Friday, October 30, 2009
I started my morning by learning to use my GPS in the car to track down an estate sale. Fortunately, I found two cookbooks at the sale that I'll review later; one about the cooking of historic Williamsburg, and one about the history of American cooking. Surprisingly, one of the cookbooks offered at the sale this morning was a copy of the same cookbook that I had read this week and am reviewing today-so I know that it's out there if you just hunt for it!
The subject of today's Old Cookbook Review is Bon Apetit's Too Busy To Cook? published in 1981 by The Knapp Press. Its ISBN is 0-89535-049-1. I really like the way this book is organized; very practical for the busy cook. There is not alot of text to bog you down. There is a brief introduction to each section of the book. For instance, it begins with appetizers and gives the reader tips on presentation and advice in mixing colors, textures and flavors to appeal to a wide array of tastes. After the introduction, the recipes follow in a continuous block-type format. There are several color photos and microwave recipes included.
This is an easy-to-follow cookbook for someone who likes to cook, but doesn't have extra time to spare. This "old cookbook" has a great selection of recipes to choose from, and I think it is well-worth the hunt!
Our sample recipe is for a quick version of spinach dip that doesn't require Knorr's Vegetable Dry Mix (which is something I don't usually stock in my pantry).
P. 2 Spinach Dip
One 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 C sour cream
1/2 C mayo
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of dried dill, optional
One 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
Assorted vegetables, cut-up or cubed pumpernickel bread (scooped from bread bowl)
Combine cream cheese and sour cream and blend well. Stir in mayo and soup mix. Add seasonings. Gently stir in spinach. Serve with vegetables, crackers or in a bread bowl with cubed bread.
I will be at these swaps today:
Thursday, October 29, 2009
As I was looking through all of my clippings, I realized how many involve tips on saving time and money. These bits of homemaking wisdom may be on frayed index cards and pieces of yellowed newspaper, but they've stood the test of time and most housekeeping problems don't change much over time (dogs from the 1800's brought fleas into the house just as dogs can bring fleas into the house today!) I hope that you find these tips to be useful; please comment if you have some to share.
Don't toss out potato peelings. Let them dry, then burn them in your fireplace. This keeps the flue and chimney clean.
-Mrs. P.B. Brothers
When storing evaporated canned milk, shake the cans vigorously once a month, turning them upside-down before returning them to the shelf. By doing this, you will prevent the contents from becoming lumpy.
-Joy E. Lamb
Put a layer of marshmallows in the bottom of a pumpkin pie, then add the filling. You will have a nice topping as the marshmallow rises to the top during baking.
3 TBSP of bleach in bathwater kills chiggers.
To kill fleas in carpet, mix 1 TBSP salt into 1 quart of warm water and spray on the carpet. Repeat in 3 to 5 days.
NOTE: Just saw this at the end of Oprah's show today!
Go to Oprah.com/Payless to print off an in-store coupon that's good today and tomorrow (Fri. Oct 30) until closing to get 50 % off of your purchase of anything at any Payless store in the country (some other areas are listed on the site, as well for my international readers)!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Here's my contribution for our crock pot recipes on Wednesday. I won't chat much today; got to make salad for the Ladies' Class luncheon! Have a great Wednesday.
2 to 3 C cubed, cooked chicken
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 C mayo
3 TBSP flour
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen broccoli spears, thawed and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 tsp curry powder (Middle Son will like this!)
1 TBSP lemon juice
Hot, buttered noodles
In medium bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients except the noodles. Pour into lightly-greased crock pot. Cover and cook on Low setting for 7 to 9 hours (or High setting for 2 to 3 hours). Serve over the noodles. Can substitute turkey for the chicken (I'm thinking this is a "keeper" for Thanksgiving leftovers). Serves 4 to 6.
I'll be joining DiningwithDebbie for Crock Pot Wednesdays.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday will be Trick-or-Treat night here in our area. Even though we no longer have children in the age group that troops around the neighborhood, I still look forward to the event. I really enjoy seeing neighborhood kids dressed up in costumes, and decorating my front door for the little guests; one of our favorite traditions is pumpkin carving. Hubby carves the circle in the bottom of each pumpkin for the candles and helps scrap out the "guts" and I help pin on the patterns. Our boys have become really great carvers over the years. Some memorable carvings have been Batman, Star Wars figures, cats and ghosts. As soon as the creations are complete, we turn off the lights and take a picture of them all lined up and glowing.
Another tradition that I have had over the years is to fix chili dogs for dinner on Trick-or-Treat night. Why? Because the chili is in the crock pot and then I just put the hot dogs in there, too. I throw packages of buns, paper plates and a bag of chips on the counter, and have a vegetable tray ready in the fridge.
This hotdog serve-yourself menu means that you and the kids can eat quickly before you head out the door. If friends show up with their little ones, you can invite them in for a bite (hot dogs and chili are ready anytime because they can be kept on the crock pot's Warm setting even when you're out running your children around the subdivision. Trick-or-Treat night is notorious for rushing parents from work to parenting duties with no dinner! If one parent makes it home late for the beginning of the festivities (and has had to inch their way into the crowded subdivision), they can eat before they catch up with the rest of the family.
NOTE: If you looked at my menu, you may notice that I'm breaking with my own tradition this year, that's because we no longer have to rush out the door and Hubby likes my homemade pizza better than chili dogs! It's "scary movie night" for us...and of course, answering the doorbell!
The following recipe for chili is really simple-it had to be, usually I had spent the day, as a Homeroom Mom, serving treats and making crafts/playing games at my boys' Halloween (later called,"Fall Story Character") parties. Here you go:
Marcia's Trick-or-Treat Night Chili
1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can Hunt's Manwich Sauce (I like the dry packets of mix, but can't find them any more)
(These ingredients can be doubled or tripled, depending on your crowd!)
Brown ground beef(turkey) and chopped onion. Add sauce and a little bit of water. Simmer for a few minutes. Dump into greased (Pam spray) crock pot and throw in a package of your favorite hotdogs. After ingredients are hot, turn down to Keep Warm setting.
I will be sharing at:
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sorry that I missed you again this past Friday. That makes two Fridays in a row when I didn't get to post my blog. I may need to start getting my Old Cookbook Review done early and just putting it in early Friday when I wake up; before the day picks up speed!
To be honest, the cookbook that I had read and planned to use this past Friday was The Mandrell Family Cookbook and it wasn't going to be a very positive review, not because it doesn't have some good recipes shared by the Mandrell Sisters and families, but because it is poorly-written. I found it self-serving for the author, one of the Mandrell Sister's children. He's a chef in New York and I got the impression that this was just another way to make some extra cash...off his family's celebrity. If you're a country music fan, however, you might enjoy his stories of childhood spent, in part, on a tour bus, and photos of his famous "Uncle Ralph" Emery who went skiing with the Mandrells frequently in Aspen (along with other photos of famous pals, Minnie Pearl, Sarge and Eunice Shriver and Senator Frist).
As I've said, the recipes are good, in spite of the writing style of the book. There is an unusual recipe in the book for roasting a turkey; it's seasoned with Lemon Pepper and the outside of the bird is wrapped in bacon for roasting (Virginia Terry's Alabama Turkey on page 36). This book was published by Rutledge Hill Press in 1999 and its author is Matthew Dudney. The ISBN is 1-55853-752-x.
Here's my menu plan for the week:
Monday , Oct. 25
fried corn (leftover from Sat. grill)
Tuesday, Oct. 26
Ziti Alfredo with Tuna
Wednesday, Oct. 27 Ladies' Class Salad Lunch at church-Caesar Salad
Toasted Ham and Cheese on Onion Buns (lettuce and tomato)
Thursday, Oct. 28
hash browns w/ onions
cinnamon sweet potatoes
Friday, Oct. 29
Pot Roast w/ vegetables
Saturday, Oct. 30 Trick-or-Treat
Oatmeal and toast
Oreo Graveyard Dessert
Sunday, Oct. 31
I will be at OrgJunkie today for MPM.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We had a great turn-out at the Buffalo Auction today. It's held at the Wildlife Refuge in the Wichita Mountains. The weather was nippy and the wind made it feel even cooler, but we were grateful that it was not raining! Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers, we served a lot of hungry people in a short amount of time (served lunch from eleven until noon).
That's where I've been today, and the reason that I'm posting a little later than usual. Just bear with me. Here's something interesting from my clippings, especially if you're like our family; we go through lots of granola bars as snacks.
This recipe is one that I found in one of the old sticky-film-type photo albums that I've re-purposed to store some of my recipe clippings that I want to try. This recipe is printed in what looks to be Aunt Sis' writing.
Fat Free Sugarless Granola
2 C rolled oats
1 C Grape Nuts Cereal
1 C wheat germ
1/2 C dry milk
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 to 1 C water
Mix dry ingredients together. Add vanilla to water and mix in. Spread in shallow pans (non-stick type). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 225 degrees and continue until cereal is dry. Stir occasionally. Drying time is approximately 2 hours. Sweet and Low or Splenda Brown Sugar is good to add if you want it a little sweeter.
I'll be at these swaps today:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here's the family recipe for chicken casserole that I promised earlier in the week. This can be layered in a greased glass casserole dish and popped into the oven or fixed in the crock pot to cook on the low setting with the lid off. It's comfort food either way, but the stuffing gets a little crisper in the oven. It's also important to note that the Swiss cheese slices go on last with just enough time to melt. I like this served with peas and mashed potatoes.
Swiss Chicken Casserole
1 box Stove Top Stuffing, prepared according to box directions (using broth in place of water)
3 cans of white meat chicken, drained
1 large can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup, diluted with a little milk
1 bag of thawed broccoli or peas, optional
Slices of Swiss cheese
In greased casserole dish or greased crock pot, place chicken that has been mixed thoroughly with Cream of Chicken Soup mixture.
(You can now put a layer of thawed broccoli or peas (well-drained) if you like-if not, omit this layer.)
Next, put an even layer of prepared stuffing mix. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake in 350 degree oven until bubbly around the edges. Take foil off and place slices of Swiss cheese on top; place back into the oven until cheese melts. If using crock pot: Cook on low setting with the lid off (so the stuffing doesn't get soggy) until hot through and bubbly around edges (4 hrs.?) Put Swiss slices on to melt at the end of cooking.
I'll be at DiningwithDebbie for Crock Pot Wednesdays today!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My sons, Justin and Blake, used to love a silly skit on Sesame Street where Cookie Monster used vegetables as phones, hats, and other items as he tried to figure out their real purpose. The skit ends when he learns that the vegetables make a delicious soup. These memories always bring me a smile when they pop into my head as I'm writing! Sesame Street was one of my favorite shows....for years (more than I care to admit)...through rearing three children. I still remember the lyrics to most of the songs.
How does this memory of Cookie Monster chatting into a squash connect to today's post? Well...sometimes after summer is over, we find ourselves so blessed with an abundance of produce that we're trying to find unique ways to use it up. When my two oldest boys were in the "Sesame Street age group" my friend Christy and I spent time swapping recipes on the phone (she had two little ones, also). She gave me this unique way to use zucchini that is still one of my favorites.
This bread is moist and delicious, and so sweet that even the boys would eat it, without a clue that it contained vegetables! I like to put either butter or cream cheese on it. Another reason that it's practical, is that it freezes well; you could make it into loaves now and freeze it for Christmas gifts and cookie tray additions, later. As Cookie Monster would say, "MMM...me like zucchinni bread...it delicious!"
Christy's Zucchini Bread
1 C oil
2 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of cloves
2 C shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1 C chopped walnuts, optional
Mix oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla; add dry ingredients and mix well. Add zucchini and nuts. Bake at 325 degrees in greased loaf pans for 1 hour. Makes 2 loaves.
I'll be joining these swaps today:
Monday, October 19, 2009
We really enjoyed Fall Break and the long weekend, but now it's back to business:
Monday, Oct. 19 (Ben's trip-leaves 6:15 A.M.)
Swiss Chicken Casserole
Tuesday, Oct. 20
Wednesday, Oct. 20 (Trip to Airport)
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday, Oct. 21 (Buffalo Auction)
Friday, Oct. 22 (Trip to airport)
Spanish Pork Chops
(Bake 2 chocolate cakes)
Saturday, Oct. 23
Irish Oatmeal in crock pot
Loaded Baked Potatoes
I will be at Orgjunkie today for Menu Plan Monday. Also, please give The Thrifty Countrywoman's blog a look; she has some great ideas and recipes on using what you have in your pantry!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I love the taste of fried or stuffed mushrooms (I also like them in spaghetti sauce; on pizza; in steak gravy...or green beans with onions...OK, I like mushrooms just about any way that I can find them! So today I have a Pepperidge Farm recipe cut from a magazine ad from who-knows-when. It sounds delicious and easy to fix in a hurry-two good reasons to pick any recipe out of the box of clippings! I think these stuffed mushrooms would be great as an appetizer, or game-time snack (WVU plays Marshall this weekend, and we're a "house divided"!) Here's the recipe for try-out this week:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms
Pepperidge Farm magazine advertisement
24 medium mushrooms
6 TBSP margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1 C Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
-Remove stems from mushrooms. Chop enough stems to make 1 cup and set aside.
-In saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 TBSP margarine. Brush mushroom caps with margarine and place top-side down in shallow baking pan. In same saucepan heat remaining margarine. Add chopped mushroom stems, onion and garlic powder. and cook until tender.
-Stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Add stuffing. Mix lightly. Spoon about 1 TBSP stuffing mixture into each mushroom cap.
-Bake at 425 degrees for 10 min. or until mushrooms are heated through. Makes 24 appetizers.
TIP: Prepare through step 3. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hrs. Bake as in step 4. (This make-ahead idea would be wonderful for Thanksgiving meal!)
These are the recipe swaps that I'll be joining today:
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
As soon as the month of October is here, I am thinking about the up-coming holidays. I bought the items that I need today to make an Oreo Dessert that looks like a graveyard. It will have Redi-Whip (I found the new Cool Whip in a can) ghosts and Pepperidge Farm Milano gravestones. I will also be making Rice Krispie Treat Eye-Balls!
While looking through the holiday recipes and ideas that I've cut out over the years, I found this recipe for a warm beverage. The recipe says that you can make it in a Dutch oven on low heat, but I think a crock pot would be perfect and free-up your stove top space.
Holiday Cranberry Tea
One 48 oz. cranberry juice cocktail
1 C firmly-packed brown sugar
1 C orange juice
1 C lemonade
1 C pineapple juice
3 to 4 (3") cinnamon sticks
Combine all ingredients in Dutch oven over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally; 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Serve warm.
I will be at DiningwithDebbie's Crock Pot Wednesday today!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
My 15-year-old is not a member of the "vegetable-lovers club". However, to his credit, he does eat salads at lunch and an occasional piece of fruit. One vegetable dish that he does like is my Lemon Pepper Squash, so you'll notice it featured on my menu plan quite often. Today, I'm sharing how I prepare it as my "family recipe". It's easy to fix and very nutritious. It makes a great side dish for almost any meat.
Marcia's Lemon Pepper Squash
4 or 5 long and thin (or small) yellow and green squash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
salt to taste
On cutting board, slice squash into thin rounds. In large, heavy skillet, put some olive oil and get it hot 'til it sizzles when you drop the squash in. Turn down the heat after you've dropped in the rest of the squash (you can put onions in this, too). Add seasonings and turn the squash until it's golden on both sides. Drain a little on paper towels.
I'll be at these swaps today:
Monday, October 12, 2009
We had a wonderful, yet brief, visit with Aunt Vivian and Uncle Henry this weekend. They arrived in their "cool-looking" camper on Friday afternoon, and pulled out of our driveway on Saturday morning. They love to travel and have visited several places with their camping club. I really enjoyed the tour that Aunt Vivian gave me of their RV; it was made in Canada, and its space-saving design is amazing. We got to visit with them and have dinner together. They had limited time to stay because they are on their way back to visit their two daughters and their families. One of the high points of the trip will be their grandson, Matt's, Eagle Scout Ceremony. Congratulations, Matt!
Today begins a menu-plan week for me. I need to inventory my freezer space and clean and organize my freezers this week. I'm getting ready for the holidays and a meat-buying trip to Sam's Club. I usually start cleaning out the freezer space and organize my kitchen shelves and baking supplies in the fall.
Here's my plan for the week:
Monday, Oct. 12
BBQ Pork Chops (crock pot)
Tuesday, Oct. 13
Eggs and toast
Wednesday, Oct. 14
Thursday, Oct. 15
Friday, Oct. 16
(Family Game Night)
Pasta Fagoli Soup
Cream Cheese Brownies
Saturday, Oct. 17
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Sunday, Oct. 18
7 Layer Salad
I will be at Orgjunkie today.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I have been on the hunt for the recipe that most resembles the pickles that I had in Texas last weekend. This version sounds the closest to what I had.
I thought I might try these pickles when we have company this weekend. Our whole family is excited and looking forward to a visit by my Aunt Vivian and Uncle Henry. They've been traveling with their RV group and called from the Grand Canyon to let us know that they're coming our way. This is the only part of either side of our family that got to come westward this year, so we can't wait to see them. The last time they were here was for our two older sons' graduations two years ago. It will be a treat to have some family here!
Fried Dill Pickles (found this through Google search on E-How)
1 qt. thin, ridged dill pickle slices, well-drained
In medium bowl: 2 eggs; 1 C milk; 1 tsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Stir well and set aside.
In second bowl: 1 C cornmeal and 2 C flour; stir and set aside.
Dip pickles first in milk mixture, then dredge in flour mixture. Deep fry at 350 degrees or in heavy skillet on stove top with 1 1/2 C canola oil. Drain well on paper towels. Add a little more seasoning salt and pepper. Serve with buttermilk ranch dressing.
I will be at these recipe swaps today:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It's been cooler and drizzling rain here, so it's got me thinking of fall recipes. Here's a great drink recipe for a cool day.
Crock Pot Cocoa
3 1/2 C non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 C sugar (or Splenda?)
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
6 C water
1 tsp. vanilla
In a 3 1/2-6 qt. crock pot, combine milk, sugar and cocoa powder. Add water and vanilla; stir well to dissolve. Cover; cook on low for 3 to 4 hrs. or on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
Before serving, carefully beat cocoa w/ mixer to make it frothy. Can also top w/ cinnamon or marshmallows. Makes 9 (6 oz.) servings.
I will be at DiningwithDebbie for Crock Pot Wednesday today!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I have a confession to make about the Fried Dill Pickles that I mentioned in yesterday's post; I secretly scoffed when I first heard about them. I'm not someone who eats much deep-fried food, for one thing, greasy food bothers my stomach. But let me tell you, when our friends ordered a plate of these pickles as an appetizer to share with the table, and I had to be encouraged just to try one...the next 12 or 25 I ate all on my own!! In retrospect, I should have offered to pay for that appetizer! These were the thin, ridged dill chips, coated in a light breading and very crisp and well-drained. Just addictive! They were served with ranch dressing, which just added to the "wow factor."
Thank you, Bryan and Kathy for introducing me to yet another food that I absolutely love, but shouldn't touch! It's on that list with Snickers Candy Bars, cheesecake and buttercream icing.
As I said yesterday, after my trip, it's back to the reality of meal planning and the other usual chores. As I was looking through my "Tried and True" recipe file box, I was reminded of a great chicken dish that my mom fixed when I was growing up.
During my college days when I brought my "boyfriend/future husband" home to meet the parents, he loved this dish (it may have sealed the deal on him proposing!) of course, he had some of my Mammam's Light Rolls, too...how deceptive...since I didn't make either of these items, at the time! I'm glad, however, that he could see my potential.
Mom's Creamed Chicken Over Biscuits
1 Large can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
Part of 1 regular-sized can of Swanson Chicken Broth (or milk)
2 C cooked chicken pulled from the bone (or leftover cooked chicken)
Pan of your favorite biscuits (or you can bake a can of refrigerated biscuits on top of this in the oven, if you're in a hurry)
salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large pot of salted water, cook chicken until done; place in a glass dish to cool some and pull meat from the bones. In a separate pot, put cream of chicken soup, gradually thinning it with a little of the broth, or milk if you desire; just thin it to a gravy consistency. Heat gravy mixture and add cooked chicken, cooking until hot and bubbly. Ladle over hot biscuits and add salt and pepper.
Note: You can make the gravy, add the chicken and then pour it into a glass casserole dish (greased) and place your refrigerated biscuits on top. Bake in the oven (according to biscuit directions for temp.) until biscuits are done.
Keep Smiling...it makes people wonder what you've been up to!
I'll be at these great recipe swaps today:
Monday, October 5, 2009
What a neat weekend! We went with a group of friends to a huge flea market in Texas. I got to roam through some antique stores, and also try some Fried Dill Pickles. What a treat! Now I'm back and ready to plan my menu for the week.
Monday, Oct. 5
Tuesday, Oct. 6
Shrimp Prima Vera
Wednesday, Oct. 7
Pepper Steak in the crock pot/rice
Thursday, Oct. 8
Friday, Oct. 9
Amish Pork Chops
Saturday, Oct. 10
Steak on grill
baked potatoes (with toppings)
Sunday, Oct. 10
I'll be linking to OrgJunkie today.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sorry, but there will be no Old Cookbook Review Friday; I will be away from my desk. Please meet me back here next week; "same Bat Time, same Bat Channel"! (Was anyone else out there addicted to the old Batman and Robin shows as a kid?!) Chat with you on Monday.
Here we are on Thursday looking through my clippings box for something new to try; please don't look at the mess. These scraps of paper are really piling up. Hey, I think I've spotted something delicious-looking! It's a recipe for breadsticks...but not just your typical breadsticks; they're crunchy!
I've always liked the idea of something crunchy to accompany my soup in the fall, so as I looked at this clipping from an old issue of Taste of Home magazine, these Potato Chip Breadsticks sounded perfect!
The other thing that I like about this new recipe is that it's a way to use up those potato chip crumbs that usually get thrown away; you know, the bag's not empty, but there's not a substantial-sized chip left. This recipe calls for sour cream and onion flavored crumbs, but I will use whatever I have at the time.
I think if you wanted to save money on this idea, you could make your own bread dough, or use frozen dough. So many options, but what a great idea for breadsticks to go along with a meal, or as a snack, or a unique item for church finger-food fellowships! You could make up a batch of these for a party and then stick them in the oven when you're ready.
Potato Chip Breadsticks
Aneta Kish, Taste of Home Magazine Feb./March 2003
1 tube (11 oz.) refrigerated breadsticks
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 C crushed sour cream and onion potato chips
Unroll dough; separate into 12 breadsticks. Twist each breadstick three times and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Carefully brush with egg; sprinkle with potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen
I will be at these swaps today: