Category Archives: Family Collections

Herbed Pork Roast With Apples

I came across a recipe similar to this the other day and thought it sounded so good. I made just a few minor changes. The original recipe calls for apple cider, but I think apple juice will work well, and I always have that. As it turns out . . . I didn’t have the apple juice, either, so I used my favorite wine, which happens to be apple wine. I think the wine actually made the roast even more tender, and it had a great flavor. For this recipe, though, I’m going to list apple juice. Just know there are alternatives – even water or chicken stock would probably work. Also, you should use your judgment on how much salt and pepper you like. The herbs can be fresh or dried (I used dried because it’s all I have at the moment).

This is a recipe I will definitely make again . . it makes a great presentation for company. I served it with sides of green beans and sweet potatoes.

Herbed Pork Roast with Apples

1 pork butt roast, approx. 4 lb.
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. sage
1 Tbsp. rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
3 large apples (tart is best), cut into wedges
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 2/3 cup apple juice, divided
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Score the fat side of the roast in criss-cross manner, about 1/4 inch deep; place half the garlic slices inside the slits at random. Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the roast evenly on all sides. Depending on the size of your roast, you may need to use a little more salt/pepper according to your taste.

Place roast, fat side up, in shallow baking pan, making sure to leave about 2 inches of space around the roast. Sprinkle the sage, rosemary and thyme on top of the roast and rub in.

Arrange the apples, onions, and remaining garlic evenly around the roast in the pan. Dot with butter. Mix 1 cup of apple juice with the soy sauce and pour evenly over all.

Bake uncovered 1 1/2 to hours or until meat reaches desired doneness. Baste occasionally with the pan juices, being sure to keep the apples moist. To test for doneness, pierce the meat with a knife; if juices are pink, it will need to cook longer.

Transfer roast to a platter and arrange apples and onions around it. The meat will be easier to slice if allowed to stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and add the remaining apple juice. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Sauce will be fairly thin. Serve the sauce warm with the pork.

Baked Potato Halves

6 small potatoes
1/4 cup (half stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
Other herbs or spices, as desired (I suggest garlic flakes)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Put the butter in a 9×13 inch baking pan and place in oven while preheating. When butter is melted, spread it to cover the entire bottom of baking pan.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over the butter, then sprinkle the parsley and any other herbs over the Parmesan cheese.

Wash potatoes and slice them lengthwise. Place cut side down in the baking pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes after removing from oven. If you don’t wait, the cheese might not stick as well.

Serve with a sour cream type of dip.
*****

These potatoes are very easy to make . . . . no peeling!!! They will be great to have at any cookout. They would also be a great potato dish to take to a pot luck dinner.

Here’s how they looked first put into the oven:

You can see the layer of grated parmesan and herbs on the bottom of the pan.  Also notice that six small potatoes fit nicely in a 9×13 pan.

Here’s a picture just out of the oven:

Remember, you have to wait a few minutes to take them out of the pan so the cheese will stick to them.

Here they are on the fancy platter. 😉 Those are my every day dishes – paper plates!

 

Earthquake Cake

I made this cake for my children at our Mother’s Day dinner (what’s wrong with that picture, huh???).  The cake was a big hit, in spite of the fact that it became a volcano instead of an earthquake.  You have to read below to find out why…

Earthquake Cake

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix (I used Pillsbury)
3 Eggs
1 1/4 cups Water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Coconut
1 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter or Margarine, softened
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
4 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup Chocolate Chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle coconut, then pecans, evenly over the bottom of the cake pan and set aside.

Mix together the cake mix, eggs, water and oil in a mixing bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes with electric mixer. Pour over coconut and pecans in pan.

In small mixing bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter. Don’t try to spread it out; just put it on in dollops.

Bake cake for about 45 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the chocolate cake. The toothpick should come out clean.

When done, remove cake from oven and immediately sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Allow cake to cool in the pan.

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Okay, now for my story….

This was a new recipe I had found on the internet, so didn’t know exactly what to expect. I changed the ingredients very slightly . . . the original recipe called for a German Cake Mix, but I used Devil’s Food Cake Mix (because that’s my favorite). I also added the chocolate chips.

I also attempted to spread out the cream cheese mixture on top of the cake, and that was probably my downfall. A few minutes in the oven, and the cake started to raise up. All of a sudden, my daughter exclaimed that the cake was boiling over! I immediately got a sheet of aluminum foil and placed it on the rack beneath the cake to catch the overflow. I looked at my daughter and explained that we had a volcano cake instead of an earthquake!

It was mostly the white part that spilled over, and actually, that part that cooked on the side of the pan was Awesome! Just after removing the cake from the oven when it was done, I scraped off the part that flowed over the edge, and tasted it . . . it was just like chewey, ooey, gooey, warm caramel! Oh yum!

I sprinkled the chocolate chips on the top of the cake and allowed the cake to cool in the pan. It cut very nicely, and there was that coconut/pecan layer on the bottom part. The chocolate part of the cake was so moist, yet held up very well.

When I saw the cake spill over, my first thought was that I would never make this again. But after watching my family devour it, I’ve decided this just might be a tradition recipe. My husband said it was the best cake he had ever eaten.

I really think the secret to keeping it from spilling over is that you have to drop the cream cheese mixture in dollops randomly on top, and not attempt to spread it out. Let me know how it works for you.

Now, I’d better get started on cleaning the oven. Thank goodness for self-cleaning ovens!

Easy Chocolate Chip Cake

This has to be one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made! Just 4 ingredients, and it’s a snap to put together. No frosting needed, either!

1 Chocolate Pudding Mix (Small Box)
1 1/2 cups Milk
1 Chocolate Cake Mix (I used Devil’s Food Cake Mix)
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (I used Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with no-stick spray.

Combine chocolate pudding mix and milk in a mixing bowl. Using a mixer, beat until smooth. Add dry cake mix, and beat until well-combined. This mixture will be very thick.

Pour into prepared cake pan, and spread evenly. Scatter the chocolate chips over the top. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Cool (if you can wait that long) and cut into squares.

More pictures:

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. Cream Cheese
8 Tbsp. Butter (unsalted butter is best, but margarine works okay)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Using mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.* Add vanilla and powdered sugar and continue beating with mixer until smooth and creamy.

*If your cream cheese and/or butter is cold, you can put it in the microwave for a few seconds (start with 15 seconds) until it is warmed up enough to blend well.

Peach Bread Pudding

9 leftover dinner rolls
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
21 ounce can peach pie filling

Cut rolls into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubes in a sprayed 8-inch square baking pan.

In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, almond extract and 1 cup peach pie filling. Mix well. Pour over roll cubes. Press down with a spoon to make sure all of the roll cubes are covered with egg mixture; let soak for 30 minutes. Bake at 350°F 30-40 minutes.

Heat remaining pie filling and serve over warm pudding.

No-Roll Pie Crust

1 1/3 cuprs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. cold water

Stir together the flour, salt and oil until all the flour is moistened. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stiring until all water is absorbed.

Gather the pastry into a ball. Press in the bottom and up the side of a 9″ glass pie plate; flute around the edges.

Fill and bake as directed in your recipe.

For crusts that need to be baked before filling: Heat oven to 475 degrees. Prick the bottom and side of the pastry thoroughly with a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely – about 30 minutes. Fill as directed in your recipe.

Raspberry-filled Poppy Seed Thumbprints

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves

In a large bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and vanilla. Add salt and gradually add the flour to creamed mixture and mix well. Beat in poppy seeds and lemon peel.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Spoon 1/4 tsp. preserves into each cookie.

Bake at 324 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Move to wire racks to cool. Makes about 5 dozen.