Hello and welcome!

This blog is a place for me to share thoughts, recipes, things I learn from my Bible, links and anything else I happen to want to post. It is in essence an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. I hope you enjoy it!
All photos used on this blog are taken by me or my family unless otherwise noted. Some photos have had special filters applied. Regarding use of content: please see "the fine print" at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pecan Pie Bars

3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt

Filling:
4 eggs
1 C. light or dark corn syrup
1 C. sugar
3 Tbl. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (I recommend lining the pan with parchment as these bars are inclined to stick.) Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
In another bowl, combine first five filling ingredients. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread evenly over hot crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack. Cut when cooled. (Store extra in fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving.)
Yield: 4 dozen
These bars freeze well. Separate layers with waxed paper to avoid them sticking together.
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This dessert is one of my family’s favorites. It tastes pretty much like pecan pie, but the pieces are thinner with a higher concentration of nuts than most pies, and the crust tastes better than plain pie crust. Also, this dessert goes a lot farther since it makes such a large pan full.
I recommend using 60% cacao chocolate chips, partly due to the fact that the dessert is so sweet to begin with. Also, for those who are in the habit of reducing sugar in recipes, I have already reduced the sugar and syrup in this recipe and do not recommend trying to reduce it further.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

National Taffy Day

Today is National Taffy Day. In honor of this auspicious occasion, I wanted to post a link to a recipe for making pulled taffy. The first page gives detailed instructions, and after reading and/or doing this you will probably be able to make other recipes more effectively. I have never tried making pulled taffy myself, but I grew up reading books that talked about it because I read a lot of old books. Pulling taffy was much more common in past times. (Television, computer games, etc. have deprived us of a lot of good, honest fun.)

How to Pull Taffy Candy (Please disregard the ads at this site.)

Old Fashioned Pull Taffy – This recipe looks more appetizing. Maybe it would be good to use this recipe and follow the instructions from the page above.

Also, remember that in the old books it was common to describe pulling taffy as a job for a least two people. You may want to get a friend to help you on this one. :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some blog links that might be of interest

I thought I’d just post a few links that might be of interest to some of my readers. :-)

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The Castleberry family in Wisconsin:

Farming Wisconsin

My sister and I have read their homesteading stories and some of their other books, and enjoyed them quite well. They are homeschoolers who moved to northern Wisconsin years ago to become at least partly self-sufficient. The story, as related in their homestead stories, is quite amazing and entertaining! This is their blog world presence.

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Here are the blogs of my sister-in-law and my niece in Australia. These should be encouraging to home school mommies, daughters and keepers at home. :-)

Aussie Van Nattan Adventures
Recipes from Down Under
Dreaming of Days Gone By
A Little Country Girl

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day!

In honor of Mother’s Day here are a few links to some home style recipes:

My Mother’s Finest Recipes - This site includes a number of traditional Pennsylvania Dutch recipes.

Texas Cooking – Grandma’s Cookbook

Mother’s Day Recipes

My Grandma’s Recipes - a blog

Note: Disclaimer on any inappropriate content at these sites. I didn’t read them in depth!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Vanilla Cream Sauce

Here is the recipe for Vanilla Cream Sauce to go with the rhubarb crumble:
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Stir first 3 ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Cut butter into slivers and add. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until butter is melted and mixture begins to boil and/or is thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Serve warm.
For a thinner sauce use only 2 Tbs. of flour. For a thicker sauce use 5 Tbs.
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This sauce would be good used a variety of ways, but be forewarned, it is very rich! It is simple to make, but tastes quite luxurious. (I found this recipe online, though I've forgotten where.  For a change, I don't think I altered this recipe. Ha.)

Rhubarb Crumble

7 Cups diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbl. all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Topping:
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Cup rolled oats
3/4 Cup butter

In a mixing bowl, combine rhubarb, flour, sugar and salt. Spoon into a greased 9x13” baking pan; set aside. For topping: combine flour, brown sugar and oats. Cut in butter till crumbly. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Yield: 6-8 servings.
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My mom and I made this in January with some frozen rhubarb given to us by a friend. It turned out quite well, but I wanted some kind of sauce to put on it to kind help cut the sharpness that rhubarb sometimes has. So, I looked up a vanilla cream sauce on the internet and came up with something. It was really good on the crumble. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures, but it wasn’t the most striking dessert we ever made since the rhubarb was more green than red.
Anyway, I’ll post the vanilla cream sauce recipe as well. It would be equally good on a number of other things – even just poured over fresh fruit.
Note: We doubled the original recipe and I accounted for that in the measurements here. However, we had more than double the amount of rhubarb called for. So, please sweeten this to your taste. We also put it in a pan that was “double” what the recipe called for, but it seemed too thin to us. So, in posting the recipe here I have called for a 9x13 inch pan. If this seems too small to you feel free to use a larger one. The one we made did turn out very thin, though, and we would make it in a 9x13 if we make it again, I think.