Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu for Feb. 28 - Mar. 6

Oh, I can just feel Spring coming! As I sit here working on my menu plan for the week, I can see Daffodils in my neighbor's yard (out my window), and a Morning Dove, searching for a good place to build her nest, just perched on my balcony. It's exciting to think that warmer weather and budding trees and flowers are in our future. God is truly good to us.

It's hard to believe that today is the final day of February. How will March "come in" tomorrow; like a lion or lamb? Just another one of those wonderful surprises of the coming Springtime. Today I'm posting my menu plan for the first week of unpredictable March. I hope that you are making a menu for the week or month ahead; it makes life in the home run smoother, and I think you'll notice that you have less kitchen waste and more money leftover after grocery shopping. Please, give it a try!

Mon., Feb. 28
Ribs (in crock pot)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed cabbage

Tues., Mar. 1
Taco Salad
Iced tea

Wed., Mar. 2
Ham and Scrambled Eggs in Pitas

Thurs., Mar. 3
Pork BBQ Pitas

Fri., Mar. 4
Eat out (Make a Strawberry Shortcake)
Make a gallon of Iced Tea

Sat., Mar. 5

Baked Ham
Cheese Potatoes
Southern Baked Beans
Hot rolls
Strawberry Shortcake
Iced Tea

Sun., Mar. 6
Chicken Swiss Casserole
Green Beans
Iced Tea

I'll be at these swaps:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection Cookbook

In 1977 the Hunt Wesson Test Kitchens put together this unassuming little spiral-bound cookbook which sold for $1.99. Entitled Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection Cookbook, you might be lead to believe, incorrectly, that it's limited in scope. Aside from the variety of recipes for salads, sauces, ethnic dishes and "comfort food" style main dishes, there are even a few dessert recipes. What a surprise to find directions for Mahogany Cake, Brownie Drops and Pennsylvania Dutch Tomato Pie!

The Mexican and Oriental recipes are plentiful and have colorful photos to tempt the reader. It's a timely book for today's frugal cook as there are meatless dishes, bean dishes, pasta meals and many using polenta , barley, hominy and rice. It supplies recipes to feed a crowd, so you might find it useful if you're preparing a family reunion or other big get together. You'll find Sloppy Joes for 75, Spaghetti Meat Sauce for Fifty and Buckets of Barbecue Sauce.

As I've mentioned, I think this cookbook is relevant to the way we eat today. I found a few recipes that sounded like they came right from the recent popular cooking shows (with their celebrity chefs). For example there's Mediterranean Fish Rolls, Vegetarian Lasagna, Italian Sandwich Pockets (in pita bread) and Garbanzo Salad. You should start your search for this small cookbook now, the ISBN is 0-87469-015-3. I found mine at a Super Goodwill store for fifty cents! Our sample recipe is from page 80:

Garbanzo Salad
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 (2 1/4 oz.) cans sliced ripe olives, drained
1 C chopped green pepper
2/3 C chopped Bermuda onion
3/4 C Tangy Tomato Herb Dressing

Toss all ingredients, except dressing, in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until well-mixed. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Tangy Tomato-Herb Dressing
3/4 C red wine vinegar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp each: celery seed, dill weed, paprika and salt
1/4 tsp each; garlic powder and basil
Dash pepper
1 1/4 C vegetable oil
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste

In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil. Cool 10 min., add oil and Hunt's Tomato Paste. Stir or beat until creamy.Refrigerate. Mix before using. Makes 2 2/3 cups.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Swiss Steak, Sunday Style

Another "oldie but goodie" from the Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Book. I hope you enjoy it.

Swiss Steak, Sunday Style

2 lbs. round steak, 1/2" thick
3 TBSP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 TBSP oil
1 onion, sliced
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste
2 C water
1 tsp sugar
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas and carrots

Cut steak into serving pieces; pound in mixture of flour, salt and pepper. In large skillet, brown steak on both sides in hot oil; remove steak. Brown onion in drippings. Blend in tomato paste, water and sugar, stirring until smooth. Return steak to skillet and cover tightly. Lower heat; simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. or until steak is tender. Add peas and carrots last 10 min. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

I'll be at:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potluck Chicken

What a crazy -busy week! Hope that your week is going well, and if you are one of the folks across the country who got more snow, I hope that you are starting to see the sun magically melt it away. I'm ready for Spring; lately I catch myself looking at the lawn and garden section when I shop :) Happy Wednesday.

Here's a recipe that sounds good to me. I found it in a book called Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection. It will be the cookbook that I review soon. I am partial to recipes with tomato products.

Potluck Chicken

3 (2 1/2 lb.) frying chickens, cut up
garlic salt
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste
1 (10 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
1 C water
1 tsp oregano
12 oz. mozzarella or Swiss cheese, sliced
3 small green peppers, cut into rings

Sprinkle with chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Place, skin side up, in 2 (9x13x2") baking dishes. Bake, uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. In a bowl, combine Hunt's Tomato Paste with chicken broth, water and oregano, pour over chicken. On each piece of chicken, place a slice of cheese and a green pepper ring. Bake 30 min. longer or until chicken is tender. Makes 12 servings.

I'll be at:
- DiningwithDebbie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan for February 21-24

Happy Presidents' Day! How great it is to have a day to honor men who have served as leaders of our country. It is a difficult and stressful job; if you don't believe it, compare photos of any President when he begins his term in office to the photos of him when he leaves. God bless and guide America and her President.

Here's my menu for the week:

Mon., Feb. 21

Fried Shrimp

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Steamed Broccoli

Cherry/Apple Pie

Tues., Feb. 22

Hamburgers with onions

Carrot and celery sticks

Chips and dip

Wed., Feb. 23


7 Layer Salad

Thurs., Feb. 24

Grilled Chicken Breasts

Macaroni and Cheese

Green Beans

Fri., Feb. 25


My Adventures in Texas: Saturday night we were in Arlington at Cowboy Stadium to hear Toby Keith (a famous Oklahoma boy!) sing, and then to watch professional bull riding (those are some tough athletes). We got to be with some good friends who came down from Lawton; we all enjoyed a super evening. Note: You need to see the "Sheep Riding Event" some time before you die. Small children compete in a contest to see who can stay on his sheep the longest! Just another Texas Saturday night :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Old Recipe File: White Beans

When I was little, I remember my mom making "soup beans" when we had a fresh ham bone (always after Easter, but other times, too). When I saw this great recipe it sounded like the delicious, comforting "soup beans" from Mom's crock pot. Gotta make a pan of corn bread and cut up a "good onion", too! Love you , Mom.

White Beans

1 1/2 dried white beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C chopped carrots
1/2 C chopped celery
6 to 8 C water
1 tsp parsley
Ham bean, no meat
1 tsp white pepper

-Sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water 2" above beans; let soak over night.
-Drain beans and set aside.
- Coat a large skillet with shortening. Place over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
-Combine reserved beans and vegetable mixture in a large Dutch oven. Stir in water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Serve with quarters of sweet onion. Makes 6 cups.

I'll be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Old Recipe File: Madame Rossi's Minestrone

This is a curious little recipe card from the old file box; it was typed on an index card and as you read it, you may agree with me that English may not have been the writer's first language. That just makes it even more interesting to me (maybe "Madame Rossi" was a French or Italian mother-in-law who passed down her recipe for soup). Sounds good to me... except for the addition of turnips! I'm not a turnip fan; they keep company on the list of "Things That I Don't Like To Have Touch My Tongue", right after okra, liver and ramps! I'm sure that I could down these food items if I had to, but not while there are any other choices.
Enough of my whining-have a wonderful Wednesday :0)

Madame Rossi's Minestrone

Cut up in pieces all sorts of fresh vegetables, including turnips, carrots and plenty of cabbage. To every 4 cups of navy beans, which have been soaked overnight, cook together in water to cover (with a little salt) for about 2 hours only, simmering gently and adding a little more water, if needed. Then make the following sauce:
Brown 1 sliced onion in butter, to which you have added a little olive oil and chopped salt pork. Cut small and add 1 large tomato, some celery, parsley and a clove of garlic. Cook together for about 20 minutes. Put soup and sauce together; add a good fistful of broken spaghetti and cook for another half hour. This is a meal.

I will be at these swaps today and tomorrow:
-The thriftyhome

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Soft Raisin Cookies

When I was cleaning out a storage cabinet in my laundry room last week, I found an old (think '50's red and white metal) recipe file that I bought at an auction years ago when I was first married. The recipes in the tin box were ancient back then...that's why I bought it. This week I'm dusting it off and sharing recipes with you. Grab an iced tea and pull up a chair at the kitchen table. Here's our first old recipe from the box.

Soft Raisin Cookies

3 1/4 C flour
3 eggs
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C butter
1 C milk
2 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C dark seedless raisins
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Early in the day or up to 2 weeks before serving:
Into large bowl, measure all ingredients, except raisins and nuts. Beat with electric mixer on low until just mixed; increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Stir in raisins and walnuts until well-blended.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop by heaping TBSPfuls about 2 inches apart, on greased cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned around edges. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Store cookies in tightly-covered container. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

***If you're in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, check out the Lone Star Antiques Mall in Keller. It's one of my favorite places to look for treasures. Hubby took me there on Sunday afternoon as a treat! (and...yes, I found 2 more old cookbooks!... Alright?!)***

I will be at these swaps today:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu for a Sweet Week

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. If you don't have a "sweetie" be extra nice to yourself today! I plan to make my valentines who are still at home a special dinner tonight...a real "guy meal"...Ribs! Even though I usually consider eating out at a restaurant a treat, I don't prefer eating out on actual Valentine's Day (or actual Mother's Day...ditto for Easter Sunday!) It's too crowded, noisy, messy and there's usually a long wait for a table. So here's the plan at our house.

Mon., Feb. 14
BBQ Pork Spare Ribs
Potato and Cheese Casserole
Iced Tea
Valentine Cherry Cupcakes

Tues., Feb. 15
Baked Fish
Pepperjack Macaroni and Cheese

Wed., Feb. 16
Bean Soup

Thurs., Feb. 17
Swiss Steak w/ Vegetables
French Bread

Fri., Feb. 18
Leftover Bean Soup
Vegetable Soup

Sat., Feb. 19
French Toast
hot tea

Eat Out

Sun., Feb. 20

Eat Out

***I will be at today***

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mary Lane's Book of Baking-1936

My cookbook review today is short and sweet, just like the cute little book I'm reviewing from the 1930's. It's Mary Lane's Book of Baking from 1936, and I was lucky enough to find it in a Texas antique mall. Its copyright is under the Better Baking Institute of Sherman, Texas. This is an American product; written, printed and bound in Texas (Scruggs Printing Co. of Sherman, and The Universal Bookbindery, Inc. of San Antonio). This small green hardcover book was a promotional piece put out by Fant Milling Company in Sherman, Texas. They produced Gladiola Flour. The Better Baking Institute was the test kitchens of Fant Mills. Mary Lane was the home economist hired to be the head of the test kitchens, and the company's spokesperson on a radio show each week called, "the Kitchen Club". On this once-a-week show, Mary gave baking tips, recipes and answered questions that had been sent to her. An early-day "Martha Stewart"! (or Betty Crocker- don't know if she was real or just a mythical homemaker created by an advertising department). At any rate, this is a wonderful piece of advertising and baking history. The recipes in the book are classics in American baking. Its pages have handy index tabs and the sections sound like a primer for a Home Ec class. The selections include: Quick Breads, Yeast Breads, Butter Cakes, Sponge Cakes, Cookies and Pies and Pastries. Good luck hunting for this little cutie! Here's a caramel frosting recipe from its pages.

Caramel Frosting

1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C milk
2 TBSP butter

Mix the sugars and milk together, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. There cook without stirring until a very small amount of the mixture forms a very soft ball in cold water. Add the butter. Let cool until lukewarm, then beat until thick and creamy, and of the right consistency to spread. The frosting may be placed over hot water to keep soft while spreading.

***Personal note: Here I go with a little "Mom-bragging"...last night I had the pleasure of eating dinner with my son, Justin. I'm so proud of his emerging cooking skills! He had fixed Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Potato Casserole, Baked Steak, French Green Beans and Lemon Cake for dessert. Thanks for a delicious meal, Justin!***

I'll be at these swaps today:
- Amysfinerthings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prize-Winning Turkey Stroganoff

I am going to continue our theme of turkey recipes this week. It all started because I decided to thaw out one of my post-Christmas bargains from my freezer (at 25 cents a pound, I bought the biggest ones in the case to stash away for later!) Today our recipe is a very old newspaper clipping from area cooks who won prizes for their delicious dishes. We like stroganoff, and turkey makes it milder in flavor.

Turkey Stroganoff

Saute 1/2 C chopped onions in a TBSP table fat (butter) until brown. Add 2 C diced turkey and 1 C turkey broth, boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 C dairy sour cream; heat together. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with parsley.

(My apologies to the cook-I didn't have her name on the clipping.)

I will be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Turkey Burgers

In the winter, these burgers are best when fixed on a George Foreman Grill. Stack all the fixin's on them that you like on your hamburger! Add a few (baked) chips and you have a healthy "game day lunch" for in front of the T.V. :) Then, go watch WVU dominate!-oops, did I say that out loud?!

Turkey Burgers

1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, diced fine
1/2 tsp each: salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, sage
2 TBSP parsley
1/4 C bread crumbs (I like Italian), or cracker crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine all ingredients. Form into patties and fry in olive oil until browned on both sides and done in the middle (or cook on Foreman grill).

Adapted from Kerr Home Canning Book's recipe for "Chicken Patties" (Chicago World's Fair Edition-1933).

I will be at these swaps today:

Book I'm reading: The Shack

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Oriental Turkey

Sorry I missed you yesterday; I was traveling. My menu will be scattered this week, anyway, so you didn't miss anything. As promised, we will be sharing turkey recipes this week. We thrifty folks know that buying turkeys (and hams) after the holidays at bargain prices (and stashing them in the freezer) means you always have something to fix that makes a lot of meals! Hopefully, these recipes will provide variety. Happy Tuesday!

Oriental Turkey

1 turkey breast half
Cook in oven at 325 degrees for one hour. Top with 1/2 to 1 cup apricot preserves mixed with 1/2 C Catalina or Spicy French dressing. and 1 TBSP dried onion flakes. Bake 1/2 hour longer uncovered, basting occasionally. I like this with Lipton Terriyaki Noodles as a side.

I'll be at these great swaps today; check them out!
-From Mess Hall to Bistro

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Martha Washington Cookbook

Martha set up housekeeping and she had rules. She had a whole book of rules sand recipes handwritten by her mother-in-law; doesn't that sound fun?! It's not as bad as it might sound. The year was ' 1759 and Colonel George Washington brought a new mistress to Mount Vernon', the book begins. She had been the former Martha Custis, now widowed, but she saw the value in bringing with her a book that her first mother-in-law had so lovingly written just for her; a book of rules to use for keeping an orderly house, entertaining and the receipts to use for meals. What a wise woman to use good advice, because it helped her become a celebrated hostess and well-respected First Lady.
The cookbook for today was a gift from my dear friend, Karol. She gave it to me when I was on a trip back to WV for Thanksgiving of 2005. I read it back then, but hadn't looked at it since. It is a one-of-a-kind type cookbook. More of a history book, really. It gives a lot of information as to the customs of the upper class in matters of entertaining in the 1700's. Actually, it points out many times that, although the Washingtons were generous of time and spirit, they welcomed all kinds of people so frequently to both Mount Vernon and the President's residence, that they entertained more casually than most of the upper class of their era. They provided lots of wonderful food and drink, but were not trying to impress. I like that! It gave me an even greater sense of pride and admiration for the father of our country and his lovely wife.
The receipts in the book have been modernized (in 1940) but although you could literally make the dishes, I don't know that you would want to. Suffice it to say, that Americans' tastes have changed considerably since the 1700's. Also, from looking at the fare, I'd say that every leaf, bud, rose hipp, and every part of every animal on a plantation was pickled, smoked, salted and preserved for use at the table. There are recipes for Pease Porridge and Gruel. Instructions on making Stuffed Calves' Feet, Boiled Pigeon and Lambs' Tails.
I don't want to paint the wrong picture of this wonderful book, there are plenty of recipes for normal dishes like Chicken Pie, French Fritters and Raspberry Marmalade. I especially enjoyed the photos of the Washingtons' dining room and kitchen at Mount Vernon, the ink drawings, and the reproduced pages of the original manuscript; those folks made handwriting an art! The front and back inside covers feature the diagram of Martha's kitchen garden at Mount Vernon. The First Family was already onto the importance of eating" fresh, green and local"! They were trendsetters. Love this book, not only because it's from a special friend, but also because it is exceptional. The Martha Washington Cookbook by Marie Kimball will be harder to find than most of my old cookbooks, but I'll give you all the info I have. Karol bought it in North Canton, OH from James Direct, Inc., 1459 S. Main St.,44720. It was published by Tresco Publishers in 2002, but originally printed in 1940 by Coward-McCann, Inc. The ISBN is 1-883944-34-1. I hope you are successful in your hunt!

Page 144 Sugar Cakes
4 C flour
1/2 C sugar
yolks of 2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP cream
1 1/2 C butter
1 TBSP rose water

Sift the flour into the bowl in the shape of a cone. Make a hole in the center of the cone, like a crater. Into this put the sugar, the yolks, beaten with the cream and rose water. Break the butter in small pieces and dot around the edges of the flour. Work all together with the hands, mixing and kneading it thoroughly. Roll out, cut in circles, place on a buttered pan, dust with sugar, and bake until a pale brown.

I'll be at these swaps today:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Butterfinger Candy Bar Cake

Last night, as I was cleaning up the dishes after dinner, I got a bad whiff of some nasty smell. I soon realized that I had a bad potato in a bag of them. It's amazing how one bad potato or apple can have such a strong odor. I tossed the spoiled potato and stored the others away (to have with a turkey later in the week). As I was searching through my recipes for new ways to use my excess of potatoes, I found this delicious-sounding cake recipe. I thought someone who reads my blog might like Butterfinger candy bars as much as we do. Here you go:

Butterfinger Candy Bar Cake
(Marsha Loiacona)

1 boxed angel food cake mix (or store-bought, bakery cake!)
1 large container Cool Whip
2 Butterfinger candy bars

Prepare angel food cake mix according to package directions. Crush the 2 candy bars and mix into the Cool Whip. (Candy bars crush better when chilled.) When cake is completely cooled, frost with the Cool Whip mixture. Enjoy.

Book I am reading: The Shack by William P. Young

I'll be at these swaps today:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cocktail Sauce for Your Superbowl Shrimp

Here's a great homemade sauce that's quick and easy to mix up. Serve it with jumbo cooked cocktail shrimp, chilled. It's really pretty served in stemmed glasses with a wedge of lemon and the shrimp hung over the rim.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
1 C ketchup
1-3 tsp horseradish
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine and serve with cold, cooked shrimp (tail-on).

***Book I'm reading: The Shack by William P. Young*** It is hard to put down!

I'll be at these swaps today:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Ice Cream Recipe from 1857

The ground is white this morning with a layer of ice under it. Since early morning, we could hear the winds howl, blowing sleet that hit our windows and roof. The silent, beautiful snow must have left its blanket sometime after 5:00 A.M. because I finally fell back asleep. I love seeing the snow out there, only because my family is all in for the day, no one has to go out because school and the office are closed for the day. For this snowy Tuesday, I want to share a final recipe from last Friday's Pioneer Cookbook.

Snow Ice Cream Page 200

Let snow fall several hours to clear atmosphere. Then place large, clean dishpan or dutch oven where it will fill with the falling snow. Bring snow into house and open can of sweetened Eagle Brand Milk. Punch hole in can and pour thin, steady stream over the snow quickly before melting begins. Add a tsp. of vanilla or other flavoring. Stir rapidly, and when snow reaches "ice cream" consistency serve bowls to all the children and let them eat it at once.
(Borden's Eagle Brand Condensed Milk was developed in 1857).

Robin Freeman Woods (Mrs. Pendleton)
Oklahoma City, OK

I will be at these swaps today: