Whenever Saturday evening rolls around, my cooking brain always automatically thinks pizza-crust-pepperoni-cheese thoughts. Maybe it’s because I was raised with pizza every Saturday night. So, whether it’s pulling a frozen pizza out of the freezer or calling 1-800-WE-NEED-SOME-PIZZA-DELIVERED or going out for pizza with friends or whipping up something from scratch, we somehow usually end up with pizza of some sort on any given Saturday night. If it’s a pizza from scratch night, it might be Real Stromboli (pizza variation instructions at the end of the recipe), Quick Stromboli, Saturday Night Pizza, or Redneck Double Pizza (honestly, we only made this once!).
Sometimes I feel in a rut with my cooking. Like right now. And I don’t mean just with the Saturday night pizza thing. I mean with all my cooking. Whether it’s Sunday-lunch-pot-roast or fried chicken breasts (which we have at least once a week and I really should feature sometime), it seems I kind of make the same type of things way too often.
I automatically skip over recipes that I’m not used to the ingredient combinations or that take ingredients that I’d need a dictionary for. Dishes like: Dark Chocolate and Pine Nut Crostata, Hawaiian Seafood Chowder, Rhubarb Chili Cubano, Artichokes with Tarragon Butter. I mean, really, wouldn’t you skip over the Rhubarb Chili Cubano, thinking “How could rhubarb and chili ever belong in the same dish?!”? That recipe, by the way, comes from the latest Country Woman magazine and from reading over the recipe, I saw that it is in fact regular chili with rhubarb in it!
So, anyway, I’m going to get out of my comfort zone and make myself try one recipe every week that gives me some apprehension and raised eyebrows. Who knows, I may discover that apples baked with cheese is good or that I really do like fruit in my lettuce salads.
But for today, I’ll stay in my comfort zone. Surrounded by the ingredients we know and love.
This is actually an experiment of rolled pizza… a variation in looks of regular flat pizza and quick stromboli. We had this last Saturday night. I’m quite sure I won’t make it again because it didn’t turn out as beautifully swirled as I thought it would. So, why am I featuring it then? Mainly so you know that things flop in my kitchen and because I still think it’s a neat idea and maybe you can offer suggestions to make them more attractive… there will be some troubleshooting going on at the end of the recipe.
Starting at a long side, roll up like a jelly roll.
Spray a bit of cooking spray on a sharp knife and cut the roll into 1″ thick pieces. Lay cut side down on baking sheet.
They looked pretty messy, so I gave up on the swirl effect and sprinkled some cheese on top.
Bake at 400 for 15 – 20 min or until browned.
Now, what to do different… I still think they could be an attractive thing to serve, esp for an evening snack when you have company or something. They, of course, tasted really good, but the appearance had much to be desired.
What should’ve I done different?
— Were the toppings too thick?
— Would’ve a stiffer dough done better (like frozen bread dough thawed)?
— Should’ve I skipped the extra cheese on top? Would’ve the swirls looked less messy after baking?
— Are you rolling your eyes, thinking ‘Just make regular pizza, for crying out loud!’?
— Would cutting it with a string (instead of a knife) make them look neater?
Ok, now I need to start looking for an out-of-my-comfort zone recipe… I don’t think I’ll have to look too far. I’ve got that Country Woman magazine sitting here on my computer desk.
Ok, here we go again. The break is over. I had enough Tasty-Kakes and Starbucks to last me for awhile now.
I wish Tasty-Kakes would come to WI. Well, they do come to WI… but only when we bring them here from PA or FL. A couple years ago, I ordered a bunch and they were shipped UPS. For awhile, every time after that, when we’d see a UPS truck, Lexi (who was 3 at the time) would say, “Mom, let’s ask him for some Tasty-Kakes!” I guess she thought those trucks had a never-ending supply of Tasty-Kakes in them. Kind of like ice cream and a Schwans truck. Would be nice to be able to just flag one down a UPS truck whenever the Tasty-Kake urge strikes.
And since we live up in the boondocks here, our closest Starbucks is 1 1/2 hours away, so we don’t get there often. But along the turnpike, going across IN, OH, and PA, there was often a Starbucks at the travel plazas. Very nice! I tried a couple different things, plus my favorite: a caramel frappucino.
Now, back to the kitchen, new recipes, and all…
This one isn’t really a new recipe. To me anyway. You’d know that if you’d see my recipe card… it’s bent a little, it has a bit of sugar stuck to it, and it has a blue star (written by me) up by the recipe name. What first caught my eye when I was flipping thro’ the cards was the word “Irresistible”. Yeah, that wasn’t me putting that word in the title, that’s the name of the recipe: Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies. So, I decided to try them. They were wonderful, and I’ve been making them for the last couple years. The recipe is from an Easy-to-Bake-Easy-to-Make recipe card.
One thing that was interesting is that it calls for Crisco (w the logo) shortening and for awhile, that exact recipe was on the Crisco cans. I don’t know why I had never noticed the word “Irresistible” on my Crisco can before. Now, the recipe on there is “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I wonder how often they change the recipes on their labels.
One other thing, I always wonder how peanut butter cookies got that trademark crisscross pattern in them. I don’t think any other kind of cookie has that and you can always tell a peanut butter cookie by it. I Googled it and there were answers like “To tell them apart from other cookies”, “They don’t taste as good without that”, “They don’t flatten by themselves in the oven”, “They did it in the 1930s and it stuck”.
Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
Heat oven to 375. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies. Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed w electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in crisscross pattern with tines of fork.
Bake one baking sheet at a time at 375 for 7-8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet.
Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Soft and chewy… just like a cookie oughta be! Wish I could give you one. Oh yeah, that’s right… there are none left to give.
Actually a long ‘coffee break’. I went on a business trip with Shannon this week. We’re in Lancaster, PA right now with the truck and trailer loading up playhouses and some other stuff.
Here’s our load:
Heading back to WI tomorrow. I should be back in my kitchen on Saturday. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying eating other people’s cooking! Have a good week!
I tried the corn chip salad over the weekend. Thanks for the recipe, Barb!
Barb posted it in the comment section of this post. She didn’t leave a link, so I can’t refer you to her site if she has one. The salad is very easy to make (no veggies to chunk up) and has a nice crunch to it. I liked the combo of salty (corn chips) and sweet (dressing).
Usually, when I think of salad, I think ‘diet’. This is not by any means a ‘diet’ salad! The only thing diet in there is the lettuce. Everthing else is laden with calories and fat. No wonder the salad is so good, huh?!
Barb was right though… leftovers are not good! I made 1/4 batch just for us and we didn’t eat it all, so I put it back in the fridge. The next day, it was soggy and the lettuce was wilted.
I’d say a whole batch would be about right for 18-20 people, unless you’re making it to go along with a big meal, then it would feed more people, maybe more like 25. Ok, hopefully that guess isn’t too far off for those of you who have it in a cookbook if it says how many servings it is! I could not find a corn chip salad recipe in any of my cookbooks.
Corn Chip Salad
1 head lettuce
6-8 hard boiled eggs
1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 pound shredded colby or cheddar cheese
4-6 cups corn chips, crushed (the more-the better)
Dressing: 1 cup miracle whip
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (can use apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Toss lettuce, eggs, bacon, and cheese. Add chips and dressing just before serving.
…Bacon and cheese
Add dressing and corn chips.
I just put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and beat it with a wire whisk. Forgot to get a picture of it.
Toss it all together.
Sounds like some of you have made this, but if you haven’t, I’d highly recommend it. The corn chips in there is what makes it so good (and the bacon helps too!). Plus, I’ve always liked salads that are tossed with dressing.
These are the only kind of bars that last more than a couple days around here. It’s not because they’re not tempting, it’s because they’re so RICH and you can’t eat more than a couple at a time. One glance at the list of ingredients and I think you’d agree. They are oh-so-good though!
I’m sure this recipe is in quite a few cookbooks, but the one I used is from the Derstine cookbook.
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 pkg. butterscotch chips
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts
Melt butter or margarine in 9×13 pan. Sprinkle over top graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Drizzle milk over top. Add 1 cup nuts. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 min. Cool and cut.
Layer #1: butter.
The dark that you see under the pan is just a hot pad… the pan was hot from melting the butter in the oven.
Layer #2: graham cracker crumbs
Layer #3: coconut
My Grandma made Lexi’s apron for her (the one that makes the brown sugar pie). Grandma wears that kind of apron all the time and she sewed a few miniature ones for the great-grand-daughters. They were really cute even though they look a bit old-fashioned.
Layer #4: chocolate chips
I like chocolate chips way better than butterscotch chips, so I always trade quantities and put in the whole pkg of the chocolate and only 1 cup of the butterscotch.
Layer #5: butterscotch chips
Layer #6: sweetened condensed milk
Layer #7: chopped nuts (I used pecans.)
Just came out of the oven. Slightly browned around the edges.
…start it with raspberry cream cheese rolls and coffee!
Sometimes I wonder if I should try a post that’s in poem format. This would be a good one to do that on because the title rhymes… and that just happened, didn’t even try it. The best poems are ones that flow, that you can’t tell the poet was working hard to get it to rhyme. An example of working too hard to rhyme would be like this: My friend and I met
this morning at eight.
Our coffee we drank
and our donuts we ate. You just don’t say “our coffee we drank” and “our donuts we ate” in regular conversation, you say “we drank our coffee” and “we ate our donuts”. That is one of my pet peeves in poetry. I know it’s ‘legal’, but it just makes it sound so much more formal. It would be much better to say, Coffee and donuts
and a friendly chat,
Breakfasts don’t get
much better than that.
I used to get a kick out of writing poems in my adolescent years. My favorite has always been a 6-line style where lines 1& 2 rhyme, 3&6 rhyme, and 4&5 rhyme. I don’t know what it’s called, kind of like a limerick, but not quite. Around 16, I wrote a whole poem consisting of about 10 stanzas in that style. The first stanza was: In August we moved
To what actually proved
To be home at Valley View Orchard.
At first, work was fun,
But before all was done,
We thought we were seriously tortured. …and so on it went, about life on our orchard.
My dad was/is great with poems. I still remember when I we were growing up, Dad would start making up a poem about this or that and just kept going and going for quite awhile, not having to pause to think of a rhyming word. It was amazing to me even at a young age how he could do that. Of course, the bar was pretty low because we were just kids and were thrilled with anything that rhymed.
Anyway, when I started this post, I had no clue I’d get into poems! So, instead of erasing the poem parts, I went up and added “(and other rhymes)” into the title. I was just posting to tell you that I made raspberry cream cheese rolls this morning AND that I finally have a new FAVORITE coffee mug once again! Here are both:
My friend, Shannon, from OH, sent me that coffee mug. It’s perfect. The ‘walls’ are thick, just how I like them. It’s heavy and solid. And the design is great. And she said that they’re hard to break… which is good! Did you know that I break more dishes than my 2 children do?! Sometimes I wonder if I’m clumsy. Anyway, it’s a Longaberger mug, if you’re interested in getting one. She tells me Longaberger mugs are the best. And I think I’m convinced.
And those raspberry cream cheese rolls (here is the link to the recipe), they are just the best! Seriously, try them! I just thought of it now, I got the recipe for these rolls from Shannon, too (same one that just gave me the mug). These rolls are easier than they look and the dough is SO nice to work with because it doesn’t stick to anything… not to the rolling pin, not to the counter, not to your hands. The raspberry filling is just regular pie filling from the grocery store (I put it into a plastic storage bag, cut a corner off, and pipe it on). It doesn’t have to be raspberry, in fact, this time I used strawberry. I put it in the food processor so there wouldn’t be big chunks. The cream cheese filling is from a bulk foods store in plastic bag tubes. BUT, Barb, if you’re reading this, you had asked a question about the cr. ch. filling if you don’t have a bulk foods store around. I made it from scratch this time just to experiment and it turned out great! I edited the post that the rolls are featured on and added that filling recipe.
So, now everyone, tell me what you had for breakfast in a comment! You can make it in poem form if you want to.
Here I’ll start: My roll was first-rate
My coffee was great
And Shannon confirmed that when he ate his.
You may have guessed
These are the best
And I don’t care who your grandmother is!
It appears that the cook around here is on strike, doesn’t it? I think it’s more a thing of needing to hire a scribe because I currently have pictures for 4 posts. I’ve made supper the last 2 evenings, and for some crazy reason, I can’t remember back farther than that. Probably several snacky fend-for-yourself meals in there somewhere. Yeah, we do have those weekly, and then some more on the weekend… that’s why I try to keep frozen pizzas, hot dogs, nacho stuff, cheese & pretzels, and cold cereal on hand. Anyway, the last 2 evenings, we’ve had grilled chicken salad and wet burritos, respectively. I like the grilled chicken salad because all I have to do is throw a couple salads together and possibly pop some refrigerated Pillsbury breadsticks in the oven… the rest is on the grill, which, if you’ve been reading Kitchen Scrapbook for any length of time, you’ll know I don’t touch the grill. I have the 4 plates of salad sitting out on the counter and Shannon brings the chicken in AND cuts it up and puts it on top of the salads. On the wet burritos, I read my post on that last night and thought it was strange that I served crescent rolls and salad with it. Huh? That sounds more like lasagna sides! I don’t even remember serving that with it; now I serve tortilla chips salsa with it. And sometimes applesauce, just because I have a thing aboout that there’s gotta be at least 3 different things on the table, not counting condiments, otherwise it looks skimpy.
I finally made my salad that I’d been craving a couple weeks ago. So, what does the word ‘colorific’ mean? I decided it must be a made up combo, merging colorful and terrific. And that would fit this salad. I got this recipe from Jolene. Thanks, Jolene, it’s a keeper! Connie, thanks for your recipe too, I’d like to try it sometime… I don’t go for feta cheese, but I’ll bet that could be substituted for mozzarella.
Colorific Salad 1 c. craisins 1 c. red peppers 1 c. honey roasted sesame sticks 1 c. pecans 2 c. shredded cheese 1/2 of a purple onion 1 head of romaine lettuce
Nobody likes to spend alot of time in the middle of the day making lunch, right? Well, actually I’d love to if I didn’t have a never-ending “to do” list hovering over me, following me around everywhere, making me fight off the guilt it gives me when I decide to throw responsibility to the wind and relax in my kitchen, cooking and baking to my heart’s content more food than we could ever eat.
Plus, it doesn’t seem worth it to make something ‘nice’ just for the girls and I. Especially since I never know when they’re gonna eat alot or when they’re gonna take 2 bites and say “Mom, I’m full”. If I spent only 10 minutes making lunch, I don’t feel as compelled to yell say, “Honey, I just spent 2 hours making this food!”
So, here are some ideas to keep on hand for quick lunches. And, no, ‘leftovers’ are not on the list! That’s not something we need to note to keep on hand on purpose. Leftovers just kind of happen automatically. They can make nice lunches too, though, depending what it is. But, just for the record, I don’t like when a meal has leftovers.
Only two ingredients and 12 minutes of baking time! These are a real hit with kids (and grown-ups too). If you aren’t sure how to do them, the recipe name in red is a link to go to the post where they’re featured.
Only 3 ingredients and about 1 minute in the microwave. Lay 1 tortilla out flat and sprinkle shredded cheese on half.
Sprinkle some Italian seasoning over it.
Fold tortilla over cheese and wet edges with a bit of water and press together. Put it in the microwave for about half a minute, then check it by pressing down on the tortilla. If the cheese feels soft and melted, get it out. If not, let it in for a bit more.
Cut into fourths with a pizza cutter. Good with sour cream and salsa, but my girls eat them plain as a finger food. These could be jazzed up alot more or fried instead of microwaved, but that’s is the quickest way to do them.
Tomato soup from a can is what I use. And yes, I do cheese sandwiches directly on my smooth top stove. What about you?
4.Open-faced meat and cheese sandwich Only 3 ingredients and and a couple minutes under the broiler. And if you use a piece of tin foil, you don’t even dirty a pan!
First, a piece of toast.
Then some deli meat.
Then the cheese. Turn the broiler on High and put sandwich on a rack in the highest position. It takes a couple minutes, but check it now and then anyway. This is just delicious, especially with the cheese browned a little!
5.Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Here’s our peanut butter and jelly sandwich making pro. She’s quite a pro at making a huge mess too. A couple days ago, I came into the kitchen and there was jelly on the floor. I asked what happened and she nonchalantly said, “Oh, the bread slipped off the counter.” You know, no big deal, just spread more jelly on and the mess will take care of itself. It always does. I have tried having her clean up her own messes, but while the first mess may sort of get cleaned up, the process usually makes another whole mess of its own.
This may look vaguely familiar if you’ve been on this site recently!
This came in handy for me one day last week. I had some morning guests and I wasn’t sure how long they were planning to stay, but I had a few lunch options around so I was able to say, “I’ll make a quick lunch if you have time for it”. We had ravioli, French bread, cheese slices, applesauce, and cookies. The cookies I baked that morning while we were hanging around in the kitchen, chatting and looking thro’ cookbooks.
8.English muffin pizzas Split apart English muffins and toast them. Arrange them on a baking sheet and spread with pizza sauce, some cheese, 3 or 4 slices of pepperoni, some mushrooms if desired, and then some more cheese. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or till they’re browned to your liking.
9. Good ol’ frozen pizza You’re probably all familiar with this. If not, you either need to get out more or lower your standard of eating when in a hurry. The thin ones aren’t as good, but they sure bake faster!
10.Hot dogs Throw them in a frying pan (fast), or under the broiler (faster), or in the microwave (fastest). Or charcoal grill (SLOW).
11.Nachos w\ salsa and sour cream
These have only 2 ingredients with an optional 3rd or 4th and take 7-10 minutes in the oven. Or, we’ve already done them in the microwave too, but the cheese doesn’t get brown and crispy then.
12. Throw a salad together.
Instead of starting with a head of lettuce, a big time-saver is starting with this:
13. Now, for #13, here are some side dish ideas to go with the main course… —applesauce or other fruit, like apple slices, canned peaches, etc.
—potato chips, pretzels, or other salties
—cookies or cake
—ice cream bars, sandwiches, or plain
—and this: A quick single serving dessert I was inspired with one day…
Dump about 2 Tbsp. of cracker crumbs into a bowl. Top with 1/4 banana sliced. Mix up a box of instant pudding and put 1/2 cup of it on bananas. Slice another 1/4 banana on top of pudding and sprinkle another Tbsp. of graham crackers on top.
This is actually really good! And the neat thing is that you can make exactly how many servings you need and exactly the size of servings you need instead of making a big bowlful and having some left over. We’ve been in a streak of having it pretty often around here!
ing.jpg” alt=”colorific-salad-before-mixing.jpg” /> Mmmmm… you know it’s gonna be a good salad when you have to say “Where’s the lettuce?” ????
Oh, one little tidbit… I took the idea from Connie’s recipe to saute the pecans… yum! I didn’t sugar them though.
Dressing: 1 T. mustard 1 c. sugar 1/2 c. oil 1/3 c. vinegar 1/4 c. water 1 tsp. salt 1 Tbls. minced onionBlend dressing in blender. I put this picture on here so you can see what color the dressing is… Toss with salad ingredients. I was taking this to a carry-in meal at church, so I took it in this big bowl with a lid (more room for tossing) and put the dressing in a separate container… you can see it all in the background here.
And then, instead of letting the kitchen help take care of tossing my salad, I went out when church was almost over to do it myself so I could get a ‘done’ picture. ????
Next up… Megan’s puppy birthday cake. How did my baby turn 1 already?!
And this afternoon, I’m planning to bake monster cookies. Yay! I just did last week, but who cares. In a perfect world, I’d bake ’em every week.
We eat pancakes alot. I make a batch, then put whatever we don’t eat in the freezer for quick breakfasts, usually warmed in the microwave, but the toaster works great too.
When I was growing up, we had pancakes alot. We children had the recipe memorized, but I also remember what it looked like. It was in an old Betty Crocker cookbook located at the top left-hand corner of the page. There was some batter splatters and flour stuck to the page. And the sugar in the recipe had a line through it. I remember one time when I was making them, I was feeling a little daring and put the sugar in. At 9 or 10 years old, I didn’t think about it that a little sugar wouldn’t make a huge difference and I was surprised when the pancakes looked and tasted the same.
Mom also used to make syrup. She’d make it, then pour it into 2 glass ‘Aunt Jemima’ syrup bottles. I always liked it better the second time because it was thicker and not so warm and runny. I still like my syrup thick and I don’t warm it up in the microwave (even though our plastic syrup bottle has a thing on the front that says ‘HOT’ after it’s warmed) because it’s too runny.
We got to talking about pancakes recently in family emails and my brother said they got a good recipe out of a local newspaper awhile ago and he makes them pretty often. He copied the recipe in an email and since I usually use the recipe on the side of the Bisquick box, I knew any recipe would be an improvement! So, I made them this morning.
My brother is a great chef. He made grilled salmon one time for our whole family and does lots of other grilling too. And that’s not all. One time, we all got together for a meal and this trifle appeared. The layers were picture-perfect, not crooked or varied thicknesses. I was complimenting my sister-in-law on it because I knew they brought it and because she’s a pro at making things look nice and attractive. She said, “Oh, I didn’t make it. Bruce did.” I really wish I’d have taken a picture of it. Anyway, they’re both great cooks and I can’t understand why they’re still slim and don’t weigh 300 pounds!
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter (melted)
Mix first 5 ingredients together. Lightly beat eggs, buttermilk, and butter in a separate bowl.
Add milk mixture to flour mixture all at once and stir until just combined (should be a little lumpy and quite thick).
Can you hear the sizzle?
Yeah, I don’t use a measuring scoop to put the pancakes in the frying pan. I just pour, thus my pancakes are varied shapes and sizes, but we don’t mind.
Just look at the texture of these pancakes! They were so soft and fluffy and had visible air pockets. They tasted great too… probably partly because of the melted butter! Delicious! this recipe made 18 4″ pancakes (give or take an inch, depending which pancake you pick).
Now, for the fun part…
You may think I’m crazy, but this is what we do with pancakes around here. My girls haven’t eaten a normal round pancake for quite awhile.
It really doesn’t take long at all to cut out shapes and it’s fun for them to eat and pick which shapes they want. And the scraps are kind of hard to spread peanut butter on, but they taste the same… believe me, I know!
P.S. Barb posted a Corn Chip Salad recipe that sounds wonderful in the comment section of the hard boiled egg post (Thanks, Barb!). Check it out! Who’s going to be the first to try it?
I’m wondering if, from reading the title, you thought “Duh, everyone knows how to do that!” or if you were secretly happy to finally have directions to do it instead of just putting the eggs on the stove in water and kinda guessing from there.
I would be in the last category, until yesterday. You know, there are some things it seems like everyone evidently is just automatically born knowing… you just never see a recipe in a cookbook of how to make hard boiled eggs. Or how to make baked potatoes or grilled cheese sandwiches.
I so seldom make hard boiled eggs, maybe about once a year for a salad. A salad was actually the reason I made them yesterday. I used to not like eggs at all. It was actually more psychological than anything, I think, just picturing what the yolk could have become. Then I grew up. Now they’re fine if they’re scrambled or made into omelets or somehow fried solid with the yolk and white mixed, nothing over-easy! Hard boiled with salt is too dry. Deviled eggs are good too, but I haven’t made them in ages. I just eat the ones other people bring to church potlucks and picnics. So, that’s my opinion on eggs, for whatever it’s worth.
Anyway, we got together with family last night and I was in charge of bringing salad. Yesterday afternoon, I mused to Shannon, “I wonder what the proper way is to make hard boiled eggs”. He said, “Just boil ’em in water for awhile”. When I didn’t go with those directions, he switched to ‘Google knows everything’. By the way, did you know there are entire websites about cooking eggs?! To make a long story short, I followed some online directions and the eggs turned out PERFECT! So, I’m going to write them here so I have them for future reference (you know, for when I make hard boiled eggs next year). And if you flounder around and guess every time you make hard boiled eggs, then this is for you too. I also learned a tip to keep that greenish color from forming between the whites and yolks.
Put eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Water should come an inch or so above the eggs.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn burner down to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
When the 10 minutes is up, immediately drain the hot water and put them in cold water or ice water. I kept them in the pan and just rinsed them in cold water a few times till the pan was cold, then filled it with cold water. Let them sit in there for a few minutes, then gently crack the shells and peel them.
Tips: —Getting them in cold water right away after they’re done cooking keeps the yolks a nice yellow and cooling them down quickly keeps that greenish color from forming.
—For deviled eggs, to get the yolks centered, lay the eggs on their sides for about 8 hours (in the fridge of course) before cooking them.
—Don’t use fresh eggs. They peel hard. Eggs should ideally be at least 2 weeks old when using them for hard boiled.
There is another way to hard boil eggs too. You can bring them to a boil, then take them off the burner and let them sit for 20 minutes. I actually made eggs twice yesterday because the first time didn’t work. The yolks weren’t quite done. I had used this method, but the directions said to let them sit only 10 min. There was another site that said 20 min, so I think that might be enough for the yolks to get done.
Oh well, there’s Pillsbury pizza dough in the fridge. I’ll try that.
And it worked!
It was 30 minutes till our normal supper time and I was leafing thro’ cookbooks. I went for the Quick Cooking cookbooks because there’s always a 30-minutes-till-mealtime section in those, and if that ever described where I was at, it was right then. But, the problem was always that my hamburger wasn’t already browned, my veggies weren’t already chopped, my eggs weren’t already beaten… I need a section titled I-just-walked-into-the-kitchen-and-did-no-prep-ahead-and-it’s-30-minutes-to-mealtime.
This stromboli (almost) would fit into that category. I timed myself this evening. It was 35 minutes from everything still in the fridge to eating. And I was even taking step-by-step pictures, which actually takes more time than you’d think. And the mushrooms weren’t washed or sliced ahead of time either.
My oven might preheat slower than most (it takes almost 10 minutes to go from 0 – 400), but the first thing I did was turn the oven on, then got the pizza dough, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and cheese out of the fridge and the Italian seasoning and the baking sheet out of the cupboard. And by the time the oven beeped that it’s up to temp, the stromboli was about ready to go in the oven. This stromboli is nothing fancy, no neat sealing it shut or hiding the seams or anything. Actually, maybe it’s even a slam to stromboli to call it that. Maybe it could even be called a calzone. What is the difference anyway?
Ok, I just stopped a bit and put ‘stromboli define’ into Google… the first 2 definitions were an active volcano on an island in southern Italy! Finally, I found the food variation. Then I looked up calzone. Seems like the main difference is the size… calzone is serving size and originated in Naples. Stromboli originated in Philadelphia. But, they’re both meat and cheese enclosed in dough. So, there’s your history lesson/cooking lesson for the day.
35 Minutes to Mealtime Stromboli
1 13.8 oz can Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
8 oz pepperoni
5 fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup pizza sauce
8 oz shredded cheese (ok, I actually used a little more… finished out a bag, plus the 8 oz bag, but who cares, there was actually no recipe, I’m just making up amounts here so it looks good and qualifies as a recipe)
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Spread the pizza dough out in the pan. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
Put pepperoni on one half, leaving about a 1/2″ space along the edge.
Wash and slice mushrooms and put over pepperoni.
Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning and spoon pizza sauce over.
Add the cheese.
Flip other half of dough over toppings and pinch edges together to seal.
Bake at 400 for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how browned you like it. Brush melted butter on top right after it comes out of the oven
I would really do well to live beside a grocery store. Somewhere that you don’t have to even cross a street to walk to it. Then, I could nickel and dime my checking account to death instead of giving it heart attacks with big grocery bills every week. There are people who live in houses that close. I envy them and wonder if they just run over when they need something or if they plan ahead, keeping their cupboards stocked and keeping a perpertual grocery list on the fridge for a once a week run.
Our grocery store is at the end of Main Steet. It would also be close enough to live on Main Street, above one of the stores. I still remember when I first found out that people live up there. I was 9 or 10. Every time after that, when we’d drive down Main St, I’d be looking up, not around. And dreaming of living up there one day, preferably in the one above the fudge shop. I’d sit out on the deck and watch the world go by and nobody would know I’d be watching because who looks way up when you’re shopping on Main St?! To be honest, I still look up there when I’m on Main St. Not because it’s still my dream to live up there, just because it still kind of intrigues me, I guess. I even took a picture of it a couple months ago, since I was on Main St with my camera anyway…
The street is snow-covered because the Birkebeiner Ski Race was going on… that’s why I was on Main Street with my camera. Looks like someone is hosting a Birkie party on their deck up there.
Anyway, since I don’t live in town and don’t plan my menus in advance, my big laminated ‘Ingredient Substitution Chart’ comes in handy pretty often. This is one time when I won’t run out of ideas before getting to #13… I could easy do a Thursday Thirty-three today!
I’ve tried substitutions on my own. Some of them worked, like substituting blown up marshmallows for marshmallow creme in this dip recipe. Others failed, like the time when we were first married and my brothers were overnight guests. My oldest brother is diabetic and late that night, I suddenly thought about it that I have nothing in the house for breakfast for him… no bacon, no English muffins, no eggs to make eggs or pancakes with, only sweetened cold cereal. Then, I thought about it that I could make biscuits from scratch and sausage gravy. In the morning, to my dismay, the sausage I thought I had happened to be hamburger, so I decided to try to spice it up to make mock sausage. Fast-forward about 20 minutes… my brothers are in the kitchen eating and as I’m walking towards the kitchen, I hear my younger brother (who’s back is toward me) mutter, “This is gross.” as my other brother gave him a ‘shut up, she’s coming’ look. They never said anything to me about it… I guess they knew not to attack a new cook on her cooking. I don’t remember if I hadn’t test-tasted it first or what, but I did later and yeah, he was right, it was gross.
1. When you’re out of unsweetened chocolate, for every ounce or square that is called for, substitute 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 1 Tbsp. fat or oil.
2. When you’re out of cornstarch (for thickening), for every tablespoon that is called for, substitute 2 Tbsp. flour.
3. When you’re out of whipped cream, chill a 13 oz. can of evaporated milk for 12 hours, add 1 tsp. lemon juice, whip until stiff, and measure according to recipe.
4. When you’re out of eggs, for every egg called for, substitute 1/4 cup egg substitute OR 3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. thawed frozen egg OR 2 1/2 Tbsp. dry whole egg powder & 2 1/2 Tbsp. lukewarm water. Or, just make these cookies. ????
5. When you’re out of garlic cloves, for every clove called for, substitute 1/8 tsp. garlic powder.
6. When you’re out of flavored gelatin, for every 3-oz pkg called for, substitute 1 Tbsp. plain gelatin and 2 cups fruit juice (then omit the water you’d normally add to a 3-oz pkg).
7. When you’re out of fresh herbs, for every Tbsp. called for, substitute 1 tsp. dried.
8. When you’re out of lemon juice, for every tsp. called for, substitute 1/2 tsp. vinegar. But don’t do this for lemon meringue pie!
9. When you’re out of miniature marshmallows, for every cup called for, substitute 10 large marshmallows.
10. When you’re out of buttermilk, for every cup called for, substitute 1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp. milk and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar and allow to stand 5 or 10 min OR 1 cup milk and 1 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar.
11. When you’re out of fresh onions, for every small onion called for, rehydrate 1 Tbsp. minced onion.
12. When you’re out of shortening (for use in baking), for every cup called for, substitute 1 1/8 cups butter or margarine and decrease salt in recipe by 1/2 tsp.
13. This last one, I just recently got from a friend… when you’re out of sour cream, combine 1/4 cup skim milk, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 8 oz. cottage cheese, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Blend all in blender. Makes 1 cup sour cream.
And if you’re out of the substitute items (for example, no cottage cheese on hand to make the sour cream that you’re out of), I don’t know what to do about that either. I guess make something else or go to the store.
I just recently made taco soup. I’ve had it at other people’s places, but this was the first time I’ve had it from my own kitchen. The taco soup I made was really good, but I’ve had better, so I’ll keep trying some other recipes in my cookbooks.
Actually, now that I think of it, I might put that on hold for awhile… that sounds like a great winter project for next year. With the snow melting outside and the promise of Spring, who wants to be making taco soup or any soup?!
Unless it’s bread soup. Now THAT’s a summer soup! Did you ever have that? Rip up a piece of bread, put some fruit chunks in (bananas, fresh peaches, or fresh strawberries are best), sprinkle some sugar over it, then add milk. On a hot summer day, that is just a great lunch. So refreshing! And you don’t break out in a sweat while eating. Mom made that now and then when we were growing up. Another cold soup (that I don’t know if I’d ever have the nerve to try) is Cool Raspberry Soup. I see it in one of my cookbooks now and then and even though there’s a picture, I always flip past, knowing I’d never make it.
Anyway, back to the taco soup. It’s cold and damp and rainy outside, so I think it’s still ok to talk about and feature hot soups. This recipe comes from the Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook. I’ll bet alot of you have that cookbook. It seems pretty popular. One thing I think is so neat about it is that I know a couple people who submitted recipes and tips. I have a few cookbooks like that. Makes it feel like it’s just not some random cookbook compiled by some random unknown people. I even know someone in one of my Taste of Home’s Quick Cooking cookbooks!
Taco Soup with Pizza Sauce
2 lbs. ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in ground beef drippings
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 pkgs. dry taco seasoning
1 qt. pizza sauce
1 qt. water
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, taco seasoning, pizza sauce, and water in 5-qt, or larger, slow cooker. Cover. Cook on Low 3-4 hours. And there ya go, easy as that! Top individual servings with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream. Notice there IS soup under the toppings. Can almost see it.
Makes 8-10 servings.
At the bottom of the recipe, it says, “Variation: Add 15-oz can black beans and 4 oz. can chilis to mixture before cooking.” I thought that sounded good, so I added both.
The soup went perfect with cornbread muffins! About every time I post, I wish there’d be a way to give you a taste of whatever food I’m featuring. Technology and computers keep advancing, but I’m quite sure there will never be software to install for that feature. Oh well, you’ll just have to come visit sometime… or try the recipes yourself.
I don’t know how many recipes are on here, but I have spent the last while going thro’ and picking out my favorites. Well, that’s not quite accurate… if they’d be my top favorites, they’d probably all come from the dessert or cookie category. Chocolate this, chocolate that. And your eyes would glaze over. So, instead, I went thro’ the categories and picked one from each of 13 categories… some categories were hard to choose from!
So, here are 13 of the recipes I’d recommend trying sometime (the recipe name is linked to the post that the recipe is featured on). Try something for supper tonight! If you have all the ingredients, that is. I often think it would be so handy to live nextdoor to the grocery store, what with my lack of planning ahead and all!
1. Monster cookies – from the Cookies and Bars category.
This is the kind of cookie that I make the most often, even way more than regular chocolate chip cookies. I bake these probably about every 6 – 8 weeks… more often if I’m not on a diet. Speaking of which, yes, I do know the calorie count. It’s 175 calories per cookie if you get 7 dozen out of the batch.
2. Glazed Meatloaf– from the Beef category.
After years of looking for the perfect meat loaf recipe, I finally found it. It is just incredible. And I don’t even put the shredded carrots in. That top ketchup part is great too! Mmmmm, now I’m getting hungry.
3. Red Lobster Biscuits – from the Breads, Biscuits, and Rolls category.
Ever been to Red Lobster? These taste like the real thing! They are so soft and so good and very melt-in-your-mouth. Just delicious! And they’re fast and easy… except the part where you beat the dough with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds!
I’ve gotten several recipe requests for these after people have tried them at my house. You start with donut mix instead of from scratch. I couldn’t find donut mix at any grocery stores around here, but found it then at a bulk foods store. That cream cheese filling in there is so good. You could also try other fruit filling instead of raspberry.
I’m taken with this stuff! Fudge is probably the food that I have the hardest time resisting. We won’t go into detail about things like how much I’ve eaten in one sitting already. This is so easy to make with only 4 or 5 ingredients and you don’t need more than a microwave and something to stir with.
I’ve loved this pie for as long as I can remember. My dad grew up with it and his dad grew up with it. If we have an extended family get-together and there’s not brown sugar pie there, there will be a complaint or 2. And don’t put Cool Whip on it! I thought it was weird that when I got married, my husband didn’t know what it was. Then, I found out that alot of people don’t know what it is. The recipe has good tips from Grandma… try it!
Fire up the grill! My husband made up this sandwich. In fact, he wrote the post that the recipe is featured on. We have this sandwich pretty often and have made it for company. It’s great! Very basic ingredients. Perfect for those summer-time cookouts!
Delicious!!!! One handy thing about this salad is that it can be put together ahead of time, then tossed just before serving. One of the church ladies makes a huge bowl of it pretty often for potlucks and it gets licked clean about every time. It’s not spicy, but it’s got lots of flavor.
Company coming? These make a good impression! They’re very attractive, not to mention very good! This is actually something I serve quite a bit when we have company. Another nice thing is that they freeze well, so you can make them ahead of time or just keep them on hand in the freezer.
This is more in here for the fun it is than for the taste, although I still have enough kid in me to really like finger jello! The reason it’s fun is because you can make it fit to any occassion by using certain colors of jello (red and green for Christmas; red, white, & blue for 4th of July, etc.). I also tried a sugar-free version and it turned out great!
The Pampered Chef pitcher that I use to make this tea doesn’t really have a home in the cupboard. It’s better off in the fridge with iced tea in it. If you know what meadow tea is, it’s comparable to that. But this is a much handier and faster way to make it!