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Sep 6, 2009


Take care of your Cast Iron Cookware!

When taken care of, cast iron cookware will last more than a lifetime. In fact, my Mama's cast iron cookware is still going strong after 60 years!

For New Cast Iron Cookware:

* Wash your new cast iron cookware in hot soapy water and a stiff brush. (This will get out the metallic taste)
* Rinse and dry with a paper towel.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
* Coat the pan with vegetable shortening (not oil)
* Bake for 30 minutes
* Remove the pan from the oven and wipe out most of the shortening.
* Return to the oven and bake an additional 30 minutes.
* Do this a couple of times before you use your new cookware.

Reaseasoning a pan:

* If food starts to stick, your pan needs to be reseasoned.
* First, heat your pan and then pour hot water into it. This will loosen anything stuck so that you can easily remove it with water and a little scrubbing.
* Dry the pan right away with paper towels and season as if it were a new pan.

Caring for your cast iron:

* Never put your cast iron pa into cold water while it is hot! Doing so may cause it to warp and/or crack!.
* Never use detergent to clean a seasoned pan.
* Never stor food in your cast iron cookware. This will ruin the seasoning and cause your food to taste like metal
* Store your cookware with the lid OFF! High humidity will case your beautiful cookware to rust.

I hope you enjoy cooking with cast iron cookware!


Whether you use your cast iron cookware as camping cookware or just for in your home, take care of it and it will last a lifetime!


1 (2 lb.) can baked beans
1/4 cup of sweet onion (vidalia if you can find it), finely chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard (I use Guldens Spicy Brown but you can use plain yellow)
5 strips of bacon or turkey bacon

Fry the 5 strips of bacon over medium heat just until crisp. Set Aside.
In a medium size bowl, combine all other ingredients. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with bacon.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 1 1/2 hours. That's all there is to it!

I hope you enjoy this recipe for baked beans


6 medium potatoes (yukon gold or russett)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of half and half (half milk & half cream)
1/2 cup of sour cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

Put potatoes into a large pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add salt and boil until potatoes are fork tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and return to hot pot.

In a small pot, heat butter and half and half. Set aside.

Mash potatoes with either a hand masher( if you like your potatoes a little lumpy), or a potato ricer or food mill (if you like your potatoes smooth). Add sour cream, stir well. Stir in hot half and half and butter mixture a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you choose to use an electric mixer or a food processor, be careful not to overmix or your potatoes will be gummy.

I hope you enjoy this mashed potatoes recipe!


Cooking and Baking Substitutions for:
Baking Powder

• 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda


• Semisweet, 1 ounce = 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tbsp. of sugar

• Unsweetened, 1 ounce or 1 square = 3 tbsp. cocoa plus 1 tbsp. of fat

• Chips, semisweet, 6 ounce package, melted = 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 2 tbsp. shortening plus ½ cup of sugar


• 1/4 cup = 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (decrease fat in recipe by ½ tbsp.)


• 1 tbsp. = 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour or granular tapioca

Corn Syrup

• 1 cup, light = 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup of water


• All-purpose = 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch, potato starch or rice starch = 1 tbsp. rice flour or corn flour = 1 1/2 tbsp. whole wheat flour

• All-purpose, 1 cup, sifted = 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sifted cake flour

• Cake Flour, 1 cup, sifted = 1 cup minus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

• Self-rising, 1 cup = 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and ½ tsp. salt


• Brown, 1 cup, firmly packed = 1 cup granulated white sugar

• Powdered, 1 cup = 1 cup sugar plus 1 tbsp. cornstarch, processed in food processor

• Granulated white, 1 tsp. = 1/8 tsp. artificial sweetener

Cooking and Baking Substitutions for Dairy Products:


• 1 cup = 1 cup shortening or lard plus ½ tsp. salt = 1 cup, 2 sticks, margarine (don not substitute whipped , low fat or tub margarine) Cream

• Heavy, (30 to 40% fat) 1 cup = 3/4 cup whole milk plus 1/3 cup butter or margarine (can be used for baking or cooking but will not whip)

• Light, (15 to 20% fat) 1 cup = 3/4 cup whole milk plus 3 tbsp. butter or margarine (can be used for cooking and baking) = 1 cup evaporated (not sweetened condensed), undiluted

• Half and half, 1 cup = 7/8 cup whole milk plus ½ tbsp. butter or margarine (can be used for cooking and baking) = 1 cup of evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed), undiluted

• Whipped, 1 cup = 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed


• 1 large = 1/4 cup egg substitute

• 2 large = 3 small eggs = 1/2 cup of egg substitute = 1 large egg plus 2 egg whites

• 1 egg white = 2 tbsp. egg substitute


• Buttermilk, 1 cup = 1 cup whole milk plus 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice ( allow to sit 10 minutes before using) = 1 cup plain yogurt

• Fat-free, 1 cup = 4 tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder plus enough water to make 1 cup = 1/2 cup of evaporated (not sweetened condensed) skim milk plus 1/2 cup of water

• Whole milk, 1 cup = 5 tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder plus enough water to make 1 cup = 1/2 cup evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed) plus ½ cup of water

Sour Cream

• 1 cup = 1 cup plain yogurt

Here's some more Cooking and Baking Substitutions:


• 1 small clove = 1/8 tsp. garlic powder = 1 tsp of bottled minced garlic

• Garlic salt, 1 tsp = 1/8 tsp. garlic powder plus 7/8 tsp. table salt


• Fresh, chopped, 1 tbsp. = 1 tsp. of dried herbs = 1/4 tsp. ground herbs


• Dried, 1 tsp. = 1 tbsp. prepared mustard


• Fresh, chopped, 2 cups = 1 (16-ounce) can, you may need to drain

Tomato Sauce

• 2 cups = 3/4 cup of tomato paste plus 1 cup of water

Alcohol Cooking and Baking Substitutions
Amaretto• 2 tbsp. = 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Bourbon or Sherry

• 2 tbsp. = 1 to 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Brandy, fruit flavored Liqueur, Port Wine, Rum or sweet Sherry

• 1/4 cup or more = Equal amount of unsweetened orange or apple juice plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract or a corresponding flavor

Brandy or Rum

• 2 tbsp. = 1/2 to 1 tsp. Brandy or Rum extract

Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

• 2 tbsp. = 2 tbsp. unsweetened orange juice concentrate or 2 tbsp. orange juice plus 1/2 tsp. orange extract

Kahula or other coffee or chocolate liqueur

• 2 tbsp. = 1/2 to 1 tsp. chocolate extract plus 1/2 to 1 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp. water


• 1/4 cup = 1/4 cup white grape juice = 1/4 cup dry white wine plus 1 tsp. Brandy


• Red, 1/4 cup or more = equal amount of red grape juice or cranberry juice

• White, 1/4 cup or more = equal amount of white grape juice

These are some great Cooking and Baking Substitutions that you need ot keep handy because you just never know....

Equivalent Measures
*1 gallon = 4 quarts = 16 cups = 8 pints

*1/4 gallon = 1 quart = 4 cups = 2 pints

*1/2 quart = 2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fl oz

*1 cup = 1/2 pint = 8 fl oz = 16 Tbsp = 48 tsp = 237 ml

*3/4 cup = 6 fl oz = 12 Tbsp = 36 tsp = 177 ml

*2/3 cup = 32 tsp = 158 ml

*1/2 cup = 4 fl oz = 8 Tbsp = 24 tsp = 118 ml

*1/3 cup = 16 tsp = 79 ml

*1/4 cup = 2 fl oz = 4 Tbsp = 12 tsp = 59 ml

*1/8 cup = 1 fl oz = 2 Tbsp = 6 tsp = 30 ml

*1 Tbsp = 3 tsp = 15 ml

*1 tsp = 5 ml

So, be sure to bookmark this page so that the next time you need some Cooking and Baking Substitutions, you can check here first. You may just have what you need in you pantry!


Creole Seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Use with seafood, chicken, beef, or vegetables.

Chili Powder
1 cup dried chili peppers or
3/4 cup crushed hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon cayenne or more to taste

Remove stems and most of seeds from the chili peppers, chop coarsely. Put all of the ingredients into blender (I like to use a coffee bean grinder that I keep just for grinding spices)and blend until powdered; let chili powder settle before removing cover of blender.

Italian Seasoning

1 cup dried basil
1 cup dried parsley
1/2 cup oregano
1/2 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup dried thyme
1/2 cup dried minced garlic
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage

Blend thoroughly.

Seasoning Salt
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried fennel
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Store in an air-tight container. Yield: 1/3 cup

Louisiana Blackening Spice

1 teaspoon ground basil
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt (sea salt works best)
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika

Cajun Blackened Spice Mix

1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon White pepper
3/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Sage

Curry Powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Herbs De Provence

3 Tablespoons Dried marjoram
3 Tablespoons Dried thyme
3 Tablespoons Dried savory
1 teaspoon Dried basil
1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Dried sage
1/2 teaspoon Fennel seeds

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and spoon into small jars. Yield: 3/4 cup. Use this spice recipe to season chicken, vegetables or meat.

Apple Pie Spice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Remember to store all your spice recipes in an airtight container away from heat and light. They will last much longer.


Here's what you'll need:

1 (5 to 6 pound) chuck roast.
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 package Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
2 cups Homemade Beef Broth or 1 can beef broth.
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup COLD water

Here's what you need to do:

Cut 6 (1") slits in top of chuck roast about halfway through the roast. Place 1/2 clove of garlic into each slit.

Put roast in the bottom of the crockpot. Add beef broth. Sprinkle top with both packages of Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix.

Cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours or until beef is fork tender. Remove Roast from Crockpot and set aside (Remember to let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting.) Do not remove the liquid from the crockpot.

Mix together the cornstarch and the COLD water until disolved. Add to the liquid in the crockpot and stir. Replace lid and allow to cook until thickened stirring occasionally.


Here's what you'll need:

1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
2 cups of uncooked ziti
2 cups of steamed broccoli
1 (10.75 ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can of broccoli cheese soup
1 of the soup cans of milk
3 cups of cheddar cheese
1 cup of french fried onions
1/2 of an 8 ounce bag of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing Mix
2 tablespoons of butter

Here's what you'll need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the ziti according to package directions.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with the seasoning salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the hot pan with the Olive Oil.
In a large bowl, combine the 2 soups and the milk. Mix well.
Add the cooked ziti pasta, cheese and 1/2 cup of the french fried onions. Mix well.
Add the steamed broccoli.
Carefully fold in the broccoli being careful not to break up the pieces.
Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.
Top with the stuffing mix.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of french fried onions and dot with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.


6 red potatos
1/2 small onion
1 Tbls. minced fresh Dill (do not subsitute dry)
3 Tbl. oil, corn or olive is fine
1 and 1/2 Tbl. of good white vinegar (I use Marukan Rice Wine, Orange label)
1 tsp. sugar
Cook potatos in pot of salted water till tender.
Cool enough to handle and peel.
Slice potatos as for salad.
Put potatos into a bowl.
Add diced onion.
Add minced fresh Dill.
Pour oil and vinegar over ingredients in bowl.
sprinkle 1 tsp. suger over all and toss to mix.
Taste and adjust seasoning. More salt or more sugar if needed.
Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Green Tomato Relish

Green Tomato Relish

10 lbs. of green tomatoes
1 head of cauliflower or more
5 lbs. of peeled yellow or white onions
5 green bell peppers
5 red peppers
1 cup of pickling salt (no iodine)


7 cups of vinegar. White is best
1 whole box of mixed pickling spices
1 box of whole mustard seed
5 cups of sugar

Slice thinly only the tomatoes, onions and cauliflower.
Place the cut up vegetables in a large plastic bin.
Sprinkle 1 cup of salt over vegetables and let it sit over night.
Drain well and rinse off salt with water.
Remove the seeds from the red and green peppers and cut up into small pieces.
Add the rinsed off vegetables and place in large kettle or pot along with the vinegar, mustard seeds. Place the mixed pickling spices in a bag or cloth to keep them together so they can be fished out later. Mustard seeds remain in the relish.
Cook until vegetable are soft, not mushy!
Remove mixed spice bag and add 5 cups of sugar.
Cook ten more minutes until sugar is melted.
Bottle in sterilized canning jars.

Makes a lot!

Dill Sun Pickles

Pickles, not cucumbers
Hot boiling water
Clean jars or bottles
Per each quart bottle

1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbls. salt
1 1/2 shot glass of vinegar, about 2 1/2 Tbls.
1 seed head and stem of dill
Boiling water to cover pickles

Wash pickles, and split the pickle down the middle with a knive so the brine can flow through.
Pack pickles in clean jars or bottles.
Place into bottles the sugar, salt, vinegar, and the dill weed.
Pour boiling water over the pickles to cover.
Stir to mix up the brine, and cover with a loose lid or plate and set bottle where the sun will shine on it for several hours a day.

At first the pickles will be bright green, but in one or two days days more or less depending on the amount of sun, the pickles will absorb the brine and have the usual pickle look. The brine will change also. When you remove a pickle always use a clean fork. Otherwise you will contaminate the brine and spoil the pickle. Never use your fingers unless you are going to finish the whole bottle in one orgy of pickle eating. Store in the refrigerator.

Cucumber Relish

6 to 7 peeled cucumbers, thin sliced
1 large onions, thin sliced
1 Tablespoon of salt

Mix all in a bowl and let sit for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, pour off excess liquid.
Add 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of white vinegar.
Mix and store in covered glass jar or dish in refrigerator.
Will keep up to 3 or 4 months.

Ingredients for Deviled Ham Recipe

4 1/2 oz. deviled ham
1 tbsp. onion
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. finely diced celery
6 hard-cooked eggs


To prepare, mince the onion, dice the celery into small pieces, and chop the eggs.
In a large serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and onion.
Add lemon juice and salt and stir.
Add celery, eggs, and deviled ham.
Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are combined.

Ingredients for Crab Dip Recipe Recipe

8 cream cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
12 ounces crabmeat, drained and flaked
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together the cream cheese, onion, mayonnaise, crabmeat, and garlic powder until well blended and all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Add salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon dip into a large casserole dish.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Stir well and serve.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa


1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoon. lime juice
8 small green onions, chopped
2 tablespoon. balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon. ground cumin
1 small green chili, optional - have used crushed red pepper


Mix all well. Refrigerate overnight to let flavors combine.

Cherry Tomato Salsa


2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 small red onion, diced (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coursly chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, olives, capers, basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper. Let stand 20 minutes. Great on chicken or beef. Before serving, adjust the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Salsa Ranchera


2 tomatoes
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of oil
serrano chile as desired
oregano as desired
the juice of half a lime


Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds. Peel them, dice them and put them in what will be your salsa bowl.
Chop up the onion, chili, and garlic and mix with the tomato.

Add the oil and the lime juice and sprinkle with oregano.


- Russian Summer Salad recipe -
Cuisine: Russian
· Ingredients
2 cucumbers, finely sliced
2 tomatoes, finely sliced
6 lettuce leaves, fresh and well washed
10 olives, pitted
1 red bell pepper, diced
100 g cheese, finely cubed
salt to taste

Line a salad bowl with crisp lettuce. Mix all the remaining ingredients carefully. Chill well in the refrigerator before
serving. The salad is served as it is, in the main plate.

Tomato and Cucumber salad recipe -
· Ingredients
6 ea Tomatos firm, medium
2 ea Cucumbers 4-5 inches peeled
1 tb Vinegar
1/2 c Sour cream
1/2 ea Onion medium sized
Salt & ground black pepper
To taste
1 tb Dill fresh chopped fine
2 tb Sunflower oil

De-stem the tomatos, quarter them, & place in a large bowl. Slice the cucumbers & the onion & combine with the oil & sour cream in the bowl. Sprinkle with the dill as you serve.

Apple Salad recipe -
Cuisine: Russian
· Ingredients
4 ea apples cored and peeled
3 tb green peas
2 ea eggs hard boiled
3 tb mayonnaise

Cut apples into small cubes. Chop eggs finely. Add peas, mayonnaise and stir thoroughly. Decorate with greens.

Fruit Salad recipe -
Cuisine: Russian
· Ingredients
50 g prunes
2 ea oranges
2 ea bananas
1 ea kiwi
1 ea apple
1 ea pear
1 ea yogurt

Soak prunes in warm water for 1 hour. Chop all fruits in cubes,
chop prunes finely. Stir this mass with yogurt.
Fruit salad is served with champagne.


Yield: 6 servings

* 1 medium onion, diced

* 4 cloves garlic

* 2 lbs. potatoes, diced

* 4 cups broth (chicken, turkey or vegetable)

* 1 cup milk or cream

* Salt and pepper, to taste

* Cheddar cheese, scallions and bacon for topping, if desired

1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions and the garlic in about 2 Tbsp. of oil until soft. Add the diced potatoes and the broth. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and add the milk or the cream.
2. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until desired consistency (if you want lumpier blend less). If adding turkey or chicken, add now and let it sit for a few minutes to warm up.
3. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chives or scallions, cheddar cheese, and/or bacon.



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Grape Salad


8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. Cool Whip
1 c. sour cream

Mexican Fire Rice

This savory rice can be made hot or mild.

2-2/3 cups water
1-1/3 cups uncooked long grain white rice
1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage
1 (16 oz.) jar picante sauce
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded


In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in the rice. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet pan, cook the sausage over medium heat until evenly browned.

In a medium baking dish, combine the cooked rice, cooked sausage, picante sauce and the sour cream. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.


A great sauce used for many dishes including Chicken Adobado.

Ingredients:•8 guajillo chiles, dried
•8 ancho chiles,dried
•6 garlic cloves
•1 teaspoon cumin
•1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
•1/4 cup lemon juice
•1/2 cup white vinegar
•3/4 cup orange juice
•1 medium onion, peeled and diced
•2 tablespoons tomato paste
•1/4 cup oil
•1 jalapeno, seedes and diced (optional for added heat)
•2 cups chicken or beef broth (depending on meat used)
•1 teaspoon black pepper
•12 cups of water
Add the water and half of the vinegar to a large pot.
Cut the tops off of the chiles and use a spoon to dislodge and shake out the seeds. Fry the chiles in hot oil for about 10 seconds on each side. Add the chiles to the water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off heat and let soak overnight.

Discard the soaking liquid and puree the chiles in the blender with some of the broth and puree until a paste has formed.

In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic and onions. Add in the broth, chile paste, seasonings and juices. Simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened to your liking.