FUNERAL SANDWICHES

1/2 lb. shaved or thinly sliced ham
1/2 lb. shaved or thinly sliced roast beef
12 slices provolone or Swiss cheese
1 pkg. of 12 Hawaiian dinner rolls
mayonnaise
mustard
horseradish sauce

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 teaspoons garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350*

Line a 13x9 baking dish or pan with foil. Set aside.

With a serrated knife, slice all the rolls in half so the bottoms and tops are equal height. Place the bottoms in the prepared pan and spread mayonnaise on 6 of the bottoms and horseradish sauce on the other 6. You may use mustard if you like instead of or in addition to the mayo and horseradish.

Divide the ham evenly and place on 6 of the rolls spread with mayo. Do the same with the roast beef, placing the roast beef onto the rolls spread with horseradish. Cut each cheese slice into quarters and place 4 quarters onto each sandwich. Spread the remaining roll tops with mayo and horseradish and top the ham rolls with the mayo tops and the roast beef rolls with horseradish spread tops.

Melt the stick of butter in a small microwave safe bowl in the microwave just until melted. Add the Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds and garlic powder and mix well. Pour evenly over the sandwiches and cover with another piece of foil.

Place in 350* oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake until tops are toasty, middles are hot and cheese is melted. Serve piping hot.

You can customize these sandwiches by using regular dinner rolls, different lunch meats and sandwich spreads or mustards and different cheeses. Some people like to make these ahead of time and let them marinate in the melted butter. I've seen recipes that range from 4 hours ahead to overnight. I usually just make them and bake them right then.

The story behind the name is that apparently this recipe originated with the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch, and they began making these to take to funeral wakes for the bereaved families, but your guess is as good as anyone's whether this is fact or just a legend.



DI'S EGGY BREAKFAST BAKE

5-6 medium potatoes**
3/4 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons oil
4 oz. can diced green chilies
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
8 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
salt and black pepper to taste
salsa, optional

Preheat oven to 350*

Prepare a 13x9 baking dish or pan by coating with butter or cooking spray. Set aside.

Peel and dice potatoes. Place prepared potatoes and diced onion in a skillet with the oil and fry on medium heat until browned and done, stirring often. Add green chilies and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Add half the potato mixture to the prepared baking pan. Distribute cheese over potatoes, then add remainder of the potato mixture to the pan, spreading evenly. Beat eggs with milk and pour over potato mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until browned on top and just set in the center, 20-30 minutes longer. Serve piping hot, topped with salsa if desired.

**Notes:

You may use thawed frozen hash browns or O'Brien potatoes or thawed tater tots, but they will need to be cooked as described above.

You may add diced ham, cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage, sausage links, or sliced polish sausage.

You may add 1/2 cup diced bell pepper or jalapeno peppers to the raw potatoes before frying.

You may add a package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry before adding to the potato mixture at the same time the green chilies are added.

You may use shredded cheese instead of Velveeta. Pepper jack is especially good in this, but any variety of cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss, Provolone, Parmesan or even mozzarella are also great in this.

This freezes well. Remove from oven when still a little jiggly in the center and cool completely. I prepare it in disposable aluminum pans, and wrap tightly in 2 layers of aluminum foil. Thaw in the fridge and leave the foil on, then reheat in a 350* oven until heated through, about 20-25 minutes.

There are infinite variations for this dish to make it your own and discover new favorites.

LAZY DAY COBBLER

1 large or 2 regular size cans sliced peaches*
1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk or sweet milk
1 cup self rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter


 Preheat oven to 350*.

Generously grease or spray with cooking oil spray a 13x9 baking dish or pan. Pour peaches and juice into pan and distribute the peach slices evenly. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix sugar, milk, flour and vanilla. Stir till well combined and then pour over peaches in baking dish. This will be very runny, but don't panic, it will be fine. Dot the top with the butter and place in oven.

Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Some of the batter will be puffy and brown and some will still be a little gooey. This is part of this cobbler's charm.

Cool a bit on a wire rack. I suggest serving it still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

*Notes: Any kind of canned fruit or fruit pie filling can be used, and also fresh apples sliced thin, fresh blueberries, fresh peaches, nectarines or apricots, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, plums, strawberries or even figs. For fresh fruit I use 1/2-1 cup sugar to 2 cups fresh fruit, in addition to the sugar in the original recipe, according to how tart the fruit may be. When using canned fruit pie filling, I use 2 cans for this recipe. I also use 2 sticks of butter sometimes rather than just 1 stick. I'm a rebel that way. ;-)

OLD FASHIONED BUTTER CAKE

Cake:

1 cup **butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs   
1 tablespoon vanilla 
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt   
1 teaspoon baking powder   
1/2 teaspoon baking soda   
1 cup buttermilk

Glaze:

1 stick (1/2 cup) **butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

**Please use only real butter, not margarine or spread. The butter is
what makes this cake so good and gives it such a luscious flavor.**

Preheat oven to 325*.

Grease a 10 inch Bundt pan with butter or shortening very liberally.
   
Dust the pan with flour and set aside.
   
Place all the cake ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer
fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low for 30 seconds and
then increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
   
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65-75 minutes
until a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean.
   
When the cake is done make the glaze. Combine all ingredients
into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continuously
until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Do not
bring to a boil.
   
Poke holes all over the warm cake using a knife and pour the
glaze evenly on the cake while still in the pan.
   
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan and then invert the
cake onto a serving plate.
   
*Notes: I actually like to make this cake a day in advance, finding
it to be more moist and flavorful when it rests overnight. I also made
this in a 13x9 pan and it worked fine, but it does make for a really full
cake pan when it's done. I may increase the glaze next time I make it
so there's more to soak into the cake.

DI'S CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

3 lbs. chicken thighs and/or breasts
1 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules OR 3 cubes
12 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
pinch of thyme, optional
2 cups (about 4 oz.) dry egg noodles* 
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
salt to taste

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, place chicken, bouillon, bay leaves, black pepper and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Remove chicken from pot and let cool. Skin and debone the chicken and chop or tear into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

In the meantime, add onion, carrot and celery to the hot broth. Cover and bring back to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are nearly tender. Return to a boil and add noodles. Cook over medium heat until noodles are tender.

Add the prepared chicken and thyme if using, and taste to adjust seasonings. Add more salt and pepper now if desired. Remove bay leaves. Just before serving stir in parsley flakes.

*You may use frozen egg noodles if you wish, just cook in the broth as directed on the package. I have even used spaghetti noodles, elbows and other small pasta when I didn't have egg noodles on hand.

A variation that we like occasionally: withhold a cup of the water when you cook the chicken, and add a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk (such as Pet milk or Carnation) when you add the cooked chicken to the pot for creamy chicken noodle soup. 

GREEN CHILI CORN CASSEROLE

2 - 15 oz. cans whole kernel corn
1- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
4 oz. can green chilies*
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350*.

Drain corn thoroughly.

In a glass baking dish, place cream cheese and butter. Microwave on high until melted and just bubbling. Stir well to combine.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 mins or until hot and bubbly.

*Note: you may use mild, regular or hot green chilies, your choice.

EASY MOIST LEMON CAKE

1 box (3 oz.) lemon Jello
1 box lemon cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil



Preheat oven to 350*

Generously grease and flour 2 loaf pans or a Bundt pan. Set
aside.

Mix Jello, cake mix, eggs, water and oil with electric mixer till
well combined. Pour into Bundt pan or divide evenly between 2
loaf pans. Bake at 350* for 30 - 40 minutes, until it's not gooey
in the center when tested with a toothpick. Place on wire rack to
cool.

Have glaze ready when cake comes out of the oven:

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice.
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Mix well by hand and pour over cake as soon as you take it out of
the oven, while it's still piping hot.

Finish cooling on rack. Remove from pan(s) and wrap or cover
tightly.

DI'S LEMON POUND CAKE

4 sticks room temperature butter
4 cups sugar
12 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 oz. bottle lemon extract (or 2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup confectioner's sugar




Preheat oven to 350*. Generously grease and flour a Bundt pan or
2 loaf pans and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together thoroughly with an electric
mixer. Add one eggs at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add salt to flour and add mixture gradually, then mix in entire
bottle of lemon extract.

Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake at 350* for about 1 hour for
Bundt pan or about 40 mins for loaf pans, or until a knife comes
out clean when inserted near the middle of the cake.

Cool thoroughly in pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto a cake
plate or serving plate and glaze:

Mix lemon juice, zest and confectioner's sugar thoroughly by
hand, then pour slowly over cake, letting it soak into the cake.

Wrap well or cover tightly any left overs.

DI'S FANCY CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE

2 sticks softened real butter
12 oz. softened cream cheese
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups self rising flour

Preheat oven to 350*.

Generously grease and flour a Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese with sugar
until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing
thoroughly between each addition. Mix in vanilla, then add flour
gradually until all is well combined.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s) and bake for 60-80 minutes, or
until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean,
but not gooey. Don't overbake. Better to remove it a little early
than to overbake it.

Cool on a wire rack then remove from pan(s) to a cake plate or
serving plate. This doesn't need any frosting or glaze, but you
may dust with a bit of confectioner's sugar if you like.

Wrap well or cover tightly any leftovers and refrigerate. Best
if brought to room temperature before serving.

DI'S FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

3 lb. beef roast*
1 can beef broth or consomme
1 envelope onion soup mix**
4 or 5 pickled pepperoncini peppers

For the sandwiches:

6 hoagie sandwich buns
12 slices of smoked provolone cheese***
mayonnaise
spicy brown mustard****

*Nearly any cut of beef roast will work. I use beef chuck or sirloin tip roast.
**I used beefy onion soup mix, but regular onion or French onion works too.
***Regular provolone cheese, Swiss, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese all work.
****Any type of mustard you like or prepared horseradish sauce will work.

Place peppers in slow cooker and lay beef roast on top of the peppers. Sprinkle onion soup mix around the beef roast, then pour the beef broth over all and place lid on slow cooker.

Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4-5 hours or until roast is tender.

Remove roast from slow cooker to a plate or platter and let rest while you prepare the other ingredients. Reserve broth. Save peppers to eat or discard.

Preheat oven to 400*.

Line a baking sheet with foil and prepare buns by spreading with mayonnaise and then with spicy  mustard or horseradish spread, placing them on the foil lined baking sheet as you get them done.

Slice or shred the beef roast and spoon a little of the broth over it to keep it moist. Heap prepared beef onto the prepared buns. Half each slice of cheese and place 4 halves of cheese on top of each portion of beef. Leave sandwiches open faced and place in oven.

Heat until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and place tops on buns. Ladle broth from slow cooker into individual serving bowls to dip sandwiches into.

Enjoy!