Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Random Thoughts for the Day:
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
There is great need for a sarcasm font.
Was learning cursive really necessary?
Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5.... I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
Bad decisions make good stories.
You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.
I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?
I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Coors Lites than K.
Okay, now that I have laughed over this again, I will share this recipe. The orginal version was called Creole Cornbread and came out of a Taste of Home Magazine. I jazzed it up a little and made it my own.
2 Cups Cooked Rice (White or Brown, I use White)
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal (Plain, Not Self-Rising Cormeal Mix)
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/4 Cup Chopped Jalapeno Peppers
1 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (or Bacon Drippings if Available)
1 Can (Approx. 15 Oz.) Cream Style Corn
2 Cups (8 Oz.) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Tsp. Red or Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbs. Pimento
Combine rice, cornmeal, onion, peppers, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat eggs, milk and oil (or drippings). Add corn, cayenne pepper, and pimento and mix well. Stir into rice mixture until blended. Fold in shredded cheese. Sprinkle a well greased 10 inch ovenproof skillet with an additional tablespoon of cornmeal. Pour batter into skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until bread tests done. Serve warm. About 12 servings. Yum!
Monday, October 26, 2009
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
1 (16 Oz.) Can Stewed Tomatoes, Undrained
1 (16 Oz.) Can Yellow Hominy, Undrained
1 (16 Oz.) Can Ranch Style Beans, Undrained
1 (16 Oz.) Can Pinto Beans. Undrained
1 (16 Oz.) Can Whole Kernel Corn, Undrained
1 (8 Oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
1 Chopped Jalapeno Pepper
Brown meat and onions. Add everything else. Simmer for about 1 hour or longer. Water can be added if soup becomes too thick. Makes eight servings.
This is the recipe as it was given to me. I usually make it in the crockpot and let it cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Peanut Butter Krispie Candy
4 C. Rice Krispie Cereal
1 C. Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 C. Dry Roasted Salted Peanuts
1 C. Mini-Marshmallows (Packed)
9 Blocks of Almond Bark
Melt Almond Bark in Microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Stir. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients and place by spoonfuls onto wax paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Let harden about 10 minutes.
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
4 Tbs. Butter
60 Large Marshmallows (16 oz. Bag)
1/2 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
6-1/2 Cups Rice Krispie Cereal
Spray with non-stick spray, or coat with butter, a 9" by 13" baking dish. Place the 4 Tbs. butter in a very large microwave safe bowl and melt completely, about 1 minute. Swirl butter to coat all sides of the bowl. Place the marshmallows in the bowl with the butter and stir to coat all the marshmallows well with the melted butter. Return to microwave and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring down about every 30 seconds. When the marshmallows are creamy and melted down (but don't cook until they look like syrup, that is too long) stir in the peanut butter. Stir until peanut butter is completely mixed in. Pour in the rice krispies and stir until completely coated with the marshmallow mixture. Turn out into the buttered pan and press down to smooth out the top. (I butter my hands before doing this so the mixture doesn't stick to me.) Let cool then cut into squares. Yum!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Mama's Chicken and Dumplings
1 Large Hen (at least 5 lbs.)
3 Ribs of Celery
3 Large Carrots
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Tbs. Salt
2 Bay Leaves
1 12 oz. Can Evaporated Milk
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
Wash chicken well and remove the Parson's Nose (tail). Place in a large (at least 12 qt.) stockpot and sprinkle with the salt. Cut the celery and carrots into about 3 inch lengths and place in pot with chicken along with bay leaves. Peel and cut each clove of garlic in half and place in pot. Sprinkle in black peppercorns. Cover the chicken with cool water and place on heat. Simmer gently for several hours or until chicken is completely tender and falling from bone. Remove chicken carefully from stock and let cool. Strain stock, discarding vegetables, bay leaves and peppercorns. Chill stock thoroughly until fat has hardened at the top. Remove fat from stock (do not discard fat) and return stock to a low simmer on heat. If there is less than 3 quarts of stock left due to evaporation, add water to bring stock level up to about 3 quarts. If more than 3 quarts, boil quickly to reduce volume. Make dumplings.
1-1/2 C. All Purpose Flour (Do Not Use Self-Rising Flour)
1/3 C. Reserved Cold Chicken Fat (see note below)
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Cold Milk
1 Egg, Thoroughly Beaten
Mix flour, fat and salt well. Add milk and egg. Mix well. Add additional flour if needed to keep dough from being too sticky. Roll on heavily floured cutting board. Cut into squares. Drop dumplings into reserved chicken broth which is simmering. Simmer about 15 minutes, stirring gently once or twice. Dumplings will rise to the top of the broth when done.
Meanwhile, remove chicken from bone and cut or tear into bite size pieces. After dumplings are done, stir in chicken meat. Whisk together the evaporated milk and the 1/2 cup flour until smooth. Pour into chicken and dumplings. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, add additional milk. If too thin, stir in additional flour mixed with water or milk.
Note: If you don't want to go to the trouble of chilling and using the chicken fat, shortening may be substituted, but this will not be the 'real deal'. Shortening wasn't invented until about mid-century (give or take a decade) 1900's. Before that, it was chicken fat, lard or butter. So, use hydrogenated fat (shortening) if you must, but the taste won't be the same.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Homemade Ginger Ale
1 Clean 2 Liter Soda Bottle
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Very Finely Grated, Peeled Ginger Root
Freshly Squeezed Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Teaspoon Baker's Yeast (Not Rapid-Rise)
Put sugar, ginger root and lemon juice in a small pitcher with a pouring spout. Add about 2 cups of warm (not hot) water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into the 2 liter bottle. Without rinsing pitcher, put about 2 more cups of cool water into the pitcher and stir to make sure all sugar and ginger is loosened. Pour this cool water into the 2 liter bottle. Very carefully, add yeast to the 2 liter bottle. Cap and shake to disperse yeast. Remove cap and fill bottle to within 2 inches of top of bottle with cool water. Recap and set at room temperature (75 to 85 degrees) for 48 hours. The yeast will cause the drink to carbonate. The bottle will feel very hard to the touch. Do not let the bottle sit longer than 48 hours at room temperature or the yeast will start producing alcohol and the drink will become ginger beer. Refrigerate the ginger ale and let set for 24 hours in refrigerator before drinking. I strained mine before drinking, but this is optional. This is very refreshing and delicious, much better than what can be bought at the supermarket.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
3 1/2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla Flavoring
1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 12 oz. Can of Beer (any kind - even gourmet)
1 Cup Apple Pie Filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large loaf pan. Mix all dry ingredients together. Stir in beer and pie filling slowly. Pour into prepared pan and bake one hour or until bread tests done with cake tester. Cool completely before slicing. This is great served with apple butter.
Here is the basic original version that was given to Sara:
3 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 12 oz. Can of Beer
Proceed as directed above.
I have also varied this basic recipe by adding one cup of frozen blueberries and 1 tsp. of almond flavoring. When I make the basic version, I reduce my sugar to 3/4 cup so that it is not quite so sweet.
What has this to do with Sweet Potato Biscuits? This morning I was preparing Ralph's breakfast and popped a piece of homemade fruit bread into the toaster. The smell of it brought back memories of my grandmother's sweet potato biscuits she would make. She knew that I loved them and some mornings she would get up very early and bake a couple of sweet potatos. Then she would have hot sweet potato biscuits for me when I got up. She would split the biscuits open and put butter on them. Sometime she would sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, but usually not. They were perfect with nothing but butter. I've never been able to duplicate that taste and I've tried. She would take the warm, mashed sweet potato and stir in some shortening or lard. Then she would stir in some self-rising flour until it looked right. She would then knead it just a few times on her floured countertop and cut it into biscuits. She would put them into a bacon greased pan and bake in a hot oven until they were golden brown and delicious. I really would love to have one of those biscuits right now. Even more, I would love to have my grandmother.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I have had this recipe for years and it has never failed me yet. It has been published with many different names, i.e. egg pastry, vinegar pastry, never-fail pastry, etc. I just call it Pie Crust.
Pie Crust Pastry
6 C. Flour
2 C. Shortening or Lard (Manteca)
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Vinegar
Ice Cold Water
Blend flour, shortening and salt. Beat egg in measuring cup; add vinegar and enough water to measure 1 cup. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; blend until dough leaves sides of bowl. Divide into 6 equal portions and place in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator and chill for several hours before rolling out on floured cloth or board. Will keep for up to one month in refrigerator. Yield: Pastry for six 1-crust pies or three 2-crust pies.
Ham Pot Pie
1 to 1-1/2 Lbs. Baked or Boiled Ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Large Russet Potatoes, Peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 or 3 Carrots, Peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 Lb. Velveeta Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 Cup Canned or Frozen (Thawed) Green Peas (Optional)
2 Crust Pie Pastry
Place ham, potatoes and carrots in a saucepan. Barely cover with water and let simmer until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and gently stir in cheese until melted. Gently fold in green peas. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place one piecrust in bottom of 9 inch square baking dish, shaping to fit. Pour in filling. Place remaining piecrust on top of filling and seal edges. Make a few vents in the top of the crust with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 6 servings.
The amount of ham can be varied according to taste. If less is used, salt might be needed for the vegetables, but the ham is usually salty enough that none is needed.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Simple Rice Pilaf
1 Cup Converted Rice (i.e. Uncle Ben's- my favorite white rice)
2 1/2 Cups Water
2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Pkg. Lipton or Knorr-Swiss Dry Vegetable Soup/Dip Mix
Optional: 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
Place all the above in a microwave rice cooker (or any microwave safe dish that has a snug fitting lid). Cover and microwave on high (100% power) for 5 minutes. Stir. Recover and microwave an additional 15 minutes on medium (50% power). Let stand (covered) about 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle almonds over rice before serving, if desired. Approximately 6 servings.
To cook on stovetop, place all ingredients in a heavy 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low and cook covered for about 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle almonds over rice before serving, if desired.
Chicken Grand Marnier
6 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1-1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Garlic Salt
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves, each cut into 9 - 12 Pieces
1/2 Cup Cooking Oil
Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture then saute in the cooking oil until outside is brown; place in a greased casserole dish.
2 Tbs. Butter
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Grand Marnier Liqueur (Or Triple Sec Liqueur)
1/2 Cup White Wine
Bring sauce ingredients to a boil then simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
2 Tbs. Flour mixed with
2 Tbs. Orange Juice, Regular Strength
Cook until slightly thickened then pour over chicken. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This can be frozen and reheated.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Chicken on the Grill
6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Green Pepper, Sliced into 6 Rings
6 Pineapple Slices
3/4 Cup BBQ Sauce, Approximately (I used Kraft Original Flavor)
Salt to Taste
Wash chicken and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle with salt and place on a rectangle of heavy duty aluminum foil. Lay one green pepper slice and one pineapple ring on top of each breast. Put about 2 Tablespoons of BBQ sauce on top of each chicken stack. Fold up sides of foil and seal to hold in steam, leaving some room for expansion. Place carefully, seam side up on medium hot grill and grill for 20 minutes. Do not turn. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Open foil packets carefully to avoid steam burns. Yum!
¾ C. Baking Cocoa
½ Tsp. Baking Soda
⅔ C. Vegetable Oil
½ C. Boiling Water
2 C. White Sugar
2 Eggs, Beaten
1⅓ C. All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp. Vanilla Flavoring
¼ Tsp. Salt
Mix cocoa and soda. Blend in ⅓ C. oil. Add boiling water and stir until thickened. Stir in sugar, eggs, and remaining ⅓ C. oil. Stir until smooth. Add flour, vanilla, and salt, mixing well. Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool before cutting.
Crock Pot Stuffed Green Peppers
5 Small to Medium Size Green Peppers
1 Jar (14 oz.) Prepared Spaghetti Sauce (I Used Garlic & Herb)
3/4 Lb. Uncooked Bulk Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage
3/4 Lb. Uncooked Instant Rice (I used Minute Brown Rice)
1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta or Bleu Cheese (I used Feta)
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
3/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Tomato
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tbs. Sliced Black Olives
1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder
½ Tsp. Salt
½ Tsp. Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste - I used 1 Tsp.)
2 Cloves Minced Fresh Garlic
Wash peppers thoroughly. Cut tops off of peppers, chop tops only and set aside. Discard stems and seeds and set pepper cups aside. Measure out 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce from the jar and set aside. Pour remaining sauce from the jar into the bottom of a crock pot (I sprayed mine with ‘Pam’ first). Combine all remaining ingredients (except reserved spaghetti sauce) and mix well. Stuff into peppers and place peppers into crock pot on top of the spaghetti sauce. Pour reserved spaghetti sauce on top of peppers. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low for 8 hours. About 5 Servings depending on your appetite. Yum!