Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mini Loaf Pans

I love my new Wilton mini-loaf pans. I picked up two of them on Amazon. One banana bread recipe fills a nine loaf pan. Bake for 20 minutes (instead of an hour for a traditional loaf).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Old Fashioned Donuts (if you can figure out the recipe)

Donuts seem to be a favorite recipe in the first half of the 1900’s. Everyone had a donut recipe. I think my favorite one (as far as written presentation goes) was found in my Grandma Hazel’s Recipe Journal. The journal features hand written recipes from her circle of women friends, probably from the Starr Church Community.


One cup sugar, one cup milk

Two eggs beaten fine as silk

Salt and nutmeg, lemon will do

Of baking powder, teaspoons two

Lightly stir the flour in

Roll on pie board, not too thin

Cut in diamonds, twists, or rings

Drop with care, the doughy things

Into fat that briskly swells

Evenly the spongy cells

Watch with care, the time for turning

Fry them brown, just short of burning

Roll in sugar, serve when cool

Price a quarter for this rule

Recipe Credit: Edna Bundt

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rolo Brownies

These Rolo brownies are the best and great to share with a group (since they are far too dangerous to have sitting around the house). They are also best when they are still warm and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My friend Kristen Scheer brought a version of these to a potluck we had at our home several months ago. Her original recipe came from the Pampered Chef, she had substituted pretzels for salted nuts. I took it a step further and removed the chocolate chips. Check out the original recipe Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies at the Pampered Chef web site.

Try out the brownie pan I suggested on June 29 and test out my version of this recipe.

Rolo Brownies

1 package (18-21 ounces) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
¾ cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup chopped pretzels
5 rolls of Rolos, divided (about 40 pieces)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease Brownie tray. Combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs and ¼ cup of the brown sugar; mix well. Pour batter into brownie pan, spreading evenly.

Chop pretzels. Combine half of the pretzels and remaining ½ cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over
brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cut 16 caramels into quarters.

Remove brownies from oven and place on a cooling rack. Immediately press remaining 24 caramels evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quartered caramels and remaining pretzals over brownies. Cut into squares; serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Recipe Credit: Arrion Rathsack, Kristen Scheer, and The Pampered Chef

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Bean Salad

A handwritten recipe, from my Grandma Ruth Bolger’s recipe box. I would substitute white beans for the mixed beans, Olive Oil for the salad oil, and try Splenda instead of sugar.

This photo was taken in 1960, my mother (Nancy Smith on the far right seated) is pregnant with my sister Annette. It looks like they are having some sort of luncheon or perhaps even baby shower for my mom. (seated left to right: Darlene Bolger, Betty Thomas (?), Grandma Ruth Bolger, and Nancy Bolger Smith. Standing l to r: May Bolger Opperman and Carolyn Bolger Conner).

3 Bean Salad

1 3oz can French Cut Green Beans
1 3oz can Mixed Beans
1 15oz can Kidney Beans
½ c. diced Green Pepper
½ c. minced Onion
½ c. Salad Oil
½ c. Cider Vinegar
¾ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Drain beans and combine with pepper and onion.
Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix lightly with beans and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Recipe Credit: Grandma Ruth Bolger

Monday, June 29, 2009

Brownie Pan

The other day I made brownies and was reminded of this great product I picked up. It's one of those things you might not think is worth the money, but this one definately is (and my husband who would be first to criticize such a purchase, actually thinks it was worth it!)

It's a special brownie pan that evenly cooks your brownies and gives you a perfect batch all the way around (now you do have to follow the instructions...)

Anyway, I purchased the Baker's Edge version on Amazon. I am a major brownie addict and I definately recommend getting one if you love to make brownies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peanut Butter Snack Attack

This is a great snack for kids to help make. Alex had a great time preparing this and gobbling them up afterwards! He could also choose between apples, bananas, or raisins for the fruit. He picked apples (which I peeled, since he hates that part).

It’s a great snack, but on occasion, I am going to start serving it to my picky eater for breakfast.

Peanut Butter Snack Attack

1 whole wheat tortilla
1 T. low sugar peanut butter
¼ apple, thinly sliced (or banana slices or raisins)

Spread the peanut butter all over the tortilla, layer the apples on top. Drizzle with honey. Roll up the tortilla (and squish it down to hold it together). Carefully, cut the rolled tortilla into 1” slices.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutritional Information: 110 calories, 2.5 g. fat, .5 g saturated fat, 340 mg sodium, 20 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fiber, 4 g. protein.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sweet Potato with Garlic Herb Cheese

I never thought about putting cheese with a sweet potato, but this makes a real treat! I created a filling, yet low calorie lunch by pairing it with a grilled chicken breast (4oz) and cantaloupe (a total of 335 calories and 4.3 g. fat).

Sweet Potato with Garlic Herb Cheese

12 oz Sweet Potato
2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb cheese

Clean and prick the potato with a fork. Place in a baking dish and cover with a paper towel. Bake the potato in the microwave about 5-10 minutes, flipping after about 5 minutes.

Slice the potato in half. Cut each half open and spread a wedge of cheese inside.

Makes two 6 ounce servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 166 calories, 2 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 352 mg sodium, 31 g. carbohydrates, 5 g. protein.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

The original recipe is called “Mini Chipotle-Spiced Turkey Meat Loaves”. It was made by Biggest Loser contestant Tara on an episode this past spring. Check out the original recipe on the Jennie-O web site: Mini Chipotle-Spiced Turkey Meat Loaves.

I have taken out the chipotle, carrots, and celery; replacing them with a chopped bell pepper mix (yellow, red, and green). I’ve also added a dash of cayenne pepper to the topping, instead of chipotle, for some added zing. The leftovers are fantastic and perfect size for a lunch on the go.

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

¼ C. white onion, coarsely chopped
½ C. bell pepper mix (yellow, red, green), coarsely chopped
1 (20-ounce) package JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® extra lean ground turkey breast
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 egg whites
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute (such as Splenda® Brand)
Couple dashes of ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small food processor, combine onion and peppers. Pulse until finely chopped. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the pepper and vegetable mixture. Add egg whites and oats; gently mix until combined. Place about 1/3 cup of the prepared meat loaf mixture into 9 wells of a standard size muffin pan that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Remove meat loaves from oven and spoon the topping over each meat loaf. Return meat loaf to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until meat loaf is firm and the internal temperature registers 170°F. Let meat loaf stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 9 mini loaves.

Nutritional Information for 1 mini loaf: 110 calories, 1 g. fat, 0 g. saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 6 g. carbohydrates, 16 g. protein.

Recipe Credit: Arrion Rathsack and
Jennie-O Turkey Store

Sunday, June 14, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Red Onions and Bell Peppers

I'm back and armed with some new low calorie meal choices (I'll throw in a few naughty ones too...)

Let's start off with my BBQ Chicken Pizza with Red Onions and Bell Peppers

A great way to use extra grilled chicken you might have on hand. I recently calculated the calories and it makes a nice low cal dinner and satisfies my pizza cravings.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Red Onions and Bell Peppers

Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix
½ C. Hot Water
6 oz of chopped grilled chicken breast
¼ C. chopped red onion
¼ C. chopped bell peppers
6 T. BBQ Sauce (I used Memphis Style)
1 Cup Kraft 2% Milk Mexican Style Four Cheese

Heat oven to 425˚. Grease a large rectangular cookie sheet with olive oil spray.

Prepare pizza crust per instructions. While dough is resting, prepare the pizza toppings.

Press dough into a rectangle on cookie sheet, using floured fingers as necessary. Spread BBQ sauce evenly on dough. Add chicken, onion, and peppers. Bake for about 8 minutes. Evenly sprinkle cheese onto pizza. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until crust is starting to turn golden brown and cheese has melted.

4 Servings

Nutritional Information: 321 calories, 8 g. fat, 4 g. saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 878 mg sodium, 44 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. fiber, 18 g. protein

Recipe credit: Arrion Rathsack

Friday, January 23, 2009

Country Style Scalloped Corn

This recipe comes from my Grandma Ruth Bolger's recipe box. Now, I prefer my corn on a cob, fresh off the Iowa farm. However, that's not always possible when you live in Texas!
This is a photo of my Grandma Ruth Bolger and her siblings. From right to left: Mae, Wesley, Bill, Ruth, and Dorothy.

Country Style Scalloped Corn

½ C. melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 16oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 C. sour cream
1 16oz can cream-style corn
1 9oz box corn muffin mix

Melt butter and beat eggs. Drain the whole kernel corn. Combine all the ingredients together, adding the muffin mix last. Pour mixture into a greased 7x11 inch baking dish. Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 10

Recipe Credit: Grandma Ruth Bolger

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ham & Cheese Baby Quiche

This is one of my favorite quiche recipes. They make nice individual serving sizes. Don't count the calories on this one, just enjoy!

Ham & Cheese Baby Quiche

16 tarts (check the freezer section)
2 C. shredded swiss cheese
1/4 C. shredded cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
3 T. flour
1 C. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 C. diced ham or canadian bacon
salt, pepper, dash ground red pepper
onion powder

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Spoon into tarts evenly. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 325° for 25 minutes.

Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Thaw and bake 10 minutes at 325°.

Recipe Credit: Arrion Rathsack

Thursday, January 15, 2009

White Cake

Another recipe from my great grandma Hazel's recipe exchange journal. It's a very simple and easy recipe for homemade White Cake by Lvene Thomas (1910-2004), my Great Aunt. Once again, I am amazed by all the different people (I am related to) who wrote in this journal.

Seated on the far right are my grandmothers Ruth Bolger (glasses) and Eileen Smith. Standing on the far right, is my great aunt Lvene Thomas (who wrote this recipe) and next to her is my great aunt Lillian Ford. I am sure my dad or mom can help name some of the other women in this photo.

I tried making this cake yesterday and it turned out great. I made a creamy white frosting with shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla, and skim milk. Yum!

White Cake

1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. water
1/2 tsp almond flavor
1/2 tsp vanilla flavor
3 C. pastry flour
5 tsp. baking powder
4 egg whites

Cream the butter and sugar together until they are light. Add flavoring. Add about one third of the flour and water. Beat 100 strokes. Add remainder of flour and water and beat 100 strokes. Beat egg whites and add to mixture. The dough is again beaten 100 strokes. Pour into a greased pan and bake until done.
(The flour and baking powder should be sifted several times).
This is also very good with 1/3 C. black walnut meats added.

Arrion's Add On: Try baking at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Recipe credit: Lvene Thomas (1910-2004)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Easy Chocolate Cake

I recently reviewed and scanned several recipe journals that belonged to my maternal Great Grandmother Hazel Wilson Bolger. This recipe is from a journal that appears to be part of a recipe exchange group. Several of my grandmothers, great aunts, and distant cousins wrote recipes in this journal.

This particular entry was written by my Grandmother Eileen Smith, May 5, 1945. This was just two days before Victory in Europe Day, the end of WWII. Many of the recipes do not include instructions for temperature or time. So, make your best educated guess... and watch carefully! I have not had time to try all the recipes, but when I do, I'll provide feedback on instructions.

Easy Chocolate Cake

Sift together the following 4 ingredients
1 3/4 C. flour
1 1/4 C. sugar
4 T. cocoa
pinch of salt

1 1/2 C. sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
2 t. soda dissolved in 1/4 C. boiling water
1 t. vanilla

Combine beaten eggs and sour cream.
Add to dry ingredients. Beat well.
Add soda and vanilla.

Recipe Credit: Eileen Smith

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2 Dinner Hamburger Vegetable Soup

We had this recipe on New Year's Eve with a large family group. I loved it so much, I made it when I arrived back home. It's super easy and fast. I also created a second dinner from the leftovers (since there are only two of us who eat regular food- my son is on the Chicken Nugget and Carrot diet).

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

1-2 lbs ground beef, browned
2 bags frozen vegetable soup vegetables (16 oz bag)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato juice
worchester sauce
garlic herb mix (I used Pappy's Choice Garlic Herb - LOVE IT!)

In a large crockpot, add vegetables, tomatoes and juice. Add the browned hamburger. Stir. Add 5-6 dashes of worchester sauce and sprinkle garlic herb over the top. Stir and taste. Add more sauce or herbs as needed, they will cook into the soup, so you can check again later to see if you want to add more. I cooked 8 hours on low.

Dinner Two - Hamburger Vegetable Macaroni Chili

5 cups Hamburger Vegetable Soup
1 cup of water
3 cups elbow macaroni
chili powder
Pappy's Choice Garlic Herb
Shredded cheese (I use monterrey/cheddar mix)

In a large pot, heat the hamburger soup and water to boil, as it cooks, add chili powder, pepper, and garllic herb to your taste. Add macaroni to the boiling soup. Boil for about 5 minutes, than turn down heat to medium-medium/low. Let macaroni continue to cook another 3-5 minutes until done. Some of the liquid will boil off. Serve with cheese.

Recipe Credit: Arrion Rathsack

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back in Business

After a nice long vacation break, I am back and armed with 100's of recipes from my Great Grandma Hazel, Great Aunt Laura, Grandma Bolger, Grandma Smith, and many of their friends and family members from Coon Rapids and the Starr Church Community. I spent hours scanning old recipe journals (falling to pieces as I scanned) and typing up recipes from old handwritten cards.

I also have a few new recipes up my sleeve! I am looking forward to starting up regular posts, once I dig myself out of the post-vacation mess my house has become.