Tuesday, March 23, 2010


From left to right: My mother, Modena Nance Jones, Granny Brazel, my great grandmother, Aunt Iva Cecil, in front, me and my little brother Bob. This was taken about 1943.
My family wrote very few recipes down, a few were scribbled on envelopes or napkins, stuck in the back of old cookbooks and some were passed down word of mouth. This recipe is a word of mouth. I used to follow Granny around the kitchen in Harrison, Arkansas and 'help' with her cooking. My little brother Bob, like to eat the raw dough of the dumplings or biscuits. My mother said that raw dough would give him worms, I'm not sure where that came from. To my knowledge, he never got worms.
This was also a popular dish at the Seville Hotel in Harrison, a favorite place to eat Sunday lunch after church.
Granny Brazel's Chicken'n Dumplings
1 chicken, cut up
2 quarts water
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoon chicken fat or butter
Flour as needed
Salt and pepper if needed
Chicken broth
Boil chicken pieces in 2 quarts water. Add salt and pepper. When done, remove chicken and strain broth. Chill for fat to rise to top, or use a pitcher that separates the fat from the broth. Place milk, fat, baking powder, add salt and pepper if needed in medium mixing bowl. While stirring, gradually add flour until ball is formed (as for pie crust dough). Roll out on a floured board to 1/4 inch thick. Cut in strips and drop into boiling broth. Cover and cook until done. Add chicken that has been removed from bones.
Serves 4
This is ultimate comfort food, especially for a southerner. If you adjust the fat down to 2 tablespoons of butter, it is not a terribly high calorie dinner.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Mytymo is ready for the St Patrick's Day celebration.
Irish Brown Bread is a must to serve with Corned Beef and Cabbage, see recipe under Main Dish. My son-in-law is Irish and misses the real brown bread he grew up with in Ireland. I have tried several recipes and this one seems to be closest. Bernie and my daughter Melissa are leaving for 3 weeks in Ireland this coming Monday, a great way to celebrate St Patrick's Day. I have ask both of them to get Bernie's family to write down their brown bread recipe and bring it back to me. I'm afraid the difference is the grind of their whole wheat flour.
Brown Bread
3 cups whole wheat
1 cup of all-purpose unbleached flour
14 ounces of buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of soda
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (I have not tried this in a convection oven)
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough. I have used a Kitchen Aid free standing mixer with the beater used for cake. If not using mixer, turn onto floured surface and knead lightly. Don't over mix or knead.
Shape into round flat shape and place in a greased round cake pan. Cut an X in top of dough. Cover pan with another cake pan, this simulates the bastible pot. Bake for 30 minutes, remove the top pan and bake for 15 minutes longer.
Remove bread from pan and cover with a tea towel, sprinkle with water to keep the bread moist.


Mytymo was really not the center piece. He had his spring haircut and a St Patrick Day scarf, too cute.
We celebrated St Patrick's Day a few days early this year. My daughter Melissa and her Irish husband Bernie are leaving for Ireland Monday and will celebrate over there. Bernie is very fond of my corned beef, so I prepare it a couple times a year. Actually he says St Patrick's Day is a much bigger holiday in America than it is in Ireland.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
The old fashioned way.
I don't really have a recipe for this dish, but I'll go through the steps of how I make it.
I buy 2 packages about 3 1/4 pounds each, of corned beef in a package with seasoning. You can use one package, but the meat will shrink when cooked and when you remove the fat you will have a lot less than 3 pounds. Also, everyone wants leftovers for sandwiches.
The day before serving, cook corned beef with seasoning package according to package directions. Allow to cool in liquid over night in refrigerator, this is my method, it does not state this in the directions.
5 or 6 (or more for leftovers or 10) medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in half or left whole chunks.
1 pound (more for 10 or leftovers) carrots, peeled and cut in 2" pieces.
1 (for 6) or 2 ( for 10) heads of Cabbage cut in about 6 wedges.
Remove corned beef from liquid and set aside on cutting board. I remove most of the fat that forms on top as the liquid is chilled, taste, if to salty add water to cut saltiness. Add potatoes, carrots and put cabbage on top. (if you are cooking the smaller amount of vegetables, you may need to remove some of the liquid to add water, you don't want the cabbage covered with liquid). Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender. Don't over cook.
Slice corned beef into serving pieces, about 1/2 inches thick. Remove as much fat as possible as you are slicing the meat. Place the corned beef on top of the vegetables when they have finished cooking, simmer a few minutes just to heat the meat.
Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and serve all together on a large platter, sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Serves 1o or 6 with leftovers.
Serve with good beer, I don't drink the Irish stuff, but Dale does. I serve with spicy mustard and creamed horseradish.
And Bernie loves brown bread served with this. Recipe to follow.

Monday, February 22, 2010


We are leaving for Mexico tomorrow, in case you miss me. After this winter, we need some warm weather and sunshine.

I wanted to post a recipe here and on Stone Cottage Kitchen before we left. The one on SCK is for Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie and it is to die for, please check it out.

The Pineapple Casserole came from a very dear friend from our years at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany in the 1960s. Bettye and her husband Herb were killed in a car wreck in 2004, a terrible tragedy for so many people.

I was at a coffee recently and a similar dish was served as a brunch dish. Bettye used this as a side dish with ham or pork. Either way it is great.

Bettye's Pineapple Casserole

1 large can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound cheddar cheese
Fresh bread crumbs

Mix together first 5 ingredients and pour into buttered casserole. Cover with fresh bread crumbs and dot with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This is another recipe that my sister-in-law, Barbara, and my good friend Sue will try to take credit for. It is just that as they grow older, their minds get weaker. I first found this simple little dish in a Chinese cookbook about 45 years ago. Undoubtedly, it was written for American tastes, not exotic at all. Simple and easy to make and to add new ingredients, to your liking.

Beef and Mushrooms
1 pound fresh mushrooms or 1/2 dried mushrooms
2 cans beef bouillon or chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds beef steak* sliced into pieces small enough to eat without a knife, or leftover steak or roast can be used, all fat trimmed off
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
*I have made this with beef tenderloin and it is the best ever.

If dried mushrooms are used, wash then, drain, cover with cold water, let soak 1 hour. Drain, remove stems, and cut mushrooms into halves. Simmer (fresh or dried) in stock with salt 10 minutes.
Saute the beef, onions, garlic and ground black pepper(to taste, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon), cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add sherry and soy sauce, cook just to heat.*

Mix cornstarch with cold water, stir into mushroom and meat and cook until thickened.

Serve over cooked rice.

*Tenderloin or other tender steak is best cooked just until medium rare.

Additions: broccolli, water chestnuts, green peppers, carrots or whatever you prefer.
Serves 4

Monday, February 15, 2010


Brussels, Belgian is a beautiful city, a jewel among European cities. While my husband, Dale was at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany in the late 1960s, we took several day and weekend trips to neighboring countries. Brussels was a weekend trip. Belgians speak Flemish, French, Dutch and German and in Brussels a lot of English, thank goodness.
One of my favorite places there is the Manniken Pis. As the story goes, the small son of a wealthy gentleman wondered off and became lost. The father was so relieved when the little boy was found peeing in a fountain, that he had The Manniken Pis erected at the site.
Belgians are very fond of their beer and use often it in their braising. This dish is what I call a good man's dish, very hardy.
Beer Braised Beef, Belgian Style
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2 inches by 4 inches by 1/2 thick inch pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
6 cups of sliced onions
4 cloves garlic mashed
1 cup strong beef stock
2 to 3 cups light Pilsner beer
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large herb bouquet: 6 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf and 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or (1/2 teaspoon dried) all tied together in cheesecloth
Dry meat with paper towels. Put oil in a heavy skillet and heat to smoking. Brown beef slices ,a few at a time until the beef is browned.
Reduce heat to moderate. Stir the onions into the oil in the skillet, adding more oil if necessary, brown the onions lightly for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, season with sugar and pepper, stir in the garlic. Arrange half of the browned beef in a 9 inch to 10 inch fireproof casserole and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread half the onions over the beef. Repeat with rest of the beef and onions.
Heat the stock in the browning skillet, scraping up coagulated cooking juices. Pour it over the meat. Add enough beer to barely cover. Stir in brown sugar. Bury the herb bouquet among the meat slices. Bring casserole to a simmer on top of the stove. Then cover and place in lower third of preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, the meat should be fork tender. Remove herb bouquet. Drain the cooking liquid out of the casserole into a saucepan and skim off fat. Beat 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar mixture into cooking liquid and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Carefully correct seasoning. You should have 2 cups of sauce. Pour the sauce back over meat.
May be prepared in advance to this point. Simmer to reheat for 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve with peeled, boiled white potatoes, mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.
Serves 6

Friday, February 12, 2010


This is a picture of my mother's sister, Mildred. The picture was taken during World War II in Washington D.C. where she worked. She met her husband Harry (the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is from Harry) there and moved to Kentucky where she lived this rest of her life.

Mildred gave me a Kentucky cookbook in the 1970s and that is where I found the angel biscuits recipe that follows. It has become a tradition in my family, always served at holidays such as Thanksgiving. It makes a great breakfast biscuit and it is great with country ham, butter and marmalade.

This recipe is a good substitute for dinner rolls and easier to make. The dough can be taken out of refrigerator in portions for a particular serving. It doesn't require a rising and seems to rise higher in the oven after a couple days in the refrigerator.

Angel Biscuits
1 package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups flour (I prefer unbleached and the best unbleached is King Author)
3/4 cups shortening (I use 1/2 unsalted butter and 1/2 Crisco)
2 cups buttermilk
Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Combine sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, sprinkle over flour and mix well with a fork or sift together. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until shortening is well blended. Add yeast and buttermilk (start with 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk, add more as needed) mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. This will be a wet sticky dough, don't over handle. Place dough in greased bowl and turn to grease all sides, cover and refrigerate. If you plan to make a few days ahead, I suggest you put the dough in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag or divide into two 1 gallon Ziploc bags, this will keep the outside from drying out, you still should first put in a greased bowl to grease sides. (The dough could be baked after first making, but I always make ahead, because it is easier to handle after refrigerated.)
To make biscuits, take out the amount of dough required. Roll dough about 1/3 inch thick, cut with a biscuit cutter and place on lightly greased pan.* Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees. A convection oven will bake the biscuits far more evenly.
This recipe will make 2 to 3 dozen biscuits depending on size of biscuit cutter.

*There are two ways to bake these, set apart on baking sheet or place in a cake pan, close together. This depends on your preference, the sheet method will give you a crusty side biscuits, ideal for ham biscuit or in a cake pan for a higher, fluffy biscuits with soft sides.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Actually, the name of this chili is 'Dr. Ray's Famous Grand Prize Chile', winning the Texas state chili championship in 1980. My dear cousin Carolyn from Harrison, Arkansas, gave me this recipe years ago. My niece Barbie makes it every year for a New Year's eve party in Cleveland, Ohio and she says her friends love it. I made it this week for the little Supper Bowl party we had and it was a big hit.

There are lots of chili recipes out there, this one is worth the effort.

Grand Prize Chili

4 pounds chili meat (coarse chili ground or beef cut into small pieces, 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes, don't use hamburger meat)
2 medium yellow onions chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Seasoning spices*:
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika*
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon MSG, I leave this out, so I guess I have made it optional
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional, I left this out
1 teaspoon onion powder, optional, I added this
Beef stock or water

Brown chili meat in a little oil. Add onions and garlic, which has been chopped, continue cooking until the onions are beginning to soften. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Add beef stock or water to just cover meat. Stir everything together and cook for 2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Correct seasonings (salt, etc.).

After the chili was chilled I removed most of the congealed fat. This is optional.

*I prefer Hungarian paprika.

*The list of seasoning spices may be premixed for future use. The mixture may be scaled up, a times 10 increase will yield a mixing bowl full, which will fill 10 to 12 spice jars. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per pound of meat.
This makes a great gift, the seasoning and recipe in a basket.

A good seasoning for taco meat. If you read the ingredients on a taco seasoning package, you will realize how much junk is added. It is much healthier to make you own.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Back in the 1950s in Harrison, Arkansas, a favorite hang out was the A&W Root Beer Stand. I'm not sure when it opened or when it closed, but in the early and mid 50s is was the place. Huge frosted mugs filled with either root beer or a root beer float. One of the best things about this place was their chili dogs with slaw. The owners were Spike and Katherine Cavender, the founders of Cavender's Seasoning*, a staple in my spice pantry today. I'm fortunate to have the simple recipes for the chili and slaw that made these hot dogs so special.
*In 1971 Cavender's All-Purpose Greek Seasoning was introduced to the seasoning market. Salt free was added in 1991. I prefer the original, but for those that watch their salt, the salt free is a good substitute. If you live in area where you cannot find the seasoning, it is easy to find on line, just google it. I think you will find it to be truly unique and a great addition to so many dishes.
Martha's son oils baking potatoes with olive oil and covers the skin with Cavender's, wraps in foil and bakes. The seasoning permeates the potato skin for a great flavor.

Spike's Chili

1 pound hamburger
1 onion chopped
1 teaspoon each: salt, pepper and garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder

Brown hamburger and onion, breaking up hamburger. Drain off fat.
Add salt,pepper, and garlic. Cover with water 1 to 2 inches above meat. Cook 1 1/2 hours.
Last 15 minutes add 1 heaping teaspoon cumin, 1 heaping teaspoon paprika, and 1 tablespoon chili powder.
This will be a slightly dry chili, perfect for hot dogs.


1 head of cabbage, shredded fine
1 small onion chopped fine

Toss and Mix with dressing

Prepared Mustard

Spike didn't give amounts, he says he just mixes till it tastes right. He also says use a lot of pepper, and he only used a couple of teaspoons of vinegar.*

* I added a small amount of sugar, probably about 1/2 teaspoon, seems to soften the flavor. This is optional.

Cook good hot dogs, I use Petite Jean in Arkansas, Ballpark franks are good, or use your favorite. Place in bun and pile with chili and slaw. Also, have an A&W Rootbeer in a frosted mug along with the hot dog.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Martha sent me this 'blast from the past' recipe and I tried it today. It is very easy to make and very good to eat. 'Dilly Casserole Bread' comes from the 1960s, she said she got the recipe while living in Denver right after college.

I have a Kitchen Aid mixer and used it for this recipe. If you don't have this kind of mixer, it shouldn't be much trouble to make it by hand.

Dilly Casserole Bread

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup small curd cottage cheese, heated to lukewarm
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced dried onion flakes
2 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 unbeaten egg
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon softened butter

Soften yeast in water.
Combine in a mixing bowl:
Cottage cheese, sugar, onion, dill deed, salt, soda, egg and softened yeast.
Add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition.
Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

Stir down dough, turn into a well-greased 8-inch round (1 1/2 to 2 quart) casserole.
Let rise in warm place until light, about 20 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown.*
Brush top with soft butter and sprinkle with salt.*

*I used a convection oven at 350 degrees, it took a little less time to cook.

*I used Kosher salt, a slightly coarser salt.
Serves 6 to 8

It was good with soup. Martha said it was also good with a salad.

Monday, January 25, 2010


When I was growing up, homemade vegetable soup usually included some sort of meat, usually beef. It is so hardy, it makes a great winter supper served with biscuits, cornbread or as we ate tonight, Cheese Biscuits, recipe found in the Stone Cottage Kitchen blog.

This recipe is just a guide line to any number of variations. It is a good way to clean out your refrigerator, using up a left over roast and vegetables. I made it today, following the recipe as written, next time I might add some other vegetables along with the ones listed. The recipe makes a lot, 16 to 20 servings, and it only improves when reheated. It is good to freeze or share with a friend.

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 1/2 pounds beef steak, t-bone, rib eye or top sirloin. Beef bones will improve the flavor

Water and/or beef stock



1 pound carrots, scraped and slice

5 stalks celery sliced into small pieces

2 large onions, chopped

1 (28-oz) can tomatoes

Cavender's Greek seasoning and Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning. These are a couple of my favorite, Chachere's adds heat and Cavender's add flavor and salt. Use you favorite and spice to desired hotness with Tabasco, or other pepper sauce.

Kitchen Bouquet

Cut meat into bite size pieces, place along with any bones into large, heavy Dutch oven type pot, cover with water and beef stock, about half and half. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Add salt and pepper(go easy on salt and pepper if using the seasoning listed in ingredients) .

Add remaining ingredients, add seasonings a little at a time and finish up when soup is cooked.

Simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

I added some Kitchen Bouquet for color and flavor. A couple of tablespoons should be enough.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Aunt Iva Cecil is on the right in this picture. My mother Modena is on the left, my great grandmother Amanda, in the middle, my brother Bob and I stand in front. Aunt Iva was like a grandmother to us, our grandmother was ill and died when we were young. I have very few recipes from family members, so many cooked without recipes and rarely wrote things down. I would like to share with family, friends and followers, what recipes I do have.

Buttermilk Rolls

1 cup luke warm buttermilk
1 cake yeast or 1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1/4 teaspoon soda
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups flour

Pour buttermilk over salt, shortening and soda, mix. Crumble yeast with 1/2 cup flour into a bowl. Stir in liquid until yeast dissolves. Add remaining flour. Turn dough onto floured board. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Knead until smooth. Shape into rolls, place on greased pan, cover with damp cloth and let rise 1 to 1 1/4 hour.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.*

*If you have a convection oven, I think 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.

Cinnamon Rolls

2 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Make dough for buttermilk rolls, roll out dough; spread with butter, sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough like a jelly roll and cut in 1/2" slices. Let rise and bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.*

Yield 2 dozen

*For convection oven, bake at 375 or 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I think that convection ovens are wonderful for breads and rolls. You will get an even browing without over cooking the bottom.