Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A new favorite sloppy joe

Turkey Sloppy Joes
Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes Copyright 2002

2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 ½ lbs ground turkey
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced, optional I used this
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup tomato-based chili sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese I used less
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped, optional I added this
Hot onion buns I used whole wheat buns

1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a slow cooker stoneware. Drain and discard liquid.
2. Add remaining oil to pan. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, jalapeño pepper, if using, chili powder, oregano, salt and black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chili sauce and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.
3. Transfer mixture to slow cooker stoneware. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until mixture is hot and bubbling. Add cheese and green pepper, if using. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and pepper is softened. Spoon over hot split onion buns and serve.

Serves 6.

I thought these were a lot more flavorful than your average sloppy joe. I did find them to be a bit too salty so when I make them again, I won't add the salt. I don't think these have to be slow-cooked, although I think they should simmer for a while to blend the flavors. So if you don't own a crock pot, I think you could still give this recipe a try. My son enjoyed these too.

My only regret is that I had planned on making my own sandwich rolls but I saw that I had rolls in the breadbox and decided to use those up instead. Had I known just how much I was going to like the filling, I would have made the homemade rolls - this recipe deserved them.

I think I need to regroup. I feel 'off' since I've been sick, maybe even before that. I'm not taking a break from blogging (as long as I'm cooking, I might as well be blogging) but I need to clean and organize my house and get a few things out of the way that have been nagging at me before I can really throw myself back into this. I think I do pretty well considering I'm out of the house 10 hours Monday-Friday for work and commute and I'm raising a 3 year old and a husband. However, I'm starting to bore myself. I'd like to make at least a few recipes each month that challenge me, that maybe aren't practically but hopefully fun. I'm blown away by so many food bloggers yet I've noticed that some of most prolific ones don't mention working outside the home or even children in many cases. What I wouldn't do to have just one day a week to cook to my heart's content.

It's the last day to sign up for a chance to win a cookbook this month. I never updated the cookbook link in the corner and I'm seeing some problems with linking to old posts with the new Blogger (at least I think it's the new blogger). I'll look into it but I'm out of time right now. Go into the February archives and scroll down to sign up if you haven't yet.

Blast From The Past: Shortbread Wedges from April 2006. One thing I would like to do more often is make more fun homemade treats for my son. I haven't pulled that animal pan out in ages. Right now he's enjoying graham cracker sticks that I dipped in chocolate and covered with sprinkles. Every time he eats one, he asks 'You made this?' and he seems very impressed lol.

Question of the Day: Have you come across any problems with new Blogger? What are they?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good banana bread and bad customer service

Toni’s Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread (without the Walnut)
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007 Copyright 2006

2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 4)
1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt I used lowfat
½ cup reduced-fat vanilla soy milk I used 1% milk
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract I used a little bit more
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped walnuts I omitted these
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.
3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add banana mixture to flour mixture stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts until well combined. Divide mixture evenly between 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

Yield 2 loaves. 16 servings per loaf. Per serving: 150 cal, 4.9 g fat, 3.2 g pro, 25.8 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 0 mg chol, 153 mg sodium

I thought of all sorts of things to do with my excess bananas but in the end, I went with something somewhat healthy. The lead-in said that this was an adaptation of a vegan recipe. If you used all soy products and a dairy-free chocolate chip this would be vegan - nice for anyone with dairy or egg allergies. I was very pleased with this. It was very moist and flavorful.

This was a recipe sent in from a reader. I have three of the Cooking Light annuals and I seem to pick the reader recipes more often that the other recipes. Not on purpose, it just works out that way. I wonder why that is.

This is my contribution to Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays. . Bananas are a great source of potassium, B6, vitamin C and fiber.

Can I tell you about the worst customer service experience I had yesterday? It's food related. I went out for lunch for only about the second time this year. I just stopped by Bagel Builders for a white veggie pizza bagel. I placed my order and waited. Eventually I noticed that the people who ordered after me are picking up their orders but I was still standing there. One of the workers noticed this too and asked me what I ordered. I told him, he didn't have my order, he conferred with the other person filling orders and she didn't have it either. He went over to the shelf when the cashier places the order card and found my order and gave it to the other woman.

I still stood there and wasn't served until just about everyone else in the place was served! When I got my order (which turned out to be the wrong thing - just a plain white pizza with no veggies), the woman apologized and said that my order got left behind and she could only make the orders in the order she was given them. So even though she knew that my order had gotten lost, she still didn't make it until all of the other orders that came in WAY after me were prepared. Am I missing something here?

Another time I went in there for breakfast and ordered a wrap and the one woman filling orders that morning kept handing people who came in behind me their toasted bagels and I asked where my order was and she told me that she was the only one working and she just couldn't get to it (i.e. she was going to fill every simpler order that came in before making my wrap) It was the middle of the breakfast rush and if I hadn't spoken up I would have been standing there for who knows how long. So much for strictly filling the orders in the order they receive them. I try to be reasonable but I'm really at a loss to understand people sometimes.

So no more Bagel Builders for me which is a shame because they have good coffee. I just can't spend my money there anymore. I gave them several chances, forgave some inconsistencies in product (the white veggie pizza varied quite a bit, depending on who made it) and service (sometimes it was slow but I waited patiently and other times they were speedy).

Blast From The Past: Sour Cream Banana Bread from December 2005. My old stand-by but unfortunately not as healthy as today's recipe. You really can't compare the two - one is whole wheat and one isn't. Both are very, very good recipes.

Question of the Day: Have you ever dealt with bad customer service in a restaurant? How many chances do you give them?

Monday, February 26, 2007

A hit with my son

Super-Easy Mac and Cheese
Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook Copyright 2005

½ cup 1% low-fat milk
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon pepper
6 ounces processed cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed I used 2% Velveeta
4 cups hot cooked medium elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked), cooked without salt or fat I used Dreamfields

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook over medium heat until cheese melts and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in macaroni. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 (1/2 cup) servings. 3 points per serving.

This was just something I made on a whim. I had recently looked at the recipe and when I walked past the Velveeta in the grocery store, I felt the urge to throw some in my cart even though I hadn't really planned on making this recipe right away.

Usually I prefer to blend a little Velveeta with other cheeses, not that I buy Velveeta very often. It seems to smooth out cheese sauces very nicely. Just the Velveeta on it's own wasn't bad here. I liked that it didn't seem as rich as a regular cheese sauce - sometimes macaroni and cheese can be too heavy as a side dish. I love Alton Brown's stove-top recipe but as a side dish, it can be too much.

Another nice thing about the Velveeta is that the leftovers didn't dry out like other macaroni and cheese recipes often do. My son really liked this so I was glad to be able to freeze the leftovers for him. They reheat beautifully.

I really like these Weight Watcher's magazine style cookbooks and there's a new one out but they're so expensive. I was hoping Costco had it in there magazine section but they didn't. I'll probably break down and get the new one eventually.

Lately, when it comes to cooking, the spirit is willing but the body is dead tired. I don't get sick very often so maybe I just forgot how long it takes to recover or maybe it's just my advanced age, but I didn't expect not to bounce right back after being sick. My butt has been dragging for over a week.

I scheduled a trip to Ollie's since my coupon was about to expire and then I couldn't find the coupon! Oh well, I went anyway. I got a raise on Friday so that was my splurge. They didn't have anything too special but that didn't stop me. I bought a nice Pillsbury cookbook, a Betty Crocker chicken cookbook, a bread machine cookbook, a few healthy recipe cookbooks and a Bisquick cookbook. All the books basically contain recipes I probably already have somewhere but if I only bought books that made sense I wouldn't be the Cookbook Junkie, I'd just be someone with a small, logical cookbook collection.

Blast From The Past: Maple-Glazed Salmon from March 2006, also from this cookbook. Wonderful but why does cooking salmon have to stink up the house so much?? Damn, I just remembered that I forgot to take my fish oil capsules this morning.

Question of the Day: Do you take any dietary supplements (vitamins, fish oil, etc)?

Friday, February 23, 2007

More Rachael Ray

Chicken, Veal or Pork Schnitzel with Red Caraway Cabbage
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats Copyright 2005

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or thin-cut boneless pork loin chops, or thin-cut boneless veal chops or cutlets I used pork
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs beaten with a splash of milk or cream
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
vegetable oil or light-in-color olive oil, for frying, plus 1 tablespoons

1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 green apple, peeled and chopped
½ red cabbage, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 lemon, cut into wedges

If using chicken, butterfly each chicken breast and place between wax paper. For pork, place chops several inches apart between wax paper. For veal, if you have large, thin-cut pieces from the butcher, use as is. If the veal is more than ¼ inch thick, place it between wax paper. Pound the meat until very thin using a small heavy skillet or mallet.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and dust in flour. Beat the eggs and milk or cream in a large shallow dish. Combine the bread crumbs with the nutmeg and more salt and pepper and place on a large plate. Coat the meat in egg, then in crumbs. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat with just enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil gets wavy looking, add the meat in a single layer and cook until golden on each side, 3 minutes each. Transfer the meat to a plate and repeat, if necessary. Reserve the cooked schnitzel under a loose foil tent.

Meanwhile, heat a second, deep, large nontick skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil or light olive oil. Add the onions, apples, and cabbage. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and the caraway seeds. Toss and sear the mixture for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire and toss to coat and combine the cabbage evenly. Reduce the heat a bit and keep the cabbage going until all the meat is cooked.

Serve the schnitzels with the lemon wedges and a pile of seared red cabbage with caraway alongside.

Makes 4 servings.

I thought I'd try my hand at another Rachael Ray recipe. I thought the pork was very good. It was very tender and I loved the nutmeg in the breading. The cabbage, well sometimes I just don't know if a recipe is lacking or if I wasn't in the mood for something. There was nothing wrong with the cabbage. I like cabbage. This just didn't wow me. My husband seemed to enjoy it so I really think it was just me. Maybe it was because I enjoyed the pork so much and I really didn't want anything else.

I think I need a new cookbook. It's been a few weeks since I got a new cookbook. I have a coupon for Ollie's that expires Sunday, 15% off their already rock bottom prices. I've been waiting for King Arthur's Whole Grain Baking Book from a book club for weeks. It was supposed to ship this week. I'm very anxious to get my hands on that book.

Blast From The Past: Black Magic Banana Cupcakes, from September 2005 - my first post! These might be a good use of those bananas I have sitting on the counter.

Question of the Day: What is the last cookbook you acquired?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Soup or stew jeudi

French Beef Stew
Passport to Flavor Copyright 1993

1 ½ pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) stewed tomatoes I used one can of stewed tomatoes and one can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
1 can (14 ounces) beef broth
4 medium carrots, pared, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium potatoes, pared, cut into 1-inch chunks I kept the pieces big to avoid mushiness
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional) I used this and wouldn't suggest leaving it out

Combine meat and flour in plastic bag; toss to coat evenly. In 6-quart saucepan, brown meat in oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add remaining ingredients, except mustard. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour or until beef is tender. Blend in mustard. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with warm crusty French bread, if desired.

6 to 8 servings.

This simple little stew was actually very good. I messed up a little and had to use one can of diced seasoned tomatoes but that probably only made it better. The husband even specifically commented that this was good stew. I thought the addition of the mustard was important - I wouldn't leave it out. I always make my stews the day before which makes them even better. This was definitely one of the best beef stew recipes I've tried. I loved that it was so easy to throw together.

This is my contribution to Cyndi's Soup of Stew Thursdays. She's had a rough couple of weeks, hopefully she'll be able to get to the round up this week.

Blast From The Past: Banana Cake VI from July 2006. I have some bananas and I've been thinking about that cake but I should probably look for something healthier. I think I've dipped enough bananas in chocolate. I've been on a chocolate dipping binge. Pretzels and graham crackers are my current favorites.

Question of the Day: Have you been eating a lot of any one particular food lately? Do you get on food 'kicks' or do you generally eat a variety of things?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Simple and satisfying

Chicken Olive Calzones
Better Homes and Gardens Chicken Cooking For Today Copyright 19993

1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken (8 ounces)
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped pitted ripe olives
½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed
¼ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup soft-style cream cheese with chives and onions
1 10-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
grated Parmesan cheese, optional
spaghetti sauce, optional

For filling, in a medium bowl combine chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, celery, ripe olives, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir in soft-style cream cheese. Set aside.

For calzones, unroll pizza dough. On lightly floured surface roll dough into 1 15x10-inch rectangle. Cut into six 5-inch squares. Divide chicken-olive mixture among the squares. Brush edges with water. Lift one corner and stretch dough over to the opposite corner. Seal edges of dough well with tines of fork. Arrange calzones on a greased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. In small bowl combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush over the calzones. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Bake in 425 degrees oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce, if desired.

Makes 6 calzones. Per serving: 268 cal, 18 g pro, 19 g carbs, 13 g fat, 90 mg chol, 320 mg sodium, 198 mg potassium

These calzones were so easy to prepare and I'm already imagining all of the variations I'll be making in the future.

I used my new favorite jarred sauce with these, Alessio's. It's nice to be able to grab a good jarred sauce off the shelf in a pinch ( and it's not as expensive in the grocery store as it is on that site). I love that I could have made it myself - every ingredient is recognizable. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the 'gift' to make good red sauce.

Blast From The Past: Deep Dish Chili Pie from February 2006. This is one of my husband's favorites and it also uses refrigerated pizza dough.

Question of the Day: Do you cook anything out of a tube (breads, crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, etc)?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My first doughnuts

Potato Doughnuts
Easy Bread Machine Recipes Copyright 1997

2 C all-purpose flour
1 ½ T mashed potatoes
¼ tsp nutmeg I omitted this - just wasn't in the mood for nutmeg
5/8 C potato water
1 egg
3 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 T dried milk
2 T butter
1 ½ tsp yeast
vegetable oil for deep frying

Topping: 1 C confectioners’ sugar

1. Load the bread pan of the machine with all the ingredients except the powdered sugar and oil, select the dough setting, and start it. When the beeper sounds, remove the dough to a greased bowl and chill thoroughly for two hours or overnight.
2. Roll out to about a 10x16 inch rectangle and cut doughnut shapes with a doughnut cutter or a biscuit cutter. (If you use the biscuit cutter, just make a hole in the center with your thumb when you move them to the cookie sheet, but be sure there is a large hole, as this aids in cooking the doughnut.) I just cut the dough into strips.
3. Place the doughnuts on a greased cookie sheet. Let them rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until nearly doubled in bulk. If you find that the holes have closed during the process, just take the handle of your spatula and enlarge them.
4. Put oil at least 2 inches deep in a heavy saucepan and heat it to 375 degrees F. Slice each doughnut into the deep fat, using a spatula that has been dipped in hot fat. Do only three or four at a time. Fry the doughnuts until brown.
5. Drain on absorbent paper; then cool in a rack. Toss with confectioners’ sugar.

It's Fastnacht Day here in central PA. I haven't had a good fastnacht in years since I don't have access to the church sales, just the supermarket variety which were pretty awful the last time I had them. So I decided to try making my own this year.

Not bad for a first attempt. Unfortunately I had to make them last night and they're much better fresh but these were a very light and fluffy doughnut - I was impressed. I should have glazed them though, instead of using the powdered sugar. The sugar kept dissolving into the doughnuts.

The dough was super easy to work with. I let it rest for several hours, not overnight, and that was fine. I took the easy way out and just made pillows since I didn't have a donut cutter and fastnachts are generally more pillow-shaped anyway.

Blast From The Past: Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes from a year ago. I'm not doing the pancake thing this year since I did the doughnuts. There's a limit to how many carbs I can eat in one day.

Question of the Day: How is Fat Tuesday celebrated in your area?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back on the horse, but not at a full gallop

Beef and Tortilla Casserole (Chilaquiles)
Cuisine of the American Southwest Copyright 1983

10-12 corn tortillas
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 bell pepper, seeded and quartered or 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles, drained I used bell pepper
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon leaf oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½-1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese, chilled
1 (14 ½ ounce) can Italian Plum tomatoes I used stewed tomatoes - I grabbed the wrong can
½ cup tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream or evaporated milk I used sour cream
1 cup cooked pinto beans, optional I didn't use these

Cut each tortilla into 3 strips and set aside.
Using the metal blade, drop the garlic through the feed tube with the motor running to mince. Add onion and pepper or chiles to workbowl and pulse to finely chop.
In a skillet, sauté the beef with the onion mixture and oregano until the onions are soft and the meat juices no longer run pink. Drain off excess fat, salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Use the shredding disc to process the tomatoes, tomato sauce and sour cream until combined.
Butter a 9x11 or 9x12 casserole dish and layer beginning with the tortilla strips, then sauce, meat and cheese. End with the cheese on top. If you wish, you may add a layer of the pinto beans. The casserole may be made several hours ahead and refrigerated at this point.
Bake 20-30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven until hot. Cut into squares to serve.

Serves 6-8.

All of the recipes in this book were written for a food processor. I thought maybe they were just a big thing in the 80s but then I noticed that this book was published by The Cuisinart Cooking Club. I used my mini-chopper but all you really need is a sharp knife.

I've owned this cookbook since 1989 and this is the first time I've cooked from this book. I have several cookbooks that deal with Southwestern and Mexican cooking and most of them aren't very user-friendly so I tend to overlook them as a group. This book was unfairly lumped into that group.

This was the first thing I made after my tastebuds started coming back and I really enjoyed it. I loved the creamy tomato sauce and the creamy texture of the tortillas. It was an easy casserole that used fresh ingredients.

I'm still not back to 'normal', nor will I ever be without Ernie. I did make Italian rolls this weekend so my husband could have his beloved Hot Italian subs. I also made chocolate covered frozen bananas - no recipe, but I was craving them. Right now my problem is lack of energy. My head still feels as if it's stuffed with cotton and I haven't worked out in 12 days. I have to get back on the treadmill tonight.

Question of the Day: Is anyone else ready for spring??

Friday, February 16, 2007

I can taste again but I'm still not very hungry

I put my cat Ernie to sleep last night, as if being sick this week wasn't bad enough. They don't make a lot of cats like Ernie. He was the most affectionate, mild-mannered cat you could ever imagine.

Three years ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Fortunately the doctor was a quack and it was just asthma. They still tried to kill him with steroids but after 7 days in 3 different hospitals in 2 different states, he pulled through.

A couple of months later, I had my son but I made it a point to never push Ernie aside, as often happens to a pet after a baby is born. In the three years they shared together, my son never treated Ernie badly. Only once, in that age when babies like to painfully grab things did Ernie ever scratch Nick. They couldn't have gotten along any better.

I'm actually not nearly as sad as I'd thought I'd be. I think because it was obvious it was time for him to go and because I had those three extra years with him. I lost his buddy, Mookie, just a month before my son was born and that hit me hard because it really came out of left field.

Now, I'm catless for the first time in almost 17 years. Feels weird.

Rest in peace, sweet Ernest.

I'll be back with recipes on Monday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'll be back

I'll be back as soon as my tastebuds comeback. I have a nasty sinus infection and probably strep too. After only two doses of the the antibiotic, I finally feel that I'm improving for the first time in six days.

Can you believe I haven't looked at a cookbook or watched any cooking shows the whole time I've been sick? It's not a stomach thing but I've just had no appetite.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Now this is dedication

Sour Cream Scones
Cooking Light Annual Recipes Copyright 2006

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream Oops! I only had the real stuff
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins I used frozen blueberries
cooking spray
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon I omitted this

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
3. Combine sour cream, butter and egg white in a small bowl. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in currants.
4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 6 to 12 times with floured hands. (Dough will be crumbly.) Divide dough in half. Pat each half into a 6-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut each circle into 6 wedges; do not separate.
5. Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and cinnamon. Lightly coat top of dough with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 1 dozen Per scone: 175 cal, 4.8 g fat, 3.6 g protein, 30.2 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, 14 mg chol, 219 mg sodium

Saturday I was so sick, rolling over in bed took more effort than I could muster. By Sunday afternoon I felt better enough to make these scones. Two hours later, I was under the covers with the chills again. Had I known that I would only be feeling good for a brief couple of hours, I probably would have done something else with my time but then you wouldn't be seeing a new post today.

I have no idea if these were good or not - I can't taste anything. The texture seemed good.

I'm still not feeling well so that's all I have to say today.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Something boring, something special

Celery Seed Dressing II
Pleasures From The Good Earth: A Collection of Recipes from The United Church of Huntington Copyright 1998

1 c. sugar
½ c. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. minced onion
1 c. oil

Dissolve sugar, salt, et, in vinegar. Add oil and beat until thick. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time, but be sure to beat again before serving. Extra good on coleslaw or lettuce salad. I used it over bagged coleslaw mix.

If you want a coleslaw recipe, the best place to look is a church or other fundraiser cookbook. I don't know why that it, but they're usually full of recipes for coleslaw and salad dressings and they rarely disappoint. This was good coleslaw.

Well, Randi asked for my MIL's peanut butter frosting recipe and I suppose there's no point in holding onto it now. I don't have the exact recipe in front of me (there really isn't an exact recipe) but I can give you the gist of it. Basically you make a creamy frosting such as this one. You can also use margarine instead of butter and/or granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar. After you make this base of creamy frosting, you add peanut butter AND marshmallow fluff. You have to use your own judgement on those ingredients.

This was actually a recipe for Whoopie Pie filling. If you just add peanut butter to a buttercream frosting recipe, you don't end up with a very fluffy frosting but this recipe is wonderfully fluffy. Do NOT leave this out in the heat though - I brought this to a cookout once and by the time we ate it the frosting was melting off the cake. Personally, I prefer it refrigerated which makes the frosting a tad more solid.

Blast From The Past: Peanut Butter Fudge from December 2005. Another great peanut butter recipe that we can't enjoy anymore.

Question of the Day: Have you ever given up a particular food, for any reason?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Lulu Paste
Holiday Gift of Recipes, 2005

3 egg yolks I used whole eggs
3 Tsp. sugar I used 3 Tbsp.
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1 green pepper, diced
1 pimento, diced I used red bell pepper
1 small onion, diced
8 oz cream cheese

Bring egg yolks, sugar and vinegar to a boil. Dice pimento, green peppers, and small onion and mix with cream cheese. Mix with dressing and beat well. Refrigerate. Spread on crackers or use as a dip.

Around the holidays, my mother-in-law always makes 'dip', a family tradition. She briefly explained the recipe to me at one time but I wasn't able to track it down. The ingredients were too generic - Google wasn't leading me to it. I could have asked for the recipe but this is a special family recipe and she might think that I was going to start making it all of the time. Lo and behold, Christmas of 2005, the local weekly newspaper included a small recipe booklet, courtesy of the local Christian bookstore, and there was the 'dip' recipe.

However, something looked off right away. 3 Tsp. ??? Three teaspoons are a tablespoon. This didn't make sense and seemed like too little sugar. So I Googled other Lulu Paste recipes (armed with the name, I could now find several versions) and decided that it should be 3 tablespoons and I also noticed that many people use whole eggs so I did too (I didn't want to waste the whites). I doubled the recipe and used 4 large eggs and 1 jumbo egg.

The flavor was right but my results were looser than my mother-in-law's version so I probably should have just used the yolks, fewer whole eggs or I could have added more cream cheese. I need to play around with it. While the looser version is easier to eat as a dip(MIL's version is definitely a 'paste' and you need a sturdy chip to dip into it), I wanted an exact replica. And no, I won't make it all of the time but God forbid something happens to my mother-in-law, I would like to still be able to make my husband's favorite family recipes, most of which come from his grandmother and she's not talking at all. Come to think of it this dip recipe is the only special recipe my MIL makes. There was her peanut butter frosting recipe, which she willingly gave me, but of course, we won't be making that any more with my son's peanut allergy.

I was saving this for Dispensing Happiness's next Block Party since the them is comfort food but I ran out of other things to post. I'll still contribute this, if I remember, but I need to come up with a cocktail.

Blast From The Past: Dill Dip from June 2006. I whip this up on the fly all of the time for my son. I usually leave out the grated onion. I send it in his lunch with small carrot strips but knowing him, he probably just eats the dip with his finger.

Question of the Day*: What are some of your special family recipes (not the entire recipes, just the names)?

*Forgive me if I start repeating Questions of the Day. I can't remember what I've asked before. I should have kept a list of them somewhere.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Satisying but not worth repeating

Manhattan Turkey (or Chicken) al la King
Passport To Flavor Copyright 1993

8 ounces wide egg noodles I used an entire bag of whole wheat egg noodles
1 pound boneless turkey or chicken, cut into strips I used chicken
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 can (14 ½ ounces) pasta style chunky tomatoes I used diced organic tomatoes
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed cream of celery soup I used 98% fat-free
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, slices
1 cup sliced mushrooms

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. In large skillet, brown turkey in oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add remaining ingredients, except for noodles. Cover and cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Remove cover; cook 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

This dish in no way resembles traditional chicken a la king but it wasn't bad. It was definitely healthier than the traditional version. It was a satisfying weekday meal but not something I would make again. There are just too many chicken recipes out there. I only remake the very best ones. Also, there are lots of reports of peanut allergic kids getting mystery reactions after eating Cambell's soup and I felt a little weird after eating this which could purely have been psychological or maybe it was the MSG. I'm still a little hypersensitive after my mysery reaction. My son was fine but he didn't eat a lot of the sauce. I think the fat-free version probably has more weird stuff in there than the full-fat version, to make up for the fat.

We have slippery roads today and for some reason I can't seem to work up the nerve to get out there and get to work. I hate driving on slippery roads but my fear isn't usually this debilitating. I tried once but traffic was a standstill from an accident and I got nervous and came back home. I'm such a wuss.

Blast From The Past: Chicken Enchiladas from October 2006. Now that is a chicken recipe worth making over and over.

Question of the Day: What dish do you make for dinner most often?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

February 2007 Cookbook Giveaway

Yes, it's time for another cookbook giveaway. This is the last of the Food and Wine Quick From Scratch cookbooks that I was able to score.

Food and Wine's Quick From Scratch Pasta, which contains the following recipes I've blogged about:

Cavatappi with Pepperoni
Linguine Carbonara
Perciatelli with Meat Sauce and Fontina
Tex-Mex Cavatappi
Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Sausage and Peppers

The rest of the recipes can be found here. Yes, all of the recipes from these Quick From Scratch cookbooks can be found online but it's just not the same as flipping through a cookbook while sipping a glass of wine or hot cocoa.

This is how it works - just leave a comment on this post. I just need an e-mail address (if your profile links to an e-mail, you don't need to type it out, I'll find it). Entry is open until the last day of the month. First chance I get after that, I'll draw the winner. Then I'll contact the winner for a mailing address and then I mail the book! I'll pay the shipping, of course.

I'll open this to everyone - in or out of the U.S. It will have to go by the least expensive method if an international reader wins.

Remember, I need an e-mail address and a name. It's amazing how many people forget themselves and just join in as 'anonymous' with no other identification.

*********Brilynn is the winner!********************


Hawaiian Chicken Burgers
Better Homes and Gardens Chicken Cooking For Today Copyright 1993

1 beaten egg
¼ cup fine dry seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chopped water chestnuts
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound raw ground chicken
¼ cup bottled sweet-and-sour sauce
4 canned pineapple rings
4 kaiser rolls or hamburger buns, split and toasted I used whole-wheat buns
shredded spinach I used Romaine because that's what I had

In a medium bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, water chestnuts, ginger, salt and pepper. Add ground chicken and mix well. Shape into four ¾-inch patties.

To grill, place patties on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals; cook for 15 to 18 minutes or till no longer pink, turning once and brushing with sweet-and-sour sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, place pineapple slices on grill rack. Cook for 5 minutes, turning as needed. I broiled everything - too cold to grill.

To serve burgers, sprinkle bottom half of each bun with some shredded spinach. Top with patties. Brush patties with sweet-and-sour sauce and top with pineapple slices.

Makes 4 servings.

I guess you can throw a slice of pineapple on just about anything and call it Hawaiian. I highly doubt there is anything authentically Hawaiian about these burgers but they were pretty tasty. I used the broiler and they came out great. I'm sure they would be even better grilled. This burger wasn't quite as good as Red Robin's Banzai Burger but I didn't feel as guilty after eating this Hawaiian Chicken Burger as I do after a Banzai Burger. It's rare that I enjoy a burger without cheese (except Wendy's singles - I eat only ketchup on those).

I would have preferred a better sweet-and-sour sauce. My only choice was LaChoy but I'm going to search out a better one in other stores. Fat Tuesday used to have the best sweet and sour sauce served with chicken fingers and fries. It wasn't pink. At least I don't think it was. The lighting was dim and I usually had a couple of 190 Octanes in me.

I need to try my hand at making sandwich buns. I'm worried about shaping them properly. These burgers would have been so much better on homemade buns.

This is a real stretch but this is my submission for Sweetnick's ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday. Hey, there's pineapple, water chestnuts and even a bit of lettuce. Ginger is also good for you. I've submitted weaker contributions. Cate's not feeling too well. She's probably so full of medication, I could probably submit a glazed donut and she wouldn't notice.

Blast From The Past: Sweet and Tangy Barbecued Chicken from October 2005, also from this cookbook. It's a nice little chicken cookbook.

Question of the Day: When (if) you go to Red Robin or any other gourmet burger place, what kind of burger or sandwich are you likely to order?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yummy, healthy oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal Cookies With Cherries
Prevention’s The Sugar Solution Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 cup whole grain pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg I had to use a jumbo egg since that's all I had
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup dried cherries I only had a small bit of dried cherries so I cut them in half.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and granulated sugar, applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla. Stir until well-blended. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined. Stir in the oats and cherries.

Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2” apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Makes 30. Per cookie: 43 cal, 1 g pro, 7 g carbs, 1 g fat, 5 mg chol, 80 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

I like to have a somewhat healthy baked good on hand every week and this week I chose this recipe. It's from Prevention's Sugar Solution Cookbook. I also have the book this cookbook is a companion to but I haven't gotten around to reading it, to be honest. I believe it's similar to the GI Diet but I'm not 100% sure. All I know if both my husband and I have family with Type II Diabetes so make it a point to pick up cookbooks that deal with blood sugar issues.

These cookies were delicious. I really liked the flavor and the texture. They spread quite a bit, turning out very flat and they were somehow both chewy and crunchy at the same time. I didn't have many dried cherries so I cut them up so there were just small bits of cherries in these, which I actually think is better since dried cherries (at least the ones I had) can be quite tart and I prefer that tartness in smaller bites.

My son is feeling better today but it was a long weekend. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard 'I need a huggie' or 'My boogers fall out my nose' (translation: I need a tissue), I could quit my day job and blog full-time without ads. Hopefully I'll get to the cookbook drawing sometime today.

Blast From The Past: Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies from April 2006. Another thin, delicious cookie.

Question of the Day: Does anyone close to you have Type II diabetes?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Burgers and a sick child

Bacon Burgers
365 Favorite Brand Name Hamburger Copyright 1997

1 pound lean ground beef
4 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme I used dried
½ teaspoon salt
dash freshly ground pepper
4 slices Swiss cheese

Preheat grill. Combine ground beef, bacon, and seasonings in medium bowl; mix lightly. Shape into 4 patties. Grill 4 minutes; turn. Top with cheese. Continue grilling 2 minutes or to desired doneness. I used the broiler for these.

Makes 4 servings.

I've found burger recipes to be hit or miss. It's really hard to improve upon your basic burger. The Aisle 6 Beef Burgers were not that great. Burrito Burgers, on the other hand, were pretty good. These Bacon Burgers can go stand next to the Burrito Burgers - they were pretty good. I'm not sure about the thyme since it was overpowering the bacon a bit but otherwise I thought this was a nice twist on a burger, without straying too far from the basics.

I'm home with a very sick child today so that's all I have time to say today. Have a great weekend.