Archive for August, 2015

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 6 French Toast

August 29, 2015

It’s Saturday evening and I haven’t sent your recipe for this week. But it’s still coming. My goal today was to finish one of the three garments I need to make for the Houston Quilt shows.

We have many fabulous fabric manufacturers who are exhibitors at Quilt Market. Two or three of them donate fabrics each year for the members of the Education team to make garments to wear on the same days. This all began when my first book, Jacket Jazz, was published. For many years, I wore garments from my books, and many of our staff did the same. When I finished writing this series of books and teaching, I quit making garments until last year. It has been fun to create these show garments again. The one I finished today is made from a jelly roll of fabric strips by Robert Kaufman. Jennifer Sampou is the designer. A pattern company,  Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, donated our patterns of choice from her line. I chose the Gathered Back Top & Tunic pattern for this fabric. I’ll wear it with black tights.

Strip Pieced Tunic

Strip Pieced Tunic

Now that my first show garment is complete, it’s time to give you the recipe for this week. A book of family requested recipes could not be complete without my French Toast. I learned how to make it while watching my mother as I grew-up. There are much fancier ways to create French Toast, but most everyone in our family loves Grammy’s the best.

Holly and Julie getting a Lesson

Holly and Julie Getting a Lesson at Christmas

Once, Troy ate 8 pieces at one time when he was home from college. I think that’s the record. Madison has loved Grammy’s French Toast passionately since the first time I made it for her. Now Lindsey is just as great a fan. Ashton, Tyler, and Sydney get caught-up in the excitement, but they aren’t fans like Madison and Lindsey. They all enjoyed French Toast during our “children only” Christmas Tea last December

Christmas Tea

Christmas Tea

Grammy’s French Toast

Ingredients

White bread from the grocery store

2 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup milk

Dash of salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla (The secret ingredient)

Butter

White sugar

This will make 5-6 pieces. Just double it for more.

Instructions

I make mine in an electric skillet. I can use other skillets, if necessary, but really prefer my electric skillet.

Beat together eggs and milk in pie pan. Stir in salt and vanilla.

Melt butter in heated skillet. Quickly coat bread in batter on both sides. Place in skillet. When slightly brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. Add more butter if bread sticks to skillet. Remove to plate when brown on both sides. Butter one side and sprinkle with white sugar. Eat while hot.

waiting

Waiting for French Toast

If you have a leisurely Sunday morning, you might want to try my recipe. Try topping it with plain white sugar before you pull out the powdered sugar or maple syrup. That’s the way we like it. Have a great day. Hugs and sugar, Judy

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 5 Cocoa Cake

August 22, 2015

Tonight we are going to a Sunday school party at the home of two of our members. We have a fun group of about 25 who gather together to socialize once a month. Our lessons on Sunday mornings are Bible based. Right now, we are studying You Will Get Through This by Max Lucado. Tommy and I always enjoy his books, our class for study and socializing.

Sunday school

Sunday School Party in Our Back Yard

The parties are pot luck. We are taking a dessert, which I will make after I finish this blog post. Even though it’s a Greek theme, I have chosen to make my Chocolate Sheet Cake. This has been a favorite with this group, and it’s easy to make.

My sister, Joanie, gave me this recipe. In San Antonio in the 1960’s, people called  it “Sheath” cake. Did we not understand? No matter. I’m glad I received the recipe from my kind sister, Joanie Olafson McDonald, before she died in a car accident on June 1, 1989. Try not to eat too much of the icing before it’s on the cake. It tastes like yummy fudge.

ingredients

Ingredients for Cake and Frosting

Cake

Sift together in mixing bowl 

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Put in sauce pan  

4 rounded T cocoa

1 cup water

2 sticks margarine or butter (1 cup)

Bring this to a boil. Pour over sugar mixture. Stir well.

Add  

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup butter milk to which has been added ½ tsp baking soda

Mix well. Pour into well greased and floured 8” X 12” cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.

Ice cake in pan while it is still hot.

Icing

Melt and bring to boil 

1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)

3 rounded tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons sweet milk or butter milk (scant ½ cup)

Remove from heat, beat and add

1 box powdered sugar (16 oz.)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup broken (not chopped) pecans

Mix well. Pour over center of cake in pan. It will melt to the sides.

cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

And now for a lagniappe…a little something extra.

This week was Tommy’s birthday. We celebrated Thursday night by going to a Skeeters game with our daughter and her three children. They came to our house after the game for birthday cake, singing and lots of laughs.

For many years Tommy requested a cake mix for Boston Cream Pie for his birthday. It’s a cake, so I’m not sure why it was called a pie. The cake mix hasn’t been available for a long time. Recently I found a recipe on Pinterest for Boston Cream Poke Cake. It taste just like his old favorite. So I made it for his birthday cake. So here’s your lagniappe…the recipe I used.

Boston Cream Poke Cake

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix (plus ingredients on box)

2 small boxes (3.4 oz.) Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

4 cups whole milk

1 container Duncan Hines Classic Chocolate Creamy frosting

Instructions

Prepare cake in 13″ X 9″ pan according to box directions. Let cool in pan.

Use wooden spoon handle to poke many holes evenly across the cake.

Combine milk and pudding mix and whisk until well blended.

Pour pudding over cake making sure it gets down into the holes.

Refrigerate cake for an hour to allow pudding to settle and set up.

Open frosting container and remove foil seal.

Microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat this until frosting is pourable.

Pour over pudding layer and spread with spatula to cover completely.

Refrigerate for at least another hour.

happy

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband

And a Happy Birthday to all of you, my dear friends, whenever your special day arrives. I hope someone makes you a cake. Have a good week until we meet again. Hugs, Judy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 4 Chocolate Meringue Pie

August 16, 2015

Oh, dear. I didn’t send you a recipe yesterday. Sorry I’m a day late. My sister came from San Antonio for a weekend visit to sew pumpkins for her shop, Apples of Gold, at Artisan’s Alley. I’m sorry to say that as we sewed all day Saturday, I never thought about my blog.

Pumpkins for Sale

Pumpkins for Sale

Then today we went to Sunday school, church and lunch before we packed-up her pumpkins and sent her on her way home.

Suzanne and Me

My sister, Suzanne, and Me

Then, I came upstairs to catch-up on email and remembered I forgot to send you Page 4 of my Recipe Book yesterday. It’s one of my favorites from my mom.

Shortly after I wrote my first book, Jacket Jazz,  in 1993, I taught frequently in San Antonio. I’d stay with Mom, and she always fixed my favorite meal for dinner with chocolate meringue pie for dessert. We ALWAYS had dessert after every meal in my home when I was growing up. I looked forward to dinner at Mom’s house all day while I was teaching. Now her pie is one of the most requested desserts from my family.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

2 rounding tablespoons flour

1 large heaping tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa

Dash of salt

3 egg yolks (Whites will be used for the meringue.)

Instructions

Heat 2 cups milk in sauce pan until warm. Add sugar, flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Add egg yolks one at a time, and beat quickly with a wire whisk. Cook until thick stirring vigorously all the time to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Stir in vanilla just before finished. Pour into a baked pie shell.  Top with meringue.

Mom’s Meringue recipe will be on Page 15. Her Pie Crust will be on Page 18. We’ll keep going until you have 26 pages of my favorite and most used recipes.

My mom

My Mom when I was growing-up.

I really have thought about you during the week. I love hearing from you and your well wishes as I go through monthly chemo treatments for MDS. At my visit last week with my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, I was given a good report. He says my recent bone marrow aspiration shows that the chemo is working. The question most people ask is how long will I have to take chemo. Dr. Garcia-Manero’s answer is “As long as it works.” So that’s it folks.

Hope you have a great week. I’ll talk to you again next week. Much love and hugs, Judy

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 3 Chicken Salad Supreme

August 8, 2015

I love Chicken Salad and order it often when eating out. For many years that’s what I ordered at Victoria Country Club when joining friends for lunch. Now, when Tommy picks-up dinner from Hoggs-N-Chicks in Missouri City, I ask for their Chicken Salad. I also have my own recipe for Chicken Salad.

When our daughter-in-law, Julie Hartman Murrah, was pregnant with Tyler she was put on bed rest while waiting for his arrival. During that time I stayed with her for a few days to watch Madison. I made this Chicken Salad recipe then, and Julie really liked it. Every time I make this recipe, I think of those days. When I left to go home, both Madison and I cried like we would never see each other again. It broke my heart to see her standing at the door crying. I knew then we were forever playmates.

Julie, Tyler, and Madison Murrah 2000

Julie, Tyler and Madison Murrah 2000

Chicken Salad Supreme

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

(I use the Easy Bake Chicken Breasts recipe from page 2.)

1 cup seedless red or green grape halves

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

Instructions

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve on bed of lettuce with fruit or in a sandwich.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Fifteen years later, the Murrah Four Family is doing well with Madison taking off for Texas A&M later this month, Tyler starting his Sophomore year at Jesuit in Dallas, and Julie and Todd managing their ownership in Wing Stops Restaurants. Madison spent a week with us earlier this summer, and Tyler comes to stay next week. We are so pleased they still enjoy spending some of their summer vacation with us.

vacation

Madison, Tyler, Todd and Julie Murrah on their 2015 Family Summer Vacation.

Hope you are having a special summer. It’s hot as could be expected here in Houston, Texas, in August. The Chicken Salad recipe is a great one to make for the heat of summer. Try it and let me know what you think. I’ll be thinking of you. Hugs, Judy

 

 

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 2 Baked Chicken

August 1, 2015

I had to add this recipe to our family favorites for Todd, our oldest son. I have found out over the years how much he disliked much of my cooking when he was growing-up. What a polite boy not to tell me when he lived under our roof. He especially disliked having chicken as often as I served it. Weight Watchers was a big advocate for eating baked chicken. I was forever trying to get to 124 pounds like I was before I approached age 40.

Joanie Olafson McDonald gave me this recipe early in our marriage. I still bake it often as our meat course or to put in recipes that call for baked chicken. Joanie was our middle sister. She was killed in a car accident on June 1, 1989. She was only 50 years old. I remember playing Jacks with her with a golf ball when we were young. She was the most generous and caring person I have ever known. She also was very curious. How often I wish she could have been with me over the years. Gosh, I’ve missed her.

Our Middle Sister, Joanie

Our Middle Sister, Joanie

Easy Bake Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless chicken breasts without skin

¼ cup butter

Juice of half of lime or lemon

Lemon pepper

Garlic powder or minced garlic

Instructions

Wash chicken and drain on paper towel. Melt butter in baking dish in oven set at 350 degrees. Coat chicken on both sides with melted butter. Place meaty side up in dish. Sprinkle with juice. Generously shake lemon pepper and garlic on top. Put in oven for 30 minutes. Take out of oven. Turn over breasts and coat with more lemon pepper and garlic. Bake 20 more minutes. Turn chicken meaty side up again and bake 10 more minutes.

Joanie, My Sister and Me

Joanie, my sister, and me

This picture was taken at a going-away party for me in 1982 at Great Expectations Quilts where I taught for many years. Karey Bresenhan, the owner of the shop, organized the surprise party for me plus the quilt of hearts hanging in the background. Each heart was made and signed by one of my students, family member, or friends. It was so special to have Joanie there at the party.

I hope you are having parties and fun this summer. Make each day count. They are so precious. Much love, Judy


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