Friday, October 29, 2010

201. A Recipe Index, Alphabetical 1-200

Daily recipes are pulled from the following 5 groups.
Each group is only used once/week.


1. meat/fish 2. pasta/veg/fruit 3. bread/pastry 4. soup/salad/dessert 5. eggs/easy


Recipe Post #

Appetizer, Oriental 155
Apple, Cranberry Crumble 183
Apple Crisp 143
Apple, German Pancake 168
Apples, Maple Nut 180
Apples, Sauteed 142
Apple Squares 138
Apple Tarte Tatin 157
Artichokes 62
Asparagus, Creamed on Toast 87
Asparagus, Sautéed-steamed 42

Bacon-tied Potatoes with Onion 192
Banana Pancakes 153
Banana Whip 115
Bars, Peanut 164
Bars, Praline Cookie 40
Bars, Praline Cookie - Deluxe 148
Beans, Back-Burner 32
Beans, Butter and Cabbage Soup 139
Beans, Garlic String 177
Beef, Italian 1
Beets, Pickled 112
Biscuit, (3) Baking Powder Recipes 73
Biscuits, Green Onion 52
Blackberry Dessert 199
Blueberry Cake Cups 144
Bread, Banana 8
Bread, Cheese-herb French 109
Bread, Corn - microwaved 55
Bread, Corn loaf, Buttermilk 88
Bread, Corn loaf, Quick #2 193
Bread, Danish Potato 5
Bread, Pita 34
Bread, Raisin Cinnamon 163
Bread, Sausage 171
Bread Strips, Parmesan 190
Bread, White, rolls, buns 47
Bread, Whole Wheat Oatmeal 198
Bread, Zucchini 92
Burgers, Turkey Delicious 71
Butter Lamb 23

Cabbage, Butter Bean Soup 139
Cabbage-Onion Stir fry 197
Cabbage, Stuffed 147
Cake, Blueberry Cups 144
Cake, Mini Pineapple Upside-down 99
Cake, Lemon Mousse 82
Cake, Pumpkin Date 184
Calzone 166
Carrots in Broth 12
Casserole, Zucchini (Italian style) 26
Chicken and Dumplings 76
Chicken Artichoke Festiva 2
Chicken, Barbecued Pulled 95
Chicken Breast Strips 36
Chicken, Golden 46
Chicken/Green Curry Sauce 176
Chicken/Noodles, 161
Chicken, Oven Barbecue 11
Chicken Pot Pie, No Crust 151
Chicken Skewers, Marinated 131
Chicken, Spanish-Style Grilled 106
Chickpea Dip, Hummus 185
Chili Meat Cups 51
Chips, Tortilla Cinnamon 128
Clam Dip 200
Cocktail Sauce 44
Coffee Cake, Easter Nest 24
Cookies, White Chocolate 7
Cookies, White Chocolate Oatmeal-Coconut, Deluxe 74
Cornbread, microwaved 55
Cornbread Loaf with Buttermilk 88
Cornbread, quick loaf #2 193
Cornmeal Pie 158
Corn on the Cob, Grilled 107
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner 6
Cranberry Apple Crumble 183
Cranberry Relish 178
Cranberry Sauce 179
Crepes, Chocolate-Orange Banana 113
Crescent Puffs, Chocolate-Pecan 14
Croissants, Cordon Bleu 126
Cucumber, Marinated Slices 122
Curry Sauce, Green with Chicken 176

Danish Puff 84
Date, Pumpkin Cake 184
Dessert, Cranberry-Apple Crumble 183
Dip, Chickpea - Hummus 185
Dip, Clam 200
Dough, Pizza 188
Dressing, California French 79
Dressing, Ranch - Almost 170
Dressing, Russian 56B
Dressing, Southwestern Salad 91A
Dressing, Thousand Island 85
Dumplings, Fruit 17

Egg Foo Young 205
Egg, Golden Bread 202
Eggs Benedictive 65
Eggs, Bulls-Eye 90
Eggs, Creole 140
Eggs, Deviled 75
Eggs, Hard Boiled and Easter Eggs, easy dye method, Cold Water 18
Eggs, Huevos Rancheros 70
English Muffin Loaf 28
English Muffin, Apple-topped 125

Fish Filet with Mushroom Sauce 141
Frosting, German Chocolate - Microwaved 173
Frozen, Cranberry Mandarin 187
Fruit Crisp, microwavable 49
Fruit Flower for Two 45

Garlic String Beans 177
Garnish, Carrot Flower 150
German Apple Pancake 168
German Chocolate Frosting 173
Granola, Oatmeal Maple 103
Gravy, How to Make Lump-free 160
Green Peppers, Shrimp-Stuffed 72
Green Tomatoes, Fried 137

Ham, Peas and Pasta 152
Ham Roll With Pea and Olive Sauce 81
Hash browns 50
Hummus, Chickpea Dip 185

Icing, Quick 145

Jam, Concord Grape 149
Lemon Mousse Cake 82
Lemon-Pepper Sauce, Vermicelli 175
Lettuce, Grilled Shrimp and 117

Mac and Cheese for Two 130
Macaroni Shells Florentine 162
Malted-Pecan Cookies 203
Maple-Nut Apples, 180
Meatballs, Southwestern 196
Meatballs, Swedish 155
Meatloaf, My Mother's 146
Mincemeat Bars 133
Mincemeat, Green Tomato
Mousse, Lemon Cake 82
Mousse, Pumpkin Dessert 189
Mushrooms, Stuffed 77
Mussels 9

Oatmeal, Whole Wheat Bread 198
Onion, Bacon-tied Potatoes with 192
Onion, Cabbage Stir-fry 197
Orange Alaska 159
Orange, Chocolate-Striped Slices 60


Pancakes, Banana 153
Pancake, German Apple 168
Parfait, Chocolate-Mint 124
Parmesan Bread Strips 190
Parmesan Crisps 123
Patties, Bacon Potato 22
Patties, Tuna Potato 3
Pecan, Malted-Pecan Cookies 203
Pecan, Pumpkin Waffles 187
Pecans, Cinnamon Sugar 100
Pickles, Bead and Butter 102
Pie, Cornmeal 158
Pie Crust and Pie Crust Secrets 16
Pie, Easy Fresh Peach 104.
Pie, Frosty Pineapple Juice No-Bake 69
Pie, Mile-High Lasagna 61
Pie, Peanutty Ice cream 80
Pie, Plum 110
Pie, Ruby Whipped Cream Cheese 64
Pie, Spaghetti 41
Pie, Sweet Potato 15
Pimentos, Mock 93
Pizza Dough 188
Pizza, Easy 59
Pizza, Fruit 53
Popcorn, Caramel 35
Pork Birds with Mushroom Gravy 201
Pork Chops Sorrento 136
Potatoes and Turnips 167
Potatoes in a Bag (Savory Microwaved) 54
Potatoes, Whipped Sweet 58
Potatoes with Onion, Bacon-tied 192
Pumpkin Date Cake 184
Pumpkin Mousse Dessert 189
Pumpkin Pecan Waffles 187

Quiche, Mini 118
Quick Corn Bread #2 193

Red Beans and Rice 86
Relish, Cranberry 178
Rice, Basmati, how to cook perfect rice 30
Rum-Pineapple Fuff 'n Crunch 89

Salad, 3-Bean 154
Salad, Broccoli 29
Salad, Bunnies on the Lawn 19
Salad, Chicken Pasta 119
Salad, Hot German Potato, microwaved 97
Salad, Layered 129
Salad, Lime Pineapple 25
Salad, Napa Cabbage 39
Salad, Potato with Radish 94
Salad, Southwestern Chicken 91
Salad, Strawberry spinach 48
Salad, Waldorf 134
Salmon with Cilantro and Lime 96
Salsa, Mango-Lime 127
Sandwich, Breakfast 68
Sandwich, Open-Faced Vegetable 108
Sandwich, Pita Egg 37
Sandwich, Ruben 56
Sauce, Blueberry Fruit 83
Sauce, Cocktail 44
Sauce, Spaghetti 41
Sauce, Tomato 135
Sausage Bread 171
Sausage, Italian with Tomato and herbs 21
Shrimp Cocktail Sauce 44
Shrimp Scampi 27
Slaw, Fruit 10
Sloppy Joe 34
Smoothie, Fruit 66
Smoothie, Kiwi 204
Soup Au Pistou 4
Soup, Butter Bean and Cabbage 139
Soup, Cream of Asparagus 57
Soup, Egg Drop 43
Soup, Spaghetti-Lover's 114
Soup, Tortilla 174
Soup, Turkey (real) 191
Southwestern Meatballs 196
Squares, Spice and Sweet Potato 38
Steak Barbecue, Beijing Style 116
Steak Barbecue, Beijing Style 121
Steak Diane 111
Stir-fry, Cabbage Onion 197
Strawberries, Chocolate Covered 33
Strawberry Cookie Cup 120
Sushi, California Rolls, Made Simple also Seaweed Free Rolls 67
Syrup, Easy Pancake (2 recipes) 13

Taco Seasoning, Homemade 105
Tart, Cream Cheese 165
Tortilla Fruit Shells 78
Tuna Salad 101
Turkey Soup, real 191
Turnips and Potatoes 167
Turnovers, Crunchy Beef 20
Twice-Baked Potatoes 208

Vermicelli with Lemon-Pepper Sauce 175

Waffle, Chocolate Dessert 63
Waffles, Pumpkin Pecan 187
Wheat, Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread 198

Zucchini Squares 98

175. Vermicelli with Lemon-Pepper Sauce

Lemons are a wonderful fruit and, while their beautiful color and fresh fragrance are recognized everywhere, many people might not know that there is cleaning power in those lemons. The fact that a little lemon juice left on stains can bleach out the unwanted color is a testament to what citric acid can do.

That juice  can also cut through grease layers, dissolve soap scum and hard water lime and may be mixed with baking soda to make a cleaning paste; if mixed with olive oil, the resulting solution produces a hardwood polish. In addition to all this cleaning power, the little lemon always leaves behind a fresh, fruity aroma.

When I was growing up, we kids used citric-acid power when we put lemon juice on our hair and sat out in the sun...the combination would give our hair a sun-streaked look. I doubt that my mother thought this was a good use of lemons, but she let us do it anyway.

In the winter, Mother would have us drink lemon juice and honey mixed in hot water to soothe a sore throat or to quiet a nagging cough. Most of the time, however, lemons were used to make lemonade, as a flavoring for a dessert or bread and it was often the essence that perked up vegetables, meat or fish.

Hot melted butter mixed with lemon is such a wondererful combination, that many foods would be lost without it...lobster, crab, and artichokes to name a few. In today's vermicelli recipe, the hint of lemon with butter is just the right touch for this easy lemon-pasta creation. The lemon flavor actually increases as this dish sits.



Vermicelli with Lemon-Pepper Sauce




1/3 cup milk
3 T butter (Smart Balance may be substituted)
1 pkg vermicelli
4 T lemon juice
1/3 C Parmesan, grated
Parsley
Finely grated lemon peel
Pepper blend (Trader Joe's 23 Seasoning Salute)

Add milk and butter to a small pot. Heat on low until butter melts. Remove and set aside. Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain. Place pasta in a bowl and add lemon juice. Toss together and allow to rest for a minute or so. Add Parmesan cheese and mix gently. Next, add milk mixture and again, blend all ingredients together gently. Garnish with parsley, pepper blend and grated peel. Serve immediately or cool.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

174. Chicken Tortilla Soup, Homemade Flavor (G)

     Our first home in the Ozarks placed us between two very small, rural towns. It was a beautiful setting and offered many advantages that suburban or city life could not. The quality and quantity of restaurants was not one of them.

    The dining experiences we encountered ranged from horrible to awful. We had never seen food prepared with so much grease and low-quality ingredients. We discovered there is a Missouri way to prepare cashew chicken - the chicken is heavily coated with batter, fried hard and added to the traditional stir-fried vegetables - yikes!

    Happily, a tea room opened up ten miles down the road from our place. The owner served homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Tables were set with cloth napkins, antique napkin rings and real china;  obviously, someone cared how the patrons felt. I was hopeful.

    The food we ordered was creatively prepared; the ingredients were fresh and well thought out and the homemade salad dressings were wonderful. The proprietor varied her menu and it sometimes included a tortilla soup so delicious I always wanted more.

    Because this tea room was a small operation and the tortilla soup so very popular, there were times when it was gone by the time I arrived. What a sad event. Even sadder was the day the tea room owner decided her business was too successful and time-consuming. She did not need the money and simply closed down the whole operation. I almost cried - my oasis was gone and so was the wonderful soup!

    My only recourse - to attempt to duplicate the amazing flavor from the 'secret recipe'. While not 100% successful, I love the flavors inherent in my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. It is easy to make. I used a commercial as the base and it gives the soup a true homemade flavor without all the work. Label this -  comfort food.



(The tortilla strips sprinkled on top are terrific! Directions below).




 Diane's Chicken Tortilla Soup





1 can Campbell’s Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup (use two cans if you want a less thick soup)
2 C elbow macaroni, cooked (gluten-free may be used)
1 can black beans, drained
½ C frozen corn

Sour cream
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Corn tortilla chips or fried corn tortilla strips
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Put a can of Campbell’s Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup in a large pot, add a can of black beans, the corn and macaroni. Heat through. Ladle hot soup into bowl. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Garnish with tortilla chips or fried strips. Sprinkle with cilantro if desired.







Note: Heat a heavy pan on medium. Add a 1/4 inch of oil in pan. Meanwhile cut corn tortillas, (1 tortilla per person), into 1/4 inch strips. Drop a few strips carefully into the hot oil. Turn with tongs to crips both sides. Remove to paper towels to drain. Continue until desired amount of strips have been cooked.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

173. Pecan-Coconut Frosting - Microwaved

I enjoy moist, flavorful cakes and, while some are better made from scratch, a good mix is hard to beat. One of the best mixes I have ever tasted was a very inexpensive, house brand called Best Choice, Ultra Moist German Chocolate. The resulting cake was so moist and wonderful, I thought I might have made a mistake when I prepared it. I actually went out and bought a second box and remade it...with the same delicious results.

As much as I like German chocolate cake, the frosting is really what I love. The pecans and coconut held together with that thick, sweet milk and butter mixture are heavenly and was always a family favorite. Unfortunately, many years ago, we discovered that one of our children had a milk allergy, and this treat along with many other foods was all but eliminated from our menu...in order to not make this child feel deprived, I took the offending products out of our diet.

I spent years pouring over labels on everything we ate in order to eliminate any milk, whey, butter or derivations of those ingredients from our food. I often cooked with soy milk and I did find a margarine that was actually whey free...Fleischmann's unsalted margarine. Many times, though, the substitutions   often changed the original recipe's textures and flavors.

The day I figured out how to make pecan-coconut frosting in the microwave...I knew I was on to something great! I also found that I could make it with milk, soy milk, or evaporated milk...with butter or margarine...it did not seem to matter...the flavor was terrific. My whole family could, again, enjoy German chocolate cake.

 I do not remember where I found this recipe...it is not in any of my cookbooks nor, after searching for hours, could I find it on the internet. It is a treasure.





Diane's Pecan-Coconut Frosting
Microwave Directions







1 C evaporated milk (regular milk, soy milk)
1 C sugar
1/2 C butter (margarine)
1/4 C flour
1 1/3 C flaked coconut
1 C chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

Put butter in a glass bowl, cover lightly with waxed paper and heat on HIGH for 1 min. or until slightly melted. Add sugar and mix well. Stir in flour, coconut and pecans. Mix well. Add vanilla and milk and mix again. Cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Stir. Cook 2 - 2 1/2 minutes more or until mixture is thickened. Allow to cool before frosting cake or cupcakes. (Recipe may be halved; cook 2 minutes, stir, cook 1 minute more).

*See note below.





Note: German Chocolate cake is not from Germany. In 1852, Sam German created the mild, dark baking chocolate bar for Baker's Chocolate Company. The company named the chocolate in his honor - Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate. About 100 years later, a recipe for German's Chocolate Cake was supposedly published in Texas...its popularity spread all over the country, as this wonderful cake's recipe was passed around. Somewhere along the line, the ( 's) was dropped from the name.



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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

172. Sage Dressing, Traditional

A Thanksgiving turkey was something we waited for every year, but on the day my mother made the dressing for that turkey, we all hovered nearby just hoping she would give us a pre-dinner taste. For me, that sage dressing was more than herbs, bread and buttery vegetables...it was the starting point for our feast and the celebration of the things for which we were thankful.

I usually made that same sage dressing every year for decades, but a few times I varied from the known and actually tried stuffing recipes. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I hated the other dressings...they just did not taste right.

Not only did I discover that great traditions should not be messed with, I also found that I actually needed my mother's sage dressing on Thanksgiving Day. Every year, as those ingredients are prepared and their fragrances float out of the kitchen, I am taken back to my childhood and remember all the reasons that Thanksgiving Day is so special to me. In honor of my mother's sage dressing, today's recipe details how she created it.

Note: I do not stuff the turkey with the dressing, but put it in foil and heat it. Turkey juices are drizzled over the hot, savory mixture and blended together to make it moist and flavorful. This dressing may be made ahead, frozen and vacuum sealed. Sage dressing goes well with many other meals besides turkey.


*Bread ends and stale slices many be frozen, vacuum sealed and saved for later use in this dressing recipe.

Mother's Sage Dressing





¾ C chopped sweet onion
1 ½ C chopped celery (leaves and stalks)
1 C butter (I always use real butter, you may substitute margarine if necessary)
1 tsp salt (add 1/2 salt to start)
10-15 slices good quality white bread, torn into small pieces
1 tsp sage, crushed
1 tsp thyme, crushed
½ tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp pepper blend

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and stir occasionally until onion is transparent and celery is tender. Remove pan from heat and add half of the bread pieces to the butter mixture. Mix well and pour into a large bowl. Add remaining bread pieces to the pan to soak up any remaining butter and stir well. Add these to the mixture already in the bowl and combine gently so all the bread becomes infused with some of the butter. Add 1/2 tsp salt to start. Add remaining seasonings and mix gently but well. Taste dressing and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 Place stuffing mixture on a large piece of foil and seal. Heat packet of dressing in 325 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot. Drizzle with turkey juices and mix well to moisten the bread pieces.

Monday, October 25, 2010

171. Sausage Bread, Special

The first time I tasted sausage bread I knew it was not like anything I had ever tasted before. A friend and co-worker brought it to one of our faculty potluck dinners. I don't remember what I brought, but that bread was so good that it remains etched in my memory.

Eventually, with a lot of begging and pleading, I managed to get a copy of the recipe. I have made sausage bread many times since then. How the bread is made as important as is the quality of the Italian sausage.

Fresh Italian sausage is temperamental...if it is frozen for very long, the flavor changes to something almost inedible. I wish I had figured this out before I had wasted so many pounds of sausage. Now, if I buy sausage, it is used within a day or two of purchase. 

Since the sausage bread  recipe makes two loaves, one of them may be frozen before the raising process and then vacuum sealed if desired. Thaw and raise as indicated prior to baking.

*Cooked Italian sausage does not take on that off-flavor as quickly as fresh sausage does. This bread is also great the next day served cold and is wonderful with dipping sauces or a great Italian salad dressing on the side.

Sausage Bread





Use Italian bread recipe post # 166 (calzone); you will need bread flour.

(Optional - Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix; the loaves won't be as crisp and wonderful, but it does save some time and work).

When dough has been mixed and kneaded per directions, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place while making the filling.

Filling:

1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2-3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
5 T Parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs beaten
Parsley flakes

Olive oil

Remove skin from the sausage. In a large pan, heat 1-2 T olive oil on medium-high heat. Add sausage and break into small pieces while browning. Stir to brown all sides of the pieces. Drain off fat and stir the meat as it cooks. Do not undercook…the sausage should be brown! Remove meat from pan and put in a bowl to cool slightly.



To the bowl of meat add the next three ingredients and the parsley flakes to taste.

Divide dough in half. Roll one half out into a large rectangle. Spread ½ meat mixture first half. Roll dough into a long loaf and seal edges and ends. Place seam side down on lightly greased baking pan. Continue with the second half of the dough and meat mixture.

Cover both loaves and let rise in a warm place for 30 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. or until the top crust is lightly browned. Brush with butter, optional. Let bread rest for a few minutes before slicing.



To serve, slice bread on the diagonal in one-inch slices. This bread goes well with a tossed salad with Italian dressing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

170. Almost Ranch Dressing, More than Good

Picture wonderful, fresh Romaine hearts, beautiful pieces of grilled chicken and imported Parmesan cheese. One day, I had all of this on hand plus a number of other salad-friendly ingredients and, in a burst of creative energy, composed a mouth-watering dinner salad.

The only thing lacking was the dressing. My mind said it should be thick and creamy. I could almost taste the flavor as I looked at those salads. Even though I had vinegars and oils, a favorite cherry dressing from Door County and packaged Italian dressing...none of these even came close to the flavor I wanted.

I found the last of some sour cream in the refrigerator and combined it with an equal amount of Hellmann's Mayonnaise and tasted; I was on the right track. The next step was to sprinkle in my choice of seasonings and shredded pieces of an exceptional little block of Parmesan cheese. All ingredients were added without measuring; it just felt right and, when I tasted the finished dressing...all I could say was, "Wow!"

My husband actually said the same thing, which was impressive since he usually just says, "This is good."

I loved the salad all the more because none of it had been planned ahead of time...it just evolved and was what it was... delicious, satisfying and a new family favorite


Diane's Almost Ranch Dressing



This recipe makes enough dressing for two salads.

1/4 C Daisy brand sour cream
1/4 C Hellmann's mayonnaise
Pepper blend, to taste (Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute)
Garlic and Herb blend
Salt
1T milk
1-2 T Parmesan cheese, grated

Blend sour cream and mayonnaise until well mixed. Add seasonings to taste. Salt lightly. Add milk and whisk together. More milk may be added to bring dressing to desired consistency. Sprinkle in Parmesan cheese and mix gently. Makes two servings.

Salad

Romaine heart leaves
1 rib celery, diced
8 black olives, sliced
1/4 C green pepper, diced
4 grape tomatoes, sliced
Parmesan cheese, grated

8 Grilled chicken breast strips, refrigerated

Optional: croutons

Wash Romaine leaves and tear into bite sized pieces. Divide among 2 plates. Prepare the remaining vegetables and place on top of the Romaine. Cut chicken strips into pieces and divide between salads. Add  half the dressing on top of each plate of food; sprinkle more Parmesan around the salad edges.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

169. Creamy Pumpkin Soup, Golden

Almost every good restaurant has soup on the menu...it is an important part of our culture. Often chefs and cooks add ingredients according to secret recipes but, just as often, they just add items that they have on hand; their inventiveness can suddenly become the soup-of-the-day.

The effect that soup has on us sometimes begins before we even taste it. Words, like the following, surround the recipes and menu choices and paint wonderful pictures of what each soup is all about: comfort-by-the-spoonful, heartwarming, cozy, homemade, chunky, creamy, hearty, quick, thick, and spicy. It is no surprise that a bowl of soup can make a cruel day seem a lot nicer.

Several of my cookbooks are devoted completely to soups and, surprisingly, no two recipes have exactly the same ingredients. Our regional differences account for some of the differences and another reason is that soup-making is a creative process that has few rules. Soups can be an inexpensive and healthy way to feed a growing family and it is well worth it to learn how to make a variety of delicious favorites.

Today's creamy pumpkin soup is wonderful for fall or winter dining. From start to finish, this smooth and flavorful dish can be ready in 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or warm, crusty bread.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup



2 T butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Red pepper (optional)
1 (15 oz  ) can pumpkin
2  1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 C milk
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C heavy cream

Paprika (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan on med-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute until onion is tender. Turn down heat. Add nutmeg and optional red pepper (to taste). Simmer for one minute. Add pumpkin and mix well. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring to combine evenly. Raise heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender or Vita-Mix. Cover and blend until smooth. Return soup to pan. Add brown sugar and stir until well blended. Slowly add milk and cream. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. (If you want a spicy soup, add ground red pepper carefully).

Serve immediately. (sprinkle with paprika if desired). Serves 6.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

168. German Apple Pancake, Delicious

I had never heard of German apple pancakes until I was an adult. My husband introduced me to a regional version of this dish when he took me to the Walker Brothers' Original Pancake House in Wilmette, a very wealthy Chicago suburban town. Every time we visited that restaurant, a hungry line of patrons wrapped around the front of the building. Once inside, the impressive amenities of this breakfast spot amazed me as much as the food. A gallery of finely crafted and polished wooden chairs and benches, panels, columns and artifacts gave it a very expensive, old-world feeling. This was no IHOP.

I was told by my husband that I had to order the German apple pancake...the restaurant's secret, signature recipe. When our waitress returned, she presented us with huge plates of food. Each pancake was a gigantic, thick, gooey pastry. The cinnamon and apples were lavish and so hot that anyone who took a bite without waiting for five for ten minutes wound up with a burned tongue. When the creation was able to be sampled, it certainly lived up to its hype...sweet, tender and wonderful. Most people took half of their pancake home...it was just too much to eat.

I never tried to duplicate that pancake...failure would be costly and time consuming. I did, however, find a recipe for a different kind of German pancake. It looks nothing like the one from the Pancake House. The pastry puffs up in the oven at first and then, shrinks to a thin layer when finished. Sweetened apples are sauteed with real butter and freshly ground nutmeg. The apple pancake is more of a construction than a baked pastry...it is a light, flavorful and delicious recipe.

The directions for the pastry must be followed to the letter, or it will fail...I misjudged the necessity for the exact measurement of the shortening once and the pancake did not puff up. That failure upset me so much, I had to make four pancakes in a row until I figured out what the problem was...I never had that trouble before or since...I hope you won't either.


German Apple Pancakes


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

3 large eggs
¾ C Milk
¾ C flour
½ tsp salt

1 T unsalted shortening, for 10-inch skillet; 1 ½ T for 12-inch skillet

1 T melted butter

1 T sugar

Combine first four ingredients in med. sized bowl. Beat 2-3 minutes.


Melt shortening in heavy skillet. When very hot, pour in batter and bake in *450 degree oven 15 min. Lower temp to 350 degrees and bake 10 min longer or until golden brown and crisp. *

When pancake puffs up in center during first part of baking, puncture it well with fork.



When finished baking, remove pan from oven and slide pancake out onto long platter; drizzle pastry with 1 T hot, melted butter and
1 T sugar evenly over surface. Spread half of pancake with warm apple filling. Fold pancake in half. Drizzle top with butter and sugar. Cut into 4 wedges. Serve immediately.


Apple filling:

2-3 large golden delicious apples, pared, cored and sliced
3 T butter
3 T sugar
1/4 tsp grated nutme
Sauté apple slices in butter; season with sugar and fresh grated nutmeg.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

167. Potatoes and Turnips, Purple Tops

I don't know for sure that my mother had anything against turnips, but for some reason, she never fixed them. My guess is that her mother made her eat them too many times during the Depression and did not want to be reminded of those tough times. Since turnips are not a mainstream-vegetable, and given my lack of familiarity with them, I never prepared turnips for my family, either.

Several years ago, while shopping for garden supplies, I saw huge packages of turnips seeds for sale at the local MFA, (Missouri Farmers Association). Not only did some of the packages contain hundreds of seeds, but this was late in the growing season...the time of year when most gardeners are tired of planting, picking and processing vegetables.

I held up one of the hefty packages and wondered who would buy them. My next thought was that maybe this was a great vegetable after all so I bought a small package of seeds. Planting was easy and in a short time bright green leaves and purplish tops indicated that all sizes of turnips were growing in my garden.

Since this is a root vegetable, most of their essence is not visible until pulled out of the ground. The largest turnip I grew turned out to be over 6 inches in diameter (pictured below)! Over time, I learned two simple ways to cook and enjoy turnips.

Today's recipe was suggested to me by a man who cleaned out our chimneys. Before he left, I gave him a bag of turnips and he told me how his family had always fixed them. You can serve this as a side dish or increase the quantity and enjoy it as part of a comforting, vegetarian  meal loaded with vitamin C. It is delicious.


Potatoes and Turnips





1 medium turnip
2-3 red potatoes, medium-sized
3-4 T margarine
Salt, optional

Select a nice-sized turnip. Peel off the skin and slice the flesh into 1/4-inch strips. Put an inch of water in a small pot and add turnip strips. Simmer, covered, until tender. Meanwhile put 2-3 medium-sized, cut up red potatoes in a pot. Cover with with water and boil gently, covered, until soft. Drain water from turnips and from tender potatoes. Add turnips to potatoes, mix in 3-4 tablespoons of margarine or butter, mash and mix well. Salt if desired. Beat mixture until fluffy. Serve immediately.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

166. Calzone, Delicious and Pronounced Correctly!

My paternal grandparents came from Italy. They traveled across the Atlantic and came through Ellis Island like so many other people who sought a new start and the promise of freedom and work. Although my father and his siblings had been encouraged to only speak English at home, they did have to know Italian to communicate with their parents. Because of this history, some Italian words were used in my childhood home...many, of them related to food. I loved saying those words.

Unfortunately, I hear people everywhere mispronounce Italian food words. They say them the way they have heard other non-Italians say them. Food chains are partly to blame as they do not train their staff on the correct Italian pronunciations. Television show hosts, who have not done their homework, pass along the errors to millions of viewers. I have even heard a certain popular TV chef continue this bad habit of mispronunciation...maybe she just wants to go with the flow.

To set things straight...PROVOLONE...has the letter 'e' at the end the word and it is pronounced. The correct way to say the word for this sharp cheese is pro vuh lone ee...Some Italians pronounce it pro vuh lone ay...

Likewise, the -e- at the end of CALZONE is also pronounced. This word for a filled bread is pronounced cal zone ee or cal zone ay.

Suffice it to say, I would rather sound correct than media-cool...

Check pronunciations at the following website: http://www.howjsay.com/ This is a great website...place your cursor over the selected word and a voice will pronounce the words as they were intended. You will be surprised to find out about the word panini.

Fortunately, no matter how someone pronounces a food item, if prepared correctly...it will taste the same! Today's recipe for calzone is so delicious that just thinking about it makes my mouth water. 


Calzone




1 ¼ C water
1 ½ T sugar
3 C bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp milk
3 tsp yeast


The following recipe is for a bread machine. Hand method below.

Remove dough after manual cycle is completed. (If you want your crust to be exceptially crispy and wonderful, refrigerate the dough, covered for a few hours before rolling out and filling).

*Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16x10 rectangle. Transfer to lightly greased cookie sheet. Spoon pizza sauce onto center of dough and add filling. Make diagonal cuts 1 ½ inches apart down each side, cutting to within a half inch of the filling. Crisscross strips of dough over filling, pressing down and sealing with a drop of water if necessary. Brush top with melted butter. Cover lightly and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees, 35-45 min. until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.




Filling:

1/2 C pizza sauce
¾ C Italian sausage, browned and drained
1 ¼ C mozzarella cheese, shredded

(Optional fillings: other cheeses, green pepper, onions, black olives, zucchini, green olives, mushrooms.

Hand directions:  mix the yeast and warm water and let proof (bubble up). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix, Knead for 10 min. Allow to rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size. Punch down and follow the directions starting with *roll dough. (If you want your crust to be exceptially crispy and wonderful, refrigerate the dough, covered for a few hours before rolling out and filling).

Friday, October 15, 2010

165. Cheesecake Miniatures, Single Servings

My mother made the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. Not only was it creamy and wonderful but, the sour cream layer on top was special - when cut, it was had a slight resistance, a creamy density and remarkable flavor. I am able to make a cheesecake that tastes similar to my mother's, but I have never been able to duplicate the topping and it has remained one of the food puzzles I have yet to solve.

While I enjoy cheescake, one of my sons, loves it so much, he has it for almost every birthday. His fondness for this rich dessert is so acute that he would sometimes make a whole cheesecake while we were out of town and eat the entire thing by himself!

With the kids out of the house, a large cheesecake is just too tempting and fattening to have around. Today's recipe is for little cupcake-sized treats; the crust is a vanilla wafer; what could be easier?  These may be topped with fruit, pie filling, sauces or whipped topping.

(These little cakes will fall slightly after being removed from the oven and the concave shape makes a perfect place to put fruit or other filling).




Cheescake Miniatures




1 8-oz package of cream cheese
1//2 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 vanilla wafers

Optional toppings: Fresh fruit, pie filling, warm caramel sauce, jam, or whipped topping

Beat cream cheese until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar while beating until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat to mix well. Place wafers in the bottom of paper-lined muffin cups. Divide cream cheese mixture among cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool minatures in pan in the refrigerator. Serve with optional toppings. Remove paper if desired. Serves 6.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

164. Peanut-Coconut Bars (V - contains eggs)

Since I was old enough to be trusted in the kitchen, I knew it was the place to be! I would pour over recipes like a detective on the hunt for the next big clue. It was a gold mining expedition - a cooking safari - and it was exciting!

In fact, after I decided on a recipe, I could hardly wait to pull out the necessary ingredients and get busy. My mother trusted me to work alone, and in those solitary hours, I was a real cook in my own kitchen.

My first culinary steps involved cookies and every new recipe was a step into the unknown. As the sweet treats baked and their warm, sweet smells floated around me, I could not resist a peek into the oven to see if things were as they should be. After they were removed to a rack, it was almost impossible to wait for the cookies to cool for the all important taste test, but it had to be done. I found early on - a cookie tastes best when cooled to room temperature.

If I was lucky, I would have discovered a new family favorite. Most times, however, the recipes lacked something in the taste category, (tasted awful),  and others required too much effort to ever become a favorite of mine.

All batch cookies take time to produce and the process cannot be hurried. The bar cookie can be a wonderful time-saver and comforting aromas and flavors are created in less than half the time. Bar cookies do not have the same crispness as cookies made by the batch system, but these treats definitely have their place.

Today's peanut bar is enhanced with the addition of moist coconut. The bar itself has a very peanutty flavor and the optional icing gives it a hint of vanilla sweetness.


Peanut-Coconut Bars


1/4 C margarine
1/4 C creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 C flour, divided
1 1/4 C brown sugar, packed and divided
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C coconut, flaked
1 C dry, roasted peanuts

Combine margarine and peanut butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat while stirring, until melted. Add 1 C flour, 1/4 C brown sugar and salt. Stir well. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased  8x11.5x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl until foamy; add sugar gradually and beat until slightly fluffy. Stir in last 1/3 C of flour, baking powder, vanilla, coconut and peanuts. Pour mixture over crust and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned. Cool before cutting into bars. Makes 36 bars. (Icing optional)

Store in a covered container, do not refrigerate.


Iced bars: Icing recipe #145


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

163. Raisin Cinnamon Bread, Two Loaves

Cooler weather is the signal for me to start baking. In the summer, it is just too much effort and, with the air conditioner running around the clock, the last thing I want to do to add more heat and a heavy layer of food odors to the sticky atomosphere.

As fall approaches, however, I can hardly wait to begin making favorite breads and rolls. A bread machine takes most of the work out of making yeast products; I use mine to do the kneading and raising, only. As mentioned in a prior post, bread machines do not turn out loaves that come close to the quality of those baked in a traditional oven.

(Today's recipe for raisin-cinnamon bread can be made by hand; just mix, knead and let rise as usual).

The lovely loaf, pictured below, calls for the cinnamon to be mixed right in with the dough. It is a very simple recipe and it makes two loaves...one to keep and the other to give away to someone special. There is nothing like a loaf of freslhy baked bread to lift someone's spirits!


Raisin-Cinnamon Bread








4 ½ -5 C flour
2 pkg yeast
1/3 C sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C milk
½ C water
¼ C margarine
1 egg

1 C raisins (increase amount if desired)

Powdered sugar (optional)

Add all ingredients except raisins to bread machine in order suggested by mfg. Select ‘dough’ cycle.

 When completed, remove dough and knead in raisins. Divide into 2 parts on lightly floured surface roll each into 7x14 rectangle.  Starting at short end, roll into a loaf shape. Place into two well-greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 min. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 min until golden. Remove to wire racks and cool. This bread is wonderful toasted and also makes delicious French toast.



Optional: Mix 1/2 C powdered sugar with enough water to make a glaze. Drizzle over the top of the cooled loaves.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

162. Shells Florentine, Al Dente

Almost everyone I know loves pasta and its popularity has put it on the top-ten favorite food list for years. Pasta is inexpensive and versatile…both attributes that makes it a household staple like flour, sugar and eggs.
Plain spaghetti, lasagna, egg noodles, shells and macaroni were probably the only kinds of dried pasta sold in the Midwest when I was growing up…none of those products were referred to as pasta back then…and none of them were fixed al dente, either!

Those two words remind me of the time my husband and I were newlyweds and ate at an upscale restaurant. I called our waiter back to the table to complain that the green beans were not cooked enough…he informed me that they were supposed to be that way which was al dente. He also said he could take them back and have them over-cooked if that was the way I liked them.

Being young and slightly intimidated, I proceeded to chew my way through those horrible beans. I now know, however, that those beans were not cooked past the raw stage as they should have been…so, I was correct that they were underdone.

Of course, those words, al dente, are Italian as are most of the words that describe dozens of pasta choices. The following is a partial list with the translation next to the Italian word:

Vermicelli (little worms) Fusili (rifles) Fettucine (little slices) Linguine (little tongues)

Mostaccioli (mustache–like things) Penne (pens) Cannelloni (large little canes)

Conchiglie (shells) Conchiglioni (large shells)

The conchiglioni, or large shells, are fun to work with. A box of them can be cooked quickly and stuffed with many different combinations of meats, cheeses and vegetables. Today’s recipe uses large shells  filled with a  delicious vegetable mixture. This dish also features a wonderful, creamy sauce that is sure to get rave reviews from family and friends. This lovely meal is even better the second day!


Large Shells Florentine







18 jumbo macaroni shells                                 ½ C chopped celery
2 T chopped onion                                           2 T cooking oil
2 C cottage cheese                                           1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked
1 slightly beaten egg                                        ½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp oregano, crushed                                  Dash pepper


Cook macaroni shells according to the package directions. Drain. Cook celery and onion in hot oil until tender but not brown. Remove with slotted spoon to a bowl, set pan aside. Combine onion mixture, cottage cheese, cooked, drained spinach, egg, salt, oregano and pepper. Mix well. Fill shells with mixture.

Pour half the cheese sauce* (recipe below) into 8x11 1/2 inch baking dish. Arrange stuffed macaroni shells in sauce. Bake, covered at 375 degrees for 15 min.

Drizzle on remaining cheese sauce. Bake, uncovered, 10 min. more. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Serves 5-6.




Sauce:

2 T coarsely chopped onion
3 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper blend
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C milk
3/4 C chicken broth
1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated (buy the best cheese you can find or afford)

 In pan that was set aside, cook 2 T coarsely chopped onions; blend in 3 T flour, ¼ tsp salt and dash of pepper. Stir in 1 ½ C milk and ¾ C chicken broth. Cook and stir till the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in ¼ C grated Parmesan cheese.

Monday, October 11, 2010

161. Chicken and Noodles, Old Fashioned

I love recipes with the words, old-fashioned, attached to them. These words remind me how someone's grandmother or great-grandmother lovingly cooked special food for the family. In my mind, the grandmother created the dish by adding just the right ingredients; she knew her recipes by heart and cooked with practiced skill.

I love it when a meal has been put together with old-fashioned attention and care. Even simple meals  created with TLC and often far better than those complicated and fussy affairs.

Unfortunately, many women say they cannot cook, don't like to cook, or don't even want to learn to cook. Something in their upbringing must have turned them off to a skill I find so necessary. I cannot deny it - I love to cook!

Today's recipe was prepared with love and skill and  is simply delicious. This wonderful chicken dish includes a savory sauce, carrots and noodles served over hot, mashed potatoes.

Old Fashioned Chicken and Noodles





2 frozen chicken breast halves
2 C chicken broth
1 large carrot, cut into ½ inch slices
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp celery seed
¼ tsp salt and pepper
Fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)

Linguini

¼ C cold water
2 T flour

Mashed potatoes

(Pay attention to the temperature changes)

In a Dutch oven, combine chicken, broth, carrots, onion, celery seed, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered about 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through. (Turn chicken pieces a few times during the cooking process). Remove chicken.  Cool chicken and cut meat into bite-size pieces.

Bring broth mixture to a boil over high heat. Add noodles. Return to boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 6 min. until al dente.

Add chicken pieces back to broth mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and the flour. Stir slowly into the chicken mixture. Turn up heat to medium and cook chicken and noodles, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more our until the mixture is thickened. Serve over mashed potatoes. Serves 3 or 4.

Note: If there are leftovers, remove chicken pieces before reheating the pasta and potatoes. Build dish as before, except add cold chicken pieces to top before serving. Do not reheat chicken...it will taste terrible.

Friday, October 8, 2010

160. Gravy, Six Kinds - My Lucky Day

The pre-made gravies sold in jars and packets attest to the fact that many people shy away from making gravy because their attempts have produced a lumpy goo or they think it takes too much effort. The few commercial gravies that I have tasted left a strange after-taste and were overly salty or seasoned. It also seemed like a waste of good money to pay for a product that costs almost nothing to make.

Some people make gravy from scratch but, have not done their cooking homework. The most curious gravy I ever saw fits into this category. It was served at a holiday open house that my husband and I attended. I knew right away what the bowl next to the sliced turkey contained...but, my husband did not...before I could stop him, he asked the hostess, "Is this applesauce?"

It definitely was an I-wish-I-could-sink-through-the-floor moment.

My mother's homemade gravy, on the other hand was always lump-free, tinted the perfect shade of brown and seasoned to give the most wonderful flavors to meat and vegetables. Unfortunately, I had not paid attention when she made gravy and almost had a disaster the day I discovered that fact.

Shortly after my husband and I were married, we had a few friends over for dinner. I had fixed a beautiful pork roast and finally, except for the gravy, my entire meal was ready to be served. I, who planned the meal down to the last olive, had completely forgotten about the gravy. I did not have any idea what to do or where to start...my mind actually went blank as I stood in shock beside my beautiful roast.

Forcing myself to walk into the living room, I had to ask my guests if anyone knew how to make gravy. An angel named Alice stepped forward and my gravy boat was soon filled with a smooth, golden-brown liquid. Everyone should be so lucky! My heroine not only saved the meal, but she let me in on a secret,"Most gravy is just a little grease blended with flour; simmered and thinned with water or stock."

By explaining its basic chemistry, Alice erased my gravy fears...since then, my sauces and gravies have never been lumpy, too thick, or the texture of applesauce. Today, I pass on my gravy recipes and directions for fool-proof results.

Pan Gravy
(Steps are similar to those for making white sauce)


Remove roast or other meat to a platter and keep warm while preparing gravy.
Spoon out fat from pan into a measuring cup.
*Leave browned meat particles in the pan. (see note below regarding pan usage)

Add 4 T fat back to pan

Blend in 4 T flour over low heat

Mix well, scraping up browned bits ,stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.

Remove pan from heat

Stir in 2 cups of water, meat juices or broth a little at a time; stirring with each addition.
Place pan back on burner and heat to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Stir for 1 minute.
Add 1 T Gravy Master for beef gravy.
Season with salt, pepper...to taste.

*Note: In the olden days, gravies were made right in the pan that was used to roast the meat. This still works and assures that all the flavorful meat juices and browned meat particles will be used, but some pans cannot take the heat of a burner. Be sure to see if your roasting pan is made out of heavy-gauge metal. If not, transfer ingredients to a saucepan and proceed.

*What to do with lumps: If, for some reason, you wind up with a few lumps, pour the gravy through a sieve to extract the smooth liquid and serve. No one will ever know!

Mushroom Gravy

Cook and stir 1 cup of clean, sliced mushrooms in the 4 T fat drippings, (or margarine), until light brown. **Continue with addition of the flour step above. Add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce instead of the Gravy Master. Taste before adding salt and pepper. (A half cup of chopped onions can be sauteed with the onions for many dishes where onions would be applicable).

Cream Gravy

Make as above, but substitute milk for half of the liquid.



Pot Roast Gravy 
(Used when there is more liquid and not much fat)

Skim excess fat from juices in the pot after the meat has been removed. Add water to pot juices to measure 1 1/2 cup total liquid. Put 1/2 cup cold water in a cup, add 1/4 cup flour slowly to cold water and stir with a fork or whisk until well blended. Add back to pot and heat until gravy is thick and bubbly. Add a few drops of Gravy Master. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 cups.

Sour Cream Gravy

Remove pot roast from pan. Skim fat from pan, leaving juices. Measure juice to make 1 1/2 cups; add water if necessary. Blend in 1 C sour cream and 3 T flour. Gradually stir in juices. Return to pan and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Do not boil. Season to taste. Makes 3 cups.

Grandma's No-Fat Chicken Gravy

(When you want gravy and have no chicken fat)

In a small saucepan, whisk 1 can evaporated, skim milk, 2 T flour and 1 T chicken bouillon granules. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Cook and whisk for 2 more minutes. Do not burn. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Recipe Index 1-160

Daily recipes are pulled from the following 5 groups.
Each group is only used once/week.


1. meat/fish
2. pasta/veg/fruit
3. bread/pastry
4. soup/salad/dessert
5. eggs/easy



Recipe             Post #

Appetizer, Oriental 155
Apple Crisp 143
Apples, Sauteed 142
Apple Squares 138
Apple Tarte Tatin 157
Artichokes 62
Asparagus, Creamed on Toast 87
Asparagus, Sautéed-steamed 42

Banana Pancakes 153
Banana Whip 115
Bars, Praline Cookie 40
Bars, Praline Cookie - Deluxe 148
Beans, Back-Burner 32
Beans, Butter and Cabbage Soup 139
Beef, Italian 1
Beets, Pickled 112
Biscuit, (3) Baking Powder Recipes 73
Biscuits, Green Onion 52
Blueberry Cake Cups 144
Bread, Banana 8
Bread, Cheese-herb French 109
Bread, Danish Potato 5
Bread, Pita 34
Bread, White, rolls, buns 47
Bread, Zucchini 92
Burgers, Turkey Delicious 71
Butter Lamb 23

Cabbage, Butter Bean Soup 139
Cabbage, Stuffed  147
Cake, Blueberry Cups 144
Cake, Mini Pineapple Upside-down 99
Cake, Lemon Mousse 82
Carrots in Broth 12
Casserole, Zucchini (Italian style) 26
Chicken and Dumplings 76
Chicken Artichoke Festiva 2
Chicken Breast Strips 36
Chicken Skewers, Marinated 131
Chicken, Barbecued Pulled 95
Chicken, Golden 46
Chicken, Oven Barbecue 11
Chicken Pot Pie, No Crust 151
Chicken, Spanish-Style Grilled 106
Chili Meat Cups 51
Chips, Tortilla Cinnamon 128
Coffee Cake, Easter Nest 24
Cookies, White Chocolate 7
Cookies, White Chocolate Oatmeal-Coconut, Deluxe 74
Corn bread, microwaved 55
Cornmeal Pie 158
Corn on the Cob, Grilled 107
Cornbread Loaf with Buttermilk 88
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner 6
Crepes, Chocolate-Orange Banana 113
Crescent Puffs, Chocolate-Pecan 14
Croissants, Cordon Bleu 126
Cucumber, Marinated Slices 122

Danish Puff 84
Dressing, California French 79
Dressing, Russian 56B
Dressing, Southwestern Salad 91A
Dressing, Thousand Island 85
Dumplings, Fruit 17

Eggs Benedictive 65
Eggs, Bulls-Eye 90
Eggs, Creole 140
Eggs, Deviled 75
Eggs, Hard Boiled and Easter Eggs, easy dye method, Cold Water 18
Eggs, Huevos Rancheros 70
English Muffin Loaf 28
English Muffin, Apple-topped 125

Fish Filet with Mushroom Sauce 141
Fruit Crisp, microwavable 49
Fruit Flower for Two 45

Garnish, Carrot Flower 150
Granola, Oatmeal Maple 103
Gravy - Six Kinds, How to Make Lump-free 160
Green Peppers, Shrimp-Stuffed 72
Green Tomatoes, Fried 137

Ham, Peas and Pasta 152
Ham Roll With Pea and Olive Sauce 81
Hash browns 50

Icing, Quick 145

Jam, Concord Grape 149

Lettuce, Grilled Shrimp and 117

Mac and Cheese for Two 130
Meatballs, Swedish 155
Meatloaf, My Mother's  146
Mincemeat Bars 133
Mincemeat, Green Tomato
Mushrooms, Stuffed 77
Mussels 9

Orange Alaska 159
Orange, Chocolate-Striped Slices 60

Pancakes, Banana 153
Parfait, Chocolate-Mint 124
Parmesan Crisps 123
Patties, Bacon Potato 22
Patties, Tuna Potato 3
Pecans, Cinnamon Sugar 100
Pickles, Bead and Butter 102
Pie, Cornmeal 158
Pie Crust and Pie Crust Secrets 16
Pie, Easy Fresh Peach 104.
Pie, Frosty Pineapple Juice No-Bake 69
Pie, Mile-High Lasagna 61
Pie, Peanutty Ice cream 80
Pie, Plum 110
Pie, Ruby Whipped Cream Cheese 64
Pie, Spaghetti 41
Pie, Sweet Potato 15
Pimentos, Mock 93
Pizza, Easy 59
Pizza, Fruit 53
Popcorn, Caramel 35
Pork Chops Sorrento 136
Potatoes in a Bag (Savory Microwaved) 54
Potatoes, Whipped Sweet 58

Quiche, Mini 118

Red Beans and Rice 86
Rice, Basmati, how to cook perfect rice 30
Rum-Pineapple Fuff 'n Crunch 89

Salad, 3-Bean 154
Salad, Broccoli 29
Salad, Bunnies on the Lawn 19
Salad, Chicken Pasta 119
Salad, Hot German Potato, microwaved 97
Salad, Layered 129
Salad, Lime Pineapple 25
Salad, Napa Cabbage 39
Salad, Potato with Radish 94
Salad, Southwestern Chicken 91
Salad, Strawberry spinach 48
Salad, Waldorf 134
Salmon with Cilantro and Lime 96
Salsa, Mango-Lime 127
Sandwich, Breakfast 68
Sandwich, Open-Faced Vegetable 108
Sandwich, Pita Egg 37
Sandwich, Ruben 56
Sauce, Blueberry Fruit 83
Sauce, Cocktail 44
Sauce, Spaghetti 41
Sauce, Tomato 135
Sausage, Italian with Tomato and herbs 21
Shrimp Scampi 27
Slaw, Fruit 10
Sloppy Joe 34
Smoothie, Fruit 66
Soup Au Pistou 4
Soup, Butter Bean and Cabbage 139
Soup, Cream of Asparagus 57
Soup, Egg Drop 43
Soup, Spaghetti-Lover's 114
Squares, Spice and Sweet Potato 38
Steak Barbecue, Beijing Style 116
Steak Barbecue, Beijing Style 121
Steak Diane 111
Strawberries, Chocolate Covered 33
Strawberry Cookie Cup 120
Sushi, California Rolls, Made Simple also Seaweed Free Rolls 67
Syrup, Easy Pancake (2 recipes) 13

Taco Seasoning, Homemade 105
Tortilla Fruit Shells 78
Tuna Salad 101
Turnovers, Crunchy Beef 20

Waffle, Chocolate Dessert 63

Zucchini Squares 98

Thursday, October 7, 2010

159. Little Orange Alaskas, Cute and Easy

My mother ordered baked Alaska one evening when she and my dad went out to dinner. I remember her telling us about it the next day and how improbable it seemed to my young mind that food could be cold and hot at the same time.

We must have begged and begged Mother to make us a baked Alaska because, not long afterward, she made it for us. A pan was covered with white paper and layered with slices of sponge cake and ice cream, (ice cream was usually sold in 1/2 gallon cardboard boxes and it was easy to slice). Last, she covered the whole thing with meringue and put the pan in the freezer. When the time came for it to be served, the creation was placed carefully under the broiler.

We all watched as the meringue magically browned and at just the right moment, the dessert was removed from the oven. We could hardly wait to see what it tasted like. Slices were placed on our plates and we had our first taste of baked Alaska. It was warm and cold...instead of hot and cold, but that did not matter...it was sweet and wonderful and quite a taste and texture experience. Although baked Alaska was never on our menu again...I never forgot its amazing presentation.

Long ago, as a young mother, I made an easier version of baked Alaska. No cake, no huge quantity to have to consume...it featured sherbet instead of ice cream...we all loved the contrast of temperatures and so it is presented with fond memories. The orange and companion citrus flavors from the sherbet are very refreshing. This dessert is inexpensive, yet would even make a stand-out presentation at a formal meal.

Note concerning egg whites below.



Little Orange Alaskas




2 medium oranges
1 pint orange sherbet or mixed citrus sherbet
2 Egg whites
¼ C sugar

Cut thin slice from both the top and bottom of each orange to give each half a stable bottom. Cut oranges in half crosswise; scoop out pulp, and reserve for other uses. *Place a scoop of sherbet in each shell; cover and freeze. Beat egg whites (at room temp) until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 T at a time, beat until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Spread meringue evenly over sherbet scoops; freeze until ready to use. The serving pictured on the right was frozen for a month and turned out well.


Before serving, place each orange on a baking sheet; Move rack so it is 6 inches from heat source. Select broil. Place little Alaskas in oven and time carefully. Bake for 3 min. or until meringue is lightly browned. (I checked every minute to make sure the meringue did not burn).
Serve immediately. 4 servings.






NOTE: Even though meringue has not been a source of any contamination, use only fresh eggs with crack-free shells. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and small children should avoid meringue. Powdered egg whites may be substituted and are safe for all.





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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

158. Corn Meal Pie, Nutty

When you see a pie for sale that has fork-tine marks evenly spaced all the way around the crust edge...you can be fairly sure that the pie is not homemade. The crust will be tough and tasteless. If a pie crust is limp and greasy, it probably came from one of those packages of premade pie crust...it will be too thick and lack that necessary flaky quality that says, "Homemade!"

Two-crust pie making is an art and takes practice. Quality of ingredients is as important as how the dough itself is handled. Two pies made side by side may have different results if the pie chef is not careful.

For those who do not want to spend the time to learn how to make flaky pie crust, there are options. One would be to make a pie with a crumb crust...they require no knowledge of the proper use of flour, shortening, liquids or handling procedures. Another option would be to use boxed pie crust mixes. They will turn out a better-than-average crust if handled correctly...it won't be homemade, but it will be edible. (Pie making and pie crust secrets are post #16).

There are many different types of pie crusts and crust ingredients, but there are also hundreds of pie fillings. After years of baking, I thought I had seen, tasted or at least read about most kinds of pies until I ran across one called Corn Meal Pie.

I could not even imagine what it would taste like let alone look like. The name intrigued me so much I knew that I just had to make one! Even if I threw the whole thing out afterward, it would be worth it just to satisfy my curiosity and to see and taste the end result. To my surprise, Corn Meal Pie was delicious. The flavor is nutty and has a very slight cornmeal flavor...all in all...it is wonderful.


Corn Meal Pie






½ C butter or margarine
1 C sugar
½ C brown sugar, firmly packed
……………………………………………….
3 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ tsp vanilla (maple flavoring may be substituted)
½ C milk
½ C yellow or white corn meal
………………………………………………..
1 9-inch pie shell
½ C chopped pecans

Cream butter and sugars together. Add the eggs, vanilla, milk and corn meal. Mix well.
Pour into an *unbaked pie shell and sprinkle chopped nuts evenly on top.

*The pie crust recipe I used was from post #157 (I did not use the egg yolk). This crust has a wonderful shortbread flavor.



Bake at 350 degree for 45 min. After 30 minutes, shield crust with foil strips or a pie crust shield. Serves 8.