Bits of the Past Cooking

Cooking simply with love from the past and present

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January 12, 2017
bitsofthepast

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Lasagna Soup with Ham

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This is a delicious and easy crockpot soup.  I needed something quick and easy tonight, something not fussy.  I looked in my pantry and thought soup would be a great choice since the weather outside is rainy and cold, but I did not have a great deal of fresh veggies on hand and I did not have any meat thawed.  Hence the Lasagna Soup with Ham.  It turned out delicious and the kids enjoyed it!

Here’s what I used:

2 quarts canned Roma tomatoes (these were canned from my garden this past year)

4 cups beef broth

2 Green Bell Peppers (chopped)

Ham cut into bite sized chunks

4 cloves minced garlic

Oregano to taste

Basil to taste

Onion Powder to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

Lasagna Noodles (depends on how many you want)

Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Combine the first nine ingredients in a crock pot, stir and place on medium.  My crockpot is programed by hours so I set mine for 6 hours.  At the five hour mark, break Lasagna noodles in quarters and place in crockpot.  Fifteen minutes before serving, add parmesan cheese.  Serve in bowls with a little Mozzarella sprinkled over and enjoy!

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January 10, 2017
bitsofthepast

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Oatmeal Blueberry Cake

I want to share with you my creation! Sometimes, creating recipes is so therapeutic, and lifts my spirits.

So with my yellow flowers around me, and my kids wanting breakfast, I decided to create.

I looked in the record book for some sort of yummy pastry, but was constantly pulled to an oatmeal cake.  To me oatmeal does not taste very good all by itself, even as cookies or cake!  I looked around the house and found some great additions, and let me tell you, you must make this cake!

Here is the end result:

Here is the recipe:
Boil 1 1/4cups water
Add one cup of quick oats, and set aside.

Cream together
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar

After the ingredients are creamed add
2 eggs

Add the oatmeal

Then add
1 1/3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt

Stir in fresh blueberries!!

Grease a sheet pan, and spread the batter.

Looking great so far!

Place in a 275 degree oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Here is a different way to glaze the top.

Mix together
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup half and half

When the cake is done cooking, spread the glaze over top and place under broiler for 5 minutes, no more!!!

This is what it looks like:

This is what it looks like when it is first cut:

And again, this is what it looks like when I placed the blueberries that had fallen out, on top:

Delicious !  Eat warm and with a cold glass of milk!

P.S.  The pan is already half gone.  I guess this calls for extra workouts!

January 4, 2017
bitsofthepast

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Simple but Flavorful Meat Sauce

Hello everyone!  I hope you are enjoying your first few days of 2017!  We are back in full swing here at the Bits household!  Kids are back to school, well home school that is, appointments are taking up our days, and all the crazy activities are in full swing.  Kind of shell shocked, but happy to be back into a groove.  Part of that groove is cooking dinner.  Honestly, the last two weeks have been sporadic, and when I did cook, the meal was so huge we had left overs for days!  So today when I remembered that people would actually be hungry and that I needed to cook, I had to think of something quick!  What quicker meal than spaghetti and meat sauce!  Even better I had a bunch of leftover pork sausage from New Years day breakfast that I could use!  Since I remembered that people probably wanted dinner at around 4pm, I had no meat thawed, and needed something fast.

Since the sausage was already cooked, I just made my quick and easy red sauce and dinner was on the table in thirty minutes flat.  Bread and steamed fresh veggies were added to make it a well rounded meal.  We probably could have survived without the bread, but why?

So here is what I did to make the sauce:

Placed the sausage in a cast iron pan, then added canned tomatoes.  These are actually my own canned tomatoes, so they were a quart whole Roma tomatoes drained.  Next, a can of tomato sauce added to the mixture.  Then the seasonings.  Two tablespoons of garlic, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 2 teaspoons of celery salt, chopped fresh basil to taste, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and finally freshly ground pepper.  I did not add any extra salt due to the fact the sausage was salty enough.  My kids loved the sausage and actually preferred it to the normal ground beef!

Just a quick recipe for a last minute meal!  Hope you can use this when you are strapped for time!

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PS-This photo was taken by my son who insisted on doing it! Does not do the sauce justice, but it will do!

Enjoy,

Suzy

January 2, 2017
bitsofthepast

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Cornmeal Hot Rolls

My Grandma was known for her hot rolls and cinnamon rolls.  Every holiday season, I have the honor of cooking these two items for my family. I do not do it all the time because, well frankly, it is so time consuming!  Grandma made people feel special when she made these items because of the amount of time and love put into them.  What I do like about the recipe given today, is the fact that it is the same dough recipe for both.  All you have to do to achieve the cinnamon rolls is to roll them out and place a butter, sugar and cinnamon mixture in them.  I have even used jams to make the filling which is also delicious!

Today, I share with you the dough recipe, which has been in my family for years.  Keep in mind, when making this recipe, you must just have to have to let go of being exact and instead rely on your senses to know if it is the right consistency.  Old fashioned means old ways of just knowing.  This takes practice, which I still have a great deal to make these exactly like grandma’s!

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Here is the recipe:

Grandma Betty’s Cornmeal Rolls

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup water

2 cakes of yeast (1 oz)

1 pint warm water

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup oil

2 1/4 quarts flower

1/4 cup dry milk

1 tbsp. salt

Combine cornmeal and 1 cup water.  Cook to thicken and remove from heat.  Add oil to this.  Put yeast, warm water and sugar in mixing bowl. Let stand few minutes and then add oil and cornmeal to mixture.  Sift flour, dry milk and salt and add to mixture.  Knead well if making by hand or about 5 minutes on mixer.  Let rise until double in bulk.  Punch down and knead and shape into rolls.  Let rise again until double in bulk.  Bake about 15 minutes in 4525 degree oven.  Yields about 25 or 30.

I hope you try this special recipe!  It has meant so much to my family for many years!

January 1, 2017
bitsofthepast

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Happy New Years Breakfast

Having a big breakfast for New Years is a tradition for many.  One reason may be the amount of drinks consumed the night before.  Another is the last opportunity to binge eat before one starts the diet for the new year.  Yet another reason would be you just want to start the new year right.  Our breakfast consisted of French Toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, potatoes and fresh fruit.

The one thing I forgot to get?  Black eyed peas!!!!!!!!!!  My dad would be so disappointed!

Happy New Year to you all!  I pray that all of you have a happy and healthy 2017!

From my family to yours!

August 17, 2016
bitsofthepast

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Pear Coffee Cake

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I have made my great grandmothers coffee cake so many times, and love it!  We had so many pears, and thought pears would be a perfect addition to the cake.  So, I found the recipe, and cut up some pears.  For some reason, I found myself straying from the recipe!  Have you ever thought you were following one, only to look down and see that you forgot several steps? That is what happened to me.  Instead of separating the eggs, I plopped the eggs right in.  I also accidentally added a tablespoon of baking powder to the doubled recipe, instead of two teaspoons.  When I realized this, it was a little too late, and I thought, Oh well, let’s see what happens!  Well, the result was delicious!  The baking powder actually caused the cake to bake up and around the pears, burying them in the middle of the cake, which ended up being spectacular!  I love pleasant surprises like these!

Here s the recipe with the mistakes, not doubled.  I hope you try it!

Pear Coffee Cake

3/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup milk

3 sliced pears

Sift dry ingredients together, set aside.  Cream sugar and butter and add the egg.  Alternately add the egg mixture and milk to dry ingredients.  Place in baking dish.  Add sliced pears to the top.  Pour over the top of cake 1/2 stick of melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top.  Bake up at 350 for 25 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

Love,

Suzy

August 16, 2016
bitsofthepast

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Super Easy, Nut Free Granola

We are doing some serious pantry cooking for the next couple of weeks.  Coming back from vacation reality hits!  This time hard.  But we have creativity, and since I have begun this journey of cooking old school, I have learned the necessity of invention.  We also have to be creative because I have a son who is sooooooo very allergic to almost everything, but deathly to peanuts. I was looking up recipes for granola, and not surprisingly, they all have nuts in them.  So I worked it, creating a recipe that is allergy friendly and tasty.

This recipe is called
Super Easy Granola

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water

Combine together ad cook until all ingredients are dissolved.

Add five cups of quick oats and stir until coated.

Add 1 cup of raisins.

Spread on large cookie sheet, or in my case, as very large cake pan.  I also placed wax paper on the pan.

Place in a 275 degree oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

When done, let cool, and add allergy friendly chocolate chips.  We use Enjoy Life brand.  Free of every allergy you can think of!

The result is true deliciousness!

Have a great day everyone!
Love,
Suzy

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