Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smoky Sausage Burgers

This is from a collection of recipes that we used to subscribe to called Easy Everyday Cooking. They use to send a bunch of recipes every few weeks in the mail. I don't think we ever actually finished the collection of recipes. I tried it about a week ago for the first time.

Smoky Sausage Burgers
1 pound ground beef (I used extra lean)
1 pound bulk pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's extra mild just because I wasn't sure how spicy the others were & I don't really like super-spicy stuff - I might try substituting ground turkey or something else that is a little less fatty than sausage sometime)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (I omitted this, but I did put in a little onion powder)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (I omitted this because I wasn't sure if my husband liked it or not - he said he likes it, so we'll have to try them some other time with it)
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
2 loaves French bread (we just used regular wheat bread)
Sliced red onion (we didn't use this)
Sliced tomatoes (we didn't use these either)
Serves 6

We actually tried this recipe again just a couple days ago when we had the missionaries from our church over for lunch. We used the Jimmy Dean Regular flavor ground sausage & we actually used the Worcestershire sauce this time too. We used regular burger buns instead of the French bread. We did have tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles to use too, as well as a variety of cheese slices. They turned out really well the second time too!


Banana Bread

We are back from Christmas vacation and attempting to get back into the swing of things. I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas. I am way excited about the goodies Santa brought me for the kitchen...cotton dish towels, restaurant quality muffin tins with plastic covers, and a stainless steel 9x13 pan. Normally I don't get too excited about new stuff for the kitchen but I have wanted these items for so long to replace items that were either worn out or had been broken. There's something to be said about having stainless steel and restaurant quality aluminum in the kitchen as opposed to glass and stoneware - especially if you have kids! LOL :)

Today's recipe is one that my mother-in-law Beth gave me many years ago. It is a little different with having butterscotch bits and cherries in it but oh so yummy. It is a family favorite around here and the kids beg me to make it. My DH does not like cherries, so I usually divide the batter and make half with and half without. So here you go Christi, a great way to use up those bananas!

1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs well beaten
3 Tablespoons sour milk (buttermilk for those of you not from the South)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
3 mashed bananas
1 cup nuts
1 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
6 oz. butterscotch chips

Cream together butter and sugar. Add all other ingredients, mix well. Pour batter into loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until done. Makes one large loaf or two small loaves.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New name for our blog...

Well I can no longer call our recipe blog "Down Home Delicious" because apparently it is copyrighted as there is a published cookbook by that name. If anyone can suggest a name that is not already in use or copyrighted, I'd love to hear it. Meanwhile, I guess we'll call it "Embry Family Recipes". We are enjoying the holidays with family right now and I'll be back to posting recipes next week. I hope everyone has had a fabulous Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Basic Gravy

My daughter brought this recipe home from a Young Women's meeting where they were learning how to cook. It is by far the easiest gravy recipe I have ever tried. Now it is my go to gravy recipe.

1 Tablespoon Butter
1 heaping Tablespoon flour
1 cup pan drippings or broth

In a skillet, melt butter. Do not allow the butter to burn or go dark brown. Sprinkle flour across butter. Blend to make a roux ( a creamy, buttery paste). Little by little add the stock. Simmer until thickened.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

I printed this recipe from the Food Network website a while back. I wouldn't even know where to begin to buy vanilla beans much less how to scrape one. So I just add pure vanilla and call it good. :)

20 oz. bittersweet chocolate, in a block or pistoles
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
2 1/2 ounces butter

Finely chop the chocolate block or use pistoles. The size of the chocolate pieces is key. Make sure the chocolate is in small pieces so that the heat from the boiled cream can melt all of the chocolate.

Place the chopped chocolate in a large non-reactive bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring cream, salt, and vanilla bean to a boil. Once mixture has boiled and foamed up, immediately remove the pan from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Let chocolate and cream mixture sit for 3 minutes. With a wooden spoon, begin stirring in small circles in the middle of the bowl. As the smooth mixture begins to form in the middle, slowly expand the size of the circle until the cream and chocolate is fully incorporated. Remove vanilla bean and stir in butter. Cover mixture and let sit until firm.

Fill a piping bag or zip top freezer bag with the truffle mixture and pipe into 1 tablespoon size dollops. Allow dollops to set up until they are firm. Roll dollops into rounded truffles. Truffles can be coated in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, ground nuts, coconut, etc.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quick Measures and Equivalencies

I came across these measurements years ago and have them written down on a couple of very dog eared pieces of paper. I though y'all might find them as useful as I have.

Dash = less than 1/8 teaspoon
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 Tablespoons + 1 tsp. = 1/3 cup
6 Tablespoons = 3/8 cup
10 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons = 2/3 cups
12 Tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 Tablespoons = 1 cup
2 Tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
2 Tablespoons fat or butter = 1 ounce
juice of one lemon = about 3 Tablespoons
1 cup lemon juice = juice of 4-6 lemons
juice of one orange = about 1/2 cup
grated peel of 1 lemon = about 1 1/2 teaspoons
grated peel of 1 orange = about 1 Tablespoon

1 lb. of flour = 4 cups
1 lb. of cornmeal = 3 cups
1 lb. of cornstarch = 3 cups
1 lb. of granulated sugar = 2 cups
1 lb. of brown sugar = 3 cups
1 lb. of powdered sugar = 3 1/2 cups
1 lb. of raisins = 3 cups
1 lb. of rice = 2 cups
1 lb. of macaroni = 4 cups
1 lb. of potatoes = 2 cups diced
1 lb. of chopped onions = 3 cups
1 lb. of bananas = 3 medium

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monster Cookies

Well I am back, and yes, it's another cookie recipe. This is another recipe my grandmother gave me that we only make at Christmastime. It is a family favorite and anyone who tastes these cookies loves them! Be warned, it makes a LOT of dough. It takes a 5 gallon bucket to be able to mix them and of course they have to mixed by hand. You can break the recipe down, but we've found that for some reason that while they are still good when you break the recipe down, they just aren't quite the same.

1 dozen eggs
1 lb. butter
6 cups brown sugar
3 cups granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons white syrup
1/4 cup vanilla
3 lbs. peanut butter
8 teaspoons baking soda
18 cups quick oatmeal
1 lb. chocolate chips
1 lbs. chopped nuts
1 lb. golden raisins

Mix eggs, butter, syrup, vanilla, and both sugars in a VERY large bowl. This will need lots of stirring!!! Add peanut butter and mix well. Add baking soda, oatmeal, and chopped nuts. Stir in chocolate chips and raisins. Shape into balls and place on a greased cookies sheet (we prefer to line ours with parchment paper), and bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Check after 7-8 minutes.

Variation: Omit nuts & raisins. Decrease chocolate chips to 12 oz. and add 1 lb. of M & M's.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

French Bread

So I'm not gonna share a cookie recipe today. This is one of our all time favorite bread recipes. For bread lovers like us, I'm sure that this is just as detrimental as a cookie recipe though. :) The recipe is a little tedious, I'll admit it. A kitchen time is absolutely key to keeping track of it. While the recipe calls for white flour, our favorite way to make it is with half whole wheat flour and half white flour. If you are making it half and half, add the wheat flour first and let sit for about 20 minutes to give the gluten a chance to work properly. Then add the white flour and begin timing the 10 minute punch down increments. I also wait until I add the white flour to add the salt just to give my yeast a better chance. :)

1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated yeast (or two packets of yeast)
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
6 cups flour
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)
2 1/2 cups hot water

Mix water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Add half the flour and mix well. Add the remaining flour and the salt, mixing well. Let rise for one hour - punching down every ten minutes. Shape into two long loaves and place on cookie sheet . Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

We like to shape ours and put into greased loaf pans and let rise before baking for a fluffier bread. It really is a matter of preference. :) Oh and this bread makes THE best grilled cheese sandwiches!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coconut Cookies

Here's another cookie recipe for you. :) I am going to be making these for the goody plates that we hand out to our neighbors for Christmas. These are my mom's favorite cookie and I grew up eating these. My grandmother gave me the recipe and she has been making them for many many years. I hope y'all enjoy them as much as our family does.

1 cup shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon rind (my grandmother used the rind from the whole lemon...just the yellow part mind you. the white part is quite bitter)
4 cups flour (sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup moist flake coconut

Dough should be chilled overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Drop by teaspoons (or cookie scoop) onto baking sheet. Dip glass in sugar and quickly flatten the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes. These can also be rolled out and cut into shapes just like sugar cookies.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cinnamon Pecan Sugar Cookies

I bet y'all thought I'd forget to post a recipe today, huh? Today has been super duper busy, but here I am with another recipe for you. Just what you need, another cookie recipe. ;) I found this one on a blog a couple of weeks ago through a link on Facebook. It is so super simple to make and oh so delicious!

For the dough:

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

1/2 cup butter, softened but not melted

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

In a small bowl mix 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium size bowl, mix the sugar cookie mix, corn starch, pecans, vanilla, egg, and butter until well blended. Shape dough into 1/2" size balls (I use a cookie scoop) and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until light brown around the edges. Yields about 48 cookies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Frosted Lime Wafers

I made these cookies this morning for a cookie exchange I've been invited to. I love just about anything lime and butter cookies are just to die for, so what better than to combine the two?!?! I'm sure y'all will laugh when I tell you the origin of how I came to have this recipe.

A few months ago I bought a stamp set off of e-Bay. When my package arrived, my receipt was printed on the back of this recipe with a single squiggle line of ink drawn through it. I can only assume that the person I bought the stamp set from had printed off too many copies of it and was "recycling" her paper. The recipe intrigued me enough to save it. It was worth my while. :)

Frosted Lime Wafers


1 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lime zest (be sure to only use the green, not the white portion)
1/3 cup lime juice
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


1 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice

Preheat oven to 375. For wafers, in a mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, and lime zest. Beat until combined. Beat in the lime juice. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. (I use a kitchen-aid mixer and it handled all of the flour just fine)

Drop rounded teaspoons of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes (I had to bake for 13), or until the edges are beginning to brown. Remove the wafers with a spatula and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Meanwhile, for glaze, in a small mixing bowl beat together the powdered sugar, softened butter, and lime juice. Dip the tops of the cooled wafers into the glaze. (It works better to just spoon the glaze onto the wafers) Place wafers glazed side up on wire racks and allow the glaze to set before serving. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Welcome to my blog!

Another blog? Really? Yep. As my grandmother would say, I need another blog to post on like I need another hole in my head. LOL I've been contemplating for some time how to creatively deal with all of the recipes I have stuck in binders, my e-mail accounts, and falling apart well beloved cookbooks. Oh and did I mention I subscribe to multiple cooking magazines? Sigh. I also have something that Allison has nicknamed "the green monster". Once upon a time it started out as a 1 1/2" green, three ring binder. Just an ordinary binder you find on the school supply aisle. I added indexed tabs to it and used it to organize my recipes that I had collected from various sources. All was going well except my binder was getting full. Then one day the dog came along and knocked the binder off of the shelf it was sitting on. The rings popped open and recipes exploded everywhere!!! I scooped everything up and simply stuck it inside the binder - not even in the rings and that is how it has stayed ever since (3 years). LOL I have to dig to find what I want and I keep saying I'm going to organize it but I never do. That is all about to change. :)

The other evening Corey & I were visiting with some friends from church and Susan was telling us about how her family has a blog that they share recipes on. She said it's great for when they are traveling because she simply gets on the computer and pulls up a recipe if she wants it. I thought it sounded like a great idea, so here I am with another blog. ;)

Like I said, I've been wanting to organize my recipe collection for quite some time. I keep procrastinating it and just not wanting to deal with it. I am hoping that y'all will help keep me going and motivated. I'm always happy to share a new recipe. My goal is to post a recipe a day. If I can keep up with that, then hopefully by the time next summer rolls around, I will have my huge recipe collection tamed and the green monster will be no more!