Grammy’s Oatmeal Bar

This is comfort food at it’s finest.  Served warm out of the oven with a glass of milk, we like it for breakfast or a late night snack.  It’s really important that the butter is room temperature so that it creams really well in the mixer.  Another trick is that if you don’t have evaporated milk on hand use  just a splash under a cup of milk and then fill it to the cup line with regular white vinegar.

Grammy’s Oatmeal Bar

1 cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup evaporated milk
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in a mixer until well blended (almost whipped).  In another bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Alternating, add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, making sure all is combined well after each addition.  Add oatmeal after last addition. Turn batter into a 9inch baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. If anything, you’d rather underbake this than overbake.
Make a glaze of  powdered sugar and milk and pour over warm bar before serving.

Judy’s Chex Mix

I got this recipe from a neighbor and good friend of 20plus years and my girls have grown up loving it….and Judy.  It’s a staple any party we have, as well as something I always make around the holidays to have to snack on and give in decorative bags as a little gift.
1/2 box rice chex
1/2 box corn chex
1/2 box cheerios
1/2 small bag stick pretzels
1 lb peanuts, pecans, OR cashews
2 ½ sticks butter
½ cup bacon drippings
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons garlic salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Melt butter with the bacon drippings in a medium sized saucepan;  add Tabasco sauce, peanut butter and garlic salt and stir to mix well. 
In a very large bowl,  combine all cereals, pretzels, and nuts, then drizzle butter mixture over and stir gently to coat.  Pour into a large roasting pan and bake in oven for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool before serving.

BBQ Beans aka “Camping Beans”

1 pound Kielbasa sausage link, cut into slices

2 16 oz cans pork & beans in tomato sauce

1 brown onion, chopped fine

3/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup ketchup

3 strips bacon

    Fry kielbasa in large sauce pan or Dutch oven and remove; set aside.  Add bacon to skillet and fry to crisp; remove to drain then crumble; lower heat and saute onion in bacon drippings until softened (about 5 minutes).  Combine all ingredients in pot and cook on stove top for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally. 

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Super simple with just 4 ingredients, Spaghetti  w/ Garlic, Oil and Red Pepper is  a traditional Italian dish that’s great to throw together when you have little time but still want a great tasting meal.  Add a salad and bread and you’re set.  The pasta is the star of the show so be sure to cook al dente.
 7 oz spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Place the drained spaghetti in a serving platter; add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.  The amounts of the garlic and red pepper flakes can be adjusted to suit your own taste. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 each green and red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 10oz can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups water
chicken breast meat (from grocery store roasted chicken)
3 tablespoons cornmeal
6 corn tortillas, cut into small strips
In large stock pot, saute onion in olive oil over medium low heat until soft (about 5 minutes);  Add garlic, green and red peppers and saute 3 minutes more.  Sprinkle seasonings over vegetables, then stir in Rotel, chicken broth, tomato paste and water.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes, slightly covered.  Add chicken meat.  Put cornmeal in a small cup and stir small amount of hot water in to make a loose paste or slurry.  Pour in to soup.  Put tortilla strips into soup.  Simmer for 10 minutes or so, as it will thicken up.  Serve it with sour cream, avocado, cheddar and jack cheese, etc as toppings. 

Burnt Butter Brownies by Kori

1 1/4  sticks butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweeteneb cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbls flour
1 cup walnut or pecan pieces
Position bottom rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325degrees.
Line 8×8 inch pan with foil, pressing against sides of pan and leaving 2 inches overhang.  Coat foil with non-stick cooking spray. 
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat;  cook until butter stops foaming and brown bits form, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and salt.  Stir to blend, then let cool for 5 minutes. Add eggs to the warm mixture, one at a time, stirring vigorously to blend.  Add flour and stir to blend, then beat vigorously for 60 strokes. Stir in nuts and pour into prepared pan. 
Bake 25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.  Use foil to lift out when completely cool. 

Brown Sugar Pound Cake w/ Caramel Drizzle

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1  8 ounce bag of toffee bits
1 cup pecans, chopped 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 75-85 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan 30 mins.
Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Easy Caramel Drizzle Sauce
1  14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Drizzle over cake while hot as it will harden a bit as it cools.

Pina Colada Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan
8 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1 box yellow cake mix
½ cup canned cream of coconut
½ cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
¼ cup each sugar, water and light rum
¼  cup cream of coconut
1 3oz package cream cheese
Cake:  Spoon drained pineapple over the bottom of the bundt pan.  Mix the remaining cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Put into pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Syrup:  While cake bakes, combine sugar and water in small saucepan and boil for 2 minutes;  stir in the rum and boil one minute more.  Remove from heat and all to cool.
When cake is done, remove from oven and immediately prick with a fork at 1-inch intervals all around.  Slowly pour syrup all over cake, allowing to run into fork holes and around edges of pan.  Let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Glaze: In a small bowl, gradually beat cream of coconut into cream cheese until smooth and spoon over cooled cake.
This is a favorite at parties!!

Grandma Barb’s Creamed Corn

16 oz bag frozen corn, thawed
8 oz whipping cream
8 oz milk
1 teaspoon salt
6 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
3 Tablespoon flour
Blend the butter and flour together in a small cup and set aside.  Combine all other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to gentle boil; simmer for 5 minutes.  Add butter and flour mixture to corn and stir well.  Continue to simmer another 5-10 minutes to allow to thicken up.  Serve hot.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup
6-8oz fresh button mushrooms
6-8oz fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 stick, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don’t wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom STEMS, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water.

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the stick of butter and add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 ½  teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot!

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