Italian Sausage Peppers and Onion

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or Marsala wine)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.
  2. Keeping the pan over medium heat,  Add the Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the Marsala wine, tomatoes, tomato paste and stir, add chili flakes, if using.
  4. Add the peppers, onions, and pepper and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return sausage to skillet with the vegetables. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, polenta, cauliflower rice or, if serving as a sandwich, split the hoagie rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture.
Nutrition Information

Yield 6, Serving Size 1

Amount Per Serving

Calories 251

Total Fat 16g

Saturated Fat 4g

Trans Fat 0g

Unsaturated Fat 11g

Cholesterol 23mg

Sodium 406mg

Carbohydrates 13g

Fiber 2g

Sugar 5g

Protein 14g

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Easy and Delicious Herbed Parmesan Cheese Crisps

Fresh from Dodie’s oven…

Herbed parmesan crisps are crunchy, delicate cheese chips that make an elegant topping for a salad or soup. You’ll love these crisps because they may look fancy, but they’re incredibly simple to make.

We experiment with various seasonings and herbs. These included garlic. Delicious.

It’s easy to customize these crisps with your favorite seasoning blends, herbs, and spices. We grow some of our own and Jack particularly likes the rosemary on these. Basil, oregano or Italian seasoning are good variations too.

We grate a parmesan cheese block for best results and a fresh flavor. Store bought and packaged grated cheese doesn’t work quite so well.

The trick to getting perfect parmesan crisps out of the oven is to start watching them at about 5 minutes. The edges will have turned brown at this point, so you’ll need to watch the middles.

Wait until the middles begin to brown all the way across, but the edges haven’t begun to burn yet.

From the oven, allow them to cool completely before removing from the baking sheet. Once cooled, they should be crispy and slightly chewy throughout.

Rosemary Parmesan Crisp
Ingredients

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese (That’s 100 grams)

1 Teaspoon of Rosemary or your herb/seasoning of choice.

How To

1. Preheat oven to 365°F (190-C)

2. Line a baking sheet with Baking or Parchment Paper.

3. Using a Tablespoon, scoop the Parmesan Cheese in small piles on the Baking Sheet.

4. Flatten the piles so that they are even.

5. Sprinkle the rosemary over each flattened cheese pile.

6. Put into oven and bake until golden brown and the edges start to crisp up. (Usually 5-7 Minutes)

Each serving will provide 0.33 grams total carbs, 0.3 grams dietary fiber and 0.30 grams net carbs.

We enjoy our Parmesan Crisps fresh but they will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container, or up to two months in a sealed container in the freezer. They may lose their crispiness over time.

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A Special Message From Jack and Dodie Dennis of CleverJourneys

Big Tech has launched a major assault on Americans’ right to free speech. In their most audacious attack, some of the most powerful big businesses in America joined together to force Parler off the Internet.

Parler, a social media site that rejects Twitter’s censorship policies, had millions of users until Google, Apple, and Amazon deplatformed the entire website, removing it from their app stores and web hosting service.

Americans must fight back against this blatant censorship. While Parler’s working through the courts to get back online, Big Tech continues to silence conservatives and trample our right to free expression.

Fortunately, independent bloggers such as CleverJourneys have found phenomenal growth in reporting what Big Tech try to censor and the “Mockingbird” Media dare not report.

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Simply “Subscribe” at the bottom of any article at the “NOTIFY ME…” box.

Some of our most popular articles are JackNotes, executive summaries of books, articles, speeches and other useful information that may save you the expense and trouble of reading the entire publication….or it may spur you on to seek more information from the original source.

We are now rolling out another new feature, Accounts of the Old West as a tribute to Jack’s great, great uncle Charlie Bassett, the first marshall of Dodge City, Kansas…and James Allison Morgan–a cattle driver and cowboy, Jack’s great grandfather. (You thought TV’s ‘Marshal Matt Dillion’ was the first didn’t you?)

We also feature “Top 10 Buzz Trends of the Week” highlighting some of the best posts, memes, and photos on the web the prior week.

Another feature is T.R.A.S.H. (Trivial Relevations of A Sick Human-being), an updated version of Jack’s national and Texas award winning column from back in his Texas State University days.

Remember, we don’t just write news. You will enjoy travel, recipes, lifestyle, humor, motivation, wellness and health, how-to, history, reviews, military, crime, police, heroes entertainment, interviews, fun and so much more.

Dodie has over 38 years in the medical, health and wellness field being a registered nurse. She has trained hundreds in nutrition, prenatal and post natal care, pregnancy, parenting, nursing, and general health. Much of her time was also devoted to immunology and vaccines.

Jack is an award winning journalist, investigative reporter, and author. He was an executive for H-E-B FOOD-DRUGS for almost 30 years, a founder and first elected president of Professional Retail Store Management Association (now CONNEX), life coach and private investigator.

Thank you for your readership and kindly sharing our articles.

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Bro Ray’s Aloha New Year Black-Eye Peas

Dodie’s baby brother, Raymond Bailey, Jr. was the first child born on New Year’s Day, 1960 in Hilo, Hawaii.

“He always thought he was born in a volcano,” laughs Dodie. “The fireworks celebrating the new year were in honor of his birthday he believed.”

Actually, we honor ‘Baby Ray’ with this special take on the traditional dish for good luck and prosperity.”

Dodie with brother Ray.

“The black-eyed pea portion is awesome if made ahead and reheated while the rice is cooking the day it’s served. We grow our own rosemary and this freshness complemented the dish.”

Cook time: 20 Min  

Prep time: 15 Min  

Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients

1 can(s) black-eye peas

1/2 lb sausage

1/2 c green pepper, chopped

1/4 c onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

14 1/2 oz stewed tomatoes

1 pkg Mahatma yellow rice

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp rosemary

Tabasco to taste (or substitute a bit of chili powder. Jack likes Chalula Chipotle Sauce).

Directions

1. Cook sausage in a large frying pan, crumbling as it cooks. Drain fat from pan. Add green pepper & onion. Cook 5 minutes, stirring vegetables into sausage. Add garlic & cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Stir well. Pour black-eye peas with liquid into pan. Cover & simmer while rice cooks.

2. Prepare rice according to package directions.

3. Spoon rice into bowls and top with black-eye pea mixture. Mix and eat.

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Top 10 Foods for Feeling, Looking and Doing Better

Are you interested in feeling better, looking better and having more energy?

Here are the top ten foods identified by most nutritionists to reach those goals:

1.         Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats that keep you full and are great for lifting your mood while helping you burn belly fat.

2.         Coconut oil is a better alternative to butter or margarine. The benefits include an increased metabolism, resistance to bacteria (that causes illness), and lower cholesterol. Many people use it as a very effective moisturizer for skin and hair.

3.         Blueberries are only 80 calories a cup and are loaded with four grams of fiber. The bonus: blueberries are considered one of the best anti-aging foods in existence.

4.         Beans fill you up with protein without all the saturated fat of eating meat. About 15-25% of your plate should include protein.

5.         Brown rice has ample amounts of fiber also and is far better for you than white or fried rice. You fill up faster which helps you eat a smaller portion.

6.         Almonds are bursting with healthy fats giving bountiful age, energy and beauty benefits.

7.         Grapefruit has been a definitive diet food for ages because of its citrus packed weight-reducing powers.

8.         Wine has the favored antioxidant called Resveratrol to foil fat stowage. Thanks to the skins of the grapes of course.

9.         Almond milk that is unsweetened has about half of the calories, with twice the calcium as non-fat milk. It’s great for cereal in the morning.

10.       Green tea also has the magical powered antioxidants that are excellent for reducing the belly size.

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Texas “Moppin’ Mo-Fo BBQ Simple Sauce” Recipe

Growing up in the Lone Star State , I have a preference for Texas Style Barbeque sauces.

Grandpa Bassett Arthur, a Navy Sea Bee cook in World War II, honed his skills in restaurants in Abilene, Brady and Coleman, Texas. His barbeque was perfect.

“In Texas, we don’t play around with basting,” he’d say. “You have to mop it on, like you’re swabbing the deck!”

BBQ Cookoffs, Texas Style

During college, at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State), I loved to go to annual Chilympiad, a festival that moved my freshman year in 1974 from Aquarena Springs to the Hays County Civic Center in San Marcos.

Although the star of the show was chili, I noticed there was plenty of barbeque and barbeque sauces used in some of the contestant’s offerings.

I was fascinated by the friendly dichotomy between the serious pitmasters and the showmasters. Many contestants, vying for a shot to  qualify for the World Championship Chili Cookoff at Terlingua, near Big Bend National Park, were both.

The rules were few and simple, being no more than:

1. All chili must be made from scratch at the site of the contest.

2. Women are barred from entering the contest as chefs.

In response to the second rule, the legendary promoter, Texas’ own version of P.T. Barnum, Hondo Crouch established another cookoff  in his town of Luckenbach.  

He brilliantly named it “Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned,” in which the winners similarly qualify for the World Championship Cookoff.

A good memory is sitting with a classmate in the hall outside our classroom of the BAM (Business-Agriculture-Math) building waiting for class to begin. I was worn out from partying at Chilympiad the night before. He was tired from performing there. You may have heard of this young up-and-comer. His name? George Strait.


Two of my Journalism school buddies, Sherman Durst and James Irwin, entered a couple of Septembers at Chilympiad and they helped explain that when it comes to chili or barbeque, “cut and choice of meat is very important, but it’s the sauce that is critical.”

I noticed they mopped their sauce as Grandpa Arthur did.

Texas Style Favorites

A barbeque mecca was formed on both sides of the Balcones Fault along the eastern edge of Texas Hill Country. Even today, some of the finest BBQ can be enjoyed in the region. My favorites, in no particular order, include:

Coopers Old Time BBQ, the original in Llano.

Southside BBQ in Cherokee.

Hays County BBQ, right off I-35 in beloved San Marcos.

Note: Lockhart is the Texas Legislature approved Barbeque Capital of Texas. I’ve heard arguments and even friendly debates about which restaurant serves the best BBQ. The best are Black’s BBQ, Chisholm Trail BBQ, Kreuz Market, and Smitty’s Market.

Salt Lick, in Driftwood.

2M Smokehouse, in San Antonio

Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor.

B&B Barbeque in San Antonio.

Busbee’s in Bandera.

Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak, in Burnett.

Luling City Market, in Luling.

Opie’s, in Spicewood.

Franklin Barbeque, in Austin.

South BBQ and Kitchen, San Antonio.

Smokin’ Joe’s of Texas, in San Antonio.

B-Daddy’s BBQ, in Helotes.

Four Basic BBQ Styles

There are over a dozen variations of BBQ sauces in the United States, but besides Texas Style, the three basic styles are:

Kansas City sauces are tomato-based, with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles. It’s good with a variety of meats. I especially like their briskets.

My favorite BBQ in Kansas City are Joe’s KC BBQ, Jack Stack BBQ, Q39, and Arthur Bryant’s.

Memphis style sauces are swabbed on before, during and after barbecuing. I found most Memphis restaurants were best for their pork and rib servings.

I’ve tried at least a dozen BBQ restaurants in Memphis over the years, but my favorites are Corky’s, Marlowe’s, Payne’s and Central BBQ. I want to try Neely’s next time.

Carolina style sauces are spice and vinegar mixtures usually basted on during smoking of pork. They tend to dry rub their various meats prior to smoking. In some restaurants, I’ve noticed a peppery yellow mustard taste in their sauces.

I’ve only been to half a dozen BBQ joints in the Carolinas. My favorites were City Barbeque in Durham, Hadison’s in Janesville, NC and Carolina Barbeque Shack in Greenwood, and Sweet Carolina’s in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Some of our favorite grilling sides.

Serving Over 500 People

My favorite memory with barbecue was staying up all night mopping and smoking 320 lbs. of brisket for just over 520 people.

The occasion was for an annual Facilities Alliance Picnic for that H-E-B’s division of partners. The June 25, 2005 event brought families across Texas to the Castroville city park, west of San Antonio.

There were only three of us, Painting Supervisor Larry Colson, Sr., Construction Supervisor of Superintendents Garlan Tschirhart and me.

We expected more volunteers, but they didn’t arrive until daylight. I learned a great deal about barbecuing for large groups throughout that long night.

Larry showed me how to mix the basting sauce and the recipe for the batches we made for the final four gallons of servicing sauce.

We slaved over a 15 foot long barbecue pit trailered in for the occasion. By the time we mopped the last aluminum foil wrapped brisket on one end, it was time to wrap the first one at the beginning end. About every 30-40 minutes each brisket was mopped for 14 hours.

I noticed the more beer Larry and Garlan consumed, the more my mopping skills improved with considerable practice. But I loved every minute of it.

Thankfully, as more volunteers showed up, they handled the chicken, sausage, sides and fixings.

Based on all the mentoring and mopping over the years, here’s my simple recipe for Texas Style Barbeque sauce. Dodie helped me name it. We call it:

Mopping Mo-Fo BBQ Simple Sauce

Ingredients

Tomato sauce: One 15 oz. can of plain tomato sauce (just puréed tomatoes, no extra ingredients).

Apple cider vinegar: To add some tang to the sauce, 1/2 cup.

Honey:  Some people use brown sugar, but I actually prefer 1\3 cup of honey as a natural sweetener in this sauce.  But you could also sub in maple syrup.

Tomato paste: 1/4 cup to intensify the rich tomato flavor in this sauce.

Red Onion: Finely chopped or not so fine–your choice.

Molasses:  1\4 cup.

Worcestershire: If making this sauce vegan, be sure to use a vegan brand of Worcestershire. 3 tablespoons.

Liquid smoke: To give the sauce those important smoky notes: 2 teaspoons.

Lemon Juice: (Optional) A tablespoon of fresh or bottled lemon juice adds just the perfect amount of acid to this sauce to make it perfect.

Spices: A combo of one teaspoon each of smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon), onion powder and seasalt.  Plus a few optional pinches of cayenne, if you would like to give the sauce some heat.

Preparation

Simply…

Combine ingredients.  Stir everything together in a saucepan.

Simmer. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then let it continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.

Serve. Then that’s literally it — your sauce is ready to go and use in any of your favorite recipes!

Notes and Variations

You can also add a good dollop of yellow mustard to it to broaden the flavor.

A tablespoon of red pepper can give it an extra kick.

Many times, I’ve subbed the tomato sauce, vinegar, and tomato paste with ketchup! I use 2 cups of H-E-B ‘Select Ingredients’ because it’s all natural–and does not include high-fructose corn syrup.

My favorite.

Seal it with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator to use for quick and easy meals throughout the week!

Brady’s Texas Black Bean Salad

When my great-great-Chickasaw-Choctaw grandmother Margaret Delitha Ralph crossed the Red River by covered wagon into@ Texas she was only 14.

Born in Arkansas just five days after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Margaret settled in central Texas near Brady Creek.

She married a cowboy, James Morgan, who spent most of his days on the Western and Chisholm cattle trails between Mexico and Kansas. Often he herded Brady area ranch livestock to markets up north.

The community of about 50 became a township, Brady City, with a new post office and general store when she first arrived.

By the time both of my maternal grandparents, aunt, uncle and mother were born in “The Heart of Texas,” in or near the city, it was shortened to “Brady.”

In honor of our cowboy ancestor and family who lived in the area, my youngest son was named Brady Morgan Dennis.

One of the favorite side dishes during family gatherings and holiday meals was black bean salad. Depending on who made it, the different variations were placed on the table with names such as “Texas Caviar,” “Southwestern Salad,” and even “Gringo Mexican Salad.”

In tribute to Brady Dennis and his family, we call this recipe “Brady Black Bean Salad.”

Ingredients

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained


3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

3/4 cup diced celery

1/2 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 diced red onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lime zested and then juiced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 Hass avocados, chopped

Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.

Right before serving, (to prevent from turning dark) add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados. Garnish with more chopped cilantro if desired. Serve at room temperature.

DON’T FORGET TO DRAIN AND RINSE THE BEANS

Corky’s Pico de Gallo

If our father were alive during these days of pandemic restrictions, there’s no doubt he would be finding all kinds of ways to stay busy and productive.

Walter “Corky” Dennis retired from a memorable career as police officer and homicide detective for the San Antonio Police Department in the 1980s. He immediately began work as a U.S. Marshal and was assigned to the Federal Judge John Woods assassination case.

Walter “Corky” Dennis

Born in 1937, lessons from WWII rationing and post-Great Depression times instilled in him a strong work ethic and frugalness.

Along the way he owned a gas station, used car lot, bail bonds company, electrical repair business, motorcycle mechanic shop and other things to keep him occupied.

He loved tinkering in his workshop, making and repairing things he thought needed to be fixed or created.

As he aged, he tended to stay in the airconditoned house more often and managed to remodel and expand their home several times before his death in 2011.

One of the biggest surprises was seeing his cooking advancements in the kitchen. I suppose our stepmother Lucy had some influence in that because I rarely saw him cook growing up (Heating Chefboyardee spaghetti is not cooking).

My absolute favorite, that he was rightfully proud of, was his Pico de Gallo.

For those who don’t know, it’s a salsa made of fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers, with cilantro, lime juice and plenty of garlic.

Pico de Gallo finely chopped.

Unlike other homemade salsa recipes that require cooking and blending, Dad enjoyed chopping and making this fresh salsa because it’s simply a matter of mixing everything together in a bowl.

In my travels, I’ve heard it called Salsa Fresca, Salsa Mexicana and even Rooster’s Beak. But in San Antonio, we’ve always known it as Pico de Gallo.

Ingredients

5 medium size vine ripe tomatoes, about 3 1/2 cups chopped very small

1/2 medium size red onion diced small

2 green onions very thinly sliced

1 serrano or jalapeno chile very finely minced

1 small handful fresh cilantro with leaves stems mostly removed, about 2 tablespoons full, chopped very small

6 garlic cloves minced

1 lime juiced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Fused and blended.

To begin, finely dice as much of the ingredients as possible. This allows the flavors to really “fuse and blend,” Dad would say. The idea is to not have chunks of tomatoes or onions distract from the flavor and texture.

When the tomatoes, onions and pepper are mixed together in a bowl, add the garlic cloves and the juice of one lime.

Mix everything together then let it rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. The flavors of all the ingredients will blend together beautifully while the salsa sits or is kept in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Sheffield’s Bacon Wrapped Pickles

Mike Sheffield and I were born on exactly the same day and are only about two hours apart in age. I’ve known him since the early 1970s on the San Antonio McCollum High School football team.

Mike was quite the athlete. One of my favorite memories of being part of the Cowboys football team was watching him run, upside down with legs in the air, on his hands.

In the late 70s and early 80s, we worked together building H-E-B Food/Drugs stores and shopping centers all over Texas. I returned to H-E-B later and Mike worked with me again when I became head of their Facilities Management Department in 1986.

I’d tease him about being so much more mature than he is because I’m his elder–by two hours.

Mike and Jack in 2009.

In actuality, Mike has always been a skilled craftsman and walking encyclopedia. He’s known for finding off-the-wall mom-and-pop eateries throughout the state.

To this day Mike continues to work at H-E-B overseeing facility and equipment warranties. He’s been a loyal and trustworthy employee for well over 40 years.

On occasion, we’ll take a quick roadtrip to the Texas Hill Country or someplace in the San Antonio area to taste a new “culinary find.”

Usually it’s comfort food, something like a chicken fried steak or cheesy beef enchiladas.

Mike and I are two big old boys who both pretty much like anything wrapped in bacon–corn, jalapenos, asparagus. You name it. We like it.

I love this guy as if he was my own twin. In honor of Mike Sheffield, here’s one of his typically unusual comfort food recipes: bacon wrapped pickles. Of course, all of the ingredients come from H-E-B.

Celebrating our shared birthday, Dec. 5, 2019.

Although perfect for game day or any time of year, we don’t need a special reason to enjoy them. He tends to use H-E-B brand thinner slices of bacon as it’s easier to manage. We like our bacon crispy, so adjust accordingly if you don’t. We’ve served it with ranch, blue cheese, and even thousand island dressing. In a pinch we’ve eaten (and enjoyed) it with just mustard.

It takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The both of us together can eat more than this, but it’s adjusted for normal appetites.

Ingredients

  • 8 pickle spears
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, chilled
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pat pickles dry with a paper towel.
  • Cut cream cheese into 8 strips.
  • Place 1 strip onto each pickle, and wrap with a strip of bacon, securing ends with toothpicks.
  • Place pickles on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is browned the way you like them, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve with dressing.

Ruby’s Coconut Meringue Pie

Here’s a favorite like Grandma used to make, because she did. There was nothing as good as Ruby Floyd’s Coconut Meringue Pie. I can still taste it in my mind while writing this.

Ruby Alma Morgan was born in Brady, Texas in 1910 to our greatgrandparents Margaret Delitha Ralph Morgan (a Chickasaw-Choctaw, known for her healing in McCullough County) and James Allison Morgan (a real cowboy who herded cattle most of his life).

Although she was my maternal grandmother, I called her “Mother,” just as my Mom (Geraldine “Gerry” Arthur-Dennis, her daughter) did.

Our grandmother and mother. 1957

When I was a child, Mother made her own pie crusts (see recipe below), but for the sake of advancement we’ll provide the recipe the way my Mom, Gerry, did it by the time I was in my teens: with ready made pie crusts from H-E-B.

There are basically three side notes I remember Mother, who passed away in 1986, told me:

1. “Always cut meringue pies with a wet knife blade.”

2. “These pies tasted better if they are served cold.”

3. “Use your oldest eggs and set them out so they’ll warm up to room temperature. They will whip better.”

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups Pets Milk (or whole milk)

4 eggs, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons butter

¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 baked, cooled 9-inch pie shell

¼ cup toasted coconut

1978

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

For filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, then cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Vigorously Whisk and slowly stir 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Stir the warmed yolks into the remainder of the milk mixture and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter has melted. Add the coconut, blending well.

Pour into cooled, baked 9-inch pie crust and top with meringue, sealing meringue to edge of pastry. Bake in a 350°F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Cool completely before serving.

Meringue

4 egg whites, at room temperature

½ cup of sugar

1/2teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4teaspoon cream of tartar

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat just to blend.

Pile atop pie, and bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Note: Be sure to seal the meringue to the pastry edge when spreading it on your pie. To minimize “weeping”, spread the meringue on the pie filling while the filling is hot.  

Pie Crust recipe ingredients:

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons ice water

1/2 cup Crisco or other good shortening

Preparation:

For a 9-inch double- or lattice-crust, just double this recipe.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Put the Crisco in a medium bowl. Pour the flour and salt over it. With a fork cut the flour and salt into the Crisco until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

One tablespoon at a time, sprinkle the ice water over the mixture, and work it in with the pastry blender. You may not need all three tablespoons before the dough comes together and can be pressed into a ball. Remember, the less you work the dough, the lighter and flakier the pastry. Flatten the dough ball into a 6-inch circle, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place the chilled dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll to a thickness of about 1/8 inch in a circle about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Peel off the top piece of waxed paper, invert a 9-inch pie plate on dough surface, and turn the sheet of dough and the pie plate over. Center the dough on the pie place, if necessary, and peel off the second sheet of waxed paper (tear off in pieces if you like). Fit the dough into the pie plate without stretching it. If the dough tears a little, just pinch it back together.

Trim the dough to overhang the edge of the pie plate by about 1-1/4 inches, then turn under to make an edge. At this point Mother would put a fancy crimp in the edge.

An alternative method is to dust your work surface or pastry mat liberally with flour, and then roll out the dough to the proper size. The dough can then be rolled up (loosen an edge with a spatula or baker’s bench knife) on the rolling pin and transferred to the pie plate.

Now your unbaked pie shell is ready to be filled.

Note on pre-baked pie shells:

For a pre-baked pie shell, once your pastry is in the pan, trimmed and crimped, prick the bottom and sides of pastry with a fork to avoid air pockets developing, and bake in a 425°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.

The Perfect Craving Banana Nut Bread Fix

I’ve been craving Banana Nut Bread for some reason. So what the Heck? It was time to dig out the old faithful recipe file. This is one the best and easiest Banana Bread recipes ever. It’s so easy and turns out moist full of amazing flavor! I’ve even added carrot cake frosting sprinkled with pecans to really solve cravings.

I love to take it on road trips and camping.

Prep Time 5 minutes, Cook Time 45 minutes = Total Time 50 minutes

 Servings 12

Ingredients

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

¾ Cup Sugar

¾ Tsp. Baking Soda

½ Tsp. salt

3 Very Ripe Bananas

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 Cup Plain Yogurt

2 Large Eggs

6 Tbsp Butter Melted & Cooled

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Start with melting butter and allow it to start to cool down before mixing ingredients. 

Adjust your oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees

Grease your bread pans and set them aside, or line your muffin pan with liners.

Peel and mash your bananas, I peel mine and chop off the ends.  I then drop them in my mixer and let it mash them for me.

Add in next the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and the cooled off melted butter.

Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in large a bowl to combine seperately then add to the banana mixture. Or add everything to mixer one at a time.

Mix until well combined the batter will be lumpy and thick. 

Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until loaf is golden brown.

Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean

Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack. 

*If making muffins bake them for about 15 minutes and check them* 

Here’s some option ideas.
 

1 Cup Chocolate Chips 

1/4 Tsp Cinnamon 

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Cup Nutella 

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter