Saturday, December 31, 2011


Everything that one should learn about Italian cooking should come from Jungle Jim's Carol Tabone! Call the Jungle and schedule a class~ Here's Carol's Calzones:

1 1/2 c. warm water 105-110 degrees 1 lb. red onion, sliced thin
1 envelope dry yeast 4 sweet Italian sausages, castings removed
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt 3 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
4 c. flour, divided 12 oz. ricotta cheese, drained 1 hour
1 large red bell pepper 3 tsp. dried oregano
2 T. olive oil
Pour warm water into a large bowl and stir in yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes until
yeast dissolves. Mix in salt and oil. Add 3 3/4 cups flour (do 1/2 cup at a time),
stirring until blended. Transfer to a floured surface and knead dough (you may not
need all of the 1/2 cup reserved flour for this). You want it smooth and elastic, but not
sticky. Rub inside a large bowl with oil and place dough in the bowl. Flip the dough
over (oily side up) and cover with saran wrap in a draft free place for 1 hour, 15 min.
The dose has risen when 2 fingers indentations remain. Filling: Place a red pepper on
a baking sheet and set the oven to broil. Roast the pepper until all of the sides are
black. Transfer to a bowl and cover with saran wrap for 10 minutes. The steam will
help shed the skin. Peel, seed and slice into thin strips. Set aside. In a large skillet,
heat olive oil, over medium high heat. Cook red onions until brown (25 minutes.)
Remove onions to a bowl and cook sausage, breaking it into small bits, until done. Set
aside. In a bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta and oregano. Season to taste
with salt and pepper. Place oven racks in the top 1/3 and bottom 1/3 of the oven.
Preheat to 400 degrees. Brush 2 cookie sheets with olive oil and dust with cornmeal.
Punch down the dough. Knead on a floured surface for 1 minute. Divide dough into 4
equal portions,shaping each into a ball. Roll each into a 9 inch round. I transfer it to the bake sheet before assembly.) Spread 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture over half of each round, leaving a 3/4 inch border. Place 1/4 of the onions, another 1/3 cup cheese mixture, 1/4 of the sausage, 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 of the peppers.
Fold dough over forming a half circle and seal edges firmly, so nothing leaks out.
Pierce top of calzone a few times with a sharp knife so steam can escape while
baking. Repeat with 3 other calzones, 2 per bake sheet. Bake 15 minutes, reverse
sheets and bake 15 more minutes, until golden brown. Makes 4 HUGE calzones.
Note: You can be creative with the fillings. I recommend making sure everything is
cooked going into the calzones. 4 calzones can easily feed 8 people. I'd also consider adding garlic flavored melted butter to brush on as it comes out of the oven.
Do Ahead: Freeze the dough just after you mix it- Thaw it in a warm greased, covered bowl.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


This recipe appeared in the local paper back in the 1970s and my Grandma Ada made it and loved it. We have been making it at Christmas since then. A delicious 3 layer cake. You can slice and freeze this by the slice,too!

(Use with Nutty Butter Cream Cheese Cake or Carrot
Muffins Recipe)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature DIVIDED
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1-2 T. evaporated milk

In a medium saucepan, melt 3 T. butter and add pecans. Brown the pecans. Allow the
pecans to cool. (I spread out on a cookie sheet. Cream together 5 T. butter, cream
cheese, and powdered sugar. Add milk to bring frosting to desired creaminess. Ice the
cakes as you normally would. Be generous between the layers, as you usually have
leftover icing. Layer the cakes (it's a 3 layer cake).
Take the cooled pecans and lay
them on the outside, pushing into the frosting, but not the top of the icing, so that it's coated all around with buttered pecans. Keep in a cool area.
Note: I make this at Christmas or any "special occasion".

Monday, December 19, 2011

Busken's Snowball/Wedding Cookies

Busken's Snowball Cookies
Busken’s Wedding cookies

These go by many names: snowball, wedding, or Russian tea cookies. Naturally, Rita Heikenfeld nails this recipe. Is there anything she can’t do?! This recipe was in the Community Journal 8/1/07. I cut the recipe in half and made half pecan and half black walnut. Naturally, I am partial to the walnut!

Everything at room temperature-
1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup Crisco, 1 cup sugar –Cream together until fluffy.
Add 1 Cup black walnuts in tiny pieces (Or whatever nut you like)
Add 4 cups flour
Add ¾ tsp. salt Mix until smooth.
Slowly add 1 beaten egg and mix until smooth. Don’t over mix!
Roll into tiny balls (the smaller the better!) and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 for 20 min. until edges begin to brown. Remove and allow to cool.
THEN roll in 1 cup powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen.

Chicken Lickin' Pork Chops (Page 38)

Chicken Lickin' Pork Chops

6-8 lean chops about 1 inch thick (any thickness works)
Mix in a lg. zip lock bag or bowl:
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in frying pan

Dredge chops in dry mix and brown in hot pan. Lay in crock pot.

Pour 2 cans of Campbell's Chicken and Wild Rice Soup over it and cook high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.

Scalloped Potatoes (Page 27)

Scalloped Potato Recipe

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
5-8 potatoes peeled and thinly sliced -a food processor or mandolin is helpful
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter,melted
1/2 cup half & half (I use 1 cup if doing 8 or more potatoes)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use more)
Mix sliced potatoes with butter and salt. Place in casserole dish. Pour cream over potatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake 20 min (I do 30 if using 8), then uncover for 15 or more until fork tender.
*If you add 1 cup cooked ham- it is now a main dish!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grandma Ada's Fudge (Page 86)

Ada Gumbert
2 1/2 c. sugar
2 T. butter
1/4 c. cocoa

1 T. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. evaporated milk 1/2 c. black walnuts

Grease an 8 x 8 pan with butter. Set aside. Take a small amount of butter on wax
paper and line about 1-2 inches of the top of the pan. (This keeps the mixture from
boiling over. I used to think it was magic! It was science, but just for today, as the
mixture rises, tell yourself it's magical!) Mix sugar and cocoa until well blended in a
pan. Add syrup and milk. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. "Stir no
more", as Grandma wrote. Cook until soft ball stage. Remove from heat. Add butter
and vanilla (but don't stir it in). Cool. Then beat until "thick", with a WOODEN
spoon. (Now Mom and I tried this after Grandma died and couldn't figure out what
that meant. Mom looks at me and asks " Are you thick? I'm not thick yet." And then
we giggled.) So by all means beat until thick. The better description is to beat until the
fudge begins to dull and and becomes harder to mix. Add in the walnuts and pour into
prepared pan. Chill.
Note: If you don't like black walnuts, you can substitute English walnuts. This is
known in our family as THE fudge. You can buy black walnuts, at Christmas, and
freeze them in a freezer bag, for up to 2 years! Do it!