Monday, April 4, 2011

Channeling Grandma's Cookin'

Some of my fondest memories of growing up are not only eating my grandma's yummy comfort food, but also of helping her make it! It seems I spent countless hours in their kitchen, especially during the summer, baking with her. It was a rare day if Grandma wasn't making cupcakes, cookies, brownies or the like. And something was always simmering on the stove for dinner! Tonight I made a meal inspired by Grandma...Split pea soup and snickerdoodles! The soup is not her traditional recipe, I will admit I don't even know what a ham hock is let alone where to get one! But I think my version is a close substitute. But the cookies are straight from her kitchen.  So I thought I would share a little bit of my Grandma with you...enjoy! :-)

"Easy Peasy" Split Pea Soup
-1 1/2 C chopped carrot
-1 1/2 C chopped celery
-1 C chopped onion
-2 cloves chopped garlic (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
-2-3 links diced andouille sausage (chorizo works well too)
-1 lb. split green peas
-8 C low-sodium chicken stock
-2 bay leaves
-salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Let cook for approx. 8 hours. (I have found that you can play with the heat settings for a faster or slower cooking time). Remove bay leaves before serving.

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter or margarine
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/8 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 375. Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. In separate bowl, beat butter with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add 1 C sugar and beat until fluffy. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and beat well. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat until well blended. 
Shape into rounded teaspoon size balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture (ration of cinnamon to sugar can be adjusted to suit your preference). Place on a greased or parchment-covered baking sheet and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Note: Snickerdoodles tend to burn easily, so when in doubt, take out of the oven. I have found using parchment paper to cover my baking sheets have significantly helped prevent burning. 

(I thought cookies and milk would help Ian study for his big test tomorrow!)

The next picture is of the actual mixer my grandma used and passed on to me. Just looking at it brings back a ton of memories! Although I will admit, I used my KitchenAid standing mixer for these, I will NEVER get rid of Grandma's mixer! 


  1. Yummy! I might have to make that split pea soup soon!

  2. I wish I could've come over to YOUR house for dinner!!!

  3. Grandma is smiling at you, and also rolling her eyes about the ham hocks!! She loved you so very much, and I know she is quite proud of her granddaughter(all of her grandchildren) and I know how she must feel about you making her recipes, and remembering all the good times you both had. I am sorry she is not here with us, but just feel her arms around you giving you a big hug. ILoveYou, Mom

  4. You make me so very happy that my son is married to you. And I have ham hock just waiting for that recipe. Maybe I'll make it for our Lenten Soup Suppers. You made me very hungry looking at the pictures. Sidebar...I still have my gramma's cookie jar that I won't ever get rid of because it makes me think of her.

  5. Ohhhhh snap! It's the mixer!!!!!