Search Your Recipe File – and Creative Abilities

PinExt Search Your Recipe File   and Creative Abilities

On another blog, someone asked for suggestions and recipes on what to make with only ingredients as listed at the end here. They were hungry for something sweet and wanted it to be fast.

I would like to challenge you to see what you could come up with, but we’ll turn it up a notch and see who can use those ingredients for the healthiest recipe.

If you had these ingredients on hand, what would you make? I would really like to hear from you to see what you would make. Let’s bring on the healthy recipes using these ingredients only and post your suggestions.

Self Rising Flour
Cocoa Powder
Orange, Yellow and Red food coloring
Orange and Lemon food flavoring
Chocolate chips
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Corn flakes

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Thinking nutrition

 Search Your Recipe File   and Creative Abilities
PinExt Search Your Recipe File   and Creative Abilities

Chili and Cornbread to Warm Body and Soul

PinExt Chili and Cornbread to Warm Body and Soul

Nothing satisfies the soul and stomach any better on bitter cold January days than a big pot of chili served with piping hot

3678566485 c3d53c49e3 m Chili and Cornbread to Warm Body and Soul

Image by steve loya via Flickr

cornbread. The next best is to invite someone to share it with you.

Here is the recipe for my favorite Corn Bread. Try this recipe out on your family the next time you have chili. Maybe today? Your kids will enjoy making it, too.

Favorite Corn Bread

3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan or a 12 cup muffin tin. Measure dry ingredients into medium bowl.

Make a well in center and add milk, beaten egg, vegetable oil and Cheddar cheese. Mix only until all flour is moistened.

Pour into prepared pan or muffin tins. Bake 20-25 minutes for the larger pan and 15-18 minutes for the muffins.

These are best served piping hot with butter or perhaps with honey.

I hope you stay warm today.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Food and Family Living

 Chili and Cornbread to Warm Body and Soul
PinExt Chili and Cornbread to Warm Body and Soul

Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

PinExt Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

9780930643225 214x300 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and FreshnessThe crisp Fall air brings with it the wonderful smell and taste of fresh picked apples.

Here are some tips for picking and storing apples:

  • Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
  • Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor.  Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
  • Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
  • When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
  • For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees. Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.

Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season.  This is the ideal time to  visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for cookies, from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers:

Apple Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
l teaspoon baking powder
l teaspoon baking soda
l/2 teaspoon salt
l/4  teaspoon cinnamon
l/4  teaspoon nutmeg
l/2 cup (l  stick) butter or margarine
l cup brown sugar
l egg
l/4 cup milk
2 cups apples, peeled and grated
l/2 cup chopped nuts

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg. Stir in dry ingredients with milk, apples, and nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Glaze cookies with the following while still warm:

l  cup confectioners’ sugar
l tablespoon soft butter or margarine
l-2 tablespoons milk
l/2 teaspoon vanilla

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

Enjoy visiting apple orchards and savoring the fruit of their bounty!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers,
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards

 Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness
PinExt Apples at Their Peak of Flavor and Freshness

No-Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

PinExt No Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut down on sugar. Actually, I was trying to go 3 weeks without sugar. This Hardin girls baking 028 2 300x281 No Sugar Oatmeal Cookies is not an easy job, with sugar and corn syrup in so many of our food products, but I was still on Christmas overload when I made this ruling for myself.

Over the holidays I promised my young friends we would “cook”  together sometime. With the emphasis on healthy eating for children, even the cookies we decided on had to have reduced sugars and grains. This is the recipe we made:

Apple and Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried apple pieces, chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, beat egg with fork; add juice, vegetable oil, and raisins. Mix to blend. In a large bowl, add both types of flour, wheat germ, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon,  apple pieces, and nuts. Add liquids to dry ingredients. Mix all ingredients well.

Drop batter by teaspoon full onto nonstick cookie sheet or grease regular cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake 7-9 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched. Do no brown! Cool slightly before removing from pan.

I am quite sure you will not miss the sugar taste. The apples, raisins, and nut flavors come through without an overpowering sweetness, as found in many other recipes.

I don’t use any artificial sugar substitutes in any foods, nor do I like anything “diet”. I feel these are not good for our bodies.

Hope you enjoy this recipe which satisfies the sweet tooth in a nutritional way.

To YOUR healthy goals and those of your family’s,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
Food writer and author of two apple cookbooks

 No Sugar Oatmeal Cookies
PinExt No Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Corn Bread Baking Time

PinExt Corn Bread Baking Time
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Image by @jozjozjoz via Flickr

On an icy, wind-swept New Year‘s eve, what could warm your heart and stomach more than some hot crusty corn bread? The following recipe is a perfect accompaniment to the black-eyed peas we started yesterday.

Crusty Corn Bread

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup white corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch pan.

Children can measure flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl.

Make a well in the center and add milk, oil and egg. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened, about 50 strokes.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Cut into 9 slices or square. Best served warm with a dab of butter.

Yield:  9 servings

Hope you enjoy the hot bread. You can refer to this and other seasonal recipes in Amy Hout’s  childrens cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun.

I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with many blessings. See you in 2011!

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Family Life Issues Coach

 Corn Bread Baking Time
PinExt Corn Bread Baking Time

What’s an Apple Betty?

PinExt Whats an Apple Betty?
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Image by DavidErickson via Flickr

I call this recipe an Apple Betty. But the earlier versions use browned bread cubes and brown sugar layered with apples. I’m guessing someone named Betty had some leftover bread and combined it with apples. Voila, Apple Betty!

I love this recipe for two reasons:
1) it tastes absolutely delicious and
2) you don’t have to grease the pan! I don’t know why, but that is a real plus for me.

Favorite Apple Betty

4 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1/4  cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4  cup water

Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water. Simmer 5 – 10 minutes just until apples are beginning to get tender. Pour into ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Sprinkle the following crumb topping over the apples:

1/2  cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt

Blend brown sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.

Bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 6

Others might call this an Apple Crisp, although it really doesn’t get crispy on top nor does it have any oatmeal. It is a simple recipe well worth trying.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Author of From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards and Littlest Christmas Kitten

 Whats an Apple Betty?
PinExt Whats an Apple Betty?

Funnel Cakes – More Carnival Food

PinExt Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food
300px Funnel cake 20040821 172200 1.1655x1275 Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food

Image via Wikipedia

Funnel Cakes are those light, crispy, deep-fat fried masses of novelty type confections served at country and state fairs, usually served warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar. (They are served warm because there’s usually a crowd waiting in line for the next cake to come out of the fryer). They are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern and deep frying until golden-brown. Usually associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, they are now served widely and have become a fair-going favorite.

Here is a Funnel Cake recipe we made in our family and consumer sciences class one day when many of the students were gone on a field trip and only a few remained. We had been studying quick breads and I thought this was an easy recipe that fit loosely into this category, didn’t make a large batch, and was fun to make.

You can make these in the traditional round swirls, or make Funnel Cake Sticks, as does Café Renee, a new stand near the World of Disney store and the theme park entrances in Orlando, Florida.

Funnel Cakes

2 cups flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

Oil for frying

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl with wire whisk. In another bowl, beat egg and milk. Add sugar, stir to dissolve. Add dry ingredients and (using egg beater or mixer) beat until smooth.

Heat at least 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees F. in either a deep fryer or a skillet. To form each funnel cake, place one finger over hole in bottom of funnel. Carefully fill funnel with batter. Over hot oil remove finger and make circular or other shapes with batter, making cake as large as you desire. Cook for 1 minute and using tongs or two spatulas turn funnel cake. Cook until golden brown, about another minute or so. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or use other toppings. Serve warm.

Makes about 4 smaller funnel cakes or 2 large ones.

Check out other fun and special treats in Amy Houts new book for kids and grown-ups, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Food Activities. Click here to look around.

Lee Jackson
Home and Family Living Coach
Books for kids, families, and parenting professionals

 Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food
PinExt Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food

Father’s Day Strawberry Shortcake

PinExt  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake
300px Fraises 1 Luc Viatour  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake

Image via Wikipedia

I want to share with you my absolute favorite strawberry shortcake recipe. This is not one of those individually wrapped bland cakes always found in the strawberry aisle of your grocery store. No, yours will be a piping hot, melt in your mouth treat, heaped with juicy, luscious strawberries.

Your Dad will want you to make this dessert again and again – until the strawberries run out…

Strawberry Shortcake

2 pints fresh strawberries

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk

Wash strawberries in cold water with a dash of vinegar. Swish and drain. Children can help remove stems by using a plastic knife and cutting each in half. Add about 1/2 cup sugar over berries and let stand at room temperature about an hour.

Grease 1 – 8 x 1 1/2 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, measure flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening using two knives or a pastry blender until shortening pieces are the size of peas. Stir in milk and stir with fork until just blended. Spread batter into prepared cake pans. Dot with butter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown and crusty.

Cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Split each piece in half on serving plate. Have butter available at table so each can spread butter on hot shortcake according to individual wishes. Then pass the strawberries that have oozed some of their juice upon standing.

Enjoy, and wish your Father a Happy Day!

Lee Jackson
Books for children, families, and parenting professionals
Check out a FR ee Recipe Sampler at:

  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake
PinExt  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake

Celebration Foods

PinExt Celebration Foods

dscn06413 225x300 Celebration Foods

I have just come back from Kansas City where I attended my grandson’s confirmation at Our Lady of Presentation Church. It was a very beautiful and inspiring ceremony with Bishop Finn presiding. Over 80 young people were confirmed in the Catholic faith.

Alongwith ceremonies, there are usually guests. And the guests came bearing food on Sunday. You may know that Kansas City is known for its barbeque beef. We did not have barbeque beef from a restaurant, though. A relative brought his own secret recipe barbeque with its special sauce and it was wonderful. This was probably the most flavorful, mouth-watering barbeque I had ever tasted. It was the epic barbeque experience.

I am trying to cut down or eliminate meat from my diet, but this was food to break rules over. Along with the barbeque we had baked beans, cole slaw, potato chips, assorted relishes, and mixed fruit in season. How much more mid-west summer can a family get-together be? Oh yes, there was key-lime pie for dessert later. It was a memorable day.

My only contribution food-wise, was to bring two loaves of poppyseed bread, which were served for breakfast. This is the recipe I would like to share with you.

Poppyseed Bread

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is no older than 6 months as it may not work if older)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups oil
1 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
3/4 cup poppyseed

Juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
3/4 teaspoon butter flavoring

In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients except poppyseed. Beat eggs with hand mixer in separate bowl. Stir in milk, oil, and flavorings.

Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in the liguid. Beat until well blended and free from lumps. Stir in poppyseed.

Pour into 3 medium pans, 7 1/2 x 3 1/2-inch, or two large, greased and floured loaf pans. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, depending on size of pan. Tops will crack.

To make glaze, mix together all ingredients but do not cook. Let baked breads rest about 5 minutes, then poke holes in breads with fork or toothpick and pour glaze over breads in pans. Let cool 15 minutes and remove from pans to cool.


Lee  Jackson

 Celebration Foods
PinExt Celebration Foods