Hearth & Home

Hearth and Home by Daphne Ross

Welcome The Day

It is one rainy fall day, the sky is gray, but the clinging leaves are still colorful. The temperature is cool, the breeze is chilling, but I like wearing my new sweater. I greatly welcome this fine day, because I woke up this morning, I was able to breath in this new day gifted to me. My arms are wide open.

I say 'so what' to the wet sticky leaves that get tracked into the house; I just hope they don't find their way upstairs. I say 'so what' to the dirty dishes left in the kitchen sink, because another hearty meal is just steps ahead when I get home tonight.

Wednesday mornings are busier than most weekdays, my column is due and our son has Wednesday morning meetings at work.

And 'so what' if my laundry doesn't get done all in one day, we dirty our clothes everyday so the chore never really does end. If one load a day is accomplished, washed and dried, maybe not folded and maybe not put away I am happy. Let's face it, socks and underwear are essentials, but a numerous number of blue jeans in one's closet keep's the bottom covered.

As soon as the windblown leaves are raked and swept off the patio porch, they swirl and commune in the corners again. They gather, they pile, they tease me, they know they will find a shoe to move their way indoors. I just wish the fuzzy little caterpillars and slimy slugs would not catch the transportation into my home on my boots. What I thought was a cooked loose noodle, was not.

No one is unhappy these days to feel that the oven is on; biscuits are rising, garlic bread is broiling, cakes are baking. I say bring on the casseroles, the lasagna, and the cheesy potatoes 'cause when the meal is ready, or the evening treat is done, that oven door is wide open, hot baking air hits those that sit at the kitchen table.

There's a comfort in a cozy, country kitchen, says I in my jammies with an apron tied at my waist. Some evenings my pink fuzzy socks, lambs wools slippers, and a sleeve rolled up flannel shirt completes my ensemble. I say 'so what' to my homemaking uniform of the night it will all get covered up when I settle into my television watching recliner, and spread an old quilt from my feet to chest.

And 'so what' if I wake up to go to bed, my husband does I so guess I follow his routine some nights, but my dad wakes up to go to bed, too, must be hereditary. Again I say, so what. Happy in my home sweet home, I am.

It's that time of year when we need to keep our hands and our insides warm; send your cup-of soup or cup of hot beverage recipes to Hearth & Home, 5973 Blachleyville Rd., Wooster, OH, 44691.

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups pecans
2 sticks unsalted butter, room
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins
Place the pecans on a sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes, until crisp. Set aside to cool; chop coarsely. Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat on low, adding eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. Mix on low, slowly adding dry ingredients to butter mixture. Add oats, raisins, and pecans; mix until combined. Drop dough on prepared cookie sheet; flatten
slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Apple Butter Pork Chops
Veggie mix:
1 tablespoon oil
4 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 green pepper, halved, seeded
and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
4 thick-cut, bone-in pork
1 (10 ounce) jar apple butter In a large pan with a lid, cook oil and bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel; leave drippings in pan. Add onions, pepper flakes, thyme and bell peppers. Cook, stirring, until onions and peppers
are tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir to combine. Remove the vegetables to a separate plate. For the chops: To the same pan, add the butter and oil. When butter is melted add pork chops; cook on one side about 4 minutes.
Remove chops to the plate with vegetables. In same pan, add the apple butter and 1 1/4 cups water. Scrape any bits; return chops to pan. Cover with vegetable mixture. Pour tomatoes over the top, lower heat to simmer, cover
halfway. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes. Let rest 5 minute

Pumpkin Raisin Cookies
1 cup flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure maple
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice. Stir to blend. Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend. Gradually stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins. Bake at 350 degrees on prepared cookie sheets for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool cookies on rack.

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
1 1/4 pounds ground chuck
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups small curd cottage
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup shredded Cheddar
Brown the ground chuck. Drain fat; add tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Stir and simmer while preparing other ingredients. Cook noodles until nearly done. Drain and set aside. Combine sour cream and cottage
cheese. Add pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add to noodles; stir. Add green onions; stir. Place half the noodles in casserole dish. Top with half the meat mixture; sprinkle on half the cheese. Repeat with noodles, meat and then a final layer of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

HO-HO Cake
(Sylvia Yoder, Ashland)
1 chocolate cake mix
Prepare cake mix as directed
on box.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1cup white sugar
2 egg whites, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup hot milk
Mix shortening, butter and sugar until creamy. Add beaten egg whites and vanilla. Add milk 1 tablespoons at a time. If you don't beat enough it will slide off cake. Be sure and beat very well every time you add 1 tablespoon milk.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup milk
Powdered sugar
Boil butter, sugar, cocoa, and milk. Add powdered sugar, don't make too thick.

Mud Hen Bars (Sylvia Yoder, Ashland)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
Mix first 7 ingredients into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle with nuts, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.
Beat egg whites until stiff; fold in brown sugar spread on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

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