State Fair Funnel Cakes

State Fair Funnel Cakes
State Fair Funnel Cakes

Make your own funnel cakes all year long.

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You’ll need:
A funnel with ½-inch hole
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture beating until smooth. Test batter to see if it flows evenly through funnel. If too thick add milk, if to thin add flour.

Pour about 2 cups cooking oil (about 1-inch deep) in an 8 inch skillet and heat to about 360-375 degrees. Cover funnel tip with finger and add about 1/2 cup of batter to funnel. Uncover funnel tip and release into hot oil in spiral patterns. Cook one at a time, frying until deep golden (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Flip and fry other side (about 1 or 2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately in paper towel to outstretched hands.


Sylvia’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


2 sheets pie crust (homemade or store bought)
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into chunks
1/3 cup minute tapioca
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix strawberries, rhubarb, dry tapioca, sugar and orange peel in a bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. (Sylvia sometimes uses a little flour and water when making this pie, especially when she uses canned or frozen rhubarb, which is juicier than fresh.)

Meanwhile, line a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with one crust. Fill with fruit mixture and dot with a little butter.

For the top crust, Sylvia does not completely seal the top because the juices are too likely to boil over even with slits cut in crust. She cuts a circle and makes pie-shaped wedges, arranging them loosely around the top. She also puts some slits in the wedges.

Sprinkle top with cinnamon and some sugar. Place a sheet of foil or a tray below pie (it will bubble and drip) and bake 50-60 minutes. Cool before serving.

Baked Beans by Nadia

Baked Beans
Baked Beans


This is Nadia’s recipe for quick and easy baked beans that only take a little over an hour to prepare start to finish. She adds brown sugar because in her words, “Mom always does that, and her beans are great.”

6-8 thick slices old-fashioned bacon
1 large can (30 oz.) pinto beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ cup ketchup (up to 1/3 cup depending on your preference)
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
Pepper and salt

Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces and brown in a deep-sided pot. When bacon is browned, add onion and cook until softened. Add garlic, cook 5 minutes and add beans (with liquid). Stir in ketchup, mustard, molasses and brown sugar. Add pepper and dried onion flakes. (Add salt to taste near the end of cooking time only if needed. Bacon is salty enough.) Simmer 5 minutes, transfer to oven-proof dish and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until it gets a little thicker and browns around the edges of the dish. (You’ll need to double this recipe if you plan to take it anywhere.) Makes 6-7 1/2 cup servings.

Variation: use browned, sliced sausages or loose-meat hamburger and make a hearty, meaty, bean dish. When the beans are done, top with Cojack cheese, turn oven to broil, put the beans under broiler 2-3 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Sun-Drenched Cod

Sun-Drenched Cod
Sun-Drenched Cod


This is one of Nadia’s favorites: Sun-Drenched Cod. It was submitted it to the Red Hat Society Cookbook a few years ago, and they published it along with photos of the group, the Merry Mad Hatters (now defunct). The recipe lives on:

4 cod fillets
1 Tablespoon minced fresh kale leaf
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon grated orange (or lemon) zest
Orange or lemon slices and kale leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in a 2×10-inch round baking dish (or a 11×7-inch oblong) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper and salt.

In a small skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter along with chopped kale leaf until tender; spoon over fish. Combine juices and orange zest; drizzle over fish. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Makes 4 servings, about 155 calories per serving.

Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries
Vanilla Dream Cake with Strawberries

VANILLA DREAM CAKE with Strawberries

1/2 cup butter (room temp)
1/4 cup shortening 1-2/3 cups sugar4 eggs (room temp)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pkg. frozen strawberries with juice, thawed

1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a lighter yellow color; this is an important step, as the job of the mixer is to incorporate air into the butter mixture so the cake will rise. It will take 1 to 7 minutes, depending on the power of your mixer.) Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. (Again, the times will vary, and butter will turn to a fluffy white.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.

2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. (The batter should be smooth and bits of flour should be well incorporated; to rid batter of lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in vanilla.

3. Pour into a liberally greased and floured loaf pan. The bottom has a tendency to stick, so if you have a piece of parchment or waxed paper cut it to fit the bottom of the dish. Lay it in the greased bottom and grease the top of the paper too. It will help the loaf come out of the pan.

4. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Note from Nadia: This one of my favorite cake recipes. It’s dense, fine texture makes it especially good to use as for strawberry shortcake and in trifles. This version uses a little milk, but classic pound cake does not. I like this better because the texture “crumb” is superior to others I’ve tried. Roughly 200 per slice (approx. 60g).

Variation: Add a tablespoon of grated lemon peel, or 1-1/2 tsp. lemon extract to make lemon pound cake.

Sylvia’s Spice Applesauce Cake

Spice Applesauce Cake
Spice Applesauce Cake


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups applesauce

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices into a mixing bowl.

In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Mix in the applesauce and milk. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients until mixed well. Optional: Fold in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Delicious without frosting, but if desired, frost with:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth. Frost the cooled cake.

Note: original recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter and only 2 eggs. I cut back to only 1/4 cup butter and added an egg. This made a great cake lower in fat, without sacrificing flavor.

Quick and Easy KEY LIME PIE

Easy Key lime Pie

Quick and Easy KEY LIME PIE

For the filling:
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of lime juice
1 – 2 teaspoons lime zest (one tsp. for the filling and one for garnish)
8 ounces of whipped heavy cream or Cool Whip

The crust:
1 cooked and cooled pie crust OR 1 graham cracker pie crust.

In a mixer bowl, add the juice with the condensed milk and whip until thick. Fold in the whipped cream or Cool Whip. Pour mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for an hour.

For a cheesecake dessert, add one 8 ounce block of softened cream cheese to the condensed milk and juice and mix well, adding the whipping cream after the mixture is smooth. Taste for sweetness and add powdered sugar by the tablespoon to the mix if you like it sweeter while you mix it all together. This version will make a higher pie—or use a 10-inch plate.