Family · Family Favorites · My Roots

Apple Roll Ups

My Mother was such a great cook and many of my cherished recipes came from her kitchen.  Apple Roll Ups is one of those recipes.  They are fantastic served warm but equally good left-over.  If you truly want to indulge, you can pour a bit of cream on the top of your Apple Roll.

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APPLE ROLL UPS

SYRUP:
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

  • Boil for 3 minutes.  Cool.
  • Pour into ungreased 9×13 inch pan.

DOUGH:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt and shortening and blend well. Add 1/2 up milk and 1 egg. Mix well.
  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle shape about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

FILLING:
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups finely diced apple (I used Granny Smith)

  • Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over rolled out dough. Add chopped apple.

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  • Roll up carefully and cut into 12 in slices.
  • Place in 9×13 inch pan on top of cooled syrup.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

Family · My Roots

Mother’s Day…Things I Miss About You

Time is so precious and passes every so swiftly. When I was younger, I took so much for granted, assuming that time and moments would go on forever.

Each Mother’s Day (and Father’s Day) I recall the times that I did have with my Mom and Dad. How I wish I could call them up to chat and tell them how much I love and miss them.

Betty Gaunt senior portrait 2

Things I Miss About You

It’s Mother’s Day again,
And I’m trying to make it through,
Because this day reminds me
Of all the things I miss about you.

I miss your face smiling down at me,
With love shining from your eyes.
I miss the way you’d laugh at my jokes
So hard that it made you cry.

I miss the touch of your dear hands,
How gentle and kind they could be.
And I miss the warth of your hugs, and how
You’d wrap me up tight as could be.

I miss the smell of your perfume,
The way it lingered in the air.
Sometimes I think I smell it again,
And I get a sense that you’re there.

I miss the way you could always tell
When something in my life had gone wrong,
How you’d talk to me until I felt better,
Your words soothed me like a song.

And so I sit here once again
Remembering these things I miss
And this year, just like every year,
I make a silent wish.

I wish that one day I’ll see you again,
Whole, and safe, and sound.
That you’ll take my hand securely in yours,
And for Heaven we’ll be bound.

Author Unknown

Family · New Traditions · Uncategorized

Celebrating Moms!

Each year, for the past four years, a group of gal pals have gathered to celebrate ourselves. This wonderful group of women saw our kids grow from adolescents to adults and we have a lot to celebrate! While we don’t see each other as often, we do gather together for a Mother’s Coffee/Tea as well as in smaller groups for Book Club, Card Making, and Christmas.  These women are such a blessing for me as well as for their children.

That being said, we all LOVE to come together over food. Each year our friend, Barb, captured pics of our delicious array of food as well as pics of our group.

2013MDfood

Last year was the first time our daughter, Sarah, joined us as a Mom celebrating the birth of Evan. It’s such a wonderful gift to now have our daughters (and in the future daughter-in-laws) join us in the celebration.

P1120107We will be celebrating a week before Mother’s Day this year so let the party begin.

Family · Family Favorites

Banana Bread with Banana Jam…double the flavor!

Banana Bread is an old time favorite that my Mother and the women before her made for their families. I like it plain, with a little butter, but always shared with family and friends.

This time I decided to try it with the Banana Jam we drooled over in Nicaragua and I wasn’t disappointed.  This combination is great for breakfast, coffee, or dessert. Just say BANANA!

BANANA BREAD

2 cups sifted all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Cream together shortening and sugar.
  • Blend in eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas, mixing just until blended.
  • Combine pecans and 1 tsp. flour; stir into batter. Pour into greased 9″ tube pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Family · Holidays

Mother’s Day 2013…Daughter, Mother, Grandmother, Friend

Mother’s Day 2013 will be a weekend of celebration starting with my annual Mother’s Day Coffee/Tea on Saturday.  There will be much laughter, hugging, catching up and, of course, delicious treats.  This year our friend Barbara has designed T-shirts to celebrate our annual event.

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Sunday, our family will share a meal celebrating daughter Sarah as a Mother and now adding Grandma to my title.   We are blessed.

As I reflect on Mother’s Day, I think about my Mother who passed away in 2001.  I miss her every day.  How many times have I wished that I could pick up the phone and talk to her!

Our journey as Daughters and then Mothers (and now Grandmothers) takes many twists and turns.  I recently read this poem which reminds me of my Mother being there to support me and my own journey as a Mother.  And the journey continues with my daughters.

Love you, Mom.  Love you girls!

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Baby Evan with Grandma, Mommie and Aunt Megan

A Mother…

When you’re a child she walks before you,
To set an example.
When you’re a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.
When you’re an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together..
Author Unknown
Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegetarian

Oh, the lowly radish sandwich…

Do you have a favorite childhood memory of food that, to most people, seems utterly ridiculous (and perhaps disgusting)?  Perhaps my lowly radish sandwich seems that way to you.

Growing up my Mother had a wonderful garden and I loved the fresh radish sandwich my Mother would make for me.  Simple but pleasing.  Today another walk down memory lane.  This radish sandwich is for you Mom!

LOWLY RADISH SANDWICH

Buttered bread of choice
Fresh sliced radishes
Salt

Yum!

Family

Joy of a New Grandmother!

I’m in love, again, with a beautiful baby boy…Evan Michael.  For years I have heard about the tremendous love a grandparent feels for their grandchildren and now I get to experience that joy!

As our children grow up it is hard to imagine that they, too, will once be parents.  Not only is there joy in meeting your grandbaby but joy in seeing the eternal love that the new Momma and Papa have for their sweet baby boy.

Daughter, Sarah and her husband, Kyle, had their precious baby on April 24. Mother, Father, and baby are doing well.  I am so happy for them and wish them good health, much love, and happiness for their family.

baby evan 1 sarah hands and evan feet

We Love You, Little One

We loved you from the very start,
You stole our breath, embraced our heart.

Our life together has just begun,
You’re part of us our little one.

From the day we first knew,
Our mind was filled with thoughts of you.

We’d daydream of the things we’d share,
Like bedtime stories and teddy bears.

Like first steps and skinned knees,
Like nursery rhymes and ABC’s.

We thought of things you’d want to know,
Like how birds fly and flowers grow.

We thought of lessons we’d need to share,
Like standing tall and playing fair.

Each naptime we lay you down to sleep,
We gently kiss your head and cheek.

We count your little fingers and toes,
We memorize your eyes and nose.

We linger at your nursery door,
Awed each day we love you more.

Through misty eyes, we dim the light,
We whisper “We Love You” every night.

We loved you from the very start,
You stole our breath, embraced our heart.

As grandparents and grandchild our journey’s begun,
Our hearts are yours, forever, little one.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

My Roots

Wacky Chocolate Cake…childhood memories

It was a special treat when my Mother made chocolate cake WITH hot chocolate sauce, topped with a scoop (or two) or vanilla ice cream.  I can vividly remember my Mother making the cake, putting it in the back porch to cool then making the sauce at the last-minute before serving.  Don’t be stingy with the sauce.  I love it when the cake soaks up the sauce and the cold ice cream compliments the yummy, chocolate-drenched cake.

Wacky Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Sauce

Wacky Chocolate Cake was popular during the depression since the recipe did not call for eggs, milk or butter all of which were scarce during the Great Depression.  This cake, without the hot chocolate sauce, is a great vegan chocolate cake or good for those with sensitivity to dairy products.  Just make sure the cocoa is dairy free!

This weekend I made this for my daughters and their guys.  I am certain I have not made this recipe for over 20 years but a flood of childhood memories came rushing back.   I talked to my sister about the recipe and she recalls our Mother referring to the recipe from our Grandmother Mary Smaha. She also recalls that our Mother would say that you need to add enough cocoa powder to the dry mixture, to where it looks like cinnamon.  After discussing this memory, we decided it would be fun to try adding a little cinnamon to the hot chocolate sauce next time.  I’m not waiting another 20 years to try this version!

Have a little chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce today to celebrate your inner child and your fond memories!

WACKY CHOCOLATE CAKE

Wacky Chocolate Cake

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups water

  • Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and water. Do not use a mixer and do not sift flour. Pour in greased 9×13″ pan.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

HOT CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Hot Chocolate Sauce

1 cup sugar
1 rounded tablespoon cocoa
pinch salt
1 tablespoon white Karo
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk

  • Mix all ingredients together (except vanilla) and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 1-2 minutes. Remove and add vanilla and let set for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm over individual pieces of chocolate cake. This recipe is enough for an 8×8″ cake pan. Double the recipe for a 9×13″ cake.
Family · Family Favorites · My Roots

Old Fashioned Roast Beef Dinner

I was spoiled rotten, at least food-wise, growing up on the Iowa farm.  Much of the meat my Mother cooked was either raised on our farm (chickens, ducks, hogs) or purchased from local farmers or butchers (beef).  We had a large chest freezer at the farm-house and it was always well stocked.  My Mother probably had a year’s supply of meat, vegetables, fruit, home-made breads and cookies.  She was ready, at a moment’s notice, to whip up a wonderful meal for friends and family that may drop by.

Roast Beef was a staple at our house and usually prepared in a cast iron dutch oven. The beef was local, flavorful and tender, always served with mashed potatoes and brown gravy (never from a can or box).  This week, I was craving Roast Beef and was anxious to try a Chuck Roast I purchased from a small, local market.

The beef lived up to my tough Iowa beef standards.  It was so moist and tender, you could cut it with a fork.

ROAST BEEF WITH BROWN GRAVY

  • In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add two tablespoons olive oil and brown a 3-4 pound roast on all sides until brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add 2 cups of water and reduce heat.  Cover tightly and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until tender.  Add water, as needed, to prevent the roast from sticking.
  • When the roast is tender, remove to platter and cover to keep warm.

  • In a covered container add about 1/4 cup flour and 3/4 cup water.  Stir or shake until flour is dissolved.  Pour the flour mixture into hot skillet with roast drippings.
  • Quickly whisk to blend the drippings with the flour mixture.  Cook until bubbling.
  • Add water from boiled potatoes to thin the gravy (or tap water).  Simmer for 3-4 minutes, adding additional liquid as needed.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable or your liking.

So yummy…just like Mom (or Grandma) used to make!

Family Favorites · My Roots

Sugar Cookies…for your special Valentine

This was my Mother’s favorite sugar cookie recipe.  She made them every Christmas and frequently during the year.  They are melt-in-your mouth yummy!

I decided this would be a wonderful Valentine’s treat to share with friends and family. The traditional chocolates would have been nice, but nothing beats homemade cookies!

Wishing you a Valentine’s Day full of love and friendships!

SOFT SUGAR COOKIES

2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 cups margarine
4 eggs
2 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups flour
8 heaping tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • Mix sugars, margarine, eggs, oil, and extracts together until well blended.
  • Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and nutmeg and add to sugar mixture. Blend well and mix with hands when it gets too stiff to continue with mixer.
  • Roll dough into balls the size of a walnut. Put on cookie sheet and press with a glass dipped in sugar or press with glass and sprinkle with colored sugar.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until very light brown, about 8-9 minutes. Do not leave until brown or overbake. Cool.
Fresh baked sugar cookies

These cookies freeze wonderfully. I have often made for the holidays and freeze.