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The Wonders Within Ma’s Recipe Box.

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These are some of Ma’s basic everyday recipes.  I’ve described them as she either prepared them or wrote them down for me.  Over the years I have added my own spin to The Savories.  Adapted them to my own family’s tastes or in some cases allowed my creative inspiration to take hold.  For example, her Meat Pie recipe has become Shepherd’s Pie, a Christmas Eve tradition to honor the Great Shepherd.  I don’t add tomato soup to my Chili but I do add a variety of beans and chic peas, for my youngest who loves them.  I rarely do meatballs in my Spaghetti because I’m too lazy.  Her Barbecue Ribs are quite simply the best.  Perfect the way they are.  Wouldn’t change a thing.

The Sweets are exactly as the recipes describe.  Lovely.  Perfect. Easy to make.  I’ve only attempted the Christmas Cake once.  It turned out good, but not as good as Ma’s.  I made them two Christmases after she died to honor her.  Never again.  Way too much work.  The Brownie recipe is so easy and foolproof.  So chocolatey. Kids of all ages love these!  And the Ginger Snaps are a family favorite.  The recipe for these can also be found at the back of my novel, again placed there in honor of my dear sweet Ma.   I tried making the Angel Food Cake once or twice but it was too finicky for me.  Ma always made me this cake for my birthday.  It was her specialty.  When my youngest daughter turned one,  Ma baked one for her too.  The Butter Tarts are my Granddaughter’s favorites.  We love baking together, especially these family recipes.

The Savories

Saturday Night Spaghetti

Tomato Sauce
2 tins tomatoes (ground or chopped)
1 tin tomato paste
1 onion chopped fine
1 stalk celery chopped fine
1 green pepper
Seasoning to taste: Italian seasoning, bay leaf, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Before we had a blender Ma chopped everything fine and put it in a big pot to simmer all day.  After we got the blender, she put the tomatoes, onions and celery in the blender until smooth.  Simmer all day on low until rich and thick and delicious.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
1 slice of bread
Seasoning to taste: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Roll into 1” balls, fry in oil.  Add to sauce.

Meat Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp prepared mustard
1 cup mixed vegetables
1 small onion
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup water

In frying pan cook meat and onions. When brown add ketchup, mustard and water to meat.  Add vegetables and sugar.  Simmer until vegetables are tender.  Fill pie shell.  Top with second shell.  Cut steam vents in top crust.  Bake at 350 until crust is golden brown.

Barbecue Spare Ribs

Combine and mix well:
1 cup tomato soup
1/4 cup mild vinegar
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika

Cut 2 1/2 lbs. spare ribs in serving pieces.  Put in baking dish and cover with sauce.  Back at 350 for 2 hours.

Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 – 2 tsp soy sauce (or more)
Coat ribs in flour and fry in oil until brown.  Ad sauce and cook 45 minutes until tender.

Old Fashioned Baked Beans

1 lb. dried white beans
1 quart cold water
1 small – medium onion, sliced
1/4 lb. salt pork or bacon

1/2 tbsp salt
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup, pinch pepper

Pick and rinse beans.  Add 1 quart water and soak over night.  Simmer 30 minutes or so.  Drain, keeping liquid. Place onion slices in bottom of 6-cup casserole or clay bean pot.  Mix seasoning and add to pot. Add beans and hot liquid or water to cover.  Arrange pork slices on top.  Cover and bake in slow oven 250 for 7 hours.  One hour before serving remove cover to allow salt pork/bacon to brown.

Chili Con Carne

3 tbsp oil
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 lb. ground beef
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1 10 oz can tomato soup
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp chili powder
1 glove garlic
1 tsp salt
1 14 oz can kidney beans

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onions, green pepper and meat.  Cook until brown, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes, soup, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf and chili powder.  Simmer about 1 hour adding water if mixture gets too thick.  Mash garlic and combine with salt.  Add to hot mixture and stir well.  Add beans and heat thoroughly.  Pour into large serving bowl and garnish with onion rings.


2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1 15 oz tin tomato sauce
2 cups hot water
1 clove garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
8 oz package lasagna noodles
1/2 lb. cottage cheese
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese

Brown lightly garlic and onion in hot oil.  Add meat and cook stirring frequently to brown meat evenly.  Season.  Add hot water to tomato sauce and pour mixture over meat.  Mex well and simmer.  Uncover 30 minutes. In a baking dish pour a few tbsp of sauce.  Place half the cooked noodles over the sauce, the cottage cheese and half mozzarella cheese.  Add rest of noodles, remaining sauce and top with mozzarella.

Meatball Stroganoff

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion chopped fine
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tbsp flour
1 cup consomme or beef stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Meatballs: Combine beef, milk, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and parsley.  Blend and shape into small meatballs.  Melt butter and fry.
Remove and add mushroom and onions.  Saute.  Sprinkle fry pan with flour and paprika.  Pour in consomme stirring constantly.  Cook until thick and add meatballs.  Add worcestershire sauce.  Heat to boiling point. Add sour cream.  Serve over buttered egg noodles.

Cabbage Rolls

1 cup rice
3 cups water
Cook for 45 minutes until rice is tender

1/2 lb. ground pork
1 onion
Spice to taste: garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
Combine rice and meat mixture in bowl.

1 medium cabbage
1 small tin tomato juice

Cook cabbage in large pot of water until partially cooked.  Remove and roll with meat/rice mixture.  Place in casserole/covered baking dish.  Pour tomato juice over cabbage rolls. Top with left-over loose cabbage leaves.  Bake at 350 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Popovers (Yorkshire Pudding)

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Pour into well-greased muffin pans till 3/4 full.  Bake at 450 for 40 -45 minutes. Serve immediately with roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Pie Crust

5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cut 1 lb. shortening into flour mixture.
Beat 1 egg + 2 tsp vinegar in bottom of measuring cup.  Fill measuring cup with cold water and mix well.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour liquid.  Mix well.
Form big ball, then divide into 6 smaller balls. Wrap each ball individually and freeze.

The Sweets

These are perfect for dunking into milk.

Ma’s Chewy Ginger Snaps

Cream Together:
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses

Sift Together:
2-1/3 cups flower
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each ginger & cinnamon
1/2 tsp closes
1/4 tsp salt

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.  Shape into 1-inch balls.  Roll in white sugar.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheets @ 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Cream together:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
Gradually beat in:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat well.
Blend or sift together:
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Add to creamed mixture and combine.
Shape dough into balls which are about 1” in diameter.  Place on baking sheets and press down with a fork.  Bake in 375 oven for 10-12 minutes.

Serve warm just as it is or with vanilla ice cream. Divine.

Apple Crisp

6 cups sliced apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter

Arrange apples in greased baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Mix flour, oats and sugar.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs, sprinkle over apples.  Bake at 375 until are tend and topping is lightly brown.  (35 – 40 min.)  Served with vanilla ice cream if you like.

Rich. Moist. Dreamy. Impossible to eat just one piece!

Chocolate Brownies

Mix all together in one bowl in this order:
1/4 lb. butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
2 heaping tbsp cocoa
Optional: 1/2 cup walnuts

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze
Mix together:
1 cup icing sugar
2 level tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp butter
Hot water – enough to form glaze
Pour on brownies while hot (straight out of the oven)

Chocolate Oatmeal Globs

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of coconut
6 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla.

Mix first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Heat butter, sugar and milk in saucepan until almost boiling.  Pour over dry ingredients and add vanilla.  Stir well.  Drop by tsp on wax paper and chill until set.

Make it square. Or make it round. Sweet and spicy either way.

Tomato Soup Cake

Beat together in large bowl until light:
4 tbsp butter
1 tin tomato soup
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
Blend/sift together:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp of each of these spices: cinnamon, cloves, allspice & nutmeg.
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Combine dry ingredients with wet and mix together.  Pour into 8” square pan and bake one hour at 350.

Butter Icing
1 cup icing sugar, 2 tbsp butter and milk to make thick.  Beat until smooth.  Add 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Spread on cake when fully cooled.

Dark Christmas Cake

Wet Ingredients:
1 lb. butter
2 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
7 extra large eggs or 8 large (separated)
1/4 cup molasses

Dry Ingredients:
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

Fruit Ingredients:
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. currants
1 lb. candied cherries
1/2 lb. candied mixed fruit
1/2 lb. nuts
3/4 cup orange juice,
2 tbsp lemon juice
Pour juice over fruit mixture and let stand overnight.

Beat egg yolk, sugar and butter together.  Add molasses.  Combine half the flour mixture with the fruit mixture.  Add to the wet ingredients. Mix well and add rest of the flour mixture.  Beat egg white and fold into entire mixture.  Bake in 250 or 300 oven for 2 /12 hours.

Ma’s specialty birthday cake. Heavenly.

Angel Food Cake
(One large tube pan)

1 1/2 cups fruit sugar
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup egg whites (8 – 10 eggs)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond, lemon, pineapple or raspberry extract
3/4 tsp vanilla

Sift sugar and flour together four times.  Beat egg whites until foamy, and then add salt and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until the whites are stiff, but not dry.  Sift 2 tbsp of the flour and sugar mixture at a time over the egg whites.  Fold in carefully after each addition.  Add vanilla and almond extract.  Turn into an ungreased tube pan and bake at 275 degrees F for 25 minutes and then at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes.  Remove from oven, invert pan for 1 hour and cake will then slip easily from pan.

The best butter tarts ever. And so easy to make! Child’s play.

Tasty Butter Tarts

1 egg, well beaten
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp rich milk
1/2 cup raisins (or currants)

Add brown sugar to well-beaten egg and beat thoroughly.  Add vanilla, milk and raisins.  Line tart tins with pastry.  Add 1 tbsp of the above mixture to each.  Bake at 400 for 20 – 25minutes.


Girl Warriors in the Kitchen.

Abby making "Cheaters Cheesecake". Easy as pie. And so so so good!

Posted by Girl Warrior Productions on Sunday, January 26, 2020