One of the blogs that I follow, This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, has teamed up with Mom Who Tris and Mom Swim Bike Run to host a blog link-up called Wonder Mom Wednesday. They invited anyone to link up. I figured, “Why not?”
I suck pretty bad at gathering family recipes. My grandmother makes delicious preserve-filled cookies at Christmas time- I think they are called kiffles and are a Hungarian thing so why they are tradition in my Italian family is beyond me. I’ve asked for and have been given the recipe eleventy-thousand times. Do I know where any of those eleventy-thousand pieces of paper are? Nope. I know in the bowels of my mother’s house there is a copy of that recipe, along with Aunt Fran’s Cheesecake recipe, recipes for pizza dough and pasta from my Pee-Pop (great-grandpa- I was a weird child,) and a plethora of other’s that one day, one day, I will smuggle out of her house and make copies of and promptly stick them in here:
Of all the unlikely places in the world, this is where I keep track of the majority of my non-Pinterest recipes. It is a cookbook that my sister made as a school project way, way back in the day- maybe middle school or possibly even elementary school. It had been a tiny little half-inch binder when she gave it to me, but has since grown into this monstrosity:
I added dozens, if not hundreds, of recipes I had found online pre-Pinterest- 80% of them still unused. Fail.
It originally contained a collection of a tween-age girl’s favorite recipes that our family used. They were printed out on regular paper with an old ink jet printer hooked up to a p.o.s. IBM that was probably 10 years old already. It included such recipes as:
Dad’s Best Home Fries
They are seriously just plain old home fries, but my family goes gaga for them (me not included- I hate peppers.) They even have become a smash hit at my VFW’s Sunday Breakfasts (first Sunday of every month at the Maybrook, NY Post!)
Peppery Steak with Pan Fries and Gravy
A serious calorie bomb that originally came out of a Pillsbury cookbook. It’s more or less just country fried steak on top of potato wedges and slathered in pan gravy. It became one of the first meals I made for Jay because it was one of the only things I knew I could make. For the record: Steak and potatoes really are the way into a man’s heart.
Grandma Nancy’s Rice and Beans
Believe it or not, I am part Puerto Rican. Twenty-five percent of my genes came from my born-on-the-island grandma. This is her recipe for rice and beans, though I’m pretty sure if I were to follow this recipe it would not taste remotely like her cooking, or my Aunt Nivia’s, or even my mom’s.
Pizzelle cookies and Jelly
There ain’t no way in Hell that I’m sharing a picture of that recipe. This is what the cookies looks like:
I’m certain that if I were to publicize this family recipe- especially for the special jelly filling- some kind of spectral wooden spoon would come flying out of nowhere and knock me out cold, face down on my keyboard. It is a Christmas-only recipe and they disappear FAST. Like if my mom doesn’t set aside a some of what my grandma brings to Christmas Eve and I don’t get there until after 2pm, I will never see a pizzelle, let alone get to eat one with the jelly.
But I think my favorite recipe out of this book is the Bon Bon Cookies. And I just realized that I don’t have ANY picture of these delicious things. I’ll have to make up a batch soon and get one up here.
Since the pic is totally out of focus, here’s what it says (editted into slightly better cooking terms)
3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
- 1 TBSP Almond Extract
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1/8 tsp Salt
Maraschino Cherries, cut in half or chocolate chips or Hershey’s Kisses cut in half
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Beat together sugar, butter, and vanilla. (Be gentle at first or you will get a face full of powdered sugar)
In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. If dough appears too dry, add in a tbsp or 2 of milk.
Mold a tablespoon or so of dough around a cherry half (or 3 or 4 chocolate chips, or Kiss half). Place dough balls 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until set, but not brown.
Allow to cool, then dip tops of cookies into chocolate glaze (mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 ounce of melted unsweetened chocolate until smooth.
The thing I love about this recipe, is that a silly mistake made by my mother when first trying this recipe has made it what it is. She accidentally added a tablespoon of almond extract instead of a teaspoon. That’s a huge difference with almond extract as a wee little bit goes an awfully long way. The cookies came out soooo good with the almondy-cherryey deliciousness. She made them the next time with the previously appropriate teaspoon and they just tasted meh. Now each batch becomes an almond extract arms race- each time they get stronger and stronger until one day they are just going to burn your mouth with almond-scented alcohol.
I’ve made them a few times, but they get a bit tedious to make. The dough has to be made, cherries have to be cut up, and then each cherry bit has to wrapped up in the dough. I’ve also swapped out the cherries for chocolate chips to make things a little easier (and chocolatier.)
And if you want transcriptions of any of the other recipes, let me know 🙂
And, of course, don’t forget to check out the Link Up hosts’s pages!