Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cooking from the Blogs-What I Made

Last week, I didn't have a chance to make any recipes from blogs so there was no post on Sunday.  This week I made it a point to make a couple of new recipes.

This week there is a sale on chicken thighs and split breasts for $ .99 lb.  I decided this was a good time to use up some of the cooked chicken and broth I have in my freezer.  I freeze cooked chicken in 1 cup amounts with 1 cup broth to use in casseroles and soup.  You might want to take a look at my tutorial on cutting up a chicken breast here.

 I made Chicken and Dumpling Bake Casserole from Deep South Dish via Aunt Nubby's Kitchen.  To please my potato-loving husband,  I diced up a couple of potatoes along with onion and red pepper.  I cooked them in the chicken broth for about 10 minutes, then added a cup of frozen peas and carrots and cooked another 5 minutes.  I added a bay leaf and some poultry seasoning to this.  I drained the vegetables and layered them on top of the chicken, and then used the broth as directed in the recipe.  This was very good and does taste just like chicken and dumplings.  I think my husband had three servings.  The leftovers were even good warmed up.  I will be making this again.

I also made Cheesy Garlic Bread Pull Apart from The Real Housewives of Riverton.  These are made with refrigerated biscuits and are very quick and easy.  Since there are just two of us I halved the recipe and baked them in a pie tin with a custard cup in the center so they would form a ring.  We really love garlic, so next time I will increase the butter to 3 tablespoons and the garlic powder and parsley to 1 1/2 teaspoons and brush the flattened biscuits with the mixture before I form them around the cheese.  I also will use more cheese, but I think that I didn't use as much cheese as called for.  There were perfect with the goulash that I served for lunch.  I plan to keep refrigerated biscuits on hand to make this often.

Check all of these blogs out for other great recipes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Finds

I made some new recipes from blogs this week so won't post them here.  Stop by on Sunday and see what they are.  They were very good.

Tiffany over at Eat at Home had tortillas as the ingredient in the Ingredient Spotlight on Wednesday.  Here are some of the recipes that caught my eye.

Finding Joy in My Kitchen

One of the things that I really need to start doing is making homemade tortillas.  Sno White, our fearless Friday Favorite Finds leader has a post on how to do this included in her 31 Days to Cooking from Scratch Series.  Definitely on my "to-do" list.

The Sweets Life

Just try saying the name of this recipe very fast a few times.  This is certainly one of the more unusual uses for flour tortillas, but I like all of the ingredients and want to give this one a try.

Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Here is another interesting idea combining flour tortillas with Italian ingredients.  This recipe goes back to 2008 so may be a "new" one to some of us.  I like this for a quick lunch idea.

My Favorite Finds

Here is another take on the Italian ingredients/flour tortilla combination.  This one is cooked on the griddle.  Another good lunch idea, I think.

Big Bear's Wife

This is a recipe that uses ingredients that both my hubby and I like.  He doesn't care for refried beans and I don't care for salsa so I think that this will work for us.  I like that the tortillas are cut up and scattered through out the dish.

This was my contribution to Ingredient Spotlight.  I shared how I make baked flour tortilla bowls for taco salad at home.

Perhaps one of these recipes will tempt you to do something a little different with flour tortillas.

All photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

As always, I am anxious to see what other bloggers have found in their travels around the net this week.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies-Almond Joy Fudgies

It is hard to believe that we are at week 5 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets.  Where does the time go?  Thanks to Brenda at Meal Planning Magic for doing such a great job of hosting this Blog Hop.

This week's cookie is for the chocolate and Almond Joy lovers out there.  How does a deep chocolate brownie surrounding  a filling of coconut and sliced almonds sound?  There are very rich and need to be cut small as a little will go a long way.

This recipe was developed by Mrs. Chris J Betker, Seattle, WA who was a finalist in the 22nd Pillsbury Bake-Off.  She called them Macaroon Fudgies.  I have adapted the recipe and added the toasted, sliced almonds and call them Almond Joy Fudgies.  Whatever you call them, they are very good.

One note:  The bars really need to be completely cool before cutting them.  I was losing my daylight so cut the bars in the photo above while still warm.  The photo does not do these  justice.

Since this recipe doesn’t take a whole can of sweetened condensed milk, I usually make my own and freeze it in 2/3 cup amounts.  That way I do not have to figure out what I am going to do with the leftovers.  I prefer milk chocolate chips to the semisweet for the topping for this, but either can be used.  If you find that these are a little too chocolately, try reducing the cocoa to 2/3 cup.

Almond Joy Fudgies
1 1/4 c. butter or margarine
3/4 c. cocoa
2 c. sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk (can make your own)
2 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 t. almond extract
1/2 c. toasted, sliced almonds

Melt butter and cocoa together in a saucepan over low heat or in a glass bowl in the microwave.  Remove from heat.  Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Spread half of chocolate mixture in a well-greased 9x13-inch pan.  Prepare Filling and spoon evenly over the chocolate batter.  Sprinkle sliced almonds evenly over Filling.  Spread remaining chocolate batter evenly over Filling.  Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Place back into oven for 1-2 minutes until chocolate chips soften and begin to melt.  Spread chocolate over the top of the brownies.  Allow to cool completely.  Cut into 36 bars.

Filling:   In mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, coconut, and almond extract.  Mix well.

Be sure to check all the other links in the Blog Hop.  There a lots of great recipes.

Linking to:  It's a Keeper Thursday

Ingredient Spotlight-DIY Flour Tortilla Taco Salad Bowls


I don’t have a recipe on my blog using tortillas so didn’t think that I would have a contribution to Ingredient Spotlight today.  Than I thought perhaps it might be helpful to share how I make bowls for taco salad using flour tortillas.

You can buy taco salad bowls, but they are a little expensive and are usually deep fried.  I like the baked taco bowls better than deep fried ones because they don’t leave that greasy after-taste in you mouth that deep fried ones do.

I use regular size tortillas for my bowls so they don’t make a very big bowl.  One bowl is usually enough for me.  If you have big eaters, you can serve them two.  You can also buy the extra large tortillas to make bigger bowls.


This is what you need to make the taco salad bowls.  The flour tortillas, a can of non stick spray, an empty soup can, and a custard cup or small oven-proof bowl.  I do not currently have any empty soup cans so had to put an unopened can in the photo.  You can use other empty cans such as vegetable cans, but the custard cups don’t sit as securely on them


Spray the bottom of the custard cup with nonstick spray and turn the cup upside down on the top of the soup can.


Center a flour tortilla as best you can on the custard cup and mold it around the custard cup with your hand.  Place the cans with the custard cup on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes until tortilla is crisp.  Remove from oven and and let cool.  Remove taco bowl from custard cup.


These can be made ahead, but they don’t stack well because each one is a little different shape.  To me, that is part of their charm.  Fill these with the ingredients for your favorite taco salad.

Linking to:  Ingredients Spotlight
These Chicks Cooked
What I Made Wednesday
Cast Party Wednesday
Foodie Wednesday

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cooking with the Journal-Chili Seasoning Mix plus Recipes



This post could just as well been posted under DIY Groceries on Monday, but the recipe is from a Farm Journal cookbook so I am posting it here.

In my humble opinion, seasoning mixes are some of the most over-priced items that can be purchased at the grocery store.  They are usually made up of ingredients that most people keep in their pantries and contain unnecessary additives.  It take very little time to throw together one’s own seasoning mix.

This recipe and two of the recipes to use it with are from “The Thrifty Cook”, 1974.  This is one of my most used cookbooks.  You can use this mix anywhere a chili seasoning mix is called for.

Chili Seasoning Mix
The Thrifty Cook
Farm Journal Books, 1974

3 T. flour (you can leave this out for gluten free diets)
2 T. instant dry minced onion
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. crushed dried red pepper (opt. leave out if serving children)
1/2 t. instant dry minced garlic
1/2 t. sugar

Combine all ingredients.  Store in plastic zip-top snack bag.  Makes 1 packet.  Repeat to make as many packets as desired.

Ranch-Style Chili
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 packet Chili Seasoning Mix
1 (1 lb.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, undrained
1/2 c. water

Cook ground beef in a skillet until well browned.  Drain if necessary.  Blend in Chili Seasoning Mix.  Stir in tomatoes and beans.  Use measured out water to rinse tomato and beans cans.  Add to skillet.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Texas Meat Ball Stew
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. fine dry bread crumbs
1 T. milk
1/2 t. salt
1 T. vegetable oil
1 (1 lb.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
1 c. elbow macaroni
1 packet Chili Seasoning Mix
2 c. water

Place ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, milk and salt in a bowl.  Mix together thoroughly.  Form mixture into 1-inch balls.  Brown meatballs on all sides in hot vegetable oil in large saucepan.  Drain off any excess fat.  Add tomatoes, kidney beans, macaroni and Chili Seasoning Mix.  Use measured out water to rinse tomato and bean cans.  Add to saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring gently.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Makes 6 servings.

Chili and Shells Goulash (my recipe and photo above)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 packet Chili Seasoning Mix
1 (1 lb.) can diced tomatoes-I used Rotel
1 (1 lb.) can chili beans
1 c. small shell pasta
2 c. water

Brown ground beef in large saucepan.  Drain if necessary.  Add Chili Seasoning Mix and cook for a minute or two.  Add tomatoes, beans, and shell pasta.  Use measured out water to rinse out tomato and bean cans.  Add to saucepan.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Serve sprinkled with cheddar or Mexican Blend Cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Linking to:  Tuesday Talent Show
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Show Me What Ya Got
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Take a Look Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table
Tuesday Time Out Party
Tip Me Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food

Monday, October 24, 2011

DIY Groceries-Homemade Cake Mix

Good Monday, and welcome to my new followers.  Thanks to all who take the time to read my blog. I hope that the information you find here will prove useful to you.

Recently, I wanted to make the bars in the photo above.  They called for a dry cake mix.  Now I buy commercial cake mixes, and I use commercial cake mixes.  They are still one of the most reasonably priced items in the grocery store since cake mixes are frequently promoted for $1 or less.

When, however, you find a recipe you want to make and it calls for a dry cake mix; and you don't have one, and you live 20 miles from town, what do you do?  I make homemade cake mix.  Of course, a homemade mix doesn't have the additives that are found in the commercial product.  Here is a recipe that I used with several variations in case you actually want to make a cake.  This recipe came from a email list a number of years ago.

Cake Mix
6 c. flour
1 c. non fat powdered milk (blended in blender till fine)
4 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1 cup shortening

Mix dry ingredients together until well blended.  Cut in shortening until it is in very fine particles.  Store in airtight container at room temperature.  Makes enough for 4 two layer cakes.  This recipe can be easily halved.

One store box (18 ounces )=3 1/4 cups of dry Cake Mix.   Use 3 1/4 cups mix in the recipes below.

Yellow Cake 
3 1/4 c. cake mix
2 well beaten eggs
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. water
1 t. vanilla extract

Combine cake mix , eggs, vegetable oil, and water; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan[s].   Bake at 350 degrees F. according to timetable below.  Cake is done when it springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool cake 10 minutes in pan: place top side up on cooling rack.  Frost when completely cool.

Baking Timetable.
Two 8-inch round layers=25-30 minutes
Two 9-inch round layers=20-25 minutes
One 13x9x2-inch oblong pan=40-45 minutes.

Variations: Cherry:
Prepare as directed.  Add 1 t. almond extract and 1 10-oz. jar of finely chopped maraschino cherries.

Prepare as directed.  Add 6 T. of unsweetened cocoa.

Chocolate Surprise Cake:
Make a chocolate cake add 1/2 cup rinsed and chopped sauerkraut.

Prepare as directed.  Add 1/2 t. coconut extract and 1/3 c. flaked coconut.

Prepare as directed.  Add 1 t. nutmeg, 2 t. rum extract. and 1/2 c. chopped walnuts.

Orange or Lemon:
Prepare as directed.  Add 2 T. grated lemon or orange peel and 2 t. matching extract.

Prepare as directed.  Add 1 t. cinnamon and 1 t. cloves.

For a lighter cake, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and beat the egg whites until stiff.  Add the beaten egg yolks to the cake mixture; gently fold the white eggs into the well mixed cake mixture.

Here is the recipe that I needed to make cake mix for.  It came from Pillsbury Bars and Cookies, 1998.  It is one of those little cookbooks that are available at the grocery store.  The homemade cake mix makes a more tender base than commercial cake mix, but it does work OK.

Candy and Peanut Chews
1 (18.25 oz.) pkg. Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 t. vanilla
2 c. crisp rice cereal
2 c. salted peanuts
1 c. candy corn

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and butter; mix well.  Stir in egg; blend well.  Press in bottom of foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees 10 to 14 minutes or until base is set and light golden brown around edges.
Remove pan from oven; immediately sprinkle with marshmallows.  Return to oven; bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff.  Cool while preparing topping.
Combine cereal, peanuts, and candy corn in a bowl.  In large saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and brown sugar; blend well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in cereal, peanuts and candy corn.  Immediately spoon topping over marshmallows; spread to cover.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.  Cut into bars.  Makes about 48.

Linking to:  Melt in Your Mouth Monday
On the Menu Monday
This Week's Cravings
Mangia Monday
Made by You Monday
Pininspirational Thursday

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Corn Chowder

The other day I could not decide what to make for lunch.  In my continuing effort to clear my panty of some older food, I decided to check out some recipes I had stored on my computer.  This recipe caught my eye as it is a “pantry shelf” recipe, and I had all the ingredients to make it.

I wasn’t sure how well I would like it as I am not a fan of chilies.  Turns out I loved it and will be making it again.

This is one of those recipes that, if you can open a can, you can “cook”.  So simple and easy to do.  I have added the chopped red pepper for color and nutrition, but it can be left out. This is a good time to use any red pepper that might be on hand in the freezer if there is not a fresh one available.

The recipe calls for evaporated milk, and I had half a large can I needed to use up.  Regular milk can be used instead.  The soup just may not be quite as creamy.  I also grabbed a can of condensed cheese soup instead of the cream of chicken one called for.  I was out of my homemade soup mix.

I always have 1 cup bags of chicken in my freezer frozen with 1 cup homemade broth.  I just use the whole bag and adjust the liquid elsewhere in the recipe.  More or less liquid usually doesn't matter with soup.

The recipe is supposed to have come from a Desperation Dinners newspaper column, but I got it off the internet somewhere.

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder
1 t. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped red pepper
1 clove, garlic minced
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can fat-free chicken broth
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup (or cheddar cheese soup)
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
1 (10 oz.) can chicken or 2 c. diced, cooked chicken
1 (16 oz.) can cream-style corn
1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn, undrained
1/2 t. or more chili powder (I used 1 t.)
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 (5 oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk or 2/3 c. (regular milk can be used)

Heat olive oil in a 4 1/2 qt. pot over medium heat.  Add onion and red pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, watching closely and stirring often.  Stir in garlic and cook an additional minute or so.  Stir in chicken broth, saving a little to rinse out soup can.  Add soup, rinse out can with reserved chicken broth and add.  Stir with a whisk to blend well.  Bring soup to a boil.  Add well-drained chilies.  Reduce heat to low.  Add chicken, corn, chili powder, and cumin.  Stir to mix well.  Heat 10 min.  Remove from heat and stir in milk.  Serve at once.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

If serving small children, leave out chilies, chili powder and cumin.  Add 1/2 c. shredded cheese to soup.

Linking to:  Hunk of Meat Monday

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Finds

I am participating in 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and Sweets and the Improv Cooking Challenge so I am on recipe overload this week.  For links to lots of great recipes you can go to my Thursday posts here and here.

I did find some other interesting goodies to share.

1-Minute Scrambled Eggs

I have never made scrambled eggs in the microwave, but I am definitely going to give this a try very soon.  I really like scrambled eggs, but generally don't bother with them when I am just making breakfast for myself.

Budget Bytes

This looks as if it would be a nice change from my regular oatmeal/banana/peanut butter smoothie that I make often.  I would probably sub oatmeal for the flax seed and regular milk for the soy.

Daily Organized Chaos

I seem to have this knack for being drawn to recipes that take perfectly healthy veggies and combine them with ingredients that are not quite so healthy.  That being said, I like cauliflower, these look really good, and maybe I could get them by my non-cauliflower eating hubby.

The Real Housewives of Riverton

Here is an unusual and novel use for pumpkin.  These look like they would be lots of fun to make and serve at a party like she did.  It might be fun to have guests help make these, too.

Serious Eats

This is a nice article with a slide show on how to dry apple slices in the oven if you don't have or don't want to bother with a dehydrator.  You can have dries apples in about hour.

Note:  All photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs represented.

I had better stop here.  As always, I am anxious to see what others have found in their travels through the web this week.

Linking to Friday Finds

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Improv Cooking Challenge-Caramel Apple Crunch Bars

The Improve Cooking Challenge

I am so excited to be part of  Improv Cooking Challenge.  The first challenge requested that we make something combining apples and caramel.  Since I am the Cookie Monster's grandmother and love cookies, particularly bar cookies, that is where my mind went.  I couldn't find a recipe for what I had in mind so adapted a couple of recipes to make Caramel Apple Crunch Bars.

Most recipes I found called for a layer of melted caramels or caramel ice cream topping.  What I wanted was little pockets of caramel scattered through out a cookie bar.  I ended up cutting each caramel into six pieces and scattering the pieces over a cookie base.  I then covered the caramels with chopped apples and nuts and scattered a crunchy topping over them.  This is a little more work, so if you don't want to do that,  melt the caramels with 2 T. of milk in the microwave for a minute or so.  Layer the melted caramels over the apple/nut layer instead of underneath.  You may need to use a whole package of caramels if you do this.  If so, increase the milk to 1/4 c.

These can be cut for bar cookies or cut larger and served as a dessert topped with whipped topping or (better yet) ice cream and caramel sauce.  I made these with toasted walnuts, but I think that they would be wonderful with toasted pecans; and that is what I would used if making these for company.  Of course, the nuts could be left out completely it the need dictates it.

Caramel Apple Nut Bars
25 caramel (about half of a 14 oz. pkg.)
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
4 medium apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. toasted walnuts or pecans

Unwrap caramels and cut each one in half.   Then cut each half into three pieces.  Use wet kitchen shears to do this.  You may have to clean the blades and rewet the shears a couple of times.  Put caramel pieces in a shallow container.  Set aside.  Place flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda in a mixer bowl.  Add melted butter or margarine and mix at low speed until crumbly.  Dump 1 cup of mixture into each half of a greased 10x15-1-inch baking pan.  Pat each cup of mixture out to evenly cover half of baking pan.  Reserve remaining mixture for topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.   While base is baking, peel and chop apples.  Set aside.  When base is done remove from oven.  Scatter caramel pieces over the hot  base.  Return to oven for 5 minutes or until caramels begin to soften.  Remove from oven.  Scatter chopped apples evenly over the top of base/caramel layer.  Scatter nuts over apples.  Sprinkle remaining sugar/flour/oat mixture over the top of the apples and nuts.  Press down slightly with hand.  Return pan to oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown.  Remove from oven.  Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes.  Cut into 1 x 1 1/2-inch bars.  Let cool another 30 minutes.  Makes about 48 bars.

12weeks of Christmas Cookies-Cranberry Orange Snack Mix

I am going to deviate a little from cookies this week and share a nice snack mix that is quick, easy and very good.  This is a good to have on hand for whenever the "munchies" come, which for me is often.

This recipe is from Betty Crocker and Chex so originally call for three kinds of Chex cereal.  I have adapted the recipe to use Chex plus Kix and Cheerios because I like the variety of shapes that this gives to the mix.  Any combination of cereals can be used as along as the total amount is 9 cups.  Although the original recipe doesn't call for it, I sometimes add 1 t. cinnamon or other spice to this to give it a little different flavor.  I have also upped the amount of cranberries since the original recipe called for only 1/2 c.  Some chopped, dried apricots can be added to this also.

Although butter or margarine can be used, I always use butter for the flavor.  I measure my orange juice into the measuring cup unthawed which probably gives the mix a more intense orange flavor than if I measured it thawed.

Cranberry Orange Snack Mix
3 c. Rice Chex cereal
2 c. Corn Chex cereal
2 c. Kix cereal
2 c. Cheerios cereal
1 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. packed brown sugar, light or dark
1/4 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 to 1 c. dried cranberries

Mix cereals and almonds in a large bowl.  Melt butter in a glass 2-cup measuring cup in the microwave.  Add brown sugar and orange juice to the butter.  Microwave uncovered on High for 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  Pour butter mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour into large greased roasting pan.  Bake at 300 degrees 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, add cranberries and mix well. Cool.  Store in airtight container or plastic zip-top food-storage bag.  Makes 10 c. snack mix.

Linking to:  Ingredient Spotlight

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ingredient Spotlight-Serbian Cabbage

 Even people who are anti-cabbage usually like this.  Don't tell them what it is if you don't want to. This is true.  My husband who does not eat cooked cabbage, ate this and said that he would be willing to eat it again, but not every week.

I have to tell a funny little story here:  I made this dish yesterday so I could get a photo and had some for lunch.  I planned to take the rest with me for lunch later in the week.  When I came home from work, I noticed that he had not eaten the spaghetti that was left for him to eat for dinner.  When I asked what he had for dinner, he said he ate that cabbage stuff.

This a very easy-to-make dish and can go in the oven with almost any other thing that you are roasting or baking.

This recipe is from Carol Donovan of Cincinnati, Ohio who got it from her Belgrade-born grandmother.  It was published in the 4/5/83 issue of Woman’s Day.  Although I don’t have it now, I had the original clipping of the recipe for many years.

The original recipe which is below had no added seasoning.  I sprinkle a little Lawry’s Seasoned Salt on the top before putting in the oven.  I also add about 2/3 cup each of chopped onion and red pepper.  I think this gives the dish added color and flavor.

Panko can be used instead of the bread crumbs.  I always have plenty of bread for  bread crumbs on hand and like crumbs made from multi-grain or whole wheat bread for this dish.

The recipe is easily halved.  You can usually get at least 8 servings from the whole recipe.

Serbian Cabbage
1 medium-head cabbage (about 3 lbs.) finely shredded
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk (regular, 2 %, or fat-free)
2/3 to 1 c. dry bread crumbs (enough to evenly cover top of casserole)
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted

Place cabbage in shallow 4-quart casserole.  (I use a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.)  Pour milk over; sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Evenly pour melted butter or margarine over the top.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 30 minutes more or until crumbs are lightly browned and cabbage is tender.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Linking to Ingredient Spotlight
Side Dish Saturday

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cooking with the Journal-Glazed Pineapple Cookies

When doing cookies for Christmas platters, I like to throw in a little flavor difference among all the chocolate, almond and other usual flavors.  These little pineapple flavor bars add a taste of the tropics and come as a delightful surprise when people taste them.

Although the original recipe didn’t say to do so, I like to toast both the nuts and the coconut to bring out their flavors.  Macadamia nuts can be used to make the cookies taste even more tropical.  The recipe also called for evaporated milk.  I usually use half and half with good results.

Fess up time:  When I made the cookies in the photo I used baking powder not the baking soda called for. I also stirred in the coconut and walnuts instead of sprinkling them on the top.  (It was Just One of Those Days!).  Although these bars are very good, they are a bit sticky and didn’t rise very well.  If you make these, using the asked for baking soda and sprinkle the coconut and nuts on the the top, they will be a lot prettier and will not look like the picture.

Glazed Pineapple Bars
Farm Journal’s Best-Ever Cookies
Patricia A. Ward
Double Day & Co., 1980

2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple in  juice
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 flaked coconut, toasted if desired
1/2 c. chopped toasted walnuts or macadamia nuts
Vanilla Glaze (recipe follows)

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixer bowl.  Stir well.  Add undrained pineapple, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth using electric mixer at medium speed.  Pour batter into greased 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan.  Sprinkle with coconut and walnuts.  Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes or until batter begins to pull from sides of pan and no imprint remains when touched lightly with a finger.  Cool slightly in pan on rack.  Prepare Vanilla Glaze.  Poke bars all over with a toothpick.  Pour glaze over bars while they are still warm.  Cool completely.  Cut into 1x3-inch bars.  Makes abut 48.

Vanilla Glaze:  Combine 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. butter or margarine, and 1/4 c. half and half or evaporated milk in a small saucepan.  Mix well.  Cook over medium heat until butter melts and mixture comes to a full rolling boil.  Remove from heat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Groceries-Two Useful Spice Combos

Good Monday.  Welcome to my new followers.  Thanks to all who take the time to read my blog.  I hope that you find the information here useful.

This time of year, one may come across a recipe that calls for Apple Pie Spice or Pumpkin Pie Spice.  It is not necessary to rush out to the grocery store to purchase these items.  Both can be made at home with spices that are usually available in most kitchens.  Some instructions say just to sub cinnamon, but that will not give quite the same taste as using these combinations instead.  Both these recipes make relatively small quantities so that one doesn't use up all the basic spices making them.

Apple Pie Spice
2 T.  cinnamon
1 t.  nutmeg
1/2  t . allspice
1/2  t.  ginger

Note:  all spices are in ground form.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Place in tightly covered container.   Makes  2 2/3  T.

Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cloves

Note:  all spices are in ground form.  Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Place in tightly covered container.  Makes 3 T.

Linking to:  Ingredient Spotlight

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cooking from the Blogs-What I Made

I had to work an extra shift this week, so only cooked two nights.  One of those nights I fixed a beef pot pie from the leftover roast I had made on Sunday.  I only cooked one thing from a blog this week, but it sure was a good one.

I have mentioned that I brought three butternut squash home from work, and I wanted to make something from them.  I decided to make Butternut Squash Bake  from The Better Baker because it sounded so good.  I have not cooked with butternut squash much, so greatly appreciated Marsha's directions for cooking it in the microwave.  That made it so quick and easy.  I enjoyed the bake as a side dish at dinner.  Hubby, I think, not quite as much, but then he is not much of a squash eater.  The dish has a wonderful praline type topping made with Rice Krispies and pecans.  What we did both enjoy was eating this cold with some frozen topping on it for a dessert.  So, side dish or dessert, take your pick.  This is a delicious, versatile dish.  I will be making it again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Finds

Well, after participating in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge and 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, I thought  I should probably find a few things other than sweets this week.  I started out well and  found a few things for breakfast:

Semi Homemade Mom

These are mainly eggs so are different from the  Breakfast Bread Pudding Cups that I have posted.  Since hubby is not a breakfast eater, I love these individual, changeable, and make-ahead breakfast ideas.  With the weather cooling down, I like a little something more substantial than a smoothie for breakfast.  I will be trying these soon.

The Rickett Chronicles

These would be great to serve with any kind of eggs.  Muffins usually freeze well.  It would be nice to have these in the freezer to pull out and heat as needed.

Then as usual, things started going down hill because I found this:

Crumbs and Chaos 

I, personally, love coffee cake.  I also love pumpkin.  This is the perfect combination.  I think this recipe might work well using mashed sweet potato or winter squash.  I have some mashed butternut squash in the refrigerator I will try in this.

And then they really went down hill because I found this.

Sugar Beams and Other Half Baked Adventures

I don't even know what to say about this one except Yum! Yum!  Yum!  I think I will quit while I am ahead here so I don't find something even more decadent.

Hopefully others exercised a little more restraint this week than I did.

In the nonfood category, I just have to share this one.

Shaken Together

I have lots of excess coffee filters and have not been able to figure out what to do with them.  This is such a cute idea and can be adapted to any holiday just by using themed scrap book paper.  Quick and easy, too.

Note:  The photos were taken by and are the property of the owners of the respective blogs.

Linking to Friday Favorite Finds

Thursday, October 13, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies-Oatmeal Crisp Brownies

Like Alice in Wonderland, I am Late, I am Late.  The cookies I made yesterday turned out to be edible but not presentable.  So on to plan B.

What is better than a brownie?  Perhaps a brownie encased in a oatmeal crisp crust.  This recipe has a oatmeal base, a brownie layer, and a topping of oatmeal crisp.

The original recipe came from another of those little supermarket cookbooks, "110 Cookie Recipes" by Betty Crocker, 1987.   They were just called Oatmeal Brownies, but I think my name is more descriptive of what they are.

Instead of using the included recipe for the brownie layer, I use my favorite brownie recipe Indian Bars.  The Indian Bars use butter (which I prefer in baking) and call for less chocolate.  I am sure that any brownie recipe with similar ingredients could be used.  I have also included the original brownie recipe.

Since I like nuts in brownies, I use toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans in these, but the nuts are optional and can be left out.  I used old-fashioned oats in the brownies in the photo.

Oatmeal Crisp Brownies
2 1/2 c. quick cooking or old-fashioned oats
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 c. melted butter or margarine

Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl.  Combine well.  Stir in melted butter and mix well.  Reserve 1 cup of mixture.  Press remaining mixture in greased 13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes.  Coo1 5 minutes.

4 sq. (1 oz. ea.) unsweetened chocolate
2/3 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 to 1 c. chopped toasted nuts (opt.)

Melt chocolate and shortening together.  Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to sugar/egg mixture, blending well.  Add nuts, if using.  Spread mixture over baked oatmeal crust.  Sprinkle top evenly with reserved oatmeal mixture.  Pat oatmeal gently into top of brownie batter with the palm of your hand.  Bake at 350 degrees until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.  (Do not overbake.)  Cool.  Cut into about 1 1/2-inch squares.  Makes 4 dozen.  Note:  If using the Indian Bar recipe, the brownies will need to bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cooking with the Journal-Spicy Apple Bars




With apple picking season in full swing here, it was time to make something with apples.  This recipe can be eaten either as bar cookies or cut larger and served as a dessert with caramel sauce poured over it.

This has a small amount of cocoa in it.  If one is not a fan of chocolate, it can be omitted.  Chuck full of apple and nuts, held together by a little batter and brightened with spices this is a little different dessert.

The recipe comes from Farm Journal “Homemade Cookies” 1971.

Spicy Apple Bars
Homemade Cookies
Farm Journal Books, 1971

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sifted flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. cocoa
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 c. diced peeled apples (about 1 large)
1 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 c. coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Powdered Sugar

Cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time.  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and spices.  Add to creamed mixture.  Stir in oats, apples and walnuts.  Batter will be stiff.  Spread in greased 9x13x2-inch pan.  Bake in 375 degree oven about 25 minutes.  Cool slightly in pan on rack;  cut in 2 x 1 1/2-inch bars.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Or cut in larger squares and serve as dessert.  Makes about 3 doz. bars.

Linking to:  Ingredient Spotlight

Monday, October 10, 2011

DIY Groceries-Versatile Cookie Mix

Good Monday Morning and welcome to all my new followers.  Thanks to all who read this blog.  I hope that the information you find here is useful to you.

When I went to make this recipe this weekend, I discovered that I did not have enough brown sugar.  Now this is very unusual for me as I normally have back-ups for things like that.  We live 15 miles from town so we don't just jump in the car and go get something.  I asked my daughter to pick some brown sugar up on her way home from work.  Well, she brought dark brown sugar.  I wanted to get this post up anyway so there is just going to have to be a photo of another view of my kitchen until I get to town and get that brown sugar.

To help make holiday baking a little easier, here is another cookie mix that is handy to have on hand not just at Christmas time but all year long.

This cookie mix came from Betty Crocker.  I appeared in two of those little cookbooks that are available at the grocery store.   The recipe first appeared in 1987 in the cookbook “110 Cookie Recipes” and was called “Versatile Cookie Mix”.  That little cookbook cost $2.25.  The recipe next appeared in 1992 in the cookbook “Crazy about Cookies” and was called Super-7 Cookie Mix.  That little cookbook cost $2.50.  I have chosen to call it Versatile Cookie Mix.

Betty provided 11 cookies recipes that can be made from this mix.  With some creative thinking, more recipes can also be made.  The cookie mix can be used to make the crust for many recipes that call for similar ingredients.

Versatile Cookie Mix
from Betty Crocker

8 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 T. salt
2 t. baking soda
3 c. shortening

Mix flour, sugars, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a 6-qt. bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender just until mixture resembles small peas.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature no longer than 10 weeks.  Makes 16 c.  To use spoon cookie mix into measuring cup, level with straight-edge knife or spatula.

Cherry-Almond Drops
3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1 t. almond extract
2/3 c. chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 c. chopped toasted almonds

Mix cookie mix, egg and almond extract.  Stir in cherries and almonds.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2-inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool 1 minute before removing from baking sheet.  Makes about 4 doz. cookies

Date-Almond Drops:  Substitute vanilla for almond extract and cut-up dates for cherries.

Note:  You can use almost any addition you want  here, and any nuts can be used.  Some ideas:  raisins, chopped dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, pineapple.  Nuts:  walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia, hazel nuts.

3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1/4 c. dark molasses
1 egg
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground allspice

Mix cookie mix, molasses, egg, ginger and allspice.  Cover and refrigerate at  least 1 hour.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; dip tops in sugar.  Place balls, sugared side up, about 3-inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees until edges are set, 10 to 12 minutes (centers will be soft).  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Makes 3 to 4 doz. cookies

Sesame Wafers
1/3 c. sesame seed, toasted
3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1 egg
2 T. water
1 t. vanilla

Mix sesame seed and remaining ingredients.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2-inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet; flatten with greased bottom of glass dipped in sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool 1 minute before removing from baking sheet.  Makes about 3 doz. cookies

Chocolate-Brickle Drops
3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1/2 c. chocolate-flavored syrup
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. quick-cooking oats
3/4 c. almond brickle chips

Mix cookie mix, syrup, egg, and vanilla.  Stir in oats and brickle chops.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1-inch apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees until almost no indention remains when touched, 10-12 minutes.  Immediately removed from baking sheet.  Makes about 5 doz. cookies.

1/4 c. chocolate-flavored syrup
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
3 1/2 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
3/4 c. chopped, toasted nuts

Combine all ingredients and blend well.  Spread in greased 9x13-inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 28 to 32 minutes until center is set.  Cool.  Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.  Makes about 4 doz. brownies.  80 Calories per brownie.

Lemon Squares
1 1/2 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. grated lemon rind
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs
Powdered Sugar

Press Cookie Mix in bottom of ungreased 8x8x2-inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes or until set but not brown. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl of electric mixer and beat on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Pour over baked layer.  Bake about 25 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center.  Cool.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into 2-inch squares.  Makes 16 squares.

Chocolate Chip Bars
3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
2 T. water
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips ( or use any other flavor of your choice)
1/2 c. chopped toasted nuts

Mix Cookie Mix, water, vanilla, and egg in large bowl.  Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Spread in ungreased 9x9x2-inch pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.  Cut into 2x1 1/2-inch bars.  Makes about 24 bars.

Spicy Pumpkin Bars
1 can (16 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/2 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1 t. ground allspice
1 c. chopped toasted nuts
Cream Cheese Frosting

Beat pumpkin, oil and eggs in large bowl on medium speed 1 minute.  Stir in Cookie Mix, allspice and nuts.  Spread into greased 15 1/2x10 1/2x1-inch jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool.  Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Sprinkle with additional chopped nuts if desired.  Cut into 2 1/2x1 1/2-inch bars.  Makes about 4 doz.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, milk and vanilla in large bowl on low speed until smooth.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth and of spreading consistency.

Double Chocolate Drop Cookies
3 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1/2 c. chocolate-flavored syrup
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. quick-cooking oats
3/4 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Mix Cookie Mix, syrup, vanilla and egg in large bowl.  Stir in oats and chocolate chips.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched.  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Cool.  Makes about 5 doz.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies
2 1/2 c. Versatile Cookie Mix
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/4 c. or so strawberry, raspberry, apricot or other flavor jam

Mix all ingredients together except jam.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Shape each part into a strip about 2x12 inches.  Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Using handle of wooden spoon, press shallow groove lengthwise in center of each strip.  Carefully spoon 1 tablespoon jam into each groove.  Bake at 375 degrees 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet.  Cut each strip cross-wise into 1-inch slices.  Remove from baking sheet.  Makes about 5 doz.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cooking from the Blogs-What I Made

On Friday, Tiffany from Eat at Home posted this wonderful list of Fall recipes that she has on her blog.  On the list were a couple of recipes that I had meant to try but hadn't yet.  Since I was planning to cook a beef roast and make cookies I decided to use a couple of her recipes.

Since I had a sirloin tip roast on hand and an opened jar of applesauce in my refrigerator from making the Pumpkin/Apple Butter, I decided to make Harvest Apple Pot Roast.  I did a couple of things differently from Tiffany.  I like my roasts studded with garlic, so I sliced a couple of garlic cloves, stabbed holes all over the roast at about 1-inch intervals and inserted the sliced garlic pieces into the holes.  I also like to brown my meat before I put it in the slow cooker.  So I did that and poured the beef broth/applesauce mixture into the skillet and scraped up the browned bits from browning the roast and than added that to the slow cooker.  I was feeling a little lazy so I used dried, minced onions instead of fresh.

I generally do not like beef roasts done in the slow cooker.  They get too done to suit me, and I do not like my meat to fall apart as sometime happens.  I have found that, for me, most time estimates for cooking beef in the slow cooker are too long.  I have learned to check the meat with a meat thermometer after about 4 hours on  low.  In the case of this roast, it was done to medium rare at that time.  Since it was still a couple hours until dinner time, I had to leave the roast in so it was well done in the end.  It did hold it's shape, however, sliced nicely, and did not fall apart.

I found my gravy needed a little "pick me up" so I added a tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce to it.  I used a Italian Dressing Mix that I had purchased at Dollar Tree.  The "Good Seasons" brand Tiffany used may have been more flavorful.

I needed to make some cookies for my hubby to take with him today when he went with the snowmobile club to do some clean up in the mountains.  He likes molasses cookies, so I decided to try the Moosehunter Cookies.   Tiffany got this recipe from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  This is a Canadian blog that I also love.  These are chocolate cookies with a molasses undertone.  Without the molasses in them, the cookies would be very like the Chocolate Drop Cookies which were the very first recipes I posted on this blog.  There is no picture on that post, but if there was, it would look much like the photo above.  Those cookies do have nuts in them.  The Moosehunter Cookies (I love the name!) have a white icing to go on top.  Because my hubby was taking these in a sack lunch, I left the icing off.  I am sure that the cookies are even better with the icing addition.

Thanks, Tiffany, for two great recipes that I will make again and also for the reminder list of the delicious recipes on your blog.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken Fried Steak Cubes with Country Gravy

I must warn you that this is not a healthy dish.  It is, however, a dish we love, so I make it once a month or so.  I grew up eating this and my kids grew up eating this.

This is one of my favorite uses for round steak.  I like it because it is simple and easy and makes meat seem to go further.  I don’t generally use a recipe, but I tried to write it out for this post.

This is served with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, green beans or other veggie and sometimes hot biscuits.

I usually don’t bother, but to make this even more “chicken fried”, the steak cubes can be dunked in a beaten egg before being dredged in the flour.

Chicken Fried Steak Cubes with Country Gravy

1 to 1 1/2 lbs. boneless round steak, cut about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
2/3 c. flour
1 t. or more seasoned salt of your choice
1/4 to 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper (depending upon how “peppery” your family likes it
enough melted shortening or vegetable oil to cover the  bottom of what ever skillet is being used to a depth of at least 1/8 inch.
3 c. milk

Pound round steak with a meat mallet on both sides.  Cut steak into 1 1/2-inch cubes.  Dip cubes in beaten egg, if desired.  Combine flour with seasoned salt and pepper.  Dredge steak cubes in flour mixture.  This can be done by putting flour in a shallow pan and rolling the cubes in the flour or by putting the flour in a plastic bag (I repurpose a bread sack) and shaking the cubes a few at a time in the bag.  Reserve any excess flour mixture.
Heat the shortening or vegetable oil in a large skillet until hot.  Place the steak cubes in the skillet in a single layer, not letting them touch each other.  (Fry cubes in two batches if necessary).  Cook cubes 2 or 3 minutes on each side until there is a nice crust, turning to cook all sides.  Remove from the skillet and keep warm.
Measure fat left in skillet.  4 to 6 tablespoons fat  will be needed to thicken 3 cups of milk.  Return fat to skillet and reheat if necessary.  Measure reserved flour mixture.  6 tablespoons will be needed.  Add plain flour to seasoned flour to make 6 tablespoons if necessary.  Add flour to fat in skillet and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes to eliminate any raw flour taste.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, and cooking until gravy is thickened to your liking.  Add additional milk a little at a time if gravy is too thick.  Serve gravy over steak cubes and mashed potatoes.  Serves 4 to 6

An The Winner Is-------

The winner of the little cookbook "Cook is a Four Letter Word" is comment #2-Cindy B.  I have emailed Cindy and await her reply.  Thanks to those of you who entered.  There will be more give aways in the future.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crazy Cooking Challenge-Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I joined the Crazy Cooking Challenge over at Moms Crazy Cooking and found out that Chocolate Chip Cookies were the theme for September, I knew immediately what cookies I wanted to make. 

When I first started following cooking blogs I was lucky enough to find Mel’s Kitchen Café.  This was one of the first blogs that I signed up to get emails from.  She always has great recipes.  I have made a number of her recipes, and they were always successful.

One of Mel’s biggest hits at our house has been her Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies.  They are from 2008, and I am so glad that I stumbled across them while looking through her old posts.  The first time that I made these cookies, my husband decided that they were his new favorite chocolate chip cookie.

These are very different cookies, made using graham cracker crumbs and sweetened condensed milk.  There are no eggs in the dough which means that one can Eat The Cookie Dough.  Of course, I Would Never Do That.  To keep the cost of making these cookie down, I make homemade sweetened condensed milk which looks and tastes just like the commercial product.

Frugal Tip:  It takes about one sleeve of graham crackers to make the 1 1/2 cups needed for the recipe.  If I find that I am a tablespoon or two short, I just use some plain dry bread crumbs.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Mel leaves the nuts out, but I use them; and I always toast them for better flavor.

Mel's directions said to use an ungreased baking pan, but the cookies stuck and were difficult to remove when I did that, so I grease the cookie sheets or use foil or parchment paper to bake the cookies.  I have changed the directions to reflect this.


Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies
From Mel’s Kitchen Café
From Debbie R. via Aunt Marilyn

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
2 cups (1 package) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I usually leave these out due to my husband’s preference – the cookies are delicious with or without nuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk and butter until smooth. Add graham cracker crumb mixture; mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.  Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 9-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.


Please visit the other participants, pick you favorite recipe and vote for it.  Maybe your choice will be the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

Friday Finds

I am a bit in the oriental mode with my finds this week.  First up:

Six Sisters' Stuff

I most definitely need to schedule an oriental meal soon.  These would certainly fit right in, and if I made the recipe below in the slow cooker, I would be able to work on these at the last minute.

Six Sisters' Stuff

I know that I posted a link to a more traditional recipe for Orange Chicken last week, and I do want to try that one; but I also want to try this slow cooker version.  It will be interesting to compare the two.

The Apron Gal

This is a new-to-me blog, and this looks very good.  I like that she makes the Peanut Sauce from scratch.  I am always, always looking for new ways to prepare chicken.

Like Mother, Like Daughter-Food

This is one more way that I want to make chicken.  This is another new-to-me blog that I want to spend more time exploring. 

Life with Lissy

Of course, leave it to me to find a recipe that takes two low-calorie vegetables and turns them into a more high-calorie side dish.  This does look so yummy, but I would use fresh veggies in this probably.

Eat at Home

I certainly couldn't end the list without a dessert.  Tiffany at Eat at Home just posted this great looking recipe for Apple Crisp in the slow cooker.  I love to make desserts in the slow cooker.  It frees up the range to make other things, and you don't have to watch them all the time.

I am participating in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and am finding many great cookie recipes.  This week's linky is here.

Note:  All photos were taken by and belong to the owners of the respective blogs represented.

As always I am most anxious to see the great recipes that others have found.

Linking to Friday Favorite Finds

Thursday, October 6, 2011

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies-Graham Marshmallow Drops

There is an interesting thing about recipes.  There are those recipes that you see in print again and again and those that you see in print once and never seem to see again.  This is one of the later.

I clipped this one from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in the late 70’s or early 80’s.  It has been part of my Christmas baking ever since then.  This recipe is supposed to be an unbaked cookie, but it is more of a candy/confection to me.  The cookie are very easy to make, although there are a few tricks to follow.  Most people like these and are intrigued by the flavor.

Although there is a resting period involved in making these, they are relative quick to make and only require ingredients easily found in most pantries.

The one thing to remember when making the cookies is to be sure that the eggs are at room temperature.  I put my eggs in a bowl of warm water and let them set for 10 minutes or so.  The eggs must be beaten very well and added to the butter/sugar mixture very slowly, Stiring, Stiring. Stiring with a wire whisk while adding.  If there does seem to be a bit of cooked egg in the end, do not worry about it.  The egg cannot be detected in the finished cookies.

Unlike Rice Krispy Treats which require fresh marshmallows, marshmallows that have been around awhile can be used in these.  The marshmallows soften from being combined with the other ingredients.  Colored marshmallows are very nice to use.

I usually just crush one sleeve of graham crackers to make these.  That usually measures out to be between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup cracker crumbs.  To make a chocolate version of these, simply use chocolate graham crackers.  I like to use 1 t. almond extract and chopped almonds if making chocolate ones.  Be sure to toast any nuts used for better flavor.

One word of warning.  These can be quite addictive.



Graham Marshmallow Drops-BH&G
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. mini Marshmallows
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 c. flaked coconut

In heavy saucepan, melt butter, stir in sugar.  Remove from heat.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Add well beaten eggs very, very slowly, stirring constantly.  Return to heat; cook and stir over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; let stand 25 minutes at room temperature, stirring once or twice.  Add vanilla and stir.  Add graham cracker crumbs and mix well.  Blend in marshmallows, nuts, and coconut.  Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper.  Let set.  Makes 3 1/2 to 4 doz.

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