Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Awarded by my DH

Whenever I bake potatoes, I always throw a few extra in the oven. They are handy for quick home fries and soup.

Serves 6 – 8.

2 strips thick meaty bacon
1 large onion, diced – reserve ¼ cup
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, shredded
2 cups water
5 medium baked potatoes, peeled and diced
2 quarts milk
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup (4 oz.) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 slices American cheese

Heat 4 quart metal kettle hot and dry. Remove from heat. Lightly coat with canola oil spray. Return to very low heat while preparing meats and vegetables.

Bring heat to medium high and sauté bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.

Sauté onion and celery 5 minutes. Add carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add water. Bring to boil then turn down to simmer 5 minutes, while peeling and dicing potatoes.

Add potatoes, milk and bouillon. Heat just to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

After five minutes or so, when potatoes are heated and softened, mash about half the potatoes or use a hand blender. Be sure to keep a good number of chunky bits.

While soup is simmering, crumble bacon into tiny bits and add to soup.

Stir in cheddar cheese. Drop in slices of American cheese and stir lightly until melted.
DO NOT BOIL! Keep heat to very low or it will curdle.

Turn off heat and serve with reserved diced onion sprinkled on top and a hearty bread on the side.

Beer & Venison Meat Loaf

My freezer overfloweth this time of year. We just put in two pigs from FFA and a deer. The guys would like to get more deer, so I am pressured to cook from the freezer. We will probably cold pack some of the next deer.

Meat loaf is a long honored tradition in our family, as in most. Our only rules are: ground meat, onions, egg, grain and ketchup. I usually throw some potatoes and winter squash in the oven alongside the meatloaf.

Serves 10 – 12

1 lb. lean ground pork
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground venison
2 Tbsp. onion flakes
1 cup oats
2 eggs
1 cup finely diced green bell peppers
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ can (12 oz.) Busch Light Beer
Salt & pepper
½ cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350°F. Have a 9” x 5” loaf pan ready.

Mix all ingredients, except ketchup, together in large bowl with your hands.

Pack into loaf pan and shape the top with a slight well around outside edge.

Bake for 60 minutes.

Spread ketchup over top and continue baking until meat thermometer stuck in middle reaches 170°F. It took almost 2 hours last time!

Take meat loaf out of oven and let it set for 15 minutes before slicing in the pan.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Edinborough Date Bars

It seems like Grandma Petrie made these once when I was very young. I make these most every Christmas since I began baking in my teens. I find my mixer bowl is not large enough, so I make half the oat mixture at a time. Do the bottoms first, then the tops. Or use a very large bowl and a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. I thought I was making too much, but they are all gone by Christmas!

Yield: 4 dozen

5 cups  (20 oz.) Chopped dates
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups Water
1 cup Chopped walnuts
3 ½ cups Sifted flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 ½ cups Butter
2 cups Brown sugar
3 cups Rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease two 13”x 9” pans.

Cook dates with sugar and water. Cool and stir in nuts.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in oats.

Press ½ of oat mixture in bottom of pans. Spread date mixture over oats. Sprinkle rest of oat mixture over dates and pat lightly in place.

Bake 25 minutes or until just browned. Cool. Cut into bars while still warm.


There was a discussion and search for this recipe on the recipe groups several years ago. I subsequently found the original recipe. These are very festive, tasty, nutritious and easy to make. I have included the original recipe from Quaker Oats. They are a thumbprint cookie with oats. I have made chocolate cookies by adding cocoa to the recipe. You can fit about 18 cookies on a 11” x 15” cookie sheet.

1 cup shortening, soft
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
Red and green candied cherries

Beat shortening until creamy; gradually beat in sugars. Blend in egg and vanilla.

Sift together flour, soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture. Blend in oats.

Shape dough into small balls and place on greased cookie sheets.

Make a hollow in each ball; place half a red or green candied cherry in each hollow.

Bake in preheated moderate oven (375°F.) 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen.

From: ALL-TIME ANYTIME RECIPES, The Quaker Oats Company, Chicago, IL; 1972; pg. 12

Grandma Petrie’s Currant Cake

This is another of Grandma’s famous recipes. We begged her to make it throughout the year, but she would always make it for Christmas. I am still not proficient with this recipe. It takes quite a pastry maker to roll out pie crust to fit a cookie sheet! Currants can be stretched with chopped apple.

Pastry for 3 pie crusts
3 (11 oz.) boxes Currants
¾ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Lemon peel
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Put currants, sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice in water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in a little bit of water and stir into the currants until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Roll out bottom pastry and fit into a high sided (3/4”) 10” x 15” cookie sheet. Dust with flour and spread on the currant filling.

Roll out the top pastry and prick with fork. Moisten edges of pastry in cookie sheet and lay on the top pastry. Pinch edges together.

Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes. Lower heat to 375° and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool and cut into 2” squares.

Grandma Petrie's Scottish Shortbread

My Grandma brought this recipe with her from Scotland in 1929. She passed away in 2004, but we still make this recipe every Christmas.

2 cups sugar
2 lb. butter, room temperature
8 cups flour, sifted twice

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with your hands.

Add flour and mix together with your hands.

Divide into two balls of dough.

Put each in a 9"x13" pan. Pat out evenly. Prick top with fork about every inch.

Bake for one hour.

Let cool on racks for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into 1" squares or bars.

Cool completely, then store in tins lined with wax paper.

For very light and fluffy, melt in your mouth, shortbread, divide recipe in half and cream butter and sugar in mixer. Use twice sifted confectioner's sugar, measured before sifting. Gently stir in flour with wooden spoon. Never over mix or it will toughen.

I prefer to use unbleached white flour. Grandma has also used 1 cup of rice flour to 3 cups of white flour. She also used 1 cup of farina (Cream of Wheat) to 3 cups of white flour.

A half recipe will also fill two 8" round cake pans.

Add a teaspoon of almond extract for a mysterious and delicious difference.

Sugar can also be sprinkled lightly over top before baking.