Monday, February 07, 2011

Food From Friends

Oops! I just realized these aren't posting. I think I forgot to hit "publish post." Sorry!

I know that a lot of the recipes I post are available in other places online. I really like having everything all in one place. My sister and I both love to be able to search my blog from the grocery store so that we have a list of ingredients even when we didn't plan ahead. Well, she's slightly more organized than I am, so maybe she just searches my blog while she makes her list at home. But anyway, if you are annoyed with my lack of originality, sorry. I am taking some time for this post to put down some recipes that have been handed to me by people I know. Perhaps they could be found somewhere online easily, but these are recipes that came to me by way of friends and not from Foodnetwork.com or what have you.

At Christmas, which is when I really crave this next recipe, we call this Santa's Mix, but it can (and should) be made year round. I had a good friend at Auburn who was named Susanna but, because of the inordinate amount of Susannas in her high school class, had been nicknamed "Sanna." Everyone always thought we were calling her "Santa" at first, and just going with that now, espcially at Christmas, is easier than explaining the whole thing (yet, I felt it was worth explaining today). She originally had another name for the mix that was one of those tacky, outdated, meant to be funny/cute names, so I prefer to just call it her mix. Every year she would come home from Thanksgiving break with at least two gallon Ziploc bags full of this. And we always ate it all up in the three weeks before Christmas. It has to be the best studying snack ever! I baked a lot this Christmas, but the "Santa Mix" was the most raved about item of all, and it was the easiest (not to mention, completely no bake). My aunt says it should come with a warning, and, if you could have seen how much I consumed over the course of the day this past Saturday, you would certainly agree! It's so simple, yet so delightfully delicious.

Sanna's Mix

4c. Crispix (or Rice Chex)
2c. Cheerios
2c. Golden Grahams
2c. broken up pretzel sticks
1c. peanuts
24 oz. white chocolate almond bark
1c. M&Ms
- melt white chocolate bark in microwave according to package directions
- toss cereal, peanuts, pretzels, and M&Ms in a large bowl, then pour melted chocolate over and mix well
- spread on wax paper and let dry (Sanna's notes originally said for one hour. I found it takes more like 10 minutes, but maybe I just don't get the bark hot enough. She also says to wait and sprinkle the M&M's after you have spread everything out to dry, but I find that they didn't stick this way. She lived in Florida- not a dry wintery Iowa- so maybe you should take the humidity of your location into consideration)
- break into pieces and enjoy!

This next one is another one that is better at the holidays. I'm not even sure you can get fresh cranberries still, but she says you can use frozen. I've actually been sitting on this recipe for over a year now. The teacher I worked with last year brought me a piece of this cake one day and I fell in love with it. When I asked her for the recipe, she ran a copy of the card she had it written down on, and it turned out it had been given to her by Elspeth's teacher. I like both of those ladies a lot, and I hope you'll enjoy their cake recipe! I like it with coffee in the morning, but it's great any time!

Cranberry Cake

3c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2c. melted butter
2T almond extract
3c. flour
1 bag fresh (or frozen!) cranberries

-cream sugar and eggs. blend in melted butter. blend in almond extract. blend in flour. stir in cranberries.
- pour batter into a greased 10x13 glass baking dish. bake at 350 for one hour (but check 5-10 minutes early, can burn quickly)

This is another recipe for a delicious treat to have with coffee. My mother-in-law makes this every Christmas. I should clarify. Usually when I say "my mother-in-law," I mean George's mom. In this case, I mean George's step-mom. Still, to me, they are both a mother-in-law. And the "step" thing seems kind of vulgar. The kids don't call her their "step" grandmother. I mean, it makes sense for George because she's not his mom. I don't know. It's a weird situation. I want to be sensitive to everyone. George's mom has done a lot, and she deserves a special honor for that. On the other hand, we absolutely love his step-mom and are so grateful for her! Does anyone else have thoughts on this? Maybe you can mull it over while you bake.

Cinnamon Bread

1/2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 c. flour
cinnamon mixture (2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 3/4 c. sugar)

- mix first seven ingredients and pour half of batter into 2 lightly greased 5x9 bread pans. sprinkle cinnamon mixture over batter in pans and pour the rest of the batter over top. swirl with a knife. bake at 350 for one hour.

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