Thursday, December 29, 2016

Stew with biscuits

This is a favorite around here. Switch to chicken by switching out the meat and bullion. Or vegetarian by leaving out the meat. The biscuit recipe is given straight from the cook book, but if you want the stew and biscuits, just put the unbaked biscuits on top of the dish of stew as directed in the stew recipe.


2lbs beef (I used stew beef)
6 potatoes
1 lb carrots
1 onion
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregeno
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
6 tsp beef bullion (I used knorr powder)
6 Tbsp corn starch

Cut all ingredients into bite size pieces
Fry meat and onion together in frying pan.
Combine all dry ingredients and disolve in a little water.  Add remainder of water, add all vegies and meat.  Cook until carrots and potatoes are almost soft (about 45 minutes) in 450 degree oven.  Add one recipe biscuits supreme to top of stew and bake uncovered at 450 until biscuits are brown (about 10-15 minutes)

Biscuits supreme (taken from better homes and gardens new cook book)

1. Stir together 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Cut in 1/2 cup butter, margarine, or shortening till mixture resembles coars crumbs.  Make a well in center, add 2/3 cup milk all at once; stir till moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10-12 strokes or till nearly smooth.  Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.

3.  Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or till golden.  Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve hot.  Makes 10 biscuits.

Mrs Ball's Chutney

I got this one from Elaine, but haven't tried to make it yet. If you try, let me know how it turns out :)

Mrs Ball's Chutney
Makes about 18 bottles (mild) 

612 g dried peaches (I used apricots)
238 g dried apricots(I used peaches)
3 litres dark grape vinegar or more if needed (I used red wine vinegar)
2 1/2 kg white sugar
500 g onions 
120 g salt
75 g cayenne pepper (I used 4 teaspoons)
(I added about 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes ...we wanted it HOT!)

To make peach chutney, leave out the dried apricots and use 850 g dried peaches.

Soak the dried fruits overnight in the vinegar.
Boil in the same vinegar until soft, and drain (I didn't drain...just left it to cool...mixture was quite thick).
Mince in a food mill or chop up with a knife. (I used my food processor)
Return fruit to a large saucepan and slowly bring to boil.
You can add extra vinegar if the mixture seems too thick..(I didn't as I wanted my chutney chunky)
Add sugar, salt, chopped onions and cayenne pepper...bring to a gentle boil on low, stirring with a wooden spoon so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the saucepan.
Allow the mixture to gently simmer for about 2 1/2 hours.
Sterilize your canning jars, making sure they are HOT when you pour your chutney mixture into them.  Make sure the seals for your canning jars are boiled for at least 10 min before using - remember don't use seals that have been used before.
Place the seal ontop of the jar then screw your lid onto the jar tightly.
Wipe off sides of jars and then leave to stand until the seal "sucks" into the jar - date your jars and store...but make sure you eat some soon too!  Enjoy!

Symphony Fudge

Symphony fudge - delicious, creamy fudge, if that's what you want. If you want Mom's AMAZING fudge you'll have to use her recipe - this one would disappoint...

4 cups sugar
1 pint of whipping cream
2 Large Symphony bars (~14 oz total)
2 sticks of butter

In large pot mix sugar and cream.  Stir well and bring to boil.  While boiling add two sticks of butter.  Do not touch sides or bottom of pan while stirring in sticks of butter.

Boil to softball stage (230 degrees)
Dump into bowl.  Break up symphony bar and add to mix.  Mix with electric mixer.

Pour into greased pan and chill for 5 to 6 hours.


2/3 c unsalted butter (I just use salted, or whatever I have on hand, but it does need to be butter not margarine)
1/2 c sugar
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c rice flour (I just use more regular flour.)
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat over to 325 F.  Grease a shallow 8" cake tin.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together then cut in the butter. (a food processor is AWESOME for this!)
3. Press the dough neatly into the prepared tin, smoothing the surface with the back of a spoon.  Prick all over with a fork, then score into eight equal wedges.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Leave in the tin until cool enough to handle, then unmold and recut the wedges while still hot.

Snickers "Salad"

American salad, normal people dessert! We love this one and have made it with all different varieties of apples and many different varieties of candy bar. It's best fresh so invite lots of people to help you eat it!

1 large tub of Cool Whip (I used a small one for mine.  It will just make it creamier)
1 large package of vanilla instant pudding 
1 cup of milk (for the pudding) 
1 bag of fun size Snickers or 3 super size Snickers, cut up into small chunks 
3 medium size Granny Smith, Fuji, or other tart apple, cut up into small chunks 

In a large bowl, mix up the pudding and then combine it with the Cool Whip. Add the Snickers and then the apples. 

Note: Cut the apples after you have m
ixed the other ingredients so that they aren't brown when you add them. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Easy Sukiyaki (Japanese Beef Stew)

I was taught how to make sukiyaki when I first did a homestay in Japan. I loved this dish! I recreated it at home and found that even with the simplest of ingredients, the essential flavor carries through. Sukiyaki is originally intended to be cooked at the table. Ingredients are added as needed and taken by people who want them. If you want the truly traditional experience, beat a raw egg and dip the food in it before carrying them to your mouth. This dish is usually served with a bowl of rice.

It would be very easy to make this dish vegetarian--just skip the beef.

Ingredients (Adjust amounts for your audience and cravings, but easily feeds 2)
Very thinly sliced beef (Macey's sells sukiyaki beef cut very thinly, otherwise asian markets sometimes sell it. If you can't find it, partially freeze a slab of beef and cut it as thinly as you can)
cabbage (chinese cabbage if you have it, regular if you don't) cut into bite-sized chunks
enoki mushrooms (small white mushrooms sold in clusters)
shirataki noodles (clear noodles sold in liquid in the refrigerated section of an asian store)
firm tofu (grilled tofu works best if you can get it)
Any other ingredients you think would be delicious! Very thin carrots would work, mushrooms work, anything in a sweet and savory strew!
For the sauce
soy sauce
mirin (sugar and water if you don't have it)
sugar to taste

1. Prepare the raw ingredients. Thinly slice the beef and cut it into bite-size pieces. Chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces. Chop the dirty ends off the enoki mushrooms, rinse lightly, then break into small clusters. Rinse the shirataki noodles and snip into smaller strands (cutting is optional). Cut the firm/grilled tofu into grippable cubes.
2. Arrange the raw ingredients so they are near the frying pan. You won't be adding them all at once, just replenishing the pot as needed.
3. Prepare a large dish with deep sides. A deep-size frying pan is ideal. Add a small amount of oil for frying and cook the beef for 1 minute, or until it is no longer mostly pink.
4. Once the beef is lightly browned, add 1 cup of soy sauce, 1 cup of mirin, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir thoroughly. The sauce should be a light brown color. Taste the sauce. If it's...
--Too savory for you, add a hair more water or mirin.
--Too watery, add more soy sauce and a hair of sugar
--Too sweet, add more soy sauce.

Let the sauce cook for at least 30 seconds between additions.

5. Once you have the flavor you like, add the remaining ingredients into sections of the pot. Do not stir the ingredients together. Put a lid on the pot and let it cook on medium heat until the ingredients are soft. The noodles should look brown, the cabbage soft, the tofu light brown, etc.
6. Serve small amounts at a time or take directly from the pot using chopsticks. Recommended with a bowl of white rice.
7. As the pot boils down, add equal parts soy, sugar, and mirin to get the flavor you like. Continue adding ingredients until everyone is happy and full. This cooks a ton of food, so leftovers are likely!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mom's Quadruple Ginger Cookies

Inspired by the triple ginger cookies at Trader Joe's mom added some extra ginger options to give these cookies a kick. They are softer, spicy ginger cookies.

Ingredients (makes ?? cookies)
3/4 cup shortening (or butter or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2.25 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves (could us allspice or leave it out, but the cloves do taste good!)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger plus 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger


1. Cream the shortening and sugar; add the egg and molasses and mix in well. 
2. Add dry ingredients, sifted together if that is an option for you.
3. Chill.
4. Roll into balls 1 inch in diameter and dip one side in sugar. Place balls sugar side up on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 deg for about 12 minutes. 

Optional additions
I have tried adding chopped candied orange peel to these. Mostly to use up peel that needed using, but it is quite a good addition.