I try to vary my recipe sources to keep cooking fun, but sometimes for something different I make a whole meal using recipes from one cookbook. Tonight was one of those nights.
I used a personal favorite, Mennonite Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley (Phyllis Pellman Good and Kate Good.) Besides being filled with delicious choices, one of the pictures inserted is actually my family’s very own horse and buggy!
That picture was taken by our local celebrity photographer, Allen Litten. He knows our family well, but had no idea that was our buggy until we told him. We have that same picture framed. That was our beloved horse, Charger, bringing mom home from church one fall day. He was a faithful steed. I’m almost weepy thinking of him as I write this. I got my first car at 18 years old, but until that time my mode of transportation was horse and buggy, bicycle, or walking.
Now you know why this cookbook ranks high on my list of favs.
The first recipe is a family favorite.
Herbed Lentils and Rice
Submitted by Leanna Yoder Keim
She included this recipe note
Herbed Lentils and Rice
2&2/3 cups chicken, beef, veggie broth, or water (I used veggie broth)
3/4 cup dry brown lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (optional for vegans)
Paprika (preferably smoked)
Method: mix together broth, lentils, rice, onion, wine, basil, salt, thyme, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour into 1&1/2 quart greased casserole dish.
Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1&1/2hours. (If omitting cheese, test at this point to make sure lentils and rice are cooked and if so, the casserole is done. If adding cheese, remove the cover, sprinkle cheese over casserole, then sprinkle paprika on top. Return to oven for another 15 minutes or so until cheese is melted.
This is a dish every single person in our household enjoys, which makes it that much better!
(I left cheese off the one end for those who don’t eat cheese, but the rice got a little dry without the cover on.)
Next was a brand new recipe, but was such a hit it will become standard fare as well!
Submitted by Edith Shenk
2 Tablespoons butter (I just used veggie broth, no butter, adding a tablespoon at a time so the onions didn’t stick.)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2-10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or 1&1/2 pounds fresh spinach, lightly steamed and drained
Salt to taste
Method: In frying pan, sauté onion in butter, veggie broth, or water, cooking until soft
Stir in tomato and cook for 5 minutes
Stir in peanut butter and salt. Cook for a few minutes until sauce forms.
Stir in spinach, heat through, but do not overcook. Pour into serving dish and sprinkle with nutmeg.
I promise this is FAR more appetizing than it looks. My husband said he could eat the entire dish in one setting. I said the same thing. The nutmeg is a MUST to finish it off.
Lastly, we splurged with “Elsie’s Fresh Apple Cake.” I know the Elsie that submitted the recipe. Our 5-year-old daughter’s name is Elsie, so when we came across this recipe she really wanted to make it. I’m glad she did! She put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl for me. We healthified it a bit so I will include those notes as we go along.
Elsie’s Fresh Apple Cake
Submitted by Elsie Rohrer Terry
1 Cup oil (I used 1 cup unsweetened pear sauce I’d made this summer, I’m sure unsweetened applesauce would be great too.)
2 eggs (I used eggs, but vegans could use ground flax meal/water)
2 cups sugar (I cut it to 1&1/2 cups and used raw sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2&1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup oat flour)
3 cups peeled, chopped fresh apples
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup flake coconut (I used unsweetened)
I also added 2 Tablespoons ground flax meal
Method: Mix together oil (or pear or applesauce), eggs, and sugar and beat well.
Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and beat well.
Add 1 cup flour (this is where I used pat flour) and mix well.
Fold in apples, nuts, and coconut. Add rest of flour (and ground flax meal if using) and stir well. Pour into greased and floured tube pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1&1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Elsie’s note says this is a great breakfast cake or a satisfying dessert. We loved it for dessert this evening and the kiddos are excited that it is on the breakfast menu for tomorrow morning. It was a huge hit.
Let me know if you make any of these recipes and what you think!