Archive for March, 2011

Recipe: COCOA: Dutch Process VS Regular

|March 27, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Substitution for 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa:

3 tablespoons (18 grams) natural cocoa powder plus pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking sodaSubstitution for 3 tablespoons (18 grams)


natural cocoa: 3 tablespoons (18 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar


Note: Due to the differences between natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powders, do not substitute one for the other in recipes.


Note: Do not confuse unsweetened natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powder with sweetened cocoa drink mixes. They are not the same thing.




Dutch-Processed or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids. Its delicate flavor makes it ideal in baked goods like European cakes and pastries where its subtle flavor complements other ingredients.


Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder tastes very bitter and gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven. When used alone in cakes, cocoa powder imparts a full rich chocolate flavor and dark color.


Cocoa powder can also be used in recipes with other chocolates (unsweetened or dark) and this combination produces a cake with a more intense chocolate flavor than if the cocoa wasn't present.


Most recipes call for sifting the cocoa powder with the flour but to bring out its full flavor it can be combined with a small amount of boiling water. (If you want to try this in a recipe, substitute some of the liquid in the recipe for boiling water.)

Often times, you may notice that more butter and leavening agent are used in recipes containing cocoa powder. This is to offset cocoa powder's drying and strengthening affect in cakes.


There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-

processed and it is best to use the type specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder.

Some prefer using Dutch-processed cocoa as a slight bitterness may be tasted in cakes using natural cocoa and baking soda.


To convert a cake recipe that uses bittersweet or semisweet chocolate to one using cocoa:

Substitute 1 tablespoon plus 1 3/4 teaspoons (9.5 grams) of cocoa, 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (14.5 grams) granulated white sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) unsalted butter for every ounce (28 grams) of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Also, dissolve the cocoa in at least 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot liquid to bring out the cocoa's full flavor.


To convert a cake recipes that uses unsweetened chocolate to one using cocoa:

Substitute 3 tablespoons (18 grams) cocoa plus 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter for every 1 ounce (28 grams) of unsweetened chocolate. Dissolve the cocoa in at least 2 tablespoons of liquid in the recipe to bring out the cocoa's full flavor.

Recipe: Stuffed Red Peppers and Roasted Taters

|March 22, 2011|read comments (1)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I just love the Sunday morning paper!  The only thing worth reading is the ads.  Unless, of course, there is a write-up about a new cookbook coming out or they decide to print some recipes that I can read.  I really miss the old Courier Express – they always seemed to have recipes and cooking tips in the paper quite regularly.  And the recipes were good home-cooked dinners, great baking recipes – things you would want to make and serve your family.  Now all I have left of the Courier Express is the yellowed recipes that I cut out from years ago and the memories!  So I just read the ads, cut out the coupons I want and just glance through the remaining sections before tossing in the trash. 

And the ads have changed drastically. 

And the sales are not sales anymore – just advertisements. 

Gotta love those BOGO (buy one, get one) ads in the supermarket.  For instance, Brown 'n Serve Sausages (10-count) which you can purchase for about $1.09 in most stores.  BOGO and save $2.09!  DUH!  I may be blond – but I am not stupid. 

It's bad enough everything is changing – sizes, weights – you name it.  And coupon shopping is almost non-existent for many.  Most coupons are $1.00 off coupons – that is if you buy two, three or four (or more!) of an item.  And with all these size and weight changes – it makes you wonder just what you are paying for and if it is worth purchasing to begin with. 

Believe me – my heart goes out to those who are new to cooking, and the younger generations that have to try to make an older recipe with today's product weight/size and all the changes in the recipes from the food manufacturers. 

Bell peppers are so dang expensive, especially the red ones – which just happen to be a big favorite around here – surpassing our love for green bell peppers.  When I noticed that a local market had them for $1.99/pound I was anxious to stock up (heck it's better than $3.99 or$4.39 per pound) – easy to clean and freeze for future meals.  Too bad when I got to the store, all their red bell peppers were on their last leg.  I did find one beautiful one – so I bought it to halve and stuff for dinner.  No sense in asking the produce manager if they have any in the back – they wouldn't bring them out until the bad ones were sold.  So I grabbed a packed of ground round – barely 2/3 – 3/4 pound for stuffing the pepper.  I've made hamburgers bigger than that!

I washed, halved and seeded my lonely red pepper (glad I was just feeding the two of us!) and cut out any membrane; set aside.  Combined my ground chuck with one large egg, dry bread crumbs, a couple spoons of tomato soup and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, onion powder, and parsley.  I've never made such a small batch of stuffed peppers before in my life and this felt weird!  I stuffed my pepper halves and placed in my baking dish, "frosting" the tops with the remaining tomato soup from the can.

I prepared my taters – washed, peeled, cut into wedges and drizzled with olive oil; seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, and garlic.

Transferred to my baking dish, placing in the middle of the peppers, covered and baked in a 350* F. preheated oven for about an hour.

Our choice of veggies was a can of peas and a can of Northern beans, with butter, Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

 A perfect meal for two – with very little clean up – filling and delicious!  And of course – this can be doubled or tripled, etc.

Recipe: BBQ Beef Sammies

|March 22, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A quick and easy lunch that is quite filling is a nice BBQ beef sammie.  Whether you prefer a nice fresh Kaiser roll, or just some sliced Italian bread – it's good either way.  You can also enjoy this in pita breads or as a filling for flour or corn tortillas.


My insane schedule doesn't always allow me the time to cook what I want.  With the kids being sick for almost two weeks, then Bruiser had his THIRD surgery for tubes in his ears and they fell behind with school work and homework – so it's been a very busy time for gramma!  Check-ups, dentists for cleaning their teeth, follow-up medical – it keeps me busy.

And I still have to make sure I have my cooking done at home for us.


The ground round looked good at the market – and BBQ beef is something we really enjoy.  Plus I had some leftover BBQ sauce that I had made a couple weeks ago that I had put in the freezer and since I don't like to keep things for long in the freezer – BBQ beef sounded good to me.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet – not much because this was 80/20.  Season with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, garlic, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder.  When cooked through, add BBQ sauce and if BBQ sauce is too strong add some ketchup (my BBQ sauce had ketchup in it).  Heat through and serve as you please.

As you can tell – I am not a photographer at all – some of my pics turn out and some don't.  I did ask a friend how I can improve my picture taking – and you know what the answer was that I got?

"Let someone else take the pictures!"(hardy-har-har) 

But at least my pics are real and not fake or dummied-up! 

And by the way – a nice side salad completed this lunch!

Recipe: I call them as I see them – Buckley Farms Corned Beef

|March 19, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Okay – it's time for the soap box! 

YES – here I go again! 

As you know – I paid $4.99 per pound for a corned beef round for St. Paddy's Day.  The picture of the package is above. 

I know times are different now.  You no longer have that personal touch by butchers, meats are delivered to the stores frozen and then thawed for your convenience – which is something I am dead-set against. 

If a store is going to thaw frozen meats, you cannot purchase them and take them home and freeze them again. 

And the stores should sticker every package of meat that they have thawed.  It's not right.  And I realize that in today's society, food manufacturers are out to make all they can and the stores want a good profit so they order "X" amount of certain products to get the best price there is.  Unfortunately, they do it with meats, deli meats, cheeses, baked goods, etc.  And then they freeze them. 

You know – all those foods that are likely to perish easily. 

You can tell what has been frozen – breads and rolls are drier and crumbly, ditto with other baked goods (even the ones they supposedly bake in their own stores – when they make too much they freeze them.  Meat packages have way too much water in them, bacon, ham, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and cold cuts that are prepackaged are salty.


The prices today are outrageous and it's not right that we are spending way too much for foods like this.  And all the supermarkets are doing it – but they won't tell you they are because it is against FDA regulations. 

Well the corned beef I purchased was an item that was frozen and then thawed – it had to be – it was saltier than all hell.  My broth wasn't salty – the MEAT was! 

Look – I know my meats.  I've work in the food industry my entire life and that corned beef was frozen and thawed.  The meat was so salty that it was a turnoff. 

Yes – I did make a soup – and that is after I placed the meat in a pan and covered with water, brought to a boil, drained, rinsed and did it again and again – draining and rinsing. 

Once the water boils – remove it from the heat immediately and drain – or you will be boiling the salt right back into it.  Rinse. Do it three times. Trust me. 

I just went through that with bacon – once again – the store froze it – the salt almost killed us and I had bought 2 packages of it.  The second package I had to boil and rinse 3 times before skillet frying.  And I've had to do this with sausage as well. 

I am so sick to death of these stores freezing meats, deli meats, bacon, sausages, hot dogs, etc. and not letting the public know. 

It's getting to the point that you can no longer stock your freezer because of this. 

Well – I contacted the headquarters of the store I purchased it from and asked them to return my email with the information I requested so that I could contact Buckley Farms.  I know the store will ask questions as well – and I left my name, address, phone number and e-mail with them so they could contact me. 

Butchers always made good money – the stores now put stockboys in white coats and have them stocking the meats.  I've watched them bring out cases of frozen pork products, etc. and place them in the case late at night so that they can thaw for the next day's sales.  It's bad enough the meat companies are pumping water into the meats to make more money – they have to do this to us. 

Yes – it pisses me off.  So now – if it's salty – it's going back to the store.  I don't care what it is.  This is constant and it is all the stores – not just one chain. 

Next time I am just going to corn my own round.  First of all it will be cheaper and it won't be salty. 

Let the buyer beware! 

When you see these ads for baked goods (even those baked by the stores themselves) with the BOGO (buy one get one), you can bet your bottom dollar that they were baked ahead of time and frozen.  The dough will be drier and it will crumble very easily.  Deli meats, pre-packaged cold cuts, hotdogs, sausages, and any brined meats will be saltier than they should be. 

Don't believe me – place a package of hotdogs or sausage in the freezer for a month and then try to eat them – pure salt.  And as far as meats go – more water in the package on top of what they pumped into it for weight. 

One knucklehead produce manager tried to purchase extra cases of iceberg lettuce to get a good price and froze it.  You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what happened with that lettuce.  And at $2.99 per head – pffft.  I hope he enjoyed eating it all himself. 

You have to watch everything you buy these days.  You have to read every label.  And you cannot trust the supermarkets with anything. 

I have even seen the stores remove rolling carts loaded with bread trays full of hotdog or hamburger rolls from their freezer to thaw that they pre-ordered to get a good price and looking at the "best used by" date on it – the bakery that made them was nice enough to even date the bags ahead of time.  How would you know?? – the dryness and the crumbling.  Can't trust anyone…………

(as I step down………)








Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day – 2011

|March 19, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

With such a high concentration of Irish in the area, it's hard not be Irish for a day or two – regardless of your nationality.

It's so nice to see more and more people decorating for the day as well.  Shamrocks are everywhere!

We usually enjoy corned beef and cabbage for the day and I make Irish Soda Bread.  We really enjoy soda bread and I make it throughout the year as well. 

This year I had a hard time finding a nice corned beef round.  It seems that there were plenty of brisket and corned flank, but the rounds were hard to come by.  I finally found a nice one that was just shy of 3 1/2 pounds.

This round was quite lean compared to others so it didn't take much to clean it up.  For $4.99 per pound – it better be good!  I removed it from the bag and tossed the packet of spices out; cut off a thin layer of fat and pulled off most of the silver skin.  Then I rinsed it thoroughly and placed in my 8-quart stock pot filling with cold water. I placed that over medium heat, covered, and skimmed – letting it cook for 3 1/ hours.  Just before it was done I prepared my veggies:   If you looked at my recipe for St. Patrick's Day 2010 you will see that this year I did it a bit different this year.  This year I diced an onion, chunked some carrots and potatoes, diced celery, and chopped fresh celery leaves and chunked my cabbage as well. 

Once the skimming was done and the beef was cooked, I added my bowl of veggies and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, minced parsley, and garlic with a teaspoon or so of chicken bouillon granules – and I didin't forget a bit of caraway.  Covered, it didn't take long for the veggies to cook.  Once the veggies were done, I removed my round from the pot and sliced.  Plating was very easy and I added some French bread to go with it – You know there is always a method to my madness! 

Knowing that since it was just the two of us for dinner and there was a lot left – I decided to serve this the next day as a soup.  Since my broth was seasoned just right and I had the veggies and meat – all I needed to do was to cut the meat and add some French bread for soppin! 

Recipe: One big chicken!

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Step into my kitchen today and see what we are enjoying!


It’s such a beautiful day today. The sun is brightly shining and there is a bit of a chill in the air – you can tell that fall is coming. The trees are beginning to turn colors and there is no artist in the world that can capture the true beauty of God’s fall colors.

It’s a perfect day for oven cooking.

So here is today’s “dinner” – I say “dinner” because we will be enjoying this early in the day – which is something I do from time to time. And I have a reason for it today.


Roasted Chicken

I have a 6 – 7 lb. roasting chicken (removed the innards and tossed – didn’t look worth saving this time) in the oven (also known as the bird on steroids), seasoned with fresh garlic, fresh parsley, Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Before seasoning him all around and inside as well, I oiled him up with just a bit of olive oil; placed garlic cloves in the baking dish; covered and he was placed in a preheated 350* F. oven by 9:15 this morning.

He should be done and we will be enjoying him by 1:00 this afternoon.

I’ll make a gravy from the drippings – water, flour, chicken bouillon and fresh ground black pepper. Strain into gravy boat.

Mashed potatoes with milk, butter, sour cream, Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Steamed fresh carrots and whole kernel corn with butter pats; seasoned with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. (For some reason – we love steamed carrots with nothing on them.)

I’ve got fresh crusty Italian bread.

My salad mix is done and in the refrigerator: Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, carrot strips, cucumber chunks, thin slices of red pepper rings (bell peppers). I’ll add the tomatoes before serving. For a dressing – olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a sprinkle of my Dipping Sauce dry mix (recipe posted on site).

Once we are done eating I’ll pull out the soup pot, I’ve already cut my celery, carrots, onion and it’s covered and in the refrigerator waiting. The skin and the carcass will go into the soup pot with the veggies and I will make a large pot of soup stock.

Leftover chicken will be diced – some for salad topping tomorrow and some for the soup and some for making chicken salad for sandwiches later today. Once the soup stock is done I’ll strain it. Some will be bottled in quart and/or pint jars and placed in the refrigerator to cool completely (uncapped) until tomorrow. Tomorrow I will cap the jars and place in the freezer for future use.

Never waste any stock – always try to freeze some for using at any time.

The quart jars can be used for making a pot of soup – just add veggies, noodles, rice, barley – however you want to make it. The pint jars are nice for gravies, cooking rice, etc.

The remaining stock today will be placed back in the pot, add sliced celery, onion, carrot and I’ll make some egg noodles for a nice chicken veggie/noodle soup.


To make the egg noodles – flour and eggs with a pinch of salt; roll thin and slice as wide as I want. They cook right in the broth – one pot soup making.

I’ll make chicken salad while pulling the chicken apart for the pot so that it will have a chance to chill in the refrigerator before enjoying tonight. Chopped chicken, celery, chipped carrot, mayo and I will have pineapple chunks to add, if desired.

So tonight’s normal dinner (at dinnertime) will be Homemade Chicken Vegetable Egg Noodle Soup and Chicken Salad Sandwiches. And of course, crusty Italian bread for soppin’!


There is a Banana Cream Pie in the refrigerator as well.

I made a No-Roll Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cold milk – I use whole milk

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the pie pan and mix with your fingers until blended. In a measuring cup, combine the oil and milk and beat with a fork until creamy. Pour all at once over the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until the flour mixture is completely moistened. Pat the dough with your fingers, first up the sides of the pie plate, the across the bottom.

Flute the edges. Makes one single crust 8 or 9-inch pie.

Baked in preheated 350* F. oven until done; cool and fill with:



2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1 pinch Kosher salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract**
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 bananas, large, peeled, and sliced

In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch, and salt. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in milk. Stir constantly until filling becomes thick and reaches a boil. Boil filling for 1 minute.

Gradually add egg yolks. Continue to whisk filling mixture constantly while bringing to a boil again. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove filling mixture from heat, blend in butter and vanilla.

Place 1 layer of sliced bananas in the bottom and around the sides of cooled pie crust. Then, pour filling into pie crust. Sprinkle with cooled topping.



1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed**
1/2 cup butter (firm)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mix flour and brown sugar in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture is crumbly. Stir in peanuts. Bake about 15 minutes or until light brown. Stir to break up. Cool.

It may seem like I am cooking all day – but actually this is very easy to do.
First I baked the pie shell and the topping for the pie. While that was baking I was making the filling and assembled the pie. Placed in the refrigerator to cool and pulled out the bird. Gave him a thorough scrubbing. Once he was in the oven I sterilized the sink, cutting board, etc. and then I prepared my salad mix – washing my lettuces and allowing to drain in a large colander. Prepared my cucumbers, carrots, and cut my pepper rings. Assembled the salad in a large bowl, covered and placed in refrigerator. Then I prepared the carrot, onions, and celery for the soup – making two covered bowls. The first bowl was chunks for making my soup stock. The second was the veggies cut the way I wanted them in the soup. More carrots were cleaned and ready for steaming when it’s time.

When it’s time I’ll scrub my taters, peel and boil. While I have chunks of fresh carrots steaming. Whole kernel corn heats in a jiffy!

I’m hoping for leftover gravy to bottle and freeze as well! Comes in handy for just about anything!
Couldn’t be simpler and it’s all homemade and good for ya! And I got a great meal to enjoy, soup to last 2 days, chicken salad to last 2 days, chicken pieces to top a salad of greens for tomorrow, and bottled broth for future meals, and bottled gravy for future use as well. I can also use the diced chicken, gravy and any leftover veggies and make a pot pie tomorrow if I want. Not bad from Big Bird!

**Make it yourself to save money or when in a pinch.

Recipe: Homemade Brownie Mix

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

It's comfort foods weather! My favorite time of the year!

In preparation for baking when I need to whip up something quick, I've started on my baking mixes.  Just like boxed cake mixes or commercially made bakery cakes – I can't eat brownies from any type of a mix unless I make the mix myself.


Here's my Brownie Mix:

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder**
4 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
1 can (8 ounces) baking cocoa
2 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients. With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed. Store in a large airtight container in cupboard. Keeps 10-12 weeks.

Yield: about 17 cups of mix.


2 1/2 cups brownie mix
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**
1/2 cup chopped nuts optional
Confectioners' sugar, optional**

In a mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients. Beat with spoon until smooth. Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes or until top tests done. Cut into squares while still
warm. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Yield: 9 brownies.

**Make it yourself, make it better, make it cheaper.


NOTE:  These can also be frosted and decorated with candies or nuts.

NOTE: You can use this recipe for making gift jars for friends during the holiday season. Place 2 1/2 cups brownie mix in jar and attach a recipe tag with instructions.

You can also place the mix in a resealable plastic bag with instructions and place in an 8-inch square baking pan with a wooden spoon or a set of measuring cups, or a pretty set of pot holders; place in a cello gift bag and add a pretty bow for a nice gift.

Recipe: Homemade Cake Mixes

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

In my family, I start off the birthdays with mine being the first day of fall (September 23rd) and then followed by birthdays popping up every week – some weeks 2 or 3!  So that's a lot of cakes that needed to be baked!

I cannot eat boxed cake mixes – there is something in them that makes me very sick – not uncomfortably feeling – I mean down-right SICK!  Ditto with the cakes from the store bakeries and other bakeries as well.

So I need to make my own cake mixes:



3 1/3 cups vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons double-acting baking powder**
7 2/3 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons salt
11 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Place shortening at room temperature in a large mixing bowl. Cream 1/2 minute with mixer at medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Cream another 1/2 minute at same speed.

Add 4 cups sugar, 1 cup at a time. After each addition, cream 1 minute at medium speed.

Sift together 3 times, flour, baking powder, salt, and 3 2/3 cups of sugar. Sift last time into a clean mixing bowl.

Add 2 cups of sifted ingredients to shortening-sugarmixture. Blend 1/2 minute at medium speed. Turn mixture into dry ingredients. Blend until it looks like cornmeal. Be sure all ingredients are well blended.

To Store Mix:

Measure mix into 6 equal parts. Spoon it lightly into measuring cup. Each part should be 3 1/2 cups. Place each part into a quart glass jar or zip-type plastic bags. Cover and store in a cool, dark place; or place in a metal can, cover, and store in a cool place. When stored properly, mix stays fresh for up to a month. For longer shelf-life, store in the freezer.


Yellow Cake

3 1/2 cups cake mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract**
2 medium eggs
3/4 cup milk

Place mix into a 2-quart bowl. Make a well in center of mix. Add eggs, vanilla extract and all the milk to the mixture. Beat mixture 1 minute with electric mixer at low speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl to be sure all ingredients are mixed. Beat 2 minutes longer at same speed.

Batter should be smooth and free of lumps.

Pour into desired pans and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back up when pressed lightly in center.



White Cake

Use 3 medium egg whites instead of whole eggs.


Spice Cake

Add to the mix for cake:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves


Orange Cake

Add 1 teaspoon grated orange rind** to mix and use 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract** in place of vanilla extract.


Chocolate Cake

Add 2 extra tablespoons of milk. Stir liquid ingredients into mix until just blended. Add 2 squares of melted chocolate and blend into mixture. Continue mixing batter as directed.

1 (8-inch) square cake
2 (8-inch) round layer cake pans
1 (10 x 6 1/2 x 2-inch) loaf cake
1 (12 x 8-inch) sheet cake


**Make it yourself – cheaper and better.

Recipe: See’s Fudge – Original Recipe

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I enjoy trying various recipes and then using friends and family as "guinea pigs" – LOL.  I make a very good fudge that everyone likes – but I wanted to make this one to see how they liked it.

Of course they did –

Here's the recipe:

4 1/2 cups sugar
3 pkgs. (12 oz. each) chocolate chips*
1/2 lb. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2 cups chopped nuts

Combine sugar and evaporated milk in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to boil; boil 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often. (rolling boil).  In large bowl, combine chocolate chips,  marshmallow creme, butter. Cream well.  Add add chocolate chips. Pour hot mixture over chocolate mixture. After chocolate has melted, add nuts and vanilla, blend well, pour into buttered pans and chill in refrigerator.

Cut into squares before firm. This recipe makes about 5 lbs of fudge.


*I've used milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips and white chips.


I've also added candied fruit to the white chocolate for a festive look for the holidays.


A nice recipe to play with!

Recipe: Beer Batter

|March 14, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

This is a nice recipe for beer batter anything! This can be made 24 hours ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. You can also thicken a bit by adding more flour if needed.

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
A grind or two of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cup flat beer
3/4 cup cold water

Open beer and leave it at room temperature for at least 1 day.

Chill until cold. Add water, oil and eggs; mix just enough to break egg yolks.

In separate bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Whisk in dry ingredients, leaving some small lumps. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made ahead 24 hours. Remix.

If going to use right away, you may thicken with additional flour.

I pour the beer into the bowl until flat, then chill. Add ingredients to that bowl when preparing.


Use fo fish, veggies – just about anything you want battered!