Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Menu Plan for the Week

Here's my fix-ahead items for the week:

Braised beef roast
grilled chicken breasts
Potato Salad (leftover baked potatoes, chopped eggs and onions)
Stuffed Green Peppers in Slow Cooker
Tuna Salad
half-baked pizza crusts
Potato soup
prep vegetables

Monday, Aug. 31

Beef and Noodles
green beans
Lemon-Pepper Squash

Tuesday, Sept. 1

Grilled chicken Salad
Southern Baked Beans

Wednesday, Sept. 2

Homemade Potato Soup
Tuna salad on toast

Thursday, Sept. 3 (I'm out)

Chili and Cornbread
Jello w/Bananas

Friday, Sept. 4

Homemade Pizzas
Vegetable Plate
Apple Crunch Cake

Saturday, Sept. 5

Irish Oats/Toast

Grilled Salmon
Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes

Sunday, Sept. 6

Spaghetti with Meatballs
Garlic Toast
Vegetable plate

"Leftover Buffet"

(I will be joining MPM at Orgjunkie today.)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chicken Chow Mein

Today's cookbook is a part of the Betty Crocker's set of books from the 60's. The books in this particular set are small and wire-bound with hard covers. If you are a single person or a couple this cookbook would be ideal because it's the Dinner For Two cookbook. The copyright is 1958 and it was published by Golden Press.

Although this little book was designed for small households, I found some great recipes that you could just double or triple to accommodate a larger family. Included in the 491 menus and recipes are both American and international favorites. The reader enjoys colorful illustrations done by Charles Harper along with a few 4-color photos of some of the food presentations.

This cookbook is small like the family-size for which it was intended. I see its size as a positive feature; easy to transport and convenient on the counter top. I have already reviewed one of the other books from this set in a previous Friday post, and I still believe that this is a great set to collect; small, but full of great recipes and ideas.

Here's a sample recipe from the Foreign Lands section:

P. 176 Chicken Chow Mein

1/4 C cooking (salad) oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 C sliced Chinese cabbage
3 C thinly sliced celery
1 can bean sprouts, drained
4-oz. can water chestnuts, sliced (if desired)
2 tsp. sugar
2 C chicken stock or water
2 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
1/4 C cold water
1/4 C soy sauce
2 C cooked chicken, cut up

Heat oil, salt and pepper. Add cabbage, celery, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, and sugar. Stir in chicken stock and cook about 10 minutes. Blend cornstarch, cold water, and soy sauce; add to vegetable mixture and stir until mixture thickens. Add chicken. Heat through. Serve over hot, crisp chow mein noodles. 4 servings.

I will be participating in these recipe swaps today:

Food Renegade

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Version of the Blonde Brownie Dessert

My sister first introduced me to the delightful dessert at Applebee's called, "The Blonde Brownie". At the time, I didn't get out much (hey, I had two children under the age of 5!!) It was at one of our "Girls'-Night-Outs" (where my very gracious husband stayed home, played with our boys until they were worn out,then bathed them, tucked them in for the night and then watched football on ESPN!) Meanwhile, Becky and I talked, ate dinner out, talked some more, shopped 'til we dropped (and talked some more)...and our favorite place to "drop" at the end of the evening was Applebee's for the Blonde Brownie Dessert with warm sauce drizzled over it!

A few years later, there was a wicked rumor that they were taking this scrumptious dessert off of their menu. How could this be?! Why mess with a winner? I went into panic mode and did what I do when a restaurant favorite of mine is in jeopardy...I tried to come up with my own version that would suffice if I couldn't order it anymore and I had a craving for it. Here is the recipe that I concocted myself. I'm proud of the fact that it tastes very similar to the Applebee's dessert icon!

Marcia's Blonde Brownie...In a Pinch!

2 C biscuit mix (Bisquick)
1 box light brown sugar
4 eggs, well-beaten
2 C chopped pecans (I think Applebees had walnuts)
powdered sugar

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 min. Serve warm w/my White Chocolate Sauce.

White Chocolate Sauce

1 2/3 C (11 oz.) white chocolate morsels (or butterscotch)
1/3 C heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine morsels, cream, syrup and salt in a medium sauce pan. Cook, stirring constantly over low heat for 3 to 5 min. Stir in vanilla. (Oh yeah...throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream on there, too!)

I will be joining LifeasMom for the recipe swap!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

I'm not sure where I picked this recipe up, but I've made these stuffed peppers and absolutely love them! It's a great make-ahead recipe when you're going to be out all day. Today we attended the Change-of-Command Ceremony at Fort Sill, so it would be the perfect day for me to fix a crock pot recipe to have tonight! Hoo-Ah!

Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

1 lb. ground beef
4 large green bell peppers, seeded w/tops off
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato soup
1 C water
1 package Spanish Rice Mix
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg

Mix beef with rice (minus the seasoning pkt.)celery, onion and egg. Fill peppers with mixture. Empty can of crushed tomatoes into crock pot. Arrange stuffed peppers on top. Mix soup with water and rice seasoning packet. Pour over peppers. Cook for 8-10 hours on Low.

I hope your family enjoys these peppers! Have a good Wednesday!

I'll be participating in Crock Pot Wednesday@DiningwithDebbie today for the recipe swap.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pizza Scoopers and My Seafood Salad

Here are a couple of cold snacks to keep in the fridge in the summer months. The first one is a recipe that Suzy Fox brought to a Church Finger Food Fellowship when we lived in WV. It contains all of the great flavors that you love in pizza...on a corn chip (Scoops). Suzy is the wife of a minister and at the time was rearing three hungry teens so she offered some great snack recipes!

Pizza by the Scoop

2 pkg. (8 Oz.) cream cheese, softened
12 oz. bottle chili sauce
1 pkg. (6 Oz.) Canadian bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 C shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
Corn chips (Scoops)

Spread cream cheese on an ungreased pizza pan. Spread with layer of chili sauce. Sprinkle with Canadian bacon, onion, green pepper and cheeses. Serve with corn Scoops.

I like this Hidden Valley Ranch Seafood Dip recipe (think I clipped it from a magazine ad years back). You can use it as a dip, but I add extra crab and turn it into a salad.

Hidden Valley Seafood Dip (Salad)

Mix 1 oz. packet Original Ranch Dip Mix with 1 pint sour cream (I use light). Add 3/4 C desired seafood (clams, crab meat or shrimp), I use 2 pkg. of imitation crab to turn it into a salad.

Stir in 1/2 C chopped water chestnuts, 1/2 C chopped celery and 2 TBSP minced green onions. (This is delicious served with Wheatables crackers.)

I'll be back tomorrow with a new recipe that I've tried for making stuffed peppers in the Crock pot. I thought it was wonderful!

I will be participating in these recipe swaps today:

Tasty Tuesday@BalancingBedlamandBeauty

Monday, August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Monday! Plan to make the most of this week for yourself and your family! We have a busy week around here, but will be home most nights at dinner time. Here's my menu for the week:

Make-ahead items for fridge snacks and quick breakfast grab-its:
-Dozen boiled eggs
-Seafood salad w/ imitation crab
-prepped vegetables
-cut-up Honeydew melon
-Roasted beef
-3 Bean Salad

Monday, Aug 24

Pot Roast w/Potatoes, carrots and onions
Fried leftover corn

Tuesday, Aug 25 (Out)

Homemade vegetable soup for guys
Leftover asst. breads warmed in oven

Wednesday, Aug 26

Cinnamon French Toast
Fruit plate (melon)

Thursday, Aug 27 (Mom's Birthday!)

Shrimp Primavera
7 Layer Salad

Friday, Aug 28 College Game Night (send brownies)

Leftover Pasta and salad

Saturday, Aug 29

Whole Wheat egg/sausage muffins

Chicken/Bacon Club Pizza or BBQ Chicken Pizza
Apple Pie/brownies

Sunday, Aug 30

Fiesta Meatloaf (slow cooker)
Smashed Loaded Baked Potatoes (slow cooker)
Creamed Spinach Casserole

Leftover night

(See me at MPM at OrgJunkie today.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Black-Eyes and Dirty Rice, Orange Sugared Pecans

I have a real winner of a cookbook to review this week. It is Floyd J. Babineaux's Simply Creole Cajun cookbook from 1986. He's a local chef here in the Southwest as he is located in Irving, Texas. "Cajun" Babineaux, as he is known in the Dallas Metroplex, credits much of his cooking knowledge to fellow chefs from Dallas to San Fransisco to New Orleans who have shared their expertise, but his biggest inspiration was his mother, Mildred Babneaux from New Iberia, Louisiana.

Babineaux is fond of hunting and fishing, as well as cooking, so many of the dishes he prepares are from game that he has caught, himself! The recipes in this cookbook reflect his affinity for Cajun food and it is full of spicy and flavorful recipes.
Because Creole Cajun food is rather exotic by nature, you will find recipes for tripe, tongue, fried 'gator and turtle soup in this book; if you enjoy these foods you're in luck. On the other hand, if you're not excited about this list of delicacies, believe me, there are loads of other tasty recipes to get excited about. This is one of the most unique cookbooks that I've come across. The print date of 1986 means that you might not have trouble finding a copy. Its ISBN is 0-9616648-0-0 and it was published by Cookbook Publishers, Inc. of 2101 Kansas City Road, Olathe, Kansas 66061-1260. Good Luck!

There are so many good recipes in this book that it was hard to pick sample recipes so I went for something typically Creole:

P. 15 Black-Eyes and Dirty Rice

2 (15 oz.) cans black-eyed peas, pour off most of juice in can
1 stick margarine
1 C long grain rice
1/4 C water
1 can consomme soup
1 can onion soup
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms (parts or buttons)

In large baking dish, lay stick of margarine. Pour cup of rice evenly around bottom of dish. Pour can of consomme and onion soup around dish. Pour black-eyed peas evenly in dish, then put mushrooms evenly in dish. Add water. Put in oven and bake 1 hour, uncovered at 350 degrees. Serves 4 to 6.

P. 159 Orange Sugared Pecans

Grate rind of 1 orange and squeeze out juice
Water and juice about 3/4 C
2 C sugar
3 C pecans

Cook sugar, water, orange juice and rind to soft ball stage. Add pecans. Turn off heat. Stir until pecans start sugaring. Pour out on waxed paper, separate and cool.

Foodie Friday
Friday Feasts
Food on Friday

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Beef Recipes and One For Spinach

I really like to find recipes that have some short-cuts to make them fast to put together without sacrificing flavor; it doesn't matter if a recipe is easy to fix if nobody likes it! In my clippings box this week I found two beef recipes and one for spinach that qualify for the fast category. You and I will have to determine if they are good and worth keeping (around here a new recipe means a "thumbs up-thumbs down" vote).
I think that all three of these recipes are good candidates for the flavor vote since the seasoning for both beef recipes includes dry onion soup mix, and the spinach recipe is topped with buttered cracker crumbs. The stew recipe uses frozen meatballs and cooks all day in your slow-cooker; there's a time-saver on a school night or after work. I'm anxious to give these a try; hope you will, too!

Newspaper Recipe Contest (no date available)

Easy Beef Goulash
(Doris L. Rayman, Somerset, Pa.)

1 to 2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 Lb. ground beef (chuck)
3 C uncooked medium egg noodles
2 C water
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Heat oil in medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally w/ a fork to break up meat. Drain off any excess fat.
Sprinkle uncooked noodles over meat. Combine water, tomato sauce and onion soup mix. Pour over noodles in skillet. Do not stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to moderately low and simmer about 30 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Stir and serve.
Note: You may have to add a small amount of water if the noodles seem to be sticking. This is very easy and quick for those hectic days.

Spinach Casserole
(G.G. Crabtree, Lansing, Michigan)

1 package frozen spinach
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can French Onion Rings
6 TBSP butter or margarine
cracker crumbs

Cook spinach according to package directions. Heat soup and cream cheese to soften. Mix with spinach; add onion rings. Pour into casserole. Melt butter; add enough cracker crumbs to absorb butter. Spread buttered crumbs on top and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

This recipe is from one of the Reiman magazines, maybe Country Woman, I'm not sure.

Meatball Stew
(Iris Schultz, Miamisburg, Ohio)

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 pkg. (16 oz.) fresh baby carrots, quartered
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
1 pkg. (12 oz.) frozen cooked meatballs
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) beef gravy
1 C water
1 envelope onion soup mix
2 tsp beef bouillon granules

Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, celery and meatballs in a 5 qt. slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over meatball mixture. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Yield: 6 servings.

Update on Window cleaning experiment from yesterday's post: I have concluded that the best combination for a no-streaks window is to use a microfiber dusting cloth on your Swiffer Dry Mop pole and Sparkle Glass Cleaner. Also, it is best to hose the window down first to loosen the dirt. My windows are looking beautiful! I still have to clean my screens, though. I think that whoever said, "Housework can kill you if it's done right!" was correct.

I will be participating in the recipe swaps at LifeasMom and JoyofDesserts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quickie Cleaning for Tall Outside Windows

This is a picture of the dirty tall windows and our landscaping project when it was at the half-way point!

As I've watched the commercials and seen the ads lately for the new outside window cleaning kit, I've been interested in the concept. I like to do a thorough cleaning with the traditional bucket and ladder at least once a year; twice a year if I get to it! I looked at the kit while I was shopping one day last week and thought it resembled something that I already own-a Swiffer Mop! It's just one more plastic thing with a long handle to store in my broom closet, and on top of that, the special window-cleaning pads that you have to keep buying for it are pricey.

This grocery store investigation led me to an idea that maybe for a "quick clean" I could use my Swiffer Mop for my tall, arched outside windows. Here's what I did this morning:

I used my Swiffer Dry Mop and a Swiffer wet cleaning pad. You might say that these are pricey, as well. I feel there's some truth to this statement, but I buy them in bulk at Sam's Club and once in a while, I'm lucky enough to find them at Big Lots (sometimes you can find coupons for them to use at your favorite store.)

On each window I worked going from the top of the window to the bottom with the mop, using long downward strokes. I then went back over the window with a Dry Swiffer Dust Cloth dipped in vinegar and warm water to rinse it (also using downward strokes and getting off excess water). In both cleanings, with the wet cloth and the cloth for the rinse, I got about three big windows (maybe four) out of one cloth; I did two and then turned the cloth over and reused for a couple more windows.

I have to say that for the ease of cleaning and the small time investment, my windows turned out well, except for a few streaks. I loved not dragging the ladder around the house to each window! I think next time, I'm going to use the same method,except I might hose the window down first, and then use Sparkle (my favorite glass cleaner) on a dry cloth in place of the Swiffer Wet Cleaning Cloth; Swiffer Wet Cloths are actually made for mopping floors so there may be some cleaning agent in there that's causing the streaks, even though I rinsed with vinegar water. I'll let you know how it turns out when I use Sparkle Window Cleaner for my experiment on the front windows of my house. It's like most of my cleaning short-cut ideas...lots of trial and error here!

I will be participating at WeareThatfamily today! Look there for other money-saving and time-saving ideas.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bread Pudding and Kentucky Spoon Bread

One of my "Pappy" (Straus) Michael's favorite desserts was Bread Pudding. Here is a fast and easy recipe for it that uses up leftover doughnuts.

Bread Pudding

6 doughnuts, cake or pastry
5 eggs
3 C milk
1/2 C sugar
Dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Break doughnuts into pieces and put into shallow 2 qt. pan. Combine eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix and pour over all. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Cool; cut into squares and serve with custard sauce.

Custard Sauce:

One 3 1/2 oz. instant vanilla pudding
1/2 C Cool Whip
1/4 C milk

Prepare pudding; fold in Cool Whip and milk.

This is one of my Aunt Sis' recipes that I remember her making. It's a recipe that's "been around the block" but everyone loves it.

Kentucky Spoon Bread

1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick margarine, melted
8 oz. sour cream

Mix all ingredients. Put into greased 9x13 glass casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

I will be participating in BlessedwithGrace and BalancingBeautyandBedlam's recipe swaps today.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Menu for the Week

I'm back to "cooking big" around here! It's great to have so many guys to cook for. As long as I stay away from too many casseroles and fix a dessert once a week everyone is happy. Here's my plan for the week:

Monday, August 17

Baked Ham
Homemade Cheese Potatoes
Southern Baked Beans
Corn/Green Bean Casserole

Tuesday, August 18 (Out)

Ham sandwiches
Macaroni Salad
(Leftover green beans/baked beans)

Wednesday, August 19

Corn Muffins
Jello w/fruit

Thursday, August 20

Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits

Friday, August 21-Out(Make an Apple Pie today)

Chicken Topped Caesar Salad
Garlic Toast

Saturday, August 22

Bacon and Biscuits W/Milk Gravy
Fruit Mix

Grilled Salmon
Hash Browns w/Vidalia Onion
Steamed Cabbage

Sunday, August 23


Baked Steak
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Buttered Baby Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

I will be participating in Orgjunkie's MPM today.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Green Bean-Cauliflower Platter

I was out running errands yesterday and trying to get organized for the first day of "back to school". I sorted clothes from Ben's closet to make room for the ones that he will actually wear and the clothes that still fit! Then, last night, I was unavailable to work on the blog, as well. It was a hectic day. Sorry if you missed me on here, I'll try to do better next Thursday.

Today's cookbook review is not very positive, I'm afraid. The title is Sunset Menu Cookbook from 1969, published by Lane magazine and Book Company. I found this book at a garage sale where a woman had really sorted out her collection; she was right to sort this one out!

I had high hopes for this old cookbook since I've always enjoyed the Ideals Magazine by Sunset. But, as I leafed through this large coffee table-sized book of menus for different occasions followed by the menu's recipes, my hopes were deflated. All photos are in black and white and that's probably for the best because most of the recipes did not sound appealing to me. There's a Tahitian Buffet and a menu for a Hungarian Soup Supper. Most of the ideas and recipes are not my style of cooking and did not seem practical for our family.

In all fairness, I can see where this book might be useful if you were a teacher covering the foods of other countries and wanted to have a menu that was authentic to each region. If you are a teacher looking for such a book this might be appropriate.

P. 77 Green Bean-Cauliflower Platter

1 med.-sized head of cauliflower
3/4 C water
about 1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen whole green beans
Salt, pepper, butter to taste
Mustard sauce
Chopped chives

Place whole cauliflower in a pan and add the water; season w/ 1/4 tsp salt and dash of pepper. Cover; bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender-crisp. In another pan, cook the beans according to pkg. directions. Season to taste w/ salt, pepper, and butter.
Just before serving, place hot, cooked cauliflower in center of a platter and arrange the hot, cooked beans around it. Cover the cauliflower with Mustard Sauce and sprinkle w/ chopped chives. Serves 8.

Mustard Sauce

Combine 1 C sour cream (at room temperature) with 1 TBSP lemon juice, 2 tsp prepared mustard, and 1/4 tsp salt.

I will be joining Grocerycartchallenge, DesignsbyGollum and Momtrends today.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saving time , mess and money!

I was thinking, yesterday, as I refilled soap dispensers, that I had never blogged about some of my money and mess-saving tips when it comes to bathroom staples. So here we go! If you've already put these into practice, or have some even better tips please leave a comment! I love to find out ways to make life around the house easier and less-expensive.

I have used liquid soap, in place of bar soap, by every sink for years. It saves you from having a messy, gummy pile of soap to clean up every time that you clean the sink tops. I know, some of you might say that you feel liquid soap is more expensive than bar soap, but here's how I go about it: I buy the clear liquid soap in Member's Mark brand at Sam's. I then refill Dial Complete Foaming soap containers. If you put half liquid soap to about half water and replace the top, then gently swish around, it will foam when the top is pushed down. (I bought the multi-pack of Dial complete Foaming Dispensers at Sam's, also; before that I used regular dispensers and refilled them, but your soap doesn't go nearly as far!)

If you have small children who play "roll the toilet paper and see how much comes off at one spin" you are probably wasting a lot of paper and having plumbing issues! When the boys at our house were little, I would put the new roll between thumb and fingers and smash it down before putting it on the roll dispenser. This keeps the roll of paper from rolling so fast.

If you hate scrubbing toilets (one of my least favorite jobs!) but you like a fresh- smelling, sparkling bowl, scrub each toilet very well and then drop a Clorox Bleach Tablet in the tank. I found a multi-pack of 6 of these at Sam's. Every time you flush (for 3 months-up to 10 flushes per day) it cleans and deodorizes with bleach.

An item that's very helpful for cleaning bathroom mirrors, TV and computer screens is used dryer sheets; you can store them in a an empty tissue box kept near your dryer.

I hope that you find these tips useful! Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blake's Eclair Dessert for a Belated Birthday

The guys at our house all like this cold dessert, but Blake has requested it for several years in place of a birthday cake. Since we've got his belated birthday, as well as Dana's, to celebrate, I thought I'd make this dessert that is fairly easy, but looks like you "made a fuss"!

I originally got this recipe from Pat Hose, a lady that we attended church with in WV. Park Avenue was hosting a Ladies' Day and this is the dessert that we served for that luncheon. It's very pretty if you have a serving dish that's clear glass so that you can see the layers.

Chocolate Eclair Dessert
Pat Hose, Charleston, WV

1 lb. pkg. graham crackers
2 pkg. French Vanilla instant pudding (small boxes)
3 1/2 C cold milk
One 9 oz. Cool Whip Topping

Chocolate Topping:
2 pkg. Nestle's Choc-o-Bake (baking aisle)
2 TBSP clear Karo Syrup
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP soft oleo (margarine)
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
3 TBSP milk

Butter and line 9x13x2" glass dish with a layer of graham crackers.

Mix and beat pudding and milk for 2 min.; blend in Cool Whip.

Beginning with cracker layer, add pudding layer, then another cracker layer, then pudding, ending with a cracker layer. Add chocolate topping. Refrigerate for several hours. Enjoy!

I will be joining BlessedwithGrace for the recipe swap!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menu for the Week

Blake's home from Japan!! We picked him up at the airport yesterday. So it's a week of family celebration. Here are some of Blake's favorites.

Monday, August 10

Black Forest Cake

Tuesday, August 11


Wednesday, August 12

Homemade Potato Soup
grilled ham and cheese
carrot and celery sticks

Thursday, August 13

BBQ Spareribs
Au Gratin Potatoes
Brussels sprouts

Friday, August 14 Dana's Birthday!

Family Game Night

Saturday, August 15

French Toast

Dinner out for Dana and Blake's birthdays
Eclair Dessert

I will be participating in Orgjunkie's MPM today!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Roaster Oven Cookbook

While looking through the books on my shelf, I came across this old one that came out as a gift when you purchased the "new, innovative" roaster oven. (Mammam had a roaster just like the one in the picture and gave it to me after I was married.) I couldn't find a year listed in the Roaster Oven Cookbook, but it was published by Gramercy Publishers and the author is Nedda Anders. Its catalog number is 55-7527. The hardcover red book is 128 pages long and gives instructions on how to use a roaster oven, and shares its time and money-saving virtues.

In fact, here are some of the "special uses" given (p. 10) to use when your roaster is on anyway or it is still warm after it's been turned off:

1. Save celery tops or parsley, dry them in oven at 150 degrees.

2. To softened brown sugar that's gone hard, place in warm oven.

3. Make your own bread crumbs or croutons. Put stale bread into warm oven to crisp but not brown.

4. Warm coffee cakes, breads, pies for mealtime.

The instructional part of the book is less than exciting, but it does include some really good recipes. Happy book hunting! Today's sample recipe is from page 29.

p.29 Chinese Pepper Chicken

2 quartered boiling chickens
1 C water
1 clove of garlic, mashed
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP sherry wine
3 TBSP oil
2 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1" squares
4 green onions (scallions)cut into 1 " pieces
2 tsp celery seed

Wash and dry chicken. Combine water, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt and sherry in a flameproof 2-qt. cast iron casserole, and bring to a quick boil on a surface range(or use saucepan and pour into casserole.) Add chicken, cover and cook for 20 minutes, then place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and add peppers, green onions and celery seed. Continue baking, uncovered for about 15 min. longer. Serve while greens are still crisp. Cooked rice is a fitting accompaniment.

I will be joining Momtrends, Grocerycartchallenge, LifeasMom and designsbyGollum for the recipe swaps today.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sweet Onion Relish and Freezer Sweet Corn

Sorry that I missed blogging yesterday, but we were busy with a visit to the Pulmonologist for Ben's check-up before school starts. His breathing numbers were the best ever-95%! We had a good day.

Well, for today's recipes from my clippings drawer that you might want to try, I've chosen two that will help if you have a summer garden. One is from an Iowa farm wife that I believe I got out of an issue of Country Woman Magazine that someone passed along to me. She gives us her method for freezing fresh corn.

Freezer Sweet Corn
(Iowa farm wife-Country Woman Magazine?)

4 qt. fresh cut sweet corn (18 to 20 ears)
1 qt. hot water
2/3 C sugar
1/2 C butter or margarine
2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in large kettle; simmer for 5 to 7 min, stirring occasionally. Spoon into freezer bags or freezer containers. Place in freezer.
Makes 3 qt.

The second recipe today is for a relish...made with onions! Anything made with onions usually sounds good to me, so I'm anxious to try this one. I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but I've scribbled it on the back of a events calendar from our local library.

Sweet Onion Relish

10 lb. Vidalia onions, peeled and quartered
1/2 C salt
1 qt. vinegar
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp pickling spice
One 4 oz. jar chopped pimento
4 1/2 C sugar

Chop onions in food processor to yield 1 1/2 gal. Add salt and let stand for 30 min. Squeeze juice from onions and discard. Place onions in large pot; add vinegar. Place spices in cheesecloth or a tea ball. Add spice ball and sugar to vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 min.stirring often.

Spoon onions and sufficient liquid into canning jars which have been sterilized, leaving 1/2" head space. Process in hot water bath for 10 min. or use canner .

I will be participating in JoyofDessert's recipe swap today.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amish Cold Slaw and Poppy Seed Chicken

Today's the day that I summon my courage and don a painter's mask to "bravely go" where everyone else is too smart to go-Blake's room to dust his "collectibles"! That's right it's a dusty job, but somebody's got to do it! My plan of action is to use a painter's ladder (most of the myriad of M&M figures and Sci-Fi movie memorabilia is displayed on a basket shelf that goes around the top half of his room) a box, my micro-cloth and my can of Pledge Clean and Dust. My dad sent me a list of useful tips on Bounce Dryer Sheets and one tip was to use it to dust wooden blinds because the trace of softener then repels the dust; I may finish off the basket shelf by wiping it with the Bounce Dryer Sheet.

The other dreaded part of this task is trying to reach behind a floor-to-ceiling display of Darth Vader that is three large sections that are connected by metal poles. It is my, uh, to my credit that he possesses this unique item; I might share that "true confession" story in a future post. I'm thinking that if I use the extenders on my vacuum hose maybe I can reach the space behind Luke's father ("space"..get it?!...sorry)

Enough about my cleaning woes. Today I have a recipe for chicken that my sister, Becky, made when we went to visit her and her husband in Ohio. This was years ago when they were brave newlyweds who invited "the relatives with two little boys" to come visit their first house. Justin and Blake were well-behaved during the visit, and it's a good thing, because Becky and Shawn had put a lot of work into the older home; wallpapering, painting and general fix-ups; it was beautiful.

Becky was a good cook, even then, but not used to cooking for six people at a time. She made this casserole, which was a smart choice! This chicken was delicious and we enjoyed our visit very much. On a funny note, Becky hadn't thought about the possibility of the poppy seeds in this dish having an ill-effect on Shawn's drug test and physical for his new job, which was scheduled for....the next day! He consulted a nurse they knew from their church, who didn't think that there would be a problem, but we were all still a little concerned until he found out that he passed his exam.

Becky's Poppy Seed Chicken

Boil and debone 8 chicken breasts
(save broth)
Mix together:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
one 16 oz. carton of sour cream
1 C chicken broth

Add cubed chicken. Put in 9x12 greased baking dish. Sprinkle with poppy seeds (1 to 2 TBSP)

1 stick melted margarine
mixed with 1 sleeve of Ritz cracker crumbs

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 min.

Remember my friend, Ona Clendennin from our Park Avenue church family? (see previous post) Well, Ona made a coleslaw that she called "ice box slaw" that I thought was great. When she passed me the recipe, though, it was actually called Amish Cold Slaw. If you like mild, creamy coleslaw, this is not it! This version has more of a tangy sauerkraut taste.

Ona Clendennin's Amish Cold Slaw

1 large head cabbage
1/2 C chopped onion
1 C celery
1 C chopped green bell pepper
1 C chopped carrots

2 C sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seed
1 C white vinegar

Pour over shredded cabbage mixture. Stir and refrigerate for 24 hrs. before serving. Will keep in the ice box for 8 to 10 days.

I'm joining BlessedwithGrace for the recipe swap today!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Exciting Week Ahead

Happy Monday! We're looking at an eventful week around here so the menu plan will not be complete. Our son, Blake, is due back this weekend from Japan, so that is the highlight of the week for us. Lord-willing he will be here Sunday!

Monday, Aug 3

Egg and Sausage Wheat "McMarcia-McMuffins"
Fruit salad with Bing Cherries

Tuesday, Aug 4

Baked Potato Stroganof
Fresh Green Beans

Wednesday, Aug 5


Thursday, Aug 6


Friday, Aug 7

Sour Cream and Chive Potatoes
Tossed salad

Saturday, Aug 8

Cinnamon Toast
Turkey Bacon

Chicken and Rice
Lemon Pepper Squash
Vegetable Plate

I'm Participating in MPM at ThehappyHousewife today!