Category Archives: Cakes, Pies and Desserts

Recipe: Little Smart Boys….Saucy Apples

I just made this recipe day before yesterday. In the interest of full disclose I usually add half brown sugar and half white sugar. In the end, how much sugar you add depends on the tartness of the apple and your own personal taste.

Not only is this a great applesauce. But warm over ice cream it becomes a fabulous apple sundae.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

Aviary Photo_130953565392251413

It seems like forever ago that I was a Christian preschool teacher.  Our school served youngsters ages three to five.  Our enrollment was almost always full with a total capacity of 60 students per week.  I really loved each and every one of those precious children.

Preschool children do not have a lot of filters and can be very honest.  Some of the things shared with their teachers, I am sure would make their parents blush forever. If your little one has seen you without apparel chances are details of that experience have been or will be shared with an early childhood educator.

Little brains work very well and are fertile ground for both good and not so good.  What seems logical to a small child in may cases would give nightmares to most adults. Take for example these two five-year-old cousins.  These were good Minnesota boys…adorable, respectful, busy, smart and…

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Recipe: Delicious Desserts and the Boy in a Box…Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

These gals still meet on a regular basis. My mom missed their last meeting due to my dad falling in the machine shed and breaking his hand. The club took a nice boat tour and my parents a tour of an emergency room.

Dad will have to be in a cast for six weeks, however, just a week after his fall he was back on a tractor cultivating his sweet corn patch. He says its more work with the cast doing stuff on the farm, but he’s adapting. Not bad for being in his mid-eighties. He said the corn is looking great.

His only complaint was the ER almost started putting a pink cast on him, which was quickly changed to blue.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

Sunshine Club
Sunshine Club current members.
Photo from Independent Review Newspaper

The Sunshine club has met for 82 years. Agnes Palm was a founding member and my mother has been a member all of my life. I have many memories of going with mom to club when I was a very young girl, especially when it was held at Mrs. Palm’s house.

I remember the delicious desserts, being horribly bored and being allowed to play with two plastic horses. One was extra special as it had little gold chains for reins. I will never forget her beautiful white faced cows and calves and the big mean old bull that once escaped the pasture and tried to ram our white ford station wagon with the red interior.

My most vivid memory is of her youngest son Darrel. He was in his late twenties by the time I first met him when I…

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Recipe: Minnesota National Guard Pie Fight Rescue–Serving up Patriotic Berry Pie on the 4th of July

This is a great patriotic berry pie to serve your guests as you celebrate the 4th of July.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

pie social

Traditions die hard in small towns and our church’s annual  ice cream social was no exception to this rule.  Each summer our church would hold an ice cream social usually as a fundraiser for our youth group –FLY–First Lutheran Youth.

My church was our town’s Swedish Lutheran Church.  In a small town with less than 600 people we boasted four churches.  Three were Lutheran…Swedish, Norwegian and German and then there were the Baptists. The basic difference between Lutherans and Baptists as far I could tell was that we could dance and they could not.

In my early teens, I was vice-chair of  FLY and my older more responsible cousin was chair. What I may have lacked in responsibility, I certainly more than made up for with a strong desire to help God out, great capitalistic attitude, endless creativity and boundless enthusiasm.

As it happened right about the time I became part of the leadership team for FLY, we needed…

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Recipe: A Great Summer Cake….Boiled Chocolate Cake

I am going to make this cake this afternoon and remembered why it is such a great summer chocolate cake…it takes much less time to bake than other recipes. This cake has been my go to chocolate cake since I was teenager. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

This cake is always a favorite and is the basic recipe I use for many varieties of chocolate cakes. It can be baked as a sheet cake or a layer cake. It is very moist and rich. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Boiled Chocolate Cake

1 cup water
2 sticks of margarine or butter
Four heaping tablespoons of cocoa
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk (Buttermilk alternative: if you don’t have buttermilk you can sour regular milk by adding 1 teaspoon of vinegar to ½ cup of milk.)
2 eggs, slightly beaten

In a large sauce pan on top of the stove bring the water, margarine and cocoa to a boil. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, mix together sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to sauce pan. Stirring constantly bring back to a…

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Recipe: Tornadoes, Naked Chickens and Angel Lemon-Coconut Bars

HenRhodeIslandRed

After posting about my love of storms and tornado nightmares I was reminded of a real tornado story told to me by my Great Uncle Alec.

Great Uncle Alec was married to my Great-Aunt Ida whose recipes have graced this blog many a time.  She was a fabulous cook and baker. They had a family of seven children and lived on a farm in Amery, Wisconsin.

As a child I had visited their farm several times.  I remember that the house was quite a bit like the old farm house on our farm, and that they had a wonderfully big barn.

Of course, what sticks in my memory the most was the warnings not to wander down by the creek as there was lots of quick sand down there.  I have always wondered if there really was quick sand, or if the quick sand was like the skunks in the “skunk woods” back home and a very busy God always seeing everything I did…deterrents employed to protect inquisitive children from roaming physically or morally too far astray.

For the record, I still believe there was deadly quicksand by that creek, rabid skunks in those woods and that God never lets me out of his sight.

All of my great uncles were fabulous tellers of tales.  They had a gift of observation that could convert the ordinary into the hilarious.  Except for death, they could find something to laugh about in almost any situation….including storm destruction.

Uncle Alec’s story began by recounting the beauty of that summer day…the day that the tornado hit Amery and their farm.

He was outside working and hadn’t paid too much attention to the sky as thunderstorms were a common occurrence and a welcome one. They the cooled off man and beast while providing much needed rain for growing crops.  Thunderstorms were an exciting gift from God himself.

When lightening begin to flash and thunder rolled, Alec, like all farmers knew it was time to leave the field to work inside.  He had barn chores to do, so into the barn he went to ride out the storm.

As the storm approached it became louder and louder.  Alec looked out the barn door to see a large tornado barreling right towards his farm. There was no time for him to get to the house and the storm cellar so he hunkered down alongside the foundation of the barn.

The winds of the tornado were terrific as they attacked Uncle Alec, trees, house and barn….mostly the barn.  When the storm had finished leaving its mark on the farm, Alec sprung up to look about and see what the storm had taken and what it had left behind.

It had taken trees, parts of buildings and all of the feathers off of his chickens.  “Why, there were all my hens strutting around calmly clucking as if they did not have a care in the world…totally naked! There wasn’t a feather on them!  All I had was a bunch of naked chickens!!!!”

Angel Food Cakes like tornadoes seemed to always appear on our farm during the summer months.  Maybe that was because they are both funnel shaped? This recipe for Angel Lemon-Coconut Bars will give you the moist texture of Angel Food Cake along with the tang of lemon and the rich sweetness of coconut with none of the eternal egg white beating. This is the easiest Angel Food Cake or bar recipe you will ever make and probably the most delicious.  Enjoy!

Angel Lemon-Coconut Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 Angel Food Cake Mix (one-step method)
1 can of Wilderness Lemon Pie Filling
2 cups of shredded coconut

In a large steel or glass mixing bowl stir together the Angel Food Cake mix and lemon pie filling.  The mixture will foam up as you stir it. (Children love helping with this part.  It feels just like a science experiment in a laboratory that may just explode.  It doesn’t, but sure is fun to watch.  Gee, I wonder why both of my children are chemists.) 

Add coconut and mix in thoroughly.

Spread batter evenly on an jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  The bars will be lightly browned on top when done.

Frost the bars when they are completely cool.

Frosting

3-ounces of cream cheese, (softened)
1/3 cup of butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

This frosting should be the texture of a spreadable cookie icing.

I have made and used this recipe when I did not have any cream cheese in the kitchen and the bars were still absolutely delicious.  Also, I have baked this in a 9 X 13 cake pan and served it as a dessert.

RECIPES: An Angel of a Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Pie!

This recipe for gluten-free pie recipe uses an egg white meringue crust. Actually you can use this type of crust to make any summer fruit pie gluten-free. Enjoy!

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

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Fresh Minnesota strawberries have always been a favorite of mine.  As a child on the farm, I spent many hours, nose down, elbows up, with pink stained berry juiced lips, fingertips, and knees in our berry patch helping to fill bowls and my belly with fresh strawberries.

In addition to the threat of ravishment by predators such as hungry children, our berry patch was constantly under surveillance and in immediate peril from the farm’s chickens. I have often wondered why no one ever put a chicken wire fence around the berry patch to keep the chickens out, and have concluded that it was either because of the patch’s large size, it seemed like a lot of work to haul the small roll of chicken wire from the shed all the way across the lawn and find enough sticks to hold it up, it would be an eye sore, or that…

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RECIPES: Easy Rhubarb Pudding Cake and Rhubarb Recipes Galore

Finally, rhubarb season has arrived in Minnesota. This post includes links to all of the time-tested excellent rhubarb recipes on this blog. Enjoy!

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

rhubarbplantsPurdue

I have been reading the diaries of two sisters who were born in Michigan, during the 1880’s.  These two young women were filled with spunk and high jink.  Their work, school and social calendars are exhausting to just read about.

There are so many similarities between their childhood experiences and my memories of growing up on a farm in pre-television Minnesota.  Work came first.  Chores had to be done.  Cows don’t milk themselves, chickens don’t pick eggs, pigs never clean their own pens and rocks cannot migrate themselves out of a field.

School began bright and early by today’s standards.  By the time we were off to school, the morning chores had already been completed, breakfast made, eaten and cleaned up after.  Heck, the day was practically half over by the time classes began. No one would have ever thought to start school times later to accommodate a student’s personal sleep…

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