Posts from the ‘Recipes’ Category

Hard “Boiled” Egg

I just have to share this with y’all. I’ve stumbled on the absolute easiest way to hard-boil an egg. EVER!

See, all you do is steam the eggs for 15 minutes – from when the water starts boiling – instead of boiling them. And when they’re cool enough to handle (I sped this bit up by placing the eggs in cool water), you start peeling them. I peeled 6 eggs in less than 5 minutes! And not a nick, not a scratch, was to be found!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never perfectly peeled one hard-boiled egg, much less six. I’ve even read that this works on fresh-from-the chicken eggs, which are notoriously the hardest to peel.

(You’re welcome ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Edited to add pictures, and to note that I peeled 10 eggs (didn’t look at the clock until I’d already peeled 2) in 5 minutes. Also, using this method, you can cook more than a single layer. My steamer only holds 8 eggs in one layer, and I decided to try this because I got tired of cooking two batches.

Glorious Sunday, Part 2

After church on Sunday, Teddy and I came home, and had something for lunch – Pasta Roni, I think. Anyway, normally I would take a nap on Sunday afternoon, but this one, this one I didn’t. We were to have a church social that night, and I was looking forward to making something with the pumpkin I cooked and pureed. I’d seen a recipe mentioned over on OhioFarmGirl’s blog for pumpkin burgers, which she says is essentially sloppy joes with pumpkin puree added, and that intrigued me. She had a link to the recipe, and I followed it! The link that is, not necessarily the recipe *tongue in cheek*

This is the link to the recipe, but since I made some changes, I’m going to list the actual recipe given and what I did, too

NOTE: Because I was taking this to a church supper, I doubled it – quantities listed reflect the doubled amount

Ingredients – Original Recipe/What I Did

  • 3 pounds ground beef / approx 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef, approx 1-1/2 lb ground venison
  • 2 medium onion, chopped / 1 onion nearly pureed, 1 finely diced
  • 2 (12 ounce) bottles chili sauce / 1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup, undiluted / 1 pint jar home-canned tomato sauce ๐Ÿ˜€
  • 1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin / same
  • 2 teaspoons salt / same
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice / conglomeration ofย  cinnamon, ginger, cloves (out of nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper / same
  • 12 hamburger buns, split / store was out of burger buns, got hot dog buns instead – less messy!
  • I added big spoonful minced garlic from a jar, and approx 1/2 cup brown sugar

Original directions – In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the chili sauce, soup, pumpkin, salt, pumpkin pie spice and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve on buns.

What I did – In a small stock pot, cook meat, onion, and garlic until meat is no longer pink; since I used very lean meat and venison, there wasn’t anything to drain. I added the chili sauce, tomato sauce (wasn’t sure how spicy the joes would turn out, and I knew this would give me the ability to season to taste; also tomato soup leaves a distinct “tomato soup” taste that I wanted to avoid), pumpkin, seasonings, and sugar. Simmered for at least 2 hours, uncovered – except for the splatter screen, served with hot dog buns.

Good laugh at my expense: Mama was having lunch at my sister’s. As I started cooking, I unscrewed the ring off my beautiful jar of home-made with basil and oregano from my garden tomato sauce. Then I went to open it. Ummmmm, yeah. I know the point is for the lid to stay stuck, but how do I get in it when I’m ready to open it? So I call my sis, and after she’s done laughing at me, she tells me to get a butter knife and carefully pry it off. Mama tells me later that sis got off the phone and immediately went into “you won’t believe what Bephie just asked me!’ She also told me (and I prefer this better) to use a coke-bottle/beer-bottle opener.

Back to regularly scheduled blog post: Brought leftovers home from church, put half in fridge, half in freezer – it freezes beautifully, btw, in freezer safe jelly jars.

Variation on serving I’m enjoying as I type: buy (I know, I know, the goal is sustainability and sufficiency, just work with me here) some crescent roll dough – store brand is fine. Place about 1/2 of a tableware soup spoon at the wide end, sprinkle some colby/jack mix the rest of the way down the triangle and roll up carefully starting at wide end doing your best not to spill contents. Bake as per directions on the can. This is SO much better than I even imagined it would be ๐Ÿ˜€

(We won’t discuss that this variation was discovered because the store brand crescent roll dough is either: 1) too sticky or 2) I couldn’t roll it out flat enough or 3) combination of both, and it didn’t work well with my new Tupperware Empanada maker, even though the directions said feel free to try crescent roll dough. Okay, so we did just discuss it. Not happy that the empanada experiment failed, but loving that the other turned out so well!)

Back to Sunday afternoon – Mama decided to get in on the pumpkin action too, and wanted to make a pumpkin casserole similar to sweet potato casserole. But since the pumpkin I cooked is not a pie pumpkin, it tastes very “vegetable-y” (and this from Mama, who likes all her veggies!) instead of “pumpkin-y.” So we created what we call “Autumn Yum” – this one isn’t exactly a recipe because there’s no way it could be duplicated exactly as proportions were not measured. Pumpkin puree, honey, various pumpkin spices, apple cider, apple butter, and topped off with the streusel topping from Betty Crocker’s Apple Crisp recipe (look it up in your cook book or go to the website). The oatmeal in the streusel was the perfect counterpoint to the creaminess of the puree and apple butter!

Now, for the piece de resistance – Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie! Oh. My. Goodness. This is AMAZING! Even if I resort to buying a can of Libbey’s pumpkin puree, THIS is the recipe I will be making with it. ME, “miss pumpkin pie must be the recipe on the back of the Libbey’s can or it’s not really pumpkin pie.” And did I mention it has a streusel topping? With pecans? Yeah….. And it’s even better with a cup of coffee eaten for breakfast ๐Ÿ˜€

Note: as you’re reading this blog, just want to make sure you’re pronouncing the words correctly. Unless you have an outhouse, pecan is pronounced “PEA-can” not “puh-CAHN.” Why the exemption? Well, because the pee can is what resides under the bed so as not to have to go outside at night to go potty. And I can poke fun because I’ve resembled that remark ๐Ÿ˜‰

Back to the pie recipe – I DO recommend baking it more like the Libbey’s recipe, however, by cranking the oven temp up to 400-whatever degrees for 15 minutes, then down to 350* for 45-50 minutes. My pie was still very jiggly/wiggly in the middle at the end of 55 minutes in a preheated 350* oven, which is how I happen to have leftovers to enjoy for breakfast. I had to just turn the oven off, leave the pie in there, and go on to church without my pie to share ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I love that you can do that with pumpkin (guess maybe all custard based pies) – if it’s not done, just turn the oven off, and let it sit in there will the oven cools down instead of constantly checking and re-checking and worrying about it burning. (Can you tell I’ve done this before?)

The church social went very well, but I won’t say any more than that, or I’ll be going into Glorious Sunday, part 3. Which I promise, will be coming soon, along with (I realize I didn’t blog about) home-canned tomato sauce, and the blueberry syrup I made this week (looks a little thin to me, but my “sis” says it’ll still taste just as good), and I’m making a sugar/sweetener free batch of apple butter, and getting my etsy store up and going. (It’s up/created, it’s just not going yet.) But it’s my bed time, and my pillows are singing their siren song. So that will all have to wait until I can find some more free time to type!

God bless ๐Ÿ™‚

Mint Hot Chocolate

Or, Count Your Blessings, However Small They Might Be ๐Ÿ™‚

I just made my own mint hot chocolate!!! I saw some in the grocery store the other day, and stopped myself from buying a box. “Wait,” I told myself, “I have a mint plant at home, and hot chocolate mix – this can work!”

So, in while the water was coming up to a boil, I picked maybe 1/2 Tbsp (loose, not packed tight) of mint leaves. Gave them a rinse, a good bruising, and put them in the bottom of one of my big mugs. Once the water boiled, I poured it into the mug, and let steep about 5-7 minutes, fished the mint leaves out, then added my two packets of hot chocolate mix and mini-marshmallows! YUM ๐Ÿ˜€

Apple Butter!

As promised, here is my first canning experience, the joys, fun, and wonders of APPLE BUTTER :D, fully documented in pictures!

My recipe is based on the Sweet Apple Cider Butter Recipe at FreshPreserving.com ๐Ÿ™‚

If mine looks a little different, it’s because mine is out of a beginner’s canning booklet put out by Ball:

The Sweet Apple Cider Recipe is on the next to last page:

My el-cheapo apples! I was thrilled to see these in the store ๐Ÿ˜€ They had all kinds of apples lined up in 3 lb bags at $3.99/bag, and I had my hands on 2 bags of Gala apples – when I saw these lovely Golden Delicious, BOTH bags on sale/clearance for $1.20/bag! That’s not a problem, I’m gonna use ’em up real quick-like making apple butter ๐Ÿ™‚

The apple cider – and that, folks, is my raw ingredients!

3 lbs of apples peeled, quartered, and cored, another 1/2 bag to go

4-1/2 lbs apples, ready to go!

The peels, cores, and stems from approx 4-1/2 lbs of apples – can we say “compost pile”

The lonely 3 apples that didn’t go in the pot – LOVE the leaves still attached!

(There were actually 4, but Teddy couldn’t help himself and snacked on an apple – kid LOVES apples!)

I was wondering how that many apples and only 1-1/2 cups of cider would get the apples soft in cooking – that’s how! After about 5 minutes, this is what it looked like ๐Ÿ™‚

After about 25/30 minutes, they’d cooked down to this, and are good and soft and ready to puree. I LOVE the effect the steam gives the pic!

This, folks, is my handy-dandy, super-duper, WONDERFUL, Tupperware Quick Chef – otherwise known as a hand-cranked food processor!

And since it was my brand new toy, I pureed the first batch (one downfall, it only holds 4 cups, so for maximum efficiency, you can only puree about 1-1/2 cups at a time), but Teddy was oh-so-willing to demonstrate and be my model for batch #2

6 cups of apple puree – aka applesauce if I’d stopped right here! Had to do some quick math in my head for the next step, because the recipe called for 9 cups of puree. So I’d figured then that I’d only get 2 pint jars instead of 3 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Don’t know if I let the initial cook-down go too long, or if I just should’ve used more apples. It just tastes yummy wonderful, though, so I’m not complaining too much ๐Ÿ˜‰

bubbling away, with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves added – I was starting to wonder if it was ever going to thicken enough!

So while I waited, here’s what I did:

Got the jars warming and the lids simmering….

And took pix of (some of) my new Tupperware! This is a small canister (got my coffee in it) and my Quick Shake Container. The canister is from a set of 4, it’s actually labeled Hispanic collection or something like that because of the flowers. I just know I liked it, and it will go wonderfully well with my (future) Coca-Cola kitchen – loving that the Tupperware colors right now are RED and WHITE!

This is the Chop-n-Prep, and if you wanna fine-dice some herbs/onions/etc, THIS is the way to go. It even comes with the lid so that you can take the blade out and store whatever you finely minced in it. Teddy calls it the lawnmower because you pull the little cord (the white handle thing in the pic) like when you crank a lawnmower ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is the SmartSteamer (I got it as one of my 1/2-priced items). The microwaves are directed away from the food and only into the water tray at the bottom, so that the food is truly steamed. Best broccoli I’ve EVER eaten! I love broccoli raw, and I usually like it cooked – but drowned in sauce. This was just straight, steamed broccoli, with only the occasional flavoring that dripped from the marinaded chicken in the top tray. DELISH!

And so you can see the two cooking trays and lids, here ya go ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got two sets of these Empanada Makers/Pie Presses (total of 4) – can’t wait to make my own Hot Pockets! So much healthier ๐Ÿ™‚

Teddy wanting to get in another pic

For now at least, this is what I’m using my Thatsa Mega Bowl for – Perler Bead storage! Also, I got 4 sets of the Midgees (2 oz shot glasses, essentially), but they are perfect for sorting and storing the different colors of beads ๐Ÿ™‚

Tupperware not pictured (already put into storage): the other 3 canisters, the measuring cup and spoon set (Why is Tupperware the ONLY company that includes the 2/3 and 3/4 cup measuring cup?), the Mix-n-Store pitcher, the Saucy Silicone Spatula, and the Double Colander. (Yes I know, I made out like a BANDIT! Thanks so much if you helped make it possible by ordering from my party!)

This is another round of Pumpkin Yumminess ready to go in the oven. And yes, that’s a Perfect Brownie Pan. No, I’m NOT thrilled with it. This is only the 2nd time I’ve used it, and it was a Christmas gift last year. At least this time, the batter didn’t leak out onto the cookie sheet. But I still had to bake a LOT longer than the time listed on the box in order for the middle square to be done. In my opinion, it doesn’t turn the inside brownies into “corner” brownies as advertised. Now is it cool because everything’s evenly cut? Absolutely. But I’m just not thrilled with it.

By now, I THINK the Apple Butter is about ready….

See how much it’s cooked down? The question is, does it “hold its shape on a spoon?”

and about 8 seconds later…

looks good to me!

(If that’s not what “holding shape on spoon” is, PLEASE somebody let me know if I need to let it cook down longer ;-))

ahhh …. finally! The moment I’ve been waiting for ๐Ÿ˜€

My 2 jars of apple butter, processing away!

2 jars of apple butter, steam canned ๐Ÿ˜€

And there they are! All done and cooling and resting and such. AND SEALED!

And I leave you with oven-baked Pumpkin Yumminess
Had to do 2 pans worth – pay no attention to the “hole” in the back pan; had to test for quality, ya know ๐Ÿ˜‰

And it’s SO much better baked in the oven than the microwave!

God bless!

Pumpkin Cake Yumminess

YUMMMY!!!! Okay, so I had a Tupperware party Tuesday night, 1) to help out my sister’s mother-in-law who sells it, and 2) because I really wanted to! We hadn’t a Tupperware party in these parts in YEARS, so I figured I’d have a good turnout, and boy was I right ๐Ÿ˜€ (If you’re reading this and you came and/or ordered online, THANK YOU! I made out like a bandit on free and 1/2-price stuff ๐Ÿ˜€ Enough gloating, though)

Part of the thing is, you have to provide ingredients so the Tupperware Lady can demonstrate the products, but that’s cool, because it’s a party, and I’d’ve provided food anyway, but this way, I didn’t have to fix it! So to demonstrate one of the microwave cookers, she asked me to have a box of cake mix (I use the Betty Crocker because they do the Box Tops for Education and I can give those to my son’s school), whatever eggs that calls for, and a can of apple or blueberry pie filling. Well, I don’t like blueberries, so guess we’re doing apple ๐Ÿ˜‰ She combines all these ingredients (chop the apples up first), puts them in the Pam’d stack-cooker, and microwaves for about 12 minutes. It was delicious! (Wait I minute, Beth! I thought you said this was PUMPKIN cake, not APPLE cake, what’s up with that? Hang on a minute, I’m gettin’ there…)

‘Bout the only thing I had that wasn’t cooked or prepared in any with Tupperware something was a can of nuts; I paid a ridiculous amount for a can of pecans because they just looked so yummy, and I decided I needed to have them at my party. So as I’m eating my cake, and then taking a bite of nuts, I decided – hey, this cake would be DELICIOUS if we stirred the pecans into it before cooking ๐Ÿ™‚

So a couple days later, I’m at the grocery store, getting my cake mix, and pecans, and looking for the pie filling so I can make this cake again. (Me and Mama both LOVED this cake! It’s even better with just a smidge of butter spread on …. yummmmm). So I find the cans of pie filling, and I’m looking for the store brand (save my pennies where I can!), when my eyes drift down to the bottom shelf, and there is the PUMPKIN PIE FILLING!!!!! (I am a nut for pumpkin – more on this in a minute) And all my brain synapses fired, and said “use pumpkin pie filling, not apple pie filling!” And then I had to scrounge the store for the nuts, and of course I figured chocolate chunks couldn’t hurt anything… So here’s my Pumpkin Cake recipe…

1 box of yellow cake mix (brand doesn’t matter)

the number of eggs called for on the back of the box

1 can pumpkin pie filling (not the 15 oz 100% puree, the 21 oz ready-to-go-just-add-eggs stuff)

1 6ozย  bag pecan pieces (optional, but very yummy)

1/2 of a 12 oz (approx 6 oz) bag of chocolate chunks (again, optional, but YUMMY!)

 

Combine the ingredients in a big mixing bowl. If you don’t have a Tupperware stack cooker, put in some sort of microwave-safe dish with a tube in the middle (it needs to look like a bundt pan – Mama happened to have a ceramic something that worked; it was actually designed to be a chicken cooker – think beer can chicken – but it worked!). Grease the dish. I should’ve microwaved longer – when I flipped it over, it was still ooey-gooey in the middle, and I wound up having to keep cooking it for several more minutes. Okay, so try 10-12 minutes at first, then stick a knife in right by the tube and see if it comes out clean. If it does, you’re cake should be done, and you should be able to flip it out onto a serving dish. If not, keep going a few more minutes. But it is OH-SO-YUMMY!!!! (It’s not very pretty, but boy, does it taste good!) I might try, next time, especially as the weather cools, baking it in the oven, and seeing what that does.

Now see, aren’t you glad you stuck in there; you got two recipes for the price of one ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, quick promised tidbit on my and pumpkin – I LOVE pumpkin flavored stuff. October and November are two of my favorite months anyway, but even more so because Dairy Queen brings back the Pumpkin Pie blizzard! And the Beta club at the local high school does a coffee fundraiser; one of the flavors is Pumpkin Spice. This year, I’ve made my deal with the teacher over the Beta club, and he’s just gonna order me my very own box so I don’t have to track down 15 different Beta club kids to get my fix ๐Ÿ˜‰ AND, this is the first time in my life I have EVER bought the ready-mix pumpkin pie filling. I am a stickler for Libby’s pumpkin puree, and mixing it according to the directions on the back of the can when making my pumpkin pie.

Enjoy!