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BARB'S RECIPES

Updated November 13, 1999

Welcome to my recipe page! If you want something different and out of the ordinary, then you've come to the right place. Most of these recipes have a "rhyme or reason" to them. Either they have raised my eyebrows, tempted my palate or relate back to something already mentioned on one of my other pages. Anyone who visits this page and has an unusual recipe or tasty treat they would like to share is welcome to e-mail me and I will add the recipe with an acknowledgement.


I love fruit, especially knowing that a fruit snack is much more healthy than a candy bar snack! I grew up with an abundance of neighborhood fruit trees and bushes: black cherry, peach, apricot, mulberry, strawberry, raspberry, elderberry and pear, to name a few. The fruit was ripe for the pickin'! Following is a fruit salad recipe that includes johnny-jump-ups!

SPRING FRUIT SALAD

2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium bunch of seedless grapes
1 pint of strawberries, stems removed, cut in half
1 tart apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced thinly
20 Johnny-jump-up flowers

Mix fruits in a nonmetallic bowl several hours before serving, allowing the flowers to meld. Serve garnished with the Johnny-jump-up flowers.


One of the regular spring chores I had as a child was to pull dandelions from the yard as soon as I got off the schoolbus. My brother, sisters and I had to pull the rascals for a good half hour before we could have a snack or kick back our feet. My Grandmother always made dandelion greens and dandelion wine. Hence, the following recipe(at least we didn't have to pick mushrooms!).

DANDELION MUSHROOMS

15 dandelion flowers, rinsed in water, but still slightly moist
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

Dredge the moist flowers in flour. Heat the butter in a heavy frying pan. Add flowers and fry quickly, turning to brown on all sides. Serve hot. Close you eyes and pop one of these goodies into your mouth. Would you believe it was a dandelion and not a fried mushroom?


I like pizza with all kinds of toppings, except anchovies! When I first started dating my husband, he took me to one of his favorite ethnic pizza parlors in Baltimore. One of the pizzas was loaded with anchovies. One taste was quite enough for me! When I was first learning to cook, I invited a friend over to make a pizza supper. We loaded two pizzas with every topping you can think of except the kitchen sink! Our pizzas bubbled over onto the entire bottom of the stove and created quite a literal stink! We managed to salvage the pizzas, but had a huge oven- cleaning job waiting for us after dinner. Luckily, I kept my taste for pizza, even after that experience! I also have an interest in faeries and fae. The following recipe is from Wisteria's Faery Recipes. Among other things, her site features several unique recipes, each having something to do with faeries/faes. With Wisteria's permission, here is a sample recipe that combines both the faerie world and the pizza world, though this recipe could be called a great "imposter"! Wisteria has other recipes on her site that are rather interesting, so you might want to stop in and pay her a visit.

PIZZA IMPOSTER

1 package refigerator biscuits
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried basil

Preheat oven per bisquit package directions. Lightly grease pie tin. Press the bisquits on the bottom & sides of the pan so that there are no gaps between the bisquits. Use dampened fingers to seal bisquit edges together. Saute' the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and oregano in butter until the onions are tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Spread over the bisquits. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. A nice side dish for this meal is antipasto. Yield: 2-4 Servings

There's not much to say about the next link! Give it a quick stop and see for yourself. . .

For some very different recipes, visit Iowa State University's site for Tasty Insect Recipes. These unique recipes are brought to you by the Department of Entomology.


Tapioca is one of my favorite desserts. Honey is a natural in the following recipe. Yum!

TAPIOCA CREAM

1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca
1/3 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 cups milk, scalded
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine tapioca, honey, salt and egg yolks in top of double boiler. Add milk slowly and mix thoroughly. Cook until tapioca is transparent, stirring often. Remove from the heat and fold into the stiffly-beaten egg whites. Add the vanilla. This may be served either warm or cold with cream.

Honey is also a unique flavoring in this following cole slaw recipe

SPECIAL COLE SLAW

1 cup mild flavored honey
1 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 large head cabbage, finely chopped(about 4 cups)
1 cup diced green pepper if desired
1 cup diced celery

In a small saucepan, combine honey with vinegar, onion and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool. Pour the cooled dressing over the prepared vegetables and toss lightly. Cover and chill several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Makes 10 to 12 servings.


And for a most scrumptious dessert, check this fudge recipe out!

VELVETY FUDGE

1/4 cup honey
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups undiluted evaporated milk
1 package(12 ounce) semisweet chocolate pieces
1 cup miniature marshmallows or(about 16) marshmallows, quartered
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts(optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium-size heavy saucepan combine honey, sugar, salt and milk. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Boil and stir gently for 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add marshmallows and chocolate pieces. Beat until smooth and mixture starts to thicken(about 5 minutes). Mix in nutmeats and vanilla. Pour into buttered 9x9x2-inch pan. Cool in refrigerator before marking into squares. Makes about 3 pounds of candy. "Superb"!


If you want to substitute honey for sugar in a recipe, here are a few helpful hints.

To use honey in place of sugar, substitute equal amount of honey, but reduce other liquid by 1/4 cup.

It is well to lower baking temperature of oven about 25 degrees which prevents over-browning of honey-baked goods.

When measuring honey, moisten cup or spoon with oil or melt ed butter, or measure shortening before measuring honey


This is one recipe I've not tried. I would imagine that the tomato would make for a flavorful cake, since the tomato enhances the other flavors. This recipe is from "Baking without Fat" by George Mateljan, Health Valley Foods

SPICY TOMATO CAKE

2-1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can(16 fluid ounces)tomato sauce(no-salt variety)
2/3 cup chopped dates
1-1/4 cups honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites, unbeaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.
In blender, process on high speed, tomato sauce, dates and remaining 1 teaspoon baking soda until dates are pureed, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Add honey, vanilla, egg whites, applesauce and raisins. Stir into flour mixture and mix until just blended. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into 10-inch nonstick fluted pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes, and remove cake from pan.

Two More Recipes from "Baking without Fat" by George Mateljan follow.

BLACK FOREST CAKE

1-3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1-1/4 cups honey
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup fruit-juice-sweetened cherry preserves
1 cup Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In large bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa or carob powder. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine applesauce, honey, egg whites and vanilla. Gently stir into flour mixture and mix until just blended. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into 2 9-by-1-1/2-inch nonstick round baking pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes, and remove from pan.
Let cake cook(set) additional 20 minutes and prepare Fluffy Vanilla Frosting.
Fill cake layers by spreading preserves between cake layers and top with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting.

FLUFFY VANILLA FROSTING

2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring maple syrup to boiling point, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
In top of double boiler over boiling water, with electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy, approximately 5 minutes.
Slowly drizzle hot maple syrup into egg whites, beating constantly on high speed for 4-6 minutes, or until frosting is thick enough to spread. Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of pan frequently. Remove from heat; beat in vanilla extract.
The finished frosting should be smooth and fluffy, yet hold stiff peaks.
Note: For a variation, add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract instead of vanilla.


SEASONING WITH SEEDS

To add variety and flavor to your favorite salads, soups, fish and meat dishes, try sprinkling or cooking with seeds. Some good, munchable seeds include pumpkin and sunflower as quick energy sources. Black sesame and white sesame seeds are good on breads and chicken, salmon or shrimp dishes. Smaller seeds, such as mustard, poppy, and fennel are best used as seasonings. Some seeds, such as pumpkin, are good toasted and eaten "just so". Tuna salad can get an extra pizzazz with the added delicate flavor of sesame seeds. Sweet Fennel seeds are used as a condiment for poultry or meat. A decoction of the seeds was used as a substance with a sweet smell for colic. Sometimes, it was made into a tea for babies' colic. The leaves have an anise-like flavor and the stems can be eaten like celery!

I've always been interested in herbs and have had several small herb patches. Besides using them fresh in a variety of foods, I also dried them for winter use. Some of these herbs are also good to use in potpourri. Following are some common herbs and their uses.

CULINARY HERBS

Rosemary
Rosemary is the herb of remembrance, friendship and fidelity. The English word means "Rose of Mary". An old legend tells of the flowers being white until, during the flight into Egypt, Mary spread her child's clothes to dry on a bush of Rosemary and the flowers were forever after blue. This fragrant herb is used in cooking. You could plant, tend and dry it and give some to a friend.

Basil
Basil sharpens the flavor of vegetables, salad and fruit salad. It enriches the tast of mushrooms, fish, cottage or cream cheese and white sauce. Basil is a traditional ingredient in tomato dishes, such as spaghetti or lasagna.

Coriander(Cilantro, Chinese Parsley):
This herb is used widely in India with curry powder. It is also a staple of Mexican and Chinese cookery. Use it in any Mexican dish. It also goes well with any wok recipe.

Thyme:
Thyme is a traditional ingredient in clam chowder, soup and corn fritters. You can saute a pinch in butter and pour over green beans, broccoli, peas or cauliflower. Thyme also goes well with most meats, cheeses and sauces.

To freeze herbs, gather or harvest them by cutting off new growth(up to 2/3 of stem) after flower buds have formed but before blooming. Best time of day is in the morning after the dew has dried. Wash, pat off excess water, place into freezer bags and freeze. When it's time to use them, snip or chop the herbs without thawing as they mince easily while frozen (Courtesy of Penn State Extension).


When I was young, my parents had a big garden out back that serve not only our immediate needs, but also gave plentiful bounty for canning, jarring and freezing. One of my favorite vegetables was peas, fresh from the garden, made with melted butter.

ITALIAN STYLE PEAS

1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon basil
2 slices boiled ham, shredded(1/2 cup)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon seasoned chicken stock base
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1-10 ounce package frozen peas or 2 cups fresh
1 Tablespoon butter

Saute onion, parsley, basil and ham in olive oil over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add water, seasoned stock base and pepper; stir. Add peas and butter. Cover. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly 25 minutes or until peas are tender. Especially good with chicken, beef, veal or omelettes. Serves 4.


My dad went fishing once a year. He always came back with catfish. One year when he returned from fishing, he had a surprise waiting for him. My mother had twins while he was gone-a boy and a girl. My Grandma came to take care of my sister and I. She also fried the catfish. Following is a grilled fish recipe, not necessarily catfish, but good just the same.

GRILLED FISH FENNEL

4 small whole fish(about 2 pounds each)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fennel seed

Clean fish and cut 3 diagonal slices on each side. Melt butter; add lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Brush part of this mixture over fish. Combine remaining salt and fennel seed; rub inside and out side of fish. Place on grill about 5 inches from coals for about 30 minutes. Baste frequently, turning once or twice. Serves 4.


My aunt was a home economics teacher. She was very creative and talented when it came to preparing a feast, both for the palate and for the eyes. One thing she made for our yearly family picnics was a carved and scalloped watermelon, filled to the brim with all kinds of fruit, which leads me to the next recipe.

MINTED MELON COCKTAIL

1 large melon in balls or diced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Boil sugar and water together for five minutes to make syrup. Add mint and allow to steep until syrup cools. Strain syrup, add lemon juice; mix well. Pour over melon balls. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, turning or stirring several times during that period (A. Joan Lamberson, Penn State Extension)


When I lived in York, Pennsylvania, my best friend in the world was a beautiful lady from England. She called me "Bob", as opposed to "Barb" and our sons were born within two weeks of each other. Not only did I learn about "Boxing Day" and a few other English customs, but I also tasted some real English cooking. Following are a few recipes from The Union Jack Club, to which my friend belonged.

SCOTCH EGGS

3 hard boiled eggs
1/2 pound sausage meat
Egg and breadcrumbs
Frying fat

Shell the eggs and cover each egg with sausage meat. If desired, a little finely chopped onion can be mixed with sausage before using. Coat carefully with beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Fry in hot fat until nicely browned. Cut each egg in half. Can be served hot or cold. Cook approximately 40 minutes.

PICKLED ONIONS

1-1/2 bottles white vinegar
1/2 box McCormack Mixed Spices
Small onions

Skin and cut. Leave in salt water 2 hours. Put in jar and add vinegar. Add bag of spices wrapped in gauze. Seal and leave 2 weeks(3 weeks if desired stronger).

LANCASHIRE HOT POT

6 lamb chops
2 pounds potatoes
3 lambs kidneys
1 large onion
Salt and pepper
1/2 pint stock
1 ounce butter
1/2 pint gravy

Turn oven on at 375 degrees. Trim the fat from the meat. Peel and thickly slice the potatoes. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a 4 pint dutch pot dish and put the chops on top overlapping. Slice the kidneys and onions and place on top. Season with salt and pepper and arrange remaining potatoes on top. Pour over the stock and dot with butter. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes longer. Heat the gravy and pour some into the casserole. Serve the rest with the hot pot.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

British: 1 cup = 10 ounces(fluid)
American: 1 cup = 8 ounces(fluid)
1 lb of British butter = 2 cups of American butter
1 lb of British flour = 4 cups of American flour
1 lb of British sugar = 2 cups of American sugar
1 lb British syrup or treacle = 1 cup American syrup
1 lb British brown sugar = 2-2/3 cups American brown sugar
1/2 ounce British flour = 1 level Tablespoon American flour
1 ounce British flour = 1 heaped Tablespoon American flour
1 ounce British sugar = 1 level Tablespoon American sugar


According to an old saying, the bravest Indian of them all was the one who first ate a raw oyster. Raw or roasted, scalloped, stewed, baked, broiled, fricasseed or fried, Maryland oysters have become famous. Oysters were so plentiful during the Nineteenth Century that they were set out with the free food in Baltimore bars. This 1974 recipe from the Maryland Seafood Marketing Authority is for traditional Maryland oyster stew.

OYSTER STEW

1 pint shucked Maryland oysters, with liquor
1 quart milk
1/4 cup margarine or butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Seafood seasoning, if desired

Cook oysters in their liquor until edges just begin to curl. Add milk, margarine or butter, salt and pepper. Heat slowly, do not boil. Serve at once. For extra zip sprinkle seafood seasoning on each serving. Makes about six cups of stew.

In 1890, The Sun published J.D. Mallory's directions for Mock Roast Oysters.

To mock roast shucked oysters, take a heavy skillet, lay your oysters flat out in the pan until you have the bottom of the pan covered. Then, as they begin to make juice in the pan, pour it off or take it out with a spoon. Keep turning oysters over and over until browned a little; then have some melted butter in a hot serving dish, with pepper and salt to suit taste. Lift the oysters from the pan into butter sauce and send to the table hot. This may be a little trouble to the cook, but the persons who eat the oysters never get through talking about them.

Here is a crab cake recipe preferred by Yardley, Sunpapers cartoonist for more than four decades:

Crab Cakes

1 pound lump crab meat
1 egg
2 slices bread
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
Salt and pepper

Pull inside of bread into small pieces, soak well in beaten egg with mustard and seasonings; add crab meat. Form into cakes and cook until brown in very hot bacon fat. Makes six big cakes. Serves three or Yardley.


My son is dating a lovely young lady who is part American Indian. She loves horses and has a beautiful collection of dream catchers. Following are a few American Indian recipes.

YELLOWJACKET SOUP

"Yellowjacket Soup" was considered a delicacy. Only the bravest would venture into the preparation of this Eastern American Indian food.

Secure an entire nest of ground-dwelling yellowjackets when it is full of grubs. Loosen all the uncovered grubs by heating and remove them. Heat the nest with remaining grubs over a fire until the thin paper-like covering parches. Pick out the yellowjackets and brown them over the fire. Cook the browned yellowjackets in boiling water to make soup and season to taste.

Good luck and good eating!

OCTOPUS FRITTERS

2 small octopus weighing about
1-1/2 pounds each, cleaned
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and minced
2 eggs
1 cup flour

Drop the octopus into a large kettle of rapidly boiling water and boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. Using a coarse brush, scrape away the purple skin. Cut off the legs and chop fine. Discard the head. Mix together the onions, salt, eggs and flour to form a batter. Then stir in the minced octopus. Shape into flat cakes about 3" in diameter. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet and brown the octopus fritters well on each side. Serve hot with butter. Makes 8 servings.


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