Randel Cooks

Midwest Home Chef

Cherry Pie with Strudel Topping

  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust (see footnote for recipe link)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • #10 can dark sweet cherries, pitted and drained
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup lemon juice * (based on cherry tart/sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup starch + 2T corn sprinkled on each pie before topping (tapioca / rice flour / corn starch)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  2. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil since juice may overflow pie shell 
  3. Roll out pie crust and lay into a 9-inch pie pan.
  4. Combine brown sugar, oats, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Work butter into the mixture with your fingers, breaking up any large pieces, until incorporated completely. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.
  5. Combine cherries, lemon juice, white sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until well coated and no dry lumps remain
  6. Pour cherries and any accumulated juices into the prepared pie pan. Press down into the pan. Crumble oat mixture over the top. (Juice should be 2/3 way up crust and pie slightly over full)
  7. Place the pan on the foil prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until cherries are bubbling and the crust and crumble topping are browned, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool completely.



Fry Coatings – Flour Fry Mixes – Batters

Calamari Flour Fry Mix

Blue Ginger –

2 cups sweet potato flour

2 cups tapioca flour

2 cups cake flour

2 cups bread flour

Chicken Flour Mix

Simply Ming

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups rice flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Fish Beer Batter

Simply Ming

1 cup cornstarch

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ tablespoon baking soda

8 ounces of your favorite beer

Basic Fry Coating

Inspired by Greek Seasoning

1 T Garlic Powder

1 T Onion Powder

1 T White Pepper

1 T Ground Thyme

1 Cup Corn Starch

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Tapioca Starch

1 Cup Rice Flour

Tempura Batter

Simply Ming

2 cups rice flour

Soda water

Ultimate Greek Seasoning

Inspired by Greek Seasoning

2 t salt

2 t basil

2 t oregano

1/2 t thyme

2 t garlic powder

1 t dill

1 t marjoram

1 t cornstarch

1 t black pepper

1 t parsley flakes

1 t rosemary

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

Pie by Volume

Volume of 9-inch pie dishes:

8 inch by 1 1/2 inch pie pan = 4 cups

9 inch by 1 inch pie pan = 3 cups  * foil pie pan

9 inch by 1 1/4 inch pie pan = 4 cups

9 inch by 1 1/2 inch pie pan = 4 cups * pyrex

9 inch by 1 1/2 inch pie pan =  5 cups

9 inch by 1 1/2 inch pie pan =  6 cups * square side

9 inch by 2 inch pie pan = 6 cups * fluted ceramic

9 inch by 2 inch pie pan = 7 cups

9 inch by 2 inch pie pan = 8 cups * deep dish square side

9 x 1/2 inch round pie pan = 5 cups

9 1/2 x 2 inch round pie pan = 7 cups * glass deep dish

10 inch x 1.5 inch round pie pan = 6 – 6 1/2 cups

10 inch x 2 inch round pie pan = 11 cups * square side


Area of square/rectangle pans:

  • 6 x 6 = 36 square inches
  • 7 x 7 = 49 square inches
  • 8 x 8 = 64 square inches
  • 9 x 9 = 81 square inches
  • 9 x 13 = 117 square inches
  • 12 x 16 (half-sheet pan) = 192 square inches

Area of round pans:

  • 5 inch = 20 square inches
  • 6 inch = 29 square inches
  • 7 inch = 39 square inches
  • 8 inch = 50 square inches
  • 9 inch = 64 square inches
  • 10 inch = 79 square inches
  • 12 inch = 113 square inches

cup = in³ * 0.069264 = in³ / 14.45

1 cup = 14.5 in³ 2 cup = 29 in³ 3 cup = 43.5 in³ 4 cup = 58 in³


Interesting list by volume

3-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 1-1/4 round pan

4-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 1-1/2″ round layer cake pan
  • 8″ x 4″ x 2-1/2″ loaf pan
  • 9″ x 1-1/2″ round pie pan
  • 11″ x 1″ round tart pan

6-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 1 (8″) round cake pan
  • 7-1/2″ x 3″ bundt tube pan
  • 8″ x 8″ x 2″ square pan
  • 8 1/2″ x 4-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ loaf pan
  • 9″ x 1-1/2″ round layer cake pan
  • 9″ x 2″ round pie plate (deep dish)
  • 9″ x 9″ x 1-1/2″ rectangular pan
  • 10″ x 1-1/2″ round pie plate
  • 11″ x 7″ x 2″ rectangular pan

7-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 2″ round cake pan
  • 9″ x 9″ x 2″ rectangular pan

8-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 8″ x 2″ square pan
  • 9″ x 2″ round cake pan
  • 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan
  • 9″ x 9″ x 1-1/2″ square pan
  • 9-1/4″ x 2-3/4″ ring mold
  • 9-1/2″ x 3-1/4″ brioche pan
  • 11″ x 7″ x 1-1/2″ baking pan

9-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 3″ bundt pan
  • 9″ x 3″ tube pan

10-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 8″ x 2-1/2″ springform pan
  • 9″ x 9″ x 2″ square pan
  • 11-3/4″ x 7-1/2″ x 1 3/4″ baking pan
  • 13″ x 9″ x 2″ rectangular pan
  • 15-1/2″ x 10-1/2″ x 1″ jelly-roll pan

11-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 9″ x 3″ springform pan
  • 10″ x 2″ round cake pan

12-cup Baking Dish or Pan:

  • 2 (9″) round cake pans
  • 9″ x 3″ angel-cake pan or tube pan
  • 10″ x 2-1/2″ springform pan
  • 10″ x 3-1/2″ bundt pan
  • 13″ x 9″ x 2″ metal baking pan
  • 14″ x 10-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ roasting pan

15-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 13″ x 9″ x 2″ rectangular pan

16-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 9″ x 3-1/2″ springform pan
  • 10″ x 4″ fancy tube mold

18-cup Baking dish or Pan:

  • 10″ x 4″ angel-cake or tube pan


Belgium Waffle – Teenager Approved

Ingredient List

3 large eggs, room temperature, separated

1 cup warm whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup granulated  Zulka – an all natural, unrefined and NON-GMO pure cane sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter but softer crust)
2 teaspoon real vanilla

3- 4 cups (17oz, 476gr) all-purpose flour unbleached

1 T baking powder

2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 – 1 cup additional warm whole milk

optionally 1 1/2 cups pearl sugar (such as Lars’ Own®)

Mixing Technique

Whip up egg whites to soft peaks

in a separate bowl, stir to combine milk yeast sugar oil egg yolks and vanilla.

Add flour and whisk till just smooth with a few small lumps

sprinkle baking powder and salt, fold in egg whites

NOTE: add additional warm milk if need to have a very still dough.

Consistency is important here, this resembles more a sticky dough or sticky thick cake/muffin batter not a thin pancake batter.


Rest your dough to rise in warm spot for 30 minutes and then preheat your waffle iron.  I use a deep nonstick Belgium Waffle maker


Add 3/4 – 1 cup of dough portions for my preheated deep nonstick Belgium waffle maker.  Cook until GBD.  Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.


For great homemade syrup just add equal parts water and Zulka an all natural, unrefined and NON-GMO pure cane sugar in quart jar and microwave until thick.

Additional light coat of oil/butter needed if waffle iron is a nonstick variety.  For crispy waffles add up to 1 cup of oil or melted butter

Best Hot Cocoa Ever

Winter Favorite – Kids love this each winter – minus cayenne Smile


2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process

2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder

1 teaspoon fine-grain salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 pinch (or more to taste) ground cayenne pepper*, optional

Put all the ingredients into a 6 cup container with tight lid.

Just add 3-4 T mix to your favorite mug to serve and of course add marshmallows to garnish

Fresh Ground Tamales

  • 4 – 2 cups grits or fresh “Masecas (aka Masa harina)”
  • 6 – 3 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth or water
  • 2 – 1 cups additional broth or water as needed
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 – 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 – 1/3 cup coconut oil or lard
  • corn husk and string or aluminum 6 x 8 inch wrapper (don’t worry corn flavor provided by fresh ground corn grits or either wrapper is fine)
  • make 36 or 18 tamales

These light and airy tamales have a rich corn flavor.

Filling – Chicken or Beef

Chicken filling using 2 or 1 chicken breasts

Instant Pot chicken breasts with salt and pepper added for 15 high pressure with natural release.

Add chicken breast and reserve remaining breast for chicken tacos.  Add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce in equal quantities.  Add garlic onion paprika chili and cumin powder to taste.  Simmer until reduced.

Beef filling using 16 or 8 oz. of 90/10 hamburger

Brown 90/10 hamburger and add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce in equal quantities.  Add garlic onion paprika chili and cumin powder to taste.  Simmer until reduced.


Prepare masa as directed on package skip the next step or if using grits …

Ground grits with spice grinder till fine powder.  Prepare grits by adding fine fresh ground grits to boiling broth seasoned with salt and cumin.  Whisk till smooth

Using kitchen aid, whisk coconut oil till smooth with baking powder.  Add cooled but warm grits and whisk till smooth making a workable consistency.  Test with your hands test and add more broth if needed Whisk masa making a smooth paste or mashed potato consistency.

Spread 1/4 cup masa dough onto corn husks or 6×8 inch aluminum foil squares making a 4 x 4 inch square  and add 1-2 tablespoons of filling. Roll wrapper and fold bottom.  Note you will need to tie with string if using corn husk.  There is no right or wrong way here, just think Mexican sushi roll making sure dough covers the filling.  Great social step for family friends kids neighbors and loved ones.

Place all your rolls in an 6 qt instant pot then add 1 cup broth and cook 20 minutes on high pressure with natural release.


Big Earl’s “My Momma’s” Hot Tamales


Auntie Anne’s Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels

Default Auntie Anne’s Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels

Auntie Anne’s Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tb. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast (1 packet)
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups (24 oz.) all-purpose flour + 1 Tb.
6 Tb. melted butter
1 1/2 cups diced apple
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 Tb. water for egg wash
1 can Dulce de Leche
Course Sea Salt
Place the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Let it foam for 5-10 minutes begins.
Using the dough hook, mix in 24 oz. flour and the melted butter on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 5-6 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with nonstick spray, then place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the apples into small chunks, toss the apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 Tb. flour. After the dough has doubled, pour the apples into the dough and knead to combine.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, Set aside.
Bring the water and the baking soda to a boil in large sauce pot.
In the meantime, dump the dough out onto a slightly floured work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (or 16 pieces for mini pretzels.)
Spray a work surface with nonstick spray. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope (12-inch for minis.) The apples will pop out a little, but keep rolling and you will reincorporate them.
Make a U-shape with the rope. Take the ends and cross them over each other twice, and press onto the bottom of the U to form the pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined sheets.
Put the pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water using 1-2 large spatulas. Return to the cookie sheet and brush each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture.
Bake until dark golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before drizzling with caramel and sprinkling with salt.
For the Dulce e Leche Caramel Drizzle: Because Dulce de Leche doesn’t “set” like frosting, it’s best to drizzle the pretzels right before serving. Place them in an airtight container to keep fresh. When ready to serve, warm the dulce de leche until slightly thin. Then place in a zip bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and “pipe” the warm caramel over the soft pretzels. Sprinkle with course sea salt and serve.

TGI Friday’s Pretzel Sticks and Beer Cheese Dip

TGI Friday’s Pretzel Sticks and Beer Cheese Dip

Like this recipe? Get our secret recipe cookbooks on sale – Go Here

Pretzel Sticks:
2 1/2 teaspoons or 1 package instant yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (125 to 130 degrees)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
4 1/2 cups to 5 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for bowl
8 cups for water
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, for sprinkling
Beer Cheese Sauce:
8 ounces American cheese
4 to 6 ounces of beer
To make the pretzel sticks:
Proof the yeast by combining it with 2 tablespoons warm water and 1
teaspoon sugar in a small bowl. Once the yeast begins to foam and
bubble, it is ready to use. Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl
of a stand mixer and add the flour and salt ; and begin to mix,
using the dough hook. Slowly stream the remaining 1 cup of warm
water into the flour; a ball of dough will form. Continue to mix
for another minute to knead the dough.
Grease the bowl with vegetable oil, place the dough ball in the
bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for approximately 35
minutes. The dough should double in size.
Four a cutting board and place the dough on the board. Knead and
then divide the dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion into a
cigar shape and use a sharp knife to cut 2 or 3 slits into the top.
Cove with a towel and let rise for another 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
On the stovetop, bring the 8 cups of water to boil in a large
saucepan. Add the baking soda and the remaining 2 tablespoons of
sugar (the water will foam for a moment). Drop 4 pretzel sticks at
a time into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds per side. Use
a slotted spoon to remove the sticks and place them on a baking
Brush the pretzels with the egg white glaze and sprinkle generously
with coarse salt. Bake until brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a
wire wrack and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room
To make the cheese sauce:
Chop the cheese into 1 inch cubes and place in a small saucepan
with 4 ounces of beer. Warm and stir over low heat until the cheese
has melted.

Auntie Anne Pretzel Pizza Rolls

Default Auntie Anne Pretzel Pizza Rolls

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/4 cups flour (or more)
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons fine salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt (I used kosher, but the coarser the better)
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Pizza, sauce for dipping
Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º. If it’s too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time and the add the fine salt, seasoning, and garlic powder. Add a little more flour if it’s still too wet. Knead for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with a wet cloth. Let rise for 30-60 minutes in a moist, warm place until about doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 400º. In a large bowl (or 4 cup measuring cup) combine the warm water and baking soda. Punch down the dough and divide in half. Roll one half into a thick rope/log. Flatten and top with half of the cheese and pepperoni. Pinch together trying to seal the cheese and pepperoni in the best you can. Dunk the whole rope in the baking soda water for only a couple seconds. Remove from water and slice into bite sized pieces with a serrated knife. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 8 minutes or until browned. Dip each in the melted butter while hot. Serve with pizza sauce.

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