Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD!

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Nadine's Fresh Apple Cake (stays SO moist!)

Apple cake frosted with browned butter cream cheese frosting...

 Above and below:  Recipe baked in bundt pan.

 Below:  Recipe baked in 9x13" pan, 
frosted with "quicker" browned butter frosting.

If you happen to own an apple peeler like the one shown below
you will be able to get this cake into the oven with 
little effort and less time spent doing it.

My sister Nadine often brought a pan of this apple cake for us when she'd come up from Arkansas.  It is SO moist, and SO good!  Here's the recipe for it.  I'm happy that she shared it with me.

Ingredients and Directions 

Combine, set aside and let soak for 1 hour (some bakers skip this actual "soaking step" and just proceed as if they had "soaked" them):

4 cups peeled and chopped apples
1 cup "Omega" kind of vegetable oil (OR you favorite vegetable oil).
1 and 1/2 cups sugar  (Original recipe calls for 2 cups, but I did not miss the 1/2 cup I left out.)


After the "soaking time" is up for the chopped apples in the oil and sugar, slightly beat 2 eggs and add to the apple mixture.  Also, add 1 teaspoon Vanilla, and stir in.

In a separate container, combine the following dry ingredients: 

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon allspice (Opinion:  For the best tasting cake, do not substitute with any other spice.)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Blend the dry ingredients into the apple mixture.

Fold in 1 cup raisins OR chopped dates and 1 cup chopped pecans OR walnuts.  (OR you can add flaked coconut, too!)  Tip:  If my raisins or dates seem too firm, I would just add them to the apple/sugar/oil soak at the beginning of this recipe.

Bake at 325-degrees for "about" 1 hour if you choose to bake this in a greased and floured Bundt pan.  

Optional baking method:  I sometimes bake this cake in a 9x13x2-inch greased and floured pan for just under one hour-- but check your cake for doneness with a toothpick or very clean/sharp knife at just under 1 hour.  If knife/toothpick comes out clean, it should be done.  


If you really want to put something on this cake and want a topping that seems  made-to-order for just this kind of cake, see the two options below..

Apple Cake GLAZE

Bring just to a rolling boil 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk), 1/2 stick butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla or rum flavoring and stir well.  Pour this hot mixture on hot cake fresh from the oven and sprinkle with slivered almonds or pecans.  Cool.



Heat ½ stick butter in pan over medium heat and watch closely while stirring until the butter turns golden brown in color.  Then,...quickly add to the hot/browned butter about two tablespoons of milk to stop the browning, and then stir in some SIFTED powdered sugar till you have the amount and consistency of frosting you need.  It may be necessary to add tiny amounts of more milk to get a smooth texture.   I poured "ribbons" of this frosting from end-to-end over the still warm (but not hot) cake.   Once this kind of frosting hits the cake's surface, it cannot be spread without making a mess.  Again, you have to get this type of frosting onto the cake very quickly before it thickens too much to pour it on.

Oh, my goodness!!!!!-- this cake is so 
delicious with a browned butter cream 
cheese frosting, too!

This cake freezes well, too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Our Favorite Chili (It's SO quick!)

I like the flavor of this chili!

Years ago, a recipe card for this chili was handed out when Qualheim's True Value in Shawano hosted a kind of promotional event put on by the Regal cookware company.  During the 'event', someone from the Regal company was in front of the store and serving free cupfuls of this chili recipe from a HUGE frying pan that was sitting over some kind of heat source-- honestly, the huge pan was something like 5-6' feet across.  (M-m-m-m-m-m, the chili-- tasted so good!!!) 

This is about the 'QUICKEST' chili ever!  To save 'preparation time' when cooking, I like to 'brown hamburger' ahead of time-- about 5# at a time,  bag it and freeze in 1# amounts.  Using the pre-browned and thawed hamburger, this recipe can be completed start-to-finish in the length of time it takes to cook the onion/green pepper mixture.  (20 minutes?)  Even if starting with raw ground beef, it's still quick!

I like to double this recipe so I'll have some left for the next day.

6 servings (maybe less if you have 'chili likers')

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 chopped green OR red OR yellow  OR orange pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 package (1 and 5/8 oz. size) chili seasoning mix (recipe called for French's)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained (my addition, optional)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes with liquid, OR stewed tomatoes, OR whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 oz.) sliced mushroom pieces, drained (optional)

Sauté onions and peppers of your choice in butter in a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat until onions are transparent.  While 'getting the onions ready', and if you are not using 'browned-ahead ground beef',  brown the raw ground beef in separate fry pan, and drain. 
(To speed everything along, you could start heating everything in the last group above over low heat while the onion/pepper and the hamburger is being readied.)
Combine EVERYthing. Mix well, breaking up tomatoes (if whole).  Bring to a very light boil, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 5-10 minutes (to make sure the beans are totally heated ).
*Once I get everything combined, and if  I'm in no hurry to serve, I'll put it into the oven at 340-degrees for about 30 minutes.  This is also a good crock pot meal.  Also, see note at far bottom of this posting.

This can be served with a variety of toppings:  Grated cheese, chopped green onions, snipped chives, or ???
 P.S.  I've seen cooks take a recipe like this, add a large can of tomato juice, a small handful of spaghetti strips that have been snapped into 1-inch pieces, and a can of corn for a different kind of dish-- adjusting the cooking time and amount of chili powder, as desired.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Cookies with Cranberries/Walnuts/White Chocolate Chips*

These cookies passed the "cookie 
tasting test" by everyone here.

Yield:  5 dozen  (This recipe can be easily cut in half to make 30 cookies) 

  • 2 Cups (4 sticks, or 1 pound) butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Cream the softened butter in a large mixing bowl.  Beat in the sugars and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine and sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Stir the sifted dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, half at a time, until evenly mixed.
  4. Stir in the dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts.
  5. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.  
  7. Lightly butter two large baking sheets OR line them with parchment paper (I used the parchment paper method).
  8. Shape dough into 1 and 1/2-inch-diameter balls. 
  9. Place the balls on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 and 1/2" inches between each.  
  10. Bake one sheet at a time on the center rack in the oven for ABOUT 17 minutes.  (They take longer to bake because they are cold to start with.)  Since ovens vary in temperatures, check the baking process to control how you want yours to look.
  11. When done, the edges of the cookies should be a light golden brown and the centers lighter in color.  Don't over-bake-- they will sort of "bake" a little bit more on their hot pans after coming out of the oven.
  12. Cool cookies for about 5 minutes on their baking sheet and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Store in an air-tight container.  I like that the moisture in the cranberries helps to keep the cookies more moist.  Enjoy!

*  I adapted (and doubled) this recipe 
from one in The Old Farmer’s Almanac 
Everyday Baking cookbook