Tag Archives: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

Monday Musings: Practice what you preach AND a recipe!

4 Nov
My hot cider was a hit this past weekend!

My hot cider was a hit this past weekend!

This past weekend we had company over for dinner, drinks and dessert. We hadn’t seen them in some time, and we were really looking forward to it.

As I was getting my menu together and getting my house together, I started pulling out the things I’d need for setting my table.

I opened a new tablecloth we’d received from my mother-in-law for our anniversary, perfect for the fall season which is upon us.

I started to get out my dishes and silverware, my everyday stuff, and I remembered back to a post I’d written this past spring. It got me thinking, and I put away my everyday items, some of which didn’t match each other, replacing them with my “good” dishes and silverware.

Just as in the spring, I thought to myself, “If not today, then when?”

And once again, “If not today, why not?”

What are we waiting for?

So, in practicing what I preach, we used the good stuff on Saturday night, and I was glad we did. It’s nice to take it out and put it to use, and make the meal with friends that much more special, at least to me. I didn’t make a point of telling anyone or making mention of it. I just enjoyed knowing it myself.

I also thought I’d share a quick recipe with you today, since I was absent on Friday. It was just too busy a week for me last week and although I had fun on Friday, I couldn’t muster up a Fun Friday post.

Today I’ll make up for it, sharing the Hot Spiced Cider recipe I’ve used the past couple of occasions we’ve hosted. Everyone has loved it, and Elizabeth has called it “The best cider I’ve ever had.”

It’s from my Better Homes and Gardens “New Cookbook,” which is quite old, and one of my favorites.

I do, however, modify their recipe, so I’m putting it here as I make it, not as they say to do it. You just need a crock pot and the ingredients listed below.

The cider photo above is not one of my own, I cannot take credit for it. We were having so much fun, I didn’t think to take a photo.

Here is the recipe, perfect for fall. I throw it all in my crock pot and turn it on low for at least 4-6 hrs. before serving. The original recipe calls for a saucepan and putting the whole ingredients into a cheesecloth and cooking it that way, but that’s not how I do it.

Hot Spiced Cider

8 cups apple cider (I double this recipe and use a gallon for a crowd.)

1/4 to 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

6 inch stick cinnamon

1 tsp. whole allspice (I use ground allspice)

1 tsp. whole cloves (I use ground cloves)

8 orange wedges or slices (I slice)

8 whole cloves (optional and I skip them)

That’s it! I put the ingredients in, in order and turn it on. Six hours or so later, it’s hot and I guarantee it’ll warm your soul.

Bonus Superbowl Week Recipe: Homemade Corn Bread

2 Feb
Homemade Corn Bread

Served warm with butter...delicious!

You didn’t think I was *really* done when I said I was done with Superbowl recipes, did you? Here’s a bonus recipe for you for Homemade Corn Bread. It goes great with the chili, or with BBQ or, just by itself. I usually double mine, especially if we have more than just the five of us to feed. Below is the single recipe.

I got this recipe out of the “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” a few years back, and of course it’s super fast and easy. On the back of the cookbook it says “Updated for the 90’s.” Apparently this book was new to me about 12 years ago.

**As an added bonus to this bonus recipe, see the note about Honey Butter below.**


1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup yellow, white or blue cornmeal

2 to 4 TBL sugar (I did 6 TBL for the double recipe.)

1 TBL baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup cooking oil

There's a wealth of information and recipes in here!


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixing bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl beat together milk, oil, eggs.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir til batter is smooth.

Pour into greased 9×9 dish (I used 9×13 for double batch)

Bake in 425 oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Single recipe makes 8-9 servings


For a single recipe of corn bread, soften- but don’t melt- about half a stick of butter in a small bowl. Add in about a teaspoon of honey, mix well. Delicious when spread on the hot corn bread! (In a last minute hurry? “Soften” your butter in the microwave by heating for 15-30 seconds or until soft enough to mix.)