Homemade Gingerbread

We simply can’t wait for the Christmas season in our home. As soon as we say goodbye to November, we like to whip up a batch of this wonderful gingerbread. I first found a version of this recipe online and I made some changes for our family’s taste preferences. We love to bake this for friends on cold days. This bread fills the house with the most wonderful smell! It definitely gets us in the mood for Christmas.

Homemade Gingerbread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and margarine until fluffy. Beat in one egg and mix in the molasses. Set aside.

In another large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir into the creamed margarine, sugar, egg and molasses until well mixed. Next, slowly stir in the hot water. Blend until well mixed.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour. To check, insert a knife into the center – it should come out clean.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Chicken Taco Soup

I recently shared this with an online friend – and I thought I’d better share it here, too!  🙂

Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients: (for a really big ol’ batch)

  • 5 lbs chicken quarters
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans yellow hominy
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Optional toppings: salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese

Directions:

In a large pot, boil the chicken quarters in water with salt, pepper and garlic powder until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the broth and debone. Pour broth through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and set aside.

Dice the onion and place in a large pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the green chilies. Allow onion to brown slightly. Add shredded chicken to the pot along with taco season and ranch dressing mix. Stir and then add the chicken broth back to the pot.

Open two cans of black beans and drain and rinse before adding to the pot. Open the hominy, drain and add to the pot. In a blender, combine the stewed tomatoes, blend well and add this to your soup.

Stir well to mix all the wonderful flavors. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Score yourself a FREE turkey!

Christy Jordan has got the holiday spirit! She is giving away a delicious turkey on her website: Southernplate.com

All you have to do is go to the site, read her wonderful post about how to take meaningful holiday pictures of your family and post your own special Thanksgiving memory in the comment section.

Since we’re in the sharing mood – I have to tell my own:

This probably doesn’t sound that special – but, I was always in charge of the cheeseball. When the women were planning the Thanksgiving meal and everyone was getting assigned their dishes, I was given cheeseball duty. Because it’s the easiest dish to make. And back in the day I was not the world’s greatest cook. Far from it! So, every Thanksgiving during my late teens and early 20’s I whipped up our family cheeseball.

My Nanny (grandmother) always highly praised my oh-so-delicious cheeseball. Bless her!

Now that I’ve FINALLY progressed beyond the cheeseball stage, I was very proud last year to bestow the honor upon my youngest daughter, Vivian. At age eight she was already at the cheeseball stage, far advanced over her mother. My oldest daughter was already moved to meringue duty.

Seeing the cheeseball every Thanksgiving reminds me of times spent sitting at the kitchen table, mixing the soft cheeses and watching the pros take care of the rest. And now, when I am working as the pro, I smile when I see my youngest daughter working the cheeseball duty.

The recipe is so simple, please feel free to mix up a cheeseball for your family this holiday season!

The Whiteley Family Cheeseball

Ingredients:

1 pkg cream cheese, softened

1 jar Old English Cheese

Worchestershire Sauce

Garlic Salt

Chopped Pecans

Parsley Flakes

Mix the Old English and cream cheese together with a few dashes of Worchestershire sauce and garlic salt in a large mixing bowl. I find this is most easily done with clean hands. Just get in there and mix those cheeses. After mixing completely, set the bowl in the fridge to cool and allow the cheeses to firm. After at least an hour, spread parsley flakes and chopped pecans onto a large plate.  Take out your bowl of cheeses. Wash your hands again. Reach in there and grab that mess of mixed up cheese and get it all in your hands. Ball it  all up and smooth the outside. Roll your gigantic ball of tasty goodness around on the plate, coating it with parsley and pecans.

Set the cheeseball onto a pretty plate and put it back into the fridge for at least another hour to firm.

Best served with Ritz crackers.

Vivian cheeseball

Vivian’s first Cheeseball!

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Southernplate.com is giving away coffee, y’all!

I just want to high-five my favorite southern bell, Christy Jordan over at Southernplate.com – not only does she offer totally fantastic recipes with awesome “how-to” tutorials and pictures, she has really great give-aways! Today she’s got a great give-away up on her site. She’s partnered with Seattle’s Best Coffee to offer several chances to score some of their yummy brew.

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To enter just head over to her site and read her post about the Holiday Giveaway, leave a comment after the post and tell Christy about your own little coffee ritual.

Follow these additional steps for more chances to win:

Twitter:  “@southernplate and Seattle’s Best are hosting a HUGE Holiday coffee giveaway! http://snipurl.com/t1ijf

Facebook: post a link to her url and then tell her about it on the Southernplate family Facebook page

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Sprittibee’s givin’ away a cook book!

I love Sprittibee. She rocks – not only does she offer wonderful advice and insight for homeschooling (plus her organizational skills blow me out of the water) but she also has give-aways! How great is that?

The Queen Bee is giving one lucky reader The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook.

food2liveby

Here’s how to win:

Visit Earthbound Farm’s website – check out all their cool recipes. Then, head over to Sprittibee and check out her post about the contest. Leave a comment about a recipe on Earthbound Farm’s website that you would like to try. If you’re a blogger, blog about the contest and create a buzz! Organic cooking is a great way to take care of your family’s nutritional needs. And what loving mother and wife couldn’t use another cookbook? I have about 20 cookbooks, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m crossing my fingers to win The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook.

But since I’m so nice, I’ll give you a chance to win, too. Go on over and see Sprittibee and enter to win!

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Hot rolls! Freshly baked bread to thrill your family!

My grandmother always made the most wonderful hot rolls. One blessed day she shared her recipe with me and took the time to teach me how to make them. My family has praised her name ever since. Make a batch of these rolls for your family and you’ll be Queen of the World!

Hot Rolls

2 cups warm water

2 pkgs dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 tsps salt

5 (sometimes a little more) cups of flour

Disolve your yeast in the warm water, mix in the sugar. In a large mixing bowl add the oil to the eggs and beat to mix. Add the salt. Pour in the yeast-water-sugar mixture. Now add the flour and mix completely.

Pour out the sticky dough onto a lightly-floured surface and sprinkle the wad of dough with flour. Now take the edges of the dough, pull them over and tuck them in, creating a smoother ball of dough. Now flip this over and knead this ball of dough for about five minutes.

In a large bowl, pour a couple of tablespoons of oil and coat the bowl. Take your ball of kneaded dough and place in the oil, roll it around to fully coat the dough and then cover this bowl with a hand towel and leave it in a warm area where it is unlikely to be bothered. Leave it to rise for about two hours.

After it has had its first rise, punch the dough down in the bowl to release the gas caused by the yeast and gluten. Get a large baking pan and spray it with cooking oil. Pinch off handfulls of dough and roll them out – like we did when kids and we played with play-dough and made long snakes. Once you have your long dough snake, coil it up – like a pretty rose and set this dough coil into the baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Then cover the pan with the hand towel and let this dough rise again for at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

Preheat your oven to 400.

Once the dough has risen again, place in a 400 degree oven to cook for 20 to 25 minutes. After the rolls have browned, brush them with melted butter.

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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Chicken and Dumplings

Everyone has their own way to make chicken and dumplings. My bestest friend in the whole wide world asked for my recipe – so since I had to type it up anyways, I thought I’d share it here.You need:

Chicken – (the appropriate amount for however many people you’re feeding, for the five of us it takes one whole chicken)
Evaporated Milk – (one can)
Onion
Celery

Put the chicken in a big pot, with some chopped onion (large pieces are easier to remove later) and some celery, some salt (to taste) and garlic powder. Let this come to a boil and then cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked fully. I usually leave mine on for like an hour or more.

While the chicken is cooking, you can mix up your dumplings. I’ve listed the amounts for a normal batch, but for our family we make a double batch – and there’s never enough dumplings.

You need:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons of shortening
3/4 cup of buttermilk
(if you don’t have buttermilk, just get 3/4 cup of milk and add a few drops of white vinegar or lemon juice, to sour the milk – let it sit for a few minutes, and ta-daaa, you have buttermilk… sort of!)

Combine the flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or a pastry blender or two knives… whatever you have, until the flour mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add the buttermilk, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (like making biscuits) and knead four or five times – but no more than that, otherwise your dumplings will be tough. And who wants tough dumplings?

Now I like to pinch off about a ping-pong ball size of dough, roll it up into a little ball and then set it on a plate and repeat with the whole batch of dough. Then I stick that plate into the fridge until I’m ready to drop in the dumplings.

After that’s all done and your chicken is cooked, get out a big bowl and a strainer. You’re going to drain the chicken stock through a strainer into the bowl. The strainer catches all the chunks of onion and celery and the chicken, leaving you with your stock. Pour the stock back into the pot.

In a large pan, seperate your chicken from the bone and skin and all that, put the chunks of chicken into a seperate bowl and stick that into the fridge.

Turn up the heat under your pot to get your chicken stock boiling again. Once it is boiling add the can of evaporated milk. Now get out your plate of dumplings and drop them in (one at a time, but quickly so they all have relatively the same cook time). As the dumplings cook, they’ll rise back to the top. Turn down the heat to a simmer and put a lid on the pot and allow your dumplings to cook for ten to fifteen minutes.

Once the dumplings have had time to cook, add the chicken and turn off the heat. Allow it to sit, covered, for about fifteen minutes and then serve! 🙂

UPDATE:

When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at www.coersfamily.com to see how we’ve grown.

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