Double-Crust Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

2 Cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
2 T cinnamon
1 T ground ginger
1 T nutmeg
8 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1” pieces
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
3 T minute tapioca
2 cups water
2 T vanilla
Pinch of salt

Melt butter and combine with brown sugar, then oats and flour. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well. Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of a glass 9×13” pan. Cover the bottom crust with rhubarb, then strawberries. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Then, in a saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn starch, and tapioca. Mix this first, then add water. Cook over medium heat until sauce becomes clear and thick. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and remove from heat to cool 10 minutes.

Pour sauce over strawberries and rhubarb. Top with remaining crumble mixture. Bake 1 hour. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Ground Beef and Refried Beans Tacos

This can also be served with tortilla chips as an appetizer or hot dip.

1 lb ground beef
½ medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. T Adobo seasoning, or to taste (Start with 1 tsp.)
1 small can (4 oz.) diced green chilis or ½ c. Goya Recaito Culantro cooking base (Find in specialty food stores.)
½ c. bottled salsa (your favorite)
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
2 c. shredded Colby-Jack cheese
Flour tortillas
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Sour cream

Brown ground beef with onions and season with Adobo. Add green chilis and salsa. Spread meat mixture across bottom of medium casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, moisten refried beans with just enough water to make them spread easily over the meat mixture in the casserole. Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and cheese is melted.

Serve with warm tortillas (wrap in foil and warm in oven while dish is cooking). Top each taco with shredded lettuce, fresh chopped cilantro, and sour cream. Yields 12-14 tacos.

You could serve this as a warm dip with tortilla chips.

Amish Sugar Cookies

blonde cookie
A delicate, crispy shortbread-like cookie.

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter
3/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Cream together the sugars and butter. Then add oil, eggs, vanilla and mix again. Add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Mix until combined.

Using a teaspoon, drop dough on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Pour additional sugar (plain or colored) in a small bowl. Dip the moistened bottom of a glass in sugar and gently press each dropped cookie to flatten. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees F. or until edges begin to turn golden.

HALF RECIPE:
½ c. granulated sugar and ½ c. powdered sugar
½ c. butter
1/3 c. oil, 1 egg, and ½ tsp. vanilla
2 ¼ c. flour, ½ tsp cream of tartar, and ½ tsp. baking soda

Creole/Cajun Seasoning Mix

To make this Creole blend more Cajun, reduce paprika and increase hot pepper flakes.
3 T. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. powdered rosemary
1 tsp. powdered bay leaves (optional-harder to find in stores, but it IS my secret ingredient)
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (see note)

NOTE: Creole and Cajun spice mixes are similar but not identical. Creole seasoning is sweet and mild, not spicy hot, like Cajun. One way to tell the difference is that Creole seasoning has a fair amount out paprika in it where Cajun does not. The above recipe is my version of Creole. You can adjust quantities of paprika and hot pepper flakes to make this more Cajun.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Comfort food at its finest.

1 box (12 oz.) jumbo pasta shells (boiled, drained, cooled)
1 28 oz. jar pasta sauce (or make your own, about 4 cups)
½ lb. mild Italian sausage, browned.
½ c. sliced mushrooms, lightly saute’d
RICOTTA FILLING:
2 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
Pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare filling and set aside while you boil the shells. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stuff each cooked shell with about 1 T. ricotta filling, placing them in a greased a 9×13-inch baking dish or a lasagna pan as you go. Use all the filling.

Sprinkle Italian sausage and mushrooms over filled shells. Pour sauce over shells and bake 45-60 minutes until bubbly.

Top with additional Parmesan or shredded mozzarella if desired and place under broiler for a minute or so or until golden brown and bubbling.

Grandma’s Banana Nut Bread

banana bread on a plate
Easy, moist, and just like Grandma used to make.

Simple, easy, fast, and fun; cannot be improved upon.

1 cup ripe smashed banana
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
12 cup water
12 cup vegetable oil
1 12 cups brown sugar
34 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 34 cups flour
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Adjust oven rack to middle position and Pre-heat to 350°F. Grease 1 large loaf pan.

Mix wet ingredients-do not over mix. Add dry ingredients to combine-do not over mix.

Bake large loaf 60-70 minutes. Until firm and golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely. Freezes well.

One Hour Sandwich Buns

white bread buns
Quick and easy, use these as sandwich rolls or hamburger buns.
ONE-HOUR SANDWICH BUNS
1 cup warm water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
2 pkgs. quick-rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. butter, melted

Mix together the warm water, sugar, oil, and yeast. Let stand until yeast mixture is bubbly. Add salt and beaten egg to the yeast mixture and stir.

Mix in the flour a little at a time until dough is no longer sticky. You may or may not use all of it. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Grease a cookie sheet with 1-inch sides or line it with parchment paper and spray with oil. Oil your hands and shape into 12 balls. Place balls about 1 inch apart and let rise 20 minutes or until a little more than doubled. It’s okay if some of the sides end up touching each other.

Bake at 375 degrees 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool, slice, and use as hamburger or sandwich buns.