Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: May 2012

Squash Gems

In a time before the introduction of pressed and processed oils baking was done primary with diary products, lard and sometimes olive or coconut oil. In the late 1800’s the development of baking powder made it easier for the average household to bake breads. Yeast at the time was difficult at best since it came in blocks and was not the dried instant yeast found today. This squash bread I made does not use oil but used a little butter and less sugar than normally is used in a lot of recipes today. Still this bread was reserved for special times because of the cost of the eggs and sugar during these times. The muffins came out moister and lighter than I figured they would and they were still moist the next day.  I plan to remade the recipe but next time I plan to add more flavor in the form of spices and vanilla and most likely add more squash.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup squash
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. In s separate bowl beat egg vigorously and stir in milk, squash and butter. Stir into dry ingredients using a few stokes as possible.  Pour into well greased muffin tin and bake in a preheated 225° degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  As soon as you take the muffins out of oven take the muffins out of the pan onto a rake to cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Tyrolean “Roast Hash (Tiroler Gerostel)

Today I had left over beef roast and  roasted new potatoes from last nights roast beef dinner. I decided to make this hash.  Many think of this as a breakfast type of food  but it also makes a nice lunch or dinner . The recipe has roast beef but any meat can be used so if you have some left over sausage or hot dogs you could prepare this meal. I cubed the potatoes instead of sliced and since I also had roasted carrots I cut them up and put them in too.  I used cooking oil instead of the traditional lard or animal fat. I am always changing the ingredients but I tend to cook using what I have. Since my potatoes were already cooked I did not need to boil any but I am giving the original recipe for those who will need to cook the potatoes.


7 or 8 medium -sized potatoes

2 tablespoons lard or bacon fat, vegetable oil

2 onions, minced

3 cups diced, cooked beef (substitute any leftover meat you have)

Scrub the potatoes and boil in  their jackets. chill, peel and slice. Heat fat in an 11″ or 12″ skillet and in it saute onion until it turns bright yellow. add beef and saute 5 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to brown; the add sliced potatoes. season with salt and pepper and fry slowly. Turn mass over after about 8 to 10 minutes and brown on second side. Serve at once.

Mother’s Day Morning Muffins

Was up at 6:30 a.m. starting coffee when I saw this eating in my orchard. Putting deer fencing  is another item I need to put on my to do list. I tried to get a picture but when I came back to take a picture something startled him.


Strawberry muffins have been on my mine lately so I decided to make a batch. Strawberries are in season right now so the picture have come down to enjoy.


Strawberry Muffins

This recipe I adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Make-ahead 2010 can be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. This make the muffins easy to bake during the week when life can be a little busy in the morning. I wanted my muffins to have strawberries so I substituted them instead of blueberries. If you store the batter overnight cover in an airtight container or in the muffins pans cover with plastic warp and ready to bake.This recipe can also be halved or doubled.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

1 cup strawberries cut into 4 to 6 pieces


Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray;. set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and then set aside. Using a handheld mixer beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the yogurt and mix well.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in half of the mixture into the flour mixture. Add the remaining mixture and mix until just mixed. Add fruit and carefully mix by hand until the strawberries are evenly mixed in the batter.


Bake at 370° degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


To freeze this batter place the batter in the tins and place in the freezer until frozen. Remove for the tin and place in a Ziploc bag until ready to use. When you want to bake take out the frozen dough of the Ziploc bag and place in the muffins tin. Bake for 34 to 40 minutes.


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