Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: fall

Caramel Apple Brickle Dip

Caramel apple dip was once one of my favorite sweet guilty pleasures. It was all the rave in my circle of friends. If there was a baby shower, birthday party or get together you can bet caramel apple dip was on the table. I have […]

Classic Carrot Cake with Variables

Carrots were used in Europe as an inexpensive sweetener in cakes and puddings dating far back as the Middle Ages. It is no surprise baked goods sweetened and flavored with vegetables and fruits remain a favorite commodity. The Classic Carrot Cake arrived in America in […]

Beef Tip Stroganoff

Beef Tip Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a classic 18th century Russian dish usually made with strips of beef, mustard and a cream sauce. Credit was given to the Count Alexander Grigorievitch Stroganov, a 19th century diplomat, although; similar accounts for a dish containing beefs strips in a cream sauce were uncovered as far back as the 15th century.

After his retirement, the Count frequently entertained the wealthy with “Open Table” dinner parties. Anyone in high society could walk in and sit down at the table. As the story goes, the Count’s chef invented the dish he called A La Francaise, a French recipe prepared in traditional Russian style in that the meat was mixed with a saucy gravy before serving. It is thought that the Chef learned of the recipe from a family cookbook. The dish was popular with the Count’s “Open Table” setting as it could easily be passed around.

It was not until the 1930’s the recipe turned up in American cookbooks and upscale restaurants featuring onions, mushrooms and a sour cream sauce. Because of the war and the price of beef at the time Beef Stronganoff did not became a popular American favorite until the 1950’s. The need for convenience and price replaced the sour cream with canned cream of mushroom soup and beef cubes with ground beef.

Beef Stoganoff remains a favorite in household’s throughout the world. Today’s influences include the addition of wine and herbs to yogurt. How ever you make it Beef Stroganoff is a classic recipe sure to please.

Source: Adapted from
1.5 pounds sirlion steak or stew meat, cut into bite sized chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup beef broth
1 tsp dried basil or dill
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
cooked rice or noodles

Season flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss beef in flour to coat. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; saute onions until tender. Remove onions from pan; set aside.

Increase heat to medium-heat. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter; brown meat on all sides. Add mushrooms; cook until slightly brown and softened. Add broth, basil, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and onions. Stir, scraping the burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn heat down to simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in sour cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serve immediately over rice or noodles.


Many years ago I lived in a very small town near Louisiana for a spell. The eastern boarder towns of Texas were heavily influenced by Cajun cuisine. While there I experienced squirrel soup (I will spare you any further details). I learned all about how […]

Cowboy Cornmeal Omelets

In this post we begin with a recipe for an omelet made from a cornbread batter as opposed to eggs. I could not find white cornmeal mix in our local grocery store. Instead I used plain yellow cornmeal in place of the mix. Not completely […]

Pumpkin and Date Scones

Pumpkin and date scones

I have learned a few tips over the years relative to baking. I was never very good baking. My pastries were always dry. The whole process was depressing. Then I started watching cooking shows and then my sister-n-law Roxanne gave me the Baking Illustrated cookbook. The book opened my eyes to the chemistry involved. The temperature of the kitchen plus the precise temperature and measurement of ingredients. There is a scientific method that unless you are in the know you will never find in a typical recipe.

Learning the art of making scones could be the first stepping stone to conquering fluffy biscuits and dare I say pastry crust. The key to scones, biscuits and pie crust is using cold ingredients and to handle the dough as little as possible. To do this the dry ingredients are whisked thoroughly as well as the wet before combining the two. You also want to keep the butter and milk in the refrigerator until it is time to add them. Now get out there and bake up some scones. Like these Pumpkin and Date scones. Yum yum!

I was attracted to the pumpkin and date part. I used butternut squash and dates but I think I prefer pumpkin and raisins better. There are two pumpkin scone recipes in this post. The first is an adaptation of Belinda Jeffery’s Mix and Bake by Pittsburg Needs Eated. I enjoyed the simplicity of the scone. No fuss. Just delicious warmth. The second connects with my more wild side that needs flavor to build on top of flavor producing a carnival ride of scrumptious delight.

Source: adaptation by Pittsburg Needs Eated

3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup chopped pitted dates or dried cherries or cranberries
1 cup cold cooked mashed butternut squash or pumpkin
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly dust a sturdy baking sheet with flour or line with parchment paper; set aside.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, or rub the butter in using your fingers, until mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Add the dates tossing to coat with the flour mixture. Make a well in the middle. Whisk the pumpkin and buttermilk and pour into the well. Stir gently until just combined. This dough is sticky. If it is too sticky and you prefer using an ice cream scoop, place scoopfuls of mixture on prepared baking sheet 1-inch apart.

Otherwise, to cut the scones, tip mixture out onto a floured surface and dust lightly with flour. Gather dough together; pat into a 1 1/2 inch think round. Dip a scone cutter or a small tumbler into flour, then stamp out the scones, dipping the cutter into the flour between each one or cut the scones into triangles using a sharp knife dusted with flour.

Place the scones 1-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream, milk or egg wash (1 yolk to 2 tsp water).

Bake the scones for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to a large clean tea towel; wrapping them up in the towel to keep moist. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, serve the scones with butter.

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones
Source: Morning Coffee and Tea
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pumpkin (if canned, be sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and cut into flour. Mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together (don’t overmix).

Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Shape or pat dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Slice in half, and then cut each half into 3 equal pie-shaped wedges. Brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk), and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 6 scones.

Optional: Add white chocolate chips and/or chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Spice Butter
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice

Combine all and mix till creamy.

Pumpkin Pistachio Cannoli

A couple Friday’s ago Stephen brought home a pumpkin muffin with strussel topping. I was gracious for his thoughtfulness. Now, normally a pumpkin muffin would have sounded appetizing but I just was not that interested. You see last year I went pumpkin crazy. I finally […]

Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Pecans

Wild rice pilaf evokes fall with the warmth of the pecans and mushrooms reminiscent of homemade Thanksgiving stuffing. I love the added protein from the garbanzo beans. They lend a chewy filler without the fat and extra calories associated with sausage. I like to boil […]

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

It is not very often our five year old volunteers to help cook. This morning he was eager to take position as my assistant chef.  He mashed the bananas, whisked the dry ingredients and then combined the two. This helpful streak of his has been going on all week. He has jumped in tackling tasks without being asked and even though it is not perfect it is a job completed. I love the words, “Can I Help?”.

Whole wheat baked goods often have a pungent after taste and are dense. Many bakers use honey to tone down the robust flavor. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook recommends adding orange juice. In this recipe for whole wheat banana pancakes use half wheat and half all-purpose flours. The pancakes are still light and fluffy and the bananas are not over powered by the wheat.  For true whole wheat pancakes use 1 cup whole wheat flour omitting the all-purpose flour.

Make sure the griddle is not too hot or else they will burn.

Source: The Kitchen Witch
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 tbsp melted butter
1 large egg
2 mashed bananas (about 3/4 cup)
Extra sliced bananas
Maple syrup

In large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk or yogurt, butter or oil, egg and bananas.

Make well in center of dry ingredients and add banana mixture. Stir with fork until barely moistened.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes stacked

Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour a 1/4 cup batter for each 4-inch pancake. When bubbles rise and break surface, turn over. Cook about 2 minutes, until nicely browned. Transfer to plate. Keep pancakes warm in preheated 200 degree oven.

To serve, top with sliced bananas, walnuts and maple syrup.

Makes 12 pancakes.

Harvest Apple and Cranberry Strudel

Apples and cranberries scream Autumn. Wrap the colorful goodness up in a pastry shell and you have got an apple and cranberry strudel. The warm aroma of cinnamon and apples permeate the house. Take a bite and taste the tart cranberries dancing on your taste […]