Friday, April 30, 2010

Has to be OUTSTANDING...

My DH and Brother-in-law started a dutch oven group (d.o.g.).  We asked at church who has a dutch oven or is interested in d.o. cooking.  We had 8 couples  including ourselves who came to our house to cook and share a potluck dinner cooked in d.o.'s.  It was a fun evening of trying new dishes and sharing a good time together.  It was a hit.  Tomorrow is the second meeting of the group.  We are cooking in someone else's backyard.  My DH is making Dr. Pepper Ribs and I am making Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.  You know it has to be good, because it is a Paula Deen recipe.  Here's the recipe:

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce
2 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (4.5 oz) cans fruit cocktail, undrained
2 eggs, beaten
1 (9 oz.) box of raisins
a pinch of salt
1-2 tsps ground Cinnamon

Butter Rum Sauce
1 stick butter
1 lb. confectioners' sugar
Rum, to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Cube donuts into a large bowl.  Pour other ingredients on top of donuts and let soak for a few minutes.  Mix all ingredients for pudding, together until donuts have soaked up the liquid as much as possible.  Bake for 1 hour until center has jelled. 

For the sauce, melt butter and slowly stir in confectioners' sugar.  Add rum and heat until bubbly.  Pour over each serving of Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.

Even though we are not drinkers, I do cook with alcohol.  In this case however, I will be using rum extract for the sauce.  I wouldn't want to be too scandalous ;).  I am going to get the donuts today and let them set up overnight.  If you have ever eaten a fresh glazed KK, you know a dozen would cube to about 2 tablespoons of donuts by the time you were done.  Best to let them get a bit 'aged', first.  BTW, I wonder if you can can krispy kremes...a girl can always dream.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Mayo...

Guess what?  I've run out of mayo.  I found a recipe for making your own mayonnaise with powdered eggs.  Okay that sounds gross to me.  But they say it is all about the emulsifying with oil.  To be con't.

I also ordered the book, Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.  I've heard some great reviews and that it contains some terrific recipes.  Perfect for a couple of empty nestors.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Making Your Own Hamburger Buns

I thought since we were having burgers tonight, I would make my own hamburger buns.

Quick & Easy Thirty Minute Hamburger Buns
from Wheat Cookin' Made Easy by Pam Crockett
3 1/2 cups warm tap water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
6 Tbl. yeast
1 Tbl. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
10 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Combine water, sugar, oil and yeast.  Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425. Add remaining ingredients to yeast mixture and mix well.   Shape into rolls or hamburger buns.  Place on a greased cookie sheet, about 12 to a sheet and let rise for 10-12 minutes.  Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Cook's Notes: I don't know who they were feeding, but 10 1/2 cups of flour?  I halved the recipe and it made 12 nice size buns.  I also used 1 cup ww flour and the rest all-purpose. (I doubt DH would eat them if they were all ww.) The burger fit the bun nicely, and wasn't too much bread like some buns.  I cooked them on a silpat mat.  The dough is very sticky, so flour your hands when shaping the buns.  I also let them raise about fifteen minutes.  Next time I think I will preheat the oven to 425, then cook at 400. 

Week 9

I thought I'd start the week off with a simple cornbread recipe.  I found this on the blog.  I usually buy the Marie Callendar's packaged mix, but I think this will give similar results, and you get to use cornmeal you might be storing.

Cornbread Cake
1 c. sugar
1 c. margarine
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
2 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
2 beaten eggs
1 ½ c. milk

Cream sugar and butter. Add rest of ingredients. Put in a greased 9x9 pan. Bake 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Can be doubled and baked in 9 x 13 for approximately one hour.
Cook's Notes:  One the deals site, she says she uses 1/2 cup of ww flour in place of all purpose.  Serve with honey butter.  Just soften some butter and swirl in honey.  Simple as that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Creamy Italian Chicken, part 2

Yum, very simple and I used what I had on hand, except for cream cheese and dry Italian dressing.  I only had bottled, so I used that.  Then I realized I had no cream cheese, correction I didn't think the strawberry flavored cream cheese would have tasted great.  Ran to the local market and they had store brand cream cheese for a $1 an 8 oz. package.  I bought five.  My DH said he thought it was a bit tangy, but would eat it again.  Next time, I'll use the dry dressing.
Creamy Italian Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg dry Italian dressing mix
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
12 oz bowtie pasta
Add chicken, cream of chicken soup, and Italian dressing mix to crock pot. Cook on low for, oh, 6-8 hours.
An hour to thirty minutes before serving, add cream cheese to crock pot. Cook pasta.
Just before serving, mix sauce all together and shred chicken into bite-sized pieces Serve sauce over pasta.

I found this recipe and it utilizes many, if not all ingredients you probably already have.  I'm going to use frozen chicken breasts and some other kind of pasta, as I don't have bowtie on hand.  I am also halving the recipe.  I just thought of another ploy by the marketing geniuses.  Cream cheese is sold in 8 oz. packages and 3 oz. packages, so if you want to half a recipe, you either have to buy (2) 3 oz. packages or a large 8 oz. package. Hmmmm...I think cream cheese can be frozen, so buy the large and freeze the rest.  I'm going to see if they make powdered cream cheese.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recipe for Sweetened Condensed Milk

Recipe for Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 oz can)From
1/2 C. hot water
1 C. Powdered Milk
1 C. Sugar
1 T. Butter
Directions: Blend in blender very well. Can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen.
Now I don't have to buy those cans that are the weird size that don't fit in my can rotator!

Small Batch Canning

Who says if you can, you have to make quarts and quarts of something?  I bought apples on sale a couple of days ago.  I was inspired to make the apple pie filling/topping from my oatmeal post.  Since it is just my DH and myself at home now, I decided to can in a small amount that we might use.  With 3 lbs of Granny Smith apples, I set out to cut down a canning recipe.  It made 2 pints and a 1/2 pint.
Small Batch Apple Pie Filling        
3 lbs. Granny Smith apples
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbl. lemon juice
 Peel, core and slice the apples.  Blanche apples for 2 minutes in lightly salted water.  Remove apples from water and add about 1/4 cup of the blanching water.  Mix in the other ingredients and cook until mixture is thick.  Check taste to adjust spices or sugar if necessary.
Process normally in a hot water bath canner for 20 minutes
          I have both of these products and they are so fast, they're terrific.


I actually have people I don't know reading my blog.  (Geez, what did you think would happen when you added it to foodie blogroll? she says sarcastically to herself.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Treasure Box

Order Deadline: Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pick Up Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010
I ordered an April box, and I pick it up this Saturday.  I wanted to see the quality of the items in the box.  A lady at church ordered one and said it was a great deal.  She also ordered just the protein box and said it was worth at least double the price.


Sprouts has blackberries for $.88.   I bought 4 packages yesterday.  Three I washed and indivdually froze the berries, then vacuum packed them in the foodsaver.  The last went in a salad.  Yummy, but a bit on the tart side. 

Steel Cut Oats

Ever wonder what is so great about steel cut oats?  I was over at the Deals to Meals Blog and learned a bit about the difference in groats, steel cut oats, instant and regular oatmeal.  Check-out Tuesday's post. 
I also got these recipes from the post:  I cut and pasted the recipe, I haven't tried it myself.

Jamba Juice Oatmeal
In a large crock pot I added
4 c. steel cut oats
9 1/2 c. water
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

I cooked them on LOW heat for 8-9 hours (overnight works great!). In the morning they were a creamy consistency and most of the water had been evaporated. You want the oat kernels to be soft, but not mushy. A little bite to them is what makes them a fun texture to eat.

I then added about 1/2-1 c. of milk (I just used skim). Supposedly Jamba Juice uses Soy Milk--I didn't have that on hand, so I used regular milk.
I then made the HEAVENLY brown sugar crumble that they serve on top of all of their oatmeal. It is the following:

4 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. flour
4 T. quick or regular oats
Dash of cinnamon
Mix these together and set aside as topping. (Yes, to save calories you could just use brown sugar and no butter--but oh, not as good!!)

Now, for the apple filling. I bottle my own apple pie filling so I just cut the apples up into large chunks and added them on top of my bowl of steel cut oats. If you don't have your own apple pie filling you can use canned pie filling (blueberry, apple, cherry-any would be great). can just simmer on the stove a fresh apple that has been cut into cubes with a little bit of water and cinnamon until the apples are tender.

To compile:

Put a scoopful of the oatmeal in a bowl, add a large serving of apples (bananas, berries, etc.) on top and then sprinkle with a spoonful of Brown Sugar Crumble and a nut of your choice (I used almonds, but you could use pecans, walnuts, etc.)

I was inspired to make the apple pie filling, not the oatmeal.  What does that tell you?  As a matter of fact, the only way I like oatmeal is in cookies or meatloaf!...I guess my DH gets oatmeal with the apple pie topping.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Steal of the Week

I wanted to mention we got a fabulous deal this weekend.  We were up cleaning our church building and on the way home ran across a neighborhood garage sale.  My DH loves a great deal, so he was looking for whatever he looks for and I was along for the ride.  One of the last houses we got to had the deal.  I look at the veritable junk and what do I spy?  A box of 'new' never-used Gamma Lids.  In case you don't know what one is see the ad.  I really like these lids because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and a regular lid is very difficult for me to maneuver. These lids are usually $7 and up per lid.  When I asked the lady how much, she said $.50 per lid.  So we bought the box of 7 lids and saved at least $49 !  These are great for bulk items like wheat, sugar or honey, or a 72-hr Grab-n-Go bucket. How's that for a steal of the week?

Great Deal

Ralph's supermarket has Crest toothpaste on sale for $1 a tube when you buy 4.    Vons has Colgate toothpaste on sale for $.99 a tube.  They also have Del Monte fruit on sale for $.99 a can. Great additions to a year's supply. Sale ends tomorrow.

Week 8

I've got my ww bread rising in the hot water closet.  It is the best place to raise dough/loaves.  It stays a constant 80 degrees and is right off the kitchen.  Today I thought I'd be brave and substitute flax seed meal for the oil in the recipe. I've read that flax seed meal can be substituted in place of oil in recipes. I added 1/4 cup of the meal, since I am making just one loaf.  It was a definite difference in the dough.  It was so stiff, I just dumped the partially mixed dough and the remaining flour into the kitchenaid bowl and mixed it with the dough hook.  After the flour was completely enveloped, I starting the timer to knead for 10 minutes.  This is the result:
I also have a recipe I used yesterday to make cookies.  It uses ingredients I have in my food storage.
Cupboard Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and the sugars, until light and fluffy.  Add egg and mix till blended.  Add oil and mix till blended.
Add oats, cornflakes coconut and nuts; stir until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well and form into balls the size of small walnuts.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with a fork dipped in water.
Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before serving.  Makes 8 dozen.

Cook's Notes; I didn't have cornflakes, so I used Life cereal, and it tasted fine.  Also, I only baked these cookies for about 10 minutes.  You can also sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar just after you remove them from the oven.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Notes on the Week's End

I was again purging the basement of questionable food stuffs.  Take for example, four cans of beef chunks purchased from the LA LDS cannery after a canning session.  It had been at least 10 years that the cans were down there.  We actually bought five cans and opened one when we got it home.  We all had pretty much the same reaction; Alpo.  Only I think Alpo probably tastes better.  Our cats wouldn't even eat this stuff.  Anyway, I pulled the four, bulging cans from the shelves.  Why keep them if we aren't going to eat them?

I also received a large amount of Tupperware that I ordered.  I was busy consolidating items in my kitchen and rearranging cabinets.  I never realized I had three bottles of celery salt.  Do we each that much of it?  I emptied all three into one Tupperware spice container.  I ended up doing that with three or four different spices.  Now maybe I will be able to see what is in the spice cabinet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Deal

I was at Stater Bros. and got 4 lbs. of strawberries for .69 a pound.  I'm freezing some and I think I'm going to try fruit leathers in our dehydrator.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 7

Monday, again.  We celebrated my Dad's 89th birthday yesterday.  Of course, he wanted to go to his favorite restaurant,  the Fish Company.  My sister, DH and I are not big seafood eaters.  For some reason my Dad refuses to understand that.  Sis ate scrambled eggs, DH had eggs and I ate a California BLT, avocado on the side, which I gave to my DH.  Dad had scallops which his girfriend cut up for him.  Don't know what that is all about...he let her.  BTW, the girlfriend is 2-3 years older than me and I believe a year younger than my sister.

Today is Clean the Fridge Out Monday.  I let you know what I come up with, hopefully not some disease I contract from whatever might be lurking in the dark recesses of my be con't...

Great Dehydration Site

Food dehydration site.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My 'Aha' Moment in Bread Baking

Once again I have been in search of a loaf of WW bread that my husband would eat. In other words, a brown wonderbread. I mentioned in another post about my first loaves of WW bread.  They turned out great.  I have had problems recreating that elusive loaf, since that time.  The reason those first loaves were so light and fluffy was because I accidently used about double the amount of yeast called for.  The recipe called for 4.5 teaspoons, but I used 4.5 TABLESPOONS!  No wonder the bread was so light a fluffy.  I thought I would try it with the white wheat I had just gotten from the cannery.  Yesterday, 2 ten pound bricks were produced in the kitchen.  I was determined to make a decent loaf of bread again.  Today I thought, 'what the heck', so I doubled the yeast.  My DH said he would actually eat the bread in a sandwich if I made it.  YES!
I can tell I need the 50 lb. sack of wheat and probably about the same amount of yeast.  That's a lot of yeast for 2 loaves of bread. ( And no, that's a stock photo and not mine.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Update on Left-overs

It's Wednesday and can't believe I haven't really done much cooking this week. As I said on Monday, I cleaned out the fridge and we had the makings for a ham salad. I had ham from Easter dinner and some grilled fresh pineapple. Chop both ingredients and mix with mayo. A little dash of brown mustard and you have a decent ham salad sandwich on whole wheat bread.

I was busy with a group from church at our dry pack cannery. I bought #10 cans of white winter wheat, dehydrated onions, potato flakes and dehydrated apple slices. I have to go back again tomorrow evening, so I might pick up some empty cans and lids.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 6

Monday is going to be my new 'clean out the fridge day'. I guess part of provident living is using what you have. I have a refrigerator full of food that either needs to be eaten or thrown out! I am going to use whatever is in the fridge and pantry to create dinner. Your guess is as good as mine as to what we might be eating tonight. I'll let you know what I find...

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I knew I was doing all this for a good reason.  Heavenly Father showed me by giving us a 7.2 earthquake.  This one felt like it just kept going...

Happy Easter

Friday, April 2, 2010

Taco Night

I used some Taco Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) that my DH bought at Ready Reserve Foods. TVP is soy based product that can be used in place of meat or as an extender.  It stores well and can help supply protein in case of emergency.  They swear this is the stuff that Taco Bell uses in their burritos and tacos.  I don't know about that, but the taste was not bad.  I mixed in half and half with regular ground beef.  It seemed a bit dry, so I added a good shot of chili sauce.  I think I used too much, as it was sweet. 

I also made Sweet Corn Cake as a side dish.  If you've eaten at El Torito, you have probably had a small scoop of this.  Here is a recipe to use with items you might already have in storage.

Sweet Corn Cake
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup masa harina
3 tablespoons cold water
10 ounces corn kernels
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place butter and shortening in mixer bowl and whip until soft; continue whipping until fluffy and creamy. Add masa gradually while mixing; add water gradually and mix thoroughly.
Place corn kernels in blender or food processor fitted with metal blade; coarsely chop. Stir into the masa harina. Place (regular) cornmeal, sugar, whipping cream, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl; mix quickly. Add masa mixture and mix lightly, just until blended. Pour into greased 8-inch-square baking pan. Cover with foil.
Place pan in a larger pan and pour boiling water half way up corn cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 50 minutes, checking water level and adding more boiling water, if necessary. When cooked through, remove corn cake pan from water. Let cooked cake stand at room temperature for few minutes before cutting into squares or using a small ice cream scoop to serve.

Cook's Notes: Skip the corn and whipping cream and just add a can of creamed corn. If you do this, you shouldn't need as much, if any water. Make sure you cover the mixture with foil, while cooking. It will maintain a moist top, that does not brown.
To finish off the meal, have some fresh grilled pineapple.  I found a whole pineapple for $1.49, a great price.  Cut the pineapple into thick spears and grill on a very hot BBQ.  Grilling brings out the sweetness and it is wonderful!

Honeyville Grain Sale

Honeyville Grain is having a big sale.  Check out the shipping, which is only $4.49, no matter how big the order is.

Baked Barley Update

We tried it and actually both liked it.  I halfed the recipe and it still made a lot for 2 people.  My DH and I both thought it tasted like a brown rice.  I will be making this one again.