Singing in the Kitchen

October 31, 2013
This recipe is for my grandmother's amazing sugar cookies.  She always made them at Christmas, but I made them on Halloween this year.

1 cup of butter
2 cups sugar
grated rind of one orange
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups flour
5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
Cream butter and sugar, gradually add orange rind.  Add eggs one at a time and beat thoroughly.  Sift dry ingredients twice then add with vanilla.  Mix thoroughly and chill.  Roll and cut thin. Bake at 350 about 10 minutes until just lightly brown.
You want them to be this pale.

You don't want them to look like this!

September 25, 2013

If you have too many small green tomatoes in your garden, this is a dandy recipe for pickled green tomatoes with hot peppers.  I usually use hot banana peppers, but if you like more heat you could use jalapenos or even habaneros.  It's your mouth.  Make it happy.

2-4  long red, green, or yellow banana peppers per quart jar of pickles
quarter bushel of green smallish tomatoes
1.5 cups of salt
4 quarts of water
1/4 cup of sugar
2 TBS prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic
10 cups of vinegar
2 cups of water

Wear rubber gloves to prevent burning hands.  Cut slits in peppers.  Then wash tomatoes and quarter.  Dissolve the salt in the water and pour over the peppers and tomatoes.  Let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place.  Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly.  Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Remove garlic.  Pack 2-3 hot peppers in each jar and then fill the remainder with green tomato quarters.  Pour hot pickling liquid in each jar, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust caps.  Process 20 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Green tomatoes and hot peppers packed in jars awaiting the pickling brine.

Finished jars of pickled tomatoes.  They keep quite a bit of their color.


When  I first moved to the mountains I wasn't much of a cook.  The first time I tried to bake bread there was more flour on me and on the kitchen floor than there was in the bread.  Now, I love the earthiness of  a home-made loaf.

 Here's a simple pizza dough recipe I found on-line (All that also makes a great loaf of bread.  I especially like how fast it rises.  Usually, I triple or quadruple it so I can also bake a simple round loaf with the left-overs. 

My friend Cheryl taught me to place each rolled out circle of dough onto parchment paper.  It's so much easier to transfer to the pan or stone for baking.


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45

degrees C)

2 cups bread flour 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons white sugar

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Sometimes I don't wait that long.

2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into a pizza crust shape. Or you can try tossing it.   Cover with your favorite sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  If you prebake it about 5 minutes before adding the sauce, the crust will be crispier.