl and beat well. Add vanilla, carrots, nuts and pineapple, beating slowly with mixer or by hand to blend.

Pour into prepared pans and bake @ 350 – approximately 50 minutes for the 13×9 pan and 30-40 minutes for the smaller pans.

Let cool on rack and frost with cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
One pound confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Also served:  An old-fashioned roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, and homemade yeast rolls.  A reader had asked how a typical Sunday dinner would be prepared and I wrote this post in 2011:  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/sunday-roast-beef-dinner/