Collecting old recipes has connected me to hundreds of towns, churches, schools and civic organizations that have created cookbooks as a favorite method of fund-raising.They are bound and forgotten recipes often tossed in a box and sold for a dime at yard sales. That’s where I rescued the Willowbrook’s Favorite Recipes Cookbook. The book had been compiled by the Cookbook Committee for Willowbrook Estates, a retirement community in Garden City, Idaho. Inside was a tasty recipe for Homemade Baked Beans that couldn’t be more perfect for football watching, tailgating and backyard grilling. It was in the same section as Golumki Casserole which I was tempted to make just because the name made me giggle, but opted for the baked beans recipe because of one particular ingredient—a cup of strong brewed coffee. The rest of the ingredients are fairly common to homemade baked beans; molasses, bbq sauce, mustard and brown sugar. But I was curious to know what the strong brewed coffee brought to the flavor profile. It was delicious! I also used hickory smoked thick style bacon, Dijon mustard and for the hot sauce I opted for a teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. This recipe makes up a nice sized batch so it’s perfect for a party, and a fantastic accompaniment to a hotdog, hamburger or grilled steak. I’m no bean counter, but my ten cent investment in the Willowbrook cookbook has paid big dividends just with this recipe alone for Homemade Baked Beans.
It’s not too late to grab some ground beef and make Dad a Big Daddy Burger for Father’s Day! I have some tips and tricks that make the burger better than ever and a special 4-ingredient sauce that could rival any of your favorite fast food burger stops. We always like to think Dad wants to grill something on Father’s Day. So beat him to it, fire up the grill (or an indoor grill pan) and let him dive into deliciousness! The first tip is to buy ground beef that has a little fat because fat equals flavor. An 80-20 blend is great; that’s 80 percent lean beef to 20 percent fat. Also, you can cook up some nice, crispy bacon and chop it up into bacon bits. Then, dice a sweet yellow onion, sauté it in a little of the bacon fat and when the bacon and onion are cooled, add it to the ground beef. It adds flavor and moisture. The only other ingredients you need for a tasty burger is salt, pepper and maybe some garlic powder. Now, you may have heard of the ice method of cooking up a burger to keep it moist. It actually works! Form your beef patty, make a shallow indentation with your fingers in the middle of the burger and place an ice cube in the divot. (The ice cube should only be about an inch in diameter. Place the patty on the grill, and as the burger heats up, the ice cube will melt into the ground beef. The divot helps keep the burger flat and the ice adds moisture. Don’t keep flipping the burger. Once on each side should do it. Then there’s the sauce. It’s a simple, 4-ingredient sauce that’ll make this Big Daddy Burger a Father’s Day favorite!
The one thing we do know about this cake is that it was first printed in Southern Living Magazine in 1978 and eventually became the most popular and requested recipe in the magazine’s history. What we don’t know about Hummingbird Cake, is how it got its name. This moist, 3-layer slice of heaven was created and submitted to Southern Living by Mrs. L.H Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina forty one years ago. Over the years, information about Mrs. Wiggins was lost, but a recent post on line from Southern Living revealed this:
“Stay tuned, because in the coming weeks, you’ll more about cracking the case of the Hummingbird Cake in a new Southern Living podcast—including exclusive interviews with Mrs. Wiggins’ family and Southern Living food editors throughout the decades.”
So maybe we will find out about the cakes’ origin and its name. Once you make it, you’ll find out why it’s been a time-tested and beloved recipe for dessert lovers for decades!
Donuts with our coffee were always a treat in my family because we didn’t buy them very often. When you’re Italian, the perfect paring with your espresso is a biscotti. But oh, those donuts! My real weakness, though, was an apple fritter. Those rugged, rustic clumps of dough smooshed together with apple bits laced with an ooey gooey glaze were just too irresistible! Now, to make matters worse for my waistline, what sits before me is a bread pan bubbling over with what pretty much looks like an apple fritter on steroids. This is going to be really good…or really bad depending on how much willpower I have. I found this recipe for Apple Fritter Pull Apart Bread that is made with delicious and delicate a sweet yeast dough and sugary, buttery diced apples that are caramelized. The dough is rolled out, topped with the diced apples, and then sliced in squares, stacked in groups of four, and just stuffed into the pan. This recipe is just downright fun. The pan went into the oven and an hour later, setting before me were apples laced slabs of heaven ready to be pulled apart and devoured! You can make this with the homemade dough recipe below or you can make it with refrigerated croissant dough. Just promise me you’ll make it!