Saturday, December 20, 2008

Store bought mustard, all dressed up!

This photo almost looks black and white, but it is not. This is a shot out the front door. The ivy growing under the fir trees has about 2 inches of snow covering it. The rest of the yard has almost 4 inches. The wind has now come up and snow is blowing about, making it difficult to see more than 3 feet in front of your path.

We are in the house, warm, full of soup and letting the night fall. It is early to think that, but I am in for the night. There are cookies to bake, and music to enjoy.

I did get the conserve completed, and the canning kettle put away. There is molasses cookie dough chilling, ready to roll into balls and bake. The fudge is set, cut and ready to package. The noodles are dry, ready to package.

I got all of my old spice jars washed and ready to fill. I also got some flavored mustard ready.

I took a jar of Plockmans premium stone ground mustard (30.5oz) and in 1/2 of the mustard I added:
zest of 1 lime
1-2 T lime juice
3 T honey
1 T white balsamic vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T ground coriander

to the rest of the jar I added:
2 c dried cranberries
2 T white cooking wine
3 T honey
combine in food processor until mixed and the cranberries are chopped finely but not pureed.

I love flavored mustard, it will keep practically forever and are great to spice up food and cooking.

Tomorrow I am going to assemble the Sunday Cafe baskets, they will keep nicely until Christmas in the garage where it is cold.

All that is left now is the stocking stuffers, there is always tomorrow!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pineapple Spice Squares

One of the tasty recipes in my fun and creative Pork and Beans series. Give this a try, you won't be sorry!

Pineapple Spice Cake Squares
350 degrees
adapted from: creative cooks everywhere!

1 16 oz can pork and beans
8 oz can crushed pineapple - do not drain
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c oil
2 t vanilla
2 c flour
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c walnut pieces

Empty beans into a bowl and mash until smooth using a potato masher. Add sugars, eggs oil and vanilla. Beat well. stir in pineapple.

In another bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add to the pineapple mixture, combine to mix, then beat well until smooth. Remember there are pieces of pineapple in the batter, and the batter will not be perfectly smooth.

Pour batter into a prepared 11/17 inch jelly roll pan. You will need to spread batter to corners of the pan. Sprinkle walnut pieces over the batter. I only put walnuts on half, because we have some folks that are not nut eaters!

Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until done. This bakes up a bit dark, from the brown sugar.
Do not be alarmed.

Prepare frosting:
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
2 t vanilla
2 -21/2 c powder sugar
1 - 2 T milk

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together. Add 2 c of the sugar and 1 T milk. Beat smooth, adding more sugar or milk for a soft and creamy frosting.

Because it would be very difficult to tell which half of the pan had walnuts after the frosting spread, here is a neat trick to keep track of where to cut, depending on nuts or no nuts.

Divide the frosting equally between the two sides of the pan. Spread the frosting on the "walnut" side, and add a few more walnut pieces to declare that the walnut side.

Then spread the other side of the pan.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Pork and bean bread, with photos

I had already posted the pork and bean bread, here at Sunday Cafe. But that was before I had a camera and with the Pork and Bean series, I felt I should do it again. I did make two subtle changes, only because it is Christmas time.

2 c raisins (I happen to have golden raisins, so that is what I used)
2 T sherry

Combine sherry and raisins in a medium sauce pan. Stir to mix the liquid throughout the raisins. Turn heat on, when hot, stir again. Turn off heat, cover the pan and let the raisins soak up the sherry.

Coarsely chop about 2 c walnuts, set aside.

Empty a can of pork and beans into a mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to create a smooth liquid.

It will look like this.............................

To the bean liquid, add 3 eggs, 1/2 c oil, 2 t vanilla and 2 c sugar.
Beat well.

In a separate bowl, add 2 c flour, 1 c whole wheat flour, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda and 2 t Cinnamon. Whisk together to incorporate all ingredients evenly.

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, along with the raisins, mix to combine. Do not mix until smooth. Quick breads are best with a quick mix, and not beaten until smooth.

Prepare 2 loaf pans, or my favorite 6 little pans.

Divide batter evenly among the pans, sprinkle with the walnuts.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
30-35 minutes for small pans, 45-50 for regular size pans.

Let cool in pans, 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a rack or clean towel. Wrap for storage, freezes very well.

Makes 6 small loaves, perfect for sharing or tucking into a gift basket.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cabbage Potato and Baked Bean Soup

I have no idea how long I have kept that clipped recipe. But that is how I am about things, if I like them; I keep them.

Woman's Day magazine offered this recipe, they had a little written info about the lady that submitted the recipe to them. "When Sophie Simeone moved from New Jersey to Tamarac, Florida to be closer to her grown children she brought along the recipe collection she started in the 1950's. Like so many of us, she has favorite recipes that she makes often, while others wait to be tried. Even in Florida, Sophie makes this hearty soup year round. Serve with crusty bread and fresh fruit for dessert and you've got a delicious lowfat, low-cost, low calorie meal."

What more could anyone say in these frugal times where family meals are still important?

Cabbage, Potatoe and Baked Bean Soup
Sophie Simone as showcased in,
Woman's Day Magazine
date unknown.

2 t oil
3 medium potatoes
1 c thinly sliced celery
1 small onion
1 pound green cabbage, diced or shredded
4 c chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 t pepper
1 16 oz can pork and beans in tomato sauce

Heat oil in a 3 qt saucepan. Add potatoes, cook until golden, add celery and onion saute additional 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in the cabbage, cover and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, until cabbage is crisp tender.

This photo shows the beans being added too soon, oops! 

Add the broth, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until cabbage and potatoes are tender. Remove bay leaf.


Stir in the beans and cook 10 minutes longer for flavors to blend and beans to heat through.

Makes 4 servings

Cabbage soups are not pretty, but they sure taste good!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Pork and beans......and the beginning of a series

I spent some time last night while Honey was still at work and after I had taken a walk around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights at the Granddaughters house, googling. Yes I googled pork and beans.

There is a lot of stuff out there. Some it a repeat of what I had already known or wanted to try, not that I ever thought I was reinventing the wheel here.

But I should probably back up a bit.

I have been eating Pork and Bean bread for at least 20 years. I have shared (minus photos) the recipe here and it will be repeated with photos for the series. But about a year ago I came upon a recipe for soup. It was a frugal soup made by a frugal woman to feed her family. It caught my eye, and I clipped the recipe from the paper. She stated in the article that it was her "frugal" recipe that she used for a quick, easy and cheap meal. She commented " add some bread and fruit for dessert and dinner is done" or words to that measure.

In addition years ago I had added a can of pork and beans to a dish I making because all of a sudden there were more people to feed and no time to get more food to feed them, only time to make more. It turned out very good, and I have made it that way ever since. I will share that also.

I felt that there had to be more than my 3, so that led to googling. Googling led to more information and ideas and well you get the picture. Also, I like beans. I think beans are under rated and I think pork and beans are vastly under rated because they are a healthy convenience food,  and very frugal.

Stay tuned or come back to visit, this will be a work in progress, but the food will be delicious!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate you time and your wonderful comments!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Simpe and Delicious Dry Rub for Meat

I wanted to make more dry rub to have on hand to use as well as put into jars for stocking stuffers, or little thank you gifts. I came up with this rub last summer.

I had read many, many recipes for dry rubs. Each of them had great reviews, and seemed great. However I kept coming back to the same thought, with so much heavy flavor from herbs and heat from dried chilies; how could you taste the meat?

So I came up with my own...............

Simple and Delicious Dry Rub for Meats
by the seat of my pants
makes about 1/2 c
1/c c Paula Deen house salt*
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t dry mustard
1 T paprika
dash cayenne
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t basil
1/2 thyme

Grind your dry herbs in a pestle, combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in labeled bags in a cool dry place.
I made double recipes, in order to have some for gifting. I also made a batch with smoked paprika to spice things up.

* Paula Deen House Salt
1 c salt
1/4 c pepper
1/4 c granulated garlic
Combine and store in a cool dry area.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!