a little of each

A family's cookbook

Candied Jalapenos September 9, 2013

Filed under: Fruits and Vegetables — alittlemoreofeach @ 8:24 pm
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Robin says: This is great served on cream cheese & crackers. I omitted the red chili & the jalapeños had plenty of heat.

Ingredients and Directions

Drain 1 (12 oz) jar of pickled jalapeno pepper slices, discarding liquid and reserving jar and lid. Toss together jalapeno slices; 4 red chile peppers, sliced; 3/4 cup sugar; and 1 tsp loosely packed lime zest. Let stand for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon into the reserved jar, scraping any remaining sugar mixture from the bowl into the jar. Cover with the lid, and chill for 48 hours to one week, shaking jar several times a day to dissolve any sugar that settles.




Vanilla Sauce for Gingerbread June 2, 2013

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:45 pm
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January 5, 2017. Today is my dad’s birthday. He would’ve been 68. Should’ve been. Instead he died nine years ago, and it still stinks. I try so hard to remember him outloud. I don’t know that I believe that it keeps him alive, but I will do anything to create him as a full person in the girls’ minds and memories. So we talk about him, how he loved to bake and how they’ve inherited that. How he loved the Boston Red Sox and umpiring and playing golf and the Beatles. I sing Yesterday to them as a (depressing) lullaby and Blackbird. And I tear up. Every single time.

I also talk to them about nutmeg, my dad’s “secret” ingredient. I get to use those irony quotes because it was a secret from no one that he loved nutmeg and would put it in any recipe he thought needed a little special something. It often worked. But sometimes he’d be a little heavy-handed with the powerful seasoning. If someone mentioned, “Maybe there’s a bit too much nutmeg?” he’d take it personally and pout just a bit.  So nutmeg is my dad. After he had his stroke and was in the ICU for nearly two weeks, my sister would bring in whole nutmegs and hold them under his nose. To connect with him, to remind him that we are here, to try to bring him home. As powerful as nutmeg is, it wasn’t up for that job.

I make this dessert because of the nutmeg. It is the star. The gingerbread is nice enough (and often comes from a box – shhh!), but the warmed vanilla sauce with its specks of nutmeg and velvety texture is heavenly. I acknowledge that it could be straight out of a 1960s-era Good Housekeeping cookbook and maybe not the prettiest thing ever plated. But it’s comforting, and it connects us, and it brings me home for just a minute.



½ cup sugar

2 Tbl cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

2 Tbl butter

1 tsp vanilla

nutmeg, to taste



Mix sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in boiling water and simmer for five minutes or until thickened. Add butter, vanilla and nutmeg. Serve warm.




Creamy Velveeta Fudge

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:37 pm
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Don’t let the name fool you or gross you out – this is a wonderful, creamy fudge.



1 stick butter

8 oz Velveeta cheese

½ cup baking cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lbs confectioners sugar



Melt butter and cheese on low heat. Sift in cocoa and sugar; stir well. Add vanilla and optional nuts. Press into a 9 x 13 pan. Cool and cut into squares.



Conga Bars

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:19 pm
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¾ cup flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup melted butter

2 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup nuts, chopped

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces



Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Sift dry ingredients together. Mix butter and sugar together, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture, beating well until smooth. Stir in nuts and chocolate pieces. Spread in pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.


Cinnamon Jumbles

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 3:06 pm
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½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¾ cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon



Mix butter, one cup sugar and egg thoroughly. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Blend together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into the buttermilk mixture. Chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough about two inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Bake for eight to 10 minutes.


Grapenut Pudding

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 2:13 pm
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Mary Kay encountered Grapenut Pudding for the first time at ShandsHospital’s cafeteria when she worked at UF. Robin says it makes a pretty healthy breakfast.



4 eggs, slightly beaten

¼ tsp salt

4 cups milk, scalded

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup Grapenuts



Combine eggs, sugar and salt. Add the scalded milk gradually, then add vanilla. Place Grapenuts in the bottom of a greased baking dish and fill with the custard mixture. Place the dish in a pan of hot water. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.


Fresh Apple Cake

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:37 pm
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2 1/3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp each: clove and nutmeg

4 cups chopped, peeled apples

½ cup soft shortening

½ cup chopped walnuts

2 eggs

caramel frosting



Combine first six ingredients (flour through spices) in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well blended, three to four minutes. Add apples, shortening, nuts and eggs. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake in pre-heated 325-degree oven for 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Cool completely on wire rack. Frost in pan with caramel frosting.


Caramel Frosting:

½ cup butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

dash of salt

3 Tbl milk

1 ½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted

¼ tsp vanilla


Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and salt, stir over medium heat until sugar melts. Add milk and bring to a boil. Pour into a mixing bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat to a spreading consistency, adding additional confectioners sugar if necessary. Spread on fresh apple cake.


Apple Cake

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 1:35 pm
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From “Everyday Food.”

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 ¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 ½ lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

2 large eggs, lightly beaten



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan; set aside in a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the apples, nuts, butter and eggs; stir just until combined. Spoon into pan; smooth with a spatula. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.


Coffee Cake Bread

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:48 pm
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Robin made this neighbor’s recipe, three cakes’ worth, for Adam’s christening in 1975.



4 cups flour

2 Tbl sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup shortening

1 cup milk, chilled

1 envelope active yeast

3 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

Dried fruits


1 tsp cinnamon



Beat the egg yolks and mix with the cold milk.  Dissolve yeast in cold milk mixture.  Set aside.  Mix flour, sugar and salt and mix in the shortening.  Add the milk and yeast mix.  Saving a little to add to the egg yolks.  Dump in yolks and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.  Divide into 3 loaves.  Roll 1/8-inch thick.  Beat egg whites.  Fold in 1 cup sugar.  Spread on dough.  Add dried fruit, nuts and cinnamon.  Roll.  Let rise for one hour – no more.  Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle the top with  water and powdered sugar.


Melt in Your Mouth Blueberry Cake

Filed under: Desserts — alittlemoreofeach @ 12:47 pm
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From allrecipes.com



½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup milk

¼ cup sugar

1 ½ cups fresh blueberries

1 Tbl all-purpose flour

1 Tbl sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 x 8 pan.  Cream butter and ½ cup sugar until fluffy.  Add salt and vanilla.  Separate the eggs and reserve the whites.  Add egg yolks to the sugar mixture.  Beat until creamy.  Combine 1 ½ cups flour and baking powder.  Add alternately with milk to the egg yolk mixture.  Coat berries with 1 Tbl flour and add to batter.  In a separate bowl, beat the whites until soft peaks form.  Add ¼ cup of sugar, 1 Tbl at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold egg whites into batter.  Pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top with remaining 1 Tbl sugar.  Bake for 50 minutes.