Tag Archive | Recipes

Muscadine & Scuppernong Jelly

We had the opportunity of picking Muscadines and a few Scuppernongs this past weekend.  Picking grapes was a new experience for us and it was a very interesting field trip.  I think the kids will have a much better understanding of the verses in the Bible that refer to the vine, vineyard and fruit.  Anyway since we had the grapes we made jelly.  It was simple and worked out very well.

Muscadine Jelly

  • approximately 1 gallon of Muscadine Grapes
  • ½ teaspoon of butter
  • 7 cups of sugar or less if using light or sugar free Sure Jell
  • 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin
  • Some recipes call for cutting the grapes in half. But we didn’t, most just burst on their own.  If I found a grape that didn’t rupture I just stabbed it.  We just brought the grapes, in a small amount of water, to a boil and then simmered for 20 minutes mashing the berries periodically as they cook.

    Pour mixture into small gauged wire strainer or into a cheesecloth or jelly bag over a large bowl.  Pressed gently. The harder you press the less clear the final product.  The key is to not break down the seeds because that can cause bitterness.

    Measure 5 cups of the juice into an 8-quart saucepan, if you have slightly less juice you can add a small amount of water or apple juice to get to 5 cups, muscadines have a strong flavor. Add ½ teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming and 1 package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. Stir in up to 7 cups of sugar (I used 4 cups and light Sure Jell in some)  while bring to boil and allow to boil 1 minute while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Ladle quickly into clean hot jelly jars to within 1/8 inch of the top and cover with lids.  Process in Water bath for 10 minutes.

    Scuppernongs can be done the same way or you can mix the grapes.  I like the Scuppernong Jelly the best!

    Muscadines make a deep dark purple jelly and Scuppernongs make a lighter jelly, similar to apple in color.  Mixed can be any color in between.

    When I finished draining the juice from the skins and seeds in the first batches, I boiled the original three gallons (from three whole batches of jelly) of grape skins, pulp and seeds in a small amount of water again. This made enough juice to make a whole ‘nother batch of jelly. (Waste Not, Want Not – Benjamin Franklin, not the Bible. :))


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Haystacks

I had never made these before but my husband requested them so I gave them a try. No complaints from anyone here. We’ll see how well they work for a bake sale today and tomorrow.  😮

Haystacks

  • 1 11 oz bag of butterscotch chips

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup peanuts

  • 1 12 oz bag of Chinese Chow Mein Noodles


Melt butterscotch and peanut butter over a double boiler.  Stir in peanuts and noodles.  Place spoonfuls on wax paper and allow to cool to room temperature.

You could use chocolate chips in place of the butterscotch if desired.

These supposedly freeze very well in order to make ahead for holidays.


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Grape Ice-cream

Grape Ice-Cream

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

2 cans evaporated milk

2 cans grape cola (Grape Nehi, Grapico, etc.)

Mix in a large mixing bowl.  Mix well to remove carbonation.

Pour into Freezer.  Add whole milk to fill line (shouldn’t be much if any).

Makes 4 quarts.

Freeze according to freezer directions.


3 cans each will make a 5 quart Ice-cream maker.

Of course you can also use Orange or Strawberry colas.

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Potluck Meals Made Easier

We’ve been worshiping in a church which has a Potluck meal each Sunday morning after the worship service.  This week I’ve been contemplating ways to make that time more enjoyable for the younger women and less stressful.  If you have several little bitties to get fed and dressed on Sunday mornings then you will know what I mean by stressful when you throw in preparing a meal to transport to church.

Remember this is a church fellowship, a meal among family, not a time to wow everyone with your cooking skills or one-up another lady.  It isn’t a competition to have the most raved about meal.

Another thing to remember is what are the dynamics of your church.  If your church is mostly elderly with several widow ladies and a few elderly couples then you can probably get along with preparing a single dish, taking into account dietary needs such as sugar-free or less spicy.  However, if your church is made up of families with lots of little ones preparing one dish won’t be enough and child friendly meals will work better.

Don’t forget the drink!  Some churches provide drinks and others depend on church members to bring a drink, jugs of tea and lemonade go over well.  Save some large gallon jugs from bought juice or punch, they are sturdier and easier to clean than milk jugs.

What makes things more manageable for you in this situation?

These are some things I’ve learned that help even though I don’t have several little bitties to take care of.

Plan ahead!!

I know, duh, but how many times, like tonight, do I have plans for a meal item only to find I’m missing a crucial ingredient.  I can’t make my Cheesecake for a Crowd because I have no cream cheese!  Sorry no cheesecake Sunday. 🙁

Menu Planning

I go through spurts of menu planning but the funny thing is if I find a menu plan from years ago I will see a favorite meal that somehow has been missed.  Having a record of Potluck meals will help keep you from falling into a rut with meals.  Also keeping track of special instructions for preparing potluck meals will help.  Potluck meals might require a little adjusting compared to the way you prepare the meal at home.

Gather Recipes

Meals to transport and then to sit unattended for hours at church have special requirements.  Some things just won’t work no matter what.  Develop a file of recipes that work well in a potluck situation.

A Crock-pot is your friend

I’m not the queen of crock-pots but you can usually guess I’ll have one or two with me at least for a potluck.  It is amazing what you can do with a crock-pot if you get some good recipes and just give it a try.  Just don’t try something new on Sunday morning unless you don’t mind embarrassment.  Give things a try at home first.

Simple Chicken

Place Chicken breasts or tenders in Crock-pot with a favorite seasoning.  Add vegetables if desired.  Cook the appropriate amount of time.  Always better to over cook than under cook in a potluck setting.

Our favorite Simple Chicken recipe is cooking the chicken in a Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad dressing or Italian Salad dressing.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes work well in a crock-pot for a potluck.  Find a recipe for crock-pot mashed potatoes or play around with your own.  Just remember that they need to be thinner to cook for a while, don’t start out with them at serving consistency.  One trick I’ve learned is to transport a small container of instant mashed potatoes to add if your mashed potatoes need to be thickened.  You can always add water if too thick.  If really desperate for a quick meal, measure water into a crock-pot and heat during church then add the correct amount of instant mashed potatoes.

Make ahead Items

Cookies, cakes, and pies can all be made ahead of time.  That will make Sunday AM much smoother.  Some pasta salads, chicken salad and green salads can also be made and refrigerated overnight.

Double or Triple up

Many, many times what we are eating Saturday night is the same thing I take Sunday morning.  Just make extra and refrigerate, then you can warm it the next morning or place in a crock-pot on low to warm.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, roast, turkey and BBQ all work for this idea.

Casseroles

Many casseroles can be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until time to cook.  Then you can stick them in the oven to bake while you dress.  Or use a roaster oven at church to bake if timing works out.

Child Friendly Meals

We have lots of children at our church. So child friendly and appealing meals go over well. Hot dogs, Pig-n-blankets, corndogs, Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken nuggets, etc.  Remember also that there might be several moms with little bitties who are just beginning to eat so simple mashed potatoes, peas, and finger foods work well.  Bread and cookies make good finger foods.

Themes

While some churches might have a theme for individual meals like Mexican, Italian, etc. ours doesn’t.  However, I tend to prepare my meals with a theme in mind.  So if I’m taking BBQ, I’ll have potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, buns, chips or some other things that fit a BBQ meal.  If I take Mexican, I’ll include the fixings like salsa, sour cream, and cheese.  Essentially I prepare my potluck meal like I would a meal at home but with extra servings.

 

 


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Cheesecake for a Crowd

I get tired of making the same desserts each Sunday.  Recently my family suggested Cheesecake.  But most recipes make a small round cheesecake that doesn’t serve too many people.  However, I found this recipe and tried it with my own personal adaptations. (I don’t know that I’ve ever followed a recipe exactly or done the same thing twice.)

Cheesecake (11 x 7 Pan)

  • 1  cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in pan in preheating oven.

Sprinkle graham crackers and sugar over melted butter.

Press down and form crust.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Mix together in mixing bowl.

  • 4 packages of cream cheese, (8 ounces) softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Almond flavoring (optional)

Beat on low slowly adding ingredients together.  Too many air bubbles will cause it to fall when baking.

Pour into crust and bake for 50 minutes or until set.  (Cheesecake works best in a moist oven so add a pan of water below the cheesecake.)

My husband didn’t want the sour cream topping but for those who do:

Topping

  • 1 16 ounce sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend together.  Spread over top of hot cheesecake and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Refrigerate.

This sliced well enough that the cheesecake could be served as bars.

I guess it was liked well enough because there was fighting over the last slices. :0

 


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Pineapple Casserole

This recipe is very good. Could easily be a dessert. Goes well with ham.

Pineapple Casserole

  • 3 20-ounce cans pineapple tidbits or chunks, in its own juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sharp grated cheese
  • Topping

  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • ½ cup Ritz cracker crumbs (I just crumble one tube of crackers.)

Drain pineapple, saving 2 tablespoons of juice. Mix the juice, sugar and flour. Add pineapple and cheese. Put in greased casserole. Mix butter and crackers. Put cracker mixture on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes.

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