Friday, June 30

Food Day: Dried Beef Cheese Ball

First, appologies for the photo. Here's what happened: I brought a double batch of this cheese ball recipe to Food Day at work today, set it down on the table, brought my camera back for the photo maybe 10 minutes later, this photo was all I got. So I guess everyone liked it! I'm going to make it again for our 4th celebration.

Dried Beef Cheese Ball
1 package cream cheese (regular or low fat)
1 can black olives
1 package dried beef (or thin deli beef)
1 bunch green onions
1 tsp meat tenderizer-type seasoning

Chop black olives, dried beef, and green onions, and mix with softened cream cheese. Form ball if you wish. Serve with crackers or bagels.

Tuesday, June 27

Kid Favorite:Burrito Bake

Cheap with a capital "Ch" and loved by my kids: Burrito Bake.

  • One package (8-10) frozen burritos of your favorite flavor
  • Two cans refried beans
  • One can/jar taco sauce/enchilada sauce
  • One package (2 cups) shredded cheese of your choice

Spread the beans in a cake pan-type casserole dish. Place the burritos in a single row on the beans. Pour sauce over all burritos. Bake at the temp/time suggested on your frozen burrito package (350 for 30 minutes usually). Sprinkle cheese over all, put back in oven (can turn off the heat) just to melt the cheese, maybe 5 minutes. Feeds 4-6, plus or minus leftovers.
Variations: Use one can regular beans and one can refried beans. (We always use black refried if we can find them), or if you're bean lovers like my kids and I, use two refried plus one regular.
Add any hot sauce, jalapenos, sour cream, etc, that you like.
The kids really love this, and it's much more filling than just eating a plain frozen burrito. Groceries for this, with my Russ's card: $7.59.

Saturday, June 17

Copper Pennies

  • 2-3 pounds sliced carrots
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 medium onions, sliced in rings
  • 1 10 1/2 oz can undiluted tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcesterchire sauce

Parboil sliced carrots for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender but not too soft. Drain. Mix the rest of the ingredients and add carrots. Let set overnight in refrigerator before serving. Will keep covered and chilled for several weeks. Serve chilled on lettuce as a salad; also good on cottage cheese.

Family picnic and potluck favorite. From the 1990 "Heavenly Calories" church cookbook, that my mom was co-chair of the committee. Photo from Food Day at work May 31, yes, there is still a little left in the fridge. Several weeks is several weeks.

Thursday, June 15

Chicken Awesome

So I want to submit a recipe to All Recipes, so when I was cooking last night, I took several pictures, and made sure to write down all the ingredients and steps. I tend to cook 'by the seat of my pants' and if I try to write down the recipe later, I don't remember everything I did. This recipe is kind of based on one of the recipes we made at Supper Thyme, Cowpokes (#3 in this post. I used cream cheese, green chilies, and black olives for the filling. Found this reference: Hormel Chicken Temperatures, to make sure the chicken was cooked through. Now I'm ready to submit it to All Recipes, except for one thing, the name. When I asked my kids what to name it, the younger son said "Awesome!", but I'm not sure if that's a good name for a recipe.
Any ideas?

Sunday, June 11

Recipe from Mom: Gooseberry pie

Prepare pastry (my recipe to follow) for two-crust 9 inch pie and line pie plate with pastry.
Crush 1/2 cup gooseberries (I use potato masher), combine with 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3 Tbsps. quick-cooking tapioca, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and boils. Add 2 1/2 cups whole berries. Fill pastry shell. Dot with 2 Tbsps. butter or oleo. Put on top crust, seal, cut slits for steam to escape. Bake in a hot over (400) for 30-40 minutes or until crust is browned. Serve warm (or cold). Good with home made vanilla ice cream.

2 cups flour
2/3 cup salad oil
5 Tbsps. water
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients. Roll 1/2 of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to just larger than the pie pan. Remove top sheet of paper and hold dough by second sheet to help put the crust in the pan. Crust is easily repaired with a scrap of dough if needed. Roll second half of dough and have ready. Pour gooseberry mixture into prepared crust, add butter/oleo, then put on top crust. Seal edges, cut slits, Sprinkle a little sugar on top. Bake. This is an easy, flaky crust. Makes a 2-crust pie or two 1-crust pies.

Mom says: It's from BH & G Pies and Cakes cookbook, and it's the one I always use. I think I did make it with Splenda the last time I made it. I think Splenda would be cup for cup.
I say: I love gooseberries. We had a little bush out back, well, they still do as they still live in the house I grew up in. Some years we'd get barely enough berries for one pie, other years we'd get 4-5 pies' worth. It was always rather a treat, since we didn't have it all year long. I have seen gooseberry pie filling in the store, but I'd never buy it, it wouldn't be the same.
However, I do have to admit that I don't love Mom's pie crust recipe. It is definately the easiest homemade crust recipe I've ever seen, but the taste was never my favorite, though Mom and Dad have always loved it. I'll probably buy my pie crust from the store.

Saturday, June 10

Hello again

Since one of the biggest things in my life is cooking, with all that comes with it, the planning, shopping, cleaning up, etc, I think I'll dust off this ol' blog.
Let me outline a bit of my world for some background.
I was always a great cook as a kid. I was in 4-H, took cakes and cookies to the fair, saved all the best recipes out of Seventeen magazine (I'll bet they don't even have recipes anymore), and cooked or helped mom cook most meals at our house. Often on the weekends, I'd spend an afternoon making something more time consuming, like homemade pasta. I saved up my babysitting money to buy a roller pasta maker out of a catalog, it was from Italy! (It now is used for polymer clay)
In college, there were times I didn't have the means or time to cook. In a dorm room with a mini-fridge and microwave, and a meal ticket to the cafeteria, I didn't do much cooking. When I had an acutal apartment, I did cook when I could. I remember one inspired batch of a pasta dish with 3-4 different kinds of pasta, veggies, tomato sauce, cheese and meats, that I got so into cooking, that I had to find people to share it with. I took a pan to a couple small families I knew, and called the party host to ask if I could bring the other huge pan there.
Fast forward a bit:
I've been a single mom for over six years now. Cooking for just kids and maybe making myself cheese and crackers was the menu for most of that. A little over a year ago, my wonderful boyfriend moved in. He loves to eat, likes to cook sometimes, loves to argue with me while we shop, helps with cleaning up, and mostly challenges me to be the great cook I always used to be. Plus, my kids are getting more interested in cooking, my younger son, now 13, has gone back and forth with wanting to be a chef or a starving artist, and is a creative cook.
I'm working with some good tools, All Recipes is awesome. I get their recipe-of-the-day e-mail, and several of those have become favorites. My profile there is seeshells if you want to look me up. Also, working with a great program A Cook's Book, which also has a Yahoo! Group. This tool I'm still figuring out, but we researched several recipe programs before we bought this one.
And my favorite cooking tool, is Alton Brown. In my kitchen, everyone knows, if AB said it, it's gospel. I love the other shows on the Food Network also, I have often spent a whole weekend afternoon with that channel playing while I'm doing chores or arts-n-crafts.
I guess that's all for the background of me for now. I need to plan out the grocery list, the guy and I have a date to go to the warehouse store, and the regular grocery store. Fun will be had by all. I hope ;p