Spiced Persimmon Cookies

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I hobbled together a couple recipes to come up with this one.

Spiced Persimmon Cookies

2 cups persimmon puree
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups raisins

Cream sugars and butter. Add egg and persimmon pulp.
Mix dry ingredients together; add to liquid mixture.
Stir in nuts and raisins.

Spoon onto greased or lined cookie sheets, flatten, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cool 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes 5-6 dozen, depending on size of cookies.

Zucchini Fries

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I saw this recipe on my Facebook feed. It's sounds like the perfect use for my farmshare zucchinis.  
Zucchini Fries
6 zucchini (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Coating mixture:
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 cup almond flour
Heat oven to 450ºF.

Trim the zucchini -cut crosswise in half, then cut each piece into 1/4-inch sticks. Add cheese to coating mix in bag; shake gently to combine.
Whisk eggs. Add zucchini; toss to coat. Use tongs to place 1/4 of the zucchini in shaker bag; close bag and shake to evenly coat. Spread onto baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining zucchini.
Bake for 12 to 13 min. or until golden brown, turning the baking tray 180 degrees after 7 min for even baking.

Zuppa Toscana

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  • This is a Zuppa Toscana recipe adapted from Tuscan Recipes.  

  • Zuppa Toscana

  • 2 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon 
  • 4 tsp garlic puree
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 peeled and diced white potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 of a bunch kale

  • Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat.

  • In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft. 

  • Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.

  • Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft.

  • Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.

  • Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. 

Smoothie Of The Good For You

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I made this smoothie recipe, which I saw on my Facebook wall, today.  We tried it and liked it, despite the unusual spices. I asked the youngest kids what we should call it, and they decided it was "The Smoothie Of The Good For You".  Silly blokes.

The Smoothie Of The Good For You

1 cup yogurt
1 cup water
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 cup pineapple
1 banana
1 Tbsp coconut oil (I used expeller-pressed)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp chia seed
1 tsp kelp granules

Blend well and serve.

Salted Carmel Pear Butter

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I found this recipe at Knit and Nosh.

Salted Carmel Pear Butter
makes 4 pint jars
1/2 cup of apple juice
10 tablespoons lemon juice
7 pounds pears, cored and quartered
3 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine apple juice, 6 tablespoons lemon juice and pears in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat.Lower heat, cover and cook until the pears are very soft. Press pear mixture through finest blade of a food mill.  Return to pot, add remaining lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg and salt.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until thick, about an hour.
Ladle pear butter in to prepared pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Process in water bath for 10 minutes.

Tritip Rub

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Tritip Rub

Makes 1 cup

2 T garlic granules
2 T kosher salt
2 T fresh ground black pepper
2 T chili powder
1 T brown sugar (optional)
1 T cumin
1 T dried parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder

Mix well. Store in a glass jar. Use to rub over tritip and other meats before grilling.


Chicken Burrito Filling

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I made this recipe up as I went, and it came out pleasing to even my pickiest eater.  I used home canned items, but feel free to substitute purchased items in the same measurement.  It's a very forgiving recipe to use what you have on hand and vary to suit your own tastes.

Chicken Burrito Filling

1/4 cup butter
2 quarts canned chicken thighs, shredded
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 a yellow onion, diced small
4 roma tomatoes, diced into small chunks
4 cups cooked white rice
1 quart pinto beans
2 Tbsp pickled peppers
1 cup flour
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

 Melt butter in pot. Saute onion until soft.  Add 2 cups chicken broth.  Whisk in flour to make a roux. Add in remaining chicken broth, and all other ingredients.  Heat through, stirring often.  Serve with salsa, shredded lettuce, cheese, olives, etc, as desired. 

Hawaiian Rolls

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I looked at several different Hawaiian bread recipes and cobbled together this one. According to my husband, it has a perfect texture and flavor.

Hawaiian Rolls

3 cups warm water
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
9 cups bread flour
4 tsp yeast

In mixing bowl, with dough hook attached, proof together water, yeast and white sugar for about 10 minutes.

Add in remaining ingredients, except flour. Mix well.

Add flour all at once, and turn on. After dough has formed, add a slight bit more flour, if needed, to keep dough from sticking. Knead for four minutes.

Turn out and allow dough to rest five minutes.

Form rolls and place in greased 9x13's or on baking sheets.

If freezing rolls, they go into the freezer now for a few hours, then into a zippy bag for storage.  To use, place dough balls in greased 9x13 or on a baking sheet and allow to thaw and rise for up to eight hours. Then bake as directed for unfrozen rolls.

Let rolls rise until double.

Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.

Yield: about 4 dozen

Garden Vegetable Stir-Fry

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Garden Vegetable Stir-Fry

2 small zucchini, sliced
2 small yellow squash (crook neck), sliced
1 small green pepper (or a mix of different colors), slivered
1 bunch green onions, chopped
a handful of button mushrooms, sliced

Saute in a large amount of bacon fat, ghee or butter (this will also be the “dressing” for the dish, so you can use a mixture of fats if you wish, just make them healthy fats, not canola oil or corn oil or any of that junk). 

While that is slowly sauteeing, get some water boiling and cook up about 6-8 oz. of noodles. When they are done, drain and rinse them, drain some more and then add the noodles to the stir-fry pan.
Add 1 tablespoon Italian Spices, toss, and enjoy.

Breadless Stuffed Zucchini

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Breadless Stuffed Zucchini

1 zucchini, 12 to 18 inches
1 1⁄2 to 2 pounds ground beef or meatloaf mix (equal amounts beef, pork and veal)
16 ounces corn
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 tomato, chopped
4 eggs
1 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 to 3 teaspoons basil
1 to 3 teaspoons parsley
1 to 3 teaspoons black or crushed red pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons horseradish, optional
Sea salt to taste
Grated or sliced mozzarella cheese 

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
Wash zucchini and place on cutting board. Cut off each end and slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Use tablespoon or serving spoon to scoop out seeds and make a hollow in each half. Place in prepared dish, hollow side up.

In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients, except cheese. Place mixture in hollows in zucchini. Add water around zucchini to 1-inch depth.

Cover with foil, and bake for 1 to 2 hours, or until zucchini is tender.

Remove foil and top with cheese. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Beef BBQ Sandwich Filling

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I found this recipe at Taste of Home.

Beef BBQ Sandwich Filling

1 beef sirloin tip roast (4 pounds)
1 can (5-1/2 ounces) spicy hot V8 juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 kaiser rolls, split

Cut roast in half; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the V8
juice, water, vinegar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar
and seasonings; pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-10
hours or until meat is tender.


Remove meat and shred with two forks; return to slow cooker and heat through. Spoon 1/2 cup meat mixture onto each roll. 

Yield: 16 servings.

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

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My friend Angela posted this on her Facebook wall. It sounds SO good!
Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c sour cream or yogurt
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Tortilla chips, carrot stick, celery sticks, zucchini slices etc. to dip.
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with dippers.

Canned Strawberry Pie Filling

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This was found by following a link at The Survival Homestead

Strawberry Pie Filling for Canning


6 Quarts fresh or thawed strawberries

6 cups Granulated sugar
2-1/4 cup Clear Jel
7 cups Cold water
½ cup Lemon Juice

Wash well and drain fruit in a covered bowl or pot. Combine sugar and Clear Jel in a large kettle. Stir. Add water. 

Cook on medium high heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. 


Fold in drained berries immediately and fill jars with mixture without delay, leaving 1 inch head-space. 


Process in water bath for 30 minutes at a full rolling boil.


To use: Pour in a deep dish pie crust and bake until crust is golden brown. 425 for 15 minutes and reduce heat to 350 for 30 minutes.

Almond Flour Breakfast Muffins or Bread Base

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I found this basic recipe on a low carb site, and played around with it until I liked it.

Almond Flour Breakfast Muffins or Bread Base

6 cups 
almond flour/almond meal

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, melted

8 eggs

2/3 cup water

2/3 cup honey

see note below for flavor variations
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 9 X 13 pan.

Mix dry ingredients together well.

Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour into the 9 X 13 pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, then drop the temperature to 325 and bake an additional 15 minutes or until done through.

Variations: 
Add 2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries for blueberry muffins. 
For fruit muffins, take a teaspoon of jam on each muffin and push it in slightly (it will sink more during baking). 
You can add a tsp of vanilla, some mashed bananas and nuts for a banana bread variation. 
I baked this plain, as-is and warmed home canned strawberries to pour over squares of the bread. It would be wonderful with fresh whipped cream and freshly sliced berries, too. 

Veee's Creamy Italian Dressing

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This was posted on Facebook by my friend Veee.

Creamy Italian Dressing

1 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small  or 1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons raw, local honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Combine all ingredients and shake or mix together. Makes 2 cups.

Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

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This is from Money Saving Mom.  It's not healthy, but a great treat once in a while!

Best Ever Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, raisins, or dried cranberries
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan on the stove. 
Remove from heat once it’s melted together and add in the oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, nuts/raisins, and vanilla. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and cool in the fridge. If you’d like thicker bars, you can pour the mixture into a smaller pan.
When the mixture is hardened, cut into bars and eat. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.


Shoo-Fly Pie

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Another classic recipe from my copy of The Colonial Cookbook, Shoo-Fly Pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch treat.  The sweet molasses attracted flies as the pie cooled, leading to the unusual name.  

Shoo-Fly Pie

1 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup molasses

1 9" pie crust

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves in a large bowl.  Mix the butter in with a fork.  The mixture will be crumbly.

Boil the water. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and molasses.  Stir well.

Put aside 1/3 cup of the crumb mixture.  Combine the rest with the molasses mixture. Pour into the pie crust.  Sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture.  

Bake 30 minutes. Cool before serving.






Sweet Potatoes and Apples

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I was browsing through one of my Thanksgiving books, The Colonial Cookbook, as I pulled them out for the children to read today.  This recipe caught my eye. I am going to make it for our Thanksgiving feast.

Sweet Potatoes and Apples

8 sweet potatoes
4 large apples
1 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp butter

Bake washed, unpeeled sweet potatoes at 400 until easily pierced with a fork between 30-60 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, peel apples. Cut into very thin slices, discarding core.

Preheat over to 350.

Peel potatoes.  Cut potatoes into 1/2"-1" thick slices. Cover the bottom of a buttered 9X13 baking dish with sweet potatoes. Add a layer of apples. Repeat layers.  Dot the top with butter and pour maple syrup over all.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



BBQ Black Beans

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This recipe is from Creative Canning.  What an easy way to have a side dish ready in moments, or even a main dish meal, alongside a big salad and a crusty roll.  


BBQ Black Beans
Yield 5 pints

1 lb black beans soaked 8 hours or overnight
2 smallish onions chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups bottled bbq sauce (or substitute your own favorite recipe)
2-3 drops liquid smoke per pint jar (optional)
1 small jalapeno minced and divided among 5 pint jars

Fill beans to the halfway point, add onions and jalapeno evenly.
Add 1/3 cup BBQ sauce per jar and then fill with water.
Process at 11 lbs for 75 minutes pints and 90 minutes quarts.

The beans soak up the water and you are left with a thickened sauce, in a few week the sauce will be very thick as beans continue to absorb the water.

Black Eyed Pea Dip

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I saw this recipe in the comment section of a post on a favorite blog, Rural Revolution.  It sounds good but I haven't yet tried it. Thanks, PollyS! 

Black Eyed Pea Dip
From Neiman Marcus’ Pure and Simple

About ½ pound dried black eyed peas (frozen are good too, canned tastes very flat)
8 slices bacon*
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ t black pepper
2 T Tabasco sauce, or to taste
½ C Ketchup
3 cubes chicken bouillon, crushed
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t cinnamon
1 can (14.5 oz) Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, chopped – if not available, add 1 small canned chopped chilies to can of tomatoes
2 T oil
3 T flour

Soak peas overnight or 4 hours. Put soaked peas in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook or 30 minutes, or until just tender.
To avoid having lots of dirty pots, I do this step in a pot rather than a skillet -- Cook bacon until crisp. Set bacon aside, drain 1-2 teaspoons of the grease and reserve. Add celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to bacon drippings and sauté until soft. 
Make a paste of ketchup, bouillon, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Tabasco. Add to sautéed vegetables. Add cooked peas and tomatoes with chilies. Cook 30 minutes on very low heat. It is ok if some of the beans break up, you want this to happen. Just don’t let it cook too high or you’ll end up with a “mush”, it tastes the same, just doesn’t look as nice! 
Mix reserved bacon grease and flour together. Cook on stove or microwave until it starts to bubble, this is your roux. Add roux to pea mixture and cook an additional 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and transfer to serving dish. 
Crumble bacon over top and serve with tortilla chips.
Can be served cold or reheats well. Freezes well too. Serves 2-16, depending on how hungry you are.

*Omit bacon for vegetarians, add bacos or liquid smoke if you wish. Sauté vegetables in olive oil.