I was in a tizzy over what to make for the ladies. It was my turn to host the monthly tea gathering and I wanted to make something different to see if I could be the tea party hostess with the mostest.Continue reading
I like to use the brand names for ingredients in my cookbook recipes. Not because they are necessarily any better than the generic brands, but because they often produce a better recipe result, and therefore, make family recipes more consistent. Twenty years from now, if someone makes one of the recipes from your family cookbook, will they really get the same taste from a “cherry flavored gelatin” as they do from cherry Jell-O?
For example, if I want to make Tres Leches Cake, I will always use a certain brand name product (Eagle Brand) because I like the taste better. Believe me, I have experimented with assorted sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and whipped cream for the Tres Leches Cake ingredients, and there is a certain combination that is unbeatable together (and guess what, they all are the brand name products).
So, when I add the brand names to the recipes in my family cookbook, like A.1 Steak Sauce, or Bisquick, or Corn Flakes, I respect the product and always pay attention to making sure I’ve properly identified it with capital letters and ® where appropriate. (The Symbol Builder in my cookbook software makes this really easy.)
Also, the brand name is a kind of shorthand that says it all. It conveys an expected result. Like going to a certain fast food hamburger place (McDonalds) when you are out of the country for two weeks and need a fry fix. Or using Shredded Wheat instead of “large or mini shredded whole wheat cereal biscuits.” (How insane is that?) But I have indeed seen this generic format use in many family cookbooks. Most often it is used in media, like newspaper food sections and TV food shows (because they are supposed to be neutral, you think? Hogwash! It’s because they don’t want to endorse a specific product without getting paid for advertising it).
But your family cookbook can (and should) be specific with brand names so you can preserve the taste of family recipes and pass them on to be made the way they were intended.
Okay, soapbox is over. Going to eat my nutlike cereal nuggets (Grape Nuts), and have a cup of coffee (Nescafe©) with a little powdered non-dairy coffee creamer (Coffee-Mate) and non-nutritive sweetener (NutraSweet).
Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. They can be lumpy, smooth, thick, or thin, and they will still be delicious. Mashed potatoes have a certain quality that makes fans know “everything will be okay.”
Mashed potatoes are versatile, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether steamed, boiled, or broiled, mashed potatoes can be among the easiest of foods to prepare. Although not based on scientific evidence, it seems the texture of mashed potatoes also has something to do with its popularity as a comfort food.
5 Ways to Make a Splash with Mashed Potatoes
1. Sauté 1 cup chopped onions and 1 cup sauerkraut together and stir into your favorite basic mashed potatoes. Top with crumbled bacon or bacon bits and you have a great Oktoberfest-style dish to serve alongside bratwurst.
2. Add 1 cup finely diced ham and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese to leftover mashed potatoes for a hearty all-in-one approach to dinner.
3. Snip 1 teaspoon of fresh young rosemary and add to cold or room temperature mashed potatoes. Heat in microwave for a few minutes until warm, then add ½ stick butter and 1 teaspoon powdered oregano. Stir well, and then continue heating in microwave until bubbly.
4. Mix 2 ounces of cream cheese and 2 ounces of sour cream into hot mashed potatoes. Plop in some strong horseradish (to taste) and salt, and serve alongside hot sliced beef.
5. Stir ¼ cup of fresh Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon dried Italian parsley into mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes as a comfort food has long been recognized in the culinary world and academia. With winter coming upon us in mere weeks, it makes sense to get our mashed potato recipe repertoire all figured out, (and go buy the items needed to have a full-blown mashed potato experience!)
In most every family cookbook there is a special recipe for corned beef and cabbage. It’s a true American invention to celebrate the Irish roots of many immigrants who fled to the United States after hard times.
Corned beef and cabbage: perfect for St Patrick’s Day
Few Irish actually could afford to eat corned beef, and if they did, it was a rare occasion.
Whether a real or make-believe tradition, having a nice slice of corned beef with a little cabbage and some boiled potatoes surely is not a bad thing. After all, the corned beef and cabbage meal ranks right up there with the turkey and stuffing tradition at Thanksgiving.
I like to make my corned beef and cabbage in a slow cooker. It is juicy and tender, and has a wonderful flavor. Plus, it is very easy!
I call my dish Lucky Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Lucky Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe
- 3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
- 3 cups water
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 pound carrots, cut into chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 head cabbage, cut into wedges
In a large hot skillet, sear the corned beef brisket a few minutes until brown on both sides. This helps seal in the juices and adds flavor to the meat.
De-glaze the pan with the water and add it to the slow cooker’s crock. Place browned corned beef brisket into the water and top with contents of the spice packet (press the spices into the meat if you can).
Add the onion, potato, and carrot chunks. Add garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper (use more or less as you prefer). Arrange cabbage wedges on top of everything.
Cover and slow cook for 8 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
Remove bay leaf before serving with whole grain mustard or creamed horseradish.
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Add a nip of Irish Whiskey and whipped cream to some coffee for your dessert, and you’ve really got something almost Irish. After all, everyone in America is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!
Soon there will be traditional tailgating parties and potlucks to contend with as the crisp air of autumn beckons neighbors and strangers to gather for one common cause — football.
If you are lucky enough to volunteer to bring a dessert, you can’t go wrong with these delicious but easy mini-tarts that get their quickness from ready-made vanilla wafers. I don’t know where the recipe originated, but here are two slightly different versions that are sure to please hungry game-goers, game-watchers, or other gathering crowds.
Mini-Tarts – Version 1
These are the first mini-tarts I ever tasted, and I remember how remarkably quick and easy they always are to make.
1 package cupcake liners
2 8 oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pie filling, jam or preserves
Mix first five ingredients for the mini-tarts together with fork, eggbeaters or an electric mixer until filling is light and fluffy. Put one vanilla wafer in each cupcake liner. Spoon cream cheese mixture over vanilla wafer until each liner is two-thirds full. Bake in 350 degree—¦ oven for 20-25 minutes until filling is just set. Cool in pans. Top with your choice of pie filling, jam or preserves. Makes about 20 mini-tarts.
Mini-Tarts – Version 2
I have successfully substituted almond or coconut flavoring in this recipe, which leaves out the lemon juice, and has a different temperature for baking. Both recipe versions are easy to make and taste great.
1 package foil cupcake liners
2 8 oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 Vanilla Wafers
Pie filling, jam or preserves
Use foil liners with a vanilla wafer placed on the bottom of each cupcake liner. Mix cream cheese, sugar and eggs until well blended. Add vanilla and mix well. Fill liners to approximately ¾ full on top of the vanilla wafer. Bake in a 325 degree—¦ oven for 25 minutes, or until filling is set firm. Cool. Top with pie filling, preserves, fruit, sugared pecans, toasted coconut, or shaved chocolate. Makes about 20.
I have had this recipe for a long time, and have added it to my family cookbook already. You may want to add this one to your family recipe cookbook, too. Just cut your favorite version and paste it into your own family cookbook template.
Sweet…tart…sugary…lemony…can you think of a better thirst quencher than a Lemon Shake-Up?
Don’t they bring back happy memories of carnivals and festivals?
But from what I can see in my recipe box, there are two totally separate opinions on the best way to make these satisfying, thirst-quenching lemon drink drinks. Should you use a sugar syrup or just sugar?
I pulled two recipes from my trusty recipe binder (which, by the way, features luscious lemons!) – one of each type. Try them both. Then let us know which is your favorite!
EASY Lemon Shake-Up
1. Pour 1/2 cup sugar into a 16 oz. cup.
2. Cut 2 lemons in half.
3. Hand squeeze lemons; drop juice and lemons into cup.
4. Add ice as desired, and fill cup with water.
5. Cover the cup and shake it vigorously until the sugar is dissolved.
Sugar Syrup Lemon Shake-Up
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (reserve rinds)
1. Combine sugar and water.
2. Boil for 5 minutes; cool to room temperature.
3. Add lemon juice.
4. Strain and keep refrigerated.
To make Lemon Sugar Syrup Shake-Up
1. Add approximately 2 tablespoons of syrup to each glass of ice water.
2. Add the rind of one/half lemon that you squeezed to get the juice.
3. Cover glass and shake to blend.
So….what do you think? Easy or sugary – or both? Let us know! Or if you have a BETTER way to make lemon shake-ups in YOUR recipe box, please share!
Tomato sauce. It’s ubiquitous in Italian-style dishes. You use it so frequently that you probably never write it down. But why not take a few minutes and write it down for the rest of us? Once you’ve got your tomato sauce base in your recipe box, it’s going to be much easier to share with other family members and friends.
Here’s my tried and true recipe for a fabulous tomato sauce.
Basic Tomato Sauce
• 3/4 cup chopped onion
• 4-6 cloves minced garlic (minced)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes (yes, I know fresh is better. But sometimes…)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 bay leaf
• 1(6 ounce) can tomato paste
• 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a pot over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is soft.
- Stir in tomatoes, salt, sugar and bay leaf.
- Cover, reduce to low, and simmer 70-100 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, basil, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer 30 minutes more.
With Mardi Gras festivities officially underway in New Orleans on Feb. 24, it seems only fitting that we let the good times roll with a better understanding of Creole and Cajun food. The spicy delights of both cuisines are finding their way into my current cookbook project, which is creating a family cookbook collection of regional American foods.
The last time I was in New Orleans (or Nawlins, Nola, N’orluns, if you prefer), I attended a wedding. It was some time ago, and I managed to sneak away from the pre-nuptial activities one morning to have breakfast at Brennan’s. It is still the most expensive single off-the-menu breakfast I have ever eaten, and it was glorious.
While dining in New Orleans, it never really bothered me that various dishes I ate while there mostly came from two very different French-speaking cultures: Creole and Cajun. While I’m not going to discuss the history of the region, suffice to say that Creoles are considered descendants of immigrant colonials from Spain and France, while Cajuns are descended from French Canadian exiles.
Their two very different origins make for some very interesting dishes, some that I’m including in my family cookbook collection. Here are some ways to tell the difference between Creole and Cajun food:
Characteristics of Creole Food
– Spanish/French colonial influence with African and Italian undertones
– From cosmopolitan city dwellers (The French Quarter)
– Rich glorious sauces made with herbs and mild spices
– Lots of butter, cream and high-end ingredients
– Jambalaya will be reddish and made with tomatoes
– Not usually hot in spice intensity
– Can be quite showy, colorful
Characteristics of Cajun Food
– French Canadian influence with French and Southern undertones
– From country swampland dwellers who fish, trap and hunt (The Bayou)
– Features local victuals, such as alligator, possum, turtle
– Ingenious rustic gravies made with inexpensive ingredients (port fat, spices, fresh garden patch pickings)
– Jambalaya will be brown, without tomatoes
– Usually hot in spice intensity, and may be blackened
– Generally modest one-pot food, plain and simple
As I’ve said, which cuisine I eat is of little matter to me as long as it tastes good. And I haven’t had a single thing in New Orleans that I didn’t like. I can’t wait to add several more Creole and Cajun recipes to my new family cookbook collection of regional American foods. I bet you might enjoy doing the same thing!
Let me in on some of my favorite tips for perfect chocolate chip cookies that will definitely be going in my own family cookbook:
- Resist temptation and let the dough sit for 36 hours in the fridge. This allows the liquids in the dough to penetrate the flour. Deeper penetration gives the chocolate chip cookies a richer flavor and a more consistent color and texture. Apparently all the great cookie bakeries in New York follow this advice.
- Six inches is the ideal size for chocolate chip cookies. It gives you three zones–the crunchier rim, the soft center, and that great in-between zone that has the most flavor. Any smaller and they lose those interior zones. Any bigger and I find them impossible to flip!
- Sprinkle some sea salt on top to give it added dimension right before baking.
Here are the ingredients listed in my personal recipe:
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or feves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt. Bake at 350° F for 18-20 minutes.
My advice is to forgo the chocolate disks if you can’t get them and just use good ol’ fashioned Nestle semi sweet chocolate chips.
I made these last year for Thanksgiving and they were such a hit. I was asked to please, please make them for this year! So here you go. So simple! You only need three ingredients to make these super simple Acorn Treats, and it made my kids, ahem, squirrely for more!
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + chilling
48 milk chocolate kisses
48 Nutter Butter BitesNutritional Facts1 cookie equals 47 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 16 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.
48 milk chocolate kisses
48 Nutter Butter BitesAdd to Shopping List
Nutritional Facts1 cookie equals 47 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 16 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small round tip. Fill with remaining melted chocolate. Pipe a stem onto each acorn. (I found it much easier to stick a chocolate chip or peanut butter chip to the top.) Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.
Sometimes I wonder who first tried to eat an artichoke (and why). Was it some hungry creature searching for moisture in the artichoke being watched by an equally hungry caveman (no offense intended to the Geico Neanderthals)? Either one must have been pretty desperate to rip off all those prickly artichoke leaves.
Nowadays, most people use a very sharp knife to cut through the fibrous artichoke leaves to remove the thorny leaf tips. Personally, I like to peel off any scruffy outer leaves from the artichoke, and then snip off the remaining artichoke leaf tips with my kitchen shears. (I find that I have better control and won’t slice my fingers in case I have a senior moment.)
Here are two quick, simple, tasty artichoke recipes (most) anyone will like:
1. STEAMED ARTICHOKES & LEAF DIP
My favorite way to eat an artichoke is steamed. Honestly, they aren’t much of a stomach filler. Just a “green” taste, really, and fun for party conversation. Although lots of people eat the steamed artichoke leaves dipped in melted butter, my version of a leaf dip is richer and a good excuse to eat something more satisfying.
Steam trimmed artichokes until the heart is soft (when you can easily stick a fork into the bottom and feel no resistance). The cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the artichoke. Drain and set aside to cool. Serve artichokes on a salad plate (or small bowl) with Leaf Dip, as follows, on the side.
Use about ½ cup of mayonnaise for every artichoke serving. For each serving, add garlic powder, ground oregano (or ground marjoram), lemon juice, and salt to taste. Add enough of the garlic and oregano until you are scared you’ve added too much. Mix well. The dip should have a green tint to it. Let it sit and mellow while the artichokes cook. Serve in small dipping dishes with the artichoke. (Great for other vegetables, too.)
2. ARTICHOKE PASTA SALAD
This artichoke recipe is so easy, I shouldn’t even include it here. But we all need some quick, simple and tasty recipes once in awhile. I like this dish because pasta salad is usually so bland, and this “recipe” has a bright piquant flavor thanks to marinated artichoke hearts.
Make your favorite pasta salad recipe, using bow tie pasta, some capers, black olives and chopped roasted red pepper for color. Take a whole jar of marinated artichoke hearts (any size) and puree them in the blender. Pour over the pasta salad and toss. Instantly better, no matter how much dressing you had in it previously. (This is a great quick, simple, tasty sauce substitute for pesto or red tomato sauces, too.)
Try my artichoke recipe ideas next time you want to do an artichoke dish. If you like them, I wouldn’t mind if you want to add them to your family cookbook using the recipe template provided in our cookbook software. Check out more artichoke recipes via your favorite search engine on the Internet.
How many of us really follow untried clipped-out recipes? I will try to follow a new recipe the first time exactly as written. I have a tendency to get creative and want to step out of the box, perhaps too often, so following a recipe exactly is pretty taxing for me. But, out of respect for the recipe’s creator, I will follow it, but only once.
After that, I am inspired to take license and go with the flow. Perhaps I don’t have any nutmeg to enhance the lobster thermidor. Well, allspice might just do. Or, maybe that particular day I prefer a different twist by adding jalapeno peppers to a cream cheese spread instead of the usual olives (because I forgot to stock up on them last time I went to market). A creative approach can often improve a timid recipe and make it outstanding enough to include in your family cookbook.
What kinds of creative spice substitutions can be successful? In general, it seems spices that we naturally associate with sweet dishes (cinnamon, nutmeg, Chinese 5-spice powder) can most likely be substituted for one another. Likewise for the savory-dish herbs, such as oregano, thyme, or marjoram, or something else from your spice rack.
(Product plug! Our adjustable spice rack lets you be especially creative with your spices!)
Of course, only your own taste buds will know for sure, but don’t be afraid to experiment. You may have a family winner to star in your next cookbook software creation.
During the summer, I simply cannot eat enough fresh home grown tomatoes. The flavor of a just-picked tender home grown tomato is unsurpassed, and conjures a fond memory of grandma’s table with loads of fresh vegetables from her bountiful garden.
Perhaps that is why I still have a tomato bush, year in, year out. There is something compelling about home grown tomatoes. In fact, I once heard someone say that if you don’t know what to talk about with a stranger, even a famous one, the subject of home grown tomatoes always breaks the ice.
To make one of my favorite Christmas dinner dishes — a simple savory pie made with fresh home grown tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, and a pie shell — I have to plan ahead. Before the frost hits, I ceremoniously pick any remaining tomatoes on my vine (which typically are still green). I wrap up the tomatoes in newspaper or paper towels and place them in a lightweight container (like a Styrofoam cooler). Then I add one medium size apple (any kind) to the container, and cover it all with the lid. Like a Christmas miracle, the home grown tomatoes will ripen slowly and burst with flavor as if they’d been kissed by the sun.
Below is a family recipe from my family cookbook for single-crust home grown tomato pie, a Christmas tradition in our house that is lovely served warm as a side dish, and just as wonderful all by itself.
Matilda’s Christmas Tomato Pie
frozen pie shell, baked 15 minutes according to package directions
5 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced thick
1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise (do not use Miracle Whip)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Salt & pepper, to taste
Slice the ripe home grown tomatoes and fan the slices around the bottom of the partially cooked pie shell. Sprinkle tomatoes generously with salt and pepper. Combine mayonnaise and cheddar cheese, then spread this mixture evenly over the top, making sure all tomatoes are covered. Bake for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Topping should be slightly browned. Slice and enjoy.
Some cooks, like Paula Deen, prefer their tomato pie with herbs and several cheeses, but I’m more of a purist and prefer the true tomato taste. See which one you like best, and by all means, please include this recipe in your family cookbook, if you so desire. Once you try home grown tomato pie, you’ll wonder how you’ve survived Christmas dinner without it.
It’s early September and yes, you really should be thinking about Christmas. At least a little. If you want to put together a lovely family memento that everybody will love, get started now on making a family cookbook.
Here are 5 reasons to start now:
- It will save a lot of money. American families averaged $830 in Christmas presents last year. With our software, plus printing and binding and maybe a recipe binder or two, you can still come in at under $85 and have gifts for 7-10 people! That’s around $8/person. And it won’t be a “cheap” gift–it’ll be something sincere and heartfelt!
- Making a cookbook as a Christmas gift is pretty easy. Get our cookbook software (Matilda’s Cookbook Software), type up your recipes, add some photos, select a template and print. Stick them in our recipe binders or have them spiral bound at a local photocopy shop for a few dollars (or do both–the nice binder for the real cooks and spiral bound for everyone else).
- It does take a little time though to do it right. You’ll want to pick through your recipes, collect recipes from others in the family, get photos if you want them. Do you really want to be doing this in December with everything going on? Do it now and save yourself the headache.
- It will be something everybody will talk about. You’ve just made something that is filled with memories of great meals. You WILL hear somebody say, “I haven’t had that in ages!”
- It will be a family tradition. A few years from now others will have used your cookbook and have suggestions to add. Add them in, hit print, and voila, another year of Christmas presents covered!
We’ve had thousands of great stories from our customers who have put together their own family cookbook, and you can do it to. Get started with our software and plan for a really fun Christmas present!
So you’ve bought a wood spoon or spatula (or both) from somewhere (hopefully us right here!) If you bought bamboo, you are pretty much done. It’s such a hard, non-porous wood that it’s not going to absorb a lot of oil. If you bought something of another hardwood, such as the beechwood in the above example, you should apply a quick coat of oil to it to give it a much more interesting, pretty color, as well as vastly improve it’s life span.
We really recommend walnut oil. It gives this really rich, interesting color, and it smells absolutely fantastic.
Just go to your local grocery store’s olive oil section, and you’ll probably find one bottle somewhere in there of walnut oil. Buy the smallest bottle, because you’ll really only use a tablespoon or two of it. Pour it onto a paper towel, give it a wipe, and in 20 seconds you’ll be shocked at the difference!
If you’re likely to cook for somebody with very extreme nut allergies, there are other (less deep and pretty) alternatives. Coconut oil, rapeseed oil and mineral oil all work well.
Here’s a look at own tests of oiling spoons and spatulas with different household cooking and mineral oils:
A quick google search of course brings you to heavy hitters like AllRecipes.com and FoodNetwork.com, but sometimes you want quality over quantity (and clever people who know how to top search engines). Besides, a lot of the recipes on those sites are kind of bland, or have been modified 20 ways until Tuesday to make palatable in the comments, which means what gets voted up isn’t actually what was cooked.
Here are a few of my own favorite recipe websites organized for carefully curated cooking content:
- Serious Eats has a fantastic Food Lab column that I love. Beautiful easy-to-follow photographed instructions and fantastic recipes. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a genius! Plus, they describe not only what you are doing but why, which can be helpful in learning cooking in general.
- The Kitchn is another genius recipe site organized with just fantastic quality. You’ll be in there for years trying to get through it all.
- I love Nonna’s Cooking for it’s super-simple interface and lots of user additions.
- Budget Bytes is the best site on the internet for cooking within your means! Beth not only tells you how to cook, but what it’ll cost per dish. Smart.
- BBC Good Foods proves that the British do indeed cook well.
- Food Wishes does a really good job with photography and youtubes of the dishes. Browse there and get hungry! Here’s a nice one I made recently:
- Saveur has more of an international, experimental flare, as does
- Smitten Kitchen is great for it’s fantastic recipes organized by seasonality.
- The New York Times cooking section is brilliant because they thoroughly test everything, and the selection is enormous.
Well, these are my faves. What do you look for?
Want to try making fried chicken like the Colonel? We don’t have the Official Recipe, but our test kitchen came up with the closest equivalent. Give it a shot!
1 frying chicken, cut into frying pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Pkt. (dry) Good Seasons Italian Dressing (The 11 or so herbs and spices!)
1 Envelope Lipton (or other brand) Tomato Cup of Soup
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup milk
Vegetable oil to cover bottom of your skillet; about 1/2 inch deep.
1. Combine eggs and milk. Set aside.
2. Combine flour with the Italian dressing and soup mix.
3. Dip chicken pieces in milk-egg mixture and roll them in the
flour-seasoning mixture. Repeat procedure.
4. Fry pieces over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, turning often.
5. Remove from fire. Drain and serve.
The New York Times has a fantastic collection of cold soup recipes on their site. The secret to cold soup is that it has to be ICE COLD, not luke warm. Not even kind of cold. It must rattle your teeth with its icy goodness!
I took the above screenshot of the page because I just loved the layout. Follow the link to learn all the recipes, but here’s my favorite:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot. Add 3 peeled and cubed potatoes and 3 trimmed and chopped leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add 4 cups stock. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Purée, then let cool. Stir in 1/2 cup or more cream before serving. Garnish: Chopped chives.
(And yes, the title of this post is a slight allusion to one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.)
How many recipes for rotten food are in your family cookbook? Or, how many recipes in your family cookbook include ingredients classified as rotten food? I bet you have quite a few!
Consider that some of the most beloved rotten food tastes from the Americas and Europe (especially France) are based on some form of decomposition, decay, or the result of deliberately drying, fermenting, spicing, or injecting foods with “good” bacteria.
It is always amusing to try and fathom why someone would taste, let alone eat, some of the most disgusting rotten food products out there (and pay extra for them). Culture certainly has a lot to do with rotten food being coveted. Smelly, salty things don’t seem like such attractions, however, go most anywhere in the world and you’re bound to find at least one food that is prized for its putrid qualities.
Still think you don’t have any rotten food recipes in your family cookbook? Try these on for size:
21 Rotten Foods Found in Your Family Cookbook
Cured meat & hams (Parma, Rosette, Smithfield)
Sour bean curd
Wild game birds
Most of the rotten foods in the list above are an acquired taste. And, coincidentally, most rotten foods are the result of someone trying to extend the usefulness of a food by extending its due date (aka preservation to prevent spoilage), thus staving off hunger.
Can’t really blame/credit any one person for the “discovery” of cheese, or the process of fermenting soy sauce or beer. It is just interesting to imagine why anyone would try rotten food in the first place.
Well, I wouldn”t recommend adding a section in your family cookbook called “Rotten Foods,” but it is fun to think about and perhaps use for idle conversation during lulls in the Super Bowl competition (when you are working on your family cookbook, recipe cards, family reunion, or fundraiser).
One of my favorite ways to warm up, after crunching through snow or enduring a cold windy day, is to enjoy a hot comfort beverage that soothes and relaxes. After all, when you have a warm, full tummy, you are so happy and content that a nap just inevitably creeps up on you, doesn’t it?
Here are recipe ideas for five of my favorite hot comfort beverages. I keep ingredients for all of them in my pantry so they are easy to make, and easier still to add to your family cookbook. Just cut and paste them into your recipe template and feel free to tweak them to your own taste:
This lovely Indian-inspired hot tea beverage is about the most comforting hot comfort beverage I know. It is creamy, spicy and very relaxing.
Key spice: Cardamom
Shortcuts: Chai spices, tea bags, evaporated milk
3 cups water
3 teaspoons loose black tea
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Place water, tea and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer a few minutes. Strain. Add milk and sugar, then return mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Serves 4-6 (I like this a lot).
2. HOT CHOCOLATEContinue reading