Susie’s Four Layer Dessert

Four Layer Dessert

Makes one 9 x 13 pan

Heat oven to 350º

Layer 1:
1/2 cup soften butter
1 cup flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds all work)

Layer 2:
8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 container Cool Whip

Layer 3:
2 small packages chocolate pudding
3 cups cold milk

Layer 4:
1/2 container Cool Whip

Optional final topping: chocolate shavings or chopped nuts

Combine layer one ingredients and press into the 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Let it cool off completely.

Mix the second layer ingredients together and spread over the first layer, then do the same for the third layer.  Finish with the final (Cool Whip) layer. If using the optional nuts/chocolate shavings, add them. Let this chill for several hours before serving.


LaVera Churchill’s Date Nut Pudding

AKA Christmas Epoxy

Set oven to 350º
Serves 6


1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl flour

2 eggs separated, whites beaten to stiff peaks stage.
1 cup dates
1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted preferred)

Mix dry ingredients and yolks until thoroughly combined – it will be crumbly.  Stir in dates. Fold in the beaten egg whites, then fold in the nuts.

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan as spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

New Foolproof Method For Pie Crust

Image result for pie crustMaking pies is a Haines family tradition. While Grammy and Aunt Cheryl always favored Coco’s Harvest Pie, many of us went with Grandma Haines’ pumpkin.  Aunt Maureen took it a step further with her rhubarb (don’t muck it up with strawberries!).

Either way, pie needs a proper crust.. Flaky, buttery, but most importantly – foolproof!

Make 1 standard crust

2 tsp cornstarch
3 Tbl water
159 grams (1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1/4 salt
10 Tbl cold butter cut into small pieces
2 Tbl sour cream, regular, not light

Combine cornstarch and water. Microwave 15 seconds, stir, heat 15 seconds more. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

In food processor, combine sugar, flour, salt and process until combined. Add cold cornstarch gel, and pulse until dispersed evenly.  Add butter and sour cream.  Process until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. Take the dough, form into a 4 inch disk, then wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour at least, up to 24.

Heat oven to 375º. Roll and fit dough to pie plate. Crimp edges. Freeze for 15 minutes to set it.

Blind baking: line with foil and fill with weights (rice, beans, or pennies). Bake until light brown on the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake for 6-10 minutes longer or until the bottom starts to brown.

Tip. I love using a pie crust bag for rolling out dough. It is so much neater.

ChefLand Easy Baking Pie Crust Maker Bag, Set of 2
Set of 2 – Easy Baking Pie Crust Maker Bag
by ChefLand
Link:Easy Baking Bag, Amazon
Tip:  dedicate a bag of rice or beans for your pie weights. Let them cool off before storing for reuse. Always fill the pie pan all the way up with the weights. It keeps the dough from shrinking while baking.

Grandma Haines’ Brunch Egg Casserole Supreme

Easy Egg and Cheese Souffle

Grandma made this egg casserole for Easter Brunch at Hephatha Lutheran Church. It was so popular, she shared it with Grammy White and it was featured as “the egg dish” at the infamous White Family Christmas Brunch. Put together the night before, this is a great “family over for breakfast” dish.  Well, this and one of Uncle Neil’s pancakes.


10 eggs
3 cups light cream or whole milk
10 slices quality white bread (remove crust and cube)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped onion (fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 lb. mild sausage

The day before:

Brown meat and crumble and drain. Beat eggs and add mustard, milk, salt and onion. Mix well and add sausage and cheese.

Place bread in a well buttered 9 x 13 casserole dish. Pour mixture over bread and let stand overnight.

The next day:

Take the casserole out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 350º. 30 minutes later, bake the casserole for 45 minutes or until just set in the middle.


The Art of Adventure Cooking

Richard Henry White

My Dad, Richard Henry White, aka Grandpops

By Sandy Kay Haines

The exotic spice, a new type of pasta, an unusual offering from the farmers market, craftsman cheeses…the single ingredient that sparks kitchen creativity…This is the excitement, the mystery and artistic expression of cooking.

I learned the thrill of adventure cooking from my father, Richard Henry White. A creative design engineer, scientist, musician, historian, consummate lecturer (sigh), cartoonist (Donald Duck was drawn on my book covers by him for many years), and of course, our family’s adventure cook.

Chair stool

I have very early memories of pulling over our stepping stool (the chair with the swing out steps), climbing up, and peering into a giant over-sized Tupperware batter bowl that looked like a giant measuring cup. I stared with awe at the bubbling, oozing pancake batter with a “secret ingredient” that my father would make Saturday mornings.  I would imitate his culinary mystery out in my sandbox, mixing up wet mud, pebbles, and MY “secret ingredient”… earthworms – yum!. I made my pancakes and placed them on the hot concrete to cook knowing, in my heart of hearts, that IF you could eat mud pancakes, mine would taste delicious.

An avid food scientist before it was fashionable; my father would keep experimenting with a dish until he perfected it.  His clam chowder, BBQ baked beans, fried rice, Anthony’s Pea Soup knock off and Hawaiian chicken were legendary.   However, there were two culinary misadventures that were nothing short of epic.  Homemade prickly pear candy setup harder than a lollipop never released from the plate (the plate broke, the candy didn’t).  But the vulcanized marshmallow topping poured over ice cream, frozen, then named “baked Hawaii” is worth a place in the Hall of Fame for Culinary Amazements.

Circumstance never deterred my father – a gift he passed down to me. Regardless of where you are, you can always create a memorable dining experience. Tent camping in Canada may have been rustic, but he pulled off an impressive dinner of lobster with fresh baked bread and a very unfortunate reaction to too much drawn butter. Picking too many cherries on one vacation inspired him to can his own cherry jelly – not an easy feat in a cramped trailer kitchen.

My favorite cooking adventure with my father centered on an Asian inspired Saturday night menu. Off we went to the store to buy the unusual ingredients for the night: soy sauce, ginger, Chung King egg rolls, crispy noodles, and DRAGON TONGUE (aka Fruit Roll-Ups that he cut into snake-like tongue shapes).  Side by side we cooked, talked, laughed and enjoyed a really special day.  Then he got down the special dragon tea set that he bought in Japan when he was in the Navy. It was my job to wash it. To this day, I remember touching the intricate design on it, knowing how special this dinner would be.  I took for granted the generosity of his time.

Many years ago, I heard that people get their view of God by looking at their father. That must be true because I believe that God is strong, loving, and way smarter than I ever will be. He will always provide for us, challenge us, make boundaries that help keep us safe, but allows us to grow. It seems so “right” to me that our Heavenly Father reaches out to us with HIS supper – complete with Salvation, HIS secret ingredient.

Earleen LaVera Churchill White

Earleen LaVera White
The Art of Sacrificial Love and Good Hot Meals
Home chefs who cook for entertainment get accolades and adoration. The family baker gets “oohhs” and “aahhs” when a gooey, chocolatey confection is presented. For many of these chefs, cooking is a passion, hobby, and art. 
Then there is another type of domestic culinary specialist…the daily home cook. Responsible for the day-to-day feeding of the family, this cook has to negotiate varied tastes, budgetary constraints, hectic eating schedules, and the constant threat of cooking monotony on a perpetual basis.  This cook sometimes acquires this job through necessity and not necessarily through passion.
I learned the art of feeding my family from my mother, Earleen LaVera Churchill White, our family’s daily cook. Even though cooking was not necessarily her passion, she did it with dedication, style, and flair. She explored innovation (dishwasher poached cod in foil packets were, in fact, quite delicious) and she was quick to explore a wide variety of cooking techniques. Sometimes these innovations were fleeting, leaving an odd jumble of dust covered leviathans – fondue pots, Schlemmertopfs, the Toast-Tite.
Then came the innovations that proved themselves worthy beyond trend and became actual workhorses of the kitchen. From early exploration of microwave cooking, to food processors and crock-pots, we watched her explore current magazines and specialty cookbooks to learn how to embrace these time-saving devices without the aid of the Internet. 
My mother recognized my passion for cooking when I was very young. It was by her hand that I learned how to brown meat, stir cream gravy, make cookies, and design, yes, design, a beautiful garden salad. While many children would not be allowed to use sharp knives and hot stoves at such a young age, she took the time to teach me these important fundamentals.
The fundamentals… that is the real gift I received from my mother. She taught me the most important basics, culinary and spiritual, that carry me through to this very day:
1) The basics are important. Taste for salt, apply lipstick, talk to Jesus daily – pray for your children and their spouses, either current or future.
2) Do research. Find answers. Read cookbooks, look up articles on the internet, ask questions of God, read your Bible and explore commentary. Don’t be lazy about knowledge – always be learning.
3) Even if certain tasks, like feeding your family, doing the laundry, or at times even reading the Bible seem mundane and more ritual than inspirational, keep with it and work hard to enliven it. Passion can heat, temper, sometimes cool, but keep faithful. She taught us that God recognizes the loving sacrifice of our time and discipline, and turns it to joy. 
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. Through our Lord and Savior, my mother prepared the Lords gift of daily bread and served us generously, sacrificially, and always lovingly.

Aunt Phyllis’ Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Aunt Phyllis, Grandma’s sister in Washington, found this recipe on the side of a box of sugar in 1963 and has been making them ever since. She and her daughter Denise make a quadruple batch of these cookies, along with Great Grandma Stuewe’s Pfeffernuese cookies.

These sugar cookies are not too sweet, with a touch of “pie crust cookie” taste.

Preheat oven to 375º

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 egg, well beaten

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flour

½ cups salt.


Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg to milk. Sift flour with baking powder, combine mixtures and work into smooth dough.  The dough will be soft.

Flour the workspace generously. Roll the dough thin to ¼ inch. Cut with cookie cutters. Bake until light brown and crisp.

Chocolate Supreme Cake, aka Ration Cake

Chocolate Supreme Cake

Ration cakes were made popular during WWII when sugar, butter and eggs were rationed.  They used minimum ingredients, yet maximized taste.

This is Grandma’s quick and easy “go to” dessert. Simple, yet wonderfully tasty, it does together quickly with simple pantry ingredients.

Makes 1 8×8 pan

Preheat oven to 325º


1 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons cocoa

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda


6 tablespoons margarine, melted (or salted butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

1 cup cold water

Sift all the dry ingredients into an ungreased 8×8 baking pan. Make 3 depressions in the dry ingredients. Add melted butter in the first depression, vinegar in the second depression, vinegar in the third depression.  Pour water over and stir just to combine.


Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

Chocolate chip data cake

Uncle John always asked for this cake for his birthday. Grandma Haines would always make this to bring camping because it stays nice and moist for several days,

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 350º

1 cup dates

1 ¼ cups boiling water

1 teaspoon baking soda


¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs


2 cups flour

¼  teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon cocoa


¼ cup sugar

1 small package chocolate chips

½ cup walnuts


Combine dates, boiling water, and baking soda in a small bowl.  In a mixer, cream together shortening, sugar, then 2 eggs.  Add date/water/soda mixture. Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa. Add to mixer and stir to combine.

Pour cake into greased 9 x 13 pan.  Combine topping ingredients (sugar, chocolate chips, walnuts) into a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cake.

Bake 40 minutes.



These cookies were made by ”Mutter”, Grandpa Stuewe’s mother, every Christmas. When she passed away, Grandma Stuewe would make them and mail them to each family.  There is a hot family debate on the proper softness of these cookies.  Freshly made, they are a firm spice cookie with a soft center. However, SOME prefer them rock hard – as in “you should be able to break a window when thrown” hard.

This family recipe was recovered from Aunt Phyllis who makes over 200 of these cookies each Christmas for her family. She and her daughter, Denise, get together for a weekend of wine, baking, and lots of “catching up”. If you can ever make it to her farm house in Ellensburg for this event, bring an extra cookie sheet and some Ziplock bags, cuz you ain’t leaving home without a bag of Pfeffernuesse and their wonderful sugar cookies.

Makes 100 cookies

Preheat oven to 375º

2 cups molasses
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups shortening, melted

2 eggs, 2-3 grated lemon rinds

1 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup of wine any kind, flour to stiffen at least 11 cups.

Combine all ingredients until smooth– this makes a VERY STIFF batter. Roll into 11/2 teaspoon balls and place tight against each other on baking sheet (these cookies do not spread).

Bake for 20 minutes. Store in air-tight container to keep soft, or store in paper bag to dry. Cookies will harden and are intended to be dunked to soften.