Archive | February, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings for the Winter Worn Soul

28 Feb

Greeted by a blanket of fresh snow this morning makes me think it’s time for my favorite comfort food, Chicken and Dumplings.  I love this dish but the way I make it today is completely different from how my Mom made it growing up.  Mom would boil the chicken and make the chicken stock but the dumplings  are a whole other matter.  It was mine and my sister, Kelley’s job to tear each canned biscuit into four pieces and Mom would drop them in the hot buttery stock.  We would watch in amazement as the bits of biscuit dough would slowly puff up and fill the pot. 

Pictured L-R: Kathy, Mae(Mom), Kelley, and Grandma Foree

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Shepherd’s Pie for a Quick Witted Irishman

23 Feb

Joe Coleman - Quick Quip Master

Joe Coleman, my father-in-law, the master of the quick quip.  He’s a satirist extraordinaire to the point that even when you ask him the time, you feel like you need to check the clock yourself.  It was sink or swim in the Coleman household and I give full credit to Dad for my quick come-back skills.  He’s a firm believer, being the father of seven kids you must have a great sense of humor or you won’t survive! 

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New Mom, New Recipe

19 Feb
Mary Coleman

Mary Coleman, My Earthly Guardian Angel

I was just 18 when I would meet Mary Coleman, my incredible Mother-in-Law.  You’ll not find a more patient, loving, resourceful, giving, and intelligent human being.  Just writing this I can just visualize her face flushed with embarrassment, her crinkled eyes, and her softly chuckling saying, “Oh I don’t know about that!”  But she is truly one of my earthly guardian angels.  Over the years she has taught me many things but her greatest gift to me was the gift of her family.  I am who I am today because of her and I am eternally grateful.  I know, I’m gushing, but she’s worth it!  So let’s get to the recipe I’m going to share today Barbecued Pot Roast.  Continue reading

A Recipe for a Cherry Pie Picnic

16 Feb

Just off Independence Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri between Fuller Avenue and 9th Street was the Homestead of George and Bernice Harrell.  Their modest two-story house was complete with a cherry orchard and chicken coop.  The neighborhood kids loved eating the cherries right off their trees hardly leaving any cherries for Grandma Harrell to make her cherry pies. 



The Harrell Homestead on Fuller Avenue Kansas City, MO

 Grandma had an idea… she made a promise with the neighborhood children that if they would leave the cherries alone, she would host a cherry pie picnic. 


Success!  Grandma had so many cherries that she was able to make about 25 cherry pies for the picnic.  Mary, Matt’s Mom, remembers pitting all those cherries.


This Cherry Pie recipe is the one that Grandma Harrell used for all those pies.  Modern pie makers don’t have to pit those cherries thank God!  You can actually buy them already pitted in the can!

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Children are Just Like Sugar Cookies & Snow Flakes – Each One Unigue

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!  This Sugar Cookie recipe is absolutely the best one I’ve ever tasted.  It came from my Mother-in-Law’s 50 year old Good Housekeeping Cookbook.  The way I make is with frosting and sprinkles.  Yum! 

Sugar Cookies are always the star at Christmas Eve Get Togethers!


What you’ll need:  


2¼ cups flour

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

½ cup shortening (Mom uses white Crisco)

2 eggs, beaten

1 T. milk

1 cup sugar

½ tsp vanilla

Rolling pin

Cookie cutters in various shapes

Little hands to frost and sprinkle

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It All Started with a Dance and Dad Standing on His Head

14 Feb

Joe and Mary Coleman Wedding Day January 19, 1952

Every couple has a story on how they first met.  My Mother and Father-in-Law’s story set the stage for their marriage of over 59 years.  It was the early 1950’s and the local hot spot on a Saturday night for teenagers was the Dance hall.  Wang Chang in their song “Dance Hall Days”  Really capture to flavor of the era.

Dad was hanging out the local Dance Hall in Kansas City with his best friend Bob.  To make a quick buck they would bet local patrons that Joe(Dad) could stand on his head.  Here is a classic never judge a book by its cover moment!   To the regular “Joe ” in the dance hall they would take one look at Dad and think this will be easy money in my pocket.  Dad walked with a cane and had braces on both legs.  He had Polio as a small child and his mother being the strong-willed Irish woman that she was didn’t let him do anything the easy way.  His classes at school were on the third floor and the Nuns wanted to change all his classes to the first floor so he wouldn’t have to walk up all the steps.  Grandma Coleman said, “No, if his classes are on the third floor, then he’ll go up the stairs.”
Anyway, back to the dance hall.. so Dad and Bob were taking bets that Dad could stand on his head. So now Dad is standing on his head in the corner of the dance hall and in walks Mom with her girlfriend.  Her friend happens to know Joe and introduces them later in the evening.  Mom was immediately enamoured with Dad’s charming easy-going personality.  They danced the rest of the evening! 

Apple Crisp – Everyone’s Favorite!

12 Feb
Apple Crisp

Everyone loves Mom's Apple Crisp!

What you’ll need:

6 – 8 apples
½ cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
7 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
¾ cup flour
Non-stick cooking spray (butter flavored is yummy) Oven safe baking dish Continue reading

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