Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie
I inherited a rhubarb plant in the garden of my new home.  So fairly common recipe tweaking in progress. Fresh rhubarb contains a lot of water so I'm still working on getting the right amount of thickeners (cornstarch and flour) for this. It's also important to let it cool completely so that the pie filling sets up well.

6-7 cups rhubarb - cut into small pieces (1 inch)
1.5 cups white sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix all of the above in a large bowl.  Add a teaspoon or two of butter or margarine to the top surface of the pie crust after putting it into a greased pie plate.  Add the filling and then a top crust.  Put in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove.  Egg or milk wash the top crust and sprinkle liberally with white or coarse sugar. Bake at 375 F for 60-70 minutes.  Allow to cool thoroughly before serving.

Jacky's Beef Stew

Our friend made this for us recently. It's just good old wholesome yummy food that's easy to make and great in the lunch box the next day!

1 ½ lbs of cubed beef stew meat
½ cup of flour
1 ½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of basil
3 ½ cups of beef broth
 ¼ cup of vegetable oil
1 onion –chopped

Potatoes, carrots, celery- I just put however much I like of each ie. two stalks of celery with the tops on, 3-4 potatoes (but again, depends on the size), and maybe a half cup chopped carrots (I really should measure!) I also throw about a half a cup of frozen peas in near the end, but you can add/take away anything you like from the recipe.

Put flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Put the meat in the bowl and thoroughly coat with the flour mixture, then lightly brown it in the frying pan.

Place browned meat into large pot, add the beef broth.

Combine the remaining flour from the bowl with the chopped onion in the frying pan that you browned the meat in. After the onions are cooked, add the flour and onion mixture to the large pot. Add the spices. Add all of the vegetables. 

Simmer for several hours in the pot on the stove OR put in all in the crock pot for approx. 4-5 hours and the meat will be nice and tender.

Doug's Mushroom and Onion Baked Fish

Saute chunks of mushrooms and onions in a margarine.
Add a light seasoning of either Lawry's seasoning spice or Montreal Steak Spice (don't overdo it with spices or it will overpower it).

In a large oven ready pot add 2 tablespoons of water or juice from a can of corn (for steam).
Cut skinned fish fillets of into palm sized chunks, add to pan, cover with mushrooms and onions.
Bake at 350 F till fish flakes easily (~20 minutes).

Grandma Duench's Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies (Decorations by Liam)
These cookies were always a lot of fun to make, decorate and eat at Christmastime when I was a kid.

2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup Crisco shortening
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together, chill dough in refrigerator, roll out and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 F for 8 - 10 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk

Divide up icing and add food coloring in your favorite festive colors.  Ice cookies and add all sorts of decorative combinations (sprinkles, candied cherries, Smarties or M&M's etc.).

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, peeled (or not) and cut into fries 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
(Note if you wash them - DRY THEM THOROUGHLY with paper towels)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. On a baking sheet spread out the cut potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil olive, mix. Cover with enough oil for the sweet potatoes to be glossy but not dripping with oil. Space evenly on the baking sheet (if they are close together they will be soggy). Bake for ~ 15 minutes then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.

Great Aunt Marie's Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding
Carrot pudding is kind of like fruitcake, you either hate it or can't get enough of it. I fall squarely on the side of can't get enough of it. If you do as well this recipe handed down from my wonderful Great Aunt Marie Ainsworth is the best that I've had. It takes a while to prepare but it most definitely worth it.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Crisco (or beef suet)
2 cups raisins
1/2 to 1 cup chopped green or red candied cherries (or a mix of the two)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated potatoes
1 cup grated apple
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves (powder or ground)

Mix Crisco and dry ingredients together (including baking soda and spices). Mix in vegetables and fruit.

Put in jars or greased bowl.  Cover twice with wax paper, tie it in place, then cover with this with aluminum foil.

Place a wash cloth in the bottom of a large pot and place the jars or bowl on top. Add water to almost the top of the jars or bowl and boil for 3 1/2 hours - adding water as needed.  DO NOT LET IT BOIL DRY!

Mix 1 cup brown sugar with 2 tablespoons butter or margarine (melted). Add in 2 cups boiling water. Mix in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with a small amount of water, add into sugar mixture and stir to thicken. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla or rum extract to flavor.

Glazed Carrots

There are three main rules when it comes to making good cooked carrots. In no particular order they are:
1) Do not overcook the carrots.
2) Do not overcook the carrots.
3) Do, not, overcook, the carrots! (Said in your best Captain Kirk imitation)
Glazed Carrots
Wash, cut carrots in your preferred style, place in water in a pot, bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer. In five minutes (or less if you've cut them very small), remove one and taste. Repeat every 2 minutes or so until desired taste and texture is obtained. It bares repeating, for best results - do not overcook the carrots (I'm sensing a trend here).  Drain.  Add equal amounts butter or margarine and brown sugar (about 2 tablespoons each for 3-4 cups of carrots). Stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve. And please try to remember, do not overcook the carrots.