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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Something New For Mardi Gras Next Year


With Mardi Gras coming soon, I'm always trying to come up with something that will be within the theme of things. Every year, I'm always on the lookout for new dishes and I found this to be quite delightful.
Quick, spicy, and always a hit as popular chicken tenders have a flavorful Cajun seasoning.



Blackened Chicken Tenders

2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

In large resealable bag, combine paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, pepper, salt. Add chicken, shake to coat. In large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, heat olive oil over medium heat, sauté chicken 5–7 minutes or until browned and done. Remove to a plate.  

Chef's note: Blackening refers to a cooking method originating in New Orleans where chicken is cooked in a hot skillet to produce a slightly burnt-looking, dark-brown exterior and moist interior. You can buy chicken tenders or cut chicken with cooking scissors easily

Make Your Own Mixes: Eating Healthy and Saving Money

Why Use Master Mixes? 

Use Your Food Storage Ingredients: Many master mixes can be made from ingredients we already have in storage. This allows us to utilize ingredients such as powdered milk, whole wheat flour, and other basics in our regular every-day cooking. You can even adjust these recipes to further use items such as powdered eggs or powdered fats (butter, shortening, etc.) in your own cooking.
A time saver: Making your own mixes at home can save you time in the kitchen. When you spend time to make master mixes, you end up partially preparing several recipes at the same time. This can help you save about three- fourths of the preparation time during a busy day!
Economical: While commercial mixes do help us save time, we can save those precious dollars by providing the labor and packaging ourselves. Typically, homemade mixes are about half the cost of a commercial mix. Save even more by purchasing basic commodities like flour, sugar and meats when they are on sale.
Better Nutrition: Commercial mixes are made to last on the shelf for a very long time. This screams preservatives! Your own homemade mixes are free of any preservatives and additives. You know exactly what is in the food you are serving to your family. You can also reduce fat and sugar and substitute other ingredients as desired.
Versatility: Many of the mixes here can be used a variety of ways, and you are only limited by your own creativity and imagination. While this writing of this post, contains a glimpse of the variety of ways you can use master mixes, I hope you will seek out other mixes or create your own to suit your families needs and tastes. Great Ideas for Neighbor Gifts!

French Dressing Mix
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground mustard
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
1 ½ tsp. paprika
½ to 1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
¾ tsp. garlic powder
Combine all ingredients. Store mix in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Label and date. Use within 6 months. Makes about 5 tablespoons of French Dressing Mix.  

French Dressing 
Combine 1 recipe French Dressing Mix with ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil, ¼ cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons water in a glass jar. Shake until well blended and chill at least 3 hours or overnight. Makes about 1 ¼ cup dressing.
   
Instant Cocoa Mix
5 ⅓ c.  Nonfat dry milk powder
1 ½ c. low fat powdered non-dairy creamer
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 c. powdered sugar
For cocoa mix, stir together milk powder, non-dairy creamer, cocoa powder, and sugar. Cover and store in an airtight container. Makes 8 cups mix (enough for 24 six ounce servings)  
To Make: Add ⅓ cups Instant Cocoa Mix to ¾ cup very hot water; stir to dissolve.  


Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing Mix 
½ c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tbsp. dried minced onion
Combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk to incorporate. Pour in an airtight container. Label, date, and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 3 months. Makes about 1/3 cup Poppy Seed Dressing Mix.
.
Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing In a blender, combine 1 recipe Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing Mix, ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and ½ cup vinegar. Blend 5 to 8 seconds. Chill at least 3 hours or overnight before using.  
VARIATION: Fold dressing into one 12-ounce container of small-curd cottage cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.  Serve ½ cup flavored cottage cheese on a bed of spinach greens with crumbled bacon and dried cranberries.


In preparing master mixes, it is important to use the freshest ingredients possible. This will help to ensure a high quality product with a good shelf life.  
Remember to always label and date your master mix containers and store them where they are convenient to use.

Pantry Mixes: These include mixes that contain only dry ingredients and have a shelf life of approximately six to eight months. Store in airtight containers in cool, dry locations and always stir or shake the pantry mixes before using.

Cold Storage Mixes: Some mixes require refrigeration or freezer storage. Mixes that contain shortening, butter or margarine keeps best in the refrigerator and can usually keep about 10 to 12 weeks. Other mixes that require refrigeration or freezing store well for about 3 months or more.

Specialty Mixes: These include most seasoning/beverage type mixes.  


Granola Mix
6 c. regular oatmeal
1 box (10.5 ounce) wheat flake cereal*
3 c. each: crispy rice cereal puffed wheat cereal, puffed rice cereal (unsweetened)
1 c. sliced almonds (about a 4-ounce package)
 
Syrup
½ c. honey  
1 tbsp. vanilla
¾ c. oil  
2 tsp. salt
1 c. water  
½ c. brown sugar
Combine cereals and almonds together in a large bowl. Mix syrup ingredients in a glass dish and microwave on high for three to four minutes or until sugar is dissolved. (You may also mix and heat in a saucepan on stovetop.) Pour syrup over cereal mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spread cereal mixture on two 10x15 inch baking sheets sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 225 for 90 minutes. Stir pan contents; rotate pans in the oven and bake another 90 minutes. Cool and store in airtight containers. Label & date; use within 6 months.
Optional: You may also substitute a variety of nuts, seeds and coconut for some of the cereals. Add one to two teaspoons cinnamon to syrup, or substitute molasses for half of the honey and combine with cereal before baking. Add raisins or other dried fruit after granola has cooled.
*You will need eight (12 oz) boxes of wheat flake cereal to a one-pound bag each of crispy rice, puffed wheat and puffed rice cereals.


Homestyle Buttermilk Dressing Mix 
2 tsp. minced onion
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
½ tsp. monosodium glutamate (MSG), optional
Incorporate all ingredients in a bowl using a whisk. Place mix in an airtight container. Label, date, and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 6 months. Makes about 2 tablespoons Homestyle Buttermilk Dressing Mix.    

Homestyle Buttermilk Dressing
Combine 1 recipe Homestyle Buttermilk Dressing Mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar or small bowl. Blend well by shaking or using a whisk.  Chill before serving. Makes about 2 cups dressing.
VARIATION: Substitute 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt for buttermilk and use as a dip for fresh vegetables.


Cream of Chicken Soup Mix
1 ½ c. powdered non-fat dry milk
¾ c. cornstarch or flour
3 tbsp. instant chicken bouillon granules
½ tbsp. dried onion flakes
¼ tsp. ground sage
⅛ tsp. ground thyme
⅛ tsp. Pepper
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container; mix well. Label, date, and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Makes approximately 5 cans of cream of chicken Soup.

Cream of Chicken Soup
½ cup Cream of Chicken Soup Mix
1 cup cold water
1 to 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted.
Combine cold water and butter or margarine in a saucepan.  Use a whisk to mix in the soup mix  Stir constantly over medium heat until it is smooth and slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Makes about 1 cup.  


Granola Bars 
½ c. butter, melted
1 ½ c. crushed graham crackers
1 ⅓ c. coconut
1 ½ c. chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or combination
1 cup Granola Mix
1 (15-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350. Pour melted butter in a 9x13 inch pan. Spread crushed graham crackers evenly over the melted butter; then spread coconut over the crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate chip mixture over coconut; then layer the granola. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the top. Bake 25-30 minutes until slightly browned then cool. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Whole Wheat Pancake/Waffle Mix
8 c. wheat flour*
4 tbsp. baking powder
2 c. low fat powdered milk
3 ½ tsp. Salt
Combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Pour into an airtight container.  Label, date and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 4 months.
*For best results, use hard white wheat ground into flour.

Whole Wheat Pancakes/Waffles
2 ½ cups Whole Wheat Pancake/Waffle Mix
1 ½ to 2 cups water
¼ cup oil
2 eggs
In a blender, combine water, oil and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Adjust liquid as needed. Cook on a medium high heat griddle or waffle iron.


Hot Roll Mix 
You may use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a combination of both. When using whole wheat flour use about 9 cups whole wheat and 8 cups all-purpose flour. 20 cups flour 4 teaspoons salt 1 ½ cups sugar 1 cup dried milk In a large bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly either by stirring, using a whisk or sifting. Store in an airtight container. Label container with the date and name of contents. Makes about 20 cups of mix. Store 6 to 8 months in a cool, dry place.
 
Dinner Rolls 
1 1/2 tbsp. yeast
½ c. melted butter
1 ½ c. warm water
5-6 c. Hot Roll Mix
3 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. lemon juice
In large bowl, add dry yeast to 5 cups Hot Roll Mix. In a separate bowl or blender, combine water, eggs, butter and lemon juice. Add to Mix. Add additional Mix to make a soft, but not too sticky dough. Knead approximately 10 minutes until dough is smooth and satiny. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise again for about 20 minutes. Punch down, divide in two and let rest about 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. Form into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheets. Preheat oven to 400 cover rolls and let rise until double. Turn preheated oven down to 375 and bake rolls for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


Oatmeal Cookie Dough 
2 c. butter or margarine*
5 c. rolled oats
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs  
4 tbsp. milk
4 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 ½ c. raisins***
4 c. flour**
¾ c. chopped nuts
Cut four 14x12 inch pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cream butter or margarine and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and add milk and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, salt, baking soda. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until blended. Stir in raisins and nuts (optional). Divide dough into 4 pieces and shape each piece into an 8-10 inch roll. Wrap each roll in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Place in a plastic freezer container or wrap airtight in heavy duty aluminum foil. Label with date and contents. Store in freezer; use within 6 months. Makes 4 rolls of dough or about 12 dozen cookies.
*May use half butter and half butter-flavored shortening.
** May use a combination of half white and half whole wheat flour.
***May substitute chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips.

Oatmeal Cookies
1 roll frozen cookie dough, thawed enough to slice Preheat oven to 375. Cut dough into ¼ inch slices and place on lightly greased baking sheets, or line with parchment paper, 1 inch apart. You may also roll into balls and slightly flatten. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are light brown and centers are slightly set. Cool about 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to wire racks and cool. Makes about 36 cookies.


Multi Purpose Mix 
9 c. flour
⅓ c. Baking powder
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. nonfat dried milk
4 tsp. salt
1 ¾ c. vegetable shortening
Stir dry ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. For best results, store in airtight containers in refrigerator for about three months. Yield: About 13 cups Mix.  

Apple Crisp 
4 c. apples, sliced and peeled
2 tsp. water
⅓ c. Sugar
1 ¼ c. Multi Purpose Mix
½ c. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten well
¼ c. butter or margarine, melted.
Place fruit in 8 inch square buttered baking pan; sprinkle with water and sugar* Combine Mix, sugar and cinnamon; add beaten egg and melted butter, stirring until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over top of fruit. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
*Variations: Sliced fresh peaches may be used instead of apples.


Dinner Roll Variations: 

To make Crescent Rolls: (After 10 minute resting). On a lightly floured surface, roll one half of dough into a 12-15 inch circle. Use a rotary cutter or knife to divide into wedges of equal sizes (16 are recommended for regular sized rolls). Roll up each wedge, beginning with widest end and place point side down in a crescent shape on a greased baking sheet. Leave 2-3 inches between each roll. Brush each roll with melted butter and allow to rise. Bake as directed.

To make Cinnamon Rolls: (After 10 minute resting). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12x15 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Cinnamon Filling (see below). Roll, beginning with long- side. Cut into 1 inch wide rolls and place on a well greased baking sheet. Leave 1-2 inches between each roll. Brush with melted butter and allow to rise. Bake as directed.
Cinnamon filling: ½ cup sugar (brown or white) and ½ teaspoon cinnamon

To make Orange Rolls: (After 10 minute resting). On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12x15 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Orange Filling (see below). Roll, beginning with long side. Cut into 1 inch wide rolls and place on a well greased baking sheet. Leave 1-2 inches between each roll. Brush with melted butter and allow to rise. Bake as directed.
Orange Filling: ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, and 2 tablespoons grated orange peel.
 
Dough May Also Be Refrigerated

Refrigerator dough: As soon as the dough is kneaded, place it in a greased container, cover tightly, and keep in refrigerator. When the dough has doubled, punch down and keep it punched down until ready to use. It will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 days. When ready to use, punch it down and divide into smaller portions and let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes. Shape as desired and bake.


Baking Powder Biscuit Mix
14 c. flour
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. salt
⅓ c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
½ c. plus 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
Combine all ingredients in a large container using a wire whisk. Sift into another large bowl and whisk again to ensure ingredients are thoroughly combined. Store in a 5-pound container with a tight-fitting lid in a cool-dry place for up to 6 months.
 
Baking Powder Biscuits 
2 c. Baking Powder Biscuit Mix
3 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 ⅓ c. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400. Use a pastry blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade to add butter to the dry mix until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add 1¼ cups of the cream and mix without overworking the dough. If the dough seems too dry, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of cream. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead very gently five to eight times, until it holds together. Roll or pat dough to a thickness of 1 ½ inches. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits (don’t twist the cutter). Lay rounds on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 18-20 minutes or until they have turned golden brown.  Cool slightly before serving.


Sour Cream Enchiladas
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 (16 oz.) can diced tomatoes (reserve liquid)
12 corn or flour tortillas
3 c. South of the border meat mix, heated
1 to 1 ½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 to 1 ½ c. sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
Preheat oven to 375. Combine enchilada sauce and chopped tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Cook until mixture boils; reduce heat to simmer.
Dip one tortilla at a time in hot enchilada sauce mixture. If using flour tortillas, heat in pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray until warmed, about 1 minute. Place about ¼ cup of heated South of the Border Meat Mix on each tortilla. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Roll up and place close together in a shallow casserole dish, seam-side down. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and spoon sour cream over the enchiladas. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.  


South of the Border Meat Mix 
5-6 lb. beef or pork roasts (reserve juices)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil  
3-4 medium onions, chopped  
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies
1 (14 oz.) can/bottle green chili salsa
¼ tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. flour
4 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. Cumin
Preheat oven to 200. Put roast in a covered roasting pan or Dutch oven. Roast about 12 hours. Drain off the juices to use later. Shred meat after it has cooled.
Heat oil in large skillet and sauté onions and green chilies for 5 minutes until tender; then add green chili salsa, flour and seasonings. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Add meat juices and shredded meat. Cook for an additional five minutes until thick. Cool. Divide into 3 cup portions and put into one-quart freezer containers to maintain sufficient headspace for expansion during freezing (at least 1/2 inch). Label, date and freeze. Use within six months. Yield: About 9 cups.
Use in burritos, enchiladas, tacos, chalupas, or chimichangas.  


Gingerbread Mix 
8 c. sifted flour
2 ¼ c. sugar
2 ½ tsp. Baking soda
2 tbsp. Baking powder
3 tbsp. ginger
3 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tbsp. salt
2 ¼ c. shortening
Mix all dry ingredients together with a wire whisk. Sift ingredients into another bowl until you are sure all dry ingredients are well incorporated. Cut shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place, or in the refrigerator, up to 3 months. Makes approximately 12 cups of mix.
 
Gingerbread
2 c. Gingerbread mix
1 egg, beaten
⅔ c. Maple syrup
⅓ c. Sour cream or plain yogurt
Place Gingerbread Mix in mixing bowl. Heat maple syrup and stir in sour cream or yogurt; stir into mix.  Add 1 egg, well beaten. Pour into a greased 8x8x2 inch pan. Bake in moderate oven at 350 for about 40 minutes. Serve with warm lemon sauce.


Cake Master Mix 
3 ⅓ c. shortening
8 c. sugar
6 c. flour
5 c. cake flour*
1 ½ c. nonfat powdered milk
5 tbsp. baking powder
1 ½ tbsp. salt
Using an electric mixer or beater, cream shortening until soft (if no electric mixer on hand use 75 strokes with a wooden spoon great exercise). Add 4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Sift together flours, nonfat dried milk, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Repeat sifting 2 times and sift last time into a large, clean kettle or onto a large piece of waxed paper. Add 2 cups sifted ingredients to shortening mixture. Blend with pastry blender. Continue adding flour mixture and blend until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  
To store: measure mix into six equal parts of about 3½ cups. Place each in a quart-sized container. Cover, label, date and store in a cool dark place. Makes: 21 cups mix or 6 average-sized cakes.  
*Make your own Cake Flour: For each cup of flour, remove 2 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Sift together well.


Chicken a La King 
½ c. butter  
2 c. Chicken Mix
1 c. celery, chopped
1 c. milk
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms
¼ c. pimiento, chopped
½ c. flour
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 c. Chicken Broth
Slivered almonds, for garnish
In Dutch Oven, melt butter. Add celery and mushrooms; sauté until tender. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in Chicken Broth and cook for about 5 minutes until thick. Add Chicken Mix, milk, pimento and parsley flakes and simmer about ten minutes. Serve over rice, noodles, biscuits, or toast. Garnish with slivered almonds.
 
Chicken Salad 
2 c. Chicken Mix, thawed
2 c. chopped celery
3 green onions, chopped
1 (2 oz.) package sliced almonds, toasted
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 ½ c. seedless red grapes, halved
1 apple, chopped (optional)
1 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mayo, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside. In another bowl, stir together mayo and sugar. Add to chicken mixture and mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Recipe can be made a day in advance. Serve with crescent rolls.


Chicken Mix and Chicken Broth 
12 to 14 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
4 qt. cold water
3 tbsp. parsley flakes
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried basil leaves
Cook all ingredients together in a large pot over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done, about 1 hour. * Remove chicken and allow to cool completely. Strain broth through a sieve and refrigerate overnight or until fat can be skimmed.
Once chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into small chunks or shred.  Put chicken into approximately six 1 pint freezer containers, leaving a ½ inch headspace.  Pour skimmed broth into different pint freezer containers, leaving a ½ inch headspace. Seal, label and date before placing in the freezer. Use within 3 months. Makes 6 pints each Chicken Mix and Chicken Broth.
*You may also use 11 pounds bone-in chicken (approximately 4 whole fryers cut up); increase simmering time to about 1 ½ hours.
Use chicken to make casseroles, gravy, enchiladas, salads, etc.


Two-egg Cake 
4 c. Cake Master Mix
3 eggs
¾ c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
For best results, have ingredients at room temperature. Place Mix in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the Mix. Add eggs, ½ cup milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and beat until smooth and lump free, about 2-3 minutes. Grease and flour the bottom of one 9x13 inch pan or two 8 inch cake pans (divide batter evenly). Bake at 350 for about 25- 30 minutes.
VARIATIONS: Chocolate: Add ¼ cup milk to the liquid ingredients. Add to Mix and stir until just blended. Add 3 squares of melted chocolate and blend into mixture. Continue mixing batter and bake as directed. Rich Chocolate: Omit milk. Add 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, 2/3 cup water mixed with 2/3 cup cocoa.  Add eggs  & vanilla. Continue mixing batter and bake as directed.  Spice: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves to Mix. Add liquids, increasing milk by 2 tablespoons.  Mix and bake as directed.  Orange: Add 2 teaspoons grated orange rind to Mix. Use juice from 1 orange plus water to make ¾ cup. Do not add vanilla or milk. Mix and bake as directed


Lemon Pie Filling Mix
2 ½ c. presweetened powdered lemonade mix
1 c. plus 2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 ¼ c. sugar, more for sweeter flavor
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a 1-quart airtight container. Label, date, and store in a cool, dry place. Use within 8 months.  

Hot Lemon Sauce 
1 c. water
¼ c. Lemon Pie Filling Mix
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
In a saucepan, combine water and Lemon Pie Filling Mix and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Stir in butter until melted. Serve warm.  

Lemon Pie Filling 
1 ¼ c. Lemon Pie Filling Mix
2 ½ c. water
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp. butter
In a large saucepan, stir Mix, ½ cup water, and egg yolks until well incorporated and smooth. Add remaining 2 cups of water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, then pour into prepared pie shell. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.


Oatmeal Cookie Mix
2 c. butter flavored shortening
2 c. brown sugar*
1 c. sugar  
4 c. flour**
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
5 c. regular oats
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until it is evenly distributed. Store in airtight container. Label and store in a cool, dry place. Best used within 10-12 weeks. Yield: About 12 cups mix.
*It is easier to mix in the brown sugar if you first either sift it or rub it through a wire strainer to make sure there are no lumps.  
**You can use either all-purpose flour or a combination of white flour and whole wheat flour.

Oatmeal Cookies
4 c. Oatmeal Cookie Mix
1 c. raisins*
2 eggs    
2 tbsp. milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Blend eggs, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Add Oatmeal Cookie Mix and stir until mixed. Add raisins or chips. Bake at 350 for about 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Yield: About 2 dozen cookies.
*May substitute chocolate, butter- scotch, or peanut butter chips.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Soup For Halftime or Just Anytime

Soup is probably one of my most favorite staples. I could eat soup everyday, if I could.
This soup was mainly for halftime eating when watching football, but in my house it has become an everyday soup on those cold evenings.
So grab a bowl, cup or mug of any size and let's eat!

Buffalo Wing Soup

1 small white onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. butter
3 c. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 c. Frank's Red Hot Sauce (add more or less to adjust heat)
2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
1 3/4 c. chicken stock (low sodium is preferred)
1 tsp. celery salt
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. white pepper
Pinch of black pepper

In a stockpot, on medium high heat melt butter. Add celery, onion, garlic and white pepper. Sauté until almost tender. Add carrots and celery salt; sauté until all vegetables are soft. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, and mix to evenly coat. Add chicken stock and a pinch of black pepper. Stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Add chicken, cream, and milk (use only cream if you like your soup thicker). Stir until you have a soft boil started. Add hot sauce and cheese. Stir well until evenly mixed. Lower heat and bring soup to a simmer. 5-10 minutes.
Chef’s notes: Top with a little crumbled bleu cheese, or a dollop of bleu cheese dressing. Or serve with Parmesan Garlic Bread Sticks. Enjoy!

Another Fall Dessert

Nothing completes bringing in thee fall, than cooking with pumpkin. whether it's pumpkin pies, cakes or bars, pumpkin says fall.
I have always been a big fan of many kinds of fudge (at least my sweet tooth says so), and I'm always trying to find that one special recipe. With this recipe, I may have just found it.
To make this fudge even more fun, try using cookie cutters dipped in flour, to make fun shapes. This could be a fun project for the kids and for Halloween too.



Creamy Pumpkin Fudge

1 1/2 c. sugar,
2/3 c. evaporated milk
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
 1/4 tsp. salt,
2 c. Miniature marshmallows
1 (12 oz. pkg) vanilla chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over 2 sides of pan; grease foil. Butter sides of a heavy, medium saucepan. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter, pumpkin pie spice & salt in saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; boil 12 minutes. Remove from heat; add marshmallows, vanilla chips, walnuts & vanilla. Stir until all is melted. Pour into prepared pan. Chill until firm. Cut into 1 inch squares. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bringing Home The Bacon

This is a great bread pudding. It’s custardy and creamy with just the right amount of crisp bacon to give it a salty savory flavor.
Gruyere cheese adds just enough sharpness. These puddings are great for fancy dinner side dishes from a roast to grilled chicken. It’s also a great brunch dish.
You can double the recipe, to bake it in a 1 ½ quart dish, to serve it family style.
Enjoy!



Bacon Bread Pudding

3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 1/3 c. milk
3 c. day old bread, cubed
2 eggs
2/3 c. grated Gruyere cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter four 6 ounce custard cups or ramekins. In a skillet, cook the bacon until it is crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the bread cubes, cheese and bacon. Divide the mixture among the ramekins. Arrange the ramekins in a baking dish and add hot water to the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the puddings are set, about 35-40 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the ramekins to loosen the puddings and serve warm.

Love Vintage Cooking!

I enjoy taking vintage recipes and bringing them up to date, but most of all I enjoy trying my skills against the chefs of yesterday.
For in the 1800s and early 1900s, the chefs then didn't have the appliances or conveniences of modern day cooking. So it's a pleasant challenge for me, to replicate their techniques.



Pets de Nonne

½ c. butter
1 c. water
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs
Oil for deep frying
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the water. Add salt and flour, and stir until a sticky batter is formed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is smooth.
Heat the oil to 375. Fry mounded teaspoons of dough, several at a time, for about 6 minutes. They are done when they are light, golden brown on each side. Drain them for a few minutes on a clean kitchen towel and serve warm, dusted with the powdered sugar.
This pets de nonne recipe makes 28 to 32 fritters.

A Recipe From History, Early 1900s

I've always enjoyed seeing vintage recipes, for they are quite fascinating.When I saw this recipe, it seemed to jump out at me and say "try me"! So I did, but I made a little change in one of the ingredients and changed as to how it was to be served. I hope that I did this recipe with justice, for it is truly a wonderful dessert to serve.





Orange Velvet Cream

1 c. sugar
1 c.water
whites of 2 eggs
1 c. orange juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 pint cream whipped

Boil sugar and water until it threads; cool slightly and add gradually to the stiffly beaten whites of eggs, beating steadily for three minutes; add fruit juice, and when cool fold in cream. Freeze, and serve in glasses garnished with candied orange peel and a few mint leaves.