Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Burgers

These are really good.

Chicken Burgers
4 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1/2 med onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp. sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of white pepper
3 T. soy sauce
4 eggs, beaten

Put everything in a food processor, when completely mixed, form into patties and fry in olive oil about 5 minutes each side.
(I actually don't have a food processor, so used my blender and it took extra time because I could only put about 1/2 c. diced chicken in at a time. Then had to mix everything together in a bowl. Canned chicken would work just as well without having to blend or process it- similar to tuna.)

I used my Italian Bread recipe for the buns, but made a smaller batch:

Rachel's Hamburger Buns
2 c. warm water
2 T sugar
2 T yeast
1/4 c. dry milk
1/2 T salt
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. whole wheat flour
4-5 c. white flour

Mix water, sugar and yeast and let set for 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy. Add the rest of ingredients until you get to the flour then as the mixer is going add the flour one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer. Let it knead (mix) for 10 minutes. Flour the counter where you plan to shape the loaves.
I put the whole batch of dough on the counter and flattened it a little- so it was about 1 inch thick. Then took a pizza cutter and cut a 1 1/2" strip off the end, then cut that into about six 1 1/2" squares. Each square: squish down to 1/2 inch thick, it should be about 2 to 3 inches square. Take all corners and squish together, turn the "loaf" so the seam is on the underside and place on baking sheet (these did best on stoneware). Let rise till doubled, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve with Mayo, lettuce and tomatoes.

Turkey: $5.
Lettuce: $.75
Tomato: $1.35
Buns: $.60
Chips: $2.5 (natural w/ sea salt)
Meal Total: $10.80
This didn't really cost me this much, as I was given farm fresh eggs (thanks to my mom!) and some chicken from someone and this will also cheaper in the summer when we have our garden lettuce and tomatoes.
But I really only spent $5.20
And we had 2 extra adults joining us for dinner last night, so it fed quite a few.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cold Bread Pudding

When I was a teenager we spent a few months in Oklahoma, where some of my dad's family lived. His aunt told of a story: One day my Great Grandma looked out the window and saw her little grandson, Dennis, with a bag walking down the road. She called out to him:
"Hi Dennis, what are you doing today?"
"I'm running away." he replied.
Great Grandma asked, "Would you like some cold bread pudding?"
He thought a minute and then said "I guess I can run away tomorrow."
Then went and enjoyed that cold bread pudding. (And I don't think he ever did run away.)
My dad still loves it- and I asked my Great Aunt for the recipe. But, her recipe was in her head... she didn't even own a measuring cup! So what I got was measured out with a coffee cup, because she figured it was close.
I've learned how it needs to look and so I don't measure when I make it anymore either, but I'm so glad she figured it out for me.

To get the traditional pudding, you need to use biscuits for the bread crumbs- but these days I just keep a gallon ziplock bag in the freezer and when there is an extra piece or 2 of bread that is "too old" (but not moldy) to eat, I stick it in there. When the bag is full, I make bread pudding. I even stick cookies in the bag- it's normally a mix between brown and white breads and a few chocolate chip cookies.
The boys love eating it for breakfast.

Cold Bread Pudding
12 c. bread crumbs
8 c. milk
2 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten*

Pour milk over bread crumbs and let sit until mushy, approximately 30 minutes. Mix in sugar, vanilla and beaten eggs. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish, bake approximately 45 minutes. Cool and refrigerate before serving.

*Sometimes my Great Aunt would separate the eggs, just put the yoke in the pudding and make a meringue from the whites for the pudding.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Corn Bread Muffins

This is a sweet corn bread- similar to the Jiffy muffin mix. They were really good- we had them with Chili the other night. And look- I used my new stoneware muffin pans! :-)

Corn Bread Muffins

2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. cornmeal
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1 c. butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients and mix well. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Coconut "Pecan" Icing

Well, yesterday was Brian's birthday- and being the good wife that I am, I forgot to make him a cake! I made him a photo album for his desk and scrapbooked the pages and wrote in the love quotes and then made him Chicken Chili Roll Ups for dinner, since he likes those- it was going so well, I was getting everything done that I wanted too... no wonder- I wasn't doing a cake! The poor guy had to ask (insert smiley with a paper bag over head).

So at 5:30, I started baking a cake. The cake was just a boxed German Chocolate cake, because I had it. But I did make the frosting from scratch.

Coconut "Pecan" Icing
1 can evaporated milk
1 c. white sugar
1 T. molasses
1/2 c. butter
3 egg yokes
Melt and stir over med heat- when boiling cook for about 10 minutes stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in:
1 1/3 c. shredded coconut
1 c. chopped nuts (in my case, it was walnuts, because that's all I had)
Let cool completely before frosting.

Because it was 7:00 PM when the cake was somewhat cooled, I frosted it- and the frosting wasn't completely cooled, so it was oozing everywhere. Oh well-- at least he still got his favorite cake on his birthday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Last Friday when I had to bake an amazing amount of bread, I borrowed cookie sheets from friends. One of my friends loaned me all her stoneware. I was excited to use it, as I just ordered some for myself from The Pampered Chef but my ordered hasn't arrived yet. I have been trying to get away from non-stick cookware and move to healthier options. It's been slow, just because cookware of any kind is expensive. But I have gotten to where the only teflon I had was in my baking sheets, muffin tins, bread pans and one skillet. I was able to get all the stoneware I wanted- pizza stones (which will double as cookie sheets), loaf pans, muffin pans and I got a stainless steel skillet with lid from them- which I am excited to use. I do have a large cast iron skillet, which I really like, but couldn't find a lid for it.
Here is an article on the dangers of teflon, and teflon is in anything that claims to be non-stick.
As I was baking the bread, I was surprised at the difference in baking with a stone- I took a picture of it:
The bread on the stoneware rose and baked so pretty! You can see on the regular baking sheet, the bread didn't rise as much.
I can hardly wait for my order to come and I can use stoneware with everything!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rachel's Italian Bread

Here is the bread I made for the Valentine Banquet last week. It was so delicious. I worked all week tweaking recipes trying to get it just right and finally was satisfied with this one.

Rachel's Italian Bread
4 c. warm water
1/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 T yeast
1/4 c. dry milk
1 T salt
1/2 c. olive oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
8-9 c. white flour

Mix water, sugar and yeast and let set for 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy. Add the rest of ingredients until you get to the flour then as the mixer is going add the flour one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer. Let it knead (mix) for 10 minutes. Flour the counter where you plan to shape the loaves.
I put the whole batch of dough on the counter and flattened it a little- so it was about 1 inch thick. Then took a pizza cutter and cut a strip off the end, then cut that into 4 or 5 squares. Each square: squish down to 1/2 inch thick, it should be about 3 to 4 inches square. Take all corners and squish together, turn the "loaf" so the seam is on the underside and place on baking sheet (these did best on stoneware). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, cut an "X" shape in the top. Let rise till doubled, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
These made awesome sandwiches!
This recipe should make about 30 big rolls. It would taste great with a 1 or 2 tsp Italian seasoning.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine Banquet

I know I haven't posted much in the last couple weeks- but for the last month I've been planning a Valentine Banquet for our church- our group (Y.A.M.S., Young Adults, Married & Single) hosted it for the rest of the church. And this week, that is pretty much the only thing that has been on my mind. So even though I had some things I wanted to post after I made them- I forgot to take pictures- so another time. :-) The Banquet turned out wonderfully. I wish I had taken pictures of all of it to put on here, but pictures were the last thing on my mind Friday night!
I was in charge of the menu- except the desserts, which a friend of mine made- she did a beautiful job and made Chocolate Mousse Meringues.
We were able to keep our cost to a minimum- here's the menu:

Fresh Green Salad
with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Artisan Bread

Steak wrapped with bacon, Baked Potato
Green Beans with Almonds

Meringue Bliss

I don't have a break down of the cost by food- but I took the total bill and divided it- it came to $5.40/per person. We had 37 people attend, so we fed them for just under $200.

I will have the bread recipe later this week- as I did manage pictures of them, as they were so pretty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Perfect Loaf

So, on my quest of the perfect loaf of bread, I have wanted to see first hand the difference between bread that was mixed, kneaded and baked and bread that was allowed to knead, rise, knead and risen again.
I tried it with French Bread this week:

On the Left:
Mixed, kneaded, rose, baked.
On the Right:
Mixed, kneaded, rose, kneaded, rose, kneaded, rose, baked.

It might be a little hard to see, but the one that was allowed to rise several times had a finer texture and felt a little softer. The air pockets inside the loaf were smaller.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tuna Ring with Cheese Sauce

This is a really pretty and the cheese sauce is wonderful.

Tuna Ring with Cheese Sauce
Tuna Filling
1 egg
2 6 oz cans tuna, drained
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 c. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper

Beat egg, set aside 2 TB of the egg. Stir the rest of the ingredients together.

2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. oil
3/4 c. milk

Mix together, roll out on floured surface. Spread on tuna mixture, roll up and place on greased baking sheet in a circle; pinch ends together. With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the ring, at 1-inch intervals. Turn each section on it's side to show filling. Brush top with reserved egg. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, should be golden brown on tops.

Cheese Sauce
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 feta cheese
Melt butter over medium heat. Blend milk, flour, salt and pepper, slowly add to butter and stir constantly until boiling. Stir in cheese until melted (feta may be chunky still).

Tuna $1.
Cheese: $2.
Milk: $.54
Egg: $.15
Meal Total: $3.69

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Suction Cup Cheese Grater

One of my main tools is my cheese grater. I got it from my mom, she has one similar. I know people don't really know about these because of what I hear when people see it/use it at our house. I was planning to just look it up online and give you a link- but I can't find any!! So here is a picture, and maybe you can find one on ebay sometime-- I would highly recommend getting one. Then you don't have to buy shredded cheese with the anti-caking agents, or other additives. It also works for veggies- this is what I use to grate zucchini, carrots and potatoes.
I found this one on

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lentil Chili

This is so delicious- I am so impressed. I have made this several times and just can't get over how much we like this!
This is another Recipe from Hillbilly Housewife:

Lentil Chili

I did have to double it- and there have never been leftovers. I left out the bouillon and added some salt in it's place. We plopped on some sour cream and used chips to eat it-- like a chip dip. YUM!

Lentils 16 oz: $.72
Large can of tomatoes: $.98
Tortilla chips: $1.00
Meal Total: $2.70

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Applesauce Oatmeal

This really smelled good with the cinnamon and ginger in the morning. I will admit though, that I didn't eat it- because I just don't eat oatmeal, but everyone else did. Naomi liked it the best I think- probably because I don't give her sugar yet, and the applesauce made it sweeter than normal.
This is scaled down from what I made-

Applesauce Oatmeal
3 c. water
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of salt

Mix everything and bring to full rolling boil, stir a couple times, then turn off burner, but leave the pan there for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered.
Before serving stir in 1 c. applesauce.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mexican Hamburger Rice Bake

Another one of the sites I've been looking through lately is The Family Homestead.

I haven't been able to look at all of it, she has alot of info on there, but I did find some good sounding recipes- this is one of them. And it was good! The boys said it was a "little spicy", but I thought it was great- and Naomi ate it too and didn't seem to mind the spiciness.

Mexican Hamburger Rice

Ground meat: $2.
Rice: $.40
"Rotel" $.62
Tomato sauce $.30
Cheese: $.92
Meal Total: $4.24
(or with venison: $3.08)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Quinoa Muffins

Now and then I catch parts of the Martha Stewart Show and a couple weeks ago I saw them make Quinoa Muffins. I have heard alot talk about quinoa, but didn't realize that it is a whole protein. The Wikipedia site for Quinoa explains more. But basically with dried beans and rice, you need both to give a whole protein and with quinoa, you don't: it "completes" itself. :-) And it is considered Gluten-Free. Which is great, because I know several people with gluten sensitivities.
I tried the quinoa cooked before adding it to the muffins and it was good. I am pleased with it.
These muffins were quite sweet- I followed Martha's recipe, except I don't have dark brown sugar so I just put in the same amount of white sugar and added around 1 TB of molasses. I think next time I will reduce the sugar- as the raisins already make it pretty sweet.

Quinoa Muffins

I got my organic quinoa at a local health food store in the bulk section for $1.99/lb. I bought almost a full pound and used about 1/3 of it for the muffins. I did use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white flour, they came out nice and fluffy, so next time I will go with 100% whole wheat.
Before cooking the quinoa, rinse it to get the saponins off- the saponins give it a bitter smell, but once rinsed it smells/tastes nice.

Spicy Peanut Sauce Over Spaghetti

I love peanut sauce. This one is a little different than my regular one but I was looking forward to it since it has a little spice to it. It didn't disappoint-- it was very good.
I have looked through the Hillbilly Housewife site quite a few times and am really impressed with all the info she has. This is one of her recipes.

Spicy Peanut Sauce
I added some left over chicken pieces as well- this would be the best over rice noodles, with a green salad, but I didn't have that on hand.

Pasta $.34
Peanut Butter: $1.71 (Adams Natural)
Soy sauce: $.25
Chicken $.66
Meal Total: $2.96

Blueberry Scones

I have some left over half & half and cream, so I thought it would be a great month to experiment with scones. I love scones- my absolute favorite is a raspberry scone made by a bakery here. (Linda- I'm addicted to those because of you.) So I would really like to find a recipe that comes at least close to that.
These were good, I just spooned them onto the baking sheet, rather than rolling and cutting the traditional wedges. They didn't have much sugar, which is good for breakfast.
I don't use wheat flour when I make scones or biscuits, it just doesn't come out very well.

I used this recipe from

Blueberry Scones

Friday, February 1, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

What a wonderful smell fills the house when this is in the oven!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
5 c. whole wheat flour*
2 c. sugar
2 T. + 1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 c. mashed banana**

Mix thoroughly pour into greased and floured loaf pans (2 large pans or 3 smaller pans). Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes.

*The loaves will come out fluffier and higher if you use 2 to 3 cups whites flour, rather than 100% whole wheat.
**Approximately 2 bananas. You can stick bananas in the freezer when they are over ripe and you no longer want to eat them- just pull them out a few minutes before your ready to cook with them, after they have thawed out about 5 to 10 minutes you can take the peeling right off.

February Menu

February Menu

Fri. 1 Banana BreadPasta & Spicy Peanut Sauce
Sat. 2 SconesMexican Meat & RiceOutside plans
Sun. 3 Coffee CakeChicken BurgersSuperbowl Party
Mon. 4 PancakesHash and Eggs
Tues. 5 ToastLentil Chili
Wed. 6 Baked OatmealCheese Delight
Thurs. 7 Rice PancakesTurkey Dinner
Fri. 8 Banana BreadSombrero Pie
Sat. 9 Simple SconesTuna Ring with Cheese SauceHam Dinner
Sun. 10 Coffee CakeItalian Beans and RiceLeftovers
Mon. 11 PancakesChinese Goulash
Tues. 12 ToastPorcupine Meatballs
Wed. 13 Applesauce OatmealMeat & Egg Sandwich
Thurs. 14 Breakfast SconesChicken Caruso
Fri. 15 Zucchini BreadHam Pie
Sat. 16 Coffee CakeGrilled Cheese SandwichesTexas Hash
Sun. 17 Cold CerealTaco Lentils and RiceSandwiches
Mon. 18 PancakesTuna Noodles Romanoff
Tues. 19 ToastTurkey Soup
Wed. 20 Baked OatmealDinner in a Dish
Thurs. 21 MuffinsSwedish Meatballs
Fri. 22 Banana BreadChinese Beef and Rice
Sat. 23 SconesAfrican Safari PilafSour Cream Enchiladas
Sun. 24 Coffee CakeMac & Cheese w/ HamSandwiches
Mon. 25 PancakesPizza
Tues. 26 ToastMeatballs with Sour Cream Gravy
Wed. 27 Baked OatmealBean, Cheese and Rice Squares
Thurs. 28 MuffinsGrandma's Casserole
Fri. 29 Zucchini BreadSkillet Lasagna


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