juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

THREE FAMILY FAVORITES

Back to the kitchen.  My brain demands a rest from subjects more serious than chicken soup. You might think chicken soup is a pretty serious matter and I ‘d have to agree but it’s not quite the same as discussing Plato or our rotten educational system.

Every family has favorite foods, whether Grandma’s corned beef and cabbage or whipped spaghetti squash.  Some jump for joy over a meat loaf; some applaud fried chicken; others would rather have Pad Thai.  Likewise, some dishes are frowned upon. One kid is allergic to chocolate (poor thing), another won’t look at a green vegetable, a third complains if something is spicy. Preparing food that pleases a variety of tastes is a trick only the most determined cook can master.   Here are three that scored in my family.

GORGONZOLA PASTA

Even kids who live on macaroni and cheese (cheddar) gobble this up.

  1. Melt 2 T butter and stir in 8 oz. gorgonzola cheese until melted.
  2.  Whisk in ½ C whipping cream, 1 t. cornstarch dissolved in 2 T vermouth.
  3.  Add 1 t fresh sage, salt and pepper and whisk until sauce boils and thickens.
  4.   Toss with 1 lb. cooked pasta.

CARROT RING (This is a side dish. Can be served  with anything but particularly good with chicken.)  

  1. Mix ¾ C shortening and ½  C  brown sugar.
  2. Add 1 egg and 1 T  water.  Beat well.
  3. Add 1 1/4 C flour, 1 t. baking powder, ½ t. cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add 2 C finely grated carrots.
  5. Using a well greased mold with a hole, bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Can also be made in the form of cupcakes. Bake about 20 minutes.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN MEATBALLS (ABOUT 12 SERVINGS)

      A great appetizer or serve over rice or noodles.

  1. Combine 1 1/2 lb. ground chicken, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, 2 t. garlic powder and about ½ C of bread crumbs or enough to make the mixture hold together.
  2. Shape into about 24 meatballs and drop into the following simmering sauce: cook about ½ hour. 

SAUCE

6 T olive oil                                    2 chopped onions

2 chopped green peppers               2-3 chopped carrots

4 C chicken broth                           2 small cans tomato sauce

½ C brown sugar                            ¼ C white vinegar

2 small cans crushed pineapple with juice    ½ C catsup

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil. Then add the rest of the ingredients and  simmer about 10 minutes.

Share a favorite.

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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CHICKEN AROUND THE W ORLD

CHICKEN ARUND THE WORLD

 

            I rarely go grocery shopping without buying chicken – kosher chicken, which is about three times the cost of chicken that isn’t kosher, but that’s another story. One family for whom I cater wants only dark meat, another wants all chicken skinned.  One sneers at fried chicken, another doesn’t want it spicy. But they all want chicken – once or twice a week!   It’s always been a favorite in the South but Colonel Sanders turned fried chicken into a national icon. I began to wonder if our appetite for chicken was peculiar to theU.S. or was it common in other countries and cultures so I did a little digging.

 

Just a few facts before you cry FOWL.  In 1965 the annualU.S.per capita consumption of chicken was 35.7 pounds.  By 2011 it had risen to 84.4 pounds. At  two pounds  per chicken that equates to one person eating 42 chickens annually. If you eat ¼ of a chicken at a meal, you have had 168 chicken dinners in a year.  The Japanese consume 1 kilo per month per household (about 27 pounds) and China is fast approaching that. Consequently, we’re all eating less red meat – a good idea in view of dire warnings about the health hazards of too much red meat.

 

Here are a few chicken recipes which are favorites in other countries and at my table whether entertaining or not. The World’s Fair Chicken is particularly colorful and a platter of it can serve as a centerpiece. The Moroccan Chicken is exceptionally healthy.

 

CUBAN CHICKEN (8 SERVINGS)

  1. Rinse and dry 2 chickens cut in pieces
  2. Combine the following, add chicken and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.  Juice of 3 lemons; 5 smashed garlic cloves; 2 diced onions; 1 finely minced green pepper; ½  t. thyme and curry

3.   Drain chicken, scrape off veggies, dry; strain marinade; reserve veggies and liquid separately

4.  Heat ½ C. oil until very hot; stir in 2 T sugar and cook until it turns brown.

5.   Add chicken and brown on all sides – about 10 minutes

6.   Stir in reserved veggies and cook for 3 minutes.

7.   Add marinade and 1 large diced tomato

8.   Cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN AND LENTILS (6-8 SERVINGS)

  1. Saute 1 lb of chicken pieces until brown; remove from pan.
  2.  Add 2 C chopped onion, 1 t. salt, 1 t. ground coriander, ½ t each cumin and cinnamon; ¼ t. red pepper or a little chili powder; 2 cloves minced garlic.  Saute all this about 3 minutes.
  3. Add 2 T tomato paste and cook one minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in chicken, 2 C lentils (rinsed and drained) 2 C chicken or vegetable broth, 1 C water, 4 t golden raisins.  Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Add 2 C hot cooked basmati rice and heat through. Serve with slivered, toasted almonds on top.

WORLD’S FAIR CHICKEN (about 8 servings)

  1. Bake 2 chickens cut in pieces for 30 minutes at 425 degrees
  2. Combine:  2 1/3 C orange juice; 1 C currants; ½ C chutney;1 C. almonds; 1 t. each cinnamon and curry; dash of thyme
  1. Simmer sauce 10 minutes;  pour over chicken; bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees
  2. Garnish chicken with sliced bananas, mandarin oranges, parsley
  3. Optional: can serve with almonds, green onion tops, coconut chips, chutney
  4. Serve with rice.

THAI PEANUT CHICKEN (8 servings)

  1. Cook 1 C rice and set aside.
  2. Stir together 3 T soy sauce, 2 T creamy peanut butter, 2 t. white wine vinegar and ¼ t. cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 3 T olive oil over high heat. Add 4 boneless chicken breast halves cut into thin strips, 3 T chopped garlic and 1 ½ T. chopped ginger root and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is golden – about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add ¾ C chopped green onions, 2 C broccoli florets and the  peanut butter mixture.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.  Serve over rice.

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN (8 SERVINGS)

Spicy but not hot.

  1. Brown 3 pounds of chicken pieces (can also use lamb). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the following: A couple of shredded carrots; 2 finely sliced red onions; A few finely diced garlic cloves; 2 bay leaves; 1 t. smoked paprika; A little coriander; 2/3 of a palmful of cumin

4.   Stir and simmer a few minutes

5.   Add dried fruits – apricots, raisins, currants – anything.  Cover with chicken broth and stir in zest of 2 lemons.

6.  Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve over couscous or rice.

Bon Appetite

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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SAUCY

SAUCY

            My intention was to devote one week of blogs to recipes but I let my mind wander out of the kitchen. Now I’m back on track. I’ve told you I like to do themed diners and the next one will be “Sauces and Dips.”  I wouldn’t dream of dipping a French fry in catsup but good sauces are an entirely different matter. They are the essence of gourmet cooking and once you get the hang of cooking sauces, there’s no limit to the possibilities. They are perfect for experimentation and the exercise of kitchen creativity.

Here is the menu and the sauces I will serve at my ‘saucy’ dinner provided I can find enough bowls and a fresh lime leaf. . Most of these can be refrigerated for several days or frozen and are handy to have available for spontaneous entertaining or snacking.

APPETIZERS 

SWEET & SOUR SAUCE– with egg rolls

¼ C vinegar      ½ C pineapple juice

1/3 C brown sugar        1 t. salt

1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water

Combine all ingredients & bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Let stand about 5 minutes.

 

THAI DIPPING SAUCE – with egg rolls

Combine and bring to a boil

1 C sugar         ½ C each white vinegar & water

2 T minced garlic

1 T each salt, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce/paste

Reduce heat and add ½ of a lime leaf.  Simmer about 15 minutes & remove from heat

Add the other half of the lime leaf and 1 T sesame oil

 

GREEN HERB DIPPING SAUCE – with cut up vegetables

In food processor place ½ bunch Italian parsley, ½ bunch dill, ½ bunch watercress. Chop fine & transfer to bowl.

Process 1/2 C fresh spinach the same way & add to bowl

Combine herbs with 2 green onions, 2 C mayo and 1 C sour cream. Fold all together & add salt and pepper to taste

 

TZATZIKI – GREEK YOGURT & CUCUMBER SAUCE –   with cut up vegetables

Drain 3 C Greek yogurt

Dice 2 Cucumbers, seed , salt and let stand 30 minutes.

In food processor blend: cukes, juice of 1 lemon, garlic,

1 T chopped dill, pepper.  Fold into yogurt

 

TOMATO HORSERADISH SAUCE AND KEY LIME SALSA  – purchased from a gourmet food shop – with chips, Doritos, etc.

 

SALAD 

ASIAN VINAIGRETTE – with tossed salad of greens, toasted almonds, mandarin oranges, rice noodles

Combine: ¼ C soy sauce , 1/4 C lime juice

¼  t  . lime zest    1 T grated ginger

1 clove minced garlic

¼ C salad oil    ½ t. sugar         salt  & pepper to  taste

 

ENTREES

SAUCE LOUISIANA – with whole salmon  poached in dry white wine and lemon juice

Combine 1/3 C catsup, 1/2 C chili sauce, ½ t. Tabasco sauce or 1/8 t. cayenne pepper,

½ t. salt, 1 minced garlic clove,

2 T minced green pepper, ¼ C green onions & tops,

2 T.  horseradish

Dissolve 1 t. plain gelatin in 1 T cold water & let stand until thick, then dissolve over simmering water.

Pour melted gelatin into sauce, stir well and quickly. Refrigerate for about half an hour, stirring several times

Can make ahead & store, covered. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours before serving.

 

ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE – with rigatoni pasta 

In 2 9×13” pans place 20 Roma tomatoes halves, cut side up. Sprinkle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, 1 C diced onion, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 T each chopped oregano & thyme leaves.  Bake for 2 hours.  Check after 1 hour and turn down heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly.  Increase temp to 400 & bake another 30 minutes.  Remove & process through a blender, discard skins.  Add 1 C white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

 

SPICY MINT SAUCE – with vermicelli pasta

1 ¼ C chopped fresh mint         ½ C grated pecorino cheese

½  C EVOO    1 lg. sereno chili, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 smashed clove garlic

Combine all in food processor until smooth

 

DESERT 

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE – with ice cream and strawberries

Melt 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 2 T butter very slowly.  Heat 2/3 C water to boiling.  When chocolate has melted, add water & stir well.

Add 1 ½ C sugar & 6 T corn syrup & mix until smooth. Turn heat up and stir mixture until it starts to boil.  Lower heat.  Allow to boil, without stirring for 9 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 T rum.  Makes 2 ½ C.

 

CARAMEL SAUCE – with Bourbon Pound Cake – a family favorite

Mix 1 ½ C sugar and 1/3 C water in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover and heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase  heat and boil until sugar browns ( 5-7 minutes). Watch carefully as it will burn quickly.  Step back to avoid spattering and gradually add  1¼ to  1½ C heavy cream and ½ t. vanilla extract.  Simmer until smooth and thick  – about 2 minutes.  Makes 1 ¾ C.

Yes – send me the recipe for Bourbon Pound Cake.

My e-mail address follows and yours is:

 

_______________________________________

 

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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SWEET TOOTH

SWEET TOOTH

In keeping with my decision to make this my “chef’s hat” week, here is another recipe you might enjoy.

I have a nephew who is moving toSouth Africaand am beginning to plan a send-off dinner for his family.  My grandson, who knows of my penchant for holding themed dinners, asked if I was going to serve African food.  “Why not?”  I replied.  I then went on a hunt for appropriate recipes and found this one.  I mentioned it to someone with whom I correspond inAfricaand he confirmed that it was – indeed – more than  yummy – he called it ‘swoony.’. Add a chicken and some fruited couscous and you’d have an African meal to be proud of.

BRANDY TART –  A FAVORITE SOUTH AFRICAN FOOD – VERY YUMMY!

  1. Cut 1/2 lb dates into small pieces.  Add 1 t. baking soda and 1 C boiling water to half of the dates. Stir and let cool. (I don’t like dates and would substitute dried apricots or raisins.)
  2. Beat ½ C  butter and 1 C sugar until creamy and then add 2 beaten eggs. Mix well.
  3. sift together 2 C flour, 1 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt and fold into mixture.
  4. Add the rest of the dry dates and 1 C chopped pecans and baking soda mixture: mix well
  5. Pour into a large baking dish or two 9” pie dish
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degree
  7. Pour hot syrup over the tart when it comes out of the oven. Serve with whipped cream.

Syrup

Boil  1 ¼ C sugar, 1 T butter and ¾ C water for five minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and stir in 1 t. vanilla, pinch of salt and 1/2 C brandy.

Send me your rating of this desert if you’re brave enough to make it in spite of  all dire warnings about sugar and cholesterol.

Julie Rose

julierose601@gmail.com

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GARBAGE – A RECIPE

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

            I’ve come to the conclusion  it’s time to lighten up.  Every blog does not have to be of the deep thinking variety.  Accordingly, this week I’ll leave off from rattling on about the world’s problems or the nature of mankind and succumb to my love of cooking.

You won’t find  this recipe in any cookbook – I dreamed it up. I own a patent on it!  But I’m willing to share it with you.

GARBAGE – A RECIPE

Not the stuff  you throw into the dumpster, the waste basket – this garbage you eat.  If you’re anything at all like my family you eat gobs of it every chance you get.  On a 1 – 10 rating scale it registers:

Easy     10

Tasty    8-10 depending on what you put into it – spice it up to your taste

Time     5-10 depending on whether you buy veggies already cut up from a salad bar or cut your own

Cost     10 – cheap

Appearance – 5-10 depends on  color of veggies

Nutrition – 7-9 – depends on veggies, amount of salt, butter or margarine

You will need:

1 stick butter or margarine        1 package of fine noodles

about 1 C of prepared rice        about 2 C of beef stock

about 3-4 C of finely diced assorted vegetables, including green onions with tops (do not make mush  of them in a food processor)

salt and pepper

Melt the margarine/butter and saute the veggies about 5 minute. Remove from pan.

Dump in the noodles, stir often until noodles have browned slightly.

Add the rice and the veggies

Pour the beef stock over the whole mess –  just enough to cover – season with salt and pepper, stir,  cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

An excellent side dish to any chicken, beef, pork, veal entrée.

Try it – you’ll like it.

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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KITCHEN EXPERIMENTALIST

KITCHEN EXPERIMENTALIST

           I love to cook but I’m neither the PB&J nor the meat and potatoes type.  If I’m going to spend hours in the kitchen I want them to be spent somewhat creatively.  I’ve recently begun to host out-of-the ordinary themed dinner parties. There is no way I’d do one based, for example,  on the Fourth of July, with teeny-tiny flags all over the table and a cake frosted in  red, white and blue. It is a culinary challenge to dream up such a theme and an appropriate menu.  Makes me feel like a contestant on The Food  Channel,  competing with Bobby Flay,  only I don’t  have a mystery ingredient – I have a mystery theme.  In the hope of stimulating your kitchen creativity, here are the menus for the last two

          The Feast of the Seven Fishes – an Italian tradition on Christmas Eve commemorating the wait, the Vigilia di Natale , for the midnight birth of  Jesus. (I’d like to know how it  is possible to determine he was born at midnight.)  I admit this was an odd choice since my guests were neither Italian nor Catholic but I couldn’t resist the challenge it posed.

Appetizer:         Smoked salmon spread on crustini; marinated asparagus spears.

Salad:               Greens tossed with shrimp and crab, Asian vinaigrette dressing –                        melon slices

Entree #1         Japanese pan-fried trout filets; roasted tomatoes and peppers

Entrée #2         Broiled salmon steaks, lemon yogurt sauce,  mushroom risotto

Intermezzo;       Codfish Balls with lime sherbet

Entrée #3         Deep fried ocean perch nuggets on a bed of ricotta stuffed   manicotti

Entrée #4         Whole sweet & sour red snapper, sweet rice pilaf,

Green beans, slivered carrots & toasted almonds

Desert              English Trifle

Drinks:           Irish Coffee

Italian Souave

It was no easy tri ck to come up with seven fish dishes.  That was a lot of kitchening but I was well rewarded by rave reviews.  A couple of months later I decided to do it again, this time featuring international foods.  Here’s that menu:

International Menu

Appetizers:       Egg Rolls (Chinese) and dipping sauces

Spanakopita (Greek)

Salad:               Israeli Salad

Entrée Buffet:    Paella (Spanish)

Pad Thai (Thai)

Gorgonzola Pasta (Italian)

Mongolian Beef with Pea Pods

Cuban chicken

Sweet & Sour Pan Fried ocean perch filets (Japanese)

Persian rice with raisins and almonds

Deserts:            Apple Crumble (Irish)

Krumcake  (Norwegian)

Drinks:           German Beer

Italian Red and White Wines

Along the way I found the following dipping sauce recipe and it now occurs to me that maybe the next such dinner will consist of various such sauces and the ingredients to be dipped in them.

Now let me think – avocado dip, humus, smoked whitefish, blue cheese, something lemony, something minty, something hot/spicy, key lime salsa, spiked apricot marmalade – and  chocolate and caramel, of course.  Won’t that be fun?

BEST THAI PEANUT SAUCE

Blend:   1 ½ C peanut butter, 1/2 C coconut milk

3 T each: water, lime juice, soy sauce

1 T each: fish sauce, hot sauce, minced ginger

3 crushed garlic cloves

1/3 C chopped cilantro

Bon Appetite

Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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SOUL FOOD – AN ODE TO AUNT KITTY

SOUL FOOD – AN ODE TO AUNT KITTY

 

She had a wooden chopping bowl the size of a washtub.

I hadn’t the faintest idea what gefilte fish was.

She said ”I’ll teach you”.

I learned by chopping  – endlessly.

I’ve  now chopped enough fish to stock Lake Erie.

 

At Passover we chopped nuts and apples by the buckets.

In my kitchen I toyed with  the recipe

Mixed a little nutmeg into the cinnamon,

Added some raisins or apricots;

Occasionally won a round of applause.

Tried Persian Charoset – adored by some guests

Too spicy for others.

 

We left off chopping and began to knead

Kitty insisted 100 kneads were essential

I divided the challah dough in thirds to be braided

She cut each piece in half and s said

“We braid six, Prettier.”

She never let me forget I failed the proofing yeast test

 

I  learned brisket doesn’t have to taste like shoe leather

Meatballs demand sweet jam and chili sauce,

Those cubes of beef the butcher calls beef stew

Are delectable braised in red wine and onions

After they’ve marinated for two or three days.

 

I learned to make chicken soup without a whole hen,

Used only a bag of bones, a few wings

And never forgot the thyme

I learned guests expect matzo balls in their soup.

After some practice mine were light as a cotton ball.

 

“Forget the matzo balls next shabbas,” he said.

“Make some knishes instead.”

Knishes?  Quick – call Aunt Kitty.

He once asked for borsch.

Bought beets, dug out a grater:

My knuckles bled for three hours.

Alas, he wanted cabbage borsch.

 

Mandelbrot, Sponge and Honey Cake?

Boring I concluded – leave those to the bakery.

Bourbon  Pound Cake and Cinnamon Tea Rolls

French Apple Tart and Lemon Bars are better.

Forget chopped liver.

The odor of broiled liver nauseated me.

That’s what delis are for.

 

Aunt Kitty’s wooden chopping bowl

Is now a cherished part of my kitchen.

It’s an octogenarian,

A stranger to planned obsolescence.

It holds fond memories of a motherly woman

Who knew her way through the maze of Jewish soul food.

 

Horrors – I’ve lost the chopper!

 

Simcha

 

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

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“I WON’T EAT THAT”

I WON’T EAT THAT”

           

            Surely I’m not the only mother whose kids gorged on cookies and pancakes swimming in syrup when they were little and, when they became picky teenagers, was forced to become both a nutritionist and a dietician.  Concious of being a few – I repeat – FEW – pounds overweight, my daughter turned up her nose at sweets of any kind, lived on salads with lemon juice only as dressing and insisted on skim milk

 

One son took pity on the animal world and became a vegetarian.  That required a whole new box of recipes and a search for suitable protein recipes. How did that happen?  He once attended a Jewish summer camp where one activity was to observe the kosher method of slaughtering a cow.  At the end of that summer about a dozen kids returned home as vegetarians.  Needless to say, that insensitive activity was never repeated.

 

From the time he was a toddler his older brother fed anything green on his plate to the dog. His father once told him if he didn’t eat the peas on his plate at dinner, he’d have them for breakfast and if he didn’t eat them for breakfast, he’d have them for lunch. After two days of uneaten peas, Daddy cried “UNCLE.”   In vain, I lived in hope he’d outgrow that. but it t wasn’t until he was close to forty that he stuck his fork into a salad. He is still a meat and potatoes guy. (Yuk)

 

They’re all adults now and all but the vegetarian have left behind those food quirks.  However, they are stick-in-the muds with reference to trying anything  new. They’d be reluctant to taste even one bite of something like paella or spanokapita.  I have no words to describe how much their attitudes toward  food  frustrates me – ME -the food experimentalist.  What I need to do is find a group of food junkies who are game for anything short of worms and crickets.

 

While none of my children have a sweet tooth, they have come to appreciate, and frequently ask for, two cakes I often make.  Both are quick and easy.  Herewith: Bourbon  Pound Cake and Bon Appetite Apple Cake. Either can successfully be made pareve (neither meat nor dairy).

 

BOURBON POUND CAKE (one large cake)

1 pound butter or margarine                              3 C sugar

8 eggs, separated                                              3 C sifted flour

2 t. each vanilla and almond extract                   1/3 C bourbon

½ cup chopped pecans

 

  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, gradually adding 1 C of sugar. Transfer to another bowl.
  2. In the mixing bowl – no need to wash it – cream butter/margarine and 2 C sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating thoroughly after each
  4. Add the flour and the liquid ingredients alternately in thirds.
  5. Fold egg yolk mixture into meringue.
  6. Sprinkle nuts in bottom of a well greased 10” tube pan and  pour in batter.
  7. .Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.

 

BON APPETIT APPPLE CAKE – This cake stays moist for days.

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix:     3 ½ C Granny Smith apples chopped

1 ½ C  oil

1 ½ C sugar

½ C brown sugar

3 eggs

 

Add:     3 C flour                                   2 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking soda                        ½ t. nutmeg

1 C chopped walnuts                2 t. vanilla

 

Bake 1 ¾ hours in a greased tube pan.

 

I think credit for this one belongs to Bon Appetite magazine.

 

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Julie Rose

Julierose601@gmail.com

 

 

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