Sunday, October 1, 2006

HOLIDAY COOKING, BLOGGER STYLE

Today's the day for Overwhelmed With Joy's holiday recipe exchange: Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style. Go HERE to read her recipes, and to check out all the bloggity goodness everyone is submitting. The recipes I'm posting here are tried and true family favorites. Many of them are my Mama's recipes, precious to me since she went on to be with the Lord in April 2005. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does.



CROCK-POT DRESSING

1 pan cornbread, crumbled
¼ cup chopped celery
6-8 slices bread, toasted, torn into pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted
4 eggs
2 cans chicken broth or 3 cups broth from cooking chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. sage
2 tbsp. margarine
1 small frying chicken, cut up-Or- 3 large chicken breasts

Boil chicken; reserve broth. Let chicken cool; bone and discard skin, fat and gristle. Tear into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken and mix gently. Add to crock-pot and cover; cook on low 6 hour or high 4 hours. More of the reserved broth may be added as needed to moisten as desired.
I can’t make regular dressing worth a hoot, but I love this, and it always turns out good for me.


HOT SPICED CIDER

1 cup packed brown sugar
dash of ground nutmeg
2 tsp. whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. whole cloves
1 gallon apple cider or juice
1/3 tsp. salt
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 red apple, sliced into rounds
1 green apple, sliced into rounds

Stud the orange slices with some of the cloves. In a Dutch oven or crock-pot, combine the brown sugar and spices. Pour in the cider and mix well. Cover and bring to a boil over low heat. Simmer 10 minutes; add the apples and orange. Simmer 10 minutes. If in crock-pot, cover and heat on high until steaming hot; add apples and orange. Serve straight from the pot or crock-pot. Spices may be strained out or use a slotted spoon to remove.

I make this just about every year for Christmas. It’s what I bring to our Adult Sunday School Class Christmas party, and almost everyone likes it. It smells so good and spicy and makes the whole house smell good. Just the smell of it brings back memories of long ago holidays, and some newer memories, too.




DIANE'S HOMEMADE YEAST ROLLS

6 cups bread flour
2 envelopes yeast, or 2 tbsp. bulk yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water, test on wrist like formula for a baby (110-115 degrees for the obsessive people)
5 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, stick margarine, or oil (obviously, the butter gives the best flavor, or use 1/4 cup each butter and oil)

In a LARGE bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the sugar, salt and butter or oil; mix till sugar is dissolved. Add 3 cups of the flour; mix well. Stir in 2 more cups of the flour, reserving the last cup of flour for kneading. Mix well, and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. According to the weather, it may take a little more or less flour for kneading. After kneading, place in an oiled bowl big enough to contain the dough after it doubles in size, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. (I usually put mine on the top rack of my oven and put a pan of warm water on the bottom rack. This really speeds up the rising process.) Punch down and form into rolls or loaves. Place into greased pans (2 loaf pans or a 9x13 pan for rolls), and let rise again covered loosely with plastic wrap until doubled in size. Remove plastic wrap and preheat oven to 350-375 degrees. Bake loaves for 30-35 minutes or until brown and done. Bake rolls at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, checking after 20 minutes. According to the size of the rolls and loaves and differing ovens, the baking time and temperature may vary quite a bit and have to be adjusted for those variables. If the loaves or rolls start to get too brown before they are done in the center, you may have to cover loosely with foil. Cool rolls and loaves on wire racks for 10 minutes or so, then carefully turn out onto racks to finish cooling. Run a knife around the sides to loosen if necessary. I butter (yes, real butter!) the tops of the rolls and loaves as soon as they come out of the oven. Good luck, I hope they turn out well for you.


DIANE'S GLAZED PECANS

1 egg white, beaten stiff
2 1/2 cups pecan halves
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. good vanilla
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Beat the brown sugar, salt and vanilla together with the beaten egg white in a medium bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add pecans and mix WELL, turning to coat pecans on all sides with the egg white/brown sugar mixture. Spread out on a foil-lined cookie sheet(s), separating with forks into a single layer and as individually as possible. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn off oven, leaving pecans in oven. Let set in oven for at least 30 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack in pan. Break apart if necessary and (if there's any left to store!) store in an airtight container. Enjoy! It's a tradition for me to bring this candy to our church Christmas parties and fellowships. Everyone raves over it, and it's SO easy.


OLD FASHIONED COCONUT CAKE

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 egg yolks (reserve whites for frosting)
1 tsp. good vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with mixer until well blended. Spray 13x9 oblong baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Dust LIGHTLY with flour. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, cake springs back and toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack and prepare frosting:

3 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Shredded coconut to taste (or omit if desired)
Boil sugar and syrup for 3 minutes. With mixer running, pour in a small stream over beaten egg whites; combine well. Beat until thick and glossy, then pour over warm cake. Sprinkle with coconut if desired.

Oh, Mercy, this will make you hurt yourself!!


MAMA'S CHEESECAKE

3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
3 eggs
1 tsp. good vanilla

Crust:

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 300-325 degrees.

Combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Mix well and press into an 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Press evenly into bottom and 2 1/2 inches up sides of pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until fluffy, then add sour cream and sugar alternately. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Pour into prepared pan and bake slowly for 45-60 minutes, or till almost set in the center. It should still jiggle just a little in the center. Cool on a wire rack, then cover well and refrigerate. Best if allowed to ripen 24-48 hours in the fridge.

This is our favorite dessert for the holidays or anytime. May be topped with cherry or any pie filling, but we love it best plain.



ITALIAN CREAM CAKE

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup good shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. good vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter, shortening and sugar in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add buttermilk and mix well; add vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl; add coconut and pecans and toss together well, then stir into wet ingredients. Mix well by hand. In another bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold gently into cake batter, then divide batter into 3 greased and floured round cake pans. Bake 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees, or until lightly browned and cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted near the center. Cool thoroughly on wire racks in pans. While layers are cooling, prepare frosting:

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. good vanilla
chopped pecans for garnish

Cream butter and cream cheese together in a medium bowl; add vanilla, and gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Carefully remove cakes from pans and brush off crumbs. Place bottom layer on serving plate, top with frosting. Place second layer over first, top with frosting then last layer. Frost cake, then sprinkle with chopped pecans as desired. You can cheat and make this with a white cake mix, but it's just not the same. Keep cake refrigerated.




BLACKBERRY JAM CAKE

2 sticks margarine
1 jar blackberry jam ( 1 pint, or 2 cups from a larger jar)
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. baking soda mixed into 1 cup buttermilk

Combine in a medium size bowl:

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
¼ cup self-rising flour (do not omit the flour)
1 cup raisins

Cream the margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add the jam and mix well. Add the flour and milk a little at time until all is used. Mix well; fold in the nut mixture and mix well. Pour into 3 greased and floured round cake pans and bake at 325° to 350° until cake springs back in the center and pulls away from the sides of the pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. (I sometimes bake this in 2 9-inch round pans and use the rest of the batter for cupcakes or a small loaf.)


Glaze for the Jam Cake:

1 cup sugar
1 cup canned milk (such as Pet or Carnation)
½ cup light syrup
1 tsp. vanilla

Boil for 5-10 minutes until as thick as you like, stirring to keep from scorching. Cool, then pour over each layer. Decorate the top with nut halves as desired.

For the Cook family, this is a family tradition. I can’t remember a Christmas that Mom didn’t make at least 1 jam cake, and usually several, for family and to give away to friends. I always got to help pick out nuts, and I usually got to mix the nuts, raisins and coconut with the flour. This is better if made a week or more ahead and tightly wrapped in foil. I like a lot of glaze on it, too, so it will soak in and help keep it moist. There are a lot of childhood memories baked in each of these cakes. I know Ducky, Sue, Cecil and our other sister, zztop, will agree with me.


I'm sure you noticed that most of these recipes are for sweets. We always had Mama's dressing and usually a turkey, sometimes a ham, too. Mama made giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, pinto beans and English peas. Cranberry sauce and raw celery sticks were a holiday staple, and the kids and grandkids sometimes brought stuff to contribute to the meals. But Mama always outdid herself with her holiday baking. The Jam Cake, Italian Cream Cake and Cheesecake are her recipes, and I make them with pride. Somehow all my memories just make these recipes taste that much better.

Enjoy, y'all.

*Main Dish, Beverage, Bread, Candy, Desserts

21 comments:

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, how nice, you've given me 8 fantastic family recipes! I'm so excited!

Thanks so much for participating in my Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange. I do appreciate it!

Larae said...

Wow so many recipes! They all sound wonderful. I'm hungry now and it's 3 in the morning! ;) Thanks so much for sharing, I'm giving these a try this season! =)

Pamela said...

My goodness, how wonderful! All the recipes look delicious! The glazed pecans, cheesecake, and the jam cake, wow! I feel like I hit the jackpot. :) Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Wow! So many great sounding recipes and I love the fact that they are passed down- somehow things just taste better when you have memories attached to them. Thanks so much for sharing!

Magi said...

What wonderful sounding recipes. I love Italian Cream Cake and haven't had it in years. I've never made it. I'm excited about trying your recipe. Thanks!

Jammy said...

Wow, thanks! I can't believe you posted so many...awesome!! It's going to be a yummy season for sure :D

Jenn

Sue said...

Yum!
Each one looks more delish than the one before it. Can't wait to try some of these southern recipes on my Dad!!
((hugs))

Kathleen Marie said...

This is fantastic. I am saving them all. They all sound delicious! Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Oh yummy, you've shared so many great recipes, thank you :)

I think I'm going to put on a few pounds this season, trying all these recipes being shared LOL

Have a great day :)

Anonymous said...

Wow...thanks for all the recipes. Two of my favorite things are coconut & blackberry. Yummmm.

Heidi said...

Wow, all of these sound terrific! Especially that dressing...yum

Chilihead2 said...

Oh. My. Goodness! Those all sound delish! Thanks for sharing!

PEA said...

Such delicious sounding recipes and I will be trying a lot of them out for sure!! Yummmm!

erika said...

I've been looking for a good Italian Cream Cake recipe for about 7 years!!! I'm so excited.

Barb said...

I'll vouch for the crockpot dressing. It's wonderful!

Meow said...

Wow, what a great yummy bunch of recipes. I think I feel like cooking ... must go shopping first, though !!
Have a great week.
Take care, Meow

Brony said...

Very nice. You left me craving some hot cider.

All of them look wonderful. I may even try a few myself.

Debi D said...

Yummmmm.....all of those cakes sound great. And I can't wait to try the yeast rolls. My great grandmother always made those kind of rolls for our holiday gatherings when I as a kid....brings back memories. Maybe I too can start that tradition in my home. Thanks.

Lori said...

Oh wow! That crockpot dressing looks SO good...something that I might like to try sooner rather than later! Thanks so much for sharing! I just love looking at all of these wonderful new recipes to try! MMMmmmmm!

Dianne said...

Crockpot dressing, eh? Who'd a thunk it! These look so good!

Anne said...

So many delicious recipes! I especially appreciate the crockpot stuffing - sounds yummy.