Couscous Herbed Salad

This is a hit salad with my family and regularly requested. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

1 c dry couscous
1 c boiling water (or chicken stock)
2 c canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
½ c fresh parsley, minced
.3 oz container of dried dill (2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped)
½ to 1 tbsp minced oregano
½ to 1 tbsp minced basil
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
6 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

In a large casserole dish, combine the couscous and water then cover and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool until just warm. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

 

 

Notes:  I don’t actually measure the dill or lemon juice; I combine all the veggies & couscous & then add the basil & oregano and oil; then I add the dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

The chicken broth/stock gives a great flavor; for a vegan/vegetarian, use the water or vegetable broth/stock.

 

Enjoy!

Heirloom: Persimmon Cookies, Persimmon Cake

These are my favorite cookies at Thanksgiving each year.  I could eat an entire batch myself.  These recipes have been handed down 3 generations now; from my grandmother, to my mother & now to myself.  My mother adds a thin glaze to her cookies.

 

Cookies/Bars:

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Scoop onto greased baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  If making bars; spread into jelly roll pan to edges & bake.

 

 

Cake:

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon each:

nutmeg

allspice

cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

splash (@ 1/2 teaspoon) lemon juice

1 1/4 cup persimmon pulp

1 cup nuts, optional

1 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream shortening & sugar together; set aside.  Sift flour, spices, baking soda & salt together & set aside.  Beat egg; pulp & lemon juice to egg & mix well.  To the creamed mixture, alternate the egg mixture & the flour mixture until combined.  Add nuts and/or raisins at this time.  Pour into greased baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until done in center.

 

 

Mom’s glaze

2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

 

combine until thin enough to pour; pour over bars.  If making for the cookies, make a little thicker so it can be spread.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Have you ever had persimmon cookies?  Comment & let me know.

 

 

 

Heirloom: Ketchup/Catsup

This recipe has been handed down to me from my great-grandmother’s recipe collection.  Originally written in German, it was translated to English; now I’m sharing it with you.  Wonderful, alongside of April’s heirloom recipe (BBq Sauce) at a barbecue/picnic or with March’s National Day of Something on a Stick (Corndogs).

Original Ketchup Recipe in German
Original Ketchup Recipe in German

Homemade, without all the chemicals and unhealthy ingredients, just tastes better.

 

6 [cooked] quarts tomatoes (about 18 pounds fresh) & strained (approximately 18 pounds, uncooked)

2 large onions (cooked with tomatoes)

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 cup vinegar

2 cups sugar

 

Cook until thick.

 

 

 

What would you use this homemade ketchup on?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Barbara’s Bbq Sauce

With summer soon approaching, thoughts of outdoors, sunshine, picnics & barbecues come to mind.  My heirloom recipe this month is my mom’s barbecue sauce.  She starting making this years ago & at the request of some of my dad’s co-workers at the time, she wrote it down.  This can be used many ways, but I like this best on chicken, grilled over open flames, smoked to perfection.  Fabulous!!!

IMG_4265

2 c tomato sauce

6 oz tomato paste

1 c brown sugar

2 heaping tbsp prepared mustard

½ c molasses

1 ½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 ½ tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp chili powder

2 tsp vinegar/lemon juice

1 c ketchup

 

Mix all ingredients and slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat; reduce heat to low & simmer 30 minutes, stirring every minute or so, so as not to burn.

 

Enjoy!

 

What would you use this on?  Comment & let me know.

 

Sweet Cherry Bread with Cherry Glaze

I created this recipe some years ago, using my mom’s zucchini bread recipe.

1 c sugar
½ c Crisco
2 eggs  (I used 1 cup egg whites; for a vegan option, use your favorite vegan egg substitute)
1 ¾ c flour
½ tsp each:
Salt
Baking soda
Nutmeg
Cinnamon
1 can (1 ½ c) canned cherries, well-drained (if large cherries, I recommend at least cutting in half), liquid set aside
¼ tsp almond flavoring
½ c chopped nuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan (I also used a cinnamon & sugar mix to coat after the layer of fat).

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Cream sugar & Crisco well.

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Beat in eggs for 2 minutes.  Combine flour, salt, soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Stir in half of flour into Crisco.  Add cherries.

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Spoon in remaining flour. Blend well.

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Add flavoring and nuts (if using ~ I didn’t this time, but I usually put in slivered almonds).

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Pour into [prepared] large loaf pan.

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Bake 50-60 minutes (mine took like an hour & a quarter to an hour & a half).  While cooking, make cherry glaze:  using approximately 2/3 to 3/4 cup of cherry liquid & about 1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; whisk together; once smooth, whisk in about 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon almond & 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cherry extracts; whisk again until smooth & set aside.  When bread is done cooking, let cook a minute or so & slide table knife around edges of bread to loosen from pan. Let cool and additional 5 minutes in pan, then pour glaze over & let cool 15-30 minutes.  Occasionally, as bread is cooling, spoon any glaze, which has poured over the edges of the pan back over the top of the bread.  Once glaze has hardened, remove from pan & cool completely.  NOTE:  I set my bread pan on a cookie sheet to contain the glaze mess ~ it kept my counters from becoming a massive sticky mess.

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Enjoy

 

 

Did you know that my Facebook page has additional content?  Check it out here. (Like & follow for my additional content & tips).

 

Do you have a favorite bread recipe?  Comment & share.

Brownies

Picnics, family reunions, summer bbqs, potlucks – what do they all have in common?  Food, lots of food, delicious food, gooey & chewy food and there is a good chance there are brownies there.

These are dense & chewy brownies; better the 2nd day and completely non-dairy.  My taste-testers (including me) loved these.  I hope you do too.

Brownies
Brownies

1/2 cup (one stick) Earth Balance*

1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco*

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 cups flour

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups egg whites (or 4 eggs)

1/4 tsp salt

4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coffee extract (optional)

1 package non-dairy chocolate chips

Frosting

1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco or soft Earth Balance

1/2 + 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used cashew)

1/4 heaping cup of cocoa powder

3-4 cups powdered sugar

dash salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp coffee extract (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350*; grease pan; flour greased pan (helps brownies not stick); set aside.  Cream ‘Butter’ & Sugar together; add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in 2 cups flour until smooth.  Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips, mix well.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth; bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter until cooked through.

While brownies are cooking, make frosting:  Combine “milk” and “Butter”/Crisco; add cocoa powder and extracts; mix well.  Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and no lumps.

Cool brownies completely.  Spread with frosting & let harden; slice & enjoy.

 

Grease pan
Grease pan
Flour greased pan
Flour greased pan
Greased & Floured Pan (helps brownies not stick)
Greased & Floured Pan (helps brownies not stick); set aside
Cream 'Butter' & Sugar together
Cream ‘Butter’ & Sugar together
Add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar;
Add extracts and cocoa powder to creamed sugar;
whisk until smooth.
whisk until smooth.
Whisk in 2 cups flour
Whisk in 2 cups flour
whisk till smooth
whisk till smooth
Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips
Add one bag of non-dairy chocolate chips
mix well.
mix well.
Pour into prepared pan.
Pour into prepared pan.
smooth; bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 and every 5 minutes until cooked through
smooth; bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes; check at 20 and every 5 minutes until cooked through
While brownies are cooking, make frosting
While brownies are cooking, make frosting
add cocoa powder and extracts
add cocoa powder and extracts
add powdered sugar
add powdered sugar
Whisk until smooth and no lumps
Whisk until smooth and no lumps
Cool brownies completely.
Cool brownies completely.
Spready with frosting & let harden
Spread with frosting & let harden

Slice & enjoy.

 

* I prefer half Earth Balance and half Crisco – the reason is all Earth Balance makes my baking more rock solid than I like – using half of each of these makes it a texture & density more like butter would.

If you have a go to vegan “egg” substitute you could try it – I don’t know how they would turn out, so if you do make these with an egg substitute, let me know how they turn out.

How do you like your brownies?  Comment & let me know.

 

 

Potato Salad

First, an apology; I’m so sorry I’ve not been able to post the past two weeks.  Our family reunion was this past weekend and the two weeks before I pure craziness and I was not able to get any posts completed.

This is one of the potluck food I took to our reunion (the other was the Non-Dairy Mac N’ Cheezz).  I tried two different “Mayo” with this recipe – Just Mayo and Vegenaise [grapeseed oil based].  Both tasted fine; texture was slightly different – the Just Mayo was a little more like a dressing than the Vegenaise – the Vegenaise was textured more like real mayo.  I’d use both of them again.

Mayo Choices: Vegenaise Just Mayo
Mayo Choices:
Vegenaise
Just Mayo

2 pounds potatoes, cubed, about 1″ each (I prefer red, but most any will work)

3 boiled egg whites*

1/2 c mayo (See note above on the mayos I used)

4 baby kosher dill pickles

2 tbsp mustard of choice (I love French’s)

1 stalk celery (optional)

1/2 of a small onion, chopped

salt, pepper – to taste

 

Boil eggs until cooked through; cool; peel & chop.

Boil Eggs

Boil potatoes until fork tender but not mushy (unless you like mashed potato salad – yes, it is a way to prepare – at least in my family)

Cube Potatoes - about 1 inch pieces (peeled or unpeeled)Boil Potatoes until tender but not mushy

Chop pickles, onion, celery (if using).

Peel and chop boiled egg whites (or eggs, if using whole) Chop four baby dill pickles (or sweet if that is your preference)

Combine everything together; add salt and pepper to taste, mix well.

Combine everything Mix Well

Keep in refrigerator until serving; enjoy.

Potato Salad

* for vegan – omit the egg whites; firm tofu might make an okay substitution for the texture; if you make it with tofu, let me know how it turns out.

What is your favorite picnic food?  Comment & let me know.