Saturday, June 24, 2017

Old Fashion Amish-Style Scalloped Potatoes w/ Ham

Old Fashion Amish-Style Scalloped Potatoes w/ Ham

This is a delicious casserole. With some salad and fresh bread, it makes a meal.
The Pennsylvania Dutch are a hard working people and an Amish saying is, "Them that works hard, eats hearty."

Amish recipes are a blend of dishes from their many homelands and the ingredients grown in their newly adopted country which produced tasty dishes that have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations.

4 cups potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups diced ham 
3 Tablespoons  butter
3 Tablespoons   flour
1-1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
Dash pepper
McCormick paprika, for garnish (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Let it cook for a minute and then add the milk; season with salt and pepper. While stirring, bring the mixture to a slow boil.
Place half of the sliced potatoes in a greased casserole dish.  Add half the ham. Cover with half of the sauce. Repeat and sprinkle the top with paprika.
Bake for 1 hour and serve.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Amish-Style Spaghetti Sauce

The Amish have a saying when asked how much of an ingredient you should put in a certain recipe.  The answer is "however much is necessary."    Wie viel ist nötig.
You add however much is necessary to make a make a recipe work or to taste great.  For example, if the tomatoes you use are too acidic, you can add a little sugar. If you like a lot of meat, add more. If you like a thicker sauce, add more tomato paste.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, about 3/4 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup - fresh basil
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan and Pasta of choice
  • Cooked Pasta


  • Brown meat over medium high heat 
  • Drain fat.  
  • Add olive oil.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté until clear and tender.  
  • Add minced garlic and stir about one minute.  
  • Add basil, tomatoes and tomato paste, Balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper and cloves.  
  • Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 hours.  
  • Remove the cloves from the sauce. 

Stir pasta and sauce together. Sprinkle with cheese.
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Amish Brown Sugar Cookies with Maple Glaze

Amish Brown Sugar Cookies with Maple Glaze
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

  • Cookie:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  1. For the cookies: Heat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Beat together shortening, butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt. Be sure to add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time and mix in between additions. 
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls or use a medium cookie scoop. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake 10 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. 
  6. Remove to cooling rack after a few minutes.
  7. For the glaze: In a small bowl mix the sugar and extract and then mix in syrup until desired consistency.
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Monday, April 3, 2017

Authentic Amish Three Gallon Cookies


 Image result for amish GALLON COOKIES

A basic sugar cookie that is very popular among the Amish. 

1. Mix together, one ingredient at time:
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 cups brown sugar
  • 3 cups butter
  • 3 cups milk
2. In a separate bowl, next mix together:
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
3. Add 3 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water and 2 tsp. vanilla to the dry mix.  Blend.
4. Combine the dry and wet mixtures and blend. Add more flour as needed (should be around 8 cups) until dough is the right consistency for cookies.
5. Drop dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  You can also roll it out using enough flour on the board so it rolls nicely.
6. Bake for 12 min at 400 degrees F, or until cookies turn brown. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)
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What Are Amish Homes Like?

Ohio Amish homes are easily picked out as one drives through a community. The houses are usually large but simple in design. Most feature white siding of some type. Porches and decks are common. There's a detached barn close to the house. The wash is flying in the wind on a wash day and smoke curling from the chimney on a cold day.

The large houses serve two purposes, neither of which has to do with having a bigger house than the neighbor in some kind of competition. First the house typically provides space for larger families. The bedrooms are upstairs with the downstairs open for sitting, dining and cooking. Second the larger rooms on the first floor or the open basement allow for their church service to be held there when it is their turn. That typically happens once to twice a year depending on the size of the church district. The open space also facilitates the extended family gatherings that are so common.

The inside of the homes is usually plain, lacking pictures and other adornment on the walls. The walls are painted with a higher gloss paint to facilitate washing the walls to remove the coal or wood smoke residue from heating during the winter. The floors are usually hardwood with three coats of polyurethane to provide a shiny hard surface. There may be some throw rugs in a few places. Some other families may put vinyl throughout the house. Both types of floors facilitate cleaning and mopping. Carpet would require electricity to run a vacuum.

The windows would usually be covered with white or dark green roll up shades. Some groups are restricted from having white in their windows and would use a dark cloth curtain to drop across the windows in the evening. Controlling the heating of the air in the house by the judicious use of blinds and curtains helps to cool the house in the summer. Placement of the windows when the house is built facilitates a cross breeze to assist in the cooling.

Their furnishings will include upholstered furniture of plain patterns, fine hand crafted wooden furniture including chairs, dining tables, hutches and other functional pieces. Most homes would include a hecka stool or hickory rocker to rock in while reading the paper.

Most appliances would be gas in the typical Amish home. This could be either natural gas or propane. In the more conservative groups the cooking stove would be fueled by wood. Refrigerators are available that run on gas and would be used by the more liberal groups. The more conservative groups would have an ice box and take regular delivery of ice during the summer months. Some even cut blocks of ice from ponds on their property during the winter and store it in specially built buildings.

Keeping food frozen is a challenge. To overcome this families will partner together to buy a storage shed, equip it with electricity and fill it full of freezers from the families in the neighborhood. In some instances they will pay a local neighbor for the privilege of placing a freezer in their barn or other out building. this facilitates them feeding a larger family without multiple buggy trips to the grocery or renting a van to make a shopping trip every other day.

Lighting is handled in several different ways. One is by use of coal oil lanterns, much like those used in pioneer days. These are still used by the more conservative groups. Other more liberal groups use white gas lanterns of similar design to the camping variety that Coleman manufactures. These may hang on hooks on the ceiling with a heat shield on the ceiling above them. Some groups go so far as to pipe in white gas via very small copper tubing to fixtures in each room mounted on the ceiling. Others who use white gas have small tanks with a light mounted on them that functions like a floor lamp.

Water is supplied to the house via a well powered by a windmill or from a tank set high above the house on a hill so the water runs by gravity. Some groups will allow water wells with an air pressure pump that pressurizes the water. A few Amish who would live in town would have city water. In some of the more conservative groups you will still find a pump mounted on the kitchen counter to draw their water. These communities are also dotted with old fashioned outhouses. Most areas would require even Amish homes to have a septic system for waste water treatment.

Because the houses are not air conditioned, many of the families retire to the basement during the summer where it would tend to be cooler. They often move their cooking duties to the "summer" kitchen to keep the heat away from the main part of the house.

Laundry is accomplished by using an old wringer type washing machine. Many of them are powered by gasoline engines mounted to run the pulleys just like an electric motor. As mentioned earlier, the laundry is hung out to dry outside on lines or under the porches on rainy days. Even the cold weather doesn't keep the typical Amish housekeeper from hanging her laundry out to dry. In some case they use lines in the basement during the winter where the heat from the stove will speed the drying time.

Just for fun take a moment to look around you home and picture what would be missing if you didn't have electricity to power it. Then think about what kinds of utensils or tools you would use to replace what is operated by electric. That would give you some idea about what you would need in an Amish household.

The dawdy haus or grandparent's house is a way the community spirit and family values are expressed among the Amish. This is a wing attached to the main house for the parents or parents-in-law to live in in their later years.

Since the homes are so large many times the parents decide to switch houses with one of their married children. That way the family who needs the most space has the space. If the house is on the family farm it is easy to add an addition to the main house to provide an apartment for the parents. They will share meals with the family but maintain their own kitchen in their wing. They will interact with the grandchildren. They may even help with some of the family chores to contribute where they can. This avoids the expenses of a nursing home, allows for more interaction of the extended family and care from the younger family as the parents age.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

AMISH MAPLE GLAZED DOUGHNUTS - Authentic Amish Bakery Recipe

In almost every Amish bakery, you'll find big, delicious homemade doughnuts. This recipe for Amish Maple Glazed Doughnuts is a recipe for homemade doughnuts with a maple glaze straight from the kitchen of an Amish baker. The doughnuts are made with basic ingredients and left to rise so they practically melt in your mouth.

3/4 cup milk, scalded
1 /4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 /4 cup margarine
3/4 cup warm water
1 /4 tablespoon sugar
1 package of yeast
1 egg
4-5 cups bread flour
Add 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and margarine to hot milk. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and 1/4 tsp sugar to warm water. Let rise for 5 minutes. Pour both liquids together plus eggs and add flour, After last flour has been added knead for 10 minutes. Let rise 1 hour and knead again. Let rise 1 hour and punch down and roll to 1 /2 inch and cut. Put on floured pan, let rise and deep fat fry at 350. Glaze while still warm.

Maple Syrup Glaze:
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, maple extract and milk; stir well. Add additional milk, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over donuts.
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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Amish Treat: Triple Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Bars

Amish Treat: 

Triple Lemon Cheesecake Swirl Bars


The tartness of a lemon bar married to the sweetness of cheesecake. Mouth-watering goodness.


1         box (15.25 oz) Betty Crocker™ Cake Mix Lemon
1/2      cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3         eggs
12      ounces (1 1/2 blocks) cream cheese
1/2   cup sugar
1      jar (10 oz) lemon curd, divided 
  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or spray pan with cooking spray. Stir together the cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg just until combined. This mixture will be thick like cookie dough. Reserve 1/3 cup of the dough to top the bars.
  • Break remaining cake batter mixture into pieces and scatter them across the bottom of the pan. Press dough pieces down and together into an even layer to form the base of the bars.
  • To make the cheesecake filling, start by beating the cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add 2 eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon curd to add just a touch of lemon flavor to the cheesecake filling.
  • Spread cheesecake filling over the layer of cake batter in the pan. Dollop spoonfuls of remaining lemon curd over the top.
  • Use a knife to swirl the lemon curd and the cheesecake filling, creating streaks of white and yellow. Break off small pieces of the reserved cake batter mixture and sprinkle them over top of the filling.
  • Bake for 34-38 minutes. The cheesecake will have puffed a little bit but will sink as it cools. The edges will look set but the center of the bars should still jiggle.
  • Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack. Allow cheesecake bars to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature then refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours more. If you lined the pan with foil, lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Otherwise, cut in the pan.
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