This blog was originally posted in 2011. I thought it was worthy of a repeat performance:
A few other Michigan cookbooks had been set aside after I finished posting “Saluting Michigan Friends & Kinfolk” so maybe you can consider this a “P.S.” to the earlier post.
One I am particularly fond of is a spiral bound church cookbook titled “AFTER GRACE” compiled by members of Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids to honor the 100th birthday of Grace Church.
Soon after church members began collecting recipes for a cookbook, one of their Guild members discovered, in her own cookbook collection, a copy of the 1892 Grace Church Cook Book which contained over a thousand recipes. They thought it would interesting to provide their readers with some of the recipes from the original Grace Church Cookbook. What a find!
So, from the 1892 Grace Church Cookbook, here is a recipe for “grilled almonds” that reminds me of a candied almond I have made. To make Grilled Almond, Mrs. Seymour advises, “These are a very delicate candy, seldom met with outside of France. Blanch a cupful of almonds, dry them thoroughly; boil a cupful of sugar and ¼ cup of water til it hairs* throw in the almonds, let them fry, as it were, in the syrup, stirring occasionally; they will turn a faint yellow brown before the sugar changes color, do not wait an instant once this change of color begins, or they will lose their flavor, remove from the fire, stir them until the syrup turns back to sugar and clings irregularly to the nuts. You will find them delicious and they are an alternate at dinner with the salted almonds so fashionable.
Artichoke Dips are a popular appetizer in trendy restaurants nowadays – there is a really simple recipe in “After Grace” that would fit in a 3-ingredient cookbook as well. To make artichoke dip, you just need
2 jars marinated artichokes, drained
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup diet or lite mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients in blender. Pour into a soufflé dish to bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with chips or crackers. ~~
One more for your next party – I first tasted these at one of my office potlucks—so good! (ok, so I have been retired for 15 years–it’s still a great recipe!
To make Seasoned Oyster Crackers you will need:
½ regular size package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
2 tsp dill
2 tsp garlic powder
1 (16 oz) box of oyster crackers
½ cup salad oil
Heat oil to warm. Mix dry ingredients with warm oil. Pour over crackers tossing until well mixed. Put on ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring often to keep from burning. Cool & serve. ~~
One thing that I love are Vidalia onions; they are in the supermarket for a brief period of time and then you have to go back to using plain old brown or white onions. When they are “in season” I buy a bunch and spend a day chopping them up and packing them in plastic freezer bags, the one quart size—so I can have them ready to use in recipes. Now this recipe caught my attention but you will have to use fresh Vidalias and slice them.
To make Vidalia Onion Casserole you will need
5 large Vidalia onions
1 stick margarine (or butter)
Peel the onions and slice into thin rings. Sauté in margarine until limp or opaque. Pour half of the onions into a 1½ quart casserole. Cover with Parmesan cheese and crushed crackers. Repeat layers and bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Yum! ~~
I have been unable to determine if copies of “After Grace” are still available. I have a email address for anyone who wants to try to buy one; email@example.com. Apparently, my copy came from Schuler Books in Grand Rapids—the receipt was inside the book. ~~
Another church cookbook is “Welcome to our Table” compiled by members of the St Luke the Evangelist church in Bellaire, Michigan. This cookbook was published in 2007, relatively recently – so you may be able to find a copy.
Here is a recipe for Father Jim’s Pork Chops!
Aunt Jemima complete pancake mix
Wash pork chops in tap water. Dust the chops completely in the pancake mix; cover well. Brown the pork chops in a fry pan with olive oil. Place the browned chops in a casserole dish with onion slices on top. Add about ½ more chopped onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. ~~
Another from “Welcome to our Table” that has a unique twist to a breakfast brunch – is titled “Pepperoni Breakfast” and to make it you will need
2 ½ cups frozen shredded hash browns
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 TBSP butter
½ cup milk
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
25 slices pepperoni
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
In a large skillet. Cook potatoes and onion in butter until tender and light brown. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk Italian seasoning, salt & pepper. Pour over potato mixture. Sprinkle with pepperoni. Cover and cook on medium-low for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese, cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings.
The contributor of this recipe was someone named Sharon Smith. No relation although I have a niece by marriage named Sharon Smith! ~~
I have been searching for the longest time for a tater tot casserole that I used to make for my sons when they were children. This sounds almost like it.
To make Tater Tot Casserole you will need
1 lb hamburger,
¼ cup onion
1 c. grated cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small package tater tots
Brown hamburger and put into a loaf pan. Layer onion, cheese, mushroom soup and tater tots on top (in that order). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. ~~
I couldn’t find ordering information for “Welcome to our Table” but you could try this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This would be a great addition to your cookbook collection! ~~
Another church cookbook that I can’t find a publishing date for is “First Assembly of God Cookbook/Our Favorite Recipes for Feeding our Flock”, from the First Assembly of God Church in Battle Creek, Michigan. Sometimes when the cookbook committee is putting together their collection of recipes, the date of publication is overlooked. In any event, here is a nice recipe for making
Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
3 cups biscuit mix
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup quick oatmeal (not instant)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, well beaten
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups fresh blueberries
Combine biscuit mix, brown sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon. Set aside. In mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and butter, mixing well. Add dry ingredients all at once and stir just until blended (do not beat). Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups* 2/3 full of batter. Sprinkle top of each with sugar. Bake in 40 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Place on rack to cool; after they have been removed from pan. ~~
(*Sandy’s cooknote: the person who contributed this recipe doesn’t say so, but be sure to either spray the muffin tins with Pam or other vegetable spray – or, do as I do; use paper cupcake liners for easy removal from the muffin pans.)
Also from First Assembly of God, I found a recipe for Crispy Baked Fish – I always have trouble getting fish to turn out crispy so I am going to try this recipe that sounds delish. To make Crispy Baked Fish you will need
Butter or oil
6 fish fillets
6 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup bread crumbs
Butter or oil a large shallow baking pan. Butter one side of fillets and lay in a single layer in baking pan. Spread top of each fillet with 1 tsp Dijon mustard and then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees until fish I fully cooked and flakes easily, about 20 minutes. Check for doneness after 15 minutes to prevent overcooking. Serve fillets whole with cooked rice. Sprinkle with garnish of parsley to serve. ~~
Typing this recipe brought back a memory of an Almondine Fish recipe that my penpal Betsy had given to me years ago. I think the top of the fish was sprinkled with slivers of almonds. Well, my husband and children wouldn’t eat anything with NUTS in it – so I would run the almonds through the blender and mix them with the bread crumbs called for in the recipe. They never knew the difference.
First Assembly of God doesn’t provide any ordering information but there IS a telephone number on the first page of the cookbook – try 616 965 5441 and ask whoever answers if they have any of the cookbooks left!
Happy Cooking & even more happy cookbook Collecting!