Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marie Callender Meals.....

If you are like me, sometimes you need a quick but nourishing meal. Marie Callender has always been thought of as a great brand. However, and this is only my humble opinion, I was disappointed in her frozen meals. I found the chicken to be delightful, the mashed potatoes, average and the corn was way over cooked. I followed the microwave directions to a tea.

Next, I tried the Creamy Chicken and Shrimp in a Parmesan Alfredo Sauce. This time, I used the conventional oven method. The chicken and shrimp were cooked nicely. The summer squash and broccoli were over cooked and the pasta was way over cooked. The sauce was very sparse. So again, I was disappointed. I have one more to try.
The last of the three I bought, is the Beef and Broccoli with rice. This time, I am going to thaw the dinner out, and then heat it in a conventional oven. Hopefully, that will keep it from overcooking the veggie and rice.
All in all, I have been disappointed in the frozen meals. If anyone has had a nice experience, I would love to hear from you. I won't be buying anymore of them. Sorry, Marie, I was disappointed. P.S. I cooked them for the least amount of time. I can't imagine what they would have tasted like if I cooked them for the longer time.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apple Crisp......

Every so often I get a sweet tooth. Nothing satisfies it like a nice warm apple crisp. You know, the type with an oatmeal crumble on top, warm and bubbly. Today it is cool enough to have the oven on; so an apple crisp is going into the oven for supper tonight.

Apple Crisp
6 apples - peeled, cored, and sliced
2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Toss apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat; pour into a 9-inch square baking dish. Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 forks to mash cold butter into the oats mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; spread over the apples to the edges of the baking dish. Pat the topping gently until even. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.
Till next time.......

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday - Cleaning Day......

Yes, today is the day to get the job done. I got out the steam mop and mopped the kitchen and bathroom. I've washed the rugs for both rooms and have started to vacuum the carpet. Next is dusting and wiping down the mirrors, sinks and commode. Whew! But it is Saturday and it must get done. Wiping down the cabinets can wait till next week. After that...A Strawberry Margarita!!
Till next time......

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicken Loaf.......

This recipe was given to me by a neighbor in 1961, so I guess that classifies it as vintage. She had fixed it for their dinner and the aroma from her apartment was so yummy; I had to ask what she had made. She offered the recipe and who was I to say no!! The best part of this recipe is that it is good hot or cold the next day. Just fix a nice salad and slice off some of the chicken loaf. Even my husband liked it cold; which meant I could make it again. This is not a gelatin loaf.

Chicken Loaf
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 chicken, roasted
1 cup mushroom soup
2 cups soft bread crumbs
3 eggs
parsley
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 small onion, minced
1/4 cup green pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
Roast chicken till tender and take off of the bones. Then combine chicken and other ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan in a pan of water for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. 
Till next time.......

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing......


I like Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and especially the vintage recipes. This is a recipe my Gram made in the summer time for wilted lettuce. It was always a favorite of my Gramp and me. It's a very simple sweet and sour dressing. A pile of wilted lettuce with hard boiled egg slices was a popular summer salad from my childhood. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Pennsylvania Dutch Sweet and Sour Dressing 
Fry several (2-3) strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled.
Add to the bacon grease:
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
dash of salt
Bring to a boil, pour over fresh garden lettuce.
Adjust the sugar to your own taste.
Till next time......

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Almond Maple Granola........

I love to have something crunchy with my morning yogurt. Many of the recipes call for honey. I personally don't care for that taste in my granola. This recipe calls for Maple Syrup and will add  that something special to your yogurt. I didn't know until recently that; you could interchange sweeteners in granola. I learn something new everyday!!

Almond Maple Granola
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (can use honey or light corn syrup)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in the vegetable oil to combine. Add the oats and almonds and fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and almonds are thoroughly coated.Turn the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer. Using a stiff metal spatula, compress the oat mixture until very compact.Bake until the top is lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Break the cooled granola into pieces as large or as small as you like. Stir in the dried cranberries and dried apricots. The granola can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Till next time.......




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies.........

I like simple cookies and nothing is easier than these Brown Sugar Cookies. You make the dough, pat it into a log and cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is chilled and you can slice it in 1/4" slices. That's it, how simple is that? You can use either light or dark brown sugar and your choice of nuts. I like the Slivered Almonds and English Walnuts best. But that is totally a personal choice. Have fun and enjoy. You can also bake a dozen and keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator for another day. 
Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Cream butter, add brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and nut meats, mix well. Mix and sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and add to butter, sugar and egg mixture. Pat dough into a roll and wrap in plastic wrap and chill until stiff enough to slice into 1/4" slices and bake at 350F degrees for about 10-11 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies if dough is sliced 1/4 inch in thickness.
Till next time.....

Friday, July 18, 2014

French Apple Pie.....

With all the good apples, peaches and other fruits coming in season, I thought I would share one of my favorites with you. This recipe dates back to 1957 and is still a winner!
French Apple Pie
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 
dash of nutmeg
6-7 cups sliced apples
1 1/2 tsp butter
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup flour
Heat oven to 425F. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Mix lightly through the sliced apples. Heap high in 9" pie pan lined with pastry. Dot with butter. Mix crumb topping ingredients and sprinkle on apples. Bake 50-60 minutes till apples are done. If topping is getting too brown, cover with foil for remaining baking time.
Till next time......


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tony and Luigi's Spread........

Do you remember eating this cheese spread at Tony and Luigi's in Lincoln, NE.? If you're like me, it was one of the favorite things about eating there. Tony and Luigi's served Italian bread with each meal with a broiled cheese topping. Yum, so-ooo good. Try this cheese spread. Tony and Luigi's closed in 1993 after over 50 years serving the people of the Lincoln area with some of the finest Italian cuisine and mouthwatering steaks. It was truly a Lincoln icon.

Tony and Luigi's Spread
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
3/4 large carton small curd cottage cheese
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Blend ingredients well with mixer.
Refrigerate 6 hours before serving with toasted Italian bread, crackers, veggies or chips.
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cauliflower Dip....

Sometimes we forget that the old recipes are sometimes the best recipes. This one is simple takes very few ingredients and really tastes good with cauliflower and other veggies. I got this at one of the rare times I substituted at a Bridge Party.
Cauliflower Dip
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp onion, grated
1/2 cup chili sauce (Heinz)
1 small pkg cream cheese, softened
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients and allow to chill for 2 hours.
This is not a hot dip at all. It's just a very tasty one and one you will want to keep in your repertoire.
Till next time.....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Garbage Bowls........

Since this is my blog, I have the right to my opinion. First of all, let me say, I have nothing against Rachael Ray and I wish her the very best in all her business ventures. That said, I have to comment on the idiocy of buying a bowl specifically for garbage! Any bowl in your cupboard can hold scraps, paper, etc that you want to throw out to keep your working space clean. She sells this one size for $19.99 and it is nothing more than a Melamine bowl. They are probably making millions for Rachael Ray and I applaud the marketing tactic. But ladies,  wake up...do you really have to buy a melamine bowl specifically for garbage when you probably have a bowl in your cupboard that would do the same thing? Is it worth $19.99, "to be just like Rachael Ray"?  I never stop being amazed at what people will buy.
Till next time......

Friday, July 11, 2014

Creamy Chili Dip........

This dip is perfect for veggies of any kind. I like it with cauliflower. With all the lovely veggies this summer, fix a tray of mixed veggies and surprise your guests or family with this delicious dip. Garnish with chili sauce and strips of green scallions.
Creamy Chili Dip 
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp grated onion
1/2 cup chili sauce (Heinz is what I use)
1 pkg cream cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Soften the cream cheese and mix all ingredients together. Make early in the day so the flavors have a chance to blend.
Till next time......

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lemon Fruit Dip........

This is a dip recipe from a summer picnic I went to. All I remember is it was so-ooo good and I had to leave the picnic early due to being overcome by the heat. I sure won't forget that day. I was sitting in the shade, but it was so HOT that day, no breeze and I got so dizzy.
Lemon Fruit Dip
2 cups sour cream
1 pkg (1 oz) vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup milk
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Whisk sour cream, pudding mix, milk, lemon juice and rind.
Serve with fresh fruit. This will yield approx. 2 cups of dip.
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ceviche.........

Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish. The lime and lemon juices "cooks", alters the structure, color and texture of the fish. It is essential to use only very fresh fish for this dish. Ceviche is usually made with sea bass or flounder, but just about any fish or shellfish will work. I was first introduced to this dish at Pine Haven Campground in 1983. At first, I wrinkled up my nose at it, but after tasting it, I am a firm believer that this is a delicious dish. Served in a martini glass, it makes a beautiful appetizer.
 



Ceviche
1 lb. fresh fish, 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice, (approx. 3 limes)
1/4 of a cucumber, 1/4 inch dice
Marinate 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Add:
2 med tomatoes, diced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oregano
1 or 2 Jalapenos, minced
1/2 cup Zesty Italian dressing
Optional: Parsley or Cilantro, as to taste
Mix with fish mixture and will keep several weeks in the refrigerator. Mine never lasts more than a few days. This is a great dish to take to a picnic. It can be served with crackers or toasted baguettes slices.
Till next time......

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce.......

The word Mustard, comes from the Latin words mustum (much) and ardens (burning); so that alone says it is hot.

Recipes come to us from all over. This one came from a beach party in Delaware. We all brought a dish and sat around  enjoying the evening and the ocean breezes. One lady brought a tray of salami and cheese cubes and this great mustard dipping sauce. Along with a cold beer or margarita, this was amazing. Hence, I asked for the recipe. This is hot like a Chinese Mustard, but taken in moderation is so good . I think it is better than Chinese Mustard!!
Hot Mustard Dipping Sauce
1 large can of Coleman's Mustard powder
1 cup of vinegar
Mix these ingredients in a pint jar overnight.
1 egg, beaten
1 cup of sugar
Place all ingredients in a double boiler and cook until thick, approximately 25-35 minutes. Keeps in refrigerator a long time. Mine always disappeared fast so I never worried about how long it would keep. 
Till next time.......

Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July.......

4th of July is a day to celebrate our Independence and freedoms with friends. Nothing like an indoor picnic to escape the ants, gnats and bees. With all the goodies at this picnic, I'm sure all the little "uninvited guests" would find them. What could be better at a picnic; than BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon, calico beans, lemon meringue pie, chocolate mini cupcakes and ice tea?
  A cheerful basket to hold all the tableware and napkins add to the festivities.

Of course, every table has to have a centerpiece. So these floating stars are just the ticket to brighten up any table.

A delicious little bite of sweetness after any picnic is a mini chocolate cupcake. Just enough, but not too much.

After letting lunch settle and thinking about running around; it was time for dessert; a delicious lemon meringue pie. So yummy! And now it's time for the fireworks.Happy 4th of July Everyone!
Till next time......

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freedom........

With the 4th of July coming soon, I wanted to take today to give thanks to our Military, present and deceased, and the many Civilians working with the Military, for all they have done to preserve our freedoms. We can never thank them enough for the price they have paid and are paying for the freedom we enjoy. But today, I say a heartfelt thank you, to all of you. May we always enjoy a free America.
Till next time.......