Pizza Steak Bake

Posted on March 13, 2008
Filed Under Beef

This was the first time that I’ve ever bought cube steaks. Maybe I’m kind of a creature of habit, but I don’t really venture away from my ‘norm’ too much. In fact, I didn’t even realize until I found this recipe that cube steaks were just thinner steaks run thro’ a tenderizer… at least that’s what they look like.

I should know these things because I used to work at a butcher shop with a meat case/deli out front. But, that was 13 years ago, 2 or 3 days a week, for 4 months, in MS. We ran stuff thro’ the tenderizer, but I don’t remember calling anything cube steaks. Anyway, what still makes my toes curl is thinking about that meat slicer and how we cleaned it. I don’t know how you’re supposed to clean the meat slicer blade, but we’d take a bucket of hot soapy water and a rag, turn it on, and hold the rag against it as it’s spinning around. First on one side, then the other. Any little slip and you’d have had a finger chopped off. I hated cleaning the thing and cringed every time I did. And to this day, 13 years later, I still shivver when I think of it. Oh, we had LOTS of fun working there though… assembly lines of packing meat, getting good at knowing how much burger a pound is, frying thick bacon in the microwave, and Leroy keeping things lively and fun. Ah, good memories! And I still know that when I’m holding raw hamburger, 1 pound is when both hands are around it, but the fingers of the one hand can’t quite touch the other hand.

Pizza Steak Bake …taken from an Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe card

1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 beef cube steaks (4-6 oz each)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups (6 oz) sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced onion (1 medium)
1 can (15 oz) pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used pizza cheese because I didn’t have mozzarella on hand)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour and salt in a shallow dish.
steak1.jpg Dip cube steaks into flour mixture, coating well. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over med-high heat until hot.
steak2.jpg Add cube steaks, reduce heat to medium. Cook until browned on both sides, 4-6 minutes.
steak3.jpg Place browned cube steaks in a 3-qt baking dish (9×13 pan worked great).
steak4.jpg Top with mushrooms and onion.
steak5.jpg Spoon pizza sauce over top.
steak6.jpg Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake steaks 30 min.
steak7.jpg Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, until steaks are fork-tender and sauce thickens, about 30 min. Yield: 4 servings.
steak8.jpg

These were tender, we didn’t need knives to cut it. They were really good and I’ll probably make them again, but next time, I’d add some seasoning in with the flour mixture. Not sure what, maybe some Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic.

Comments

7 Responses to “Pizza Steak Bake”

  1. Shannon on March 13th, 2008 12:29 pm

    Hey, I used to work at a butcher shop too. Didn’t know you did. :) I remember doing all those things you talked about… and yeh, I can still tell how much a lb of HB is. :) Steaks looks good. I like anything to do with pizza.

  2. Kay on March 13th, 2008 12:48 pm

    You worked at Sunset Meats??? With Leroy Murray (sp?)?? I worked there in it’s opening days! (Quite a number of years ago!:-))

  3. Kay Martin on March 13th, 2008 1:07 pm

    Replying to Kay: That’s right… Leroy Murray, and I think it was Sunbelt Meats when I worked there. Phillip K. owned it. I don’t know when it opened, but Leroy must’ve been there a long time. Maybe he still is! :) So, we have the same name. They talked about a Kay down there, relation to Phillip. Maybe that’s you.????

  4. Freida on March 13th, 2008 1:19 pm

    I didn’t know there is a difference between cube steaks and regular steaks. :-) They look good. Might have to try them. I do know the slicer cleaning method you talked about. I cleaned one all the time at a restaurant I used to work at. Scary indeed!

  5. Berneice on March 13th, 2008 7:51 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. We have cubed steaks occasionally, but are not real fond of them. i will have to try this and see if we like them better.
    Did Phillip Knepp own the butcher shop where you worked? Just nosy. I know Phillips.

  6. Ruth on March 13th, 2008 10:07 pm

    Cubed steak is my husbands favorite meat. He’ll take it over any other kind of steak. I’m glad for the recipe. It gives me a new way to fix an old stand by.

  7. barb on March 17th, 2008 9:27 pm

    I made the “Pizza steaks” tonight, but made a few changes. In the flour I added garlic powder, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Also instead of pizza sauce, I used a can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 cup water. They were fantastic. I would definitely make them again. Thanks for the great recipe. Barb

It’s a beehive… honey and all!

Posted on March 5, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Side dishes

beehive1.jpg

These buns have tempted me for awhile now and this afternoon, I finally gave in and made them. And it was just as fun as I thought it would be, they turned out just as cute as I expected they would be, and they tasted just as good as I hoped they would be! Things don’t always go that well in my kitchen! With things that have no chocolate involved anyway.

I just realized that I LOVE honey. Almost every evening for supper, we have hot fresh rolls or bread of some sort and it’s always good ol’ strawberry jam that goes on the table. Well, these rolls are loaded with honey inside and out and they were so good! We may just deviate from the jam now and then. That reminds me of apple butter. We love apple butter too, my husband especially does. I’d like to find a good recipe and make it sometime, but I’m afraid it just couldn’t measure up to the stuff we had at Der Dutchman’s in Sarasota, FL. That’s what I always think of when I think of apple butter. Actually, I also remember my mom making it when I was young, I should ask her for her recipe.

Anyway, why am I talking about apple butter?! Back to the beehives…

Beehive Buns …taken from an Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card

1 envelope (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F – 115F)
2/3 cup warm milk (105F – 115F)
1/2 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 -3 3/4 cups flour (I ended up using only about 3 cups because the dough seemed plenty stiff)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 min. Stir in milk, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 6-8 min. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 1 hour. Lightly grease baking sheets. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half into a 6″x12″ rectangle. Cut 1″ strips from long edge of each rectangle.

beehive2.jpg
Curl each strip into beehive shape with a wide base and narrow top onto prepared baking sheet.
beehive3.jpg
Cover lightly; let rise until almost double in size, about 15 min. Preheat oven to 375. Bake buns until golden, 15-20 min.
beehive5.jpg
Combine remaining honey and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Brush warm glaze over buns. Remove from baking sheet; place on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.
beehive4.jpg

These seriously are SO good! And it was nice to have a variation in shape and taste.

The rest of our meal was a rotisserie chicken (done at the local grocery store), carrots and dip, and oven-crisp potato wedges. The potatoes were also a new recipe, so I’ll add them here too.

Oven-Crisp Potato Wedges …from a misc recipe card in my stash of loose recipes

1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp. finely minced garlic
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 525. Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl.Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and toss. Sprinkle seasonings over potatoes; toss to coat well. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
potatoes1.jpg
Roast for 20 min, stirring once or twice during cooking. Raise heat to broil. Broil potatoes until crisp, watching closely not to over-brown, about 1-2 min. Serves 4.
potatoes2.jpg

I made a half batch and I also baked them at a different temp because I needed the oven for the beehive buns too. I baked them at 375 for about 40 min, then broiled them while glazing the buns. Worked great.

We liked these potatoes ok, but they were nothing special. We ate them with ketchup. I’ll probably make them again sometime, but they won’t be on the ‘definitely make again’ list like the glazed meatloaf is… that meatloaf is probably the new recipe on this site that I make the most often. It is hands down the BEST meatloaf I have ever had… without the carrots, that is!

Comments

11 Responses to “It’s a beehive… honey and all!”

  1. Carol on March 5th, 2008 11:12 pm

    Those Beehive Buns look absolutely delicious! I’m gonna have to try them sometime-I think my kids would love them.

  2. Freida on March 6th, 2008 8:14 am

    They look wonderful! Anything honey related is good in my opinion. WE are bread lovers too, so I really think we would all like them.

  3. Christy on March 6th, 2008 8:17 am

    Ummmm, I love honey butter. The buns look delicious!!! I usually bomb anything made with yeast, but I’m still tempted to try these.

  4. Shannon on March 6th, 2008 9:06 am

    The buns look very yummy, might have to try them. Eric really likes honey so I think he’d like them. -It looks funny to see people’s real names on the comments instead of their xanga name. :)

  5. Jo on March 6th, 2008 10:11 am

    Agreed with you on the meatloaf recipe–that’s my stand-by, too. Only I’ve tweaked the glaze to make it more of a sweet-n-sour flavor. One of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten from my husband was that my meatloaf beats his Mom’s hands-down. ????
    The rolls look yummy and sound better!
    And one more thing—I have a recipe for Parmesan Potato Wedges that are DELISH. Want to try it?

  6. Kay Martin on March 6th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Yeah, Jo! I’d love to try them! We like potatoes as a side dish better than pasta or rice, so I’m always looking for new things to do with them so it’s not the same old thing every time… which is why I tried those up there. :)

  7. Heidi on March 6th, 2008 1:15 pm

    the beehives are so cute. i will have to try those sometime as well as the potatoes. they looked yummy, and potatoes are our fav side dish as well. love the new site. =)

  8. Gina on March 6th, 2008 3:24 pm

    You did a great job on those be hives, their very cute and look delicious. Apple butter, I love the apple butter made from zuchine. But prefer it because it is not as strong of a flavor as real apple butter, so depends what you like.

  9. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 2:57 pm

    These look delicious, you reminded me that I should dig out the honey more often. Strawberry jam is our main staple, as well as apple butter. The best apple butter (according to me) is my grandmother’s cooked-over-an-outdoor-kettle variety, and my uncle still makes and sells it. This past fall I wanted to try to make some, and found this method,
    http://quiltofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/10/apple-butter.html
    tried it, and it turned out great! There’s always the faster make-it-in-the-oven method with applesauce, but I don’t like that stuff as good…

  10. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 3:08 pm

    Okay, now I’m stuck on apple butter: This recipe
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/All-Day-Apple-Butter/Detail.aspx
    looks about the same and gives more details on amounts of ingredients.

  11. Cheryl on March 12th, 2008 8:02 pm

    I made those rolls. Oh delicious. I tripled the batch and only glazed one pan. My children are fussy about sticky hands. I will keep that recipe.

400 ham sandwiches, a beautiful bride, and a wild-eyed cook

Posted on March 3, 2008
Filed Under Tidbits

Have any of you ever been in charge of the kitchen at a wedding? We were for the first time last Friday evening. My cousin Lisl got married. It was actually an easy meal for amateurs like us to start out on… hot ham and cheese sandwiches were the only menu item that needed to be hot. The other things on the menu were: veggies and dip, chips, fruit and chocolate fountain, and of course cake and ice cream.
lisl2.jpg

lisl3.jpg

I’ll start with Thurs. That’s the day that the veggies and fruit got cut up and the sandwiches made…

We put the cut up veggies in either buckets with water or a sealed plastic bag. The apples were dipped in pineapple juice, put in sealed plastic bags and still looked great at serving time the next evening. We washed and separated the grapes in clusters. We didn’t do anything to the bananas on Thurs. They had to be done last minute (as in during the wedding).

For the sandwiches, we buttered the buns, put 2 1/2 oz of shaved ham on and a piece of cheese, then wrapped them in pre-cut foil squares, and put them in the fridge. On Friday, we got them out of the fridge a couple hours ahead of time, then put some in roasters at 250 for 45 min. and some in the oven at 225 for 1/2 hour. We actually turned the heat up a bit part-way thro’ because it sounded like the preacher was winding down early, so they actually got done before the time we were planning.

The way the wedding was set up, the guests dismissed from their seats at the ceremony, went thro’ the receiving line, then thro’ the food line, then sat down with their food where they had been for the ceremony. So, the food had to be ready at Amen! We actually didn’t see the couple get married, but I’m assuming they did. :) Here’s how the wedding was set up:
lisl1.jpg
The chairs on one side of the table were turned around so all chairs were facing the front. Then when the guests came back with food, the servers had turned their chairs around to face the table to eat.

The kitchen staff was my husband and I and my brother and his wife. I was the one with all the info from the bride and the mother-of-the-bride, and what a wild couple of hours it was! It actually went good, but man, talk about intense! And I’m not an intense person! Anyway, needless to say, my camera was the least thing on my mind (didn’t even get a picture of the bride and groom!). BUT, there was about a 30-second lull between the time when we were totally ready till we expected the first guests to come thro’ the door, so I snapped a couple pictures of the buffet table (they’re the ones close to the top of this post).

I know they say a picture is worth 1000 words, but I’m seriously lacking pictures, so I’ll have to do snapshots with words…

*Click* In this picture:
Directed at me: “We’re running out of cups for the punch table. Where are some more?”
Me, scanning the countertops in the kitchen: “I lost track of them. I don’t see them in here anymore. Go check around or under the punch table.”
He goes out of the kitchen as I’m still frantically looking for cups, then sigh as I hear, “We found them.”

*Click*
“Hey, the dip is getting low in the veggie tray.”
“There’s no more left.”
“Are you sure?! Did you look behind everything in the fridge?”
“There. is. no. dip. left! How long is the line yet?”
“It goes back to the arch and that’s it then.”
“Good. I think what’s on the table should reach then.”

*Click*
One of the servers: “We have guests at our table who want to leave and they want their cake and ice cream now.”
Me: “Not all the guests even got thro’ the line for the main course, we’re not serving cake and ice cream yet.”
Him: “Well, shall I tell them they have to wait?”
Me: “Nah, go ahead and give them some.”

*Click*
“Oh no! Look at the chocolate fountain! It’s overflowing and not augering up anymore.”
“Get some paper towel!”
“What do you think is wrong? Do we need to add some more oil?”
“No, I think it looks thin enough.”
A young boy was kinda hanging around it and he said, “Well, I know a banana fell in there.”
“Ah, thanks, kiddo. That may be the info we need!”
After digging around in the base with a spoon, my SIL said, “I dug a banana AND an apple slice out of there!”
Once again, the chocolate fountain is flowing smoothly.

*Click*
Things are wild. 3 people talking to me at once and I hear someone calling “Kaaaay” behind me. Meanwhile, the photographer is milling around in the kitchen snapping photos and video clips. I was spooning dip and felt like throwing the whole spoonful at his camera! I know he was just doing his job, but there are sometimes when, job or not, you just are NOT in the mood for some things!!!!

*Click*
The lady in charge of the facilities asked, “Who is the mother of the bride? Has she been back here in the kitchen?”
Me, in a daze, plus trying to think how to describe Arla, “Um, I don’t know. She has a blue dress on.”
Pause.
Her: “Honey, 75% of the women around here have a blue dress on!” (Blue was the wedding color.)
Outburst of laughter from everyone in the kitchen.

It actually went good, I guess at any wedding over serving time, the kitchen is probably hectic with getting all the food ready at once and keeping 9 sets of servers going.

3 tips that I have from this whole deal is:

1. Plan for the food to get done earlier than you think it should be done by.

2. If you’re in the kitchen, bring other shoes along to change into at cleanup time. Being on your feet that much, the change would’ve felt wonderful!

3. If you’re planning your wedding, assign the cooks (if it’s not catered), and also assign several more people to come in with fresh energy at cleanup time. When everyone was served and there were a couple extra plates of cake and melting ice cream, I felt this big sigh of relief. But yet I felt like crying… I’d been on my feet for 5 hours and everything was sore and I was drained! And it was cleanup time. Two and a half hours later, we had the kitchen shining, the dishes washed, and the floor mopped. God bless those servers who stuck around to wash dishes and that guest who breezed in with the picture of energy and said, “I’d love to help here. Just put me to work!” There were definitely some people who were wearing halos till everything was over. I won’t mention names, but some of them were the helpful people I just mentioned.

Have you ever been at a restaurant where everything just flowed perfectly? The drinks and waitress came as soon as you were seated, the perfectly grilled steak came just as you were sitting back after eating the appetizer, refills came when there was still 2″ left of your Diet Coke, the staff was relaxed and everything seemed to work like a well-oiled machine. One day though, that restaurant had its opening night… the staff wasn’t very comfortable, some food was dropped in the kitchen, the appetizer came with the meal, and things seemed a little choppy.

I think every wedding is like opening night at a restaurant… the cooks aren’t familiar with the kitchen, the servers don’t even know each other, the cooks have never had to have 400 sandwiches ready to go at one time before, the servers look tentative, and some kid drops a banana and an apple in the chocolate fountain.

Comments

9 Responses to “400 ham sandwiches, a beautiful bride, and a wild-eyed cook”

  1. Jessica on March 4th, 2008 10:12 am

    The first thing that caught my attention is that Lisl got married. ok. Over that.

    My servers and cooks and un-coordinators is the one thing I would redo in my wedding. I had it planned but the coordinators didn’t get it too well and the cooks had to do more than they were supposed to. Sad. Yes, I think it was very much an opening night kind of deal.

  2. stephanie on March 4th, 2008 12:01 pm

    O how neat! It’s similar to my nieces wedding I coordianted in’06. We had fruit trays and veggie trays and meat and cheese trays and different breads for the sandwiches. I LOVE the hot ham idea! Looked gorgeous!

  3. Audrey on March 4th, 2008 1:18 pm

    Wow! That sounds like SO much work. I think people often take the cooks at a wedding for granted, cuz it is a HUGE job. Bravo to you guys for taking on the job! The food looks wonderful! Made me hungry, but that’s no surprise.

  4. Shannon on March 4th, 2008 2:50 pm

    Loved reading this story!!! :) I’m sure it seemed much more calm to everyone else and if you’d ask the bride she’d say it was pefect! -The choc fountain thing made me laugh! ????

  5. Esther on March 5th, 2008 1:34 pm

    Interesting. This was exactly our wedding menu. Right down to the chocolate fountain. A tip for fountains: use condiment cups to serve the chocolate. Guests doing their own dipping ALWAYS leaves a huge mess which ALWAYS includes drowned fruit. We also served the fruit on kabobs which helped the line go more smoothly.

  6. Anna on March 5th, 2008 4:56 pm

    Hi,
    You do not know me, but I just found your blog through a comment you left on Cofessions of a cf husband. I saw that you had a head covering on and it caught my eye because I wear one too!
    Anyway I love your blog!!! I love to cook, I love to bake, and I love new recipes; although I am not as creative as you are. It’s so neat to see that you let your girls help you in the kitchen. I have 3 children. 2 boys: ages 6&7 and a girl turning 1 tomorrow. My boys love to help me in the kitchen and I let them, but I know other mom’s that won’t let their children help them.
    Anyways, I think I am going to try your recipe of parmesan potatoes tonight for supper. They look woderful.
    Probably one reason I was so attracted to all your recipes is because I am trying to lose weight and all I can think about is eating and making something to eat.
    Well I didn’t mean to write a book, I just felt like I had something in common with you.
    Thanks for all the great recipes and fun pictures.
    I’ll let you know how the potatoes turn out.
    -Anna

  7. Berneice on March 7th, 2008 10:35 pm

    Glad you survived the wedding. We have been cooks several times, altho not head cooks. i know it is a HUGE job and can be very stressful.

  8. Elvida Yoder on March 20th, 2008 11:10 am

    Interesting! I have often said when involved in any kind of dinner/fundraiser/etc. please, please, please get a whole seperate group to come in and do clean-up!! It helps tremendously!!! I just happened upon this website and I’m glad I did…

  9. sydney kitchen design on October 7th, 2008 3:53 am

    I was worried about the overflowing chocolate fountain, I am amazed you managed that. If I were in your situation, I might shiver in tense. lol.

When you’re out of eggs… and you get a cookie craving:

Posted on February 28, 2008
Filed Under Cookies and bars

I guess I never paid enough attention, but do you know how many cookie recipes take eggs?! I’d say roughly 99% percent of them! Lexi wanted to make cookies and we had no eggs, so I started going through cookbooks. There were nobake cookies in the Derstine Cookbook, but we wanted ‘bake’ cookies. Finally, we found “Mary’s Cream Cheese Cookies” in the Treasured Recipes for our Mothers cookbook by the Lebanon Valley Christian School in PA.

“Who’s Mary?” Lexi asked.
“We don’t know her. She just gave the recipe to put in the cookbook”, I said.
“Well, we should cross out her name and just call them Cream Cheese Cookies cuz we don’t know her.” was Lexi’s reasoning.
We didn’t cross anything out… Mary is still getting credit for the cream cheese cookies in our cookbook.

Mary’s Cream Cheese Cookies

1 c. butter
6 oz. cream cheese (we just threw in the whole 8 oz)
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla

cookies1.jpg Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add rest of ingredients. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour. (Ha, the dough didn’t last in the fridge for 30 min! With 2 eager helpers asking every 10 seconds if it’s ready yet, I got it out after about 5 min. Worked just fine.) Form balls and roll in crushed Wheaties.
cookies2.jpg (This is still at the beginning of rolling. Tiffany hasn’t started playing in the Cornflakes yet. What a mess it turned out to be!)
cookies3.jpg Bake 350. That’s all it said. Not how long to bake them or anything. I baked them for 10 min, then thought they didn’t seem quite done, so I let them in for 2 more min. and that seemed perfect. So, 12 minutes it is. The batch made exactly 3 dozen cookies. Also, we didn’t have Wheaties, so we used crushed Cornflakes.
cookies5.jpg On whether we liked them or not, let’s just say that those 3 dozen cookies look like they might not last a full 24 hours around here! They are nice and soft and moist, not dry like regular sugar cookies. Must be because of the cream cheese. I think I might try these sometime for frosted sugar cookies (without the Wheaties/Cornflakes), like at Christmastime. I’m sure they’d need to be refrigerated the full length of time to be rolled out though.

Comments

9 Responses to “When you’re out of eggs… and you get a cookie craving:”

  1. Freida on February 28th, 2008 8:47 am

    neat site! And the cookies do look good. I’ll have to try them sometime when I get in the “no-eggs” predicament.

  2. Aug on February 28th, 2008 10:05 am

    Hey, very cool! I still need your Xanga site though so I can be informed when you post. Now I can just go here to look for recipes instead of to “Taste of home’s” site! ???? I love the way you explain everything and take step by step pictures. So much fun, since i love to cook too. Yeah, looking forward to some healthy stuff that maybe I can try in March.

  3. Katrina on February 28th, 2008 10:56 am

    Those look really good.

  4. Shannon on February 28th, 2008 12:37 pm

    I’ve run into the “no eggs” problem already too. Gonna have to keep this recipe around, looks good.

  5. Sharon on February 28th, 2008 2:50 pm

    I have finally found an egg-free substitute that works in cookies, because my predicament, unlike yours, is that Sawyer is allergic to eggs :-(. So YAY!!! for this recipe. (By the way, the substitute is probably something you don’t have on hand–1+ T. flax meal mixed with 1+ T. water per egg).

  6. rosa on February 28th, 2008 4:39 pm

    The new site looks really nice. I’ve been enjoying your xanga site for awhile and am looking forward to getting your updates here. I’m hoping you will be posting more often now that you have a “real” site!

  7. Janice on February 29th, 2008 11:44 am

    I don’t think I’ll wait until I have no eggs on hand (as the chickens keep laying a few), but the next time the cream cheese craving strikes. I LOVE cr. ch!

  8. Marilyn Martin on March 3rd, 2008 6:46 am

    I like the look of your new site and am looking forward to many more great recipes!

  9. Shandolynne on March 12th, 2008 12:36 am

    I found your site through your comment on Nate & Tricia’s blog. I tried these cookies tonight. YUMMY!

It’s a Winner!

Talking about the Red Lobster biscuits here. I tried the recipe from Heidi and it beat the other one! Those were EXACTLY like the ones at Red Lobster. It does have twice the butter though too, so I’m sure that helps! Freida, you’ve gotta try these sometime. I think the secret is (besides the extra butter!) beating the dough with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Let me tell you, that’s HARD work! But I could notice a big difference after I did that… it was much fluffier.

So, here it is, the biscuits that make you think you’ve got a seafood dinner coming up next. But then you’re glad after all that you are in the comfort of your own home when you jerk back to reality as your 22-month-old spills soup on her lap.

Red Lobster Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Mix Bisquick, cheddar and milk into soft dough. Beat w/ a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and garlic powder. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet. Smooth down tops. Bake for 8 to 10 min at 450 degrees.
While baking, melt butter in pan and stir in garlic powder. When done, brush butter on top and serve hot.
Heidi adds “This is how I have it written out, so I’m guessing you do the butter and garlic powder twice. I don’t know, its been so long since I have made them. I’m going to try them again and see, but I guess if you think that sounds like a lot of garlic, I would leave it out when I brush the butter on.” I did both the butter and garlic twice (once mixed in the dough and once brushed on top).
biscuits

Thanks Heidi! And Freida!

Comments

4 Responses to “It’s a Winner!”

  1. Emily Beachy on February 28th, 2008 5:21 pm

    These are EXACTLY like Red Lobster!!! Yru a little sea salt sprinkled on top yet too! WOW!

  2. Shannon on July 10th, 2008 5:34 pm

    I made these tonight. Eric thought he was at Red Lobster!!! :) Fettucine Alfredo, Shrimp Scampi and these biscuits!!!!

  3. Marissa on July 23rd, 2008 8:04 pm

    I made these last night to go with ceasar salad… so good! My usual biscuits turn out like hockey pucks! Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Kris on August 4th, 2009 8:26 pm

    Wow! These look delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe.. I’m going to make this one later on. :)

Wake up and smell the coffee… cake

Posted on February 21, 2008
Filed Under Breakfasts, Sweet rolls and Coffee cakes

I have started making breakfasts on Saturday mornings! I know, most of you probably already do that, plus do it Monday mornings and Tues mornings and Wed mornings…   Anyway, I do try to steer clear of recipes that require me to get up early though! Here’s one we had recently on a Saturday morning…

Peach Coffee Cake… which actually ended up being Apple Coffee Cake. Recipe taken from the 2006 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 can (21 oz) peach pie filling (I used homemade apple pie filling that Mom gave me, or was it Grandma? I am blessed!)

ICING:
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 to 4 tsp. milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed mixture and beat until just combined. Spread 3 3/4 cups of batter into a greased 15″ x 10″ x 1″ baking pan. (I didn’t measure out 3 3/4 cups!)
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Carefully spoon the pie filling to within 1″ of edges.
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Spoon remaining batter over filling.
coffee cake4 Ok, THIS is harder than it looks! At times like this, I’m glad I’m not a perfectionist. At this point in the recipe, I had decided I might not feature this after all. Thankfully, it came out of the oven looking much better with the ‘islands’ more connected and not so choppy and oddly shaped!)
Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 min or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (cover loosely with foil if edges brown too quickly).
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Cool on a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients. Drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 16 – 20 servings.
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coffee cake1  Mmmmmmm! Just delicious! I came back to them later for a late-morning snack and I thought it actually tasted even better at room temp than when it was warm from the oven… just my opinion. I’ll bet this would be good with about any fruit. I do want to try it with peach sometime… I didn’t have any peach filling on hand when I went to make these.

Thanks to those of you who tried the biscuits and then mentioned it. It’s always fun to hear feedback from you if you try recipes on here! Also, a big thanks to heidirhodes for taking time to post your recipe! I’m planning to try that one next time I make them.

Comments

One Response to “Wake up and smell the coffee.. cake”

  1. S.L. Martin on February 22nd, 2008 11:25 am

    Just checking if the comments work.

Soup, Salad, and Red Lobster Biscuits

Posted on February 16, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Soups

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You know the term “just quick throw a soup together”? Well, I don’t see it that way!!! Every time I make a soup from scratch, it’s alot of work. But I do get a satisfaction out of starting with raw whole veggies and ending up with a good soup. And it’s fun to make… I just don’t buy the thing of it being ‘quick’. Any comments on that?

This soup is actually pretty easy though because the only raw veggies in it is potatoes and onions.
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Chunky Potato Soup    . ..I’m not sure where this recipe comes from, it’s handwritten it on a blank cookbook page

3 med red potatoes
2 c. water
1 sm onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Crushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper
3 cups milk
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed ham

Peel potatoes and cut into 1″cubes. Cook until tender.
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Drain, reserving liquid.
Saute onion in butter until tender, but not brown.
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Add flour, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook 3-4 min.
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Add potatoes, 1 cup liquid, milk, and sugar to saucepan. Stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer 30 min, stirring frequently. Serves 12. Very good! That red pepper gives it some kick and extra flavor.
soup5 I know my dipper for the soup is way too big! I bought a smaller one just this morning.

Red Lobster Biscuits    …from Freida

Preheat oven to 450. Mix 2 cups Bisquick, 1/2 cup water or milk, and 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese. Drop onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 min. After baking and while still hot, brush on 1/4 cup butter mixed with 1 tsp. parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt or powder, and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Serve hot!

biscuits I have tried to copy Red Lobster biscuits SO often! I think every time we go there, we say we’ve gotta figure out how to do them. And this is the closest I’ve gotten to them yet! Still not quite as light and moist, but very close. Definitely the best biscuit recipe I’ve tried so far! You know they’ve gotta be good though… the tops are laden with melted butter! You really oughta try them!!!!!
EDIT: This was my 1st attempt. Then, I got another recipe, which is better… so if you try the biscuits, please use this recipe
instead.

Comments

One Response to “Soup, Salad, and Red Lobster Biscuits”

  1. kitchens on May 13th, 2008 12:07 am

    I love soup so thick you have to eat it with a fork!

It’s conversation hearts!

Did you ever have brainstorms hit you while laying in bed at night and can’t go to sleep? …

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This is a fun way to spend alot of time not doing much!

Bake an angel food cake (I used a cake mix) in a jelly roll pan lined with tin foil, not greased. Bake the cake for about 20 min. Flip upside down onto another piece of tin foil. Let cool for at least a half hour. Cut hearts out of the cake with a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter. Don’t go too close to the edge or it won’t cut through well.
hearts6 I got 65 hearts out of it, but I’m sure I could’ve got more.

Make a glaze… put some powdered sugar in a bowl and add a little vanilla, then add milk little by little and beat with a wire whisk until it seems about the right consistency to glaze, but not too thin that you can see the cake thro’ it.
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To glaze the hearts, put them on a wire rack with Saran wrap underneath to catch the drippings. Divide the glaze into however many different colors you want, then add a drop of food coloring to it. I’m out of green and blue food coloring, so I had to make do with yellow and red.

Spoon the glaze over the hearts.
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To make sure all the sides get covered, get more glaze on the spoon and pat it around the outside.
hearts3 It took me about 30 – 45 seconds to do one heart… the sloppier you are, the faster it goes, the funner it is, and the more glaze you waste.

Now they’re all glazed… I wonder how many times I said, “Don’t touch!” this morning…
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Now, copy off of the real conversation hearts or think of your own and write on them with red frosting (I mixed up regular buttercream frosting for that, not glaze). I just used a plastic sandwich bag and cut off a tiny part of the corner… my writing tip would’ve been too big.

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After the cake was cooled, total time to make these was about 3 hours. If you like the idea, you could do them in a morning. I think they’d look kinda cute to scatter around down the middle of the table for a Valentines meal. They actually look cuter in real life than on the pictures. I’m going to scrapbooking in a few minutes and am taking them along. Should be a hit with the kids!

Comments

Valentines Meal 2008

Every year, my family gets together to do a Valentines meal. Mom started it just for fun when we were little… I first remember it when I was 5 or 6 years old and I’m 2nd to the oldest of 6 children. We pretty much had the same menu every year until the last few years, when we started varying it. But, this year, we decided that next year will be the traditional menu again that we had growing up. I’m really looking forward to it!

Now, back to this year…

This was a place setting…  uh, yeah, we did have a couple fires start from those little tea light candles beside the plates!

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In the red tulle is a snack mix combo…
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The cupcake dessert is strawberry mousse in a whit chocolate cup.

And here is our menu…

Pizza… the first ones were staying warm by the fire while the others were in the oven.
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Breadsticks… I had a hard time getting a good picture of these, and I’m adding the second picture because I think the dish is SO neat… isn’t it?! My sister-in-law got it at Kohls I think she said, for those of you who would ask in the comments.
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Salad… there is lettuce under all that good stuff!
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Layered finger jello…
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Fruit pizza for dessert…
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A couple things that made us laugh during the meal…

1. Every other goblet had a strawberry on the rim and every other one had a lime slice. One of the guys happened to get a lime instead of a strawberry and said, “I’d rather have a strawberry than a pickle on my goblet.” After we all laughed, one of the other guys said, “I don’t see what’s so funny. Mine does have a strawberry, but I’d rather have a strawberry too.”

2. There were 2 fruit pizzas and one was on a Pampered Chef pizza stone. As it was being passed, one of the guys (not one of the ones in laugh #1) said, “What is this on? A concrete platter?”

And just some bonus pictures yet…

The pizza crew…
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The salad-maker and her husband…
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10-day-old Nicole in her Valentines sleeper…
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The table… although this picture doesn’t capture the effect and lighting very well at all, and you can’t hear the fireplace crackling…
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My dau Tiffany ‘wow’ing over her Valentine from Grandpa.
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Comments

Your crockpot… use it!

Posted on February 4, 2008
Filed Under Beef, Easy meals

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Do you ever feel like a broken record when it comes to meals? Whenever I try to think of something different for Sunday lunch (I mean something dressier than a frozen pizza), my great ideas are always weeded out by “Nah, I’d have to get up too early” or “No, that needs basted while baking and I won’t be here” or “I’d never have time to make that AND get us out the door in time” etc. So, it often ends up being the good ol’ roast, potato, veggies in a crockpot meal. Not that I’m complaining… we love that meal! I’m just sayin’ I do feel like a broken record sometimes when I say, “I guess we’ll do a roast in the crockpot for lunch tomorrow”, even though I try to use a different voice inflection and wording than I did the week before.

One thing I LOVE about this meal is I don’t make it. Who wouldn’t love that?! Really, that’s even better than that meal that I said, “Seriously, I spent no longer than 35 min on this meal!” Here’s the secret: I have a husband who cooks better than I can.  (I am NOT kidding about that!!!!)  Anyway, he puts the frozen roast in the crockpot before we go to bed Sat night. He tries different things with seasonings and flavorings. Yesterday, it was Parmesan cheese, bay leaves, seasoning salt, and b-b-que sauce…
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He puts water in with the roast and seasonings and onion wedges
and turns the crockpot on Low.  roast3
In the morning, around 7:30 or 8:00, he put in potatoes, whole fresh mushrooms, and carrots.
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When we get home from church, everything is perfectly done.
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I usually put some crescent rolls from a popable can (speaking of a broken record, you may know by now that I’m a big fan of those too!) in the oven and set the table and dish everything and… lunch is served!
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Crazy thing is, as easy as that meal is, we still opt for a frozen pizza or grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch sometimes. Or something on the grill in the summer.

What do you usually do for Sunday lunch?

Note to Kitchen Scrapbook readers: There were some interesting comments on this post and I wish they would’ve copied over from my old site when I copied the posts onto Kitchen Scrapbook. It was surprising how many people have a roast on Sunday! Other common lunches were quick things, like leftovers or breakfast foods.

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  Valentine’s Day is coming up!  Stay tuned for a Valentine’s meal post in a few days!

Comments

What’s for supper?

Here is what we’re having this evening (my husband reads my blog, so now he’ll know what to get in the mood to eat  ):

supper
Turkey loaf, steamed broccoli, baked potatoes, and crescent rolls

We eat at 6:30, so around 4:00, I’ll get the meat in the oven (30 seconds). Around 5:00, I’ll scrub the potatoes and wrap them in tin foil and put them in the oven (5 min). Then around 6:00, Lexi and I will set the table, Lexi will make the crescent rolls, I’ll get the broccoli to cooking, and we’ll get ‘extras’ on the table like butter, jelly, S&P, and sour cream. Around 6:15, I’ll get the meat and potatoes out and put the rolls in, pour water, dish stuff out, and we’re ready to eat!

This is one of the easiest meals there is! I’ll get a picture of it on the table this evening, edit the post to add it in, and see if you think it looks like I fussed over it for longer than 35 min!

And, another good thing, cleanup is a snap because even with 4 things, I’ll only have dirtied one baking sheet (rolls) and one kettle (broccoli). The potatoes will have tin foil and the meat has it’s own disposable container…
supper meat

Edit: Here’s my plate at mealtime…

plate

And it actually didn’t take 35 minutes. I had time to kill hit-n-miss between 6:00 and 6:30.

Cooking From Scratch, er, Scraps

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Do you ever do this? Go leafing thro’ a magazine and clip out the recipes that reach out and grab you before throwing the magazine away? Then what? I have all mine in a folder and my goal is to try every single one and then make a decision between A or B:
A. Throw it away
B. Paste it into my ‘blank’ cookbook (that isn’t so blank anymore)   In case you don’t know what a blank cookbook is, it’s set up like a cookbook with all the different categories (breads, meats, main dishes, veggies, desserts, etc), but the pages are either lined or blank. I got mine from mimmistidbits about 5 years ago and love it!
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The clipped recipe I’m featuring this time is:

Pecan Cinnamon Buns    …from a Bon Apetit magazine

Filling:
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Combine everything except the butter in medium bowl. Stir in melted butter (filling will be dry and crumbly).

Dough:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 1/2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, divided (I divided it before it was melted, then melted each part separately…
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Preheat oven to 425. Spray 10″ diameter cake pan with 2″ high sides with nonstick spray. Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir buttermilk and 6 Tbsp melted butter into dry ingredients until blended. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour by teaspoonfuls if dough is too sticky, about 8 turns (I added probably at least an extra 1/2 cup). Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 12×10″ rectangle. Brush dough with 1 Tbsp melted butter.
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Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, leaving 1″ plain border on 1 long side. Press filling gently into dough to adhere.
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Beginning at long end opposite plain border, roll up dough jelly roll style. Pinch border of dough to seal. Cut dough crosswise into 8 equal slices.
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Place 1 bun in center of prepared cake pan; surround with remaining 7 buns, spacing apart (buns will expand to fill spaces during baking). Brush tops of buns with remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter.
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Bake buns until golden brown, about 23 minutes (some filling may come out sides of buns). Cool buns in pan on rack 5 min.
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Drizzle icing (recipe below) over warm buns, then serve warm or at room temperature.
pcb7The only round pan I had that was big enough was my springform pan. Turned out to be handy because I just took the sides off and the rolls were easily accessible!

Mascarpone Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese (an Italian cream cheese available at many supermarkets)
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
Whisk in medium bowl until smooth.

And now the real question: Will this recipe… A. Get thrown away or B. Go in my blank cookbook?

The answer is A. One reason is because I don’t keep unsalted butter, buttermilk, and mascarpone cheese on hand, so I’d always be substituting salted butter, reg milk with vinegar, and cream cheese anyway. Also, while they were really good, they weren’t quite as light as reg cinnamon rolls.

One thing that I really liked about this recipe, though, was that I didn’t have to get up early to have hot fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast! No waiting for it to rise twice!

Comments

2 Responses to “Cooking From Scratch, er, Scraps”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 1:52 pm

    I use a hanging file system for all my torn out recipes. It comes in handy if you have a TON of them, which I do. Also, when I know I want to make a specific item, like a casserole, or a cheesecake, for instance, I grab just the particular folder that I need. So it can be less messy that way than if you were to just throw them all into one big file folder. :)

  2. Ali on April 18th, 2008 1:53 pm

    Oh, I also use cute colored filing folders, pinks, greens, blues, and store them in a purple tub (that is specifically made for hanging files) and I think it just makes it look a little cuter.

Frying pan? Who needs a frying pan?!

grilled cheese

You flat-top stove owners, have you ever done this? Works like a charm! I’ve been doing this for years and my stove top still shines up as good as new. Turn the heat pretty low… you can actually see where I have it.

I am still using a kettle for the tomato soup though. Ha. …although, I’ve had boil-overs of unwatched tomato soup that would look like I was trying it without.

This is the only thing I do right on the burner though. What about you?

Comments

One Response to “Frying pan? Who needs a frying pan?!”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 1:54 pm

    This was done on one of those coil burners, not a flat top, but my step dad would always butter tortillas and heat them up on the coil burners, which left a nice grill mark. :)

“Give Me 5 or Fewer”

Posted on January 9, 2008
Filed Under Desserts

I just really like that section in my Quick Cooking Annual Cookbooks… with only 5 ingredients in a recipe, there’s a better chance that I’ll have them all on hand.   I do have a cookbook that most recipes have about 15-25 ingredients… the stuff in that cookbook dances with flavor! I’ll feature it sometime. But for now, we have…

Easy Cherry Tarts       …from the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook

1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup canned cherry pie filling (I used strawberry, it’s better  And I also put it in the food processor to get rid of the big chunks)
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Place crescent dough on a lightly floured surface; seal seams and perforations.
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Cut into 2″ circles. Place in greased miniature muffin cups.
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In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Place about 1/2 tsp in each cup.
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Combine pie filling and extract; place about 2 tsp in each cup.
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Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 2 dozen.
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These little things are GOOD! And yeah, easy too! But mine did get a bit messy. The filling bubbled over out of the cups and they didn’t look near as neat as they do in the cookbook.   But I would recommend them!

Traditional Scandinavian Christmas Eve Dinner

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under Holiday cooking

This was definitely a highlight of 2007! Seth and Kris and Seth’s sister Melinda cooked a Scandinavian meal for our family on Christmas Eve. Seth and Mel are part Norwegian.

Here’s a sample of the meal…
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Starting at the top is Swedish Meatballs…
scandinavian swedish meatballsThese were really good, and tasted pretty ‘American’.

Next (going clock-wise) is Lefse…
scandinavian lefseWe spread butter on it, like you do on bread, rolled it up and ate it. I could’ve eaten more of this!

Next is Swedish Tea Ring and cheese…
scandinavian tea ringThese were as good as they looked, comparable to glazed cinnamon rolls.

Next is Fauteemons (the English term for that is ‘love knots’)…
scandinavian fauteemonsThis was a pastry-type thing with powdered sugar on. Tiffany ate several of these! They were really good!

Next is just a piece of cheese from the tea ring plate.

Next is Christmas Potato Casserole…
scandinavian potatoesThis was my favorite! I’m not sure if it is a Scandinavian food, but Kris said her MIL makes it along with the meal. I don’t know what all was in it, but it was SO good!

Next is Cream of Mush…
scandinavian cream of mushThis was really good too, but a little more bland. It’s rice and a bunch of milk, simmered for a few hours. The rice gets so soft that the grains aren’t recognizable anymore. The dish is coated with thick cooked cream, then the mush is poured in and butter drizzled over.

And in the middle is Lutefisk…
scandinavian lutefiskThe first clue that you might not want to take alot of this is the smell!  I took a very small portion and wasn’t tempted at all with seconds! It’s a very strong fish flavor. It seemed pretty common that people don’t like it until they acquire a taste for it.

Butter, butter, butter!!!!
scandinavian butterThis was a dish of melted butter on the table to drizzle over the lutefisk (it needed all the help it could get! ) and over the cream of mush. Lots of butter was used with this meal… mmmmm!!!

And 2 more things that I didn’t get a picture of with the rest of the meal are the orange salad…
scaninavian orange
and the Triple Layer Chocolate Silk Pie…
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scandinavian pie piece
These were not traditional, they were just to go with the meal… like we needed more food! I think Kris actually invented the silk pie recipe.

Just a couple extra pictures yet…

scandinavian tableThe table is set.

scandinavian cookingCooking the meal… Seth and Melinda. I didn’t get a good picture of Kris, who actually made most of the meal.

Are any of you familiar with any of these foods? I’m thinking about moving over to Sweden or Norway!

I think we’ve started a Christmas tradition of our own!

Making and decorating gingerbread men … plus! (We didn’t just stick to the men.) After the cookies were baked and cooled, but before we decorated them, I told Shannon that it never occurred to me that I don’t actually know how to do this! I hadn’t decorated cookies for YEARS!!! So anyway, don’t laugh too hard! Here are some of them…

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My aunt Ruthie makes the best gingerbread cookies around, so I got the recipe from her. It actually comes from the Mennonite Community Cookbook.

Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies (Leb Kuchen) That’s how the recipe title is written… makes it seem authentic, doesn’t it? 

2 cups shortening, melted
3 cups sorghum molasses
1 cup sugar
8 – 10 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. soda
1 Tbsp. ginger
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk

Heat molasses and sugar together. When sugar is dissolved, add shortening and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm. Sift flour, soda, salt, and spices together. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with sour milk. Stir until a medium-soft dough is formed.
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Work dough with hands for 5 min. Let chill in refrigerator for several hours. (They’re not kidding about that. It’s a soft dough. Ruthie said she usually lets it chill overnight.) Turn dough onto lightly floured board and roll 1/4″ thick. Cut with large round cookie cutter.
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Glaze with a beaten egg; dip a small piece of cheesecloth in beaten egg and rub lightly over cookie. Place 1″ apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 min. (I didn’t bake them quite 20 min.)  This is the soft chewy cookie that was a favorite of grandmother’s day. It is still very popular among many Mennonite families. (I didn’t write that, it says that right in the recipe.) Makes 8 dozen large cookies.

Then, let the decorating begin!
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Deck the halls, er, table…

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This recipe comes from the Derstine cookbook. I had forgotten about these cookies and happened to see the recipe while flipping thro’ the cookbook. I remember Mom making them when I was young. As Lexi (5) and I were making them, I told her that my mom made these when I was a little girl. And she said, “And now my mom is making them when I’m a little girl!”

Holly Cookies

32 lg marshmallows
1 stick margarine
(I used butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp green food coloring
4 cups Cornflakes
Red cinnamon candies
(I used M&Ms because I couldn’t find Red Hots at the store)

Melt marshmallows and margarine in saucepan over low heat. Mix in flavorings and food coloring. Pour quickly over cornflakes in large bowl. Stir until coated. Butter hands well. Working quickly, shape into cookies on wax paper spread on a cookie sheet. Decorate with cinnamon candies before cookies harden. Ok, so she got a little carried away with the decorating!
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Allow 2 days
(????????) to dry. Please tell me it’s a misprint that should say ‘hours’ instead of ‘days’. These cookies may not even live to see 2 days! And they definitely seem hard enough.
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Change of subject… I was at our Walmart Supercenter today and was looking for 2 things that I couldn’t find: molasses and red hots. I looked in the baking aisle for molasses and there was a stocker there, so I asked her, and it was over with the syrup. Then I thought Duh, I should’ve thought of that. And the red hots, I looked in the candy section, the baking aisle, and the cake decorating aisle. Never did find them. Another thing that kinda surprised me a few years ago was the food coloring. I looked in the cake decorating section and in the cake mix/frosting aisle. Nope, over with the spices. That’s one thing nice about shopping online, you never have to look all over for exactly what you want… as my husband says, “Google knows everything”.

Coloring Book Birthday Cake

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I saw Crayola candles while shopping one day last month and thought they were so cute, so this is how I decided to use them.

9×13 chocolate cake (pudding-in-the-mix cake mix)
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Book carved…
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Frosted, but needs another coat…
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For the pictures, I looked off of those 2 pages in the picture above and toothpicked them on each side, then piped the outline with black frosting. In this picture, the one picture is already piped on and the other one is just ‘toothpicked’…
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Done…
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I wish I would’ve let it looking more half-colored instead of coloring in so much. Might’ve looked more like a coloring book that way. The crayons laying around are candles with the wicks cut off.

And here is the birthday girl…
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Comments

One Response to “Coloring Book Birthday Cake”

  1. salma! on March 6th, 2010 11:02 pm

    oh my gosh that is SO CUUTE!

Christmas cookie baking/candy making 2007

cookies all

Liz, Lin, Ruthie, Sandra, Lourdes, and I all got together for a cookie/candy exchange. Ah, so fun!!!! All that good stuff sitting there. And it’s fun to see what everyone is making. And you take home a nice assortment of stuff for no more effort than you put into it.

I don’t even know what everything was called, but it’s all on the picture up there. There were 2 kinds of fudge (peppermint and chocolate). The chocolate fudge didn’t last long around here.  It was my top pick of everything! I think Linda made it. There were several different kinds of cookies, some buttermints, choc covered Ritz sandwiches, caramel/chocolate candy, mice , and choc dipped pretzels.

Lourdes and Liz making buttermints…
cookie mints

The best part… dividing it all up. Lourdes, Liz, and Sandra.
cookie exchange

In the afternoon, Sandra and Ruthie made blended coffees for us all. I shared mine with Tiffany and then she didn’t want to give it up…
cookie frap

I’ll feature my 3 contributions to the cookie/candy exchange…

They are all taken from Taste of Home Christmas Cookies and Candies.

Envelopes of Fudge
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups flour
FILLING:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the flour. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, about 3 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle. For filling, combine the sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla and salt. Stir in walnuts, set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 1/2″ square; cut into 2 1/2″ squares.
cookie env1
Place a rounded teaspoonful of filling in center of each square (I piped the filling on). Bring 2 opposite corners to center. Moisten the edges with water and pinch together.
cookie env2
Place 1″ apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 25 cookies.
cookie env3

Yeah, there were a few flops! It works better to pinch the corners together, then fold them down and pinch again.

Christmas Eve Mice
24 Oreos
1 cup choc chips
1 tsp shortening
24 maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
24 chocolate kisses
48 sliced almonds
green decorating gel
red decorating gel

Everyone else was done, so they helped me do these. They were kinda fun to do and we got some laughs out of the deformities, but it does look easier than it is! Here are Lin and Ruthie working on them…
cookie miceCarefully twist cookies apart; set aside the halves with cream filling. Save plain halves for another use. In a microwave, melt choc chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Holding each cherry by the stem, dip in melted chocolate, then press onto the bottom of a kiss. Place on the cream filling of cookie, with cherry stem extending beyond cookie edge. For ears, place slivered almonds between the cherry and kiss. Refrigerate until set. With green gel, pipe holly leaves on the cream. With red gel, pipe berries between leaves and pipe eyes on each chocolate kiss.
cookie mice2Store in an airtight container at room temp. Yield: 2 dozen.

Ice Cream Sundae Caramels
2 cups sugar
2 cups (16 oz) dark corn syrup
2 cups (1 pint) vanilla ice cream, melted, divided
1 cup butter
8 oz choc candy coating
1/2 cup peanuts, finely chopped

In a heavy 4-qt saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1 cup ice cream and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture boils. Increase heat to medium; cook and stir until candy thermometer reads 242 (nearly firm-ball stage).
cookie caramel1Remove from heat; gradually stir in remaining ice cream. Return to heat; cook without stirring to 244 (firm-ball stage). Immediately pour, without stirring, into a buttered 9×13 pan. Let cool until firm. Invert candy onto a baking sheet. Melt candy coating; spread over candy. Sprinkle with nuts. Cut into 1″ squares. Yield: About 3 1/2 pounds.
cookie caramel2

Napkin folding

I love this site. I dream of entertaining someday to the extent of specially folding cloth dinner napkins (hmmm, wonder if you can be that elegant without owning a teacup, still serving hot beverages in mugs). Featured on that site is anything from
simple… napkinbasicpouchfoldtn to deluxe… napkinshirtfoldinginstructionstn

Here is one example, my favorite of them all…

The Fleur de Lys Goblet Fold

The Fleur De Lys Goblet Fold

Butterball or Jennie-o?

…Which brand are you cooking on Thanksgiving Day?

turkey

I was just in line at the grocery store and overheard this conversation:
Cashier, as she was ringing up a Butterball turkey: “Butterball. Good choice.”
Customer, who was a man that looked to be in his late 50s: “It’s the best.”
Lady customer (not me ), standing in line behind the man: “Butterball is better than Jennie-o?”
I forget from there, but the male customer and the cashier were all but talking over each other, telling the lady customer how much better flavor Butterball is and how dry Jennie-o is compared to Butterball.

I have no clue which is better, but was surprised how strong both of them felt about Butterball. What’s your opinion? Do you feel strong about a certain brand being the best?

Comments

One Response to “Butterball or Jennie-o?”

  1. Emory Safford on November 18th, 2011 11:05 pm

    I believe it’s more a matter of how it’s cooked regardless of brand. Locally here in MN Jenni O is on sale for .68 a pound. Butterball is 1.09 a lb. Now if the turkeys cooked in a roasting bag inside a roasting pan at a lower temperature I find they generally turn out moist and delicious regardless of brand. Bottom line get the one that’s on sale!

An Entire Meal of New Recipes

Tired of looking at roses? Me too! Time to dust off this site again and put something fresh on here.

I’m going to feature a full meal today, a napkin folding post soon, and hopefully some inspiration will come by the weekend for some Thanksgiving ideas!

This meal is taken out of the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook on pages 8 & 9… I know, I’m like a broken record, Quick Cooking cookbook this, Quick Cooking cookbook that. I just love those cookbooks, and you know why? Because they have PICTURES!!!!

Pepper Jack Meat Loaf

1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute (I used an egg)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup (4 oz) shredded pepperjack or monterey jack cheese, divided (I used all pepperjack cheese.)

In a lg bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press half of the beef mixture onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 8″x4″x2″ loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over meat to within 1/2″ of sides.
meatloaf1
Pat remaining beef mixture over cheese.
meatloaf2
Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 min longer or until cheese is melted.
meatloaf4
Let stand for 10 min before slicing.
meatloaf3Yield: 6 servings. We really liked this! It was good for something different, although I still prefer meatloaf with ketchup stuff on top. That pepperjack cheese really gave it some kick. Lexi (who is 4 and a picky eater) said it’s too spicy. Tiffany (who is 19 mos and eats anything) chowed it right down. We ate it with ketchup.

Potato Chip Potatoes

6 medium potaoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cup crushed potato chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a bowl, combine everything, except 1/4 cup of potato chips; toss to combine.Transfer to a greased shallow 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 – 50 min or until potatoes are tender.
potatoesYield: 6 – 8 servings. This was good, but nothing special. We ate it with ketchup because it was kinda blah without anything. It’s a good way to use up those last broken up chips at the bottom of the bag.

Creamy Pea Salad

2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, chopped (onion AGAIN!)
1 cup mayo or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a bowl, combine everything except the bacon; mix well. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with bacon.
pea saladYield: 6 – 8 servings. Ok, I’m not even gonna pretend… this was NOT at all good! I don’t like cold peas or raw onions, but I decided to be open-minded and give it a shot, thinking maybe the other ingredients would make it good. None of the others liked it either. I ended up fishing out and eating the cheese and bacon and threw the rest away.

Chocolate Cherry Angel Cake

1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, well drained
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate, grated  I put an ounce (at least an ounce ) of milk choc chips in a food chopper.
GLAZE:
2 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate Again, I used milk choc… I try to stick to the recipe, but with chocolate, whenever I use semisweet like the recipe says, I always end up saying ‘next time I’ll use milk chocolate’. So I’m just going to start always using milk choc the 1st time.
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 5 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries and fresh mint, optional

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Fold cherries and chocolate into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 10″ tube pan.
cherrycake1Bake at 350 for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cake and remove from pan. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice until glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.
cherrycake2
Garnish with cherries and mint if desired.
cherrycake5Yield: 12 servings. YUM!!!! This tasted as good as it looked! If you like chocolate covered cherries, you’ll like this! Shannon doesn’t like cherries and he even kinda liked it. It would be GREAT for around Christmas time too… doesn’t it look sorta Christmas-y?
cherrycake4

A rose by any other name…

Featuring tomato roses, lemon roses, and orange roses

This is actually easier than it looks.
Starting at the end (whatever the opposite of the stem end is called), peel a tomato (or lemon or orange or whatever you feel like trying) in one long piece.
rose cut1 rose cut2
rose cut3 rose cut4
Lay the peeling out flat, skin side down. Now, as if you’re rolling up some left-over ribbon, start rolling it, starting at the end you cut last (the part closest to the stem). 
It’ll kind of slip around while you’re rolling it, so it’s helpful to keep a finger or 2 on each side. When you’re at the end, tuck the wide end underneath and set your rose down. If it looks weird, flip it over. If it still looks weird, unwrap it and try again.
rose3 rose cut5

A couple tips:
— Use firm tomatoes; they cut smoother and the skins don’t wrinkle as easily.  Note: The 2 roses above… the first one was a firmer tomato, the second one wasn’t and kinda wrinkled as I was cutting it, making the edges less smooth.
— The thinner you peel them, the easier they are to work with because they curl around easier.
— For oranges and lemons, I’ve found it’s easier to use a potato peeler than a knife… it gets it thin and doesn’t break off as easy.
— If a peeling breaks off before you’re done, just finish peeling, then overlap the pieces an inch or so when you roll it up.


Ideas:

Tomato roses
—Garnish a veggie tray
rose veggie tray 

rose veg tray close
—Set a rose or 2 on fresh herbs on a flat tray or board for a table decoration
—Make a bouquet
rose bouquet1
rose bouquet        

—Put on top of a salad (but you need to take them off before serving, or move them way over to the side)
rose on salad        

Lemon and orange roses
—Garnish a fruit tray
rose orange         

—Put on the side of a serving platter of meat or fish
—Dress up a serving of dessert
rose lemon

 rose lemon close

Chocolate roses and butter roses coming later… it’s a different technique to make them.

Let’s make some Chocolate Leaves!

chocleaves3

You’ll notice that I’m doing this because I get a kick out of it, not because I’m refined, elegant, and professional!   First of all, I should’ve got my husband to do the photography instead of someone less than 4′ tall. But, I picked on the one who was sitting on a barstool with her face within a foot of my project, asking questions and wanting to help. Can’t blame her… at 4 years old, I’d have been dying to be turned loose with a paintbrush, melted chocolate, and leaves… paint, lick, paint, paint, lick…

I’ve made chocolate leaves only once in my life… just last weekend. So, if you’ve made them twice, you’re more experienced than me.

I went out to my rosebush (if you  DON’T know me, you’re picturing something with beautiful pink roses hanging all over it, aren’t you? And if you  DO know me, you’re thinking, “Huh?! You have an ALIVE rosebush?!”, aren’t you?)… anyway, I went out to my rosebush and picked 8 leaves off, brought them in and washed them under running water, and patted them dry with a paper towel. Then I took a paintbrush (everything else that’s actually a kitchen tool looked too big and cumbersome) and spread melted chocolate on the bottom side of the leaf.
chocleaves1
I just let them harden a little at room temp, then put another coat on and put them in the fridge to harden. Then, I got them out and peeled the leaves off…
chocleaves2
When they were done, we were awing over them and Lexi said, “Mom, they’re SO pretty! Can I eat them?” Um, let me think… “No!”
I put them back in the fridge till I was ready to use them.

Next time, I’d make them a bit thicker. It was kinda neat how thin and delicate they were, BUT I started with 8 leaves, had 3 casualties, and ended up with 5 because they broke when I was pulling the leaves off. It was fun and they looked so neat… I’ll definitely make them more often!

Have any of you made chocolate leaves before that you could give us all some more tips?

What I put the leaves on was a new recipe , so I’ll throw that in here too, while I’m at it.

German Chocolate Cream Pie …from the 2002 Quick Cooking Annual cookbook

1 pkg (4 oz) German sweet chocolate
1/3 cup milk
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
Whipped topping, frest mint and chocolate dessert decorations, optional

In a saucepan over low heat, cook the chocolate and milk until choc is melted; stir until smooth. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
chocleaves pie1
Stir in chocolate mixture. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm. May be frozen for up to 3 months, just in case you could leave a chocolate pie alone for 3 months, knowing it’s right there in the freezer!
Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped topping, mint and chocolate decorations if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.
chocleaves pie2
chocleaves pie3 I had a bunch of melted chocolate left over and no more Cool Whip, so I just drizzled the chocolate over… it does need garnish of some sort, looks very plain without!

It was really good, except that I’m a milk chocolate fan, not semi-sweet. To me, this German sweet chocolate tasted just like semi-sweet. I want to try it again sometime and substitute 4 oz (or more ) of milk chocolate chips instead of the German chocolate.