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 sirlion 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!



DI'S HOMEMADE PIMIENTO CHEESE

16 oz. grated cheese*
4 oz. jar diced pimientos
good quality mayonnaise or salad dressing

Optional ingredients:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
2 tablespoons white vinegar

*Nearly any variety of cheddar cheese can be used, including but not limited to: mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, Colby, Colby Jack, and any combination these. I usually use Great Value Fiesta Blend shredded cheese, but I have also used block American cheese that I've grated and also Velveeta cheese.If you like things spicy, try using pepper jack cheese for some or all of the cheese.*


In a large bowl, add grated cheese and pimientos, undrained. If using the sugar, vinegar and/or ground mustard, add any combination of those now. More or less can be used to your taste. Use your choice of mayo or salad dressing, and start adding by the heaping tablespoon, sparingly,  until you're satisfied with the consistency. You can always add more, but you can't take it out once it's in there.

Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

I almost always double this recipe because 16 oz. of cheese seems like a lot until you mix it with the mayo, then it condenses down.

Di's Meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. seasoned salt or to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red and/or green bell pepper
1/2 cup oats, crushed crackers or 3 slices of torn bread

Mix well in large bowl. Pat into loaf shape in a foil lined baking pan. Bake at 375* for about 40 minutes or until done, then spread ketchup or tomato sauce over the top and increase heat to 425*. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. I sometimes put bacon slices on top before cooking and serve ketchup on the side.

FUNERAL POTATO CASSEROLE

26 oz. pkg. frozen hash-browns*
2 cups sour cream
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 cups grated American cheese
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups corn flakes, coarsely crushed
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

*You may thaw the hash browns or leave frozen. If frozen they may need another 10-15 minutes baking time.

Mix together all ingredients except corn flakes and second half cup of butter. Pour into a greased casserole and cover with corn flakes and drizzle second half cup of melted butter over top. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 1 hour or until hot and cheese is melted.

We first had this at a wedding reception, and it was delicious.

DI'S PASTA E FAGIOLI SOUP

1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups hot water
2 cups dry small shell pasta**
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cans mixed vegetables
1 can great northern beans or pink cannelini beans
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 large jar marinara or spaghetti sauce, your choice
1 tablespoon oregano, or to your taste
2 teaspoons thyme leaves, or to your taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to your taste
2 tablespoons parsley, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon sugar
salt to taste

**Any small pasta will work, including broken spaghetti, shells, alphabet pasta, orzo or even small elbows.

In a LARGE soup pot or Dutch oven, crumble ground beef or bulk Italian sausage. If using link sausage, remove sausage from casings and crumble into the pot. Add onion, bell peppers and celery. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat if desired.

Add 4 cups hot water, bouillon cubes and dry pasta. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring often.

Add remaining ingredients, including all liquid from the canned beans and mixed vegetables. Add more water if a thinner soup is desired. Cover with a lid and bring back to a boil over medium low heat, stirring often. Simmer for a few minutes, then turn off heat and serve with shredded Parmesan cheese over the top and bread sticks or garlic toast. Add a green salad for a complete meal.

EASY PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES OR BARS

1 egg
1 c. peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 c. sugar, or packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*.

** Tip: To measure peanut butter, spray measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray, then spoon peanut butter into measuring cup, pressing to fill any air pockets.**

In medium bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients.

For individual cookies, drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Flatten with a fork in a criss cross pattern and bake for 10-15 minutes or until brown around the edges and set. Cookies will become firmer as they cool. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Store any leftovers in zip top plastic bags or tightly covered container.

For bar cookies, spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray, and double the recipe. Press into pan and bake until brown around the edges and mostly set, about 20-25 minutes. Bars should be still a little soft in the center but will firm up as they cool. Let cool in pan on rack, cut into bars and store any leftovers in zip top plastic bags or tightly covered container.

White sugar makes crisper cookies and brown sugar makes them moist and chewy.