Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chilli for a chilly night

Halloween is tomorrow night.  It's going to be cold, and cold here in the Heartland tomorrow night.  Chili is something that can be quick, easy, and yummy.

I start by browning a pound or two of cut up round steak with a medium onion chopped in a couple of tablespoons of bacon drippings. When it's been well browned, I add it to my crock pot and add 3 cans of dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed, One can of diced tomatoes with juice, one Jar of  salsa, (that is going to be your heat) A jar of chili sauce, and if you like your chili wet, you can add spicy tomato juice. Simmer on low for 6 hours. I serve my chili on tortilla chips, topped with sour cream, cheese, and a side of corn bread.  If I feel really lucky, I will make Cinnamon rolls too.

When growing up in Soda Springs,  For school lunch every so often, the cooks would make chili from scratch  or at least the way I make chili by opening cans and letting everything simmer for a few hours. It was always served with  cinnamon rolls.  My mom, being a school teacher, could put in an order for those rolls and when she brought them home at the end of day, they were very good with a glass of cold milk.   For easy rolls, Just get the Rhodes Frozen cinnamon rolls that you just put in the oven and bake from their  frozen state.

Happy Eats!

No Peeking Chicken

No Peeking!

My mom found this recipe in a cookbook she received from one of the many moving companies we used over the years. The book itself has been lost, or in true family form, it's in a tote in a storage unit somewhere and it's just getting the time to find it.  At least it's not in a box, in a van, DOWN BY THE RIVER!  When the grocery store would have chicken hindquarters on sale, I knew this is what we would be having for Sunday Dinner.  Especially when we had Church from 1-4 which in all actuality is was 12:30 to 4:30 or later.  Mom was ward organist so she had to be there early for prelude, and then depending on what was going on like BYC or other presidency meetings right after church, we wouldn't always be right home.

1 cup of long grain rice
4 chicken hindquarters
1 can each of cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken soup
1 now empty can of milk.
1 envelop of onion soup mix

Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and spray it well. None of that 2 second spray and the pan is coated.  You don't want the rice to stick.  add the rice to the pan and shake it down to an even level.  Top that with chicken. Combine the soups and milk together and pour over chicken. Top with the onion soup mix. cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours  at 350*  and NO PEEKING in the three hours it's in the oven. If you look, the rice won't get done and stay crunchy. Not good.

This is why it's the perfect dish for afternoon church goers.  You aren't home to peek at the chicken.  And if you are like my family, and gone for 4 hours and you are lucky enough to have a a timed bake setting on your oven, you can set the oven to start at a specific time and end 3 hours later.  We would make this up just right before we left for church and put it in a cold oven and when we got home, it would be just ready to come out and be cool enough to eat after we changed our clothes (Yeah like we really did that)

My husband is drilling something so I better go see what he is up to.

see you next post!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Dreams will reveal...

In a totally former life, I was an assistant teacher for  Utah school for the Deaf and Blind for the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes.  For Snacks we sometimes got the Smuckers uncrustables PB&J sandwiches and sometimes we got them for lunch as well.  A couple of times during the school year we would have a big surplus of these frozen delights so we made our own stuffed french toast.  I hadn't had one of these is over 8 years and I was dreaming about them last night. Must be time to make them again.

All it is is eggs, milk and a few dashes of Cinnamon whisked together for the batter, Dip the frozen sandwiches into the mix, and fry like you do french toast.  The Sandwiches have to be in a frozen state or they don't stay together while they are cooking. They do completely thaw out and get warmed up on the inside while cooking It's very yummy.  I will have to do that for Breakfast Sunday Morning.

As for now I have to get ready for work and I have less than 10 minutes remaining on my lap top battery.

Carry on!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Steak Florentine

A few weeks ago,  the boyz schools had their book fair that just happened to coincide with parent teacher conferences. The Horror!  So having kids that like to read I got dragged through the libraries of their respective schools.  While each boy got to pick out one new book, I got me a new cookbook.  This one has simple meals 30 minutes or less.  Tonight, I tried out one of the recipes.  It was really good and healthy and I am going to make it again.

Start out with about a pound of top round steak, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, sliced in about 1/2 inch strips. Brown that in a tablespoon of oil, drain, and add one more tablespoon of oil and add one small onion thinly sliced. when the onion gets soft, add the meat back in, along with 4 cups of fresh spinach season with salt and pepper to taste and and one can of cream of mushroom soup and let it come to a simmer and serve over fresh sliced tomatoes.

For the sides, I did wild  mushroom and herb couscous and canned green beans

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Porcupine Balls!!!!!

What? Is that the special at the Road Kill Cafe? You know the one, where the spoons are just as greasy as the hair of the cook working the grill.  You can write your name in the residue on the table and the waitress is 199 years old.

No Not really but we all know dives like that.

I was reading a book a long time ago about a single dad and he was trying to hold his family together the best that he could after his wife left him. One of the kids' teachers notice that the oldest was missing a lot of school and checked in on her student and becomes the after school care the kids needed while dad was working. This is one of the recipes in the book.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2/3 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Mix everything together and shape into just bigger than bite size meat balls.  The rice will be the quills of the porcupine.

Drop into boiling tomato soup and simmer for 30 minutes or until done.

Yep it's that simple!

I once read cooking is something you do for your family. But when you’re alone you sometimes have to treat yourself like family. And now that my apartment’s redolent with the smell of food it feels more like a home than a box where I hang my hat.  Waiter Rant, 01-10-10

Saturday, October 22, 2011

stomach virus suck!!!!

It started Thursday afternoon with my oldest child unit, After school, Then my youngest kinda got it, Didn't throw up but did have the "Hershey Squirts".  I got it Friday about 3 AM with the Hershey squirts and throwing up.  My husband got it Friday Afternoon.  It's now Saturday afternoon and other than a few squirts here and there on my end. we seem to be on the upswing.

Here is what I used to treat the tummy aches and the aches of the virus,

Ginger Tea

I was told by my Maternal Grandmother, that her great grandmother learned the healer's art from the Indians as they lived in Kanesville, Iowa before moving west.  For the tea it's 1/8t of ground ginger in a small tea cup,  add enough hot water to make a cup, and let it steep for 5 minutes as it cools down. Just sip it and don't drink the ginger at the bottom of the cup.

We kept Ginger ale on hand,  That is good for tummy aches too.  7-up for re hydration, Especially with a squirt of lemon juice and lime juice over ice.  There is something about the citric acid that helps with upset tummies.

For the runs, Banana, rice, Applesauce and dry toast.  I know what makes this work,  They each have fiber that expands in the intestinal track and absorbs the liquid so you aren't running to the bathroom so much.

While you are in the recovery mode, after it seems that you are going to die because your insides want to be on the outside and you are not going to explode but IMPLODE, (And I think that valet services should be offered at the Hospital ER because you can't call for an ambulance for yourself...)

Just good old Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup and crackers if you think you can tolerate them. At least if you are not on par, and toss it up, it tastes the same coming up.

That is it for today.  I have laundry to do and a nap to take.

I will post the recipe for dinner tomorrow as soon as I know what it is.

Carry on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is for dinner for us?

When I was at the Grocery store this weekend, I found something in the freezer section where the family entrees are.  This is put out under the On Cor brand and it's sliced turkey with gravy. Now what makes this different from the Turkey loaf with gravy?  it's sliced and the store had it on sale for 2 dollars a box.  Each box served 6 so I got a few boxes. You can't beat the price and we have eaten their Salisbury streak and gravy and it was pretty good. So All I have to do is make either mashed potato or stuffing.
Depending on what this afternoon brings, Mashed potatoes are just  Peeled and cubed all purpose russet potatoes, enough water to cover. Boil for about 20 minutes or until you can put a fork in the potato bits and the potato falls off the fork. Drain, add some butter and mash and if they seem a bit stiff, add a splash of milk or cream.

hey, two recipes for one today...


Take a cup or two of chopped celery, one chopped onion  and one stick of butter.  Melt the butter in  heavy gauge skillet until it is screaming hot. add the onion and celery and saute until tender.  in a big bowl, I add a bag of stuffing mix. Not the stove top crap, but the peppridge farms or Mrs C's  stuffing mix and when the celery and onion are ready. I add that to the stuffing mix.  stir to combine. if it is too dry to your liking, I add a can or two of chicken stock to moisten it up.  You can bake it or fry it at this point.  If you chose to bake it, 350* for about 20 minutes.  If you fry it, make patties and fry in a bit more butter.

"In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport." -- Julia Child, celebrity chef and cookbook author

My husband is pressing me to get out the door so I will see you all later!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Save the Day Tater Tot Casserole

If there is one recipe that is in every one's recipe box it's a version of this dish. If you have kids,  you have tater tots in your freezer.

I was feeding some young men we call missionaries in our church and up until a few weeks ago, we could have them over to our house for dinner.  We love having the Elders over for dinner. One, we get the house clean, two, I have 3 siblings that served full time missions and someone had to feed them and I have three children that have the potential to serve missions and they need to eat.  One Elder that was from the East coast, never had Tater Tot Casserole. I was astonished. Truly astonished.  My mother in law, bless her heart, had a recipe book from when my husband was in Junior High. She tried the recipe in there for tater tot casserole and she didn't like the recipe. When it got typed up, yes typed up and not put on a computer, the temperature and time weren't correct. the Tater tots were left cold and still frozen. When I married my Husband and my mother in law had me look that the recipe and sure enough, that was wrong  with the whole thing, the oven wasn't hot enough and 10 minutes wasn't long enough to let the tater tots on top get hot.

Here is the basic recipe.

1 pound of ground beef, ( wanna go healthy? use turkey, ground chicken, or the 7/93 ground beef,
Season with Onion soup mix, ( I abhor a pantry that doesn't keep this on hand) and drain any visible fat.
Add a can of cream of mushroom soup. (again, want healthy go for the Fat free or reduced fat soup)  Bring to a simmer and add half a bag of Tater tots.  Stir to combine and let it come up to a simmer.  Spoon into 13x9 baking dish and top with remaining tater tots. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until hot.

Sometimes I "GO GOURMET" and get the tater crowns and top the casserole with those rather than regular tater tots.  My sister puts a bag of frozen veggies in with the soup. That just goes to show you that if you have  a room of 20 Mormon Moms, you are going to get at least 20 different recipes for Tater Tot Casserole.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Next Best Thing to Mashed Potatoes

     I think I have discovered the best thing before sliced bread.  If my picky eater, (yes he may look 100% my side of the family but he is as picky as his Uncle Mike when it comes to what he will or will not eat) eats these then they are great.

     I get the "B" size potatoes. The ones that come in a gallon size zip lock bag at my grocery store.  They are not big enough to be in the "A" size bags but bigger than seed potatoes. There have been times when I couldn't get to the store that sells them and some of the other stores sell the Green Giant packaged of different colored potatoes. They are more expensive than just the regular russet potatoes so it's a great splurge on my part to get them vs the regular potatoes.

     I cut the potatoes in to bigger than bite size chunks. Why? Because they will cook down to bite size when baked. I  drizzle them in canola oil. You can use olive oil I don't because I don't like the taste. I will get into that in another post. How much I used is dependent on how much of cut up potato I have.  I eye ball it to be about 1/8 a cup per pound of potato. "THAT IS TOO MUCH!"  Like I said, I eyeball it and at least my potatoes don't stick to the baking dish very often.  And I don't peel them. If I were to use regular Russets, then yes I would peel them but with the baby potatoes, the skin isn't hard.

     To that I add a package of seasoning mix I have on hand.  Onion and mushroom soup mix,  I really like the savory Garlic and Herb that Lipton puts out and my daughter really likes when I put a package of Hidden Valley Ranch with the potatoes.  Of course I don't put them in all at once. Just a packet at a time. One packet will effectively flavor 5 pounds of cut up potatoes.  I add everything to a 13x9 baking dish and let it sit in a moderate oven of *350 degrees for about an hour.

    Sit back and let your family enjoy the goodness.

     By the way, What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hello World

Welcome to my little neck of the world wide web.  The purpose this blog is to share a passion of mine. That Passion is cooking.

In a report from Great Brittan, Modern Mom's such as us, we have 21 recipes that we go to in a pinch verus the generation before us which had a repetorie of just 17.  Because this is going out into the world, I am sure somewhere out there in the Matrix, someone has the same recipes so it seems I am copying anything, Just remember, "Great Minds Think Alike" and we all related if we go back far enough in the family trees. 

Feel Free to post your own family favorites and come here and sit among the quietness when you are trying to find something to feed your family.

Some people eat to live, Others live to eat.

Happy workings!