Backstage at Lehmans: Shelley’s Favorite Pumpkin Flavor In A “Brownie”!

Shelley at her desk in Lehman's creative department.

Shelley at her desk in Lehman’s Dalton office.

If you’re a regular reader of Country Life, you’ll know that Shelley Salsburey, part of our merchandising team, is a big fan of pumpkin. (We always have pumpkin treats in the office for her October birthday!)

Recently, she came across a new-to-her recipe for Harvest Pumpkin Brownies. And it sounded so good, I went right into the kitchen to make it! It’s a perfect treat, and it goes together so quickly. It’s ideal when you need a goodie for an impromptu get-together.

This recipe’s prep is super easy. The pumpkin that makes the brownies moist also makes the batter easy to mix. So using just a big mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and a whisk, the batter was ready in no time! Continue reading

From College Kitchen to Our Dinner Table

French Press Coffee Maker

Lehman’s French Press Coffee Maker is great gift for your favorite student. It’s easy to use and easy to clean.

Ah, the college years. Did we even realize how good we had it? New friends, exciting (or not) courses, free time, parental units probably far away, little responsibility – at least compared to full adulthood/parenthood. College was where I learned to love coffee, where I found out I had a gift for making my roommates laugh…and also where I learned to cook!

After two years in the dorms, subsisting on cafeteria food (which, I must admit, was actually pretty good) and Ramen noodles cooked in hand-me-down hotpots, my girlfriends and I signed the lease on a townhouse close to campus, where we would live until graduation. It had a full kitchen, so one of the first routines we set up after we all moved in was the dinner schedule.

Breakfasts and lunches, we decided, were free-for-alls, but dinners would be sacred, in a way. We all came from good solid families where sitting down for nightly meals was the norm, and I’m sure we all (despite our burgeoning independence) longed for some of that stable “homey” feeling. So we each picked a night, and began to cook for each other.

Like most students, we were all living on a shoestring budget (I got paid $2 per typed page of notes I took for a Psych 101 class – imagine that!) so our meals were simple, hearty and shall we say, sometimes quite creative. And sure, during finals week we threw the cooking schedule out the window and ordered in pizza. But interestingly, some of the same recipes we each came to be known for, I use to this day. In fact, the following three are still some of my “go-to’s,” – 14 years, one husband, two jobs and three children later. Enjoy – and send some good thoughts to your college roomies as you cook them. I know I do! Continue reading

Rock Your Reunion with These New Twist Dishes 

Chop quickly and neatly! Lehman's Curved Blade Chopper, available at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio or at Lehmans.com.

Chop quickly and neatly! Lehman’s Curved Blade Chopper, available at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or at Lehmans.com.

Everyone loves family reunions (ok, most of us do?), but I think we can all agree that sometimes the food turns out to be…pretty predictable. Yes, we all enjoy those heirloom family favorites that are handed down for generations, but personally, I’ve had enough deviled eggs, green bean casserole and gelatin salad to last me a looooong time.

This summer, I’m “wow-ing” my relatives and friends with some new tastes that are sure to complement the old favorites, too. Try them yourself, and who knows? They may become heirlooms, too!

Cool ‘Cado Salsa :

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
4 medium tomatoes (any variety, Romas work well), finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. red or white wine vinegar
1 T. fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 cup feta cheese

Gently mix together all ingredients, adding the cheese last. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, corn chips or pita wedges. Note: This salsa is best served the same day it’s made. It’s delicious for days, but the avocado tends to turn a bit brown after a day or two.

Make a few slices fast! Microwave Bacon Cooker at Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Make a few slices fast! Microwave Bacon Cooker at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or at Lehmans.com.

Cashew Crunch Salad 
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed (or 10 oz. fresh garden peas)
1 1/4 c. celery, diced
1 1/2 c. cauliflower, chopped
1/2 c. green onion, chopped
1 1/4 c. cashews, whole or chopped (to your preference)
1/2 c. sour cream (can use fat-free)
1 c. ranch-style salad dressing
1 c. cooked bacon, crumbled

Combine all ingredients and chill well. If desired, reserve a few chopped cashews and some bacon to sprinkle on top. Note: To use fresh peas instead of frozen, bring 3/4 c. water and 1 tsp. sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add peas and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes; drain.

Lehman's 55th Anniversary Cookbook

Check out our family favorites! At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, or Lehmans.com.

Maple Baked Beans (from The Lehman’s 55th Anniversary Cookbook)
1 lb. dry navy beans
4 qts. water, divided
6 slices bacon, cut up
1 medium onion
1 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. favorite barbecue sauce
5 T. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Rinse beans and place in a 4-qt Dutch oven. Cover with 2 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to Dutch oven and cover with remaining water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until beans are almost tender. Drain and reserve bean liquid.

In a 2 1/2 qt. casserole or bean pot, combine beans with remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Stir occasionally; add reserved bean liquid as necessary.

Serves 10-12.

And of course, a smashing dessert:

Lemon Sours
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. shredded coconut
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/8 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon rind
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
2/3 c. confectioner’s sugar

Mix flour and butter to fine crumbs. Sprinkle evenly in 11″x9″ pan. Bake 10 min. at 350 degrees. Meanwhile, beat eggs and add brown sugar, coconut, nuts, baking powder and vanilla. Take pan from the oven and spread this mixture on top of baked crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake 20 min. longer. Mix lemon rind, juice and confectioner’s sugar to make a creamy mixture. Spread over the top as soon as you remove from oven. Let cool completely and cut into bars. If desired, garnish with candied lemon peel.

Homemade Sweets For Valentine’s Day!

Sure, there’s still time. All you need is a double boiler, some chocolate, a few well-chosen things to dip into that chocolate, and some patience.

Parchment paper works well as a cooling area/landing pad. You can move the chocolates easily off it once they’re set.

Lehman’s offers two models, the Double Boiler, and the Stainless Steel Double Boiler. I prefer the Stainless Steel Double Boiler because of its squared-off lid handle and three-ply steel lower pan. They’re well matched, though, and choice comes down to small preferences. Continue reading