Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recipe--Caribbean Lime Coolers

While I'm at it, I thought I'd post my blue ribbon-winning recipe for Caribbean Lime Coolers.  This is a cookie that appears to be a soft sugar cookie but packs the subtle punch of lime and coconut.  I entered this in the Box Mix Adaptations class, in which you do just that; start with a box mix and start adding to it to create an entirely new product.


1-1 lb 1.5 oz pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix
1/2 C coconut
1 T grated lime peel (one lime will give you plenty of peel)
3 T lime juice
6 T butter or margarine, melted (I use butter because you can't beat the flavor)
1 egg
1/4 C powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, stir cookie mix, coconut, lime peel, lime juice, butter and egg till soft dough forms.  Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets.  Bake 9-13 minutes (12 minutes was the magic time with my oven) or until edges are light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet.  Cool completely, about 15 minutes.  With small strainer, sift powdered sugar over cooled cookies.  Store covered at room temperature.

YIELD:  2 1/2 dozen cookies

TIP 1:  Use a cookie dough scoop (similar to an ice cream scoop, with the spring-loaded handle) to "measure" your dough.  It was darned near impossible to get nice rounded cookies using a spoon, but the cookie dough scoop did a great job.

TIP 2:  The recipe calls for 1/4 C powdered sugar to be sifted on top of the cookies, but you may not want to use the entire 1/4 C, as that creates quite a layer of powdered sugar.  Eyeball it and only use what you prefer.


Recipe--Cherry Almond Quick Bread

The thought occured to me that maybe you all would like to try the Cherry Almond Quick Bread recipe that I entered in the Tippecanoe County Home and Family Arts Open Show this year.  Here it is:

Cherry Almond Quick Bread

1 C sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
2 eggs
1 t almond extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C buttermilk
1 C chopped almonds
1-6 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in extract. Combine dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in almonds and cherries. Pour into a greased and floured 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for about 70 minutes or until loaf tests done. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. 

Yield1 loaf.


2013--County Fair Success!

I took a huge leap of faith this year and entered eight items in the Tippecanoe County Home and Family Arts Open Show, which is held during the annual Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair (this year, the Fair is July 20-27).

First huge accomplishment--I actually finished and entered all eight exhibits!  I have found in past years that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, so to speak.  Lesson learned; you don't have to do it all in one year.

Second huge accomplishment--I got blue ribbons on all eight exhibits!  I was very happy, to say the least.  Since my 4-H days, my goal every year in doing this is to win a blue ribbon.  I am very proud and pleased that the judges felt my handwork was of that quality.

Third huge accomplishment--I received two Sweepstakes ribbons and two Reserve Sweepstakes ribbons!  When projects are evaluated, the judge picks a Sweepstakes (best) and Reserve Sweepstakes (second) in each class.  I won Sweepstakes with my muffin basket and the play hutch built by my Dad for the three of us girls, which I entered in the Collectibles division.  My Reserve Sweepstakes wins were for my oval wood bottomed basket and my Cherry Almond Quick Bread.

I was nervous about that baking; I really had not done it competitively for about 20 years, believe it or not.  I was very pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  I was more nervous that I ever was for 4-H judging, believe me!

Such a fun community event!  And, since you can take the girl out of 4-H but you can't take 4-H out of the girl, I think I have a permanent case of that bug.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recipe--Nutty Banana Bread

A recipe for banana nut bread is something that everyone has, everyone uses, and everyone swears by.  This recipe for Nutty Banana Bread is that for me.

In 1985 or thereabouts, I was lucky enough to get a copy of a cookbook called "Capture the Flavor", which was published by Favorite Recipes Press.  The cookbook is full of recipes from Indiana State Fair 4-H Foods prizewinning recipes in the previous year's fair.  Cakes, cookies, muffins, yeast rolls, quick breads, cakes--all there.

This is my cookbook--like one everyone else has--that is stained, dog-eared, marked with substitutions.  It is my go-to book and this is my go-to recipe when I have bananas that are ready to turn to mush.

Nutty Banana Bread

1 c sugar
2 T shortening (I use butter)
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1 C mashed bananas (I use three bananas for stronger flavor)
2 C flour
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
3/4 C chopped nuts (My preference is walnuts)

Mix sugar, shortening and egg in bowl.  Stir in milk and bananas.  Add sifted dry ingredients; mix well.  Fold in nuts.  Spoon into greased 5" x 9" loaf pan.  Let stand for 20 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 70 minutes or until bread tests done.

Thank you, Krista Nichols of Union County (back in 1984), for sharing this yummy recipe that always turns out great!