Beulah Gibson’s Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

My grandmother was known for her baking. When she passed away in 1984, many of her descendants wished they had copies of their favorite recipes. The good news is last week some of them, that had been hidden away for decades, came to light. The bad news is that they are badly faded and discolored, so will require some restoration.

Let’s start with her brown sugar drop cookies.

This is a digitally-enhanced scan. You can see the original at the bottom of the post.

My notes are in brackets.

Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

2 C. brown sugar

1/2 C. Crisco {shortening}

2 eggs

3 C. flour

1 tsp. soda in milk {add the baking soda to the sour milk below}

2 tsp b.p. {baking powder}


2 tsp vanilla

1 C. sour milk

good with choc chips or raisins


Unfortunately, there are no instructions. I tested the recipe, and here are my suggestions:

Preheat oven to 350° F

Cream the sugar and shortening together. Add the eggs and mix well.

Combine the flour and baking powder. Add the baking soda to the sour milk and quickly mix with rest of ingredients.

Drop from tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes (+ or -, depending on how big you make them).


Brown Sugar Drop Cookies (Slightly revised by me in 2018)

  • 2 C. brown sugar
  • 1/2 C. butter, margarine, or Earth Balance
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C. sour milk – I used 1 cup soy milk with 2 tsp vinegar added


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Melt the butter or Earth Balance for 30 seconds in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each.
  3. Combine the flour, dash salt, and baking powder.
  4. Sour fresh milk or soy milk by adding 2 tsp of vinegar. Add the baking soda to the sour milk and quickly mix with rest of ingredients. Stir in the vanilla at the end.
  5. Drop from tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes (+ or -, depending on how big you make them).

The resulting cookies are soft and airy. Yum!



If you remember a specific food Beulah made that you’d like the recipe for, leave a comment and I’ll see if I have it in the ones I found.

The original of the recipe above is on gray-blue paper (see below). Do you remember it?


(Micro)Green Eggs Recipe

You remember the children’s book about green eggs and ham?

Green eggs are a yummy possibility with microgreens!

Broccoli Microgreens

Green Eggs Recipe

  • Eggs
  • Microgreens (I used broccoli)
  • Oil, butter, or Earth Balance spread
  • Sunny Paris Seasoning By Penzeys Spices (adds more green color)

Prepare a frying pan as you normally would for eggs over easy, with oil, butter, or Earth Balance spread.

Heat on medium low briefly to melt the Earth Balance or butter, and then break desired number of eggs into pan (I usually fry two at a time no matter how many I’m making).

Allow the whites of the eggs to firm up enough to form a thin white layer. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup microgreens (handful) over the top and add spices. You can also add a few leaves of baby spinach.

Note 1:  I used to put the microgreens in first and added the eggs on top, but found it was hard to cleanly flip the eggs because the stems of the microgreens weave together. If you prefer sunny side up, by all means add the greens first.

Note 2:  I noticed the spices intensify if heated in the oil, which is why I added them prior to flipping the egg.

Sunny Paris Seasoning By Penzeys Spices

Flip the eggs when whites have hardened to near the bottom of the yolk. Cook until yolk reaches desired hardness.

I serve on half a toasted bagel spread with Kite Hill cream cheese. Flip over to serve microgreen side up. Finish with salt and pepper, as desired.


The Last Bite


Pumpkin Pie: Finally Got It

Making a pumpkin pie without dairy products can be a challenge. This year I combined two recipes and got one that works well.

Pumpkin Pie

Makes two 9″ pies.

Preheat oven to 375° F


2 unbaked pie shells – single crust 9″

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened soymilk (used the 1/2 cup of soymilk to rinse pumpkin out of bottom of cans)
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Combine bulleted ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour equal amounts into the two unbaked pie dough shells. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 375° F, or until a knife inserted into the filling comes out clean.

This entry was posted in Dessert.

Biscuit Dough Pizza

When I was a kid, my grandmother would sometimes make something she called “pizza.” She spread Italian bread with spaghetti sauce and cheese and warmed up under the broiler. Given those roots, you will understand  how I came up with biscuit dough pizza as a fast way to feed my dairy-free son.


Preheat oven to 450° F

Biscuit Dough

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Earth Balance or other dairy-free spread/margarine
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup soy milk or other dairy substitute

Add the flour and Earth Balance to a medium-sized bowl. Cut the margarine into the flour using a fork or pastry knife until it has a texture resembling corn meal. Add the baking powder and soy milk.  Stir until just moistened.

To make standard biscuits, drop by tablespoon onto a lightly-floured cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. (You can also roll and cut them for more uniform shapes).

For pizza, grease a pie dish. Add the dough and lightly flatten with floured hands until it covers the bottom of the pie dish evenly. Bake uncovered for 7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add desired toppings, such as tomato sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, etc, Grated zucchini makes a good substitute for cheese. If you have a favorite non-dairy cheese, add some.

Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. The crust should be lightly browned.

Fast Berry Peach Pie

Ever start making something and realize you were short an ingredient halfway through the process? The inspiration for this recipe was an unexpected shortage of berries. The addition of canned peaches saved the day.



  • Your favorite recipe for 9 inch pie crust, double crust size
  • About 1 1/2 cups mixed berries, thawed slightly (defrost in microwave works well)
  • 1 cup canned peaches, with juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons flour (or your favorite thickener)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400° F

  1. Prepare and roll out pie crust for bottom layer.
  2. Lay bottom crust into 9 inch pie plate.
  3. Mix together filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Add filling to pie plate.
  5. Cover with top crust and crimp edges. Prick top crust with fork.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

This works well as a thrown together, rustic-looking pie. Don’t spend a lot of time crimping the edges.

Incredibly Easy Oatmeal Bars

Sometimes you need something easy and fast for a party or bake sale. They aren’t pretty, but these oatmeal bars are always delicious and consistently please kids.



  • 1 cup milk-free margarine, such as Earth Balance®
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 cups of quick oats (oatmeal)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease 1 standard cake pan.
  3. Mix margarine, brown sugar and baking soda in a medium-sized saucepan over medium to high heat, and stir regularly until the mixture begins to boil.
  4. Remove from heat, add oatmeal and mix thoroughly.
  5. Transfer to cake pan and smooth out layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes. Bars will still be soft.
  7. Cut into bars while still warm (will harden and crumble if cut after cooled.)

Now, wasn’t that easy?

What is your favorite dessert bar recipe?


Picnics and Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Ever hear of The Portland Picnic Society?  The members are writers and foodies from Portland, Oregon who have taken the family picnic to a whole new level. To encourage others to give it a try, they have written the delightful new book The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket by Marnie Hanel, Andrea Slonecker, and Jen Stevenson, with illustrations by Emily Isabella.

What draws your eye first is the bright cover.  Emily Isabella’s illustrations throughout the book are fresh, whimsical, and pretty. They give the book a wonderful flavor and tie everything together in a way that photographs might not.

Inside you find out that the book is based on four years of hands-on picnic experience. It has organizational tips, theme ideas, lists of pratfalls to avoid, and loads of recipes to make your next outdoor get-together a rousing success.

Highlights include a dozen ways to dress up deviled eggs, imaginative salads, 10 ideas for baguette sandwiches, main courses, beverages, and even how to use dry ice to preserve fresh fruit paletas. If a list of 99 uses for a Mason jar gets your creative juices flowing, then this book for you.

Not a fan of picnics? If this book doesn’t inspire you to give it another try, you will still find plenty of ideas for your next party of any sort.


The Savory Rosemary Pecan Sandies with Marmalade on page 48 sounded yummy, but I thought I could make them less complicated by modifying a treasured recipe for almond butter shortbread cookies.


Pecan Butter Shortbread Cookies

To make the pecan “butter,”

  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons you favorite vegetable oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water

Finely grind the pecans in a food processor. Drizzle in the oil and water to make the consistency of paste.


For the cookies,

  • 1 cup Earth Balance®, margarine, or butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pecan butter (or almond butter, if preferred)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Melt the Earth Balance® and mix with the pecan butter and brown sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3.  Add the flour and mix well. The batter will be stiff and crumbly, but should form into balls by hand. If it doesn’t clump, then add another Tablespoon of water.
  4. For into walnut-sized balls and then flatten into cookie shapes with hands. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake about 16 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Notes:  This easy recipe is particularly child friendly because it does not contain eggs. The children can mix and sample the dough without worry about contamination.

Also, these shortbread cookies are not overly sweet. They pair well with the marmalade, as suggested in the book, or with jams or jellies.


The Picnic is the perfect book to inspire spontaneous gatherings at a park or an intimate al fresco meal in the back yard.

Check The Portland Picnic Society blog for more information and tons of recipes.

Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Artisan (April 7, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1579656080
ISBN-13: 978-1579656089

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Be sure to visit Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads for more recipes and books.



Favorite Cinnamon-Flavored Fruit Salad

The Food on Friday theme this week at Carole’s Chatter is pineapple. Our family’s favorite fruit salad showcases pineapple chunks, so it seemed like an obvious choice to share.


Don’t be shy to include the pink grapefruit sections, even if you aren’t a big grapefruit fan. The tart grapefruit chunks are a wonderful counterpoint to the sweet cinnamon syrup.


  • 1 roughly 16-ounce sliced peaches in heavy syrup (reserve syrup)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 pink grapefruit
  • 1 pineapple, or 1 16-ounce can pineapple chunks
  • 2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled


1. Thoroughly drain the heavy syrup from the canned peaches into a small saucepan. Add the peaches to a large, decorative salad bowl.

2. Whisk the cinnamon into the syrup and then bring to boiling over a medium-high heat. Reduce the temperature and simmer about 10 minutes, until thickened slightly. Remove the saucepan with the syrup from heat and let cool.

3. Prepare the fruit. First, wash the oranges, grapefruit and strawberries. Grate the zest of one orange into the salad bowl. Cut the peel from the oranges and grapefruit, removing the bitter inner rind and discard the peel. Section the fruit and cut into chunks. Add to the salad bowl. Note:  if the oranges or grapefruit are not too juicy, you can hold them over the bowl to section and catch the juice. If the fruit is very juicy, however, it can make the salad too soupy. In that case, catch the juice in a separate container for another use.

4. Peel and core the pineapple and cut remaining fruit into bite-size chunks. If using canned pineapple chunks, drain. Add to salad.

5. Hull and slice the strawberries. Add to fruit mixture. Pour syrup over salad and stir. Chill until serving.

Note:  this salad is best prepared fresh.

Pumpkin Quick Bread

Nothing beats a warm piece of pumpkin bread on a cool morning.


Pumpkin Quick Bread Recipe


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute an equal amount of almond meal for up to one cup of the flour)
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup your favorite vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350° F.


  1. Grease a 9 x 5 bread loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (first 7 on list).
  3. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl combine the remaining wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Form a depression in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into it.
  5. Fold together until just moistened (do not over mix).
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 65 minutes, until lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

This is a family favorite recipe that I have been making for years.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin bread recipe?

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup

The Food on Friday theme this week at Carole’s Chatter is soup, which fits nicely with the book we read for Weekend Cooking so let’s combine them.

The book is On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta by Jen Lin-Liu.

Author and cooking school owner Jen Lin-Liu decided to follow the famous Silk Road route from China to Italy to see how noodles spread and changed across the region. The result is a delicious mix of travel, food, and memoir. It includes noodle and pasta recipes from China, Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, and Italy.

By the way, the story that Marco Polo brought noodles to Italy is just that, a story.

To celebrate the book, let’s make a Chinese chicken noodle soup.



  • 2 Tablespoons rice bran oil, or your favorite cooking oil
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups Napa or Chinese cabbage, chopped
  • 6 green onions, sliced (split use)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx. two large) cut into pieces
  • 1 8 ounce package yaki soba-type noodles and water for cooking
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Prepare vegetables and meat by cutting up and chopping. Refrigerate chicken until ready to use.
  2. In a sturdy soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Quickly add the cabbage and 5 of the green onions and stir-fry about 5 minutes (retain 1 chopped green onion as garnish).
  3. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce (to taste) and rice vinegar. Bring to boil and add chopped chicken. Quickly reduce to a simmer and cook until chicken is just cooked through (chicken breast meat can get tough in soups if over cooked).
  4. In a separate pot, cook the noodles in boiling water as per the package instructions.
  5. Add the cooked noodles to the chicken soup mixture. Serve immediately with a garnish of chopped cilantro, green onions and a dash of your favorite chili-garlic sauce, if desired.

In her book, Jen Lin-Liu promises videos to show how to make hand-pulled noodles at her website. The URL she lists in the book does not seem to exist, however, so here is a related video. If the music isn’t to your taste, turn it down, because watching this video to the end is worth it.

Have you ever had hand-pulled noodles?

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books (August 5, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1594632723
ISBN-13: 978-1594632723

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Be sure to visit Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads for more recipes and books.