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postheadericon Black Bottom Cupcakes

Growing up in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, bake sales were a “thing” in the Coal Region.  One of the go-to methods to raise money for new band uniforms, the football team, the scouts, class projects, or church fundraising, they seemed to be on every corner or in the front of every local department store every Saturday morning.

One of my favorites was the Black Bottom Cupcake.  Rich, brownie-like cake inside which a sweet cream cheese and chocolate chip “dollop” rested just waiting to blend together in every bite.  Oh, if only I had a dollar for every one of these I savored…

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black bottom cupcake recipe
Black Bottom Cupcakes
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Servings
18 cupcakes
Servings
18 cupcakes
black bottom cupcake recipe
Black Bottom Cupcakes
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Servings
18 cupcakes
Servings
18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Cake Batter
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper or foil cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
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postheadericon Copper Pennies

A sure-fire way to get the kids to eat carrots!  This traditional sweet/sour taste is a favorite of mine.  When seeking comfort food flavors, I often turn to my trusty arsenal of Pa Dutch recipes that honor my German and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors.  Quick and tasty, theese keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for several weeks.  But rarely do they last that long in my house!

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copper pennies carrot salad recipe
Copper Pennies
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copper pennies carrot salad recipe
Copper Pennies
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add carrots and boil until the carrots are just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In a mixing bowl combine the celery, green pepper, carrots and onion.
  3. Bring tomato soup, oil, vinegar and sugar to a boil. Stir well. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the mixture over the vegetables, mix until all of the vegetables are coated. Marinate this salad overnight before serving.
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postheadericon Colcannon

In ode to the Irish roots that run deep in the Coal Region, here is a very simple yet very tasty dish great for family suppers or a warm and filling meal on a cool day. Each family has a version they like best, here is a very quick and easy one – enjoy!

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colcannon recipe
Colcannon
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colcannon recipe
Colcannon
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with cream or milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Some people like to add garlic, sliced scallions...the choice is yours, this dish is very each to customize to your taste.

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postheadericon Pa. Dutch Meatloaf

In keeping with sharing our Pennsylvania Dutch  diversity in the Coal Region, today’s recipe is Pa. Dutch  Meatloaf.

This meatloaf is sweet from the addition of brown sugar and has a ketchup/brown sugar glaze.  I just love the leftovers in sandwiches after it has been chilled. And of course, it is also topped with strips of bacon…

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Pa Dutch Meatloaf
Pa. Dutch Meatloaf
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Pa Dutch Meatloaf
Pa. Dutch Meatloaf
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Ingredients
Glaze
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, crushed crackers, onion, eggs, 3/4 cup ketchup, and 1/4 cup brown sugar until well blended. Press into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Lay the two slices of bacon over the top.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until cooked through. While the loaf bakes, mix together the remaining 1 cup ketchup, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Spread over the top of the meat loaf for the last 15 minutes of baking.
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postheadericon Amish Macaroni Salad

The Pa. Coal Region shares it’s love of eastern european foods with Pennsylvania Dutch delights.  Here is a versatile macaroni salad recipe for your next picnic or potluck.

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amish macaroni salad
Amish Macaroni Salad
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amish macaroni salad
Amish Macaroni Salad
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, onion, celery, red pepper, and relish.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the salad dressing, mustard, white sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed. Pour over the vegetables, and stir in macaroni until well blended.
  4. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
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postheadericon Pierogie Casserole

Pierogies made the traditional way are labor intensive, but oh-so-good.  Try this “lazy pierogy” casserole and get the taste of tradition without all the work.  Great for potlucks.

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pierogie-lasagna
Pierogie Casserole
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Servings
12
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
12
Cook Time
45 minutes
pierogie-lasagna
Pierogie Casserole
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Servings
12
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
12
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add salt to onions and saute 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned; reserve 1/2 cup sauteed onions for topping. Add remaining onions, pepper, and cheese to mashed potatoes; mix well.
  4. Place 3 noodles on bottom of prepared baking dish. Spread 1/3 of potato mixture over noodles. Repeat layers until a total of 4 layers of noodles and 3 layers of potato mixture have been placed (end with a layer of noodles on top). Top with remaining sauteed onions.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Recipe Notes

Freezer-friendly version: Follow recipe above except for baking. Cover with a few layers of foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze. When ready to eat, place frozen entree in refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours in advance. Once thawed, cook at regular time and temperature

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postheadericon Halushki

Inexpensive and hearty! Great warmed up the next day.

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Halushki
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Halushki
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles as directed on package in salted, boiling water until tender but still firm. Drain.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Cut cored cabbage into 1 inch pieces. Add remaining butter and cabbage to onions, cook stirring occasionally until cabbage is softened.
  4. Season with salt and black pepper. Place cooked noodles and cabbage and stir gently to combine.
Recipe Notes

Instead of noodles, you can use 2 packages (1 lb) commercial prepared gnocchi.  (or go all "old-country" and make your own dough balls!)

If you like your cabbage softer, cook it to your desired consistence before mixing it with the noodles or gnocchi.

You can also fry three pieces of bacon cut into small strips, add the reserved bacon grease to your butter for frying the onions and the cabbage and return the reserved, browned bacon to the pot with all the ingredients before serving.

 

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postheadericon Hot Bologna

Growing up in the coal region, hot bologna was a staple.   You can make this local treat at home quite easily.

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hot bolohna
Homemade Hot Bologna
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hot bolohna
Homemade Hot Bologna
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Slice ring of bologna in desired size chunks or slice pieces lengthwise. Place in large glass bowl or jar.
  2. Add crushed red pepper and salt.
  3. Pour white vinegar and water over the bologna.
  4. Shake or stir well to mix. Refrigerate. Allow to stand a minimum of two days before serving.
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postheadericon Bleenies

These are a staple at church picnics and block parties in the Coal Region. Like potato salad recipes, every body’s is a little different than every body else’s.

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bleenies
Bleenies
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aka Potato Pancakes
bleenies
Bleenies
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aka Potato Pancakes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate potatoes. Squeeze dry.
  2. Mix potatoes (except salt) and all other ingredients together.
  3. Add oil to large frying pan, about 1/2 inch deep in pan. On medium high heat, scoop a couple tablespoons of the pancake mixture into pan and flatten with the back of a spoon. (Amount depends on the size of the pancakes you want) Fry until brown on one side, flip, brown on the other. Make sure potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Drain on paper towels. Salt now to taste. Hold warm in 200F oven if desired.
  5. Some people put vinegar on before eating, others smear on some grape or strawberry jelly, some eat with sour cream and/or apple sauce.
Recipe Notes

 

Feel free to adjust the seasoning or additions to your own taste. I grate a rib of celery into my potato mix, and I squeeze the excess liquid from the shredded potatoes before mixing. Salting after they are removed from the oil rather than adding salt to the batter results in less unwanted liquid forming in the mix as it sits awaiting frying.

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postheadericon Flitch

Old fashioned Coal region potato candy with peanut butter, very popular at holidays and bake sales.Made with — tah, dah — a boiled potato mixed with powdered sugar, then rolled flat, spread with peanut butter and finally rolled like a jellyroll.  Give it a try one time and you will keep it on your “treat” list!

Flitch

Flitch – old fashioned potato candy

Flitch
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Servings
1 roll
Servings
1 roll
Flitch
Print Recipe
Servings
1 roll
Servings
1 roll
Ingredients
Servings: roll
Instructions
  1. Boil and peel potato.
  2. In a dish, mash potato smooth with a fork.
  3. Begin mixing in confectioners sugar. If desired, add a few drops of vanilla. Continue adding sugar and mixing until the mixture is the consistency of dough.
  4. Sprinkle a little 4X sugar on a cutting board, put the dough between two sheets of wax paper, and roll the mixture to a 1/4 inch thickness.
  5. Spread peanut butter atop the rolled mixture.
  6. Roll up the sheet, loosening it from the board with a knife as you roll. Cut into slices and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
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