No Empty Chairs: "Stout Hearts" around the Table

No Empty Chairs. . . "Stout Hearts" around the table.

Wanna Be A Stout... Eat, Don't Pout.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake

I wanted to make this cake with Samantha- I think she will have fun with it. I would love to make it with any of the other grand-kids- if they lived close enough...or maybe when I come to visit we could make it.

1 pkg devil's food cake mix
1/4 c oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c water
1 pkg chocolate instant pudding ( 4 serving size)
1 c chocolate chips (6 oz pkg)

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. pour oil into 9 x 13-inch pan and tilt pan until bottom is covered in oil
  3. put remaining ingredients into pan
  4. stir with a fork until blended - about 2 minutes
  5. scrape sides and spread batter evenly in pan
  6. bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  7. cake may be sprinkled with powdered sugar

Friday, February 18, 2011

Aggression Cookies

These are the easiest of cookies to make- pour the ingredients into a big bowl, make sure the kids hands are clean and them let them start mixing...


3 c brown sugar, packed
3 c margarine

6 c uncooked oatmeal
1 tsp soda
3 c flour

  • with clean hands, mash, knead and squeeze all ingredients until well mixed and a firm dough
  • form into small balls
  • place on ungreased cookie sheets
  • dip the bottom of a small water glass into granulated sugar and flatten each ball
  • bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes
Anytime there was an opportunity for boys to cook - this was my recipe of choice. I let Birke's cub pack make them and also Kirt's scouts. Boys love to get their hands all messy with cookie dough. When having the boys make the cookies we make a slight adjustment- instead of making lots of little balls I have them form the cookie dough into 3 long tubes, we wrap them in waxed paper and pop them into the freezer for slice and bake cookies later. When we want to get really exotic I have them add chocolate chips, or raisins, or both.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pumpkin Pineapple Muffins

I found this recipe in a magazine - it was an advertisement for olive oil. I didn't have any but decided I could use a different cooking oil and they turned out well!

Recipe makes 12 muffins -- if you want more just double the recipe.


1/3 c oil
2/3 c sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c low fat buttermilk
2 egg whites (I just used two eggs)
1/2 of a 16 oz can solid pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla
1 T grated orange zest
8 oz can of pumpkin tidbits, drained

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • use cupcake papers or grease insides of each cup in the muffin tin
  • combine 1 T sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside- this will be sprinkled on the top
  • whisk the buttermilk, the oil, egg, pumpkin, vanilla and orange zest in another bowl
  • stir in the pineapple
  • make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the milk mixture and stir until just blended
  • spoon the batter into the muffin tins
  • sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture
  • bake 18-20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean
  • carefully remove from tins and cool completely on wire rack
I doubled the recipe and we took a dozen - minus 1- to two different families.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

On Sunday I looked around the Relief Society room and saw the many single sisters- widows, and divorced. I thought that Valentine's Day must be difficult for them so why not invite them to dinner on Monday night. I asked 7 sisters, and 6 were available to come. I told them we were having a red meal and they could bring something red if they wanted to add to the meal.
I cooked a ham with cranberry/orange juice glaze, and the sisters brought a red jello, red velvet cake, cherry cheese cake, and two different pasta casseroles. It was all so yummy, and we had such a good time visiting.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

This makes a lovely dessert for Valentine's Day because it is incredibly easy, but looks and tastes totally delicious and it also makes an interesting conversation dessert as no one will be able to guess that the crust is made from pretzels.

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels (about 8 ounces) Regular --not mustard flavored
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 large package of strawberry jell-o
  • 16 ounces of frozen strawberries
  • 1 small can crushed pineapple

To make the crust:

  • Crush the pretzels and put them in a medium sized bowl.
  • In a small pan on the stove melt the butter, stir in 3 Tablespoons of sugar.
  • Pour the melted butter/sugar mix over the crushed pretzels and stir to distribute the butter.
  • Press the pretzel mix into the bottom of a greased 9’ by 13-inch pan. (you could also choose to use a 11” by 13-inch cake pan, but I prefer the 9” by 13-inch cake pan.

Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes.

Cool for one hour.

  • In a large bowl, using a spatula or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese with the cup of sugar. Then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the Cool Whip.
  • Spread this concoction over the crust.
  • Dissolve jell-o into 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Add the strawberries and the undrained pineapple.
  • Chill and then place on top of the cream cheese layer.

Continue to chill.

This yummy dessert will feed 15 regular appetite people… fewer if this is their favorite recipe.

This recipe is also good- or better if you substitute raspberry jell-o and raspberries instead of using strawberry jell-o and frozen strawberries.

Of course, this causes me to think of what other flavors you could try.

How would it turn out if you used orange jell-o and mandarin oranges? Or peach jell-o and peaches? Or strawberry-banana jell-o and added some bananas to the strawberry jell-o mixture? Obviously, I will need to try a few more version of the pretzel dessert recipe.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brown Rice Bread

Try this toasted in the morning with butter and a drizzle of honey! yum!

2 c warm water, divided
2 pkgs. quick rise yeast
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 c honey
1/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cup wheat flour
4-5 cups flour
1 c raisins
1 c walnuts (optional)

  1. dissolve the yeast in 1/2 c water in a large bowl; let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. add remaining water, rice, honey, butter and salt; beat until smooth.
  3. stir in enough flour to make a soft dough and then add the raisins and walnuts.
  1. turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  2. place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat both sides
  3. cover and place in a warm area for about 1/2 hour or until double in bulk.
  1. punch down the dough and knead lightly
  2. divide dough in half and place each peace in a greased loaf pan.
  3. cover with wax paper and let them rise again for about 45 minutes or until double in bulk.
  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. bake for 30-40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

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