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Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Amazing Hot Dog Chili

1 to 2 lbs ground beef ( we usually use about a pound of meat for the 3 of us)
Add 1/2 to 1 cup water. If you put in too much it's OK as you can reduce it by simmering the chili longer...
Place on a medium - high burner and start cooking. You must use a fork to break the meat down into small crumb sized pieces before it browns or you will end up with what I call burger worms... little pieces of meat that look like worms.
Keep smashing it with the fork until it looks like this....
Then continue cooking until the meat is completely brown...
Then add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper and one to two Tablespoons of chili powder (depending on how spicy you want the chili) These amounts are what we use in our 1 pound of meat so double if you are using closer to two pounds of meat.
After every addition of items stir well. Now add 1/2 to 1 cup of ketchup; again this is a preference and we add about 3/4 cup ketchup to our pound of meat.
Stir it well.

Now cover it and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. The time will vary depending on how much water you added. If it's too thin you will want to simmer it longer than if it's about right for topping hot dogs at this point.
Now I have also added about 1/4 cup yellow mustard to the mix when I add the ketchup but today we are were out of mustard.

After this has simmered for at least 30 minutes you  can boil some hot dogs; chop up some onion and pull out some chopped pickles or chow chow and prepare to eat some yummy chili-dogs. I'll add some pictures or prepared hot-dogs later when we make some up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Perfect Brownies!

A "Perfect Brownie" with Cherry Pie Filling on top
Here is the recipe we discovered in a lovely old cookbook put out by Proctor & Gamble in 1956 called Creative Cooking made easy - The Golden Fluffo Cookbook

Chewy Squares For Everyone's Delight

(makes 16 2 1/4 - inch squares)

1/2 cup Fluffo ( I use Crisco shortening)
2 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sifted enriched floour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt Fluffo and chocolate together.
Blend sugar and eggs and stir into melted chocolate mixture.
Beat in combined dry ingredients.
Stir in nuts and vanilla.
Pour batter into a 9-inch square pan rubbed with Fluffo and bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.
Cut into squares while warm.

If you don't have squares of chocolate in the house you can substitute:
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder + 1 Tablespoon butter = 1 square chocolate

Monday, October 8, 2012

Irish Scalloped Tuna Casserole


Nothing in the house but...

CANNED TUNA or SALMON, 1 7-ounce can
UNCOOKED POTATOES, pared and thinly sliced, 2 1/2 cups
Butter or margarine, 3 Tablespoons
Flour, 3 Tablespoons
Milk, 1 1/2 cups
Minced Onion, 1 medium
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper to taste
Minced green pepper, 1 Tablespoon (Optional... but I wouldn't go without it as it adds a LOT to the flavor)
Minced parsley, (optional), 1 Tablespoon

Boil poatoes in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain. Melt butter in saucepan; blend in flour. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Add onion, salt , pepper, green pepper, and parsley. Arrange potatoes and fish (flaked and boned) in alternate layers in buttered casserole. Pour sauce over al. Bake in moderate oven 40 minutes. THIS MAKES A FINE UNEXPECTED-COMPANY DISH FOR 4 to 5.

Recipe comes from Potluck Cookery by Beverly Pepper - Delightful ways to make a Royal meal from leftovers or whatever you have on hand. Copyright 1955

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pineapple Au Gratin

Pineapple Au Gratin

2 large cans pineapple tidbits, drained
2 cups (1/2 lb) sharp cheddar cheese grated
1 cup sugar ( I only used 1/2 cup sugar and it tasted fine)
6 Tablespoons flour
3/4 stick margarine, melted ( I used REAL unsalted butter)
1 stack of Ritz Crackers ( I used Town House crackers as they were cheaper - tasted just fine)

Mix flour and sugar. Add pineapple and cheese. Put in a large casserole dish. Top with crumbs of crackers and melted margarine. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes. Serves 10 to 12.

Buttermilk Bisquits


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbls. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup lard or shortening
3/4 cup Buttermilk

*Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse meal or crumbs.

* Make a hollow in flour-shortening mixture and stir in enough milk to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and sticks to the mixing fork.

* Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead with heel of hand 15 times, roll 1/4 to 1/2" thick.

* Cut with a 2" cutter; lift cutouts to un-greased baking sheet with broad spatula. Place close together for soft sides, 1" apart for crusty sides.

*Bake in very hot oven (450*F) 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve at once. Makes 12 to 16 biscuits.

Recipe came out of the book pictured.

Pizza Crust

Pizza Dough 1

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon white sugar
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup warm water (110*F)

Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Mix oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired ( I used a can of Pizza sauce; browned ground beef, canned sliced mushroom, sliced onion and mozarella and Parmesan cheese).

Bake at 375*F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sorry... I don't recall where I originally found this recipe but it's so super easy!

Pie Crust

Pie Crust (For a 9-inch double crust)

Sift together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Then add and cut in with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs:
2 /3 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Crisco shortening (you can use other brands but Grandma swore by Crisco)

Add and stir in with fork just til moistened:
1/3 cup COLD water

Roll and fit half of the dough into a pie plate; handling as little as possible so as not to make the crust tough. Fill with filling of your choice and top with remaining crust that has a few slits cut to allow for ventilation. Before placing top crust on pie moisten edges of bottom crust around edge to help the two layers of crust bind together. Cut top layer a bit larger than bottom to fold under and then form edging with finger tips. Bake at 425*F for 50 to 55 minutes.

My Grandma NEVER chilled the dough or let it rest. She went straight from mixing to forming the crust and it ALWAYS turns out flaky and delicious.

Another note: if you want to avoid the deep browning on the top crust after about 40 to 45 minutes place a piece of aluminum  foil loosely over the top and continue baking. You can also do this over baking hens and turkeys during the Holiday's to keep them from getting too brown. 

Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein

Brown lightly in 2 Tablespoons hot butter:

4 Tablespoons minced onion
1 Cup sliced mushrooms

Add and simmer for 15 minutes:

1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar

Blend and stir into meat mixture:

1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Dissolved in:
3 Tablespoons cold water

Cook until slightly thickened and clear.
Serve over hot rice with chow mien noodles.

Another of my Mother-in-laws recipes.

Shrimp Creole

My Mother-law's recipe for Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

3 Tbls. butter
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup green pepper
1/2 cup celery
1 Tbls flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cups peeled tomatoes (I use peeled and diced canned tomatoes)
dash of pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cup cooked shrimp
cooked rice

Melt butter in saucepan. Add green pepper, onion and celery. Saute 5 minutes or until tender. Blend in flour. Gradually add tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf. Simmer gently 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add shrimp and Worcestershire sauce. Heat thoroughly but do not boil. Serve over rice.

Basic Meatloaf

Meatloaf - my recipe

This is how I make meatloaf....

1 pound ground beef
1 egg
about 15 crushed saltine crackers
1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup ketchup

Mix these all together real well and put in a baking dish (9x11x2") - form a mound or a loaf shape in center of dish; this leaves room for the fat to cook off.

Mix together another 2 Tbls. of prepared mustard and 2 Tbls. ketchup and spread over the top of the meatloaf before baking at 375*F for 45-55 minutes.

To double just double everything. You may even spice it up a bit by adding other spices and herbs - basil, parsley, Italian seasoning, etc...

I have also added canned BBQ sauce in place of the ketchup and mustard for a bit of a change in flavor from time to time.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow recipe

This recipe comes out of Kerr Home Canning and Freezing Book last copywright listed is 1982 and first 1958. I LOVE old cook books - the older the better; back when they used REAL ingredients not a box of this and a mix of that.


1 peck (12 1/2 pounds) green tomatoes
8 large onions
10 green bell peppers
3 Tablespoons salt

6 hot peppers (chopped)
1 quart vinegar
(Just an FYI HERE - the spices go in a cheese cloth bag)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3 Tablespoons dry mustard
Few Bay Leaves
1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup grated horseradish (optional)

CHOP Tomatoes, onions and bell peppers together and cover with salt: let stand overnight. ( I grind the vegetables using my food grinder that fits on the front of my Kitchen Aide mixer and I put it in the refrigerator overnight.)
  Drain, add the hot peppers (again I put them through the grinder) , vinegar, spices ( tied in cheese-cloth bag) and sugar; allow to boil slowly until tender (about 15 minutes). Add horseradish. Pack into sterilized jars to within 1/2-inch of top. Put on cap, screw band firmly tight. Process in Boiling water bath 5 minutes. (I did mine in a pressure caner for 5 minutes under 10 pounds pressure)

I'd definitely wear gloves when handling the hot peppers. This smells wonderful as it is processing!

I did remove ALL seeds from ALL peppers too.

Dad's Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail Sauce

1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 tsp. Horseradish
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Brown Sugar

Mix together.

Makes enough for about 1/2 lb. boiled Shrimp

Broccoli Casserole


2 pkgs frozen broccoli, chopped (10 oz)
2 eggs, beaten
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 onion, chopped
1/4 stick margarine, melted
Ritz crackers

Cook frozen broccoli according to package directions, drain. In a 2-quart, greased casserole dish, combine the next 5 ingredients with the drained broccoli (you may want to mix this together in a large bowl and then put it into your casserole dish). Just before baking mix the melted margarine with a stack of crushed Ritz crackers and put this mixture on top. Bake at 325* F for 30 minutes.

This is my Mother-in-laws recipe.

"NO BAKE" - Chocolate/Oatmeal Cookies


In a large pot on stove top mix together:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 squares chocolate (OR - if you don't have the baking chocolate you can use the substitute which is 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine and 6 Tablespoons baking cocoa)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk

Cook over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Then add:

dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups of Oatmeal (quick cooking or for added texture just regular)

Stir together well and remove from heat. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

My Grandma used to make these so they have a LONG History of being good... they will not last very long once they are discovered.

"Dexter's Inn Blueberry Muffins"

(I cut this one out of a "Victoria" magazine years ago)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375*F. Grease or line 12 to 15 muffin cups.

Beat butter until creamy, add sugar and continue beating. Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Fold in flour, milk and blueberries. Spoon into muffin tins. Mix sugar and nutmeg for topping and sprinkle over muffins. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and springy.

In case anyone wants to know more about Dexter's Inn

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS a Good HouseKeeping Recipe


Preheat oven to 375*F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or really ANY berries you like)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts ( I have never added these as I rarely buy them)

Stir (or sift) together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium sized bowl.

Beat together egg, milk and oil in a small bowl until blended.

Add liquid ingredients all at once to dry ingredients.

Stir lightly just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently stir in berries and nuts (if you want them). Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.

Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

I cut this recipe out of a Good Housekeeping magazine YEARS ago and it has been our go to recipe for muffins ever since.