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Best of the Best from Minnesota Cookbook

minnesotaThe Best of the Best from Minnesota Cookbook, as the name suggests, is a selection of recipes from Minnesota’s favorite cookbooks.  This book was edited by Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley and was printed in 1997.  I have several of these cookbooks from other states and I really like them because they do choose the “best” recipes from cookbooks from that particular state.

I decided to look for a quick bread or bar recipe that Vince could eat for breakfast during the week.  He gets up so early that he normally just eats a poptart or a bowl of cereal and I know that gets old pretty fast.  Thumbing through this book, I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Bars that originally came from the Old Westbrook Evangelical Lutheran Church Cookbook.  Vince loves carrot cake and this particular recipe would be similar in flavor, in that it’s a spice cake with cream cheese icing.  Perfect!  This bar is more like a cake and it’s super moist and have a great flavor.  It’s definitely a recipe I’d make again.

As with all recipes I write about, I did make a few changes to the recipe and the recipe printed below reflects my changes.

Pumpkin Bars 

4 eggs

1 cup canola oil

2 cups granulated sugar

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Icing:

1 (8 oz. package) cream cheese, softened

3/4 stick butter

1 tablespoon milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, canola oil, granulated sugar and canned pumpkin.  Mix well.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, ginger and cloves and mix to combine.  Pour mixture into a greased 9X12-inch baking pan.  Bake for 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean, when inserted in the middle of bar.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

For icing, combine all icing ingredients, mixing well; then ice the bars.

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June 29, 2012 · 9:44 AM

Treasured Recipes – The Ladies of Sacred Heart

This cookbook was published in 1998 by The Ladies of Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. The recipes were submitted by its members and is filled with wonderful recipes, many of which are Italian recipes. Over the years, I’ve tried many recipes from this cookbook and I’ve always been pleased with the results.

I purchased my copy at one of the Sacred Hearts weekly Thursday spaghetti lunches. If you live in Houston, I’d highly recommend visiting them for lunch. They are located at Whitney Hall, which is off of I-45, near Crosstimbers and Airline. They serve from 11:00 AM – 1:15 PM every Thursday. This Catholic’s men society has been serving these lunches since 1953 and their menu includes: spaghetti and meatballs, Italian sausage, fried chicken, salad, garlic bread, Italian cream cake and cannolis. It’s similar in taste to my Aunt Frances’ sauce (at least from what I remember it’s been so many years), so I’m naturally a fan.

Anyways, back to the cookbook, I decided to try a few new recipes so I could get back on the blog wagon, as I’ve been neglecting my blog for a while now. I apologize to my readers, so I am going to try to do better.

So over the period of two nights, I tried out several recipes. The first night I made Pork Chops and Lima’s, which I served with white rice, Italian Artichoke & Green Bean casserole, and a wheat roll. The second night I made Italian Veal Cutlets with baked potato, leftover Italian Artichoke & Green Bean casserole and a wheat roll. I love that the veal cutlet is broiled instead of fried. It makes it much healthier than my usual method of frying and I didn’t see a big difference in taste. I also found a Coconut Pie Lopez recipe that I’d love to try, but I need to get all the ingredients, so I’ll have to blog about that one later.

So as usual, I have altered the recipes to suit my families tastes. If you try out these recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy!

porkchopsPork Chops Navy Beans

1 can Navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 medium onion, sliced

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup milk

4 boneless pork chops (3/4 – 1″ thick)

Ground black pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Rinse and drain navy beans and set aside. In a large skillet, brown pork chops on each side until slightly brown. Place chops in a greased 9X13-inch baking dish. In saucepan, add sliced onions and grill a few minutes to soften. Then add soup and milk and stir until well combined. Add beans and stir. Pour over chops. Cover and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Italian Artichoke & Green Bean Casserole

1 can Progreso Artichokes packed in water

3 cans cut green beans

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Seasoned Italian bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Olive oil

Rinse and drain both the artichokes and the green beans. Place in a mixing bowl. Add bread crumbs and minced garlic to mixing bowl and toss the artichokes and green beans to coat. Place coated artichokes and grean beans into a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Grate Parmesan cheese on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes until heat through.

Italian Veal Cutlet

4 veal cutlets

Italian bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and garlic powder.  In another shallow bowl, place about 1/2 cup olive oil.  Salt and pepper the veal cutlets.  Then dip each one in olive oil and coat both sides.  Then dip the veal cutlet into the bread crumbs and press into the crumbs so that the crumbs stick on both sides.  Place the veal cutlets on a foil lined baking sheet.  Broil on low until brown.  Be sure to turn veal so that both sides get brown.  Do not over broil.

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June 20, 2012 · 9:06 AM