Monday, November 22, 2010


This family favorite came from my sister-in-law, Jocelyn Howard, and has been a holiday tradition for decades.

Combine and set aside:
        1 cup orange juice
        1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350o

Mix together:
        2 1/4 cups flour
        1 cup sugar
        1/4 tsp. salt
        1 tsp. baking powder
        1 tsp. baking soda
        1 tsp. orange peel

Add: 1 cup chopped walnuts
        1 cup diced dates
        2 cups fresh cranberries (or can use about 1 cup Craisins)

        2 beaten eggs
        1 cup buttermilk
        3/4 cup vegetable oil
Add to fruit/flour mixture and stir until blended.

Pour into well greased 10” bundt pan or tube pan.  I prefer to generously use Wilton's Cake Release.

Bake at 350oF for about 45-55 minutes. Check with toothpick at 45 min. - don't over bake.

Cool 10 minutes.
Turn out onto rack placed over cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan) and cool to lukewarm or cool.
Use a skewer or thin chopstick to poke holes generously on top, inside and outside, almost all the way to the bottom.
Pour orange juice mixture over top and sides.  Scrape juice from cookie sheet into pouring container and pour over torte, repeating until juice is all used.

Wrap with plastic wrap and chill 24 hours. Wrap so that there are no seams on the bottom so that juice does not leak out.

Serve with whipped cream.

Refrigerate unused portions.  Will keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
Freezes well.  Wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.

See Grammanita demonstrating Orange Cranberry Torte on KUTV.
OPTION:  Many years ago, I won the grand prize in the South Haven, Michigan Blueberry Festival Baking Contest with this recipe.  At that time, I substituted 2 cups fresh blueberries for the cranberries.  (


A family favorite for decades, given to me by my sister-in-law, Jocelyn Howard.

Combine and whisk thoroughly:
        1 2/3 cups flour
        1 1/2 cup sugar
        1/4 tsp. baking powder
        1 tsp. baking soda
        3/4 tsp. Salt
        1 tsp. Each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves*

        2 eggs
        1/2 cup salad oil
        1 cup pumpkin

Mix together and pour into lightly greased (pan spray) loaf pan. 
Bake at 325oF for 1 1/2 hours.

Options:  For muffins fill cups 3/4 full and bake for 40 minutes.
For mini pans, fill 3/4 full and bake 50 minutes.

*For a spicier flavor, double the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Most people prefer this - not too spicy, yet great flavor.

If you like it real spicy as some commercial bakeries do, then add even more spices, to your taste.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Combine in saucepan and boil:
        2 cups brown sugar
        1 cube butter*
        1/2 cup light corn syrup

Pour over 3 – 3 1/2 quarts popped corn** and quickly stir.
Spread onto cookie sheet covered with waxed paper or parchment.
Cool thoroughly and store in airtight container.

  *Margarine can be used, but for best flavor, use butter.
**I prefer white popcorn for this recipe. 

OPTIONS:  Add 1 cup almonds and/or pecans.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Note: All ingredients are approximate amounts.

In medium-sized bowl, lightly toss together: 
       1 cup spring mix greens
       3 cups iceburg lettuce or lettuce mix
       8 slices pre-cooked bacon (place pre-cooked bacon between paper towels on 
          plate and heat in microwave about one minute.)
       1/4 cup chopped green onions
       1/2 cup small pieces cauliflower

Sprinkle around outer edge:  
       1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
       1/3 cup cashews

Serve with  a light,creamy poppy seed dressing on the side.

Option: Substitute sliced or slivered almonds for cashews.

Yield:  2-4 servings


 One of our most popular salads at our Montana restaurant.

Combine and let stand overnight in refrigerator:
       5 cups sauerkraut, drained
       1-1/2 cup sugar

Drain off some of the liquid.
       1-1/2 cups chopped celery
       1 cup chopped green pepper
       1 cup chopped pimento or chopped red pepper for color

Chill 24 hours before serving.

Yield:  Approximately 10 servings

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Heat in medium skillet (preferable cast iron) 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil or other vegetable oil.
Brown on both sides until barely done:
       2 chicken tenders cut into chunks
       1 cup diced potato (skin and all), diced winter squash, or sweet potato
Remove from skillet.

Brown in skillet:
       1/2 bell pepper (any color)
       2 green onions cut up, or 1/3 cup chopped regular onions
       1 tsp. chopped garlic (1-2 cloves)

Add and heat thoroughly:
       Chicken, potato mixture    
       2 medium tomatoes diced (skin and all)
       Salt and pepper to taste
       1 tsp. fresh, frozen or dehydrated thyme.

Serve in skillet.  Serves 2

Option:  sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Monday, November 1, 2010


This recipe came from old family friends, the Larsons, and has been a family favorite.  We used it at both of our restaurants as the house dressing.

Combine in quart jar:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup ketchup
Dash pepper
1/4 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Shake well.
Yield: About 3 cups

(This is the one I use.)

Combine in quart jar:
1/2 cup sugar (or half sugar, half Splenda)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup ketchup
Dash pepper
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dehydrated onion
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Shake well.
Yield: About 3 cups