Monday, September 21, 2009

"Deal" Cookies-A treasured recipe from my husband's grandmother

The name of this cookie may throw you off but believe me...this recipe is legendary. This recipe comes from a cherished woman by the name of Odile Thiels Welch also known as "Deal" to my husband and everyone in his family. She is loved by so many and is now at home with our heavenly Father watching over her beloved family from Heaven. I never had the chance to meet Deal but I feel like I know her. Deal is my husband's grandmother and my father in law's mother. I have listened to my husband and his family speak so wonderfully of her since the day he and I met. She was a strong, courageous woman and mother of 5, grandmother of 13. She raised her children to love, to take care of family and to love the Lord. I only wish I could have had the pleasure to meet Deal but I truly feel like every time I bake these cookies I get to know her a bit better.

Deal loved her grandchildren and created this recipe just for them. This recipe is treasured and held closely to all family members as this recipe brings back so many memories of her. And did I mention that these cookies are AMAZING? My husband and his family will fight over these cookies and this is not a lie. Every year, Deal's children host the annual Welch Christmas party and my first year in attendance I honestly witnessed these cookies being snatched up and eaten before the main course ever came out. These cookies are made for every special occasion and they are always the highlight of each event. I am honored and grateful to have been handed down the recipe from Brenda Gremillion (Jason's aunt, Deal's youngest daughter). I promise to make these cookies with love and honor to Deal every time I bake them and I look forward to the day that I will be able to hear my husband tell our children and our grandchildren about these special cookies.

This past Saturday my hubby invited all the guys to our house to watch the Auburn game on the "big screen". I surprised him with a fresh batch of Deal cookies to wow the guys with. And were they ever a hit! Jason said at one point they gave up on plates and started eating out of the pan. Not surprising as these cookies are so delicious AND addicting. The recipe is below:

Deal Cookies
1 package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Grease and flour jelly roll pan. Mix first 5 ingredients on medium speed for 3 minutes until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if you like). Pour mixture and spread evenly in pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Brush glaze on top of cookies. Cut into squares. No matter how large you choose to cut your cookies this recipe makes plenty. Should you cut 2" squares you will average about 60 cookies.

2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons milk

Mix together until smooth.

This recipes has brought much joy to my husband and his family. I thank Deal for raising such a wonderful family as I am blessed to now call them my own. Deal, you are loved and missed....

P.S. The picture above is of my hubby and Deal many years ago.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Potatoes Au Gratin

Well it is football is finally here! I will be honest and say that I am more into the tailgaiting part of things versus actually watching the game but that is why I have my honey. He watches the game and I get to focus on what we are going to be eating while he watches the game:)

Last Saturday, we went to watch a football game (I think it involved Ohio) over at our dear friends house. There were a few other couples there and we each brought a dish (or 2 or 3). I swear we had enough food to feed an entire football team! It truly was the best kind of football party. The girls yapped all night long (not even looking at the TV) and the men were in the living room watching the game...and out of our hair (but we do love them so:). Jason and I were put in charge of bringing a side dish so I immediately went to Momou's collection of recipes...

I think Momou must LOVE potatoes because she has so many different potatoes recipes clipped out! Which is perfect for me because I love potatoes too and I will be happy to try out all of her potato recipes. The recipe is below with my precious little thoughts following. I must add that this recipe was introduced by the following statement "This rich casserole is a delicious and elegant way to serve potatoes". I don't know why but this statement tickles me. No telling when this recipe was printed but in 2009 an elegant way to serve potatoes would be some sort of gourmet recipe that would call for infusing fingerling potatoes with strawberry champagne sauce then drizzling the potatoes with balsamic vinegar THEN topping with garlic roasted baby bella mushrooms. Nothing is simple anymore! But I think I rather Momou's day in age much better where elegant was considered nothing but using lots of butter and cheese and topping it with bread crumbs! Anywho, the recipe is below:

Potatoes Au Gratin

4 medium-size (1 1/2 pounds) all-purpose potatoes,
cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices (4 cups)
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar, Swiss or Muenster cheese
1 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole or baking dish. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, cover potatoes with water. Heat to boiling; boil until just tender-5 minutes. Drain and set potatoes aside in colander.
2. In same saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk until smooth.
3. Return saucepan to stove and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low-medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened-5 minutes. Add cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
4. In 1-quart saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat; add bread crumbs and lightly toss.
5. Layer half the potatoes in greased baking dish. Pour half the sauce over potatoes, lifting slices to cover all potatoes with sauce. Layer remaining potatoes on top and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
6. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is golden-30 to 40 minutes.

Now I know there are so many au gratin recipes out there but this one really is simple and delicious! The sauce alone is amazing! It is almost like an Alfredo sauce (which I LOVE). For all of you spice lovers out there I would suggest adding a dash of Tony's or Cayenne pepper for a little heat! My bacon lovin honey also suggested adding a layered of crumbled bacon between the 2 layers of potatoes. That is actually not a bad idea of all! This dish feeds about 8 people so it would be great to serve at an intimate dinner party or for Sunday lunch with the family. Or just cook for you loved ones as the perfect comfort food!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Applesauce Nut Bread

Every Sunday morning hubby and I head off to our 8am Sunday school class. I know you must be thinking that 8am is way too bright and early for a Sunday but when you absolutely adore your friends who are in class with you it makes it much easier to wake up and go:) Each Sunday a different couple takes a turn to supply the class with breakfast. Now we all love to eat so this is quite the important task! Last Sunday was our turn to supply breakfast so of course I turn to Momou's recipe selection to hunt down the perfect breakfast dish to bring. Since the season of Autumn is approaching slowly but surely I decided on a recipe for an Applesauce Nut Bread. I loved the idea of this bread because I am not the world's biggest apple eater but applesauce I can do! Check below for the recipe and details:

Applesauce Nut Bread

1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups wheat cereal crushed into 3/4 cup
(bite-size crispy wheat squares)
1/3 cups raisins, coarsely chopped
1/2 cups walnuts
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch (1.5 quart)loaf pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and sugar. Stir in cereal, raisins and nuts. Combine egg, oil and applesauce. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spread into pan. Bake 70 minutes or until done. Let cool 15 minutes before removing pan. Makes 1 loaf.

I actually made 2 loaves of this bread for our class and there were only 4 pieces left. I told you our class likes to eat! I tried out 2 variations and both were a hit! I will be upfront in that I totally omitted the raisins because frankly neither hubby or I care for raisins. So one loaf had the walnuts as called for and the other loaf had no walnuts BUT I did add 1 cup of dark chocolate chips instead. The chocolate chip loaf was no doubt the most favored because there were not any pieces of that bread left on the plate at the end of class. This bread was very good and smelled of Autumn spices. It will be perfect to eat for breakfast right out of the oven on a chilly Autumn day. Each loaf can make about 10 pieces depending on how large you slice the pieces. I say go ahead and get creative with the extras you could add to this bread. It is the applesauce part that you will want to keep the same! Enjoy and Happy Autumn!!!

P.S. A perfect way to see if this bread is cooked and ready to come out of the oven is to stick a wooden grilling skewer (you can buy a large bag of these for cheap) and insert into the middle of the bread. If the stick comes out clean then that means the bread is done, done and done! These grilling skewers are also perfect for testing angel food cakes and bundt cakes.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Onion Shortcake

Every Wednesday night I meet with an amazing small group of girls for our weekly bible study. Each time we conclude a particular bible study we always celebrate with a dinner party. This past Wednesday concluded our study on evangelism so I hosted the dinner party in our home. All I have to say is that a dinner party with 8 dear friends equals LOTS of talking and LOTS of yummy food. Therefor, I made sure to choose the perfect menu complete with another Momou recipe. I made a Chicken Tettrezini accompanied by an Onion Shortcake, compliments of Momou! I know you must be thinking "what in the world???" but hear me out because it was some good stuff! The introduction to this recipe says "It's easy to prepare, it's new and exciting, and it's perfectly delicious. What is it?" Well, check it out...the recipe is below with the scoop after:

Onion Shortcake

1 large onion
1/4 cup butter
1 12-oz.package corn muffin mix
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 cup cream-style corn
2 drops Tabasco
1 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon dill weed
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and slice onion and saute in butter. Set aside. Combine muffin mix, egg, milk, corn and Tabasco. Pour into buttered 8-inch square pan. Add sour cream, salt, dill weed and 1/2 cup cheese to onions. Spread over batter. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.

All I have to say is that this stuff is amazinggg! Trust me! I did not know whether this would be some sort of zesty dessert or some sort of savory bread. It was definitely in the savory bread category. But this is NOT your regular cornbread. Imagine if you will a cornbread loaded with corn then a layer of creamy, cheesy goodness on top of the cornbread layer baked until gold and bubbly. Cut into it and serve like a cornbread but this is not a bread you eat with your hands. Much more elegant and must be eaten with a utensil. There is nothing I can say differently about the cooking method. Just follow the directions and you will end up with the best bread on this side of the Mississippi River! Okay, so I just realized that now that I live in TN I will be talking about the other side of the Mississippi River from here on out. I think my little sister Claire and I are the only ones of the same side of the Mississippi River at this point. Well, other family in Louisiana, I promise this bread will be just as delicious on your side as well!

Okay, so I digress. My darling gal pals ooohed and ahhhed over this bread. And my honey has declared it a new "holiday must"! But then again that man is a fool over some cornbread! But I too think it would be the perfect bread served at any Sunday or holiday meal. It is not only aesthetically pleasing but it feeds 10-12 people and no doubt will be a ooey gooey cheesy crowd pleaser!

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