Chocolate Chip Cookies

August 4th is National chocolate chip cookie day.

For some reason, I did not bring a chocoate chip cookie recipe when we moved to Slovakia.  My friend, Joan Britton, gave me this recipe and told me the dough was really thick (her recipe called for one egg), but was the best recipe.  I could not find chocolate chips there, so I just cut up chocolate bars.

We took them to work to share and I often left out the chocolate for our friend who was allergic to it.  The cookies are still very good without it!

When we moved overseas again, the eggs were smaller and we discovered two eggs worked very well.  We also could not find brown sugar, so we started using molasses instead.  Even though we can get brown sugar here, we prefer being able to adjust the molasses to our own personal tastes.

Lemon Bars

My girl friend Heather and I would often make these at her house.  We almost always doubled the crust and would eat one batch of it as the second batch baked.

Now Adrian loves lemon desserts and this is one of his favorites.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Date Sugar

I discovered some date sugar at a discount store and really wanted to try it.  I had read that you could interchange it with brown sugar, but it did not mix in as well as regular sugar did.

We decided to start with our favorite cookies and experiment.  The cookies are soft and cake like, but very good!  I thought they were a little to sweet, so next time I will reduce the sugars.  But everyone else thought they were perfect.

These cookies work well with regular flour if you do not want them gluten free.

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

We could not buy bagels in Swaziland.  So, I learned how to make them. It was always fun to surprise the single guys with fresh bagels when they got home from work.  This was a favorite recipe that I made often.

While you can use all purpose flour, the high gluten bread flour makes a much better bagel.  If you do not have bread flour, add a Tbl of gluten to the mix.

To change the bagel crust some, either add 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar or 1/4 cup instant malted milk powder to the the boiling water before adding the bagels.

Venison Stew

I asked Mark what he wanted for dinner when he was home for Spring break.  He really wanted a good stew.  He gets it at school, but it is often salty and served with noodles.

Stew is a very flexible meal.  Add more or less vegetables or add other favorites.  Serve with a lettuce salad and maybe some bread, and you have an easy meal.

If you have frozen stew meat, you can still cook it in the crock pot. Skip browning the meat.  Start cooking the stew on high in the morning and cook for 8 hours.  We prefer to cook the frozen meat for 3 or 4 hours with pepper, garlic and onions, then add the remaining vegetables and spices for the last few hours of cooking.

 

Luphuftu (Mealie Pap)


A simple dish we learned in Swaziland.  It is a little tricky to master the perfect cooking time, but once made a few times, you can tell if it is done by how it smells.

If you have leftovers, reheat the next day for breakfast.  We enjoy it with butter and maple syrup.

Dumplings

My Great Grandma Zetsell shared the “recipe” for these dumplings, though my father thinks the recipe was brought from England with my great great Grandma Heighes. He said that they were a very inexpensive way to fill up hungry tummies when times were tight.

Dumplings are wonderful in chicken broth, with veggies, or with sausage, fried onions, mushrooms, garlic and butter.  My favorite way though, is warm with some good butter and salt and garlic.

They do not reheat very well, so only make enough for one night.

(What fun, I learned that they are also called Kluski Kładzione and they are a polish drop noodle.  Some recipes use milk in place of the water!)

Caramel Popcorn

Jan 19th is national popcorn day. What better way to celebrate than with a fresh bowl of caramel corn?

Cream Puffs

When Andrea was nine years old, she discovered cream puffs.  She wanted to learn to bake them and would keep asking for me to teach her.  Finally, I gave her a recipe for French  Profiteroles and let her make a batch.  Was she surprised to learn they were cream puffs.

While we usually eat these with whipped cream and homemade nutella or chocolate sauce, they are also very good with vanilla ice cream.