Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Caramel Dipping Sauce

I follow a blog called How Does She.  It features a wide range of ideas for enriching everyday life.  Recently they posted a most wonderful recipe for caramel dipping sauce.  It is called "Aunt Kay's Dipping Sauce"  It is really simple to make and when I put it in pretty  Mason jars it will make a lovely little gift.

Here is the recipe for Aunt Kay's Dipping Sauce from HowDoesShe.com:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I added this because desserts need vanilla!!)

*Makes 2 1/2 cups
In a medium saucepan combine sugars, syrup and butter.
Cook over medum heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil, about 5 – 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
Stir in whipping cream.
Pour into a jar and store in refrigerator.  It will thicken when cold.

When all the caramel sauce is gone you can make some more, or use the jar to make an easy baking soda air freshener.   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Forgot to Get Poultry Seasoning?

I don’t ever remember to purchase poultry seasoning.  So I searched a lot of online sources and came up with the recipe that combined several recipes to come up with one I thought our family would like best.  I am getting ready to mix this up again.  I think I mixed it up last Thanksgiving morning also!

Poultry Seasoning Mix

·       1 tablespoon dried rosemary
·       1 tablespoon dried sage
·       1 tablespoon dried thyme
·       1/2 teaspoon celery seed
·       1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
·       1 tablespoon dried marjoram
·       3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Mix all ingredients together.  Use in recipes that call for Poultry seasoning.  Store in a small spice jar.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

I was craving some Cheddar Bay Biscuits for dinner, but every recipe I looked at online had Bisquick as an ingredient.  Having none, I had to go to plan B- combining the best of several recipes to come up with a reasonable facsimile.  
The following recipe did the trick!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated onion (or onion powder)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼  teaspoon parsley flakes

Melt butter for topping in a small cup and blend in seasonings.  Set aside.
Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in butter and shortening until it looks like crumbs. 
Add milk and cheese. 
Blend just till all dry ingredients are moistened.
Scoop dough with ¼ cup scoop and place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes until tops are very lightly browned. 

Brush tops of warm muffins with toping mixture and serve fresh from the oven.

Makes 12-13 biscuits.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Miss J's German Potato Salad

Some of the best cooks in the world are found in church kitchens.  That would be true of my friend Miss J.  She works hard to make meals for church dinners and blesses people through sharing her cooking skills.  Recently she shared this recipe with me for German Potato Salad.  It is something my husband likes, but I have never really learned how to make.  I thought it would go great with the spare ribs he requested for Game Day 2012.

Miss J's German Potato Salad
(Just as she wrote it)

  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 1 med.onion chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tlbs. water
  • 3 tlbs sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4lbs small white potatoes
  • parsley

This makes enough for 2 or 3 people
For a large 5-6 quart  crock pot (used for serving)  you would have to double  and triple the vinegar, water and sugar.
Double everything else.
Fry bacon until crisp and can be broken into pieces.
Remove bacon, keeping the drippings in the pan.
Add onions and simmer until soft, then add vinegar,water and sugar.
Cook potatos in the skins just until tender. Peel and slice.

Layer potatoes, bacon salt and pepper, then add liquid and stir. 
Serve warm.

(If you don't have enough liquid.  I have used oil and vinegar and sugar add to potatoes and stir.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deciding is Half the Battle

I've been planning meals for 32 years, multiplied by 52 weeks, averaging 5 meals a week (with room for leftovers or meals elsewhere than home) and that comes out to about 8,300 meals.  Deciding what to have for dinner gets old and we often find ourselves making the same things over and over.  I like to try new recipes from time to time.  Tasteofhome.com is one of my favorite resources.  As my husband and I age and try to watch our diests, I lean more toward the recipes that come from Healthy Cooking, a sister publication of Taste of Home.  We aren't hardcore no-fat or no carbs or no salt, but seek to find balance in meals that focus on real foods prepared with good ingredients at home.   But again, I don't draw a hardline.  I have been known to prepare things with the proverbial cream of something soup and open a package of Betty Crocker potatoes from time to time!  

Here are some menu ideas that are coming up on my list.  I don't always keep to the list perfectly, but it helps me not to have what my friend Julie calls "the deer in the headlights" look at 4 pm when I realize it is time to make dinner.

February Meals
  • carrot broccoli soup, oatmeal muffins              
  • roast beef sandwiches (leftover roast beef)
  • crispy panko chicken, rice, peas       
  • pizza or out somewhere, please and thank you
  • spare ribs bbq chicken German potato salad (Jane’s recipe), veggies and dip
  • chicken parm with pasta, salad, italian bread
  • crock pot beef stew, Italian bread from Monday
  • Spanish rice with chicken               
  • mini meat loaf, baked potatoes, green beans
  • French toast                       
  • refrigerator options (I plan this in so I make sure to use up leftovers instead of tossing them.)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Planning

The past few weeks have not been my best meal weeks ever.  I've thrown together things at the last minute,  relied heavily on meals from the freezer and eaten a lot of pasta.  I've been reminded time and again over these last days that I work better with a menu.  Even if we don't keep strictly to the menu, it helps me to order my days more efficiently, shop more effectively and serve my family better meals. 

With the new year, and the need to renew our efforts at healthier eating, I am resolving to get back to menu planning.  Here is this week's menus.  I do mine on an Excel spread sheet and make notes when I need to plan ahead.  Perhaps they will serve as a springboard into new and creative meals, helping you to feed your family well.

Please note, I generally list only entrees, sometimes include sides, but not always... Knowing that i have a least a main dish planned is enough for me.

Monday           9-Jan           Vegetable omelets          
Tuesday           10-Jan           pork fried rice           prep chicken and wild rice soup
Wednesday           11-Jan           chicken and wild rice soup           blueberry muffins
Thursday           12-Jan           Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, corn  for Elisa :)
Friday           13-Jan           TUMC Prayer dinner     Lemon pasta with broccoli and chicken    
Saturday           14-Jan           hoagies                     
Sunday           15-Jan           pasta with meatballs           or meatball sandwiches