Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nikki's Kale

  • Rinse kale well.
  • Pull little parts off, run knife along stalk.
  • Stack and roll like cigars.
  • Cut into 1/4" wide ribbons.
  • Fluff up and put in bowl.
  • Chop and saute garlic and onion (shallots are best) in olive oil.
  • Add water, broth or tomato and salt.
  • Heat till almost boil (don't need much liquid)
  • Stir in greens till coated.
  • When greens start collapsing, turn heat down and cook covered till done.

Coconut Macaroons

This recipe is from Nick Malgieri's book Cookies Unlimited. He says it's from his friend Kyra Effren. It's such a light, airy cookie that you can't eat just one. The meringue melts in your mouth and then you're just left munching on the delicious coconut. What a treat! And they're so easy to make! They're a beautiful white but I guess you could color them with a bit of food coloring for a lovely pastel treat. Be certain not to overbake them or they will be dry. I suggest turning the oven off after 15 minutes if they're not quite the golden color you'd like.

Makes at 50 - 60 little cookies.

1/2 cup egg whites (from ca. 4 eggs)
Pinch salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz (about 2 cp) unsweetened shredded coconut

2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment or foil

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325F.

Beat egg whites, salt, and lemon juice until beginning to hold their shape, about 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the speed to the maximum and slowly add sugar. Continue to beat until the egg whites are very stiff, but not dry.

Whip in the vanilla extract. (Remember to turn the mixer down at first so the vanilla doesn't fly out!)

Fold the coconut into the meringue with a large rubber spatula.

Using two teaspoons or a small cookie scoop, drop the cookies onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving a mere 1-inch space in-between--in other words, pretty darn close to one another. I fit about 30 on each sheet.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are a golden color but still moist within. Obviously, getting them just right is pretty tricky, so please see my suggestion above.

Don't remove the cookies from the parchment--just slide the parchment onto the cookie sheets and wait for the cookies to completely cool before removing them.

Store the cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  (I just cut around them and placed them still on the baked parchment in the tin.)

    Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

    6 oz can of tomato sauce
    1 can tomatoes (crushed)
    1 tsp oregano
    1 bay leaf
    6 oz tomato paste
    6 garlic cloves
    1/2 - 1 cp onion
    1/4 tsp marjoram
    2 T olive oil
    1 tsp salt

    Combine ingredients in food processor or blender.
    fresh basil
    Parmesan or Romano cheese

    Mom's Liver and Onions

    • Use calf liver!
    • Dip liver in flour.
    • Fry it in bacon grease.
    • Brown both sides and remove to a plate.
    • Put onions in pan and brown them.
    • Add 1/4 cp flour and brown this (add more grease if needed).
    • Pour 2 cp cold water in pan while stirring.
    • Put liver in pan and simmer.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Mom's Rice Pudding

    Mom made this many times for Gina while she was recovering from chemotherapy.

    1/2 cp dry milk
    1/4-1/2 cp sugar
    1/8 tsp salt
    1 1/3 cp water
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/4 cp cooked rice
    1 T butter, melted
    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry milk, sugar, salt and water together. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add rice and butter. Mix well Put in a greased 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Put in a shallow pan of water. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Stir twice after first half hour of baking.

    Pork and Peppers

    Stir fry some sliced pork for 2 minutes on med-high. Add green and red pepper sticks and stir fry 2 more minutes on med-high. Turn down heat and add chicken broth, soy sauce and water with cornstarch, which you have stirred together beforehand. Stir while cooking till translucent. Serve over rice with thinly sliced green onion for garnish.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Gina's Ranch Dressing

    I got this recipe from Gina as she was lying in her hospital bed about a week before she died. She told it to me completely clear-headed. I then hastened to scribble it down, but she was no longer coherent. It tastes pretty good, so I think it must be correct.

    1/4 cp mayo
    1/4 cp sour cream
    1/4 cp yogurt
    1/2 cp milk (I wonder if she didn't mean buttermilk)
    1 packet ranch dressing mix

    Mix ingredients and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using. If it's too thick, thin it down with buttermilk.

    Mom's Lasagna

    1 lb Italian sausage
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 T basil
    1 16oz can tomatoes
    1 2oz can tomato paste
    10 oz lasagna noodles
    2 eggs
    3 cp cottage cheese
    1/2 cp grated Parmesan
    2 T parsley
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 lb mozzarella cheese

    Make tomato-meat sauce with the sausage, garlic, basil, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook noodles. Beat eggs and add cottage cheese, Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Layer half the noodles in a 13x9x2" dish. Spread half the cottage cheese filling over the noodles. Add half the mozzarella and then half the meat sauce. Repeat. Bake at 375F for about 30 min. Or assemble early and refrigerate. Bake 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    8-10 servings

    Mom's Meatballs

    1 lb chuck -or-1/4 lb pork + 3/4 lb chuck
    1 cp fine dry or fresh breadcrumbs
    1/2 cp grated Parmesan cheese
    1 T minced fresh parsley -or- 1 tsp dried parsley
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 cp milk
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper

    Mix ingredients and shape into 1" balls. Fry in oil or bake at 350F for about 30 min on a lightly greased baking sheet. (I prefer baking them.)

    Chicken and Cabbage

    1 T oil
    1 1/2 cp chicken
    2 carrots, sliced but not too thinly
    1 tsp salt
    4 cp cabbage, sliced in ca. 1/2" strips
    1/2 cp water chestnuts
    1 T cornstarch
    1/2 cp cold water/bouillon/stock

    Saute chicken and carrots in oil for 5 minutes. Add salt, cabbage and water chestnuts. Cook covered at med-low for 15-20 minutes--till all the veggies are tender. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir in. Stir till thick and translucent. Serve over rice.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Marinated Beets

    1 can sliced beets

    Pour beets into bowl--don't drain!
    ca. 1/4 cp apple cider vinegar
    3/4 T sugar
    thinly sliced onion

    Adjust seasonings to taste.

    Mom's Chili

    3 lg cloves garlic

    1 lg onion
    Saute onion with olive oil

    Add garlic. Crumble in
    1 lb hamburger

    Stir well.
    1 tiny dried red pepper, cut up with scissors
    2 T cumin
    2 T chili powder
    2 T oregano
    1 sm can diced tomatoes
    2 sm cans kidney beans, undrained (or 2 cp dry plus water)
    salt and pepper
    a bit of sugar
    1 sm can tomato sauce
    1 lg can stewed tomatoes
    1 sm can tomato paste
    1 lg can tomato sauce

    Rinse cans with water and pour that into pan.

    Cook well.
    handful of pasta

    Cook till done.

    Mom's Meatloaf

    Start 3 hours before dinner!

    1 lb hamburger
    1 T minced onion
    1 egg
    1 sl fresh bread crumbs, white
    salt and pepper to taste

    Mix ingredients lightly and form loaf. Heat pan. Put loaf in it.

    Slice thickly (1/4-1/3")
    1/2 onion
    Press on top of loaf like this: OOO

    1 sm can tomato sauce
    over the loaf.

    Put lid on pan. When it boils, add 1/4 cp water in pan to keep loaf from burning and turn heat down. Cook 1 hour. Put in some peeled and chopped (say, in half or thirds) carrots. Cook another hour.

    2014 Update--she says she doesn't know who gave me the recipe above but it was not her! 
    Mom now says she adds
    1 lb ground pork (or whatever)
    another egg (if using 1 lb pork)
    1/2 onion, chopped fine
    milk to make mixture not so stiff

    She also says to use on top
    1 sm can tomato sauce or puree

    Apple Crisp (Mom)

    4 cp (3-4 med) apples, peeled and sliced
    2/3 cp packed brown sugar
    1/2 cp flour
    1/2 cp oats
    3/4 tsp cinnamon
    3/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/3 cp (5 1/3 T) butter, softened

    Preheat oven to 375F. Place apples in 8" square baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over apples. Bake 30 minutes.

    *I would  decrease the sugar  (when I doubled it, I used 1 cup instead of 1 1/3 cups and that was still too much), increase the oats, decrease the nutmeg, and increase the apples.

    Cissy Gregg's Salisbury Steaks (Mom)

    4 Servings

    1 lb ground beef
    1 egg
    1/4 cp cream
    1 sl bread crumbs (fresh--grind in blender, food processor or herb grinder)
    1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp prepared mustard
    1 tsp parsley flakes
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1 T cornstarch
    4 oz can mushrooms or 8 oz fresh
    1 cp bouillon
    fresh chopped parsley for garninshing

    Combine meat, egg, cream, crumbs, and seasonings. Form into patties and brown slowly (medium) in heavy skillet until very well done. Remove to a warm platter.

    Mix cornstarch with a little of the mushroom liquid. Pour out fat from skillet and put in mushrooms (including liquid), cornstarch and bouillon. Cook till translucent and reduced in volume, pour over steaks.

    Calzone (Mom)

    2.5 tsp dry yeast (18g)
    4 tsp sugar (20g)
    4 tsp warm water
    1 cp plus 1 T milk
    1 egg
    3 3/4 cp flour (500g)
    1 1/2 tsp salt

    Mix ingredients together. Knead. Let rise 2 hours. Bake at 450F for 20-25 min.

    Aunt Mary's Spice Cake

    Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 2 8" round pans or one 9x11".

    1 3/4 cp flour
    3/4 cp sugar
    3/4 tsp soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp cloves
    3/4 tsp salt

    Sift these ingredients together.

    3/4 cp brown sugar
    1/2 cp shortening
    3/4 cp buttermilk

    Beat 2 minutes.

    2 eggs

    Mix till incorporated. Pour into pans and bake 30-35 minutes for round pans and 40-45 minutes for the oblong.

    Delicious with brown sugar icing.

    Sugar Cookies (Aunt Mary's)

    These are the best sugar cookies I've ever tasted!

    1 1/2 cp powdered sugar
    3/4 cp butter
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp almond extract
    2 1/2 cp flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar

    Preheat oven to 350F. Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and flavorings. Mix dry ingredients together and add slowly to butter mixture. Drop by spoonful on baking sheet. Squash once across with fork. Bake ca. 12 min. Cool on rack.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    German Cole Slaw

    Slice cabbage superfine. Add salt and bruise cabbage with fingertips. Add some minced onion. Chop some bacon and fry till it's almost smoking. Turn off heat. Remove bacon bits to cabbage with a slotted spoon. Mix 1/4 cp apple cider vinegar and 1 T sugar into bacon grease and pour onto cabbage. Stir to distribute ingredients evenly. (You can also leave out the salt and use Ume Plum Vinegar, which is very salty, in place of the apple cider vinegar.)

    Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Topping

    Boil several sweet potatoes until done when pierced with a fork or knife. When cool to touch, peel. Slice lengthwise. Place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle potatoes with a bit of water and brown sugar (as much as desired). Dot with butter. Bake at 350F till syrupy. Cover with marshmallows and brown in oven.

    Peanut Butter Balls (Aunt Anna's)

    1 cp peanut butter
    1/2 pkg cream cheese
    1 1/3 box powdered sugar (1 1/3 lb)
    2 sticks butter (1 cp)

    Mix all together. Put in fridge over night. Roll into balls. Dip in chocolate.

    Bourbon Balls (Aunt Anna's)

    1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 cp)
    1 box powder sugar (1 lb)
    1/2 cp chopped nuts
    6 - 8 T bourbon
    dipping chocolate

    Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, bourbon an dnuts. Let sit for a while in fridge and then roll into balls. Dip into chocolate.

    Robin Hood Chicken (Simone)

    This is a rub for chicken, but I prefer it for pork.

    1/4 cp olive oil
    2 T rosemary
    2 T ginger
    6+ cloves garlic
    1/2 tsp cayenne
    1/4 cp parsley
    1 T kosher salt
    juice from 1/2 lemon

    Preheat oven to 450F. Combine ingredients and rub all over chicken. Bake chicken 18 minutes per pound, covering for the first half of the time.

    Gina's Chicken and Dumplings

    1 stewing chicken (4-5 lbs), 2 broiler fryers (3 lbs each) or 2-4 chicken breasts
    1 sm onion, sliced
    2-3 carrots, sliced
    3-4 celery stalks, sliced
    1 tsp salt
    4 T butter
    6 T flour
    1/8 tsp paprika
    1/2 cp cream
    pepper to taste
    ca. 3 bouillon cubes, preferably Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes

    Simmer chicken, onion, carrots, celery, and salt in enough water/stock/broth to cover. Cook until chicken is done, 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove chicken from broth. Remove skin and bones and dice meat. Melt butter, stir in flour and paprika. Add paste to chicken stock gradually; stir; cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken, cream, pepper and seasonings. Prepare dumplings:

    3 cp flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    2 T fat
    1 egg
    1 cp water

    Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together. Work in fat. Stir egg and water together and add to flour/fat mixture. Knead dough ca. 5-6 times and roll to 1/4". Cut in 2" strips and then in diamond's, 2" wide. Drop dumplings into boiling/bubbling chicken mixture while stirring, pushing them down into the mixture. Cook with lid tilted till dumplings are done, ca. 30 minutes.

    Oven Chicken Salad (Aunt Angie's/ Betty Crocker?)

    2 cp cubed chicken
    2 cp thinly sliced celery
    1 cp toasted bread cubes
    1/2 cp chopped toasted almonds
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp grated onion
    1 cp mayonnaise
    2 T lemon juice
    1 cp toasted bread cubes or potato chips
    grated cheese, as desired

    Preheat oven to 400F. Mix ingredients together. Put in casserole dish, about 9" square. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and then 1 cp toasted bread cubes. Bake until bubbly, about 10 min.

    How to toast bread cubes: Arrange bread cubes on a cookie sheet. Toast bread cubes at 300F for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

    How to toast almonds: in an ungreased saucepan, stirring often until light golden brown or 10-15 minutes at 350F, stirring often

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Sea Foam (one of Mom's favorites)

    3 cp light brown sugar
    ¾ cp water
    1 T lt corn syrup
    2 egg whites (¼ cp)
    Dash of salt
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Measure brown sugar, water and 1 T corn syrup into a 2-quart saucepan. Blend with a wooden spoon and place over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture begins to dissolve.

    Continue stirring until the mixture boils, then put in your candy thermometer and boil without stirring over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 256º.

    Remove from heat and let stand while egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks. Salt is added to the eggs while beating them.

    Slowly add the syrup to te egg whites, beating continuously.

    After all the syrup is added continue beating until candy holds a definite shape and no longer streams from a spoon and loses its gloss. This will require at least 15 minutes of beating. A test can be made before the beating is stopped and unless the dropped portion holds its shape immediately, beating should be continued.

    Vanilla is stirred in just before candy is dropped in teaspoon-sized pieces on waxed paper. Walnuts or pecans may be added–they combine well with brown-sugar candies.

    Russian Tea Cakes

    1 cp soft butter (2 sticks)
    ½ cp sifted confectioners sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 ¼ cp sifted flour
    ¼ tsp salt
    ¾ cp finely chopped pecans

    Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly.
    Sift flour and salt together and stir in.
    Mix in pecans.
    Chill dough.
    Roll into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
    Bake at 400ºF until set, not brown, 10 - 12 minutes.
    While warm, roll in confectioners sugar.
    Roll in confectioners sugar again.

    Makes 4 dozen cookies.


    2 cp sugar
    ½ cp corn syrup
    ½ cp water
    2 egg whites (¼ cp)
    Dash of salt
    ¾ tsp vanilla
    1 cp combined black walnuts and candied cherries, chopped

    Combine sugar with corn syrup and water. Stir over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to bubble. Boil over medium heat to 260ºF.

    Remove from the heat and let stand while egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks. Salt is added to the egg whites while beating them.

    Slowly add the syrup to the egg whites, beating on low. (Add slower at first, then pour more quickly. Do not scrape the pan.) After all the syrup is added continue beating on med to high until candy loses its gloss, holds a definite shape and no long streams from a spoon. This will require about 15 minutes of beating. A test can be made before the beating is stopped and unless the dropped portion holds its shape immediately, beating should be continued.

    When it is ready, vanilla is quickly stirred in, along with nuts and cherries, and then the candy is dropped on waxed paper in teaspoon-sized pieces. It may also be poured into a pan (8 x 11 inches) and cut into squares.

    Aunt Anna’s Sugar Cookies (These are soft cookies.)

    1 ½ cp powdered sugar
    1 cp butter
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    ½ tsp almond flavoring
    2 ½ cp flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    Bake at 350ºF for 8 - 10 minutes.

    Grandma Beisler's Caramel Fudge with Bitter Choc

    1 box light brown sugar
    1 T butter
    1 cp whole milk

    Put on stove and cook till it comes to a boil. Simmer to soft ball stage. Remove from stove and cool for a little bit. Add vanilla and beat. Pour into buttered pan.

    2 squares bitter chocolate
    Melt in double boiler and pour over caramel.

    Mom says this is always a bit grainy, and I remember that, too.

    Aunt Angie's Pie Crust

    This is the recipe Angie used to make three pie crusts. When I asked if they were for 9" pies, she got really disgusted with me for asking, as if there were any other size, so I think that's what they're for. Actually, I think she got disgusted that I would ask such a silly thing because from her perspective, you use as much as you need and either freeze the rest or make something else (like cinnamon roll-up-thingies) with the left-overs.

    3 cups flour
    1 cup shortening
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    7-8 T ice water

    I just wanted to note that I'm putting this here for anyone who wants it, but I personally prefer a shorter dough made from a combination of butter and shortening :-)

    Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (old, old Better Homes and Gardens)

    3 T cocoa
    2 cp sugar
    1/2 cp milk
    1/2 stick butter (1/4 cp)
    3/4 cp peanut butter
    2 tsp vanilla
    3 cp oats, old-fashioned

    Mix cocoa and sugar. Add milk and butter. Stir till mixture boils. Boil 1 min without stirring. Remove from heat and quickly stir in peanut butter. Add vanilla. Stir in oats. May need a bit more oats. Shouldn't be too runny.

    Drop by spoonfuls onto brown paper bag that's been cut open to lay flat.