Enchilada Sauce

2 T. oil
2 T. flour
2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne
2 C. water
8 oz. tomato paste
1 t. garlic
1/2 t. dried onion
1/2 t. salt
Combine all ingredients except flour in sauce pan. Wisk to combine and heat to a simmer. Take 2T. flour and combine with 2 T. water in a cup. Slowly pour flour mixture into tomato sauce, stirring constantly, and simmer till thickened.

Poppy Seed/Nut Roll

This is another of Greg’s favorite desserts from his Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing.  It is a soft yeast dough with either a poppy seed or ground walnut filling.

4 to 4 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. sugar

1 cup warm milk/soymilk

1/4 cup warm water

2 sticks butter/margarine softened

4 egg yolks

2 t. salt

1 t. vanilla

4 t. yeast

Filling: 1 jar/can poppy seed filling or jar/can of nut filling.

1 egg beaten with 1 t. water

Combine in a large non-metal bowl: water, milk, vanilla, egg yolks, yeast and butter.  Stir to blend.  Combine 4 C. flour, sugar and salt and gradually add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture.  Stir in flour with a sturdy spoon till it is too stiff to stir.  Flour a cutting board or the clean counter and put the soft dough on the flour.  Knead gradually adding up to 1/2 C. more of flour till it is soft but not too sticky to handle.  Grease a large non-metal bowl and place dough in it turning the dough to grease the top then cover the bowl with a clean cotton towel.  Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and turn off the heat.  Place the bowl in the oven for the dough to rise till doubled-about and hour.

Punch down dough and place on floured surface.  Divide the dough in two and roll out each piece till a 5″X10″ rectangle.  Spread a generous layer of filling almost to the edges and fold into thirds to make a log.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Prepare the second roll the same as the first.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Allow the rolls to sit  on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes to rise.  Brush each roll with the beaten egg mixture and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool, slice and serve.

Oh My Fudge Brownies

These brownies are for those who want to improve on what Betty Crocker has to offer.  A little more work but a lot more bang for your buck!

2 sticks butter/margarine

4 squares unsweetened chocolate (are you smiling yet?)

2 1/2 C. sugar

4 eggs

1 C. flour

1 1/2 t. vanilla

2 Hershey bars with almonds

Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler

Stir in sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla.  Pour into a greased and floured 9X13″ pan.  Break the Hershey bars into small pieces and scatter over the top.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

Fried Matzo

This is a Jewish dish (my heritage) served for breakfast.  Think of it as French toast made with crackers.  My son, Trevor, requested I post this recipe.  Matzo is available in the Jewish food section of the grocery store.

6 sheets of Matzo

3 eggs-beaten

3/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1 T. dried onion

1 T. milk/soymilk

2 T. butter/margarine

2 T. cooking oil

Place the sheets of matzo in a square baking dish and cover with water.  Allow the matzo to soften for 5 minutes.  Drain the water and squeeze the excess water from the matzo, breaking up the crackers, return them to the baking dish.  Combine beaten egg, salt, pepper, dried onion and milk/soymilk. pour over matzo.  Stir to coat the matzo evenly.  In a large frying pan melt the butter/margarine and oil.  The butter gives it more flavor and the oil browns it.  Cook over medium heat stirring often until well browned.  Serve with maple syrup.

Yeast Rolls

This recipe is from Diane Smith with whom I worked in Fayetteville.  Consistently excellent.  I have a food processor and a bread machine and have made the dough in both and it comes out great.

1 C. water

2 T. margarine/butter-melted

1 egg-beaten

3 1/4 C. Bread flour

1/2 C. Sugar

1 t. salt

1 T. yeast

For a food processor, or by hand- place flour, sugar, salt and yeast in bowl.  Measure warm water (warm to touch-too hot will kill yeast) in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.  Add beaten egg and melted butter and mix.  Add to flour mixture and process until dough is smooth and elastic.  By hand stir in liquid with a wooden spoon until it is too stiff to stir.  Then flour a cutting board or the counter and dump dough on flour.  Knead by hand adding flour as necessary to keep from sticking to surface.  When dough is smooth and elastic, oil a non-metal bowl and place the dough in it turning the dough to coat it with grease on top.  Cover with a clean cotton towel and place in a warm area.  I preheat the oven to 150 degrees and then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside.  Allow the dough to double in size-about an hour.  Punch down and place on a floured board. Knead lightly.  Break off palm sized pieces and place them on a greased cookie sheet spaced 2″ apart.  Cover with towel and allow to rise 30 minutes.  Brush with 2T. melted butter/margarine.  Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 12-15 minutes till light brown.

Potato Pancakes-Latkes

Latkes are a traditional Jewish dish made at holidays.  In large batches, they are a meal.  Can also be a side dish served with sour cream and applesauce.

8 Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled and grated

1 egg

1/2 t. black pepper

1 t. salt

2 T. minced dried onions

3/4 to 1 cup Matzo Meal (available in the Jewish food section of grocery store)

I make them in a food processor first grating the potatoes and then removing them to a bowl.   Insert the processor blade into the food processor bowl and put the grated potatoes back into processor.  Add egg, salt, pepper and onion flakes.  Process till blended.  Add 3/4 cup Matzo Meal and process.  If mixture is watery, add 1/4 cup more of Matzo Meal.

Heat vegetable oil in a non-stick fry pan to medium and spoon in heaping tablespoons of mixture, flattening slightly.  Cook till starts to brown and turn them over to cook other side.  Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven while make remaining pancakes.

Serve with sour cream and/or applesauce.

Ginger Snaps

Spicy cookies for the holiday season.  My friend from work, Diane, shared this family recipe with me.  Thanks.

3/4 cup shortening for crispy cookies or margarine/butter for softer cookies

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

crystallized sugar crystals

Cream together shortening/butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Stir into wet mixture. Roll into small balls and place on greased baking sheet.  Flatten slightly and sprinkle on crystalized sugar crystals.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes